Untar archive contents directly into a target folder

In my Mercurial-based workflow for updating Drupal sites, there is a sequence of commands I need whenever a new version of Drupal comes out. I have a hard time remembering the options for “tar” in this sequence — and my original source for the instructions differs from what I need to do on my Web host — so I need to help my memory. The tar command, as constructed below, places its output into the specified destination directory.

Here it is, with tar’s “—strip-path=1” and “-C” options:

$ cd path/to/repository/parent/directory
$ curl -O http://ftp.drupal.org/files/projects/drupal-5.12.tar.gz
$ tar --strip-path=1 -C drupal_source -zxv -f drupal-5.12.tar.gz