About Russ & His Interests
About Russ Harvey
Both Michelle and I have received kidney transplants and have needed to deal with renal (kidney) disease since our childhood. This has had a significant impact on our lives, particularly in later years.
We met because of this common history and through associations that help renal patients.
Both my parents are now gone, but I have a brother living in New Westminster with his wife and daughter. He not only donated a kidney to me in 1996, but is good enough to come over to the Island to handle some of the heavier tasks that I'm no longer able to manage.
Computers & Internet
Russ Harvey Consulting
In 1996 I combined my interests and skills as a writer with my knowledge of web design and computers to start Russ Harvey Consulting — a computer and Internet services company.
I work mostly with Windows, but I'm familiar with a broad range of software and hardware (both current and older versions) that run on various other operating systems including macOS, OS/2, eComStation and Linux. In addition to my Windows computers, I have a MacBook Pro, iPad and iPhone.
I have developed and maintained well over 100 websites and blogs. My design portfolio has some examples.
Creating websites by hand rather than using HTML-generators gives me the flexibility to develop them using current techniques without worrying about limitations that CMSs like WordPress suffer from. This makes my sites more durable as design standards, web technologies, browsers, computers and other devices change.
My “Sometimes” Blog
My blog, Russ' Rants, was part of my research into blogging and customizing blog templates. I have a WordPress blog for similar reasons.
You'll quickly realize that I don't spend a lot of time adding content to my blogs. My self-help pages (over 80 pages of information and links to resources) allow me to express myself and keep me busy as things are constantly changing.
Blogging Software Not Ideal for Websites
While WordPress is commonly used to build websites, that is not where its strength lies. WordPress and Blogger were designed for blogging.
Self-maintained sites tend to degrade over time because maintaining a successful website involves much more than the minor updates to the content that an unskilled person can manage.
Blogs For Dynamic Content
A blog allows folks to modify frequently-changing content like announcements, updates, meetings and newsletters without knowledge of how a website works.
Because of the nature of blogs, stale content does not detract from their function like it does on a regular site. Blog content is usually posted in chronological order so older material is “archived” without any interaction by the owner.
My History with Computers
I've been working with computers since the early 1970s and have experienced the rapid development of many of the technologies employed by computers and devices today (as well as many that have long since been retired).
An innate curiosity and natural ability has allowed me to learn how to run a lot of different operating systems and a wide variety of software over the years.
From main-frame computers at the University of Victoria in the 1970s (programmed with punch cards) to PC precursors like the Timex Sinclair 1000 to desktop computers to laptops to tablets and smart phones, it has been a fascinating journey.
In addition to creating and editing content for websites, I write non-fiction, short fiction and poetry.
I enjoy the majesty of words and love playing with “word pictures.” I experience this most powerfully with short fiction and poetry.
My non-fiction has included articles and how-to pieces related to computers and the Internet. I also research and write articles on toxic substances, alternative health options and similar issues because of my own health issues which eventually resulting in a kidney transplant.
You can learn more about my writing services on my Writing & Editing Services page.
If you're a writer, check out my Resources for Victoria Writers, a series of writing links I developed originally for the Canadian Authors Association Victoria & Islands Branch website (now closed).
I served as the CAA's National Webmaster for 18 years and maintained several local CAA branch websites including the Victoria & Islands, National Capital Region (Ottawa), Toronto and Vancouver Branches. The CAA National site has since been rebuilt using WordPress and I am no longer involved. As the various branches were included in that redesign the locally-hosted sites were shut down.
I've also served as Branch President various other positions within the Victoria & Islands Branch as well as two terms as the CAA British Columbia Regional VP, overseeing three CAA branches.
I was also involved with the Victoria School of Writing and West Shore Arts Council, serving on their board of directors as well as their Webmaster.
Organ Donation & Transplantation
My Kidney Transplant
On April 17th, 1996 I received the priceless gift of a living donor kidney from my brother, Todd.
With this transplant, I no longer needed to schedule my activities around four daily sessions of peritoneal dialysis and I have far fewer diet restrictions.
My transplant has worked for over 23 years. While I've had some health challenges as both I and the transplant age, the kidney continues to function.
Michelle is a Hemodialysis Patient
Michelle received her first kidney transplant on December 4, 1979. Unfortunately, her transplant failed and she began hemodialysis three days a week in early November 2017. Being on dialysis is more challenging and involves having a lower energy level. She was not able to much of what she used to do.
This change meant that I, as her caregiver, had to take care of meals and other daily tasks that she was unable to manage. I went with her to her dialysis sessions at the Royal Jubilee Hospital's Renal Dialysis Unit where I tried to help out where I could.
After just over 2 years on hemodialysis, Michelle received her second kidney transplant on December 24, 2019.
Obtaining More Information
You can find more information on my Organ Donation & Transplantation page, including current information about the long waiting list for organs in British Columbia and the various ways that you can make a difference in reducing the wait for transplant patients.
Register Your Wishes
If you are a British Columbia resident, I'd encourage you to register yourself and your family on-line now. It can make it much easier for your family to make a life-giving decision if your wishes are recorded AND you speak to your family about your choice.
It is far more likely that you'll be a recipient than a donor. One in ten Canadians has chronic kidney disease but many aren't yet aware of it.
Medical Links Page
I maintain a series of medical links that reflect my interest in health and healing. In addition to traditional medicine you'll find information about alternative medicine and toxic substances.
Conditions of Use
Be sure to read the information at the top of each page in this section, including the disclaimer. It is not my intention to have these resources replace your health team, but to be a resource for self-directed research into medical issues.
You should also view the Conditions of Use for this site before continuing.