Weeknotes #101

in weeknotes

  • My visa was renewed and I’ve created a five-year reminder (!) to make sure I don’t leave it to the last second again. Of course, the plan is that I’ll have obtained permanent residency before then and this will all be a thing of the past.

  • Emma had her school’s end-of-year musical thingy on Friday. Like last year, I took her to the civic hall where it’s held and, like last year, I chose not to actually watch the performance. It’s a bit sad to have missed out on seeing it in person two years in a row but the entire thing is recorded on video and we do always purchase a copy of that. Which reminds me that I should invest in a Blu-Ray drive I can use to rip the disc.

  • We’re probably being overly cautious but the concern that the Omicron variant might be spreading through the community was what decided it for me. The number of detected cases in Tokyo has remained relatively low (NHK) but Omicron seems virulent enough that taking the risk didn’t seem worth it.

  • Speaking of caution, the Japanese Government announced it will extend its border closure into ‘early’ next year (NHK). Mum’s bought her ticket and our tentative plan is still for her to come in February but I’d say there’s a 50/50 chance at this point that that date will slip. Fortunately, the ticket can be rescheduled.

  • I’m still working my way through The Beatles: Get Back and while I’m going slowly that says more about the amount of time I have to watch it than it does the documentary itself. Indeed, I’ve exhorted Dad twice to sign up for Disney+ so that he can watch it.

  • One of the reasons that I’ve been watching things at such a slow pace is that I’d built up a rather substantial podcast backlog that I’m trying to clear without much success. In part, this is because I keep adding new things to it. I’ve not found I really like comedy podcasts and so have mostly avoided them but my James Acaster ardour encouraged me to give the ‘Off Menu’ podcast he does with fellow comedian Ed Gamble a try. My verdict: it’s fantastic and the episode with Bridget Christie had me in tears at multiple points. Gamble’s general enthusiasm pairs (see what I did there?) extremely well with Acaster’s more sarcastic persona. Perhaps my favourite aspect of the show is the editing: whenever the discussion looks like it could get mired in a digression, the Great Benito inserts a cut to move things to the next course.

  • I made a little bit of progress with the Advent of Code puzzles but was derailed again, this time with pull requests I’ve filed to change Janet itself (here and here). Both PRs are aimed at improving the experience of REPL-oriented programming. This is something that’s a key part of Clojure’s appeal but something that I think can translate across to Janet pretty well, too.

  • On a call in which Dad and I were discussing the Beatles, the topic of Ringo came up and he mentioned this YouTube video by Sina Doering about what makes Ringo’s drumming so good. I liked it but given my predilection for video essays I unsurprisingly preferred this video essay by George Hrab.

  • I realise this is a bit duplicative with last week’s music recommendation but if you’re not all Beatles-ed out at this point, I recommend Let It Be… Naked (Apple Music). Regardless of whether you like Phil Spector’s contributions to the original album, my favourite aspect of this version is the track ordering: it all flows so much better here than it did there.

Michael Camilleri @pyrmont