Joseph Hallenbeck

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.

The New Sites

The site you see comprises my last two years of professional growth. A new modern design emphasizing a better typography, white-space and subtleties in a well structured Word Press template. All the articles have converted to markdown in order to give them a uniform look and to escape from the trap of trying to design new layouts for each article. Comments now use the Disqus system to provide single authentication logins and to hopefully encourage greater user interaction – which until now has been mostly non-existent.

My hosting has also moved. I am putting my Linux administration to good use and hosting this off my own personal VPS provided by Digital Ocean. now serves as my primary host managed 100% by yours truly. The domain is now retired with my existing and future projects ( Dreamscapes and The Wind Up Blog moved to subdomains of our new host.

Likewise, The Wind-Up Bird features the same template and markdown improvements as my main blog and Dreamscapes will be ported to a custom Silex CMS whose design I plain to layout over the next few months.

To the right, you will find links to my LinkedIn profile and Bitbucket accounts, the latter which I hope to begin slowly incorporating new OSS projects.

Expect a complete overhaul of this site’s pages, and a return to regular articles. Particularly, I hope to address Javascript architecture, the pitfalls of Code Igniter, tips for administering CentOS/Ubuntu servers, a series of articles laying out how to quickly mock up a simple CMS using Silex, and my adventures exploring independent game development using the PyGame and PyGlet frameworks for Python.

"Features Decay - The Threat Becomes Reality" by Joseph Hallenbeck is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.