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

One of the things you have to remember when working with human beings is that IQ is not the same as EQ, and they’re rarely equal. Some people have a horrible temper. One guy I know is smart, but he remains the biggest jerk I’ve ever met.

I remember hearing one time that when people are hurt in their childhood or teen years they stop developing emotionally at that point. So if they are somehow hurt when they are twelve years old, they can be thirty years old physically but only twelve emotionally. I don’t know if that’s 100% true, but it seems like it in some cases I know. (And the hard thing is that these people don’t know that they have these problems.)

Nothing screams “Happy Holidays” like a fake positive-pregnancy test, that’s what I always say.

(Google “woman selling positive pregnancy tests” for more details.)

False-positive pregnancy test

It’s a death trap, it’s a suicide rap, we gotta get out while we’re young ... not sure why I thought grocery shopping would be a good idea today.

(Happy Holidays)

Writing as someone who likely has Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS) and who has also looked into histamine intolerance, it was surprising to see the headlines in this image being “news” in 2016. MCAS was officially designated as a disease in 2007, and for anyone who knows about it, there’s nothing new about this. Cured foods are well known to be a trigger for people with mast cell issues, meaning that eating cured foods is known to trigger mast cells to release histamine (i.e., to degranulate).

Cured meats bad for asthma

Here’s a great view of the Rocky Mountains and part of Boulder, Colorado, from my apartment on December 21, 2013.

(As a not-too-subtle plug for my book, that great view was paid for by my consulting career.)

Snowy Rocky Mountains and Boulder, Colorado, December, 2013

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” ~ Lao-tzu

“It also includes about five gas station stops.” ~ Alvin

Diary entry from December 21, 2010, 1:45am, Wasilla, Alaska:

“Sitting outside with Jack Daniels and a few neighbors. Lunar eclipse is just starting, wish I had that better camera lens now.”

Lunar eclipse 2010, Wasilla, Alaska

From “Winter Solstice Day, 2011,” two moose working things out in Palmer, Alaska.

Two moose in Palmer, Alaska

O’Reilly has an article titled Scaling Scala. The article talks about Scala, Akka, Spark, Kafka, Dotty, Cats vs Scalaz, and more.

Scaling Scala

The Wall Street Journal has an article titled, Microsoft, rebooted, emerges as a tech leader. Personally I’ve ignored Microsoft since around 2005, but some of their recent decisions seem better than they have been in years (IMHO).

Microsoft, rebooted, emerges as a tech leader

I don’t know how legitimate they are, but National Popular Vote, Inc. is a 501(c)(4) non-profit corporation whose specific purpose is to study, analyze and educate the public regarding its proposal to implement a nationwide popular election of the President of the United States.

National Popular Vote website

I haven’t done any HTML5-specific web programming in a while, so although I know many of the HTML5 tags, I don’t know them all. Here’s a link to the HTML Element Reference page on

HTML element reference

In a lucid dream last night I knew I was dreaming/asleep, but I couldn’t prove it. I kept counting five fingers on each hand (instead of the usual 6 or even 7), and everything in the apartment was right, yet I couldn’t turn on the lights in the kitchen or bathroom, which is a giveaway. (I don’t know why, but light switches usually don’t work in dreams.) I also couldn’t wake myself up. I finally decided that I need another totem for occasions like this and just went along with the experience, then woke up instantly when I found someone sleeping in my bed.

Slid sideways through an icy intersection just in time to see a helicopter lift off from the ground with a sunlit mountain range as its backdrop ... pretty awesome.

(A Facebook post from December 19, 2010, when I lived in Alaska.)

Taking care of others can be done with two very different motivations. With one, we care for others in an unhealthy way, seemingly sacrificing ourselves, but really acting out of fear or attachment.

People who are attached to praise, reputation, relationships, and as forth and who fear losing these may seemingly neglect their own needs to take care of others. But in fact they are protecting themselves in an unproductive way. Their care comes not from genuine love, but from a self-centered attempt to be happy that is actually making them more unhappy.

~ A quote from Buddhism for Beginners, by Thubten Chodron

“If she’s in it, she must be getting something out of it.”

That’s a quote from a favorite tv series, Law & Order: Criminal Intent. It’s about women who stay in marriages when people outside of the marriage can’t understand why the woman stays married to the man.

In my own life I know a fair number of seemingly independent women who either appear to be unhappy, or openly say they’re unhappy, yet they stay married to the same guy, something I still don’t understand.

A Facebook post from when I lived in Alaska in 2010.

-31 reasons not to live in Fairbanks, Alaska in the winter

Clear skies tonight, bitter cold, with a chance of Northern Lights.

~ weather in wasilla, alaska, december 13, 2010