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For the past two days, my cable modem has been intermittently stopping working for several hours at a time, then starting again for a few hours, then stopping again.

Unfortunately, Comcast won't be coming out to look at it until Monday morning. So I may not be online much this weekend.

But if it goes too many hours without working, I'll probably go in to work and use the Net connection there.

Anyway, it's working for the moment, but if you need anything from me urgently this weekend, best to call my cell phone.

(I appear to be going through another anti-technology zone. Friday evening, almost all of my web apps that are hosted at Pair suddenly lost access to their databases, including various blogs. Fortunately, the Pair people were on the job and fixed everything within an hour or so.)

In other news, yesterday morning the Soundproof Windows people finally sent someone over to install the soundproof windows that I ordered a couple of months ago. It was an experiment--I didn't know if it would really help--and unfortunately a rather expensive experiment. The jury's still out, but I think what I'm finding is that they significantly reduce the ambient white-noise freeway noise; unfortunately, that's not the noise that's the problem. I don't even notice that freeway noise any more, and I think that the general freeway noise probably actually helps a little in blurring the specific loud abrupt noises that are more likely to wake me up.

I tried sleeping without earplugs last night, but didn't sleep well, partly due to noise from outside. But I'm gonna try it a couple more nights and see if I get used to things.

As I was typing this entry, there was a recurrence of one of the two specific particularly bad noises: there's a guy who works near here, and who loves to work on his extremely loud car engine in his work parking lot, which has direct line-of-sight to my bedroom window. The one time I tried talking with him about it, he informed me that since this is a light industrial zone, there's nothing I can do about it. I believe he's wrong (I'm pretty sure his engine is louder than is allowed even in light industrial--from my bedroom, maybe a hundred feet away, with my regular windows closed, it was still one of the loudest sounds I've ever heard), but since that day he hasn't spent more than five minutes at a time revving his engine, and even when he does rev it these days it's usually a quieter kind of revving (still louder than most cars I've ever heard, but not nearly as loud as the really loud kind of revving he does), so I'm trying not to stress about it.

Anyway, so even with the new soundproof windows, that noise is annoyingly loud. I think they do reduce the volume significantly, but not really enough.

But I'm hoping that they will be sufficient to block out the engine noises at the other business across my back fence, the ones that wake me up occasionally at 5:30 a.m. That's really the main reason I have to wear earplugs to sleep, which makes my ears itch constantly, which is the main reason I wanted the soundproof windows.

In the meantime, the soundproof windows also insulate the room, which is unfortunate in the current summer heat; the room's on the second floor, so it gets too hot, and now there's even less of a way to let that heat out. But at least while I'm awake I can keep the windows open, and I'm hoping that'll be sufficient.

I'll also have to reinstall the mini-blinds that the window-installation guy unnecessarily took down. (He told me that he would charge me $25 apiece to put them back up, which seemed ridiculous given that I'm pretty sure his taking them down was a mistake in the first place.)

On the plus side, unrelated to any of the above, Avani loaned me the first season of the new Dr. Who on DVD, and I've been watching that (in preparation for Hugo voting) and mostly quite enjoying it. Thanks, Avani!

Speaking of which, I should go read some more Hugo nominees. Or at least bring them up in my browser before my connection goes down again.

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I used to sleep near a freight train station where trains would come in at pretty much regular intervals, and you get used to it pretty quickly. It's the abrupt noises that are the bother, as you said (although in a pinch, loud heavy metal music will also do, as I had occasion to experience in my years on university campus).
Not being able to sleep is no fun at all. I really hope the windows help (or failing that, that your neighbour stops being obnoxious and working on his car at impossible hours).

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