Feel Free To Join Me In Singing A Little Peaches & Herb

A couple of weeks ago David put a new stereo in my car. He pulled off the dashboard, took out the old stereo, cut and soldered some wires, installed the new stereo and reattached the dashboard. He did all of this in our driveway, thankyouverymuch, which means that for a few hours one Saturday afternoon the area in front of our house looked so much like the “Dukes of Hazzard” parts shop that I LONGED for someone from the homeowners’ association to stop by. Mainly because I was dying to blare some Hank Williams, Jr. music from the garage and then introduce my husband as Cooter.


In all seriousness, D is unbelievably patient and detail-oriented when it comes to assembling stuff, so I knew that he’d do a great job with the stereo installation. And he did. My old stereo had this iPod connector thingie that ran behind the dashboard and had quit working completely, and since it was going to cost the same amount of money to buy a new behind-the-dash iPod connector thingie or buy a new stereo, Gadget Man opted for the new stereo. But I’m guessing you already figured that out since that little detail was pretty much the gist of my first paragraph. I am nothing if not annoyingly repetitive.

ANYWAY, once the new stereo was installed, D began the daunting task of trying to teach me how to use it. I like for electronics to be simple, and one of the great frustrations in my life is that I cannot watch TV in our den with the push of only one button. Remember, I am a child of the UHF era. I guess it’s a wonder that I’m actually able to operate a DVR, but my sheer determination to stay up-to-date with reality television keeps me motivated. I give all credit to Chris Harrison and Jeff Probst. They’re the wind beneath my DVR wings.

So D tried to show me how to use the stereo, but the buttons were very tiny, and they were marked with phrases like SRC and FN and RND. I still don’t know what they mean. I did like the fact that my iPod plugged into the front of the stereo, but whenever I tried to change playlists on the iPod via my stereo controls, I’d end up with some thumping bass or no sound at all in my front speakers. I never did figure out how to scroll through my lists of albums and artists, so when I finally hit a combination of buttons that landed me on the “Shuffle All” setting, I just left it there. And when Alex would request a specific song, all I knew to say was, “MAMA DOESN’T KNOW HOW TO DO THAT. WE’LL JUST LISTEN TO WHAT’S NEXT.”

The new stereo also came equipped with a remote, and at first I thought it would be a handy feature. But as it turns out, do you know what you do not need in a moving vehicle? A REMOTE CONTROL. I only used it a couple of times, and both times all I could manage to do was to switch the radio from FM to AM to FM to AM. At one point I couldn’t get any response at all from the remote, and I worried that I was trapped in an episode of “MacGruber” and unintentionally blowing up farmland in some rural area of Kentucky.

It was either that or I was turning people’s TVs off and on while I was waiting at red lights near their homes.

This morning was the breaking point with the fancy stereo and me. I couldn’t seem to make my iPod play, I couldn’t figure out how to scroll through radio stations, and every single time I’d try to find my preset stations I activated some sort of treble boost. To my credit I did not rip the stereo from the dashboard, but I’m pretty sure that I called it some names.

D looked at the stereo this afternoon to see if maybe I had messed up some settings (ENTIRELY POSSIBLE, THAT OPTION), but of course he was able to get it to work with absolutely no problem at all. And even though I’ve tried to be a good sport about the new stereo, and even though I’ve tried to put on a happy face about the fact that it’s way too complicated for me, I finally caved and told D that I didn’t think the new stereo and I were going to be able to work out our issues. We tried. We really did. But we’re just not compatible.

And after about five minutes of D asking, “Are you sure? Really? You don’t like it?” he said the magic words: “Do you want me to return the new stereo and install your old one?”

I nearly wept with relief. My old stereo. The one with the big buttons that say things like POWER and CD and EJECT.

And this time around I’m completely foregoing the iPod connector thingie that ran behind the dash. It was a lovely feature, but if it broke once, it’ll probably break again. I’m just going to use an iPod cassette adapter. And I will be so very happy with it because while it might not be the most cutting-edge technology, I can guarantee you that it will not beep at me.

As you can imagine, I am beside myself with joy.

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  1. Ummm..I dont even know how to use an ipod..I am ashamed ! and scared !! =)I cant even imagaine how to get music in to it!!! LOL

  2. *Sigh* You sound like me when I tried to change my blog template today. Yeah, I’m back to the good old reliable preset one, AND my pretty colored fonts are now gone.

  3. My ipod cassette adapter and I have had a wonderful relationship for the last 4 years. Can’t beat the $10 price tag!

  4. This is what you need. You simply plug it into the cigarette lighter plug, tune the radio to the fm signal that is lit up on your cable, plug the other end into your ipod, turn up the radio and enjoy the music. I have one, and it is wonderful!


  5. It is *always* a good day when you go backwards in technology!!!

    (Said by the gal who still listens to CDs, and most often…the r-a-d-i-o. I’m an antique!)

    (Also said by the gal who has a 500″ computer monitor that takes up most of a card table.)

    (Did I mention my phone? It rings. I know!)

    I need some wind beneath my buying-a-DVR wings. I’ll get there, world. I will.

  6. I am so right there with you. I bought myself a fancy phone about 8 months ago thinking I would become a techy person and I couldn’t even figure out how to silence the stupid thing!! My oldest son borrowed my phone for a few days and he took the phone and I was trying to explain some of the features and he said “and the silencer button is here, right?” ughh….yes, that’s right!!

  7. Yes! I have one of those cigarette lighter adapter thingies, too! The only problem, it gets fuzzy when traveling out of my hometown, and I have to change the station on both the radio AND the cigarette lighter adapter thingie. But it’s a small price to pay, I figure. And much safer than a remote! Who came up with that idea? Unless it was meant to be used by a kid in the backseat? But that’s just plum crazy!

    And fear not for our farmland. I reside in a rural area of KY, and we are fine and dandy! :) There. Aren’t you relieved?!

  8. I actually soldered the wires on the connector. “Sautered” sounds like I slowly and calmly grilled the wires in butter. I can see where there would be some confusion. Lesson learned on my part. You are a factory radio kind of girl.

  9. When my oldest daughter (or my IT dept as I sometimes call her) went to college she left me a ‘cheat sheet’ for the tv. It said things like ‘press the red button on the gray remote. Now put the gray remote down. Under no circumstances should you push any other buttons on the gray remote’.

    Seems they know me : ) I’m happy you have music in your car life again…have a nice weekend! We’re at 2 feet of snow here and its still snowing. Its gorgeous but it was enough about 14 hours ago.

  10. This made me laugh. I can see you going through town with a handy dandy remote in your hand turning random appliances on and off in stranger’s homes! Yeah.

  11. Daddy of Boo –

    I don’t know what makes me laugh more – that true to my Southern heritage I just spelled it like it sounds – or that you left me a comment to tell me. When, you know, I WAS IN THE NEXT ROOM.


  12. This whole post made me laugh…but especially the part about being “MacGruber” blowing up farmland in Kansas. Wasn’t that guy’s name McGuyver???? :-)

  13. Spiritmom says:

    Oh my goodness, Sophie, this morning I realized that you and I share a brain!!

  14. It’s just not right! Modern technology changing so rapidly that we cannot keep up.

    My 17-year-old informed that she is the object of great ridicule among her peers because we are still in the dark ages and have yet to get a DVR. It’s on the list. Really. I’ve been a little afraid. Besides, there’s the thing of me lining up the extra time and you know, DOING IT. It’ll happen, I assure you. Because taping reality on VHS is just not working for me anymore.

    Excuse me while I listen to some 8 tracks.

  15. FYI: the remote control is for the child in the carseat. I hand all my gadgets to the little ones in the backseat when I have a problem. They are better wired for it than me.

  16. Grilling the wires in butter might have made it work like you wanted it to. Butter has many magical powers, you know.

    I like to PRETEND I’m tech savvy, but I still can’t figure out how to get my ipod to shuffle just a playlist and not the entire library.

    Just think, you’ll have another chance for the homeowners association to stop by when the uninstall and re-install takes place. Happy weekend!

  17. How can we ever keep up? UGH! :-)

  18. The MacGruber comment had me rolling, because I was remembering attempting to use the remote that came with my first Sirius radio, and nothing happening! And I’ve had my new car Since November, I just figured out how to use the CD disc changer thingy last week.

  19. This has no relevance to the topic of car stereo technology whatsoever, but I just have to say…one of my besties is Cooter’s niece! BRUSH WITH FAME!!! That is 2 degrees of separation from a redneck icon…woohoo!

  20. I just wanted to say that you had me laughing out loud at my desk. Kind of a problem. Your words ring SO true.. I’m 27 and single, and recently, I was giving a guy I’ve been on a few dates with a ride home or something, and he looked at my console and asked “are those cd’s? I don’t think I know anyone who still listens to the actual cd.” HA.

  21. I was actually laughing out loud reading this, and that never happens with me. You are SO funny. LOVE your blog!!

  22. Hah! I just figured out how to listen to the radio over the internet. We don’t have the internet in our pickup so I guess I’ll stick to the AM/FM.

  23. My first thought was that your hubby should teach the boy how to use the remote from the back seat. :) Kids figure those sorts of things out so much easier than we do.

  24. Thanks for the much-needed laugh this morning! Like you, I am not savvy with all these newfangled gadgets. The times I call my sons for help is innumerable! When I got my first computer, my mid son…the techno geek…had to make me a diagram with arrows…which key to hit, etc. At least I am doing better these days…but darn it, technology keeps changing as I finally get the hang of it!!!
    Jane (Artfully Graced)

  25. I would have probably kept the new stereo (even though it was obviously possessed), simply because I don’t lose well to inanimate objects.

    But I would’ve named it “Christine.”

  26. Sarah Kate in WA state says:

    Oh my!! Thanks for the laugh this morning….both the hilarious post, as well as the BooMama/BooDaddy banter in the comments! It has made my (rainy) Friday here in WA!

  27. Oh, this one made me laugh! I loved the bit about unintentionally blowing up farmland, or turning people’s TVs on and off while stopped at the red light. :) Thank you for this. Love it!

  28. I had to giggle at “MAMA DOESN’T KNOW HOW TO DO THAT”…What’s so sad is Alex could have probably figured out how to work the stereo in just a few minutes – that’s what happens to me anyway! One time I was playing…er, helping my niece play…on her PS2 and it messed up. I started hitting all the different buttons trying to get it to work, and she said “Just turn it off and turn it back on”. Worked like a charm of course, and left her aunt feeling completely stupid!

  29. Oh, thank you for such a great laugh! LOVE my cassette adapter – we’re BFF!

  30. Cassette adapter works for me in my 12 year old wagooner. It’s simple and it doesn’t talk back.

  31. I apologize if someone already said this.

    In my husband’s truck when the iPod is connected to the auxilary(however you spell that)majigger (sorry it’s just too late for the words), you control the iPod with the iPod, it just plays through the stereo. Any chance that was the problem?

    And now I realize, it is doubtful that anyone said it that way, even if they said it.

  32. Oh, my! I laughed until I cried reading this!!! I’ve had such a stressful week and you, dear Boomama, just made it almost go away :) I can SO relate to being technologically-challenged. I’ve called my kids on the phone before and asked how to turn on the TV/DVR, etc. I have learned to text message, though….a little. I remember feeling so smug when I returned my first text back to one of my kids…….my text was “OK”. Clever, huh? That was 6 months ago. Sad.

    Suggestion, if D hasn’t already taken the stereo out……show ALEX how to operate it. I’m sure that he’ll be able to help you out with those kind of things like my children do. You’d probably be shocked at how quickly he’d learn to do it, too.

  33. My daughter read your post and thought that I could have written it myself. I would love for you to be my neighbor, we would get along great. I had to laugh to myself at reading your post because I feel the same way about new technology. I have Bible study in my home and one of the ladies had to travel to Kentucky for several weeks. She asked if we could sign on to Skype so she could still participate in the study and watch the video with us. I was quite skeptical of the idea, but behold, it worked. One step forward for this woman into the technological world.

  34. The other option is to give Alex the remote control! ;)

    And I hate, hate that you did not have an opportunity to introduce your husband as Cooter to the HOA people. Just thinking about that makes me giggle.

  35. From someone who still uses a VCR to ‘tape’ their TV shows, this post rings true! I hate it when I have to learn a new way to use something. When my old phone finally died and I had to get a new one it was painful to relearn how to use the caller ID list and things like that. And I do have an iPhone but don’t use many of the fancy parts of it. I just wanted a phone, GPS and iPod all in one so the purse wouldn’t be too heavy!

  36. Well that was just priceless. “…unintentionally blowing up farmland in some rural area of Kentucky…” – priceless.