Ohmicho Fish Market (近江町市場)

I first visited Kanazawa's incredible fish market last year, including this silly video about my hunt for a fresh fish bowl (kaisen-don):

Well I came back today with the intention of getting there early enough to visit the shop I'd originally intended to go to. Last year it was sold out by the time I got there (noon?) and when I told the chef the story this morning he congratulated me on coming back for a "revenge dish".

So here it is, a crab rice bowl (kani-don):

Would recommend! 🦀

Computer Bldg.

I walked in to give them a piece of my mind, but the elevator button didn't do anything no matter how many times I pressed it.

I want to be clear that the opinions I express here are mine and mine alone, except to the extent they are shared by others who are too scared or too smart to say them in public.

Tottori Sand Dunes

So basically there's a large natural sand dune in the least populated prefecture of Japan, Tottori.

As someone who grew up enjoying Michigan's Sleeping Bear Dunes, I agreed to visit them after the lady seated next to me at the SoftBank SeaHawks baseball game suggested I go visit after Matsue.

Well, I did!

Here's to two more weeks of sand in my shoes I can never quite clean out.

Lake Shinji Sunset Spot

Aaron insisted that while I was in Matsue, I visit its renowned sunset spot in a park along the eastern shore of Lake Shinji.

I'm not a huge sunrise/sunset person, but what else was I going to be doing at 7:12pm on a Thursday? So I walked down and checked it out:

It was very pretty. If you're a fan of the life-giving fusion power generator that is Sol, you'd probably dig this view.

Matsue Castle

The first overnight stop on my tour of the north side of Honshu was Matsue. As its castle is among a handful of original castles to survive in Japan (similar to my adopted hometown of Hikone), I felt obligated to drop in and scope out the joint.

And I'm glad I did! Seriously, this is one of the most beautiful and well-maintained castles I've visited in Japan. Really glad I came.

What it’s like traveling with Aaron Patterson

During our visit to Zamami Island with Aaron earlier this week, a young woman approached us and asked if we spoke English. (This is exceedingly rare. In 20 years of traveling to Japan, I don't think anyone has ever assumed I speak anything but English.) She proceeded to ask Aaron if he'd take her group's picture, so I snapped this photo of him obliging:

Later in the day I mentioned having taken a picture of him taking the picture and he responded, "oh yeah, I took a selfie!"

So I zoomed:

And then I enhanced:

Yep. Sure as shit, there's Aaron taking a selfie with this girl's camera.

XOXO is back for one last festival this August. Having always wanted to attend, I was about to buy a ticket when I thought to click through to the COVID policy mentioned in their announcement e-mail:

All XOXO participants are required to wear a high-quality mask at all times while inside Washington High (including Revolution Hall, Show Bar, and all common areas inside the venue), the reserved area for Park Pass holders in the tent, as well as at any festival event on our schedule where masks are required.

I knew XOXO was frequented by hipsters, so I'll grant that an all-N95-all-the-time policy in late-2024 is decidedly vintage.

Park Pass holders will have access to reserved seating in the tent at Washington High Park, a large, shaded, well-ventilated space for viewing the simulcast of our main stage programming. Park Pass holders are required to wear a high-quality mask at all times while in the reserved seating area.

Even outdoors, too? Pass.

It feels to me like wifi SSID passwords shouldn’t be masked-by-default with asterisks or whatever. Whoever the hell is going to shoulder surf you typing in your wifi password is probably somebody you’d want to give the password to.

Zamami Island

So Aaron and I spent a couple days touring Okinawa after RubyKaigi 2024 wrapped. In particular, we were both eager to escape the urban environments of Naha on the main island, so we hopped on the fastest ferry out of town, the Queen Zamami (whose reservation website evokes some real Angelfire nostalgia).

Once you get there, you probably want to rent a bike or an electronic scooter (referred to as kickboards here) to get around the island, because the island's a bit too large to comfortably walk around—especially on a warm day in direct sunlight. To the east and west are beautiful beaches—though we both preferred the tranquil blue waters of Furuzami beach. On every corner of the island, there sits an observation deck (希望台) atop the nearest mountain, and they offer some truly breathtaking views.

Speaking of, here are some of those views:

I also cut a quick one-minute video of the island, for your audiovisual enjoyment:

Anyway, if you're ever on Okinawa's main island, you really should save a day to ferry out and back to Zamami. Definitely worth seeing. 🏝️

The XZ Utils backdoor taught me to be cautious about handing over maintenance of open source to others, but now what the hell am I to do with OSS I don't want?

States should pass safe haven laws that allow developers to swaddle their code in a basket and leave it at a fire station without fear of repercussion.

Extremely impressed @tenderlove and I managed to spend a day at the beach—even swimming—with zero supplies or preparation and the next day I can't find a single grain of sand in my shoes or my bag. S Rank

RubyKaigi 2025 is heading to Matsuyama

Incidentally, Becky and I just visited Matsuyama for the first time a bit over a week ago, so I was surprised (and delighted!) when RubyKaigi's head organizer Akira Matsuda announced that next year's event will be held in Matsuyama from April 16-18, 2025.

If you've never been, Matsuyama resides in Ehime prefecture, which is on the island of Shikoku, just southwest of Japan's main island. It has one of the most cherished castles in the country atop a mountain at the center of the city and which is accessible by a continuously running cable car. It's also home to Dōgo onsen, which is considered to be the oldest hot springs bath in the country (and one of several inspirations for Studio Ghibli's Spirited Away). Additionally, it's famous for its massive and varied mikan (Japanese clementine oranges) crop—Becky and I got to sample a smattering of varieties from a store that had dozens of local citrus juices on tap, via cute little faucets.

Getting to Matsuyama isn't so bad either. From Osaka, it's about 3.5 hours by train, and a special rapid "Shiokaze" train service runs to Matsuyama from Okayama, making it an easy transfer from the Sanyo Shinkansen.

If you've ever wanted to visit a hot springs resort, or get a glimpse of daily life in a more remote Japanese city than the most well-known tourist destinations, I hope I'll see you next year!

[Translator's note: yama means mountain]

I'm going to take a stab at recording a podcast from Japan now that RubyKaigi has finished. If you have any curiosities about what's coming up in Ruby 3.4 or questions about the conference, email them! podcast@searls.co

Just booked a flight from Okinawa to Fukuoka on Peach airlines. $53, all-in, including aisle an aisle seat.

Could get used to this. #円安

PSA: if you’re using Rails+Hotwire, Turbo’s so-fast-it-feels-like-magic ability to update sections of the DOM downgrades Capybara’s all method from “likely to regret this” to “definite footgun” when used in system tests.

IME, Turbo Streams updates the DOM so fast that elements found with Capybara’s all are extremely likely to be stale by the time you iterate and interact with them. After several days of fighting intermittent CI failures, I had to banish all in favor of find in all my tests.

Preparing for the first night of RubyKaigi in my traditional way: debugging a flaky Capybara/Selenium test which has nothing to do with Ruby and everything to do with JavaScript. 👍

Oops! All Dryers

Had a surprisingly hard time finding a coin laundry in Okinawa this morning. First one I went to only had dryers, which was a first. 💨

Kawakyu Tonkatsu

We had a brief stop in Kagoshima, so we took full advantage to get ourselves some Kurobuta (黒豚) pork. The pork is like "black angus" in that despite having "black" in the name, it is still the just-barely-cooked-enough-to-be-safe pink color we know and love.