I spent part of my Sunday running through the woods shooting at friends and strangers.  The place: Outdoor Adventures Paintball.  The occasion was a friend’s 29th birthday.  Paintball has changed quite a bit since I first tried it as a sophomore in college.  There are college and professional leagues now (my alma mater apparently has quite a good team).  There are corporate sponsors.  They even have TV coverage on ESPN2 and the Versus network.

For novices like us, it was a great time.  We teamed up against a group of what looked like undergrads from the University of Maryland.  In three rounds of matches (3 games per match),  we won each 2 games to 1.  Usually it was by killing all of them off, but at least a couple of times we captured their flag and moved it all the way down the field.  The “center flag” variant of the game (one flag midfield that a team must capture and move forward through their opponents) was our least favorite.  We had a really long field for it in the second match, and our strategy didn’t work that well at first.  The one thing I would differently the next time is buy more ammunition.  Even though you have to pull the trigger for each shot, I ran out of ammunition before our third match was over.

Macbeth, Teller-style

I saw this production of Macbeth this afternoon with my friends Jen and Alban.  We were rewarded for our wait in the freezing cold (for standing room tickets) with actual seats for the show.  Thanks to Alban (I owe you big for this one), yours truly got a front row seat to the show.  Directed and produced in large part by Teller (of Penn & Teller), it was anything but your typical Shakespeare production (if there is such a thing).  I’m no aficionado of magic, but they pulled some incredible tricks in this show.  People appeared and disappeared before our eyes.  We saw fake blood which looked uncomfortably real.  I knew we were in for quite a ride when the show began with a Folger Shakespeare Library staffer stabbed through the back while reading us an announcement from the stage.  This doesn’t even include the excellent acting, the great fight choreography, the sound effects and percussion.

Upgraded to Leopard

I installed it last Wednesday. My first upgrade attempt failed, so I paid a visit to the Tyson’s Corner Apple Store to get some help from the Genius Bar. Apparently the DVD wasn’t clean or something (since the guy cleaned it off), because when I tried archive+install as recommended, there were no problems.  The next day, I picked up a 1TB Western Digital MyBook Home Edition at MicroCenter for $220 + tax so the Time Machine feature would have plenty of room to operate.  It’s definitely as cool as advertised.  I was impressed that when you plug in an unformatted drive, Leopard asks if you want to use for Time Machine.  I was pretty lax about my backups before, so this will be a huge help.

Changing Primary Keys from “int” to “uniqueidentifier”

I’m in the process of doing this for a project that uses Microsoft SQL Server.  One of the “gotchas” I came across was that once you’ve switched from “int” to “uniqueidentifier”, @@IDENTITY and SCOPE_IDENTITY references won’t work.  The second response in this thread pointed me in the right direction.  You have to call NEWID() in the context where you need it (and save the value) in order to be able to refer to it later.