RoR way to handle 2 situations

1) You are designing a database table for "Event" that has a
"recurrence" field. This field should be an integer in the set 0, 1, 2
meaning "daily", "weekly", and "monthly" respectively. Is the preferred
method to link to a lookup table, or to restrict the possible values
somehow?

Another way to do it may be to use integer values for 1, 7, and 30, but then months aren't all 30 days apart :(. I think the issue of whether or not to use a lookup table is if you might have other apps look at the database and want to get the value. I suspect I'd go with the lookup table just to keep it all consistent (in the db).

2) You have designing a database table for "Person" that has an optional
"birthday" field (you might not know the person's birthday). How can
you indicate whether it is valid or not? Is the preferred method to add
a "isValid" field, or to have another "Birthday" table that may or may
not be linked in?

If birthday is NULL then it's invalid/unknown. Otherwise that is their birthday. Also, I'd suggest using their birth *date* so you can calculate how old they are as well. Perhaps "born_on".

-philip