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

With Scala it’s common to embed variables in strings like this with the s string interpolator:

val name = "Fred"
println(s"My name is $name.")

That’s cool, but when you need to format your string, Scala gives you an even more powerful tool: the f string interpolator. Here’s an example of how I just did this in my LittleLogger logging library:

My mother is the nicest person in the world, and has dementia. She was also in a coma for ~10 days after falling down a flight of stairs in 2015, which eventually resulted in both of us being patients in the same hospital at the same time.

During a lucid moment last week one of my sisters asked her why she didn’t do something, and mom replied, “I have trouble remembering things.” :)

May the Fourth Be With You.

May the Fourth be with you

I noticed on the drive to the hospital today that there’s still plenty of snow up in the Rocky Mountains.

Still plenty of snow up in the Rocky Mountains - May 3, 2019

Waitin’
Watchin’ the clock
It’s four o’clock
It’s got to stop

Tell him
Take no more
She practices her speech

As he opens the door
She rolls over
Pretends to sleep
As he looks her over

She lies and says
She’s in love with him
Can’t find a better man

She dreams in color
She dreams in red
Can’t find a better man

Talking
To herself
There’s no one else
Who needs to know
She tells herself

~ Better Man, by Pearl Jam (a favorite song of the last week)

Back in 2011 I was meditating in the mountains of Hatcher Pass, Alaska — a place where you generally don’t have to worry about bears, unless you’re picking berries down in the valley — and I heard some yelling. Then I got up, came around the side of where I was, and saw the paragliders at this YouTube video.

I never thought of myself as an orphan, but this image makes me think that maybe I was adopted by a squirrel when I lived in Talkeetna, Alaska.

Was I adopted by a squirrel?

“Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.”

~ Winston Churchill

Writing a book is an adventure

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

~ Winston Churchill

Fact of the day: Billionaires Larry Ellison of Oracle, Steve Jobs of Apple, and Jeff Bezos of Amazon were all adopted.

Jobs met his biological mother and sister in his thirties. He would later meet his biological father once in passing at a restaurant, and they even shook hands, but they didn’t know they were father and son.

Bezos grew up with his biological mother. He says he doesn’t remember his father, who he last saw when he was three years old.

Ellison would meet his biological mother at age 48. (That’s all I know about him.)

This image comes from 2014, but it’s still a cool idea today. Someone created an art project in Juneau, Alaska that allowed people to complete the sentence, “Before I die I want to ...”

Before I die I want to ... (Juneau, Alaska)

When I went to the gym today a very large young man looked at me like, “What are you doing in my gym, old man?” Before he left, he gave me the “You’re welcome to come back” nod of approval.

Don’t let a rare blood disease, multiple types of cancer, or musclebound young men intimidate you. :)

You can tell sometimes when doctors have something they don’t want to tell you. One of my doctors is an older “manly man” kind of guy, and while we’ve had some interesting conversations, they’ve never been about clothes. But the last time I saw him he walked in and said, “That’s an interesting shirt. What does it say on it? Where did you get it?” The conversation felt weird, and then I realized he was stalling. Finally he said, “Well, the biopsy shows that you have cancer.”

So now, ever time I put that shirt on, like today, I think of that conversation.

Here’s a story about what I call “Wrong Thinking.”

Way back in high school when I was playing baseball, a pitcher named Catfish Hunter became the first baseball player to get paid over a million dollars a year. I thought that was crazy, in a bad way. One day I talked to my dad about it, and asked him why people like farmers and engineers who did more important work didn’t get paid like that.

He didn’t have a great answer at the time, and that thought kept on bothering me. These days I think a correct answer he could have given me goes like this: “Baseball is in the entertainment business, just like singers and actors. For whatever reason, some sort of supply and demand, society is willing to pay those people a lot of money. So if the money bothers you, what you can do is make that money just like Catfish Hunter, and then give it away however you see fit.”

Mike (Pastor/Lawyer): Why’d you want to see me?

Sam (Prisoner): Papa told me you were a spiritual man, and that we need to help each other.

Mike: Help each other? Well ... you’re the one in jail.

Sam: [laughs] Well, there’s all kinds of jails. One of the worst is the prison of wrong thoughts. I was locked up there for many years until I found the key and opened the door.

(from the movie Mountain Top)

Today’s song of the day is, Can You Read My Mind, from the 1978 Superman movie.

There may be better ways to do this, but when I was writing a mobile app, with the JavaScript client written in Sencha Touch and the server written with the Play Framework, I wrote some curl scripts to simulate GET, POST, DELETE, and PUT request (method) calls to my Play Framework REST/RESTful web services.

Today’s song of the day is Sinner’s Prayer, by Godsmack’s Sully Erna.

“You’ve got a new face, new fingerprints, a new name. A lot of thought went into it.”

~ a little humor for those in the know

The name Remo Williams

It’s just another day in paradise
As you stumble to your bed
You’d give anything to silence
Those voices ringing in your head
You thought you could find happiness
You thought you would be satisfied
But you never will —
Learn to be still

~ from The Eagles song, Learn To Be Still