Monday, January 31, 2011

Dogs have Owners, Cats have Staff.



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for birthday nights at Lambda Center, where we celebrate years of continuous sobriety every month. For January there were 35 people celebrating 480 years of not drinking.

that my form of mental illness doesn't require me to make a total fool of myself

for the way that things happen, just the way they're supposed to happen. I'm grateful when I recognize this.

for the 22,000 runners who competed in the 39th Annual Houston Marathon yesterday

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.
- Confucius



Sunday, January 30, 2011

Stress management

I did not write this. Someone emailed it to me and I would like to pass it along to you....



A young lady confidently walked around the room while leading and explaining stress management to an audience; with a raised glass of water, and everyone knew she was going to ask the ultimate question, 'half empty or half full?'..... she fooled them all... "How heavy is this glass of water?", she inquired with a smile.

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance. In each case it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes." She continued, "and that's the way it is with stress. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on."

"As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden - holding stress longer and better each time practiced. So, as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don't carry them through the evening and into the night... pick them up tomorrow.

Whatever burdens you're carrying now, let them down for a moment. Relax, pick them up later after you've rested. Life is short. Enjoy it and the now 'supposed' stress that you've conquered!"


1 * Accept the fact that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue!

2 * Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.

3 * Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.

4 * Drive carefully... It's not only cars that can be recalled by their Maker..

5 * If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague

6 * If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it..

7 * It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

8 * Never buy a car you can't push.

9 * Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won't have a leg to stand on.

10 * Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.

11 * Since it's the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.

12 * The second mouse gets the cheese.

13 * When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

14 * Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

15 * You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.

16 * Some mistakes are too much fun to make only once.

17 * We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.

18 * A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

19 * Have an awesome day and know that someone has thought about you today.

20 * It was I, your friend!

*Save the earth..... It's the only planet with chocolate!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

I owe my mother ...

1.. My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE .
"If you're going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning."

2. My mother taught me RELIGION.
"You better pray that will come out of the carpet."

3. My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL.
"If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week!"

4. My mother taught me LOGIC.
" Because I said so, that's why."

5. My mother taught me MORE LOGIC .
"If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you're not going to the store with me."

6. My mother taught me FORESIGHT.
"Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you're in an accident."

7. My mother taught me IRONY.
"Keep crying, and I'll give you something to cry about.."

8. My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS .
"Shut your mouth and eat your supper."

9. My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM.
"Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!"

10. My mother taught me about STAMINA ..
"You'll sit there until all that spinach is gone."

11. My mother taught me about WEATHER.
"This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it."

12. My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY.
"If I told you once, I've told you a million times. Don't exaggerate!"

13. My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE.
"I brought you into this world, and I can take you out.."

14. My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION .
"Stop acting like your father!"

15. My mother taught me about ENVY.
"There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don't have
wonderful parents like you do."

16.. My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.
"Just wait until we get home."

17. My mother taught me about RECEIVING .
"You are going to get it when you get home!"

18. My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE.
"If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they are going to get stuck that way."

19. My mother taught me ESP.
"Put your sweater on; don't you think I know when you are cold?"

20. My mother taught me HUMOR.
"When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."

21. My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT .
"If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up."

22. My mother taught me GENETICS.
"You're just like your father."

23.. My mother taught me about my ROOTS.
"Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?"

24. My mother taught me WISDOM.
"When you get to be my age, you'll understand."

25.. My mother taught me about JUSTICE .
"One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you !"

Friday, January 28, 2011

Bye Bye Brougham




todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful


for some closer-than-usual and more personal fellowship this past week or so

for Tradition One of Alcoholics Anonymous --- "Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. unity." We spent an hour discussing that yesterday morning at the 6:30am meeting I attend.

that I'm getting to know the guy inside me a bit better each day

that I sold one of my fine cars yesterday. I'm gonna miss it. I over-extended a bit last year and am needing to downsize. I paid a pretty hefty price for driving the pictured car for only 4 months. I'm not a very good car guy as I buy with emotion instead of practical sense. Oh well.

Happiness is the absence of the striving for happiness.
- Zhuangzi




Thursday, January 27, 2011

More is being revealed



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I completed my month of commitment of chairing the 12:15 Speaker meetings

for a small AHA! moment regarding some childhood thinking. It's so true what they say -- More Shall Be Revealed.

that I no longer sit on a barstool, fantasizing and wishing

I'm not so great at math. One of you tell me WHY this works.
Take the last 2 digits of the year you were born plus the age you will be this year and it will equal 111.

Life is too important to be taken seriously.
- Oscar Wilde


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

today's potpourri




todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the 3rd tradition ... "The only requirement for membership in AA is the desire to stop drinking." It doesn't say quit drinking or to do something about your drinking; it says stop drinking.

that my physical health didn't suffer too much from my drinking. I had progressively worse DT's ove rthe last 10 years I drank, but it disappeared within a week of stopping

for my spiritual life; it's mine and NO ONE can take it away. But alcohol can.

for someone who returned to the rooms of AA yesterday after a relapse after 8 years of being sober

that I watched the President last night so I could get the message from the horse's mouth instead of hearing some reporter's opinion of what he said


Begin each day as if it were on purpose.
- Mary Anne Radmacher


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Basic stuff .....



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the basics ......
don't drink
go to meetings
get a sponsor
read the literature
establish a conscious contact with a Higher Power

for more clarity of thought (I have my moments)

that it rained all day yesterday in Houston and didn't even flood

for TV games shows -- I've always loved 'em


More men fail through lack of purpose than lack of talent.
- Billy Sunday


Monday, January 24, 2011

Transparency



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I'm focused on what I do; I just don't know what's coming next (usually)

that I have no particular secrets; I just don't tell everything to everybody

for a fun and busy weekend. Saturday was all about recovery and putting on a talent show. I was just the emcee so I didn't have to perform, but I had to know a few details about the 19 different performers. It went almost flawless and I believe everyone enjoyed the show. We have a lot of talent. Alcoholics are definitely over-achievers.

that some people seem to trust me enough to seek advice (or maybe just my opinion) LOL

that my partner is OK. He's quite ill in London with a virus that's going around. He's lucky in that he's staying with a relative who happens to be a nurse.


Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.
- John F. Kennedy


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Want my cell phone?

(This is not my story, but it almost could be)


When I bought my Blackberry I thought about the 30-year business I ran with 1800 employees, all without a cell phone that plays music, takes videos, pictures and communicates with Facebook and Twitter. I signed up under duress for Twitter and Facebook, so my seven kids, their spouses, 13 grandkids and 2 great grand kids could communicate with me in the modern way. I figured I could handle something as simple as Twitter with only 140 characters of space.

That was before one of my grandkids hooked me up for Tweeter, Tweetree, Twhirl, Twitterfon, Tweetie and Twittererific Tweetdeck, Twitpix and something that sends every message to my cell phone and every other program within the texting world.

My phone was beeping every three minutes with the details of everything except the bowel movements of the entire next generation. I am not ready to live like this. I keep my cell phone in the garage in my golf bag.

The kids bought me a GPS for my last birthday because they say I get lost every now and then going over to the grocery store or library. I keep that in a box under my tool bench with the Blue tooth [it's red] phone I am supposed to use when I drive. I wore it once and was standing in line at Barnes and Noble talking to my wife and everyone in the nearest 50 yards was glaring at me. I had to take my hearing aid out to use it, and I got a little loud.

I mean the GPS looked pretty smart on my dash board, but the lady inside that gadget was the most annoying, rudest person I had run into in a long time. Every 10 minutes, she would sarcastically say, "Re-calc-u-lating." You would think that she could be nicer. It was like she could barely tolerate me. She would let go with a deep sigh and then tell me to make a U-turn at the next light. Then if I made a right turn instead. Well, it was not a good relationship.

When I get really lost now, I call my wife and tell her the name of the cross streets and while she is starting to develop the same tone as Gypsy, the GPS lady, at least she loves me.

To be perfectly frank, I am still trying to learn how to use the cordless phones in our house. We have had them for 4 years, but I still haven't figured out how I can lose three phones all at once and have run around digging under chair cushions and checking bathrooms and the dirty laundry baskets when the phone rings.

The world is just getting too complex for me. They even mess me up every time I go to the grocery store. You would think they could settle on something themselves but this sudden "Paper or Plastic?" every time I check out just knocks me for a loop. I bought some of those cloth reusable bags to avoid looking confused, but I never remember to take them in with me.

Now I toss it back to them. When they ask me, "Paper or Plastic?" I just say, "Doesn't matter to me. I am bi-sacksual." Then it's their turn to stare at me with a blank look. I was recently asked if I tweet. I answered, No, but I do toot a lot."

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Classic songs - almost

Old classics updated with new words.

From comedian Tim Hawkins.



click HERE

Friday, January 21, 2011

going forward



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I get to emcee the above (poster) event tomorrow night

for the concept of trudging

that I don't have to "get there" in a hurry; I have the rest of my life.

that my journey is going to be the most exciting part of "getting there"

to know many of my limitations and the opportunity to realize and acknowledge more of them in the future


When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.
- Lao Tzu

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Shakespeare said it best



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my vision has widened since I got sober

for the subtle changes that Al Anon is making in my relationships perceptions

that my friend Don B. shared his experience yesterday at the noon meeting

for patience; without it, I would not be sober


Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.
- Paul Boese



Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Follow me



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I have some sober history and more and more sober experiences

that I ran into one of my first sober friends after a 2-year absence

that I don't get upset at little things (except sometimes at home, LOL)

for some different behavior at unexpected times



Everything comes to us that belongs to us if we create the capacity to receive it.
- Rabindranath Tagore


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tools

"What NOT to do on your lunch break today."

video

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

to remember that I didn't get sober until I had a Higher Power to surrender to. I can't be in recovery from my alcoholism unless I practice the 12 steps and 12 traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous each and every day.

for all of the spiritual tools I've been offered in recovery

for acceptance of others as doing the best they know how

that the Truxillo House, a 3/4 house for recovering alkies/addicts, has finally reopened after a serious fire 13 months ago. They rebuilt with private donations. No insurance. No government funding.


Too many people grow up. That's the real trouble with the world, too many people grow up. They forget.
- Walt Disney

Monday, January 17, 2011

MLK



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I have NO hate in my life. It's been many years since I've felt that emotion. I am frequently perplexed by those who hate others because of their beliefs. It seems to me that I must allow all people to be free to believe as they wish, without hating them. That doesn't mean I have to agree with them, but I must give them all the leeway I want for myself.

Anything else speaks of hypocrisy.

that Syd is celebrating a birthday today

that I saw The King's Speech yesterday. An excellent movie!



Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it.
Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it.
Hatred darkens life; love illumines it.
- Martin Luther King Jr.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Attitude


The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes. . . . than what other people think. . . . . or say. . . . . . . . or do.

It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company, a church, a home.

The remarkable thing is ….. that we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for the day.

We cannot change our past. We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable.

The only thing we can do is play the one string we have … our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% of what happens to us and 90% how we react to it. And so it is with you.
We are in charge of our attitudes!

Author unknown

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Definitions

CANNIBAL
Someone who is fed up with people.

CHICKENS
The only animals you eat before they are born and after they are dead.

COMMITTEE
A body that keeps minutes and wastes hours.

DUST
Mud with the juice squeezed out.

EGOTIST
Someone who is usually me-deep in conversation.

HANDKERCHIEF
Cold Storage.

INFLATION
Cutting money in half without damaging the paper.

MOSQUITO
An insect that makes you like flies better.

RAISIN
Grape with a sunburn.

SECRET
Something you tell to one person at a time.

SKELETON
A bunch of bones with the person scraped off.

TOOTHACHE
The pain that drives you to extraction.

TOMORROW
One of the greatest labor saving devices of today.

YAWN
An honest opinion openly expressed.

WRINKLES
Something other people have, similar to my character lines.

Friday, January 14, 2011

"We're wise to acknowledge miracles."



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the miraculous recovery (so far) of Congresswoman Giffords in Tuscon. Her primary physician, in a news conference yesterday, said the doctors have done just about all they can do and must now let her recovery take over.
He also said, "We're wise to acknowledge miracles."

for Tradition 12 of Alcoholics Anonymous --- "Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities."

that an ability to live and let live is crucial to my peace and serenity

that the timeline of my life seems to be just what it's supposed to be


Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman,
before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air.
- John Quincy Adams

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Happy Joyous and Free



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a heightened sense of the importance of humility as I understand it

that Ginger S related some of her dramatic story of experience yesterday

for peace in my little corner of the world

that my co-chair and I have begun some serious planning for the 2011 Houston Roundup, scheduled for late November.



It is our choices ... that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.
- J. K. Rowling


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Mid-Week Musings



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I actually remembered to use some of my spiritual/recovery tools when I needed to

that I get to experience another day of thinking, not drinking

for the alkies I get to work with and get to know

for more awareness of when to say no

that our friend, Mary in Denver, will be runnin' again!

that my partner made it safely to London; he'll be there for a month


The man with insight enough to admit his limitations comes nearest to perfection.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe



Tuesday, January 11, 2011

1 11 11



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a wonderful 1st step meeting when we had a newcomer (first AA meeting) at the 6:30am meeting yesterday. We rarely have a first-timer that early in the morning.

that I can remember to tell a newcomer to return for a second meeting; I think that's the most important meeting they may ever attend.

for a seemingly increasing clarity of thinking

that I have no desire to be popular, but I do like for people to like me


Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.



Monday, January 10, 2011

Post #2800



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I got to listen to my friend Juan O. tell his story of experience, strength and hope. He's 19 months sober and has come a long, long way in that short time period.

for restraint of tongue AND pen AND keyboard

for a newly-developing ability of not taking the bait because usually I'd rather be happy than right

that I don't believe everything I read on the internet or hear on the news


In the midst of difficulty lies opportunity.
- Albert Einstein



Sunday, January 09, 2011

I'm just the messenger ...

1. My first job was working in an Orange Juice factory, but I got canned. Couldn't concentrate.

2. Then I worked in the woods as a Lumberjack, but just couldn't hack it, so they gave me the axe.

3. After that, I tried being a Tailor, but wasn't suited for it -- mainly because it was a sew-sew job.

4. Next, I tried working in a Muffler Factory, but that was too exhausting.

5. Then, tried being a Chef - figured it would add a little spice to my life, but just didn't have the thyme.

6. Next, I attempted being a Deli Worker, but any way I sliced it... couldn't cut the mustard.

7. My best job was a Musician, but eventually found I wasn't noteworthy.

8. I studied a long time to become a Doctor, but didn't have any patience.

9. Next, was a job in a Shoe Factory. Tried hard but just didn't fit in.

10. I became a Professional Fisherman, but discovered I couldn't live on my net income.

11. Managed to get a good job working for a Pool Maintenance Company, but the work was just too draining.

12. So then I got a job in a Workout Center, but they said I wasn't fit for the job.

13. After many years of trying to find steady work, I finally got a job as a Historian - until I realized there was no future in it.

14. My last job was working in Starbucks, but had to quit because it was the same old grind.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Piano Brothers

If you're offended by this, talk to your sponsor.

video

Friday, January 07, 2011

I see you!



todAAy i AAM grAAteful & thAAnkful

for familiarity

to know that I have so much more to learn and most of that will come from experience

that solutions to problems (large and small) often come disguised which means I have to remain observant

for those who came before me


You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.
- C. S. Lewis

Thursday, January 06, 2011

take your pick



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for another serene day - that makes about 3 weeks, ever since I lowered and all but eliminated my expectations

that Melody G. told her interesting story yesterday at the noon AA speaker meeting.

for the springtime weather we're having - I'm wearing shorts every day after early morning 40's

for Mr SponsorPants and his post yesterday. Maybe the best blogpost I've ever read. Click HERE to see it.


Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals.
- Henry Ford

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

up to speed



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

I try not to romanticize my drinking days, but memories of those times (good and bad) are necessary for me to keep fresh. Yesterday I was reminded about those first days of drinking as a teenager and the warm feeling of Drambouie as it slowly slipped down my throat. I can look back on that and know now that my alcoholism began then.

for this quote from the Big book, 4th edition, page 450 ...... "I had to separate my sobriety from everything else that was going on in my life. No matter what happened or didn't happen, I couldn't drink."

that today, I get to chair the first of 4 Wednesday noon speaker meetings this month

that my work on lowering my expectations (of everything) is on track and working well


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



Tuesday, January 04, 2011

it's in the trunk ...



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a wonderful Step 8 meeting; I shared about becoming willing to make amends. It's not always easy, but it's certainly worth it.

for a clear head

that I have an instruction manual that tells me how to get sober, how to stay sober and how to live sober

that we got a brand new car yesterday (not another one of my old collector cars). Our 3rd straight Nissan Murano. I think it may be the most car for the money.


This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
- William Shakespeare


Monday, January 03, 2011

Back to my routine



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that the holidays are over and life can return to normal, whatever that is

for fellowship in AA meetings - before and after

that I was present to hear the recovery story of a young woman from Ohio who has the gift of communication

that I stayed home on New Year's Eve; no desire to be out with the revellers. Does this make me an old fogey? If so, that's just fine with me.

for lovely weather here in Houston over the weekend


You don't have the power to make life "fair,"
but you do have the power to make life joyful.

~~ unknown



Sunday, January 02, 2011

S.T.C.

Since seniors are texting more these days, there appears to be a need for a STC (Senior Texting Code). If you qualify for Senior Discounts this is for you.

* ATD ~ At The Doctor's
* BFF ~ Best Friend Farted
* BTW ~ Bring The Wheelchair
* BYOT ~ Bring Your Own Teeth
* CBM ~ Covered By Medicare
* CUATSC ~ See You At The Senior Center
* DWI ~ Driving While Incontinent
* FWB ~ Friend With Beta Blockers
* FWIW ~ Forgot Where I Was
* FYI ~ Found Your Insulin
* GGPBL ~ Gotta Go, Pacemaker Battery Low!
* GHA ~ Got Heartburn Again
* HGBM ~ Had Good Bowel Movement
* IMHO ~ Is My Hearing-Aid On?
* LMDO ~ Laughing My Dentures Out
* LOL ~ Living On Lipitor
* LWO ~ Lawrence Welk's On
* OMMR ~ On My Massage Recliner
* OMSG ~ Oh My! Sorry, Gas!
* ROFL-CGU ~ Rolling On The Floor Laughing-Can't Get Up
* SGGP ~ Sorry, Gotta Go Poop
* TTYL ~ Talk To You Louder
* WAITT ~ Who Am I Talking To?
* WTFA ~ Wet The Furniture Again
* WTP ~ Where's The Prunes?
* WWNO ~ Walker Wheels Need Oil
* GGLKI ~ Gotta Go, Laxative Kicking In
* NCDCWPH ~ Never confuse denture cream with preparation H
* OMG ~ Oh my grandkids


I'll leave you with this non-holiday joke ........

A woman walked up to a little old man rocking in a chair on his porch. “I couldn’t help noticing how happy you look,” she said. “What’s your secret for a long, happy life?” “I smoke three packs of cigarettes a day,” he said. “I also drink a case of whiskey a week, eat fatty foods and never exercise.” “That’s amazing,” the woman said. “How old are you?” He responded, “Twenty-six.”