Part of a feature on Canadian fitness which included a self-test guide

400-pound man now a fitness poster boy

by Stu Ducklow
Editor, the Hants Journal

Jarid Wilson, 27, of Windsor, is reluctant poster boy for fitness. “I don’t want to look like Superman,” he says, when he’s asked to stand in the famous Man of Steel pose for this article.

But Jarid has done something almost superhuman. In two years he’s lost half his body weight and he’s kept it off for the two years since.

To hear him tell it, Jarid had a normal happy childhood growing up in Mount Denson. He was of normal weight until about the age of six, but began packing on the pounds as a result of bad eating habits.

He at little during the day, but began eating up to two hamburgers a night while watching TV and then going straight to bed. Inactivity was part of the picture. “My dad ate more than I did, but my dad worked,” he said.

His late-night eating accelerated until he would eat two burgers for dinner and as many as four later at night plus potato chips and soft drinks. The thought of breakfast made him sick to his stomach, so his regime of light eating during the day with binging at night continued.

During high school he played basketball and was pretty good at it. A big kid— he’s six feet, two inches now– he could push opponents anywhere on the gym floor but couldn’t move fast himself. “I’d love to play myself now,” he says wistfully.
And his weight didn’t make him a social outcast in high school either. “I always had good friends. And girls liked me. When a guy weighs 350 pounds in high school a girl feels safe.”

But none of his girl friends ever got serious about him, he said. “I was always a teddy-bear boyfriend” but never a serious boyfriend.

His weight increased in university. “You know how kids gain the freshman five pounds, well I gained the freshman 50 pounds.”
At age 22 he weighed 411 pounds and was beginning to have heart palpitations just sitting in a chair. He’d find excuses for not joining his friends at games of golf or basketball.

And when friends confronted him about his weight he just ignored them. “I was in denial. I was young and lazy.”

But finally his mother got to him. She offered to pay his tuition with Alan Mumford Boot Camps if he’d make a serious attempt to lose weight. He agreed.

Mumford pushed him hard with daily exercises, “but the biggest thing I changed was my eating habits.” Now he eats five times a day and goes to bed hungry.

Mumford closed his shop for renovations a month after Jarid began working with him, so Jarid continued on his own. “I just ran with it.” Though Mumford taught him the exercises and basic nutrition, Jarid kept learning on his own.

His father was dying of cancer and the heavy exercise regime helped him deal with his pain.

It wasn’t until he visited the hospital that he found out how much weight he had lost. Up to then, he had been too heavy to use a normal bathroom scale. He was shocked to discover he’d lost 60 pounds in only three months.

His proudest moment came when his father saw him at his target weight, a trim 200 pounds. His waist had shrunk from 52 to 32 inches. “My dad got to see me the way I am now. He was so proud of me, and I was so proud. He felt like I was able to take care of my family.”

But Jarid’s problems weren’t over. He had lost weight so fast that he had extra folds of skin over his chest, stomach and inner thighs. The skin wouldn’t just shrink away on it’s own and MSI, the provincial government health insurance program, refused to cover the cost of plastic surgery because it hadn’t authorized his weight-loss regime.

Jarid borrowed $13,000 and had a private Halifax clinic remove the skin on his stomach and chest.

Today, Jarid has no trouble keeping the weight off. He exercises four times a week and eats healthy food five times a day. Though he’ll eat junk food on weekends — “you still gotta live!” — he feels better when he eats properly.

He has allowed his weight to creep up to 211 pounds but has had no trouble holding his weight and no trouble sticking to his regime, “I live a comfortable lifestyle and I’m a comfortable size.”


SPCA looks for homes for abandoned dogs

Nelson Daily News
Sept. 15, 1975

Norman Johynson wold dearly love to get his hands on the people who abandoned the two dogs he found outside the central truck building Monday.

The hefty SPCA member makes a violent neck-wringing motion with his meaty hands, leaving no doubt about what he would like to do if the offenders were caught.

He found the two female German shepherds outside the building when he came to work Monday. they were so hungry, he says, they were eating mud.

He brought them inside the garage and fed them about a gallon of dog meal. Shortly after, the older dog vomited a mixture of mud and worms that looked like crank case oil on the cement floor.

Both dogs were about eight months old, he says, and probably unspayed. Nobody knows who abandoned them.

Both dogs bore signs of malnutrition and one had a serious case of distemper. They lay quietly on the cement floor licking Mr. Johnson’s hand when he patted them, obviously too ill to stand.

“That’s criminal,” said Mr. Johnson. “They depend so much on a human being.”

City poundkeeper Mike Popoff and Mr. Johnson took the two strays to the west Kootenay Animal Hospital that afternoon.

Dr. Hugh Croxall, a veterinarian, said the dogs will be kept alive because they may be needed as evidence in a court case if the former owners are found and charged.

Dr. Croxall says he has to destroy up to five dogs and eight cats per week for the city. He says the problem is one of education and overpopulation throughout North America.

Nelson, he says, “is a good dumping area” for dog owners who don’t want to pay the $5 fee to have their dog put to sleep.

Irresponsible dog owners have a peculiar rationale for abandoning their dogs in a city according to the veterinarian. “Some guy with a soft heart might take it, if the poundkeeper doesn’t destroy it or if it doesn’t get shot, or run over first.

They just seem to want to get rid of their problem but “if you doump a dog out on the road, it hasn’t just gone away— it’s still suffering.”

He says he regularly finds dogs tied to the hospital’s gate. Some of them have been shot, half drowned, run over and had their legs broken, or simply starved.

Though he’s under no legal obligation to take care of a dog because it’s tied to a gate, the poundkeeper will catch it anyway, and the hospital destroys strays found in the city.

A healthy dog may last two weeks in the hospital, in the hope that it can be given away for a pet. “But there just aren’t enough houses for all the dogs. Some will have to do without and it’s better for them to be put to sleep.”

Dogs that were pets can’t survive without people, he says.

“I despair of trying to educate these guys who say it’s wrong to tie up a dog os spay it — that it should be free. You’re interfering with the balance of nature. We protected the dog on one side of the scale, and now they’re overpopulated, but you can’t turn them back.”

Most stray dogs come to the hospital from outside of town, he says, and they get there by a pretty circuitous route.

“Big dogs have big litters.” Some dogs have as many as 12 pups per litter, he says, and the owners take the pups to a shoppign centre parking lot and give them away.

“So some innocent kid takes a dog home with him and the kids’s father takes it down to the dump and leaves it there.”

“You very rarely find the real offender, he says. That’s the one who gives the dog away.

Education, and limiting the number of animals is the ony to to do it,’ he says. “You can’t solve the problem by dealing with the cats and dogs.”


As a photographer I had a lovely time writing occasional articles on my craft for the Daily News. I couldn’t help exaggerate

Cameras: use them or lose them

Daily News Jan 4, 1985

One of the least-known hazards of photography is other photographers, especially those who would rather talk than take pictures.

They generally introduce themselves at the most inopportune time. Queen Elizabeth is roller skating down Gottingen Street and you’ve got it all in your viewfinder when you hear a voice in your ear:

“Hello, I see you’re a photographer. I’ve got three zoom lenses, two camera bodies with motor drives, a couple of automatic flashes with interchangeable power packs, several tripods and studio lights.”

Well, what can you do? If you’ve got any manners, you’ll put down your camera and listen to your well-equipped colleague. You might learn something.

“Really? That’s a lot of zooms. Are they fast enough?”

Skirts flying, the Queen sails past Cornwallis Street, hits a manhole and tumbles headfirst into the mud.

“Why certainly, I just use my flash if I don’t have enough light.”

Sirens wailing, an ambulance screams around a corner on the trail of the mud-caked monarch and runs straight into a busload of flag-waving schoolchildren.

“But all those flashes and batteries must be a heavy weight to carry around.”

Screaming children rush from the burning bus. Prince Philip bestows the kiss of life on an unconscious girl as the wreckage explodes behind him.

Certainly is, That’s why I never take it with me. By the way, shouldn’t you be taking pictures of all this?

A military helicopter lands amid the carnage to disgorge a squad of heavily armed paratroopers. “Well I suppose so, I don’t see anybody here from any of the papers. Maybe I can sell it to them. Nice talking to you.”

Riot police begin clearing the streets. “Sorry Bub,” says one of them, “no pictures”.

All of which goes to show that no matter how much equipment you’ve got, it won’t do you any good if you don’t use it.

And most people don’t.

British Journal of Photography once counted the number of cameras sold in one year in the U.K. and compared it with sales of film. The magazine concluded a lot of cameras were sitting bureau drawers most of the year.

It is not unusual, I’m told, for photo labs to process one roll of film with two sets of Christmas snaps on it– one from this year and one from the year before.

Why, we might ask, would perfectly sane people spend millions on photographic gear only to leave it lying in bureau drawers? Because, we might answer, they’ve go the visual equivalent of writer’s block.

And who can blame them? Afer blowing their budgets on all kinds of photographic muscle, they’re expected to take award-winning pictures every time. That’s a recipe for creative consitpation.

Novelists, so the cliche goes, spend hours crumpling up wads of typing paper before they finally come up with the words they want.

Photographers should do the same with film. A roll of black and white could cost you less than an evening in the pub and you don’t have a hangover to moan about next day.

The main thing is to shoot a lot and expect very little. And don’t be surprised if, before you reach the end of a roll, you’ve started working on an idea.

At the very least, you’ll be carrying your camera with you more often. So the next time the Queen goes sailing by on roller skates you’ll be too busy to brag about your equipment.

Bottles on the Brain

Bottles on the Brain

Halifax Daily News
Jan 18, 1985

Picture one of our pioneer Haligonians in an outhouse around the turn of the century.

He is well medicated with a restorative tonic which bills itself as the working man’s friend, blood-maker and promoter of quiet rest.

The outhouse is the only safe place to drink it in Victorian Halifax because the contents are 60 per cent alcohol.

So we can forgive him for losing his watch, several coins and even his false teeth down the cess pit where he has chucked the empty bottle but we less likely to understand the zeal of bottle collectors in modern Halifax who would cheerfully spend all day at the bottom of the same pit in hopes of discovering them.

There are hundreds of people in metro with bottle collections though only about a dozen could be called true collectors.

Two people from the last group revealed themselves to The Daily News recently, but they preferred to keep their identities secret. One of them has a bottle collection worth about $25,000. The other is a history buff with no collection but he doesn’t want anybody with heavy boots tramping up the stairs to ask who his friend is.

The history buff, who asked to be called Al, says demolition workers often find artifacts as they clear the way for new construction. He says one job foreman told him a musket, sabre and a brass spittoon with a regimental number were taken from a site without the NS Museum being notified.

Legally, such discoveries must be reported to the museum, but finders often fear the institute will confiscate them. More often, museum workers only want to see them, he says. Occasionally, they may offer to buy an artifact.

One of the best ways to find old bottles is to watch for excavation sites, says Al. “We do most of our digging behind tractors.” Another is to look for places that may have been refuse sites in the past.

Old maps that show the natural courses of streams that now run through culverts may yield clues to dump sites. In the country, “look wherever there’s a disturbance in the ground. Certain weeds grow over old dump sites.” If you find the ruins of an old farmhouse think: If I was living here, where wold I dump my garbage?

And then there are outhouses. “Old outhouse pits are the best sources of bottles,” says Al’s collector friend, who thinks Ralph would be a good assumed name. “They’re very well preserved— even the labels can be intact.” As well as bottles, coins and false teeth, you may find silverware and pots as the pit would have been a dumping ground for dishwater.

Ralph started collecting seven years ago when he bought an old box full of bottles at an auction. “The bottles just fascinated me.” They carried the name of Felix J. Quinn, a soda-pop maker in Halifax around 1900. They featured Hutchinson stopers, a rubber cap that dangels inside the bottle neck but can be pulled tight aginst the lip with a hook to seal the contents.

Over the next seven years Ralph read up on the subject and spent around $10,000 collecting bottles.

One of his prize possessions is a Nash and McAllister fired clay bottle with a blue top bearing the name Forest Root Beer, Sydney, Cape Breton. The bottle was probably made in Montreal and may be the only Nova Scotia root beer bottle in existence. It’s worth about $7,800. Similar bottles held ginger beer, a popular beverage for the British Army, but root beer was relatively rare.

A lot of drinks— especially tonics — were alcoholic in those days, particularly nerve tonics marketed to young women “to quiet them down,” says Ralph. “You had to keep them happy and stoned around the house instead of running around town with the boys.”

Young boys, it seems, had to be content with a beverage even milder than beer, Jersey Cream Pop. “Kids would sneak into the attic and drink it,” says Ralph. Some of the bottles would fall down wall cavities where they awaited discovery much later. Ralph paid $45 to the janitor of the old Jubilee Boat Club for a potato sack full of bottles he hadn’t even seen. Their market value is now nearly $800.

Ralph has bottles of all types. Cod-stopper bottles had marbles inside them to seal them up. Kids used to break them open to take the marbles out, so the manufacturer stopped making them.

He has bottles of whisky and rum from the wreck of HMS Brittannic off Grand Manan Island in 1748. He has two more bottles and even an old cannon ball from an early waste pit at Keith’s Brewery.

His Dutch gin bottles have scars on their bottoms from the early firing process. He has master ink bottles in cobalt blue that would sit on a teacher’s desk and supply students’ ink wells. His ginger beer bottles are dark green to keep the brew protected from sun and so congealed matter wouldn’t show.

There is even a bottle of William Randall’s Microbe Killer No. 2 a concoction similar to bleach. It protected cabbages from bugs so it was marketed for human consumption as the “scourge of the evil microbe, the great enemy of all mankind” in the 1820s.

There’s a bottle that once held Tiger Whisky, favored by Halifax’s Chinese community around Queen St. in the late 1800s.

Taverns and saloons abounded in Halifax at the time but punch with rum was even dispensed in local stores as a measure of hospitality until public pressure ended that happy custom.

Bottle collectors can’t practice their trade long befored they become experts in historical trivia. But they are often resented by professionals as interfering pot-hunters, motivated by greed.

Greed certainly played a part in the demise of the Halifax bottle club. Members who went on digs refused to share their finds. Now they don’t even talk about whwere they’re digging.

But Ralph, with a collection bigger than that of the N.S. Museum, says bottle collectors could be a source of information for archeologists. “We have the experience to make reasonable interpretations and there are a lot more of us.”

Behead parking meters!

Ran into this guy in a late-night coffee shop where he was bragging about his court case. I didn’t think much of it at the time but checked out his court appearance next morning. I’m glad I did. This was a national release on the Canadian Press wire.

Behead parking meters for treason!

Nelson Daily News
Oct. 17 1975

Human rights advocates coud learn a lot form the likes of John Alfred Fenwick-Jones, freedman of the realm.

“I’m a revolutionary in some ways,” he says, “but not by violence. I use the tools of the oppressor and the oppressor is the law.”

His tools in this case, include nothing less than the Magna Carta, the legal foundation of British democracy that was signed under duress by King John in 1215 and ratified 10 years later by Henry II.

The oppressor is the lowly parking meter. “I’ve had a pet aversion to parking meters ever since I can remember,” says Fenwick-Jones, emitting a joyful, heaving belly-laugh highly reminiscent of baying bloodhounds, hot on the trail. He’s never paid a parking ticket in his life, though he has 11 outstanding fines collected in Nelson. He’s never put money in a parking meter, either.

And in provincal court Thursday, he told Judge R. B. Allan why. Collecting money from parking meters is treason, he said, and he doesn’t want to be an accessory.

“You could behead a marking meter,” he said in an interview later. “That’s the penalty for treason.”

And in court Thursday, she showed how serious he was.

“I’m here because I have a desire to be a Canadian, and to live up to the rights and responsiblities of being a Canadian,” he said in his defense summary. “I’m convinced there’s been an error in law… that threatenes the very existance of Canada iteslf.”

Seldom have the judicial feathers been so ruffled.

Crown proesecuror Lee Portous said Fenwick-Jones’ defence challenges the constitutionality of the Municipal Act, the authority of the provincial legislature and the British North America Act.

The attorney-general should be notified as to constitutional rguments, she said.

Judge Allan ordered the case remanded until Nov. 14, giving the Crown atttorney’s office time to prepare for the case.

The rationale behind Feniwck-Jones defense runs something like this:

The Magna Carta, which licences theBritish Parliament, guarantees freedmen and merchants free access to the highways, byways and rivers of the realm. The nobles and barons that presented King John with that document in 1215 just about tore his left arm off before he would sign,” said Fenwick-Jones. But Henry II affirmed the document of his own free will in 1225 and its been affirmed by every monarch ever since.

Fenwick-Jones happens to be a freedman of the realm because, he told the court, he is the oldest son of his London-born father, and served in the army detachment of William Lyon Mackenzie King’s funeral, which is the equivalent of servce as a castle guard.

But the same privileges apply to those who are not freedmen, thanks to amendments to the charter written in 1643 by Sir Howard Coke, extending the privileges to everybody.

The British North America Act in 1867, and the 1931 Statute of Westminister which gave Canada’s parliament the same autonomy as the British Parliament, trace their lineage directly to the Magna Carta, said Fenwick-Jones.

Both Canadian and British parliaments are licencesed by the Magna Carta, said Fenwick-Jones, and it cannot be revoked.

Parking meters contravene Articles 41 and 42 of the Magna Carta, which guarantees free access to public roads, he contends.

So when charged with parking violations, he refused to state “guilty” or “not guilty”, entering instead a plea of right in defence of the crown, the realm and the dominion of Canada.

Much the same plea was entered by Charles I who was charged before Oliver Cromwell with usurping the authority of parliament, he said.

Charles I got beheaded.

The court entered his pleas as “not guilty”.

In order to base his defence on the refusal to comply with a treasonous act, he says, he had to swear an oath of allegiance to the Crown, voluntarily surrender harms and place himself as a hostage before the Crown.

He says he dug up a World War I British .303 calebre rifle, which he surrendered at the sherrif’s office. He also signed an affidavit certifying his allegiance, and turned himelf in as a hostage to the Crown. For the duration of the trial, he says, “They can do anything they want with me.”

So far, the Crown has left its hostage alone.

“I have a great inerest in English history and law,” he told the court. “English law is the only law in the world that guarantees justice, not law.”

He cites article 40 of the Magna Carta: “to no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay a right or justice.”

The Magna Carta guarantees 64 rights, he said later, and all but eight are gone. “They’ve been exchanged for an illusion of security but the illusion gets pretty thin at times.”

He says some of our lost rights include the right to fish in any waters, the right to free and unfettered use of lands, protection from income tax, first instituted as a war measure in 1971 and the right to bear and use arms in defence of those rights.

But worse, “our identity’s been lost,” Citizens are no longer aware of their rights and responsibilities, he says.

He’s spent about $500 preparing for his trial, he says, but if he wins, parking meters won’t be forced out of business. In all probability, they’ll make parking revenue a legal tax by modifying the meters to issue receipts, he says.

But there are other rewards. If the court decides in his favor, he may become a Knight Protector of the Realm, according to medieval tradition.

Don Quixote would be proud.