The weather is slowly starting to get better. We are still in the mid teens on the minus side at night, and single minus digits during the day. And by next Wednesday, snow or rain, with a temp of PLUS (2c) …This would be our first positive temp all season long.
Usually, as seasons go, by the end of winter, temps rise enough for rain to fall, which begins washing away snow, salt and all that crap that has been buried for the entire season.
The negative, is all the trash, cigarette buts, and clutter that has been buried all winter appears out of the snow. Which sends city workers into a frenzy to clean it all up, which takes a long time.
Today was a mixed bag. I really had no plans for the day, but I knew when I hit the end of the dream that was going on in my head, as I lay in bed, I wasn’t going to stay in bed any longer. So I got up.
I had thought of doing laundry over the weekend, but I had plenty of time to do it this afternoon, so I dropped my laundry into a machine, did my grocery shopping and cleaned up around, I killed several birds at once. I set them to dry and came back down and showered and I was in a Spring Shopping Mood, and I have been “Spring Shopping” online for a few days now, Looking, Listing and Saving stuff for future purchase.
A Wish List is a useful tool.
I know better than to impulse shop before I’ve investigated my options. So while my clothes were drying, I took a stroll to a new sneaker shop that recently opened, up the block. They paid good money to have someone come and paint a huge mural on the side of the building that faces my building, it was a good visibility decision. (but now they are building a super condo building just beside it which is going to ruin its visibility).
High End Sneakers is Big Business.
Usually, you get a sneak peek, or a shop will pop up in a city for a limited run, or there are underground high end shops located in several cities world wide, that are not known by the general public and only for those who “know” where they are and know the code word to get past the front door. (That is a thing)
In the past, I’ve had to employ good sleuthing to find sneakers online. My Tumblr and Google, and Ebay and a bank account are what I use today. So I went to this store. There were two guys having a conversation in French, while I browsed. Neither acknowledged me in the store.
They had a select line of sneaker, some more ostentatious than others, the wilder the style, the higher the price. Prices ranged from $150 cad to $250 cad. That was way out of my budget. I saw variations on styles I already own, but nothing I considered buying. It was a short visit.
I returned home and resorted to my original thought. I opened Ebay and began to surf. The Spring line is out across the web, and I had a list of stuff I had seen online recently. There were several styles that I was looking at, by color, style, maker and price.
I ended up with the sneaker pictured above. Men’s Adidas, D Rose 3.5 Black, Red and White.
I am an Adidas man, Shoes, Clothing and Sports gear. These rare shoes clock in a $160.00. I had a refund sitting in my account for twenty dollars, and these came to a final price of $68.00 plus shipping, which brought it close to $100.00. I paid less than $100.00 in total. I made my sale before 5 p.m. And as I walked of of the meeting at 9 p.m. They had already been shipped.
Same day service is a plus.
We left for the meeting, thankful that it was warmer than it has been at night, recently. The same crowd of intrepid meeting goers came. The speaker came from one of our rehab houses here in the city.
This particular site offers a 3 month series, in house meetings, counselors, meals, a place to live and they work you into meetings, as you go along. Some don’t want to be there, but some do.
Some make it, but many don’t.
After you complete your stay, you take a two year aftercare journey, which is mandatory for every person there. You are on a short leash.
So all in all, the run lasts for almost 3 years start to finish.
Meeting Makers make it.
We heard “Insanity” for almost an hour. I was waiting for the moment of clarity, so was my friend.
The one thought that got my attention, was his take on “TIME.”
While he was out there, drinking and using and hurting all the wrong people, he lost things; jobs, homes, girlfriends, and so on. His coping skill was to just “wait it out” and somewhere in his head he thought that if he just waited long enough, things would get better.
His drinking and using escalated. His girlfriend dumped him and married someone else. His using got even worse, if it could get any worse, from what he had already detailed for us. He tried to “wait it out” thinking that she would leave her husband and come back to him.
How many of us, when we are in the thick of it, try “waiting this out, not really hoping for an end to what ails us, but a wait and see, without the expectation of resolution.”
The end finally came. Honesty dawned upon him. And he told on himself.
He got the help he so desperately needed. Now he is clean and sober almost three years. He is still inside the treatment program, but he gets out to his home group, which is on the West End of the city, and he came to us tonight.
When we get sober, “TIME” takes on new meaning.
I learned this lesson the hard way, walking into my first meetings here with expectations on my list of things I thought I wanted. WRONG !!!
It was good, those first few months in Miami that we counted days. I went just to make sure my friends stayed and came each night to count their days. Out of twenty newbies, nineteen made it.
Counting days, is something we don’t do here, because there aren’t many meetings, on consecutive days at the same location, to be able to do that properly. There are a couple, but not seven days or nights a week.
Sobriety is a full time, Four Season, Make it or Break it kind of job.
People count their days with their sponsors. And at certain meetings, we give consecutive month chips. This goes for the M.A. side of things as well. For the most part, we count 30, 90, six months, then the year mark. And multiples thereafter.
We learn, in the beginning, if you are lucky, the lesson about 24 hours in a day, and One Day At a Time.
Time takes on new meaning.
And if you are really lucky, time turns around for you and instead of working against you,
Time works For You.
We learn patience, which takes time. We learn compassion, which takes time.
And we get sober. That definitely takes time.
The more time you put in, the more you get out of it. It’s all about attitude.
You either bemoan getting clean and sober, or you embrace it. If you embrace it, the much needed attitude adjustment begins to take place. That is the miracle of the program.
We move from waiting for the hell to end, to hoping for the good to come.
Everyone has their journey he said. Some take longer to get here. Some make it, some don’t.
He wanted the help. Had he gone a few days longer, his life expectancy was in real danger.
Grateful for his life today, he is alive, happy, joyous and free.
And don’t we all want to be Happy, Joyous and Free ?
Everybody is sober tonight.
Next week, I will have all my guys in the same city again. Saturday my first takes his year.
I am a blessed man. God is good to us. He has moved heaven and earth for my guys.
And I am grateful.
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…