STAY INFORMED

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 “Foo Fighters” the album “The Colour and The Shape”

I exercised to “Tremonti” the album “Cauterize”

Got up at 6:20 am to exercise before my morning appointment.  I listened to both of these albums last night.  Too early to play music this morning.

 

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

 

In a perfect world, all politicians would learn to wear multiple hats at one time.  Unfortunately this isn’t a perfect world.  How about they do the job voters gave them?  That job includes transparency aka don’t treat us like a little kid & tell us everything will be OK.  Tell us the actual facts.  This is why a politician is elected.  If all of the voters die during a pandemic, who’s going to vote?  This virus doesn’t care where you live, what your race is, what God you pray to, what your sexuality is, etc.  Everybody is fair game!  Politicians, do your job.  Without the rest of us, you have no title.

Watching the news as everything is SLOWLY reopening means people need to stay informed now, just as much as when we all went inside.  In order to stay well informed I recommend checking this website…

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019?gclid=CjwKCAjw2a32BRBXEiwAUcugiAqGcOgCxnpFi7WuxsL-MZFH0lG37k2LT4HhkUw3Odo6DCW-wa5gJRoCnMsQAvD_BwE

Followed by closely following your local news.  They should have the information required for your specific area, city, or town.

There’s a LOT of false/inaccurate information floating around out there about the virus.  I don’t need to add to it.  Please remember that my thoughts are mine only NONE OF THIS IS HARD EVIDENCE!

Southern Saskatchewan, Canada (where I live, Regina) seems to be doing well.  If we keep this up, we start phase 3 of the reopening here on June 8th.

Every city or town re-opening will & should be different.  Keep yourself informed & at the very least please where a mask if it’s even just to show solidarity & respect.

I went to the hospital on Tuesday, May 19th.  That’s the first time I’ve been outside of our house or vehicle since Sunday, February 16th when most of my father’s side of the family was in town.  I wore a mask throughout the hospital regardless.  A mask won’t protect me as much as it will others & I’m likely OK, but a mask just seemed like the right thing to do.

Got up early on Friday, finished my exercise, showered, & then spent from 10:45 am until 3:40 pm learning the rhythm part to this song on that guitar…….1 hour break & right back to it for another 1 ½ hours.

I woke up around 10:00 am on Sunday & rolled around in bed until noon.  Got up & just rushed immediately!  Emptied the dishwasher, ate breakfast, filled the humidifier, hard boiled my eggs, loaded the dishwasher, did hand dishes, & baked my fish all within 2:30 hours.

We’ll add about 4:30 hours on Sunday of guitar practice.  Just repeating a riff I know so well & played many times before cancer so easily.  I practice so much because I want it perfect.  I also know that a person not in my position will likely get this stuff quicker than I will.  Kim was working most of the day to meet a deadline.  She got REALLY tired of hearing me practice the same line multiple times!

When I practice guitar, it’s not completely about learning the notes or chords.  It’s more about regaining the strength in my left arm all the way to my fingers.  More of a muscle exercise than anything.  When I’m learning something new to me then it’s about EVERYTHING!

My left arm is a mess to this day.  Despite my weights & guitar playing, it otherwise shakes & is remarkably weak if not resting on something for stability.  Even carrying a glass of water without spilling is near impossible.  When I do my weights twice a week, my dumb bell wobbles in my hand & requires WAY more focus & attention.  Playing guitar feels almost the same though.

I’ve always been a BIG fan of Gibson guitars, I don’t want to spend a boat load of money on a Gibson Les Paul though.  I have an Epiphone 7 string Les Paul, an Epiphone Explorer & a Tradition Les Paul.  So 3 of my guitars are modeled after Gibson body shapes.  Apparently Gibson is on a downslide…..after going bankrupt in the last 12 years.  On to PRS for me!  Admit it, it’s pretty & an even better match to my eye!

The McCarty 594 is named after Ted McCarty who became a mentor & good friend of Paul’s.  Ted ran Gibson guitars 1950-1966.  PRS offers a 25” scale length (regular length for PRS) guitar in their Core line.  The 594 is for the odd scale length of 24.594”.  Paul played with the original scale length for Gibson of 24.5” and settled on 24.594” to make it an odd number & I’m guessing to avoid copyright laws?  I think the biggest & nicest change is the shape of a PRS.  He took the shape of a Stratocaster & a Les Paul and overlaid them to find a body style of his own for the PRS brand.  Not all companies have distinct body shapes.  Not all but a lot of guitar companies make slight measurement changes or name changes to a Fender or Gibson shape.  Sorry, more carappé you didn’t need to know.

There was a link on Friday’s post that didn’t work.  It was a guitar store owner announcing that as of Friday May 15th at 5:00 pm the PRS factory in Maryland had reopened.  They will be tending to personal individual orders first, then anything ordered by stores for stock &/or display.  That’s great news as long as everyone stays healthy & safe.  I have no problem waiting for my ordered semi hollow guitar.  It’s not supposed to arrive until late August anyways, a little more time won’t hurt me.

I’d like to upgrade my amplifier for the $329 Boss Katana 50 Watt amplifier, but it can wait since it’s an absolute lowest priority for me & what I have to trade in for it wouldn’t really be worth much, so it’s also not in the budget regardless.  I’d much rather go for a new vintage sounding guitar than an uber digital amplifier.  All the word “digital” means to me is that there’s more stuff to potentially go wrong with it, that I can’t fix.

 

I usually talk about music here.  With the impact of Covid-19 there’s not much new music being released.  I think as far as new music goes, it’ll be a saturation on the music market the next 2 years since so many musicians are staying at home & writing new material.

Next release for me is the self-titled release from “Lamb of God” on June 19th.

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

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris

“Be kind to one another”-Ellen Degeneres

WHY SO MUCH GUITAR TALK?

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 “Tool” the album “Lateralus”

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SE Paul's Guitar - Aqua

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris

“Be kind to one another”-Ellen Degeneres

TIMES LIKE THESE YOU LEARN TO LOVE AGAIN

You’ll learn to love each other from afar.  You’ll love each other by keeping distant.  You’ll still love though!

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!

350 Curls w/ 20 pound dumb bells

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

400 Crunches

400 Leg lifts

200 Squats

200 Back flexes

2 days of yoga

There won’t be any stairs during this virus stuff.  I don’t really want to touch a public railing or clean them before & after I’m done.

I fell asleep to “Haley Williams” the EP “Petals for Armor”

I exercised to “Pearl Jam” the album “Gigaton”

 

My curl repetitions went up 25 times each day & my shoulder raises went up by 10 each day.  4 day week here!

I’m far from perfect & I’ll be the first person to tell you that.  I’ve kept up with my exercise despite the fact that this quarantine has even affected me.  It’s all mental for me.  I hear & see others feeling bummed out & it tends to affect me in turn.  I haven’t been getting up at 7:30 am, I’ll wake up at that time & just drift in & out of sleep until 10:30 am.  I do exercise still, just that lately it’s been at 12:00 or shortly after.

As much as this period of time will likely bring everybodies mood down, remember that it will pass.  Things will more than likely be different after.  Different doesn’t have to mean worse.  It’ll be whatever we choose to make of it.

I much rather enjoy my eating & drinking regiment that I stick to 5 days a week.  On Easter weekend I aided the increase in alcohol sales, sales are up 40%-150% depending on where you live.  I didn’t enjoy it after more than 2 beverages.  Whatever is beside me, I just drink it.  That’s how I end up drinking more than a gallon of water most days!  1L bottle of water beside me that gets filled 3-6 times a day.

Pop is just too sweet, beer is something I like to try for the most part, usually a new flavour of craft beer.  I’ll have usually 3 cups of coffee a week, the darkest I can find & never any cream or sugar.  As for alcohol it’s rum on the rocks, gin & lime Bubbly, & VERY rarely a glass of white wine if it’s open at a family meal.

I was enjoying too much rum on the weekend.  TOO MUCH ALCOHOL IS NEVER A GOOD THING.  I actually wake up WAY too early after 3 drinks.  Most weekends I keep it to 0, 1, or 2 drinks when I don’t have anything to do the next day.  Oh well, the occassional dip in the pool happens once or twice a year.  I know why alcohol sales are up in Regina right now!  They deliver & lots of stuff is on sale.  Even I bought some beer to try!

Amid this Covid 19 stuff the President wants to open the US.  He wants to do that to get the economy going, I get that part.  What he’s not taking into consideration is the loss of more lives followed by a second wave of the virus.  All of his ideas will make our efforts so far pretty pointless.

I live in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, & you know how much I enjoy a concert!  Kim & I have tickets to a 4 band show in early July.  No talk of postponing or cancelling this show has been mentioned yet.  I’m already thinking about not going.  It’s still a wait & see situation, but the thought has crossed my mind.  If it was half the price & only the 2 bands I’d want to see/hear, I would not have thought about it yet.

Do I need expensive/nice looking guitars?  Nope!  I’m guessing my first 2 guitars were under $700 each,  my 7 string was likely just over $1400 with tax & I’m guessing the brand name Telecaster was more?  I learned most stuff on guitar when I got my first guitar in 2001.  I don’t need a PRS guitar to play better, I would like a nice guitar & I’ve selected PRS as the maker.  As I’ve been considering since I saw it online.  I’m saving for the aqua SE PRS (we can add the bonus of a satin back!!) & I’ve ordered the yellow/red burst S2 & I’m VERY excited!  The Canadian wide franchise music store is open for curb side pickups.  Stay home & stay safe, music’s a BIG thing for me, if you’re sick or dead you can’t make music.  I’m pretty sure I wont be picking up anything there in the next 6-8 months?

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

SE Paul's Guitar - Aqua

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

“It’s hard to belief this guitar is in the PRS SE line. The tonal variations I can create with this model beat out many guitars costing two or three times as much, and I’ve owned plenty over the years. Sweet mid-range and well balanced highs and lows. I’ve never seen advanced electronics like these in p/ups on guitars in this price range. The neck is incredibly comfortable. I can play all night without any hand or wrist fatigue. Somebody did their homework engineering this guitar from the mechanicals right through to the carve of the body and neck. Whether you’re a PRS player or not, and regardless of the style of music you play, this model is well worth your time and attention. Great value for the money.” – Customer review of ‘Paul’s Guitar SE model’ by PRS

Check this blog out if you haven’t yet.  https://guitarbrat.music.blog/

Most guitars weigh just over 7 pounds.  I was curious & weighed my electric guitars.  Apparently I’m used to a heavier guitar?  My 2 Les Paul guitars by different companies both came in at 9 pounds.  I played/play my green Les Paul a LOT!  My Explorer came in at just under 8 pounds.  My semi-hollow Telecaster came in just under 6 pounds, so I expect that whenever I get my ordered PRS it should be similar in weight & lighter is not a bad thing.  I’ve found myself grabbing the Telecaster quite often to hear something, since it’s so much lighter than the others.

As far as learning theory & all of the stuff related to guitar, I knew nothing about guitars when I started.  I learned how to tune a guitar, basic chords, what sounded good to my ears, & started playing live.  You’re going to need the basics & then you can go as far as you like.  I’ve recently learned more, in the past 6 months & I’ve easily quadrupled what I knew before I had cancer.  Do I necessarily apply what I know to everything I do on a guitar?  No.  I’ll use my still limited knowledge as a starting point & venture on with what sounds pleasing to me.

I don’t agree with this guy on everything.  In this case I do though.  When someone buys a sample for $30 on the internet & wins a Grammy Award with it, that’s flat out cheating eventhough music isn’t a competition.  That’s an entirely different conversation.  I know that a LOT of the music I listen to is Pro Tooled to perfection, look at the album “Wasting Light” by “Foo Fighters” though (I only know this because they made a documentary about it).  All of it recorded on tape without a computer in sight & it won best rock album!  Was it because of the recording method?  Probably not, but it made me feel a human connection.  That’s a connection that doesn’t happen for me as much as it used to.

 

YAY!!!!  One week until “What the Dead Men Say” is released from “Trivium”

The singer turned 34 years old in January.  This will be “Trivium’s” 9th major label studio album release.  He was 17 when their first album was released in 2003.

 

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

#PLANKTHATSONG

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

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

Email subscription www.amillionmilesawayblog.com

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

350 Curls w/ 20 pound dumb bells

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

400 Crunches

400 Leg lifts

200 Squats while balancing on my toes.

200 Back flexes

2 days of yoga

4 short planks

Walking distance – 420 meters = 1377.95 feet

There won’t be any stairs during this virus stuff.  I don’t really want to touch a public railing or clean them before & after I’m done.

I fell asleep to “Queens of the Stone Age” the album “Villains”

I exercised to “TOOL” the album “Lateralus”

I made the font size larger & now the spellcheck doesn’t work?  Sorry in advance.

It’s Tuesday evening as I write this.  Before I posted Tuesday’s blog, I slept in, & didn’t excersise until after I posted the blog.  I exercised to “Chromeo” on Monday & “Foo Fighters” afterwards on Tuesday.

I played my “Fender” Telecaster Tuesday evening & quickly learned the rhythm to this…

…none of the fast licks but the main riff & verse/chorus.  I opted on Tuesday to learn different bands/sounds on each guitar instead of just going from 1 album by 1 band.  Different stuff to learn with each different artist/band.  I found a set list of cover songs from my first band in University.  I’ll go through that to start.  Not all of our songs are on there, I’ll add to it as I go, I think we ended up doing about 40 cover songs & wrote 7 of our own?

I guess I’ll call this a ‘retraction’?  I said that P90 pickups were double coil pickups, they aren’t.  They’re slightly larger, louder single coil pickups.  You typically see single coil pickups on Fender Stratocasters.  Gibson created the P90 pickup to be louder, have a different sound & look since they were on Gibson’s first solid body guitar a 1950 Gibson Gold Top Les Paul.  Double coil pickups were made later on.  They were created to remain at the same volume level as the P90 but included the second coil to add the volume & reduce the hum, that’s why they’re now commonly called “Humbuckers”.  Here’s a Gibson Les Paul 1950 Gold Top with P90 pickups…

Les Paul Standard 50s w/P90 Pickups - Gold Top

Best PRS SE on the market, aqua it is, I’m saving up!  If Kim decides on a trip, the money goes there.  The SE model was introduced to the SE line in 2019 & modeled after Paul Reed Smith’s Core guitar, it’s not going anywhere.  If I could afford a $5000 + tax guitar I’d get the Core model in Violet Blue Burst.  That would take me a decade or more to save for & Kim might kill me if I tried to!!!????

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

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

1 acoustic & 6 electrics are enough for me.  A PRS S2 on the way & an SE in the future & I’ll keep rockin’ n’ ROLLIN’ until I can’t anymore!  Your seeing these guitars a fraction of the amount of times I’ve looked at them!

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

I don’t necessarily switch guitars constantly.  The feel, shape, & sound of a guitar tends to dictate what comes next.  Example; my no-name brand green Les Paul aka “Kermit” feels & sounds great for most modern rock & a lot of grunge.  My Fender Telecaster aka “Ian” sounds best with blues, country, or most pre-1980 rock music.

Nope, I don’t need or want these guitars!  I’ve got my 7 string “Kiichichaos”, no-name Les Paul “Kermit”, Epiphone Explorer “Grohl”, semi-hollow Fender Telecaster “Ian”, an ordered semi-hollow PRS S2, & one day a PRS SE “Paul’s Guitar”.

All of these above are guitars I either don’t like the look or sound of, that’s why I’d say they’re not for me.  I find a floyd rose bridge to be more of a hassle/extra work on a guitar.  I’ve played 2 in my life & broke a string both times within 2 minutes.

Any & all youtubers I’ve been watching have helped me TREMENDOUSLY in relearning guitar after almost a 12 year hiatus!

If you like checking out guitars as much as I do, I recommend checking this blog out.  https://guitarbrat.music.blog/

 

Good things don’t change over night usually.  As with my exercise & guitar playing.  Practice, repetition & persistence are essential for the desired outcome.  Best thing for most people to remember ‘There’s always someone doing better’.  That’s what keeps me going!

I went walking this morning in our parkade.  WOW were my calves sore just standing up.  I guess the change in how I do my squats was a good thing?

When I find that somethings not working the way I had hoped, I take a different approach to it after multiple attempts.  I try to learn from my failures.  That doesn’t necessarily mean everything was terrible.  Take the positives with you & throw out the negatives, then adjust accordingly.

Example; My leg exercises aren’t helping my calves.  My thighs are doing well though.  I changed the way I do my squats this week to benefit both areas.  Only time will tell if I get the desired results?  I won’t know tomorrow, probably by the end of the month or a couple of weeks after that?

There’s no short cut that I know of for what I’m trying to do.  There are no instructions on how to overcome the effects of brain cancer.  I’ve got to continue to get better at what I’m doing.  I can’t just throw my hands in the air, walk away, & say “Ah, good enough!”  I literally can’t “walk” away…I should have said “roll”.

Since everyone is stuck at home, you might as well use this time to do all of those little things around your house that you never have time to do.  Don’t do them all at once though!  Spread them out, who knows how much free time you’ll have?  If you’ve already done most of the stuff around your house, was there anything else on your list to accomplish?  Don’t most people want to lose weight and get healthier?  Now’s the time!  What else do you have to do?

Call, text, Facebook, Tweet, Instagram, Skype, video chat, or email someone to participate with you.  That will make you accountable for meeting your goal that day!  Contact them before & after, have fun with it!

I know I yap about guitars a LOT, but there’s a reason for that.  I’m home with Brewster 9-10 hours a day.  I eat, exercise, shower, watch very little TV, & play guitar.  Until this past September I didn’t have much to look forward to the next day after I finished my exercises.  Now I have this hobby I LOVED doing back in my life for the first time since the beginning of February 2008.

I was watching this on “The Ellen Degeneres Show” the other day & did it Thursday (4 takes since I kept messing up the words) before I did my weight exercises.  I challenge Mitch Fraser, Cameron Rorquist, Sukhdeep Sandhu.  I’m only supposed to tag 3 people, but if you’re reading this, I challenge you.  If a 40 year old physically handicapped guy can do it, so can you!  I tried to sing a few different songs but messed up the lyrics the video is my 4th attempt.

My video is on the Facebook page.

 

The new album from thrash metal group “Testament” is GREAT!  “Titans of Creation”

EXPLICIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

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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

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

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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

KIM IS PRIORITY #1 & AMPLIFIER UPGRADE…LATER

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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