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

“Goddamnit!”

Every so often a woman in a lucid dream this morning yelled out like that, so after the fourth or fifth time I had to ask her about it. “Why do you keep saying that?,” I asked.

“Gets your attention, doesn’t it?”

“Yeah, I guess so.”

“There you have it.”

“There I have what?”

Meanwhile, in Alaska ... a moose at a McDonald’s. (Image from this pinterest page.)

A moose at a McDonald's in Alaska

Back in 2013 I was staying in a hotel in New Mexico, put a coffee cup next to the tv, started pouring cream, and static electricity pulled the cream into the tv. Cool.

Coffee, cream, and static electricity

Thought of the day: Some people are hard to love. I’m sure there are more categories than this, but the people I’m thinking of today are either mean, negative, self-pitying, or in other cases, they just don’t give you anything to love.

An important part of this thought for me is that none of this has to do with what a person looks like, it’s all about their attitude.

“Program testing can be used to show the presence of bugs, but never to show their absence.”

~ Edsger Dijkstra

If you want to copy the current macOS Terminal path to the clipboard, you can do it with this simple command:

$ pwd | pbcopy

pwd prints the path to STDOUT, and pbcopy reads that and copies it to the macOS clipboard. Once the path is on the clipboard you can paste it into your other applications.

Of course you can also create an alias, like this:

alias path="pwd | pbcopy"

I was hoping to release the next version of my book on Scala and functional programming as a free PDF download tonight, but I ran into a couple of problems that I want to fix before I release it, and I’m too tired to do that tonight. I hope to release it tomorrow (Monday), and it should include over 600 pages, with 54 chapters and two appendices.

More of my Scala/FP book, coming soon

A software tool created by the NSA to hack into Microsoft Windows systems has been turned into a ransomware worm that has infected and disabled hundreds of thousands of unpatched Windows’ systems. Read more at bbc.com if you’re interested.

As a quick “note to self,” to get the Share Buttons module by AddToAny working in Drupal 8, I followed these steps:

- install the AddToAny module
- configure permissions so i could work with it
    - admin/people/permissions
- configure AddToAny as desired
    - admin/config/services/addtoany
- create a block, add it to a region (such as Content)
    - i actually created a block, then modified
      my theme to show AddToAny between the Contents and
      the Comments

The key to getting AddToAny was knowing to go to admin/structure/block and then selecting “Place Block” to create an AddToAny block. Not knowing that I had to do that slowed me down for quite a while.

To show how far my diet has come, on May 13, 2013 I wrote this on Facebook: “Huh, the doctor was right. They do have vegetables at my grocery store.”

These days (May, 2017), 80-90% of my diet is organic vegetables.

1-800-Flowers should be renamed to 1-800-NO-Flowers, because an order I placed on the Tuesday before Mother’s Day — which I paid extra to have delivered on Friday — won’t be delivered until after Mother’s Day. Either they or FedEx screwed up the delivery, and now FedEx won’t deliver the order until next week, so with 36 hours left before Mother’s Day, 1-800-NO-Flowers-For-You! won’t do anything to correct the problem.

Back in 2013, I attempted to grow a bonsai tree. It died almost immediately. I’d like to blame it on the high altitude here in Colorado, but I’m pretty sure it was me. Some day I’ll try again.

Bonsai tree

A visual image of the mathematical concept of “sets” using southern colloquialisms.

(I found this image on Twitter, but since I didn’t “like” it at the time I can’t find who created it, but I’ll link to them if/when I ever find the page again.)

Set theory explained with southern colloquialisms

This is a photo from May 10, 2011. The long bike-riding path in Palmer, Alaska was  one of my favorite things about living there. As you can see, it’s a nice, big path, separated from the road.

Bike path in Palmer, Alaska

Wow, that’s a scary coincidence. (Image from this tweet.)

People fired by Trump

Tomasita’s is a decent restaurant in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and they have a good description of the history of the margarita.

The history of the margarita
Table of Contents1 - The Teleport command2 - Teleport command help3 - For basic use, tp is just like cd4 - Basic teleporting5 - Listing your teleport history6 - Teleport by number7 - Bash completion with Teleport8 - Teleport aliases9 - Adding/creating a teleport alias10 - Using a teleport alias11 - Listing your teleport aliases12 - Removing an alias13 - Teleport command - summary14 - Teleport command - download

Summary: By keeping a history of the directories you've visited, the Teleport command is an improvement on the Unix/Linux cd command. By having a memory, Teleport lets you jump from one directory to any previously visited directory, easily.

January, 2015 Update: The Teleport command now supports Bash completion. For more details on this, see the Github INSTALL.md file.

“If we close our eyes (during zazen), the darkness may provide us some relief from visual distraction and give us a feeling of peace and calm. But in zazen, we keep our eyes open. If we want to close our eyes because we feel distracted by what our eyes see, we need to understand that it is our minds that are distracted, not our eyes.”

My method for trying to understand this fundamental essence – the presence of “something bigger” than me – was to examine intellectually all the reasons I could think of for the universe to exist and to try to envision what had “existed” before the universe came into being.

On the one hand, if there was nothing before creation, how could the “something” of the universe come from “nothing”? On the other hand, if there was something before the creation of the world, it must have always existed, without beginning. But how could “something” have no starting point, no first moment?

I was frustrated by these questions, and by not being able to envision the timelessness that went with “no beginning.” As a boy, I was continually preoccupied by such attempts to explain the world rationally. I was unable to recognize or accept the limitation of my logical mind, its inability to understand the nature of life beyond concepts of solid objects and linear time.

(I had these same thoughts back in high school, but these words are from the book, “Zen at Work.”)

I don’t remember the original source of this photo, but it shows an early attempt at using a sled to get around in Alaska. It worked well until that one day ...

First attempt at using a sled in Alaska