A Slight Oversight · 11 January 2020

Have you ever been so excited about something that you forget to do something else that needed to be done? Me neither. Okay. I may have made a slight oversight when replacing our car stereo.

It is funny. I get so excited about things that I just cannot think of anything else. In fact, I get so focused that there is nothing else that matters in life. There could be earthquakes and fires and the earth coming to an end, but I would not notice when I am that focused. Okay. That might be a slight exaggeration. I might notice the earthquake if it was big enough. But not much else takes me away from something that I am really focused on. Something that really has my attention.

That was what happened when I recently replaced our car stereo. It was a Christmas gift for my wife, and I wanted to get it installed before Christmas day. I thought she was going to be gone, so it would have been pretty easy to take all day and do the installation. As it was, I had to cordon off the garage and make sure nobody entered until Christmas day. That was crazy enough. But I got it done.

In reality, the installation was pretty easy. I got the new stereo from Crutchfield and paid for the wiring harness too. That made a huge difference. It was essentially a plug and play operation. Just take out the old stereo, attach the mounting bracket, run a wire for the microphone, plug in the wiring harness and antenna, push the mounting bracket and stereo into the empty hole and voilĂ ! New stereo. All I needed to do was turn it on and try it out.

Well, almost. I had to reconnect the battery. Then voilĂ ! I had a new stereo in the car. It sounded great and it was ready in time for Christmas. Like I said, almost plug and play.

It was not until after Christmas that I realized my oversight.

Now, if I had been replacing a car stereo in a fairly new car, I might have an excuse for my oversight. After all, new car stereos do not have CD players, much less cassette tape players, right? Well, the one I replaced has both. And guess what. Both the CD player and the cassette player were occupied. I forgot to eject them both from the player.

Well, even though it is probably okay to not have those two audio items anymore, I was not okay with leaving them in the player. I figured I could get them out. So I spent a day trying.

The first thing I did was try to hook up a little 9-volt battery to the power terminals of the player. I figured the little battery would be enough to eject the CD. (I did not realize I left the cassette tape in there until later.) I even had my equipment ready before I looked on the internet and found somebody who had done what I was planning to do. The unfortunate part was that the guy on the internet was successful, but I was not. I even tried a couple different wiring configurations, but no luck.

Well, not to be deterred, I decided that I was going to take the thing apart. It could not be that difficult. After all there were only about 20 screws holding the whole thing together. I got my tools and took the whole thing apart. At least down to the CD player and cassette player. The unfortunate part was that they were not like other electronics I had taken apart. Those older electronics devices had mechanical part that could be manipulated to get the CDs and tapes out.

(If you are wondering how I know older electronics devices could be mechanically manipulated to get old discs and old tapes out, the truth is that I might have made the same oversight before. I did not remember until writing this that I had forgotten a CD in and old CD changer and a VHS tape in a broken tape player. But maybe I will remember to eject things next time. Oh yeah. Nothing to eject with new stuff, so I might be okay.)

At any rate. I could not find a way to mechanically release the CD or tape from their respective players. So I put it all back together. Twice. (Actually, I just had to put the front on twice, but that is a different story.)
So there you have it. A slight oversight turning into a full blown story. Complete with another old memory and a different story that will not be told. It all goes to show that you should never be so excited to do something that you forget to do something else equally or maybe even more important.

(By the way, I am determined to get those old media out of the old car stereo. After all, it might be another good story.)

© 2020 Michael T. Miyoshi

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