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

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.”


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

I don’t have much time to explain this today (I’ll try to remember to update it when I get back), but ... if you’re interested in seeing how to use the sed command on a Mac OS X (macOS) system to search for newline characters in the input pattern and replace them with something else in the replacement pattern, this might point you in the right direction.

I’ll be driving to Mesa, AZ shortly to see my mom, so I’m working on a map. I did this once before, and as I remember, it is 6+ hours to Santa Fe, and another 10 hours from there to Mesa.

Map to Mesa, AZ

I woke up at 3:21 this morning, looked around, and thought, “Why is the apartment so bright?” Then I turned and saw the pre-Supermoon rising over the Rockies. Please enjoy my fancy iPhone photography skills. :)

Here’s a link for Supermoon information.

Supermoon over the Rockies

I wouldn’t want to use a 9” tablet as a laptop all the time, but sometimes at night I use my Nexus 9 with a Bluetooth keyboard to type some notes or start writing some code I plan to work on the next day. I don’t use many apps, just a decent Android text editor I found.

Pros: Using the touchscreen to scroll and place the cursor. Copy and paste isn’t too bad.

Cons: The small display and keyboard.

(In the image, the word “catain” was supposed to be “captain.”)

A Google Nexus 9 tablet as a laptop

“The universe is built up into an aggregate of permanent objects connected by causal relations that are independent of the subject and are placed in objective space and time.”

~ Jean Piaget

I can’t agree with the “permanent objects” phrase, but this is a quote from the book, Implementing Domain-Driven Design, by Vaughn Vernon

“The honest answer to almost any question in software development is, ‘It depends.’”

Eric Evans, author of Domain Driven Design

It feels good to be writing again, if only a little so far. This is what a fairly typical page looks like after one of my early editing sessions.

Typical editing example

“Many functions in Lisp are list-eaters.”

From the book, Land of Lisp

A year ago (November 11, 2015), we had our first snowfall, and I took this photo of my neighbor’s horses.

Horses and snow, November 11, 2015

These are the lyrics for the Beatles song, “Within You Without You”:

We were talking about the space between us all
And the people who hide themselves behind a wall of illusion
Never glimpse the truth, then it’s far too late, when they pass away

We were talking about the love we all could share
When we find it, to try our best to hold it there with our love
With our love, we could save the world, if they only knew

Try to realize it’s all within yourself
No one else can make you change
And to see you’re really only very small
And life flows on within you and without you

We were talking about the love that’s gone so cold
And the people who gain the world and lose their soul
They don’t know, they can’t see, are you one of them?

When you’ve seen beyond yourself then you may find
Peace of mind is waiting there
And the time will come when you see we’re all one
And life flows on within you and without you