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The Tragedy of Hans and Nina Reiser

Once upon a time, there was a woman named Nina Sharanova, living in Saint Petersburg and working as an obstetrician-gynecologist. In 1998, she was asked to serve as a translator for a meeting between a Russian woman and an American man, who had met through a marriage agency. The American turned out to be an ambitious programmer named Hans. He owned a California-based company with a development team in Russia, and as it happened, he took a liking to the translator Nina during the meeting. They got married a year later.

For Nina, the situation was quite advantageous: marrying a hard-working man, moving from the turbulent 1990s in Russia to California, having children there, and enjoying a comfortable life. Things pretty much went this way: two kids, a house in Oakland, and surprisingly, a position as Financial Director in Hans' company.

Hans Reiser was involved in developing a new filesystem for the Linux operating system, which he simply dubbed ReiserFS. It was one of the first journaled file systems for Linux, which was a big deal at the time: it was swifter, and better defended against disk write failures. In 1997, he opened Namesys, received a decent grant, hired developers from Russia, and set out to change the world. ReiserFS had its quirks and required refinement, but Hans was passionate, clever, and focused, so everything was solvable.

At some point, things started to go wrong. Money began to slowly disappear from the company, Hans spent more and more time in Russia for work, accumulated debt to pay his personnel. His father kept insisting it was all because of his wife, that she was ruining the company by draining it financially.

Nina, on the other hand, was very unsatisfied with Hans always roaming abroad, not seeing the kids, and filed for divorce. Rumor has it that she decided to file for divorce around the same time she got her citizenship. At least, that's what Hans himself claimed, but he made many claims during the hearings, like his wife was practicing sadomasochism with his friend, who he owed money to, and that they were all psychologically unstable people trying to trick him.

They finally divorced, amidst a lot of bitterness and court restrictions. Hans moved in with his mother, the kids stayed with their mom, but they could still see each other. Hans should have been paying alimony and medical expenses for the kids, but he did so very reluctantly, accusing Nina of making up illnesses for the children to take more money from him.

On September 3, 2006, a dispute broke out over Nina taking the kids to the doctor again when she dropped the kids off at Hans's place. At some point, the argument spiraled out of control, Hans verbally abused Nina, strangled her to death, quietly transported her body somewhere, and buried it. The kids were either on another floor of the house or in the basement at the time, and didn't notice much.

Naturally, Hans became the prime suspect. The investigation went on for nearly two years, during which he spent all remaining company money on lawyers, and in 2008, when the truth became apparent to all, he accepted a plea deal and showed the location of the buried body.

Conclusion: Namesys went bankrupt and closed, Russian programmers were let go, Hans was sentenced to "15 years to life," without any computers, and he is not being released for parole. ReiserFS silently faded away, replaced by the less scandalous ext3, then ext4 file systems. Hans and Nina's children were sent to their grandmother in Russia and, it seems, they are still living in Saint Petersburg, stunned by what happened.

There is no moral, make your own conclusions.

Always Complain

Recently, we decided to order Georgian food for lunch from Bolt Food. We found a pretty good restaurant, ordered food for 40 euros, and waited. The delivery was promised in about 40 minutes. At some point, Bolt notified us that the courier was already heading to the restaurant, then the food was prepared, but the courier disappeared. Bolt started searching for a new courier, and the delivery time doubled. I watched this for a while and decided to write to the support because clearly, something went wrong.

At first, the support chat bot automatically offered a discount on the next delivery, but I refused and called an operator to talk. Why would I need a discount on the next order when I haven't even eaten this one yet? The operator checked the order, manually reassigned the courier, and said that half the cost of the order would be refunded later. I looked at the map, and indeed a new courier appeared, but he was headed in the opposite direction from the restaurant. I decided to write about this in the chat just in case, to which the operator replied that everything would be sorted out.

After a while, the courier did arrive and brought the food, which was still hot, even though the delivery was delayed by an hour. I wrote to support that the order was delivered and everything was super, and in response, I received another apology and that due to such a delay, they would now refund the full cost of the order, not half.

So instead of lunch, we got a free dinner. And if I hadn't complained, I would have received cold food at an unknown time and a spoiled mood.

I don't like to brag, but we are having a borscht festival here. At the festival, they organized a competition where participants dress in the colors of various vegetables, slide down a foam slide into a "bowl of borscht", and Egg, Kefir, and Beetroot judge it all.

The borscht, of course, is not Russian or Ukrainian, but cold. In Lithuanian, šaltibarščiai (shaltibarshchai) - "cold borscht".

In the video, you can also hear loud Lithuanian speech and assess how much this language differs from all others.

The grass is always greener on the other side

Sometimes you want to change something in your life: move to another city, country, change your job, occupation, hobby, religion. And at this moment someone appears who objects to such changes, arguing "the grass is always greener on the other side".

That is, for some reason, you are currently unhappy at the point where you are now, and if you move to another point, which seems better, then there you will ultimately feel bad too, and again you will want changes. Or you will return to where you were before, because it seemed okay there.

There is undoubtedly truth in this. A person is not a static creature, and staying in the same state for a long time makes him sad and vulnerable, so you want to change something from time to time.

The main point of these advisers is that radical changes are not necessary, and what you have planned is nonsense. Stay where you are, do what you have been doing for the last dozens of years, and everything will be fine. Everything is already good, and you are somehow sad. Accept it. You don’t need to move anywhere. It’s also bad there. You can't run away from your problems. Why bother at all?

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Once in my childhood, I came across a show about something called Chippendales. I didn't really delve into it, I just wanted to watch it right away, because I was completely sure that it was somehow related to the cartoon "Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers".

I waited a very long time for the section about touring half-naked men to finally end and something about cartoons to start.

I never got it.

1995 Ruble Banknotes

It turns out, banknotes in the form we are used to were introduced as early as in 1995. But that was before the devaluation of the ruble in 1998, so all the bills had three additional zeros. There were no 5,000,000 ruble bills back then (the modern "habarych" was only drawn in 2006), but it's nice to look at those 5,000 rubles, the face value of which is comparable to the later 5 rubles.

I don't remember such money at all. But I do remember the 1993 banknotes, they were in circulation, and for the blue 100 rubles you could buy a box of matches.

Ah, those were the days.

I wrote a program that made me healthier

Periodically, due to tonsillitis, I need to visit an ENT about twice a year: for check-ups, treatment, and other minor things.

The problem is that there is only one ENT in the local clinic, and their schedule is always fully booked two weeks in advance.

That is, if you want to book an appointment through EMIAS (Unified Medical Information and Analytical System of Moscow), it's not possible. You need to constantly recheck the schedule and "catch the gaps".

A couple of weeks ago, I managed to catch such a gap, came to the appointment, they prescribed a course of procedures for me, which meant another 4-5 visits, and the next appointment was only in 10 days.

What to do, I booked it.

But the next morning, I accidentally found out that a "gap" was available that day, and I immediately booked it. As a result, I managed to visit the ENT two days in a row by appointment, which is usually impossible.

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