Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Those questions again

I am currently devoid of original thought.  My muse has departed for the moment, so I'm going to see if you can help get it back.  I actually did this a couple of years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it.

So here's the deal.  My follower "thingy" says that there are 538 people who follow this blog. I think that some of them have departed blogger land and some have departed this life.  I have no idea, short of starting the follower thing over.  But it sure would be nice to see who is lurking out there.  And maybe having an inquisition would be a way to do that.
I have been blogging since 2007.  Maybe it's time to open up and answer any questions that you may have.  You can ask your own curious question here, and I'll answer it.  Maybe there is something that you have been wondering about when you've read my posts.  Maybe there is something about marine science that you've been dying to ask.  Maybe you want to know more about sailing, global warming, or any number of things.

So ask away! It will be fun (I think??) to see what questions you may have.  It's not that I am so interesting, but people do have inquiring minds.

The last time that I did this, I had a give away for the best question.  I'll do this again.  It may be a photo of mine, it may be something local, it may be a book.

So ask away.  Come out of lurkerdom and ask away.  It will be cool to see the questions in the comments, so that others can see what is being asked.  I'll post the questions and answers next Wednesday. The only caveat: I will be respecting Tradition Twelve in my answers.


  1. Syd, I am still following you, but I have not had access to my blog for several months. I think that I finally am back. I can't think of a question, but just wanted you to know that I am still here. You can delete this after you read this.

  2. I have no questions, Syd. You reveal your life and mind and heart here every day and I am fine with that.
    And thanks for doing it.

  3. What got you so involved in the sea? Marine science, sailing, it seems your life is full of wonder and interest. Was there a single event, childhood dream, person, mentor?

  4. First, I want to thank you for sharing on my blog so kindly, Syd.

    Second, I want to thank you for sharing your frustration with the cyber gates to commenting, that I thought we just had to "put up" with.

    I read a blog this morning that made me aware I have a choice. I moderate comments on my blog already, so why do I need TWO illegible "not-words" to frustrate people, that can take more time to navigate than it takes to comment?

    So now, it is "open-sesame" at Smitty's house.

    But you wanted a question, yes? Let me think on it. I never would have guessed you were going through a dry spell in the ideas and writing. You are still as interesting as ever! Thanks for opening up the gates to our ideas..

  5. Ok,Syd. I've got a question for you. What if I haven't yet found a sponsor after being in the program for more than a year? It doesn't bother me as much as it seems to bother the "old timers" in my home group. I am still searching and haven't given up hope of finding someone...just assuming it will take me a little bit longer to find someone who I connect with. I don't want to pick someone just so I can say that I have a sponsor. By the way, I love your blog and I follow it daily. It has helped me tremendously. Thank You.

  6. briefs, boxers, or bare naked??

  7. My question is this, and it is fairly mundane. If you found yourself in a new town without Alanon meetings, how would you go about starting a meeting?

    And if you could start any kind of meeting, would it be a regular one, or something completely different?

    We had a member of our EA group decide to start a group at more convenient time for her: 7:00 in the morning! She made it a meditation meeting!

    Blew my mind, I had never thought that we could do such a thing!

    So Syd, do you like the tried and true, or does this question get you dreaming up anything new?

  8. Hi Syd:
    I was surprised to read that you were recently retired (partly because you look so yoiung). I am considering early retirement at 58 years old and wondered if you are semi-retired and active in your profession.
    I also wondered if you stepped up your recovery program in retirement. I have received advice from some AA friends to WATCH OUT with this whole retirement idea.
    I enjoy reading your post.

  9. I'm a living and still blogging follower, Syd. So, what's your favorite color?

  10. I have a question :) what is the thing you are most proud of in yourself and in your growth, your life etc. and did you grow to be proud of this or was it in you all along.. does that make sense?

  11. I can only think of one question, but it would be inappropriate. ;-)

  12. OK, Syd, I'm coming out of lurking to tell you that your words and encouragement are just what I need somedays. It's not easy for me to share personal stuff or articulate my feelings or experiences. I go to meetings (sometimes) but I don't have a sponsor. I really don't have a particular question other than what it takes to find a sponsor. If I met you in person, I'd give you a big ((((hug)))). ~Sharon in Texas

  13. Hi Syd, I follow your blog almost everyday with my coffee before I delve into my own work day. I would like to say that I follow you for no apparent reason but obviously the things you talk about and the everyday things you go thru really speak to me on different levels. I stumbled across your blog by accident one day while reading my sister-in-law's blog I clicked on "next blog" at the top and it took me to yours. Yours is the only one out of about 4 that I enjoy reading and find is "real". I have a great respect for you as a fellow human being, my thoughts and prays are always with you during trying times, and my heart fills when things are going well. All the best, from the great white north.

  14. I still read everyday but do not post regularly because I still have a hard time organizing my thoughts.

    My question is not worthy of a prize, but something I have always been curious about. Actually I have two:

    1- How old are you?
    2- How did you meet C and how long have you been together. Did you have an elaborate wedding or a simple quiet celebration?

  15. hey, i am still here...

    over the years you may have answered these but...

    how did you meet your wife? at what point did you know she was the one?

    i know at one point you were living in VA and if i recall you were young, but what were you doing here?

  16. Ok, here you go....Syd, I have often wondered if you are someone who is secretly famous. Not like an actor or celebrity....but someone famous in your field.

    You don't have to answer...but just know I am wonderin. lol
    I will also add, famous or not, I am so grateful to have met you here in our blogger world. I appreciate your comments and your perspective. We have very different lives you and I, so its always good for me to hear something from outside my little zone. Bless you Syd. You are famous here in our blogger world. :o)

  17. I follow you but have never commented before. My question is; do you think I will every change my belief that sober people can be very boring at parties? I am worried about this because when I was boozing I thought sober people were boring. Now I'm sober I'm worried that other people think I'm boring.

  18. Three times in one day? Yes.

    Syd, how did you decide on your pen-name?

    And what would you write about if you could write about anything? Would you publish this blog if the right editor approached you?
    Why or why not?

  19. I'm here Syd. I rarely have anything to say that others haven't already said more eloquently.

    I can't think of a question either.

    I hope you are not discouraged by a lack of comments. Your writing is tremendous and a great resource, help and support to all who read it.

    You are one of a very select group of recovery blogs linked on my own blog (which isn't a recovery blog).

  20. Hi Syd,

    I have some questions also; but I KNOW you would yell at me if I asked!

    I find the mundane blogs (yours) very humanly interesting, so you go go go!

    Love and Hugs,
    Anonymous #1

    P.S. I would love to read your replies to the questions ? ? ? ?

  21. Syd, I feel compelled to explain my question, as it is not so serious..

    it has to do with a picture I saw years ago..Wordless Wednesday? or something like that.

    Just sayin' I don't readers to think I'm a pervert (:=)

  22. I've stumbled across your blog in the last week. I've been commited to Alnon for about 8 months although on the fringes for a while longer. Thank you so much for your words and commitment to blogging your honest and variend thoughts. It has really helped take me into a new dimension with the community of alanon. I am London/UK based.

    I am one of those people who don't have a religious concept of God and it can be hard to conceptualise who/what I am surrendering to and yet this is a spiritual programme that only works with the spiritual dimension. I am moving nearer to this by connecting to the local and world wide al anon community. It has been so heartening to really know that people are involved in this all over the place. I feel much more part of a large family with big arms.

    When I came scuttling into alanon again last year I was feeling desparate and remember re-planing my window boxes one particulary awful weekend. I was hanging on and going minute to minute and reviving and re-planting my flowers did feel like a spiritual solace and an act of faith.

    If I have a question it is how do you connect to God? (I wondered if the sea is an element of this?)

  23. Here's my question, Syd?

    How tall are you?

    Yup...that's what I want to know!

  24. No question, but glad you are still around. Sometimes I get too busy with other things, especially Facebook. Seems to me though my real life friends have nothing on those who come around to visit my blogs.


  25. For as long as Ive read you, I don't think Ive ever read the answer to this one: do you ever drink alcohol at all now that C is sober?

  26. Hi Syd: I cannot remember if I have commented on your posts before, but I have been reading you for about 6 - 8 months now. You are from the same area of the country, as I, and if I hadn't made a dramatic leap of faith and moved to the TX Hill Country, I would love to live in the low country like you, and I am from VA, first rural, then the DC area. You seem to have a naturalistic learning style and perspective. I relate to a lot of what you write about. I've been a middle school science teacher.

    so anyhow, why do I read recovery blogs, and especially why do I connect with yours? I am the adult child, 50-some years old now, of alcoholics, married now 30 years, with an opiate addicted son, and some marital problems along the way, which through the grace of God we have come through and reconciled differences.

    I read quite a few blogs, and I see we follow a lot of the same blogs. I like your viewoint, and your perspective and comments make me see why I have some of the reactions I do.

    I don't have a lot of questions, just want you to know I appreciate your writing and sharing. Your faithfulness with your wife and your faithfullness to your marriage speak to me. Thank you for sharing.

    I guess that's not really a question. But thank you for putting yourself out there.

  27. My questions for you are:

    In life/Al-anon whichever you choose, what was the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

    If you could share 1 thing about yourself no one would ever guess about you what would it be?

  28. Syd, I don't have a blog, but I read you regularly. You have so much integrity, and I do feel encouraged by your commitment to live a better life. I also have to admit that while I'm a little jealous of your life at on the shore, I get a vicarious thrill looking at the wonderful pictures you post. Recently, I've related a lot to the posts about C.'s parents, and I always relate to the posts about your animals. Anyway, keep writing--we're out here reading!

  29. Hi Syd,
    I don't think of myself as a lurker, but rather a reader of your blog and the comments it generates. I first found your blog, wanting more information about alanon. I have a family member who has continueing struggles with keeping sober. I can relate to many of your experiences. God bless you for your
    honesty and kindness! Holly

  30. Hi Syd,
    I have been reading your blog for some months now. Your writings have touched me! Your honesty and kindness shine through
    everything you post. I enjoy your
    pictures and also, comments of your
    readers. My question is: How did you decide to call yourself Syd in this blog?
    Take Care, Holly

  31. Thank you so much for your inspiring posts. I guess my question would be what is the thing that has most helped draw you and C. closer and keep you guys together? How did you reach the decision to stick it out? I am asking because I am in AA and my ex-husband is not an alcoholic and not in Al-Anon, but has been very supportive of me and my recovery, and we have decided we still love each other and want to work things out. We have 3 kids together as well. I guess I just want to know from an Al-Anon perspective what I can do if anything beyond what I am doing in my step work to rebuild the love and trust and to be supportive of his feelings. I have been very selfish in the past and he has been through hell and back with me. Many blessings to you and C, and thanks for sharing your experience, strength and hope.

  32. Syd, this is probably the kind of question that can't be answered in a blog post and may not be of interest to many readers because it isn't recovery-related, but I still want to ask it.

    What is the single most important thing we can do to save our oceans?

  33. 1. Does C. know about/read your blog?
    2. Is there a sound of a clock ticking in your house? (some of your pictures suggest that you have a grandfather clock lurking somewhere with a continuous ticking.)
    3. Does C. find your work interesting or does she say "Echinoidea Schminoidea?"
    4. And what Mary Christine said.

  34. no question today, I enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to reading the answers!

  35. I use my blogroll and not the "follower thingy" Syd to get to the blogs i read. I don't use the rss reader function. But you answered my question in your post--what type of science did you practice. My father was a chemical engineer who taught summer semesters at Purdue.

  36. Syd,yes Iam a daily reader of your blog and have been for a very long time.I have a alanon group that is very very supportive and can't imagine my life without them.But it's your daily writings Syd that hit home.I don't really know where to start but you have pulled me out of the sticking thinking cutter so many times with your posts ,your a saint.God bless you and your wife,I have so much I want to ask and I will but right now I hope you continue to post ,you continue to find your peace,and thank you,thank you from the bottom of my heart,Lisa

  37. Not certain if I am a member, I don't recall. I may have signed up via Google reader - I don't know. I don't read my blogs that way.

    I am not a "sea" person but I read because of the alcohol related stories and experiences. The aging in-laws etc.. People relationships are what keep my attention. And anybody writing about food or dogs. Heh.

    And Lou.... too late. You are a perv. :)

  38. I read you anonymously a few times a week in the morning before I leave for work. I find your blog is like a meeting without leaving home. You are part of my recovery literature. Thank you!


  39. Syd, I'm not a "follower," but I try to read your words regularly as they help me in my own Al-Anon journey. I have many questions, but my most probing would be: (if you are comfortable sharing) "Was there one situation that led C to recovery? Were you already working Al-Anon when she began the recovery process?" (I ask these because my partner does not admit her alcoholism. I feel very alone in this recovery journey, even with my Al-Anon buddies.) Thank you.
    A reader in Piedmont, NC

  40. Hi Syd,

    I am not always able to comment on Blogger (due to it failing to recognise me sometimes and then asking me to log in with horribly long new passwords (which I don't do)) but yours is one of four blogs which I read regularly. Your reflections on life through the Al Anon programme have helped me very much over the last two and a half years. So, thank you.

    My question for you is this. What is the single most important thing that I can do as an individual to help protect the marine life in our oceans?

  41. LOL@Lou...saying she's not a pervert.

    My question: Do you push the elevator button more than once? If so, why?

  42. Delurking to say that I am an avid reader of your blog. Your posts and archives are often what help me get through the day. Thanks for that!
    Maybe it's just my eagerness to feel less alone in the world or to help myself with all available resources, but it seems to be hard to find blogs where people are married to alcoholics. I mostly find blogs belonging to parents dealing with their children who are addicted. Perhaps I am not looking in the right places...suggestions?

  43. thanks for writing, i am your faithfull reader for over a year now. Question: no children... why?

  44. You're such a romantic - how did you propose to C?

  45. Hi Syd, I can't think of a question right now, but I've been reading your blog every night for months. I find your posts inspirational and many times it's just what i need to hear. It's sometimes difficult for me to get to a meeting, and I read your blog, and many of those listed in your blogroll and it's like going to a meeting for me. Thank you!! CP

  46. How will I know it is time to ask someone to be my sponsor? How do I decide who to ask?

  47. Hi Syd, I seldom comment as you seem to say everything so eloquently and so, well . . . rhetorically.
    Just wanted to be counted as one of your regular readers.

    Q. Sweet or savoury?

    Karen C

  48. Hi Syd,

    I came across your blog in October of 2011 and I have been reading it ever since. I would like to know if you have any siblings and if so do they have any addictions (hopefully not) ?

  49. Hi Syd ~ First, I want to tell you how much I love reading about your water-loving lifestyle. I am a native new yorker but many people don't realize how aquatic our lives are here. I have always lived right on either the atlantic ocean (in queens), the east river (both manhattan and brooklyn sides), or the hudson river. So I just love your musings and pictures of your own aquatic environment.

    Okay, now the question: I am sober thanks to AA for just over 3 years. I was raised by a very alcoholic family in a very alcohlic community. I know a LOT of my challanges are due to living around this disease, but haven't looked into Al-Anon at all because AA was all I could handle. But now I am wondering.... would it help me now? Or will AA be enough for me to shake the effects of this disease and become my best self?

  50. I want to thank you for your honesty, integrity, and openness when you share. You were an inspiration to me when I started exploring and creating my own blog. I personally still struggle with how much detail to share with "bloggerville" and the world!

    Question: What's something new you recently learned about yourself?

    How would you describe yourself in one sentence?

    How many sponsees do you usually sponsor at one time?

  51. I found your blog by way of another where you comment. The closest I have come to alcoholism is my SIL who I never knew well and who is now deceased. I read your posts to understand and learn about something that is pretty much an unknown to me. Your writing is clear and honest and informative. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

    No questions :) I think you put enough of yourself out there already.

  52. golly... questions

    Syd, to be honest, I am not sure about all this global warming business. Is there realy good science behind the claims that we're causing our planet to melt down? Or are we simply hastening a natural cycle? I've heard everything from a coming global ice age, to "business as usual" and I have no idea what to think about it.

  53. Did you try Black's? What did you think? Keep on doing what you are doing. It works for me and it seems to work for you. Thanks for your diligence, thoughtfulness and consistency.

  54. Hmm.. good idea.. The first question that came to mind was What does an alcoholic look like from the perspective of an Al anon? I suppose a request for objectivity. Permission to take alcoholics inventory and expose their Achilles heel/most glaring weakness from the viewpoint of an observer. I know aa's have some appeal to al anons, but that's not what Im interested in. I'm more interested in the ? ugliness of aa's that aa's are less able to see about themselves.. their blind spots.. the cruelty of their irrationality, and how this inflicts harm on others. I only ask because I suspect that this are the two things most difficult to admit to in oneself. Who knows.. It was SO difficult to see the harm done in step 8, and so the more information about how alcoholic blindness hurts others the better I suppose. More is being revealed to me on a daily basis how my alcoholic self centeredness blinds me to the impact of my mindset on others. How a 'wrong view' causes others to suffer I suppose. There are ever more layers to the onion I suppose.. it never ends.. Where do you instinctively feel that alcoholics let themselves down the most Syd? when drinking.. and when they 'recover' in aa.. ? well thats the first question that came to mind Syd :) Tell us aa's where we are out of line :) hehe scary! but would be interesting :) for me anyway..

  55. Re: one of the comments: Funny thing, I have not found sober AA People--ever--to be boring...if they are newcomers, I do not bore them, either!

    But often normal drinkers are boring to me. We just do not think the same any more...

    1. How far away from home have you sailed--not 'boated', but sailed?
    And was it for work or pleasure? (both?--grin!)

    2. Have you ever had a narrow escape from disaster--or fear loss of life--yours or others, while sailing or power boating? Please, respond with particulars, unless answer is "No!"

    Thanks very much.

  56. I love the new pic on your blog. Where is that? Actually I really like all the photos you post... It is a a little bonus to the written word you provide which I also enjoy.

  57. You're such an animal lover ... but yet you're not vegetarian. How do you reconcile that?

  58. Thank you for your genuine & heartfelt writings! I have been on the Alanon fringe for 30 years but have been more involved recently. I've been reading your blog for the past year. We have the sea & animals in common as well. No questions...


Let me know what you think. I like reading what you have to say.