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

Without any explanation, here are a couple of source code examples from my book, Learning Functional Programming in Scala. The only thing I’ll say about this code is that I created it in the process of writing that book, and the examples show how the Scala compiler translates for-expressions into map and flatMap calls behind the scenes.

“In meditation ... we are not searching, we are not pulling or probing, we are just sitting and watching.”

~ Joseph Goldstein

As a quick note, if you ever need to call the invokeLater of the Java SwingUtilities class in Scala, you can pass it an anonymous function (lambda) like this:

SwingUtilities.invokeLater(() => {
    // your gui-updating code here, such as:
    for (c <- newsControllers) c.updateContent()

(I haven’t worked with Java 8 lambdas too much, but I assume that the Java syntax is similar to that.)

One of my favorite paintings, Nighthawks, by Edward Hopper:

And a clever reproduction of Nighthawks, from The Simpsons:

I like them both.

Just like my Jenny Lane Cottage painting, this is another small version of a “faux painting” I recently created from a photo. This one is of a sidewalk in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The complexity of this image was in removing several modern aspects from the original photo, including signs that were on those green columns, and modern automobiles that were in the background. Everything after that is what has become fairly standard work with Gimp for me, including making it look like an oil painting, and dramatically modifying and enhancing the colors.

Sidewalk in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Whenever I think about Tom Petty, the first things I think of are the song Free Fallin’, and the Wildflowers album. Other great songs are Runnin’ Down a Dream, Mary Jane’s Last Dance, and Learning to Fly. But today I’m thinking of The Traveling Wilburys’ End of the Line:

Well it’s all right, even if you’re old and grey
Well it’s all right, you still got something to say
Well it’s all right, remember to live and let live
Well it’s all right, the best you can do is forgive.

“Saw Gerrera used to say one fighter with a sharp stick and nothing left to lose can take the day. They’ve no idea we’re coming. They’ve no reason to expect us. If we can make it to the ground, we’ll take the next chance. And the next. On and on until we win, or the chances are spent.” ~ Jyn Erso

It’s not a stretch to say that the last 55 minutes of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story are as good as any movie I’ve ever watched.

As the business world keeps churning, Ikea bought TaskRabbit.

Almost every product on this 1991 Radio Shack ad is now on your cellphone (sans the scanner and radar detector).

1991 Radio Shack ad

Fairbanks, Alaska got its first official snow of the season on Friday, September 29, 2017. But it’s still relatively warm up there, and it didn’t last long.

If you’re interested in the Land of Enlightenment, it can be important to know that when you read a story about a Zen monk gaining enlightenment, that enlightenment may be for just an instant, not a lifetime. (So don’t feel bad if your moment(s) didn’t last.) This 90-second video explains this.

Amazon’s Echo Show is pretty cool, the closest thing I’ve seen yet to what I had in mind with SARAH. (Because I started with a display, it was hard for me to imagine using a device like this without a screen.)

Amazon Echo Show

From a story about a woman who has a more severe form of the illness/disease I have:

“Johanna Watkins, 30, is allergic to almost everything and everyone, including her husband Scott, 29. She’s been diagnosed with mast cell activation syndrome, a rare and progressive immunological condition.”

“She has a list of 15 foods she can eat and that’s it. Even those foods make her feel ill, it’s just that they don’t kill her. She’s eaten the same two meals for two years.”

(The image is from the story.)

Rare disease makes woman allergic to everything, including her husband

UCHealth — otherwise known as the place that treats me for mast cell activation disease — has a nice article about Rob Lowe and addiction.

“Thoughts are not facts.”

~ A quote from a local psychologist on the radio.

It seems that people who worry, worry about thoughts, not reality. I remember worrying a few years ago about doing a dance at a wedding, and the reality was that I never had the chance to dance. What a waste of time that worry was.

“The Chicago Cubs reached the postseason for the third straight year for the first time since 1908.”

In other news, the Great Chicago Fire was in 1871. :)

September 26, 2017 is a little bit of a celebration day for me. It’s the day I reached the “No new content” milestone of my book on Scala and functional programming. At this point I’ll keep editing the book contents, and I really need to work on its formatting, but I don’t have any plans to write any new lessons.

After a while you both get used-to and tired-of seeing medical bills like this (a bill from my recent surgery).

It’s a little weird to think I left my appendix in Alabama, my gallbladder in Alaska, and my thyroid and now some additional parts in Colorado.

Tissue exam by pathologist