Thursday, May 31, 2007

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy

At Lambda Center in Houston, AA anniversaries are celebrated on the last Saturday of the month. In May, there were 29 celebrants with a total of 311 years of sobriety. Everyone gets some cake. Their friends do too. ummmmmmmmmmm

See more of the hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy bloggers HERE

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for small AA meetings -- by small, I mean 4 or 5 people, maybe 8 or 10. The morning meeting I attend is one of those. Yesterday, we began with just 3 at 6:30am. There were 2 stragglers, so by 6:50am there were 5 of us. One of those was a visitor from out of town who arrived the previous night and needed a meeting. It was his first time in Houston and he found us on the internet. We discussed "having a conscience in sobriety" and the discussion went strong until we broke at 7:30am. Great stuff!!

that I got to hear the superb presentation of the AA story of a person two years into her recovery

that I'm returning this morning for my first full workout with my new trainer, who just happens to be quite pleasing on the eyes

"We promise according to our hopes and perform according to our fears."
-- Francois, Duc de La Rochefoucauld

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A Man of Few Words


His name is Bill. He has wild hair, wears a T-shirt with holes in it, jeans, and no shoes. This was literally his wardrobe for the past four years of life. He is brilliant. Kind of profound and very, very bright. He became an alcoholic while attending college. Things have only gone down hill since. Across the street from the campus is a well-dressed, very conservative A.A. club. They want to develop a meeting for the students but are not sure how to go about it.

One day Bill decides to go there. He walks in with no shoes, jeans, his T-shirt, and wild hair. The meeting has already started and so Bill starts looking around the room for a seat. The room is completely packed and he can't find a seat. By now, the well dressed people are really looking a bit uncomfortable, but no one says anything. Bill gets closer and closer and closer to the front of the e room, and when he realizes there are no seats, he just squats down right on the carpet. By now the people are really uptight, and the tension in the air is thick.

About this time, the evening's speaker realizes that from way at the back of the meeting, an "old timer" is slowly making his way toward Bill. Now the "old timer" is in his eighties, and has silver-gray hair, and a three-piece suit. A spiritual man, very elegant, very dignified, very courtly. He walks with a cane and, as he starts walking toward this boy. Everyone is saying to themselves that you can't blame him for what he's going to do. How can you expect a man of his age and of his background to understand some college kid on the floor? It takes a long time for the man to reach the boy. The meeting is utterly silent except for the clicking of the old man's cane. All eyes are focused on him. You can't even hear anyone breathing. The speaker can't even continue the meeting until the "old timer" does what he has to do. And now they see this elderly man drop his cane on the floor. With great difficulty, he lowers himself and sits down next to Bill and welcomes him so he doesn't feel outcast and alone. Everyone chokes up with emotion.
When the speaker gains control, he says,

"What I'm about to say, you will never remember.
What you have just seen, you will never forget."

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I remain ...


Tomorrow is HNT. Dust off your cameras. Remember that the goal is to include at least a small fraction of your body in the picture.
That's what makes HNT unique.

I'd rather be a failure at something I enjoy than a success at something I hate.
-George Burns

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Trying to Do the Deal

This is one of my favorite jokes of the past decade ...


A woman was shopping at her local supermarket where she selected...

a half-gallon of 2% milk
a carton of eggs,
a quart of orange juice,
a head of romaine lettuce,
a 2 lb. can of coffee,
a 1 lb. package of bacon.

As she was unloading her items on the conveyor belt to check out, a drunk standing behind her watched as she placed the items in front of the cashier. While the cashier was ringing up her purchases, the drunk calmly stated, "You must be single."

The woman was a bit startled by this proclamation, but she was intrigued by the derelict's intuition, since she was indeed single. She looked at her six items on the belt and saw nothing particularly unusual about her selections that could have tipped off the drunk to her marital status. Curiosity getting the better of her, she said "Well, you know what, you're absolutely correct. But how on earth did you know that?"

The drunk replied, "'Cause you're ugly."

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

to be asked to chair the 6:30am Monday meetings at Lambda for June

to be asked to chair the 12:15pm Monday meetings at Lambda for June (I turned this down; didn't want to be too greedy)

for the freedom of choice

that I do not act on all the thoughts that run around inside my brain

that I spent a couple of hours at a friends' home on Memorial Day for snacks and fellowship

that I begin a series of 24 sessions with my new personal trainer today

that I made an appointment for a full physical exam with a new doctor (GP) for next week

Those who believe they can do something are probably right--and so are those who believe they can't.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Gratitude Memorial

on this Memorial Day, i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my life is much better than I often think it is

for the wonderful celebration of sober anniversaries on Saturday Night @ Lambda Center -- there were 29 celebrants with 311 years of sobriety

for a great meeting about that "jumping off place" led by Boston

that I although I spent the weekend by myself wishing that I were not by myself, I was able to look at it objectively, knowing that
This Too Shall Pass.
My thinking disease tells me that no one wants me around, so I am not able to call anyone or ask anyone to even join me for coffee. It really sucks sometimes. Phone calls from Hayden can be a tremendous help. A second AA meeting (on a Sunday) helped too. I usually just go to one.

that my sponsor is OK -- he was out of town and wasn't answering his cell phone nor returning my messages. I got a little worried because that is definitely not like him. Turned out he had left his phone on top of his car while loading stuff inside, then forgot about it and drove off. Of course,the phone fell off. He then remembered it in time to look back and watch it get run over by an 18-wheeler (UK = lorry). LOL

for the lifetime sharing of talent from actor, comedian, Tony-award winner and game show regular CHARLES NELSON REILLY, who has died at 76. CLICK for details.

People are like stained glass windows:
they sparkle and shine when the sun's out,
but when the darkness sets in,
their true beauty is revealed
only if there is light within.
-Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Naughty Girl

Actress Lindsay Lohan is just another reason for the existence of Traditions Eleven and Twelve of Alcoholics Anonymous.

AA Hole

I discovered THIS website a few days ago.

I love stuff like this and am a sucker for the things they sell. After buying a t-shirt, I wrote the owner of AAHole and he gave me permission to use his logo to promote his site and maybe send a couple of you guys his way.

"We work hard to bring you the most original, fun clothing and t-shirt designs. It's simple, cool clothing designed by people in the program. We believe we sell the coolest and most original t-shirts, tops and accessories around. If you want to stand out from the crowd and make a statement, you have come to the right place."

Check it out.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Friday, May 25, 2007

Removing layers

The A.A. Meeting ...

The more I focus my mind on on its defects -- late start, long drunkalog, cigarette smoke -- the worse the meeting becomes. But when I try to see what I can add to the meeting, rather than what I can get out of it, and when I focus my mind on what's good about it, rather than what's wrong with it, the meeting keeps getting better and better.

When I focus on what's good today, I have a good day, and when I focus on what's bad, I have a bad day. If I focus on a problem, the problem increases; if I focus on the answer, the answer increases.

ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, (4th edition) page 419

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a very informative and productive meeting with the nursing and administrative staff at my Mom's nursing home

for some occasional calm amidst the chaos

for the willingness to evolve in a more positive way instead of remaining static

that I don't intentionally break the law

that I am hosting a small AA meeting in my home today

Every man has three characters: that which he shows, that which he has, and that which he thinks he has.
-Alphonse Karr

Thursday, May 24, 2007

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy

"just reflecting"

see all the HNT pix on entry for today when you

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I have hired a personal trainer to help me get in better physical shape since I cannot seem to muster the discipline to do it by myself --- it's come to this after I have gained 25 pounds since stopping smoking last October. I had maintained the same weight +/- 5 pounds for over 30 years. So now I am tired of whining about my weight gain and have decided to take action!! Damnit!!

that Hayden understands me so well and that maybe, just maybe, I'm beginning to figure him out (a little bit)

that my fear of most humans is currently in full blossom, but at least I recognize it, so that's some progress

for the one hour tell-on-myself sessions with my therapist who offers solutions

One man has enthusiasm for 30 minutes, another for 30 days, but it is the man who has it for 30 years who makes a success of his life.
-Edward B. Butler

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

problems vs solutions

Some of you won't understand this. That's OK.
Some of you won't like this. Call your sponsor.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that AA is not a correspondence course

for the 12:15pm weekday AA meeting at Lambda Center -- it must be one of the finest recovery gatherings in these here parts --- yesterday, the gentleman chairing the Tuesday meeting for the month of May told us he had relapsed last weekend; he had 7 years and 8 months clean and sober at the time. The topic of discussion was relapse and relapse prevention (of course). It's all about solutions. There were others present who had less than 1 week sober, so the meeting became rather intense. There was one man (whom I had not seen in 6-8 months) who walked in late, sat down and later tried to share with the group. He could not put enough words together to make a comprehensible sentence. He asked for help. He was in the right place.

for a new topic on SOBRIETY SOCIETY -- please drop in and give us your nickel's worth (inflation)

tomorrow is hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy

Problems are only opportunities in work clothes.
-Henry J. Kaiser

UPDATE: in case any one wants an answer to exactly who the guys are in the picture, they are Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte. That makes them baseball players. Veteran players of The Yankees and more recently the Houston Astros. They seem to follow each other; when Andy signed with Houston, Roger followed. For 3 years. Then last winter Andy re-signed with New York and now Roger has followed. Again.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Just listening

by Mark Victor Hansen

Every person on the earth has the same number of hours in the day to work with. I have 24 hours, Bill Gates has 24 hours and so do you. It is up to each individual to decide how to occupy every minute. We can waste our days sleeping late, watching television, hating our jobs and wishing for a better life. Or we can spend most of the time we have been given creating that better life – a world devoted to improving ourselves and the lives of others.

How do you want to spend your days?

You have the power to live each day exactly the way you want to live it. Think about that - the resources to create the life you desire lie within your mind.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

to be a sober member of this community

for a very good meeting about Step 10 -- and that I realize that I often do not know when I have offended or wronged another person

The measure of a life, after all, is not its duration, but its donation.
-Corrie ten Boom

Monday, May 21, 2007


The weather in Houston this past weekend was incredibly beautiful. I think they call it "Chamber of Commerce" weather. I took advantage of it the best I could, but would have loved to have been able to enjoy it more. I don't know how many more of these days I have left and can't afford to waste any. My HP does not want that either, I'm sure.

For me, it was a weekend of feeling unwanted. I made many attempts to put myself out there, but it just didn't work. I asked to be included in some volleyball action only to be told the wrong location and when I called 6 people to get new directions, got only voicemails. Not one of those people (in recovery) have called back yet. Later in the evening it became clear that our regular Saturday pre-AA meeting dinner was not going to happen because the regular participants were busy with their lives. I called someone else and was told (politely) that I was not welcome to join his group for dinner. So much for fellowship. So I ate a fast-food hamburger by myself.

I had Sunday plans to go watch softball with another friend. He called at the last minute to let me know he was going to the beach with other friends. There wasn't room for me to tag along. I would liked to have gone to eat with someone, but after being burned the previous night, was in fear of asking anyone. I ate at Hickory Hollow BBQ; by myself. And I spent much of the the day alone until Zane called and invited me to go look at new houses with him. He was a tremendous help in relieving me of the pain I was feeling. Thanks Zane.

It was the first time I have isolated since January. I guess I can be grateful for that because I used to isolate as often as not.
Something was different this time. I was completely aware of my feelings and spoke to my HP many times over the weekend about the crap going on in my head. I continually asked myself "what is different now than yesterday or last week?" There was no good answer, which led me to believe that it was simply my illness taking charge. I knew it would pass.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I did not drink or feel the need to act out in other negative ways over the weekend AND that those feelings of being an unwanted nuisance have passed

for some occasional bouts of sanity

for words of hope from Hayden

for tears of gratitude in AA meetings

to hear Tom Z's short version of his life at the SNL meeting

for the good times and laughter at our little Lambda fundraiser, The Gaylywed Game

that Mary Christine completed the half-marathon just as she wanted to do it. The following phrase is there for you, MC ...

Winners have simply formed the habit of doing things losers don't like to do.
-Albert Gray

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Letter to an old friend

Dear Alcohol,

I know it's been a while since we hung out together, so I just wanted to drop you a note with a short explanation.

All those years that I considered you my best friend, it turned out that you were lying to me. I know guys do that sometime, but you were trying to kill me and I didn't even realize it. And now, you can't even deny it because I see you doing the same thing to a bunch of other people too.

It's like, we'd go party together and then you'd leave me hanging. I'd be drunk and alone and then not even know where you left me. How the hell was I supposed to get home? There was that time you hid my car! What was that about? And then, all those times you made me sick. Not real sick, just enough so I'd throw up. And it's like it was always at somebody's house or at some inappropriate moment. Damn, the messes I left! And you'd just laugh at me.

When I was in my 40's, I finally settled down with you at my bar. Then you decided to start taking away my friends. You're so jealous. I finally met someone special and you tried to break us up. You made me treat him so badly until he had to leave. Before he did though he told me to get rid of you. But I loved you so much I couldn't let you go for awhile. Those folks at AA showed me how to let you go and today it's almost 4 years later. I found a power greater than you! hahaha

I've learned that by keeping a Higher Power in my daily life (other than you) and by not hanging out in bars and with all your other friends, I can stay sober. I'm even happy without you. I never thought that would be possible. I have all these other buddies now and they tell me pretty much the same story. You are such a two-timer!! Anyway, I just wanted to touch base and let you know that I'm always thinking of you, but I don't want to ever see you again.

You're an asshole!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Swapping body parts ...

Top 10 things men would do if they woke up and had a vagina for a day:

Immediately go shopping for zucchini and cucumbers.

Squat over a hand mirror for an hour and a half.

See if they could finally do the splits.

See if it's truly possible to launch a Ping-Pong ball 20 feet.

Cross their legs without rearranging their crotch.

Get picked up in a bar in less than 10 minutes... before closing time.

Have consecutive multiple orgasms and still be ready for more without sleeping first.

Go to the gynecologist for a pelvic exam and ask to have it recorded on video.

Sit on the edge of the bed and pray for breasts, too.

And the number one thing a man would do is:
Finally find that damned G-spot.

Top 10 things a woman would do if she woke up with a penis for a day:

Get ahead faster in corporate America.

Get a blow job.

Find out what is so fascinating about beating the meat.

Pee standing up while talking to other men at the urinal.

Determine why you can't hit the bowl consistently.

Find out what it's like to be on the other end of a surging orgasm.

Touch/shift yourself in public without thought as to how improper it may be to others.

Jump up and down naked with an erection to see if it feels as funny as it looks.

Understand the reason for the light refraction that occurs between a man's eyes and the ruler situated next to his member.

And the number one thing a woman would do is:
Repeat number 9.

Friday, May 18, 2007

How It Goes ...

My parents didn't have the opportunity to purchase

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for another full day yesterday as things just seemed to "happen"
0400 - got up, made coffee, wrote Gratitude list
0530 - take shower
0630 - AA meeting
0830 - contractor at my house to give work estimate
0930 - went to Home Depot to look at bathroom fixtures
1030 - bought plants for patio at Houston Garden Center
1145 - went to Lambda for AA meeting
1315 - went to lunch/fellowship after meeting
1445 - therapist appointment (he's doing OK)
1610 - went to Starbucks
1700 - at home planting flowers and checking email & blogs
1800 - bicycle to Lambda for fundraising meeting
1900 - return home to watch Astros game on TV
2230 - go to bed ... sober, gay & happy

I'm also really happy that I have decided to take the high road regarding Jerry Falwell. I suspect I may run into him one day.

I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.
-Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, May 17, 2007

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy

CLICK HERE for the HNT site

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I don't hate anyone. I've read several blogs about the death of Jerry Falwell. My feeling about people I don't agree with is that I need to take the high road -- always! If I hate them for who they are or what they say or do, aren't I running the risk of being as wrong, shallow or narrow-minded as they? If I expect to have freedom I must give it to others first.
(what got me started on this today?)

that I am getting bids/estimates from 4 remodelling contractors for some work in my home, but of course, I want the work to be completed in a matter of days where in reality, it will take a number of weeks

that I don't always have to leave a comment when I visit your blogs - and sometimes I only leave a word or two, just to let you know I am lurking in the shadows

It's never crowded along the extra mile.
-Wayne Dyer

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


This is Jessie.

I came out of my first retirement in late 1997 after 5 years of sitting on a barstool. It was time to get back to work. I re-entered the same industry I had left in '93, just with a different company. I worked closely with Jessie. It turned out that we had worked with many of the same people in a number of countries, including in Holland, Senegal and Nigeria.
We're both retired now but continue to chat over coffee at irregular intervals. We had coffee together yesterday. Jessie's Mom died on Monday.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that Step 3 plays such a huge part in my conscious being - "Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him."

for a full and productive morning with my Mom, prepping her and taking her to a dentist appointment

for discussions with friends about spirituality and finding a higher power -- these are things I knew nothing about until I was 49 years old

that to get it, I have to give it

for my good friend of the past 10 years, Jessie, who lost his Mom on Monday after her long battle with ill-health

that I rarely feel my age; more like half of it, which makes me 26.6 years old

that tomorrow is HNT -- git yer pix ready!

What great thing would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?
-Robert Schuller

Tuesday, May 15, 2007



"Priorities are not written in granite. They need to be flexible and change as we do…It takes peace of mind and clarity to recognize and reorder meaningful, personal priorities. Maybe that is why so many of us procrastinate."
-- Sarah Ban Breathnach

"It is not time which needs to be managed; it is ourselves."
-- Gillian Butler, PhD and Tony Hope M.D.

"Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of."
-- Benjamin Franklin

"Time only seems to matter when it's running out."
-- Peter Strup

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I went to 2 meetings (again) yesterday -- the topics presented for discussion were about Steps 5&6 at the first meeting and Steps 8&9 at the other meeting

for Bill W's definition of Humility (it's always worth repeating) ...
"a clear recognition of what and who we really are, followed by a sincere attempt to become what we could be." TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, page 58

that so much of my life is guided by my attitude and I have gained so many tools that enable me to improve my attitude

that I dropped by to visit Boston at her new apartment - it's very sweet and practical (just like Boston)

that HP willing, Hayden will finish his junior semester today

I am happy and content because I think I am.
-Alain-Rene Lesage

Monday, May 14, 2007


Peter Graves (81) made a short appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno last week.

His demeanor these days reminds me (eerily) of Ronald Reagan (when he was alive).

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for some good, quality time with Mom- at her bedside in the nursing home -- I was able to get her in her wheelchair and take her to the den/lounge in the home where they have an internet computer for anyone who cares to use it -- I showed her the picture I posted yesterday (see below) and she laughed as best she can

that tomorrow I take Mom to see her dentist and we'll use the wheelchair van for the first time, supplied by the nursing home

to have heard my friend Laura relate parts of her out of control life and how it has transcended to her sober life today

that I bicycled out to the Art Car Parade on Saturday -- good exercise and good fun

that I'll never be the mother that I once was

If you are doing your best, you will not have time to worry about failure.
-Robert Hillyer

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Got Mom?

Mother's Day,

You've been everything to me.

Houston Art Cars 2007

I went to the annual Houston Art Car Parade yesterday afternoon. This is the largest event of this type anywhere. It was a beautiful and sunny day; perfect for outdoor activity. I also rode my bicycle there and put in about 3 hours on my bike. My legs were worn out all night and this morning too. I guess I will eventually get in better shape.

Here's a few of the cars. There were almost 300 entries.

Get Your Own!

Get Your Own!

Saturday, May 12, 2007


A stranger was seated next to a little girl on the airplane when the stranger turned to her and said, "Let's talk. I've heard that flights go quicker if you strike up a conversation with your fellow passenger."
The little girl, who had just opened her book, closed it slowly and said to the stranger, "What would you like to talk about?"
"Oh, I don't know", said the stranger. "How about nuclear power?"
"OK," she said. "That could be an interesting topic. But let me ask you a question first. A horse, a cow, and a deer all eat grass, the same stuff. Yet a deer excretes little pellets, while a cow turns out a flat patty, and a horse produces clumps of dried grass. Why do you suppose that is?"
The stranger thinks about it and says, "Hmmm, I have no idea."
To which the little girl replies, "Do you really feel qualified to discuss nuclear power when you don't know shit?"

Friday, May 11, 2007

No Theory Here

Prince Charles did not accompany his mum on her recent visit to the USA.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

to go with the flow

that I pretty much took a day off yesterday -- for me!

for the occasional wisdom to know the difference

for a new-found ability (willingness?) to just shut-the-hell-up instead of making wise-ass comments that may be hurtful or insensitive. Does this mean "I'd rather be happy than right?"

for a really productive hour-long session with my shrink and the suggestions he offers

that today is Friday and another weekend looms large

for the wiLd WeAthEr we had last night -- one of the brightest lightning storms I've ever seen (that I can remember)

The days are too short even for love; how can there be enough time for quarreling?
-Margaret Gatty

Thursday, May 10, 2007

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy

It's part of the "new" dAAve upgrade.

Sometimes, it's a black & white issue.

check out the HNT site HERE

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I've been taking care of lots of details this week ...
... going to AA meetings and staying sober
... meetings with 2 sponsees
... some health-related appointments for my Mom
... financial stuff for her too
... putting together a sound system in my house
... armour-all on the tires since it's not raining
... quickly typing the Board meeting minutes (whew!)
... flight and hotel reservations for our UK trip
... a phone call to Liz
... internet research for Hayden's school projects
... coffee @ Starbucks

There is no such thing in anyone's life as an unimportant day.
-Alexander Woollcott

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Looking Inward

It seems that most of us, by the time we reached the rooms of AA or another 12-step program, were no longer the beautiful creature we once were.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for Steps 6 and 7 and the acceptance that I will never complete them; I must apply them daily

for the opportunity and pleasure to watch the recovery of Laura L., who last week was able to buy her first-ever brand new automobile. She just celebrated 2 years of being clean and sober and is the most remarkable example of recovery I have yet to see.
Another one of the miracles!!

that the rocks in my head fit the holes in Hayden's
(stolen from page 397 Alcoholics Anonymous)

that my life as a sober drunk is much better than I could have ever imagined

for this continuing shift in my thinking and attitude

that today, I need to remember about Rule #62
(if you have forgotten what that is, see page 149 of Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions)

that tomorrow is hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy; see ya there

We do not see things as they are.
We see them as we are.
-The Talmud

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Total Entertainment Package

Two things that have always bothered me.
I don't like it when someone asks me what I am thinking about or what is on my mind. To me, that question is way too personal. My mind is often the only private place I have and for someone to try to invade it makes me very uncomfortable. So please don't ever ask me what I am thinking about.

I also very much dislike it when someone calls me on the phone and asks me what I am doing. IT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS what I am doing. If you called me just to learn what I am doing, you need to get a life. If you called me for another reason, then why are you aksing me what I am doing and what will you do with that information? I guess I'm a very private kinda guy.

'nuff said.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the title of this post. I came up with that phrase years ago when working in West Africa. One sees so many things there that one would not see anywhere else. The experiences are unmatchable. I always referred to life in Africa as The Total Entertainment Package. I may use the term again here; don't be surprised. In fact, there may even be a test at the end of the year.

that my entire environment is part of The Total Entertainment Package

for those who lead by example

for the wisdom to know the difference (occasionally)

by staying sober, so many thoughts can take on new meaning

that I go to meetings to get my AA batteries charged

for the great lessons in patience that are given to me every day

that I can learn so much from people I don't like (see RANTINGS)

How rare and wonderful is that flash of a moment when we realize we have discovered a friend.
-William Rostler

Monday, May 07, 2007


The Queen was in the USA the past several days, including an appearance at the Kentucky Derby.
As far as I know, she was not accompanied by the Scots Soldiers. (there's something "special" about this picture; spot it?)

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I was sober and got to hear Scott D relate a little bit of what it was like, what happened and what it's like now at the SNL meeting (chaired by Boston B) @ Lambda Center while sitting with Scott W and Zane M (Scott D's partner has a blog, so all the above names are associated with recovery blogs here in the SOBER BLOGGING MECCA)

that I have been staying so busy - for almost a month, I have been in a Serenity Zone; for almost a month, I have been much busier than normal; hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm... I wonder if there could be a connection?

for a very topical meeting about ISM - incredibly short memory
(see my note at the end of this post)

for a super busy weekend, including some quality time with my Mom and my sister

that I made it out to northeast Houston to watch the guys of The Montrose Softball League yesterday

that Paris Hilton was sentenced to 45 days in jail, although she gets 30 days to "get ready" before she goes

Elbow grease is the best polish.
-English Proverb

My memory has gone to hell. I met with my sister over the weekend to discuss details that she may remember about our childhood and more specifically, what she remembers about our mom and dad's parenting skills. My memory also really sucks when it comes to my relationship with Hayden. And in many other situations and relationships as well.
Having said all that, last night I heard this statement and it really rung true for me. I want to share it, just in case one of you may find it pertinent ...

"I may not always remember your words, but I always remember how you made me feel."

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Tornado video

In case you haven't see it, this is some pretty incredible video of a recent tornado.

The Golden Phone

A man in New York City decided to write a book about churches around the country. He started by flying to San Francisco, and started working east from there.

Going to a very large church, he began taking photographs and making notes. He spotted a golden telephone on the vestibule wall and was intrigued with a sign which read "$10,000 a minute."

Seeking out the pastor he asked about the phone and sign. The pastor answered that this golden phone is, in fact, a direct line to Heaven and if he pays the price he can talk directly to God. The man thanked the pastor and continued on his way. As he continued to visit churches in Seattle, Salt Lake, Chicago, Milwaukee, and around the United States, he found more phones with the same sign, and the same answer from each pastor.

Finally he arrived in the lovely Texas hill country town of Fredericksburg, Texas. Upon entering a church, behold, he saw the usual golden telephone. But this time the sign read, "Calls: 25 cents." Fascinated, he asked to talk to the pastor. "Father, I have been in cities all across the country and in each church I found this golden telephone and have been told it is a direct line to Heaven and could talk to God, but, in the other churches the cost was $10,000 a minute. Your sign reads 25 cents a call. Why?"

The pastor, smiling benignly, replied, "Son, you're in Texas now, and it's a local call."

Saturday, May 05, 2007

another mystery solved

Finally, we now know the contents of the note sent to Ward Cleaver by the Beaver's principal in 1958.

Click on the picture to find out.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Success, Sponsors & Serenity

"The real measure of your wealth is how much you'd be worth if you lost all your money."
-- Bernard Meltzer

"The most absurd and reckless aspirations have sometimes led to extraordinary success."
-- Vauvenargues

"Success is living up to your potential. That’s all. Wake up with a smile and go after life & Live it, enjoy it, taste it, smell it, feel it."
– Joe Kapp

"Personal satisfaction is the most important ingredient of success."
-- Denis Waitley

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that today I will do my best to do my best; when I fail, I don't have to be my worst

for prayer when I wake up and prayer when I go to bed and for prayer at anytime in between

that I had a really nice breakfast and chat with my sponsor yesterday

that of about 40 people at the noon meeting yesterday, I did not know 8 of them

that I continue to wander around my Serenity Zone all day, every day

that I was built in America

for IMAGINATION (click on the word)

A woman was in a coma, she had been in it for months. Nurses were in her room giving her a blanket bath. One of them was washing her private area and noticed that there was a slight response on the monitor when she touched her. They tried it again and sure enough there was a small, recognizable movement. They went to her husband and explained what happened, telling him, "As crazy asthis sounds, maybe a little oral sex will do the trick and bring her out of the coma." The husband was skeptical, but they assured that they'd close the curtains for privacy. The husband finally agreed and went into his wife's room. After a few minutes the woman's monitor flat lined, no pulse, no heart rate. The nurses run back into the room. "What happened!?" they cried.
The husband said, "I'm not sure, maybe she choked".

Yall have a GREAT weekend!!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy

At Lambda Center, sober anniversaries are celebrated on the last Saturday of each month. Lambda provides a cake for all who wish to partake.
This was the cake for April.
This was also my attempt to consume the first piece.
(click on the pic for a better view)

see more HNT pix HERE

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I have learned how to "trick" my Mom into getting a little bit of exercise when I go visit her (hehe); she resists doing much of anything that requires getting out of bed

for another day of being alcohol and nicotine free -- I am still absolutely incredulous that this is really me!!

for another day of being chaos and insanity free

that after 877 days of operating this blog, I will get my 100,000th hit some time today - -this being my 1,451st post (but who's counting?)

It's not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get back up.
-Vince Lombardi

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

on being forgiving ...

In a recent AA meeting, we discussed forgiveness. The chairperson used the word "amnesty" as a means of forgiving a person who we feel needs our forgiveness.
I have never heard that term used in conjuction with being forgiving of our friends or acquaintances. For me, it brings forth thoughts of letting someone off the hook.

Also for me, I know that I must be very, very careful about doling out my forgiveness of those who I think need it. This conjures the view of me sitting up on my pedestal and judging my fellow man, then deciding who gets my forgiveness -- and who doesn't.

In my new life of sobriety and recovery, I am learning how to just Live and Let Live. If I sit in judgement of someone and fail to forgive, I am usually going to be nurturing a resentment. And I know exactly what the big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous tells me about resentments.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the consequences of recovery

that since I stopped drinking 3 years and 8 months ago, I have been Happy and Joyous about 90% of the time. The other 10% I have been in my head thinking only of me, not willing to get out of it. I call this FEAR.

that a couple of days ago I did not act upon a desire to have a cigarette. This is a result of the program of Alcoholics Anonymous and the principles it has taught me. (this was the first time I've wanted to smoke since I became a non-smoker almost 7 months ago)

for the humor of actor Tom Poston, who died at 85.

that I remodelled my living room by moving a few pieces of furniture and some pictures -- saved a bunch of money this way! I was planning on getting rid of my current (10 month-old) furniture, then buying a new sectional sofa. But I realized I was giving in to my enough is never enough disease and used restraint. I am having to do the same with my TV and stereo, both of which operate just fine and don't need replacing. I am tattling on myself so as to help me make myself more accountable to me!

Each day we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.
-Charles Swindoll

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Short & Sweet

this is an
sitting at my computer yesterday,
working on her blog.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful for

my sponsor
my sponsees
sunny weather
stormy weather
Lambda Center
paved roads
more stuff

Enthusiasm is everything. It must be taut and vibrating like a guitar string.