More Travel

Thinking about this week in Spring when we had both Nordic PG Day and PG Day Paris, I can feel the difference – there was too much travel for me this time! I didn’t need to travel anywhere for Nordic because I was already in Helsinki, and there was a one-day gap between Nordic and Paris. And now, I had to travel to Amsterdam and then skip a part of Uptime to travel to Vienna. And I was so tired! I will never do it again! Probably, I should have just traveled to Amsterdam directly from Chicago.


The PG Day Austria went really well. Although there was no emerging dessert table, the conference venue was splendid, and the talks were great.

Continue reading “More Travel”

Thank You, Universe, For The Lake!

The days were hot, but I could not get any break from work neither Thursday, no Friday, and it was raining on Thursday evening. Usually, I do not go to the beach when it is getting dark, that’s Igor’s thing, but I didn’t get a chance yesterday until close to 8 PM. So I went when I could because I could not let one more summer day waisted, and there I was when the sun was almost set.

It could not be more perfect! The water was warm, the air was warm but not stuffy, and there were a lot of people on the beach. And the clouds were pink 🙂

More Helsinki

What else is there in summer? The strawberries that can’t be matched, forty flavors of ice cream, pride festivities, 86F weather for two weeks in a row.

Oodi deck – it’s almost impossible to stay there at 87F!

And also – Helsinki’s IKEA.

IKEA always gives me a sense of stability and an “all is right” feeling. Now, it is almost impossible for me to go to the Schaumburg IKEA, so most of my orders are online (which means, that IKEA food is out of reach for me). We decided to go to IKEA “just for window shopping,” but then we found these coffee cups of that perfect pale turquoise which was gone several years ago. The cups were not rectangular as Boris likes them, but they were still near perfect. We didn’t buy them because I wanted to check online first, and for some reason, my internet went down. When I checked at home, it turned out that 1) this was a new product and 2) this color was sold out in all of the IKEA stores in the US!

The next day, when I was at the Swiss PG Day, Boris went there again and got two boxes of coffee cups with saucers, and a box of espresso cups. I only managed to get one box in my luggage, and he should bring the other two when he comes to Chicago next time.

I Want To Skip These Days

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.

A Year of Living by the Lake

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.

When It Goes To 68F after 37F…

The outline of yesterday:

  • 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:

And here are us!

The Lake Last Monday

 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. 

The Weather And The Music

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!