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

“Remember how weird it seemed when you first learned that a String in Java was immutable? Well, in functional programming it’s all like that. Everything is immutable.”

(From a discussion with a Java developer recently.)

“When I was very young, my spiritual awareness was limited to a foggy sense of the presence of ‘something bigger’ than me and my personal life. During grammar school years, I was intent on trying to discover this elusive something. I was convinced that ‘it’ was the primary source of life and of everything in the world. I hoped to end my spiritual confusion by understand this ‘source’ and clarify the meaning of my life. My method for trying to understand this fundamental essence was to examine intellectually all the reasons I could think of for the universe to exist and to try to envision what had ‘existed’ before the universe came into being.”

(A quote from the book, Zen at Work, which I found in a used book store yesterday.)

When I was young, I’d lay in bed at night, imagine traveling to the end of the universe, and then I’d remember thinking, “It can’t end, it must keep going, right? How can the universe come to an ‘end’ unless it’s a balloon, in which case there is still something outside of the balloon.”

It seems like there still aren’t many women in computer programming, but twelve out of my last eighteen doctors have been women, so that’s cool.

FWIW, as we approach Mother’s Day, here’s some information on the cost of elder care, i.e., various types of assisted living, and living in nursing homes. Per this NPR article, these are “the national average annual costs and daily rates paid for various types of adult care.”

For seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia, alz.org adds this: “$225 per day or $82,125 per year for a semi-private room in a nursing home; $253 per day or $92,378 per year for a private room in a nursing home; $3,628 per month or $43,539 per year for basic services in an assisted living facility.”

The true cost of elder care

“Are you familiar with Sun Tzu?”

Michael Clarke Duncan, in a favorite tv show, The Finder

Are you familiar with Sun-Tzu

My Indian name is “Runs With Beer.” (A t-shirt I found in Santa Fe, New Mexico.)

My Indian name is 'Runs With Beer'

Mama always told me not to look into the eye’s of the Sun ... sunrise in Virginia Beach, April, 2017.

Sunrise in Virginia Beach, April, 2017

Had a fun multi-level Inception-like lucid dream last night. In two dream levels I saw the time was 11:40. When I woke up (for real) and went in the other room and looked at the clock, it was indeed 11:40pm.

In the last level, Uninvited was playing, until I walked around, following the music, found a radio, and turned it off.

May 3, 2103

“We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.”

~ Carlos Castaneda

Although I had already moved around quite a bit by then, living in Talkeetna, Alaska ten years ago had a big impact on my current vagabond lifestyle. I used to walk into town and sit on a bench and watch 10-20 tour buses roll in every day with people 70+ years old, and many of them would have canes, walkers, and wheelchairs.

While I felt great that those people were able to see a part of the town, I also knew that they couldn’t see all of the town. For instance, they couldn’t go down by the rivers because it was a bit of a walk, and there was no access for disabled people. Walking by the rivers is one of the great things about being in Talkeetna.

As I sat there I realized that when you get to that age that’s going to be the only way you can travel, and soon after that you won’t be able to travel at all. More recently, when I was pretty sick the last couple of years I became even more aware that the clock was ticking. So I plan to keep wandering around as long as I can.

After watching The Heartbreak Kid on Netflix last night (which I learned was R-rated as I was watching it), I was reminded of the song Rosalita, by Bruce Springsteen. Here’s a great performance of the song from 1988 on YouTube.

This image comes from 2014, but it’s still a cool idea. Someone created an art project in Juneau, Alaska that allowed people to complete the sentence, “Before I die I want to ...”

Before I die I want to ... (Juneau, Alaska)

“Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.”

~ Winston Churchill

Writing a book is an adventure

I went for a walk this morning to clear my mind. There’s still some snow here.

Rocky Mountains (front range), May 1, 2017

Arthur: If I asked you where the hell we were, would I regret it?

Ford: We’re safe.

Arthur: Oh good.

Ford: We’re in a small galley cabin in one of the spaceships of the Vogon Constructor Fleet.

Arthur: Ah, this is obviously some strange use of the word “safe” that I wasn’t previously aware of.

(From The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.)

A little bathroom wall inspiration for your day: Fear nothing! :)

You are a ghost driving a meat-covered skeleton

I found this, “Warning, coyote activity,” sign on Twitter this morning. We have a lot of coyotes in Colorado as well, so I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for dangerous coyote activity. ;)

Warning, coyote activity

I made it eight minutes on the elliptical trainer yesterday. That’s pretty much a record since all of this mast cell disease stuff started becoming a problem in 2011/2012.

#The ComebackContinues

“Cookie dough is the sushi of desserts” ~ Cookie Monster. (As heard on this video.)