PART I: WIND CHIMES and other things that now bother this curmudgeon.
My grandmother had the best popcorn popper. You could smell the hot oil and watch the kernels releasing air just before they popped large and fast. I really liked her. She had always been a hard worker and independent. However, it grated on me how she disliked certain sounds (like drums), and smells (like strong perfumes). I saw the same thing happen with my parents as they aged (not the same sounds or smells). Now I understand because it is happening to me; certain things irritate me to my core. These irritations are not the same for every curmudgeon.
A. WIND CHIMES.
I sincerely don’t like them. However, I don’t mind YOU owning wind chimes as long as you do not subject ME to the constant din. I do avoid those craft stores where they have one hanging outside…I keep on trucking to the next store.
To be fair, I do not do well with noise in general. I never go back to a restaurant with music so loud you can’t have a conversation (even if I want to eat alone).
Reading the thoughts of others on the subject showed that there may be 2 sides to the issue, but further reading illustrated that there is only ONE side. If you like wind chimes you can have them, but only if you can turn them off when the sun goes down. Your neighbors did not sign up for 24/7/365 noise. I read one story which ended badly…the noise was so irritating to one man that he went over to cut them down, but the owner resisted his efforts so he stabbed her with the scissors.
Here’s what I read from those who have neighbors with them:
“I can’t leave my window open at night to listen to the night sounds.”
“It is neighborhood noise pollution.”
“Chaos, not music.”
“They are a form of torture.”
“I dream of starting each sunrise with a chainsaw.”
“Fingernails on a chalkboard.”
Some nicer ones:
“Silence is not evil.”
“I wouldn’t mind if they kept the sound in their own yard.”
The truth is they are unnecessary. If you like wind chimes you can get an app. I had an “a-ha” moment thinking about this subject which will make someone a fortune: How about “electronic” wind chimes! You don’t hear them unless your earbuds are tuned in…and you can even pipe that sound inside your home if you like it so much. Otherwise entirely silent.
Be nice to your neighbors and expect them to be respectful of you, too. Sunrise Sunday is the wrong time to mow the lawn. So, be better neighbors; wrap those suckers up at the end of the day or take them down. Nearby home-dwellers may find the peace more zestful than the noise.
I get it! You have rights! Absolutely, true…you do. And when you make that declaration you are instantly admitting that your neighbors have rights, too.
I don’t see the “draw” to be part of a crowd. I’ve been to a few crowd events – and disliked them. Can’t see the performers (or am sitting too close and get a kink in the neck). Can’t hear the event (or it is so loud I hear “noise” for days from tinnitus). Can’t use the bathroom (or wish I couldn’t). Can’t get a snack (or wish I didn’t have to mortgage the house to do so). Can’t find a parking spot within sight of the stadium (and can’t find the car afterward… “No! I think it was in section NM4xy6m222-g.”) Can’t get to my seat (then can’t get out of the stadium for hours).
It always seems to be my fortune to be seated near an incessant talker. Usually they are immediately behind me and on their phone or talking to the person next to them…of course only when the band is playing the songs I came to hear. Once I stood up, turned around, and kindly asked them to shut up. They were “offended.” … No! I was. They were ruining MY day.
Nope. Never again!
Instead, I now choose small venues and inexpensive events (if I have to walk away it cost me very little). I’m a curmudgeon.
C. WEIGHTS, MEASURES, AND TEMPERATURE
Admittedly, I do not like giving up what I have long known. That being said, I COULD glom onto the Metric System if it wasn’t for Temperature Scales. Metric DOES make more sense (and is easier to graph). However, the Celsius Temperature Scale is far less precise than Fahrenheit. By that, I mean that (roughly) for every degree Celsius there are 2 degrees Fahrenheit. That can make a huge difference when baking. 175 C. is 347 F. Many recipes call for 350 F. (Add a few minutes to your meatloaf recipe?) Or, 220 C. is 428 F. and 3+ degrees when baking cookies means burned bottoms and edges.
Oddly, I think only scientists ADD or MULTIPLY temperature readings. In 60+ years I’ve never had one occasion to do it. For most humans it is merely a matter of WHAT temperature. We want our weather report to be as accurate as possible. It matters to me whether it is 92 or 93 degrees.
I like that 72 degrees Fahrenheit is exactly the best home temperature for me. Where is that on Celsius? Neither 22 C., nor 23 C. You have to go into fractions. It is slightly less than 22 ¼ C. Equally troubling is which jacket to put on on a sunny 13 C. day? Should I wear a windbreaker or a flannel? I know the answer if you say 54 degrees F. I also know the answer if you say 55 F. (Both F. temps are notated as 13 C.) It is a crossover zone for me. 55 and sunny is windbreaker weather (I run warm).
So, I’d go for the world system of weights and measurements if we could keep Fahrenheit.
Copyright 2023 Donald Whelpley
[PLEASE NOTE that Don is always open to discussing the thoughts and opinions he shares here and welcomes comments as shared in the comment section. He doesn’t use other social media platforms, as I do, and won’t see whatever you’d like to share with him if you post it elsewhere. ~ Sherry]
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