Weeknotes #224

in weeknotes

  • On Sunday, I took Emma and John over to the Asukusa/Oshiage area as an excuse to meet up with a friend I know from high school who was visiting Japan with his family. It was a very summery day but we beat the heat with generous servings of kakigōri (Wikipedia) from a vendor in Sumida Park.

  • Eri and I enquired about a house that was available to rent for a suspiciously cheap amount close to where we used to live. The real estate agent managing the property responded very quickly and unfortunately the reason is that the lease is only for three years with no realistic option to renew. That’s the situation that we’re in now and one we’d like to avoid with our next move.

  • I haven’t completely fallen off the Japanese studying wagon but I’m close. I’m supposed to be studying for 45 minutes a day and I’m now lucky if that’s 45 minutes every three days or so. I’m hoping that calling myself out in public like this is the push I need to get things back on track.

  • I liked Matt Yglesias’s (pay-walled) essay on George W Bush. Although it’s tangential to his main point, this part resonated in particular:

    In the eyes of a crucial swathe of swing voters, Trump is an inept blowhard who ran a chaotic clown show of an administration—which they see as better than government dominated by effective polarized elites.

    This isn’t an especially novel observation but I think it’s worth repeating given my sense that political elites (especially those on the left) still don’t seem to recognise it.

  • I bought Soulver 3 for the iPhone. I don’t know why I’d put this off until now. Soulver has long been one of my favourite apps for the Mac and while the iPhone version is not exactly cheap, it is a one-time purchase rather than another subscription.

  • Speaking of, I saw that Brandon is pausing his Netflix subscription and it made me wonder again if that was worth doing. I think the answer is a weak no, mostly because it’s the best source of Japanese-language entertainment for the kids.

  • I finished the first season of True Detective and can see why it was so acclaimed at the time. Both McConaughey and Harrelson are fantastic but everyone in the show is terrific. The ending felt like it conformed a little too closely to the Hollywood formula for serial killers but by that point I was willing to cut it some slack.

  • After hearing independently from a number of people that the FX reboot of Shōgun is good actually I decided to give it a go. The first episode was all right but it was the second that sealed the deal and all but guarantees I’ll at least finish the first season.

  • YouTuber Dustin Ballard’s channel, There I Ruined It, uses A.I. software (as well as Ballard’s own skills as a musician) to create pop music parodies. I quite liked ‘The Beach Boys Sing 99 Problems’ and ‘What Red Hot Chili Peppers sound like to people who don’t like Red Hot Chili Peppers’.

  • Back when iOS 17.2 was released in October of last year, Apple added a ‘Favourites’ playlist to Apple Music that lists your favourited songs in reverse chronological order. For some reason, I either didn’t notice this or noticed it and then forgot it. In any event, it reminded me that I hadn’t linked to Radiohead’s ‘Jigsaw Falling Into Place’ (Apple Music).

Michael Camilleri inqk.net