Books Jettisoned Mid-Drone

Every once in a while, The Droning Voice Just. Can’t. Take. It. and cannot bring herself to drone any further in a particular tome.  Such is the case with “Frank, the Young Naturalist” (ca. 1864).
That will NOT, however, keep her from writing a review of what she read up to the point of where she couldn’t-stand-it-any-longer.

In her mind, the definition of “naturalist” was more along the lines of this definition:

A naturalist is any person who studies the natural world. Naturalists make observations of the relationships between organisms and their environments, as well as how those relationships change over time. One of the most well-known examples of a naturalist is Charles Darwin.

But, in the 1860s, the definition was more along the line of a person who enjoys killing various critters as “sport”, and then using their skills with taxidermy to display dead critters in realistic scenes.  Sorta.

The Droning Voice was completely bamboozled by the cover of this book, which caused her to think the story would be more akin to the former definition of “naturalist”, rather than the latter. HOWEVER, any boats mentioned in the book look nothing like what is displayed on the cover, so she wonders what on earth possessed Mr. Castlemon to okay the cover art.  Possibly he had no say, and is an innocent victim in this blatant deception.  He is NOT an innocent victim of the story, though.  The body count of critters is high, and limits on what any hunter/fisherman could harvest were not in place at the time. Clearly.  After reading what she did, The Droning Voice is amazed that any wildlife were able to survive the slaughter to reproduce.

The story revolves around a teenager, Frank.  who is an ardent naturalist/hunter.  The opening chapters go into detail about Frank’s “museum”, which is full of animals Frank has personally dispatched and then used his skills with taxidermy, which seemed to have been formidable, and may have been more realistic in posing them than the current trend of posing a dead raccoon in a canoe.  BTW, The Droning Voice located this image doing a quick search on Google, and was quite surprised at the sheer number of raccoons in canoes being offered for sale. This one is for sale on Etsy if you simply MUST own it.

Sorry, The Droning Voice got squirreled by images like the one above.  Back to the book, we then explore Frank’s bedroom, in which he keeps not only his carefully maintained gun, but also his hunting apparel, which involves “sheep’s gray pantaloons”.  We also learn that Frank was a reader of some person by the name of Bayard Taylor, who was an actual poet and literary critic, and appeared to have quite a following at the time. The Droning Voice will be on the lookout for any volumes of Mr. Bayard Taylor, provided they pass the rigid requirements of The Droning Voice’s, meaning the purchase price is under $5.

Also, she wasn’t certain what Mr. Castlemon meant when he described the boys in the village as “nimrods”.  In her diligent research, she found that “Nimrod” was either the name of a mighty hunter OR an idiot.  Mr. Castlemon was vague in his usage, leaving the actual definition up to the reader.

The Droning Voice will not be offering this book in drone form, since she doesn’t want to raise the ire of vegetarians/PETA/raccoon fans.  If, however, you are interested in purchasing her copy of this book, she might take you up on it.

Besides, she has PLENTY of other selections to help you fall asleep.

Pleasant Dreams!

An “All Natural” (!) Sleep Aid!!!

There seem to be a LOT of sleepless people out there, certainly according to the internet.  But never fear!  The Sleep Industry has all sorts of remedies which will help you dream about kittens and wake up with a smile on your face.  Most of those remedies cost a not insignificant amount of lucre, but they are worth it because….kitten dreams.

There are all kinds of supplements (natural!), and pharmaceuticals (not natural!) (according to the supplements industry!), all of which claim to help you sleep!  Maybe!  The implication, from the “natural” supplements industry is that you can ingest something that “might” help you sleep.  The implication, from Big Pharma, is that you ingest something that “might” make you sleep.

The Droning Voice came about after hearing several friends describe how the only thing that really seemed to help them was having human speech as background noise.  Then she discovered something called ASMR, and here is a quote:

Known as autonomous sensory meridian response, or ASMR, this pseudoscientific term describes a physical and mental sensation that many claim to experience. Some with ASMR feel shivers up their spine or brain “goose bumps.” Others become drowsy and dazed” (which apparently happens when some people listen to a droning voice).

“Drowsy and Dazed” is what The Droning Voice is going for.  She also discovered, by reading many dubious websites, that “osmosis” might actually work!  She encourages all parents to immediately subscribe to The Droning Voice as a quick ‘n’ easy way to put their kids to sleep AND learn about science-y stuff from 100 years ago.  Or Book-keeping.  Hey, those kids might wake up better prepared to do your taxes than YOU are.

Most importantly, for THIS post, is that listening to one of the selections faithfully droned by The Droning Voice herself may be all you need to help you, or your kids, nod off.  No ingesting of substances of questionable effectiveness and potential side-effects.  Only potential learning.  FYI, The Droning Voice learned a LOT about ca. 1917 automobile repairs.

Remember, though, it is possible that your kids could wake up confident that ALL volcanoes in N. America are extinct, because you chose to have them listen to “Our Wonder World – vol. 1” ca. 1918.   Today’s volcanologists beg to differ.

You can subscribe to The Droning Voice here. more “An “All Natural” (!) Sleep Aid!!!”

About Adult Fiction

Adult fiction from 100+ years ago is certainly…different from Adult Fiction of today.  Some would say it has “evolved”.  Others, and The Droning Voice is in this camp, say it has “devolved”.  For those raised on current authors, The Droning Voice can assure you that there are far fewer explosions, less profanity – though words like “scoundrel” were used -, more descriptions of being “perturbed”, and WAY more clothing.  Given the lack of on-demand temperature control, The Droning Voice is amazed those people didn’t just pass out from the heat, OR spend all their time huddled in front of their woodstove in a vain attempt to stay warm and not losing key fingers to frostbite.  The only people being dispatched usually had it coming (NO charges filed), and it was typically attended to discreetly, and usually to defend the heroine’s honor.  Actually, EVERYTHING was much more discreet, including how the lead characters in most of these novels procured their income.  The Droning Voice assumes they were ALL trust-fund babies.  God forbid they actually WORK for a living.  In today’s literature, yes, even working in an office can be rife with romantic intrigue and deeds of daring-do, and WAY more skin (often involving office desks).  But in the late 1800s and early 1900s, even the hint of such a thing would cause any lady to swoon, with a gentleman being quick to catch her.  Men were always hoping to catch a swooning heroine, that being the only time they could honorably grope her.  And EVERYBODY kept a small bottle of something called smelling salts on hand for just such an occasion.  Really, The Droning Voice thinks a small bottle of that stuff might be just the thing to wave under another person’s nose when said nose is getting “out of joint”.  Maybe, just maybe, it could snap them out of it, though The Droning Voice is skeptical.  Let her know how it goes!

Also, it seems that most of the heroes from the fiction of that era rode horses.  Given the costs involved with owning an automobile or other vehicle today, riding a horse to work may be exactly what the modern day businessman should be doing.  #historyrepeatsitself
If the listener is used to the works of, well, The Droning Voice won’t mention NAMES, any of these selections should put you right to sleep.  She sincerely hopes you have a good time reading the reviews while deciding which one to bore you into slumber.

As always, pleasant dreams!

The Droning Voice Adds Samples

After The Droning Voice opened the gates to her website, allowing web-crawlers and search engine robots to have their way with her content, The People™ also commented they would like to hear more samples.

As The People™ wish is The Droning Voice’s command.  At great personal expense to her free time, she had her indentured servant generate a 90-second sample of each of the books (29 books at this writing) so she could post them on each book’s individual page.

The Droning Voice wishes to remind The People™ that unlimited access to the full versions of her monotonous readings of all these books, cover to cover, are available for the reasonably low cost of $5 per month.  To subscribe to The Droning Voice you go here, click the “I agree” box, and follow the rest of the directions.  She thanks you in advance.


What is Insomnia – Part 4

In which The Droning Voice wanders into the vast wilderness of…..MATTRESSES.
The Droning Voice is stating up front that she has NO idea who founded the plethora of “sleep studies” out there OR who funded the various studies. And she is CERTAIN those studies were absolutely objective, and not biased towards whichever company helped provide funds for the studies.

The Sleep Foundation offers their recommendations here.

The Buyer’s Guide offers their recommendations here.

The Droning Voice got HER mattress online after perusing various websites and becoming so confused that she basically went to to purchase her most recent mattress on a Black Friday sale. It was/is some sort of memory-foam mattress, which she likes, though will note that there are people out there who vehemently dislike them. The Droning Voice ignores their complaints, and does remember, with great satisfaction, the joy of slitting the bag into which her queen-sized mattress was compressed and gleefully watching it pop open. Really, far more entertaining than most movies she has seen recently, and absolutely with more usefulness. So far, she is satisfied, but can’t remember either the brand of her mattress OR how old it is. If somebody wants to pay her a huge sum of money to claim it is THEIR brand of mattress, feel free to contact The Droning Voice. She makes no outlandish claims about her credibility regarding household purchases, so Buyer Beware.

Also, The Droning Voice finds it “interesting” that mattresses are always ON SALE!!!! Does anybody ever pay full price for one? If so, how much is that? Related to that, the price range of mattresses is, well, all over the map. The Droning Voice has a sister who paid a lot for a mattress, but her mattress is somehow linked to her phone.  Apparently it can, somehow, adjust her mattress while she is sleeping to ensure that her sleep is not interrupted by whatever not adjusting the mattress could cause. Or something like that. The Droning Voice wants to know if the mattress can also record, for posterity, any talking-in-your-sleep or gaseous output you make while sleeping, and does it then tell you to quit watching horror movies and eating beans? Also, The Droning Voice wants you to know that, since she got online to look up mattresses for the benefit of her brilliant, if not sleepy, readers, she knows she will now have her social media accounts inundated with mattress ads. Such is her dedication to YOU.

So, like pillows, the important quality to bear in mind when purchasing a mattress is to find one that is comfortable for YOU.

Also, if any mattress companies out there would like to send one to The Droning Voice for product testing, feel free to contact her.

Pleasant dreams!

What is Insomnia – Part 3

In which The Droning Voice wades into the murky and subjective topic of pillows.

The Droning Voice spent, of her own free will, several minutes scouring the internet for the BEST pillows, and finally landed on an article in Forbes magazine which makes it clear that an august periodical such as Forbes magazine isn’t about to take sides on the divisive topic of “pillows”. However, and The Droning Voice didn’t contact Forbes magazine to verify this, she is guessing that the manufacturers of the mentioned pillows probably, and gratefully, showed their appreciation to Forbes magazine with a monetary “donation”.

All pillow studies were performed quite scientifically, she is CERTAIN.

If you suspect your pillow could be at least part of the cause of some of your sleepless nights, The Droning Voice recommends you to do your very own scientific study, but, lacking credentials (or thugs), you may need to set aside a not insignificant amount of bucks to do it properly. Those pillows aren’t provided for FREE, especially if they are the BEST. If you are truly inspired, The Droning Voice suggests looking for a large government grant for the purpose of purchasing pillows. Hey, it might work. One never knows until they try. Let The Droning Voice know how that worked out for you.

And, given the number of studies out there showing why particular pillows by particular manufacturers are the BEST for (whatever-your-issue-is), she is confident that you will not be confused by contradictions and simply wind up purchasing whatever feels like it might be comfortable at your local bedding store. Or thrift store, though, The Droning Voice suggests fumigating the pillow if you go with the latter. Unless, of course, you believe that bed-bugs, fleas, and lice are all Part of God’s Creation, and therefore shouldn’t have their lives snuffed out simply because they spread disease and generally make people’s lives miserable. The Droning Voice knows people like this, and has never been able to spend the night at their houses. Amazing how that works out.

So, after her exhaustive internet search, The Droning Voice has concluded that you should get whatever pillow you personally find the most conducive to a good night’s sleep.

Pleasant dreams!

What is Insomnia? – Part 2

The Droning Voice doesn’t care what you sleep in.  Whatever you want to wear in the privacy of your own home is nobody’s business.  There are, however, a LOT of businesses dedicated to convincing you that whatever you are wearing (or not wearing) is what is keeping you awake.

They might be correct.  Or they might just be trying to make a fast buck.  Either way, it seems that there are two basic options for sleepwear:

  1. Sleep naked
  2. Sleep in some sort of garment(s) designed for…sleep. The Droning Voice will comment that she has seen an increasing number of people actually wearing pajamas in various public places, causing her to wonder if these people are so sleep-deprived that they want to be ready to curl up in, say, the hardware department of Walmart and catch a few Zzzzs if the sleepies hit.  The Droning Voice has, so far, refrained from suggesting they also have a pillow and blanket handy.  So far.

Option 1 is self-explanatory.

Option 2, however, is quite the proverbial can of worms.  Ideally an individual wants:

  • a garment that will keep them warm, but not too warm
  • a garment that is loose enough to not cut off any necessary circulation, but not so loose that it will tangle up in knots and cause the individual to risk death-by-pajamas if they have to get up in the middle of the night to attend to potty urges, refrigerator urges, or urges to stalk ex-lovers online
  • a garment that isn’t scratchy (The Droning Voice includes this for those who need it explained)

The vast selection of sleepwear is…gob-smacking.  The Droning Voice found several selections on Amazon, though notes that many of these delightful styles can be found elsewhere.  One of these styles may suit your needs and aid you in drifting off to slumber land.  The Droning Voice will also advise that she found plenty of garments that, while meant for wearing in the bedroom, are not particularly meant to be sleep inducing.  She will also state that if you type “ridiculous pajamas” in to your search engine of choice, she is not to be blamed for any ill-advised purchases you might make, though, who knows?  Maybe your mother-in-law WILL like that Sponge Bob Square Pants sleeping ensemble.  The Droning Voice also thinks there could be a market for custom pajama bottoms that have a photo of somebody you personally despise printed right on the butt, all the better to wear when you have had a nice helping of beans and cornbread.  The meal might keep you awake, but there may be a certain amount of satisfaction knowing where the output is hitting, even though you, personally don’t have to look at it.

Pleasant dreams!

What is Insomnia? – Part 1

The Droning Voice thinks that if you have to ask, perhaps you don’t have it. (Or maybe you have an aversion to 4-syllable words.) It means that, for whatever reason, you can’t sleep when you should. There can be many causes of insomnia, from situational to serious. The Droning Voice does not address conditions which cause serious insomnia. She will blog about other situations which may contribute to insomnia, as a service to ALL insomniacs (of which she is one), and as a way to drive traffic to her website.

Some situations which may contribute to insomnia are more readily solved than others.

Causes of Insomnia – room temperature

Today, we address room temperature. Most so-called experts, or their websites, suggest a sleeping room temperature between 60°-68° Fahrenheit, so let’s say 65°F, which, for people who snobbishly insist on using Celsius is approximately 18.33333333333333…c.

Too Hot in bedroom – turn on the AC, or, at least, a quiet fan*. If you don’t have access to electricity, then The Droning Voice suggests wet washcloths applied liberally over your naked body, and an elegant hand fan*, preferably waved by a cabana boy in a leather loin cloth. If the cabana boy is counter-productive to falling asleep, then, sorry, you might have to wave the fan yourself. Of you could move to Alaska, though that could result in it being

Too Cold in bedroom – turn on the heat, add a blanket*, sleep with another living being that generates heat. If a person isn’t available, The Droning Voice recommends a friendly dog from your local animal shelter, though will add that some breeds snore more than others. Also, some produce an impressive amount of flatus. The Droning Voice is reminded of a long night spent with her sister and her sister’s Great Dane in which nobody got much sleep. The Droning Voice is going to just put it out there that if her sister’s Great Dane’s gaseous output could be weaponized, it could be used to disperse crowds with great effect, particularly at any political rally. The Droning Voice also has experience with cats as sleeping partners, but can’t recommend them as a rule. In her experience, it typically resulted in a certain amount of hissing, spitting, clawing, and slapping. And that was just from The Droning Voice.

Once you have your interior climate control needs met, then, of course, select one of the many questionable tomes The Droning Voice has elected to read aloud. Set the volume to just barely audible.

Pleasant dreams!

*The Droning Voice does not endorse any of the products which appear on the links, which are all to Amazon, but provides the links as a starting point for anybody interested in said items, primarily because she is lazy. If you hate Amazon and all-that-it-stands-for, then go look at Walmart’s website. Research is good. The Droning Voice adds that she is eyeballing one of those feathered hand fans, knowing that, if she buys one, she will look EXACTLY like any of the women holding one. If you want to procure a leather loin-cloth, you will have to do the research yourself.