FEELING STRONGER & MORE DETERMINED EACH DAY!!!!

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!

I went for 3 days of weights & yoga instead of 2 this week just to try it.  Regularly scheduled programming for the next while.

375 Curls w/ 20 pound dumb bells

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

400 Crunches

300 Leg lifts

200 Squats while balancing on my toes.

200 Back flexes

150.5 meters walking distance = 493.7 feet

3 days of yoga

 

I fell asleep to “Alter Bridge” the album “Walk the Sky” followed by “Tool” the album “Fear Inoculum”

I exercised to nothing.  I didn’t sleep more than 2 hours for a reason you’ll read about later.  It’s WAY too early to listen to music.

 

Here’s the Canadian Red Cross website if you’d prefer to donate there for my birthday.  Donate whatever amount you like whenever you like please or donate to your country’s Red Cross.  It doesn’t have to be just for my birthday, whenever you can spare the cash!

https://www.redcross.ca/

 

I’m sure I’ll get tired & a little grouchy at some point.  Not yet though!  I like this & being able to play/practice my guitar gives me something other than exercise to look forward to the next day.  Life’s much better than it was last year or even a weeks into December.  Whenever I made my decision to push myself more.  I didn’t realize it, but I was firmly planted in a rut.

I tweaked a small muscle in my back while doing curls on Wednesday.  Nothing too serious, I made sure to stretch it better before my exercise on Thursday & kept stretching.  The more I keep it active, the less it seems to nag at me.

My biggest worry about this exercise is my left arm & hand are still quite shaky.  Until I get them used to being in a certain position, usually resting partially on something they still shake.  Even when I play guitar.  Before I’d just pick up a guitar & play, now I need to warm up just to play rhythm stuff, I always considered warming up a thing for lead & solo players.  It is getting better though.

All of these little mile stones adding up to me getting my life back, exercising harder, playing guitar, cooking (poorly), being helpful with house hold chores, walking with my walker, practicing stairs, etc.  I actually started to sing a bit again with a guitar in my hands.

Exercise is going great & my body feels better than ever.  I had chicken wing size calves before & now it’s like “Oh, Hello there lil’ muscle.  I haven’t seen you in over a decade!!!”  Even my humble man boobs are transforming, which is pleasing.

If I haven’t gained weight in muscle already, I’d be shocked.  There will be a video of me walking with my walker on Facebook.  Sorry about the Facebook only photos & videos.  The brace on my left leg is called an Ankle Foot Orthotic I have drop foot & I hyper extend my leg since cancer.  Never mind my shirt or what it says, it’s just what I happened to be wearing that day.  It from a “Lamb of God” concert I saw in 2006.  This song was the title of the tour…..

I’m really not looking forward to seeing one of my doctors in May for a few reasons.  I have to go for an MRI this time.  Not a big deal depending on which one they send me to.  I’m EXTREMELY claustrophobic.  The MRI machine at the hospital is VERY small.  My shoulders are too broad to shove my head & spine into that tiny, glorified X-ray machine.  The other one downtown at a radiology lab is much bigger & a fear free experience.

Another reason is that I’ve had it with her calling me FAT.  No wonder she was suspended, & I didn’t say a word to make that happen.  How do I respond to that when I have to go there?  “Sorry I’m not 5’0” tall & need 3 dozen cheeseburgers?”  I loved when she yelled that I’m fat down the hallway as I was leaving.  I might just walk in & say “Do I have cancer again? OK, see you later”.

I’m sick & tired of these RIDICULOUS ‘routine’ cancer checkups.  YAY, please poke me some more, I miss it so much.  This is how a rare cancer survivor gets treated?  I’m a statistic that comes up in a chart now?  Yay, I’ve always wanted to be a number!

Here’s what has been driving me crazy all week & was the reason for me not sleeping & second guessing myself to a point that I feel sick.  There was no right or wrong decision in this scenario, but I made the wrong one, if that makes any sense at all & it will cost us $1100.  I ordered the wrong guitar.  3 days after I ordered the super nice, fancy guitar the other one Epiphone ceased production on the 7 string I liked.  Had I known this was going to be the case, I would have ordered my only 7 string guitar & saved the extra cash for a trip with Kim.  Instead I ordered the PRS 6 string guitar.  If the 7 string wasn’t going out of stock soon, this wouldn’t be an issue.  Instead I’ve been doing what I do & overthinking my decision in whatever way possible.  I know this sounds ridiculous to others.  Other than a house or vehicle minus books & tuition for university & technical school, this is the biggest purchase I have or will ever make.

I ordered this guitar for 1/10 of the price of our brand new 2019 Toyota RAV 4.

https://www.prsguitars.com/index.php/electrics/model/s2_custom_22_semi_hollow_2020

Instead of this for less than half the price of the other one that will soon be extinct (below).

https://www.long-mcquade.com/22227/Guitars/Electric_Guitars/Gibson/Matt_Heafy_Les_Paul_Custom_7_String_Electric_Guitar.htm

I’ve worried myself sick every night this week about this decision & it’s not helping at all.  These are both fantastic purchases.  I’ve researched both of them & decided these would complete my guitar purchasing.  There are so many other guitars out there but those are the last 2 I’d like.  I ordered the fancy expensive one too soon & feel a large knot in my stomach growing bigger every minute.  I could maybe cancel & change my order but we’d lose our deposit of over $200.  Kim likely won’t let me make a future guitar purchase anyways.

I got my first guitar in 2001 & was good enough to play rhythm guitar and sing 4 months later.  Things are harder/different now dealing with the lack of hand muscle.  My rhythm is fine, my tempo needs to pick up just a bit.  Practice, practice, practice!

I’ve never even thought of myself as a good guitar player.  Most times I think to myself that I haven’t even earned the right to own any other guitars?!

The entire guitar conversation has become a daily conversation in my head.  If I mention it out loud, Kim might hit me in the head with a frying pan?

 

I really like the new “Pearl Jam” single.  Full album to be released on March 27th!!!!

 

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

 

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris             

“Be kind to one another”-Ellen Degeneres

DOWN 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.

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

Email subscription www.amillionmilesawayblog.com

 

I fell asleep to “Foo Fighters” the album “Sonic Highways”

I exercised to “Jimmy Eat World” the album “Surviving”

 

Here’s the Canadian Red Cross website if you’d prefer to donate there for my birthday.  Donate whatever amount you like whenever you like please?

https://www.redcross.ca/

There are photos of myself & each guitar I own in the Facebook links on here.  You should know that I despise photos & videos of myself.  Also any audio of myself.  I’ve sang on a few recordings, I’ve listened to them a handful of times, all I do is find/notice mistakes either on guitar or vocals of myself.  I very seldom listen/look at to any type recordings of myself.

Kim called me on the way home from work Friday to get ready to go out to see “Little Women”.  I’m not much of a fan of period pieces, but there was nothing bad about it, I’ve never read the book.  I had to ask her this on the way though…

She didn’t remember that moment.  I guess when we were dating she just used me for my “Friends” DVDs.  Not sure why she keeps me around now?  Do you think she like…..LIKES me?

I’ll play the heck out of the new 6 string, then continue saving for a trip to where ever Kim wants to go.  Then I’ll save for the Limited Edition Epiphone Les Paul signature Matt Heafy 7 string guitar.  Less than half the price of the guitar recently ordered but it will take longer to save for…….and it’s off of the new 2020 Epiphone guitar website.  I guess all that remains are the guitars in stock at stores.  I feel sick!  There are other 7 string guitars but this was the only one I really liked.  Our “guitar savings” are spent.  Instant gut wrenching heartbreak…….as of Monday morning I find out that Long & McQuade have 9 in stock (at other stores in Canada) and can still get them in from the supplier.  I can’t afford that now, I was thinking a few years down the road.  I think a vacation with Kim & hopefully a house should happen before my final guitar purchase is made, if the funds are available?  I’m doubtful this will still be available at that time.

All 6 strings for me, but HOT DAMN that sexy PRS!  April seems so far away!  I feel like a kid in November waiting for Christmas!

https://www.long-mcquade.com/22227/Guitars/Electric_Guitars/Gibson/Matt_Heafy_Les_Paul_Custom_7_String_Electric_Guitar.htm

I watch WAY too many guitar demos of my ordered guitar & this Epiphone model!

You’ll notice there is no Matt Heafy signature 7 string Les Paul guitar listed in the link below.  The hundreds of others don’t compare for me.  It’s about getting this particular model, not just any 7 string.

https://www.epiphone.com/Guitars/Collection/Artist

The PRS is my last regular guitar, if the 7 string is available 5 years down the road that will complete my guitar purchasing.  If it’s not available I’m done now.  I’m pretty sure I’m done now. Before I was sick I figured one guitar every 4 or 5 years.  Now on one income, I’m done.  Expensive hobby.

I bought an S2 semi-hollow.  They’re really not that affordable unless you started the company!  Mine is an S2 custom 22 semi-hollow.  Same line, different model.  5th highest model out of 6.  Even the cheapest model is more than $1000 retail if it’s a true PRS made in Maryland.  There are other PRS style guitars that are cheaper made overseas.

Kim’s at work all day and doesn’t see my exercise other than walking & stairs where she has to make sure I don’t crack my noggin’ open.  I’m rather inept when it comes to any type of technology so you’ll have to open the Facebook link & scroll down for photos of me & my guitars on Facebook.  The photos were taken on Saturday, January 18, 2020.  I hope this works, my apologies in advance if it doesn’t.  The photos will only on the Facebook link, sorry.  https://www.facebook.com/A-Million-Miles-Away-Blog-1597618270456002/

https://www.facebook.com/1597618270456002/photos/pcb.2395341334017021/2395339010683920/?type=3&av=1597618270456002&eav=AfZkgmZrT8Rsf7JEqHxzaTs2iYdSYF0LQJtKk2vghbajjKbp0wiTfzm-gpjgwqvHKbXHSOB3IjY_iUXarhhyy1tv&theater

A photo of my ugly mug a few weeks shy of turning 40.  12 years after stage 4 brain cancer.  I collapsed at work on Tuesday, February 5th, 2008.  Yes, I’m wearing shorts indoors & it’s a blizzard outside.  I went to a movie in shorts Friday night while wearing shorts, a hoodie, toque, and gloves.  I went from the vehicle to the movie theater.  Yeah, it’s cold out.

https://www.facebook.com/1597618270456002/photos/pcb.2395341334017021/2395339010683920/?type=3&av=1597618270456002&eav=AfbblMFkP4oNVdGt-0hcdnXcrL39QdjDoasY4BmjIpbxgIGS-fM2SQN_WkikR1a65nGM0dKEPtqvBqWNzx-nhiNr&theater

This is me holding my first guitar I received on my 21st birthday from my family.  My (Green) Les Paul made by Tradition guitars that no longer exist.  The guitar is exactly the same as when I received.  This was my main guitar for every live show I ever played.  This guitar seems to push more bass tone, yet the pickups produce a lot of high pitched feedback if you’re not conscious about it.

https://www.facebook.com/1597618270456002/photos/pcb.2395341334017021/2395338807350607/?type=3&theater

This is my (black) Epiphone Explorer.  My girlfriend (now wife) bought it for me as a Christmas gift in 2002, we started dating in April of that year.  I had the pickups changed to EMG pickups for $200 after one show with it.  There’s an active EMG 60 in the neck pickup & an EMG 81 in the bridge pickup.  EMG pickups push more of the higher & mid-range tones which can also cause feedback.  Dave Grohl played a black Gibson Explorer early on in his career with “Foo Fighters”.  My reason for the cursive “F” logo of the band which I added as well as the Canadian flag.  Epiphone is the cheaper version of guitars also made by Gibson.  Same design, cheaper materials.  This has become my main guitar when playing electric guitar.  I play rock music for the most part while dipping my toe deeper into metal music.

https://www.facebook.com/1597618270456002/photos/pcb.2395341334017021/2395338647350623/?type=3&av=1597618270456002&eav=AfbJCzMeEa9rmWYpw29QFBtfn0g8L-v1aNw0LSEb8Y95UURTZGWThasK1-bEZBaS8qU5iO_r6XV35iQbDWXVIfsb&theater

This is the (Brown) Fender Telecaster I received as a gift from a very good friend of mine while going through physiotherapy in 2009.  This is the guitar signed by Ian Thornley, the singer-songwriter from the Canadian rock band “Big Wreck”.  This guitar has 2 single-coil pickups instead of humbucker pickups.  It’s also semi-hollow.  The sound is more geared towards a twangy country music sound or a blues sound on the neck pickup.  I rarely play this guitar, mostly because of the sound, country & blues aren’t suited to my taste in music also the neck of the guitar just doesn’t feel comfortable in my hand?  It is a very nice looking guitar, at least I think so!  I’ve always liked the shape of a Telecaster!

https://www.facebook.com/1597618270456002/photos/pcb.2395341334017021/2395339184017236/?type=3&av=1597618270456002&eav=AfZwjH1yQ6tQq72AZTYvN_HiuYdOzVQRwsvbugMOTag5ae3VkHUUUtK6aSed6t-DWw7TIbzF8hh0qlacBztdmRKo&theater

My acoustic-electric hybrid guitar made by Takamine.  This guitar is the only guitar I have purchased for myself.  I think the electronics inside the guitar fell during the photo?  All of my guitars are either hung on the wall or in a stand on the floor.  They’re more accessible so I can grab one at any time.  My acoustic is typically found in the living room.  The electric guitars are in our office by my guitar amplifier.

https://www.facebook.com/1597618270456002/photos/pcb.2395341334017021/2395339384017216/?type=3&av=1597618270456002&eav=AfaEAaLgalZNaMOeIatTd6fWWAxtfYtZ8rD3-ZeExeOSFoI09Uky7NxYjh3IaQSPP7hQl6BGwPiypus_23UlH6o4&theater

The acoustic guitar on the wall is the one I bought for Kim, the same Christmas she bought me the Epiphone Explorer.  She wanted a blue acoustic guitar.  It’s a blue Washburn acoustic with Grover tuners.  The only blue acoustic I could find in 2002.  She never learned to play it.  I used it to teach a few friends & I’m using it now for the same reason.  No charge, not a wealth of knowledge in my head, just the basics!

My amplifier volume is set to 1 ½ out of 10.  I don’t turn it up in case it bothers our neighbors.  My current amplifier contains one 10” speaker but is VERY loud.  My previous amplifier, before I was sick was 100 Watts with a cabinet of four 12” speakers to put things into perspective.  We lived in a bungalow with my gear in the basement.  I don’t miss carrying my amp & speaker cabinet to the basement at 2:00 am.

All of these guitars are out of production.  I guess they’re not cool enough for others, I like them though!

I hope my ordered guitar isn’t delayed significantly.  PRS were already sold out of the more expensive models, mine wasn’t one of them, before the trade show (NAMM 2020 Jan. 16-19) this past weekend in California.

My other hobby was playing Baseball, which I’m too old to play despite my iPatch & wheelchair.  I watch CFL football & the Toronto Blue Jays faithfully.  CFL starts in the summer.  Blue Jays spring training starts in mid-February.

I find that there is just too much TV these days.  When the fall premiers started I stopped recording quite a few.  Now with the New Year premiers I cancelled the recording of a few more & even bowed out of watching “This Is Us” last week.  There are about 10 shows that I never miss but EVERYTHING is an hour long lately?!  Add streaming to that, I don’t have that kind of time!  Sure I’m at home all day but I have stuff to do & a lot of the shows I watch with Kim when she gets home around 6:00 pm from work.  When I watch 3 hours of baseball every day in the fall, time management gets tricky, especially this upcoming year since the Blue Jays might be decent!  I always find time, as soon as Kim’s home, & we watch “The Ellen Degeneres Show”, “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”, “Prodigal Son”, & “Criminal Minds”.

 

Guitarist “Mark Morton” from ‘Lamb of God’ has released a 5 song EP.  Not sure if they’re all cover songs but I instantly recognized 2 1990s rock songs.  One by ‘Pearl Jam’ & one by ‘The Black Crowes’ this is a tame/relaxing EP, not metal at all.  He plays guitar with a different guest vocalist on each song.

 

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

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris

“Be kind to one another”-Ellen Degeneres

GOOD THINGS ARE HAPPENING FOR BOTH OF US

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

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

Email subscription www.amillionmilesawayblog.com

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

250 Curls

50 Shoulder raises/Chest presses

600 Crunches

450 Leg lifts

300 Squats while balancing on my toes.  That’s harder than I anticipated!  Yeah I fell today.

300 Back flexes

1 day walking distance: 28.5 meters = 93.503 feet

8 stairs down 2 times, up 2 times

Always 2 days of yoga

I fell asleep to “Megadeth” the album “Risk” & “Rust in Peace”

I exercised to “Foo Fighters” the album “The Colour and The Shape”

 

Here’s the Canadian Red Cross website if you’d prefer to donate there for my birthday.  Donate whatever amount you like whenever you like please?

https://www.redcross.ca/

I could ask for donations to the Canadian Cancer Society that our team of 10 people raised $75,000 over 3 years for, while I was in the hospital.  I’m asking for Red Cross donations since they’ll help with more than just cancer.  I can’t ask for donations to 15 different organizations.  I figured I’ll try to cover as much as I can with one organization?

I’ve decided this is the year that will make or break me.  This will be the defining year where I’ll know if I’ll walk on my own eventually or if I’ll be bound to a walker.  That’s what it feels like anyways.  Pedal to the metal this year.  If you thought I was focused before, it’s going to get fierce.  Instead of 1 day of stairs & walking I’d like to make it 2 days of each a week.

All of that being said ‘all work & no play makes me a dull boy’.  Once my exercise is done for the day, I try to relax, practice some guitar, then try to unwind if the house is in good shape, which it usually is.  Turning 40 in a couple of weeks is something I’m looking forward to.

I can go up & down stairs, I can walk with a chest high walker, an ankle foot orthotic, & of course someone to assist or correct/instruct me.  This part is a matter of stamina.  It was probably in the late summer-spring of 2012 to 2013 that I was walking 800 meters, twice a week, on an indoor track with Kim & my walker.  I’ve gotten lazy & barely walked last year.  We started doing some stairs & walking earlier this week.

I plan to do more stairs & walking.  This has nothing to do with weight loss, I’ve gotten VERY thin.  It’s more about stamina, strength, & quality.  I wish I had started this healthy eating & some exercise 20 years ago, instead I discovered the goodness of beer back then?!?!

After a little more than 2 weeks into the year doing my exercises, I can see & feel a FANTASTIC difference!  I do like to relax….on the weekends.  Finally things are coming together at a decent pace for me after the cancer situation.  I may not be walking on my own yet but I feel more confident & determined than ever!

I’m pretty sure I was a bad “uncle” this morning.  I didn’t feel like exercising right away.  I had a coffee while I finished a Disney Princess’ puzzle.  I’m pretty sure I’ll get a stern talking to from our “niece” and “auntie” Kim………………..unless I undo what I did?

My mid-life crisis PRS guitar has a down payment & is ordered as of Wednesday!  YAY!!!!!  This guitar in the McCarty Sunburst finish.  It’ll be here in 3 months.  The factory starts production on this year’s model on Monday or Tuesday.  I’ve never purchased an electric guitar.  The 3 I have were all gifts & the autographed Fender, by Ian Thornley of “Big Wreck”, I don’t play it as much, and the neck on it just doesn’t feel comfortable.  I’ve heard many people say that.  Of course I’ll play the heck out of this PRS guitar, I can already see it as my main guitar.

https://www.prsguitars.com/index.php/electrics/model/s2_custom_22_semi_hollow_2020

Mr. Paul Reed Smith founder of PRS guitars.

 

On a typical week day I’m found exercising in the morning & practicing/playing guitar in the afternoon.  Once I get a guitar in my hands, I don’t want to put it down.  I’m beyond excited for this to arrive!!!!!

When that gets here in April & is fully paid in April, I will continue to save cash for a trip to where ever Kim wants to go.  “Hello streaming music.  I still don’t like you but we’re in this for the long haul.”

The last live show I played was January 25th, 2008.  I basically haven’t touched a guitar since February 4th, 2008 until mid-September 2019.  Oddly enough after 3 brain surgeries, stage 4 brain cancer, & what’s called an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI), I still remember a lot of stuff on guitar.  My left hand & arm are catching up now…..quickly to playing things in time.

The guitar stuff might seem stupid but it was a hobby of mine.  I’m getting part of my life back that disappeared for over a decade!  To me that’s ASTRONOMICAL!

Kim’s off to a great start at work this year too, so it’s not just me having a great start to the year.  She has a photo shoot at the end of the month.  She’s been taking more photos for the company as 2019 progressed.  She’s been working hard at it, putting in some extra time & she tells me this could mean big things for her if things go well!  Pretty proud of her, she’s been putting the time in.  Photography has become her personal time hobby also.  That’s why she’d drive me out to the middle of nowhere at sunset in the summer as I search for a “Criminal Minds” type of villain.

Kim’s driving & looking straight ahead, meanwhile my heads on a swivel looking for a shifty guy with a tire iron.  They always kill the male first, & I can’t walk let alone run.  Not a great scenario!  Kim knows karaté though, she’ll save me.

 

Pearl Jam are set to release new album “Gigaton” & tour in March 2020!!!

Clint Lowery is going to release his first solo album on Friday, January 31st, 2020

 

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

 

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris             

“Be kind to one another”-Ellen Degeneres

MANSPLAING WHY LESS IS MORE FOR ME. 

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.

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

Email subscription www.amillionmilesawayblog.com

 

I fell asleep to “Ronnie James Dio aka Dio” the album “Angry Machines”

I exercised to “Trivium” the album “In Waves”

 

Here’s the Canadian Red Cross website if you’d prefer to donate there for my birthday.  Donate whatever amount you like whenever you like please?

https://www.redcross.ca/

 

We did have our “niece” over on the weekend for a sleepover at “Auntie” Kim’s.  Our “nephew” came over with his mom to pick up his sister.  He’s not 2 years old until the spring but he likes my wheelchair and his “Uncle” Chris.  Follows me into the bathroom, I lock my wheels, he’s behind my chair at the doorway, & all I hear is “Uncle…..uncle…..uncle….uncle?”  Then he just wants to push his sister around our place in the wheelchair.  How can you say “No” to that!  Too cute!!!!!

Haven’t really spent money on music, grrrr.  Tried to add more streaming music the other night and it tells me this is “Not available in your region”, & that’s why I’d prefer to use iTunes or even better purchase CD’s.  “Hello streaming music I’m not a fan of you but let’s make this as pleasant as we can.  You do your job, and I’ll keep quiet”.  I’ve been listening to older rock and metal.  TONS of older stuff by “Megadeth”, that I’ve owned for quite a while.  I’ve been getting into “The Cure”, “Dio”, more “Queen” & I now listen & own all but one album from “The Darkness”.  My brother can’t stand them.  I use to play or sing their first hit at band rehearsal just to pester him.

This high voice is about all I can do now.  My falsetto’s there, my real voice…..not so much.  I might start answering the phone like this, apparently it’s easier to understand?!

“Queen” & “Dio” are the 2 main worm holes I’m going down right now.  “Iron Maiden” & “Testament” I’ve had for a while now & often go back to.  The music I listen to seems to go in waves. Pop, blues, disco, funk, rrrroooocccckkkk, & mmmmeeeettttaaaallll.

The entire guitar deal is that my left hand & arm are/were pretty much useless.  Exercising & getting to a point where I had the hand muscle to form any chord was HUGE.  Sure I can whip off some impressive licks if you don’t know any better.  Thing is I’m still pretty green.  I knew a lot, I’ve learned WAY more.  My hand works.  I’ve got to speed my hand & arm up just a bit to get up to tempo.  I need to get certain parts of a song back into muscle memory.  It’s all there & most of it is VERY close.  My right arm & hand weren’t affected by brain cancer.  My strumming, rhythm, & guitar picking came back fine after 3 ½ years of therapy.  I’m sort of physically new somewhat & I’ve advanced, but I also know more of what I used to do & even what I could tackle next.  I’m a weird middle of the road beginner at this point, that’s what I’d call myself on guitar.  I’m just SO happy that I can make things sound like an actual song.  Yes I play/practice a LOT!

Why would I like to own 5 electric guitars?  I see many stay at home players with dozens of guitars.  I don’t need or want that many, I’m not that versatile.  The reason for multiple guitars is different tunings and/or sounds.  Excuse me while I mansplain my reasons.

Just watch enough of the www.youtube.com video to get a good look at the guitar, you don’t need to watch the entire video.  I’ll put up links to the Facebook photos of my guitars on here & the photos on the Facebook page for this blog.  Hopefully the links work if you don’t have a Facebook account.

My 3 electrics all sound different & are in different tunings.  The Fender Telecaster is very much geared towards country & blues music (tuned to standard E) with single coil pickups.  Same body style & pickups.  Different colour & model.  Mine is a much darker wood grain, & it’s my autographed guitar.  I learned some blues sounding chords to play it.  Foo Fighters “For All the Cows” sounds great on it!

My Epiphone Explorer is in a different tuning (Eb) & set for rock & metal music (active EMG pickups extra $200).  Same colour, style, & brand.  Different model & pickups were changed to EMGs ASAP.  Dave Grohl used to play a Gibson Explorer that was the initial reason for getting it.  It’s now my main guitar.  Epiphone is a more affordable version of Gibson, cheaper parts & wood.

My Les Paul knock off is extremely heavy (the weight of 2 Gibson Les Paul’s) & it holds lower tunings very well, so it’s tuned to D instead of the standard E (stock & loud humbucker pickups).  Same body shape, darker green, & probably different pickups.  Mine is not a Gibson or Epiphone brand, much more inexpensive, as heavy as can be, also mine has a metal plate on the back where the neck/fret board is bolted to the body.  I don’t have Grover tuners or a coil tap switch.

The other 2 I’d like are different in other ways.  7 strings instead of 6, different EMG pickups (I paid $200 to switch my Explorer pickups to EMGs), love the shape of the Les Paul & I’m gonna make it happen!  The PRS is a definite go with different pickups, semi-hollow, love the shape, locking tuners, Tremolo Bridge & bar, etc.  Definitely getting the PRS, and the more I watch demos of the Limited Edition 7 string Epiphone that 2nd place is by a hair.  At least I know what I like.  They’re both pretty & practical.  A non-guitar player likely won’t get this.

I should be able to order the PRS guitar by the end of March, then I’ll start saving ASAP for the Matt Heafy 7 string limited edition Epiphone and Kim’s dream vacation to Hawaii.  Half of what I save will go to the guitar, the other half will be saved for Hawaii.  You may think a guitar is a waste of money & that’s fine.  I spend my money mostly on music or music related stuff.

I survived cancer, my wife has been more than cool with this situation despite the times where I’ve been a mess mentally, our extended & immediate families have been great & I can’t rave enough about how great our friends have been, despite me being a complete wreck at times!  We’ve been cash poor since February of 2008.  We’re not trying to catch up to the rest of the world like we were, we just want to feel comfortable in our situation.

Yeah, I’m becoming obsessed with these 2 guitars.

The PRS guitar, I’ll order in the spring, then wait 90 days for it to get here.  If it wasn’t for us living in Canada + the 11% tax between the federal & provincial tax, I’d have it already.  The Epiphone Les Paul 7 string would take 2 days to get here.  Half the price of the PRS guitar but VERY different.  I’ll be saving for both that guitar & a trip to wherever Kim wants to go.  It will likely take me longer to save the cash, so I likely won’t get it anytime soon.  No we’re not going into debt for any of this.  We’re saving by cutting back on other things, such as iTunes (yeah I’ll be using that streaming garbage), coffee & tea from Tim Hortons, etc.

This year, more so than others, I’m all about quality over quantity.  On the guitar side of things, 5 different electric guitars would each serve a different purpose.  My acoustic guitar is for perfecting the imperfections masked by the guitar amplifier.  My exercise is the same mentality.  Each individual exercise serves a different purpose.  Less repetitions with more focus on the quality of the repetitions.

I’m going to pick 4 songs that I’ve learned & make them perfect.  Rhythm, tempo, & technicality, while continuing the finger exercises that got me to this point.  Lead guitar doesn’t really interest me, but learning more about guitar will help me.  Always something to learn!  If I could sell a guitar I would but there are unwritten rules that I have for myself as to why I can’t sell a guitar.  A) I can’t sell my first guitar.  B) An autographed guitar.  C) My main guitar given to me by my wife (girlfriend at the time).  D) I can’t sell my only acoustic guitar.

Now we just need to move so I can turn my guitar amp past 2 on the volume nob.  Ah condos!

 

DC movies are reinventing themselves to be more realistic, a bit darker, while maintaining the aura of a comic book movie.  I’m in!  Margot Robbie plays “Harley Quinn” so well!

I watched “Joker” with Joaquin Phoenix twice since Saturday.  Hands down as movie of the year for me.  Definitely not for kids.  Rated R for a reason.

 

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

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris

“Be kind to one another”-Ellen Degeneres

1ST OFFICIAL POST OF 2020.   EXERCISE BEGINNING January 2, 2020

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

(20 pound dumb bells) 400 Curls

(10 pound dumb bells) 200 Shoulder raises/Chest presses

800 Crunches

600 Leg lifts

400 Squats

400 Back flexes

Walking & stairs start on the weekend (time permitting) or on Monday.

I fell asleep to “Trivium” the album “Silence in the Snow”

I exercised to “Dio” the album “Sacred Heart”

 

Here’s the Canadian Red Cross website if you’d prefer to donate there for my birthday.  Donate whatever amount you like whenever you like please?

https://www.redcross.ca/

I could ask for donations to the Canadian Cancer Society that our team of 10 people raised $75,000 over 3 years for, while I was in the hospital.  I’m asking for Red Cross donations since they’ll help with more than just cancer.  I can’t ask for donations to 15 different organizations.  I figured I’ll try to cover as much as I can with one organization?

I’ve changed my exercises as much as I could to benefit me more.  There are fewer repetitions in a week, but more difficulty in each exercise.  For example I’m using heavier dumb bells for my weight exercises.  20 pounds in each hand for curls & 10 pounds for shoulder raises with them coming together in front of me to exercise my chest.  Once I end up doing 200 repetitions/day consistently, I will increase the weights & decrease the repetitions.

My squats are lower for a longer amount of time & 50 of them 3 days a week are on my tip toes to work on my balance & calves.  My crunches are being held for a longer amount of time as are my yoga poses & leg lifts.  Fewer repetitions but far more intense exercise.

Different muscles are a little more tender than usual the next day.  These lower repetitions take just as much, if not more time to complete each day.  I expect to put on a few pounds of muscle or at least see a shift from fat to muscle.  Who thought me being 226 pounds would look like my clothes were about to fall off?

In other news, I stumbled across a Facebook poll asking if I was for or against legalizing public nudity.  Knee jerk reaction, I said ‘Sure, it’s just as harmful to me as legalized marijuana’.  This was before Christmas and I’ve been rethinking my answer ever since.  Sure it won’t bother me, I’ll head out in my underwear & a T-Shirt.  It could affect anyone negatively though & here’s why.  There are a TON of people out there that will take advantage of this by sexually assaulting & raping those that seem to be ‘easier pray’ by wearing less clothing.  That’s what I quickly realized was the problem with my answer.

I have more music in my collection, most of it is rock & metal stuff.  Not sure if that’s worth sharing with others.  I might do a bit on the Tuesday posts when there’s nothing new that I’ve purchased.

I’m watching demos on the Epiphone Matt Heafy 7 string custom.  Damn me & my taste in guitars.  That would complete my guitar collection.  Yes, as I’m relearning to play songs I knew & newer songs I’ve never tried before.  I’ve been learning much more stuff & practicing at least 45 minutes a day if not more, my fingers are much more independent than they’ve ever been.  What gets my goat the most is, we’ve saved enough money for this Epiphone but the PRS guitar is a midlife crisis/once in a lifetime purchase & we’re half way there.

Truth be told, my midlife crisis was going to be a Porsche.  Well that all changed in 2008, & playing guitar seemed out of the question until October of 2019.  I’m sticking with the PRS despite not owning a 7 string.  Even though both serve a different purpose.  The PRS is sort of an all-in-one guitar with added stuff I don’t have & I don’t own a 7 string or anything with a kill pot.  They’re both more cash than at least three of the 4 guitars I own.  Mine are all under $1000.  The Fender Telecaster was a gift I got while in the hospital & is likely just over $1000.  The only guitar I’ve actually bought for myself was my acoustic that I play multiple times a day.  Damn it I’m specific/picky!  That would truly be it for me.  I look at guitar gear as ‘less is more’.  Right now I play each guitar but mainly the Epiphone Explorer I have.  Used to play shows with my Les Paul styled knock off, I always brought my Epiphone as a backup and eventually used it live in a different tuning.

Matt Heafy is the writer & lead vocalist for the metal band “Trivium”.  My 3 favourite metal bands are “Lamb of God”, “Trivium”, & “In Flames” they have been for the last 14 years.

My left hand was the issue, but even I have noticed significant improvement since I started playing again, so has Kim.  My “Time is running out”.  PRS for now, since Kim wants to go to Hawaii next year.  Save, save, save, & save some more.  We don’t travel.  I’ve been outside of Canada once, to Boston with Kim who was there for a week for training, I tagged along in the summer of 2006 or 2007.

A house popped up on the market Wednesday.  A house about the same size of our suite, front porch, wheelchair accessible back deck, built in 2000, & a partially finished basement.  Looked very promising from the photos.  WAY over our price range listed at $389,900.  I did what I always do.  Stayed awake, worried & over thought things.  Finally fell asleep around 3:30 am or 4 am.  I finally just told Kim yesterday “I don’t even want to know about a house unless it’s in our price range and if ours will ever sell.”  The stars & moon have to all align & everybody’s chakra has to be in the perfect spot to sell this place from the looks of things.  I’ll sign another contract to sell the place, although I don’t understand how that will change anything.

As a comparison, we were among the first 6 suites to move into our new building on December 18th, 2013.  Our suite is very similar in size, a difference of maybe 50 sqft, but way below that price.

 

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

 

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris             

“Be kind to one another”-Ellen Degeneres

MY FAVOURITE ALBUMS OF 2019 & A BREAKTHROUGH FOR ME

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I fell asleep to “Queen” the album “A Day at the Races”

I exercised to “Black Sabbath” the album “Heaven & Hell”

 

I had a list of albums that I grabbed this year, & it disappeared.  These are the albums of the year that stuck with me & are VERY memorable for me.  When I say “metal” do me a favour & don’t freak out about the vocals.  I don’t think I bought an album this year with ‘growling’ or ‘screaming’ on it.  A lot of metal vocalists are very well trained at their craft, even the ‘screamers’ out there.  It’s hard to do that.

I’m sure there were more albums that I bought, but these are the ones that caught my attention the most.

 

PLEASE REMEMBER THESE ARE JUST THE ALBUMS THAT I HEARD & LIKED.  FEEL FREE TO VOICE YOUR OPINION ON ANY MATTER HERE!

 

“Opeth” the album “In Cauda Venenum”

Yeah it’s a progressive rock/metal/soft-rock album from the Swedish group.

 

“P!nk” the album “Hurts 2B Human”

You know who she is more than likely.  I do like her previous release “Beautiful Trauma” a bit more, but there was nothing wrong with this one!

 

“Dream Theater” the album “Distance Over Time”

Progressive metal out of the USA, no this guy doesn’t growl or scream.  He’s a classically trained singer.  Usually someone says “metal” and everyone else freaks out about the vocals being scary.

 

“Alter Bridge” the album “Walk the Sky”

Based in Florida.  6th album & living in Western Canada, I’ll never see them live.  I think they’ve done the Montreal & Toronto tour twice since 2004.

 

“I Built the Sky” the album “The Zenith Rise”

Instrumental metal that REALLY shocked me, in a good way.  I’ve never heard anything like it and this is their 5th release.  I’ve got this album & I’d like to get 2 other albums by them.

 

“TOOL” the album “Fear Inoculum”

The only reason this wasn’t my favourite album of the year was that it’s just SO long.  “TOOL” is a band that you listen to & focus on nothing else, like most music is meant to be heard.  There are so many layers to this album & 6/10 songs are well over the 10 minute mark.  I’ve only had time to focus on it once.  It’s not an album full of singles either, it’s an album.  “Fear Inoculum” is roughly 7 minutes longer than their 1999 album “Lateralus”.  The difference is that “Lateralus” has 13 songs opposed to 10 on “Fear Inoculum”.  I can listen to 7 songs on “Lateralus”, come back later & listen to the rest.  I don’t like doing that with “Fear Inoculum”, I want to listen to it from start to finish with no separation.  I don’t have 1 ½ hours to focus on an album every week?

 

“In Flames” the album “I, The Mask”

Another Swedish metal band.  If you want to call these vocals “screamy” go ahead.  They’re called a “Swedish melodic death metal band” emphasis on the ‘melodic’ portion though.  He sings with an odd tone.

 

“Big Wreck” the album “…but for the sun”

I thought this was just my favourite “Big Wreck” album, turns out it’s one of my favourite albums of all time by a Canadian band not well known outside of Canada.  They’re a rock band & if you’ve never turned on a rock radio station in Canada or if you’ve lived under a rock since the late 1990s, you’ve never heard of them.

Honourable mentions. Billie Eilish’s “When we all fall asleep, where do we go?”, “Of Monsters & Men” the album “Fever Dream”, Mark Morton “Anesthetic”, & “Jimmy Eat World” the album “Surviving”.

As for future out of province concerts, I’m going to scale that WAY back.  Too much money I don’t have.  There had better be a show in Calgary, Alberta or Winnipeg, Manitoba & no more than 2 out of province shows a year, if that.  Hopefully there are more shows here in Regina or 2 ½ hours away in Saskatoon.  I’ll go to Moose Jaw (45 minutes away) if they ever get an act that intrigues me.

 

“Paramore” news…

YAY!

What else to expect in 2020?  Chevelle, Lamb of God, Megadeth, The Pretty Reckless, Stone Temple Pilots, Into Eternity, Third Ion, Foo Fighters, Evanescence, Testament, Trivium, and more?  Most of these are rumored releases.

 

HOLY SMOKES!!!!  “Stone Temple Pilots” already have a preorder for their acoustic album “Perdida” for full release on February 7th.

25th anniversary for “Foo Fighters” & from the looks of their Facebook page they’re recording or might have already?

Gave my guitars a good workout yesterday.  After 3 ½ months of 45 minutes to 3 hours a day, 5-6 days a week I’m pretty much back to where I was on guitar when I got sick.  6 Foo Fighters songs down, added in parts I’ve never attempted, very close on 2 Metallica songs, a few other simple songs down, new chords, a handful of other riffs too.  All rhythm & hooks, I’ve never played guitar solos.  Feels so gratifying!!!!!!!  I forgot how much I missed it!  You have no idea how happy I am with this!!!!!!  I was so happy I almost broke down with tears of joy!!!  Just a few seconds behind the real tempo but just a little more polishing to do.

I’ll figure out how to put some videos on here.  Something you should know first though.  I LOATHE photos, videos, and audio recordings of myself.  Take the amount you don’t like them of yourself and multiply that by 100,000,000,000 and you’ll be almost where I am.  It probably won’t happen often, especially since I don’t own a phone or any type of camera.

Well, exercise is done for the day so that means perfecting a few songs on the guitar until… “Star Wars” Episode 9 tonight with my pop!  He got me into this mess with VHS, now I’m getting us out of this mess at the theater!

 

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

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris             

“Be kind to one another”-Ellen Degeneres

MY EXERCISE FOR 2019.

Most of this was written on December 27th

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

 

My 40th birthday is on January 30th.  On Facebook I am asking for people to make donations of any amount to the Canadian Red Cross.  If you’re not from Canada, please make a donation to your country’s Red Cross.  I had 3 brain surgeries.  Before I had cancer I would donate blood.  I don’t know how many pints of blood I received from others, but now I cannot donate my blood anymore.  Please send them any donation of money, blood, volunteer work, etc.  The amount of any donation will not matter, but will be VERY appreciated!

 

Well here it is my exercise for all of 2019.  Of course there are a handful of weeks where I did nothing.  As for travelling, I took a 6 hour car trip to Winnipeg for my great aunt’s 80th birthday celebration, spent 2 or 3 days in Winnipeg with family.  Went to the family cabin near Moose Jaw for about 4 days.  Then 2 nights at Kim’s parents’ place near Prince Albert. Other than that we were at home, exercising my butt off while Kim was at work, yet I still can’t walk?  Ah well, maybe in a few years.  All I have to show for this exercise is a much smaller belly & very lean muscle.

Most of my exercise totals will drop significantly this year.  I’m plan to focus more on quality than quantity.  Heavier weights, deeper squats, other squats, better/longer yoga, & much more cardio hopefully.  I’ve already increased the weights & added a few other exercises.  No point in waiting?

Curls (added later on in the year): 13,000

Leg lifts: 37,500

Crunches: 41,500

Tricep lifts (I stopped when I realized my yoga gave my triceps a good workout): 4,820

Shoulder raises (added later on in the year): 4,970

Back flexes: 18,300

Pushups (I do some if I have any energy left): 13,100

Squats (changed to make them more difficult after a few months): 21,970

About 3 or 4 hours of stretching & yoga a week.  My resolutions for 2020, practice going down and up a flight of stairs 3-6 times once a week & seriously improve on the guitar.

After all of that, I’ve seriously trimmed down from 265 into the hospital, 210 while in the hospital & physiotherapy, to 280 after eating nothing but garbage out of the hospital to my current weight of 226 pounds as of January 1st, 2020.  I’d consider the last 7 ½ years as prep work for what’s about to come.  It’s like I was doing cardio & now I’ll do more muscle work while continuing with some cardio.  I was 185 pounds when I graduated high school, for me to be under 210 is unthinkable.  I’d be a sack of bones.  I’m 6’1” on a large frame.  225-230 pounds should do, but it’s just a number.  To put all of this into perspective my T-Shirts are drooping around my neck & quite baggy.  I’m wearing some T-Shirts from 2006.  I was surprised with my weight!  I haven’t been that weight in 20 years!

Measurements as of January 1, 2020.

Stomach: 44 ¼”

Biceps; Left 14 ¼”, Right 14 ¾”

Chest: 45”

Upper leg; Left 22 ½”, Right 23 ½”

Calves; Left 14 ¾”, Right 14 ½”

Most of those exercise have changed, will change, or will be eliminated.  Back flexes are by far the most difficult!  Lay flat on the floor on your stomach, arms out to the sides, feet shoulder length apart, then lift all 4 limbs off of the ground at the same time for 2 seconds.  I do that 3 days a week, along with other stuff.  Trust me, I’m not ripped at all & I’m pasty white.

I don’t tan, I burn!  There’s a window of 30 seconds for me between burning to a crisp or remaining blindingly white.  I choose to be extremely pale rather than being in pain looking like a boiled lobster.

I play guitar at home now as opposed to playing on stage, for me, less is more.  I used to have a 4 X 12” cabinet of speakers, a Randall amplifier, 8 or 9 effect pedals, & 2 electric guitars.  I rarely played my acoustic guitar live.  I gave my big amplifier & cabinet away when I got cancer.  I’m down to 4 pedals now, gave a couple away when I got sick & sold a couple to help pay for the practice amplifier I use now.  Now I have 3 electric guitars, one I got in the hospital signed by Ian Thornley of Big Wreck, the other 2 that I had before & my acoustic guitar.  Yes, every guitar is tuned differently, otherwise it would be pointless to have them.  No frills to see here.  I’m going to order the PRS guitar in the summer, we’re saving for it.  As for the Limited Edition Epiphone 7 string guitar, maybe a few years down the road, if I’m still into metal music.  If I ever get a 7 string guitar, I hope those are still in production.  I’m getting anxious for the PRS guitar, still need to save though.  Got up and procrastinated by taking a broken guitar effect pedal apart, cleaned it, put it back together, & it now works.  10 minutes saved me the $120 I paid for it 19 years ago.  I am so not a handy person, never have been.

https://www.prsguitars.com/index.php/electrics/model/s2_custom_22_semi_hollow_2020   I’m going to order it in a McCarty Sunburst finish!

Better look at it and a review of the 2019 version.  Pretty much the same guitar, I’ll be ordering a different colour though.

The more research I do on this guitar, the more I want it.  It will be like a combination of my other 3 electric guitars plus other highlights I don’t have.  Happy Belated 40th to me in the summer!

http://www.epiphone.com/Products/Les-Paul/Matt-Heafy-Les-Paul-Custom-7.aspx

No I can’t play like that yet.  I was a very simple rhythm player that played the chords, hook, & sang.

 

I eat the same thing for breakfast & lunch every day, & I’m happy with it, I can maintain it & have for quite a while.  I get up at about 7:30 am, feed Brewster then I get my breakfast.  One or two hard boiled eggs, a small glass of vegetable juice that I make a pitcher of on the weekend, a piece of fruit (usually an apple), and a liter of water with some apple cider vinegar in it.  7 days a week I have 3 to 5 liters of water, 6 on the odd occasion.  I exercise, have a small snack of yogurt usually, hit the shower.  By the time I’m out, it’s time for lunch.  Lunch is one or two lettuce wraps with some Dijon mustard & turkey deli meat.  Check my email, practice guitar, & have a snack of crackers & hummus.  Then I watch about an hour of TV or a bit more and Kim is home for supper.  That’s a typical day for me.  It’s a routine I have gotten used to & get upset with myself if I miss my exercise in the morning.

Musically, I only made it to 4 big name concerts this year.  One of them was a Christmas family get together type of event.

I saw “Lynyrd Skynyrd” here in the spring.  They played at the arena here.

“The Watchmen” were at Casino Regina in October

“Big Wreck” was here at Casino Regina in mid-November

My mother got tickets for 7 of us to see “Boney M” at the Conexus Arts Center, a theater, on December 10th.

 

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

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris

“Be kind to one another”-Ellen Degeneres