Sunday, April 30, 2006

Retracing Steps

Click here

a sweet little Sunday video

Noah's Ark


Everything I need to know about life, I learned from Noah's Ark...
... don't miss the boat
... remember that we are all in the same boat
... plan ahead, it wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark
... stay fit -- when you're 90 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big
... don't listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done
... build your future on high ground
... for safety's sake, travel in pairs
... speed isn't always an advantage - the snails were on board with the cheetahs
... when you're stressed, float a while
... remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals
... no matter the storm, when you are with God, there's always a rainbow waiting.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

The (Katrina) Beat Goes On ...

This past weekend FEMA and the City of Austin , along with the Texas Workforce Commission setup a job training/hiring/interview/job fair for all the Katrina FEMA evacuees in the Austin area to be held at the ACC campus on Webberville Road in East Austin.
Several of the evacuees said they had no transportation to get from the apartment complexes. So the city of Austin/FEMA/TWC set up transportation for each of them to ensure they would be able to partake of the benefit of job searching. The transportation consisted of nine buses and vans, to run from four locations in Round Rock, and five locations in Austin, in continuing shuttles back and forth to the campus to ensure that the hundreds of people looking for jobs would be transported in comfort. The vehicles were brought to their residences; drivers knocked on the doors; and every effort was made.

At the end of the day, the nine vans and buses transported a total of one person.
Not one person per bus - one person total.

At the end of the day, none of the Katrina Evacuees applied for any of the jobs. Not one person took employment - NONE total.

The bill to FEMA was $7800.
And yet they still get on TV claiming that the United States Government "OWES THEM", I say we don't owe them anything and if anything, they OWE us - the Tax Payers that are "WORKING PEOPLE", they owe what they have been mooching off of the tax payers for the past 8 months. It is obvious that they don't intend to work as long as they can sponge off of the system. It is time to cut them loose and tell them the free ride is over !

Update: the City of Houston serious crime rate has increased dramatically since Katrina. Gang-related crimes have skyrocketed while the murder rate is up 18% from the previous 12 month period. There are still 1000's of Katrina survivors living in government-paid apartments and hotel rooms. The bill so far is estimated at $350 million and counting. This doesn't include the extra $180,000 per day for the local school district costs to educate the additional children. Most health and medical-related facilities are at capacity. Few have the money to pay for those costs. I'm just sayin' ...

Friday, April 28, 2006

Friday Gratitude

"When I joined A.A., I did so for the sole purpose of getting sober and staying sober. I didn't realize I would find so much more, but a new and different outlook on life started opening up almost immediately. Each day seems to be so much more productive and satisfying. I get so much more enjoyment out of living . I find an inner pleasure in simple things. Living just for today is a pleasant adventure.
Above all, I am grateful to A.A. for my sobriety, which means so much to my family, friends, and business associates, because God and A.A. were able to do for me something I was unable to do for myself."
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, 4th edition, page 358

todAAy iAAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that Mom's appointment with her new opthamologist went well with no unexpected surprises regarding her eyesight

for the pleasant drive to Tomball from Montrose (central Houston) at 8 o'clock in the morning

that my family is reaping the consequences of having a sober dAAve

that I got to a 12:15pm meeting at 12:15pm, which to me, is late

for completing more projects yesterday afternoon; I'm on a roll this week (just like butter)

that Jane and Johno and Phil have posted again, drop by to welcome them back

Other people’s faults are like bees—if we don't see them, they don't harm us.
-Luis Vigil

Twelve Points

Twelve points to ponder......

1. Life is sexually transmitted.
2. Health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.
3. Men have two emotions: Hungry and Horny. If you see him without an erection, make him a sandwich.
4. Give a person a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a person to use the Internet and they won’t bother you for weeks.
5. Some people are like Slinkies ... not really good for anything, but you can’t help smiling when you see one tumble down the stairs.
6. Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.
7. Whenever I start feeling blue, I start breathing again.
8. All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.
9. Why does a slight tax increase cost you two hundred dollars and a substantial tax cut saves you thirty cents.
10. In the 60’s people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal.
11. Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.
12. Most “terrorists” are reported to have come to the US legally, but they then hang around on expired visas, some for as long as 10 to 15 years. Now compare that to Blockbuster; if you are 2 days late with a video, those people are all over you. I think we should put Blockbuster in charge of immigration.


Thursday, April 27, 2006

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy

During my 33 year drinking career, there must have been hundreds thousands of times when I fought the craving to pop open a beer.
I would take it from the fridge and set it on the kitchen counter or on my desk. Then I'd contemplate it. I instinctively knew that once opened, my productive day would be finished.
Open it or put it back?
Open it or put it back?

I always opened it.

visit the rest of my HNT friends

Living Me Softly

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I'm taking Mom to see a new opthamologist today, near her nursing home (she thinks she's going blind)(we'll see)(pun intended)

for a superb meeting about Letting It Go

that I have attacked no less than 11 projects the last 2 days that needed doing, completing most of them

that accomplishing things, especially when they are for others, gives me great satisfaction and a whole bunch of serenity

that I was able to add a little bit of flash to this otherwise mundane blog

that this Saturday is Birthday Night @ Lambda

Denial is Not a River in Egypt

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Offshore Texas

From 1981-1984 I worked offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. Not on an oil rig or platform, but on a seismic boat. The front end, or beginning of the oil exploration experience. The data we collected gave the geophysicists an idea of where to actually drill. The picture on the right is a shot of the boat I worked on as our helicopter approached for a crew change. Typically, these boats had a total crew of 35-40 men.

Very interesting work. I loved it.

I worked a 4-week on, 2-week off schedule. We didn't drink offshore, but rarely was there a shortage of things to smoke. Of course, many of us smoked cigarettes too. Look at those eyes.Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

The boat I worked on usually made 2 or 3 port calls during the 4-week period. There was always supplies and equipment to load and offload, but it was understood by "the bosses" that we also needed some drinkin' time while ashore. We would find a nearby bar and consume all we could in as short a time as possible. Often we had only a couple of hours before we had to return to the boat. Needless to say (but I will anyway) most of us got blitzed.

(left) daily work on the back deck

This type of drinking became a way of life for me. When I wasn't offshore, I was drunk or at least waiting to get drunk. Those were fun days, I must admit. But I don't miss them at all.
I'm just glad I lived through it.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I am alive and sober today

that when they told me I didn't have to feel this way any more, they were right

that I am able to handle my Mom's daily affairs as well as my own - it makes for a full-time job (in my head LOL)

for a long conversation with my sister about lots of stuff

for some lovely, much needed rain overnight

Ladies & Gentlemen, I am proud to introduce to you ...
Matt V 2.0 from Lambda ------- drop by and say hello

We have a choice: to plow new ground or let the weeds grow.
-Jonathan Westover

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Enjoying Life As It Occurs

Future Alcoholic

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I'm not too much of a crybaby (any longer)

for lazy Monday's

that it takes what it takes and that's a different experience for all of us

for A.A.'s Step 9 -- a life changing experience for me

that we had an 18th AA birthday to celebrate at the 6:30am meeting today

Be absolutely determined to enjoy what you do.
-Gerry Sikorski

Monday, April 24, 2006

Acting no more

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a nice visit with Mom on Sunday; 2 of her long-time friends showed up to visit as I was departing

for another full weekend of recovery

that I was involved in celebrating Lambda Center's 28th birthday

to all the recovering alkies who helped to make it a success

for a phone call from a brand new newcomer after his first AA meeting -- GREAT STUFF!!

for short, unofficial visits with a sponsee

for the people on the Houston Roundup Committee; their commitment and enthusiasm

"I really do not mind straight people as long as they act gay in public."
a friend

Dear Dr. Ruth

Sunday, April 23, 2006

A Hot Issue

It's no secret that electricity bills have doubled and in some cases, tripled. Just since last summer. With approximately 4 million residents in the Houston area, there is a significant percentage of folks who live on fixed incomes. Some live on just their monthly social security check while others may have other additional income. The point is that each and every dollar is accounted for. Many can't pay their March and April electric bills.

And now, here comes summer.

I predict that dozens of older Houstonians will die this year before any drastic action is taken. I don't have the answer. And I don't know whether it will have to be some level of government or the power companies themselves. But nobody will do anything until deaths occur from the excessive heat. Once the politicians see some of their important voting constituency disappearing, maybe they will take some action.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

My Earliest Memory

I know it was in Longview, Texas. That's where I so graciously lived with my parents and older sister before all of us packed up and moved to The Big City in 1958.

I was sitting on the floor of our kitchen; Mom was on the telephone, above me. She seemed upset, then she began crying. It somehow affected me to see my mother crying while she was on the telephone. Quickly, Dad appeared on the scene and the phone call was over. I can't remember the dialogue, but I know that my Mom had just found out that a favorite aunt and uncle had just died. In a car wreck.

I was 3 years old. Possibly 4.

What is your earliest memory?

The Window

Image hosting by Photobucket

Friday, April 21, 2006

New Ideas

"If we really depended upon God, we couldn't very well play God to our fellows nor would we feel the urge wholly to rely on human protection and care. These were the new attitudes that finally brought many of us an inner strength and peace that could not be deeply shaken by the shortcomings of others or by any calamity not of our own making."

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that everything around me reminds me that I am not God

to realize that power and control are usually detriments to my peace and serenity

for accountability -- to myself, to my Home Group, to those I love AND those I don't love and certainly to my Higher Power

that our Founder's Day events this weekend @ Lambda include 2 original short-movies about Life at Lambda, 2 recovery skits performed by Lambda members, a spaghetti dinner and a few reflections from Lambda members about what recovery there has meant to them

that I seem to be able to deal with beaureauocracy and red tape much easier than I used to

to see Queen Elizabeth celebrate her 80th birthday

for some much need rain this morning although we could have done without the high winds

I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones.
-John Cage

Be Careful Where You Sit

toilet face
Apparently, Home Depot does not carry this model.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Rigorous Attempts

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

tha I took my Mom to visit a psychiatrist who confirmed what we had been told before about the relationship between strokes and depression; he adjusted her medication

for 3 people at the 6:30am AA meeting today who have their first sobriety dates this month

that I am alive & sober

that I am relatively healthy

that today, I will Do My Best and be happy with the results

that many years ago, I developed the habit of obeying traffic laws and driving rules

that I haven't had a traffic ticket since 1975 (I hope this doesn't jinx me LOL)

for the new Sobriety Society website where we can choose a topic and talk about it to death for a week (thanks to Scott for creating this)

Ultimately, it is through serving others that we become fully human.
-Marsha Sinetar

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy

HNT sobriety society

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

a life of its own

Shit happens Things occur in daily life that I don't like. Often.

"I realized 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. In fact, none of these things that I was going through had anything to do with my sobriety; the tides of life flow endlessly for better or worse, both good and bad, and I cannot allow my sobriety to become dependent on these ups and downs of living. Sobriety must live a life of its own."
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, Fourth Edtion, pages 450, 451

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that onions have an infinite number of layers

that Scott and David weren't hurt during their April police chase

for a nice talk with a really sweet-hearted guy while drinking a tall coffee @ Starbuck's

that I got to see both my sponsee's yesterday at different meetings

that Lambda Center celebrates its 28th Anniversary this weekend with Founder's Day events

for technology that allows me to purchase Astros ticket online and print them out at home

that tomorrow is hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy (just a reminder to get your cameras out)

Be a good listener.
Your ears will never get you in trouble.
-Frank Tyger


You may not see it at first, but the white spaces read the word optical and the blue landscape reads the word illusion. Look again! Can you see why this painting is called an optical illusion?

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Sobriety Insurance

Don't drink alcohol. Ever.
Go to meetings. Often.
Get a sponsor and talk to him/her. Often.
Read the Big Book. Often.
Keep conscious contact. Pray often.
Enjoy the Fellowship. Often.

These are the premiums for my Sobriety Insurance. I pay them every day. They are things I never did for the 33 years that I got drunk every day. It is not a high price to pay for being more clear-headed, happier and more serene than I have ever been. And I rarely get angry any more. That's huge for this guy.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I can pay for sobriety insurance every day

that when I cry today, it's because of understanding and compassion, not incomprehensible demoralization

that summer is here already (92 deg yesterday) -- I might as well be grateful, it ain't going away!

for a newcomer to a meeting who realized he need help

for awareness of so much more than "how much longer can I drink today?"

that no matter what happens today, I don't have to get drunk

that my friend, aawakenings, created a much better Sobriety Society banner -- click on his site or scroll down to my Sunday post to download the banner for your site

If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to it.
-Jonathan Winters

puzzled again

The word TEACH reflects as LEARN.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Dancing with Thoughts

Someone shared at a meeting ...

(paraphrased) "At the nursing home where I work with patients with dementia, a resident came to me and wanted to talk. As she began to speak to me, she said she forgot what she wanted to tell me. I told her that happens to me all the time; that my thoughts often just fly right out of my head. She then told me that if I see a thought flying past that doesn't belong to me, to grab it because it is hers."

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I got Mom out of the nursing home for a visit to my sister's house, 20 minutes away; this was her first non-doctor journey since Christmas

that my very-selective memory keeps telling me to continue to Keep Coming Back

for another weekend full of sobriety and serenity

that 2 years and 7 months and 2 weeks ago, I didn't give up 5 minutes before the miracle

for all of the people at meetings with very little sober time and know that they have so much potential

that each day, I must remember about Honesty, Open-Mindedness and Willingness

that KENNY celebrates 2 years of sobriety today - stop by and say howdy!

**NOTE** if you want a Sobriety Society banner, scroll down to yesterday's post

You can't be afraid of stepping on toes if you want to go dancing.
-Lewis Freedman


In black you can read the word GOOD,

in white the word EVIL

(inside each black letter is a white letter).

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Sobriety Society banner

I recently came up with what I believe is a fitting name for those of us in recovery who read and write these blogs on a regular basis.

voila -- say hello to The Sobriety Society

The only requirement for membership is a desire to write about your recovery. There are no dues or fees.
If you'd like a small banner for permanent placement, here are a couple to choose from that you can copy and paste using Blogger Image Upload or Flickr!, as the case may be or you may be using a different image upload system.


You might also use " tags" if you're in the habit of using those.

Easter Coverup

I am not a religous person,

but to those of you who are ...

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Bush is My Bitch

Comedian Travis Simmons performs live at the Seattle Comedy Underground.
CLICK HERE for his take on The President.

Math 101

Last week I purchased a burger at BK for $3.58.
After the counter girl took my $4.00, I pulled 8 cents from my pocket and gave it to her. As she stood there holding the nickel and 3 pennies, while looking at the screen on her register with a blank stare, I sensed her discomfort. I tried to tell her to just give me two quarters, but she hailed the manager instead. While he tried to explain the transaction to her, she stood there and cried.

Why do I tell you this? Because of the evolution in teaching math since the 1950's ---

Teaching math in 1950: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit?

Teaching math in 1960: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What is his profit?

Teaching math in 1970: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80. Did he make a profit?

Teaching math in 1980: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment: Underline the number 20.

Teaching math in 1990: A logger cuts down a beautiful forest because he is selfish and inconsiderate and cares nothing for the habitat of animals or the preservation of our woodlands. He does this so he can make a profit of $20. What do you think about this way of making a living? Topic for class discussion after answering the question: How did the birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down their homes? (There are no wrong answers.)

Teaching math in 2010: Un hachero vende una carretada de madera para $100. El costo de la produccisn es $80. Cuantes tortillas se puede comprar?

Easter tradition

Friday, April 14, 2006

Firing on all Pistons

"We have learned that the satisfaction of instincts cannot be the sole end and aim of our lives. If we place instincts first, we have got the cart before the horse. We shall be pulled backward into disillusionment. But when we are willing to place spiritual growth first -- then and only then do we have a real chance."

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a powerful meeting with a sponsee yesterday - all about Step 8

that I grow so much when doing step-work with other alcoholics

for a series of little coincidences that I've experienced the past few days; some might call these God Shots

that my friend Justin is in town for the weekend

that my friend Liz has returned safely from 4 weeks visiting Australia

for the lovely weather we're having this week

that I got to watch 2 Astros games on TV yesterday while I did some housework

that I hope everyone has a Good Friday, unless you're not Christian. Then I hope you have a Great Friday.

that I rarely feel the need to be politically correct (that's obvious by some of the mild pictures I post)

The art of acceptance is the art of making someone who has just done you a small favor wish that he might have done you a greater one.
-Russell Lynes

Guess who I ran into today ...

Futbol, Brasilian Style

have a
for this?


Thursday, April 13, 2006


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that Mom was in somewhat better spirits yesterday

that she walked for about 10 minutes before having to sit and rest

for an honest and humbling tale yesterday at the noon AA speaker meeting

for little steps along this lengthy journey

for breakfast with my sponsor

for foot-long chili/cheese dogs at Barnaby's that go straight to the heart (lunch, not breakfast)

that I have never been stupid enough to run from the police - there were over 400 police chases in Houston last year

When I hear somebody sigh, 'Life is hard,' I am always tempted to ask, 'Compared to what?'
-Sydney J. Harris

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy


visit the HNT website
when you CLICK HERE

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Dreaming ...

There are some great Alcoholics Anonymous Roundup Conventions held in many places. We have a wonderful one right here in Houston during the Thanksgiving weekend.

Here's one I would like to be attending in June.

Maybe next year.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I'm right where I am supposed to be

for the 2 newcomers at the noon meeting yesterday

that I'm spending the morning sitting with my mother

that I had a very laid-back day (for a change)

for the serenity I experience throughout most of every day

that I got around to segregating my links -- all of you drunks are now listed under the newly formed Sobriety Society

that tomorrow is hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy and all of you are invited to participate; see the link on my sidebar

Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.

-Winston Churchill

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Hope, Instilled by Faith

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I got sober, just before I gave up

for hope that my Mom will regain some hope to live

that to practice AA's 8th Step completely and thoroughly, I must use all of the principles of AA

that I continue to make progress in transitioning all of my Mom's affairs

for the process

for personal time to chill out

Man can live for about forty days without food, and about three days without water, about eight minutes without air ... but only for one second without hope.
-Hal Lindsey

The Home Office

During 1991-1992 I lived in Guildford, England. That's about 50 miles southwest of London. An hour train ride to/from Waterloo Station.

My boss rented this home for us to live in and use as an office. My bedroom was about 5 steps from the den which we used as the office. It was owned by a couple who lived in Glasgow and used this as their second home when visiting the southeast of the country.

at right is the front view from the street

It was a wonderful home in which to reside, sitting on top of a hill. The Two Brewer's pub (my local) was only a 6 minute walk away. (well, it took 6 minutes to get there - downhill -- and about 20 minutes to walk back home)

the picture on the left is the rear view

The home was completely furnished and the bottom picture is the study or living room.

Another of my fond memories of living in jolly old England.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Part of the Journey

This is my Mom.
She was born in February, 1923, so I assume this picture was taken later that year.

She's now 83 and living in a nursing home after living a full life. After her stroke last October, she can't swallow, which prevents her from speaking or eating.
Ever again.

She is suffering from a deepening depression. Yesterday, while my sister and I sat with her trying to cheer her up, she wrote to me, "I WANT TO DIE." That's the first time she has said that. It was tough to hear (read). We could only comfort her and tell her that God will take her when He's ready.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I am sober now and can be with my mother as she nears the end of her journey

for the absolutely wonderful life she has given me

that I have finished with the trash/dumpster part of cleaning out her home

for a productive Lambda Center Board meeting Saturday afternoon

that I try not to exxagerate the truth now that I am sober

that I am able to help an ill recovery friend today when he leaves the hospital

An ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness.
-Elbert Hubbard

The Hotel Maid

You should never piss off your waiter in a restaurant.
And you should never piss off the maid at your hotel.

Sunday, April 09, 2006


"When I was driven to my knees by alcohol, I was made ready to ask for the gift of faith. And all was changed. Never again, my pains and problems notwithstanding, would I experience my former desolation. I saw the universe to be lighted by God's love; I was alone no more."

letter written by Bill W., 1962
AS BILL SEES IT, page 51

** Somebody please remind me of this the next time I start isolating.

Honda advert

You thought those people that set up roomfuls of dominos to knock over were amazing...

There are no computer graphics or digital tricks in this film. Everything you see really happened in real time exactly as you see it.

The film took 606 takes.
On the first 605 takes, something, usually very minor, didn't work.
They would then have to set the whole thing up again.

The film cost six million dollars and took three months to complete, including full engineering of the sequence.

click here

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Draw a Pig

And now ladies and gentlemen, here is today's

Interactive PIG PERSONALITY Test

CLICK HERE and begin

Sound Familiar?

"Few people have been more victimized by resentments than have we alcoholics. It mattered little whether our resentments were justified or not. A burst of temper could spoil a day, and a well-nursed grudge could make us miserably ineffective. Nor were we ever skillful in separating justified from unjustified anger. As we saw it, our wrath was always justified. Anger, that occasional luxury of more balanced people, could keep us on an emotional jag indefinitely. These emotional "dry benders" often led straight to the bottle. Other kinds of disturbances -- jealousy, envy, self-pity, or hurt pride -- did the same thing."


Friday, April 07, 2006

Sobriety Society

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the group of bloggers whom I have named The Sobriety Society

for major progress made with Mom's financial matters

for my experience with half measures, which availed me nothing but more misery

for the 10am Group Of Drunks A.A. meeting today

to be included in planning sessions for fundraising activities @ Lambda

(I suppose) for the seemingly never-ending string of phone calls I got yesterday until such time as I went to sleep (I say suppose because I am not Ma Bell's biggest fan)

True friendship is like sound health; the value of it is seldom known until it be lost.
-Charles Caleb Colton

The Musical Fruit

I met a sweet gentleman and we fell in love. When it became apparent that we would marry, I made the supreme sacrifice and gave up beans, my favorite food. Some months later, on my birthday, my car broke down on the way home from work. Since I lived in the countryside I called my husband and told him that I would be late because I had to walk home.

On my way, I passed by a small diner and the smell of baked beans was more than I could stand. With miles to walk, I figured that I would walk off any ill effects by the time I reached home, so I stopped at the diner and before I knew it, I had consumed three large orders of baked beans. All the way home, I made sure that I released all the gas. Upon my arrival, my husband seemed excited to see me and exclaimed delightedly: "Darling I have a surprise for dinner tonight."

He then blindfolded me and led me to my chair at the dinner table. I took a seat and just as he was about to remove my blindfold, the telephone rang. He made me promise not to touch the blindfold until he returned and went to answer the call The baked beans I had consumed were still affecting me and the pressure was becoming most unbearable, so while my husband was out of the room I seized the opportunity, shifted my weight to one leg and let one go.

It was not only loud, but it smelled like a fertilizer truck running over a skunk in front of a pulpwood mill. I took my napkin from my lap and fanned the air around me vigorously. Then, shifting to the other cheek, I ripped off three more. The stink was worse than cooked cabbage. Keeping my ears carefully tuned to the conversation in the other room went on like this for another few minutes. The pleasure was indescribable. When eventually the telephone farewells signaled the end of my freedom, I quickly fanned the air a few more times with my napkin, placed it on my lap and folded my hands back on it feeling very relieved and pleased with myself. My face must have been the picture of innocence when my husband returned, apologizing for taking so long. He asked me if I had peeked through the blindfold, and I assured him I had not.

At this point, he removed the blindfold, and twelve dinner guests seated around the table chorused: "Happy Birthday!"

Thursday, April 06, 2006

... naturally

"All alcoholics have personality problems. They drink to escape from life, to counteract feelings of loneliness or inferiority, or because of some emotional conflict within them, so that they cannot adjust themselves to life. Alcoholics cannot stop drinking unless they find a way to solve their personality problems. That's why going on the wagon doesn't solve anything. That's why taking the pledge usually doesn't work. Was my personality problem ever solved by going on the wagon or taking the pledge?"
A.A. Thought For the Day -- Twenty-Four Hours a Day

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I have never considered myself on the wagon nor have I ever taken a pledge to stop drinking (successfully)

that Mom seemed pleased with her visit to her new Endocrinologist

that my nephew dropped by to see me and DID NOT ask for any money, despite the fact he had just been laid-off from his job

that I haven't taken a day off from recovery since I stopped drinking

for a well-told and inspiring AA story yesterday at the nooner by Bob R.

that my tear ducts continue to operate freely

that justice takes many forms

to welcome Big Sky mAAck to our little world of recovery bloggers

The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us.
-Ashley Montagu

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy



Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Speaking of being grateful ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a very productive Monday

that I've got the dumpster at Mom's house just about full at the same time her house is just about cleaned out

that I can adjust my intended schedule as shit happens unexpected things occur without going crazy or sinking into a barstool

that I gave my fireplace a good, thorough cleaning while watching The Astros get their butts whipped lose

that my internal clock has Daylight Savings Time installed

that I am off to my 6:30am meeting and then to Tomball, Texas to visit Mom

that I discovered Angie's blog (through Mel)

for the Wisdom, Courage and Perseverance of Martin Luther King, Jr.

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Ringtones for YOU!

this should need no explanation

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Along this journey ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my Mom will be seeing a couple of specialists (doctors) this week

that usually, practicing Step 7 on a daily basis, provides some relief for me, from me

that by staying sober, I can change my behavior to meet my goals (instead of the other way round)

that my toe surgery and recovery seems to be successful

for free tickets to The Astros season opener last night and the way things happened that made that come about

for the consequences of trying to do the right thing(s)

Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution. If you don't have any problems, you don't get any seeds.
-Norman Vincent Peale

Lincoln & Kennedy

I had forgotten some of these "coincidences" ...

Abraham Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846.
John F. Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946.

Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860.
John F. Kennedy was elected President in 1960.

Both were particularly concerned with civil rights.
Both Presidents were shot on a Friday.
Both Presidents were shot in the head.

Now it gets really weird.

Lincoln 's secretary was named Kennedy.
Kennedy's Secretary was named Lincoln.

Both were assassinated by Southerners.
Both were succeeded by Southerners named Johnson.
Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Lincoln, was born in 1808.
Lyndon Johnson, who succeeded Kennedy, was born in 1908.

John Wilkes Booth, who assassinated Lincoln, was born in 1839.
Lee Harvey Oswald, who assassinated Kennedy, was born in 1939.
Both assassins were known by their three names.
Both names are composed of fifteen letters.

Lincoln was shot at the theater named 'Ford.'
Kennedy was shot in a car called ' Lincoln' made by 'Ford.'

Lincoln was shot in a theater and his assassin ran and hid in a warehouse.
Kennedy was shot from a warehouse and his assassin ran and hid in a theater.

Booth and Oswald were assassinated before their trials.

And here's s little bit of a stretch......
A week before Lincoln was shot, he was in Monroe, Maryland.
A week before Kennedy was shot, he was in Marilyn Monroe.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Operating Instructions

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that Mom keeps ticking (even though she's taking quite a licking)

for all the volunteers who helped out with Intergroup Phones over the weekend

for a very productive District 20/GSR meeting Saturday; reasonable heads prevailed

for time to read the Big Book

that I went to an Al-Anon meeting and took a desire chip

for an extrememly busy weekend

that The Astros get started today

if Dolly Parton married the Dalai Lama, would she then be Dolly Lama?

Anger or hatred is like a fisherman's hook. It is very important for us to ensure that we are not caught by it.
-Dalai Lama


From the age of 3 (me, pictured in my pilot uniform), I've been fascinated by airplanes and stuff that flies. I remember many trips to the airport as a kid when I went outside onto the observation deck and would watch the planes take off and land as long as my Dad would let me.

That fascination remains intact today. I have flown several hundred thousand miles between North and South America, Europe and Africa. East to West and North to South. And the other way round. I always try to arrive at the airport 2 hours or 3 hours or 4 hours early. Just so I can watch the planes. I know airport operations and pilot lingo. I have a basic understanding of weather patterns as they relate to flying. Until I got this particular computer, I had Flight Simulator on my hard drive and flew a variety of aircraft often. A few years ago, I had the opportunity to pilot a Canadian Coast Guard/Fisheries and Oceans aircraft for half an hour offshore Newfoundland. What a thrill!

I have flown on various styles and sizes of helicopters, two-seater planes to 44-seater planes and of course, all types of larger commercial aircraft. It's now been over 3 years since I have flown and I kinda miss it. When my life settles down a bit, I'm going somewhere.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Batter Up

I've been a baseball fan since I was about 11 years old. From that time, I was obsessed (maybe that could have been a warning sign of what was to come). I kept statistics on The Astros. On the pitchers. On the hitters. As a teenager, I would sit in my bedroom every night avoiding my homework listening to the games on the radio, years before the games were on TV. And I would keep score, then compare my stats with the official stats in the newspaper the next day.
My beloved Houston Astros begin their 45th season tomorrow. For the first time in their history, they actually made it to the World Series last year. Whooppeeee!!

Go get 'em Stros!!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Wanna go to Rio?

If you've ever been to Rio de Janeiro or have ever wanted to go there, you'll appreciate THIS SITE. It's almost like being there.

Take a virtual panorama tour of the city from just about any location. Use your mouse to control the panning speed of the tour.

courtesy of fellow blogger Made in Brazil.

Bird flu

Government research experts believe they have found a cure for the latest strain of the "Bird Flu" epidemic.
Here's one of the first "patients" to receive the new treatment.