August 24, 2008

August 24, 2008
It's another wonderful day in the neighborhood. Thanks for stopping by to check out another day in my life.

Jacksonville is still in recovery mode after our recent bout with Tropical Storm Faye. It seemed like everywhere I looked today I saw people cleaning up their yards, repair trucks and way too many ambulances. Luckily except for some branches and a ton of leaves I did not have any damage from the storm. I know parts of neighborhoods flooded and those individuals have my sympathy. I went through a home flooding in 1993 and hope to never encounter another one. Having your residence destroyed by flood is a very emotional experience that is hard to understand unless you personally have gone through the experience.

I forgot to mention an ally of the GLBT and HIV/AIDS community recently passed away. United States Representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones, the first black woman to represent Ohio in Congress, died Wednesday evening at a Cleveland area hospital after suffering an aneurysm. Tubbs Jones, 58, chaired the House Ethics Committee and was one of Hillary Clinton’s biggest supporters during the Democratic primaries. The liberal Democrat, first elected in 1998, suffered a brain hemorrhage while driving her car in Cleveland Heights Tuesday night. The very serious hemorrhage was caused by an aneurysm that burst in an inaccessible part of her brain. Her death was announced late Wednesday in a statement from the family, Huron Hospital and the Cleveland Clinic. She died at 6:12 p.m. About 130 people had gathered earlier in the basement of the Capitol Wednesday for a prayer vigil. At the time, there were conflicting reports about her condition. Earlier in the day, local and national media reported that she had already died, and several members of Congress released statements expressing their condolences. Then it was announced she was still in critical condition, hanging on to life. With confirmation late Wednesday that she had died, her colleagues reacted with shock. So I mourn the loss of Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, one of our nation’s true champions of equality. From employment non-discrimination to the military to equality for bi-national couples, Congresswoman Jones was an ardent advocate for the dignity of every American. She never shirked from any civil rights battle, and never failed to stand up and give voice to those who often felt voiceless. My thoughts and prayers are with Congresswoman Jones’ family. Congress, and our country have lost one of the biggest hearts of the heartland.

Around noon today I lost all our services from Comcast which basically leaves us dead in the water. I get my internet, phone and cablevision services from them. Now I probably would not have gotten upset except whether trying to reach them by phone, email or chat; we were unable to get ahold of anyone to know how long services were going to be out. We could not even get through on the phone lines and I stayed in que on the internet for over two hours and still had over two hundred people ahead of me. When the cablevision started working around 3:45pm, I finally ended my wait wait on line since there was still over two hundred people ahead of me so there is no telling how long I would have been waiting. It just goes to show why companies should not have a monopoly and to what degree true customer service has declined. Today brought back all the bad memories of when Comcast was originally here to install service. I had over 8 visits and 8 different people in my home to get their services up and running correctly. Talk about a nightmare and then they wanted to charge me because their people are not trained sufficiently to which I jumped down their throat and said no way. Needless to say I did not incur additional charges.

Today was the last day of the Summer Olympics in China. I have to give it to them and say they did a great job overall. Both the opening and closing ceremonies were breathtaking even if they did involve some controversy. The scale and imagination of the productions were quite impressive and grand. The closing ceremony of the Summer Olympics features a Spanish tenor, a British soccer star and a throng of kung-fu fighters. Across the Chinese media, the story has hit saturation coverage. China, once mocked as “the weaklings of Asia,” is going to win what it calls the total medal count for the Beijing Games. China, like most of the world, values gold medals above all and only counts them in the standings. With 47 and counting, its total dwarfs all other nations. The United States is second with 31. In the U.S., all medals are counted, so the Americans still hold a lead (102-89 after Friday’s competition) by that standard. The U.S. is trying to retain the total medal supremacy (by its count) it’s held since boycotting the 1980 Moscow Olympics. The U.S. has won the most golds since 1996. In China, the accounting differences don’t matter. By the Chinese’s standard, this is over. And that’s the only standard. They talk about China’s victory all day on state-run television. Stories are all over the nation’s government controlled major newspapers. The major US stories of the games have been Michael Phelps’ dominance, the women gymnasts and their individual gold medals after getting cheated by Chinese embryos in leotards, the Redeem Team, and women’s softball losing to Japan. So I will give it to them they won the most gold. But we all know who won the most medals. Go USA!

I also have some more election news for everyone. Democratic delegates from Michigan and Florida were awarded full voting rights at the national convention Sunday, despite holding early primaries against party rules. The convention credentials committee voted unanimously to restore the voting privileges at the behest of Barack Obama, the party’s presumptive nominee for president. The states had initially been stripped of all their delegates for holding primaries before Feb. 5. The party’s rules committee restored the delegates in May, but gave them only half votes. Democrats hope the gesture will strengthen their standing in two important battleground states while ending a contentious chapter of the nominating process. “The only way we will be successful is if we are unified as a party and all Democrats know we are full partners,” said Chris Edley Jr., a member of the committee from California who introduced the resolution restoring Florida’s votes. Now let me share why this pisses me off. When Clinton was still in the race Obama refused to let our delegate and votes be counted. But now that it suits him for our votes to count, Obama is showing he is just like all the other politicians. As does his choice for vice president. So much for change. Like I've said before, once again I am once again left voting for the lesser of two evils and not happy about either choice.

Well that about it for another day in my life. How about yours? Hopefully you made a special memory or two.

Wishing you health, hope and happiness.

Big bear hug,

Daddy Dab