Yes, last night our family grew by two. Howard II finally arrived after being partially assembled in Indiana and sent by UPS Ground. I loaded Windows XP on it and it came to life. I loaded all the XP updates and such but still have to reinstall software. It is very very speedy and I am very happy about that. What was even better was removing 60lbs of monitors from my desk top for one nice widescreen monitor. The cats were sad about this as the old CRT's provided warm sleeping spots and perches for chasing the elusive screen bug that vexed them so. The only thing more frustrating than chasing the mouse on my screen is the !!$#@ laser pointer. However there is so much room on my desk now they will probably just sit right in front of the screen and attack the flat panel.
The second arrival was a 1995 Mazda Protege. This car for all intents and purposes is "Kt's Car". I think it will work out great for her and trim gas costs by half what they were with the Mercury. This will replace the Mercury which seems to have aquired a terminal injury of a blown gasket. She's leaking oil..and its leaking radiator fluid..So it runs enough so I can move it around but would not last long on the highway. I will sell it for parts. Again proving the value of American cars.
The Protege is a nice little car. It gets great gas mileage and is pretty zippy with its rockin 1.5 liter 90 horsepower engine. It actually has more leg room in the back seat than the jetta. It has "power assist" windows and locks. That is where you assist the windows up and down by applying elbow power to the the crank or by flipping the locks. it was owned by a NML employee who upgraded to a new Protege because his girlfriend told him too now that he had a real job (totally whipped already I'd say). He had a nice Amp, stereo, and speakers in it so Kt will like that at least. It has very hot heat and no air conditioning.
I told her that there's nothing guys like more than practical tiny commuter cars in a lovely shade of champagne. Now doesn't that sound sophisticated...a champagne Protege?
One car down. Sometime we will need to be ready to replace the BMW. I cannot even believe how that car holds together. It's like the energizer bunny car. If we can get through the winter with it, I will get the RX7 in shape and use that for the summer and put off until next fall a proper car replacement for the BMW.