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

Expectations lead to suffering. :)

Buddha says expectations lead to suffering (Haven)

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said, ‘Faster horses.’”

~ Henry Ford

I think of this quote when I see both good and bad design. Some people build/design faster horses, others invent cars.

Henry Ford: Faster horses

When you get started with functional programming (FP) a common question you’ll have is, “What is an effect in functional programming?” You’ll hear advanced FPers use the words effects and effectful, but it can be hard to find a definition of what these terms mean.

Here’s a side view of the building I grew up in, in Chicago, Illinois. (Thanks, Google Maps.) I used to throw rubber baseballs and tennis balls against that garage for hours, which is probably one reason my shoulder was screwed up before I left high school.

My old Chicago home (side view)

This is one of my favorite road signs in the world, the sign that points you to Los Alamos, New Mexico. For whatever reason, being in New Mexico is one of the things in life that makes me happy.

Road sign: Los Alamos, New Mexico

From this story:

When Mary Steenburgen woke up from minor arm surgery in 2007, her brain was “only music,” an odd result that lead her to a new songwriting career — and one that may earn her another Oscar.

The actress, 66, said that her brain felt out of control immediately after surgery.

“I felt strange as soon as the anesthesia started to wear off,” she told IndieWire. “The best way I can describe it is that it just felt like my brain was only music, and that everything anybody said to me became musical. All of my thoughts became musical. Every street sign became musical. I couldn’t get my mind into any other mode.”

(In a slightly related story, Scientific American has an article titled, The Hidden Dangers of Going Under.)

Back in 2014 my family took a vacation together. We spent thousands of dollars doing all sorts of different things, but in the end, my favorite part was sitting on a couch one evening in Santa Fe with my niece and watching cooking shows. In small part this was because my sisters were angry with each other, and it was nice to get away from that tension and just relax with a nice person who had no agenda.

When I saw this image last night it reminded me not of the negatives of that vacation, but of the positives of spending time with people who have no agendas other than the wonder of the universe, and of how I’d like to spend the time I have here on Earth.

People who will talk about the universe

Just for Now,
Without asking how, let yourself sink into stillness.

Just for now, lay down the weight
You so patiently bear upon your shoulders.

Feel the earth receive you,
And the infinite expanse of the sky grow even wider,
as your awareness reaches up to meet it.

Just for now,
Allow a wave of breath to enliven your experience.
Breathe out whatever blocks you from the truth.

Just for now,
Be boundless, free,
with awakened energy tingling in your hands and feet.

Drink in the possibility
Of being who and what you really are —
So fully alive that the world looks different,
Newly born and vibrant, just for now.

~ A poem by Danna Faulds that a friend shared on Facebook. I don’t know what book of hers it’s in, but it sounds like it might be in a book titled, Go In and In: Poems From the Heart of Yoga. It also sounds like things my yoga teacher used to say, and the title reminds me of my Back To Now app.

This is the view you get when you go to the bathroom at the top of Rocky Mountain National Park, and you come out and everyone else is gone (and your camera lens is scratched).

The only car at Rocky Mountain National Park

I’m not a religious person in the traditional sense of the word, but I do like to visit old churches when I travel. There are wonderful old churches throughout Alaska, and also in New Mexico.

I haven’t made it to Juneau, Alaska, yet, but when I do I want to visit the Shrine of Saint Therese. (I’m sorry, but I don’t know the origin of this photo.)

The Shrine of St. Therese, Juneau, Alaska

“Honest, hopelessly romantic old-fashioned gentleman seeks lady friend who enjoys elegant dining, dancing and the slow bloom of affection.”

~ Claire Cook, Must Love Dogs (a favorite movie, and I’ll read the book this winter)

Summary: This page is a printf formatting cheat sheet. I originally created this cheat sheet for my own purposes, and then thought I would share it here.

A great thing about the printf formatting syntax is that the format specifiers you can use are very similar — if not identical — between different languages, including C, C++, Java, Perl, PHP, Ruby, Scala, and others. This means that your printf knowledge is reusable, which is a good thing.

“It’s a bit of a riddle, but other people in your life have to be who they are so you can be(come) who you are.”

~ me, November 21, 2015

An IKEA job interview.  (Cartoon by Canary Pete.)

IKEA job interview cartoon

For those times when meditation alone isn’t enough. :)


Bridesmaids - Can I have a glass of alcohol?

A nurse that I see all the time suggested that I get Snapchat. I responded, “Oh, so you can text me my lab results more easily?” Which eventually reminded me of this image.

Relationships for dummies

“Romeo and Juliet, the dyslexic version.”

The dialog between Timothy Hutton and Natalie Portman is my favorite part about the underrated movie, Beautiful Girls.

Beautiful Girls: Romeo and Juliet, the dyslexic version

I became a fan of Mike Barr’s paintings back in 2016. This one is called Autumn Rain, but I actually like his darker, evening paintings even more.

Mike Barr’s paintings

A wedding cartoon from Herman comics. :)

Herman wedding cartoon

“Anything beautiful is worth getting hurt for.”

~ Prince (on New Girl)