White-tailed ptarmigan!

Posted on Oct 2, 2016 in Birding | 2 comments

If I ever had a white whale, it was in a smaller, cuter avian form: a white-tailed ptarmigan. For the last 3 years I’ve made attempt after attempt to find this bird, but never with any luck. Finally today I found a pack of 16, up on Flatiron peak, Coquihalla. Took a little delicacy, but after 45 minutes of slow movement I was able to get close to them. Gorgeous, fascinating bird.

Pictures here: http://www.benjaminkeen.com/birding/local-wildlife/

Damn good day. I picked up a bottle of proscecco to mark the occasion.

Back to responsible coding Tues. Soooo close to polishing off birdsearch.org.

Read More

birdsearch.org rewrite

Posted on Oct 1, 2016 in Birding, birdsearch.org | 2 comments

Just a heads up that birdsearch.org will be updated in the couple of weeks. Rather than do a safe roll-out of a beta.birdsearch.org subdomain for the new beta, I’m just going to switch out the entire site. The site gets so few users, if there are bugs it won’t inconvenience too many people, but more significantly, I’m switching hosting providers for the site and it isn’t easy to have both running at once.

The new site is a HUGE improvement. I’ll be extremely excited to release it! The site is a complete rewrite in react, redux, react-intl, react-router and node. It also features a snappy new UI and design. I’ll post when it’s all done.

Read More

New job

Posted on Aug 18, 2016 in Birding, Blog | 2 comments

New job is great, but holy moly… the commute! There was I, thinking I had no time before, but tack on 3-4 hours of commuting time a day and there often isn’t even enough time to fix a decent meal when you get home at night. Yikes. Our cats are NOT pleased.

So yeah, zero updates on anything. I’m pushing for working from home for a day or two a week, but I need to get to a place when I *can* work from home and be as productive as I would be in in the office. And that still may take a few more weeks to get there: plus get the requisite laptop + everything set up.

Anyway, to stave off insanity I created a new twitter account where I could tweet about all things birding. Feels like the only non-work thing I’ve done in weeks.

Read More

Time to move on!

Posted on Jun 20, 2016 in Blog | 1 comment

Today is my last day at IBM Cloudant! Two weeks today I’ll be starting a new position at PNI Media in downtown Vancouver. That’ll give me time to wrap up my trip to Iceland and see a few last birds before leaving (common pochard, I’m coming for you, you little blighter).

It’s been a great role with great people, but I really can’t wait to work with people face-to-face once again. I’ve been working¬†100% remotely for over a year and a half now, and I came to realize that – for me – a more balanced lifestyle was needed.¬†Considering I’m not the most social of souls, that really says something.

And I’m very excited about the new role! Sounds like there will be a slew of technologies I’ll get exposed to that I haven’t yet worked with (including Angular,¬†finally). Fingers crossed it’ll be a good move.

Read More