audio and heat (not necessarily together)

Follow-up on previous post: went to car stereo store, got a Panasonic CQ-C3405U (that’s what the guy said to put in there) and managed to get my CDs back, all for $170 and some change. woot. It took only 45 minutes too. Take that, Carmax service shop!

Of course, the cons: no cassette player (used only to listen to mp3 player though), only one CD slot player, no bass/midrange/treble control on the panel, doesn’t switch from FM to AM and back (goes through FM1 band, FM2, FM3, then AM band), and it’s not part of the manufactured car. Pro(s?): auxilary jack! XD The system is made for iPod, which I will never own as long as Creative is in business (and offers a fairly good product), but I guess I’ll get over it.

I don’t really like not being able to switch from CD player to radio, and have the CD player pause while I’m listening to the radio (getting traffic reports from 980 and 1070). (Or, I’m not quite sure, maybe the new CD player does pause, I wasn’t really paying attention…) Mostly by CD player I mean my music. With my old system I had to go to my mp3 player (i.e., reach down and fumble around for the pause button) then switch to the radio, and I accepted that and didn’t listen to my mp3 player often (didn’t hurt that it’s only a 1 gig Zen Nano *grin*). But now, since I’ve got only one slot for CDs, I decided I should (finally) move over to mp3 player.

It’s sort of a trade-off. I’ve got two different modes of driving/music-listening: driving to work during the summer, about an hour-long trip (no need for more than one CD), with frequent switching over to radio; and then there’s driving to school (from L.A.), just straight four CDs in a row three hours of non-stop music. Driving to school isn’t too much of a change, I just have to set up my mp3 playlist before leaving, instead of gathering CDs and loading them in the car. But driving to work … gah, I hate the instances where I have to fiddle around with things just to not miss the traffic report or a bit of the music I’m listening to.

(Funny thing happened on the way home today. I turned on the radio and plugged in my mp3 player but didn’t turn it on because it turns off after a minute or so anyway…. So ten minutes into my drive, while on the 101 going 65–70ish I turn on my music, and a couple minutes later I realize that I wasn’t really paying attention to traffic around me; I didn’t recognize any of the cars around me, just the van [far ahead] in front of me, and I couldn’t recall driving past all the offramps to near the point where I have to start moving over. hahaha!)

One last thing I’m not particularly happy with: the new system seems to up the treble more than I like. :( As I said before, there’s no bass/midrange/treble control on the panel like there was with the Dodge system, and it really really spoiled me I see. Now I can only adjust the bass and the treble. Ouch. I’ve got the bass and treble lowered, but while listening to my Anastasia soundtrack (CD) I could hear the highs, which hurt my ears. Then today, listening to Aly & AJ’s Insomniatic on my mp3 player the same thing happened, only moreso (hadn’t noticed while listening to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Gorillaz, or The Used, hah). I turned down the treble from −6db to −12db where it was comfortable-ish to my ears, but the music sounded flat and besides there were still some semi-highs hurting my ears, so I changed it back. (Later at a long red light I went into the mp3 player’s settings and lowered the highest frequency.)

Now if I had a midrange control, I could simply increase that and be perfectly happy. But no! N says audio companies must think we’re idiots or something, because a lot of stereo systems don’t come with equalizers. Mum’s system has an equalizer, but the ones N look at have only a control for the bass and treble (like my car!). *twitch* That’s like … the one thing that makes buying audio bearable for me. Buy something I find decent, then adjust the hell out of the equalizer. Grar.

(Ack, why do I always end up typing way more than I plan?)

The very last, very minor annoyance I have: the knob. It’s shorter, making it harder for my long-nailed fingers to get a grip on it XD and it’s made out of metal which honestly I would never think would be a drawback, but in the valley where it gets to 110° … say hi to little burns on my fingers.

Today my car read the temperature at 113°, at 3:30 in the afternoon. That wasn’t really so bad. The bad thing was being in an office where for some reason the air-conditioning wasn’t going below 85°. (Yeah, it’s taking 115° air from outdoors and lowering it 30°, and I’m complaining because it won’t go down another 10°.) I never thought 85° was sweltering, but apparently it is. I found it really hard to concentrate on my work (updating my boss’ website, woo) and sat there thinking about the old “Japan Dresses Down” article, wondering how they could possible work in an environment that warm. Like, do accountants make a number of mistakes? Because I found myself making mistakes today … forgetting an " for one. o.O

Later in the car I heard on the radio that power companies were asking people to turn off their thermostats and conserve electricity. I know a lot of places were only in the 80s today (this house, for example, and us with no air conditioning, oh me oh my how do we survive in such primitive circumstances?), but still, sitting in a hot car in 110° … that bit of advice drove me a tad crazy. I’ve always thought people should keep their A/Cs at 78 at the lowest … but sitting in an office where the thermostat was set to 72 and I was sweating just sitting at a computer, I don’t know, I guess I have to rethink that.

Also, I felt more guilty than usual running my A/C in the car today. haha. It’s one of the hottest days this week and I’m trying to keep from getting dehydrated, and I turn my A/C down to the lowest setting (on max A/C though) which I never do because the lowest setting is pretty weak. Heck I even opened my window at Santa Monica Blvd. just to see if I could withstand the 85° heat. (The answer was no.)

Then again, I could have lessened my use of gasoline by not gunning the engine driving around slow cars. But gahhh, semis going up the pass at 50 mph … *dies*