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

Fact of the day: Billionaires Larry Ellison of Oracle, Steve Jobs of Apple, and Jeff Bezos of Amazon were all adopted.

Jobs met his biological mother and sister in his thirties. He would later meet his biological father once in passing at a restaurant, and they even shook hands, but they didn’t know they were father and son.

Bezos grew up with his biological mother. He says he doesn’t remember his father, who he last saw when he was three years old.

Ellison would meet his biological mother at age 48. (That’s all I know about him.)

This image comes from 2014, but it’s still a cool idea today. 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)

When I went to the gym today a very large young man looked at me like, “What are you doing in my gym, old man?” Before he left, he gave me the “You’re welcome to come back” nod of approval.

Don’t let a rare blood disease, multiple types of cancer, or musclebound young men intimidate you. :)

You can tell sometimes when doctors have something they don’t want to tell you. One of my doctors is an older “manly man” kind of guy, and while we’ve had some interesting conversations, they’ve never been about clothes. But the last time I saw him he walked in and said, “That’s an interesting shirt. What does it say on it? Where did you get it?” The conversation felt weird, and then I realized he was stalling. Finally he said, “Well, the biopsy shows that you have cancer.”

So now, ever time I put that shirt on, like today, I think of that conversation.

Here’s a story about what I call “Wrong Thinking.”

Way back in high school when I was playing baseball, a pitcher named Catfish Hunter became the first baseball player to get paid over a million dollars a year. I thought that was crazy, in a bad way. One day I talked to my dad about it, and asked him why people like farmers and engineers who did more important work didn’t get paid like that.

He didn’t have a great answer at the time, and that thought kept on bothering me. These days I think a correct answer he could have given me goes like this: “Baseball is in the entertainment business, just like singers and actors. For whatever reason, some sort of supply and demand, society is willing to pay those people a lot of money. So if the money bothers you, what you can do is make that money just like Catfish Hunter, and then give it away however you see fit.”

Mike (Pastor/Lawyer): Why’d you want to see me?

Sam (Prisoner): Papa told me you were a spiritual man, and that we need to help each other.

Mike: Help each other? Well ... you’re the one in jail.

Sam: [laughs] Well, there’s all kinds of jails. One of the worst is the prison of wrong thoughts. I was locked up there for many years until I found the key and opened the door.

(from the movie Mountain Top)

Today’s song of the day is, Can You Read My Mind, from the 1978 Superman movie.

There may be better ways to do this, but when I was writing a mobile app, with the JavaScript client written in Sencha Touch and the server written with the Play Framework, I wrote some curl scripts to simulate GET, POST, DELETE, and PUT request (method) calls to my Play Framework REST/RESTful web services.

Today’s song of the day is Sinner’s Prayer, by Godsmack’s Sully Erna.

“You’ve got a new face, new fingerprints, a new name. A lot of thought went into it.”

~ a little humor for those in the know

The name Remo Williams

It’s just another day in paradise
As you stumble to your bed
You’d give anything to silence
Those voices ringing in your head
You thought you could find happiness
You thought you would be satisfied
But you never will —
Learn to be still

~ from The Eagles song, Learn To Be Still

“They can be a great people, Kal-El, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you, my only son.”

~ Jor-El, the first Superman movie

I’m not sure what the proper term for this is, but there is (was) a glacier on the other side of this mountain in Seward, Alaska, and the resulting “cloud” came pouring in over the mountaintop one day when I was there.

Clouds pouring over a mountain

Scala FAQ: Can you use a question mark to end a Scala method name?

Answer: Yes, you can. Just use an underscore character before the question mark. For instance, here’s a method named alive_?:

def alive_? = true

Another possible approach you can use is to use backtick characters around the method name, without using an underscore...

Doctor: This isn’t the type of cancer where we tell you to go fishing.

Me: Phew, that’s great to hear, because I really don’t like fishing.

This is a photo of a day tour boat in Resurrection Bay, Seward, Alaska

Tour boat, Resurrection Bay, Seward, Alaska

Here are some of the lyrics from one last Sully Erna song today, this one named Seven Years:

If there was no tomorrow
Would you still remain the same?
Or live your life so shallow
And take it for granted everyday?

So take away tomorrow
And tell me again why we blame
Why we waste all our time
When time may not wait another day

So again, years go by
So many tears I cried

Now that we’re through
I’ll still honor you
And harmlessly swallow my pride

It’s time to fall away
It’s time to separate
And maybe we’ll be alright
Seven years gone by

For seven years
I’ve tried to make it
But how long can I take it
It’s time to fly
Seven years gone by

If there was no tomorrow
Would you still retain all your hate?
Or live your life with no one to spite
And free your spirit again

Here’s another beautiful “unplugged” song from Sully Erna, this one is named My Light. A few lyrics:

You always bring me light
And you help me find my way
A gentle kiss goodnight
Is the innocence I crave

Here I am
Humbled and amazed
This beautiful little miracle of life
Was gifted to me

And here I am
I never thought I’d say
If ever I could live my life again
I’d live it your way

You’ve always brought me life
And you’ve helped me find my way
A simple kiss goodnight
Is the innocence I crave

Under the light you shine on me
I promise I will be there for you baby
I’d never wanna leave you anyway
You’ve become my light

I cross my heart that’s in your hands
With hope that you will always be my best friend
I promise I will be there ’til the end
You’ve become my light

Under the light you shine on me
I promise I will be there for you baby
I’d never wanna leave you anyway
You’ve become my light

I cross my heart that’s in your hands
With hope that you will always be my best friend
I promise I will be there ’til the end
You’ve become my light

You’ve become my light
You’ve become my light ...

I’m a fan of many Godsmack songs, and this is their lead singer, Sully Erna, playing piano and singing a beautiful song named Until Then. (With Irina Chirkova playing the cello.) A few lyrics:

Lie
Awake
Watching you run through my head
I’m alone again, but not for long my friend

We face another day
And distance has come and taken you far away again
But I’ll see you soon my friend
And then I’ll sing you my song

I can’t go home alone again
No I can’t
My friend
Until then

Eyes, I recognize
Taking me back
Familiar to me from some other time
Or maybe another life

Remember our times, and know who I am
The memory stays, until we can breathe as one again
And I’m coming back my friend
And then I’ll sing you my song

And I can’t go home alone again
No I can’t go home all alone again
No I can’t go home all alone again
No I can’t
My friend
Until then

“Every wall is a door.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (also, the Kool-Aid Man)