Weeknotes #118

in weeknotes

  • After a warm few weeks, the cold weather returned with a vengeance and the Easter weekend was pretty miserable weather-wise. Fortunately, the novelty of eating chocolate multiple times a day kept things exciting for the kids.

  • I once again forgot to get some ‘proper’ chocolate eggs and, by the time I checked, there were no eggs that would arrive in time. Instead, I ordered some of the chocolate eggs that come with small toys inside. The kids probably prefer these (even if the toys aren’t much more than moulded plastic) but I would still like to give them the more traditional large, hollow chocolate eggs I associate with Easter at least once in their childhood. Next year.

  • Eri and John went and looked at the preschool closest to us but we were put off by the fact they don’t seem to be taking any real precautions against COVID-19. Maybe we’re being overly concerned but given Rowan’s underlying respiratory condition, we don’t feel comfortable taking the risk. There’s a school that’s a bit further away that I’m investigating and hopefully it won’t have the same issues.

  • I finally admitted that my SMASH! group of friends has drifted apart. It was probably inevitable. We came together for a purpose and coalesced into a tight-knit group. The strength of that bond is evidenced by how long the group persisted even after the purpose that brought us together was long since spent. But at this point, it’s difficult to look at the past couple of months and not see that it’s over now. There was no dramatic blow-up, no moment when it all shattered. Time simply passed and then one day I’m organising the apps on phone and realise I never open Slack any more (the primary means by which which we communicated). There’s no reason we can’t reconnect, of course, but especially given that we’re all in quite different places to where we were when we met, I think that’s unlikely. I’m generally pretty happy with being in Japan but this is one of those instances where I really feel the distance.

  • I had my monthly checkup and it was the first time catching a train into work. For reasons that I can’t explain, I’ll always prefer JR lines but it was fine. The best part was just being so close to the station. After five years of having to catch a bus to reach the nearest station, it’s heaven to be able to stroll ten minutes down the road and be there.

  • I threw away the Arch Linux VPS I’d set up a couple of months back. Arch is nice and I did enjoy the breadth of packages available but given how little server administration I want to do, I realise the conservatism of Debian’s development approach is more my style.

  • I also set up a Tailscale network and got it so that I could connect to my Raspberry Pi from outside the apartment. It’s as simple and easy to use as everyone says. The one thing that was a little finicky was getting it so that I could SSH into the local address of the Pi (rather than its Tailscale address) but I followed the instructions to set up a subnet router and it’s all working well.

  • I finished the omnibus edition of Animal Farm and 1984 I’ve been listening to through Audible. The end of 1984 was different to how I’d remembered it. I read it near the end of high school (which was more than 20 years ago!) and thought the story ended with the line about a boot stamping on a human face forever. That line is in it of course but it’s not the way the story ends. I’m now listening to Robert Iger’s The Ride of a Lifetime on the lessons he learnt becoming CEO of Disney. It’s very clear it’s not a memoir which is a shame because I’m very interested in a memoir by Robert Iger.

  • Eugenia got me to watch some of the trashy YouTube fare she prefers. One of the videos was a long debate involving the streamer Destiny arguing that transgender women shouldn’t be allowed to compete in cisgender women’s sporting events. I’m somewhat sympathetic to his argument but found the entire discussion frustratingly devoid of much evidence one way or the other. If I’m being honest, most of what kept me watching was trying to understand the appeal of this type of video to people younger than me.

  • The new season of Law & Order continues to disappoint. This week’s episode, ‘Wicked Game’, was actually the best so far and really a pretty solid episode (especially the first half). And yet that made it all the most concerning. If this is the best the show can be, there really needs to be a reckoning. The pairing of Bernard and Cosgrove has grown on me over these first six episodes but ADAs Price and Maroun are an absolute train-wreck. Neither is compelling and even though I largely watch the show for the legal half, I can barely stand to watch either of them.

  • More positively, I’ve been enjoying HBO’s Winning Time. I was surprised to discover that the theme song is from 2006. It’s a very funky ‘My Favorite Mutiny’ by the Coup (Apple Music).

Michael Camilleri @pyrmont