August 1, 2008

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Welcome to the first blog entry of August. It just struck me earlier today that we are almost 2/3 of the way through 2008. The older I get the quicker time seems to fly by and I wonder why is that? Is it because we have more responsibilities than when we were a child or young adult? Or do we just have less energy and require more hours of rest? Seems to be a combination of factors in my life.

Well Gary and I are still home sick with this virus we picked up a couple of weeks ago. Gary had to go to BCCC to get some of his prescriptions filled today while I was still sleeping. I didn't get to sleep until around 5am this morning. I was working with my new photography processing software and my pictures for most of the night and the next thing I knew the sky was starting to turn blue. It was then I realized how tired I was. So I ended up sleeping until around 1pm when I heard the front door open as Gary returned home. He was soaking wet with sweat between the heat outside and still being sick so I had him come inside and cool down.

There is some news today about Elizabeth Taylor. Now for those of you out of the circle, Dame Elizabeth is like a patron saint to gay men and HIV+ individuals. She was at the forefront of HIV activism as early as 1984 after discovering her old pal, Rock Hudson, was HIV positive. Well Ms. Taylor was in the hospital. Elizabeth Taylor was hospitalized for an undisclosed reason but was expected to return home soon, representatives for the Oscar-winning actress said Thursday.A statement released by Dick Guttman, her Los Angeles-based publicist, did not say where Taylor was staying, nor did it specify what was ailing the 76-year-old actress. She will be returning home shortly. At present, she is surrounded by family, friends and fabulous jewels. There were no further details about Taylor's health or whereabouts. A number of health issues have dogged Taylor through the years, including congestive heart failure in 2004 that, compounded with spinal fractures and the effects of scoliosis, left her nearly bedridden. She's also battled ulcers, amoebic dysentery, bursitis, acute bronchitis, two serious bouts of pneumonia, drug and alcohol addiction and a benign brain tumor that was removed in 1997. The actress has remained a tireless AIDS activist, making rare public appearances to support the cause. She used a wheelchair and was swathed in jewels at the dedication of the UCLA Clinical AIDS Research and Education Center in November 2005. Her performance of "Love Letters" in December generated more than $1 million for AIDS research. Taylor won Oscars for roles in "Butterfield 8" in 1960 and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" in 1966. She also won a special Oscar, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, mainly for her work as an AIDS activist, in 1993. She still lives in Bel-Air, a tony section of Los Angeles that's home to many of Hollywood's elite figures. Her book, "Elizabeth Taylor: My Love Affair with Jewelry," was published in 2003. In it, Taylor writes about the many famous jewels in her personal collection, including the 33.19-carat Krupp diamond (a gift from Richard Burton) and the Duchess of Windsor diamond brooch. Taylor continues to design her namesake jewelry line, available at posh retailers such as Christie's, and is developing a new fragrance. So let's keep Ms. Taylor is our thoughts and prayers. We need many more allies just like her.

It was storming here for most of the day until late afternoon. At least those trying to go out for dinner or to a club this evening will not have to worry about the downpour. I, for one, am glad we are getting almost daily rain showers because it has really lowered our water bill since we haven't had to water the plants in the courtyard much so far this summer. Of course being summer, we were also given a fantastic light show from Mother Nature with today's storm but having grown up on the Gulf Coast I enjoy thunderstorms. Unfortunately my dog Harley hates lightning and thunder and spends most of the day cowering under my feet.

There was a solar eclipse today but it was not viewable from the United States. A narrow swath of the Earth stretching from Canada to Mongolia experienced a total solar eclipse early this morning, Pacific time. The event was streamed live by the Exploratorium museum on the web, at their physical location, and in Second Life. You can catch an excellent replay of the event at their website. But there were also people across the globe who experienced the total eclipse, or at least a partial one with their own eyes and cameras. The next two eclipses are slated for July 22, 2009 and July 11, 2010. The first will be visible in parts of India and China before heading into the Pacific, while the second will primarily be visible from South Pacific islands. So we won't be able to view them from the US but many other places will be able to see them.

There is also a bizarre story about a man being murdered on a bus in Canada. A 40-year-old man who witnesses said stabbed and beheaded his seat mate on a Greyhound bus in Canada made his first court appearance Friday, while police offered no motive for the savage attack against the 22-year-old carnival worker. Vince Weiguang Li, of Edmonton, Alberta, has been charged with second-degree murder. He shuffled into the courtroom Friday in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba with his head bowed and feet shackled. He did not reply when the judge asked him if he was going to get a lawyer, and only nodded slightly when asked whether he was exercising his right not to speak. He was not required to enter a plea. The prosecutor asked for a psychiatric assessment, but the judge said he wanted to give Li a chance to meet with his lawyer. Li's next court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday. Authorities have not released the victim's name but The Canadian Press said friends had identified him as Tim McLean and said he was headed to Winnipeg after working with the carnival in Edmonton. Now my first question is what in the hell caused someone to not only stab someone else on a bus but to then decapitate him? Makes me want to never ride a bus again, I can tell you that.

Well that's about it for me today. What's up with you? Drop me a line and let me know how things are going for you. I hope you have a great weekend.

Wishing you health, hope and happiness.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab