May 24, 2008

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Thanks for joining me again especially considering it is a holiday weekend! For those of you traveling, I wish you a great and safe trip.

Yesterday and this morning, the weather has been the pits if you're wanting to be outdoors. It's been raining off and on since 10am on Friday. First thing this morning it was storming like crazy with tons of lightning and thunder. We probably had a couple inches worth of rain within three hours today. But after the down pour, the rain finally stopped leaving a mostly cloudy sky. I have a ton to get done today so I'm almost glad the weather isn't conducive to laying out in the sun.

I'm getting ready to leave with Lindsey for Palatka, Florida in the morning. We are working an information table at the Bluecrab Festival with Divided We Fail. So I needed to clean some clothes, pack and do all the little things that need to be done before leaving on a trip such as charging the batteries for both camera, charging the cell phone and getting the medicines together. For some reasons, the project telephone number has been receiving a large volume of emails (over 20 a day) and calls (over 40 a day) so I am also trying to catch up on all the messages before I leave. If any of you reading this need help while I am gone please contact my second in charge, Heather Vaughan, at Lutheran Social Services. I should be back no later than Tuesday and hopefully by late Monday evening.

The rest of the day I spent finishing getting packed and spending time with Gary and the pets. The weather finally started clearing around 2pm to where you could see some sunshine. I learned today from Frieda that the Memorial Day picnic thrown by our local Pride committee is canceled for this year because of funding problems. I know from talking to Shane that they were going to have a rough year recovering from some unpaid expenses leftover from last year's events. Unfortunately, the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered communities of Jacksonville have never been great about showing up for events unless they are free. I have met a lot of gay men in this city who are so far in the closet that they are gagging on hangers and they never show up for public events. But you can always find them online or at the bars where they won't be seen in public. As I say in my speeches, I'd rather be hated for who I am than be loved for someone I am not! While I will never "out" someone, I do have a lack of respect for them.

On the national news in Kansas City, forecasters said Saturday that at least a dozen tornadoes spun across western and central Kansas a day earlier, destroying numerous homes, downing trees and injuring several people. The National Weather Service in Dodge City said there were at least 10 twisters that touched down in central Kansas, while the Goodland office reported seven or eight in the western part of the state. At least four people were hurt in Stafford County, including one person who was taken to a Wichita hospital with serious injuries.

Meanwhile in Colorado, where a large tornado devastated the northern farm town of Windsor, residents were expected to return to their homes in an area of town that officials had earlier deemed unsafe following Thursday's twister. Natural gas leaks and the threat of explosions had kept hundreds of residents from their homes on Friday. The tornado with wind speeds between 111 mph to 165 mph tore through a 35-mile stretch of northern Colorado killing one person and injuring dozens. It tipped 15 rail cars off the tracks in Windsor, about 70 miles north of Denver.

My friend, Patrick, stopped by for a few minutes today. He was complaining about problems with his mouth. He was going to visit Dale up at the hospital and see how he is doing. They still haven't been able to clear up Dale's lungs so the doctors haven't been able operate on his spine yet. I would hate being stuck in the hospital for that long of an amount of time. I don't even like going to visit people in the hospital because it seems like I come down with something (cold, virus, etc) every time I do.

After the sun started shining today the temperatures really started to soar so Gary and I ended up ordering in oriental food from the place up at 5 points. It was just too hot and humid outside to even think about grilling some steaks even though we have two beautiful fillets ready to be barbequed. Even the dogs haven't wanted to stay outside much today. I didn't feel like eating meat today so I ended up getting vegetable lo mein and a vegetable spring roll both of which were good once I added my favorite hot mustard. Gary had the shrimp with garlic sauce with a spring roll and really enjoyed it.

I need to go grocery shopping but just haven't had the time this week. Gary said just to wait until after I get back from Palatka on Tuesday. That way we'll have everything fresh for the rest of the week. With the higher prices of groceries, I know we pay a lot more attention to not wasting food like we use to do. It feels like the cost of living in America is going up monthly with the prices increases hitting the average person on all sides from increased utility bills, taxes, gasoline prices and groceries.

I'm headed off to dreamland since I have to be up early in the morning. I hope your weekend continues to bring you happiness and joy. Wishing you health, hope and happiness.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab