Weeknotes #22

in weeknotes

  • For the past couple of months, Eri and I have been experiencing Internet connectivity problems with our phones. Our phones would not report losing their respective Wi-Fi connections but requests would sometimes (but not always) never ‘get through’. You’d sit in Safari or YouTube or what have you and you’d get feedback that a request was being made—it would simply never complete. If you temporarily switched off Wi-Fi and went back to the cellular connection, data would start flowing immediately. I hate debugging networking problems because of the number of variable factors and tried a number of solutions, all to no avail.

  • Eventually what seems to have fixed it was setting up a Wi-Fi access point downstairs. We’re fortunate that the entire house is wired with Ethernet so it was straightforward to plug in an old router in the living room as a Wi-Fi bridge and switch off the Wi-Fi functionality of our current router. (For architectural reasons, the router has to be located on the third floor of our house and I guess the signal was having difficulty reaching downstairs. Why that suddenly started happening a couple of months back, I don’t know.)

  • I went outside for a medical checkup and possibly irresponsibly went to Mos Burger and bought a Mos Yasai burger meal that I then took to a nearby park to eat. It was the first time I’d eaten lunch outside the house in two months.

  • On the way home, I ducked into a supermarket. I don’t remember precisely the last time I went to a supermarket but that too might not have happened for two months.

  • Emma started going to preschool again. The number of COVID-19 cases in Tokyo continues to rise (there were 47 new cases announced yesterday!) and I’m torn on what the right thing to do. It seems silly to risk something as important as (in an extreme case) the lives of my family for a couple of hours of ‘school’ a day. On the other hand, I’m not an expert and the experts are apparently suggesting that this is all right. I read Patrick McKenzie’s post about his role in trying in March and April to get people in Japan to recognise that infections were far more prevalent than generally recognised. I asked him what he thought about the current situation but, as of this post, no response.

  • Disney+ launched in Japan and I was ready for it to replace the pretty rough Disney Deluxe service (Japanese Wikipedia) that Docomo has been running since early 2019. Alas, Disney+ is Disney Deluxe, just with a minor visual refresh. Docomo handles the billing (and so you can’t pay with your iTunes account), it’s missing features (e.g. separate user accounts) and you’re stuck using its shitty apps (the Disney+ apps from other territories don’t work with it). I signed up to check it out and then almost immediately cancelled. It’s a real shame because I was looking forward to the kids being able to watch things in either English or Japanese.

  • Speaking of animation in Japanese (and speaking of pretty rough—apologies for that segue), I watched Lupin III: The First (Wikipedia) over the weekend. I thought the quality of the CG animation was top notch—unfortunately the story was not. It prompted me to start watching The Castle of Cagliostro (Wikipedia) again to see how it compares. I think it drags in places but it confirmed my initial reaction: the central issue with The First is that Lupin succeeds at almost everything he tries and in the rare instances where he doesn’t, he has something up his sleeve (sometimes quite literally) that immediately fixes the problem. As a result, there’s almost no tension and it’s simply 90 minutes of watching something very pretty.

  • I couldn’t find anything explaining the background but Fischerspooner re-released their 2001 hit, ‘Emerge’ (Apple Music). It was featured in the fifth episode of season 3 of Westworld. Is that why?

Michael Camilleri @pyrmont