About Russ & His Interests
About Russ Harvey
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. My niece lives in Vancouver.
Michelle's parents are also both gone. Her two brothers live in North Vancouver and Comox.
We're Kidney Transplants
Both of us are kidney transplant patients and have needed to deal with kidney (renal) disease since our childhood.
We met through The Kidney Foundation and VIKPA, associations that help renal patients. Renal disease has significantly impacted our lives and the choices we've made.
On April 17th, 1996 I received the priceless gift of a living donor kidney from my brother, Todd.
On December 24th, 2019 Michelle received her second kidney transplant (the first was December 4, 1979).
Computers & Internet
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 have enabled me to learn many different operating systems as well as a wide variety of software over the years.
From main-frame computers at the University of Victoria in the 1970s (programming 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.
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 and Linux. I have also worked with OS/2 and eComStation.
In addition to my Windows and Linux computers, I have a M1-powered 13-inch 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 gives me the flexibility to use current techniques without worrying about the limitations of CMSs like WordPress.
The sites I've designed are more durable even as design standards, web technologies, browsers, computers and other devices evolve.
In addition, I've worked with WordPress and Blogger, helping clients setup and maintain their blogs.
My “Sometimes” Blogs
When I started looking at blogs, BlogSpot was the premier blogging system. Most have since moved to WordPress, now the dominant blogging software.
WordPress is used by 42.9% of all the websites, that is a content management system market share of 64.1%.
Blogging Software Not Ideal for Websites
While WordPress is commonly used to build websites: it and Blogger were designed for blogging.
Self-maintained sites tend to degrade over time because maintaining a successful website requires more than a superficial understanding of the technology.
Websites can quickly become stale if a site isn't continually maintained unless the content is very generic.
I believe content is king. Not all site goals can fit within today's “modern” sites with huge graphics and minimal text.
Blogs For Dynamic Content
A static website can use a companion blog for posting frequently-changing content like announcements, updates, meetings and newsletters.
Stale content does not detract from a blog like it does on a regular site. Content is usually posted in chronological order so older material is “archived” without any interaction by the owner.
In addition to creating and editing content for websites, I write in the non-fiction, short fiction and poetry genres.
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 have also researched and written articles on toxic substances, alternative health and similar topics because of my own health issues (eventually resulting in a kidney transplant).
You can learn more about my writing & editing services.
If you're a writer, check out Resources for Victoria Writers, a series of writing links I originally developed for the Canadian Authors Association Victoria & Islands Branch website (now closed). Victoria is now part of the Vancouver Branch.
Canadian Authors Association National Webmaster
I pioneered the development of websites for the Canadian Authors Association and served as the CAA's National Webmaster for 18 years.
I developed then maintained several local CAA branch websites including the Victoria & Islands, National Capital Region (Ottawa), Toronto and Vancouver Branches.
The CAA National site was rebuilt using WordPress (I am no longer involved). As the various branches were incorporated into the CAA National redesign locally-hosted branch sites were gradually shut down.
I often attended the CAA's national writing conferences and met many award-winning authors while honing my own writing craft.
Victoria & Islands Branch
I was Victoria & Islands Branch President after holding various other positions within the Branch. I served two terms overseeing three CAA branches as the CAA British Columbia Regional VP.
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.
My Health Care Interests
I have a great interest in health and healing.
I maintain a series of medical links designed to be a starting point.
I have a great deal of respect for the doctors, nurses a and other medical services providers. The vast majority are passionate about their work and their patients.
It is not my intention to replace your health team. My health-related pages are meant to be a resource for self-directed research into medical issues which should then be discussed with your doctor.
I am less impressed with self-serving pharmaceutical polices. Though dependent upon the medical system to maintain my renal transplant, I have challenged some suggested treatments, including the lack of evidence for statins.
In addition to traditional medicine you'll find information about toxic substances and alternative medicine. I've met some very vocal advocates of non-traditional treatments.
A Patient Partner
I have recently been involved with the Patient Voices Network, serving as a patient partner on various committees and projects.
The Patient Voices Network (PVN) is a community of patients, families and caregivers working together with health care partners to improve BC's health care system.
— Patient Voices Network
I am currently serving on Victoria Primary Care Network's Steering Committee as well as on some of its working groups.