Daniel Santos

Week 20, 2024

So I lost my personal weeknotes streak by not writing a post like this last week. 😱

Since I started recording weeknotes, this was the first time it happened, and on the one hand, it made me feel strange because it broke the routine I had established for myself for so many weeks in a row. On the other hand, though, it felt inevitable.

What I usually do to write weeknotes is to collect interesting bits of information that happen during the week and, with them, kind of β€œprepare” my post in advance. It is usually easy to do because many things happen during the week β€” as I'm sure you're aware of, for things happen to every one of us. But I knew it one of these weeks was subject to being... dull. You know, the most uninteresting week one could have, filled with lots of things that you just feel aren't worth mentioning. And so it was the case with week 19 β€” thus, no weeknotes written. And that's ok, I guess. I hope the two or three people who read my posts or follow me through my feed didn't miss it so much. I promise I'll try to keep my weeks more interesting... 🀣

I had my ISP come and change my modem this week. They never failed me with internet signal, and are very reliable. But for almost two weeks now the power switch of the said device decided to be sentimental and power itself off out of the blue. During its most critical day my connection was cut four times. And of course, the four times were during meetings I was having, all of which I was the one in charge of speaking and conducting the conversation.

After this unwanted demonstration of the power of Murphy's Law, I called the ISP technician. He opened up the modem, said he'd seen such problem before and that he could probably fix it by rearranging the position of the switch components (spoiler: he couldn't). The thing is once he failed, he also couldn't reassemble the switch in a way it remained in the β€œon” position. And as he told me he'd need to go back to his operations central to get me a nem modem, he used a screwdriver to keep the modem on... 😊

Yes, we, Brazilians, are very creative. He came back less than 40 minutes later and finally replaced the modem with another one. So now I'm not going to be disconnected out of nothing anymore β€” hopefully.

Both as part of my Japanese listening and immersion and also to avoid being caught with episodes leaving Netflix's catalog without me watching them first, I binge watched the rest of the One Piece Skypiea arc episodes that were missing for me. All in all, the 52-episode arc story was fine, but far from being as good as the Alabasto arc. Now I have started the Long Ring Long Land arc, but I'm only 2 episodes into it, so I have no opinion about it yet. The important thing is that I've been able to watch the whole package of episodes Netflix will apparently remove from its catalog.

Speaking about Netflix, it suggested me another anime series, Dr. Stone. Deriving from the γƒ‰γ‚―γ‚ΏγƒΌγ‚ΉγƒˆγƒΌγƒ³ manga, the story begins when, one day, a wave of light engulfs the Earth, and turns every human being into stone. Around three thousand years later, Senku, a brilliant student with a passion for science, frees himself from his petrified state and decides, together with Taijuu and Yuzuriha, also newly awakened, to rebuild civilization from scratch.

I watched the three first episodes, and I must say that I loved what I saw so far. Similar to what happens in TWD, where nobody knows the cause of the zombies appearance, in Dr. Stone nobody knows where or why the apocalyptic event that turned everyone into stone took place, so both stories focus on what happens onward. In Dr. Stone, this means finding a cure able to reverse the petrification of humankind, and deal with the moral dilemmas involved.

Dr. Stone is, of course, very different from One Piece. Not only because of their different genres, but also because while Luffy and the Straw Hat pirates have been around since 1999 in anime, Dr. Stone has a shorter lifespan, having started in 2019 and with an apparent announced end, with its fourth season. Anyways, I'll keep on watching it.

I found the anime's opening song, β€œGood Morning World!”, to be very catchy too. I've imported its lyrics into my studying material... 😊

I have continued my Japanese studies, advancing very slowly, in part because these last couple of weeks at work have been particularly busy.

I keep on using Renshuu, which is quite useful, but have mixed feelings for LingQ, which's been giving me the impression it works better for romanized languages like French and Spanish than for Japanese β€” the parsing of content is usually wrong, with bogus furigana and translations being displayed; besides, I haven't felt that reading is very productive for me right now, as I have learned almost no vocabulary yet, and haven't covered that much grammar yet. So that probably means I'll pause the LingQ subscription for some time.

On the other hand, I've kept on using HelloTalk as well, and while the productiveness here is also not high, I have a lifetime subscription already paid for a long time ago, so I don't need to spend additional money here; besides, there are three or four people there with whom I've talked that proved to be very patient with me, and who don't care I'm a slow learner. That's very comforting too, as all of them are learning Portuguese and I can help them with that.

Meanwhile, I have accidentally come across a recently launched roguelike deckbuilder game meant for Japanese learners. It's called Yuke and the Book of Yokai, and it has really caught my attention.

From their description on Steam:

Fight at your own pace!

Choose what to learn, when to learn, and how to learn! Take it easy and relax, or push yourself to the limits. Each run can teach you something new! And you can always repeat previous lessons from the main menu.

Immerse yourself!

And learn about the fabulous world of Japanese myth while also engaging with Japanese culture! Get taught by friendly characters, or have a go at it on your own and learn from the environment and in-game objects.

Now, since some weeks ago, when I got into a Balatro gaming spree, I haven't played anything at all. But I got really interested in this particular game. First because it's a roguelike deckbuilder, and, come on, what is there not to love about a roguelike deckbuilder? Second, because I can take my own pace and learn when I can. Gamification can't be anywhere nearer than inside... a game, right? I'll probably buy it soon enough.m

An interesting fact for someone who loves reading like myself is that there's actually a book named The Book of Yokai. Yokai (ε¦–ζ€ͺ) is the Japanese word that describes supernatural entities and spirits in the country's folklore, and many books describe these creatures, this one among them. I'll maybe give it a try someday...

#english #weeknotes