Weeknotes #85

in weeknotes

  • How will the pandemic end? Will it end? Logically it must, I suppose. All things end eventually. But will it end within a year? Within two years? I’ve never really understood emotionally what it was like to have lived through a significant event in world history without knowing how much longer it was going to drag on. It’s giving me an entirely new appreciation for the hardship that people in the past faced. World War II was no doubt hell but it must have been especially so when you didn’t know when the bombs were going to stop.

  • I mentioned in an update last week that I was considering Yokohama as an option for when our lease on the current place ends next April. James Van Dyne, a friend of mine from the Internet (also Yokohama), was kind enough to answer my questions over FaceTime. There are definitely elements of it that are tempting. In certain locations, it’s not that much further timewise than where we are now but with the advantage of being closer to beaches and forests. And, if we did move there, it would be a change of pace. Since I was a child, I’ve tended to move every six years or so and we’ve been here almost five years at this point.

  • I didn’t make much progress on my Lisp in Ruby project and feel somewhat stuck. After doing more research, I don’t see any way to compile the Lisp code into instructions for the Ruby virtual machine and, unless I can do that, it seems to me that my only option (assuming I want to compile the code) is to write my own VM. But then I’d have two VMs and that seems pretty silly. It did occur to me that possibly what I want is a transpiler: something that would take the Lisp code and translate it into Ruby code that could then be evaluated by the Ruby VM.

  • In more productive news, I started running again and joined Strava in the hopes that seeing the results of other people I know running would provide sufficient encouragement to keep going. It’s gone all right so far. I ran every day from Tuesday to Saturday before taking Sunday off. Ideally I’d like to run for 30 minutes but so far I’ve only managed to do 20-minute runs before needing to stop. My thighs hurt a lot the first couple of days and I now have a niggling ankle sprain.

  • I don’t know what got into me but I also logged back into Kanshudo and tried to get back into the habit of regular Japanese study. That aim did not survive contact with the weekend but perhaps I can at least make it a weekday thing.

  • I was intrigued enough after watching a video essay about Columbo to get the first season. I intend to start watching next week but Eri’s already begun. Turns out that Columbo was huge in Japan and she has fond memories of watching the show (or perhaps the specials?) as a child.

  • One of my all-time favourite podcasts is John Green’s The Anthropocene Reviewed. I’ve raved about it in my annual podcast lists (2020, 2021) and while the podcast has all but ended at this point, Green released a handful of new episodes to coincide with the publication of his book of essays based on the show. The most recent one is entitled ‘Orbital Sunrise’ and, among other things, includes a short summary of the truly incredible landing of the Voskhod 2 mission. I don’t want to spoil it but I highly recommend it to everyone. The episode alas does not have its own webpage but you can find it on the NPR website for the show.

  • Tom Grennan’s ‘Found What I’ve Been Looking For’ (Apple Music) is one of those songs that feels to me like it’s much older than it is. I’d have sworn I heard it as a university student but it was only released on 2017.

Michael Camilleri @pyrmont