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2:47 am EST        33°F (1°C) in Dexter, MI

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Later today, I will head back out to the road. I am being sent over to western Michigan to pick up my next load, and I will have until Tuesday morning to get it to St. Louis, MO. I do have to say that St. Louis is one of my favorite cities to drive through; all of the major freeways give you fantastic views of the downtown area as you approach from any direction. The view crossing the Mississippi River into the city from Illinois is perhaps the best one, as the Gateway Arch towers some 600 feet above the riverfront; however, the Interstate 55 approach from the south and Interstate 64/U.S. 40 from the west aren't too shabby, either. If you have just come from Illinois and are attempting to access I-55 southbound, you can almost watch the Cardinals during baseball season if you should get caught in a traffic jam (for one more year, at least — the Redbirds will be moving into a new ballpark in 2006). Finally, for those of you beer aficionados out there (ahem, Jesse), Anheuser-Busch controls a massive complex that takes up an entire riverfront neighborhood three miles south of downtown — it is literally several city blocks on each side. That area is priceless for its historic value alone, regardless of the presence of one of the world's largest companies there.

OK, enough free publicity for the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Bureau. Lately, I stumbled across this blog when its owner, a 1996 graduate of my high school, signed up for the school's "Get Connected" alumni web site. I quickly learned that this person can best be described as your typical knee-jerk conservative; the presence of links to such sewage-spewers as Ann Coulter and Matt Drudge clued me in rather rapidly. In spite of the obvious right-wing leanings held by this person, I decided to go through some of the earlier posts in the blog; I did this primarily out of sheer boredom — I was dying for anything that would occupy my mind that night. I ran across a post from February 2, in which this person passed along a news item he had picked up from Drudge about a previously unknown, highly-virulent strain of chlamydia being discovered in gay men in New York City. Befitting his loony right-wing tendencies, he entitled that post "Okay, This Is Gross," and rambled on, "If you can stomach a description of the symptoms of [this] disease … which causes … no, I can't do it." It would be fair to say he sounded just a wee bit troubled, no?

The antidote to conservative lunacy, however, is a little thing called logic. It honestly doesn't take much logic to beat his argument senseless here. I will pose the following three rhetorical questions: (1) Why is this disease a problem for you unless you're worried about it? (2) Why are you worried about it unless you're afraid of catching it? (3) Why are you afraid of catching it unless you're planning to cheat on the wife you so prominently mention in self-same blog? (You know, the one you mention in the unnecessary, uncalled-for anti-gay-marriage crack, "I just realized I used the phrase 'since marrying my wife,' when 'since marrying' would have done just fine." Are you afraid that the eventual recognition of same-sex marriage will cause people to think you're married to a husband or something? Seriously …)

I am considering staying in a cheap motel on my next home time, which has not been firmly scheduled yet. I'm not feeling particularly annoyed at my family or anything; rather, my parents will be attending a three-day program to learn about my sister's upcoming enrollment at the University of Michigan Law School. This will have them away from home for much of a three-day period in mid-March, and from my standpoint, a few days of basically falling off the face of the earth would be a welcome "shaking-up" of my routine. I tend to quickly bore of the "same old same old"; additionally, I still sense some mild friction with my folks regarding my daily routine (though they are far more accepting of my later waking and sleeping hours than they were a few years ago), and a few days of being completely unencumbered by either the pressures of the road or anybody else's different routines is something I haven't had in months. To say it briefly and concisely, I am the type of person who can most effectively "recharge the batteries" when I have absolutely no external pressures hanging over my head. The last time I got anything like that was last June, when my truck went into a shop for five days.

Anyway, I need to cut this short and shut down for the night. To paraphrase my version of an old saying, I have "places to see and people to do … or something like that." wink