The top floor apartment where Fiancee S. and I live is located forty to fifty yards from an Interstate off-ramp. While this affords us excellent highway access for the commute to work in the morning, it does sometimes make sleeping a little difficult during the summer months when (at least some) windows must be open. You see, our building is not air conditioned and does not allow for window-mounted air conditioners. So, when the warm air rises to the higher floors of our building, we are left with choosing the lesser of two evils: some highway noise or roasting. We choose the highway noise.
Prior to the arrival of Fiancee S. at our apartment, I used to run a fan all night to help create some white noise. This tends to help deal with both heat and noise. Alas, the fan aggravates Fiancee S.'s allergies. So, we recently began looking into alternatives for dealing with highway noise.
Enter the Sound Soother 20 from the good folks at Sharper Image. It's a pretty cool device. It has 20 different digitally recorded sound loops that can be used as white noise while either falling asleep (on a sleep timer) or indefinitely. Some of the more obvious sound types include running water, falling rain, chirping birds, wind chimes, rolling surf, and chirping crickets. Fiancee S. and I like the rolling waves of the "Surf's Up" setting because sounds of the ocean soothe us both.
Some of the sound settings for the device do not seem to be as well thought out, however. The "Foghorn" setting is rather self-explanatory (foghorns with ocean noises), and likely not very appealing unless one has fond memories of living in a lighthouse. Likewise, the "Steam Train" setting can only appeal to the most hard core train spotters who absolutely MUST have that tape recording of "Flying Scotsman" (and know that this isn't it). The "Fireside" setting is sure to instill some fear in those whose houses once burned down. The "City" setting provides precisely the type of traffic noise Fiancee S. and I try to escape. Finally, the "Heartbeat" setting elicits too many memories of reading Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart.
In honor of these ill conceived sounds, I would like to offer these following suggestions for additional sounds to be included on the Sound Soother 5000:
- Singing Winos Under The Overpass
- Neighbor Learning The Bagpipes
- Jersey Crack Whores On Parade
- Wookies In Love
- Apartment Over The Bowling Alley
- Next Door To The Accordion Convention
- Fighting Cats In Heat
- Two O'Clock Feeding
- Closing Time At The Karaoke Bar
- Drive By Shooting
- The Banjo Version of "Don't Worry, Be Happy"
on 2003-08-12 at 12:17 p.m.
The Wayback Machine - To Infinity And Beyond