Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Acceptance is the answer




todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the incredibly beautiful weather these past few days (since the hurricane)

that I attended a lot of meetings lately centered around ACCEPTANCE. Fortunately.
So, without further adieu ...

And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation -- some fact of my life -- unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God's world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life's terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes.
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th edition, page 417

'nuff said

Laughter is inner jogging.
-Norman Cousins


Monday, September 29, 2008

It's Monday (again)


a little fountain in the backyard; it just bubbles and bubbles all day and night


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that today is Boston's 3rd AA birthday; she's really a miracle, y'all

that I can appreciate being bored, or as many might call it, serene

that I got to celebrate my 5th AA anniversary at Lambda on Saturday along with 27 others

that I've been able to help a friend quit smoking, simply by suggesting the book I read. A book that Scott W suggested I read 2 years ago.

for dinner with Scott W (Attitude of Gratitude) and Zane (Zanejabbers)

Todd (Postcards From Hells Kitchen) asked the age-old question, "Where does time go?"
Any answers??

“Stay” is a charming word in a friend’s vocabulary.
-Louisa May Alcott

Sunday, September 28, 2008

TV Facts

Things you would never know without TV...

Large, loft-style apartments in New York City are well within the price range of most people - whether they are employed or not.

When you turn out the light to go to bed, everything in your bedroom will still be clearly visible, just slightly bluish.

If you are blonde and pretty, it is possible to become a world expert on nuclear fission at the age of 22.

Honest and hard working policemen are traditionally gunned down three days before their retirement.

At least one of a pair of identical twins is born evil.

Should you decide to defuse a bomb, don't worry which wire to cut. You will always choose the right one.

Radiation causes interesting mutations - not to your future children, but to you, right then and there.

Most laptop computers are powerful enough to override the communications system of any invading alien society.

It does not matter if you are heavily outnumbered in a fight involving martial arts - your enemies will wait patiently to attack you one by one by dancing around in a threatening manner until you have knocked out their predecessors.

Rather than wasting bullets, megalomaniacs prefer to kill their archenemies using complicated machinery involving fuses, pulley systems, deadly gasses, lasers, and man-eating sharks, all of which will allow their captives at least 20 minutes to escape.

All grocery shopping bags contain at least one stick of French bread.

It's easy for anyone to land a plane, providing there is someone in the control tower to talk you down.

Once applied, lipstick will never rub off - even while scuba diving.

When paying for a taxi, never look at your wallet as you take out a note - just grab one at random and hand it over. It will always be the exact fare.

Mothers routinely cook eggs, bacon and waffles for their family every morning, even though the husband and children never have time to eat them.

Any problem of life, no matter how complex, can be solved in 3 hours or less, but always in a period of time divisible by 30 minutes.

Cars and trucks that crash will almost always burst into flames.

A single match will be sufficient to light up a room the size of a football stadium.

If a killer is lurking in your house, it's easy to find him. Just relax and run a bath, even if it's the middle of the afternoon.

Medieval peasants had perfect teeth.

One man shooting at 20 men has a better chance of killing them all than 20 men firing at one.

Creepy music coming from a graveyard should always be closely investigated.

If a phone connection is broken, communication can be restored by frantically beating the cradle and saying, "Hello? Hello?"

Most people keep a scrapbook of newspaper cuttings - especially if any of their family or friends have died in a strange boating accident.

During a very emotional confrontation, instead of facing the person you are speaking to, it is preferable to stand behind him and talk to his back.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Hooked on phonics?


My five-year old students are learning to read.
Yesterday one of them pointed at a picture in a zoo book and said,
"Look at this! It's a frickin' elephant!"
I took a deep breath, then asked..."What did you call it?"
"It's a frickin' elephant! It says so on the picture!"
And so it does...
" A f r i c a n Elephant "

Hooked on phonics! Ain't it wonderful?

Friday, September 26, 2008

getting along







todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful


for a trouble-free day just passed

for a great 3-day weather forecast for we in Houston

that I don't have many of the answers, but I've heard a lot of the solutions

that I'm attending 3 A.A. meetings today

that H and I will soon host an openhouse and you're all invited


If you treat every situation as a life-and-death matter, you’ll die a lot of times.
-Dean Smith

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Still insane after all these years




My backyard Jacuzzi before Hurricane Ike ... and the day after.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I am accountable to those around me AND myself

for the challenges I face every day -- usually, they differ from day to day which help keeps life fresh

that those challenges offer growth

for a continuing awareness of my character defects

that I am so lucky in just about every aspect of my life

It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.
-Abraham Lincoln

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It's about time ...




todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for continuous, uninterupted sobriety

for a minor breakthrough in my thinking disorder(s); it's simply that for the past several months I have been overly defensive towards what I perceive as criticism and/or second guessing --- it has taken me about 8 months to get a handle on this, now it's time to take action, beginning with some step work with my sponsor

for outside help

that our electricity came back on at 10am yesterday after 10 days in the dark


Losers do what they want to do.
Winners do what they have to do.
~~ AA member at a meeting in Palm Springs



Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Back home

view from a Starbucks in downtown, Palm Springs, CA



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

to realize better than ever that I am not socially comfortable in large groups of strangers

that, in fact, I am a social retard (imho)

for the fine folks at the Sunny Dunes gay recovery clubhouse in Palm Springs, CA
for an acronym of gay -- God Adores You

that I am organized enough to be at airports in plenty of time


Your three best doctors are faith, time, and patience.
-From a fortune cookie


Monday, September 22, 2008

goin' home



(left) the 2008 Hot n Dry Roundup logo

(right) the pool area before the evening banquet for the 890 attendees



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful



that I'm leaving Palm Springs this morning and heading home to Houston

for the fellowship that I encounter in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous

that the closing sobriety countdown at Hot n Dry had people with sobriety ranges from 3 days to 46 years

that I watched a little bit of the celebrations at Yankee Stadium on TV. It was the last day of play there before being replaced. Its operating dates were 1923-2008. 85 years. The same dates that my Mom operated.

that it's not too late for you to sign-up as a follower of this blog -- see the right-hand sidebar at the top

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

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Hot n Dry 2008

Scott W asked for a little update on the Hot n Dry (click for info) event that I am attending this weekend. It began last Thursday and closes today at noon.

First of all, it is damn hot in the Southern California desert. I really don't care if it is a dry heat, it's friggin' hot!



There are about 890 registrants for this years' event. All males. Most (it seems) in incredible physical shape except for a few of us guys who don't spend many hours every week in the gym. Except for a couple of workshops each day, most of the events are held outdoors in the sun. They take over the Palm Springs Hilton for a week and it is exclusively used for this event. No outsiders are allowed in.

It is good recovery and the theme is WE INSIST ON ENJOYING LIFE. So there are 890 guys having a good time. On Friday, we had 3 exclusive hours at the local waterpark. Just us guys in recovery and closed to the public.


Yesterday, I watched as 2 gay couples in recovery were legally married. They were married by a local councilman. Amazing.

Then, last night we were entertained by Chelsea Handler. She was quite funny and really seemed to enjoy her audience.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Twelve Rewards

Ann C. wrote this "a number of years before" the 1985 Internation Convention in Montreal, Canada where she set it to tape at the Oldtimers Meeting.

She wrote it to show the contrast that can take place in any of our lives if we will try to follow the AA principles.



We can all have Hope, instead of desperation;

Faith, instead of despair;

Courage, instead of fear;

Peace of Mind, instead of confusion;

Self-respect, instead of self-contempt;

Self-confidence, instead of helplessness;

The respect of others, instead of their pity and contempt;

A clean conscience, instead of a sense of guilt;

Real friendships, instead of loneliness;

A clean pattern of life, instead of a purposeless existence;

the love and understanding of our families, instead of their doubts and fears;

and the freedom of a happy life, instead of the bondage of an alcoholic obsession.

All this and more through AA, are we grateful enough?
Gratitude will continue the miracle of your sobriety, I found that out.


as written by Ann C. of Niles, Ohio - sober April 1, 1948

Friday, September 19, 2008

It's very hot here






todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I've changed over the past 5 years, since I got sober

that there were about 55 guys in recovery at the 7am meeting yesterday morning here in Palm Springs; probably about 15 or so were visitors from out of town, just like us

that I'm not a newcomer to heat -- the temperature here in Palm Springs yesterday hit 100 degrees

for the entertainment provided by the Roundup committee -- last night we saw Jackie Beat, a drag artist, perform


Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records.
-William A. Ward

Thursday, September 18, 2008

a different journey




todAAy i AAM grAAteful & thAAnkful

that Rodney and I made it to Palm Springs safely and on time. I've not experienced any of the travel nightmares that I so often hear about. YET.

we attended a 5:30pm meeting at the 5th Tradition Group and are going to a 7am meeting this morning before registering for the Roundup later in the day

that this is a very "liberal minded" city (if you know what I mean)

that we're here hanging out with another Lambda friend who was here last year and thus, knows the layout of the place (there are 6 Lambda Houston associates scattered about this place)

You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.
-Unknown

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

go west, post-middle-age man




todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the opportunity to go to a convention of gay and sober alcoholics in Palm Springs, California

that this is my first time ever to travel to the west coast of the USA

that I am taking my computer with me

HUMILITY

"You can't brag that you're humble... and be humble."
-- Terry McEwen

"A great man is always willing to be little."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordy evidence of the fact."
-- George Eliot

"Humility is a virtue; timidity is a disease."
-- Jim Rohn


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I'm still powerless




todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the continuing resourcefullness of the human spirit when under trying conditions

for all of the comments from you guys these past couple of days; I loves me blogger buddies

that we've had a cool front blow through town just after a major hurricane. It's lowered temperatures to a very coimfortable level considering we have no air conditioning.

for the 1000's of individuals who have arrived in southeast Texas from other states to help reconnect electricity and provide additional services

that Rodney and I are off to California tomorrow morning for the AA Roundup (convention). I may or may not take my laptop; I'm still undecided.
But considering the phrase below, hmmmmmmmmmmm....


Silent gratitude isn’t much good to anyone.
-Gladys Browyn Stern


Monday, September 15, 2008

Grateful





I composed this post on Sunday evening from Lambda Center. I scheduled it for publishing at 0500 today. We still don't have electricity at our home and have no idea when it will be restored. Most of Houston is without power.

Here's a couple of pictures I took with my cell phone during the storm. The one on the right is a palm leaf draped over a power line.


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that very few people in Texas were killed or injured during Hurricane Ike; unfortunately, that was not the story in the Caribbean

that on Saturday evening, I went to Lambda Center early (6pm) for an 8pm speaker meeting. There were about 12 others sitting in the lobby chatting and telling war stories (from the Hurricane) and we decided to have an impromptu AA meeting. It was great and was a poingnant reminder of the "we" of the meeting. This continued all day and night Sunday. There were at least 100 people who came and went through the doors of Lambda during the course of the day. People who had no electricity at home. They came and charged their cell phones and brought their laptops. Some brought food so it would not go to waste. Some cooked pasta for whoever wanted or needed to eat. Hayden and I spent about 12 hours there. The fellowship and comraderie were almost magical.

that I met some of my new neighbors on Saturday as we as we all got out and helped each other clean up the debris from the street


The wishbone will never replace the backbone.
-Will Henry

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Click click-- Ike Update

THIS is why you should stop using your cell phone so much.

UPDATE -- we are just fine after the storm. Power is a rare commodity as of Sunday afternoon here in Houston. Our home is still powerless, just like me. However, power was restored at Lambda Center yesterday afternoon. Yes!! Air conditioning!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Ike & the DNA Test

Just ridin' out the storm this morning.
I am aware that the last time I experienced a mandatory evacuation was before my colonoscopy last year.



video

Friday, September 12, 2008

I don't like Ike

"Imagine yourself a year from now, looking back on today. Imagine your future self being exceedingly thankful for the way you lived this day. Then step forward and live today with that in mind. Think, speak and act in such a way that the person you will become inherits many positive benefits from the person you are right now. Confidence, integrity, strength and effectiveness do not simply appear out of nowhere. They are built by the way you live your life. And now is your opportunity to live in a powerful, positive way that will benefit your life for a long time to come. Now is your chance to make your future self thankful for the empowering paths you choose to take.”

I think this is from Ralph Marston. Not sure.


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous -- without them, AA would be just another set of initials

that Scott W chaired a meeting yesterday where we discussed honesty, humility and of course, gratitude

that my Houston Astros have won 14 of their last 15 games and are making a late season run at the playoffs

that I hope to be back tomorrow online, but this storm may have other ideas (I am going to try to publish my weekend jokes ahead of time, so they should show up even if I can't get online)

that the rest of you will possibly sign-up to be a follower of this blog (look at the top of my sidebar)

HABITS

"Habits are like comfortable beds; they are easy to get into, but difficult to get out of."
-- Denis Waitley

"Nothing needs reforming so much as other people's habits."
-- Mark Twain

"Good habits are as addictive as bad habits, and a lot more rewarding."
-- Harvey Mackay

"You leave old habits behind by starting out with the thought, 'I release the need for this in my life'."
-- Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remembering





I haven't written about my newest acquisition. I've always been fascinated by cars, especially the 1950's and 60's autos which I grew up with. I bought this one a couple of months ago and it's now ready for the Houston streets.

It's a 1965 Buick Riviera. For those in the know, it has a 401 cubic inch Nailhead with 340 bhp and dual 4bbl carbueretors under the hood. The clock is the only thing that isn't working (yet).

My 1967 Thunderbird is now for sale. Any takers?


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I'm willing to be responsible for my mistakes

for my lifetime hero, my high school track coach, who taught me about integrity

that I'm thankful and grateful
for the signifigance of today's date -- remember how it brought all of us together?

that we're about as ready and stocked up as we can be for Hurricane Ike.
(we ain't going anywhere and my hope is that if we have high winds, they will be from the east and/or south where we have the best protection in our home and newly landscaped yard)
The last really big hurricane (Carla) hit the greater Houston area on this date in 1961.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. -Aristotle

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Success


an Oldsmobile , obviously



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that time heals many wounds; patience heals the rest

that I woke up sober again today, my first success for today

for my sponsor, who happens to be loaded with all kinds of helpful advice even though he is as sick as me

that you might be willing to list yourself as a follower of my blog -- the widget is at the top of my sidebar

The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.
-Unknown

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Growth?



a Texas BBQ grill


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a meeting where I was reminded that when I am upset or angry, there's something wrong with me. I always want somebody else to blame. I really must remember how to respond to situations that are uncomfortable or that tend to upset me.

for progress in several areas of my life

that I know I have soooooooooooo much more to learn -- about me and my relations with the rest of the world

that Hurricane Ike appears to be headed well south of the Houston area

GROWTH

"But as I look back at my life, it is easy to see that the times when my wisdom and understanding grew to new levels; those times when I approached becoming the person I long to be; it was always the times that followed negative circumstances."
-- Vic Johnson

"Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely."
-- Karen Kaiser Clark

"Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you will help them become what they are capable of becoming."
-- Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

"We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be."
-- May Sarton

Monday, September 08, 2008

Here we go again





todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a really, really good discussion meeting about H.A.L.T.
(ther were a few other words/initials added during the discussion; if we'd had another 6 hours for that meeting, we could have done the entire alphabet)

that I got to hear Bob R. tell his story of Experiences, Strength and Hope over the weekend @ Lambda

that my fresh attitude is working well (most of the time)

that we are finally nearing completion on home (re)construction -- it's now all outside, at least

an outdoor kitchen is being built and the landscaping should be complete by the middle of this week

that we begin the Hurricane drill once again starting today

Here are the two best prayers I know: 'Help me, help me, help me' and 'Thank you, thank you, thank you.'
-Anne Lamott


Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Perfect Dress

Jennifer's wedding day was fast approaching. Nothing could dampen her excitement -- not even her parent's nasty divorce.

Her mother had found the PERFECT dress to wear and would be the best dressed mother- of-the-bride ever!

A week later, Jennifer was horrified to learn that her father's new young wife had bought the exact same dress! Jennifer asked her to exchange it, but she refused. 'Absolutely not, I look like a million bucks in this dress, and I'm wearing it,' she replied. Jennifer told her mother who graciously said, 'Never mind sweetheart. I'll get another dress. After all, it's your special day.' A few days later, they went shopping and did find another gorgeous dress. When they stopped for lunch, Jennifer asked her mother, 'Aren't you going to return the other dress? You really don't have another occasion where you could wear it.'

Her mother just smiled and replied, 'Of course I do, dear. I'm wearing it to the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding.'

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Adam and Eve


video

Enjoy your Saturday!!

Friday, September 05, 2008

1826



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I've been sober for 1826 days
that Hayden (my angel) shoved me into the rooms of AA in 2003
that my incomprehensible demoralization convinced me to accept a higher power into my life 1827 days ago
that I haven't had a blackout in more than 1826 days
that I've been an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous for 1826 days
that I haven't put myself in a position to have a DUI in 1826 days
that for 1826 days, I have had NO desire to drink or get drunk again
that I could go on and on, but I do this list just about every day, so if you want more, check my archives.

GRATITUDE

"Feeling grateful or appreciative of someone or something in your life actually attracts more of the things that you appreciate and value into your life."
-- Christiane Northrup

"Develop an 'attitude of gratitude.' Say think you to everyone you meet for everything they do for you."
-- Brian Tracy

"Sometimes our light goes out but is blown into flame by another human being. Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this light."
-- Albert Schweitzer

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow."
-- Melody Beattie


Thursday, September 04, 2008

I'm so blessed


Our finished backyard deck.
It's waiting for some landscaping now.



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my journey is ... my journey. No one can take that away from me.

that my session with my therapist gave me some fresh outlook on keeping a better attitude -- about myself and those close to me

for a morning spent plant shopping with our landscaper

that one of my favorite AAers celebrated his 72nd birthday yesterday (his naval birthday, not sobriety birthday)

for my red-hot Houston Astros -- it's too late to make the playoffs for this season, but I can wait til next year. After all, I've been saying that for the past 47 years about them.

The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between political parties either--but right through every human heart.
-Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The journey continuing ...



A couple of pictures of the deck being built in the backyard. It was completed a few days ago.



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the miracles I see each day in the rooms of AA, and ...
I am one of them!

that I'm eating breakfast with my sponsor today

that I'm going to Palm Springs in 2 weeks for the AA Roundup; my sober friend Rodney is also going as is Hayden (although he is not in the program)

that I miss my mother -- the way I knew her for so many years

GOALS ...

"A person without a goal is like a ship without a rudder."
-- Denis Waitley

"Goals. There's no telling what you can do when you get inspired by them. There's no telling what you can do when you believe in them. And there's no telling what will happen when you act upon them."
-- Jim Rohn

"If you want to reach a goal, you must 'see the reaching' in your own mind before you actually arrive at your goal."
-- Zig Ziglar

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Fields of Tulips




todAAy i AAM grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a Step 1 meeting yesterday; I love to hear about our powerlessness.

for a normal weather day here in Houston, just a couple of hundred miles from a hurricane

that PAM hasn't smoked a cigarette in 6 months and it's been 23 months since I have done so and 3 years since Scott has smoked. WOW!!

for technology and the ongoing potential it has to change our lives

We aren’t what we ought to be. We aren’t what we’re going to be. We aren’t what we want to be. But, thank God, we aren’t what we were.
-Anonymous


Monday, September 01, 2008

no Labor today




todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I got to see 32 recovering alcoholics celebrate a total of 399 years of living a sober life
(Saturday night @ Lambda Center)

that someone shared about the practice of Step 10 as a combination of working steps 4-9 each and every day

to realize that I'm growing in my recovery, even if it's not as quickly as I might have imagined

that it appears that Hurricane Gustav will bypass the Houston area; we get lucky once again

that I was invited to a baseball game yesterday and got to sit 5 rows behind home plate in the whoop-dee-doo rich man's section, just behind the Presidential seats where George 41 and Babs sit

that Jerry Falwell isn't still around espousing his own brand of hatred

To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did. When God takes something from your grasp, He's not punishing you, but merely opening your hands to receive something better.
~~ dunno who said this first