Learning some shell scripting in the most relaxed way possible, with youtube in the background and a nice cup of tea. It feels nice to relax once in a while.

“Overwhelmed” by Royal & The Serpent pretty much bescribes how I feel. Behund, stuck, left out. Even though I’m better off than a lot of my peers. Comparing myself to others never was a problem for me, but it won’t bail me out of this emotional rut either. Most of my plans crumbled under the weight of burnout and unexpected work tasks. Maybe I’ll be able to figure this out and het everything together, fix my life. Maybe not, we’ll see.


Day 6 of summer project.

Baby steps. Still recovering from the vaccine, but at least the fever is gone. Managed to do some lab work and fiddle with backend for the personal database app. Also started reading “Money” by Y.N. Harari. I liked his other book, “Sapiens”, and this one I got in English paperback, which is rare here in Russia.


Today I am suffering side effects from the first dose of “sputnik” vaccine. Temperature gets up to 38 C and I have to take paracetamol every 4-6 hours.So it’s day off for now.

Approx. 5 hours after the first shot, arm hurts moderately when moving, mostly triceps, in the last hour it spreaded to forearm as well. Can’t say I’m a fan but it’s better than I expected. It should also be noted that I took 25mg of chloropyramine 20 minutes before getting a vacccine.

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First shot of . Let’s see hiw sputnik performs.

I hesitated getting this because of allergy and autoimmune condituin I have. These aren’t life threatening, but annoying and potentially conflicting with vaccines. Especially engineered once, like sputnik. Also, most of 20-30 years old people who get it lay in bed for two days and I couldn’t afford this during exams.

Now the exams are done and even pregnant women are vaccinated, and there is no choice left but to get a shot and hope for the best.


Day 4 of summer project.

The main concept in CRUD-centered programming is information flow. You are a plumber, essentially, whose job is to carefully direct information from database to the end user. Then present it in desired form and prevent any leaks along the way. A fancy, well-paid, office-sitting plumber. Bedroom-sitting, in my case.

I managed to hook a script to local psql database with some dummy data today. Not too bad, considering that it’s the first JS code I’ve ever written. Even though these things are mostly based on tutorials and simple to do - the end goal is to combine a bunch of simple things to build something more complex.

Side note: using vim for this stuff it surprisingly convenient, I set up a test command in config file and simply call “:!npm test” when necessary.


Day 3 of summer project.

Managed to remember some basic js and found electron-postgres interface. Turns out it’s just “npm install pg”, nothing fancy. I think I understand now the reason people like developing with electron. It’s possible to roll out an MVP in a week without much trouble. Even though the executable size and performance are suboptimal to say the least.

And I managed to make a helloworld app in electron. Now I need to learn enough JS to hook it to my database…

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Day 2 of summer project.

Life gets in the way. Sometimes it gives you lemons, sometimes - hits you in the face with a hemmer, or something in between. Anyhow, I managed to make an outline for the project and construct PSQL database. Nothing fancy, four tables within a single database with some “on delete cascade” and foreign keys. My sql skills are a bit rusty so it took some time to remember all the tricks, especially setting constraints.


Day 1 of summer project.

I decided to go for two different projects in order to switch between them whenever I get bored. This usually works well for me and there is no reason to limit myself with just one direction, since summer projects are supposed to be fun. Besides, this goes along with my lab work and other duties.

So, two projects.

1) Storytelling. I probably won’t be able to pull of the entire book yet, but short diaries and stories are fun to read and don’t take as much resources. I’m not sure which language to write them in and where to post them. I’m open to suggestions!

2) Personal database. Mostly a resume-type project, although I intend to build a decent app for it to keep my notes and stuff in order and synced decently. The idea came from Kalle Halden. I should be able to draft both projects this afternoon.

Progress reports will appear here, of course.


I heard an interesting concept in some podcast a few days ago: transparency about your current work in social media is, essentially, a proof of work in crypto. There is a guy on youtube who streams 12-hours pomodoro sessions and occasionally makes a lifestyle video, and you know it’s real, because you have that proof of work. Whenever an artist tells a story as he creates something - you know it’s legit, because the creation process was unfolding before your eyes.

I’d like to turn this account into something similar. I’m not sure yet whether to work on my usual lab projects or take on something new entirely, but no matter what I decide - tomorrow will be day one. Hopefully I make something worthwhile out of these two months.


Done. The semester is over with all the horrors and exams and whatnot. I have a few days to relax and plan everything, and after that the grind starts anew.


Throwing a little four-person (two couples) party in late evening is a good way to patch up wrecked nerves. Although the last glass of wine is always excessive. I have to do some work today and tomorrow for reports on scientific work, and after that most of my time will be dedicated to rest and work on side project.


The exam is done. I have no idea if I passed and honestly don’t even care at this point. The teacher did his worst and so did I. There are two reports on 28th and 29th of June, the second one is in English. These won’t be a problem, however, so I will probably start planning my summer break tomorrow. Only two months worth of time and so much to do.


I desperately want to start new coding project with roughly 24 hours left until the exam. Let me clarify.

The academic education, the entire cycle from undergrad to PhD, is the ultimate form of delayed gratification. The first four years you torture yourself through numerous exams and test just to start the journey. No, sincere affection for the subject won’t save you, stress and struggles persist no matter how much you like the descipline.

And coding projects are an easy way out. Build something, compile the code and see if it works. Sometimes it works as intended and it is satisfying to see things you built working. And whenever I am in the midst of exams it takes a lot of willpower to resist the urge to build things. Fortunately, I will have two months to entertain myself with these projects. once this clusterfuck of a semester is over.


The exam date was moved from 27th to 26th of June, which leaves me with little time for preparation and a few time management hiccups. So here are a few tips for working “non-stop” that generally help me. Probably useless, but I need a break from semiconductor physics.

1) Realism. You can’t work non-stop in a focused mode for a day. And you can’t work long hours multiple days in a row without ultimately burning out and sacrificing your efficiency. It’s important to keep it in mind, you need breaks and some time to sustain your body and mind.

2) Hydration. A lot of water and tea; coffee is good, but it won’t provide you with enough liquid. I’d say, during intense work I drink 1.5 times more than usual.

3) Nutrition. Three protein and fiber heavy meals with a bunch of carbohydrate snacks inbetween. Healthy? No, not really. Jumpstarts the brain? Yes, very much. Make sure to not make this a habit, though.

4) Breaks. You can do more in less time if you make short breaks once every hour. I don’t mention classic pomodoro here, since 25 minutes isn’t enough to go deep into a complex topic.

5) Workout and walk. A walk after the lunch or a workout before release some tension and allow you to go for longer after this break.


I’m surviving in 30-35 C heat in Moscow, and hot water will be cut for a week or so for maintenance. This will be terrible.

I have fixed my physical shape and even cut caffeine consumption below one cup per day, partly because there is no jezve in this place and I’m a lazy ass to buy one. There is a good cafe nearby but it’s too hot to go there in the morning, and there is no way I’ll drink coffee after 4 pm.

Exercise routine is sloppy because playgrounds are closed and all the pull up bars are off limits as well. I manage to get by with pushups and various legs and abs exercises. This is good enought to keep me in minimal shape.


I am temporarily living with my girlfriend, away from my parents. Not in a hotel, in a proper flat for the first time. It is only for a few weeks, but I am uncovering a lot of truths about myself everyday. It was necer evident to me just how many of my habits and rituals were imposed onto me by living with parents. It is, in a way, liberating. Maybe I’ll list some of these.


Back to work. I need to write a ten-pages summary on thermoelectric semiconductor elements. At least the topic is interesting and I am expected to describe fairly complicated physics in there as well as some general information on how and why are these things used.

I wish I could brag about my mental stability, but this is not the case, unfortunately. The load is pretty heavy and wearing me thin. Fortunately there are less than two weeks left and one difficult exam to pass. The rest is at least feasible.

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