Posts by Francis Noel


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1) Message boards : Number crunching : Its breaking my Heart but I may have to bow out of SETI@Home .. (Message 1755248)
Posted 10 Jan 2016 by Profile Francis Noel
The aborted tasks will get resent to other hosts to crunch, no harm done. The project is designed to face these events.

Performance per watt is a real issue. Old hardware burns through a lot of juice and produces little work compared to modern machines. Your fleet of computers is not that old but there are a lot of them. Noise and clutter are also issues in your case.

It could be easier for your heart and wallet to keep your very favorite cruncher, recycle the rest, and use the funds freed up on the 'leccy bill to buy your old pal a GPU, provided the power supply is up to it. If you ever do get a new computer the GPU could be transplanted into it.

I still run some old hardware myself but winter here means if I don't put the watts through the computers I'll have to put them through the heaters anyway. I'm pretty much using the clunkers as space heaters and doing science as a happy byproduct. That stuff gets turned off in the summer.
2) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Holiday Fruitcake... love it or leave it? (Message 1745517)
Posted 29 Nov 2015 by Profile Francis Noel
Reporting in with a few batches made. Some cakes were put away in the vault and are waiting for the holidays, some are being eaten right now.
This year the cakes feature dried blueberries.
3) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Holiday Fruitcake... love it or leave it? (Message 1741946)
Posted 14 Nov 2015 by Profile Francis Noel
Yes please !

I like my fuit cake heavy, dense, with extra molasses and infused with rum. Rum is pretty much fermented molasses so there is a theme here. I am allergic to pea/tree/nuts so we make the cake ourselves. This affords the opportunity to throw in some extra fruit like figs or apricots not normally found in the commercial stuff.

I've gone and made myself hungry...



Francis Noel, I was so inspired by your post that, in addition to some of my traditional fruitcakes (candied mixed fruit, candied orange peel, glaced pineapple chunks, glaced whole cherries, dried cranberries, almonds and pecans all flavored with brandy), I just popped an experimental batch of fruitcakes into the oven.

Per your WONDERFUL suggestion I decided to build the experimental fruitcakes around apricots and rum. I used dried California Blenheim apricots, which I had in my pantry from our local Farmer's Market. I snipped them into quarters with scissors and soaked them in some Zaya rum. I added lots of candied pineapple, some candied lemon peel, some candied orange peel, and some finely diced candied ginger for heat. Eric and I both love nuts, so I added slivered almonds and whole pecans. All the fruits were yellow or orange and the batter was really evocative of autumn. I used my usual fruitcake recipe, but instead of cinnamon I substituted some powdered ginger. When the cakes are done and cool, I'm going to wrap them in rum soaked cheesecloth.

I can hardly wait until Christmas to see how this experimental batch turns out!!! (Darn. Why does fruitcake involve so much delayed gratification?)

Thank you, Francis Noel, for your excellent fruitcake suggestions!!!


Hooray for experimental batches !
I am glad I was able to inspire your creativity Angela. That cake sounds...intense ! I'd never considered adding ginger to a fruitcake myself and I have to admit the pineapple-ginger combo sounds very, very promising. My fruitcakes usualy are very 'earthy', in the sense they are dominated by figs, other leathery dried fruit, molasses and flavors tasted on the tongue. Goes well with a strong beer. If I'd have to invent a monicker like angel's or devil's food my cakes would be Dwarf's food. With your idea of ginger, pineapple, lots of zest and more ginger your experimental cakes will definitely involve the nose as well as the tongue. You know how some flavors disappear when you have a stuffy nose ? Your cake will have lots of those.
When I first read the description I figured your cake would be superb with a cup of unsweetened tea, then I thougt about ginger and mint together, still had the tea idea floating around, went to google and found this: http://www.rossgardenstore.com/cafe/fruit-cake-infused-with-mint-tea.
I've gone and made myself hungry again.

Sorry for the tardy response, I've had a crazy week.
4) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Holiday Fruitcake... love it or leave it? (Message 1740163)
Posted 6 Nov 2015 by Profile Francis Noel
Yes please !

I like my fuit cake heavy, dense, with extra molasses and infused with rum. Rum is pretty much fermented molasses so there is a theme here. I am allergic to pea/tree/nuts so we make the cake ourselves. This affords the opportunity to throw in some extra fruit like figs or apricots not normally found in the commercial stuff.

I've gone and made myself hungry...
5) Message boards : Number crunching : Computation Errors / Completed - Marked as Invalid (Message 1739886)
Posted 5 Nov 2015 by Profile Francis Noel
There was a problem with the servers:

http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/forum_thread.php?id=78297&postid=1739673



Ah, thank you for the heads-up rob I had missed that.
This explains why I woke up to a few hundred invalids this morning from all hosts, GPU types and CUDA versions.
6) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Lose Weight With Monday II - Double Digits, but no double chins!!! (Message 1739112)
Posted 2 Nov 2015 by Profile Francis Noel
Go TimeLord!

180.8 this morning so still hovering as far as weight is concerned.
However I have a reached a milestone in the body geometry department. I have been using the same leather belt for at least 5 years, maybe more, and when I commited to weight loss I wore it at its longest on the fifth notch. And it strained. I am happy to report that this very belt is now being worn comfortably at its shortest on the first notch. The notches are exactly one inch apart so I've shrunk the circumference of my gut by four inches. Pretty satisfied with that.
So no weight loss but definite progress nonetheless since this is what I was aiming for since late august. I persist in saying that clearly defined goals and specific targeted actions taken to achieve them is how progress is made. My mind already works like this but some of you may enjoy the formalized version of this thought by reading up here : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMART_criteria
7) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Lose Weight With Monday II - Double Digits, but no double chins!!! (Message 1738017)
Posted 29 Oct 2015 by Profile Francis Noel
Hello everyone !
Morning weigh-ins for the past week oscillate between 180.00 and 181.5.

At the end of august I started scaling back the running from ~250km/month to ~150km/month and ramping up the weight training program I started in July. I expect to replace most of the running with cross-country skiing when the snow sets in for good.
Also adjusting the nutrition side of things to cut back a bit on carbs and get some more protein in to align my intake with the shift in activity.
Lately my weight has been steady at 181 but my pants keep getting looser, which was the intended result. Looks like I am having some success in modifying my body composition and lowering my BMI. I plan to keep the general parameters pretty much as they are now up until spring.

Main objective for this winter is to be able to do at least one pull-up. If I can do it before the winter is over I might push the target up to five reps.
8) Message boards : Number crunching : SETI/BOINC Milestones [ v2.0 ] - XXIX (Message 1732348)
Posted 6 Oct 2015 by Profile Francis Noel
Just passed 80 million total credits :)


Congratulations to everyone and in particular to SongBird with whom I have been playing cat-and-mouse with for at least a year on the stats sites :)

I have a few 'stones to chuck today myself:

- 80M
- 100K+ sustained RAC
- 10 years

Keep on BOINC'ing everyone.
See you around for the 100M party.
9) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Lose Weight With Monday II - Double Digits, but no double chins!!! (Message 1728811)
Posted 25 Sep 2015 by Profile Francis Noel
Thank you for the updates gang.

Celttooth 25lbs is fantastic progress and an achievement to be proud of.
Congratulations !
I'm curious. 25 lbs is a considerable amount of weight to shed and you would have gone from almost 250 to about 225, right ? I myself started at 226 so I know how *living* at 226 is like but I can only imagine how everyday life happens at 250. Do you generaly feel better overall ? Maybe less fatigued, more energetic, more nimble? Or do you just find yourself having thoughts like "dang it getting my dang clothes out of the dang dryer should not be this dang hard" less often? Are you motivated by your progress to set similar goals for the next year ? Tell me tell me :)

Vic, Donald I truly hope things go better this time around. I know it must be a downer to look back at the past year and see little results. Please dot not sulk and create yourself a case of 'victim syndrome': use those feelings to bolster your resolve and motivate you to get this done! Change occurs through action.

I am also reluctant to post my own results because I'm not sure if my story would be inspiring or discouraging to those who are struggling. I'll keep it succinct for now, you guys let me know if you want more.
I 'lost' 50 out of 226 pounds. I'm putting quotes around that because I did not 'lose' those pounds I know exactly where they went.
I reached the target weight I had set for myself when I started. I am exalted and I sincerely wish you could all feel this way too.
10) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Lose Weight With Monday II - Double Digits, but no double chins!!! (Message 1728704)
Posted 25 Sep 2015 by Profile Francis Noel
Well, it has been a year since this thread started. I did come onboard a wee bit late but I did start working on my body issues in august 2014 so the timing is bang on.
I thought I would, for the thread's anniversary, write a very lenghty post about my own personal fat-loss journey. I do have lots to share. Then I re-read the thread from the beginning and decided not to proceed because I need to ask something. My skill with the english language is limited so please believe I ask this candidly out of genuine solicitude.

Guys, are you all more or less at the same point you were a year ago ?
11) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Lose Weight With Monday II - Double Digits, but no double chins!!! (Message 1722120)
Posted 4 Sep 2015 by Profile Francis Noel
Hello all.

In two weeks this thread will be one year old. When that happens I'd like to post a short, informal recap of my weight loss efforts for the year. Where I was, where I am now, where I thought I would be, perspective, hindsights, goals for the next year and all that jazz.

Would anyone care to participate ? I'd like to hear your stories.
12) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Lose Weight With Monday II - Double Digits, but no double chins!!! (Message 1674159)
Posted 5 May 2015 by Profile Francis Noel
Pudgy Little Raccoon Weigh-In: 169.2 lbs


Keep it up !
Remember that willpower, like your muscles or mind, gets tired when used and rest is needed to refresh it. I allow myself a 'no-diet' day each week for just this purpose. It prevents cheating (and guilt), is good for the soul and does not cost that much as far as weight loss is concerned. It is very convenient for parties, holidays and family visits, too!
13) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Lose Weight With Monday II - Double Digits, but no double chins!!! (Message 1627665)
Posted 14 Jan 2015 by Profile Francis Noel
Ok I'm back down to an early Intel weight of 386 lbs, I lost 6 lbs.



In one day ?
14) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Lose Weight With Monday II - Double Digits, but no double chins!!! (Message 1627302)
Posted 14 Jan 2015 by Profile Francis Noel
Aye.
Accurate numbers allow for better retroaction and are invaluable in obtaining the desired results. It is up to you to quantify the adjustment you made and see how that reduction influences your weekly caloric balance. The muffin was just an example to illustrate the point.
For some lucky people 'eat less' works without any more thought. In my case I started by monitoring my weight for a while without changing my habits in order determine what was going on, pretty much as you just did yourself. Once I had the numbers on-hand it became a case of 'I need to eat at least exactly this much less over a week to maintain, or a bit less to start losing'. This then got converted to a daily caloric allowance. I don't obsessively count everything, but I do read all he labels, make some choices, and keep aware of roughly how much I'm taking in. Some days are overbudget, others are underbudget. The idea is to get at the end of the week reasonably close to the target total. You have some good data available Vic, I sincerely hope you can use it to your advantage. As always YMMV but im my very specific and personnal case figuring out all the number is what got me losing. I can't tell you how to do it, I can only recount what worked for me.

Incidentally today was effectively overbudget after I hit the ice cream for dessert tonight. I even topped it with a shot of irish cream :P. For me, this is where excercise comes in. Every 100 calories over the target translates to 10 minutes of sustained cardio. So when I'm looking at that box of donuts at the office it is not guilt or shame that stops me from eating three. I see each donut as a half-hour of jogging so what goes through my head is 'tastyyy, but not worth 90 minutes of excercise' and I usually walk away. Usually.
So I headed back outside tonight (11:00) for some more running around in the snow to offset, ironically, the ice cream. I wish I could just go out with shirt. Just for fun here is what I looked like after 10 minutes outside :

I'd take 50F anytime :D.

I've been spewing theory and numbers all over the thread lately, you guys let me know if this is boring/too heavy. Maybe we could start a 'Tips that Work for Me™' segment where we share some stuff we do that helps ?

edit: fixed image
15) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Lose Weight With Monday II - Double Digits, but no double chins!!! (Message 1626997)
Posted 13 Jan 2015 by Profile Francis Noel
I wish I was that pudgy, since Nov 24th 2014(375lbs), I gained 18 lbs, I'm at 392lbs now...


Sorry to hear things are not going the way you want Vic.

I did a spot of quick sloppy math with the numbers you provided.
Nov 24th to Jan 12th (today) is 7 weeks.
392-375=17 so that is 17 lbs gained over 7 weeks.
17/7=2.4 lbs per week gained, averaged.

A variation of 2.4 lbs per week (be it up or down) is a bit high. Taking into account your total body weight you could very well be able to metabolize that much. The good news here is that if you can put it on (maybe you didnt, it might be water of something else) that quick you can also shed it off just as fast.

There is some other stuff to glean from those numbers. Lets round off the supposed gains at 2 lbs/week. For humans the rule of thumb is that 1 lbs of body fat (fat, not muscle, bone etc.) equates to 1500 calories. With the numbers you provided this suggests that you would need to lower your net weekly calorie intake by 3000 units to maintain your current weight or start losing.

3000 looks like a big number. It is not. Some people eat that in a day. Scoot over to say St*rbucks dot com and look at the nutritional value of a banana chocolate chip muffin. It scores 410 cal. A muffin a day, every day, for a week totals to 3000 cals. You therefore need to adjust your intake (or expenditure, or both) by the equivalent of 1 muffin a day.

I'm not trying to be disagreeable, patronizing or anything of the sort. Again english is not my first language. This is an attempt at working with the numbers you provided to extract useful, quantifiable information and then putting that information in a usable real-life context. I realize you did not ask for advice but since I had the numbers I went ahead and 'crunched' em.


As for me, after posting today about fitting my workouts in the schedule, I took action. When the day ended it was too late for the gym (closes at 10pm) so I went outside, shoveled so more snow, and then went for a 40min run on the hardpack in full winter gear at -15C. Conclusion: I need better footwear. My feet move around in the snow boots and rub like crazy. I'll have blisters everywhere if I keep running in those. But now I know I can do it. All in all a solid hour of sustained cardio.
16) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Lose Weight With Monday II - Double Digits, but no double chins!!! (Message 1626794)
Posted 12 Jan 2015 by Profile Francis Noel
Hello all :)

This morning's reunion with the scale puts me at 196.5. I'm having trouble finding the time to work out consistently these days so I'm assuming the holiday break 'cost' me about two pounds. Not too bad considering all the drinking. I'm way under my target for physical activity right now. So much so that my last visit to the gym resulted in DOMS even though I only did half duration/intensity. At least there is some snow to shovel from time to time to keep me somewhat active. From a weight loss perpective thats not really a problem as, in my opinion, weight loss is 80% (or more) a nutrition thing. However I do want to be reasonably 'in shape' when spring comes along so I can resume running outside when the weather allows it. Time for a New Year Restart of the workouts then. I know what I have to do. Just gotta fit it in the schedule.

May your efforts be fruitful in 2015 everyone :).
17) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Lose Weight With Monday II - Double Digits, but no double chins!!! (Message 1617647)
Posted 23 Dec 2014 by Profile Francis Noel
Hey monday is not over yet :).

Back up to 191 here, which in my case is a good thing. Had two easy workouts this week and I'm feeling much better. I expect to climb back up to at least 196 as I ramp up the intensity and duration of the workouts.

But ! Holiday frenzy is upon us so there will be no workouts for the next week as I will be touring the country to visit family and friends. In fact I expect anti-workouts. Holiday foods, dessert in abundance and such. Time to loosen the belt.

See you all next year :)
18) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Lose Weight With Monday II - Double Digits, but no double chins!!! (Message 1614330)
Posted 15 Dec 2014 by Profile Francis Noel
Thanks Angela. The half-marathon is still a project for the fall of 2015....we'll see.

celttooth that would be in Québec in the early 90s. But then again I am francophone and I was born in '78 so the odds were against.
19) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Lose Weight With Monday II - Double Digits, but no double chins!!! (Message 1614239)
Posted 15 Dec 2014 by Profile Francis Noel
Good going Monday !

Lenghty post today with some human physiology insight. You guys let me know if it was interesting/boring/meh to you. I do tend to ramble.

I've had a rough week. That bug I talked about last monday turned out to be a nice seasonal Cold. You know the kind where you ache all over, get super weak, miss work and so on. I'm better today (still stuffy tho) and I'm starting to feel the spring come back in my legs. I'm here with my Monday Weigh-In but it needs some backstory.

As I was barely able to shuffle around I skipped all the workouts I had planned this last week. You may have guessed from my previous posts that I was on a pretty intense workout schedule. I was. I have hopes of running a half-marathon next summer and that is what I am training for. To put some numbers on that claim I'll state that GPS data (from an iPhone) for the month of october where I could still run outside says I ran 225km at an average pace a bit over 8km/h. When the snow settled in I transitionned to a treadmill. This is (for me and my fitness level) a very,very high volume of rather intense cardio training. Due to illness I stopped all physical activity for a week.

One of the (many) specific adaptations prolonged steady-state cardio training brings (think running for 60 to 90 minutes without pausing) is a systemic increase in blood/blood plasma volumes. Think of it as the body holding on to more stuff, a lot of which is water, in order to sustain the training load. Well since I've stopped training my body let all that extra stuff go over the last week. Last weigh-in was at 196,5 and this morning the scale said 189,00 so I'm down 7 pounds week-on-week. I was extra watchful of my diet so I've probably lost some real weight in there but there is no way to tell how much and what proportions of fat/lean muscle mass it was that I lost along with all that other stuff. My next weigh-ins should show a gain as I slowly rebuild the stores when I start training again. Might be tonight or wednesday, I dunno.

Have a great week everyone !
20) Message boards : Cafe SETI : Lose Weight With Monday II - Double Digits, but no double chins!!! (Message 1610812)
Posted 8 Dec 2014 by Profile Francis Noel
No mississipis celttooth but I do use 'seconds since epoch' under certain circumstances.

This morning's weigh-in is at 196.5 pounds. Again this is a half-pound drop week-on-week and the trend continues. Quite satisfied with that result since it has been a rough week with holiday baking (fruitcake is like kryptonite for my willpower), an office party and I caught a bug so the workouts are +1 hard (cough, cough).

I don't expect to lose much faster than .5/week in the future. The workout plan I laid out for myself had me start weight training in addition to the cardio once I broke 200 pounds and that happened in the last weeks of november. From now on I am still losing fat but also (hopefully) gaining muscle mass so the net change in weight according to the scales is going to be pretty low until I reach 185 someday. At that point I'll have to measure my BMI and set new objectives or devise a maintenance plan. Sounds complicated but you need to have a goal in order to reach it, right ?

Have a good week everyone and hang in there!


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