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3:26 am EDT 59°F (15°C) in West Unity, OH
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I just had to run my big fucking mouth this past Tuesday about how there's almost no speed enforcement in Michigan. That was before a couple of run-ins with the state's finest, both in this past week.
Actually, the first incident involved my friend Marc, as he was heading home from work on Tuesday night. As he tells the story, he was traveling approximately 77 mph (in a 70 mph zone) in the right lane of eastbound Interstate 94 just outside Ann Arbor. A state trooper had long ago pulled over another motorist, and was on the right shoulder taking care of business with the original motorist, when Marc and two vehicles immediately to Marc's left (preventing Marc from moving left to comply with the "move over or slow down" law) passed by the original stop. After completing the original stop, the trooper floored it to catch up with Marc, and pulled him over several miles down the road. He claimed he had Marc going 85 mph and obviously wasn't pleased about Marc's having failed to move left, but he eventually wrote the ticket for 75 and left it at that.
Not even 48 hours later, yours truly was victimized perhaps 50 miles farther west, near Albion. Yes, I was going 65 (ten over Michigan's bullshit 55 mph truck speed limit) on westbound I-94, and it should have occurred to me that state troopers in Jackson and Calhoun counties are fucking assholes (as I've known for a long time), but I would have to say that I really just wasn't paying enough attention to the speedometer until it was too late. Whereas Marc is going to simply pay his fine and be done with it (if he fought it, the additional charge of "failure to exercise due caution for an emergency vehicle" could be brought back up), I'm going to sort of fight my ticket: that is, I'm going to seek a plea agreement under which I pay the full amount of the speeding fine, but have the charge reduced to a non-moving violation, thereby staying out of trouble with my employer and my auto insurance company.
The other big news of the day was the blood test results I finally got back. I went in for a general physical exam at the University of Michigan Hospital on June 28. Due to my history with Henoch-Schönlein purpura, the doctor wanted to do blood and urine tests to check my liver function — HSP can sometimes have long-term effects on the liver and/or the kidneys, in certain cases. In addition to that, being a conscientious gay man, I figured it wouldn't be a bad idea to request tests for all of the major blood-borne sexually transmitted diseases — I wasn't worried about any of them, as my right hand is the most action I've seen in a long time, but I figured that knowing my status would be a good thing.
There was some good news and some bad news in the results. The good news is that I tested negative for HIV and syphilis, and that I did not appear to be having any long-term HSP-related liver or kidney issues. The bad news was in the form of my cholesterol levels; the total cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides were all high, and the HDL was low. The nurse said she was going to ask my doctor whether diet changes would be sufficient, or if he wanted to put me on some kind of medication like Lipitor or Zocor.
Granted, I'm not too surprised at this, given the whole "trucker lifestyle" thing and its preponderance of high-fat fast foods, but as much as I can, I probably ought to start seeking out some healthier alternatives (e.g., if I'm able to, based on my routes, I should go for Subway rather than McDonald's or Burger King). There's not a ton I can do until I quit trucking and start living on my own, but I probably ought to start searching for — and taking — whatever small steps this line of work allows.
I'm off to Pennsylvania for later tonight, and I need to get some sleep in the interim.