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

I’d been thinking about buying a large cellphone (phablet) recently, and every time I mentioned it to a woman, they immediately asked, “Do you know how small the pockets are in women’s pants?” That makes me think there’s a market for women’s pants with larger pockets.

With Twitter being Twitter, I saw this image there, and now I can’t find it again. But it shows that the new iPhone 8 is significantly faster at rendering a cnn.com page.

Actually, since I can’t find the original source, I don’t know if they both rendered mobile web pages, or whether they tried several times to make sure it wasn’t just a hiccup. But seeing that the architecture in a little phone can come anywhere near the performance of a desktop/laptop processor that’s still being sold makes one wonder about the future.

Update: I think this was the original source of the image.

iPhone 8 vs Intel Core i5 CPU web performance

When I first started studying Zen and the Tao, I interpreted many of the quotes I read as “let things be just as they are.” For a while that led to me acting as a doormat, letting other people do as they wished, even treating me poorly. I did that consciously, so even though I was acting like a wimp I didn’t feel like a wimp, I was just trying to practice what I was learning.

After a while I realized that was a wrong approach. Even if I lived in a Zen monastery, it would be wrong to allow someone to bully me.

(more ...)

Mindfulness and compassion don't mean you have to be a wimp

“What is it on this planet that needs doing that I know something about, that probably won’t happen unless I take responsibility for it?”

This is a quote from the book, Wherever You Go, There You Are, by Jon Kabat-Zinn. (The image comes from this page.)

What is it on this planet that needs doing that I know something about?

“To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme.”

~ Herman Melville

“Designing APIs is a subtle blend of craft and engineering. It is the one area we should carefully refine our design skills for.”

This is a nice, smart, compassionate response from the owner of the Miami Dolphins, to the president of the United States, who continues to embarrass himself and everyone that lives here.

Miami Dolphins owner on unity

Notes from September 24, 2016:

Doctor: I’d like to collect a bone marrow sample ...

*Al runs out of the hospital in a hospital gown, screaming like a little girl*


(later, after they caught me)

Doctor: The next time you break out in a rash, hives, or blisters, I want you to have those biopsied.

Me: Is there going to be any part of our relationship that doesn’t involve a lot of pain on my part?

Doc: Yes, pee in this cup, and we’ll look at it under a fluorescent light to see if you have the same disease that King George III had.

Me: The crazy one?

Doc: Yes.

Me: Cool.

A woman in a dream this morning was quite distraught and spoke only Spanish. I tried communicating by speaking very slowly (“Why .. are .. you .. here?”, “You're .. in .. the .. wrong .. dream”), but that didn’t help at all.

A note on pure functions, black holes, and miracles. From my book, Learning Functional Programming in Scala.

Pure functions, black holes, and miracles

“What if I never find out who’s a good boy?”

Who's the good boy?

“Praying is talking to the universe, meditation is listening to it.”

Praying is talking to the universe, meditation is listening to it.

I saw this image on Netflix tonight and immediately thought that a story that might be interesting is about a soul who is both a man and a woman at the same time. It could be implemented in a variety of ways ... they could co-exist on Earth at the same time, and have a shared memory ... or they could be on different planets with the same concept ... something about twins ... they could be a man one day and a woman the next day.

At the moment it seems like an interesting idea for a book, movie, or series, a way to explore all sorts of concepts related to “gender identity.” The shared view is a little like In Your Eyes, and it could be a little like Cloud Atlas, but it would also be very different from those movies.

A soul who is a man and a woman at the same time

[1st day working at the Hotel California]

Guest: I’d like to check out.

Me: Sure. You’re all set. Have a great day!

Guest: Thanks!

[Guest leaves]

Boss: Can I see you in my office?

*printer won’t print black text because yellow ink is low*

*Al throws printer off balcony*

I’m working on a little app for my Scala & functional programming book I currently call “Future Board.” It works a little like Flipboard in getting news headlines from different sources, but it uses Scala Futures and a few other functional programming techniques.

Future Board (like Flipboard, with Scala Futures)

I was just reminded of the time a recruiter told me to “play dumb” when a particular person interviewed me, because that person didn’t like to be challenged, and had to feel like he was the smartest person in the room. I couldn’t bring myself to do that; I figured if that was the way it was going to be, I didn’t want to work there.

I had my old RAV4 for about eight years. I bought it because Toyota supposedly had good quality, but I sold it on this date a few years ago because I had a lot of problems with that car, including the time it filled up with water shortly after I bought it.

Traded in the RAV4

A few more September colors from Talkeetna, Alaska

September colors, Talkeetna, Alaska

“Monad transformers are not too intuitive, especially in Scala, and are known to produce hard to understand code structure.”

~ Debasish Ghosh, Functional and Reactive Domain Modeling