Sirius Radio

My wife received a Sirius Sportster R from her parents for her birthday. While I’m not a huge fan of paying for radio or having another monthly recurring charge, it’s nice to see her being able to listen to what she wants without flipping the station all the time. I’m a bit disappointed with the technology, however. Whenever we go under a bridge or are near some overshadowing trees, it cuts out for a few seconds. Some probably say that this can be expected; however, I just took possession of a Slim Devices Squeezebox 2 for our home audio system and as I was playing with it, I turned off the server and found that it kept playing for about 2 minutes. So, I think that Sirius should have about a 2 minute delay and buffer 2 minutes of audio on the receiving end. This would allow the slight blips to be handled without skipping a beat. Seems simple enough, but someone who designed or implemented the digital system forgot about this (or thought it would cost too much).

Home Audio System

I decided a few months ago to get a whole house audio system so that we can listen to music throughout the house. I decided on the components I wanted and found a local dealer. I picked the Russound CA6.4i 6 zone system and found out that the warranty is void if the product isn’t purchased through a local dealer, Music and Movies by Mastercraft. So far, I’ve been quite happy with the dealer as being honest and straightforward about what I needed and what fit in my budget range. I’m waiting on the speakers and will have wires pulled by our contractor’s (my wife’s friend’s husband) cousin before I can actually use the system. The speakers are backordered and should arrive in a few weeks.

Russound will only sell through authorized dealers and won’t allow them to sell retail, mail order, or online sellers. This seems like a crock as technically savvy people like me can figure out how to get things working. Luckily my local dealer gave me a discount for just buying the equipment and basically agreeing not to contact them to configure it. That’s fine with me as I did most of the system design (I added a few sub zones and an extra volume control on a separate set of speakers). To make matters worse, two of the components I ordered require 24 volt DC power supplies; if I want the warranty, I have to buy the power supplies from my Russound dealer; the power supplies are about $150 each! A power supply can’t be more than a $35 part and the component doesn’t work without it.

I’ll post some pictures of all the components later; I got Cat 5 jacks for the control, gang boxes, power strips, and lots of other pieces. My office is a mess as I keep putting all the pieces in there to see what this not so cheap system contains.

Fourth anniversary

For our fourth wedding anniversary, my wife took me to Laguna Beach for some spa treatments and a night away from home. I enjoyed the massage at Yvonne Marciena Spa. However, our night at Hotel Laguna had much to be desired. There was a wedding at the hotel in the courtyard right out of our window. The noise from the wedding made it hard to watch TV and then eventually goto sleep. It really would have been nice for them to have told us about this when we booked the room. Definitely a place not to visit again.