Dive Centers, iPhone apps and More

April 17, 2011 · Posted in news, personal, projects · Comment 

For those of you who follow, you always want to know what I’m up to.

Some might think I’ve spent all this time opening a dive center here in the New River Valley. In fact, I think I’ve only spent about 10% of my time doing that.

iPhone Apps

We have two that are completed and awaiting final testing. This is usually the longest part of creating any application. We haven’t had any of our live apps crash yet, and I prefer to keep it that way. So, we do a lot of testing. And when we think we’re done, we test some more.

Lab Work

One must think I’m getting my PhD in Environmental Engineering. I do have a degree from the College of Engineering (Computer Science), but Environmental? I would never have thought. But Ana is finishing up and I’m helping out. That means preparing batch reactors, measuring gas production and writing a thesis. Luckily I’m only helping in small quantities and the lab work is completely done. Now it’s just data analysis and finishing off that thesis. I guess it’s science, and we use a computer, so it’s kind of what I went to school for.

Businesses

As I mentioned, we opened a dive center in Blacksburg. But we also created a state of the art website for it that’ll allow the company to grow into something much more than a dive center. We had the awesome team from HellowYellow design us the site, and they did an amazing job. We’re working on a ton of new features to the site like class registration, videos, etc. How hard can all that be? Well it’s part of a much larger picture, so a little harder than you think.

Part of that larger picture is this: It’s not about opening a dive center and sharing our passion for scuba. It’s about taking a business, any business, and making it the best at what it does. Most dive center websites look like theirs were created in 1996, by a dude with 10 minutes of html experience while sitting on a beach, drinking coronas.

So we started something. That something has grown to include several businesses, several partnerships, several clients and a lot of change. That change will upset a lot of people, namely those on the other side. How many, will be our measure of success.

Avalon Dive Center – Blacksburg, VA

March 13, 2011 · Posted in goals, personal, projects, scuba, work · Comment 

Ever since December of 2010, I’ve been working hard on helping to open a scuba dive shop in Blacksburg. I’ve done my fair share of retail before, but my role has largely been on the technical side.

We’ve realized that the usual way things are done are: scuba instructor opens a shop, creates a website and attempts to make a living doing what they love. The problem is, these people are usually not business people, they’re not designers, they’re not programmers, they’re not using the latest technology. Take business people, programmers, designers, marketers, and influential people who all use technology on a daily basis and have a passion for scuba diving and combine them into one package. That’s what I feel the Avalon Dive Center is. We’re many people with many talents getting together to share our passion with others in the best way we know how.

 

Photos of the Week: Faces in Places

October 20, 2010 · Posted in art, photography, photos, photos of the week, projects · Comment 

We went to a Latino Festival in Roanoke, which was filled with Colombians. The food was great, the people were interesting and the displays were very beautiful. We met a mother from Colombia whose little girl dress in the traditional dress from Antioquia, the state that Ana is from. Then two Colombian girls danced a traditional dance from the coast area of the country.

The next two photos are of ours and a friend’s dog on our recent hike to McAfee Knob.

Colombianita

Colombianita

Colombian Dance Team

Colombian Dance Team

Kiara

Kiara

Ollie

Ollie

River Clean Up and the Roanoke Times

May 23, 2009 · Posted in news, personal, photos, scuba · 2 Comments 

On Virginia Tech’s Reading Day (the day between classes and the beginning of finals), the Scuba Club at Virginia Tech (SCVT) performed a clean up on the New River near Radford, VA. We picked up several trash bags of garbage, mostly that were left behind from the fishermen that frequent there. There were plenty of fishing line, beer cans and other trash to keep us busy for a few hours and we do this every year.

As it had been raining for the past several days prior, the river level was two feet higher than normal, and big trees were being swept down river. The visibility was non-existent and we didn’t want to get caught or crushed by the trees coming down, so we didn’t get to go diving. However, there is still a ton more beer cans and other trash left by the fishermen at the bottom of the river that we have yet to get to.

While we were there, a photographer from the Roanoke Times took several photos of us as we worked. I had passed up picking up some trash that was in the water because I was wearing shoes but since I had all my scuba equipment with me, I put on my diving boots and jumped into the water to pick up the pieces I had missed.

The photographer caught me just as I was walking out of the river and they put me as their main image. Pretty cool. Check out the image below and download the PDF for the full size.

SCVT May 7, 2009 River Cleanup

SCVT May 7, 2009 River Cleanup