PostedAug-23-2006 05:38 PM
Altitude992 ft.
HeadlineOmaha and Stereo West to South Dakota
Entry Furniture Mart can't get us in but has a friend at InPhase Audio who can get us in right away so we give it a shot. They say they can do it and within a couple hours we should be jamming and on our way. A half hour goes by and now they come out saying it won't work, that the mid range won't fit. Han pulls up the post on IH8Mud and shows them an identical install by an amature. They go check it out again sounding aprehensive. They return saying they're sorry but they don't want to do the job. *Not because they don't know how to put in the midrange speakers* but because they don't think the placement of the tweeters will fit their asthetic standards. However to their worthless credit one decal on their wall states "image is everything", we decide to get out of there. Thanks for wasting an hour of our time, we've got plenty to burn.

With our next and last appointment at 3 PM we stop by Wal-Mart for their everyday low prices and stock up on some of the camping fringe stuff from bug spray to biodegradable toilet paper. With a oil leak we'd been noticing since we left Indy, Han has it changed to Rotella 5W-40 Synthetic.

Returning to Stereo West we meet Jesse (not there the day before), he's stoked or as they say at Walloon {ed. note: Walloon is a lake in northern Michigan} "amp'td" about the truck. He checks it out, looks at the post, brings out his top insaller and explains where we're going, what we're doing this for and says that natually you can't have a rig like this without some MB Quarts to go with it. Now they're talking our language.

With a nod they say no problem. We like these guys. While they finish up the previous job, Jesse rounds up the locals, out comes the AutoHome tent and Monster starts flowing. As Stereo West begins hacking on the truck Jesse shows us his ride. A Toyota Tacoma, with wheels, and 4 8 inch Kicker Solo Barick's set downfiring. This thing hits. Han steps back in to consult with the installer and decides to bring the tweeters down a little on the A-pillars giving them more surface area to play with. Theres no hiding those mid range MB Quart QSD 216's, even with the door closed they're looking out at you.

Now we just have to install the IPOD Pioneer CD RB10 plug in and we're in business. Jesse wishes us well and good luck with the PLI. PLI ??, we say. Parking Lot Install. We move the truck all of 20 feet and tear the dash off. A half hour later the high is gone when we realize the Premier DEX-P9 head unit is just barely too dated and can't accept the digital IPOD adapter (fyi this is not the common FM model). Insert expletive here.

Its dark and we can't see, we flick on the Coleman lantern and it flickers out (we both look to the sky searching for answers). Jesse steps out to listen to the commotion. After some deliberation we figure we're able to transfer the music from the IPOD (as we didn't bring CD's) to the external hard drive and then burn CD's from the Panasonic Toughbook. As the truck is totally open with tools and bags scattered across the parking lot Jesse takes me to the Furniture Mart to pickup an IPOD cord and CD-R's. Who knew you could drift a pick up? Well, coming out of the parking lot we did just that. Click goes the seat belt.

Thinking I was just jumping out at the Furniture Mart (a few blocks down the road) and saying goodbye, Jesse comes with me to make sure I get the right part. I think Omaha may be the secret epicenter for awesome people. Jesse drives me back to the PLI headquarters and Han is flipping out. We'd heard the system start up before we left but now she's not putting out anything. Now I've heard Jesse say goodbye to head home twice. Jesse jumps out and into the back seat running a test for the whole truck to figure out where the problem is coming from. Stereo West has now been closed for 2 hours.

"I think I know what the problem is but you don't want to hear what I have to say", Jesse reports. With the power light blinking to one of the Arc Audio amps he thinks its gone bad. Jesse, actually a salesman, pulls out one of their tech's (still playing in the garage) who whips out a slew of ghostbuster looking diagnostic tools and 15 minutes later says the rear amp is blown. Insert expletives (note plural) here.

Hanley looks at Jesse, Jesse looks at Han and lights from inside the store start flipping on. 20 minutes later Han is walking quickly back towards the truck with a new amp under his arm laughing (what could be taken as manic under some contexts but make no mistake, Jesse hooked it up). Now Han knows how to install an amp but Jesse jumps in there and is helping us the whole way. A half hour later the system is kicking and we've got tunes. We unload whats left of the Monster to these guys and hit the road. Thanks doesn't do it justice. These guys give a sh*t and we'd never take our business elsewhere...EVER.

We pull out of Omaha and drive till it hurts crashing in a state park.

Wow, that tent is comfortable. Note to selves: purchase alarm clock. We drive, and drive some more. We spot Cebala's (sp?) and make a stop looking for boots but they don't have much selection as far as brands even though the store (like a massive MASSIVE sporting goods store geared at hunting and fishing) is huge.

We keep driving to Rapid City and are running at roughly 210 miles per tank. Not too shabby considering we might as well have a sheet of plywood mounted for a sail on the roof with all the gear we're packing.

In town we find a grocery store, continuing the ever ongoing bickering on organic foods. We start to become familiar with the term "compromise". Plastic rocks glasses? Two please. The checkout lady with green finger nails takes one look at us, one glance at the counter and says the two of us are bachelors and though completely unsolicited begins to spit off all the local hot spots and strip clubs.

The air is getting dry and my nose bleeds from the change. We stop for a sandwich and keep driving. Once we're a ways out from town we pick a dark exit and aim the truck across a black field to center the Light Force Lights.

Blinking from no light to the high beams with all 4 pencil beams up top firing is crazy looking and a local cop throws his spot at us as he passes by trying to figure out what the hell we're doing. The amount of wildlife you spot when you've got two of those guys looking in each direction is amazing.

I'm getting tired and han takes over for the last leg. While trying to go to sleep I'm awakened by Han screaming at all the wild life he's spotting. "Whoa holy sh*t you crazy rabbit!" "Hath did you see that!!" "My God look at all the eyes!" "Awwww, Hath. I think I just hit a bunny, I'm serious, I heard this little change in the tires, poor son of a bitch". This type of thing continued for an hour or so. As we pulled into a rest stop to pitch the tent for the night you could smell the brush fires in the distance.

Han suddenly screams laughing, "Bunnies! millions and millions of bunnies, I never seen so many bunnies in my whole life". He wasn't exagerating bunnies were running ALL over the parking lot and the fields surrounding the little desolate rest stop had bunnies hopping about every 5 or so feet. The whole thing was very very surreal.

The wind blew like crazy that night. Waking up in the early morning I peered out the portal window of the tent to see a heard of wild turkey not thinking before excitedly waking up Han who thought there was a tornado whipping across the campsite.