Weeknotes #208

in weeknotes

  • After almost three weeks, we’re back from Sydney. Every year when we return, I feel like we should try to go on a more adventurous holiday next Christmas but then I think about how much it would cost to have a comparable time and conclude if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  • As good as the trip was overall, inflation is real. I was walking past an Oporto at one point and noticed a sign proudly advertising a single-fillet Bondi Burger for only $9.25. I actually stopped walking to see if it was actually advertising a meal but no, just the burger. For $9.25.

  • The trip home went pretty well, albeit with two instances of grievous pecuniary harm. First, I forgot to pack the Vegemite that I’d bought cheaply at a local supermarket and instead paid $10 (!) in the airport for a jar only to later discover a second shop selling the same jar for $5.50 (!!). Second, I had planned to return home in a taxi like we did last year only to forget that the reason that was possible was because ANA had lost our luggage. ANA did not forget our luggage this time but that meant we had to take two taxis at twice the price.

  • Emma’s been invited to attend a trial lesson with a literacy-oriented English class called Yoyogi Chapters that runs lessons on Saturdays. I’m not sure how helpful the class will be but I’m hoping that it might provide an opportunity for Emma to make friends with children similarly situated to her.

  • I’ve broken one of my Raspberry Pis. It was a little slow downloading a file from GitHub and I thought a restart might help. It refused to do that cleanly and when I tried to connect a monitor to it to see what the problem was, there was no signal. I’ve tried turning it on and off a couple of times but to no avail. I decided to use the opportunity to buy a Raspberry Pi 4. I’ve been resisting doing that for years at this point because I hoped the price would eventually fall but it doesn’t look like that’s likely. The Raspberry Pi 5 is out and the 4 still costs about ¥10,000.

  • My weight is up to almost 77kg. I know the solution is simply to eat more healthily but I don’t know if I’ve got the willpower to do that.

  • Dan Luu wrote a post analysing how search engines fare on relatively basic enquiries (unfortunately, not great). This isn’t Luu’s point but my main takeaway from the article was that the only real solution to SEO spam are AI chatbots. It doesn’t seem as if Google can solve this (or is at least incentivised to try).

  • Prompted by the recent congressional hearings about anti-semitic speech on U.S. college campuses, Ken White wrote the best piece about why questions about limits on speech are more difficult than they appear.

  • Speaking of which, when I left Twitter, I commented that I am uncomfortable with people pressuring private companies to express particular political points of view (even when I agree with the point of view!). Freddie deBoer dives into the fracas surrounding Substack and Nazis and he gets at some of the reasons why I feel that way.

  • Vagabon’s ‘Can I Talk My Shit?’ (Apple Music) is a song from a year ago that I only started listening to after Brandon mentioned her recently.

Michael Camilleri inqk.net