Joseph Hallenbeck


August 18, 2013

Features Decay – The Threat Becomes Reality

Filed under: Journal — Joseph @ 9:00 pm

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A year ago, I promised a complete site overall. “It all has to go!” I said as I started revising stylesheets and pulling apart templates.

Then suddenly, I took a year break from blogging.

The thing was, that as I started to revise the site I began to realize that the whole thing lacked the certain kind of voice and insight that I had hoped to achieve. It felt rather forced.

The site itself did not help much. The template was a kludge of spaghetti code hammered together over a drunken weekend in college and looked nothing like the simplicity of modern design. Indeed, the style-sheets were endless reams of overrides and the WordPress dashboard a mess of conflicting plugins.

I knew that I could do better, but I had no time for it. Disheartened, I stopped blogging altogether.

It helped, that at the same time, there was a sudden rush of crunch time at work, family weddings and holidays. My girlfriend getting a job first in Hulett, Wyoming and then Ashton, Idaho. In all of this, I found myself back on the job market trying to find a better position to cover the housing costs in what is a rather expensive Midwestern city. I landed at 44Interactive who promptly put me to work as a back-end web developer.

I found myself graduating from building modules for off-the-shelf CMSes (Joomla and WordPress) and into the realm of MVC frameworks and Dev-Ops. I took up the reins of Systems Administrator, switching my OS to Ubuntu, cracking my head against the Linux Documentation Library and straightening out a series of complex system of servers that had grown organically for far too long. I set up PCI compliant production servers, I created Dev servers for users to work off, and mastered working off a local LAMP stack and organizing my GIT flow to integrate into the new teams work.

Meanwhile, I spent my weekends driving through each of South Dakota’s winter storms to see Jess and then into the Spring and Summer making the longer commute to telework from Idaho. Even today, I am moving piecemeal out to the Caribou-Targhee area were I will be permanently teleworking from now on.

Through all of this, I felt like I had no time to write, no time to draw. But then this last month, I picked up my pens and realized how very much I missed them and the tranquility of sitting down to simply create. (more…)




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