June 21, 2008

June 21, 2008
Thanks for joining me again. I hope you're having a great Saturday. May you be enjoying your life as much as I am enjoying mine.

Now I know people who are HIV negative have written me emails on how do I keep such a positive outlook on life. Well number one, I credit keeping a positive attitude with being one of the major reasons I am still alive after having HIV for over twenty five years. I also credit the wonderful family, friends and other support persons in my life with helping me stay alive and healthy as long as I have. There have also been many personal choices I have made over the years that I believe have also helped me live this long such as I do not drink alcohol, I always practice safe sex, choosing great doctors, working out and watching how much rest I get and what I eat in my diet. All these factors together have helped me live with this horrible virus for all these years with the minimum of opportunistic infections and hospitalizations.

I started off my day kind of late. Even though I got to bed at a decent hour, I did wake up about three times. I got out of bed for good around 11am and was surprised Gary was already home from working. He usually works until around noon on Saturdays so I was wondering if he was sick or if he had gone into work. Gary said he went in but was ready to go after a couple of hours. I guess Rene kept his desk up pretty well during the past week while Gary was working in the shipping department covering another employee's vacation.

It was a nasty weather day outside with major clouds and lots of summer heat even though it has been cooling off nicely at night. The downpour finally started around 3pm for about an hour which was just enough to make it steamy once the sun came out. I have also noticed a ton of mosquitoes and flies since we have been having all this rain which is the one downside to getting plenty of rainfall. So due to the weather, Gary and I canceled our outside activities for the day and decided to enjoy our time inside with each other and our pets.

On the world news, there was a horrible accident in Manila, Phillippines. A Philippine passenger ferry capsized during a typhoon with more than 700 people on board, triggering a frantic search on Sunday for survivors. Most of the 626 passengers and 121 crew are missing and the vessel's owner, Sulpicio Lines, said it had lost contact with the ferry, which was en route to Cebu from Manila, at around 12.30 pm on Saturday. The coast guard finally reached the area where the MV Princess of Stars sank two miles from Sibuyan island in the center of the archipelago. It had been forced to abort a previous rescue mission on Saturday because of high seas. Residents from a coastal village said only the ferry's bow was visible above the waves. Local mayor Nanette Tansingco told radio that three survivors had been found in remote villages. They are sending people to get them but they have to walk to get there because the roads are impassable. At least four others aboard are known to have died. Typhoon Fengshen, with maximum gusts of 121 mph, has killed at least 85 people in central and southern Philippines, including 59 in Iloilo province, where floodwaters submerged whole communities.

After pelting Manila with torrential rain and winds on Sunday, Fengshen is expected to exit the northern part of the country by Monday en route to Taiwan, where it could make landfall in the next few days. In Romblon province, the bodies of two women and some children's' slippers were washed ashore from the Princess of Stars. Before dawn on Sunday, some villagers heard warning sirens from the ship, which had 626 passengers and 121 crew on board. Dozens of relatives, some in tears, crowded into the offices of Sulpicio Lines in the central city of Cebu, looking for information. Lieutenant-General Pedro Inserto, military commander in Visayas, the central region of the Philippines, said he was told the captain sounded the abandon-ship signal around 5 a.m. on Sunday.

In Iloilo, the local government feared the death toll from the typhoon could rise as tens of thousands of people remained marooned on the roofs of their submerged houses. Iloilo is like an ocean, Governor Neil Tupaz told local radio. In neighboring Capiz, more than 2,000 houses were destroyed in the provincial capital and officials were struggling to make contact with communities further afield. Roads are impassable so we cannot penetrate the municipalities. Some areas are in waist-deep waters. Fengshen tore up houses, trees and power lines and in the southern city of Cotabato. More than 20,000 people were being housed in evacuation centers in the center and south of the archipelago. In Manila, large parts of the city were without power. The international airport was relying on generators and passengers continued to cram into the departure terminal despite many flights being either delayed or canceled. So we need to keep the victims and the families of the victims in our thoughts.

We ended up ordering Pizza Hut pizza for dinner. I ordered a large thin crust pizza with pepperoni, mushrooms and onions since neither of us felt like cooking or going to the grocery store. I had bought some steaks but the rain made grilling impossible so pizza was the next thing to pop into my head. Pizza is one of the few businesses that deliver food to our neighborhood with four major players delivering in Riverside. So we tend to rotate between the different ones with Pizza Hut and Dominoes being our favorites.

Gary has already headed off to bed and I am not far behind him. We are supposed to go running around with Rene and her friend tomorrow so I want to get plenty of rest.

I hope you enjoyed your day also and did something that brought at least a big smile to your face. Hope you have a great Sunday.

Wishing you health, hope and happiness.

Big bear hug,

Daddy Dab