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Monday, September 21, 2015

The Unbearable Noise of Middletown

Friends who visit our home often remark on how quiet our neighborhood is.  Folks generally stay indoors most of the time and we have a little patch of forest across the street, which serves as a buffer from the main road.  It seems really peaceful... until it's time to shoot "Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en."

There are a number of methods for getting the best sound possible on a video, but the one that works best for us, at least for now, involves me wearing a microphone clipped to my dress (I'll leave you to ponder where the rest of the mechanism is stashed).  The mic is very small, but make no mistake, that baby is sensitive.  It picks up noises you didn't even know you were hearing.  Glider planes from nearby Randall Airport, which take off pretty much constantly on a beautiful summer day, sirens from volunteer fire departments in neighboring towns, revving motorcycles and muscle cars, emergency vehicles, barking dogs, shrieking children, lawn mowers in summer and snow blowers in winter, construction equipment - all of those noises that one tunes out on a daily basis come together to create a cacophony that suddenly has us feeling like we might as well live in the middle of Times Square.  And the mic picks it all up, which means we stop A LOT to wait for the noise to pass.

And then there's Jason.  If the U.S. had an Olympic team for making noise, he'd surely be one of its stars.  He doesn't do it on purpose - he's just totally hapless, yet also apparently psychically connected to us.  We can tell with 100% certainty when he will mow his lawn - when we turn on the lights to begin shooting.  Never mind that he just mowed two days prior.  Out comes the mower, along with the barking dogs for company and his motorcycle, so he can let it run for... some reason.  I don't know anything about motorcycles, so I'm not sure why one turns them on and lets them idle for a half hour or so without going anywhere, but apparently they do.  Jason is a one-person production stalling team.  And it's not like we can ask him to stop.  He has every right to mow his lawn, however unnecessary said mowing may be.  So we watch with fascination as he mows in a random pattern that makes no sense that we can discern and washes his bike with Windex as it chugs on its kickstand.  We might as well - we're delayed until the noise stops!

As someone who tries to solve problems, I've narrowed our solutions to our noise issues to four:

1. Move someplace truly quiet, but I don't think we'd be happy, since that place would be out in the middle of nowhere.  We're not "out in the middle of nowhere" people.
2. Find a studio in which to shoot.  I love that idea, and when we get a few thousand more subscribers (please click here to subscribe) to our YouTube channel we'll be able to shoot free in the state of the art YouTube studios, but in the meantime we'd have to pay a lot for that option.
3. Soundproof our house.  It would be ugly and expensive, but you gotta do what you gotta do.
4. Shoot in the middle of the night.  It may come to that.

Of course, as I write this it's incredibly quiet.  All I hear are the birds chirping, the dehumidifier, the cars and trucks on Dolson Avenue... actually, maybe it's not that quiet.  I guess life is loud in 2015!

Here it is! The combo lawn mower-snow plow-production delay machine!


  1. Great vlog! Same issue for us down here in "The Commonwealth"! Last month our neighbor had a new roof and guttering installed...sigh.LoL. Doorbells (packages) ringing phones, lawn mowers all happening here as well....and then there's the creepy ice cream truck that plays Christmas carols in July!!!

    1. LOL! Our neighbor got a new roof yesterday - VERY noisy! Keep fighting the good fight! :D

  2. Kelly, my wife and I live on a very busy street/Hwy. In the evenings we enjoy sitting on our front walk/patio while cooling down from the days temps. Typically we see maybe 50, 18 wheeler's pass by hauling everything from Fruits to Nuts and Cattle to Turkeys in the hour or so we relax. They begin around 4 :AM and stop about 10:PM. The Sheriffs cars along with the CHP cars pass by and the officers tend to wave, OBTW we always have a beverage container in our hands, "wine glass". We have made video's with the sounds of passing cars and trucks, we also Officiate Marriages in our yard, 20 acres of Walnut Trees. When the drivers of the 18 Wheeler's see a bride in the Orchard, they always blow their horns. Sounds great when the video is recording ;-( Life in the Country..

    1. I guess there is just no escaping the noise, short of moving to the middle of the desert, which probably just brings different types of noise!

  3. It's not going to be any quieter if you move to southern California.

    1. I think we'll have to deal with it unless we move to a mountaintop in Tibet. :D