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

DeMarcus Ware is one of my favorite football players, by all accounts a real leader and team player. Here’s a nice quote from him in this article:

“I told myself, ‘Don’t get caught up. Stay focused and keep your head down and everything will be all right,’ ” he says. “That’s always been my motto: If you don’t get caught up in the hype, you can do something great.”

This article states that Vitamin D helps to stabilize mast cells. I always thought my Vitamin D levels were very low because of mast cell disease, but maybe something else caused the Vitamin D problem which made the mast cell problem worse,  dunno.

I haven’t tried it yet, but I was just reminded that Christopher Vogt (and others) have created a build tool named CBT as an alternative to SBT.

“And when Jung starts to deal with his archetypes, collective unconscious and so on, he is starting to deal with the fourth chakra ... he himself is afraid to go on, that’s quite clear. He goes just so far and then he stops, because he’s afraid that if he goes the next step, he will no longer be able to do what he does as Carl Jung.”

From a Ram Dass post, Chakras in the Body

As I walked into the local Starbucks today an alarm went off on my phone saying there was a tornado warning. So I asked the three people working there, “Which is worse, a tornado warning or a watch? I can never remember which is which.”

So rather than google it, we talked about whether “watch” or “warning” implied more danger, then we talked about some other things while we watched stuff go flying down the street. Never did figure out which is worse, but eventually I got a coffee.

Later in the day I came across a big ol’ wind-blown disaster mess at a gift shop, where I found this t-shirt amongst the ruins.

National Sarcasm Society t-shirt

It’s probably just me, but tipping the valet parking guy always feels like paying ransom to get my car back.

As I’m writing my new book on functional programming in Scala I started thinking, “What if the person who creates Skynet or the Matrix reads this book and suddenly understands how to create their evil invention? But ... if I don’t create this book, they’ll stay on their previous course in life to be a world-famous cookie baker.”

It’s quite a responsibility, knowing that you could be responsible for a future without great cookies.

I’ve made some good progress on my new book on Scala and functional programming recently. For whatever reason I had been having writer’s block, so I came out to the beach for a little while to help clear out my brain, and today in particular was very productive. For a while now I’ve known how the book would end, but I was having a problem getting from where I was to the end, and I got through most of that today.

In a slightly related note, here’s a blurry photo of a military ship out on the ocean.

Military ship on the ocean

John Gruber writes today that The Mac Pro Lives. Perhaps more accurately, at least it seems to have a future.

*Magneto flapping his wrist frantically, trying to shake loose a fork stuck to his hand*

This article on How to get out of a (mast cell disease) reaction cycle has good information on H1 and H2 antihistamines, mast cell stabilizers, and more.

(I already knew that the max dosage for Zyrtec for people like me is four pills a day, and on that page Lisa Klimas shares information on Benadryl, Zantac, Pepcid, and more.)

Traveling always reminds me of this song: Please Come to Boston, by Dave Loggins:

I lived in Palmer, Alaska for too short a period of time, and on my daily walks I would often go past this statue of Balto in the downtown area. Someone was kind enough to put a hat on him to keep him warm.

Balto, Palmer, Alaska

I saw this quote by Naval Ravikant:

“The fundamental delusion - there is something out there that will make me happy and fulfilled forever.”

and it reminded me of this quote by Zen Master Yasutani Roshi:

“The fundamental delusion of humanity is to suppose that I am here and you are out there.”

A couple that lives near me has been having problems, and yesterday the husband asked if he and I could talk privately. After we found a quiet place he said, “My wife isn’t the woman I married ... I don’t like this new version of her, and I don’t know what to do.”

(Sorry, there’s no moral to this story, only that.)

Health (and other things) permitting, I hope to have a first draft of my book on Scala and functional programming (now titled, Learning Functional Programming in Scala) completed by the end of May.

It may only be in an alpha or beta state by then, but I’m debating about making it available as an Amazon ebook for a low cost at that time. I’ll be going back to work almost immediately after that, so if I don’t release it now, it may be another year before I can really finish it.

Update: The first 600 pages of my book, Learning Functional Programming in Scala, are now available as a free PDF download.

In retrospect it’s humbling to see that doctors spent about half a million dollars over the last 5-7 years to figure out my illness. If more doctors knew about mast cell disease the total cost could have probably been 1/10th of that.

This makes me look forward to the day when doctors have better software, and are willing to use it. (Every time I watch an episode of House I think, “Use a computer!”)

Dr. Foreman: The kid was just taking his calculus exam when all of a sudden he got nauseous and disoriented.

Dr. House: That’s the way calculus presents.

I hesitate to say something because this is usually where I get cancer, a rare disease, or a body part has to be removed, but I did a yogic handstand tonight, for the first time since things started to go south in 2011.

(Photo is of Stephen Amell from The Arrow.)


What happens at the motor home stays at the motor home. (I don’t think I want to know what happens in the motor home.)

Sign in a store window, Palmer, Alaska.

What happens at the motor home stays at the motor home