Weeknotes #125

in weeknotes

  • John started preschool on Wednesday. We were in enough of a rush that I didn’t think to take a photograph at all which is something I already regret. I took him to the bus stop and saw him off and he was a lot more comfortable with the whole thing than I was expecting. John’s not always the most reliable narrator and I couldn’t get a clear answer about whether he’d cried (either on the bus or later at school) but by Friday he was proudly proclaiming that he didn’t cry at all. This is the first time in his life where he’s been away from both Eri and I for a sustained period of time so quite an achievement for him.

  • I’ve mentioned previously that the way Eri and I are splitting the parenting, I’m the primary parent when it comes to John’s schooling and while I knew intellectually that Japanese schools had an incredible amount of busywork for the parents (read: mother) it’s another thing to be the one who has to do it. The worst part is the fact that the school wants all electronic communication to be through a special website they’ve set up for parents (which is fine) but messages sent through this site have a maximum length of 50 characters. That might be sufficient for Japanese but in English it’s barely enough to write a single sentence. To add insult to injury, the official e-mail address of the school (which is on their stationery) returns an error message from the server if you try to send anything to it.

  • According to the little messages the teacher writes each day, John enjoys playing with various toys but isn’t yet really mixing with the other children. I suspect this is partly a result of being new and partly language difficulties. Hopefully both of those things ameliorate.

  • The biggest negative after the first week is that John contracted gastroenteritis. We’ve had a case of gastro sweep through the family once before and were much more careful this time. Eri kept Rowan well away and I basically decamped with John to Eri’s and my bedroom where we spent all of Sunday. Fortunately our new bed hadn’t arrived yet so the room was mostly empty and we could just plonk a futon down and use it.

  • I started playing Ingress for the first time in five years or so. I almost immediately abandoned it; not because it doesn’t look fun, but because I remembered why I stopped playing it before. It’s a game that rewards a mobility my family situation doesn’t permit.

  • I finally switched over to using a Gmail account rather than the Google Workspace account I’ve been using since 2006. Apparently that wasn’t actually necessary any more (The Verge) but since I’d already switched my e-mail and calendaring over to Fastmail, it didn’t seem worth it to come back. Not least because now I could finally join Eri’s YouTube Premium subscription via Google for Families. Except I couldn’t! My Gmail account was ‘located’ in Australia and Google won’t let you join a family if your account is in a different jurisdiction. Eventually I ‘relocated’ the account to Japan and I was in. Except I wasn’t! Or more correctly, I was but I wasn’t the family manager. It turns out you can only have one of them and there’s no way for the initial manager to make any other family member the manager. What happens if, for example, someone dies? Should have thought about that before you created the family group, I guess. Fortunately, we didn’t have anything important in our group so after a bit of additional hassle, I’d set up a new family group (this time with me as the manager) and moved everyone to it. And now I’m saving ¥1100 a month as a result of not needing the additional YouTube Premium subscription!

  • Episode 5 of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds was a huge amount of fun. I was a little worried when the episode began with a ‘previously on’ that they weren’t going to be able to resist a season-long story arc but no, it was a one-off episode and—even better—an episode where the crew weren’t in existential peril.

  • I fear sometimes these musical recommendations too often are songs I listened to as a teenager but forgive me again for this week’s: ‘Josie’ by blink-182 (Apple Music).

Michael Camilleri @pyrmont