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

Back on this day in 2013 I was staying in a hotel, put a coffee cup next to the tv, started pouring cream, and static electricity pulled the cream into the tv. Cool.

Coffee, cream, and static electricity

“Programming is similar to golf. The point is not getting the ball in the hole, but how many strokes it takes.”

~ Harlan Mills

The Chicago Cubs won the 2016 National League Pennant on October 22, 2016, and are headed to the World Series, where they’ll play the Cleveland Indians.

Chicago Cubs win the 2016 National League Pennant

This is a video of Tina Turner — yes, that Tina Turner — and a bunch of young people performing the “Peace Mantra.” Great to hear her voice again, great video.

(If you happen to know my mom, you’ll notice that there’s a young girl near the end of the video that looks like her.)

As a business analyst (or any person interested in writing software requirements and quality), there is one thing you should always ask yourself whenever you write a business requirement:

Is this software requirement testable?

I’ve seen some business analysts write some crazy things and call them requirements, but IMHO, if you can’t test it, it’s not a requirement.

“We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are.”

We don’t see things like a computer sensor sees them. We see everything through our own rose-colored glasses.

We do not see things as they are

“What you meet in another being is the projection of your own level of evolution.”

~ Ram Dass

I like the statement in this image because it says something I’ve always thought: Your design of the data types show that you understand the problem (or not). Every time I start writing code without understanding the problem, I waste a lot of time. (If you don’t understand the problem, exactly what code are you going to write?)

Data types show you understand the problem

A note October 22, 2010: “I’m listening to the Armed Forces Radio Network while getting some work done at the Talkeetna Roadhouse.”

Probably the most important lesson I learned from aimlessly wandering around for five years is that if you treat complete strangers as brothers and sisters that you’re meeting for the first time, the world magically becomes a better place.

“Now the Sun’s gone to hell
And the Moon riding high
Let me bid you farewell
Every man has to die.

But it’s written in the starlight
And every line in your palm
We’re fools to make war
On our brothers in arms.”

Today’s song of the day is Brothers in Arms, by Dire Straits:

IBM says the total cost of ownership (TCO) of Macs is lower than that of PCs. You can read more about it at MacRumors and other websites.

IBM: The TCO of Macs is lower than PCs

This is the letter that George Bush (Sr.) left for Bill Clinton when Clinton took office in 1993.

Letter from George Bush to Bill Clinton

Bill Belichick on Microsoft Surface tablets:

“As you probably noticed, I'm done with the tablets. I've given them as much time as I can give them. They're just too undependable for me. I'm going to stick with pictures as several of our other coaches do as well because there just isn't enough consistency in the performance of the tablets, so I just can't take it anymore.”

I don’t know what his specific issues are, but when I watched him smash his tablet I thought, “I know that feeling.”

This is an excerpt from the Scala Cookbook (partially modified for the internet). This is Recipe 20.6, “Scala best practice: How to use the Option/Some/None pattern.”

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For a variety of reasons, including removing null values from your code, you want to use what I call the Option/Some/None pattern. Or, if you’re interested in a problem (exception) that occurred while processing code, you may want to return Try/Success/Failure from a method instead of Option/Some/None.

One reason why it’s hard to get home delivery in Alaska.

Bear at door

When I first sit down to meditate, my mind is often too busy to get into it well, so one thing I’ve learned to do is to try to meditate for about eight minutes, then get up, stretch a little bit (a few yoga stretches), then sit back down to meditate normally. My second attempt is usually significantly better than my first attempt. There are other things you can do to calm the mind, but this works well for me.

Another thing I was reminded of again today is that the quality of meditation often changes over time. Today there was something new, and I thought, “Cool ... this is different,” before getting back to the meditation at hand. For me that happens a lot, so I assume it happens for other people as well.

In a way I feel fortunate to have passed out quite a few times now. It’s like it’s my body’s way of saying, “Look at you, taking life for granted again — here comes the OFF switch!”

(Fortunately it has just been a Pause switch so far.)