KARIN LAINE MCMILLEN AND SUMMERTIME – Marilyn Armstrong

Absolutely Not Cacophony

She has swans. She has a beloved dog and a pond for her swans. And she has a voice.

Cacophony is noise. This is a joyful noise.

Karin Laine McMillen and a song to go with the heat, humidity … and summertime.

WHAT NOT TO DO WHILE RUNNING DIAGNOSTICS – Marilyn Armstrong

Why is my computer freezing and sending me blue screens? I guess I should run some system diagnostics. I ran them recently and I was assured everything is hunky dory.

If it’s so hunky and dory, why does it keep freezing?

Diagnostics-89

FREEZE!

No, Marilyn! You cannot run diagnostics while surfing.  Bad Marilyn.

MORE FREEZING! 

No. You must not check email. Okay, check it, but don’t send anything. Shoot. Frozen again.

PUZZLEMENT

Why is it prompting me to update the drivers I just updated? Should I do it again? Nah. Waste of time.

BAFFLED CONFUSION

Why is Dell installing the software again? This is the fifth time. It’s installed. Geez. It’s just doing this to aggravate me.

HEADACHE, POUND, POUND, THUD

I need lunch. Afraid to leave the computer. Who knows what mischief it might get into?

STOMACH GURGLING

Bathroom, I don’t care what’s going on. I gotta go NOW. Computer? Sit! Stay! Don’t do anything while I’m gone.

FREEZE!

I guess no matter how boring it is, I should NOT play Bridge while running diagnostics.

ANOTHER FREEZE!

I suppose this means running diagnostics is not a perfect opportunity to thoroughly clean the keyboard.

HUH?

My system is fine. Absolutely nothing wrong. So what’s with all those Blue Screens of Death referencing my video card? Let’s stress test the video card.

ZZZ

This is more boring than watching paint dry. Are we there yet?

Diagnostics-91

RESULTS!

Everything is freaking fine. I’ll tell myself that the next time it locks up. Thanks for nothing. Another afternoon I can never get back.

EPILOGUE

It turns out that the fancy sound I use is part of the video card. This is the “fancy” sound most people only use when they are playing video games. I use it all the time because the sound is so much better than the standard sound. But, that means I really am using my video card for the sound I’m playing — while I’m photo-processing.

So if I’m listening to an audiobook while trying to process photographs using both Photoshop and Topaz filters, everything runs fine unless there’s a particularly big draw on the memory. Then, it just locks up the computer. Sometimes it brings up the blue screen, indicating a video card problem. It isn’t video or at least, it isn’t only the video.

It’s the combination of video and audio together.

The answer? I could choose to not use the fancy audio sound which runs on the big graphics card. Except, I don’t like the other sound.

Better yet, I can play the book on my Kindle and process photographs on the computer. The audio doesn’t use much memory, but Photoshop with Topaz uses a ton of it. And I’ve got 16 gigs of memory on this computer. It was a lot worse on the old computer which had a mere 12 gigs.

SOMEWHERE, SOMETHING IS BEEPING – Marilyn Armstrong

For years, I never knew what was beeping. I’d sit here in the living room and I’d hear something beeping. I could only guess where it was coming from and it drove me nuts.

Today, there was some very serious beeping. It seemed to be coming from the television.

I think that’s because everything Bluetooth in this house that wasn’t connected somehow got found by the TV speaker, so everything comes through that speaker. This includes our regular telephone, all the cameras, the cell phone (when it’s on). The dehumidifier, which beeps when it’s full. The microwave. The big and mini ovens, although they do not play through the TV speaker, having no Bluetooth capability.

And of course, all of our computers or tablets love beeping to tell you they are full, they needs uploading, downloading, charging, some other part needs charging or changing. Maybe the battery is failing to charge because the plug is out — and just sometimes, they beep to annoy you. It’s part of their software.

Everything beeps.

Until recently, only the dogs and I could hear the beeping. The dogs never appeared to care, but it drove me nuts. It wasn’t just that something was beeping. It was WHERE it was beeping. Upstairs? In the basement? It could be the hot water heater or the boiler or the dehumidifier or anything else. Maybe an old alarm clock someone left behind.

Tonight was different. Garry said: “What’s that noise?”

And I said: “You mean the beeping?”

“Is that what that is? It’s really annoying. And loud.

“I know. That’s why I wander around asking the house asking it ‘why are you beeping?’ The house never answers. Welcome to my world where things beep.”

We went searching for the beep. The dehumidifier was full, so Garry emptied it.  But the beeping continued.

Back upstairs, I finally realized it was the stair-climber. It was beeping, although why it was beeping, I had no idea. It had never beeped before.

After Garry gave up the hunt and went to bed removing his hearing gear on the way, I continued to try to figure it out. I finally followed the long wire to its outlet on the wall. Realized it was slightly loose, so I plugged it back in, more firmly, then straightened the wire and untangled the whole thing.

It hasn’t beeped again, so I guess I got it. Usually, things beep, then eventually stop beeping and I never figure out what beeped or why.

For all the aggravation of searching the house for whatever is making that noise, it was deeply gratifying that Garry’s cochlear implant has allowed him to share my world. To start to hear all those annoying little sounds that fill up our world. To have him equally annoyed by that noise was heartwarming.

At last, I am not the only one who hears the noise. This is huge! I am not alone!

TURNING UP THE SOUND!

We play sound loudly. The volume is up!

Garry doesn’t hear well and this is an old story. Now, finally, after long years of having other people living around here, we can finally turn up the TV to whatever level is comfortable for us without needing to listen to other people complain about it.

We know it’s loud. Sometimes, it’s very loud. If Garry needs it to be very, VERY loud, he wears headphones. That way he gets to hear everything and I don’t get pinned to the sofa by incoming sound waves.

Mind you, I like sound louder now than I did a couple of years ago. Time has a way with our eyes and ears and other parts. We need to talk louder — and slower. It’s not just not hearing the sound. It’s also about catching all the words … and fully understanding them. This is more of an issue for Garry because his hearing is worse, but it’s catching up with me, too.

Sui musicians. Older than me. Can they still hear?

It’s a subtle thing. The weirdest part of losing hearing is that you don’t think you are losing hearing. It just seems people are mumbling. Early in my life, I went for a hearing test and the answer really was my husband was mumbling. They told him to speak up. Problem solved. But that was 45 years ago.

I can hear most of the things that matter to me. I can’t hear faint sounds that were clear even last year. The beeping of one of the electronic devices in the kitchen — the microwave or the electric oven. I can’t easily distinguish where a particular sound is coming from, whether it’s in this room or down the hall or in the basement.

When I write I have always “tuned out” the sounds of the world around me, but now, I do it better. I tune out the world and it’s really tuned OUT.

My eyes, on the other hand, are getting better. I need weaker glasses with no reading glasses at all. I use my computer glasses for almost everything. If only the rest of my body would climb on board with my eyes. Maybe each year, I’d feel a little peppier than the previous one. I’d happily trade hearing for that peppy, perky, lively thing that used to be the norm for getting up in the morning. Being energetic. Wouldn’t that be something!

A “SNIPPET” – BY TOM CURLEY

This post will be very brief. Rather than writing something I want to show you something. My wife Ellin and I belong to an audio theater group called VoiceScapes Audio Theater.

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We do … well … audio theater. We are introducing a new feature we are going to post online called “Snippets”. What’s a Snippet Good question.

combiboilersleeds.com
combiboilersleeds.com

Basically Snippets are very short audio comic strips. I’m debuting our first Snippet here because it actually began as a post on this blog.  If TV Shows Were Real. And it is actually a variation of the format of Serendipity. Writing told with both words and pictures. I thought it be would appropriate to try it out first here. I’m also doing it because I really want your opinion. If you like it, great.

flickr.com
flickr.com

If it is horrible, tell me.

wineberserkers.com
wineberserkers.com

Really. No kidding. We’re experimenting here. So check it out. It’s only a couple of minutes long and I think it’s funny.  But I think farts are hilarious.