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

This is my interpretation of the meaning of the Alanis Morissette song, Thank You (also known as Thank U). I don’t claim any special knowledge about the song; this interpretation of the lyrics is just based on my understanding of Zen and Buddhism. If you’ve read this website, you know a lot of what I know.

I like these Zen dog garden sculptures and I’d buy them for friends, but I learned a few years ago not to give gifts that might be construed as being religious. The same company also has cats, frogs, and turtles.

Zen dog garden sculptures

I’ll be joining a new yoga class soon, and I was just thinking about what I might say, or not say, to the other students in the class about the things I’ve experienced when practicing yoga very seriously. In an open discussion during a previous yoga class I told other students that I was able to feel various things when we did the “corpse pose” at the end of the session. I didn’t go into great detail, but I did tell them that I could feel my blood flowing in my body, how I could feel “vibration” sensations on my skin, and a few other things.

When I saw this map after the election I didn’t think about politics. I thought, “Wow, in ten years almost all of those truck drivers can be replaced by self-driving vehicles.”

I’m all for reducing congestion on the interstates — the U.S. population has probably doubled since the interstates were built — but that looks like a lot of people who are going to need to learn a new trade.

Truck drivers may need a new trade

This page is very much a work in progress, but it currently shows a small collection of ScalaTest BDD examples. I’ll keep adding more BDD examples as time goes on. Also, in this article I assume that you are familiar/comfortable with Scala and SBT, and are at least slightly familiar with using ScalaTest.

What the sky will look like when people travel back and forth to the Moon.

Traveling to the Moon

“Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do so with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.”

~ Og Mandino

Laugh at the night,
at the day, at the moon,
laugh at the twisted
streets of the island,
laugh at this clumsy
boy who loves you,
but when I open
my eyes and close them,
when my steps go,
when my steps return,
deny me bread,
air, light, spring,
but never your laughter,
for I would die.

~ Pablo Neruda

When you go to the bathroom at the top of Rocky Mountain National Park, and you come out and everyone else is gone.

The only car at Rocky Mountain National Park

David Price has written a book titled, The Pixar Touch, and on his website he shares 22 tips about storytelling from a former Pixar employee. This image shows the first ten tips.

Pixar story rules

It’s a bit of a riddle, but other people in your life have to be who they are so you can be(come) who you are.

Sometimes when you’re working with doctors they’ll use the term, “idiopathic.” It turns out that’s just a fancy word for, “We don’t know.” I haven’t looked up the origin of the word, but I remember its meaning by thinking, “Idiot, we’re not telepathic.” (Supernatural fans: substitute “idjit” for “idiot.”)

As an example, there’s an illness named, “Chronic Idiopathic Uticaria.” Chronic means constant, uticaria is a fancy word for hives, so that phrase means, “Some people constantly break out in hives, and we don’t know why.”

I have this problem, but for me it’s no longer idiopathic. I now know if I stick to a diet of a small set of organic foods I won’t get hives, but if I stray from that diet I quickly get itchy, and if I keep eating that way I eventually get hives.

That’s my medical lesson of the day. ;)

“I am not this hair. I am not this skin. I am the soul that lives within.”

Rumi

Ever have one of those days where you wake up in a bathtub full of ice in a hotel room with one of your kidneys gone?

“The best feeling is when someone appreciates everything about you that someone else took for granted.”

(I don’t know the original source of this, but I like it.)

Some people come into your life and even if they don't stay in it for long, they make an impact that changes you forever. Happy birthday to two people today (November 19th), one who made my life miserable, and another who made it wonderful.

In the third line of her song, Thank You, Alanis Morissette sings, “How about them transparent dangling carrots?” In this article I’ll take a little look at what that line means.

Wow, how embarrassing. It has taken me *years* to realize that when I run on all fours in a dream that I’m actually a dog (or maybe some other four-legged animal).

I finally realized it this morning when I was running like that and came up to a group of human friends, and one said something like, “Hey, look over there, it’s your new friend.”

When I looked in the direction he was pointing I saw a group of people who didn’t look familiar, and a black dog. Just then the dog came running at me. When it got to me it started licking and biting me and I thought, “This dog is crazy, why doesn’t someone get it off of me,” when everything suddenly made sense.

“The path I have followed has been dangerous, destabilizing more than calm, excruciating more than pleasant, and hard to integrate (into ‘normal’ everyday life). It has also been profound, amazing, and glorious. Surfing the ragged edges of reality has been easier than slowing the thing down.”

~ A quote from the book, Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha, by Daniel Ingram.

I’ve been interested in “Imposter Syndrome” since I first heard about it. I’ve thought about it as being a lack of confidence, and that’s illustrated in this graphic by Jay Elmore, which I found on this Twitter page.

Imposter Syndrome vs Reality