Wednesday, October 17, 2012


I was hoping I would have something more profound to say as I restart this thing, but this seems more interesting than what I have cooking in my head.

We had some nasty wind in the K-W region Sunday night / Monday morning. At 2:00am we woke up to a crash in our backyard. At first I thought it was the wheelbarrow falling over, but a quick peek by my wife showed something more significant.

Mind if I lay here?
This is part of a red maple in our backyard.It spans the entire width of the yard, all 50+ feet. The largest section has a diameter of about 16 inches. Thankfully it fell where it did; our shingles are less wood resistant than the ground.

A bit of carpenters glue and it'll be as good as new
I was able to borrow a chainsaw from a friend at work and Tara and I spent an hour on Tuesday cutting up the auxiliary branches. A dull balde, the impending darkness and the need to pick Spencer up from daycare put a halt to the cutting. I'm hoping the weather is good in Saturday so I can finish up the rest of it with a few friends.

Our neighbour is going to take the big pieces of wood. The rest will have to be disposed of in some other manner. Too bad I can't have a bonfire in the city :(

We'll be getting an arbourist to come take a look at the tree:

And that, along with Tara being at a conference in Oregon, and me trying our a new cider-braised pork shoulder recipe, is my weekly allotment of excitement. Yay.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Back in the Saddle

So I'm going to try posting to my blog regularly again. Well, "regularly" may be a bit of a strong word; more frequently will be more accurate. I'm going to try to write things down and post them. I think it's an important thing for me to do - it helps me coalesce and refine my thoughts. Something I don't often do without a external purpose. Which this blog is (or at least I hope so).

It's not that I haven't had interesting things to say. It's just that life got really busy. Mainly due to this guy:
My Offspring
My offspring
Meet Spencer. Now over a year old, he keeps us on our toes. Thankfully he still goes to bed realtively early, so we have a free hour or so every night after his bed time, house work, and lunch prep and before our bedtime. Sometimes I'll use that hour for this. Sometimes I'll just watch TV. More often than not, I'll cut it short and head to bed.

If anyone is still reading this thing, pop me a message in the comments and let me know this is still worthwhile.

Stay tuned (will Spencer even know what that phrase means?)

Saturday, January 22, 2011


I've given in. I've now joined Twitter.

More and more people in the software testing industry are using Twitter to start discussions and thought processes (most recent exhibit A).This is something I want to get in on, hence the twitter account.

Hopefully anything I post will be insightful, fully or informative but I make no guarantees. I'll try not to be too much of a hipster.

I'm @RichardSiemens. If you twitter you can follow me here.

Friday, January 14, 2011

A little Christmas gift for myself

Three years ago I bought my first digital SLR. The d70s is a great camera; it's rugged, reliable (a couple of trips to Nikon notwithstanding) and it produces fine image files. However, it is getting a little long in the tooth. It was 3 years old when I bought it. In DSLR years, that's a couple of generations.

When I first got my d70s, it was more than I could handle. It provided more control inputs than I could manage at once. It could handle any situation I could throw at it with few exceptions. And at 6MP, I could comfortably print up 11x14 without issue.

However, as I have and learned and grown as a hobbyist photographer I've wanted a bit more out of the camera than it could give. Most notably with respect to print size and high-ISO performance. I've made a couple of prints larger than 11x14 but I had to stitch separate photos together. Additionally, I've been unable to photograph Tara and Lego when she is riding in the arena at the barn due to lack of light.

Work added a little bit to my last paycheque as a Christmas bonus so I decided to upgrade.  I picked up Nikon's new d7000 a couple of weeks ago.

I've only really taken it out a couple of times; between unpacking from Christmas travelling, house work, and taking care of a flu-ridden wife, I haven't had the time. The sun setting at 5:30 doesn't help either. A few of the photos I've taken are below. It's going to take a little while to get used to my new toy; keep an eye on this space for more photos shortly.

For better and worse the new camera comes with a larger file size. At 16MP (14 bit), my current computer is having a hard time keeping up. Changing exposure of RAW files in Nikon's ViewNX takes 60-67 seconds. Exporting the photos to JPGs can take up to 4 minutes each. I'm afraid I'm going to have to shoot in both RAW and JPG for the time being until I can scrape together some more cash to upgrade my 5 year old home computer.

Frozen Grand River Dried river plant Tara and Lego Standing in the Cold More Tara and Lego

Monday, January 10, 2011

Two, two, two videos in one

Saw these today and thought I'd share.

That is all.

(via my wife via her dad)

(via Neatorama)