I EXERCISE FOR NICK

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Exercise total for 5 days. 

500 Curls w/ 20 pound dumb bells

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

1050 Crunches

900 Leg lifts

300 Squats   

600 Back flexes

Exercises went well this week & I feel pretty good.  Got up by 6:45 am or earlier this week other than yesterday 8:00 am and stuff to do around the house first.  Kim made some mini-quiche things for breakfast this week with cottage cheese & spinach in them.  They’re muffin size, 1 of those in the morning with my vegetable juice & water throughout the day & I’m exercising.  Afterwards I check my email & Facebook, then I shower.

When I think about my cancer, how it affected me & those around me, I often think about a guy I met in the rehabilitation center named Nick.  He was born with cerebral palsy & doesn’t know a life without a wheelchair & a severe handicap.  He was very outgoing, confident, polite, smart, upbeat, & liked music quite a bit.  I couldn’t understand his speech & he couldn’t understand mine.  When we’d see each other in the hall or in therapy, Kim was always playing the role of translator for us. 

I take my exercise VERY seriously.  I’m VERY fortunate to be alive & have the opportunity to work on my disability.  Nick is likely limited for life.  He lives in the Wascana Rehabilitation Center.  He knows he’ll be there for a long time & he understands that.   I was released & acted like a complete jerk for quite a while after my release, I should have been more grateful like Nick.  When I get down on myself or start to think something is too hard for me to deal with, I think of Nick.

He came over to our table in the cafeteria one afternoon, I was visibly not in the best mood.  Nick told me his story & finally said “Chris, I was born this way, this is all I know”.  My exercise might not seem like much to anybody.  When I think about it, I’m exercising for Nick since he can’t exercise for himself, he can play the drums though!  He learned in music therapy and recorded an album with the therapist.

The problem was, when I was acting like a jerk, I wasn’t thinking of Nick or what his life is like.  Now I don’t get down on myself so much, while always reminding myself to remain humble.  I think of Nick now more than I did before.  Unfortunately Kim & I either don’t remember his last name or never heard it.  If we did & he was nearby, I love to see him & hear how he’s doing.  Some people call me an inspiration, I find that VERY humbling.  Nick is my inspiration to keep going.

Suck it up fellow Canadians.  The vaccine distribution in Canada is EXTREMELY underwhelming.  CNN is simply reporting the news as usual.  Stay home!  I live in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.  I don’t know about “right now” but Regina had the most active cases of Covid-19 per capita in Canada earlier this year.  Please at least share this link on whatever social media you use.  Active cases in Regina are unbelievably high!

I don’t understand why so many people are worried about taking a vaccine?  Bill Gates isn’t going to implant a micro-chip in anyone because he doesn’t have to.  Have you ever used a phone, of any kind?  If you said “Yes” to that question, people that want to know about you probably know already?

I wanted to just play guitar on Wednesday but there was a baseball game that started at 11:00 am.  That normally wouldn’t be an inconvenience for me but that’s the time of day I can make some noise with my guitar & amplifier.  I still prefer to watch TV after 5:00 pm.  Kim’s done work, I stop playing guitar and either I watch a baseball game & Kim watches a streaming show in the bedroom or I play guitar until 8:30 pm while Kim watches something recorded.  Live TV does not exist in our house.

I played guitar on Wednesday after the game for what I told myself would be 45 minutes, turned out to be an hour & a half.  My left arm started shaking a LOT?!  That’s never happened to me.  My fingers will move uncontrollably on occasion but my arm is usually fine.

We got a delivery on Wednesday, a furniture piece for our renovations.  Kim’s been waiting for it for quite a while.  A round mirror above it and a tall green plant beside it will complete the renovations.  Those 2 items will have to wait until we get through this income tax ordeal, hopefully at the end of the year.

Buffet Table

I put my Matthew Heafy signature Epiphone Les Paul Custom 7 string guitar up for sale Tuesday afternoon. 

$1400 Canadian obo.  Comes with stock active EMG pickups, a 707 in the neck position & an 81 in the bridge position.  Tuners have been shimmed and new GHS Boomer strings 10-60 are now on & wrapped around the bridge.  Certificate of authenticity included.  It’s been played a minimal amount since its purchase on February 2nd, 2020.  No case or gig bag included.

Side view

I shaved last night & trimmed my goat tee.  I’ll shower ASAP and I’ll be “All dressed up with nowhere to go”

Rock is NOT dead.  It’s not as commercial as it used to be.  Country & pop music or a combination of the 2 are what’s easily found right now.  Rock & metal never died, you just need to dig a bit deeper to find it.

Dave Grohl with Mick Jagger

“Royal Blood” releases another single from their upcoming album ‘Typhoons’ to be released on April 30th.

“Myles Kennedy” of “Alter Bridge” releases another single from his upcoming solo album ‘The Ides of March’ release date is May 14th.

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris 

DUST, CLEAN, REPEAT

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

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That officially makes 3 nights at home with me sleeping on the couch.  Big renovations are done but everything is dusty & my transfer pole beside the bed isn’t back up yet.  We’ve decided to just tackle one room at a time, and the bedroom is up first.  When everything is back to normal in our suite, I’ll post some photos.  Even with the mess it looks VERY good!  Saturday evening & I’ll be sleeping in our bed finally! 

Kim picked up the 3 ½ X 3 ½ foot wall art on the weekend it’s quite heavy since it’s a wood, cedar.  After I said just to leave it & get someone to help her with it, she got it up on the wall!

I know I’m saving for the PRS S2 McCarty 594.  I hope to order it in early December.  Once I’ve saved enough for that, I’ll see if the other 2 are still around and just keep saving money.  If they’re both discontinued, I’ll figure it out then.  Relieve my stress from my phobia.  I’d love to rush out and order the 3 guitars, but I know that can’t happen, so why worry about it?  If the Schecter Tempest & Godin Radiator both go out of production before I order either of them, then I’ll look for a cheaper option.  I would love to order all of them before they’re discontinued still.  I’m a little worried about that still, but not as much as I was before.  Until then, I’ll be saving as much as I can for the next how many years?  I’m not getting any younger & our RSP & RDSP come first!  Had I put any thought in prior to choosing these guitars, I wouldn’t have that sense of F.O.M.O. to deal with at all!  These guitars for me are much like the pandemic for most people.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, I just need to get there!

I’ve pretty much stopped drinking alcohol.  All I drink now is a gallon of water a day with a possible tea or bubbly.  I haven’t had alcohol since the end of January I think it was?  I can’t say I miss or crave it.  I’m not necessarily trying to stop drinking.  This is more of a byproduct of me saving money.  Do I want a cider, rum, beer or would I rather save for a guitar?  I choose guitar!

Every time I look at my choices for my last 3 guitars, the more confident I get with all of them.  The guitar below is payed for and was supposed to be here March 1st.  It arrived late yesterday.  I’ll pick it up later today with my preference of strings on it.  YAY, new guitar day!  Belated birthday exchange gift!  The guitar I returned on my birthday was completely different & felt very stiff.  It was the first guitar I had played with Indian Laurel on the fret board and it just wasn’t comfortable, this has a maple fret board.  I’m fine with maple, rosewood & ebony.  I believe other than this guitar & my Fender Telecaster, the rest are rosewood.  I’m interested to try the new trend of roasted maple, but not interested enough to seek out a guitar with a roasted maple neck.  There’s also a trend of stainless steel frets.  I had them on the guitar I returned.  The stainless steel frets & the Indian Laurel on the fret board I found to be pretty uncomfortable.

www.youtube.com isn’t great for sound samples.  Too much compression of the sound over the interweb.  I like it more when people describe the way a guitar feels or how the amplifier feels in the room.  Although I’m not big on sound samples over the internet, it was nice to hear the Godin Radiator can still sound like a big guitar. 

Phillip McKnight/Know Your Gear channel on www.youtube.com does that in all of his videos & that’s why I watch him.  Learned quite a bit about what to look for in a guitar.

Some people might think I have a lot of guitars & they’re all the same.  You’d be wrong on both accounts.  None of them sound the same and many of them will be I different standard tunings, open tunings, & a few common alternate tunings.  Nothing too crazy here.  I have one acoustic guitar, a Fender Telecaster, a Tradition Les Paul, an Epiphone Explorer, a PRS S2 Custom 22, a Squier Starcaster later today, & I hope to order a PRS S2 McCarty 594 in early December.  After that I hope the Godin Radiator & Schecter Tempest are still around to order.  None of these guitars look or sound the same.  Even though they all have humbucker pickups, there are many different brands & models of humbuckers within a brand/company.  My Fender Telecaster has a single coil pickup & a lipstick pickup.

I find that as I get older I seem to not worry about things.  I’m passionate about things when they occur.  If nobody’s getting harmed in any way, I tend to just let things be.  I was angry in general coming out of the hospital.  Then I watched the USA completely unravel and became increasingly angry every week & now I’m just tired & hoping things will return to business as usual.  As global citizen’s we all still have issues to deal with like racism, climate change, sexism, the mention of ‘fake’ news, bullying, etc.  It does feel a LOT like we all need to take a breath before we go after whatever is next on the list to take care of.

Please remember to continue wearing a mask in public despite getting the vaccine.  Nothing is completely normal until the health officials say so.  I don’t care what you googled or what your friend told you.  Let the “World Health Organization” do their job.  I didn’t google how to survive cancer, & if I did there’s a good chance I wouldn’t be here right now. 

I find it VERY difficult to believe there are still people who question taking any vaccine.  These people make me tired.  Just take any vaccine so we can all get passed this please?  I don’t want to hear any whining that you had to wait for however many hours in line to get a needle.  These people exhaust me.  Biden wants this over for American’s by the end of May.  Last I heard is that Trudeau is planning for the end of September in Canada.  Can we all just get together on one thing at a time?

This link describing how the virus has been politicized is SO far from what is needed right now.  Doctors & scientists will help us defeat the virus & be healthy with a return to some type of normal.  Politicians will keep the economy going.  No healthy people = No economy.  Keep faith in science or were hooped!

https://ca.yahoo.com/news/covid19-canada-trust-doctors-politicans-cmohs-120047289.html

I completely forgot that the Grammy Awards were on Sunday night.  Kim switched off “Netflix” & the Grammy Awards had just started.  I guess that’s not a HUGE deal for me, I have no clue who most of the artists are?  I haven’t bought or streamed any of their music yet, but I do like what I’ve heard from “Black Pumas”!  I did start streaming “Black Pumas” Sunday evening.

“Trevor Noah”, host of the Daily Show, hosted the Grammy Awards.  I’ll paraphrase what he said that stuck out to me.  ‘Now artists can make HUGE hit songs & millions of people can stream them.  If that musician or group is really lucky they’ll get a check, anywhere from 2 to 3 dollars’.  He said it as a joke, & it’s funny because it is true.  I’m streaming to save for guitars but because I’m streaming on Apple Music with Kim we pay $14/month.  So were paying $168 a year for radio in that we don’t own it, we rent it.  We stop paying the monthly fee, our music goes away & whoever made the music has to go on tour to make any money?

Monday was back to exercise as usual, nice to get back into the routine.  I miss it when I don’t do it.  I think at this point I’m maintaining, & I’m OK with that.  Sure I have a small belly & love handles, I can live with that!

I’m anxious to see a live concert but still unsure if I’d go to any this year, even after EVERYONE gets a vaccine.  It would be hard to say no to a “Foo Fighters”, “Big Wreck”, “Myles Kennedy”, or “Mark Tremonti” concert though!?

I started streaming ‘NIRATIAS’ by “Chevelle” that was released on March 5th.  Going by the ratings on iTunes I’m a little off preferring the song ‘Peach’ to ‘Self Destructor’, oh well!  Different strokes for different folks!

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris

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

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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!  

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 

IN MY HEAD

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/         

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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

900 Crunches

900 Leg lifts

300 Squats   

450 Back flexes

1:15 hour of yoga over 2 days

Sorry about the last post?  I felt as though I was being judged, I don’t know why or by who?  It felt like I had someone watching my every move.  I just wasn’t comfortable.  It was in my head.  I was confused more than anything.

There’s “no doubt” that 2020 has been terrible & stubborn.  Even more stubborn than Donald Trump on the election results, at least he’s focused.  I called it at the start of the year that 2020 was going to be my year.  “So far so good”, I’m feeling very good physically & improving mentally, I hope?!  Relearning guitar is a bit slower than I’d like but this has been a VERY good week of playing through stuff I’ve learned, both new & old to me.  Sort of realized I was looking for perfection instead of just playing…if that makes sense?

WOW, I miss “No Doubt”, 1990s teenager.

I REALLY miss live music!  I have nothing planned as far as concerts go until this virus is seriously under control.  We’re currently using a streaming box for TV, cheaper in order to save some money.  The streaming box has VERY poor software in it, I watch TV, but it’s incredibly slow and makes me want to avoid TV as much as possible. 

My immediate family is good.  My mother just told me on Monday that my uncle has been in the hospital for 2 months because his knee bent the wrong way.  From what I hear he’s doing well.  He’s walking in parallel bars, he was in a wheelchair before his knee went out, that’s good to hear.  Meanwhile my great aunt & uncle have tested positive for Covid a few days apart, so from what I know they’re doing well & one’s in the basement while the other is on the main floor in Manitoba.

Covid restrictions for Saskatchewan were increased Wednesday night.  They take effect today as the new cases continue to rise.  They’re in effect until at least December 17th, unless they need to be revisited in that time.

I realized this week I just love Les Paul guitars.  I don’t really care what brand it is.  Les Paul guitars are known for being physically heavy.  Lots of players don’t like that about them.  My first guitar was a Les Paul styled guitar, so I’m used to playing a 9 pound guitar.  I really like the versatility/electronics of a Les Paul guitar.  The guitar I’m saving for will be in a lighter body but designed electronically to work like a Les Paul guitar.  Why so many guitars?  They’re different colours, 4 of the songs mentioned in this post are in different tunings, they all sound different, & I’ve heard that the optimum number of guitars to own is whatever you own + 1.  Hahahahahahahahahahaha!  In all seriously, Kim worked until 7:00 pm on Wednesday, I need to stop spending money so she doesn’t have to work so much.

When I go to see “Big Wreck” on tour, the singer brings 10-15 guitars on tour with him.  Why?  Big Wreck have a TON of songs in different tunings.  As of their 6th studio album release 4 of their songs are in more common tunings that I play in.  I can’t play like him & I don’t need 15 guitars.

Our living room floor has been covered in DVDs & Blu-rays.  We’ve sorted out the ones we want to keep and the ones we’ll sell.  Out of the 300+, if not more, that we have I’m guessing we’ll keep ½ of them.  I hope this was worth our time?  A friend of a friend is interested in what we have.  I kept my favourite TV series, favourite movies, special edition movies, & some box sets of multiple movies.

I was trying to watch TV on our streaming service we changed to last week to save money.  I’m pretty sure it has cutting edge technology as of 1965?  It has VERY inept software.  It’ll be switched in the not so distant future.  Not what we had before, but a cheaper version of what we previously owned.

I’m doing my thing & feeling stronger.  Even playing guitar felt as if I had gone to the next level this week.  Practicing different scales & individual notes has really helped my hand coordination.  I didn’t do much of that before.  I was always a singer filling in with chords & little riffs.

I was playing through these songs that I sort of knew by memory.  I decided to take out my song books & learn the proper arrangements.  I realized the next day that I was in my head, trying to be too perfect instead of just having fun.

^^This could still use some cleaning up which it will get but it’s up to tempo.  The song below is there now & will get even better as I play it.

I started learning the song below on Wednesday. All of my scales & finger exercises make a HUGE difference in playing the little riffs between the chords.

I don’t know if this giant leap is because I’m playing guitar so much or because I’m practicing scales & exercises now, probably both.  This is MUCH easier than I ever would have imagined!

I’m still listening to the new “Sevendust” & “Nothing but Thieves”, but I’m sure you’ve heard enough about how much I like those albums.  I’ve been running through a few other songs on guitar too.

Next fairly easy song to learn after looking at the tab last night

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris 

“Spread love” –Ellen Degeneres 

P.S.  I had to update my iPod last night.  It wanted to text me a code, I don’t text, and I had to get my sheet of paper with my 15 passwords.  How is any of this digital stuff better?

THANK YOU

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

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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!

I’m not done telling my story.  I think at the very least need to say thank you for reading my ramblings on this website.  I want to tell my story & know that at least one person enjoys this content.  I’d likely write this anyway, but it’s nice to know people are reading this & that I’m not just doing it for myself.  Thank you for your time.

I will say that putting myself & my story out for all to see does make me feel as though I’m being judged at times.  I’m well aware I’m not perfect & can be an asshole.  I’m evolving & you’re watching it in real time.  My flaws are not what define me, my effort to change my flaws is what I want to be judged on.  With that being said I can’t tell you how you choose to judge me or not judge me.  I think everyone deserves their own opinion.  I may not agree or like the opinion, but I do think everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

I have judged others poorly in the past and that is based on MY interpretation of that person and however many times I’ve interacted with that person.  We’re all different which is often a blessing but can also be a curse.  I’m not here to intentionally harm anyone EVER.  I want this website to be a safe place for people.  Any form of social media should be in my opinion.

I never assume I’m the smartest person in the room.  I do have a thirst for knowledge, probably more so now than ever before.  I do joke around a lot and rarely take myself seriously.  If anyone was to offend a friend or family member of mine then I would retaliate, verbally.  I can joke around & I can take a joke, any effort to offend me takes a LOT of work, but once that line’s crossed you’ll wish you hadn’t gone that far.

In the end, I’m loyal and never one to seek out confrontation.  I was quite young, probably around 11 years old.  I was at a Saskatchewan Roughriders game with my parents I think.  For a bit it was just me & my mother, I assume my father was getting food or something.  A fan behind us began shouting foul language towards the field.  My mother didn’t like it.  After 5 minutes that felt like an hour, I at 11ish years old shouted back.  “HEY!  ENOUGH WITH THE LANGUAGE”, or something like that.  The person apologized and realized we we’re bothered by it.  Nothing else was said, it was done & over with.

Foul language doesn’t bother me, unless it’s used with the intent of demeaning someone.  Those that know me are typically aware of all of this and I don’t like that I have to state this since it is common knowledge for the most part.  If you know me, you should know this already.  I guess somewhere along the way some people may have thought of me differently.  It’s their opinion, but it’s my error since it’s based on my words.

It’s the holiday season of 2020 which, as a year, just keeps dishing out whatever it’s got left to hurl at the human race & the climate.  This will be a VERY odd holiday season to say the least & I apologize if reading my story has made it more troubling for anyone?

Well crap!  It’s still only November…ugh.  Even I started to feel overwhelmed with the Covid restrictions this weekend.  It’s not like I had big plans to go out & about but it’d be nice to do something?  With this virus & so many restrictions, including mandatory masks in public for the province of Saskatchewan I will say this in all seriousness.  I don’t venture out of our condo much on a normal day.  In 2020, if I do I follow the rules & wear a mask.  If I’m within 6 feet of someone that’s not wearing a mask I will politely ask them to move REALLY far away if I’m in a rush.  I’ll ask them once politely.  If they choose not to move, there will a problem & I will likely role away, have a very disappointed face or voice my disappointment to them.  “Wear a mask or (potentially) feel my wrath”.  See I add (potentially) & it throws of the rhyming scheme.

There was a news story on Facebook that Geraldo Rivera, a Trump supporter, said that he thinks the vaccine for the virus currently showing promise should be called “The Trump”.  It was on a public platform and I stated “I don’t want Trump in me”.  Nobody took that as harming, nor was it intended to be.  I don’t want to be a dark cloud on a sunny day.  I’m also not about to hide who I am because someone might take it the wrong way.

In other news my brother has managed to sell my 3 guitar effect pedals for me.  I will send the money acquired from those & Christmas gift money on Kim’s side of the family to Kim’s friend’s family in need after a life altering incident.  I like that I can help, but I don’t like to hear about this type of situation occurring, it just hits to close to home for me, even though it’s not cancer related.  As of my writing this they’re still just over $23,000 short of their goal.

We’ll NEVER be in debt because of a luxurious purchase.  We save for personal items, but there are many other things that must come first, mortgage, bills, groceries, medical expenses, retirement savings, etc.  When that’s taken care of then we allow ourselves nice things.  Kim bought cross-country skis on Saturday & used them on Sunday.  When she bought them on Saturday, she was unaware that the store would charge extra for labour, bindings, & waxing the skis.  She was really worried since it was $200-$300 more than she was expecting.  I told her “If it’s going to hurt us, we always have money I’ve been saving for a guitar.  Take whatever you need from that account.  I’ll get a cheaper guitar if needed or no guitar anytime soon.  You’re supposed to enjoy something!”  She never gets anything special for herself, & its way past time she did.  She had fun skiing in the park with a few friends, everyone should be able to have some fun.

For those in Saskatchewan here’s a nice warm non-alcoholic beverage I recommend over the winter.  I needed something different than water all day every day.  Kim found some AMAZINGLY good Saskatoon berry tea in the grocery store.  I now have a cup of that in the afternoon.  No sugar or cream needed and no sugar added.  I’m guessing she found it a Co-op groceries? 

Foo Fighters take a look back at the last 25 years.  LANGUAGE!!! 

Not much new music being released this year.  I can’t stop listening to the “Nothing but Thieves” album ‘Moral Panic’.  Even Kim told me the other day “You listen to this a lot”.

Album version…

Orchestral version now available as a single.  Recorded at Abbey Road studio…

Along with ‘Moral Panic’ I’ve been listening to the new “Sevendust” album ‘Blood & Stone’ quite a bit.  I’ve never been a HUGE fan of Sevendust, but this latest album really caught me off guard!

Yep, they covered “Soundgarden” on this album.

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris          

“Spread Love”-Ellen Degeneres

P.S.   I guess Kim’s got a job for me today around the house & she’s cracking the whip!  “WHOOPA!”

I’M WORKING ON MY DIMMER SWITCH

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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

900 Crunches

900 Leg lifts

300 Squats   

450 Back flexes

1:10 hour of yoga over 2 days

I had this entire thing written & trashed it all.  It was an unnecessary rant about anti-maskers.  What I will say about that is the following.  Nobody enjoys having to wear a mask.  I’m rarely out of the house during a month.  When I am in public I wear a mask not only for me but for everyone.  If you feel the need to rant about wearing a mask I’m OK with that…as long as you’re wearing a mask.  If you’re complaining about wearing a mask & not wearing one, I don’t need or want to hear it.  I personally don’t know anyone that falls into this category since they’re not worth my time right now.  Just please wear a mask, if you’re not, you’re a part of the problem.  You probably didn’t create the problem but you certainly aren’t helping solve it.  You are the weakest link & we’re all counting on you to do the right thing.

Saskatchewan got the news on Tuesday of restricted Covid protocol until December 17th 2020.  “Too little, too late” if you ask me.  Remember in the summer how so many people were just throwing caution & common sense to the wind along with their masks?  Well I hope they had fun then because family gatherings over the winter holidays are questionable right now.  Will I see my in-laws this December, will I see my immediate family this December, and will I see my grandparents this December?  Maybe, maybe, and probably not with Covid numbers skyrocketing everywhere.

I called it at the beginning of January.  2020 will be my year.  It’s been a stubborn, tough year & it’s not done yet.  I plan to be here long after 2020 though & this Covid stuff.  I’m ready to keep fighting if 2020 is going to keep ‘poking the bear’ (I’m the bear in this scenario).

I was scheduled to have an MRI at 10:45 pm tonight.  A 30 minute scan of a cyst in my back that has been there since my first MRI in 2008.  We talked to my doctor earlier this week.  I know I’m not invincible and I have no desire to go into a hospital, take off my mask & get shoved into a tube that’s just big enough for my shoulders to scrape the side during a pandemic for a very minor thing.  My doctor understood that & agreed.  I’ll be having my annual full MRI in May instead.  They’ll check out the long time cyst, my brain, & spine at that time.  A cyst won’t turn into a tumor.  I have a new doctor as of my last visit who wanted to learn more about it.

My life hasn’t changed at all because of Covid and I’m lucky in that way.  My life changed in 2008 because of cancer.  Initially it was REALLY rocky because of my incredible asshole reaction.  I’m far from perfect & always will be.  That doesn’t mean I’m just going to give up.  Those numbers that you probably skip by on Friday?  That’s my work over the course of a week, I’m proud of that & I’m not afraid of hard work.  Sure you might be thinking “Ah, it’s only 1-2 hours a day” & I’m not going to stop you from having that opinion.  You can call me whatever you want, anything goes at this point.  After I finish my exercise in the morning, I literally roll over on my side into the fetal position because I’m exhausted & sometimes sore.  I need to catch my breath & cool down.  After 2-5 minutes of rest I get up to do something around the house, get into the shower, eat, watch a little TV or play guitar.  I don’t have a slow speed.  If something needs to get done, I do it ASAP, why waste time thinking about it if I can figure out how to do it right away?

Now you might be thinking “Oh, big deal he said he’s playing guitar”.  It takes energy.  If I don’t have the energy, I play like crap and disappoint myself.  Because I beat myself up when I don’t do something well.  As I was telling my cousin over Facebook this earlier this week.  I don’t want to be good enough at everything, I want to be better than I was before I was put in a wheelchair.

Nobody can wave a magic wand & instantly make me better.  I’m the one that has to put in the work to be good enough and then better.  I’ve helped friends and family in the past and I’m helping where I can if needed or if I can be of assistance now.  I’m always patient with others.  If someone is helping me with something, I don’t want to waste their time.  I put a LOT of pressure on myself to do things right.

I had to ‘parent’ Brewster this week.  He won’t take his pills & he’s getting very stubborn about what he’ll eat.  I sat with him & had a little chat, I don’t think it worked?  “Look at me…nope…nope over here, look at me.  You need to eat your food & eat your treats.  If you can’t do that for us, this is what’s going to happen!  You have to be cute, furry, & cuddly for one week.  Now what’s it gonna be?  I’m not going to make you do both, you have to decide.  Will you eat your food now?  No?  OK, cute, furry & cuddly it is.  One week!  You’ve made your choice.”  Yes, I talk to my late 70s/early 80 year old dog like that.

I think everyone has an asshole gene in them.  It’s up to the individual as to when & how much they want it to shine.  I’m working on my dimmer switch for my asshole gene, it’s too bright.

Please wear a mask, and physically distance?  That’s EVERYONE’S job right now.

This week on guitar I haven’t been practicing songs.  The bulk of me playing guitar has been me applying and learning the DeLorean/Doryan/Dorian (actual spelling) mode, as well as memorizing the pentatonic scale.  That’s a LOT of music theory, my brain hurts from actually using whatever is left in there.  This will be a long time before I can say that I know it.  It sort of makes sense yet it’s hazy right now.

Pentatonic scale(s) is memorized as of Thursday.  Now I’m got the basics of the “Finding Doryan” or “DeLorean” mode as of Thursday night.  Today I’m just focusing on getting my pentatonic scale/shapes/pattern down & a song.  It’s as though I took a glance into Pandora’s Box and thought “I should make 1 thing solid before I dive into 5 other ones?”  My brain feels like mashed potatoes now?!?! 

Here I am at 11:20 pm after lying in bed thinking about scales too much that I came in to practice the 5 patterns in a pentatonic scale!  Geeking out much?  YEP!

“Nothing but Thieves” gave into high demand from fans to release their orchestral version of the song “Impossible” earlier this week.  When I purchase this album over the holidays, I intend to add this single to the album.  I don’t listen to singles or EPs under 5 songs.  I add them to albums.

“Dead Sara” released a single this week.  I hear a BIG “Nirvana” influence in their music.

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris 

“Spread love” –Ellen Degeneres 

BACK ON TRACK FOR ME & KIM IS WORKING ALL OF THE TIME

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

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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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!

Rough week for me last week.  I still think about Kim’s friend’s family.  I still plan to donate and I hope things get much easier for them.  I know that the accident will change many lives.  I still feel bad about the ripple effect my cancer caused.

Like I said, instead of having a gift exchange at Christmas with Kim’s immediate family, the 7 of us are each donating $100 and Kim & will add a little more as well.

I was totally freaking out about this last week & it just made me feel worse as the week went on.  The story hit too close to home for me, having been through my own situation.  I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.  It is good to hear that he’s doing well and he won’t be in the hospital for 4 ½ years.  They’re over their goal on the website, but any aid still helps!

After Kim & Brewster went to bed on Friday night, I played some guitar (unplugged from my amplifier) & watched an episode of “The Mandalorian” on Disney +

It all lifted my mood a bit, but I still fell asleep with tears in my eyes.  It was nice to wake up to the news of Biden winning the election, which helped with my mood also.  I think the next 2 ½ months will be a gong show, just because we all know how Donald Trump will be.  If you missed Joe Biden’s acceptance speech here it is…

I can now say that I’m feeling more hopeful and more like myself after last week.

My top ‘never going to happen’ guitar is a Dave Grohl 335 (Foo Fighters).  They’re just too much & I don’t know if they’re available on the market?  I could see myself downsizing my guitars, much later on & getting a Mark Tremonti (Alter Bridge) Core PRS or a Paul’s Guitar Core in a finish other than black, maybe orange or yellow tiger, down the road.  That’s a few decades down the road though & if I decide to scale back my guitars.  I do attain the guitars I like though & that are within my price range.

https://www.prsguitars.com/index.php/electrics/model/mark_tremonti_signature_2020

https://www.prsguitars.com/index.php/electrics/model/pauls_guitar_2020

I neglected practicing these songs last week.  Got back to them on the weekend.

A small handful at a time.  Make sure I get them as good as possible before moving on.  After that probably some 7 string stuff.  I still plan to get this amplifier & footswitch after my 42nd birthday in January of 2022.  The guitar is going to be delayed by a few months and probably a few months more if Brewster needs anything, which is no big deal.  I’d prefer to give what I have to the family in need while I have it but I know that a little now & more later will help a LOT.

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 only need one amplifier & I like to keep my foot pedals to a minimum, after I get the amplifier & hear it, then I’ll decide if I’d like an inexpensive pedal.  When I say “an” I mean 1 in total.  I have 3 currently & really don’t like cluttering up the floor with pedals.  If I can’t get the sound I want from the guitar & the amplifier, then I forget about getting that sound usually.

Even talking with the local music shop owner last week, he told me those amplifiers (the first generation of them) were flying off of the shelves.  He had about 5 of them there all with tags marking them as sold.

I watched “Saturday Night Live” WAY too early Sunday morning.  You could tell they had to re-write most of the show after Joe Biden won the Presidency.  Which is a pretty good trade off since the WORLD celebrated after the announcement Saturday morning.  SNL showed clips of London, Paris, & multiple USA cities with people dancing in the streets.  Donald Trump wanted to put America first, well he did do that as he promised, and the world was watching America really close!

Like I said, I watched “SNL” VERY early Sunday morning.  I went to bed at 11:00 pm Saturday & woke up at 4:00 am Sunday.  By about 4:45 am I gave up on the idea of falling asleep & got up.  We babysat our ‘nephew’ from 9:30 am until 1:30 pm.  ‘Uncle’ Chris was tired.  He was pretty calm, he just wanted hear “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” music & bop along to the music.  I actually crawled into bed shortly afterwards & got up around 6:00 pm.

We actually/finally had a blizzard on Sunday.  I guess you could call it more of a white out?  Not a lot of snow but cold weather & very low visibility.  It just dumped snow here Sunday night.  As of Monday morning there is actually 6” of snow on the ground between snow drifts & all of the snow from the storm.

I didn’t see much of Kim this weekend.  She worked 15 hours on Friday, around 10 hours on Saturday, as soon as our ‘nephew’ left here around 1:30 pm on Sunday she worked until 11:15 pm.  She did it again Monday night, worked from 8:00 am until 11:00 pm Monday & today she’s doing here full time job 8 hours a day.  Monday I catalogued all of our DVDs & Blu-rays in order to get the big bookshelf holding them out of here.  We’ll donate or sell the shelf once I take it apart.  We’ll keep the DVDs & Blu-rays though.  We’ve already got rid of some of them in the summer, but we still have a LOT!  I should have the shelf dismantled today.

Monday was day 1 of mandatory masks in Regina because of the Covid spike across Canada.  My father went to Costco as usual & what does he see?  A group, not an individual but several together, not wearing masks & being stopped throughout the store by staff offering masks to them, their response.  “We have masks, we don’t need them” and Costco is sold out of toilet paper.  They bring out palates of it in the store & they’re sold out of toilet paper?  Figure it out already!  We did this in March & April.  I left the house twice last week and that was a rare occurrence but I wore a mask, it really isn’t that hard.  Or are people not able to keep up with a guy in a wheelchair & an acquired brain injury.  If I see someone in public without a mask yet within 6’ of me.  I will politely ask them to get out of my personal space with an extra 6’ tacked on.  If they fail to do so I promise to lose my $h!+ on them!  Will this solve anything?  Yes, it will protect me.  DO THE RIGHT THING!

Did everybody catch “Foo Fighters” on “Saturday Night Live” this weekend?  New song “Shame, Shame”.  The album, Medicine at Midnight, will be out February 5th.

A statement from Dave Grohl…

https://loudwire.com/foo-fighters-death-metal/?fbclid=IwAR3Je_ZkDKNYoyonnyMx8Gv5Lcs-pSfC3Fl4RHbB8r9qzVVNTRgBJjxfCtg

https://www.radiox.co.uk/artists/foo-fighters/advice-how-get-through-lockdown/?fbclid=IwAR2A9N0gV5wgAS1uC7NEW8WZVPJUcdDinCQQ-tI1Y7dJw-c2XRuMBDso_eI

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris          

“Spread Love”-Ellen Degeneres

TOO MANY EXTREME HIGHS & LOWS IN ONE WEEK

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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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

1:20  hour of yoga over 2 days

It’s Thursday afternoon as I write this.

Why is everyone so against a person with a different perspective?  I may not like someone’s opinion but they should have every right to their own opinion.  Record amount of voters showed up for the election in the USA.  The highest amount since 1908?  You can’t say “get out & vote” expecting everyone to side with your opinion?  Whatever happens for the next 4 years, the votes are in so just stop worrying.  We’ve made it this far, maybe it’ll get better or maybe we’ll be tested & pushed harder?  I’m in Canada, I have been my entire life with only one week spent in the USA.  Our TV, phone, & internet was being switched over to a different company on Tuesday.  I didn’t see or hear anything about the election on Tuesday.  I can’t vote so I didn’t need to hear anything about it.  Until there’s a declared winner in the vote I have no intention of stressing about what the outcome will be.  In other words, “I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it” – Anonymous

I’m going to help out another family going through something similar we did when I got brain cancer in 2008. Kim’s childhood friend works in demolition (explosive demolitions).  He had an incident on Sunday at work & is now paralyzed from the waist down.  He’s married and has 4 young children.  If you’d like to read the story or donate you can do either by reading the following link to the go fund me page.

I thought about this family as I went to bed Wednesday night with tears in my eyes & woke up to continue silently crying Thursday morning.  Now that I’ve been on both sides of this type of situation & can sort of tell what a lot of people felt like in 2008,  I’m worried/wondering what they’re future will look like for them, just shakes me to the core.  I intend to donate as much I can. 

We’ve been tossing around ideas about cheap renovations to do here before we list the condo in 2022.   We even had an interior designer friend come in to look around & send us some suggestions.  When I heard the news about Kim’s friend that she keeps in contact with, I did what many people did when I had cancer.  I panicked & thought of selling a guitar to donate all of the money to a family in need.  Kim calmed me down.  For our Christmas with Kim’s immediate family, we’ve all agreed to donate $100 to the family instead of buying gifts for each other.  I plan to donate another $175 along with Kim’s extra donation.  We know what it can be like a few years down the road.  As I say this please don’t think I’m ungrateful for everyone’s help when I got sick.  I had 2 years of mortgage insurance & needed 2 ½ more years of money to pay our mortgage, that’s where a lot of the money went as well as rent for my room in my rehabilitation center $1000/month.  Things now are tight without my income so in a year or 2 I might sell a guitar & donate all of the funds when we donate more to this family in need.  I’ve only met the guy once or twice in passing since he lives 3 ½ hours north of here, in Kim’s home town.  I never want anyone to go through a similar situation that we went through.  Please donate if you can, it means a LOT to Kim, me, along with many other people we know & don’t know. 

Kim will likely be working this weekend.  She’s a desktop designer.  She has a full time contract job as well as 2 other companies that she does designing for 2 or 3 times a year.  She got the files for one of the other jobs Tuesday evening.  She worked 15 hours yesterday between her full time job and a part time job.

I went to the living room to finally watch TV Wednesday evening & now I know why the streaming TV is %50 off a month for 2 years.  The screen just goes blank for 5 seconds at random.  Good thing I don’t want to watch much TV since I’m in this room playing guitar or watching youtube videos about guitar.  The streaming box makes me not want to watch TV.  I’ll watch my 4 or 5 scripted shows, CFL, MLB, & 2 talk shows, nothing more since I can no longer fast forward through commercials but I can watch stuff from the last 72 hours.

I worked on a friend’s electric guitar on Tuesday.  He’s learning with an acoustic guitar but doesn’t own an electric guitar.  I found a used, more affordable Stratocaster for him.  Picked it up on Tuesday & did as much as I could to make it great.  Cleaned the body, blew out the electronic cavities, tighten the output jack & the tuners, oiled the fretboard, polished the frets, sanded off the fret sprouts, put on new strings and strung them to lock in place.  I tried adjusting the truss rod inside the neck but I wasn’t comfortable going any further with it than I already had.  It’s at a local shop for that, I don’t want to screw up his guitar.  My brother and I dropped it off & ended up visiting with the staff for over about 2 hours, we’ve known & dealt with them A LOT.  I should hear back from them by Wednesday at the latest.  I was expecting to have to replace some parts, but it worked out as is in the end.  That’s fun for me, making it better than it was.  I should do that with a few of my guitars?!  I may not have played guitar as much as I would have liked to, but I got to work on a couple instead.  Good trade off in the end!

Regina, Saskatoon, & Prince Albert (3 of the major cities in Saskatchewan) are now under the rule of mandatory masks today in public as of Tuesday’s announcement.  I’m fine with that, I think this is long overdue honestly.  We know this virus won’t just disappear since so many people prefer to carry on normally and think they’re invincible.  Meanwhile the other half of us are wearing a mask for other people.  Wearing a mask will protect me to a point, someone I encounter wearing a mask protects me even more.  It’s weird & frustrating how some people just don’t get it?  I have trouble seeing a mask as something to complain or throw a tantrum about. 

I’ve been avoiding all news this week.  Why was my A/C running at 7:10 pm in November in Canada……rrrrrright that climate change thing that’s a hoax like Covid?

I tried to watch some political news Thursday night and it’s just not worth it for me until the votes have all been counted.  This isn’t “Trump Fatigue” it’s “Election Fatigue” for me.  I’m guessing, this is NOT a fact, there will be a war either way?  If Biden becomes President there may be a civil war?  If Trump remains as President, I don’t think a world war is out of the question?  If Trump wins I’ll get hammered on rum & likely give up on humanity.  That last sentence is FACT.

Needless to say it’s been a stressful/dark/troublesome week & I can’t stop thinking about another family, with 4 children, going through a similar situation to ours in 2008.  I know already that I’ll be crying tonight (Thursday) & Friday morning when I wake up.  This is just so far from being fair to anyone.  It’s not stage 4 brain cancer but he’s paralyzed from the waist down with 4 kids, of which 2 are under the age of 3.  Hell, my lip is trembling & my eyes are watering now thinking about this.  I was in bed Thursday night before Kim (that’s a VERY rare occurrence).  She came to bed & immediately says “What’s wrong?”  I didn’t know how to sum it up in one sentence.  I’m tired & over stressed, & I’ve avoided election news!

If you’re a fan of “Saturday Night Live” watch it for sure this week.  Comedian “Dave Chappelle” is hosting & my favourite band, “Foo Fighters” are the musical guest.  They’ve been teasing fans with parts of a song on their Facebook page. I assume it’s the first single from the album they finished recording in February.

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris 

“Spread love” –Ellen Degeneres 

NO ANTI-MASK SHAMING HERE BUT PLEASE WHERE ONE?

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

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Exercise total for 5 days. 

00 Curls w/ 20 pound dumb bells

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

00 Crunches

00 Leg lifts

00 Squats   

0 Back flexes

?  hours of yoga over 5 days

I didn’t exercise this week.  Woke up at 3:30 am on Monday & it threw me off of my routine for the week.  I spent the week doing stretching & yoga every day.  I guess it was about an hour a day give or take 5 minutes.  I was just very sore & stiff until Thursday after my stretching, then I started to feel a bit better.

We went to my parents’ place for a birthday supper.  Kim’s was on the 22nd, Rachel’s is on the 30th, & my Grandfather’s is on November 1st.  We got to see people & visit!  

This is one of the many reasons I think Dave Grohl is a genius!

I saw that on Wednesday, & grabbed my guitar, as usual, and said to myself “Self, it’s time to nail down the many Foo Fighters’ songs you know and play them until they’re perfect like when you played so many of them live.  Before you had cancer when your left hand wasn’t useless”.  So I did and relearned the lead intro & rest of this song…

…will you see me play it on Facebook?  Probably not, as we all know that’s not working out great for me at the moment.  All I can say is not anytime soon.

Donald Trump has stated that if he loses the election he’ll have to move.  He’s also never said that there might not be a peaceful transition of power if he loses.  So what’s it gonna be?  If he loses & stays, he’ll owe buckets of money to A LOT of people &/or likely go to jail.  If he wants to move to another country there’s a travel ban, even the Canada/USA border is closed right now.

It really surprises me that I’ve seen very few people here that are senior citizens yet they come & go without a mask.  Whenever I leave our suite I wear a mask because it’s the right thing to do.  Oh yeah & I don’t want to die!  Yet I’ll see many people in the hall or typically at the elevator, that live here and I’m the only one wearing a mask?  I thought the older a person is the more lethal Covid could be?  I guess they just don’t care?

Dear world,

Canada just celebrated Thanksgiving earlier this month.  Covid cases are higher than they’ve ever been.  Be safe out there and in family gatherings or prepare for a weird Christmas.

Sincerely,

A concerned Canadian

“You don’t need expensive stuff.  You need stuff that sounds good” – Paul Reed Smith.  Then why are PRS guitars near the top of the price range for good sounding guitars?  I agree with about 85% of what he says, but why did he go into business to make guitars he could afford & price them so high?  I’m VERY happy with my PRS S2 but a Core PRS is priced higher than most people would consider.  If they had a job or not.

I still plan to save & order my PRS S2 McCarty in February.  If my other guitars weren’t that good & didn’t have sentimental value, I’d probably sell them for a real Gibson or Core PRS?  Once I order the PRS S2 McCarty 594 in February, I’ll hopefully get the amplifier & footswitch later on, and I won’t have to research another guitar or amplifier for many years, if ever?

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 am researching affordable Stratocasters for a friend of mine that doesn’t have an electric guitar.  Stratocasters aren’t my thing but they are quite popular, and have been used by many big artists.  A DIY kit in many years seems like a good idea.  This is speculation after an attempt to sell our suite in 2022 & hopefully find a viable house at the same time.  I have a sick feeling we’re here for the long haul?  Please prove me wrong?!?!  Somewhere in that time I hope to find a part-time online job.  I’d like to continue exercising daily while earning a paycheck.  Something others likely wouldn’t want to deal with, like data entry?  Listen to music & punch in numbers for a few hours?

I have, what I assume is an American Fender Thinline “Semi-hollow Telecaster”.  I’ll have 2 PRS S2 models.  The closest I have to Gibson is their import/more affordable line Epiphone, which I have 2 of.

Grabbed my Epiphone 7 string on Thursday to work on this song for a while.  I can see improvement in my hand muscles after an hour or a little more.  More control of my left arm!

Do you know that feeling of when you’re about to make a “breakthrough”?  That’s how I felt on Thursday playing guitar, I didn’t want to stop I wanted to see what would happen!

I figured this out WAY too late in life.  If I don’t like a song or band, I just avoid it when possible or shut up so others can enjoy it.  Typically rock/metal and some pop is not for other people & is often turned off.  Kim & I are at complete opposite ends of the music spectrum.  She’ll be watching or listening to something I don’t like so I end up leaving the living room.

1,000,000 views of this video will make Paul Reed Smith sign the back of this one-off guitar.

Since I got the “Nothing but Thieves” album ‘Moral Panic’ to work last weekend, it’s all I’ve been listening to, other than the last “Trivium” album once.

We watched “Borat 2020” Thursday night & Trump supporters will HATE it.  Some, probably a TON of people will write it off as a stupid, raunchy, disgusting comedy.  In my opinion it was a VERY brilliant reflection of Donald Trump, his vision for America, & his supporters.  The world isn’t laughing at America, were laughing at the Trump administration & whoever supports Donald Trump.  Don’t watch this movie without doing a bit of research & if you can’t laugh at yourself in some way, you should probably pass on it completely.

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris 

“Spread love” –Ellen Degeneres 

WE’VE MADE A DECISION

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

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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!

We’ve decided to hold off on trying to sell our condo next year.  Kim’s idea & I agreed.  Stay here for another year, save some money to pay off some debt (car payments, mortgage payments, etc.) & talk to an interior decorator.  Do some cheap upgrades around here for our taste.  Put the condo on the market in 2022, if it sells great & if not it’ll be upgraded to a brighter looking place.  We’ve already been throwing around a few little ideas.  Nothing will happen until we talk with a decorator.

For me this is a good thing & a bad thing.  There’s nothing on the market worth looking at right now & the gong show of selling a condo and finding the right place to move to within a month REALLY complicates things.  The act of actually moving seems like a pain as well.  The upside of moving is that we won’t be in a condo under the laws of everyone else.  We’d have a backyard that’s not an 8’ X 5’ balcony that I can’t access in my chair.  I’d like to turn my guitar amp up too, can’t do that in a condo either, I shut my little amplifier off at 8:30 pm so I don’t annoy our neighbors, headphones through my current amplifier just suck.  Generic digital distortion through headphones. 

There’s just not enough room here between our suite & storage unit either.  You can’t go into our storage unit without pulling out an 8’ high 3 shelve cart full of stuff in our 9’ X 5’ storage unit.  We go down there maybe 3 times a year?  Donate stuff, get seasonal stuff, or to get the odd thing that’s not in our suite.

Brewster’s doing fine he’s just getting old.  Pretty sure he’s deaf though.  He comes in here to check on me while I’m paying guitar & goes full circle in the room right past my amplifier.  He checks on me about 3 times a day & walks past my amplifier about once a week.  Usually around 3:00 pm he brings a toy with him, which means I should hurry up because he wants to play…..for 3 minutes.

I have a HUGE list of songs to learn!  I figure I’ll just hunker down learn 2 songs a week while going over some previously learned stuff to keep it fresh & in my mind.  I will take one day a week to play different chords with different notes out of a scale, while going through a few scales every day.  I’ll practice a song I know but haven’t worked on & a song that’s new to me…

I started working on these 2 on Sunday.  I say 2 songs this week & then grab my acoustic guitar & play this Foo Fighters song as far as I can remember it while watching a little TV and I’m trying to expand my 7 string catalogue learning more Trivium stuff.  I ended up learning part of the Trivium song Sunday night too.

My anxiety got the best of me when I posted the videos myself playing guitar.  Even when Kim filmed it she noticed that I immediately tense up when I know there’s a camera recording me.  I really wanted it to be great, & it usually is.  I wanted people to see that I’m not just buying a guitar for wall art, I use them & can play much better than on Friday’s videos.  We did 9 takes & I finally said “It sucks, but we should be doing something else.”  They should have been MUCH better & done in one take, not 9.  I apologize for that. 

I’ve never had anxiety since I left my therapies in 2012.  Obviously it’s not getting much better.  I don’t know if you were disappointed but I sure was!  I’m much better without being on video to the point that I enjoy it.  The videos weren’t enjoyable for me to make, see, or hear again.  I start thinking too much instead of just playing & feeling relaxed.

I think the reason I get so nervous now is that I REALLY dislike photos of myself.  If I was recording just audio, well that’s MUCH easier for me.  I really don’t like meeting new people in my current state.  I don’t want people to instantly feel sorry for me or doubt me immediately either.

Basically, I still feel awkward being physically handicapped.  I’m used to getting into a wheelchair & putting on my iPatch, but I still worry too much about what other people think about me.  I’d prefer if a person got to know me instead of likely judging me upon first impression.

I went into my computer/guitar room & just worked at 2 songs on Monday.  When I focus myself, the progress in 4 hours is amazing.  I relearned the Foo Fighters’ “Learn to fly” & learned the intro, chorus, & part of the main riff for Alter Bridge’s “Addicted to Pain”.  After that I went to the living room & grabbed my acoustic guitar to finally learn Foo Fighters’ “Razor”!  I impressed myself at how well it all went!  That’s work & a lot of fun for me, filming any song…not so much.  I took a 2 hour pause for supper & practiced 3 songs, “Learn to fly”, “Addicted to Pain”, & “Razor” for 1:30 hours.  Kim doesn’t like it when I watch TV & play my acoustic at the same time.

People are worried about putting on mask every day for ½ a year or more.  I’ve been getting into a wheelchair and putting on an eye patch every day since 2008?  So, I’ve already increased stuff I don’t like but I know are a necessity.  I wear a mask on top of that, WHY?  Because it really isn’t a big deal to show a little bit of respect for others & not be so vain.

Just wear a mask and the world would be much more pleasant & Covid numbers likely wouldn’t be as high as they are right now.  As far as I’m concerned the border between Canada & the USA should stay closed until this virus thing is over!  Trump plans to “…open the border soon.”  Trudeau wants to extend the closure until US numbers for the virus are under control.  People in public not wearing a mask is disappointing & incredibly rude to the rest of us that wear a mask.  Put on a mask, please stay home, or at least 12’ away from me in public.

I forgot to mention “The Struts” new album “Strange Days” was released on Friday, October 16th.

“Nothing but Thieves” will release their new album “Moral Panic” on Friday, October 23rd.

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris          

“Spread Love”-Ellen Degeneres

P.S.  I didn’t sleep well last night.  I got up at 6:45 am & did my exercises.  Early to bed tonight.  Got up & YAY a skiff of snow!  I much prefer winter than summer!  SHORTS WEATHER!