About

Let’s be blunt. This is my personal website. Period. No questions ask. These are my own thoughts, beliefs, insane rants, etc . . . and no one else’s. Just making sure that there are no questions about that.

Bio

profeddiebin the flesh

Basically, I have been a Chicagan (almost) my whole life. I live within the city limits on the Northwest side of the city with my wife (Juli), kids (Gaby, Sydney, Hayden and Dylan) and dog (Raven). We are a crunchy groovey unschooling (homeschooling) family that enjoys a good book, pizza/movie Friday nights and dance parties.

Since 1994 (yes, I remember when Netscape 1.1 was the best thing since sliced bread – tables), I have been working for very large banks as a web design/developer. I worked at Citibank when it was rolling out its first version of internet banking. My big achievement there was designing the Help sections and login screens, along with working on the interactive marketing kiosk (director 4.0) for internet banking.

For the past 8 years, I have been working for Nationsbank/Bank of America (got to love mergers), designing and coding on an array of intra, extra and interent sites – everything from Foreign Exchange trading applications, to portals and information sites. For more details, go to the work section of this site.

My Interests

The following is a list of topics I am most likely to talk about on my site.

Family

It is what I am most interested in these days. I have 4 great kids and an amazing wife, how can I not go on and on about them

Web Design/Development

Having worked in this business for over 12 years, working on extremely varied projects, I have some strong opinions. Wouldn’t you?

Travel

My wife Juli was the culprit here. She convinced me to travel around the world for a year, and I have been hooked ever since.

Running

I was always somewhat athletic, however since we had Gaby 9 years ago, I really was not that active. That changed 4 years ago. Good friends from England (Eamon and Glenn) come to stay with us and run the Chicago Marathon. Inspired by them and the whole marathon experience, I have been running ever since, having complete two marathons and countless smaller races.

Unschooling/Homeschooling

My kids do not go to school. We also do not have any scrict curriculum we follow. We teach, but covertly. And we read, constantly our kids. It is always amazing to me thaqt when I start getting really worried about our approach for raising our kids, and that they are not getting enough structured learning, my kids always come through with some breakthrough, and make me feel like we made the right choice.

Code

This site is coded using XHTML 1.0 Transitional. The site also uses CSS for all layout and style information

Why?

My reason is purely selfish and self-serving. I am not taking any higher moral position with why you should use them. I use them because they ultimately make my life easier. I work for a large bank. We like to merge with other banks. We like to change branding guidelines on a whim every few months. This can be truely madding. Before CSS nad xHTML really become mainstream, a re-design of a site meant long hours, developer participation. Re-branding a site would be a project onto itself, and take weeks, if not months to deliver. I’ve participated on projects like that, and they are never fun.

Two years ago, we starting working on a complete upgrade and overhaul of a document repository application for the bank. The bank standard brwoser was finally a more modern browser, and we decided to use xHTML and heavily rely on CSS for both layout and style information. Since this was a complete overhaul of the system, the whole project was slated to last 6-8 months. Within those months, a new marketing campain for the bank was pushed forth, and new branding guidelines for internal applications were put forth. Since coding had already begun, changing any HTML was out of the question.

Web Standards to the rescue. We created a few new mockups, applying the new branding. Got signoff on branding. Then proceeded to rework the CSS, and replace a few images. No code changes were needed, so no developer time. And changing the CSS too 8-10 hours of work. This made us look extremely good in the eyes of everyone, branding, developers, project managers, and upper management. Cost/time savings were huge.

Save time, do it right the first time.

Just a side note: ultimately, that project was cancelled, because the development time was way over budget. So our work never got to see the light of day.

Site

Here is a list of tools/services I used to create my site, given credit where it is due:

  • WordPress
    I cannot go on enough about this open sourced blogware. Although calling it blogware is really selling it short. With all the plugin that are available, I actually can use it as a content management system. The plugins I use are falbum – a flickr plugin, Include Page and Run PHP.
  • Flickr
    I would have to say, without a doubt, one of the best web applications available, if not the best. The fact that they provide this service for free for many, is unbelievable.
  • Sonnet 7
    I have been extremely happy with my hosting from Sonnet7. Besides all the great features of their hosting packages, their customer services has been incredible. Most email inquries, have been returned and answer within 5-10 minutes. Really!

12,700 thoughts on “About

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