General Ramblings comments edit

Friday night Jenn and I went over to my parents’ place to watch Mr. and Mrs. Smith (they hadn’t seen it yet) and to pick up the fourth season of MacGyver, which my mom got me.

The plan was originally to have Stu come over on Saturday and have a MacGyver marathon. Something came up and he wasn’t able to make it, but we all got together Saturday night at Stu and Tiff’s place to have some dinner (Stu made some tasty herb chicken and potatoes) and play games. The game of choice that night was Weapons and Warriors.

In this game, each team (Jenn and I, Stu and Tiff) sets up a castle that has all sorts of breakaway features (the windows break out, ramparts come off, etc.). Each person has a crossbow, catapult, or cannon that shoots these little red balls. The object is to shoot down the other team’s castle (actually, it’s to knock down the guys in the other team’s castle, but the goal is effectively the same).

I really don’t know if they should sell stuff like that to little kids. The whole thing got totally out of control - little red cannonballs flying everywhere, people getting shot in the neck (thanks, Tiff!)… and the castles (in some cases) are really too sturdy so it’s hard to knock them down from across the room. After one round, I went over to Stu and Tiff’s castle and had a rough time breaking one of the ramparts off by pushing on it with my finger.

Anyway, like I said, out of control. Tiff ended up finding one of the cannonballs in her school bag on Sunday when she went to her study group. Out of control, and far too much fun. Next time I might have to take some protective eyewear.

Sunday was the MacGyver marathon. Stu came over and we popped season four in. Apart from stopping to go get some pizza and soda, we made it nine episodes in before calling it a night. Tiff ended up joining us toward the end, and Jenn made some awesome Indian food from this cookbook we got a while ago (so the last episode was spent on the leading edge of a food coma).

All in all, a super successful weekend. Onward, to the week!

General Ramblings comments edit

Jenn and I have sort of settled into this “comfort zone” that requires we never go anywhere we haven’t already been or haven’t been recommended to by friends. The problem with that is that you never have any exciting adventures and nothing really new ever happens, which is, frankly, boring.

In an attempt to break that trend, and because we have one of those Entertainment coupon books, Friday night I decided to pull a coupon out for a place we’ve never been before and just go there regardless of how good or bad it was.

Since it was the first excursion, we chose a place not too far from home but, again, somewhere we’d never been - Maguffy’s Pub.

Maguffy’s is a pretty standard bar sort of thing. I think it used to be a pizza joint because I think I remember eating there at one point when it was, but I’m not sure. Anyway, it’s a fairly decent sized place with a couple of pool tables, a bar, and a few booths/tables for folks to eat at. It’s reasonably smoke-filled (which isn’t so great, in my opinion, and made my eyes burn) and the menu is mediocre bar-fare like chili dogs and nachos (which Jenn and I ordered, respectively).

We got there at about 8:00p or so, and long about 8:45p we were getting ready to pack up and go because it wasn’t too happening until this guy announces that “It’s 9:00 at Maguffy’s and it’s time for karaoke!”

Now, it wasn’t 9:00p, but Maguffy’s seems to have its clocks set ahead about 20 minutes, presumably so they can close on time. Interesting, but I digress.

Since it was karaoke time, we decided to stay and see what was up. Not too many people in there, so I didn’t think it would get all that great, but then this guy got up there and murdered the Eagles song “Hotel California” and I couldn’t leave - the entertainment value was too high.

I quickly messaged Stu and Tif on their phones to see if they could join us. Tiff had been begging to do karaoke with us for a while and this was the perfect opportunity. They busted on over and the party started.

Tiff sang a Dixie Chicks song and “Touch-a Touch-a Touch Me” from the Rocky Horror Picture Show. She even convinced Jenn to get up and do another Dixie Chicks song (“Sin Wagon”) with her. Stu, two Mike’s Hard Lemonades and half a pitcher of beer down, got up and sang Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Pride and Joy.” We were going to do a group run at David Lee Roth’s “Just A Gigolo” but we didn’t get the chance (the karaoke guy didn’t call us).

There were several other very entertaining folks there, but I think my favorite was this guy named Darren who seemed like the biggest geek ever but could really sing. He laid out “Sweet Transvestite” from the Rocky Horror Picture Show and the Stray Cats’ “Stray Cat Strut.” Both fantastic renditions.

We ended up leaving at like 1:00a. Our coupon was for buy one, get one free on dinner. Nachos, a chili dog, a pitcher of beer, an RC cola, two Mike’s Hard Lemonades, and a Rockstar Vodka later, and I came out of an excellent evening with a $12.25 tab. I’m wondering if something didn’t make it onto my check, but I didn’t actually see the tab, so I couldn’t say. I won’t look a gift horse in the mouth, though - that’s a super cheap evening of fun. Now I’m curious what the next adventure will be.

General Ramblings comments edit

I’ve been on allergy immunotherapy shots for about three years now to lower my susceptibility to dust, pollen, and animal allergic reaction. I went in yesterday to get tested and I’m finally done!

The doctor says it’s possible for symptoms to come back in three to five years, though, and if they do I need to go back on shots. That’s fine; not being bothered come grass season is the most awesome feeling ever. We never were able to get my skin tests down to zero reaction (except on animal allergens - I really improved there) but I can’t complain.

Minor detour/gripe: I was listening to the radio yesterday and heard a Tom Jones cover of the song “Black Betty.” Being a closet Tom Jones fan, I have several albums, but didn’t have this song. Turns out it’s on a greatest hits album. Not wanting the whole album (because I have all the songs from it on the other albums I own), I went to iTunes to see if I could just get the one song. They sell it as a “partial album” - every song except the two I don’t already have. So if I want it, I have to buy the whole album on CD. Lame, guys, really lame.

Testing ASP.NET web applications can be a painful process. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a unit testing framework that covered both the API and the web UI testing in an integrated fashion?

I put up a CodeProject article discussing how to integrate the NUnit test framework for API unit testing with the Ruby/Watir test framework for web UI testing so you can run all of your tests from one spot and see all the results aggregated. (Note: the test execution mechanism doesn’t actually involve NUnit proper, so it can be applied to other similar testing frameworks like the VS 2005 test suite - just use the VS 2005 test method/fixture attributes rather than the NUnit ones; no change to the Ruby/Watir test executor needed!)

NUnit and Ruby tests living side by

View the CodeProject Article

Download Paraesthesia.Test.Ruby Installer

Download Paraesthesia.Test.Ruby Source

Version History: First version with release of CodeProject article.

media comments edit

I’m planning on getting an XBox 360 in a month or so and I know the PS3 is coming out some time this year, which means I’m going to be hooking up some consoles to the TV downstairs (which is the only HD TV in the house). Only one problem: The TV only has one HD input left on it, so I need an A/V switcher that supports component video and digital audio.

Good luck with that one. I found a bunch at RAM Electronics (the Audio Authority 1154A was my favorite), but all are prohibitively expensive - I don’t want to pay $200+ for a stupid A/V switch.

Luckily I found the Score System Selector Pro 2.0 at the local game store. It has six inputs, all of which support component video and three of which support digital audio. And for $100! Can’t beat that. Guess I’ll have to pick one of those up come XBox 360 time. (Well, I might wait until PS3 time, just to see if some better switcher comes out on the market or that 1154A drops in price, but the System Selector Pro 2.0 is leading the pack right now.)