18 Apr

Decided it was time to check in. I’ve been HORRIBLE at keeping this updated, but I guess nobody reads it so what does it matter… Ha!

Anyway, things have been going great at Kent Nutrition Group. Since I’ve been there, I’m constantly amazed at how much there is for a web developer to do. But I’ve rebuilt numerous websites in the past year and a half and learned a ton in the process.

WevDevKev logoBut I’m writing tonight to talk about another exciting adventure in my life. Introducing WebDevKev!

Recently, CURE Solutions decided to get out of the web development business, so I agreed to help out their existing clients. This also has opened many opportunities for me as I’m now able to take on additional clients.

So, if you have an existing website that could use some updates, maintenances, or a facelift, give me a shout! I’d also be happy to build a brand new site for you, or help with social media networking for your business. I can handle pretty much anything web-related.

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Thanks for the CURE

09 Jun

Tomorrow is my last day as a full-time employee of CURE Solutions.

It’s been nearly one year since I made one of the hardest decisions of my life. Closing Backslash Technologies was downright painful; it was a huge part of my life for over 12 years.

When the time came to pick up the pieces — and store them in the garage along with a ton of old computer parts — Sam Boyer was kind enough to help me out. He offered me a steady paycheck and the opportunity to continue doing what I love. I was, and still am, very appreciative.

CURE Solutions has a great team of smart individuals, and I’ve learned a lot from each one. I was also lucky enough to continue working with two of my former employees from Backslash (John Newkirk and Chris Davis) and met several new friends. I also had the opportunity to do some remote computer support, something that I wanted to do at Backslash but never was able to pull it all together.

The time has come to move on, though.

I’ve accepted the role as Web/Technology Developer for Kent Nutrition Group, part of Muscatine Foods. In my new position, I will surely face new and exciting challenges, but the first is leaving my new friends at CURE (at least on a daily basis).

Thankfully, Sam has extended his kindness to allow me to work part-time for CURE as a remote employee. I’ll continue performing my web development and some marketing duties for CURE’s clients while working full-time for Kent Nutrition Group. This seems to be a great arrangement as it will give me something to do while I’m staying several nights each week alone in Muscatine. I’m not naive; I realize that it may not work as planned. But I’m once again grateful for the opportunity.

I’ll write more about my new job later, but I just wanted to say “thanks” to everyone at CURE for being so accepting and helpful to me over the past year.

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My favorite 404 error so far…

30 Apr

My favorite 404 error so far

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Up again WAY too early…

26 Mar

Heather and I went to bed shortly after the kids last night. Usually we stay up at least a couple of hours later, but both of us were wiped out by yet another busy week. So, we streamed a couple of Parks and Rec episodes (thanks, Netflix!) and hit the sack.

About two and a half hours later, I was wide awake.   =(

So, I laid in bed for an hour or so, trying to get back to sleep. No luck. My mind began to dwell on all of the things I need to accomplish, both at work and in my personal life. I hate it when the week ends with unfinished work. I have two machines sitting at work that I wanted to get out the door by yesterday’s close of business.

ADD Moment: Why is my MacBook Pro running at 169 degrees? Sorry, just noticed that…

Well, at least there was entertainment for a while on the police scanner. A high-speed chase going south on Highway 61 — I picked it up when they were south of Montrose and heading towards Keokuk — ended up in a 10-50 in Keokuk. It’s been quiet since.

Another few things on my plate for the weekend: I’m taking the Cub Scouts to the Lee County Jail this afternoon (in about 12 hours). I’ve never been there (thank God!) so it’ll be just as interesting to me, I think. Also, Heather has big plans for the annual After-Cookie-Sales-Spring-Cleaning. Yay.   =(

I’m glad I’m posting this. I really miss writing and teaching; I’d like to do much more of both.

Hopefully we’ll talk soon. Take care!

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I… umm… forgot the password… ?

09 Jan

Okay, I don’t have a great reason for neglecting this blog. I could fill you full of excuses, but basically I wasn’t in the mood or was too busy.

A lot has happened since my last post. After its nomination as Small Business of the Year by the Fort Madison Chamber of Commerce, I made the painful decision to close my business of 12 years. Backslash Technologies is now just a collection of memories — mostly good ones.

Sometime in early June, the writing was pretty much on the wall, but I refused to give up. Not because I’m any kind of hero or anything, mind you. It was more about being gripped by such fear that I didn’t know what else to do but to keep showing up at work. When it was clear I couldn’t afford payroll, I laid the last two employees off. A little over a week later, I closed the doors for good and moved out the remaining inventory.

A lot of people have asked why I closed Backslash. I think most can guess that money was the main issue; they would be right. I was tired. I was exhausted with worry about how to keep things moving forward. The local economy has never been great (at least in my lifetime), and the country’s world’s economic problems just made everyone tighten their budgets that much more. Running a retail computer store in a sagging economy with competition from the Internet, Walmart, and even grocery stores, is just something that I didn’t see as a long-term possibility anymore.

There’s a lot more to tell, and maybe I’ll do that over time on this blog, but I’m kind of done feeling sorry for myself. God has blessed us so much and that’s what I’d like to concentrate on from now on.

Sam Boyer from CURE Solutions gave me a call a week or so after I closed and asked what my plans were. I was working from home, trying to maintain repair services for Backslash customers. A few weeks later, I put on a tie — I’m *still* trying to talk Sam out of that idea! — and started working for CURE, developing web sites and helping with marketing.

I thought that working for a former competitor would be harder than it is. It turns out that CURE is full of great people with a similar passion for helping people with technology as I have. Don’t get me wrong; some days it is a challenge. I still go through worry and regret regularly.

And we aren’t out of the woods yet. But I recognize that I’m very lucky to be where I’m at and have what I have at this point. My wife and family are happy and (relatively) healthy; and I’m able to continue working with technology in my hometown with some great coworkers.

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Congratulations to the nominees and winners!

21 May

While we at Backslash are honored to be nominated for Fort Madison’s Small Business of the Year, we would like to give a special congratulations to the other nominees and especially the winners announced this morning.

2010 Small Business AwardsSmall Business Person of the Year Nominees
Aaron Feagain, Air Evac Lifeteam
Bill Faeth, Faeth’s Cigar Store
Dr. Kristin Maus, Drs. Smith, Smith, & Maus Optometry
Bonnie Howard, The Bookmark
Diane Spiekermeier, The Flower Cottage
Chuck Vandenberg, KFC/Taco Bell
Tim and Lauri Wondra, Wondra Family Chiropractic

Small Business of the Year Nominees
Angel Scents
Backslash Technologies (w00t!)
Fort Madison Ready Mix
Fort Madison Football, Inc.
Kempker’s True Value
SunnyBrook Assisted Living
Under the Sun

And the winners are…
Small Business Person of the Year: Bonnie Howard, The Bookmark
Small Business of the Year: Pendemonium

Once again, congratulations to each and every nominee. We are humbled to be included in such a great group of businesses and people. Thank you to our customers, fellow Fort Madison small businesses, and the Fort Madison Chamber of Commerce.

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