My favorite songs from 1996

Posted: April 14, 2018 in Rankings

 

In 1996 I moved in with my girlfriend in May. At the end of October we broke up – and it was a pretty rocky summer leading up to that. So in the early months, the music was during happy times. In the middle months, we had combined our CD collections to make this one massive collection – and so again, music was a big part. Predominantly alternative. By the end of the year I was a wreck. A Long December really put the cap on this year – and on my rough breakup.

I bought myself a shitty pickup truck (all I could afford) so I wouldn’t be stranded, since she had the vehicle all this time. I couldn’t focus on my final year in University, but still got by. I did lots of traveling home – and back then road trips always meant music. A lot of the songs that came out in the second half of ’96 got plenty of play in Guelph’s The Trashateria when I frequented there in 1997 (I still think of ‘The Trash’ every time Pepper plays). They also got lots of play during my stint as a delivery driver (with my shitty old/new truck). These songs remind me of sitting in my truck waiting for my next call, listening to The Edge. I really fell in love with the MTV Unplugged album by Alice in Chains. Ahead By a Century quickly became one of my favorites from the Hip. And I still think of my ex whenever Santa Monica plays – and my time living in that tiny apartment.

Unlike most rankings, I haven’t been simply tossing these up in a numerical order. Because we can all agree that on some days, certain songs kick more ass than other songs – yet other days they do not. It all depends on mood and situation. A song that is ranked 14th today could very well rank 1st tomorrow – if it suddenly comes on the radio during the perfect moment and I start singing along. So I group them instead of presenting a hard-and-fast order:

Awesome
Great
Pretty Good
Not Bad
…with some inter-group splitting.

 

Awesome – 1 Heaven Beside You Alice in Chains
Awesome – 1 Pepper Butthole Surfers
Awesome – 1 A Long December Counting Crows
Awesome – 1 Santa Monica Everclear
Awesome – 1 Hero Of The Day Metallica
Awesome – 1 Blow Up The Outside World Soundgarden
Awesome – 1 What I Got Sublime
Awesome – 1 Ahead by a Century The Tragically Hip
Awesome – 1 Swallowed Bush
Awesome – 10 Novocaine For The Soul Eels
Awesome – 10 Another Sunday I Mother Earth
Awesome – 10 Push Matchbox Twenty
Awesome – 10 Off He Goes Pearl Jam
Awesome – 10 Who You Are Pearl Jam
Awesome – 10 Bulls On Parade Rage Against the Machine
Awesome – 10 Burden In My Hand Soundgarden
Awesome – 10 Big Bang Baby Stone Temple Pilots
Awesome – 10 When You’re Gone The Cranberries
Awesome – 10 Open Up Your Eyes Tonic
Awesome – 10 El Scorcho Weezer
Great – 21 California Love 2Pac
Great – 21 Let It Rain Amanda Marshall
Great – 21 Diggin’ a Hole Big Sugar
Great – 21 Fire Water Burn Bloodhound Gang
Great – 21 Greedy Fly Bush
Great – 21 The Distance Cake
Great – 21 Naked Goo Goo Dolls
Great – 21 One More Astronaut I Mother Earth
Great – 21 Leave It Alone Moist
Great – 21 If It Makes You Happy Sheryl Crow
Great – 21 The Good in Everyone Sloan
Great – 21 Pretty Noose Soundgarden
Great – 21 Trippin’ On A Hole In A Paper Heart Stone Temple Pilots
Great – 21 Banditos The Refreshments
Great – 21 The Freshman The Verve Pipe
Great – 21 If You Could Only See Tonic
Great – 21 Give Me One Reason Tracy Chapman
Great – 38 The Devil in the Kitchen Ashley MacIsaac
Great – 38 Brenda Stubbert Ashley MacIsaac
Great – 38 Sleepy Maggie Ashley MacIsaac
Great – 38 Radiation Vibe Fountains of Wayne
Great – 38 One Of Us Joan Osborne
Great – 38 Popular Nada Surf
Great – 38 How Bizarre OMC
Great – 38 E-Bow the Letter R.E.M.
Great – 38 A Change Would Do You Good Sheryl Crow
Great – 38 Lady Picture Show Stone Temple Pilots
Great – 38 Springtime in Vienna The Tragically Hip
Great – 38 One Headlight The Wallflowers
Great – 38 Crossing a Canyon 54-40
Great – 38 Over Now Alice in Chains
Great – 38 The Old Apartment Barenaked Ladies
Great – 38 Devil’s Haircut Beck
Great – 38 No Diggity Blackstreet
Great – 38 Crash Into Me Dave Matthews Band
Great – 38 Tripping Billies Dave Matthews Band
Great – 38 Used to be Alright I Mother Earth
Great – 38 I Want You Savage Garden
Great – 38 Everything You’ve Done Wrong Sloan
Great – 38 Wannabe Spice Girls
Great – 38 Salvation The Cranberries
Great – 38 Hollywood The Cranberries
Great – 38 Free To Decide The Cranberries
Pretty Good – 64 Lies to Me 54-40
Pretty Good – 64 Love You All 54-40
Pretty Good – 64 The New Pollution Beck
Pretty Good – 64 Desperately Wanting Better Than Ezra
Pretty Good – 64 Around The World Daft Punk
Pretty Good – 64 Follow You Down Gin Blossoms
Pretty Good – 64 Long Way Down Goo Goo Dolls
Pretty Good – 64 3 AM Matchbox Twenty
Pretty Good – 64 Hail Hail Pearl Jam
Pretty Good – 64 Everyday Is a Winding Road Sheryl Crow
Pretty Good – 64 Art School Girl Stone Temple Pilots
Pretty Good – 64 Gift Shop The Tragically Hip
Pretty Good – 64 6th Avenue Heartache The Wallflowers
Pretty Good – 64 The Difference The Wallflowers
Pretty Good – 64 Birmingham Amanda Marshall
Pretty Good – 64 Quit Playing Games (With My Heart) Backstreet Boys
Pretty Good – 64 Criminal Fiona Apple
Pretty Good – 64 Right Hand Man Joan Osborne
Pretty Good – 64 Not An Addict K’s Choice
Pretty Good – 64 Sunday Morning No Doubt
Pretty Good – 64 Trigger Happy Jack Poe
Pretty Good – 64 Hello Poe
Pretty Good – 64 Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth With Money in My Hand Primitive Radio Gods
Pretty Good – 64 Hard to Make A Stand Sheryl Crow
Pretty Good – 64 Lovefool The Cardigans
Pretty Good – 64 Incarnate The Watchmen
Pretty Good – 90 Where It’s At Beck
Pretty Good – 90 Two Step Dave Matthews Band
Pretty Good – 90 I Love You Always Forever Donna Lewis
Pretty Good – 90 Don’t Let Go (Love) En Vogue
Pretty Good – 90 Pony Ginuwine
Pretty Good – 90 Soaked Killjoys
Pretty Good – 90 Govinda Kula Shaker
Pretty Good – 90 The Beautiful People Marilyn Manson
Pretty Good – 90 Excuse Me Mr. No Doubt
Pretty Good – 90 Red Mosquito Pearl Jam
Pretty Good – 90 6 Underground Sneaker Pimps
Pretty Good – 90 Breathe The Prodigy
Pretty Good – 90 700 ft. Ceiling The Tragically Hip
Pretty Good – 90 You’re Makin’ Me High Toni Braxton
Pretty Good – 90 Amish Paradise Weird Al Yankovic
Not Bad – 105 King of New Orleans Better Than Ezra
Not Bad – 105 Return Of The Mack Mark Morrison
Not Bad – 105 Until It Sleeps Metallica
Not Bad – 105 Say You’ll Be There Spice Girls
Not Bad – 105 Butts Wigglin’ The Tragically Hip
Not Bad – 105 Apartment Song The Tragically Hip
Not Bad – 105 Un-Break My Heart Toni Braxton
Not Bad – 112 I Cry Bass is Base
Not Bad – 112 Because You Loved Me Celine Dion
Not Bad – 112 Lie In Our Graves Dave Matthews Band
Not Bad – 112 Beautiful Freak Eels
Not Bad – 112 Change The World Eric Clapton
Not Bad – 112 Ready Or Not Fugees
Not Bad – 112 Til I Hear It From You Gin Blossoms
Not Bad – 112 Macarena Los del Rio
Not Bad – 112 Naked Eye Luscious Jackson
Not Bad – 112 King Nothing Metallica
Not Bad – 112 I Don’t Want To Wait Paula Cole
Not Bad – 112 I Believe I Can Fly R. Kelly
Not Bad – 112 Neil Armstrong Starkicker
Not Bad – 112 Tumble In The Rough Stone Temple Pilots
Not Bad – 112 Santeria Sublime
Not Bad – 112 Wrong Way Sublime
Not Bad – 112 Setting Sun The Chemical Brothers
Not Bad – 112 Everything and After The Doughboys
Not Bad – 112 Down Together The Refreshments
Not Bad – 112 Don’t Wake Daddy The Tragically Hip
Not Bad – 112 Put It Off The Tragically Hip
Not Bad – 112 I Don’t Want to Think About It Wild Strawberries

 

1990       1991      1992      1993     1994     1995     1996

1960s          1970s          1980s          1990s

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Windows – Sticky Notes = Useless

Posted: March 26, 2018 in Rant

I had been writing my “to do” list on Notepad, but was getting sick of finding it underneath the other windows. And without it constantly being shown, I would sometimes forget to check it. So I thought I’d try “Sticky Notes” which I found in my Start menu.

Uh, guys? This is the same as Notepad. Except for the pretty colors, and the fact that you can’t have a million lines of text (which I don’t need for this anyway). So it’s a yellow Notepad. Useless.

A quick Internet search determined that there were free options available, so I went to downloads.com (the only place I download programs from, to save me from viruses) and found “Always on Top”. Downloaded it – perfect. It stays on top of all windows. I have three screens so I keep it on my right one on the far right side. This is just what I was looking for. There is even a bar you can shift from left to right to make it more/less transparent (if you so choose, but I don’t need that – just found it cool).

Thought I would share in case anyone else had this problem. Couldn’t leave feedback or a review on the Microsoft Sticky Notes page, but it would get a ‘one star’ for sure. What’s the point of Sticky Notes, really? It’s the same as Notepad! It does everything I was already doing! (minus the pretty color background, of course!)

I know little about Reggaeton. Or rather, I knew little. Then one night when we had friends over my wife wanted to put on Reggaeton. It was the first time I ever heard the term! I knew Despacito, of course. And the pop artists Shakira, Enrique, etc. But the term Reggaeton was new. So I researched it, because it was pretty good. I dug up the definition:

Reggaeton (also known as reggaetón and reguetón[1]) is a musical genre which originated in Puerto Rico during the late 1990s. It is influenced by hip hop and Latin American and Caribbean music. Vocals include rappingand singing, typically in Spanish.

And then I went through about a dozen “best” Reggaeton songs online. I gathered them together and gave them all a listen. I eliminated a bunch and put the rest in an order. I thought I’d share all that work here in case anyone else wants to save themselves the same exercise. Keep in mind that I’m a complete amateur with this genre and very much new. Rock music is more my thing, but I’m open to all music. Anyway, without further ado, here are my ranked Top 50, plus a few honorable mentions underneath…

1 Gasolina Daddy Yankee
2 Baila Morena Hector y Tito
3 Atrevate Te Te Calle 13
4 Dile Don Omar
5 Yo Quiero Bailar Ivy Queen
6 Oye Mi Canto N.O.R.E.
7 Give Me Everything Pitbull
8 Baila Conmigo Zion y Lennox
9 Perdoname La Factoria
10 Lo Que Paso, Paso Daddy Yankee
11 Down R.K.M. and Ken-Y
12 Despacito Luis Fonsi
13 Bailando Enqrique Iglesias
14 Bamboleo Gipsy Kings
15 Aqui Esta Tu Caldo Daddy Yankee
16 Noche de Sexo Wisin y Yandel
17 Nadie Como Tu Winin y Yandel
18 Cinco Letras Alexis y Fido
19 El Tiburon Alexis y Fido
20 Asereje Las Ketchup
21 Pam, Pam Wisin y Yandel
22 Ayer La Vi Don Omar
23 La Bicicleta Shakira
24 Rakata Wisin y Yandel
25 Te Suelto El Pelo Yandel
26 Tu Principe Daddy Yankee
27 Waka Waka Shakira
28 Mayor Que Yo Wisin y Yandel
29 Ella Me Levanto Daddy Yankee
30 Felina Hector y Tito
31 Solo Una Noche Wisin y Yandel
32 El Telefono Wisin y Yandel
33 Perdoname Eddy Lover
34 Vivir Mi Vida Marc Anthony
35 Guatauba Plan B
36 No Quiere Novio Nejo
37 Metele Sazon Tego Calderon
38 Hay Algo En Ti Zion y Lennox
39 Noche De Travesura Hector El Father
40 Tocarte Toa Big Yamo
41 Rompe Daddy Yankee
42 Danza Kuduro Don Omar
43 El Ritmo No Perdona (Prende) Daddy Yankee
44 Pasarela Dalmata
45 El Amante Nicky Jam
46 Borro Cassette Maluma
47 Criminal Ozuna x Natti Natasha
48 Machucando Daddy Yankee
49 Ay Vamos J Balvin
50 Ahora Es Wisin y Yandel

 

Honorable mentions…

51 Cuando Cuando Es J King y Maximan
52 El Perdon Nicky Jam
53 Pa Que Retozen Tego Calderon
54 Chillax Farruko
55 Chulin Culin Cunfly (remix) Julio Voltio
56 Felices Los 4 Maluma
57 Dime Si Te Vas Con El Nigga Flex
58 Si No Le Contesto Plan B
59 Ella y Yo Don Omar
60 Otra Vez Zion y Lennox
61 Soy Una Gargola Arcangel
62 Ojos Que No Ven Alexis y Fido

My favorite songs from 1995

Posted: March 6, 2018 in Rankings

This was the year I was with my first serious girlfriend from the beginning to the end, from mid-94 through towards the end of ’96. She and I were both really into music and there were a lot of car trips/commutes when we listened to the radio. I remember buying Alanis Morissette’s CD and being surprised at just how amazing it was. This was also the year when I decided Collective Soul was one of my favorite bands, period. The World I Know really struck a chord. The Smashing Pumpkins double CD will always remind me of those times with my girlfriend, and Wonderwall (Oasis) and Alanis will always remind me of New Years ’96 into ’97…which means they were with me for more than a full year.

Longer term, Radiohead and The Tea Party grew on me. I liked them and these songs in ’95, but loved them even more over time. The two 311 songs will remind me of visits to my sister in London, Ontario…notably when my car broke down on the way past London to visit another friend!

Unlike most rankings, I haven’t been simply tossing these up in a numerical order. Because we can all agree that on some days, some songs kick more ass than other songs. A song that is ranked 14th today could very well rank 1st tomorrow – if it suddenly comes on the radio during the perfect moment and I start singing along. So I group them instead of presenting a hard-and-fast order:

Awesome
Great
Pretty Good
Not Bad
…with some inter-group splitting.

Awesome – 1 You Oughta Know Alanis Morissette
Awesome – 1 The World I Know Collective Soul
Awesome – 1 Brain Stew/Jaded Green Day
Awesome – 1 Geek Stink Breath Green Day
Awesome – 1 Wonderwall Oasis
Awesome – 1 Fake Plastic Trees Radiohead
Awesome – 1 Bullet With Butterfly Wings Smashing Pumpkins
Awesome – 1 Muzzle Smashing Pumpkins
Awesome – 1 Fire In the Head The Tea Party
Awesome – 10 Head Over Feet Alanis Morissette
Awesome – 10 Don’t Speak No Doubt
Awesome – 10 High And Dry Radiohead
Awesome – 10 Just Radiohead
Awesome – 10 Time Bomb Rancid
Awesome – 10 Ruby Soho Rancid
Awesome – 10 Zero Smashing Pumpkins
Awesome – 10 Lump The Presidents of the United States of America
Great – 18 Hand In My Pocket Alanis Morissette
Great – 18 Big Me Foo Fighters
Great – 18 Brat Green Day
Great – 18 Walking Contradiction Green Day
Great – 18 I Got Id Pearl Jam
Great – 18 Truth Untold The Odds
Great – 18 The Bazaar The Tea Party
Great – 18 Sister Awake The Tea Party
Great – 26 Down 311
Great – 26 All Mixed Up 311
Great – 26 Ironic Alanis Morissette
Great – 26 You Learn Alanis Morissette
Great – 26 All I Really Want Alanis Morissette
Great – 26 Breakfast at Tiffany’s Deep Blue Something
Great – 26 You Were Meant For Me Jewel
Great – 26 Champagne Supernova Oasis
Great – 26 Cumbersome Seven Mary Three
Great – 26 We Only Come Out At Night Smashing Pumpkins
Great – 26 Misery Soul Asylum
Great – 26 Promises Broken Soul Asylum
Great – 26 Name The Goo Goo Dolls
Great – 26 Eat My Brain The Odds
Great – 26 Peaches The Presidents of the United States of America
Pretty Good – 41 Good Better Than Ezra
Pretty Good – 41 Country House Blur
Pretty Good – 41 December Collective Soul
Pretty Good – 41 Gel Collective Soul
Pretty Good – 41 Stupid Girl Garbage
Pretty Good – 41 Who Will Save Your Soul Jewel
Pretty Good – 41 Foolish Games Jewel
Pretty Good – 41 Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) Marilyn Manson
Pretty Good – 41 They Don’t Care About Us Michael Jackson
Pretty Good – 41 Spiderwebs No Doubt
Pretty Good – 41 Boombastic Shaggy
Pretty Good – 52 Burn One Down Ben Harper
Pretty Good – 52 Gangsta’s Paradise Coolio
Pretty Good – 52 Hey Man Nice Shot Filter
Pretty Good – 52 Only Happy When It Rains Garbage
Pretty Good – 52 Can’t Get You Off My Mind Lenny Kravitz
Pretty Good – 52 Just A Girl No Doubt
Pretty Good – 52 1979 Smashing Pumpkins
Pretty Good – 52 Forgiven Alanis Morissette
Pretty Good – 52 Let It Rain Amanda Marshall
Pretty Good – 52 On and On Crash Vegas
Pretty Good – 52 I’ll Stick Around Foo Fighters
Pretty Good – 52 You Are Not Alone Michael Jackson
Pretty Good – 52 Don’t Look Back In Anger Oasis
Pretty Good – 52 Common People Pulp
Pretty Good – 52 Thirty-Three Smashing Pumpkins
Not Bad – 67 One Sweet Day Mariah Carey
Not Bad – 67 Beautiful Life Ace of Base
Not Bad – 67 Mary Jane Alanis Morissette
Not Bad – 67 Smashing Young Man Collective Soul
Not Bad – 67 Where the River Flows Collective Soul
Not Bad – 67 She Gathers Rain Collective Soul
Not Bad – 67 Counting Blue Cars Dishwalla
Not Bad – 67 Alone & Easy Target Foo Fighters
Not Bad – 67 Morning Glory Oasis
Not Bad – 67 Disco 2000 Pulp
Not Bad – 67 Curious Sandbox
Not Bad – 67 Any Man Of Mine Shania Twain
Not Bad – 67 Tonight, Tonight Smashing Pumpkins
Not Bad – 67 Just Like Anyone Soul Asylum
Not Bad – 67 I’ll Be There For You The Rembrandts
Not Bad – 67 Perfect Alanis Morissette
Not Bad – 67 Not the Doctor Alanis Morissette
Not Bad – 67 Roll To Me Del Amitri
Not Bad – 67 This Is A Call Foo Fighters
Not Bad – 67 Stuck With Me Green Day
Not Bad – 67 Doin’ It LL Cool J
Not Bad – 67 Believe Me Moist
Not Bad – 67 Aeroplane Red Hot Chili Peppers
Not Bad – 67 More Human Than Human White Zombie
Not Bad – 91 Dear Mama 2Pac
Not Bad – 91 The Chanukah Song Adam Sandler
Not Bad – 91 Wake Up Alanis Morissette
Not Bad – 91 Right Through You Alanis Morissette
Not Bad – 91 No More I Love You’s Annie Lennox
Not Bad – 91 Do Ya Barney Bentall
Not Bad – 91 The Universal Blur
Not Bad – 91 The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead Crash Test Dummies
Not Bad – 91 Queer Garbage
Not Bad – 91 Flood Jars of Clay
Not Bad – 91 Rock and Roll Is Dead Lenny Kravitz
Not Bad – 91 Your Little Secret Melissa Etheridge
Not Bad – 91 Scream Michael and Janet Jackson
Not Bad – 91 Acquiesce Oasis
Not Bad – 91 She Forgot to Laugh Rhymes with Orange
Not Bad – 91 I Will Remember You Sarah McLachlan
Not Bad – 91 Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under? Shania Twain
Not Bad – 91 Here Is No Why Smashing Pumpkins
Not Bad – 91 Hard As A Rock AC/DC
Not Bad – 91 Murder Incorporated Bruce Springsteen
Not Bad – 91 I Know Dionne Farris
Not Bad – 91 Here In Your Bedroom Goldfinger
Not Bad – 91 86 Green Day
Not Bad – 91 Tightwad Hill Green Day
Not Bad – 91 Bab’s Uvula Who? Green Day
Not Bad – 91 Here Comes The Hotstepper Ini Kamoze
Not Bad – 91 No More Walking Away Kim Mitchell
Not Bad – 91 Zamboni Martin Zellar
Not Bad – 91 This Is How We Do It Montell Jordan
Not Bad – 91 Downtown Neil Young
Not Bad – 91 Angry Johnny Poe
Not Bad – 91 You’ve Got A Friend In Me Randy Newman
Not Bad – 91 All Uncovered The Watchmen
Not Bad – 91 Born Slippy Underworld

 

1990       1991      1992      1993     1994     1995

1960s          1970s          1980s          1990s

Monday was Day +180 post transplant

Things are going well for me in terms of health. I can do regular workouts and I can string together a couple of six-hour sleep nights in a row and I’m fine. Pretty much back to normal there. I can have a few beers, too, and within a week or two I’ll be filling the hot tub back up and I’ll be back in business!

Thursday I went in for some tests. One of which was a test that measure the percentage of my blood that has the donor’s cells. The target is to keep this above 95%. Back in November I was hit with the Epstein-Barr virus. It was a terrible month for me and I had a lot of trouble recovering. I went in for weekly Rituximab injections to battle this and it worked. Anyway, the EBV knocked my donor’s cells down to 85% and the doctor was concerned. But after Rituximab I tested at 89% at the end of December and 92% at the end of January. So the hope is that the results of the Thursday test will show >95%. If that’s the case, then I really have zero complaints about my progress. It’s as good as can possibly be. I’ll hear back in a week or two.

I’m still not venturing into crowds or parties. Still haven’t seen Star Wars. Looking forward to reaching one year on August 29 in perfect health. Hoping to actually go camping in August? Maybe go on vacation down south next winter? So close to normalcy!

I’m not able to learn the identity of my donor, nor him mine. But I sent an anonymous note of thanks and will learn (if he chooses) who it is after one year.

Thank you for your warm thoughts and well wishes that kept me going last summer! Don’t forget to join the stem cell donation registry if you haven’t already. You’re seeing first hand what it can do.

My favorite songs from 1994

Posted: January 21, 2018 in Rankings

In April of ’94 I broke up with one girlfriend and had another one in July. Both girls were in (or near) my hometown, whereas I went to university about an hour away in Guelph. So there was a lot of commuting involved, which meant a lot of radio. And this is when I started to get sick of classic rock and move more fully into modern alternative rock and grunge. In the fall I moved in with three buddies and formed lasting friendships with all of them. A lot of this music reminds me of those times, though much of it was really enjoyed in 1995 even if it was released in 1994.

This year was home to several of my favorite 10 albums (just a guess) of all time. I know I would have Live’s Throwing Copper on there. And The Offspring’s Smash. And Weezer’s blue album. And in my favorite 20 of all time, I am certain Pearl Jam’s Vitalogy gets in there as well as the Hip’s Day for Night. I’m also guessing that albums released that year from Hole, Cranberries, Bush and Green Day would get into my favorite 30 of all time. This year marks the beginning of six to eight years in which music was the biggest part of my life. It’s always been huge, but during those years it meant the world to me.

With 179 songs ranked, this tops 1989 when I had 150 and includes 79 songs marked “Great” or better.

Unlike most rankings, I haven’t been simply tossing these up in a numerical order. Because we can all agree that on some days, some songs kick more ass than other songs. A song that is ranked 14th today could very well rank 1st tomorrow – if it suddenly comes on the radio during the perfect moment and I start singing along. So I group them instead of presenting a hard-and-fast order:

Awesome
Great
Pretty Good
Not Bad
…with some inter-group splitting.

 

Awesome – 1 No Excuses Alice in Chains
Awesome – 1 Glycerine Bush
Awesome – 1 Hold My Hand Hootie & the Blowfish
Awesome – 1 Lightning Crashes Live
Awesome – 1 Hurt Nine Inch Nails
Awesome – 1 Better Man Pearl Jam
Awesome – 1 Strange Currencies R.E.M.
Awesome – 1 What’s the Frequency, Kenneth? R.E.M.
Awesome – 1 Self Esteem The Offspring
Awesome – 10 Starseed Our Lady Peace
Awesome – 10 Basket Case Green Day
Awesome – 10 When I Come Around Green Day
Awesome – 10 Doll Parts Hole
Awesome – 10 Violet Hole
Awesome – 10 Let Her Cry Hootie & the Blowfish
Awesome – 10 Nothingman Pearl Jam
Awesome – 10 Come Out And Play The Offspring
Awesome – 10 Gotta Get Away The Offspring
Awesome – 10 You Don’t Know How It Feels Tom Petty
Awesome – 10 Grace, Too The Tragically Hip
Awesome – 10 Yawning or Snarling The Tragically Hip
Awesome – 10 Inevitability of Death The Tragically Hip
Awesome – 10 Undone – The Sweater Song Weezer
Awesome – 10 Plateau Nirvana
Awesome – 10 Where Did You Sleep Last Night Nirvana
Awesome – 10 The Man Who Sold the World Nirvana
Awesome – 10 Lake of Fire Nirvana
Great – 28 F.O.D. Green Day
Great – 28 She Green Day
Great – 28 Miss World Hole
Great – 28 I Alone Live
Great – 28 Closer Nine Inch Nails
Great – 28 Supersonic Oasis
Great – 28 Jesus Don’t Want Me for a Sunbeam Nirvana
Great – 28 Oh, Me Nirvana
Great – 28 Immortality Pearl Jam
Great – 28 Black Hole Sun Soundgarden
Great – 28 Interstate Love Song Stone Temple Pilots
Great – 28 Zombie The Cranberries
Great – 28 Thugs The Tragically Hip
Great – 28 Buddy Holly Weezer
Great – 28 My Name Is Jonas Weezer
Great – 28 Only In Dreams Weezer
Great – 28 Say It Ain’t So Weezer
Great – 28 Sure Shot Beastie Boys
Great – 28 Loser Beck
Great – 28 Comedown Bush
Great – 28 Little Things Bush
Great – 28 Machinehead Bush
Great – 28 Satellite Dave Matthews Band
Great – 28 Allison Road Gin Blossoms
Great – 28 Pillar Of Davidson Live
Great – 28 Push Moist
Great – 28 Live Forever Oasis
Great – 28 Tomorrow Silverchair
Great – 28 Spoonman Soundgarden
Great – 28 Big Empty Stone Temple Pilots
Great – 28 Vasoline Stone Temple Pilots
Great – 28 Free As A Bird The Beatles
Great – 28 Ode To My Family The Cranberries
Great – 28 Bad Habit The Offspring
Great – 28 It’ll Be a Long Time The Offspring
Great – 28 Scared The Tragically Hip
Great – 28 In The Garage Weezer
Great – 28 Surf Wax America Weezer
Great – 66 I Stay Away Alice in Chains
Great – 66 Sabotage Beastie Boys
Great – 66 Everything Zen Bush
Great – 66 Chump Green Day
Great – 66 Longview Green Day
Great – 66 Welcome To Paradise Green Day
Great – 66 All Over You Live
Great – 66 Selling the Drama Live
Great – 66 Silver Moist
Great – 66 Corduroy Pearl Jam
Great – 66 Crush With Eyeliner R.E.M.
Great – 66 Fell On Black Days Soundgarden
Great – 66 Possum Kingdom Toadies
Great – 66 Crazy Mary Victoria Williams
Pretty Good – 80 Waitress Live
Pretty Good – 80 Hope Our Lady Peace
Pretty Good – 80 Naveed Our Lady Peace
Pretty Good – 80 Ocean Pearl 54-40
Pretty Good – 80 Hasn’t Hit Me Yet Blue Rodeo
Pretty Good – 80 Run-Around Blues Traveler
Pretty Good – 80 Girls And Boys Blur
Pretty Good – 80 Alien Bush
Pretty Good – 80 Dissident Pearl Jam
Pretty Good – 80 Not For You Pearl Jam
Pretty Good – 80 What Happened to You The Offspring
Pretty Good – 80 Holiday Weezer
Pretty Good – 80 Always Bon Jovi
Pretty Good – 80 What Would You Say Dave Matthews Band
Pretty Good – 80 New Age Girl Deadeye Dick
Pretty Good – 80 Connection Elastica
Pretty Good – 80 Bang and Blame R.E.M.
Pretty Good – 80 Cotton Eye Joe Rednex
Pretty Good – 80 Greasy Jungle The Tragically Hip
Pretty Good – 80 Nautical Disaster The Tragically Hip
Pretty Good – 80 Mykel And Carli Weezer
Pretty Good – 101 Supersatellite Our Lady Peace
Pretty Good – 101 Blame Your Parents 54-40
Pretty Good – 101 Nutshell Alice in Chains
Pretty Good – 101 Jane Barenaked Ladies
Pretty Good – 101 Pay No Mind (Snoozer) Beck
Pretty Good – 101 The Power of Love Celine Dion
Pretty Good – 101 Goodnight Good Guy Collective Soul
Pretty Good – 101 Return To Innocence Enigma
Pretty Good – 101 Softer Softest Hole
Pretty Good – 101 Only Wanna Be with You Hootie & the Blowfish
Pretty Good – 101 Time Hootie & the Blowfish
Pretty Good – 101 Stay Lisa Loeb
Pretty Good – 101 Shit Towne Live
Pretty Good – 101 Backwater Meat Puppets
Pretty Good – 101 I Can’t Be With You The Cranberries
Pretty Good – 101 Nitro The Offspring
Pretty Good – 101 Waterfalls TLC
Pretty Good – 101 You Wreck Me Tom Petty
Pretty Good – 101 Cornflake Girl Tori Amos
Pretty Good – 101 Daredevil The Tragically Hip
Pretty Good – 101 So Hard Done By The Tragically Hip
Pretty Good – 101 An Inch an Hour The Tragically Hip
Pretty Good – 101 Titanic Terrarium The Tragically Hip
Not Bad – 124 Omaha Stylee 311
Not Bad – 124 Blind Man Aerosmith
Not Bad – 124 A Girl Like You Edwyn Collins
Not Bad – 124 Tremor Christ Pearl Jam
Not Bad – 124 Down With Disease Phish
Not Bad – 124 Kiss From A Rose Seal
Not Bad – 124 Coax Me Sloan
Not Bad – 124 The Day I Tried To Live Soundgarden
Not Bad – 124 Still Remains Stone Temple Pilots
Not Bad – 124 Empty The Cranberries
Not Bad – 124 Genocide The Offspring
Not Bad – 124 Save Me The Tea Party
Not Bad – 124 Emergency The Tragically Hip
Not Bad – 124 Sunshine Country Victoria Williams
Not Bad – 124 The World Has Turned And Left Me Here Weezer
Not Bad – 124 Hook Blues Traveler
Not Bad – 124 Until I Fall Away Gin Blossoms
Not Bad – 124 Pulling Teeth Green Day
Not Bad – 124 Horse Live
Not Bad – 124 Top Live
Not Bad – 124 White, Discussion Live
Not Bad – 124 River Of Deceit Mad Season
Not Bad – 124 Red Right Hand Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
Not Bad – 124 Pretty Penny Stone Temple Pilots
Not Bad – 124 Big Poppa The Notorious B.I.G.
Not Bad – 124 Something to Believe In The Offspring
Not Bad – 124 Boom Boom Boom The Outhere Brothers
Not Bad – 124 Love Spreads The Stone Roses
Not Bad – 124 Impossibilium The Tragically Hip
Not Bad – 124 Headline News Weird Al Yankovic
Not Bad – 154 Assoholic 54-40
Not Bad – 154 5 Days In May Blue Rodeo
Not Bad – 154 Bad Timing Blue Rodeo
Not Bad – 154 Someday I’ll Be Saturday Night Bon Jovi
Not Bad – 154 I’ll Make Love To You Boyz II Men
Not Bad – 154 Please Forgive Me Bryan Adams
Not Bad – 154 All For Love Byan Adams/Stewart/Sting
Not Bad – 154 Afternoons and Coffeespoons Crash Test Dummies
Not Bad – 154 Sassafrass Roots Green Day
Not Bad – 154 Love, Love, Love Hemingway Corner
Not Bad – 154 I Think That I Would Die Hole
Not Bad – 154 Iris Live
Not Bad – 154 T.B.D. Live
Not Bad – 154 I’ll Remember Madonna
Not Bad – 154 Reptile Nine Inch Nails
Not Bad – 154 Shakermaker Oasis
Not Bad – 154 The Most Beautiful Girl In The World Prince
Not Bad – 154 Nobody’s Hero Rush
Not Bad – 154 Kitchenware and Candy Bars Stone Temple Pilots
Not Bad – 154 Ridiculous Thoughts The Cranberries
Not Bad – 154 One More Chance The Notorious B.I.G.
Not Bad – 154 Killboy Powerhead The Offspring
Not Bad – 154 Not the One The Offspring
Not Bad – 154 Boneyard Tree The Watchmen
Not Bad – 154 Fire in the Hole The Tragically Hip
Not Bad – 154 Saturday Night Whigfield

 

1990       1991      1992      1993     1994

1960s          1970s          1980s          1990s

 

 

 

 

 

Day +138

Posted: January 15, 2018 in The Battle Against MDS

 

High time I did an update.

My 90-day Chimerism test showed yet another drop, but a small one to 85.3%. This was still a great concern but Dr. Thyagu guessed that it was due to the swollen lymph node which was caused by a virus (Epstein-Barr). A biopsy backed this. So I was put on Rituximab (spelling?). That was an IV every Friday for four weeks. However, test showed it to be gone after two doses…and confirmed gone after three doses. The swollen lymph node in my neck had shrunk. Problem solved.

I do feel better now. Not quite normal, but getting there. I can handle six hours of sleep, but not on consecutive nights. Used to be I could do 5.5 hours for three straight nights before it started to hit me. I’ll get back there! I felt well enough to work on the Midseason Guide for my website, which put those short sleep hours to the test. I succeeded. And now I’m trying to ease myself back into regular work.

My weight overshot where I wanted it. I wanted to limit it to 210 because it will be so hard to get back there. But here I am at 214 (D’oh!). I was lazy with my workouts over the holidays, down to every three days and even then only doing half. And with the Guide I didn’t have time to bring that back up. Now that the Guide is out, I tried today to do a full workout, but had to stop it at 30 minutes. I’ll get there though.

The 120-day Chimerism showed a small rise to 88.9%, which is what we hoping for. We hoped that it had dropped as a result of the EB virus and once that was gone it would go back up. So far so good. Next week I get tested again.

My blood counts are all in the normal range, except one – Lymphocites, which fight viruses. But that’s down due to the Rituximab which apparently took out the Lymphocites for several months. But still – all the other blood counts were normal, which I think is a first for me in the last five years.

 

I’ll continue to keep you posted, thanks for following.

 

My Favorite Songs From 1993

Posted: December 13, 2017 in Rankings

In 1993 I finished high school and started at the University of Guelph. I turned 19 that April, legal drinking age in Ontario. I was still into Classic Rock, with a lot of Tragically Hip on the playlist. But I was also exposed to Alternative/Grunge and was starting to appreciate it. By the time 1995 began, I was completely into that music. But it was a transition that took a couple of years and I never did lose my love of classic rock. While I got into the Hip album of 1993 (Fully Completely), and Kravitz and Pearl Jam…many of the Alternative songs from that year I got into in ’94. Including ‘Shine’, which to this day is still one of my favorite songs of all time.

 

Unlike most rankings, I haven’t been simply tossing these up in a numerical order. Because we can all agree that on some days, some songs kick more ass than other songs. A song that is ranked 14th today could very well rank 1st tomorrow – if it suddenly comes on the radio during the perfect moment and I start singing along. So I group them instead of presenting a hard-and-fast order:

Awesome
Great
Pretty Good
Not Bad
…with some inter-group splitting.

 

Awesome – 1 Shine Collective Soul
Awesome – 1 Believe Lenny Kravitz
Awesome – 1 All Apologies Nirvana
Awesome – 1 Pennyroyal Tea Nirvana
Awesome – 1 Daughter Pearl Jam
Awesome – 1 Cherub Rock Smashing Pumpkins
Awesome – 1 Pigeon Camera The Tragically Hip
Awesome – 1 Mary Jane’s Last Dance Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
Awesome – 9 Low Cracker
Awesome – 9 Laid James
Awesome – 9 Are You Gonna Go My Way Lenny Kravitz
Awesome – 9 Dumb Nirvana
Awesome – 9 Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town Pearl Jam
Awesome – 9 Creep Radiohead
Great – 15 The Sign Ace of Base
Great – 15 Mr. Jones Counting Crows
Great – 15 Come Undone Duran Duran
Great – 15 Ordinary World Duran Duran
Great – 15 Linger The Cranberries
Great – 15 Courage (For Hugh MacLennan) The Tragically Hip
Great – 15 We’ll Go To The Tragically Hip
Great – 15 At the Hundredth Meridian The Tragically Hip
Great – 15 Can’t Help Falling In Love UB40
Great – 24 All That She Wants Ace of Base
Great – 24 Heart-Shaped Box Nirvana
Great – 24 Soul to Squeeze Red Hot Chili Peppers
Great – 24 Disarm Smashing Pumpkins
Great – 24 Today Smashing Pumpkins
Great – 29 Two Steps Behind Def Leppard
Great – 29 Hey Jealousy Gin Blossoms
Great – 29 Come to My Window Melissa Etheridge
Great – 29 I’m the Only One Melissa Etheridge
Great – 29 Rape Me Nirvana
Great – 29 Glorified G Pearl Jam
Great – 29 Dissident Pearl Jam
Great – 29 All I Wanna Do Sheryl Crow
Great – 29 Dreams The Cranberries
Great – 29 She Don’t Use Jelly The Flaming Lips
Great – 29 Eldorado The Tragically Hip
Pretty Good – 40 More 13 Engines
Pretty Good – 40 Amazing Aerosmith
Pretty Good – 40 Crazy Aerosmith
Pretty Good – 40 Cryin’ Aerosmith
Pretty Good – 40 Asshole Dennis Leary
Pretty Good – 40 Sister Lenny Kravitz
Pretty Good – 40 Rearviewmirror Pearl Jam
Pretty Good – 40 Cannonball The Breeders
Pretty Good – 40 The River The Tea Party
Pretty Good – 40 Looking For a Place To Happen The Tragically Hip
Pretty Good – 40 Lionized The Tragically Hip
Pretty Good – 40 Fully Completely The Tragically Hip
Pretty Good – 40 Fifty Mission Cap The Tragically Hip
Pretty Good – 40 Sober Tool
Pretty Good – 54 Livin’ On The Edge Aerosmith
Pretty Good – 54 Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm Crash Test Dummies
Pretty Good – 54 Heaven Help Lenny Kravitz
Pretty Good – 54 My Love Lenny Kravitz
Pretty Good – 54 Animal Pearl Jam
Pretty Good – 54 Strong Enough Sheryl Crow
Pretty Good – 54 Numb U2
Pretty Good – 61 Found Out About You Gin Blossoms
Pretty Good – 61 Will You Remember Me Jann Arden
Pretty Good – 61 Go Pearl Jam
Pretty Good – 61 Rats Pearl Jam
Pretty Good – 61 Indifference Pearl Jam
Pretty Good – 61 Shoop Salt-N-Pepa
Pretty Good – 61 Whatta Man Salt-N-Pepa
Pretty Good – 61 Who Do You Think You Are Sass Jordan
Pretty Good – 61 Oh Carolina Shaggy
Pretty Good – 61 Rocket Smashing Pumpkins
Pretty Good – 61 Love Doesn’t Live Here Anymore Sven Gali
Not Bad – 72 Keep Ya Head Up 2Pac
Not Bad – 72 5 Days In May Blue Rodeo
Not Bad – 72 Round Here Counting Crows
Not Bad – 72 The Wherewithal The Tragically Hip
Not Bad – 76 No Apologies Alanis Morissette
Not Bad – 76 What a Good Boy Barenaked Ladies
Not Bad – 76 The River Of Dreams Billy Joel
Not Bad – 76 Rain King Counting Crows
Not Bad – 76 Mr. Vain Culture Beat
Not Bad – 76 Man on a Mission Hemingway Corner
Not Bad – 76 That’s The Way Love Goes Janet Jackson
Not Bad – 76 Lost In Your Eyes Jeff Healey Band
Not Bad – 76 Long May You Run Neil Young
Not Bad – 76 W.M.A. Pearl Jam
Not Bad – 76 Leash Pearl Jam
Not Bad – 76 Gin And Juice Snoop Dogg
Not Bad – 88 Harvest Moon Neil Young
Not Bad – 88 Prairie Town Randy Bachman
Not Bad – 88 Nobody’s Hero Rush
Not Bad – 88 Goin’ Back Again Sass Jordan
Not Bad – 88 Informer Snow
Not Bad – 88 It’s Probably Me Sting
Not Bad – 88 Whoomp! There It Is Tag Team
Not Bad – 88 Rise Again The Rankin Family
Not Bad – 88 Another Night The Real McCoy
Not Bad – 88 Breathe Again Toni Braxton
Not Bad – 88 Bedrock Anthem Weird Al Yankovic
Not Bad – 88 Shine Doughboys
Not Bad – 88 Sappy Nirvana

 

1990       1991      1992      1993

1960s          1970s          1980s          1990s

The Good…

I got the results back from my bone marrow biopsy. Blast count was at or below 1%, which is excellent (and expected). I don’t have cancer right now.

 

The Bad…

I developed a fever and over this past week you can add a sore throat to that too. The former is concerning because my body is clearly unable to fight it on its own. We’ve later determined that it’s related to the swollen lymph node in my neck. The latter is concerning because it hurts like hell, peaking at Day +78. It impacts not only my desire to do things (like get off the sofa), but also my outlook on life and this battle.

As of Day +80, the fever is gone and sore throat is mostly gone. Likely due to the increase in anti-viral meds and the addition of new anti-biotics. On Tuesday, Day +76, I went to emergency at Toronto General Hospital. I was already there for a CT scan (looking at the lymph node and all lymph nodes in my abdomen) so I just to emerg from there. The ear/neck/throat people looked at the lymph node and told me they wanted another biopsy on it and do a full work-up. From what they’ve seen, it’s a cyst in my neck under my jaw with several lymph nodes attached to it. I suspect I’ll finally get some action on it next week and that it will be gone in 15-20 days. Maybe I can start Day +100 with the same positivity that I had in the first 50 days (but have since lost).

 

The Ugly…

My Day +30 Chimerism test showed that 97.9% of my cells are from my donor and that’s great. The goal is to have that above 95.0% so mission accomplished. However, my Day +60 Chimerism test saw this number drop to 87.3%. My cells are elbowing out the donor’s. Dr. Santosh doesn’t see it that way, though he’s admittedly concerned. But that’s how I see it. What he wants to see is the Day +90 test results before he’ll consider it a trend. He suggests that it’s possible that it goes back up a little. One of things that he would do in response would be to get some lymphcites from the donor, presumably so the donor’s white blood cells can get in there and fight. At any rate, Santosh believes that there are plenty of things that can be done if a trend is indeed spotted. But I can’t say that the news from this Day +60 test wasn’t a blow to me. Added to the fact that I received the news while feeling like shit, and I wasn’t in a good way.

As I write this today on Day +80 I feel better physically and – no surprise – my outlook has improved too. That’s why they call it a “cancer fight” I guess, instead of a “cancer walk in the park”.

 

 

The Journey to Day +100

Posted: November 7, 2017 in The Battle Against MDS

Today is Day +69

Between my last update (Day +30) to today, my progress has been moving forward in leaps and bounces. To wit:

  • I gradually eased my workouts up to 40 minutes on the treadmill and eased the speed up slightly and incline up slightly. As well, I increased the length of time I held 10-pound dumbbells while on the treadmill to over 15 minutes. Also did 42 situps before starting. Key is to start low and add a minute and one situp each day.
  • Eating is normal
  • Weight gain up to 207, so five pounds since release
  • Released from the blood transfusion unit weekly visits, and would start at the regular transplant clinic.
  • Discussed removing my Hickman line
  • Breathing finally felt normal. Deep breaths had felt slightly burning…almost like a heartburn.
  • Chimerism results came back and it says that 97.9% of my blood cells are from the donor. The target was to get above 95%.
  • Hair alert! Getting localized growth on my chin and moustache. A shame I can’t grow a full beard yet, but maybe I can pretend it’s 2002 and just grow a goatee

 

Of concern:

  • Still have some redness around the Hickman line
  • Super light pigmentation under armpits and around groin

 

The Big Bump in the Road

No sooner had all this moved forward when…my lymph node swelled up quickly and painfully. On Day +60, the node under my jaw on the right side towards my ear started to swell. By Day +61 it had swelled up considerably. No other nodes did this. It was painful enough to disrupt my sleep.

Since I was going in on Day +62 for a bone marrow biopsy (hopefully my last?) anyway, we waited until then for the doctor to take a look. Doc put me on antibiotics and said I could take Advil to help with the pain. Antibiotics did nothing. The node has hardened. And now they have me on new antibiotics that are sent through my Hickman line and require me to walk around with a bag and pump. Looks like it’s viral though, and Dr. Santosh figured it could be similar to the virus that leads to mononucleosis.

Anyway, workouts have stopped. It’s been nine days since my last workout. I feel soft. I feel like recovery has been paused. And I don’t like that because I like to push forward. But all I can do is wait. The wait could be a few weeks.

On Thursday, Day +71, I ‘could’ get the results of my bone marrow biopsy from last week. It should say that I don’t have cancer. And as long as my blood counts remain normal going forward – I will never have a bone marrow biopsy again. Last week’s was my seventh, and I’d say it was the second easiest. Just grit your teeth and bare it, don’t give the doc a reason to hesitate – he/she needs to just get in there quickly and get it done.

 

Anyway. Will update when I have something to update.

Dobber