Normally I would take this space to applaud John McCain’s performance in last night’s final presidential debate. I may, or most likely may not get around to writing that post today.

Right now, however, I feel the need to write about someone else.

If you’ve been around the blogosphere long enough, you may have read something by Dean Barnett. If you’ve been trolling the ‘sphere as long as I have, you might remember back to when he wrote his SoxBlog under the pseudonym James Frederick Dwight. If so, then you’ve been fortunate enough to witness one of the truly remarkable writers rise from a normal everyday blogger to the status he now enjoys as regular contributor to the Weekly Standard and occasional on-air pinch hitter for Blogfather Hugh.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who holds on to the delusions of grandeur that someday somebody important will read my stuff and offer me that kind of gig. Don’t worry, I’m not holding my breath.

But I digress. Not really, though. Breathing is very important.

Recently, Dean Barnett celebrated his 40th birthday. To some people this is a milestone they’d just as soon forget. Dean isn’t most people. You see, Dean suffers from Cystic Fibrosis. Casual research into this disease will tell you that most people diagnosed with CF don’t make it to 40. Dean has, and in my opinion the world is a better place because of it.

Today, Dean finds himself in the Intensive Care Unit of a Boston area hospital fighting for his life. He contracted a respiratory infection, which would be a nuisance to most anybody else, but to him is life threatening. At last report he remains in very critical condition on a respirator.

I’ve spent my fair share of time in an ICU. The beds are lumpy, the pillows are thin, the food is lousy, and every four hours some lab tech comes by and stabs you in the arm for more blood. Tubes go where you didn’t think tubes would go (yes, I’m talking about down there) and the experience is not one I would wish on anybody.

So, if you have a spare moment today, send a prayer along with Dean’s name on it. I’m sure he’d appreciate it and besides that he still owes me a Diet Coke because he lost the bet that W would dump Big Time Cheney from the ’04 ticket.