Thursday, April 03, 2008

Coincidence ...

Coincidence can be a funny thing. Yesterday, I went to see Mr. Audiologist to get a new "hearing instrument." This a term they use instead of "hearing aid," so as not to scare people who remember grandpa's model, which looked like a brick clipped to his shirt, with a coil of wire leading to an earplug the size of a sound-suppressor shooting headphone ...


No, Grampa, I said 'It's five o'clock ..."

I blew out an eardrum scuba diving as a boy, and have been mostly deaf on that side since. I broke down half a dozen years ago and got one of the little electronic miracles that fits all of a piece into your ear canal, and whoa! suddenly I heard things I hadn't heard in years ...

But they wear out, being fairly light and fragile and plastic, and six years is long in the tooth for one.

These days, the things are better still, digital, programmed by plugging it into a computer, and I got a new model that is spiffier than the old one. Can hear a mosquito fart across the street ...

So, today, I logged on to a music site to listen to a song, and when I listened, it sounded ... tinny. Playing the guitar yesterday and today sounded better than it did with the old hearing aid; I had to turn the TV volume down, and voices are clearer, but the computer speakers?


Something in the electronics, I figured, the hearing aid is set to amplify certain frequencies, so you don't get that constant roaring, and okay, well, I can live with it.

Until I realized that maybe I should, you know, check the computer.

Sure enough, the speakers were unplugged, and I was hearing the song on the iMac's built-in speaker, which, not to put too fine a point on it, sucks. I plugged the external speakers in.

It's a miracle!

Me 'n' Homer Simpson: Doh!

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