Joseph Hallenbeck


June 29, 2018

Twenty Five Haunts

Filed under: Journal Wanderlust
The economist reports that people have roughly twenty-five usual haunts. Let’s consider what my haunts might be: Home Local Shopping Alpine Mainstreet (Foxfire, Country Market, The Grill, The Post Office) Springerville Market (Safeway, Western Drug) Showlow/Lakeside/Pinestop Market (Eddie’s Mountain Coffee) Big City Shopping ABQ Phoenix Tuscon The Local Trails Correction Road George’s Lake Luna Lake Terry Flat Unnamed NM Border USFS Road Blue River Mt. Baldy Area Greenwood Area Regional Hiking Haunts Clifton/Morenci Reserve/Glenwood Bluff, UT Wyoming/Idaho (Island Park, Driggs, Jackson Hole) Long-Distance Traveling Haunts Durham, NC Spearfish, SD Mt. Angel, OR San Diego, CA Rhinelander, WI Sioux Falls, SD...
February 02, 2018

Week One on Mastodon

Filed under: Journal
Giant scattering of random thoughts over the first week using Mastodon: God this interface is confusing. Local, federated timelines? Local timeline is just everyone posting publically on the instance Federated timeline is all posts on the instance plus any posts from federated instances that my instance are interacting with This is actually quite fun. The local timeline really encourages me to just reach out, favorite, “boost,” or reply to any public post that strikes my fancy. There’s a lot of really great conversation going on, particular about the nature of social media, technology, art. Advertising this as a “Twitter” clone...
July 28, 2017

Bullet Journals and Traveler Notebooks

Filed under: Journal
If Goodbye Trello, Hello Todo.txt didn’t reveal my roots as a day-planner fanatic then I’m sure this post will. This week, I sadly retire the Franklin Planner that has been by my side for the last twelve years. I never really followed the Franklin method, and over time my personal day planning strategy has relied less and less upon it’s features. The notes pages were never quite large enough to fit the reams of notes that I need for my work. The hourly planning lacked the ability to schedule in twenty-four blocks (who in this day and age keeps strictly...
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 In 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....
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:
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...
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...
February 15, 2016

2015 Reading & Media Review

Filed under: Journal part of Annual Reviews
So folks seem to be doing this: jotting down a list of the books, graphic novels, and films read or watched in 2015 with a short review of each. A few surprises hit me in looking through the list. First, I read a lot of non-fiction. Much more then typical in any given year. Second, I read very few novels: only three. While I read a great deal of graphic novels. What is not shown here is the vast number of short stories that I’ve been reading. I remember a teen being bored with short stories. How were we supposed...
February 09, 2016

A Brief Note on Moving

Filed under: Journal
There have been some requests for more information about my recent move. We found out that Jess had an offer for a new position in the Forest Service in Arizona near the end of the year. So we packed up our trailers and hit the road making our way south on 191 to our new home in York valley – roughly the middle of Greenlee County, one of the least populated counties in Arizona. Unfortunately, we had no housing immediately lined up. So we ended up living in a FEMA trailer behind the Forest Service. It’s a nice little place...
July 01, 2015

A Social Media Fast

Filed under: Journal
I’m taking a quarter off from Social Media – namely Facebook, Reddit, Slashdot, Twitter, Hacker News. I would unplug entirely from the Internet, but considering the Internet is my job, I don’t think my employer would be too hot on the idea on me attending sprint planning via post. My reason for this is simple: my information channels are becoming rather siloed. Facebook curates my news feed such that it is just an RSS feed of same two people over and over again. I don’t know why Facebook has decided that I want to hear every one of their posts...
February 07, 2015

2014 In Review

Filed under: Journal part of Annual Reviews
It is that time of year again, time for my retrospective. A look back on last year’s goals and a reflection on what I would like out of this year. It may be a month late for New Year’s resolutions, but I do get to them eventually. One thing that I started up last year was a much more rigorous interpretation of David Allen’s Getting Things Done. I used a similar process towards breaking down and getting to tasks in the past, but this last year was one where I focused much more on continuously revising my goals, recording what...
August 18, 2014

Weekly Round Up #2

Filed under: Journal
Tech News and Tutorials Super Pi Boy I have plans on creating what I call the “Raspberry Arcade” – a Raspberry PI with emulators to play all the old NES and Atari games of my youth that don’t work. This is just an amazing mod of a game boy and Rasberry PI into one. The Internet’s Original Sin Email Is Still the Best Thing on the Internet I think a theme for myself this week is really inter-operable protocols. These two articles really belong together since they are both discussing the essentially same thing. A transition from an internet where...
July 21, 2014

Weekly Round Up

Filed under: Journal
This is a new series I’m thinking of creating. It’s more for my use than it is for anyone else. A weekly list of all the blog posts, articles, videos, etc. that I uncover through the week that I found interesting or worthy of sharing. Tech News & Tutorials Using Bootstrap the Right (Semantic) Way An excellent look at how bootstrap is in some ways a regression back to table-based html and away from semantic html. This is something that has always bothered me a little about bootstrap – just how much it looks like a recreation of tables. Granted,...
January 01, 2014

2013 In Review

Filed under: Journal part of Annual Reviews
In the spirit of the season, I hope to do a little navel gazing. So, if reading through a pile of narcissistic schlock wherein I attempt to showcase just how amazing my life is, read on. Otherwise, it would be best to skip this. Honestly, I would not blame you at all. Professionally this year has held quite a roller coaster of changes. I changed firms, moving over to 44 Interactive. This brought with it a much wider range of responsibilities and opened doors into expanding my skills into a avenues that I had not yet explored. At the new...
September 14, 2013

Galleries are Broken

Filed under: Journal
I just noticed today that a combination of the newest version of the nextgen-gallery plugin with my custom jQuery and lightbox code succeeding in completely breaking support of both such that neither the nextgen galleries used in the Art and Photography sections nor the lightboxes used in various blog posts really work. If I have some time this weekend this will all be fixed up shortly. Updated: The problem seems to be documented already with the 2.0.21 build of NextGen. Since there is no fix for the problem and since I already have a lightbox solution installed in the theme...
August 18, 2013

Steam Summer Sale 2013

Filed under: Journal
Outside of a select handful of console titles that I absolutely adore (Zelda, Mario, Shin Megami, Okami, Team Ico), most of my gaming goes on via the PC. The Steam sales are thus regular points of interest in which I indulge myself in buying far more games than I could realistically play through in a year. To save myself from myself, I established a series of simple rules that I (mostly adhere to) where Steam sales are concerned I may only follow the summer sale. I may only make one purchase per day. So here’s my list of this year’s...
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...
The concept of feature creep is pretty well understood in the tech community. But I wonder what we would call the opposite? Feature decay? Feature half-life? Feature death? Since I started working full time in the tech industry, I have had precious little time to devout to revamping my personnal sites. This makes me sad, because I have learned so much and yet have no time to apply any of this newfound knowledge to these little side projects! So I set out with a plan. New templates for the portfolio and the webcomic. Also, I would spin my “Photo Journal”...
My fourth, and perhaps last, season at Jewel Cave came to a close on September 10, 2011. I started at JECA in 2008 as a college summer job and I was surprised when I found myself going back to the cave again for three additional seasons. Leaving the park service was a sad, but necessary move, and although I forswore the city of Sioux Falls when I graduated college – it looks like I’m back again! A lot of items have been on my plate over the last two months and only now am I starting to get a small...
First and foremost, I would like to announce the launch of the Wind-Up Culture Blog, my newest blog with a focus on my eclectic taste in film, literature and games. I hope that this (broader) topic will draw a larger audience of readers than my last failed attempt at creating a blog. Anyways, check over there as I hope to keep it regularly updated with reviews, critiques, and commentary about popular art in general. You may notice some minor changes to this site. First, I’ve moved all of my sites from JustHost over to a shiny new space at HostNexus...
February 02, 2011

Field Report

Filed under: Journal
The campaign continues as I work to spread my resume about to those employers who would take me. Nonetheless, morale weakens and I find myself dabbling more and more in various research projects. I assessed my skills over Christmas, and found myself rather diverse. I am a writer, graphic designer, photographer, and programmer. Fitting all of those into one job title is difficult. Fortunately, I find that a lot of rural areas I’m looking at are looking for weird hybrid web developers. Rural organizations are more likely to want someone who can design, code, and draft content for a site...
August 27, 2010


Filed under: Journal
Right now, I’m finishing my work with Sunset Office Cleaning and I hope to see their website live by the end of September. After that, expect some remodeling around here. I’ve decided that this particular site attempts to focus on too many of my activities at once. Ergo, I’m going to break into a sequence of sub-domains with each site focusing on a particular aspect of my work: web design/development, print design, photography, and writing. (I also hope to increase my output for Drifting in the Sea of Nihilism once the site development is done. Speculation continues as to where...
August 10, 2010

Hitting the Road Again

Filed under: Journal
Ploughshares says “no” to “Model Crow.” So once again, I’m off to the market to see where else this story might go. I discovered (to my chagrin) that many publications close their doors to submissions through the summer months, so although I sit on a nice stack of poems and stories ready for the slush pile, I’ve no where to send them. In the meantime, I concentrate on my website work. I began the process of splicing together Sunset Office Cleaning’s design and setting up the proper style sheets that will display their website brilliantly across the net. Once this...
July 21, 2010

Summer Update

Filed under: Journal
Amongst caving, hiking, and all that fun under the summer sun, I somehow find time to update this portfolio. A quick update on what’s going on right now: Drifting in the Sea of Nihilism celebrates one month of persistent updates! (consequently, I also celebrate twenty-five years of avoiding death). My short story “Model Crow,” is beginning to make the rounds to magazines. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping someone picks it up. I retooled large sections of the portfolio to reflect my growing push towards graphic design in web and print media. This includes updated resumes, an expansion of my...
I discovered webcomics back in high school, but my love of comics went a long ways back. I’ve collected comic books since grade school, loved Bill Waterson’s Calvin & Hobbes and Gary Larson’s Farside. I recall wanting to be a cartoonist in the third grade, and now it seems I’ve started to make that come true. Yesterday was the launch of Drifting in the Sea of Nihilism: Experiments in Comicking, my first stab into the world of webcomics. Drifting will update on Tuesdays and Thursdays following two separate storylines and possibly more as I continue to hone my skills at the craft...
VLP USD Dakota Hall 212 414 E Clark, Vermillion, SD 57069-2390 In other news, my time in the lovely city of Seattle is at an end. I elected to return to my post at Jewel Cave National Monument for another exciting season of leading visitors through the cave. Monument staff have already asked me to do a follow up of last year’s Jewel Cave Scout Ranger Booklet in the form of a new publication: The Jewel Cave Jr. Spelunker Booklet.
I am excited to announce that my first professional publication for the National Park Service is now available. I got a call yesterday saying the print copy of the Jewel Cave Scout Ranger Activity Booklet is back from the printers and is now available at Jewel Cave National Monument. My copy is still in the mail, but if the test prints indicate anything, the final print will be one of the highest quality free publications the park service offers. If you are a scouting or youth organization planning a visit to the Black Hills of South Dakota, please take time...
January 22, 2010

A Statement of Purpose

Filed under: Journal
My experience in blogging indicates that without some statement of why the blog exists or what the blog will cover the blog will gradually sink into a meandering journal of the author’s random thoughts. I know this, because I have blogs filled with my random musings. Let this one be different. Let it focus more on informing others rather than introspectively informing myself. What might you find here in future entries? Announcements relating to my upcoming publications, current writings, and work. A highlight of my photographs and artwork Short essays on philosophy, travelogues, and art reviews