alvin alexander

Pitching in high school

This is a picture of me as a pitcher in high school. I don’t want to say that we were poor growing up, but I wore a large outfielder’s glove while pitching because I was afraid to ask my dad for a new glove, and the shoe on my right foot — the one way up in the air — was cracked in the middle.

(Many thanks to Dwayne Heidtbrink for the photo way back when.)

This is a page from my book, Functional Programming, Simplified

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As I finish editing this book in January, 2014, it’s a busy time. In addition to releasing this book, I just finished writing a 700+ page computer programming book for O’Reilly named Scala Cookbook.

A funny thing about the Scala Cookbook: I wrote it on a whim, as a dare, wondering, “Am I good enough to write this book, on my own?” I doubted myself for a little while, but then overcame my fears and sent an email to the people at O’Reilly. As I’ve said throughout this book, all you are is attitude.

Mast cell disease, histamine intolerance diet, and a healthy weight alvin January 28, 2017 - 2:07pm

One good thing about mast cell disease: because I’ve had to follow a strict low-histamine diet I’ve lost almost twenty pounds in the last eighteen months, with most of that coming in the last six months. I’ll soon weigh what I weighed in high school (albeit it without the same muscle mass). This is a photo of my during my first year in college, where I was at roughly the same weight.

If you’re interested in a similar story, you can find before and after photos of the “Low Histamine Chef” (Yasmina Ykelenstam) at this link. For me the important thing is not getting down to a low weight, but a healthy, sustainable weight where I feel good.

“Hurtful words last forever”

I came across this picture of my younger self recently, and the first thing that came to mind is the phrase, “Hurtful words last forever.”

When I was about this age, a girlfriend said, “If you had blue eyes and got your teeth fixed,” and then she said some other things. I don’t remember what she said next. All I heard was the sting of those first words. I do remember being hurt and thinking, ‘Wow, if you want to know what I don’t like about you...”

This picture should bring back happier memories, but that’s what I remember.

What if we all look differently to different people?

A friend always tells me I look like the Chicago Blackhawks’ Corey Crawford (or vice-versa). Yoga friends tell me I look like the Dalai Lama. Programmers say I look like Woz. Others say I look like Colin Powell. People at the Buddhist Geeks Conference always said, “You look familiar, how do I know you?” When I was bartending in college people always mixed me up with some other guy who lived in the “Rio Grande” area of Texas. What if we all look like different things to different people?

My Facebook timeline, March 3, 2013

I like how the Anchorage Daily News puts a photo of the front cover of their newspaper on Twitter most days, so I thought I'd try something like that, posting a photo of my Facebook timeline from time to time. I don't know if I'll keep doing this, but I'll do it at least once. Here's what my timeline looks like on March 3, 2013:

My Facebook timeline, March 3, 2013