July 19, 2008

July 19, 2008
It's great to have you join me for my weekend. I hope you are having a safe and great one also.

We still have the tropical storm just north of the coast of Florida and it has brought tons of clouds and rain with it. It was storming for most of the day. Unfortunately, Gary had to work today so he had no choice but to get out in the weather. But at least he only had to work a half day and was home around noon.

Patrick came over this morning for a visit and took me to Publix while he was over here. It was great to go grocery shopping because we were almost out of fruit and meat. I ended up spending over two hundred dollars for about ten days worth of food. It's crazy the way prices of groceries are going up constantly. But the price increases are tied indirectly to the price of crude oil because of transportation. So we really can't do anything except budget for the price increases. Just one more reason to do away with unnecessary luxuries until the economy bounces back.

As you know by reading my blog, I am very active in health care issues especially in relation to HIV and AIDS. I have been talking about the proposed changes to Medicare and how you can contact your political representative to let him know how you think. Well President Bush had vetoed what Congress had passed because he wanted the 10 percent decrease in payments to doctors to save money. Have you heard the news? Congress has overridden President Bush’s veto of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008! On Tuesday, President Bush followed through on his threat to veto the Medicare bill we all worked so hard to pass. I was disappointed but did not back down. Through the readers of this blog, activists like you sent emails and I was up on Capitol Hill making sure your messages got through. I want to thank you for all of your support during the Keep Medicare Fair campaign. Over the last several months with your help over 1 million messages to Congress and the White House were sent. Tuesday’s victory is surely a testament to what we can accomplish when we all work together for positive change. Find out how your members of Congress voted on the veto-override of the Medicare bill. Then send them a thank you message or a message of disappointment.

The legislation that Congress passed will:

* Ensure that Medicare patients continue to have access to care;

* Improve prevention coverage and services;

* Improve low-income protections; and

* Provide improved coverage for mental health services.

Once again, powerful grassroots movement shook Washington, DC this week. I knew we would be able to achieve victory in our campaign to Keep Medicare Fair if we all worked together with dedicated supporters like you and sure enough, we did! Thank you so much for helping keep Medicare affordable for all people... and especially for people with HIV and AIDS like me.

I spoke with Diane today to catch up on what's going on in her life. Her niece has a new live in boyfriend that the family is not too happy about but since she is an adult there is not a whole lot anyone can do about it. Diane comes from a very religious conservative family and living together out of wedlock is not considered acceptable. But I guess with all her niece's psychological problems, everyone is just glad she is happy and healthy right now. She has severe problems with depression due to a chemical imbalance in the brain. Diane is also hoping her nephew will be coming for a visit while he is in between jobs. He recently left a very good paying job because he was stressed out and not happy at the job. Diane's mother is also starting to have some health problems because she is now in her 90s. I know that is a pressing concern on Diane's mind. Mainly we just shoot the shit and talk about the good ole times. Actually we have had some great times and some shitty times but then we have known each other for over twenty years now. It was great catching up with her and I told her I would call again in a few days.

I also heard from Chuck and Luis. Chuck is home from his train trip to see friends in New York City. Luis was at work in Mexico and emailing me during a break. They are both great guys I have been corresponding with over the internet for about a year now. I can't remember if I met them through the project website or one of my social web pages. Chuck is hoping to be able to come visit Florida some time next year.

Gary and I had a very nice dinner of three cheese cheese, fresh green grapes, and fresh Cuban bread. The quiche was delicious with just the right blend and amount of cheese. The grapes were large, juicy and delicious. But the bread was my favorite. It was still warm fresh out of the ovens when I bought it this morning. Nothing like a great piece of bread to go with anything cheesy.

I hope you are having a safe and great weekend. Remember to build a special memory this weekend. Memories are the rewards we have as we get older and reflect on our lives.

Wishing you health, hope and happiness.

Big bear hug,

Daddy Dab