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

“Remember people, that no matter who you are, and what you do to live, thrive and survive, there are still some things that make us all the same. You, me, them, everybody, everybody.”

~ Elwood Blues, from the song, Everybody Needs Somebody To Love

For my “to listen to” list, Shane Parrish interviews Dan Ariely.

From that page: “Dan just about does it all. He has delivered 6 TED talks with a combined 20 million views, he’s a multiple New York Times best-selling author, a widely published researcher ... For the better part of three decades, Dan has been immersed in researching why humans do some of the silly, irrational things we do.”

Here’s a link to Dan Ariely’s page on Amazon.

After a long work day yesterday I decided to sleep in today until whenever. After I almost got enough rest I found myself sleeping in my bed in the house I grew up in. The bed was against an outer bedroom wall, where I had it when I was a young teenager. (I would later move it to an inner wall.) Then a former friend came in the room and told me I was being lazy and I should get up and yada yada yada. I beamed her right out of there.

Then a young, healthy version of Zeus came in and stood next to the bed. I thought about asking him if he had to go out, but he jumped up on the bed and laid down next to me. That sure wasn’t going to make me want to get out of bed.

Looks like I’m going to have another body part removed via surgery in ~30 days. In terms of recovery this will be the most difficult surgery yet, so I’m going to try to really enjoy these 30 days.

This chart shows the results of the efforts to make the Scala compiler faster over the last several years.

The Scala compiler, getting faster

The First Annual “Great Alaska Music Festival” will be taking place in Palmer, Alaska, the town I lived in during 2010-2011. The population of Palmer is about 6,000 people, and it’s probably most noted for being the place where the Alaska State Fair is held every year.

First Annual Great Alaska Music Festival

I couldn’t find any decals I liked, so I bought some black chalkboard paint and painted the old computer I use as a Linux laptop. With a piece of chalk, I can now have a different logo on it whenever I want a new one.

Chalkboard-painted laptop

May 24, 2018: Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park opened today.

Chris Robinson, former lead singer of The Black Crowes — who I first saw perform in a high school gym in Alabama — and now with the Chris Robinson Brotherhood, talks about my two favorite states in an Alaskan newspaper.

Chris Robinson talks music and Alaska

The Anchorage Daily News has a nice story about a 78-year-old who climbed Denali, and the life lessons the reporter learned from this man and other elders.

From a story of how an 82-year-old woman with dementia improved significantly by changing her diet:

“A change in diet, which was comprised of high amounts of blueberries and walnuts, has proven to have had a strong impact on Sylvia’s condition that her recipes are now being shared by the Alzheimer’s Society ... Sylvia also began incorporating other health foods, including broccoli, kale, spinach, sunflower seeds, green tea, oats, sweet potatoes and even dark chocolate with a high percentage of cacao. All of these foods are known to be beneficial for brain health.”

“Mark and Sylvia devised to diet together after deciding that the medication on it’s own was not enough, they looked into the research showing that rates of dementia are much lower in Mediterranean countries and copied a lot of their eating habits.”

Last night (May 22, 2014) was one of the “hell nights” I experience once or twice a year. It started with a dream straight out of Carrie or The Exorcist where everything in a room, including me, was being levitated by something, and whatever that thing was, it was not a good thing, it was evil.

After something went flying out the window near the end of that dream, a voice kept saying a two-word phrase over and over again. At 4am this morning I could have told you those words easily, but I can’t remember them now. They were old, Christian/Biblical words, and in short they meant, “Atone for your sins or go to hell.” The two words were something like, “contrition, damnation”, but those aren’t right; I just wanted to be clear that he kept using only two words, over and over again.

Bill Gates has a great story about Leonardo da Vinci. I haven’t bought Walter Isaacson’t book on da Vinci yet, but Isaacson is a terrific writer, and I will either buy the book or audiobook soon.

I created a vision board many years ago during a retreat, and I have to say, everything on the board came true. I was thinking recently that it would be even more true if I didn’t have health problems for several years, and more recently providing financial support for family members. If it weren’t for those things I’d probably be living in Talkeetna or Palmer, Alaska today, writing more books.

This page contains a large collection of examples of how to use the methods on the Scala List class.

The Scala List class as an immutable, linear, linked-list class. It’s very efficient when it makes sense for your algorithms to (a) prepend all new elements, (b) work with it in terms of its head and tail elements, and (c) use functional methods that traverse the list from beginning to end, such as filter, map, foldLeft, reduceLeft.

This page contains a large collection of examples of how to use the methods on the Scala Seq class.

Important note about Seq, IndexedSeq, and LinearSeq

As an important note, I use Seq in the following examples to keep things simple, but in your code you should be more precise and use IndexedSeq or LinearSeq where appropriate. As the Seq class Scaladoc states:

This page contains a large collection of examples of how to use the Scala Vector class, including most of the methods that are available on a Vector. (Currently over 170 examples.)

A farmer plowing a field in Palmer, Alaska on May 20, 2015.

At 10:30 pm.

A farmer plowing a field

I have The Dancer Upstairs playing while I work today. I don’t remember how/where/why I saw it the first time, but I remember when I saw it I thought, “That Javier Bardem guy is really good.” Other than the dog scenes, it’s a very good movie.