August 31, 2008

August 31, 2008
How's it going this great Sunday. I want to thank you for stopping by to see what is going on in Daddy Dab's world. I hope you are having a safe and great Labor Day weekend.

I ended up being up and in the living room for half of the night. I was having another one of my bad headaches which does not help when I am trying to sleep. So since I was up I decided to give Diane a call since she is a night owl. I wanted to see whether she had decided to stay at her mom's house tonight since the rain and winds from Gustav will be reaching all the way to Pensacola. Diane has a very large, old oak tree in her front yard with very large branches hanging over half her home. So I was relieved to her she had decided to spend tonight with her mom. I was finally able to get back to sleep around 3:30am after watching the latest update of Hurricane Gustav. I did get up with Gary around 7am but was back in bed around 11am and slept until around 3pm.

After getting out of bed, I turned the weather channel on for the latest updates. At 3 pm, the National Hurricane Center said Gustav was a Category 3 storm centered about 270 miles southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River and moving northwest near 17 mph. It had top sustained winds of around 115 mph. It had weakened slightly, but forecasters expected some reintensification by Monday. All lanes of the interstate have been counterflowed to help citizens get away from the city. Emergency officials have repeatedly warned that those who stay are on their own, and there will be no shelter of refuge like in Katrina, when thousands waited helplessly for rescue in a squalid Superdome. With Hurricane Gustav just a day away from a possible monster hit on New Orleans, the mayor pleaded with the last of its residents to get out, imposed a dusk to dawn curfew on those who stay and warned looters they will be sent directly to prison. cars were packed bumper-to-bumper. Stores and restaurants shut down, hotels closed and windows were boarded up. Barreling toward the Gulf Coast with frightening strength and size, Gustav was wavering between a Category 3 and 4 hurricane with winds extending out 50 miles and tropical storm force winds as far as 200 miles. Category 3 storms have winds between 111 mph and 130 mph; Category 4 storms can have winds as fierce as 155 mph. The storm, which could make landfall Monday morning, could bring a storm surge of up to 20 feet to the coast and rainfall totals of up to 15 inches. Stay tuned for updates as they happen and remember to keep the people on the Gulf Coast in your thoughts and prayers.

Another subject I would like to talk to you about is stretching your budget. Since all of us are having to squeeze the belt even tighter due to higher food, gasoline and utilities costs; I wanted to share some of my methods for saving on purchases. First way to save is shopping at discount retailers like SteinMart, Bells, Burlington Coat Factory and Ross Dress For Less. Some have better quality merchandise and some don't so shop carefully. There are several great discount websites depending on your budget and most offer free shipping when you order a certain dollar amount thereby saving you gas money and time. Some of my favorites are: www.overstock.com, www.dealhack.com, www.smartbargains.com and www.amazon.com where you can get discounts up to 70 percent off retail and on rare occasions even more. There are also a few websites that share discount codes for retail websites: www.retailmenot.com is the one I know. If you know of others, please email me. There are a few discount jewelers such as: www.jewlerytelevision.com, www.hsn.com and www.shopnbc.com. Now you may notice I have not mentioned Ebay and Craig's List. I have heard so many complaints from friends where the merchandise was either a knock off, fraud or they never received the merchandise so I avoid both of them for the most part so buyer beware. If you have internet connection, most sites offer email alerts for sales, sweepstakes and discounts. Don't forget about coupons and sale ads in your local Sunday paper especially if you do not have an internet connection. I hope this info helps you stretch those dollars even further during these hard economic times.

We are not the only one with problems though. Rescue teams headed to China's southwestern Sichuan province after a 6.1 magnitude earthquake killed 22 people and injured hundreds. Saturday's quake killed 17 people in Sichuan and five others in the neighboring province of Yunnan, the China Earthquake Administration said in a statement posted on its Web site. The official Xinhua News Agency put the death toll at 25 and said it was not known how many people were buried in the rubble. Another 361 people were injured by the earthquake that hit 31 miles southeast of Panzhihua city in the southwestern corner of Sichuan late Saturday afternoon. Nearly 400 houses were destroyed in Panzhihua while another 1,000 homes collapsed in the neighboring farming town of Liangshan, the statement said. A woman who answered the phone at Sichuan provincial seismological bureau said the region was hit by about 300 aftershocks on Sunday morning, with the biggest measuring 3.3 on the Richter scale. Also Saturday, an earthquake measuring 5.3 on the Richter scale struck the northwestern region of Xinjiang, Xinhua said in a separate report. No casualties were reported from the quake that hit the sparsely inhabited Tianshan mountains although the tremor was felt in nearby counties and the city of Korla. On May 12, a 7.9 magnitude earthquake in northern Sichuan killed nearly 70,000 people and left 5 million homeless. The region has been hit by scores of aftershocks, keeping people there on edge. From my years living in San Francisco I know what an earthquake feels like since we had the Northridge earthquake while I was living there. All the sudden it feels like the ground is swaying below you and then you start hearing the rumble sound as items start to fall apart around you. Not a good feeling and I remember just trying to get out into an open area to feel safe while dragging our dogs behind me. The last place you want to be is in a big building or right outside of one where you will be hit by debris.

We ended up having pizza delivered from Domino's after deciding neither of us felt like cooking dinner. The pizza was delivered quickly and was pretty good except for the small amount of pepperoni topping which was disappointing. But when you are hungry and have already waited for thirty minutes, it is not worth the hassle to complain. We watched some comediennes on comedy central between glances at the weather channel for Gustav and Hannah coverage. Now it looks like we might have to deal with Tropical Storm Hannah the end of the week if their current tracks are correct. But it is really too early to tell yet so I will be keeping a daily eye on the storm as I also keep up on Gustav. My dad, brother and his family and several friends still live in the Pensacola, Florida area Gustav has me concerned but luckily is not extremely close to them.

I heard from my friend Chuck in California who is still healing after recent major surgery. He was hoping to go to Denver in a few weeks but is having to wait until the doctors give the okay. Chuck had friends on vacation in New Orleans who were ordered by their hotel to leave the city. Now you know it is serious when even the hotels are demanding evacuation. I will keep you updated.

Well it is about bed time for me after a good day. How about you? I hope it was a fulfilling one.

Wishing you health, hope and happiness.



Big bear hug,





Daddy Dab