My mother has her car back. All the dashboard lights going on and the engine shutting off was all traced back to some simple common problem in which a sensor inside some thing detected something that wasn't good-looking and so it all shut down rather than let something grow into a problem that was actually serious. I'm sorry to be so brutally detailed in reporting just what was wrong, but the important things are that it's really nice to have a car that's under warranty and with a dealer that loans out nice new-model replacement cars while yours is being serviced. And I'm sure that my father enjoyed it as well since there are few things he likes quite so much as bringing a car up to be repaired or getting it back from servicing.
In extruded office product news: I came down with the call that we were ordering in Chinese to place my order and found three long rolls of paper towels hanging from the acoustic-tile ceiling there. My first thought naturally was that there had been some strange leak of vegetable oil or something less likely and this was put up for a nice dramatic form of leak containment. No, it was just they had drawn some Halloween-themed pictures on the other side and were hanging them as banners. The guy with the official order sheet of paper and menu was behind, and when the woman sitting next to her advised me to watch the curtain he said, ``Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!''
My response was naturally to say, ``What?'' So he repeated the warning, and I said, ``Huh?''
With my attempt to be funny thoroughly backfired, they explained what movie they were quoting. My intelligence estimate took another hit, I suppose, as I examined the back of the paper towel banners to see if anything was drawn on them, even though I had specifically seen that side when I came down the stairs and didn't see any drawings there which lead to my vegetable oil speculation in the first place.
Trivia: The eleventh month of the Babylonian calendar was Shabatu. Source: Mapping Time: The Calendar and its History, EG Richards.
Currently Reading: How The Scots Invented The Modern World, Arthur Herman.