Friday, December 31, 2004

I won't vomit tonight.

What a difference 482 days make!!

That's how long I've been sober. This will be my second sober New Year's Eve. I did 32 of them drunk on my ass so it's quite a change. I know I used to wonder how anyone could bring in a new year without getting drunk. I did several of them by myself while living overseas and would just hug anyone who happened to be closest. Or maybe I just hugged my drink. Whatever.

Anyway, I hope you have a good one and if you drink, please don't drive. Call a friggin taxi. I promise I won't do this to you (see below).

Thursday, December 30, 2004

There Comes a Time ...

This piece has gone around the internet for several years and was instrumental to me in my first days of sobriety. It still brings tears to my eyes when I pay attention to the messages it contains.

by Denise M. Carroll

There comes a time comes in your life when you finally get it ... When in the midst of all your fears and insanity you stop dead in your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out: ENOUGH! Enough fighting and crying or struggling to hold on. And like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside, you shudder once or twice, you blink back your tears, and through a mantle of wet lashes you begin to look at the world through new eyes. This is your awakening. You realize that it's time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change or for happiness, safety and security to come galloping over the next horizon. You come to terms with the fact that he or she is not Prince Charming and you are not Cinderella and that in the real world there aren't always fairytale endings (or beginnings for that matter) and that any guarantee of "happily ever after" must begin with you and in the process a sense of serenity is born of acceptance. You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect and that not everyone will always love, appreciate, or approve of who or what you are . . . and that's OK. (They are entitled to their own views and opinions.) And you learn the importance of loving and championing yourself and in the process a sense of new found confidence is born of self-approval. You stop bitching and blaming other people for the things they did to you (or didn't do for you), and you learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected. You learn that people don't always say what they mean or mean what they say and that not everyone will always be there for you and that it's not always about you. So, you learn to stand on your own and to take care of yourself, and in the process a sense of safety and security is born of self-reliance. You stop judging and pointing fingers and you begin to accept people as they are and to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties, and in the process a sense of peace & contentment is born of forgiveness. You realize that much of the way you view yourself, and the world around you, is as a result of all the messages and opinions that have been ingrained into your psyche. You begin to sift through all the crap you've been fed about how you should behave, how you should look, how much you should weigh, what you should wear, where you should shop, what you should drive, how and where you should live, what you should do for a living, who you should sleep with, who you should marry, what you should expect of a marriage, the importance of having and raising children, or what you owe your parents. You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view. And you begin reassessing and redefining who you are what you really stand for. You learn the difference between wanting and needing and you begin to discard the doctrines and values you've outgrown, or should never have bought into to begin with, and in the process you learn to go with your instincts. You learn that it is truly in giving that we receive. And that there is power and glory in creating and contributing. You stop maneuvering through life merely as a "consumer" looking for your next fix. You learn that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the outdated ideals of a by-gone era but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build a life. You learn that you don't know everything, that it's not your job to save the world and that you can't teach a pig to sing. You learn to distinguish between guilt and responsibility, and you learn the importance of setting boundaries and of learning to say NO. You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry and that martyrs get burned at the stake. Then you learn about love: Romantic love and familiar love. You learn how to love, how much to give in love, when to stop giving, and when to walk away. You learn not to project your needs or your feelings onto a relationship. You learn that you will not be more beautiful, more intelligent, more lovable or important because of the man or woman on your arm or the child that bears your name. You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you would have them be. You stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes. You learn that just as people grow and change, so it is with love. And you learn that you don't have the right to demand love on your terms. And you learn that alone does not mean lonely. And you look in the mirror and come to terms with the fact that you will never be a size 5 or a perfect and you stop trying to compete with the image inside your head and agonizing over how you "stack up." You also stop working so hard at putting your feelings aside, smoothing things over, and ignoring your needs. You learn that feelings of entitlement are perfectly OK, and you learn that it is your right to want things and to ask for the things that you want--and that sometimes it is necessary to make demands. You come to the realization that you deserve to be treated with love, kindness, sensitivity, and respect, and you decide you won't settle for less. And you allow only the hands of a lover who cherishes you to glorify you with his or her touch and in the process you internalize the meaning of self-respect. And you learn that your body really is your temple. And you begin to care for it and treat it with respect. You begin eating a balanced diet, drinking more water, and taking more time to exercise. You learn that fatigue diminishes the spirit and can create doubt and fear. So you make more time to rest. And, just as food fuels the body,laughter fuels our soul. So you take more time to laugh and to play. You learn that for the most part, in life, you get what you believe you deserve . . . and that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy. You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for and thatwishing for something to happen is different from working toward making it happen. More importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success you need direction, discipline, and perseverance. You also learn that no one can do it all alone and that it's OK to risk asking for help. You learn that the only thing you must truly fear is the great robber baron of all time: FEAR itself. You learn to step right into and through your fears, because you know that whatever happens you can handle it and to give in to fear is to give away the right to live life on your terms. And you learn to fight for your life and not to squander it living under a cloud of impending doom. You learn that life isn't always fair, you don't always get what you think you deserve and that sometimes "bad" things happen to unsuspecting, good people. On these occasions you learn not to personalize things. You learn that God isn't punishing you or failing to answer your prayers. It's just life happening. And you learn to deal with evil in its most primal state: the ego. You learn that negative feelings such as anger, envy, and resentment must be understood and redirected or they will suffocate the life out of you and poison the universe that surrounds you. You learn to admit when you are wrong and to building bridges instead of walls.You learn to be thankful and to take comfort in many of the simple things we take for granted, things that millions of people upon the earth can only dream about: a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed, a long hot shower. Slowly, you begin to take responsibility for yourself by yourself, and you make yourself a promise never to betray yourself and never, ever to settle for less than your heart's desire. And you hang a wind chime outside your window so you can listen to the wind. And you make a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting, and to stay open to every wonderful possibility.

Finally, with courage in your heart and God by your side, you take a deep breath and you begin to design the life you want to live as best as you can.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Concept of a Tool Box

In AA (and probably other recovery programs) we have what is called a TOOL BOX.

At the beginning of our recovery from years of alcohol abuse, this tool box is usually empty. As we attend meetings and read the literature, we discover "tools" that are useful as we live each day.

I will outline the tools in my box in a later blog. If you are reading this as a person in recovery OR if you are a "normal" non-addictive human, I would be interested to hear about your tool box. What's in it? How and when do you use it?


today's pic
first picture taken on Mars
one of the first pictures taken by the Mars Rover Spacecraft after landing

Monday, December 27, 2004

To Blog or not to Blog

A doctor and a lawyer were talking at a party. Their conversation was constantly interrupted by people describing their ailments and asking the doctor for free medical advice. After an hour of this, the exasperated doctor asked the lawyer, “What do you do to stop people from asking you for legal advice when you’re out of the office?” “I give it to them,” replied the lawyer, “and then I send them a bill.” The doctor was shocked, but agreed to give it a try. The next day, still feeling slightly guilty, the doctor prepared the bills. When he went to place them in his mailbox, he found a bill from the lawyer.

today's pic

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Words & Rocks

thoughts ...

Ten out of ten people die, so don't take life too seriously.

Be profound, funny or quiet.

Want to hear God laugh? Tell Him your plans.

Don't expect to learn about people from books; a person can't fit in a bookcase.

When I turned myself over to God, I took my life out of the hands of an idiot.

If you pray for a Cadillac and God sends a jackass, ride it.

Try praying. Nothing pleases God more than to hear a strange voice.
Reality can be hell when you're only visiting.

I know that I'm not yet the person I can be, but I thank God I'm not the person I used to be.

If you think you're happy, you are. If you think you're wise, you're not.

When I don't have expectations of others, anything positive they do is a pleasant surprise.

today's pic

my last rock climbing experience

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Blizzard of '04 !!

Houston doesn't get much snow. Wild & crazy weather, yes. But not much snow.

We are sub-tropical.

The last measureable snowfall in H-town was in 1989 - a deluge of 1.7". That was 15 years ago and it shut the city down for a day. What wasn't shut down was either empty or dented.

Yesterday we had snow.

On Christmas Eve.

I was taking my car to the car wash at 10am and the flakes began while I was on my way. I even got in line to get the car washed, then drove away because it sure looked like we were in for more of some type of precipitation. We had light flurries on and off throughout the day and night. I know you yankees will laugh about this; even I admit it was light snow.

But it was snow.

We ended up with an official 1/2" at the airport, 30 miles north of downtown. Areas surrounding the city had up to 7"; Galveston, 50 miles south, had 3".

This is the FIRST recorded snowfall on Christmas in Houston since they began keeping records back in 1880-something. First one I've ever seen and it brought out the kid in me. I thanked God (as I understand Him) for making all the little kids so happy and giving them a Christmas to remember.
Balcony with Snow  Dec24 2004
the balcony on my townhouse last night


May you and yours be blessed this day
and each and every day to come.
Merry Christmas !!

Friday, December 24, 2004

'twas the Day before Christmas ...

Today and tomorrow are traditionally days of family and gratitude. So do 'em and have it. If you have no family (birth or otherwise, that's your fault) you have not planned very well. Maybe now is the time to start. Gratitude will come naturally when you do.

Please know these things:

At least 2 people in this world love you so much they would die for you.
At least 15 people in this world love you in some way.
A smile from you can bring happiness to anyone, even if they don't like you.
Every night, SOMEONE thinks about you before they go to sleep.
You mean the world to someone.
If not for you, someone may not be living.
You are special and unique.
When you think you have no chance of getting what you want,
you probably won't get it, but if you trust God to do what's best,
and wait on His time, sooner or later, you will get it or something better.
When you make the biggest mistake ever, something good can still come from it.
When you think the world has turned its back on you, take a look:
you most likely turned your back on the world.
Someone that you don't even know exists loves you.
Always remember the compliments you received.
Forget about the rude remarks.
Always tell someone how you feel about them; you will feel much
better when they know and you'll both be happy.
If you have a great friend, take the time to let them know they are great.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

I was a PRO ...

We were just sitting around the table talking. Because I am so unique amongst humans, I had to throw in my ego-based opinion of myself.

The conversation was about going out on New Year's Eve. Of course, that led to someone mentioning that he leaves going out to the bars to the amateurs 'cause he's a professional. And of course, I couldn't have agreed more. I too had become a Professional Drinker.

I added that as a professional drunk, I saw it necessary to move 2 blocks from my pub of choice back in 1994 (my 23rd year of drinking, at that time). That way I didn't have to drink and drive. I was always bragging that it was a 1-minute walk to the bar and a 7-minute walk back home. Time went on and so did my drinking and consumption level. Enough so that in 1999, I thought it was perfectly reasonable to buy part of the pub; become an owner for chrissakes! Lord knows I had put enough $$$ into that place for 25 years already. And I made that deal from Africa where I was working at the time.

Time went on and so did my consumption level.

In August 2003, I had the opportunity to purchase a townhouse. What a coincidence that it was a full block from the pub. Only a 40-second walk now. But it would still take about 7 minutes to walk home; consumption levels being what they were.

My God works in very mysterious ways. I quit drinking. I closed the deal on the townhouse exactly 10 days after the drinking stopped. And now I don't even go to the pub any more. But it's still there if I need it, only 40 seconds away.

I am lightcyan. See what color you are out of a possible 140 shades. Click on the link at the bottom of the box.

you are lightcyan

Your dominant hues are green and blue. You're smart and you know it, and want to use your power to help people and relate to others. Even though you tend to battle with yourself, you solve other people's conflicts well.

Your saturation level is very low - you have better things to do than jump headfirst into every little project. You make sure your actions are going to really accomplish something before you start because you hate wasting energy making everyone else think you're working.

Your outlook on life is very bright. You are sunny and optimistic about life and others find it very encouraging, but remember to tone it down if you sense irritation.
the html color quiz

If you're just bored and surfing blogs, try this link:

today's cartoon
Christmas joke

Have a GREAT day !!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Have some Spirit

I don't go to church.

I do go to a lot of AA meetings, where spirituality is so very important. Not religion, mind you, but spirituality.

I keep hearing ... "if God is willing, then ..." or "God willing, I will be able to ..."

If I have learned anything since gaining some spirituality during my sobriety, it's that God is always willing. It is I that must be willing. God (as I understand Him) has always been there for me but I always kept the door shut. When I was willing to open the door to accept God (as I understand Him) into my life, He was there and He remains there as long as I am willing to stay in conscious contact with Him.

Religion and Spirituality are two different concepts. Religion is for those who don't want to go to Hell. Spirituality is for those who have already been there.

today's pic
Christmas Present
I can't wait for SANTA CLAUS to get here.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Meet Schpeller

Meet Schpeller, my pet (peeve). I suppose I'm just an old fart, but whatever happened to spelling correctly? I understand the jargon of those who wish to abbreviate or modify words as it may apply to their usage in internet profiles, chat rooms, etc... Dat's OK, no prob.

I am talking about misspelled words in the media (television adverts, bottom-of-the-screen-tickers, newspapers, magazines). I am talking about misspelled words on job resumes / CV's. I am talking about misspelled words in student reports and papers. I am talking about misspelled words on job applications, legal papers and official government documents. Surely this is only a small portion of possible examples. Are most people stupid? Are they just lazy and don't care? Do people assume that others will be able to figure out what they are trying to write?

It seems to me that as we continue through this very competitive world, any edge we can get is needed, as long as it's legal and moral. Why do so many seem to believe that the proper use of the language does not matter? It does.

A man left work one Friday afternoon. But, being payday, instead of going home, he stayed out the entire weekend partying with the boys and spending his entire paycheck. When he finally appeared at home, Sunday night, he was confronted by a very angry wife and was barraged for nearly two hours with a tirade befitting his actions. Finally his wife stopped the nagging and simply said to him, “How would you like it if you didn’t see me for two or three days?” To which he replied, “That would be fine with me.” Monday went by and he didn’t see his wife. Tuesday and Wednesday came and went with the same results. On Thursday, the swelling went down just enough where he could see her a little out of the corner of his left eye.


Today is the first day of winter and the shortest day of the year. Just so you'll know.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Tweedle Dee

For any Lambda readers, it was a great weekend there in case you missed it. But that happens all the time, in case you miss it.

Spanish singer Julio Iglesias was on television with British TV host Anne Diamond when he used the word "manana". Diamond asked him to explain what it meant. He said that the term means "maybe the job will be done tomorrow, maybe the next day, maybe the day after that. Perhaps next week, next month, next year. Who cares?" The host turned to Irishman Shay Brennan who was also on the show and asked him if there was an equivalent term in Irish.
"No, in Ireland we don't have a word to describe that degree of urgency.", replied Brennan.

today's pic
Apollo 8 Earthrise I took this pic on one of my late night binges before I stopped drinking. I really don't remember taking it, but it was on the film, so I guess I did.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Bitch & Vent

It seems like as I continue to grow in my program of sobriety, I have become less open to certain things. That seems strange to me because a good AA program consists of being tolerant, open-minded, willingness. And I do try to be those things towards other people, but, well, here's what I'm talking about ...

Television -- today's sitcoms suck. I just don't find them funny. Drew Carey almost does it for me, but it's gotten stale. They are all so negative or else they are just about sex. Nothing wrong with sex, mind you. I love a good sex scene, but on a sitcom that's supposed to be funny? And for kids? I am down to watching these and that's about it:

Seinfeld reruns
Everybody Loves Raymond
Will & Grace
Queer Eye (the first season only; they got too full of themselves after that)
West Wing
The Apprentice
Biography (just about anything they have on is good)
History Channel (too much war stuff though)
Comedy Channel (hit & miss)

Considering how much is on over 100 channels, 24 hours per day, that ain't much. Forget the news channels, both local and national. It's all fluff locally and the national news is the opinions of reporters, not the actual news.


Overheard in an AA meeting -- one guy was talking about the movie "Polar Express". The following person who spoke talked about the fact that he's been riding "The Bi-Polar Express" most of his life. (it was funny at the time)

today's pic (look closely)

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. --- Scott Adams

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Life CAN be what one makes of it ...

I'm still waiting for word about a potential job offer in Nigeria. I spoke with the owner of the company late Friday. He said, "I am going to wait until after the holiday period to make a decision whom to hire. Let's talk again then." Well, isn't that nice? Now I get to wait another 2 or 3 weeks, in the meantime keeping my personal life pretty much on hold. I'm unable to make any plans longer than a fortnight from now. Maybe I am being tested? I don't know. I'll just keep coasting, trying to remain happy, joyous and free; peaceful and serene. Ya know, that ain't so bad, is it?

today's pic

1971  Age 17
OK. Here's an example of what AGE and 32 YEARS OF DRINKING can do to a person.
Above: me at age 17 (when I first began drinking and smoking dope)
Profile Pic: me at age 50 and one year into sobriety
--- nuff said ---

Friday, December 17, 2004

It Makes My Day

Have you seen Sadaam Hussein lately on TV? He actually looks like a real person after a year in jail. I can't imagine what it must have been like living in that hole in the ground where he was found. I'm just wondering what ALL Iraqui's would look like after living in The Netherlands for a year? hmmmm ...

My Christmas Gift to YOU --- Wisdom of the Soul

No one can ruin your day without YOUR permission.

Most people will be about as happy, as they decide to be.

Others can stop you temporarily, but only you can do it permanently.

Whatever you are willing to put up with, is exactly what you will have.

Success stops when you do.

The biggest lie on the planet: “When I get what I want I will be happy.”

The best way to escape your problem is to solve it.

If you don’t start, it’s certain you won’t arrive.

We often fear the thing we want the most.

Now is the most interesting time of all.

Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side.

A coincidence is when God performs a miracle, and decides to remain anonymous.

I don’t have to attend every argument I’m invited to.

Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God’s grace... and your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God’s grace.


There has always been somewhat of a "rivalry" between residents of Houston and Dallas. I can't imagine what it's all about.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Catz & Hate

I have always been a cat lover since I was a kid. I have a friend in recovery who was an avid cat lover for a day. He wasn't in recovery on that particular day though. It must have been a time of really crazy inebriation; you know, the kind when nothing matters, no one matters, just give me another beer. I'm old enough to know that guys will be guys, girls will be girls. Most teenagers who grow up to be completely heterosexual have "experiences" nevertheless. And teenagers who grow up to be homosexual have experiences with the opposite sex. These things just happen. But my friend took one of these experiences a bit further. Since this is the family hour, I won't provide any visual here; suffice it to say that his cat was never the same. You figure it out.
I suppose we all love animals in our own way.

Scary Cat 3 Kitties

I am trying to remove the word "HATE" from my vocabulary. I don't hate anything OR anyone. There are, however, a number of things I don't like and a number of people who behave in ways that I don't like. And I don't like the word "HATE". Its connotations are just too negative when I am trying to live a peaceful and serene life. As examples:

I do not like tomatoes
I disapprove of the fact that Sadaam Hussein murdered millions of people.
I cannot condone Scott Peterson's actions.
I do not agree with athletes who are cocky and abusive.
I don't care to watch many shows on television.

today's pic

Ireland - Cork - my pub 1991
City Centre, Cork, Ireland
"my pub of choice"

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Letting Go

I'm trying to let go of a resentment and I will after writing this. It concerns recent accolades poured onto Mr Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church. This is apparently the largest television ministry in the US, and originates from here in Houston. Twenty years ago Mr Osteen's father led that ministry and my boyfriend at that time attended a few of the services with his mother and grandmother. I didn't go because I don't like churches and what they stand for. The Reverend Osteen continuously preached that homosexuals are inferior human beings and are condemned to go to hell (as he understands it). This had a very, very negative effect on my boyfriend's self-esteem (he was 21 at the time). He could never get over that negativity as to who he was and when he came down with HIV/AIDS shortly afterwards, felt totally abandoned by the church. They are both dead now and I guess they must chat with each other daily about what life in hell is like.

Now Joel Osteen, the loving son, sensing the $$$$$$ that can be made by being less self-righteous, has welcomed the gay community to his fellowship. WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP !!


I guess the gay community has either forgotten what that church preached, is ignorant of it or has forgiven them. All I know is that the Rev. Osteen set back the gay movement more than George Bush ever thought about. I wanted to send them an email to express my feelings, but to do that they require my personal information ie: home address, phone number etc... I ain't giving them that stuff.

I had another nice chat with Hayden (a different former boyfriend) last night. He is thinking about moving back to town from Trinidad. Wants to go to nursing school. Interesting. He's got to obtain a student visa so he can do that. I have set up a lot of new boundaries regarding him and have to be careful about how much assistance I can be. Wish him the best o' luck though.

Hayden - Paddy's Day 2003


Tuesday, December 14, 2004


Nice cool temps today in lovely Houston. We don't get much "cold" weather here, so we gotta appreciate it while we can. From living in many different climates, I know how the perception of weather is relative to where one may be and when one may be there. I've lived in northern Europe (usually cold and wet); on the Equator in Gabon (hot and wet); in the Caribbean (warm and wet); Newfoundland in NE Canada (cool and dry in summer, cold and wet in winter); in Namibia in SW Africa (warm and very dry).

Remember when Puerto Rico was raising hell about the US Navy using that nothing little island just off the coast of Puerto Rico for bombing practices, which they had used for the past 75 years? Demonstrations were held, Hollywood left wingers, Al Sharpton, and his fellow demagogues went down there to demonstrate to get the Navy out?

Always be careful what you ask for, you just may get it!

One of the many headaches that the U. S. has had is the Puerto Rican Island of Vieques. In the waning years of the Clinton Administration, protesters demanded that the US Navy abandon bombing and naval gunfire exercises that had taken place on the largely uninhabited island for nearly seventy years. Liberal icons bumped into one another to fly to Puerto Rico, boat over to the island, trespass (but never on a day that there was an exercise scheduled) and get arrested for the benefit of the New York Times or Newsweek. They included: The Reverend Al Sharpton, Mrs. Jesse Jackson, Joan Baez, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Edward Olmos, Michael Moore and Ramsey Clark, just to name a few.

In 2002, the bombing exercises were transferred to an Air Force bombing range in central Florida, not far from the Jacksonville and Pensacola Naval Air Stations. In January, many of the protesters were back in Puerto Rico, celebrating the final bombing exercise on Vieques and waved Puerto Rican flags and placards that read: "U.S. Navy, get out of Puerto Rico." The following February, Donald Rumsfeld announced that the U.S. Navy will close the Roosevelt Roads Naval Air Station in Puerto Rico in 2004, eliminating 1200 civilian jobs as well as 700 military positions. This naval facility is estimated to have put nearly $300 million annually into the local economy. The next day a stunned Governor Sila Calderon held a news conference in SanJuan, protesting the base closure as a serious blow to the Commonwealth's fragile economy. The governor stated that "The people of Puerto Rico don't now or never did have an interest in closing the Vieques bombing range or the Roosevelt Roads naval base. We are interested in both staying in PuertoRico." When asked, the Commander-in Chief, Western Atlantic Command, said, "Without Vieques, I see no further need for the facility at Roosevelt Roads. None."

So, Yanqui go home? Fine. But we'll take our dollars with us. Hasta la vista, baby!

On February 21, the Secretary of Defense also announced that starting this year, the U.S. European Command would begin moving most if not all of its active combat and support units from bases in Germany to others being established in Poland, The Czech Republic, Hungary and Turkey to "better position them for rapid deployment to likely hot spots in those parts of the world." Immediately the business and government leaders in the German states of Hesse, Rhineland and Wurttemburg, protested the loss of nearly $6 billion in revenue each year from the bases and manpower to be displaced. A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry speculated that the move may be "what the Americans call 'payback' for the actions of this government in opposing military action in Iraq. Does anyone know the German translation for "Hasta la vista, baby?"

Oh, ain't it nice to see a government with guts and a good memory.


today's pic

Dakar - at Dave's Apt 1991
Another picture from Dakar, Senegal. Skinny Dave explaining the day's activities to a co-worker. I'm sure those activities included some alcohol intake.


Regarding the USA Geography test (link in the blog below from yesterday), I scored:
27 miles average error
583 seconds

It was my second try at it. Take the test and compare. Post a comment to let me know what you get.

Monday, December 13, 2004

It Smacks of Monday ...

On the news this morning was a story about teenage sex. The survey was taken from 15-17 year old kids. Not adults, mind you. They said that teen girls were having 8% less sex. Teen boys were having 12% less sex. My question is: What or who are those other 4% of girls having sex with?


For those of you who know me -- too bad.


Had a very quiet and peaceful weekend. Thanks to Kathy, Landers, Joey, Scott & Norris for helping at the Lambda membership desk. We didn't sign up many new members, but I did get to smoke my normal allowance of cigarettes. Priorities.


today's pic

Rio - Ipanema  APRIL91

Rio de Janiero, Brasil
Ipanema Beach
There are an endless number of volleyball nets set up on these beaches. The guys play all day 'cause they don't have real jobs to go to. They play without using their hands, feet only. Kinda like soccer but it's volleyball. You can imagine what kind of shape they must be in to do this. Beautiful, tanned men with very few threads getting in their way.
I seem to remember some women were there too.


How well do you know the states?
Click here: Place The State - Intermediate


Sunday, December 12, 2004

Food. Travel. Work.

Finally we're going to get some colder weather in the next few days. Today the high temp is about 78F - in the middle of friggin' December!! I'll take the moderate temps in place of freezing temperatures and blowing snow and gripping ice. But a little winter is nice. So for anyone who loves chili, good ol' Texas chili, here is THE recipe. I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE IT IS THE BEST YOU'LL EVER HAVE (if you do it right). .

1-2 lbs ground round
1 can tomato paste
1 10 oz can tomato
1 can peeled tomato
1 large green pepper
1 large white onion
2 stalks celery
2 jalapeno peppers
½ potato
1 can Budweiser
1 shot olive oil
1 envelope chili mix
1 envelope taco mix
½ tsp oregano
½ tsp thyme
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp bay leaves
½ tsp grated Parmesan
½ tsp salt

lightly brown the hamburger, drain grease
add the meat and tomato to water and bring to boil
simmer for 1 hour (leave top of container ¼ open to allow
condensation to evaporate)

Chopped pepper, onion, celery, jalapeno, diced potato, chile mix, taco mix, olive oil, spices

Add enough water to make it like soup, bring to boil, simmer 1 hour.

Now add the beer and Parmesan.

After 1 hour, let it cool and put in refrigerator overnight before serving.

Chili is best after sitting chilled for a day. Don't know why, but trust me. The check's in the mail. And I won't ... (oops, forget that)

I've been looking at some blogs by others. I came across one that I really like and want to share it with you. It mirrors my ideas of capitalism vs socialism. Written by a Senegalese woman now living in France, she is disturbed about the French (and all of the EU) system that rewards those who are non-productive and punishes those who have good work ethics. I know the things she says are true because I have lived there and seen it for myself. You can see her at:

I have not discovered how to add links to this page. If someone can tell me how, THANKS!

Today's Pic:

Dakar 1991
Speaking of Senegal, this pic is in downtown Dakar, 1991. It is my shipping agent, Sokhna Biggs, his girlfriend and myself. His wife was not around that day.

au voir

Saturday, December 11, 2004

It's Saturday

For some reason, this is one of my all-time favorites.

Once upon a time,
in a land far away,
a beautiful, independent,
self assured princess
happened upon a frog as she sat,
contemplating ecological issues
on the shores of an unpolluted pond
in a verdant meadow near her castle.
A frog hopped into the princess’ lap
and said: Elegant Lady, I was once
a handsome prince, until an evil witch
cast a spell upon me.
One kiss from you, however, and I will
turn back into the dapper, young prince
that I am and then, my sweet, we can marry
and setup housekeeping in your castle
with my mother, where you can prepare my meals,
clean my clothes, bear my children,
and forever feel grateful and happy in doing so.
That night, as the princess dined sumptuously
on a repast of lightly sauteed frog legs
seasoned in a white wine and onion cream sauce,
she chuckled to herself and thought:
“I don’t fucking think so.”

3 of them Feb 29 04

Devil --- Hayley --- Mono

Friday, December 10, 2004

Short Days. Long thoughts.

This is probably my all-time favorite pic that I have been included in. It was in Port Harcourt, Nigeria in 2000. We were at a small hotel swimming pool. There were only going to be 3 of us in the picture, but as the cameraperson fooled with the operation of the camera for about a minute, all the swimmers jumped out of the pool so they could be in the shot too.

Nigeria Dave @ at the Pool April2000

Nigeria is on my mind as I have applied for another job there and may be accepted or rejected today for that position. It may not happen til next week, but it's on my mind. Either way, I just wanted to share this pic with you guys. By the end of the workday, I called my potential employer and they are not yet at the point of making a decision between me and another guy. Next week, maybe.

Kathy F and I worked a Lambda Center membership table tonight and signed up 2 new members and sold 2 t-shirts. later >>>>>>>>

Thursday, December 09, 2004

1,2,3, GO

On PBS the past 2 nights they've shown some great musicians at work. Tuesday night I saw Eric Clapton playing with Carlos Santana and his entire band. Last night Paul McCartney played with Clapton. There was an entire orchestra playing some of their favorites. Some really GREAT stuff. With no particular disrespect to today's music, it just can't possibly compare to what we were lucky enough to experience in the 60's and 70's.

I had the opportunity to have 1 hour one-on-one meetings with both my sponsor and a sponsee today. Good stuff. See ya tomorrow ...

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Getting there ...

What a great start to the day! Our 6:30am AA meeting had to be done outside. No keys to get in. The temp was about 50F but at least it wasn't raining. Amazing what a bunch of recovering alcoholics will do to stay sober. And we did it together! Thanks to Norris, Earnest, Nancy, Jane, Jeff and Laura. Sonny showed up at 6:55a so we went inside. I won't soon forget the experience of sharing outside on the steps of Lambda.

So I finally got a picture of myself before my first cup of coffee. I have to do something about this damn hair.
Dave Before Coffee

I bought my Toyota RAV4 on November 10th. This morning I hit 1001 miles on it, but it had 301 miles when I drove it from the dealer. So that's 700 miles the first month, a little above my average monthly mileage.

RAV4 front RAV4 mileage 1001

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Another day. Another blog.

Still trying to figure this blogging thing out. Not to worry.

I can't make any commitments in my personal life whatsoever to anything until I hear from my potential new employer. If they offer me the job and I take it, I will be leaving the country in 2-3 weeks for at least one year - that's why I can't make any commitments. I can't even make plans for Christmas / I don't want to decorate / I can't take on new sponsee's etc... If I don't hear from them by tomorrow morning, I shall call them. They don't realize how life-controlling waiting can be to another person. Or is it just me?

If I leave - I must take care of :
  1. my townhouse -- maintenance & upkeep, owner's assn meeting in January, taxes due in early 2005, insurance. I need to find someone to live here BUT it has to be someone whom I ABSOLUTELY TRUST!!
  2. my cats -- what to do with my 3 cats? Anyone know who might give them a good home?
  3. my new car -- can keep this @ my Mom's
  4. my sobriety -- WOW!! Look how quick my Sobriety lost its priority (S.L.I.P.)

I should start a new list putting #4 at the top, but I will leave it as it is with the knowledge that I lost my priorities for a minute. Can't let that happen guys. It'll kill me.

Had a great time @ lunch today with Scott, Norris and Michael at Kelly's County Cookin'. I am mentally preparing myself for leaving the USA by eating at my fav places with my fav food - Chicken Fried Steak, Mexican Food and really good hamburgers. You can't get this stuff in Nigeria. But there is a really well-done steak house there; just not quite sure what type of steak it is -- LOL.

Scott came over and showed me how to put pics on this blog. Uh oh. Watch out now folks.

Monday, December 06, 2004

December 6, 2004

Still trying to get this blog stuff down. Scott did his and he ain't no more computer literate than me so I know I have a chance. LOL Maybe I will even figger out how to get some pictures on here.

I am waiting for word about a potential job in Nigeria. May come today or this week. I just don't know, but am trying to let it go.

Feeling quite spiritual today after 3 str8 AA meetings of spirituality. This is all so new to me and is an interesting thing to go through. I never liked the term "reborn" but now understand it completely. The only spirit I knew before September 5, 2003 came in a bottle of rum.