Books of 2017

The reading topics were all over the place this year. Thought a lot about real estate investing with my brother, but in the end I did not buy any properties. He bought a few, and I manage the ones I live near for him. My favorite of the year was a tie between The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life and Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win . Both of those resonated with me, and how I attempt to live my life.

  1. What Every Real Estate Investor Needs to Know About Cash Flow… And 36 Other Key Financial Measures
  2. It’s Not Rocket Science: 4 Simple Strategies for Mastering the Art of Execution
  3. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
  4. Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN
  5. Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fate of Human Societies
  6. The Old Man and The Sea
  7. Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
  8. Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win
  9. Through the Valley: My Captivity in Vietnam
  10. The Firm: A Novel
  11. Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest

PhpUnit error with PhpStorm 9.0.2

I have enjoyed using Eclipse PDT for my PHP development, but everyone else on the team is switching to PhpStorm, so I have put off the transition as long as possible, but today was the official cut off. In addition, I decided to go all out on the switch and begin doing all of my development in an Ubuntu VM on my Windows 10 machine. PHP was designed for Linux, and the ease of installation in Linux vs. Windows is well worth the time of getting a VM up and running.

One issue I ran into with PhpStorm v9.0.2 and PhpUnit v5.0.3 is a call to an undefined function:

PHP Fatal error: Call to undefined method PHP_CodeCoverage_Filter::addFileToBlacklist() in ~/.phpstorm_helpers/phpunit.php on line 321

For now, the way I fixed this was to downgrade my version of PhpUnit from 5.* to 4.8.* in my compser.json:

"require-dev": {
"phpunit/phpunit": "4.8.*"

Hope this saves someone else the time and effort I lost into trying to “fix” this issue while waiting for PhpUnit 5.1 in December.

PHP duplicate function name gives no errors

I had a very simple service class to perform some tasks:

class SomeService {
public function doSomething(){}

While adding some other functions, I was copy-and-pasting the doSomething(){} structure, and then renaming the new functions. I apparently forgot to rename one of the functions, and left it as doSomething(){}, which meant I had two functions with the same name.

This Service is being tested using SimpleTest framework for Unit Tests, and when running the tests via the browser, I saw nothing but a blank page. I searched through the PHP logs, nothing. Apache logs? Nothing.

After doing some debugging, I eventually narrowed it down to the SomeService class, which I promptly commented out everything, and I at least was able to see failures in my Unit Tests. After adding the functions back one by one, it become obvious of my goof, and once I removed the duplicate name all of my test passed again.

That was a few hours down the drain that could have been avoided with an extremely simple error message.

2006 Dodge Grand Caravan wheel stud/rear assembly replacement

Rear Assembly with Replacement stud The wife’s van had a flat tire, and while taking the lug nuts off one of them decided to get stuck and break off the wheel stud. Once I got the caliper, drum, parking break, etc. all off I at first was going to try just replacing the wheel studs, but this process was very slow, and in the end I decided to just replace the entire rear assembly.

I could not have done it without the links below, and a few other things to keep in mind:

  • use a sledge hammer to get the roter off if it is tough to get off (but only hit near the studs. If replacing just one or two of the studs (and not the whole assembly), put lug nuts over the good studs to help protect them from errant hits with the sledge hammer
  • if replacing studs, use a stack of washers to pull the stud into the assembly, and a screwdriver against other studs, or through the holes of open holes of the assembly to stabilize the assembly while tightening the stud
  • do NOT put the rear assembly on before doing the parking brakes first. Put a couple of the rear assembly bolts in and zip ties in the other holes to hold the backing plate on, assemble the parking brakes, carefully cut the zip ties, then put the rear assembly on
  • to put the bottom parking brake spring on, grab the center of the spring with some pliers and pull it to the other hole
  • when putting the spacer on the rear brakes in, grab both sides of the parking brake with pliers, pull apart while someone else places the spacer in the bottom of the brakes

How to change rear brakes and rotors 2006 DGC –

install 2005 dodge caravan rear wheel bearing and parking brake pads – YouTube

install 2005 dodge caravan rear wheel bearing and parking brake pads – YouTube

install 2005 dodge caravan rear wheel bearing and parking brake pads – YouTube

Git failure due to http vs. https

Somehow I either saved the URL wrong, or the URL changed (more likely), and caused git to fail when the URL should have been secure:

C:\dev\git\myCode>git push origin master
fatal: unable to access '': Empty reply from server

update .git/config to be https URL

	repositoryformatversion = 0
	filemode = false
	bare = false
	logallrefupdates = true
	symlinks = false
	ignorecase = true
	hideDotFiles = dotGitOnly
[remote "origin"]
	url =
	fetch = +refs/heads/*:refs/remotes/origin/*

Been a busy first few months of the year

Over the past couple of years, we were passively looking to move to a more rural area, and the wife was fortunate enough to come across a property that was a 4 bedroom, 3 bath on 5 acres not too far from town.  Moving out of the old house was pretty sad, but being out in the open spaces has been amazing.

Right before all of this went down, I decided to move the site from to is awesome, but I was paying for more than what I needed for this simple site. GoDaddy offered a cheaper price for just WordPress, which is all I really use (for now).

Now that we are pretty much settled into the new house, I hope to get back into posting some of the more interesting aspects of software that I come across, much like I did last year.  In my free time, I have been working on some PHP projects for fun, and hope to get more into that space on this blog in addition to the new things in Java that I do by day.

I have also been managing the [Everything IT near Waco]( Meetup.  This area has been interesting in that it has a lot of IT people, but few seem to be as interested in networking with other IT-ers in the area.  Maybe it’s just me.  Either way I’ve paid for a year’s worth of Meetup fees, so I’ll persist on, and re-evaluate next winter.

My goal is to have at least 2 posts per month for the rest of the year, starting in May.  It’s now on the web for all 4 of the bots that hit this page to see, which means I must not disappoint them, and make it happen.

2014 Blog recap

I made 34 blog posts this year (including this one). For my first full year of maintaining my Living Resume, my goal was to average one post per week, and while I fell short of this goal, I did maintain this blog throughout the year. If I would have made time to complete all of my posts that are in-progress, I would have come pretty close to achieving the 52 post goal.  But then again, that’s just an excuse.  Hopefully I’ll do better next year.

New computer setup for Java

It rarely happens but when your computer either crashes, or you are lucky enough to get a new computer, here are my steps to get back up and running ASAP. Mainly for my Java development:

  • Directories under C:\
    – scc
    – dev
    – tmp
  • browsers
    • mozilla
    • chrome
  • development
    • java – latest version
    • eclipse
      • set default JDK
    • Putty
    • Git
    • GitKraken
    • Maven
    • Ant
  • helper apps
    • notepad++
    • 7zip
    • bullzip PDF generator
    • Process Explorer for Windows
    • Softerra LDAP Browser
  • tasks
    • batch job to copy notes to Home path
    • Copy VPN settings
    • batch to copy FileZilla xml config to Home path

ServiceMix-3.3 build issues

While building ServiceMix-3.3 from source via Maven, I received the following Exception:

After researching it a little bit through Google and not making much head-way, I finally remembered: I am behind a proxy!

I then added the following (w/ my settings) to my settings.xml file, and things worked great:


Maven SNAPSHOT setup:


After all of these fixes, the ServiceMix .war file was created. Install the application via the Geronimo Console:

Splunk installation 4.0

Found some old notes on Splunk 4.0 installation, which were amusing to review since all of my feature complaints have been fixed over the years.

  • windows file/dirs to monitor
    • \server_name\C$\Program Files (x86)\IBM\WebSphere\AppServer\profiles\AppSrv01\logs
  • admin
    • u: admin
    • p: changeme
  • The notifications are very much sub par. Especially when you adding a File/Directory.
    When you click the (Manager » Data inputs » Files & Directories » Add New >> save), it only updates the
    “save” button to “saving”. It should pop up some sort of over-lay and more clearly state what is going on
  • It would be nice if there was a simple link to reference the options on the Manager » Data inputs » Files & Directories » Add New page
  • had to mount my network drives
  • So far, getting Splunk up and running is easy. However, actually using its functionality is proving to be more complicated.
    I continue to see lists of what it CAN do, but I am not finding good documentation on HOW to do it.
  • Search->Summary page
    • is where I can find all of my indexed data at a high level
  • installed a bunch of local files, but saved them as the wrong host name. I then wanted to change the host name, so I did and saved it.
    but it was not showing up as the new name in other areas of the site. When I looked at the properties of the Data Input, it had the new name.
    It was just not showing up in other areas.

    I hope I do not have to restart the server for a rename to take place.

    I have deleted it, and plan to start over to see if that works. This did not work. It still comes up as the original name value.
    Restarting the server allowed it to show up, but now I wonder if it did not show up b/c it was still in the process of indexing
    the directory. That dir alone is well over 100 meg.

  • Forwarding & Receiving
    • process
      • add forward
      • restart
      • setup Default value to not save copy
      • restart
      • add log files to monitor
  • Popular CLI commands
    • turn on/off Light Forwarder
      • ./splunk enable app [SplunkForwarder|SplunkLightForwarder] -auth :
      • ./splunk disable app SplunkLightForwarder
      • ./splunk enable app SplunkLightForwarder
    • add Data Inputs
      • ./splunk add tail /opt/IBM/WebSphere/AppServer/profiles/AppServer/logs/ -hostname wastest01_logs
      • for existing
        • ./splunk edit tail /opt/IBM/WebSphere/AppServer/profiles/AppServer/logs/ -hostname wastest01_logs
    • add forwarder
      • ./splunk add forward-server portal03:9997 -auth admin:changeme
    • list inputs
      • ./splunk cmd listtails
      • use this to go through your splunk/etc/system/local/inputs.conf
  • Duplicates, whitelist, blacklist
  • Back button!
    • if the back button would take me to the previous search, that would be awesome!
    • hopefully this is in 4.1