Rubbish, piffle, tommyrot, drivel and utter bilge

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Puffin' Billy

It wasn't until I started on Monday to edit a Skype conversation (in order to fashion it into a podcast) that I realised how much I breathe through my mouth.

Let me back up a little bit. It was a spur-of-the-moment thing to interview my friend Douglas via Skype on Saturday. We have a lot of likes in common, and we're both a bit long-winded, and so it ended up being a 2 hour and 4 minute chat. Great fun, and I don't know about Doug but I could easily have chatted longer.

By Monday I realised I had a cold. Listening to the playback it was obvious that I was in the beginning stages of it at the time. My breaths were shallow and raspy and quite loud - either that or the internal mic on my laptop is super-sensitive. So I had the unenviable task of editing 2 hours of chatter and somehow removing most of the unappealing bronchial sounds from my end (plus other unwanted extraneous sounds such as my mad dogs barking, Josh stomping up the stairs, doors slamming, etc.).

(Here comes the techie bit.)

Luckily for me, the software I use to record Skype calls records the outgoing mic on the left channel and the incoming sounds on the right channel. So once I had edited out all the ums and ahs and sniffs and repetition, leaving me with an hour and 50 minutes of usable audio, I was able to split the two tracks of audio (which are saved as a stereo mp3) into two single mono tracks. I then took my audio and opened it in a separate window so I could hear clearly where all the heavy breathing and other noise was and de-amplify those particular sections by about 20dB. I managed to do that this morning. I then took the finished audio and re-joined it to the audio of Doug talking. Now I have a clean copy, I can carry on editing, adding music, intros etc. and it is my sincere hope to have it ready by the weekend.

However, we still have the issue of my breathing. I am asthmatic as I think I've told you all before, and I am an inveterate snorer which causes me no problem at all, but causes other people endless grief. 

I never even knew I was a snorer until I went on a school trip to France and shared a 3-person room with my mates James and Rupert. The first morning I awoke with the pillow on my head - I had sadly kept them awake without being aware of it.

My second wife used to adopt the technique of poking and prodding and using her well-manicured nails in the manner of a woodpecker on the side of my head. However, this method only resulted in me getting angry at her more than anything else. So I used to sleep on the downstairs sofa quite frequently.

Laura makes me sleep on my stomach - which I think is a slight improvement, but it's not my preferred mode of sleeping because in order to be comfy I have to have my hands under the pillow or my face, which can mean I find it hard to get my head in a comfortable position, or that my hands will go to sleep. I like sleeping on my back or my side. 

When I lived for a short time in a Salvation Army Shelter (in late 2009), I shared a dorm with 8 other guys. They hated it, and would jog my bed to wake me several times a night. One of them even took me to a CVS pharmacy to purchase one of those anti-snoring sprays, but those do not work on the kind of snoring I have.

The only thing that will work is one of those chinstraps that stop your mouth from falling open in your sleep - don't believe me, just try making yourself snore with your mouth tight shut. Trouble is, I have chronic rhinitis and never really have a snot-free day, so making me sleep with my mouth closed would be like drowning for me - I wouldn't be able to breathe clearly through my nose.

Plus, as I believe I have mentioned a time or three, I am a chubby guy. This fact in itself makes any bronchial issues a person has ten times worse. I know I need to lose weight, but first you have to remove all temptation from me. And I work in a convenience store where I am surrounded by chocolate and many other snacks. I feel like I want to start a Kickstarter campaign to pay for me to spend a month on a health farm where I get to eat nothing but nettle broth and sliced cucumber.

Little Britain - Bubbles DeVere by eric-hope

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