Weeknotes #100

in weeknotes

  • I’m pretty sure my visa has been renewed! I say ‘pretty sure’ because while I got the little postcard asking me to come back to the Immigration Services Agency office, it doesn’t actually say that the renewal has been granted. That said, it does ask me to bring a ¥4,000 revenue stamp (which is the cost of a renewal) so that seems pretty dispositive.

  • Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get to the Immigration Services Agency office because Rowan’s condition worsened and Eri was occupied most of the week taking him around to various doctors. Rowan’s had this persistent breathing issue since shortly after he was born but this week his respiratory system seemed to become even more congested. On Friday, Eri took him to one of the larger hospitals near us and it was a relief after they ran a number of tests all of which came back negative. The only bad part of that news was that it meant it’s still not clear what’s going on.

  • Separately, we had a scare on Sunday when John threw up just before breakfast and we thought he might have contracted gastroenteritis. Fortunately, we were able to see a paediatrician at another of the nearby hospitals and they didn’t think it was anything especially serious (by that point a number of hours had passed and John hadn’t thrown up again).

  • In the midst of all of this, Japan’s cases continued to be relatively low (NHK). I’m expecting that number to increase once the Omicron variant starts to spread.

  • Mum mentioned that the First Test between Australia and England in this year’s Ashes Series had started in Brisbane. Last year I didn’t have any success trying to watch the cricket with the Australian streaming service, Kayo, but this year, everything came up Milhouse and it worked a treat. On Wednesday and Thursday, I sat an iPad playing the match in front of Emma and John during lunch to make them watch. I don’t have high hopes that they’re going to develop an affinity for the game but at least I’ll know I tried.

  • While I’m on the topic of sport, this story in the Washington Post about how Steph Curry is closing in on the NBA record for most made 3-pointers is superbly illustrated and a nice example of what the web can be (although the scrolljacking it uses does break scrolling with the spacebar which isn’t great).

  • My attempts to solve the Advent of Code challenges got derailed as I worked on improving the way that ‘plonking’ works in Jeep. Plonking is my term to describe an activity that is like installing but with less impact on a system. I had a basic implementation but it wasn’t very robust and would fail in numerous situations. It now fails in less situations which is, you know, the kind of improvement you want to see.

  • I was very disappointed to discover that Mattel, the current owner of the Thomas the Tank Engine brand, decided not to continue the CG animated series that’s been running since 2009. Instead they’ve produced a more traditional cartoon, Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go, that’s far more ‘cartoony’ (for want of a better word) and doesn’t include the voice cast that has (with some adjustments here and there) been performing the characters for the past fifteen years or so. Despite my sense (hope?) that it would be a gigantic flop, Emma and John have lapped it up. In unrelated news, I have two disowned children up for adoption if anyone’s interested.

  • I discovered ‘Listening In’ on YouTube and my God is this guy insanely talented. He doesn’t just write video essays about music but also creates his own complete transcriptions of the music he’s discussing (!). This 17-minute video on the soundtrack to Interstellar is a nice place to start.

  • I started watching The Beatles: Get Back, the 8-hour documentary on Disney+ that’s made by Peter Jackson out of the footage and audio recorded while the Beatles were working on the album that would become Let It Be. I don’t have anything especially insightful to say; just that after watching the first episode, I appreciate that the question of who was to ‘blame’ is more complex and less susceptible to a straightforward explanation like ‘Yoko’ than I previously thought.

  • On that note (I’m sorry), a new mix of Let It Be has been released (Apple Music). ‘Across the Universe’ or ‘Let It Be’ are probably my favourite tracks on the album, although I do find myself liking ‘I Me Mine’ more every time I hear it.

  • Number 100! I’m honestly amazed at how many of these I’ve done.

Michael Camilleri @pyrmont