August 12, 2008

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Well hey there! It's great having you join me again.

I know after my blog entry yesterday, I am pleased to announce I received over 50 calls and emails about the ADAP Waiting Lists in less than 24 hours. I am still returning messages so please understand that I do all of this by myself and sometimes it takes a few days to get caught up especially while I am having a few health challenges. But thank you again for renewing my faith that people do care about HIV positive Americans being put on these death lists. I know why I am so passionate about the issue but it always helps to hear other people feel the same way. Thank you again for your assistance and support.

Since I am more or less confined to the house right now as I recover I have been watching multiple hours of coverage from the Olympic competitions. I usually don't get caught up in all the news spin and hoopla for ratings generation. But this time, I have been impressed with some of our athletes despite the hard sell by the media. I have also been disappointed in the performance by a few but they are still excellent athletes. A mythical Mount Rushmore of Olympic champions used to be pretty easy to assemble. The four spots would’ve gone to the only athletes with nine gold medals: Americans Carl Lewis and Mark Spitz, Russia’s Larysa Latynina and the Flying Finn, Paavo Nurmi. Now, Michael Phelps has joined them. And he’s already poised to leave them in his wake. Phelps got number 9 Tuesday in the 200 meter freestyle, getting so far ahead so quickly that most of the race it looked as if he’d been given a head start. His third gold medal in Beijing came in world-record time, just like the other two. On Wednesday morning, Phelps will be back at the Water Cube for the finals of the 200 butterfly and the 800 freestyle relay. What are his chances? Well, he has the world records in both events. Win either and he becomes the most-gilded Olympian ever. Win both and they might as well start carving Mount Phelps. Not only will he be far and away atop the career list, he’ll be more than halfway toward his goal of eight in ‘08, which would break Spitz’s record for a single Olympics.

Awesome described a lot of Day 4 happenings in Beijing. There were a bunch more medals and records at the pool, plus cancer patient Eric Shanteau getting into the semifinals of the 200-meter breaststroke. There was the practically flawless performance by China’s men’s gymnasts and the plucky bronze for the Hamm-less U.S. men. There was superb pitching and powerful hitting in a record rout by the U.S. women’s softball team. Even the weather was good. Sun and blue skies were seen for the first time since the flame was lit, proving there really is something behind the haze and clouds. A different kind of haze is forming over the 2008 Summer Games. If all the tickets were sold, why are there so many empty seats? Where’s all the buzz in this bustling city of more than 17 million residents? And, uh, about that picture perfect opening ceremony … In their eagerness to make the show sound and look perfect, the chief music director told Beijing Radio that the 7-year-old girl who sang “Ode to the Motherland” was replaced at the last minute by a better looking 9 year old lip syncher. It was almost mentioned that images of fireworks shown in the Bird’s Nest were not live but computer-generated. The faux footage was distributed to broadcasters; NBC said its announcers let everyone in on the secret. The medal race, meanwhile, is very real.

The success in the pool helped surge the United States past China, 22-20. The Chinese still dominate the gold race 13-7 over the Americans; other than the U.S., no country has as many total medals as China has of the very best color. So a huge cheer to all our wonderful talented athletes who are over in China representing our country. I just hope they take time to enjoy the experience while they are living it so it's a memory of a lifetime.

I also watched today's Oprah episode "Sick in American: It Can Happen to You" about health care in the United States. Michael Moore was main guest. It touched me so deeply hearing the struggles of others from around our country. Especially since I personally know the nightmares of finding your way through all the required paperwork, denials, government bureaucracy and programs and the lists go on for people with HIV/AIDS. To hear the nightmares of people with other conditions were horrendous. I really enjoyed the way Oprah came down on the representative from the insurance industry. It never ceases to amaze me how people try to spin the facts to make them look good. Will people ever be honest and just lay it on the table? I guess that's too much to ask for any more.

Gary and I ended up getting Papa John's pan pizza for dinner since I didn't feel like cooking or having leftovers. We had pepperoni, mushrooms, green peppers and onions for toppings tonight. There was something a little off about the taste of the tomato sauce they used. Or maybe it was just me. At least it was filling and easy. LOL. Then we flipped between a new show called WipeOut and the Olympics coverage.

I did speak with Diane and caught up with what had happened in her life. We hadn't spoken in almost a week while I had been sleeping all the time. Her mom's nerve block unfortunately did not help her leg pain problem past a couple of days. The doctor is going to try one more time so hopefully it will do better this next time. It has been so hot in Pensacola that Diane hasn't been going out unless absolutely necessary so her life has been sedate like mine lately. I also heard from another friends, Butch, about the Gay Men's Health Summit in Ft. Lauderdale but unfortunately I will be unable to attend due to my current health problems. Hopefully next year. But I do look forward to speaking or doing a workshop during Butch's convention next year.

Well that's a wrap on another day in my life. How about you? Anything special going on? Inquiring minds want to know!

Wishing you health, hope and happiness.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab