Joseph Hallenbeck
About two years ago I started muddling on a small project to update this blog. At the time, I felt that there was a need to create something that better reflected both my growth in design and front-end sensiblities but also my perspective on how we ought to approach our relationship with the web. The blog itself has gone through many fine iterations since college. For a while it served as a platform for attracting employment interest. Now, that I am established, it is slowly becoming a platform for posting “anything and nothing” that crosses my mind. The get-me-hired aspects...
July 07, 2017

The Desert List

Filed under: Literary Criticism
“One cannot read a book: one can only reread it” – Nabokov I woke this morning thinking about re-reading The Lord of the Rings. The last stab at the thick volume I made while at Oxford in 2008. A childhood friend reads the entire thing on an annual basis. Which brings me around to another question. If I examine the entirety of my library and was given the choice of only a select few books to read and re-read for eternity which volumes would that entail? It is said that the quality of a litrary work is measured in our...
May 11, 2017

Pen Obsessed

Filed under: Journal
Lately, I have been thinking a little too much about my writing implements. You see, I have always been slightly picky about my writing tools and a little to amused by nice paper and inks. The stationary aisle in any store is my treat. As such, I have collected far too much odd-and-end pens and pencils over the years. An assortment of half-filled notebooks before I moved on with anticipation to a fresh clean notebook. So for several years now, I have resisted the temptation towards new notebooks and now, as I open my paper drawer and see only a...
May 05, 2017

2016 Annual Review

Filed under: Journal part of Annual Reviews
My annual retrospective is running a bit late this year. Probably because there has been so many big life-changing developments in the last year. This has inspired a great deal of introspection and anxiety. I describe 2016 as a very necessary year. Not an enjoyable year, but a year where I was mostly reactionary to a long sequence of unavoidable events that started with the totaling of Ford Explorer in late 2015 and leading up to the eventual first-home purchase. Personal Highlights Existentialism The year of necessity has become my description of 2016. Everything happened because it had to happen....
January 12, 2017

2016 Cultural Review

Filed under: Literary Criticism part of Annual Reviews
A quick run down of all the films, shows, books and games watched, read and played over the last year. Film & Shows This was the year of film. Starting in the FEMA trailer in Clifton, the big screen TV that came with the new house. We had every excuse to watch movies. We are running low on Hitchcock and Price films at this point. There are so many of them (over 30 in total!) that I can’t give time for each. Instead, I’ll just break each down to a letter grade. Not mentioned, but started Steven Universe, FMA: Brotherhood,...
August 07, 2016

Social Media Fast 2.2

Filed under: Journal
So we are going into the first week of the Social Media Fast. Said my goodbyes to Facebook and Twitter on Monday and hit the road for the wild open web. I get a weird sense of excitment about the project. Odd thoughts about all this new free time I will find in the next couple months. What exciting new web comics or blogs will I uncover trying to stem my boredom? The first step for our great fast is to set up a /etc/hosts file to block out the most time consuming of the social networks: 127.0.0.1 facebook.com 127.0.0.1...
July 28, 2016

Wordpress to Jekyll

Filed under: Software Development
I am currently undergoing a process of slowly converting this and my other blogs from WordPress to Jekyll. One of the first items that I needed to account for was converting all of the posts from WordPress into Markdown for use by Jekyll. Jekyll itself provides a process for importing, but I was intially displeased with the results. I want my posts exported into Markdown files so I can continue to retain them in a simple plaintext format that can be post-processed into a variety of typesettings be it online or perhaps a print format. The default setting only outputs...
July 16, 2016

Social Media Fast 2

Filed under: Journal
A year ago, I did a fast from Social Media. From July 2015 until the end of September I went without Facebook, Reddit, Slashdot, Twitter, and Hacker News. I never really did much of a post mortem for the project. There is a lot of very interesting writing going on these days about the topic of social media and information overload. We see bottomless bowls of information designed to operate like skinner boxes while providing little real value. The age of distraction. Which has a direct effect on our ability to concentrate. And a nagging feeling that the internet has...
In 2013, I was fresh on my switch from Windows to Linux as my full-time OS. I was reading books like David Allen’s Getting Things Done and looking for a good digital planning system. Enter Gina Trapani’s Todotxt script. Todo.txt allowed for command line todo lists. Every was stored in a plaintext file, easily editable with any text editor or automated via the command line. I used it for roughly a year. At the time I both loved and hated using Todo.txt. On the one hand, it was easily automated. I could set up daily and weekly tasks to be...
February 17, 2016

2015 In Review

Filed under: Journal part of Annual Reviews
Time for the annual retrospective. We can look back on last year’s and reflect on the last year and my resolutions for this new year. This last year was truly a year of unexpected surprises from switching employers to totaling my precious Ford Explorer after eleven years of use, to a wild last minute wintery move from Jackson, WY to a small trailer in Greenlee County Arizona. Professional Development The new year brought with it a new employer, Research Square, where I joined a dedicated team of professionals working on both the website and internal tooling of a medium-sized, fast...