1) That hand-metering trick works VERY well. I have used that before. I think I read somewhere that Joel Meyerwitz uses that when he does his street photography in NYC.
2) Grey Wolf, you are very profound. I always find that after I do something, re-reading about it fills in lots of blanks.
3) The thing that has been the hardest for me to learn and be comfortable with is mixing chemistry. There is a reason why I successfully dodged chemistry classes in high school. Any tips you have about handling, mixing, and considering chemistry would be most welcome here.