Thursday, September 30, 2010

Freedom (as I understand it)

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that Step 9 catapulted me into the next level of recovery. I instinctively knew that my side of the street was as clean as it could be. No more secrets, no more lies, no more grudges and resentments. Freedom!

that I got a second chance to be the human that I should be

that I have NO intention of blowing that chance and must keep a conscious contact with my HP in order to make good on that chance

for my sponsees and my sponsor

for the contributions of Arthur Penn, Tony Curtis and Greg Giraldo
(and many more; these just made the news)

Follow what you are genuinely passionate about and let that guide you to your destination.
- Diane Sawyer

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I'm not a fake; what you see is what you get (deal with it)

that through sobriety and therapy, I've come to realize that I had many less-than-positive feelings as a youngster. I was never quite like the other guys but I did everything I could to fit in. This went on until I stopped drinking at the age of 49.

that I didn't give up 5 minutes before the miracle (back in my early AA days)

that I got to see Betty White (my current favorite actress) on Inside the Actor's Studio last night. She is fantastic!

In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.
- Eleanor Roosevelt

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Looking at things differently

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the concept behind "as we understood Him". I think those are the most important words in 12-step recovery. Without them, I would not be alive today. I would not have kept coming back if you guys had forced me to accept the God of my upbringing. But you gave me the freedom to form my own concept of a Higher Power, one that evolves each day I stay sober.

that I'm pretty sure I'll remain sober as long as I keep a relatively close contact with my Higher Power

that as long as I remain sober, I can continue my recovery from alcoholic drinking and thinking

to be more open-minded to new ideas

Letting go doesn't mean giving up... it means moving on.
- Anonymous

Monday, September 27, 2010


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a really nice weekend, full of recovery, friendship and fellowship

that I don't need any more than I have; that is a feeling of true happiness and serenity

for those who return to the rooms of AA and show me what might have been

for those who stay in the rooms of AA and show me what could be

A true friend is the one who walks in when others walk out.
- Walter Winchell

Sunday, September 26, 2010

How OLD are you?

How many of these do you remember?

Head lights dimmer switches on the floor.
Ignition switches on the dashboard.
Pant leg clips for bicycles without chain guards.
Soldering irons you heat on a gas burner.
Using hand signals for cars without turn signals.

Older Than Dirt Quiz :

Count all the ones that you remember not the ones you were told about.
Ratings at the bottom.

1.Candy cigarettes
2.Coffee shops with tableside juke boxes
3.Home milk delivery in glass bottles
4. Party lines on the telephone
5.Newsreels before the movie
6.TV test patterns that came on at night after the last show and were there until TV shows started again in the morning. (there were only 3 channels [if you were fortunate])
8. Howdy Doody
9. 45 RPM records
11. Metal ice trays with lever
12. Blue flashbulb
13.Cork popguns
14. Studebakers
15. Wash tub wringers

If you remembered 0-3 = You're still young
If you remembered 3-6 = You are getting older
If you remembered 7-10 = Don't tell your age,
If you remembered 11-15 =You're older than dirt!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Dogs and Cats

Excerpts from a Dog’s Daily Diary:

8:00 am – Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am – A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am – A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30 am – Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00 pm – Lunch! My favorite thing!
1:00 pm – Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00 pm – Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 pm – Milk bones! My favorite thing!
7:00 pm – Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00 pm – Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
11:00 pm – Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

Excerpts from a Cat’s Daily Diary:
Day 683 of my captivity:
My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects.They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets.
Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength.
The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the floor.
Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a “good little hunter” I am. The audacity!
There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of “allergies.” I must learn what this means, and how to use it to my advantage.
Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow– but at the top of the stairs.
I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released — and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded!
The bird has got to be an informant. I observe him communicate with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe…for now…

Friday, September 24, 2010

Have a lovely weekend

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I'm gonna be my best today, no matter what my instincts want me to do

that I attended a good Tradition Four meeting yesterday morning. Some good reminders about not taking myself too seriously. And some good information about how an AA group works; that it's OK to let our format evolve and it can be a little different than the norm. It's still AA and we're all sober when we leave.

that sometimes, all it takes to help someone is to say HI

that I'm able to continue making my living amends to the world and to the earth

The path to happiness is forgiveness of everyone and gratitude for everything.
- jonathon lockwood

Thursday, September 23, 2010

open minded

Summer is over, but it's still hot here in Houston.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I attend AA meetings where other addictions (mostly drugs) are freely discussed; I am convinced that alcohol was just a symptom and it really doesn't matter what the addiction is as long as I am aware of it. I know this is not a popular attitude with many, and that's OK. They don't have to attend the meetings that I attend. I'm pretty comfortable wherever I go.

that I've really made some personal improvements in my attitude toward others who I used to judge quite harshly -- I think you guys call it compassion!

for things that I take for granted - today, it's clean drinking water

for the beautiful harvest moon and the opportunity to gaze at Jupiter

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.
- Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

just thinkin' ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that it's been easy for me to accept the fact that one day, many years ago, I crossed the line whereupon my drinking became necessary for me to make it through each day. Remembering that fact is what makes each sober day for me an absolute miracle!

that by surrounding myself with other miracles every day, I stay sober without much trouble

that when I think or say that something is driving me crazy, I'm usually exaggerating

that it really doesn't matter what I think; what really matters is what I do

Instead of worrying about what people say of you, why not spend time trying to accomplish something they will admire.
- Dale Carnegie

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ready. Set. Action!

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my brain cell has been treating me well these past few days

for the bonding that happened with my sponsor after I did my initial 5th step with him

that for today, I don't care about getting drunk nor high

for the chapter entitled "Into Action" in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. There's not a chapter called "Into Thinking".

Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.
- Dale Carnegie

Monday, September 20, 2010

Starting a new week

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for some courage to change

that I do so many things differently now than I did before I got sober

for the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous - without it, why stay sober?

for hours spent at an automobile auction where I really had to practice some discipline so as NOT to sell my car at a low price. I am just going to keep it for now because the market is very weak. If you're interested in buying a used/collector car, it's a buyer's market and you can make some good investments now.

for Astros baseball games and the guys I go there with

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

You may be in Texas if ...

Here is what Jeff Foxworthy has to say about folks from Texas ...

If someone in a Lowe's store offers you assistance and they don't work there,
you may live in Texas.

If you've worn shorts and a parka at the same time, you may live in Texas.

If you've had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed a wrong number, you may live in Texas.

If 'Vacation' means going anywhere south of Dallas for the weekend, you may live in Texas.

If you measure distance in hours, you may live in Texas.

If you know several people who have hit a deer more than once, you may live in Texas.

If you install security lights on your house and garage, but leave both unlocked, you may live in Texas.

If you carry jumper cables in your car and your wife knows how to use them,you may live in Texas.

If the speed limit on the highway is 55 mph --you're going 80 and everybody's passing you, you may live in Texas.

If you find 60 degrees a little chilly, you may live in Texas.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010

Going, going ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I woke up sober this morning, again

that I'm teachable, still

that I taught middle school for my first year out of college. I was 22 years old. My students were 12-14 years old. Hell, I was only 8 years older than they were. I'm glad it was only a year. I went on to bigger and better things and found a career in the oil & gas industry.

for a nice, really productive day yesterday

that one of my cars, the 1984 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz pictured above, is in an auction later today with 400 other collector autos. I bought this car last October in Denver. It's beautiful and in excellent condition. I just don't have the space for it any longer.

The difference between school and life? In school, you're taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you're given a test that teaches you a lesson.
- Tom Bodett

Thursday, September 16, 2010

still workin' it

I like this joke ................

A dog lover, whose dog was a bitch and 'in heat', agreed to look after and house her neighbors' male dog while they were away on vacation. She had a large house however and believed that she could keep them apart but as she was drifting off to sleep she heard awful howling and moaning sounds, rushed downstairs and found the dogs locked together, in obvious pain and unable to disengage as so frequently happens when they mate.

Unable to separate them and perplexed as to what to do next, although it was late, she called the vet, who answered in a very grumpy voice.

Having explained the problem to him, the vet said."hang up the phone and place it down alongside the dogs. I will then call you back and the noise of the ringing will make the male lose his erection and be able to withdraw".

"Do you think that will work?" she asked.

"It just worked for me" he replied.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my sobriety is between my HP and myself - but I need the rest of y'all for my recovery

that learning is automatic but being teachable takes effort

for the Al Anon meetings that I attend

that I could tell when something truly serendipitous happened yesterday - no need for details right now though

He who angers you conquers you.
- Elizabeth Kenny

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wednesday lite

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful for ...

Silver in the Hair
Gold in the Teeth
Crystals in the Kidneys
Sugar in the Blood
Lead in the Ass
Iron in the Arteries
an inexhaustible supply of Natural Gas.

For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

going forward

another aircraft flies into a building

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I'm not as young as I used to be and I'm not as old as I'll get to be

that I'm slowly (slower than I would have expected) getting back into a normal morning routine after (1) having a colonoscopy (2) having bronchitis for 3 weeks

that life happens, day after day whether I like it or not; let's see if I can respond in a positive way

that I now have my newest used car inspected and licensed and finally, cleaned really well (pictures soon, if you wish)

that I posted early today because I have a busy morning. I am going to be at the gym at 0500, followed by an 0630 AA meeting, then breakfast with fellow AA'ers. Then I have an appointment 50 miles away with my mortgage broker as I continue trying to re-finance my home. Then back to Lambda Center for a 12:15p AA meeting before joining other AA'ers for lunch. Whew!! I'm tired already. A good kinda tired.

I can't go back to yesterday - because I was a different person then.
- Lewis Carroll

Monday, September 13, 2010

Courage to begin

Russia's finance minister has urged his countrymen and women to support the country - by drinking and smoking more.

Alexei Kudrin called for increased consumption of tobacco and alcohol in a bid to boost the state's revenues, reports Metro.
"If you smoke a pack of cigarettes, that means you are giving more to help solve social problems," commented Kudrin.
"People should understand: Those who drink, those who smoke are doing more to help the state."
Russia, noted for its high consumptions of both cigarettes and alcohol, has among the lowest duties on cigarettes in Europe.
In June, plans to double the excise duty on cigarettes from 250 roubles, roughly £5 per 1,000 cigarettes, to 590 roubles (£12.49) by 2013 were outlined.
The comments by the minister seem to contradict recent government moves to control Russia's excessive nature and improve its life expectancy rates.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I had the balls to go to my second AA meeting, 7 years ago. I went alone. I had no intention of ever stopping drinking though.

for the courage to step outside my comfort zone occassionally

that my friend Gavin H. told his AA story with gobs of humility

that I am not in denial about my lack of knowledge regarding relationships; there's so much to learn and it's rarely fun

Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.
- Billy Graham

Sunday, September 12, 2010

World's Largest RC Plane

I have always been an aviation buff (nut). I had a remote-controlled helicopter not long ago but could not master the art of flying it for any length of time. As such, I really respect these guys for their abilities. I love this!!

What does this have to do with recovery, you may ask. EVERYTHING!
Remember, we're supposed to be enjoying life.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Where were you?

September 11, 2001.

I was working in my temporary office in London. I was between assignments and was due to go to the small country of Mauritania in northwest Africa on September 13th.

Having returned to my office after lunch, I was busy at the computer whn a fellow worker stuck his head in the office and asked if I had heard thenews. He told me that an airplane had flown into the World Trade Center in NYC. We got a streaming video on his computer and watched for a few minutes. Word quickly got around the office and we went downstairs to the lobby and watched the breaking news on a real television. Just like you, we were enthralled. By this time, the 2nd plane had hit the WTC and the thinking was that a plane was going to hit the White House.

Before long, we were told to evacuate the building (located on a business/industrial estate near Gatwick Airport). Thousands of office workers did the same. After a short time, we were told to go home.

My bosses gave me the option of going to Senegal instead of Mauritania. In Dakar, the Muslims are somewhat less radical. I knew this because I had spent many months there previously. So I bypassed Nouakchott, Mauritania and went to Dakar.

Where were you?

Friday, September 10, 2010

nothin' heavy today

1954 Dodge Firearrow

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for breakfast with my sponsor this morning

that I know that my nightly conscious contact with my HP has been suffering a bit lately and I plan to fix that

for fun and fellowship in recovery

that I went to the Astros (baseball) game last night with 3 recovery friends and one of them got a foul ball off a LA Dodger (the last time he got a foul ball was 55 years ago)

A somebody was once a nobody who wanted to and did. - John Burroughs

Thursday, September 09, 2010

on being responsible ...

1953 Buick Wildcat

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the larger-than-normal attendance at the early morning meeting over the past coupla months

that my friend Norris L. told his A.A. story of experience, strength and hope

that I am still waiting for the day that I don't have a part in everything that happens in my life

that I took the blame for the major problems in my life

A man can fail many times, but he isn't a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.
- John Burroughs

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Pass It On

1951 Chrysler K310

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I can stay sober - no matter what. This has not been a problem (yet). I just couldn't stop drinking 7 years ago until I learned about a Higher Power. But because I work a successful recovery program (so far), all of the life situations I have faced have not tempted me to drink.

that I try to pass this along to others -- both verbally and by example

that I don't seem to be a whiner (nor was I a winer!)

for other recovery bloggers -- click here to visit Marie (Experience, Strength, Hope) and give her your favorite recovery slogan

Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into.
- Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Made a decision ...

1951 Buick LeSabre

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I consider Step 3 to be a maintenance step -- "Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand Him." By practicing this step (when I actually do) I can remove the enormous burden that I sometimes feel when I have to control my world.

that I know a common trait amongst alcoholics (especially recovering ones) is that when we find something that works or serves us well, we stop doing it. I must always be aware of this in my own life.

for some great rain; we need it

When written in Chinese, the word "crisis" is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.
- John F. Kennedy

Monday, September 06, 2010

On to Year Eight

I'll post a few pictures of unusual autos this week.
This is a 1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a newcomer on a Sunday morning -- someone who says he only drank to help his insomina

that more shall be revealed (LOL)

that I still like to suit up and show up -- I enjoy AA meetings, every one of them. They rejuvenate me.

that I had a very quiet day yesterday - the 7th anniversary of my sobriety

for the fellowship of recovery

Opportunities multiply as they are seized.
- Sun Tzu

Sunday, September 05, 2010

It works. It really does.

I'm still absolutely amazed.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

I bet you didn't know all this stuff ...

Here are some little known, very interesting facts about Texas.

1... Beaumont to El Paso: 742 miles
2... Beaumont to Chicago: 770 miles
3... El Paso is closer to California than to Dallas
4.. World's first rodeo was in Pecos, July 4, 1883.
5... The Flagship Hotel in Galveston is the only hotel in North America built over water.
Destroyed by Hurricane Ike - 2008!
6... The Heisman Trophy was named after John William Heisman who was the first full-time coach at Rice University in Houston .
7... Brazoria County has more species of birds than any other area in North America
8... Aransas Wildlife Refuge is the winter home of North America's only remaining flock of whooping cranes.
9... Jalapeno jelly originated in Lake Jackson in 1978.
10... The worst natural disaster in U.S. history was in 1900, caused by a hurricane, in which over 8,000 lives were lost on Galveston Island.
11... The first word spoken from the moon, July 20,1969, was " Houston", but the space center was actually in Clear Lake City at the time.
12... King Ranch in South Texas is larger than Rhode Island.
13... Tropical Storm Claudette brought a U.S. rainfall record of 43' in 24 hours in and around Alvin in July of 1979.
14... Texas is the only state to enter the U.S. by TREATY, (known as the Constitution of 1845 by the Republic of Texas to enter the Union) instead of by annexation. This allows the Texas Flag to fly at the same height as the U.S. Flag, and may divide into 5 states.
15... A Live Oak tree near Fulton is estimated to be 1500 years old.
16 Caddo Lake is the only natural lake in the state.
17... Dr Pepper was invented in Waco in 1885. There is no period in Dr Pepper.
18...Texas has had six capital cities: Washington-on- the Brazos, Harrisburg, Galveston, Velasco, West Columbia and Austin.
19... The Capitol Dome in Austin is the only dome in the U.S. which is taller than the Capitol Building in Washington DC (by 7 feet).
20... The San Jacinto Monument is the tallest free standing monument in the world and it is taller than the Washington monument.
21...The name 'Texas' comes from the Hasini Indian word 'tejas' meaning friends. Tejas is not Spanish for Texas.
22...The State Mascot is the Armadillo (an interesting bit of trivia about the armadillo is they always have four babies. They have one egg, which splits into four, and they either have four males or four females).
23..The first domed stadium in the U.S. was the Astrodome in Houston.

Friday, September 03, 2010

I'm sure glad I no longer get drunk

A New York man is being sued for apparently losing a £900,000 ($1.6m) painting after a drinking session.

James Haggerty says he lost the Jean Baptiste Camille Corot masterpiece, Portrait of a Girl, after a bender at The Mark hotel in Manhattan, according to court papers.
"I think he's a complete fumbling idiot," Kristyn Trudgeon, who co-owns the painting, told the New York Daily News. "He's just a complete a**hole."
Ms Trudgeon and Tom Doyle, the other co-owner of the painting, had hired Mr Haggerty to assist with a possible sale of the painting to London gallery owner Offer Waterman.
Mr Haggerty was ordered to take the painting to The Mark, where Mr Waterman was staying, so he could see it at first hand.
Ms Trudgeon's lawsuit, filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, says hotel security footage shows Mr Haggerty leaving the painting at the front desk and entering the bar with Mr Waterman at 11pm.
At 11:30pm, the two men left the bar, retrieved the painting and had a conversation in the hotel lobby, court papers say.
"Something just didn't feel right and I didn't want to be involved," Mr Waterman said. "So I said no, and I said goodbye."
Mr Haggerty then went back to the hotel bar, once more depositing the painting at the front desk.
He resurfaced 90 minutes later, the suit says, when he stumbled out with the painting and declined a doorman's offer to call him a taxi.
At 2:30am, he finally returned home, without the painting. Later that morning, he apparently told Mr Doyle he couldn't recall its whereabouts.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for my constant and consistent connections to the program of Alcoholics Anonymous; these have flourished through fellowship and service work

that my sponsor taught me the importance of being of service to others

for an improved ability to let go of those things I can't control; it begins with awareness!

for good weather here; my thoughts and good wishes are for all of you who may be affected by Hurricane Earl

He who rejects change is the architect of decay.
- Harold Wilson

Thursday, September 02, 2010


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I can think for myself, but hearing other opinions is crucial for my survival

to accept the fact that I can't do this (stay sober) alone

to be able to share in a meeting that I would never want to drink like a normal person. What would be the point of that? I drank to get as drunk as possible.

for a new recovery blog -- SOBRIETY IN THE PASS -- drop by and say howdy to David

If we don't change, we don't grow. If we don't grow, we aren't really living.
- Gail Sheehy

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

just thinkin'

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that all those feelings I had during my 30's and 40's (I got sober at age 49) turned out to be wrong.
I didn't have to die with a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other.

that I've never attempted suicide. I have thought about it a few times, more on an intellectual basis. I've thought about how I might accomplish it, but have never been serious about actually doing it. I know many who have done so however.

that I have no big resentments, but there are a few things that I wish weren't the way they are.

for some common sense

You don't have the power to make life "fair,"
but you do have the power to make life joyful.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie.