This Might be a Blog

It has all the makings of one, I guess I just need to actually use it...

The Elusive Daytime Flammy

Sep 27, 2017 at

In 20+ years of birding, I have seen probably close to 500 Flammulated Owls.  My guiding business has made it possible for me to see 50-100 of these almost every year the past decade.  But in that time I have only ever seen 1 adult away from a nest--and that was in May 2005 in central Colorado.  

Fast forward to yesterday when my buddy Kenny text me a picture of an Owl with the message, "This is a flammy, right?".

My response--"yep".

So, having seen hundreds of Flammy's and photographed dozens, I still am keenly obsessed with this bird--and daytime versions are even more of an addiction.  It wasn't long before I made my way to the park, and the tree where it was roosting.   Daytime Flammy, check.

I'm a sucker for this bird and always will be.

Perhaps the fact it stands just 6" tall is the driving force in my obsession?  Maybe the fact it's only reliably found in a few western states?  Perhaps, its that Utah might be the best place in the world to see them?  And maybe, just maybe it's because I happen to be really good at finding them at night, but have never found one during the day that really drives the daytime obsession?

I think even if I found 100 during the day, I'd still be a sucker for them every time...

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Coach Tim

Sep 25, 2017 at

Tonight was interesting--in the eyes of eleven 3-year olds and their parents, I became Coach Tim...

It was Cam's first night of tee ball.  Yes, there are tee ball leagues for 3-year olds.  The concept is simple--learn to throw, catch, field, and hit.  There are no strikes or outs.  The league is designed to keep the focus on basics and keep the attention span of a 3-year old for about as long as you can--which in this case is about 45 minutes.

In any event, when Cam signed up they asked for parent volunteers--so I said I would coach if they needed.  I never heard back.  I was actually pretty bummed.  My dad coached me form the time I was little, through little league.  The memories are great.  I wanted to be able to do the same for Cam, but figured, lots of parents would probably want to be involved, and I was just late to the game.

So, on night one of tee ball, we arrived at the facility and checked in.  They sent us off to his field where a handful of other kids were rolling balls, rolling themselves, and running around in circles.  It was chaos--and no coach was in sight--well-done coach...  Sam and I talked for a minute, then she decided to go see who our coach was--and ask if they ever got my sign up.  A few minutes later I see Sam wandering across the complex with a bag of what looks like shirts, and a bunch of hats--I had a feeling I just became the coach.

As it turns out I was actually assigned to coach the team and they just never told me--I guess maybe I should have asked before tonight--well-done coach.

So I nervously looked through the paperwork they provided to see what I was supposed to do.  I would have liked to have had some time to prepare, but that wasn't really in the cards so I just started.  We started by running around the bases as a team, then everyone got to work on throwing, catching, and hitting.  It was utter chaos--but a lot of fun.  We ended practice with a cheer, and I already felt way more comfortable than I had 45 minutes earlier.  And just like that, Coach Tim was born.

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Window Kill

Sep 17, 2017 at

This morning, Cam and I were watching cartoons when we heard a thud on one of the large windows over the living room.  I knew it was a bird impact, but Cam doesn't yet recognize the noise.  So we headed outside to see what we could find.  I was rather surprised when I looked below the window and saw my favorite bird laying lifeless.  A female Western Tanager had hit the window and died on impact.

I explained to Cam that birds hit windows because they see the reflection of the sky and can't tell the difference--it's called a window kill.  He was excited to see a bird so close, even though it was a live bird no more.  I always hate when I hear or see a window kill, but being able to look at a bird in the hand is a great learning experience.

Window kills could make for an interesting product design project...

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Motion Design

Sep 13, 2017 at

Some recent motion work...

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Bringing it back to life

Sep 12, 2017 at

The last time I posted here was in 2009.  Let that sink in.

At the time I wasn't married, didn't have a kid, didn't own a home, had never been on a vacation outside of the United States, was dreaming of owning my first pickup, had only seen about 550 species of birds, and was working tirelessly to not only improve the UX of the products I worked on at, but also to improve the experience of the teams I managed.

It's hard to believe that was 8 years ago and how much has happened in my life since then.

So here's a recap of the last 8 years in just one paragraph. In 2010, my fiance Sam and I bought a home together--then in June 2011, we got married.  We took our first international trek together--to Costa Rica for our honeymoon.  Since then we've been to Mexico, Panama, Peru, Ireland, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, France, South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Zambia.  The same year we got married I left Overstock and have been driving product strategy and experience at Entrata Inc, in Lehi, leading the mobile UX effort along the way.  In 2012 I bought my first pick up--a dark blue RAM 1500--my inner redneck is now satisfied.  In 2014 we brought the joy of our lives into this world--Cameron has now roamed this planet for 3 years.  I've now seen more than 1,600 species of birds, photographing over 1,100.

Perhaps the biggest change in my life was losing my mom to an 11 month battle with pancreatic cancer this past May.   I never thought my mom wouldn't be around, and it's been a tough adjustment that I don't think I will ever get used to.

Lowing my mom changed me in a few ways.  One is that I stopped really caring about what I ate.  I gained 30 pounds from when she was diagnosed to the writing of this post.  That was an eye-opener. The other major thing I realized was that I had really let my grasp on design and UX slip,  I was being complacent in my design, and not pushing the boundaries as I had in the past.

So keeping it simple I decided to make a few changes in my life.  First, I'm dropping the weight I gained.  There was no excuse for it.  So it is as good as gone.  I don't want to stop with the 30 though--I want to double that in the next year and get back to where I was in my mid 20's.  The other thing I wanted to work on is breathing some excitement and drive back into my UX career--both at work and on independent projects.  So I decided to start with redoing my portfolio website--something I hadn't touched since 2012.  It's simple, easy to use, and this blog will highlight ideas I have and things I am working on.

I have more I want to do and talk about but will end it here to get things moving!

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