I put earplugs to the test for July 4th

They were awesome. My neighbors not so much.

July 5, 2019

I used earplugs to sleep through the fireworks last night and I'll never not use them again. Whilst our neighbors were busy proving their freedumb in the houses around us, I was not willing to once again be subjected to this garbage. We might normally get along, but if you're the person doing this, I hated you last night.

I love little fizzy fireworks and Godzilla shooting radical fire from his face. Bring all the sparklers, poppers, snakes, cones, spinny whistling stuff, and whatever else. As for the mortars, m80s, and everything else that can seemingly wake the dead from their graves:

I get particularly grumpy about fireworks because I work such an early shift. Earplugs, do your best!

The concerns: Would they even work? Would I hear my 3:31a alarm?

You have to know how to properly use an earplug without hurting yourself. Pretty often I see people with about 90% of the earplug hanging out of their ears. That's wrong. In order to benefit, you have to know how to properly roll them up tight, and get it safely into your ear canal. Then they expand and reduce noise, in this case, by 32 decibels. Without getting into the math, that's a butt ton of reduction.

As for the alarm, from 2a on, I woke up every 41 seconds thinking I had overslept. I was counting on the iPhone, placed under the edge of my pillow, to vibrate me awake. Clearly, I didn't actually trust it. At about 3:15a, fireworks now ceased for a few hours, I took the earplugs out and got a great 16 minutes of anxiety-free sleep.

The results: Enough bombs blew up within a block of my house to blast a new I-90 through the pass and I only got woken up once. My wife who didn't use anything woke up when things got really sizzling and then stayed up to the bursting blasts for a bit. SpaceBaby somehow zzz'd his way through the bombfest outside his window. Someone oughta tell Americans that the revolutionary was ENDED 270+ YEARS AGO.

The conclusion: Despite the alarm anxiety, this was a better night than almost any Fourth of July in the last decade.

I would 100% recommend using ear plugs for the Fourth as long as you can live with a bit of alarm clock anxiety. 

Also, let's ban the big fireworks. There's nothing positive about them. Leave it to the pros. Dogs everywhere will thank you.