Saturday, June 30, 2012

Redneck Medical Dictionary

Rednecks have the lowest stress rate because they do not take medical terminology seriously.

Medical Term : Redneck Definition

Artery:  The study of paintings

Bacteria:  Back door to cafeteria

Barium:  What doctors do when patients die

Benign:  What you be, after you be eight

Caesarean Section:  A neighborhood in Rome

Cat scan:  Searching for Kitty

Cauterize:  Made eye contact with her

Colic:  A sheep dog

Coma:  A punctuation mark

Dilate:  To live long

Enema:  Not a friend

Fester:  Quicker than someone else

Fibula:  A small lie

Impotent:  Distinguished, well known

Labor Pain:  Getting hurt at work

Medical Staff:  A Doctor's cane

Morbid:  A higher offer

Nitrates:  Rates of Pay for Working at Night, Normally more money than Days

Node:  I knew it

Outpatient:  A person who has fainted

Pelvis:  Second cousin to Elvis

Post Operative:  A letter carrier

Recovery Room:  Place to do upholstery

Rectum:  Nearly killed him

Secretion:  Hiding something

Seizure:  Roman Emperor

Tablet:  A small table

Terminal Illness:  Getting sick at the airport

Tumor: One plus one more

Urine:  Opposite of you're out

Friday, June 29, 2012

hAAppy fridAAy

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for an increasing tolerance of others that I never had before I got sober.
This may one of the biggest changes in my day-to-day attitude.  

for patience

for willingness to try new things (except broccoli)

for the people who I personally identify as my mentors

If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire, then you got a problem.  Everything else is inconvenience.
~Robert Fulghum

Thursday, June 28, 2012

It's all about .....

todAay i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for action.  It's all about action.

for solutions.  It's all about solutions.

for my Higher Power.  It's all about having a Higher Power.

for my sobriety.  It's all about not drinking.

for recovery.  It's all about a new design for living.

Note to self: finding a cool quote and writing it in your journal is not a substitute for Getting. It. Done.
~Betsy CaƱas Garmon

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

just words

I took this picture Monday evening while waiting for my partners' flight to arrive.  I was parked in a viewing area just a couple of hundred feet from the end of a runway.  
This plane is a Russian Antonov 124.  It's one of the largest aircraft ever built.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the concepts of balance and moderation.  Someday, I hope to visit those regions.

for awareness of my skewed perceptions

that every now and then, I prefer to live now rather than then

that even though I don't have much to write about this morning, I'm sober and really happy about that.

Never mistake motion for action.
~Ernest Hemingway

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

hot and cold

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for Step Eight.  And for my sponsor, who stressed that I not read too much into the steps as they are written.  He told me to keep it simple.  "Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them."
I read that as 2 parts; 1) made a list   2) become willing
At the meeting yesterday on this topic, I heard people going on and on making this so difficult it couldn't possibly be done in one person's lifetime.  
Thanks Robert.

for additional evidence throughout my day that everything happens for a reason.
I wish I could remember this when things are happening.

that I lived through the day yesterday.  We have record-breaking heat here in Houston (101 degrees) and our air conditioning went out during the morning.  The repairman didn't make it here until after 6pm and by that time, the inside temp was 89 deg.  My cats WERE NOT AMUSED.
The problem was a burned out capacitor.

After all is said and done, 
a lot more will have been said than done.
~Author Unknown

Monday, June 25, 2012


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I'm blessed with another sober day in front of me

that my life as a sober man seems so much more complete

for this memory -- someone shared how they thought they would always have to get drunk every day.  For the rest of their life.  I sooooooooooo identified with this.  I remember thinking this countless times for 3 decades.  It was just my fate in life that I would live until drinking killed me.

for an ever-changing mind in an ever-changing world

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matter compared to what lies within us.
~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Letter from Bill W

A letter from a group in Chicago which was mailed to Bill W. in 1960 taking his inventory. Below is his response (he was 25 years sober at the time):

"That you seemed disillusioned with me personally may be a new and painful experience for you but many members have had that experience with me. Most of their pain has been caused not only by my several shortcomings but by their own insistence on placing me, a drunk, trying to get along with other folks, upon a completely illusionary pedestal; a station which no fallible person could possible occupy.
"I'm sure that you will understand that I have never held myself out to anybody as either a saint or a superman. I have repeatedly and truthfully said that A.A. is full of people who have made more spiritual progress than I ever, or can make. That in some areas of living I have made some decided gains but in others I seem to have stood still. And in others, still other ways I may have gone backwards. I am sorry that you are disillusioned with me but I am happy that even I have found a life here."

Saturday, June 23, 2012

All alone at Night 

Click here for a really cool video.
Many wonders are visible when flying over the Earth at night. A compilation of such visual spectacles was captured recently from the International Space Station (ISS) and set to rousing music. Passing below are white clouds, orange city lights, lightning flashes in thunderstorms, and dark blue seas. On the horizon is the golden haze of Earth's thin atmosphere, frequently decorated by dancing auroras as the video progresses. The green parts of auroras typically remain below the space station, but the station flies right through the red and purple auroral peaks. Solar panels of the ISS are seen around the frame edges. The ominous wave of approaching brightness at the end of each sequence is just the dawn of the sunlit half of Earth, a dawn that occurs every 90 minutes.

(if the link doesn't work, copy and paste the URL at the top)  It's worth the view!

Friday, June 22, 2012

an experience you must miss

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the lessons that others give me.  Free of charge.  While I may be judgmental, those who talk the talk but don't walk the walk teach me a lot.  Their example keeps me on my toes do make sure that I don't follow in their footsteps.

that I'm pretty good at changing with the times, but some of today's music just doesn't do it for me

for the relief that being sober allows me

Remain calm, serene, always in command of yourself.
You will then find out how easy it is to get along.
- Paramahansa Yogananda

Thursday, June 21, 2012

self knowledge?

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I don't seem to have any identifiable triggers to drink, but I have plenty of triggers to further short-term anxiety

that I'm continuously learning more about myself.  Some of it's good and some of it's stuff I don't care to know.

for progress

that I am not static in my recovery

Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer

but wish we didn't.
- Erica Jong

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

a few thoughts ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I woke up sober (again) this morning with no desire to have a drunken day.  I won't have to take care of business by 9am so I can start drinking.  In fact, if I need to write anything, I can do that now because I don't have the DT's anymore.  I used to have to have a couple of beers before I could control my hands in the morning.  I won't be at Griff's (my pub) at 10am to help with the opening of the bar, so I won't start my first pint of beer at 10am either.

for the freedom that Alcoholics Anonymous gives each of us to think and believe only what we need to think and believe

for the progression of sobriety

Live with intention.
Walk to the edge.
Listen hard.
Practice wellness.
Play with abandon.
Choose with no regret.
Appreciate your friends.
Continue to learn.
Do what you love.
Live as if this is all there is.

- Mary Anne Radmacher

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

can you hear?

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I ask my Higher Power every day to provide me with the guidance so that I may be the best I can be.  This is my condensed version of Step Seven, which reads, "Humbly asked Him to remove my shortcomings."

that I have a pretty good working knowledge of the 12 steps, just enough to make me dangerous.  I fully intend to continue learning more about them.

that I've become so much better at not letting your (or anyone's) unhappiness affect my happiness

Love is granting another the space to be
the way they are and the way they are not.

- Werner Erhard

Monday, June 18, 2012

here we go. again.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a peaceful, easy weekend

that I no longer do things that I have to hide or lie about;  this really provides a lot of freedom I didn't know about until I got sober at 49 years of age

that I have a very healthy fear of 2-wheel vehicles.  One of my bestest friends had a scooter accident this weekend and now has a badly fractured elbow.  It seems so avoidable.  Since I was a kid, I have refused to ride on motorcycles and such.  Of course, I have a 1961 Volkswagen Beetle that doesn't even have seat belts.  Maybe I better just shut up.

Remain calm, serene, always in command of yourself.
You will then find out how easy it is to get along.

- Paramahansa Yogananda

Sunday, June 17, 2012


If you ask most people what is their one major objective in life, they would probably give you a vague answer, such as, "I want to be successful, be happy, make a good living," and that is it. They are all wishes and none of them are clear goals.

Goals must be SMART:

1. S--specific. For example, "I want to lose weight." This is wishful thinking. It becomes a goal when I pin myself down to "I will lose 10 pounds in 90 days."

2. M--must be measurable. If we cannot measure it, we cannot accomplish it. Measurement is a way of monitoring our progress.

3. A--must be achievable. Achievable means that it should be out of reach enough to be challenging but it should not be out of sight, otherwise it becomes disheartening.

4. R--realistic. A person who wants to lose 50 pounds in~30 days is being unrealistic.

5. T--time-bound. There should be a starting date and a finishing date.

Please comment your opinion on this and add something yourself.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Friday, June 15, 2012

Have a lovely Friday .........

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for progress that will never become perfection

that I have good days and not-as-good days, but I no longer have drunk days or black-out days

for alone time; that's when I recharge myself

for time spent _________; that's what I do when I'm recharged!  (fill in the blank)

It is easier to put on slippers than to carpet the entire world.
- Al Franken

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Careful now ........

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my drinking obsession that lasted for 33+ years was removed from me just before I gave up

that someone in the program told me not to give up 5 minutes before the miracle

that I was able to pass those two things along to a sponsee who is doubting his ability to keep trying to stay sober 

for The Promises of Alcoholics Anonymous

We deem those happy, who from the experience of life have learnt to bear its ills without being overcome by them.
- Carl Jung

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

getting there ........

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for Chapter 3 of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.  
"The delusion that we are like other people, or presently may be, has to be smashed.
We alcoholics are men and women who have lost the ability to control our drinking.  We know that no real alcoholic ever recovers control."

"In some instances there has been brief recovery, followed always by a still worse relapse."

for some wonderful remembrances of my 2 decades of travel.  I got to meet so many unique people of so many cultures.  I don't seem to write about it much here, but I used to be in the oil exploration industry and got to spend time in about 30 countries, often for months at a time.  I got to actually know the local people; it wasn't like being a tourist.  I was working in those places.  Eating and drinking in those places.  I even had vehicles and apartments (sometimes) in those places.  Even my frequent blackouts did not take away all the memories.  But I sometimes wonder about the things/people I don't remember and never will remember.  Oh well.  This is my journey.

It is a man's own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways.
- The Buddha

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

short & sweet

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I have a working brain

for a lack of excuses to not do the next right thing

for the dailyness of Step 6

that I can make up new words

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
~ George Bernard Shaw

Monday, June 11, 2012

The slow journey

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for freedom.  I was reminded that I can have all the freedom I want as long as I'm willing to be responsible for the consequences.

that I can toss away my pride/ego at least for a short period of time and do the next right thing, especially when it may help another person

for the power of just a phone call

that yesterday was the 77th birthday of Alcoholics Anonymous.  Thanks Ebbie.  Thanks Bill. Thanks Bob.  And thanks to countless others!

"Some people will believe anything if you whisper it to them."
~~ unknown

Sunday, June 10, 2012

... on being remembered

About a hundred years ago, a man looked at the morning newspaper and to his surprise and horror, read his name in the obituary column. The news papers had reported the death of the wrong person by mistake. His first response was shock. Am I here or there? When he regained his composure, his second thought was to find out what people had said about him. The obituary read, "Dynamite King Dies." And also "He was the merchant of death." This man was the inventor of dynamite and when he read the words "merchant of death," he asked himself a question, "Is this how I am going to be remembered?" He got in touch with his feelings and decided that this was not the way he wanted to be remembered. From that day on, he started working toward peace. His name was Alfred Nobel and he is remembered today by the great Nobel Prize.
Just as Alfred Nobel got in touch with his feelings and redefined his values, we should step back and do the same.
What is your legacy?
How would you like to be remembered?
Will you be spoken well of?
Will you be remembered with love and respect?
Will you be missed?

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Little Darlin'

I've always loved this song.  But to watch the Diamonds sing it on stage makes it even better.  I have posted them singing it twice -- in 1957 when they first had a big hit with it --- and in 2004 at a PBS reunion.  I just think it's amazing to compare then, and now.


Friday, June 08, 2012

Step Twelve

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for Step Twelve and the AA literature that talks about it.

"When a man or woman has a spiritual awakening, the most important meaning of it is that he has now become able to do, feel, and believe that which he could not do before on his unaided strength and resources alone.  He has been granted an gift which amounts to a new state of consciousness and being."

That is very true in my experience.  My first spiritual awakening was the total removal of the obsession to drink alcohol.  I'm still friggin' amazed.

"Even the newest of newcomers finds undreamed rewards as he tries to help his brother alcoholic, the one who is even blinder than he."

Every time I work with another alkie.  Without fail.

Have a GREAT weekend!!

"If you want something done, ask a busy person."
~~ Benjamin Franklin

Thursday, June 07, 2012

on second thought ......

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I enjoy working with others.  It gives me more perspective on myself, but it also just gives me more gratitude to have my own little set of issues.  I wouldn't trade my stuff for yours or yours or yours -- any day!

I enjoy the process of listening and sharing with another alcoholic about the way we think and the ways we behave.  Both in the past and present.

that the experiences of others makes me grateful for what I can do can be today.

for the willingness to know more about --- me!

"A man's real worth is determined by what he does when he has nothing to do."
~~ unknown

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Yes, there is a solution.

Ozzy Osbourne (in case you didn't know)

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the Big Book study I go to every Tuesday morning.  I know I've mentioned this numerous times, but I can't say enough about it (apparently).  Yesterday, we read chapter 2, "There is a Solution".  There is so much wisdom in these few pages.  I doubt that many newly-sober or still-drinking alkies can understand much of what is contained in those paragraphs.  For some, there are most assuredly some AHA! moments.  For me, the whole damn thing is an AHA! moment.  LOL

that I spent a day (yesterday) out of my normal zone.  I actually skipped a regular 12:15p meeting where I'm a regular so I could spend a day with my partner and his Mom.  In 8+ years, I can probably count on both hands the number of times I've missed that meeting unless I was out of town.  

Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.
- Epictetus

Tuesday, June 05, 2012


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for slow growth, except around the waist

that I have been able to (pretty much) turn a negative experience where I might usually grow and nurture a tremendous resentment into an opportunity for growth.  I just keep telling myself that I have so much to learn and this is another chance at learning.  So many people have issues worse than mine.  Some compassion on my part is the order of the day.  But at the same time, I don't have to be a doormat.  Finding that right balance is very difficult for me.  My sponsor will be able to help my perception, so we're going to sit and discuss this.

that I plan to stay sober and serene today

You have to do your own growing no matter how tall your grandfather was.
- Abraham Lincoln

Monday, June 04, 2012

simple things

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for time spent outside at car shows and performing yard work.

for time spent indoors, recharging

that I started reading Drop the Rock (removing character defects).  A book about Steps Six and Seven.  I do not particularly like to read (ironic, eh).  So I will take my sweet time reading this, but it should pay handsome dividends.

that it can be so advantageous to be honest and open-minded

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Making a difference

There was a man taking a morning walk at or the beach. He saw that along with the morning tide came hundreds of starfish and when the tide receded, they were left behind and with the morning sun rays, they would die. The tide was fresh and the starfish were alive. 

The man took a few steps, picked one and threw it into the water. He did that repeatedly. Right behind him there was another person who couldn't understand what this man was doing. He caught up with him and asked, "What are you doing? There are hundreds of starfish. How many can you help? What difference does it make?" 

This man did not reply, took two more steps, picked up another one, threw it into the water, and said, "It makes a difference to this one."

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Self Discipline

Self-discipline appears in various forms, such as perseverance, restraint, endurance, thinking before acting, finishing what you start doing, and as the ability to carry out one's decisions and plans, in spite of inconvenience, hardships or obstacles.

Self-discipline also means self-control, the ability to avoid unhealthy excess of anything that could lead to negative consequences.

One of the main characteristics of self-discipline is the ability to forgo instant and immediate gratification and pleasure, in favor of some greater gain or more satisfying results, even if this requires effort and time.
The term self-discipline often causes some discomfort and resistance, due to the erroneous notion that it is something unpleasant, difficult to attain, and which requires a lot of effort and sacrifice. Actually, exercising and attaining self discipline can be fun, does not require strenuous efforts, and the benefits are great.

True self-discipline is not a punitive or restrictive lifestyle as some people think, and it has nothing to do with being narrow minded or living like a fakir. It is the expression of inner strength and staying power, vital for dealing with the affairs of daily life and for the achieving of goals.

Self discipline, together with willpower, can help you overcome laziness, procrastination and indecisiveness. Both enable you to take action and persevere with it, even if the action is unpleasant and requires effort.
With Self-discipline you can exercise moderation in what you do, become more patient, tolerant, understanding and considerate. In addition, it helps you withstand external pressure and influence.

A self disciplined person is more punctual, and invests more time and effort in what he or she does. A self disciplined person is more likely to take control of his or her life, set goals, and taking concrete steps to achieve them. 

Self discipline is well portrayed in the story about the rabbit and the turtle, who conducted a race. The rabbit was so sure he was faster, and so he went to sleep, while the turtle plodded along, with self discipline and willpower, and eventually, arrived first to the finish mark. 

With self sidcipline you finish what you start.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Things on my mind this morning

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I have a working knowledge of AA's twelve traditions.  Yesterday, in a meeting, the topic was Tradition 11.  "Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films."  I won't go into the various interpretations I've heard, but I'm really glad my sponsor forced me to read and discuss the meaning of these traditions back during my early recovery.  I have attended 2 tradition meetings each month of my sobriety and was lucky enough to attend a workshop on "Anonymity and the Internet" at the 2010 International Conference of Alcoholics Anonymous.

that I'm pretty good at having an objective attitude on most subjects; I'm usually able to see both sides of an argument.  I'm currently having to do this regarding a situation in my life this week.

that I had a really good, long talk with a new sponsee.  A sponsee who has been trying to stay sober for 11 years.  I sure do hope he's ready and willing to do whatever it takes.  A fourth DUI isn't going to be pretty.  Especially at 33 years old.  I'm really trying to impress on him about changing people, places and things.  I've always heard that if nothing changes, nothing changes.  Hey, that's pretty simple, eh?

Science may have found a cure for most evils;
but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all --
the apathy of human beings.

- Helen Keller