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

“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”

~ Pablo Picasso

“Meditation practice brings our neuroses to the surface rather than hiding them at the bottom of our minds. It enables us to related to our lives as something workable.”

~ Chogyam Trungpa

“When you are able to stay perfectly clear by cutting off all thinking and yet not falling into a trance-like sleep, this is sitting.

When inside and outside become one, and no circumstances can hinder you, this is Zen.”

~ Zen Master Seung Sahn (image from the Kwan Um School of Zen Twitter account)

When inside and outside become one — Zen Master Seung Sahn

I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.

~ Mother Teresa

Here are a few images from a road trip I started on September 10, 2018. These are pictures from eastern Colorado early that morning, taken probably anywhere between Limon and western Kansas.

Colorado road trip, early morning

Colorado road trip, early morning

“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.”

~ Mother Teresa

Now you’re punching and you’re kicking
And you’re shouting at me
I’m relying on your common decency

So far it hasn’t surfaced
But I'm sure it exists

It just takes a while to travel
From your head to your fist

~ from the song, People Are People

Back in 1912, a little newspaper article warned people about global warming. Per Snopes, the original story was written a year before this one.

Global warming in the news in 1912

I wanted some specific features in a “find” utility, and when I couldn’t figure out how to get them with combinations of find, awk, and other Unix commands, I wrote what I wanted in Scala. Those features are (a) showing matching filenames, (b) showing the line that matches my search pattern, and underlining the pattern in the output, (c) showing the line numbers of the matches, and (d) showing an optional number of lines from the file before and after each match.

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”

~ Maya Angelou

Back when I was writing Functional Programming, Simplified I started to write a little Scala/FP “To-Do List” application that you can run from the command line, based on a similar application in the Learn You A Haskell For Great Good book. For reasons I don’t remember, I decided not to include it in the book, and forgot about it until I started using GraalVM (“Graal”) recently.

From LoriDuffWrites.com:

“One thing Scottoline is very good at, is something that many authors are not, and it is a pet peeve of mine. There is a rule in writing – if you put a gun on the mantelpiece in a scene, sometime later that gun needs to be fired. Red herrings are ok, but you can’t have irrelevant details or facts. Scottoline fires every single one of her guns, and that makes me happy.”

I didn’t like parts of Lisa Scottoline’s earlier books because she actually violated this “rule” quite a bit, but in her book, Killer Smile, she keeps the action moving and eliminates at least 90% of the “irrelevant details or facts” that I didn’t like in her earlier books. (Killer Smile is really good.)

If you know where to look, you too can find this 12,005’ altitude sign in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP), in the Estes Park, Colorado area.

12,000 feet up in Rocky Mountain National Park (Estes Park area)

If you ever visit the Boulder, Colorado area you’ll hear of the “flatirons.” Many stores and businesses are named after them. This is them.

The flatirons, Boulder, Colorado

I just saw this scene on the first episode of Season 2 of Longmire. I felt that way once or twice in Alaska, but never did what Vic did in the second image, or what she tried immediately after that.

Longmire, Vic, and the buffalo

The Nearest Donut Theory, courtesy of Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

The Nearest Donut Theory

The famous Henry Ford quote: “If I asked people what they wanted, they would have said ‘faster horses’”.

Henry Ford on faster horses

I was listening to a book by Lisa Scottoline recently, and a woman in her seventies told a woman in her late 20s or early 30s to be brave.

“I don’t know if I can be brave,” the younger woman replied.

“Don’t worry about that,” the older woman said. “If you can’t be brave, just be determined.”

That struck me as smart. I’ve often thought that I don’t know what brave is, but we all know what it is to be determined.

Here’s another great image from greatcosmichappyass.com.

I love my life!

“Never be a prisoner of your past. It was a lesson, not a life sentence.”

~ possibly from Anna Grace Taylor