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

My disability fraud neighbor finally got a job. I'd like to think it had something to do with my motivational speaking, but I think what really happened was that he needed some money to go on a date.

~ a note from Wasilla, Alaska, August 31, 2010

“Encourage the quest for happiness in your children, even if it takes them very far away from you.”

~ I don’t remember the source of this quote, but I like it

Here’s a little view of a road in the mountains of Hatcher Pass, Alaska.

Road in the mountains, Hatcher Pass, Alaska

It's a little disconcerting to walk up to the car repair shop and see some dude driving down the road in my car, window down, sipping a 32-ounce drink from a straw, and generally looking comfortable. They really took my “drive it as much as you need to” comment seriously.

~ Wasilla, Alaska, August 30, 2010

Here’s a quick example of how to use Scala 3 (Dotty) enums, including using them as constructor and method parameters, and in a match expression. First, some Scala 3 enums for a pizza store application:

Here’s my latest favorite coffee mug, given to me by a friend, and filled with some organic espresso this afternoon.

(And if you like coffee mugs, you might also like my article, How to design products people love.)

Latest favorite coffee mug (squirrel)

When I woke up last night it was a little windy outside, so I decided to unplug my MacBook Pro because the power tends to flicker here. When I picked up the MacBook I noticed that it was very warm, even though the lid was closed and it was in sleep mode. This morning I decided to dig into the “Why is my MacBook hot even though the lid is closed and it’s in sleep mode” question.

CNBC has a good YouTube story about why Tim Horton’s struggles in the United States (despite great success in Canada).

Why Tim Horton’s struggles in the United States

“You want to know what your life will look like a year from now? Listen to what you’re saying when you talk to yourself. Your self-talk determines your future.”

~ from the book, Relentless Optimism

An “Alaska Stud Muffin” coffee mug. Back in the day I bought fine coffee mugs like these for friends and family.

Alaska Stud Muffin coffee mug

Less than 24 hours back in Colorado, and I made a woman cry today.

But it was a good thing.

We were talking and I mentioned something we had talked about previously, and she said, “I can’t believe you remember that,” and started crying.

Just like someone lifted my spirits back in December of 2005 (a story I wrote about recently), never underestimate the effects of a kind word.

~ August 29, 2018

I took this photo one day while driving back from the grocery store. When I lived in Talkeetna, Alaska, I would go to the grocery store in Wasilla, then take the back roads of Hatcher Pass to get back to Talkeetna, typically eating lunch at Summit Lake in the mountains. This is part of the dirt road I drove on.

Driving back from the grocery store (Alaska)

The green water of Summit Lake, at the top of Hatcher Pass.

Summit Lake at Hatcher Pass

Motivated by GraalVM, I rewrote my sbtmkdirs command using Scala. Here’s a link to the new Scala `sbtmkdirs` project on Github.

Havana, with Robert Redford and Lena Olin, is an underrated movie. It’s only rated a 6.0 on IMDB, but I’d give it more of an 8.0 or so.


I learned about “visual notes” as a way of capturing presentations last year, and I really like the technique. The image shows the visual notes from a talk titled, “Build Your Dreams”. The drawing/artwork is by Lynne Cazaly.

Build Your Dreams - visual notes

A little Iditarod humor in honor of the race starting today in Anchorage, Alaska. Photo from the Seavey family Ididaride website.

A flat tire in Alaska

I’m told that last August I drove from Kentucky to Colorado.

August drive from KY to CO

“Morbid and creepifying, I got no problem with, as long as she does it quiet-like.”

Thought of the last day or two: "Don't let what you don't have keep you from using what you do have." (Lou Holtz) Or in my case, "Don't let what you can't do stop you from doing what you can do."

Which reminds me of the song, Use What I Got, by Jason Aldean.