Thursday, April 8, 2010

Miscellaneous Mutterings and Math

Each week day morning a little before 6:00 my neighbor leaves his house. And by leaves his house I mean he slams his door causing a tremor which probably registers a 7.2 on the Richter magnitude scale. A quake of that magnitude is a major one and can cause serious damage over large areas. Which means it wakes me up and causes me serious dream damage over the large area of my sanity. I figure I'm losing approximately 5 to 13 minutes of sleep each morning. If I take the average of these two numbers I estimate that I'm being jolted out of about 45 minutes of sleep each week. This adds up to 180 minutes per month. 2340 minutes per year. Which, if my calculator is handling these numbers correctly, means I'm losing 39 hours, hours!, of sleep a year. Sheesh.

My solutions: (a) Write a ranting blog about it. (b) Talk with my neighbor about the value of gently closing the door instead of slamming. (c) Participate in a sleep-deprivation study. (d) Wake up even earlier and bang vigorously on his front door to tell him, "You can't control my sleep habits if I control yours, yo." (f) Move out of my townhome into a secluded, reclusive, quiet home. (e) Get therapy for my noise pollution issues.

Speaking of Noise Pollution Issues I've got them big time. When my brother lived with me he used to say, "It's just noise," as if that would somehow make the pounding walls and indoor thunderstorms less bone rattling. Somehow less offensive to me. It worked occasionally. But you know, every now and then I'd like a nice blanket of silence. In my own home. At one point I looked into soundproofing but it's a little out of my budget for the time being. And soundproofing usually works better if it's done on the noise side. I researched it. A lot.
This brings me to the idea of Utilitarianism vs. Deontology; the struggle of good for the most people at one time or good for self (If you know these terms and I'm using them incorrectly please just give me credit for using big words, pretend I know what I'm saying, shake your head at my ignorance and keep reading).
Because you see, when my neighbor is enjoying his music at mach number levels and breaking the sound barrier with sub-woofing objects of sound, it infringes on my ability to enjoy the solace of silence or even my own music at sub-mach levels. This seems drastically unfair. Now, my neighbor is a nice guy, and several times--driven to the Extremity of taking action--I've asked him to turn his music down and he's complied. Maybe he thinks it's unfair to not be able to enjoy his music at a decible level capable of mulching tree branches or vibrating small mammals to death. I don't know. Maybe here we're just dealing with the eternal struggle for a balance between two individuals. Dominance of my rights or his? Community living is all about give and take. Live and learn. Live and let die. I'm all for peaceful living but at times I feel like challenging the neighborhood noise makers to mortal combat. If I win, more silence for me. If I lose, I guess I get a pretty permanent silence. So it seems like a win/win situation.


  1. When you were younger your philosophy for shoveling manure was "it's just like shoveling snow, just smells different". :-)

  2. You could always just leave a severed horse head under his covers.