Sunday, January 15, 2006

The Art of the Etch-a-Sketch

I think I have perfected the art of the Etch-a-Sketch.

When my friend Patrick was a little kid, one year he got his mom an Etch-a-Sketch for Christmas because he wanted to play with it. Now, among various friends of ours, an "Etch-a-Sketch" is what we call a gift that you get for someone because you really want it for yourself.

Last year, I got Roger a Roomba -- one of those robotic vacuum cleaners for Christmas. I figured he'd enjoy the gadgetyness of it, and I'd get the floors vacuumed. It was the quintessential Etch-a-Sketch.

Well, I seem to have done it again this wear without even planning to. Roger has a 45 minute commute each way to and from school, and there's a stretch of it driving through hills where the radio reception is really bad. He's also in the market for a new car, so I had the bright idea to get him a satellite radio receiver and subscription to XM Radio for Christmas. I got a receiver that he can transfer from the current car to an eventual new car, and I thought he'd enjoy having a new and big variety of stuff to listen to on his drive.

But present for ME, too, as it turns out! Surprise Etch-a-Sketch! Apparently when you subscribe to satellite radio, the monthly fee entitles you to online satellite radio as well! So, I log in on my computer with Roger's password (which he graciously volunteered to me) and I get XM radio streaming through my computer!

At the moment, I'm listening to the XM Cafe channel, which is "mellow alternative" music. I love finding new music and get bored listening to the same stuff all the time, so I'm very pleased about this.

And the best side benefit?! BOB EDWARDS is on XM Radio. All you NPR junkies will know him as the Morning Edition host who was summarily canned just a few months before his 20th anniversary on the show. I LOVE Bob Edwards. So now I'll get his deep, sonorous voice in my very office.

I was smarter than I knew to give this to Roger.

And speaking of Etch-A-Sketch, you can draw on an online one HERE! Go get yourself an oreo or a peanut butter sandwich and then come back and relive a bit of childhood...


  1. I bought an XM radio for my husband also. He tried to interest me in doing this. Maybe I should give it a go.

  2. I love Bob Edwards and miss him so much. Tell me what he is doing on his show. I AM DYING TO KNOW.