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

After having what I call a “fake heart attack” — something that was really Kounis Syndrome, also known as allergic angina — I had an angiogram in May, 2016, at which time an Angio-Seal device was used to help seal the hole that was put in my femoral artery after the angiogram.

As I understand it, this device is used to place a collagen seal around the artery. The collagen is shown in this image, which comes from the link in the previous paragraph:

Angio-Seal diagram shows artery, collagen

Per this Bloomberg article, “Volkswagen AG secured 20 billion euros ($25 billion) in battery supplies to underpin an aggressive push into electric cars in the coming years, ramping up pressure on Tesla as it struggles with production issues for the mainstream Model 3.”

“The world’s largest carmaker will equip 16 factories to produce electric vehicles by the end of 2022, compared with three currently ... plans to build as many as 3 million of the cars a year by 2025 is backstopped by deals with suppliers including Samsung. LG, and Contemporary Amperex Technology for batteries in Europe and China.”

“In total ... plans to purchase about 50 billion euros in batteries as part of its electric-car push, which includes three new models in 2018 with dozens more following. Volkswagen’s battery plans compare to Tesla’s $17.5 billion worth of purchase obligations as of last year, including $15.4 billion in deals through 2022, primarily related to buying lithium-ion cells from Panasonic, according to a recent filing.”

This is a good quote about Warren Buffett-style investing:

They like to liken their process to a three-legged stool in terms of the kinds of companies they look for:

  • The first leg of that stool is the business model that produces high free cash flow
  • The second leg is shareholder-oriented management
  • And the third leg is the ability to invest that high free cash flow in areas that will produce attractive rates of return

The quote comes from this Morningstar page. That description is consistent with what you’ll find in books like The Warren Buffett Way and The New Buffettology.

These are the “Five Gatekeepers of Speech,” as found in this tweet by Joan Halifax, where she writes, “I feel to repost this now as a guard against lying becoming a norm in our society”:

  1. Is it true?
  2. Is it kind?
  3. Is it beneficial?
  4. Is it necessary?
  5. Is it the right time?

I learned about these gatekeepers a long time ago, both through my study of Zen and from my yoga teacher.

I know, it’s a little corny, but instead of writing out a “To-Do List” — which implies hard labor and/or something I force myself to do — these days I write “WIN” on the top of my index cards. WIN stands for, “What’s Important Now”, and I find that this change in wording changes my attitude towards the things that need to be done. Rather than thinking, “Ugh, okay, what do I have to do next,” I now think of these tasks as important to me, my future, and my success.

We don't get much snow in the Boulder area, but up in the mountains near Vail and Aspen, Colorado, they usually get plenty. This was taken at a rest area near Vail.

~ March 21, 2013, on the drive back from Las Vegas

Snow in the mountains near Vail, Colorado

“Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.”

~ Buddha (as seen in this Spirit Rock link)

This morning Google announced their Google News Initiative, which is a number of things, but has these three objectives:

  • Elevate and strengthen quality journalism  
  • Evolve business models to drive sustainable growth
  • Empower news organizations through technological innovation

Talent is god given. Be humble.
Fame is man given. Be grateful.
Conceit is self given. Be careful.

~ John Wooden

In a previous article I shared a catalog of examples of Gimp filter effects. In this brief pictorial I’ll share examples of some of my favorite Gimp effects on a favorite image of a favorite dog. I don’t have a particular goal in this work, I just want to try out some different filters and effects and see where they lead.

Here’s a raw image of a Siberian Husky named Zeus that I knew very well:

LeBron James is a basketball player who’s had a back problem and now does a lot of hard work just so he can play basketball. As a former business owner and consultant who has a rare blood disease and is working to get back to a regular 40-hour work week, I found this story about LBJ’s training regimen inspirational. Two good quotes:

  • ...his thoughtful and ever-evolving approach toward training and recovery...
  • “It’s every day. Around the clock every single day, working on my body.”

And this:

Work hard.
Train hard.
Play hard.

“Every person in your company is a vector. Your progress is determined by the sum of all vectors.”

That’s a quote from Elon Musk. In this context a vector is what I know about from my engineering background, a company of both a speed and a direction, something like this:

case class Vector(speed: Double, direction: String)

The correct thing about that quote is that the worst employees I ever had pulled in a direction that was somewhere around 180 degrees opposite of the direction we were aiming for. For example, if nine out of ten employees are rowing a boat that’s headed east, an employee that’s rowing towards the west is going to slow everyone else down.

Unfortunately I never had much success turning those people around, so they were always fired or encouraged to find other work. Over the years we had everything from people whose work had to be completely re-done to people who had agendas during the 8-5 work hours that had nothing to do with the company’s agenda.

In an earlier vim color configuration tutorial I described how to have fine-grained control of your vi and vim color settings. In this article I’ll take an easier route and just show how you can use existing color schemes in your vi editor sessions.

Using a vim color scheme

Using a vim color scheme is actually pretty simple. If you’re in a vim editor session, just issue the vim colorscheme command from last line mode, like this:

“I have no idea who that guy was, but I know that he just reset our karmic destiny.”

(A quote from the book, Love Everyone, that makes me wonder how many times our karmic destiny is reset and we don’t notice it.)

The postal code in Stewart, British Columbia, is “VOT 1WO,” which the locals tell me stands for Very Old Town, One Way Out.

I fall in love once or twice a week, but I usually try not to bring anyone home.

How does one become loving awareness?

This is a great quote from my favorite book on spirituality about trying to change other people (and attachment and karma).

Create a space for people to grow, live in your soul

This is one of my favorite traffic signs in all of the world. You can find it if you drive north from Anchorage, Alaska towards Wasilla and Palmer. When I lived in Alaska in 2010-2011, I would take the exit to the right to go to Palmer. If you keep going straight you’ll go to Wasilla, then Willow, Talkeetna, and eventually Denali and then Fairbanks. (If you’re really gung ho, as I was, you can also drive to Prudhoe Bay, if you don’t mind 400 miles of dirt roads.)

And as you can tell from the highway numbers 1 & 3, there aren’t many main roads in Alaska. :)

Highway traffic sign to Wasilla and Palmer, Alaska

If you like signs, this signpost on the corner of 4th and F streets in Anchorage, Alaska shows the distance to many other cities in the U.S. and around the world.

Signpost in Anchorage, Alaska