Wednesday, August 31, 2011

laid back

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for my Big Book (Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th edition).  It was given to me by my mother in June, 2003 a couple of weeks after I attended my first AA meeting. She worked as a volunteer at a second-hand shop and bought it there for $1.  It had/has many markings and names and phone numbers marked in it.  In other words, it is very used, especially since I have owned it.

that we read The Viscious Cycle in the Big Book yesterday at the 6:30am meeting.  This story is authored by one of the first 100 members of AA.  He is responsible for the inclusion of "as we understand Him" in the AA jargon.  Without those innocent words, I probably would not have survived life in AA.  I am sure there are countless others who feel the same.

for the scenery on my life's journey.  I love being observant.

for waking up sober and clear-headed

Mistakes are the portals of discovery.
- James Joyce

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

all lined up

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for good things in life and the bad things too.  They each make the other bearable.

that I get to spend so much time with my fellow alkies

for my continuing attempt to keep my life simple

that everything is OK.  How's that for simplicity?

The greatest mistake you can make in life
is to be continually fearing you will make one.
- Elbert Hubbard

Monday, August 29, 2011


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I have to live by the basic teachings from my first months in sobriety

for another one of those AHA! moments that came to me during an AA meeting this weekend.
I know now that when I was hitting my alcoholic bottom 8 years ago, there was actually nothing wrong.  I thought my world was falling apart, yet now I know that nothing was really wrong.  I thought the whole world hated me and despised me, yet now I know that nothing was really wrong.  I thought I was having a mental breakdown and told people that, yet now I know that nothing was really wrong.
All I had to do was stop drinking.  I did.  And then, nothing was wrong.

To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
to earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;
to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others;
to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition;
to know even one life has breathed easier because
you have lived. This is to have succeeded.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hexacopter in Cameroon

I spent many years living and working in West Africa.  I was in the oil and gas exploration industry.  Unfortunately, I never worked in Cameroon.  It is south of Nigeria and north of Gabon.  I spent a lot of time in those countries.  So when I came across this video, I really liked it.  I hope you'll enjoy it too and maybe appreciate a few of the reasons I so enjoyed the culture and beauty that is West Africa. 

A nice place to fly: Hexacopter in Cameroon / Africa from W. Thielicke on Vimeo.

I was not familiar with a Hexacopter.  Here's a video showing how it works.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Friday, August 26, 2011


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the following words from Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pages 48/49...

"Let's take a universally recognized list of major human failings -- the Seven Deadly sins of pride, greed, lust, anger, gluttony, envy and sloth.  It is not by accident that pride heads the procession.  For pride, leading to self-justification, and always spurred by conscious or unconscious fears, is the basic breeder of most human difficulties, the chief block to true progress.  When the satisfaction of our instincts for sex, security, and society becomes the sole object of our lives, then pride steps in to justify our excesses."

A "No" uttered from deepest conviction is better and greater than a "Yes" merely uttered to please, or what is worse, to avoid trouble.
- Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi

Thursday, August 25, 2011

It DOES work.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful
for the basics ...
go to meetings (on a regular basis)
get a sponsor (who has a sponsor)
read the literature
find a Higher Power and let that relationship evolve
don't drink between meetings

I have done and I do all these things.  It works.

Reputation is character minus what you’ve been caught doing.
-Michael Iapoce

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Continued to take personal inventory ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I need to just give up and give it all away!

for time spent working the steps with others.  With my "sponsees" we read from both the Big Book and the 12/12.  As we progress through each paragraph, either or both of us can interject anything we feel the need to add or talk about.  I find this immensely satisfying and I hope that the other person gets as much from it as I do.  The more I can share about my life expeiriences with whatever step we are discussing, the more aware of myself I become.  Amazing stuff. 

that I live in one of the largest cities in the USA but only drive about 500 miles each month

Simply do your best, and you will avoid
self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.
- don Miguel Angel Ruiz

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

And today's post includes ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I will do anything (well, just about) to NEVER have to hit another alcoholic bottom

that we've survived this record-setting heat wave here in Houston.  So far.  We've had 22 consecutive days of 100+ degree temperatures and there is no end in sight. 

that's about it right now; my brain isn't working well yet

Love allows your beloved the freedom to be unlike you. Attachment asks for conformity to your needs and desires.
Love imposes no demands.
Attachment expresses an overwhelming demand – "Make me feel whole."
Love expands beyond the limits of two people.
Attachment tries to exclude everything but two people.

- Deepak Chopra

Monday, August 22, 2011

time to cool off

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I can accept responsibility for all of my actions; I have no one to blame (damnit)

that I am rarely a victim any more, I am a volunteer

that I'm not just a recovering alcoholic but also a recovering perfectionist

that even though the world sometimes seems to have passed me by, I'm still standing on top of it

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

Sunday, August 21, 2011


We feel stressed when we are pulled in two or more directions. Those pulls create tension, which is stress. It is very much like a guitar string being stretched too tight - the musical note of a string in proper adjustment turns to a high-pitched twang, and finally the string breaks as the stress becomes unbearable.

There are two ways to address the issue of stress in our lives - learning to relax even while life pulls us in multiple directions, and reducing the number and strength of the demands upon our time, energy, and resources. A combination of these approaches is most powerful as some demands are relatively easy to eliminate or manage, while other demands are better dealt with by accommodation.

Here are seven tips for stress-free living...

1. Be clear about your life-purpose. Once you can describe the purpose of your life, you can set life-goals, and once you have major goals in place, you can easily decide which of the calls upon your time, energy, and resources best support your major goals, and which demands are distractions.

2. Be objective in choosing which tasks to undertake. If one of your major life-goals is stress-free living - and I hope it is - the tasks you choose to accept, and those you choose to decline, should reflect that goal. For example, paying your taxes on time is essential to stress-free living. Taxes may not directly address your spiritual purpose, or your intellectual purpose, or your emotional purpose, but not handling your taxes in a timely manner will compromise your ability to achieve any of your life's purposes, as well as creating a stressful life. On the other hand, having lunch with Judy every Thursday may support your life purpose and may not. Learn that it is okay to say NO to those demands that don't support your life purpose.

3. Cultivate the ability to say NO gracefully. Even after you have decided that a particular demand is not aligned with your major goals, there is still likely to be stress associated with declining the demand. You may feel compassion toward the person making the demand. Your upbringing may cause you to feel guilty about choosing not to do what others ask of you. And, the actual act of saying NO may cause embarrassment or fear.

First, be firm with yourself that you do not need to cater to demands that don't align with your life-purpose. Then, set about practicing the art of saying NO gracefully. Don't fall back upon untruths or excuses. Don't even say, "I'd really like to, but..." if that is not a genuine expression of your feelings. Failing to be honorable with your word will make you feel guilty - plus you are likely to get caught at it. Tell the truth - with compassion. Do acknowledge the other person's point-of-view as fully and kindly as you can. Then state your choice not to participate. Try to avoid giving reasons for your decision that the other person could argue with.

4. Don't procrastinate. Do it now, or choose never to do it. Once you become aware of a demand, make the decision of whether that demand aligns with your purpose. If it does, begin the task as soon as practical. Otherwise, decline the request right away. Certainly there are many demands that can't be handled today, but do immediately classify each demand as "do" or "don't do." There is no benefit and much stress associated with keeping a mental (or written) list of "things to do when I have the time." If you have such a list now, rip it up and burn it.

5. Learn to re-negotiate commitments. The report is due tomorrow, the project requires an unexpected amount of research, and your child just broke an arm - big-time stress. For some of us, deadlines are generally useful for keeping focus, but deadlines are also one of the bigger unnecessary causes of stress. There is no shame in occasionally renegotiating a commitment. Your boss or your customer shouldn't want a report that you threw together just to meet a deadline. When renegotiating a deadline, as when saying NO, handle the situation as gracefully as possible - don't feel guilty, do acknowledge the other's position, and be completely truthful and kind.

6. Acknowledge your own humanity. You can't do everything - no one can - and that's okay. Allocate time for sleep and for play, then divide your time among your important projects - those that further your life purpose. If you still have more tasks than time, congratulate yourself on having a large life-purpose, and then narrow your focus. Being overburdened doesn't help you get more done - actually the reverse, plus it destroys your life with stress. So cut back until the tasks match the time. Easy to say and hard to do, but you must reduce your commitments to match your time and resources if you want to live a stress-free and healthy life.

7. Even after you implement the first six tips, you are still going to feel stressed occasionally. When you do, use the tools for managing stress such as conscious breathing, walking, spending time in nature, yoga, and qigong. Make time for these activities daily. Pause every hour for a minute of stretching and conscious breathing. Take time daily for a walk - preferably somewhere green and quiet, yoga, or qigong. Of course you don't have the time for exercises to manage stress, that's why you really need to do them anyway.

NOTE: I copied this from a website. None of it is my original material.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Shooting Star

Many people have spent time outdoors under a dark sky, watching for “shooting stars” to streak across the firmament. In some cultures, this event is an occasion to make a wish; in others it is viewed as a herald of important events, such as the birth of a future ruler. While not actual stars, “shooting stars” do come from outer space, in the form of meteoroids entering the Earth’s atmosphere.

Meteoroids are small objects moving through the solar system that are attracted to the Earth by its gravitational pull. These small objects—typically fragments of asteroids or comets, though they can also originate from the Moon or Mars—begin to heat and burn up as they collide with air molecules in Earth’s atmosphere, creating a bright vapor trail or streak. At this point, the object is known as a meteor. If any remnant of the object survives to impact the Earth’s surface, it becomes known as a meteorite. While most meteorites are natural in origin, on occasion manmade space debris can reenter the atmosphere and also become a meteor or even a meteorite!

This astronaut photograph, taken from the International Space Station while over China (approximately 400 kilometers to the northwest of Beijing), provides the unusual perspective of looking down on a meteor as it passes through the atmosphere. The image was taken on August 13, 2011, during the Perseid Meteor Shower that occurs every August. The Perseid meteors are particles that originate from Comet Swift-Tuttle; the comet’s orbit is close enough for these particles to be swept up by the Earth’s gravitational field every year—leading to one of the most dependable meteor shower displays.

Green and yellow airglow appears in thin layers above the limb of the Earth, extending from image left to the upper right. Atoms and molecules above 50 kilometers in the atmosphere are excited by sunlight during the day, and then release this energy at night, producing primarily green light that is observable from orbit. Part of a space station solar panel is visible at image upper right; behind the panel, a bright region indicates the Sun low on the horizon.

Friday, August 19, 2011

An experience I am not missing

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that today is the only day I can live today

that I got to catch up and eat dinner with one of my first recovery buddies last night; we don't see each other very often any more

that I get to chair an A.A. meeting this morning; it's always a good experience

that I am going to enjoy the fellowship of many alcoholics today, many of whom are just like me

that I'll laugh more times today than I did during my last month of drinking

Expressing gratitude seems like a cosmic invitation
for all kinds of thankfulness and appreciation to pour in.
- Mary Anne Radmacher

Thursday, August 18, 2011


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I can choose to NOT be part of the drama; I prefer comedies anyway

that I know what I did last night, last week and last year

that I don't know how much I don't know

that I get to see what happens when the program of AA is not being practiced (by someone who usually practices it)

Gratitude in advance is the most powerful
creative force in the universe.
- Neale Donald Walsch

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

mid-week rant

I will never understand why people feel the need to speak ugly about people they don't agree with.

I hear many gay friends who talk about their absolute hatred against people who don't accept them as homosexuals. I can understand differences of opinion. But why all the hatred?
The way I see things, it works both ways. If I want someone to accept me, I must accept them too.

I see this much more often (especially these days) in the realm of politics and politicians. Just because someone belongs to one party, they feel the need to insult and criticize everyone who has anything to do with the other party.

I just don't get it. Whatever happened to "all my affairs"?

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that spirituality is a gift, not an achievement

for restraint of tongue and pen

that even though times are tough, recovery isn't

for a reminder from someone yesterday, someone with 3 days sober. Everything is OK at this moment. So everything is OK.

that I'm not in jail. I visited a friend in the county jail yesterday. My first time to do this. Through my untrained eyes, it was chaos.

Nothing I say can explain to you Divine Love
Yet all of creation cannot seem to stop talking about it.
- Rumi

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

some reality

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for Bill W's definition of humility which is found on page 58 of the book, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.

"To those who have made progress in A.A., it amounts to a clear recognition of what and who we really are, followed by a sincere attempt to become what we could be."

I use this as a guide to daily living. And it seems that the more I learn about myself, the more work I have to do to become whom I should be. Unless I'm mistaken, this is going to last a lifetime.

that I attended the graduation of a friend last night. He has been in IOP (intensive outpatient) treatment for alcoholism and volunteered for this program after a number of relapses. He's a member of my early morning home group and we were there in force to support him. I am really proud of him. Especially for someone who is only 30 years old.

for my Higher Power, without which I would not be here writing this to you

Hate is never conquered by hate,
Hate is only conquered by love.
- The Buddha

Monday, August 15, 2011

Back to work

todAAy i Am grAAteful & thAAnkful

to have played a small part in a wildly successful and entertaining fundraiser for our Houston Roundup (AA convention)

for the following excerpt from Alcoholics Anonymous (the book) ...
"Selfishness -- self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate."

I have attended four meetings in the past week where this paragraph was introduced as a topic of discussion. Coincidence? I think not.

I had better stay on top of my game and really, really work on Step 10.

that my days as a manipulator are fewer and farther between than they used to be

Do what you feel in your heart to be right -
for you'll be criticized anyway.
You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't.
- Eleanor Roosevelt

Sunday, August 14, 2011

7 Secrets

7 Secrets for a Happy Life
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

We all want to be happy, but something always gets in the way. There is never enough time... or money. Somebody is always failing to do what they are "supposed" to do... or not do. Our boss, our spouse, our kids, our parents, our friends, government, big business, whoever... "They" aren't doing it right. "They" failed us. We are angry, and we have a right to be angry. But is that righteous anger making us happy?

Happiness is not something anyone else can give us... or take away from us. Happiness is what we make of our lives... or don't. Whatever our circumstances, we can create a joyful life... or a miserable life. It is up to us.

Here are 7 Secrets for a Happy Life

1. Respect Yourself: If I don't love and respect myself, who will? It all starts right here with ME. If I think that I'm a pretty good person, it doesn't much matter what anyone else thinks. And the irony is that once I like myself, most everyone else will like me too. People enjoy being around people who speak well of themselves - not in an arrogant boastful way, but with honest self-appreciation.

2. Forgive Everyone for Everything: Angry and happy don't mix. Flush out the angry, and the happy has a place to put down roots. Until we forgive everyone for everything, we hold on to anger and resentment. Once we forgive, we can become happy. Forgiving is not a gift to someone else - Forgiving is our gift to ourselves - a great gift - the gift of happiness.

3. Be Grateful for All of Life: Each of us has been infinitely blessed - beginning with the gift of life. Whatever may appear to be missing or broken on any particular day, our glass is not half full, it is 99.9% full. More practically, when we feel ungrateful, we become unhappy. When we choose to feel and express our gratitude, the act of feeling and speaking our thanks creates a happiness within us. The more we express our gratitude, the more we have for which to be grateful. Today and every day, take time to celebrate life - whether an hour's meditation in a quiet natural space, or a brief moment's conscious pause to breathe deeply and celebrate gratitude for life.

4. Choose Happiness: Everything in life is a choice. There is never anything we ever "need" to do. Every action and thought is a choice and has consequences - pleasant or unpleasant. Whether you go to work today, change jobs, smile at the bank teller, yell at your kids, complain about life, hold a daily celebration of gratitude for life - they are all choices. Happiness is a choice. Stay alert and make conscious choices for happiness.

5. Begin at the End: You can never reach your destination if you don't have a destination. Decide what accomplishments you want recorded on your tombstone. Take a whole quiet day to consider your life. Be very clear that your happiness does NOT depend on reaching your goal. In fact, it's the reverse. Your happiness depends on accepting whatever life throws at you while you walk the path toward your goal. What is important for your happiness is having a goal, and working toward it.

6. Start Today: Whatever you want in life, start today. Not tomorrow - today. Let it be a small beginning - a tiny beginning. Your happiness depends on starting today - every day.

7. Accept that Life is NOT "Supposed to be Fair": Know that there is no single way that life is "supposed" to be. Demanding that life meet our expectations is a sure fire recipe for a miserable existence. Life is a game with no rules. Life just happens to us regardless of our best intentions. Our only path to happiness lies in being open to receiving whatever life throws at us - with Gratitude. Have NO Expectations of life.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Adult Truths

1. Nothing stinks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

2. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

3. There is great need for a sarcasm font.

4. How the heck are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

5. Was learning cursive really necessary?

6. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on # 5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

7. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

8. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

9. Bad decisions make good stories.

10. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

11. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after BluRay? I don't want to have to restart my collection. Again.

12. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page technical report that I swear I did not make any changes to.

13. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

14. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

15. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lite than Kay.

16. I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.

17. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

18. How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear or understand a word they said? What?

19. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!

20. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

21. Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

22. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I'd bet everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time.

23. Jockey shorts (tighty whities) are designed for right handed use. Do left handed men wear them inside out? Think about it.

24. The first testicular guard, the "Cup," was used in Hockey in 1874 and the first helmet was used in 1974. That means it only took 100 years for men to realize that their brain is also important.

Friday, August 12, 2011


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the visitors from California we had at Lambda yesterday; 3 people are here independently from each other, all from the LA area. Kinda strange coincidence.

that I keep hearing that there are no coincidences

for the humor in AA meetings. I have heard there are places where laughing is looked down on in AA meetings. Those people are missing out on some significant recovery (in my humble opinion).

for a fundraiser we're having tomorrow night -- DRAG WARS -- Kings vs Queens (men against the women).
This oughta be good!

We keep moving forward, opening new doors,
and doing new things, because we're curious
and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.
- Walt Disney

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I'm learning more about me

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a good Al Anon meeting concerning the topic of asking for help.
I was raised in a family where I was allowed to be very independent. As a person with "ism" which later became alcoholism, I used that independence to my advantage (or so I thought). The end result is that I have always had difficulty asking for help. Meetings like last night help me to become more aware of my shortcomings and thus I can do something about it.

that some people actually ask me to help them. I try to just offer my experience. Anything else is usually my ego talking.

for the people I meet along the way; they provide my environment. I can choose to learn and live or I can ignore them/it and remain stagnant.

You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best that you have to give.
- Eleanor Roosevelt

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Hey Mom!

February 17, 1923 - August 10, 2008

She taught me the importance of being true to myself.
She taught me to respect others.
And she taught me to respect myself.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the lifetime of memories of all the good times and not-so-good times spent with my mother.

that I was sober and had made my amends to my mother in 2004. She had a major stroke in 2005 and died on this date in 2008.

for the concept of living amends. I was there for her, with gratitude. Had I still been drinking, I would have been extremely resentful that I had to give my bar time to assisting my mother in her time of need.

We are not held back by the love we didn't receive in the past,
but by the love we're not extending in the present.
- Marianne Williamson

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Take it easy ...............

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I am in one of those mental (spiritual?) frames of mind where nothing bothers me.
I love it!

for an almost infinite number of ways to carry the message (if you don't know what I'm talking about, don't worry)

for satellite radio. I have to have noise on in the car when I'm driving but there's not much good music on FM these days. I like the 50's, 60's and 70's stations on satellite.


The time to relax is when you don't have time for it.
- Sydney J. Harris

Monday, August 08, 2011

Happy Anniversary, Robert

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my sponsor celebrates 11 years of continuous sobriety today. I can't imagine having a more effective sponsor -- for me! This man taught me to read between the lines when we worked the steps yet managed to keep it simple and meaningful. Brilliant stuff. We speak the same language and although we don't meet regularly like we used to, we are both there for each other if and when necessary.

that my home group hosted a once-a-month District-wide speaker meeting Saturday. The speaker we chose to talk was magnificent. Her story of what it was like, what happened and what it's like now kept me (and many others, I'm sure) on the edge of my seat for 50 minutes. I was pumped up all day yesterday just from that meeting. Cool!

for progress, both inside and out

Tolerance is the first principle of community;
it is the spirit which conserves the best that all men think.
- Helen Keller

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Kulula Airlines


Kulula is an Airline with head office situated in Johannesburg. Kulula airline attendants make an effort to make the in-flight "safety lecture" and announcements a bit more entertaining. Here are some real examples that have been heard or reported:


On a Kulula flight, (there is no assigned seating, you just sit where you want) passengers were apparently having a hard time choosing, when a flight attendant announced, "People, people we're not picking out furniture here, find a seat and get in it!"

On another flight with a very "senior" flight attendant crew, the pilot said, "Ladies and gentlemen, we've reached cruising altitude and will be turning down the cabin lights. This is for your comfort and to enhance the appearance of your flight attendants."


On landing, the stewardess said, "Please be sure to take all of your belongings. If you're going to leave anything, please make sure it's something we'd like to have."


"There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 4 ways out of this airplane."


"Thank you for flying Kulula. We hope you enjoyed giving us the business as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride."


As the plane landed and was coming to a stop atDurban Airport, a lone voice came over the loudspeaker: "Whoa, big fella. WHOA!"

After a particularly rough landing during thunderstorms in the Karoo, a flight attendant on a flight announced, "Please take care when opening the overhead compartments because, after a landing like that, sure as hell everything has shifted."


From a Kulula employee: " Welcome aboard Kulula 271 to Port Elizabeth. To operate your seat belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seat belt; and, if you don't know how to operate one, you probably shouldn't be out in public unsupervised."


"In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child travelling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are travelling with more than one small child, pick your favourite."


Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but we'll try to have them fixed before we arrive. Thank you, and remember, nobody loves you, or your money, more than Kulula Airlines."

"Your seats cushions can be used for flotation; and in the event of an emergency water landing, please paddle to shore and take them with our compliments."


"As you exit the plane, make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses."


And from the pilot during his welcome message: "Kulula Airlines is pleased to announce that we have some of the best flight attendants in the industry. Unfortunately, none of them are on this flight!"


Heard on Kulula 255 just after a very hard landingin Cape Town: The flight attendant came on the intercom and said, "That was quite a bump and I know what y'all are thinking. I'm here to tell you it wasn't the airline's fault, it wasn't the pilot's fault, it wasn't the flight attendant's fault, it was the asphalt."

Overheard on a Kulula flight into Cape Town , on a particularly windy and bumpy day: During the final approach, the Captain really had to fight it. After an extremely hard landing, the Flight Attendant said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to The Mother City. Please remain in your seats with your seat belts fastened while the Captain taxis what's left of our airplane to the gate!"


Another flight attendant's comment on a less than perfect landing: "We ask you to please remain seated as Captain Kangaroo bounces us to the terminal."


An airline pilot wrote that on this particular flight he had hammered his ship into the runway really hard. The airline had a policy which required the first officer to stand at the door while the passengers exited, smile, and give them a "Thanks for flying our airline. He said that, in light of his bad landing, he had a hard time looking the passengers in the eye, thinking that someone would have a smart comment.

Finally everyone had gotten off except for a little old lady walking with a cane. She said, "Sir, do you mind if I ask you a question?" "Why, no Ma'am," said the pilot. "What is it?" The little old lady said, "Did we land, or were we shot down?"

After a real crusher of a landing in Johannesburg , the attendant came on with, "Ladies and Gentlemen, please remain in your seats until Captain Crash and the Crew have brought the aircraft to a screeching halt against the gate. And, once the tire smoke has cleared and the warning bells are silenced, we will open the door and you can pick your way through the wreckage to the terminal."


Part of a flight attendant's arrival announcement: "We'd like to thank you folks for flying with us today. And, the next time you get the insane urge to go blasting through the skies in a pressurized metal tube, we hope you'll think of Kulula Airways."


Heard on a Kulula flight. "Ladies and gentlemen, if you wish to smoke, the smoking section on this airplane is on the wing. If you can light 'em, you can smoke 'em."

Friday, August 05, 2011

Happy Friday!

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I didn't wake up to a hangover; instead, I feel good and refreshed

that I didn't black out last night; instead, I remember everything I did

that I didn't spend $40 at the bar yesterday; instead, I watched the stock market eat up some bigger money (ouch!)

that I'm not already considering when to begin my drinking today; instead, I'm getting ready to attend the first of 3 A.A. meetings for this day (something I do every Friday)

We cannot choose our external circumstances,
but we can always choose how to respond to them.
- Epictetus

Thursday, August 04, 2011

A Potpourri Day

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for all the non-profit agencies that use money wisely. I say this because the United Way agency here in Houston was once rife with financial scandal. The director ripped off over $3M for his personal use.

for the little white lies I no longer have to create so I don't have to hide my drinking

for a clear brain; foggy no more

that today is the 2,990th Thursday during my lifetime

The way I see it, if you want the rainbow,
you gotta put up with the rain.
- Dolly Parton

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

new behavior

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a newfound ability to just live and let live. People seem to challenge me on this constantly but I've become so much better at not reacting in a negative way.

for step 3 (as it applies to the above concept)

for steps 6 & 7 (as they apply to the above concept)

that my friend Zane celebrates his birthday today (we're having dinner tonight)

for my 3 cats who provide with with unending enjoyment, even when they're asleep

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions.
Small people always do that,
but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.
- Mark Twain

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Post # 3000

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the concept of GRATITUDE. Without it, sobriety would really suck.

to know I can't take anything for granted no matter how certain it may seem

for the synopsis of the steps which can be found near the beginning of Chapter 12 of Twelve Steps & Twelve Traditions

for my little blog that you're reading. This is my 3000th post, going back to December 2004. My, how things have changed.

Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Welcome to ... August

I'm posting some pictures this week that depict some gay marriage advocates. I hope you're not offended; if you are, call your sponsor.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the gift of desperation; it has opened doors for me that would never have appeared otherwise

that I knew where to turn when that desperation got to its bottom

for my friends who celebrated sobriety anniversaries during July, now, on to August

that it was just 3 years ago when my sister and I made the decision to stop all feeding and medicating procedures for our mother. It would be another 10 days before she passed to the other side. I think this will be at the forefront of my thoughts for the next couple of weeks.

Expectation is the root of all heartache.
- William Shakespeare