Friday, April 30, 2010

Workin' it ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for some emphasis on Step 6 -- "Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character."

that I can read Step 6 in the Twelve & Twelve and disregard the religous tone in which much of it is written

that I have (hopefully) learned to not say never

that I've learned to be content with patient improvement of my progress

that I sometimes find the willingness required of me to practive Step 6

that someone actually asked me to meet them at Starbucks for some of my Experience, Strength and Hope

To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.
- Henri Bergson

Thursday, April 29, 2010


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I have found the Courage to Change, although it's rarely easy

that I've been blessed with a full life, most of it very enjoyable

to know I still need a lot of emotional development, but it won't all come today

for the Al Anon meeting I attended last night. I was reminded to see the patterns of behavior that can be a trigger for my reactions.

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

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

God could and did ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that most people trust me (I think)

for my Big Book. My mother gave it to me about 1 week after I went to my first AA meeting. I had no idea there was such a thing as a Big book. It was the first one I had seen (noticed). She got it at a second-hand store where she volunteered and told me that she paid one dollar for it. It was/is all marked up and highlighted and has many names and some phone numbers on the inside of the front and back covers. As things have turned out in my life, it is one of the most precious gifts she (or anyone else) has ever given me. Every time I use it, I think of her.

that we read Chapter 5 in the Big Book yesterday at the 6:30am meeting I regularly attend.

that my troubles are basically of my own making.

You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm.
- Collette

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

No controversy here

I want to know your opinion of people texting during AA or Al-Anon meetings.
Go ahead. It's free.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the tools I've learned in Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, such as ...

... restraint of tongue and pen This keeps me out of trouble. I don't have to create more wreckage.

... live and let live The practice of Step 3. I don't need to control the world. It does just fine without my hands all over everything.

... let go of expectations My expectations are future resentments.

... I'd rather be happy than right See all of the above. LOL

It is never too late to give up your prejudices.
- Henry David Thoreau

Monday, April 26, 2010

"I feel free"

A few of the beauties at a Buick Club picnic yesterday.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the Lois Wilson Story last night on the telly; I thought it was really more about Bill, but I enjoyed it

for the passing of another Lambda Center birthday night

that I got to see a friend who moved away about 3 years ago; he's in Houston visiting for a few days from Hawaii

that we have a spare bedroom that another ex-Lambda friend will be using for 2 days while visiting here from NYC

that I get to visit with my therapist today - we haven't talked in over 3 months (because I have not really needed it). Today, we'll just do a life update.

In prosperity, our friends know us; in adversity, we know our friends.
- John Churton Collins

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Harmonica Man

If you can spare 3 minutes, watch THIS video about Andy Mackie.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Friday, April 23, 2010

Bugs, Meetings and Forgiveness

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I'll get an extra dose of recovery medicine today

that I am able to attend the first meeting of the day, each day, at Lambda Center. I do this 7 days/week, almost without fail.

that we've had first-time newcomers 3 days-in-a-row at our noon meetings this week

for the grins and smiles I witness when folks look at my old '61 VW Bug. It seems that about everyone over 40 years-old has a Bug story.

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
- Mohandas Gandhi

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Staying fresh

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a sponsee who gets it

for those who do what they say they're gonna do -- it's called integrity! Those who don't do what they say they're gonna do provide me with pertinent information about themselves.

that I've really been enjoying my life recently. It was just a few years ago that I was passing out every night after drinking all day (most days I drank 12-15 hours). I thought I was so lucky to be able to drink that way. Nobody, I mean nobody, got in my way.

for the (usually) intangible lessons I pick up in Al-Anon meetings.

The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you're still a rat.
- Lily Tomlin

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tuesday (again)

You can't have just one!

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for being a little less judgemental and a little more compassionate

that I'm willing to let others hit their bottom without trying to prevent it happening

for the angel in my life

for the enjoyment I get from staying involved with fundraising activities for both Lambda Center and the Houston Roundup

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.
- Ambrose Redmoon

Monday, April 19, 2010

Balance and Beauty

These are a few of the cool cars at a car show I participated in yesterday.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a couple of recent meetings where I felt the need to speak about the miraculous power of my HP; that I could not have gotten sober nor can I remain sober without my HP

to know that AA didn't work (for me) until I acceepted a concept of a HP into my conciousness

for a range of activities this past weekend

that I have more balance in my life than ever before

Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.
- John Wooden

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Friday, April 16, 2010

picture this!

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for all of the choices I have in my sober life

for daily reminders (everytime I'm around an AA meeting) how easy it would be to lose those choices

that I have a changing attitude towards people with whom I may not agree -- I am learning that they have offered me more information about themselves

for a busy week, one in which my regular time schedule has been thrown waaaaaaay off - for no particular reason other than life happening. I made the adjustment better than I used to.

for friends who include me in their plans

that my beloved Astros won their first game of the young season. They are 1-8. arghhhhh!

Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.
- Motto of the Special Olympics

Thursday, April 15, 2010

no posing

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I'm realizing more and more how often I use control and manipulation to attempt to get my way

that I know some solutions to my thinking problems

that insane thoughts of drinking again don't occupy my mind

that rest and relaxation are as important to my recovery as just about any other activity

We may not be able to give much but we can always give the joy that springs in a heart that is in love with God.
- Mother Teresa

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I love recovery!

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that we read MORE ABOUT ALCOHOLISM yesterday at the 6:30am meeting -- it reminded me of a few things ...

... the delusion that we are like other people, or presently may be, has to be smashed. I know this to be true in my case in numerous regards.

... we alcoholics are men and women who have lost the ability to control our drinking. I knew this several years before I stopped.

... we are convinced to a man that alcoholics of our type are in the grip of a progressive illness. Over any considerable period we get worse, never better. My record speaks for itself.

... the difficulty is that few alcoholics have enough desire to stop while there is yet time. This reminds me why so many don't get it on my time schedule.

It's always too early to quit.
- Norman Vincent Peale

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

no phoning it in

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I'm present in my life

for all the good things in my life, which is just about everything

that I have a program to handle life's difficulties and don't have to drink to escape them

that my index of maladjustments is there for me to practice daily if I don't remember to ask my HP to remove them

When angry, count ten before you speak; if very angry, a hundred.
- Thomas Jefferson

Monday, April 12, 2010

Auto buying run riot

My latest acquisiton. The fleet grows.
It's a 1978 Corvette Silver Anniversary edition with 37,250 original miles.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that today, I know that most of my troubles are of my own making

that I got to hear a well-told AA story on Saturday

that my life in recovery seems to be following the lines of diminishing addictions (as far as life-threatening)

that sometimes doing the next right thing can take the guesswork out of life

The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases.
- Carl Jung

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Saturday, April 10, 2010

... pick up your shovel

Over five thousand years ago, Moses said to the children of Israel " pick up your shovel, mount your asses and camels, and I will lead you to the promised land".
Nearly 75 years ago, Roosevelt said, "Lay down your shovels, sit on your asses, and light up a camel, this is the promised land".
Now Obama has stolen your shovel, taxed your asses, raised the price of camels, and mortgaged the promised land!
Furthermore, I was so depressed last night thinking about Health Care Plans, the economy, the wars, lost jobs, savings, Social Security, retirement funds, No mail delivery on Saturdays in 2011 and etc... I called Lifeline, the suicide help line.
Got a freakin' call center in Pakistan .
I told them I was suicidal.
They all got excited and asked if I could drive a truck...

Friday, April 09, 2010

Doing what doesn't come naturally

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for another full day yesterday - there seems to be a trend lately

for Tradition Four - "Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole." It explains how we are largely a band of ego-driven individualists and children of chaos. Somehow, A.A. has survived us.

I also like the section that introduces the concept of not taking myself too seriously. This has played a big part in my recovery, as I have explained here before.

that I joined a couple of other guys and visited a mutual recovery friend in the hospital last night. This is something I have rarely done. Very rarely. But I felt the need to be of service and the opportunity presented itself.

What we must decide is how we are valuable rather than how valuable we are.
- Edgar Z. Friedenberg

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Welcome to Thursday at Higher Powered

click on the picture if you need to see it bigger

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I've stayed relatively sane this week even though my service to others has been somewhat lacking; in other words, it'a been all about me!

to see some friends who have recently relapsed return to the rooms of AA; I consider them lucky, blessed or whatever you wanna call it

that I don't know what I don't know -- someday, maybe I'll find out, but I'm not sure if I'll know when I do

for Hayden

for reruns of the old Carol Burnett Show -- I wonder why variety shows don't work anymore

Winning doesn't always mean being first.
- Bonnie Blair

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

signs of the times

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that each time I leave an AA meeting, I know when I'll be back for another one; I believe it's important to have a plan

that I can be flexible when it's necessary

I've almost always been one to see the glass as half full.

Optimism is essential to achievement and it is also the foundation of courage and of true progress.
- Nicholas Murray Butler

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

No Smoking on this blog

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I experience the freedom and happiness that comes from surrender -- every day

for Step 6 and those moments that I am entirely willing to give up any particular defect of character; this is big because that plays a big part in why I haven't started drinking or smoking again

for the intelligent order of the Twelve Steps and the ways in which they are all connected; this has become clearer as I continue in recovery

for my attitude (usually)

The world was made round so that we would never be able to see too far down the road.
- Isak Dinesen

Monday, April 05, 2010

another new week

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I discovered a healthy boundary I didn't know I had -- it seems to have developed during the past year (Al-Anon?)

that I no longer drink nor do I have any desire or temptation to drink, but some of my other addictions and obsessions are in full bloom

an AA friend once said that recovery is a life of diminishing addictions; I am finding this to be true

that it's baseball season -- the Astros begin their season tonight

If you have made mistakes, even serious ones, there is always another chance for you. What we call failure is not the falling down, but the staying down.
- Mary Pickford

Saturday, April 03, 2010

the world view

How Americans view the world.

How the world views America.

Useful Conversion Units:

2000 mockingbirds = two kilomockingbirds
Ratio of an igloo's circumference to its diameter = Eskimo Pi
2000 pounds of Chinese soup = Won ton
1 millionth mouthwash = 1 microscope
2.4 statute miles of intravenous surgical tubing at Yale University Hospital = 1 I.V. League
Speed of a tortoise breaking the sound barrier = Mach Turtle
Time it takes to sail 220 yards at 1 nautical mile per hour = Knot-furlong
16.5 feet in the Twilight Zone = 1 Rod Sterling
1000 aches = 1 megahurts
Basic unit of laryngitis = 1 hoarsepower
Shortest distance between two jokes = A straight line
Time between slipping on a peel and smacking the pavement = bananosecond
Time it takes to sail 220 yards at 1 nautical mile per hour = Knot-furlong
Given the old adage "a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step," the first step of a one-mile journey = 1 Milwaukee
1 million microphones = 1 phone
1 trillion microphones = 1 megaphone
1 million bicycles = 2 megacycles
365.25 days = 1 unicycle
the weight of 1 TV evangelist = 1 billigram
10 cards = 1 decacards
2 snake eyes = 1 paradise
453.6 graham crackers = 1 pound cake
Half of a large intestine = 1 semicolon
1 kilogram of falling figs = 1 Fig Newton
1000 grams of wet socks = 1 literhosen
1 millionth of a fish = 1 microfiche
1 trillion pins = 1 terrapin
100 tics = 1 hectic
500 millinaries = 1 seminary
1000 female sheep = 1 milieu
10 rations = 1 decoration
100 rations = 1 C-ration
10 millipedes = 1 centipede
3 1/3 tridents = 1 decadent
10 monologs = 5 dialogs
5 dialogs = 1 decalog
2 monograms = 1 diagram
8 nickels = 2 paradigms
2 doctors = 1 paradox
2 wharves = 1 paradox
4 lawyers = 2 paralegals
2 untruths = 1 paralyze
33.8 oz of a case of soft drinks = 1 liter of the pack
100 Senators = Not 1 good decision

Friday, April 02, 2010

it should be a good Friday

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for messages that bombard me repeatedly; reminders that I had better be paying attention

that I go to an AA meeting every day and have done since my first day of sobriety (actually I missed a few days when travelling in England, Costa Rica and Trinidad)

that about 8 alcoholics are coming to my home this morning for an AA meeting in the backyard

that I am slowly learning not to take on every argument opportunity in my relationship; in other words ... I'd rather be happy than right AND restraint of tongue and pen

for all the friends I have had during my lifetime

The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart.
- Elizabeth Foley

Thursday, April 01, 2010

just for today ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a meeting with a sponsee that I probably needed more than that person did; I'm sure I got more out of it. We read Step 4 in the Twelve/Twelve. I have read that many times, but they put some new stuff in there yesterday.

that I can share this with you -- from Just For Today...

... I will have a program. I may not follow it exactly, but I will have it. I will save myself from two pests: hurry and indecision.

... I will adjust myself to what is, and not try to adjust everything to my own desires. I will take my "luck" as it comes, and fit myself to it.

First a person should put his house together, then his town, then the world.
- Rabbi Israel Salanter