HURTING and at A Loss...



Well it's NCAA Basket Final Four Semi-Final Night in America...That's where the two teams who will duke it out Monday night to be National Champion are determined. As I sit and write this it looks like Kentucky has easily defeated arch-Rival Louisville by 8 points. It wasn't really that close. Ohio State will play Kansas in 30 minutes or so to determine who will play Kentucky Monday Night for the BIG PRIZE!


I'm not really sure why I led off with that bit of information tonight. I mean it's important from a sports perspective and I actually and interested and do care since I am a college hoops fan but in regards to life's "Bigger Picture"....IT ISN'T THAT IMPORTANT.


My hearts a little sore tonight....I have some feelings and thoughts that are too strong and personal to express here publicly and though they due have something to do have something to do with other people or another single person, it doesn't feel like it is something I could ever really discuss with anyone. Not because it's taboo or really bad but it seems awkward and for me I am not sure at this point if it isn't just another thing I make a bigger deal out of then it needs to be. 


And that is entirely possible....but on reflection I don't think it's an exaggeration, my feelings are hurt and I don't quite understand what is going on. Sorry to lay all that out there folks and not be able to elaborate but circumstances and ethics just won't allow me to do it.


I will admit that I still struggle in my life with relationships and interacting with other people. Perhaps my expectations are outta whack but I lack confidence because I just don't know what to expect from others in return. I have my own expectation of how I should behave and rarely do other people meet that expectation in response, which I understand and accept. I hold myself to a higher standard and I want it that way but it may be expecting too much of others to meet the expectation as well. For myself...I really need to think and act in those terms after behaving so selfishly all those years.   


So I feel troubled by this conflict in my mind and in my heart...the people I normally would discuss this type of situation with aren't an option this time around. So I am going to do what I normally do when I am at a crossroads in life and I'm stuck...I'll pray about it and see if I have a bit more clarity on the subject later.


Time to watch the second game...I'm much more interested in this game between OSU-Kansas because of the Big Ten connection. It is the only time that you will ever see me openly root for Ohio State, Ha Ha.

Off To See The Wizard...


I'm not exactly traveling the Yellow Brick Road but hey...OLD 27 here in S Michigan will have to suffice. Busy morning today after more frustration yesterday/last week  with stuff that is beyond my control. I can't really go into detail on a public blog because it involves children and parental custody but it's just a very difficult and frustrating situation and it can really take it's toll on a relationship.

It's a good thing that we are working through some pre-marriage counseling right now so we are able to talk through it. Actually, communication is an area where we have always done really well so I think we would have worked through it anyway but still, it's nice to have that extra help, some unbiased feedback as it were, especially with such a tough and emotional subject as this.

We are in the process of moving K, so we are up early and heading over to the storage building to pick up a antique oak dresser/cabinet for her new digs before heading into town. Then it's off to see the ladies for a little Saturday morning Bible Reading...honest to goodness, it's my favorite hour of the week!

The awesome thing about K's move is that she is just 3 houses away so we just get a car or truck load and when it's full just drop it of at the new place. So that basically is the weekend's work...she is just going to pick away at it as she goes. It should be a great weekend, especially considering how it started off.

So have a good Saturday morning and perhaps...time permitting...we'll see you a bit later.

(PHOTO By Kathy Tomson)

The INSATIABLE More, More, MORE!!


I will admit it has been a pleasant day...an odd description coming from me who rarely thinks of anything in terms like "pleasant". Awesome, good, interesting, lousy...I tend to lean more toward extreme descriptions in my everyday vocabulary...I always have. That is why when the thought occurred to me today that this has really been a rather pleasant day...that thought caught my attention.  And for all the right reasons too, I believe.


I'm not sure in my past existence as a practicing addict/alcoholic/adrenaline junkie that I can describe anything that I did or experienced  as "pleasant". I wanted MORE...I always wanted more, more, more. And as anyone in recovery will tell you...wanting MORE is way different then ever being able to SATISFY that craving...you simply can't, it was insatiable.


Some folks will use the hamster wheel analogy and that works very well for describing how it looked and felt to me at the time. I was always going 110 mph and NEVER really going anywhere...just spinning my wheels. A person in that emotional, mental, physical and spiritual state will in a very short period of time absolutely EXHAUST and wear out the people who are close to him/her. And such was the case with me...I simply was never satisfied...If I had to experience IT, then by osmosis...so did everyone around me and you drive away people who care about you that way.


It all seemed so natural, so exciting and like "normal" to me...I could not understand why others did not feel the same way...even has they shunned me and stopped coming around. Thinking of living life that way today totally exhausts me...just THINKING about it!


That is why I revel in the notion of experiencing and enjoying I might add...a rather PLEASANT day.

David Bowie: 'stoney broke'

Issued in June 1964, Liza Jane by Davy Jones & The King Bees is one of the most valuable 45s of the 1960s. Rarity aside, there are two reasons for this: firstly, it's a terrific dose of dirty R&B, and secondly, Davie Jones was of course David Bowie. Here's the only press about it I've ever seen.

Record Mirror, June 20th 1964

Record Mirror, June 6th 1964

Record Mirror, June 6th 1964

Slightly oddly, by the way, Vocalion was still plugging the 45 on October 31st, when the listing below appeared in Record Mirror, now crediting Bowie as 'Daved Jones':

The Who: 'four hip young men'

Here's the earliest article about The Who I've ever seen - so early, in fact, that it's about The High Numbers and calls John Entwistle by his early stage name (John Allison) as well as misnaming Pete Townshend as Peter Townsed. It's from Peter Jones's New Faces column in Record Mirror of July 11th 1964 (also trumpeted on the same page is Marianne Faithfull, who apparently 'has blue blood coursing through her veins' and 'has a very big future when she passes her examinations').


And a couple of weeks later Record Mirror followed it up with this:


Waiting at the PO

I'm waiting at the post office for the office to open to drop off a Priority Mail envelope that is already pre-paid. It drives me freaking nuts that I can't just drop this off in the box. If there are ten people in line...I still have  to wait.
The Coldwater PO drives me Mad anyway because they don't open until 830a...what a joke. Oh well...what else is happening, eh?



I had a buddy text me later and tell me that they just drop their envelopes in the box and they've had no issue doing it. i'm not sure if it is the same envelope, pre-paid package or not. But when I first started doing this 2 years ago, one of the Postal Workers really got on me for doing that saying it was against the rules. When I did look them up on the info I got with the Winter's worth of envelopes and pre-pay postage stamps, it did say you could not just drop it off in the lobby mail box, that you had to hand it directly to a postal worker at the front desk. So who knows...it's confusing but it sure would save me the hassle.

(SNOOP) Dogs & Sports @ the A-Crack of DAWN


I can't explain what the deal is but after several weeks of at least tolerable sleep (a few hours a day at least) I had a night from hell last night. I just did not ever feel right...I don't think I actually slept at all. Which wouldn't typically be an issue but the one day it happens, I have a 6:30am Men's breakfast & book study. I hate feeling like a zombie for those things yet....what are you gonna do, huh?! Just show up and do your best.

I know this has nothing to do with what I am writing about and very little if nothing to do with what my life as a recovering person is like but I have been noticing something interesting as I watch ESPN on TV. Yea it used to be I noticed things when I was out EXPERIENCING stuff, now that I am OLD(er) and crippled up I don'y experience stuff anymore...sadly, I just see it on TV. Anyway I was watching a replay at 3a of ESPN2's afternoon show SPORTSNATION and along with the two regular co-hosts Colin Cowherd and Michelle Beadle was Snoop Dog, the Rapper.

I've noticed a real trend where ESPN has often had celebrities involved in most of their broadcasts now...even the regular SPORTS CENTER news shows. But they typically were always SPORTS celebs...now they are branching out, especially into the music world. I remember Little Wayne debating the obnoxious Skip Bayless on one of their morning shows "First and Ten" segments...yea man, Little Wayne! I think the first time I saw him was before he went to prison and gave up drinking the Vicodin laced cough syrup because he could barely speak. But the dude DID know his sports. And he has actually been on a couple of times now...

I think this penchant for creative thinking is why ESPN dominates television sports world and always will...they are the masters at thinking out of the box and then actually having the balls to implement some of these crazy ideas. But in reality what they are best at is KNOWING their audience and what they like. Because the combination of celebs from TV, movies, music, etc along with sports stars is brilliant and it works. I love it...

OK, so that is my early morning two cents worth on Sports TV, hoped you enjoyed it!


Win/Win


Nightfall on the lake....it's cold again, much like it should be this time of year but since we have had such amazingly warm weather, most of us are spoiled.  I still enjoy it even though with the brisk wind that has accompanied it the last 3 days it could be almost nasty.

Well tomorrow is another milestone day with a big job interview for K-Sue at 10am plus her new Temp job is 4-10 hour days, Monday - Thursday so she had the day available. It will be nice having her around. We almost have her moved into the new place and that is another situation where things could NOT have worked out any better realistically. She lives 3 houses away and has a marvelous room, her own bathroom, run of the entire house/yard, access to the lake/paddle boat                                                                                                                                                                                               and even her own parking space in the garage...too freaking cool!

It will be a great situation for everyone involved...a true win/win and that is rare.

I actually don't think there will even be any real negative separation emotion...no we both definitely "GET" that this whole series of events and situations is the work of something greater then logic can explain or account for. Too much has happened in such a brief period of time...it isn't coincidence...no way, no how.

I have complained recently, perhaps even here on the SHOCK that it never seems like Kim has never really gotten one of life's big breaks...I  honestly think it has finally just happened here in the last few weeks!

Georgia continues to shoot itself in the foot

The University of Georgia is the middle of shooting itself in the foot in some style.

Despite avoiding Alabama, LSU and Arkansas in their 2012 SEC schedule, the Bulldogs seem to be confronting something bigger than that: themselves.

Their own actions has managed to shred their own defensive backs unit, and it seems to get worse and worse.

First of all, starting corners Sanders Commings and Branden Smith got themselves in trouble. Commings is out for two games for violating team rules - which included battery charges after getting in trouble with a girlfriend in late January, while Smith got busted for marijuana possession during Spring Break.

And then comes the real boot to UGA's big, foaming chops: the suspension of starting, All-American safety Bacarri Rambo for failing a drugs test. He'll get four games.

Rambo's coach Alan Ingram told ESPN: "Bacarri went down to Panama City Beach with some friends," Ingram said. "One of the nights he went to bed before they did. He got up the next morning, was hungry and found some brownies on the table. He had some with some milk and told me, 'I got high.' The other guys got up and told him that the brownies were not for him. Apparently they were laced with marijuana."


"He was devastated," Ingram said. "Bacarri said, 'If I turn myself in, it is a four-game suspension. I don't want to let everyone down.' He wanted to go to (Georgia coach) Mark Richt and turn himself in, but he decided not to. He said, 'We'll roll the dice and see what happens.' "


He failed a drugs test when he was back in Athens.

Although we're not sure what will happen to Rambo's case, we would hope that - and if the story's true- that he will see his suspension cut from four to two games.

The VFA has got one question about the whole incident: Why on earth did he decide not to turn himself in. Surely that would have probably been the honest thing to do, and more's the case, helped him avoid a long suspension? Now, there's going to be a problem for his team, and further down the line, with NFL staff looking to see if they want to draft him.

Richt himself has refused to comment on anything until the process is done, preferring to concentrate on Spring Football. Which is going to be pretty easy going for Georgia QB Aaron Murray, with no-one in the secondary to stop him.

Here's some highlights of Rambo and his awesome defense.








Me Own Skin...


In a post written yesterday, I mention in the second to last paragraph that I am just now getting used  to being part of a "team", a partnership with K my significant other.  For the last 6 years I have gotten used to just being myself, learning to be me. To a certain extant, to survive as a "functional alcoholic", you become an actor of sorts...living out this lie that you have everything under control. When the reality is, you do not...everything is absolutely spinning out of control!


So after finding recovery, getting clean, changing many if not all of the major aspects of my behavior and lifestyle...I had to face the strange reality that I didn't truly have a clue who I really was. So I needed every  bit of that time before I committed to a relationship last May to learn to live on my own, get used to living in my own skin, to just be me, no pretending, acting or lying...just be real and be myself. And along the way I made a remarkable discovery: I actually got to find out who I truly was...for the very first time in my life. 


And I am learning this remarkable lesson, of who and what I really am...for the first time in my life...at nearly 50 YEARS OF AGE! Talk about feeling like a fish out of water sometimes! And I will be the first to admit...to borrow a line from the Grateful Dead Song "Truckin'": 'What a long strange trip it's been". To put it mildly!


But that is what is beautiful about this whole surrendering my life, admitting defeat and starting over by following a spiritual way of living: I am experiencing a complete re-birth in all aspects of my being: Physical, Emotional, Psychological and finally...ultimately Spiritual.  


Sure, there have been and will continue to be growing pains but frankly they don't really trouble me much...I've truly come to embrace living a new way. It's an over-simplification but what it really comes down to basically is living a life based on the positive over the negative...yes, in a way it's really Good verses Evil. 


And now, because I have slowly but surely embraced a whole new way of living, one that is NOT based entirely on SELF...I am in a position where I can share my life with another human being. I am ready (ready as I'll ever be, I suppose) to commit to a relationship fully. And though I was extremely nervous about that prospect at first (just ask Kim, she thought I'd never be ready to be in a relationship other then friends!) I have come to truly embrace it, to nurture, accept and grow with it.


And that has resulted in a changed life, a change so drastic and amazing that I never could have even imagined back in the dark days of just trying to hold life together while everything was in reality, falling completely apart. 


I know this is the part that makes a lot of folks cringe...and it made me cringe as well but it is my relationship with GOD that makes it all possible. My spiritual life, my connection to GOD is the glue that literally holds my life, all of it, every single aspect of it together. It is the only thing that completes me...it was the missing link in my life all along. 


And it is hard to explain exactly why that is but you just know it in your heart...and I did too. I knew it right away, from the moment I accepted the Lord as my Savior, committing my life to HIM and HIS Spirit filled me. Only then was I able to truly renounce the life lived "ONLY FOR SELF" that I had been living all those years. And that has made everything else going on with me today...including my relationship with Kim...possible. 


It's funny but my personal spirituality is still a difficult subject for me to discuss...even today. My fear, resentment, prejudice and yes, even hatred of Christianity was so deep seated, so ingrained in me that it literally took the prospect of DEATH to get me to give it a chance. Yep, it almost came down to the fact that I was willing to die rather then accept Christ...that is how sick I truly was.


But once the choice was made...my life got a whole lot simpler...NOT easier mind you but a lot less complex. I just followed God and the rest of the stuff has eventually worked itself out through persistence and living this brand new life of mine based on OTHERS and not SELF. I know... wouldn't have...I didn't, believe it myself....but the proof is in the puddin', as they say. For the first time EVER, I am comfortable living in "me own skin" as they say...and I really like being me...just ME.                                                        

two years in the making, fruition at last!

today our banner project became not only a plan and a vision, but a reality. after two years of planning and weeks of creating and working with the sign company and city, it has at last been installed: the ballet company's 30x60 banners hang beautifully around the downtown area. here are four of the five, the fifth will need to be photographed once the rain stops. really, i am tickled pink...



thank you Julee Herrmann for these two shots!!

Bits...Pieces & Such




Well...I'm not sure how my Bud's fared with their Mega Millions Lotto tickets but I'm not 400 million dollars richer this morning! It looks like NOBODY hit the jackpot last night so it is up to nearly 500 million dollars (and should exceed that easily by drawing time!) by Friday evening. That is a dollar figure that simply boggles the mind for a single winner.


Well...it's fun to dream and think of all the endless possibilities one would have but the reality is it's not happening. Unfortunately some folks live in a dream world and really believe that the Lottery is going to solve all their problems. Uh..not happening people....time to get back to the real world...


Well, we have had a shift in the weather here in lower Michigan back to typical Spring weather, cool and wet. But so far Spring has really been a welcome change in our weather reality.


I have mentioned that I am usually not one who feels their mood fluctuate much because of the weather. I don't find myself getting bummed out more during the long, dark and grey days of winter. I don't crave endless days of Sun and as a matter of fact I rather enjoy the variety of experiencing all 4 seasons in their full glory.


That being said I must confess that I am not as hard core in my feelings about that as I used to be. I have given some thought to the idea of spending winter in a warmer place where snow removal isn't such a priority...because let's face it, it is getting harder and harder for me physically to get around, clear the snow and do other things like I used to. Plus the bitter, cold air does see to impact me more negatively then it used to...basically causing me much pain, basically all over my body but particularly in my back, hips, shoulders, feet and knees.


But there is still much time before those kind of decisions have to be made and plus...I am no longer making decisions as a single entity...I am a "team"  of two from now on and that is exciting. So we need to find where Kim's employment leads and follow that trail for now. 


We really have been fortunate with all the opportunities for interviews she has had and for her current temporary position....it's been an awesome set of circumstances and one that I'll admit, has tried MY faith more then a little bit. But we are making progress and we are excited to see where this leads so we take another step forward today in this journey toward a brand new life together.





Busy Day

Today started out with a sleep in, sort of. I woke up and looked at the batteries, they needed charging. Against my usual ways, I went to start the motor to charge the batteries. It cranked over, but didn't start. Oh no, not again. I went through the fuel system checks, no help. Frustrated I got the manual (by now it is in easy access), next thing it said to check was the fuel stop mechanism, this has gone before, I felt like an idiot. The spring that holds it back has lost it's sprung, so I zap strapped it a little further away. Turned the key, and vrooom, she started right up. One idea I wanted to try out was to charge the batteries a bit in the morning, to get the juices flowing, so when the solar panels got going they would be charging faster. I think it worked, but maybe it was just sunny today. I was really happy to see 70 amp hrs of charge today for only an hour and a half running the motor.

The reason I stopped running the motor so soon, was our youthful neighbours were going to go snorkeling this afternoon, and we had stuff to do before that. We got into Alicetown and mailed off the old wifi part, picked up a jug of Diesel (not that we need it, but Jennie feels better having it on board. I recon we still have about 40 gallons of fuel maybe more. We did that and found a working payphone to make a call. This might sound easy in a place with phone booths everywhere, but none of the phones work. We got our jug of fuel and headed back to the boat.

Jennie had to go into the marina (which is only a few hundred yards away) to do something, so I suggested she go on her own and practice her dinghy starting and maneuvering. When she came back she took Dex for a little rip, and as she got close Dex tried to leap on the boat. He didn't quite make it. Splashing around, she reached for him and pulled the safety stop out of the motor. Luckily she got him and grabbed the boat to.

Next we went out to go snorkelling we don't move so fast in a loaded boat so it took us 45 min both ways, but that isn't too bad because we went to the south tip of South Bimini Island. The snorkelling was awesome, our new gear works great, and the water was oh so warm and clear. I watched some spear fishing, and figure I can do that in the future, with a little practice. On the way back we saw a 5 ft span Eagle Ray leap clear out of the water, amazing to see. black back then white belly and thin tail. There have been a few of these leaping rays lately and they sure are cool.

It was a busy day. One more day for us here in Bimini for our weather window, then across the bank and to the Berry Islands. Time for a rest.
No Dex it's too far!!!

Is Ryan Tannehill REALLY a Top 10 Draft Pick?

Texas A&M has an amazing fanbase. For years, they've struggled through thick and thin (mostly thin), pretty consistently living in their most hated rival's shadow (heck, even on the final game of the storied rivalry they managed to lose in heartbreaking fashion), and generally been thought of one of the lovely - but nevertheless distinctly non-elite - part of the Big XII.

The rabid fanbase is going to be the conference with the most rabid of rabid fanbases - the SEC.

They are widely expected to finish fifth in their class in the SEC West, and could well finish even worse than that (we think they'll beat Mississippi State and Ole Miss, but lose to Bama, Auburn, LSU and their 'new' rival, Arkansas).

Leaving them is the best quarterback they've seen in years - Ryan Tannehill.

Tannehill leaves with a lot of nice things to say about him. He threw for 3,744 yards and 29 touchdowns for the Aggies in a season where the offense promised and delivered much but the defence delivered nothing game in, game out.

Some of this performances were indeed impressive, highlighted by a 415 yard, 6 touchdown explosion against Baylor. Heck, he threw 379 yards and 2 touchdowns on 'The Sharks' (Oklahoma's 'famed' secondary), which was pretty good.

But despite having Cyrus Gray, the A&M offense was BUILT for Tannehill. Tannehill had a completion rate of 61% (327 completion for 521 attempts), a quarterback rating of 133.2, mostly because Texas A&M couldn't stop anybody for prolonged periods of time, meaning that he was seemingly always in the huddle.

But analyse this: Tannehill also had 15 interceptions. Hey - that's not bad for a college quarterback, but NINE of them were in A&M's biggest games - Texas, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. The Aggies, who were at home for 2 out of 3 of those games, went 0-3 in the process. And particularly in the Texas game, Tannehill looked at sea against better defenses.

And as the NFL Network said in their article- there are too many question marks for him to be in a Top 10 pick. Jeez, for me there are too many question marks for Ryan Tannehill to be a Top 20 one.

For me, Tannehill's not experienced enough (2011 was his first full season (he came into the throes in the KU win in 2010, which was midway through the season) behind the huddle. He's not the world's best leader (great leaders get their teams over humps like the game against Oklahoma State and Texas) - and can he really command the respect in the locker room?

And the last thing is about his arm. While people think it's 'nearly elite', my argument is that there are better QBs out there: And one of them's Brandon Weeden, the best quarterback to come out of Oklahoma State for years.

NFL scouts seem to think that the fact that Weeden's five years older than the other kids coming out (he spent a rather fruitless time trying to become a MLB player), means he'll have be too long in the tooth to have too longer shelf life. For me, that's experience, and a good QB with a great arm (which Weeden owns - he broke every passing record at Oklahoma State last year) can survive until he's mid-30s  - at least. Sure, there might be a kink in Weeden's delivery, but time spent with a coach and a team of good safeties can sort them out.

Seriously NFL coaches: take Weeden, not Tannehill.

Here's Weeden's highlights....


Dream A Little...er, REALLY BIG Dream!

Mega Millions Logo
I was reading one of my Fav Blogs a little while ago, Christine Macdonald and she wrote a post called: "I'd buy that for a dollar" about the recent Mega Millions lotto being nearly $400,000,000...that's an awful lot of zero's folks!! 


I have to admit, that when it gets like that, I let myself dream too and i'll buy $5 worth of tickets.I wouldn't even know where to begin if by some miracle I hit into that kind of $$$. But I'd be thankful that it was happening now when I am fairly certain I would spend millions on charity instead of cocaine and other nasty little evils! Back then...during my using days...I'd be dead in a week! No doubt about it...


Ever wonder what you would do? These days I don't ever really even let my mond go there but I suppose I do a lot of cool stuff to help others...addicts, homeless, the hungry, Cancer...are just some of the causes near and dear to my heart.Certainly education...it's just that even if Uncle Sam would take half of 400 Million that still leaves an incredible amount of money left though I am under no illusions...you can peter even THAT kind of money away if you are foolish with it.


Plus...just think how many "friends" you would have?! Oh man what a hassle that would be...everybody would want a piece of the pie.


Oh well, I was just kicking the ideas around after reading Christine's post. And speaking of Christine...if you have not had a chance to visit her Blog (link above) please do so...it's fantastic and a fascinating story of growing up a Stripper in Waikiki and how she eventually got out of that life. I highly recommend it...

Bottom Line...It WORKS!



I have to be honest and share here that I do have moments where I really wonder whether I can be part of a "partnership"...in other words a relationship ...specifically a marriage relationship. Not because I have any doubts about K but because I have doubts about myself. I still feel like the same  flawed, selfish person I was and there are times I wonder if I can truly progress to a point where I can be a healthy partner.


Then there are other moments where I know it is what I really desire and I feel really good about the commitment and am looking forward to taking that "next step"...this time for all the right reasons: Because I am truly in love and want to share my life with Kim, because I feel the Creator has led me to this place and really blessed this relationship. There have already been many occurrences where I've felt that this was truly "meant to be" and I believe that comes from God.


Ultimately whenever I have felt these moments of doubt I don't sweat them too much...they tend to work themselves out. I keep doing the things I have done over the last several years to continue to grow in my faith, my recovery and that all naturally impacts my life in general in a very positive way.


I will say that I have taken a close look at my motives for even being in a romantic relationship. New readers might not know or realize that even though i have known Kim well over 7 years, we have only been in a serious boyfriend/girlfriend relationship since June of last year...so not even a year. And though this may come across as "too much information" for some (IE: my kids...you've been warned!), Kim and I have been celibate...no sex for all those years.


I think a lot of that came from our (definitely MY) reluctance in years past to complicate our recovery...I  know that was my choice. When I committed myself to recovery, when I finally surrendered..I was "ALL IN"...I was desperate and didn't want ANYTHING to screw up my sobriety. I was going to do whatever it took and even though I truly valued my relationship with Kim, my recovery...which I saw as MY LIFE, CAME FIRST.


That was really the only way I could approach it and have any reasonable chance of making it...I had to put everything I had into staying sober first and I just would have to trust that the rest might come later. Well it did, of course but even I didn't think it would be 6 years before I felt comfortable to be in a committed relationship.


But it turns out that I had a ton of work to do...just being honest with myself I knew that I had to get my life in order. I had to fully admit to what I was: an addict/alcoholic and know in my heart that i was powerless over my addiction, I could NOT change that fact on my own.


Then I had to commit spiritually to someone or something greater, more powerful then I. Ultimately for me that turned out to be GOD. Then I could commence cleaning up the wreckage from my past and begin to understand some of my character defects and behavior that went hand in hand with my alcoholism.


This really was hard stuff to do, getting honest with myself, facing some really unpleasant realities about me then ultimately accepting them, sharing them with another person and God. Then I could go about REALLY saying I was sorry to the people I hurt...I could truly make amends...which was saying I was responsible, accepting that and apologizing for it. That was a real spiritual experience for me...God really was at work in me and I could feel it. 


There were people I had hurt, who I had repeatedly lied to that I had no real reason to believe me or forgive me...but they did and that was the true spiritual experience of making amends...years of guilt and shame melted away and I could feel human again.


At that point an new life could truly begin, based of spiritual living and service to others. Some folks disagree with this approach to recovery and that's OK...but it saved my life...and more, much more. It gave me an approach to living based on service and caring for others that has rewarded me in SO many ways that I can't even begin to describe how amazing life is today. 


Sure...there are difficulties...life can be hard and recovery doesn't change that but it helps me live through the tough parts and truly has helped me connect to God and THAT has made the difference. This process will continue until the day I die...I will always be growing and progressing...one day at a time. And that is the beauty of it...just keep going each day.


And that ultimately is why I believe my relationship with Kim fits so well into my life. We compliment each other in recovery and in every day life...it works. I am so grateful for that...and for her.







Relying on one another

As mothers, we learn to lean on each other when we need help. It is only natural to ask...How can I ease your load? If I'm there, I will help. If it is anywhere nearby, I will offer. Today was such a day. In the end, it meant friend Q did not need for her daughter to ride her bike miles across town to get to the same class we would attend. I could take her, no questions asked. Her and her daughter's response, per a text before bed? 
Daughter K: "I love Mrs. Hamilton! Doesn't everyone?"
Friend Q: "I do!", 'I replied enthusiastically.'
Well. This particular Friend Q and Daughter K are very near to my heart.  It all comes down to this. Serve one another. Help one another. Support one another. You'll get it back.
Kerri 


My Complex Life!



Man it's getting kind of late and I have had one of those days that for no real reason I can think of just hasn't felt very rewarding or productive though I had quite a bit going on and accomplished what I needed to for today. 


I really think that in the back of my mind or deep in my sub-conscious, I still crave that adrenaline I used to get from such a chaotic lifestyle and that perhaps I was even somewhat attracted or addicted to the pain and distress it caused. Yea...this is one of those subjects or comments that only an addict/alcoholic would have a chance at relating to or understanding because let's face it: the basic idea of it is NUTS! You would have had to experience it...to understand it.


I'll admit it...but I think there was something about the unpredictable partying, where you didn't know where you were going to end up at the end of the night or know what you'd be doing...well other then drinking and drugging quite HARD.


I think that is why I occasionally have these "sinking spells" as my Grandmother would call them...I think what they really are is some funky little form of The Black Dog...in other  words: Depression. I can get down a little bit, probably from that feeling in the back of my mind where I think I miss the excitement from that past life. But to do so I conveniently forget the real trouble, pain and heartache and just recall the fun stuff or at least the goofy, sloppy, hot summer beer drinking fun and forget how awful I really felt inside!


Now that I can put it in perspective today...that sort of thing does not really bother as much as it did but there are rare times like tonight, where life just feels less satisfying then I want it to be. That I know now is a fluke and I just let 'er pass on by.


In all honesty...the biggest issue tonight is my phone App  for Golf Logix Golf GPS isn't working right for my golf course of choice and I am bummed because it's worthless for me at this point.  So what do I do, get another App? See how terribly difficult and complex my life has gotten, jeez....what a man to do!!

Curve Ball! So What ELSE is New?



The Job interview for Kimmi was postponed due to the
fact that the guy doing the interviewing didn't show up for work today because he called in sick. Nobody thought to give the three applicants interviewing a "heads up" so they all showed up...so once again there was a SNAFU related to a job interview for Kim. She has experienced more of this Mickey-Mouse un-professionalism during this recent job search then I can believe, there really has been an unusual amount of strange circumstances, issues and cancellations. Sure stuff happens once in awhile...this is the third time she has had a major, scheduled interview with a national firm and they have forgotten her appointment, cancelled with out communication or changed the time AFTER she had arrived...it seems really screwy to me.

Thats all I'm going to say about it because it sent me into a funk that I really don't understand...I suppose its just a bit 'o the Black Dog wagging it's tail a bit and me feeling a bit work down. I can just be wired way too tightly for this kind of life, and I do miss the intensity of living life on the fly. This domestic stuff would be OK if people and companies kept their commitments and communicated effectively. But I have to accept this is the way it is and move on. EVENTUALLY something HAS to give...I would think.

So we wait for Friday for that Interview and she starts a new Temp position tomorrow and it sounds like a winner so we'll let her ride and see what happens. Maybe this is the spot....I think it is just a case where it is easy to start getting burned out on the time frame, the repeated changes and rejections...to her credit K is doing much better being patient and accepting the fact that it takes time and stuff is going to happen.

Anyway...we shall see and I will practice at turning it over and taking things as they come, typically One Day At A Time!

Danny O'Brien Saga: Will He Come to Penn State?

The Danny O'Brien saga is almost coming to a head, with three schools basically in it: Penn State, Wisconsin, and Ole Miss.

Now Penn State's got a former NFL offensive co-ordinator to run the team (and the offense), Penn State's looking in good shape to get the former University of Maryland standout. O'Brien's telling reporters positive things like:

Danny O'Brien said Penn State has a great program and this would be a great opportunity for him.

And he's looking alright, too wearing a Penn State jacket to practice. It's his second Penn State visit. He came to Happy Valley first before going to Ole Miss (I'm sure he liked what he saw there, by damn!) and Wisconsin (which may well have made him 'Jump Around'.

We've got some comments:

1)Danny O'Brien would never slaughter  a program and say: "I came to practice and I know I wouldn't get in ahead of that brilliant QB Matt McGloin, who's never made a terrible throw in his life".

2) O'Brien's probably wearing the PSU jacket for practice in the same way as he probably wore a Wisconsin jacket for a Wisconsin practice - it helped him try and imagine what it would be like playing there.

Let's have a quick look at Wisconsin: Wisconsin brings back SIX returning starters to the offence, which includes Heisman Trophy nominee Montee Ball, tight end Jacob Pedersen, and wide receiver Jared Abbrederis. Not only that, but they also bring back two starting offensive linesman, and you can be guaranteed that Bret Bielma's got another massive crop this year as well, which will help Ball. Heck, if Wiscy hadn't lost to two Hail Marys, they might have been playing for a National Title rather than Oregon, where they lost to a school with beautiful cheerleaders and a offense full of Olympic sprinters. Plus, Bielma's proven what he can do with proven starters who have transferred in - check out Russell Martin's performances last year.
Oh, and Wisconsin also stomped PSU last year, en route to a Rose Bowl.

Look, we'd love Danny O'Brien to come to Penn State. Penn State's offense might not splutter in the red zone as much (blame the offensive line as much as you want - Matt McGloin missed plenty of open opportunities there too!) as much. Silas Redd could be even more of a running threat - especially with having O'Brien at QB, defenses will become more careful with him.

But we think it's unlikely. We think he'll go to Wisconsin. But don't get us wrong, we want to be wrong on this.

Postscript: Danny O'Brien announced Wednesday that he was indeed transferring to the Wisconsin Badgers.

Penn State: Crawford, Smith and Drake could be in trouble

Right, before we start on this, no-one was fomerly arrested after police raided the apartment of former Penn State defensive end Jack Crawford and senior wide receiver Devon Smith and found some drug paraphernalia, but it ain't looking good.

According to a State College.com report: "Around 4 p.m. on March 14, a Residence Life coordinator called Penn State Police to 1102 Nittany Apartments -- the residence of Crawford and Smith, according to the search warrant -- after noticing a damaged window screen on the second floor. Police could not find anyone at home, but entered the residence concerned a burglary might be taking place, Penn State Police Chief Tyrone Parham said.
No burglary was reported, but when police saw drugs in plain sight, a search warrant was obtained, Parham said.
According to the search warrant, police found a grinder still with marijuana in the bottom, ashtrays filled with blunts in the common area, and a scale on one of the night stands in the bedrooms.
Police seized the blunts, stems and other paraphernalia, among other items that included a can of Hurricane malt liquor, a prescription bottle belonging to Curtis Drake that police found under the futon, and a blue towel with buds in a dresser drawer, according to the search warrant."

The players were not charged, but there's still going to be an investigation.

The guys will probably go with the "it's not ours and we have no idea how the drugs got there, because we let friends stay at the apartment over Spring Break" line, and get out of it.

But they might not - and here's what we think will happen:

  • For Smith, it seems obvious that he'll get kicked off the team, losing Penn State a much-needed wide receiver to try and haul in [add quarterback's name here]'s high and aimless balls. 
  • Curtis Drake could quite easily go with the "I gave them the pills because one of them said they were in absolute agony so I wanted to help a team-mate out". Drake may well survive this, but expect Penn State's new cornerback  (which - if he stays there- gives PSU a good cornerback threat that they haven't had for years) to miss 2-4 games.
  • And for Crawford? If he's not charged, the NFL Scouts will suddenly look down on this sort. It'll be damaging to his reputation with the NFL teams that questioned him during the Combine (see my article for Sky Sports here). It could even see him drop down places into the sixth round (he's projected fifth but personally we see him in the 2-5 range (yes, we know that's quite a range). If Crawford is charged, this could be a lot, lot worse for him. Crawford is still on a student visa, which could mean that the authorities rescind that visa, meaning that he can't come back into the country to play in the NFL. He'll suddenly have nothing but London to go back to. It's frightening thinking.
And after all that's happened at State College in the last year, we have one question: What in the heck were they playing at?

We can only hope this goes away. But in the case of drugs charges and college athletes, it doesn't seem so.





Toss a Coin

Last night we moved off the dock and to the other side of the marina where they have dredged a nice anchorage, which will soon probably be more docks. For now we enjoy plenty of depth, and good holding.

One of our neighbours in our little anchorage is another young cruising "couple" "aquaintance" anyways a young guy and girl on a 27ft alberg. Their gypsy ways deffenitly put cruising in context. He bough his boat for $500, and plans to sail to his soon to be new home in Luperon Dominican Republic. He even loaded up on small outboards to get his mechanics business off the ground when he gets there. So for those of you who ask what it costs to go cruising, I definately depends on the luxuries you require.

So last night we moved off the dock, onto the hook, in plans of an early morning start on crossing the Grand Bahama Bank. When we woke the wind was not from the west, but the north which meant it would soon be from the east, probably by the time we would be exiting the bank, and that wouldn't be good. The weatherman had added an extra day of good weather..oops. So we decided to stay, catch up on some recreation and boat organizing. Tentatively we will probably be heading out Thursday morning now, no biggie, it's still pretty nice here... Just kidding it's very nice!

So today we went for an excursion. we got the dinghy set up better for having fun, and headed out to check out the north island. What a wonderfully sunny day. We tried to get into the "Healing Hole", unfortuantely we timed the tides wrong, and would have had to hiked in in deep water. We went to the north east side and hung out on the beach for lunch, we saw lots of sting rays, baracudas, and even turtles. Dexter had tons of fun, and even started chewing a tree, some habits never die. We also took a pic of an Eagle Ray. Actually Jennie also saw one leap out of the water yeaterday. They glide across the water and have really cool yellow dots on them.

As promissed, pics.

 Beautiful sunsets

 Dexter's new position on the dinghy

 Chest deep water, that looks inches deep



It's TIME!


I don't know whether to allow myself to get a bit excited about today or take my usual tack and expect the worst...today K has an interview with one of the best companies in the country to work for...I'm not kidding. It is definitely one of this area's premier employers and the simple fact that she is getting an interview is an accomplishment but hey...it's NOT enough.

She wants and deserves more so off she goes to another interview. And she has gone to quite a few in the 6-8 weeks she has been at this. She also has a great Temp job in the interim. I just support her the best I can but it's hard because I want the best for her and I can be tough.
I interviewed and hired people for production jobs for the better part of a decade so I tend to think I know what to do.

Honestly the best thing I can do is let her be...oh yea...say a prayer. If you aren't busy this morning at 9a ET, perhaps you could think of my Kimmi and say a little prayer...it's time, it's her time.

The Rolling Stones: 'wild, exciting white boys'

I'm pretty sure that this was the earliest national coverage the Stones ever received, in Record Mirror of May 11th 1963. It was written by Norman Jopling, who also gave the Beatles some of their most important early publicity, and is unusual for being about a band that had not yet released a record (their first 45, Come On, appeared in June). Amongst its interesting aspects are the credit for Ian Stewart as a full member of the band, the description of Brian Jones as 'spokesman and leader of the group', and the acknowledgment of the Beatles' respect for them. It also makes a tantalising reference to a 20-minute film of the sextet in action, produced by their then-manager Giorgio Gomelsky. Andrew Oldham, of course, was not yet in the picture...

Non Angst Sunday (Routine?)


Yes folks I am shallow enough AND enough of a golf fan to (somewhat) plan my day around Tiger Wood's playing in the final round of a golf tournament with a darn good chance to finally win for the first time on the PGA Tour in something like 2 years.

This may be difficult for some folks to understand but I judge the quality of my life and recovery on the fact that I have time and a place in my busy, easily disturbed/distracted mind for such frivolousness. In other words I'm not stressing or worrying about anything else and that is a fantastic sign. There is room in my life today for....FUN. For not having to take each day as a struggle to survive. That peace of mind has come after a long time of struggle, soul-searching and a make or break (read life or death) spiritual quest.

I know folks will not understand but I could never lighten up...sure when I was drinking, I didn't (seem) to have a care in the world but honestly, those worries...that stress was NEVER far away. It was always in the shadows, just around the corner...lurking in the dark corners of my mind...haunting me. I knew I was in trouble and I knew I couldn't out run it or make it go away.

Nobody did "trouble" as well as me,` with a big 'ole (fake) smile and a boisterous act that life was to be lived hard, until the last light goes dim...in my case and others...until I ultimately was dead.

So today, with it's morning drive to Hillsdale to keep a commitment to a friend and this afternoons planning around golf on TV...it shows that life indeed has settled into routine and a lark, both quite welcome really. So I'll enjoy the day and I most certainly hope you my friends do as well...

The FUTURE is The KEY That Unlocks The Agony


A long, cool and rather DAMP Saturday...one of those busy running errands and getting chores done. It was a good day.  It is exciting because this past week has been filled with some really good news and thought there is a set back in relation to Kim seeing her daughter, her job situation and her living  needs are being met is nothing short of spectacular fashion.

We will still need a bit of time to get this all sorted out . But we will and we are simply thrilled...it's truly been a blessing coming at at a time when we never expected it. Kim really has earned this with her faith, hard work and perseverance. She received NO support from home and family, quite frankly their behavior on the whole was despicable, abusive and honestly their use of a child against her own mother is one of the sickest intentional acts of attempted extortion and manipulation I have not only ever seen but even HEARD of. I don't know how they sleep. Of course this was surpassed only by the even worst behavior by her X. Their behavior is criminal in my mind, certainly emotionally and psychologically if not physically by the lies she is being told.

All we can do is document, report and prepare...that is what this is all about...the future and age of consent. Remember those 3 words...                                                                                                                              

'