It appears that Arlington is phasing out normal parking meters and moving to a system where you buy a ticket from a box somewhere on the street. I object to this new system. The old way, you parked in front of a meter, put coins in, and came back before your time ran out. If the meter worked, it was nearly foolproof. If the meter didn’t work, lucky you. You got a pass up to the posted time limit.

With the new system, they’ve raised the prices to pay for the fancy new machines. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; if parking is a little more expensive, people will walk more. Unfortunately, the meters only accept $0.25 and $1.00 coins (and credit), not paper currency. The credit portion wasn’t working today. So my pocket full of change and singles that I brought to the coffee shop was useless in the face of these new machines. They’ve also eliminated the old M-F meters because all the new machines are M-S. Lame. Worst of all, instead of parking in front of the evidence that you’ve paid, you have to stick paper in your car where it can be seen. This is a real problem, because my car does not close securely. My general and very effective solution to this is to leave nothing of value there. Nothing like a small, easy to steal piece of paper with immediate value, for example. I expect I’ll be ticketed more than once as a result of this new system. At least I’ll have a receipt to keep for the appeal once I can use my credit card.

I’d like to replace the factory stereo in the Jeep with a slightly nicer model. The current one has rather poor reception and the only way to get anything into it is using an FM transceiver. Unfortunately, “rather poor reception” includes the frequencies my transceiver can output.

The Jeep is not a fancy car, and it does not need a fancy stereo. In fact, since it doesn’t lock, I’d like the stereo to look like a piece of garbage that wouldn’t get you $1 at a pawn shop. Bonus points if that’s true. So far, though, I can’t find any stereo in this category with my must-have features:

  • Digital AM/FM tuner with at least a few presets
  • Auxiliary input

Other features (like a cassette) aren’t dealbreakers, but without those two things, it’s simply not worth replacing the current stereo.

There are some painfully close models out there. This one is almost perfect. The only wart: no presets. For some reason, they chose to waste space with a crappy EQ instead of including the only bit that prevents this from being a nice low-cost radio for my Jeep. Namsung Dual makes a similar unit with similar deficiencies. Why do people want an EQ on a system this low-end? Is this some kind of low-budget ricer thing? Or am I missing something?