...since the last time I wrote this.
(1) Christmas has passed--it was a good one, and I was lucky enough to find several gifts that seemed to really please the recipients, which is always a good thing. We also managed to donate more than 500 toys, books, etc., to Toys for Tots, which is also a good thing.
(2) I now have a Blu-Ray player. Didn't get it as a Christmas gift; I bought it myself when Amazon sent me a $100 off certificate, getting the price for this BD-Live capable unit to about $150.
(3) I almost bought an American car. Test drove a 2009 Enclave, which looked quite nice and seemed like it might be a replacement for the Sienna--but Capital Buick wanted to ultra-lowball the offer on the trade-in (75% the KBB/cars.com estimated trade-in value), so I walked. The situation wasn't helped by the fact that the test car they gave me to drive had a malfunction in the passenger seat belt module (yes, a new car with 7 miles on it already needed repairs). I started off talking to the folks at Carl Black Buick, but their way of doing business seems odd to me... the first visit, I couldn't even get the salesperson to give me a test drive; the second visit, he never could find the keys to the car I wanted and he was absolutely clueless about several features that interested me--and he wanted me to come back for at least one more visit before he'd look at the Sienna for trade-in, in spite of my asking twice that he do it now. Is this all SOP for American car dealers?
(4) I have now seen both Iron Man and The Dark Knight. Thought the former was the better superhero movie, although I enjoyed both. As for The Dark Knight--well, there wasn't enough Batman (too many gadgets, too little hero), and Heath Ledger's vaunted performance seemed pretty much like an actor just performing the part as written. And the film could have benefited from about 30 minutes of careful editing.
(5) I have once again experienced perfect peanut butter fudge. Susan made some for me as a Christmas gift, and it was just like the fudge Mom used to make. I'm rationing it out to make it last as long as possible.