Showing posts from 2015

How to track spiritual progress over time

Read about the tool I created to be the "Fitbit for my soul" on Mormon Life Hacker.


Last night...

I've never really posted videos before. Not serious ones, anyway. And I'm not saying this one is serious, because it's just a flower floating in a fountain.

But this little flower intrigued me. As did the blossom petals churning in the water. Cherry blossoms are so gorgeous, but they are also so very short lived. They are all gone now, though only a day or so ago their blooming added a dreamlike quality to the grounds at Temple Square. Now a current of water is dragging them down the drain.

Taking a dive into Snapchat

My initial reaction to Snapchat was less than positive. Horror stories. That's what I heard. I think this makes me an old person.

But now that it's pretty mainstream and probably going to be yesterday's news before long, I figured I'd give it a go!

If you can make it past the first two snaps in my story (my foot and my foot, respectively), I think you'll enjoy the endless pictures of Temple Square, flowers, and Salt Lake City.

If you can't make it past those first two awkward snaps, well, by the time you see this, they'll probably be gone anyway, so...sweet!

My Snapchat user name is alltyler. 

How I resolved a blogging crisis - one year later

A year ago I was really struggling to figure out why on Earth I even bother keeping a blog. Recently, I've been struggling just as much.
Then, somehow, I came across this post from almost exactly a year ago. Forgive the awkward picture of my face.

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Moral of the story? I need to stop thinking so much. In the words of my past self, who was apparently a good deal wiser than my current self (a troubling trend...):
I blog for fun. For personal enjoyment and self-improvement. But I also blog because I love people. I am obsessed with sharing what I have learned in hopes that you can find something uplifting or useful for yourself. So yeah. It's time for me to enjoy blogging again. While it's true I've learned loads about keyword research, niche blogging, email newsletters, optimization, monetization, blah, blah, blah, the fact of the matter is that I just don't care about any of that stuff. I…

Spring 2015 at Temple Square

I adore seasons of change--at least as change relates to nature. Change in our personal lives can be exciting, useful, and harrowing.
The dark clouds in these images symbolize that surging, billowing process of personal change, just as the season of Spring reminds me that life constantly affords us opportunities for renewal.

Watch for updates to this post as Spring unfolds at Temple Square.

More Temple Square pictures here:

Exploring Memory Grove Park

After work I took a little walk to explore my new surroundings. I got a kick out of the last item on the "History of Memory Grove Park" sign. Prior to 1999, the park has a pretty normal and boring history. Then, out of nowhere... "Tornado rips through the park ... destroying or damaging hundreds of trees ..." Wow! The drama!

How many tornadoes have been seen or heard of in Utah? I had to learn more about this.

According to the National Weather Service of Utah, Utah experiences about two "tornadoes" per year. But only once in every 7 years does one of them reach the F2 category. The "Great tornado of 1999" was one such F2 tornado. You can see footage of it here. Hmm, I don't know about you, but this video more accurately depicts the images that come to mind when I hear the word tornado. (Warning: You may want to mute your volume to protect your ears from the expletives that understandably accompany observing this kind of storm.)

Nearly Spring

Spring won't officially arrive for a few more days, but that hasn't stopped these flowers from blooming beautifully.
The first round of Spring flowers is in full swing at Temple Square. As Aprils' General Conference draws closer, more flowers will begin to bloom and (hopefully) the cherry blossoms will come on strong! I wanted to include the world map as a reminder to those of the LDS faith that they are part of a worldwide organization, something we were beautifully reminded of last conference as several speakers delivered their addresses in their native, non-English languages.

Sweet justice

There's only one proper response when you see a parking enforcement vehicle getting towed. Take a picture, because you know your friends will enjoy the sweet irony of it all right along with you.

The key is to avoid causing an accident as you try to take said picture...

Inside the head of a nerd

Today I pulled my phone out of my pocket to check the time. The screen was blank. I pushed the button again. Nothing.

Rather than panic and worry, my reaction went, "Ooo! Maybe my phone is dead so I'll need to buy a new one!"

Instantly, a list of top choices for a replacement phone jumped into my head, and I began to compare them by cost, by features, by design.

Then I thought, "Maybe I should try my phone again."

I held down the power button. Colorful dots danced around the screen.

"Drat," I thought. "It had just powered down somehow. I guess I won't have to spend a ton of money on a new phone after all."

Clean dishes

Cleaning the dishes used to prepare a meal before you take the first bite should become a more common practice among single people who cook for themselves. It's really quite delightful.

2 seconds with Snapseed

This post has a challenge for you. A challenge inspired by my experience taking this picture. I want you to make your own HDR* effect photo. Read on...

*HDR stand for High Dynamic Range (Read more on Wikipedia)
Provo saw some amazing weather this Sunday. Our church class decided to venture outside for the lesson to enjoy the uncharacteristically warm January day. Of course, this was unfortunate for my friend who was teaching the lesson, because the gorgeous surroundings distracted many of us, including myself, to be honest (sorry, Marcus).

As we sat in the courtyard of a beautiful building, I thought to myself, "That would look really good with some HDR." I snapped the following picture with my phone.

Gorgeous, right? I love the angle of the light hitting the building, creating some nice shadows. I also liked the reflection on some of the windows, and I knew the sky's texture had potential with those wispy clouds. So I opened it up in my favorite mobile photo app…

Golden cascade

Sun, water, gold. Shooting up, falling down.

The solitude of change

It's a pity that the deepest, most intense miracles we experience take place in our hearts, where we cannot hope to take another soul, no matter how much we yearn to share those miracles with them.

Brooklyn Bridge

I recently shared a handful of photographs from a trip to New York. Reviewing them, I realized that I must have been in a really black and white mood. No more! Here is a shot taken from the pedestrian walkway above the Brooklyn Bridge. A little more color for you!

The wind was blowing quite strongly, but the night was surprisingly warm. After a long day of travel, this was our first major stop after Times Square.

To be honest, the reason I like this picture of the bridge is because I find night time photography to be a challenge...I have a lot to learn about it, but I feel this one turned out really well.

Meeting view

The bad news...meeting all day. The good news...this is the view from our room.

Desk job

The thing about working a desk job is that you are paid to sit in a chair and use your brain.

New beginnings are hard

At the beginning of last year I wrote, "2013 was not really my year."

You know, I feel the same way about 2014. In fact, as I read over this summary of 2013 and pondered over 2014, it seemed to me that not much has changed.

In the spirit of measuring progress, I'd like to start a tradition of reviewing my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual status. I'll do it periodically, starting now. Maybe it will help me realize my successes and identify areas for improvement.
Well, we all know I got fatter this year. That's change, right? As I wrote in A weighty matter, I have resumed some healthy habits regarding diet and weight. The real trick is exercise. At least in the winter time, it's hard for me to motivate myself.

One big change, though, is my bicycle.

[caption id="attachment_297" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Somehow, this is the only picture I ever took of it[/caption]

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There is every indication that I should abandon that which I have come to cherish above all else.
I placed a tear-stained commission back in its envelope with its accompanying letter and declined to accept it. -Thomas Monson


During a recent trip to Las Vegas, I visited a gallery of photographer Peter Lik. You can view his work online here, but I assure you nothing compares with the breathtaking experience of viewing these works in person, with your own eyes, printed larger than life and displayed in the most stunning manner.

I took a few photos on the trip, but none turned out as well as this, which is a shot of a ceiling I noticed while walking through the Aria hotel.

Run away and never return

It's a new year. For some reason I feel like running. There are good ways to run and bad ways to run.

[clickToTweet tweet="There are good ways to run and bad ways to run. #HappyNewYear" quote="There are good ways to run and bad ways to run."]