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

I’d like to meet the person who first drank milk from a cow. I’m curious about what led up to that decision.

Today’s mindfulness “lesson of the day” (mostly for myself) is a reminder to keep practicing, even when you don’t feel like it. You don’t get to choose when moments of enlightenment happen, so the best thing you can do is keep practicing so those moments will be possible when the right circumstances (karma?) come into alignment.

What happens is that over time, both the mindfulness and the enlightenment bits change the wrinkles in your brain, change your perspective and attitude, and cleanse the environmental conditioning of whatever happened to get you to this point. With continued practice you evolve (think “metamorphosis”) into a new person over time — this time a person of your own choosing, rather than a person conditioned by where and when you were born and lived.

(And who knows, maybe one day you’ll break free from the endless cycle of karmic existence, if you’re into that sort of thing.)

Namaste. ;)

“If testing costs more than not testing, don’t test.”

~ Kent Beck (via this twitter page)

wunderground.com says we might have 1-3” of snow on Friday. I think that would be the latest snowfall we’ve had at ground level (not in the mountains) since I moved to Colorado.

Snow expected in Louisville, Colorado, May 19, 2017

I first posted this definition of the word “Namaste” in January 2015. With my aunt passing away, I’m reminded of it today.

I honor the place in you
Where the entire universe resides.
I honor the place in you
Of love, of light, of truth, of peace.

I honor the place in you
Where if you are in that place in you and
I am in that place in me,
There is only one of us.

That definition comes from the excellent book, Polishing the Mirror, by Ram Dass.

Namaste.

On this day (May 16th) in 1990, Muppets creator Jim Henson died. He left this note for his children. (There’s a little more information at lettersofnote.com.)

Jim Henson's letter to his children

“Goddamnit!”

Every so often a woman in a lucid dream this morning yelled out like that, so after the fourth or fifth time I had to ask her about it. “Why do you keep saying that?,” I asked.

“Gets your attention, doesn’t it?”

“Yeah, I guess so.”

“There you have it.”

“There I have what?”

Ten years ago I moved to Talkeetna, Alaska, and just a few days after I moved into my cabin, a huge fire that was larger than the city of Louisville, Kentucky started to the west of Talkeetna. I took this photo at the top of the hill that overlooks the area.

Huge fire in Alaska (June, 2007)

Meanwhile, in Alaska ... a moose at a McDonald’s. (Image from this pinterest page.)

A moose at a McDonald's in Alaska

Back in 2013 I was staying in a hotel in New Mexico, put a coffee cup next to the tv, started pouring cream, and static electricity pulled the cream into the tv. Cool.

Coffee, cream, and static electricity

Thought of the day: Some people are hard to love. I’m sure there are more categories than this, but the people I’m thinking of today are either mean, negative, self-pitying, or in other cases, they just don’t give you anything to love.

An important part of this thought for me is that none of this has to do with what a person looks like, it’s all about their attitude.

“Program testing can be used to show the presence of bugs, but never to show their absence.”

~ Edsger Dijkstra

If you want to copy the current macOS Terminal path to the clipboard, you can do it with this simple command:

$ pwd | pbcopy

pwd prints the path to STDOUT, and pbcopy reads that and copies it to the macOS clipboard. Once the path is on the clipboard you can paste it into your other applications.

Of course you can also create an alias, like this:

alias path="pwd | pbcopy"

I was hoping to release the next version of my book on Scala and functional programming as a free PDF download tonight, but I ran into a couple of problems that I want to fix before I release it, and I’m too tired to do that tonight. I hope to release it tomorrow (Monday), and it should include over 600 pages, with 54 chapters and two appendices.

More of my Scala/FP book, coming soon

A software tool created by the NSA to hack into Microsoft Windows systems has been turned into a ransomware worm that has infected and disabled hundreds of thousands of unpatched Windows’ systems. Read more at bbc.com if you’re interested.

As a quick “note to self,” to get the Share Buttons module by AddToAny working in Drupal 8, I followed these steps:

- install the AddToAny module
- configure permissions so i could work with it
    - admin/people/permissions
- configure AddToAny as desired
    - admin/config/services/addtoany
- create a block, add it to a region (such as Content)
    - i actually created a block, then modified
      my theme to show AddToAny between the Contents and
      the Comments

The key to getting AddToAny was knowing to go to admin/structure/block and then selecting “Place Block” to create an AddToAny block. Not knowing that I had to do that slowed me down for quite a while.

Notes from September 24, 2016:

Doctor: I’d like to collect a bone marrow sample ...

*Al runs out of the hospital in a hospital gown, screaming like a little girl*


(later, after they caught me)

Doctor: The next time you break out in a rash, hives, or blisters, I want you to have those biopsied.

Me: Is there going to be any part of our relationship that doesn’t involve a lot of pain on my part?

Doc: Yes, pee in this cup, and we’ll look at it under a fluorescent light to see if you have the same disease that King George III had.

Me: The crazy one?

Doc: Yes.

Me: Cool.

To show how far my diet has come, on May 13, 2013 I wrote this on Facebook: “Huh, the doctor was right. They do have vegetables at my grocery store.”

These days (May, 2017), 80-90% of my diet is organic vegetables.

1-800-Flowers should be renamed to 1-800-NO-Flowers, because an order I placed on the Tuesday before Mother’s Day — which I paid extra to have delivered on Friday — won’t be delivered until after Mother’s Day. Either they or FedEx screwed up the delivery, and now FedEx won’t deliver the order until next week, so with 36 hours left before Mother’s Day, 1-800-NO-Flowers-For-You! won’t do anything to correct the problem.

Back in 2013, I attempted to grow a bonsai tree. It died almost immediately. I’d like to blame it on the high altitude here in Colorado, but I’m pretty sure it was me. Some day I’ll try again.

Bonsai tree