How about two more years…

Yeah, what can I say…I’m awful about updating this website anymore. Thankfully a server move on my host (GoDaddy) required me to download everything on this site and relocate it today.

So I figured this was a natural checking in point. I spent the morning at a local coffee shop here in Dallas adding to some of my portfolio and then the afternoon at a brewery (because, that’s what I like to do…). As I sit here at Peticolas Brewing Company (easily one of the best breweries in Dallas), drinking a four-year old version of one of my favorite beers (Sledgehammer), I figured now was a as good of a time as ever to write a little post.

Where do I begin about the last couple of years? I guess the biggest thing to discuss was a trip to Europe back at the end of last year/early part of this year. Becca and I traveled to eight countries in three weeks. We saw Dublin, Paris, several smaller towns in France, Antwerp, Cologne, Hamburg and Berlin in Germany, plus Vienna, Liverpool and Northern Wales. I hope to one day get a nice photo gallery of our trip on this site, though going through 2000 some photos is always tough.

Aside from that, I’m still writing over at BigDSoccer.com and working at HPUMC. Rigby is also still keeping Becca and I busy with his general craziness and fluffiness.

Three years gone…

So, three years. That is how long it has been since I last updated this space. And really, all I’ve done today is gone through my work and added stuff from the last three years at Highland Park UMC. A couple links, some job description and that is about it.

Basically I’m bored on a Sunday afternoon while the laundry is getting done. That and I thought it was high time I actually updated this space before I truly forgot all about it.

So what is new? Let’s see…

Becca has a new job with the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Rigby is almost nine and is still crazy as ever.

All the nieces and nephews are getting older.

We went skiing last month in New Mexico.

I still love me some good beer, as seen above.

I’m still blogging at BigDSoccer, though not at WVHooligan anymore.

I’m sure there is a ton more to discuss but my brain is fried.

Catching up and then some

Boy it has been a while since I last had an update on this space. What can I say, these things tend to happen when you’re busy, holidays hit and new jobs come up.

Yep, that’s right, I’ve recently (and finally) taken a new job. I am now the Interactive Content Manager at Highland Park United Methodist Church. The position sort of fell into my lap late last year before Christmas and then came to fruition right after the new year. In a small way it was a birthday gift too as I began my first day just a couple days after my 29th birthday in February.

So far I love it. I’ve been super pleased to work with passionate people who are devoted to what they do. Plus, finally working on things I’ve been wanting to do like manage web content for a company, have a creative voice in how to market and manage content is also a big plus. I have to say I finally feel that I am coming more into my own professionally.

It was bitter sweet to leave Wieck Media after six and a half years of working there but it was the right time for a move. Most that know me know that I had been looking for a new job for the better part of a couple years really. It wasn’t anything personal to the folks at Wieck but more of a thing that I needed to do. I felt like my job at Wieck wasn’t going anywhere and in a small way that Wieck as a company wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon. It is no knock on the people there – they were always fantastic people to work with – it was something I noticed after six and a half years of being there.

Anyways, aside from the new job the soccer season is back up and in full gear. That has taken a lot of my time over the last two months already. I’ve been managing Big D Soccer for almost a year now as well but I think that site is finally taking off the way I want it too as well. We’re inching closer and closer to 100k page views every month, a lofty goal I set out to reach last summer. The last three months have been around 70-85k page views. So we’re so close to getting there. The World Cup this summer should certainly help that out.

Family life is as busy as ever too. Becca and I are nearly getting ready for some more house work to be done likely with painting our living room. We did our dining room last fall and it turned out great. I’m sure we’ll never truly be done though in that department of fixing up our house.

I’m sure there are plenty of other things I’ve failed to cover in this first post since last fall but this is a good enough start.

Pearl Jam Concert

Last night was a great night for me. After years of waiting, I was able to finally see Pearl Jam again. The Seattle band came through town last night for the first time in 10 years apparently. Needless to say the show was epic.

Becca even had a good time!

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Just an amazing setlist too:

01. Pendulum-from the new album “Lightning Bolt”
02. Nothingman
03. Can’t Keep
04. Interstellar Overdrive-(Barrett, Mason, Waters, Wright)
05. Corduroy
06. Lightning Bolt-from the new album “Lightning Bolt”
07. Mind Your Manners-from the new album “Lightning Bolt”
08. Got Some
09. Brain Of J
10. World Wide Suicide
11. Given To Fly
12. Sirens (with crowd Ah ah oh oh outro)-from the new album “Lightning Bolt”
13. Lukin
14. Not For You/Modern Girl-(Sleater Kinney)
15. Jeremy
16. Glorified G.
(at the end of the song Ed jumps down on the subs and pours some wine for people along the barricade)
17. Infallible-from the new album “Lightning Bolt”
18. Unthought Known
19. Better Man/Save It For Later-(Charley, Cox, Morton, Steele, Wakeling)

Encore Break 1
20. Yellow Moon-from the new album “Lightning Bolt”
(“Some of you may know, I don’t know if I have mentioned it but I have sister here in Texas.  The great thing about sisters they can introduce you to things.  Like nephews.  So this is for Garrett and Garrett’s mom.”)
21. Future Days -from the new album “Lightning Bolt”
22. Footsteps
23. Daughter
24. Chloe Dancer/Crown Of Thorns-(Mother Love Bone, A. Wood)
(“That was for Andy Wood.  He loved Dallas.”)
25. Why Go
(Ed plays a long intro for ‘Porch’ and doesn’t notice at first that the audience has started singing the song.  Once he does notice he asks them to do it again and starts the first verse over)
26. Porch

Encore Break 2
27. Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town (played to audience behind the stage)
28. The Real Me-(Townshend)
29. Do The Evolution
30. Alive
31. Rockin’ In The Free World (with Carrie Brownstein (Portlandia/Sleater Kinney)  and Annie Clark (St. Vincent)
32. Indifference

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Facetime with my nieces

From time to time my niece Audrey will call us on FaceTime to read us a book. Last night Becca and I had just finished up dinner when we got a call on her phone from her sister Rachel (Audrey’s mom), it turned out that Audrey was calling us to read us a story. I love it.

As you can see from some of the photos, we got a little goofy towards the end. Not to mention we got an appearance from our other niece, Amelia. I loved it.

Making A House A Home

After four and a half years, Becca and I have finally…yes finally painted a room in our house.

This past Friday, we both took the day off from work to re-do our dining room. We had bought the paint back in May and had originally planned to do the room earlier this summer but that never happened. But Friday was the day. As I got the room ready late Thursday and began painting early Friday. We finished the room off midway through Saturday evening with some finishing touches.

Overall, I’m so pleased with the way things turned out. I do have one more painting to hang on the wall but I’m okay that that is all we have left.

Now on to another room.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The life of a soccer blogger

From time to time, I receive gifts or items from apparel companies or even teams in Major League Soccer. My almost seven years of covering soccer has come with some perks to say the least. I’ve been fortunate enough to get free jerseys, clothes, soccer cleats and more.

But yesterday may have been the weirdest item I’ve ever gotten in the mail. I got home from work to see a large box on my front porch that read ‘fragile’ and ‘do not lay flat’ on it. It was a large box too. I thought, maybe Becca ordered something and forgot to tell me. Or maybe worse, I ordered something and forgot all about it.

No, it was the picture above. A large frame from the soccer team in Portland. See, each year I vote in the media site of the end of the year awards for MLS. This frame was a way of lobbying for my vote for the various awards. I’ve had this happen before in years past. One team gave a plastic mug, others have given thumb drives with highlights of the players in it. Some teams are just more creative than others.

The frame is pretty cool though. It will be a nice addition to the home office one day when I get around to hanging it up.

Nerd Alert: Back On Sim City

As Becca walked in the house the other night, she noticed I was playing a game on my laptop. Her first response was comical, “whatcha playing there nerd?”. Yeah, she caught me. Red handed, playing Sim City.

Recently Maxis and EA released a new version of the game for the first time in ages. After a few months of fixes they released a version for the Mac. I opted to wait a few weeks before I bought it and sure enough, I got addicted to it again.

I won’t go into the details of the cities I’m making or anything like that. Honestly, I don’t have a ton of time as it is to really play it like I used to when I was younger.

Baylor-WVU game

On Saturday, Becca and I drove down to Waco, TX, for the West Virginia-Baylor game. This was an anniversary gift from her.

I never knew how high school-ish Baylor games were though. From the PA announcer to the band to everything else in between. It came across as a high school game more then a major college game to me. Hopefully once Baylor opens their new stadium next year, that will all change for them.

Also, what is it with Big 12 teams and hand gestures. Baylor has the bear claw, Texas has the long horns. I’m sure there are others out there. I guess WVU’s is just flipping people off when they try to show the state outline on their hand. Ha.

While the blow out score was not something I wanted to see, it was great getting to see my Mountaineers in person again.

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Updating Lakeview’s Website

I’ve been doing my local church’s website for the last five years, maybe six…I’ve lost count.

Anyways, about a year and a half ago I found a great resource for a church WordPress theme in churchthemes.net. I immediately put Lakeview on the Antioch theme because it fit the church the best. The built in sermon archive and podcasting features is what drew me to these themes but lately I’ve been wanting more out of the homepage experience for visitors.

I began tinkering with how the homepage was laid out. Before it was just a large slider area with three widgets below. Messing around with the responsive code wasn’t too bad either as I learned that it was fairly easy to adding more ‘widget’ areas that will work well on any device (well, not IE8 from what I’ve learned but I don’t care about that browser…only 3% of the LCC visitors use that browser).

I started out by creating a new logo, combining the EFCA tree logo with our text.

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So far here is what I have below the original three widgets.

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Below the latest sermons are also the latest news updates from the church. While changing up the layout on the homepage I did some research of some top designed church websites to see how other churches were displaying items on their homepage. Most did sliders, a lot did CTAs (call to actions, very similar to the three widgets), but all had some way of displaying their latest sermons and news.

The only draw back to the change is expanding the length of the homepage. For some that is a good thing as it requires you to scroll more, while for others that can be an annoying thing to have to deal with. Some people like the simple lack of scrolling while others were indifferent about it.

The next item to change is the fonts, I want to clean them up a little more. I’ve already removed some of the built in fonts to this theme. I’d also like to get more photos of things going on in the church posted on the site again. We kind of got away from that in the last year, not to anyone’s fault but just because. Sometimes it is hard to get recent photos from a church that is so small (LCC is only ~80-100 active attenders).