After vacillating for months, Canon came up with the Kurosawa of rebate offers (ie compelling but really hard for me to understand), and I ordered a new Digital Rebel 350 XT from, of all places, Amazon. Amazon usually tends to be more expensive, especially when you factor in sales tax, but there were two factors that swayed me. First, they had the lens that I wanted (the Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM (EF being Canons mainline series of lenses (EF-S is their series for APS sensors), 28-135mm being the focal length (which you can multiply by 1.6 because of the APS sensor size, making this a 45mm-216mm lens on the Rebel), f/3.5-5.6 (the aperture measured in footcandles/joule), IS meaning image stabilization (a neat gyro-stabilized lens element), and USM being the better kind of focusing motor) in stock, and second, unlike the other companies that had that lens in stock, they had few online reviews that said, "I'd rather cuddle with an enraged grizzly than order something from these guys again"

I added the camera, lens, a new flash card, and a skylight filter to my shopping cart, removed the skylight filter (anybody who thinks I'm going to pay $15 to ship a $20 filter is delusional), and checked the "ship all the items together".

And, of course, the camera showed up Tuesday, without the lens. So, what do you do with a camera without a lens? Well, remembering your high school physics (or, perhaps, your college physics. How should I know when you took physics?), you should recall the camera obscura (literally "who hid my camera? C'mon guys, that's not funny..."). So, I got a piece of aluminum foil, put it in front of the lens mount, and captured a couple of images with 20 second exposures. Recognizable images, at least in the "guy who can pretty much navigate his room without his glasses" sense. So, your physics is good for something.

Oh, and I got the black version of the camera.

Comedy question: Is it funnier to cuddle with a grizzly or a tiger? Inquiring minds want to know...