Thursday, August 16, 2007

Finding the Right Equipment

I drive a 1999 Ford Escort, which we bought used; it had formerly been a rental car. It came with a radio -- with an excellent sound system -- but nothing else. Gary and I have talked periodically about getting a CD player or XM radio, but whenever we investigated those options, the cost was a bit more than we wanted to spend, especially since I really don't do that much driving. Aside from the occasional (maybe four times a year) drive to San Francisco, everywhere I need to go regularly is in a four-mile radius from my house.

But my birthday's coming up in September, and my parents always nag me about what I want, and I can never think of anything. So this year, I decided that I'd mention the car CD-player to my father, who loves music. When we priced the project, it turned out to be even more expensive than we'd anticipated; installing a CD player in a 99 Ford Escort requires replacing part of the dash, in addition to a new wiring harness and the deck itself.

I'd told my father that he might want to split the cost with my mother, and that it would be fine with me if it covered both birthday and Christmas for both of them. Gary and I also offered to pay for part of it ourselves, since my father's on very limited Social Security income. But we got the set installed yesterday, and my father insisted on paying for the whole thing.

We're all very happy. Gary and I love being able to listen to our favorite music in the car; my father's delighted that he was able to get us something we really wanted and will use a lot. Yesterday we went for a drive around Reno, since Dad enjoys the scenery, and listened to folk music. Great fun!

Meanwhile, on Tuesday I'd lost the special magnetic clip-on sunglasses that came with my prescription. I have a tiny head and usually have to buy chidren's frames, and for the past five years or so, I've been getting the ones with magnetic clip-ons, since they're easy to use. The downside is that I lose them a lot, and my optometrist's office wants $100 to replace them. And Reno is not a place where anyone can survive without sunglasses.

So I was very seriously bummed about losing the clip-ons. But while I was waiting for the car installation yesterday, I wandered into a convenience store and found clip-ons that work via springs and only cost $10. I got the pair that fit my glasses best and drove home feeling very pleased with myself.

Yesterday evening, we made a supermarket run, and there I found a pair of the spring-loaded clip-ons that fit my glsses even better than the first pair, although they cost slightly more ($15). So I now have a backup pair of sunglasses! And I'm freed from the tyranny of the optometrist's office! Tra-la!


  1. Lucky you finding the clip-ons. My prescription lenses turn dark in the sun so I only have to keep track of one pair.

    What did you and Gary decide was a quality brand for your car stereo?


  2. We got a Kenwood, the least expensive deck that would play WMAs.


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