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Not much as far as news go, 09/05/08

The weather is dreary. What else is new?

The weekend will be reasonably slow, with only a dinner visit by a couple of friends planned. I know it’s a bit too soon to start whining that we are sliding back to the unexciting routine existence – and, to be honest, we have at least one social event planned for every weekend for a few weeks ahead, – but I can’t help but feel apprehension at the need to follow up our summer holidays with something comparably grand.

The kids started school. Becky is positively excited – as I said time and again, she attends a really good school. But getting back with her friends is the clincher. She already went to a birthday party and a sleep-over this week, and is hanging out at a friend’s place tonight… Kimmy is somewhat less enthusiastic, but appears happy enough to see her friends as well.

I seemingly lost an external storage drive to some sort of terminal failure. Most of the media stored there was also replicated elsewhere, but I have no doubt that there are some archived items that existed in a single copy on that drive. A local repair shop is looking into recovery, and in the meantime I bought myself a replacement. They are dirt-cheap these days. Part of the weekend will be spent on re-organizing my digital archives.

The stock market that’s been in the tank since last summer and keeps getting worth has now been joined by the foreign exchange market in beating the crap out of my financial worth. The British pound lost about 10% of its value against the US dollar in the last month or so. For anyone in the States who plans to travel to the UK, it’s pleasant news. For someone paid in sterling, who plans to move funds back to the States in fairly short order, it’s downright depressing.

It’s been only three months since I converted my main blog to WordPress, and the Akismet plugin already caught 1000 spam comments. Lately, they seem to be arriving at the rate of 30-50 a day. I stopped looking through them and switched to summarily deleting them once in a while. I’m sure I’ll soon be craving for a fix of “Nice blog, webmaster. Respect!” messages.

Becky received her scores for the Russian-language GCSE exams that she took during last school year. It’s basically an A+. As she correctly suspected, being a native Russian speaker – don’t forget, she did not start speaking English until she was about five, – was more than enough to top requirements in all areas of examination.

And these are Burlak family news of the moment.


  1. Jeri

    I physically left my external hard drive at my local PC tech shop when I took my Mac by last week to have my HD upgraded. I’m not super comfy with them having all that data – I need to go by and retrieve it.

    Sorry on the exchange rate. The US economy took such a beating I lost 25% of the value of my retirement account last year. 🙁 But since I really, really would like to somehow scrape up the $$ for a visit to the UK next year I hope they reach some sort of equilibrium.

    I’m at about 4,000 comment spams in a year – not so many per day, but ick, still a lot.

    Hope your kids enjoy being back in school! My youngest started this week – the eldest’s college classes don’t begin until 9/22.

  2. Ilya

    I just dropped a shiny new external hard-drive at the shop, where they promised to have all of the data from the old one transferred over by some time Monday. I am a bit uneasy about having 150 gigs of my data in the hands of strangers, but I don’t think that there is any truly private data on that drive. Mostly, backups of images, home videos and such.

  3. Ilya

    John, your situation is certainly different from ours, but it was a biggest cultural shock to Becky when we moved from Brooklyn to New Jersey when she was about five. She was surrounded by Russian-speaking relatives and community in Brooklyn and went to a Russian daycare. In our NJ subdivision, we at first did not have anyone who spoke Russian. Becky found it really hard to establish rapport with other kids her age; some of them were openly rude in mocking her attempts at communicating. It took a couple of months of kindergarten to correct that.

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