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

Someone on reddit says their therapist has this painting of Cookie Monster wearing a kimono.

Cookie Monster painting

Noting Gone may lead to a spontaneous spirit of love and service (bodhicitta). As I’ve said, where sensory events go to is where they sensory events arise from. Gone points to the source of your own consciousness ... so Noting Gone can lead to a spontaneous sense of oneness with — and commitment to — all beings.”

From the book, The Science of Enlightenment: How Meditation Works by Shinzen Young.

“In the beginning, meditation is something that happens within your day. Eventually, the day becomes something that happens within your meditation.”

~ From “The Science of Enlightenment: How Meditation Works

A humbling thing about this MCAS disease is that I just took the time to make an, “If I’m dead, here’s everything you need to know about how to update this Drupal 8 website” video.

Hopefully I’ll still be around for Drupal 9 — or my own replacement for Drupal — but when I get sick I always wish I had done this, so now I have.

Back when I was 18, I had a choice of three colleges I was going to go to: Kentucky Wesleyan College (KWC), Western Illinois, and the University of Texas El Paso (UTEP). Our family was relatively poor — my dad didn’t even have money to pay the bill for my oldest sister’s wedding that summer — so I went to KWC, which seemed like it might be the cheapest. Every once in a while I wonder what life would have been like if I didn’t go to KWC first, even though I eventually graduated from Texas A&M and lived in Texas for three years. So this morning I’m thinking about the people of El Paso.

The thing about people who kill other people is that they’re not born that way. You can easily imagine babies and young children who are black, white, hispanic, asian, middle eastern, etc., all playing together with no racist thoughts. They’re just children, so they naturally play together. People are made racist by their family, friends, and society, including the hate speech of the current president of the United States.

My condolences to the people of El Paso.

Looks like this airplane company might want to rethink how they place their slogan on their airplanes.

Airplane slogan: Longer, larger, wait, what?

August 4, 2011: 46 degrees, 20 mph wind, and a sled dog just ran down the middle of the street.

~ a note from living in Palmer, Alaska

Some people say that they don’t like living life on a schedule. I understand that, believe me. I lived the summer of 2007 wandering around Alaska, not living on a schedule.

But the reality is that no matter where you are and what you’re doing, at the end of every day you lived your life by some sort of schedule for those twenty-four hours.

Once you realize that, the only important thing is, whose schedule are you living? A schedule you put some effort into — a schedule of your own choosing? Or a schedule you haven’t given any thought to, perhaps a schedule that’s imposed on you by others.

~ Me, paraphrasing something I thought Zig Ziglar once said

A tweet from Rodney Lacroix. (For the record, I actually like brussels sprouts.)

Brussel sprouts

I saw several fields of caribou/elk at Rocky Mountain National Park on July 31, 2019, a few only ~20 feet away from my car.

Caribou/elk at Rocky Mountain National Park

“E is for existential crisis.” I had my first existential crisis when I was 16 or 17, then my second one when I was 33. These days, no problems, at least not in that area. :)

(I don’t know who originally created this Cookie Monster image, but I appreciate it.)

E is for existential crisis (Cookie Monster)

As a note about Scala style, this Scala page strongly encourages that side-effect methods that takes no parameters should be declared with parentheses:

“However, this syntax (leaving off parentheses) should only be used when the method in question has no side-effects (purely-functional). In other words, it would be acceptable to omit parentheses when calling queue.size, but not when calling println() (or openGarageDoor()). This convention mirrors the method declaration convention given above.”

“Religiously observing this convention will dramatically improve code readability and will make it much easier to understand at a glance the most basic operation of any given method. Resist the urge to omit parentheses simply to save two characters!”

The greatest source of happiness is the ability to be grateful at all times.

~ Zig Ziglar (and many others)

The greatest source of happiness is ...
Table of Contents1 - Problem2 - Solution3 - Run one task, but block4 - Run one thing, but don’t block, use callback5 - The onSuccess and onFailure callback methods6 - Creating a method to return a Future[T]7 - How to use multiple Futures in a for loop8 - Discussion9 - A future and ExecutionContext10 - Callback methods11 - For-comprehensions (combinators: map, flatMap, filter, foreach, recoverWith, fallbackTo, andThen)12 - See Also13 - The Scala Cookbook

This is an excerpt from the Scala Cookbook (partially modified for the internet). This is Recipe 13.9, “Simple concurrency with Scala Futures.”

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Problem

You want a simple way to run one or more tasks concurrently in a Scala application, including a way to handle their results when the tasks finish. For instance, you may want to make several web service calls in parallel, and then work with their results after they all return.

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Solution

A Future gives you a simple way to run an algorithm concurrently. A future starts running concurrently when you create it and returns a result at some point, well, in the future. In Scala, it’s said that a future returns “eventually.”

A moose statue inside Krazy Moose Subs, Wasilla, Alaska. Seems fitting to go along with my moose in Rocky Mountain National Park image earlier today.

A moose statue inside Krazy Moose Subs, Wasilla, Alaska

Unfortunately this image (and accompanying video) are blurry — I didn’t want to get too close to them — but here are two moose in Rocky Mountain National Park, July 31, 2019.

Two moose in Rocky Mountain National Park

The wine guy at the liquor store was way too helpful yesterday, trying to sell me some very nice bottles of wine. I finally had to tell him, “Look, I just want some cheap wine to help me fall asleep faster at night.”

“Like Boone’s Farm,” he asked.

“Pretty much.”

“A good choice. Right over here, sir,” he said as we walked to the cheap wine section.

~ a note from august 1, 2014

I went up to Rocky Mountain National Park yesterday, and there was still some snow in the mountains. This snow is near the Alpine Visitor’s Center at a little under 12,000 altitude.

Snow at the top of Rocky Mountain National Park

Wow, many years ago I thought there should be an errata page for the Scala Cookbook, but to the best of my knowledge we never had one. But now, to my surprise, there is one.

“If we long for our planet to be important, there is something we can do about it. We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers.”

~ Carl Sagan, Cosmos (via @WorldAndScience)