Monday, November 24, 2014's okay

 Forgetting is okay!  Read about neurogenesis, exercise and forgetting here:

Monday, October 20, 2014

Finger-Wag of the Week

Oprah's channel, OWN, broadcast and interview by her of Pema Chodron on Sunday.
The captions were pretty accurate.
But they were so out-of-phase with the speech that they were basically useless for someone who is listening and reading at the same time.  Major-channel captions are almost always in synch for this reason.  And the FCC rules say they have to be.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

"Start Making Sense" -- lead article on Be Hear Now, Beacon Reader.

How our brains and ears collaborate to help us hear, and conspire to pull the rug out from under us when pretty much anything goes wrong.  Central and peripheral auditory processing, Your Brain on Noise, bit-rot in your auditory software.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

"Be Hear Now" on Beacon Reader

The Be Hear Now project on Beacon Reader is a "go!"  Stay tuned for news and views on sound, hearing, culture, science, you name it....
Be Hear Now

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Be Hear Now Deadline for Support Approaching!

The deadline for supporting Be Hear Now on Beacon Reader is Friday, October 3!
You can sign on for as little as $5/month for 6 months.
Think about it....and take a look:
Be Hear Now

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Sunday, September 21, 2014

BE HEAR NOW -- on Beacon Reader

 I've just started this new project on Beacon Reader, a platform for independent journalists to share discoveries and experiences.  Mine, below, is about hearing, from all angles....not just what happens when it "breaks."

 BE HEAR NOW on Beacon Reader

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Breaking News: iPhone 6 has a headphone/audio jack

That's right!  You read right!

The newly-unveiled iPhone 6 (still) has a 3.5 mm headphone jack!
Rumors were rampant that Apple was going to toss the jack under the bus in order to make it thinner/smaller, but they didn't.
Maybe we should start a rumor about why they kept it.....

Monday, August 18, 2014

Emergency or Volume Boost? Hotel phone system says they are the same thing....

From my brother-in-law:

"The Hyatt in San Diego that I just checked into brilliantly decided that
they'd use the same button for "Hand Volume" and "Emergency".  I.e., you pick
up the phone and want to boost the handset volume, and instead you get
their emergency number.  The guy there said Oh You Have To Push It After
You've Dialed, d'oh .... except I tried that just now and it didn't work
*then* either.

Harumph.  Where's the local ADA pitbull lawyer?"

(answers gratefully accepted at

Thursday, August 14, 2014

New Hearing Aid Diary, week......14

Well, it's looking like the receiver-in-the-canal aids are not going to work for me.  The right aid has, more than once, stopped delivering sound altogether (despite filter and battery change) or gotten so staticky that it sounded like someone was frying bacon in my ear.

My theory-in-use is that the right aid is malfunctioning because my right ear canal is a tight fit.  And that I sweat like a 'tit cochon in the summer here in Williamsburg, VA.  I'm on my third attempt at getting a good fit for the receiver in that ear, and that's the one that I had a mastoidectomy in when I was 3.  I think maybe they put the pieces back together in a way that makes it tough to cram a receiver in there. 

Worth mentioning, though.  As we struggled with the fit question (including whether it was indeed a fit question), I used up my state-mandated 3-month no-fault trial period.  My audiologist negotiated and extra month with the manufacturer, on the basis that we had all (them included) been going back and forth so many times, when we hit the 90-day mark, I had just gotten the third set of receivers, so I still needed more "trial" period.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Parrot Toy!

The filter inserter for my new aids..........who knew?

Friday, June 20, 2014

New Hearing Aid Diary, Week 6

Things seem to be humming along, except when they're not.  Odd effects like almost no volume in one ear when I turn it on first thing in the morning.  And only one aid giving the sound cue when I switch programs. 
So far, they don't seem to be drowning in sweat, which there is plenty of in my ears....this is Williamsburg, VA, and it's summer.
My audiologist is getting a new/different receiver for my right ear, which is the one with the tiny canal that does a 90-degree turn right inside the entrance.  It's a stretch to expect the receiver-in-canal style of aid to work in such a tight space.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

iPhone 6 and accessibility

Just filed this report with the FCC:

"I have read that Apple is going to discontinue the audio jack on the iPHone 6.  This will make it impossible for me, and many others, to use the phone with a neckloop and T-coils in our hearing aids.  This will make the iPhone inaccessible to those who can only use it in this way.  here is a link to an article about the change:
...and here is an article (on the right side) about how we use the smartphone and its audio jack with our hearing aids to make phones calls, etc.
By the way, bluetooth is not anywhere near as good in terms of speech clarity."

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Turn it the )@($&@&$_ down!

At a concert last week at the National Theater (Richmond, VA), the sound level (using AudioTools app) was >100 dBA for sustained periods of at least 30 minutes.  At least twice.  Max was 108 dBA.  Even given the inaccuracy of the app, that's pretty @$)(@*#&$^ loud.
My husband and I left early, and vowed never to go to that venue again (this was the second time we had been blown away by the volume; first time we thought it was just a f(the band).
Trying to figure out how to report this....there were people working in the place.

Monday, June 2, 2014

New Hearing Aid Diary

I'm thinking I'm going to switch back to the larger aids; they have a volume adjustment on the aid itself.  The tiny/micro ones don't, so you have to use a remote control, which is really easy to leave in a place that is not readily available/findable.  Not good for  59-year-old who misplaces things.  Even my keys.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

New Hearing Aid Diary, week three, day two

Driving around Jamestowne Island today with the car windows down.  Heard a bird call from outside the car, over the car engine noise.   Great crested flycatcher.  I can't remember the last time that happened.

Monday, May 26, 2014

New Hearing Aids Diary, week three

My right aid was sounding very clogged, so I took out the wax protector, replaced it, and the new one fell off.  Couldn't tell if it was in my ear canal or on the floor of my hotel room.  They are, literally, the size of a pinhead.  They come with special tiny devices to remove and replace them.  Maybe part of the problem was that I didn't have one of those devices with me, so I had to use a corkscrew instead.  Kind of a blunt instrument, in that context.  I'm not telling my audiologist; she'll get mad at me.  Good thing I always travel with a corkscrew in my luggage!  I guess.

Also, everything was really loud, including all varieties of background noise.  When I talked to my sister in the car, the volume would soar way way up, and then ramp back down gradually....... until I started talking again.  I had to go back to my previous aids until I saw the audiologist. She got on the phone with tech support and made some changes that solved most of the problems (a few are left, but none as irritating as that).

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

New Hearing Aid Diary

Day Two

There is a little voice in my head.  It is a woman's voice, and she tells me what program my hearing aids are in, when I change the program.  She has a very calm, whispery voice, which is nice, but it's hard to hear sometimes.

I swear, when she tells me I'm in the "Zen" program, she says it a little more whispery so as not to disturb my spiritual balance.  Oddly enough, the Zen program comes right before the Master (default) program, so if I cycle through the programs kind of fast, she says, "Zen Master."  Coincidence?

I still want Michael Palin's voice, like my sister Beth has on her GPS.  Or Bugs Bunny.

New Hearing Aid Diary

Day One
Just got back from the audiologist.  Whoa. 
You'd think she might've prepared me for my new "Zen" program, which plays soft, relaxing background music for me, while keeping me in the moment.  No small task.  So, I just ended up with the "aqua" music, which apparently most people like best.  I'm going to have to try that "Led Zep" one, too, but I really want Philip Glass. 

Mentioned it to a few people, just for laughs, and some of them thought I was kidding.  Who, me?