Saturday, October 31, 2009

a few good pix











These are some of my favorite Halloween pictures. Please don't be offended. But if you are, that's too bad.







Picking the correct Halloween costume for the kid. CLICK HERE.



Friday, October 30, 2009

no longer a shivering denizen



Please don't be offended.

It's all in fun.



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I'm no longer a shivering or shaking denizen

for laughter LOL

that I have been spared many of the hardships common to many alcoholics

for laughter hehehe

that I got my soul back after losing it; all I had to do was stop drinking

for laughter ho ho ho

for the opportunity to build my character without many of my instinctual defects

for laughter hahaha

that I went with friends to see "This Is It" last night. I was very impressed with the movie. It was put together from 100's of hours of rehearsal footage and documents the supreme work ethic of Michael Jackson. Whatever your feelings are of his personal life or his music, his work ethic was second to none. Very much the perfectionist.

for laughter bwaaaaaaaa!!

The human race has one effective weapon--and that is laughter.
- Mark Twain


Thursday, October 29, 2009

another day in paradise



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for my busy days. Here was yesterday ...

... get up at 5am, meditate in jacuzzi, write & publish blog, eat small breakfast
... 6:30am AA meeting
... then to the gym
... home for a shower, check emails and read some blogs
... went to a guy's house @ 10am to look at an item for my car
... to Lowe's Home Improvement for some weed killer and light bulbs
... to Lambda at 11:30 for fellowship and the 12:15pm meeting
... to lunch with the guys after the meeting
... home for a short nap
... to Starbucks at 4pm
... pick up a friend @ 5:15pm to give a ride to a work function at 6pm
... had 1 hour to kill, so went to Academy to look around
... pick up friend and go to dinner at 8pm
... home at 9pm, check email blogs
... jacuzzi at 9:30pm
... 10pm to bed


Fall seven times, stand up eight.
- Japanese proverb


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My, Me



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that we read "Me an Alcoholic?" yesterday morning in our Big Book study. A few high points and realizations from that story ...

... I'm no longer a coin with two faces
... the insidiousness of alcoholism is an appalling thing
... as the author wrote about his last drinking binge, he said, "it is impossible to reproduce my despair."
... I knew from my general reading that alcoholism was irrevesible and fatal.

that I learned many years ago that when I teach something, I learn a lot more about it

for the crazy laughter I experience and observe in AA meetings

that I'm comfortable being home, by myself

We only go around once. There's really no time to be afraid. So stop. Try something you’ve never tried. Teach it. Do it. Risk it.
- Jon Blais

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

cleaning up my side



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the huge load that was removed from my shoulders when I completed my first 9th step

for the concept of living amends

that an amends is much more effective (for me) if I do it before I die

that when I'm pressed for blog-reading time in the morning, I always read my 3 girls first ... Mary Christine, Pam and Scott.

for the great rain we had all day yesterday


Life can only be understood backwards, but must be lived forwards.
- Soren Kierkegaard

Monday, October 26, 2009

Goodness (is) Gracious!




How I spent my Sunday afternoon. A small get-together of Riviera owners. Mine is the red/black one.
On the top picture, from left to right, they are 1963, 64, 64, 65, 66 and 1982 Riviera's.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the Houston Roundup (AA convention) which happens over the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend. Their largest fundraiser was Saturday night, a Drag Auction. The costumes are auctioned off after each performance. It was very entertaining and raised over $4000.

that I went to see my friend Rodney W in a stage play as he expands his acting career.

for fellowship before and after meetings; it's essential to my recovery and probably yours too

that I get to meet more people outside the program (normies) through my car obsession hobby

It is a funny thing about life: If you refuse to accept anything but the best you very often get it.
- Somerset Maugham

Sunday, October 25, 2009

10 Best Moments

Several of you have written about the 10 best moments of your life (so far).
Here's my list, in chronological order ...

Getting a letter jacket my senior year in high school.
I worked my butt off for this as a sprinter on the track team for 6 years (that includes Junior High School).

Finishing college. Just getting finished. After 4 1/2 years, I was ready to get on with life and away from school.

Having sex with my best friend after we'd known each other for about 10 years. It was better than I ever imagined. And we're still friends decades later.

Arriving in London for the first time in 1989. Within two or three hours, I knew that I was where I always should have been. I felt right at home.
I was then home-based from there for the next 5 years.

Meeting Liz in the UK. She became my best friend and was/is the best "ear" I've ever known.

When I moved to Amsterdam in 1993. I had quit my job so I could focus on sex, drugs and beer. At least I had my priorities.

The day I fell in love with Hayden (my partner-in-life). We had only known each other for a week, but I was hooked. And I knew it.

The spiritual awakening I had on September 4, 2003. The following day was my first day of sobriety, 2242 days ago.

October 5, 2003. I was sober for a whole month. Now, I knew I could do this thing.

August 15, 2008. After my Mother's Memorial Service. I had done everything to the very best of my ability with her 3+ year illness through her death.
I felt good about life.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Friday, October 23, 2009

If we are painstaking ...




todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I know a new freedom and happiness
that I don't regret the past nor do I wish to shut the door on it
that I certainly comprehend the word serenity and I know peace
that I see how my experiences can benefit others
that feelings of uselessness and self-pity (sometimes) disappear
that I occasionally lose interest in selfish things a (lotsa work to do here) and usually have interest in my fellows
that self-seeking may one day slip away (hmmmmmmmmmm)
that my whole attitude and outlook upon life has changed
that my fear of people and of economic insecurity has lessened
that sometimes I intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle me
that a few times I've realized that my HP is doing for me what I cannot do for myself

If you fail to prepare, you're prepared to fail.
- Mark Spitz

Thursday, October 22, 2009

rainy day in houston





todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful


that Jeanne shared her mysterious story with us yesterday

for reminder after reminder about how deadly this alcoholism thing is

for more peaceful and serene days -- how many can there be?

that I don't often end sentences in a preposition; but I do usually end sentences with a period.

that we're getting more much needed rain today

that I keep my political leanings away from this blog (usually)


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

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sure glad I'm not getting any older


Eddie
The Beaver
Wally

If I need to tell who they are, you don't really need to know.






todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I'm happy and even proud to be alive

that I overslept yesterday, but Hayden called from London (just to say howdy) in time for me to get up, get dressed and get to my 6:30am meeting. I didn't get to take my morning jacuzzi/meditation, but I shall live through this ordeal.

that I got a lot of errands done yesterday; I felt very productive

that my HP is so forgiving (that's why I'm still here)

that I'll post my 10 Best Moments sometime this weekend


The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but to reveal to him his own.
- Benjamin Disraeli

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

another step forward



todAAy i AAM grAAteful & thAAnkful

for busy days; it seems as though I rarely have time to do nothing. When I was drinking, I rarely had time to do anything.

for a day trip to Navasota, Texas to visit with my sister and see her new home under construction.

to help support a couple of friends-in-recovery in their Improv stage debut; then fellowship afterwards which of course included Swirll!


The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise grows it under his feet.
- James Oppenheim


Monday, October 19, 2009

for your eyes (only)


Twitter is lighting up at the moment with the uncovering of this video of the Heene family boys, better known to the world as the "balloon family", in which they rap about the "pussification" of American men and boast "I hate gay faggots, I (kill? hit?) 'em with a bat." Or something like that. You judge at the 2:40 mark. Immediately following, the kid unmistakably speaks about throwing a rock at a "faggot" in a tree. These children definitely need to be removed from the custody of their parents.

borrowed from the blog of Joe.My.God.



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful


that I am my own person, no matter what you think

for self-commitments

for a weekend of perfect weather

that I had the courage to walk through a small fear -- I attended and entered my Riviera in a car show. I went by myself and was there for about 5 hours. There were 253 other entries, so I was kinda lost in the crowd (a good thing). I had a number of compliments on my car, but I also know that it's nowhere near "car show quality". All in all though, I'm glad I did it. And I got really sunburned.


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

Sunday, October 18, 2009

English 201 (continued from yesterday ...)

You lovers of the English language might enjoy this ...

There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is 'UP'

It's easy to understand UP , meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP ? At a meeting, why does a topic come UP ? Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report ?

We call UP our friends. And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver; we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car. At other times the little word has real special meaning. People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UPexcuses. To be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed UP is special.

And this UP is confusing: A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP . We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night.

We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP ! To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4th of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions. If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP ,you may wind UP with a hundred or more. When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP .. When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP ....

When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP.

When it doesn't rain for awhile, things dry UP .

One could go on and on, but I'll wrap it UP , for now my time is UP , so........it is time to shut UP !

Saturday, October 17, 2009

English 101

You think English is easy??? Read to the end ..... a new twist

1) The bandage was wound around the wound.

2) The farm was used to produce produce.

3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

4) We must polish the Polish furniture.

5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.

6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present

8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10) I did not object to the object.

11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row ...

13) They were too close to the door to close it.

14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.

15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.

16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.

19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

Let's face it - English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France . Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat.
We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don't finger, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on.

English was invented by people not computers and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why when the stars are out they are visible but when the lights are out they are invisible.

PS. - Why doesn't 'Buick' rhyme with 'quick' ?

Friday, October 16, 2009

red-blooded


Red Blood Cells under an electron microscope

They look like little cinnamon candies here, but they're actually the most common type of blood cell in the human body - red blood cells (RBCs). These biconcave-shaped cells have the tall task of carrying oxygen to our entire body; in women there are about 4 to 5 million RBCs per micro liter (cubic millimeter) of blood and about 5 to 6 million in men. People who live at higher altitudes have even more RBCs because of the low oxygen levels in their environment.



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I began my very own outline for a design for living when I first worked the steps with my sponsor; since that time, it has evolved and been modified as necessary

for productive meetings yesterday with sponsees - they keep me honest and growing

that I learn so much just by watching and listening

for some lovely and comfortable cooler weather that arrived overnight

Money is a very excellent servant, but a terrible master.
- P.T. Barnum

Thursday, October 15, 2009

just a hair



Split End of Human Hair under an electron microscope

Regular trimmings to your hair and good conditioner should help to prevent this unsightly picture of a split end of a human hair.






todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for choices and freedom -- in sobriety, they're progressive

that I got to hear Joe Mc's story again yesterday -- he is a master at describing the feelings involved with his behavior

that being honest may cost me more money at times, but it's a always going to be a small price to pay for my serenity

that I decided to share some personal family stuff in an Al-Anon meeting last night -- it had not even occurred to me to share it before. It concerned my 30 year-old nephew and his drug use, manipulation of people and his current medical problems.


Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.
- Abraham Lincoln


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

2231 days after stopping drinking alcohol ...



Tooth Plaque under an electron microscope

Brush your teeth often because this is what the surface of a tooth with a form of plaque looks like.






todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for another day to practice the principles -- I like doing that.

that I don't have to be anybody but me

that doubting God's existence was not a barrier to a spiritual experience
see Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th edition, page 374

that my sponsor knows me so well (that didn't happen accidentally)

that I was able to get my new (used) Caddy inspected, titled and registered easily

Speak when you're angry, and you'll make the best speech you'll ever regret.
- Lawrence J. Peter

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

taking a closer look



Human Embryo and Sperm under an electron microscope

It looks like the world at war, but it is actually five days after the fertilisation of an egg, with some remaining sperm cells still sticking around. This fluorescent image was captured using a confocal microscope. The embryo and sperm cell nuclei are stained purple while sperm tails are green. The blue areas are gap junctions, which form connections between the cells.



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I knew what to do when drinking finally quit working

for my favorite definition of humility -- "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 I use the above statement as a guideline to each day. In order to do so, I have to pray outloud about it or else I'll forget.


The more you have, the more you're occupied; the less you have, the more free you are.
- Mother Teresa




Monday, October 12, 2009

microscope week @ higher powered

This week I will post some amazing pictures taken with an electron microscope.

These were sent to me from my friend Jessie Young.


Colored Image of a 6 day old Human Embryo implanting itself onto the wall of the womb.




todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I've done so much since my last gratitude list last Thursday ...

... flew one-way to Denver

... got to visit with Mary Christine (Being Sober) and her daughter

... got to see snow (that's a big deal for us Gulf Coast Texans)

... picked up a newly purchased classic '84 Cadillac

... drove 18 hours back to Houston across Colorado, Kansas, down through Oklahoma and then all the way through Texas

... got to see the plains of Kansas (never been there before)

that I'm able to do these things because I'm sober. If I were still drinking, well, ...
never mind.


Forgiveness is having the courage to take down the walls that we think are there to protect us.
- Suztes

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Why?

Why, Why, Why,

Why do we press harder on a remote control when we know the batteries are almost dead?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Why do banks charge a fee on 'insufficient funds' when they already know there
is not enough money?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Why does someone Believe you when you say there are four billion stars;
but have to check when you say the paint is still wet?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Why does Superman stop bullets with his chest, but ducks when you throw a revolver at him?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Why do Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Whose idea was it to put an 'S' in the word 'lisp'?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If people evolved from apes, why are there still apes?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Why is it that no matter what color bubble bath you use the bubbles are always white?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Is there ever a day that mattresses are not on sale?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Why do people constantly return to the refrigerator with hopes that something new to eat will have materialized?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Why do people keep running over a string a dozen times with their vacuum cleaner, then reach down, pick it up, examine it, then put it down to give the vacuum one more chance?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Why is it that no plastic bag will open from the end on your first try?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

How do those dead bugs get into those enclosed light fixtures?
(they're not bugs..... it's light bulb poop!)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

When we are in the supermarket and someone rams our ankle with a shopping cart then apologizes for doing so, why do we say, 'It's all right?' Well, it isn't all right, so why don't
we say, 'That really hurt, why don't you watch where you're going?'
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Why is it that whenever you attempt to catch something that's falling off the table you always manage to knock something else over?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In winter why do we try to keep the house as warm as it was in summer when we complained about the heat?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

How come you never hear father-in-law jokes?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The statistics on sanity is that one out of every four persons is suffering from some sort of mental illness. Think of your three best friends -- if they're okay, then it's you.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I am a non-smoker



3 years ago I stopped smoking.

I had smoked up to 3 packs/day for 36 years from age 16 until I was 52.

Today, I'm free from nicotine and the nasty habit that goes with its ingestion. I didn't know how much I was a slave to smoking until I stopped.

I'm free to smell better.

I'm free to sit in a restaurant after a meal without having to excuse myself to go outside for 5 minutes.

I'm free to do so many other of the little things in life without the need to smoke.

Today, I'm just free. And much healthier.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Promises



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the Promises as laid out on pages 83 and 84 of Alcoholics Anonymous (the Big Book)

that I'm flying to Denver this morning to pick up my newly-purchased Caddy. I will meet up with Mary Christine and we'll go to one of her favorite AA meetings before I leave for home.

that going to an AA meeting was a no-brainer for me when I planned this short trip (I could have had the car shipped to Houston but I wanted to visit Mary's home.)

that the neighborhood in which I live, MONTROSE, in Houston, was named one of the top ten great neighborhoods in the USA. But I already figured that.

that I joined Classic Chassis Car Club - primarily for gay and lesbian car lovers and collectors in the Houston area

I may not post tomorrow morning. But I have pre-posted and pre-dated a post for Saturday because the date is special to me and I wanted to share it with you.


A champion is someone who gets up, even when he can't.
- Jack Dempsey

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Literature

(this video has nothing to do with literature, but I think it's kind of funny)
video

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that the meetings I attend DO NOT allow excessive talk of Jesus or any particular religion; if they had, I would have run out of those rooms as fast as possible

that we read TIGHTROPE yesterday in the Big Book meeting. It's a story in the 4th edition, page 359. Here's a few excerpts that I really identify with ...

... Alcohol helped me to hide my fears; the ability to converse was an almost miraculous gift to a shy and lonely individual.
... My sponsor was gentle with me. He did not push his opinions on me. He had the sense to see that I was so afraid and so used to being alone that I could not face a "hard sell" approach.
... But once a conversation starts, communication frequently continues.

that I bought a classic Caddy yesterday (on eBay) and will pick it up in a couple of days. Some details on that soon.

Know that you are your greatest enemy, but also your greatest friend.
- Jeremy Taylor

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Drunks just wanna have fun ...




todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that for today, I can be the best me that I can be

to be slowly (very slowly) learning how to live as a sober man

that my addictions and obsessions today are much less life-threatening than my drinking was


I'm an idealist. I don't know where I'm going but I'm on the way.
- Carl Sandburg

Monday, October 05, 2009

another day



It's all about balance.





todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the way that things work out just the way they really should, even though it may not always seem best at the time

that even in this city of more than 3 million human units, I run into AA friends and Friends of Bill (those whom I've yet to meet) in the oddest places - and frequently!

for retail therapy

that this isn't me

that I get to help a friend at 5:15am today; a ride to the hospital for scheduled surgery

It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us...Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start.
- Mother Teresa


Sunday, October 04, 2009

The Diamonds - then and now

Fun! That was the way one fan described the Diamonds. And who could argue? After listening to "Little Darlin'" for the first time, it was a foregone conclusion. It was only a little over two minutes long, but it was fun. Songs such as "Little Darlin", "The Stroll", and "Why Do Fools Fall In Love" were only three of the Diamonds' 16 hits that made it on the Billboard Charts. They had 21 appearances on America Bandstand and countless TV shows and concerts. They guest stared in a movie and sang the theme song for two others. All of this insured their place in the history of early rock & roll, and endeared themselves to the hearts of their fans. It also got them in several music Halls of Fame.

video video

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Friday, October 02, 2009

music, smiles, traditions




I am a fan of calypso music, made famous in the USA by Harry Belafonte (click here). If you have time, watch some of his other performances highlighted on the right column of YouTube.


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I get 3 doses of AA today; it's something I choose to do

that it's rarely painful to walk with a smile on my face

that the only requirement for membership in Alcoholics Anonymous is a desire to stop drinking (fortunately, it doesn't say for how long)

for the early experiences of sober members of AA and that they didn't give up

for a little better understanding that my episodes of intolerance are because of a fear I am experiencing

for the cool temperature brought to us this morning with a powerful weather front


Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity.
- Kahlil Gibran

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Oktober onced

Do I look like an idiot?

video


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a new month -- I've never experienced October this year

that I've never really been one to set goals -- I've always just gone with the flow

that I have a goal today - to be the best person I can be; to be patient, loving, kind and tolerant to myself and others

for a most lovely weather day in Houston yesterday - I was able to do some yard work without getting all hot and sweaty

for funny stories like THIS


Those who do not know how to weep with their whole heart don't know how to laugh either.
- Golda Meir