Friday, September 13, 2013
The Cone of Slience
As you all probably know by now Bobbie's dad is living with us as he can no longer live by himself so we asked him to move in with us and he graciously accepted our offer. We had and have many good times with him. He tells us stories of what it was like living in the 40’s and 50’s. Most of his stories are fascinating. Others not so much.
In the beginning he had some freedom as he was still self-sufficient and needed no assistance. Nevertheless, as time marches on that is no longer the case. He has gotten frail, his mind is still intact and sharp, but his body is slowing down. He now needs help with simple things and he relies on us to do those things for him. Things that we take for granted. Most of the time we do it happily and we consider it a blessing to help him with his daily chores.
But now that he is home all the time our "US" time has diminished imperishably to almost nothing so we started to do the research on what it would cost and how hard it would be to turn our bathroom into a soundproof room. After researching how to soundproof a room I was amazed at how many different ways there was to deaden the sound of a simple sound as a hand slapping a butt or a paddle cracking her backside although the biggest sound I had to be concerned about is Bobbie yelling too loud, LOL.
Our bedroom would have been nice to do but we were prohibited from doing that because the man has super hearing. He hears everything that we do and Bobbie and I are deafer than a doorknob. Our salvation for the coveted “US” time was the basement and the only room we have down there is a bathroom that we put in before her dad moved in with us. So the goals were set and the clock started ticking on producing a room that was code named The Cone of Silence, do you see the humor here of how our room was turning out.
We went scouring the net for information,which in HOH talk is I went searching for our salvation to keep our sanity. FYI the best way to build a soundproof room is to build a room within a room where none of the studs from the inner wall touches the outer walls. Yep you have the same look as I did when I read that and I was saying to myself that is not happening. After a long decision of a few seconds, we (Bobbie) decided that we weren’t going to build a room within a room.
The second option was to hang thick heavy drapes around the outer walls. Before we went out to buy the drapes for the outer wall I hung up a heavy bed cover to get some idea of how much this was going to reduce the noise. I hung them at the corner wall where you had to pass to get to the laundry room. As Bobbie was walking past that corner the a/c turned on, the curtains moved next to her, and she let out a scream. After her heart came back down to normal she told me that she is not going to walk by the curtains anymore because it was just too creepy walking by them always thinking someone or something was coming out and grabbing you. We excessively saw many horror movies where the monster or killer was behind the curtain.
Back to the drawing board. I went and I found a better way to accomplish our goal. It was egg cartons. Laugh all you want and snicker at me or mock me if you will but they are great for defusing sound waves. At first I was collecting all kinds of egg cartons until I reread the instructions that only cardboard egg cartons would work because of the thickness and the shape of those bumpy things that cradle the eggs. We then started collecting all the cardboard egg cartons we could get our hands on. Once we had over a hundred cartons we started cutting the cartons to fit in-between the studs. Talk about a mind-numbing job. After about 1.5 hrs. Of cutting and taping approximately 45 egg cartons together, we got one section of the wall done and like a proud parent we were looking at our creation. We busted out laughing at the futility of our daunting job because the section we got done was 16” wide 7 ft. tall and we had another 18 sections to go woo hoo. Yeah we were rolling right along. After taking everything down and five garbage bags later, I went, not so happily this time, to do some more research.
I found a company that sold sound proofing foam at a reasonable price. It tested to reduce the noise by at least 50%.
So jumping in the van we trekked off to this huge warehouse where they have everything you would ever want in the shape of foam. I chatted to the salesperson and she told me what I needed to do with her sound deadening panels. So I bought a sheet of sound deadening foam, they rolled it up and I stuffed it in the van.
After I got it downstairs I had to look for a razor blade knife, like any normal male you walk into a lumberyard and you walk out with a razor knife because you never know when you’re going to need one. Therefore, after finding one, I cut the tape and out springs this 5’ x 8’ foam sheet just like those springy snake things in a can. After making my workspace a little bit bigger, I started to cut the panel to the size I wanted. This went surprisingly good and in about 3 hours I was done with half of the bathroom walls.
I was giddy with happiness thinking my quest will soon be over for a room we can go hide in. I put a radio in the room and turned it up louder than what Bobbie was going to yell. Bobbie sat in Walter’s chair and listened for the noise. She reported that she could hear a little of it but after she turned on the TV she couldn’t hear it.
Oh how we danced for joy! Smiling like loons and that we had finely reached the holy land of spankings. We went to our online friends in a chat room, we shared our joy with them and we acted like proud parents of a newborn. I would have passed out cigars if I could have found a way to get them through the internet lines.
We ran back to the Foam Warehouse and told the sales person we wanted to buy another sheet of foam and the imp of a sales person said what thickness and that is when everything started to unravel. She asked me what thickness I wanted 1, 2, or 3” foam. I should have stuck with the game plan and left everything alone and just bought the same thickness and been happy. But no I am a man and we always think bigger is always better so I went to the 2” panel. We went back home and Installed the new sheet of foam on the walls. We did another sound test with the radio. I turned it on while thinking of all the fun times we are going to have down here. Then my spanking world came crashing down around me. Bobbie sadly reported that she could now hear everything like she was downstairs in the room.
Denial set in quickly and I said something intelligent like you couldn't of heard the noise and my favorite are you sure you can hear the radio? I went into a deep depression and moped for a couple of days thinking I was going to spend all our retirement money on motel rooms just so we can be alone.
So back to the drawing board I went. I was looking for a professional contractor that I could talk to and hopefully give me some advice on what to do when I found a site that explained it in nonprofessional terms on how to do it. He said to use house insulation between the walls and that it was the cheapest and best way to soundproof a room.
I had some insulation left from a previous job. I installed it on the shortest wall and we did the sophisticated sound test again. We started to get reasonable results from the fiberglass insulation. Back to the lumberyard I went minus Bobbie. She didn’t think it was fun anymore trying to build a room so that I can spank her (I think she just realized what was going to happen if the room ever was built.)
Four hours and six beers later the insulation was up, I got the trusty old radio and turned it on. Bobbie was upstairs sitting in Walter's chair with her phone on and then I turned on the radio and the first thing I hear is I can hear the radio. Looking at the radio and sinking fast like a drowning man I went upstairs and I couldn’t hear anything but as I got closer to Bobbie I could hear the radio playing my darling wife still had her phone on she didn’t mute it.
Looking at each other as if we hadn’t a clue of what just happened, we both burst out laughing at what happened. I turned off the phone and all we could hear was the low drone of the TV set. It is far from perfect but he can’t hear it in his seat and now we can have our sanity back the only thing now is we have to keep coming up with excuses of why the both of us have to go downstairs. That is another problem for another day.