Feb 28, 2008

my latest internet thing-bobs + gym membership!


Joe's first chairlift ride - at night!

Yesterday, I did something that, one year ago, seemed unimaginable. I joined a gym.

The reason is kind of interesting. My wife is joining the gym. It has $2 childcare. I thought I'd join the gym too, because it's a one-stop solution to both of us exercising without having to worry about Joe. It's something that we can do together, even if we're not doing the same thing. Alex could do her aqua-aerobics physical therapy, where I can run the indoor track they have, lift weights, or do spin classes. I can even swim laps, if I ever decide that I want to learn to do it correctly.

So, yesterday, I joined and immediately did a spin class. Called, "power spin", it was rather tough but I made it through without a problem - something that I credit entirely to my running regimen. I had the right attitude for spin, as well: through the whole class, I kept looking the instructor and smiling as if to say, "Is that all you have?! You can't break me!!" I like to think, though I doubt it, that I am the reason people commented to him afterwards, "This was a tough one!" I thought, "You signed up for power-spin, kid. There's a beginner class later this week. haha."

All joking aside, I'm going to make those other classmates look like a certain governor from California on April 20 if I don't stop messing around and at least get a few long runs in before my first ultramarathon, a 50K, on that date. The gym will help me do that. As short as it is, the indoor track seems a lot more appealing than running on Suffern streets, and snowcover/ice and darkness has kept me away from trails this winter. Perhaps I'll at least be a lot more consistent, like I normally am in the summer.


on to a completely different subject:

Two internet sites that I recently joined, liked, and decided to recommend:

1.) Twitter
I signed on because it looked like fun, if a little useless. "What are you doing?" huh? I then discovered its real utility - micro-blogging, group collaboration, publicly viewable IM, and a news source. Not only can I just "tweet" something small that isn't worth an entire blog post, but I can actually send a message out to an entire group of people at once and get feedback from anyone who cares to comment. Also, instant messaging - of the variety that's open to the world such that anyone can read what we're talking about, and perhaps put in their two cents - which may be worth a lot more than two cents. An amazing tool. Finally - a news source. News source? yes. If you're into technology and also on Twitter, it becomes quickly apparent that some significant people are also on Twitter. They might tweet something that will never make the NY Times, but is directly relevant to me. Examples - high-profile software programmers, industry analysts, and open source project managers. Follow these people, and you'll get some insight that you'd otherwise never get.

2.) del.icio.us
I signed on as a way to consolidate bookmarks. I then discovered its real utility - seeing what other people are bookmarking. Specifically, it's kind of like a social networking site in that you add friends and such, but the only functionality it serves in that regard is link sharing. Say Fred comes across a site that lists baseball statistics in a uniquely useful way. I'd not normally see this site, but since I can generate a feed of all the stuff my friends bookmark, and since Fred is my friend, the link will get delivered to my newsreader so I'd have an opportunity to read it. The power of such a scenario is immense. Earlier this week, someone bookmarked a one-stop site for programming - with links to dozens of programming languages and framework quick references. Yes, I could find these kinds of things using Google, but here the work is already done for me, and tagged and sorted in my del.icio.us network. Can't beat that.

Here are some links, so you can see how I use these two services:
http://twitter.com/stevetursi <- My Twitter feed
http://del.icio.us/stevetursi <- My del.icio.us feed
http://del.icio.us/network/stevetursi <- My del.icio.us network