I've been neglecting my blog, and for that I'm sorry as not only does it help me inform those who read here what I'm up to, but it helps me keep track of what I have done over the course of the year.
It's been busy. That's not unusual, but it seems like it has been busier than usual.
Here's a summary:
- We've been looking to buy a house. We're very close to making a deal on this - hopefully more news on it at the end of the week as I don't want to get my hopes up until everything goes through (financing, inspection, etc).
- I've been travelling quite a lot with work. I was in the UK a couple of weeks ago both to accompany Heather to a court case she had to give evidence at, and to spend a week in the office. This all went very well - I got a lot done, and the court case was fine (don't know the outcome yet). One thing is for certain though, the UK seems really expensive now - mostly because of this next point.
- I've been struggling to come to terms with the taxes here in Canada. I thought I would be much better off here - I took the naive approach of working out what I did earn, and converting it to $CAD, and looking at the price of things. Little did I know that the Canadian government would take 48% of my salary away from me right off the bat. Ouch. So we had to re-evaluate a lot of things, including how much house we could afford. I realised that this is why Canadians think the UK is so expensive - because compared to what they bring home it seems really bad. But I brought home more in the UK because taxes aren't so bad (they're worse than the US, but not terrible). I'm voting Tory next time despite this going against everything I believe in.
- I've been getting into photography quite a lot, and I'm really enjoying having a legitimate hobby again, instead of just coding. For those who haven't read my history I bought a Nikon D70. I've been trying to combine this with other interests such as improving AxKit::App::Gallery, but mostly I've spent lots of time out shooting, and even more time playing with post processing. What's interesting about the D70 is that the results from processing RAW files with a decent processing application (I bought Capture One LE for the Mac, which I can highly recommend) are about ten times better than the JPEGs straight from the camera. It's a shame reviewers focus on JPEGs, though I guess they are time limited and using RAW takes more time. I shall post here some of my favourite results so far in case anyone is interested. Also if you like photography please join the photogeeks mailing list - and spread the word.
- I'm booked into a hotel for YAPC::NA. Can't wait for that - should be great.
- Been playing table tennis. It rocks. I don't, but it's fun anyway