There’s n’ere a whore in sight as the Darkside Blogger indulges in some Lakeside Musings.

5 Months, 14 Days, still sober

I have written much here and elsewhere, mainly on ThaiVisa, on the subject of AA and its role in helping to keep alcoholics sober and the fact that this time around,  after briefly ‘flirting with AA’ , I have decided to go it alone.

There have been many p[eopel during the past few months, mainly AA stalwarts, who have almost gleefully predicted my fall from grace, assuring me that it is virtually impossible for me to stay sober without the support of AA.  There are others; more well-meaning souls, who although they believe I am foolish, have nevertheless wished me luck in my endeavours, and to those, I offer my sincere appreciation.

All genuinely offered support to an alcoholic in his quest for sobriety actually helps – at least it does for this drunk. As for those who have assured me that I am doomed to fail, whilst not actually turning me back to drink, have nevertheless put unnecessary question marks in my damaged, addictive brain and certainly haven’t helped much.

The worst ones are those who have commented on this blog that they deplore my new found sobriety and that they can’t wait for me to fall off the wagon  so that my daily life stories can be more entertaining. I actually feel sorry for such folk; anyone who wishes ill on a fellow human being, who has never done them any harm, is a sign that there is something seriously wrong with their own inadequate lives.

Whenever I have had the temerity to deplore such self-seeking comments, their response has been to the effect that as they don’t know me, why should they care what happens to me? All I can say to this is that if everyone in the world refused to be charitable and provide aid and succour to their fellow citizens of the world, because ‘they don’t know them personally’, then this world would be in  a much worse mess today than it already is.

The British Prime Minister yesterday announced that Britain would be giving almost 1 billion pounds to an organisation which vaccinates the poor children in Africa against basic, life threatening conditions such as diarrhoea. This donation, along with a billion dollars also being donated by Bill Gates, will save literally hundreds of thousands of lives in the poorest parts of the African continent and this action is to be applauded by all right minded folk.

I am not a particular fan of Cameron – although so far, he does seem to be doing better than his immediate predecessors, but for me the jury is still out – and I am even less a fan of Bill Gates and his monopolistic Microsoft Empire. But in this particular humanitarian  cause, I can only be thankful that there are some right minded people who are prepared to stand up and be counted and do something that will save so many lives, without any thoughts of benefit to themselves. God help us all if such people were to say that they will only help those who they know personally.

There are many people in Britain, especially in these days of cut backs to public services and high unemployment who deplore this award of money to Africa and are screaming the hackneyed cliché:  ‘Charity begins at home’. So I doubt whether Cameron will score many brownie points with voters for doing this, but as he said, you can’t stand by and do nothing and let these kids die.

Whatever you may say about the economic well-being of the average Brit today – especially those at the bottom of the poverty ladder – they do have food to eat, they do have clothes on their bodies, they do have a warm roof over their head, they do have money in their pockets and they do have free access to healthcare. They are certainly not dying. For a comparatively rich country like the UK, (rated as the 6th richest country in the world and the second richest in Europe), allocating a mere 0.7% of their GDP to foreign aid is, in this writer’s opinion, is not a huge amount of money in the general scheme of things and shame on those who condemn Cameron’s stand on this.

In the latest stats I can find  on the rich countries’ foreign aid allocation as a % of their GDP, I find that UK is number 5 on the world aid donor list. Two of the richer countries, India and China, are not giving much at all and by far and away the largest donor, in terms of money, is the USA. But the American’s generous efforts, noble though they may be , represent less than 0.2% of their GDP. I will leave you to make of that what you will – no doubt Big Skippy will have an attack of keyboard diarrhoea, which unfortunately for him, no amount of vaccinations will cure…

 Sorry I was rambling –  back to my sobriety –I do feel ever more confident that I am well over the worst, as far as picking up a drink is concerned and seriously doubt that I shall ever do so again in this life. But what I have yet to fully come to terms with is the changes this new found sobriety will make to my health, my brain and my life. I am now approaching my six months of booze free living and although I feel I have made much progress, there is still a way to go in becoming an active, responsible, slimmer and healthier member of society.

Last night, to my horror I found that I now weigh an astonishing 93 kilos – I have pout on 3 kilos since I last checked a few weeks ago. The very idea of such a  disgusting weight gain actually sent me into a mini depression last night and this morning, although it now seems to have partially lifted.

Maybe my forthcoming trip to the UK will be a ‘watershed’, and maybe the change of pace, location and choice of company will shake me out of my lethargy and I will be more inclined to take the necessary steps to change my life around for the better. If I come back to Thailand, unscathed, in early September, I shall try to renew my efforts to live a better life.

What Mobi did

Yesterday, I spent the day at home, mainly ‘playing with my new 7 inch Samsung Galaxy Tablet. It is an impressive little piece of technology – a phone, computer and camera all in one. It involves a bit of a learning curve – the change to a totally different operating system and having to adapt to a touch screen, all in one fell swoop, but I am quite enjoying the process as for the most part, I find the  ‘tab’ quite user friendly.

As stated, it is built on an Android platform, developed by the good people at Google so at long last I have a computer which does not use Microsoft for its operating system. I might not have been interested in this piece of wizardry, if it hadn’t been for my forthcoming trip to the UK where I will be travelling around quite a bit. I was actually dreading having to lug around my lap top with all its paraphernalia.

The tablet weighs only 300 grams and can easily be slipped into my hand-carry-bag or even into my back pocket. But before I completely abandon my laptop to gather dust in Pattaya,  I need to ensure that the Tab will do everything I want it to do.

The phone and text system works fine, with the Tab acting as either a speaker phone (very good quality sound) or I can attach a set of earphones and mike, if I wish to make private calls. As I make and receive very few calls these days, this will suit me fine. Sending and receiving sms’s are great, using the on-screen touch-pad QWERTY  keyboard for sending and receiving the messages on the large screen.

The Internet browser works great. I can either use any available wifi, or if there isn’t any wifi available, the tab will automatically use my AIS GPRS connection. It is a bit slow but still works OK . Soon I may be able to use a 3G connection. The websites are automatically reformatted for the android tab system so everything is clear and readable. It’s  Easy to scroll, or zoom in and out by using two fingers. The colour graphics are brilliant.

I have set up all my email accounts and they work fine and the messages are displayed very clearly. I can send emails using the on-board touch screen keyboard.

Skype (for Android) works fine for IM’s, phone calls or web cam calls. (There is a front facing web cam as well as a rear facing camera of higher quality).

The tab notifies me of any new sms, emails , Skype IM’s and other events, with a little signal, and  I can access all these new notifications from one summary screen.

I can and have downloaded music, videos, pics and document files from my laptop either onto the internal 16GB memory or onto the external 16GB SD micro memory card. The sound quality and the video quality are superb and I can watch movies quite happily on the tab;  listening through either a head set, or to the tab speakers or by connecting to an external sound system, via a mini jack.

I have downloaded ‘Kindle’ and have been reading a number of free books and have even made my first book purchase from Amazon. The 7 inch screen is absolutely great for reading books.

There is so much more to this tablet that I have yet to explore and there are so many apps that do all manner of things, most of them free, that I will be investigating and researching for many months to come.  I am 90% sure this lovely little brute will do everything I need it to do. However, I am still working on the ‘ease’ with which I will be able to make my blog postings on it when I am away from home. I can access my blog website – no problem – and I can access the ‘admin’ area, where I do all my postings and editing. I even have a little external keyboard which I can use when I need to write a lot of text, as when I am writing my blog.

Strangely, the editing facility on my ‘android’ tailored blog page does not contain all the functions of the ‘lap top’ web page. In particular, there is no facility for changing the colour of my text, so if I cannot find a solution to this, I might have to post my blogs in black. Not a major issue and I can always edit them into colour later when I get access to a full sized computer.

The issue that is really bothering me at the moment is the lack of a proper word text programme (like Word or Open Office) which would contain all the usual stuff, in particular a ‘spell check’, without which, I may have many problems. I spent a lot of time looking into this issue yesterday and although I made some progress, I still have not got it properly nailed down. Anyway, plenty of time to go, so I am fairly sure I will crack it.  As I only bought this little gem on Sunday, I think have made pretty good progress, considering I am a 65 year old Luddite who didn’t even get his first PC until he was over 40 years old.

All good fun….☺

BUTT…BUTT….


5 thoughts on “There’s n’ere a whore in sight as the Darkside Blogger indulges in some Lakeside Musings.”

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    1. I’ve been looking at those, plus many others.

      Still haven’t found quite what I’m looking for but I will continue my search.

      It’s slipped in my priorities at the moment, but will get back onto it soon.

      Thanks anyway for the suggestions

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  2. Wow, another softball served up for my early morning read:

    Too bad these figures don’t include some of the military expenditures used to support NATO, bases in Japan, South Korea, etc. – a nice charitable benefit to these governments which has allowed many countries to make nominal outlays for their defense budget. I’m with Ron Paul on this one – close all US overseas bases and let the freeloaders start taking care of themselves!

    Anyway, put that point aside and focus on how your point is yet another example of your inductive reasoning, as you focus only on half the picture – governmental aid. The U.S. unfortunately has a terribly convoluted income tax system riddled with thousands of deductions – one of them being charitable deductions. Thus, there is more of an incentive for “private” charitable contributions than you see in most other countries. As a result, you also have the US coming out near the top of the philanthopy charts on the World Giving Index (and yes, ahead of the UK) when you look at private AND governmental giving, even when adjusted on a per capita basis. Here’s a nice quote from yet another esteemed UK publication, the guardian:

    “The UK came eighth on the index and finished joint third, alongside Thailand, in terms of giving money, with 73% of the population having donated to charity. However its former colonial possessions – Australia, New Zealand and the United States – were far more charitable. In Europe only Ireland, Switzerland and Holland fared better.”

    Tell me, are there equivalents in the UK on the same scale of Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Andrew Carnegie, Rockefeller, etc. establishing foundations (Carnegie’s just turned 100 years old) committing their wealth to philanthropy?

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  3. You just used to be more fun when you were drinking … and it WILL all go pair shape. If things fuck up with Noo or when you have a family issue when back in the UK …. you’ll have a drink BUT it doesn’t matter.

    You’re still stuck in the AA mode of sober day counting, one of the worst things about AA. It’s the whole “doomed to failure” aspect of the AA, one sip and you’re a start again loser. So what if you get angry and get drunk. The fact you have to start from zero is more likely to send you on a complete bender. If you do drink again, be more productive and positive and count your sober days and your drunk days. Works for me daddio.

    I remain sober for a few months at a time then something kicks me off and I get drunk for a few days. As long as I have months sober compared to a few days or even week on a bender I know Im not doing too much damage.

    I want to remain sober but I’m not going to beat myself up over a relapse. I usually have a great deal of fun when I’m drunk, I’m just a dude of a certain age and I know I can’t drink like I used too.

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