[Tweeters] The Ear Hat

Jeff Gibson gibsondesign at msn.com
Sun Jan 18 16:46:08 PST 2015

A long time ago, I used to hear real good. Then stuff happened.
The first thing that happened was when I was eighteen years old. I was on a quarter-long geology field course, which I started with a bad case of bronchitis. I was like totally in a state of mucous, when our field trip went over a high mountain pass in California, then plunged straight down into Death Valley - as low as you can go in the USA without scuba gear. In the aftermath of this drastic elevation change, my ears got so plugged with crud, that I was nearly totally deaf for about two weeks. I even wrote a tweeters post about that.
Anyhoo, my hearing somehow took a hit after that. Then I did dumb stuff like listening to the long version of the Grateful Dead's 'Dark Star' (the Live album) too loud , too many times. I used noisy power tools without ear protection. I did foolish things with my ears. Now I don't hear so good.
Just recently having acquired eye-glasses ( a real blow to my ego), now I'm thinking about hearing help - at least in nature; I certainly don't want to hear about anymore chores. But, (ego again) there's nothing that sez GEEZER! more than a hearing aid. So I came up with my latest semi-brilliant idea: The Ear Hat.
A while back I posted on tweeters about my favorite app (beer), and noted the existence of the Beer Hat, which is a sort of idiotic thing that you can wear and drink beer while using your binoculars at the same time. Yes, I know that's stupid. Then I got to thinking - "If you could use a Beer Hat, why not an Ear Hat?"
Recently , trying to listen to a movie on our Everett TeeVee, (with crappy speakers) I used that ol' 'cup -your -hand-behind-your -ear' trick. It really works! Then I got to thinking about our little nature buddies, like Hare's, Kit Foxes, Bats, and critters like that. "Hey, those big ears must really work, or else why pack 'em?"
So here's my Ear Hat idea, and I really need your help because I'm not much of a techno. The notion is getting some sort of cap and attaching some big ear-like sound scoops to it. These would feed into earbuds, maybe, or maybe not, but unlike people who wear earbuds outdoors and can't hear anything around them, you would be hearing the sounds of nature really great! I think the tricky part would be getting sound from all directions like your regular ears do. Maybe some kind of Yoda deal.
So, instead of uncool hearing -aids, you could slap on your really cool Ear Hat, and head out into bird land. Creepers and Kinglets heard crystal clear! The designer options could be endless. When you don't want to hear anything, just take off your hat.
Jeff Gibsonthinking a lot, inPort Townsend Wa

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