Coping: Monday at the WoWW

Funny how the name “Vern” has cropped up in my life this weekend:  Note only was Peoplenomics about computational wealth (which circles around to Jules Verne) but in came this interesting “me too, I heard it” from a reader named Vern who heard those same odd voices we talked about a week or so back…

George, I’ve written to you before about a single event. Other things have happened since; chiefly a phenomenon which started in 2011 where as I would just descend into sleep and a bright light that seemed to be aimed at my eyes from very close would awaken me. The very instant that I would open my eyes the light would go out. I have since moved from that residence but the same thing happened to me here in my current residence which would rule out anything tied to that location, with an easy explanation. These occurrences increased through 2012 and into 2013 but have faded since and have not happened this year.

I was compelled to write you after reading the account of the woman who heard conversations close by as she was falling asleep. I too have been experiencing something similar for perhaps the last six months. I often awaken at night due to insomnia. I keep an MP3 player next to my bed and listen to audio books until I get sleepy again. If my neck is bothering me as it often does, I get up, go to the living room and sit in the easy chair so to get the pressure off of my neck for a while.

When I reach a point where I begin to hover over sleep but am still consciously following the story I have heard a voice softly speaking to me from behind where the entrance to the kitchen is and most recently from behind and to my right; I’m guessing 5 or 6 feet back in the dining room area. Not being asleep I can clearly define the voice as coming from outside my ear buds. In each event; about 5 times now I have hit the pause button, pulled the ear buds out and got up to see if my wife or daughter were up and trying to softly get my attention, but they were asleep.

One of the times I heard 2 voices speaking softly and I could still hear them after pulling the ear buds out but they stopped as I got up to look around. I live in a brick and mortar house; sounds do not carry easily from the outside. It is also a quiet neighborhood so walking outside evidenced that all was quiet in the surrounding area.

I asked my 8 year old daughter after two of these events if she was up and spoke to me in the middle of the night while I was in the chair and then went back to bed. She said no. I also asked my wife who also proved not to be the source of the whispering. I spoke at length with her about hearing the whispering. She also knows about the light that was waking me before. When that first began I woke her to ask if she had seen a bright light just then, but she hadn’t.

So far as I know, I am the only one in the house that has experienced this.

So if you head voices, speaking in a language you may not understand, please send along reports. 

One bit of brain-candy to ponder:  Are these voices somehow related to the “hums” that are going around, too? 

If nothing else, this will give you an excuse to go back to bed this morning…screw work…it will be there tomorrow.

(The day after?  Well, no…maybe not.  Perhaps paranoia is under-rated as a motivator, but we shall see…better go to work, though.)

Bargain Read/Super-Deal

Here’s a goodie for you…something that should make moving through uncertain times a little more easy (between those Clapton-like riffs you’ve been practicing):  My buddy Gaye of has here ebook The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage priced at just 99-cents this week on Amazon for Kindle.

Another Deal

Robin Handler’s made some changes to his weekly Spiral Forecast of what’s ahead for the market and you can get this week’s free over here.

Travel Savings

Reader Mike figures you might be interested in this one:

George, A trucker friend of mine told me about this great service about two years ago. Usually saves a minimum of $20, and much more for higher class stays. It’s great for small business owners like us too. Don’t know that this is a good reference or not considering our current government, but it seems FEMA even uses them! You can read up on there website, but fact is they guarantee their rates as published on their website. You don’t have to book ahead, can call the motel direct, and can cancel w/o penalties. I’ve been using them for over two years no real complaints. Another good thing, they keep a data base of your stays, so come tax time you just print off a report for the outlaws. Website: 


Haven’t tried it, so no endorsement, buyer beware and the usual disclaimers. 

Just a reminder:  Elaine and I will be doing our annual “big trip” starting August 14 and back here at the ranch about the first of Rocktober.  Our schedule on the way up to the Pacific Northwest is:

    • Aug 14th:  Amarillo, Tex
    • Aug 15th:  Ft. Collins, Co. (on e of Elaine’s young-uns is up that way)
    • Aug 16th:  Salt Lake City, UT
    • Aug 17th:  Baker City, Or
    • Aug 18th:  Check in to our digs outside Tacoma, Wa.

    While we’re away, brother-in-law Panama will be on perimeter patrol…for some reason he looks forward to our trips.  Can’t imagine why, lol.

    About My “Fear of Music”

    Speaking of Rocktober (please tell me you were paying attention?)…  Time to go beyond my “Music of the Markets” experiment.

    That “music studio” project may actually get done sometime in the next week, or two.  In fact, this weekend we finished up putting in the floor and that leaves only two tasks on the list before we can actually move in furniture:  The base-shoe needs to be installed around the edge of the floor and the acoustical treatment goes on.

    I think I’ve mentioned to you that we’re using several cartons of ATS Wedge Foam Acoustic Panels (Burgundy) – 24x24x2 (6pk) around the room.

    Anyone can put in base-shoe, at least with a little practice.  Installation of the acoustical product, though, is part art, part science. 

    You begin with walking around the room periodically clapping your hands loudly with your eyes closed.  Behind the eyelids, what you’re doing is checking-in to your “mental sound stage” to see if you can determine where the room reflected sound of the clap is coming from.

    There are plenty of science tools you can use, including room resonance calculators, especially the “Room Eigenmodes Calculator.”

    (If you don’t know that eigenmodes are resonance functions of a room, I’m gonna have to take you out back, slap you silly, and repo your math or science degrees as useless.)

    It was somewhere during the clapping session yesterday (visualizing the far wall bounce ) that it occurred to me that I have a fear of music.

    A little more reflection (mentally and with sound) resulted in my figuring out that I have very deep and powerful emotions that are touched by music.  Certain orchestrations (cinematic movie scores) can move me to tears or heights of joy. Yes, music is that powerful.

    But besides wanting to share a whole pile of information about home and non-professional audio expertise, one of the purposes of the “studio” is to give Elaine and me a place to actually working on creating music.

    Years ago, I took piano lessons but after four-years of Mrs. Shimamura’s instruction, I don’t recall who was more frustrated – teacher or student.  I know for certain that I only practiced (then) at gunpoint.  55-years after-the-fact a few things about repetition have sunk-in.  This time I promise to get it right.

    Aging has (for better or worse) brought me to the point of wanting to master one of the few things in life I haven’t.

    A while back on the Peoplenomics side, we were talking about the $25-month Retirement Improvement Plan and one of my few personal shortcomings has to do with music.

    Remember what sci-fi author Robert Heinlein says in “Time enough for love”?

    “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, con a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.  Specialization is for insects.”

    Done the diapers, multiple (marketing) invasions done successfully, lived 10+ years on a sailboat, the accounting part came with the MBA, the studio project is yet another wall, first-aid is down part, and the rest, including pitch manure and all the rest of it are off the checklist.  So if fighting efficiently:  You just hire the better lawyer.

    But the part about “write a sonnet;”  well that one scares the hell out of me.  Sort of like playing with emotional dynamite and I’ve never had the time to really focus on it.  And that fear of  coming to terms with the other side-side-of-brain perhaps is a long-running thing in most people.

    As you sneak up on The Big Sleep, I’m finding that most people have something that they are afraid of and have put off doing in life.  Mine is learning to play music as another way of communicating/

    The reason is simple enough:  I’ve led a mostly “left-brain” life.  The right brain may be fine for writing this & that, the odd bit of poetry on command (beyond “There once was a girl from Nantucket…”).

    But the right brain likes to be fed music just as much as the left-brain likes to be fed computational puzzles (altitude density calcs for breakfast, anyone?)

    I’ve found life to be a series of learning to “face down” fears, one after another.  Fear of flying was one of mine, and now jumping in my plane to go somewhere is just another “thing I do.”

    Music?  That one has sort of “saved itself till last.”  Maybe it’s just gathering material, the sequence of living a good life where you go conquer one then and then on to the next.  Enough of these personal conquests, and pretty soon, you’ve got something to write – or write music – about.

    Time will tell, but in my personal agenda, making music is moving up the list.  Doing sound engineering has only been the smallest part, though.  That’s the mechanical stuff:  Sample rates, quantization, dynamics, and yada, yada.  It’s the difference between catching a fish and creating a fish.

    Any hints you might have for learning more quickly would be appreciated, but near as I can tell, it will be like developing a golf swing:  Practice as often as you can.  Having mastered any number of other things in life, I know it will involve a mental shift in how I “process” and that’s always the key to almost any new skill:  getting the head/heart alignment over this way, or that.

    Figuring out the right “recipe” is a huge part of it, so maybe I’ll start to munch on some music theory, too.

    So far, though, the only thing I have done musically that seems worth a damn is to extract music from the stock market’s fluctuations.  Here’s what the market sounded like in 2006 and here’s how it sounded when I did an update on New Years 2014.  One instrument per market index.

    Who knows…maybe as I get into this a new door will open, as such conquests always open doors.  Perhaps in another decade I’ll be writing as the composer/conductor of George’s Geriatric Orchestra.

    It might make a fine wrap-up to a great life of adventuring.  The ultimate high note, so to speak, on the way out, perhaps.

    So, when was the last time you practiced an instrument?

    Write when you break-even (or sooner, but I know you’re busy…)