Week 32, 2023

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✱ I’ve never mentioned it here, but, during the pandemics I started a YouTube channel aiming to teach English to Brazilians. This was during the initial months of it all, and my employer at that time advised us all to remain home, for our own safety. But working from home was not a possibility for them, as they lacked the proper IT infrastructure to allow us to do so, and it ended up exposing us all to a situation where you’d stay home without being able to work at all. As I taught English as a Second Language in the past, it occurred to me that sharing my knowledge would be a nice way to keep my mind active. I ended up producing 40 videos from May, 2020, and reached a little more than 700 subscribers what, for me, is a real milestone. After these achievements, though, I quit it altogether by December, 2020. The reason? I was feeling stressed… totally caught in the net of social networks, I felt panic because I received no views, or not enough views, even though this is totally relative and actually doesn’t mean anything or doesn’t matter at all, and felt several other negative effects as well. After I quit, I thought about continuing to help people to learn English and a couple of ideas sparkled on my mind, although I never had the impulse to turn them into reality again. The reason I brought this up this week is because while studying Japanese with YouTube videos, I had some new ideas and I guess I can make this work again, probably without all the stress load I underwent sometime ago. I’m really feeling excited to create at least a pilot and a couple of follow-up experiments, so stay tuned if you wish, for more news soon.

I’m really sure everyone has already played at least one mobile game that got on their nerves. I have played several, but this week I decided to remember why Don’t Touch the Spikes (iOS, Android) used to irritate me so much, all because my younger son has been playing it for some weeks now. If you don’t happen to know the game, its goal is pretty straightforward: tap the screen to make the little bird jump higher, release your finger to make it fall. Whenever you hit the wall the bird changes direction and you score 1 point. It is all endless — until you touch the spikes on the wall, when it’s game over. The goal is to score as high as you can. My son’s high score is 83 (at least by now), whereas my personal best is only 66, a score I got I don’t remember when, and that I’m aware of only because everything is recorded at Apple’s Game Center. This week I couldn’t get past 44, but I could clearly remember why it all got on my nerves: as with any games of this kind, you just… lose, for no apparent reason… you jump too short, or too low, or too high, but always at the right measure to hit the spike, and lose. But that’s ok (and expected, after all). This game’s most annoying feature, though, is the lack of an option to turn its sound off. There comes a time when this also gets on your nerves (and on your wife’s nerves), so you gotta stop to keep your marriage going… 😂

✱ I’m really decided to commit to learning Japanese. Thus I’ve paid for a month’s worth of LingQ content. I’ve used this app before while learning French and Spanish and I believe it’s a good way to find both audio and texts for practicing a target language. That doesn’t eliminate the fact that, for languages as Japanese, it’s necessary to learn the syllabaries first, before decoding the language, but I’m pretty confident I’ve made a good choice — and I’ve already started to have fun with it.

✱This week I woke up to find out that I had been victim of an unauthorized purchase made in one of my credit cards. Someone somehow broke into my Rappi account — one that I hadn’t been using for a couple of years and that now, due to the circumstances, I have properly cancelled — and used a card associated to my PayPal inside it to purchase 120 dollars in supermarket goods. So as soon as I found it out, through a notification received straight from my bank’s mobile app, I immediately got in touch with my bank, PayPal and Rappi personnel, so I could try to tackle this horrible inconvenience from all the angles I could. Long story short? The purchase was properly cancelled from all three perspectives. I closed my Rappi account, erased all my credit cards associated with PayPal and changed my password there, cancelled the virtual credit card used in the purchase with my bank and replaced it with another, brand new number, and spent a couple of hours changing and updating payment methods in several services I have subscriptions of. These are all securit measures to prevent future problems, but that doesn’t make the inconvenience smaller. I felt very angry with myself for this, as I’m usually very protective with my personal data (especially financially speaking).

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