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.

downloads, testing, net, aspnet, build comments edit

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.)

General Ramblings comments edit

It’s 2006 now, a new year and a new opportunity to, um, make resolutions we won’t keep and lose weight that we’ll gain back over the end of year holiday season.

New Year’s Eve found us at Jason and Tracy’s house, as usual, though with a significantly smaller crowd than we normally see over there. Not to worry, much fun was still had by all with a rousing round of Catch Phrase played in a sort of teamless, group way that we made up on the fly. Lots of fun and I hope to repeat that with an even larger group.

Stu and Tif were there to enjoy the festivities, and when the ball dropped in New York (adjusted, of course, for west coast time) at midnight, we called Stu’s parents in England to wake them up and yell “Happy New Year” in a sort of eight-hour-delayed fashion.

The party wound down at about 3:30a and we were home in bed by 4:00a. A late night (I’m surprised Jenn made it) but a fun one.

The next morning, Stu, Tiff, Jenn, and I went to breakfast at Shari’s (at noon). That seems to be a regular thing after a party night - all of us getting up and going to breakfast. It puts a nice cap on the festivities, setting you off on the right foot again. We were IHOP people, but it seems that the IHOP near us is really busy whenever we want to go and Shari’s gets us in a little quicker, so Shari’s it is.

I made the most of the day by putting up some shelves in this closet in the spare room. We keep our board games in the top of the closet and it was getting a bit unruly with them all being stacked on top of each other - if you wanted the game on the bottom, you had a task ahead of you. Instead of fighting that, I figured we should put some shelves in. So I went to Home Depot and bought all of the stuff to put modular closet organizer shelves into the top of the closet. Here’s how it turned out:

The shelving in the game room goes

Not bad, huh? I thought it would go up a little faster than it did (it took a couple of hours instead of the half hour I originally estimated) but I had drill problems (battery charger’s dead) as well as incorrect length wall anchors (I needed 4” anchors; I had 2” anchors). No biggie, though, and the shelves are great. Not cheap, but great. I may have to put some more shelves in that closet for the rest of the crap in there.

Today is clean-up day around the house. Last day of vacation before heading back to work tomorrow, too. Best make the most of it.

Happy New Year, everyone!