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9:24 pm EST        33°F (1°C) near Dexter, MI

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I have quite a bit to talk about here. We should start with what happened right after I "got home" yesterday afternoon.

For the last roughly three weeks, I have been noticing a strange rash on my skin. Of course, being on the road, you can't just stop any old time and see a doctor; you usually have to plan those things out around the times you're going to be home. Anyway, I went to an outpatient walk-in clinic here in Ann Arbor yesterday to get this checked out. I was thinking it was a case of scabies, a skin mite that quite honestly I could have picked up from something as simple as using the same toilet some really nasty-ass driver had just used before me. A few things made me suspicious of that, though, and the clinic doctor almost immediately dismissed that idea in favor of something far more serious: a "possible platelet dysfunction," which in layman's terms means it was theoretically possible for me to start bleeding to death. She thought it was serious enough to refer me to the University of Michigan Hospital's emergency room, where after 10 hours with no sleep, they figured it was nothing life-threateningly serious and referred me to the Dermatology Department of the hospital for a 10am appointment.

After about an hour and a half being checked out by two of their doctors, they came to the diagnosis of "vasculitis," apparently some kind of infection/ inflammation of small blood vessels near my skin. They couldn't be sure what was causing it, though, so they ordered some blood work and did a biopsy of some of the skin on my right arm. Giving me two prescriptions for anti-inflammatory medications, they discharged me and set me up for another appointment in two weeks. I am hoping this is nothing terminal or otherwise very serious, and honestly I don't think it is, but I'll have to wait on the blood and biopsy results to be in next week to find out. In the meantime, I'll use these anti-inflammatories they've given me and see what they do.

In between being discharged from the E.R. at 5:30 am this morning and the aforementioned 10 am appointment with the dermatology clinic, I went to a McDonald's not far from the hospital for breakfast. I picked up a copy of this morning's USA Today, in which I read that Rhea County, Tennessee, commissioners voted 8-0 yesterday to urge the Tennessee state legislature to change the state's criminal code to allow "crimes against nature" prosecutions of homosexuals. Furthermore, the lead commissioner instructed the Rhea County DA to explore ways to make it illegal for gays and lesbians to live in Rhea County. What in the name of God are we coming to here, people?

Rhea County, for those of you not familiar with Tennessee, is north-north-east of Chattanooga, in the southeastern part of the state. Its county seat, Dayton, was the site of the infamous 1925 Scopes monkey trial, in which school teacher John Scopes was convicted of teaching the "theory of evolution" (better known as the proven scientific fact of evolution) to his students. He escaped punishment on a legal technicality. Until just a few years ago, when courts struck it down, the county school district forced even public-school students to take a class on the Bible. Of course, now we have this diar-Rhea (pun intended) coming from the most backward, stupid, uneducated, idiotic, ungodly people anywhere on God's green earth. (And my vitriolic rhetoric doesn't even come close to matching the raging, seething homophobia I have read in the Chattanooga Times-Free Press in the past, some of which even comes from the editors!)

My reference in the previous paragraph to "diar-Rhea" basically tells you the truth about this idea. Not only does it include the county name from which the liquid-textured bodily waste is coming, but also describes the quality of the idea quite well. My travels through Chattanooga, as I indicated, have clearly shown me that it is the most backward city in the United States. Personally, I'd be all in favor of just entirely nuking Rhea County myself … In all honesty, though, the people who should be charged with "crimes against nature" are the very people who insist on suppressing it by refusing to (a) teach evolution and (b) accept the fact that a few people here and there prefer their own gender.

Anyway, I guess I'll have the entire weekend plus Monday, and hopefully quite a bit of Tuesday, to accomplish all of the little tasks I need to do while at home. I should be back to the road sometime next week.