Weeknotes #19

in weeknotes

  • I realised there are two types of people in this world: stair stompers and stair ninjas. Eri is a stair stomper. I’m not sure she even realises what she’s doing. I, on the other hand, try to make as little noise as possible when ascending and descending stairs. This obviously makes me a better person.

  • Japan seems to have got COVID-19 under control which is somehow both reassuring and unnerving at the same time. It’s reassuring for obvious reasons but a little unnerving given that they did it without the strict controls to which other countries have resorted. I don’t think there’s fiddling of the numbers—just another instance of things that we don’t really understand about this disease.

  • All of this means that it’s almost certain that the state of emergency will be lifted for Tokyo on Monday. It’s not clear yet what this means for my working arrangements.

  • I haven’t done a good job maintaining my running regimen. I’m somewhat surprised that I haven’t been putting on weight; it’s actually continued to fall a little. Is that just my muscles atrophying?

  • We received our first ‘refund’ of Emma’s preschool fees from the Japanese Government and I explored the options around investing. The simplest solution looked to me to be one of the two large robo-advisers that are in Japan: Theo and WealthNavi. I signed up for Theo and am just waiting for the application process to be complete.

  • Most of the advice that I found online seemed to want to shame you for using these services since the fees are higher than you pay if you manage these things yourself but as someone with (a) limited time and (b) little experience, this seemed the preferable choice to putting the money in a bank. The tone reminded me a lot of open source zealots who regard with disdain anyone who prioritises their time over building from source.

  • The experiment of limiting the kids to one YouTube video each in the evening continued to work pretty well. The kids are often in bed now around 8.30 and we typically have time to read one or two stories. John does have a hard time accepting that it’s shower time (which is what follows YouTube) but he usually accepts the inevitable pretty quickly, even if there is some struggling as I wrestle him up the stairs.

  • The 10-part Michael Jordan documentary The Last Dance ended. I was disappointed that we never got to see much of the in-game footage (which for some reason I thought was going to happen) but it was still an enjoyable watch and a great salve in these basketball-deprived times.

  • A couple of weeks ago, Rob shared these two tweets. In them, Twitter user @netspooky asks his or her followers how they handle all the ‘interesting’ things that are directed at them everyday. I misremembered the tone as being much more declaratory. Namely, that in an age of abundance you will never get anything done unless you admit you cannot consume everything and be ruthless in where you spend your time. To that end, I started culling things from my Safari Reading List.

  • I did also read through some of the articles in that backlog, the best of which was this untitled post by Avery Pennarun from last year about corporate executives and what they (should) do. It’s mostly a summary of Andy Grove’s High Output Management (I mean this in a good way).

  • I was reminded that Sarah Blasko makes some pretty great music but was disappointed to discover that since the release of her 2015 album, Eternal Return, she hasn’t put up any of her music on the U.S. version of Apple Music. If you search for it, you’ll see that 2018’s Depth of Field is on the Australian Apple Music but that that link won’t work if you’re logged in to a different jurisdiction. Bummer. Here she is singing a cover of OutKast’s ‘Hey Ya’ (YouTube).

Michael Camilleri @pyrmont