KIM IS PRIORITY #1 & AMPLIFIER UPGRADE…LATER

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 “Clint Lowery” the album “God Bless the Renegades”

I exercised to “The Darkness” the album “Hot Cakes”

Many reason’s that I feel the don’t need another guitar, outside of the fact I find it greedy when I’ve already received 1 of 2 guitars I’ll receive in the first 6 months of 2020.  Kim deserves to go on a trip.  She’s earned it through all of her hard work at work, dealing with me, helping me with my exercise, loving me despite the bumpy road on cancer lane, always putting myself & Brewster ahead of her own needs, etc.  I get a lot of credit for putting in the work for my recovery.  Don’t forget how important she is in my story.  Kim helps me a TON, she allows me the time to do all of this recovery stuff while doing SO much more you don’t see or think about!  She’s always been my #1 priority, even when I was in the hospital.

I’ve got or will have more than enough guitars once the PRS guitar comes in April.  There are 3 (Fender, PRS, & Gibson) high end guitars I’d like to try not buy.  Nobody keeps a high priced guitar in stock in case it doesn’t sell.  Also I’m not yet a technically proficient guitar player.  Every guitarist I see seems to be though.  I’m more of a simple chord player who will play the riff/hook of a song or have a conversation with different dynamics on the guitar.  I’m not going/able to play 20 individual notes in 10 seconds.  There’s a PRS I’d think about after I play & hear the one I ordered.  It will do the 16 different things with the electronics in it.  Price tag & sound are my BIG reservations.  If I choose to get a guitar, this is of course years down the toad if I’m still able to play & can justify it.  It’s mostly a not needed or gonna happen thought.

We had one rehearsal where I just started playing 2 simple chords as we were setting up.  Once someone would get all of their stuff in order they’d jump in & play along.  It was cool, eventually the 4 of us just played with different dynamics for a couple minutes.  I can’t write a certain type of song, I always wrote lyrics & melodies.  I’d chime in once in a while & say let’s try it this way or let’s make this part softer or more aggressive.  The notes on the guitar or the chord pattern wasn’t something I was comfortable with, that’s what I’m working on now.

I even feel guilty/greedy writing any & all of this.  It’s FAR beyond time Kim gets some recognition for the great things she’s been doing for me.  My successes are because of her successes!  I’m just 50% of the equation.  I felt extremely greedy/guilty when she got me the 7 string I was groaning about.

A house is for both of us, Kim wants to travel & I want to be with her.  She gets to choose the destination.  If it’s outside of Canada, passports will be attained & I won’t complain (I’m not a traveler).  Where will the money come from?  We’ll save for the trip.  We did it for my guitar, so of course we’ll do the same for Kim’s trip.  This isn’t the Chris show, it’s the Kim & Chris show.  Can’t have one without the other, it’s just not right!

Kim should get her trip & I really don’t need another guitar.  Upgrading & selling my current amplifier would come before a guitar anyways, after a trip & a wheelchair accessible house.

GOOD GRIEF!  I’ve heard of people having 2 or 3 amplifiers but REALLY?!?  I guess when you own a relatively small guitar manufacturing company you could afford that many amplifiers!!??!!??  The company is based in the UK, it’s fairly small in North America.

If we eventually move I’d sell my used amplifier with an 8” speaker to get a BOSS Katana II amplifier with a 12” speaker.  I might blow my 8” speaker on a clean channel if I turn it up, especially with the 7 string guitar!

As basic as they come nowadays.

https://www.boss.info/ca/products/katana-50_mk2/

Definitely after more important things happen!  My current amplifier is great since we live in a condo.  I keep the volume pretty low not to bother others & at 9:30 pm on any night, I either stop or wear my headphones.  The Katana amp is more realistic to my needs once we move and a fraction of the price of that guitar.  If I had the cash, I’d chat with Kim about it & likely get one in a few weeks here.  There’s a dozen of them at the music store here.

There you go $300 + tax in town!  Last on the list of priorities still.

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

How was our long weekend?  GREAT!  Just not long enough.  My aunt & uncle came to Regina from Airdrie, Alberta & my cousin & common-in-law husband came from Winnipeg, Manitoba.  Great weekend, just too short need to have a bit more visiting time.

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

PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, etc.

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 “Trivium” the album “Silence in the Snow”

I exercised to “Dio” the album “Lock up the Wolves”

 

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?  My birthday is on Thursday if you want a specific date.  I did extend the donation date on Facebook to mid-February though.

https://www.redcross.ca/

 

I have an appointment at the cancer clinic in a few months.  I’m SO ready to either stop going there or request a different doctor.  Every time I think of it, the first thing that pops into my mind is “I’m a month over 11 years cancer free.  How many more years do I have to keep coming here?  Is she going to bluntly call me fat……again?”  Needles don’t bug me, an MRI can depending which machine I’m in.  Apparently CT scans aren’t good enough for the substitute doctor I saw last time.  I find that odd, other doctors have no problem with a CT scan.

I’ll cause a scene & blatantly refuse to enter the MRI machine at the hospital.  “Here are some ear plugs since it’s pretty noisy in there.  Here’s a bean bag to throw if something goes wrong.”  Then they shove me into a tiny tube, on my back, & it’s not big enough for my shoulders.  If it’s that machine, it ain’t happening.  I’m EXTREMELY claustrophobic, and they also tell me to not move my head for the next 10 minutes.  Easier said than done when you have nothing to look at.

I can deal with needles & noise.  I listen to LOUD music.  The inside of any MRI machine is INCREDIBLY loud despite the required ear plugs.  What I can’t stand is an EXTREMELY RUDE doctor, having to be shoved in an incredibly small tube, & having to put on a mask over my entire face that is so close that it squishes my nose.

I’m 6’1” and probably just under 230 pounds.  I hadn’t seen my cousin in over a decade and had just recently met her common-law husband.  I asked them “How much do you think I weigh?  Any number, I won’t be offended.”  They went with 185.  I haven’t been that weight since I graduated high school!  At the time I was 240.  If I get told I’m “fat” from a 5’0” doctor again, I might have to pull a Jennifer Lopez on her “Listen up you little bitch!”  Grow a foot, exercise daily, eat what I eat, and say that again to my face.  I’d never be that rude/aggressive/blunt with a doctor trying to help me, it would be funny in the proper context though.

I’ve started playing guitar again.  You would think I’d get frustrated at times, not the case.  I can’t play up to the tempo of a song but I’m very, very close.  I can physically do everything I used to do on guitar, it’s just a matter of speeding up my left hand & arm, which is normal I guess?  I’ve always thought that playing an acoustic guitar is more difficult than an electric that will mask the mistakes through the amplifier.  I’ve picked 2 songs to learn and it’s gonna be a lot of acoustic guitar learning of those 2 songs.  My brother is a guitar wiz & will help me get things back to the proper tempo.  Once I get those down on acoustic guitar.  I would think other stuff I used to play will fall into place after a few times through a song.

I do find relearning guitar more difficult than the first time around.  Probably in part to being comfortable in a wheelchair with a guitar & having so many issues with the left side of my body being weaker.  I am learning new scales/patterns on the fret board & finger exercise to build up those muscles though.  There’s no easy way to go about it, much like my exercise.  The only thing that will make it better is practice & repetition.

I think a lot of that is lost now.  A lot of people seem to crave instant gratification.  I’m guilty of it too.  I’d like to have my birthday guitar by now since my birthday was on Thursday.  It won’t get here until at least mid-April without delays.  Lots of people have a cell phone.  That’s fine, a personal choice if you ask me.  Many people have their email & social media accounts on their phones.  Does anyone ever wonder what it was like before cell phones were all the rage?  You’d send an email & wait until that person had finished school or work for the day & would eventually check their email.  I know I would find a cell phone annoying.  Kim has a cell phone, when she’s home & leaves it on the couch to do something elsewhere & it bings/vibrates the entire couch, it drives me nuts.  I’ve gotten used to it, but it still bothers me.

If it ever gets to the point that land lines are abolished, I’ll get a cell phone but nobody will like the way I use it.  I’ll tell the salesperson when I activate it “I want it to only be able to accept & deliver phone calls please.  No texts, email, social media, photos, or apps please.  Phone calls and nothing but.”  It will come with me for emergencies only.  When I’m out it will be turned off unless needed, when I’m home & unoccupied I’ll turn it on.  If I get a text, I’ll call you back when I’m free.

 

There’s already quite a few albums out or about to come out this year,

“Haley Williams”

“Pearl Jam”

“Clint Lowery”

“Testament” that I’m not sure about yet.  I think a lot of their fans are Jewish, most fans seem to prefer the Old Testament?

“Mark Morton” guitarist from “Lamb of God” who are done recording their new album.

I was watching a “Trivium” demo, I watched and saw him playing the now discontinued 7 string & I thought “I could play that rhythm part if I had a 7 string guitar.”  I must be a sucker for punishment.

I always thought it would be more difficult.  That’s as difficult as the “Metallica” rhythm parts I used to play & sing to when I had no clue as to what I was doing!!??!!  I was listening to Corey Beaulieu on the right instead of Matt Heafy playing the Epiphone on the left when I was listening to the albums. All of that being said, Matt Heafy is a very well rounded guitar player & capable of much more.  Sorry about the guitar reference, it’s a passion & my favourite hobby.  You’ll miss the guitar talk once baseball starts.  What’s worse than watching baseball?  Reading about 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

P.S. There will be a Facebook video on Friday of my exercise that you haven’t seen.

KIM’S BIG DAY AT WORK

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 “Trivium” the album “The Sin & the Sentence”

I exercised to “Devin Townsend Project” the album “Epicloud”

 

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?  My birthday is on Thursday if you want a specific date.  I did extend the donation date on Facebook to mid-February though.

https://www.redcross.ca/

 

Today is Kim’s BIG day at work.  Her big photo shoot at work.  She’s been working REALLY hard at this.  She has put in a lot of overtime, especially in the last 2 weeks & she’s been editing practice photos at home on her laptop.  I couldn’t be more proud of her!  She’ll have a great day, she has definitely put the work in for this project which should lead to bigger things for her.  I hope this doesn’t lead to more work/overtime.  She’s been coming home completely exhausted.

I was bummed for too long about it!  It’s in the past & I can’t change it.  Time to “LIVE IN THE NOW”

I found myself looking at other 7 string guitars over the weekend, but none of them had all of the same things in one guitar.  In the end it was a fruitless endeavor.  Everything looks like the maker is trying too hard to make it look like a ‘metal’ guitar or the guitar would only have one aspect I was looking for.

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

I can’t complain, things are good!  I’ve gotten over my guitar blunder, now only time will mend the last little bit of my broken heart.  The one I ordered can’t get here soon enough, I’m more than a wee bit excited for its arrival in April!!!!!  Actually I’m FREAKIN’ EXCITED!!!!!

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

That PRS guitar goodness coming in a couple of months & in a couple of weeks I get to watch some Toronto Blue Jays spring training baseball.  Air conditioning, baseball, & CFL football.  That’s my trifecta of every summer.  The heat & I don’t get along.  If you want to find me in the summer, you’ll likely find me in the house, with the blinds closed, watching baseball, with the A/C on to 22 Celcius.  If Kim wasn’t cold at that temperature the A/C would be set at 20 Celcius.

Kim & I, my brother & sister-in-law (Mitch & Rachel), took my Grandparents out for lunch on Sunday.  We had a really good visit over lunch & coffee.  The restaurant wasn’t very busy yet, so it was a nice quiet spot to visit for a couple of hours.

I was getting a little tired from my exercise.  I completely crashed on the weekend, ended up sleeping most of the day on Friday after my exercise in the EARLY morning.  We were all set on Saturday to get some house chores done, and then the power went out for 3 hours shortly after we were all set to go.  I threw in the towel & crawled back into bed.  Ended up being a broken weekend for us.  Now after the weekend, I feel good & back on track again.  I’ll call it a little hiccup for now.

Just so we’re all clear here, there won’t be Facebook photos here all of the time.  I know that not everyone is fond of social media.  There might be a little burst in the next few weeks but I’ll let you know when a photo appears on Facebook.

In other news, I came across some guy who was totally against the new “Meatless Meatball Sub at Subway” fine with me.  He stated that it’s “made with chemicals that cause cancer” fair enough.  I had cancer in 2008 before the meatless craze.  What he failed to mention is that alcohol, tobacco, burnt food, etc. are all said to cause cancer & they’re all legal.  In the end is it not up to each person to decide what they put in their body?  I drink alcohol, I eat meatless stuff & real meat, drink dairy milk since my family have friends that run a dairy farm.  Eat what you want, stand up for whatever cause you like, maybe you’ll swing some people to your side?  Don’t be afraid to form your own opinion though.  I have opinions that others don’t agree with either.

You’re afraid of GMOs that’s fine with me, there’s science supporting both sides of that argument, more so for the use of GMOs.  You’re allowed to choose how you live your life as is anyone else.  Social media is eye opening in that way.  People can be set in a certain state of mind & that can be both good & bad.

I couldn’t care less, the meatless/beyond meat stuff is fine as is the other stuff.  For me, it’s about reasonable/healthy moderation.

 

“Haley Williams” of “Paramore” is releasing a solo album, the first single is stuck in my head constantly & it’s FANTASTIC!

Here is a taste of the last “Paramore” album if you forgot.

 

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

FEELING STRONGER & MORE DETERMINED EACH DAY!!!!

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

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

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

375 Curls w/ 20 pound dumb bells

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

400 Crunches

300 Leg lifts

200 Squats while balancing on my toes.

200 Back flexes

150.5 meters walking distance = 493.7 feet

3 days of yoga

 

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

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

 

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

https://www.redcross.ca/

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris             

“Be kind to one another”-Ellen Degeneres

DOWN TIME

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

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

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

Email subscription www.amillionmilesawayblog.com

 

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

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

 

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

https://www.redcross.ca/

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris

“Be kind to one another”-Ellen Degeneres

MANSPLAING WHY LESS IS MORE FOR ME. 

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

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

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

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

 

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

https://www.redcross.ca/

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris

“Be kind to one another”-Ellen Degeneres

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

SORRY IF YOU DIDN’T LIKE THIS SHOW?  IT’S BACK FOR ANOTHER SEASON!

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

(20 pound dumb bells) 400 Curls

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

800 Crunches

600 Leg lifts

400 Squats

400 Back flexes

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

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

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

 

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

https://www.redcross.ca/

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris             

“Be kind to one another”-Ellen Degeneres