WEEKEND WAS NOTHING BUT GUITAR PRACTICE

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I fell asleep to “Trivium” the album “The Sin and The Sentence”

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

 

I’d talk more about the sad loss of so many people because of this virus, but that seems redundant with it on EVERY media outlet EVERYWHERE!  I must say a HUGE heartfelt thank you to all of the 911 responders & health professionals busting their butts to keep us safe!

I complain too much!  Mostly about my lack of money.  I need to shut my yap, most people have the same problem, so we’re no different.  I also talk too much about guitars but that’s my hobby, so you’ll just have to deal with it.

Most guitar players will sell a guitar to get another.  That has never really made sense to me, something I’m positive I’d regret.  My acoustic guitar will always remain because it’s my only acoustic guitar.  My 4 electric guitars all have a distinct sound & pickups for a reason, even the Fender which, the more I play it, the more I like it!  That’s the only one I didn’t point out to someone.

Lots of guitar players have multiple guitars for many different reasons.  Different tunings, sounds, body shapes, brands, pickups, colours, etc.  My 3 electric 6 strings all sound different, have different pickups, colours, brands, & different body shapes.  My electric 7 string is obviously for stuff that requires a 7th string/lower tuning.  I don’t need to make a point of playing each one, I have all of those reasons to change it up!

I got my first guitar on my 21st birthday in 2001.  I got brain cancer 6 days after my 28th birthday.  I basically played for 6 years in 3 different bands.  I was always a singer first.  I learned guitar after singing in a band for around a year because guitar looked fun & I needed something to do with my hands.

Now that I’ve resumed playing after an almost 12 year hiatus due to cancer, things are WAY different.  Playing in a wheelchair is by far the biggest difference.  I didn’t realize how big of a deal posture was when playing guitar.  As of Thursday, I have that figured out finally.

When I got cancer, my body was so weak I couldn’t feed myself for a few years or even drink anything for that matter and swallowing was a gong show.  My nutrients was all through an IV drip.  I began drinking through a straw, meanwhile Kim & my parents had to feed me.

Now my right hand is fine, my left hand & arm are still noticeably weaker, but getting stronger everyday with my exercise & guitar playing.  Each time I learn something new on guitar I think “Wow that sounds much more difficult than it really is!”

When I was first playing guitar I had no clue as to what I was doing.  If I put my hands here in a certain shape I’d make the right sound & I learned, a bit, from there.  Now it’s all been physically brand new, while knowing SO much more about what I’m doing.  Before I’d have to look up the tab for each song, now I just need the chord to figure out the short riffs/hooks to a song.

I don’t think about what it is that I’m doing at the time, I think of that afterwards.  Really all I think about while playing is “Does this sound right in this part of the song?”  I tend to close my eyes if I’m not moving my hand & arm up & down the neck of the guitar & rely more on my ears.  The muscle memory is definitely coming along though!

There’s a guy on www.youtube.com who always says “The perfect amount of guitars is, all of the guitars you own + 1”.  Maybe for him (20+ guitars including 5 high end PRS models) & other guitar players.  Fair enough he teaches guitar & makes extra cash with his youtube videos.  6 electric guitars & one acoustic are all I’d ever want.  If I couldn’t play every electric guitar I own within 1 ½ weeks, why would I have them?

Much like that rule that applies to EVERYTHING that’s not seasonal “If you haven’t used it in 6 months, why do you need it?”  This is another example for me of LESS IS MORE.

I have definitely decided to save up for this guitar & we’ll see what happens in a few years.  Brewster is on his pills, heart pill forever & a temporary water pill, as long as he has what he needs, we consider things good.  I won’t be getting this exact model of guitar, that’s this year’s model.  Hopefully something with the PRS TCI pickups (less gain), more electronic options, the bridge, an inexpensive SE model still (less Maple wood involved) & different PRS tuners.  Go to 2:20 minutes to hear what Paul Reed Smith wanted this guitar to have…

After 2 good days on Saturday & Sunday working through a few songs, I’m really happy with my progress.  I picked 10 songs to practice a few on each guitar, and so far things are good.  Here’s a sample of what I’ve picked to learn…

It’s REALLY good to have productive days like this!!!

 

The Toronto Blue Jays 1992 World Series highlights are being replayed.  I’m wearing my, once VERY large jersey, I got in 1992.  Yes, for Christmas of 2013? I asked to have Roberto Alomar’s name & #12 put on the back of it.  First Toronto Blue Jay player to go into the Hall of Fame!

https://images.app.goo.gl/N3CeybdEjxLQavSC6

What do I think of “Pearl Jam’s” new album “Gigaton”?  I really like it, I’ve been waiting for a looooong time for Pearl Jam to release a different album from anything in their catalogue while keeping the grungesque 1990s vibe at the same time.  Are you a fan?

 

“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

“…ON AGAIN, OFF AGAIN, ON AGAIN, OFF…”

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

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I fell asleep to “Nothing But Thieves” the album “Nothing But Thieves”

 

The house is off of the market come the end of March.  No such thing as a wheelchair accessible bungalow under $380,000 in Regina now anyway.  It was here in October but I haven’t seen one since.  My biggest source of stress is gone…for now, it’ll likely show up next year?  “There’s a showing tomorrow afternoon, leave the house.”  Yeah it’s super easy to do when you’re physically handicapped & can’t drive!

Feedback after a showing, “I didn’t like the paint.  The cabinets were too dark.  There was too much empty space.”  That was all in the photos on the website, why did you bother looking at it?  Thanks for wasting our time & your time!

I’m going to save my money for Brewster’s medical bills a trip with Kim eventually, and when the right time comes along (which is NEVER) this…

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

…because that’s what I want.  I’ll stream my music, BLAH, & continue to cut other good things out.  How am I going to pay for it?  Don’t have a clue?

I was supposed to have a doctor appointment for some routine refills on Monday.  It was cancelled instead & sent by fax to the pharmacy.

People still think it’s OK to leave the city instead of going home.  Not my problem, when these people get back, stay away from everyone!  BE A GLOBAL CITIZEN!

 

“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

END OF MARCH, ON OR OFF THE MARKET?

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

150 Curls w/ 20 pound dumb bells

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

600 Crunches

600 Leg lifts

300 Squats while balancing on my toes.

300 Back flexes

1 day of yoga

 

I fell asleep to “Big Wreck” the album “…but for the sun”

I exercised to “Alter Bridge” the album “Fortress”

 

Nothing wrong with this place, selling a condo suite in Regina is all but impossible right now.  We’d like to move just for the reason that we are just very isolated here.  Nothing against anybody here but, were around 20-25 years younger.  Truth be told we moved here out of necessity after living with my parents for 2 ½ months.  This place was still being built.  Our old house was REALLY not wheelchair accessible.  This place was basically custom built for my wheelchair.  3 foot wide doors, big open concept, special made spot off of the island for me to have a meal, walk-in en suite shower, large main bathroom, etc.  Biggest issue for me is an 8’ X 5’ balcony with no shade that I have to crawl onto or walk out onto with Kim’s help.  The lip at the bottom of the door frame is too tall for my wheelchair to roll over.  I’ve been out of our suite once in 2 weeks. 

I didn’t realize it on Tuesday, but I’d like to move too.  EVERYTHING was brand new here as of 2013.  We even bought better appliances than they offered us.  Surround sound is already built in with the rear speakers flush to the roof.  Fact is condos aren’t selling in Regina since building companies continue to build 100s of cookie cutter cheap condos in new areas for around $170,000 and most of them are vacant.  I don’t know if it’s because of our place not selling or what it is but the wind disappeared from my sail Wednesday afternoon, & as of Thursday afternoon it’s not back yet.         

Everything before this was prewritten.  No clue right now as to what our decision will be on the condo sale.  We talked with our realtor Tuesday evening & he left the decision completely in our hands.  He had a list of condos in the city that haven’t sold.  After hearing that we decided to leave everything as is.  Contract ends at the end of the month & we really can’t lower the price.  So all of that & the added fact that there isn’t much, if anything, out there for us.  All of this said we had a viewing last week, one Thursday evening & as we got home Kim got a text from our realtor about another this afternoon.  Kim & I need to chat & hear whatever feedback will come to make our decision.  We already agree that we can’t afford to lower the asking price.

Kim was EXHAUSTED Tuesday evening from some overtime, so practicing the stairs didn’t happen.  Wednesday it just never popped into our minds & Thursday I was lazy & did nothing.  Then I had to get out of here for the house viewing.  That explains the low exercise total for the week.

I can’t sell a guitar EVER!  I’ve got them for many reasons other than each one sounds different.  Each one feels different & makes me want to play a different way.  The biggest difference is between my Explorer from 2002 and my 7 string Les Paul from Kim this year with the exact same pickups.  Body style makes a MUCH bigger difference in the sound than I ever thought.

If I was starting to learn guitar today, I’d likely buy something VERY cheap.  No wonder it’s all over the internet that guitar driven music is dead, over $1000 for an “inexpensive” guitar, a PRS SE (SE stands for Student Edition) what kind of “student” has $1300 to spend on one guitar???????  That alone would turn me off!  PRS offers their private stock which you can make a guitar whatever price you like over $1300, their Core line which is around $4000, CE line which are bolt on necks, S2 line was introduced in the mid-90s for a mid-price range, then the SE line with less finish/colour selection at their lowest price of $1300 since that line is made in Korea with cheaper labour, parts, & thinner layers of expensive wood.

I ordered an S2.  Made at the factory in Maryland, same thickness of wood as the Core line, more colour options than the SE line (which only came in a dark charcoal & I already own 3 black guitars including my acoustic), originally the switch on the SE didn’t look convenient but has changed for the 2020 line, & cheaper parts from the Korean factory which are modeled after the parts made at the American factory.  I paid more, but an SE “Paul’s guitar” has different pickups, bridge, & twice the amount of pickup combinations on the guitar electronics.  Mine will be AWESOME anyways.  I’m assuming the Coronavirus will delay the shipment of my guitar (again) from late August until who knows when.  Oh well, nothing anyone can do about that.

I promise there will be no talk of another guitar.  I did the math and what I’d have to sell to pay for it, is not worth it!  I’d either have to sell my brand new 7 string & a few $100 out of pocket or all of the other 3 guitars.  Neither one of those scenarios would EVER happen.  I’m more than happy with what I already have & will have!  Instead I have named my electric guitars, even the one yet to be made.  I’ll show you a nice photo of just a guitar with its name on the next few posts, one electric at a time.  When I get my late August arrival, we’ll see it for the first time together & I’ll let you know its name then!

Kim tells me that naming my guitars is stupid?  She named our fresh water fish, by the way NKOTB are dead….no really, we had them & they died.  Every vehicle we’ve had has had a name?  How are guitars any different?  She told me to name our red 2019 Toyota RAV 4, she didn’t like ‘The Flash’ so my 2nd and final choice was “The Streak” it’s either something you don’t want to see in your underpants or you can sing the song?

Anyways this is “Kermit” because it’s green.  I was tinkering with the idea of calling it “Forever 21” since that was my 21st birthday gift but I had to stick with “Kermit”.  I demanded a lot from that guitar, so it wasn’t easy being green!

_MG_3114.jpg

There’s a good chance you won’t see me playing a guitar on here.  Social media can be terrible, especially if you look different, such as having an iPatch.  I’ve got enough anxiety issues now as it is.

When I picked up my guitar again late last year, I went down a worm hole learning stuff I didn’t know before.  Like 5 different minor & major scales, bits of how to solo & shred superfast, arpeggio sweeps, etc.  Then I just stopped, since I wasn’t gaining any ground.  I thought to myself for a minute “Wait…I never played this kind of stuff before, I’m a rhythm player.  I should go back, learn my chords & riffs/hooks.  That’s where I live, that’s my area, I’m not a lead guitarist” I did just that on Tuesday & WOW, I really gained a LOT by scaling things back.  I learned what I should & about 5 new to me songs and have been practicing them this week.  Chords & riffs, back to what I’m good at but mostly newer songs.  I’ll keep practicing & speeding up a few of the scales, but this feels normal to me, playing more recognizable parts of a song.  About 4 Led Zeppelin tunes, a Foo Fighters tune I’ve never attempted, an Alter Bridge tune, an Ozzy Osbourne classic, & some older stuff I used to play.  Most of this from memory or by ear unless I get stuck, then it’s “HELLO INTERWEB!”

 

I will say that “Haley Williams’” 5 song EP ‘Petals for Armor’ is absolutely FANTASTIC!  Only problem for me is it’s too short, I want more!

 

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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

BREWSTER’S HEART MEDICATION HAS STARTED

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I had to listen to some “Foo Fighters”, “Alter Bridge”, & “Big Wreck” after writing all of this.

I fell asleep to “Foo Fighters” the album “Concrete & Gold”, followed by “Big Wreck” the album “The Pleasure & the Greed”

I exercised to “Alter Bridge” the album “One Day Remains”

 

I’m back to it this week.  I guess my body either needed a break or took longer to recover than I had anticipated?

Little bit past the age of 14 human years & as of this past Friday night Brewster’s on heart medication every 12 hours & a humidifier from Amazon.ca has been ordered.  We needed a humidifier for the guitars but this sped up the process.

A little after 9:00 pm on Friday we were watching TV.  Kim stopped everything to listen to Brewster, who was on the floor in his bed by her.  His breathing was weird, he sounded very congested.  Kim took him to the vet ASAP.  He had X-Rays done, temperature, & blood work.  His heart is enlarged, it’s pushing on his trachea causing him to cough, & his congestion was due to fluid in his lungs.  He has 30 days of medication for the fluid in his lungs, then the rest of his life on heart medication.  He goes back in 3 weeks for a checkup.

They didn’t get home until close to midnight.  I stayed up by the phone hoping all was OK.  All is well, he’s getting older though.

I’ve decided against upgrading my guitar amplifier.  20 watts through an 8” speaker is already louder than I’ll need now that I play at home.  Being in a condo at the moment prevents me from turning the volume up past 2 ½ out of 10.  I turned it up to 3/10 one day to see what one of the guitars could do.  Even that was too loud for me!  Amplifiers are much more efficient than they were when I was playing live.

I don’t like having a guitar I don’t play.  I have one I don’t play for a few reasons, I’d sell it to get a 35th anniversary PRS SE McCarty https://www.prsguitars.com/index.php/electrics/model/35th_anniversary_se_custom_24_2020 which is the cheapest PRS guitar built overseas but still $1300 Canadian + tax, if I lived in the USA it would be around $500-$800.  I prefer the colour on this but it’s not happening for many years if it ever does.  I assume these won’t have another appearance either.

I RARELY, if EVER, play the semi-hollow Fender Telecaster.  Very much made for blues or country music which I really don’t listen to or play.  It used to be all about the Gibson or Fender brands.  PRS or Paul Reed Smith has become well known for the company’s attention to detail & excellent craftsmanship after 35 years.  Gibson & Fender have both gone bankrupt in the last decade but have comeback without really changing anything.

I’ll be getting my 2nd guitar of the year in August (hopefully), & I’m still learning/playing the 7 string quite a bit.  The 35th Anniversary SE has totally different electronics from anything I own though.  Different pickups and 16 different electronic combinations/sounds.  I’m not going to have $1200 just sitting around to spend on a guitar so it’s likely a ‘NEVER GOING TO AFFORD IT’ situation.  I’ve looked at other guitars that just don’t suit my desires.  Guitars I’m not into or guitars I’d not play since they’re similar to what I have or will have by the end of August, which now seems “So far away”.  I wouldn’t just buy a guitar for the sake of buying a guitar!

A trip & hopefully a house have to happen first anyways.  If we can’t find a house this year, I give up on the house idea for a few years (not buy a guitar), Kim’s cool with taking a break from it too for a bit.

The Fender Telecaster is a treasured piece of art here & I keep it for sentimental value.  It was given to me by one of my very close friends while I was in my rehabilitation program.  I love the body shape of a Telecaster.  I love the dark wood stain body with the pearl pick guard.  It’s also autographed to me by one of my 3 favourite artists, Ian Thornley of “Big Wreck”.

I find the neck of a Fender very uncomfortable.  The fret board is maple like the rest of the neck, the tuning pegs are odd & I’m just not a fan of the single coil pickups in it.  I can get the “rock” sound out of it, but I really have to adjust the way I play it.  It looks so good though, for that and sentimental reasons it’s hung on the wall as a piece of art that never gets played.  It’s a guitar I can’t part with.

Fender makes about 9 different neck radiuses.  I’ve tried 4 & haven’t liked one yet.  It is a VERY nice looking guitar though!  Ideally I’d get a different neck bolted on with different tuners & different fret board, I’d also have a Humbucker pickup in the bridge position.  At that point I might as well buy an SE for what it would cost?  I’ve convinced myself that as a stay at home guitarist, making no income, a PRS SE is unaffordable.  I’ll have to hear my PRS S2 first to see IF I’d ever consider getting another guitar in the VERY distant future. I’d look at a PRS SE first, the most affordable PRS on the market & likely shy away due to the price tag.

Dave Grohl, Ian Thornley, Foo Fighters & Big Wreck have been my favourite musicians & bands since they started.  Myles Kennedy & Alter Bridge have been added to the top of my list when Alter Bridge released their first album in 2004.

I watched a youtube video with lead guitarist, Mark Tremonti, of Alter Bridge who has a signature PRS model.  He gives a guitar away to an audience member at the end of every live show now.  I just want the opportunity to see them live!

So why didn’t I order the PRS SE 35th Anniversary McCarty?  I figured if I’m going to buy what is likely my last guitar, I want something completely different.  What features do I not have that the PRS I ordered does?  It is semi-hollow, the different pickups split between humbucker & single coil pickups, it has a tremolo bridge & bar, it’s a different yet distinct body style, yellow to red sunburst finish, & it has locking tuners.

The guitar I ordered is not a super expensive “Core” model or a least expensive SE model.  It’s in their S2 line which is built at the American factory with a few cheaper parts from the factory oversea, where the SE is built.  PRS implemented this S2 line to have a guitar at a different price point.

Hopefully I’ll find a part time online job in the meantime, something simple like data entry?  I’d still like to exercise in the mornings for a couple of hours.

As far as a house goes we have to sell first & find a place for us in a set amount of time.  I really don’t see this working out in our favor?  May destiny prove me wrong please?  We’re only looking for a one level bungalow in Regina with 3 or 4 bedrooms, it has to be out there somewhere? 1 or 2 of the spare rooms would be used as an office(s). Kim wants an attached garage so my wheelchair doesn’t have to go through the snow, & I can’t work on finishing a basement, so that would be ideal.  As far as I can tell that doesn’t exist in Regina?

We did put up some artwork in the living room.  8 vinyl Foo Fighters albums in frames.  Just awaiting the delivery of the “Wasting Light” record.  Hopefully it comes this week?  This album was released in April of 2011 as I was beginning to walk with my walker, well relearning how to walk, very shortly after I learned how to stand in my rehabilitation program while holding on to something for balance.

As for concerts, they’d better be in Regina, Moose Jaw, or Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.  Foo Fighters & Alter Bridge in Alberta, Saskatchewan, or Manitoba.  I’d like to see TOOL in either Alberta or Manitoba this year but I saw them 3 times on their last tour, 2006, 2007, & in Regina in 2010.  Alter Bridge are looking at doing some shows in western Canada for the first time, fingers crossed!

I’ll shut up about guitar.  It’s the only hobby I can do physically other than TV, movies, & listening to music.  I could ramble about Blue Jays baseball if you prefer but I can see that going over like a lead balloon!

 

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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

FEELING STRONGER & MORE DETERMINED EACH DAY!!!!

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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

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

WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 18, 2019 (HOLIDAY UPDATE)

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

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

I had no intension of taking a break, exercise wise, over the holidays.  I changed my mind after the week off in November.  My sleeping pattern does not like all of this stress.  So I was awake half of the night Sunday, slept in Monday, felt lazy & tired ended up doing nothing.  Went to bed at 9:30 pm Monday night.  Got up to pee at 2:40 am, couldn’t fall asleep.  Got out of bed @ 3:20 am and did some stuff in the kitchen quietly.  Felt really tired around 8:30 am, crawled in bed.  Showered, had lunch & it was 2:30 pm.

All of this is not good for me.  My mind hasn’t known how to relax in the last 3 years or so, & it’s getting worse.  When I was in my rehabilitation program I was severely depressed & was put on an anti-depressant/sleeping pill to combat the negative thoughts in my head so I could sleep.  I’m not having negative thoughts now, I just feel like I have so much to do, but my body doesn’t want to keep up.  With the house being listed, its holiday season, & I put stress on myself to get as much done in a day as possible, I’m tired, a bit grumpier than usual & generally feel like I’m just wasting days by not exercising.

I hate having our house listed.  I’m physically handicapped with no driver’s license but when someone wants to see our place, Brewster & I have to disappear for the 30-45 minutes someone’s here.  Much easier said than done.  My parents are in town until they go on a trip about a week in to the New Year.  Then Kim will have to get us out of here.  With her being on contract, she doesn’t like to take time off since she doesn’t get paid if she’s not at work.  With all of that going on I’m more stressed than ever.  I’m not depressed or crying (like I was in my Rehab program), however I do feel anxious all of the time.

I guess we can add the fact that my brother has another surgery coming up shortly after Christmas.  The first one wasn’t enough.  I worry about him too.  He had back surgery for bone spurs on his shoulders that were causing his arms & hands to go numb at random times, 5 months of disability & some of that doing physiotherapy.  He went back to work for 2 weeks of shortened shifts & he’ll be heading to Saskatoon for a 2nd surgery, this time through the front of his body, because the numbing sensation came back.  Between my dad, mom, brother, & I, we’ve all had some type of surgery.  My parents have both had eye surgeries, mom’s had one knee replaced & soon another, my brother is dealing with his back surgeries, & I’ve had 3 brain surgeries.

As for the house being on the market, at this point I’ve lost all hope of the stars aligning for us to sell & find a new (wheelchair accessible) place in Regina in our price range.  They’re completely gone at the moment.  Our contract is up on December 31st.  I told Kim “Do what you want.  I’m out, I’m not looking.  If I need to disappear, that’s not my problem.  I figure we could be here for 5 more years, & I just don’t care.  We have nowhere to move to.  The entire reason we put this place up for sale was for a forever home that sold 3 weeks after we hit the market.  The contract at that time was to remove our place from the market if our dream house sold, & it did.  I’m out.  I’m not going to stop you or our realtor from looking, I’ll willingly see a house you find, but I’m not searching for something that is likely not there at the moment.  I’ll start house hunting online again in March”.  We’ve lowered the price once & that’s as low as its going.

As of today it is 6 years to the day that we moved into this condo.  Nothing wrong with this place, we’re just much younger than the average resident here.  My parents are young & I’m guessing they’re younger than the average person here?  I’d like to move, but I don’t see things working out for us in the near future.

We signed our mortgage papers at the bank on Monday, my name is on it but Kim handles the money here.  I saw what our mortgage payment is each month, & I’m thinking that guitar I was going to order is better off at the factory.  Kim disagrees still?  I don’t know what I was thinking to begin with now.  I cancelled my football tickets for next year, which is what I’d prefer to happen in for many different reasons, then wanted to buy a really nice/moderately expensive guitar?  The guitar’s still up for discussion despite me having a decent portion of the money already.

Everyone’s Christmas gifts have been purchased & are wrapped under the tree.  That stress is over.  What’s bugging me now is that I have possibly 30 years of exercise to cram in ASAP.  Even then I’ll likely be using a walker.  I’m disappointing myself.  Especially if I’m sitting around, doing nothing but thinking of what I need to do.

As for eating & drinking over the holidays, not much has changed in that department.  We drink store bought non-alcoholic light egg nog.  I occasionally put it in the few coffees I have a week & I’ve had 2 glasses of ½ egg nog, ½ skim milk, with a shot of Kahlua.  After the 8(?) Holiday sweets I’ve had so far, I’ve determined they just make me feel sick & I don’t need them.  So I’m basically still drinking a minimum of 3 liters of water a day, 2 eggs a piece of fruit & homemade vegetable juice for breakfast, lettuce wraps w/Turkey deli meat for lunch & a small meal at supper.  I also have 3 small snacks a day.

In the spirit of trying to help people out I’m helping a couple people learn guitar with me.  I know what to do, just have to get my left hand used to it again.  No I’ve never charged anyone.  I was ‘teaching’ two friends before cancer, so I figured I’d help a couple people out again.  I don’t charge anyone because A) They’re friends/family   B) I’m just a singer that learned guitar to be more comfortable on stage, my knowledge is very limited.  I’m happy to say that I can tell that there’s progress every day.

I was always a rhythm guitarist, but I’ve been doing mostly individual finger exercises & different scale patterns on the guitar to strengthen my hand.  It helped!  Things are getting much better!  Figured out the main guitar riff for this, wasn’t able to play it before cancer, I probably didn’t try enough.

Right hand rhythm works fine, left hand fretting needs some work, but it’s getting there!  More guitar practice as things are becoming more familiar with it.  Practice on the acoustic then play it on the electric.

One good night of sleep & today I got up on time, had a good workout and was able to manage my time better!  I plan to keep exercising next week, it will likely be a day or 3 of shortened exercise, 25th & 26th anyways.

 

What have I been listening to?  Pretty much anything but Christmas/Holiday music.  Still just not ready for it?

 

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