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

It was an interesting afternoon to watch a Wikipedia entry. With the University of Colorado looking for a new head football coach, I saw this tweet saying that someone changed Steve Sarkisian’s Wikipedia entry early this afternoon (2/20/2020) to show that he was the new head coach at Colorado.

When I looked up the IP address at the bottom of that changelist — 128.138.184.70 — I saw that it was a University of Colorado IP address. But later in the afternoon it was reported that Sarkisian was staying as the offensive coordinator at Alabama and getting a raise, so his Wikipedia entry was reverted about 2.5 hours later.

Steve Sarkisian, University of Colorado football coach (or not)

Today (2/20/2020) was a bit of a milestone in that I was able to walk for 15 minutes straight before I got the first twinge in my heart. This was the first day I was able to walk that long without pain since the pericarditis episode of late 2019.

When I saw this image on Netflix I 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. 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.” Parts of it could be 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

This is another “sketch” of Luke Skywalker from whatever the last Star Wars movie was called. I started with this earlier image I created, then converted it to a Gimp life sketch by going to Beautify > Beautify > Art > Life Sketch > 100%.

While I’m in the neighborhood, I also created this fake Luke Skywalker “hoodie” oil painting.

Luke Skywalker black and white sketch

Ah, the Chicken Oil Company ... once I discovered it when I went to school at Texas A&M, I ate quite a few Deathburgers. I’m glad to see that they’re still in business. (Image from this link.)

Chicken Oil Company, Bryan, Texas

Photos of mom and cub polar bears. I hoped O’Reilly would use these for the cover of the Scala Cookbook — because of the whole “scalable” thing, and to help raise awareness about climate change — but whoever puts images on their book covers had something else in mind.

Polar bear photos (mom and cub)

Back in July, 2017, a bear walked into a liquor store in Juneau, Alaska. On the video it seems to be trying to decide which candy bar it wants.

A bear walks into a liquor store in Juneau, Alaska

February 19, 2014: I passed out for the first time. Before then I knew I was sick, but that was the first day I went down.

*three years of hospital visits and dozens of doctors*

February 19, 2017: For the first time in many years I’ve been able to practice yoga on a daily basis. As usual, during the first several weeks it was difficult and I was sore, but these days all is well. Soon this body will be rock hard and incredibly limber. :)

I'll be back, I am back

Today (February 19th) is an anniversary of sorts for me. After knowing “something” was wrong for a long time — I used to tell doctors it felt like I had been poisoned or was experiencing the symptoms of anaphylaxis or sepsis — I went unconscious for the first time on this date in 2014.

While that in many ways was a horrible event — if I had fallen to the right instead of the left when I blacked out I probably would have cracked my head on the bathtub and died right then — in the end it was necessary for doctors (and I) to take things more seriously, which resulted in seeing a total of 26 doctors to learn that I have MCAS, a rare but treatable non-contagious blood disease (something I was born with).

“Energy and persistence conquer all things.”

~ Ben Franklin

This short video on Twitter shows the depth of the “front range” of the Rocky Mountains here around Denver and Boulder, Colorado. When you look at them from the ground you can’t get that depth perspective, so this is really a great view.

Depth of the Rocky Mountains front range

I watched a Monk episode yesterday where he goes to see a hypnotherapist.

Hypnotherapist: Mr. Monk, you have to make a leap here. If you leap, a net will appear!

Monk: Who’s Annette?

If you leap, Annette will appear

The Rolling Stone article, The Oral History of Santana and Rob Thomas’ ‘Smooth’, is probably the best Pocket reference I’ve ever followed. It’s a good story about a great song. It struck me that Carlos Santana seems to have had the least involvement in the creation of the song out of all the players.

Here’s another view of Denali from the rivers in Talkeetna in mid-September. As I always add, Denali is at least 60-70 miles away in this photo.

When I lived in Alaska I was told that you can only see Denali one day out of every eight, so visitors only have ~12.5% chance of seeing it. I was fortunate to live there and see it many times.

(Not to be doubly morbid this morning, but that’s the river I’d like my ashes thrown into.)

A view of Denali from Talkeetna

A few September colors from Talkeetna, Alaska. If you take a left at that red bush and go ~100-200 yards, that’s where I’d like to have my ashes scattered when my number comes up. (That thought is brought to you by this morning’s chest pain.)

September colors, Talkeetna, Alaska

Never stayed in a roadhouse before, pretty interesting. You can walk in off the street and buy a shower for $4. Setup is communal, like a hostel.

Here’s a photo of three ravens surrounding a car in the snow in Wasilla, Alaska, on December 7, 2010. As I’ve written before, in many places they don’t plow the snow too hard in Alaska.

Ravens in the snow, Wasilla, Alaska

Dear diary: Filed under the category of “transparent dangling carrots,” today I realized that there is a surface reason the Dalai Lama talks about practicing compassion, and also a much deeper reason. It’s really quite a trip, though with my limited knowledge, for all I know it’s turtles stacked on turtles stacked on turtles.

(A diary entry from January 21, 2015. Dalai Lama quote: “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” Image from this link.)

Dalai Lama quote: If you want others to be happy, practice compassion

What happens at the motor home stays at the motor home. (I don’t think I want to know what happens in the motor home.)

Sign in a store window, Palmer, Alaska.

What happens at the motor home stays at the motor home

“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.)

Photos of Parhelions (sun dogs)