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Saturday, June 27, 2009

OBama's First Lei-Day





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Source: The Fix (Washington Post)

HIV travel ban closer to being lifted

The Obama administration has taken the first step in lifting the regulatory ban preventing HIV-positive foreign nationals from entering the United States.

The Office of Management & Budget posted a notice on its web site stating the Department of Health & Human Services finished Friday the research that was needed to start the process of lifting the ban.

Steve Ralls, an Immigration Equality spokesperson, said the notice means a regulation leading toward repeal of the ban would be published Monday.

After the regulation is issued, there will be a 45-day period in which the department takes public comment. After another period of time, during which HHS will review the comments, a final regulation will be issued. Ralls said this second period could take up to 60 days.

"We are hoping that the ban will be lifted … by the end of the year," Ralls said.

Full Story by The Washington Blade via the South Florida Blade

Tropical Wave could be First Named Storm

ZCZC MIATWOAT ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
200 PM EDT SAT JUN 27 2009

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

1. A TROPICAL WAVE OVER THE FAR NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA IS PRODUCING SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS FROM THE YUCATAN PENINSULA NORTHEASTWARD TO PORTIONS OF WESTERN AND CENTRAL CUBA. THE LOW-LEVEL CIRCULATION OF THE WAVE REMAINS POORLY-DEFINED...BUT THERE IS STILL SOME POTENTIAL FOR DEVELOPMENT OF THIS SYSTEM ONCE IT MOVES INTO A MORE FAVORABLE ENVIRONMENT OVER THE SOUTHERN GULF OF MEXICO TONIGHT AND ON SUNDAY. THERE IS A MEDIUM CHANCE...30 TO 50 PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS. LOCALLY HEAVY RAINS AND GUSTY WINDS WILL CONTINUE TO AFFECT PORTIONS OF THE YUCATAN PENINSULA AND WESTERN CUBA AND COULD SPREAD NORTHWARD TOWARDS SOUTH FLORIDA OVER THE NEXT DAY OR SO.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER BERG
NNNN

Friday, June 26, 2009

What a Hoot!

I don't know which is funnier ... the Obama advisors getting dunked ... or that music!


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Oz Crop Circles Blamed On 'High' Wallabies

Wallabies are getting high on opium from poppy fields and flattening crops, an Australian official has said.

The marsupials have been snacking on poppies growing in fields in Tasmania, the world's largest producer of legally-grown optium for medicines.

Afterwards, they hop round in circles before crashing on top of the crops and trampling them to the ground.

State attorney general Lara Giddings told a parliamentary hearing: "We have a problem with wallabies entering poppy fields, getting as high as a kite and going around in circles.

"Then they crash. We see crop circles in the poppy industry from wallabies that are high."

Other animals, including deer and sheep, have also been seen "acting weird" after eating the poppy plants, according to an opium industry spokesman.

"There have been many stories about sheep that have eaten some of the poppies after harvesting and they all walk around in circles," Rick Rockliff said.

Tasmania has around 500 farms which supply about 50% of the world's raw material for morphine and other related opiates.

Sky News

RIP, Angel

Actress Farrah Fawcett, who became an icon of 1970s US television, has died of cancer in Los Angeles aged 62, her spokesman has confirmed.

Full BBC Coverage

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

FPL Seeks Rate Hike

This just in:

Florida Power and Light is asking the state for a double digit rate hike.

If approved FPL customers will see an average increase of 12 dollar on their electric bills starting in January. The increase would bring an extra 1.3 billion dollars into the company. Consumer groups are asking the state to deny the increase. AARP spokeswoman Laura Cantwell says the increase would force some seniors to make tough decisions.

“We feel that we need to question Florida Power and Light’s request to increase their profits right now. Florida Power and Light has a guaranteed rate of return of investments, yet they are asking to dig deeper into the pockets of Floridians and seniors, many of whom have lost their retirement savings,”

The Florida Public Service Commission will host several public hearings before it votes on the increase.

Capitol News Service

East Room Reception for Gays at The White House

As advocates for gays and lesbians intensify their criticism of the White House, President Obama has invited some of their leaders to an East Room reception next Monday to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion, the 1969 Greenwich Village demonstrations that gave birth to the modern gay rights movement.

The White House has not publicized the reception, and officials did not respond to e-mail requests for comment. But gay leaders from here and around the country said they had received either telephone calls from the White House or written invitations to the event, and were told Mr. Obama is expected to speak.

Full New York Times Story

Major Storms cause power outages; Radar Vanishes


We are experiencing major storms today, here in South Florida. This morning, a huge electrical storm left me without power for five and three-quarter hours. As the storm moved South into the Miami area, the storm knock out Miami Radar. It is still down as a new storm comes in from the East (the Atlantic Ocean).

It is still unclear from all weather reports how sever the storm will be, however, local weather stations reporting to weatherunderground.com show steady winds in the area of 17 mph with gusts up to 40 mph and rain falling at a rate of 1.49in/hr.

While I have not lost power during this storm (so far), ATT's DSL Internet is sporadic at best.

This is not a tropical storm and I question our power company, FPL, as to their claims of being ready for this year's hurricane season, which is upon us.

While I can understand why DirecTV's service is interrupted by storms, I do not understand why I should be losing phone service, thus Internet service and electricity, just because it is raining.

I understand that General Electric and FPL have teamed up to build a "Smart Grid" in Miami-Dade County and that resources in South Florida are being tied up installing such a system, but this new grid troubles me. I do not believe the public fully understands the significance this grid is going be on their lives and that if they had full knowledge of what the grid is, there would be more public debate on the subject.

Will discuss the further at a later time.

Monday, June 22, 2009

My Mango Tree

This is the first year that my Mango tree bloomed. Due to the young age of the tree and the lack of rain this spring, however, it produce only one large, regular size mango and one tiny mango. Here is the picture of the large mango.

New Rules

Good points this week.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Squeaky and the Black Beans

Squeaky has been sitting, squatting and now sleeping on a small 10lb box of Black Beans that I purchased recently at Gordon Food Supply (GFS). Here are shots I took today of just how comfortable he is now as we approach our 2-yr anniversary together on July 1. His rump on the box of black beans ... his head is slump over a box of trash bags and a 5-lb box of Bisquick. (in the Publix bag)

I've been telling people I've been passing out where I sit, seldom actually going to bed as of late. Obviously, Squeaky is now doing the same thing.

Doesn't that look comfortable?

Blooms of Plunkett

Blooms of Plunkett
A Banana tree in the backyard in full bloom