Citus Con 2023

Fun gifts from Citus

The World of Data

I barely mentioned my participation in that event, partially because it was virtual and partially because it was too close to PG Day Chicago, but I want to say it again – I am glad I participated! Also, I am glad I recorded the video early, and I am very thankful to the organizers because it was the least stressful recording of all I ever had!

And it was such a delight to receive the speaker’s gifts today!

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Mom Passed The Citizenship Test!

Today was the day! I took my mom to 101 W Ida Wells Drive, ad we passed through security which is more strict than in the airports. And I forgot about that and had to throw my scissors into the garbage (same as when I came for my citizenship test fifteen years ago!)

The security guard on the second floor was so helpful and reassuring – I can’t even describe it! Still, we waited for about twenty minutes past my mom’s interview time until we were finally called in.

Mom was very nervous and could not understand many of the questions when they were spoken (even though I was allowed to repeat them to her), but the officer was exceptionally patient and waited. At some point, when my mom said she would better understand it in writing, she printed the questions, and my mom could read them and reply.

It looks like most senior people apply for a medical exemption. I thought my mom would be upset if I asked her doctor for a note that she was unfit to take the test, but apparently, it’s not a big deal for most people.

Mom had to take a real test with randomly selected questions, and she had to answer correctly six questions out of ten, and she did nine, so I am very proud of her! It turned out she studied all the questions, not only the ones I’ve circled. I didn’t know the questions would be selected by a computer, not by a human!

Then she did reading and writing tests, which was easy for her, and then the officer asked her whether she was willing to take an oath of allegiance, and she forgot what the word oath meant. So the officer showed her a tablet with the oath, and she started to read it very slowly, and then for the second time. I was freaking out because that’s what I was freaking out about even earlier – it’s a pretty strong language, but she nodded approvingly to each of the statements since they all would end with “if required by the law.”

So, after all, she passed the test and signed everything, but the story is not over yet! Even though we tried twice, her fingerprints didn’t turn out legible, so now we need to obtain police clearance from all the places she lived (fortunately, only two!) But it looks like it has to be a real paper, and we need to go in person to get it, so I do not expect her to take the oath before August.

Still- it’s amazing!

May Chicago PUG

I just published a post about our May meetup in my professional blog, and I wanted to add a couple more things to that.

Almost as always, I worried that people won’t come, that it’s too close to the conference, and that just having many of the world -class speakers, nobody would be interested in “made in Chicago.”

I was happy that my worries didn’t materialize, and I was happy to see new faces. Also, remembering my reflections on how to make this event more welcoming to the newcomers, I made sure to stop by and talk to the new members. I saw a female student, and I stopped by her after the talks were over to welcome her and encourage her to ask questions, and complimented her for being brave to come to the room full of unfamiliar faces.

I think she was very empowered by this conversation because she kept asking me about Postgres, my career, and lots of other things. I hope she will come again!

Lights And Other Home Improvements

I finally have the lights on my balcony! All my neighbors had the lights, and I didn’t – that’s because the people who lived here before stripped off pretty much everything possible and impossible.

I still didn’t fix everything which was broken at the time I moved in, but I am getting closer and closer. I had a list of small repairs for which I tried to hire somebody to fix. That was one more never-ending project. The handyman who fixed the mice holes in my kitchen kept promising to find time and come over but kept pushing the date. Then I remembered that when I was looking for an electrician, somebody called me after I already found an electric company, and they said that they could do other repairs. This person was late the first time when we agreed he’d come over, and then he kept coming too late to start work, not showing up at all, etc. Each time, he apologized profusely and promised it would never happen again.

Somehow, I knew that he was not an imposter but had a problem with being on time. On Friday, he finally came here, if not entirely on time, but early enough to be able to do most of the things I hired him for. I knew he underestimated the amount of time it would take him to put the lights up (it took three times longer than he thought), so I paid him more than he originally asked and told him that we could finish the rest after the holidays.

Among other things, he replaced the lock on the back door, so I do not have a lock that can’t be opened with a key anymore (yes, I had it for two years!). And – he bought and put up the lights on the balcony. I need to replace the rest of the locks so that there would be one key for all, but not until everybody who has keys from my house has a new one. Hopefully, by May 31, everybody will have it! Meanwhile, I am thrilled to have the lights! They are operated by light sensors, so the light can either automatically turn on at dust and turn off at dawn or be on for a specified number of hours after dusk. Also, I have a remote to turn it on and off from the inside.

Rail Cars Reception

On Thursday, Igor and I attended the Annual Rail Car Reception organized by Historic Pullman Foundation. It was a benefit event, and since neither Igor nor I had time to go to Pullman Days this year, I thought I could support Pullman financially and see cool cars simultaneously. So I got two tickets for both of us.

I thought that there would be some programming, but it was literally a reception held in the old cars. It was nice because you could go through three different cars from the late 40s and 50s, but I hoped for more words :).

Also, for some reason, we were almost constantly passed on food (it was mostly finger food, and waiters were walking back and forth with the trays passing us:).

Igor spent a lot of time taking good pictures, but he still didn’t sort them and didn’t share with me, so I will only post the pictures I took

The coolest part was that we could enter all the cabins, and touch everything, and even touch the silverware and menus!

I am not sure I will do it again next year, but it was a very interesting experience!


On Tuesday, I went to the CSO concert one more time, and this time, it was with my neighbor, and it was a long-awaited concert with Ricardo Muti!

We were sitting in the first row, and we heard and saw everything, and it was so astonishingly, incredibly good! Jessie Montgomery was present in the audience, and she came on stage after her piece was performed, and the audience exploded with applause!

I realized that I didn’t hear Ricardo Muti conducting for a while, and I realized that I had missed this experience. It continues to surprise me that even going to these concerts after long work days does not make me feel tired, but just the opposite!