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

Health (and other things) permitting, I hope to have a first draft of my book on Scala and functional programming completed by the end of April.

It may only be in an alpha or beta state by then, but I’m debating about making it available as an Amazon ebook for a low cost at that time. I’ll be going back to work almost immediately after that, so if I don’t release it now, it may be another year before I can really finish it.

In retrospect it’s humbling to see that doctors spent about half a million dollars over the last 5-7 years to figure out my illness. If more doctors knew about mast cell disease the total cost could have probably been 1/10th of that.

This makes me look forward to the day when doctors have better software, and are willing to use it. (Every time I watch an episode of House I think, “Use a computer!”)

Dr. Foreman: The kid was just taking his calculus exam when all of a sudden he got nauseous and disoriented.

Dr. House: That’s the way calculus presents.

I hesitate to say something because this is usually where I get cancer, a rare disease, or a body part has to be removed, but I did a yogic handstand tonight, for the first time since things started to go south in 2011.

(Photo is of Stephen Amell from The Arrow.)

Handstand

What happens at the motor home stays at the motor home. (I don’t think I want to know what happens in the motor home.)

Sign in a store window, Palmer, Alaska.

What happens at the motor home stays at the motor home

“And so I wake in the morning
And I step outside
And I take a deep breath and I get real high
And I scream from the top of my lungs
What’s going on?”

I may have done that once or twice in the mountains of Alaska. :)

(P!nk also does a nice cover of this song.)

I enjoy Phil Plait’s writing style in this “Bad Astronomy” article, A 3 billion solar mass black hole rockets out of a galaxy at 8 million kilometers per hour. Yes, seriously. He clearly enjoys what he’s writing about.

Bonnie Eisenman perfectly captures the target market for my upcoming book on Scala and Functional Programming. How big that market is ... I don’t know ... I’m just trying to write a good book to explain functional programming in Scala in simple terms, and this is who I’m writing it for.

The target market for my book on Scala and Functional Programming

There’s a guy on a local radio station (104.3 The Fan) named Darren McKee (who guys by the name “D-Mac”), and he constantly uses a phrase that drives me crazy:

“To be honest with you ...”

As I wrote in my book, A Survival Guide for New Consultants, you should never use that phrase.

Why? Because using it for some sentences implies that you aren’t being honest with every other sentence that comes out of your mouth.

“Why am I always sick?” That’s a question I used to ask myself a lot.

Other people asked it as well: “Why are you always sick?”

I remember one time when I was in the same room as my wife while she was on the phone. She was taking to her sister, who was talking about her husband (my brother-in-law), and their conversation went on for quite some time. Afterwards I said, “Wow, I hope you guys don’t talk about me all the time like that.” My wife said, “No, we just always say that you seem to get sick a lot.”

I’m amazed/saddened by people who are so afraid of making a mistake that they come up with a million different reasons as excuses to justify why something can’t be done. They always say, “I would do XYZ, but ...”

All I can think to say to them is, “Quit thinking and just do it.” Or, as Cher said in Moonstruck, “Snap out of it!”

Really, what’s the worst thing that’s going to happen? You’re going to die? Well, I have news for you, no matter what you do, you’re going to die anyway. (I’ve gone unconscious seven times over the last couple of years, and believe me, at that point there’s nothing you can do about it.)

When I was very sick in 2015-2016, I used to tell my doctors it felt like I had been “drugged.” When I could see that they couldn’t understand or believe that, I’d tell them that it felt the way you feel after surgery, groggy and woozy.

For the most of this year I’ve been eating very well, but yesterday I went to see a movie (Logan) and had some popcorn. Shortly after eating the popcorn I started to feel sick, and today I feel like I’ve been drugged.

This — as I have learned — is life with mast cell activation disease, known as MCAD or MCAS.

The Native American woman I met last week had an aneurysm and brain surgery last year. (She showed me the scar, and she’s fine now.) Before the aneurysm was discovered, she went to a shaman who’s well-known among Natives here. He lit something, made some smoke, did whatever else he does, then looked at her, put his finger on her forehead and said, “You are blocked here.”

Unfortunately she assumed he was referring to a mental blockage, and thought, “No, I’m an open person, he’s wrong.” Shortly after this, doctors discovered the aneurysm right where he pointed.

“So you’re a glass half-empty kind of guy?”

“Depends what’s in the glass.”

“If you care about someone you have to let them be the person they are, not the person you want them to be. Otherwise, what’s the point?”

(From an episode of “Death in Paradise.”)

One of the crazy things about having super-realistic lucid dreams goes like this:

Three times this morning I woke up, had a couple of cookies, made some coffee, and started doing things, only to realize each time that I was still asleep.

(The good news is that I had a lot of cookies, with no calories.)

Without any introduction or discussion, here are the notes I made while learning how to get HTTPS working with Nginx. These are just for me, but if something helps you, cool.

Wesley Reisz also shared this image with the text, “Artist’s secret toolbox for creating art ... transformations.” The slide is from Brian Kane.

Artists secret toolbox for creating art ... transformations

Wesley Reisz shared this nice image titled, “The Rationale for Optional” (in Java). Optional in Java is similar to Option in Scala.

The rationale for Optional (in Java)