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

“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

Google released Android Studio 2.2 yesterday. Here’s a link to the announcement and details on the Android Developers Blog.

Android 2.2 released

Today’s song of the day is We Are The World, by USA for Africa:

From time to time Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon stresses mindfulness in sports. He may not refer to it as mindfulness, but he certainly refers to staying in the present moment, which is the same thing.

In terms of sports and winning, I like his quote at the end of the clip I’m showing: “It comes down to what team competes better in the moment.” It may not be as obvious in baseball as it is with sports like football, basketball, and tennis, but as I’ve gotten older it’s become very clear that a lot of close games are won and lost in just a few key plays.

Mindfulness in baseball (Joe Maddon, Cubs) has some good information on triggers for mast cell diseases, including mastocytosis and mast cell activation syndrome (and histamine intolerance).

Triggers for mast cell diseases has some good low-histamine diet information. If you suffer from allergies, mast cell disease (including mastocytosis and mast cell activation syndrome), and possibly other illnesses like chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, this is worth learning about.

Low-histamine diet information

Here’s a look at how to fire MacOS system notifications with AppleScript (and Scala).

In this article I assume that you already know at least a little bit about how to use AppleScript, and just want to know how to trigger a MacOS notification. At the end of the tutorial I show how to invoke the AppleScript code using Scala and Java.

“Sometimes, the elegant implementation is just a function. Not a method. Not a class. Not a framework. Just a function.”

~ John Carmack

For the first time in a long time, I was able to walk one mile on Saturday.


I like listen to Eye of the Tiger as I am able to start practicing yoga again, but Coming Out of the Dark by Gloria Estefan is another great “comeback” song for the rest of the day:

I’m just starting to write an RSS Reader application using JavaFX and Scala, and I thought I’d post the initial code here. This code shows several advanced Scala techniques that Scala developers might need to use when writing Scala code to interact with Java, and in this case, JavaFX.