William Griffith Wilson (November 26, 1895 – January 24, 1971), also known as Bill Wilson or Bill W., was the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), an international mutual aid fellowship with over two million members belonging to 100,800 groups of alcoholics helping other alcoholics achieve and maintain sobriety. Following AA’s Twelfth Tradition of anonymity, Wilson is commonly known as “Bill W.” or “Bill.” After Wilson’s death in 1971, his full name was included in obituaries.
Wilson’s permanent sobriety began December 11, 1934. Wilson suffered from episodes of depression. The most serious of these occurred between 1944 and 1955. In 1955 Wilson turned over control of AA to a board of trustees. Wilson died of emphysema complicated by pneumonia 42 years ago in 1971. In 1999 Time listed him as “Bill W.: The Healer” in the Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century.
Sinai photographed from STS 109 – Shuttle Columbia March 1,2002 …
I’d imagine that if Armageddon was going to take place, this is the place we would imagine the first strike to take place, or the first event. It is 3:10 a.m. on Friday morning. Nothing happened, or should I say, nothing has happened
If you are a listener of Late Night Radio, ala Coast to Coast for any length of time you would know that all the crazies in the world listen to this show night after night. And we have been all through the list of crazies over the last year.
We have the ads for end of days Armageddon style food sales, you know, just for those moments when a disaster takes place and you need those ready to eat meals, They aren’t just for earthquakes and hurricanes Yall !!! If you have a spare couple of hundred dollars that you can plunk down for mass storage food stuffs, and you gotta have a place to put it all, and who has a spare bomb shelter in their property portfolio ???
I hear in UTAH that there are bunkers that have been prepared for today’s calamity to take place. I have also heard that the cleansing of the righteous from the non-righteous will take place today. That God is going to cleanse the earth of the sinful and errant peoples. That only the righteous will be saved from God’s judgment.
There is a town in Southern France that is supposed to be a vortex location and that when the earth meets its end, that the aliens are going to appear there and take away all those who fled to the safety of this mountain perch.
All over the tv tonight have been every kind of end of days programming. People trying to divine what the Mayans were trying to say and what that damned calendar and glyphs really have to say, since they are woefully incomplete, and the end story is all up to conjecture.
We’ve heard over the last year all those good preacher men who have foretold of the coming Apocalypse and twice they were wrong and God did not come screaming out of his heaven to take us all to heaven and send all the sinners to hell.
That would mean all of us LGBTQ folks. Because homosexuality is all so sinful and errant of God’s ways … Oh, I kid …
Did you partake in the hysteria of the end of days? Did you buy into the end of the world? Are you hoarding food, guns, ammunition and all kinds of food stuffs? Because you know, when the end comes later today it is going to be utter anarchy in the streets. People clawing and fighting for food and guns.
And those who are prepared for the end will be hunkered down in their bunkers and nuclear safe type hovels defending themselves from the marauding hordes of people who did not listen to the council of the folks who have spent the better part of the last year telling us all this it is coming and you’d better be prepared.
All this talk of financial ruin coming to the U.S. The wars over seas and the Arab spring running into Arab Winter. You never know if the Anti-Christ is going to rise from the desert sand of the Middle East somewhere like Iran or some other backwater Middle Eastern country. Because like I said above, if Armageddon was going to take place, you’d probably be looking over there for him.
I have read that the sun isn’t going to erupt in some hellish solar flare that is going to knock out the electrical and communications grids all over the world. And at this hour, I haven’t read of any earthquakes, tsunamis or volcanic eruptions taking place anywhere in the world.
And when you wake and come upon this entry – having said your prayers to whatever God you pray to the night before, you will rise and the sunrise will be glorious – just like the day before.
And I am sure on Friday night on Coast to Coast they will be hosting a night of checking in with all those folks who have added to the mass hysteria that today is supposed to unleash on humankind.
Did the ancients get it right? Will we come to rise above ourselves and grow in spiritual awakening? Will we rise to the next level of humanity overnight? And what have we learn in this exercise of preparing ourselves for the end of the world. And what will we say to all those folks who are hiding in their bomb shelters as I write this.
Will we see a nuclear Armageddon from the East? Because if we do, for those of us who could not afford a bomb shelter – we are all goners … So I guess before I go to bed I should say my final prayers – kiss my ass goodbye and hope to wake up tomorrow morning.
Today my husband is traveling to Ottawa to see his family, and it may be his last meeting with them if we are to believe that something BIG will take place tomorrow some time. Who knows.
It’s the end of the world as we know it. And when you wake tomorrow – what kind of world will it be? And what will we say to all those crazies out there sitting in their bomb shelters and on mountain tops and those fleeing the big cities into the interior of the United States and Europe because the oceans are going to swell and swallow up all the coastal land. God forbid you know that volcano on the Canary Islands that is supposed to blow its peak and send a tsunami across the Atlantic and submerge the entire East Coast of the United States.
You are all FUCKED !!!
Shall we make a prediction of what all will happen the day after tomorrow?
Sit tight. I will report more as the day progresses.
More to come, stay tuned …
Report From: The Canadian Press
CANBERRA, Australia – Australian bestselling author Bryce Courtenay has died of stomach cancer. He was 79.
His publisher Penguin Group said Friday that the South African-born writer died at his family home in the Australian capital Canberra late Thursday surrounded by his family and pets.
Courtenay had a successful career in advertising before writing his first novel, “The Power of One,” which was published in 1989 when he was 56. The story became a movie starring Morgan Freeman.
His 21st novel, “Jack of Diamonds,” was published this month.
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This is a very sad announcement. Bryce was a wonderful writer. All of his books are monumental. The way they are written is unlike any other author I have read. And if you have read anything by him, you will agree … Once you begin one of his books, you don’t stop till you reach the end. His ability to capture time and space and weave his stories with such amazing characters is amazing.
If you’ve ever wondered what Africa was like Bryce truly knew how to capture the people, the land and the images from his mind to paint just amazing pictures as you read. I’ve read a number of his books that are in my personal library.
If you’ve never read Bryce Courtenay … Put him on your Christmas list…
I’m bored … and dinner is not ready yet. And the movie wasn’t showing today.
Hubby woke me up this morning with his announcement that he checked the theatre website and our film was not on till tomorrow. So we rescheduled and added a third person to join us on the adventure. So that will be good.
I thought about inviting a friend along with us tomorrow, so I cleared it with my sponsor and made the call. My friend is going through treatment for prostate cancer and I’ve been keeping a close eye on him, calling him and just being kind.
I think it is easy to be complacent – but much more important to be kind.
Well, what do we have here ??? It’s been a long time since I have written a Plinky Prompt. The website is a collection of writing prompts that wordpress encourages us to use to get the “creative juices” flowing.
I don’t think I’ve told this story, so here it is.
This story takes place a long time ago in my timeline. I was a teen-ager living with my parents. Whether or not you believe in the here after is not a question, but this happened to us.
My uncle Paul, lived in Connecticut. He was old and died when I was young. One day my uncle John, was blacktopping the driveway and a Bluejay flew out of a tree and landed right where he was standing.
Birds are birds right, they don’t usually fly up to people for no good reason.
This was just after Paul died.
And where ever my uncle John went in the yard or even in the house, the bird would fly to whatever window was closest and peck on the glass. This pecking went on for weeks and weeks. And at one point uncle John went outside and called to the bird to stop pecking.
The bird stopped pecking …
My grandfather died while I was still living at home. He was suffering from a stroke, alcoholism and fading age.
A couple of days past his funeral, I was in my bedroom doing whatever. And there was a huge tree, well, there were several. A 50 foot oak, a smaller flowering tree and a grapefruit bush.
On that particular day a red headed woodpecker appeared at my window and began to peck. This bird followed me up to the bus stop at the end of the street, it would be there when I got off the bus and it followed me all over the house, pecking on the windows. The pecking went on for weeks and weeks.
It got so aggravating that we would walk out and say to the air, “get out of here Al!” which was my grandfathers name. And the bird would stop pecking. But it did that for a long time.
Weeks and weeks went by and two pecking bird stories were shared by two families 1500 miles apart.
At some point, Al was ready to move on … and he did eventually leave us.
But a couple of weeks later my uncle called from Connecticut saying that Paul was still hanging around the house, and then he added that a woodpecker appeared with the bluejay at their house, 1500 miles away.
They both pecked for a while then they took off. Neither bird was ever seen again.
My grandmother (on my dad’s side) lived a while longer than my grandfather. She had a massive stroke and was disabled when she died. I was living with Gloria not far from my childhood home.
I went to the funeral and it was a very sad time for me because grammy was my whole world. I missed her terribly.
I had brought a couple of flower arrangements back to the house and kept them in my bedroom. I just had a feeling …
It wasn’t long after that that she appeared to me. Grammy would always silently stand at the foot of my bed and watch me. The first time she came she scared the shit out of me, I was like, “don’t do that …”
Her apparition stayed with me for a couple months.
Time would pass, I would move three times, I was in my 26th year of life and I was living in a small apartment not far from the bar I worked at when I was diagnosed with AIDS in 1994.
It was a one bedroom flat with a living room, kitchen seating area, a walk in closet and a small bedroom. I would sleep at night in my room, with the door shut at night.
Things started happening in the apartment. Pictures on the wall would move, magazines on the tables would move and drop to the floor. I could not explain this, but I was sure I wasn’t alone.
I was seeing a Tarot Card reader at a shop just up the block from home. He was a gifted man whom I trusted for advice. I mentioned the “happenings” to him in passing and he offered to come and see what he could find.
So one afternoon he came over and walked into the apartment and sat down. Almost immediately, he had a face, hair color and the answer to my question.
He saw an older woman with red hair and a kind face. When i was a child, grammy had fire red hair, I have pictures of her from that time period.
He said that she was hanging around watching me and that she asked him to tell me not to sleep with the door shut because for some reason, she couldn’t get through the door. I knew it was her.
Never did I sleep with the door closed again. And she stopped moving things around. She stayed with me for a long while, when I got sick. I needed her strength.
Some years later, my memere died. (my mother’s mother). Again, my world was shaken by her death. My mother did not want me to go to the funeral because of my gayness and my HIV positive state of being, and she made that perfectly clear to me. I had stashed enough cash aside to afford a ticket to fly to Connecticut, but I decided against it.
For weeks after her death, memere visited me. I saw her in my sleep. I had fits of writing compulsively in her hand, with her words. I knew it was her and I progressively wrote these letters to my mother – from her, and the things she wanted me to tell her.
I am sure my mother still has these letters, and that she probably thinks I was crazy, but I will never know anyways.
That’s three for three.
My parents returned with mementos from the funeral. Statues, photographs, paintings from both my grammy and memere. They sat in my personal shrine and they went with me on the slip that almost killed me.
I lost everything that I owned on that slip. Including my mementos.
Fast Forward to Montreal. I met my great aunt Georgette at the Grey Nun’s Convent just up the street from my apartment. I visited often for meals and Eucharistic Celebrations. And she shared stories with me of Memere from when she was a child.
My great Aunt Georgette’s family in the 1920′s during the Spanish Flu epidemic that killed millions of people had claimed the lives of Memere’s parents, and they took her in and raised her as their own.
I learned all this history from her over the 2 years that she lived, she was well into her 80′s. At one point, I got a call from the convent that she was in hospital and that it was terminal.
The doctors said that they would operate to take out the cancer, so we waited and hours into the operation they came out and told me that it was a no go, that there was way too much cancer and that nothing could be done to save her.
The convent came together and the sisters came to visit her. They were all she had and I was as close to the next of kin as you could get. Her brothers and sisters lived in Atlantic Canada and would eventually come for the funeral service.
When it all got too painful for her, they took her up to the ICU at the Montreal General Hospital and there were machines galore, bells, whistles and flashing lights. She did not like this at all. It scared her. When they tried to place an oxygen mask on her face she went crazy.
Then they decided that the only other choice was Morphine …
They turned off the machines and the lights, and strung her up with an IV line dripping morphine. I sat by her bed through the night I was reading the Bhagavad Gita.
The surgeon who worked on her came by in the middle of the night, prior to our last conversation, to check on her, shouting loudly, as if she was trying to communicate with a dead person.
At 3 a.m. she stirred and grabbed my hand and asked me to find her a priest. I did not know who to call, so I asked her ICU nurse. It was late in the night and she wasn’t sure she could locate one.
I stood over her bed and listened to her tell me that the devil was trying to take her and that she needed a priest and prayers. So I put my book down and began to pray over her and with her. We said the Lords Prayer and she faded off into lala land.
Her eyes had rolled into her head. And she was gone.
The next morning came and the shift nurse came on and the sister’s came for morning watch. I kissed her cheek and said that I would be back shortly. I was going to walk down the hill to home, take a nap and go back.
Around 11 am that morning I was laying in my bed and I felt her move through me and past me. Shortly afterwards the phone rang and the nurse told me that she had passed. I did not return to see he at the hospital, but opted to greet her when we buried her at the Mother House.
I have her picture on my sacred shrine in my bedroom. Along with the items I received from the nuns. A rosary, my relic that she carried close to her heart. And a Marian statue.
Whatever memory remains, must be written down so as not to forget it. They are all I have today. The women who meant the most to me are long since gone. But people are never far away if we remember them on a daily basis.
James Potter, born 27 March 1960, died 31 October 1981
Lily Potter, born 30 January 1960, died 31 October 1981
The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
Page … 268
This is one reason D.O.M.A needs to be repealed and ended.
It has been a quiet few days. I should be posting more, with more time on my hands, and I find myself sitting in front of this screen bored out of my mind. Hoping that at least one of my reads from that day is going to jog my brain into writing something, but there have been no seeds to glean from my fellows.
I pondered the Blank Page Exercise again, but decided against it. I’ve been preparing myself for the next great achievement on my so called bucket list.
I got my Couch to 5 K podcasts on my phone. I downloaded the app for my runs and the only thing missing was a new pair of running shoes. I have plenty of sneakers, but they are all high top editions and you can’t run in high tops. So instead of waiting to go to the running store and paying through the nose for high end running shoes, I opted for the easier solution and go Ebay. I saw these sweet shoes for sale and they were a steal.
The whole kit and kaboodle cost me $50.00 shipping included. And to boot they shipped today so I will have them in a few days. Sweet !!!
It has been miserably hot and humid for the last few days. Almost too humid to sleep, (we don’t have A/C) and the fans we have only blow the air around the room at best. It was manageable. And it is only June. God forbid we get a heat wave like we did last summer and it stays humid out for more than a week at a time. God Forbid !!!
I am pondering buying a small window unit to hang in the bedroom, since we are getting taxes back on Thursday, maybe I can find one that would fit in a small window. I have to check “The Tire.”it would have to fit in a 20 inch window because we have side to side sliding windows in the apartment in both rooms, and you can’t hang a window unit in the living room 17 stories up, it is too dangerous. But we could hang one in the bedroom because we have the exterior balcony. So there would be no overhang outside the building proper.
*** *** *** ***
It poured all afternoon and I didn’t want to get soaked on my walk, so I waited for a break in the rain to get going this afternoon. I arrived and was all set up by 5 o’clock. I had the entire hour to myself. I finished reading my Grapevine.
One of the final articles in this edition was about gratitude. And when the meeting started the chair read from Came to Believe, and the reading titled
“An Open Heart.”
Within that reading was a mention about gratitude, suiting up and showing up and having or cultivating an Open Heart. From the shares that went around the room, people struggle with this concept. How should I open my heart, and just how open should I make my heart and what cards do I hold close to my chest?
Words like Fear, Pain, heartache and few others were mentioned as well.
Getting Married – There are certain activities in life that take place as we grow up that afford us to begin cultivating an open heart. We grow up and become independent, we meet someone (our significant other) and we get married. This is an exercise in opening ones heart. Especially if you write your vows and speak them to the one you love.
Adversity – emotional – mental – medical and physical all tend to open ones heart and soul to the unknown. Illness tends to turn you inwards because in facing adversity, one becomes ONE with ones being or heart.
Babies – The gift of Life and the birth of a child is the closest thing I have ever experienced that is divine. Being present for the birth of a child is the closest that I have ever come to seeing God’s face. And this is truly the biggest heart opening experience I can tell you about.
Death – The ending of life is also an experience in opening ones heart to feel and to mourn, as was the case at our meeting recently. There have been several deaths for folks in our group over the past few weeks and although they are raw and mourning, they come away with a tender open heart.
Getting Sober – We find when we come to the rooms that we may be a bit frayed, and maybe raw from the beating we gave ourselves, and it will take some time to learn how to open one’s heart, but it does happen, if you stick around long enough for the miracle to happen.
I’m sure you can add your own experiences that have opened your heart. This was just a short list that I can rattle off from my own life. But you get the idea.
The room was full. We sat 33 folks. Uncle Bill showed up and when he said that he got sober in 1950, people clapped and cheered. That would be 62 years of sobriety. 62 YEARS !!!
Thank God for our Old Timers.
What has happened in your life that your heart became open? Leave a comment below…
I start my running as soon as my shoes get here and the training will begin. I was talking to a friend before the meeting and she said that running/walking is a life changing event, if you stick to it long enough. And I am hoping for big changes to happen in my life and on my body as well. My doctor would be Oh So Pleased.
Sorry for being so quiet lately.
Stay tuned. More to come…
The day began at 4:45 this morning. I was in bed and I listened to thunder rolling in the sky. The storm was coming from the West, traveling Eastwards. There were huge flashes of light in the sky so I got up and stood on the balcony and watched the storm come.
There were two huge arcs of lightening that dropped from the clouds down to the ground just behind the Children’s Hospital, so it seemed. It was that close. If I only had my camera in those split seconds, they would have been fantastic photos.
I curled up and went back to bed and listened to the rain fall. I slept until I got up earlier this morning. It would be a very wet day indeed !!!
The skies were grey all day today and I had to make several stops on the way to the church to get supplies and then pick up my medication refills at the pharmacy. It was great timing that my EBAY monies hit my account today because I was low on cash until the deposit came.
I did my shopping and hit Westmount Square. When I got to the other end of the underground city the sky was darker than when I entered on my end. That is how fast the weather rolled in. As I exited the tunnel onto Green, it started to rain. But I didn’t get too wet, because my backpack was full and I was carrying a bag and I didn’t have enough space to open and carry an umbrella, so I walked in the rain the two blocks to the church.
I was cranking out chairs and tables and I had gotten there early because of the business meeting tonight. But I was also aware that one of our members lost her father on Saturday and today for the next three days is Shiva. A second member messaged me to tell me she wouldn’t show up because her neighbor had a heart attack.
I finished up set up and took a breath, it was pouring cats and dogs outside, as I am in a basement hall, I was waiting for water.
Well, Let me tell you what happened.
There is a drain in the center of the hall. A second drain in the hallway, and a third drain just outside our hall in the entrance to the church above on the lower level.
I went to the bathroom because I heard gurgling coming from the faucet, so I ran some water thinking that it was just air in the pipes. I was WRONG !!!
This is the hall proper …
I walked back into the hall and water was streaming from the drain coming up like a flood. The room is about 100 feet by 100 feet square, with a kitchen and bathroom off to one side. Picture tables in the middle of the chairs as we sit at table for reading and discussion. But this is the hall.
The water was coming in very quickly and the hall was flooding fast. I ran into the church building up the back stairs to the parish house and rang the bell like a madman until someone answered. I screamed “The church is flooding, there is water all over the place…” By the time we got back downstairs there was three inches of water piled up from one side of the hall to the other, and back into the church proper. The priest ran back upstairs and got the concierge and Pierre came down in sandals. He got soaked.
He went into the store room and grabbed the wet vac and pulled it into the hall. Now, you’d think that the church would be prepared to clean up the mess, that the concierge and the church staff would take care of this flooded hall …
Well, you would be wrong !!!
It was around 5 o’clock. The hall is flooded, the room is all set up and I am all alone in the hall. Pierre looks at me and says “Here you go, have a good time, I need to go now, hope you can clean up this mess…”
Do you know what it is like trying to vacuum up a water flooded room, not knowing which direction to start in because water flows downhill or down slope. I half heartedly looked at him as he left and I thought that I would start in the middle of the room and work my way out. Wrong !!!
The water was just too deep and it was running all over the place. I spent the better part of an hour vacuuming and emptying the can several times. There was a lot of water…
Around 6, one of our members showed up and she was like, this is a mess, and I had a mini breakdown, and shared a few choice swear words with her. I was not happy. I was all dirty, my pants were soaked and my boots were waterlogged.
She was like, “well we can’t have a meeting, we have to shut down the hall and cancel the meeting,” mind you, people were on their way for the business meeting, which never happened, thank God…
A few minutes later my sponsor showed up and we told him what it looked like downstairs and what ever he decided we would do. He just grabbed the vacuum himself and he started working. The entire entrance hallway at the bottom of the stairs, the hall proper and the bathrooms were all flooded.
Where do you start vacuuming up all that water and with one little wet vac, you aren’t going to make a dent in hell in the hours that you really need to clean up this mess.
Dave showed up and we grabbed buckets and mops and started trying to mop up water and Rick was vacuuming, we had to move the urn and the makings over into the one dry section for people, because the meeting would go on no matter what. We worked up until a quarter to 7, and stopped and washed up.
We read from the Big Book, Page 419. Acceptance is the key to all my problems, and that I really don’t have problems. It’s all about perspective … I had a problem, the hall was flooded and I worked for more than an hour to try and clean some of it up. 20 people showed up. But we were down a good number.
Then one of our women shared that a friend lost her baby over the weekend, the second member lost her father on the same day and a third member’s friend had a heart attack this afternoon.
Tragedy comes in threes.
And when things go bad, they go Bad Big. We also heard that the metro was shut down because of an incident and the city was flooded all over town.
Yeah, when it rains in Montreal, streets, highways, tunnels and roads all flood. People were stuck on buses, cars were stranded in the middle of the highway and there was water all over the place.
With 20 people – the meeting ended shy of the hour fifteen. Most of the people there were going to shiva afterwards. I wanted to come home and clean up. I had to go to Provigo to pick up dinner and soda on the way back.
We picked up our stuff and put it in the store room as usual. And left the hall half flooded the water was still two inches deep in some places. Hopefully the hall will be cleaned by next week, and hopefully not a lot of damage will occur but water piled up on the edges of the room will undermine the foundation of the walls. We will see …
What a Day !!! Thank God I am sober … Because it could have been a lot worse.
The battle in this country between the right and the left is raging. Since the right has no answers to the economic questions we face, they’ve decided to concentrate on dividing the country on so-called “moral” issues, one of those being the demonizing of gay and lesbian people.
Little by little, they are losing the battle, as we see states individually legalizing gay marriage and recognizing that our forefathers intended that ALL are created equal and marriage is an equal right. But that doesn’t stop the right from carrying on their battle.
Something terrible happened this past weekend in Maryland and the fact that it was Maryland, a state that has just proclaimed that all are equal and has enshrined that concept into state law, goes to highlight the lengths to which the right will go. In this instance, the right was personified by Father Marcel Guarnizo, who officiated at the funeral of a former family member of mine.
She was no longer a family member because I divorced the man who was her blood relative. But with social media these days, a person can remain in touch with those who, although there is no longer a family connection, are still people who are valued.
My friend Barbara, the daughter of the deceased woman, was denied communion at her mother’s funeral. She was the first in line and Fr. Guarnizo covered the bowl containing the host and said to her, “I cannot give you communion because you live with a woman and that is a sin according to the church.”
To add insult to injury, Fr. Guarnizo left the altar when she delivered her eulogy to her mother. When the funeral was finished he informed the funeral director that he could not go to the gravesite to deliver the final blessing because he was sick.
EDIT: A letter of apology was sent from the Archdiocese of Washington. This story has gained a lot of traffic over the past few days. I join the call for Father Marcel Guarnizo to be removed from the parish and taken out of pastoral ministry, what he did was unconscionable. And he should loose his position as a parish priest. Put him somewhere where he can no further harm parishoners like this ever again.
Here is that apology:
It has been 17 years and 5 months since my diagnosis of AIDS on July 8th, 1994 and what can we say about AIDS in 2011???
I think we can talk about “The Ministry of Pleasure” He says it all …
We are fast approaching December 1, 2011 when we commemorate yet another year of World AIDS Day. It’s now 30 years, June 5, 1981, since the first AIDS case was published by the Centre for Disease Control. It became known as Gay-related immune deficiency (GRID). Today, this disease knows no boundaries and can affect and/or infect anyone. At the end of 2010, it’s estimated that 34 million people globally living with HIV, there were 2.7 million new HIV infections, and 1.8 million people died of AIDS-related illnesses.
UN AIDS report that “the overall growth of the global aids epidemic appears to have stabilized. The annual number of new HIV infections has been steadily declining since the late 1990s and there are fewer aids-related deaths due to the significant scale up of antiretroviral therapy over the past few years. Although the number of new infections has been falling, levels of new infections overall are still high, and with significant reductions in mortality the number of people living with HIV worldwide has increased.
December starts with a day to remember all those who have gone before us. All those courageous and loving people that I have known in my lifetime. So much has happened in the care of people with AIDS. In Canada we have comprehensive medical care and the best drugs on the market come through our clinic. And when they do we test them for the rest of the world to make sure they work correctly.
I have come so far in my life, I have achieved many things in this life that, if you had told me that I would be where I am today, with the life I have today, I wouldn’t have believed you. But here we are and I am still alive.
Thanks to my doctors and the men and women who work at the Montreal General Hospital for their love and care. It goes without saying that we always have front line access to our doctors at any time of the day or night if need be. Which is more than I can say for what life was like in the United States.
But all to say that I am grateful for all of you who come to read. Take a moment to tell those people in your life that you love them and appreciate them as well. A little love goes a long way …
So share the love.
Courtesy: Flickr EvanMischelle
A few weeks ago I had to write a reflection on my gaming life. That life consisted of Farmville on Facebook. I don’t own any video game consoles. Haven’t been near one since I was a kid. So anyways, I wrote it.
Over the last 3 years, I have played this little Zynga game and had fun for a while playing. I quickly moved from level to level. It was a great fun for a while. Then to sweeten the pot they added the English Country Side, which we all with bated breaths waited for with great excitement to get our invitations.
I consolidated my home farm, where I had amassed millions of coin and over the years paid out handsomely for Farm Cash every so often. There are times when you have to buy in to move forwards in the game. During this time I began a foray into CityVille. An energy based game of the same sort but more on city building and maintaining a farm onsite as well. I overgrew my city, I could not provide for my city very well, and my citizens were not very happy with me. So I ended my relationship with City Ville.
All the while I was farming madly in the English Countryside. I played the game all the way to the end of the series of quests and achieved my Castle at the end of the game. You could play both farms at the same time. Many of the quests were set so that you would utilize both farms to complete missions across the platform.
Then in August, the English Countryside was retired. And they decided to change our settings where our farms were to these plain Jane backgrounds, and the little English Countryside farm was gone. I was not pleased with this change. So I stopped farming all together only harvesting my animals, trees and my livestock pens.
Once again, I figured they wanted to sweeten the pot again and opened Lighthouse Cove. That would be three farms now we would be farming, playing and questing. I had timed my farms all to harvest at the same time every night. Because I wasn’t farming, just harvesting, the 24 hour cycle was the same for all three farms.
When playing a game becomes a chore, you know you’ve come to the end of your playing days. So with a full heart tonight, I logged into Facebook and calmly deleted all traces of any links to my farms, Farmville or Zynga. After years of faithful play, I was finished.
I put an RIP message into my status and was done with it.
I think I am gravitating away from Facebook. It has become a depository of posters, rude signs and all this political shit that doesn’t concern me since I live in Canada. I mean we watch U.S. television here and we know what’s going on, I just find all this stuff pointless and not worth my while. Now I don’t have a reason to even log into Facebook any longer. I mean I will – but the why has changed.
We are all changing as we grow up. All of our lives are changing and priorities are changing as well. I still do my fair share of internet reading, Tumbling, You Tube and Ebay. But I’ve noticed that today I am not spending as much time online as I used to. I can run my reads and tumble and watch videos in smaller intervals during my day.
I check my mail in the mornings. I go about my day, school, shopping, meetings, and so forth. In the evenings I run my reads because by nightfall everyone has posted on their respective blogs, most do, but a good number don’t post every day and I don’t even post every day. I Tumble for a good hour and keep up on the rotation over night until I go to bed.
But I am not attached to the computer with the chain like I used to be. I still love my blog and all my reads. It keeps me in touch with the wider world out there. And I write for my friends who read whenever I post.
So a change has happened. I bid it goodbye. It was fun for a while.
Tomorrow is Friday. I have to get my hair cut, Finally, I have to go buy a textbook and then put tickets on my Opus card and my meeting Friday night. Which means a 6:45 departure from home for set up and a business meeting at 8 before the main meeting.
Hubby informed me tonight that I owed him $500.00 to pay bills and take care of sundry needs of the house. And here I had already budgeted out all the money to pay bills and take care of some of my own needs this time around, but that isn’t going to happen, Again!!! Fuck My Life !!!
I have an Ebay bill to pay, a book to buy and haircut on the list … Everything else will have to wait until he gets paid again next week.
God Grant me Serenity …
More to come tomorrow, definitely. See you then…
Biography data: Via Wikipedia
Matthew Wayne Shepard (December 1, 1976 – October 12, 1998) was a student at the University of Wyoming who was tortured and murdered near Laramie, Wyoming, in October 1998. He was attacked on the night of October 6–7, and died at Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Colorado, on October 12 from severe head injuries.
During the trial, witnesses stated that Shepard was targeted because of his sexual orientation. Shepard’s murder brought national and international attention to the contention of hate crime legislation at the state and federal levels.
In 2009, his mother Judy Shepard authored a book The Meaning of Matthew: My Son’s Murder in Laramie, and a World Transformed. On October 22, 2009, the United States Congress passed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act (Matthew Shepard Act for short), and on October 28, 2009, President Obama signed the legislation into law.
Shortly after midnight on October 6, 1998, Shepard met Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson for the first time at the Fireside Lounge in Laramie, Wyoming. It was decided that McKinney and Henderson would give Shepard a ride home.McKinney and Henderson subsequently drove the car to a remote, rural area and proceeded to rob, pistol-whip, and torture Shepard, tying him to a fence and leaving him to die. According to their court testimony, McKinney and Henderson also discovered his address and intended to steal from his home. Still tied to the fence, Shepard, who was still alive but in a coma, was discovered 18 hours later by Aaron Kreifels, a cyclist who initially mistook Shepard for a scarecrow.
Shepard had suffered fractures to the back of his head and in front of his right ear. He experienced severe brain-stem damage, which affected his body’s ability to regulate heart rate, body temperature, and other vital functions. There also were about a dozen small lacerations around his head, face, and neck. His injuries were deemed too severe for doctors to operate. Shepard never regained consciousness and remained on full life support. While he lay in intensive care, candlelight vigils were held by the people of Laramie.
The closest this house comes to an apple product are the apples we buy in the produce section of the grocery store, or the baked apple goods in pastries.
We are avowed PC users. We believe in Android.
Since hubby did a stint in computer programming when we first met, we have been and continue to be staunchly “Anti-Apple.” Imagine all the money we saved over the years having not to buy phone after phone, Ipad after Ipad and Mac after Mac, Ipod after Ipod.
Our little desktop computer has served its purpose well. The most money we have spent in upgrades came after a system crash some time ago, and a new fan system and memory upgrade. Hubby did his homework before deciding on Android for our cell phone accounts and to date we are very pleased with them.
Therefore, the death of Steve Jobs really had no effect on our household. It is sad that such a brilliant man went to his grave at so young an age. But you know, if cancer takes one organ, and you replace it, the odds are high that it will attack another. Cancer is pernicious. Once the clock starts ticking, time is all you have so you better make the most of it. And I think that Steve did that with all that he had in him. And for that he should be commended.
They say that there will never be another man like him in our age. And that qualification is set aside for certain brilliant and important persons. Steve Jobs changed the way the world works in ways that will be written in the history books forever. Centuries from now, the name Steve Jobs will be synonymous with intelligent computing.
Since I do not know of MAC or Apple, that’s about all I can say. The world mourns his loss and we pray for his family and friends. Eternal Rest Grant him and may perpetual light shine upon him.
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The holiday weekend is upon us. Last night Montreal dropped to a brisk 4c. And there was a frost warning up for the city and surrounding areas. 8 has been the magic number on the thermometer as of late.Skies are clear and they tell us that it will be a sunny warm holiday weekend.
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Today is my Friday. I had class tonight and we have a three day weekend coming. The excitement of the holiday is alive and well at our local stores. We have been shopping for a few days on a feast to beat all feasts. Like I have said before, when it comes to holidays, you go BIG or you go HOME !!!
Tonight’s class we discussed the end of the Roman Empire and the beginning of Jesus and early Christianity. A topic right up my alley. We had a lively discussion in class, moving through history from early Christianity into the discussion of the rise and flourishing of Islam across the European continent through the Middle East, into Egypt, Syria, Northern Africa and on into Spain and France.
The world might be at odds with Islam. But one must look with respect on the achievements that were made as Islam moved across the world, the goods it brought forth, the knowledge and creation that took place, education, writing, paper, architecture and religious teaching.
I’ve always admired the religion of Islam. It is the most “well lived” religious tradition. Following the 5 pillars of Islam is a lifetime of work, faith and practice. For the Muslim it is an everyday religion. It is a full time practice.
The Qur’an presents them as a framework for worship and a sign of commitment to the faith. They are (1) the shahada(creed), (2) daily prayers (salat), (3) fasting during Ramadan(sawm), (4) almsgiving (zakat), and (5) the pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj) at least once in a lifetime.
Unlike Christianity, yes, we have belief and practice, but Christianity does not even compare to the depth of practice that Islam requires. Christians profess faith, we may go to church, and try to do good in our communities and maybe we visit a holy site sometime in our lives. But Christians get away with much more than our Muslim brothers and sisters.
That’s why I love my copies of Holy texts and of course certain books that everyone has read like the Alchemist. If you’ve never read it, you should.
I’ve studied all the major religions around the world. Eastern and Western, old and new. I was talking to my prof during the break tonight, she was asking how much education I had, because at one point tonight I corrected her during her lecture. I love being able to do that …My top three disciples: Peter, James and John. Paul came after Jesus, never having met him unless you count his radical conversion vision with Jesus. People seem to get these truths wrong…
I have en extensive library here at home. On top of all my academic reading I have done for the degrees I have attained, I have read a huge amount of side literature dealing with many of the worlds religions. I have found that reading side literature enlightens many things that academia tends to ignore because some fiction is just that, fiction.
I love reading anyways. There are a multitude of books that speak about religion and tradition. I have yet to even make a dent in the reading list that is out there to be read.
I am rambling now, which means I need to stop writing. Lest, I get on my pontifical pedestal.
Tomorrow is Friday and a meeting.
More to come, stay tuned …
NDP Leader Jack Layton will be honoured with a state funeral Saturday in Toronto, senior NDP officials have told CBC News.
The government protocol office is working with the NDP and family of the NDP leader on exactly what the funeral will be.
Condolence books will be set up in Ottawa on Parliament Hill and in Toronto at city hall. Others will be located in NDP constituency offices across the country.
Friends and political foes alike praised Jack Layton on Monday for his warmth, optimism and respect for opponents.
People who squared off across the House of Commons from Layton, including former prime ministers Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin, as well as Prime Minister Stephen Harper and interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae, all spoke warmly about Layton’s commitment to Canadians.
Layton, who led Canada’s Official Opposition, died early Monday morning at his Toronto home after a battle with cancer. He was 61.
Layton’s wife, Olivia Chow, and his children, Sarah and Michael Layton, issued a statement announcing his death.
“We deeply regret to inform you that the Honourable Jack Layton, leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada, passed away at 4:45 am today, Monday August 22. He passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by family and loved ones,” the statement read.
Details about funeral arrangements will be forthcoming, it said. The family released a letter from Layton to Canadians just after noon.
Layton’s death comes less than a month after he announced to the country that he was fighting a new form of cancer and was taking time off for treatment. Layton had been diagnosed with prostate cancer in late 2009 and underwent treatment for it. He continued working throughout that time and also battled a broken hip earlier this year. Layton used a cane for much of his time on the campaign trail this spring as he led the NDP to a historic victory on May 2.
His party claimed 103 seats, and was propelled to official Opposition status. Layton and Chow, a fellow NDP MP from Toronto, moved into Stornoway, the residence of the Leader of the Official Opposition.
Layton and his party were getting used to their new roles in Parliament but he did not appear to be in good health near the end of June. He said he felt pain and stiffness, he underwent tests and they confirmed he had a new form of cancer. He did not disclose what kind of cancer.
Layton’s chief of staff, Anne McGrath, said Monday that Layton’s condition took a quick turn for the worse Sunday night.
She spent a few hours with him Saturday and had a sense that he was losing a battle, but says his campaign slogan – don’t let them tell you it can’t be done – was also a personal slogan.
“It is a huge loss. It is a huge loss for me personally, but it’s a huge loss also for our party and our country,” she said.
McGrath worked with Layton for nearly a decade.
“There’s no question that my heart is broken,” she said.
McGrath said Layton was thinking about what it would mean for the party if he died. When they spoke on Saturday, they talked about upcoming events like the party’s annual caucus retreat in September and what Parliament would be like if he weren’t there.
Layton always liked to be presented with options, McGrath told Evan Solomon on CBC’s Power & Politics, including a plan for what would happen if he died.
“He was very, very practical and he was very much wanting to know that we were going to be able to continue and we were going to be strong,” she said.
After the news of Layton’s death emerged shortly after 8 a.m. ET, friends, colleagues and Canadians reacted quickly and with shock, sadness and tears. The flag on the Peace Tower was lowered to half-mast.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Layton will be remembered for the force of his personality and his dedication to public life.
Speaking from the foyer of the House of Commons, Harper said the two leaders had always talked about getting together to jam.
“I will always regret the jam session that never was. That is a reminder, I think, that we must always make time for friends, family and loved ones, while we still can,” he said.
In a statement earlier Monday, Harper saluted Layton’s contribution to public life and said it would be sorely missed.
“I know one thing: Jack gave his fight against cancer everything he had. Indeed, Jack never backed down from any fight,” he said.
Tributes to Layton poured in from across party lines. Rae said the news took his breath away and that Layton’s death is not just a loss for the NDP, but for all Canadians.
“It’s a loss for the country because he was a political guy who believed strongly in politics and who had a lot of resilience and a lot of guts,” Rae told CBC News.
Longtime NDP leader and MP Ed Broadbent told CBC News he sensed the end was coming, but was still shocked when he got the call Monday morning.
“In each and every election, he moved us forward … he wanted a reason in politics,” Broadbent said.
“Canada has lost a great politician. A man who believed in working for the public good. And I’ve lost a personal friend.”
Interim NDP Leader Nycole Turmel spoke of one of Layton’s favourite quotes from Tommy Douglas, the founder of the CCF, the NDP’s forerunner. Layton included the quote in every email he sent: “Courage my friends, ‘tis never too late to build a better world.”
“Jack was a courageous man. It was his leadership that inspired me, and so many others, to run for office,” Turmel said in her statement.
“We – members of Parliament, New Democrats and Canadians – need to pull together now and carry on his fight to make this country a better place.”
NDP deputy leader Libby Davies, fighting back tears, said Layton’s death is “an incredible loss.”
“Jack was not only a great leader of the NDP, he’s someone that Canadians across the country came to love. We feel a tremendous sense of loss and grief,” she said.
Davies said Layton brought a sense of humanity to Canadian politics and in his career and his life, especially his battle with cancer, “he gave it his all.”
“We have only love and respect for everything that he did and he leaves some really important legacies in Canadian politics,” she said.
Douglas’ daughter, Shirley, says Layton was the same whether he was in a crowded room or meeting people one-on-one.
“Everywhere I’ve gone, people said ‘You know, we’ve got a leader who cared’,” she told CBC News.
Douglas says she’s worried about Chow.
“That’s the one person I keep thinking about all morning,” she said. “They were so close and when a marriage that is as close as that one … it’s a terrible thing to see that marriage broken apart by this. I just couldn’t say enough to her. She’s a tremendous woman on her own.”
The leader of the Official Opposition announced on July 25 he was stepping away from the job to concentrate on his cancer treatment. He told Canadians he had recently been diagnosed with a new form of cancer, in addition to the prostate cancer he had earlier battled.
Such a gifted entertainer. But in the end it was the drink/drugs that killed her.
Eternal rest grant her and may perpetual light shine upon her.
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LONDON (Reuters) – Amy Winehouse, one of the most talented singers of her generation whose hit song “Rehab” summed up her struggles with addiction, died in London on Saturday at the age of 27.
The Grammy winner, famed for her black beehive hair, soulful voice and erratic behaviour on and off stage, was found dead at her new home in Camden a month after a shambolic performance in Serbia forced her to cancel her entire European tour.
Police were called to the address at around 1500 GMT and nearly five hours later the body was removed for a post mortem after it appeared she had lost her battle with drink and drugs.
“Inquiries continue into the circumstances of the death,” said police superintendent Raj Kohli. “At this early stage it is being treated as unexplained and there have been no arrests in connection with the incident.”
He said reports that Winehouse had died of a suspected drugs overdose were speculation at this stage.
Family members had long warned that Winehouse’s lifestyle, which saw her in and out of rehab and blighted her career as a live and recording artist, could be her downfall.
My thoughts and prayers go out to Norway and their people. A very sad day today. The killing of innocents and children in any case is reprehensible.
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OSLO (Reuters) – A gunman dressed in police uniform shot dead at least 84 people at a youth summer camp of Norway’s ruling political party, hours after a bomb killed seven in the government district in the capital Oslo.
Witnesses said the gunman, identified by police as a 32-year-old Norwegian who they believed was also linked to the bombing, moved across the small, wooded Utoeya holiday island on Friday firing at random as young people scattered in fear.
Norwegian television TV2 said the gunman detained by police was tall and blond and had links to right-wing extremism. Police said on Saturday the man had been charged for the bomb blast and the shooting.
“A paradise island has been transformed into a hell,” Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg told a news conference on Saturday.
Sunday has come and gone. The day was beautiful, the sky was blue, very little cloud, a nice breeze… And I stayed in all day. Looking at the tv today brought a “Deadliest Catch” Marathon and everybody who knows me knows that on Tuesday Night’s, The Deadliest Catch is always on here.
I’ve been watching the “After the Catch” shows that have been airing here all month long. It was nice that they spread After the Catch over several episodes and did right by each boat, captain and crew.
Hubby had things to do today, and he went out with friends for the evening, which left me home alone with my remote control. I got to see the entire season in one shot. This season was truly emotional with the death of Phil Harris, but seeing the season in one shot in one night was cathartic. Watching week to week broke up the drama and the story into manageable portions.
Tonight’s marathon gave it to you up front. It still made me cry just like the first time the episode aired. At the end of the marathon, they showed a behind the scenes look at the cinematography and we got to see the filming teams and what they went through to get the stories on film. It is truly a remarkable feat of cinematography with all the technology employed to tell stories. And matching up the right producer/camera operator to each boat and team.
All of the teams are important. But I have my favorite boat, that’s for sure. But this season everybody was a favorite I think.
So hubby went out and I had house chores to do like vacuuming and scrubbing the bathroom, and cooking some dinner for myself. Staying in the day today was easy. I enjoyed the day and the night.
It was a good day.
It has been a good day so far. This morning saw me walking to NDG to meet Rick early on so that we could attend the funeral for Mick up in Cartierville. We got there with plenty of time prior to the service to hob nob with the who’s who of Montreal sobriety.
There were a pair of pipers playing music outside the church, which was a very nice touch to the morning. There were more than 100 members there for the Christian rite of burial. I would say there were at least 200 people in the church. It was a beautiful service and mass. I haven’t been to mass in a long time, and I was amazed that along with the priest I can still recite the order of the mass rote by memory.
During the homily, the priest was walking around the church asking people to say things about Mick. At first nobody wanted to say anything for fear of upsetting the fine balance of mourning. But after a few minutes the priest says to the crowd … “If you had all walked into a BAR, I am sure you would have something to say about him!”
Needless to say that the room erupted in a roar of laughter. The priest realized that everybody in the church was SOBER, and many haven’t walked in a bar in years or decades. “Woops, the priest says outloud, “I seem to have stuck my foot in my mouth!” It was funny. Nothing like a little levity in a sad situation.
After the service there was a beautiful reception with food, drink and coffee. The reception hall was packed with mourners. We had a bite to eat and we spoke to a few people around the room, but then Rick needed to get back home to go back to work, and I came home on the metro.
Hubby applied for a special HBC card to do some shopping and it came in the mail today. Woo Hoo … $1000.00 worth of shopping goodness. Things are happening as they will – all in good time.
I need to eat and get going for the next portion of the evening. More to come later tonight …
I had a bite to eat, made some phone calls and set off for the meeting. Junior was waiting for me when I got there. It is always nice to have a second person to help set up and to chat with. The quiet is always nice, but it is a lonely job doing it alone.
Junior gave us our topic for the night… “Am I really an alcoholic?” There are numerous excuses I can use to have a drink, with the beginning of school, peer pressure to drink and use has begun for him and that little vicious voice says … aww, just one, you know you wanna… Everybody else is doing it … why not …
I can’t – it is just not what I want to do. Junior is coming up on his 90 day mark in the next week. I will be getting his chip from intergroup on Thursday afternoon.
The group rose to the call of helping him put voice to that little voice inside that tells us that we are not really alcoholics. Like the big book says …. Alcoholism is a disease that tells us that we don’t suffer from the disease of alcoholism. But we do. And the only way around it is a program of recovery. And daily maintenance is based upon our spiritual condition…
We talked about listening to people. Getting to know them. Coming to the same meeting week in and week out, over time, affords one the ability to read the neon sign above their heads as they come down that stairs. Come long enough to witness the miracle.
There was a lot of heartfelt sharing tonight. It was a great meeting. I love my people. And we do our best to take care of each and every one of them on a weekly basis. The flurry of meeting lists and getting phone numbers was crazy tonight. We have stepped up our A game.
So we’ll see where that takes us over the next weeks time.
Our speaker for the late meeting, came to us via Friday Finchley. I have been graced to hear her message before at Finchley and at Belmore. Tonight she was amazing. The message was great. You never know what is going to come up in your life on any given day in sobriety, and it is the task of a sober person to know how to handle those baffling situations when they pop up. That is the gift of sobriety. Over time, with time, when issues come up we can answer them with right action if we are diligent and sober.
Things in Montreal have been changing by the day. God is moving through the community it seems. People are facing adversity, people are dying right from under us, and it boggles the mind. It boggles my mind. When a sober person dies, the entire community mourns.
That is a gift of sobriety. My only wish is that when I die, that that many people come to see me off. I would hope that one day people would say that I made a difference in their lives. That is all we want out of life, to be able to help someone in sobriety. You can’t keep it unless you give it away.
Today we gave it away in a big way …
The muffin man has left the building, the angels weep and so do we, but there is a God and there is a heaven, and there is one big Irish man looking down from heaven tonight, telling us to carry the message forwards…
|Michael John Gilliece|
|GILLIECE, Michael John At the Royal Victoria Hospital on Saturday, August 21, 2010. Dear son of Noreen Whelan and the late John Gilliece, brother of Daniel (Gordon Barrie) and Patrick (Tina Tsovras) and loving companion of Robyn Diner. A Memorial Service and celebration of Mick’s life will be held on Tuesday, August 24, 2010 at 12 noon at the Transfiguration of Our Lord Church, 11775 Filion (corner Dudemaine). Visitation to precede the service at 11:30 a.m. The family would like to extend their special thanks to the Royal Victoria ICU and transplant staff at the Ross. If so desired, donations may be made to the charity of your choice. Arrangements entrusted to Armstrong Funeral Home, 514-331-1104.|
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Twenty years ago this month, you died of AIDS. I would gladly give my fame and fortune if only I could have one more conversation with you, the friend who changed my life as well as the lives of millions living with HIV. Instead, I have written you this letter.
I remember so well when we first met. A young boy with a terrible disease, you were the epitome of grace. You never blamed anyone for the illness that ravaged your body or the torment and stigma you endured.
When students, parents and teachers in your community shunned you, threatened you and expelled you from school, you responded not with words of hate but with understanding beyond your years. You said they were simply afraid of what they did not know.
When the media heralded you as an “innocent victim” because you had contracted AIDS through a blood transfusion, you rejected that label and stood in solidarity with thousands of HIV-positive women and men. You reminded America that all victims of AIDS are innocent.
When you became a celebrity, you embraced the opportunity to educate the nation about the AIDS epidemic, even though your only wish was to live an ordinary life.
Ryan, I wish you could know how much the world has changed since 1990, and how much you changed it.
Young boys and girls with HIV attend school and take medicine that allows them to lead normal lives. Children in America are seldom born with the virus, and they no longer contract it through transfusions. The insults and injustices you suffered are not tolerated by society.
Most important, Ryan, you inspired awareness, which helped lead to lifesaving treatments. In 1990, four months after you died, Congress passed the Ryan White Care Act, which now provides more than $2 billion each year for AIDS medicine and treatment for half a million Americans. Today, countless people with HIV live long, productive lives.
It breaks my heart that you are not one of them. You were 18 when you died, and you would be 38 this year, if only the current treatments existed when you were sick. I think about this every day, because America needs your message of compassion as never before.
Ryan, when you were alive, your story sparked a national conversation about AIDS. But despite all the progress in the past 20 years, the dialogue has waned. I know you would be trying to revive it if you were here today, when the epidemic continues to strike nearly every demographic group, with more than 50,000 new infections in the United States each year. I know you would be loudly calling for the National HIV/AIDS Strategy that was promised by President Obama but has not yet been delivered. I know you would reach out to young people. I know you would work tirelessly to help everyone suffering from HIV, including those who live on the margins of society.
It would sadden you that today, in certain parts of the United States, some poor people with AIDS are still placed on waiting lists to receive treatment. It would anger you that your government is still not doing enough to help vulnerable people with HIV and populations that are at high risk of contracting the virus, including sexually active teenagers. It would upset you that AIDS is a leading cause of death among African Americans.
It would frustrate you that even though hundreds of thousands of HIV-positive Americans are receiving treatment in your name, more than 200,000 don’t know their HIV-positive status, largely because of a lingering stigma surrounding the disease that prevents them from being tested. It would disappoint you that many teenagers do not have access to science-based HIV-prevention programs in school, at a time when half of new infections are believed to be among people under 25.
I miss you so very much, Ryan. I was by your side when you died at Riley Hospital. You’ve been with me every day since. You inspired me to change my life and carry on your work. Because of you, I’m still in the struggle against AIDS, 20 years later. I pledge to not rest until we achieve the compassion for which you so bravely and beautifully fought.
Sir Elton John, a Grammy- and Academy Award-winning artist, is the founder and chairman of the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
By The Canadian Press – Report Here
OTTAWA – Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the other three federal party leaders will fly together to Poland for the state funeral of President Lech Kaczynski and his wife.
Harper invited Liberal Michael Ignatieff, New Democrat Jack Layton and Gilles Duceppe to accompany him to the Sunday funeral, and all accepted, said a release from the Prime Minister’s Office.
Kaczynski and a cross-section of Poland’s senior political and military figures were killed last Saturday in a plane crash.
The president was flying to services marking the 70th anniversary of the Katyn Massacre.
The tragedy was deepened because he had invited so many senior figures to accompany him, including the president of the national bank, the deputy foreign affairs minister, a senior military officer, a deputy parliamentary speaker and several lawmakers.
U.S. President Barack Obama and dozens of other world leaders are to attend the Kaczynski funeral.
Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili was saluted with a minute of silence on Friday night near the end of the Opening Ceremony of the 21st Winter Olympic Games.
Kumaritashvili, who died Friday morning after a horrific crash during his pre-Olympic training run at the Whistler Sliding Centre, received several tributes during the star-studded gala at BC place.
Georgia’s Olympic team, wearing black armbands, hats and scarves and with a black mark on their flag to symbolize their mourning, received a standing ovation from the 60,000 fans at BC Place as they marched hours after one of the most tragic moments in the country’s sporting history.
The seven-person team did one lap before exiting BC Place, where flags were at half mast for the duration of the ceremony to honour the 21-year-old athlete.
Wearing dark suits and black ties, IOC President Jaques Rogge and VANOC CEO John Furlong delivered a solemn message before extending their official welcome to the 2010 Games.
“John furlong and I have a very solemn duty to perform. It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the loss of Nodar Kumaritashvili, who passed away this morning in a training accident on the luge track,” said Rogge.
“May you carry his Olympic dream on your shoulders, and compete with his spirit in your heart,” said Furlong.
The day began with a pang of sorrow, with the death of a Georgian Athlete who was killed on a training run on the Luge track at Whistler. It was announced that the rest of the team would participate in the games and also that they would march in the Opening Ceremonies of the Winter Games.
The show began with history, mystery and tradition, with the welcoming of the games by the 4 indigenous tribes of the area. The show was incredible. I think that Canada did a very good job with the presentation. No, it wasn’t Beijing, but it was a comparable telecast in any case. Some sat that this might be the best Winter Olympic Opening Ceremonies. It was the first indoor celebration (at B.C. Place) out of all the things to go wrong at the celebration was the closing act – the raising of the cauldron in the stadium. Not all the hydraulics were working properly so the entire sculpture did not make it out of the floor of the stadium. The last 5 torch bearers ran around the stadium including Wayne Gretzsky. When the interior torch was lit, Gretzsky was transported to the waterfront in Vancouver to light the exterior cauldron with hundreds upon hundreds of fans lining the streets as the motorcade passed by.
The celebration was touching as the teams one by one walked out on the the stage, lead by Greece, and finishing off with the U.S. and Canada. The most important moment was at the point where the Georgian team walked out and 65,000 participants in the stadium stood and applauded them as they walked out with their black armbands in honor of their fallen athlete.
The ceremony went on with several mentions of him and also a moment of silence was observed in the stadium during the ceremony. It was a beautiful memorial and I think that Olympic Officials hit the correct note in the way they handled the entire day.
A good time was had by all. Governor General Jean opened the games in fine form. So tomorrow let the competition begin…
Stay tuned for more coverage…
Found on: The L.A. Times Online Here.
February 9, 2010 | 9:14 pm
Phil Harris, captain of the Cornelia Marie on the Discovery Channel show “Deadliest Catch,” has died.
On the show’s Web page, where updates on Harris’ condition had been posted since his Jan. 30 stroke, sons Jake and Josh Harris gave notice of their father’s passing:
“It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to our dad — Captain Phil Harris. Dad has always been a fighter and continued to be until the end. For us and the crew, he was someone who never backed down. We will remember and celebrate that strength. Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and prayers. — Jake and Josh Harris”
Harris, who was based out of Seattle, suffered the stroke during an offload of crab. He was found unconscious in a stateroom, was airlifted to Anchorage for 12 hours of surgery, then placed in a medically induced coma. He’d shown signs of improvement last week, squeezing hands and even telling his doctors and nurses, in his signature gruff style, to not screw things up.
“Deadliest Catch” follows several crews working the Bering Sea during the area’s crab fishing seasons. Harris, a 32-year crab fisherman, was a co-owner of the Cornelia Marie, which he’d captained for 18 years; Jake and Josh work on the ship as deck hands, and Josh had remained on the ship immediately after his dad’s stroke, awaiting the arrival of relief captain to continue the work.
Discovery Channel in its statement referred to Harris as “more than someone on our television screen. Phil was a devoted father and loyal friend to all who knew him. We will miss his straightforward honesty, wicked sense of humor and enormous heart.”
– Christie D’Zurilla
Photo: Capt. Phil Harris with sons Josh, left, and Jake, right. Credit: Discovery Channel.