Monday, December 31, 2007

Last list of the year

this yeAAr i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for another 365 days of sobriety and almost as many days of serenity

for all the recovering alkies who celebrated another birthday this year

for Lambda Center and everything it offers me

for this blog and yours -- our way of keeping in touch

for another year without being arrested for DUI, P.I. or a felony of any description

that I had no car accidents, house fires, hospitalization or sick pets in 2007

that I've been lucky enough to eat many types of food in Nigeria, The Congo, Mauritania, Senegal, Morocco, South Africa and Gabon. Actually, I feel lucky because I'm still breathing!

that new recovery bloggers have joined our little community --- drop by and visit In God's Hands, whom I only discovered yesterday

for a new topic on SOBRIETY SOCIETY

Some pursue happiness, others create it.

Sunday, December 30, 2007


Having Enough

The only difference between needing more and having enough is your attitude. At any time, in any circumstance, you always have the option of deciding that you are enough, and that you already have enough for the moment you're in.
Always longing for more will eventually wear you down into a painful, frustrating and overwhelming sense of disillusionment. Having enough, on the other hand, puts you into a peaceful, positive and productive state of mind.
Just imagine how completely satisfying it would be to suddenly have everything you need. You can know that satisfaction right now, in this very moment, just by allowing yourself to have enough.

It costs you nothing to decide that you have enough. For having enough does not preclude you from creating more abundance in your life.
In fact, having enough sets your creativity free and allows your effectiveness to soar to new heights. When you get away from the stifling mindset of lack and limitation, truly magnificent things will happen.
By having enough, your struggles disappear and are replaced with countless opportunities for real joy. See right now that you have enough, and delight in the warm and genuine richness it brings.

~Ralph Marston

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Friday, December 28, 2007

Now hear this ...

water tower located in north Houston

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

tomorrow night is Birthday Night @ Lambda Center where about 25 folks will celebrate another year of being sober

for the power of Honesty, Open-Mindedness & Willingness

that my behavior is sooooo much better than before getting sober, but I still have the potential for endless progress

that we're getting ready to start another even-numbered year -- I like those much better

Every time we open our mouths, men look into our minds.

Thursday, December 27, 2007



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my attempts to practice Step 12 keeps me pretty much in line and in tune

for my anxiety medication

that I'll never be a teenager again

you know I mentioned yesterday that I had some money left over after Christmas? Well, I had to replace my home A/C & Heating unit yesterday. We had gone 2 nights without any heat. Anybody spare a quarter?

Noble deeds and hot baths are the best cures for depression.
-Dodie Smith

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Boxing Day

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the gifts of sobriety, which are much greater than any gifts I have ever had under a Christmas tree

that I got to sleep late yesterday - woke up at 8:30am (that's a miracle, folks!)

for a well-chaired Christmas Day AA meeting by the inimitable Bob S, followed by a pot luck dinner at Lambda Center

that we went to a party at the home of a non-alcoholic -- hardly anyone was drinking alcohol and I thought that was very strange. I never went to those kinds of parties when I was a drinker.

Children are natural mimics--they act like their parents in spite of every effort to teach them good manners.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Read this, so yule know

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I am sober and happy, something that until 2003, I would never have imagined possible

that I attended a midnight mass last night -- my first -- I am not religous at all but did enjoy it

that I realized yesterday (whilst praying) that many of my character defects (that I associate with my relationship with Hayden) have become dormant

that Hayden and I will spend time today with the fellowship at Lambda

that I'm a big boy and can handle big boy responsibilities

that most likely (if you're in recovery and reading this) you are sober today too

that there may actually be some money left over after this week

If it were not for the last minute, nothing would get done.

Monday, December 24, 2007

A Christmas Poem

'Twas the night before Christmas,
we were all in the club,
enjoying a meeting,
instead of a pub.

The ashtrays were clean,
the coffee was made,
the Big Books were out
and we all had prayed.

When out in the lot,
there arose such a clatter,
we all jumped up to see
what was the matter.

The Chair with his Big Book,
and I with my smokes,
headed outside
to find these two blokes.

They came inside
and sat at a table
and said that they'd chair,
as soon as they're able.

To start with, they said,
"It's more than not drinking,
It's doing your best
to fix your sick thinking."

"Think, Think, Think!"
and the slogans we used,
help keep the newcomer
from getting confused.

Step 1 is a start,
they said we should know,
but after Step 2,
we'll be all aglow.

We made a decision
when we got to Step 3;
Step 4 was real tough,
we all could agree.

Step 5 is the one
where we let it all out,
and after Step 6 and 7,
we are left with no doubt.

When we got to Step 8,
We made our list;
and then with Step 9,
we have to persist.

After Step 9,
the promises ring true;
we didn't just make that up,
right out of the blue.

After that,
it's on with the rest;
the things we must do,
to be our best.

They put on their coats
and got ready to leave;
a pretty good end,
for this Christmas Eve.

As to their names,
we only could guess;
must have been Bill W.
and Dr. Bob S.

The two men hopped
into a '35 Ford,
and as they pulled out,
one of them roared:

"We leave this message,
for our sisters & brothers:
trust God, clean house,
and be of service to others.

And for all of you people,
I just want to say:
have a nice holiday,
but don't drink today!"

~ Unknown

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for everything.

Sunday, December 23, 2007


Worrying Makes You Cross the Bridge Before You Come to It
by Harvey Mackay

Recently I saw a survey that says 40 percent of the things we worry about never happen, 30 percent are in the past and can't be helped, 12 percent concern the affairs of others that aren't our business, 10 percent are about sickness--either real or imagined-- and 8 percent are worth worrying about. I would submit that even the 8 percent aren't really worth the energy of worry.

Did you know that the English word worry is derived from an Anglo-Saxon word that means to strangle or to choke? That's easy to believe. People do literally worry themselves to death. . . or heart disease, high blood pressure, ulcers, nervous disorders and all sorts of other nasty conditions. Is it worth it?

Some folks seem to think this is a '90s phenomenon, but I've got news for you: advice about worry goes back as far as the Bible. We didn't invent it. We just need to find a way to keep it from ruling our lives.

I've been spending a lot of time in bookstores lately, in the middle of a 35-city book tour. From one coast to the other, north to south, some of the most popular self-help books concern worry, stress, and simplifying your life. I have a couple of favorite books to recommend.

First, an oldie. Dale Carnegie's "How To Stop Worrying and Start Living." It was first published in 1948, but the advice is just as fresh and valuable as it was then and is right-on for the new millennium. Being a chronic list maker, I found two sections that really knocked my socks off. Both were about business people trying to solve problems without the added burden of worrying. Carnegie credits Willis H. Carrier, whose name appears on most of our air conditioners, with these silver bullets:

Analyze the situation honestly and figure out what is the worst possible thing that could happen.
Prepare yourself mentally to accept the worst, if necessary.
Then calmly try to improve upon the worst, which you have already agreed mentally to accept.
Bingo! You can handle anything now. You know what you have to do; it's just a matter of doing it. Without worrying.

Another approach I like is a system put into practice at a large publishing company by an executive, named Leon. He was sick and tired of boring and unproductive meetings marked by excessive hand-wringing. He enforced a rule that everyone who wished to present a problem to him first had to submit a memo answering these four questions:
1. What's the problem?

2. What's the cause of the problem?

3. What are all possible solutions to the problem?

4. Which solution do you suggest?

Leon rarely has to deal with problems anymore, and he doesn't worry about them. He's found that his associates have used the system to find workable solutions without tying up hours in useless meetings. He estimates that he has eliminated three-fourths of his meeting time and has improved his productivity, health and happiness. Is he just passing the buck? Of course not! He's paying those folks to do their jobs, and he's giving them great training at decision-making.

The point is you can't saw sawdust. A day of worry is more exhausting than a day of work. People get so busy worrying about yesterday or tomorrow, they forget about today. And today is what you have to work with. I remember the story of the fighter who, after taking the full count in a late round of a brawl, finally came to in the dressing room. As his head cleared and he realized what had happened, he said to his manager: "Boy, did I have him worried. He thought he killed me."

Now that's putting the worry where it belongs.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Living in Alaska

Tom had been in the liquor business for 25 years.
Finally sick of the stress he quits his job and buys 50 acres of land in Alaska as far from humanity as possible. He sees the postman once a week and gets groceries once a month. Otherwise it's total peace and quiet.

After six months or so of almost total isolation, someone knocks on his door. He opens it and a huge, bearded man is standing there. ''Name's Lars, your neighbour from forty miles up the road. Having a Christmas party Friday night. Thought you might like to come. About 5:00."
"Great", says Tom, "After six months out here I'm ready to meet some local folks. Thank you."

As Lars is leaving, he stops. "Gotta warn you, be some drinkin'."
"Not a problem," says Tom. "After 25 years in the business, I can drink with the best of 'em." Again, the big man starts to leave and stops. "More'n' likely gonna be some fightin' too." "Well, I get along with people, I'll be all right. I'll be there. Thanks again.""More'n likely be some wild sex, too," "Now that's really not a problem," says Tom, warming to the idea. "I've been all alone for six months! I'll definitely be there. By the way, what should I wear?"

"Don't much matter. Just gonna be the two of us."

Friday, December 21, 2007


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that Hayden made it home safe and sound

for a meeting about Tradition 4 -- I had huge, unexpected benefits from this tradition last year as it relates to Rule #62 (if you're not sure what I am referring to, look it up)

that I was able to stop smoking last year without any drugs to replace the nicotine

for the phrase of the year ...
"Don't taze me, bro!"

"Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending."
-- Maria Robinson

Thursday, December 20, 2007

turning it over...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I remember the things I did last night and the people to whom I talked; it's been 1,567 days since I had a blackout

that my life will flow so much easier today as long as I remember to continue to practice Step 3

that I now average attending 13 meetings every week (down from 17) through my first 4+ years, which gives me plenty of insurance if I miss a meeting here and there

that there are a few people who actually understand me

that Hayden gets here today after a 2 1/2 month absence

that I have the love of my life to spend the holiday with (again)

that I was able to have my carpet steam-cleaned yesterday, hopefully picking up most of the dust and residue from months of reconstruction jobs

All kids are gifted; some just open their packages earlier than others.
-Michael Carr

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Bright Lights

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that once again, I get to experience a sober Christmas as long as I follow the directions you guys give me

that my journey has taken me to so many places and allowed me to meet so many people of various cultures

that the rainbow usually comes after the rain

that this holiday season will be over in 2 weeks

for the humor of Marie on Everybody Loves Raymond

People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing—that's why we recommend it daily.
-Zig Ziglar

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

on awakening ...

I stole the video from "Just David"

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a continuing hope that the second half of Step 2
will someday come true for this alcoholic

that I am no longer Higher Powerless as I was when I first entered the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous

that I have lost about 18 pounds since I began working out and changing my eating habits -- 6 months ago

that I know some words with more than 8 letters

The greatest carver does the least cutting.
-Tao Te Ching

Monday, December 17, 2007

'tis the season ...

i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful todAAy

for another weekend of peace and joy

for the fun and hilarious fellowship at our gift exchange night at Lambda on Saturday; there were at least 100 alcoholics in recovery participating

for reminders about living in the moment

that I have just about put my home back together after 3 1/2 months of remodelling and painting

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sunday stuff

click HERE for a great video of AA in the UK

Every day I receive inspirational phrases in my email.
Here's a collection for you to peruse for today...


"Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents which, in prosperous circumstances, would have lain dormant."
-- Horace
"The abundant life does not come to those who have had a lot of obstacles removed from their path by others. It develops from within and is rooted in strong mental and moral fiber."
-- William Mather Lewis
"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome."
-- Charlotte Bronte
"I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow."
-- Maya Angelou

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Bad Habits

Dump Those Negative Habits Now!
by Mark Victor Hansen

If you want to distance yourself from the masses and enjoy a rich and unique lifestyle, understand this - your habits will determine your future. The fact is, if you keep on doing things a certain way, you will get a predictable result. That's the simple law of Cause and Effect.

Successful habits create positive rewards.
Negative habits breed negative consequences.

If you want to enjoy longevity, you must have healthy habits. If you are in the habit of starving your most important relationships of time, energy and love, how can you expect a happy outcome? If you spend money on the fly or don't save any money, your bad habits will lead you to a never-ending cycle of work.

Shift yourself out of your bad habits. Fortunately, you can jump from this bad habits path anytime you want. It's a very simple process - it just takes some applied focus.

Here's the step-by-step process I recommend:
Clearly identify your bad or unproductive habits. Write them down.

a) Be specific.
b) Remember to consider the long-term consequences should you continue in this bad habit. As an example, a couple cigarettes a day may not seem like much, but after 10 years, the buildup of having smoked 7,300 cigarettes remains in your system.
c) Consider habits at home, in your communications and relations with others, at work, in your driving habits, in your free time, and in matters related to your physical, emotional and spiritual health.

Have a GREAT Saturday, guys!

Friday, December 14, 2007

by all means...

I'm finally ready to show you the final product of my bathroom remodelling. Pictures 1,2 and 3 are what is was like. Pictures 4 thru 16 are what happened over the past 2 months. Pictures 17 to 24 are what it is like now. My simple little camera can't do justice to the overall look.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that when I awoke this morning, I asked my HP to help keep me sober, to give me guidance throughout the day to know the next right thing to do and to be the best person I can be - just for today

for all the benefits I received from working my initial 4th step

that many of us from Lambda attended a fellow alkie's Christmas party yesterday in a magnificent setting for food and fellowship

that my Mom seems to be OK after a brief scare; she has a bad cold

that I have no need to be afraid of any law enforcement officials

that I can have mild compassion for Broncos fan(s)

"Out of clutter, find Simplicity. From discord, find Harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies Opportunity."
-- Albert Einstein

Thursday, December 13, 2007

in a hurry today, but ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for Step 12 meetings and listening to the infinite number of ways that we can carry the message

that I can usually remember to keep things simple; in fact, I could write a book about it. This book would be 8 to 10 chapters and include pictures and quotes. I think 400 pages should do it. Yeah, that's the ticket.

You are unique. Just like everyone else.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

East meets West

Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin, circa 1990.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that we're currently reading Chapter 7, "Working with Others" in the Tuesday morning Big Book Study at Eyes Wide Shut @ 6:30am

to keep in mind that my sobriety knows NO holidays and it pays to be extra vigilant this time of year

that I'll spend some time with Mom this morning, just being at her side

The right time to show your good character is when you are pestered by somebody weaker than you.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I believe

a side street in Amsterdam

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I've never treated the rooms of AA as a revolving door

that I seem to attend a lot of Step 1 meetings; a great! topic to discuss

that no one can tell me I'm doing my AA program incorrectly; if they do, they are doing theirs incorrectly (comments??)

for meetings away from Lambda Center
(that's where I attend 99% of my meetings)

that I am finished with my gift purchases for this holiday season

for my friends who give me help when I need it

that my car got fixed quickly (less than 1 day) and the warranty covered all of it

If you are good, be better.

Monday, December 10, 2007


Daily Piglet posted pictures of this car.

I love old Plymouth's with Christmas trees on top.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that life is one thing after another

that when anyone says HI to me today, it's not a question

for sponsees that keep me straight (well, in a manner of speaking)

that I got to hear part of Don K's story once again Saturday night

that I didn't go apesh!t when my year-old car broke down on me; in fact, it seemed like no big deal as I made 2 phone calls and it was soon towed to the dealership for whatever repair may be necessary

Whatever you are, be a good one.
-Abraham Lincoln

Sunday, December 09, 2007

t-shirts for your friends

Check THIS site.
I stole this site info from

Welcome, you've got mail.

A reminder of what it was like with our computer technology just a few short years ago.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Clapper

World's Fastest Clapper (click)

... and now for a little Christmas joke --

Three men died on Christmas Eve and were met by Saint Peter at the pearly gates.

"In honor of this holy season," Saint Peter said,"You must each possess something that symbolizes Christmas to get into heaven."

The first man fumbled through his pockets and pulled out a lighter. He flicked it on. "It represents a candle," he said. "You may pass through the pearly gates," Saint Peter said.

The second man reached into his pocket and pulled out a set of keys. He shook them and said, "They're bells." Saint Peter said, "You may pass through the pearly gates".

The third man started searching desperately through his pockets and finally pulled out a pair of women's panties. St. Peter looked at the man with a raised eyebrow and asked, "And just what do those symbolize?" The man replied, "These are Carols."

Friday, December 07, 2007

A day that will live in infamy...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for lessons learned 66 years ago at Pearl Harbor

to realize that I fear more than fear itself

that my newest sponsee celebrates 30 days of sobriety today

that we had a wonderful and insightful meeting and discussion about Tradition 3

for THIS -- The Serenity Prayer website

that I have probably seen every episode of I Love Lucy and The Dick van Dyke Show

The best portion of a good man's life: his little, nameless unremembered acts of kindness and love.
-William Wordsworth

Thursday, December 06, 2007

More than I imagined

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the little smile on Mom's face as she lay in her hospital bed
(FYI -- for 2 years, she has been unable to speak or swallow and has now lost the ability to walk)

for the countless rewards of integrating the steps of AA into my life

to get to hear Kevn C. share some of his Experience, Strength and Hope yesterday; every time I hear him talk, I hear more about myself

that I am slowly learning to say NO (when necessary)

for the 3 years I have spent on the Board of Directors of Lambda Center

that today begins my 4th year of continuous blogging, almost every day; in fact, this is my 1,655th posting

Every man is the architect of his own fortune.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Sometimes Slowly

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my Mom finally had her surgery and is recovering nicely

for all the kind words and prayers that you guys offered to her during the past week

that I get to witness miracles every day when I enter the rooms of AA
(hey, it rhymes!)

that my bathroom remodelling is pretty much done; just a few minor items to adjust

that THIS GUY has gone 11 days without smoking and could use your words of support in this effort

Whenever you see darkness, there is extraordinary opportunity for the light to burn brighter.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

With a smile on my face

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for more opportunities to carry the message

for new behavior that I've learned in the rooms

that my Mom should finally have her surgery this morning

that I have a nice, warm home to sleep in and running water to wash with

"Out of clutter, find Simplicity. From discord, find Harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies Opportunity."
-- Albert Einstein

Monday, December 03, 2007


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I have constant growing pains

that I've learned to make a consistent effort to speak only for myself and not for others

that my Mom, weak as she is, has the inner strength to just keep on tickin'

that we may get to see Scott emerge today from his smart, Montrose-area studio, 4 days after his surgery

for a nice, quick Lambda Center Board meeting yesterday

for a very pleasant and peaceful weekend with no emergencies

The whole worth of a kind deed is in the love that inspires it.
-The Talmud

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Friday, November 30, 2007

The End of November

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for those interested or concerned about my Mom and I appeciate your comments. She continues to await surgery while her condition stabilizes.

for a first-timer at the noon AA meeting yesterday

for the power behind the practice of Step 3

that a comittment to a living amends results in a major change of my behavior

for the lovely autumn weather we've been experiencing

that I can keep exercising every day, even if I only get on the treadmill

If you are going through hell...keep going.
-Winston Churchill

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Out of Order

This is what my living room looked like yesterday afternoon. It's being repainted. Should be finished today. For a very anal-retentive person who feels the constant need for order in his life, this is a real test of patience.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that Mom made it through another day - still waiting for surgery, probably today

that Scott W had a sucessful surgical procedure and is home recuperating

for new sponsees who remind me of the constant need for refreshing myself on the Twelve Steps

for my 3 cats who keep me company and provide an endless stream of love and humor

for my acceptance that everything happens for a reason

I am too blessed to be stressed!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Giving thanks

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that every day is different

that I got to attend both of my regular weekday AA meetings yesterday -- for the first time in a week

that we read part of INTO ACTION in the Big Book, covering Steps 5-8, and then discussed

for the thoroughness of the hospital staff where my Mom is currently awaiting surgery -- some rather serious complications have caused a delay and they have been very professional

that I am still able to remain somewhat serene today with all that's going on in my life -- Mom's serious health problems, bathroom remodelling, painting the entire inside of my home, and oh yeah, my alcoholism

that my very special friend will be here in 3 weeks for a 6 week visit

Hem your blessings with thankfulness so they don't unravel.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

It really does ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I have formed the habit of praying every morning. Each morning within minutes of waking up, I say a short prayer asking my HP for guidance to be the best I can be, for today. I ask for help in knowing the next right thing to do. (I feel that I don't have to ask to stay sober because that would be included in both of the forementioned requests.)

Yesterday morning I had plans to workout at the gym before going to my early AA meeting, followed by a sponsee meeting. As soon as I had prayed, I knew that I was supposed to go visit my mother in the hospital. I had taken care of all the details the previous night and had no intention to go see her yesterday. But I just knew it was the next right thing to do. And it was.
It turned out that my physical presence was necessary to make some decisions (I am her primary caretaker and hold complete power of attorney).

So all day long I felt totally serene and comfortable with myself. I knew that Step 11 had played a huge part in my day. Then I went to the 12:15pm meeting at Lambda. The topic?
Step 11.
(of course)

There is more to life than increasing its speed.

Monday, November 26, 2007

being there

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I was sober and available for my Mom yesterday as I had to admit her into the hospital for an unexpected surgical procedure today

that I had the pleasure of listening to five AA speakers and one Al-Anon speaker over the weekend; 6 messages - all the same but told in 6 different ways

for all the hard work and tirelesss effort by more than 40 guys and gals in recovery to produce the 2007 Houston Roundup - I may get more involved (again) next year

that although I am sometimes overwhelmed by the illness of isolation, I know from experience that This Too Shall Pass

for patience

for a new topic on SOBRIETY SOCIETY -- drop by and leave a comment

that Scott's Attitude of Gratitude has been discovered by thousands of bloggers who would not have otherwise read his thoughts, thanks to recognition of The Blogger Team

We ask ourselves, "Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?" Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.
-Marianne Williamson

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Were it so easy...

I'm on my way to the Houston Roundup, a gathering of GLBT members of Alcoholics Anonymous. People from around the country are celebrating our sobriety and recovery over this Thanksgiving weekend.
Wherever you are, I hope your life is on the upswing and you're trying to be the best you can be.

In the meantime, I'll leave you with this silly video.
It has absolutely nothing to do with recovery from alcohol.

Friday, November 23, 2007

The Day After

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I got to spend some quality time with Mom yesterday morning, before beginning my day of involvement with AA members

for a great Thanksgiving Day of fellowship and food at Lambda Center

that our GLBT Roundup began with 2 very interesting speakers

that I am changing so fast and so often, I feel like I am meeting myself over and over for the first time
(I got this concept from THIS girl)

Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

turkey day in the usa

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful for


Forgiveness is having the courage to take down the walls that we think are there to protect us.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Day Before

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I am often vulnerable to sneak attacks of love and tolerance from people like you

that our GLBT Houston Roundup begins tomorrow afternoon
(click HERE for details)

that everytime I pass a business where there are people outside smoking, I am soooooooooooo happy to be free of that noose around my neck

for some really intense workouts with my trainer this week

that all the plumbing fixtures are now installed in bathroom #2
(shower, toilet and sink)

that Hayden and I spend quality time on the phone virtually every day, 2500 miles apart

that I have a very economical international telephone service LOL

When a person doesn't have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity. A person can almost be defined by his or her attitude toward gratitude.
-Elie Wiesel

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Better focused

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the fulfillment of assisting another alkie with the meaning of the steps

that my best is my best and doesn't have to be your best

that the above concept takes so much pressure off me

that This Too Shall Pass works -- every time!

that AA's Twelve Steps were important enough to me that I have adopted them as a way of life and hope that someday they will be second nature for me

that the tile work and electrical work are complete on bathroom remodelling project #2

For fast acting relief, try slowing down.
-Lily Tomlin

Monday, November 19, 2007

another step forward...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I can get through a day by myself without feeling any desire to drink alcohol or smoke anything

for a very touching AA Birthday Night @ Lambda Center;
23 recovering humans celebrated another year of being sober

that Peanut celebrated her tenth year of life without alcohol on Saturday

that Scott W celebrated his fourth year of life without alcohol yesterday

that I'll get to gobble down some great turkey later this week @ Lambda with a couple of hundred other people in recovery

that I have a brain humor

Speak when you're angry, and you'll make the best speech you'll ever regret.
-Lawrence J. Peter

Sunday, November 18, 2007

4 Years Old

Scott W has now been sober for FOUR years.
We've been friends for FOUR years.
I don't think so.


Saturday, November 17, 2007


European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility.

As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5- year phase-in plan that would become known as 'Euro-English'.

In the first year, 's' will replace the soft 'c'. Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy.

The hard 'c' will be dropped in favour of 'k'. This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome 'ph' will be replaced with 'f'. This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter.

In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.

Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling.

Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent 'e' in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away.

By the 4th yer peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing 'th' with 'z' and 'w' with 'v'.

During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary 'o' kan be dropd from vords kontaining 'ou' and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a real sensibl riten styl.

Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru.

Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plas

Friday, November 16, 2007

A Power Greater Than Myself

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for an insightful meeting yesterday which dealt with handling life on life's terms

that we all must learn to deal with life as it happens ... or die

that tomorrow is November Birthday Night @ Lambda Center

that I stay busy and really enjoy my life these days

that I can actually enjoy being at the gym at 5:30am three days each week;
the other three days I go about 9 or 10am

that my therapist thinks I can take a few weeks off from our visits

for the new tile going in my bathroom -
it looks even better than I thought it would

"Integrity is not a 90 percent thing, not a 95 percent thing; either you have it or you don't."
-- Peter Scotese

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Another use ...

Duct Tape can be a woman's best friend, too!

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I got to spend some quality time with Mom yesterday; the nursing home where she resides has a quarterly meeting with the family/caretaker of each resident so either or both parties can air out any concerns regarding treatment and care

that most of the AA meetings I attend are usually about solutions, not just problems and whining about problems

that I have always been comfortable with my sexuality; many people I know have never been accepting of their sexual preference (both straight and gay)

that I am sometimes able to help out when asked

Rabbi Michal once said to his sons: “my life was blessed, because I never needed anything until I had it."
-Chasidic, 18th century

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Is this you?

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that the above picture is NOT me

for my consistency in most things

for a reminder from Mark that the trick now is to discover how to handle being sober

for all my friends in the program because they can understand me (usually)

that I do my best to NOT be politically correct, whenever possible

that I'm not nearly as good a person as some seem to believe.
I love a continuing challenge. LOL

The virtue of angels is that they cannot deteriorate; their flaw is that they cannot improve. Humanity's flaw is that we can deteriorate; but our virtue is that we can improve.
-Hasidic saying

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

It Takes What It Takes

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

to realize that just about the only thing I've ever done in moderation is to practice the Twelve Steps

for a productive first meeting (at a coffeehouse, of course) with my new sponsee

that I got to hear more wisdom about Step 3

that Wisdom in Recovery = Experience, Strength and Hope

that my medication has made such a huge difference in my anxiety level, but that my doctor waited nearly a year before resorting to using any meds

that I may not be much, but I'm all I think about

that my cats like me too

One who knows how to show and to accept kindness will be a friend better than any possession.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Just an average guy ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a new sponsee (to me); he had 18 months sober before a recent relapse, so he already knows How It Works (but, back to Step One)

for so many choices today; this morning I chose to be happy

that I had the honor of hearing a wonderful AA speaker on Saturday night

that any new behaviors are not a matter of "trying", but rather a matter of "doing"

that the sheetrock and tile work should be completed this week on my remodelling project (bathroom #2)

that I "cleaned up" my bloglist, eliminating some blogs that are no longer active. Four of them are local friends of mine in recovery. Fortunately, those guys are still sober.

Be your own hero, it's cheaper than a movie ticket.
-Doug Horton

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Today, it's about others (again)

Today is Veteran's Day in the United States.
It's so easy to forget all the sacrifices that have been made by millions of men and women for more than 200 years.
I'll take a moment to privately thank them for helping to deliver the opportunities that I so selfishly take for granted.

* (Scott, four years form today will be 11/11/11.)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Friday, November 09, 2007


To learn a little about Houston, play the video.
It might surprise you.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that we study the AA Traditions in our little 6:30am meeting;
yesterday we read and discussed Tradition One;
it's all about Unity

that I spent several hours with my Mom, taking her to a doctor appointment and then back to her comfortable bed in Comprehensive Nursing

for the knowledge that I am grieving as her health slowly deteriorates even as she tries her best to smile when possible

that I rarely got caught doing things I should not have been doing and that today I don't have to worry about getting caught

that the GLBT Houston Roundup begins in 13 days, just after the huge Thanksgiving Day gratitude meeting and lunch at Lambda Center

You can make more friends in a month by being interested in them than in ten years by trying to get them interested in you.
-Charles Allen

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Remaining vigilant

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I'm no longer a freak; just kinda weird

that it's been awhile since I have made an excuse not to do something because I knew I'd be too inebriated to accomplish a task

that I thanked my HP last night for many things, just before drifting off to sleep.
I do this every night.

that it's quite easy to stay sober when I stay in the middle of the program

that I can easily and happily be supportive of my Mom, whenever she needs me

that I rarely feel as old as I am becoming; I'm 53, which is no longer middle-aged unless I plan on living to be 106

The more a man knows, the more he forgives.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


How did this guy know he could do this?

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the mixture of Steps 10 and 11

that I am less judgemental than I used to be, but ...
when I see someone (in the program) lying through their teeth to me and others, it's very difficult impossible for me to remain non-judgemental (I guess I have a long way to go)

that alcohol and tobacco are just 2 more of my ex's

that we had our local elections yesterday, including the Mayor of Houston election with The Outlaw Josey Wales IV running against the incumbent Bill White

that one year from today, the Presidential election will be over!!!

That they may have a little peace, even the best dogs are compelled to snarl occasionally.
-William Feather

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

A Day of Boldness and Italics

A friend sent me this email ...

Like a lot of folks in this state, I have a job. I work, they pay me. I pay my taxes and the government distributes my taxes as it sees fit. In order to get that paycheck, I am required to pass a random urine test with which I have no problem. What I do have a problem with is the distribution of my taxes to people who don't have to pass a urine test. Shouldn't one have to pass a urine test to get a welfare check because I have to pass one to earn it for them?
Please understand, I have no problem with helping people get back on their feet! I do, on the other hand, have a problem with helping someone sitting on their rear, doing drugs, while I work.
Can you imagine how much money the state would save if people had to pass a urine test to get a public assistance check?

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the gifts derived from accomplishing Step 8

that so often, the difference between a good day and a bad day is my ATTITUDE!

for the benefits of doing whatever it takes

that I have never felt the need to disrupt an organized meeting so that I can further my own agenda

If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Mission Possible

The view from my first apartment in Agadir, Morocco (2002). It was a 10 minute walk down the boardwalk to my pub of choice. I lived in four apartments while there, always moving so I could be closer to my favorite pub(s). The final place I lived was directly over a bar. I was in Morocco for just over 4 months.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a nice visit with Mom yesterday

for the intangible strength that I get from prayer

that I have yet to find a trigger to drink

that I have yet to find a trigger to light up a cigarette

that my playing field gets a little more level each day as long as I don't drink AND continue in my recovery program

for a good Board meeting (Lambda Center) Sunday afternoon

When we ask for advice, we are usually looking for an accomplice.
-Charles Varlet Marquis de La Grange

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Just for grins ...

First, a video for you, then a joke.

Adult Skeleton

Bono, the lead singer of the band, U2, is famous throughout the entertainment industry for being more than just a little self-righteous.

At a recent U2 concert in Glasgow, Scotland, he asked the audience for total quiet. Then, in the silence, he started to slowly clap his hands, once every few seconds.

Holding the audience in total silence, he said into the microphone, "Every time I clap my hands, a child in Africa dies."

A voice with a broad Scottish accent from the front of the crowd pierced the quiet. . .

"Well, foockin stop doin it then, ya evil basturd !"

Friday, November 02, 2007

Made in Texas

This is the old port of Agadir, Morocco.
I worked here for 4 months in 2002, before retirement.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my alcoholic bottom didn't kill me

that habits are just as easy to break as they are to form

that I am making a conscious effort to be more flexible in my schedule

I am making a special effort to be more tolerant - with me!

for some progress in my emotional therapy

for a new topic on SOBRIETY SOCIETY - Sponsorship
drop by and leave a comment

The only people to get even with are those who have helped you.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Very Very Grateful

<< my Mom
with her new
TV remote

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for continued serenity

for everything that sobriety has brought me

that it's the month of Gratitude and I am honored to be chairing the 12:15p AA meeting every Thursday this month at Lambda Center (including our Thanksgiving Day Fiesta)

that my car is 1 year old today; I have driven it 11,972 miles, making me very average

that I did not go out and throw water balloons at cars and people on the street last night (as I did as a teenager @ Halloween))

for some good, scary movies on the telly this week

that I bought some candy bars just in case I had any Trick or Treaters drop by last night; there were none, so I will get rid of those candy bars at the AA center I attend

Happiness does not come from doing what you want, but wanting what you do.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trick or Treat

I'm soooooo glad I'm not a drunk pumpkin.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I seem to have more control over my life by letting go

that I'm sober and nicotine-free

for all the places that being Honest, Open-Minded and Willing take me

that it's been a long, long time since I've looked for tricks

If you want happiness for an hour—take a nap.
If you want happiness for a day—go fishing.
If you want happiness for a month—get married.
If you want happiness for a year—inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime—help others.

-Chinese Proverb

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Way It Is ...

This is the picture that is on the cake which was pictured on yesterday's post.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for some new faces at the noon meeting yesterday

that I didn't have a blackout last night - or any night in the past 4+ years

that each day provides plenty of time to get the things done which need doing;
there is always tomorrow to do the remainder

for the anxiety medication I am now taking, which seems to have some positive effects

that friends will forgive me when I (temporarily) forget their birthday

that some re-plumbing work on my bathroom #2 remodelling project passed the city inspector;
it failed last Friday and they had to make a modification

"When ignorance gets started it knows no bounds."
-- Will Rodgers

Monday, October 29, 2007

This is legal ...

This was our birthday cake @ Lambda Center on Saturday.

Twenty-five recovering alcoholics celebrated October as their sobriety month.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I got to chair a meeting about FEAR and its relationship to Step Six

for all of the family support of recovering alcoholics and addicts

for the little Halloween party we had at Lambda Saturday; good food, music and costumes

that I am not a politician and will never be a politician
(or a lawyer)

for the perfect weather we've been having, however, we will need some rainfall soon

"The most successful people are those who are good at Plan B."
-- James Yorke

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Joe & Charlie

“Joe McQ. from Little Rock, Arkansas, of the original Joe and Charlie Big Book Studies, moved on to another life October 25, 2007.

For more information or to sign his Memorial Book,
visit Mark's blog "A Dozen Steps."

Sunday Riddle

Don't cheat. Read the paragraph before you read the answer.

You are driving in a car at a constant speed. On your left side is a 'drop off', (The ground is 18-20 inches below the level you are traveling on), and on your right side is a fire engine traveling at the same speed as you. In front of you is a galloping horse, which is the same size as your car and you cannot overtake it. Behind you is a galloping zebra. Both the horse and zebra are also traveling at the same speed as you. What must you do to safely get out of this highly dangerous situation?

scroll down

* Get your drunk-ass off the merry-go-round. *

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Color Test

Bet you can't get 100% on the first try!
This is pretty neat!
See how you do with the colors! Have fun!

It takes an average of 5 tries to get to 100%.
Follow the directions!

It's harder than it seems, as it should be!
A brain waker-upper for today!


Friday, October 26, 2007

Wrapping up the week ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that we had a first-timer at the noon meeting yesterday -- I love the sharing that normally takes place when a first-timer is present

that I kept coming back instead of giving up

that I don't always get what I wish for

that I don't always get what I deserve

that I always get what I need (apparently)

that about 1 hour after leaving a comment on SOBRIETY SOCIETY yesterday regarding Tradition Twelve, I attended a 12/12 meeting where the topic was .... Tradition Twelve!

that tomorrow night we celebrate about 25-30 October AA birthdays at Lambda

that my therapist thinks I have a better memory than I think I do

The supreme happiness of life is the conviction of being loved for yourself, or, more correctly, being loved in spite of yourself.
-Victor Hugo

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Not too scary ...

I have decided to give my participation in hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy a rest for the time being. I may resume in the future but only time will tell.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I seem to have woken up sober again today!

for more reminders about the necessity for me to participate in my recovery program --
it won't just happen!

that we had 20 people at lunch yesterday after the noon AA meeting

for technology that allows people to communicate in so many ways over such long distances

for a new topic on SOBRIETY SOCIETY; drop by and leave a comment please

for good progress on bathroom remodelling project #2 during the first week; 5 more weeks to go (hopefully)

Freedom is the oxygen of the soul.
~ anonymous

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

More is being revealed

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I got to see Beau F. while he was here in town

that I went to 2 X first step meetings yesterday; I love first step meetings!

that I continue to see more ways in which my life had become unmanageable due to my alcoholism

that our very own Houston Roundup is only 1 month away (click HERE for details)

that I don't live in a place where I have to deal with wildfires or mudslides; however, we do deal with hurricanes, tornados and floods (can't win 'em all!)

that my 3 cats are getting accustomed to all the workmen coming in and going out of the house all day

He who thinks most of heaven will do most for earth.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


FEAR ...
is a mile high
a mile wide,
but only paper thin.

Walk Through It!!!

(overheard in an AA meeting)

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a good meeting about fear where we tied in the connection between fear, anger and resentment

to remember that unless and until I am entirely ready to have my HP remove my character defects, they will most likely always be there for me to use or practice

that I need to practice Step 6 daily (along with everything else)

that I just smiled and actually laughed when a plumber working upstairs knocked a 2'x3' hole in my ceiling, directly over my computer desk (while I was sitting at it!) LOL

for the first cool front of the season to hit Houston; it's wonderful to finally get a break from the heat

Those who want much, are always much in need.

Monday, October 22, 2007


Over the next 10 days, I'll be posting a few humorous(?) Halloween pix.

Enjoy and feel free to do with them what you will.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I didn't wake up with a weekend hangover this morning and I have not vomited in several years

that I used a few of my anti-isolating tools this weekend and they worked!

that I was not a violent drunkard; I just passed out first

that Scott and I decided to attend a speaker meeting away from Lambda to support a friend

that I am comfortable being a collector of stuff, just general stuff. TODD talks about being a minimalist HERE, but I don't think I can ever acheive that status.

to have had the pleasure of reading TAB (Postcards from the Cupcake Monkey) for the past couple of years; she is now retiring her blog

Go the extra mile. It's never crowded.
~ unknown