Dear 2018, you won’t be missed!

A year is a significant period of time in human terms. There is plenty of opportunities for good and bad times. But when we look back at it, we usually have an overall feeling of how good or bad the year was.

Most of my years tend to be either good or average. But 2018 was one of the worst ones I can remember. Sure, plenty of good happened too, but an overall stream of stuff that’s not too great, made it into what it was.

Just a few points that made it so:

  • Lost a few family members. I guess this is kind of expected, the older everyone gets. But still.
  • Nearly lost or got separated from more family members (for a variety of reasons, like health conditions, car accidents, government paperwork, etc).
  • Apparently, nearly kicked it myself. Although it didn’t feel like, but the doctor was pretty sure and I don’t have any reasons not to trust his professional opinion.
  • Had to celebrate my 40th birthday sober as a judge. That’s a first one in a quarter of a century, I think.
  • Had to attend the first funeral in ages (my friend’s father passed away).Had one of those “knife in the back” situations. Which was probably more of my own doing or perspective.
  • Had a whole roller coaster of financial surprises. Mostly downstream though.
  • And on and on it goes.

The stuff at work has been crazy. We’ve been delivering more and faster than even before. (Gladly we managed to nearly double the development team starting in the second half of the year.) When I’m thinking about it all, I often get the racing scene from The Fate of the Furious movie playing in my head. With the only exception that our race didn’t start this year. Think of it more like 3 minutes 15 seconds into this clip:

Even towards the last few days of the year, 2018 tried to give me both a flu and a severe toothache. Gladly, I got nearly immune to this year’s treats.

Overall, one of my favorite movies scenes helps to summarize this year. Imagine that the year 2018 is sitting behind the desk here, and that’s me who’s talking from the shoes of Gust Avrakatos:

With all of that, I’m happy to report that I’ve pulled it through. Once again, huge thanks to all my family, friends, and colleagues who helped and supported me in a variety of ways. Additionally, special thanks goes to all bartenders, waiters and waitresses, and alcohol manufacturers, without who this year would be absolutely impossible.

Here’s a huge cheers for a much better 2019! Happy New Year to you and your loved ones. And I’ll see you on the other side. Enjoy!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Today Russia and a few other countries celebrate Christmas, so I’d like to take this chance to wish Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone still in the holiday mood.

I usually take the time around these days to review the year gone and to make a wishlist for the upcoming one.  But the year gone was mostly spent at work, which I summed up in the post “One year at Qobo” back in August.  Since then nothing much changed – it’s just been work, work, work.  And most of the out-of-work stuff was personal enough for me not to share it online.

So that’s about it.  My three wishes for the 2016 are:

  • I wish for everyone I know (and don’t know) to stay healthy.  Being sick, getting injured and being kicked out of life aren’t fun things to experience or watch.
  • I wish the momentum that we were building up at work starts picking up.  We’ve done plenty to get this thing rolling, and it feels like it’s about to. It would be awesome if it does this year!
  • I wish to travel a bit more.  I’ve done plenty of travels in 2014, visiting 4 countries in summer, but I haven’t been off the island since.  It’d be nice to go to a conference or something.

That’s about it.  Merry Christmas and a Happy New 2016! Cheers!

Happy New Year!


The year 2014 is rollin’ in already.  It’s still a few hours away from where I am, so this is a good time to take a few minutes and reflect on what 2013 was like.  I’m not gonna do a lengthy post, like the last year, so here is a quick summary of what it was for me and what happened (with links to archive for more details).

  • January.  Mostly spent at work, launching the huge project, tying up loose ends and dotting all the i’s.
  • February.  More work, with a little break to watch all the coverage of Chelyabinsk meteorite.
  • March.  That month was busy with a few highlights.  Cyprus banking system collapse was the biggest news around, which coincided with my trip to Amsterdam for the RT training.  The announcement of the Google Reader decommissioning sent me on a quest for the alternative.  Earlier the same month I’ve attended TEDxNicosia, which was awesome.
  • April. This is traditionally the month I celebrate my birthday.  This year I became 35.  Also, there was a one million views milestone for my blog, according to WordPress.com stats.  Work-wise, there was the largest git merge ever.  I’ve also discovered something that I will enjoy tonight.
  • May.  I finally got fed up with both Gnome 3 and KDE 4 and switched both my work and home desktop environments to MATE.  This was the best decision ever – I’ve never had a desktop in my way since, yet.
  • June. Played Quake 3 after a really long break.  Then more work.
  • July. Another business trip to Tel Aviv, Israel.  A new team member at work and a new area to learn a lot about – Quality Assurance (QA).  Pretty much reading and reviewing software all month.  Work extends even to my personal projects with HashBackup and Amazon S3.  The highlight of the month though was the workshop I attended for work.  Eye-opening!
  • August.  In terms of this blog’s archives, there were plenty posts into my Music category.
  • September. I’ve been given a new title at work – Director of Web Development, for pretty much the same work I’ve been doing so far under Team Leader and Senior Developer.
  • October.  This was a month to learn new things, which are out of my daily scope.  At first, I attended the First Aid training, which got me prepared for emergency situations and accidents.  And second, I’ve became a trained Fire Marshal.  Also, flew back to Tel Aviv, Israel for another business trip.  And learned to cook sushi at home – the first try was horrible, but the second one was way better.  Oh, and there was yet another workshop even from work, for which I stayed in Aphrodite’s Hills for a couple of days.
  • November.  I’m on the cover of Forbes.  Just kidding.  Started taking some of the annual leaves I had accumulated at work.  Relaxing, resting, not doing too much.
  • December.   More resting and relaxing, slowing down for the holiday season and Christmas magic.

And if that list is not enough, here are a few more overall bullet points:

  • Place of the year: Alio Olio, Limassol.  I’ve spent hundreds of hours in there, enjoying the company of many cool people, drinking probably a truck-full load of beer and enjoying some food.
  • TV show of the year: Homeland.  The best TV show I’ve ever seen.  Period.
  • Movie of the year: In the loop.  Even though it was released back in 2009, this was the year when I watched it.  Made me laugh out loud a few times, and it’s a smart comedy – something that I haven’t seen in a long while.
  • Drink of the year: Beer.  Obvious, of course, but I thought I’d throw it in anyway.
  • Dish of the year: kebab in Tel Aviv.  Those things are awesomeness out of this world.

There you go.  These are the highlights of my 2013.  There were more, of course, with friends, family, projects that are still in progress or didn’t make it, jokes, videos, music, gaming, fooling around, and so forth.

Here is to an even richer 2014!  Happy New Year and best wishes to you and your family.  Have a great one!