xmradio install tip

xmradioI’ve been an xmradio fan for ages now. As an early adopter I was saddled with one of their old Sony units with it’s tiny display and measly five presets. It was long in the tooth and I wanted an upgrade.

I talked myself into a RoadyXT to while away the hours when I’m on the road. The RoadyXT comes with both a home and vehicle kit. Stock in the box is a vehicle adapter called “SureConnect”, which attaches to the base of a non-retractable fender or roof antenna. I tried this interface, but I didn’t like it, so I picked up an FM Direct Adapter, SM10112, which integrates the unit into the existing radio. It’s really a nice, compact little adapter.

Installing it required removal of the radio to get at the antenna lead, which wasn’t a big deal, since the compact SM10112 fits nicely behind the radio upon re-installation. An added bonus: the sound improved too.

Here’s the kicker: No matter which vehicle installation method you choose, remember to power up the XM unit in the vehicle and select “Menu” and then “Frequency” from the menu choice. This will allow you to choose an unused FM frequency to send the signal to your vehicle’s FM radio. The “Frequency” menu selection does not appear when you attempt to select it from your home setup.

I scratched my head over that for a while before I actually went out and installed the unit.

The optimism tax

I’ve paid this tax more than a few times in my life, the first as a youngster when I sent home via a friend and his vehicle a couple of sleeping bags, a ton of photos from flight school and some clothes. They never arrived.

Don, the flight-school friend, had been just another Canadian who went down to the U.S. to enroll in the Army in order that he might fly helicopters in Vietnam. He swallowed the recruiting station line, and ended up sitting on an airport fire truck at a domestic Army field somewhere in the southeast. Not satisfied, he jumped ship and hightailed it back to Canada where he saved his cash and ended up with some of us at the same flight school.

Of course, I didn’t learn any of this until one night when some of us piled into Sok’s Chevy and shuffled off to Buffalo, the land of cheap beer and friendly women. While we were watering down a wall framing one of the more cheaply financed sections of Buffalo (there were many at the time), a cruiser pulled up and we were confronted by a couple of Buffalo’s finest who took some exception to our need for urination.

Fortunately for all of us, a radio call ended up dispatching the officers to a more pressing matter of a break and enter, and we thankfully piled back into Sok’s car and headed north where we belonged. It was during the ride home that Don regaled us with tales of his bitter disappointment in the U.S. Army and his subsequent jump from active duty to Canadian reservist, so to speak. If anything, that should have told me all I needed to know about Don.

Ten years later, I ran into Don while we were both flying on large fires in northern Canada. He was still shifty-eyed. Needless to say, while we were in the fire camp we never spent any time reminiscing over the good old days.

Occasionally, I still pay the optimism tax when someone takes advantage of my trust in humanity, but there’s no point in worrying about it. It’s simply not worth it, although I must admit that I still miss those photos and the accompanying negatives.

I’ve never missed Don, and the sleeping bags and the clothes were all replaced.

Canada, eh? No hand washing allowed

Yet another disgusting and ridiculous ruling by a human rights commission has been shat upon us, this time regarding the washing of hands in a restaurant.

It seems that if an employee is unable for whatever reason to wash one’s hands, such employee may still continue to serve and dispense food to customers. Notwithstanding the latest hospital directives for visitors and everyone else to wash their hands to prevent the spread of disease and pestilence, apparently in British Columbia, courtesy of the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal, one is not required by law to wash their hands while serving food in a restaurant.

So then, apparently this hand-washing fetish that Lister so wisely promoted in the 19th century has become obsolete. Who could have known that a human rights commission and the fount of knowledge contained within its board members could prove so convincingly that hand-washing is not required to prevent the spread of disease?

Link here.