How to ditch AppleScript and use Ruby instead
Matt Neuburg has put together a great article full of examples of using Ruby and AppScript in place of AppleScript to script operations under OS X. I hadn't bothered to try these Ruby->OS X bridges yet, but I followed Matt's simple examples with amazement. It's so simple! Within two pages Matt moves on to using Ruby to instruct Microsoft Excel to produce a graph based on data provided from Ruby and it'll only take you up to ten minutes to read the whole thing and get that far. Excellent piece.
Matt seems to prefer to installing rb-appscript from source, but being a lazy-ass, I installed it in gem fashion with a simple sudo gem install rb-appscript. Your mileage may vary with this technique, but it worked for me.