A little while back I posted the link for you all to vote for Dean Bullock to get a spot in the world championship Ironman race. Dean has terminal cancer and has a dream to compete in the Ironman in Kona. His family posted a video of him on the Ironman site and if he gets enough votes, Ironman will grant him a spot in the race for which a person usually has to qualify with an insanely fast time.

Thanks in part to your help, Dean made it through to the final round of voting, which will last ten days. If you would all take a minute and vote for him here, you'll have done a great thing today. You can vote multiple times too, in case you've got nothing going on today.

I grew up with several of Dean's kids and have considered them great friends over the years. In fact, I may or may not have had unreciprocated crushes on two of his daughters. But I'm not bitter! My cousin Katie married one of Dean's sons a while back and our families have stayed connected partly because of that. They are wonderful people. The kind of people any person is blessed to know. And Dean is a great man. I hope the best for him as he tries to get into this race. EVEN THOUGH I THINK ANYONE WHO DOES AN IRONMAN IS INSANE.

I'm pretty exhausted today. One of my big goals when I moved to Palau was to write a book before I leave this place. The first several months were a little rocky on the book-writing goal. This was mostly because I spent 90% of my time standing in the grocery store, staring at the rotted produce, saying "where the HELL do I live?!"

But the last few months I've sort of had epiphany after epiphany and the writing has really taken off. And I'm enjoying it greatly! I have high hopes to publish something very soon. That is, if I can ever figure out how to publish something.

Last night I had an idea come to me so I sat down to write and before I knew it, it was late into the night and I had been writing for several hours. I went to bed totally exhausted and then slept straight through my alarm.

I woke up to the sounds of a dog and a cat at the front window.

I got up to see what all the commotion was about to find Daniel outside, meowing like a cat and barking like a dog. This isn't the first time he has done this. I asked him how long he had been making animal noises at me to let him in.

Daniel: Not long. Five minutes or so.

Eli: Well, it turns out that it was unnecessary. You left the door unlocked when you went for your run.

Daniel: I know.

~It Just Gets Stranger