moving on - and thanks to my man obama for giving us taxpayers a break - my refund check, which was originally supposed to be $71, arrived to the tune of $471.
instead of being practical and setting it aside to pay bills, i made the executive decision to pick up a new camera. so voila! here's the olympus PEN E-PL1, which is a 12.3 megapixel interchangeable lens camera in the micro four-thirds format. it's a step up from the point & shoots but without the bulk of a DSLR, so call it the best of both worlds...
and here are the first photos i took in my backyard earlier today: