Monday, July 31, 2006

Perversion Runs in the Blood

At some time or another, everybody gets Googled, and eventually everyone Googles themselves. The single best way to do it of course, is as an advanced search where you try to nail down yourself and yourself only, so as to see exactly how many mentions you get on the Internet.

There is a good reason that Google! is the single best search engine in the known Universe.

I get a kick out of entering "Hemingson" occasionally, as opposed to "Vince Hemingson", because normally, I get WAY more Google entries than any other Hemingsons out there. I get immense, indeed, perverse pleasure all out of proportion to the achievement, to kicking the collectives asses of my father, Uncles, cousins, assorted relatives, and chubby little brother - although technically he's a middle-child - which explains everything.

Technically it just means I am the Hemingson who is the best media whore. Was there ever any doubt?

There is also a Deny Hemingson out there who is apparently a pretty damn good guitarist, although he's never returned my e-mails. He's a Hemingson I'd really, really like to meet. Deny has also apparently run a marathon.

There is also a David Hemingson who is screenwriter in California - which I find deliciously ironic - and he's never returned any of my e-mails either! Bastard! But of course, he probably knows I'm looking for a job. If nepotism won't fly in Hollywood of all places, what is going wrong with the world!?! And David is successsful in both film and television - good on you blood brother!

My cousin Chris Hemingson snagged and then completely wasted the URL (at least as far as I am concerned). Of course I mostly feel this way because I was too stupid to think of it first.

There is my cousin Russell Hemingson, who has run a FASTER marathon time than me, by less than ten minutes, I might add. This year I'm going to crush you Russell and I outweigh you by at least forty pounds! (20 kilos for you the rest you)

The interesting thing about the name Hemingson, however, is that we are generally ALL RELATED, although there are a few variations in the spelling.

Hemingson is originally Norwegian (although some claim it was originally from Denmark). Regardless, my Great Grandfather - or was it Great Great - came from the village of Tromso, some 16o miles INSIDE the Arctic Circle, at the end of a long, narrow, fjord that leads out to the North Atlantic. And he came to America with some brothers.

They mostly ended up in Minnesota. What a shock for Scandanavians, eh! But a bunch moved north to Canada, mainly in Manitoba.

The original spelling of the name was Hemmingsen, but other common versions are, Hemmingson, Hemingsen and of course - Hemingson.

Anyways, while wasting time before geting down to some real work, I did the old Hemingson Google search - except this time I mis-spelled Hemingson.

As fate would have it, I wrote in "Hemmingson", adding an extra "m".

Speaking of extra "m"s. Who should dominate the "Hemmingsons"?

None other than one "Michael Hemmingson".

A writer, no less.

Obviously related to me somewhere down the line.

And does this guy write!

He pumps out the material!

Literally. He's published tons of volumes.

Because nearly everything written by Michael Hemmingson is pornography.

Okay, that's not really fair.

It's labeled and sold as "Erotica". Published by Blue Moon Books.

The next best part is that Michael Hemmingson also does the Front Cover Photos of women who are haunted by their eroticism and must act on it.

I love this guy!

Michael and I are obviously twins who were separated at birth.

Obviously I had to buy some of Michael's works.

Here are the two I could find:

HOUSE OF DREAMS III (obviously House of Dreams I & II were wildly successful and sold out)

Synopsis: Kathleen places an ad: "Female Will Do Anything for $10,000". She is offered three alluring choices: perform a live sex show as part of an artists's gallery opening; become the slave of an adventurous lesbian couple; or be a man's amorous companion on a six-month sailboat voyage around the world. In this final installment of the
House of Dreams trilogy, Kathleen is able to explore all three erotic choices in parallel universes.... each leading to Kimber, the catalyst of Book I and II.


Synopsis: Beryl and Stephen investigate the limits of fidelity and save their lackluster marriage through hot tub orgies, extramarital partners, and amateur pornography. The porn tapes start as a private hobby but soon become public and profitable. Beryl and Stephen quickly become part of a vast subculture of Internet entrepreneurs, erotic explorers, and lost souls whose moments of love, lust and role-playing can be purchased on Web Sites and at the nearest adult bookstore.

Michael Hemmingson - whoever you are - wherever you are - cousin, distant blood-relative, and fellow Bon Vivant, you are one member of my gene pool who I'd LOVE to buy a good bottle of red wine, or Scotch, the poison of your choice.

I'd fly anywhere for one afternoon's conversation...

The Best of the Cancer Boy Chronicles

Strangely enough, since the Vancouver Courier article I have been getting numerous requests from people about how to read the Blogs where I mostly blather on about my pre-cancerous skin lesions.

I even found the following list in a Chat Room!

Frankly, I hate to discourage people, but Blogs are basically online diaries or journal. You can actually work your way backwards all the way to the beginning!

Hell, if I can figure it out - a mentally challenged spider monkey can figure it out.

But here goes, the best of the Cancer Boy Chronicles

Friday, July 28, 2006

Why COPE is Hopeless

You can tell a lot about a politicial party by their functions - the barbeques, cocktail parties, rubber-chicken dinners, basically all in the guise of fund-raisers they use to come us with operating capital. Also known as cold hard cash... The stuff that makes politics work.

Last night I shelled out $120 dollars for a salmon dinner - two tickets - and some shucked oysters at the Vancouver Rowing Club. There was a bar - five star hotel prices - and a silent auction, mostly with the kind of items you couldn't sell - or give away for a dollar - at a Garage Sale at five o'clock in the afternoon on a Sunday (I wonder if I ended up with any of the really hideously tacky champagne flutes made with coloured glass in the stems? I'll be crushed if don't get them!). Spent nearly a hundred dollars in said bar. Taxi cost forty bucks both way to Kits - as in back and forth. Not a cheap night for a party representing the "little people", ie; it was the NDP in disguise.

Note: The oysters were great. The guys in charge didn't have a clue how to shuck them. In other words, they were hopeless shuckers.

And let me tell you, the crowd was - had to be - heavily subsidized. The line-up for the buffet never ended. I mean NEVER FUCKING ENDED! Some of these people ate like it was their first meal in a month. Notice I didn't say "decent" meal. There was no way the riff-raff I saw lined up could have afforded a $60 ticket. The clothes on their back didn't cost $6.

And the seperation of the riff-raff from the rest of the crowd was fascinating. All the movers and shakers, COPE high-rollers and organizers had tables outside on the Vancouver Rowing Club patio over-looking Coal Harbour. And what an evening! It was Vancouver at it's most gorgeous. A stunning sunset, a glorious fading twilight. Magic hour. The people outside were well-dressed and well-heeled. They didn't give a crap about the buffet. They were also well lubricated. The only bee-line they were making was for the bar. Even the conversation was decent outside.

The caterer should have been shot with a ball of his own shit - the food that is. What crap! Absolutely inedible. And the salmon? A travesty. If I wanted to choke on bones, I'd eat Kentucky Fried Chicken whole - which would have been a better meal by the way. In the end, I scammed a veggie burger.

First a disclaimer. I am (was) a life-long Liberal Party Member. I was President of the University of Victoria Young Liberals - and because I had a girlfriend at the time, this was not even a ploy to get laid (that came later). I ran my roommate, Will Pryhitko (sp?) - a third year political science student at the University of Victoria for the leadership of the Provincial Liberal Party. After Gordon what's-his-name and Richard Anderson gave up. Will came in second! I wrote his speeches while sitting in the john having a crap. My buddy Rob Aslett, who went to work for Intel and made his fortune, proof-read them and actually made corrections on the toilet paper. Will finishined behind Richard Lee if memory serves, but ahead of Val Anderson, who was a sitting MLA in Victoria for many years.

The terrible political skeleton in my closet is that I, Vince Hemingson, am actually the person responsible for selling Judi Tyabji her Liberal Membership Card. That may be the single stupidest political move of all time (apologies to Bill Clinton and the blue dress). Even then, Judi was an idiot, but every vote counted. Or so I reasoned.

Worse, I was one of the first people to help organize for Gordon Wilson to become leader of the Provinical Liberal Party because it was in such a state of disarray. Federal Liberals at the time, were closet or not so closet ultra-right wing Social Credit members in BC. Man, BC has a fucked up political system. Just for Judy Tyabji, now apparently Judi Wilson, I should burn in the seventh circle of Hell. Dumb as a sack of hammers then, Dumb as a sack of anvils now.

When Pierre Trudeau resigned back in 1983 - after his famous walk in the snow - I organized for Donald Johnston as the new leader, because he was one of the few politicians I'd met who was conversant with ideas, was interesting to talk to, and actually had a vision for Canada that didn't centre around selling out to the Americans. Donald Johnston would have gone down in the history books as a great Canadian Prime Minister. In my humble opinion.

Of course in 1983, the lawyers in BC and Vancouver, the biggest, money-grubbing hacks you'd ever want to meet, and the Young Liberals from the University of British Columbia backed John Turner. You could see the dollar signs in their eyes back then. You still can. John Turner was a lovely man, but twenty years too late. He could carry on a great conversation, but every time he got started, some fucking idiot aide in a suit would stop him. The rest of course is history. Mr. Turner also had some really hot daughters. But I digress. With Turner we got twenty years of the worst government in Candian history, Thanks Mulroney. And your son should be yanked off of television becaiuse he has no discernible talent either.

Those were the years I let my Liberal Membership card die in my wallet. I would have tortured it if I thought it would have made a whit of difference.

In the intervening years I voted NDP because I couldn't stand the Socreds. And the NDP were and probably still are fiscally incompetent. They still haven't proven they can run a lemonade stand. And you have to vote the Socreds out on a regular basis, because they'd sell the last tree standing to the Japanese if you gave them half a chance or stick oil-well drilling platforms off of Haida Gwaii if given half a chance. Or two dollars.

In the last civic election the thought of Jim Green as the Mayor of Vancouver gave me nightmares, so I organized for Colleen Nystedt. A bright woman surrounded by more right wing chain-smoking morons in bad Chanel suit knock-offs (with several notable exceptions, you know who you are). This time I actually burned my provincial Liberal membership card after the election.

But I enjoyed paddling Gordon Campbell (same Highland Clan as yours truly - although I bet he doesn't have the Clan kilt or tattoo!) in Skidegate. He's polite. He has nice manners. And he knows in his heart of hearts that the Haida are going to end up in control of Haida Gwaii. Lock, stock, and every single barrel of oil that might exist. Which will remain where it belongs if the Haida have anything to say about it. On the bottom of the ocean, under the seabed. When is someone finally going to have the balls to tell George Bush and Dick Cheney to go to Hell? Because they're ultimately headed there for crimes against humanity anyways.

Local politics, provincial politics, federal politics - don't even get me started on international politics. We live in an age of a dearth of talent. No leadership, no charisma, no spark to speak of.

Last night I didn't meet a single person I would follow out of a fire escape if the building was burning down around our ears. And that was the finest that COPE and the NDP had to offer.

Nice people. Just no leaders in sight.


Me, I just want to keep running.

Last night I slept fo six hours.

Probably knowing that the world wouldn't be that bad a place to leave.

Surely something better awaits.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Vince's Wake

It's finally over.
The Efudex that is.
Smearing topical chemo on my face for 45 days.
That which it was said that could not be done by man nor beast in one go.
The beast lives.
However, there is no getting around the fact that the man is very sick.
For the past few days I have been nauseous and puking my guts out.
I have been light-headed and lost consciousness a few times the past couple of days.
This is actually not considered that unusual.
It is probably NOT a great idea for me to be driving around, though.
My liver is very sensitive and tender and swollen and has probably been effected by the Efudex and also probably the amount of pain-killers I have been taking - and possibly the alcohol I have been washing them down with.
Funny how that works...
Such is life and free will.
It will take six to eight weeks for my face to clear up.
My Doctor greeted me at 9:00 AM Tuesday morning with a firm, two-handed handshake and a booming greeting,
"My Viking from the North! You did it, Vince! You are the first patient that I have ever had in over forty years of practice who did their entire face with Efudex in one treatment. In fact, we don't know of anyone else who has done it! And you're the only patient who never called me once during the treatment!"
That might have impressed me once.
Not now.
Now, I will just try to rest up and heal.
I did 28 kilometres or thereabouts on Sunday morning in a little over 3 hours with Laura.
We did Prospect Point in Stanley Park three times to practice for the Stormy 64K Ultramarathon Race coming up in three weeks.. My average heart rate was 123, Max 147.
The entire run was done on trails in the deep shade, where it was the coolest.
I am been having trouble keeping food down and sleeping.
Also considered normal.
As of now I am doing Stormy.
I will probably do it slower than I otherwise might have wanted.
I will be taking some time off from running. I find myself very tired. Especially after doing the Summerfast 10K on Saturday. Even if it was seven minutes slower than last year!
I am having lots of fun drawing up a new will - eight pages of fucking questions though! - and planning my Wake.
The Wake is the best part of all.
Damn I wish I could be there!
For those lucky enough to be invited, or with the cajones enough to show up, it should be a night of debauchery and bacchanalia not soon to be forgotten.
You get brownie points, ie; a great bottle of Scotch - for wearing a kilt, reciting Shakespeare - or poetry of any merit, be it good or bad, singing a song or playing a musical instrument.
Women who will publicly proclaim that I was the best lover that they ever had and that I ruined them for all the men that followed me will receive special compensation.
I am still working out the kinks of having a Viking burial at sea with a flaming long boat.
What's one burning little boat?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

CRash & Burn

Because my sleep is so intermittent due to the pain - I have no epidermis to speak of on my face - I grab it when I can (sleep that is). I often crash for a few hours in the afternoon.

My good friends notice my e-mails are posted at 2, 3, and 4 in the morning. I tend to sleep 2 or 3 hours at a time, maximimum.

Last night, my DVD player quit after the first disc in the second season of The Entourage - my new favorite program after the Sopranos. Did THAT ever suck! Once Cameron comes on board as the director, does Vince get the role of Aquaman or what!?! FUCK! Cheap DVD player.

That's what I get for buying a combo DVD/VHS Video player at Cost-Co. But, hey it is a Sony. And what the fuck am I supposed to do with my collection of two thousand or so videos?

Is it just me, but after watching all of the fifth season of Tony and Co. I was depressed for what seemed like days? But I still wanted to fuck Autumn more than ever... Probably shouldn't have watched 13 straight hours of Sopranos...

Anyways, 4:15 AM - I was in bed by 8:00 PM - a friend called to come over at 10:00 Pm and brought some meals in plastic tupperware containers. God, I love women.

Actually, a couple of guys have done the same thing.

I stayed up to 11:00 PM to be socialable and then stagggered back to bed.

Can't believe I slept through to 4:00 AM.

My apartment, for those of you who haven't graced it's presense, is a bit of a maze around my shoe and boot collection. Especially in the dark.

Stumbling in the dark - you know, when the lights are turned out - I realized my eyes were frozen shut from pus and all the crap that had oozed out in my sleep.

I was blind.

And couldn't see a thing.

I bounced off the wall, knocking down a bunch of the art that litters the wall.



46 in less than two weeks.

This is old age.

I grabbed the edge of the bathroom sink as I flew into the bathroom like I'd been tackled by Lawrence Taylor.

I slowed my speed a bit, but broke off a mirror, bounced off the toilet and slammed into the bathtub.

I protected my head at the last second with my shoulder.

Just like playing football or hockey or martial arts twenty, or was it twenty-five years ago.

That really fucking hurt.

Sorry, present tense. It REALLY fucking hurts.

Should make for some good bruises.

Would have been nice to have someone to help pick me up.


Maybe not.

Might have been too embarassassing to be lying there on the floor naked.

At least my prostate hasn't closed off and I can still piss like a race horse.

I took some more pain-killers.

Can't seem to sleep now.

This explains this Blog.

Hurts to lie on one side. Might have cracked a few old ribs.

Pain-killers starting to kick in.

Damn this Corona tastes good.

Good Night and Good Luck.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

 Posted by Picasa

And They Said I Was Vain - Breaking Up On Re-entry

This was at 8:49 AM on Saturday morning. As you can see, my heat shield cone has failed and I am starting to lose pieces of my heat-shield foam on re-entry into the atmosphere at the Finish Line. Small children should probably look away...

Brilliant camera work by Justin Callison shows that even 60 sunblock and the best hat that NASA can provide can not stop my facial distintegration with less than 100 metres to go to the Finish Line.

Although I did stop to pick up a hat, and I did promise my friends not to kill myself, I was a full seven minutes slower than last year.

Momemts later, Patrick, Hugh and Luisa (who picked up a bronze medal) kept me from fainting and hitting the ground. They also fed me.

I vaguely remember someone driving me home. And then sleeping the rest of the day.

Skin cancer is not pretty.

Wear sunscreen.

Wear a hat.

I never once had a tan that made the above pictures worthwhile. Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 24, 2006

Haida Gwaii in 2003

Dedication of the new reserve land set aside in Massett in 2003. Hopefully, the site of the beginning of the new Totem to Totem in 2007. From this site, it will be 100 kilometres to the Totems of the Heritage Centre in Second Beach in Skidegate. A new Totem will be erected in Massett to commemorate this great Haida achievement.

A community brought together to achieve great things.

Second Beach before the new Heritage centre.

Always great fishing. Posted by Picasa


The Miracle of Salmon - Salmon is Miracle Food

I have been puking pretty bad for a few days now. I am no longer even very hungry. A tough way to lean out, and I have this strange, ever-present metallic taste in my mouth.

After six weeks of indulging myself - think back to my low of 188 in late May - I had ballooned fron the 190's range to as high as 210 last week. This morning I was 200 pounds. Which makes my kick to the line on Saturday morning's Summerfast 10K even more remarkable - and my almost passing out afterwards more understandable. Hugh, Patrick and Justin kept me from hitting the ground.

I have largely stopped guzzling beer like it was water. The alcohol never seemed to have much effect on me - yes, I am a liar - and my liver seems grateful.

Strangely enough, for a man who has devoted the last two decades of his life to worshiping at the altar of the red grape, I have lost all taste for red wine. It is like my palate has lost all its subtlety and finesse. Red wine is all just grape juice to me know. I know, I want to cry too...

White wine, which normally I tolerate, I am drinking like lemonade. Mostly because it is cold I think.

I can not stand the heat of the day or the rays of the suns. The pain is excruciating. White wine and ice help. When I am not hibernating that is.

But Salmon! I can taste it on my palate and my tongue and my lips and down my throat. I love the smell, and the taste and the texture. SALMON! My God, it make me weep but you are a gift from the Gods, Salmon. I feel I should be releasing your bones into the sea so that you may return. I think that the Salmon will save me. I thank the Gods and the Sea and Salmon and the Waves for bringing you to me.

And the only other thing that I do not fight to keep down is this strange damn bar from Clif called the MoJO. It is just a strange amalgamation of different organic nuts - 70% organic by the way. It is almonds and cashews and pecans and pretzel pieces. Weird. But palatable and not pukable for your truly. Thanks Gary.

I got a ton of flack from yesterday's Blog. And I obviously failed to make my point, which was for people to see the bigger picture - and it's not as if I have any special fucking insight into that one, baby! The point being to get over yourself. You are a speck in the cosmos. Infintismal. You, I, all of us will be dead soon. Much sooner than you think. You are walking worm meat. Think about that for a while.

Have you done a single fucking thing to make the world a better or more interesting place?

Have you made any other single person's life better?

Like I mean, ever?

When you are gone, what will you leave behind?

Anything worthwhile?

Anything that will take longer than sixty seconds to talk about?

I'm not too sure I pass that test myself.

But eat Salmon!

And the only Salmon that counts is wild Salmon.

Perferably from Haida Gwaii!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Runners, Film People, the General Public

Malcolm Parry, a local columist with the Vancouver Sun, has to be one the greatest stand up guys there is - period. Malcolm, I fucking love you. Period. It's hard to do what Malcolm does and be nice. But he somehow manages to do it. Even when he inadvertently takes a photo of someone with their mistress or girlfriend rather than their wife and it gets posted in his Gossip Column... You'd like to be a fly on the wall for those converations.

(So does Sandra Thomas at the Vancouver Courier for that matter - being a stand-up broad and all)

Malcolm was one of a handful of people who didn't treat me like shit and who didn't shy away from talking to me last night at this bizarre little film industry soiree called "ROUGE".

Of course, Malcolm has also covered leprosy colonies in his line of work...

Plus, he himself has just recovered this past year from a serious bout with real cancer. None of the nancy-boy stuff I have.

Last night I accompanied a friend - yes, a "friend" - to something called "ROUGE", a film industry schmooze-fest. I thought it might be good for her business. I knew at least a hundred or so people there last night. After all, I am getting a little long in the tooth. And this was out of the at least five or six hundred people in attendance at the event, maybe more. Fuck do these people take themselves seriously. And would someone please teach these people how to dress? I thought I was at an eighties-fest.

Many of the people (Okay, I am actually speaking specifically of women here) in the crowd recognized me - as they should have, many of them having done something as harmless as doing business with me over the years, if not actually having slept with me (Hey, it's been a fair number of years and Vancouver is a small town) - and after having made eye contact with me, they - the ungrateful cows - actually turned away from me and melted into the crowd. Beating a coward's retreat if ever there was one. Whatever happened to hello, by the way this is my husband? Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, we're all grown-ups here, we all know the drill.

Looking like I do these days, I can fully understand their reticence at saying hello - and then again I could have been a really lousy piece of tail. But I doubt it. Me, I would have at least been curious why I looked like a piece of carrion left out for the vultures...

You don't have to be a rocket scientist to be in the film industry. Especially in Vancouver. If you have any real talent, you end up in Toronto, Los Angeles, or New York. In fact the film industry in Vancouver is filled to the brim with self-absorbed, self-centered and self-interested people who have failed at every other job they have ever tried in life. Including selling cars. Notice the reoccuring (sp?) theme of "self".

But you have to divide the people in the film and television business between those in front of the camera and those behind it.

Behind the camera - smarts are the way to go. Although people who generally end up there - behind the camera that is - finally realize they are too ugly to be in front of the camera, hence the transitional move. There are a few exceptions to the rule of course. You know who you are. Spare me the notes about how incredibly talented you are and how incredibly hard you have worked.

In order to make a living before the camera in Vancouver as a woman - and it's a tough, brutal gig - there are a few criteria - you must be pretty of course - and it doesn't hurt to have the ability to suck a golf ball up thirty feet of garden hose. Really talented, unique women, who aren't blonde with big tits, who can't be pigeon-holed into cookie-cutter roles, and who won't do the Producer or the Director, suffer mightily.

For pretty boys, you must be able to suck the chrome off a trailer hitch. And mostly they're dunb as a sack of hammers. And in Vancouver the pretty boys wear far more hair-care product and make-up than the girls. It's kind of creepy actually. Like early David Bowie band wannabes.

I think they saw Johnny Depp one too many times in Edwards Scissorhands, and Pirates of the Caribbean, et al.

Johnny Depp can carry it off... The rest of you boys - and there is not a real man among them to all appearances - need to get over yourselves. Like, now!

Like the female exceptions to the general rule, the good male talent writes their own material, finances it with their blood and a pact with the devil, shoots it, and finds a way to make art.

The thing that will save the Vancouver film industry in the end is the small pool of really talented men and women who will say fuck it to all the bullshit and go out and do it on their own. They already are, and some of the results are breath-taking. If only they could make a decent living at it.

But for the rest of the pretty boys, get the fuck out from in front of that mirror, stop fixing your hair and your make-up and do something real with your life. Snow-boarding, skate-boarding and playing in a bad garage-band don't count.

Stop posing. Start doing. Get real.

I know saucers that are deeper than these people.

Give me runners and civilians every time.

I am astonished about the amount of e-mail I have been getting since I started my "Cancer Boy" schtick. Surprised the F**K out of me to be frank.

I will answer any questions I can, or refer you to someone who actually knows what they really talking about.

As for the runners. You know who you are. You are the salt of the earth. Good things will happen to you.

You have held me up when I almost fell down.

And when I was falling down, you picked me up.

You keep me going.

Runners. Real people accomplishing real things.

The rest of the world could learn a thing or two.

Against everyone's advice I ran 27-28K this morning.

Average heart rate 123. Have to prepare for Stormy's 64K.

My body hurts.

I shouldn't be driving my car, because of my lightheadedness.

I have fallen down a couple of times because of dizziness.

And I am having trouble keeping my food down.

Thank Christ I've finally found a way to lean out.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Summerfast 10K - Or, Some Are Dumb Like Vince

I promised my friends I would go out easy.

Pace a friend.

Have fun.

Enjoy the 85 degree weather.

Me taking it easy.

#146 tried to pass me with a mile to go.

Actually, she did.

I came back with a K to go.

And then in the last two hundred metres she tried again.

Sister, kick is my middle name.

Right. Like that was going to happen...

Like the space shuttle on re-entry, pieces of my face started to fly off.

Best of all...

My friend podiumed!

I needed medical attention. Posted by Picasa

One Small Correction

I am very pleased with Sandra"s article.

She has, as per usual, outdone herself.

I even sound human! Not a simple task under the best of circumstances.

There is one small correction, however.

I will noy be 46 until a little after Midnight - August 8, 2006.

A very minor correction...

Friday, July 21, 2006

Fame of the Flakier Kind

Local blogger details his skin cancer ordeal

By Sandra Thomas-Staff writer

A local marathon runner, tattoo aficionado, screenwriter and documentary filmmaker has recently developed a new passion. Vince Hemingson's latest mission is to use his blog to warn sun-loving Vancouverites that skin cancer can happen to anyone.

"I went for my annual checkup and my blood pressure was great, my good cholesterol was fabulous and my bad cholesterol was non-existent," said Hemingson, who just turned 46.

"Because of all of the training I've been doing for marathons I'm probably in the best shape of my life. But I just had this tiny bit of skin on my forehead that always flaked and never seemed to heal. So I asked my doctor about it."

Hemingson's doctor referred him to a dermatologist who confirmed the patch was a pre-cancerous lesion, actinic keratosis. Hemingson was not surprised.

"Ironically last year I wrote a screenplay about a writer who gets incurable cancer so I had researched it like crazy," he said. "So in my heart I already knew what it was and I wasn't surprised. But then the dermatologist told me that for every lesion we could see there were probably more we couldn't. When he took this blue light to my face I had a whole battalion of them. That's what absolutely stunned me."

Hemingson is writing about his experience on his blog at

He's included links and references to information about skin cancer.

His doctor gave him a number of options, including freezing the spot, but Hemingson decided to go with a prescription cream called Efudex Fluorouracil, which he must use for 45 days. "My doctor told me this was an option as long as I wasn't concerned about my appearance," he said. "And I told him since I don't make my money with my face it was no problem."

Being a "go big or go home" kind of guy, Hemingson decided that if he was going to treat one spot on his face, he would do his whole face at once.

"I went to see my doctor after 21 days and he just about had a bird," said Hemingson. "He told me I was only supposed to do my forehead and cheek bones and that none of his patients had ever been able to handle the pain of doing their entire face at once."

Hemingson said the treatment is so painful at times he can barely stand it. Three weeks into the treatment his lips are cracking and his face is swollen and covered with crusty lesions. His skin also radiates heat.

Alastair Carruthers, a cosmetic dermatologic surgeon and member of the Canadian Dermatology Association, said treating the entire face with Efudex is probably not a good idea. He advises a moderate, lengthier treatment, but has sympathy for Hemingson.

"It can be pretty unpleasant," said Carruthers. "But doing your face one section at a time goes on for so damn long."

Hemingson said his Scottish and Norwegian heritage, fair skin, red hair and freckles, and frequent sunburns as a child growing up in the Prairies make him a prime candidate for skin cancer.

"And I realized relatively early in my life that I should be careful so since my late 20s I've been slathering on the sunscreen and wearing hats," he said. "But as I found out it's that early damage that will come back to haunt you. Remember when we used to use baby oil for sun tanning?"

Carruthers agreed.

"These pre-cancerous marks are extremely common in people with lots of sun exposure like farmers and fishermen," he said. "And you know those cute little freckles you had as a kid? They are a sure sign of future pre-cancer and indeed true cancer. The Celts, like this man, are susceptible."

Hemingson said he feels like a vampire these days, "slinking from shadow to shadow," as he walks down the street.

"Or someone out of a Monet painting because I wear a big straw hat everywhere I go," he said.

But he can't stress enough the dangers of too much sun exposure.

"I would not want anyone to go through this, it's agonizing and this is pre-cancerous," he said. "If you have the smallest suspicion about a mark on your skin, get it checked out."

published on 07/21/2006

Always a Fly in the Ointment

I was getting ready for a long day of filming in my good buddy Thomas Lockhart's shop, for a project for Microsoft that I am not allowed to talk about... (Hey, I'm still waiting for my non-disclosure agreement, but I'll be on my best behavior!)

Needless, to say, if you go to the web site for the reality television series, Rockstar: Supernova - The Tommy Lee Project you will see that most of the tattoo artwork and graphics are done by our very own world-renowned tattoo artist Thomas Lockhart. Tom took his game to a whole new level on this project.

By the way, check out the Rockstar: Supernova site. It is amazing!

This series is produced by Mark Burnett, the same guy who did Survivor and the Apprentice with Forrest Gump.

But I'm not allowed to talk about the filming....

Anyways, Tom was stopped at the red light in the above intersection when he got NAILED from behind by a putz in a van who apparently fell asleep at the wheel or at the very least had a severe brain cramp. As you can see, the van drove Tom's Fat Boy fifteen or twenty feet forward into the intersection.

I picked Tom's dog, Chili Conchita up from the SPCA across the road. Those ladies in there are angels. Absolute angels. Donate some money to them! Please, they represent a great cause.

Tom's Fat Boy is a f**ked.

So is Tom.

In the hospital he fractured a vertabrae and had a protruding lumbar disc that actually showed up on the X-Ray. They wanted to do a Cat Scan, but said it might take hours before it was done and Tom would be released.

In the meantime, Tom had a film crew - I'm not allowed to talk about it - from Seattle and Los Angeles and Vancouver - waiting outside his shop at West Coast Tattoo at 620 Davie Street ready to start filming. But I can't talk about it...

There was no way Tom was sticking around. Tom signed a release - absolving the hospital and all staff of resonsibility for his condition - and I drove him to the shop. He then tattooed for nearly eight hours - but I'm not allowed to talk about it.

Posted by Picasa

At the end of the day, Tom had an excruciating head-ache, as did I, surprise, surprise.

Worse yet, Tom was getting pins and needles in his feet and a loss of feeling. He felt dizzy and light-headed when he stood up and was having trouble focusing his eyes.

For you kids at home, these are bad, bad signs.

I took Tom back to the Hospital and they re-admitted him for his overdue Cat Scan.

Long story short, he isn't brain-damaged - although I wonder what they used for a base line test- and he ended up with some pretty brutal bruising, a fractured vertabrae, some obvious whiplash, a dislocated shoulder, some badly bruised ribs and one F**KED up Fat Boy.

Tom would be the first to admit that without his helmet and a thousand dollar fully armoured riding jacket that weighs thirty pounds, it might have been a different story.

And all this took place while at a dead stop at a red light in an intersection...


I have an appointment to get Nathalie to finish my hair cut at

My face is as bright red as a tomato. But it's a good looking tomato.

I am doing everything in my power to stay out of the sun. 60 sun block doesn't mean shit when your face feels like mine does. Can you say ouch!?!

I got some new pain-killers from my doctor and on Monday and Tuesday I slept fourteen hours!

That is more than twice what I normally sleep. But I did have nightmares last night and started firing off e-mails at 4:00 AM.

My 45 day cycle of topical chemotherapy lasts until July 25th when I have an appointment to see my doctor again. Please God, let this be over with.

I have to tell you, this has stretched me as far as I want to be stretched. Unless of course Cindy Crawford is involved, and by all accounts she is a happily married woman...

If I NEVER see another tube of EFUDEX in my life it will be too soon.

Be safe, kids.

Wear sunblock.

Wear a hat.

Nobody really notices tan-lines when you're naked anyways...

They're concentrating on other things...

Thursday, July 20, 2006

For Dale and Mindy

One of the great things about a trip like this is the people you meet and the friends you make. Dale and his daughter Mindy joined us at the last moment and they were great. Although, they each ended up catching the largest Chinook on their respective boats! Not bad for first time fishers, eh!

Posted by Picasa

And Mindy's first Chinook came in at a hair under 32 pounds! Beginner's luck or what!

Paddling the Premier of British Columbia

Imagine our surprise to learn that we would be paddling Premier Gordon Campbell to his meeting with the Haida in Skidegate.

The Honorable Gordon Campbell being drummed ashore and being escorted to Chief Skidegate.

The assembly of Hereditary Chiefs, Women of High Esteem and Honoured Guests.

A dance to propitiate the Spirits. Posted by Picasa

Our First Glimpse of Paradise

Andy Wilson in blue on the far right went to great lengths to ensure our trip was a success. The unseen Patrick Gross was our amazing photograher. PJ Reece, far left in lime green, was our scribe from Canadian Geographic. Front and center was David Seymour, our heart and soul, no matter how geographically challenged he was.

Chief Skidegate, whose territory we asked permission to run on for the Totem to Totem Marathon.

The Emerald Isle.

What a setting. Posted by Picasa

Haida Gwaii - Queen Charlotte Islands

The new Haida Heritage Centre at Second Beach in Skidegate

Where we brought our fish in to be processed.

Why young men have gone to sea...

Float plane dock in Quenn Charlotte City. Posted by Picasa

Totem to Totem - The Eagle Marathon

Look out salmon.

An eagle's nest was less tha a mile away.

New meaning to eagle-eye.

The glory that is Haida Gwaii and Skidegate Days. Posted by Picasa

Haida Hospitality

Andy Rosang - One of the best guides in all of Haida Gwaii.

Karen and Steve - almost as good with a fishing rod as they are on a Marathon course.

We caught chinook, a lone coho, rock cod, ling cod, jelly fish and kelp. Eventually we got Patrick and PJ trained.

Who's coming over to my house for dinner? Posted by Picasa