Wednesday, July 02, 2008

msb-0321 Stardancer?

msb-0321 Stardancer?

Video Interview with David Crosby and Spider Robinson


Disclaimer! Disclaimer! Disclaimer!

MSBPodcast is "not" any kind of a medical podcast.

It is by and for MSers.

Its purpose is to keep us entertained, to explain our symptoms, to remark on our discoveries, and to raise the general consciousness about our disease.

The path to illness is shadowy, murky and rough strewn.

The path to wellness is lit by the lamp of knowledge.


I have a quick and easy, painless and not too figgin' nosy customer survey that I really, really, really need you to go and fill out.

You can go to my podcast "page" [ ], click on the button on the left hand side of the page and anonymously answer a few simple questions.

I really need this.


Feedback comes first, so...

The title refers to a book by someone who I read a lot when I lived in Canada.

In fact I found a video of him and David Crosby being interviewed. (If you're interested in seeing it, go to my "podcast page." [ ])

---- "Spider" by: "Alexander Blu"

Feed Forward comes next, so...

This is "your" segment.

Say "your" piece on this segment.

Share with other MSers whatever "you" want to share.

Drop us an email: "charles at"

---- "spiders" by: "the general and duchess collins"

Feed Me comes third, so...

Do you have a therapy, product, good or service that is of interest to MSers?

Consider advertising on this podcast.

Reminders on this segment only cost $0.03 per reminder per download of an episode. (A $30CPM targeted at MSers.)

It can/should lead to a full ad, in text, audio or video, which costs $3.00 per download.

That sounds expensive until you do the math and realize that if nobody downloads it it costs you nothing, unlike print, where you often can't even get an ad in to the specialized journals, or radio or TV where you'd just be wasting your money with the 0.0833% MSers rate of return. (That's about six times "below" the level of "statistical noise".)

But MSBPodcast is 100% in your market, and you only pay per download of your material.

No play, no pay.

Reach the MSers who would buy your therapy, product, good or service, with-out having to waste your advertising money on anyone who is "not" interested...

Send us an email at: "charles (at)"

---- "Spiders" by: "Brian Amsterdam"


English is such an inventive language.

A morpheme like "Iron" can mean so many things. (And it is a "morpheme", composed of "phonemes," not a "grapheme", such as you read on the blog and "hear" in your mind's, uh, ear... :-)

Its a metal and therefore a noun but it can also be:
  • a verb, as in "to iron,"
  • an adjective, as in "an ironed shirt,"
  • a pronoun, as in "ironing things out," and last but not least,
  • a lexical root?
---- "Spider" by: "Lee Maddeford"


God is an Iron

With thanks to "Spider Robinson" [ ] for allowing me to borrow (steal) his title....

Many many years ago, a friend (George) at university introduced me to the writings of Spider Robinson. The man is very funny and insightful and punny. Makes for a very good combination. So I enjoyed everything he wrote. Then I read Mindkiller. First of all, it was about a society that was addicted to "Wiring", plugging a wire from an individual's head to a wall outlet that provided electrical stimulation of the pleasure centre of the brain. Woo hoo! Electrical stimulation of the brain! Very nifty stuff and a topic that is still being explored for treatments of all sorts of nasty neurological conditions and a subject of which I have immense interest.

Secondly, it was, or half of it was, set in Halifax.


Thirdly, I knew a little about the topic and was majoring in psychology. It was like this guy had written this book for me. I had also read Michael Crichton's The Terminal Man and loved that.
 The second chapter of Mindkiller had actually been included in an anthology of short stories. The story was called "God is an Iron."

When I first saw this title I thought "iron:anvil". Then I thought "iron:something to remove wrinkles". But God is an anvil or God removes wrinkles didn't make a lot of sense to me. So I decided to read the story to find out what it meant. And boy, was Spider right. God is "the" master of irony.

All this is to simply set up how I found out I had MS.

In January, 1998, my (ex)husband and I went on vacation to Quebec City. During the height of the big ice storm, no less. I wanted to go to St. Anne de Beaupré to send my grandmother a postcard from there. If you are Catholic you probably know about the place. It is a shrine to Saint Anne, the mother of Mary, grandmother of Jesus. People have been going there on pilgrimages for ages to seek relief from physical ailments and afflictions. My grandmother had been there in 1939 (she had polio as a child that left her lame). I knew she'd appreciate that we had made a stop there.

The church that is there is really a gorgeous piece of work. We went into the church and were the only ones. We walked around, admiring the structure, the tiles, and amazed at the number of crutches, canes, and orthotics that were tacked to the front pillars, left behind by people who had been "miraculously" cured.

The next day, as I was brushing my hair, my right arm felt kind of weak. And I was tripping over my right foot.; I was having trouble holding my toothbrush and even writing. We returned to Halifax and I went back to work, but went to see my family doc about the increasing weakness. She told me to come back if it got any worse and she would try to get me in to see someone. Two days later I was back in her office and she was on the phone to a colleague who saw me at the hospital that aftrnoon. At 5:45 that evening the neurologist was telling me I had MS. A couple of hours later, I was telling my parents that it was a little ironic that my symptoms began the day after I had visited St. Anne de Beaupré. And that's when it hit me.: God really IS an iron.

My grandmother received the postcard and just loved it. But the entire family was sworn to keep from her my diagnosis. She passed away a year and a half later and I like to think she passed into heaven dancing a Sottish jig and then, upon discovering I had MS, giving God a piece of her mind about that. My grandmother had a wonderful sense of humour, but I doubt she would have appreciated the irony. I went to St. Anne de Beaupré and got afflicted.


---- "Spider song" by: "Marie Crehan"


Spider Robinson was someone I read a great deal of when I was living in Canada. He is one Hell of an author and a delight to encounter at "Callahan's Crosstime Saloon."

Its hard to adequately describe my admiration for someone who would actually title a book "LADY SLINGS THE BOOZE."

Remember, I'm the guy who wrote a little SciFi short titled: "The Rapes of Grath".

He wrote several books with his wife Jeanne that I quite admired.

And god is indeed the master of irony.

When ever he needs a laugh, I just make a plan.

---- "The Spider" by: "Anton Roolaart"



mdmhvonpa said...

"Callahan's Crosstime Saloon" ... loved that book.

Charles-A. Rovira said...

He also had some novels set in Ottawa and those were fun as hell trying ton see where he's put a particular setting.

I remember walking along the Rideau River looking for a spot that looked like the one described. Found it too, eventually. Near "Hog's Back Ridge" below Carleton U.

But now I'm not so sure of the author. (Advancing years... :-)