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

If you like cartoon guides to Zen and philosophy, Zen Speaks and Wisdom of the Zen Masters are two of my favorites. I don’t remember which book this story comes from, but it’s one of those two. (It’s definitely the work of Tsai Chih Chung.)

Zen - Being Your Own Master

“A month ago I went on a juice cleanse. You know what it cleans out of you best? The will to live.”

Way back in 2009 I went on a yoga retreat in Sayulita, Mexico with about twelve other people. One night after dinner I met this black dog as we were walking around the town plaza area. I spent every evening in the town plaza, where I had watched this dog constantly be attacked by other dogs, so when she came up to me on this evening I petted her and then gave her my leftovers. I was reminded of this when I encountered another black dog while on a walk yesterday.

Yoga teacher Judi Rice — who organized the trip — was influential in my life, is standing behind my left shoulder. She passed away in December, 2014.

Today is a day off for me, so when I woke up and laid in bed with my eyes closed and noticed that the dreams were still playing, I decided to let them continue to roll on while I lay there awake.

After the same dream kept replaying itself in different ways, I noticed that an old woman was usually standing behind me and to my right, observing the dreams. I didn’t bother to ask her who she was, I just jumped right to my main question: “Why am I seeing these things?”

She answered, “You need to resolve these situations to your own satisfaction.”

So I laid there for about two hours — about the length of going out to see a movie, I figured — letting the dreams go on and trying to understand and somehow “resolve” them. The old woman was always there, so every once in a while I turned to her and asked her another question. She willingly answered everything I asked.

“When we choose to perform an activity, we make it a gift by dedicating our entire body-mind to it, by making it the only task we do in that moment. In that way, all activities are included in one, and all activities are unified. This is how our activity fills the universe, and how we express complete understanding in our work.”

(I don’t remember the source of this quote, but it sounds like something Shunryu Suzuki would say.)

This photo looks like a sunset to me, but it’s from a sunrise in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Sunrise in Virginia Beach, Virginia

In an effort to “Get rid of the crap,” I asked my editor if we could delete an entire chapter from the Scala Cookbook, and she said yes. I didn’t know if they’d allow that since the advance they paid me is based on a proposal of X chapters, but they’re all-in on just trying to create a good book, which is nice.

“Having a direct experience of seeing everything one looks at (including one’s own body) as moving subatomic particles alters the perception of ‘me’ and of the substantiality of what we regard as ‘normal’ reality.”

“The path is the goal.”

~ Gandhi

When life gives you cream, make a White Russian. Dude.

The Big Lebowski playing in Boulder, Colorado, 2011

I’m sitting here working this morning when I start to hear that familiar scratching, crawling sound outside. In a few moments, the squirrel’s head appears from the right side of the window. He’s hanging sideways, three stories off the ground, and looking in, about twelve inches from my face. It’s cold outside so I had the window closed, but I slide it open.

“Dude, Cheerios,” he says.

“Oh shoot, I forgot,” I say.

By the time I walk to the kitchen, get the box of Cheerios, and open the door to the deck, he’s already there, waiting.

The view from my home office

A short review of the Wizard of Oz.

A short review of the Wizard of Oz

Um, I’m pretty sure he plays tight end ...

Jake Butt, tight end

“Don’t cry because it’s over; smile because it happened.”

~ Dr. Seuss

Since my MCAS/MCAD symptoms got worse over the last few years, I’ve had several weird skin reactions to different things. This image shows a reaction I had to some tape after giving blood yesterday. The tape was on for about thirty minutes when I noticed it felt weird, and then I saw this when I took it off. It’s similar to another skin reaction I had to wearing a mala/bracelet back in March.

MCAS/MCAD: Skin reaction to tape after bloodwork

As a brief note, I knew that the sum function I wrote in my book on Scala and functional programming would return a wrong value if the sum of the integers in a list was greater than Int.MaxValue, and I was curious how the built-in sum method on lists handled the same problem. It turns out that it works in the same way.

So, if you need to sum a list of integers that may exceed Int.MaxValue, you might need to write a sum function that calculates and returns the sum as a Long. (The same is true for Float and Double.)

Scala: When the sum of a list is a very large number

defenseone.com reports that the CIA has at least 137 AI “pilot projects” in the works.

The first snowfall of the season is underway here in Broomfield, Colorado.

First snowfall, Boulder, Colorado, October, 2017