Bits and Pieces

Yesterday was a strange day. Work was blissfully uneventful. I came home, rode the bike for a little over twenty minutes, and got something to eat. While eating, I took care of some administrative items. By the time I had finished, I could barely keep my eyes open. It was three hours before my normal bedtime, but I laid down anyway. Ten hours later, I still didn’t want to get up. I’m still recovering from a week old hacking cough. I hope I’m not catching something else, too.

Hair color changes everything. There’s this girl at work. She’s cute. Thick in the torso like I like, tight little ass that could be bigger but is fine as is, average face, bottle auburn hair. At least that’s how she used to look. Yesterday she came in with blonde hair. I barely recognized her. As a blonde, she looks tired and worn. Almost old, despite being maybe half my age.

They hired this new kid as a machine operator recently. Cross eyed, seems as though his head was used as a basketball regularly as a baby. He’s nice, though. Conscientious worker. I despise him. He chases every pair of tits in the plant. A few minutes ago, I saw the little fucker talking to one of the girls that I asked out last year.

Hearing loss sucks. I’m to the point where I struggle to understand words over the phone if either end is wireless, and in person if there is much background noise. It’s embarrassing and frustrating. I’ve mostly lost touch with my best friend from when I lived in Virginia, simply because I can’t have a normal conversation with him unless we happen to cross paths. Many businesses require telephone communication, particularly to resolve problems. I spent probably twenty minutes on the phone with one of my credit card companies the other day, during which time I know I asked the poor lady to repeat herself a hundred times. Eventually, I gave up and terminated the call. A conversation on the factory floor? Forget it. This morning somebody stopped by my plater to pick up some paperwork. They initiated what seemed to be small talk. After the third “huh?”, I just gave a half smile and an occasional nod until they left. I have no idea what the fuck I nodded about. Somebody might’ve died for all I know.

Overnight, the planet must have reversed direction. My Parker Vector is writing more smoothly than my Pilot 78G this morning. But the Sonnet dried out enough since yesterday afternoon that it skipped until I wiped off the nib. That’s disappointing, but not a surprise.

I think winter has finally arrived in my neck of the woods. Snow fell out of the sky on Sunday, and this morning at 0700 local the mercury indicated 16 degrees Fahrenheit. I’d gladly trade for 16 Celsius.

I ran into a new password requirement the other day. “No dictionary words.” That was, or course, in addition to the usual minimum length of ten characters, at least one capital letter, at least one lower case letter, at least one number and at least one symbol. How the fuck is one supposed to accomplish that without doing something like alternating letters and numbers, or not using any vowels? One of my LUKS encrypted hard drives has a passphrase that is forty-four characters in length. It fails their criteria on two counts. Even after telling the exact length, I’ll still give an ounce of gold to anyone who can crack it in less than five years. Fucking idiots. Especially when the password reset feature only requires knowing the answers to three questions chosen during account setup. Let the user choose their password and suffer any consequences if what they choose is too easy to guess and they get hacked.

Okay, I think I’m done for today.

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4 Responses to Bits and Pieces

  1. Jin Chiang says:

    Have you made an appointment with an audiologist yet? Growing old sucks as I know all too well. A hearing aid could amplify speech and minimize background noise in person.

    Then maybe something like theBoom Bone Conduction would do the trick for calls if your cochleas are okay. Unfortunately, the price is an astronomical $499.99. Or if you do not normally talk while standing under jet engines, Amazon offers the Aftershokz AS450 Sportz M3 mobile bone conduction headphones with microphone for a more palatable $44.95.

    Another bone conduction headset due out around May is the BatBand from Studio Banana Things for $199.00 if you’re more of a futuristic kind of guy.

    • alaskan454 says:

      I haven’t made any appointments. Perhaps my information is dated, but I was under the impression that real hearing aids cost well into the thousands of dollars, which I cannot afford. I guess I should make the appointment and find out. That won’t cost but a couple hundred, and I can handle that.

      My problem isn’t amplification. I perceive sound pressure reasonably normally. It’s just garbled and unintelligible under many circumstances. For example, landline to landline calls are fine. Cell to landline are usually okay. Cell to cell is problematic, and impossible if the other party uses a wireless/Bluetooth device. Face to face in a reasonably quiet environment is easy at normal conversational levels. Add background noise, and you can put a distortion free speaker at 80 decibels right at my ear, and I’ll still struggle to understand.

      I have mild to moderate tinnitus, and while I’m sure it’s a factor, I don’t think it’s a large contributor. I dunno. Stuff I should tell the audiologist, I guess. I’m sure my problem isn’t unique. In fact, I know it isn’t. Most of my immediate family suffer similar symptoms.

      Thanks for the suggestions and the push for a professional evaluation. I’ll make the appointment and keep you updated.

  2. Jin Chiang says:

    I’ve experienced the same symptoms as you have. It is more a matter of fidelity than volume. After my doctor performed an ear irrigation, I stared with fascinated horror at the sheer amount of cerumen in the basin.

    I could hear much better. A mobile call was easy. Talking in person even with high ambient noise was understandable.

    Let your doctor know money is tight. I’m sure the internet or Walmart would have some affordable choices if you do need a hearing aid. Then it’s time to reconnect with your friend in Virginia.

    Real friends are few and far between.

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