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. More about that later.
Other interests include reading, my church, volunteer activities and Sudoku puzzles.
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 my laptop is a MacBook Pro (currently running both macOS and Windows 7 via Boot Camp) and I'm familiar with a broad range of software and hardware (both current and older versions) that run on various operating systems including macOS, OS/2, eComStation and Linux.
I have developed and maintain well over 100 websites and blogs (see some examples in my design portfolio).
Creating my sites by hand gives me the flexibility to develop them using current techniques without worrying about limitations that software services like WordPress suffer from. This makes my sites more durable as browsers, computers, smart devices, web technologies and design standards change.
My “Sometimes” Blog
I created my blog, Russ' Rants.
You'll quickly realize that I don't spend a lot of time adding content to my blog. The blog was part of my research into blogging and customizing blog templates. I have a WordPress blog for similar reasons.
Blogging Software Not Ideal for Websites
While WordPress is commonly used to build websites, that is not where its strength lies. Self-maintained sites tend to degrade over time because a successful website involves much more than updating the portions of the content an unskilled editor can modify.
Blogs For Dynamic Content
WordPress and Blogger were designed for blogging. Because of the nature of blogs, stale content does not detract from their function like it does on a regular site so a companion blog allows non-technical folks to modify frequently-changing content like announcements, updates, meetings and newsletters without detracting from the functioning of their site.
My History with Computers
I've been working with computers since the early 1970s, experiencing 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 operating systems over the years.
From main-frame computers (programmed with punch cards) at the University of Victoria 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 as well as original content for greeting cards.
I enjoy the majesty of words and love playing with word pictures. I experience this most powerfully in 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 my kidney transplant.
You can learn more about my writing 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 (now closed).
I served as the CAA's National Webmaster for 18 years and maintained several CAA Branch sites including the Victoria & Islands Branch, National Capital Region (Ottawa) Branch, Toronto Branch and Vancouver Branch websites prior to them being moved into the rebuilt CAA National site.
I've also served two terms as the British Columbia Regional VP, overseeing three CAA branches, as well as various other positions within the Victoria & Islands Branch including Branch President.
I was also involved with the Victoria School of Writing and West Shore Arts Council, serving as Webmaster and on their boards.
Organ Donation & Transplantation
My Kidney Transplant
I received the priceless gift of a donated kidney from my brother, Todd. After waiting two and one-half years, I received my new kidney on April 17th, 1996!
With this transplant, I no longer needed to schedule my activities around four sessions of peritoneal dialysis a day and have fewer diet restrictions.
On April 17, 2016 I celebrated the 20th anniversary of my transplant. While I've had some health challenges over the last few of years, the kidney continues to do its work.
Michelle also has a kidney transplant (December 4, 1979). Unfortunately, her transplant is aging and she began hemodialysis three days a week in November 2017. This is resulting in a less active lifestyle and required that I spend more time as her caregiver.
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. As one in six people will have kidney disease, it is far more likely that you'll be a recipient than a donor.
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 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. See also the Conditions of Use for this site.