• This week marked my 10 year wedding anniversary. We got married in typical Japanese fashion, a trip to city hall to fill out the paperwork. For some reason we didn’t think to take a photo when we got married, which I regret. I think it was a combination of everyone looking far too busy to ask and that, at least at that time, you don’t really take photos inside city hall.

    I remember the couple after us was what appeared to be a a Russian? woman and this old guy with one of those furry hats with the flaps on all sides. It may or may not have been a marriage for love, but I hope they’re doing well.

  • Sophie went to the vet and got her numbers done again. They’re now perfectly in the normal range! The doctor is decreasing her medication and we’ll check again in a couple of months to see how she responds if we can keep the lowered amount. My wallet hopes we can.
  • The battery officially died on my laptop this week, which has slowed progress on Tanzawa. It’s a mid-2014 MacBook Pro, so almost 7(!) years old. Usually I’d think about replacing it and recycling this one by now, but it works fine. And when I consider the ecological cost of manufacturing a new laptop, I want to use my current machine for as long as possible. A new battery should extend the life so I can use it for a full decade.

  • Speaking of Tanzawa, despite battery woes, I still made a bunch of progress. I got image support working, so you can add / remove images from posts.

    I’ve started working on image processing and optimization. I strip all gps exif data from photos when they’re uploaded, but before I do, I’m storing the gps coordinates in the database. Why? By default I want to preserve privacy, you don’t necessarily want to share your exact location when you’re sharing a photo of the garden.

    But I have this idea of letting you group entries (checkin, status, photos, blog posts) together as a trip and display it on a map. And in those cases we may want to use the coordinates, so having them available but not public by default is a good compromise.

    Another goal is Tanzawa is to use as little energy as possible, which means images must be small so we transmit as little data as possible. I figured out how I can do that, without generating a zillion thumbnails and sized photos (though resizing is part of the solution).

You should start a blog today by Juhis struck a cord with me and I thought I’d pile on. You should start a blog today.

Like many I blogged a lot in the early 2000’s. Those early blogs captured my frame of mind for that period, but they’re long gone. Also like many, I stopped blogging sometime after Twitter and Facebook became popular.

Over the years I tried to start back up again. “I should blog more”, I’d tell myself. I’d always try to focus on writing “evergreen” content or writing “professional” content and after a short burst, stop.

Discovering the IndieWeb helped remind me that I’m writing for me on my blog. It doesn’t have to always be professional all the time. This past year or two regularly blogging again has helped me remember just how magical the internet is. That I can write something in Japan and people find it and respond to it from all over the world – all using open-standards – brings a smile to my face.

Why should you start a blog today?

  • Develop better ideas. Many people develop their ideas by writing. They sit down with idea A and as the write about it, they gain some further insight and get idea B, which leads to idea C and so on. None of this would have been possible without sitting down to write. And you’re not going to write unless you have a place to do so.
  • Be your own reference. When you’re debugging a problem at work, chances are you’re not the first person to run into that issue. Writing it down on your blog will not only help you gain a better understanding of the problem and help others solve the issue, but also in a year when you run into the same issue, you’ve got a refresher waiting for you on your blog.
  • Honest record of the past. Our memories aren’t the best. Having a blog will help you remember just what you thought and felt, for better or for worse, when those events weren’t so near.
  • Own your data. Twitter is a micro blog. Instagram is a photoblog. But these blogs aren’t yours. Yes, you provide the photos. And yes, you provide the witty content. But all of it disappear in an instant at some company’s discretion. Putting your data on your own blog protects you and your memories.

It doesn’t matter where you start your blog, or how cool your domain is, or how many people read it, or what programming language it’s written in. What matters is that you start.

  • Happy New Year! I spent New Years Eve like I usually do, going to bed early and waking up before the sun, as per usual. It was great. We went to the local shrine around 10am on new year’s day. We were planning to skip the visit or wait until after the holidays, but while walking past the shrine Leo wanted to see the koi and since there was hardly anybody there then we decided to just do it. I’m glad we did because there was a long line an hour later. One thing of note is that because of covid19 they took down the rope with the noise maker at the top that you shake when pray.
  • Leo started riding his bicycle (the type without pedals/cranks, so he can practice balancing) a lot this week. He rode it to the grocery store and riding the bicycle was easier than walking, which surprised me. Without the bicycle he likes to run the entire way, but since he doesn’t look for cars (despite warning him to stop etc..), I end up having to run/walk with him. With the bicycle his pace is consistent and he is more cautious, but he doesn’t want to stop riding so we end up making 3 trips to-and-back from the store.
  • Last week I talked about a blogging system. This week I managed to get a base version of it built: 🏔Tanzawa.

    My goal with Tanzawa is to make it easy to have an energy efficient home on the internet. It will be the place to store your statuses, your blogs posts, your runs, your checkins, your links, whatever you want. And since it’s your home you should have easy access to your data that’s stored in a clear and logical manner. It won’t be for everyone, but I hope that people will find it useful.

    Right now it only supports posting of text statuses. Next up is adding support for images. Once that’s finished I plan to start on syndication to Twitter and webmentions before finally moving on to posts, checkins, and other types.

With the case numbers rising nonstop we’ve decided to stay in as much as possible and live by mail order.

Doing such means we can’t visit cafes or coffee houses for beans, so we’re ordering them instead. Excited to try the House blend from 27 Coffee Roasters in Tsujido, Kanagawa. ☕️🇯🇵