Sunday, September 30, 2012


Am I practicing these today?  If not, why not?

Saturday, September 29, 2012


Astronomers have combined Space Telescope exposures taken over a decade to create the deepest look into the Universe yet. Scientists explain how they assembled the XDF (eXtreme Deep Field).

Friday, September 28, 2012

I just want to say thanks!

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for all most of the people who make me feel uncomfortable.  I may not appreciate them at the time, but in hindsight, they are often my greatest teachers.

that I am independent, yet dependent on so many

that my friend, John, who tried to kill himself last March, is much better.  He is due to leave TIRR (Texas Institute for Research & Rehabilitation, where Congressperson Giffords rehabbed) next week and go home.  He still has a long way to go but his therapy can be done at home.  He may never walk again, but he's alive and seems willing to stay that way.  Several of us have visited him often over the past 6 months and watched the miracle of recovery from what should have been a fatal gunshot wound to the brain.

Few novels or plays could exist without at least one troublemaker in the group, and perhaps life couldn't either. 
~Mignon McLaughlin

Thursday, September 27, 2012

dot dot dot

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for extracurricular activities such as 

... prayer
... silent meditation
... remembering who I am
... eating
... sleeping
... being friendly
... letting go
... and so on and so on and so on

Never apologize for showing feeling.  When you do so, you apologize for the truth. 
~Benjamin Disraeli

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I got "it" when I got it

that "it" took what "it" took, that's why I got "it"

that to keep "it" I have to give "it" away

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference. 
~Winston Churchill

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Oscar was Wilde

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for contentment.
for the 9th step.
for news ways to react.
for perseverance.
for fresh water at my disposal.
for this.
for that.

If you don't get everything you want, think of the things you don't get that you don't want. 
~Oscar Wilde

Monday, September 24, 2012

Back to the grind.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I accept my maturing mind and the "old ways" that I think

for patience with my slow progress

that I'm in a pretty good place right now

that I have always liked to follow the rules.

for my 10 seasons as a baseball umpire (see above)

I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.
~Thomas Jefferson

Sunday, September 23, 2012


A very important person is watching your every action, listening to your every word, and knows your every thought. That person is you.

Imagine yourself a year from now, looking back on today. Imagine your future self being exceedingly thankful for the way you lived this day.
Then step forward and live today with that in mind. Think, speak and act in such a way that the person you will become inherits many positive benefits from the person you are right now.

Confidence, integrity, strength and effectiveness do not simply appear out of nowhere. They are built by the way you live your life.
And now is your opportunity to live in a powerful, positive way that will benefit your life for a long time to come. Now is your chance to make your future self thankful for the empowering paths you choose to take.

 -- Ralph Marston

Saturday, September 22, 2012


1) A linguistics professor was lecturing his class one day.
'In English', he said, 'A double negative forms a positive. In some languages, though, such as Russian, a double negative is still a negative. However, there is no language wherein a double positive can form a negative.'
A loud voice from the back of the room piped up, 'Yeah, right.'
2) Robert went to his lawyer and said, 'I would like to make a will but I don't know exactly how to go about it.'  The lawyer smiled at Robert and replied, 'Not a problem, leave it all to me.'
Robert looked somewhat upset and said, 'Well, I knew you were going to take a big portion, but I would like to leave a little to my family too!'
3Two lawyers arrive at the pub and ordered a couple of drinks. They then take sandwiches from their briefcases and began to eat.
Seeing this, the angry publican approaches them and says, 'Excuse me, but you cannot eat your own sandwiches in here!'
The two look at each other, shrug and exchange sandwiches.

Friday, September 21, 2012


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for awareness of ...

my Higher Power
what it takes to stay sober
what it takes to enjoy recovery
my tendencies to misbehave
Step 10

All the so-called "secrets of success" will not work unless you do. 
~Author Unknown

Thursday, September 20, 2012


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I wake up sober every morning, ready to tackle the day

that my sponsor strongly suggested to me (I was about 2 months sober) to begin praying every night when I went to bed.  I began then and continue to do this every night.

that I have really gotten better over the past 2 years about not taking things personally; this type of feeling used to just shut me down, often for days

For every minute you are angry, you lose sixty seconds of happiness. 
~Author Unknown

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

In plain sight

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for hope and faith, two concepts I can't afford to do without

that I often share a phrase I heard early in AA, in fact, before I actually stopped drinking.
"God made the Earth round so we won't know what's around the corner."

for opportunities that come out of the blue

Well done is better than well said. 
~Benjamin Franklin

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

nothing lasts forever

a long hot summer

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a life that keeps me as busy as I need to be

that I have no desire to drink or otherwise "check out" even though my emotions have been on a roller coaster lately.  But, as I heard in a meeting, I'd rather be on a roller coaster than a merry-go-round.

Part of the reason for that roller coaster is my financial situation.  It has rapidly deteriorated and we're making the necessary adjustments.  Once again, some old habits (and some not so old) are difficult to break.  But it's all do-able.

If you're going through hell, keep going. 
~Winston Churchill

Monday, September 17, 2012

Doing what's in front of me ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a reminder (not from my partner) that my partner stuck with me through the bad times and I should never forget that

for a really interesting meeting about "aha! moments" in sobriety

for an ever-increasing faith in the universe

that my lowly Astros won 3 out of 4 over the weekend even though they are the worst team in baseball AND
my Houston Texans have begun the season 2-0.  Yea!!!

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

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Drunk Woman

This is NOT a true story.  I'm not married.

My wife Vicky and I were sitting at a table at my high school
reunion, and kept staring at a drunken woman swigging her drink, as she sat alone at a nearby table.

Vicky asks, 'Greg, do you know her?'

'Yes,' I sighed. 'She's my old girlfriend. I understand she started
drinking right after we split up those many years ago, and I hear she hasn't been sober since.

"My goodness!' said Vicky, 'Who would think a person could go on celebrating that long?'
So you see, there really are two ways to look at everything.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Don't say I didn't warn ya .......

A Philadelphia mom is peeved that police gave her a $50 ticket after her 2-year-old son peed against a street light post.
“I’m absolutely going to fight it,” Caroline Robboy told NBC News on Thursday. “It was a potty-training accident.”
Robboy’s legal hassle began Sunday night, she said, when she was out with her elderly in-laws and her three children, ages 9, 6 and 2. Her husband, an ob-gyn, was on the job, delivering babies.
 After eating at a Johnny Rockets diner five blocks from their home in a high-rise, the family went across the street to a clothing store.
Robboy said two of her children told her they needed to go to the bathroom, but the store operators wouldn’t let them use their restroom. They headed back to the diner, but the 2-year-old couldn’t hold it.
"I told him to go over to a grassy patch and make pee,” Robboy told “Next thing you know I have an officer giving me a police ticket for public urination!”
“Every once in a while a 2-year-old catches you off guard,” she said.
“If this were my 9-year-old or 6-year-old I would have been mortified and would have had a much more adult conversation with him,” said Robboy, a licensed social worker and sex education counselor also trained in early childhood education issues.
Robboy said she's been surprised by the strong criticism painting her as "some negligent parent". 
“These people must not be parents – or maybe they are suburban parents,” she said. “We live with homeless people sleeping in our park across the street,” she said. “People defecate in the park, they don’t get tickets.”

Friday, September 14, 2012


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for my long, slow recovery.  I hope yours is the same.  No reason to hurry.  LOL

that I dared to open up my spiritual toolbox.  I found a lot of rust, so it may be time to start cleaning.

that today should be just like a Friday

for faith in the future; this relieves a lot of potential worries

A preoccupation with the future not only prevents us from seeing the present as it is but often prompts us to rearrange the past. 
~Eric Hoffer

Thursday, September 13, 2012

It's such hard work to be an alcoholic.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a better understanding of "love and tolerance" and "to practice theses principles in ALL our affairs".  My basic instinct is to be right and to make you suffer because I'm right.  But of course, I'm the one who suffers when I do this.  That's because I'm letting someone steal my peace.  My serenity. 

that I don't spend hours and hours thinking of how I'm going to get something specific done without interfering with my drinking time

that by simply being an honest person removes all the different stories I have to remember to so many different people

A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be. 
~Douglas Pagels

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Here's Wednesday to you .........

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that we (as a country) made it through another day without an attack

that I have a lot of friends who are celebrating sobriety anniversaries this month

that I'm so much better at NOT responding to the bait; I had a conversation about this yesterday with one of my mentors and that's when it became apparent to me

Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves. 
~Abraham Lincoln

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The day that changed the world ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the freedoms that sobriety and recovery offer me

for the ability to remember (some things)

that I was in my London office on "that" day, eleven years ago.  Where were you?

Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it. 
~Thomas Paine

Monday, September 10, 2012

Here I am (in case you were wondering)

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the simple concept of gratitude.  Without it, many of us in recovery would no longer be in recovery.

that I saw the new movie/documentary called "Bill W."  I'm no movie critic but i was not particularly impressed.  There was, however, some great original film (some in color) of Bill and Bob and Lois and Ann.

for patience

for our first cool(er) front of the season.  Temps dropped by 10-15 degrees.  Nice not to deal with 98-100 degree temps.

Have you learned lessons only of those who admired you, and were tender with you, and stood aside for you? Have you not learned great lessons from those who braced themselves against you, and disputed the passage with you?
--Walt Whitman

Sunday, September 09, 2012

another interesting read ...

If you are right handed, you will tend to chew your food on the right side of your mouth.
If you are left handed, you will tend to chew your food on the left side of your mouth.
To make half a kilo of honey, bees must collect nectar from over 2 million individual flowers
Heroin is the brand name of morphine once marketed by 'Bayer'.
Tourists visiting Iceland should know that tipping at a restaurant is considered an insult!
People in nudist colonies play volleyball more than any other sport ..
Albert Einstein was offered the presidency of Israel in 1952, but he declined.
Astronauts can't belch - there is no gravity to separate liquid from gas in their stomachs.
Ancient Roman, Chinese and German societies often used urine as mouthwash.
The Mona Lisa has no eyebrows. In the Renaissance era, it was fashion to shave them off!
Because of the speed at which Earth moves around the Sun, it is impossible for a solar eclipse to last more than 7 minutes and 58 seconds.
The night of January 20 is "Saint Agnes's Eve", which is regarded as a time when a young woman dreams of her future husband.
Google is actually the common name for a number with a million zeros ..
It takes glass one million years to decompose, which means it never wears out and can be recycled an infinite amount of times!
Gold is the only metal that doesn't rust, even if it's buried in the ground for thousands of years .
Your tongue is the only muscle in your body that is attached at only one end .
If you stop getting thirsty, you need to drink more water. When a human body is dehydrated, its thirst mechanism shuts off.
Each year 2,000,000 smokers either quit smoking or die of tobacco-related diseases.
Zero is the only number that cannot be represented by Roman numerals
Kites were used in the American Civil War to deliver letters and newspapers.
The song, Auld Lang Syne, is sung at the stroke of midnight in almost every English-speaking country in the world to bring in the new year.
Drinking water after eating reduces the acid in your mouth by 61 percent
Peanut oil is used for cooking in submarines because it doesn't smoke unless it's heated above 450 ? F
The roar that we hear when we place a seashell next to our ear is not the ocean, but rather the sound of blood surging through the veins in the ear.
Nine out of every 10 living things live in the ocean
The banana cannot reproduce itself. It can be propagated only by the hand of man
Airports at higher altitudes require a longer airstrip due to lower air density
The University of Alaska spans four time zones
The tooth is the only part of the human body that cannot heal itself.
In ancient Greece , tossing an apple to a girl was a traditional proposal of marriage. Catching it meant she accepted.
Warner Communications paid $28 million for the copyright to the song Happy Birthday.
Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.
A comet's tail always points away from the sun
The Swine Flu vaccine in 1976 caused more death and illness than the disease it was intended to prevent
Caffeine increases the power of aspirin and other painkillers, that is why it is found in some medicines.
The military salute is a motion that evolved from medieval times, when knights in armor raised their visors to reveal their identity.
If you get into the bottom of a well or a tall chimney and look up, you can see stars, even in the middle of the day.
When a person dies, hearing is the last sense to go. The first sense lost is sight
In ancient times strangers shook hands to show that they were unarmed
Strawberries are the only fruits whose seeds grow on the outside
Avocados have the highest calories of any fruit at 167 calories per hundred grams
The moon moves about two inches away from the Earth each year
The Earth gets 100 tons heavier every day due to falling space dust
Due to earth's gravity it is impossible for mountains to be higher than 15,000 meters
Mickey Mouse is known as "Topolino" in Italy
Soldiers do not march in step when going across bridges because they could set up a vibration which could be sufficient to knock the bridge down
Everything weighs one percent less at the equator
For every extra kilogram carried on a space flight, 530 kg of excess fuel are needed at lift-off
The letter J does not appear anywhere on the periodic table of the elements.
And last but not least:
In 2012, December has 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays, and 5 Sundays. This apparently happens once every 823 years!
This is called 'money bags'. So send this on to 5 and money will arrive in 5 days.
Based on Chinese Feng Shui, the one who does not pass this on will have money troubles for the rest of the year.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

An interesting read

I don't know if any of this is true or not, but it's an interesting read.  Someone sent it to me.

Facts about the 1500’s:
The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn’t just how you like it, think about how things used to be. Here are some facts about the 1500s:
 * * * * * *
 Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.
 * * * * * *
 Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children-last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying,  “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.”
 * * * * * *
 Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath.  It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the dogs, cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof.
 Hence the saying “It’s raining cats and dogs.”
 * * * * * *
 There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could really mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That’s how canopy beds came into existence.
 * * * * * *
 The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt.  Hence the saying “dirt poor.”
 * * * * * *
 The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on the floor to help keep their footing.  As the winter wore on, they kept adding more thresh until when you opened the door it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entranceway. Hence the saying a “thresh hold.”
 * * * * * *
 In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot.  They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes the stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme, “Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold,  peas porridge in the pot nine days old.”
 * * * * * *
 Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special.  When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man “could bring home the bacon. “They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and “chew the
 * * * * * *
 Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning and death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.
 * * * * * *
 Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or “upper crust.”
 * * * * * *
 Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock them out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family
would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of  holding a “wake.”
 * * * * * *
 England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a “bone-house” and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside
and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they thought they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night  (the “graveyard shift”) to listen for the bell; thus,  someone could be “saved by the bell” or was considered a “dead ringer.”
 * * * * * *

Friday, September 07, 2012


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for baby steps.  I've been taking them all my life.  They have gotten me to this place I'm at today.  I plan to continue taking them, one day at a time.

that I am entirely ready to let go of all many of the things that keep me from being of service to others

that I have made progress in my personal goal of not taking things personally 

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.
T.S. Eliot

Thursday, September 06, 2012

On awakening ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for sobriety and recovery -- the easier, softer way

for some awareness on my part that I just need to keep reminding myself that everything will happen just the way it's supposed to happen.  I have to do the next right thing (certainly not the next wrong thing) and trust in the process.  FYI - I am specifically referring to re-entering the job market at age 58 and trying to find a new career.  

for all the people who wished me well and congrats on 9 years sober.  I hope I'm around next year to do it again.

Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.
Will Rogers

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

78,908 hours

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for my Higher Power, without which I would never have become sober and hence, would not be sober today

that I've been sober for 3289 days continuously

for everything else

The most difficult thing I have ever had to do is follow the guidance I prayed for.

-  Albert Schweitzer 

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

I speak the truth ......

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that IT happened 9 years ago.  Today.  It was a Thursday.

I was sitting in an A.A. meeting, one I had been attending for 3 months.  It started at 12:15pm and ended one hour later.  During the past few weeks, I had been attending more regularly, probably 3 or 4 days each week.  

A few days before (Sunday) I had experienced a low point in my life.  My drinking had (once again, for the umpteenth time) gotten the best of me.  My behavior had deteriorated so much that I hated myself.

But I degress.

I can't tell you what the meeting was about because I probably heard very little of it.  I was crying and otherwise bemoaning the person I had become.  But here is what happened .........

At exactly 1:00pm (I know this because I glanced at my watch for some reason) I became aware of a power from above me.  I can only describe it as what being hit by a lightning bolt must feel like.  At this moment, I knew, instinctively, that the obsession to continue drinking was gone.  Poof!  It was gone.   There was no mistaking that feeling.  It lasted just a second or two and I may have smiled.
I asked my friend Don, who was sitting next to me, if we could go have a coffee after the meeting.  Of course, he said yes.
A bit later, at coffee with Don, I told him what had happened.  I think his reply was that "you got it, Dave."
We soon parted and I went home.  During the course of the rest of that day, I was ecstatic.  I had a couple or three drinks, just because that's what I had always done.  But I didn't need them.  And I din't want to get drunk.  At 11:30pm, I opened a beer from the fridge and told myself that this would be the last beer I would ever have.

And it was.

It took me 33 years of hard drinking and many hundreds of blackouts to get to this point.  I regret none of it. 
Not one time since September 4, 2003 have I even had a thought about having a drink or wanting to get drunk or to smoke a joint.  I love my sober life and am willing to do whatever it takes to maintain it.  

Thanks for reading.

It is only those who never do anything who never make mistakes.
A. Favre

Monday, September 03, 2012

Not Laboring

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the results I get from practicing the concept of restraint of tongue and pen (and keyboard)

that 9 years ago today I was experiencing the feeling(s) that I needed to feel in order to surrender my 33 years of drinking.  This would go on another day.

Every day should be passed as if it were to be our last.
Publilius Syrus

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Saturday, September 01, 2012

The Four Agreements

The Four Agreements
from the Toltec Teachings of Don Miguel Ruiz

1. Be Impeccable with your Word.
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself- or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

2. Don't Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.

3. Don't Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment. It will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick.  Under any circumstance simply do your best - and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.

Everything we do is based on agreements we have made - agreements with ourselves - agreements with other people - agreements with God - agreements with life.

But the most important agreements are the ones we make with ourselves. In these agreements we tell ourselves who we are — how to behave - what is possible - and what is impossible.