There is some moronic teenager who drives home from school every day, and when he does, I can hear him all the way from the traffic light in town until he passes my street. I can hear him inside my house with all the windows closed. That is how stinkinous loud his car stereo is.
I've come to the conclusion that he feels the need to bludgeon the entire damn town with his bass because he's afraid that someone will discover how small his penis is. I mean, I can't imagine any other reason. I'm one of those people who just can't fathom people who are utterly inconsiderate and thoughtless; I figure that there must be some reason this stupid attention-whore has to have such a loud stereo other than simple lack of consideration for others.
It would be nice if the police would/could enforce the laws against noise pollution, but apparently they don't give a rat's ass.
And the cars you normally see with those kinds of stereos in them--well, just as an example, today I saw some moron in a mid-90s Dodge Neon with one of those stupid-loud stereos.
Cars are getting increasingly expensive--new cars have never seen a price cut--and most of these idiots couldn't afford the audio hardware if they bought a new car, anyway. So you have the case of the moron kid who owned a late '80s Dodge Omni, and doubled the value of the car by pumping it chock-full of extraneous audio hardware. And then parking that car in the parking lot of my apartment building after 10 PM with the stereo going THUD...THUD...THUD... while he went into his girlfriend's apartment for a visit.
The only reason for doing this is to annoy other people. There is no value to the owner of the car; past a certain point the ears cannot receive any more sound, and above around 120 decibels it starts to hurt and to damage the hearing, so the owner of the car-cum-WMD must wear ear plugs. Particularly if the stupid thing is audible more than a quarter of a mile away, inside a closed building.
It's about to the point that I'm ready to install a remote cutout in my car's exhaust, so when one of these asshats pulls up alongside me I can bludgeon HIM with my car's unmuffled exhaust.
Continuing my foray into the world of audio, I'm going to discuss the issue of harmonics. Sound doesn't always resonate purely, and in special cases something can sound like something else.
In the case I'm thinking of, it's my fan.
I have slept with a fan by my bed for countless years now. (Even in winter.) The fan provides a nice gentle white noise, which covers most of the noises which would otherwise wake me up. It also helps me regulate my body temperature so that I'm as comfortable as possible; I like to sleep in a cool room and the fan can make a warm room feel cooler.
But it's not all good.
Ever since I was about ten years old I have been terrified of tornados. You see, I had this nightmare one night, the kind where it's a really nice summer day and everything is great.
For some reason I went into the living room. Golden sunlight shone through the west window and it was really beautiful, and I wanted to look out that window, so I went to it.
Not more than half a mile away a huge, black, triple tornado was bearing down on the town. So I ran into the kitchen and warned my parents that there was a tornado coming!
Of course--as is typical of such dreams in children--my parents didn't listen to me, saying that the sirens would have sounded if there were a tornado. I was just gearing up a reply when I heard the sound of the church bell hitting the ground, and Mom got this look on her face...and that's when I woke up, scared out of my wits.
It made quite an impression on me, as you can tell...and from that day forth, any time I hear a siren it half-scares the crap out of me, even when I'm expecting it, even when it's a bright shiny sunny day without a cloud in the sky. In winter.
So what does this have to do with harmonics?
Well...the fan doesn't make pure white noise, you see. The fan makes other sounds. Under the right circumstances, I may suddenly hear a soft alto hum--and I'll bolt awake instantly, shutting the fan off, ears straining at the sudden silence...and then I realize that I was hearing an overtone from the fan, not an actual storm warning siren.
Since I moved back here, though, it hasn't been as much of a problem. There's a siren about a quarter-mile from here, and when they test it, it's painfully loud even with the house closed up. When it goes off, there is no mistaking what it is, and it cuts right through the fan noise.
This evening, then, as I was sitting down to dinner, a thunderstorm was arriving here; I had some music on. And suddenly I heard this sound. With the fan, the AC, and the music on, I could not tell if it was a harmonic overtone or the music or--so I hurried to the front door and opened it...and heard nothing but birds and traffic.
In July of 2003, when I was still living in Cedar Rapids, we had a hell of a thunderstorm one night. It had rained earlier that day, and the air was so saturated with moisture that mist hugged the ground in low spots, like in a jungle. As night fell, thunderstorms brewed up, and it got pretty bad pretty quickly.
The tornado sirens went off, but we didn't hear them because we were inside the apartment with the fans and the AC on. Fortunately we had the TV on and they mentioned on the TV that the sirens had gone off.
We--my then-girlfriend and I--ended up inviting several of our neighbors to shelter themselves in our garage.
Just another example of what it's like to be me, I suppose.