Fading West

January 23, 2014 — Leave a comment



I grew up in California. I am a 5th generation Northern Californian. I lived in CA until 2006. It’s part of my history.

I bought “Fading West” off iTunes last week. After a week of listening and letting it sink in it really resonates with the California part of me. The music on this album reminds me of my childhood, high school, and college years in California. I am brought back to a time when living in CA was fun and you didn’t have the concerns of adulthood like traffic, work, and the things that made living there harder as an adult.

It seems that faith was fresh and simple in those memories as well. For me this album is a reminder that we let life get complicated sometimes. Our culture can be overwhelmingly negative.

Thanks for helping bring me back to the good stuff, Switchfoot.

These are not the droids you are looking for... #vscocam #starwars

In 1989 I sat in a Baskin Robbins with my friend Ron and his brother after youth group. Apparently, I was bragging about how I ran cross-country in junior college and how I was riding my mountain bike a lot.

Ron challenged me that night…classic Ron moment, really.

“I think you are a lot of talk, Jim.”

As I sit here in my office, 25 years later, and ponder that moment,  Ron wasn’t attacking me or putting me down. He saw what I know to be true of all of us at one point or another…the pride of life. I’m altogether familiar with this as a husband, father, friend, son and brother.

I’ve started challenging myself again…

…you’re a lot of talk when it comes to; parenting, marriage, work, family, friends, etc.

I once heard a radio station commercial who’s tagline was:

“a little less talk, a lot more rock.”

That’s where I’m at these days. I want to count for something in the areas of my life that matter as a father, husband, employee, Christian, etc.




The past two weeks have been stressful. Now that I’m commuting to an office 3-4 days a week I am reminded of how much I appreciate being able to work from home. Although, I am thankful for the shortest commute of my adult life with just 20-25 minutes door to door.

On Monday afternoon I was listening to the radio and heard “Jesus is the reason for the season.” And while this might sound a little weird, I believe that the birth of Jesus was a stressful time for his earthly parents, Joseph and Mary. I cannot imagine traveling with a pregnant wife on unpaved roads with no place to give birth. When our first son was born, I was more concerned as to whether or not we would have a private room.

And then you have some lonely shepherds who are having a quiet night working the graveyard shift outside of Bethlehem. They get freaked out by some unsuspecting guests and this leads to Joseph and Mary receiving some unexpected guests.

As I’m typing this, I’m smiling because I realize that my stress is really just day-to-day stuff. And my thought this morning is that the only way to really get into the “Christmas spirit” is to choose to do so.  So, I’m going to keep blasting Christmas music in my car, watching cheesy movies with the family, attending Christmas gatherings and more.



In 1994 I started working weekends as “Post 3” the communications officer for security at the Universal Movie Lot in North Hollywood, CA. This was in Building 31, behind the Corner Store and across from the Hitchcock Theatre and Commissary. I worked on the lot from 1993-97. I started off as a “set-watch” or “production” guard on t.v. shows and movies then moved into working at guard gates and eventually became a supervisor for most of my time there. I spent a lot of time out in the field in a golf cart or in a car checking on security guards posted at guard-shacks, buildings, etc. As supervisors we also responded to emergencies, etc. I learned a lot in four years about how to manage people and relationships.

Introducing the OKDOTHIS app!

November 25, 2013 — 1 Comment

By Jim Gray



In early August I received a surprise email from my friend Jeremy Cowart. Jeremy is a photographer, artist, humanitarian, app creator, teacher. I half-expect him to become a senator or the ruler of a small country some day.

The email I received was an invitation to be in the first group of 20 hand-picked folks to beta test an iPhone application called “OKDOTHIS.”  This was all very hush-hush, nod-nod, wink-wink stuff.  I replied to the email with:



As long as there have been photographs, there has been sharing. Take a picture, get it developed or print it out, share it with others. As photos have gone digital, the process has remained the same, a straight line. Take a picture, share it with others, comment and connect.

Why do you share your photos, anyway? Because you want to, not because you need to. But there’s one thing every photographer needs, from the seasoned pro to the eager beginner: You need an idea. A creative decision. A flash of inspiration. Every photo is a moment in time. It’s ideas that capture those moments. While many of us see the same moments, we interpret them in our own ways. Wouldn’t it be great if we could share not just the moments, but the inspiration that caught them? Wouldn’t it be great to go social with your ideas, with your unique view of the world, as you create your photos?

Who is behind OKDOTHIS?

World-renowned photographer Jeremy Cowart had an idea for an idea-sharing mobile app several years before OKDOTHIS launched. It took him bringing this idea to an eager and capable group of app developers to make it happen.

“I’ve done a lot of teaching in the past,” explains Cowart. “When I teach, people always say, ‘How do you know what to tell your subjects? How do you know what to do?’” At first, Cowart thought in terms of photography. He then realized the concept of idea-sharing could extend to any community or interest group.

Cowart originally conceived of an app built upon his own name as a brand to share ideas and techniques with other photographers. But as he shared his app idea with other creative people, he began to see the power of opening his app up to more and more users. “I later realized it would be cool if everyone could join in this concept of an idea pool, where we could share and do each other’s ideas. That’s how the concept of OKDOTHIS started.”

Cowart brought the idea that would become OKDOTHIS to Nashville-based Aloompa, the mobile app development company that created FestApp. He says, “They’re an extraordinarily talented team made up of Bryn Bodayle, Nick Sigler, Allie Smith, Andrew Lattis, Drew Burchfield, Tyler Seymour, Kurt Nelson, as well as many others on the Aloompa team. On top of that, they’re easy-going, humble, and efficient. That’s a rare mix.”

In August 2012, Cowart and Aloompa brought web developer Jeremy Pinnix on board to build the the app that would become OKDOTHIS. Pinnix worked with the team for over a year, refining and improving the app through rigorous testing and private beta releases. Eager mobile- device photographers got their hands on these early releases and a small user community began to grow, along with the buzz about the power of OKDOTHIS.

As Aloompa developed OKDOTHIS it became clear that the project would become more than a simple mobile app. “OKDOTHIS grew from an idea into a new company,” says Cowart. “We all have a burning passion for OKDOTHIS, and we won’t stop anytime soon. More exciting things are coming in the future.

OKDOTHIS launched today, Monday November 25th, 2013 in the Apple App Store!

Social Links

OKDOTHIS.com twitter.com/OKDOTHIS facebook.com/OKDOTHIS

How much is OKDOTHIS?

OKDOTHIS is launching at an introductory price point of $1.99. They will always continue to re-evaluate the OKDOTHIS community to determine the best price structure.