END OF THE YEAR! & THE LAST BIG 2!

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www.youtube.com links are there for a point of reference if you don’t know what I’m talking about.

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

Exercise total for 5 days. 

500 Curls w/ 20 pound dumb bells

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

900 Crunches

900 Leg lifts

300 Squats   

600 Back flexes

Why don’t I go walking with my walker more often?  “No excuse” or reason, I’m just lazy.  I do all of that exercise over the course of a week & at the end of each day I just don’t feel like doing anything.  I should be walking once a day!  We’re also very set in our routine.  I guess I’ll have to chat with Kim since she’ll have to be with me if I fall & crack my head open.  If I’m in the hallway I should be OK since its flat ground.  If I go to our parking garage, it has ups and downs for drainage.  Outside is an entire different experience with cracks, holes, rocks, uphill, downhill, etc. thrown in randomly.  We just need to make walking part of our routine.

I’m on 7 different pills now.  While I was in the hospital & my rehabilitation therapies I was on 10, all of them have changed but one of them that I’d be on regardless of cancer.  My heartburn pill which I take one in the morning & one at night.  I’m on 3 anti-depressant pills.  2 at night which also act as sleeping pills & one every morning.  I’m on a thyroid pill for an under active thyroid gland once in the morning.  I’m on a pill to better control my bladder since I have to drink a LOT of fluids to avoid dry mouth from my other pills.  Finally the last pill of the lot is to prevent seizures.  I take one at night and ½ a pill in the morning.

This week in particular I’ve been drinking 5 liters of water, 1 or 2 Saskatoon Berry teas, and 2 or 3 Bubbly carbonated waters a day.  Not sure why but I must be thirsty?  I avoid coffee because I have a very high resting pulse & I don’t even know if we have any soda in our house?

Tuesday afternoon I spoke on the phone with a representative from www.sweetwater.com about ordering the S2 McCarty 594 through them.  Really nice guy!  Chatted for a bit and he told me that if he was considering the same thing I was asking about, he’d buy locally instead of a company in the USA.  I was asking because the retail price I the USA once converted to Canadian money went up only $6, here it went up $130 but the warranty, duty, shipping would be added to the price not making it worth it.  So for those reasons & the fact the guy I contact is REALLY good to deal with here & a familiar face, I’m sticking with ordering from the store here.

Next year I hope to order this….

…followed by a special order of this guitar when I have the cash.

https://www.schecterguitars.com/guitars/custom/tempest-custom-vwht-1-detail

The S2 McCarty 594 & the Schecter Tempest for sure.  Then I’m done shopping other than a $20-$30 slide since my old one disappeared while I was in the hospital, along with a few other small things.  No I don’t have G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) that’s for people with a heck of a lot more money than I have and have 40 guitars, 10 amplifiers, & 150 effect pedals….oh & jobs.  I don’t want that amount of stuff since I know it will be taking up space & going unused for months.  If it’s not seasonal & hasn’t been used in 6 months, why do I need it?  This is it, the 2 BIG ones!  Oh my F.O.M.O.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

If I wanted to get just another guitar, I could but it’s not the PRS S2 McCarty 594 or the Tempest.  It’s a used Mark Morton (Lamb of God) signature Jackson that brand new would cost $1600 + tax new.  It’s listed at $800 used.  Sweet deal, I can’t believe nobody has bought it yet?  Maybe everyone’s in a similar situation as me or they just don’t like it?

The Schecter website was down over the weekend & I was freaking out a bit!  It’s not about getting these guitars in my hands ASAP, I’m fine with waiting.  What concerns me is that every January (usually the 2nd week of the year) there’s a HUGE 4 day trade show called NAMM where different instrument makers release new products & eliminate others.  I’m worried about these guitars being discontinued before I have the opportunity to buy them, hence my F.O.M.O. (Fear of missing out).  They’ll both be ordered in separate years due to the price and take 6 months or more to be made.  I’m fine with waiting for them being made & any delays that occur but I don’t want to miss out on ordering them if they go out of production.  I’ve wanted that PRS S2 McCarty 594 for quite a while & it’s the more expensive one of my final 2 guitars that will definitely be ordered first, next February I hope.  Not at my limit of paying for a guitar, but close enough to make me worry about it being “so far away”.

Here’s an example.  The PRS S2 Custom 22 that I got in September 2020 after ordering it in January 2020 is now out of production.  Other delays along the way, I get it, not much anybody here could do about it.  Actually every guitar I own other than my signed Telecaster is out of production.  I can’t look them up on any website.  We’re not broke, but we don’t have a disposable amount of money for me to go out guitar shopping whenever I get the urge.  That’s why I spend FAR TOO MUCH time on the internet researching these purchases. 

A lot of people sell guitars & other guitar gear to afford different guitar gear.  I prefer to know what I’m getting, what purpose it will have, & keep it for that purpose.  The guitar I bought in December and returned had a different type of fretboard wood that I couldn’t get comfortable with & the pickups were dull sounding to me.  As for the 7 string, I really wanted a 7 string that didn’t look all pointy with sharp corners as a metal guitar typically does.  Then I found out the hard way that I’m not a 7 string style of player.  I listen to that music but I don’t play it.

I have one amplifier, 2 effect pedals (also a tuner & a channel switching pedal) & hopefully 7 electric guitars in a variety of tunings, shapes, & colours, along with one acoustic guitar.  Kim says my acoustic guitar is too loud, I hit the strings with a lot of force on every guitar.

I was going to end this when I got my last guitar but that’s too far away!  So end of the year or one post into January.  I’ll carry on with my exercise routine though.  I don’t see much changing unless we buy a house next year?

It would be nice to sell our condo just to have a spare bed for out of town guests.  Nothing is confirmed on that decision yet though.  We’ll see what’s available at that time?  We both have a HUGE amount of doubt though. 

We’ve switched our cable company twice, each time with a less expensive cable box to save money.  This is a case of you get what you pay for.  We missed Tuesday’s episode of “The Ellen Degeneres Show”.  I can’t wait to switch to a reliable DVR so I can watch baseball & other recorded shows.  The DVR we have now is cheap and you have to watch one channel if you’re recording another or record both & turn the TV off.  First world problems, but it’s annoying.  I couldn’t find the entire show on www.youtube.com.  I guess that’s OK, I watch enough www.youtube.com already.  It’s nice to sit on the couch and watch TV after spending most of the day in my wheelchair.  Problem with that is I usually get my acoustic guitar & practice while watching TV, that’s why Kim thinks my acoustic is too loud.

The annual “Telemiracle” fundraiser takes place from Saturday at 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Sunday this weekend.  They helped us out with multiple thousands of dollars towards a wheelchair van we used when I was able to go home on the weekends or out to the family cabin a few times.  For those who have never seen or heard of “Telemiracle” it’s a weekend long telethon and every local Saskatchewan TV station airs it featuring local talent which is typically live but pre-recorded this year and people are welcome to call in & donate to the charity.  Funds raised go towards helping people with disabilities.  I remember donating as a child the first time.  I asked my mother if I could donate $10.  She said yes and called in for me.  The last live concert I played was January 25th 2008.  It was a local rock show that we were asked to play with all of the funds going to that charity.  I think we played 2 benefit shows in separate years for that charity.  I’d go to the “Metal for Telemiracle” show & we’d play the “Rock for Telemiracle” show.  Both were organized by a good friend of ours who played in a band at the time that fit with both genres.  He now plays in “Room 333” with my brother.  Kim donated at the grocery store 2 weeks ago.  They do wonderful work for people in need!

You can find more info here

I believe it will be streaming on this website which is a free streaming app as well

https://www.ctv.ca/

I’m not sure why, but I keep adding to the list of songs I want to learn which is easily an additional 30+ songs to the 30something I continue to play.  When you hit that many and don’t sing them at the same time memory is a HUGE issue for me.  2 of my most recent partially learned additions are…

I don’t really learn a new song ASAP.  I look at it & play the basic parts of it to see how difficult it is, and go back to what I was learning.

For anyone not following the quarantine rules and think the rules are nonsense, think about it this way other than we know that vaccines are here & more are coming.  The more you obey & stick to health officials rules, the sooner those rules go away!  If you do that maybe you’ll get a lollipop when you get your vaccination?

Get ready everybody!  Any kind of artist music, writer, painter, sculptor, director, dancer, athlete, etc.  Have been locked up for a year and they all have stuff to show the world!  It’s going to be a swarm of creative projects coming at everyone who pays attention!

Looks like “Chevelle” are the next release for me on March 5th.

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris 

RE-OCCURRING DREAMS

www.youtube.com links are there for a point of reference if you don’t know what I’m talking about.

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

Exercise total for 4 days. 

250 Curls w/ 20 pound dumb bells

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

600 Crunches

600 Leg lifts

200 Squats   

400 Back flexes

3 days of crunches, leg lifts, squats, & back flexes.  Then Thursday was just stretching because I was very sore & while stretching I think I lightly pulled a quad muscle?

Since I’ve been out of the hospitals & my therapies I notice that I have 3 re-occurring dreams, they are as follows.  For context I turned 41 in January and I took French immersion from kindergarten to grade 12 graduation. 

In the first of these dreams, I’m late for high school.  I’m supposed to turn in a project for French class that morning.  I get to my locker in the empty halls because I’m late & I have no clue as to what my locker combination is.  I fumble with the lock, trying multiple random number combinations, in my dream I start sweating, then I wake up in a panic & think I’m late for school with no start on a project that’s due.  Then I realize that I’m not late for anything, it’s sometime between 1-5:00 am & I don’t go to school.  Why is this weird?  I was rarely late, under 10 times, and in high school I always handed in an essay/project/report on time, that I remember.

2nd dream.  I’m downtown somewhere in a random parking lot.  I park my 2nd car, a 1989 used Ford Tempo, & go into the store.  It’s a one floor department store & I’m looking at discount furniture?  I leave the store empty handed only to find that my car is gone.  Out of nowhere my dad shows up despite me not calling anyone for help.  We’re running down a back alley watching 2 strangers break into cars & steal them as were hiding and peeking around random objects in the alley.  Then I wake up?

3rd dream, & this one kind of makes sense since this almost happened in my early 20s.  I’m driving that used 1989 Ford Tempo (I paid $2000 for it in the early 2000s).  I go to slam on the brakes and nothing happens?  I wake up before I hit anything but I’m stretched out in bed trying to push on the brake pedal. 

In reality I remember driving to my Grandparents’ house alone in that car for supper.  It was the summer.  At that point the brakes were questionable in that vehicle & needed repair.  I was driving on a quiet side street to get to their place.  Suddenly a little girl (under 10 years old) is riding her bike in the middle of the street.  I slammed on the brakes as hard as I could with both feet.  She froze & I leaned on the horn with my tires screeching.  I stopped in time, probably 4 feet away from her.  My car had turned sideways a bit, but she was OK.  I was a pile of nerves & broke into a cold sweat.  I’m pretty sure she didn’t realize what could have happened.  She was just frozen on her bike in front of my car.  I waved her on to keep going.  She carried on & I pulled over to the other side of the street.  I needed a few minutes to collect myself & calm down, I was freaked out!  After a couple minutes I carried on as usual.  I’ve never told anyone that, although I’ll likely never forget it.

This isn’t a re-occurring dream but I had it Wednesday night, in all of my dreams I’m able bodied.  I was at my deceased Grandfather’s condo.  We were barbequing chicken wings & having fruit smoothies in the summer.  I went inside to make more fruit smoothies.  I was rushing but I was in the house for a long time.  I went back out to the BBQ.  My Grandfather & brother were there & they called it done since I took so long.  That’s where my dream ended.  I woke up Thursday morning with severe pain in my hip flexors & pain on the bottom of my feet?  Kim says I do twitch a lot in my sleep, toes & fingers are constantly moving.  I’ve never BBQ with my grandfather at his condo, only at our family cabin.

After I published Tuesday’s post, I went to watch stuff on www.youtube.com.  I opened a video where a former record producer listened to the top 10 rock songs as listed by Spotify.  The top 4 songs were from 3 albums I just bought or pre-ordered on iTunes.  This doesn’t mean anything, I just thought it was nice to know that other people are into this stuff.

4, 3, 2, & 1 in that order above.

I’m nowhere near as hip or connected to pop culture as I once was.  Especially now at the age of 41, I know I stopped being hip long ago though.  I rarely watch TV outside of the 7ish shows I watch, including the news.  I do watch the odd Saturday Night Live though.  I missed the one hosted by Dan Levy with musical guest Phoebe Bridgers.  No disrespect but I’ve only watched the first 3 episodes of Schitt’s Creek & I have no clue who Phoebe Bridgers is?

She smashed her guitar on stage at the end of her 2nd & final song.  A year ago I would’ve been terribly offended by that, along with SO MANY other people on social media.  Then I realized a couple things.  I grew up watching “Nirvana” demolish EVERYTHING on stage at the end of a show when I was a teenager.  I also realized that I know absolutely nothing about her & I didn’t pay for the guitar, so who am I to judge?  Sure, I’d love to see her do something else with it, like donate to a charity or keep it.  If whoever paid for the guitar is OK with it being smashed, I don’t really care nor do I see any reason to lose sleep over it.

Why I will never buy a Gibson Les Paul, other than the astronomical price.

Myles Kennedy (Alter Bridge singer) released the first single from his upcoming solo album “The Ides of March” to be released May 14th.  Yeah I thought “That’s not March 15th?”

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris 

I WILL NOW REMOVE MY HEAD FROM MY BUTT

www.youtube.com links are there for a point of reference if you don’t know what I’m talking about.

Facebook subscription https://www.facebook.com/A-Million-Miles-Away-Blog-1597618270456002/         

Email subscription www.amillionmilesawayblog.com   

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

Exercise total for 5 days. 

500 Curls w/ 20 pound dumb bells

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

1050 Crunches

1050 Leg lifts

300 Squats   

600 Back flexes

Too much belly aching & whining on my part.  I’m getting out of this funk, it’s not cool down here!  I don’t have time to complain & whine about things not to my liking.  I was bummed out about the lights only that was my breaking point.  I have no clue as to what got me there?  It wasn’t the last 2 guitars (that’s just how it is) and it’s not being in quarantine (I’ve been living that way since July 26th, 2012).  I don’t know what got me to that point but I know I don’t want to be there!

I’m going to have to scale back my crunches & leg lifts to 300 a day instead of 350 a day.  I’m sore & VERY tired.  Everything else will stay as is.  I also said I would pass on saving for the last 2 guitars.  Screw it, I want them & they’re worth the years of nothing else for me saving for them even if the first one is 4 or 5 years away.  I put in the time & effort to research the crap out of them & I like what I read & heard.

GOTTA GET ONE OF THESE BLUE BEAUTIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Well, I want them both, but this guitar comes first, before it goes out of production!

This guy is a guitar store owner & a guitar technician in Arizona.  He ended up selling his $3800 Core model for the $1800 S2 model (American prices).  That’s part of the reason I won’t purchase a Core model, along with the price & many other factors.  Kim calls him my “man crush” since he’s always on my screen.  My guess as to why it weighs less?  It has 2 cuts of wood from it instead of one like a Les Paul body, maple & mahogany are heavy types of wood & commonly found in Les Paul bodies & less depth on the maple top as well.

https://www.schecterguitars.com/guitars/custom/tempest-custom-vwht-1-detail

If one’s out of production by then, I’ll get the other.  If they’re both out of production we have some money saved.  Both will take 6 months minimum after I put down a deposit & order them.

I am super excited for my trade in guitar at the end of the month!  I couldn’t care less that it says “Squier” on it!

I always say there’s someone stopping me from achieving something.  I finally figured out who that is.  IT’S ME!  Nobody else.  I need to allow myself to accomplish something & get out of my way.  I’m doing a hard reset on 2021 and hopefully that will solve many problems & remove the road blocks for me that I’ve put in my way.

I’m a little different, I like pineapple on my pizza, raisins in butter tarts, I’m fine with oatmeal raisin cookies as long as I know they’re not oatmeal chocolate chip, I’ll take broccoli over cauliflower ALWAYS, I don’t like potatoes, I don’t like whiskey or rye.  I’ve seen “Lamb of God” & “Boney M” live and enjoyed them both, I LOVE seafood, I am not loyal to any particular brand name, GMO or non-GMO I don’t care, I’ve voted 3 times in my 41 years on earth in Canada & I’ve voted for 3 different political parties, ever since I saw “Silence of the Lambs” Anthony Hopkins freaks me out, despite my fear of Hannibal Lector I REALLY enjoy crime/murder shows such as my current favourite show “Prodigal Son”, I don’t agree with censorship if you’re over the age of 18, I shave in the evening, etc.

Most guitar players will say something to the tune of “I don’t want a Gibson?!”  What do they really think though?  “Those Gibson guitars look pretty cool, I should get one!”  I’d get one if they weren’t over $3000 for a decent one in Canada.

I realized this week that I don’t play my acoustic guitar enough.  To “remedy” that problem I picked 2 songs that I used to play a LOT and I’ll finish relearning them, plus a song my mom wants to learn on her acoustic guitar.  I’m gonna fully relearn these two songs….

Played & sang them before cancer, nothing stopping me now but my own laziness!

This is not the song my mom wants to learn, but it is titled “Remedy”

My mom wants to learn this, so I’ve got my chord changes up to speed now.

Donald Trump doesn’t want to be compared to Richard Nixon.  Fair enough, Nixon knew when to resign.  How about we compare Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler?  Trump didn’t kill anyone, he encouraged others to do it for him.

FANTASTIC new album from Foo Fighters!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris 

THE REASON THIS SITE STARTED

www.youtube.com links are there for a point of reference if you don’t know what I’m talking about.

Facebook subscription https://www.facebook.com/A-Million-Miles-Away-Blog-1597618270456002/         

Email subscription www.amillionmilesawayblog.com   

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

Exercise total for 5 days. 

250 Curls w/ 20 pound dumb bells

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

1050 Crunches

1050 Leg lifts

300 Squats   

600 Back flexes

I “don’t know why” this date sticks in my mind but July 26 2012 doesn’t.  I guess it could be that this is the date that changed my life in seconds.

Yes, I enjoy listening to Norah Jones.

Who do you think sang this duet with Dave Grohl?

February 5th, 2008 might be a day I’ll try to forget but I can’t see myself forgetting it.  This is the date I passed out at work with stage 4 brain cancer, then I went into a month long coma after my 3 emergency brain surgeries.  I left my therapies on July 26th 2012, but I never recognize that date.  From February 5th 2008 to July 26th 2012 I lived in a hospital & Kim was with me the entire time sleeping on a cot beside my bed, and coming with me to every physiotherapy session I had.

While I was in a coma the doctor who no longer sees patients and kept calling me FAT afterwards, was telling Kim and my family I was done.  I was done, wouldn’t ever come out of my coma & the doctors should be more focused on harvesting my sperm.  WOW lack of bedside manner!

Kim’s sister and brother-in-law were very kind in taking in Brewster for the entire time.  Sherry (Kim’s sister) would bring Brewster to the visiting room in the hospital & then to my rehabilitation hospital to see us!  Seeing them was always a BIG deal for me, or whenever anyone came to visit me was a BIG deal!

On Wednesday, my parents were here.  Dad’s installing our light fixtures for us, he did 2/7 on Wednesday.  They brought over my mother’s old acoustic guitar.  While they were here she played mine while I showed her some stuff & made a diagram of a piano & how it relates to a guitar.  I don’t think my mother has touched her guitar since I was a very young teenager?  After they left I took about 8 pounds of dust off of it, cleaned up the whole thing, conditioned the fret board, polished the frets, fixed a few minor things & put new strings on it.

These will be my 2 final guitars I plan to purchase, S2 McCarty 594 and the Tempest by Schecter.  Purchased in that order.  I guess the Tempest style has been around since 1981 with tweaks along the way, there is a special 40th anniversary model, I’m just shooting for the white Tempest with black accents & binding.  The McCarty 594 was introduced into the S2 line of PRS last year.  All of this calms my FOMO.

https://www.schecterguitars.com/guitars/custom/tempest-custom-vwht-1-detail

Sorry, I just REALLY like looking at them.  I’ve seen & played other guitars that look appealing to me, but these two have that thing that makes me want to own them.  I hope they’re both around for a long time since I don’t really want to research another guitar.  These would fall into the affordable “dream guitars”.

I had to miss my exercise on Thursday.  My weights and yoga mat are in a closet guarded by multiple boxes of light fixtures.  Instead of getting up early, hoovering my breakfast, & exercising.  I got up around 9:30 am, showered, had breakfast, emptied the dishwasher, & played guitar!  Nice mid-way break in the week!  Didn’t really need a break, but it was welcome.  Moved the boxes in the evening to get out my exercise mat to do my exercises this morning.    

Today is the day folks “Foo Fighters” released their new album at Midnight Eastern time last night ‘Medicine at Midnight’.  They made me want to learn guitar and finally join a rock band 20 years ago!

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris 

I’M GOING TO STOP THIS AT THE END OF THE YEARish

www.youtube.com links are there for a point of reference if you don’t know what I’m talking about.

Facebook subscription https://www.facebook.com/A-Million-Miles-Away-Blog-1597618270456002/         

Email subscription www.amillionmilesawayblog.com   

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

Exercise total for 5 days. 

500 Curls w/ 20 pound dumb bells

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

1050 Crunches

1050 Leg lifts

300 Squats   

600 Back flexes

I’m going to stop writing this stuff at the end of 2021 or one post into 2022.  I’m getting pretty bored of writing this stuff.  I live it & regurgitate it to you & I’m pretty “simple” to begin with.  Eat, exercise, eat, shower, eat, play guitar, eat, play more guitar, have supper, watch TV, play guitar, sleep & repeat.

I’ll buy the PRS S2 McCarty 594 a soon as I have the cash.  When I order the PRS S2 McCarty 594, I’ll have to wait at least 6 months for it.  Then save and repeat but the wait might not be as long?  I’m excited to get any guitar but when I have the money (in a few years) & order this guitar, it’ll feel like another level!  I’m not undermining the importance and flexibility of other guitars I own, but this PRS S2 model is said to be THE guitar in the PRS S2 line!

After a TON of thought, the Schecter Tempest, although I REALLY liked the majority of what it offers, might be too similar in sound with a few less features compared to the McCarty 594.  I’ve also realized that I’m not a huge fan of the Stratocaster body shape, so as I was searching throughout last week & this gem kept showing up & won me over with a MUCH more different sound & MUCH lower price tag (less than $650 after tax), despite this purchase being many years away.

Go ahead guitar gear heads, it says “Squier” instead of anything else.  I’m not paying a ton of cash for a bigger brand name.  I’ve got a Fender & a PRS S2, good enough for me! Hopefully the split coil on the McCarty 594 is as good as they say.  A full on hollow body will be completely different from ANYTHING I have and be a great ending chapter to my guitar purchasing…if it’s still around.

I tried to force ‘guitar mojo’ on a Stratocaster, but that never works.  Had to be exactly what I wanted because I don’t want to shop for another guitar.  Guitars give me FOMO, fear of missing out, since I don’t have a disposable income for anything let alone guitars, so if they go out of production before I save the money to buy it, I get kinda sad.  I guess these purchases are more of a hopeful occurrence in the future.

Other than it being very cold in Regina this week, it’s been a good satisfying week of exercise.  Some ‘communication breakdowns’ getting all of my refills from the doctor to the pharmacy, but we got it figured out by the time I needed everything.

The Covid active cases are on decline throughout the province of Saskatchewan since January 12th.  As per the restrictions, nothing changes until further notice on February 19th.  I guess that’s fine, I would prefer tighter restrictions but I’m not a politician? 

As I’ve said many times before, I really watch a miniscule amount of TV & I missed “The Ellen Degeneres Show” on her birthday show.  New DVR, so I don’t know if it was me, a user problem, or if something went wonky with the DVR box?

Right now I’m playing a handful of songs by “Pearl Jam”.

I’m continuously running through these “Stone Temple Pilots” song as well & other stuff too.  Keeps me busy.

The music I like is mostly from the 1990s, there’s usually some “Soundgarden”, “Alice in Chains”, “Rage Against the Machine”, “Audioslave”, & always “Foo Fighters”, etc. being played on guitar here.  Then as far as a little bit of metal goes “Metallica”, “Megadeth”, “In Flames, “Trivium” and eventually some “Lamb of God”.  For the 7 string it’s “Trivium” a dash of “Dream Theater” and I like coming up with stuff on the 7 string.

We’re watching TV Thursday evening.  Kim picks out a documentary & instantly grabs her cell as usual, & it drives me nutz!  I said to her, as I always do “You’re not even watching your show?”  I get the usual reply from her “I’m listening”.  Then I caught her with “But the show is subtitled and in Swedish?”  BOOM!

April 30th marks the 3rd album titled ‘Typhoons’ from “Royal Blood” who released a video for the title track!

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris 

P.S. Now I have 4 of the songs above to polish up!

GUITAR SHOPPING DONE! TRUMP GONE! BACK TO CANCER & MUSIC

www.youtube.com links are there for a point of reference if you don’t know what I’m talking about.

Facebook subscription https://www.facebook.com/A-Million-Miles-Away-Blog-1597618270456002/         

Email subscription www.amillionmilesawayblog.com   

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

Exercise total for 5 days. 

500 Curls w/ 20 pound dumb bells

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

1050 Crunches

1050 Leg lifts

300 Squats   

600 Back flexes

Wednesday came & my energy drifted away in the afternoon while playing guitar.  I stayed up too late on Tuesday night & it caught up with me.  I was practicing random songs and got tired.  Instead of abandoning the guitars I figured I’d learn how to play a few songs.  One in a weird tuning.  The other was just new chords to me in normal tuning.

Weird tuning

Never bothered to learn it, different chord shapes to me

I also found out that PRS no longer make ANY custom 22 guitars.  So I’m glad I got my PRS S2 Custom 22 semi-hollow last year.  They do offer 2 different semi-hollow guitars in the S2 range but they’re not the same guitar at all.

What are we gonna talk about now?  No more T**** & I know what my last 2 guitars will be.  Rrrrrright, that brain cancer thing.

I’m good, I’ll run out of pills by Friday but we’ve checked in with my doctors & we just have to pick up some refills.

“…I’m not crazy because I take the right pills everyday…”

Being in a wheelchair is routine now to an extent.  I did almost go to stand up from the couch last week without getting my chair in place or grabbing my transfer pole.  I caught myself before I stood up though.  On Wednesday after I showered I was testing my balance & stood up on my own for quite a while, for me, maybe 1:15 minutes?  Nice thing was that I wasn’t really trying, which might be the key to it?  It’s only January and every week that I’ve been exercising this year I’ve been “exhausted” by Wednesday or Thursday.  I’m not about to let up though.

I was going to get into this room on Wednesday & practice some “In Flames” & older “Queens of the Stone Age” stuff but I just didn’t have the energy.  Theory, scales, new chords, & different tunings instead.

Most of the “In Flames” stuff is in drop B flat, early “Queens of the Stone Age” & other stuff is in C standard so to switch between those tunings I only have to change the tuning of one string once I’m in C standard.  Nothing drastic with that, it’s just convenient to have a guitar already tuned to C standard.  “Pearl Jam”, “Led Zeppelin”, “Soundgarden”, “Big Wreck”, “Alter Bridge”, etc. are all over the map with alternate tunings.  Once I get deep into that stuff, I just throw my scales & theory stuff away and play, then you can come up with stuff that sounds different fairly easy.  With all of those alternate tunings on guitar, I do keep a few in standard tuning E A D G b e.  I want/need to learn more about that & most songs are written in standard tuning or drop D tuning.

I know that it seems odd to some that a guy in a wheelchair who couldn’t even feed himself is playing guitar, doing dishes, cooking, exercising, etc.  Those are all little things that make me feel normal.  I think that’s the real goal of any rehab, make the patient capable of feeling a sense of normalcy, if not getting them back to their regular self.  I come into this room & get to escape reality by picking up a guitar & forgetting stuff or I watch too many news clips & get angry, I prefer the guitar stuff.

“Foo Fighters” at President Biden’s inauguration concert

Thursday was a MUCH better day.  I slept well & got my butt in gear.  I ate, exercised, watched a recorded show from Wednesday, showered had lunch, & spent the day (noon-5 pm) practicing my butt off on guitar.  Kim even came in to give me a compliment.  She said “You’re driving me nuts!  You play & it sounds really good, then you stop and play the tutorial video & I can’t tell if it’s you or the video?  I have to listen very close”.  Usually she just tunes me out…on guitar or when speaking to her!  Only bad thing about Thursday afternoon was that the time just flew by too fast & I only worked on 3 songs, they we’re all new to me but still!?  I wanted to play some more guitar, so after supper & a bit of news on TV, I came in here & played for another 1 ½ hour, & played some other stuff on other guitars.  Am I great?  NOPE, but it’s fun & will get better as I play!

Today I’ll work on learning more about the 7 string & a bit of theory behind it.

May 30th “Royal Blood” will be releasing their 3rd album.  I’ve been lucky enough to see them twice.  Opening for Foo Fighters once & opening for Queens of the Stone Age!  New album is titled “Typhoons”.  2 singles have been released!

“Foo Fighters” released a video on Tuesday morning.  Their latest single from their upcoming album release ‘Medicine at Midnight’ out on February 5th.

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris 

GUITARS, TEA, A LIGHT & A REFUND

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

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Well after the marathon launch party on Thursday from PRS, they no longer offer this guitar in this red finish.

This will be my next purchase.

I checked out the Epiphone Prophecy series with a red burst Epiphone Les Paul that has special designed, active, Fishman pickups with coil splitting & the option to put them in vintage mode or modern mode.  I want to branch out from the Epiphone brand & Les Paul style of guitar.

I’ve chosen 2 other brands with a different EVERYTHING & any way you split it I don’t have the savings for any guitar right now, & whatever I can rake together goes to that pretty blue PRS S2 McCarty 594.  I have secretly always wanted a white guitar with black accents in a different shape.

https://www.schecterguitars.com/guitars/custom/tempest-custom-vwht-1-detail

I REALLY like the Schecter.  That Schecter (white) guitar gets me REALLY excited & should be the same price as the discontinued red PRS SE for that model line, but the McCarty 594 takes priority now.  I’m cautious about having too many guitars, this isn’t a big space.  If it weren’t for the type of stands/wall mounts I have, I would have had to stop a few guitars ago.  I guess this is me “thinking out loud” but it’s definitely desired!  I just want to play more often & get better than I was before cancer…to be continued further on this post. 

I never thought I’d say this.  Squier came out with a REALLY cool guitar last week that’s in between $600-$700 after tax.  Cool & VERY different pickup configuration, VERY affordable, roasted maple neck & fret board, a REALLY nice/unique colour, I think I saw somewhere that it has Stainless Steel frets & it does have a flatter fretboard than most Fenders & Squiers.  I’ve often thought I should get a Stratocaster but none of them have ever really appealed to me, until this release last week!  I prefer this guitar over the Schecter Tempest!  This is totally different from anything I own, the Schecter Tempest sounds great & looks great but would just be icing on the cake and sound similar to a Les Paul.  This Squier Stratocaster would do the blues/jazz thing & be a fancy tool for me too.  This is easily my last purchase after the PRS S2 McCarty 594.  I’ve never been a Stratocaster guy until I saw this last week & fell in love with it!

Even I’m thinking “WHOA, ‘limits’ dude, limits!”  Sure they’re all in different tunings, different colours, shapes but that’s more than enough guitars to maintain?  Probably sounds excessive to others, but it’s my hobby for multiple hours a day after I exercise.  I’m not saying PRS or Epiphone are releasing poor quality guitars, they’re great!  I don’t want all of my guitars to be made by the same company.

I play a LOT of guitar.  3-6 ½ hours a day.  I’m not great but there is improvement, at least that’s what my mother tells me (I think she has to say that by law of motherhood?).  I’m constantly learning about the inner workings of a guitar as well as music theory & songs.  These nice looking guitars just make want to play more than I already do & constantly get better.  I look forward to finishing my exercises each day so that I have ample time to play guitar.  I don’t watch TV usually & if I do, I sit down with my acoustic guitar to continue working on something that I kind of know & can get through without watching my fingers. 

A $10,000 guitar!!!!!!!!!  Good grief!  That’s why I’ll never buy a Gibson Les Paul, a Core PRS, or a “king of the heap” Fender guitar.  $3000 is atrocious to me.  I’ve never spent $3000 on a single guitar and I never plan to!

I had a phone appointment last week with my psychiatrist.  From the sound of his questions, that office is swamped with people dealing with depression & anxiety.  Can’t say I blame anyone for feeling that way.  These are odd times to say the least, but we need to remember there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.  We may not know what that light will look like, but it’s there.  The weird thing is, is that we’re all in this together but have to stay apart to get through this.  I hope that EVERYONE is doing the same thing & are focused on getting through this.

We’re still within the 30 day trial period of 2021, I think a refund/return shouldn’t be a problem at this point, or should we tough it out?  Who do I speak with & where is customer service?

I have to say that my exercises are REALLY hard on me.  I’ve had more afternoon naps this year already than I had during all of 2020.  My exercise increased at the start of 2021, the news is just blah, TV doesn’t really keep me entertained, & I sometimes lack the energy to have a productive time playing guitar during the week lately.  That being said, I spent all weekend in our office/computer room/guitar room.  Kim was on a mission to paint what was left of our suite.  I stayed out of the way.  What am I gonna help with?  I guess I could paint the bottom half of a wall?  I’d likely just be in the way. 

I got up just after 7:00 am on Monday, had my breakfast & felt energized even after my exercise!  Monday night I managed to get Kim to take a breather and not worry about painting the wall behind the stove, which is all she has left to paint.  She hasn’t stopped anything since we got up on December 26th!  She’s AMAZING! 

I got a price on the Schecter Tempest & its WAY more than I want to spend.  The Squier Stratocaster is the winner hands down!  I don’t own a Stratocaster, I own a Fender Telecaster with 1 single coil pickup & a lipstick pickup, it’s a FANTASTIC guitar, but the Stratocaster is a totally different beast.  The PRS S2 McCarty 594 followed by the Squier Stratocaster will conclude my guitar purchasing for sure!  I’m out of room after those 2 guitars, I’ll have all of the different sounds that I want to hear, & I’m tired of searching for different sounds.  “I like it, I love it, I (don’t) need more of it”.  The Stratocaster model isn’t available until June 8th, which is fine.  I’m already in the long haul for the PRS guitar, the Squier will happen afterwards.  I never expected Squier to outdo Fender, EVER!  The Squier 2021 models in general were FAR more impressive than the more expensive Fender counterpart for me!  Import guitars are definitely getting better!  The really nice thing about this Stratocaster is that it will likely be the most affordable guitar I own while having a TON of stuff you’ll typically see on a $2000 + guitar.  If the Squier goes out of production…oh well, the saved money can go to something more important than a guitar.

See what happens when a rock, metal, classical, jazz, blues music fan is married to a country music fan.  While she was painting on Sunday, she was listening to country Christmas music on iTunes.

AHA!  Skip to the 10 minute mark where she mentions that multiple guitars are tools for a guitar player not replacements.  A TON of guitar players think this way!  Here’s video proof that I’m not crazy!

You’d think I’d be sad about finishing my guitar purchasing journey but you’d be absolutely wrong.  It was never a goal to have that many guitars, it was ALWAYS more about finding different sounds.  I’m actually relieved that I’ll have a small group of individual sounding guitars.  I don’t want to be a master of one style and likely never would be.  I’d rather be a jack of all trades & be versatile in my playing.  That is THE reason for different guitars & different tunings, for me.  A Telecaster, Les Paul, a PRS, a 7 string, an Explorer, or a Stratocaster will NEVER sound the same.  Even with my modeling amplifier each guitar sounds different.

This is the guitar I bought myself on December 14th.  It’s a double cut Epiphone Les Paul.  This is the guitar I’ve nicknamed “Wannabe” since it looks a LOT like the shape of a PRS guitar.  My guitars all have nicknames but I call them what they are by shape or brand.  Please remember that I don’t take for granted that I’m fortunate enough to buy these guitars, and I would NEVER expect anyone to purchase a guitar for me, although 4 ½ of my guitars were gifts, so I’m very lucky right there.

Epiphone

T**** keeps saying he doesn’t want to be compared to Richard Nixon & that name is not to be uttered in the White House.  OK, but he hired Roger Stone during his campaign to the 2016 election.  Roger Stone has a tattoo on his back of Richard Nixon’s face.  Seems more than a bit odd to me, but I don’t understand or agree with 99.9% of what T**** says.  I’m anxious to see the day my news feed isn’t jam packed with T**** news.

I’m not going to claim this as my year, I did that last January and it worked for me but it SO didn’t work out for most people, my bad.  My personal mantra for this year is “Work harder, learn more, be a better person & continue to play hard”.

I got up early, for a guy with no children, on Sunday.  Got my eggs hard boiled for the week & my vegetable juice made for the week.  Then I bolted into this room with some Saskatoon berry tea and learned some “Alice in Chains” & Swedish melodic death metal from “In Flames”.  That makes 3 straight days of tea, Saturday, Sunday, & 2 on Monday.  I think I’m ready to get older…minus the death metal thing!?

Then I just kept playing EVERYTHING I had learned but need to keep working on.  I went through almost EVERYTHING a couple times & it took me all weekend!

“Opeth” seemed like the right choice to fall asleep to Monday night.

I fall asleep to “Opeth” & the first thing I see on Facebook is my guitar dealer playing his song “Timeless Winter”

Definitely a possibility?  Washington D.C. is prepared for a war.

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris

I ACTUALLY WATCHED TV

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

Welcome back to the program!  You’re here so if you like what you see, might as well subscribe?  Either on Facebook or with your email in the bottom right corner, it’s really that easy & it’s free!  I know you want to tell your friends, go ahead!

Exercise total for 5 days. 

500 Curls w/ 20 pound dumb bells

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

1050 Crunches

1050 Leg lifts

300 Squats   

600 Back flexes

Yes I still do yoga twice a week for roughly an hour over those 2 days.  It just seemed pointless to give an educated guess every week.  I have yet to go walking this year.  Earlier this week I completely phased out & almost got off the couch without holding onto my transfer pole or getting my wheelchair in place.  That could have been a REALLY dumb move on my part.

If you’re exercising a lot, I HIGHLY recommend not taking 2 weeks off & then expecting to do more once you return to your exercise routine.  It takes me until Wednesday to feel normal, then I feel lazy on Thursday after my exercises.

Ugly day here weather wise on Wednesday evening.  Lots of snow & the wind was at 120 km which is 74.5 mph.  Branches from trees & everyone’s barbeque fell over.  We heard trucks blowing they’re horns followed by a crash & sirens shortly after all through the night.  The hatch to the attic in the hallway was opening & slamming shut all night too.  Thursday was pretty quiet, many businesses were closed on Thursday and shoveling themselves out of the snow.  Tons of people weren’t on the roads on Thursday.  The roads are just a thick layer of ice.  It melted on Wednesday, then around 5:30 pm it got windy & snowy fast.  All of the water from the melted snow was all over the streets & froze later on.

I watched a few TV shows that started up this week since Covid started.  I think I’ve found some that I don’t care to watch already.  I’d rather play/practice guitar than watch TV.  I have 4 can’t miss TV shows a week.  “Prodigal Son”, “The Conners”, “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”, & “The Ellen Degeneres Show”.  Just waiting for Blue Jay baseball & CFL football to start in the summer.  I’m Canadian so you’d think that I would be an NHL fan.  I’m not really, I’m a casual score board watcher.  NHL or hockey in general faded out for me in the 1990s.

I’ve learned these 2 songs & am speeding up the 3rd one on guitar so I think I’ll just continue practicing what I know for a while.

I just realized that I’ve been adding a little extra something that isn’t there and making the song below much more difficult for me, oh well I like it!

I’m speeding this up since I now know which finger goes where & when.

I watched what turned out to be 2:45 of a live stream 2021 Product Launch on www.youtube.com of PRS Guitars 6:00 pm – 8:45 pm with 2 very brief commercial breaks for PRS guitar maintenance kits.  10 new products were introduced & none of them made me rethink my decisions.  There were between 4000-4330 people watching at any given moment though, nice to know I’m not the only guitar geek out there.  Honestly some of the “new” products were a new colour option on a guitar & 6 new guitars, 4 of them were new acoustic models made in Indonesia.  

Foo Fighters have released another song from their album “Medicine at Midnight” to be released on Friday, February 5th.

Last night on Jimmy Kimmel

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris 

2020, JUST DO WHAT TOM PETTY TELLS YOU TO DO.

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

Welcome back to the program!  You’re here so if you like what you see, might as well subscribe?  Either on Facebook or with your email in the bottom right corner, it’s really that easy & it’s free!  I know you want to tell your friends, go ahead!

Exercise total for 2020. 

15,360 Curls w/ 20 pound dumb bells

8,850 Shoulder raises/Chest presses w/ 10 pound dumb bells

23,000 Crunches

24,650 Leg lifts

10,900 Squats   

13,065 Back flexes

Walking distance was 1,046 meters=3,487 feet (That’s only 3 times walking)

Down & Up 128 stairs

I was going to weigh myself, then I realized something…it’s just a number that means nothing.  People see me and often think I’m under 200 pounds.  I don’t know if that’s flattery or not?  I know that my weight will never be 1??.  I graduated high school in June of 1998 at 185 pounds and I was 213 pounds on July 1st 2020.  I feel good, I’m still cancer free since December 31st 2008, & I’m rarely sick now.

I know it’s been a terrible year for a LOT of people.  People dying, sick, lost their job, housing, some are starving, etc.  I wanted to catch up, but not have the world go through a situation like this!  Please don’t take any of this as bragging, as it’s not intended to come off that way at all.  I’m lucky enough that close friends & family have been OK this year, & I worked my butt of to get down to 213 pounds, I haven’t been that light since 1999.  Decent year of exercise/rehabilitation.  I stopped exercising after my morning exercises on Friday, December 18, 2020.  I’ve been doing some stretching.

Kim bought me a guitar, with her overtime money, for my 40th birthday on January 30th, 2020.  We had both been saving money prior to that and I ordered a PRS S2 Custom 22 semi-hollow guitar.  I ordered it on January 15th, and with a backorder delay followed by Covid delays, it arrived at the end of September.  I had been saving for my amplifier, footswitch, and a PRS S2 McCarty 594.  The PRS S2 McCarty 594 will be my next purchase & endgame in 4-6 years.  I ended up going shopping at the music store on Monday, December 14th 2020.  I bought the amplifier, footswitch, and this very nice special Epiphone guitar.  The amplifier is also in this photo.  I nicknamed this guitar as “Wannabe” since it’s made by Epiphone but is shaped VERY similar to a PRS guitar….

If you’re keeping score that was 3 guitars & an amplifier in 1 year.  I guess we’re not poor, we were just saving money for bigger purchases.  I’ll shut up about being broke now.  3 guitars & an amplifier in 1 year will never happen or need to happen again.  I now own 6 electric guitars & one acoustic.

Let’s get this year headed the right way!  We’ll go in quietly with our masks on, stay 6 feet apart & win me a guitar!  I’m currently trying to win a “Paul’s Guitar” SE.  This was my runner up to the PRS S2 McCarty 594 further below.  If you’d like to help me win the guitar, please do so or win it for yourself.  I’ll put instructions & a link below this video describing it.

Below is the video to watch and win the guitar.  You have to subscribe & leave a comment stating who your favourite guitar player is.  Hover over the bottom right corner of the video after you’ve pushed play.  Click on the word “YOUTUBE” to go to the site, this link will take you directly to the site & video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5S-hLFqPOGI&t=12s&ab_channel=RobertBaker.  You can leave your comment there below the video so he sees it. The guitar in Canada is $327 more than in the USA.  This won’t cost you anything to enter & you’ll likely enjoy his guitar videos.  He’s a great guitar player that I watch on www.youtube.com.  My birthday is on January 30th, this would be a VERY cool early birthday present!  If you win and want to ship it to me, ask him to contact Christopher Fraser, I’m in the comments and I’ll give him my shipping address personally.  This is the first guitar I’ve heard where the split-coil pickups actually make a noticeable difference sonically.  I love this guitar, I want this guitar, but I don’t want to pay $1300 for it.  GO TEAM GO!

I will definitely buy the McCarty 594 whether I win the “Paul’s Guitar” or not.  The “Paul’s Guitar” definitely won’t be replacing the role of another guitar & it will get played VERY often. 

The PRS S2 McCarty 594 is a must purchase for me.  My next & final purchase as far as guitar stuff goes.  The PRS SE Paul’s Guitar is a VERY close 2nd but also incredibly different.  If I win this guitar, the PRS S2 McCarty 594 will sound the same but look different.  It’ll be red & in the shape of a Les Paul.

For me, I like variety with my guitars.  Each guitar I own has something different about it from the others now that could be one of many things.  The bridge, pickups, electronics, tuning machines, the tuning itself, brand name, colour, body shape, etc.

I’m not a master guitar player at all, but I really don’t like tuning each string of a guitar to something completely different.  I watched another youtube video over the holidays.  The guy stated he had 60 guitars but plays 6 of them most of the time.  I don’t want to be that type of person, if I’m not using something, it’s just taking up space & could be used by someone else.  Even with what I have at the moment, I play all of my guitars within 2 days, or I learn a song in a certain tuning, keep playing it, & learn other songs in that tuning. 

Most guitar players on youtube have jobs involving guitars and have anywhere from 10-90 guitars, 4-40 amplifiers, & 20-150 effect pedals.  I don’t have a job & I’m not on youtube.  I have one amplifier and I only need one amplifier.  I have 3 effect pedals & don’t need or want more.  There’s always another guitar on a guitar players list, at some point you gotta say “Why?” & “That money can be used elsewhere!”  “I like to play”.

My body needed a bit of a break.  This year I expect even more effort from myself in many areas of my life.  To say it the shortest way possible, I want to work harder & be a better person.  Moving things up one gear in a year isn’t enough for me this year, I think I should move up 3 gears over the course of a year.  I don’t know how to measure that but I do expect more of myself.  As with most years for me, I need to get my act together and walk with my walker more.  2020 wasn’t an easy year for me, I pushed myself quite hard.  Still wasn’t as rough on me as it was on so many other people though.

My brother won the GRAND PRIZE of “REVV” amplifiers 12 days of Christmas giveaways!  He won their fancy brand new REVV amplifier on December 23!  So happy for him!  Go to the 46 minute mark to see it!

Kim saw a pre-Christmas sale on pillows.  We needed new sleeping pillows on our bed.  They’re made by a company called “Purple”.  Originally they started making wheelchair cushions from this product.  They now make pillows & mattresses.  The mattresses are guaranteed for 10 years.  We’ll be saving for one of those, were a year or 2 away from needing a new mattress.  Yes, our pillows are HEAVY, like 10 pounds heavy.  You don’t lift them or fold them.  You can adjust the height of the pillow by inserting or removing 2 thinner pieces into the case.

As for actual Christmas celebrations, on December 24th my brother, sister-in-law, parents, Kim & I all drove over to my Grandparents condo/senior home.  We stood outside of their suite on the ground floor in the parking lot.  We gave them a gift basket of a TON of treats & goodies.  We then sang them “We wish you a Merry Christmas” as my brother played it on guitar.  Even had a lady on the 3rd floor step out onto her balcony and join in on kazoo!

Christmas day was just Kim & I at my parents place, odd but still good.  My brother & sister-in-law opted to stay home, as did my grandparents, which makes sense.  My cousin from Winnipeg, Manitoba would have been here too but Covid, so that made sense too.  It was a smaller gathering than we would have liked, but we did what we could.  We did all open gifts over zoom or facetime, so that was nice.  I asked for money as a gift and spent most of it the next day on guitar stuff from amazon.  Multiple gauges of strings, a guitar maintenance tool kit, & some locking tuners for one of my guitars.  My parents did get me a gig bag for Christmas, but it didn’t get here until the 30th.

On December 26th our Christmas was over.  The tree came down, the decorations were put away & paint preparation started for our renovations.  2 TVs were taken off the walls, patching & sanding was done, paint & rollers were bought, furniture was moved, etc.  I just stayed out of the way, Kim’s been on a mission ever since.  I stayed in this room out of the way.  I worked on/cleaned up a few guitars & practiced a LOT.

We watched a movie from Netflix over the holidays it was called “Death to 2020”, so not for kids even though many lived through 2020.  It’s a scripted film with real news clips from the year, with a very recognizable cast.  I thought it was great!  Kim thought it was OK.

I don’t want you to think I was in this room doing nothing while Kim’s been painting our condo suite.  I figure I owe it to you to hopefully show you some progress I’ve made on guitar.  Please remember a few things.  I strongly LOATHE being in any type of photograph & I get VERY self-concious.  If you think it sucks that’s fine, as of 2011 I couldn’t tie my shoelaces.  People used to pay to see me play & sing on stage.  

You’ll hear me play abbreviated versions of 3 Foo Fighters’ songs & 1 “Big Wreck” song.  My 2 favourite bands & have been since the ‘90s.  Yes, the guitar I’m playing in the “Big Wreck” video is signed by Ian Thorney of Big Wreck.  They’re OK, you’ll hear “That Song” by Big Wreck, & “Low”, “The Pretender”, & “All My Life” by Foo Fighters.  Need to clean them up, but that’s what you get for now.

My favourite album of the year was easily ‘Moral Panic’ by “Nothing but Thieves”.  I didn’t get much in terms of new music since there wasn’t a lot of stuff released that I was into but I can think of 7 releases coming this year off the top of my head.  I’ll be streaming again while putting a minimal amount of money aside for a guitar.  I still don’t like the idea of streaming music, neither do a LOT of working musicians.

“Foo Fighters” new album ‘Medicine at Midnight’ will be released on Friday, February 5th.  If I get cancer again this February 5th, I’m gonna blame my favourite band but still call it an odd coincidence!

The first time I saw the title before hearing the song, I honestly thought they released a “Genesis” cover!  I love me some Genesis but a new Foo Fighters song is more than welcomed!

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris 

LAST POST FOR 2020

www.youtube.com links are there for a point of reference if you don’t know what I’m talking about.

Facebook subscription https://www.facebook.com/A-Million-Miles-Away-Blog-1597618270456002/         

Email subscription www.amillionmilesawayblog.com   

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

Welcome back to the program!  You’re here so if you like what you see, might as well subscribe?  Either on Facebook or with your email in the bottom right corner, it’s really that easy & it’s free!  I know you want to tell your friends, go ahead!

Exercise total for 5 days. 

500 Curls w/ 20 pound dumb bells

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

900 Crunches

900 Leg lifts

300 Squats   

450 Back flexes

1:05 hour of yoga over 2 days

I don’t need to do this all year, so this will be the last update for 2020.  My full exercise is done for the year, over the next 2 weeks I’ll be doing ½ the amount of exercise as you see above.  Beyond daily stretching & yoga a few times, likely more crunches as well.  I’m feeling great but my body will welcome a break.

My food intake will stay the same.  There won’t be any guests here over the holidays, so we won’t be putting out chocolates or other holiday treats.  Other than Christmas Eve & day, my food will stay the course.  It’ll still be water & a bit of tea for fluids.  Probably some Light Eggnog with Skim milk.  Alcohol will be minimal.  I do drink some gin but I’ve had a 26 ounce bottle in our liquor cupboard since May & it might be down 8 ounces.  When it’s gone nothing but Baron Samedi Spiced Rum & the odd craft beer will be purchased.  Even our “Bubbly” carbonated flavoured water has been here for over a month.

I say that & there was a sale on craft beer from Rebellion Brewing in Regina on Wednesday.  32 ounce growlers filled for $7, I got 2 growlers filled (4 pints in total) I enjoy trying different flavours of craft beer.  Kim even got a can of Sour Raspberry.  We bought the beer on Wednesday, I won’t touch it until later on today, tomorrow or next weekend?

This has been my year.  I dropped 57 pounds, I feel much stronger, and I like to think I’ve made progress (positively) on my mental health & knee jerk reactions.  I’ve also made a TON of progress on guitar.  I know more about music theory, still not much & I’ve learned a lot more about the instrument & how everything works as well as how to fix some issues.

The dark red burst Wolf brand Les Paul will be my final guitar purchase.  I can say that with a strong conviction.  I like the different sounds of “Humbucker pickups”.  I’ll have 7 different guitars with different “Humbucker” pickups & a Telecaster with a lipstick pickup & a single coil pickup.  I’m not a big fan of single coil pickups & I don’t need any different sounding humbucker guitars.  I’ve found that most of what I listen to has big sounding humbucker pickups.  There’s also that money issue, in that I need to start putting money away for 20 years down the road, but I can only save $5000/year for the next 10 years for the government to add to my RDSP, which I can’t touch until I’m 60.  I’m 40 until late January.

PRS S2 McCarty 594, amplifier & foot switch followed by the Wolf Les Paul & I’m spent as far as large purchases go, literally.

https://www.long-mcquade.com/154076/Guitars/Guitar-Amps/Boss/Katana-50-MkII-Combo-Amplifier.htm

https://www.long-mcquade.com/12567/Guitars/Guitar_Effects/Boss/FS-6_-_Dual_Footswitch.htm

I prefer the new red wine burst, the darker one.

Comparable but WAY more expensive.

https://www.long-mcquade.com/209964/Guitars/Electric-Guitars/Epiphone/Les-Paul-Prophecy—Red-Tiger-Gloss.htm

Both of these look GREAT but are far beyond my price range & wildest dreams.

https://www.premierguitar.com/articles/21688-gibson-releases-the-dave-grohl-es-335

The BIG things coming up for us are renovations & Brewster’s health.  I’m pretty sure this will be his last Christmas & January 31st he’ll turn 15 which will likely be his last birthday, but I hope I’m wrong.  I know I’ll be a mess for sure.  I don’t even like thinking about it.  I’m never alone since he’s got severe anxiety if one of us isn’t here!

We got rid of our streaming box yesterday.  No cable since noon yesterday until sometime tomorrow, oh well?

This is what I’ve been working on for songs on guitar this week.

All of those above are good & just need repetition.  I started working on the following song Wednesday afternoon.  Had to figure out some other parts that weren’t in the tab for it.

I guess this song by “Dead Sara” will be on their next/3rd album which is still being recorded.

HAVE A GREAT HOLIDAY SEASON & BE WELL ALL!  I’ll check my email, Facebook, & this site throughout the holidays.  I’ll return to blogging on here on Tuesday, January 5th.

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris 

“Spread love” –Ellen Degeneres