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

The local parks people have created the best outdoor ice skating arena I’ve ever seen here on Wasilla Lake, night lights and all.

Started the drive back to Colorado at 5:50am EST Tuesday in Kentucky. Waited out the morning’s nasty snowstorm with some old-timers and truckers at a McD’s in Georgetown, Indiana.

Got tired of waiting, so when the snow let up a little I got back in the car. Maneuvered through 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, the 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.

After the operation in July I just got back to a 160 pound bench press and practicing yoga every night. After operation #8 tomorrow I won’t be able to exercise for six weeks. You just gotta keep coming back, keep fighting.

(I share the full quote from the movie Rocky Balboa at this link.)

Just gotta keep fighting

If you ever wondered about winter in Alaska, sunrise in Talkeetna starts at 10:07am today (December 5th) and sets at 3:37pm. Talkeetna is actually very low in Alaska, latitude-wise. Meanwhile in Utqiaġvik (formerly known as Barrow), the Sun neither rises nor sets today.

Just another Talkeetna sunrise

I’ll be having Surgery #8 on Thursday, so I won’t be adding any updates to this site until sometime next week. But y’all have fun out there. Namaste. :)

(I also disabled comments on the website until I return.)

Namaste

Tonight (December 2, 2018) I’m releasing my latest book, Kotlin Quick Reference.

Kotlin Quick Reference

Somewhere around a year ago I started working on a Kotlin programming book, but then I had to get away from it to work on other things. When I got back to it recently I looked around and felt like the world didn’t need another “Introduction to Kotlin” book — there are a couple of good ones out there, including Kotlin in Action, and the kotlinlang.org documentation is excellent — so I decided to ditch the project completely.

I’m pleased to announce that my book, Functional Programming, Simplified, is now available in three formats:

PDF Format
$25 on Gumroad.com
(sale price)

PDF version of Functional Programming, Simplified

Paperback Book
$39.99 on Amazon
 

Print version of Functional Programming, Simplified

Kindle eBook
$29.99 on Amazon
 

Kindle version of Functional Programming, Simplified

Dog wants a second opinion after the doctor says he should be neutered (funny). From Tundra Comics.

Belinda Carlisle, who sang songs like Mad About You (my favorite) and Our Lips Are Sealed (with the Go-Go’s), was addicted to cocaine for thirty years. She’s now a Buddhist and living in Thailand. In a rare appearance in the U.S., she’ll be sharing her story in Denver on January 17, 2019.

Why, I ask, do so many men (and women), whether they’re sixty-five or twenty-five, refuse to take responsibility for their actions?

Springsteen sighs. “I would go back to DNA. If you grow up in a household where people are refusing to take responsibility for their lives, chances are you’re gonna refuse. You’re gonna see yourself as a professional victim. And once that’s locked into you, it takes a lotta self-awareness, a lotta work to come out from under it. I’m shocked at the number of people that I know who fall into this category. And it has nothing to do with whether you’re successful or not. It’s just your baggage. So that’s important to communicate to your children: They have to take responsibility for who they are, their actions, what they do. They’ve got to own their lives.”

~ this quote, which reminds me of some people in the Alexander clan, is from this interview with Bruce Springsteen

Phew, I’m glad to be back from the Land of the Dead. Just took some chocolates to the nurses who helped me recover. Looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend.

~ A Facebook post from November 30, 2010. I was living in Wasilla, Alaska at the time, had my gallbladder removed, then got an infection that made for ten of the worst days of my life. But the nurses were very helpful.

From their website: “The 2018 Engineering Gift Guide from Purdue University is filled with fun toys, games, books, and applications to engage girls and boys ages 3-18 in engineering thinking and design. Researchers looked for toys that would promote engineering practices ranging from coding and spatial reasoning to problem solving and critical thinking.”

Purdue University 2018 engineering gift guide

Back in my day, aerospace engineering undergrad students had very little time to work in the wind tunnels at Texas A&M, but in the limited time I had I tried to look at what makes a knuckleball move erratically. Barton Smith at Utah State University did the same thing (presumably with much more wind tunnel time) looking at a baseball’s spin rate, spin axis, and orientation of the ball.

I just released a large-font version of the Functional Programming, Simplified PDF. My hope is that it will help those people who want to read it in a Kindle reader. If you’ve bought the PDF, you can find the new file in your Gumroad.com account.

If I manage to send any cards out for Christmas this year, they’ll be these “Starry Night over the Rocky Mountains” cards, which I found in a store on the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder, Colorado yesterday.

Starry Night over the Rocky Mountains

For Cyber Monday I reduced the price of the PDF version of “Functional Programming, Simplified” to $22.50. (Price good on November 25 and 26, 2018 only.) Click here to buy the book!