My combined Federal and State income tax refunds will cover the cost of an iPod Shuffle and a Mac Mini. Whoo-hoo!

…and even as I type this, they’ve been ordered. I’m getting the 1 GB Shuffle, and the faster Mac Mini. I paid Apple to upgrade to the SuperDrive (DVD-burner) and double the standard memory (for a total of 512 MB of RAM). Don’t need wireless and I’ve got a Bluetooth adapter for the Mini.

Also ponied up the $79 for Apple’s new iWork suite (can you call two programs a “suite”? More like a “bundle”), mainly for Pages. From the reviews I’ve seen, Pages is more like a page-layout program like Adobe’s InDesign, than it is a word-processor. Coolio.

Sadly, the Apple Store is quoting a ship time of “3-4 weeks” for the two hardware items. I’m likely to get the actual refund (thanks to the miracle of electronic deposit) before the items that it’s paying for show up. Ain’t that a stinker?

At least I’ll have the iPod Shuffle in time for the Shamrock Run in mid-March. If there’s no delays, at any rate.