Familiar sounds; Torn heart

At the top of the page, you’ve probably noticed a little iframe widgety thing. Contained therein are the songs currently playing at WNCS, FM 104.7 (pointfm.com) out of Montpelier, VT. If there is a phenomenon of a radio station being the center of a teenager’s life, then this one was mine.

When the options for radio included country, speed metal crap rock, big hair bands, soft rock, and country, WNCS floated its alterna-folk-rock sounds to my bedroom and car in those formative years. Though static was what I most often heard — being nestled in the Buffalo Mountain valley will do that — I knew that when I came up out of the valley between Hardwick and Woodbury, the sound would clear and so would my head.

I don’t know if it’s possible to explain how calming and exciting it is to be able to tune in to the familiar — but also new — sounds from here in Massachusetts nearly 15 years later. Static-free, zipping along co-ax and fiber-optic cable instead of bouncing off of clouds, ‘NCS still calms my soul and reminds me where I’m from. In the moments between notes I can drive once again along Route 12 between Montpelier and Elmore after dropping dad off at work. I can feel the cold morning air rushing against my face through the open window of an ’82 Ford wagon (Farley, I called him).

Up until a day ago, I kept forgetting how much a part of my life music really is. Finding ‘NCS again is a reminder that I do have a sound in my head and that it’s not half bad.

Take a listen if you can. I don’t know if the sounds will mean the same thing outside of Vermont, outside of my head, beyond the confines of an old brown Ford, but who knows. Maybe you’ll get a sense of what it was like growing up where everything — including your future — seemed so far away and hard to get to. “You can’t get there from here” wasn’t just a local color cliche. In parts of Vermont, it’s true.

I’m just glad ‘NCS can get here from there.

Saab Progress

About a month ago we bought a 1994 Saab 900S from ebay for $USD 950. So far it’s been a very good purchase. Since we got it on ebay, we knew it would be a project car, so the repairs we’ve had to do have been expected and fairly typical, in my mind, for a Saab with 187k+ miles on it.

So far we’ve spent about $USD 1100 on repairs, with another $750 or so to go that absolutely have to get done. The work has included a serpentine belt drive wheel replacement, exhaust re-weld and replacement, and a new control arm. Remaining work will be done on the front end: strut rebuild for both sides. We should also get the brakes replaced, because the rotors are a bit rusty, but we may wait awhile on that.

We took a trip to a local salvage yard today, too, and got a new SID unit that actually works as well as two hubcaps for the back wheels for $USD 30 all told. All in all, the car runs really well and seems very solid and in great shape for being 13 years old. It feels like it’s been taken well care of, which is the most important thing.

We can’t wait to be able to get it on the road and really run it through its paces to see where we want to go with it in terms of performance/handling/styling/etc. See, the idea is to have a stealth-sport car. In other words, it should look like your average, three-person-family sedan but have really good handling and pickup as though it were completely tricked out. I’m not sure how to get there, but I’m thinking it’ll be a lot of fun to try.

Soccer: Obsession for Life

No, I haven’t mothballed anything over here. I’ve been busy with work down in Boston and figuring out all of those things. Plus, I’ve picked up an amateur writing gig covering the New England Revolution for theoffside.com.

Other than that, it’s a typical April Wednesday evening here on the East coast.