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

Filed in the “FWIW” category ... I wrote the following Dart/Flutter code as an attempt to create a Flutter file logger using Dart isolates, but as it turns out, at the time of this writing the Flutter platform won’t let you do that. So I thought I’d share/save my code here in case I can use it in the future.

First, here’s my Flutter file logging code that uses Dart isolates:

November 19, 2019: Version 1.1 of my Back To Now “mindfulness reminders” app for iOS was just released on Apple’s App Store. Since it’s officially a Valley Programming product, you can read more about it on my Back To Now v1.1 support page on ValleyProgramming.com.

I’ll guess that I’ve spent at least two or three months of my life living in a particular hotel in Virginia Beach (including finishing the Scala Cookbook there), and this photo/painting is an ode to that place.

Ode to the hotel in Virginia Beach

This tweet shows a terrific view of ice skating in Chickaloon, Alaska.

Ice skating in Alaska

The image here shows two photos of the Pedersen Glacier in Alaska. The black and white image is from 1917, and the open green field is from 2005. I found those photos in this YouTube video after viewing a short video about how warm it is in the Arctic Circle this year, where glaciers are melting during the winter instead of forming new ice.

For more information, the USGS has this page which shows many more examples of disappearing glaciers in Alaska.

The disappearing Pedersen Glacier in Alaska

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

One thing I learned in Alaska is that when you see green water in it, that means there’s protein in the water, which means there will be fish, and also bears. I took this photo in the Kenai Peninsula in southern-ish Alaska (southwest-ish, not southeast).

Green water in southern Alaska

Back on November 18, 1999, twelve students were killed and 27 were injured in the bonfire collapse at Texas A&M University.

As I get back into “book writing” mode, it’s funny to find notes like this that I left for myself:

TODO: Edit this text ruthlessly when you’re feeling better.

I was so sick during the last few months, I have no memory of writing that.

~ a note from september, 2016

Something I just realized when writing a friend is that after my parents were divorced — after my dad divorced my mom — everyone but my dad was much happier.

During my senior year of high school my parents were still married and my dad had a child with a woman who wasn’t my mother, which led to the divorce. He could be verbally abusive at times — extremely so — and in our high school photos we often looked like the most depressed family in the world. But after he left, everyone felt more free to be themselves without fear of reprisal.

Continuing my olde-tyme movie theme this week, in the movie Vision Quest, Matthew Modine — also known as Eleven’s father in Stranger Things — was 25 years old when the movie was filmed, though his character was supposed to be an 18 year old high school senior. And Linda Fiorentino was 26, when her character was 21 (“I’ve been 21 since I was 14”). I probably first saw this movie at a theatre in College Station, Texas.

Whenever I think of Madonna’s song Crazy For You, I think of this movie. Here’s the official video release of her song on YouTube, which is composed of scenes from the movie.

Vision Quest - 1

Vision Quest - 2

It looks like I have notifications working in the iOS version of my Back To Now app, so I’ll be releasing that during this coming week.

Notifications in Back To Now

From time to time, usually in the winter months, but not always, I like to write little stories of fiction. “Flash fiction,” I’m told they are called.

Here’s a short list of stories I’ve posted here recently:

(Back in 2015 & 2016 when I was especially sick with the mast cell disease — before anyone knew what mast cell disease was — I wrote the following incomplete, fictional story titled, “The Girl Next Door.” I’ll finish it if/when I can.)

“Here we are, come in,” I say to my two police escorts as I open the door and welcome them in. “Home, sweet home.”

Before they even get past the front door the young, hyperactive cop blurts out, “Okay, where is she?”

Huh, not much warm and fuzzy “welcome to my humble abode” time, I think to myself. “That’s where it gets a little tricky,” I say.

“What do you mean? Is she here, or isn’t she? If you lied about her, you’re going to be in for a world of hurt.”

“I didn’t lie, she is here,” I said, “uh ... just not in the way you think.”

“Do tell,” said the older policeman as he fingered some books on my bookshelf, looking around, studying everything. Those were the first words he said since we left the police station.

I paused. This is the part where nobody ever believes me, so I’ve found that it’s generally best not to talk about this at all. But when two policemen have you in handcuffs, my decision is more like, do I tell them fast — just blurt it out, or do I find some way to tell them about it slowly? I decide to try to explain it.

“Okay, here’s the deal,” I say, searching for my next words. I walk over to my dining room window and point with my cuffed hands. “Technically, she’s right over there.”

The young, hyper cop comes over and looks out the window. He sees that I’m pointing at a walkway between two buildings. He quickly turns and looks at me. “What kind of game are you playing?,” he asks, seemingly about ready to punch or strangle me.

“No game, sir. This is the thing: Have you ever read about parallel universes?”

“What the ...”

Wow, how embarrassing. It has taken me *years* to realize that when I run on all fours in a dream that I’m actually a dog (or maybe some other four-legged animal).

I finally realized it this morning when I was running like that and came up to a group of human friends, and one said something like, “Hey, look over there, it’s your new friend.”

When I looked in the direction he was pointing I saw a group of people who didn’t look familiar, and a black dog. Just then the dog came running at me. When it got to me it started licking and biting me and I thought, “This dog is crazy, why doesn’t someone get it off of me,” when everything suddenly made sense.

This is olde-tyme movie week at the Alexander household in Colorado (a tiny apartment, actually). Here are two images from the end of Flashdance, which I first saw at a theatre in Barrington, Illinois in 1983.

Flashdance image 1

Flashdance image 2

If you need a Flutter file logger, I just came up with the following approach, which seems to work well. First, a little background and a few caveats.

“The brain is the hardest part of the body to adjust in asanas.”

~ B.K.S. Iyengar

The brain is the hardest part of the body to adjust in asanas