I got my new passport today - in record time, I might add, so all those extra fees might have been worth it.
One thing that had slipped my mind, even though I do read Bruce Sterling's blog, is that all US passports issued after January 1st have "sensitive electronics" aka RFIDs in them. Mine was issued on January 3rd. So now I can go anywhere (except Cuba), and as an added bonus, Uncle Sam can track me everywhere, and anyone who hacks the passport can read all my sekrit details! Yay! I'm told it's a bad idea to microwave the passport to accidentally ruin the chip, so I'll buy it a lead bag, photographic films for the preserving of, and keep it in there.
It's a very nice passport with at least as much kerfufflry as the British one I had. Instead of scrolls and swirls and and Requests from Her Britannic Majesty and stuff, it has pictures of exceedingly noble, wise-looking eagles, quotes from Lincoln, the Star Bangled Spammer and some stuff from the Preamble of the Constitution or the Bill of Rights or something. (I've already forgotten . . . in lead bag out of sight, out of mind, I guess.)
They even remembered to send back my naturalization certificate, albeit after folding it in three with a sharp crease that's going to cause trouble in a few years. Still, you can't win 'em all. So, where shall I go on my nice new passport?