Wowzers... Looks like I wrote this and forgot to publish it. Color me absent minded. Since then I have taken one large step in the right direction and purchased Lightroom 4! It is an absolute godsend. I've never been one to be terribly organized and it has helped a lot.
In any event, here's the rest of the entry as it was meant to be...
I discovered recently that I had a metric ton of rewards points from my bank from about 10 years of steady credit card use. I had been looking to streamline my work flow with shiny new software and gadgetry to take image making to the next level, but I just didn't have the money to start doing that.
Enter $250 Best Buy gift card! With this I got myself a nice new monitor. Previously I had been working on a 7 year old dell display, and the colors on the back of my camera (hell the colors on my phone) look better than they do on that monitor. In post processing lately (since my laptop screen went kaputska) I've just been sort guessing when it comes to correct white balance and color.
It was also way past time to get myself a new wireless mouse and keyboard. I am so happy with how this technology has improved over the years. I used to have this giant charging station/receiver thingy that had to plug into the computer and to the wall in order to signal the devices and recharge the mouse. Now? It's a tiny receiver that's smaller than a thumb drive that plugs right into the USB port.
With the leftovers I snagged a wi-fi router so that I can de-cordify my life a bit, and make it easier for a certain someone to use her laptop to write about our food adventures among other things :)
Hopefully sometime soon I'll get my hands on some extra cash (Gah! bills!) and be able to finish my workstation. Long term I'd like to be running a workflow through Lightroom 3 and CS 5 (expensive, even on e-bay) on a tower that I've built myself. If you know what you're doing, or aren't afraid to learn, building your own computer is absolutely the way to go.