Wednesday, April 30, 2008

squarely in the middle

This is the first of many pictures I'll be posting of our new home. I am hoping it will be completed by late May.


todAAy i Am grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the concepts of Honesty, Open-Mindedness and Willingness

that I do my best to stay centered

for those times when I physically feel in a fit spiritual condition

to the people in recovery who go out of their way to get involved in extracirricular service activities

for the occasional use of common sense in all most of my affairs

that "it's a dog eat dog world, and I'm not wearing any underwear." a line from Blanche on The Golden Girls

If there is any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow human being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.
-William Penn


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

good view



the view from my seat at Minute Maid Park;
I get to sit here for 27 games this season


todAAy i Am grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I said a short prayer this morning, asking my HP to guide me throughout this day so that I can be the best person I can possibly be -- for today

that I ask for that guidance every morning

for lessons from other recovering drunks;

friends who suffer losses of friends and family have shown me how to handle that situation when it happens

that my sponsee chaired a wonderful meeting at noon yesterday, attended by someone at their first ever AA meeting

that my sponsor dropped by to see my new home-under-construction

Getting to know someone is not a task--it’s an art.
-Pierce LeBlanc

Monday, April 28, 2008

down the proverbial drain



todAAy i Am grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I'm no longer circling the drain

for a wonderful AA Birthday Night @ Lambda

that I want to stay sober, if for no other reason than to see what else is gonna happen (I heard this on a birthday night share)

for a quick Lambda Center Board of Directors meeting

for more evidence that I have to take care of myself before I can take care of anyone else

for a sponsee who is getting it

Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't.
-Richard Bach


Sunday, April 27, 2008

20 things to remember

1. Faith is the ability to not panic.

2. If you worry, you didn't pray. If you prayed, don't worry.

3. As a child of God, prayer is kind of like calling home every day.

4. Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.

5. When we get tangled up in our problems, be still. God wants us to be still so He can untangle the knot.

6. Do the math. Count your blessings.

7. God wants spiritual fruit, not religious nuts.

8. Dear God: I have a problem. It's me.

9. Silence is often misinterpreted, but never misquoted.

10. Laugh every day - it's like inner jogging.

11. The most important things in your home are the people.

12. Growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional.

13. There is no key to happiness. The door is always open. Come on in.

14. A grudge is a heavy thing to carry.

15. He who dies with the most toys is still dead.

16. We do not remember days but moments. Life moves too fast so enjoy your precious moments.

17. Nothing is real to you until you experience it; otherwise it's just hearsay.

18. It's all right to sit on your pity pot every now and again. Just be sure to flush when you are done.

19. Surviving and living your life successfully requires courage. The goals and dreams you're seeking require courage and risk-taking. Learn from the turtle, it only makes progress when it sticks out its neck.

20. Be more concerned with your character than your reputation. Your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are. No matter the storm, when you are with God , there's always a rainbow waiting.

HAVE A GREAT SUNDAY!!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Saturday morning

I'm gay, so of course, I don't understand this video.


video

Friday, April 25, 2008

just hangin'

video

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I have hope

for a realisation that hope is made of having choices versus the days when I had run out of choices

to welcome a newly sober blogger, Sober Alcoholic Soldier

for a break (maybe) from the chaos in my life that has defined my waking hours over the past 2 or 3 weeks

for a firm offer and agreed upon sales price for my current townhouse; we're due to close at the end of May

that Hayden got home safely (a 6-hour flight)

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless."
-- Mother Teresa

Thursday, April 24, 2008

(very) slow progress



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my Mom continues to hang in there, although she rarely seems to recognize me anymore

for problems and the challenges they bring forth to make life interesting

for solutions to those problems

that my low self-esteem issues have been at the forefront lately, forcing me to confront them

that I thought I grew up in a very normal home as a child;
I suppose I did compared to many others

WORRY/FEAR

"Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do."
-- Pope John XXIII

"The fear is worse than the pain."
-- Shannon Bahr

"Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold."
-- Helen Keller

"Anything I've ever done that ultimately was worthwhile initially scared me to death."
-- Betty Bender


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

a man of few words (today)



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I woke up sober this morning, just like the past 1691 days

for a wonderful tool box meeting

that the Astros' bats seem to be coming alive

that we have received an offer (very fair) on our townhouse and have made a counter-offer

To fulfill a dream, to be allowed to sweat over lonely labor, to be given the chance to create, is the meat and potatoes of life.
-Bette Davis

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

back in the saddle

I am not attempting ot make any type of political statement or judgement by using this cartoon. It is meant solely for humorous purposes. If you are offended, talk to your sponsor or psychiatrist.


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful


that I'm just another Bozo on the bus

that a blogger friend is back after doing more research

for further proof that when I am able to just let things go, life is so much easier

that I rarely ponder longer than necessary over decisions that have to be made

that I can share my Astros tickets with others

"It seems to me that it's actually harder to invent excuses than it is to be successful."
-- Jeffrey Gitomer

"Don’t be content with doing only you duty. Do more than you duty. It’s the horse that finishes a neck ahead that wins the race."
-- Andrew Carnegie

Monday, April 21, 2008

starting a new week...

A walker noticed an old lady sitting on her front step, so he walked up to her and
said, "I couldn't help noticing how happy you look! What is your secret?"

"I smoke ten cigars a day," she said. "Before I go to bed, I smoke a nice big joint. Apart from that, I drink a whole bottle of Jack Daniels every week, and eat only junk food. On week-ends, I pop pills, get laid, and do no other exercise at all."
"That is absolutely amazing! How old are you?"
"Twenty-four," she replied.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a good meeting on relapse; the thought came to me that my recovery is NOT dependent on your sobriety. Comments??

that I survived another day of living inside of my head; it can be a very nasty place

that PJ (It's a Girl Thing) celebrated her One Year AAniversary 8 days ago. I was a bit slow in realizing it. Better late than never.

for the honesty I find so plentiful in recovery;
drop by and visit An Alcoholic's Story.

for progress, here and there

that MC changed her blog-name to One Sober Alcoholic
(I'm not sure why I'm grateful for this, but let's act as if, eh?)


Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.
-Anais Nin

Sunday, April 20, 2008

on this Sunday

I read this the other day and really liked it. Just passing it along...

I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.


Now, for the important stuff ---


video

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Older than dirt

How many do you remember?

Head lights dimmer switches on the floor.
Ignition switches on the dashboard.
Heaters mounted on the inside of the fire wall.
Real ice boxes.
Pant leg clips for bicycles without chain guards.
Soldering irons you heat on a gas burner.
Using hand signals for cars without turn signals.


Older Than Dirt Quiz:

Count all the ones that you remember, NOT the ones you were told about! Your ratings at the bottom.

1. Blackjack chewing gum

2. Wax Coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water

3. Candy cigarettes

4. Soda pop machines that dispensed glass bottles

5. Coffee shops or diners with tableside juke boxes

6. Home milk delivery in glass bottles with cardboard stoppers

7. Party lines

8. Newsreels before the movie

9. P.F. Flyers

10. Butch wax

11. Telephone numbers with a word prefix (OLive-6933)

12. Peashooters

13. Howdy Doody

14. 78 & 45 RPM records

15. S&H Green Stamps

16. Hi-fi's

17. Metal ice trays with lever

18. Mimeograph paper

19. Blue flashbulb

20. Packards

21. Roller skate keys

22. Cork popguns

23. Drive-ins

24. Studebakers

25. Wash tub wringers

If you remembered 0-5 = You're still young
If you remembered 6-10 = You are getting older
If you remembered 11-15 = Don't tell your age
If you remembered 16-25 = You're older than dirt!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Being me


Try THIS marketing test.


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for an interesting meeting yesterday about forgiveness -- I have a different perspective than most people (apparently). Since getting sober, my feeling is that the concept of forgiveness allows me to play God, doling it out at my discretion. ie: you deserve to be forgiven, so here ya go. OR -- you don't deserve it, so I won't forgive you. You've been too naughty. So, I just live as though everyone is trying to do their best and it's not up to me to play God.
Comments, please.

that we've had propspective buyer's looking at our house every day, although it's a real hassle keeping it this clean! LOL

for some needed rain this morning

Old age, to the unlearned, is winter; to the learned, it’s harvest time.
-Yiddish saying

Thursday, April 17, 2008

today's list




todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that Kenny -- RECOVERY ROAD - celebrated his 4th year of sobriety yesterday. I had the fortunate opportunity to meet Kenny last July while I was in London. We met at a pub, of course.

that I had the opportunity to chair a meeting yesterday in which I read aloud There Comes a Time. This writing is about a fellow AA members' spiritual awakening. You can link to it by clicking on the title above and it is also linked on my sidebar. I think it's one of the most powerful writings I have read (yet) about recovery from this addictive disease.

that I rarely try to fool any of the people any of the time any more

that today is National blah blah blah Day. (click for more info)
Celebrate accordingly.

that Hayden and I are continuing to pick out stuff for the new house. Yesterday we picked the bathroom and kitchen fixtures. Today is supposed to be light fixtures and ceiling fans. We'll see.


Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you’d have preferred to talk.
-Doug Larson

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I'm not the lush I used to be



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for constant, conscious effort to practice Step 12; it goes against all my instincts

that I don't regret my past nor do I wish to shut the door on it

that my experiences, before and since sobriety, can be of help to another

for a really beautiful day in Houston, weather-wise and life-wise

that I have always been a very responsible person; Syd mentioned this yesterday and I certainly identified with it (check out his list of characteristics)

"Accept the challenges, so that you may feel the exhilaration of victory."
-- General George S. Patton

"Winners are people with a definite purpose in life."
-- Denis Waitley

"It seems to me that it's actually harder to invent excuses than it is to be successful."
-- Jeffrey Gitomer

"Don’t be content with doing only you duty. Do more than you duty. It’s the horse that finishes a neck ahead that wins the race."
-- Andrew Carnegie

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

as it is now ...



todAAy i Am grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my playing field is more level than it used to be

that I went to a meeting I have not attended in a couple of years; a Beginner's Meeting, although there were many people there with more years of sobriety than I

that it's getting easier for me to accept people as they are

that my mortgage broker and I ironed out an acceptable deal

Too many people spend money they haven't earned to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like.
-Will Rogers

Monday, April 14, 2008

back to ...


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a good reminder that I probably won't fall off the edge if I stay in the middle

that I attended a workshop @ Lambda about Living Sober: Avoiding Relapse. It was presented well and followed by a great BBQ dinner. The dinner was followed by 3 speakers; with 29, 32 and 32 years of sobriety, respectively.

for a peaceful and non-busy weekend; I needed the break

that I am back to normal computing power

for Houston weather in April

Never stand begging for that which you have the power to earn.
-Miguel de Cervantes

*** make sure to check out the video below


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Check this out

video

a legal perspective

A lawyer purchased a box of very rare and expensive cigars, then insured them against, among other things, fire. Within a month, having smoked his entire stockpile of these great cigars and without yet having made even his first premium payment on the policy the lawyer filed a claim against the insurance company. In his claim, the lawyer stated the cigars were lost "in a series of small fires."

The insurance company refused to pay, citing the obvious reason, that the man had consumed the cigars in the normal fashion. The lawyer sued ...... and WON!

Delivering the ruling, the judge agreed with the insurance company that the claim was frivolous. The judge stated nevertheless, that the lawyer held a policy from the company, which it had warranted that the cigars were insurable and also guaranteed that it would insure them against fire, without defining what is considered to be "unacceptable fire" and was obligated to pay the claim.

Rather than endure lengthy and costly appeal process, the insurance company accepted the ruling and paid $15,000 to the lawyer for his loss of the cigars lost in the "fires".

NOW FOR THE BEST PART...

After the lawyer cashed the cheque, the insurance company had him arrested on 24 counts of ARSON!!! With his own insurance claim and testimony from the previous case being used against him, the lawyer was convicted of intentionally burning his insured property and was sentenced to 24 months in jail and a $24,000 fine.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Friday, April 11, 2008

Happy Birthday, Lambda Center


This weekend, Lambda Center, here in Houston, celebrates its 30th year of operation. It's a big deal because hundreds of lives have been saved here, including yours truly. It's a big deal because this building is wholly supported by contributions from alcoholics and drug addicts. Today's operating costs often exceed $9000 per month. It's a big deal because there are more than 40 gay-oriented AA, Al-Anon and CMA meetings each week. And it's a big deal because it may be the finest such facility in the world. If you're in town tomorrow, please join us from 4pm -9pm.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the gifts of being present

for an extremely busy, yet peaceful week

for a really nice day, mostly spent with my better other half

I am using my second new computer this week. I only got it partially configured last night and don't yet have my old files and folders loaded. This one has sound and everything else a young woman older guy wants to have.

Imagination is the highest kite one can fly.
-Lauren Bacall

Thursday, April 10, 2008

for eyes only


video

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I got to hear a sponsee tell his story (the very short version) yesterday

for the miracles I see and feel each day

for necessary reminders that my sobriety and happiness are not dependent upon another human being

that I have no plans to travel via air any time in the near future -- what a mess!

that my internet problem is fixed but now my new computer has no sound -- at all! If it ain't one thing ...

for my high-class problems LOL

Service is the rent you pay for room on this planet.
-Shirley Chisholm

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

in the middle



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the gorgeous weather in Houston this time of year

that I am sober and aware of my environment

that my sponsor and I went to the Astros game last night; we lost

that the papers are all signed and the tiles, colors and countertops are all decided upon at our new home; completion date set for late May

*** I'm still having major problems with my internet connection. I can't open my email for the past 2 days and it's really stacking up.

There is nothing better than the encouragement of a good friend.
-Katharine Butler Hathaway

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

blackouts



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that we read "Jim's Story" this morning at the 6:30am meeting; it reminded me of my many years of blackout drinking

that I have a choice - I can either change my attitude OR I can change my sobriety date

I have internet problems, so this is it for today.


TIME MANAGEMENT

"Time has a way of getting away from us, because we never have a grip on it during the day…"
-- Doug Firebaugh

"Learn to use ten minutes intelligently. It will pay you huge dividends."
-- William A. Irwin

"Lost time is never found again."
-- Benjamin Franklin

"Don’t mistake movement for achievement. It’s easy to get faked out by being busy. The questions is: Busy doing what?"
-- Jim Rohn

Monday, April 07, 2008

Onward



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that there is a solution to every problem

that the light at the end of the tunnel is rarely an oncoming train

that it's BILL'S first sober birthday -- Yeaaaa!!! Bill !!

that I too got a new computer but it's not as pretty as MC's;
it's a Sony AR730 laptop and it's sooooooooooooooo fast!

that The Astros begin their 81-game home season tonight here in Houston. I am fortunate enough to have tickets to 27 games this season. I will be forcing Scott W to attend a game this year, even if his hands have to be tied behind his back.

"Few things help an individual more than to place responsibility upon him, and to let him know that you trust him."
-- Booker T. Washington

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Time rarely stands still

THE LAW OF FORCED EFFICIENCY

by Brian Tracy

This law says that, "There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important thing."

You Always Find the Time:
When you run out of time and the consequences for non-completion of a key task or project can be really serious, you always seem to find the time to get it done, often at the very last minute. You start early, you stay late and you drive yourself to complete the job rather than to face the negative consequences that would follow if you didn't get it completed within the time limit. Rule: "There will never be enough time to do everything you have to do."

You Are Already Overwhelmed:
The fact is that the average person today is working at close to 100% of their capacity. And the jobs and responsibilities just keep piling up. Everyone has stacks of reading material they still have to go through. One study concluded recently that the average executive has 300-400 hours of reading and projects backlogged at home and at the office. What this means is that you will never be caught up. Get that out of your mind. All you can hope for is to be on top of your most important responsibilities. The others will just have to wait.

On another note:
I hated to hear this morning of the death of Charlton Heston. Click here for more info.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Saturday morning


video

Have you ever wondered where the phrase,
"You Gotta Be Shittin' Me," came from?

Well, it just so happens to have originated through the Father of Our Country, way back when George Washington was crossing the Delaware River with his troops. There were 33 (remember this number) in Washington's boat. It was extremely dark and storming furiously and the water was tossing them about. Finally, Washington grabbed Corporal Peters (remember this name) and stationed him at the front of the boat with a lantern. He ordered him to keep swinging it, so they could see where they were heading.

Corporal Peters, through driving rain and cold, continued swinging the lantern back and forth, back and forth. Then a big gust of wind and a wave hit and threw Corporal Peters and his lantern into the Delaware. Washington and his troops searched for nearly an hour trying to find Corporal Peters, but to no avail. All of them felt terrible, for the Corporal had been one of their favorites. Sometime later, Washington and his troops landed on the other side, wet and totally exhausted. He rallied the troops and told them that they must go on. Another hour later, one of his men said, "General, I see lights ahead."

They trudged toward the lights and came upon a huge house. What they didn't know, was that this was a house of ill repute hidden in the forest to serve all who came. General Washington pounded on the door, his men crowding around him. The door swung open, and much to his surprise there stood a beautiful woman. A huge smile came across her face, to see so many men standing there.

Washington was the first to speak, "Madam, I am General George Washington and these are my men. We are tired, wet, exhausted, and desperately need warmth and comfort."

Again, the Madam looked at all the men standing there, and with a broad smile on her face, said, "Well, General, you have come to the right place. We can surely give you warmth and comfort. How many men do you have?"

Washington replied, "Well, Madam, there are 32 of us without Peters."

And the Madam said, "You gotta be shittin' me."

Friday, April 04, 2008

It's Friday, for what that's worth.



This has been one of my toughest weeks in dealing with life since I got sober in 2003. I suppose I could find all kinds of reasons, but they would sound more like excuses. It probably boils down to my fear of this huge mortgage hanging over my head. I need to get used to it.
However ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I haven't had a thought about drinking

for overwhelming proof that I have a mental disease

that I know it will all pass, eventually

to be aware of how much I dislike confrontations

that today is 3-meeting Friday for me (3 AA meetings by 1pm)

that our townhouse officially went on the market yesterday; I think it's on 3 local real estate websites. We had several inquiries during the afternoon just from passersby, so that's encouraging.

Kindness makes a fellow feel good, whether it’s being done to him or by him.
-Frank A. Clark



Thursday, April 03, 2008

have a seat; take a load off ...


I really don't have much to say, but ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I am healthy

for the chance to be better than I was yesterday (that won't take much effort)

that I have the opportunity to learn from my mistakes

that I've always been one of the luckiest people in the world -- I know this from my many years of travel to places that many of you have never heard of.

that our money negotiations should conclude today regarding the new townhouse; I'll let you know more tomorrow

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

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

parenthetical

video

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my stress-level shall pass (I have too much on my plate, but I put it all there, so I can't blame anyone [damnit!]). I am aware that stress is a product of my reaction to circumstances, not the circumstances themselves. Yeah, yeah.

that even though I've been a bit short-tempered the past few days, the world has continued to revolve (fortunately)

that I can at least be aware that I no longer have a consistent ability to multi-task (it used to be a specialty but I think I destroyed all the necessary brain cells)

for my remaining brain cell and my intention to protect it (whatever it takes)

that I woke up sober (again)

"Always demanding the best of oneself, living with honor, devoting one’s talents and gifts to the benefits of others - these are the measures of success that endure when material things have passed away."
-- Gerald Ford

"Success is doing your own thing, for the benefit of others."
-- Denis Waitley

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

No fool here (at least not today)



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

I am pressed for time again today, so let's keep this short...

for an extremely busy, but peaceful day where I did not get overwhelmed

that my CPA will visit me today and we will review and discuss taxes and then I'll hand over hundreds of pages of papers for him to make sense of

that if the financial negotiations are successful today, we'll have the opportunity to choose our new homes' interior; wall textures, colors, fixtures, tiles etc...). We're even moving a couple of walls around and adding a balcony.

"In the Midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you."
-- Deepak Chopra

"If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment."
-- Marcus Aurelius

"I am more and more convinced that our happiness or our unhappiness depends far more on the way we meet the events of life than on the nature of those events themselves."
-- Karl Wilhelm Von Humboldt

"Stress comes from within; it is your reaction to circumstances, not the circumstances themselves."
-- Brian Tracy