Sunday French Brunch in Countryside of Central France

Fromage dit you say fromage ? This post is a dedicated to @ChristinKardos and @CarolynPortanov online American chatty friends with whom I shared a lot of laugh for the last months. We work, we laugh. Working is learning and learning is work says @HJarche, I would add Life is laughing and laughing is working. What could be a best motivation.

I feel a lot of relief to be back in Summer. I can use my garden, get fresh food, move around. But I’m also very happy of the latest accompilshments I made on the web and for my blog. I learned a lot, could turn it into practice. So this was a kind of celebration. having such a nice community of people with whom I share all day long. being across chats, on blogs, on #PKMChat or outside had really be one of the blessings of the last years.

I felt specially happy this morning and took this occasion to record this video. In the back you can hear birds, the music I forgot to switch off. Since yesterday I was more in nostalgic, rather strange and sad songs. I feel that such songs in contrast of my feelings adds extra dimension.

I started with this one
https://t.co/GHKKWu4NaZ

Then this one

It was not intentional that you could hear it. I forgot to switch it off and didn’t expect the mike to capture it. it comes from inside the house, quite far away.

The “business” counterpart of this post.

Post-Scriptum
The yellow flower is “dandelion”, again a French term “Dent De Lion”, means lion tooth. It’s an old french word inspired by the dented shape of the leave. Really the more I learn English the more I learn Old French :)

The Italian vinegar mix was really bad. I ditched it. Did a second serve of salad with plain balsamic vinegar.

Cheeses are: Saint Nectaire, Fourme d’Ambert, Bleu d’Auvergne.

Sauge is Sage or Salvia, I didn’t use it just mentionned. I use it for Spaguetti sauce and herbal tea.
The grass I picked and cut into the salad is chives
The grass I called Maroccan is actually Origano also used a lot in Greece. I have a large bush of it and it keeps spreading.

Posted in Cuisine, Jardinage, Journal, Lifestyle, Recettes | Leave a comment

A case for fertile discussions

Chris Barrows sent me a nice feedback on my way to discuss online.

My answer

It’s not gratuitous. I’m not always the critical or skeptical guy. I don’t look for supporting the opposite opinion for sake of starting an exchange. However, I voice my concerns, my opinions and my experience as easily as I support the views of others. I’m rarely complacent, I don’t go for fights. IMHO discussions and especially online shouldn’t be an occasion for personal attacks or denting people’s ego or notoriety. I’m grateful to my Tweeps to understand it.

The same happens when I comment on blogs. If I totally disagree with the blog, I just let go but if it is a person I appreciate and follow, I may be motivated to raise a different opinion.

Those are short exchanges I wished to put in comparison with the pattern of the sterile discussion. I notice often this pattern in discussions with Tech lovers.

It’s very common in the tech area that people adopt a technology, a product and literally fell in love with it.

  • They will not question their choice anymore
  • Whatever comes will be seen from the point of view of this technology only.
  • Tackling and advocating their choice becomes the point of repeated discussions.
  • They find pleasure to discuss at length all the advantages of their choice with like-minded fellows.

I had this experience on a variety of topics:

  • Windows/Linux
  • c++/java
  • PC/MAC
  • Android/iPhone
  • GPL/Closed source
  • Internet Explorer/Firefox

While discussions happen, are passionate and sustained, they never go anywhere. It’s just a throwback of facts and experience, but there is never any progress made. The discussion between the very same person will start again a week later from the very same point. The same arguments will come out again leaving each participant with the same opinion and confirmed in their choices.

I became attentive to avoid being trapped in such discussions because they lead nowhere and eventually become like religion wars.

I like to change opinions. Some people see it as being inconsistent, I see it as being open minded and being flexible. I don’t change every week but when I settled on something for long enough I’m ready to challenge it and change. I’m now more and more vegetarian, I use more Linux for example. I don’t like LinkedIn but I force myself to learn how to use it properly.

I’m not using NoSQL database because I’ve plenty of code with SQL and little motivation to change. This may happen though when my understanding of the benefits will grow and I will see enough benefits to overcome the resistance to change.

Chris tweet comes as conclusion of this post:

What do you think?

Posted in Journal, Lifestyle | 3 Comments

My Morning Ritual

First, I usually wake up naturally, without making use of an alarm-clock. I work late and I’m not an early riser, which fits well since my time zone is 5 hours ahead of most of my contacts. I could stay a few minutes stretching around in the warm air under the blankets and plan my day, specially in winter. I’m a comfy guy it seems. My stats say I’m sleeping about 7 hours on average and I’m happy to say I sleep very well.

When I’m ready to go, either I stand up directly (and kind of carelessly for my back I’ve been told) or I go for a small gym all on my back.I could get music from my Karotz (Buddha Bar IV Rebirth has been my soundtrack for the last years)

•20 times legs up
•10 some stretches between Butterfly (bend knees) to legs straight or Knee to Chest.
•20 times makarasana
•20 times legs up
•20 side stretches
•20 times legs up with pauses

That’s where I stand up, put my spectacles on. If I’m relaxed I would go for a few cat bend, neck exercises and a few Surya Namaskar followed by 3’ Pranayama. That’s already the grand slam for me. In rare occasions I would spend another 30′ of Yoga.

I dress and go down to the kitchen. For this I have to walk through the next room, then across a nice blue one that used to be mine but with less light, north oriented, some noise. Eventually I find a flight of stairs. I climb them down with care because it’s really a like a windmill ladder. Right in front of the stairs is the router winking at me that I’m connected. If my hands are free I indulge myself with a stretch from the top side of the stairs. I hang there and suspend in the air for a minute, excellent for my back.

Next I enter the kitchen, then the bathroom. I stand in front of the sink and watch my face: How do I look today? In summer I could use cold water but in winter it’s not an option it’s solid cold here. I let some water flow until it’s warm enough (I’m of the “frileux” type, sensitive to cold) and I wash.

Next I walk to the coffee machine; take the filter off to the compost bin; place a new one; fetch the coffee, 2 spoons and a pint of water. Filter coffee is now on progress. Meanwhile I fetch a cup, 4 sugar cubes, 2 in the cup, 2 aside. I get some French sour bread or cake. Bread will sometimes be cut in chunks and in the freezer. I pick a piece, place it in the microwave for 1’30.

Almost done, coffee, bread, marmalade (jam, homemade come’on ), radio. I switch on the radio, wait for coffee. I love this delicate Proustian moment of the day with the smell of coffee and bread. I dare say I’m an Epicurean and I enjoy such moments of serenity when our full attention is placed on small things. I pick the warm mug and start. I take a sip coffee, eat a mouthful of bread and marmalade. Rinse, repeat. Typically I’m following this ritual for the first cup. It often derails for the second. Either I’m already done with the bread or I’m impatient or exasperated by the news. In this case I would switch to the computer.

IMG_7745c1I’m working on the same large antique wood table. I picked this place instead of an office desk ready next door because it’s prettier, it’s facing the south and sunnier. It is also because it is the warmer place and handy to keep an eye on my culinary preparations. The entrance door is just there and leads to the garden, flowers, herbs and just after the fields and the mountains. There is not even a step or a transition. In summer this door stays open all day long, I’m really coding from the garden. Sometime a wandering cat, a frog or a bird enter the place. In winter the door stays closed and I keep taking breaks to get some warm tea. I have a wood fireplace behind me.

Now I switch off my computer during the night and I’m not using any other electronic equipment until the end of my breakfast. Sometimes I turn it on before breakfast to let it catch up, download stuff, terminate some compilations. It happens that I completed my second cup of coffee while reading news online, checking my email or drowning in the stream of my twitter homepage, not a good practice I found.

When I’m ready, which means really that my mind is clear and my hands don’t hold a cup, I start working. My first action is to write a note with the date, the day, the wake up time, which wake up pattern I followed this day, when I was ready and what I wish to do. I call it my “Things to Do”, it will be compared at the end of the day with what I did. I reconcile it also with my automated task tracking. I keep them for years.

Don’t believe I’m a very disciplined guy. Did I forgot to say that sometimes my ritual fails? I would take tea instead of coffee, start computer before everything, emails before taking a cup of coffee. It happens specially my habits are disturbed when I travel and live under different time zones or cultures. One thing I learned is to write but to never send anything before my last cup of coffee is over.

This is what my “Things To Do” looked like this morning:

2015.01.18 Sunday

09:00 Wake up, No Gym
09:20 Short run in the cold
09:30 Bought bread from the van, Breakfast
10:02 Ready

Things To Do:
– Done! Write
– Read BK
– Review Issel Edit changes
– Choose next #PKMChat Topic
– Tests

Posted in Lifestyle | Leave a comment

My favorite comic books

Anna asked me during last #lrnchat to share my favorite comics. Yet an occasion to write once more. this has to become a habit.

I’m passionate with comic strips since I’m kid. Among my 4 dreams was to become a comic strip writer. I was quite good a drawing so this looked like a good plan. For my 14th birthday I was offered to spend an amount in books on how to realize comic strips. I bought a few on the topic plus a big book from an author I knew vaguely from a magazine (Pif le Chien). I didn’t really like this author. I didn’t like the fact that shapes where not fully surrounded with a clear line and black spots dominated. The book looked nice and like a call for leaving childhood comic strips behind and enter the real thing.

This book was Corto Maltese from Hugo Pratt. More books have been published after with longer titles. They are all good.

Starting from there I became also a voracious reader and buyer of comics. With my job of software engineer, having let go my ambitions of being myself drawing comic strips I indulged myself a weekly shopping tour for years. They are in the grown up style. Not that sex or violence dominate but they may occur. I maintained a database of my books.

I picked a few books. They couldn’t be all translated or available in your language. Feel free to use other titles. these are excellent authors and their work is regularly good.

Author: Bilal Title: La femme piège
Most last works from Bilal are excellent with a mix of ex USSR political fiction and science fiction.

Authors: Dupuy et Berberian Title: Les femmes et les enfants d’abord Serie: Monsieur Jean
Nice roman story of everyday life of young adults, first loves, marriage, children. Live like anyone could have it described with a lot of humour and candor. Refreshing.

Author: Gibrat Title: Le vol du corbeau
Stories of young people, romantic, tragic. Very realistic drawing, beautiful pictures. This one happens during WWII, In France.

Author: Schetter Title: Les lettres de Pearl
Realistic drawing, political fiction around second world war. This one takes place in Okinawa. Very clever.

Author: Schultheiss Title: Lagos connection Serie: Rêve du requin
Social, Political story taking place in Africa. Extremely violent but terribly moving.

Author: Sokal Title: Noces de brume Serie: Inspecteur Canardo
A world of animals but very adult. An private investigator, looser style. Beautiful pictures.

Author: Taymans,André Title: Rouge piscine
Again a private detective, a young woman. Solving enigms.

Author: Trondheim Title: Blacktown Serie: Lapinot
Again animals in place of humans, very philosophical stories of everyday life or transposed in the settings of legends.

Author: Yann Title: Ching Soao Serie: Innomables
Social, Political stories of veteran soldiers of French Vietnam war living a marginal in far east asia. A travel in not often told recent Asia history.

That’s all for today although I may add and change some titles in the future as well as add pictures of books covers.

Posted in Lecture | 2 Comments

Indian and Greek philosophy

A few thoughts on my view on the philosophical heritages we could use.

I put this post in English on my own personal blog because it’s really personal thoughts not related to my business, although I’m the same person on both blogs.

I became interested in Greek Culture very early. In France we are introduced to Ancient Greek on the first year of high school, I was 10. Being born in a family dominated by latinists I felt that Greek offered some distance to pragmatism and mercantilism. Europe is scattered by remains of Greek time and it was common at that time to fix Greece and Egypt as the two sources of our culture and knowledge. I started to travel on my own intensively in Greece and Turkey when I was 18 and fell in love with the area and the huge mixture of culture that happened there. Civilizations seemed to grow and juxtaposed one another at a furious rythm. Informations, discoveries, trade was crossing over language and religions boundaries with a surprising ease.

Next I travelled further east by the road. After a long passage through several muslim  countries (Iran was undergoing a revolution, Afghanistan was starting a civil war it didn’t end yet, Pakistan was a total anarchy with people wearing weaponry everywhere) I reached India.

I was not very permeable to Indian philosophy at that time although I enjoyed being there. The lifestyle, the way people were communicating was new and challenging my learnings. Still poverty, lack of democracy, corruption didn’t prove that Indian Culture was sufficient by itself compared to our over modernized world. I was still confident that everything was ruled by progress, science and logic. However life in temples of South India are the nearest I could find from how I imagined the life could have been around temples of ancient Greek cities and I enjoyed it a lot, had great discussions with people.

Back in France I studied Mathematics and became quite good at it. I quit because no opportunities were offered and switched to the new field of Software  (Irony now France don’t find enough Math teachers to hire).

While travelling for my work I visited China, Japan, Korea and realized that while we are repeatedly told that our culture is ancient, written, Asian Cultures are at least as ancient and written as well, -1400, -5000 they say now.

While studying Math, Artificial Intelligence and Programming I realized that logic doesn’t bring you very far. It is surprising when working on Expert Systems and adding features in them you end up not being able to conclude much without heuristics. The best version we ever had was bugged and introduced a random result in the heuristic causing the results to be slightly unstable and interesting. The more you add rules and facts the more the system works in a confined space and lead to results almost as conventional than normal determinist programs.

Later I became more a business man. Working on marketing plans, business plans, building teams. I read a lot and discovered fields like Economy, Marketing, Design, HR. All of them try to build theories and try to rebrand themselves as sciences. They use rethoric. They take logical stances and try to build discourses traverstite in logical explanations. If you are really good at logic you uncover the discontinuities very easily. A discourse pretending to be logic failing to do so is not supporting anything. Does it means it’s all wrong ? no but it is influenced by our tendancy in Western culture to consider that everything based on a logical construction is valid and absolutely true while everything else is just backward and not worth consideration.

Then like others I learned about the power of emotions, habits. What keeps us moving. I drew the parallel with my heuristics in AI. Without some fuzzyness and randomness decisions don’t take place unless the choices are obvious. Even for obvious ones they often take a partial view of the world (they consider this as a given, that as having no costs (ecology, natural resources !) and conclude based on that. Add everything to the equation it becomes unsolvable.

Good, so logic covers only partially what we know and use everyday. Logic don’t helps us take decisions although it could bring us in the best position to take them. But logic is the ground of the world largest discovery and progress.

Sure ? That a very 1960 statement.

Logical discourse is for me the greatest benefit of Greek Philoshophy. The ability to chain statements in such a way that we reach progressively conclusions different substantially from assumptions but with equal solidity (The Logos and Dialectic of Rethoric).

First what we learn in Math is that it’s only as good as initial assumptions. In most cases we don’t know much about assumptions.

Next I’m stoked to consider that  2 theorems I have been using on daily basis for years while building CAD systems (used afterward to build the cars, airplanes, home appliances etc.) Thales and Pythagore are based on works from Mathematicians, Philosophers presocratic.

Thales was considered as a first user of the deductive theory but doesn’t say he used it,  apply it to anything else.

Pythagoras, we don’t much of him, doesn’t seem to have been so clear about where the divide between logic and mysticism was established.

That’s the point were I am now.

What if Logic was an excellent tool to use to a certain level only ?

What if the tentation to apply it to everything was misleading ?

What if all the rational explanations we got about forcasting economy, crisis, growth was just plain wrong as unfounded as any mystical explanation.

What if the source of everything we build on was not ground on Greek Philosophy, including Math itself ?

During my last trips in India I spent more time investigating Yoga. I spent also more time  exploring how Agriculture was going on in India. For this I had to get out my usual places and I made new encounters. I was more open to hear different things. I had also more time to sit and listen.

What I learned:

There are a lot of fields covered by Indian writings and philosophy that applies to fields like motivation, ethic, discipline or self guidance. When I mean Indian I include very old texts, esoteric texts and Budhism. Fields usually covered in the west by Psychology, Self development. Many from the ideas we receive now about Positive Thinking, Emotional Intelligence, Letting go etc are already explored there.

Most of these texts proceed by analogies. If words are similar, it proves they convey sibling meanings. If two concepts can be represented by two images (metaphores) themselves paired in a way in their realm then the two original concepts must surely have something in common as well.

To a software guy like me this sounds like ridiculous. But not much more than calling for Keynes to explain how we will fight unemployement or economical crisis in Europe. if you are one ounce not logical you can be non logical all the way.

Indian proceed by such analogies both for induction from ideas to ideas and for teaching. This last point is interesting because we often practice this method as well. When explaining something we tend to draw parallels, to use metaphors. Then as the learner becomes more aware of the topic the metaphor don’t hold and we end up with a contradiction. If the metaphor we used to teaching and transferering knowledge is flawned isn’t it that the transfer itself is flawned and should be wiped out ? No, for learning we sit on the contradiction and simply put it aside as an artifice used with poetic license. In Indian philosophy and in everyday life it is OK to use such license to make decisions or draw new Knowledge.

It’s disturbing but it brings a lot of creativity, a lot of open areas to explore. Strange enough the ultimate conclusion drawn on them could turn out to be very applicable in the Western world as well. I have never got a cold since I practice kapalabhati although I  don’t take the supporting explanations for granted. Some of the philosophical aspects of early Boudhism (the one before it became a religion) has proved to be useful in my life. I compare it to a proof by absurb. It’s counter intuitive, it deals with “wrong” statements but the final conclusion is usable.

Recently I had interesting discussion on the cycle of Desire, Planning, Realizing, Rewards very present in recents books on habits forming.  I uncovered that Indian philosophy also deal with it but put markers at slightly different points (Iccha, Sankalpa). This change of point of view shows first that we are very much influenced by our Judeo Christian culture, second that options exists outside of paths plotted inside our culture.

Some greeks were already interested in Asian philosophy. Recent discovery I did was that some Greek Kingdoms adopted Budhism. It’s just not very flattering for our latin branch. It was more interesting for Archeologist to investigate links to Egypt, a dead civilization, just opposite of the Meditarrean Sea than to try to investigate links to Asia Cultures, still alive, potential colonies and of course non civilized. The more you dig in one direction, the more you find, doesn’t prove you wouldn’t have find as much in another direction. It seems that Greeks maintained a substancial relationship with Indians. If only our language is much nearer than from the Egyptian one. What if Greek were more influenced by Asians than we think. Many of them were Asian as well.

In 2015 we can open our mind and embrace everything that as been produced and found around our little planet and let go with the a prioris of our ancesters.

That’s my goal for the future, my Sankalpa.

Posted in Philosophy | Leave a comment

Panner (fromage indien) en 5mm

Samedi soir 21h, la pâte a pizza est prête mais pas un gramme de fromage, petit village de montagne, pas de voiture.

Ou alors : Un stock d’épinard pour un palak panner mais pas de panner. D’ailleurs où ca se trouve ?

Que faire ?
Pas de panique.

  1. Mettre du lait à bouillir doucement.
  2. Préparer une passoire et la recouvrir d’un tissu fin genre mousseline
  3. Baisser le feu, verser une cuillère à soupe de jus de citron pour 1/4 litre de lait.
  4. Instantanément le caillé se forme, d’un coté le petit lait un peu verdâtre, de l’autre une mousse blanche.
  5. Verser dans le chiffon, le serrer en tournant pour essorer
  6. Une petit motte de panneer est prête à l’emploi

La perte est plus importante que dans du fromage traditionnel: Compter 20g de Panneer pour 250 ml de lait. 1litre donne donne une motte qui tient dans la main.

Si le caillé ne se forme pas ajouter du citron, progressivement.

Le panner est un fromage qui n’a pas beaucoup de goût. Il est surtout utilisé comme ingrédient de cuisine. On peut le couper en cube et le passer à la poële.

Posted in Cuisine Indienne, Ingrédients | Leave a comment

Lassi à la banane

[kneaver id=”1695″ name=”Lassi à la banane” ]

Boisson rafraichissante et saine.  Les bananes peuvent être remplacées par des fraises, des mangues. Nature c’est très bon aussi. Avec du sel ca devient un Ayran la boisson turque.

  • Epicerie
    • Sucre: 2 cs
  • Marché/Jardin
    • Banane
  • Laitages
    • Lait: 1/2 verre
    • Yaourt: 1 verre

[/kneaver]

Posted in Cuisine Indienne, Recettes | Leave a comment

Curry de choux-fleur

[kneaver id=”427″ name=”Curry de choux-fleur” ]

  • Epicerie
    • Pois Chiche: 1 tasse
  • Boîte à Epices
    • Feuille de Carry: 4
    • Garam Masala: 2 cc
    • Graines de Coriandre: 2 cc
    • Piment en poudre: 1/2 cc
  • Marché/Jardin
    • Ail: 4 gousses
    • Choux-fleur
    • Coriandre frais: 2 cs
    • Gingembre frais: 1/2 cc
    • Oignon: 3
    • Tomates: 1 tasse
  • Divers
    • Badiane Chinoise: 2
    • Cumin en poudre: 2 cc

[/kneaver]

Posted in Cuisine Indienne, Recettes | Leave a comment

Menu du Stage de Yoga 2014

[kneaver id=”425″ name=”Menu du Stage de Yoga 2014″ ]

[/kneaver]

Posted in Cuisine Indienne | Leave a comment

La cuisson du riz

[kneaver id=”1965″ name=”La cuisson du riz” ]

La Cuisson du Riz

 

1. Laver -> 1.5 * eau froide (tremper 30′ ds certains cas)

 

2. Bouillir -> le riz absorbe toute l’eau 4′

 

3. Eteindre -> Couvrir -< le riz devient moelleux 10′

On retrouve aussi cette cuisson dans tous les plats qui incluent du riz comme le Biriyani, le Riz de Pongal, le Riz au curcuma

 

[/kneaver]

Posted in Cuisine Indienne, Recettes | Leave a comment