The day after I called Dell and they diagnosed the motherboard problem, a local techie was here to replace it. Yes, the next day! Dell overnighted the parts (and a few extras), and by 4 p.m. THE NEXT DAY I had a working computer. Did I mention they had it fixed the next day? It has taken me a few days to reload everything and get back up and running, but I couldn't have been more pleased with the response from Dell (once I got to a human, of course -- negotiating the automated answerer tried my patience a tad).
The most frustrating thing so far has been the loss of my saved data from the World of Goo, a funny, odd, and addicting game I can't stop playing (if anyone else reading plays World of Goo, I lost a saved game where I had completed the Tower of Goo! Oh horrors!). I have since regained and surpassed my previous place in the game, so I can now put it all behind me.
A few nights ago, John and I, and our friend Digby went to dinner at a restaurant in Onalaska on Lake Livingston. Good food, good conversation, and a wonderful sunset ensued. We'll try for a repeat sometime before we leave.
Here's the sunset: