Monday, April 30, 2007

Yes, there is a substitute ...

... and it is vastly more than that. It is a fellowship in Alcoholics Anonymous.

Scott W. snapped this picture of me as I was pigging out on a giant hotdog at Barnaby's yesterday. Mary Christine is also seen here, snapping a photo as well.
Zane and Pam were looking on with glee, amazement and jealousy.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that Pam, Zane, Scott and I had the initimable pleasure to meet and greet Mary Christine, who is here on a short trip from Colorado. We had coffee together, then ate dinner together, then attended a Sunday night AA meeting together. We're all alcoholics and none of us got drunk.

for this SERENITY ZONE I have experienced the past 2 weeks; quite possibly the finest time of my sobriety. It's different than the pink cloud I was on for my first 3 years. I have actually felt spiritual and emotional changes happening within myself. It seems like my HP has put me under construction to see what I can become before Hayden and I resume our lives together. We both know that some type of psychic change needs to occur to make that relationship successful and happy (for me).

for my new bike

for AA meeting chaired by humans with lots of experience at staying sober who also enjoy tackling tough subjects on a group level

Kindness has converted more sinners than zeal, eloquence, or learning.
-Frederick W. Faber

Sunday, April 29, 2007

My other car has 2 wheels

Since I became a non-smoker last October, I've adorned an additional 20 pounds. I can't seem to motivate myself to take advantage of my existing membership to the local fitness center. I hate the extra poundage, so what to do? hmmmmmmmmmm...

I bought a new bicycle Friday.
Most of you are saying, "So friggin' what! You got a bike. Ohhhh, let's help Dave celebrate!!"

But you don't understand. I got a bike.
I said 13 years ago that I'd NEVER have another bicycle in this city. NEVER!!
That's the last time I rode a bicycle. 1994.

I had just returned to the good ole USofA after drinking and smoking pot living in Amsterdam. Everyone has a bicycle in Amsterdam. There are more bikes than cars.
So when I came back to Houston, I just thought it the thing to do. Get a bike.
My second day, I got stopped by a Houston cop for running a stop sign. He verbally abused me for that plus other infractions (no headlight and pedalling under the influence etc...). It pissed me off so much I got rid of the bike and said I'd never have another one.

Never say never, huh?

Now I'm even trying stunts!


Saturday, April 28, 2007

Wake Up!

Caffeinated soap has been launched to help people who don't have the time for both a shower and a coffee in the morning.
Manufacturers claim their Shower Shock soap releases caffeine that is absorbed into the user's system and provides the same hit as a two cups of coffee.
The soap is also infused with peppermint and citrus scents so the user doesn't end up smelling of coffee, reports The Guardian.
A shower gel is also on offer, although the makers, Think Geek, warn that neither is recommended for pregnant women or children because of the caffeine content.
Jennifer Kuropkat, of Think Geek, said: "Every full body wash with the Shower Shock soap will provide the equivalent of around two cups worth of coffee.
"The caffeine is absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream. It has exactly the same effect as if you were drinking coffee. Your blood pressure and pulse rate will increase, making your brain feel more alert and awake. The caffeine will then last in your system for approximately four hours - the same as two cups of coffee. They really are time-saves as you don't have to wait around for your coffee to brew in the morning."
The 4oz bars of soap, available via the internet, cost £3.50, and there is also a smaller travel version. The Mountain Dew shower gel costs £6.50.

Friday, April 27, 2007

It's come to this ...

Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.

P.J. O'Rourke

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the infinite number of topics covered by AA's Step 12

that I can enjoy myself today but not at the expense of others

that tomorrow night is Birthday Night @ Lambda Center

that, HP willing, several of us Houston bloggers will meet up with a visiting Colorado blogger on Sunday

that today I will not loan Sheryl Crow a square no matter how much she begs for one

that I have never found it necessary to hold a press conference (yet)

for a really informative session with my therapist - gosh, I hope he's gonna be OK

that I am not sure if I am in a groove or a rut

for the many lifetime contributions of JACK VALENTI, who died yesterday

that today is

Education is when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get if you don't.
-Pete Seeger

NOTE: What has happened to lash/coffee bitch ?

Thursday, April 26, 2007

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy

"Resolve today to either resolve or walk away from any situation that makes you unhappy or causes you stress."

walk on over to the main HNT site

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a gentle reminder that I never again have to be busy doing things all the time

for a chance to hear the AA story (short version) of Dennis R. (again)

for a wonderful day of bright lightning and loud thunderstorms yesterday

for the first time ever, I purged my closet of dozens of shirts and sweaters that I don't need; they are all now in the capable hands of The Salvation Army. This was a fine example of Letting Go for me. Most of the shirts had not been worn for years, but held some type of sentimental value. As I removed each shirt from its hanger and stacked it on top of the others, I told myself to "let it go, David, let it go."

that I will (hopefully) never have to live under THESE circumstances

You are younger today than you ever will be again. Make use of it for the sake of tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

How Did This Happen?

"A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul."


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I have a Higher Power in my life that doesn't appear in liquid form or contain any grain product

that I went to bed sober last night and woke up this morning without a hangover or rum on my breath

that I continue to go through each day without a desire for a beer, a rum/coke or a cigarette

that I have not yelled at a person that I don't know for almost 4 years

that I can drive down any street these days without the fear of a cop stopping me

that I no longer need to make dumb excuses or lie to my friends/family about why I can't attend an important function

that I have the opportunity each day to actually get things accomplished after 9am

that I no longer worry every day about having Parkinson's Disease (which turned out to be Delirium Tremens) nor do I have to consume several alcoholic drinks in order to calm my shakes enough to write on a piece of paper

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.
-Thich Nhat Hanh

RARE RANT/RAVE: I hope this doesn't offend anyone, but I just feel like it's time to say something.
I don't like being forced to do anything. Duh.
There are some blogs that I read (well, used to read) that have a music video or soundtrack that plays when the blog comes up. I have stopped reading those blogs. I don't want to be forced to listen to your favorite music while I am trying to read. I know that in most cases I can mute the sound, but why bother? There's 100 other blogs that I can give my attention to.
So, if your blog is one that plays a soundtrack, now you know why I probably haven't been making comments on it.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Save Internet Radio

The future of Internet radio is in immediate danger. The Copyright Royalty Board in Washington, DC has more than tripled the royalty rates for webcasters and left unchanged, they will kill Internet radio. These exorbitant rates go into effect on May 15 (retroactive to Jan 1, 2006!). Without Congressional action the majority of webcasters will go bankrupt and silent on this date. We need your help.
Please take a moment to send a letter to your member of Congress to keep Net radio from being silenced.

CLICK HERE to do your part !!

The Ways It Is ...

"I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle."


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my Mom is still alive although her awareness of life around her has somewhat diminished

for a lot of new faces in the noon AA meetings at Lambda; yesterday there must have been about 8 people I did not know and that is unusual ...

that I am just a little better at introducing myself to newcomers/new faces than I once was; I am intimidated by people I don't know, forgetting that they are usually much more scared and/or intimidated than I am

for the first time in about 2 years, I have no concrete plans of things that must be accomplished this week; it's like being on vacation in retirement (not to be confused with leisure travel in retirement because that is when I actually have plans) LOL

If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one.
-Mother Teresa

Monday, April 23, 2007

Monday, Monday, So Good To Me

"Suppose you were an idiot.
And suppose you were a member of Congress ...
but then I repeat myself."


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a new week and more chances to make progress (whew!)

that we had a very well done and very tasty dinner Saturday at Lambda Center; it was a chance to hear any comments from the general membership regarding complaints and/or suggestions and we had some very good input

that I have a good working knowledge of the AA Traditions and AA's World Concepts due to my sponsor and my own willingness to learn

that since I got sober, the good times far outnumber the bad times

for the ridiculous amount of time I spent asleep Sunday morning - about 7 hours -- I average 4 to 5 hours every night, rarely more than 5 hours on any night since I was a small child.

for those who came before me

that Hayden and I are planning another trip - more shall be revealed LOL

Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still.
-Chinese Proverb

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Faking It

In recovery, we're sometimes advised to "fake it until you make it." But how can anything false really lead us to recovery? Aren't we told that this is an honest program?

We're not being dishonest by pushing ourselves to become actively involved in AA. The self-help movements have told us for years that we have to form an image of what we want to be in order to reach our goals. We are forming an image that corresponds to the sober people we want to be. We are actually rehearsing sober living and working to accept a picture of sobriety in our heart of hearts.

There's also much to be said for "faking it" enough to attend meetings and to try to benefit from association with people -- even those we don't like. This puts us in line for the change we really need.

I find this to be true for many other aspects of my new life, not just in abstinence from alcohol. How 'bout you?

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Technical Support

Not computer saavy?????????
Maybe this little bit of instruction can help.

Tech Support


George Bush has a heart attack and dies.
Obviously, he goes to hell where the Devil is waiting for him. "I'm not sure what to do," says the Devil. "You're on my list but I have no room for you. But you definitely have to stay here, so I'm going to have to let someone else go. I've got three folks here who weren't quite as bad as you. I'll let one of them go, so you can take their place. I'll even let you decide who leaves."

George thought that sounded pretty good considering the circumstances, so he agreed. The devil opened the first room. In it was Richard Nixon and a large pool of hot water. He kept diving in and climbing out, over and over. Such was his fate in Hell. "No!" George said. "I don't think so. I'm not a good swimmer and don't think I could stay in hot water all day."

The devil led him to the next room. In it was Tony Blair with a sledge hammer and a room full of rocks. All he did was swing the hammer, time after time. "No!" I've got this problem with my shoulder. I would be in constant agony if all I could do was break rocks all day," commented George.

The devil opened a third door. In it, George saw Bill Clinton lying on the floor with his arms staked over his head and his legs staked in a spread-eagle pose. Bent over him was Monica Lewinsky, doing what she does best. George Bush looked at this in disbelief for a while and finally said, "Yeah, I can handle this."

The devil smiled and said, "Ok, Monica, you're free to go!"

Friday, April 20, 2007



todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

if the truth sets me free, what do lies do?

for the willingness to live up to my commitments, however uncomfortable or inconvenient they may be

that I will have attended 3 AA meetings before I have lunch today; my normal Friday

that one of my realizations in sobriety is that I rarely (if ever) have enough -- of anything!

that I am forced to use the Steps because my elevator doesn't work any longer

that I have never really been a goal-setter - if I had been - I would have surpassed those goals by a long-shot already and I stilll have a ways to go

Maturity is the ability to do a job whether or not you are supervised, to carry money without spending it, and to bear an injustice without wanting to get even.
-Ann Landers

Thursday, April 19, 2007

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy

"sitting at the coffee bar"
Houston, Texas

to visit today's other entries

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that recently, when someone shared that they were depressed because of all the negative things happening in the world, I just smiled. No longer do external events, over which I have no control, disturb me to the point of depression. I have enough battles to fight between my ears without letting the world's battles in there too.

that Trish shared a little piece of her life with us yesterday at the noon meeting

that it's Membership Week @ Lambda Center and Bob S. is leading the troops!

that Hayden, who can virtually read my mind, knows where all the bookmarks are. From 2,558 miles away, he has an ability to tamp down the little brush fires that spark within me.

for a much needed body massage

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.
-Ambrose Redmoon

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Hump day

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that Alcoholics Anonymous provided the answers,
even though I didn't know the questions

that I know any progress/improvement in my thinking is dependent on change in my thinking

for the opportunity to re-invent myself the past 3+ years

that my sobriety began when I stopped drinking;
my recovery began when I got to Step 4 with my sponsor

that tomorrow is hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy and some type of pictorial idea will come to me

that I can add a little tribute to the families and friends of victims of the Virginia Tech massacre

Get a life in which you are not alone. Find people you love, and who love you. And remember that love is not leisure, it is work.
-Anna Quindlen

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Future is Now

more pencils
(click on the pic for more detail)

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

as a recovering alkie, that I have resources at hand to use when I am out of my mind (I refer to the Virginia Tech shootings yesterday)

that I am wrestling with my future and what it may look like

for prayer to help me when I just don't know what to do; the best guidance my HP gives me these days is to do nothing right now; nothing must be decided immediately

for those little reminders that I need to practice living in the moment instead of the future

Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous.

Monday, April 16, 2007


The photo theme this week will be

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for all of the volunteers who helped at Lambda Center to make nearly $500 washing cars Saturday morning in the cold and rain-threatening weather

for a great AA meeting about Contempt Prior to Investigation

that I am only now beginning to learn how to deal with some of the unfamiliar feelings that I've been experiencing the past few months

that today is Kenny's - RECOVERY ROAD - 3rd AA Birthday !!!
Kenny began his blog about the same time as Scott and I in late 2004. I have been honored to read his writings almost daily since then. I have always enjoyed the things he tells us, in part because I lived in London in my former life and often relate to geographic areas to which he refers. But mainly I read Kenny because of his honesty andinsight into this deadly disease. He searches and finds solutions to living life on a daily, without resorting to what alcoholics are so damn good at -- drinking.

that a friend sent me this ...

"What is the difference between making a decision to quit (which you may have already done) and making a COMMITMENT?

We look forward to the time when the Power of Love will replace the Love of Power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace.
-William Gladstone

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Big dog

With "paws the size of softballs" (reports the Boston Herald), this three-year-old monster is far larger and heavier than his breed's standard 200lb. limit. Hercules owner Mr. Flynn says that Hercules weight is natural and not induced by a bizarre diet: "I fed him normal food and he just grew".... and grew...... and grew..... .
Hercules was recently awarded the honorable distinction of World's Biggest Dog by Guinness World Records. Hercules is an English Mastiff and has a 38 inch neck and weighs 282 pounds.

Image Hosting by

Saturday, April 14, 2007

My baseball life (the short version)

I didn't play little league baseball.
For that matter, I didn't play any organized baseball.

But from the age of 12 I was absolutely obsessed with the game itself. I listened to every Astros game on the radio. I kept score on sheets of paper and saved them and compared my compiled statistics with the stats printed in the Sunday paper. I did this through my high school years. I attended as many games as possible; with my Dad, with friends or by myself.

When I went off to college and didn't make the track team, I tried out for the baseball team. Of course, I didn't have the skills to compete. I then learned that the local umpire chapter needed recruits, so I joined up. Most umps begin their careers doing little league games. My first game -- a junior college game. I didn't have a friggin' clue what I was doing, but I must have performed OK. That was in 1974. I was soon accredited by the State of Texas to umpire high school games and thus began many years of umpiring.

After graduating from college, I wanted to turn professional. I begged my grandmother for the money and off I went to Florida. The Al Somers Umpire School (later became The Harry Wendelstedt Umpire School). Spring training. The instructors were major league and minor league umpires; the best in the business. Very competitive. There were 4 job openings that year (1977) in professional umpiring (minor leagues) and about 200 men going for those positions. There was one female - Pam Postema, the first woman to ever attempt a professional baseball career. After the 6-week course, I finished about in the middle of the class and was sent home.

I umped a number of more years before retiring in 1998 with a bad back. Of course, I did not umpire during my years overseas.
This writing was inspired by Yosickmomma --- I could tell you more but I don't like to make my posts longer than this.
Enjoy your weekend and don't strike out.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday the 13th

This is the most popular guy in prison.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for newcomers @ AA meetings -- one of whom proposed a discussion about the merits of being a dry drunk vs. in recovery

that my alcoholic bottom was easily defineable to me as well as unforgettable

for breakfast with my sponsor, who can always offer a different perspective on matters

the my therapist is able to make me consider things I've never given thought to before

that Al Sharpton is looking out after my interests by imposing his will on America -- I am sure that his next step will be to remove all offensive rap music from the federally-regulated airwaves (offensive to whom?). Maybe he will then try to prevent all racist material from being broadcast. Oooooops! He'd have to take himself and Jesse Jackson out of the public eye. No way!!
While I'm bitching ...
I am glad those 3 Duke U. players had the rape charges dropped. There was no evidence to prosecute them and there never was. Their lives have been severely affected but they will get over it. However, their parents have each spent over $1million in legal costs. Where is the justice?
have a nice day

There is in the worst of fortune the best of chances for a happy change.

This is funny! Just do it!!

1. go to
2. click on "MAPS"
3. click on "GET DIRECTIONS"
4. type "LAS VEGAS" in the first box (the "from" box)
5. type "LONDON, UK" in the second box (the "to" box)
6. scroll down to step #29 of the directions, and read aloud.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy

pix from my high school days

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that those who came before me were my predecessors

that I am now finished with all of my Mom's taxes as well as my own -- it's a lot of work - for our CPA (LOL)

that I had the $$$$ to pay all of my taxes

that I am going to record a voiceover for a Lambda Center membership marketing video today for the inimitable Bob S.

that I will never be a nappy-headed Ho

that I could spend 2+ hours in my patio cleaning up and potting new plants in this beautiful weather instead of watching The Astros, who were snowed out in Chicago during the afternoon

Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.
-Michael Jordan

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Doing things

What's wrong with this picture?

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that yesterday in our 6:30am meeting, we read TIGHTROPE, the story of a gay alcoholic (ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, 4th edition, page 359) ... check it out

that taking action produces results;
right action = good results
wrong action = bad results
I think I have also heard these referred to as consequences.

that I can do a little bit after 9am to help another person; during my last 10 years of drinking, that would have been out of the question

that The Astros actually won 2 games in-a-row

The secret of getting ahead is getting started.
-Sally Berger

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Looking @ Life

Last Saturday, I went to an Astros baseball game. I took this picture from my seat.

It was the first time at any baseball game since 1971 (age 17) that I didn't smoke a cigarette. That would total at least 2000 games. It was like seeing baseball through a new pair of glasses (I just had to say that!).

Today marks 6 months since I became a non-smoker after 36 years of smoking 3 packs/day. It's been very easy. Thanks again to Allen Carr, who wrote "The Easy Way To Stop Smoking."

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for some good AA sharing regarding fear; I think fear is the basis of almost all of man's actions and thoughts; probably some women too

that I have managed to reduce my incidents of isolating by as much as 90% since I began therapy with a professional

that I attended a 40th birthday party of a wonderful friend

that Scott W experiences the same feelings that I do in some social situations

that there are many parts of my personality that will never change no matter how much I may want them to and I am OK with that

for my daily conversations with Hayden in Trinidad

that TNT knows drama

God brings men into deep waters not to drown them, but to cleanse them. -Aughey

Monday, April 09, 2007

Read at your own risk ...

Why do some people have the power to push certain buttons?
Friend "A" can do something and it doesn't seem to bother me or phase me one bit.
But if Friend "B" does the same thing, it drives me nuts.
I know this is very ambiguous, but it was just something flying across my remaining brain waves. And I thought it might stimulate you. For God's sake, man, get stimulated!!

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for an AA meeting about the attitude of understanding -- it was like graduate-level recovery for this simpleton, but it was quite interesting

that global warming apparently came to an end for a few days; maybe George Bush has been working with Al Gore (ie: Houston had the coldest April weather in 68 years)

that I went to an Astros game on the spur of the moment with no prior planning - by myself and had a great time

that I watched Lewis Black on The Comedy Channel for over an hour -- he is too funny! He did a bit on bottled water and the Nutrition Facts that are printed on those bottles. It's all zeroes. Check it out!! It's all zeroes!! At least my bottle of water has 0 grams of total fat. Whew! I can guzzle in peace now.

Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterward.
-Vernon Law

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter Peep Blending

it's just for fun -- dont' take it too seriously, please

You're a good egg

I hope you have a wonderful Easter Sunday, whatever that may mean to you.

I am not religous so it really has no significance to me besides being a day off. Oh, wait a minute ... it's Sunday anyway. And I don't work; I'm retired.

Never mind.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Maradona in Denial?

Doctors say Diego Maradona better by the day
Fri 6 Apr 2007, 7:17 GMT

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentine soccer great Diego Maradona is getting better by the day at the Buenos Aires clinic where he is being treated for alcohol-induced hepatitis, his doctors said on Thursday.
Maradona, 46, who led Argentina to a World Cup victory in 1986, was admitted to the private Guemes clinic last week and has been sedated since then to help curb alcohol cravings.
Since retiring from the game in 1997, Maradona has battled cocaine addiction and obesity. His personal physician has blamed excessive drinking, eating, and smoking cigars for his latest health crisis.
"He's improving day by day from his acute toxic hepatitis," a medical report said.
The clinic's medical director, Hector Pezzella, said the soccer star "accepts being hospitalized."
"He's aware that being in hospital is the best thing and I've noticed he intends to recover quickly," he added.
Outside the city clinic, Maradona fans have stuck photographs and messages of support on the walls.
Maradona had appeared overweight and smoking cigars in photographs taken soon before he was taken to the hospital last week. He was hospitalized in 2000 and 2004, both times with severe heart problems stemming from cocaine use.
He underwent drug rehabilitation in Cuba and Argentina before a stomach-stapling operation in 2005 helped him lose weight.
Later that year, he hosted a TV talk show after declaring himself fully recovered.
NOTE: the pictures are from 1986 and 2005

Friday, April 06, 2007

Good Friday Gratitude

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I try to keep an open mind almost all the time. Maybe that's why so much leaks out.

that my therapist understands me just a little bit too well (LOL)

that to be the best I can be still requires a lot of effort

"Learn as if you were going to live forever. Live as if you were going to die tomorrow."
-Mahatma Gandhi

Thursday, April 05, 2007

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy

Use your imagination ...
then go visit the HNT website

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for some good quality time spent with my Mom yesterday

for a phone call from a friend who has been in a mighty struggle with alcohol for many years and has yet to stay sober long enough to enjoy the experience

for good intentions and better attitudes

for friends who are good examples

for others who are not

that today is Trudging's (Outright Mental Defective) 17th Sobriety Birthday - CLICK to wish her well

that I managed to do a more-than-adequate job for so many years before my career came to an end

"Always be nice to people on the way up; because you'll meet the same people on the way down."
-Wilson Mizner

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


A sign on the wall in the Men's restroom on the ferry (see yesterday's post) that runs between Trinidad and Tobago.
(click for a closeup)

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I never need to "arrange" my daily activities around my drinking again

to see people return to the rooms of recovery quicky after slipping / relapsing -- I don't know if I could do that and I hope I never test myself on this point

that I can introduce you to a new blogger from Houston (although he lives in North Texas now). Drop by and say howdy to Rebos Reed and help him remain grateful. We got sober within weeks of each other in 2003 at Lambda Center even though he's 31 years younger than me.

for time spent with Rodney yesterday - we took a 3-hour road trip to the Gulf coast and had some quality chat-time together

for my life. Last night I was missing Hayden being here with me. And I was taking a break from some voluntary computer work (for Lambda Center) and reading recovery blogs and also watching the Astros on TV when I ventured to my stylish 2nd-story front balcony. There was a young-ish homeless guy rummaging through the garbage bin across the street, probably looking for food scraps. All of a sudden, I felt very grateful.

"It’s hard to detect good luck - it looks so much like something you’ve earned."
-- Fred A. Clark

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


This is the ferry that runs between Trinidad and Tobago each day. The distance is about 50 miles or about 2 1/2 hours.
It holds approximately 200 automobiles and 1000 passengers. The cost is $9 per person each way.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a good 1st step meeting yesterday - I'm grateful that I could not only admit my powerlessness over alcohol but also accept that fact

for an AA newcomer to our early morning meetings who celebrated 10 days sober today on his 54th birthday

that I will not feel the need to be perfect today, but I can be excellent

that a friend at Lambda with many years of recovery under her belt will not be moving away from Houston as she and her family were planning to do; we need her here and obviously, her HP knew that

that I'm a successful quitter (drinking, smoking, etc...)

for some nice shopping therapy yesterday, including a new cell phone. I had the previous phone (my first in sobriety) for 1 1/2 years, longest I've ever had a cell phone. When I was drinking, I had at least 12 phones but was always losing them or they got stolen. In 2002 at the beginning of my last year of drinking, I had 4 phones in a 4-month period (in Morocco).

"Most people seem to want tremendous improvement, instantly. But you'll probably find it's the little things you do that eventually add up to big results."
-- Joel Weldon

Monday, April 02, 2007

Nothing Negative

This is the only concrete Ping Pong Table I have ever seen.
It is on the grounds of the Tobago Hilton Hotel, about 50 yards from the surf of the Caribbean Sea.
Even the net is concrete. Personally, I thought it was a bit windy to be playing, but I'm kinda particular that way.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I get to witness the new-found sobriety of so many people and then watch as they grow in recovery

that I am pretty damn content when I am not thinking of the things I want to have

that I got to speak to Mary Christine yesterday

for a quick and peaceful Board meeting Sunday at Lambda Center

that I am so blessed - there's really nothing negative in my life except those things that my perceptions tell me are negative; or put another way, those things that I make up

that The Astros begin their 46th annual campaign to win a World Series - today!

Fight for your opinions, but do not believe that they contain the whole truth, or the only truth.
-Charles A. Dana

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Tobago Coral Reefs

While visiting Tobago last week, I went on a little 3-hour snorkelling excursion to see some coral reefs.

The boat we went on had 3 windows in the floor, otherwise known as a glass-bottom boat. The coral reefs were in very shallow water and we could see the reefs directly under the boat in depths of less than ten feet. These pictures do not do justice. (CLICK ON ANY PICTURE FOR MORE DETAIL)

We got out of the boat and swam amongst the reefs in an area where we could walk without cutting our feet. The views were absolutely gorgeous. Exotic fish of many colors were swimming right along with us. They must be accustomed to humans.

The tour cost a whopping $10.
Damn good return on investment.