Digital radio. 40 channels. CD quality sound (so good the audio uses the whole bandwidth and images can't be sent--plus the cable box uses digital output). No pauses. No DJs! No repeats. The name of the album, artist, song title for every song. Amazing variety. No reliance on "hits" or even singles--they play everything, particularly on the "Alternative" stations. Lame title for the channel, great music. Somebody who REALLY knows his stuff is spinning discs for them. Live tracks. B-sides. RARE things. 50s channels. 60s channels. Cheesy rock hits channels that nonetheless encourage you to hum along. classic R&B. Modern day R&B, so you can see the stark contrast between the crap they do today and the glorious stuff that came before. Real jazz. Light jazz, so you can see the contrast between real musicians improvising and elevator music. Modern movie score channel. Kids channel, which played "C is for Cookie". Multiple 80s and 90s retro channels. Two "specials" channels which play entire concerts as well as "spotlight on" type blocks.
And these just showed up one day last week free of charge along with the new cable boxes (and over 100 new channels including 11 HBOs and 14 other movie channels free for three months). Unbelievable. Almost makes me want to get cable even though I have no TV. Digital radio is enormously addictive. I spent 7 or so hours going through and listening, finding new music, old faves, surprises, with mind-boggling variety and crystal clear sound (whole bandwidth dedicated to the sound, optical out, studio monitor speakers, 18" subwoofer). It's a treat.
Well, I've picked out a bicycle. It's $310. It's a low-end Schwinn (the high-end Schwinns are around $4000). I'm just learning, but I sure won't buy another department store bicycle.
What a radio show tonight. Mark Davis, Mike Gallagher, Neal Boortz (fantastic site, check out the form to send your tax refund back, "Boo got shot", and "are you a Libertarian?"), and Gary Mcnamara, meeting in front of citizens of North Texas in Arlington, live on the radio, taking questions from the audience and phone, for 4 hours. I taped some of it. Some great thought there.
But as great as it was, it also sets the mind ablaze with worries about where this country is going and where it will be in 20 years. I feel a long diatribe coming on. But not tonight.