Monday, August 31, 2009

surfing on a Monday morning

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for possibly the most enjoyable AA Birthday night I've experienced (so far) at Lambda Center. There were 44 people celebrating with a total of 608 years of continuous sobriety. The meeting lasted for about 2 1/2 hours but it seemed to fly by. I saw people I rarely see and there were many family members present to support their alcoholic.

that by watching those around me, I find out what works --- and what doesn't!

for fellowship with other recovering alkies

that I know the proper use of the English language, unlike so many of those in the public media

for this link to This Week in Holy Crimes --- you gotta see this!

Don’t let go of the vine.
- Johnny Weissmuller, film's Tarzan

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Saturday, August 29, 2009

in (the) service

A crusty old Marine Sergeant Major found himself at a gala event hosted by a local liberal arts college. There was no shortage of extremely young idealistic ladies in attendance, one of whom approached the Sergeant Major for conversation.

"Excuse me, Sergeant Major, but you seem to be a very serious man. Is something bothering you?"
"Negative, ma'am. Just serious by nature."

The young lady looked at his awards and decorations and said, "It looks like you have seen a lot of action.
"Yes, ma'am, a lot of action."

The young lady, tiring of trying to start up a conversation, said, "You know, you should lighten up. Relax and enjoy yourself."

The Sergeant Major just stared at her in his serious manner. Finally the young lady said, "You know, I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but when is the last time you had sex?"
"1955, ma'am."
"Well, there you are. No wonder you're so serious. You really need to chill out! I mean, no sex since 1955!"

She took his hand and led him to a private room where she proceeded to "relax" him several times. Afterwards, panting for breath, she leaned against his bare chest and said, "Wow, you sure didn't forget much since 1955."

The Sergeant Major said in his serious voice, after glancing at his watch, "I hope not; it's only 2130 now."

Friday, August 28, 2009


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the summary of the Twelve Steps found on pages 107-109 of TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS.

that I can be of help without even trying

that I have to be on constant guard to be weary of my instincts and motives

that I'm becoming less and less likely to get involved in your insanity

that I try to make my life balanced by diversifying my interests and activities

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.
- Epictetus

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Get it?

I hear many people complain about other drivers talking on their cell phones while driving. This goes for texting as well, which must be much much more dangerous. This video PSA from the UK has been making the rounds. It's very graphic, but goes right to the point.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that Andrew E. shared what it was like, what happened and what it's like now as his experiences apply to the 12 steps

that I tend to use all of the 12 steps to maintain my recovery, not just steps 10-12

that I do my best (usually) to Keep It Simple

for the Double Winner Al-Anon group that meets on Wednesday nights

And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
- Anais Nin

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

... and now, for something

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I woke up sober again this morning; it's getting to be a habit

that Saturday night at Lambda promises to be an enjoyable birthday night; we have about 40 people celebrating sober anniversaries

for my health

that I'm no longer in school, but I'll always be a student

for the life of Ted Kennedy. His dedication to service is an example I need to remember, regardless of what I may have thought of his politics.

The only difference between stumbling blocks and steppingstones is the way in which we use them.
- Unknown

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

More is being revealed

I never did this!

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

I have always thought I was a very functional alcoholic at work. But it has now occurred to me that I would never have hired me if I knew my details. Oh, I got the job done allright. I did enough to get by. Since I didn't have a boss looking over my shoulder, I could work at my own pace usually. If it could wait until tomorrow, great. That meant I could head off to a bar earlier.

Today, though, I think I'm a functioning alcoholic. Thanks to A.A. for introducing me to my own Higher Power.

that I went to the regular Monday Night Beginner's Meeting last night; it was very good

that I wasn't traded in as a clunker. Whew!

The most called-upon prerequisite of a friend is an accessible ear.
- Maya Angelou

Monday, August 24, 2009

all over the place today

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for some good Eleventh Step meetings recently, both showing me and reminding me of things I need to be doing

that I have solutions to all of the problems I have encountered so far in sobriety

for the Houston Roundup Service Auction held Saturday which raised several thousand dollars for their operating expenses

for Sunday breakfast with sober friends

that Mary Christine hasn't lost her job

to have the opportunity to witness some giant leaps in recovery in a friend

that I now begin working out at the gym without a trainer; personal budget cuts have resulted in giving up this luxury (if this ain't a high-class problem, I don't know what is LOL)

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

NOTE: for a good story, Click here

Sunday, August 23, 2009

football season is upon us

In honor of all of you football fans

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Friday, August 21, 2009

projecting nothing

These are sold in Washington D.C.

(click on the picture to enlarge)

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that when I begin my day with a conscious contact with my HP, the rest of my day usually consists of a sub-conscious contact

for an extended period of no drama in my life resulting in a very, very serene and joyful last 2 or 3 weeks

that today's story is yet to be written

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

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Tale of the Tape

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my terminal illness seems to be under control as long as I continue the treatment

that usually the right things happen when I do the right things; when they don't, I have the steps to work things out

that I'm continuing my commitment to an Al-Anon Double Winner group on Wednesday nights; I'm not sure what benefits I am getting from it, but I'm prepared to not give up

The first sight of maturity is the discovery that the volume knob also turns to the left.
- Chicago Tribune

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

part of the journey

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the gift of living another day as a sober alcoholic

that I have learned from the experience of others, not to offer a spare bed to a newcomer. I know 3 people who have done so in the past month. This has resulted in a stolen car, stolen jewelry and a severe beating.

that Step Twelve shows me how to carry the message and not the mess!

that I am not a taxi driver, a banker, a landlord or a marriage/relationship counsellor

Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of joy you must have somebody to divide it with.
- Mark Twain

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Prayer and Meditation

todAAy i AAM grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a good Step Eleven meeting yesterday. "Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out."

People discussed their experience with practicing this step in their own lives. Someone shared how they over-analyzed those words and how they made life more difficult. I like to keep things as simple as possible.

As I practice Step 11, I utilize Bill W's definition of humility (I use this often for many applications). "A clear recognition of what and who we really are, followed by a sincere attempt to become what we could be." Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, page 58

Connecting those thoughts and concepts means (to me) that I do my best with what I've been given. It means that I should do the next right thing in each and every situation as the day moves forward.

Every morning, I ask for guidance to do these things as I make a conscious contact with my HP.
Not difficult at all. As long as I remember to use these tools.

What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.
- Yiddish proverb

Monday, August 17, 2009

Beginning another week of retirement

Elvis and MJ have been found alive (click on the picture to enlarge)

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my current job is practicing the steps of Alcoholics Anonymous

that my obsessions today are much less fatal than drinking alcohol (the way I drank it)

for a no-drama life these days

that we had a fun surprise birthday party for Bob S., (33 years sober), who celebrated his 86th year on Earth last Friday

that the Not Ready For Sobriety players presented a preview of their play on Saturday as a Lambda fundraiser. They will perform it again next July in San Antonio at the 2010 Alcoholics Anonymous International Convention.

that I've been making an effort to work outside (yard work) for at least an hour each day, even in this atrocious heat

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, August 16, 2009

courage and heroes

Added bonus for the day ...
Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. Forget this and attaining Enlightenment will be the least of your problems.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Health care input ...

The American Medical Association has weighed in on the new economic healthcare scheme.

The Allergists voted to scratch it, but the Dermatologists advised not to make any rash moves.

The Gastroenterologist had sort of a gut feeling about it, but the Neurologists thought the Administration had a lot of nerve.

The Obstetricians felt they were all laboring under a misconception.

Ophthalmologists considered the idea short sighted.

Pathologists yelled, “Over my dead body!” while the Pediatricians said,“Oh, Grow up!”

The Psychiatrists thought the whole idea was madness, while the Radiologists could see right through it.

Surgeons decided to wash their hands of the whole thing.

The Internists thought it was a bitter pill to swallow, and the Plastic Surgeons said, “This puts a whole new face on the matter.”

The Podiatrists thought it was a step forward, but the Urologists were pissed off at the whole idea.

The Anesthesiologists thought the whole idea was a gas, and the Cardiologists didn't have the heart to say no.

In the end, the Proctologists won out, leaving the decision up to the assholes in Washington.”

that's all folks!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Out of this world !

I take the space shuttle launch for granted. Back in the 60's though, rocket launches were a spectacle. And quite spectacular. Here's the Apollo 11 launch of the Saturn V rocket.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the launch of my sobriety 2170 days ago

that I'm not spaced out any more (at least, not from drinking)

that I was rocketed into a new dimension when I completed my initial amends

Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't.
- Richard Bach

Thursday, August 13, 2009

pretty much

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a first-time newcomer at the noon meeting yesterday

that he joined us at lunch after the meeting; there were 18 of us at lunch at the local cafeteria

that my fears are pretty much under control

that I pretty much know how to handle resentments

that I pretty much feel comfortable around others

for the lovely thunderstorm we had yesterday afternoon; only got a half-inch of rain, but no complaints here

Hope is like a road in the country; there wasn't ever a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence.
- Lin Yutang

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Only 2 days until Friday

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I just about always have hope, except in my last days of drinking

that my program of recovery is mine and seems to work just fine -- for me!

that I have seen both sides of the fence

that I've made it easer to comment on this blog (for now); no more moderation

that I'm happy to spend life at and/or near home; I spent many years travelling and living in hotels during my drinking years

for HGTV and especially, David Bromstad

You wake up in the morning, and your purse is magically filled with twenty-four hours of unmanufactured tissue of the universe of your life! It is yours. It is the most precious of possessions. No one can take it from you. And no one receives either more or less than you receive.
- Dr. Thomas Arnold Bennett

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

just typing thru

  • an oldie but a goodie (IMHO)

    Sally was driving home from one of her business trips in Northern Arizona when she saw an elderly Navajo woman walking on the side of the road.

    As the trip was a long and quiet one, she stopped the car and asked the Navajo woman if she would like a ride.

    With a silent nod of thanks, the woman got into the car.

    Resuming the journey, Sally tried in vain to make a bit of small talk with the Navajo woman. The old woman just sat silently, looking intently at everything she saw, studying every little detail, until she noticed a brown bag on the seat next to

    'What in bag?' asked the old woman.

    Sally looked down at the brown bag and said, 'It's a bottle of wine. I got it for my husband.'

    The Navajo woman was silent for another moment or two. Then speaking with the quiet wisdom of an elder, she said:

    'Good trade.....'

    todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

    for in-depth conversations with sponsees

    that I know my limitations, although I don't always remember them

    that Step 10 helps me to practice these principles in all my affairs ...
  • honesty
  • hope
  • faith
  • courage
  • integrity
  • willingness
  • humility
  • compassion
  • discipline
  • perseverance
  • awareness of my HP
  • service

    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
    - Mahatma Gandhi

Monday, August 10, 2009

One year ago ...

My Mom
February 17, 1923- August 10, 2008

(this picture was in 1966)

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for all the things my Mom taught me ...

...about unconditional love
...about being helpful to others
...about being nice to others
...about being responsible
...about never giving up
...math (with flip cards) LOL to die gracefully and with dignity
...about the world in general

I'd rather be able to face myself in the bathroom mirror than be rich and famous.
- Ani DiFranco

Sunday, August 09, 2009

a Johnny Carson classic

This was always one of my favorites bits from the Carson show.
For you young ones, the actor is Jack Webb who starred in the TV show, Dragnet.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Sweet Georgia Brown

and now, for something a little different ...

BELLEVILLE, Ill. - With a revoked license because of a previous drunken-driving conviction, Dennis Cretton shouldn't drive. But authorities said that didn't stop the 49-year-old man from drunkenly driving up to a gas station for more beer — on his yellow riding lawnmower.

Cretton was charged with felony aggravated driving under the influence after neighbors reported he was weaving in and out of traffic on his lawnmower Friday night.

When deputies tried to stop him, authorities said Bretton drove the mower into his home's front yard, his 12-pack of Milwaukee's Best spilling onto the ground along the way.

Friday, August 07, 2009

busy, busy, busy

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that feeling good (and spiritually fit) is not a trigger for me to lower my standards

for the few (percentage-wise) alkies that make it back to the rooms of AA after relapsing

that I intuitively know how to handle many more situations than I used to (every morning in my first conscious contact with my HP, I ask for the guidance to do the next right thing so that I can be the best I can be. Most of the time, it is no longer necessary for me to have to sit and think what that next right thing is. I just seem to know what to do. If it turns out to be the wrong thing, I have Step 10 to rely on.)

that I have a pretty busy schedule today, so I'm off to the gym in a few minutes to be there when it opens at 5am; I'll end the day at an Astros baseball game tonight

that I love recovery!!

When I hear somebody sigh, 'Life is hard,' I am always tempted to ask, 'Compared to what?'
- Sydney J. Harris

Thursday, August 06, 2009

I may not be Smart, but I'm alive

Below is a photo of a wreck in Jefferson Parish, LA (near New Orleans ) between two trucks and a Smart Car. Think I'll pass on the Smart Car.
I wonder if there were any injuries.....

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for this bit written by Syd yesterday - "My contentment stems from an understanding that perfectionism sets me at a distance from others. And that distance enhances my feelings of being different which leads down a treacherous path. As Mark Nepo writes: 'The devastating truth is that excellence can't hold you in the night, and .......being demanding or sophisticated won't help you survive.' "
(and yes, I received his permission to reprint this)

for the positive feeback I get when I do things for somebody (besides me)

that I enjoy the Al-Anon meetings I am attending each week

for the good times I had for many years with my friend Johnny Brown, who died on Tuesday of a heart attack. Johnny was a normal drinker, but could put 'em down with the best of us. Johnny was active for 40 years in Houston Rugby, most recently as coach of the St Thomas High School Rugby team.. He was a gentleman who was totally unselfish and a great cook. He'll be missed by the countless peoples whose lives he touched.

that those 2 women were released form North Korea. To put it in perspective though, it was barely reported that they were sent there by Al Gore and then Bill Clinton had to help them get free. I think it sets a very nasty precedent for future "kidnappings" by those states that don't like this country or feel they can benefit from such media coverage.
Sorry, I know this may not have much to do with recovery, but I just had to get that out.

One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.
- Sigmund Freud

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Winning the lottery ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

we read from the Big Book yesterday in the Tuesday 6:30am meeting. Our reading was from the 4th edition, pages 268-276, entitled "The Keys of the Kingdom." One of my favorites.

"We watch the alcoholic performing in a position of responsibility, and we know that because he is drinking heavily and daily, he has cut his capacities by 50 percent, and still he seems able to do a satisfactory job."

This concept kept me from ever wanting to modify or moderate my drinking. I was the "functional" alkie who didn't need to stop. Thus, I was 49 years old before any change took place. (So was this guy, but he can tell you about that.)

"A.A. is not a plan for recovery that can be finished and done with. It is a way of life, and the challenge contained in its principles is great enough to keep any human being striving for as long as he lives. We do not, cannot, outgrow this plan. As arrested alcoholics, we must have a program for living that allows for limitless expansion. Keeping one foot in front of the other is essential for maintaining our arrestment."

I love this concept that A.A. is a design for living, custom-tailored just for me.

"A complete change takes place in our approach to life. Where we used to run from responsibility, we find ourselves accepting it with gratitude that we can successfully shoulder it. Instead of wanting to escape some perplexing problem, we experience the thrill of challenge in the opportunity it affords for another application of A.A. techniques, and we find ourselves tackling it with surprising vigor."

"In return for a bottle and a hangover, we have been given the Keys of the Kingdom."

When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall, always.
- Mahatma Gandhi

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

no brainers

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I have so many choices -- it's almost overwhelming (almost)

that life is so much easier when my side of the street is clean

to know that I don't have all the answers; hell, I rarely have any of them

that the Twelve Steps offer ways to keep that street clean

that I got to see and briefly speak with Beau over the weekend

The miracle is this--the more we share, the more we have.
- Leonard Nimoy

Monday, August 03, 2009


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that most of my "sins" today are those of omission rather than commission

that my friend Norris is getting out and about more often after being ill for the past 6 or 7 months

that I have NO desire to go to a bar any more. It seems like a lot of my friends-in-recovery are going out to bars. When I sit and analyze that, I realize that many of them are chronic relapsers. Definitely a pattern there.

that my friend Zane is celebrating another (belly button) birthday today -- he's 29 39 49 59 older than me

Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?
- Abraham Lincoln

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Saturday, August 01, 2009