Automattic lost our friend Alex yesterday. A couple of weeks ago at work we were told the heartbreaking news that his cancer had become terminal. A few days later he posted Leukemia Has Won. Then last night I learned about his passing from an update his family posted on his blog.
Alex was only 34. Fuck cancer!
Yesterday I was actually making updates to some code Alex wrote several years ago, so I had just been thinking about him. He contributed so much to Automattic and will be missed.
I’ll never forget how surprised I was when I learned that the biggest car enthusiast in the company didn’t have a driver’s license. He eventually got it and then I got to see the smile on his face when he took me for a ride in his Dodge Viper, which he had drove up from Portland to Vancouver.
Perhaps the thing I’ll remember most about Alex was how unselfish he was. We worked on the same team for several years and travelled together quite a few times. Alex was a very picky eater and he always insisted we not choose restaurants based on him. He wasn’t afraid to try new foods, but if he didn’t get a full meal, he was happy to grab some fast food on the way back to our hotel or Airbnb. A burrito was his favorite food, so in his memory I hit up the Taco Bell drive-thru for lunch.
One of my friends at the gym had tried a frozen pizza made by Real Good Foods Co. that looked interesting, so I bought a couple of them.
The crust is made from chicken and parmesan cheese! There are two servings so it makes a quick meal containing 8 grams of carbs, 32 grams of fat, and 50 grams of protein.
I hade this one for lunch today. I followed the instructions to microwave it for 4 minutes, which made a huge mess when the cheese flowed over the cardboard disc, so next time I’ll do it on a separate plate. Then I put it in a pan for a couple of minutes firm up the “crust.”
It was “real good” and the crust was much better than I expected.
Earlier this month a couple of dead trees snapped in my backyard. While eating breakfast yesterday morning, I noticed the trees were swaying a lot. With high winds expected all day I thought there was a good chance the trees would come down. I quickly moved a camera from pointing at my back door out to the yard, hoping I could catch it on video. I was still at the kitchen table when they fell less than five minutes later.
I’m glad they came down on their own because it would have been dangerous cutting them the way everything was leaning and hanging on the other tree.
Last night, exactly 12 hours later, I heard another tree crack and fall. The larger tree that had been holding up the two must have been weakened by their weight over the course of the two weeks.
Again, very lucky it fell away from my yard. Everything should be easy to clean up in the spring.
Duke and North Carolina meet again tonight, which is arguably the greatest rivalry in sports.
I became a Duke fan somewhere around the Fab Five of Michigan years and I’ve been a fan of the program ever since. Fitting that this year’s Duke team is led by four fabulous freshman, three of which are projected as top five picks in the NBA draft. We’ve never seen a talent like Zion Williamson.
There have been a lot of great Duke teams over the years, but this 2018-2019 version is becoming one of my favorites. They don’t shoot the three as well as previous teams, but defense is back in Durham. According to ESPN stats, they are 2nd in rebounds (to North Carolina), 1st in steals per turnover, 1st in steals per personal foul, and 1st in blocks. Last week I wrote about their epic 23 point comeback win, which was sparked by dominating defense. We haven’t seen any floor slaps yet this season, but tonight is the type of game where it could happen.