Hola, I'm Duane

A few interesting things about me:

I've developed software used by over 40 million people, including the previous media engine in Yahoo! Messenger.

More Software

I co-wrote the previous #1 plugin for WordPress (out of 20,000), WPtouch, and eventually sold it.

More Business

I've visited 44 countries in the last seven years and currently live in Valencia on the eastern coast of Spain.

More Travel

I do part time research on the gut microbiota, insulin resistance, and metabolic diseases.

More Health

I am a published concert, travel, portrait, and landscape photographer; I currently shoot Fuji XT lenses.

More Photography

The Exciting World Of The Gut Microbiota

Written on November 19th, 2019

In 2004, the Human Genome Project was completed. The goal of that project was to sequence the entire human genome, ultimately revealing the cause of a majority of ailments in the modern world. Instead what it revealed was that most of us share over 99% of our genetic code, and that 1% difference doesn’t seem to explain many of our diseases. So if our own genetics aren’t entirely responsible for if we are healthy or sick, what else potentially can be? The answer to that question came shortly after the development of 16s rRNA sequencing technology – technology which allows […]

How We Wrecked Our Guts

Written on November 19th, 2019

There is great deal of evidence to show that our guts used to be in a much healthier state decades ago. For example, the Hadza in Africa, one of the last ‘hunter-gatherer’ species on the planet, appear to have 300% more bacteria in their guts than we do. It seems that over time we have lost many of these bacteria, and whatever functions they once provided. In terms of gut health, one metric that’s often used is diversity. Similar to the environment, it’s often thought that the health of any ecosystem is related to the number of species in it […]

Local WordPress Development: From MAMP to Local by Flywheel

Written on November 19th, 2019

Years ago, when looking for a way to do local WordPress development, I eventually stumbled upon a pretty nifty tool called MAMP.  MAMP stands  for “Mac/Apache/MySQL/PHP”, and it’s the Macintosh equivalent of the well-known Linux-based LAMP stack. While you can configure MAMP by editing configuration files, I decided to upgrade to MAMP Pro, as it gives you an easier UI to use when managing some of your local websites. Despite MAMP ‘mostly working’, it has a number of really annoying downsides as well: MAMP Pro is paid software, but despite buying it multiple times, I don’t really feel like I’ve […]

Social Responsibility In The Age Of The Location-Independent Traveller

Written on September 1st, 2019

I live a fortunate life. I have a profession that effectively lets me work from anywhere in the world, all while making an income generally in North American dollars. Popularized by such ‘visionaries’ as Tim Ferris, my lifestyle, and the lifestyle of potentially a billion people by the year 2035, is likely a new world norm. No longer are people like me stuck in offices – we can get on airplanes and work from anywhere in the world – from the remote jungles of Vietnam, to the beautiful mountains of Spain’s Canary Islands, to the wineries within a few stone’s […]

Tapas Forever

Written on May 27th, 2018

Hey everyone, I’ve started a new website called TapasForever detailing my goal for living for a year in Spain. If you’re interested in the journey, or perhaps want to move to Europe for a year or longer in the future, head on over and check it out. I recommend visiting the Start Here page for information on the various resources that will be available. I’m looking forward to getting my visa and checking off a lot of boxes in terms of things I would to accomplish in life (Spanish language, I’m looking at you!). Cheers, Duane

How To Open a Bank Account in Spain as a Non-Resident

Written on May 24th, 2018

So if you’re here, you’re likely thinking about moving to Spain at some point. I know this, because that’s my end goal as well. Maybe not forever, but likely for a year or more. One of the first hurdles you may encounter is opening a bank account. Once you have a long-term stay visa or a temporary residence in Spain, you can open an account as a resident. But there are certain advantages to having one sooner. For example, I thought moving larger amounts of money from Canada to Spain would probably be much easier when I am actually physically […]

Making Your Business Work For You

Written on April 25th, 2018

One of the hardest aspects of being a business owner is being able to come up with a metric, even an internal one, for what it means for that business to be successful. For some people, that goal is completely monetary – i.e., if they can sell the business for 1 million dollars within 10 years, then that represents success for them. As an example, one of my good friends recently sold his business. While it was always his dream to build a popular retail business, at some point he realized that the excitement, and the dream, mostly involved building […]

How To Value A Business

Written on April 25th, 2018

I recently was looking at a business plan for a new venture that came across my desk. The two individuals involved are trying to raise money for a bar in South America that they will manage. It’s one of those businesses that most people dream about – a foreign country with lots of sunshine, lots of friendly travellers, and evenings spent sipping beer on a patio. Sign me up! As part of their business plan, they needed to come up with a value for what this new business would likely be worth once it was off the ground. The reason […]

Visiting Iceland

Written on March 31st, 2018

I recently made the decision to take advantage of Iceland Air’s free stopover policy to visit Iceland on my way from Vancouver, Canada to Europe. If you weren’t aware, Iceland Air allows anyone to stop for up to a week in Iceland without any additional charges. This is a brilliant marketing move, and it’s help Iceland become a hugely successful tourist destination in the last few years (one tour guide told me that fishing used to be about 70% of the economy, and now tourism is coming close to eclipsing that). Before I arrived, I had heard stories about how […]

My Next Adventures: Iceland, Morocco, Spain, Scotland and Germany

Written on March 21st, 2018

I used to proactively write about every upcoming travel adventure I had, but I tend not to do that much these days. One of the reasons is that sometimes my plans change, and then I end up with a post that’s no longer accurate. Another reason is that people, while well intentioned, tend to sometimes aggressively give advice on how I should change my trips around, which ends up putting me on the defensive regarding my choices (most of which are well thought out in terms of what I want to get out of that trip). That said, this next […]