Old Timer’s and Hero’s and Week 41

Last Saturday night I went to the AA Pioneer dinner with some like minded friends. Geoff, Ryan and I drove together and we would meet others there.With Geoff driving and Ryan attempting to navigate through heavy Calgary traffic with his iPhone map app. After re-routing ourselves to dodge the heavy traffic going to the football game we got where we were going. There were 10-12 people from the McKenzie Group. I always feel good when I see my home group represent so well at these types of functions.

The tables were all filled when we got there so Geoff and Ryan ended up sitting with one of the night’s speakers and I sat at a table with a couple of McKenzie people and Andy C. and his wife and Jim S. I’ve known Andy only about a year and I really like the guy. And he was decked out in his kilt! We also had Jim S. at our table. I believe Jim has the longest term sobriety in Calgary with 63 years’ sobriety! He sobered up and joined AA in 1953 and hasn’t drank again. This is very impressive. I’m impressed not only by the amount of time Jim has got but by how much he gives back to the fellowship and the members of the fellowship. He’s well into his 80’s and still shows up at all the social functions and has time to talk to anyone who wants to chat.  I will take a wild guess and say that Jim is probably in the top 5 or 6 soberest people in Canada. Maybe North America. Between starting to drink on one end and dying on the other end it’s awful difficult to put in 63 years of sobriety. Jim’s inspiring, as are all the old timers and proof that you never have to drink or use again.

The night was great. We heard some great stories from the old-timers Moe and later, Stella and we had a lot of laughs throughout the night. It’s always a time well spent hanging out with my friends from the McKenzie Group no matter what we’re doing but Saturday did provide some great conversations and laughter.

 

My big brother’s birthday was on Tuesday the 17th. He would have been 70 this year. Burke passed away 10 years ago from cancer. It’s hard to grasp that he’s been gone this long. Some moments it doesn’t seem like he’s been gone long at all and other moments I know he has been gone far too long. Burke was also a member of the 12 step fellowship I am in and when he passed he had 34 years of sobriety. He was my inspiration to get help stopping drinking. I miss him more than I am able to explain. He was my hero.

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My favorite picture of my brother,Burke Cullen

 

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My brother Burke ,about 45 days before he passed on                                                 L to R is Debbie,Susan,Me,Nancy,Mother and MJ

 

 

 

The song this week is one of my favorites from Kris Kristofferson and it’s titled Here to Forever

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Kristofferson

 

One of the best spin offs about the quote of the week is I almost always post a wiki page or a biography.com page about the person and I get to read and learn more about the person I select for the quote

The quote this week is from Richard Branson and it’s as follows:

Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again”

 

Thanks for dropping by and having a read. I appreciate your time…….I will not be posting next week but will be back the week after….take care

Vegas,Vigor and Week 41

Lori and I just got back from Vegas Tuesday afternoon and we enjoyed 5 days in the sun and heat. It was over 30 C every day we were there, while back in Calgary it was below 0 and snowing. The trip was planned around the ZZ Top / Greg Allman concert at Palms Casino but unfortunately Greg Allman was hospitalized for pneumonia and was not able to make it. We had seen ZZ Top before and this time I really had hoped to catch Allman. But that did not get in the way of a great concert. Kenny Wayne Shepherd filled in for Greg Allman and he and his band did not disappoint! I never knew he was this good. Of course ZZ Top was in ZZ Top form and they put on a great show like they always do. Four decades with the same 3 guys and the same 3 chords. Rock and Roll hall of famer, Billy Gibbons says his band has just two rules; no drinking during the gospel songs and we don’t play gospel songs. It was a great night and the concert was held in the Pearl Theater which is a top rate, intimate venue.

When I bought the tickets I had no idea the concert was the same weekend as Thanksgiving and had I known we would have stayed home to celebrate Thanksgiving with our family.

We had a great time in Vegas though. We took in the concert, two Cirque du Soleil shows, some nice dinners including one at Gordon Ramsay’s Steak at the Paris Casino. We spent an evening down on Fremont Street which was full of street entertainment and surprises. Everyone goes to Vegas to have fun and it’s easy to feel that vibe on the streets. Yes, it can get a bit wild and outrageous but we never saw any trouble. I think this is indicative of the reason most people are in Vegas and that is to have fun. Vegas is a city of fun. There’s lots of action and neon and sounds and most nights the streets are packed until the early morning hours. You can’t use foot traffic to gauge the difference between a Saturday night and a Sunday night; they’re just the same in Vegas.

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Fremont Street

Most of you know I don’t drink but I can assure you that you don’t have to drink to have fun in Vegas!! I have more than enough fun when I am there and I find so much to do. There is something for everyone in Vegas so whether you drink or don’t drink there’s always something to do.

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Me in front of the Venetian

My wife has a really nice habit when we’re on vacation. She makes sure that no food is left behind on our plates. Like any city, Vegas has homeless people and they tend to hang out downtown, where the action is and they can panhandle. Lori get’s extra food packaged up to go and always find someone in need, to give it to. On Monday we went to Denny’s for breakfast and had the bacon, eggs and pancakes. Lori ate her pancakes and had her toast, scrambled eggs, bacon packaged on a go plate and she got the server to bring napkins, plastic utensils and she got her orange juice in a go cup. We left Denny’s and within a short walk from the restaurant she found someone not only in need but expressed how hungry he was and he was very grateful for the food. Some of these homeless people, like every city, are suffering from addictions and many are just really down on their luck. We have so much. It never hurts to buy an extra breakfast.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend; we sure did!

 

 

I believe one of the factors that contributed to my having such a nice vacation was the news I received while waiting for my luggage at the Las Vegas airport. My buddy Dale contacted me to let me know that our dear friend, Terry Primeau, had passed on from a heart attack the day before.Terry always lived life at full volume,was kind and generous and enjoyed everything he did or he didn’t do it.I remembered how Terry lived, and while I was in Vegas I know he would have told me to live loud! I tried Terry. Terry lived in Perth and was on his usual morning walk on the beach and it was on the beach that he was found. We had met Terry in college and had struck a friendship immediately. We lost a good friend and a really great guy. Full of wit and humor and vigor for life. He will be sorely missed by myself, and all his friends back here in Calgary.

 

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Terry Primeau and his wife

There’s a quote from Brendon Burchard that I like for my buddy Terry’s life.

At the end of our lives we will all ask “Did I live? Did I love? Did I matter?”

Terry could have answered yes, yes and yes!

 

PRIMEAU (Terrence): 
Born 19th July 1959, Calgary, Canada. Raised in Virden, Manitoba. Passed away 6th October 2016, Perth, Western Australia. Engineering saw Terry travel the world over, but he chose to settle down in Perth and eventually married. Terry strove to magnificent heights in business and was proud to build a successful public company.
One of his passions were the many fishing trips he went on with his brother, brother-in-law and nephew Another was to show Australia to his Canadian family.
Terry loved his family wholeheartedly. He leaves behind his wife of 10 years, daughter, family and friends. Terry will always be remembered for his selflessness and joie de vivre.
Gone but never forgotten. Rest in Peace. 

“drilling’s a little flat this week Terry”

RIP my friend

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The Jays open up their best of 7 series against Cleveland on Friday and have most of the baseball fans in Canada cheering them on….Go Jays

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Go Jays Go

 

The song this week is True Lies by Kenny Wayne Shepherd from his album trouble is….

 

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Kenny Wayne Shepherd

 

The quote this week is as follows:

“Sometimes it’s easy to walk by because we know we can’t change someone’s whole life in a single afternoon. But what we fail to realize it that simple kindness can go a long way toward encouraging someone who is stuck in a desolate place.”

Mike Yankoski

 

Thanks for dropping by and I hope you’ll be back next week……

 

 

 

 

“Thy Will Be Done” ,Week 40 and Red Red Wine

 

I heard something in the rooms a long time ago, and now I often like to share it with others; “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans for the day”. I’ve always liked that saying because it reminds me that I am not the one in charge. My Higher Power is. That leads to this paragraph I would like to share with you from a book that I have read. It’s my reminder to be vigilant of my character defects all day every day.

“As we go through the day we pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action. We constantly remind ourselves we are no longer running the show, humbly saying to ourselves many times each day “Thy will be done.” We are then in much less danger of excitement, fear, anger, worry, self-pity, or foolish decisions. We become much more efficient. We do not tire so easily, for we are not burning up energy foolishly as we did when we were trying to arrange life to suit ourselves.”
Alcoholics Anonymous page 88-89

 

I am pretty pumped about the Blue Jays and all the possibilities ahead for this team after last nights’ win over Baltimore. It was a good game that was tied early and then went to the 11th inning for a walk off home run. Congrats to the Jays. Bring on Texas!

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Edwin Encarnacion

 

The song this week is “Red Red Wine” covered by the band UB40, a great band with an extensive playlist and over 50 hit singles on the UK charts.

 

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The quote this week is something I heard in the rooms of recovery.

“The struggle you’re facing is a test to see if you’re truly committed to the life you say you want”

Thanks for dropping by,I appreciate it and hope you’ll drop in next week………