CSO

I opened the CSO season later than I should have because I was traveling most of September and had to exchange the ticket. But today, I listened to Ricardo Muti and Efim Brofman, which was great.

Overall, today was a day from the past. Finally, I had to admit that it’s not like I was choosing the wrong trains, but Metra indeed became almost as crowded as pre-pandemic, and I am glad that during rush hour, trains depart every fifteen minutes. The streets started to look busy, and the Symphony center was full. And I liked that I could stay in the office until it was time to go to the concert. Strangely, it felt like a moment to relax 🙂

Flood Damage

The next day after I left for Europe, Chicago was hit by a heavy storm, and four inches of water dropped over the Northern part of the city, including Rogers Park. Both garden units in our building, the storage rooms and the gym, were flooded.
Somehow, I was not included in the original email chain and learned it all postfactum.
The damage is massive, and I have no idea when everything will be repaired:

Crossing The Border

I wrote this post yesterday and forgot to post it. I am not pretending I didn’t suspect what was going to happen, but still, what happened today, didn’t happen yet….

A very disturbing thing happened when I went through the border control in Helsinki on my way back. First, I was happy to see they now have the same machines as in London, where you can scan your chipped passport. Then I saw that I still had to present the passport to the officer. On my way back, I never ever encountered any questions. This time, the office started to scroll through my passport pages and asked me which countries I had visited and whether I was in Russia. Just to be clear, since I am a naturalized citizen, my country of origin is indicated in my US passport, but still!

The office kept scrolling, found the stamps from 2019, and looked at me inquisitively. I said – I haven’t been there since 2019. He kept scrolling and finally said: good; I see your entrance stamp. Because if you visited Russia at that time, we would have to question you (and he waved in an unspecified direction).

It was very disturbing but understandable. I know I have my share of guilt with everything happening, and it’s in Finland where I feel it even more.

And since I am posting it today, not yesterday, I want to reiterate – we stand with Ukraine! I saw these flags in the Southern part of State Street, quite unexpectedly:

Uptime 2022

Pictures from the conference

The World of Data

Uptime 2022 by Aiven was the best-organized conference I ever attended! all the talks I attended were very interesting, my only two regrets are that 1) I could not attend two tracks at the same time and 2) I had to leave earlier to attend PG Day Austria.

The recordings of the presentations will be available soon, and here are some of the pictures I took during the event.

Jason Yee keynote

Floor Drees was everywhere at once and made the conference a success

Jelte Fennema

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The Climate Quartet by Maja Lunde

I read the third book of the Climate Quartet first, unaware of the previous two, and then came back to read the Life of Bees and the End of the Ocean. 

The History of Bees

The End of the Ocean

The Last Wild Horses

All three of the books impressed me greatly. How Maja Lunde draws connections between what happens here and now in today’s world and what can happen in the near future due to today’s actions is incredibly convincing. 

I can’t think of a better way to explain how we, the people of the planet Earth, can impact our nearest future, not on what will happen many generations ahead, but on what could happen to our children. 

Saying Goodbye to EDB

From my professional blog

The World of Data

Friday, September 2, was my last day with EDB. Although I was a part of EDB for less than a year, it seemed like a whole epoch in my professional career. Those were the months of continuous learning and professional growth unmatchable to anything I had before.

However, the most important and valuable experience was connecting with amazing people who make EDB a unique place to work. Many of my co-workers spent hours answering my never-ending questions and helping me to feel more comfortable in the unfamiliar areas of PostgreSQL (and trust me, it’s not like I knew everything!)

When I came to EDB in December 2021, I already knew many of my co-workers, but I met even more people during my tenure.

To all of the EDB family – THANK YOU!
And please, stay in touch!

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My New Job

I was quiet about starting a new job jet another time. It sounds so millennial to have four jobs in the course of fifteen months, but I can’t say I made mistakes.

I spoke at length about my last two job changes, why I decided to leave Braviant and join BorkerX, and why I left after being there for only five months.

I was very excited to join EDB for a number of reasons. I moved to a non-abusive environment where everybody treated me with respect. I worked in one company with the best people from the Postgres community. For the first time in my life, I was in a truly international company that accumulated the best talents from all over the world. I could Slack Postgres contributors any time:). I learned new things each and single day.

Still, I knew from my first day at EDB that I won’t stay there forever. There was a reason why I resisted the offers from EDB and 2nd Quadrant for so many years. I genuinely loved the people who worked there and admired their work all that time. But I knew I didn’t want to do consulting, and I was not good at product development. I needed to see the material impact of my work; I didn’t enjoy giving advice and not knowing whether they were used and whether things worked how I thought they should.

I was (and still am) very thankful for the opportunity to work at EDB, and I thought I should stay there at least for a year to reciprocate. But then, all of a sudden, there was an email that started the conversation. At first, I ignored it. They were persistent. Reluctantly, I started to talk, but it was too soon; I had been at EDB for less than five months.

The company offered more money than I was making in EDB, but I would never go just for money alone. During our first conversation, I said it was not interesting for me to do the work I was offered to do, and we partied. I felt good that I didn’t go for more money but not interesting work. But a month later, a miracle happened: the same company offered me a dream position, allowing me to do all the things I dreamed about.

The process was long. I met and talked with many people from different departments, and after each conversation, I was more and more excited about this opportunity. There were so many things I could do, and I could do it right, and people wanted me to do it right!

It’s only four days that I am with my new company, but I am already over the moon. At this moment, I am on my way to Europe – my company acknowledges all my previous speaking commitments, and I will be presenting in Amsterdam, Vienna, and then New York.

Things Are Going My Way

I am so glad that everything with mom got resolved, at least for now, and I can leave for my European conferences! As it usually happens, too many little things had to be done/fixed/completed, plus the new job and new responsibilities… 

I cooked and frozen as much of the vegetables as I could and gave the rest to my neighbor, Igor, and mom (local grapes are to die for! I never tasted anything like that!) 

I found a nail salon very close to mom’s apartment and as an extra bonus – with Russian-speaking owners, so now she can do her nails without having to go to the Loop with me. I picked up my new bike (turquoise blue with disc brakes)

I baked a plum cake because I didn’t want to throw away the remaining plums.

I am almost packed.

I worry about the state of my two October talks, especially about my new bitemporal talk, and I am not quite sure how to find time to bring it to the point where I want it to be.

I am not tired. I am happy with my work, and there are so many interesting things to do that I want to start everything at once. 

And I still found time to go to the beach today; most likely, the last time this season (unless I find some time tomorrow!)

About Mom

Now that several things related to mom are finally resolved, I can talk about what happened last week. I already mentioned several times that last Friday was a disaster and several things that didn’t go right. But there were more.

Mom had a passport appointment at the Russian consulate in NYC, and even before I knew that I would be starting a new job, I knew I could not go with her because it was just a couple of days before my conferences would start.

From the very beginning, we planned on Igor coming with her, although she complained quite a bit that it was not me who would accompany her.

We submitted all the paperwork in advance, and I told mom I would double-check that nothing had changed two weeks before the appointment.

So I did, and we put all her paperwork together. The appointment was on Wednesday, and Igor and mom were going to NYC on Tuesday. On Friday afternoon, mom received an e-mail from the Russian consulate saying that they are no longer accepting applications for biometric passports, so everybody who has appointments scheduled should apply for a 5-year passport.
Everything about the non-biometric passport is different, including that you have to bring the photos with you and you need a return envelope. I had not extra time at all, so I called Igor and asked him whether he could take mom to the passport pictures and whether he could buy an envelope. These items were critical given the upcoming Labor Day and the Post Office closing. (And right after that, I had to ask him to wait for the exterminator in my apartment!)

Since I would be in Milwaukee on Saturday, I told mom that I would come on Sunday to redo the paperwork. As it turned out, her knee started to hurt really badly on Thursday (and she didn’t tell me anything). Then on Friday, she leaned on her right wrist when she was standing up, and after that, she was unable to do anything with her right hand. So when I came on Sunday, I observed the situation and said that we were going to the emergency room.
Four hours later, we were back at her place, her right arm immobilized, and we had to do a follow-up visit. And she had to go to New York.

That was not the best couple of days for me, but everything got resolved. Mom’s new passport application was accepted, Igor survived traveling with her, I could find an appointment for her, and the doctor reassured us that nothing was broken and she didn’t need to wear a splinter anymore.

All I can say is it could be worse, especially given my upcoming travels! I hope that the crisis is averted for some time!

It Feels Right

I am back in the office, and it feels absolutely right. Last night, I was running around the house remembering all the things needed to go to the office – I thought I would never need them again, and I am so glad that the need had come!

Probably the most interesting part is that because the new office is located right next to the Ogilvie Train Station, it makes perfect sense to me to take Metra. During the morning rush hour, the trains run every 15 minutes, so it’s not much different from taking CTA, and the walk to the Rogers Park Metra station is so much nicer than it was in Palatine!

I took out my Samsonite backpack, which I bought for myself during the Black Friday sale, and I thought I would never need it again:). And here I am, and I even brought all of my little things to the new office.

This completely forgotten feeling that you can and should have things in the office. And that all the office supplies are there and available. And there are snacks and coffee, a hot breakfast and hot lunch every day, and salads and sandwiches whenever. And even the frozen yogurt!
But the most important thing is that there are people, live people in the office, people who need my skills.