09 December 2009

Latest results just in

Now, today [9 December] I had the latest in my run of tests of this cochlear implant [still on number one, right ear] and my hearing experience with it.

The tests were as prescribed in CUNY sentences [Central University of New York]
in quiet and noisy situations

quiet sentences
65dB SPL
with noise +10%SNR
with noise +5%SNR

CNC words [consonant nucleus consonant]
Interesting link [word doc]

SPL - Sound Pressure Level
SNR - Signal Noise Ratio

Interesting Cochlear document link
Phonemes Wikipedia definition here
Decibels Wikipedia page here

Pretty good results apparently.
The sentences were easy, but context and lack of distraction helped.
Because I did so well with sentences and noise, Monica upped the noise an extra 5% and that was that. I was able to get a word here and then, but...

In the words section my results are about average that someone who has two implants might expect, so that's a pretty good result. However when I have number two maybe my increased capacity won't be as dramatic.

Well we'll just have to see.

08 December 2009

Still Going

4 laps walking
6 laps swimming, faster

The pool is definitely better first thing in the morning. Too many dawdlers and suspicious people after lunch.

07 December 2009

This blog goes 'round the world

Interesting places I have seen on the Traffic Feed - lower right.
Those with • I have been to, but not because of the blog or their contact.
Theres even a map! here

Belfort France •
Bilbao Spain •
Crows Nest  Straya•
Atlanta USA
Philadelphia USA
Houston USA
Texarkana USA
Sanata Ana USA
Washington DC USA •
Seoul Korea
Halifax Canada
Hong Kong China
Islamabad Pakistan
Honolulu USA •

Lutherville Timonium USA [Great name!!]

Hearing Diary

I'm keeping a diary of sounds as I can hear them
Dec 2009
Listening to my iPhone via the direct to processor cable <link>
December 2009
There must be something about this summer and the lessening of the drought. The cicadas are deafening. When I could hear naturally they could make a sound, en masse, which was like a pneumatic drill being applied to your skull!
Now it's like they're bypassing the skull, going straight for the auditory nerve!! I have to scuttle inside or turn off the apparatus!
12-23 Feb
In Byron Bay, we stay at the Clarke's Beach caravan park. It's on the edge of Byron town and also a long swathe of bush along the glorious Tallow beach.
This means there are birds galore [butcher birds, currawongs] and lizards [water dragons and at least one GOANNA]. There's also crashing
surf 24 hours a day and wind - the Pacific Ocean is RIGHT there.
Needless to say there's a movie [link],
forgive the background noise, I think it's worth it.

8 Feb
More frogs. At Mother's for dinner and I heard the 'clock' sound. I remember when I was in treatment [and staying there] I was often woken by the cacophony of frogs in full voice. Sounded like hundreds of them then.
29 Jan
I was walking down the street, a couple of doors down and I heard the "clock" sound of a frog in someone's front yard - I think they have a little fountain. The nearest creekbed would have been half a kilometre [thats a lot in frog kilometres] away. Ho do frogs know? Can they smell water?
Meanwhile the golden crescent moon hung low in the western sky. That was the appropriate end of that day.

11 Jan
More Higgledy-Piggledy bird action. Those butcher birds love to get together and have a sing-song. movie
23 Dec
We went to a movie. I used the telecoil to tune-in to the cinema's sound system. I could make out 70% of what the actors said. With practice I can see it getting better!
[Burn After Reading, Joel and Ethan Coen, we thought the cast of GClooney, J Malkovitch, FMcDormand, BPitt was fantastic and the film hilarious!]

17 Dec
Screeching cockatoos sound like screeching cockatoos. I hear they have a baby or two in the tree hollow - wouldnt it be good if I could hear that?!
11 Dec
I could hear something - a voice. Was it coming from next door? It was over there, just beyond the armchair. I could hear a womans voice but I couldnt make out what she was saying. Was the sound coming from somewhere or being generated via radio signals direct to the implant? I listened more. It was chilling.
I called my hearing consultant, she could hear it coming from the computer. I listened. That was a relief.

5 Dec
Today I heard cockatoos screeching as they flew over. There's a dead tree that has a hole in it in the park. Often there is a single cockie sitting in there looking out. Whistling is starting to sound like whistling.
29 Nov
Today I heard the famed higgledy-piggledy birds - that deserves its own page [link]
21 Nov
Spoke on the telephone and heard what my father had to say - he had to speak clearer than usual but it happened!
20 Nov
Spoke on the telephone and almost heard what my father had to say - still buzzy!
Attempted to hear the butcher birds which were [apparently] in the park. Could not.

19 Nov
Met a cochlear contact at the noisiest cafe in Sydney and lived to tell the tale! We spoke at length over coffee and cake and gave the implants a good work-out. Head still spinning!

17 Nov
Speech-reading [lip-reading] class - having the implant actually helped, because I knew what the instructions were from the teacher -
before I had to lip-read those TOO!
Everyone still sounds like they're using helium.

16 Nov
WENT TO A MOVIE and used the T switch on the speech processor [telecoil] - I can hear at the cinema but couldn't understand - they were speaking french after all! Luckily there were sub-titles as a matter-of-course I called some friends using VOIP [headset, no telecoil], sounded like they were talking thru a towel [why do people do that?]
14 Nov
Went to town - the bus was very loud
I heard the Checkout Chick at Coles!
Can't hear usefully on the phone - tried an iPhone in town. I can hear the voice but not the intonation - sounds mechanical
I heard rain [saw lightning, but didn't hear thunder]
Heard the Qantas A380 taking-off over Leichhardt.

13 Nov
Attempted to hear Higgledy-Piggledybirds, perhaps too high-pitched
Cant hear myself whistling.
Couple of women talking - they talk at the same time!

12 Nov
Lisa Simpson voices
Noise at the Rowers'
Birds sound like a ratchet
Tinnitus: Women humming, otherwise smothered by implant

Listening to Music

Well I've been trying listening to music via cable direct from iPhone to speech processor. Works well, except
• pitch of singers is 'not right'
• percussion is good but overpowering, rhythm is correct
• harmony (Beach Boys) is cacophonous

I can watch movies and podcasts where there is speaking and that works very well. Hardly need subtitles. Lip reading probably helps with those Ive watched.

I wish the cable was cheaper!

Posted with LifeCast

Going Swimmingly

4 laps walking
6 laps swimming
That's enough increase on distance, now to work on speed and stamina

Posted with LifeCast

06 December 2009

Swimming Sunday

4 laps walking
4 laps swimming
I swim breaststroke - I never learned to do freestyle properly and drink too much of the pool.
It's best when it's a beautiful blue sky day with not too many people [particularly lane nazis]. I love seeing the sun glistening on the blue water and little swallows weaving around the air.

Posted with LifeCast

04 December 2009

Swimming at Victoria Park

Friday 4 December
Swam three laps, water-walked three laps. Kicked off from the end of the pool but the non-functional orientation device and closed eyes meant I was leaning one way or the other, or going deeper instead of toward the surface. Need goggles for visual orientation clues. Breathing out underwater. Still, three swimming laps, not bad.

Thursday 3 December
First time at the pool for so long - last time was at Jabiru [Kakadu] in 2005. No underwater, needed earplugs.
Swam two laps at Victoria Park pool, water walked two as well!!

Ocean swimming on Saturday 28 November

02 December 2009

2010 Deafness Forum Educational scholarship now open

A scholarship is available for post-secondary students who are deaf, deafblind, have a hearing impairment or a chronic disorder of the ear.

Applications - click the link below

2010 Deafness Forum Educational scholarship

01 December 2009

I Can Hardly Believe it!

Today I read Kate Locke's blog entry about her recent trip on a plane. She tried the plane headphones to see if the audio loop worked. Guess what? Thats right!

Later, I thought "I wonder..."
[You can see where this is going can't you?]

I tried the headphones I sometimes use when using Skype, and they worked. Well, on the side with the implant anyway.
Keep in mind this is a device which is primarily designed for speech and is not really anything to write home about in a musical sense. But it worked.
Then I thought "hmmmm..."

I tried the iPhone headset and had a similar outcome. Sound. Not pure unadulterated sound but sound nonetheless.

More developments as they come to hand, or ear, or brain.

28 November 2009

Momentous Occasion

Today I swam in the ocean. The Pacific Ocean. The Big Wet.

You might not think this to be such a big deal but it is, for me anyway. It is the first time since early 2002 and probably late 2001 that I have swum unhindered by ear plugs or other ear related paraphernalia for at least 7.5 years.

Of course I have swum at Byron and Bondi but always with ear plugs and careful not to get this or that ear wet. This is not a worry any more.
At first I had the grommet to contend with (right ear). Then bone necrosis and operation stuff on the left side. Now the only grommets I have to watch out for are the surfing teenage kind!

Where did this marvellous occasion occur? At Newcastle Bar Beach. It was a beautiful hot morning and when I emerged from the water I turned around and saw three dolphins out beyond the surf! Do you think they'd been watching?

Later we went to the fantastic Newcastle ocean baths, a deco masterpiece. I walked one lap (hard) and SWAM breaststroke back (no dolphins in the pool). A sense of achievement later and it was time for a celebratory latte.

A perfect morning.

22 November 2009

YouTube captions

YouTube, part of Google have introduced a technology which enables automatic speech recognition [ASR] which was developed jointly by the University of New South Wales.

What this means is that captions can be added to existing videos on YouTube, the online video website.
You could even have a script in a text file, to accompany the video footage and the system would synchronise the two.

I can see how this would be a boon for captioners, TV stations [I'm looking in the direction of the commercial channels here], anyone who produces video and needs to provide captions for those of us in the deaf world. Oh yeah, thats the same world as your world.


15 November 2009

New ReMap

My audiologist remapped (tweaked the settings) my implant the other day.
I was able to hear and discern music that day. Still sounds very tinny but it was better than the non-melodic, non-rhythmic noise of previous. Hopefully it'll get even better.
I've put some tracks on my iPhone so I can practice hearing them. I think it's best they be familiar songs so I know what I should expect to hear. I've ordered the appropriate processor cable as well.
We'll be doing the speech recognition testing a little later - ran out of time last visit.

Posted with LifeCast

12 November 2009

1 Year Cochlear

12 November marks one year since my cohlear switch-on. Seems not very long ago, but I've done so much in this last year.
  • Travelled to Italy, Paris and San Francisco, my first cochlear-powered trip
  • 7 years past treatment
  • 1 year deaf
  • Packed up my house
  • Had the pre-cochlear #2 operation
  • Went to Byron
  • Was elected to the Better Hearing management committee
  • Acme Computer still going
  • iPhone

08 November 2009

Poor Cinemas

This is my response to the notice lodged at

I am deaf and have a cochlear implant.

I have read the application for the "Temporary Exemption under section 55 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) from complaints in relation to the provision of captions and audio description in cinemas"

At no point in the application do the applicants explain why they should be exempt from complaints. Granted that they offer the four points listed on the application but there is no justification for their exemption from receiving complaints.

As a deaf person I feel that the application is a mechanism by which the cinema chains will try to shirk their responsibilities to the 1 in 6 citizens who suffer from a hearing disability. I am grateful for the cinemas for their commitments regarding captions and other facilities but I expect that more could, and should be done. I do feel that not enough is done and the cinemas should be aiming for 100% satisfaction for us, their clients, hearing and otherwise. It seems difficult to get action on captions and also audio loop installations and use.

To deny the complaints due process is an unnecessary gag on the deaf 'community'. If we can't complain, what other avenues are there that cinema chains might respond to? Their internal quality control mechanisms? This smacks of 'self-regulation', something which time and time again fails the consumer, but protects the provider from having to improve service. We need open and fair feedback - surely the cinemas would welcome that free facility.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment
John Couani

23 October 2009

One year down, on 22 October

Can you believe it? I can't

It is now one year since the implant was implanted.

It has been a big year
  • Seven years and counting past treatment, no other news, which is good news
  • Switch-on of the cochlear implant
  • Speech-Reading
  • Appointed to the Better Hearing Committee
  • Let my house, living under the Reign of Tok
  • Made more pasta, more culinary triumphs
  • 'Round the world again [#4]
  • Finally got back to Europe - that's another blog. [highlights - Assisi, Paris]
  • San Francisco again [The coldest winter I ever spent was summer in SF. Mark Twain was right]
  • Sold my car - where are the smaller cheaper cars?
  • More blogging
  • Had too much time off

02 October 2009

Submit to the Senate inquiry into hearing health [Australia]

My submission
I went 100% deaf in 2008 and use a cochlear implant.
Hearing is a health issue just as sight is.
It should be covered by the Health department and Medicare, not Department of Ageing.
The issue of captions on TV should be a primary issue with the ACMA.
Health insurance for cochlear implants is charged at the highest rate. Why aren't they and hearing aids covered by Medicare and perhaps hearing aid and cochlea batteries a tax deduction? They should be.
Cochlear implants need to be insured as part of household goods, not as a special top-dollar one-off item.
There should be requirements for media outlets, TV and cinema in particular to maximise the access provided for those who can't use their existing facilities. The media outlets collect plenty of advertising revenue - they can cover the cost of captions on TV and audio loops in cinemas.
iView [internet media] needs to have captions NOW. No more delays. Other TV outlets too.
Make your views known
Send a message to this address

Or write to:
Committee Secretary
Senate Community Affairs References Committee
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra  ACT  2600

Submissions should be received by 9 October 2009.

28 September 2009

Subaru gone

My beautiful car TUZ442 has gone.
Over the past few years I have been unable to hear the clutch and had to replace the clutch about a year ago. I'm going to go for something smaller and automatic. Probably a Toyota Yaris or similar.

I had my green Subaru for about 9 years. It was the best car to drive in the wet and was great to/from Byron and around town too.

Goodbye - enjoy your new life, hopefully rust-free.

23 September 2009

What I did

On Tuesday at Better Hearing Australia [where I do my lip-reading classes] I gave a little presentation to the massed audience [of about 20] which consisted of the pictures from my Europe 09 expedition.

I imported the images from the trip from my digital camera into my computer, using a program called iPhoto. [On a Mac]
Then I edited the keywords for the final sets. Once the sets were established I uploaded the sets and pictures to my web album.
They are available on Picasa in the various sets. [link]

The next export was different. I created a slide show from the images, no music, 5 second duration for each image and exported the entire set's slideshow as a quicktime movie, to a file on my desktop.

At this point I might have imported it to iMovie to add captions, titles and other stuff. But I didn't this time.

I imported the exported slideshow to iTunes and then converted it to iPhone friendly. The iPhone friendly version was then synchronised [sent to] with the iPhone and is available on the phone for viewing.

But how to show it to 20 people? Bit too close for comfort.

I have a cable which connects the iPhone to a TV. So, I could play the movie starting and stopping as appropriate, using the iPhone as a wired remote, and giving my commentary.

Also at BHA they have an audio loop so those of us with the appropriate hearing device can hear what's said. That made it all very easy to get the message across.

It all worked quite well!

14 September 2009

Head underwater

The operation of August has been pronounced a success as previously reported.
The CochProf has now advised that I may get my left ear wet.

This is momentous
  • I don't need to wear earplugs in the shower surf or swimming pool
  • I can swim unhindered, although I willbe completely deaf while doing so - no waterproof speech processors for implants
  • It has been 7.5 years since I was able to do that
  • Grab your boogie boards and let's head on down to surfside!

23 August 2009

They Made a Mess

On Friday night I spent 3 or 4 hours at Casualty.
I have swelling where the fat graft was taken about the size of half an orange.
It was diagnosed as a haematoma so back onto antibiotics. Grrr!
At least they didn't have re-open me [yet] and remove anything.
This kind of bruising is excessive and shouldn't happen!

19 August 2009

A success

Now for the gory bits. Careful - they're in the next paragraphs
Saw the CochDoc today and my recent operation was pronounced a success.

Here's what they did
The bones in my skull near the left ear are affected by radiotherapy. It's called necrosis and the bone is rotting. This means that there is a great risk to having a cochlear implant on the left side, if they'd even do it. The fix is to remove the dying bone and clean the area up so that the implant won't fail.
In the course of that operation they also removed the ear canal, the drum, inoperative anyway, and other parts of the ear mechanism including two of the three minute bones. The third bone was left to avoid risking any balance I may have remaining in that ear.
Once that was cleaned out, a fat graft was taken from my gut, laughingly called a tummy-tuck by the wags, and any space created in the ear filled to avoid infection.
Also they left a plastic tab which the CochDoc can use, kind of like a post-it note - "Sign here--------->"

The operation was performed under a general anaesthetic. Because of my radiotherapy experience I have fibrous tissue in my throat, which makes it stiff. When you're under a GA they want to keep you breathing so you breathe thru a tube which normally they pass down your throat [I was asleep] Apparently my neck is too stiff and my jaw won't open far enough so they passed the tube down my throat via the nose and thus avoided the bruising of last time. [Link]

The operation went longer than they expected and was more challenging than they expected. However they did prevail and the CochDoc did make the 'successful' pronouncement today.

I was able to have a shower after not having one for a week. It was a good one, like when you've come back from travelling and you just want to get clean. Some wag suggested I might have had a celebratory piss in the shower to celebrate! [Decorum was upheld, don't worry]

What does this all mean?
It means I'll be able to get my left ear wet for the first time in about 4 years, that means I can swim without any earplugs for the first time in 7.5 years!
It means that my second cochlear implant can go ahead - I'll be able to have more stereoscopic sound, hopefully I'll be able to discern direction. It may lead to better discernment of sound generally so I can hear you at the coffee shop or just walking down the street - at the moment everything comes to me thru one ear at the same time. Noise covers everything.

I can swim!

Op pronounced a success by the CochDoc. When the water's warm...

Posted with LifeCast

Channel 9 GO!

There's a new digital TV channel (channel 9/2) - GO!
And guess what?! No captions have I seen on their broadcasts. Wouldn't you think after last year's shenanigans they might have not launched something half-baked?

Feel like complaining?
Link - http://www.mediaaccess.org.au/complaints/
Do it long, do it loud!

While you're there check out captioned-cinema times, now at Palace Verona!

13 August 2009

Post Blind Sac

Just out of hospital, felling a bit sorry.
The operation has been a complete success, if challenging.
Apparently there was fibrous tissue to negotiate and they remove two of the three smallest bones in the body and the eardrum and, using fatty tissue from my abdomen recreated my ear canal.
I'll be out of action for a bit, no lifting for a coupla weeks.

Posted with LifeCast

10 August 2009

Blind sac

On Wednesday I'll be having a blind sac procedure on my left ear. The idea us to settle down the area and prepare it to receive my second cochlear implant.
The ear has been deaf for over a year. I last had an operation in that ear in 2005.

Posted with LifeCast

05 August 2009

The ball starts rolling

Just back from a world circumnavigation to find that moves are underway for the second cochlear implant. Blind Sac procedure next week, to increase the stability of the area in the ear. So Acme Computer remains closed for the time being.

01 July 2009

Travelling With An Implant

Well got all the batteries and spares together.

Travelled via BA to Rome from Sydney via Singapore - three flights over 26 hours or so. (!) The friendly staff of BA were very helpful. All I had to do was let them know and they'd move me up the queue, kept me going. It's hard without a travelling companion to interpret for me.

Coming into Rome I met a woman whose husband has an implant. I was able to guide her to Roma Termini. It was good to be useful.

In terminals and on planes I was pretty much unable to understand PA systems. And the noise! On the planes I just turn the implant off. It's better than earplugs but the tinnitus is there to keep you amused.

Posted with LifeCast

19 June 2009


It's been a big month
  • 7 years past treatment
  • six months cochlear-equipped
  • first trip cochlear-equipped [to Melbourne - trams, Brunetti]
  • frequent flyer points discharged!
  • first trip overseas cochlear-equipped [29 June]
  • my partner has finished her study [won't know what to do with herself after the previous point]
  • too much work!
Keep an eye on the blog for location news as it happens, with a slight delay I'm sure...

08 May 2009

New Resources

In the light of failure by at least one cinema to provide adequate telecoil facilities I've been looking around for resources for deaf people.

The Australian Human Rights Commission [AHRC] has advice and forms for you to lodge a complaint for yourself or someone else being discriminated against

Forms are on this page <link>
or, this being the 21st century, you can lodge online or via email too.


National Relay Service
This is a great service whereby you can use text chat on your computer to make phone calls. The relay officer does the talking for you! Several different forms, depends how you communicate, whether you can speak but not hear or vice-versa. I've have found it a life-saver. Stay tuned - there may be a FaceBook-based user support group coming...

Cochlear Implant
An Australian success story. The first implant was performed on the 1st of August 1978. [I hope you're sitting down] 30 years to the day after I went 100% deaf! So, like, it was the last day of the 30th year. That is freaky!
Wikipedia page

Sydney Cochlear Implant Centre

Cochlear Implant - the animated movie

Deaf Village
Deaf websites and blogs from all over the world

If you're interested in AusLan check this site. Kind of like a dictionary, it shows the hand gestures. Click the links!

Deafness Forum of Australia
Resources, links elsewhere

Australian Tinnitus Association

Hearing Awareness Week NSW page
23 August 2008

Cochlear Awareness Network

CICADA [Cochlear Implant Club and Advisory Association]

YouTube Switch-On videos

Jennie's Story

Movies - Captioned cinemas


Rights and Complaints
Australian Human Right Commission
Make a complaint to the AHRC

Media Access
Captions [and complaints]

More cinemas captioned

As of 4 May 2009 there are more cinemas with captioned screening sessions

This brings the captioned cinemas in Sydney to a whopping [wait for it], 3!
Come on Dendy and Palace and mega Hoyts where the hell are you?!

07 May 2009

The Results are In Again

Today was my six month tune-up. Yes, six months - I can hardly believe it either.
So my 'exemplary' performance
Sentences, no sound -100%
Sentences, with sound - 55%
Words - 56% [average is 30%]

So, next tune-up in six more months and that's my first cochlear anniversary.

Posted with LifeCast

03 May 2009

First Cochlear-Equipped Plane Trip

I went to Melbourne to visit me bruvva. I was able to negotiate security after check-in on the web [no luggage, the only way to fly]

And, while there I was able to get around by fantastic tram. Several trips per day. Why did Sydney EVER get rid of trams?

My favourite café - Brunetti in Carlton [tram 1 from the city]

A successful trip.

Posted with LifeCast

08 March 2009

The Song - Announcement

By the way...
No correspondence will be entered into regarding the award of any prizes, other than passing on congratulations to the winner. Comment below if you like.

So, there were 35 entries.
There were many songs I have never heard of - hopefully I will hear and recognise them later...
I'd like to be able to include them but these are out of contention.

There were songs I know which would be too jangly. Thing is, with this implant business, I hear differently to you natural-hearing people.

The killer songs were [based on my memory]
Hallelujah, nominated by a few people, a few anonymous. This is such a beautiful song and there is a version by a woman singer [not kd lang] that is in my mind but I don't know who she is
Moon River by Audrey Hepburn [Breakfast at Tiffany's soundtrack]. Such a naive and charming rendition.
Over the Rainbow a terrific song
God Only Knows - Beach Boys
Ave Maria - a real religious song. Difficult to sing and give the song its due.

Nick Cave had a large following but he leaves me cold. Maybe when I can hear them...
TV themes - you folks know my failings. Not right for this exercise I'm afraid.
Frank Zappa - you sure about that?
Beatles - not quite right for this

OK the winner is...
Hallelujah, a Leonard Cohen song, popularised by Jeff Buckley and also sung by that anonymous woman [one day], and loads of others.
Nominated by AM of the Eastern Suburbs
Congratulations, AM! [Crowd roaring]

Thanx to everyone who nominated songs - it has been a very interesting exercise.

02 March 2009

2 March

Went to the CochDoc today - starting the process for implant number 2.
Before the implant can proceed I need a procedure called a "Blind Sac Procedure". 

Since treatment in 2002 [radio and chemotherapy] the structures within my ears have been affected - one outcome is bone necrosis. The risk with the necrosis is that infection will be able to take hold. The Blind Sac procedure seals the area and makes it less-susceptible to infection.
The procedure will happen in August.

Then, once all that has had a chance to recover we'll be investigating the next cochlear implant...

26 February 2009

Call for Nominations - the song

Update 26 February - First - I am NOT giving in! It's now three months since the switch-on.
The adoption of the implant is continuing and so far the results have been, well, spectacular. Music remains a problem and obviously a problem for the longer term, maybe after #2 listening will be easier - at the moment all sound is arriving in [what passes for] my brain all at once and with little differentiation. The speech processor is just that, it is geared to speech primarily.
So - I'm going to award the prize for the music nomination, based on memory rather than realistic hearing [nothing would pass in that case]. Now is the time for last-minute nominations. You have until the end of February to get them in either via email, or use the form further down the page. Remember - it'll have to be something memorable, post-2000 and melodic.

Update 26 November - There are now 32 nominations, hearing is not quite right to announce a winner [they'd all fail with this jangly hearing] so keep 'em coming. Remember melody, harmony, pre-2000 is possible. How young do you think I am? The boyish good looks fooled you!

Update 23 November - I thought that I might have a better appreciation of music. It's certainly better than before tune-up#1 but still jangly. Hopefully with time and despite the mono-ness music will become meaningful again.

Update 21 November - As a result of the first tune-up I will start listening to familiar music. This will assist in re-training me to hear music better. Then I can better judge the nominations. So keep those nominations rolling in!

Update 13 November - The Call for Nominations song poll is still open and will remain so until I think I'm ready to attempt to hear music - thats a big step!
So get your entries in, as many as you like. There is a prize!
[Hint - I'm looking for something melodic and harmonic, something I might recognise. I have a few ideas, but I welcome any suggestion]
Notes at the bottom of this page

Song titleThe nominator said...I said
All You Need is LoveLG suggested itThe Beatles, I can think of a lot of
Beatles songs which could be contenders for the ‘The Song’ I’m
less-inclined to the Paul McCartney end of the catalog however
any Neil Young songsYou can blame his bad singingI don’t find NY’s songs terribly
melodic or harmonic, even though I did listen to Harvest all those
years ago
Anything by
The Pixies
The Pixies were the band Kurt Cobain
tried to imitate when he wrote Nirvana's best known song, Smells Like
Teen Spirit. Why is this good for Couani? Because The Pixies pioneered
the quiet-loud-quiet-loud verse/chorus template that is the basis for a
lot of alternative rock since the late ’80s. Thus a song such as Monkey
Gone To Heaven or Gigantic will test his range of hearing. It will also
make him rock like a bastard. Turn it up, JC. Turn it up loud.
Unknown to me – I’ll have to hear
Ave Maria
Best sung by a single female voice
with minimal accompaniment. Another song to die for.
Birds in backyards-Top
40 bird songs
For the memory to kick inI look forward to hearing as many
birds as I can, including the mascot. Not really music as required by
the poll, but a good suggestion
Bitter Sweet Symphony
The Verve

I heard this song on too many ads or
something for it to be a contender. Didn’t like the lead vocal.
Blessed Essence- ChildrenIt isUnknown to me – I’ll have to hear
Children (Dream Version)
- 7:06 - Robert Miles - Dreamland
Via my friend J.: "It starts off
with rain in a forest and then moves onto the piano before slowly going
into the beginning of the song. Build up is amazing."
Unknown to me – I’ll have to hear
Eva Cassidy's over the
Tony here mate .. late as usual. Try
Eva she's absolutely wonderful and that's coming from a guy who doesn't
really like vocalists
Unknown to me – I’ll have to hear
Every Breath You Take by
The Police
Hit of the 80s which I took a liking
to because my son was a great fan of The Police band.
Nominated twice. Do love this song –
whether an appropriate test of hearing…
Eye of the Tiger,
Oh, who cares what happened since
2000. The Best of Britney is her willingness to appear nude, not her
music. The Day the Music Died was sometime just after 1990. Nothing's
been good since...
Are you kidding? This was suggested
by at least two respondents!
Fallen, Sarah McLachlancos it is beautiful and describes
where you have been, but is also filled with positive energy for the
future, enjoy
Unknown to me – I’ll have to hear
Good Vibrations, Beach
The cochlear relies on themExcellent choice, and God Only
Knows, one of my favourite songs. Contenders
hallelujah, jeff buckleycertainly recognisable, definitely
melodic, and the bloke has a very good vocal range, could be too high
in parts for you to handle but maybe not...
With the right singer, a song to die
for. I wish I knew who sang the version which made me melt when I heard
Hawaii 5-0 theme To distinguish ringtonesI’ve heard quite enough of Steve’s
Theme song in tinnitus. Latest version played on a banjo – think about
Henryk Goreckis Symphony
no 3
Hauntingly beautifulUnknown to me – I’ll have to hear
Hey Jude - The BeetlesAny of the Beetles songs would be
good to listen to. You dont want anything too head banging when you
start out. Best if you have lyrics also so you can follow as you
listen. Even do some from YouTube.
Apparently written by John Lennon as
"Hey Jules" and altered by PMcC. A good song, although the na, na, na,
na bizzo gets up my nose.
JUST BOOOOOTIFULAgreed - another song to die for
John Denver Children of
the Universe
I just captioned this song today, so
you can follow along as you listen. The lyrics are beautiful and John
Denver has an amazing voice.
I don't know this song but John
Denver could certainly sing a mean song. Singable usually - have to
hear it.
Moon River Audrey HepburnMoon river with a Lisa Simpson voice
could be interesting.
A song which rips your guts out.
Pure, simple
What is it with Neil Young!?
Praise You Fatboy slim"I have to celebrate you baby, I
have to praise you like I should".....
Where’s the melody/harmony? Not the
right kind of song
RockLobster B52scant get those BeeHive dos out of my
head fun, fun, fun
Good and few more B52s tracks are
contenders [Love Shack has great harmonies]
Sadness Prt1Blessed EssenceUnknown to me – I’ll have to hear
SiX Million Dollar Man
Cause you're bionicAs far as I can recall, was this
actually music?
Sound of Silence - Simon
& Garfunkle
Its quite obvious really ..... Ahh the irony, but and excellent
choice for harmonies and melody. Singable
Spanish Flea - Herb
Alpert and the Tijuana Brass
You know whySadly enough this is a great
suggestion and a few others of Herbs. Cheesy but good!
the ship song, nick caveall time beautiful, melodic song
...just listen to it.. deaf or not .. you'll know what I mean.........
Unknown to me – I’ll have to hear
The Wonder of YouFor practiceElvis – there’s a few Elvis songs
which could easily be contenders
Thievery Corporation The
Richest Man In BabyloN-
GOOD SOLID BASSUnknown to me – I’ll have to hear
this is the end , the
one of those never ending all time
greats from way before
Agreed - there are few Doors songs
which capture the moment…
Us & ThemPink Ployd. No reason in particular,
I just love the song!
Pink Floyd DsotM. Haven’t heard it
for a while but I think there might be more melodic tracks.
Valley Girl and catholic
girls Frank Zappa
With a tongue like a cow she can
make you go Wow!
Unfortunately known to me. Where’s
the melody?
walk on the wild side,
lou reed
tres kool....feels gooodI saw Lou when he came to Sydney
during the Walk on the Wild Side days. I think I can’t go along with
this nomination because of that
Yesterday - The BeetlesBecause it is easy listening and you
can try and listen to the words as well as the music.
Always been a good song, nice easy

23 February 2009

Higgledy-Piggledy birds in Byron

OK you can stop waiting, or pestering me for the latest cinematic extravaganza.
Forget the Oscars, Heath Who?!

Presenting Butcher Birds in Byron Bay, the movie. Don't wait for the book.

15 February 2009

Trip to Byron Bay

13 February
We arrived in Woolgoolga mid afternoon and noticed that there were a lot of rainbow lorikeets around. At sunset there were 1000s of them. And there were some black cockatoos too. And my friends the butcher birds but not so many of them. And kookaburras eating pizza.

14 February
We drove to Byron along the coast - raining most of the way. Booked into the Byron cabin about 3pm. Byron town is overrun by Queenslanders. Must be a public holiday in QLD we think.
Later a butcher bird came by to see what was happening in our cabin...

15 February
We went to Uki in the morning for the 'market'
Later, in Byron, I went into the ocean for the first time since I have had hearing devices - and certainly the first time since I went 100% deaf. The sea bed was not flat and the currents were strong. I found it had to walk into the surf [balance].
At least we had sun after lots of rain over the weekend.

17 February
Another beach outing.
There was no rain, but cloud cover. Tried a different beach and was able to catch a wave!
Heard the butcher birds in the morning and during the day. Beautiful

18 February
Beautiful Tallow beach, too many currents to stand confidently in the water, but splashed around a bit. The roar of the surf was deafening until I took the external bit off. Met a friend for lunch in Mullumbimby. Nice town, nice old weatherboard houses. I hope suburbia doesn't invade too soon!

I give up here's some pics

Byron Trip 02 2009

On the way back
Tamworth - home of the bogan

05 February 2009

This Blog is Viewed around the World

I'll add to this list as I see them.
Down on the right hand side of this blog there's a panel [Feedjit] which shows which country the audience comes from and which page they came from. Many come from deafvillage.com, a reciprocal linked site in the USofA. The little flag denotes the country. I'm amazed at the range of different countries. Lots of websurfers out there.

Here's some I've seen

Australia of course
Czech Republic
Hong Kong [China]
United States

notable exceptions

Facilities available

Here's a list of known facilities for those using electronic devices to enhance their hearing experience.
Those listed as bad will be written to, so they may correct their non-provision of appropriate services.

Those with telecoil devices [hearing aids, cochlear implants] might care to make a positive or negative nomination by commenting below [or email me]. Give your nomination a rating. Entries will be added to the table.

Museum of Sydney,
AGL Theatre
Check with staff first
Palace Cinema
Norton St, Leichhardt
Ask for the telecoil to be turned on
Better Hearing Aust [NSW] Concord
Excellent use of telecoil public address system - the PA is better than for natural hearing people!
Dendy Newtown
King St
Asked for the telecoil to be turned-on - Apparently out of action
There are three ratings [final arbiter - me]
When the loop works as it should - as if you're hearing the speaker
Applies when the service provided works for those who can't hear properly
Applies when there are no facilities or service is non-existant. Letters will be sent.
Applies when the experience is more than negative, like if a service is offered, for a fee or disdain is shown toward those not suitable for their precious system. Luckily not experienced yet. These will be reported to relevant authorities

3 month tune-up

Today it was time for the three month tune-up.
More personalisation of the settings [there are four modes plus telecoil only], refining the settings I do have to suit my hearing experience.

I also underwent the Speech Recognition test in the soundproof booth.
It consisted of four tests
Individual words
Sentences with noise overlay [in which a recorded voice speaks sentences with a raucous noise playing at the same time]

I found that letters such as F and S, M and N, and D and T were the trouble areas but I think that is to be expected. Overall results were good with 60% above average in the 'individual words' test.

Next scheduled tune-up is May 2009.

31 January 2009

31/01/09 - 31/07/08 = 6mths

Yep it's six months since that fateful day when I awoke totally deaf.
Who'd have thought then that I'd have the hearing I have now? Who'd have thought I'd be going to Speech-Reading at Concord [not Burwood]? Who'd have thought I'd meet the people I've met?

Don't forget to check the hearing diary for up-to-the-minute [well, fortnight] reports of the latest hearing spectaculars.

Now, how to celebrate the semi-anniversary?
Crack a half-bottle of champagne or other sparkling beverage over the speech processor? Too messy
Lottery tickets? Can you buy half a lottery ticket?
Maybe go and have a look at half an iPhone [front half, more interesting] in anticipation of the day…

Make a suggestion!

11 January 2009

Tune-up #4

So I have had re-mapping [I call them tune-ups] number 4 on the 8th January. The settings I have settled onto are now arranged thusly
1General PurposeThis is the setting that is on when I turn on the device. I use it for general day-to-day listening.
2General + TelecoilThis is the same as #1 telecoil is on as well. This allows me to hear something on the phone but also in the nearby environment. So I can speak to someone on the phone and someone nearby too.
3TVThis is meant for watching television with but I find TV noisy and annoying. I prefer subtitles/captions I think.
NoisyThis one is for noisy situations. However the situations I find myself in are SO noisy I asked Monica to turn it down. It's not an antidote for aeroplanes and traffic
TelecoilPhoneThis setting is for standard [not mobiles or cordless] and at the movies. Theoretically it's able to be used at banks and other counters where the coil is in use but I ain't found none.

Higgledy-Piggledy Birds movie

After my tune-up of 8 January 2009 [Happy Nude Year by the way] I thought "maybe I can hear them". I went to the park in the early-ish morning, a couple of times but couldn't tell if they were there or not.
Then I thought I'd heard the mascot Butcher-birds. I grabbed the camera and went scurrying up to the park to see if I could hear them, see them and record them. Yes is the answer and the result appears below. All made on a Mac.
The background is a bit noisy but when they sing they sing it out LOUD!! Be patient and you can see one of their silhouettes - they're difficult to see, let alone photograph! It's a bit shaky - I'll use a tripod next time. There were at least two having a good ol' sing-song.
I hope you enjoy it.