I guess I owe Sirius Satellite Radio an apology. It wasn’t them that sucked supreme so much as it was the do-the-least-amount-of-work installers at Circuit Shitty who put the unit into my truck way back after my baybee got it for me for Christmas 2004.

I first wrote about them some three months after that in a spittle-laced rant against the never-ending “Antenna not detected” error message that showed up on the display and that long-archived post still draws the occasional Google hit and commiseration and advice from fellow Sirius frustroids. I last wrote about it in December 2005:

Without going into too much detail, I gave up on listening to it on the road because the signal was weak and whatever music was playing too often skipped into prolonged periods of silence like a bad CD. I even called Sirius up and told them to cancel my subscription at the end of the quarter I’d paid for, but they just kept right on billing me after the agreed upon time — I know, that’s major bullshit on Sirius’ part. But I didn’t raise a stink because I found that I’d fire up the boombox on occasion and the reception was significantly better than in my vehicle. Still not perfect, but much better…

Sirius still blew major class-action chunks for not processing my cancel order, but as I wrote with that boom box I bought shortly after the truck install (which is still working fine and which we’ll be taking with us to Death Valley in November) I didn’t fret such an oversight much.

Eventually the portable got a nice coat of dust on it from lack of use (not even Howard Stern’s celebrated move into space radio could engage me), but I still didn’t cancel my subscription because first it was like $8 a month and second, in the back of my mind I figured one day I’d get either make a WTF? call on Shirkus Shitty or just try to solve the problem myself. And if either or neither of those options worked, then I’d get serious on Sirius.

Well I opted for the latter option last month. And all I basically did was rerun and remount the antenna from atop the dash inside the truck (pretty much the worst place the fragged folks at Circuit Shitty could have put it, second only to under the frickin’ hood or maybe a wheel well) to outside on the roof. Of course, to do that I had to thread it under the carpet and up an interior side panel to the rear of the cab before painstakingly lacing it through the sliding glass portion of the rear window. Then I had enough leftover wire to string it under the rubber seal around the outside of the rear window, beneath the upper brake light where it now proudly sits magnetized to the rooftop sucking in a pretty much sunspotless signal whenever I’m on the road (tunnels, bridges and heavily treed areas begrudgingly excepted).

It took me and my unskilled installer’s ass about 20 minutes to do that. Why the lowest common denominator lazy ass bastard at Circus Shitty couldn’t or wouldn’t do that practically three years ago is effing beyond me. Not really. “Above and Beyond the call” is not their motto.

Anyway, to say I’m overjoyed to bring the dogstar network out of the doghouse is an understatement. But it’s more than just music to my ears. On the way this weekend to my mom’s to take her out to dinner for her birthday I found the Alabama/Georgia game on one of the available sports stations (Roll Tide!!!) and on the way home I snapped this photo while listening to the first few minutes of Monday Night Football:


Not really visible in the lower left of the display is the glorious three-bar signal strength as I motored down Jefferson on my way home. A sight for sore eyes and a sound for sore ears.

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Will Campbell arrived in town via the maternity ward at Good Sam Hospital way back in OneNineSixFour and has never stopped calling Los Angeles home. Presently he lives in Silver Lake with his wife Susan, their cat Rocky, dogs Terra and Hazel, and a red-eared slider turtle named Mater. Blogging since 2001, Will's web endeavors extend back to 1995 with, a comprehensive theater site that was well received but ever-short on capital (or a business model). The pinnacle of his online success (which speaks volumes) arrived in 1997, when much to his surprise, a hobby site he'd built called VisuaL.A. was named "best website" in Los Angeles magazine's annual "Best of L.A." issue. He enjoys experiencing (and writing about) pretty much anything creative, explorational and/or adventurous, loves his ebike, is a better tennis player than he is horr golfer, and a lover of all creatures great and small -- emphasis on "all."