Bryan Ruby


Thoughts, Words, and Deeds

Family

My Son's Fool

Yesterday, I was the victim of an April Fool's prank. When you have a young teenager in the house, I suppose it's inevitably going to happen. I walked into my office and found Teletubbies on the screen. If there is a children's show I have to pick as my least favorite it is the Teletubbies. To make things worse, as the IT expert at both home and work I couldn't figure out how to get the video off my screen.

Well played my son. To be honest, this is the first of your April Fool's pranks that I didn't see coming. Now that I'm aware you're getting smarter and more devious, I'll be better prepared for you next year. 

For the record, growing up it was the character Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street I liked the most. Let's not also forget another one of my favorites, the Adventures of Letterman via the Electric Company.   

My Personal Goodbye to CMS Report

CMS Report Logo

Over the years, I've told people that CMS Report is a side business. While I would never become rich from this blog, I've been lucky enough to have been able to put a little extra cash in my wallet from this website's ad revenue. In truth, what has actually sustained CMS Report is not money but my passion for information systems. I absolutely love this magical process where people, hardware, software, and infrastructure come together to improve the business or organization. A decade ago, I could find no better example of information systems in the real world than the content management system. I decided to write about CMSs and created a blog and website to host those articles. After spending ten years as this site's founder, editor, and primary writer I've decided it is time for me to move on to some new challenges.

What an amazing and crazy ride this has been for someone that started his career as a meteorologist and now works full time in government IT. This was supposed to be a one year exercise for feeding my hunger to learn more about CMSs. Instead, this became a ten year project that tapped into a community of developers, marketers, analysts, founders, executives, small business owners, and entrepreneurs. It has been a joy to have met so many creative, smart, and hardworking people through this website. I received more than I gave. But in the past few years, my passion to write only about CMS topics has diminished and I'm not happy that my articles lack the shine they once had. After considerable thought, I've decided it's time for me to pass the torch to another.

Social Media Killed the Family Website

Image of Bryansplace.com from around 2003

For the first time in 15 years, my family doesn't have a website to call their own. In January 2000, I registered the domain Bryansplace.com. This was the first website I ever built outside of work and it became a sandbox for me to express my interests as well as a way to seek personal growth. From handwritten HTML pages into Frontpage to a number of CMSs, the software and content at Bryansplace evolved as my life evolved.

Bryansplace.com was the website where my girlfriend and I announced our marriage to the world. As a married couple, we eventually publicly announced the birth of our son via the site. This domain was the site where I talked about camping, computers, and my latest beer recipes. It wasn't all about me either. My wife showcased her photography for the first time online via Bryansplace. This was also the website my son learned how to navigate the Drupal content management system and talk about his gaming skills. Bryansplace.com was synonymous with "family news". Despite how much I valued the domain, last week I unceremoniously killed the website.

Red Stool

Red Stool

I wonder where that old red stool from my childhood went?

This little stool is mine
I use it all the time
to reach the things I couldn't
and lots of things I shouldn't.

 

 

Her Story: Karen and the F-16

Karen Ruby getting ready in the F-16 2-seater

Not long ago, my wife retired from the Air National Guard after having previously served in the U.S. Marine Corps. With 24 years of military experience, those that serve are almost always bound to walk away with a story or two to tell. This is one of those stories. In January 2006, Karen was given the opportunity to fly in the backseat of an F-16 (General Dynamics Fighting Falcon). Below, in her own words is what Karen experienced during that flight. She originally wrote this on our family blog that we're shutting down, but I felt compelled to make sure her story lived on within the contents of this blog.

Since retirement, Karen has become an accomplished photographer and is currently employed by a local capital investment group. 

Judging CMSs and a Brief Update

Packt Publishing recently asked me to be a judge for their Open Source Content Management System Award. You can find a brief bio and mug shot of me on their judges page.

For my non-IT friends, content management systems are basically software applications you place on the Internet server that are quickly replacing the old "flat file" format. For example, I use a CMS to blog about CMS as well as this site. Yea, my website needs some work done to it...perhaps when cold weather returns to South Dakota. Despite what you might think from the bio, I'm still with the National Weather Service and currently don't have the time or resources to make my "side business" in information technology anything more than a hobby. If IT positions were ever "downsized" in the NWS, though I know exactly what I would be doing for work.

Right now, I'm not working on any big projects...and for the summer that's great as this is a busy "travel" time for the family. With Karen having an option to retire from the military, she's looking into photography and we headed last week to Kansas City for a Nikon camera workshop. Meanwhile, Logan is growing like a weed and already seems on the road to being smarter and more athletic than his dad.

Spring 2006

Logan at his new swing set

Karen and I posted some new pictures in our photo album. These pictures are from Easter 2006 and the rest of Spring 2006. During that time we celebrated our fifth anniversary and made a trip to Kansas City. The night of our anniversary was spent dining at the Plaza and staying at a nearby hotel. Logan spent the time being entertained by his Grandparents and this was really our first time away from Logan as a couple.

Over the past few weeks, I put together Logan's new swing set. The "two to four hour" project took one full day and several evenings. Logan didn't seem to mind though...

Logan and Spaghetti

My son and his spaghetti

Here is a nice picture of our son while eating his spaghetti dinner.  It's hard to believe that this boy once won a "cutest baby" contest, isn't it?   In Logan's defense, this was taken on Friday evening just after our "movie night".  Obviously, he had his eyes more on the TV and less at his plate.  In fact he was so much into the movie (Monsters Inc) that he didn't realize he ate four dishes of spaghetti.

Fridays have become the one time we allow our family to eat dinner in front of the TV and not at the kitchen table.  The change from routine allows some funtime for the end of the work week.  Mom and Dad don't mind at all...

Thanksgiving 2005

Logan and Preston at the Speedway

I finally had a chance to pull Thanksgiving photographs from the digital camera. I'll eventually get the pictures online and sent in email when time allows. My family, my sister's family, and my Uncle Ron were in Kansas City for Thanksgiving dinner at my folks. You never know how small a house is until you put 9 people together to share three bedrooms and 1 shower. With Logan and Preston sharing the same room, I'm not sure how much sleep any of us got. However, Preston and Logan seemed to enjoy each other's company and we all enjoyed seeing them together. I have no doubt when the two cousins get together in the coming years that there will be more games and adventure for them to discover.