Lake Worth Noise Ordinance: Mayor thinks 90 db will work weekend nights

Employers must provide workers exposed to noise levels over 85 db with a hearing conservation program along with ear protection. That’s all I have to say about that… (and I asked Butch Trucks if he had trouble hearing, and he said, yes.)

Now. When you have to listen to some kind of music to get anything done, you know that you are out of it (which is what my neighbor over at the cottage thinks about me, anyway).

Listening to the sounds of ocean waves, rain and forest streams has been a way for me to relax for more than 20 years.

My ex gave an ocean soundtrack to my little girl, and I got addicted. Every night, before I went to sleep, I’d play the CD, and I’d be out like a light. Up until recently.

Here’s what happened. I rented my space and left the clock radio / CD player on my bedside table.

Strangely enough, I survived without my trusty CD. I did not miss the nature sounds and I found the quiet itself, incredibly soothing.

And then the restaurant down the street turned itself into a nightclub and I was bombarded by noise into the wee hours of the morning.

Talking to the owner, a young guy, was useless. He’d look at me while I explained to him that, because of him, I could not sleep at night — that the music coming from his garden until 2 a.m. minimum five nights a week was unbearable.

It wasn’t so much the actual song itself that was the problem, I tried to tell him. Once the music sound waves bounce off the building opposite me, it minnows down to a steady loud base, rhythmic, concentrated and rather like Chinese torture.

He smiled and nodded his head. Don’t worry, he told me, we are changing out the sound system.

I know what he was thinking. I was a creature with two heads (four ears) and a dull, dimwitted brain – clearly an ignoramus who doesn’t delight in good music. An old crab to be sure.

Of course, his new sound system only amplified the problem.

Since then, I pray for rain. When that happens, his patrons go home (and probably the system shorts out).

But, ah, the incredible human being, we are so adaptable. One night, when the prayed-for rain torrented down, I saw that it wrapped itself around my house (and the area between my yard and my neighbor’s).

Oh my goodness, I thought. I don’t have to wear earplugs. I can get out the old ocean CD and drown out the base.

Which led me an Internet search for new sounds, because rain worked so well.

That’s what led me to the discovery of binaural beats

Here’s what the Web site says:

“Welcome to the perfect Binaural Beats experience! Binaural beats affect our brainwaves directly and can alter moods, behavior, even consciousness.

“Sound crazy? We thought so too. But guess what? We tried it and it works!

“You can now choose the state you want easily.”

At night, I turn on “Relaxation,” the site’s answer to ocean waves. It works like a charm. Digitally, it seems the ocean waves gently break outside my window, far enough away to be considered friendly and non-obtrusive. If you’ve ever lived on the ocean, you’d know that the ocean can be mean and destructive – angry even – but “Relaxation” has taken Mother Earth, and given her a sedative. And that’s OK by me.

So, at night, when I get into bed, which usually corresponds to my neighbor’s music revving up, I turn on my new version of ocean waves. I’ve metered it with a decibel reader (yes, I do have one) and it’s at about 60 db. If I can hear my neighbor’s base over my waves, I call and complain. Otherwise, enshrouded in white noise, I drift off to sleep and his beat goes on.

Presently, I am listening to “Coffee Break” (After all, I am working). Actually, it sounds like cars driving by on a quiet street. About as loud as ordinary conversation, it starts at low machine whispers, culminates in a wizz-by at about 45 miles, and disappears at the horizon – another car, though, is in transit.

I can handle “Coffee Break.” Other energizers I find annoying. “Energy Drink” reminds me of a Moped at a distance – a floppy kind of putt-putt – not to my taste. I don’t like “Focus,” either. Rather like an incessant mosquito buzz, for me, it is a distraction.

I can handle “Inspiration and Creativity.” Yes, it does have a kind of wound-up energy – a motor of some type – maybe a fan – in the background, and a kind of bizarre hut-pah chant hidden within, but overlaying those are birds and crickets. I like that.

There are a variety of other sounds that I haven’t tried out yet – I’m saving them for a rainy day. They include: “Stop Alcohol Abuse,” “Quit Smoking,” and “Antidepressant.” Maybe I’ll suggest them to my neighbor…

In the meantime, this morning, I think I’ll try “Weight Loss,” and then, I’m going to have a big breakfast.

Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos

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