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

“As long as egocentricity persists, we cannot see existence in its pure form. The Zen student trains himself to eliminate his egocentric, individual ego, returning to a condition of absolute mental nakedness.”

~ Zen Training

I didn’t like The Rolling Stones for most of my life, but I’ve started listening to them lately. This is a quiet song called, Fool to Cry, that seems to fit my mood of late:

“It is important to expect nothing, to take every experience, including the negative ones, as merely steps on the path, and to proceed.”

Ram Dass

Here’s a photo from the Fairbanks, Alaska, “arctic cam” on this day last year (September 25, 2015).

Fairbanks, Alaska, September 25, 2015

Doctor: I’d like to collect a bone marrow sample ...

*Al runs out of the hospital in a hospital gown, screaming like a little girl*


(later, after they caught me)

Doctor: The next time you break out in a rash, hives, or blisters, I want you to have those biopsied.

Me: Is there going to be any part of our relationship that doesn’t involve a lot of pain on my part?

Doc: Yes, pee in this cup, and we’ll look at it under a fluorescent light to see if you have the same disease that King George III had.

Me: The crazy one?

Doc: Yes.

Me: Cool.

In the “lucid dream holodeck” this morning, I was hanging out with a group of peeps when a tornado suddenly appeared. Everyone started running for cover, and I grabbed a dog and started running for a basement when I looked back at it and thought, “This isn’t a tornado, it’s just an insane amount of energy.”

Holding the dog under my right arm, I stood my ground. When I did this, the energy stopped moving like a tornado, and — skipping over the whole “Transformers” thing — it eventually took on a female human form.

Further skipping past our introductions ... I eventually suggested that she talk to some other people in the dreamspace, but she said no, I had less “hate-y bits” than the other people. (Language differences often make for interesting translations.)

Today’s song of the day is, You Want It Darker, by 82-year-old Leonard Cohen:

As I get back into the book writing, it’s funny to find notes like this that I left for myself:

TODO: Edit this text ruthlessly when you’re feeling better.

I was so sick during the last few months, I have no memory of writing that.

“Everything changes once we identify with being the witness to the story, instead of the actor in it.”

Ram Dass

Identify with the witness to the story, not the actor in it

“I don’t know what love is, but I might love you. Probably love you.”

New England is now 14-5 without Tom Brady.

By contrast, Indianapolis went 2-14 with Peyton Manning’s backups.

“Our truest life is in our dreams awake.”

~ Thoreau

This song is called Dream Awake, and its by The Frames. You’re really cool if you know how I know of this song:

After a routine phone blood test I got an unexpected phone call from a doctor last night. You know, that phone call you never want to get from a doctor. That one.

“Mast cells tend to hang out at the body’s environmental interfaces (to best serve their defensive role).”

That’s a short but very important quote from the book, Never Bet Against Occam: Mast Cell Activation Disease and Chronic Illness.

Do you have dry, itchy, gritty eyes? Ever have a dry cough, where it feels like no matter how much or how hard you cough, you can’t get rid of the itchy feeling in your throat? Or how about itchy skin? All of these are your body’s “environmental interfaces,” where mast cells are trying to protect your body. (These are also symptoms of mast cell activation disease.)

Never Bet Against Occam - Mast cell activation disease

Doctor says I probably have a genetic mutation, like a Ninja Turtle or the X-Men, but with currently unknown, latent superpowers.

Also, “mutant” is not the preferred nomenclature. “Posthuman,” please.

A Facebook post from September 21, 2010: “I broke out my slide rule, cranked out some logarithms, and learned the 1964 earthquake was over 1,000,000 times more powerful than yesterday's 4.9. I can’t even fathom that number (no tsunami pun intended). Oh, and reporters quoting the use of the ‘Richter Scale’ are just using a convenient lie.” (See Moment Magnitude Scale.)

Moment Magnitude Scale

“The plural of anecdote is not data.”

Doctors have a good theory on why my body is throwing GoUnconscious exceptions. Debugging starts tomorrow. Hope to be writing again soon. :)

[1st day working at the Hotel California]

Guest: I’d like to check out.

Me: Sure. You’re all set. Have a great day!

Guest: Thanks!

[Guest leaves]

Boss: Can I see you in my office?

“How do we convince people that in programming, simplicity and clarity — in short, what mathematicians call “elegance” — are not a dispensable luxury, but a crucial matter that decides between success and failure?”

~ Edsger Dijkstra