Courtesy: Minhos 21
As children bring their broken toys
with tears for us to mend,
I brought my broken dreams to God because he was my friend.
But instead of leaving Him in peace to work alone,
I hung around and tried to help
with ways that were my own.
As last I snatched them back and cried
“How can you be so slow?”
My child He said what could I do
You never did let go…
It was a regular Thursday night. The weather held and made the night much more enjoyable. I got to the church and cranked out set up, as one of my guys arrived. I had almost finished by the time he had arrived.
I sat outside enjoying the evening light and watched a man across the street mow the grass outside one of the buildings. I was LONGING to walk over there and offer to do the work for him, because, in the moment, I missed mowing a lawn and the whole physicality of it.
It is almost meditative, mowing a lawn. Walking the path behind a mower. Not so much when you are either riding a mower or a tractor ( which I used to do when I was in seminary). Each Friday was clean up day where we all had menial jobs to up keep the grounds and the church. I was dutifully appointed mowing the lawns for the High School next door and our property (they both sat on the same land).
It was a successful business meeting. All the jobs were assigned. We made rent for another month. And in June we will host our very first Group Inventory. A yearly ritual where we review the past year, and plan for the next.
Our chair read the poem above, which he keeps inside his Big Book. That lead into our reading and discussion of Steps 6 and 7.
In that reading comes the Seventh Step Prayer.
I spoke about the challenge posed to us, who attended the Roundup last year, 2013, about learning, living and knowing the 3rd, 7th and 11th Step Prayers.
A friend gave me a pack of step prayers. And I tacked them on my monitor so I would see them every morning and every night. I practiced those prayers for a year along with reading the book, and working with others.
I wanted to do what the teachers did, because I wanted my sobriety enhanced and to come as close as I could to New York Sobriety. And inside of that year, many things came together for me. So by the roundup 2014, my life HAD changed. It got better. I reaped the rewards of prayer and practice.
My sponsor and I went to Vermont with a few others from Montreal. We met many men who came to study the steps and to talk amongst ourselves. It was a fantastic weekend. I met other men who were on a similar journey like myself.
My sponsor, His Sponsor and myself are amid our steps. And my sponsees are amid their steps. I am sandwiched in the middle of them. My sponsor on one side and my guys on the other.
Upon departing the church, a man who was at the roundup with us last year, and heard the challenge as well, went back out and came back in. It seems he can’t rid himself of the compulsion to drink. (Because he’s not doing The Work).
I was coming up the stairs and he asked me “if I Google the prayers, will they come up?” I replied, open your book and read chapter five. All the prayers are in the book, why do you need to Google them?
“When was the last time you opened and READ your book?”
Obviously, he doesn’t open nor reads his Book.
If you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it then you are ready to take certain steps…
At some of these He balked …
It was good to see my guys and our guys tonight. We had a good night.
All is well in the world.
More to come, stay tuned …
The other night on Discovery Science they showed a “show” about Sneakers and the BIG business they generate world wide. From how they are designed and made and why sneakers are a special commodity. It isn’t just a simple “I think we’ll make some sneakers. Let’s do this …
No, lots of design and thought go into the shoes we wear by men and women who go to great pain and art to design the perfect shoe for every foot. It even gets scientific. Scientists study feet, on high end test machines to determine what kind of shoes you really need because of how your feet are formed and what kind of shoe you need.
I am of the mind that one can never have too many shoes. Some of them I wear, and some of them I collect. Some of them come and go on Ebay because I am a keen collector of the best shoes on the market.
They had a segment on the “Bodega.” An underground, word of mouth, secret store, they are far and few between located in certain cities around the world. They deal in HIGH END sneakers and only invite those who know about it to partake in the mega business of shoe buying and selling. It was fantabulous.
I am always on the lookout for the next big score. Social media plays an integral part in getting the word out about this business. Shoe companies produce specialty shoes only sent to those “specialty stores” and not for the open market.
One off’s or Two off’s. And you would never know where that shoe came from or how many are out there and it is a buyers market for all things shoes. This is a multi-million dollar enterprise.
There are even graffiti artists and music jammers and artists by trade that make and influence how shoes are made, styled and sold. There are special underground shoe events held in key cities around the globe to show off these new creations. Shoes that are not available for mass consumption. And IF by chance you get to one of these events, you too could score a really great pair of shoes that the general public will never get to buy. And have never seen before.
Tumblr is a great vehicle for product placement. People share images of fashion, shoes, art, and jewelry, tattoos, and piercings. They run the gamut. I might see something come across the wire and then I go on a hunt for a certain product. Which leads to an “Alice in Wonderland” hunt down the rabbit hole to find a purveyor of whatever I am looking for.
Like the Nike high Dunks. I saw them in an image that is on the blog. I wanted a pair and I started with a Google search for a photo. Which lead to a website, which led to a store that sells high end sneakers. Those One Off’s you might never see anywhere else. Usually if they are on a website, for sale, there is a good chance that they will appear on Ebay. I’ve had huge success with cross referencing website sold merchandise over to Ebay site sales.
And usually the prices on Ebay are at least 10 percent cheaper than website sales and shipping is usually cheaper as well. So you get a deal.
A few weeks ago I was walking through Westmount Square and I was in the tunnel going to a meeting and I always look to see what kind of kicks people are wearing because you never know when you are going to see something you like. And this guy was wearing the same Nike High Dunks, which leads me to believe that high end sneakers are available here in Montreal.
There are numerous shoe stores in the city, in the malls and in these small hole in the wall shops that sell “one off” shoes amid souvenirs and hockey jerseys. It would take forever to find a specialty shop in the city without a Google reference.
Google is a great tool when you want to find something particular IF there is an image of it in the data base. Because usually an image will lead you to a source. But not necessarily in the city you live in. I’ve never tracked a product to this city in particular.
Which leads me all the way back around to another purchase. I am a huge fan of the Adidas Response wrestling shoes. I wear them at the gym, they are stylish and comfortable. I own 4 pair in varying colors and styles. The ones pictured above are on my radar because I once owned a pair of these at one time, but for some stupid reason I decided to sell them on Ebay a couple of years ago.
Now you know, that certain shoes are only made for a certain season. Wrestling shoes come out every fall. And every year the haul differs by maker, style, colorway and price. Adidas had their hey day over the last few wrestling seasons and the response line that I collect has since been retired. They aren’t making these style of shoes any more. And they are very hard to come by unless you find a source and pay a hefty price for them. The shops I buy from don’t carry the response line that I like and only carry a handful of colorways on clearance prices. The new responses are very different than these.
I had, over the last year, seen this same exact pair go up on the Ebay Market for $250.00 a pair.
Now, the only wrestling shoe that I know of that commands that kind of price are any of the Sydney E.Q.T 2000 wrestling shoes in several colorways. The grey and blue, the Olympic Gold white and blue and the Olympic Silver and Blue colorways. A few years ago I scored a pair of Sydney Golds. When I turned them around and put them on the market for sale I got $250.00 for them. Athletes pay top dollar for high performance shoes for their tournaments.
The other day I was hunting. And I came across a steal. These same Adidas Response Blue/White colorway were for sale for a nominal price. A price that I paid retail for a few years back for the same shoe. They are a one off bid. And only one pair available in several different sizes and they carry a couple of different colorways that aren’t made any longer.
Like I said, the line was retired.
So tomorrow when the bids close, I will have scored a brand new pair of responses for $55.00 U.S. plus shipping. Which is a hefty deal since these shoes can now run, for collectors, in the hundreds of dollars each.
One must be wiley when it comes to Ebay. You might get a hit one week, and not see another hit for months or even a year’s time. You start looking around the end of September and the beginning of October for wrestling shoes from the odd seller here or there, because they sometimes put on offer, shoes you can’t find anywhere else. And you can usually get your hands on a great pair of shoes for a deal.
I don’t shop retail locally for the most part. Most of my shoe collection came by way of Ebay or the odd store I shop from online. From work boots, to combat boots, to sneakers, to winter boots. The last time I made a shoe purchase here in the city I paid upwards of $150.00 for a pair of 20 hole Dock Martens in a specialty shop here in the city. And I rarely wear them except in the winter when it snows.
Wrestling season is upon us and the new styles and colorways are out on the market. The new styles are sleek, colorful and come in a varying style of shoe both on the Adidas and Asics market. If you are looking for a deal then this is the time to go looking for them.
Specialty stores have colorways that can’t be found anyplace else so be on the lookout for that special shoe you want. And they are usually a One Off sale.
So that is my missive on High End shoes…
I wrote about this HTC Hero phone on the day that we received them, and I had not spent any time with it at that point. Suffice to say that I am thoroughly pleased with this phone. Mine is the Hero HTC black. I have a blue phone cover on mine, and different apps and clock/weather on the home page.
The Android operating platform is one of the most stable platforms,
I have been told by a tech friend of mine that I will be totally blown away by what this phone can do. Hubby puts his phone to much more work than I do. His phone is set up for email, web browsing, text and phone.
I find that my phone does a lot of thinking on its own. With the Google access, it syncs up all of my accounts across the web into the phone. I noticed the other day that it had imported all of my google contacts from my GMail account.
When the Google Wave accounts were created some time ago, I joined along with other friends in London Ontario and a second friend in Australia and several others from around the world. It seems that the email addresses were synced into the phone. I like how smart this phone really is.
I am still getting used to the phone and how it all works so well. The way that the many social mediums are synced on the phone are amazing. I can Facebook, Email, Blog on my WordPress account, and browse the internet. I have several of my favorite tv shows bookmarked like Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow and now Lawrence O’Donnel’s The Last Word.
The trackball on the phone is super useful when browsing the net or specific websites. The touch screen keypad is very user friendly.
The apps I enjoy the most are Four Square, a GPS program that follows you where ever you go. I find myself checking in throughout the day from where ever I am walking or visiting. The internal GPS system is incredible.
The biggest joy of this operating system is the on board memory for music. The most fun is that they gave us 8 gigabyte cards for our phones, it was a sweet deal. I loaded up my phone with a TON of music. I mourned the loss of my mp3 player a few months ago. Now I can do it all with one hand-held device.
I have a library of no less than 50 apps on my hand held device. From sound effects and ring tones to the entire collection of the assorted Google services. Everything that I can do on my desktop PC at home, I can do on my hand held device all neatly wrapped up on the HTC Hero.
Some of the apps I have loaded on my phone are as follows:
- .977 music online
- A Online Radio
- Android Light saber
- Bar code Scanner
- Online Browser application
- BBC News
- Assorted Holiday/Movie ring tones
- Google sky map/Google voice/Gmail/Google Maps
- Sims toolkit
- Weather apps
- You Tube
- Stocks – not that I use it.
- Twitter – I don’t use twitter (yet)
- Star Trek/Star Wars ring tones
The only thing that isn’t synced on my phone is my email, which I decided not to import into my phone.
The app Market for the Android platform is huge. All of the apps that I have downloaded onto my phone were free apps. I won’t be using apps that are for pay. I am totally pleased with the selection of apps that I have on my phone right now.
We’ve never had issues with dropped calls. The only problem I had with my phone was the memory card. I had to reformat it once and reload all of my music back onto the phone because it got dumped the first time I loaded all the music that I have in my personal library. Here are the Telus specs on the HTC Hero.
|Processor:||Qualcomm MSM7200A, 528Mhz|
|Operating System:||Android™ platform|
|Memory:||ROM: 512MB, RAM: 288MB DDR|
Band frequency, HSPA availability, and data speed are operator dependent.
|GPS:||Internal GPS antenna|
|Camera:||5 megapixel camera with auto focus|
|Connectivity:||Bluetooth® 2.0 with enhanced data rate, Wi-Fi®: IEEE 802.11b/g, HTC ExtUSB™, 3.5mm audio jack|
|Power:||Rechargeable battery — 1350 mAh|
|Talk Time:||Up to 250 minutes|
|Standby Time:||Up to 360 hours|
|Dimensions and Weight:||(LxWxT) 4.5″ x 2.22″ x .54″; 4.5 ounces with battery|
I am totally pleased with the choice we made to go with Telus for the plan and customer service plan that we have on the phones. I love this Hero Phone. Now that I have a cell phone I often think about why I went so long before getting one. I get a full days usage on the phone with the battery charged to full every night.
Imagine, growing up in the 80’s like I did, and seeing the first cell phone, (that brick of a device) that was the first cell phone compared to today’s technology.
I wonder what life would have been like had all these technologies, and forms of social media were around in the 1980’s. I have seen records in 78, 45 and 33 rpm come and go. I don’t remember that last time I bought a CD from a record store. In fact I can’t even remember the last time I visited an HMV.
Kids in today’s day and age have so much more to appreciate I can only imagine how far these communication platforms will evolve over the next twenty five years. How many kids today could imagine what life was like “before” technology came. Was life so much more simpler then? Who knew from computers and now these mass functional hand held phones that do everything in one spot.
Totally Amazing… I Love this phone.
The other night I had another “past” dream.
I was in my grandparents house on 160 East Street in New Britain Connecticut. I even went onto Google maps to see the house, and it isn’t there any more, I don’t know how recent the views were taken. It took me a while to find it because I had forgotten the address off the top of my head. But I did remember the name of the bar that was next door to where the house was. And that aided me in my search.
The Dairy store is still there and the package store and LaRosa’s Bar on East street. My grandparents house was right next door on an embankment with large trees in the front yard. Although there are no trees in the photo and there are two houses on the lot that (160) fits in between which must mean that the trees were cut down and the land razed – I remember that there were 2 trailer houses on the lot next door to the old house – and they are gone as well. Sad to see how things have changed over 40 years time.
It seems they paved the side parking lot farther across which would tell me that the land that the old house sits on was razed. I don’t recognize the house that is sitting in the spot where (160) used to sit. It is not my grandparents house. There are no trees – no garage – no gardens -no picture window out front – it has all been changed up.
So usually when I dream about my grandparents – I dream in black and white. When I go back in time, I only get a black and white picture, I cannot open any doors in the house nor can I walk around the house. I usually end up in one room and that is where the dream takes place. I’ve had several dreams like this where I visit the house.
This last dream about the house was in color. Unusual. I was able to move from room to room. And what was different about this dream was that there was a piano in the living room. And there were people there in the house and i was talking to a spirit. I called him “old man.” And I kept calling him and he would appear in the house and sit down at the piano and play in spirit form. And I could actually feel his energy as I stood there next to the piano. There was not enough room in the living room for a piano of any sort.
As of late, when I dream, I know I am dreaming and it feels like I am awake in my dream because I carry the dream out into waking hours and they stay with me a lot longer than usual.
The other dream that stayed with me from the other night was a ship dream. I was in Alaska, there was a lot of snow, (go figure) … I was in a wet suit factory. It was all very strange because I am not sure how they make wet suits. But alas, there I was.
Then I was floating out of there and I was flying over the ground to some place and ended up on some airplane flying to our final destination. We landed and got on a bus and traveled to a pier where there were two ships/boats/crafts waiting for us. One side of the bus was to embark on one vessel and the other side of the bus was to embark on the other. It was all very science oriented, if I had to picture the ships they would have resembled a Wind Star cruiser. They have a mono-hull and sail masts. But each of the vessels were science vessels and had nominal defense systems on them. I am not sure what we were doing there but I remember speaking to the people on the bus telling them where to go and to what vessel to report to, and that is when I woke up.
Oh well, I guess that’s all from me at the moment…
More to come, stay tuned…
Do you have a Gmail account ? Do you have Google Wave ?
Here are my contacts for those who are interested in adding me. I want to thank Stephan over at Real Euphoria for the invite. I can’t wait to get into the new system, it will be fun for all … pretty sure of that …