Monday, April 07, 2014

Today sucked

Yesterday I enjoyed a wonderful fish and chips.  Today, it all came back up.  Dammit!  I remember now that the second Monday after my chemo is a day of nausea and sleeping all day.  Well, seems to be repeating itself. I blame it on the whole lemon I ate yesterday.  Ate it like an apple.  No accounting for cravings! Probably the pulp jammed my up a bit. Or more than a bit!
      Did some fighting yesterday.  Felt SO much better yesterday than today. 

And its raining.  I just watched three feet of snow vanish in two hours.  And not before time!  OTOH, for those dumb enough to build in a flood plain the river is getting even for all those nice views you got last summer!  The Rideau River is two feet over its banks right now.  Lots of nice riverview houses have a lot of water in their basements, not to mention the most saturated a septic field can possibly get.  They are all moving out.  Double price for water front property?  Serves you right.

Just got finished with Dr. Beliveau's book on foods that fight cancer.  The holy trinity is Tumeric, (combined with peppers to make curry)  Flax seeds fresh ground and Tomato sauce.  Wash it down with green tea, and you will never get cancer.  Or rather, you already HAVE cancer (everybody has!) and this will keep it from vascularizing or otherwise growing bigger than a pin prick. 
       Funny thing subconscious mind is smart enough to know what foods are good for I get cravings for garlic and onions...foods which I normally detest.  Also lemons and orange juice.  Yogurt, hard boiled eggs, salmon and buttermilk.  All good.  And I throw up in the presence of a cheese burger and fried chicken.  I believe that beef will kill ya sooner or later!  I wish I could stand bacon and pulled pork, but it ain't gonna happen.  Used to love that stuff.  The subconscious mind says...Hey dude...the nitrates and smoke will kill ya. 
     Just thought it was weird that my cravings and Dr. Beliveau's book correlated so well.

Sunday, April 06, 2014


Well, it took me two hours to navigate back to this blog.  Why did they have to make it so hard.  I have no interest in going with google 1.  I just want a blog to post to. 
     Seems clicking on "dashboard" takes me to my YouTube account.  WTF!

Oh well. 

I am still alive.  Against all odds.  The cancer has progressed, so I think all the positive thoughts in the world are not gonna work.   Sorry Laura, the author of "the secret".  She obviously didn't have a cancer attached to her heart.  On the other hand, I have gone to church, and the priest heard my first confession in 34 years.  I took the host in a shortie mass after everybody else had left. After 34 years of dissolute lifestyle, my penance was fairly lengthy, and my legs went to sleep.  But it was like an old Jimmy Stewart movie...everything was so bright and pleasant.  Father Anthony had to help me up...I looked like "Bambi on ice".   But it has put ME at peace.  Not my dear wife though...who really needs a vacation.  Looking after me is getting her more and more stressed out. 
       So I have been pretty much focusing on myself.  I have trained an armourer to take over that legacy business, and have trained a sword handler to take over the fighting side.  Another legacy.  Other than that, I have been focusing on getting better.  Hopefully now, we can get the summer show season off the ground...make some money. 
       Its nice that people are still coming over to chat with the old man.  (Old...hell...I only LOOK old because of the chemo...I am really only 57.)  Tomorrow, I shall attempt to do some sword training.   I still have things to teach the young Turks. 
       It has been the winter of winters this year!  Not a record snow fall, but nearly!  But long.  I still have four feet of snow in my back yard.  And the septic system has frozen.  Bummer.  Poor Brenda...she has a house without a sewer.  Well...give it a week or two...should fix itself. 
If not...well...we may have to move into a hotel for a few weeks until it all thaws.  Not gonna dig up septic runs in April!  Not in Ottawa!  Oh doesn't rain but it pours.
    Well, enough of that.   Cheers!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Dot Com

In ancient Israel, it came to pass that a trader by the name of Abraham Com
did take unto himself a young wife by the name of Dorothy.
And Dot Com was a comely woman, broad of shoulder and long of leg. Indeed,
she was often called Amazon Dot Com.
And she said unto Abraham, her husband, "Why dost thou travel so far from
town to town with thy goods when thou canst trade without ever leaving thy
And Abraham did look at her as though she were several saddle bags short of
a camel load, but simply said, "How, dear?"
And Dot replied, "I will place drums in all the towns and drums in between
to send messages saying what you have for sale, and they will reply telling
you who hath the best price.
The sale can be made on the drums and delivery made by Uriah's Pony Stable
Abraham thought long and decided he would let Dot have her way with the
drums. And the drums rang out and were an immediate success.
Abraham sold all the goods he had at the top price, without ever having to
move from his tent.
To prevent neighbouring countries from overhearing what the drums were
saying, Dot devised a system that only she and the drummers knew.
It was known as Must Send Drum Over Sound (MSDOS), and she also developed a
language to transmit ideas and pictures - Hebrew To The People (HTTP).
And the young men did take to Dot Com's trading as doth the greedy horsefly
take to camel dung. They were called Nomadic Ecclesiastical Rich Dominican
Sybarites, or NERDS.
And lo, the land was so feverish with joy at the new riches and the
deafening sound of drums that no one noticed that the real riches were going
to that enterprising drum dealer,
Brother William of Gates, who bought off every drum maker in the land.
Indeed he did insist on drums to be made that would work only with Brother
Gates' drumheads and drumsticks.
And Dot did say, "Oh, Abraham, what we have started is being taken over by
And Abraham looked out over the Bay of Ezekiel , or eBay as it came to be
He said, "We need a name that reflects what we are."
And Dot replied, "Young Ambitious Hebrew Owner Operators."
"YAHOO," said Abraham.
And because it was Dot's idea, they named it YAHOO Dot Com.
Abraham's cousin, Joshua, being the young Gregarious Energetic Educated Kid
(GEEK) that he was, soon started using Dot's drums to locate things around
the countryside.
It soon became known as God's Own Official Guide to Locating Everything
That is how it all began. And that's the truth.



Sign over a Gynaecologist's Office:
"Dr. Jones, at your cervix."

In a Podiatrist's office:
"Time wounds all heels."

On a Septic Tank Truck:
Yesterday's Meals on Wheels

At an Optometrist's Office:
"If you don't see what you're looking for,
you've come to the right place."

On a Plumber's truck:
"We repair what your husband fixed."

On another Plumber's truck:
"Don't sleep with a drip. Call your plumber."

At a Tire Shop in Milwaukee :
"Invite us to your next blowout."

At a Towing company:
"We don't charge an arm and a leg. We want tows."

On an Electrician's truck:
"Let us remove your shorts."

In a Non-smoking Area:
"If we see smoke, we will assume you are on fire and take appropriate

On a maternity Room door:
"Push. Push. Push."

At a Car Dealership:
"The best way to get back on your feet - miss a car payment."

Outside a Muffler Shop:
"No appointment necessary. We hear you coming."

In a Veterinarian's waiting room:
"Be back in 5 minutes. Sit! Stay!"

At the Electric Company
"We would be delighted if you send in your payment.
However, if you don't, you will be."

In a Restaurant window:
"Don't stand there and be hungry;

come on in and get fed up."
In the front yard of a Funeral Home: (MY FAVOURITE!!!!!)
"Drive carefully. We'll wait."

At a Propane Filling Station:
"Thank heaven for little grills."

And don't forget the sign at a
"Best place in town to take a leak."

Sign on the back of another Septic Tank Truck:
"Caution - This Truck is full of Political Promises"

Sunday, September 29, 2013

A wedding.

It has been an interesting couple of months. 
          Amanda asked me to officiate at her wedding to Matthew.  I should have seen it coming...but I was a little distracted.  I promised her that if there was any way I could do it, I would.  And I did.  It was very interesting.  It was a medieval wedding.  Matthew dressed in some of his own armour, and came through an arch of swords as he came in.   Amanda arrived in a carriage, and was escorted through her arch of swords by her sisters.  I'll try to find some pictures to illlustrate this blog entry, so please drop in again in a few days

           This is what I said.....

Good Afternoon my Lords and Ladies.
Two noble families have gathered here to witness a wedding.
More than that though
They will witness a marriage.
Please be seated.
There are several symbols you will see here today.
Some involve swords!
Some involve armour!
 Most can understand the beauty of an armour
And see its beauty AS a symbol.
After all, Matthew will invoke his role as the armour of his family.
Both personally with his new wife,
And in his new, larger role as he prepares to armour TWO families
against the winds of fate.
It is good to have strong members of a family.
I think Matthew qualifies.
The hardest part for Matthew's family was to slow him down.
Now Amanda's family will share that... (pause) burden.
Why swords though?
Well, a sword is not a very good weapon. 
It is too delicate.
They don't work as well as the movies say they work
And we know!
We play with these things every day!
Not like a battle axe, or a war hammer.
Now THERE'S a weapon!
Even Robin Hood carried a better weapon than a sword.
His bow.
He also carried a sword.
He was an Earl and a knight.
and therefore carried that badge of his rank.
Outlaw or not, he was a knight, and believed in,
and followed knightly virtues.
Swords make better symbols than weapons.
We are back to symbols.
We all KNOW these symbols.
I am just pointing out why they are here today.
These are the knightly virtues:
(pause between each virtue for effect)
Honour  Courtesy Courage Faith Grace Committment
Honour.  Of COURSE Matthew will honour his new bride
And her family as he has honoured his own.
He has brought honour to everything
I have ever seen him do.
Courtesy. Well, this is a credit to his family.
(gesture to family)
Courage.  It takes a lot of courage to do the right thing.
What ever that "right thing" might be.
Faith.  Such a small word for such a big virtue
Faith is the sincere belief that things will turn out all right.
Amanda's grace and beauty are evident today as they have been
   since I first met her.  She brings out the best in those around her.
Grace and courage define her.
These qualities are priceless.
When we first met Amanda, it was at a Sword Fighting Class.
Matthew had brought her there to show her "what he does".
Everyone who came in later asked "why is it so bright in here?"
"Oh, its Matt!  He's beaming!"
We had never seen him so happy
Except possibly for today....
(Audience chuckles and nods knowingly)
Amanda's courage to take up a new peer group
    and move to a new city CLEARLY demonstrates
    the virtue of courage.
And I am more than pleased to consider her to be  just as much
a knight as any here.
Marriage is the bringing of two families together.
And believe me, you will need them and every ounce of
     assistance  they care to share with you as you go forth from here.
Especially when there are little Mattys and Mandys running around.
(pause  audience chuckles)
The value of family is ALWAYS overlooked at the beginning.
Matthew and Amanda do not need this ceremony to have a happy
    and contented life together.
This ceremony is not the marriage.
I am not marrying you.
You are marrying each other
Your families are marrying each other through you.
That is why we are  all here today.
Today, we will witness something very special.
Today, Matthew you will give yourself to Amanda to
    share your life with her.
Today, Amanda, you will give yourself to Matthew to
    share your life with him.
Every day.
Every     Single      Day
This is easy when things go right.
It is imperative when things go wrong.
Together you are more than twice as strong as you are apart.
And you will call on your families to make you stronger yet.
That is why we use swords and armour to symbolize
   a GOOD marriage.
(audience spontaneously applauded at that point!)
(pause...short pause between each line of the poem which follows.
Paul said
Love is patient.  Love is kind.
It is not jealous.  Love is not pompous. It is not inflated.
It is not rude. It does not seek its own interest.
It is not quick tempered.  It does not brood over injury.
It does not rejoice over wrong doing.
But rejoices with the truth.
It bears all things
It believes all things
It hopes all things
It endures all things.
Love never fails.
Matthew and Amanda, now it is your turn
Matthew, here is a copy of your vows,
I am sure you have memorized them, but nervousness
will make the best speech fly away in the wind!
(Amanda had her lines down cold.)
(Amanda chose to say her vows first)
(Matthew said his vows second)
(It is not appropriate for me to publish them here.
Suffice to say, they were delivered clearly and well)

Now is the traditional time to exchange rings
These are of course, are the symbols of committment to each other


I call upon Malcolm S. , the father of the Bride to come forth
He wishes to welcome Matthew to his family.
(Malcolm presents a sword to Matthew)


The groom wishes to present a token to his bride.
(Matthew presents a fine dagger)

The bride wishes to present a token gift to her groom

(A box which cleverly concealed a war hammer was brought forth)
(I say)
She clearly wants him to have a serious weapon!
Didn't we all agree earlier that you want a good weapon, a war hammer is it!

(Audience enthusiastically agrees.  It is very pretty!)

Now the part you have all been waiting for.
My Lords and Ladies....I present to you Lord and Lady. G.............
You may kiss the bride.
(crowd goes wild.)
(music starts,)
(I take the dog from Matt's mom)
(we all go through the arch)

Ceremony is over.  I go to de-compress in the bushes with the dogs.
It was a bit rough...the energy level went to below 10%. 
Every body else goes on carriage rides.

The poem I chose lends some tradition to an admittedly off the bubble
 ceremony, and many of the family members on both
sides of the aisle beamed as they recognized this poem from their own
weddings!  It is a passage from Corinthians. The "Paul is, of course,
St. Paul, and he first said these words in a delightful grotto in Malta.
I will try to get some pictures of this wedding and post them here.

Later on, during the  feast, Matt and I paused, got into our best
Slavic shirts.  (mine was a little tight...but then all my clothes
seem to have shrunk in the closet the last couple of years)
and drank a toast to "I represent those who could not be here today"
and I said, "I represent those who have gone on before."
We stood face to face...saluted...crossed swords.
Drank the toast.
Then lowered the swords slowly down,
I actually heard somebody saying
"with the going down of the sun we shall remember them."
That toast choked up more people than I expected it to.
We had some specific people in mind....
Ursula and Tom could not be there...she is fighting her own
battle with the Crab.  Through this toast, or course, she was there.
But EVERYBODY has somebody who has gone before
that could not be there that day.
We got to do this salute with the swords that Tom had made.

Well, there you have it.   I officiated at a wedding.
I was more than honoured...I was flattered AND honoured.
And I got to keep the dogs over night! 
A perfect end to a perfect day.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

To all my friends and those who follow this blog

Of which there are many.
The following is a little personal.

  Future postings may be even more intermittent than usual.  Going into the month of July, I was unable to hold anything down.  I merely assumed that a piece of Polish Sausage had got caught sideways in my small intestine, but no such luck.  Turns out my guts were being blocked off.
     I won't bore (horrify or shock) my readers with how good I look after dieting for a solid month.  Suffice to say, I was down to 90 kg.  I am up to 93 now that things will stay down, but that might have been the three litres of water they dropped into my arm at the beginning of August.  Three litres of water is a lot, but considering how much I was sweating at the Osgoode Medieval Festival, and my usual can do attitude, it is, I suppose, to be expected.
     Many XRays, and a cat scan later, they decided that  they needed to do a biopsy and golly gee, it was in reach of this new device, the "push endoscope".   They removed the drain tube from my nose (an evil device but not as evil as the push endoscope)  and proceeded to find, and take a chunk of the problem, and upon microscopic examination, they determined I had a cancer the size of my fist squeezing my gut closed. I call it the dragon.  I won't dignify it with a name.  Yet.
         They decided that operating was not an option since it had infested the lymph nodes draining into my aorta. They would have to take out my aorta as well as the dragon. Sure vein splicing has been around since the Korean War, but an aorta is a high pressure line.  Not a usual candidate for replacement.   So chemotherapy is the answer. It will likely never get rid of the dragon which is nipping at my belly, but they may be able to bring it down to lizard size.  In order to deal with problem one (my lack of caloric and liquid input) they fed and watered me through a "pic" in my arm.  Then the push endoscope was used to push a stent past the dragon.  A stent is kind of neat, looks a little bit like a tube of chain mail.  And because they were kind enough to provide a monitor for me to look at during the two hour procedure, I finally SAW my enemy...looked like a piece of fatty chicken heart, trying to squeeze through the mesh of the stent. 
          I asked them how long it will take for the dragon to just eat the stent and fill it up.  They shrugged and dodged the question.  Right, I though, the rest of MY life. 
          Which leads to the long exactly will THAT be?  Well, things are better than they were ten years ago....but The Graph is not encouraging....10% just fade away in six months, same as they would have a decade ago.  80 percent make it to year one.  50 % make it to year two.  Ten percent make it to year three.  Hey, ten percent odds.  I will take that!  But a lot can happen in three years!   Better proceedures, better chemo. And remember, this is Bill here....I survive where many would not. 
            The chemo they give you now is not so hard on the system as it was a few years ago.  The answer is to treat the symptoms and side effects directly.  Gravol is not my dearest friend, but it is right up there!  They tell me I won't lose my beard, but I "might" lose my hair.  Even that is not the given that it was a few years ago. On the other hand, it was pretty much turning into a Friar Tuck tonsure all by itself, so no loss. 

            So, its not as much a fight against the dragon as "survive the fight".  I am not even doing the fight, its a top notch oncologist using me as the battlefield.  Fine.  I'll do my part.  Eat lots of anti-oxidants, try not to eat anything which can feed the dragon.  A chance to be lazy and get away with it!  Give the docs a good battlefield to work with. 
          I'll try to make future posts a little more upbeat than this one.  But its three in the morning, and I can't sleep for worrying about what is coming down the pike.  I was asked if I was scared.  Well, for some reason (denial?) I am not scared.  Just worried about who I have failed to apologize to, who I still owe something to...stuff I might leave undone.  Worried about my legacy.  My sword arts.  My armour making skill sets which have taken me three decades to evolve.   THESE things I can make sure don't die if I do.  Shoulda done this years ago.  Have you SEEN the Ottawa drivers!!!!

       Hey, its going to be a helluva ride.  To all my friends who follow this blog, and to all that don't, thank you for being there so many times.  I might call in a marker or two in the next few years, but I promise I won't abuse the privilege.  Mostly it would be a case of  "hey we are going out to a movie, maybe Brenda would like to come too", and give her a respite. She likes to be asked....


Friday, August 16, 2013

Rib Fest 2013

Jason at the Rib Fest on Sparks Street in Ottawa July 2013.  Clearly, by the line ups in the behind him, the place to our right was VERY popular.  Click on the picture below, and you will get a darned good idea of why.... Scrumptious, fall off the bone, lighty seared pork ribs.  Whats not to love!

You can see by the grins that a good time was had by Matt and Jason.  Of course, there were more of us there that day....but it was hot, and the rest of the gang found a nice basement pub with cold beer and a love of customers who bring their own food.  

But these are my sword fighting buddies...a little heat!  Pshaw!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Highway of Heroes (an anniversary) 8 July 2007
Amazing Grace.

The Trews song...

The day I shipped out, They numbered a dozen. 
  Upon my return, Were a hundred or so. 
  From the coast and from the prairies, I bet they keep coming. 
  add one more name from Ontario. 

Chorus: Carry me home down The Highway of Heroes.  

People above with their flags flying low.  
Carry me softly, down The Highway of Heroes.  
True Patriot Love, There was never more. 

I served with distinction, No visions of glory.

  I served without question, Or personal gain.  
Seek no justification, Its not part of my story.  
and it offers No comfort to the ones who remain. 

Chorus: Carry me home down The Highway of Heroes. 

  [ From: ] 
 People above with their flags flying low.  
Carry me softly, down The Highway of Heroes. 
  True Patriot Love, There was never more. 
I took up my vocation, I was called by my nation.

  Without hesitation, My answer I gave.  
Now I am not wondering, the things that I might have been.
  I'm no consolation, To the forgotten brave. 

Chorus: So Carry me home down The Highway of Heroes. 

  People above with their flags flying low.  
Carry me softly, down The Highway of Heroes. 
  True Patriot Love, There was never more.
Chorus: Carry me home down The Highway of Heroes.

  People I love with their heads held low.
  Carry me softly, down The Highway of Heroes.  
True Patriot Love, There was never more x 6

(An anniversary....)

Building the Spinosaur

Part one...

Part two...

Part three...(How to skin a T-Rex.  Now There's a title for you!)