Alvin Alexander | Java, Scala, Unix, Perl, Mac OS X

A little personal enlightenment (from March 22, 2014):

Since I started passing out a few weeks ago, I’ve had conversations with doctors, nurses, friends, and even a shaman caregiver about life, death, quality of life, goals, and desires. I had a hard time answering some of those questions, and yesterday I realized why that was:

If you’re truly living in the present moment, those questions don’t make any sense! You can’t think about life, death, the past, or the future if you’re absorbed in the present moment.

When eating, just eat. When planning for the future, live fully in that moment of planning for the future. And when writing text like this, just write. That’s all.

Back in 2005 I used to walk over to a bar that was across the street from my apartment. One night I was talking to a waitress and wondered out loud whether I would be happier working a job that I enjoyed that might only pay $30K to $40K per year — as opposed to my current job, which paid a lot more but definitely wasn’t making me happy.

She wisely said, “Don’t look at me honey, I don’t make that kind of money,” then turned and walked away.

Here’s a nice 2009 article where Bill Venners interviews Martin Oderksy about the origins of Scala.

“Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it.” ~ Buddha

Growing up, I used to envy those people who seemed to be shot out of the womb with a purpose, like they always knew what they wanted to do. But these days I think there’s a great reward in the struggle to find that purpose.

(I seriously doubt that the Buddha actually said that, but hey, it sounds impressive, whoever said it.)

Summary: This blog post shows one way to drop/filter the first matching element from a Scala sequence (Seq, List, Vector, Array, etc.). I don’t claim that the algorithm is efficient, but it does work.

Background

While creating some Scala test code earlier today I had an immutable list of toppings for a pizza, and I got into a situation where I wanted to remove the first instance of a topping.

On the drive back from Vegas this weekend, the road got icy in the mountains near Vail, so I decided I better pull off and stay at a hotel, or sleep in the car if necessary. I wasn’t happy about it. Even though it was after 2am, I was jacked up on Mountain Dew, and just wanted to finish the last ninety miles to get home.

I got off the interstate at the next exit. The roads were nasty slick, and I slid around the dark collection of motels and gas stations until I saw a skanky motel whose “Vacancy” sign was lit. My car couldn’t make it up the motel’s hilly entrance, so I parked in an open flat area below, grabbed a bag, and walked five minutes in the freezing precipitation to get to the motel entrance, finding footing anywhere I could.

One thing I’ve learned lately is that I don’t like it when people post things to my Facebook timeline, like, “You should like this!” I’m about one “bad attitude day” away from cutting my Facebook friends list down to just immediate family. #argh

A case of “The Plague” is reported in Broomfield, Colorado. The story is here at thedenverchannel.com.

A quote from this article by Guy Kawasaki about Steve Jobs:

This experience taught me that you should tell the truth and worry less about the consequences for three reasons:

1) Telling the truth is a test of your character and intelligence. You need strength to tell the truth and intelligence to recognize what is true.

2) People yearn for the truth—that is, telling people that their product is good just to be positive doesn’t help them improve it.

3) There’s only one truth, so it’s easier to be consistent if you’re honest. If you are dishonest, you have to keep track of what you said.

I fall in love once or twice a week, but I usually try not to bring anyone home.

How does one become loving awareness?

The postal code in Stewart, British Columbia, is “VOT 1WO,” which the locals tell me stands for Very Old Town, One Way Out.

When editing my own writing I like to write “constipated thinking” or just “constipated” on some of my text that clearly deserves it (as an homage to the movie, Finding Forrester).

“If you want to be miserable, think of yourself. If you want to be happy, think of others.”

SakyongMipham

The “TMS For A Cure” website has this great page on medications to treat mast cell disorders.

2017 Iditarod: “The 57-year-old musher from Sterling won the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Tuesday, shattering the speed record by nearly eight hours to steal the title of fastest Iditarod musher ever from his much-younger son, Dallas. ‘Fifty-seven used to be old, and it’s not anymore. I’m just letting you know that,’ Mitch Seavey said.”

See this Alaska Dispatch News story for more information and a nice video.

I just saw this video for LiquidText. It made me think that this is the sort of functionality I always wanted from Amazon Kindle. More accurately, I knew I didn’t like how Kindle worked, and LiquidText makes you think, “See, there it is, that’s what I want.” (I’ll know it when I see it.)

espn has a nice story on how teammates of Jose Fernandez dealt with his death.

How teammates dealt with the death of Jose Fernandez

From this NY Times article: “But when it comes to the burden of disease,” he added, “some of the leading risk factors are not high intake of unhealthy foods, but low intake of healthy foods.”

As one example, I read in a book about food-related diseases that red meat isn’t necessarily bad for people, it’s just that people in the U.S. tend to eat red meat without eating anything healthy along with it.

Heart disease deaths linked to poor dietary choices

I was surprised to see that Deshaun Watson’s max football throwin velocity was only 49 mph at the 2017 NFL Combine. (Image/data from Dane Brugler.) As Benjamin Allbright writes, “Over 55 mph doesn’t guarantee success, but under it pretty much guarantees failure.”

Deshaun Watson's football velocity