Weeknotes #153

in weeknotes

  • I wrote last week that the symptoms I was suffering from my (suspected) case COVID-19 had been pretty minor. Things started to get worse on Wednesday with muscle fatigue and a general weariness before I got a warning on Thursday night that my respiratory rate had increased over the past three weeks. As I write this on Tuesday, these symptoms have all but gone so hopefully that was the worst of it.

  • I switched mobile providers and immediately regretted it. I’ve been with DMM for years but decided to switch to Rakuten because they allow you to use data overseas. Unfortunately, while the process of moving to Rakuten went relatively smoothly, it turns out that our apartment is located in just about the worst possible place for the network signal in this area to reach and I’m almost always out of coverage. It’s so bad that when I called Rakuten over the weekend to ask if their Rakuten Casa product might solve my problems, the call dropped out halfway through because I completely lost my connection. I’ll keep the contract until we get back from Australia and then switch again, probably to Mineo.

  • Preparations for the trip to Australia proceed slowly but surely. Suitcases are out with clothes slowly being put into them. The rental car I’ll use to drive to the airport is booked as is the hire car that will drive us home when we return. Eri has successfully obtained her don’t-call-it-a-visa-but-it’s-totally-a-visa electronic travel authority. Christmas presents are all purchased and have arrived. Extortionately priced barley tea bags have been delivered to my parents.

  • Speaking of the tea bags, apparently you are allowed to bring barley tea into Australia so the purchase was both overpriced and unnecessary. Or at least, I think it was. It’s a little difficult to tell whether barley tea is allowed because the information is all targeted at people who want to bring in either black or herbal varieties. I’m tossing up whether to bring a single bag with me as a test to see what happens.

  • I didn’t watch what some are calling the greatest World Cup Final ever but I did read the greatest World Cup Final essay ever. I’ve loved Brian Phillips’ writing about tennis but this made me think I should go and listen to his podcast, 22 Goals.

  • There are certain jokes that, as a 40-year-old man, I feel safe saying I’ll never find old. One of those is:

    Some people, when confronted with a problem, think ‘I know, I’ll use regular expressions.’ Now they have two problems.

    Legendary Netscape engineer Jamie Zawinski is typically credited as the source of this joke but as Jeffrey Friedl detailed in a blog post from 2006 (updated in 2020 with new information), Zawinski’s was a variation on a witticism David Tilbrook had come up with in 1985 about the UNIX utility, awk.

  • I’m always amazed when I’m reminded that Radiohead’s ‘Talk Show Host’ was a B-side to ‘Street Spirit (Fade Out)’ (Apple Music).

  • This will be the last update I write in Japan for 2022. I started writing these weeknotes in 2020 and while I haven’t missed a week yet, I also haven’t written any while travelling. My aim is to post while I’m in Australia but we’ll see how that goes. If I don’t end up writing again before the end of the year, I wish us all the best in 2023!

Michael Camilleri @pyrmont