Thursday, February 28, 2013

Bell internet problem resolved

I've got the Bell Fibe 25 service, which has been fantastic.  You can get incremental total data upgrades at a reasonable rate, and they don't seem to be doing anything funny to bittorrent.  But a week ago I started to get drops, on a weekend afternoon.  At first I said, *&(^ Bell!, doing maintenance.  Then it went away and was good again for a week.  Then it happened on a weekday afternoon, and I know they would never do maintenance then.  So I called them, with great cringing.

It wasn't bad!  I got through all the "Are you a dummy?" questions quite quickly with good humour.  The guy was not mindless.  Then quickly to '2nd level support' which I love, but these guys are not 'people persons'.  He quickly did a test and found the line had code violations, and immediately sent out a tech for the next morning.  When I thought about it, the problems were happening on wet snow afternoons, so I was sure it was moisture.

All worked out, and they replaced the copper to fiber unit on the street box, which sometimes goes bad.  Yeah!

Update:  Ha ha!  It's worse than ever!  At least it is so bad, I'm sure they can find it this time.

Update2:  The router fills with 'PADI' errors every 2 seconds.  I've looked this up, and it's like a meteor hitting your house.  People get everything replaced 3 times, and nothing works.  Nobody has come back and said it was resolved. Blah!

Very pretty M6.9 subduction earthquake

These are just a thing of beauty.  Look at the beautiful trenches!  They can only be achieved by M9+s every few hundred years.  Otherwise, they would get all goopy.

No fault plane solution on this, but it will be pure downthrust.  This whole curve could go in a big M9.3, which is three times longer than that little M9 by Japan.  We won't talk about that, because the tsunami would make that other one look like a dog puddle.  As we know, these things are much more common than a meteor strike!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

M3.5 earthquake Oklahoma City

In the good old days, when they were injecting like silly buggers, I could easily make a 'prediction' that soon they would be very sorry.  After all, they had an injection M6 just outside the city.  At some point, I assume they stopped injecting in the city, since the activity practically stopped.  Now we have these two earthquakes.  Following the experience of Dallas, they could just be 'leftovers'.  My evil twin wishes that they are continuing to inject!  Muhaha!

Ordering US stuff from Canada

As we know, Canadians love to be the fodder for monopolies.  Most of the stuff we buy here comes from shelves that have been bought out.  As such, we pay a high price.  Now, it comes to pass that certain things cannot be bought here at a high price, or we just feel cheap.  Then we get stuff from the States.

I really feel cheap about small electronic things, especially when I'm looking at a Canadian multiple of several times.  Try buying a special cable adapter, or a phone case.  Most of time, I have found to be quite good in that they ship from a lot of small US stores and they know how to send things to Canada by cheap mail.  We get phone cases that way.

But sometimes you want something weird.  For example, shade cloth for the pergola.  Can't find a good selection here at all.  Or, a motion sensor switch that works for LED lamps.  Then you go to speciality US shops who have never heard of Canada, or if they ship, it's a horrendous cost.  In those situations I use my US shipping account over at

Not easy to pay for these things at the hick stores.  You need your US shipping address on your credit card, and even then it never works.  I've been using Paypal.  If you use it one way, such as 'Pay with Paypal' on the vendor site, it only lets you put in a Canadian address.  But I have found that certain sites let you fill in the US address first, and then you can click Paypal.  That way I got in a US address, but it wasn't easy.  Now I have a permanent second address in Paypal and I can go anywhere.

Update:  I am removing all the fine suggestions of other shipping services, since I can't tell them from spam.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Alaska M4.6 earthquake

I only post on the Alaska cluster when it breaks out of the 3's.

This is on the top of the cluster and is very deep at 142 km.  Most likely nobody felt it.  The cluster amped up after the M7ish earthquake on the lower strike-slip fault along the coast.  By the end of the year I expect another M7ish right in the armpit, since it would follow the progressing trend.  Nobody really mentions these things because the uncertainties swamp the human perception of time.  In other words, don't bet money on it!  All we can do is watch and wait.

Update:  There's been some more action in the armpit.  Always something happening....

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Last Samurai Injection Earthquakes

Yeah, only in Texas!  There is a spot in Colorado, but they may have stopped.  The industry doesn't realize that this costs them 10 times the advantage of mainlining the open Precambrian.  At this point Geofish can still holler that 'Fracking Causes Earthquakes', or some such thing.  If they stop these last few bastions of ignorance, then we can't say much.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

M3.6 earthquake Arkansas

Hardly any injection earthquakes any more, so I grasp at straws.  At least this earthquake is interesting, as it is off the end of the New Madrid shear tail.  As I have said, the only way for New Madrid to step out of its grave is to extend itself out of the 1812 stress shadow.  As such, I always like to look for extensions. I had hoped that something was brewing slightly westward, but it fizzled out.

Anyway, one goose does not a gander make, so we wait to see if anything forms around this earthquake. Any city in the Mississippi mud is going to have a bad time with earthquakes.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Hong Kong Earthquake - M4.5


I'm only doing this because everybody is freaked out in HK.  Many years ago, when all the good managers fled the old company, there was the chance I could do a seismic study for HK.  I was ecstatic, and started looking up all the basics.  It fell through and that's why I now have a pension.  Still, I found that HK is on a solid piece of rock, and most of the buildings have solid foundations.  But no matter how much rock it is still subject to at least an M6 at the 1 in 500, and I never could look for areas of swamp.  I'm sure they are there.

Update:  Thinking more on this, you realize that HK is the most laissez-faire gov't in the world, and they don't give a hoot about earthquake planning.  Some was being done by the universities.  Basically, dear HK-ers, if you freaked out about this earthquake, you are on swamp, and as good as Christchurch or Toronto.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

M2.3 earthquake Pennsylvania

I only did this because I used to love driving through this area.  In the good old days when I was king of the earthquake hill, I had oodles of money to go to conferences on eastern earthquakes.  They were usually down on the East Coast somewhere, and I always drove through with the family and the van.  We would then load up with cheap toys on the way back, and the van would struggle up the mountains.

This looked so much like an injection earthquake that I had to take a real close look.  Right in an industrial area, but the seismic coverage is so sparse here, I'm sure it's out by 20 km.  Anyway, seems to be no injection wells in the area.  In fact I think these earthquakes are heading for extinction.  Used to be that injecting into a Megathrust was the way to make a fortune, and suck up all that dirty water.  Now they have to inject into sandstone, costing a fortune, and making everybody dump the water in the back woods.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Linux - The Realtek r8168 gigabit ethernet chip

So, I have this in my main computer, and all of a sudden it started to go flaky.  Then I looked things up and went on the merriest chase ever.  Seems people were recommending the proprietary Realtek driver, and that seemed to work for a while.  Then, updating the kernel, and it was worse!

Also if you want to get rid of it, you have to find it in /lib .... modules.... etc.  With kernel 3.7.8 I decided to go back to the notorious r8169 kernel driver.  It didn't work compiled as a module, and I had to put it directly into the kernel (a * instead of an m).  Now it's working perfectly, very fast, low on resources, and hasn't barfed yet.

This is the eternal fight with Linux open source drivers, and the nasty maker-gnomes.  Eventually, the open source people get out all the glitches with no help from the gnomes.  I would now say that you can use this chip with the latest kernel.... until something else happens.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

New Rule

30 years ago I made my first rule for tsunamis.  Nobody knew it for the 2004 event.

If you are on an ocean beach, and all the water disappears, do not go out and collect sea shells.

And now I must add a second rule.

If you see a big streak in the sky, and a brilliant flash, do not continue to stare at it through a glass window.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Seismogram of Meteor

I laughed when I heard initial reports that the Russians had hit it with a missile and caused the explosion.  The thing was coming in at Mach 50!  Anyway, the seismogram shows a single clean pulse.  And there are those hundreds of videos.  The Russians sure like their dash-cams!

If it had come in at a steeper angle, we would have had a big crater, but most likely not at the city.  The Russians have the biggest landmass so they just suck in all these hits.  :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Big ugly bureaucracy supports mental health


This is my annual piece on depression.  My family and I have suffered from it.  It's not a weepy day that they talk about in the commercials, but serious Serotonin deficiency that leads to suicide.

Big ugly bureaucracies or bubs are the worst, and they predominate in Canada.  The only people who don't have depression in bubs are the 'Total Weasels', who thrive.  So if you are generally unhappy or grumpy, or people tell you that you are, then see a doctor.  You will never be happy in a bub, but you can improve your health tremendously but taking some simple pills.

I've looked around, and you really want to be on Cipralex if you can.  This is a one-twist 'purified' Prozac that needs only half the dose, and has less side effects.

Now, some right-wing authors have said 'Forget about the weepies, and lock up the true crazies'.  That isn't the object of this campaign, which is to try and get all the depressives who are denying their condition.  So if you know someone who is showing all the signs of depression, then try to talk to them. 9 out of 10 times it won't do anything, but you tried.  :)

M5.1 earthquake North Korea, at 1 km depth

Wonder what this could be?  No fault plane solution, but it would probably be solid compressive.  :)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Columbia M7.0 earthquake

This is even deeper, supposedly, than the M7 under Northern Japan.  Thus, we expect almost no PGV at surface.  This is on the subducting slab, but right about where there is a big curve.

You'll notice the character of the subduction changes at this point.  We are not surprised then, that this is not a perfect downthust, as with Japan, but a rather cute strike-slip.  This indicates shear stresses.

I, for one, am surprised that we do have a clean strike-slip, since it is very deep, and these things are not good in 3 dimensions, you usually need to have the surface involved to accommodate the motions.

Second Thoughts:  The required free surfaces can be the decoupled top and bottom of the slab, so I'm ok with all this now.  :)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Aftershocks fill in M8 earthquake fault zone

Good old aftershocks.  You can always count on them to define your actual fault zone.  That's because the fault ruptures unevenly, and these smaller quakes smooth off the rough spots.  If you wait too long, then there is a chance of the next fault rupture down the line.

This is the same picture, but in more detail.  We can that the earthquake totally shifted a corner.  Very weird.  But I am surprised at the smaller fault area for an M8, which implies high stresses and more intensity.  I doubt that that there were any strong ground motion instruments, but those little unnamed islands on the corner must have got hit with something powerful.

Now, in this complex area, I was thinking that the M8 is as big as they're going to get, but it was a very small corner.  The two sides can easily rupture to full M9's as they appear smooth enough.  Then we'll see a big regional tsunami, but perhaps not for many years.  In the meantime, don't get plastered at a beach party there, and sleep it off on the beach!

Geotechnical investigation of a Toronto sewer incursion

Extra Reading

Statement of Issue:

Rocks have been found in the main west sewage treatment plant.  Some fieldwork is being done before a major camera survey.

Payment for Report

Nada, nothing!  I wouldn't take your money if you threw it at me.  My philosophy is "Never let stupid people take you seriously, for on that path lies madness."


Obviously we are looking for a small break, since somebody would have fallen into a large one.  As well, since all of these sewers are surrounded by concrete, we are looking for steel liner exposure.  Since there is only one small section that is visited by this author and his dog, we shall look there.

The Chapman Creek sewer was built in the 50's, at a time when you could rip open a forest with impunity.  They laid in along a rapidly eroding creek.  Little did they know that massive development would turn this into an open storm sewer, with horrendous rain floods.  In the last 20 years there has been metres of erosion through the Queenston shale, probably accentuated by a lack of limestone layers in the lower sections.  This picture shows the sewer exposed in one area.

Even worse is upstream, where this picture shows a possible nightmare scenario.

Here, we see no pipe, just a lot of concrete rubble.  Note the cap concrete has been completely ripped up and inverted.  The concrete has been like this for at least 20 years (time of observation, going through 1 7/8ths dogs*).  *2nd dog is getting quite old.


This upper section has had the concrete ripped off, and the steel has been exposed to direct fluvial scour for at least 20 years.  It is covered by rock rubble, which probably blocks significant water inflow.  During flood events the cover is shifted, causing rocks to wash in and move through the sewer system.

Philips LED Bulb Burnout - Epilogue

As per my previous post, my bulb burned out.  I had a lot of fun with my post, and I emailed them, and it took a couple of days to respond.  They told me to phone (blah!) and I did.  It was pleasant, only one voicemail hop, and they answered right away.  They could even use my email as a reference, which is very progressive.  They said these bulbs should last a very long time, and really wanted the bulb back for the lab.

So they are sending me a label to send the bulb back for free, and a Home Depot equivalent gift certificate for a new bulb.

So, the lesson here kiddies, is to follow the procedures for a normal person and phone them.  I am not a normal person.  I have this deep aversion to the whole bulb thing and the way they control an entire store.  Still, they follow a reasonable return policy, and these bulbs are getting more like computer parts every day.

Update:  Got my Home Depot gift cards, but now Costco has a nice bulb at half the price .... hmmm....

Update2:  Utterly Bizarre Behaviour.  I did get the half-price led bulb and replaced the Philips.  It's in a kitchen fixture with a standard motion-detector switch.  When the fixture goes out, the new bulb goes very dim and pulses like it is alive.  A great night light!  This type of switch relies on a very small trickle current to keep it active.  Standard bulbs just ignore it, and the Philips bulbs are also off, but the burnout may indicate something is happening.  I wonder if this new bulb with last, and wonder if led bulbs cannot take this fixture.  Certainly the cf bulbs could not, they blew out quickly if they were mixed with at least one normal bulb.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

M8.0 earthquake Santa Cruz Islands

A nice earthquake, deep in the heart of tectonics.  M8 is nothing here, and it looks quite isolated, but these things can churn up quite a local tsunami, but not a regional one.

It's a real beauty of subduction downthrust, right towards the volcanoes.  Such severe bends here, an M8 might be the maximum for this area.  We'll have to await the local field reports, but there has to be quite a water run-up.

St. Alberts cheese factory gone

We used to go there all the time when travelling from Cornwall to Ottawa.  Haven't been there in years, but it was the very best cheese factory.  That was one of the very few places you could get curds that squeaked in your mouth.  :)   It was an ugly building and they will rebuild.

Monday, February 4, 2013

New cars and satellite radio

All new cars come with satellite radio for 90 days.  At that time, they hound you unmercifully to sign up for a very expensive subscription.  The new hybrid Highlander radio comes with Bluetooth streaming and a USB port.  The USB does not take my cheap flash sticks, but the streaming works fantastically with my Android phone.  The sound quality is way over satellite, which must compress quite a bit.  As well, it just turns off and on when you get in the car.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Fancy LED bulb burns out

There it is.  I'm not saying the name out loud, since they might have lawyers.  This burned out as quickly as a cheap bulb from Poland.  Boy, do they get hot!  No wonder they can't survive.  I bought this for my heavily used kitchen light, which is on automatic and can't take compact flour. bulbs.

Tomorrow, I have to go to Home Depot and do my dead parrot act.  Wonder if I'll be successful.

Update:  Big fail at Home Depot.  They will only handle failures at 3 months.  Now I will shout the name for the search engines "Philips LED Bulb Burns Out".  I'm off to the company if they have email.  Otherwise I might just buy another one and hope they have fixed the design flaw.

Update2:  They received the email.  This should rival my 3M strips campaign.  Will I do a video?

Update3:  I'm getting too toxic on this.  No, I will not make a singing video.  I will not look up all their email addresses as I did with Asus.  I am allowing myself to fail as happened with Saks.

Update4:  Day 2 of no response.  Have added g+ philips.

Final update

Saturday, February 2, 2013

M6.9 earthquake Japan - Deep Slab

So, I'm an earthquake ghoul, always scanning the maps.  Tweetping is not showing this yet, so the earthquake maps win.

This is deep on the slab at 100 km.  It will still produce a high PGV on soft ground and mountainous areas.  Thus, we can expect landslides.

Update:  Looks like this earthquake had almost no PGV at surface, so it did nothing.  For an M6.9 that probably puts it at 400 km, much like the Bolivian big deep earthquakes.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Twitter earthquake modelling (monitoring)


Right now you can follow the sunrise.  I can't wait to see it with an earthquake.  Personally, I can't stand Twitter since I don't know how to turn off the flood of spam and stupidity, but I'm glad that others use it.

Got this reference here.