Monday, March 31, 2008

Sugar & Spice

We spent time over the weekend preparing our current townhouse for staging (click for an explanation). Most of the personal touches are now gone or will be by tomorrow.

I don't much care for the way it looks. I like those icons that set me apart from others.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for another realization -- my entire adult life, until I got sober, centered around my relationships with people who drank. I only knew how to relate to those who drank. Some drank as much as I did, or more. But all my personal friends were drinkers. I didn't know how to connect with sober people. Today, all my relationships center around people who don't drink (except my life partner). I don't know how to relate to inebriated folks.
What I am trying to get across to you is that I do not comprehend how to have a proper social relationship with another human.

for the possibility of one day having some social skills

for a really groovy AA Birthday Night @ Lambda

that when my mind began making up untruths yesterday afternoon, I went to an AA meeting. It provided just the relief I needed, as advertised.

for progress on the home front

Miracles sometimes occur, but one has to work terribly hard for them.
-Chaim Weizmann

Sunday, March 30, 2008

High Speed Camera

I love this kind of stuff!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Friday, March 28, 2008

running late, keeping it short ...

I'm sure there is a logical explanation...

I dropped by Roger Clemens' house last week to say hello, and had the camera with me so I snapped this photo of his dog Rocket.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for patience

that Hayden and I have pared our potential new home list to 2; we have looked at 15 houses this week, but now can't decide which to choose

for high-class problems

A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.
-General George S. Patton

Thursday, March 27, 2008

the fellowship matters

I want this towel.

todAAy i AAM grAAteful & thAAnkful

that being sober seems so natural these days, I often forget to include it on this list

that most of us can speak endlessly about the topix of fear and resentments

for the wonderful and humorous speakers that Scott W. chose during his month of chairing the Wednesday 12:15p AA speaker meeting

that Pam, Zane, Hayden and I had the opportunity to meet Lash (Coffee Bitch) and enjoy a dinner with him (he paid) while he was in town

that Hayden and I visited and graded 9 properties yesterday; we'll see about 6 more this afternoon and then it may be time to make a decision, one way or another

Many of our fears are tissue-paper-thin, and a single courageous step would carry us clear through them.
-Brendan Francis

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

for the life of me...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that recovery in A.A. helps to keep my particular brand of insanity within resonable managability

for continuing awareness of the insanity of my drinking days

that I understand the concept of whatever it takes

that Hayden made it home safely

that we are putting our townhouse on the market today; we are looking at upgrading our living situation but in the same area of Houston (we live in Montrose) -- Yes, I know it's not a seller's market, but it IS a buyer's market, so at least I've go it half right!

The only way to find the limits of the possible is by going beyond them to the impossible.
-Arthur C. Clarke (may he rest in peace)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

passing the message

This little animal is called the Naked Mole-Rat and is from Africa.

So if you are having a bad day and feeling sorry for yourself, remember:
You could look like a dick with buck teeth!

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for another busy and productive day that just flew by

for the infinite methods of carrying out Step 12 (A.A.)

that Lash (Coffee Bitch) will be in town tomorrow

that most nights, I sleep really good; I remember that I was so worried about being able to sleep without drinking to oblivion.

that I actually enjoy hearing about the experience of others, good and bad

"Every behavior you participate in will have a consequence."
-- Brian Tracy

"Work joyfully and peacefully, knowing that right thoughts and right efforts will inevitably bring about right results."
-- James Allen

"An idealist believes the short run doesn't count. A cynic believes the long run doesn't matter. A realist believes that what is done or left undone in the short run determines the long run."
-- Syndey J. Harris

Monday, March 24, 2008

taking a breath, then continuing

Need new sheets?

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my Mom just keeps on hanging in there; she was able to remain alert again for the hour I visited on Saturday

for people who actually do what they say they are going to do

for the irony of a Sunday morning discussion meeting about fellowship, and then spending the entire day alone

for Steps 6 & 7 -- since there is no operation that allows a doctor to remove my character defects

that Hayden arrives tomorrow for a week-long visit

for my cats

"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."
-- Thomas Edison

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Bill tagged me last week with a meme.
I enjoyed reading his answers, so I figured I'd try it too.

Five (5) names you like:


Five (5) names you don't like:


Five (5) things you do, or should do, daily:

refain from drinking alcohol
go to an A.A. meeting

Five (5) stores you like, in person or on-line:

Best Buy
Fry's Electronics
Home Depot

I'm not tagging anyone in particular.
But maybe you want to do this little meme too?

Have a Happy Easter, if that's your thang.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

a coupla funnies

submitted by Mr Zanejabbers

This was not me in school. I promise.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Superb Friday

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that Rule 62 will guide my attitude for this 24 hours; if you are not familiar with it, see the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, page 149

that today will be good

for breakfast with my sponsor this morning

that Pam is a non-smoker who is losing weight

that I'm registered for the Palm Springs A.A. Roundup in September. Did I already tell ya that? Huh? Hayden is going to accompany me.

for the years I lived in the United Kingdom -- from 1989 - 1992-ish. For some reason, I was just thinking about those days which were so good. Howdy Liz!!

Middle age is when you have a choice of two temptations and choose the one that will get you home earlier.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

first day of Spring

for my jogging friends...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the change of seasons; seems like it happens every few months!

that Mom keeps hanging in there - on my most recent visit, she was able to remain awake and aware for the entire hour I was there; this is most unusual

for an AA discussion meeting about acceptance; something I need daily hourly

that I'm considering making more changes in my life - stay tuned LOL

that I can be honest in all dealings with everyone I meet

that when my head is in a good place, my fear of people almost disappears

that today is Boston's 30th birthday

I have accepted fear as part of life--specifically the fear of change. I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart that says turn back.
-Erica Jong

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

staying active

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I have been able to replace my drinking activities with more productive action and behavior

that we read "Women Suffer Too" yesterday in our Big Book Study

that even though my activities and priorities change as I mature, sobriety must always remain #1

that I stay so damn busy as a retired person

Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.
-Carol Burnett

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

the next day

Lisa Lampanelli.
This picture was taken with my mobile phone camera last Friday night.

If you don't know her, and are not too offended by nasty language, click on her name.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a nice, peaceful and serene day yesterday; only 364 days until I am 55 years old -- Wow! How'd that happen?

for all the wonderful comments by you guys, my fellow bloggers

that I can sit and watch all the Paddy's Day party-goers going to and coming from the Irish pub that I still hold a financial interest in AND I have no desire to join them; in my past life, I led them

for so many tools and resources at my disposal, patience being one of them

for THIS bit of A.A. history -- in pictures

He who forgives ends the quarrel.
-African proverb

Monday, March 17, 2008

Another Day of Victory

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I have learned to recognize when I'm getting overwhelmed and how to nip it in the bud before the insanity returns (usually)

that on Saturday night, I got to hear another friend tell what it was like, what happened and what it's like now

that I was asked to read a part in Bob S's one-act play, "King of the Hill";
we did this last night at a community theatre and I forgot to stay afterward to sign autographs

for the fun of listening to Lisa Lampanelli for 1 ½ hours

tha I have been on this planet for 54 years; never thought that would happen!

that I'm sober enough to be a bit worried about Kenny.
He hasn't responded to my emails. Does anyone have any information?

Gallagher opened the morning newspaper and was dumbfounded to read in the obituary column that he had died. He quickly phoned his best friend, Finney.
"Did you see the paper?" asked Gallagher. "They say I died!!"
"Yes, I saw it!" replied Finney. "Where are ye callin' from?"

An Irish priest is driving down to New York and gets stopped for speeding in Connecticut . The state trooper smells alcohol on the priest's breath and then sees an empty wine bottle on the floor of the car.
He says, "Sir, have you been drinking?"
"Just water," says the priest.
The trooper says, "Then why do I smell wine?"
The priest looks at the bottle and says, "Good Lord! He's done it again!"

Sunday, March 16, 2008


I never realized that a wet dishcloth can be a one size fits all lid to cover a fire in a pan! This is a dramatic video (30-second, very short) about how to deal with a common kitchen fire ... oil in a frying pan. Read the following introduction, then watch the video.

It's a real eye -opener!! At the Fire Fighting Training school they would demonstrate this with a deep fat fryer set on the fire field. An instructor would don a fire suit and using an 8 oz cup at the end of a 10 foot pole toss water onto the grease fire.

The results got the attention of the students. The water, being heavier than oil, sinks to the bottom where it instantly becomes superheated. The explosive force of the steam blows the burning oil up and out. On the open field, it became a thirty foot high fireball that resembled a nuclear blast.

Inside the confines of a kitchen, the fire ball hits the ceiling and fills the entire room. Also, do not throw sugar or flour on a grease fire. One cup creates the explosive force of two sticks of dynamite.

Walking into the bar, Mike said to Charlie the bartender, "Pour me a stiff one - just had another fight with the little woman."
"Oh yeah?" said Charlie, "And how did this one end?"
"When it was over," Mike replied, "She came to me on her hands and knees.
"Really," said Charles, "Now that's a switch! What did she say?"
She said, "Come out from under the bed, you little chicken."

Saturday, March 15, 2008

teddy bears

A woman meets a man in a bar.

They talk; they connect; they end up leaving together.

They get back to his place, and as he shows her around his apartment.

She notices that one wall of his bedroom is completely filled with soft, sweet, cuddly teddy bears.

There are three shelves in the bedroom, with hundreds and hundreds of cute, cuddly teddy bears carefully placed in rows, covering the entire wall!

It was obvious that he had taken quite some time to lovingly arrange them and she was immediately touched by the amount of thought he had put into organizing the display.

There were small bears all along the bottom shelf, medium-sized bears covering the length of the middle shelf, and huge, enormous bears running all the way along the top shelf.

She found it strange for an obviously masculine guy to have such a large collection of Teddy Bears, She is quite impressed by his sensitive side. But doesn't mention this to him.

They share a bottle of wine and continue talking and, after awhile, she finds herself thinking, 'Oh my God! Maybe, this guy could be the one!

Maybe he could be the future father of my children?' She turns to him and kisses him lightly on the lips He responds warmly.

They continue to kiss, the passion builds, and he romantically lifts her in his arms and carries her into his bedroom where they rip off each other's clothes and make hot, steamy love. She is so overwhelmed that she responds with more passion, more creativity, more heat than she has ever known.

After an intense, explosive night of raw passion with this sensitive guy, they are lying there together in the afterglow. The woman rolls over, gently strokes his chest and asks coyly, 'Well,how was it?' The guy gently smiles at her, strokes her cheek, looks deeply into her eyes, and says:

'Help yourself to any prize from the middle shelf.'

Friday, March 14, 2008

here we are

You might like this Gratitude Dance ...

(I stole this from SOJO)

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a meeting topic about Tradition 10; I am so glad I regularly attend a meeting that discusses the traditions of A.A.

that I don't have to force my will upon anybody or anything anymore

that I'm going to see Lisa Lampanelli tonight

that this budding thespian will make his stage debut on Sunday;
I have always been mystified by the secret world of thespianism

Failure is a stepping-stone to greatness.
-Oprah Winfrey

Thursday, March 13, 2008

a potpourri

Criss Angel is at it again!

this guy is tooooo much!!

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that Scott picked a really good speaker for the noon meeting yesterday; she only has about 33 years of sobriety (so far), tells a good story and tells it with humility and humor

that my life is so different and so much better than the last year of my drinking

for political incorrectness (I'm old-fashioned)

for more beautiful weather here in H-town where our NBA team just won their 20th consecutive basketball game

THIS is not meant to be bathroom humor, butt...
it's not a charmin' story!

Do you prefer that you be right, or that you be happy?
-A Course in Miracles

Paddy was driving down the street in a sweat because he had an important meeting and couldn't find a parking place. Looking up to heaven he said, "Lord take pity on me. If you find me a parking place I will go to Mass every Sunday for the rest of me life and give up me Irish Whiskey!"
Miraculously, a parking place appeared.
Paddy looked up again and said, "Never mind, I found one."

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

tha the wreckage I may create in my life today is mostly negligible and avoidable but always fixable

for a string of really good days (inside my head) interrupted only by a few hours of slight depression

that it behooves me to not regret the past nor do I wish to shut the door on it; I only need remember those last days of my drinking and that is enough to forever keep me sober in conjuction with the program of A.A.

that I am more flexible than ever, both spiritually, emotionally and physically (well, to tell the truth, I was more flexible physically when I was 18 years old)

Each handicap is like a hurdle in a steeplechase, and when you ride up to it, if you throw your heart over, the horse will go along, too.
-Lawrence Bixby

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

on a cloudy day ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that as I come to, the insanity seems to decrease

that some people trust me enough to confide in me

that Rodney and I went to see Vantage Point last night; I recommend it

that I'll never be a Governor caught in a scandal;
I don't care for politics

for another successful Shuttle launch early this morning

Don't regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.
~ unknown

Monday, March 10, 2008

another Monday

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for another Monday without a hangover

that my Mom continues to hang in there but is mostly unresponsive; it seems to get more difficult for me to watch; I appreciate all the kind thoughts and words from you guys

that hearing the AA story of people in recovery often keeps me on the edge of my seat. Such was the case Saturday night when Tony S. told us what it was like.

for another productive Lambda Board of Directors meeting

that I'm gonna hit the gym at 5:20 this morning

that my sister sold her house after 13 months on the market

that what comes around, goes around

that my fellow bloggers have handled difficulties with another blogger with class, dignity and without compromising their spiritual principles

What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.
-Mother Teresa

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Not Down

There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is 'UP'.

It's easy to understand. UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP ? At a meeting, why does a topic come UP ? Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report ?

We call UP our friends. And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver, we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car.

At other times the little word has real special meaning. People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses. To be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed UP is special.

And this UP is confusing: A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP . We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night. We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP ! To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP , look the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4th of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions. If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP , you may wind UP with a hundred or more.

When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP. When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP. When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP .When it doesn't rain for awhile, things dry UP. One could go on and on, but I'll wrap it UP, for now my time is UP, so........... it is time to shut UP!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Living today

A dog is truly a man's best friend.
Don't believe it? Just try this little experiment:

Put your dog and your wife in the trunk of your car for an hour.

When you open the trunk .....
..... who do YOU think will REALLY be happy to see you?

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for Step 10 and the range of recovery methods it entails

that AA is a design for living and Step 10 is a design for living today!

to see newcomers who really want to help themselves

that I can usually recognize the bait and I don't have to take it

that maybe some day I too can be a shape-shifting reptile (see the quote below)

"When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself."
-- Wayne Dyer

Thursday, March 06, 2008

delivered to your home

spring is in the air

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a really good meeting and breakfast with my sponsor. He knows me so well. We don't get together as often any more, but when we do, it's good, quality time. I sometimes feel guilty because I don't meet with him every week like you guys suggest. We haven't worked the steps together in 3 years. I hear you guys talk about doing them constantly with a sponsor, so I feel guilty about this. But, at the end of the day, I am sober and usually happy, joyous and free. I am active in my program and participate as much as ever. I work with others and try to help other people in recovery.
So screw y'all. (I say this with a smile on my face.)

that I got to chair the 6:30am meeting yesterday and someone needed to speak about FEAR. It was a wonderful discussion meeting.

that my bum knee has repaired itself and no longer gives me any trouble

that the Houston Rockets have won 16 straight games. That's pretty incredible in this day and age of a balanced league. I am no longer a big fan of the NBA and its rosters of thugs, but I do respect team records.

"If you have real internal value, you don't need a loud, expensive imitation."
-- Denis Waitley

"Total, unconditional acceptance of yourself is the first step in building a positive self-image."
-- Nido Qubein

"The most influential person who will talk to you all day is you, so you should be very careful about what you say to you!"
-- Zig Ziglar

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

I approve this message

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for all the people I meet in recovery; their stories and their solutions to life situations never cease to amaze me

that I do my best not to participate in negativity these days

that I registered for the Hot 'n Dry AA Roundup in Palm Springs for next September. I have not (yet) been to a Roundup other than our very own here in Houston.

that a post of TAB made me realize that my isolation and depression issues have been greatly reduced since I began exercising regularly last summer

for the increase in political activism this year; I believe it may be the most positive legacy of President W.

Until you're ready to look foolish, you'll never have the possibility of being great.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

just between you and me...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I was reminded of Tradition 3 -- the only requirement for membership to AA is a desire to stop drinking. A recovery friend says that AA could not have lowered its standards any farther.

that it was pretty easy for me to admit that I am an alcoholic. It was much more difficult for me to admit that alcohol was the cause of so many of my problems. Now I realize that it wasn't even the alcohol. It's the alcoholism.

for another blast of winter down here in the deep south; the temperature Monday morning at 9am was 76°, by noon it was 55°

that I have the privelege of voting today

for the 2-hour special on The Royal Family. I have always been rather fascinated by the pomp and arrogance of that family.

"Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are."
-- Malcolm Forbes

"Seek respect mainly from thyself, for it comes first from within."
-- Steven H. Coogler

"What you see is what you get, and who you feel like is who you really are."
-- Denis Waitley

Monday, March 03, 2008

to begin a fresh week...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the Step 6 meeting Sunday morning. It's my favorite thing to be reminded of because when I fail to practice it, I am at my worst behavior.

that Mom looked better and was more aware of her surroundings than in weeks past

for peace and serenity on a lovely Sunday afternoon. I had absolutely nothing on my schedule and tried to keep it that way.

that I got to hear William M. tell his tales of alcoholic behavior which led him to that incomprehensible demoralisation, something I can really identify with

that my friend, Bob S., asked me to read in his 4-person play later this month. We rehearsed yesterday morning. Successfully.

that today is Doug's birthday. We were bestest friends in high school (35 years ago). Today, he lives in California and has 3 kids. We still speak on the phone once or twice each year. Today will be one of those days.

that PAM is making a sincere attempt to stop smoking; it was one of the easiest things I ever did once I mustered the courage to do it

Love the moment, and the energy of that moment will spread beyond all boundaries.
-Corita Kent

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Saturday, March 01, 2008

serious, then just for fun

CLICK HERE to see a very serious video from the Ellen Degeneres Show.

Now, to lighten up your day ...

An Italian workman wants a job, but the foreman won't hire him until he passes a little math test.

"Here's your first question," the foreman said. "Without using numbers, represent the number 9."

"Withouta numbers?" the Italian says, "Datsa easy." and he proceeds to draw three trees.

"What's this?" the boss asks.

"Ave you gota no brain? Tree and tree and tree makes a nine," says the Italian.

"Fair enough," says the boss. "Here's your second question. Use the same rules, but this time the number is 99."

The Italian stares into space for a while, then picks up the picture that he has just drawn and makes a smudge on each tree. "Ere you go."

The boss scratches his head and says, "How on earth do you get that to represent 99?"

"Eacha of da trees is a dirty now. So, it's dirty tree, and dirty tree, and dirty tree. Datsa a 99."

The boss is getting worried that he's going to actually have to hire this Italian, so he says, "All right, last question. Same rules again, but represent the number 100."

The Italian stares into space some more, then he picks up the picture again and makes a little mark at the base of each tree and says, "Ere you go. One hundred."

The boss looks at the attempt. "You must be nuts if you think that represents a hundred!"

The Italian leans forward and points to the marks at the base of each tree and says, "A little doga come along and shita by eacha tree. So now you gota dirty tree and a turd, dirty tree and a turd, and dirty tree and a turd, data makea one hundred. So, whenna I start?"