- My former colleague/boss/mentor has a new gig heading up programs at a design school. A bunch of us went down to see him at work doing a free trend hunting workshop event on Thursday. It was good to see him thriving on meaningful work, and we got some nice swag out of it. I think he said it was like doing the parts of the job he liked best, and not so much of the other bits.
- Amidst busyness; packing and planning for our holiday. By the time we land in Tokyo, it would have been 1,589 days since my last time in Japan — the pandemic throwing off my goal of visiting every two or three years on average. Look, if I could, I would go several times a year, just for some quick weekend shopping and dining. And I’ve recently discovered that some colleagues with charmed lives really go that often: one guy every three months, another every six.
- We watched the new Netflix documentary about Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, which hasn’t put me in the mood for a seven hour flight. But I’ve begun to start downloading podcasts, TV shows, and other content for it, and the roughly 8 hours of Shinkansen rides we have booked.
- I don’t think I could take watching more Succession right now. The banality of it irritates me. I just want it to be Billions but it isn’t.
- Missed Fortune is an Apple Original Podcast that I’m going to give a go. It’s completely free and I presume ad-free too. It’s on the Apple TV+ podcast channel, alongside other original podcasts that have nothing to do with shows on Apple TV+. I’ve never heard anyone talking about these, nor seen them advertised. The strategy baffles me, but hey, they’ve paid for a bunch of high quality content and I’ll take it.
- I probably won’t be updating this blog weekly while away. I may post random photos or videos; I haven’t decided. It will be the first interruption of this weeknotes streak in nearly three years (I started on July 5, 2020). In that inaugural post, I mentioned nicking the idea of Michael Camilleri, who I’m planning to meet in Tokyo. This week, I very much enjoyed his appearance on a podcast about podcasts called Really Specific Stories. Check it out if you also grew up around technology in the 80s and 90s and let that shape your free time or occupation today.
- I may not need to update this blog myself for much longer. Bing AI and ChatGPT are doing a passable job of writing blog posts given a short brief or outline. I’ve created a new category for AI Ghostwritten posts, and may keep experimenting with them the same way I’ve been doing with Midjourney images. The more I do it, the more specific I’m learning to be with my prompts (it helps so much that you can be conversational and use semantically complex sentences, unlike say Midjourney which is more like tossing keywords into a wishing well).
- Bing AI is pretty good at generating screenplays as well. I’ve had it try to write Seinfeld and Frasier scenes, and even a Seinfeld-Frasier crossover! Here’s one, but it really helps if you know what they sound like and can play it out in your head:
[INT. JERRY'S APARTMENT - DAY] JERRY: So, you're really going to Japan? GEORGE: Yeah, why not? It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. JERRY: What opportunity? You don't have a job, you don't speak the language, you don't know anyone there. GEORGE: Exactly. It's a fresh start. A new horizon. A chance to reinvent myself. JERRY: As what? A sumo wrestler? GEORGE: Ha ha. Very funny. No, Jerry, as a businessman. A successful businessman. JERRY: Oh, really? And what kind of business are you going to do in Japan? GEORGE: I don't know yet. Something lucrative. Something cutting-edge. Something...Japanese. JERRY: Like what? Sushi? Karaoke? Anime? GEORGE: Maybe. Maybe all of them. Maybe none of them. The point is, I'm open to anything. JERRY: Anything except reality. [KRAMER ENTERS] KRAMER: Hey hey hey! What's up, fellas? JERRY: Hey, Kramer. GEORGE: Hi, Kramer. KRAMER: Guess what? I'm going to Japan! JERRY AND GEORGE (in unison): You're going to Japan? KRAMER: Yeah! Isn't it great? JERRY: How did that happen? KRAMER: Well, you know my friend Bob Sacamano? JERRY AND GEORGE (in unison): Yeah... KRAMER: Well, he just got back from Japan and he told me all about it. He said it's amazing over there. They have everything you can imagine and more. JERRY: Like what? KRAMER: Like robots! They have robots everywhere! Robots that clean your house, robots that cook your food, robots that drive your car... JERRY AND GEORGE (in unison): Really? KRAMER: Yeah! And they're friendly too! They talk to you and tell jokes and give advice... JERRY AND GEORGE (in unison): Wow! KRAMER: Yeah! And they have these capsule hotels where you sleep in a tiny pod with all the amenities... JERRY AND GEORGE (in unison): Cool! KRAMER: Yeah! And they have these vending machines that dispense anything you want... GEORGE: Anything? KRAMER: Anything! Drinks, snacks, clothes, books, movies... GEORGE: Movies? KRAMER: Yeah! Movies! And not just any movies...my movies! [HE PULLS OUT A DVD CASE WITH HIS FACE ON IT] KRAMER (CONT'D): Look at this! [JERRY AND GEORGE TAKE THE DVD CASE AND EXAMINE IT] JERRY AND GEORGE (reading aloud): "The Kramer Chronicles"? [KRAMER NODS PROUDLY] KRAMER (CONT'D): That's right! It turns out I'm a huge star in Japan! [JERRY AND GEORGE LOOK AT HIM IN DISBELIEF] GEORGE: Wait a minute...wait a minute...you're telling me you're a movie star in Japan? KRAMER: Yeah! That's right! GEORGE: How? How did that happen? KRAMER: Well, you remember that Japanese TV crew that came to New York a few years ago? JERRY AND GEORGE (in unison): Yeah... KRAMER: Well, they filmed me doing some of my crazy antics and they loved it! They put it on their show and it became a hit! JERRY AND GEORGE (in unison): Really? KRAMER: Yeah! And then they made a whole series out of it! The Kramer Chronicles! It's like Seinfeld but with me as the star! JERRY AND GEORGE (in unison): Wow! KRAMER: Yeah! And then they made a movie out of it! The Kramer Chronicles: The Movie! It's like The Hangover but with me as the star! JERRY AND GEORGE (in unison): Wow! KRAMER: Yeah! And then they made a sequel out of it! The Kramer Chronicles 2: Electric Boogaloo! It's like The Hangover Part II but with me as the star! JERRY AND GEORGE (in unison): Wow! KRAMER: Yeah! And then they made a trilogy out of it! The Kramer Chronicles 3: Tokyo Drift! It's like Fast and Furious but with me as the star! JERRY AND GEORGE (in unison): Wow! [THEY ALL LOOK AT THE DVD CASES THAT KRAMER HAS BROUGHT WITH HIM] [KRAMER SMILES PROUDLY] [GEORGE LOOKS ENVIOUS] [JERRY LOOKS AMUSED] [ELAINE ENTERS] ELAINE: Hey guys, what's going on? JERRY AND GEORGE (in unison): Hey Elaine. ELAINE: What are you looking at? [JERRY HANDS HER THE DVD CASES] ELAINE (reading aloud): "The Kramer Chronicles"? What is this? [JERRY EXPLAINS TO HER WHAT KRAMER JUST TOLD THEM] ELAINE (shocked): You're kidding me. [KRAMER SHAKES HIS HEAD NO] ELAINE (CONT'D) (impressed): Wow. That's amazing. [KRAMER BEAMS WITH JOY] ELAINE (CONT'D) (to Kramer): So, you're going to Japan? KRAMER: Yeah. I'm going to Japan. ELAINE: When are you leaving? KRAMER: Tomorrow. ELAINE: Tomorrow? That soon? KRAMER: Yeah. I have to catch my flight. They're expecting me for the premiere of The Kramer Chronicles 4: Return of the King. ELAINE: There's a fourth one? KRAMER: Yeah. There's a fourth one. It's like Lord of the Rings but with me as the star. ELAINE: Wow. [KRAMER NODS PROUDLY] [GEORGE LOOKS EVEN MORE ENVIOUS] [JERRY LOOKS EVEN MORE AMUSED] [END OF SCENE]
If you made it to the end of that, you can have some other examples. Though I don’t know if I’ll keep those links up forever.