Given that I really only have one semi-real Ruby on Rails app on my machine I went ahead an threw caution to the wind and upgraded to the newest Rails 1.1.2. No problems until I ran my unit tests and got complete failures with messages like:
test_save_valid_order(StoreControllerTest): ActiveRecord::StatementInvalid: Mysql::Error: Lost connection to MySQL sever during query: DELETE from orders
I tried the obvious things like restarting MySQL, but no dice. A bit of hunting found a ticket entitled lost db connectivity after updating rails. That got me thinking it might be something with the MySQL drivers. At HiveLogic they had the following advice:
sudo gem install mysql -- --with-mysql-dir=/usr/local/mysql
Now all of my tests are running fine.