I was just drifting off to sleep, still awake but just about not to be, when my fiancee made a noise--a little "hmph" in her sleep--and it lit up my entire visual cortex with this extremely complex pattern that didn't last long enough for me to really see it...but it was enough to wake me up.
The fact that it was a hypnogogic episode makes sense, as I am not normally synesthetic; but when you're falling asleep the brain is changing states, and God alone understands how human consciousness works. My experience was a subset of the dream state and not true synesthesia. Still, it was pretty cool.
I've been a bit jealous of true synesthetes since learning of the condition years ago; it sounds really cool. (Of course I'm not jealous enough to attempt to replicate the experience by consuming hallucinogens.) Thursday night's experience was fascinating to me.
* * *
"Well, that's a new one" department:
"Stress killed your zeal and your horn leaves your lady without music of love," begins the body of this spam e-mail, and it continues, "This month we'd like to introduce you to... hardcore cure! Try our solution. Best brand analogs (full copy of formula). No side effects. Best prices ever. You need our pilules, because your girl needs you active."
Subject? "Lot 1144 is available".
Weirdest "male enhancement" spam ever.
* * *
"Low salt" department:
Several days ago Mom and I got Chinese. I had orange chicken; she had cashew chicken.
Now, Mom always orders the stuff "low salt", for a variety of reasons (diet etc); and today as I finish off the cashew chicken she couldn't because she forgot to say "low salt", I am marveling at how freakin' salty this stuff is.
The Chinese place doesn't usually scoop salt on everything, but this particular batch of cashew chicken tastes like SALT with a hint of chinese cuisine flavor. WTF.
* * *
So apparently Illinois has relaxed its emissions standards just a wee bit.
If what I am told is correct--and I have no reason to doubt it--then any car made before 1996 is no longer subject to emissions standards.
I can see a logical reason for this, though it baffles me to no end that government would actually use logic when making such a decision.
The fact is, most of the cars on the road average around 10 years old, and it's 2009 already. Most cars made after 1995 have OBD-II engine control systems, and it is possible to ensure that a car is not polluting just by scanning the ECM for errors, pulling its diagnostic codes, and scanning the engine parameters while the engine is running. The car itself has a highly sophisticated pollution-control system which is self-monitoring--and throws a code if it's not working correctly!--so why bother to maintain complex testing equipment which includes dynamometers and sniffers and all kinds of other stuff? The OBD-II test doesn't take as long and requires much less expensive equipment. (In fact, a PC with the correct interface and software is all you need to communicate with OBD-II. A Palm Pilot could do it.)
The logical part: do away with all the rollers and sensors and stuff. Retain a few stations for testing the rare exceptions; otherwise just build new OBD-II-only testing stations and have everyone take their vehicles there for testing. And simply exempt any car older than 1996 to reduce even further the testing burden on the non-OBD-II stations.
It's scary when a government agency actually does something sensible.
This means that my Fiero and Escort won't need to be tested ever again--and it means the MGB can be put back on the road without a long, drawn-out, complex procedure: just get it running, tune it up, license plates and insurance...and drive!
* * *
Yesterday, after the burial service, my Mom wanted to go visit the other family graves. Mom's parents and grandparents are buried there; all my grandparents and great-grandparents are buried there. So I dropped Mom off at the top of the hill, parked, and then went to pay my own respects at the appropriate graves; and as I walked through the tombstones I saw this massive monument emblazoned:
...and the only thing keeping me from laughing my posterior off was the fact that it would be inappropriate to do so in a graveyard right after a funeral. But it was a near thing.
* * *
And speaking of feasting upon the flesh and blood of the living....
Vegans are fucking insane.
I have to ask: why didn't they do this with, say, cow meat, or pig meat? Why human meat?
Because they are trying to make a political point.
It's just as humane to culture beef or pork or chicken this way, and there are no moral issues surrounding the consumption of those meats, particularly if you remove the "brutality" aspect that comes from slaughtering animals for food. If you're a vegan because you're against the idea of using animal products, cultured beef would let you eat meat without violating your principles: the meat you eat comes from a slab growing in a tank rather than from a living, breathing, feeling animal which had to be killed.
But instead of doing that, they culture human meat.
Culturing human meat for food has moral and ethical (and quite possibly legal) implications which culturing animal meat does not--and it is precisely those implications that these people wish to focus on: "If you like eating meat, you should like eating human meat too!"
The equivalency of animal life with human life is a false one--but not to these lunatics.
* * *
So it's "decompression day"; yesterday was exactly as hard as I'd expected it to be and I slept a lot: after getting home from the obsequities both I and my fiancee took a much-needed nap and I slept for a bit more than three hours.
Dinner was beef sandwiches from Marnell's; and the fiancee went back to bed around 8:30. I stayed up until about 1-ish, but she had to get up early and I didn't. She left around 5 AM (to do the Avon thing at the Farmer's Market in Park Forest every Saturday) and I went back to bed and slept until 9:30. Set the VCR to record the car shows, then hit the hay again until about 2 PM-ish.
And here I am.
My plans for the day include engine work, if I get around to it; anime, if I feel like it. That's about it.