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

Back in 2017, Wesley Reisz shared this image with the text, “Artist’s secret toolbox for creating art ... transformations.” The slide is from Brian Kane.

Artists secret toolbox for creating art ... transformations

If Functional Programming, Simplified seems large, a) I intentionally wrote it in a simple, leisurely style, and b) it’s a lot easier than reading hundreds of blog posts and all of those books on the right (although a few of those books are really good).

If Functional Programming, Simplified seems large ...

When I use Facebook, I like to use lists to group people that I know, friends, relatives, people from different states, etc. But on Thanksgiving, or maybe the day before, Facebook deleted the “Lists” link from their web app. It used to be with this group of links. I don’t use their app on my phone, so it’s pretty crazy that they removed this.

So, dear friends, if I don’t see and like your stuff, it’s not my fault. I’m sure not going to type in the name of each friend to see if they posted anything.

Facebook deleted the “Lists” link

When I was in the hospital in Boulder, Colorado with the heart problem a few weeks ago, I asked a nurse about my cardiologist. I knew he had retired, but didn’t know why. “He’s 68 years old,” she said, “and he wants to spend more time with his girlfriend, who lives in Chicago.”

#HolidayLoveStory

“When individuals are too self-centered, they tend to be prone to fear, suspicion, anxiety and anger. Compassion and restraining from harming others act as an antidote to this.”

~ the Dalai Lama

What the sky will look like when people travel back and forth to the Moon.

Traveling to the Moon

A crow in the snow, a memory of a winter past.

A crow in the snow, Colorado

I don’t know about everything shown on this image, but for the last few months I have noticed that I have “raccoon eyes” at times, meaning that I develop really dark areas under my eyes. As the image shows, this is probably from allergies and/or food intolerances, which — thanks to MCAS — I can now confirm.

(I found this image on this Pinterest page.)

Detecting health problems from the body

“Okay, well, here’s my story, here’s what you need to know. I’m just divorced and I had my heart broken badly by a woman that I really loved. But I think your heart grows back bigger. You know? Once you get the shit beat out of you, and the universe lets your heart expand that way. And I think that’s the function of all this pain and heartache that we all go through, you know, you gotta go through that to come out to a better place and that’s how I see it, anyway.”

One of the many great quotes from my favorite movie of the now, Must Love Dogs.

November 29, 2019: A few days ago I made the PDF version of “Hello, Scala” free, and today I made the paperback version of “Hello, Scala” available again, and reduced it’s price from $20 to just $10. Click the image below to buy the book on Amazon.

As I’ve noted before, the contents of this book are being updated and improved, and in the future it will be available as Scala Book. The HTML version of those contents are currently available on the docs.scala-lang.org site.

A few people I’ve talked to recently who have (or had) cancer told me they can clearly remember the moment when their doctor told them that they had cancer.

In my case I do remember the conversation with the doctor, but that was more of a formality. When I picked up the phone to talk to her, I already had a pad of paper and a pencil in hand, and I was ready to write down the details she was going to tell me. Because in my case I was pretty certain that I had cancer when I saw the ultrasound results a few days earlier.

Until yesterday I only knew a little about a song called Alice’s Restaurant ... the end of it is the only part I remember. But yesterday I learned that it’s a story about some events that started on Thanksgiving Day, 1965. (You can find the story here on Wikipedia.)

It’s a long song — more of a funny story than a song — but here you go, Alice’s Restaurant, by Arlo Guthrie:

A friend introduced me to the movie Home for the Holidays many years ago, and it’s still the best Thanksgiving movie I know.

Home for the Holidays, the best Thanksgiving movie

The more I thought about it, the more I thought that the word pericarditis sounded familiar, so I searched an electronic diary I used to keep and found this entry from January 3, 2008:

“I don’t remember the whole dream, just the very end, where I woke up with the word ‘pericardium’ in my brain. There’s nothing too peculiar about this except for one detail: I don’t remember ever hearing that word before in my life.”

“Later in the morning I looked it up online to see if I made it up, and it is indeed a real word. Even cooler is that it’s related to the chest/heart, where my niece hit me. Wikipedia says it is ‘a double-walled sac that contains the heart and the roots of the great vessels.’”

“I'm not saying that I've never heard this word before, only that I can't consciously recall hearing it before, and I had to try several spellings before I got it right. What I’m saying is that my conscious mind didn’t know the word, but my dreaming mind did.”

The dreaming mind and subconscious in general fascinates me.

The Human Route, by Zen Master Seung Sahn, on a card from the people at DharmaCrafts.com.

The Human Route

This is a photo of a sign at the Mat-Su Regional hospital in Alaska back in 2010. A nurse there told me that if I could read it, I was healthy enough to go home. :)

A sign at the Mat-Su Regional hospital in Alaska

Last night I counted 17 dreams that happened or attempted to happen, and I know there were many more that I wasn’t lucid for. An interesting thing about being aware of my dreams is that I know how they affect me, i.e., whether they make me happy, sad, whatever. I always wonder if other people can’t remember their dreams, and if that’s where the saying “got out of the wrong side of the bed” comes from, meaning that they had a dream or series of dreams overnight that triggered them in a certain way.

I was about to get out of bed this morning when another dream started, so I let it play out to see what was going to happen. At first I was working with a man and a woman at some company, and we couldn’t figure out how something was supposed to work. Then the woman and I ended up making out in a car outside the building. After that, she and I were goofing around at some sort of amusement park. I was in a swimming pool, holding some sort of swim/water-related device I had just broken, and decided I had had enough of the dream, so I was about to wake myself up.

November 26, 2019: The PDF version of my book “Hello, Scala” is now free, and you can download it by clicking on the image below.

Future “updated and improved” versions of the book are being released as Scala Book. Currently an HTML version of the book is available here on the scala-lang.org website, and we’ll have PDF, MOBI, and ePub versions of that available once the creation process is automated and a few other issues are resolved.

But for now, click on the image below if you’d like to download the PDF of Hello, Scala for free:

Hello, Scala PDF

As a brief note today, if you need to read a binary file with Scala, here’s an approach I just tested and used. It uses the Java FileInputStream and BufferedInputStream classes: