Shredding the Gnar

Shredding the Gnar

Colorado doesn't need a ten paragraph blog post to explain the awesomeness of this place. So this time around, I won't bore you with the details. Not to say that there isn't much to talk about when it comes to my trip to Colorado a few weeks ago, but I figured this time, I'll let my photos do the talking. 

Enjoy. 

New Years Resolutions? Try something better.

New Years Resolutions? Try something better.

New Years Resolutions. Awesome in concept, terrible in practice.

Working out 6 days a week.
Drinking 8 glasses of water every day.
Taking a 15 minute walk at work every day.
Saying good morning to your co-workers.
Using recipes to cook awesome meals every night of the week.
Making your bed every morning.

Whatever yours might have been - I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that you have already failed at least some of them in these first 7 days of 2016. If you haven’t, my apologies, and congratulations - you’re a superhuman.

Design Spotlight: Grand Canyon Wine Company

Packaging matters. I'm a strong believer of that. Generally, no matter how good the actual product is, it won't be a prodigy unless it's packaged well. That holds true for beverages as much as it does with electronics, clothing and resort websites. 

A few weeks back, my girlfriend and I were traveling through Arizona, and we popped into a roadside gas station to fill up. We didn't have any intent of buying anything other than gas there, let alone buying wine. But as soon as we noticed this really cool bottle amongst the selection of beverages, both of us got the instant urge to bring some of that red wine home. 

Liberty Mutual Responsive eSales App Design Analysis

New this week, Liberty Mutual's responsive policy quoting and bind website (currently available for Renters insurance on mobile devices 9" and smaller) boasts a clean and modern design, heavy reliance on native HTML5 functionality and a streamlined interview process. 

Now that this application is public, I've decided to post a short design analysis outlining key new features behind the new application, which has been designed with the customer in mind from the first page, to the last. 

Land of the Midnight Sun: Getting Lost in Alaska

Few places in the world offer such pristine landscapes where glaciers meet the oceans, wild animals roam freely unafraid of people, and endless forests stretch as far as the eye can see. Alaska has a lot going for it, and I am glad I finally decided to check it out. A couple of my friends, Larisa and I started planning our trip earlier this year. Sometimes, when going to other parks, things are certain - go here, go there, hike this trail, hike that tail. Easy. Planning for Alaska was a whole different kind of beast. 

Alaska has eight national parks, scattered across a landmass the size of eastern continental US. Transportation and amenities in Alaska are generally expensive compared to other destinations in the lower 48. Visiting as many different places as possible is usually in most people’s interest. After long deliberation and many days of research, we all agreed on three core places to visit: Kenai Fjords, Denali and Katmai National Parks over the course of ten days. 

Katmai National Park: Bears, Scenery, but Mostly Bears.

Katmai National Park: Bears, Scenery, but Mostly Bears.

Alaska is known for the number of national parks and national forests and their size. For most people visiting the 49th state, Denali and Kenai Fjords national parks are at the forefront of the places to visit and are the most-visited national parks in the the northern part of the state. 

When Larisa and I were originally planning our trip to Alaska, we didn't even consider any other parks due to their remote locations, high cost, and low popularity. I started doing more research and talking with people who have been to Alaska, I've discovered that the true gem of a park is actually located several hundred miles southwest of Anchorage on the Alaska Peninsula - Katmai National Park and Preserve. 

Katmai National Park, established only 35 years ago in 1980 to protect the area of extreme geological interest and the prime salmon and costal brown bear habitat is located 235 air miles from Anchorage and getting there isn't easy.

Denali National Park: Into the Wild

Denali National Park: Into the Wild

With an area larger than Connecticut and Rhode Island combined, Denali offers enough space to cover the distance as far as the eye can see in all directions. Denali is the king of all the National Parks. We were slated to spend three days in the park - a tight schedule considering the sheer geographic area. 

Denali National Park and Preserve is located about four hours north of Anchorage. Having been warned about wildfires along the Parks Highway, we made sure to leave early on Monday morning to make it to Denali at a decent hour. Luckily, there wasn’t much traffic, nor wildfires on the way up, and we even got a glimpse of Mt. McKinley from a viewpoint just south of the park. We were hoping that we’d get a much closer view of the mountain from inside the park, but later we’d be grateful for having at least seen it on the way in.