As a quick note today, the following Scala function is more or less the same as the Unix cat command:

I was curious about how the “input redirection” program on page 170 of Learn You a Haskell for Great Good (LYAH) worked, so I typed it into a file named do1.hs, with one additional line:

import Data.Char

main = do
    contents <- getContents
    putStrLn "dude"
    putStr $ map toUpper contents

The line I added is the putStrLn "dude" line.

I compiled it like this:

In case you wondered where Kotzebue, Alaska (population ~3,300) is, I hope this map is helpful.

One point worth mentioning is that there are no roads on most of the west side of that map. For instance, there is no way to drive from Fairbanks to Nome, Talkeetna to Nome, Fairbanks to Barrow, Nome to Kotzebue, etc. There is one road from Fairbanks to Prudhoe Bay, and it’s called the Dalton Highway. That’s where the “Ice Road Truckers” drive.

Also of interest is that President Obama is nowhere near Alaska’s state capitol. In fact, Alaska is so big, Juneau, Alaska is not even on this map. It’s off the map to the lower-right.

Map courtesy of Google Maps.

I spent quite a few hours with someone recently who said things like, “I’d like to do this,” or “I’d like to do that.” These things were said in the context of helping other people, so that part was good. But then this person never did anything. They talked a good game, but when it came time for action ... nothing. This morning this reminds me of the phrase, “Deeds, not words.

When I had a medical procedure done a couple of weeks ago, the person who stayed with me watched the movie The Bucket List while I slept after the procedure. That made me think of coffee, both the coffee that is, ahem, produced by the cats, and the “Chock full o’ Nuts” cans. I decided to see if the “Chock” coffee was a real thing, and indeed it is. I ordered some on Amazon, and I have to say, it is very good. You can make it as weak or as strong as you like, and it’s very mild either way.

Chicago Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta threw a no-hitter against the Los Angeles Dodgers yesterday. I like this quote from him about doing what he has to do to be consistent. (The quote comes from this page.) I see that he also talked about consistency when I posted this quote about ‘routines’ last year.

Instead of “officially” being named for a U.S. President who never visited Alaska, Denali finally has the correct official name. Politics and politicians, yeesh.

Without much discussion, here is some source code for a Scalaz 7 “Hello, world” example, using the Scalaz putStrLn function:

It’s official: Termination dust has appeared in Anchorage, Alaska. (Image from this Twitter page.)

After scoring a lot of runs during a 19-day homestand, the Chicago Cubs went on the road, and in back-to-back games they got to face Madison Bumgarner and Clayton Kershaw, and scored two runs in two games. Other Cubs teams may have panicked at this point, but this Cubs team seems to have a good attitude about the experience. Image from this article.

This is an except from a story titled, The Taboo of Enlightenment, on

When I was 20-23 years old, I lived in this apartment building in Texas. I’m not sure about that red/brown tree in the foreground, but the big green tree in the middle of the building was there way back then. Thank you Google Maps for the opportunity to look back in time (without having to travel 1,000+ miles).

Acting is something I do,  but it’s not who I am.” ~ Floyd “Red Crow” Westerman, speaking to Darren Burrows off-camera on the Northern Exposure set.

Mr. Westerman played “One Who Waits” on Northern Exposure, and Mr. Burrows played Ed Chigliak. I found this quote in Mr. Burrows’ book, which can be found on the website.

I don’t mean to brag, but if you have the mug ...

This short article shows how to write a command-line timer in Scala. There are simple ways to do this as just a regular Unix/Linux shell script, but I wanted to use Scala, in part so I could try to remember how to use the Java sound libraries. (I also initially thought about writing this is a GUI app, but decided to just make it a command-line app.)

I wanted a simple command-line timer, so I wrote one in Scala.

When I was a freshman in college I ended up living in the girls’ dorm (and sneaking out every morning). I’ll skip the details of that story, other than to say that one of my “roommates” was named Kristy, and “Love the One You’re With” by Stephen Stills was one of her favorite songs:

This is part of a great story by Pema Chödrön about what her teacher, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, told her when her life hit rock bottom. From this article on

A few people I’ve talked to recently who have (or had) cancer told me they can clearly remember the moment when their doctor told them that they had cancer.

In my case I do remember the conversation with the doctor, but that was more of a formality. When I picked up the phone to talk to her, I already had a pad of paper and a pencil in hand, and I was ready to write down the details she was going to tell me. In my case I was pretty certain that I had cancer when I saw the ultrasound results.