I have been working for few hours on EMFTA recently, taking some time off from running and focusing on writing software and trying new things (well, having a hammac in my backyard helped me to work for a while at night). The initial goal when starting EMFTA was to evaluate the Sirius modeling framework but it turned out that it went beyond that initial objective and now provides advanced features.
Now, the project is available on the Eclipse Marketplace. So, you can get it easily: you just have to download Eclipse (the Mars version), install it and look for EMFTA in the marketplace. The software will be automatically installed.
You can create a new Fault-Tree using the wizards or start a new one from scratch. I have added new features as well, such as the generation of cutset, the computation of probabilities from the leaf events or the consistency checking of probability values among different events and gates. Many thanks to Bill who helped me to debug and improve the current version. Without his feedback, I would never have add all the new features.
If you have any feedback, any idea for improvement, please send me an e-mail or even fill a bug report on the github area. This software is open source, everybody is welcome to participate and be part of it!
Last months have been the opportunity to take the time to step back and try to have an objective point of view on how things are going. Being critical with our inner self is hard: you are judge and party, torn between these two conflicting roles. But this helps you to move forward: we are all wondering if we are doing the right choices and what would have happened if we have done something different. What if we had listened to our parents, continue to study and got this diploma degree instead of getting a shitty job just after high school? What if I finally take this job oversea and left all what I built so far? And what would be my life if I had the gut to make the first move with this girl I always loved? One day or another, such questions come into our mind.
Less than 10 years ago, when I was 25, I realized my life will come to an end one day and then, defined what I really want to achieve. What and how I wanted to be. At that time, my life did not look like it is today – it was the total opposite of what I am today. This was time for change. Today, several of these goals have been met and some are still pending. Among them, one of them was moving and working in the USA. Another one was to develop the capability to explore, visit different countries, meet people and discover new cultures. This goal requires to be able to travel but also fulfill my own needs. Another one was to adopt a healthier and sustainable lifestyle.
For sure, I have not met all my goals but after a few years, I met most of them. Also, as years will pass by, new ideas and challenges will come. I do not know what the future is made of but so far, during this journey, few rules helped me to reach these goals. I wanted to share them, I thought it could be useful. This list is the one that worked for me and there is no proof it would work for you as well.
Know your friends: A friend is somebody that will be there for you no matter what. Keep in mind that you do not know who are your friends until you have a really bad time. Everybody will be there during the party – very fews (and maybe nobody) will be there when you will be a mess. Think about who actually knows and cares about you? Probably not so much. Know your friends but do not blame others that claim to be your friends: if they lie to you, this is their business, not yours. They might be fun, good acquaintance to hang out for a night. But you cannot trust them.
Believe in yourself, not others: We often try to take others responsible for our own failures. When doing this, we are just escaping reality and being irresponsible. Take back your life, your responsibility. Believe in and trust yourself. Take responsibility when you fail and pride when you succeed. Embrace the failure: success comes after a number of bad experiences that finally help you to become better and eventually reach your goal.
Spread the love: do not waste your time and energy on blaming people and create negative energy. For any reason, if somebody was mean or unfair with you, this is their problem, not yours. They might have an issue, had a bad day or just think you are an idiot: the list of reasons to hate somebody is endless. Again, this is not your business, do not focus on blaming others, invest your time with people you love, motivate and elevate you. Your time on this planet is limited, you cannot afford to waste your time with such people. Which will let me introduce to the last point
Invest your resources strategically: whatever it is – money, time, energy – invest wisely. Avoid wasting resources and try to spend it efficiently. Read (a lot), study, learn from people that inspired you or have successfully reach similar goals as yours. Your resources are limited, so, avoid useless spending and invest wisely. For example, stop wasting your evening browsing on facebook when you can read a book and learn new skills or cultures. Avoid buying a ton of stuff you’ll end up to throw it in the garbage when you’ll move in a few months: you will waste (1) money on it (2) time to throw it in the garbage and (3) resources that were used to produce it. Think twice about your impact before investing anything.
Embrace change: no matter who you are and where you are from, change (good or bad) will happen. There is nothing you can do about it. And this is pointless to even try to revert it. You might lose your job tomorrow, your wife might ask for divorce or you can learn that one beloved family member suddenly died. Change can be hard to accept and can destroy your life. You can deny it for years and waste your time blaming whoever or whatever you take responsible for your lack of luck. But instead of fighting change, embrace it. Take it as an opportunity to have another point of view and change your own life.
Achieving your goals is not about being smart. It is about the ability of keeping up, even when people try to divert from them. Some people might claim they are your friends but they will disappear as soon you experience a hard time. Investors can tell you to put all your money in some stocks but you have to invest them wisely and stick to the fundamentals of the stock market. Some people might hate and disturb you, trying to divert you from your objective, you have to ignore them and keep your objectives in mind. As a runner, I often think that achieving goals is like a race: it is simple (you just have to move forward) but hard (long distance, elevation, etc). But this is definitively not about having a special ability or skill, just the capability to keep your objective in mind. I wish everybody to be happy and get whatever they expect from their life. If this list can help at least one person, then, the time required to write this post was definitively well invested.
Running, exercising is a matter of dedication, it is spiritual and physical commitment. It does not depend on the color of your shirt, the brand of your shoes, the jacket you wear or the size of your wallet. We are all equal in this sport: we all start from the same point and have to cross the same finish line. What happens in between depends (mostly) on you and you only and there is nothing that can change this fact.
You might be tempted to buy all the new trendy stuff, thinking it will make you better and improve your performance. Just be honest, it will not make you better, it will make you feel, which is a big difference. You probably want the new trendy stuff but you do not actually need it. And actually, many runners carry too many accessories but do not need it at all.
Just focus on the basic: all what you need is a good pair of shoe that fits you (and stick to it!), a comfortable short or pant, a tee-shirt and a handled bottle in case you are going very far. You can consider gloves and other light additional gear in case of extreme weather but not so much. Nothing else, the rest is superficial.
Stop thinking the new fancy gear/shoe/whatever will make you a better runner. It will just make you feel better
Instead of focusing on your gear and accessories, focus on your training
Do not use too many accessories, it adds weight, potential discomfort and will ruin your bank account. Keep the money for a hotel room when going to a race
Let me finish this CTOTW with a funny story. Three years from now: when I was working in The Netherlands, my weekly highlight was a trip to Amsterdam to look if a new issue of Runner’s World was available. Once, there was a review of the Newton shoes and, after reading it, I was really excited and definitively wanted to try them as soon as possible. I thought I would solve all my issues and will make me a stronger, faster runner. Unfortunately, at that time, Newton was not available in the Netherlands and I was not a so serious runner to order them online (plus, delivery there was really expensive). So, when coming in the USA, the first pair of shoes I bought was the Newton. I was so happy that I go for a run the very same day. After one week, I started to experience pain in my knee and kept going. I eventually switched to another shoe but keep thinking the Newton was the best shoe (hey, Runner’s World recommended them dude!) so it must be true! I kept using it until I got injured. Back then I started to use Hoka and never got injured. The take-away: do not believe the hype, stick to the basics, try different things and just keep what works for you, regardless its price, color, size or shape.
Cross-training or not cross-training? The question has been around for a while in the running community. If you want to last and continue to run for long without injury, there is no debate: cross-train. Running requires not only the support from your legs but from your whole body. Other muscles will support your efforts, either running, lifting big stuff or having fun with friends when skying during winter. By training other parts of your body, you will not only strengthen your other muscles but also improve your cardio ability, improve your breathing and no longer look at a guy with strong legs and thin body.
The nature of this additional activity will impact your performance, the development of your strength and the impact on your running abilities. So, chose carefully and select something that will
exercise other muscle groups than your legs (arms, abs, chest)
develop your cardio vascular capacity (improve your breathing capacity)
Some ideas about potential activities? Swimming an hour, riding your bicycle, using an elliptical (that uses both arms and legs) or lifting weights are good activities that will complement a good training plan. As for running, start slowly and increase the intensity and duration every week or two weeks. The goal is not to set new records but to exercise other parts of your body. As for running, these activities are not expensive (you can find a pool in many gyms or university and you can even use body-weight training – I personally use the Lafay method, I will develop that later)
One key is to find the right balance between all these activities. A common rule is to run three to four times a week and cross-train two to three times a week with the following rules in mind:
Alternate the cross-training with running: it will then let enough time for each muscle group to recover. Using the muscles break them, they are growing when sleeping and resting.
Do not have two activities the same day: you will be at risk of over-training, potential injury and do not let the muscles to heal and recover
Keep at least a rest day (you can still go for a nice walk to exercise!)
Take your time and do not push too much: it would then has a side-effect on your running training program (not enough juice in the tank to run).
What I am doing? I run about 10 miles every day and cross-train every two days during 20 to 30 minutes by using body-weight training or swimming at a medium intensity. Push-ups, abs (everything from the Lafay method) all positions that could train your body using your own weight (it just adapt the workout activity with your weight – the heavier you are the harder!). For sure, my muscles are not exceptionally big and I do not look as s body builder but is this not the goal. On the other hand, it provides enough support for running every day 10 miles and be able to keep running more than 80 miles a week injury-free. Again, this is a matter of setting goals and objectives and, in that context, cross-training seems to work, hope it could help you as well!
Traveling for work, fun or just relaxing, I am not used to write about hotels, restaurants. But I recently has one of the best experience in my lovely Normandy. I wanted to share the story: as you might stay around, this place is definitively worth it and a real gem in this great part of France.
How it started
Away for more than two weeks , my recent trip brought me in France and my lovely Normandy. Visiting the family was in the agenda but I wanted to find a place to rest with my partner in crime. Traveling can be exhausting at some time and having a quiet place to stay, rest is more than appreciated. So, I looked for an affordable and nice place around Evreux. I ended up by looking at an article from Le Figaro about good places to stay around.
After several phone calls, e-mails and trying to book a place, I got a room at La Ferme des Isles. Not too far from Evreux or Louviers, the place is located near to Autheuil-Authouillet. The price was 95 euros per night, including breakfast. When booking, I was told I could also join the dinner. The owners make a dinner at night only if more than 6 persons sign up. As several folks already booked, we could join them.
After a couple of days, I was debating to keep my reservation. I did not know if I was ready to drive there, worried to be too tired to make it and wanted to have a quiet and calm evening rather than joining a big party for dinner. After looking at the list of hotels around, the price they charged and considering the recommendation from the journal, I decided to embrace the idea rather than fighting it. I maintain the reservation and also booked the diner.
After landing in France, staying in Paris for a day and visited friends, we were ready to visit this place. Once we got there, we discovered a lovely and quiet place. Exactly what we needed.
The place is located in Autheuil-Authouillet. You can get there by train from Paris easily, which can be convenient if you stay in Paris and are looking for a quiet place during the week end or if you want to relax for a long time and visit the city. This is a renovated farm in the country side. I have no idea how many rooms they have. I took one for $95 and the room was really big, nice with all the basic stuff. Wireless network is available at no charge as well.
You can walk over the farm, see the animals (goose, chicken, birds, etc.) hang out around the yards, etc. The area is just pretty and relaxing. The garden on the property has all the vegetables and fruits used to prepare the dinner. You cannot do more fresh.
We joined the dinner. But before that, there is an aperitif, a drink you share with other guests. Drinks are either alcoholic (champagne, wine) or non-alcoholic. It comes with snacks, including some made on site. It gives an introduction to the efforts the owners put into the food they cooked: even the potato chips are made in site, with potato from the yard. Tasty, delicious, this is the perfect entry point to a great night.
This is a very friendly event and you share the table with other guests but also the owner of the farm. The menu is designed by Francois, the co-owner of the farm. Francois received an award for the food he prepared and I can testify that the food is fantastic. The menu was 40 euros per person and includes starter, entree, cheese and desert. The food also comes with Red wine and, as in every good french meal, you can refill your glass as you want.
When we had diner, our menu was:
Pumpkin soup with foie-gras
Bird with chard gratin and potatoe puree
Baba au rhum (which as more Rhum au Baba)
All ingredients are either from the farm or local. For example, the bird from the entree comes from a local place. The ingredients are just perfectly cooked and the diner is perfect.As for the cheese platter, all the cheese were very tasty.
More important: in France, food quality is important but beyond that, a meal is rather a friendly experience and your meal just a good reason to get together and have a good time. From that perspective, the farm owners (Sophie and Francois) are great hosts and make this not a meal but a real experience.
In this area, there are a lot to do. If you are in the mood to visit places around, go to Giverny and visit Claude Monet gardens. If you want to walk in the forest and explore the area, there are a lot of places to go around. As a runner, I did my traditional workout and was able to run 7 miles on trails in the forest.
If you want to discover cities around, the place is not too far from nice cities in Normandy such as Evreux, Louviers, Vernon or even Rouen. This place is just a nice place to stay, refuel and recharge your batteries before taking off for new adventures.
Baby come back
Every good thing comes to an end. This is what makes them so special and interesting: you will do your best to come back. Before leaving, breakfast is proposed in the morning with fresh bread made on site, baguette from a local bread maker, home made jelly, cheese, butter and many other things. The breakfast is served next to the kitchen and, as for the dinner, you share the table with other guests. Again, this was simple, tasty, the environment calm and quiet.
Will I come back to this place? Definitively. If you are staying in France, trying to go there is definitively worth it. Try to go there, visit Sophie and Francois and join their table for dinner. This place is now on my best places to visit in France and I hope you will have the opportunity to discover this gem in Normandy.
Next days will be rest days. I am going for an EP study tomorrow to study where my heart conditions come from. Long story short, my heart pace can increase significantly anytime and go from 45 bpm (rest pace) to 200 bpm. It happened during runs, races but often occurred when at rest (e.g. while reading, sleeping, etc.). This is something that may happen to anybody and should be considered.
As the operation requires to catheters into the veins or arteries, it requires to rest for a couple of days and then, stops running of being active for a while. This is not something you might enjoy but might definitively avoid any further discomfort. There is no clue this is worth it but, considering the risks, it might have great benefits.
“Doctor, I need to pee!” – “OK, grab me something to eat on your way, this dude is a hard one!” (picture under Creative Commons on flickr)
Why talking about it? Because many folks have similar symptoms and never took any actions. For sure, the procedure is scary: the medical staff put catheters into your body, reach your heart, the doctor increases your heart pace and have full control of the battery that keeps you alive. So, one can understand why so many dudes want to avoid it and postpone the procedure. On the other hand, palpitations, discomfort or heart issues can happen anytime, especially in moments when you do not expect them. For me, it would be when I am on the trails, far from any city and without any cell service. For somebody else, it can be while driving with the family or on a place during a lovely and romantic trip. In these situations, if any problem comes, this will not be possible to go to the emergency room.
For sure, there are many potential reasons you can die: a car might hit you when you cross the street tomorrow, a mosquito might bite you during your next trip in a foreign country or you can even be kidnapped and murdered during a trip in another country. But for these conditions, you do not have control. For your health, solutions exist, that is why taking action is just the way to go.
Also, taking rest might be a good idea to recover from my last trail runs and will let me come back to kick ass during the next months.
Just discovered Kavinsky and its last release Outrun. A real treasure that stay in the portfolio of the records makers label. This album is a remix of many things related to the current 30s-40s generation, samples come from anime like Dragon Ball or Sankukai. Funny and interesting to see how it can be remixed and useful to produce electronic music.
A must-listen that proves good stuff might come from france !