July 23, 2008

July 23, 2008
Thanks for joining me for Hump Day! We have almost made it halfway through another week.

I am still ordered on bed rest by my doctor while he is having tests run to see what is causing a couple of my current health problems. So I am still staying close to home and following orders so I can stay out of the hospital. I have probably watched more television in the past six weeks than I have watched in years. I have noticed how trivial and stupid most of today's broadcasting choices have become. Now true we have the History Channel, the Bio Channel and just about every other logical choice you can have but most of them are putting shit on the air or constantly running their few good programs over and over and over and over. So while my personal life may be very low key and sedentary right now, there is plenty of things going on in the world of HIV and our country to talk about in my blog.

I was watching television some today and saw several very touching tribute to Estelle Getty who passed yesterday. For those of you that do not recognize the name. Estelle played Sophia on the Golden Girls which was a top rated television series in the 80s. It was one of my favorites and I still watch episodes occasionally today. The one tribute that I really enjoyed show pictures of the actress over an eighty year period. I had never saw pictures of her when she was young because she didn't start acting until her 50s. Her character, Sophia, reminded me of my own mother who was your typical Italian mother being both loving and protective while still being strict.

I also watched a lot of the coverage of Hurricane Dolly today. Residents across south Texas slogged through knee-deep muddy waters, tiptoed around downed power lines and dug through debris Thursday, but were thankful that Hurricane Dolly didn't pack the wallop they had feared. Residents picked up the pieces of their houses and businesses blown apart by the storm. But as dry skies spread over the region, they were struck by relief that the storm didn't take many lives. Even so, there will be substantial cleanup and President Bush declared south Texas a disaster area to release federal funding to fifteen counties, and insurance estimators put the losses at $750 million. After crashing ashore on South Padre Island midday Wednesday, Dolly meandered north, leaving towns on the northern tip of the Rio Grande Valley with a surprise. Officials had feared the Rio Grande levees would breach, but the storm veered from its predicted path and they held strong. The storm dumped as much as a foot of rain in places and brought 100 mph winds. Those winds had dropped by half Thursday morning, and forecasters canceled the tropical storm warning for the Texas coast by late morning. The storm was expected to break up by Friday. The last hurricane to hit the U.S. was the fast-forming Humberto, which came ashore in southeast Texas last September. The busiest part of the Atlantic hurricane season is usually in August and September. So far this year, there have been four named storms, two of which became hurricanes. Federal forecasters predict a total of 12 to 16 named storms and six to nine hurricanes this season. So we still have most of the season to survive so keep your fingers crossed. Hopefully Dolly will be the only hurricane to hit US soil this year.

I also want to alert everyone to a story I came across concerning cell phone use and cancer risks. The head of a prominent cancer research institute issued an unprecedented warning to his faculty and staff Wednesday: Limit cell phone use because of the possible risk of cancer.The warning from Dr. Ronald B. Herberman, director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, is contrary to numerous studies that don't find a link between cancer and cell phone use, and a public lack of worry by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. No other major academic cancer research institutions have sounded such an alarm about cell phone use. But Herberman's advice is sure to raise concern among many cell phone users and especially parents.

In the memo he sent to about 3,000 faculty and staff Wednesday, he says children should use cell phones only for emergencies because their brains are still developing. Adults should keep the phone away from the head and use the speakerphone or a wireless headset, he says. He even warns against using cell phones in public places like a bus because it exposes others to the phone's electromagnetic fields. The issue that concerns some scientists though nowhere near a consensus is electromagnetic radiation, especially its possible effects on children. It is not a major topic in conferences of brain specialists. A 2008 University of Utah analysis looked at nine studies including some Herberman cites with thousands of brain tumor patients and concludes "we found no overall increased risk of brain tumors among cellular phone users. The potential elevated risk of brain tumors after long-term cellular phone use awaits confirmation by future studies." I guess my take on all this is better safe than sorry. I know if I had children I wouldn't want to take the risk because kids think they're invincible and will not look out for themselves. They want a phone because all their friends have one.

There was a meeting of my men's HIV support group this evening but because of health reasons I will be missing a few sessions. Gary did attend the meeting and said it was a great one. There was also a new person in attendance. Gary said Heather discussed a possible retreat to a campground in South Florida during August. My only concern with the trip is doing it in August when it will be up to 100 degrees in South Florida which doesn't make for the best camping weather for people with advanced HIV and AIDS. I will need to send Heather an email and see what she has to say. I ended up making us some strawberry shortcake after Gary got home and we watched So You Think You Can Dance. It was another great episode since they are now down to the best dancers of the competition. For the rest of the show it is mainly a popularity contest since all the dancers are fantastic.

Well that's about it for me today so I am heading off to bed soon. What happened in your world today? I hope it was a great one for you. Wishing you health, hope and happiness.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab