Remember back on May 1 I got a ticket?
Cook County took its own sweet time returning my license to me. In fact I got it back 5/23, four days after it had expired, and various issues kept me from getting over to the DMV to get it renewed even after that.
I expected many trials and tribulations as a result. So today I geared up to go do it: I dug out my passport, my birth certificate, and found a piece of mail from a company proving I live where I live. I got the "cut-to-length" twist ties out, so I could secure the front plate to the Jeep in case I needed to take a driving test. I shaved and showered.
I got to the DMV at about 2:15 or so...and was out of there by 2:30.
That scared me.
I mean, I walked in and told the guy at the entry kiosk what I needed; he printed out a number and told me to sit in the brown chairs. I was halfway to the brown chairs when the computer-generated voice called my number.
I didn't need any of the ID I'd brought with me. The license was expired but it didn't matter.
Once the woman was done entering the data, she instructed me to step down to the cashier. I waited for ten seconds and then paid my $10. I stepped down again, to the vision testing station--that took about thirty seconds.
The longest I had to wait was after my picture got taken; that took two minutes.
I mean, damn, everyone knows the DMV is not that efficient. What the hell happened?
* * *
Anyway, so now that I've got my license back, I can breathe a bit easier. I was dreading having to explain to a police officer why I was driving on a ticket when my license should have been renewed....
All's well that ends well, I suppose.
* * *
The rest of my plans did not happen. I didn't get a new blade for the Awesome, nor did I buy a cheap-ass MP3 player.
After I was done at the DMV, though, I went to Best Buy to have a look around. I again looked at a CD player and had a gander at a likely-looking Toshiba DVD/VCR combo. I didn't buy anything, though; nothing really caught my attention.
I went home--getting here about an hour after I'd left--played D2 for a little while, and then hit the hay.
* * *
Current temp at 9:45 PM: 80°F. Summertime!
* * *
One thing I recall seeing in the Philippines was a clothing store which was selling down vests. Yes, the puffy goose down vests that are typical autumn wear for some people in temperate zones. And at the time, I thought, Who the hell needs that here?
I mean, come on: I'm talking about Cagayan de Oro City, which is a scant 8° north of the equator; it's freaking hot there, all the time. If the temperature ever falls below about 70 it'll probably be because a new ice age has begun; who could possibly ever need a winter coat there?
...but I live in a temperate zone. Who the hell knows? I have heard the stories about natives of the southern tier of states in the US who put on winter coats when the temperature falls below 70°--and I consider those people to be overly sensitive to cold. What must it be like when the daytime temperatures average 95°? Year-round? I'd have to guess that people who live in the tropics have a different idea of "cold" than I do.
Still, the idea of putting on a goosedown vest--in that stinkinous, sticky heat--makes my skin crawl. I could live in CdO City and never, never ever need a pair of long pants, ever again.
* * *
Not that I will, of course.
* * *
In the RPG Alternity the equipment lists contain clothing called "climate weave", and I liked the term so much I borrowed it for use in my own stories. (For example, there's a scene where a guy is assigned to a landing team; when he draws his equipment, among it is "uniform: tropical weave".)
The idea is that the clothing contains an active heat transport mechanism of some kind--something that people are actively trying to develop now--which isn't so far-fetched for a story set in the 24th century. The clothing won't keep you cool, necessarily, but it'll help you keep from sweating to death in heat you aren't accustomed to. And of course the opposite is true: clothing which acts to insulate you from cold, which doesn't absorb water but feels like natural fiber, and which contains a self-inflating life vest. (This particular item was typical wear for a colony on a water world.)
Look at Star Trek and you see people wearing clothing with long sleeves all the time. I figure that stuff has to be "climate weave" as well, since you never see an Away Team break a sweat unless it is really freaking hot where they are--and by that I mean "Death Valley" hot, or hotter.
Considering the tech level of the ST universe (and the fact that they can pack a hand-sized device with enougn energy to vaporize multiple human-sized targets on command) I wouldn't be surrpised if their uniforms had actual refrigeration built in. If we wanted to do that, the power source would have to be on a backpack and would weigh dozens of pounds, but the ST guys could do it with a little dingus the size of their communicator pins. That's because they have magic technology which frequently violates the Laws of Thermodynamics.