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

Being an older person, I find young people interesting. One night when I was in the hospital last week I was supposed to be asleep, but couldn’t sleep, and I heard a nurse’s assistant who is still in college say, “If I had a bat, I’d rage on this wall.” That’s definitely not a phrase an older person would use.

As I wrote in Functional Programming, Simplified, functional programming can lead to happiness (and sanity). The quotes in this slide from Rúnar Bjarnason’s FP talk expand on what I wrote in my book. They keys are that pure functions are very simple, and you don’t have to constantly worry about the mutable state in your application.

Functional programming leads to happiness

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

After my surgery last week I went to see the doctor on Wednesday, and to my surprise he handed me a piece of paper that says that the biopsy on the body stuff he removed shows that I have cancer. But then he quickly added that he thinks it’s a mistake. He did two surgeries that day, me and another person, and he said that he knew going in that the other person had cancer, but the lab test results show that I have cancer and the other person did not test positive. So he hopes the results got reversed somehow.

To get to the truthiness of the matter they took a DNA sample from me and they’re going to compare that to the cancerous material that’s still in the lab. (I didn’t think to ask how long they keep that stuff laying around.) He said it could take ten days before they know the result. I think they’ve made movies about this, but I don’t think I’ll be racking up any huge credit card bills or anything like that. ;)

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.

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.