August 22, 2008

August 22, 2008
Thanks for stopping by and seeing what is going on in another day of my life.

If you live on the east coast of Florida anywhere below Jacksonville, I am amazed you have power to turn on your computer. As I have talked about for the past two blog entries, Jacksonville is now experiencing Tropical Storm Faye after it hit somewhere just south of the town sometime early this morning. The erratic storm first struck Monday in the Florida Keys, then veered out to sea before traversing east across the state, briefly strengthening, then stalling. For much of Wednesday, the storm barely moved, dumping inches and inches of rain over coastal central Florida. Fay hit Florida again as expected and was the fourth storm in recorded history to hit the peninsula with tropical storm intensity three separate times. The storm was just off the Florida coast early Thursday but continued to dump heavy rain. At 8am, the storm's center was essentially stalled, located about 20 miles east-southeast of Daytona Beach. It was expected to begin slowly moving toward the west northwest later in the day, bringing heavy rains to northern Florida and southern Georgia. Maximum sustained winds were near 60 mph. The National Hurricane Center said some strengthening was possible while the center was still over water. But the storm was expected to weaken after moving back over land. We already have about 5000 citizens without power in Jacksonville without the main storm even reaching here. So I have started the blog entry for today at 8:30am just in case the power goes out and I do not have another opportunity today to get an entry done. Did not want to disappoint the more than 1000 people that read my blog everyday. It still blows me away so many of you decided to view my blog each day. Thank you so much. You know how to make a man feel special.

The roads are literally deserted this morning with most businesses being closed for the day. I state most business because Gary had to get up this morning and take a cab to work since the city buses are not running today. ] I really do not see why the buses could not have ran until winds went over 30mph since small winds should not hamper the mobility of such large vehicles. But I guess the city decided better safe than sorry. The people making that decision have probably never had to try and get around town without a car though or I think they would have waited until as late as possible today. The city probably did not want to take the chance and have something happen to the employees leaving the city legally liable.

So I will be spending the morning getting us ready for the storm. I already ran down to the convenience store and purchased some cigarettes for Gary, sodas and some comfort food since our neighborhood tends to lose power anytime there is a storm. I just hope it will not be for a long time period like the last storm that came near Jacksonville when we were without power in my neighborhood for almost two weeks. My previous partner and I were at each other's throats due to the high temperatures by the time JEA got the power back on line.

I am going to end this entry now so I can get finished around the house and run a couple of last minute errands before the weather deteriorates any more. Hopefully, I will be able to finish the entry for today later. No matter where you are I hope you are having a great day and are safe and sound.

I came across some interesting news while shopping today. If you read my blog you recently read where Ellen Degeneres and her partner were recently married in California since that state started allowing gays and lesbians to legally marry. Now most states do not recognize gay marriage, but Hallmark company does. The nation's largest greeting card company is rolling out same-sex wedding cards featuring two tuxedos, overlapping hearts or intertwined flowers, with best wishes inside. "Two hearts. One promise," one says. I came home and did some research and found out Hallmark added the cards after California joined Massachusetts as the only U.S. states with legal gay marriage. A handful of other states have recognized same-sex civil unions. The language inside the cards is neutral, with no mention of wedding or marriage, making them also suitable for a commitment ceremony. Hallmark says the move is a response to consumer demand, not any political pressure. Hallmark's largest competitor, American Greetings Corp., has no plans to enter the market, saying its current offerings are general enough to speak to a lot of different relationships. Hallmark started offering "coming out" cards last year, and the four designs of same-sex marriage cards are being gradually released this summer and will be widely available by next year. No sales figures were available yet. Hallmark, known more for its Midwest mores than progressive greetings, has added a wider variety lately. It now offers cards for difficulty getting pregnant or going through rehab. Hallmark says all of its stores can choose whether they want to add the latest offerings. So that should take care of those who would complain about the new cards. I personally applaud Hallmark for offering the new cards and will support them with my greeting card sales. I will also send them an email thanking them since it is so important they receive positive feedback. I know certain religious groups will be generating plenty of negative feedback. So why don't you call or send them an email of thanks also. I appreciate it.

It is now around 11pm and we were very lucky with Tropical Storm Fay. Although I am sure there are low lying parts of Jacksonville that are having trouble with flooding, the city has for the most part escaped any type of major damage. We did have thousands people lose power but luckily never lost power in my neighborhood. (keeping my fingers crossed on that one) We are currently under a tornado warning for the next hour. They have also seen at least one tornado in Orange Park which is to the south of my house. The local news is also showing coverage of flooding in the different neighborhood. About 10 blocks from me, the houses on the river are all flooded. Their flooding was caused by the St. Johns River reaching high tide in combination with all the rain we have received. We still have at least another day of constant rain before the storm is expected to head west along Interstate 10 toward my hometown of Pensacola. The experts are hoping Fay will hopefully be only a tropical depression by the time she reaches the panhandle and Alabama state line. I will be going to bed shortly but wanted to let all of you know so far so good and thanks for the well wishes. I will update you again tomorrow as long as we have power. I hope you have a great day tomorrow.

Wishing you health, hope and happiness.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab