Friday, October 31, 2008

The W(b)itch is Back

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for Step 3 -- "Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him"

that the practice of Step 3 in all hours of every day gives me a much better chance of living happily and with much less drama

that I couldn't really care less that tonight is Halloween party night

that tomorrow's post will be my 2000th post on this blog which I began in December 2004

One man has enthusiasm for 30 minutes, another for 30 days, but it is the man who has it for 30 years who makes a success of his life.
-Edward B. Butler

My name is dAAve and I approved this message.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Today's barometer

Of the collection of Halloween pictures that I have stored on my hard drive, this is my second-most favorite. Wait until tomorrow for my favorite one.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I didn't have any desire to drink alcohol yesterday and so far today, the same holds true

that life is a challenge -- and I wouldn't have it any other way!

that I know I must remain teachable because I seem to know less as each day passes

that Tony S. shared a little bit of his story with us yesterday at the 12:15p AA meeting; he hit a rather low bottom, more than once

that I am not a lazy person

Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.
-Robert Louis Stevenson

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Full moon over Halloween

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a book called Alcoholics Anonymous

for the program of Alcoholics Anonymous which has taught me how to get sober and stay sober

that I have a new sponsee; my first new one in quite a while and is just what I need to boost my recovery at this time

that my shrink has offered me some good advice and now it's up to me to take it or not

When the heart grieves over what it has lost, the spirit rejoices over what it has left.
-Sufi Epigram

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pumpkin burger

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I have so much, actually more than I ever imagined

that Steps 8 & 9 require me to make a commitment to myself to change my behavior

that I don't ever have to get too old to learn

for my life-partner and our cats (in that order)

that my wrist is much much better now -- it healed quickly

I am a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more of it I seem to have.
-Coleman Cox

Monday, October 27, 2008


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I am making a special effort to be welcoming around Lambda Center, my AA recovery club

for a very nice weekend, mostly quite serene

that we had a 2nd housewarming get together yesterday afternoon for about 30 people

that I just about have my few lines learned for the Roundup play I'm participating in late next month; we have 4 more rehearsals

Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.
-Anne Frank

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Road rage

A man was being tailgated by a stressed out woman on a busy boulevard.

Suddenly, the light turned yellow, just in front of him. He did the right thing, stopping at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection.

The tailgating-woman was furious and honked her horn, screaming in frustration, as she missed her chance to get through the intersection, dropping her cell phone and makeup.

As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer. The officer ordered her to exit her car with her hands up.
He took her to the police station where she was searched, finger printed, photographed, and placed in a holding cell. After a couple of hours, a policeman approached the cell and opened the door. She was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects.

He said, 'I'm very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping off the guy in front of you, and cussing a blue streak at him. I noticed the 'What Would Jesus Do?' bumper sticker, the 'Choose Life' license plate holder, the 'Follow Me to Sunday-School' bumper sticker, and the chrome-plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk.

Naturally...I assumed you had stolen the car!'

Friday, October 24, 2008


I thought I'd post a couple more pictures from last weekend's drag show.
No more, I promise!

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for my willingness to begin each day with a spiritual connection to my HP

for my passion towards recovery

when I see others using the solutions instead of wallowing in the problem

that we're meeting here at my home this morning for our 10am AA meeting

Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.
-Auguste Rodin

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tools & Choices

Another act from the drag show last weekend at Lambda Center.
These are 2 of my favorite lesbians impersonating ...
guess who?

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for more emphasis on Step 10 and some of the benefits of incorporating it into my daily living

for fewer emotional hangovers than I used to have because today I have tools and choices

that one of Hayden's best friends is here from the Caribbean staying with us

that I got to vote early yesterday and I was in and out in no more than 10 minutes

for a cool front moving through last night and the massive amount of rain and high winds that came with it. I love bad weather. Good weather too.

Be like a postage stamp. Stick to one thing until you get there.
-Josh Billings

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What a Drag!

The emcee at the Drag Auction last weekend at Lambda Center. The fundraiser brought in almost $6K.
More pictures on Thursday and Friday.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I do my best to remain teachable although I often feel much internal resistance

for the consequences of sobriety

that I remember the first 24 hours of my sobriety in 2003 and the feeling of amazement that I actually didn't need a drink

for this quote from The Big Book ...
Selfishness -- self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate. Sometimes they hurt us, seemingly without provocation, but we invariably find that at some time in the past we have made decisions based on self which later placed us in a position to be hurt.
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th edition, page 62

Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.
-Colin Powell

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

2 more weeks

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a drama-free Monday

for the design for living offered me by the Twelve Steps of Alcoholic Anonymous

that when I truly practice Steps 6 & 7, I tend to come up short of my goals less often

for my hot tub on cool mornings

for the Chamber of Commerce weather we've had in Houston recently (you younguns may not know that term, so google it)

that two weeks from today, the election should finally be finished

Tough times never last, tough people do.
-Robert Schuller

Monday, October 20, 2008

on this Monday morning ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a really busy and productive weekend, much of it spent at Lambda Center

for a very nice memorial service for Melody J., who died on October 10th

that several of us had the pleasure of visitng another recovering friend who's dying of cancer

that I usually stay close to home these days because that's where I want to be -- my travelling days are pretty much over and I don't miss all the travel (I was reminded by Todd from Hell's Kitchen )

After the verb 'to Love,' 'to Help' is the most beautiful verb in the world.
-Bertha von Suttner

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Secret to a good marriage ...

a nice little mother/daughter talk ...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Political speak

I guess they're the same everywhere.

Navy Man

For her wedding to Prince Charles, Camilla bought new shoes which got increasingly tighter and tighter as the day went on. That night, when the festivities were finally over and they retired to their room, she flopped on the bed and said, 'Charles, darling. Please remove my shoes. My feet are killing me!'

Her ever-obedient Prince of Wales attacked her right shoe with vigour, but it would not budge. 'Harder!' yelled Camilla. 'Harder!' Charles yelled back, 'I'm trying, darling! But it's just so bloody tight!'
'Come on! Give it all you've got!' she cried. Finally, when it released, Charles let out a big groan and Camilla exclaimed, 'There! Oh, God, that feels so good!'

In their bedroom next door, the Queen said to Prince Phillip, 'See? I told you, with a face like that, she was still a virgin!'

Meanwhile, as Charles tried to remove her left shoe, he cried, 'Oh, God, darling! This one's even tighter!'

At which Prince Phillip said proudly to the Queen, 'That's my boy. Once a Navy man, always a Navy man!'

Friday, October 17, 2008

Me? Insane?

My cat MONO.

She was born on the night of my last drunk over 5 years ago.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that we had a nice discussion of Step 2 yesterday at the 6:30am meeting

that I didn't give up 5 days before the miracle; that's what I wanted to do

for all the years and all the countries and all the people I was lucky enough to meet and work with in all of those different cultures

that I choose not to air my dirty laundry in this forum mainly because of the friends and acquaintances who read this blog

Tough times never last, tough people do.
-Robert Schuller

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Living and Letting

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I'm often reminded in sooooo many ways to Live and Let Live

for the infinite number of tools offered me to make repairs to my thoughts and actions

for memories -- both good and bad

that whatever happens with the economy, it's not likely to kill me although it may require some adjustment

Imagination was given to us to compensate for what we are not; a sense of humor was given to us to console us for what we are.
-Mark McGinnis

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

a typical day

an Indian School Bus

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the healthy stuff I did yesterday -- began my day with a short prayer so that I established a conscious contact with my HP, went to a 6:30am AA meeting but got there at 6:05 so I could start the coffee, went home at 7:40 to eat a healthy breakfast, then to the gym at 8:15 for cardio and shoulder rehab before my 1 hour session with my trainer, went home and got cleaned up and then ran some errands before attending a noon AA meeting. Then I ate lunch at a cafeteria with fellow Lambda members. Went back home at 2pm before heading to my psychiatrist session at 3:30pm.

that Scott W posted about HUNGER today. Drop by and see the links he provided.

that we read the Big Book every Tuesday at the Eyes Wide Shut AA meeting

that tomorrow we'll read Tradition Two in the 12/12

An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.
-Friedrich Engels

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

the tube

The easy way to convert your analog TV ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that staying sober gives me the awareness of so many details

that I have the desire to want to be entirely ready for my HP to remove my character defects - just for today (I have to renew this readiness each day)

that I seem to have developed patience where there used to be mental chaos

for some recovery of the stock markets

Fill in the blank (on the comment section)...................
that if you took a spiritual x-ray of me, you would find ____________

If you find in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded.
-Maya Angelou

Monday, October 13, 2008

another new beginning

todAAy i AAM grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I was able to fill the time slot when I spoke to a group of recovering alcoholics Friday night and maybe someone heard something that could help them "get" the program

for a peaceful and serene weekend

that Pam reminded me of my fear of horses AND dogs -- I have been bitten many times during my lifetime by dogs; they automatically sense my discomfort

Were there no God, we would be in this glorious world with grateful hearts, and no one to thank.
-Christina Rossetti

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Why retire?

Working people frequently ask retired people what they do to make their days interesting.

Well, for example, the other day my wife and I went into town and went into a shop. We were only in there for about 5 minutes. When we came out, there was a traffic warden writing out a parking ticket. We went up to him and said, 'Come on man, how about giving a pensioner a break?'
He ignored us and continued writing the ticket. I called him a Nazi. He glared at me and started writing another ticket for having worn tires. So my wife called him a shithead. He finished the second ticket and put it on the windscreen with the first. Then he started writing a third ticket. This went on for about 20 minutes. The more we abused him, the more tickets he wrote.

Personally, we didn't care, as we came into town on the bus. We always try to have a little fun each day now that we're retired. It's important at our age!!!!!!!!!!!!!

note: This is a fictitious story as far as I am concerned. Someone emailed it to me.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Just monkeying around ...

Let Me See If I Understand This Correctly.

Once upon a time, in a place overrun with monkeys, a man appeared and announced to the villagers that he would buy monkeys for $10 each.
The villagers, seeing that there were many monkeys around, went out to the forest, and started catching them. The man bought thousands at $10 and as the supply started to diminish, they became harder to catch, so the villagers stopped their effort.
The man then announced that he would now pay $20 for each one. This renewed the efforts of the villagers and they started catching monkeys again. But soon the supply diminished even further and they were ever harder to catch, so people started going back to their farms and forgot about monkey catching. The man increased his price to $25 each and the supply of monkeys became so sparse that it was an effort to even see a monkey, much less catch one.
The man now announced that he would buy monkeys for $50! However, since he had to go to the city on some business, his assistant would now buy on his behalf.
While the man was away the assistant told the villagers, 'Look at all these monkeys in the big cage that the man has bought. I will sell them to you at $35 each and when the man returns from the city, you can sell them to him for $50 each.'
The villagers rounded up all their savings and bought all the monkeys. They never saw the man nor his assistant again, and once again there were monkeys everywhere.

Now you have a better understanding of how the stock market works.

Friday, October 10, 2008


This is the painting I won in a silent auction whilst in Palm Springs at the Hot 'n Dry A.A. Roundup a few weeks ago.
It's 48" X 60" and the artist had to remove it from the frame so it could be shipped in a tube.
Scott W (Attitude of Gratitude) re-framed it for me.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the friendship of Melody J., a good friend of many recovering alcoholics and addicts at Lambda Center and other recovery venues for many, many years. She passed away this morning after a series of illnesses. Melody was my backup singer only 2 months ago in a fundraiser.

for Tradition 1 of Alcoholics Anonymous which states ... "Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. unity."

for the simple things in a life of recovery -- can you name a few?

that I'm telling a little bit of my AA story tonight at a treatment center/halfway house

for a very strange thing that happened yesterday.
Billy, an old friend (we were boyfriends 30+ years ago and have remained in touch) called from his home in Florida. He said that he called me because my mother had spoken to him very clearly in a dream the previous night. She told him to let me know that she is doing fine and is very happy. She told him to tell me that she loves me very much. Billy knew my Mom had a stroke 3 years ago and had been unable to speak since then.
What he didn't know is that she died 2 months ago. In fact, it was exactly 2 months ago.

Zane (Zanejabbers) asked me to let y'all know that he's having computer problems and will return to posting ASAP. Sure. Whatever, Zane.

'I have wondered at times about what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the U.S. Congress.'
- Ronald Reagan

Thursday, October 09, 2008

a very tall roller coaster

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my sobriety is not dependent upon my happiness

for the 3 years I spent grooming a strong foundation in recovery

that life is as good (or as bad) as I want it to be ...
well, I heard someone say this, but I'm still having a difficult time embracing it to be the entire truth; any comments?

for the concept of letting go, just letting all other people live their own life and not trying to interfere (too much)

The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it.
-Gen. Norman Schwarzkoff

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Careful now ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I rarely raise my hand so I can share my immense wisdom (experience, strength and hope) in AA meetings. I know I may be depriving many needy humans of some much needed recovery, but I choose to let other, usually less sober guys guide others through their own program.

that I can learn so much by watching and observing others

that I made the right choice, 5 years ago, of a person to help learn me some steps

that you are reading this and may become a follower to my humble blog (just click on the link at the top of the sidebar)

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.
-Dalai Lama

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Guides along the way

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the Principles behind the Steps;

  • honesty

  • hope

  • faith

  • courage

  • integrity

  • willingness

  • humility

  • compassion

  • discipline

  • perseverance

  • spirituality

  • service
the my perceptions oftentimes have nothing to do with reality

that we'll read another of the stories in the back half of The Big Book this morning at the 6:30am meeting

for the financial ability to pay my bills

Elbow grease is the best polish.
-English Proverb

Monday, October 06, 2008

Still a mess

the main bridge onto Galveston Island, after Hurricane Ike

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I continue to be an alcoholic who doesn't drink and a nicotine addict who doesn't smoke

that my life has a chance to return to some normality, beginning today (although in some ways, I'm still a mess)

that we had a very successful (apparently) housewarming party on Saturday. The caterer was wonderful, relieving H & I of any and all food responsibilities. We had about 100 in attendance throughout the course of the evening. The last guests left about 1am. I'll post some pictures as soon as I get them from the photographer.

that O.J. Simpson was found guilty last Friday, although I don't know enough of the details to make that judgement myself; my feeling is that there's some justice (karma) going on here

Old age is like everything else. To make a success of it, you've got to start young.
-Fred Astaire

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Consider this ...


TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED the 1930's 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's !!

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes. Then after that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright coloredlead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks wetook hitchhiking.

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.

We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight because WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 199 channels on cable, no DVD's, no surround sound, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms

..........WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

How did we live through all this?

Saturday, October 04, 2008

The Duck

A big city lawyer went duck hunting in rural Texas. He shot and dropped a bird, but it fell into a farmer's field on the other side of a fence. As the lawyer climbed over the fence, an elderly farmer drove up on his tractor and asked him what he was doing. The litigator responded, "I shot a duck and it fell in this field, and now I'm going to retrieve it." The old farmer replied, "This is my property, and you are not coming over here."

The indignant lawyer said, "I am one of the best trial attorneys in the United States and, if you don't let me get that duck, I'll sue you and take everything you own. The old farmer smiled and said, "Apparently, you don't know how we settle disputes in Texas. We settle small disagreements like this with the "Three Kick Rule."

The lawyer asked, "What is the Three Kick Rule?"

The Farmer replied, "Well, because the dispute occurs on my land, first I kick you three times and then you kick me three times and so on back and forth until someone gives up." The attorney quickly thought about the proposed contest and decided that he could easily take the old codger. He agreed to abide by the local custom.

The old farmer slowly climbed down from the tractor and walked up to the attorney. His first kick planted the toe of his heavy steel toed work boot into the lawyer's groin and dropped him to his knees. His second kick to the midriff sent the lawyer's last meal gushing from his mouth. The lawyer was on all fours when the farmer's third kick to his rear end sent him face-first into a fresh cow pie.

The lawyer summoned every bit of his will and managed to get to his feet. Wiping
his face with the arm of his jacket, he said, "Okay, Now it's my turn."

The old farmer smiled and said, "Naw, I give up. You can have the duck."

Friday, October 03, 2008

this day

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I usually try to be friendly towards others; now I need to be friendly to me

for another really good Step 1 meeting yesterday morning; we only had 5 people there, but we were all qualified to be present

for awareness of the freedoms and choices I have as an American and as a recovering alcoholic

that I'm hosting our Group of Drunks AA meeting this morning in my new backyard

Never look down on anybody unless you're helping them up.
-Jesse Jackson

Thursday, October 02, 2008

ongoing sobriety

post-Hurricane Ike beach houses in Galveston (in this picture, there's about 7 or 8 missing homes)

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that Boston is leading the 6:30am meeting today

that I have been asked (and of course I accepted) to tell my AA story at a treatment center next week (I've never even been there before)

for some awareness of my false perceptions (occasionally)

Why not go out on a limb? That's where the fruit is.
-Will Rogers

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

so, here's the deal ...

Important Announcement....

Due to recent economic reversals and the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil, the 'light at the end of the tunnel' has been turned off. We apologize for the inconvenience.


Your Government

todAAy I AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I went to 2 AA meetings yesterday and both were about acceptance (see yesterday's post below)

for some extra effort on my part to just do the next right thing as well as the right thing next

that my path to sobriety wasn't pleasant, but it was sure worth it

that getting outside help for my emotional issues offers me the opportunity to grow

that we're getting geared up for a rather elaborate party for Saturday night, complete with caterers

Memory is a child walking along the seashore. You never can tell what small pebble it will pick up and store away among its treasured things.
-Pierce Harris