Who wants a grab bag?

$150 plus actual shipping (probably like $37.27 from the STL to you).

Package includes:

Mono brand hard gigbag that fits two guitars, the Dual model

Some leftovers from Mustang project (pickups, pots, wiring jack and switches to completely load a Mustang pickguard, solder 3 wires and you’re done), highlights include single coil sized Seymour Duncan Mini JB humbucker and a GFS high output lipstick.

Some leftovers from upgrading my Fender 60’s Lacquer jag: you get the pickguard, complete tremolo assembly and the complete bridge with thimbles and a Mastery sack to put all the bits in.

Here are some pix:

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Why I’m Still Alive pt.3

I’m not sure, and as far as I can tell, after asking lots of medical professionals, including 2 oncologists, why I am still alive when so many others with similar diagnoses (June ’13, stage IV pancreas cancer, worst case cancer) are now dead. I have had two years of standard care, chemotherapy and pain management for the most part.

I’ve been in support groups off and on from the outset, and I’ve had friends there die. I miss my cancer people so bad. Why me, why am I still alive, why am I still alive when so many others are dead? Here’s what I got so far:

-many many people have made it their business to take care of me, family friends health care pros strangers and most of all, my wife, Sharon

-acupuncturist, Dr D, continuously helps me steer my energy into optimal channels

-pure luck, this chemo worked on this cancer

-I’ve radically changed my diet for the better. Loads of fruit and veggies every day. Like this-

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Still Life with Fruit and Drugs-I supplement with huge doses of vitamin c and ginseng and Mary’s tea.

-I smoke a lot of weed.

-I walk every day, no matter how shitty I feel or how shitty the weather is. The dog has helped me with this enormously, Jasper, forever friend:

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we ran into Mr Toad at the dog park, where we moved to the side to play fetch so that he would not be trampled by the giant beast.

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Still being alive, I try to contribute as I am able, and as you are aware, this entails at the moment, a house build in progress. :-)

Cool shot of the inside of the dormer that Sharon got the other day before her surgery.

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I’m so happy to see her up and around and smiling.

She was feeling good today, so we stopped by to admire contractor pal, Rick’s, fine work in custom building a door and fitting it to our house. We plan to paint the darker areas a bright green, and the lighter parts we’ll protect with tung oil. We’d originally planned to do the whole door green, but the wood is so pretty it seems a shame to cover it up. Thank you, Rick! You did great work, and we love the fact that you took time to design something that fits with the rest of the house, proportionally, materially and financially. Very well done indeed!

As always, thank you, everyone, for without you, this would not be possible: Kevin, this means YOU!

I Make Art

Hi everyone.

Thank you all. Without you, I would not be able to continue on in any way at all. You are that powerful and important to me. Thank you, every one of you. Especially Kevin Vigor, because you, you man, you are an outstandingly loyal, generous and kind man. Thank you.

While Sharon is down, due to major abdominal surgery (3 week recovery), the tiny house has been back burnered. I’ve been working at keeping the household running and nursing my wonderful wife. And although I wish this were not necessary, god, I am so happy to be able to return the favor, for jesus fuck, she’s been looking after me for more than 2 years. Tomorrow we drive to acupuncture, our first outing since return from hospital 6 days ago. Sharon is cleared by doc to ride in car but not drive, so I drive. I am pleased to serve her.

Between nursing tasks, of which there are very few since Sharon is massively independent and autonomous and allows only those things outlawed by doc such as lifting 15 pound sack of groceries, anyhow, between these few things to do for wife, I have been catching up on around the house works that have been shoved aside to make room, mental and physical, for the tiny house. It’s good to work on something FRESH!

Here’s a painting that I think is finally finished. I have no idea how many layers it has. I used every watercolor technique I know, plus some graphite, ash, mojo and intuition. Love this M Graham brand paint. Super pigments suspended in gum arabic and honey, these act a bit different that just the normal wash type effects that come with dry solid blocks of watercolors. I dig the fresh paint and anyways here’s

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Self Portrait with Murderer, Moleskine Japanese screen book, watercolors, fountain pen & ink, graphite & ash, 18X14 cm, August 2015, Sal Laughter.

 

Inspired by pal, Simone, I’ve been making shadow boxes again. Here’s one in a jar. I really dig this piece. So much time there in a jar:

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17 Years, Mason Jar with dried orchids, locust shell, gemstones, marijuana & mugwort, feather and NO2, 1 Pint, August 2015, Sal Laughter.

 

I thought, hum, may as well go for three pieces today.

 

And finally therefore, I also created a track:

“003_1,” A taste of the DF9G1N’s upcoming album, Music for One Guitar.

Working on a few little things besides the tiny house has been gratifying, especially since I’ve really been feeling the urge to sit again,quietly and put a book up in my mind and then copy it down for you. I can feel that urge starting to swell and it feels kind of good.

 

 

 

This one goes out to my old pal, Patricia, whom I saw while on vacation in Savannah

We met for lunch, and she gave me one of the sweetest cards ever.

I can’t recall what we talked about, but you know, with friends, the ones that really count for me,  mere presence is enough, to lay eyes on my friend, you know, after so long apart, that’s a something to savor.

But one topic stuck. I have this continuous soundtrack that’s been going in my head for the last 2 years or so, and it goes like this, “Cancer, death, Cancer, death, Cancer, death, Cancer, death, Cancer, death, Cancer, death, etc,” on repeat once every minute or two. And so I talk about cancer and death all the time. It’s kind of morbid, I guess.

Anyhow, I said to Pat that cancer has given me so many gifts, such as the opportunity to meet and interact and collaborate with hundreds of new, cool people, some of whom who have gone out of their way to save my life. That’s pretty cool. And after being a major pain in the ass for a couple years, I’ve learned who I can count on in the long run. That’s a good thing to know. Not many surprises there. You all are an awesome bunch, thank you thank you thank you!

Here’s another thing-

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From my notebooks- “Cancer gives me the freedom, or perhaps only a taste of what it must be like, to live as though I am already dead. What a gift!”

So there you go, a couple ways to embrace cancer.

 

And here’s a photo that I just dig for no reason at all-

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Once again, Jim smacks one outa the park

Big shout out to Jim, my brother(in-law, who really takes care of me and my family by helping with this sort of thing, and man, I couldn’t have done it without you).

 

As seen recently, the doghouse without sheathing:

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Now sheathed with a window installed. And check out the front area below, where the newly arriving front door (this will get its own post next week or something) will fit, and those WINDOWS that ARE installed.

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Jim raises the fist of power at 4 completely installed windows.

And then, with the cringe sensor in the back of my head, I feel him going, “ah fuck man, god damn, that’s crooked man, and you need to a quarter this way toward the street,” but, being exceptionally kind and cool headed in the face of my cavalier installs, Jim, actually says nothing, just takes up his tools and bangs in the next window perfectly, so much so that it kind of pulls my crooked one into place.

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11 Windows installed today. Next up, window trim. Mmmm,mmm boy!

Seriously, thank you Jim, and Sharon, who fearlessly helped these two moody boys install windows all day plus forced gatoraide and lunch and so on.

Oh, and a word of caution, I mean, dang, workin’ on the roof with a circ saw-no-guard-on-it, wearing canvas chucks, that’d be downright treacherous if I wasn’t SO HIGH already. Don’t attempt riding a motorcycle, operate power drills and saws and fool around on ladders if you are on drugs. This combination is a sure recipe for pain. See below.

Somehow during this process today, no idea how, I managed to loose I dunno 22% of my right index fingernail. Jim was like, “Sal, man, you’re bleeding all over everything. and I’m like, “huh?” The crunched up segment of nail pulled right out of the nailbed when I yanked on it. Some paper towel and duck tape and boom, I’m back to pounding hammer nails instead of finger nails. Pretty fun. I thought those of you who remember my Whiskey Row Marathon experience with the loss of both big toenails, well, I just thought you curious, thoughtful folk might enjoy a peek at my poor finger. Owee:

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Thank you everyone. I may have a 4 mm spot on my liver, but I feel ok, except completely wasted tired and chemo-ed and all that cancer stuff that’s so sensational it requires the application of many percocet to manage effectively. Anyhow, the point is, I can’t believe it, after thinking about this stuff for 30 years or so, I’m finally, with a lotta help from a lotta friends and a lotta complete strangers, i’m finally privileged to build a house for my wife and me and our kid. Besides, I got nothing better to do, really, and I feel so lucky to still be alive and able to take part in this thing. Thank you, all of you for without you, this wouldn’t be possible.

Some Progress, a photo essay

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can you just take one more step back, then I can get you all in the picture. Is that trash can somehow symbolic, cancerman, care to comment? CM: Just sawdust in there, scraps and like that. Nothing to be concerned about.

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Jim, check out your outriggers, man, wow! and thank you; I been frightened of those things for weeks.

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We keep them on the roof to like, uh, dry out, you know, and then, well, they kind of become sort of like sawdust and then, you know. That yellow trash can. Got it?

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Yes, that is a body rolled up in a tarp.

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the Doghouse. 1st dibs goes to LlllLaughter. :-)

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Big tiny awaits windows and door

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Cannot wait to hang out on that porch with a guitar and my old chair and so on.

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IMG_1674 There she is. Dang.

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View of upstairs loft, scrap ply in place to protect beautiful pine floor that Josh built. Big thank you, Josh!

In the Doghouse with merely a flesh wound.

Hi Everyone,

Thank you all for helping me. Every time I install a component in the tiny house, I’m touched by the feeling of awe by just how many people were involved in the manufacture, financing and shipping to put this piece of house in my hands and helped me understand how to get the part in place. This includes all of you. Thank you!

We’re making progress. The dormer is almost finished:

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My brotherinlaw, Jim, he’s helped me enormously in figuring out how to deal with this particular piece of the building. We are almost done sheathing this part, and then it’s on to roofing and and and and and.

There have been many other people who have helped a great deal on this job, and in particular, I’d like to give a shout out to Joe and Rick (on the right):

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Joe, construction man extraordinaire, gave me many, many tips, one of which may have saved me a broken arm. And he simplified the construction of the roof so that things went much faster. Truly, a skillful, clever dude!

Likewise, Rick, another expert builder, provided me with many small pieces of advice which added up to huge savings in time, effort and frustration. It’s really, been such a relief to have these two guys, who really know what they’re doing, to like, just be able to call and ask about something and get a good answer.

Also, one day, Howard dropped by to monkey around a bit, which helped a ton to keep my spirits up on a tough chaotic day when I was dragging:

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Current health update- it’s merely a flesh wound, sir!

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Thanks everyone! I’m a go tend mah leaig.

Serious progress on the tiny house!

Thank you all for helping with money, hammering, planning and most of all just saying, “Hey, that’s kinda cool.” Feels good to hear that. Anyhow, without you, this house would not have been possible, and Sharon and I hope you know how grateful we feel towards all of you, which is bunches and bunches.

Here’s me on the roof celebrating the installation of the front wall of the dormer.

in the doghouse!

My brother in law, Jim, his expertise made this progress today really take off. This is the last big structural piece of framing that’s going in. I hope to complete this dormer tomorrow. Fingers crossed!

Then when the metal roofing which should be here any day now, that can be installed, windows, exterior trim and siding AND poof, the outside of the building is complete!

 

Again, keep watching, and goodness, this is fun!

Wiring

My old pal Stillclock connected me with my new pal, Michael, master electrician, who drove down from freaking Michigan to wire our house.

Here he is doing his thing-

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People continue to amaze me with their kindness and generosity.

Thank you, everyone, for without you, this wouldn’t have been possible.

Two Rare Birds

Hey there, everyone. Thank YOU all! You’re the best! And with your help, our house is becoming a reality. Thank you so much, your generosity gives Canceman, Sharon and Sophia a ton more security and frees up money so that maybe, maybe, maybe, we’ll be able to pay our own med bills without having to ask mom again this year, which at 54 years old, well, Cancerman sez, “you sure we really need that weed, percocet and chemo? Sheeeeeeit! We do, don’t we? I do anyway.” Tangent over. Thank YOU everyone! You’re helping me shelter these two and your willingness to do so touches me deeply. Thank you.

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The day after the trailer came.

After a week of work, moving the trailer, rounding up materials and organizing them, leveling the trailer and installing the nailer around the perimeter, insulation and subfloor-

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At the end of the day today, this fourth wall was completed, tacked into place, and the whole building trued, plumb, straight n square. Some serious planning from Mark, Mike, and Josh made this fitment come together as close to perfect as I’ve ever seen any structure go up. Well done, all!

 

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Jasper, 9, this year, he demanded his own pair of readers to suit his need to examine the plan measurements closely (tiny print).

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Tomorrow, securing the walls in place, in square in all relevant planes, and nailing down them Simpson strong ties, I been trying to make friends with them all week. Yikes. But. I got a plan!

Sheath that front wall, and get rolling on the loft, that’s the plan for tomorrow. Salute us, for we are about to rock!