My Experience With Tinnitus

For anyone who suffers from tinnitus, they know how annoying – and in some cases – downright frustrating it can be. I’ve been suffering with this condition for over three years, although I’ve had it for more than three. Up until three years ago, it was more of a minor distraction most of the time.

What is Tinnitus?

For those who don’t know, tinnitus is a condition of the ears where a person “hears” noise in one or both ears, sometimes constantly, but not always. According to my doctor, there are many causes but what has occurred is that the tiny sensory hairs inside the ear have become damaged. This causes “noise” that can be detected by the person with the condition and has been often described as a “ringing,” “chirping,” or “buzzing” sound.

It apparently can be caused by many things including ear damage from loud noise, blood circulation issues in the ear area, and even aspirin intake can cause it. That was interesting to me – when I was a child suffering with arthritis and other things, there was a long period of time when I was prescribed 36 5grain aspirin tablets per day. Could that be what has caused my tinnitus? Or.. all the loud music I’ve listened to over the years? A combination of things? Who knows.

It can be mild, or in some cases, extremely frustrating as the “volume” can grow. This is what has occurred to me over the past three years, but today, for the very first time, I seem to be free of tinnitus since I woke up this morning, about 6 hours ago. I’m actually astounded by how quickly it has gone away – and I keep checking to see if I can “hear” that dreadful noise. I can’t. And everything else around me sounds normal.

I hope that this is not temporary – but even if it is, I am so happy to have some relief from it! I’ll tell you what I’ve been doing the past few days and that I believe has lead to this cessation of chirping and buzzing noises but first, I’ll write about my own experience with tinnitus.

Tinnitus Wasn’t Always Bad – Hearing Crickets In The Distance

I’m not really sure when I first began to experience tinnitus. I suspect I had it long before I really noticed it. I can recall a night about 8 years ago, sitting on the balcony of a hotel in Jasper, Alberta with my then girlfriend, enjoying a pleasant evening. The reason I remember it is because it later became a joke between us. I could hear crickets in the distance, but she could not. I thought it was odd that she could not hear the crickets as well as felt sorry for her as I rather enjoy the sound of crickets at night time. I really couldn’t understand why she could not hear them; her hearing was as good as mine I had thought.

In retrospect, I now believe that was my tinnitus condition – I wasn’t really hearing crickets in the distance, but was hearing “things,” as some might put it. Not that I was “hearing things” in my head, but in a way I was.

Some time later (perhaps a couple of years), during a winter night while laying in my bed, I was thinking about my day and had been reading about the idea of “listening to the sounds of silence.” And it was then that I realized as I focused on hearing “silence,” that I was actually hearing some kind of chirping in my left ear. It didn’t bother me much other than I thought people are going to think I’m nuts if I tell them I can hear what sound like crickets in the middle of winter with my windows closed.

I began to pay a little more attention though, and indeed I realized there was always some kind of noise in my left ear. But it never really bothered me much so I didn’t bother to look into it.

Hearing Music When None Is Playing

Time went on – and one night in the middle of winter, I realized I could hear what sounded like music coming from the distance. It seemed very odd to me that anyone would be playing loud music in the winter time – loud enough that it be audible in my office in my house with all the windows closed. I couldn’t make out the music as it sounded like it was coming from far away, but I could definitely hear some kind of rock music playing. Then, as I turned my head to the left – it was strange – the style of music seemed to change although I could still not make out what it was that was being played.

I got up from my chair to investigate where on earth the music was coming from, and as I did, it stopped. And then I began to wonder, not even thinking about the slight buzzing I had been hearing in my ears, if indeed, I “really was hearing things.”

This went on for several days – and I finally noticed a pattern: When the central heating came on, along with the central heater fan, that is when I could hear this “music” which seemed to come from my left side. At that time, it really didn’t bother me and in fact it amused me, but I still figured if I told anyone, they would think I was nuts.

It wasn’t until some time later when the buzzing and chirping in my left ear became a little louder and more noticeable did I start to think about what was really happening.

Tinnitus In Both Ears

Up until just over three years ago, I only experienced this in one ear, and it was not uncomfortable. I actually got used to the “ghost” orchestras and bands that play music for me when the furnace fan came on. I intuitively knew that it was not “in my head” (even though no one else could hear it), but that it must have some rational and physical reason to do with whatever this noise was in my ear and noise vibrations from the furnace fan. I couldn’t identify the music when I heard it, but it wasn’t totally unfamiliar to me either, and always sounded like it was being played in the distance.

However, in the spring of 2013, I came down with a severe flu-like infection that really knocked me out. I ended up with an ear infection in my right ear that was severe enough to perforate my right ear drum and bled. That’s when I decided to see the doctor a few days later. He confirmed I had an infection and that the ear drum was perforated. By the time I was able to get into see the doctor, I was recovering and feeling better. The doctor assured me that my ear drum would heal and I’d be fine in a short time.

Except – that is when things with the tinnitus got really bad. Now, not only did I have it in my left ear, I had it in my right ear, and it was no longer something that was simply a distraction at times. It was constant and it was very loud in both ears. Over the past three years, I’ve usually hated talking on the telephone as often I cannot hear what the other person is saying, I’ve had to live with this constant noise that is sometimes hard to explain – sometimes it’s like crickets, sometimes it’s a “buzz,” and the most annoying of all is that both ears have had different pitches.

Living with tinnitus can be very difficult at times. It can cause sleep problems, it can cause issues with trying to focus on work, it can interfere with conversations, and sometimes you just can’t hear normal things. Sometimes, you might hear things, and wonder if it’s the tinnitus, or something “real.”

After it became really hard to live with, I went back to my doctor who diagnosed the tinnitus. He explained that he knew of no cure and that I’d have to learn to live with it and suggested that I try using fans, or some other recordings of noise to mask the sounds in my ear. I was also sent to an audiologist where my hearing was found to be excellent at most frequencies, but some where it was not so good.

But I was told there was nothing that could really be done except to try to learn to live with it. And so I have. But over the past few weeks, it has gotten progressively worse. There have been evenings sitting on the sofa with my son watching some old TV series, and I’d have to ask my son to turn the volume up; I simply could not hear or make out what people were saying. The noise in my ears at times has been unbearable.

My Tinnitus Free Morning

After so many years of having this utterly frustrating and annoying condition, I seem to have at least, temporarily found total relief from it. I started to do some research last week and to be honest, I wasn’t too optimistic after reading so many other peoples’ experiences and frustrations. But I did read some science papers as well as some doctors notes and decided to give something a try:

  • Ginkgo Biloba
  • Niacin
  • Sublingual Vitamin B12

While I did find a recent paper that reported that there is NO evidence that Ginkgo can help tinnitus, I came on some other references that it is actually an approved treatment for the condition in Germany. I did some more research and found some papers that indicated that after 6 to 12 weeks, 120 mg 2 X a day did seem to have benefit from some tinnitus sufferers. So I got myself some high quality Ginkgo (it should be standardized). And I prepared to try this over the next couple of months.

I also read of some doctors finding niacin to be helpful for some tinnitus sufferers. What is niacin? It’s one of the B Complex vitamins – also known as Vitamin B3. I am familiar with Niacin – it can have a weird effect when taking it in a large single dose. Again, when I was younger, I had a condition known as “Rayneaud’s Disease,” which is when you lose blood circulation to your extremities including hands, feet and in my case, also my tongue. This would occur with me, when I would feel chilled. At the time, medical opinion was that there was no cure or treatment for Rayneaud’s other than to try to warm up the areas affected until blood flow returned.

However, when I was about 14 years old, a medical doctor in Ontario (considered a “quack” at the time), recommended I try niacin. Sure enough, it seemed to help my Rayneaud’s. Whether that’s what it was that helped… I don’t know for sure. I realize correlation is not causation.

Vitamin B12 is a vitamin that is found mostly in organ meats, fish and eggs. You can’t get it from vegetable sources of food, but we need it, and according to some of my research, it can be difficult to utilize as you get older. A couple of the doctor’s notes on tinnitus recommended sublingual vitamin B12 along with the niacin.

Several days ago, I decided I was going to give this a try. So for the past three days, I’ve been taking:

  • 500 mg Niacin 2X A Day (morning and before sleeping)
  • 5,000 mcg Sublingual B12
  • 120 mg Ginkgo 2X A Day. (morning and before sleeping)

I didn’t notice much effect over the past three days since starting this regimen. Last night, the tinnitus was bothering me. After reading everything that I had read, I wasn’t expecting to see any results anyhow, for some weeks.

After I woke up this morning, I realized…. all the noise was gone! As I’ve been writing this for the past couple of hours, I keep worrying that maybe it will come back.. but there is nothing. It really is a mini-miracle. Personally, I think it has more to do with the niacin than anything else – but I am going to continue this and see what happens. I’m hoping that this may actually help others as well – although like anything, I’d probably be irresponsible to not suggest you talk to your doctor – although I never talked to mine about trying this regimen.

At this point, I can’t even say for sure that the tinnitus is permanently gone. All I do know is that for the first time in years, I am not being annoyed, frustrated, by chirps, buzzing, sounds of crickets… or the sound of music in the distance. Perhaps I’ll miss that last one 🙂 But I have plenty of CD’s here.

If you suffer from tinnitus… perhaps it is something to try. It might not help everyone, but it would be great if it helped some. I really don’t know if it’s the combination of the niacin, Ginkgo and B12, or just one of them (although I’m sure it’s not B12 alone) – but I’m going to stick with this. If there any changes, I’ll update this post.

My Favourite Gadgets

an old gadget I’m not really much of a gadget person – I used to work with someone that seemed to have a new gadget every week. I think a lot of people get fooled into thinking that a gadget might help them with productivity – but in the end, productivity is really dependent on your work ethic and how badly you want to get something done.

There are all sorts of things sold today that promise to enrich our lives, increase productivity, and give us more fun – but I’ve found that most gadgets really don’t do much of anything except offer a bit of fun or interest for a few hours or a few days, and then get relegated to some drawer. So I don’t own too many of them.

I recall when Palm Pilots became all the rage. Up to that point, I had been using a Franklin Day Planner for planning my days, weeks, months and year… and thought that maybe a Palm Pilot would make things more efficient. I could write out a to-do list, and only write it once! With a Franklin Day Planner, I was writing out my to-do list on a daily basis – often many to-do items aren’t completed but are still priorities and would become an item the next day.

So it seemed that not having to write out a “Daily Task List,” as Franklin terms it, every single day, might be much more efficient. But in the end, I did not find that. There is something about actually physically writing things out that seems to have an impression on the brain that is more effective than glancing at or reading over a To-Do list that might have been created days previously.

I ended up going back to my paper based Franklin Day planner – and still use it to this day, in 2016. But there are some gadgets I love:

My Mobile Phone

I have a Samsung Galaxy S5. And it’s loaded with apps. Apps like:

  • Snapchat
  • FB Messenger
  • Personal Banking Apps
  • Yahoo Messenger
  • Skype
  • A multitude of web browsers
  • May My Ride cycling app
  • Flipboard
  • Evernote
  • SHealth

And so many more!

But you know what? I hardly ever use any of them. When I’m away from my office, I will use a browser from time to time to find some vital information I might need. Sometimes, I’ll use FB Messenger but it’s rare; when I am away from the office I don’t really want to be on Facebook or responding to FB messages. I’m usually busy with other things. SHealth looks interesting, but I don’t need an app to tell me I need to walk more.

Basically, I use my phone to make calls and send and receive the odd text message. I don’t even text that much. I really find texting annoying for the most part, and good communications cannot be carried out via texts. I also don’t like the keyboard emulation of any small device.

But I’m never without my cell phone; being able to be in touch with my kids or clients while away from my office land line is very important to me – but I still prefer to talk on a “real phone” though.

But it is a gadget that is important to me.

Lightning Detector

“A lightning detector??” you ask. I know, eh? Who would think about a lightning detector as a favourite gadget? Well, I love to do a lot of fly fishing and spend a great deal of time outdoors, and often this time is spent during hot and humid weather here in my part of the world, when thunderstorms can sometimes blow in pretty quickly. And believe me – waving a graphite fishing rod around during times of electrical atmospheric activity is probably not the safest thing to do.

But not even fly fishing, but even out hiking on nearby trails, it’s good to know when thunderstorms might be close by. Obviously, the weather reports will often provide a forecast that includes “risk of a thunderstorm,” but that may or may not occur. A simple risk of one is not always good enough to keep me from going outdoors – but if that risk becomes high when I’m out there, I want to know. So… a personal lightning detector is something that gives me some comfort. I love to watch lightning, but I don’t want to be watching it from the bank of the lake or the river! I’d prefer to watch it from a place that is safe and that I can take cover in.

My Canon Camera

I’ve always had a fascination with photography ever since I was a kid. Do you remember the old Pentax Spotmatics? I had one! I loved it! I used it.. a LOT. When I started high school, I was so happy there was a “camera club” and the school had a dark room, where I learned to develop 35 mm film and then print to photo paper. Eventually, I sold the Pentax and moved on to a Yashica, which I also liked – and still have rolls of undeveloped 35 mm film around that I wonder what is on them. I’m not even sure it would be worthwhile these days to try to find a developer of the old films I have.

In about 1999, my business had need for a digital camera and I picked up a Nikon Cool Pix – one of the best available at the time. Indeed, I still think of how awesome that camera was and the fact that it had a tilt mechanism built into it. That was actually a pretty cool feature, and my business partner and I at the time, used that camera for some product photography and put together a large print brochure for a client. And since about 1999, I’ve not ever used my Yashica, although I still have it along with a bag of lenses, filters, and other things I used to use.

Today, I have a Canon that is not the best in the world, but it’s better than the the camera in my Galaxy phone. At least I think so.. the Galaxy thinks my eyes are brown, whereas the Canon knows they are blue.

It’s not the best camera in the world, and maybe one of these days I’ll upgrade, but for my purposes, it does just fine.

And you know what? That is about all the gadgets I own. I do have a remote for my TV, and my Android box.. but I hardly ever use them. So they’re not really worth much of a mention.

What about you? What are your must have gadgets and what gadgets could you do without?

The Rot Isn’t In The McDonald’s…It’s In The Education

mcdonaldsYesterday, I noticed that many of my friends and associates on Facebook where sharing some post by the owner of a Chiropractic clinic in Alaska, a Jennifer Lovdahl. Ms Jennifer Lovdahl is listed as a doctor on their chiropractic clinic website – and apparently graduated from the Palmer College of Chiropractic in Iowa.

The post by Dr. Lovdahl that so many of my Facebook associates were sharing contained a photo of a meal apparently purchased six years ago from McDonald’s, containing Chicken McNuggets and french fries. Dr. Lovdahl wrote in her post:

“It’s been 6 years since I bought this “Happy Meal” at McDonald’s. It’s been sitting at our office this whole time and has not rotted, molded, or decomposed at all!!! It smells only of cardboard. We did this experiment to show our patients how unhealthy this “food” is. Especially for our growing children!! There are so many chemicals in this food! Choose real food! Apples, bananas, carrots, celery….those are real fast food.”
~ Source

I am astonished that a so-called “doctor” would publish such tripe. You would think that anyone today that is a graduate of a college that bestows the degree of Doctor, and that college is involved in human sciences, would have at least taught their students some basic chemistry as well as The Scientific Method.

Or perhaps Dr. Lovdahl is aware of The Scientific Method and some basic chemistry, but chooses to promote her own biases using the respect that most people would give a person with the degree of Doctor bestowed upon them. Whatever the case may be, this is where the rot is, and I can tell you why Dr. Lovdahl observed no rot in the McDonald’s food.

Let’s look at Dr. Lovdahl’s original post: “We did this experiment to show our patients how unhealthy this “food” is.”

How does this experiment show any such thing? It doesn’t show that it is “unhealthy” nor does it show, as Dr. Lovdahl claims that “there are so many chemicals in this food.” There likely ARE many chemicals in the food; but not in the way Dr. Lovdahl is trying to suggest. Everything that exists has a chemical makeup. Even apples. There is nothing sinister going on here whatsoever.

Now, if Dr. Lovdahl truly respected science (and apparently, the college she graduated from claims to hold integrity and science as high values), she would have conducted her experiment using multiple meals, as well as control subjects. For example, she might have made up some french fried potatoes at home, reduced their moisture level through freezing or refrigeration, (using only organic potatoes, of course!), deep fried them without the addition of any other chemicals but for a sprinkling of salt, put it in a bag and stuck in a dry cupboard for six years along with her McDonald’s purchased meal.

Now there’s an experiment that’s closer to reality.

Or, if she wants to compare apples, bananas, and carrots, she could have also dehydrated those, deep fried them, stuck them in a cupboard for six years, and checked to see if she found rot.

I suggest you try it at home before you go believing Dr. Lovdahl. Here’s some facts for you:

Food preservation can be done by reducing moisture and adding salt. Anything deep fried would have a lot of water moisture driven out of it, and replaced by oil. Now, the oil could go rancid if left for six years, open to the air, but you would not see this. But you would probably have food that appeared to have withstood the element of time, and showed little or no rot.

This experiment does not prove that this is not “healthy food,” nor does it prove that lots of chemicals were added to the food by McDonald’s. It is shameful that a person with the title “Doctor” would try to persuade you that her experiment was somehow a valid experiment. It’s not. It’s actually.. anti-science.

Food rot depends on a number of different things, including levels of moisture. Foods that have low to no water moisture and that are kept in a dry place, will not rot at the same rate as high moisture foods and in fact, can withstand against rot for a very long time depending on the conditions they are kept in. Does a doctor involved in human health not know this very basic fact?? It does not require the addition of any sinister chemicals to keep food from rotting.

Dr. Lovdahl owes her fans an apology for attempting to show something in a non-scientific manner, but present it to novices in such a way that it may be a valid experiment.

Or perhaps Dr. Lovdahl was never taught the scientific method. In that case, any person who has graduated from the Palmer College of Chiropractic is suspect, and I would not want to be treated by any graduate of theirs.

I have some challenges for Dr. Lovdahl:

Challenge 1:

Purchase the finest organic potatoes you can find. Cut them into “chip” (as called in the UK) or “french fry” shapes. Freeze them.

Heat up the finest healthiest oil in a deep fryer. Take frozen raw french fries and deep fry them until they are cooked. Remove french fries, allow oil to drain, sprinkle with salt, place in a paper bag, put in a cupboard in a dry place.

Come back and tell us what you see.

Challenge 2:

Dr. Lovdahl compares the McDonald’s meal to “real food” such as “apples, bananas and carrots.”

Okay, apples have a higher level of moisture than potatoes; if left out of some preserving condition, they will rot in a short amount of time, definitely less than six years. But here’s what I want you to do: Dehydrate the apples to the same moisture level as potatoes after cutting them into chip shapes. Freeze them. Then take them out of the freezer and deep fry them. Remove from the deep fryer, sprinkle some salt, put in a bag, and leave in a dry place for six years. Tell me what you see. Tell me if you will conclude the apples must have had chemicals added to them.

I doubt Dr. Lovdahl will take up the challenge. But if the good doctor wants to have some semblance of scientific credibility, the good doctor ought to take up the challenge, along with having some control subjects, as a proper scientific experiment would have.

I am sure Dr. Lovdahl means well, but pushing pseudo-science onto people, and pushing it in such a way that it apparently proves or shows something, is utterly irresponsible. I would hope that any regulatory agency or the good doctor’s school that apparently values integrity will have a little chat with the doctor about scientific integrity, and making false claims while using the title of Doctor, as apparently happened at the Chiropractic clinic.

The rot is not in the McDonald’s food; the rot is in the critical thinking skills that seem to be no longer taught these days.

I actually do quite of food preservation with my son – including dehydrating, fermentation, and canning – perhaps Dr. Lovdahl might be interested in learning more, and about food chemistry.

Web Design – Vancouver and BC Mainland

sunset tofino

Sun Setting Over The Pacific Near Tofino, BC

Many of my readers (all ten of you) know that I own a web development business that also does considerable work in the SEO (Organic and Local Search) segments. We’ve been helping out quite a few businesses here in Ontario and elsewhere, and have seen some really good results. We like to take a holistic approach to SEO – including ensuring websites have solid “on-site” search engine optimization.

But did you know that we also offer services throughout North America? We do! In fact, we even have clients in the United Kingdom – doing business across the miles is really not all that difficult, although sometimes you have to be cognizant of time differences. For us, that can mean a span of 8 hours at any given time, with the UK being 5 hours ahead, and the west coast of Canada 3 hours behind. But with many many years working shift work prior to starting the business, and now years of adjusting to clients’ time zones, we’ve managed quite well.

One of the areas of Canada that we’ve had some very happy clients is in the Vancouver region of British Columbia. We’ve helped a number of different businesses including fly fishing guides, a harbour boat cruise line, and a consulting firm that supports individuals that want to be become or already are virtual assistants. Our services have included web development, maintenance, SEO, and support for WordPress security.

I’ve really enjoyed Vancouver every time that I have visited. I’ve visited the city on both business and pleasure trips, have enjoyed the downtown area of Vancouver as well as fly fishing out in the Mission area. In addition, I’ve been privileged enough to have visited Vancouver Island and driven to Tofino. If you ever get a chance, that is a drive you should put on your “bucket list.”

As a growing business, The Ian Scott Group has been focusing recently on helping and increasing the number of local clients, so much of our website has content aimed at that market. But recently, in conversations with a couple of our Vancouver area clients, there was much encouragement to me that I should seriously consider increasing our business in the Vancouver area. It was very encouraging to hear that my business would have plenty of support with getting new clients in and around that beautiful city, so we’re starting to build resources and information for businesses, both new and existing, out that way.

So to begin with, I’ve had my staff create a new page on our business website which will be a “gateway” page for businesses in Vancouver looking for high quality web development and marketing services. It’s just a beginning – (more here) – but we’ll be putting together some resources for businesses on the west coast over the coming weeks.

Stay tuned – there are plans for some introductory rates so you can discover our services and what we can do for you. This will also include helping you with some social media marketing campaigns, website security and maintenance packages, and of course, one of our specialties – website SEO audits.

Let me know your thoughts on the services you’d like to see us deliver!

Some Goals For 2016

A lot of people make “New Year’s Resolutions” – which of course, get broken by January 2nd. I’m sure we’ve all been through that and as some of us get older, we know from experience that the likelihood of keeping a resolution is rather dim.

On the other hand, there is something to be said for setting goals for the coming year. Instead of trying to make a bunch of gigantic steps all at once, setting goals to be accomplished later in the year can realize greater gains by taking baby steps each day towards accomplishment.

There are probably some goals like quitting smoking that should be attempted in one big step. And if January 1st works for you in giving up the habit, that’s great!

I like the process of goal setting as taught by Brian Tracey in the video below:

This 12 step goal setting process can be really helpful to getting or accomplishing what you really want.

Personally, I don’t share too many of my serious goals with others. I keep them to myself. But other more fun goals, I will share.

Fly Fishing Goals

As many of you know, I love fly fishing – and in 2016, I’d like to do more of that. I’ve been privileged in my lifetime to have fished in some great places including Puerto Rico, Northern Ireland and a variety of places in Canada. One of my favourite experiences was fly fishing at the Canadian Fly Fishing Competition that was held in Grande Prairie, Alberta.

This year, I think some spey casting on the River Spey in Scotland would be awesome! Spey casting is a unique method of casting fly rods using special gear to cast flies a long distance. I’m not very good at it – but with some good instruction and practice, I hope to become more competent.

And yes, to accomplish this goal, I hope to acquire a Highlander Spey Rod – check them  out.. works of art as well as amazing quality. I own another Meiser rod and can’t say enough about it.

Baking Goals

chocolate babka

Homemade Chocolate Babka

“Baking goals?” you ask? Yes! I actually enjoy baking a variety of breads and my son David loves to eat them! One of our favourites is the “No Knead” bread that uses a very little amount of yeast and is left to rise for 12 or more hours. It’s pretty easy to do, and yet it turns out a wonderful artisan quality bread loaf that I usually bake in a cast iron Dutch Oven.

But this year, I’d like to try even more artisan bread baking styles. I have a fantastic book by Peter Reinhart entitled “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread.” If you’d like to learn more about the bread making process, I highly recommend it and you can get it from Amazon, here.

Be sure to check out the loaf on the cover of the book… now that’s a loaf of bread I’d like to bake at some point this year!

David and I have also been learning to make Babka – but so far, it’s all been chocolate. We need to experiment with a few other Babkas like poppy seed… or pecan caramel.. or cinnamon and brown sugar… yum!

More Music in 2016!

In my town, a Blues Festival is held every year in June, and it’s really convenient as it is located less than a block away from where I live. The main stage is held in a park that I can walk to in less than a minute. That means if the weather is great, my son and I can be hanging out with the crowd listening to some blues, or if it’s raining, we can hang out at home and still listen to some live blues! With the windows open, we can hear the music from the park inside the house.

This year, I’d like to take in even more music festivals that are held around Southern and South-Western Ontario. Especially if Steve Strongman is playing them. If you’ve never heard Steve Strongman, you are missing out… his live performances are full of energy, great blues, and he is a wonderful entertainer. Always a crowd pleaser. David and I are both happy to be able to say that we’ve seen him twice.

So yes, more music in 2016… and I’d like to get back to some guitar playing myself. It’s been 15 years since I’ve done any picking.. and I recently got my guitar back after lending it to some older sons.. and I can tell you that if you stop playing… for that long, you really do lose a lot. I never was any kind of accomplished guitar player, but when I was younger, I did take some lessons and focused on the “Travis Finger Picking” style. Many years later though, I’ve forgotten most of it.

But perhaps a half an hour a day or so will help to get some of that back.

So those are some fun goals for the next year. How about you? Want to share what yours might be?