• The rain season officially ended. Gone is a month of rainy weather cool-ish weather and here are blue skies and 30+ degree weather. That’s still a good 10 degrees cooler than Houston summers, but you’re outside / exposed to it more in Japan than in the US so it feels hotter. Autumn, please hurry.
  • Went to Handy, a Home Depot-lite over the weekend and picked up some new storage and picked up a cooler to use this summer. Trips to Ayase are always fun because the streets are so wide and there’s a lot of green, it reminds me of being in the US. Looked at the BBQ’s – really thinking about getting one. Since we have a farm and a field next door for neighbors on one side, BBQing out front shouldn’t be a problem.
  • I read an interesting article It’s time to start writing. It’s mostly about how Jeff Bezos and Amazon have banned PowerPoints and has a culture of writing instead. Writing has two benefits: it clarifies your thinking and it creates a history of why decisions were made. Clarity through writing is something I think of a lot at work lately as I’ve been writing more specs and documentation.
  • Justin linked me to an article from a decade ago called Stop trying to delight your customers. The title alone has some solid advice in it. People use your service because it saves them time/money/provides value – not because it causes delight. The focus on “providing delight” vs solving a problem causes a lot of startups to miss their product market fit. You don’t need a whizzbang SPA to start when a simple server-rendered form will solve the problem. Expectations of software has risen in the past decade, but if your app solves a painful enough problem your customers won’t care if it has some rough edges.

  • With a couple of public holidays lined up, we had a 4-day weekend. While the covid numbers aren’t spiking in Kanagawa too much, it still doesn’t feel safe to go out and about We mostly kept close to home.
  • I got a haircut for the first time since just before covid started. Everyone wore masks (as you’d expect, this is Japan after all), not much talking (woo!), and a shave to boot. Even in normal times I don’t like going to the barber, but I’m always happy I went and wonder why I don’t go more often right after I finish. Humans are funny.
  • I just found out about Svelte this past week. It’s been a revelation for building reactive apps. Moving reactivity from runtime to compile time is so smart. Rich’s talk Rethinking Reactivity is really worth a watch if you do any frontend development.
  • To learn Svelte, I’ve started to build a small app with it that I’ve been wanting for a while: A photo blogging client using IndieAuth/Micropub. So far I got the basic layout (using Tailwind.css) and the IndieAuth workflow setup. Once it’s ready y’all be the first to know.

  • I don’t think I’ve seen the sun in over a week and the forecast is for rain and clouds for the next week. This isn’t a complaint because once the rainy season is over it’ll be hot basically all the time. (Update: Saw some blue skies and it’s hot 🥵)
  • I watched a french documentary called Antifa: Chasseurs de Skins. It’s about the anti-fascists in Paris who fought the neo-Nazi gangs in the 80’s. You can watch it here.
  • Sent in my FPCA (Federal Post Card Application) so I can get an absentee ballot this fall. Thankfully I can submit it all by email. With sending mail to the US being difficult / delayed right now, I worry a bit about sending in my actual ballot this fall.
  • I ran for 30 minutes for the first time in a while. It’s still cool enough to run with a mask on. Using some nice homemade masks that my MIL made me so they’re not hot.
  • In a discussion on writing engaging technical content on HN, someone linked to a lecture from the University of Chicago about writing outside of academe. The crux of the message is: those rules you were told about writing (use short sentences, don’t start sentences with “and”, or “but”, only use active verbs) don’t make sense and are anti-patterns. When you’re writing in school, you don’t think it, but you’re literally paying the teachers to read your work. Outside of school, your writing must provide some value to the reader or they won’t read it.
  • Three-day work week this week thanks to a couple of public holidays giving everyone a four-day weekend. Looking forward to having a couple extra days off, but not quite sure what to do with it.

  • I saw a good format for a weekly “week in review” blog post on Michael’s microblog that I’m going to copy. It’s just a bullet list of things that happened, but I hope it will allow me to capture the ideas that are between a status update a full post.
  • I figured out why some of my posts weren’t receiving with webmentions with help from the indieweb irc chat. Webmentions are only enabled if trackback/comments are allowed. The posts that weren’t working I drafted initially using MarsEdit, which turns off trackbacks by default. Unfortunately there isn’t a per-post checkbox in my post admin interface, so it was non-obvious why some were working and some weren’t.
  • The potential of Micropub finally clicked thanks to a talk by I watched by Chris.
  • I finished reading chapter one of the dragon book, though it no longer has a dragon on the cover. There’s no real immediate work or project ideas for me to learn compiler design, but I know the principles will come in handy.
  • My Apple Watch has quickly made itself an indispensable part of my routine. The haptic wake up alarms and the reminders to stand while I’m working are the killer features for me so far. Running with it is also a game changer. I’m using the 4 hour weather look ahead on my wrist far more than I had thought I would. But that’s probably because it’s the rainy season.
  • I went to St. Marc Cafe for a coffee and chocolate croissant. There wasn’t an empty seat inside, which made me a bit nervous. Everyone was wearing a mask when they weren’t drinking / eating and that location is large enough where there’s plenty of space between tables.