Shopping Haul Post…

www.imagehandler.net

Adidas – Ace Tango 17.1 TR Solar Red – Solar Orange – Core Black – Soccer dot com
I just bought these this evening – sweet soles …

Retail Sales Points:

One of my favorite past times is shopping. Because that’s what you do when your Keto Diet drops your weight over 35 pounds down, and I need to look GOOD !

I’ve often wrote towards specific sales points as being the most optimum locations to shop, because of security, availability of product, and sellers who are honest.

I’ve shopped online with sites located on the web, where those sites were fronts for counterfeiters located in Shanghai China. That happened to me twice, with a loss of over $300.00 CAD that I had to recoup from the R.C.M.P. (Royal Canadian Mounted Police)

I won’t shop on a site that is not reputable, or shop from a site that I have not shopped at before. Listed above are sites I would recommend shopping at, given what you are looking for, the list is varied and popular.

I usually troll my Tumblr and Instagram or Pinterest for product. I then take that photo and plug it into Google search. That search usually takes me to a site where the product is sold.

Proviso … Google does not moderate the sites that are online. They do not secure a site in the sense that not every site online is a secure, reputable, product seller. Buyer Beware.

But if I am on the hunt for something particular, I’ve learned from experience, if it ain’t available on a platform, and I cannot find it on a reputable site, I won’t buy from a site that looks too slick or too good to be true.

Odd sneakers or one-off styles you might see on an athlete, let’s say on Tumblr or Pinterest, that is probably a one off, even if a slick site has them in stock in the colorway and style you really want. Buyer Beware …

Athletes get shoes and sneakers made, one-off all the time, by Name Brand shoe sales like Adidas and Nike and Mizuno and others.

And some purveyors of shoes, take these images and load them into a slick site and attempt to scam you into buying them, knowing that they really do not exist for mass consumption by the public.

Sites in China and in Asia, the counterfeiters hide behind slick-looking websites with reputable locators like (CO.UK / or CO.AU/ or a North American/CANADIAN DOT COM)

Their sites might look slick with lots of product, but from my experience, I got the same knock off product twice, from TWO sites online, that came from the SAME counterfeit address in Shanghai, China.

If you’ve never bought from a site before, it behooves you to check your sources and see if there are comments or complaints on the site, and if you are not sure, then your first choice is a local selling platform like AMAZON or EBAY or a reputable CO.UK CO.AU.

If you are buying from a platform like EBAY – you can select selling locations. You just need to be aware of the local currency conversion for your location.

Amazon does not always specify where the seller is but they give you a price. Once you make your purchase you find out where that product is coming from.

I’ve bought reputable items from South Korea before, on Amazon Global.

Stay Away from anything sold in China. Because you never know if the product you are buying on a site is the real item or a counterfeit.

The Canadian RCMP is actively seeking legal action on many counterfeit sites in China and Shanghai. I found that out after getting burned by Shanghai gangsters.

Be a savvy shopper. Know your websites. Scrutinize those websites if they seem too good to be true. Because if it looks slick and the products sold look to be the same styles High End athletes wear on the pitch … You might be scammed …

Just be careful with your money …

Friday: Gender Identity and the Preamble

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Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women (PEOPLE) who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.

The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. A.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy, neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.

The Preamble of the fellowship has been used since its inception. And it is read at every meeting one attends anywhere in the world.

The Month of October saw new members in the chair.

The Friday meeting is the most popular meeting during the week. And it is the only meeting of its kind in the city, on either side of the language partition. With that said, many of our young people range across the Gender Identity Spectrum.

Many of our visitors every week, are mostly young people, from all walks of life. And we know for sure that Gender identity IS a topic among our young people and we respect and acknowledge this fact.

As the group GSR, it is my responsibility to chair the monthly business meeting.

We have a very healthy group, membership wise. And on any given Friday night, we seat nearly 50 people in a split for discussion, of As Bill Sees It.

At our business meeting, the young man who has been chairing for the month put forth the motion to update and rewrite the familiar A.A. Preamble, to recognize Gender Identity, as it presents itself at our meeting.

As is new business, each item of discussion is put on the table and listed in the minutes of the meeting. This item of discussion was seconded by several members sitting around the table. We tabled the motion as new business, and the discussion will continue into November, where the motion will be voted on to either retain the former Preamble as it is, OR to rewrite it to reflect the changing Gender Identity of our group as a whole.

Since the face of the fellowship is changing and from the responses that we get on a weekly basis, of the book and readings themselves, the issue of Gender Identity has been front and center for a while now.

We will be discussing this change properly as a group in the coming weeks. And when the discussion comes to a vote, we will know how the Group Conscience sits on the issue of Gender Identity.

Thursday: Clarity

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Most alcoholics don’t want to admit that they “feel.” Most would rather go back out and drink, when things get tough, rather than admit to their fellows that they are having a rough time of it. The Promise of the fellowship, is that, there will be good days, and there will be bad days.

And You don’t have to drink over the bad days.

Sobriety is not easy. And people struggle with emotions that come up, once we get sober. We heard tonight that, talking about where we are with our fellows, provides.

The Hand of the fellowship is always there. But not all people are able, and some are just not willing, to stick their hand out and offer it up.

However, there are those who will.

Finding those people, is like finding a needle in a haystack.

What is the key to that hunt ? You keep showing up and You keep talking. You keep talking, if in most cases, you are just hearing yourself talk, one way or another, the human who is supposed to help you WILL appear.

We also heard that a connection with a “Power Greater than Ones Self” can be a crucial part of who we become. This thought is a double-sided coin. Because not everybody in the rooms, believes in God.

The two minds are these … Those who find a God of their Understanding, and those who operate without it. There is NO right answer.

If you find the route to stay sober, more power to you.

Tonight, my friend who spoke, seriously relies on that power Greater than Himself, he chooses to call it God.

Many times, over the years, I’ve watched people come in, kicking and screaming all the way. They refute the Book, they malign the Book and the Work. Until they finally give in, and allow the program to help them.

God has always been the sticking point where we lose the most souls to alcoholism and addiction. There have been countless people, young and old, who just plainly will not accept that any God would help them, because of being burned somewhere in their past.

Over the years, I have worked tirelessly to find a route for them to find a way to get and stay sober. The whole first stage of my sobriety, people came and went over one word:

GOD…

Over and Over, people wrestled with God. Many did not make it and eventually they disappeared and never returned.

We know that there are no Atheists in Fox Holes. When it comes down to brass tacks, when we hit the bottom of our personal barrels, the only way is up, and with that up, comes a spiritual solution.

However you find that Spiritual Solution is up to you. It is there to be found, if you really go looking for it.

My friend, tonight, spoke pretty convincingly, that every day, he relies on God to direct the show. And I agree with him on this.

I’ve watched my friend get sober, and it was not an easy road to walk for him. Yet he persevered. Over the years, I gave him opportunities, in several meetings, to polish his story, and do some service. And he always stepped up and spoke confidently and honestly.

Six years, is a good chunk of time. My friend has certain clarity about his story today, that he did not have in the beginning. My old-timer friend, who thanked him, said as much, that when He was six years sober, my old-timer friend, lacked the clarity that the speaker has right now, having reached his sixth year sober.

Sobriety is not easy, and can be downright rough. And sometimes the rooms do not provide that hand we so desperately need when times get hard. So we keep showing up and doing what it is we were taught to do from the very beginning.

  • Service.
  • Coffee.
  • Chairs and Tables.
  • Shaking hands.
  • Reading.
  • Find a Home Group.

If you tack, one suggestion, on top of another, eventually, we learn how to put these simple suggestions together, a foundation will be built, that we can rely on for certain.

If You do these simple things, you will stay sober, one day at a time.

When Spirituality hits, it will hit when it is needed, and when it comes, you might be pleasantly surprised, with the How, the When and the Why.

The book is written they way it is for a reason. If you read the book, and follow what it says, and you work the steps in the order they come in, you will find a power greater than yourself, I guarantee it.

There is a God and I am Not God.

Thank God for that.

I do know, in 44 days, I will hit Sixteen years sober.

I have a little more clarity these days.

My friends never cease to amaze me with the way they see the world around us.

Grateful …

Paul Lanza – Needs a Kidney in Montreal

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Paul Lanza – Face Book

I have no idea how to post this kinda stuff, so I’ll just dive right in.

Almost 3 years ago I began to reject my transplanted kidney, I spent a month in the hospital trying to save it. Almost a year later, it was no longer able to keep me healthy, so I started dialysis. In the last two years, I’ve been on dialysis waiting to be placed back on a waiting list for another transplant, but there are all kinds of things that need to go right for that. Right now, I’m waiting for a surgery to remove the rejected organ, forcing me to take some time off work, and more time not on the list.

To have a (mostly) normal life, I need another kidney transplant. The rejection was so severe, that I’ve developed a large number of antibodies, and my donor pool is incredibly small. They’ll need to place me on a nation wide donor list, which presents more complications. The wait could be decades.

I need help, I need someone to donate one of their kidneys to me. This isn’t easy to ask. I don’t expect anyone to do this, it’s a huge burden. But I want my life back. I want to travel, and eat, and not feel like shit all the time, and have free time. If you’re willing, and truly willing to donate a piece of yourself so that I can live, I can’t put into words the gratitude I’d have for you.

If you want to get tested, ideal blood type would be O+, but since I’m so tough find a kidney, there are ways around it. You need to contact the following number, and speak with Laura Gilbert. (514) 890-8000, poste 24840. She’ll give you all the information to move forward. I don’t expect anyone to do this, how do you ask someone to put themselves through this for you?

It feels so selfish. But what are my options? To wait for someone to die, and hope they’re a match? If you have any questions you can always message me as well. Thank you to anyone who even reads all this.

The Depths of Loneliness …

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Only those people who have serious long sober time, realize the depths of just how lonely we were. That takes A LOT of time, in sobriety.

Lorna Kelly said that about her life. She said this to us when she was here in 2012. And I listen to her share continuously. Because she was right.

A newcomer sat with us tonight. And the default for the meeting format when someone is at their first meeting, we return to “More about Alcoholism,” And Step One.

I got to the hall first, and got the coffee perking and set up with a friend. As I was walking outside, one of our newcomers, as I approached him said to me … “Stay away from me and don’t touch me…” Not sure where he is in his head, but I am the least of his worries.

Being a third generation Alcoholic, I thought I understood what alcoholism was, by the way family treated the subject. My grand father, my father, and my uncles all drank.

The wives and the kids, never made much of it. It was an acceptable norm. Alcohol was a major food group. And nobody said a word edgewise about it, at least in front of me.

Those men all drank with impunity. They paid no consequences for their actions, because who was going to punish them or make light of the seriousness of the problem?

Functional alcoholism was the name of the game, for the whole of my life.

My grandparents had homes, families, cars, kids … It was picture perfect.

My paternal grandparents had a beautiful home, that I still visit in my mind’s eye. It was a safe place that I was protected and loved unconditionally. My Grammy filled me with that love, behind a very powerful and terrible secret of abuse, violence and pain.

The alcoholic men in my family were abusive in every sense of the word. And for the whole of my life, my grandmothers stood in the way of my father carrying a bat around chasing me around the house trying to kill me.

And that went on, with impunity. My mother allowed it to happen. Because she knew that if she said anything or got involved, it would be worse for her. She would never leave him nor say anything because he warned her that she would go with nothing but the clothes on her back. So she stayed …

Silence gives consent. We all know this today. Did she know that then? Probably not.

The obsession of every alcoholic is that some day we will be able to drink like everyone else. A friend said tonight that if she was controlling her drinking she wasn’t enjoying it, and if she was enjoying it, she wasn’t controlling it either.

I drank like everyone else in the family. One for One. I could out drink the best of them.

I thought that was normal.

I carried the delusion that as an alcoholic, following the example set by family around me, that “I Too” could drink with impunity. That there would be no consequences, that I would not pay for my addiction to alcohol. That nobody would call me on the carpet nor say a word about it.

I was very wrong about that. And I paid a price for that assumption.

My parents taught us all how to hate and how to resent someone, just because.

When I moved away from home, to be Gay, I was told that alcohol was the lube I would need to “get into community.” Now, I look back at it, it might have been fun, while it lasted, and I did have fun, but underneath, deep underneath, was utter loneliness.

I could not land a relationship to save my life. Not when alcohol was driving the situation. I got burned time and time again, by people who knew better than I did, how to burn another human being.

I’ve heard it said that, once we begin drinking in the morning, we have crossed that invisible line into serious alcoholism. That once we start with that “morning drink” the game is all but over. The end is nigh…

I was a particular alcoholic.

  • I never had alcohol in my home
  • I never bought alcohol from a liquor store, ever
  • I never bought hard drugs, but if you had them to share, I participated
  • I never drank in the morning, ever … UNTIL
  • I always had to go out to drink, I never drank at home

I know, for a fact, that the first morning I decided to keep drinking on the 23 hour drinking program, I had crossed that invisible line.

I know for a fact, that the morning I sat in that bar at 7 a.m. in the morning with another drink in front of me, all bets were off. And with that next drink, came two fellows with a proposition, which I participated in.

It was that day – that morning – in a haze of drugs and alcohol, that I took my life into my own hands, God be damned, for the fun that couple of hours would provide. In the end, I was the looser:

The BULLET was SHOT. And I was the TARGET.

In Fort Lauderdale, in those years, you could feasibly drink, 23 hours a day.

One bar opened at 7 a.m. and that started the ball rolling. You could easily drink all day, and well into the night, and well into the wee hours, until 6 a.m. The bars would close for that functional “Stocking” hour, and the cycle would begin again at 7 a.m.

I think, if memory serves, I only did the 7 a.m. run twice. Because by then, the damage was done. My choice to drink that particular morning, would eventually catch up with me, and take my life, right out from under me.

How can you think that the other alcoholics and their enablers, would step up to the plate and rally the troops and gather the wagons and horses and support you ?

Thank God … Thank GOD that TODD read GOD stepped in when they did.

I’ve never felt so lonely, alone, and helpless, like I was back then.

I know the depths of particular loneliness, not necessarily the alcoholic type of lonely, but the loneliness, of being tossed into the gutter and abandoned by people who should have loved me and cared for me, but that was just too much to ask of any of them, because they surely had no care nor love to give, because they did not have it while I was growing up.

So how could they tap a well that was eternally empty ???

Another young woman talked about what happened to her when she drank, at the bitter end … The Teleportation.

You know “teleportation,” you begin drinking in one location and mysteriously, without input from yourself, wind up somewhere totally different, beyond your understanding.

At the end of my drinking, I was teleporting too.

I was binge drinking back in those days. One night a week, on Saturday.

The bar opened at 11 p.m. by 11:30 I was already lit. At midnight, the dance floor opened, and I attempted to make it to the Bells at 1 a.m. A few drinks in, hoping that someone would notice me …

Mysteriously, I would lose time and location.

I could not figure out, and still, to this day, I have no idea what actually did happen, In one moment I was dancing in the club, and the next moment I was in my bed …

How I got from the dance hall, into a taxi, home to my building and through TWO secure locked doors, and into my bed, ESCAPES ME.

TELEPORTATION …

They also say that the only Step you need to do 100% is Step One.

I am an alcoholic and I am powerless over alcohol.

If I ever forget that, I will end up, like some of my sorry fellows stuck in that revolving door of addiction and alcoholism, very quickly.

I am not one of them, and I work very hard at remembering why. I study my friend, I parse their words and I collect their stories here, so that I don’t ever FORGET.

We know that when we begin drinking, our lives, our being become stunted. We remain who we are emotionally, at the time the drink began. And when we stop, we have to figure out how old we are emotionally, and begin rebuilding from there.

And IF we go OUT again, it only gets worse, never better. We could never recapture the glory of that BUZZ we got once, never to find it again.

Many come, Few stay, the first time around.

I’ve done my time in the furnace. TWICE.

I am not going back. As long as we read the book and work our steps.

We only have a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.

Thank GOD … THANK GOD !!!

 

Sunday Sundries: Guest Post: Uncomfortable Truth

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I have friends who are teachers, students, and fellows in Religion Circles. Religion, for many, is a dying subject. Like some of my friends, my Religious education went nowhere. I spent countless monies and years of my time studying a subject that would not produce a career in my chosen field.

My friend Steve, works in Manhattan, in the publishing field. He also is a student of Religion and studied Old World Languages and Religions of the far East and taught religion for a while, until he fell out of favor with those he worked beneath.

Steve has a blog I read daily. There is always something to learn about life.

Tonight I am posting his entry for Sunday: Uncomfortable Truth

Ugly. That’s not a word I use lightly. The phenomenon of racism is ugly. More than that, it’s insidious. I recently attended a community course on racism sponsored by the Central Jersey Community Coalition. Since our government won’t condemn racism our communities must. This five-hour course was an eye-opener for me. I had known that race was a social construct with no basis in biology or any kind of science. What I hadn’t realized is that race was invented as a means of maintaining “white” power. And it was done so deliberately. The course leaders outlined the history of the modern concept of race and showed how it is primarily an American phenomenon (not exclusively, but it was intentionally orchestrated here). The idea was to keep property in the hands of wealthy whites.

During the discussion many topics came to mind. The primary two, for me, were capitalism and the Bible. These strange bedfellows are far too comfortable with one another. Both can be made to participate in the racism narrative. Capitalism appeals to the basest and most vulgar aspects of being human. Greed and selfishness. Wanting more for me and less for you. As one participant put it, it’s a zero-sum game. Your loss is my gain. We support this system every time we buy into the myth that life is about consuming. Buying more. Contributing to the economy. That which is lost is mere humanity. This is the narrative our government has adopted. The election of one of the uber-wealthy has demonstrated that with a nuclear missile shot heard round the world.

And what of the Bible? As the story of the flood unfolds in the book of Genesis, Noah develops a drinking problem. Naked in his tent, his shame is seen by his son Ham. Hungover the next morning, the only righteous man alive curses his son’s progeny. Then after the tower of Babel story, those cursed races, in biblical geography, end up in Africa. Christian preachers long used this myth as the justification of slavery. Races, after all, were decreed by God at that very tower. The tower shows us for who we truly are. Human hubris led to divine folly. And now we have a nation of liberty built on the basic premise of inequality. Racism is beyond ugly. It’s evil. The Bible may be complicit, but we need to take over the narrative. Race does not exist. Scientifically there is no such thing. Although race doesn’t exist, racism most assuredly does. Like all evils we must bring it to the light to make it disappear.