What Is Our Book About?

For the benefit of my friends who do not need this book ๐Ÿ™‚

The World of Data

This blog post is long overdue. Since our book PostgreSQL Query Optimization was published, weโ€™ve been asked multiple times, โ€œWhatโ€™s this book about?โ€ In addition, my non-technical friends keep asking whether I can describe it in one paragraph so that they could understand it as well.

I thought that the best answer would be to copy a couple of paragraphs from the bookโ€™s Introduction โ€“ I hope that it is not super-technical:).SO, here it goes.

Like many authors, we wrote this book because we felt we could notnotwrite it. We are both educators and practitioners; hence, we see both how and what computer science students are taught in class and what knowledge they lack when they enter the workforce. We do not like what we see and hope this book will help bridge this gap.

When learning about data management, most students never see a real production databaseโ€ฆ

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Yesterday, Igor was going to take mom to the Devon market, but it was too short of notice, and she said she could not go at that time. So I thought that in that case, I could take her to ALDI (and show her the way so that she could do it herself in the future). Knowing her daily schedule, I called her at 3 PM to tell her that I will stop by in an hour. She didn’t pick up, but in a could of seconds, she called me back. To my surprise and horror, she said: I am not sure I will be at home in an hour, I am not sure where I am. When I asked her to read the name of the street at the intersection, she replied: California.

Those who know a little bit about Chicago geography can understand my feelings. I asked what’s the other street name, and she said: Toughy. She could not tell me which direction she is going. She asked a couple of people where is Morse CTA station, and she said they were should her different directions. I hypothesize that people were just showing directions to the nearest CTA because she was so far away.
I had to wait till she reached the next intersection (aI opened Google maps and followed her) to confirm that she was going in the opposite direction.

First, I wanted to get Uber and pick her up, but I was afraid she wouldn’t stay in one place for 30 min, so I started to direct her over the phone. I was also afraid that the phone would get discharged, so I didn’t keep her on the phone the whole time. After one of my calls, she told me that she already turned on Morse Ave and she knows where she is going. I got dressed and prepared to leave the house. I called her one more time, and she said she is not sure why she is on RIdge, not on Morse. I asked her again to read the nearest intersection sign and told her to stay where she was (again, for those familiar with the surroundings, she was at the corner of N. Ridge Ave and Chase). When I finally found her, she was out on the streets for more than three hours and asked why I am calling Uber when we can walk home.

Yes, I already set up location sharing on her phone, and I made sure that the internet is on all the time, and Anna and I talked about other precautions.

I Just Had The First Party!

This morning, Vlad and Dylon left for DC. Originally, it was for Dylon’s job, which he starts in September. So originally, we thought that they would be around for most of the summer. That’s where the plans for my move mid-summer were coming from. But then Vlad started to look for a job too, and now they are moving earlier because of him :). Vlad can’t be without a job for long, and now he will be a Beverage Manager for the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in DC.

Anna and the girls came to visit me on Friday night, and we and an almost impromptu party at my new place.I also texted my neighbors from the next building I met a couple of days before to come over and meet my family. It was so good! Good having most of the family together, good being around the like-minded people, good to meet new folks like in “before” times:). Vlad ordered a takeout which tasted great, and we finally opened my “Technologist of the Year” champaign and a couple of other bottles I had for years!

When I was packing, I found several boxes of glasses which I didn’t know about!

Oh, and Vlad got all “A” for his classes, so now he finally got his diploma in Classics!

I Sold My Prius!

The plan always was t sell my car when I move to the city. But with Vlad’s departure happening earlier than we originally thought, it became urgent: I needed one more person to bargain (and drive me back from the selling point).

I still owed a little bit of money on my Prius: the promotional APR was so low that I was in no rush repaying it. But now, when it was time to sell, I was unsure how these things are done.
That was once in a lifetime situation when a sales email was a blessing: I received an email from a Toyota dealer where they offered a trade-in, And I replied: I can sell my car to you. They called me right away, and I told them I would come when I am done with driving ๐Ÿ™‚

asked Vlad and Dylon whether one of them could come, and Dylon agreed to take me there. So we made an appointment for Wednesday morning. First, we drove to my old house and picked up the erroneously delivered IKEA items:). Then we picked my car from the train station and drove to the dealership.

t took way longer than I thought, but the car was happily sold in the end. The dealership wanted this car really badly because they had a low inventory, and my car has a very small number of miles on it. In fact, they were so eager to buy it that they didn’t even notice the dent in the bumper :). They only noticed the scratches on the sides:)

So they are paying off the rest of the balance I owe, and they are going to send me a check afterward, just in time before my Illionce sticker renewal is due :).

Hurray! No more monthly payment, no more insurance, mo more nothing! The salesperson said they never saw somebody so happy without the car ๐Ÿ™‚ To be honest, this guy told me a lot of weird things, like started to tell me how he lived in Russia for several years and other things.. and he was keeing telling me that I have the most unusual car, and I told him there are more unusual things about me ๐Ÿ™‚

Yet Another IKEA Delivery

Everything is in balance. There was this happy air conditioning thing, and also, both of my shower faucets were replaced on Saturday (I was mentally ready to find out that something more than a faucet was wrong in the small shower). In some sense, it was true – the plumber told me that there was a lot of rust and that I might end up needing to clean the pipes. But now everything works, and it took not as long as I was afraid of (my neighbors had to be without the water for just about 30 min).

Also, I’ve assembled the second bigger Kallax unit. 

And now, here comes Monday. I was working from home because I had an IKEA delivery scheduled, and also I thought I would need an AC service. There was no need for the latter one after all, but the IKEA delivery service sent a message that it will be on schedule. The timeframe was set from 1 to 5, and I was ready. 

At about 12-40, I received a text message from my old neighbor in Palatine: Hettie, there are IKEA packages for you eft by the mailbox!

OMG!!! I know exactly what happened! That was when I misspelled my email because I was ordering it on the train and was in a hurry. Then, Chase Vise rejected my transaction, and I didn’t realize why and used a different credit card. And what I am sure did happen was that when I was putting a different credit card, it auto-filled all the fields, including the address! It was before I changed my billing address.

Thank God for the neighbors like my old friend, and it is great that Dylon is taking me to sell my car on Wednesday, so we will be able to stop at my old Palatine house. But HOW COULD I BE SO STUPID! Also, I really needed the things I ordered; I had time set aside to assemble all the new arrivals. 

Air Conditioner

As I mentioned earlier, I spend four days with the assumption that something is wrong with my air conditioner or that my ecobee can’t connect to it properly. Since I could not have a service on Friday because I was helping mom pack, so we agreed with the mechanic that he would come Monday morning.
I’ve managed through an extremely hot weekend, juggling the doors and windows open and close and turning on a portable air conditioner. I went to bed on Sunday thinking about why I had this feeling that the AC just does not turn on, and in the morning, I woke up and realized what could be wrong.

It was so stupid; I can’t even believe I was so dumb! But the first thing I did it the morning was marching to my ecobee and looking at the screen. Yes! It was showing just the “Heat” icon!

The ecobee has three modes: Heat, Cool, and Auto. I had it on auto in my Palatine home, and since I had it for many years, I forgot that you have to switch it explicitly! So I switched, and I turned the comfort setting for cooling one degree down to trigger the AC. It worked!

I left the message for the mechanics that all is good (they called me anyway to double-check), and then I spent the whole Monday with the mixture of joy and regret:).

We Moved My Mom!

On the one hand, it was way easier than moving me because mom only had 22 boxes, not 155, and she has less of the furniture, and both places are on the first floor. But, on the other hand โ€ฆ that was a phycological challenge. Mom did not understand how to pack, and although I told her multiple times that I will pack everything, she was still trying to get things into piles, and then she would get upset when I break these piles. Also, she wanted to take with her all the plastic bags from the stores she accumulated over the past three years and all the disposable packaging she ever had โ€ฆ

Skipping all the details: I was able to pack everything, Vlad rented a truck, Dylan drove me to Palatine, we loaded the truck and unloaded.

Continue reading “We Moved My Mom!”

Traveling In The Opposite Direction

Because I was so absorbed with my move, I didn’t even tell anybody about Boris’s visit – the first time after November 2019.

He technically could come through all that time as a spouse of a US citizen. But first, there were no flights. Then, it was really bad here, and I didn’t want him to come and sit inside for a week. Later, it became possible for me to travel, and you know the rest. Boris said he didn’t want to get sick outside Finland, which I could understand.

Long story short, he felt comfortable traveling after his first dose (In Finland, due to the vaccine shortage, they have a twelve weeks interval between two doses).
Like when I traveled to Finland, he has to present the papers twice more than the number of borders he crossed. But unlike with me, one situation became very serious.

He checked -in for both flights on the way to Chicago, but just when he was about to board the plane in Frankfurt, they didn’t let him on. An official told him that B1 travelers from the Schengen zone are not allowed, and “if he were traveling from Russia, it would be fine.” Boris pleaded with him that in his case, he could travel, and in the end, they reissued him a boarding pass, and he boarded – the last passenger on the flight.

He had no problems passing the border control here, and the officer, as it often happens, was amused with our family arrangements :).

He also had to take the test on the way back, and it turned out that the only way he could do this was to come to the airport yet another hour earlier. It all worked fine, and there were no more issues. However, Boris is still bitter that the Biden administration didn’t do anything with this ridiculous situation when people can’t travel from the Schengen countries but can travel from Russia. And I agree ๐Ÿ™‚