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

Sunday, October 21, 2007


I have always been fascinated by weather, geography and the space program. When I saw this, well ....

Like ripples on a pond, a series of long, circular wave clouds radiate out from the coast of West Africa in this pair of photo-like images. The images were captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra (top) and Aqua (bottom) satellites on October 9, 2007. Called an undular bore or solitary wave, this cloud formation was created in the interaction between the cool, dry air coming out of Africa with a stable layer of warm, moist air over the Atlantic Ocean.
A moving air mass over Africa pushed a wave of fast-moving dry air ahead of it like a mound of water moving ahead of a boat in calm water. The wave of dry air pushed west until it met with a wall of warm, moist air over the Atlantic Ocean. The meeting of the two air masses is visible in the cloud patterns shown in the image. To the west of the wave clouds is a layer of relatively evenly spaced marine clouds. Behind the wave clouds (east), the dry air is almost cloud-free. The clash between the two air masses is evident in the wave clouds.
When the two air masses met, the dry air pushed the moist air up. The moist air rose, cooled at the peak of the wave, fell again, and then rose to a slightly lower peak, and so forth, until the wave dissipated. Clouds formed at the high-altitude peaks of the waves, with the most defined cloud at the front of the group, where the initial wave formed, followed by increasingly less-defined lines of cloud. These undulating waves traveled ahead of the boundary between the two air masses into the layer of stable moist air. The distinctness of the wave clouds in the top image indicates that the moist air transmitted the waves well, without dampening the waves or allowing the energy that created them to dissipate.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


The family wheeled Grandma out on the lawn, in her wheelchair, where the activities for her 100th birthday were taking place.

Grandma couldn't speak very well, but she could write notes when she needed to communicate.

After a short time out on the lawn, Grandma started leaning off to the right, so some family members grabbed her, straightened her up, and stuffed pillows on her right.

A short time later, she started leaning off to her left, so again the family grabbed her and stuffed pillows on her left.

Soon she started leaning forward, so the family members again grabbed her, then tied a pillowcase around her waist to hold her up.

A grandson, who arrived late, came up to Grandma and said,

"Hi, Grandma; you're looking good! How are they treating you?"

Grandma took out her little notepad and slowly wrote a note to the grandson...

"They won't let me fart."

Friday, October 19, 2007

See below ...

for all cat lovers ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the many interpretations of "practice these principles in all our affairs"

for possibilities, then choices and the resulting consequences

for the healthy discussion in our blogging community regarding Tradition Eleven

that although I whine and complain about being too busy, all of my days are full of productive stuff

for some (admittedly very cute) newcomers at Lambda

that I have no need nor desire to practice Step 13 with the above persons (I only mention this because it goes against my lifelong instincts)

that there's only 66 shopping days left before Christmas

Often the difference between a successful person and a failure is not one has better abilities or ideas, but the courage that one has to bet on one's ideas, to take a calculated risk - and to act.
-- Andre Malraux

Thursday, October 18, 2007

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy

My first bathroom remodelling project is finally complete after 7 weeks.
Click on the picture for a slideshow. It's a small bathroom, only 5'X7', so take that into account. It was difficult to get good pictures without a special lens.

HERE is the HNT website

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for my Mom -- she is bed-ridden and cannot speak or walk (due to a stroke). She barely has the strength to write and can only make a few illegible scratches on paper. Yesterday I spent about an hour trying to decipher some marks on a piece of paper. Finally, I figured it out. She was trying to spell "book" and wanted me to read Joel Osteen's new book to her. She saw it on TV and knew about it from that media. Once I knew what she wanted, we both laughed about the difficulty in our communication. We go through this almost every week.

that often I don't have a clue about the next right thing to do, but I almost always know the next wrong thing to do

that I have always had enough to eat and a place to sleep

that, as a recovering alcoholic, I will always have a place to go, wherever I am

that the bathroom you may have looked at (above) is finally done; one more to go

Humor is tragedy plus time.
-- Mark Twain

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Hump Day


"We grow small trying to be great." -- E. Stanley Jones

"I claim to be a simple individual liable to err like any other fellow mortal. I own, however, that I have humility enough to confess my errors and to retrace my steps." -- Mahatma Gandhi

"If we become increasingly humble about how little we know, we may be more eager to search." -- Sir John Templeton

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that when I type my gratitude list, I have the keys to happiness at my fingertips

that one of the best methods for me to get out of my head is to speak with a newcomer or someone who has recently relapsed

for a reminder that if I am to have any chance of becoming anything close to a useful human being, I must maintain a conscious contact with my Higher Power

that my only real problems today are the ones I create in my head, which in turn, means they aren't real problems anyway

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

that tomorrow is hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy, cameras out please

"You can accomplish anything in life, provided that you do not mind who gets the credit."
-- Harry S. Truman

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

on second thought ...


"Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope or confidence." -- Helen Keller

"Expect to have hope rekindled. Expect your prayers to be answered in wondrous ways. The dry seasons in life do not last. The spring rains will come again." -- Sarah Ban Breathnach

"Everything that is done in the world is done by hope." -- Martin Luther

"The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof." -- Barbara Kingsolver

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my morning coffee provides grounds for serenity and peace

that I went to a Monday night AA meeting @ Lambda because I missed my regular noontime meeting

that I went shopping with my bathroom contractor to pick out fixtures and tiles for the next project, which begins tomorrow!

I should have pictures of the first bathroom (completed) this week

for some needed rain overnight and waking up to cool (for Houston) temps

It is a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous that you realize just how much you love them.
-Agatha Christie

Monday, October 15, 2007

Eyes Open

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I am still a work in progress and not the finished product

that any progress I make will be based on my self-honesty, open-mindedness to new concepts and my willingness to change

for the examples provided by others, without which, I would have no guidance

that I can still function reasonably well

for a funny and successful drag auction, benefitting the 2007 Houston Roundup

that I made it through the embarrasment of only talking for 35 out of the 55 minutes I was given to tell my story; I simply ran out of stuff to say (that's a first!)

If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light. Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness and fear.
-Glenn Clark

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A Spiritual Awakening

"Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs."

The joy of living is the theme of A.A.'s Twelfth Step,
and action is its key word.

When a man or a woman has a spiritual awakening, the most important meaning of it is that he has now become able to do, feel, and believe that which he could not do before on his unaided strength and resources alone.

We may often pass through Twelfth Step experiences where we will seem to be temporarily off the beam. These will appear as big setbacks at the time, but will be seen later as stepping-stones to better things.

All of the above sentences are from Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, Step Twelve.

I'm just reminding myself of what they have to say.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Blog Action Day

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day
On October 15th - Blog Action Day, bloggers around the web will unite to put a single important issue on everyone's mind.
In its inaugural year, Blog Action Day will be co-ordinating bloggers to tackle the issue of the environment.

(click on the banner to navigate to the website)

Watch the video

Friday, October 12, 2007

This is worthy of mention ...

The Breast Cancer site is having trouble getting enough people to click on their site daily to meet their quota of donating at least one free mammogram a day to an underprivileged woman. It takes less than a minute to go to their site and click on 'donating a mammogram' for free (pink window in the middle).This doesn't cost you a thing. Their corporate sponsors /advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate mammogram in exchange for advertising. So please click HERE or on the picture to help the cause.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the occasional bits of sanity provided me by my HP; the rest of the time, I just try to smile

that it's been over 4 years since I vomited whilst trying to eat something

that I wasn't driving the brand-new $200,000 Bentley I watched get hit in an accident yesterday

that I ate lunch yesterday at a table next to Dikembe Mutombo; he's got the longest legs I've ever seen (kinda like a sequoia tree)

that bathroom remodelling project #1 is about finished; just a few details remain (pictures will follow soon)

that I signed the contract for bathroom remodelling project #2 to begin next week

You must first have a lot of patience to learn to have patience.
-Stanislaw J. Lec

Ya'll have a GREAT weekend!!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy

I did not get around to creating a picture for today. Sorry.

This is a rerun from last year. It's one of my favorites.

HNT website

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I will always be accountable - to me!

that I've never had to sleep outside because I had no other place to sleep

that my health allows me to do just about anything I wish

that most situations don't require me to repair them

that I am much more aware today of the ways I try to manipulate people

that (once again) I will be telling a little bit of my experience, strength and hope on Saturday night @ Lambda (they only give me an hour, so I'll have to keep it short)

It is vain to expect our prayers to be heard, if we do not strive as well as pray.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

No Smoking (please)

It began with a few Marlboro and then Winston cigarettes when I was 16 years old. By the time I was 17, I was smoking a pack each day. A year later after graduating from high school and no longer running track, my consumption rose to 2 packs each day. By the age of 20 I could smoke up to 3 packs/day.

This consumption rate continued unabated for the next 32 years. I changed to Salem menthols in my early 20's and smoked those exclusively for about 20 years. I smoked Marlboro Lights for the last 10 years of smoking.

Finally, enough was enough. Scott W. had become a non-smoker in 2005 simply by reading a book AND wanting to stop. He made it look so easy. I tried it and it worked. This happened one year ago -- today!

If you want to stop, get this book and give it an honest read.

It could save your life.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I have so many choices

that I can change my minds

that people trust me enough to voice their problems to me

THIS LINK to some A.A. PSA's

that I no longer have cigarette breath

that I no longer need leg surgery to repair vascular damage caused by nicotine

that I no longer spend hundreds of dollars each month on cigarettes

that I no longer feel uncomfortable without a pack of cigs on me

There is no pillow so soft as a clear conscience.
- unknown

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Things I know ...


"Cardiovascular problems alone in America create over a thousand funerals a day… and 90% of the problem is neglect." -- Jim Rohn

"Laughter is the most healthful exertion." -- Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland

"It may be possible to incorporate laugher into daily activities, just as is done with other heart-healthy activities, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator. The recommendation for a healthy heart may one day be exercise, eat right and laugh a few times a day." -- Michael Miller

"We cannot seek or attain health, wealth, learning, justice or kindness in general. Action is always specific concrete, individualized unique." -- Benjamin Jowett

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a good reminder that sobriety is NOT a cure for alcoholism

for my resentment prevention program -- it's called Step 4!

that this little pink cloud I've been floating on still remains ... sure wish I could bottle it and save it

that I am soooooo good at handling routine -- please don't take away my routine!

that I will never be a porn star
(somehow, this role bypassed me)

Patience is also a form of action.
-Auguste Rodin

Monday, October 08, 2007

just thinkin' ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I hear or see the things I need to hear or see, so often

that when I managed to stop drinking alcohol, coincidences became just another part of my HP's plan

that I have never been a procrastinator

for an afternoon spent with Zane in Old Town Spring (at the People's Choice Recovery Shoppe where I got the 4-year medallion) and in The Woodlands, Texas [click on the highlighted words]

while reading THIS blog, I was reminded that I have not been to Washington D.C. since Eisenhower was president. Does this make me an old relic or just a Republican? (I don't consider myself either of those) My parents took my sister and I there on vacation in 1960.

Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.
-Victor Borge

Sunday, October 07, 2007


I am still in a "recovery zone" of sorts, so instead of my usual Sunday joke, I am giving you this today...

"To make a man happy, fill his hands with work, his heart with affection, his mind with purpose, his memory with useful knowledge, his future with hope, and his stomach with food."
-- Frederick e. Crane

"Happiness comes when you believe in what you are doing, know what you are doing, and love what you are doing."
-- Brian Tracy

"Did you ever see an unhappy horse? Did you ever see a bird that had the blues? One reason why birds and horses are not unhappy is because they are not trying to impress other birds and horses."
-- Dale Carnegie

"To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition."
-- Samuel Johnson

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Tats & Forgiveness

tattoo remover

"Bitterness and an unforgiving spirit can be likened to you taking poison and expecting that someone else would die from the effect. Forgiveness is about setting the prisoner in your heart free only to discover that all along, you had been the real prisoner."
-- 'Tope Popoola

"To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness."
-- Robert Muller

One of the secrets of a long and fruitful life is to forgive everybody everything every night before you go to bed."
-- Bernard Baruch

"We are supposed to forgive everyone; everyone includes ourselves."
-- Denis Waitley

Friday, October 05, 2007

The Power of Attitude

click on the picture to enlarge

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

to talk and share about the power of attitude

for reminders about awareness and how it has led to so many changes in my 4 years of recovery

for responsibilities, and the integrity to live up to them

that as a sober man, I can eat 3 square meals each day instead of just putting something in my stomach every 2 or 3 days

that the bathroom remodelling project is about 80% or 90% complete

that Hayden made it home to Trinidad safely

that I made it through yesterday in one peace
(I always have a difficult time departing Hayden for extended periods)

that this is my 1600th post on this blog

Half an hour's meditation each day is essential, except when you are busy. Then a full hour is needed.
-St. Francis de Sales

Thursday, October 04, 2007

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy

Photoshop can be fun.

see if anyone else is having fun today ... click HERE

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I got to listen to the life story (short version) of an acquaintance yesterday; quite the tale it was

for a belated AA birthday lunch from a good friend; he treated Hayden and I to a scrumptious and healthy lunch

that I can now drive at night without fear of getting a DUI

for the past 4 months while Hayden has been here (well, most of it ~~ LOL)

When all is said and done, more is said than done.
-Lou Holtz

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Proceed with caution

Yesterday I was buying a large bag of Purina dog chow for my dogs at WALMART and was about to check out. A woman behind me asked if I had a dog. On impulse, I told her that no, I didn't have a dog, and that I was starting the Purina Diet again, although I probably shouldn't, because I'd ended up in the hospital last time, but that I'd lost 50 pounds before I awakened in an intensive care ward with tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IVs in both arms. I told her that it was essentially a perfect diet, and that the way that it works is to load your pants pockets with Purina nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry, and that the food is nutritionally complete so I was going to try it again. (I have to mention here that practically everyone in the line was by now enthralled with my story.)Horrified , she asked if I ended up in intensive care because the dog food poisoned me. I told her, "No, I stepped off a curb to sniff an Irish Setter's ass and a car hit us both."

I thought the guy behind her was going to have a heart attack, he was laughing so hard!
(This is not a true story. It is a joke. If you don't like it, call your sponsor.)

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that we read Bill's Story yesterday at the Eyes Wide Shut meeting; the discussion afterward was great as we each told at least one way that we identified with his story

that I no longer have to look away from people so they won't smell alcohol on my breath

for the concept of killing 2 birds with 1 stone

that smiling at someone costs me nothing

that tomorrow is hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy, so get your cameras out now!

"It is the Law that any difficulties that can come to you at any time, no matter what they are, must be exactly what you need most at the moment, to enable you to take the next step forward by overcoming them. The only real misfortune, the only real tragedy, comes when we suffer without learning the lesson."
-- Emmet Fox

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

What It's Like ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I get to practice love and tolerance just about all the time, even when I'm alone

that of all the things I think I need, my health is the only one that matters

for the power of Step 3 in my life as I try to remember to practice it many times daily

for a quality day spent with Hayden and the realization that we have not had any type of argument in weeks (that's amazing for us)

for his persistence/perseverance in frugality

for great progress in the bathroom remodel -- all the plumbing fixtures were installed yesterday

that the hills are alive with the sound of music

We must believe in luck. For how else can we explain the success of those we don't like?
-Jean Cocteau

Monday, October 01, 2007

Trudging the road ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the wonderful fellowship on Saturday night at the annual birthday celebrations of those in recovery at Lambda Center - even got to visit with Pam!

that Pam gave me the button pictured above -- she received it 16 years ago shortly after she got sober and has had it ever since (until now)

for the lifetime gifts from Hayden (ostensibly for my sobriety anniversary)

that I have continued to do my best, the result being that I am still sober and learning a new way of life

that I got to watch (on television) the final game of the 20-year career of Craig Biggio (baseball player)

Forgiveness means giving up all hope of a better past.
--Landrum Bolling