Dealing with two types of silence

I’m very excited because in a single day I eliminated one kind of silence and added another. It’s not as complex as it may sound—read on.


The first silence was of the deafening variety brought on by a lack of music. You see, over the course of the last year the 4 speakers that make up the stereophonic high-fidelty surround-sound in The Fish Taco have been gradually dying off. Ultimately I was down to one. Listening to music or anything else out of one speaker is downright unpleasant. It blares annoyingly, thinly, into one side of your head. With multi-channel studio recording, underlying music tracks are all but inaudible in most songs. About the only music unaffected by this are Johnny Cash songs, which I have plenty of. But I do like a little variety–mostly the Allman Brothers Band. As I said, annoying. Because of this the last month or so has found me been driving around without the stereo on. The lack of tunes detracts from the pleasure of driving; the silence affords too much time to think, which always gets me into trouble.

Keep reading.

The second silence, which I added, is music to my ears. Because my tires had become quite worn, the hum of the road surface permeated the cab of the truck and the surround-sound, high-fidelty drone was getting unbearable. The whine of the highway wouldn’t be such a bad thing if not for a certain lack of music.  Alas, I’d become stuck between a rock and a hard place—or more specifically, stuck between a lack of rock and a hard surface (that was either very clever, or shamefully stupid).

So, what I did in a single day was go out and get new tires put on my truck and install new speakers. Now the hum of the road is drastically muted, which I marveled at as I drove home from Discount Tire, where I purchased the Cooper Discoverer AT3‘s. Dating back some 25 years, I’ve been a fan of Cooper tires. I had a pair of their Cooper Radial Discoverer AT’s which seemed incapable of wearing out. A friend of mine had the same tires, and the same experience. After reading a review of the AT3’s on a blog called River Mud (how could it be bad, right?) I decided to look more closely at the new Coopers. After discovering that they were significantly cheaper than the competition I decided to bite the bullet. I’d like to add that Discount Tire lived up to their billing and matched the much lower price I’d found online. Buying new tires, while it thrills me on many levels, is no cheap endeavor so saving nearly $70 per tire makes the pill a little easier to swallow. I could have limped down the road for another few months on my spent rubber, but I figured with gas prices going through the roof I better get tires before they follow suit. You should, too. Misery loves company.

Stay with me.

After I got home from the tire shop, I took advantage of a rare dry, warm day and installed the 4 new Polk Audio DXi570 speakers, which I’d purchased from Crutchfield. Since I’m plugging companies (and shamelessly hoping for some kick-backs) I’d like to note that Crutchfield has the best customer service of nearly any company I’ve done business with. I’ve purchased from them before, and will do so again if the need arises. No do-it-yourself vehicle-related project is ever as easy as it sounds on paper, but with Crutchfield’s detailed instructions, it went as smoothly as possible. A little custom fabrication was necessary on the rear speakers, which made me glad for the Dremel Tool, the single best invention since the microwave oven, and beer.

Are you still there?

I realize this is a blog about fishing, or at least it’s supposed to be. So when you stop by and find me writing about things like new tires and speakers for my truck, I fully accept that I’m likely to alienate some of my faithful 13 readers.  So, if you’re still reading, thank you. After all, this is about fishing, indirectly: I need my truck, the Fish Taco, to get to and from fishing locations. And as I drive to and fro, tires and music are important part of the journey.

Now, to fish.

But first I’m going out to the garage to take a big whiff of that new tire smell. It’s music to my nose.

OK, now you can go.

You can see the new tires, and because the window is down you can almost hear the new speakers.

Note: after 5 days of owning the tires and speakers I can happily report that the tires handle exceptionally well in cold rain, of which we’ve had plenty, and the speakers fill the cab with goodness. I’ve been playing “Blue Sky” by the Allman Brothers over and over, and it sounds great, although it’s just wishful thinking.


  1. Mike


    And Blue Sky by the Allman Brothers is, hands down, my favorite song of all time, followed, of course, by AC/DC’s You Shook Me All Night Long.

    Old school. Rock on.

    • Kirk Werner

      Old school with heavy emphasis on “school”. Or is it old? Either way, amen to that brother. I feel that if I’ve failed in many of life’s other areas, I’m at least accomplished in passing along my taste in music to my son. He’s got every AC/DC album and puts up with my Allman Brothers fetish without any complaint. Thanks for stopping by, Mike.

  2. cofisher

    Yeah I hear ya U. I had to go out and buy socks and underwear last weekend after the greatest day of the year so far.

    • Kirk Werner

      You just can’t have too many pairs of sock and underwears. May there be many more greatest days this year for you, Howard.

  3. Bill Reinhardt

    Hi Kirk
    The first thing, after changing the oil and tuning the engine, I do after buying a new (used) rig is upgrade the stereo system. I hate driving around without my tunes! If you haven’t done so already, the next time you replace your deck, get one with a USB port so you can plug in your mp3 player; nothing is better than hearing a randomized sequence of your favorite tunes while on the road.

    • Kirk Werner

      Bill, First off, thanks for stopping by with a comment (and for buying a sticker). I’m one step ahead of you, sort of. I didn’t upgrade the deck when I bought the Fish Taco, but I did remove it and install an ipod adapter- I’ve done that on all our vehicles. I realize I could get even better performance out of an upgraded deck, but I like the fact that it looks stock to a low-life peering through the window, thinking about breaking in while I’m on the river fishing. When they see a stock 2003 Toyota deck, I’m hoping they’ll move on, and just steal my catalytic converter or something else.

  4. O'fieldstream

    Hmm… I’m setting on my imaginary deck, wondering what the sounds are I’m hearing? What’s an iPod? I’m only hearing the pure … sounds of silence. That is except for the slow and miserable sound of the world’s smallest violin playing, “My Heart Bleeds For Thee”. C’mmon! Hit the note .. will ya! The pain is already unbearable … and there isn’t any sound. “. )))))))))))) Rock ON!

  5. kettlefisher

    I hear ya…..I have a 6 speaker BOSE in the Yukon….something I have neve had before… the sound….now I have to get the driver’s door rubber re-done cuz it lets in too much wind noise !!

    tight lines..


  6. Matt Smythe

    Poor speakers and poor sneakers…there’s not much worse. I once drove from Ft. Benning to Detroit in my Mazda B2000 (I know, man, that’s bad enough), with an empty dash…the radio had been stolen prior to the drive.

    Congrats on the new rock and roll.

  7. Harry L

    New rubbers and new speakers–sweet! You did good on the Coopers-I just retired after 38 years in the tire business and I can vouch for the Coopers. They have always made a solid product.

    • Kirk Werner

      This is good reassurance to have, Harry. However, it would have been appreciated before I bought the tires. 😉
      Congrats on your recent retirement. Hope you’ll have a lot of time for things like, well, fishing. Thanks for the comment.

  8. Sanders

    The Taco looks happy! Well it at least sounds like it’s happy…

    • Kirk Werner

      When the Taco is happy, I’m happy. Unfortunately that often means spending money to keep the Taco happy, which has the reverse effect on me. So maybe my first statement makes no sense at all.

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