Friday, June 30, 2006

An experience you must not miss

Practical experience shows that nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics. It works when other activities fail. This is our twelfth suggestion: Carry this message to other alcoholics! You can help when no one else can. You can secure their confidence when others fail. Remember they are very ill.

Life will take on new meaning. To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you, to have a host of friends -- this is an experience you must not miss. We know you will not want to miss it. Frequent contact with newcomers and with each other is the bright spot of our lives.
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th edition, page 89

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that as I near the end my 3rd year of sobriety, nothing furthers my progress in recovery more than working one-on-one with another alcoholic

that I finished officially working the Steps for the first time with a sponsee yesterday

that Steph was finally able to post; drop by and say HI!

that Scott and I leave for NYC this morning with some basic plans, first and foremost to attend AA meetings each day whilst there

that we'll also be dropping by backstage at The Met, Hell's Kitchen (to be with a fellow blogger), Yankee Stadium, The Village (to be with another fellow blogger)

for all of my Earth-bound blogging friends, near & far, sober and not

Happiness is the delicate balance between what one is and what one has. -F. H. Denison

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Love and Tolerance

We have entered the world of the Spirit. Our next function is to grow in understanding and efffectiveness. This is not an overnight matter. It should continue for our lifetime. Continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear. When these crop up, we ask God at once to remove them. We discuss them with someone immediately and make amends quickly if we have harmed anyone. Then we resolutely turn our thoughts to someone we can help. Love and tolerance of others is our code.
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th edition, page 84

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my Mom and I had a good laugh at a mistake her nursing home made. Their June invoice included 2 long-distance phone calls made from her room. I pointed out to them that she cannot speak! It turned out that the calls should have been charged to the room next to hers.

for the Happiness available to me as a result of Step 3
for the Freedom available to me as a result of Step 5
for the Joyousness available to me as a result of Step 12

that I can get out of my head long enough to assist other people; it seems like the more often I do this, the happier I am --- hmmmmmmmmmmmm

tha today I choose to be happy (it's that simple)

for further evidence that things work out when I get out of the way

that today is Scott's birthday!!!
Wow! Scott, you're as old as me some other people

Spoon feeding in the long run teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon.
-E.M. Forster

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Not a glum lot

We have been dealing with alcohol in its worst aspect. But we aren't a glum lot. If newcomers could see no joy or fun in our existence, they wouldn't want it. We absolutely insist on enjoying life. We try not to indulge in cynicism over the state of the nations, nor do we carry the world's troubles on our shoulders. When we see a man sinking into the mire that is alcoholism, we give him first aid and place what we have at his disposal. For his sake, we do recount and almost relive the horrors of our past. But those of us who have tried to shoulder the entire burden and troubles of others find we are soon overcome by them.

So we think cheerfulness and laughter make for usefulness. Outsiders are sometimes shocked when we burst into merriment over a seemingly tragic experience out of the past. But why shouldn't we laugh? We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others.
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th edition, page 132

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that most people find a way to forgive me for my terrible jokes, most of the time

that I've been asked by 4 people to sponsor them over the past 2 weeks -- either they know I have too much time on my hands or maybe I'm doing something right

that I got through another month of chairing noon AA meetings, apparently without causing anyone to relapse

that by taking advantage of a variety of service opportunities, I get to experience recovery from a variety of angles

that I don't know of even one furniture upholsterer in recovery

that I'm smiling while typing this and on the television is "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre"

A well-developed sense of humor is the pole that adds balance to your steps as you walk the tightrope of life.
-William A. Ward

A common site

I did not take this picture; a friend sent it to me.

But it is very typical of something one sees all over the continent. In many African countries, telephone poles are made of concrete or steel as wood is in short supply.

As to the placing of the pole, that's priceless!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A Double Life

More than most people, the alcoholic leads a double life. He is very much the actor. To the outer world he presents his stage character. This is the one he likes his fellows to see. He wants to enjoy a certain reputation, but knows in his heart he doesn't deserve it.

The inconsistency is made worse by the things he does on his sprees. Coming to his senses, he is revolted at certain episodes he vaguely remembers. These memories are a nightmare. He trembles to think someone might have observed him. As fast as he can, he pushes these memories far inside himself. He hopes they will never see the light of day. He is under constant fear and tension -- that makes for more drinking.
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th edition, page 73

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I was rather successfull at being a gay man in a str8 world and a gay alcoholic in a str8 bar, BUT today I can see the long-term damage it has caused me

that my life is not a work of fiction

that my life is much less compartmentalized than during my drinking days

that WL (a sponsee) celebrates 5 months of sobriety todAAy

that I made yesterday car maintenance day with an oil change+ and thorough car wash now that the rain is finished

that almost any difficulties I have today are the result of not practicing Step 3

that I didn't tell my 5th step to an employee of The New York Times

that as an adult, I don't have the allergies I had as a kid (to grass and pollen)

If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.
-Chinese Epigram

by any other name ...

Of the countless photos
I have snapped
during my 52 years,
for some reason,
this is my favorite.

I was in a water closet in Amsterdam.

At a bar, of course.
I was carrying around my little Nikon with a roll of black & white film in it.

Monday, June 26, 2006

To drink is to die

It is plain that a life which includes deep resentment leads only to futility and unhappiness. To the precise extent that we permit these, do we squander the hours that might have been worth while. But with the alcoholic, whose hope is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience, this business of resentment is infinitely grave. We found that it is fatal. For when harboring such feelings we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit. The insanity of alcohol returns and we drink again. And with us, to drink is to die.
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th edition, page 66

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my biggest remaining resentments today are the ones I have against my character defects

for the magic behind working the 9th step of AA

for the birthday dinner for 3 fellow alkies @ Ninfa's Mexican Restaurant; there were 30 of us there before heading to Lambda where there were about 150 present to honor them and 25 other celebrants

for a really inspirational birthday night at Lambda on Saturday

that I remain sober regardless of the crap going on in my mind the last 2 days

for a realization that I was not able to really change the People, Places & Things in my life until after I had formally learned about the 12 Steps of AA

that I had no desire to attend the Gay Pride parade

that I realize I have such a long way to go and cannot afford to stop my progress

Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length.
-Robert Frost


I can't even try to figure this out.
But I know nothing about magic.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Bucking the norm

Who'd have thunk it?
Voters in California have some different choices this fall.


Achieving Peace of Mind

Talk It Out. Confide your worry to some level-headed person.

Escape For A While. Sleep, read, draw, etc. Be prepared to come back and deal with the problem.

Work Off Your Anger. Do something physical. It will help intellectually.

Give In Occasionally. Everyone has to be on top sometime. Yield, others will too.

Do Something For Others. It will give you a better feeling.

Take One Thing at A Time. While under pressure, an ordinary workload IS painful. Take one task at a time. Don't overestimate the importance of things, or of your own importance.

Shun The Superman Urge. Perfection is an invitation to failure. Decide the things you do well and put major effort into them. Give other tasks the best of your ability BUT don't take yourself down if perfection isn't reached.

Go Easy With Criticism. Some people expect too much of others, then feel let down, disappointed, frustrated when another person doesn't measure up. Each person has a right to develop as an individual. People who feel let down by the shortcomings (real or otherwise) of others are really let down about THEMSELVES.

Give The Other Fellow A Break. People under tension feel they have to get there first no matter how trivial the goal. Everything becomes a race. Competition is contagious but so is cooperation. Give the other fellow a break, then you won't be a threat to him, nor him to you.

Make Yourself Available. Many people feel left out, slighted, neglected. Often it is imagined. Instead of withdrawing. It is healthier and more practical to make overtures. There is middle ground.

Schedule Recreation. If it's hard to take time out, put it on a schedule and throw yourself into it forgetting all work.

Saturday, June 24, 2006


In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. He hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king's wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way.

Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the King indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway.

The peasant learned what many of us never understand!

Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.


I think this is hilarious. What say you?

Friday, June 23, 2006

Good stuff on Friday

There were some very creative photos in our little world of HNT yesterday. In fact, the 11 entries were the most participation we've ever had. Way to go, guys!
There were a total of 88 hits on the site, along with 292 page views, both all-time highs. If you still aren't able to access the blogger dashboard for the HNT site, contact JJ for assistance. (I hope she doesn't murder me for this).

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the little birthday party for my sister at my Mom's room in the nursing home yesterday -- at one point, Mom laughed the hardest I've seen her laugh in a looooong time

that I can see some real changes in all 3 of my sponsee's since we began doing step work, although I know just as many are within yours truly

for reminders that when one door closes, another opens

that my friend Justin is in town for a short visit (and massage)

for the season debut of Roger Clemens, although the Astros lost in front of the largest-ever crowd in the 6 year history of Minute Maid Park (including the World Series games)

that tomorrow is Birthday Night @ Lambda Center; there are about 27 people celebrating a total of about 310 years sobriety (maybe Lex and Tracie will show up)

the MoD (Month of Dennis, which occurs each June when Dennis R. celebrates his AA birthday with aplomb and humility)

Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account.
-Oscar Wilde

Find "X"

After careful scrutiny, it is our understanding that the blonde student was given credit for the answer, but the board of education has warned math teachers to be more explicit in the future.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

H. O. W.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the necessity of Honesty, Open-mindedness and Willingness of the AA program

that I can't intentionally deceive you or me nor can I outright lie because I vigorously try to avoid having to make amends

that I can listen and hear

that I can do

that I came to believe

that I'm able, more often, to apply Rule #62 (it's in Tradition 4 in case you are wondering)

for a visitor from Los Angeles at our 6:30am meeting today; he shared that wherever he goes in the world, AA meetings are pretty much the same, even our little group

for the 2 HNT pix I posted today (scroll down)

that I'll be taking my 54-year old sister to a birthday lunch today (I'm sooooo much younger than she); I'm a day late but not a dollar short

There has never been an age that did not applaud the past and lament the present.
-Lillian Eichler Watson

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy

These guys are music to my ears.

They come to you from Dakar, Senegal.
That's in West Africa.

They're handmade from baked clay by an old gentleman and his son and grandson. I have bought 8-10 of these over the years from them.

I'm thinking about going back there next year.

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy (extra edition)

enjoying the World Cup?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Flying High

I sat down at the bar at Griff's. It was still a couple of hours before we were going to take a bar-sponsored bustrip to the Astros baseball game. Griff's did this several times every season.

There were only a couple of guys at the bar and I didn't know either one. I started talking to the guy sitting on the stool next to me. He said he was going to the game too and we talked baseball for a few minutes. After some generic chit-chat, I mentioned that I was retired and just enjoying life (this was in 1994, the first time I retired and 9 years before I would eventually stop drinking).

I asked him what he did for a living (he looked like an office geek). He said, "I work for NASA. I'm an astronaut." I tried not to look too shocked and probably didn't do a very good job of it. Griff's was/is famous for supporting NASA and there are still many plaques adorning the walls there donated by a number of astronauts. He said he'd been in space 3 times and I asked him what his favorite memory was from those experiences. He said that his 14 year-old son asked him the same thing once. He told his kid, "Son. You know how you young people use the word awesome all the time? Well, that's the closest word I can think of and it doesn't come close to the reality of it."

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I've done the research and now I'm doing the development

for a meeting with my sponsor at 6:30am and a meeting with a sponsee at 6pm

that today is my sister's birthday - she's 54 (damn!!)

that since getting my first gray hair at age 27, I've always been comfortable with their progression

that a sober life is a progressive life

for the freedom to do as my HP wishes

** reminder - that we'd love to have more participation in hAAlf nAAked thusdAAy - start thinking of tomorrow's picture that you can post there; for access to the dashboard page, contact JJ because I don't know how to help you

** reminder - everyone is encouraged to read and comment on this week's topic over at Sobriety Society -- it's our week-long AA meeting, but we don't pass a basket. If you feel the need to donate money, contact me for the address.

Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back into the same box.
-Italian Proverb

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Going to the Prom?

Betty B____. (out of respect, I won't use her last name here)

I didn't date much in high school. I took out one girl once and dated another girl for a couple of months. When prom time came up there was no one to ask. I had not yet realized that I was a homosexuist, although all the mannerisms signs were there. So I asked Betty. She was one of the guys who I sometimes drank with. I really don't remember too much about that night because at some point I passed out from too much drink and marijuana. Betty went on to major in Physical Education (like me) and the last I heard, was a practicing lesbian. Go figure.

Fifteen years later, when I was a supervisor of crews in the offshore oil industry, I was interviewing guys for offshore work. A guy came in, all neatly dressed in a black suit and sat down. He had Betty's (unusual) last name. It turned out, of course, that he was Betty's younger brother. I had last seen him when he was about 6 years old. I hired him.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the wonderful and attentive staff at Mom's nursing home; they keep me informed of anything of importance

that since selling Mom's home, some of my mornings are a bit less hectic

for a powerful Step 2 meeting yesterday

for progress at letting things go that used to drive me nuts

for some curiousity to find out what life and my HP are trying to teach me

that a close friend has agreed to tag along with me to London later this year

Lives based on having are less free than lives based on doing or being.
-E.Y. Harburg

Monday, June 19, 2006

It's the Truth

Two of my three girls on a lazy, rainy Saturday afternoon.
However, they don't watch the weather reports nor do they own a calendar.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that after all these years, I can still make my Mom laugh, even with all her problems

that I was re-elected to the Board of Directors of Lambda Center --- LOL --- no one else was willing to take the position, so I have volunteered to do it again, starting my 3rd year as Secretary

for pages 83 and 84 of the Big Book which contain The Promises. I've noticed they are not called The Guarantees. When I do my very best to remain spiritually fit and practice the principles in all my affairs, they might be called The Miracles.

that my newest sponsee celebrated his first 90 days of sobriety yesterday

that I don't have to get dressed up to go to an AA meeting; at least, not any more than I had to get dressed up to get drunk

for a study that is reporting that drinkers who begin at young ages suffer from long-term memory loss -- it seems like I've heard this before, I think

that I've never reproduced a baseball game without the express written consent from Major League Baseball


We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are.
-Anais Nin

Sunday, June 18, 2006


Activity at Cleveland Volcano, Aleutian Islands, Alaska

At 3:00 p.m. Alaska Daylight Time on May 23, 2006, Flight Engineer Jeff Williams from International Space Station (ISS) Expedition 13 contacted the Alaska Volcano Observatory to report that the Cleveland Volcano had produced a plume of ash. Shortly after the activity began, he took this photograph. This picture shows the ash plume moving west-southwest from the volcano’s summit. A bank of fog (upper right) is a common feature around the Aleutian Islands. The event proved to be short-lived; two hours later, the plume had completely detached from the volcano.

Cleveland Volcano, situated on the western half of Chuginadak Island, is one of the most active of the volcanoes in the Aleutian Islands, which extend west-southwest from the Alaska mainland. It is a stratovolcano, composed of alternating layers of hardened lava, compacted volcanic ash, and volcanic rocks. At a summit elevation of 1,730 meters, this volcano is the highest in the Islands of the Four Mountains group. Carlisle Island to the north-northwest, another stratovolcano, is also part of this group. Magma that feeds eruptions of ash and lava from the Cleveland Volcano is generated by the northwestward movement of the Pacific Plate beneath the North American Plate. As one tectonic plate moves beneath another—a process called subduction—melting of materials above and within the lower plate produces magma that can eventually move to the surface and erupt through a vent (such as a volcano). Cleveland Volcano claimed the only known eruption-related fatality in the Aleutian Islands, in 1944.

More Useless Trivia

Hundreds of years ago ...

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a “bone-house” and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they thought they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the “graveyard shift”) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be “saved by the bell” or was considered a “dead ringer.”

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes the stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme, “Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old.”

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the dogs, cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying “It’s raining cats and dogs.”

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could really mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That’s how canopy beds came into existence.

that's all

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Useless Trivia

Hundreds of years ago ...

The floors were dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying “dirt poor.”

The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on the floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they kept adding more thresh until when you opened the door it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entranceway. Hence the saying a “thresh hold.”

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man “could bring home the bacon." They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and “chew the fat.”

Bread was divided according to social status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or “upper crust.”

more later ...


Friday, June 16, 2006


I'm doing some pretty heavy work with my sponsor. He has me looking at myself and that is not very comfortable for me. One thing I am discovering is the reason that I have no friends that I hang-out with. Very basically, I prefer to be around people who are younger than me**. Well, people who are younger than me don't want to hang-out with someone as old as me. The end result is that I often feel rejected and that's what I need to work on. It's really pretty simple to figure out. It only took me 52 years to get it.

Of course, it took me 33 years to find out how to keep from getting drunk every day.

** Scott W. is the exception

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I can stay sober and continue my recovery program in spite of me

that my personal program of recovery requires me to remain as passionate about my recovery every day as I was passionate about staying drunk & wasted every day

for Sonny at Lambda Center -- he has serious heart problems and will have a triple bypass operation next week -- Sonny IS Lambda Center and has been for 2 decades -- please keep him in your prayers

for Lambda Center Board elections tomorrow - it is what it is

for another nice win by The Astros at Wrigley Field yesterday

Laughing at our mistakes can lengthen our own life.
Laughing at someone else's can shorten it.
-Cullen Hightower

Got Caption?

orange frog

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Friends (not the ones on TV)

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my Mom keeps trying to communicate through her writing, regardless of the difficulty

to see, and hear, a lot of determination from a number of friends, new in recovery

for honesty from others which helps keep me honest

for all the compassion for a friend who relapsed, but returned quickly

for the opportunity to hear some of the experiences of my sponsor at an AA speaker meeting

that my friend Justin will be in town next week

for progress on my rear patio as it becomes my own personal rain forest

that TS Alberto didn't do too much damage

that The Astros have won 7 of their last 8 games

Friends are like melons.
Shall I tell you why?
To find a good one,
you must a hundred try.
-Claude Mermet

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy

I drank, alcoholically,
for about 12,100 days (and nights).
That's 33+ years.
I hit bottom.

Then my life was saved at
Alcoholics Anonymous.
I got there just in time.

By the hair on my

the rest of the exhibitionists? CLICK

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Health Care & other things

Two patients limp into two different medical clinics with the same complaint. Both have trouble walking and appear to require a hip replacement.

The first patient is examined within the hour, is x-rayed the same day and has a time booked for surgery the following week. The second sees his family doctor after waiting a week for an appointment, then waits eighteen weeks to see a specialist, then gets an x-ray, which isn't reviewed for another month and finally has his surgery scheduled for a year from then.

Why the different treatment for the two patients?
The first is a Golden Retriever. The second is a Senior Citizen.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my Mom is able to receive first-class health and medical attention

for Awareness, Acceptance, Action

for my daily sobriety and and opportunity for long-term recovery

for my ability to prepare and organize

for all of my sober friends

for oatmeal & raisin cookies

that it's Gay Pride month; the parade is on the 24th

Denial is Not a River in Egypt

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the caring attitudes of the health professionals who take care of my Mom; I had a wonderful conversation with one of them yesterday

for a little more clarity each day on the extent of my powerlessness

that my existence is much more manageable now than it was during my first 49 years (I'm a little slow, sue me)

that I can often catch myself between that time of having a thought about reacting to a situation and actually over-reacting to it (file this under: new behavior)

that I don't have to beg, borrow or steal

for another reminder that any of my actions/behaviors can affect another human in ways I may not be able to imagine, making it my responsibility to always Do the Next Right Thing

that I have some extra furniture waiting for the right person(s)

that today is Sober Chick's one-year AA birthday

for the new weekly topic over @ Sobriety Society -- Procrastination -- please stop by and share, if you can find the time for it

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Making new friends

Ever had one of those days?

Monday, June 12, 2006

The only requirement ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

to be a member of Alcoholics Anonymous, which is celebrating its 71st anniversary of helping alcoholics to recover from a deadly disease -- one day at a time for 25915 days

1010 days - that's how long I have gone without an alcoholic drink

for a pleasant visit with Mom and as I was walking out, my brother-in-law walked in

for the honor of listening to a 5th step -- "Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs"

for the people who gave of their time and efforts in the oppressive heat to wash cars for Lambda on Saturday

for the willing participants in the Roundup fundraiser on Saturday night

that Scott and I are making more plans for our visit to NYC

that JJ and her bestest friend BOB will meet us there along with Mr HK (hopefully) on Sunday, July 2 (let us know if you too can be there (in The Village??)

that I finally got around to making some needed cosmetic changes to my living room after 2+ years

Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.
-William Jennings Bryan

dave needs ...

Matt tells us to Google our first name, followed by the word needs.
Make a list of the top ten things that it says you need.

dave needs ...

1. a timeout
2. Firefox
3. a vacation
4. a kidney
5. some advice
6. some love
7. plywood
8. financial support
9. a little head (hmmmmmmmmmm)
10. to be kept abreast

Sunday, June 11, 2006


A group of managers were given the assignment to measure the height of a flagpole. So they go out to the flagpole with ladders and tape measures, and they’re falling off the ladders, dropping the tape measures—the whole thing is just a mess.
An engineer comes along and sees what they’re trying to do, walks over, pulls the flagpole out of the ground, lays it flat, measures it from end to end, gives the measurement to one of the managers and walks away.
After the engineer has gone, one manager turns to another and laughs. “Isn’t that just like an engineer? We’re looking for the height and he gives us the length.”

National Anthem

Ever had trouble singing the national anthem?
Maybe you can relate to this.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Summer Job

It began when I was 10 years old.

I delivered a small, weekly 8-page newspaper in our subdivision for $1 per month. That was in 1964. Good money.

I worked in a couple of restaurants and a cafeteria washing dishes in my teens. I enjoyed it. I liked that weekly paycheck for $35 or $40.

The best job I had (ages 17 & 18) was working for a civil engineering firm on a survey crew. Those are the guys you see on the side of the road holding a tall multi-colored stick while someone hundreds of feet away looks at the stick through what appears to be a camera. That "camera" is actually called a theodolite. The goal is to collect detailed data on elevations and coordinates for future building sites. Down here in Houston, that means working in the daytime heat. All day long. We'd get started by 7am and finish around 3pm. There was always driving time included to get to a jobsite. My tan stayed really dark, especially for a blond kid. We worked in rice fields that would become new housing subdivisions. The worst place was near Lake Houston where a new housing development was being planned. It was just a huge thick forest. We had to machete our way through the trees and thick brush, often fighting off the water moccasins. I got pretty good at decapitating them. I worked with some crusty old beer-drinking, cigarette smoking men who musta been in the 30's and 40's. It was their career. It was a summer adventure for me.

What was your favorite summer job?

Friday, June 09, 2006

Revealing More

"We finally came to the bottom. We did not have to be financially broke, although many of us were. But we were spiritually bankrupt. We had a soul-sickness, a revulsion against ourselves and against our way of living. Life had become imposssible for us. We had to end it all or do something about it."
Twenty-Four Hours a Day, June 9

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for Bill W. and Dr. Bob

for a day off from stress-producing responsibilities

for awareness of things I never knew existed before I stopped drinking and got into recovery; things both in myself and in the outside world

that I am no longer spiritually empty; having instead a growing and evolving sense of a Higher Power and its importance in my life and of those lives around me

that today is JJ's 2-year sobriety birthday

Denial is Not a River in Egypt

Space War

Space War

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Gettin' It

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

to see the smile on Mom's face yesterday when my nephew and I walked in on her, sorta unexpectedly

that I can pass on some of my life experiences to my nephew and hope that something I say will sink in

to be reminded that we (in recovery) often help others just by being present

that Tradition 3 of AA's Twelve Traditions allowed me to "get it"

that I often stay busy for 8 - 10 hours each day, even though I am retired

that I went to the Astros game yesterday afternoon - a sellout crowd and my boys won

Denial is Not a River in Egypt.

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy

Joy. Love. Warmth.
Excitement. Pleasure.
Satisfaction. Elation.
Tenderness. Comfort.

These are only feelings, but they feel good. They are full of positive, upbeat energy -- and we deserve that when it comes our way. We don't have to repress.
We don't have to talk ourselves out of feeling good -- not for a moment.

If we feel it, it's ours for the moment.
Own it. If it's good, enjoy it.

The Language of Letting Go,

page 172

visit the other HNT contributors for this week

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

I think ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I choose to be financially responsible in the face of temptation ('cause I don't know how long I'm gonna live); I long-term invested 94% of my share of the money Mom gave me from the sale of her home

for all the options that lay in front of me and the time to think them through

for some very, very honest sharing in an AA meeting about FEAR

that when I think and talk incessantly, my problems seem to get worse; when I listen, I hear solutions to those problems

that I am taking my nephew to visit his grandmother at the nursing home this morning

for weekday afternoon Astros games (today at Minute Maid Park, 1:05pm)

that my 3 cats think I am world famous and I do not feel the necessity to alert them otherwise

that we are one week into the Month of Dennis

Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring and integrity, they think of you.
-H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

at the lunch counter


must .... reach ..... cookie

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Seek balance.
Balance emotions with reason.
Combine detachment with doing our part.
Balance giving with receiving.
Alternate work with play, business with personal activities.
Balance caring about others with caring about ourselves.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I have reached the point in my recovery to try to (finally) achieve some semblance of balance in my unbalanced lifestyle

for the wonderful and care-free feeling that has been inside my head the past 3 days

for phone calls both received and made last night

for further realizations: that all through my drinking years, I called myself an independent loner, able to function and function well without help from anyone, while in fact I was an isolator -- and often times still am -- but there has been tremendous progress in that category

that today I absolutely know that if I want to have friends, it can't just be on my terms

that today's date does not give me any negative feelings because I choose for it to be that way



A couple were sitting up waiting for their 15 year old son to come home from a social engagement when the boy came into the house with a big smile on his face.

"Hi, Mom! Hi, Dad!" he said breathlessly. "Guess what! I've just had sex for the first time, and it was wonderful!" His mother turned red and said to her husband, "He's your son. You talk to him." Then she left the room.

The father said "Son, that's great. Now you've become a man and I'm proud of you. I'm going to celebrate the occasion by buying you that ten-speed bike you've been wanting. I hope you don't mind waiting till payday to get it."

"That's OK, Dad", said the boy. "I couldn't ride it right now anyway. My ass is too sore."

Monday, June 05, 2006

Gratitude with Color

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the most bestest week I've had in 2 years last week which included getting health/medical insurance, deciding to do some travelling and then finalizing the sale of Mom's home

for a nice visit with Mom on Sunday - her adjusted anti-depression meds are having a positive effect

that I seem to be happiest when I'm not trying to run the show

that I was able to bite the bullet and purchase a single ticket to the Yankees/Mets game (the Subway Series) on July 1st

for all the rain we had last week which brought the water tables back to normal

that I don't have a yard to mow since the grass will be going wild after all that rain

for free hats at Astros games >>>>>>>>>>>>

that Ricky!!! finds some neat websites with neat tricks

that BLUE had her special day on Saturday - stop by and congratulate her

Prayer is not asking for what you think you want, but asking to be changed in ways you can't imagine.
-Kathleen Norris

Bush - through the years

Sunday, June 04, 2006

... in all my affairs

Scott W. came over and we booked our travel (air and hotel) for a trip to The Big Apple. We'll be there (God willing) from June 30-July 3 if anyone wants to meet us there. Contact Scott, he's my agent.

I got to see and briefly speak to 2 of 3 sponsees yesterday morning at Lambda. I always enjoy that.

My oft-troubled nephew called me and has returned from his first trip offshore. He was out for 3 weeks and seemed to enjoy the new job. I know from experience how intimidating it can be for someone new, so I'm proud that he did it and that he wants to return. He was random drug-tested as soon as he got off the helicopter. And he passed. Whew!

For a few days, I had contemplated going to the Astros game on Saturday night. They were going to give away Astros caps and that's enough incentive for me to get my butt there to get one. I asked several people if they wanted to go with me, none of which could/would go. So I still had not made a decision as of Saturday morning whether to go to the game or not.

After the 8:30am AA meeting, a friend asked me if I wanted his spare ticket to the game. He has 3 season tickets and his partner couldn't go. Well, you dont'have to ask this bitch twice. So I went and sat with 2 special recovery friends -- Jessie J. (69 yrs old, 25 yrs recovery) and Don K. (65 yrs old, 24 yrs recovery). Both of those guys are lifelong baseball fans like me and we have a wonderful time together. Their ages notwithstanding, those guys have so much energy for life; it's contagious. But the Astros lost anyway.

I told y'all about the old film projector, vacuum cleaner and stereoscope pictures that I salvaged from Mom's house. I had put them on craigslist for a few days with no response. So I took them to a second-hand shop and gave them away. I hope the right person(s) will find them and enjoy having them.

So it was a day that began with no real plans. I left it up to my HP to set my schedule, and He/She did just that. When I'm able to Let Go and not control everything seems to be when I am most happy and serene. Now, where have I heard that before?

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Sold !

Took care of bidness. Got 'er done.
I sold our home of 43 years, 7 months and 17 days.
All we have left is the memories.
And some $$$$$$.

I sold it "as is." There's no way I was going to make it pretty. Besides, it needs some major foundation work and interior updates and remodeling. The new owners are pulling the carpets out today.

the living room

the den

On the way to the closing, I went by the house to say a prayer, as I had promised Mom. The new owners were there with the agent and we all decided to go to lunch before going to the title company for the closing.

Everything went off without a hitch. I will go by there in a couple of months to see how their remodeling progress is going. They have some wonderful plans for my old stomping grounds. I really hope they can be as happy as we all were there.

This has been a true lesson in letting go.

Friday, June 02, 2006

another scam

BE WARNED! I don't know if you shop at the Home Depot, but this may be useful to know.

I have become a victim of a clever scam. This happened to me and it could happen to you. Here's how the scam works: Two strapping muscular 18-year-old males come over to your truck as you are packing your shopping into the back of your vehicle. They both take off their shirts and start cleaning your windshield, revealing their young muscular arms, back and wash board abs. It is impossible not to look. When you thank them and offer them a tip, they say 'No' and instead ask you for a ride to another Home Depot. You agree and they get in your back seat. On the way, they start having sex with each other. Then one of them climbs over into the front seat and performs oral sex on you, while the other one steals your wallet.

I had my wallet stolen last Tuesday, Wednesday, twice on Thursday, again on Saturday, yesterday, and most likely tomorrow. If you know anyone that might be vulnerable to such a scam, you might want to warn them.


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a nice visit with Mom at the nursing home

for a thought I had while there -- that today, I will stop by her home of 43 years on my way to the sale/closing of said home and go inside. Then I will say a prayer thanking God for all of the memories our family has taken from that house home. Then I will leave and go collect a bunch of money. She liked both of those ideas.

for a great meeting yesterday with my sponsor; possibly the most productive time we've had together since we finished working the steps almost 2 years ago

that I have decided to do some travelling over the next few months; probably to NYC and London; after almost non-stop international and some domestic travel (living in hotels for most of 15 years) I have not been anywhere since getting sober 3 years ago

that I have 3 sponsee's who are working on steps 1, 4 and 11 which really keeps me connected

for the large number of people in the AA meetings I've attended the past several days who are back from relapses

for another thought I had (this could be a dangerous trend) -- Apparently, humans are not perfect. Learning how to live with the imperfections around us while dealing with the defects within us are what life is all about.

More people would learn from their mistakes if they weren't so busy denying them.
-Harold J. Smith

Thursday, June 01, 2006

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy

shades of reflection

visit the others who are participating todAAy

Doing it my way

God is sitting in Heaven when a scientist says to Him, "Lord, we don't need you anymore. Science has finally figured out a way to create life out of nothing. In other words, we can now do what you did in the 'beginning'."
"Oh, is that so? Tell me..." replies God.
"Well, " says the scientist, "we can take dirt and form it into the likeness of You and breathe life into it, thus creating man. "
"Well, that's interesting . Show Me."
So the scientist bends down to the earth and starts to mold the soil.

"Oh no, no, no..." interrupts God, "Get your own dirt."

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I am happy using God's dirt and everything else he created

for the large amounts of water He has sent us this week; personally, I think we've had enough to last until next Tuesday

that I am flexible enough to change plans at the last minute and not go crazy

for the AA story I heard yesterday -- someone whose life has been totally opposite from mine yet we ended up at the same place and with the same feelings

for sponsee meetings and phone calls

that I'm meeting with my sponsor at 6:30am today - our new time

the Astros re-signed Roger Clemens (I sit corrected because I was sure he'd sign with JJ's boys in Boston)

Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things only hoped for.