My final installment in the Subterrene Trilogy is being released on 31 July 2012, and stores are not allowed to stock their shelves or sell it before then. This is called “strict on sale.” I’ve learned a lot about this term over the last week and there are a number of different reasons for publishers to this, but it is an increased cost since booksellers have to sign legally binding affadavits that they won’t sell prior to the official release date. I think. I’m probably getting the details wrong, but the point is that publishers do this for a number of different reasons (e.g., a super popular book by Janet Evanovich might be on the list so that smaller indie stores aren’t put at a disadvantage, or they might do it to prevent spoilers in a popular series). I have no idea why Orbit did it but it shows that they care deeply about Germline and the trilogy so I’m grateful, but I also suspect this is part of a grander non-T.C.-focused business strategy – which means I’m not special. 🙁 So pre-order or you might have to wait if stores sell out!
And now a little DIY action…
Today I spent 4 hours installing a new car stereo. There were three options: (1) get a crap stereo and have it pro-installed, (2) get a nice stereo and do it myself, or (3) get nothing and save the money. I chose 2; saving is a sucker’s play. So if you’ve ever wondered if you could do it, here are some pictures of the ordeal, but first some data:
- Car: 2011 Nissan Xterra S
- Stereo: Kenwood DDX319
- Accesories Added: Sirius/XM Tuner, AV/IN, Video in (for reverse camera – to be installed later), and AV/OUT to rear seat (for monitors for rear passengers – to be installed later).
This doesn’t look like a lot at first glance, but look again; here are all the things I used/needed:
Taking apart a car that you’ve just bought is a scary thing, and I was sweating bullets. First I pulled off a small panel/tray from the dash and then unscrewed the main console before popping it off. The thing just came free and it scared the hell out of me. Here is the dashboard afterward, disconnected from the ocean of wires it vomited with the stereo. (Note: do not use this as a guide to replace your own stereo; there are steps I’m omitting, like disconnecting the car battery).
And here is the factory installed stereo:
At this point, the fact hit me that I could still turn back, which is really not so weird because pulling your car apart sucks. Not only do you have to take apart the console section (that you just yanked from the dash) to pull off the old stereo, but you have to transfer climate control sections to a replacement piece that comes in a kit. Also, the instructions (you need 2-3 different sets, btw) are only “kind of accurate.” At many points, I had to bootleg it and figure things out for myself because they can’t write a set of instructions for every single specific car model? Bastards. Anyway, Once I’d put together the console piece it looked like this.
Now the fun really began: wiring. Here are the two sections that I had to put together so that I could connect the Xterra wiring harness to the new stereo:
Easy, right? Uh, no? It took me over an hour to get this right and involved all sorts of new skills (crimping, taping, etc.). This is it, halfway through:
And this is it with all the wires connected, the antenna connected, the Sirius stuff connected, and the AV cables connected.
And that was that. The next step was attaching all the grounds that I needed to, and I had to leave one wire unconnected because I couldn’t find the reverse lamp harness (it’s a wire that switches my screen to the backup camera’s view (if I ever get one) when I put the car in reverse), which apparently is hidden in an alternate universe in the new Nissan Xterras. On the bright side, I can now listen to Ozzy on my car stereo using my iphone, and the kids can almost watch movies (see pic below). Stay tuned for the next project: installing headrest monitors for my rear seat passengers.
So don’t forget: pre-order Chimera and you’ll be able to install car stereos.