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.

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

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

 

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

https://www.redcross.ca/

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris

“Be kind to one another”-Ellen Degeneres

GOOD THINGS ARE HAPPENING FOR BOTH OF US

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

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

250 Curls

50 Shoulder raises/Chest presses

600 Crunches

450 Leg lifts

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

300 Back flexes

1 day walking distance: 28.5 meters = 93.503 feet

8 stairs down 2 times, up 2 times

Always 2 days of yoga

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

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

 

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

https://www.redcross.ca/

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mr. Paul Reed Smith founder of PRS guitars.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris             

“Be kind to one another”-Ellen Degeneres

MANSPLAING WHY LESS IS MORE FOR ME. 

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

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

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

Email subscription www.amillionmilesawayblog.com

 

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

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

 

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

https://www.redcross.ca/

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris

“Be kind to one another”-Ellen Degeneres

MY FAVOURITE ALBUMS OF 2019 & A BREAKTHROUGH FOR ME

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

“Opeth” the album “In Cauda Venenum”

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

 

“P!nk” the album “Hurts 2B Human”

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

 

“Dream Theater” the album “Distance Over Time”

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

 

“Alter Bridge” the album “Walk the Sky”

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

 

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

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

 

“TOOL” the album “Fear Inoculum”

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

 

“In Flames” the album “I, The Mask”

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

“Paramore” news…

YAY!

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris             

“Be kind to one another”-Ellen Degeneres

WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 18, 2019 (HOLIDAY UPDATE)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris

“Be kind to one another”-Ellen Degeneres

BUSY WEEKEND UPDATE FOR A CHANGE  

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

 

Music throughout the weekend “TOOL”, “I Built the Sky”, “Sevendust”, & “Chromeo”

 

To clarify Friday’s post; Things in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada are taxed heavily!  7% Government Sales Tax aka GST & 7% Provincial Sales Tax.  The majority of stuff we purchase in Saskatchewan is 14% higher than America & our dollar fluctuates $0.75-$0.85 on America’s dollar.  Canadians pay a higher price on most things other than health care.  Example;  My father bought a 66oz. of Bacardi White Rum while renting a house in Arizona for a month, he left it there because almost full because it was cheap.  If it was here I could see that at least $80 or more.  Messed up since we didn’t get to vote in the USA federal election, nor did anyone else other than Russians.

 

Friday we watched the last however many episodes of “Atypical” season 3 on Netflix.  Kim’s parents came to town about mid-day on Saturday.  We all had supper here Saturday evening, James fixed a few issues I was having with my computer.  Too early for me for Christmas movies, but there was one playing Saturday night.  I missed it while getting things arranged on my computer.

Sunday morning Kim & Sherry hung out with their mom & went shopping.  Me & my Homeslice (Brewster) had breakfast, hung out & I finally had a bit of time to watch part of “The Cure” blu-ray, who I just got into believe it or not.  Kim got home around 2 pm.  I needed a refill on some medication & Brewster needed another appointment at the vet at 4 pm, he had an ear infection.  We picked up my refill at a pharmacy near a Dairy Queen.

There was a guy asking if we could get him something to eat, so of course we did.  He told Kim he didn’t want money, just something to eat.  We grabbed him some food & it was freezing outside.  I asked Kim if we could ask for a hot drink for him, but we were already through the drive-through.  Kim gave him her mitts & I offered my toque, he said he had a toque & declined.  I felt bad for him, he looked like he was still in his early 20s.

After that it was off to the vet.  Not good news.  Brewster’s ear infection was/is deep down by his ear drum.  He needed to stay there for a few hours since he needed to be sedated.  “Should we resuscitate him if he has heart failure due to his murmur?”  I can’t believe that was a question?  OF COURSE!

I was waiting in the car, since we didn’t think it would be anything major.  Kim came out to tell/ask me what to do.  Whatever it takes to make him feel better was the answer on both of our minds.  I thought nothing of it until after supper.  Kim was quiet & my mind was racing thinking the worst, “Was that the last time I’d hold him?  Is he going to go down because of an ear infection?”  I worried myself sick.  I was so relieved when we got the call to pick him up.  He typically NEVER barks, Kin said he was barking his head off when she went in to get him.

He’s home and he’s fine.  He had a lot of water & was growling at me before we got home for his food.  He’s pretty intimidating, all 12 ½ pounds of him.  I think he’s almost done his bronchitis medication (Kim gives it to him) & he’s doing much better.  Kim says to me “He’s already cost us as more than a guitar you wanted!”  Better to have some cash for a rainy day than a guitar, always better to keep Brewster healthy & happy.  Easy call on that one!  We both said if he needs $5000 of health stuff, we wouldn’t blink, that’s as true now as it was in 2006 when we got him as a pup.

Kim & Brewster went to bed while stayed up to do more stuff on my computer & watch some recorded TV from the afternoon.

3:30 am & up to feed Brewster at 9:30 am, I should go to bed earlier!  Brewster’s tired today too.  He was up & down all night drinking multiple bowls of water & of course peeing.  Kim went to have coffee with her parents, then off to get groceries afterwards.  I got up & didn’t really stop until noon.  Kim got home with groceries, I made my vegetable juice & finally hit the shower.

 

I don’t think Trump will have problems with immigration.  I think fleeing Americans could be his biggest problem if he’s not impeached?

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/trump-takeover-courts-supreme-court-mconnell-federalist-society-menashi-909799/?fbclid=IwAR1iL0QGxSFlTHStpvtQThWQYjOXlpLvZ73kj2TLBHDOM5A3aHHOo6ZeSZU

Unreleased song from “Prince” album ‘1999’

New “Taylor Hawkins and The Coattail Riders” video and album released on Friday, November 8.  Taylor Hawkins is the drummer for “Foo Fighters” and has 3 side projects where he plays drums & does lead vocals.  He also does the backing vocals in “Foo Fighters”.  This is from the third album released by “Taylor Hawkins and The Coattail Riders”.

YAY new “Sepultura” song!!!!!!

All of this crap happened & it could have been worse if no one was checking what Trump was doing?????????????

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/nikki-haley-top-advisors-trump-didnt-know-what-he-was-doing-910444/?fbclid=IwAR3CxPcbdkKp2MeVG7ONBYuHa4ZZTuwxVGZEmKIrN6IDYrlarLwKDluQ4As

 

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

LET’S TALK ABOUT CANCER

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

My left shoulder was incredibly sore on Thursday, no exercise that day, just ice & stretching.

MONDAY IS A CANADIAN HOLIDAY TO HONOUR OUR VETERANS ON/AT 11/11 11:11. KEEP THEM IN YOUR THOUGHTS YEAR ‘ROUND!!! I’LL RETURN TO YOU MONDAY SOMETIME.

5 day exercise total; 1,500 crunches, 900 leg lifts, 300 squats, 300 back flexes, 0 pushups, 400 curls, 00 tricep lifts, 100 shoulder raises. TONS of stretching & yoga.

I fell asleep to “Into Eternity” the album “Dead or Dreaming”

I exercised to “Kelly Clarkson” the album “Meaning of Life”

 

I’ve learned that not every diet works for everybody. Sometimes it’s a trend that will work for some, but not others & some people will stick to it for how “Everlong”, some will go back to their regular eating habits & SURPRISE your body will revert to its former shape & size. “In the end” eat what makes YOU feel good & look the way YOU want.


As I say this, please know I’m not calling out/trying to offend anyone. We are often invited elsewhere.
Being a cancer survivor is weird. Initially everyone is really worried, once they think you’re OK people ‘seem’ to forget you exist & revert to their life as it was when you we’re sick & out of the picture. I’m not trying to call out anyone here, I kind of get it. 4 ½ years without the presence of anyone can be completely life changing. Kim & I disappeared for a long time. Now if the phone rings, if Kim gets a text or if I get an email that someone wants to come by we’re shocked. It feels very “isolated” here in a condo & in an odd way I understand. I’ve changed a lot & so have others. Everybody has different priorities now & me having to figure out the lay of the land in a wheelchair isn’t the easiest thing. If I can’t get around a friend’s place, our door is always open, especially if you bring rum! Specifically Bacardi Oakheart spiced rum, Baron Samedi spiced rum or Sangria for Kim, who drinks alcohol far less than me. It’ll take me longer than you think to consume it since it’s on the rocks & not often.

Surviving cancer is weird in many ways. ‘He’s alive, he’s OK, we did our job & saved his life’ maybe that’s what my nurses & therapists thought, & that’s all they were supposed to think, in my mind. Most of them became friends that went beyond their job to help me and they’re all people I have a TON of respect for, current friend or not.

What’s weird here is that after I was in the hospital & the Wascana Rehabilitation Center for an extended period of time, I’m alive & getting better, but we’re missing my full income. That’s not my nurses, therapists or doctors fault. Most things were covered by Canada’s health plan. Our mortgage was covered for 2 years. Rent for my room at WRC was $1000/month & not covered by anything. You need money to survive. My wife works a full 8 hour day, 5 days a week. I collect disability until I’m 65 and CPP for the rest of my life. Together they don’t amount to $28,000 a year. If there was a box on the ballot to check off for politicians to comprehend that, it would have been marked with my vote. I didn’t have that option & no candidate spoke about it. From what I can tell, people with extended term disabilities in the public are forgotten about by politicians. That makes no sense to me at all? So I’m a financial burden whether I like it or not? “Life’s not fair you idiot! Lighten up!” So because I’m not physically strong enough to get a job, I’m forgotten & I should be happy with that while being a burden too? No, I’m sorry, that’s not good enough! I don’t want to be a burden & forgotten. I’m sure I’m not the only one in this type of situation either. Because of cancer I have created many bad/unwanted/uncommon ripple effects. I don’t understand that? I do plan to get an online part time job in the future & contribute to society & earn a small paycheck.

The left brake on my free wheelchair broke multiple times & after 2 or 3 separate times Sask. Abilities weren’t able to fix it properly for $50 each time. I got a different chair for just over $7,000 and $1000 of that was covered by our government & they’ll cover it once in a life time. The rest of it was paid out of pocket. My parents & Grandparents have helped out immensely with these expenses, I don’t want to go back to the well. I researched & I voted to see if maybe the Canadian Government would change, it didn’t. So for the next 4 years I get to be alive but not live?

I’m not someone looking for a handout of cash, this is my life & I guess I have to deal with it. I don’t want the Government to just fix my situation, just level the playing field a bit for everyone. I have a retirement disability savings plan. I can put in $5000 a year I think & it triples the amount. I can’t touch that money that I deposit for 10 years. So I’ll have some money in 9 years, until then my wife & I get to live as is & not do much of anything? Prices have gone up with inflation, I would think my salary would have as well, I’m not looking to be rich, I would like to make an income closer to what I was at when I passed out “in the meantime”.

I was head hunted by a different company & got a significant raise to stay where I was. I had some other issues with how the other company was being managed as well. I’m glad I stayed where I was, the other place no longer exists. I don’t know if they thought I could improve their chances of staying afloat? I was the youngest employee where I was, running 1 of the 2 larger printing presses where I was though.

I’m not going to be the poster boy for this, but I will support this cause. I’m not a person that gets into politics. I don’t like messing around in politics and I plan to stay away from it. That being said, I did send an email to the Canadian Federal Government asking about this issue. I got cancer, & it’s nobody’s fault. I’m not looking to get rich, I’m looking to make a similar wage as I made before I got cancer.

If you’re Canadian & want to voice your opinion on anything, this is the Governments website http://www.canada.ca

There are people FAR worse off than I am & nobody pays attention to them, but that’s supposed to be ‘Not our problem’? A TON of people want food, water, & shelter. Why have I been whining about my situation for so long? They’re other people who are worse off than the rest of us.

What do I not like? Whiners, complainers, fake people & people who don’t do their job at a respectable level. I’m certain I am all of those things, but fake, on this post & the entire website. I guess that long road to recovery is longer than I thought. Call me whatever you want to, but don’t call me fake. I can handle whatever you throw at me other than fake.

I hear we may have out of town guests this weekend that would be FANTASTIC!

I use streaming music until the funds are there to purchase music on iTunes or CD. I personally refuse to attain music by streaming it. Same deal with texting & photos. I do not like either one of them, so owning a cell phone would make me a hypocrite in my eyes.

Like them or not a cell phone can be VERY distracting at times.
https://loudwire.com/tool-warn-ejection-show-cellphone-use/?fbclid=IwAR2gvbsT7pORXbwM7X7S9ZtTvYPQKMzifsdqxc5on9wHd6xNEW2YneQqxgw

 

9 albums streaming right now, not cool with me. Hello iTunes, slowly, next year! Any streaming service could tank at any moment and I’d be left with nothing, that’s why I use iTunes, a minimal paying site.

 

I BUILT THE SKY
I just found out about this band the other day. 4 albums in total, instrumental progressive rock (they’re classified as metal but call me jaded) with a couple of classical guitar & orchestral tracks too. I’ve never heard music like this! I grabbed their newest album on a streaming platform for a future purchase “The Zenith Rise”…




 

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