react-europe (and birding, naturally)

Posted on May 11, 2017 in Birding, Training / Conferences | 0 comments

Next week I’m very excited to be heading off to Paris for this year’s react-europe conference. It being Paris and all, my wife decided oh-what-the-hell and will be coming along for the trip. After the conference we’re going to be driving up through France to Belgium, then onto Amsterdam where we fly back.

Really looking forward to the conference. I enjoyed ng-conf a few weeks back, but I definitely consider myself a React guy. I’ve also spent the last 2 months reading my European bird book over and over, so all in all I’m exceedingly excited for this trip. If all goes according to plan, I’ll soon be boring the tears out of family and friends with a new array of bird photographs… ah, joy.

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Form Tools site rewrite

Posted on Feb 8, 2017 in Blog, Form Tools, Open Source Projects | 0 comments

Almost there…! I’ve been posting regular updates on the Form Tools twitter account, but the new site is almost ready for prime time. You can find the staging environment here:
https://next.formtools.org

Finding time to finish it off is the tricky part. If I could drop everything, I’d say it’s only 2 or 3 days away, but since I have a day job (and a helluva commute) it’ll probably be 2 or 3 weeks. Doesn’t help that our car died, so a lot of time is going into finding a replacement. But… coming soon!

Man, can’t wait for this to be done so I can return to the actual script itself.

EDIT: the new site has been released. Few issues here and there, but on the whole it’s been pretty successful. Form Tools 3 is now coming along. :)

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2016 birding sum-up

Posted on Jan 8, 2017 in Birding | 0 comments

Time for the yearly birding sum-up.

So 2016 didn’t go quite as planned! At the start of the year, we thought my wife would get her final surgery around Feb but it got bumped to August which meant shuffling a few things – namely, my birding trips. Ultimately my goal of getting my life list up to 1,000 birds fell short, ending up with 842. But no matter! Just have to get them this year instead. :)

Highlights:

  • Seeing several white-headed woodpeckers down in Leavenworth, Washington early in the year. Beautiful birds!
  • Catching a northern hawk owl up in Prince George in March. I only got to see the bird via a scope at a distance, but it was great to finally see one. That’s been a target bird for years.
  • Seeing a whole laundry list of Eastern birds in North Carolina, many of which have also sought for years: prothonotary warbler, black-throated blue warbler, brown-headed nuthatch, red-headed woodpecker, red-cockaded woodpecker.
  • Spending all of June in Iceland while I finished up my job at IBM, seeing a whopping 76 species of bird and ending up 8th in the country on the year’s eBird list. Saw numerous lifers including a lone king eider, white-tailed eagle, purple sandpiper, pink-footed goose, a common house martin (!) and atlantic puffin by the bucketload.
  • Seeing 16 white-tailed ptarmigan up on flatiron peak, coquihalla. I wrote up an article for the most recent edition of BC Birding to describe the trip.
  • Catching a few late birds for Bowen Island that have eluded me: ancient murrelet off the lighthouse, and a handsome townsend’s solitaire at the golf course.

I cut down on my birding quite a bit from the previous year so only ended up seeing 266 species in BC, 19th on the province’s eBird list. Still, not a bad year.

This coming year I’ve got several trips planned (and a couple already booked): Utah in early April, France, Belgium & Netherlands in May with the wife, San Francisco in October. I’ve also got my sights set up a big trip to Peru in November. Today I’m going to crunch the numbers and figure out how to pull that off… It’s gonna be tight.

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