Sledding

I love it:). Love sledding, always loved it. And there is a big sledding hill right by my house, We used to go there with the kids, even when me kids were young adults :). But for some reason, I can’t make myself going sledding when I am by myself, and there are parents with kids on the hill. I feel embarrassed, and I do not know why.

I was anticipating today’s snow. Since going to the office is optional, I planned ahead to work from home. And early in the morning, at 7-45, to be exact, I took my sleds from the basement, put my snow pants on and left the house form the back door:). It’s the shortest way to the sledding hill, not like I didn’t want my neighbors to see me:).

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Are They Really Afraid Of Black People?

Last week, during my zoom birthday lunch, I mentioned that there are way too many coyotes wandering around Palatine these days, and how I saw a full-grown coyote on the bike path, and he was not afraid of people. I mentioned that people are concerned that coyotes attack dogs and that I agree there are too many of them around.

Vlad suddenly said very sharply: good! If people are afraid of coyotes, they might decide that coyotes are more dangerous than black people and decide to move to the city.

I was like: Vlad, what are you talking about?! People are not afraid of blacks! Vlad: they do! They just do not say it! Look, people are saying they are afraid to get on the CTA, and if you ask them why they would be: I am afraid of people on the CTA. And if you keep pressing, it would be – they are afraid of blacks. I tried to protest, but then all of them (my kids, I mean) told me that I am an exception, and all other people who live in the burbs think differently.

I told them that I do not think I am an exception and that more of my co-workers live in the city than in the burbs. But in the next several days following this conversation, I had several encounters that proved Vlad’s point.

One of my younger co-workers reacted at the Sanders on the CTA mem on Slack and said that “he has not been on CTA since March, and is not looking forward to it”. And I chose not to ask why. Which I probably should. Then, when I talked with my neighbor, she told me about her granddaughter who will teach in the city and is going to live in the city, and she (my neighbor) thinks it’s not safe. I shook my head, and she asked: you disagree? But it’s not safe! Give it some time for things to settle down.

And the next day, there was a conversation with my other younger co-worker about renting in Chicago, with the same question: is this neighborhood safe?

I tried to answer in detail, explaining that “safe” is a rather relative term, and you should know how to operate in each neighborhood, and giving lots of examples. And do not take me wrong, I agree that young people moving to the city should do their homework and research the neighborhoods’ specifics, safety, and everything. But … I do not even know how to describe it, but sometimes I can hear that these young people were instructed by adults who know nothing about the city except that it is “unsafe.” And I hate when people come to Chicago (not now but in normal times) “just for work,” and do not know anything except for the way to their office, and never try to explore anything else. Because everything outside the Loop is “unsafe.”

Not like I can do anything with this situation. But I feel very sad and annoyed with it…

Fall 1964, And Onward

I pause after the last post about my early childhood because starting from that time, I remember my life as a sequence of events. I know that this is pretty unusual; that’s why I wanted to say it explicitly.

I remember all the episodes from the photos starting from January 1964, mostly because my mom showed me these pictures shortly after they were taken, and at that time, I remembered the actual episodes well. Later, each time I looked at these pictures, I could still keep these memories alive. So when I say “I remember,” I actually remember the white platok on the little girl’s head and a grey platok on her grandmother. I remember the snow close to my face when I fall, and mom took a picture of me. I remember another episode from spring 1964, which is not on the photos, which I referred to as “how I learned to walk,” although I most definitely walked before. I remember getting out of the stroller (I had a stroller for a very short period of time). I remember the sun getting into the courtyard and the shiny particles in the asphalt, once again close to my face :).
I remember this walk with my mom from the summer pictures.

But after I returned from Sosnovaya Polyana back to our home in the fall of 1964, I remember how my life was going, not just separate episodes. I remember life as everyday life. I remember washing my hands in the morning. For some reason, I was doing it in the kitchen, not in the washroom. I remember that I would get on the large kitchen stool to reach the small and sleek brass faucet, turn it on, and remember how the water was shiny in the morning sun peering through the giant window. Walking with my nanny on the Neva River embankment every day. Hearing my parents fighting late at night when for some reason, they thought I was asleep.

Last week, I tried to picture our huge apartment in my mind, and I realized that although we lived there for so many years, nobody ever bothered to take any pictures of the apartment itself, except for the pieces that accidentally ended up being in the pictures.

Describing it while I still remember will be the topic for my next post :).

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.

How I Feel These Days

There are too many good things happening! Unfortunately, at the same time, I have another wave of stress because-everything-is-falling-apart at work, but still.

Objectively, there are too many things going great. First and foremost, the news and politics feel surreally normal. I do not know how else to describe them. Something we dreamed about for all these long four years, and now that it happened, it feels like you are dreaming 🙂

Then my birthday, when I felt so loved by everybody, with all the gifts being so thoughtful, with all the conversations I had these days.

And then the announcement of the book and the postgres_air database! My LinkedIn account exploded! I want to check whether there are more reactions than on my Technologist of the Year announcement, but I think that’s true :).

My Belated Birthday Cake

As it turned out, Vlad and Anna were planning to deliver a specially ordered cake for me on my actual birthday. When I told Anna that I will be in the city on that day, partially because I need to pick up my inauguration day order from Vanille Chicago, they had to change their plans. Anna canceled their order in an attempt to move it to Wednesday, but by that time, they were overbooked for the inauguration day :).

After all, it was not that bad because I (with mom’s help) was more than half done with the pie. 

On Friday, when I was sitting working, my door opened, and Vlad delivered a cake. And let me tell you – it was something! It was just great; I have nothing else to add! Yes, it was huge, and it might look completely unpractical, but that was just right! I was in such need of an unpractical, fabulously looking present, and the one I would never get for myself 🙂 

A six-inch cake!

A Training Database, Available Now!

One more repost from my professional website, announcing the open-source database

The World of Data

In my yesterday’s post, I mentioned that there was not one, but two projects. The first project being the book, the second one is closely related to the first. 

When Boris Novikov and I started to work on the book, we realized that we need a training database. 

For years, we used examples from the real projects we worked on during different periods of our professional careers. It won’t work for a book: we needed a running example. However, when we started the search for public databases, we could not find any available with the size big enough to demonstrate optimization techniques. After spending some time on the search, we realized that we need to create our own. 

That took a while and materialized as a separate project. We really liked the result and thought that it would be a great contribution to the community. 

With this, please meet

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Our Book Will Be Available Soon!

Reblogging from my professional site – one more time about the book

The World of Data

There will be a lot of me on social media today because I have a couple of important announcements to make.

Those of my friends and colleagues, current and former, who attended yesterday’s Chicago PostgreSQL User Group were the first to know.

Last night, I presented two projects that I, together with my wonderful co-authors, were working on during the pandemic. These two projects are closely related, but I want to talk about each of them separately.

At the beginning of March 2020, when I was busy getting ready for yet another conference,Jonathan Gennickconnected with me on LinkedIn and asked whether I want to write a book about Postgres performance. I said: yes, but I am busy; please reach out in a month :). When he reached out in a month, we all lived in a totally different world, and I was ready to dive in. I am…

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The Book Is Official!

I will write more on one of the subsequent days, but I really want to share my news, which one of my former co-workers called “the next most important news of the day after inauguration.”

Last week, our book became official, we are on Amazon, and we will be published at the end of April.

Here is it: Amazon.

I made an official announcement a today’s meetup of Chicago PostgreSQL User Group. Also, we officially announced the open source database postgres_air, which we developed to illustrate the concepts from the book. But it ended up to be more than that, and we decided to give it to the community as our contribution.

I am happy in all possible ways 🙂

Here is the recording, if somebody wants to hear a lot of me :). Tomorrow, there will be LinkedIn blog posts, and I will upload the video there as well, but not everybody follows me on LinkedIn 🙂

Inauguration

I took a half-day off today to spend some time with mom. First, because she didn’t get a chance to say happy birthday to me yesterday, and second, I wanted her to see the inauguration.
It was a cold but sunny and really beautiful day, and I went for a short walk.

Yes, I started to put flowers in my bedroom again
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