Can ActiveRecord use native database functions?

Rails 2.3.2

I am using a legacy database (mysql) I cannot alter. I am converting a legacy app to rails.

In it's SQL, the legacy app uses the native mysql function 'now()' all over the place,

I need to reproduce this behavior. (there will still be other legacy apps using the same db) (yes, I know it's bad to rely on built in database functions, that decision is out of my hands)

example:          UPDATE table_common          SET keyword = #{kw},                          upd_by = #{uid},                          upd_date = now()          WHERE pkid = #{id}

Ideally, I would like to do something like this: (use the native mysql function now()) {;keyword => kw, :upd_date => now()} )

which of course doesn't work.

Is there a way to do this using ActiveRecord?

I need my update's (create/insert's, etc) timestamp's to go off of the database server time, not the host the rails app is on, I cant just do this: {;keyword => kw, :upd_date =>} )

That will use the time of the host that I am on not my remote database time.

My database is on a remote host and (unfortunately) I can not make any assumptions about time/timezone, time sync, etc of my rails hosts (webservers) of my mysql servers, I need to just rely on the time of my mysql hosts for all database queries times.

I know I can set timestamp/datestamp fields to auto update in rails with ActiveRecord::Timestamp (touch) but that method still uses, (see current_time_from_proper_timezone)       def current_time_from_proper_timezone         self.class.default_timezone == :utc ? :       end

Currently I am just using the low level ActiveRecord::Base.connection.update(sql) which works but misses out on all ActiveRecords helpful features.