Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009. The End.

Some of those we lost this year ...

Mary Travers (of Peter, Paul and Mary)
Patrick Swayze
Farrah Fawcett
Michael Jackson
Senator Edward Kennedy
Ed McMahon
Bea Arthur
Walter Cronkite
Andrew Wyeth
Karl Malden
Dom Deluise
Robert McNamara
William Safire
Eunice Kennedy Shriver
Corazon Aquino
Oral Roberts
Les Paul
Louis Belson
Ricardo Montalban
Soupy Sales
Paul Harvey
Don Hewitt
Dominic Dunne


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I look on 2009 with fondness and look forward to 2010

that I don't regret the past (year)

for opportunities in 2010

"Just living isn't enough," said the butterfly, "one must also have freedom, sunshine, and a little flower."
- Hans Christian Anderson

Free funerals for drink-drivers

A US funeral parlour is offering free burials to people who plan to drink and drive on New Year's Eve.
McGuire, Jennings and Miller Funeral Home says drivers must sign a contract stating they plan to drink or use drugs and drive on December 31.
If they are then killed in a crash while driving on New Year's Eve, the funeral home, of Rome, Georgia, will bury them for free.
The free funeral will cover the preparation of the body, a coffin, a grave and a hearse.
A spokesman for the firm said its 'Operation Stop and Think' promotion was designed to save lives by making people think before they act.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Not feeling well today

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I no longer have to/need to take a 6-pack of my favorite beer whenever I go visit someone

that I can post this much this morning; I'm sick, so this is all you get

It's the things in common that make relationships enjoyable, but its the little differences that make them interesting.
- Todd Ruthman

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

being more aware

This would be a grand way to tour the country.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I'm sober this morning, just like I was yesterday (except I have more sober experience)

that being sober gives me the unexpected opportunity to become more aware of myself and my surroundings

for people who step up to the plate when asked

that I have more than I will ever need, although my mind occasionally tells me differently

that I have no major regrets in the way my life has happened

Good habits are as easy to form as bad ones.
- Tim McCarver

Monday, December 28, 2009

wrapping it up

If you have any doubts about the competence of some national journalists, maybe this sentence (in red) will erase those doubts.

By LARRY MARGASAK and COREY WILLIAMS, Associated Press Writers Larry Margasak And Corey Williams, Associated Press Writers –

DETROIT – The U.S. government tightened airline security as it searches for answers to how a 23-year-old Nigerian man eluded extensive systems intended to prevent attacks like his botched Christmas Day effort to blow up a Northwest flight from overseas.

The suspect who claimed ties to al-Qaida was charged Saturday with trying to destroy a Detroit-bound airliner, just a month after his father warned U.S. officials of concerns about his son's religious beliefs.

Airports worldwide tightened security a day after the passenger tried to detonate a device that contained a high explosive on a flight into Detroit. After that attack, passengers have had to contend with extra pat-downs before boarding, staying in their seats without blankets or pillows for the last hour of the flight and more bomb-sniffing dogs.

Aides to President Barack Obama are pondering how terror watch-lists are used after the botched attack, according to officials who described the discussions Saturday on the condition of anonymity so as not to pre-empt possible official announcements.

My question is ... What does their anonymity in regards to leaking information about inside discussions have to do with official announcements? Why would a self-respecting journalist even write such a thing?

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I was picked to chair the 12:15pm Christmas Day meeting @ Lambda Center which was followed by a wonderful pot luck dinner

that we celebrated the annual sobriety birthdays of 34 alcoholics at Lambda on Saturday

for the fun and fellowship of sober Christmas and New Year's Eve parties

Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records.
- William A. Ward

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Friday, December 25, 2009

Feliz Navidad

“In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it 'Christmas' and went to church; the Jews called it 'Hanukka' and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say 'Merry Christmas!' or 'Happy Hanukka!' or (to the atheists) 'Look out for the wall!'”
Dave Barry

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for my 7th consecutive holiday season without drinking alcohol -- this is so different than the "good old days" when I would stay as f***ked up as possible.

that my Mom has been on my mind a lot during the past week -- she died in August 2008, so it's still seems a little different that she's not here during Christmas. I'm OK with that though. I talked to her last night about that for a short time.

for the many and varied friendships I have made since stopping drinking

for the new line of thinking being offered to me in my Al Anon program

Embrace your uniqueness. Time is much too short to be living someone else's life.
- Kobi Yamada

Thursday, December 24, 2009

light stuff today

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for memories of what this night (Christmas Eve) entailed was when I was a kid; life was great!

that life today is great!

Type in any Christmas song and see what the little puppets do. Also, type in any non-Christmas song and you'll get a kick out of the response. One of the funniest I typed in was Jingle Bell Rock... they forget the words half way through.

for only minor damage when a strong weather front blew through about 3:30am (it actually tore off my American flag from the house)

More people would learn from their mistakes if they weren't so busy denying them.
- Harold J. Smith

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

more recovery stuff

I washed my car a couple of days ago and this lovely little SWAT vehicle was next to me. Look at the size of the cop compared to the rear tire.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for Lambda Center, where everybody knows my name

that "My life is filled with honesty today. Every action, word, prayer, and Twelfth Step call is an investment in my spiritual freedom and fulfillment."
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th edition, page 469

that one of my sponsees will tell his story today at the 12:15pm meeting

CLICK HERE for a short recovery story

All we have to decide is what to do with the time we are given.
- Gandalf to Frodo, The Fellowship of the Ring (movie)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sometimes, it IS all about me

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my happiness doesn't depend on you. Or you or you or you or them or us.

that my sobriety depends on my surrendering to my HP; my recovery depends on my willingness to participate in my program

for all the help I've had getting to this point

we went to see 2012 (the movie) lat night; most thoughts of reality had to be put aside in order for me to enjoy it

Whoever can see through all fear will always be safe.
- Tao Te Ching

Monday, December 21, 2009


I snapped this picture yesterday whilst standing in front of my kitchen sink.

It's the Houston skyline at sunrise on a crisp, cool morning.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

when a sponsee and I have the time to sit down and read together from the Big Book; that seems very special to me

for a whole lotta sober fun and fellowship Saturday night

that I want to always strive to be more compassionate and less judgemental

that Hayden's newly-married brother and sister-in-law are staying with us until after Christmas

that today is the shortest day of the year

Love means to love that which is unlovable, or it is no virtue at all; forgiving means to pardon that which is unpardonable, or it is no virtue at all.
- G.K. Chesterton

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Make your own movie

CLICK HERE and follow the directions.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas quotes

“The one thing women don't want to find in their stockings on Christmas morning is their husband.”
Joan Rivers

“Mail your packages early so the post office can lose them in time for Christmas.”
Johnny Carson

“Once again we find ourselves enmeshed in the Holiday Season, that very special time of year when we join with our loved ones in sharing centuries-old traditions such as trying to find a parking space at the mall. We traditionally do this in my family by driving around the parking lot until we see a shopper emerge from the mall, then we follow her, in very much the same spirit as the Three Wise Men, who 2,000 years ago followed a star, week after week, until it led them to a parking space.”
Dave Barry

“I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph.”
Shirley Temple

“What do you call people who are afraid of Santa Claus? Claustrophobic.”

“Christmas is a time when everybody wants his past forgotten and his present remembered. What I don't like about office Christmas parties is looking for a job the next day.”
Phyllis Diller

“The Supreme Court has ruled that they cannot have a nativity scene in Washington, D.C. This wasn't for any religious reasons. They couldn't find three wise men and a virgin.”
Jay Leno

“Why is Christmas just like a day at the office? You do all the work and the fat guy with the suit gets all the credit.”

Friday, December 18, 2009

for this Friday morning ...

It is near the Christmas break of the school year. The students have turned in all their work and there is really nothing more to do. All the children are restless and the teacher decides to have an early dismissal.

Teacher: "Whoever answers the questions I ask, first and correctly can leave early today."
Little Johnny says to himself "Good, I want to get outta here. I'm smart and will answer the question."

Teacher: "Who said 'Four Score and Seven Years Ago'?"

Before Johnny can open his mouth, Susie says, "Abraham Lincoln."

Teacher: "That's right Susie, you can go home."

Johnny is mad that Susie answered the question first.

Teacher: "Who said 'I Have a Dream'?"

Before Johnny can open his mouth, Mary says, "Martin Luther King."

Teacher: "That's right Mary, you can go."

Johnny is even madder than before.

Teacher: "Who said 'Ask not, what your country can do for you'?"

Before Johnny can open his mouth, Nancy says, "John F. Kennedy."

Teacher: "That's right Nancy , you may also leave."

Johnny is boiling mad that he has not been able to answer to any of the questions.

When the teacher turns her back Johnny says, "I wish these bitches would keep their mouths shut!"

The teacher turns around: "NOW WHO SAID THAT?"


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

from page 31 of the Big Book, "Physicians who are familiar with alcoholism agree there is no such thing as making a normal drinker out of an alcoholic."
I would never want to be a normal drinker. That would take all the fun out of it.

to remember how sensitive I am and not to over-react to most of my perceptions

for the oh, so many times that my recovery program seems to work me

that my magnifying mind has settled down a bit from "the good old days"

Ingenuity plus courage plus work equals miracles.
- Bob Richards

Thursday, December 17, 2009


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the unexpected tidbits of wisdom that come from the most unusual places

for those who show me the path

for the suggested program of recovery

that I don't feel a need to change the program that works for so many

that attraction rather than promotion helps to keep my huge ego in check

One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.
- Elbert Hubbard

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

no foolin'

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

the we read "SAFE HAVEN" yesterday from the Big Book;
... that the process of discovering who he really was began with knowing who he didn't want to be

for being rigorously honest -- those little white lies I used to tell you just don't work anymore

that a few of us (4, actually) took an AA meeting to a Chicago friend who's here for cancer treatment. Actually, he had a stem cell transplant a few weeks ago and is not allowed to spend much time in public yet. He's still very susceptible to infection. It was special to all of us and I know he appreciated it very much.

that my friend Jamie R. celebrates 1000 days of continuous sobriety today!

Let us so live that when we come to die, even the undertaker will be sorry.
- Mark Twain

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Gift Idea

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I don't know what today will bring -- I enjoy the surprises

for those who teach me by example

that I remain teachable (most of the time)

that my friend Mary Christine celebrates another birthday today -- I'm glad!

that we're having winter weather without the cold temps. I guess that would make it Autumn, or Spring. Never mind.

To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven.
- Johannes A. Gaertner

Monday, December 14, 2009

some things are not as they seem

"Good news is that I truly out did myself this year with my Christmas decorations. The bad news is that I had to take him down after 2 days. I had more people come screaming up to my house than ever.Great stories. But two things made me take it down.

First, the cops advised me that it would cause traffic accidents as they almost wrecked when they drove by.

Second, a 55 year old lady grabbed the 75 pound ladder almost killed herself putting it against my house and didn't realize it was fake until she climbed to the top (she was not happy). By the way, she was one of many people who attempted to do that. My yard couldn't take it either. I have more than a few tire tracks where people literally drove up my yard."

(this was sent to me; it's not my actual experience)

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the seemingly endless numbers of fellow humans who show me the the right paths to take, and the wrong paths to stay away from

for so many chances to be me

for the courage I see in others which inspires me to be true to myself

that we went to a little Christmas party at a new 7500 sq ft home; Scott W has pictures hanging there!

for the gift of 4 free tickets to see our Houston Texans (NFL); it was the first time I've seen a football game sober and the first-ever games for Hayden and his visiting brother

There is not a sprig of grass that shoots uninteresting to me.
- Thomas Jefferson

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Maxine's Health Care Program

So you're a senior citizen and the government says no health care for you, what do you do?

Our plan gives anyone 65 years or older a gun and 4 bullets. Your are allowed to shoot 2 senators and 2 representatives.

Of Course, this means you will be sent to prison.

There you will get 3 meals a day, a roof over your head, and all the health care you need!

New teeth, no problem. Need glasses, great. New hip, knees, kidney, lungs, heart? All covered.

And who will be paying for all of this? The same government that just told you that you are too old for health care.

Plus, because you are a prisoner, you don't have to pay any income taxes anymore.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

Good Things

Man's Best Friend

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that (so far) I have been able to separate my sobriety from everything else in my life

for the unity I observe in AA groups (see Tradition One)

that my thinking continues to change, even without my asking (could this be a returning to sanity?)

that any reports about Tiger Woods and me being together are mostly inaccurate, so far

Courtesy is the one coin you can never have too much of or be stingy with.
- John Wanamaker

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Requisites for becoming sober

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I'm accountable

that a little over 6 years ago, I became willing to try the program of AA

that I wish to be rigorously honest and tolerant

that I was ready to confess my faults and make restitution for harm done

that I developed an inkling of a concept of a Higher Power

that I was, and am, willing to sacrifice the time and energy in trying to carry the message of AA

that I still haven't had an affair with Tiger Woods, yet

If you are good, be better.
~~ anonymous

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

on getting calibrated

todAAy i AAM grAAAteful & thAAnkful

that I use the 6:30am meeting each day to recalibrate myself -- that is a word I've been searching for (subconciously) for several years; a word to describe what I get from most of the AA meetings I attend

for a good reminder of how I felt for decades -- that "alcohol was my friend and I would follow it to the ends of the earth." Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th edition, page 448

"I thought I would die with a drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other" -- me, 2009

that I haven't had an affair with Tiger Woods, yet

Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or to lose.
- Lyndon B. Johnson

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

no matter what happens

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for my recovery tools

that I can be happy and serene today, no matter what happens

that I don't have to drink today, no matter what happens

that I have friends today, no matter what happens

that I'll tell the truth about Tiger Woods and myself, no matter what happens

Whether you and I and a few others will renew the world some day remains to be seen. But within ourselves we must renew it each day.
- Herman Hesse

Monday, December 07, 2009


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I was present to listen to my friend Sharon F. tell her story of experience, strength and hope. A woman with multiple God-given talents.

that I make sure that I am accountable to others for various parts of my life

that Hayden returned home after a 6-month stay in Europe

that I love to listen to Christmas holiday music and had the opportunity to do so at various times over the weekend, especially in a televised hour of music from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

The greater part of our happiness depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances.
- Martha Washington

Sunday, December 06, 2009

My first blog

December 6, 2004

Still trying to get this blog stuff down. Scott did his and he ain't no more computer literate than me so I know I have a chance. LOL Maybe I will even figger out how to get some pictures on here.

I am waiting for word about a potential job in Nigeria. May come today or this week. I just don't know, but am trying to let it go.

Feeling quite spiritual today after 3 str8 AA meetings of spirituality. This is all so new to me and is an interesting thing to go through. I never liked the term "reborn" but now understand it completely. The only spirit I knew before September 5, 2003 came in a bottle of rum.

Scott W. noted his 5th year of blogging yesterday; today is mine. Obviously, this is a reprint of my first attempt. Today, writing and posting a short blog is part of my daily recovery, just like going to meetings, praying to my HP, reading and discussing AA literature, talking with my sponsor and working with others.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Cops crash car

Italian police officers wrote off a $350,000 supercar given to them by Lamborghini when it smashed into a row of parked cars.
The 202mph Gallardo coupe was one of two donated to police by the luxury motor manufacturer to help with high speed pursuits.
Witnesses say the police car had accelerated massively just before another car pulled out of a petrol station and forced it off the road in Cremona, northern Italy.
Embarrassed cops tried to confiscate phone cameras from witnesses but abandoned the plan when hundreds turned up to gawp at the smash.
"They are supposed to be elite drivers but even the best can have an off day," said one colleague.

Friday, December 04, 2009

aim high

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for all the little tools in my recovery tool box

for my 3 AA meetings Friday's (that's terrible grammar, but so what)

that we're gonna see some wintry weather later today -- this may not seem like a big deal to most of you, but down here on the Gulf Coast, we rarely see snow or ice. It will be hilarious to see the news stories of people trying to drive with snow on their windscreens and trying to do other things that people from northern climes take for granted.

for the 20'x20' tarp that I have covered a lot of my expensive, tender, tropical landscaping with

Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.
- John Wooden

Thursday, December 03, 2009


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

it only gets better (and better, and better ...)

that my friend Gary B. from Los Angeles visited us again this Thanksgiving and was able to tell his AA story of Experience, Strength and Hope yesterday before he returns home

for the not-so-comfortable memoreis that working Step 1 can bring up

that I don't regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it; memories of my past are what helps keep me willing to stay sober today

Beware the barrenness of a busy life.
- Socrates

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

the end of the tunnel

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my life has taken on a new meaning when I look at where I was 6 years ago, 3 years ago, 1 year ago and even last week

that I have frequent contact with newcomers

for a rather emotional AA meeting about which we spoke of the grief of losing so many friends to AIDS (yesterday was World Aids Day)

that no matter what happens in my life or to those I know, I don't need to drink over it

that I actually worked out twice yesterday at the gym -- at 8am and 5pm but the 2nd time I didn't last very long (but my best effort was there)

Fortune and love befriend the bold.
- Ovid

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

World Aids Day 2009

I know many people who are living with HIV/AIDS. Some of them have been infected for over 20 years. This is no accident. It's taken countless dollars of research and many have died while waiting for a cure. I have also lost over 40 personal friends to this disease.
If you have time, explore THIS website.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I have remained HIV negative, even after decades of irresponsible behavior

that doing my best is good enough for me; if it's not good enough for you, call your sponsor

for the lessons I can learn just by watching others

that my significant other will be home in just 5 days (it's been 6 long months)

that it would appear that winter has finally arrived here in Houston; we've been patiently waiting

To admit you were wrong is to declare you are wiser now than before.
- Unknown