I have a question again – a different one

The World of Data

On February 15, we had one more live meetup of the Chicago PostgreSQL User Group. I am very happy with how it went, except for one thing.
Positive things first, the attendance was at the pre-pandemic level first time after the pandemic! I would even say it was on the higher side of pre-pandemic attendance. The speaker was outstanding (would you ever expect less from Kirk Roybal?) There were a lot of questions during the talk and after the talk, and some people stayed after 8 PM. All of this was great, and I think that how a good meetup should look like, and that’s why we have live meetups.
However, there was one thing that I didn’t like. Look at the picture below:

I asked the audience how many people had female coworkers. At least two-thirds raised their hands. And then I asked: so where are they? Why didn’t…

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Yesterday, I was browsing my Russian social media feed. I am not doing it consistently, but there are still several people about whom I care deeply. lthough they read this blog using Google translate, if they post something, it will be in Russian, ad that’s a primary reason I check this feed periodically.

Unfortunately, no matter how hard you try, you can’t perfectly filter your feed (which might not be so bad because this way, you do not lose touch with reality). Anyway, I am going through the feed, and I see a repost from “somebody” who is anti-aggression – antu-putin-glory-to-Ukraine et al., and they publish a satire about Putin looking for his “historical roots” while visiting Africa. It is extremely difficult for me to describe this piece, but I have to, so please forgive me.

This satire goes to the effect that he feels at home with African tribe chiefs, and he strips himself naked and puts a ring in his nose, and dances with them around the bonfire, and now he has a legit right to eat human flesh, and that’s where his real place is. I was sick to my stomach by the time I finished reading, and jumped to the comments.I started to type something about “how you can insult African nations in such a way, but then I realized that the reader would take it as a joke! I looked through all the comments which were posted by that time, and there was not a single one noticing how wrong this whole thing is! All comments were like: That’s excellent, perfect, yes, that’s the right place for him! And nobody, NOBODY….

The Ripple, The Wave…

Flexible theatre memberships always look appealing because you think you will just choose the day which works best for you when it is closer to the show. And then, since a show is not on your calendar, you forget that you must choose.

This happened to me with my Whenever Goodman membership: the play “the ripple, the wave which carries me home” looked very interesting, but I thought, “I will look at it next week, this week is too busy,” until all of a sudden, I received an email saying that the show must close the upcoming Sunday.

Fortunately for me, I opened this email before Sunday, and luckily, Igor and I found one show time that worked for both of us.

We were almost late for the show because we went out for dinner and got very engaged in our conversation, so when we rushed into the Owen theater five minutes before the show started, and ended up sitting close to the extended family of the actress who played a leading role!

It is surprising how many people are unaware of the history of pool segregation and how many horrible things were happening fairly recently. Even the author of the play admits in the interview that she was not aware of many of them before she started working on this play. For me, the show’s most shocking moment was when the main heroine’s mother talks about three boys, two black and one white, who were killed (she does not give details of what happened, except “out of four only one returned”), and she says about their funerals:” They should have been buried together, but no cemetery would do this.”

I am glad we got a chance to go. This is one of the plays which is almost too close to reality, and although there are a lot of funny moments, it is very tragic, and very close to ho

The Fablemans

Oh, how much I loved this movie! I am so glad I made a non-existent time in my schedule to watch it! Once again, thanks for 400 Theater being so close to us and running all the new releases. Funny thing – for the first time ever, I used a senior discount:).

I just can’t get over it – what a great movie! I liked everything about it!

Why I do not want to work in a startup anymore

Reblogging from “The World of Data”

The World of Data

For those who have known me long enough and heard me saying, “I want to do one more startup before I retire,” quite often, the title of this post would be at least unexpected. And I won’t swear by it. My life had taken so many unpredictable twists that the only thing I learned very well was “never say never.”

However, recently, I was saying something different: “I hope to stay with this company until I retire.” And once again, I won’t swear by it because life is unpredictable, but I started thinking about what changed my mind so drastically.
It is not only that I enjoy working with everybody in this company (I was fortunate to have wonderful co-workers everywhere I worked), but most of the problems I have to solve here.

A startup’s appeal is that you come to uncharted territory and build everything from scratch. There is…

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Black Sesame Lava Cheese Tart

Saving the recipe…

Healthy Cooking - Hettie's Way

Finally tried this recipe today, and it is delicious! Still unsure whether or not it’s too much work for busy me 🙂

Copying the whole recipe here:


  • 2store-bought pie crusts, thawed
  • 228 g.or 1 blockfull-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 80 g.or 1/3 c. + 2 tbsp.black sesame paste
  • 35 g.or 2 tbsp. + 1 tsp.milk (any fat percentage)
  • 120 g.or 1/2 c.heavy cream
  • 75 g.or 1/3 c. + 1 tbsp.granulated sugar (may use more if sweeter is desired)
  • 6 g.or 2 tsp.cornstarch
  • 5 g.or 1 tsp.lemon juice
  • 4 g.or 1 tsp.vanilla extract


  1. In a medium bowl, cream the full-fat cream cheese and sesame paste together using an electric beater.
  2. Add in the milk and heavy cream and use a spatula to cream the mixture together until smooth. Do not use an electric…

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Elementary School In the Soviet Union: My Notebooks

I plan to write a series of blog posts about school, similar to the series I wrote about the university. I do not have as many pictures from my school years as I would need to illustrate everything I am going to write about, but I have a lot of my school notebooks saved by my mom.

I have two of my very first notebooks in storage, and I will scan them at some point in the future, but I didn’t want to wait until this future came, so here are several others.

All of them are from my first grade. There was no Kindergarten class at school, and I already described our Kindergarten education when I blogged about my detsky sad. What I started in September 1970 was a first grade; whatever was before was not considered school.

The name of this notebook is the Russian language. That’s what “writing” was called. In the first grade, our parents signed our notebooks.

Our notebooks were not at all like nowadays notebooks. The cover was made of thin paper, ad there were only twelve pages in each, We had six notebooks circulating at any given time: two for the Russian language, two for math, and two for penmanship. At the beginning of the lesson, you would turn in your notebook with your homework and pick up your other notebook with your yesterday’s homework graded by your teacher. You would do your classwork in that notebook, then do the homework in the same notebook, and the process would be repeated the next moring.

That’s classwork for May 12. I got “five” for it, which is the equivalent of an A
That’s the homework for May 19. I got “four,” which is equivalent to B. The mark is down because I made one correction.
Continue reading “Elementary School In the Soviet Union: My Notebooks”

Time Is Still A Non-Renewable Resource

Time-time-time… You can never get the wasted time back. And you never have enough time t do everything you want to do. Ok, I am not sure about you, but I definitely don’t!

One of the newest things I am trying to fit in my life is this: I have the option to write about pretty much anything I want. And not only to write but to be published. And not only published but also paid for it.

And I have so many ideas! In fact, I, like many others, write these imaginary articles in my mind when I walk around. I feel like I already wrote something, just to realized that it is still all in my mind 🙂

Today, work came on it’s way. I had to start something at 6 AM, hoping that I would be done by 10 AM, and ended up being barely done by 4-30 PM with still some cleanup having to be done later.

I still hope to find some time during the weekend to write at least one article. I swear, it is almost written! I just need to type it up 🙂

One More Memory

Just another memory, one of many, prompted by a conversation with an online friend.

One of my closest high school friends was accepted to the same university as me, and our friendship (and heart-to-heart conversations) continued. Her mother was a biologist, and she would go on research expeditions to the Far North every summer. Sometimes, my friend would accompany her. Once, when we had one of those heart-to-heart conversations, she told me how she witnessed a helicopter chase of the children. 

At school, we were told that the Soviet government takes care of the Native tribes of the Far North and brings civilization to them; and that children receive a high-quality education in the boarding schools and do not have to migrate with raindeers. And now I am listening to my friend L. telling me a different story.

Imagine a helicopter approaching, and all the children run into hiding. It lands, and the people from the helicopter start to walk from one chum to another and ask whether there are any children in this household. And the parents respond to the effect of “what are you talking about?! We haven’t got no children!” And if they find some, everybody screams and tries not to let the children go. 

And the most puzzling thing is that when a helicopter brings these children back home for a summer break, their parents say: we do not want these children; they are not our children. They do not know how to live in the tundra anymore; they are not ours; you can take them back. 

I remember L. telling me that with her big beautiful eyes wide open in disbelief. And we shook our heads and laughed: silly people! We were not small children at that time, we were nineteen or twenty, and we still chose not to see,

Even years later, when I read books about Native Americans in Brazil who were trying to stay on their ancestors’ land while capitalists wanted to seize it for oil production, it never occurred to me that the same thing was happening in my country. When I read about the extermination of Native people in the US and boarding schools in Canada, it never occurred to me that the Soviet Union was doing the same thing. 

Like in many other cases, it’s not even that somebody was hiding the truth from me; I never bothered to process the facts I knew. I never thought: these are the same Indians as in the books. And I can’t explain why.

My historical posts are being published in random order. Please refer to the page Hettie’s timeline to find where exactly each post belongs, and what was before and after.