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11:35 am EDT        75°F (24°C) in Ashton, IL

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This absolutely gorgeous morning finds me waiting to get unloaded here in the cornfields of north-central Illinois, not far from former President Ronald Reagan’s birthplace of Dixon. Since I last checked in, I have run two actual loads — one that took me to Maryland, over between D.C. and Annapolis, and then this one out of Pennsylvania headed here. As for the one I was talking about in the wee hours of Thursday morning, I didn’t even get that one out of the same ZIP code as the shipper — when I told them I wasn’t going to kill myself to make Omaha in less than 24 hours, they found another driver who had hours to run and gave the load to him.

I have so many projects in the pipeline for this web site that it’s not even funny. There are about nine new pages for the Highways section waiting to be completed, and I’ll have to get to actually finishing those when I have time. I have also started work on another essay for the “Being Gay” section, specifically about coming out; I’m not sure when I’ll have that done, but when I do finish it, that’s probably about it for that section — I don’t foresee adding too much more to there, at least not in the immediate future. Additionally, I am starting to work on another project that is somewhat related to the Highways section: a pronunciation guide for the strange, unusual, or oddly-pronounced place names in the Great Lakes region, with a particular focus on the five states which border on the upper Lakes (Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin).

I’m not saying that other areas of the country won’t be covered in my guide; hell, a couple of states that surround the five-state immediate Lakes area, Kentucky and West Virginia, are chock-full of strange place name pronunciations. In fact, I’m sure I probably will eventually include a few weird ones from all 48 contiguous states, but the main focus is going to be on the upper Great Lakes region. (And yes, for those of you from northwestern Pennsylvania and upstate New York, I haven’t forgotten that those two states also border on the Great Lakes, and your states will have some coverage as well, although not as much as the other five states on the Lakes will.)

Other than that, I’ve barely had time to even think lately, so that’s about it for this update.