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

Thought of the last day or two: "Don't let what you don't have keep you from using what you do have." (Lou Holtz) Or in my case, "Don't let what you can't do stop you from doing what you can do."

Which reminds me of the song, Use What I Got, by Jason Aldean.

A famous and funny, “If you watch, if you help,” web design cartoon. From the book, The Non-Designer's Design Book.

Web design: If you watch, if you help

If you ever drive south out of Anchorage, Alaska to destinations like Seward and Homer, this is what you'll see as you exit Anchorage, due south.

The road south out of Anchorage, Alaska

Alaska travel tip: When the choice is a hot dog or reindeer sausage, go with the hot dog.

Alaska travel tip: Go with the hot dog (hot dog stand, Anchorage, Alaska)

Nagley’s Store, in beautiful downtown Talkeetna, Alaska.

Nagley’s Grocery Store in Talkeetna, Alaska

There was a time when I had the misconception that yoga is only about exercising the body. Then one day my wise teacher (who studied directly under Iyengar) told me, “If you aren’t paying attention to your actions, all you’re doing is stretching.”

[Dateline: The evening of May 5, 2007, On The Border restaurant, Louisville, Kentucky, after several pitchers of margaritas and beer, and three days before I would leave for Alaska.]

Brother-in-Law: Seriously man, I want to thank you.

Me: For what?

Brother-in-Law: You inspired me to start my business.

Me: That’s great, how did I do that? (Now I’m all geared up to hear a motivational story of how I inspired him.)

Brother-in-Law: I figured if you can start a business, anyone can.

I haven’t read this article yet, but it comes highly recommended: Quantum computing for the very curious.

“We don’t take any days for granted,” said Pagano, 58, whom the Bears hired in January. “Every day that we get, we try to kick its ass, take full advantage of it. If you get another one, we’re going to do the same thing the next day.”

“‘Live full, die empty’ is the motto now.”

~ from this story on Chuck Pagano

When it comes to working as a business analyst, I’ve learned that there are just three things you need to keep in your mind when meeting with your customers (the project sponsor (gold owner) and domain experts (“goal donors”)) to gather requirements. These three thoughts will keep your meeting on track, lead you to the next question, and will help you know when your work is done.

I call this image, “Sunrise in the side view mirror.”

Sunrise in the side view mirror

“There is no death, only a change of worlds.”

~ Chief Seattle

This is one of many cute cards/images from the Great Cosmic Happy A** website.

There is no death, only a change of worlds -- Chief Seattle

The TheTweetOfGod Twitter account shares the five stages of climate change. If you’ve seen that Alaska and the Amazon jungle are both burning simultaneously, I’m not sure if #5 should be Drowning or Burning.

The five stages of climate change

For the person in your life who always says, “I worry ...”

Worrying is like praying for what you don't want

Winnie the Pooh on death, or separation. (In honor of my brother-in-law, who died a year ago.)

Winnie the Pooh on death (or separation)

The infamous Squirrel, from the cabin in Talkeetna, Alaska. See for more information.

The infamous Squirrel, from the cabin in Talkeetna, Alaska

Summary: This blog post shows one way to drop/filter the first matching element from a Scala sequence (Seq, List, Vector, Array, etc.). I don’t claim that the algorithm is efficient, but it does work.


While creating some Scala test code earlier today I had an immutable list of toppings for a pizza, and I got into a situation where I wanted to remove the first instance of a topping.

Thanks to global warming, glaciers are disappearing and Alaska is burning.

(Follow David Hulen’s Twitter account for updates about Alaska.)

Alaska is burning

As for his (Carlos Santana) thoughts on self-fulfillment:

“Three things: Your spirit, your soul, and your heart. If you find those and you really find them, you’re going to realize that innocence. Those things don’t leave you, and you don’t misplace or lose them. Those are the ingredients for you to have a glorious existence.”

One of his favorite terms is “naked awareness” — the ability to see yourself fully and make changes away from the negative.

~ from a story by Leila Cobo about Carlos Santana

(If you like Carlos Santana, you might like his book, Universal Tone.)