Noise

My Recent Posts

I spent Monday indoors, steaming because of machine noise.  My formerly peaceful, rural environment has become a cesspool of cacophony in my lifetime.  Even as I write, my neighbor brother-in-law is mowing the lawn between our houses.  He couldn’t do it over the weekend, when all the neighbors were outside with their power tools, and the Gun Club was a’popping down the street.  No, he had to wait until Monday, so he could rev his lawnmower for an hour, complete with backfires and my slim and waning hope that it would stop for good, or that he would give up.  The grass doesn’t even need mowing.

 

It may be said that I am adding to the noise by my complaints.  It seems the world is overpopulated with people and machines screaming for attention.  There are so many demands on attention, from so many sources, that it’s tempting to shut them all out, if that were possible.  I understand now why people go deaf.

 

Last night it occurred to me that I look forward to the evenings and the relief from the constant demands on attention—and my rooster is crowing—from phone ringing for sales or survey calls, or the daily hang-up calls.  I get enough noise from the nags inside my head, who are constantly badgering me to do something. 

 

Am I the only person on the planet who likes peace and quiet, with emphasis on quiet?  There are people who say they like “white noise.”  They can’t sleep without it.  It is said nature abhors a vacuum.  Even formerly empty space—phone rings, and I hang up without even looking to see who’s calling—is now said to be full of “dark matter” and “dark energy,” suggesting there are no vacuums anywhere.  I wonder if the theorized black holes are actually vacuums, with the common characteristic of sucking everything into them.  Is gravity, then, a vacuum begging to be filled?  Does silence attract sound, like a magnet attracts iron filings?

 

Ahhhh . . . The lawn mower has stopped.  My rooster Squire, who I moved to the filing cabinet next to me, is quiet for the moment, looking quizzically at me.  Now, the lawn mower is back.

 

I used to frequent coffee shops, but no more.  I’m tired of asking the personnel to turn the music down.  How many grocery store or big-box store cashiers have I asked if they get paid extra to listen to the “I Died and Went to Hell” music at top volume?  I tell them to tell their bosses the music is driving customers away.  Has it made a difference, in the years I’ve complained?  “I just tune it out,” a cashier once told me, “but that’s harder to do when it’s skipping.” 

 

In my lifetime, “progress” and “development” has occurred all around my neighborhood.  Not only that, but the perpetual US wars have contributed to an increase in size and activity of Georgia military bases.  One of them, the Hunter Army Airfield, is within a couple of miles—as the jet flies—from my house, with its flight path directly overhead.  I always know when troops are being deployed, because planes fly low overhead every five minutes, headed for Iraq or Afghanistan, or wherever they are sending the testosterone-poisoned to make war this week. 

 

Savannah has grown up around Hunter over the past 60-odd years, but Yankees have invaded on the ground, too, with the conversion of International Paper’s island and former tree farm to a gated community real estate development, complete with three taxpayer-funded bridges over the intra-coastal waterway.  My formerly peaceful residence happens to lie between town and this gilded prison, which has led to an increase in traffic and more development along the route.  Because of construction and clearing of trees for same, vegetation no longer blocks or absorbs the noise, and the traffic becomes a roar at rush hour, especially when the tide is high. 

 

In order to serve these Yankees and their ilk the county has courted “progress” in the form of a Walmart and Sam’s Club within hearing distance and adjacent to a new parkway so that the Yankees can get home from town faster.  This brought three stoplights and attendant congestion, along with a street sweeper in the wee hours in the Walmart parking lot. 

 

I put the fear of the lord in the street sweeper at 2 a.m. one night, when he woke me up, because this “progress” along with the “progress” of the grass seeder at International Paper’s real estate development golf courses, has caused my property taxes to double in the last ten years.

 

Now all governments claim to want “progress” and “economic development,” but the flaw in this reasoning is that current residents are expected to pay for the governments’ desire to attract future residents.  The Yankees gloat about how living expenses are lower here than in the urban cesspools from which they escaped, but they have raised my living expenses, taxes, and have created mayhem on my stomping grounds.

 

My brother-in-law is not a Yankee, but he loves his power tools, just as the coffee shops love their “Feel My Pain” music, the military loves its helicopters and jets, the Gun Club loves its guns, the whole world loves its SUVs, trucks and other gas guzzlers, the neighbors love their barking dogs, and my roosters love to crow.

 

What’s the difference between a Northerner and a Yankee?  A Northerner visits and goes home.  A Yankee buys real estate for inflated prices, gets a parkway and bridges built for him, owns a couple of SUVs, and stays to criticize those they have elbowed out of their way, like the deer on the former tree farm, which now grows houses and golf courses.

 

I contend the noise is driving everyone crazy, but can people hear themselves think anymore?  Do they want to?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

The Owl Added Jan 8, 2019 - 10:28pm
May leaf-blowers seize-up for eternity.  Rakes are far better one's health...
 
Chainsaws at least have some utility and are far more considerate of those with heart conditions.
Katharine Otto Added Jan 8, 2019 - 10:38pm
Owl,
I had a leaf blower but gave it away.  It was loud, didn't work on wet leaves, in windy weather, on spider webs, was heavy, and was a pain to store and start.  Rakes and brooms are more versatile and practical.
 
I do have a chain saw, and a push lawn mower.  The chain saw converts fallen limbs to fire wood, and the lawn mower is useful for keeping the snakes down.
FacePalm Added Jan 8, 2019 - 10:39pm
The Desiderata:
 
Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
 
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
 
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
 
Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
 
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
 
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
 
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
 
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.
Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.
 
Now in the '70's, when i had this on a poster, it was claimed to have been written anonymously, and found in a hymnal in some church or other.  It appears the culprit has been found, now.
Katharine Otto Added Jan 8, 2019 - 10:50pm
Thanks, FacePalm,
Silence is golden, is it not?
Bill H. Added Jan 9, 2019 - 12:15am
Great article, Katherine-
A friend of mine is an Acoustics Engineer. Most of the work he has done in the past was related to deadening sound levels in rooms, studios, and restaurants by applying sound absorption and cancellation techniques.
Seems that there is recently a demand in some restaurants and night spots to actually increase sound levels. Supposedly research shows that younger crowds are actually attracted to restaurants and night spots that are loud. I have always preferred quiet restaurants for my entire life.
He has developed a system that allows the best of both worlds, simply by pushing a button that adjusts some baffles in the room corners and raises/lowers some sound cancelling curtains in specific locations of the room, so when the older retired people finish their early dinners, he can set up a noisy environment for the younger late-eating crowd at the push of a button.
By the way, installing gas-filled dual-pane windows that have a different thickness of glass on one side versus the other is a great way to lower noise levels within your house.
FacePalm Added Jan 9, 2019 - 12:38am
As mentioned awhile ago on another thread, "going into the silence" has long been a practice of the Quakers; it is ever-present, and is "behind" all the noise, if you will.  It is the "ground of Being" upon which all sound grows, becomes present, and eventually fades away.
 
So, in that silence, yes, one can eventually sense the Golden Light...and sometimes, both experience and enter in to it.
 
“Before you speak, ask yourself:
Is it kind?
Is it necessary?
Is it true?
Does it improve upon the Silence?”
~Sai Baba
 
Personally, i can't think of a lot of things that would satisfy all the requirements he posits before speaking - because sometimes - maybe usually - the Truth isn't kind, although it may be necessary, for example.
 
But i did learn via meditation that silence is where the greatest transformations take place, assuming one is willing to be transformed.
The Burghal Hidage Added Jan 9, 2019 - 3:27am
Katherine - You are describing the difference between a Yankee and a damn Yankee :)
 
I can appreciate your concerns. Where I live today the greatest source of noise are birds. Most of my life I spent living in someone's flight path or near a rail line or major interstate. It is a welcome respite from the jets, trains, helicopters and the asphalt symphony. 
 
A thoughtful piece as always :)
opher goodwin Added Jan 9, 2019 - 4:54am
Katharine - one person's noise is another person's music. I too hate the noise of power tools and lawn mowers. They are nothing but annoying. But I do like loud music.
I love the sound of nature - from leaf rustles, insect buzzes to animal calls.
I feel most sorry for whales. They spend their lives composing songs that they sing to each other over oceans. Now their oceanic symphonies are drowned out with the boom of diesel engines from a plethora of ships.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Jan 9, 2019 - 5:34am
Am I the only person on the planet who likes peace and quiet, with emphasis on quiet?
 
No. 
 
Don't move to Thailand or even visit. Thais abhor quiet.
 
There's a very old joke about the Thai Navy's getting a new submarine - the first thing they did was hang a garland on the periscope and take off the mufflers. Every 2,3,4 or more wheeled vehicle has to have a garland hanging from the rear view mirror and the mufflers removed entirely or replaced by one that amplifies the sound. 
 
If half volume suffices for TV, radio, karaoke, or whatever noise spewing "entertainment" device then by all means crank it.
 
It's eleven PM, by all means let's jump on our 110cc 2 cycle motorbikes with amplifier mufflers and go ripping loudly and rapidly down residential areas for an hour or so. 
 
Oh, don't forget the packs of feral dogs endemic to the country. One will get spooked by something and bark and immediately another twenty will bark for twenty minutes. Several times a night.
 
 
 
Leroy Added Jan 9, 2019 - 6:44am
ou're lucky, Katharine.  I came home the another night around 10 pm and a neighbor up the street was mowing his lawn at night.
 
You're also right; nature abhors a vacuum.  When I worked late and there was one another person in the office, he either came to talk to me or broke out in a loud whistle.  There is no escaping it.  When I worked late, it was because I wanted or needed to get something done. 
 
I was in Tokyo with colleague walking through an office.  It was dead silence.  I thought, "Wouldn't it be nice to work in a place like that."  My colleague says about that time, "I like this.  Wish I could work in an office as quiet as this," as he immediately preceded to break out in a loud shrill whistle.  The most obnoxious colleague was in France.  I worked in an open office with about 20 people.  They all worked in their own little world.  One would tap both feet on the floor, use his right hand to tap on the desk with a hollow pen, his left hand to tap his wedding ring on the desk, and then he would whistle, only stopping to take a drag on his cigarette.  He did this every day, all day.  How he got any work done is beyond me.
 
The worst noise is the super low bass played in cars.  You can hear it coming from blocks away, sometimes as far as a mile.  People feel free to crank it more when they are in the country.  That's where I go for peace and quiet.  One used to be able to go to a campground for peace and quiet, but no more.  Someone always brings along a boombox to entertain others.
 
I sympathize with you, Katherine.  There is no escaping it.  I've done my part by converting to all battery yard power tools.  I do it for myself.  My immediate neighbors have done the same.  It doesn't help much and most everyone else uses those damn two-stokes to blow up their yard.
Leroy Added Jan 9, 2019 - 6:46am
"Don't move to Thailand or even visit. Thais abhor quiet."
 
Same for China.  It's 24/7.
 
"Oh, don't forget the packs of feral dogs endemic to the country."
 
Can't be any worse than Romania.  It's insane.  Apparently, there are no Chinese living there. 
Ward Tipton Added Jan 9, 2019 - 7:00am
The two primary reasons my dad and I selected the locations we did for our homestead was 1) No rocks. 2) The next door neighbors were about eight kilometers (or about five miles) away. 
George N Romey Added Jan 9, 2019 - 7:18am
One thing my employer has done is to get rid of phones.  It's a blessing not to hear phones ringing all day.  No one has cell phone ringings, they're all on vibrate.  
 
We live in a world of too much noise.  The news has become a couple of morons yelling at each other.  TV commercials blasting (you may have noticed the volume gets louder) that you must buy this product or suffer the consequences.  Some big drug company tell us all about the many medical problems we didn't know we had.  In other words, noise goes beyond just volume.  
 
Becoming more and more popular are people that buy RVs and then park somewhere in the forest.  They generally have virtual jobs that can be done anywhere and they choose to live not so much off the technology grid (they still use technology) but off the noise grid.  This is where I want to be in 5 years.  
Ward Tipton Added Jan 9, 2019 - 8:09am
"Becoming more and more popular are people that buy RVs and then park somewhere in the forest."
 
When I was a kid, I dreamed of living in a mansion ... now I dream of living in my RV parked down at the beach ... part of an old joke and now an internet meme. 
The Burghal Hidage Added Jan 9, 2019 - 8:50am
The best neighbors are trees. Or empty lots
Ward Tipton Added Jan 9, 2019 - 9:14am
Good fences make good neighbors ... ooh ... but wait ... apparently walls do not work anymore ... must be why Obama got a variance to build a much larger and taller wall than would normally be allowed right? 
 
Yeah, much better trees and empty lots ... and thorns and ditches ... I prefer the pomelo trees in very dense groves ... with their one to two inch spike thorns. 
TexasLynn Added Jan 9, 2019 - 10:03am
My philosophy on homes, and neighbors and noise has been buying as much land as you can in the middle of nowhere and make your home in the middle of it.  Distance is the best defense against noisy neighbors and owning the land yourself is good insurance against the encroachment of progress.
 
Not that I'm the quietest person in the world.  I like my power tools and equipment; but my noise doesn't seem to bother me or anybody else (because of the distance).
 
Finally, I'll note that I'm one of those people who like "white noise" at night, specifically the sound of a fan.  If it's too cold for a fan to blow on me, I still turn it on.  I just turn it around.
 
Interesting diversionary post.  Thank you.
Leroy Added Jan 9, 2019 - 10:24am
"Distance is the best defense against noisy neighbors and owning the land yourself is good insurance against the encroachment of progress."
 
I don't find that to be true.  If you live in an isolated area in these parts, it's like a license to make as much noise as you like.  I have an interest in a modestly sized farm that is used primarily used for deer hunting.  There's nothing like sitting in a tree and soaking in the quietness--until some jerk cranks up the music with super low bass.  It carries for miles.  The higher pitched sounds don't travel as far.  A dog howling at the moon can carry long distances.  No, the best defense against noise is mass.
 
"Finally, I'll note that I'm one of those people who like "white noise" at night, specifically the sound of a fan."
 
My college roommate liked to sleep with a fan.  I liked an open window.  We couldn't reach a compromise, so in the dead of winter, we had the window open with a fan on high speed...lol.  I used a fan for a while to drown out the super low bass played in passing cars.  It wasn't that effective.  Nothing like silicone earplugs for that.
Mustafa Kemal Added Jan 9, 2019 - 10:55am
Katharine, 
indeed, silence is golden.
Of course I have yet to object to the singing of warblers.
 
Moreover, I forgot where i read it, but I once heard noise referred to as a
 
"thought killer".   
 
Mustafa
Stone-Eater Added Jan 9, 2019 - 11:25am
Katherine
 
There are people who say they like “white noise.”  They can’t sleep without it.
 
Frankly, I sleep better in Europe than in Africa. Ok, we have street noise in Switzerland where I live, but when I'm in Africa, I can't sleep because all night dogs are barking, people are partying, some pray loudly all night in groups (in Muslim Africa), old bikes with sawed off exhaustion pipes pass by, cocks seem not to know the hour and repeat their noise all through the night....ok that's no artificial noise, but when you're about to fall asleep finally after 10 minutes of rare silence BARK BARK BARK !!
 
Then I'd like to kill them right away and work them into a tasty Chinese soup !
Stone-Eater Added Jan 9, 2019 - 11:31am
Leroy
 
My college roommate liked to sleep with a fan
 
That's what I've done at first. But the fan was not loud enough to drown the noise, so I bought a mobile aircon, shut the cooler off and simply let the fan blow full speed into another direction than my body. As long as a noise is rhythmic, no problem.
 
Aaaah LOL
Ward Tipton Added Jan 9, 2019 - 11:42am
"Frankly, I sleep better in Europe than in Africa. Ok, we have street noise in Switzerland where I live, but when I'm in Africa, I can't sleep because all night dogs are barking, people are partying, some pray loudly all night in groups (in Muslim Africa), old bikes with sawed off exhaustion pipes pass by, cocks seem not to know the hour and repeat their noise all through the night....ok that's no artificial noise, but when you're about to fall asleep finally after 10 minutes of rare silence BARK BARK BARK !!"
 
As we speak ... or write as the case may be ... 0100 almost and the event at the Barangay Hall is loud and obnoxious, though they do play the occasional good song ... the neighbor's dogs are barking, cocks crowing ... but when it is me holding the party all night, nobody else will complain either. All about the freedom to do so. Many westerners complain about the traffic here, would rather they implement a police state here and use traffic control as a means to generate more revenue ... personally I sleep better with the knowledge of freedom than I do with the lack or presence of noise. Not to say I do not appreciate the quiet ... which is why I tend to work at night ... but neither will I deprive or attempt to deprive others of their rights at the same time. 
Stone-Eater Added Jan 9, 2019 - 11:47am
Ward
 
It's not that I would be angry at anybody....it's just me. An African can sleep in any noise and light (my wife insisted when we started to live together in Bamako 23 years ago to leave the light on......no sleep for me. But meanwhile in Switzerland she can't sleep with lights on anymore LOL), I can't.
 
I can sleep with noise during daytime no problem but not at night. Strange, I know, but all tries to change that didn't work.
Ward Tipton Added Jan 9, 2019 - 12:17pm
Not strange at all ... I tend to sleep much lighter outdoors or during the daytime. Old habits perhaps? The noises I tune out for the most part, though some will still wake me very rapidly. My daughter and her friends can run through the house laughing and playing and I do not stir. She cries out in pain I wake right up. 
Stone-Eater Added Jan 9, 2019 - 12:20pm
...I guess I'm not that sensitive, when I sleep, I sleep like a stone LOL
Ward Tipton Added Jan 9, 2019 - 12:23pm
I do too ... though there are exceptions. The sound of an action on a firearm also makes me wake up very quickly. Certain noises cut right through when I sleep, though must go wholly unnoticed.  
TexasLynn Added Jan 9, 2019 - 12:28pm
Leroy >> I don't find that to be true. (rural and distance) If you live in an isolated area in these parts, it's like a license to make as much noise as you like.
 
Well, that probably true.  I notice my neighbors (miles away) will occasionally decide to do a bit of target practice.  And I'm guilty as well.  I give no thought to shooting my gun (usually at beavers or pigs) whenever I like.  I also give little thought to cranking up a power saw when I need to.  As far as I'm concerned one is a benefit of living in the country and the other a necessity.
 
I'll have to say that I've never heard the super low bass stuff in my rural necks of the woods.  I heard it all the time when I lived in Houston.  Whether that is because of fewer jerks or better sound muffling terrain I cannot say.
 
When hunting on my farm I will occasionally hear a truck on some nearby road, but that's about it.
 
I, personally, have four dogs.  I have them broken from randomly barking at stuff; especially at night (for the most part).  But their job is to bark at stuff I want to know about.  Someone driving up, a coyote... etc.  I also encourage them to tree squirrels (which is the main job).
 
My neighbors, if they can hear them have not complained so I assume we're good.  I don't hear the neighbor’s dogs, ever.
 
Leroy >> No, the best defense against noise is mass.
 
OK... granted.  Distance AND lots of hills and trees (a good description of East Texas) does seem to do the trick.
 
Leroy >> There's nothing like sitting in a tree and soaking in the quietness
 
Amen.
Dino Manalis Added Jan 9, 2019 - 12:33pm
 There are plenty of noises, you may need earplugs!
Stone-Eater Added Jan 9, 2019 - 12:44pm
The sound of an action on a firearm also makes me wake up very quickly. 
 
I never heard a firearm going off anywhere I lived in my life, except fireworks in Switzerland on national day and New Year's Eve :-)
Ward Tipton Added Jan 9, 2019 - 12:47pm
Just the action, it need not be discharged ... Like I said, some of it is just old habits. 
Stone-Eater Added Jan 9, 2019 - 1:00pm
Katharine
 
I prepared and updated the replay of my article about PHP Penja from 2015 and will post it as soon as the 48 hour limit has passed.
Ward Tipton Added Jan 9, 2019 - 1:14pm
And here we are at 0215 with fireworks and the music still going replete with an enthusiastic DJ ... though the dogs have settled down now that the neighbors have come home ... until the next group walks by LOL
Stone-Eater Added Jan 9, 2019 - 1:18pm
You said you in the Phillies, right ? I have a Swiss friend who lives on Cebu. I was never there, because I don't speak Tagalog, and their English is probably as understandable as Ghanaian or Cameroonian Pidgin.
 
I'm going to eat = A di go chop.
 
I mean WTF ? LOL
Stone-Eater Added Jan 9, 2019 - 1:21pm
But then....I'm the last who can complain, because:
 
English: Are you crazy, nuts ?
German: Bist du verrückt, spinnst du ?
Swiss: Händs der is Hirni gschisse ?
 
So......LOL
Ward Tipton Added Jan 9, 2019 - 1:58pm
I speak English (Southern American), Spanish (Mexican) Tagalog and the local Bicolano dialect. 
 
German? Ein kleine. 
 
French? Only a smattering I needed to get along in West Africa and French Polynesia and Vanuatu.
Ward Tipton Added Jan 9, 2019 - 1:58pm
I can speak enough German to get laid, drunk and start a fight ... what more does any growing boy need? 
Stone-Eater Added Jan 9, 2019 - 2:04pm
LOL
Ward Tipton Added Jan 9, 2019 - 2:08pm
With apologies of course, to Katharine Otto for injecting such a crass comment under one of her articles. 
Stone-Eater Added Jan 9, 2019 - 2:09pm
I guess I wouldn't understand Southern US brawl. But that's they way it is.....where you live, you learn. I speak some Bambara (Mali) and understand a bit of Wolof (Senegal). But the grammar of these languages is so unusual for us that one can only learn by repeating and listening. Never ask me the logic of the structure of phrases. Compared to that our Latin- or Indogerman-based languages are easy to learn.
Ward Tipton Added Jan 9, 2019 - 2:28pm
One of the major areas of concern and consternation for us has been the translation of the Aptitude Batteries into the more limited languages and tribal dialects that are, by and large very restrictive. Even in English, the limitations of the language severely hamper the accuracy of the results ... to a finer degree but ... enough to merit attention as a statistical difference of note. 
TexasLynn Added Jan 9, 2019 - 2:34pm
SE >> I guess I wouldn't understand Southern US brawl.
 
"Brawl"?  Do you mean southern "drawl".
 
I took a course in Japanese in college.  The instructor loved to hear me speak... said she had never heard Japanese with such a heavy southern accent before. :)
Ward Tipton Added Jan 9, 2019 - 2:46pm
Hahahahahahahaha I was in Mexico talking to someone in Spanish and they asked if I was a Southerner. I was rather taken aback that I was indeed a Southerner and inquired as to how they drew such a conclusion. They informed me that indeed my accent in Spanish, is typical of that in Southern Mexico where I lived :/ 
Ward Tipton Added Jan 9, 2019 - 2:47pm
Correction: 
 
I was rather taken aback and exclaimed that I was indeed a Southerner
Nobody's Sweetheart Added Jan 9, 2019 - 3:00pm
My 'hood was at a low rumble until they put in a Catholic Rescue Mission. I wish I could cull them, like when the coyotes start getting out of hand. One time one of them went on a car window breaking rampage in the wee hours; I heard them shattering one by one, with the occasional car alarm going off. When all of that died down, a fucking mockingbird alighted right outside my window and started to mock the car alarms....bllllooooooop blllllloooooo...bink-bink-bink-bonk-bonk-bock-sooooo-weeeeeee-soooooo-weeeee-WOOOP-WOOOOP....that's when a .177caliber pellet ensured the rest of my morning would be quiet, lol.
Stone-Eater Added Jan 9, 2019 - 3:05pm
Oh......you won't believe that but I hesitated between brawl and drawl and chose the wrong one LOL
 
When I arrived in the US after a year in NZ I had a Kiwi accent I was told, and when I arrived in Canada after, they told me I had a Californian one. No idea. But now they tell me in Switzerland that I speak African French, and I like THAT. Because actually I never liked FRENCH French. I was forced to learn French there, because everybody spoke French with me....nobody spoke English or German. But you know.
Stone-Eater Added Jan 9, 2019 - 3:09pm
Oh sorry Katherine...we got completely off subject !
TexasLynn Added Jan 9, 2019 - 3:30pm
Stone >> Because actually I never liked FRENCH French. I was forced to learn French there, because everybody spoke French... Oh sorryKatherine...we got completely off subject !
 
Not really. Everything FRENCH French, I understand, is annoying noise. :)
Stone-Eater Added Jan 9, 2019 - 3:51pm
What I hate about French is it's not direct. Swearing in French is not really possible. When you speak that for a day as they request you to, you got a soar throat LOL
Stone-Eater Added Jan 9, 2019 - 3:53pm
sore....sorry. Goddammit !!
FacePalm Added Jan 9, 2019 - 4:13pm
Katharine-
One CAN train their mind to either tune out or be alert to specific sounds.
When i was on the aircraft carrier, i was 3 floors beneath the flight deck.  During night-flight ops, jets would slam down on the deck pretty-much directly above me, followed by the roar of the jets, accompanied by the "Scree!" of the arresting-cable mechanisms.  Steel does not muffle sound very well; it transmits it.
 
i learned to sleep through that in less than a month. 
 
Out camping, however, one often grows instantly alert at the snap of a twig, though it's often best to continue to feign sleep while you ready your weapon...
Ward Tipton Added Jan 9, 2019 - 4:19pm
When I worked as a hunting guide, people often had crazy theories about why I slept out next to the horses ... everything from tougher than nails to just plain crazy, but in reality, the horses will let you know anytime something is around. And the only animals that step on branches are either panicked or human. 
Leroy Added Jan 9, 2019 - 4:46pm
"I took a course in Japanese in college.  The instructor loved to hear me speak... said she had never heard Japanese with such a heavy southern accent before. :)"
 
The French always said I spoke French like a Spanish cow.  I don't think it was a compliment... lol  There was one Frenchman who refused to speak French to me because it irritated him so.  He would speak French to our colleague who would, in turn, repeat the French to me.  I answered in French and he would relay my response in French to him.  They are so damn pricky about their language.
TexasLynn Added Jan 9, 2019 - 5:58pm
Leroy >> They are so damn pricky about their language.
 
Why does that not surprise me.  No wonder the whole world looks down on the frogs.
 
Living close to the border I speak a little Tex-Mex  (Spanish).  I can only imagine how bad I sound.  BUT, I've noticed the effort is appreciated.  I also appreciate any effort to speak English and give as much leeway as possible.
Doug Plumb Added Jan 9, 2019 - 6:30pm
  I remember when restaurants were quiet and somewhat darkened places back in the 70's. I went into the local roadhouse the other day - it had multiple (many) TV screens and noise blaring at you from every direction. My food was to go. It reminded me of the TV showroom I worked in as a kid. I ate at Jack Astors once. I don't know why anyone would want to go in there.
  I also know that sustained levels of around 75 dB SPL all day long gives you permanent hearing damage. I was a sound engineer for studios and you read on hearing and pick things up like this. That "all day" noise is worse than an occasional big stereo blaring rock music.
Jeff Michka Added Jan 9, 2019 - 6:58pm
I hesitated making any comment, figuring it would attract Ryan, but Katherine...welcome to the New World.  Sorry, and I do understand, it's terribly annoying in areas formerly quiet, and now are not, often for poor reasons.  Bill H  mention a buddy that once did sound mitigations, and now adds sound enhancement to the treatments.  People now expect noise, and have heard what Bill was told, millennials like noisy places.  Why?  Consider many grew up with "boom cars" where the louder was better.  Now these folks are hearing impaired in their mid 20s and noisy backgrounds...hearing "something" constantly let's them know they're still alive(?).   We're about to get commercial jet traffic flying over the house, since a local airfield has been cleared for commercial traffic.  "Only" 25 flights a day...but....And this has according to two real estate people has devalued to house a few thousand (We are leaving the States in May, and at this point in time are not coming back here, so selling the house just became an issue.
Leroy Added Jan 9, 2019 - 8:23pm
"BUT, I've noticed the effort is appreciated.  I also appreciate any effort to speak English and give as much leeway as possible."
 
That's the thing about the French (at least back then).  They would ridicule you if your French wasn't perfect.  The French youths today seem to be normal human beings.  The Chinese always appreciate the effort.  If I can understand someone, I'll tell them they speak English well to encourage them.
Stone-Eater Added Jan 9, 2019 - 8:29pm
Leroy
 
I lived in Lausanne (the French part of Switzerland) once, and that was before I was able to speak French as I do now, back in 1996. People in bars corrected me all the time, until one day I was sitting there, left and right two French speaking Swiss, and I asked them:
 
"Do you speak English (in English)?"
"Non, désolé (sorry)."
" Kannst du deutsch ? (you speak German)"
"Non, pas tellement (not really)."
"SO HOW THE FUCK DO YOU HAVE THE NERVE TO CORRECT ME ALL THE TIME IF YOU ONLY SPEAK ONE LANGUAGE ??"
 
Silence. LOL
Mustafa Kemal Added Jan 9, 2019 - 9:20pm
Burghal,
"The best neighbors are trees. Or empty lots'
 
fish and birds are fine with me.
 
Mustafa
Katharine Otto Added Jan 9, 2019 - 9:47pm
Folks,
I enjoy reading your various perspectives and have learned something about noise levels around the world.  I do make a distinction between the drone of machine noise and the variable and ever-shifting sounds of, say, nature.  Once the man-made noise stops, I can hear the birds better and notice that different species of trees make their own distinctive sounds in the breeze.  The "tinkle" of oaks, the "whoosh" of pines, or the clatter of palms, for instance.  It's also fun (and difficult) to make words for the sounds I hear. Those sounds are as good as, or better than, silence.
 
I think television has contributed to younger people's liking for noise.  Some people leave the TV on for "company," and even sleep with it on.  
 
The character of the sound certainly makes a difference.  A monotonous drone brings the fear that it will never cease, but the variable sounds of nature have soothing rhythms.  
 
TBH, you're right about "Yankee" and "Damn Yankee."  Shame on me.  I stand corrected.
 
Opher,
Do you like all music loud, or just the music you prefer?  I'm willing to bet you would not like the "Banging Pots and Pans" music I have endured in the coffee shops.  
 
Michael,
You imitated that  mockingbird quite well.  Bird songs are hard to describe.  I wish you'd mailed that bird to me before you killed him.  Mockingbirds (and chickens) have amazing repertoires.  
Katharine Otto Added Jan 9, 2019 - 9:55pm
Sounds like there is little escape from the noise, not in Thailand, China, the Philippines, Africa, or Switzerland.  Certainly not in the US.  Maybe a big farm in Texas, or in a cave underground.  Trees help, but they do not stop with airplane noise.  I tremble at the idea that commercial drones will become commonplace.  Imagine drones delivering Amazon packages to the neighbors or pizza or your enemy's garbage to your front lawn.  I may need a gun after all, for self-defense from drones.
 
The shift in the thread to language is related, because that can be construed as noise, too, if you don't understand it, or if you don't like what the person is saying.  
FacePalm Added Jan 9, 2019 - 10:26pm
Katharine-
i haven't developed it, yet, but i have a theory that satellite dishes can work in reverse, as well - that is, the design could be modified such that a direct beam of microwave frequency energy could be bounced off of one and sent to a particular point in space.
 
A burst of appropriate wattage would quickly fry the electronics aboard, and have the advantage of not damaging anyone else's life or property by means of a missed shot from a firearm...just sayin'!
 
Long ago, i went to a military school where radar techs were also trained, and i happened to observe that the tree which was in the path of their radar was dead as a hammer from the point where the radio-freq. waves began to hit it, and all the way up.
 
That was the source of the inspiration.  If such an arm was developed, it would certainly come in handy should certain enemies of humanity decide that mass attacks of armed drones would be a Good Idea.
FacePalm Added Jan 9, 2019 - 10:28pm
Oh, and should investigators show up at your door later, innocence could easily be portrayed..."What?  Your little whirly thing died?  How'd that happen?"
Katharine Otto Added Jan 9, 2019 - 10:50pm
FacePalm,
Imagine the possibilities of commercial drones.  I should get one.  No more garbage pick-up, just direct the drone to deliver my garbage to the courthouse steps, or on the mayor's lawn.  I could deliver cheap plastic packaging to Walmart's parking lot.  I could do so much . . .
 
I might even learn to like machine noise,  "My drone is louder than your drone."
Katharine Otto Added Jan 9, 2019 - 11:20pm
Mogg,
You seem to have a habit of deleting your own comments.  I hope you don't delete this one, because it is good.  It occurs to me that there is an up-side to the world's running out of fossil fuels.  Imagine how quiet it would be.  Sometimes I wonder if any of the Framers could have anticipated the noise levels we think are normal today.
Gerrilea Added Jan 10, 2019 - 12:20am
Katharine O-- I was sort of saving my posting, the conversation was too good to interrupt, thank you for the change of pace around here.
 
We don't have respect for one another any longer.  We've been conditioned and compartmentalized to see ourselves as the only thing that matters.
 
I promise I won't move to Georgia, maybe Arizona or some place a wee bit warmer.  I loved the change of seasons and loved them all equally.  I think I've got enough memories to last the rest of my life when it comes to winters in Buffalo.  9 1/2 feet in my driveway just 3 yrs ago....ugh.
 
The noise around here is brutal some days too.  My neighbors had contractors replacing their roof and the bang, bang....."Awe shit!"....bang...then silence....then bang, bang, bang, bang, bang....drove me up a wall the one day.
 
Ward T mentioned double-pane gas filled windows I heard work wonders. They stink however when you open the window on a beautiful spring morning.  All those dang birds...you'd think they'd find another bush to hang out in.
 
:)
 
Spartacus Added Jan 10, 2019 - 3:21am
Katherine, you could be suffering from PTPSD (post-traumatic professional stress disorder).
 
I know of this myself.  I took a year off once.  There was no way I was going back to an insane amount of pressure from organizations (and people) who needed miracle workers to bail themselves out of a history of crappy choices. 
Any person in a very high-pressure job will tell you this is very real.  Some people can be very resistant to this kind of pressure.  Most are not.
Spartacus Added Jan 10, 2019 - 3:27am
Forgot to say -- I agree. 
 
But think about the noise you create vs the noise created by people outside your house.  Externally created noise is an influence into your internally controlled domain.  Right now, you may need that control over your domain for your peace and sanctity.  Externally created noise is a hostile intrusion into your sanctuary of healing.
I'm only speaking from experience.  This may not be your case at all.
Leroy Added Jan 10, 2019 - 6:46am
Stoney, I will never forget my French-Canadian officemate who went to France.  He said that whenever he spoke French, he was asked to speak English.  They refused to speak French with him.  He was miffed about it.
Leroy Added Jan 10, 2019 - 8:40am
I saw a posting on Facebutt yesterday that summarized my thoughts pretty well.  It was a picture of a massive speaker system with the caption: "I don't listen to Metallica often, but, when I do, so do my neighbors."
Whiskey River Added Jan 10, 2019 - 11:25am
Noise is a state of mind and can be tuned out. I learned in the jungles of Cambodia and Laos how to tune out noise, if you didn't you would never sleep. I learned how to tune out the unimportant but hear the important noises, the kind that could get us killed. Over 45 years later I am the same way, I never forgot those lessons. 
Stone-Eater Added Jan 10, 2019 - 12:03pm
Leroy
 
I will never forget my French-Canadian officemate who went to France.  He said that whenever he spoke French, he was asked to speak English.  They refused to speak French with him.  He was miffed about it.
 
Tabarnacle !! When I worked in Calgary we were 12 young guys from France, Germany, the UK and Australia, one Danish and 2 French Canadians. Nobody understood them (mind you, I didn't speak French at that time), not even the French.
 
So they made a lot of NOISE about "nobody understands us!!" :-)
Stone-Eater Added Jan 10, 2019 - 12:06pm
Whiskey
 
I learned in the jungles of Cambodia and Laos how to tune out noise
 
How did you do that ? I never succeeded. I need to stuff my ears, get some good straight ones down or take a pill. Otherwise - nope.
Ward Tipton Added Jan 10, 2019 - 1:13pm
What must a Coon-Ass (Cajun) go through in France? 
 
And here we are, with the Barangay Hall (Neighborhood government office, basketball court, entertainment venue) closed down at 0200 ... a full two hours earlier than last night. 
 
Stone, it is not necessarily learned I think, so much as merely a reaction to a hostile environment. Before that, even in the woods I slept like a rock ... broke that habit real fast. I still do, but even so many years and decades later, certain noises still wake me up very quickly ... 
Nobody's Sweetheart Added Jan 10, 2019 - 3:20pm
@ KO - You imitated that  mockingbird quite well.  Bird songs are hard to describe.
 
I'm usually good at mimicry, as most of my bosses can attest to, lol.
Katharine Otto Added Jan 10, 2019 - 8:14pm
Gerrilea,
Thanks for the compliment.  We all have our noise stories, don't we?  Symbolically speaking, noise may be one of the causes of so-called global warming, things heating up on all fronts, making people more irritable and contentious.
 
While we don't have much snow, we do have lots of humidity and insects, the biting kind.  If you're an entomologist, it would be paradise for you, but they're trying to poison them (and us) with malathion from the county's helicopters.
 
I like the Southwest myself, like the foothills of New Mexico, where you do get seasons, just dry ones. 
Katharine Otto Added Jan 10, 2019 - 8:23pm
Spartacus,
I've never been an indoor kind of person, but outdoor noise is forcing me to become one.  I'm becoming an extremist.  Even the refrigerator annoys me at times.  I don't have a TV and can't imagine why anyone would want one.
 
The lack of control over externally created noise definitely adds to the stress, as it comes from all directions, and I don't know when it will stop.
Katharine Otto Added Jan 10, 2019 - 8:25pm
Leroy,
Cute.  That speaker system must be well guarded.  Either that, or the neighbors like Metallica.
Katharine Otto Added Jan 10, 2019 - 8:28pm
Whiskey River,
You can tune noise out by going deaf, something I've considered.  I'm working on tuning out the drone of the firewood splitting business down the street, and the helicopters from the Army base, but I haven't succeeded yet.  I have been known to practice primal screaming at the helicopters, but I can't out-loud them (so far).
Katharine Otto Added Jan 10, 2019 - 8:30pm
Stone,
Yes, we all understand loud.  It's the same in every language.  I think you wrote once that Americans think if they speak loudly, people will suddenly understand English.  
Katharine Otto Added Jan 10, 2019 - 8:34pm
Ward,
When do people sleep in the Philippines?  During the day?  Is it quieter then?
 
Around here, noise is not a problem at night.  I should be grateful.
Katharine Otto Added Jan 10, 2019 - 8:39pm
Rev Michael,
Your mimicry is unequaled, at least here on WB.  I appreciate your contributions.
Katharine Otto Added Jan 10, 2019 - 8:40pm
Thanks, Mogg.
Ryan Messano Added Jan 10, 2019 - 8:53pm
Profound, Katharine.
 
'I put the fear of the lord in the street sweeper at 2 a.m. one night, when he woke me up, because this “progress” along with the “progress” of the grass seeder at International Paper’s real estate development golf courses, has caused my property taxes to double in the last ten years.' and that had me laughing. 
 
You tie together the lack of silence, and also, I might add, meditation and introspection, along with higher taxes. Since we don't do our own thinking, we expect Uncle Sam to do it, and he never does it for free. 
 
The joys of reading a great book, of sitting and writing, of listening, of thinking silently, are joys the average person never knows.  Also, conversation is a lost art.  Those who cannot enjoy their own company, seldom have company that is enjoyable to others.  Solitude and silence is where great ideas are born and bred. 
 
'Be still, and know that I am God'
Solomon
 
It is in pondering our own insignificance in the grand scheme of the universe that humility begins to dawn, and humility comes before honor, and riches, and life.
Stone-Eater Added Jan 11, 2019 - 1:54am
I think you wrote once that Americans think if they speak loudly, people will suddenly understand English.  
 
It certainly helps being noticed, but if the content is shit, it's not a plus LOL
Ward Tipton Added Jan 11, 2019 - 5:03am
"When do people sleep in the Philippines?  During the day?  Is it quieter then?"
 
Growing up here, they are used to it. 
 
"I think you wrote once that Americans think if they speak loudly, people will suddenly understand English.  "
 
That seems to work the other way too ... though in the US I was often accused of mumbling while here people think I speak too loudly ... but it seems to be common that across cultures, people will presume a lack of basic senses merely based on the inability to speak a language. I have seen this in many nations, not just the US. 
Stone-Eater Added Jan 11, 2019 - 8:20am
Ward
 
Could be. A language can only really be learned when one lives there for a time. Otherwise he won't understand the "nuances". A language is directly tied to the respective mentality.
Ward Tipton Added Jan 11, 2019 - 8:39am
I mean even outside of that ... people trying to discourage me from walking in front of a bus, regardless that I had no intention of walking in front of the bus. Or threatening in the US to tell my wife I am smoking because she did not speak English ... subconsciously projecting her inability to speak English with her ability to smell. It seems to be universal in nature ... even if largely subconscious. 
Ward Tipton Added Jan 11, 2019 - 8:39am
What you mention however, is also why I turned down a very good paying job translating for the courts ... colloquialisms and vernacular being so different depending on where someone is from. 
John Minehan Added Jan 11, 2019 - 11:29pm
I'm deaf as post and once slept through having a battery of 203mm Howitzers putting 6 rounds within 150 meters of where I was (although, thankfully lower on the hill at OP 8/Blydorn Tower at Graf).
 
As a result, loud noises don't bother me that much.
 
I knew several people who were at Hunter Army Air Field with (was it the 2d?) Ranger Batt.     
Ward Tipton Added Jan 12, 2019 - 12:40am
Did my time in Rucker, Knox and "Panama" so not familiar with who may have been housed outside that ... and never saw the base in Panama except twice ... though I was unconscious the second time so I saw even less than I did when I was going in on the back of a closed up truck. 
Ward Tipton Added Jan 12, 2019 - 12:41am
As I was sitting here at 0400 this morning, listening to the "Marching Band" strike up perhaps the worst rendition I have ever heard of the Colonel Bogey March, I could not help but think how beautiful it was. Barangay (Neighborhood) Festival begins today ... no permits, no licensing, just people deciding to get together and celebrate. Freedom is grand ... even if it is not always as quiet as we may wish. 
Katharine Otto Added Jan 12, 2019 - 1:09am
Ryan,
I don't understand what's funny abut that.  I'm a book reader, quiet meditation, introspection kind of person, but the noise makes all that difficult, and it costs me in taxes.  
 
I wish Uncle Sam would quit doing our thinking for us, if that's what it is.  If Uncle Sam could sit quietly and meditate, maybe we wouldn't have all these noisy and expensive wars.
Katharine Otto Added Jan 12, 2019 - 1:19am
Stone,
If they're speaking shit, it's probably better if no one understands.  I don't think that's specific to any one country.
 
Ward,
Nuances in spoken or written language are hard to interpret, even if you supposedly speak the same language.  How many people misunderstand the message, even in their own languages?  As Ryan notes above, conversation is a lost art.  Rather, I wonder how many people throughout history have ever learned the art of conversation, 
 
Events like festivals are supposed to be noisy.   Also, you know they are time-limited.  
Katharine Otto Added Jan 12, 2019 - 1:25am
John,
I worked a temporary job in Columbus, GA, near Fort Benning, and the noise there was the worst I've ever heard.  In addition to the assaults on my eardrums here, listed above, Columbus had trains, burglar alarms, a major highway with semis and other traffic.  That place was so loud, the ground vibrated.  It would have kept even a deaf person awake.
 
You're familiar with Hunter, then?  Have you been to Savannah?
John Minehan Added Jan 12, 2019 - 6:25am
It's odd, the last time I went to Bragg, back in 2002, the flight continued on to Savannah, GA after Raleigh Durham, NC.  It was surprising how many people with short hair continued on, sort of a good deal for CENTCOM.
 
But, no, as many people I have known from the Ranger Batt and 24th ID (Mech), I never got there.  For that matter, I never got to FT Campbell or served with the 101st ABN (AASLT).     
Leroy Added Jan 12, 2019 - 9:21pm
"You can tune noise out by going deaf, something I've considered."
 
Not something I recommend.  Maybe total deafness would work, but I suspect one feels the vibrations.  Being partially deaf just means you hear more of one sound than another.  I no longer hear the chirping of birds but I hear low frequency sounds very well.  
 
Tokyo was a pleasant place.  Everyone was so respectful of those around them.  Once away for the transportation hubs, it was quiet.  It's not so true in the smaller cities.

Recent Articles by Writers Katharine Otto follows.