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

From this article on how to have lucid dreams: “Studies have shown that meditators have more lucid dreams, and for a true meditation master, all their dreams are lucid. We’re non-lucid to the contents of our mind at night to the extent we’re non-lucid to the contents of our mind during the day. Become lucid to your thoughts during the day by practicing mindfulness meditation and you’ll naturally become lucid to your dreams at night.”

As a guy who’s been unconscious seven times I like this, “You have one life” quote. Take it from me, when your lights go out, one of the main thoughts you’ll have is, “I wish I had done <fill in the blank>.”

(The quote appears to be by Beardsley Jones, and the image was put together by

You have this one life

I enjoyed this National Geographic article about the migrations of the first Americans.

“If you care about someone you have to let them be the person they are, not the person you want them to be. Otherwise, what’s the point?”

~ From an episode of “Death in Paradise”

“Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds.”

~ Shakespeare, Sonnet 116 (as heard in Midsomer Murders)

Apparently on this day in history I checked my mailbox for the first time in several weeks and found this excellent Halloween pumpkin squirrel card. :)

A great Halloween pumpkin squirrel card

Kudos to Samuel Axon of Ars Technica for writing a very good tech review of the hardware behind Apple’s new iPad Pro (2018). As I was reading it, it reminded me of the old style of solid writing that I used to get when I bought print copies of magazines.

One of the nuggets of the article is shown in the image I’ve attached here, where you can see that the 2018 iPad Pro is faster than every MacBook Pro in existence other than its 2018 model, at least in terms of the Geekbench multi-core performance tests. If you dig through the images in the article you’ll see that the story isn’t quite as powerful in the single-core benchmark, where the iPad Pro lags the 2018 MacBook Pro by up to 16%. But in those tests the iPad Pro is roughly the equivalent of a 2018 Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 model. (The older Macs use Intel Core i7 and Xeon W processors, and the Dell model uses an Intel Core i7. The 2018 MacBook Pro uses an Intel Core i9.)

These numbers — comparing a tablet to i7 and i9 processors — make one think that Apple will be using their own chips inside Mac computer systems some time soon.

Great tech review of Apple’s iPad A12X system

If I really liked you back in 2013 you might have received this card from me. :)

You are sweeter than bee vomit

Tim Logan of Texas A&M University has a nice little article on Why you can smell rain.

One of my doctors has this photo/image of the altitudes of the mountains that make up the “front range” of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. I can’t read the signature on the lower-right of the image, but I appreciate whoever put this image together, as I can never remember the names and altitudes of the various mountain peaks.

Altitudes of the Colorado front range mountains

“We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.”

~ possibly by Thomas Jefferson

Seeing that we had another snow storm here in Colorado, I thought I'd share another photo of El Sanctuario de Chimayo in the winter. (El Sanctuario de Chimayo, near Santa Fe, New Mexico)

El Sanctuario de Chimayo, candlelights in winter

This is a photo from the drive from Santa Fe, New Mexico north to Colorado, taking the back roads (Route 285) rather than the expressway. I took this photo in March, 2015.

Road from Santa Fe, New Mexico north to Colorado

Last week I did some research on whether Colorado judges were appointed by a Democrat or Republican, and I’ve been pleased to see that over 27,000 people have visited that page. Personally, I was never too concerned about judges in previous elections, but I think the current hostile political atmosphere in the U.S. and everything related to the Supreme Court nominees over the last 2-3 years makes people see how “political” the judge nomination process is (IMHO).

I was just reminded of a “funny” event from the worst of the mast cell activation disease days (before doctors knew what I had). I was just released from the hospital for something — maybe from my second fake heart attack, I don’t remember for sure — and I thought, “If I’m going to die before they figure out what’s wrong with me, I’d like to have a chocolate milk shake.”

So I drove to a placed called Sweet Cow in Louisville, Colorado, ordered a milkshake, and then began going unconscious before the order could even be completed. While the poor guy was making my shake I walked out of the store, sat on a bench outside, and put my head between my legs, hoping I wouldn’t pass out. The guy who was making my shake was probably only in high school, and he eventually brought the shake out to me while I sat there with my head between my legs. We had some sort of conversation, the gist of which was I was trying not to pass out and him saying that the milkshake was free.

With the help of a few people I eventually stumbled out of there and made it home. Such was life with the worst of the mast cell disease.

P.S. — These days I’m much better, thank you.

Here are a few images from a road trip I started on September 10, 2018. These are pictures from eastern Colorado early that morning, taken probably anywhere between Limon and western Kansas.

Colorado road trip, early morning

Colorado road trip, early morning

Per its website, Fury is an experimental dependency manager and build tool for Scala. It is still under active development, and is in private beta. You can learn more about it by checking out that website, or following Jon Pretty (@propensive) on Twitter.

I found these Lazy One “Beware of the Force” boxers at a local store recently. Might be a good Christmas/holiday gift idea for the Star Wars geek in your life. :) They don’t currently list this specific item on Amazon, but they do have a collection of other Lazy One boxers for sale, and they also have this design available on Lazy One pajamas.

Beware of the Force (Star Wars gift idea)

I was going through old photos recently and found this “Bleeding Heart” drawing that I made on a Buddha Board back in February, 2015. FWIW, Buddha Boards seem to make good Christmas gifts. I got this one as a Christmas gift in 2014.

Bleeding heart (on a Buddha Board)

Some time ago I was at a party, and there was a woman there that I didn’t know, but I felt like I knew her. It was a strange feeling, kind of like deja vu, but it had nothing to do with this party, just the feeling that I knew this woman. Maybe I had seen somewhere before, but I couldn’t place it.

When that thought first came to me I was talking to some other people, so I shrugged it off for the time being. It was relatively early and I figured we’d meet soon enough. A little while later a trash can became full, so I took the bag out of the can and walked it to a garbage can outside by the detached garage. After I put the bag in the can outside I turned around, only to be startled to see the woman standing there.

“How do I know you,” she asked.