I was writing a simple script which was supposed to dump data from MySQL to a flat file with pipe delimited values.

The output was supposed to be in CP-1250 encoding, but somehow the transcoding failed, stating incorrect conversion from ASCII-8BIT, to UTF-8 then to the desired encoding… WTF is ASCII-8BIT?!?!

I was surprised, because when I analyzed the output before transcoding it was UTF-8 not ASCII-8BIT (whatever it is). 
After googling I learned what I was doing wrong – I was actually using an older gem called mysql and was supposed to be using mysql2 :)