My partner Marlin and I started doublefeature.com in 1996. Double Feature housed several websites. “Friends at the Flicks” was where I did most of my writing. I posted movie reviews in a blog format, and my friends sent me comments via email which I posted under the main entry. This was before any content management systems for weblogs became popular, so this site was all home grown and manually maintained. All the original movie reviews have been migrated to this site, but the comments have been long lost to the www graveyard. The design shown at left was the 3rd design used at Double Feature; the first 2 designs were never archived.
- Double Feature also originally housed Fantasy Football Flyer, a site in blog format for a private fantasy football league. This site has been online continuously since summer 1996 and contains PDF archives going back to the league’s inception in 1992.
- Double Feature also originally housed Marlin’s blog which has since become Unconventionaut, (with a side venture Fantastic Dimensions)
- Double Feature also originally housed Sportsmen’s Camp Blog, a blog and website for friends that own a fishing camp in northern Ontario.
Leather Egg Version 1
The version 1 design lasted only a couple months. I didn’t put a lot of time into this design, as I wasn’t quite sure if I would enjoy doing this new-fangled blogging thing. The scheme looked like permanent autumn. The navigation featured a calendar in the top left corner of the page. This became problematic and took up way too much real estate. The leather egg was featured prominently, and the leatheregg.com logotype was introduced. This used a variation of a font based on Michaelangelo’s handwriting for the word “leather” and a custom font I designed for “egg.com” where the letterforms were all based on the shape of an egg.
Leather Egg Version 2
The version 2 design lasted about 8 months. I spent a lot of time on this design, and you can still see some of these pages if you venture into the year 2000 archives. I coined the term journalogue for this version, because the “is it a blog or is it a journal” debate was all the rage right around this time. This design was very table-intensive, and it just got to be a little too much to maintain. I was still maintaining the entire site manually in Dreamweaver, and at that time there was no easy solution if you wanted to include inline comments on your blog.
Leather Egg Version 3
Version 3 of leather egg made it’s debut on New Year’s Day 2001. The design was greatly simplified over version 2 but maintained the same color scheme. The big change with version 3 was the transition to Greymatter, a server-based content management system. First and foremost, this allowed for inline comments from readers, something I have always enjoyed. This change also meant I didn’t have to manually maintain the site in Dreamweaver. I also began using server side includes for the photo column and the consumables column (things I was reading, watching, etc.).
Leather Egg Version 4
I only made minor design tweeks for version 4. The big change was converting the journalogue section to a tableless layout using cascading style sheets. I also added a couple customized page banners for various sections and added a random text rotation on the home page featuring snarky comments, wacky quotes and other off-the-wall phrases I either picked up elsewhere or dreamed up in my own twisted imagination. Version 4.5 saw no design changes. I simply converted the site from Greymatter to Movable Type, yet another content management system. I also converted most of the journalogue section to XHTML at this time.
Leather Egg Version 5
A complete overhaul, in both design and content, was undertaken with version 5. Nearly all the site was converted entirely to XHTML and CSS. No table tags for page layout. No fonts tags used throughout the entire site. The entire site was based on 2 templates and one CSS file. Most of the content was in Movable Type, with the exceptions of the photo area and blog entries from 2000. I thought I would get around to putting all that content into MT, but never got around to it. I still haven’t.
Leather Egg Version 6 transitional
During summer 2003 I took a hiatus from blogging for several months. When I returned, I was tired of the design, so I stripped the site down to basic template mode. That was supposed to be temporary. But I lost interest and the blog floundered a bit, with mini-bursts of posts followed by long silences. That lasted for many more months. In June 2004, riding some sort of creative crest brought on by (finally) getting the exterior of the house painted, I redesigned. I need to integrate photos into the site at some point, but I’ll get around to it. It’s always a work in progress: life, blog … you name it.
Leather Egg Version 6
In June 2004, Leather Egg version 6 launched with a theme I called Urban Victorian, with a grungy title font, an ornate wallpaper-style background, and all in the new colors of my house … which we had painted that spring/summer. Within about 2 months, I hated the design. But I didn’t blog much during fall 2004, and so this annoying design stuck around for many months. On 29 December, after a botched attempt at upgrading my site from Movable Type 2.64 to version 3.1 something-or-another, I checked out WordPress as a content management system. Unlike MT, I find WP is incredibly simple and my web hosting company also offer expedited/automated WP setup, so I took the leap and don’t plan on looking back. I’ll have lots of broken links to track down and fix, but c’est la vie.
Leather Egg Version 7
Version 7 of Leather Egg was relaunched on New Year’s Eve 2004. Marlin and I had been out to Los Angeles for Thanksgiving, and had traveled to Pennsylvania for Christmas. We had planned on going out for New Year’s in Boston, but we both came down with colds shortly after returning home after Christmas. It wasn’t quite to the point of drinking our chicken noodle soup out of champagne glasses, though. We both had a couple drinks, as I recall, and were both soundly asleep shortly past midnight. But when I’m sick and I’m not sleeping, I will often work at something blog- or computer-related when I’m ill. For example, I created the Blogger Code while I was in the middle the worst flu case I’ve ever had. The design of version 7 was adapted from the WordPress theme Kubrick. Here’s a blog entry I wrote introducing version 7.
Leather Egg Version 8
Version 8 launched 28 October 2006. This relaunch included upgrading WordPress from 1.2 to 1.5, and then upgrading 1.5 to 2.0.5. Basically, I hadn’t upgrading WordPress since I first installed it in late summer 2003.
The design of version 8 was adapted from the WordPress theme Painted Desert. The design was only minor changes over the previous version — most notably an attempt to get away from the boxiness of the header photo. This, however, proved to be a maintenance pain in the you-know-what.
Leather Egg Version 9
Version 9 launched in January 2008. For this version, I wanted to go with a design that was a little more fluid and not locked into a fixed width. I also wanted to return to primarily light text on a dark background … it’s easier to read. And some might even say it’s more energy efficient ;) . The design was adapted from the WordPress theme dark.
Leather Egg Version 9.1
About a week after launching version 9 redesign, the logo grew wings.
Leather Egg Version 10
Version 10 launched in April 2009. I took another hiatus for several months in early 2009, and wanted to simplify the site. I had broken the Gallery application I was using for all my photos and it was beyond repair. It served all the photos, but I couldn’t add anything new, edit anything, etc. It was also a bear to maintain, which doesn’t jibe with a simpler approach.
So in one fell swoop over the course of the Patriot’s Day weekend, I redesigned the blog and moved all my photos to Flickr. Further tweaks added all the so-called “Web 2.0″ goodies, like blog entries being announced on my Facebook page and Twitter feeds. I can even post blog entries from my iPhone these days.
Ron Yeany (www.ronyeany.com)
In summer 2010 I started having problems with some of my WordPress sites hosted at dreamhost.com. Despite keeping my WordPress installations faithfully up-to-date, I was hit with script injection infections, first on Fantasy Football Flyer and, a few months later, Leather Egg. I wasn’t blogging that much any more, and the demands on my time from a promotion I received at work left little free time to either blog OR deal with this problem. Leather Egg had also been flagged as a porn site (LOL) because of my silly Huevos page. I bought the ronyeany.com domain and exported my Leather Egg WordPress site there. The script injection problems eventually hit this site as well.
Ron Yeany (ronyeany.wordpress.com)
I finally needed to deal with my infected websites as football season approached in fall 2011. The Fantasy Football Flyer site was flagged by Google as a malware site, and script injections were still present on ronyeany.com and had spread to one of Marlin’s sites as well as Sportsmens Camp Blog. In a decision I should have realized a year earlier, it was time to get out of hosting my own sites and move to services that specialize in that sort of thing. Fantasy Flyer was moved and relaunched on wordpress.com for kickoff, and my blog was moved to wordpress.com shortly thereafter. I’ve retained the original domain names as redirects. (Background image courtesy of Din Pattern.)