Thanks for the wishes, everyone, getting presents is so much fun
vaknitter, you're right the slicer sounds great! I read up the literature that came with it and some reviews. Can't wait to use it to make dinner tonight (that reminds me gotta go cook instead of surfing)
cookworm, if you like lace you really should buy the book. The photography is beautiful and like dustinac said the hard part is choosing what to try first. Most patterns are for intermediate or experienced lace knitters, so it'll be a while before I can make an entire project.
congrats on the digi cam, jeanie!