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

As a brief note today, here’s an example of stackable modifications in Scala.

Lately I was curious about what super means when you mix Scala traits into a class or object. A simplified answer is that super refers to the last trait that’s mixed in, though I should be careful and note that this is an oversimplification.

This can be demonstrated in an example that uses both inheritance and mixins with traits. Given this combination of traits and classes:

Just when Margaret thought Frank was going to say something else ...

Have you got any cookies?

I call this one, “Up With the Sun, Gone With the Wind.”

(April 13, 2017)

Up With the Sun, Gone With the Wind

Working with yoga is often interesting. You stretch and twist and focus, trying to be very conscious and aware of your movements, and then one day in the middle of a twisting pose you see your left foot coming out from behind your right ear. At first that’s a real surprise, a shock. You think, “Well, that can’t be my foot over there”, and then you realize it is your foot, and with that comes a strong sense of accomplishment, and maybe a little smile.

Then you do the same pose in the opposition direction, but twist and stretch as you might, your right foot doesn’t come out from behind your left ear. You know you can’t push it any more, at least not while doing the pose properly, so you realize you have a little imbalance. You accept that you have some work to do, but it’s a good thing, so you push on.

I think life is like that too, or can be like that. If you enjoy the struggle, if it’s a worthy struggle — a path with heart — the effort comes willingly, and with its own rewards.


I’m horrible at date calculations — what do you mean by “between”? — but I do know that April 10th is the 100th day of all non-leap year years.

Happy 100th Day of 2019

Her, romantically: I can feel you tremble when we touch.

Me: Oh, sorry, that’s just the mast cell disease.

(A conversation somewhat inspired by the Survivor song, I Can’t Hold Back.)

Note: The print version of Hello, Scala on Amazon will be going up to $20 (USD) this Saturday, April 13, 2019. It’s currently just $10, so you know, buy it while it’s on sale and all that. :)

If you like free things, here’s a link to a free preview (PDF) of the new version of my book, “Hello, Scala.” The book is 257 pages long, and the free preview contains the first 120 pages of it, so I hope it’s a significant preview. Hello, Scala is now available for sale, so you can buy the PDF, Kindle ebook, and/or printed book at this link.

Hello, Scala (free preview)

Two years ago today I saw this sunrise when I stayed in Virginia Beach for a few weeks. No filters have been applied, that is what it looked like.

Ocean sunrise

“Never argue with a fool. Onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.”

~ Mark Twain (used recently in reference to Antonio Brown on Twitter)

While this photo looks like a sunset, it was actually a sunrise. I took it in Virginia Beach on April 17, 2017.

Dark sunrise, Virginia Beach

I don’t recall hearing of the words “reify” or “reification” in my OOP years, but that may be because I studied aerospace engineering in college, not computer science. Since learning FP I often see those words, so I thought I’d try to understand their meaning.

The short answer is that the main definition seems to be:

“Taking an abstract concept and making it concrete.”

For the longer answer, I found the following definitions and examples of reification.

“When you see a plum blossom, or hear the sound of a small stone hitting bamboo, that is a letter from the world of emptiness.”

A quote from a Lion’s Roar article, Shikantaza is Understanding Emptiness.

While I’m sharing photos of Siberian Huskies I’ve known and loved, here’s one of Rocky working on a bone. My wife originally found him stuck in a cinder block in Virginia when he was probably about 18” long, and he became the first husky we’d know. He became famous for destroying furniture, howling, and running around saying words like “Oprah” and “Geraldo.”

Rocky and a bone

One of my nieces (and/or her friends) seems to be interested in Siberian Huskies, which last night led me to dig out this old photo from a business newspaper in Louisville, Kentucky, in April, 2004.

Me and the dogs in a business magazine

“Books are the training weights of the mind.”

~ Epictetus

One of the many things I like about Scala is that you can make it as complicated as you want to, but you can also write a little code like this and show it to someone who has never written a line of code in their life, and they can pretty much tell you what’s going on.

Making Scala simple for beginners

Just saw that Guns n’ Roses will be playing at the Louder Than Life festival in Louisville, Kentucky this fall.

Guns n’ Roses in Louisville, Kentucky

Back in April, 2016, a wolverine bound for Alaska from Norway tried to make its escape in a New Jersey airport. (Reminds me of Honey badger don’t care.) The wolverine story is here on

A wolverine tries to escape at a New Jersey airport

Lyrics from the Genesis song Undertow, which just came across my random playlist:

Better think awhile
Or I may never think again.
If this were the last day of your life, my friend,
Tell me, what do you think you would do then?

Stand up to the blow that fate has struck upon you,
Make the most of all you still have coming to you,
Lay down on the ground and let the tears run from you,
Crying to the grass and trees and heaven finally on your knees.

Let me live again, let life come find me wanting.
Spring must strike again, against the shield of winter.
Let me feel once more the arms of love surround me,
Telling me the dangers past, I need not fear the icy blast again.