Thursday, February 18, 2010

Electric Ears or Can You Hear Me Now

We woke up to another beautiful day in Silver Springs, even if it was a little nippy outside.  Since we hadn’t had a chance to hike for a couple days, we went out for a short hike this morning.

Even though it was a short hike of about 5 miles, which really didn’t take very long, the drive to the trailhead was much farther than we anticipated.  We hadn’t gotten a very early start and, consequently, it was after 1 PM before we got home for lunch.  Still, it was good to get out and stretch our legs and we truly enjoyed the sunshine and blue skies.

Shopping was on the agenda for the afternoon.  The primary item on the shopping list--electric ears for Gene.  This shopping expedition started several months ago.  I have been complaining that Gene can’t hear very well.  To humor me, he had his hearing tested when we were in Nashville in November.  Sure enough, he has what I think is a significant hearing loss.  He has looked at hearing aids at several places, finding the best price at Costo stores, but still in the thousands of dollars.  Either he read somewhere or someone suggested to him to try a sound amplifier.

Last week he checked out what was available at Radio Shack.  The sales person suggested a small amplifier which he could drop down in his shirt pocket or clip to his belt.  With the addition of stereo earbuds, like magic, you have hearing aids for less than $50.  Well, actually, what you have is what Gene has dubbed “electric ears”.

Gene didn’t want to invest even $50 without a little research on the product recommended by the 18 year old clerk at Radio Shack.  Last week, we came home empty handed to do the internet search.  Satisfied with what he read about that product, we went back today to make a purchase.

Today, however, we had a different 18 year old sales person.  He suggested something different.  For about half the price of the amplifier and earbuds, a device that looks like a bluetooth will do the same thing.  Not exactly, I guess, since Gene only purchased one.  I think he figured having amplified sound in only one ear was better than looking really goofy with a bluetooth in each ear.

Surprisingly, this works pretty well.  I had to ask him to turn the TV up so I could hear.

We have waited for a warm, sunny day to do the glass bottom boat thing.  Tomorrow looks like the best day since we got here and, according to the 10-day forecast, will be the best for the rest of the month.  So tomorrow is the day.

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