2017 Goals

Clearly I’m a bit behind this year with my goals. These are usually posted on 1/1 but this year, things are different. Different priorities, different timelines, different expectations, still trying to be a better version of myself. So here it is, time to write down the goals and put a plan in action to make it happen! My 2017 Goals!

  • Solve a Rubik’s Cube in under 3 minutes – This one may seem silly and it very much is. But its a brain teaser and something that has sparked a bit of competition at the office. I’m all about camaraderie and I enjoy picking on co-workers as I crush their hopes and dreams in friendly competition 😉
  • Run 365 miles this year Some could call this run a mile everyday but that just isn’t in the cards for me. My hope is when the calendar goes from ’17 to ’18, I have 365 miles under my belt and hopefully a few less pounds on the body. With the running crew at work, I think I can make this a reality. So far I’m on track with a month in. I already have 51 miles under my belt with a couple of months in and cold ass weather here in the midwest.
  • Learn Swift I’ve dipped my toe in learning swift a few times now. But there has always been something that has come up that has distracted me. I’ve recently started the iTunes U course on Developing iOS Apps with Swift. Its been good so far and I’m eager to learn more. Hopefully I can get an app I’ve been wanting to develop off the ground in the process.

3 is a good number of goals given twins, lack of sleep and everything else that seems to crop up. Some are physically challenging, some are mentally challenging, 1 is just dumb. But they’ll give me something to work for along with everything else that happens with life. I’m hopefully a good father, husband, friend and co-worker in the process.

2016 Goals Review

I don’t think I’ve ever done this poorly on my yearly goals. But I have a good reason, a couple of them actually. Please refer back to The Ochos and you’ll fully understand. But…to stay consistent, let’s run through them and see how poorly I did.

  • Learn Swift – FAIL I did some tutorials and the playground activity from the developer portal. I do like what I’ve seen in swift so far. But I’m not proficient in it yet so I consider this one a fail. While I did learn some, the goal was to proficient enough to ship an app or at least attempt an app.
  • 26 posts – Not even close. I got 8. Just didn’t have the time to write with everything else that was happening. Not to mention, I kind of enjoyed checking out a bit at night which I don’t think is a bad thing either.
  • Run Forest, Run! – FAIL – Didn’t make my 300 number but did put up a respectable 222 miles in 2016. Not bad considering I took close to 10 weeks off from running. I did start a running club at work as I only have time to run over the lunch hours it seems and maybe sneak away for a decent run on the weekends.
  • zzzZZZzzz – LOL FAIL FAIL FAIL…I had twins. There have been several nights where an hour of uninterrupted sleep was amazing. Not to mention the several nights I spent at the hospital with Evan during his surgery. Sleep just hasn’t been happening.

0 for 4. An amazing amount of failure. But I learned a lot, the family is growing and striving. The job is good and I’m happy. Overall 2016 was a success.

Now to conquer 2017!

The Ochos

I posted this on Facebook for all those that are friends with me there. But I think it needs a formal place here on the blog…the announcement of the twins born on 8/8/2016

With a triumphant roar, the Patterson boys came into this world on 8/8. Evan Michael lead the way at 10:32am coming in at 5lbs 9oz and measuring 18 inches. His brother Andrew Douglas gave mom a bit more trouble and made a fashionably late appearance at 11:16 after an emergency c-section. Topping his brother in size at 19 and a quarter inches and 5lbs 11 oz. Both are adjusting to all the new found space and momma is recovering well.

Now for the stuff we know about the boys. Specifically Evan. Evan has a few challenges other than being incredibly good looking like his father. We knew going in that he had a heart issue that will eventually need to be repaired surgically. We knew it was also a sign of Down syndrome which he has. He’s being monitored closely and doing good. Evan is surrounded with a loving family and we’re sure he’ll adjust to all the nurses flirting with him. Oh and did we mention they are both absolutely stealing our hearts?

Blair and I are extremely happy and equally exhausted. We appreciate all the love and support we’ve received from family and friends. We look forward to you meeting the twins and I’m sure Nolan will love to show them off.







RIP Fitbit

I think I’ve come to the end of my Fitbit adventures for a while. My 3rd Fitbit finally bit the dust. I originally got one when we had kicked open the doors of our new data center and wanted to see how much I was walking around the 1/4 mile long building. To sum it up, its a lot. On average, I was between 5-7 miles a day without even thinking about it.

The good thing about the Fitbit was that it kept me in line to always hit my goal of 10K steps. It made you want to get that little buzz on the wrist knowing that you had accomplished something. But, it also came at a cost. I would find myself going for a walk in the morning when changing up the routine would have been just as effective. Yoga, lifting weights, something else all together. I’m not saying having this goal is a bad thing, its definitely good. But after 2 years, I think I’m ready for a break.

My Fitbit broke in the same fashion as last year around this time. All of a sudden I could see condensation on the screen. Then the strap starting coming apart and it finally ended when I was sitting on the couch and the Fitbit was marking me in and out of a workout ever 1.5 seconds. Then, no more.

RIP Fitbit. You were a good companion but I need to try something new.

When puppet leaves an un-tidy mess

A while back, I had written a quick and dirty shell script to take a simple tarball of the /etc directory of my linux machines and copy it to an FTP server. Then, to make sure that the FTP directory didn’t get out of hand, I had written the following in my puppet config for that server that would clean everything up with the use of the tidy resource type. The code looked like this:

  tidy { "/srv/ftp/mrbackup":
    path    => "/srv/ftp/mrbackup/",
    age     => "30d",
    recurse => true,

Nothing really fancy there and I put this in day 1 so I figured everything would run and the tidy command is pretty straight forward.

Unfortunately, when I checked the machine after it had been recieving the backup files for several months, I found something a bit disturbing…Thousands of files!!! WTF!

The documentation seemed pretty straight forward and I was using this command in other parts of my manifests that worked as expected.

The fix!

The key was at the very end of the documention in the type section.


Set the mechanism for determining age. Default: atime.

Valid values are atime, mtime, ctime.

As you will note, the default is atime. Because the files are being FTP’d in, they are never being read by the system, simply written. So if you ran a command like find . -type f -atime +30, you would get zero results. My fix is pretty simple, change this to mtime and suddenly I have a lot less files on the system. The new code now looks like this:

  tidy { "/srv/ftp/mrbackup":
    path    => "/srv/ftp/mrbackup/",
    age     => "30d",
    backup  => false,
    recurse => true,
    type    => "mtime",