My name is Brian Ward, and my wife Jami and I used to own an aquarium store in Sacramento on the corner of Madison Avenue and Dewey (from 2006-2010). I bought this domain name at that time, with the expectation that it would one day be used for e-commerce. The truth is, I probably won't have time for this anytime in the near future - and if so, I would likely be developing the website for hire. If you are interested in this domain, please send offers to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I also have two other pet-related domain names for sale -- REPTILE.US and LIZARD.US.
A bit about myself
I am a long-time computer user, starting with my first TRS-80 mini color computer in, let's say 1983 (that would put me at 6 years old). The same year my dad acquired an IBM XT (4.77Mhz), later on to the Tandy 1000SX (which was an 8088 processor) and of course the 286 with a monochrome screen, 386SX (no math-coprocessor), on to the 486 and Pentiums.
I ran a BBS for many years and even developed my own BBS software (direct COM port communications) as well as several BBS doors for the community. Some of my software can still be found in BBS file lists on the internet. I was part of the Fidonet echomail network and I even started my own echomail network (had about 100 BBS nodes at it's peak). At the time, because of my programming abilities - I was anxious to replace all of the low-level software that I used on a normal basis, from search tools to the front-end echomail clients to graphical DOS tools - like Norton Change Directory (NCD).
In high school I competed in computer programming competitions and took first place 3 years in a row (competing against about 60 students) in the regional competitions. The state competitions (Indiana) were comprised of the top 3 from each region (again, about 60 students). I took first place in these competitions all three years as well. Finally, the national competitions which took place in Atlanta, San Francisco, and somewhere else I can't remember -- I placed in the top six. At this level, it's really difficult for someone to judge your coding abilities over another person.
When I was 16 years old, a newspaper article written about my accomplishments prompted an entrepreneur to hire me to develop software for Windows 3.1, which was sold to hundreds of high school athletic offices around the states of Indiana/Illinois. I developed several other tools for the IHSAA (Indiana High School Athletic Association) including a primitive "data collection" disk that all of the high schools would pop in their drive, fill out the form, and mail back to the main office.
When I was 19 years old, I moved to Sacramento. In 1999 I landed myself at a full-service web development firm (owned, operated, and employed by 20 somethings like myself) servicing big name clients like K-Mart, Avaya, NapaStyle, Landmark Education, and the Lucky Brand of Companies (Lucky Chances Casino, Lucky Money, Lucky Tours). After the internet bubble exploded, all but 3 of the company's employees remained to continue working on projects. After 6 years I was still working on projects for my clients, mostly in the San Francisco bay area - particularly Landmark Education - for which I had migrated an application called CIS 3.0 (developed in VB 3.0) to CIS 4.0 (a web based application) using ASP 3.0 and later .NET. Even in these early days of web development, I was using AJAX techniques by posting data to hidden forms and manipulating the parent frame. This allowed me to produce extremely responsive interfaces for this intranet application.
In 2006 we opened the aquarium store. It was my hobby, and we were the largest saltwater-only aquarium store in Sacramento with 4500 gallons in total. It was a lot of fun driving to the bay area each week with my wife and hand selecting all of the new corals, fish, and invertebrates - including some rarities, nautilus, octopus, colorful sponges and tunicates, or anything unusual. We closed this business in 2010 after moving to a new (larger) location.
Around this same time, one of my aquarium shop customers (Alexis McGee of Foreclosures.Com) caught wind of my web development background and brought her husband to meet me. This led to another 5 year relationship where I built a full-featured content management, subscription management, and data processing engine for the 20,000 foreclosure listings that we received daily. This also led to very creative data performance tuning techniques, including using replicated databases with different sets of indexes to serve targeted web searches. Needless to say, the burst of the housing bubble also affected Foreclosures.Com, which relied heavily on coaching and foreclosure investment education for income. After a few years, we were down from 21 employees to just me and the two owners.
Nowadays I work for a pet supply distribution company building backend, client/server, and web solutions.