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I was awakened this morning to the chirping of a smoke alarm in our attic crying that its batteries had died. The alarm clock went off with the news of the day. I went down to fix breakfast but first disabled the smoke "dictator" on the way.

Even though I always turn the vent on over the stove when cooking, the smoke alarm anticipates smoke and goes crazy disturbing everyone. Thank you Little Helper. I've been up about 5 minutes and had all kinds of noises steering me into action. There goes the answering machine.

Yesterday on a three lane road I was sandwiched in between hip hop music and a driver rocking and rolling in his seat on one side and country music blaring on the other side with a driver day dreaming. Both were oblivious to my frowning. Or maybe they just didn't give a darn. I love music, but one song at a time please.

We won't even talk about motorcycle noises. I don't think people toot their car horns as much as they used to. When they do, they don't sound like they used to either and most people ignore them. However, I do see a lot more hand signals. Then people get out of their cars and even when they are several cars away you suddenly here the click of them locking it and setting the alarm. (I still have a key, but I also have a very old car.)

A siren sounded announcing a police car. We had to get out of the way fast. I could only hope the music buffs on either side of me were able to hear it too. I liked the old sirens, they sounded more important.

My father was a fireman and taught us to always say a prayer for whoever needed it whenever we heard a siren. It seems I say a lot more prayers now than years ago.

I get angry when I hear a commercial on the car radio with the same siren noises as the real ones. Most often it's just a radio station advertising themselves but for a few seconds you wonder if there's a real emergency or not.

So many of the sounds of today differ from those of the past and there seems to be much more of them. A few years ago boom boxes were all the rage, now it's MP3s and iPods. They're easier on our ears but the people listening to music plugged directly into their ears I fear are looking into a quieter future than they think.

As I age I would have thought I'd like things louder, but it seems it's the young people who can't hear very well. Loud amplifiers and speakers have to be doing damage to their ear drums.

Some people (not me of course) set their computers to ring every time they get an email and a different sound for an Instant Message. Yes, I do keep the radio on at the office.

Cell phones not only ring but they also play songs. If I hear "Brown Eyed Girl" again I'll scream. No offense, Debbie. Have you been in a church or a library when a cell phone went off? How about a play? If you're really that important maybe you should put it on vibrate or stay home.

The doorbell isn't a bell, it's a welcoming tune. We have one like that at the office, maybe we should get one at home too. We have lived in the same house over 40 years and still have trouble telling the front from the side door.

Driving home from the office through Little Italy music is coming from two or three speakers on restaurants. I don't know which I enjoy more: Dean Martin's Amore or the smell of donuts and sauces.

In the evening when the dog is walked, you can hear the neighbors' televisions playing or someone practicing their music lesson. My son tells me he hears our television from next door when I have it turned up so I can hear it from other rooms.

Does your dog bark at the phone or doorbell ringing on television? When a dog barks on television ours goes right up to investigate. So much for their keen sense of smell.

Sometimes when I'm home alone I put the television on just for background noise. Some of the words I hear on television and from young people are words I never would have thought I'd hear. Never mind that people find them acceptable. Where is the fels naphtha soap?

Thank God for the remote control. Commercials always get louder and more obnoxious. I have to admit my vocabulary has taken a turn down. The other day my daughter asked where I picked up some word I used. Then she said, "You television is cut." In her dreams.

However, we are influenced without thinking, by what we see and hear. If my husband were still alive we would probably only be watching sitcoms from thirty years ago.

It seems we all need ringing alarms to tell us the washer and dryer are done. If we don't pay attention the machines will nag off and on for several minutes. Do you find yourself answering it "OK - I'm coming!"?

The microwave rings when it turns off and the buzzer tells us that the toast is burning or the roast needs checking. Remember the days of the quiet lawn mower, a shovel for snow and a rake instead of a leaf blower?

I am not saying these things are not helpful. They (well most of them) are very good inventions and I use many of them. But at night when everything is turned off and you can hear the clock tick, it's nice to just sit back and enjoy the silence.

That is until you get in bed and hear a car alarm go off. Is it mine? Is it being stolen or is there a cat walking across it?

A friend recently got a hearing aid and suggested I get my ears tested. So many people have them today. No thank you. I hear quite enough already.

Tell me about noises I forgot.

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