2018/05/08

Watching

A long ways back, my son warned me of the dangers of the "connected" world. Most specifically of the intrusion of CCTV. To those who might not know what that means, CCTV is "Closed Circuit TV". It is those small, relatively inobtrusive, video cameras that monitor such things as street corners, stop lights, shopping malls or elevators.

I was just a wee bit skeptical of his claims at first. But, after some of ruminating, I thought that he might be correct in his assumptions. And still, I had my doubts. 

Thanks to that wonderful thing called Netflix, I had my first awakening to what may be our greatest downfall as an independent species. I watched a TV series from the UK called "Caught On Camera". The program highlighted the wonderful advantages that CCTV can offer in bringing criminals to justice. Criminals such as people who urinate in public places, those who decide to light up a spliff on a park bench and even folks who get stumbling drunk on the streets. 

Yes, yes, I am making just a little bit of fun about what CCTV could offer. The 3 examples I offered were amply shown throughout the series I watched, along with some very Very effective forms of security related protection this sort of 24 hour surveillance can offer. And yet... I wondered...

I just finished watching a movie on (grazie, Netflix!!) called "The Circle". Other than the enjoyment of seeing actors I have enjoyed over the years, this one film told me that not only was my son correct in his concerns, but that we are truly fucked with regards to any sort of privacy we might think we have in today's society.

The BBC show told me that Britain is watched and constantly monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. So, if you head out for a night on the town and you decide to pick your nose, someone is watching and laughing at your action.

The movie told me that the technology most probably exists somewhere where anyone or any government agency can (& probably does!) watch almost every move we make in today's world. 

At first, the movie seemed to be a fun romp thru mindless time passing. As it progressed, I got this feeling that what was being portrayed was entirely possible. Even I, a simple and boring example of humanity, am equipped with all sorts of recording devices that can be hidden and/or used in a manner that YOU might never know of.

Voice recorders, video and image cameras, heck, I can capture anyone & everyone as easily as I could simply by looking at them. And I am nothing more than a tech fan. I don't know the half (quarter??) of what goes into the creation or processing of all that data. Imagine what a tech nerd, or a government arm with billions of $$$ at their disposal, can do. Or, as in the movie, a private multi-billion dollar company could do. Facebook, anyone???

Ever since my son shared his concerns over privacy invasion via video, I have been increasingly aware of the utter abundance of closed-circuit television cameras everywhere. I see them in my apartment building, in the variety of stores & malls I visit, on the streets and even in government offices (surprised??!!)

We are being watched! George Orwell may well have been overly optimistic in his 1949 vision of a society constantly and consistently under review by government authorities in his book called "1984". We are now far gone from that particular year, even decades!, but...

If you think by now that I am somewhat paranoid about where we are in today's society, I would strongly suggest you watch "The Circle" (starring, in no particular order, Emma Watson -Harry Potter-, Tom Hanks -well, yeah-, and Bill Paxton -look him up-). If that movie does not make you think, then maybe watch the Jason Bourne series of films. There you can see how the government can control all those itty-bitty video contraptions that litter our landscape.

I hope that I just made your day more enjoyable! If not, then, more suspicious...

Keep The Faith*

2018/04/14

Another Year

... and I'm still here! Somewhat healthy, partially sane, but thrilled and grateful to no end to be clean and in recovery!!

On April 14 of 1992, I came to the spiritual awakening... no, more of a spiritual change... that I couldn't keep on doing what I was doing (using drugs) and hope to live or even survive life. I had a wee bit over three years of clean time a few months before that date, but ignored all that I was taught by my recovery Fellowship and relapsed.

But, ah, yes BUT! On this date in '92, it was my wife, Bernie's, 30th birthday. Or would have been, if she hadn't gone on to the infinite recovery called death. My spiritual change came because I realized that my own recovery depended on me  staying alive, for my kids (the gods bless  all 3!) and for the memory of the woman who showed me this gift called Narcotics Anonymous!
--- and poo on you Tradition thumpers who may wail at my despoiling of Tradition 11!! ---

Today, I celebrate life. Today I celebrate another milestone in my journey in this recovery process. Today, I am 26 years Clean! My eldest daughter, Jenna texted me a few days ago to congratulate me on my Clean-iversary! I found that to be the most exquisite description of such an event. A Clean-iversary!! beautiful...

So, later on this evening, I'll be heading off to a meeting and pick up another black, multiple year keytag to add to my collection. And, next week on April 20, I will celebrate my accomplishment (may the gods be gentle & willing) with my friends who are also a part of this journey of Recovery with me!

Keep The Faith*
(oh, and Happy 56th Birthday, Bernie! You are missed!!)

2018/04/11

First Time

In almost 30 years being a part of this recovery process, not once have I had a speaking share recorded. I guess there's a first time for everything!

Spring Break Share - 31 March 2018

2018/02/27

I Wonder

...if my "work" here on the Internet is nothing more than an vain attempt at making myself into something I simply may not be.

Amazing as it is, I have seen enough memes about humankind's incessant need to publish this and that and (yes, of course!) the other thing about absolutely nothing at all. I look at the images & words that are placed on YouTube and that stew-pid Facebook and realize I am just trying to be something else. Which ain't me.

Have you looked at my Facebook feed?
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100012693069979
Have you looked at my YouTube page?
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxf4XQInUl2ARkuSGXyfwDA


There is absolutely nothing there that shows who or what I am. Nada. Believe me, I looked. Then again, my "research" has brought absolutely nothing to mind as to what or who I truly am!

I am a father. I have three absolutely amazing children who have given me more pride and hope in life than I could ever desire.

I am an addict in recovery. That alone has taken me far beyond my self-imposed "Best Before Date" (which just happened to be the age of 30).

Just those two things should (in my imagination) just about put me in a spot of "Way to go, Robb!" Still, I question my accomplishments.

Just what did I do to have such great kids? That question rattles and addles my brain on a constant basis. Just what the fuck was my influence upon those three that made them as good and decent as they are today? And, oh yes, And, was there any influence upon them at all from the likes of me?

Recovery? Many times I think that it is more a matter of "clean time" than any sort of "recovery". I try to give back to my Fellowship, but it pales to utter insignificance when I see (& remember!) that I have not sponsored anyone for more than 8 years. So, wtf am I doing in this business?

The questions continue. Questions about me. Fuck what my kids tell me. Fuck what others in recovery tell me. I need to tell me! I need to learn my place here in life. I also need to just simply accept the fact that I am where I am because that is the way of life.

But, I am a cynical and snide person. Just look at my Google+ profile!
https://plus.google.com/u/0/106328986583670984993
Ha! And once again, I try that shit-hole attempt at self promotion to try and make me be something that I just may not be!


Ooooo, that reminds me! I am at that quarterly point of advertising Robb's Place on FB! Gotta go...

Keep The Faith*

2018/02/16

Amazing Recovery...

One of those things is what I hear at a meeting. At my Thursday night meeting, the "It's Possible" group on Caldwell (Come visit! It's a blast... and It's Possible!!) we read the JFT --Just For Today-- mediation for February 15. It was about "An Awakening of the Spirit."

I do not read the daily meditations at all. The only time I hear them is at a meeting I attend that uses them as a part of the opening readings. My Thursday night meeting has been opening with the JFT for the past while. Tonight, I am grateful for that!

The reading went as follows:

𝙁𝙚𝙬 𝙤𝙛 𝙪𝙨 𝙘𝙖𝙢𝙚 𝙩𝙤 𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙛𝙞𝙧𝙨𝙩 𝙉𝙖𝙧𝙘𝙤𝙩𝙞𝙘𝙨 𝘼𝙣𝙤𝙣𝙮𝙢𝙤𝙪𝙨 𝙢𝙚𝙚𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙖𝙘𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙤 𝙩𝙖𝙠𝙚 𝙖 𝙥𝙚𝙧𝙨𝙤𝙣𝙖𝙡 𝙞𝙣𝙫𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙤𝙧𝙮 𝙤𝙧 𝙗𝙚𝙡𝙞𝙚𝙫𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙖 𝙨𝙥𝙞𝙧𝙞𝙩𝙪𝙖𝙡 𝙫𝙤𝙞𝙙 𝙚𝙭𝙞𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙙 𝙞𝙣 𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙨𝙤𝙪𝙡𝙨. 𝙒𝙚 𝙝𝙖𝙙 𝙣𝙤 𝙞𝙣𝙠𝙡𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙬𝙚 𝙬𝙚𝙧𝙚 𝙖𝙗𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙩𝙤 𝙚𝙢𝙗𝙖𝙧𝙠 𝙤𝙣 𝙖 𝙟𝙤𝙪𝙧𝙣𝙚𝙮 𝙬𝙝𝙞𝙘𝙝 𝙬𝙤𝙪𝙡𝙙 𝙖𝙬𝙖𝙠𝙚𝙣 𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙨𝙡𝙚𝙚𝙥𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙨𝙥𝙞𝙧𝙞𝙩𝙨. 

𝙇𝙞𝙠𝙚 𝙖 𝙡𝙤𝙪𝙙 𝙖𝙡𝙖𝙧𝙢 𝙘𝙡𝙤𝙘𝙠, 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙁𝙞𝙧𝙨𝙩 𝙎𝙩𝙚𝙥 𝙗𝙧𝙞𝙣𝙜𝙨 𝙪𝙨 𝙩𝙤 𝙨𝙚𝙢𝙞-𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙨𝙘𝙞𝙤𝙪𝙨𝙣𝙚𝙨𝙨-𝙖𝙡𝙩𝙝𝙤𝙪𝙜𝙝 𝙖𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙥𝙤𝙞𝙣𝙩, 𝙬𝙚 𝙢𝙖𝙮 𝙣𝙤𝙩 𝙗𝙚 𝙨𝙪𝙧𝙚 𝙬𝙝𝙚𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙬𝙚 𝙬𝙖𝙣𝙩 𝙩𝙤 𝙘𝙡𝙞𝙢𝙗 𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙤𝙛 𝙗𝙚𝙙 𝙤𝙧 𝙢𝙖𝙮𝙗𝙚 𝙨𝙡𝙚𝙚𝙥 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙟𝙪𝙨𝙩 𝙛𝙞𝙫𝙚 𝙢𝙤𝙧𝙚 𝙢𝙞𝙣𝙪𝙩𝙚𝙨. 𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙜𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙡𝙚 𝙝𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙨𝙝𝙖𝙠𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙨𝙝𝙤𝙪𝙡𝙙𝙚𝙧𝙨 𝙖𝙨 𝙬𝙚 𝙖𝙥𝙥𝙡𝙮 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙎𝙚𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙙 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙏𝙝𝙞𝙧𝙙 𝙎𝙩𝙚𝙥𝙨 𝙘𝙖𝙪𝙨𝙚𝙨 𝙪𝙨 𝙩𝙤 𝙨𝙩𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙪𝙥, 𝙨𝙩𝙧𝙚𝙩𝙘𝙝, 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙮𝙖𝙬𝙣. 𝙒𝙚 𝙣𝙚𝙚𝙙 𝙩𝙤 𝙬𝙞𝙥𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙨𝙡𝙚𝙚𝙥 𝙛𝙧𝙤𝙢 𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙚𝙮𝙚𝙨 𝙩𝙤 𝙬𝙧𝙞𝙩𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙁𝙤𝙪𝙧𝙩𝙝 𝙎𝙩𝙚𝙥 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙨𝙝𝙖𝙧𝙚 𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙁𝙞𝙛𝙩𝙝. 𝘽𝙪𝙩 𝙖𝙨 𝙬𝙚 𝙬𝙤𝙧𝙠 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙎𝙞𝙭𝙩𝙝, 𝙎𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙝, 𝙀𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩𝙝, 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙉𝙞𝙣𝙩𝙝 𝙎𝙩𝙚𝙥𝙨, 𝙬𝙚 𝙗𝙚𝙜𝙞𝙣 𝙣𝙤𝙩𝙞𝙘𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙖 𝙨𝙥𝙧𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙞𝙣 𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙥 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙨𝙩𝙖𝙧𝙩 𝙤𝙛 𝙖 𝙨𝙢𝙞𝙡𝙚 𝙤𝙣 𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙡𝙞𝙥𝙨. 𝙊𝙪𝙧 𝙨𝙥𝙞𝙧𝙞𝙩𝙨 𝙨𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙞𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙨𝙝𝙤𝙬𝙚𝙧 𝙖𝙨 𝙬𝙚 𝙩𝙖𝙠𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙏𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙝 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙀𝙡𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙝 𝙎𝙩𝙚𝙥𝙨. 𝘼𝙣𝙙 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙣 𝙬𝙚 𝙥𝙧𝙖𝙘𝙩𝙞𝙘𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙏𝙬𝙚𝙡𝙛𝙩𝙝, 𝙡𝙚𝙖𝙫𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙝𝙤𝙪𝙨𝙚 𝙞𝙣 𝙨𝙚𝙖𝙧𝙘𝙝 𝙤𝙛 𝙤𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙨 𝙩𝙤 𝙖𝙬𝙖𝙠𝙚𝙣. 

𝙒𝙚 𝙙𝙤𝙣'𝙩 𝙝𝙖𝙫𝙚 𝙩𝙤 𝙨𝙥𝙚𝙣𝙙 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙧𝙚𝙨𝙩 𝙤𝙛 𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙡𝙞𝙫𝙚𝙨 𝙞𝙣 𝙖 𝙨𝙥𝙞𝙧𝙞𝙩𝙪𝙖𝙡 𝙘𝙤𝙢𝙖. 𝙒𝙚 𝙢𝙖𝙮 𝙣𝙤𝙩 𝙡𝙞𝙠𝙚 𝙩𝙤 𝙜𝙚𝙩 𝙪𝙥 𝙞𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙢𝙤𝙧𝙣𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙗𝙪𝙩, 𝙤𝙣𝙘𝙚 𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙤𝙛 𝙗𝙚𝙙, 𝙬𝙚'𝙧𝙚 𝙖𝙡𝙢𝙤𝙨𝙩 𝙖𝙡𝙬𝙖𝙮𝙨 𝙜𝙡𝙖𝙙 𝙬𝙚 𝙙𝙞𝙙.

𝙅𝙪𝙨𝙩 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙏𝙤𝙙𝙖𝙮: 𝙏𝙤 𝙖𝙬𝙖𝙠𝙚𝙣 𝙢𝙮 𝙨𝙡𝙚𝙚𝙥𝙮 𝙨𝙥𝙞𝙧𝙞𝙩, 𝙄 𝙬𝙞𝙡𝙡 𝙪𝙨𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙏𝙬𝙚𝙡𝙫𝙚 𝙎𝙩𝙚𝙥s.

What amazed me was the way this reading made understanding the 12 Steps of NA so utterly simple.

From Step 1 where we learn to just wake up from our addiction, Steps 2 & 3 where we get up and stretch, to Steps 4 & 5 when we wipe the sleep from our eyes, Steps 6, 7, 8 and 9 as we discover a spring in our steps plus a little smile, then we sing as we work Steps 10 & 11, and then get ourselves out into that wonderful world to maybe help someone else to awaken from the insanity of addiction and introduce them to the wonder of Recovery in Step 12!
Amazing Recovery!

Keep The Faith*