Midwest Change of Seasons

One of the items with deadlines for the past weekend (when I was six hours short) was cleaning the back porch from the rest of the fallen leaves and putting away the rest of the flowerpots (I managed to put away the garden furniture and to fold and cover the umbrella the weekend before that). I knew I had to do it over the weekend, because on Monday we had tons of snow, and today we have an arctic cold wave.

Yesterday’s morning
Today’s morning

Six Hours Short

Last weekend, I measured exactly how much time I needed to complete all the tasks on my list. I was six hours short. And it’s not anything “nice to have,” which could be postponed for the next weekend. All those were the tasks with deadlines; there were reasons why they should have been completed before today. Unfortunately, I am also 100% booked during the workday today, and I am entertaining important guests of the Postres community after work. Thereby, I do not even have my usual extra two to three “grace” hours on Monday to complete unfinished weekend tasks.


That’s what you get for taking too much on you:). And if I even had any slack time past weekend, it would be no more than an hour. And I do not include in these six hours a couple of my family history post I planned to write.

Just too much of life is going on 🙂

Health Updates

Most of my friends are aware that out of my multiple vision-related issues, the most annoying is my double vision. I went for years without any treatment until about five years ago, I got special prism-only glasses to address to issue. I can’t wear these glasses all the time, but I use them for driving and while in the movies or other shows. It helps a lot.

Recently, however, it became worse, and at my annual checkup, I’ve
complained to my eye doctor. She gave me a referral to the specialist, who is primarily dealing with that particular problem. That other doctor examined me and told me that she can work with my double vision, but first, I need to have my cataracts operated. That was news for me; I didn’t know I have cataracts, but that explained a lot about how I felt recently.

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Attending the University: Math-Mech Days

What else were we doing as students except for the studies? There were not many sports. Actually, among nerds it was not cool to do any sports, it was a strong presumption, that only people who can’t use their brain for anything productive, do sports. And the only sport I remember somebody was doing was our gymnastics team. If there were any other, they wouldn’t have any visibility.


There were obligatory political activities. There ere mathematical clubs in schools, which were called YMSCH – Youth Mathematical Schools. They were clubs, after-school activities, but we called them “schools.” And I will write about them at some point.


One of the highlights of student’s life was the Math-Mech Day. I can’t recall now, what was the way of choosing a date for it, but it was some time in spring, far enough from the finals. Later, it was transformed into the Math-Mech Week with different activities every day. But back then, it was not even a day, but just a performance – a student play, written, staged and performed by students, undergrads, grads and postgrads. That was probably the only one informal gathering I can recall from the Soviet era, definitely the only one in the University.

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My New iPhone

I’ve got a new iPhone 11 Pro! For the past several years, I am on the FlexLease plan with Sprint, which means I can get the next version of the iPhone each time it appears (every 12-18 months) for virtually no extra cost. I have to admit, the plan itself is expensive, but I know what I am paying for. It’s an ability to be connected anywhere in the world, any time, with no switching to anything. And for always having a hotspot to connect my computer anywhere in the world. Also, I have my Mom and my sons hooked to the same plan (they all pay for their lines, but I pay a lion share of the bill). This is just to say, it is not the best option for everybody, but the best option for me, with my lifestyle.

That’s why I ended up with the new iPhone 11 Pro the other day. By now, I know the fastest way to get upgraded. I always order a new phone online, when it arrives, I wake it up and allow it to absorb information from my old phone and iCloud, and then next day go to the Sprint Store, which is two blocks from my work to perform the activation.

This time it was by far the most seamless upgrade, with a very short time it took to sync with the iCloud. Also, this time, I was able to retrieve from the iCloud all my passwords, which was great since I have a hundred applications installed. Even my Bluetooth scale recognized the phone, or rather the new phone was aware of the scale :).

And the main attraction – three cameras! I didn’t get a chance to play with them long enough since I work non-stop for the past two weeks, and especially for the past three days. But still – this is a picture of my room taken in complete darkness, except for two candles and a desk light behind me, which is not directed towards the room. Same shot with two cameras.

Booth Women Connect Conference

On Friday, I attended the Booth Women Connect Chicago conference. Our CEO asked all the women in the leadership position in our company, whether they want to attend. All of us said – yes! Ten of us for the 60-employee company – I think it’s very impressive!

There were opening remarks and a keynote, which we all attended. Also, there were four sessions when we could select one out of eight different workshops to attend. Choosing was extremely difficult!  

I liked the keynote by Ann Curry. As for the sessions, the first one I’ve attended was a panel, “The Future of Work.” It sounded fascinating, the abstract said:

The transformations facing the future of work will feel like tidal waves disrupting all industries and, subsequently, all career paths. These transformations will span organizations and most of their roles, and all types of business models will be disintermediated. In this panel, we aim to raise awareness of what is happening, why, and how to empower us to be proactive with learning transformations.

So, let’s together redefine “work”! A one-size-fits-all workday is a thing of the past. Automation, artificial intelligence, and other emerging technologies are bringing a world of new products, methods, and experiences to our doorsteps that are far more efficient, but unpredictably disruptive in their impact.

How do individuals empower themselves in the face of all of this change at work? How can we turn this period of technological and human change into an occasion to create more rewarding jobs and build better learning systems and career pathways? How might companies embrace flexibility in a structured way?

Join us for a lively discussion around how technological disruptions have transformed global labor markets, impacted gender parity in the workplace, and created opportunities to redefine what work is. We will share cutting-edge research and discuss how organizations whose employees are empowered to be a part of this citizen-led automation will be the winners of tomorrow. We’ll aim to have you return to your organization better equipped to make your workplace work for you, your colleagues, and your clients.

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