My wife is always amazed at the things I purchase when I go to the grocery store. I'm just the sort of guy to see an end-aisle display and say -- "Ooh... beef jerky!" or "Wow, I've always wanted a 5 gallon jug of pickles!". Inevitably I'll bring home my prize, Emily will look at me and shake her head, and the food eventually gets tossed when I realize there's not a chance I'll ever eat it. I was certain this time would be different though.
A few weeks back I was walking through the grocery store and said -- "Oh, look honey! Pizza Lunchables with pepperoni flavored sausage!" For those of you unfamiliar with lunchables, it's basically the type of food that parents send with their elementary school aged kids for lunch. This particular lunchable was made up of small (about 2 inch diameter) pizza crusts, some mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, a butterfingers candy bar (a really small one), a CapriSun fruit juice, and a small, mysterious package labeled "Poppin Packet". This evening my wife isn't around for dinner so I figured I'd just have a snack instead of going to the trouble to cook the frozen pizza we had in the freezer. Me being the grown adult that I am I carefully inspected the lunchables box -- looking for some indication of exactly how I was supposed to eat the darned thing. The only instructions on the box say:
- Tear pouch open.
- Pour on food.
As best as I could tell there were more steps than that, but unfortunately I didn't have a small child around to interpret for me. I took out a crust, added tomato sauce, cheese, and the pepperoni-flavored sausage. The only thing left was the contents of the "Poppin Packet". Looked a bit like Parmesan cheese or some other sort of flavoring. (Yes, it should be quite obvious at this point that I don't have any kids). So, after a brief pause I sprinkled some of the contents of the packet on my pizza, and took a bite. Much to my surprise, the contents of the packet were pop rocks (remember those?)! Small explosions started taking place in my mouth almost instantly! If someone had been there to see me my face would have been quite red from embarrassment I'm sure. I guess they must have been for dessert... except -- when I more carefully inspected the lunchables box I noticed a drawing of a pizza with exploding crumbles sprinkled all over it. Do kids really eat that crap??? All I know is I gave up and went to the trouble of cooking a frozen pizza. Even after that I've still got the taste of those stupid poppers in my mouth!
So, what does this have to do with hardware verification? As it turns out absolutely nothing except sharing the story made for a good diversion from my next task of developing some training material to help a colleague who's a Vera expert come up to speed on Specman using the 10/100 Ethernet module on Opencores.org. More on that later.