Michael "Mike" L. Baird Biography

Mike Baird (bairdphotos.com) is an amateur photographer.  He works as a State Park Docent, leading nature and workout walks and helping the organization with his technical knowledge.  Mike was the first engineering VP at  ask.com, and is the author of the 20-year best-selling entrepreneurship book Engineering Your Start-up: A Guide for the High-Tech Entrepreneur (eysu.org).


Above is 375 words / revised 27 Sept. 2012

 

Resume/Bio Rev. 22 Dec 2011

"Mike" Michael L. Baird is an amateur photographer doing nature, wildlife, people, and surf photography along the California Central Coast. He is a CA State Park volunteer docent, and retired Silicon Valley Internet entrepreneur, now living in Morro Bay, CA, where he encourages collaboration via http://photomorrobay.com http://bairdphotos.com http://flickr.bairdphotos.com and http:// morro-bay.com
Mike has an MBA, and a PhD in Computer Science, and was the first VP of Engineering of the $7 billion ask.com search engine.
He is author of the 20-year best-selling entrepreneurship book entitled "Engineering Your Start-up: A Guide for the High-Tech Entrepreneur" http:// eysu.org. Contact Mike at mike [at} mikebaird d o t com.

Mike Baird is a serious amateur photographer, and a retired Silicon Valley Internet entrepreneur, now living in Morro Bay where he edits the community service site http:// morro-bay.com. Mike has a PhD in Computer Science, and an MBA, and was the first VP of Engineering of the $7 billion ask.com start-up, and is author of the 17-year best-selling entrepreneurship book entitled "Engineering Your Start-up: A Guide for the High-Tech Entrepreneur" http:// eysu.org. As a volunteer docent for CA State Parks since 2001, he has specialized in nature and wildlife and surf photography along the California Central Coast. Http:// BairdPhotos.com is his gateway to his various photo-related sites. His recent photos are best found at http://flickr.bairdphotos.com. Mike is a Canon equipment enthusiast, and specializes in mastering technical aspects of nature and surf photography. Http:// Howto.dchoc.org contains Mike’s online version of his Lulu booklet http:// LuLu.com/mikebaird entitled San Luis Obispo County California Nature Photographers -- Their Works and Techniques: Interviews with local nature photographers about how they take such great photos. Contact Mike at mike [at} mikebaird d o t com.

Headshot: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikebaird/500425841/ 

My most interesting 50 images: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikebaird/sets/72157600171769664/


Brief bio for 2010 Morro Bay Annual Winter Bird Festival (rev. 23 July 2009a):

MIKE BAIRD, Morro Bay, CA, State Park Docent since 2001, leads Digital Photowalks photomorrobay.com.  A PhD Computer Scientist with MBA , retired from ask.com, and author of Engineering Your Start-up eysu.org.  Editor of morro-bay.com. Prolific local photographer, publishes at bairdphotos.com, birdsofmorrobay.com, and flickr.com/people/mikebaird/, where his images have been viewed 2 million times, and he is an active social network leader.


(as provided to, and published by, about.com  in 2007)

Mike Baird is a serious amateur photographer, and a retired Silicon Valley Internet entrepreneur, now living in Morro Bay on the Central Coast of California, where he edits the community service site http://morro-bay.com.

Mike has a PhD in Computer Science, and an MBA, and was the first VP of Engineering of the successful $7 billion ask.com start-up, and is author of the 15-year best-selling entrepreneurship book entitled "Engineering Your Start-up: A Guide for the High-Tech Entrepreneur" (http://eysu.org).

As a volunteer docent for CA State Parks since 2001, he has specialized in nature and wildlife and surf photography along the California Central Coast. http://BairdPhotos.com is his gateway to over a dozen of his various photo-related sites.

Mike is a Canon equipment enthusiast, and specializes in mastering technical aspects of nature and surf photography, including long-focal-length telephotography, and optimization of imagery using post-processing environments such as Adobe Creative Suite and Photoshop CS3, etc.

http://Howto.dchoc.org contains Mikes online version of his Lulu booklet http://LuLu.com/mikebaird entitled San Luis Obispo County California Nature Photographers -- Their Works and Techniques: Interviews with local nature photographers about how they take such great photos.

See more of Mike's work at http://BairdPhotos.com


Alternative version for Click-Click 2007 promo and as evolved...:

Mike Baird (bairdphotos.com) is an avid amateur photographer, specializing in nature, wildlife, and surf photography along the California Central Coast. He works as a State Park Docent, leading nature walks and helping the docent organization with his knowledge of the Internet, computers, and photography.  Mike was the engineering vice-president at ask.com, and is the author of a 15-year best-selling entrepreneurship book entitled Engineering Your Start-up: A Guide for the High-Tech Entrepreneur (eysu.org).


Artist's statement: I like photography because when you look at a recorded image you see more than what the naked eye yields.

My personal philosophy:
A photo taken but not shared might just as well not have ever been taken in the first place.
"Make your photos public, because, for most of us, all we leave behind after we die will be the bits that we create on the Internet that do not expire when we do."


Here is a rough draft of a personal bio that fellow docent newsletter editor Ginny Randall asked me to write 29 June 2010, for possible publication in the SLO Docents Bear's Den newsletter.

Mike Baird was born in Washington D.C. in 1945.  Because his father was an administrator in the V. A. Hospital system, his parents moved every few years to another post.  His father died in his early 60's but his mother, at age 98, lives independently in Georgia, where Mike just came back from visiting.  His one brother, Jim, teaches English as a Second Language in Georgia.  In the past, Jim and Mike used to travel to latin america together every year to learn Spanish and experience other cultures. 


Mike's most salient childhood memory is being pulled home from play by his brother Jim while half frozen on a sled in a Minnesota winter storm.  High school in Baltimore, Maryland is a distant faint memory.  After a five-year undergraduate coop program at General Motors Institute (now Kettering University), shuttling every six weeks between Flint, Michigan and Baltimore, Maryland, to earn his degree in Industrial Engineering, Mike briefly served in the Peace Corps in Peru teaching management information systems.  

Returning from the Peace Corps early as the Vietnam War was resolved, he entered Georgia Tech for his graduate studies, which was his first priority, where he met his wife Heidi.  In a few years they were married the day Mike earned his PhD in Computer Science, as Mike has promised himself to not get married until he finished his graduate education.  They moved to the Detroit, Michigan area after graduating (Heidi got her BS Psychology degree at Ga Tech at the same time Mike got his PhD), and Mike became a research computer scientist for GM Research, and Heidi continued her education, earning a MS Social Work from Wayne State University.  After few years as a child abuse investigation social worker in Detroit (a dangerous and hellish burnout job), Heidi and Mike had two beautiful children, a girl Sandy, and a boy, Robert, who grew up on their 12-acre "farm" 40 miles north of Detroit.

Chasing the excitement of computers and what was yet to become the Internet, the family moved to Silicon Valley in 1980, where Mike worked in a variety of computer science and entrepreneurial positions, ending with a VP engineering position at Askjeeves ask.com in Oakland.  The Internet bubble expolded in 2000, at which time Mike and Heidi, for their health and sanity,escaped the madness of the Bay Area, and retired early to Morro Bay, leaving the kids behind.  

Both kids have recently married, Rob to his Jennifer, and Sandy to her Jennifer.  Rob and Jen both graduated from Sonoma State with business degrees.  Rob works in performance biking management, and his Jen is an Internet marketing manager in a successful high-tech start-up that was just acquired by Sinovus in Europe.   Sandy got her civil engineering degree from Berkeley, worked as a building contractor for a few years, and then recently enrolled in school fulltime again, this time to become a chiropractor.  Sandy was married to her girlfriend Jen who works for a San Francisco company that catres to non-profits.  They live in Oakland.  No grandkids or adoptions yet.  

Mike's Askjeeves ask.com co-workers gave him one of the first Kodak digital cameras as a retirement gift, and that became the start of a decade of his interest in nature photography.  You can see Mike's photos at flickr.bairdphotos.com.  Morro Bay was chosen for its seaside location, favorable climate, and small-town character, away from all the traffic and stress.  Getting to know the Morro Bay Museum of Natural History and CCNHA and the docent community was the first order of business after acquiring a pair of binoculars to also start bird watching for the first time.  Docent neighbors Freeman and Worth Hall and Norma Wightman introduced Mike to the docent community and the wonders of nature in Morro Bay, and Curt and Sandra Beebe mentored Mike into the docent program.  Mike leads or co-leads many Adventures with Nature hikes, mostly in Montana de Oro, and he created two new classes of hikes, called "fast hikes," for exercise and companionship, and "digital photo walks," for learning and sharing photography, in which the theme is to go places and do things in our State Parks that you might not do by yourself, with others of like minds. 

When asked "Do you have any suggestions for beginners interested in nature photography?" Mike said "Yes, join the 250 local photographers at photomorrobay.com's Yahoo! and Flickr Groups, and you will be suffocated in online and in-person opportunities to learn, lead, publish, and share.  Read the profiles I wrote of a dozen local "photogs" as they are called, at howto.dchoc.org/."

Mike is, if anything, an "online guy," and uses the Internet to organize his many interests.  He organizes kayak and standup paddle board outings in Morro Bay - join him at groups.yahoo.com/group/kayakmorrobay .  He maintains a number of community-oriented websites, such as morro-bay.com .  Even their dog, a Cocker Spaniel named Buffy, has a website at buffybaird.com.  For those interested in technology and technical tips, Mike has a related discussion group you can join at 
tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/MorroBayTechTips .  Mike used to volunteer to help any docent who had computer or Internet problems, and soon found that to be an overwhelming task, but he will still answer questions if asked at  desperatedocent[@}mikebaird.com

Mike recently updated a popular book he wrote on high technology startups (eysu.org) that has been a best-seller in its category for almost 20 years, but that interest in research and writing is moving to the new frontier of Electronic Cyber-terrorism and Cyberwarfare  (eBomb.us) which he feels will be the next big 9/11.

If you see Mike walking around, he will likely have either a big camera lens or an iPhone in his face, stop him and say hi.




On Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 10:42 AM, Ginny Randall <ginny [dot randall [at} charter do t net> wrote:

1) Where were you born?   2) What did your parents do for a living?  3) Do
you have any brothers and sisters? If so, what are their names and where are
they living now?   4) What childhood memory stands out for you?   5) Where
did you go to high school?   6) How did you meet your wife?  7) What is her
name and what did she do before she retired?  8) Do you have any children?
If so, what are their names, what are they doing now, and where do they
live?  9) Do you have grandchildren?  If so, what are their names, what are
they doing now and where do they live?  10) Why and when did you decide to
retire to this area?   11) When and how did you get interested in
photography?  12) Do you have any suggestions for beginners interested in
nature photography?  13) How did you come to be a docent?  14) What are your
activities as a docent?  What are you involved in?  15) What are your other
community and volunteer activities?  16) What are your other hobbies?   17)
Do you have any pets?  If so, what are their names?  18) Have you and your
wife travelled?  If so, where?   Thanks again for agreeing to do this.  I
will need the answers to these questions by July 25, 2010. Ginn

Here is the final version:

GETTING TO KNOW YOU:  AN INTERVIEW WITH  MIKE BAIRD, NATURE PHOTOGRAPHER AND COMPUTER WHIZ
By Ginny Randall [27 July 2010; Bear's Den docent publication]

 Mike Baird was born in Washington D.C. in 1945.  Because his father was an administrator in the V. A. Hospital system, his parents moved every few years to another post.  His father died in his early 60's but his mother, at age 98, lives independently in Georgia, where Mike just came back from visiting.  His one brother, Jim, teaches English as a Second Language in Georgia.  In the past, Jim and Mike used to travel to Latin America together every year to  learn Spanish and experience other cultures.  

Mike's most salient childhood  memory is being pulled home from play by his brother Jim while half frozen on a sled in a Minnesota winter storm.  High school in Baltimore, Maryland is a distant faint memory.  After a five-year undergraduate coop program at General Motors Institute (now Kettering University), shuttling every six weeks between Flint, Michigan and Baltimore, Maryland, to earn his degree in Industrial Engineering, Mike briefly served in the Peace Corps in Peru teaching management information systems.  

Returning from the Peace Corps early as the Vietnam War was resolved, he entered Georgia Tech for his graduate studies, which was his first priority, where he met his wife Heidi.  In a few years they were married.  In fact they were married on  the day Mike earned his PhD in Computer Science, as Mike had promised himself to not get married until he finished his graduate education.  They moved to the Detroit, Michigan area after graduating (Heidi got her BS Psychology degree at Georgia Tech at the same time Mike got his PhD), and Mike became a research computer scientist for GM Research.  Heidi continued her education, earning a MS in Social Work from Wayne State University.  After a few years as a child abuse investigation social worker in Detroit (a dangerous and hellish burnout job), Heidi and Mike had two beautiful children, a girl Sandy, and a boy, Robert, who grew up on their 12-acre "farm" 40 miles north of Detroit.

Chasing the excitement of computers and what was yet to become the Internet, the family moved to Silicon Valley in 1980, where Mike worked in a variety of computer science and entrepreneurial positions, ending with a VP engineering position at Askjeeves ask.com in Oakland.  The Internet bubble exploded in 2000, at which time Mike and Heidi, for their health and sanity, escaped the madness of the Bay Area, and retired early to Morro Bay, leaving the kids behind.  

Both kids have recently married, Rob to his Jennifer, and Sandy to her Jennifer.  Rob and Jen both graduated from Sonoma State with business degrees.  Rob works in performance biking management, and his Jen is an Internet marketing manager in a successful high-tech start-up that was just acquired by Sinovus in Europe.   Sandy got her civil engineering degree from Berkeley, worked as a building contractor for a few years, and then recently enrolled in school fulltime again, this time to become a chiropractor.  Sandy was married to her girlfriend Jen who works for a San Francisco company that caters to non-profits.  They live in Oakland.  No grandkids or adoptions yet.  

Mike's Askjeeves ask.com co-workers gave him one of the first Kodak digital cameras as a retirement gift, and that became the start of a decade of his interest in nature photography.  You can see Mike's photos at flickr.bairdphotos.com.  Morro Bay was chosen for its seaside location, favorable climate, and small-town character, away from all the traffic and stress.  Getting to know the Morro Bay Museum of Natural History and CCNHA and the docent community was the first order of business after acquiring a pair of binoculars to also start bird watching for the first time.  Docent neighbors Freeman and Worth Hall and Norma Wightman introduced Mike to the docent community and the wonders of nature in Morro Bay, and Curt and Sandra Beebe mentored Mike into the docent program.  Mike leads or co-leads many Adventures with Nature hikes, mostly in Montana de Oro, and he created two new classes of hikes, called "fast hikes," for exercise and companionship, and "digital photo walks," for learning and sharing photography, in which the theme is to go places and do things in our State Parks that you might not do by yourself, with others of like minds. 

When asked "Do you have any suggestions for beginners interested in nature photography?" Mike said "Yes, join the 250 local photographers at photomorrobay.com's Yahoo! and Flickr Groups, and you will be suffocated in online and in-person opportunities to learn, lead, publish, and share.  Read the profiles he wrote of a dozen local "photogs" as they are called, at howto.dchoc.org/."

Mike is, if anything, an "online guy," and uses the Internet to organize his many interests.  He organizes kayak and standup paddle board outings in Morro Bay - join him at groups.yahoo.com/group/kayakmorrobay .  He maintains a number of community-oriented websites, such as morro-bay.com .  Even their dog, a Cocker Spaniel named Buffy, has a website at buffybaird.com.  For those interested in technology and technical tips, Mike has a related discussion group you can join at tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/MorroBayTechTips .  Mike used to volunteer to help any docent who had computer or Internet problems, and soon found that to be an overwhelming task, but he will still answer questions if asked at  desperatedocent@mikebaird.com   Mike recently updated a popular book he wrote on high technology startups (eysu.org) that has been a best-seller in its category for almost 20 years, but that interest in research and writing is moving to the new frontier of Electronic Cyber-terrorism and Cyberwarfare  (eBomb.us) which he feels will be the next big 9/11. If you see Mike walking around, he will likely have either a big camera lens or an iPhone in his face.  Stop him and say hi!