Jeff Geerling's blog

Basement Home Office Build

Sorry for the radio silence over the past couple months—I've been quite busy! In addition to finishing up my responsibilities at my old job (I'm going to start my new job at Acquia in just a week!), I've had a bunch of crazy, fun, and interesting things happen lately:

  • My new baby girl was born a little over a week ago—and that makes two... a 20-month old and a 1.5-week old.
  • Said 20-month old boy grew up in the two days we went to the hospital for the birth of our little girl. When did he get so big?!
  • I made a little progress on my book, Ansible for DevOps, and the book is inching towards 1,000 readers pre-publication... which boggles my mind!
  • I built a home office and am getting prepared for another stint of working remote from the home (or wherever else is convenient and conducive to great work!).

Doorway - Basement Home Office Framing
Completed framing for the new office. My spirits were soaring, but drywalling would soon take its toll and teach me that some things are best left to the pros. See full album of images »

The home office build took a little over a month (for the major construction portion—I'll be rearranging for weeks!), and was an awesome experience. I took a ton of pictures and made many, many notes in an album I posted to Imgur, and discussed in a thread on Reddit that blew up with over 2,000 upvotes!

I just wanted to mention the home office on my blog, since from time to time I take the chance to share some of the things I learn about building things, and I always like hearing from others ways I could've changed the process, tools, or final product to make it better. Since I'll likely be doing some more work in the basement in the next 20-40 years, I tried to learn as many lessons as I could from this first 12' x 12' project. Like "never ever ever finish drywall again."

The new baby has made life a little hectic, especially with a toddler, but I've heard going from 1 to 2 kids is the hardest—after that they start getting easier. I hope!

A New Job (2014 edition)

In 2008, I started working for the Archdiocese of St. Louis, my first job where I ended up working on Drupal sites practically full-time (my first Drupal experience was on 4.x in 2005). I also started Midwestern Mac, LLC in 2008, and from that time to now have built two SaaS services (Hosted Apache Solr and Server Check.in), and over 100 other Drupal 6 and Drupal 7 sites, along with a few mobile apps and a Mac app (Quick Resizer).

In 2011, I moved on to Flocknote, and learned a lot building a Drupal-based communications platform used by more than half a million people. This was also a full-time remote job, and I worked with a small but very strong team from Texas, Missouri, Florida, and Tennessee.

In 2013, I went to Mercy and worked on a major intranet migration (Drupal 6 to Drupal 7) and Mercy.net, the hospital system's patient-facing site, which runs on Drupal 7.

I am proud to have worked with all the individuals and companies these past few years, and am indebted to all of them for the support and professional development they've offered—each in a unique way. Throughout my work, I have had the good fortune to be able to learn other languages, tools, and techniques, even to the point of writing a book on Ansible! I have also become a husband and father, and been able to do some great things in my Church, my community, and the Drupal community.

Acquia Logo

This year, I'm moving to Acquia! Acquia is one of the largest Drupal service providers, and I'll be working in the Professional Services group as a Technical Architect. In this new role, I'll be able to help even more organizations do amazing things with Drupal. I've only been to Acquia's Boston HQ once, but I already feel like a part of the team, as I've been in numerous Hangouts and chats (I'll be working remotely from St. Louis—new home-office-building project, yay!).

To all my co-workers at Mercy: thanks for the great time and fun projects we've worked on together. Keep fighting for the users! To my new co-workers at Acquia: I'm excited to join you guys, and look forward to seeing you starting October 6!

Yet Again: Catholics, please stop stealing artwork and graphics!

I feel like a broken record... yet again, I was perusing the Internet (this time, Twitter), and then I noticed an illustration—a very familiar one—of the Roman collar (the white collar worn by priests):

@Boutleg didn't create the graphic; it looks like uCatholic originally posted the graphic on Facebook, where it was shared and reshared thousands of times, and liked (through that network of shares) many thousands of times.

Regardless, that graphic is the logo of the Priestie Boyz, and was lifted directly off the home page:

Priestie Boyz home page

As I've stated in my previous post on this topic, Catholics are NOT excused from licensing or copyright law. Besides the fact that I would've immediately given permission for the image's use if a tag were added to the graphic attributing the source, I spent a lot of time working on that graphic, getting the curves just right, taking a bunch of different photos to get a good angle to distinctly show the collar, and a bit of money on Adobe Illustrator, which was used to create the vector artwork.

Please, please, please attribute sources (at a minimum), and ask image and photo owners for permission before spreading them around, especially on social media, where proper attribution is a very tricky business!

A Busy Spring!

Between writing a book on Ansible, coaching volleyball at De Smet, preparing presentations for STL.JS and DrupalCon, and—lest I forget the most important responsibility of all—being a loving father and husband (see photo below!), I haven't had more than a minute to spare for writing for this blog, or processing some of the fun photos I've taken of ducks, deer, a fox, or feral cats running around our house!

Every Superhero Needs a Sidekick

Even with the bustle, I feel more calm now than I have for a while. Last year, at this time, I was in the hospital suffering from a terrible bout of mono (which attacked me while my immune system was being suppressed by one of my Crohn's-related drugs!). That experience gives me perspective, and I try to remember the thoughts that were going through my head the night I was in the ICU, asking for my pastor to anoint me, just in case...

In the midst of the hustle and bustle of your life, remember your purpose, your dignity, and that you are in control of your stress, your worries, and your fears. Keep calm and carry on!

The Easy Chicken - Backyard eggs in St. Louis, MO

My sister's family just started a new St. Louis-area business, The Easy Chicken, providing resources to those interested in raising chickens in an urban or suburban environment.

The Easy Chicken Logo

There are some potentially difficult and time-consuming aspects to keeping chickens in an urban environment: acquiring chickens, seeking permits or licenses from particular municipalities, finding a source for feed, coops, and other materials, and finding reliable information about keeping chickens healthy. The Easy Chicken's tagline is Backyard eggs made easy, and they have the easy part nailed down, as they'll help anyone through all the different steps, and provide all the necessary supplies (including guaranteed-to-lay hens!).

Check out The Easy Chicken's website for much more information, and please pass along the link to anyone you know who might be interested in raising chickens and having some fresh eggs and fun, finely-feathered pets!

Sessions at DrupalCon and DrupalCamp

I mentioned this elsewhere (see: DrupalCon and DrupalCamp news), but I'll post here as well; I'm going to be speaking at both DrupalCon Austin and DrupalCamp St. Louis this year!

I've submitted a few sessions to DrupalCon Austin in the past, mostly surrounding the Honeypot module for Drupal, but this year, a session I submitted in the DevOps track was chosen: DevOps for Humans: Ansible for Drupal Deployment Victory!. I figured since I'm writing a book on Ansible, and I use Ansible to provision servers and do all the deployments for my Drupal sites, I might as well show other Drupal developers how easy it is to get started and how much you can do with Ansible!

I'll also be delivering two sessions at DrupalCamp St. Louis 2014, on April 26 in Clayton, MO (just outside of the city of St. Louis); one on Drupal 8 (a show-and-tell), and one on Server Check.in (a case study).

If you're a Drupalist, I hope to see you at one of these events!

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