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3:33 pm EST        41°F (5°C) in Parma, MI

Calendar of Updates

Not a whole lot of interest has happened in the last eight days; I have managed to get some work done on various parts of this site, and I also managed to get another weekend of rest. I delivered a load Saturday afternoon near St. Louis, MO, and it was yesterday afternoon before they assigned me another one. I picked that up in Indianapolis last night, and delivered it a few hours ago, about 70 miles west of here. I am on my way home for a few days at this point.

As I predicted in my last update, the 2004-05 NHL season appears to be toast at this point. Negotiations over the weekend really didn't get anywhere, and the announcement will probably come tomorrow that the season has been cancelled. It's probably just as well anyway; even I probably wouldn't have considered a 28-game partial season to be legitimate. (Even the 48-game season during the last labor dispute, in 1994-95, was pushing it, but they at least managed to salvage more than half of that season.) Of course, in the minds of most Americans, the NHL has just shot itself in the foot; it is the lowest-revenue and least-watched of the four major sports in the U.S., and a work stoppage of any kind can't possibly be good for a league that is struggling to gain more visibility in this country.

Finally, and most importantly, I ask my readers to pray to (insert your favorite deity here) for the recovery of my friend Tim. He has been fighting a number of serious health problems in the last few weeks, and nobody yet knows exactly how much physical and/or mental ability Tim may have lost from a severe fever and blood infection. For about two years, Tim has kept a blog on LiveJournal; during his illness, his husband Rick (they are very much married in every sense of the word, even though their home state of Virginia doesn't recognize it) has made a couple of updates to keep Tim's friends and fellow LiveJournalers apprised of what's going on. I have a LiveJournal of my own; I only use it for the purposes of entering responses into other people's LJs and posting in a couple of the "communities" on LJ. (My actual "journal" or "blog," whatever you want to call it, has always been and will always remain here, and never on some third-party blogging site.) In any case, I entered a response into Tim's LJ; for the benefit of those who don't know what Tim has meant to me in the past four years, I will post it here as well.

I'm almost at a loss for words to describe what Tim means to me. It is largely because of him that I am still living today. Had he not randomly found my web site in December 2000, and then proceeded to show me what true unconditional love for another human being is all about, I doubt I would have made it through the winter months of early 2001.

At that time, in late 2000, I was suffering from a terrible, almost-suicidal depression. It took several months for me to pull completely out of it, but Tim was there for me every step of the way, whenever I needed somebody to talk to, or somebody to give me advice. I firmly believe to this day that Tim almost single-handedly saved me from deciding to end my own life.

It didn't matter that I lived 550 miles away from Tim and Rick -- Tim showed me the caring concern for my well-being, as well as an eternal sense of optimism, that I had so rarely seen before. He taught me, above all else, that my life does have worth and meaning even when other outside influences suggest otherwise. In so many ways, Tim has been the greatest thing that has ever happened to me, and I will be eternally grateful to (insert your favorite deity here) that Tim has been a part of my life.

Later on tonight, I am going to meet my friend Marc for dinner; after that, I have a couple of appointments tomorrow. I should be back out to the road on Sunday.