Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic


So the highlight of the day was a trip to the Miracle Ear hearing aid office at Sears' Valco store. They had advertised free testing and sale prices. For the past couple of years I have had trouble understanding what people are saying to me, and I was hoping there was a device which would help with this. I've had my hearing tested at Kaiser a couple of times in the last 5 years, and the results have been similar, with reasonable hearing in the voice range but loss in the upper frequencies. Yesterday I checked myself out in the upper ranges and I can hear 8,400 Hz. In 1997 I could hear almost to 15,000. A CD and most standard earphones claim 22,000. What those freqs buy you is more harmonics of things in the voice and music range. Voice is around 4,000.

They did a very quick look into both my ears with a device that threw the image up on the screen. My ear canal is packed with hair, and there were little bits of wax here and there but no blockage.

Next was the claustrophobic booth test. I made sure I could not see what the tech was doing. I had a button to push each time I heard a tone. The pattern he used was too logical, so I heard more than I would have if they had been randomized. The pattern started with my right ear, going through all the tones in order, each tone repeated 4 times at a progressively lower volume. Then the same with my left ear. There was one break in the pattern - the tones went from high frequency down the scale to low, but ended on the highest frequency, and that frequency was generated as more of a shriek than a tone, probably a piezoelectric buzzer.

After the test, they showed me a map the tech had made of my hearing response, and it looked exactly like the one from Kaiser in 2010, just a bit more loss than 2008. The salesmonster from the head office was having a hard time thinking of a way to sell me a hearing aid, it was clear he did not think his products would help me much. So I asked him to just show me the prices. Top of the line, a tiny behind-the-ear  instrument with 48 programmable channels, lists for $9k a pair, special discount this week only, $7k. I pretended that this was out of my price range at the moment, including the $200/month financing with no interest the first year. 

Looking at my two Kaiser tests, 2008 and 2010, glaringly missing from the Miracle Ear test was the word recognition series. Spoken words you are asked to repeat. Can't really test the kind of hearing loss I'm interested in without that. I suppose I should find out about Kaiser's current program.

That was in the middle of the work day. Before the test I went to lunch across from Sears at the Japanese mega-buffet which is now called Tatami. I had not allowed myself enough time for dessert.

This morning's work was taking another PPT class, this one was a 2-fer, the first part was about QAMs, which are the devices at the cable company which translate satellite feeds into images you can see on your TV. It was from the point of view of someone who has to install and service them. The second part was about a "new" technology cable companies were looking at which uses fiber optics instead of coax cable except for the last little bit between the phone pole to your house. The class was from 2007, this is now standard. But still interesting.

After the hearing test was my 1-on-1, I had some stats the boss asked for about the bug that wouldn't die, which showed it was not an out-of-memory issue. And I brought him up to date on the latest major bug one of the customers found, and tried to impress on him how critical it is, and how we missed finding it. And it also spawned another bug, a minor one about the spec being wrong.

Picked up a package at UPS after work, it was 8 2-packs of undies. I originally found them in Scotland, in the UK equivalent of Macy's, and finally found them on amazon. Since it was across the street I went to Starbucks, got a mocha, but had to sit outside, no room at the inn. And outside there was no wi-fi signal, so I went home and did some stuff on the laptop, which needed to be charged up and virus definitions updated.

Dinner was a small frozen one. Banquet. No more of those after this batch, the plastic trays melt a bit.

Tried on the undies, they are way too big. Went online and got an RMA and shipping label from Amazon for 7 2-packs (they won't take back used underwear). When I print labels from eBay, Paypal and USPS.com they are formatted to print on Avery 8126, which is adhesive-backed 8.5x11 perforated at the 5.5" point, perfect for a shipping pre-paid label. Amazon won't do that, they have their own stupid form which prints the label in the center of the page with a lot of verbiage around it. So you have to tape the paper label to the package and pray.

I'll drop that off at UPS Friday, probably. Meanwhile I ordered the undies 2 sizes smaller. That should be about right.

Plans for tomorrow:
Put away the laundry
YOTB. Last rehearsal of the year

Tags: clothes, entertainment, medical tmi, work

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