Monday, May 31, 2010

Step One "We admitted we were powerless over alcohol -

that our lives had become unmanageable.

I really never had a problem admitting that I'm an alcoholic. From my late 20's, that was rather clear. I drank more than anyone else I knew. I drank every night. I drank during the day when I could get away with it. This went on for more than 30 years. And by the time my drinking was finished, I was drinking when I didn't want to. But I had to drink. I didn't know how NOT to drink.
However, I have had a more difficult time realizing the unmanageability of my life. Now, I see it better than ever. But until I had been sober for a couple of years, this was hard to grasp. To put it simply, now I know how alcohol managed my life. All my thoughts and most of my behavior.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I'm sober today and for the last 2460 days.

that I attended our May birthday night at Lambda on Saturday. We had 24 people celebrating a total of 399 years of sobriety.

for the things that this holiday stands for. All service men in defense of their country are special people. I have the ultimate respect for the work they do.

If I had my life to live over...I'd dare to make more mistakes next time.
- Nadine Stair

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Old commercial

They won't make another one like this.

Friday, May 28, 2010

First, a short rant ...

Offshore oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico and then subsequent drilling began in the late 1950's and really flourished during the next 4 decades. I don't understand why so many people want to blame this oil spill on Bush and the Republicans. Those years have seen Democratic presidents and politicians as well as their counterparts. There's enough blame to go around to those who are actually responsible rather than to distort the facts.

Preventing future problems lies on knowing the real truth.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that, beginning on Monday, I'm going to write about my experience with the 12 steps. One each day. One day at a time.

that I didn't kill anyone during my 3 decades of drunk driving. I did injure a woman in a wreck that was my fault. It could have been much more serious. We were both lucky.

that I get to make a living amends to society by staying sober and obeying the law, whether I agree wiht it or not.

that I will to attend 3 AA meetings today; the last of which begins at 1:15pm

To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.
- Bertrand Russell

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Howz this for starters?

Difference Between a Marine Officer And an NCO

A young Marine officer was severely wounded in the head by a grenade, but the only visible permanent injury was to both of his ears, which were amputated. Since his hearing wasn't impaired he remained in the Marine Corps. Many years later he eventually rose to the rank of major general. He was, however, very sensitive about his appearance.

One day the general was interviewing three Marines, prospects for his headquarters staff.
The first was an aviator captain, and it was a great interview. At the end of the interview the general asked him, "Do you notice anything different about me?"
The young officer answered, "Why, yes, Sir, I couldn't help but notice that you have no ears."
The general got very angry at his lack of tact and threw him out.
The second interview was with a logistics Lieutenant, and he was even better. The general then asked him the same question, "Do you notice anything different about me?"
He replied sheepishly, "Well, Sir, you have no ears."
The general, now really pissed, threw him out also.
The third interview was with a Marine gunnery sergeant, an infantryman and Staff NCO. He was articulate, looked extremely sharp and seemed to know more than the two officers combined. The general wanted this guy, and went ahead with the same question, "Do you notice anything different about me?"
To his surprise the sergeant said, "Yes, Sir, you wear contact lenses."
The general was very impressed and thought, what an incredibly observant NCO, and he didn't mention my ears. "And how do you know that I wear contacts?" the General asked.
"Well, Sir," the gunny replied, "it's pretty hard to wear glasses with no friggin' ears."

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I have ears and sometimes use them to listen, really listen.

for those willing to step up to the task

that our Al Anon meeting was about gossip. I wanted to get up and leave, but decided to stay and learn more about myself.

for the laughs and enjoyment supplied by Art Linkletter over the years. He died yesterday at age 97.

The fragrance always stays in the hand that gives the rose.
- Hadia Bejar

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

becoming ready

men can fix anything! (the last in a series)

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I intend to continue blogging. I considered stopping, as many of my friends have done. But I'm not ready to stop.

that almost 7 years ago, I became ready to stop drinking

that 3 1/2 years ago, I became ready to stop smoking cigarettes

that I continue to work the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, which helps me to enjoy the freedoms and choices I had exhausted after 33 years of drinking

To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it.
- Confucius

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

just passing through ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I do my best to respect the space of others

that I don't depend on this blog (or others) for my recovery and rarely use it to inflate my ego

for the spiritual tools laid at my feet for use any time I wish to use them

for awareness. I've used this word often, but it plays such an important part of my sober life, it can't be overlooked.

The kindest way of helping yourself is to find a friend.
- Ann Kaiser Stearns

Monday, May 24, 2010

I Identify

men can fix anything!

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I got to hear a wonderful speaker Saturday night - Cheryl L., whom I've only met briefly a couple of times at the 6:30am meeting. I asked her if we could share stories over breakfast soon as I would really like to get to know her better.
Cheryl spoke about being an alcoholic before she ever had her first drink. I identified with that.
Cheryl spoke about knowing at an early age that she was different. I identified with that.
Cheryl spoke about isolating amongst her peers during her growing up years. I identifed with that.
Cheryl spoke about that obsession to start drinking every morning, work be damned. I really identified with that.
... and on and on and on.

that I really feel like participating in my program. Is that called passion?

It takes a real storm in the average person's life to make him realize how much worrying he has done over the squalls.
- Unknown

Sunday, May 23, 2010

from your local satellite ...

Hydrogen sulfide erupted along the coast of Namibia in mid-March 2010. Pale-hued waters along the shore hinted at gaseous rumblings as the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite passed overhead and captured this true-color image on March 13, 2010. Although ocean water appears navy blue farther from shore, water along the coast ranges in color from peacock green to off-white. Ocean water wells up in this area along the continental shelf.
The milky surface waters that coincide with gaseous eruptions along Namabia’s coast have a low oxygen content. As reported in a 2009 study, the frequent hydrogen sulfide emissions in this area result form a combination of factors: ocean-current delivery of oxygen-poor water from the north, oxygen-depleting demands of biological and chemical processes in the local water column, and carbon-rich organic sediments under the water column.
Commercially important fish species have hatching grounds along the Namibian coast, and hydrogen sulfide eruptions can often kill large numbers of fish. In addition, the gas eruptions send a noxious rotten-egg smell inland. These events bring some benefits, however. Sea birds eat the fish carcasses, and humans can make meals of lobsters fleeing onshore to escape the oxygen-deprived waters.
Inland, this MODIS image shows the rippling sand dunes of the Namib Desert, which stretches for hundreds of kilometers along the southern African coast.

Note: I was fortunate to spend about 4 months in Walvis Bay, Namibia back in 1993. Great place!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Friday, May 21, 2010

just visiting

men can fix anything!

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for those who suit up and show up; especially when they announce it beforehand and then follow through

that my friend Todd celebrates 365 days of sobriety today. I got to meet Todd twice when visitng NYC. He's a sweet as they come.

for a nice visit with my sister and her significant other yesterday in rural Texas

for the 5 years that Mary Christine wrote about her experience, strength and hope

that I met 5 old high school friends last night at a small bar near our old school. We found each other on Facebook and decided to get together. I had not seen any of them in 38 years. I'm so glad I have not aged as much as they have.

Never miss a chance to keep your mouth shut.
- Robert Newton Peck

Thursday, May 20, 2010


men can even fix mailboxes

todAAy i AAm grAAteful thAAnkful

for different and sometimes unique ways to look at recovery; kind of thinking outside the box

for faith and the knowledge I've gained just by having some faith

that I usually do my best and today I know that's good enough

for my friends, who just keep comin' back!

Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today.
- Mark Twain

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


men can fix anything!
(one in a series)

todAAy i AAM grAAteful & thAAnkful
that I don't regret the past; I cherish it because it is what got me to today

that I have absolutely no desire to go to bars any more; in my first 49 years on this planet, I lived to be in bars

to know that my problems are of my own making and I've pretty much stopped fighting anybody or anything

We can never live in the past as if it were our true home. And it is a good thing that God draws this veil over the past even without our asking. In so doing, He allows us to live today for tomorrow with just the few memories we need of what was.
- Karl Barth

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


men can fix anything.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I'm still around - for a reason

that I don't know that reason; if I did, I'd probably be kinda scared

for the spiritual awakenings I've experienced since September 2003

for perseverance and determination

Anger is never without a reason, but seldom a good one.
- Benjamin Franklin

Monday, May 17, 2010

Men can fix anything week

This week, I'll post pictures of proof that

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the fellowship before and after AA meetings. Just about every day of the week, I am honored to eat with sober friends. I am slowly learning a few social skills that I never learned in my formative years. I'm about 40 years late.

for a roundtable discussion amongst people in recovery about making a few changes at our recovery center. There was no yelling or no stabbing in the back like I have seen before. It was calm with some well-thought out opinions. I was proud to be one amongst many.

that I seem to be a lot happier and much more serene when I don't take myself too seriously

Nothing shows a man's character more than what he laughs at.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Those clever Chinese

Wow, this is very interesting. Can't waste a second. Very clever, these Chinese. Why are all the innovative things happening in other countries, while we waste our time killing our economy and sending our manufacturing out of the country?

The train that never stops at a station: How to get on and off the non-stop high speed train!

A new Chinese train innovation - How to get on & off the bullet train without stopping.

No time is wasted. The bullet train is moving all the time. There are 30 stations between Beijing and Guangzhou, so just stopping and accelerating again at each station will waste both energy and time. A mere 5 min stop per station (elderly passengers cannot be hurried) will result in a total loss of 5 min x 30 stations or 2.5 hours of train journey time! The Chinese are innovative enough to come up with a non-stopping train concept. When the train arrives at a station, it will not stop at all.

The passenger at a station embarked onto to a connector cabin way before the train even arrive at the station. When the train arrives, it will not stop at all. It just slows down to pick up the connector cabin which will move with the train on the roof of the train.

While the train is still travelling away from the station, those passengers will board the train from the connector cabin mounted on the train's roof. After fully unloading all its passengers, the cabin connector cabin will be moved to the back of the train so that the next batch of outgoing passengers who want to alight at the next station will board the connector cabin at the rear of the train roof.

When the train arrives at the next station, it will simply drop the whole connector cabin at the station itself and leave it behind at the station. The outgoing passengers can take their own time to disembark at the station while the train had already left. At the same time, the train will pick up the incoming embarking passengers on another connector cabin in the front part of the train's roof. So the train will always drop one connector cabin at the rear of its roof and pick up a new connector cabin in the front part of the train's roof at each station.

Friday, May 14, 2010

the weekend cometh ...

Whether you like Jay Leno or not is not important here. Watch his Best Of Jaywalking as he talks to the man on the street. These are people who are potential voters someday.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I know a little more each day who I am and what I need to do

that I have learned to keep my mouth shut when it might hurt someone (usually, I think)

for several "coincidences" that have happened in my life the past few days

that my eyes are open

Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring and integrity, they think of you.
- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

2 rants

Automotive Atrocities -- click here!

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I am blessed and lucky. You are too. Much too often, I hear or read people say that they have more than they deserve. I don't think this way. I believe that we humans deserve to feel good and to enjoy life. Many of us, however, choose to behave in ways that take away those opportunities. Then when good times come along, we feel underserving. Balderdash!

that I removed the word "hate" from my vocabulary. I hear people talk about hating God, about hating politicians, about hating BP, etc... All that hatred seems so negative and takes sooooooooo much energy. For no reason other than to fuel resentments.
I might not like what I may perceive that God has put before me, about the behavior of politicians or what the current oil spill is doing to the environment. But I don't hate anyone or anything.

I have learned through bitter experience the one supreme lesson: to conserve my anger, and as heat conserved is transmitted into energy, even so our anger controlled can be transmitted into a power that can move the world.
- Mahatma Gandhi

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Key Word is *CONTINUE*

senior biker's bar

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that we read some power writing yesterday morning from pages 84-88 of the Big Book.

... we continue to take personal inventory and continue to set right any new mistakes
... it should continue for a lifetime.
... continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment and fear.
... we turn our thoughts to someone we can help.
... love and tolerance is our code.
... we have ceased fighting anything or anyone.
... the problem has been removed.
... we are not cured of alcoholism.
... we have a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.

These ideas are covered in 3 paragraphs. Amazing.

The Promised Land always lies on the other side of a Wilderness.
- Havelock Ellis

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for it

that it was/is treatable

that for once in my life, it was not only for everyone else, but for me too!

that I eventually got it

that it takes many forms

Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions, they become habits. Watch your habits, they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.
- Frank Outlaw

Monday, May 10, 2010

taking things for granted

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for all the things I take for granted, sometimes pointed out to me when least expected

that Tracy R. told her story of life experiences, before and during sobriety

that my mother-in-law made it here safely and is visiting with us for a couple of weeks; she's a pleasure to have around, just like her son

that I can usually roll with the flow, unless there's lava involved

Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
- Winston Churchill

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Friday, May 07, 2010

Have a GREAT day!

A friend sent this to me in an email. I'm passing it along to you -- just for today.

One day I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport.

We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us.

My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches!

The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us.

My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was really friendly.

So I asked, 'Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!'

This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call, 'The Law of the Garbage Truck.'

He explained that many people are like garbage trucks.

They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment.

As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they'll dump it on you.

Don't take it personally.

Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on.

Don't take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets.

The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day.

Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so ...

Love the people who treat you right.
Pray for the ones who don't.
Life is ten percent what you make it and ninety percent how you take it!

Have a blessed, garbage-free day!

If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.
- Booker T. Washington

Thursday, May 06, 2010

no title comes to mind

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that it's not always easy being simple (glad I worded that correctly)

for my perseverance of recovery; something I didn't even know I could do

for a discussion meeting about sponsorship. I don't care for that term, but it's what is used. I prefer to think of "sponsees" as people I'm working with, people with whom I am sharing what I know about the 12 steps so that they may practice the steps and then pass along their knowledge and experience to others.

that I'm much, much better at not overwhelming myself with too much volunteer work. I can get really stressed out. Both of my brain cells don't like to be active at the same time.

Get a life in which you are not alone. Find people you love, and who love you. And remember that love is not leisure, it is work.
- Anna Quindlen

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

just because ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I have something to offer. So do you. And you too.

for the Fifth Step of Alcoholics Anonymous. "Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs."

that a spiritual life is not a theory. I have to live it.

that I no longer live a double life. I think of all the energy I spent trying to be the person my bosses wanted me to be; the person I thought my bar friends wanted me to be; the person I thought my parents wanted me to be; the person I thought my close friends wanted me to be.

There are very few monsters who warrant the fear we have of them.
- Andre Gide

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

being there

I thought I'd share a few more pictures of the car and boat show from the weekend.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the accountability I gain from having an AA sponsor and from working Step 10

that I can be helpful even when I don't really try; many times, just showing up is all it takes

that I'm a bit less sensitive than I used to be; at least I don't seem to overreact like the old days

If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.
- Booker T. Washington

Monday, May 03, 2010

no half measures

Saturday, we went to a whoopsie-doopsie car & boat show called "Keels and Wheels". Here's a few pics from that event

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a full weekend of events, some of which I attended

for the generous and giving nature of those who participated in fund-raising for the IAC (International Advisory Council)

for further proof that I can stay away from drama, even when it's put before me

that I've felt somewhat disconnected the last few days. Well, I'm not grateful for that but I am grateful that I have a recovery program to lean on.

If instead of a gem, or even a flower, we should cast the gift of a loving thought into the heart of a friend, that would be giving as the angels give.
- George Macdonald

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Burma Shave days

The Statler Brothers will take you back in time.

Click here

Saturday, May 01, 2010

The new generation

This may be the next generation of law enforcement vehicles.