Thursday, July 31, 2008

short, but sober



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful


for a great meeting topic about self-importance

that nothing has happened since I've been sober that I've been able to use as an excuse to drink alcohol

that it took a while, but I found someone to go to the baseball game with me last night

When you dig another out of their troubles, you find a place to bury your own.
-Anonymous

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

WED


the Jacuzzi




todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that yesterday was a day for dAAve -- I had a 1 1/2 hour workout at the gym with my trainer, I had a session with my shrink and I attended 2 AA meetings. Physical, Mental and Spiritual healing.

for the return of a friend to the rooms of AA; he's been out for the past 7 months with short stays in jail and a psych ward. I think he's afraid of the next stop if he doesn't get sober.

that I never was hospitalized for my alcoholism; I compromised instead and went to an AA meeting
for stupid jokes

EXCELLENCE

"The noblest search is the search for excellence."
-- Lyndon B. Johnson

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but rather we have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit."
-- Aristotle

"Excellence is a better teacher than mediocrity. The lessons of the ordinary are everywhere. Truly profound and original insights are to be found only in studying the exemplary."
-- Warren G. Bennis

"Do what you love, love what you do, and deliver more than you promise."
– Harvey Mackay



Tuesday, July 29, 2008

another day in the neighborhood






a few exterior pictures of the new house

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for those who came before me

and for those who have come after me

that I have been willing to take most of my sponsor's suggestions

for the internet and the way it's made the world smaller and closer

that Mom made it through another day, although I'm not sure why (yet)

Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies within us while we live.
-Norman Cousins




Monday, July 28, 2008

Focus on today


click on the picture to enlarge it


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for all the recovering humans who celebrated sober anniversaries on Saturday night -- 29 friends and acquaintances with 356 total sober years

that today, I choose to live as a sober man who has been given a second opportunity to be a useful human being

that I could tell my Mom to just let go, that it is time to just let go and there's no reason to hang on any longer

that I saw my nephew at the nursing home yesterday; he rarely goes to visit his grandmother, although, now he smells some $$$$ coming his way (am I cynical?)

that I've been able to share on a group level about making the decision to end my Mom's life

for all those recovering friends who have made the same (life and death) decisions before me

The beginning is the most important part of any work.
-Plato

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Big snake

Big snake. Be careful.


video

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Saturday morning

video
We are all so fortunate that a citizen was handy with his/her video camera.

Friday, July 25, 2008

potpourii


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the importance of Step 8 of Alcoholics anonymous. Becoming willing to make amends to everyone I've done wrong -- well, that seemed like an impossibility.

that I forgive myself for my character defects

for all the lovely comments and emails from you guys regarding my Mom. It helps to know that I am not alone on this. The numbers of people who have made these same decisions is amazing.

for the great bed we were able to buy. It's a king-size canopy bed. I've never had anything like this before. Pix coming soon. I promise.


ENTHUSIASM

"The key that unlocks energy is desire. It's also the key to a long and interesting life. If we expect to create any drive, any real force within ourselves, we have to get excited."
-- Earl Nightingale

"Enthusiastic people experience life from the inside out."
-- Nido Qubein

"I prefer the errors of enthusiasm to the indifference of wisdom."
-- Anatole France

"I can’t imagine a person becoming a success who doesn’t give this game of life everything he’s got."
-- Walter Cronkite

Thursday, July 24, 2008

a no-brainer

Have you been everywhere? Not if you haven't been to Texas. LOL

CLICK HERE for a little tour.


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for another day of sober experience

for another day of opportunities in front of me

for the strength afforded me yesterday during a requested visit to my Mom's hospice. Her condition has deteriorated to the point that I had to make a decision for her future. I have that responsibility legally. Her digestive system has shut down and her skin is near that point. She has terrible pressure ulcers that will only get worse. Her heart condition and diabetes complicate her condition. With the full approval of my sister, we decided to pull the plug on all of her life support systems. She will die in the next few days and everything will be done to keep her out of pain. I know without a doubt that this is what she would want me to do. We discussed it in the past. I'll keep you posted.

A pleasure is not full grown until it is remembered.
-C.S. Lewis


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Experience



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I can learn so much from others -- just by observing them

for the memories of the years I worked offshore on seismic boats (1981-1984)

that I like to be productive

for a good meeting with my new therapist

CLICK HERE if you want to vote for Mr Sao Paulo (Brasil).

Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.
-Auguste Rodin


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

to the point

Here's a quick little test to see how long you're gonna live. Let me know if it is wrong.

Click Here



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for this journey and everything I experience along the way

Your children need your presence more than your presents.
-Jesse Jackson

Monday, July 21, 2008

another new week






todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I got to hear Laurel K. relate her story of what it was like, what happened and what it's like now

for a guy who walked into Lambda Center a year ago for the first time. He has attended the 6:30am AA meeting faithfully since. Yesterday, he celebrated 365 consecutive days without any alcohol or illegal drugs. I am honored to be a part of the program that shows us how to do this thing.

that Mary Christine is OK after a serious auto accident

for our new home. There are still some bugs to be fixed, but overall, it's just right.

that I am putting together a store-bought garage wall system, one piece at a time. For me, each piece takes hours and so far, I haven't gotten too frustrated.

I am a great believer in luck. The harder I work the more of it I seem to have.
-Coleman Cox


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Early preamble

A friend emailed this to me. I am not sure if it was actually used in meetings or written by Bill W, but I find it interesting.



AA Old Preamble - 1940

We are gathered here because we are faced with the fact that we are powerless over alcohol and unable to do anything about it without the help of a Power greater than ourselves.

We feel that each person's religious views, if any, are his own affair. The simple purpose of the program of Alcoholics Anonymous is to show what may be done to enlist the aid of a Power greater than ourselves regardless of what our individual conception of that Power may be.

In order to form a habit of depending upon and referring all we do to that Power, we must at first apply ourselves with some diligence. By often repeating these acts, they become habitual and the help rendered becomes natural to us.

We have all come to know that as alcoholics we are suffering from a serious illness for which medicine has no cure.

Our condition may be the result of an allergy which makes us different from other people. It has never been by any treatment with which we are familiar, permanently cured. The only relief we have to offer is absolute abstinence, the second meaning of A.A.

There are no dues or fees. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. Each member squares his debt by helping others to recover.

An Alcoholics Anonymous is an alcoholic who through application and adherence to the A.A. program has forsworn the use of any and all alcoholic beverage in any form.

The moment he takes so much as one drop of beer, wine, spirits or any other alcoholic beverage he automatically loses all status as a member of Alcoholics Anonymous.

A.A. is not interested in sobering up drunks who are not sincere in their desire to remain sober for all time. Not being reformers, we offer our experience only to those who want it.

We have a way out on which we can absolutely agree and on which we can join in harmonious action. Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our program. Those who do not recover are people who will not or simply cannot give themselves to this simple program. Now you may like this program or you may not, but the fact remains, it works. It is our only chance to recover.

There is a vast amount of fun in the A.A. fellowship. Some people might be shocked at our seeming worldliness and levity but just underneath there lies a deadly earnestness and a full realization that we must put first things first and with each of us the first thing is our alcoholic problem. To drink is to die. Faith must work twenty-four hours a day in and through us or we perish.

In order to set our tone for this meeting I ask that we bow our heads in a few moments of silent prayer and meditation. I wish to remind you that whatever is said at this meeting expresses our own individual opinion as of today and as of up to this moment.

We do not speak for A.A. as a whole and you are free to agree or disagree as you see fit, in fact, it is suggested that you pay no attention to anything which might not be reconciled with what is in the A.A. Big Book.

If you don't have a Big Book, it's time you bought you one.
Read it, study it, live with it, loan it, scatter it, and then learn from it what it means to be an A.A.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

a video and a joke

I won't even comment on these guys.

video


Siamese twins walk into a pub in Ontario and park themselves on a bar stool.
One of them says to the bartender, 'Don't mind us, we're joined at the hip. I'm John, he's Jim. Two Molson Canadian beers, draft please'.

The bartender, feeling slightly awkward, tries to make polite conversation while pouring the beers. 'Been on holiday yet, lads?''

"Off to England next month,' says John. 'We go to England every year and hire a car and drive for miles, don't we, Jim?' Jim agrees.

'Ah, England!' says the bartender. 'Wonderful country...the history, the beer, the culture''

"Nah, we don't like that British junk,' says John. 'Hamburgers & Molsons beer, that's us, eh Jim?And we can't stand the English - they're so arrogant and rude.''

"So why keep going to England ?" asks the bartender.

'It's the only chance Jim gets to drive.'

Friday, July 18, 2008

end 'o the week

video

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that when called on to share in a meeting yesterday, I had nothing to say and didn't attempt to make anything up LOL

that I remember my first drink at age 16 (Schlitz beer) and my last drink at age 49 (Busch Light)

that I am a law abiding citizen (almost all the time)

for a lifetime of stay-busy projects with my new home

It’s the things in common that make relationships enjoyable, but it’s the little differences that make them interesting.
-Todd Ruthman

Thursday, July 17, 2008

occasional italics

I rear-ended a car this morning.
So, there we were alongside the road and slowly the other driver got out of his car.


You know how sometimes you just get soooo stressed and little things just seem funny?

Yeah, well I couldn't believe it.... he was a dwarf!
He stormed over to my car, looked up at me, and shouted, 'I AM NOT HAPPY!!!'

So, I looked down at him and said, 'Well, then which one are you?'

note: no, I didn't have an accident; this was a joke


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the small-ish group of regulars who attend the 6:30am AA meeting at Lambda; we have become very close

that I'll never be a saint (not by any stretch of the imagination)

that my ego is not so large that I think I can speak for you; I was watching a man on the "news" who was talking about how Americans feel this and feel that, would never do this or do that, etc...
Who the hell does he think he is?

that our TV's are all connected now and the broadband is operating smoothly; I was having to take my laptop to Lambda and Starbucks to get online


Values are like fingerprints. Nobody's are the same, but you leave 'em all over everything you do.
-Elvis Presley

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

mid week




todAAy AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for Bill W and Dr Bob

that progress will never make perfection

for a good meeting with my new therapist (shrink, psychiatrist, etc...)

that an acquaintance (a waiter at a restaurant I frequent) asked me why I still go to AA meetings since I've been sober for 4+ years and I had a sober response; frankly, if I didn't still go to meetings I would not have been eating in his restaurant (LOL)

A superior person brings out the best in others.
-Chinese Proverb

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

all moved in

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the 6:30am AA meeting I attend (almost) every day; sometimes,especially lately, it's the only chance I have to make a meeting on a daily basis

that there's a light at the end of the utnnel and it ain't a train coming my way

for my own set of values and principles

that I recognize that I still have a lot of work to do on following my boundaries

that all the furniture is moved in and in place but I dread having to empty all the boxes looking at me

I gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which I must stop and look fear in the face...I say to myself, I’ve lived through this and can take the next thing that comes along.
-Eleanor Roosevelt

Monday, July 14, 2008

No Bull (please)



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for my Mom and everything she has meant to me - so far

for an 11th Step meeting yesterday that did me some good

for the hugely successful fundraising dinner & AA play we had at Lambda Center on Saturday -- as par tof the organizing committee, I happen to know that we expected about 40-50 for the dinner and maybe 80 for the play -- instead we had over 80 for the dinner and 130-ish for the play and we raised about $2400 for Lambda

that my 3 cats are enjoying their new home

that today is moving day -- all my old stuff is arriving from 6 weeks storage

Often God has to shut a door in our face so that He can subsequently open the door through which He wants us to go.
-Catherine Marshall


Sunday, July 13, 2008

It's great to be a dog

I found this discarded letter, written to God, by a dog.



Dear God,

Let me give you a list of just some of the things I must remember to be a good dog.



1. I will not eat the cats food before they eat it or after they throw it up.

2. I will not roll on dead seagulls, fish, crabs, etc., just because I like the way they smell.

3. The Litter Box is not a cookie jar.

4. The sofa is not a 'face towel'.

5. The garbage collector is not stealing our stuff.

6 I will not play tug-of-war with Dad's underwear when he's on the toilet.

7. Sticking my nose into someone's crotch is an unacceptable way of saying 'hello'.

8. I don't need to suddenly stand straight up when I'm under the coffee table.

9. I must shake the rainwater out of my fur before entering the house - not after.

10. I will not come in from outside and immediately drag my butt.

11. I will not sit in the middle of the living room and lick my crotch.

12 The cat is not a 'squeaky toy' so when I play with him and he makes that noise, it's usually not a good thing.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

don't drink

After a night of drinking, Brian crept into bed beside his wife who was already asleep. He gave her a peck on the cheek and fell asleep. When he awoke he found a strange man standing at the end of his bed wearing a long flowing white robe."Who the hell are you? " demanded Brian, "and what are you doing in my bedroom?"
The mysterious man answered, "This isn't your bedroom, and I'm St Peter".
Brian was stunned."You mean I'm dead? That can't be, I have so much to live for, I haven't said goodbye to my family.... you've got to send me back straightaway."
St Peter replied, "Yes, you can be reincarnated, but there is a catch! . We can only send you back as a dog or a hen."
Brian was devastated but knowing there was a farm not far from his house, he asked to be sent back as a hen. A flash of light later, he was covered in feathers and clucking around pecking the ground. "This isn't so bad," he thought until he felt this strange feeling welling upinside him. The farmyard rooster strolled over and said, "So you're the new hen. How are you enjoying your first day here?"
"It's not so bad, "replied Brian, "but I have this strange feeling inside like I'm about to explode."
"You're ovulating," explained the rooster, "don't tell me you've never laid an egg before."
"Never," replied Brian.
"Well, just relax and let it happen."
And so he did, and after a few uncomfortable seconds later, an egg popped out from under his tail. An immense feeling of relief swept over him and his emotions got the better of him as he experienced motherhood for the first time. When he laid his second egg, the feeling of happiness was overwhelming and he knew that being reincarnated as a hen was the best thing that had happened to him...ever!! ! The joy kept coming, and as he was just about to lay his third egg, he felt an enormous smack on the back of his head and heard his wife shouting,
"Brian! Wake up, you drunken bastard, you're shitting in the bed."

Friday, July 11, 2008

Finally, ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the 7th step of AA

that I have a Higher Power to help me through the rest of my life

that Mary Christine introduced us to Steve E yesterday. Drop by and say howdy.

that Hayden and I are the new owners of a very nice home in the most eclectic part of the 4th largest city in the United States. This is the most recent picture I have. There's a wrought iron railing now on the 2nd floor in front of the doors.

that although we had a somewhat difficult time in closing yesterday, I made it through without losing my temper (not even a little bit). Our builder and his agent decided to wait until closing to present us with over $14K worth of surprises. More than two hours of negotiations ensued, after which we were satisfied with the outcome. These matters should have been brought to our attention long before the closing date.

for Hayden and his no-nonsense negotiating skills

Aim for the moon...even if you miss you'll land amongst the stars.
-Unknown

Thursday, July 10, 2008

take 2




todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for people with integrity

for the concept of keeping my mouth shut more often than it used to be, although I still have a lot of work to do on this

that I've got it so good all the time and can remember that fact most of the time

that I find most commitments pretty damn easy to keep

that we get another opportunity to close on the house today; a paperwork technicality derailed the closing yesterday

DESIRE/MOTIVATION

"We are told that talent creates its own opportunities. But it sometimes seems that intense desire creates not only its own opportunities, but its own talents."
-- Eric Hoffer

"A man must be obedient to the promptings of his innermost heart."
-- Robertson Davies

"The starting point of all achievement is desire. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desire brings weak results, just as a small amount of fire makes a small amount of heat."
-- Napoleon Hill

"The significance of a man is not in what he attains, but rather what he longs to attain."
-- Khalil Gibran

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

It's about time!




todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I'm accountable and do my best to not make excuses for my bad behavior

for the fellowship I find in AA and Lambda Center

that my anxiety level is managed by medication

that we are finally scheduled to close on the new house TODAY!!

that I have almost enough patience to deal with utility companies

The really happy man is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.
Anonymous


Tuesday, July 08, 2008

just for today ...




todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the possibilities in self-improvement that Step 6 offers me

that lying never got me anywhere except in trouble

that a new friend made it back after a 1 day slip





COURAGE


"All our dreams can come true - if we have the courage to pursue them."
- Walt Disney

"Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees all others."
-- Sir Winston Churchill

"If there is one thing upon this earth that mankind love and admire better than another, it is a brave man, -- it is the man who dares to look the devil in the face and tell him he is a devil."
-- James A. Garfield

"Courage is the thing. All goes if courage goes."
-- J.M. Barrie

Monday, July 07, 2008

a new Freedom




todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the freedoms I possess when I abstain from alcohol

that I never have to cry in my beer (again)

that a few people are willing to share personal experiences with me

for an almost uncanny ability to let it go

that Melody J. celebrated 4 years of sobriety yesterday

that I tested my new Jacuzzi and it works just fine; we hope to close on the house later this week

Courage is not the towering oak that sees storms come and go; it is the fragile blossom that opens in the snow.
-Alice Mackenzie Swaim

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Presence of Mind

AUSTRALIAN BRICKLAYER'S ACCIDENT REPORT

Dear Sir,

I am writing in response to your request for additional information in Block 3 of the accident report form. I put 'poor planning' as the cause of my accident. You asked for a fuller explanation and I trust the following details will be sufficient.

I am a bricklayer by trade. On the day of the accident, I was working alone on the roof of a new six-story building. When I completed my work, I found that I had some bricks left over which, when weighed later were found to be slightly in excess of 500 lbs. Rather than carry the bricks down by hand, I decided to lower them in a barrel by using a pulley, which was attached to the side of the building on the sixth floor. Securing the rope at the ground, I went up to the roof, swung the barrel out and loaded the bricks into it. Then I went down and untied the rope, holding it tightly to ensure a slow descent of the bricks. You will note in Block 11 of the accident report form that I weigh 135 lbs. Due to my surprise at being jerked off the ground so suddenly, I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope. Needless to say, I proceeded at a rapid rate up the side of the building. In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel, proceeding downward at an equally impressive speed. This explained the fractured skull, minor abrasions and the broken collar bone, as listed in section 3 of the accident report form. Slowed only slightly, I continued my rapid ascent, not stopping until the fingers of my right hand were two knuckles deep into the pulley. Fortunately by this time I had regained my presence of mind and was able to hold tightly to the rope, in spite of beginning to experience pain. At approximately the same time however, the barrel of bricks hit the ground and the bottom fell out of the barrel. Now devoid of the weight of the bricks, that barrel now weighed approximately 50 lbs. I refer you again to my weight. As you can imagine, I began a rapid descent, down the side of the building. In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel coming up. This accounts for the two fractured ankles, broken tooth and several lacerations of my legs and lower body. Here my luck began to change slightly. The encounter with the barrel seemed to slow me enough to lessen my injuries when I fell into the pile of bricks and fortunately only three vertebrae were cracked. I am sorry to report, however, as I lay there on the pile of bricks in pain, unable to move, I again lost my composure and presence of mind and let go of the rope. I lay there watching the empty barrel begin its journey back down onto me. This explains the two broken legs.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

sqeeze play

After watching this, I imagine you'll want to move to China.

Maybe it's a promotional video for the upcoming Olympics.

video

Friday, July 04, 2008

Independence



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that we are a free country, no matter what the media tries to tell us

that in my recovery, I've learned to merge my need for independence with my need to be a part of society

for a really interesting meeting yesterday where we discussed the concept of humility; something I am only now beginning to grab hold of

that our house is just about finished, mainly some touch up work to do

that I have no desire to whoop it up for the holiday weekend

that I got my '67 T-bird out of the shop for the weekend -- they still have work to do on the air conditioner, but I will suffer without it for a few days

A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken.
-James Dent

Thursday, July 03, 2008

better late than ...



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for another good day yesterday; my mind is healing

that I know most of my limitations and don't try to over-do myself (any more)

to be reminded that other people should not be able to steal my emotions or feelings

that I'm happy to just stay at home, most of the time (back when I had a home to stay home in)

that I over-slept this morning -- it's very rare for me

Don't prepare the path for the child, prepare the child for the path.
-anonymous


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

inch by inch



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for all of your nice comments, thanks

that with all the things going on in my life, my recovery remains paramount

for the strong foundation my sponsor helped me build

for Lexapro, the medication I have now resumed taking (as prescribed)

that we had a day full of full attention to the finishing touches on the new house - still a week or so remaining, however.

Show me the man you honor, and I will know what kind of man you are.
-Thomas Carlyle

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The wisdom to know the difference



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the years my father gave my Mom and sister and myself -- he was killed last night in a car accident. He and I have been estranged for the past 28 years, although I made my Step 9 amends to him 4 years ago. I shed no tears for the man who abandoned his family so he could begin a new life with a much, much younger woman. I certainly don't ask for your sympathy but a prayer may be in order for those who loved him.

that I began therapy sessions with a new psychiatrist (new to me) yesterday; I need some serious talking time with the (self-induced) stress I'm experiencing.

that I haven't even had a thought about drinking alcohol during this difficult time for me (it has nothing to do with my father). I'm going through some other things that I prefer not to put out on the internet.

that my relatively short time sober and in recovery has taught me that This Too Shall Pass

Kindness has converted more sinners than zeal, eloquence, or learning.
-Frederick W. Faber