jeudi 5 novembre 2015

SWIM - The pool's edge

Today's little victory came when I had to jump into the pool during swimming classes, it's something that I've done before but the last time I did, it hurt my knees and from what I know now, I think it was because the water wasn't deep enough to carry my weight but I digress...

The teacher told me to jump into the pool and I think this is because he was trying to show me something. I'm not sure what exactly but it had to do with me losing my fear for water and to be able to see how my body behaves in water. Fear of doing things often stops us from rationalising, it stops us from thinking about if our fears were founded or if it was just our mind playing games on us.

So I stepped onto the "diveboard" (not exactly a diveboard but some kind of platform from which you get into the water). I was really scared but then I thought of something Robert Greene said about learning, he said, and I paraphrase roughly, that children are able to learn some of the most difficult things easily because they trusted their teachers and just followed instructions but we adults tend to overthink things before doing them and most times this prevents us from learning extraordinary skills. With this in mind I stepped forward and got into the pool.

I panicked for a half second or less and I discovered a few things :

1. my legs barely touched the bottom of the 2m deep pool.
2. As soon as my feet touched the floor I sort of bounced up.

After bouncing, I swam, using a floater stretched out to me by the teacher, to the edge of the pool. I couldn't believe it but I had done it ! I was so happy that I got out and did it again and this time I didn't even bother about the floater, the force of my bounce was enough to get me to the pool's edge. Yay me !!!

Last time we had classes, I had learnt to swim on my back using a floater and just flapping my legs, which was cool. So today I continued doing the same thing and I think I've gotten the hang of it now. The teacher now wants me to do the exact same thing but swimming on my belly, now that's a little more complicated because not only does my nose and mouth get into water thus inhibiting my breathing, it's also more tiring to flap my legs this way so I guess that's what I'll have to work on next week.

I'm slowly advancing but I'm getting there :D To think that someday I'll be able to say that I now do stunts while swimming is so exciting, I can wait until that happens. Or maybe not even stunts but just to say that I went swimming for pleasure or for exercise...

vendredi 16 octobre 2015

SWIM - Phones, float and E-commerce

Yesterday was my swimming class alongside the adorable elderly ladies - I say this because they somehow believe that I'm a fast learner act awed by how fast I learn so I, in turn, find them adorable. There's one particular lady who is pretty athletic despite her age, not only is she slim and fit but then she swims pretty well. To cut a long story short, I'd say that she inspires me because she learnt to swim a little bit late in life which is... inspiring.

On my way to the class I held my phone in my hand and the thought struck me about how mobile phones have evolved with time since I started using them. And to think of it the evolution was actually pretty fast year after year, we discovered entirely different phones from the last year's lot : Today I have a mobile phone that's capable of doing pretty much everything and more, just like the laptop computer I had about 7 years ago : The accuracy of the GPS, the quality of the pictures taken by the mobile phone camera, the surfing experience, etc... I mean with an app, my phone can detect a song playing and then go online to find information on that song and the deliver that information to me seemlessly. Talk about evolution !

My class went on fine and I was able to start swimming on my back. but I had a tube like floater which helped me to stay afloat. The technique is this : I hold on to the floater, then I "lie down" on the water gently so that I don't get water in my mouth or nose - I found out that it was better to close my mouth and just breath through my nose. While lying down, I start flapping my legs rapidly but with little amplitude which means that I was just making small strides with my legs and I saw myself floating and I don't need to tell you how much I was glad about this little ;) step in the right direction.

Today I don't know why but coming across an interview of a e-commerce owner, I got to learn about a web application for e-commerce called prestashop and I decided to check it out. For now I've installed EasyPHP which is combination of software that's necessary to start up a web application. It includes a web server software (Apache), a database server (MySQL), and a scripting laguage (PHP). These three tools are necessary to host a fonctional web application (or web site if you wish). So after installing these this combination, that's popularly know as AMP (Apache, MySQL and PHP) - on Windows Operating systems, it's called WAMP, which acts acts as the "foundation" of your web application/web site, we can now install the e-commerce application. I 'll let you know how that goes but for now I'll just be "playing" around with these new tool. Wish me luck.

P.S : I haven't forgotten about ruby

mercredi 14 octobre 2015

RUBY - The end of tryruby

Yesterday I was finally able to complete the eye-opener course on and let's say that even though I'm not exactly proficient in coding, I now know that there are variables, methods and arrays in ruby. I also know that you can access files on your desktop or even on the internet using ruby and then you can display or modify these files.

The next step is studying using the poignant-guide to ruby. The tryruby course actually links to it.

And so far the course has been mostly about the same things that I've seen in the tryruby course but what makes this course interesting is the fact that the author has these comic characters all over the book and they take your mind away from the "work" you're doing learning ruby. It's a new way to write a book, especially a programming book but it's pretty nice.

dimanche 11 octobre 2015

RUBY - Here we go

So rails study started : I did a bit of "checking out the water" on and I was basically just following the exercises. The site gives you a first experience and makes you believe that coding is not that hard... well we'll see.

I looked around for videos on youtube and this one got to me. In about 15 minutes and even less, a blog type website was made by David Heinemeier Hansson - The ruby on rails creator - using... well, ruby on rails :D (Actually it took 15 minutes because he used something called a scaffold - which are basically code generators that make your life easier.

Today I'll finish up the exercises on the tryruby website and then dive into the rails tutorial.

Wish me luck !

samedi 10 octobre 2015

RUBY - A date with ruby (learning ruby on rails)

I've been meaning to get into some programming for a little while (only aboout 10 years :D) but I've never seemed to be able to get to it.

Firstly it was me not seeing what I would want to do even if I learnt how to program. Then it was me being afraid of the whole programming thing especially when I'd see source code that went on and on and on...

So now I've decided to just do it and take one day at a time learning a little each day.

A video on youtube... two videos actually, suggested that I keep track of the steps I take in order to learn and also take note of difficulties and how I solved them eventually.

For now I'm going to read a lot of material and watch videos on ruby programming, later on I will move on to rails and then get to learning javascript.

Is this the best way to go at it ? I don't know. We'll see how this goes eventually...

vendredi 9 octobre 2015

SWIM - The deep end

12:00 pm and I arrived at the swimming pool only to be told that the teacher hadn't arrived.

5 minutes later he called to say that he would be 15 minutes and thus arrive at 12:15.

I was told that I would be the only male in the class with a number of elderly ladies; probably women with their own businesses or maybe they had rich husbands and thus had free time and money to come for swimming lessons.

I went to the locker romm where I took off my clothes in order to change into my swimming trunk. I also had to take a shower before I could get into the water.

The teacher told me to get in the pool, whose shallow end was 2m deep, and then figure out a way not to drown.

And thus begun my first swimming lesson...

samedi 16 mai 2015

Gfunc and CL

On wednesday, like most wednesdays, I went to church.

A lady, about my age, from a far away church has come to visit our town. She's quite talented : plays the guitar, plays the piano,flies airplanes and she sings too (The singing could have been implied, right ?).

So there I was in church... on wednesday, with this guitar that I have (notice that I didn't say MY guitar ?), trying to learn what a guitar was with the lady that's visiting, let's call her CL. After trying for about 5 hours a while, CL finally figured out that I wasn't exactly BB king (RIP) so she asked me to sing instead because she had heard when I mistakenly started humming to a song she was playing on HER guitar.

Hesitant at first, but after a while, I too started to enjoy the singing. The sound of the guitar made the song sound so much better than it actually was. She then went to get the keyboard and THEN was she was happy, few songs later and when I tried to sing one in her native language, she looked like she wanted to jump up and kiss me... a holy kiss of course, which she didn't do (*just so there's no misunderstanding)

She reminded me of good memories, days when I really enjoyed singing, I probably still do but times have changed.

Thank you CL for taking me back to a place I once knew :)