That time I ended up in Vail alvin March 19, 2017 - 8:40am

On the drive back from Vegas this weekend, the road got icy in the mountains near Vail, so I decided I better pull off and stay at a hotel, or sleep in the car if necessary. I wasn’t happy about it. Even though it was after 2am, I was jacked up on Mountain Dew, and just wanted to finish the last ninety miles to get home.

I got off the interstate at the next exit. The roads were nasty slick, and I slid around the dark collection of motels and gas stations until I saw a skanky motel whose “Vacancy” sign was lit. My car couldn’t make it up the motel’s hilly entrance, so I parked in an open flat area below, grabbed a bag, and walked five minutes in the freezing precipitation to get to the motel entrance, finding footing anywhere I could.

Effective Scala slides alvin February 15, 2017 - 4:33pm

Here’s a link to some Effective Scala slides, as presented by Mirco Dotta in 2013.

Driving through a snowstorm to get home alvin January 20, 2017 - 3:01pm

Started the drive at 5:50 EST Tuesday in Kentucky. Waited out the morning’s snowstorm with some old-timers and truckers at a McD’s in Georgetown, Indiana. Maneuvered through the snow and ice induced wrecks between Corydon and Evansville. Wanted to kiss the ground when it finally got dry after 11am. Drove through the sunset in Kansas, then followed the truckers, Moon, and stars across the rest of Kansas and Colorado, arrived “home” at 12:20am MST Wednesday. Looking forward to seeing if the mountains are white whenever I wake up.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” ~ Lao-tzu

“It also includes about five gas station stops.” ~ Alvin

In a lucid dream last night I knew I was asleep

In a lucid dream last night I knew I was dreaming/asleep, but I couldn’t prove it. I kept counting five fingers on each hand (instead of the usual 6 or even 7), and everything in the apartment was right, yet I couldn’t turn on the lights in the kitchen or bathroom, which is a giveaway. (I don’t know why, but light switches usually don’t work in dreams.) I also couldn’t wake myself up. I finally decided that I need another totem for occasions like this and just went along with the experience, then woke up instantly when I found someone sleeping in my bed.

Parhelions (“Sun Dogs”)

“Parhelions, more commonly known as sun dogs or mock suns, appear as fuzzy rainbows or bright spots in the sky ‘dogging’ the Sun. You are most likely to see a sun dog in the morning or afternoon during the winter. Records of this phenomena date all the way back to the ancient Egyptians. Famous Ancient Greek philosophers Cicero and Aristotle even made mention of sun dogs.”

(I’m pretty sure I made the photo from Google image search results, but I don’t remember where I got that text. I posted this on Facebook on November 23, 2013.)

My heart, dancing to the beat of a different drummer

Facebook tells me that I was having health problems three years ago, when I posted the attached image, and this text: “My heart has been dancing to the beat of its own drummer again lately, so rather than sleep at night I've been listening to the coyotes and watching movies. These were all good. You Kill Me cracks me up.”

“You have cancer”

A few people I’ve talked to recently who have (or had) cancer told me they can clearly remember the moment when their doctor told them that they had cancer.

In my case I do remember the conversation with the doctor, but that was more of a formality. When I picked up the phone to talk to her, I already had a pad of paper and a pencil in hand, and I was ready to write down the details she was going to tell me. Because in my case I was pretty certain that I had cancer when I saw the ultrasound results a few days earlier.

Chicago Bulls offense - shooting 'hot zones'

These images show the Chicago Bulls shooting ‘hot zones’ (top image) compared to the same data for the World Champion San Antonio Spurs. I wish the NBA had used a few more colors rather than a blanket yellowish color for many data points, but if you look at the actual data, you’ll see why the Bulls struggle offensively.

I don’t like the use of colors, but the website I’m about to link to states that yellow is comparable to the league average in that zone, green is better than average, and red is below the league average in that zone. But if you look at the shooting percentages right at the hoop, the Spurs shot 59.7% while the Bulls shot only 51.9% -- a huge 7.8% difference -- and both are colored yellow.

The Bulls’ chart comes from this url, and you can find the Spurs’ chart on the same website.