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

A Rocky Mountain sunset, near Boulder, Colorado.

A Rocky Mountain sunset, near Boulder, Colorado

A crow in the snow, a memory of a winter past.

A crow in the snow, Colorado

I wake up at 3:40am, hearing something dripping. I follow the sound around the new apartment until I find that it’s coming from the refrigerator. Looking around, I don’t see any water on the floor, inside the refrigerator compartment, or in the freezer. My guess is that this is what it sounds like when it defrosts. I have a sip of water and go back to bed.

I wake up some time later. It’s bright, so I don’t want to open my eyes. I’m enjoying a comfortable rest, and the pillow and sheets smell fresh and clean.

Wait.

Why is it so bright? I haven’t been here long, but I know that the Sun rises on the other side of the building, and my bedroom only get indirect light in the morning.

Without moving my body, I open my eyes and look around. I see enough to know that I’m in a hospital.

“If you think you’re enlightened, go spend a week with your family.”

~ Ram Dass

A friend introduced me to the movie Home for the Holidays many years ago, and it’s still the best Thanksgiving movie I know.

Home for the Holidays, the best Thanksgiving movie

“Current neuroscience research shows that gratitude practice begins the process of shutting down the default-mode network (‘monkey mind’), which is responsible for many of our distractions.”

I added the “monkey mind” part. This quote comes from my current favorite book, Right Concentration: A Practical Guide to the Jhanas.

“Parhelions, more commonly known as sun dogs or mock suns, appear as fuzzy rainbows or bright spots in the sky ‘dogging’ the Sun. You are most likely to see a sun dog in the morning or afternoon during the winter. Records of this phenomena date all the way back to the ancient Egyptians. Famous Ancient Greek philosophers Cicero and Aristotle even made mention of sun dogs.”

(I’m pretty sure I made the photo from Google image search results, but I don’t remember where I got that text. I posted this on Facebook on November 23, 2013.)

Photos of Parhelions (sun dogs)

“If an alien in a galaxy 65 million light years away is looking at us through a telescope right now, then they are looking at dinosaurs.”

Doctor: Do you know why your triglycerides are high?

Me: The election?

Doctor: No.

Me: David Bowie’s death?

Doctor: No.

Me: *sigh* The cookies?

Doctor: Yes.

If you ever need some good ScalaJ-HTTP examples, see the test files in the project, including this HttpBinTest.scala file. That file currently shows a number of good ScalaJ-HTTP examples, including GET, POST, redirect examples with Scala.

See that page for a full list of examples, but for my own use, here are a few of them.

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