April 9, 2008

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Welcome back! We finally have sun again in Florida! I spent about an hour in the sun today to try and liven my tan back up. My tan had definitely started fading after not seeing any sun for five days so it made for a great treat.

I had to be up early today because I had plans to meet Jill, Gary and Linda down at the Jacksonville Landing for lunch. So after getting up around 8:30am, I found out my desktop computer has finally died after several years of good service. The only bad thing is my last backup was done about six months ago so I have lost all the records since then.

So I enjoyed my steaming hot shower and walked down to the corner of Stockton and Post to grab the P7 city bus downtown. A friend stopped as they were driving by to say a quick hello and to be honest I don't remember the person's name. They were one of my customers many years ago and their name just escapes me.

I rode the bus to the downtown light rail station while listening to the bus driver and to guys he knew talking about a recent crime but I missed part of the story. It must have been a good one the way they kept carrying on about it. Then I walked back to the Landing enjoying the greenery and view along the way. Our downtown landscape is growing very quickly and starting to look like a real city. There are currently three new condo buildings being constructed and two office buildings. Several of the older buildings downtown are also going through major renovations or did in the past five years. I walked around the Landing while I was waiting on them to arrive and noticed the shops were not very impressive. From what I noticed, the Landing is now mainly a few restaurants, a fast food court and a few low budget shops. It's nothing like when it first open in the very late '80s and had first rate shops.

We all met in the courtyard by the water where I had been enjoying the view and had taken a few pictures with my camera. We walked upstairs to the American Cafe where we were greeted and quickly sat by the hostess. It was great seeing everyone since it's been a couple of months since we've been able to do lunch together mainly because of my schedule. Jill gave me a very sweet belated Birthday card.

We got a seat overlooking the St. John's River and joked around while I took forever deciding what I wanted to have for lunch. I ended up deciding on a hamburger with mushrooms, rosemary, mozzarella cheese and burgundy sauce with french fries and orange spice tea. Jill ordered fried cheese stars which we all shared as an appetizer. They were fried just right to where the cheese was gooey and the breading crispy. Everyone ended up deciding on different hamburgers which all looked delicious. All too soon it was time for them to return to work so they gave me a ride home before returning to their jobs.

That's when I got to enjoy some outside time and get some sun on this slowly fading skin of mine. It felt so good out there because the winds was just brisk enough to keep you cool without sweating. I enjoyed listening to my IPOD as I danced around my courtyard in my bathing suit. Just glad my neighbors can't send me or they might send for the paddy wagon! LOL. I took my pets outside with me so they could enjoy some fresh air and run around before nap time.

I'm still fighting off this cold so I ended up taking a nap with Sugar and my cat for a couple of hours. Sugar was in trouble last night when she started growling as my back and arm were making me toss and turn. She ended up sleeping on the floor by the bed because of her attitude.

It's American Idol Give Back tonight and so far it's been a great event. They've had Gloria Estevan, Carrie Underwood, Fergie, Milley Cyrus, Annie Lenox, Bono and several actors. There were several film clips of struggling families and children both in the United States and in Africa. The last time I heard Ryan Seacrest mention they had raised over $30 million dollars.

I also watched a special by Diane Sawyer with Randy Pausch. He's the college professor who is dying of pancreatic cancer and gave a speech called the "Last Lecture" which has become a national phenom and a YouTube sensation. His story is very powerful and I understand his life on so many levels. I could have seen having a friend with someone like him. He has such a great positive attitude toward life.

Well despite a cold and my arm, it's been a great day over all. I saw friends, had lunch on the water, enjoyed the sun for a short time and then rested away the remainder of the day. I hope you also had a great day!

Wishing you health, hope and happiness.

Big bear hug,

Daddy Dab