Monday, December 11, 2017

With patience, persistence and positive thinking anything is possible...


You’re probably wondering why the long delay in any new posts. No I haven’t forgotten about my website or gotten mauled by a bear. With a toddler now, all of the obligations I volunteer for…and well life in general I haven’t had a lot of free time over the last year (I even changed jobs…so check out my about page for more details). I’ve finally found a brief bit of downtime and mustered the ambition to get my site back up to speed. I am in the process of updated my website from an ASP.NET webforms to an ASP.NET MVC 5 setup (sorry to nerd you out) but in the meantime I will get back to publishing new posts until I do the cutover (and yes in a timelier manner…). I’ve posted a lot of new photos (Brooklyn’s were a hair dated) and done some updates to several other of the site’s pages. Again I apologize for the lag in getting new content out there and look forward to new posts soon come…thanks.

'Tis the Season to Give In


For the first time I gave in to my wife and got a short-needle Christmas tree (because we all know long-needle trees look better). Since moving to Madison over a decade ago now it has become a family tradition to make the drive to Ridgetop Trees (highly recommend) and chop down a tree. If there is one thing as a couple my wife and I can agree on, it's that we will never get a fake Christmas tree. Have a safe and enjoyable holidays everyone...

6 Months


With Brooklyn's 6-month birthday came new baby pictures as well as our first family pictures with both girls. Brooklyn is now eating solids, sitting up on her own and doing a lot of giggling (she is now ticklish). Check out my "Photos" page for more images...

Tournament Champions


The girls sporting their first place trophies

Sidney was able to compete in her first year of the Tri-County basketball league. Tri-County is a competitive, traveling league made up of Madison and surrounding communities. One game had us traveling as far as Big Foot (if you sneeze you might miss it). I was able to help out with the team as an assistant coach. It was a challenging league as we went 3-9 for the regular season. For many of the girls on the team it was their first experience with organized basketball. We did a lot of improvement as a team and the girls really progressed in their skills in the quick season. For the season ending tournament we had a 3-game round-robin where we went undefeated. Jerry (head coach) and I were very proud of the girls in the effort and focus they showed after such a challenging regular season. Great job girls! Next up on my coaching agenda will be Sidney and I's (head coaching this season) 3rd and final season with Upward Basketball (4th through 6th grade girls league).

3 Months


Since we weren't able to get formal newborn pictures we decided to not only get 3-month pictures taken but to also get some with both girls. Sidney had not gotten pictures taken professionally since before starting kindergarten outside of school pictures. Jamie and I were so happy with how they turned out. Check out my "Photos" page for more images...

Starting Middle School


Summer has passed and that means back to school for Sidney. Sidney started the 6th grade and her first year at Toki Middle School. She is quite happy in her new school and excited for all of the exciting things that middle school brings. She completed another season of soccer over the summer in which I coached again. For the first time I was able to coach a co-ed team and enjoyed my first experience being able to coach boys. She also attended summer school and went to 4 different MSCR camps. This fall Sidney is looking forward to beginning a more competitive basketball league, Tri-County. She is so happy to be back in school with her friends and to meet new ones as well.

Wedding Anniversary


Jamie and I were happy to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary this week Friday. We were also blessed this week with the arrival of our second daughter, Brooklyn, a day earlier. A great wedding anniversary present for the whole family. I surprised Jamie with this bouquet of roses, one for each year of our marriage, and then I added the red carnation to symbolize the arrival of Brooklyn.

Welcome Brooklyn Kay Holmes


Brooklyn Kay Holmes

Jamie and I are excited to announce the birth of our second child, Brooklyn Kay Holmes. Brooklyn was born Thursday, June 20th at 7:49 AM at Meriter Hospital in Madison. She was 7 lbs. 12 oz. and 20 1/2" long. Sidney is excited to finally have a sibling. With everyone healthy we were happy to bring Brooklyn home the day following her birth. It was a great feeling to experience her arrival and we are grateful to now have her as part of lives. See more pics and videos of Brooklyn on my "Photos" and "Videos" page.

So long Chavez Elementary...


5th Grade Grudation

Sidney graduated from 5th grade this week. Jamie and I were able to attend her graduation ceremony. It's amazing how quickly elementary school came and went. This fall Sidney will be attending Tokay Middle School and starting the 6th grade.

Why not Lacrosse?


2013 Middleton Junior Girls

Sidney decided to drop out of gymnastics and instead pick up lacrosse. She seems to prefer more physical and competitive team sports. Her cousin, Lindsey, plays goalie for her high school team down in Georgia and we thought the sport might be a great fit for her. We were able to find a solid program in Middleton and she caught on quickly to the sport. Her team did very well going 5-2. We certainly look forward to next year's season as she moves up to the older league for 6th through 8th grade girls. Thanks to her great coaches, Todd and Ben.

Broomball League Champs!


"The Free Agent Rises" team photo

After not playing broomball for over almost a decade and a half I was excited to find a league in Madison. My parents probably weren't too fond of me joining as I broke my nose in college broomball intramurals. The team I was able to join, "The Free Agent Rises", went undefeated and won the playoff championship in dramatic fashion in sudden death. Our team is now league champions for the 3rd season in a row. Although I hate winter with a passion, I'm excited for the next season to begin in November. Oh and this time around no broken nose.

2nd Season of Upward Basketball Concludes


Sidney and I enjoyed another great season of Upward Basketball. Jerry and I returned to coach the team for our second season and were able to lead the girls to an impressive 4-2-1 record. It was certainly a great imporovement over our first year when we had a young squad of all 4th graders. It was exciting to watch the girls from last year's team continue to grow in their skills as well as watch the new girls to the team vastly improve in their first season. Next year will be our last year with the Upward program and we look forward to another great season. Basketball is Sidney's favorite sport and it is a great experience her and I can share.

1 Year Anniversary


I'm happy to celebrate my one year anniversary as a permanent employee with ETC. Things are going great and I'm amazed at how far I have progressed since first being hired as a contract-to-hire employee back in August of 2011. The workload has began to pick up and I'm gaining some beneficial experience in some newer technologies including mobile application development and offline data storage. I continue to broaden my technical skillset and sharpen my skills through various Pluralsight video training courses I have taken. Over the next year I will be assisting with the major redesign ETC's corporate public-facing website. This opportunity will provide valuable experience working with Microsoft SharePoint, SAP and the new CMS/WMS, Ektron. It certainly will be a busy year moving forward and I am excited for the knowledge, skills and experience to be gained through this year's projects.

We're expecting?!


Happy holidays from the Holmes's

Jamie and I are excited to announce we are expecting our second child. Sidney is super excited to finally get a sibling. She'd been asking for years. Both of our families were surprised with the wonderful news over the Thanksgiving holiday. The newest addition to our family is due in late June. Oh and...Happy Holidays!!!



The website now has search functionality implemented for blog entries (home page) and a "feeds" page added for both RSS and Atom syndication feeds for blog posts as well.

Another soccer season draws to a close


Final game of season at Cherokee Middle School

The Soccettes completed another season of MSCR soccer. We had a very hard fought season and the girls skills continued to progress with each game. I'm amazed in just 2 seasons how far they have come. Only one girl on our team had previous experience. I'm really proud of the girls with the hustle and aggressiveness they displayed throughout the season. Sidney and I's next focus after the New Year will move to basketball as we start another season of Upward Basketball through the Good Shepherd Church. This will be Sidney's second season of basketball as well my second season coaching. A lot of fun...can't wait!

Next on the horizon...


As two of my large projects I have been working on over the last year near completion, I now move onto a much larger project over the next year. We recently kicked off the Web Content Management System project. This project will be a complete overhaul of ETC's current public facing website as well as an replacement to our current CMS (Content Management System), PeopleSoft. This project will span across all 2013 and will involve the implementation of the WCMS (Website Content Management System), Ektron. The project involves a large number of ETC's staff and will involve the efforts of nearly all ETC departments globally. This will be my first WCMS and CMS implementation. The project will also be a great opportunity for further custom .NET development. I look forward to the challenge.

SysDOCS Project Completion


Last month I was able to complete development for the SysDOCS application I had been involved with since last February. SysDOCS is a web-based (ASP.NET) application that also interfaces with our current CMS (Content Management System) application at ETC, PeopleSoft. The application provides ETC staff ("admin" side of application) with the capability to create and maintain "checklists" of various ETC systems-related documentation - "datasheets" and "cutsheets". On the "user" side of the application, users can then work with these "checklists" to then compile these documents (.pdf files) into outputs of either a single merged .pdf file or a combined DVD of the .pdf files. These deliverables are then given to ETC reps and dealers. SysDOCS involves the following technologies: .NET framework 4.0, LINQ (Language Integrated Query), Entity Framework, ASP.NET Web Forms, Microsoft SQL Server, CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), and C#. The system greatly reduced the amount of time involved to compile the documentation compared to the previous process. It also dramatically improved the reliability of version control for the documentation. Through the project I gained valuable experience with technologies involvng file generation and manipulation (.ISO images and .pdf files) as well as further exposure to creating dynamic webpage layouts and formatting.

Picture Day


Sidney didn't think it was a good picture...I beg to differ.

Got videos?


Continuing to improve my site, I have now added a "Videos" page. I've started out with a humorous video of Milo playing with our new fish tank the first night we set it up. Milo is quite a character. Look forward to additional videos to come...

Time flies...


I can't believe it's already been a year but it has. I began working at Electronic Theatre Controls as a contract-to-hire employee and over the past year in February that opportunity blossomed into a permanent one. I've enjoyed my first year at ETC tremendously and I’ve been amazed in just a year's time how much my technical knowledge has grown and my skills have sharpened. I've gained a great deal of valuable experience in that time and been involved in a variety of projects that have touched a wide array of web development related and .NET cutting edge technologies. It took over 8 years to reach my goal of being a full-time developer. I'm grateful for the opportunity and look forward to what new challenges it presents into the future.

Another season of soccer kicking off...GO SOCCETTES!


Sidney and I are looking forward to another season of MSCR soccer beginning. Sidney did her first season of soccer this summer and I was also her team's coach. Our team, The Soccettes, is an all-girl. This summer we went 2-2-2. We had a lot of fun and saw a lot of improvement considering only one of the girls had experience playing competitively. I'm looking forward to another great season.



After watching the Olympics this past summer Sidney got an interest in trying out a new sport - this time gymnastics. She began taking lessons through Mad Town Twisters. She has a definite interest in dance and music and with her athletic ability gymnastics proves to be a good match for her. Auntie Jen is really stoked as she was quite a gymnast herself growing up.

Back to school...


Sidney headed back to school for her last year of elementary school. She is now a big 5th grader and oddly enough looked forward to returning to school after a long and busy summer.