My Broken Husky Powerwasher

Earlier on in the year, I bought a Husky Powerwasher HU2000CA. Jen and I first used it just over a month ago, and guess what: it broke during the first use.

I’m currently trying to get it fixed. They actually have an interesting system to fix customer issues—they appear to only communicate online (which I suppose is fine as telephone conversations leave much to be desired for troubleshooting). So, I’m hoping this will work out quite well (whenever I get the time to actually work on getting the pressurewasher repaired).

Anyhow, my problem is that the pressure washer has sprung a leak. I’m honestly not sure what the part is that’s leaking, but technical support suggests that I “adjust the manifold”, and they gave me some instructions to do so. I just tried to follow their instructions, and I get lost in the first step. It sure would be nice if they sent diagrams with their instructions so I know what they’re talking about.

Well, for what it’s worth (and for the people at technical support), here are some picture’s of the leak.

Posted in Home | 3 Comments

Bill Diamond’s Talk: Critical Thinking in Science

Bill Diamond is one of my colleagues and my mentor at work. He’s reaching the end of his distinguished career as a full-time scientist, though I highly doubt that even in retirement will he ever stop being a scientist. For one of his last talks before retirement, he gave a lecture on critical thinking in science. The lecture was directed at the high school students of the Deep River Science Academy (my previous employer), though the general public were invited to attend the presentation.

I managed to record the lecture with a last-minute borrowed video camera (thanks Mark & Angela!). It’s my first time touching a video camera since high school, so things are a little rough. I also didn’t have a tripod nor an external mic available, so the quality is a bit low. So, I apologise to the viewers out there, but you get what you pay for!

Anyhow, without further ado, here’s the video on YouTube, broken into 10 minute segments (to make the YouTube overlords happy).

Posted in Education, Work | Leave a comment

Accessing PC Financial Online Banking in Linux

So, it wasn’t that PC Financial’s online banking server was retardedly slow. It also wasn’t that my laptop was improperly configured. It was that PC Financial’s servers don’t properly handle TCP Window Scaling (at least the way that Linux follows the 1992 spec). So, after going through some Ubuntu posts from many others having the same difficulties, I put together my own solution for Mandriva that doesn’t break my laptop for all the rest of the (properly configured) Internet, plus it happily travels between networks and between interfaces. Anyhow, here’s my Bash code:

#!/bin/sh

DEF_ROUTE=$(expr match "$(ip route show to 0.0.0.0/0)" 'default via \([0-9.]*\)')

if [ -n "$DEF_ROUTE" ]
then
    if [ -n "$(ip route show to 159.231.80.212)" ]
    then
        ip route del 159.231.80.212
    fi

    ip route add 159.231.80.212 via "$DEF_ROUTE" window 65535
fi


I placed the above code in both /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifup.d/pcfinancial and /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifdown.d/pcfinancial, and things now work auto-magically.

Posted in Technology | 12 Comments

My New Favourite Socks

injinji Outdoor tetratsok

injinji Outdoor tetratsok

Yes, this is a post about socks. Why, you may be asking, am I posting about socks? Well, for those that know me well, you probably know that my feet tend to be sweaty a lot of the time. Not really for any reason—they’re just sweaty. Sweaty enough to leave footprints on the floor after wearing most shoes. Now, if it was just the footprints, I wouldn’t care. But, it’s that the area between my toes get all eaten up that’s really the problem (damp, dark, and warm—perfect for growing “stuff”!).

I seem to have found something that works for me though—toe socks! Not just any toe socks though—socks that are made mostly from Merino wool. The socks are designed for outdoor activities, so they seem to be able to handle my situation fairly well. :)

Anyhow, for those who are interested, my socks of choice are: injinji’s outdoor series tetratsok, large size, quarter length, and slate coloured. For those of you that live in Ottawa, you can get the socks at Bushtukah.

Posted in Leisure | 2 Comments

We’re moving to Deep River

With me having a new permanent job, and Jen on maternity leave, and with a couple week break between my current contract and my new job, we will be moving to Deep River during the last few weeks of October. We’ll be moving into a semi-detached house with lots of character on Iberville Street. Anybody care to help with the move? ;)

Posted in Home | 1 Comment

I have a permanent job!

It’s now final—I have a permanent job with the AECL! The formal job offer came in the mail last week, and I completed the paperwork this week. My start date for this position is Halloween (hopefully this job will be less of a trick and more of a treat). It’s so nice to finally know where Jen and I will be living in the next few weeks. :)

Posted in Home, Work | 2 Comments

Julie Week 1 Photos

Here’s more Julie photos for those that are asking for them. She’s doing quite well, and is scheduled to finish up her stay at the hospital today. So, I’m sure when I head back to Ottawa, Jen will have a bunch of new photos for me. Julie is acting just like a normal baby now, and is happily breast-feeding.

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I’m a Father!

Jen in her hospital bed listening to a book on CD

Jen in her hospital bed


Jen at her biggest

Jen at her biggest


Angela

Angela


Jen in the tub

Jen in the tub


Jen holding Julie

Jen holding Julie


Cliff holding Julie

Cliff holding Julie


Julie in an incubator

Julie in an incubator


Cynthia visiting Jen

Cynthia visiting Jen


The grandmothers

The grandmothers


Cliff giving Julie a bath

Cliff giving Julie a bath


Jen holding Julie

Jen holding Julie


Julie

Julie

I’m a father now. Technically, I became a father a few days ago at 00:09 on 2008-09-12. So, I am now a father to Angela Juliette Dugal, who was born at The Ottawa Hospital’s Civic Campus with a mass of 3.8 kg. Now that the Internet knows all of her important stats (sorry Julie), I can get on with the story. ;)

Where to begin… I guess close to the beginning. So, yeah, Jen was scheduled to be induced on Monday because of high blood pressure on Sunday on top of being a few days overdue. Monday came and went with us all waiting at home for the phone call. Tuesday morning we finally got invited to the hospital, and they started the poking and prodding and inserting and drugging to speed the delivery process. Tuesday came and went. As did Wednesday.

Well, most of Wednesday came and went. Near the end of Wednesday, Jen starting getting contractions that were quite painful to her back. So, she spent quite a bit of time in the tub. Also, Angela, Jen’s best friend, decided to visit and outdo Jen and have an emergency C-section to give birth to her girl. Women.

As I remember it (things started getting a little blurry here with all the night activity and awful sleeping on the stupid chair-bed thing), Jen had an epidural a handful of hours after midnight. She was much more comfortable after that. So, the rest of Thursday was again spend waiting.

Come 20:00 on Thursday is when the action began. At that time, they let Jen’s uterus try to push the baby out for 2 hours (OK, not so much action here). Then, at 22:00, they had Jen push with her uterus too. That went on for a couple hours with them trying to get the baby in position and get Jen to push hard enough to pop her out. No luck there. So, shortly after midnight, the used a vacuum-suction cup thingy to help pull the baby out by the head, and with a touch of shoulder dislocation, the job was done.

After pulling the baby out, she wasn’t quite doing the breathing thing since sucked in a bunch of meconium (newborn poop) she let go in the uterus (turning the placenta green). So, they did a bit of sucking out of stuff and got her breathing. From there, she went to the special care unit to make sure things were all good.

At something like 04:00 on the Friday, they gave us back our baby. She’s got some pipes. Yup, she was not happy. She was especially not happy with how her head felt. A few hours later, Jen was asking the nurse some questions, and after a few independent medical opinions, they agreed that Julie was having seizures (baby seizures are usually quite subtle). So, back to the special care unit she went.

In the special care unit, they did lots of poking and testing and drugging. After a while, they stabilized her and suppressed the seizure activity with drugs. Indications currently point to some type of bacterial meningitis, though nobody is sure. So, she’s getting lots of antibiotics.

Over the past few days since she was born, she’s been recovering quickly, and is starting to act more and more like a baby. We’re hoping that in about a week and a half she’ll have completed all her treatment and be more than ready to go home (she’s already trying to disconnect all the tubes and wires going to her).

So, that’s Julie’s birth story as told by me. Enjoy the pictures! :)

Posted in Home | 3 Comments

Jen is Being Induced

For those that aren’t counting, Jen’s 5 days overdue. So, today at her doctor’s appointment, they decided it would be best to induce labour, taking into consideration Jen’s high blood pressure and heart condition. Right now, we’re just sitting around the house waiting to be called back to the hospital from them to start the induction process. Within the next day or so, I’ll be a father!

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I’m in Deep River

I just thought I’d let people know that I’m in Deep River now. I’m right in the middle of downtown, as you can see on this map. I’ve almost finished setting up my place too. So far everything is fantastic. I’m within a kilometre of just about everything that I want, except for possibly work and my wife. I should also mention that Ann at du Manoir Holdings Inc has been super helpful. I couldn’t ask for a better property manager.

Posted in Home, Work | 1 Comment