Try as we might, Scott and I could not get the new rack and basket to attach safely to my bike last night. Scott tried using the extender arms that worked with my old rack for the new one but the arms shifted every time we put weight in the basket and caused the rack to drop onto the rear tire. Very much not good. We called REI -- where I'd purchased the rack and basket on Sunday -- and asked if they'd be able to attach everything for us. No problem!
Scott chatted with the bike guy while I perused the bike shorts. I tried on a few different styles and brands and discovered that I am merely a "large" in the padded bike short world. As much as I dislike vanity sizing, I was still a bit bouncy over that discovery. Granted, I'm not comfortable with wearing those shorts on their own, but they'll work just fine underneath the shorts I usually wear while riding.
As for the bike and rack themselves, the bike guy had to open up the holes on the rack to accommodate a larger screw and used a smaller bolt than what Scott had on hand to keep the assembly from hitting the bike chain and gears. Everything fits and works and is safe and I couldn't be more pleased. We'll take our test spin tomorrow night -- tonight is choir for me and fight practice for him -- and then I'll be ready to commute by bike on Friday. Words fail me to express how very excited about this I am.