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

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 cars that were in the street. Everything after that is what has become fairly standard work with Gimp for me, including making it look like an oil painting, and signficantly modifying and enhancing the colors.

Sidewalk in Santa Fe, New Mexico

I don’t know the original source of this, but here’s a short review of the Wizard of Oz.

A short review of the Wizard of Oz

If you like cartoon guides to Zen and philosophy, Zen Speaks and Wisdom of the Zen Masters are two of my favorites. I don’t remember which book this story comes from, but it’s one of those two. (It’s definitely the work of Tsai Chih Chung.)

Zen - Being Your Own Master

Chicago Cubs great Ron Santo passed away on December 3rd. Back in the day, he came to one of my baseball games, wearing his trademark leather jacket. Technically he went to his son’s game, but since I was pitching for the opposition and we won, it was my game. :)

My dad would have loved to meet Mr. Santo, but he stopped coming to my baseball games by that time, so he missed out on that. In fact, my mom, with all of her problems, was the last parent to see me in a baseball uniform. She came to see a game after I injured my shoulder, and it turned out to be my last game.

Dear Amazon: If the Kindle Paperwhite supported ePub books I would buy one, but without that support it’s kind of useless to me.

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.