Thanks to my wonderful family who all chipped in for a BIG Apple gift card for my birthday that allowed me to get my iPad today. In the true spirit of "if it's easy, it's not worth having" the iPad purchased turned into a one hour ordeal. There gift card system was down and popped up just as I was making my purchase and the salesman swiped the gift card and a visa gift card I had but couldn't swipe my Visa for the rest, so he cancelled the transaction but before he could do that the gift card system went down again. So now I had two gift cards with nothing on them. I kept my cool but inside I was freaking out. They were very nice at the El Paseo Valley Apple store and after it was all said and done they gave me a free iPad case (a $40 value).
Thanks to my exceptional girlfriend who continues to make every single one of my birthday's special and a special hug and kiss to my desert friends who are the best hosts on this planet.