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Another Portland Blog

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

 

Something in the airwaves

A few months ago I wrote about problems I was having with an iPod I received for Christmas. After a few hours of arguing with Apple's phone support team they finally agreed to let me ship it back for a replacement. Three weeks later, my new iPod arrived and now it's chock full of music and Podcasts, all of which I planned to listen to during my evening commute.

But now there's another problem. My car's stereo doesn't have a tape deck or an AUX port I can plug the iPod into. This means I have to use a small FM transmitter I purchased for a road trip last summer. It works great while bombing down US 26 or in the Montana outback but it's almost completely worthless within city limits. In the past few years, nearly every nook of Portland's airwaves have become clogged with religious programming. No less than six Christian stations now litter the local FM dial.

I suppose they'll all come in handy if I ever find myself in need of patronizing homilies or endless donation drives. Still, to be honest, I'd much rather listen to "Grammar Girl" or "Morning Becomes Eclectic" podcasts as I fight my way out of Beaverton every Monday through Friday night. It's pretty difficult to improve my ability to conjugate verbs when a firebrand cuts through GG's lessons to extol the virtues of, er, virtue...and writing over one's Social Security check to his organization.

I'd happily trade Jammin' 95.5 or OPB Radio's tedious pledge drives for a clear signal but at least their genres are covered by a mere station or two. The Christians are hogging more than their fair share of the city's FM band and my iPod and I are sick of it. Right now, 96.1 works pretty well for the Beaverton area but the second I hit Raleigh Hills the reception gives way to static-filed sermonizing. I'm still hunting for a chunk of the dial that's clear enough to pull in something while driving around the eastside.

Or I guess I could always tear out the current stereo and replace it with an old-school tape deck and a adapter, if anyone still sells them.

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