I got a new toy for Christmas!(A super huge thank-you to you know who you are). It's a camera flash - SB-600. I'm really excited - I think it is going to open up a whole new world of photo fun.
I've been lurking over at strobist.com for while now (site, flickr). It's a blog about off-camera flash run by this awesome guy David Hobby. The reason he is so awesome is because has taken the time to extensively write about how to use cameras and flashes, all from the goodness of his heart. He gives this info away free on his blog. If you have any interest in learning about non-studio lighting you need to head over there and read up. If he ever does a seminar near me, I'll be the first in line to buy a ticket.
Anyways - now that I have a flash, I'm hoping to work my way through his Lighting 101 and Boot Camp series of assignments. Look for more photos here in the near future.
But in the mean-time, while I'm learning and gathering more equipment (I'm looking at this as an addition to the flash), I'm going to practice on my cats. They don't seem as adverse to the flash as I had anticipated. This is good but I may have to get my good wife to take a look at their eyes periodically to make sure I'm not burning out their retinas.