Describing Sounds to the Deaf

How would you describe a sound to someone born deaf?

Think about explaining how your alarm clock sounds. How does a cat’s meow sound? What sound does your keyboard make when you type? Simple things to people who have heard sounds before.

What can you hear right now? What little sounds are going on around you, unnoticed?

Pick one sound in particular. Describe that sound for someone who has never heard anything.

It helps to consider your other senses:

Frying bacon sounds like ants running up your arm. Little sizzles and tingles the odd pop and snap as they tickle your skin.

Turning a page in a book sounds like brushing your hair. Feeling the brush move through your hair softly, smoothly.

Try it!


Lexophile is a Good Word

My Mother forwarded this in email today:

“Lexophile” is a word used to describe those who love using words in rather unique ways, such as “you can tune a piano, but you can’t tuna fish”, or “to write with a broken pencil is pointless.” A competition to see who can come up with the best one is held every year. This year’s winning submission is posted at the very end.

When fish are in schools, they sometimes take debate.
A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.
When the smog lifts in Los Angeles U.C..L.A.
The batteries were given out free of charge.
A dentist and a manicurist married. They fought tooth and nail.
A will is a dead giveaway.
With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.
A boiled egg is hard to beat.
When you’ve seen one shopping Center you’ve seen a mall.
Police were called to a day care Center where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.
Did you hear about the fellow whose whole left side was cut off? He’s all right now.
A bicycle can’t stand alone; it is two tired.
When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.
The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine is now fully recovered.
He had a photographic memory which was never developed.
When she saw her first strands of gray hair she thought she’d dye.
Acupuncture is a jab well done. That’s the point of it.

And the cream of the wretched crop:
Those who get too big for their pants will be exposed in the end.

A New Old iMac

My sister has given me her old iMac. I’ve never used a Mac so it will be an adventure. I set it up tonight but didn’t do much beyond turning it on and then changing the clock and date. I want to look into what it may need for updates and how far I can update the system’s hardware with new software. I wrote down all the information and have found it on the Apple site. Turns out it is older than I thought, but that shouldn’t matter as much for a Mac as it does for  PC running Windows.

It’s an iMac G3 and I found a User Guide which I will read through tomorrow. It’s getting a bit late to do more tonight. I also found a New User Guide which might help a PC user adapt to a Mac.

Flickr: Vintage iMac

Flickr: iMac G3

Flickr: Apple iMacs

The Vintage Mac Museum

Time Needs Batteries

There is something kind of strange, sort of supernatural, about having your clock die in the early hours of the day the time changes back an hour. My little Indiglo bedside clock died. If I had only it to rely on I would have woken up thinking it was just after 5:AM. It’s a reliable clock. No sign it needed a new battery until the very end when it just gave up the ghost. The Indiglo still works. It will let me check the time in the dark. Of course, it will be the wrong time. Isn’t that a trick or treat?

Think of something small, with a supernatural feeling, that could foreshadow some kind of change or danger in a story you are writing (or could write, or just write a scene for fun).

Abandoned on the Planet

Remember that being by oneself is not the same as being abandoned. The world is still there. – Barbara Feldon

What if the world stopped being there? What if one morning you woke up to the sound of your alarm clock. You start your morning routine and begin to notice how very quiet it is. When you look out the window you can see cars on the street, all the usual things are there but not one person anywhere in sight. Depending on where you live this could see a big deal or no big deal at all. You turn on the radio or the TV to get an update on the news, only it’s all just static. Every station, every channel… just fuzz.

The water works, you have a shower, brush your teeth. The power is still on you notice as you open the fridge for breakfast. But, it’s all quiet. Oddly quiet.

You feel cheered up when you hear a bird outside. Things must be ok if the birds are still chirping.

But, things are very different today. Without explanation you are suddenly the only person in the world. All the other people have disappeared overnight. Like a mass alien abduction… what else could even come close to explaining such a freak thing. Unless this is all just a dream. Surely that’s it.

A month or so later you have to admit to yourself the dream theory is not working.

Other than the mystery of wondering where all the people went you are doing ok. You have plenty of resources since you don’t have to share anything. (The animals don’t count, they take care of themselves and don’t tend to bother you). The electric power and water are running just fine, no sign of a slow down. It must help that you use so little compared to how much was used when everyone was still here.

You’ve done all the things you thought you would ever do if you had all the time and resources in the world. Because, you do have all the time you want to do anything and everything. No one tells you not to.

It’s an odd feeling to be this alone in the world. Like driving a massive space ship all by yourself, you as the pilot, navigator, engineer, and everything else. Some days the world feels so huge when you thing of how big the planet is and how small you are. Some days the world feels small when you get into a good book and forget how alone you are.

Write about being alone in the world. How does it feel to be the only person on the planet? Describe the feelings of being this alone, create some metaphors to describe how you feel.

Can’t Sleep?

My nephew, Zack, is having trouble getting to sleep. I think part of the problem is himself. Before he even gets into bed he has already told himself he will not be able to get to sleep. With all the power our brains have over our body it makes sense to me that if the brain says it will not sleep the body is not likely to relax and let sleep happen. My sister says it is all the video games he plays, right up until bedtime and I’m sure that isn’t helping but it is not the only thing.

For Zack I have been looking for ideas that help people get to sleep.

From All Women’s Talk I thought the best tips were to clear your mind, have a clean environment and a cold bedroom. I always sleep better if it is at least cool versus warm. So much nicer to snuggle under a blanket than feel smothered by the air itself. WikiHow had the most unique ideas for falling asleep.

Other tips:

  • A warm bath or shower can help. Also, the evening is a better time to use the hot water than the more expensive daytime hours.
  • Practice good hygiene. Give your teeth a brush and swish some mouthwash. Clip your finger and toe nails. Brush your hair a hundred strokes.
  • A hot drink, like the standard warm milk.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Gather everything you will need for the next morning. Set your clothes out and all the accessories you will wear. If you need to take anything with you or have a plan for getting somewhere do it all before bed so it can be off your mind.
  • Have regular exercise. Giving your body a work out causes the need for sleep later.
  • Don’t exercise right at your bedtime.
  • Don’t eat a meal or snack right at bedtime. Better yet, don’t eat 3 hours before going to bed.
  • But, don’t go to bed hungry either. Have a very light snack rather than lying there feeling hungry.
  • Have a regular schedule for your bedtime. Condition yourself to know when your body will expect to be getting to bed and sleeping.
  • Silence, as quiet as you can manage. Try earplugs if there are still outside noises you can’t control.
  • Darkness, cover the windows if necessary. Close the door for more darkness, you can plug in a fan if you want air flow.
  • Change your mattress. Get a new one if it is old and giving you backaches. Try several types of mattress to find one which really suits you.
  • Try a new pillow. As with a new mattress you may need a firmer, softer or less fluffed pillow. Find which type suits you. There are even full body pillows which you can have at your back.
  • Get some sunlight during the day. Your body clock needs to be kept on track.
  • Sleep in another room if sharing your bed or someone snoring is keeping you awake. Of course, this is only a temporary solution. In the morning you need to talk about a better solution.
  • Sound therapy. Use ocean sounds, gentle rain and other simple recorded sounds to help you relax and fall asleep.
  • Relax your jaw, then go through all the other parts of your body, relaxing each one.
  • Count sheep or goats or something else that will be dull and monotonous. Don’t count anything that will make you want to get out of bed.
  • Massage. You can rub your own temples, up and down your arms and use a back scratcher to give yourself a backrub.
  • Plan your next vacation.
  • Read awhile to take your mind off your busy, frustrating or upsetting day. Don’t pick something that will be too stimulating.
  • Try a couple of different sleeping positions, even try sleeping with your head at the other end of the bed. But, don’t get into doing bed Olympics, just try a couple of positions and then settle on one.
  • Give meditation and/ or self hypnosis a try.
  • Talk to an imaginary friend, no heated arguments.
  • Plan your dream for the evening. Begin with the location, what you will be wearing, what kind of weather it will be…
  • Wear nightclothes/ pajamas which don’t bunch up and become uncomfortable or have tight elastics and such. You need to be comfortable.
  • Practice deep breathing. Lie on your back and take slow, deep breaths. You don’t want to feel like you are suffocating yourself, the idea is to slow your breathing until you are already breathing as if you are asleep.
  • Try aromatherapy.
  • Don’t use your bed for anything but sleeping. (Or sex, which tends to lead to sleeping too). If you are used to doing work, watching TV and etc. in your bed then it isn’t a place just to relax and sleep. Your mind isn’t conditioned to think of your bed as just the place you sleep.
  • Daydream in bed. Put yourself into a situation where feel relaxed and are with people you like having around you.
  • Be your own kid and tell yourself a bedtime story, not out loud, just think it to yourself. Don’t make the story too exciting and keep yourself awake.
  • Tell yourself you are tired. Yawn for extra effect.
  • Imagine a pendulum, steadily swinging back and forth.
  • If you’ve been lying there 15 minutes or longer and have not begun to relax get up and do something boring which you have been putting off: match your socks, clean out the medicine cabinet, or watch the shopping channel if you’re feeling anti-productive.

What is your best sleeping tip? Write something new and creative and send it to someone who could use help getting to sleep.

Eye of Newt, Rule of Thumb and Hands of the Clock…

It’s a bit disappointing to go to a favourite blog and find they have no new updates at the time you expect them to be there.

What time do you make your blog posts? Even if you don’t choose (or have available) scheduled blog posts you can pick a good time for making a post go live to your blog. Whether you post every day or a few days a week or just every Tuesday, you should have some kind of a planned posting time.

I was posting at 6:00AM for several months. I thought that would be a decent time to get it out there, not too early and yet early enough. However, one day I changed it. It made a difference! I was surprised. Now I post at 8:00AM, sometimes 9:00AM. Not exactly, I’m just not an exact kind of grrl. I only change the hour on my scheduled post time, not the minutes.

After changing my post time I started getting more reader comments. Comments being the gold nugget when you are blogging and feeling kind of unnoticed and all wallflowery. So, more comments are nice and I’m trying to write better with more of the interesting ideas I get when I’m in the shower versus stuff that I think will make a post so I can stick to my daily post schedule. Which is also a good thing. Martha Stewart would be proud!

Since making this change I read that many people tend to read other blogs during the morning, between 8:00 and 9:00AM. This is also the time they make their own blog posts too. I guess people get to work early and have that hour before they have to be on the clock. I’ve done that, especially when I had to bus in the winter and you never knew how late you could be on those really cold days when you would much rather sneak off from work and just sit in a nice, warm and cosy coffee shop. But, I digress…

Consider what a prime posting time would be for you. If you can schedule posts you can set them up for any time you choose. If you don’t have that option see what time you are usually able to post. It is a good idea to stick to the same time. That way people will know when they can expect your updates, not just by the day of the week but by the hands of the clock too.

Time Skipping Clock

Great Aunt Emma gives you her time skipping clock. The rest of the estate passes to other relations. You were hoping to get something more valuable than a clock. The lawyer hands you a note from Great Aunt Emma along with the clock which looks like an old brass alarm clock. Maybe it’s at least an antique.

When you get home and actually sit down to get a better look at the clock and read the note you’re very surprised to find the clock is a time travel device. You can travel back or forward in time by one day. Only one day from the day you are in now. But, you have to pick back or forwards and stick to that. So you can relive a really great day or skip ahead and see what happens tomorrow. However, the current day will be lost to you as you are literally not in it when you are skipping one day back or one day forward.

Which do you pick? One day ahead, one day back or do you not use it at all, preferring to live each day and not miss any?

Sensual Fantasy of a Rogue Tomcat

You’re having a dream. It’s a great sensuous, romantic, erotic dream with a man (or woman) who you only see as body parts, the face never comes quite into focus. In the back of your mind you hear your alarm clock going off, beeping at you to wake up. But your dream lover is kissing your lips and sucking your toes at the same time and (even though it would usually be anatomically impossible) it’s very arousing and you are distracted from the real world. Eventually the beeping just disappears from your reality. The sensual dance in bed goes on and on. You have endless build up to orgasms and sometimes an orgasm or sometimes just a tease towards a better orgasm later.

Eventually it has to end as all things must have a beginning and then an end. You go to work, very late, but very relaxed and glowing. There’s a meeting scheduled and all staff must attend. More boring blah blah blah about some work related issues or another. A man in a nice suit walks by you on his way up to the front, he must be the speaker. Something about him… he has a lovely, familiar smell. As he speaks you notice his hands. Great hands, great hands that have touched you before… yet you’ve never seen his face.

Then he looks right at you… and winks. Not just any wink. A real scandalous, teasing, tomcat wink. How can it be your dream man is right there, real? Of course, that leads to the bigger question… do you stand there like a deer caught in the headlights or do you run like mad?!!