10 January 2006

From One Box to Another

One of the downsides to civilian life that I rediscover every day is the Dilbert-esque cubeville I currently reside in.  What with half a dozen conversations audible from my desk at any one time, it is easy to get distracted.  I actually remembered with fondness my cramped little desk in my stateroom, quiet and free of disturbance.

Several of my coworkers listen to music to try and block out the cacophony, but I quickly discovered that I can not use this method.  One can unintentionally start quietly singing on humming along only so many times before your coworkers get really annoyed.

But ah, finally, a solution, and it is because of my reveries concerning the boat.  I was in the lab area of my workplace when one of the ventilation fans stopped, which made me glance upwards as it often did (but at least I don’t hop up to head aft anymore when equipment suddenly loses power).  This of course sparked the recurring conversation one of the retired Senior Chiefs and I often have, that of combating casualties on board ship, always trying to one-up each other on who has seen worse.  Later, however, as I thought of the fans, I realized that it wasn’t that the boat was that quiet (The Eng’s snores could be used for echo-location), but that it had a nice, soft background noise that evened everything out.

So, after doing a little bit of searching, I realized that I wasn’t really looking for white noise, but something more along the lines of pink noise or brown noise (no, not the sound the Chop in his rack after a bean-heavy meal).  So now, I have software from this company running on my computer (it was free, and it works on my NMCI box, my two biggest requirements), and by playing a mix of pink, brown, and various quiet nature-like sounds (surf, rain, etc) I get a nice full-spectrum noise without it being so repetitive as to be hypnotic.  And I descend one level further into old-fart-ness as I try and recreate the boat in my cubicle.

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