*** RYAN TATE: Shocking secrets--revealed! ***





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Saturday, February 15, 2003

My snowboarding injury to my shoulder and ribcage has messed up my swimming abilities, limiting me to about 20 lenghts, so I decided I should be on to something else for the next couple of weeks to keep me from becoming too fat, grumpy or tired. That tends to happen when I don't exercise, as I learned in the month or so after the Alcatraz swim, when I was stopped swimming, intimidated, perhaps, by the mistaken idea I had to maintain the two-mile-a-day pace of my pre-swim training.

My new activity, as it turns out, is spin. "That's the gayest thing I have ever heard," said one of my gay friends, upon learning I would be showing up for class Thursday.

Whatever. Sure, there were a dozen women and maybe three other guys, but they didn't seem outstandingly gay so much as outstandingly toned. I took an "intro" class, which means the instructor tacked on about 30 seconds of instruction to the start of the class on how high the seat should be, how to adjust it, and how to shift up the resistance. That last bit of information I was told to use about a dozen times over the course of the workout as our special forces-trained cult leader badgered us through the death ride. "Out of the seat!" she would screech before having us peddle, standing up, for minutes on end. I was ready for it to be over about 10 minutes in, and then convinced myself it would be over at the half hour mark. That point came and went, and I briefly considered a humiliating departure. Luckily, the spinning stopped after 45 minutes, which is I suppose the other thing that makes it an intro class. Normal spin goes for an hour, and some crazy people, like my friend Laura, go for an hour and a half.

The class ends with relief, softer techno music, and a massive endorphin rush. People were telling the drill sergeant how great she was. I even felt pretty good, although I had trouble making it down the stairs.

That was Thursday night. By Friday night, I was experiencing a little stiffness in my thigh/quadriceps. Today, my legs were in throbbing pain and I was gimping around everywhere. It hurt to flex my leg, so I would try to sort of waddle from side to side, rotating at the hip.

I had hoped to do another class this morning, but I think I need some time off. Some time off from the exercise I am doing to take time off from swimming because I fell snowboarding. I am now crippled at three activities. Maybe I can do some strength training on my upper body tomorrow and become not only immobile but unable to type or feed myself. I love fitness.


I am still working on my website project. I finished data modeling, coming up with about 15 different database table specifications for various site elements. I learned the basics of SQL, not only via the aforementioned Philip Greenspun tutorial but also at the top-notch sqlzoo.net, which actually allows you to compose SQL commands to solve database test problems after you learn each lesson. Then I sat down at the MySQL command line and learned how to create a table and made my user and cookie tables, inserting myself as a user. I learned the basics of the Perl DBI, including the MySQL DBD, and wrote up a simple module over the last two nights to authenticate users and manage cookies. I still have to implement a user registration scheme and write methods to edit existing users, along with some admin pages. Then the user portion, one of the 15 tables, is done for now and I'm on to everything else.


It's raining in the Bay Area tonight, wonderfully.

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