Learning and Other Curves

I have turned my 365 earnings and my birthday present from my parents into an Adobe CS6 Master Suite. I am now the proud owner of All-Things-Adobe to further my creative future. Now I just need to learn how to use it all.

The installer barfed icons for 16 new products onto my Windows 8 Start screen.
They all range from complex to nigh-on-incomprehensible.
I need some training.

I had hoped to start learning today, but the day got away from me a bit. I had to get up early to make my 7:30am massage, which was both nice and horrible at the same time.

Then my day got both better and weirder at the gym. Apparently it was the third anniversary of the gym and there was an 80s Aerobics theme on. Meaning all the staff/instructors and many of the guests had dressed up in various short-shorts, lycra, and garish bright colours.

It wasn’t entirely an unpleasant sight.

I do think I let it go to my head, or out of it. I worked harder than I normally do, and now my legs don’t feel my own. I hope I have enough reserves for Yoga, because Thursday Yoga didn’t turn out so well… they had forgotten to substitute a sick instructor so they improvised at the last moment with someone who wasn’t quite up to the task.

By the time I finished my Saturday ritual with some reading at Michel’s I was already 7 hours into my day. And I’ve frittered away another 3 hours since with the Internet. I better get going with some real work and chores now, or I’ll feel horribly guilty tomorrow.

Day 357 – Bad Form

9 – The 100 Worst Athletes in Sports History

Sprains beget Sprains.
Injuries beget Injuries.

About three months back, on a trip to Melbourne, I sprained my back. I’m still not quite sure if I can blame the Novotel beds for that, or if it was the unfortunate twist in my Economy Class seat on the flight home as I tried to get off my hooded sweater.

My left shoulder and back were agony, and I blogged about them at the time.
Continue reading Day 357 – Bad Form

Day 353 – Forward Fold

13 – Over 100 Stretching Exercises

I have started working more seriously on item 85 of my 100 Things.

I’m not naturally very flexible. I spent an entire youth disinterested in sports. Then I spent years cycling in the highest gear bulking up my legs in the process. Then I took an interest in going to the gym during University where I mainly worked on more weights to even out the rest of my body a bit.
Continue reading Day 353 – Forward Fold

Day 117 – Stretching

Yoga

I allowed my phone to distract me for longer than I should have let it this morning in bed. By the time my brain started doing the sums on the time required to get out of bed, through a shower, out to the gym, it was 9:45am.

My class starts at 10:30am.

Oh, and I decided to grab a small coffee along the way to wake up.

Luckily, by 10:33am I was in place on my thin mat at the front of an unusually full class that hadn’t quite started yet. Not my favourite spot, but it was of my own doing.

Today was an exceptionally good class. I find I always come out wonderfully stretched out. I credit the instructor, because she always knows when there is a little more reach left in me, and she adjusts us like we’re unruly furniture. Today my warrior got a little extra attention and I found a whole batch of muscles in my side, hip and hamstring that could use some more attention.

It’s an amazing feeling when I think I’m at the limit and she finds another inch or two of give that I wouldn’t have believed was there.

After a class like that, sitting is my favourite activity.

Reading

Which is what I did on the way back home. At a little table with a cappuccino and a sausage roll, with my trusty Kindle in tow.

I do most of my reading on Sunday afternoon after Yoga and to/from/during trips to Melbourne. Everything else just seems to consume my days any other time. Which should make this coming week a good one for The Game of Thrones.

My reading time today stretched on a little longer than it should have though. I was too engrossed in my chapters to take much note of the weather turning. I was under cover so the drizzle and rain just didn’t directly impact me.

After a couple of hours though it started getting a bit chilly, the swirling breeze getting cooled by the falling water, and brushing past the side of the building I was sitting next to.

When I decided I should head home I had just started another chapter though… and I have a really hard time abandoning a book in the middle of a chapter. So I zipped up the front of my hoodie, and stubbornly read my way through, admittedly shivering a little by the end.

I got another coffee as I left to warm me up. This is also when I learned there is such a thing as a cheaper refill. I’m not sure it’s healthy for me to know this.

And then I rushed home to have a nice hot shower.

Programming

Stretching my brain with my little personal project consumed the rest of the afternoon. I had already worked out the concept on paper, so it was long overdue to actually get started with some work (especially with the coming week in Melbourne it’ll be tricky to make progress during the week).

I had assumed I was going to have to find a library for RSS/Atom for C# to make it work. But I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Microsoft has a handy SyndicationFeed built right into the system, which seems to be just the ticket so far.

I don’t want to try to load my feeds on page accesses, so I need a background process to load the raw data for my application. I was familiar with approaches from PHP applications based on having a URL that a timed job somewhere else hits in lieu of a timer loop, but that seemed too hacky.

So far it looks like the recommended approach is to use a Timer object started from application start-up. I’m not sure why it feels wrong; it’s probably the idea of putting something stateful into a web application that just intrinsically sends my hackles up. But recommended it is, so the solution it also is for now. I can always separate this logic into a service running somewhere separately, which is probably the Right-Way-tm to do this.

Footnote

Now, please, have some sweet German baked goods lest I eat them all myself…

Stollen; usually in form of a big loaf, but Aldi also does bite-size.
Stollen; usually in form of a big loaf, but Aldi also does bite-size.

And let me dedicate this song to the day… that’s how it works, right?

spotify:track:6RDMoA86XmfIyFGWmm9TkJ

Also worth looking up on YouTube for a clip involving Fraggles.

Day 75 – Yoga, Coffee, Dot Icecream

I am glad I’ve returned to Yoga. I think I stopped going at first because I was busy, then because it made me feel like half the day was gone before I got home again, but those are all stupid reasons not to do Yoga.

The class officially starts at 10:30 and finishes at 11:30… but in reality our excellent instructor never quite gets there till 11:45. I just relish the 15 minutes of extra stretching. Last week my legs were complaining bitterly after the experience, this week less so. I’m sure I’ll be on the road to flexibility again in no time.

A Healthy Breakfast... (?)
A Healthy Breakfast… (?)

I have taken to bringing my Kindle along so that on the way back I can sit down with my coffee and read a few chapters. After Yoga my limbs always feel very heavy, and I usually don’t do much with the time anyway so I might as well visit Tyrion, Arya and Jon as I recover. It’s amazing how time flies when I’m sitting there.

As you can see, I took the opportunity to add some pretend-breakfast to my break. I don’t usually eat before going to the gym. Food before Yoga isn’t the most pleasant of experiences.

By about 1:30pm I started to feel like I should really go do something with the day. Including an errand or two that arrived via the wonder of Wunderlist. Quick stop through the shops, and I decided I wanted some ice cream.

I had seen the Dippin’ Dots wagon outside the shops a few times, and I had assumed this was just one of those soft-serve-dipped-in-a-variety-of-things stands.

It was far more confusing than that…

We're Living in the Future!
We’re Living in the Future!

We’re living in a future where ice cream no longer comes in cones, nor as it happens, in the form of a continuous whole. Apparently in 2013, ice cream gets served in the form of pellets, scooped and levelled into a small container.

My dots were of the vanilla with crushed-Oreos-mixed-in variety. They tasted fine, but there is something a little clumsy about a container full of little pellets eaten with a spoon. For one thing I had to finish before driving; it just lacks that one-handed-eatability that a cone brings to the wheel.

Still, an interesting experience.