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.

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Encryption

Looks like the government is at it again now that Apple has come out stating that they are not going to roll over and provide a master key to their iPhone software. Really NSA? How about the part where the terrorist didn’t use encryption in these attacks.

European media outlets are reporting that the location of a raid conducted on a suspected safe house Wednesday morning was extracted from a cellphone, apparently belonging to one of the attackers, found in the trash outside the Bataclan concert hall massacre. Le Monde reported that investigators were able to access the data on the phone, including a detailed map of the concert hall and an SMS messaging saying “we’re off; we’re starting.” Police were also able to trace the phone’s movements.

Why this matters

I know that there are a lot of people out there that think our government can do no wrong and national security is the most important thing that they can do. But there is a lawful way in which to handle this. The 4th amendment to the constitution should protect us from the massive surveillance systems that the government has put in place since 9/11. Yes, it was horrible what happened on that day and I’m still as pissed about it now as I was then. But I’m more upset at the eroding of our rights as politicians and government officials put in more programs to watch our electronic communications en mass.

Several companies have either released statements or made comments on the current state of encryption and working with the government in these matters. My company has stated this:

We condemn terrorism and have total solidarity with victims of terror. Those who seek to praise, promote, or plan terrorist acts have no place on our services. We also appreciate the difficult and essential work of law enforcement to keep people safe. When we receive lawful requests from these authorities we comply. However, we will continue to fight aggressively against requirements for companies to weaken the security of their systems. These demands would create a chilling precedent and obstruct companies’ efforts to secure their products

Tim Cook and Apple have their letter which ends with:

Opposing this order is not something we take lightly. We feel we must speak up in the face of what we see as an overreach by the U.S. government.

We are challenging the FBI’s demands with the deepest respect for American democracy and a love of our country. We believe it would be in the best interest of everyone to step back and consider the implications.

While we believe the FBI’s intentions are good, it would be wrong for the government to force us to build a backdoor into our products. And ultimately, we fear that this demand would undermine the very freedoms and liberty our government is meant to protect.

So encrypt your backups, use https when ever possible. Set really difficult passwords and use a password manager like LastPass so you don’t forget them. Remember folks, just because you have nothing to hide, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care about this subject. One person in particular that has brought more to light on the intrusions into our lives put it best:

If you think privacy is unimportant for you because you have nothing to hide, you might as well say free speech is unimportant for you because you have nothing useful to say.

–Edward Snowden

2016 Goals

As in past years, I’m being open and honest about my goals for the year. Keeping yourself accountable is a big part of success so the more people that see this can also call me on excuses as they come up. I’ve never really hit 100% of my goals and I think that’s ok. Goals are meant to stretch you and make you work really hard for something. This makes the reward all the sweeter. So without further ado, my 2016 goals…

  • Learn Swift – In the past I have had items on the list such as ship an app of some sort but I never really had that rock solid idea of what I wanted to do or ship. My wife stated an idea for an app and its been eating at me ever since. I figured that this was as good of a reason as any to start learning swift and see if I could pull off her idea. This app may only be used by me, but it will be a good learning experience and I’ll add another language to the toolbox.
  • 26 posts – Since joining Facebook, I’ve noticed the amount of posts that I’ve been publishing has greatly diminished. If the tags are correct, I’ve posted 5 posts over the past 2 years. This is remarkably low compared to the numbers that I used to put up. Through my goal of learning swift and other things that I’m doing, I should be able to greatly increase the number of posts. My goal is to put out 1 every 2 weeks. Why not 1 / week you ask? Well, I’m not sure I’ll have enough to write about and we’re already talking about a remarkably large increase in the number of posts that I’ve put out in the past.
  • Run Forest, Run! – This goal is pretty much in line with past years. I plan on continuing to run but I’m most likely going to be taking a bit of a break in Jan as the weather turns much colder here in Iowa and I need to do something else for a while. But I plan on passing my numbers from last year and look to keep pace with my 2015 numbers. This time clearing 300 miles and hoping to get 350.
  • zzzZZZzzz – This continues to be a struggle for me. Between learning swift, working on my app idea and everything else that happens with the day job, sleep continues to be a challenge for me. My goal is to still increase the number of hours I sleep. But I’m hoping to move this incrementally. If I can add on 15 minutes from 6.5 to 6.75 hours a night, this would be a huge win. 7 would be great, but I already know its going to be a tough road to get there. Looking for improvement, no matter how small it might be.

So there they are. Learn, Write, Run, and Sleep. Seems pretty simple, we’ll see how it goes. Looking forward to a challenging and rewarding 2016!