Thanks for the responses. Ok, yes I was wrong on my GN.. it is actually 55 ft. So that's good.
Also, I'm really much less interested in bounce flash. It seems like that has taken the majority of the conversation here when in reality I'm much more interested in direct flash, using it in my hand.
I'm curious about where to hold my hand and the effects I can create by having my flash available to move within a 3 ft. radius or so.
From what I'm gathering, I can comfortably use auto or manual in this case (not bounce). However, the same caveat's apply to normal flash use; dark subject - auto will overexpose, light subject - auto will underexpose. And the note of the GN applying to flash to subject distance is very important, especially if I'm working in close quarters.
I'm interested in what kind of unique lighting angles I can achieve with handheld flash. I think the most logical and aesthetically normal will be to place the flash up and to the left, at a 45° angle or so from the camera, but what about stranger things...
And what the heck, let's throw daylight fill flash into the equation. Honestly, this is something I've never done and could use a primer perhaps. My camera has a sync speed of 1/125th and it does not share the same automation as the A-series Canons I believe. It is designed for the earlier "CAT" system, but I'd much rather use the automatic function or just manual GN's.
Back in the olden days, you would test the flash by measuring off a given distance and making a series of exposures at different apertures.
Your subject would hold a card with the taking aperture on it