I had a really exciting day on Saturday, I took tons of pictures, and I wanted to share all about it. But after the shooting, I can’t make myself write.
On Sunday, I made a huge effort to deliver the first segments of my educational video. I successfully submitted them, but now I am waiting for feedback, and I do not want to proceed with more segments until I receive it.
Today was way more productive. Not only a very good day at work, but I finally submitted one of the four talk proposals which I promised to submit. Also, I released some new code to NORM_GEN. Although I have an accepted talk for Swiss PG Day, I need to make sure I have enough of this new material to present.
And the weather was outstanding – just another gift from Nature.
I moved to my new home a year ago. On the one hand, I am still telling people that I “recently moved.” On the other hand, it feels like O already lived here for half of my life.
This week, the weather finally became warmer, and I biked a lot. The sun rises early enough for me to go for long bike rides in the morning.
Today, the temperature suddenly rose up to 89F, and I rushed to the beach as soon as I could get off work. It was way colder by the water, but still, I could lay down on my tarp, not moving, not reading, not thinking, just feeling the lake nearby.
Lena came to visit, and we went to the Orchid Show in the Chicago Botanic Garden
Since it was 68F, we went biking at the Lakefront Trail
We spend the evening creating posters for today’s rally
We desperately tried to send money to Ukraine with unsatisfactory results, but I will try some alternative routes
So that’s our bike ride. As I said, it was 68F, so technically speaking, people could go short sleeves, and some did. At the same time, the ice can’t melt instantaneously, so the lakeshore looked like that:
Last Monday, it was suddenly so warm that I decided to go biking. The necessity to bike on the roads has one great advantage – the roads are the first to be cleared from the snow, and you do not need to wait an extra couple of weeks until the snow melts.
It was warm and foggy, and everything around looked a little bit surreal in the mist.
But when I finally reached the starting point of the Lake Front Trail, I saw a picture which was not “a little bit” but very surreal!
If you stood here on a clear day, you would see Lake Michigan – up to the horizon. But on Monday, all you could see was a wall of fog and ice and snow along the shoreline.
We have had a severe weather warning for today since two days ago. It was supposed to be 7 inches of snow and strong wind, and it was all supposed to last from Wednesday evening till Thursday evening.
The winds part was there. As for the snow, it was all rain yesterday, and today the snow only started after 2 PM (and it was over before 9 PM).
When I heard on the radio that there were going to be high waves on the lake, I ran out of the house to see them. It turned out I was not alone, and other people were taking way more risky positions to take pictures of the waves.
I didn’t want to risk my life, but I think my videos are still very impressive :).
Also, tonight was a CSO concert I was going to. I was fine taking the CTA, but my friend and her husband were driving from the burbs, and it took them twice longer than they planned. Good thing we planned a pre-concert dinner! And good thing I suggested we would meet at the Gage two hours before the concert, so even with the weather-related delay we were fine.
It looked like many people chose to skip the concert due to the weather; there were many empty seats in the audience. When maestro Muti came on stage, he addressed the audience: all of those who came – you are brave people, and you really love music!
The concert was fantastic, with Mitsuko Uchida in Beethoven’s 4th piano concerto, and with the first time performed by CSO Glass’ 11th symphony. (In fact, this concert was a part of “By the Glass” series advertised by Siskel Center). It was such unusual music… and it was so Muti! It felt like it was written just for him to conduct it!
I never had a bike ride as I had on Saturday! The weather was stormy for several days before that, and it was raining non-stop. Saturday was the first day when it finally stopped raining, and Boris and I went on a bike ride.
When we were close to the Navy Pier, we saw a police barricade across the bike path. Since we saw the bikers and runners passing it, we figured out it was not indicating any immediate danger (and we were right, it was removed on the other side of the stretch, and when we were heading back, this first one was removed as well).
On that stretch of the Like Frnt Trial, the water often comes very close to the bike path, but this time around, the waves were running over the bike path all the time!. We saw huge chunks of seaweed on the asphalt, so thick that we had to dismount and walk the bikes. Then one of the waves reached Boris, and he was wet up to his knees! His breaks lost traction, and so did his feet, so the next time we had to stop by the crossing, his bike ran into the rear of my bike, and he fell off (no injuries). Our final destination for this ride was the Field museum (I will blog about it separately), and he had to walk around in the wet shoes.
Sometimes, life is fair, and I was covered by another wave, with a similar effect on the way back. I thought that if somebody took a picture of bikers covered by the waves, it would be very impressive!!!
Boris arrived last night, once again in the aircraft barely 1/4 full, and this time, nobody asked him for his marriage certificate or proof of vaccination. Which, honestly, makes me worry! Because it means that the border control does not know anymore what’s allowed and what’s not.
On the good side of things, Uber from ORD does not cost $100 anymore, but somewhat around $35, which is cheaper than before the pandemic.
Today was the first seriously autumn day, with rain, and wind, and cold. From sandals to boots, in a matter of several days.
Except for everybody wearing masks, I do not see any material difference between traveling now and pre-pandemic. There are not that many people traveling, but close to that. First time in a year and a half, I didn’t need to present a copy of my marriage certificate, just the passport, and the vaccination card. That’s all that was required for boarding, and the same thing in Helsinki – my passport and vaccination card. The border control office even joked like in old times about me visiting “for just a couple of days” and about being torn between two countries.
The food was close to normal (almost), and the new cameras on the aircraft are just OMG!!!