Tags


Just some random thoughts I've had over the past days.
I've left out anything truly X-rated or which would get me
arrested.

I.

It's a noisy world.

My oxygen machine sounds like a bulldozer when it is
running. And I don't mean a contemporary bulldozer
— I mean one of those big, strange-looking bulldozers
from the 1930s. It tends to block out just about every
other noise at night.

And there are many noises at night. Lying in bed sleeping,
back last year before I was running the oxygen machine,
I started listening to the Sounds of the Night.

Dogs barking, sirens from fire trucks and police cars
and ambulances, the occasional plane flying overhead,
people slamming doors, the ever present trains running
past a few blocks away…

I got to wondering: Would it ever be possible to find
true quietude?

What about up on Mt. Everest? I would suppose it might
be a little more quiet there — but even then you would
have the howl of the wind. And there are planes going
over even in the Himalayas.

A submarine? Hmmm, that might be a bit quiet. Though I
wonder if there might be various mechanical noises
going on.

II.

Last year I was standing on the bus stop and a car pulled
up to the intersection. It stopped for a second, checked
for traffic, then went across the street. It made no sound
whatsoever.

It was a Toyota Prius, running in its lower alternate fuel
mode of electric.

Think how much more quiet the world would be if every
vehicle on the road was like that.

III.

Two years ago here in Spokane we got bombed with about
20" of snow, all within about 2 days. It pretty much shut
down the city for a while.

For a few days there were few or no cars on the roads
at all. And of course snow has a way of dampening sound
— I don't know the acoustic reason for that but it does,
and it is one thing I really like about snow.

IV.

What about outer space? It is supposed to be dead silent
in space, as space is a vacuum and cannot transmit sound.
But I imagine that even in a space suit you can hear your
own breathing inside the suit.

As for the International Space Station, I would think that
would be a lot like a submarine with various noises of the
equipment working. Or maybe not. I guess I'll have to find
an astronaut and ask.

Maybe there should be a web site called "Ask an Astronaut."
Oh, I'd better check. Knowing the internet these days there
probably already is.

V.

Last night I walked back from my sister's apartment through
Coeur d'Alene Park. We had a couple of inches of snow the
previous night and the park looked pristine and beautiful.
The snow dampened the sound of the traffic on the streets
and there were snowflakes gently falling. It was gorgeous,
and I thought to myself that if my time on Earth were to
end right there that at least I would go out perfectly happy.

But as I approached the end of the park, a high-pitched
wail hit my ears. It was hideous. Eventually I discovered
that the source was a guy out at the edge of his yard with
a leaf blower, trying to blow all the old fallen leaves away.

Hey, guy — a little bit late for that with snow on the ground
— you brain-damaged shit.

VI.

Caves. I've known some pretty quiet caves.

Advertisements