I EXERCISE FOR NICK

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

Exercise total for 5 days. 

500 Curls w/ 20 pound dumb bells

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

1050 Crunches

900 Leg lifts

300 Squats   

600 Back flexes

Exercises went well this week & I feel pretty good.  Got up by 6:45 am or earlier this week other than yesterday 8:00 am and stuff to do around the house first.  Kim made some mini-quiche things for breakfast this week with cottage cheese & spinach in them.  They’re muffin size, 1 of those in the morning with my vegetable juice & water throughout the day & I’m exercising.  Afterwards I check my email & Facebook, then I shower.

When I think about my cancer, how it affected me & those around me, I often think about a guy I met in the rehabilitation center named Nick.  He was born with cerebral palsy & doesn’t know a life without a wheelchair & a severe handicap.  He was very outgoing, confident, polite, smart, upbeat, & liked music quite a bit.  I couldn’t understand his speech & he couldn’t understand mine.  When we’d see each other in the hall or in therapy, Kim was always playing the role of translator for us. 

I take my exercise VERY seriously.  I’m VERY fortunate to be alive & have the opportunity to work on my disability.  Nick is likely limited for life.  He lives in the Wascana Rehabilitation Center.  He knows he’ll be there for a long time & he understands that.   I was released & acted like a complete jerk for quite a while after my release, I should have been more grateful like Nick.  When I get down on myself or start to think something is too hard for me to deal with, I think of Nick.

He came over to our table in the cafeteria one afternoon, I was visibly not in the best mood.  Nick told me his story & finally said “Chris, I was born this way, this is all I know”.  My exercise might not seem like much to anybody.  When I think about it, I’m exercising for Nick since he can’t exercise for himself, he can play the drums though!  He learned in music therapy and recorded an album with the therapist.

The problem was, when I was acting like a jerk, I wasn’t thinking of Nick or what his life is like.  Now I don’t get down on myself so much, while always reminding myself to remain humble.  I think of Nick now more than I did before.  Unfortunately Kim & I either don’t remember his last name or never heard it.  If we did & he was nearby, I love to see him & hear how he’s doing.  Some people call me an inspiration, I find that VERY humbling.  Nick is my inspiration to keep going.

Suck it up fellow Canadians.  The vaccine distribution in Canada is EXTREMELY underwhelming.  CNN is simply reporting the news as usual.  Stay home!  I live in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.  I don’t know about “right now” but Regina had the most active cases of Covid-19 per capita in Canada earlier this year.  Please at least share this link on whatever social media you use.  Active cases in Regina are unbelievably high!

I don’t understand why so many people are worried about taking a vaccine?  Bill Gates isn’t going to implant a micro-chip in anyone because he doesn’t have to.  Have you ever used a phone, of any kind?  If you said “Yes” to that question, people that want to know about you probably know already?

I wanted to just play guitar on Wednesday but there was a baseball game that started at 11:00 am.  That normally wouldn’t be an inconvenience for me but that’s the time of day I can make some noise with my guitar & amplifier.  I still prefer to watch TV after 5:00 pm.  Kim’s done work, I stop playing guitar and either I watch a baseball game & Kim watches a streaming show in the bedroom or I play guitar until 8:30 pm while Kim watches something recorded.  Live TV does not exist in our house.

I played guitar on Wednesday after the game for what I told myself would be 45 minutes, turned out to be an hour & a half.  My left arm started shaking a LOT?!  That’s never happened to me.  My fingers will move uncontrollably on occasion but my arm is usually fine.

We got a delivery on Wednesday, a furniture piece for our renovations.  Kim’s been waiting for it for quite a while.  A round mirror above it and a tall green plant beside it will complete the renovations.  Those 2 items will have to wait until we get through this income tax ordeal, hopefully at the end of the year.

Buffet Table

I put my Matthew Heafy signature Epiphone Les Paul Custom 7 string guitar up for sale Tuesday afternoon. 

$1400 Canadian obo.  Comes with stock active EMG pickups, a 707 in the neck position & an 81 in the bridge position.  Tuners have been shimmed and new GHS Boomer strings 10-60 are now on & wrapped around the bridge.  Certificate of authenticity included.  It’s been played a minimal amount since its purchase on February 2nd, 2020.  No case or gig bag included.

Side view

I shaved last night & trimmed my goat tee.  I’ll shower ASAP and I’ll be “All dressed up with nowhere to go”

Rock is NOT dead.  It’s not as commercial as it used to be.  Country & pop music or a combination of the 2 are what’s easily found right now.  Rock & metal never died, you just need to dig a bit deeper to find it.

Dave Grohl with Mick Jagger

“Royal Blood” releases another single from their upcoming album ‘Typhoons’ to be released on April 30th.

“Myles Kennedy” of “Alter Bridge” releases another single from his upcoming solo album ‘The Ides of March’ release date is May 14th.

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris 

TOO MUCH WEIRD STUFF GOING ON TO IGNORE

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Kim went grocery shopping a week ago.  She heard that the Saskatoon Berry Tea I like was being discontinued, so what did she do?  She came home with 96 tea bags of it, they come in packs of 4.  So she bought all the tea in China via Saskatchewan for me!

I’m not a fan of much digital stuff.  I can’t fix it, it’s expensive, & there’s always somebody watching EVERYTHING you do.  Even if you only use a land line phone, somebody knows what’s going on.  I’ve had a weekend of that & it’s annoying so far, I’m guessing it will escalate to being scary?!

After getting 2 scam phone calls at 6:30 am & then at 7:30 am on a Saturday, I gave up & got into the shower.  Flip on the old computron only to have (probably) the same hacker try to invite me to a “Skype” chat.  Jokes on the hacker, I have no audio or video recording material.  HAHA!  Kim has facetime, I don’t.  She’s got the cell phone, iPad, & Facetime.  I keep things pretty old school & cheap, so I can save money for guitars…and right now, income tax.

Kim went out early Saturday morning to the grocery store & the pharmacy as usual.  I’m on 7 different pills, some I take at bedtime, others in the morning.  Kim usually goes to the pharmacy every weekend.  I’m on 2 sleeping/anti-depressant pills, a day time anti-depressant, a pill for my bladder (I drink so much water to avoid dry mouth from my pills….solution, more pills), an anti-seizure pill, a pill for my under active thyroid, & a heart burn pill.  I’d likely be on a heart burn pill whether I had cancer or not.

Kim spent all day Saturday in the kitchen making meals to freeze for the week.  No more “Skip the Dishes” for us this year with the income tax looming over our head.  She forgot to get something for one recipe, she asked me to clean up as much as I could.  I emptied the dishwasher, filled it again, & hand washed one pan that’s not dishwasher safe.  I guess I peeled carrots while watching the game too.  Other than that I stayed out of her way!  Of course I put on some music while Kim was out!  It felt like a good time to put on the new “Rob Zombie” album

Saturday night I made my fish & my juice for the week.  Sunday was another baseball game & I made my eggs for the week.

My hacker struck again Saturday night on my iPod, I finished listening to the latest “Foo Fighters” album & it went straight to some “Queens of the Stone Age” that I own on CD from pre-iTunes era!  Good call hacker!

Quite accurate since I’m learning a different song from the same album.

This is more to mimic Dave Grohl’s signature Trini Lopez that was in production in 2004?  No internet, I’m SO not buying a Trini Lopez, especially one at $22000!  This would be an upgrade to my new & FANTASTIC Squier Starcaster.

A Core PRS Special semi hollow in the “Orange Tiger” finish.  An upgrade to my current PRS S2 Custom 22 semi-hollow that I bought last year & is now discontinued.

https://www.prsguitars.com/index.php/electrics/model/special_semi_hollow_2021

It’s new for this year with 3 pickups the middle pick-up being the new narrow field pick-up.  I don’t own any guitars with 3 pickups or any true/Core PRS guitars, WAY too expensive.

Another Core PRS upgrade to the PRS S2 McCarty 594 below

https://www.prsguitars.com/index.php/electrics/model/mccarty_594_2021  in a “Cobalt blue” finish

I mentioned I’d like a “Paul’s Guitar” by PRS last week.  If I really wanted one I’d get the MUCH more affordable made in Indonesia SE model.

These 3 guitars are never going to happen.  I guessing the total before tax would be $17500?  I have an amount I’ll spend on a guitar & all 3 of these guitars above are FAR beyond that amount?!?!

These 4 guitars below are GREATLY desired and attainable over many years.  The Schecter Tempest is out, I don’t need that many guitars.

None of this happens until I know where we sit with the income tax payments and the sale of my Matt Heafy signature 7 string (hopefully soon, it’s not listed yet) that I’m not comfortable with at all despite my efforts.  Sweet guitar but it’s more than a handful for me.

https://www.long-mcquade.com/162880/Guitars/Electric-Guitars/Paul-Reed-Smith/S2-McCarty-594-Electric-Guitar-with-Gigbag—Whale-Blue.htm   it’s expensive but I know it’s worth the wait now that I have a different model from the PRS S2 line.

Mark Morton from “Lamb of God”.  I prefer this “Silver Burst” to the colour in the video.  This guitar purchase is in limbo right now.  I like it a LOT but I wish it was more affordable.  I guess I’ll see how we manage this looming income tax debt?

https://www.long-mcquade.com/164476/Guitars/Electric-Guitars/Jackson-Guitars/Pro-Series-Signature-Mark-Morton-Dominion–Ebony-Fingerboard—Silverburst.htm

The Godin radiator

https://www.long-mcquade.com/159896/Guitars/Electric-Guitars/Godin-Guitars/Radiator-Electric-Guitar-with-Gig-Bag—Trans-Cream.htm

…and the Sterling Cutlass.  Cheapest of the bunch, with things you don’t see on a guitar under $1500.

https://www.long-mcquade.com/220378/Guitars/Electric-Guitars/Sterling-By-Music-Man/Cutlass-HSS–Roasted-Maple-Neck—Vintage-Cream.htm

I know you see them a LOT, but I see them WAY more.  I’m certain that once I buy my last guitar I’ll be watching almost no www.youtube.com guitar videos but playing a TON more guitar.  I’m already cutting back as it is.

Kim told me to get a hobby when I was released into the wild from my therapies.  I found one but it’s too expensive for me.  Could be a worse hobby.  I could be spending the money on alcohol or cigarettes?  I’ll have to ask my doctor about claiming guitars on my income tax?

The 4 songs I was determined to learn in 2 weeks, won’t happen I’ve learned 2 of them & 2 others Monday morning.  I couldn’t play fast enough for the “Pantera” song when I was younger.  The “Queens of the Stone Age” song I could play when I was younger, but with VERY poor technique.  Trying to do this properly, in a different way than I used to do.

Kim amazed me again with an Easter supper for 2.  Ham, hash-brown casserole, broccoli salad, & mustard sauce.  Fresh peanut butter & chocolate chip cookies for dessert.  This home cooking might fatten me up at this rate?

Kim had Monday off, so I took it off too.  I was ready to sleep in & my iPod started playing a playlist early in the morning, which was good but I listen to full albums only.  Then I got another scam call shortly after.  My hacker is coming on HARD right now!??!?

Ended up watching the baseball game on a streaming service, our guide was incorrect from what the announcers said on Sunday.  Baseball channel was screwed up yesterday & a different channel was screwed up for 4 days last week?  This morning I checked the stats on my website & the numbers on the last 4-5 days all shot up drastically.  My Facebook news feed & www.youtube.com feed are REALLY messed too.  Am I paranoid or is this the work of a hacker? 

Absolutely LOVING the new “Foo Fighters” album.  Why wasn’t this first song on the album a single?  Might be too shocking for some people I guess?  Look at that guitar though!

I’m really looking forward to this debut album by “Wolfgang Van Halen/Mammoth”.  The name “Mammoth” was what “Van Halen” used as a name before they became successful.

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris

YOU SHOULD MEET KIM, SHE’S AMAZING!!!

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I wrote and published Friday’s post & instantly felt very selfish.  I wrote this late yesterday afternoon with a break for supper & movie with Kim, then stayed up until 2:30 am finishing writing & editing this.

I think it’s pretty cool when I see a guitar that I own being used by a professional musician.  I got my Squier Starcaster 2 ½ weeks ago.  I watched a video, for the first time, on www.youtube.com and Eddie Van Halen’s son, Wolfgang Van Halen, has the same guitar in a music video from his band “Mammoth”.  He also plays bass guitar in Tremonti, Mark Tremonti’s solo project to “Alter Bridge”.  Wolfgang could easily put a ‘Wolfgang guitar’ designed by his dad and made by the “EVH” brand, sold at a much higher price point than the Squier Starcaster but he chose the Squier, same model and colour as mine. 

I BOUGHT THE Squier Starcaster for a few reasons.  I REALLY like my friends hollow body Gretsch guitar, the Squier was VERY affordable, & David Grohl plays a Gibson Trini Lopez all of the time.  His signature hollow body guitar.  They’re not in production anymore & were $12000 + tax in Canada brand new.  Now the used ones are listed at $17,576 to $32,000.  The cheaper used one is more than ½ of our 2019 Toyota RAV 4!!!!!!

You know what I don’t want or need fancy expensive guitars!  I don’t feel sorry for myself at all!  I feel VERY, VERY fortunate!!!!!  I feel sorry for the people that were helpless & had to watch me go through stage 4 brain cancer not knowing if I’d ever come out of a coma with only a 5-15% chance of waking up. 

Most of all Kim.  Kim has to deal with a physically disabled husband EVERY day!  Kim puts my wheelchair in the back of our SUV if we go anywhere.  Kim has to help me go walking with my walker in case I fall & crack my head open.  Kim cooks supper.  Kim gets groceries for us.  Kim gets my prescription refills.  Kim takes me for my MRIs, to my psychiatrist, & family doctor.  Kim works a full time job for us.  Kim painted our entire suite by herself, twice now.  Kim orders stuff for me online.  Kim never gets anything remotely extravagant for herself.  Kim bought a bicycle in 2019, it was stolen & never found after only 3 months, and she never replaced it.  Kim bought herself cross country skis this winter.  She used them once & her feet were covered in blisters & incredibly sore.  Kim wouldn’t let me help her if she wanted something from around the house.  She slowly walked on her blisters around the house.  She bought this condo with our money after I was released from my physiotherapies.  Kim told the doctors to save my life instead of harvesting my sperm & letting me die.  My parents had that decision & left it up to Kim.  Any extra money Kim gets, she spends on stuff for the house. 

Kim bought me the Epiphone Explorer I have for Christmas 2002 after we had been dating since mid-April 2002.  Kim bought me the Epiphone Matt Heafy signature Les Paul Custom 7 string last year for my 40th birthday.  Kim paid for ½ of my PRS S2 Custom 22 semi hollow.  The guitars I have are GREAT & the 3 guitars I’ll buy are GREAT!  If they weren’t I wouldn’t have chosen them.  I know I’ll never meet “Foo Fighters”, “Alter Bridge”, or “Lamb of God” I’m just another fan.  I’m seriously OK with this, its Kim’s right to take credit for what she lets me do.  I’ll likely never see “Lamb of God” live again since they never tour through Calgary, Alberta, Saskatchewan or Manitoba much & nobody I know wants to see them as much as I do.  “Alter Bridge” might come to one of these locations & I’ll be there if they come, Kim wants to see them.  I haven’t missed a “Foo Fighters” show in Calgary since the ‘Wasting Light’ tour in 2011(?) & in the 2000 & 2003.  I’ve converted my father into a “Foo Fighters” fan.  I think he’s been to every show since the ‘Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace’ tour when I had cancer.     

I couldn’t LOVE Kim more for what she does for Brewster & me, or just for being who she is.  A thoughtful, loving, caring, generous, smart, hardworking, humbling, attractive woman, who chose me of all people to spend her life with.  I didn’t even make it to our 3rd anniversary in 2008 without getting cancer but Kim stuck with me.  One of my oncologist at the hospital called Kim “the best wife I’ve ever seen”.  He said that most spouses that go through something like we did break up before it’s over but here we are after almost 16 years of marriage and 18 ½ years together.

I’ll order the long awaited PRS S2 McCarty 594 I’ll order it in early December.  Then save MY Christmas & birthday money from our families for the other 2.  Even with this income tax oops I’ll have the down payment to order the PRS S2 McCarty 594 and pay the rest of it when it gets here 6 months later.  The Godin radiator & the Sterling Cutlass should be GREAT guitars regardless of the low price.  Those 2 combined with tax is still far less than the S2 McCarty 594. 

There’s only cosmetic reasons to upgrade the PRS S2 McCarty 594 & the Godin is made in Canada.  The Sterling Cutlass is exactly what I’m looking for in a Stratocaster style guitar.   All 3 guitars check off all of my boxes, as does every guitar I already own.  I have absolutely no problem waiting & saving for the Godin & Sterling!  I want Kim to get her hobby stuff more than anything!  I’ve only paid for 2 ½ guitars here, the other 3 ½ were gifts. 

All of these guitars are desires not needs.  I’ll be here most of the time & I choose to play guitar instead of anything else.  Even when I watch Blue Jay baseball or CFL I’m playing my acoustic guitar.  Kim’s doing anything but watching TV with me.

Sure I’m here for Kim for whatever I can do for her, our families & friends.  Kim takes no credit for what she does for our families or our friends.  That’s just who she is.  Me, I’m good but Kim is AMAZING!!!!

This was the only type of 7 string I was really interested in/wanting, because it wasn’t a pointy, metal looking guitar.  I’ve got my 6 string Epiphone Explorer from Kim for that.

I listen to 7 string guitar music, I don’t play it.  7 strings, I’m all thumbs, 6 strings, I’m fine.  That’s my reason for selling it & putting the money towards the PRS S2 McCarty 594.

It would be great to upgrade & replace my PRS S2 Custom 22 semi hollow with the new Core PRS Special semi hollow but it’s not needed for sure!  I can’t afford it at over $5000 + tax in Canada.  Even if I lived in the USA it’s over $3000 there.

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris

TO SELL OR NOT TO SELL

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A little bit backwards today.  Got up & Kim saw that our roof was leaking right through one of our new light fixtures directly on to her keyboard & chair this morning.  Kim thought it was water running through or counter top garden that grows a bunch of herbs.  If only that were true.  The light fixture will come down for a few days, Kim’s off work for the morning & I’ll exercise later on today.  Kim called our building manager, he called the guy that does work on these types of problems, and they’ve already been in the attic.  Let’s hope the rest of the day gets better!

As if this guitar wasn’t expensive enough!  They shot up in price this week.  Before the price went up I’d still have some cash after tax next year.  Now I’ll be short next year.  I’m still getting it, it’ll take longer than I was planning on though???

Got to sell my Epiphone Les Paul 7 string.  I realize now that I’m not a 7 string guitar player.  I wanted it to play progressive metal stuff, that’s not me.  My plan is to sell it to my brother & put the money towards the S2 McCarty 594 now.  I didn’t even know he was looking for a 7 string?  Even with that sale, the money I have saved & what we can save after we put $5000 each away for our retirement savings, I’ll be short of the full price.  HOLY F.O.M.O.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This pushes back the purchase of the Schecter Tempest https://www.schecterguitars.com/guitars/custom/tempest-custom-vwht-1-detail

Both of those guitars will take 6 months to get here once I order them & the S2 McCarty 594 is first up, likely next year at some point?  My hollow-body “Squier” Starcaster should be here next week!

20 years ago I’d go into a music store to play a guitar before I bought it, now you order & buy it to try it?  Online is VERY convenient, but not always the best option in certain scenarios.  I used to have very little idea as to the specifications of a guitar was, now that’s what I look up & research on the interweb before I buy a guitar?

I’m VERY confident with my choice for the S2 McCarty 594 & the Schecter Tempest!  Both of those are must have for me, and that will be the end of my guitar shopping spree.  Those 2 are my endgame.

I’ve thought about looking for a relatively inexpensive guitar with an HSS pickup layout, but I’m not convinced that I want to buy one.  I’m on the fence about that purchase.  The HSS pickup layout is explained in the video below….

I’d love to get a “Paul’s Guitar” SE, but I really don’t need it.  SE model because I’m not going to even dream about spending $5000 or more on a guitar.

Yes, I play guitar for multiple hours a day.  I have a small breakfast ASAP, exercise, shower, and post this while having a small snack, then I play guitar.  Stopping only to eat and then when Kim’s done work or if I need to get supper started.  This is what I’ve been practicing….

…among too many other songs!  Now that I have more than 2 electric guitars I can play stuff in different tunings without having to re-tune a guitar every time!  There is often some “Alice in Chains”, more “Pearl Jam”, “Foo Fighters”, “AC/DC”, “Megadeth”, “Metallica”, “Queens of the Stone Age”, “Soundgarden”, “In Flames”, “Audioslave”, “Led Zeppelin”, etc.  I’m VERY fortunate to have what I do & I get to spend my time with Kim.

We ended up watching “The Flight Attendant” this weekend on the Crave streaming channel.  It was different but still binge worthy, 8 episodes in total.

We both thought it would be a movie, but it killed time for us over the weekend as a series instead.

Kim’s thinking of not moving next year.  Our place looks REALLY good now and there never seems to be a wheelchair accessible place on the market in Regina.  What sucks about that is that we don’t have a spare bedroom.  The upside is I don’t have to wrangle Brewster & disappear for a viewing.  I’m done shopping for guitars but nobody will believe me.  Kim’s thinking we won’t be able to afford it, but who knows?  That’s the only situation where I hate being in a wheelchair.  All of the other stuff I’m fine with, I just hate how it affects other people that I love.  Not fair to them!

This is no joke!  Here’s “Foo Fighters” covering “The Bee Gees”.  If you have time watch the interview with Dave Grohl after the song!

I’m pleasantly surprised at how much I like the new album by “The Pretty Reckless” and “Matt Cameron” drummer of “Soundgarden” & “Pearl Jam” did a really good job as producer!

I don’t know why, but the stand alone singles from this album just don’t work for me.  As an entire album they seem more than OK though, & I prefer to listen to an entire album, not a playlist of singles.

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

We’re all Global Citizens,

Chris