• Leo’s taken to my old dslr. We took photos for a couple minutes of his favorite subject: trains. 🚅

  • Bookmark of Robin Rendle › Newsletters

    Yet websites are treated as these embarrassing, ugly, ad-riddled things, whilst newsletters have established some kind of prestige for themselves somehow.

    I saw this article about newsletters and how people like them more than websites despite the web having all these pretty fonts and layout capabilities.

    That misses the point. Good writing is good writing irrespective of fonts and typography.

    Newsletters are usually read via a mail client. This means those articles already use beautiful (licensed) system fonts. They’re already downloaded onto your system so they load instantly. They’re hand curated by yourself. They’re in your inbox. No infinite scrolling or comments or faff.

    People like newsletters more than the web because they don’t use RSS and mail clients stopped including RSS readers.

  • Checkin to Chigasaki Satoyama Park (茅ヶ崎里山公園)

  • 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. ☕️🇯🇵

  • Checkin to Katase Nishihama Beach (片瀬西浜海水浴場)

    in Fujisawa, Kanagawa, Japan

    Shonan ❤️ 🇯🇵

  • I haven't been posting all of my runs to my blog lately, but this week I managed to catch the sunrise and the sunset at almost the same location. Yokohama is the best. 🇯🇵

    Sun goes up.

    Sun goes down

  • Bookmark of https://mateuszurbanowicz.com/works/tokyo_storefronts_book/

    Just watched an episode of Japanology Plus that had the artist of Tokyo Storefronts on. I love the style of these storefronts, they really are the treasure of Tokyo.

  • Bookmark of Personal Data Warehouses: Reclaiming Your Data

    I gave a talk yesterday about personal data warehouses for GitHub’s OCTO Speaker Series, focusing on my Datasette and Dogsheep projects. The video of the talk is now available, and …

    So many good ideas in this talk.

    1. I love this idea of standardizing all of your data to sqlite databases so you can freely explore it. I also love this idea of shipping static datasets inside a sqlite db inside a Docker image so you can "scale to zero".

    One thing I've been wanting to do for a while is add some kind of public dashboard for my Airbot data. Using something like Datasette I could export subsets (or all of it) to sqlite and allow you to slice and dice the data at will.

  • Also really like the idea of having automated cron/lambda jobs setup to pull your personal data off the web automatically. Right now I'm only importing my swarm checkins / interactions with my syndicated tweets. Having some automated cron jobs to just collect the data to sqlite would allow me to explore my data much easier.

  • There seems to be recurring theme (maybe it's the holy grail) of nerds wanting to build their own search engines/portals for all of their data. In one sense it's a "solved" problem with Spotlight and other such tools. On the other hand Spotlight and these tools don't provide you context.

    There was a tool that was under development in the early Mono days on (written by Nat?) that did this, at least partially. If you were chatting in Gaim it'd show you a window of your recent emails, their contact info, maybe their latest rss feeds. I've always thought a tool like this would be killer - but with so much data being up in servers and hidden behind apis and proprietary services these days it seems increasingly difficult.

  • Response to Jeffrey Paul: Your Computer Isn't Yours

    This is spot on. I recognize that the purpose of the service from Apple is to prevent malware from running on your Mac, but it doesn’t sit right with me. Especially that the data is sent unencrypted over the net. Combined with not being able unsigned code on the M1, I’m wondering if my mid-2014 Mac might not be my last.

  • Meeting Moomin in Hannō, Saitama

    I decided to take a week off work for a nice autumn break – my first proper break since January when my brother came to visit. Rather than just lay around the house we took advantage of GoToTavel, a Japanese government program during covid to subsidize domestic tourism. The program subsidizes both hotel bookings and provides a set amount of vouchers for local spending (we got ¥6,000).

    Getting to Hanno

    Our main destination was Moomin Valley Park about 90km away. We could have gone by train, but it would have taken an hour longer and require that we go to central Tokyo first. Cost wise is about the same with tolls and gas, so we decided to go by car. It was our first long-ish trip since we go our Honda Freed in April. I am fairly happy that we managed to get 19.5kpl (46 mpg) on the highway.

    Our route was simple, too. Take the Shonan-bypass to the Ken-o expressway and get off at the Hanno exit. It was uneventful except for when I a wrong turn and got the highway instead of changing to the Ken-o expressway. In addition to accidentally getting off the highway, I also missed my turn to get back on. In Texas there's nice long on-ramps for getting on the expressways, but in Japan it's more like a small road to a curvy ramp so they're easier to miss. At least that's what I'm telling myself. Besides the human errors, after settings adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist, the car mostly drove itself down the highway.

    Day One

    Metsä Village

    Metsä Village is a Scandinavian themed shopping center and park. Inside the park there's shops that sell Scandi wares from the like of Artek, Marimekko, Arabia, Scandinavian themed restaurants and cafes, and the crown jewel, Moomin Valley Park.

    The entire area is centered around Lake Miyazawa. With all the trees and the water the air smelled so fresh and clean. It was great. The whole area allows dogs, so there were almost as many dogs as children running about as well.

    Moomin Valley Park

    They say that Moomin's second home outside of Finland is Japan. And with Moomin Valley they've recreated parts of the world of the Moomin universe, including Moomin's house, which you can tour inside.

    The park starts on the east side of the lake and extends along the north side of the lake. While Moomin Valley Park technically an amusement park, there's not roller coasters or rides. Instead there's plenty of space for kinds to run around, a huge jungle gym in the forest, a craft workshop, and a Moomin Museum. For families with young children it's great.

    Moomin's House

    It's a small 4-story house that is modeled in quite detail. Unfortunately there's no photos allowed of the inside. With covid social distancing restrictions they're limiting the time it to one group per floor at a time. The basement and the first floor are free and we had a day-pass so we could visit the top two floors as well.

    Leo really liked Moomin's house so we saw the first two floors 4-times :-)

    Moomin House

    Hemulin leikkipaikka Playground

    Jungle Gym in the Forest

    Up in the forest is a huge playground where we spent a solid 45-minutes to an hour playing. Leo was too little for the high-speed twisty tube slide, but we found another fast slide that you had to walk across rope suspension bridges in the trees. After a few times holding hands across to go across the bridges, Leo found the confidence to do it all by himself.



    We had dinner at the Denny's next to our hotel. Japanese Denny's isn't anything like Denny's in America - no burgers or grand-slams, just hamburg, Japanese fried-food, and other family friendly foods. The last time I was in a Denny's was probably well over a year ago and Leo had a small melt down while we waiting for food. This time around, he was well behaved, ate his dinner and was stress free. They do call them "family restaurants" for a reason, I suppose.

    Day Two

    Day two was a half-day. We didn't have much of a plan other than to visit the original Moomin Park, which is part of a city park, and grab lunch at an organic vegetarian cafe I'd heard about. We almost didn't visit the cafe as we were still quite full from the hotel breakfast.

    Seeing Laview

    While killing time in the morning we walked to the station. Leo can't walk past a station and not ride trains. So we rode from Hanno to East Hanno station about 1 minute away. While waiting for our local train we got to see the Seibu 0001 series, Laview, which was a real treat. I'd seen it on TV, but wasn't expecting to see it in person.

    Laview is an express train that goes from Ikebukuro in Tokyo to Chichibu, deep into Saitama. Besides just coming out last year, what makes it unique is the giant windows to allow passengers to see more of the beautiful Saitama country side. It didn't disappoint and I'm glad Leo made us ride the train.

    Tove Jannson Akebono Children's Forest Park

    Tove Jannson is the author of Moomin's and as such this park is also Moomin themed. Unfortunately all of the structures were was closed at the Tove Jannson Akebono Children's Forest Park when we visited, so we were only able to walk around briefly outside.



    Alishan is an organic / vegetarian food company I've seen here and there in Yokohama/Fujisawa. When we decided to visit Hanno, I realized that they were based there and had a cafe. Their menu also looked like they had some food that Leo would eat (pizza).

    You can't miss their building, as it's great big red American barn house. The food was really good, too. I had a tomato stew with quinoa, Leo had one slice of pita pizza and Yumi's pumpkin croquette.

    All of the seating was outside on a large balcony overlooking a clear river. Between the fixtures of the American-style barn house and view from the balcony, it almost felt like I was back in Wimberly, Texas.

    After lunch Leo and I spent a few minutes watching the fish and ducks swim around doing their thing.


    The Drive Home

    The drive home was easier than the drive there. Part of that is that I'd gotten more used to the highways and knew better what to expect. The other part was that the navi routed us home without needing to ride the Shonan bypass, so we just needed to ride the Ken-o expressway for around an hour.

    Hannō was a lot of fun and I can't wait to go back again some day.

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