Weeknotes #47

in weeknotes

  • Technically the Christmas tree should have gone up last weekend but I prefer to wait until December before doing anything Christmas-related so we put it up yesterday. The kids had a great time.

  • Eri and I failed to get to the post office in time to send our Christmas cards last year and we ended up not sending them at all. We resolved not to have that happen again and I made a reminder to send the cards in November of this year. We didn’t get it done in November, but I made it to the post office on Tuesday and posted them on their way. The lady there did warn me that it was quite likely that they wouldn’t arrive in time because of delays due to the pandemic but hopefully she was just being especially cautious.

  • I was amused to discover after sending them that I’d left a note in the reminder that we had put last year’s physical cards (which we did purchase, we just didn’t send them) in Emma and John’s wardrobe. Unfortunately, neither iOS nor macOS display the note in the reminder notification so I guess now we don’t have to buy cards next year (I will of course forget this by next year).

  • Speaking of mail, Eugenia sent me a Christmas cake through the post as she promised and it arrived over the weekend. I’m not sure why we’re being warned on the Japanese side that Christmas cards might take longer than three weeks to reach Australia when parcels containing Christmas cakes are taking less than two weeks to come from Australia.

  • Advent of Code began. It’s an annual programming contest that takes place from 1 December to 25 December. This is my third year competing and I’m writing my answers in Janet. So far, I’ve completed all of the challenges for the first six days. As part of my preparations, I consolidated my previous efforts into a single GitHub repo and was a little surprised to see that I’d got further in 2018 than I did in 2019 despite remembering it as being the reverse. In both cases, I only managed to complete about two weeks’ worth of challenges before dropping out. Hopefully, I get a bit further this year. One of the things that I was very excited about was getting Conjure to work well with Janet’s netrepl. I sort of used the REPL in last year’s event but this time I’m working to greatly improve that skill given that REPL-driven development is supposed to be part of what makes programming in a Lisp so powerful. Or at least that’s how I’m justifying spending so much time on these puzzles.

  • I haven’t provided recent updates on the state of the pandemic in Tokyo but it’s unfortunately not great. As with most of the northern hemisphere, things have worsened as the weather has turned colder. The Government is mostly following the formula it did earlier this year: recommend people stay at home while avoiding making anything mandatory. That seemed to turn out all right in the spring and summer; I’m worried it’s not going to be as successful in the winter. It’s certainly making it all the more frustrating that we can’t get to Australia this Christmas where everything seems well and truly under control.

  • On the topic of COVID-19, if you’ve been confused of late as to whether travel restrictions are a good idea (it felt like initially everyone was against them), this piece by Matt Yglesias at his new blog/newsletter, Slow Boring, helps explain things. The TLDR is that travel restrictions aren’t helpful for some diseases but can be effective for others.

  • Eri is trying to get to bed a bit earlier so she left me with to finish out Ted Lasso which I did in short order. I actually want to write a proper post about it but I concur with the consensus opinion that it is very good. Fingers crossed for that blog post! (I literally have a folder with blog posts that are trapped in purgatory. Hopefully it doesn’t end up there.)

  • In addition to Christmas trees, cards and cakes, it’s that time of the year when I make everyone in the house listen to Christmas jazz (Apple Music). ’Tis the season!

Michael Camilleri inqk.net