WEEKEND WAS NOTHING BUT GUITAR PRACTICE

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I fell asleep to “Trivium” the album “The Sin and The Sentence”

I exercised to “Alter Bridge” the album “Walk the Sky”

 

I’d talk more about the sad loss of so many people because of this virus, but that seems redundant with it on EVERY media outlet EVERYWHERE!  I must say a HUGE heartfelt thank you to all of the 911 responders & health professionals busting their butts to keep us safe!

I complain too much!  Mostly about my lack of money.  I need to shut my yap, most people have the same problem, so we’re no different.  I also talk too much about guitars but that’s my hobby, so you’ll just have to deal with it.

Most guitar players will sell a guitar to get another.  That has never really made sense to me, something I’m positive I’d regret.  My acoustic guitar will always remain because it’s my only acoustic guitar.  My 4 electric guitars all have a distinct sound & pickups for a reason, even the Fender which, the more I play it, the more I like it!  That’s the only one I didn’t point out to someone.

Lots of guitar players have multiple guitars for many different reasons.  Different tunings, sounds, body shapes, brands, pickups, colours, etc.  My 3 electric 6 strings all sound different, have different pickups, colours, brands, & different body shapes.  My electric 7 string is obviously for stuff that requires a 7th string/lower tuning.  I don’t need to make a point of playing each one, I have all of those reasons to change it up!

I got my first guitar on my 21st birthday in 2001.  I got brain cancer 6 days after my 28th birthday.  I basically played for 6 years in 3 different bands.  I was always a singer first.  I learned guitar after singing in a band for around a year because guitar looked fun & I needed something to do with my hands.

Now that I’ve resumed playing after an almost 12 year hiatus due to cancer, things are WAY different.  Playing in a wheelchair is by far the biggest difference.  I didn’t realize how big of a deal posture was when playing guitar.  As of Thursday, I have that figured out finally.

When I got cancer, my body was so weak I couldn’t feed myself for a few years or even drink anything for that matter and swallowing was a gong show.  My nutrients was all through an IV drip.  I began drinking through a straw, meanwhile Kim & my parents had to feed me.

Now my right hand is fine, my left hand & arm are still noticeably weaker, but getting stronger everyday with my exercise & guitar playing.  Each time I learn something new on guitar I think “Wow that sounds much more difficult than it really is!”

When I was first playing guitar I had no clue as to what I was doing.  If I put my hands here in a certain shape I’d make the right sound & I learned, a bit, from there.  Now it’s all been physically brand new, while knowing SO much more about what I’m doing.  Before I’d have to look up the tab for each song, now I just need the chord to figure out the short riffs/hooks to a song.

I don’t think about what it is that I’m doing at the time, I think of that afterwards.  Really all I think about while playing is “Does this sound right in this part of the song?”  I tend to close my eyes if I’m not moving my hand & arm up & down the neck of the guitar & rely more on my ears.  The muscle memory is definitely coming along though!

There’s a guy on www.youtube.com who always says “The perfect amount of guitars is, all of the guitars you own + 1”.  Maybe for him (20+ guitars including 5 high end PRS models) & other guitar players.  Fair enough he teaches guitar & makes extra cash with his youtube videos.  6 electric guitars & one acoustic are all I’d ever want.  If I couldn’t play every electric guitar I own within 1 ½ weeks, why would I have them?

Much like that rule that applies to EVERYTHING that’s not seasonal “If you haven’t used it in 6 months, why do you need it?”  This is another example for me of LESS IS MORE.

I have definitely decided to save up for this guitar & we’ll see what happens in a few years.  Brewster is on his pills, heart pill forever & a temporary water pill, as long as he has what he needs, we consider things good.  I won’t be getting this exact model of guitar, that’s this year’s model.  Hopefully something with the PRS TCI pickups (less gain), more electronic options, the bridge, an inexpensive SE model still (less Maple wood involved) & different PRS tuners.  Go to 2:20 minutes to hear what Paul Reed Smith wanted this guitar to have…

After 2 good days on Saturday & Sunday working through a few songs, I’m really happy with my progress.  I picked 10 songs to practice a few on each guitar, and so far things are good.  Here’s a sample of what I’ve picked to learn…

It’s REALLY good to have productive days like this!!!

 

The Toronto Blue Jays 1992 World Series highlights are being replayed.  I’m wearing my, once VERY large jersey, I got in 1992.  Yes, for Christmas of 2013? I asked to have Roberto Alomar’s name & #12 put on the back of it.  First Toronto Blue Jay player to go into the Hall of Fame!

https://images.app.goo.gl/N3CeybdEjxLQavSC6

What do I think of “Pearl Jam’s” new album “Gigaton”?  I really like it, I’ve been waiting for a looooong time for Pearl Jam to release a different album from anything in their catalogue while keeping the grungesque 1990s vibe at the same time.  Are you a fan?

 

“I feel good about the good things, & bad about the bad things”-David Grohl

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris

“Be kind to one another”-Ellen Degeneres

HOLY LACK OF MOTIVATION

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Do you have a question about stage 4 brain cancer?  Ask if you do!

300 Curls w/ 20 pound dumb bells

180 Shoulder raises/Chest presses w/ 10 pound dumb bells

200 Crunches

200 Leg lifts

100 Squats while balancing on my toes.  (I fell…again…on Wednesday)

100 Back flexes

2 days of yoga

 

I fell asleep to “I Built The Sky” the album “The Zenith Rise”

I exercised to “Better Than Ezra” the album “Deluxe”

 

I didn’t do my job on Monday or Tuesday.  I did my weights & such on Wednesday, 15 minutes later my arms were shaking.  Tuesday was TERRIBLE!  I slept fine, woke up around 7:30 am, and wasted the day falling in & out of sleep until almost 1:00 pm.  Got up, had a bite to eat & then parked my lazy ass on the couch waiting to go back to bed.  Wednesday was better but not great.  Got up just after 8:00 am then proceeded to do anything but exercise until a bit after 11:00 am.

Thursday was GREAT!  Got everything done by 1:00 pm & finally felt comfortable playing guitar in a wheelchair, I played for 2:30 hours in the afternoon & about an hour in the evening!  Being comfortable and being in the proper position of upright made a world of difference.  Everything is much easier when I’m comfortable & relaxed!

I sat down on the couch with a coffee to watch the Canadian 24 hour news…WOW…just like every other news station “WERE ALL GONNA DIE”!  Yeah, I was surprised, actually SHOCKED, that Canada had enough news to fill 24 hours too!

Dearest broadcasters,

Please find anything else to broadcast other than Covid-19 stuff & re-runs.  I guarantee that your ratings will spike.

Sincerely,

A REALLY bored viewer

I really don’t even watch much TV as it is, & now that it’s only news & repeats I’ve almost forgotten that we have a TV.  With so many people dying from this virus, I gotta ask “Where did all the good people go?”  Who’s spreading this?  Is this Darwin’s sick & twisted theory of natural selection put into action?

I saw that the government is giving small business owners $2000/month for the next 4 months.  I’d take that for a year please?  This is pretty much a guarantee of NOT happening.  I’ll start saving my pennies & continue to cut back/eliminate other non-essential purchases though.  At the very least we’ll have a little more cash on hand!  Either way if I was to buy a guitar it would definitely be a VERY similar PRS.

SE Paul's Guitar - Aqua

Far more important financial matters to take care of.  I’ve got my 4 electric guitars, my acoustic, & 1 future electric.  It was ordered on January 15th & it was supposed to be here in April.  I got an email on March 2nd that it’s been delayed until August.  Can’t do anything about that or this Virus stuff that I’m sure will push it back more.  In the end, I’m getting a new guitar & I’d much rather have it made properly than get a guitar that’s been slapped together in a panic.

S2 Custom 22 Semi-Hollow Body Guitar w/Gig Bag - McCarty Sunburst

The weirdest thing about being isolated is that this is FAR TOO CLOSE to my daily life.  I exercise, talk to my dog, play guitar, bomb around this place in my wheelchair, watch a minimal amount of TV & go to bed.  Wake up &……REPEAT!  Everybody’s complaining about being quarantined for so long?  It’s been…what…2 weeks, try 6 or 7 years, 2 weeks of quarantine is nothing once you get used to it.

Well, to each their own I guess??  Good thing all of those multi thousand dollar guitar amplifiers didn’t have a good distortion channel so the purchase of a $120 effect pedal was needed (I had one….19 years ago).  I have an 8” speaker in my Roland Cube combo.  That pedal is fun to mess around with, for me it was nothing but a toy.  I’ve watched a TON of his videos & he seems to be a really good guy, this is just a matter of taste.

HE WAS LEARNING “GREEN DAY” ON THE PIANO AS A KID!  GOOD GRIEF I’M OLD!!!!!

 

“Nothing but Thieves” have an actual video now for their single off of what I assume to be a near future album.  Other than “Billie Eilish” they’re likely one of the very few ‘new’ (2015) bands I enjoy.

The new album “Gigaton” from “Pearl Jam” is out today.

 

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 “I feel good about the good things, & bad about the bad things”-David Grohl 

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris 

“Be kind to one another”-Ellen

“…ON AGAIN, OFF AGAIN, ON AGAIN, OFF…”

No such thing as a stupid question!  Feel free to ask me on Facebook or the website!

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I fell asleep to “Nothing But Thieves” the album “Nothing But Thieves”

 

The house is off of the market come the end of March.  No such thing as a wheelchair accessible bungalow under $380,000 in Regina now anyway.  It was here in October but I haven’t seen one since.  My biggest source of stress is gone…for now, it’ll likely show up next year?  “There’s a showing tomorrow afternoon, leave the house.”  Yeah it’s super easy to do when you’re physically handicapped & can’t drive!

Feedback after a showing, “I didn’t like the paint.  The cabinets were too dark.  There was too much empty space.”  That was all in the photos on the website, why did you bother looking at it?  Thanks for wasting our time & your time!

I’m going to save my money for Brewster’s medical bills a trip with Kim eventually, and when the right time comes along (which is NEVER) this…

https://www.long-mcquade.com/124878/Guitars/Electric-Guitars/Paul-Reed-Smith/SE-Paul-s-Guitar—Aqua.htm

…because that’s what I want.  I’ll stream my music, BLAH, & continue to cut other good things out.  How am I going to pay for it?  Don’t have a clue?

I was supposed to have a doctor appointment for some routine refills on Monday.  It was cancelled instead & sent by fax to the pharmacy.

People still think it’s OK to leave the city instead of going home.  Not my problem, when these people get back, stay away from everyone!  BE A GLOBAL CITIZEN!

 

“I feel good about the good things, & bad about the bad things”-David Grohl

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris

“Be kind to one another”-Ellen Degeneres

ARE YOU BORED?  READ THIS TO PASS THE TIME!

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300 Curls w/ 20 pound dumb bells

180 Shoulder raises/Chest presses w/ 10 pound dumb bells

600 Crunches

600 Leg lifts

300 Squats while balancing on my toes.  (I fell…again…on Wednesday)

300 Back flexes

2 days of yoga

 

I fell asleep to “Tool” the album “Fear Inoculum”

I exercised to “Big Wreck” the album “…but for the sun”

 

I do go to bed around 9:30 pm, however I don’t fall asleep until around 1:00 – 2:00 am.  I’ve been getting out of bed in the middle of the night watching guitar lessons on www.youtube.com or practicing song parts on an unplugged electric.  Just trying desperately to tire myself out.

I have trouble sitting still.  My brain is constantly thinking about what to do next.  Just when I think I’m caught up, I find something else that I should do.  Kim tells me to relax & watch a movie or some TV, honestly I don’t know how to relax, and I’m restless.

I watched a bit of TV this week, a hospital drama with a story about a cancer patient.  Immediately after the guy found out, he started crying his eyes out while hugging his wife.  All I could think was “Yep, I’ve been there”.  Then they spoke about how the patient & family live before they know about the cancer & after they know.  I couldn’t relate to that, I didn’t know.  I blacked out & a month later I woke up in the ICU.  It was a very weird experience, I knew something wasn’t right but I didn’t know what had happened or why I was wherever I was.  That month in a coma flashed by in the blink of an eye for me.

Everybody else is alert and worrying, meanwhile the person they’re worried about is clueless.  It’s weird when everybody is worrying about you & you don’t know why?  All of that garbage you her about cancer survivors going through & coming out OK on the other side.  I’ve been through a lot of it, but I’m still not all the way through it.

Best thing I can say about the coronavirus is, if you feel sick don’t worry about the outcome.  Do what you’re told to do & everybody around you will take care of the worrying part.  Remember that this virus has the highest death rate of 4% in China.  My brain cancer had an 85-95% chance of a death rate & was supposed to come back in 2013, it didn’t & I’m here.  Anybody with the virus is already ahead of me!  Stay positive & take care of yourself.  I know it’s easier said than done, trust me.

So people are worried about being quarantined for 2 weeks or a couple of months.  I’ve been quarantined since 2008.  I can’t drive.  On an average week I leave the house for maybe 3 hours?  I can’t get onto our balcony with my wheelchair.  If I want some fresh air I open the balcony door.  I don’t even get the luxury of driving to work.  I open the bedroom door & I’m already there.  I already don’t leave the house much.  Being quarantined for a bit isn’t that bad.

Just when I think this selling our condo deal is over, a place down the hall sells & we’re back in limbo.  Are we staying on the market or are we off?  I think we’re going to keep it on the market?  The place that sold was very similar in size, we’ll see what happens…

Sorry about the guitar babbling.  It’s a deep rooted passion of mine actually my only real hobby.  Guitar is what I like to do for my ‘me’ time.  So regarding the quarantine we’re all doing to keep as many people healthy as possible, welcome to my life!  I get up, have breakfast, exercise, shower, eat a little more, and avoid TV then play as much guitar as possible.

With my left arm being slightly weak from my cancer, I’m a bit slow along the fret board.  After a really good play through of a list of I gathered Wednesday night, I can say that it was a REALLY good day on the guitars.  Nothing I’ve ever played live before all newer songs, to me on a guitar.

Weird thing is I could play & sing this before, I can play it now & my arm has to move quite a bit for the verse & intro?

I figured this song out too.  It’s all up & down the fret board.  Never played or sang it before I always liked it though.

My amplifier & 4 effect pedals are in good shape & will keep me occupied & happy.  I’m pretty lucky that my current 4 electrics were all gifts.

Well this is a better picture of exactly what I ordered in January that should be here in August.  This will be the first electric guitar that I’ve ever paid for, the rest were gifts.  This is a PRS S2 made in Maryland, USA.  We saved for this for quite a while.

S2 Custom 22 Semi-Hollow Body Guitar w/Gig Bag - McCarty Sunburst

All PRS guitars have a high gloss finish to them!  The other 2 I’ve shown photos of were bought before 2003 and are likely under $700.  I bought a bunch of effect pedals (5) I think for $120 each, a Wah pedal ($240), my acoustic ($500), & my big amplifier with 4 X 12” speaker cabinet for a total of $1200.  Not everything was a gift but the important stuff was.  This was all purchased when I was still living at home & had a disposable income.  That’s somewhere around $2100 of gear that was given away (I have some of it).  Nobody knew if I was going to live or die.  Once I survived nobody knew how long I’d be in rehab or what I’d be capable of after.  I was bitter for a bit when I started to play, in the end I’m glad someone put it to use.

I picked “Kermit” out of a flyer, when Kim & I were dating I took her to the music store to show her the cracked floor model of “Grohl”.  My Fender Telecaster was an unexpected, thoughtful gift out of the blue while I was in rehab, I was cancer free but very weak.  My 7 string was a gift from Kim since I just felt sick that it went out of production 3 days after I ordered my PRS.

This is out in Canada this year.  More electronic options to switch between, different pickups, different bridge, different tuning keys, & a different colour.  I hope something similar is around in 10 years?  This is the ‘low’ priced PRS SE made oversea.  Kim helped me save for the PRS S2, the more expensive one (above), then bought the 7 string for my birthday at the end of January with her overtime money.  I’ll be saving for this myself with many other priorities ahead of this purchase.  I wouldn’t even think about it if it wasn’t completely different.  Yes, I research these big purchases of mine.

There’s a different PRS that will do EVERYTHING.  I don’t want that guitar or any other for that matter.  Something that does everything takes the fun & difficulty out of it for me.  What, all of a sudden my practicing is useless?  This would finally complete my collection.  I know I said that before but I couldn’t & don’t need to justify another purchase after this.  There is such a thing as too many guitars, for me!

SE Paul's Guitar - Aqua

Here it is 2:00 am Wednesday night & I’m reading reviews about how great the value is for what you get from the PRS SE “Paul’s Guitar” (the guitar above) and all of the different tones & sounds you can get from it.  That doesn’t help me in any way!?

Here’s what I’m practicing on the 7 string at the moment.

I was going to tune each guitar differently, then I realized something.  The purpose, for me, is the different sound I get from each guitar.  Maybe when my ordered guitar gets here I’ll tune “Kermit” to flats again?

I seriously freaked out when 2 of my guitars fell over the other day.  I rolled my chair as fast as I could to see if everything was OK!  As far as inanimate objects go, you can take anything you want other than my guitars.  After irreplaceable people in my life, guitars are next.  They’re all look different, sound different, & are sentimental in their own individual way, they’re also all out of production & literally irreplaceable.  After playing through each guitar, 1 or 2 songs on each a few times through.  I just wanted to play more & get better on each individual guitar.

Each guitar is unique.  I’ll be playing something, take a short break & think to myself “I should practice this song now.  I’ll have to grab that guitar, it sounds better on that one!”  If I want to play a rock or grunge rock song I grab “Kermit”, if I want to play something pre 1980 I grab my Telecaster, if I want to play metal I grab “Grohl” & if something involves low B string then I grab the 7 string.  They each have a distinct sound & feel to them.

Any ways this was a gift from a very good friend while I was in my rehabilitation program.  This is the semi-hollow Fender Telecaster signed by Ian Thornley, the lead singer of “Big Wreck”.  I play it more now.  It has a great 1970s rock feel.  Really good for playing stuff like some “Led Zeppelin”, “Lynyrd Skynyrd”& “Kansas” etc.  I call this one “Ian”.

_MG_3122

 

YAY a new tune from “Nothing but Thieves”.  Longer than I’d expect from a rather unknown/newer band.  They only have 2 full length albums & a short 4 or 5 song EP out.

 

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 “I feel good about the good things, & bad about the bad things”-David Grohl 

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris             

“Be kind to one another”-Ellen Degeneres

BREWSTER IS SMALL BUT A DEMANDING OLD MAN

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I fell asleep to “Stone Temple Pilots” the album “Purple”

I exercised to “Dave Matthews Band” the album “Under the Table & Dreaming”

 

Canada got its country wide address from our leader on Monday regarding the virus.  I figured I should mention something about it.  Stay home, stay safe, don’t be a hero until called upon, let the professionals dictate the plan of action.  Don’t freak out, it won’t solve anything.  There’s a time to question authority, this isn’t the time.  Most importantly BE A GLOBAL CITIZEN….FOR EVERYONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  We’ll check with our neighbors to see if they need help with anything every few days.  

 

It’s shortly after 6:00 am Sunday morning.  Brewster is my child but also a mama’s boy.  Kim’s on a girl trip with some friends at a spa, his mama’s not home.  He sleeps all day, eats & then wakes me up at 5:00 am to get up on our bed.  I stayed up until 12:30 am.  I get up, throw on some clothes & brush my teeth as he’s growling at me like it’s the end of the world.  I wish he could talk, all he wanted was up on our King size bed.  So here it is 6:22 am, I’m wide awake & our 12 pound Bichon/Shi-tzu is curled up in the middle of our King Size bed asleep.

I’ve noticed the past 2 or 3 weeks that I tend to go to bed earlier & sleep in a little bit later.  It used to be I’d go to bed around 10:30 or 11:00 pm and get up before 8:00 am.  Now it’s 9:30-10:00 pm and sleep until 8:30-9:00 am.  I don’t know if my age is catching up with me, if I’m more tired from a more intense workout, or if it’s finally the effects of cancer wearing off & now I sleep more.  I was on some HEAVY sleeping pills while I was in my rehab.  Strong enough to take down a horse for 4 days, me maybe 2 hours if I was lucky.  Sucks being that tired every day when you have a full day of physiotherapy the next day.

We watched “Bombshell” Friday evening & on Saturday I watched “Willow” that I haven’t seen since ‘Laser Discs’ were a big deal.

I was appalled…again…by the events that took place in 2015 at FOX.  Absolutely disgusting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You’re likely bored with me blabbing on about guitars by now.  They’re brand new to me again but I know more about them.  For me it’s reconnecting with an old friend.

Paul Reed Smith is a guitar player, builder, and began fixing guitars in high school, so I fully believe he knows what he wants out of a guitar & knows what any guitar player would want!  I’m sold on that company!  If I had the cash & was beginning to get into guitar, I’d eventually get 3 PRS SE models & one random acoustic hybrid.

I was going back to buying CDs, but the more I think about, it I’ll switch to streaming music from iTunes, I hate streaming music with a passion!  I’ll save my pennies for a “Paul’s Guitar SE” in the “Aqua” colour if it’s still around.  Decision made, this could take a decade or more?  I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t think it was worth it.  Brewster’s health, hopefully a house sooner than later, & a trip for Kim before a new guitar happens.   Kim helped me pay for the more expensive PRS S2 I ordered, so fair is fair (I have no desire to travel, I just want to be with my wife).  Why, you ask?  I’m not a very interesting guy, but my tastes are expensive.  My AWESOME wife, rum, & guitars.

There’s a PRS guitar that does even more cool stuff, it’s not something I’m interested in though, as are any other guitars.  All this really means is that I’ve made the decision to get it for the different pickups, bridge, more electronic options & colour difference.  So instead of saying “probably not” in the future, I’ll say “hopefully so” in the future.  I do have a rule about having too many guitars though.  If a guitar sits un-played for more than 2 days, there’s no need for it!  Right now the 4 electrics & are used daily, acoustic probably 4 days a week as I’m watching TV.

I bring in under $40,000 a year at the moment.  My RDSP which triples the $5000 limit I’m allowed to contribute annually until I’m 50 is locked in & untouchable until I’m 60 (20 years).  Saving for an “inexpensive”/”low end” $1300 PRS SE could take quite a few years.  It’s still in the distant future but it’s no longer a maybe for me. 

January 25th, 2008 was the last time I played on a stage.  It was very fitting in retrospect.  We played for free with all of the funds going to a charity that helps with medical needs for the disabled.  My family ended up receiving $11,000 from that charity to put towards an $18,000 wheelchair van Kim & I used for 3 years.  I lived in the hospital full time & sometime in 2009 (after my birthday in January) I moved to the Wascana Rehabilitation Center where I eventually was able to go home on the weekends, to eventually going home overnight after my physio & other therapies were done by 4:00 pm.

As for a house, well we’ve had a lot of showings but no offers at all & despite that there’s one possibility on the market for us.  I’m not holding my breath on getting a house.  It’ll happen when it happens.  We talked about it last night.  With what’s going on in the world right now, the house contract ends at the end of March & we’re off of the market then.

Kim is likely very happy that sports in general have been suspended & the baseball regular season has been postponed until mid-May at least.

2 of my guitars took a little tumble today, nothing too drastic just cosmetic scars.  My Epiphone “Grohl” Explorer is missing a small chunk of the body & my new 7 string has a little dent on the back of the neck.  I tuned them up, played them & nothing to worry about.  My Fender Telecaster is the only electric out of 4 that still looks new other than the autograph.

I may have bought my acoustic guitar before this but this is my electric Epiphone Explorer from Kim in our first year of dating on Christmas of 2002.  Meet my “Grohl” (he’s photographed with a Gibson Explorer on Foo Fighters’ 3rd album, There is Nothing Left to Lose).  My guitar has a nasty scratch on the back of it, I guess all that means is that it has been played a lot, & it was my backup or differently tuned guitar to “Kermit”.

https://images.app.goo.gl/dRkktL75thXGLSJu7

 

YAY, new “Lamb of God” tune!!!  Album out May 8th.

 

If you’re getting this through Facebook, give it a like or other reaction, or share it.  That’s the only way of promoting this site, since I’m not profiting from this in any way.

“I feel good about the good things, & bad about the bad things”-David Grohl

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris

“Be kind to one another”-Ellen Degeneres

IT’LL BE A WEE BIT LATE TODAY

All is well!  Kim, Brewster, & I are fine.  Little delay on the post for today, it’ll be here later on today.  While I have your attention please keep yourself and others safe by following the guidance of health officials.  You’re not going to be quarantined forever, so try not to freak out?  For as long as possible remember that you’re a GLOBAL CITIZEN.