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

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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 

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 

WHAT DO I REALLY NEED IN MY LIFE?

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!

Friday I went to the local music store to pick up my friends guitar.  I wasn’t comfortable doing some of the repairs, so I dropped it off there Nov. 5th.  It’s here sitting in a rack with 2 of my guitars.  My brother had a 5 guitar floor stand our band would use when we played live.  Bass player, my brother, & I would all bring 2 instruments to a live show, different tunings & it’s reassuring to have a backup if something goes wrong live.

That afternoon Kim rearranged the desks in our computer room now that we’ve sold the big DVD/Blu-ray shelf to a friend of ours.  It feels much bigger in here.  I played guitar for a bit on Friday afternoon but not much.

Kim was working all day on Saturday.  She got groceries Sunday morning & worked until 9:00 pm that night. 

I stayed out of her way Saturday and played guitar most of the day.  That evening I watched a “Foo Fighters” live stream concert for $15.  Not the same as seeing them live but it also didn’t cost me $90.  Only 1:30 hour long instead of the usual 2:45 – 3:30 hour long live show, still a good deal.   

They kicked off the show with a song I’ve been working on which I will have ready to go by the time you read this.  I was practicing this song & whatever else I could think of that I know and learned the next song over the course of a quick look on Sunday & a couple of hours Monday.  I surprised myself in a good way!

I HIGHLY recommend “Marty Music” on www.youtube.com if you want to learn a song on guitar, if the tab doesn’t sound right & you can’t figure it out.  He’s the man to go to!  There are no tabs for “Audioslave” or “Rage Against the Machine” music, but good ol’ Mart Music has lessons for some of them.

Then I practiced ‘Monkey Wrench’ and when I needed a break I played other songs I know in that tuning.

Learned a mode to use on guitar.  A mode is basically a different way of using a scale for minor & major sounds from what I understand.  I now know the major & minor pentatonic scale and the Dorian mode to a point.  I’ll just call it the DeLorean mode.  #BacktotheFuture kids watch it!

I’m watching a guy on youtube complaining about the amplifier I’m hoping to get next year.  I’m looking at the “Boss Katana 50W MK2” which has been out for a while.  He’s complaining that he bought the “Boss Katana 50W MK1”.  He bought the first version shortly before the second version was released.  It’s a digital/analogue amplifier, a hybrid.  They’ve already released 5 firmware updates on the 2nd version, if I want to I can connect it to my computer to update it to the latest version. 

Essentially he’s complaining about everything being digital now instead of analogue.  I get it, but I no longer see any reason to complain about everything going digital.  I didn’t buy a cell phone because of many reasons including that it’s digital & will continue to require updates.

Why would I want a digital/analogue amplifier then?  Well I have no intention of connecting it to the internet.  There’s already 4 amplifier settings to choose out of 10 built into the amplifier & 5 effects to choose out of 15 for each amplifier setting.  I really don’t care if it’s the latest & greatest technology.  I just want it to work, sound decent, and keep it easy to use.  I’m far from a technological wizard.  My phone works, it makes phone calls.  My email & social media work, they send messages.  The amplifier comes with a bunch of digital options I likely won’t use.

I used to have “FOMO”, Fear of Missing Out.  Too expensive to keep up with the Joneses.  If I’m missing out so be it, I don’t know what I’m missing out on & for me, in this situation, ignorance is bliss.

I was planning to return to buying CDs for music from around 15 bands.  I realized that CDs are often $5-$20 more than iTunes.  I scaled my CD purchases for the future down to 6 bands, a few from iTunes, & a lot of streaming from now on or some bands are retired or I’m just not that interested in anymore. 

Guess I’m carrying on with the thinking of “Marie Kondo”, does this bring me joy?  Kim, Brewster, Friends & Family, Guitars, Music, a bit of TV, & a few movies.  Downsizing to the important things, not a lot of storage for other stuff here.  If it’s not seasonal & hasn’t been used in 6 months, why do I need to keep it?

I’m hopeful that the PRS S2 McCarty 594 will be my final guitar purchase.  I’m a sucker for any brand of guitar that sounds & is wired like a Les Paul guitar.  The PRS S2 is made to sound like a 1959 Gibson Les Paul & that’s my reason for getting it.  Its $1000 less than a Gibson reissue too & price is a factor.  Of course I have back up ideas, but nothing concrete.  I likely won’t even have this guitar until late next year if I order it between February-May.  There’s a 6 month wait once the order is placed.  I’ll have to hear what I have after I get the amplifier in 2022 before I even start considering an inexpensive guitar. 

I have a Fender Thinline & I’ll have 2 PRS S2 guitars, I can’t afford any other expensive guitar brands.  Gibson, Jackson, Ibanez, Kiesel, ESP, Charvel, Schecter, etc. are out money wise.  If I want to look for another guitar, Kim might hurt me &/or whatever guitar related stuff will come out of my own pocket, not our cash together.  

A Core PRS “Paul’s guitar” would be nice, but it’s not wired like Les Paul.  A “Mark Tremonti” Core PRS is basically a Les Paul in looks & wiring.  Either way both are far beyond what I’d ever spend on a guitar.  I really like PRS guitars, but even they’re most affordable SE line is too expensive for me.

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

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

I stayed up until midnight.  Kim was watching “Dancing with the Stars” so I came in here and chatted with one of our friends.  I went back to the living room to hang out with, still watching ‘Dancing with the Stars’, she said she was going to bed after the show since it was already 11:00 pm.  I came back in here to shut down my computron.  Ended up [laying guitar unplugged until midnight.  Random scales & songs from memory.

As for what I’m listening to these days, still the Nothing but Thieves album ‘Moral Panic’.  I’m also listening to the new Sevendust album ‘Blood & Stone’.

“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

NO ANTI-MASK SHAMING HERE BUT PLEASE WHERE ONE?

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. 

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 

FANTASTIC WEEK!

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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

Little delay today.  The building manager & fire Marshall were checking the sprinklers & fire alarms in each suite this morning.  This happens once a year.

Great week for me!  Exercise went REALLY well & I felt very productive/accomplished on guitar too.  I learned the “Alter Bridge” song by mid-week & relearned “Learn to fly” & “Razor” by Foo Fighters by the end of Tuesday.  I just keep playing new songs over & over until it becomes automatic.  Relearning a song I’ve played 100s of times before gets boring but I know I need to do it.  To keep the tempo I sing the melody in my head or hum along if I can.  “Alter Bridge” is a new thing to me on guitar other than their song “Find the Real” most Foo Fighters’ songs I’ve played & sang quite a bit, although I have been learning “Rope” that was released in April of 2011 while I was in my rehabilitation program.

I’ve never attempted singing “Addicted to Pain” so I count the beats.  Pretty busy on guitar to sing along with…even just in my head!

Foo Fighters’ album ‘There is Nothing Left to Lose’ was released in November of 1999.  My grandmother died of cancer on December 5th, 1999.  I almost wore out the CD, with ‘Learn to Fly’ on it, that December.  It was my 3rd semester of University & I didn’t want to do anything after she died.  I would blast that album in my used 1989 Ford Tempo & drive 45 minutes away to the closest city, Moose Jaw, & back to kill time.  I’ve heard, played, & sang ‘Learn to Fly’ 100s of times.

I’ve been playing ‘Razor’ quite a bit & ‘Addicted to Pain’ a lot to memorize them both ‘Razor’ is memorized & ‘Addicted to Pain’ is new to me and just busy in general.  VERY satisfying though!

I think we can add a 1959 Gibson Les Paul reissue to my “never going to happen” list.  That’s why I’m saving for the much more affordable PRS S2 McCarty 594.

I will confess that I had a coffee on Tuesday since I didn’t sleep well Monday night.  That’s my 3rd coffee since the end of May!  I don’t know what my resting heart rate is now?  While I was doing exercise therapy, my therapist would check my pulse before & after my 30 minute workout first thing in the morning.  I think it was in the mid-90s per minute before my exercise without coffee?   

Kim heard on Wednesday that October is “Disability Employment Awareness Month”.  In Saskatchewan anyways.  We were talking about me getting a part time online job Tuesday night.  I’m definitely up for that type of job.  I could still get my exercise done in the morning & work 4 hours in the afternoon or even work 2 ½ full days if needed.  Minimum wage in Saskatchewan is $11.45, I could do that for a bit of extra cash & having an actual purpose while contributing to society!  I’d rather be useful than dependent.

Even without a job & minimal TV the days just seem to be too short.  Weeks seem OK, & 2020 isn’t over yet?!?!  BALLS!  I’m awake by 7:30 am, shower between 11-12 depending on the day, play guitar, hang out with Kim, she goes to bed at 9:30-10:00 pm, & I typically go to bed between 11:00 pm to midnight.  I sleep in on Saturday.  Sunday I’m usually making my vegetable juice, eggs, & fish for the week.  Brewster will bark at us around 8:00 pm from the bedroom meaning he wants up on the bed.  Kim puts him up there, but he comes out to the living room 10-30 minutes later. “Who needs Sleep?”

I had a psychiatrist appointment & all is going really well.  He asked about my typical day & was happy to hear about.  Last time that I saw him I was prescribed a small dose of anti-depressants/sleeping pills, I told him that they seem to help most of the time.  He was happy to hear that too.  Really nice guy and very personable.  Came out to the waiting room to say hi, helped with the doors out of the building even.

Yesterday was Kim’s birthday.  Covid birthday.  Ordered in food, my parents brought over mine & Brewster’s gift to her while she was at work today & my dad drove me to my appointment about the time Kim was close to finishing work for the day.  She told me last night that she has today off, so we stayed up later than usual.  She wanted to relax & just watch some Netflix for a while after we had supper, so that was her Covid birthday.  Kim actually took Brewster out for a bit this morning to avoid the loud high pitched smoke alarms going off this morning.

I compared Ellen’s apology to Donald Trump’s response to sexual assault accusations, there’s a BIG difference in my opinion.  Ellen admits quite a bit that she avoids tabloids regarding her & her show.  She also calls herself a “…work in progress…”  Donald Trump was born in 1946 and hasn’t changed since.  All he ever says is how he’s so perfect at EVERYTHING!  I think we’re all a work in progress.  You’re not going to wake up one day and think “Oh, I’m perfect!  I guess I can stop evolving”.  The world is still spinning you might want to keep up?!

I’m suffering from “Trump Fatigue”.  I’ve recorded the debate & I’ll watch the “Borat” movie on Amazon Prime at some point this weekend, then I don’t need to see anymore until after the election results are given.  Then I can get drunk & forget what happened if Trump wins & pray or keep on keeping on with more optimism than usual if Biden wins.

This looks interesting.  I’m mostly deaf in my right ear from listening to LOUD rock & metal bands live.

YAY, “Nothing but Thieves” 3rd album “Moral Panic” is out today!  The first 2 albums & 4 song EP didn’t disappoint me in the least!

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris 

“Spread love” –Ellen Degeneres 

WHY DID I WATCH THE NEWS???

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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

1:05 hour of yoga over 2 days

2020 has been a rough year to say the least, for pretty much everyone I assume, even me.  Being in quarantine has been fine with me but just opening my Facebook or watching the news can bring me down.  I turned 40 this year and I claimed that this would be my year.  That hasn’t changed at all, but there have been a few additional/minor obstacles along the way.

I finished my exercises on Tuesday, responded to a few emails & Facebook messages.  I was in here just WAY too long, ate my lunch & then crawled back into bed completely exhausted and slept until 5:00 pm. 

When I woke up, the news of Eddie Van Halen passing from cancer at the age of 65 was EVERYWHERE on social media.  I was never a fan of Van Halen, they were always just there & once in a while I’d get a song of their’s stuck in my head.  Him passing is a BIG thing among rock & metal guitar players or most musicians in general.  He developed many guitar techniques, he wasn’t just a REALLY good rock star.  I’m pretty sure that a TON of the bands I listen to currently wouldn’t sound the way they do without having heard Eddie Van Halen play guitar.  If you don’t know him, you’ve likely heard him.  Michael Jackson got him to play the guitar solo on “Beat It”

When you first go to listen to “Eruption” you just think you’re going to hear a song but you end up listening to a 1:40 minute guitar solo.  TONS of people, not me, will emulate it but Eddie created it.

This is Eddie Van Halen playing “Eruption” live in concert.  It’s long but it may help you understand his impact on any guitar player that has heard him.

I said I’d put out a small handful of videos of me playing guitar.  Mostly for me to deal with my anxiety.  I’ve picked 3 songs to do & they will trickle out when I feel they’re good enough.  All Led Zeppelin songs are new to me on guitar.  I’m just going to focus on getting these 3 as perfect as I can & hopefully I don’t freak out with a camera on me.  Of course I’ll put out abreviated versions.  Foo Fighters have been my favourite band since I saw a video on Much Music (Canada’s MTV) from their second album.  So I play a LOT of Foo Fighters stuff.

Not only is exercising daily helping me, but I’m also eating healthier, cutting out coffee & tea, while seriously minimizing my alcohol consumption to 2 oz. of Baron Samedi spiced rum on the rocks or a beer every 2-3 weeks.  I never really drink anything other than water most of the time.  A side effect of my pills are dry mouth, so I just keep a liter of water beside me all day & I usually fill my water bottle at least 3 times a day, even on weekends. 

When we got to our friends’ place last weekend, I stood up out of the car.  When I did that I quickly realized I wasn’t holding on to anything or using my arms to get up & out of our vehicle.  I immediately grabbed hold of the vehicle door.  Since February of 2008 I’ve never done that.  I startled & shocked myself at the same time.

Now that I own a PRS S2 I totally get this.  It’s a very easy to play instrument and whatever brand name is on the headstock of a guitar shouldn’t matter.  If it’s your instrument and it works for you, that’s why you have it & use it.  Even the mastermind, Paul Reed Smith himself, says that if he plays another guitar and prefers it over something PRS has made, he’ll buy it & use it.  My first guitar, a Tradition Les Paul, is great and would be the closest rival to my PRS S2 in many aspects also the furthest from my PRS S2 in many other aspects.  I’d like to say to anybody reading this, I’m sorry I took you through such a deep dive on my new guitar.  Everything I said is true so I was excited about it.  As for the topic of pickups or tone wood having the biggest effect on the sound, that’s up for debate for many people.  I think the wood used makes a HUGE difference but the next person could prove me wrong.

I watch a TON of guitar related www.youtube.com channels full of demos & reviews.  Here is a guy, who I believe lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (2 ½ hours north of Regina), that was scammed by ordering a guitar made oversea where they produce knock off look-a-like guitars for a fraction of the price.  I’m glad I’ve never experienced this problem.

It’s October in Canada.  Typically we’d see snow here by now.  With climate change, the winters seem shorter the last few years.  I just heard our air conditioner turn on.  Winters are cold here, I wear shorts year ‘round since I’m usually inside, people think I’m crazy because it’s cold out, & summers are TREMENDOUSLY hot!  For it to be +30 Celcius in the summer or + 40 in July is a strong possibility.  In the winter -50 Celcius isn’t a stretch.

I turned on the news briefly on Wednesday, this is what I learned in 6 minutes or so.  There’s a bomb threat at the mall downtown, the President is contagious but back in the White House & high as a kite on experimental medication & steroids nobody will receive until approved, & 19 people in the White House have tested positive for the virus.  What did I learn from the news?  There’s a crazy person downtown & the President learned nothing after being in the hospital for the virus……and that’s why I try to avoid the news!

It was like watching a trailer for the sequel of “White House Down”.

You know what would be nice?  If we could all deal with our own stuff & not bother anyone else.  That would be nice but somebody or something always stirs the pot.  WHY?

I guess watching the news wasn’t enough punishment for me so I watched the Vice Presidential debate.  My opinion doesn’t matter on this since I’m a Canadian living in Canada, so I can’t vote.  It still a boils down to one question for me.  Does anyone want 4 more years of what’s going on now minus the Coronavirus?  If you answered “Yes” vote for Trump, if you answered “No” vote for Biden.  Nothing has changed for me.  I know where I stand on many of the issues addressed in the debate & I know how I’d vote if I had the chance.  Were in a pandemic, what else was I supposed to watch?  I know that for some reason science & facts don’t seem to matter right now but a fact is that the planet, because of climate change, can’t take 4 more years of the current administration in the USA.  Unless most of us die of something else before 2050, there’s a pretty good chance we’ll see the end of the world.

Here it is a nice long weekend in Canada!  Thanksgiving weekend!

“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. Sleeping has been terrible all week.  Nap on Tuesday afternoon, 5:00 am up & doing stuff Thursday followed by a nap after my exercise.  Today I just wanted to stay in bed, I got up a little after 8:00 am.  I like to be awake & doing my exercises by 7:30 am.  Thursday was odd I slept oddly and woke up with a SORE left hand middle finger, I couldn’t make a fist.  Very little guitar playing yesterday.

EVERY TUESDAY & FRIDAY THERE’S A NEW POST

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 played guitar for almost exactly 7 years before I had cancer.  I didn’t go right back to the songs I knew before or most of the songs I played/sang live.  I can’t sing like I used to be able to.  I can’t sing at all really.  Before when I was playing & singing I played rhythm/chords.  Now after cancer I chose mostly songs with a dominant lead guitar part.  That’s what I’m learning now.  I’m learning more lead guitar stuff that I’ve never played before.

I chose either songs I’ve never bothered to try & a few songs that I learned in my 6th & 7th year of playing.  I wanted to challenge myself instead of playing the same old 4 chords & the main riff to the song.  I figured what I play should be distinct to a particular song.  Gets me out of my comfort zone.

“YES” this is the amplifier for me!  This is a gain setting at 0.5 Watts.  Everything I’m looking for & more!

I don’t think I’m that excited about an amplifier, but it’s all I hoped it would be, with all of my research.  I’ll still have to wait until September to get it.  Gotta buy/order my last guitar by early February since I know it will take 3-15 months to get here.  Of course if we find a house the amplifier will have to wait.

If everything goes as planned, this will be ordered in February & hopefully we find a house shortly after?!

Same company in Stevensville, Maryland, USA as the guitar that should be here soon. 

I think PRS just hit that peak where they’re now in the top 3 as far as guitar brands go.  I think between the USA factory & the one I Indonesia, they have 300 employees?  There’s no assembly line either.    

I think the biggest wild card for us right now is Brewster’s health.  He seems to be fine right now.  He’ll cough like a smoker 2 or 3 times a day & he sleeps a LOT, but he still seems pretty happy & runs the show here.  He can’t hear me when I’m within inches behind him trying to get him to move so I don’t roll my wheels over him.  He can hear the microwave from inside our bedroom & around the corner though!  “Hark, my human is eating, I’ll have to investigate!”  I can’t eat anything without him sitting right beside me.

Whenever we see the vet for a checkup I always ask if he’s in pain, I don’t want to have the little guy suffer at all.  He’ll be 15 on January 31st, the day after my birthday.

As long as Brewster is OK, a house is at the top of our list.  Other than the seemingly impossibility of selling a condo in Regina, our problem is finding anything remotely wheelchair accessible within our price range.  I looked again at the website for houses in our price range & nada, zippo, zero, nothing.  Of course now that were being picky there’s nothing out there?

As far as my cancer goes, I’m good.  Got some refills on the weekend, I was out of a sleeping pill so I needed more of those.  I see my psychiatrist in October for a regular visit.  I also have another MRI in November, only about 30 minutes long.  There is a cyst in my back, it’s been there from the beginning.  New doctor taking over my case, so she just wanted to look at it closer.  Nothing to worry about though.

When I saw her last time, she asked how my fine motor skills were, such as writing & eating.  I told her all of that was OK and that I play guitar.  She was glad to hear my hands were in good shape & that the guitar playing was a good way to exercise those small muscles.  Makes me wonder if I can claim my guitar spending on my taxes as physiotherapy equipment?  HAHAHAHAHA!  No new guitar so far.  They said by the end of September at the earliest.  I’m getting anxious!

If I ever had $5500ish burning a hole in my pocket, this finish on a Core Tremonti PRS is pretty!  I’d get a Core McCarty 594 instead of the S2 I plan to order in February.  Nice to dream.

Kim had a headache & her stomach was sore on Sunday.  I didn’t get to see the Jays game until about 10:00 pm.  I ended up fast forwarding & rewinding bits of it just to see the highlights.  I slept in until 9:00 am on Monday and got my exercises done ASAP.  Regular season baseball ends on Sunday.

I did it 4 times this week.  I call it click bait.  I opened 4 Donald Trump videos on www.youtube.com.  I didn’t bother to watch them all the way through.  He honestly holds zero shock value for me & thank goodness he’s not Canadian!

October 16th, a new album is out that day from The Struts.  Here’s one of the 2 singles released so far.

This Foo Fighters song I used to play in private & it’s coming along nicely.  Verse portion is not bad, haven’t added the chorus part yet.

These 2 are just a little sloppy still.

Ended up playing a TON of Big Wreck over the weekend.

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris          

“Listen to one another”-Ellen Degeneres

AUSTRALIANS HAVE GREAT TASTE IN GUITARS

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!

 

Kim called the police regarding her stolen bike on Thursday last week.  As you may know, the guy was arrested.  Her phone call was sent to a department (of which I don’t know) there was an answering service & she left a message.  We have yet to hear back, despite my asking her to call again on Monday.

I follow PRS Guitars on Facebook & they’ve been pushing out quite a bit of Private Stock guitars.  That completely makes sense to me.  A person getting a private stock guitar will typically wait 18 months for the guitar from the point they pick out EVERYTHING being used to make it & it costs whatever amount you make it!  I saw a random guy in the USA on good ol’ www.youtube.com, his wife bought him a private stock PRS as a wedding gift, & paid $15,000 for it!  The guitar I ordered is not even close to being that expensive!

I was like a 4 year old on Christmas Eve, Thursday night, I didn’t sleep that well.  Long story, PRS were about to send 2 identical guitars to Australia.  The guy at the music store called them Monday morning & told them my story about the delay before Covid hit.  I guess the sales rep he spoke with is holding back one of the guitars going to Australia for me.  It’s not finished being made yet, but it’s coming!  I’m just happy about their specifications for the wood choice & totally understand the delay, it’s just an odd year.  They were looking for a quality piece of curly maple without any blemishes for the ¼” top of the body.  Their quality control is why I went with PRS.  This is another example of quality over quantity.

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

They are 10-12 months backordered due to Covid & were looking/waiting for a nice piece of maple for the top of my guitar because the sunburst colour I ordered is a little tricky.  Despite this delay, I’ve been saving up & still plan to order this PRS S2 model in April or May….

This is a VERY odd scale length, & it’ll sound like a 1958 Gibson Les Paul while having a different (better I.M.O.) look & $1000 cheaper.  The Gibson brand name has also lost some of its credibility in the guitar playing community over the last decade or more.  This guitar is also wired better than a Les Paul, in that I can switch either or both pickups from Humbucker (double coil) 1958 pickups to pre-1950 single coil pickups.  Gibson doesn’t make coil splitting pickups.

Kim’s fine with me saving for this amplifier & footswitch for later on next year.  It’s not completely digital or analog.  It’s an affordable practice amplifier hybrid.  If we need cash it will come out of the savings for this…

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

Kim’s on the fence about me spending money on this, yet I’ve cut out EVERYTHING other than food & water for the guitar, amplifier, & footswitch.

With those purchases, I’ll be as happy as a pig in mud for at least a decade, if not much, much longer.  I looked at some other stuff, but nothing really appealed to me.  Maybe something small will someday, but those will be my last big hobby purchases.  Kim says I keep changing my mind, I think I’m very consistent on these 2 purchases.  I’ve researched the crap out of them & I know exactly what to expect from both.  Every time I look at one of them, I find a little bonus piece about them.

On the upside our ‘niece’ & ‘nephew’ were with us Saturday afternoon.  We made bubbles, picked flowers, coloured, did assorted arts & crafts had pizza, ice cream, they rode around in my wheelchair, & checked out a little “Paw Patrol”.  She’ll be 7 in October & he turned 2 in May.  He’s busy & wants to check out everything.  I followed him around & answered questions for him.  Our ‘nephew’ got me twice on Monday despite not being here.  He was checking out my guitars.  He turned my amplifier all the way up, I didn’t notice it until I played one note & just about peed.  Later on I grabbed a different guitar, tuned it with my silent tuner on, turned off the tuner to play it, & no sound came out of the speaker.  I thought my guitar had some electrical issue?  Nope that was a guitar he played with & turned the volume on the guitar to 0.

Sunday we went to or friends’ place for a BBQ & visit in the backyard.  Nice relaxing day & Brewster loves being outside on a lawn & leash free.  He was falling asleep on my lap on the way home at 7:15 pm.  He’s getting old!  Nowadays I fill my pill capsules for the week, then move onto his.  Always making sure I don’t mix them up!

I did play my buddy’s new Gretsch hollow body guitar on Sunday.  Oh that is a sweet guitar!  I personally don’t want to spend money on a full size hollow body guitar, but it was a really nice guitar!

There are only two other guitars I’d like, but are far beyond what I would pay for them!  A Mark Tremonti signature PRS in the brown colour that he plays on occasion.  https://www.prsguitars.com/index.php/electrics/model/mark_tremonti_signature_2020 & a Dave Grohl signature Gibson 335 (hollow body, DG-335)   https://reverb.com/p/gibson-dave-grohl-signature-dg-335.  Those are my “never gonna happen” guitars.

Watch this video from the 8:20 minute mark & it shows how great these people are & what they did with their earnings from the 4 day online guitar clinic!

Kim’s hoping we find a house next year.  As long as this virus deal is over, I’m all for putting our condo on the market again.  Our mortgage will be just under $200,000 by then which will make a difference, but I don’t think it will make a big enough difference.  The biggest issue is that it has to be wheelchair accessible.

We saw one last year but the housing market in Regina is weird/difficult if you’re trying to sell a condo such as we are.  Far too many cheaply built, new, vacant condos out there for ½ the price of what we paid for this place.  We’ll be looking for something under $410,000 that is move in ready.  My magic 8 ball tells me the outcome is not good.  I think us moving is just as unlikely as me getting either of those signature guitars, never going to happen.

As for practicing guitar I’m good & just working on learning songs I like & that are fun to play.  Even have a handful of stuff for my brother’s band to use & expand on.  Other than that these will be my focus until I learn the next batch of songs.

And I try to always go through scales, finger/picking exercises, & other songs I’ve learned.  The more I play a song, the better it sounds!  Like this song is already good enough, but the more I play it the more automatic it becomes.

 

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris

“Listen to one another”-Ellen Degeneres

LEARN FROM IT, FORGET ABOUT IT, AND MOVE ON

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

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That video of me playing guitar on the Facebook page was NOT something I wanted to do.  I’d rather play in front of 500 real people, which I’ve done in the past as a guitarist & lead singer, than in front of any type of camera. For me it was a TOTAL embarrASSment!  Take any camera a LONG way away from me so I don’t know it’s there and surprise it feels normal & I can totally feel relaxed and focus on my playing & do a MUCH better job of it.  I played that song again on Sunday, no type of camera & an INCREDIBLY better job of it.

I got really depressed/sad/disappointed/angry at myself & couldn’t even enjoy the Jays game.  Instead I grabbed my 7 string and practiced some Trivium then Alter Bridge on my Explorer.  From the time Kim & I filmed it late Wednesday afternoon until I finally got out of bed Saturday at 5:00 am, I slept TERRIBLY!  I’ve had more naps in 3 days than I usually do in 1 ½ years.

I can do that guitar part fine, if you wanna see it, I live in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, if you don’t want to come here you’ll have to take me at my word.

I MIGHT do a different song when I feel like it.  I’m not promising when or if there will be a different song later.  Some people are fine with cameras, I’m not one of them, if I have to be serious about something.  I HATE being in photographs, so I don’t know what I was thinking…oh yeah people said they wanted a video.

“We keep asking because you ALWAYS change your mind”, why do I change my mind?  Because I get so sick of people that pick & pick & pick until they get their way.  Am I stubborn, opinionated, or spineless?  Whatever it is that I am, it’s a role I’m done playing.

“You’ll regret not going to your grade 12 graduation”.  “You’ll regret not going to your technical college graduation”.  Well I regret going to both of those events.  I went to my grade 12 graduation with a friend I had been in the same class with since kindergarten.  That was the good thing about graduation, that & the fact I was finally done with high school.  WORST 5 YEARS OF MY LIFE…and I survived stage 4 brain cancer.

Kim’s never asked me to do anything I don’t want to.  If we ever find a place to move into, I just want to be able to go into the backyard by myself during the day.  I haven’t been able to leave the confines of our building or any building on my own since the morning of February 5th, 2008.  So I’ve adapted to being inside %99.99999 of the time.  Does it suck?  How was the beginning of quarantine for everyone else?  I was pissed off, grumpy, depressed & generally not pleasant to be around.  This is my life, I figured that out a LONG time ago.  Get over it, quarantine will pass for everyone else, I’ll be doing the same thing I’ve been doing since mid-July 2012 & I’m more than OK with that.  What was I forcefully told when I got out of my Rehabilitation program?  “SUCK IT UP, STOP BEING SO MISERABLE & GET OVER IT”.  Sorry, I have no other words of wisdom, that’s what I was told.

Go out, have fun while you can, be responsible & accountable.  I had my fun for the first 28 years, Kim & I have fun together because we’re kinda used to this type of life.  If she wants to do something I physically can’t do, like go for a bike ride, she calls a friend & they go for a bike ride.

When we had time off at the beginning of August we watched the movie “Eurovision” on Netflix.

Kim & I are just lying in bed chatting one morning this weekend, she pulls out here cell to play this song & get it stuck in our heads.

You’re welcome!

Other than “Ya, ya, ding, dong”, I’ve been listening to a TON of Opeth lately, different albums.

Meanwhile Kim’s been watching stuff on Netflix I can’t stand for more than 5 minutes & end up leaving the room to practice guitar…

What sort of gets to me, but I understand it’s for entertainment purposes is guitarists on www.youtube.com.  They’ll have $500 bucks just laying around if not more buy a random guitar online just to see what they get in a guitar for $500.  Just to make a video with that guitar while there is literally $100,000 worth of guitars hanging on the wall behind them.  If they think that $500 guitar is terrible…uh…send it to me or donate it to a charity & play the 40 guitars on the wall behind you!  Great guitar players with entertaining videos who works as guitar teacher, so I kind of get it.  Maybe level the playing field a bit?  I was watching one of his videos and I counted at least 10 REALLY expensive Core model PRS Guitars, I’m getting, hopefully, 2 much lower priced PRS S2 models.  He’s earned them & he plays them, they’re not just wall art.  Comes off as a pretty good guy that can take a joke or make a joke.

…and he smashes it on his drive way at the end of the video.  To be fair he went to the Berkley School of Music, had the same guitar teacher as John Mayer, teaches guitar as a job, he & his wife donate to charities, and he has easily 25 guitars, 100s of guitar pedals, 10 or more amplifiers.  That’s more than I’d ever want to deal with.

I have one amplifier which I’ll trade in when I go to purchase a new/better one, I keep getting rid of pedals I don’t need or use for money, I’ll have 6 electrics by the end of next year (Hopefully).  The one coming to me soon will likely be THE guitar out of the group of 6 electrics.

Kim & I have no children.  I don’t spend money on anything else anymore, I’ve decided to not go to a concert unless they’re within Alberta, my home province of Saskatchewan, or Manitoba.  I don’t drink, I might buy a pair of shorts or a shirt every 3 years.  We don’t travel or go out for dinner and whatever I don’t use I sell.  Such as my Keurig, Kim uses a drip pot for coffee & always has, I can’t ride my old mountain bike SOLD & Kim got a new mountain bike so the old one was SOLD.

We looked into my Retirement Disability Savings Plan a little deeper.  If I can contribute $30,000 by the time I’m 50 the government will contribute $90,000 at most.  Pretty good deal I’d say.  I can continue to put money in their & it will have the same interest rate as a regular Retirement Savings Plan.  The deal is I can’t touch it for 10 years and my disability check will be discontinued at 50 or 60 years of age.  We’ll likely never have a fluid income, but we won’t be flat broke either, & we don’t have anyone to inherit our stuff yet in mind when our time comes?

I heard a FANTASTIC idea on the weekend!  My mother suggested that as a family we should get together, make a bunch of turkey dinner plates a week or 2 before Christmas, and hand them out to those that are homeless & take some of them to shelters or soup kitchens.  I’m all for it!  I didn’t think of this until long after the fact but why not do that every 2 months?  Make a pot of Chili or Pasta with sauce & take it to a shelter or soup kitchen.  I’m not a great cook, but I’m more than willing to learn that and help out however I can.

This is going to be a GREAT month (hopefully)!  My beer sealers/strap locks for my guitars should get here.  My new guitar should get here on the 21st, new guitar strings for my electric guitars, Toronto Blue Jays baseball to watch, & it is Shark Week on the Discovery channel.  Found out the hard way on Monday that when we cancelled the HD package with “The Discovery Channel”, the Standard Definition channel is gone too.  Bah, no “Shark Week”.  New guitar totally makes up for that!!!!!!

Apparently Canadian leaders are pissed?!

See how desperate Trump is to start a war……he went after Canada HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!  Don’t make us get out our water guns!

I don’t like getting involved with politics, but that seems to be THE thing right now.

I watched this yesterday from 2014…

…all this tells me is that there is 1 border but a Canadian dollar as of Monday @ 10:40 am is worth $0.74 American.  How is this news?  I thought this was common knowledge at least among Canadians?

Wear a mask & complain all you want!!!  If you choose not to wear a mask, stay home & SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris

“Listen to one another”-Ellen Degeneres

THERE NEEDS TO BE A CHANGE

 

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Songs I finally put all of the parts together on guitar “Foo Fighters” 2 songs “For all the Cows” & “My Hero”

I finally put 2 songs together out of the 800 pieces I have for 20(?) songs then I figured last night to change the way I play since my brother was harping at me that I avoid using my pinky finger from 2001-2008, back to the drawing board.  Finger exercises & about 4-6 different scales are practiced regularly, so switching wasn’t terrible, it wasn’t great either.

 

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 didn’t even look these up & I typically watch guitar stuff on www.youtube.com these 2 videos just appeared when I opened the program.  To be fair, I know Canadians who now live in the USA & think its FANTASTIC!

It’s not a competition & not everything is perfect in Canada.  I wish nothing but the best for people everywhere.  I know I’m fortunate to live in Canada.  I can’t say much about the USA, since I’ve never lived there and only visited for a week.

I blew up on Friday & if I offended someone, well it’s done with so let’s move on.  I’m not apologizing for it, because that’s me.  As a Canadian watching everything unfold everywhere & in the USA, I can’t imagine why people living I the USA haven’t totally erupted yet?  I only know a little bit about American history & look what it did to me!  With all of this non-sense happening in an already divided world, it all got to me at once.  Then we rented the movie “Just Mercy” on the weekend.  The guy was on death row for a murder that took place 3 miles away in 1986 or 1987, but he’s black & it’s based on a true story.

Buckle in it’s gonna be a bumpy ride if anything is going to change.  To the protesters, don’t stop but keep it peaceful.  Just because people have died doesn’t mean more have to.  Might as well deal with the issue at hand & expect someone to do their job to fix this.  It’s 2020 and still some people think killing people because of the colour of their skin it’s OK?  IT’S NOT!  What if the roles were reversed?  Then would it be OK?  No don’t eliminate the police teach them.  Defund the police doesn’t mean eliminate them it means putting that money into other services to help people.  Teach the current police and implement this teaching in schools every year, for everyone.  If an officer doesn’t want to learn, I guess they need to find a new occupation.

I’m not a fan of Donald Trump, does that mean I should die or that my opinion?  Is it better or worse than anybody else’ opinion?  NO!  Donald Trump didn’t start any of this.  He also has yet to make a positive change.  He’s powerful & could do something & for now, we’re all waiting for him to do something positive for a change.

Is anyone surprised by this video?  If so, WHY?

I haven’t been shocked by his actions or lack of action since early 2019.  What would shock me is if he did his job to make EVERYONE feel safer.

After skimming the history of America, I can honestly say I would be terrified all of the time living there no matter what colour my skin is.  That racial divide exists in Canada, but nowhere near that level from what I’ve found.  The majority of North American’s have ancestors that were immigrants other than aboriginals.  Our ancestors came here for a better life.  Does anyone think for a second that this is what they envisioned for the future of their family name?  I’m guessing it’s not & if you think they can see what’s going on now, would they approve?  I’m gonna go with a hard NO on that one.

This shouldn’t be a black person’s problem to solve.  This is for the legal system & white people to solve.  Call me ignorant as it’s deserved, that history of a HUGE racial divide is hard to see but also worth knowing about.  Something everyone should know about and change as they see fit.  Nobody can make a complete change for a person but they can help you along the way to making a change.  I don’t think doing nothing is a good thing, I just don’t know how to help as a Canadian?

However people want to judge me is totally up to them.  I’m saving for that guitar & the amplifier.  I’m broke just like most people.  There’s no chance that a large sum of money will fall from the sky into my lap.  So I’m gonna save & cut costs for myself wherever I can.

I don’t drink alcohol, I don’t drink tea or coffee, I don’t drink pop, I don’t watch much TV, I don’t buy movies anymore, I don’t travel, I rarely go out for dinner (maybe 3 times a year), & I spend my money on the odd CD now, & some streaming on Apple Music.  So all of that stuff (bicycle & guitar pedals) & my current guitar amplifier will be traded in for the guitar, amplifier, & footswitch.  That’s what I would like & that’s where my money will go!  I don’t want or need anything else.  Kim wants to travel, I don’t.  What I do want is to spend time with my wife & see her reactions to something new.  Those things make me happy.

Different guitar, but I’ve decided on this colour.  Photos on the actual site don’t look as good.  I still plan to order the PRS S2 McCarty 594 guitar.

https://www.long-mcquade.com/162872/Guitars/Electric-Guitars/Paul-Reed-Smith/S2-McCarty-594-Electric-Guitar-with-Gigbag—Faded-Blue-Smokeburst.htm

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

When I say I don’t want to travel, I mean the travelling part of it.  Seeing a different culture, trying the food, learning about the background, etc. that’s always interesting & cool to know.  Now more than ever since I’m in a wheelchair, being in familiar surroundings makes a world of difference & even with 3’ wide doors, I still bang into the door frames.  Being able to do simple things like get into my own bed, go to the washroom, have room in the kitchen to do whatever is needed, etc.  I like the fact that I can do that myself since our place was built for a wheelchair.  The family cabin isn’t wheelchair accessible & I find it to be more work than relaxing.

 

“Lamb of God”, “Trivium”, “Haley Williams”, “Pearl Jam”, & “Testament” have all released FANTASTIC albums this year!  Stream, download, or buy them however you get your music I HIGHLY recommend them!

 

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris

“Listen to one another”-Ellen Degeneres