Sunday, February 28, 2010

Riding the Beast

The Beast is a wooden roller coaster located at Kings Island in Mason, Ohio. It is currently the longest roller coaster in the USA and the longest wooden roller coaster in the world. It sprawls over 35 acres. It was also one of the fastest and tallest roller coaster in the world when it opened in spring 1979.

The Beast has been constantly rated as one of the top roller coasters in the world since it first opened, having earned itself a cult-like following among coaster enthusiasts. Even after more than 30 years, it is still one of the main attractions at King's Island, located at the rear of the park in the Rivertown section. To date, over 40 million riders have ridden The Beast.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

New Social Networking Tool

Allows User to Call Friends, Speak to Them ...

SILICON VALLEY (The Borowitz Report) – A new social network is about to alter the playing field of the social media world, and it’s called PhoneBook.

According to its creators, who invented the network in their dorm room at Berkeley, PhoneBook is the game-changer that will leave Facebook, Twitter and even the much anticipated Google Buzz in a cloud of dust.

“With PhoneBook, you have a book that has a list of all your friends in the city, plus everyone else who lives there,” says Danny Fruber, one of PhoneBook’s creators.

“When you want to chat with a friend, you look them up in PhoneBook, and find their unique PhoneBook number,” Fruber explains. “Then you enter that number into your phone and it connects you directly to them.”

Another breakout utility of PhoneBook allows the user to arrange face-to-face meetings with his or her friends at restaurants, bars, and other “places,” as Fruber calls them.

“You will be sitting right across from your friend and seeing them in 3-D,” he said. “It’s like Skype, only without the headset.”

PhoneBook will enable friends to play many games as well, such as charades, cards, and a game Fruber believes will be a breakout: Farm.

“In Farm, you have an actual farm where you raise real crops and livestock,” he says. “It’s hard work, but it’s more fun than Mafia, where you actually get killed.”

Friday, February 26, 2010

Thanks, Scott W.

Who knew?

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

even though AA and getting sober was not originally my first choice, it sure was the right choice

that tomorrow night we will celebrate the sobriety anniversaries of about 25 people in recovery; 2 of them are my sponsees (one with 1 year and one with 2 years)

for my friend, Scott W., who was my driving inspiration to begin blogging, some 5 years and 3 months ago. We have both been at it daily since then, but Scott has decided to stop for now. Maybe he'll resume at some point, maybe not. Whether he does or not, he can never know how much his writing, his appreciation of sobriety and recovery and his gratitude have meant to me. Selfishly, I can tell you that I will still get to see him just about every day as we attend many of the same meetings and events and occasionally share lunch and/or dinner together. (btw - that is Scott in the picture, some 3 decades ago LOL)

for the last 2 days of beautiful weather

We aren't what we ought to be. We aren't what we're going to be. We aren't what we want to be. But, thank God, we aren't what we were.
~~ unknown

Thursday, February 25, 2010


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I've rarely been burdened by feelings of shame and guilt -- in other words, I'm shameless and not guilty!

that I understand and appreciate the importance of participating in my own recovery

that I love going to AA meetings; I can't say that for Al Anon meetings (yet)

that I can watch Apolo Ohno all day/night long and never get tired of him

I was strongest when I laughed at my weakness.
- Elmer Diktonius

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the concept of restraint of tongue and pen

to see first-hand that many years of sobriety DO NOT necessarily equal good recovery; I need to know this so that I stay focused and continue to practice these principles in ALL my affairs

that I can take a nap in the afternon and when I wake up, I know that it's still afternoon. In my past (drinking) life, I would have wondered if it was morning.

that I speak the English language better than most journalists; many of them absolutely amaze me with their ignorance

Life is overflowing with the new. But it is necessary to empty out the old to make room for the new to enter.
- Eileen Caddy

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

just between you and me ...

Gary passed along this award to me and a few others. I'm supposed to list 7 facts about myself. Actually, I have a list of 100 things about myself, linked on my sidebar. Check it out when you have time.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I had a spiritual awakening just when I needed it; I didn't even think they existed

for new habits

that I rarely need to look for loopholes

that I enjoy being of service in a variety of ways. For decades (before I was sober), my mother suggested and encouraged me to do volunteer work. I always declined under the pretense that I didn't have the time or desire. My, how times have changed!

Each day we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.
- Charles Swindoll

Monday, February 22, 2010

being aware of stuff

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the power of awareness -- without this I don't stand a chance

to be aware of multiple addictions; before I got sober, I had no idea!

that I got to hear my friend Gaylen G. relate some of his recovery story over the weekend

that pitchers and catchers reported on Saturday!!

for my lifelong interest (obsession?) with the game of baseball

When the student is ready, the teacher appears.
- Tao saying

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Burglar Tales

13 Things A Burglar Won't Tell You:

1. Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator.

2. Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.

3. Love those flowers. That tells me you have taste ... and taste means there are nice things inside. Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming system they have.

4. Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it.

5. If it snows while you're out of town, get a neighbor to create car and foot tracks into the house. Virgin drifts in the driveway are a dead giveaway.

6. If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don't let your alarm company install the control pad where I can see if it's set. That makes it too easy.

7. A good security company alarms the window over the sink. And the windows on the second floor, which often access the master bedroom-and your jewelry. It's not a bad idea to put motion detectors up there too.

8. It's raining, you're fumbling with your umbrella, and you forget to lock your door-understandable. But understand this: I don't take a day off because of bad weather.

9. I always knock first. If you answer, I'll ask for directions somewhere or offer to clean your gutters. (Don't take me up on it.)

10. Do you really think I won't look in your sock drawer? I always check dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the medicine cabinet.

11. Helpful hint: I almost never go into kids' rooms.

12. You're right: I won't have enough time to break into that safe where you keep your valuables. But if it's not bolted down, I'll take it with me.

13. A loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm system. If you're reluctant to leave your TV on while you're out of town, you can buy a $35 device that works on a timer and simulates the flickering glow of a real television. (Find it at


1. Sometimes, I carry a clipboard. Sometimes, I dress like a lawn guy and carry a rake. I do my best to never, ever look like a crook.

2. The two things I hate most: loud dogs and nosy neighbors.

3. I'll break a window to get in, even if it makes a little noise. If your neighbor hears one loud sound, he'll stop what he's doing and wait to hear it again. If he doesn't hear it again, he'll just go back to what he was doing. It's human nature.

4. I'm not complaining, but why would you pay all that money for a fancy alarm system and leave your house without setting it?

5. I love looking in your windows. I'm looking for signs that you're home, and for flat screen TVs or gaming systems I'd like. I'll drive or walk through your neighborhood at night, before you close the blinds, just to pick my targets.

6. Avoid announcing your vacation on your Facebook page. It's easier than you think to look up your address.

7. To you, leaving that window open just a crack during the day is a way to let in a little fresh air. To me, it's an invitation.

8. If you don't answer when I knock, I try the door. Occasionally, I hit the jackpot and walk right in.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Buddy Hackett goes duck hunting

The video may or may not work properly; doesn't matter as long as the audio works.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Walk this way

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that sometime over the past day or two, I heard this statement and really like it ...
... my choices today are limited only by my imagination

that I was asked to fill an important position on our 2010 Roundup committee (of course, I couldn't think of a sufficient reason to decline)

that by doing the next right thing, I never have to second-guess myself

that I'm now off to the first of 3 wonderful Friday AA meetings

The world is a great book; he who never stirs from home, reads only a page.
- Saint Augustine

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Olympic recovery

This is NOT Olympic snorkeling.
But it's thought that alcohol may have been involved.

todAAy i AAM grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I don't know what great things might happen today nor what terrible things may happen, but I DO know I won't need to have a drink, regardless

for the sharing of personal moments by friends in recovery

that I have friends - LOL

that my Al Anon program (such that it is) has allowed my relationship with my partner to become much more serene (at least, for me)

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

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Happy birthday MOM!

My mother, Patricia, died in August 2008.
If she were still living, she would have been 87 years old today (but she would never admit it).

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the life given to me by my mother...

... love and nourishment for a lifetime

... knowledge of the difference between right and wrong (values)

... education (home schooling after school)

... moral support when I needed it most

... financial support when I was lacking

But most of all, total and uncompromising love.

I think about her often. Sometimes, I wish she was here because I miss her. But I accept the fact that she was human, had her own faults, and was vulnerable just like all of us. She lived a full and mostly happy and satisfied life. For these things, I am eternally grateful.

In May 2003 I attended my first AA meeting. A few days later my partner and I went to visit her and he told her that I had gone to an AA meeting.
She said, "My prayers have now been answered."
I'll never forget that moment.

Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you'd have preferred to talk.
- Doug Larson

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

gifts, sacrifices and changes

Here's a solution to all the controversy over full-body scanners at the airports.

Have a heavy solid steel booth that you can step into that will not X-ray you, but will detonate any explosive device you may have on you. It would be a win-win for everyone, and there would be none of this crap about racial profiling, and this method would eliminate a long and expensive trial. Case Closed!

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my sobriety is not on loan. It's a gift and I don't have to give it back.

for the sacrifices a few people made to continue to be my friend as I was hitting my alcoholic bottom

for the changes that occur in my life just as a result from not drinking

that I get to substitute-chair the noon meeting today

It takes courage to show your dreams to someone else.
- Erma Bombeck

Monday, February 15, 2010

sobriety and serenity

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my Valentine returned from 3 weeks in California just in time for a nice weekend

for the fun and fellowship many of us had participating in another Lambda fundraiser; our annual Mardi Gras Parade and we raised about $1300 for the Center

someone asked me yesterday how I remain so serene. I automatically started rattling off some of the tools I've learned over the past 6 years. He said something like, "So that stuff really works?"

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

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Saturday, February 13, 2010

my generation

follow this through to the end ...

UPDATE: I'm no longer physically ill.
It was a one day thing. Now, for the mental thing ...

Friday, February 12, 2010

I'm sick.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

I'm alive.

Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis of man's desire to understand.
- Neil Armstrong

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Powerless tools

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the recovery and spiritual tools I've been so freely given, including (but not limited to) restraint of tongue and pen

to know for a fact that my perceptions so often have little or nothing to do with reality

that I can sometimes say the right thing without even thinking about it; it's my recovery at work

The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time.
- Abraham Lincoln

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Dog For Sale

Free to good home. Excellent guard dog.
Owner cannot afford to feed him anymore,
as there are no more drug pushers, thieves, murderers, or molesters left in the neighborhood for him to eat.
Most of them knew him as 'Holy Shit.'

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for those who feel comfortable enough to confide in me and those with whom I can talk to freely

that I don't bring negativity to an AA meeting; those who do, show me how far I've come

for the fellowship after the meeting

that a close friend has made it back to the rooms of AA after another relapse.

that Jeremy (Half Measures Availed Us Nothing) celebrated his 100th post on his blog yesterday with an incredible gratitude list. CLICK HERE to see it.

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

A clean picture

LOU invited us to post a picture today that makes us smile.

Here's my entry ...

(my 3 cats after I finished the laundry)

Step Ten

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

how the practice of Step 10 of Alcoholics Anonymous allows me to ...
... continue working my program throughout each day
... keep my side of the street clean
... monitor my behavior and actions
... prevent getting resentments
... prevent giving resentments
... stay aware of my character assets and defects

What can you add to this list?

We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are. - Anais Nin

Monday, February 08, 2010

I know Who Dat now

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for opportunities to be of service

for the lack of drama in my life

for all the people who continue to teach me

that I picked up another sponsee although having 4 of them may be too much for me to handle

that I got to watch that excellent football game with some friends. Congrats to the City of New Orleans; they deserve something like this. But I'm glad I'm not there for the next 10 days, what with a Super Bowl victory celebration coinciding with Mardi Gras.

He who forgives ends the quarrel.
- African proverb

Sunday, February 07, 2010

This is for Syd ...

and anyone else who loves boating.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Dementia Quiz

You may have seen this before. Try it again.

Dementia Quiz

Below are four (4) questions and a Bonus question to test your perception, reasoning and the quickness of your logical processing. They are stated simply so you should try to answer them instantly. To assure the accuracy of the results, you should not take your time , but instead, answer each of them immediately.

Let's find out just how clever you really are....

Ready? GO!!! (scroll down slowly to see Q's and A's )

First Question :

You are a participant in a race. You overtake the second person. What position are you in?
> Answer : If you answered that you are first, then you are absolutely WRONG! If you overtake the second person and you take his place, YOU are in second place!

Try not to screw up next time. Now answer the second question, but don't take as much time as you took for the first question, OK?

Second Question :
If you overtake the last person, then you are...?
(scroll down)
Answer : If you answered that you are second to last, then you are......WRONG again. Tell me Sunshine, how can you overtake the LAST person??

You're not very good at this, are you?

Third Question :
Very tricky arithmetic! Note: This must be done in your head only. Do NOT use paper and pencil or a calculator.
Try it.

Take 1000 and add 40 to it. Now add another 1000 Now add 30 . Add another 1000 . Now add 20 . Now add another 1000 . Now add 10 . What is the total?

Scroll down for the correct answer.....

Did you get 5000 ?

The correct answer is actually 4100 .

If you don't believe it, check it with a calculator!
Today is definitely not your day, is it ?

Maybe you'll get the last question right... Maybe...

Fourth Question:

Mary's father has five daughters: 1. Nana, 2. Nene, 3. Nini, 4. Nono, and ??? What is the name of the fifth daughter?
> Did you Answer Nunu? NO! Of course it isn't.
> Her name is Mary you retard! Read the question again!

Okay, now the Bonus round,
i.e., a final chance to redeem yourself:

A mute person goes into a shop and wants to buy a toothbrush. By imitating the action of brushing his teeth he successfully expresses himself to the shopkeeper and the purchase is done.
Next, a blind man comes into the shop who wants to buy a pair of sunglasses; how does HE indicate what he wants?

It's really very simple.
He opens his mouth and simply asks for it...

Friday, February 05, 2010


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I've been sober for 2345 consecutive days

that it's getting harder and harder to justify/rationalize to be less than I can be

that I can't justify/rationalize suspending my goal of being the best I can be just so I can teach somebody a lesson; that may sound silly, but it's been a lifelong pasttime of mine

for the companionship of my cats

that I'm not a Toyota owner/driver or stockholder

Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter.
~~ Oscar Wilde

Thursday, February 04, 2010


This bicycle was at my local Starbucks yesterday. Click on the picture to enlarge and appreciate.

Note: the headlight, the exhaust pipe, and the aluminum plates on the wheels

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my friend Jim N. had the opportunity to share his recovery experience with us before he returns to Chicago; he has been in Houston for 8 months undergoing a stem-cell transplant

that it's so much easier to know the next right thing -- when I have some clarity of thought!

(see above) -- someone asked me to participate in something that made me very uncomfortable and I immediately said NO!

You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.
- Christopher Robin to Pooh

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Watch your butts

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

we read "Empty on the Inside", an AA story in the 4th edition of the Big Book. I really identify with the author when she writes about never acquiring social and conversational skills. I still don't know how to have a conversation with someone I don't know. I'm afraid to.

for the people who made me feel welcome to the rooms of AA when I first started going to meetings

for a first -- all 3 of my current sponsees were at the same meeting as I
(that was weird because they all have very different schedules)

that I have not been to my favorite watering hole since June 2004 (I wuz 9 months sober)

that I do my best to show respect for others; I see a lot of disrespect and it's very ugly

He deserves paradise who can make his companions laugh.
- The Qur'an

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Sober -- another day

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for those who step up to the plate; home runs are optional

for a wonderful discussion of Step 9. I (once again) shared how I was propelled into the next level of recovery upon completion of this step in my first year of sobriety

to know that if I can stay sober in AA, I can stay sober anywhere!

that my chances of living are much greater today than 6 1/2 years ago; had I not stopped drinking I was gonna die!

We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.
- Winston Churchill

Monday, February 01, 2010

The Total Entertainment Package

A 1961 Lincoln Continental Presidential convertible allegedly used by President Kennedy. It still has the special radio equipment under the dashboard and a telephone in the back seat area.

This was one of the autos on display in the classics section of the 2010 Houston Auto Show this past weekend.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that someone whose recovery I much admire made a point of emphasizing that the Big Book says we "claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection." Many people seem to remove the word "spiritual" from that phrase. They then use this as a reason or excuse to do less than their best. Am I wrong to point this out?

that we celebrate sober birthdays on the last Saturday of each month at Lambda Center. January saw 39 celebrants with a total of 527 years of sobriety. It was amazing to be around all that recovery.

that I can accept the fact that the world sometimes seems to be passing me by -- I say this after watching the Grammy Awards last night. I'm not familiar with many of the performers or songs.

that I had a good time at the Auto Show with a recovery friend

that title of this blog is one of my phavorite frases (I think I coined it several years ago)

We cannot hold a torch to light another persons path without brightening our own.
- Ben Sweetland