Well. I hate to admit this, but it might just help others. I'm always trying to adjust my head position to give the most 'horizontal' body position. Unfortunately for me it seems to be when it is almost totally submerged. That makes it very difficult to maintain my laser to get air. I'm still working on that.
The 'aha' came last week. It has taken me a year to realize that at the moment I rotate to take a breath I close my eyes! During the stroke I see the bottom of the pool as I inhale I catch a glimpse of the lifeguard and then the bottom of the pool again.
Now I consciously keep my eyes open through the rotation and it has made all the difference in the world. With 'eyes open' I can see precisely when it is time to inhale and when it's time to stop. I now rotate just enough. Before keeping my eyes open I would over rotate, turn my head 'more than enough' to make sure I'd get a good breath. Of course this sent me out of balance and I never really knew when to breath or how my head was positioned.
I now see the bottom of the pool, begin rotating and see the tint of the water change, watch one goggle come above the surface, begin inhaling and when I 'see' I am rotating back I close my mouth. Easy as pie. My breathing is no longer hurried and my laser remains aligned.
The view is incredible. I didn't know what I was missing. Looking across the pool with one eye below and another above the surface gives me more in site on how others swim too. I'm a lot more aware of where I am and what I'm doing.
It took me a year to figure this out. Doh!