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.

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

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

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

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

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Rebooting The Gut With A FMT

Health

Back in roughly 2007, I managed to acquire a clostridium difficile infection. It’s a really serious infection, usually preceded by antibiotic exposure, and it can often can lead to death if not treated. In my case, it mostly started out with flu symptoms, but gradually led to me being hospitalized for a few days due to loss of fluids. Once being discharged from the hospital, I was prescribed flagyl to combat the c. diff infection. I did one or two rounds of that over a month or two, but unfortunately still tested positive for c. diff. at the end of […]

New Beginnings

 Journal

I realized recently that it’s been almost a full year since I wrote anything on this website. I have tried at various times over the last year to sit down and write, but the words just wouldn’t come. But tonight I thought it was probably best to blow the layer of dust off and finally write an update. And the main update is this: last year my heart broke. As many people know I was in a pretty serious relationship; it unfortunately ended almost a year ago today. As an engineer, I’m trained to solve problems, often difficult ones. But […]

Moving Across The Country

 Travel

In about ten days I’ll be jumping in the vehicle with my girlfriend and driving across North America, yet again. We moved out to Ontario last year from the British Columbia-area to spend a year in Hamilton, and were forced to do the drive in four days due to commitments that were waiting for us. Thankfully we are going to do the drive back in about nine days, which should be a lot more enjoyable. This is actually my fourth time moving across the country, and I’ve done this song and dance enough times that I thought I would give […]

Upcoming Travel Plans

 Travel

My girlfriend left the other day to spend three weeks in Italy and Hungary. I have to say, I’m more than a little jealous. I spent three years basically up and travelling whenever I felt like it, but currently we’re too busy at work for me to slip away. But the thought of sitting around a patio, nibbling on a wood-oven pizza and sipping a beer sure sounds appealing right now. As people may remember, Luciana and I moved out to Hamilton, Ontario last year to spend a year working in the new office. It’s been a great experience, and […]

Digital Ocean VPS Review

Service Reviews

I was recently looking for a decently priced VPS where I could host a couple of small to medium sized websites. I actually signed up for a few random ones that I found on Google and tried them for a few days, but they didn’t strike me as working very well. One of them actually crashed after about an hour, and it took about eight hours for support to finally restart it for me. Eventually I started looking around the internet a bit more, and ran into a relatively new company called Digital Ocean. I realize that not all web […]

Opening a USD account from Canada with TD

Preparation

A friend of mine is making preparations to leave on a big European adventure, and trying to get everything ready before she leaves. One of her recent questions on Facebook was regarding how to be paid as a US-based contractor via PayPal and not lose any excessive money due to currency conversion. This is actually a tricky problem for a few reasons. First, most banks in Canada only deal in Canadian dollars. If you want to deposit USD into your CAD account you can, but the banks usually tack on an extra 2-3% to the base rates as another way […]

Bellroy “Note Sleeve” Men’s Wallet Review

Product Reviews

Despite the amount of cool technology I own (iPads, iPhones, etc.), I actually don’t really spend much money on anything else in my life, other than plane tickets when I travel. While I appreciate new clothes, my brain rarely comes up with the idea that I actually go buy some new ones. The one exception to that is socks – whenever I see a nice pair I generally always buy them. Which is why I probably own about 100 pairs (and even then it’s hard to find a matching pair from time to time). That said, one personal item I […]

A ManageWP Review: Easy WordPress Site Management

WordPress

I was recently attending WordCamp Europe near Amsterdam, and met Vladimir from ManageWP. I’ve heard lots about ManageWP over the last year or so, and even helped do an integration with WPtouch Pro to make it work with their system. But I’ve never actually sat down and spent any time with their system, and decided it was time to sign-up for an account, do a bit of exploring and write a basic ManageWP review to let people know what the service is all about. ManageWP is a service that basically helps you manage multiple WordPress websites, all from their own […]

How To Travel

Destinations

As much as I love travelling to new places, you’ll often hear me complaining about how much I dislike the process of travelling – the airports, customs line-ups, security line-ups, crappy airport food, turbulence, jet-lag and many more. For new travellers, these things are somewhat exciting in their own right, but after a while they grow old and tiring. With that in mind, I was recently reading Anthony Bourdain’s travel tips via a link on Facebook (most of which are great) and thought I would follow up with a point-by-point comparison of some of my tips. The first thing I […]

Back to Brazil

Brazil

The last time I was in Brazil, I was there from June until August in 2013, which was basically the tail-end of their winter. The weather was actually quite nice (compared to a Canadian winter), with most days hovering around 20C. But I haven’t experienced summer in South America since my first trip to Argentina in 2011. Given that it’s been snowing and below zero here in Hamilton for the last two weeks, seeing the sun again and 30C days is going to be a great change. I’m flying out of Pearson in the early afternoon on Wednesday, with a […]