May 21, 2008

May 21, 2008
It's great to see you again! Happy Hump Day! Thanks for joining me again on this Wednesday. Today the weather in the Jacksonville area was warm, overcast, humid and windy with a high temperature in the low 80s. Even though it was overcast we didn't receive any rainfall in my neighborhood which we could definitely use.

Speaking of rainfall, there are still fires raging in Putnam county which is very close to Jacksonville. The news showed more coverage today with the firefighters finally starting to get a handle on the fires and now the fires are almost 50 percent contained. The firefighters are now fighting the remaining half and also making sure no new hot spots develop in the contained area. The fires have come dangerously close to a couple of residential neighborhoods.

Gary kept me up half the night with his snoring and tossing and turning so I ended up not getting any sound sleep until after he woke up around 5:30am. So I ended up sleeping until 11:30am today. I didn't have any pressing matters or meetings this morning so it was great to be able to spend the morning leisurely in bed.

After I finally woke up, my stomach was growling away so first thing I did was make one of my great protein shakes which is my favorite way to start the morning. With the way I make my shakes, they taste almost like a chocolate ice cream shake but are much more healthy for you. Being a long term survivor of HIV and AIDS, it is very important for me to make sure I get as many protein grams in my diet per day to help prevent HIV wasting. I was originally diagnosed with wasting in 1996 and it is a constantly battle for me to keep weight on my bones. On average, I probably consume close to 3000 calories a day just to maintain my weight and energy levels.

JEA (Jacksonville Electric Authority) announced there will be a 5% increase on our electric bill starting next month and another 5% increase in October. This will raise my monthly electric bill about $10 a month. They also announced a proposed increase of 4% for our water usage that will probably be passed by July. The reason for the increases are of course the cost of oil and goal. In my area there really is no access to alternative energy sources such as nuclear, wind, solar or any other so we are totally reliant on fossil fuels. The cost of these fuels have almost doubled in the past year so the additional costs have to be passed on to the consumer. So on top of increased gas and food costs, now there is also utility bill increases making just another reason to have to tighten our belts again. I keep on having to tighten my belt and my kidneys are going to get damaged! LOL

I had to shower and get dressed quickly so I would be ready when Heather picked me up to go to our bi-monthly support group meeting that she and I co-facilitate. Heather recently had a hairdresser mess up her current style so she ended up having to get it "fixed" by another hairdresser and she is not happy with the results. I thought it was cute but I know how people are funny about their hair and appearance. Well at least I remember what it was like when I still had a full head of hair! LOL We ended up having a small group tonight because of it being Memorial Day weekend coming up. A few guys were already gone for Pensacola which has a huge event for Memorial Day weekend. We did have a new member who has moved here from Atlanta to join us who I had been talking to over email. A couple of our regular members haven't been in awhile so I need to check in and see how they are doing. One of our old members who moved to South Carolina to be closer to family is back in the hospital and doing very poorly so I've had him in my thoughts also. Afterwards, Heather and I walked over to their thrift shop and spoke to Dan before leaving.

Tonight was the announcement of this season's American Idol finale. There were many guest stars including Carrie Underwood, George Michaels, Donna Summer and many others which made for great entertainment. Carrie Underwood looked fantastic except I hated the material hanging off the sleeves of her dress. It was very distracting to the performance and her overall look. George Michael's new song really touched a chord on the state of our world and country today. More than 97 million votes, the highest ever, were made for this year's decision. Receiving 56 percent of the votes and this season's American Idol is... DAVID COOK! Now I know I thought David Archuletta was going to win but Archuletta only received 44 percent of the vote. They are both so talented they will both have careers after American Idol.

Hope you had a great day also! Wishing you health, hope and happiness.

Big bear hug,

Daddy Dab