IS IT BAD THAT I’M STRESSING ABOUT A HOUSE NEXT YEAR?

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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!

Exercise total for 4 days. 

500 Curls w/ 20 pound dumb bells

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

600 Crunches

600 Leg lifts

200 Squats   

290 Back flexes

1:30 hours of yoga over 2 days

Brewster seems to be doing better these days.  He’ll be 15 on January 31st.  He’s taking his pills all of the time now.  Kim bought “Pill Pockets” for him.  He’s a BIG fan of Kim’s beef barley soup over his dry food.  He loves bite size chuncks of watermelon that he eats with me at lunch.  He eats about ¼ of my fish at lunch.  He’s been fairly active this week too.

I’m not sure why but I’ve felt a bit slugish all week.  I did my exercises other than on Monday, and I made them count, no weak effort here.  I don’t know if it’s because I had an alcoholic beverage on the weekend or if my body just feels old?  I got out of bed the other day & almost took cover.  Everything was popping & cracking, I thought someone had a machine gun.  This morning I was up at 7:15 am, had my 5 minute breakfast of 2 hard boiled eggs & a glass of vegetable juice.  Then I got after my exercises.  I did my squats first & wanted to “cry” my legs just hurt, had to take an extended breather.

Peeked out the window Wednesday morning and the smoke from the wildfires seems to have cleared.  I hope all is well on the west coast.

Kim went to the condo meeting Tuesday evening.  After a vote of 28-7 on the pet agenda, visiting pets are once again allowed in the building.  Living in a condo feels like living under multiple dictators within a democracy outside.  Kim needed to vent a bit after the meeting.  I guess someone at the meeting had an issue with EVERYTHING…and that’s why the meeting was an hour long!

It’s not even spring of 2021 & I’m already stressing out about finding a house next year!  The stars have to align perfectly for us.  I guess the toughest part will be selling our condo.  Far too many new, vacant condos available at ½ the price.  If we do find a buyer for this place & a house within a month, I’m almost positive we’ll lose money.  I shouldn’t stress until we actually put our place on the market in the spring.

Any guitars you see on here are never going to be purchased.  It’s just me widow shopping.  I’m VERY excited with my choices & they’ve been heavily researched. I’m holding out for a call or email next week or the week after telling me the guitar I ordered in January is here!  Cross your “fingers and toes” for me!  If it’s not here next week or by the end of September, I guess I’ll just keep waiting.  It’s been an odd year to say the least!  It should be here “Any day now”.  A house is a must for us!  No big purchases by either of us until we find a house or end up renovating our suite.

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

So now that Donald Trump has been caught on tape in February admitting he’s downplaying Covid-19 to avoid a panic, everybodies a “stable genius” and refuse to wear masks now?  People have very little respect for others & it’s getting worse all of the time.

https://calgary.ctvnews.ca/you-are-a-sheep-video-shows-anti-masker-mocking-calgary-fabricland-staff-customers-1.5106572?fbclid=IwAR2u5poGnjlA6x30igw98ul1aKkD5L1O2o4sFvpIXgZgd9TJ1qPX9JhPey4

If wearing a mask is too difficult for some people, I have a solution!  You don’t have to put on any other clothes, just a mask over your mouth and nose.  You’ll actually be wearing less clothing & if you want more clothing it must be in mask form, any size, anywhere & we’ll get you a set of markers so you can make them any colour you want.  You’ll look just as ridiculous as you did not wearing a mask in the first place!  You’re welcome!  J

You can wear a mask or suffer the wrath of Red Forman.

There are 3 WILDLY EXPENSIVE “never going to happen” guitars I’d like to own.

https://www.prsguitars.com/index.php/electrics/model/mark_tremonti_signature_2020  Super expensive Core model PRS.  Mark Tremonti signature.

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

Another super expensive Core model PRS.  Paul Reed Smith’s signature.

https://www.long-mcquade.com/51280/Guitars/Electric/Gibson/Dave_Grohl_ES-335_Ltd_Edition_-_Pelham_Blue.htm

An even more expensive Dave Grohl 335 Gibson.  I think these retail at $12,000 US?  If you can find one.  I’m pretty sure I’m done buying guitars.

YAY, new season on Disney+ starting October 30th.  One of the few streaming shows I watch “The Mandalorian”

New video from Alter Bridge this week.  Seeing them live is near the top of my bucket list.  This is the band that Mark Tremonti plays for.  For me, Mark Tremonti & singer/guitarist, Myles Kennedy, are top notch!  I easily have 4 favourite bands now.  Foo Fighters, Big Wreck, Tool, & Alter Bridge.  Foo Fighters since 1997 & Big Wreck when I was of legal bar age & saw the live in 1999!  Alter Bridge had me hooked since I heard their first single in 2004.  Tool was persistent & eventually got me hooked on their 1999 release “Lateralus”.

I googled a bunch of songs to learn on the 7 string & they’re all metal songs, this could take a while 3 down with a LOT to go.

Double Header baseball today.  I’ll be parked on the couch with my acoustic guitar practicing this as I did last night.

I’ll likely be playing/practicing an assortment of other forbiden songs a guitarist shouldn’t play.  Stuff I know but haven’t bothered to work on.

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris 

“Listen to each other” –Ellen Degeneres 

I CAN LIVE WITHIN MY MEANS & BE HAPPY! KIM’S WITH ME!

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

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

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

Exercise total for 4 days. 

500 Curls w/ 20 pound dumb bells

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

600 Crunches

600 Leg lifts

200 Squats   

280 Back flexes

1:05 hour of yoga over 2 days

Short week made for an easier week of exercise!  I’m just glad the week is over for me.  I’d do more exercises if I had the energy.  We were going walking for a bit.  I should probably keep that up & do some in our parkade with my walker on the weekends.  My motivation for everything is “Somebody’s doing better than me”

I’ve decided that since I’m Canadian, there’s little need to watch American news.  Whatever Donald Trump says or does has zero shock value for me and even if I try to avoid it, it’s all over the Canadian National news channel & my local news.  Even when I watch www.youtube.com I avoid it.  He wants attention & ratings, well I don’t care to see or listen to him & he’s not a Canadian politician.

There are a few people that think I’ll want another guitar after I order my last one in February hopefully.  2 reasons I won’t though.  6 electric guitars & 1 acoustic is enough for a person in my situation, it’s a hobby.  Second reason, guitars cost money, we don’t have any to spend on new guitars.  I guess this would be a 3rd reason.  Quality over quantity.  Maybe I won’t own an arsenal of guitars, but they’ll be well made instruments!  I did my research & I know what to expect.  If everything goes right I’ll order my last guitar in February & buy the amplifier at that time while I save a little more for the guitar that will come a year later or I’ll see what the wait time is then. 

Even my current guitars were gifts based on my knowledge at the time, other than my Fender Thinline Telecaster which was a gift out of the blue.  I only purchased my acoustic guitar.  Wasn’t much research on that guitar?  I walked into a music store & asked the people I knew there what acoustic I could get for $500 when I was 21.  They showed me a few, I played them & left with a guitar about 45 minutes later. 

Let’s pretend that moneys not factoring into this scenario.  I’d get 7 different signature guitars.  Dave Grohl 335 Gibson (Foo Fighters).  Mark Tremonti & “Paul’s Guitar” (Alter Bridge & PRS).  Sell my Takamine acoustic for either a nice Taylor or Martin acoustic.  All of them are WAY too much to spend on 1 guitar!  Nice to dream, then there’s reality.

None of them will ever “…be mine”

In reality, a hard maybe on a more affordable Squier, Washburn, or knock off Les Paul still at least a decade or more down the road.  I’d likely have to sell an electric guitar & that’s not happening!  I’m REALLY excited about what I’m getting & what I have!  I can’t wait for my ordered guitar to get here!  Nothing other than what I’m getting has been researched other than the 2 PRS Core guitars, that are just WAY to expensive at $5300 or more Canadian.

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

Then order this guitar & buy the amplifier next year.

S2 McCarty 594 Electric Guitar with Gigbag - Whale Blue

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 see people on www.youtube.com with 20-90 guitars, 40 amplifiers, & 100s of effect pedals, who typically have a profession of either teaching, repairing, making, or selling guitars for a living.  If money wasn’t a factor, I’d stop at 1 amplifier, 8ish pedals & 12 guitars because that’s a LOT of guitars to maintain or even just change strings on.  Money is a factor and I’m VERY happy with what I’m getting & I’m done spending money on guitars.  I’m done guitar shopping/researching for a LONG time. 

We both REALLY hope to find a house next year more than anything!  Until we’re in our 60s or 70s, we’ll be looking for a house.  If there’s nothing out there by then, we might as well stay in a condo.

EVERYBODY is broke & at home right now.  Welcome to the rest of my life.  Your situation is temporary, mine’s not.  Don’t feel sorry for me, I’m adapting or have adapted.

Other than the new John Petrucci solo album, I’ve been listening to In Flames Clayman album since it’s the 20th anniversary of the album.  The last Big Wreck album is getting it’s fair share of listening as well.

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris 

“Listen to each other” –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!

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

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

 

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

…AND AUGUST TAKES THE OFF RAMP……INTO A DITCH

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

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

 

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

I slept in today, that’s why this is late.  Breakfast, exercise them post a blog, that’s ALWAYS the order things happen.

 

Exercise total for 5 days.

450 Curls w/ 20 pound dumb bells

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

750 Crunches

750 Leg lifts

300 Squats

420 Back flexes

1:00 hour of yoga over 2 days

 

When I do my curls, it’s pretty easy to tell that my left side is much weaker.  The dumb bell still wobbles side to side quite a bit.  When I bring the weights to my shoulders I really have to focus & control my left arm.  When I play guitar it’s really not an issue.

Well pretty bad way to carry on through August.  I got up & did my exercises ASAP Tuesday morning.  Posted my blog & checked our messages from Monday night, we we’re out for a bit.  I guess I missed an appointment with my psychiatrist Monday afternoon.  I didn’t get the usual reminder/confirmation call on Friday?  My doctor left a message.  I rescheduled for 5:00 pm that day.  After some discussion on what to do with Brewster & some phone tag, things were set in place.

We go to our vehicle in our parking garage only to find that Kim’s brand new bicycle was stolen.  We go to my appointment, all is well.  We come home & chat with our neighbor in the garage.  I guess the break in was Monday night & somehow EVERYBODY knew but us?  She reported her stolen bike to a board member across the hall from us.  Wednesday she got the serial number from where she bought it on May 12th 2020 & reported it to the police.  Financially things were snug before this, now they’re TIGHT!  As per usual with most plans, we’ll have to play it by ear.

Spoke to someone close to us Thursday late afternoon.  HOLY CRAP August sucks!  I can’t talk about it, nobody has been physically injured but it’s unexpected & really not good for that person.  Not my story to tell.

I was checking out my psychiatrist’s ratings online earlier that day.  Weird I know, my psychiatrist has ratings on the internet????  WOW mixed bag of ratings from 0-5 stars.  I’ve never had a problem with him.  Really nice guy, always quite friendly!

So with her new bike being stolen I don’t see this guitar being ordered in the spring.  I’m more than OK with that.  I’ve saved enough money that she can go out & get the same bike if she wants to.  Late Tuesday night, after a few hours of suggesting she use my saved money, she still continued to say “No”.  Wednesday night she budged a bit & finally said “Maybe”.  She wants to look into using our insurance.  If she was right about our insurance, that won’t be the route we take.

https://www.prsguitars.com/index.php/electrics/model/s2_mccarty_594

I’ll be getting a REALLY fancy guitar in a week.  I’ll keep saving either for the guitar or get the MUCH more affordable amplifier & foot switch.  Then leave it at that for quite many years.  I think this is more than fair for me, Kim should just take what I’ve saved all together & keep saving for the camera lens she wants.

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

What has been VERY welcomed this August?  Kamala Harris running as VP with Joe Biden.  HUGE upside when that was announced!  I’m Canadian so it won’t affect me directly, but hopefully this can calm the USA a bit.

Russia announced that they have a vaccine for the virus.  They also rushed it’s release by skipping over some testing phases.  You take it, I’ll wait a year & see how you’re doing before I think about injecting something that hasn’t been properly tested.

Yeah, this vaccine hasn’t passed all of the phases yet.  It’s still a matter of “if” not “when”.

I learned a TON of scales on the guitar (I didn’t know them before).  Before it was more of “If I put my fingers this way it sounds like this, & I guess that’s called a C chord”.  Now I know the notes & what works within that key!  I’ve been playing my 7 string pretty much all week.  Learning some Trivium.  I’ll finish up “The Heart from Your Hate” today & tidy up a few other songs I used to play & other songs I’ve been playing with on my acoustic while watching baseball.  The most difficult part of learning this song was remembering what part came next & how many times do I repeat that part?

Fingers & arms are good though.  Not nearly as bad as in that video I posted, I got nervous.  Lots of people can play while knowing they’re being filmed, I can’t do anything serious in front of any camera.

This is guitar tabulature.  I’ve been working mostly on the chord part & inserting some of the lead guitar stuff.  I’ve never attempted any lead part really.

https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/trivium/the-heart-from-your-hate-guitar-pro-2123435

Speaking of baseball, the Toronto Blue Jays had Thursday off.  Tonight is the start of them playing every day for 28 days straight.  I’m pretty sure there are 2 days in there that they play 2 games in one day.

I stated at the start of the year that “This is my year”.  I also said in trhe last post that the rest of August will be great.  Well I’ve only stated those things once each.  I think I’ll keep that silent from now on, bad things have happened in that small sampling & I don’t want to test that theory anymore……& now I sound like Donald Trump, SHEESH!

Not a great week.  I see a STRONG Gin & Bubbly tonight while watching the game!

 

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris

“Listen to each other” –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!

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

 

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!

 

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

HOUSE CLEANING & A GUITAR VIDEO

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450 Curls w/ 20 pound dumb bells

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

500 Crunches

500 Leg lifts

200 Squats

280 Back flexes

1:05 hour of yoga over 2 days

 

I guess I should clear a few things up to begin.  I’m reluctant to put my playing on social media since I posted a polite comment on a site a few months ago.  Instantly I had 7-10 people making fun of my iPatch.  Well “the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate……and I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake.  Shake it off”.

I thought that was a smart pop album.

In Canada we have an extra day off in each remaining month of the year.  September has Labour day, October has Canadian Thanksgiving, November 11th is Rememberance day & then Christmas holidays.  Kim & I  don’t have any extra days off.  Even with 5 days off last weekend we both had a day of “What should I do with myself?”

We’ll call that as house cleaning done for now!

Monday, Wednesday, & Friday are the days I do crunches, leg lifts, back flexes, & squats.  I’m starting to dislike those days.  Just thinking the entire time about how much I don’t want to be doing those exercises.  I do them anyways & get them out of my way.

I hadn’t had coffee or tea since May 19th.  Kim came home on Monday with a mocha-frapacino for me.  I drank it, with all of that sugar & flavouring it really loses it’s appeal for me.  I used to drink the darkest Columbian roast I could find.  I have a high resting pulse, so coffee isn’t really even desired.

Also as of May 19th I’ve only had 2 alcoholic beverages.  One to celebrate the return of Blue Jay baseball & one while watching a Q & A regarding guitars on www.youtube.com.

I decided shortly after Tuesday’s post that I’d make things a little harder for me & learn the lead intro to this Trivium song.  That might take some time.

If Led Zeppelin tries to sue me for playing one of their songs, you’ll help me out wont you?  You might have to.  I’m posting a video of me on guitar playing Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir”, well an abreviated version of it.  Many mistakes but I’m camera shy, actually I hate any photo, audio, or video of me.  It’s on Facebook with all of the flaws recorded since people asked?  Played it 5 times before recording it error free, camera comes with the mistakes. If you wanna hear more, I’m home & happier at home than without a cell phone in my face.  Being on video while playing guitar was the most depressing/joy sucking experience I’ve been through since I was suicidal from 2009-2011.

I was going to post videos of me playing Alter Bridge, Megadeth, Nothing but Thieves, Pantera, a few Metallica songs, a few Alice in Chains songs, many Foo Fighters songs, a few more Led Zeppelin songs, Pearl Jam, I Mother Earth, The Beatles, Eric Clapton, etc.  I’ll take cancer again before I video myself playing guitar again.  Audio is fine, I just don’t listen to it much at all.

With everything being digital and everyone having a camera with them all of the time, that is DEFINITELY a reason I stay indoors.  Not many people call our land line outside of spam calls.  Did people suddenly forget they can talk to someone instead of texting?  I don’t see myself getting a cell phone until land lines are eliminated.

You’ve got the video, I get “Red Light Fever” – Taylor Hawkins, drummer for Foo Fighters from one of Taylor’s albums “Taylor Hawkins & The Coattail Riders”.  I got the video done & out of the way.  Nobody takes anyone by their word anymore, lots of people need video proof, BUMMER!

Here are the specs & a photo of what should arrive on August 21st.

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

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

You won’t see me playing it.  There will be a photo on here & a reaction video on the Facebook site.  This will be my only guitar with a tremolo system aka a whammy bar.

This is the guitar I’m saving for & hope to order in the spring.  Minimum of 90 days before it gets here.

https://www.prsguitars.com/index.php/electrics/model/s2_mccarty_594

S2 McCarty 594 Electric Guitar with Gigbag - Whale Blue

An amplifier upgrade/replacement & I will be all set for many years or Kim might hurt me……she knows karaté!

I can promise you there will be a photo of each of these guitars as I get them, with a reaction/opening of the gig bag video on the Facebook page.  Eventually I’ll post a photo of my guitars all together.

I’ve seen the minimum price for a PRS guitar all the way to a bolt-on neck price for a PRS.  Core & Private Stock go to the highest price point.  The least expensive SE PRS retail in Canada is $780 + GST (Government Sales Tax in Canada of 5% followed by whatever the Provinces Provicial Sales Tax is).  I’m looking at 2 S2 models just above that price point of between $1980-2400 retail, tax in Saskatchewan amounts to 11%.  A bolt-on neck PRS retails for $4,899-$5100.  I’m assuming a Core model would retail for $5500.  A Private Stock would likely be a minimum of $5500 & up.  With a Private Stock PRS you get to go to the factory in Maryland & pick out what type of wood you want for each part of the guitar (neck, body, top, binding),  the electronics they offer, the body style (solid, semi-hollow, hollow body, or acoustic), the colour & finish.  I used to say my limit on a guitar would be $5000, it’s not anymore the S2 line is by far my limit.

I play guitar a LOT.  Even with baseball on I’ll watch a game while practicing on my acoustic.  So for fun I tallied up the amount of time I spent practicing guitar Tuesday & Wednesday.  It’s quarantine time & I don’t watch much TV other than Blue Jay baseball & CFL football (I’m not sure when football starts).  The tally over 2 days comes to roughly 11:30 hours.  That’s pretty standard honestly.

My main electric guitar changes daily.  It’s more to do with what I’m playing followed by more practice on the acoustic if it’s not an acoustic song.  This is a little further down the list for me to relearn…

It’s INCREDIBLE guitar players like this that humble me.

This website wants me to show advertisements so I can get paid for this.  I’m not about to do that.  I don’t watch commercials, so I’m not going to make you watch them.  Also, I might not like the product advertised, another BIG reason I’ll keep this website commercial free.

I see a lot of reaction videos on www.youtube.com of people just going insane for the emotion & musicianship in this song.  I agree it’s FANTASTIC song, that was released in 2007.  I don’t understand why I’m seeing reaction videos from 2019?

Well just wait until 2031 when they react to this song that was released last year.

Well look at Big Wreck’s new live video!

 

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris

“Listen to each other” –Ellen Degeneres

I DIDN’T THINK THIS WOULD LAST THIS LONG EITHER

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I watched a Netflix mini-series on Friday.  Time off during a pandemic with nowhere to go, while Kim went out with a co-worker to take photos.  I hung out with Brewster, watched a 6 episode mini-series all while practicing stuff on my acoustic guitar.  Roughly 4:30 hours of Netflix.  I watched “Waco” all of it.  Once I started I couldn’t stop.

I was 13 years old when it happened, so I doubt I had much interest in what was on the news all of the time.

What I took away from it worries me about the VERY near future.  What happened in Waco was an unnecessary war.  According to the show, based on two books written by the FBI negotiator & a Waco survivor.  According to the series, the ATF went in firing weapons at the compound.  A cease fire happened for a few months when the FBI took over a few days after the stand-off started.

A deal was reached eventually between David Koresh & the FBI negotiator for a peaceful outcome.  The FBI waited, but not long enough & eventually threw tear gas in starting a fire where many lives were lost.  The series is a completely different story by people that were there involved, compared to what the media was reporting.

Donald Trump has not been able to create a war with another country.  He’s trying REALLY hard in hopes it will win the election for him.  Neither side in Waco admitted their mistakes & look what happened, a war, & from the series it shows that everyone involved has blood on their hands.

Donald Trump will not admit he’s wrong about ANYTHING!  “I’ll be right eventually” well time’s running out along with most people’s patience.

Trump’s using the #blacklivesmatter protests to start a civil war instead.  Donald Trump has unleashed his unmarked Federal Law enforcers on ALL protests.  I see no riots on the news as I did a month ago.  What is he trying to prove by having his soldiers throw people into unmarked vans to be arrested?  The only thing I see is more & more proof that he’s a bully drunk on power.

Unless he admits that he’s wrong I think there is a STRONG chance there will be a war before the election.  The USA will have the same outcome of what happened in Waco, Texas but on a much larger scale.

I’m not saying I’m right or wrong, that’s how I see it as an outsider.

The words of a Pastor……

……not part of the solution.  This is the problem.  This virus could be far less prominent by now, but too many people are thinking this way.

I’m Canadian.  I’m not a Democrat, Republican, Conservative, Liberal, NDP, Green Party, Bloc Quebecois, or People’s Party member/follower.  I vote based on facts not alternative facts.  I believe in God & science.  I believe that EVERYBODY should be treated equally.  I believe in #LGBTQ rights, that #blacklivesmatter, #metoo movement, climate change, universal health care, that diversity is a good thing, the world is BIGGER than America, & not everyone is racist.  I don’t want to hear what the rival politicians can’t do, I want to hear what a politician can do.  I don’t vote base on the party that person is representing.  I vote based on the political party & the politician leading that party.  I’m a human trying to evolve, learn, & be a better person.  No matter what your age is, keep evolving or get left behind.  I’ll help you, but you have to want to evolve.

Now onto the cancer portion.  I’m fine.  I’m in a wheelchair likely for the rest of my life.  I could be bitter about that for the rest of my life but I don’t have time to be bitter.  That would be a HUGE waste of my time & energy.  What bothers me is the ripple effect I’ve created for people in my life, especially Kim.  She has to deal with the fact that I had cancer and am physically disabled because of it EVERYDAY.

This will sound odd, cancer can do whatever it wants to me, but I hate that MY cancer affects the lives of others.  I got cancer, why should anyone else be punished for it?

It’s becoming more apparent to me that I’ll go a few days without much sleep & then crash for 2-3 hours one day in the afternoon.  Once I’m awake & doing stuff, I don’t stop for a rest, I just go from 7:something am until 10 pm or 11 pm, lay awake in bed until 1 or 2 am & repeat for 3 or 4 days until I nap.

Our “niece” was here for a sleepover Saturday night after going shopping & rollerblading with “auntie” Kim.  Hannah will be 7 years old in October.  Winner for most hilarious discussion I heard this weekend…

Kim: Did your parents fill you with sugar before you came over?

Hannah: No, I’m crazy all the time!

I’ve decided there will be no colour change on the guitar I’m saving for.  This is it, as is…

I’ve also decided that I won’t post my playing on social media.  A heckler in a live crowd is something I can manage.  One on social media REALLY singles an individual out.  It’s not like I demo random gear, so I don’t need any feedback, I play for myself.  When I get my guitar, hopefully on August 21st, I’ll get a photo and video unveiling on the Facebook page.  Yeah since ordering it on January 15th, it feels like a long time.  Yep I’m excited/giddy about its arrival.

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

REALLY good advice!  My guitars are always on a stand or on the wall hangers.  I make a point of practicing some stuff with a metronome.  I never want to oversell myself as a guitar player.  I ask many questions, and I’m always more than willing to answer anything I know about.  I obviously can’t stand up but a strap is on each guitar with a strap lock soon.  A strap for me is an insurance policy if I lose control of the guitar.  Once I’ve figured out the pattern for what I’m playing on the guitar, I repeat it multiple times with my eyes closed & rely on my ears.

Going from playing while seated to playing while standing was very hard for me.  Going from standing, having a hiatus for almost 12 years, & learning to play in a wheelchair was much more difficult, especially since my body naturally wants to move with the music.

I’ve ordered a bunch of beer bottle rubber sealers for guitar strap locks.  They should arrive this month from amazon.  No beer just the sealers for the large bottles that reseal.

The good thing about playing alone is that only I get to decide what to play instead of a band of 3-10 people, that’s also the downside of the situation, not having different influences around you.

I’ll work on these songs for the week while playing other stuff I’ve learned.

Practicing this most of Monday on the 7 string.  It’s the switching between chords into the individually picked notes in the verse that have me practicing so much.

This is just fast & all down picking.  Down picking isn’t a problem, I found an exercise to practice it with a metronome.  I’ve just never played that fast.  This one could take me sometime, just because of how fast it is.

I’ve played this Alter Bridge song before but I don’t remember it.  I’ve got it down as of Monday night, just more repetition needed.

After practicing the Alter Bridge & Trivium songs on Monday, they seem to be easier than I thought.

 

“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

I DON’T KNOW HOW TO RELAX

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What has been on heavy rotation for me lately, “Ghost Reveries” by Opeth, and “One Day Remains” by Alter Bridge.

 

We headed out of town after Kim was done work on Wednesday, July 15th.  We went to visit her parents, just south of Prince Albert, about a 3:30 hour drive.  It’s actually a hamlet with a population of less than 40 people.  Quiet & very relaxing.  I’d say it’s just as relaxing as my family’s cabin.  I can’t go out to the cabin anymore, it’s not wheelchair accessible in anyway.

Kim’s parents’ place is easier for me to get around in with my wheelchair.  The only issue is that it takes me a lot longer to adapt to my surroundings in a wheelchair.

The biggest issue was in my head.  I was in a VERY relaxed space, but I just felt guilty about not doing something.  I couldn’t stop thinking that I should be exercising, making my week of food, tending to our dishes, etc.

The first 2 of the 3 nights we were there I didn’t sleep well at all for some reason?  We’d go to bed around 10:00 pm every night, but the first 2 nights I was wide awake at 2:20 am then 5:00 am the second night.  I crashed hard for a solid 3 hour nap Friday afternoon & slept really well that night.

Don’t ask me why, my brain just doesn’t stop thinking about what I feel I should be doing.  I still feel as though I’m at least 20 years behind everyone.  I continue to think to myself that I don’t deserve a break since I have so much to do before I can even consider resting.

The only time I feel it’s acceptable to take a break is when Kim has time off, calendar holidays, if I’m sick (which actually feels like a waste of time to me), and when my body just yells at me in pain (another waste of time to me).

Even though I couldn’t feel relaxed, it was nice to go there to see them & Kim’s brother made it for supper on Thursday & Friday.  The bonus were the fresh homemade cinnamon buns!

The entire time we spent there I thought it was me just not being used to my surroundings.  I slept fine Friday night there.  We got home Saturday afternoon & I slept fine Saturday night.  Then comes Sunday night & I barely slept.  Got out of bed around 5:00 am.  Did a few things around the house (quietly), had my breakfast, & finished my exercise by 7:30 am.

 

When I practice guitar I use a metronome when I do scales & finger exercises.  I play rhythm stuff, so I don’t want the beat to change.  As stated in this video, there are 3 things that make up musicality.  Rhythm, melody, & harmony.  Go to 2:15 minutes in the video to hear what Paul Reed Smith has to say about that…

I’ve found that practicing unplugged REALLY helps, as does practicing on my acoustic guitar (which I need to do more often).  I see a week of Led Zeppelin coming at me!  “Kashmir”, “Whole Lotta Love”, “Houses of the Holy”, & more “Immigrant Song”!

Shipment date for this guitar ordered in January is still set for August 21st 2020.  Feels like a lifetime though!

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

I’m still saving for this guitar which would arrive 3 months after I place the order or 6 months if they’re backed up still due to the virus.  If everything works out, I hope to order it in the spring.

S2 McCarty 594 Electric Guitar with Gigbag - Whale Blue

I’m hoping an upgrade in paint colour won’t be too much extra, if it is I’ll stick with the ‘Whale Blue’ colour that’s offered.  I’d like it to be in this ‘Violet Blue Burst’ colour.

I’ll stop spending money & hopefully get this amplifier & footswitch in 2022.  Kim tells me to continue saving up for this.  I’d like to get this sooner than later, but I have a decent amplifier to use while I wait a bit.

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

Quality over quantity.  I am VERY excited for my guitar to get here in August.  Probably looks like just another guitar to most people.  Even the salesman that’s helping me order it from the factory is pretty enthusiastic about it.

Guitar first, then the amplifier & footswitch later on.  This is as long as everything goes as planned & is perfect.  I think we can all agree that the world is far from perfect at the moment.

Definite progress during Monday’s guitar practice on these 2 songs.  Practiced parts of them on my acoustic over the weekend!

I gotta say that not being able to sing has made me attempt more technical guitar parts (to me) that I wouldn’t have even considered before.  I’m really not into solos though.  They just don’t seem as memorable to me.

With the President’s polling numbers are in the gutter, he could turn them around a bit if he’d just do his job & let Dr. Fauci speak as to how to deal with the virus.

I wish Donald Trump would swallow his pride, admit he’s wrong about the Coronavirus at least & help save lives.  Instead he’s done the complete opposite, almost to the point he’s encouraging death to the USA citizens.  Just a sad, screwed up situation.

Please wear a mask in public, practice physical distancing, & listen to health professionals & local government.  EVERYWHERE!!!!

 

Metallica are set to release their CD & Movie “S&M2” on August 28th (Symphony & Metallica) with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.  Here’s the single, a new acoustic song for this occasion.

“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

P.S.  I was practicing Monday night unplugged.  I finished up for the evening, I was feeling pretty good about my practice & thought I’d have a small bowl of ice cream while hanging out with Kim.  SHE ATE MY ICE CREAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I was gonna hold off on buying the amplifier, but that changed instantly, so she told me to have a banana?!  She didn’t care about the amplifier, she ate my Ben & Jerry’s.

WHAT’S ROUTINE ABOUT A MARATHON TYPE MRI SCAN?

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

375 Curls w/ 20 pound dumb bells

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

400 Crunches

400 Leg lifts

200 Squats

200 Back flexes

1:10 hours of yoga over 2 days

Weight repetitions went up on Thursday.  I want to see them at 400 a week by mid-June!

 

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

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

 

4 day week since Monday was the long weekend, I didn’t do any exercise on Monday.  Today, up at 6:20 am, exercised, shower, then guitar until I need food.

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’ve had 5 or 6 MRIs since Tuesday February 5th, 2008, but nothing like this one.  Get some of your prefered beverages, some snacks & gather ‘round.

I went to bed Monday evening around 10:00 pm, knowing I have a routine MRI scan Tuesday evening.  I’m EXTREMELY claustrophobic and I know that MRI machine is tiny (switched to X-rays in early 2010, first MRI since then).  I’m in bed until 11:00 pm wide awake & worrying more as the minutes pass.  I get up, have a snack & watch some recorded TV.  I finally go back to bed just before 2:00 am.  Get up at 8:00 am, hoover my tiny breakfast, exercise, have a snack, post my blog, & hit the shower.  Get out of the shower, have a small lunch then watch the 1:30 hours of late night talk shows I record every night (Kimmel & Colbert).  Into the computer room, little facebook & email, followed by a VERY SATISFYING 2 hour guitar practice, I felt like I progressed 4 ½ months in those 2 hours.  Got all of my left hand, fingers, & arm to do what I expected them to do all along.

I know my MRI is at 5:45 pm, so I stop drinking my 3rd liter of water around 3:30 pm.  We leave our place at 5:00 pm to drop Brewster off at my sister-in-laws place that’s 2 minutes away.  We go through the Covid-19 procedure at the hospital and we’re in the waiting area for my scan by 5:35 pm or so.

Kim stayed in the waiting area while I went in for my IV followed by my scan.  I’m thinking “This is sweet, we’ll be out of here by 7:00 pm since everything is on time.”  The nurse puts in my IV for the dye that shows up in my scan to see everything clearly.  He’s pretty laid back, we’re laughing & having a good time.  By this time I’m relaxed & feeling fine claustrophobia’s gone.

I get my ear plugs in that they give every patient (MRIs are LOUD), they give me a set of headphones since they have Spotify & ask me what I want to listen to.  They have classic rock playing as the last patiet requested.  I just asked them to leave it there, less hassle I figured.

The head phones playing a Spotify playlist must’ve been turned up to “11”, once the machine starts making noise, you can’t hear anything else!  Aytomated voice says “Please hold still while the table moves.”  “The next scan will take X minutes”  a scan took anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes.

I’m about to be shoved into the tiny machine and the nurse asks me if I need anything before they start, I reply “Nope, I’m good to go!”  Then he says “Yeah you’ll be in there for about an hour & a half.”  I thought he was joking as he clamps a plastic mask to the board to hold my head still (hard plastic mask with an opening for my face only).  They’re about to start, my shoulders barely fit the machine but I’m fine after my EXTREME mood boost from my guitar pratice!  The first thing they tell me through the headphones is to hold still for the photos.  PhotoS as in plural?

I’m rockin’ out to Rush, Led Zeppelin, Van Morrison, Foghat, Lynyrd Skynyrd, etc., then Blue Oyster Cult comes on & all I can think is “I WANT MORE COWBELL”!  In my head I’m rockin’ hard!  2 things instantly come to mind when I hear this song.  The first is this skit, the second is when the last group I was in was on the radio right after this song.  My phone rings at like 9:30 pm on a Friday & it’s Todd, our drummer at the time shouting “MORE COWBELL” no hello or anything, yeah he called the wrong number first!  This was before cell phones were so popular.

After 2 hours of not moving a muscle, they pull me out as Tom Petty starts, I’m thinking “One doesn’t just stop an MRI when Tom Petty starts?”

I assume that I’m done, NOPE!  After a 5 minute break, I’m told that I have another 30 minutes or so left.  Back in the tube I go!  I’m finished an hour later.  I asked the nurse that pulled me out if they serve a rum on ice, & some pretzles after that, she laughed & replied “You’d think we should, that was a long one.”  Quick stop at the washroom & we’re in our vehicle at 9:10 pm.  Pick up Brewster, drivethru at McDonalds, come home to hoover supper, watch “The Ellen Degeneres Show” and call it a day at 10:45 pm.  I’ll get my MRI results in a week or 2.

Eventhough I know I still have to save for that final PRS guitar, just after such  GREAT guitar practices (I feel like I progressed 4 months in 2 hours) I now feel that I’ve earned it, like I can now allow myself to buy it & not feel any shame or guilt.  Especially after  great workouts all week, great guitar practices, & having to not move at all for 3 hours that gave me a small bruise on my chin from the mask.  Most days start for me between 7:00 – 8:00 am and go non stop until 10:30 – 11.00 pm.  I’ve been more sore & tired this week than I’ve been since I lived in the hospitals, but I also feel as though I’ve ramped things up in a GREAT way.

I’m assuming after almost 11 ½ years of being cancer free that I’m fine.  I can’t tell you much other than my story, but I can say this.  Life is WAY too short to take everything seriously.  Even in what could be considered an intense situation, figure out how to relax a bit & keep it light.  If I had taken my life seriously since Tuesday February 5th, 2008, I’d likely still be a very bitter person.  Sometimes you just have to laugh!

I woke up late on Wednesday around 9:45 am.  I stretched before I exercised things cracked & popped even though I didn’t know they could make those sounds!?

This seems a little early to be happening, although I don’t know what the situation is in Maryland, if it’s too early, I have no problems waiting for my ordered guitar.

I’ve decided to save up for the PRS S2 McCarty 594.  There are 5 model lines/price ranges of PRS guitars.  3 of them are the most common.  From the most expensive down there’s the Core line, S2, & SE.  You’ll see the SE (65% made by hand) models in stores in Canada they go for around $1350, in the USA because of the dollar they go for around $700 completely built in Indonesia.  The S2 line is right above the SE line.  An S2 (75% made by hand) model in Canada is around $2300, in the USA they’re around $1300 hardware and other parts are from Indonesia but assembled/built in Maryland.  The Core line is twice the price of an S2 model.  The Core line is entirely built in Maryland, hand carved & 95% made by hand.  All PRS guitars are stained by hand.  You can pretty much take the American price, add $700 + tax to get your local Canadian price, on average.  It all depends on what the stock market does, the provicial tax rate, & the guitar desired.  My ordered S2 semi-hollow is more than $2300 & the S2 McCarty 594 will be less than $2300.

One day if/when we find a house my amplifier will get a used upgrade, until then I’m good!  So this whenever we move and this is cheaper as a used amp “Best Solid State Amp of the Decade” by many reviewers, especially the “Know Your Gear” www.youtube.com channel.  REALLY SMART GUY!

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

It’s pretty & practicle, as close to a Vintage Gibson Les Paul as I’d like to get & probably $1500 less!  PERFECT AS IS!

 

First single out for the new album by “The Pretty Reckless”

 

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris

“Be kind to one another”-Ellen Degeneres

WHY SO MUCH GUITAR TALK?

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 “Tool” the album “Lateralus”

I exercised to “Haley Williams” the album “Petals for Armor”

 

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!

 

Remember how I said on Friday that I was going to watch guitar videos on www.youtube.com for a while?  That lasted about 30 minutes, I wound up playing guitar for about 6 hours of the day.  At least it was a productive practice!

I tried guitar hack #5 below & it works!  I bought one bottle of beer to try out the strap lock hack, that strap’s not coming off.  I play sitting down obviously but I use a strap as an insurance policy.  I don’t want to drop a guitar.  No, I’m not getting 2 beer per guitar, 1 more bottle should do since I have actual strap locks on my other heavy guitar the rest are good as is.  Skip ahead to the 2:30 minute mark to see this genius idea!  A real set of strap locks will set you back about $30 with this idea you spend $20 here, get 2 beer & one strap lock!

I practice guitar so much because I’m trying to get back to 7 years of playing able bodied now with the effects of brain cancer after 12 years of not playing.  Practice over the weekend then I got up at 7:00 am on Monday, had breakfast, fed Brewster, gave him his pills, exercised, showered had a snack, & then practiced from 11:45 am until about 6:00 pm.

I’ll admit that I’m overly obsessed with guitar since I started playing so let me explain this.  Other than just being alive & cancer free, I really didn’t have much to look forward to the next day other than hanging out with Brewster & waiting for Kim to get home.  Don’t worry about not being great full for being healthy & alive every day.  It’s still something I don’t think about every day.  I just expect to be OK when I wake up every day.

Once I was out of the hospitals & my therapy programs it was & sometimes still is “OK, so what now?”  I don’t look forward to exercising 5 days a week, but after I do it I feel REALLY good.  I’d get bored just watching TV after I exercise.  Now that I have a hobby & something I really enjoy working on, things are much different.

I did it before & took it for granted too without realizing how much I’d miss it when it was taken away from me.  Playing guitar is something I can do that is exactly the same as it was before.  This is a case of “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”.

Imagine you most favourite thing is taken away from you for 12 years.  You’d likely gush about it too if you could do it again.  That’s me right now.

I don’t know of many guitar players that have a set number of guitars to own, other than what their spouse tells them?  I’d have to stop after these 2, that’s MY limit, not KIM’s.

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

SE Paul's Guitar - Aqua

If it was up to Kim she’d be OK with the one I have on order.  So in 2 years or more I’ll be using MY gift money for the final guitar & I think she wants to save for a new “bicycle”?  She wants me to get an adult tricycle, I used one in my rehabilitation, those are expensive & not how I want to spend my money.  I liked mountain biking, but I can’t do that yet with no balance.  MY cash is going to a guitar that I can play.

For me it’s about different look, feel, sound, & inspiration each guitar brings.  I no longer play each guitar I own every day.  It’s more of a question of “What kind of music do I feel like playing right now?”  I choose the guitar that sounds best suited for that style at that time.  I felt like playing mostly metal guitar on Sunday so I played my Explorer mostly & practiced some other stuff on my acoustic.

A PRS doesn’t sound like a Les Paul, an Explorer, or a Telecaster.  It’s made to sound in between a Fender & Gibson.  The one I’ve ordered & the one I’m saving for are both different.  I don’t want any guitar that sounds, feels, or looks the same as another.  I played flute and to me a flute sounds like a flute.  With a change of guitar, everything should sound & feel different.  However the player wants to make that change is up to them, pickups, body style, effect pedals, etc.  I can’t get the same sound out of one guitar to the next.  Variety is what I’m looking for.  Will I have a full range of musical variety with 6 different electric guitars?  Nope!  6 guitars are good for me though, the next person might want 3, and the next person might want 30?  I’ve thought long & hard about it & 6 electric guitars sounds great to me!

Why have I decided to go with PRS guitars?  LOTs of attention to detail & the owner, Paul Reed Smith, has been making guitars since he was a teen & lives by a list he made called “The 21 Rules of Tone”.  If he makes each individual part on a guitar resonate as loud & as long as possible, the less it will absorb the sound of the string vibrating.  That goes for each part of the guitar, the body wood, nut, tuning pegs, bridge, fret board, the neck wood, screws, etc.  If the manufacturers at PRS are paying attention to the screws on a guitar can you imagine how much attention they’re paying to everything else?

Paul Reed Smith will go into a music store to do a clinic or Q & A.  He’ll ask someone to get a PRS guitar and any other guitar they’d like not made by PRS.  He then let’s the person pick an amplifier.  With no effects they will plug the guitar into the amp and play one open string & time how long they can hear the note for, this is done on each guitar separately.  A PRS averages 44 seconds, most other guitars last on average 35 seconds.  There was a 1960s Fender Stratocaster that kept up to the PRS but that was it.

Vintera 60s Stratocaster, Pau Ferro Fingerboard w/Gigbag - 3-Tone Sunburst

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

If the guitar I’m saving for goes out of production by 2022 or 2023 when I go to buy it, which I don’t think it will.  I’ll continue to save for the next best thing, which unfortunately costs more.

https://www.long-mcquade.com/162916/Guitars/Hollow-body-Electric-Guitars/Paul-Reed-Smith/S2-McCarty-594-Thinline-Electric-Guitar-with-Gigbag—Frost-Blue-Metallic.htm

Or as a last resort this.  These 58/15 pickups have a very similar sound & include the TCI technology.  In both of these guitars.

https://www.long-mcquade.com/162880/Guitars/Electric-Guitars/Paul-Reed-Smith/S2-McCarty-594-Electric-Guitar-with-Gigbag—Whale-Blue.htm

I don’t want to spend that much on a guitar, so we’ll see what’s out there or if it’s not a PRS that interests me, I’ll stop all together.  I was a Gibson/Epiphone fan for years, I still am.  I have 2 Epiphones & Gibson’s are WAY overpriced if you ask me.  Paul Reed Smith is a genius mad scientist!

After 7 months of practice on guitar for 1:30 hours a day for an average.  I’m back to where I was after 3 or 4 months without the effects of cancer….on most things, not all of them.

As I headed to the kitchen for a snack Kim says to me “You should get paid for all of the work you put in!” I didn’t say anything but I thought to myself “Well, I get paid just under $28,000 a year.”

I don’t need to talk about what’s going on in the world, I’m not qualified for that.  You’re better off watching your local news or National news.  Being quarantined has not changed anything for me, & I’m fine with that.  I get to work on myself!

 

Dave Grohl describes the new Foo Fighters album as David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” album

https://loudwire.com/dave-grohl-foo-fighters-new-album-david-bowie-lets-dance-record/?fbclid=IwAR3TF7KSCrhMric0_Idjlf-6peJhY0jY_NNTsIPaWodz-3OTHh19nahb2Fw

Finally “Alter Bridge” released a lyric video for the song “Metalingus” off of their debut album from 2004!

 

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 ERIC Grohl

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris

“Be kind to one another”-Ellen Degeneres