It's official: I have a touring bike! Well, mostly.
The local bike shop does builds with used components, and I had a bunch of parts lying around. They put a cyclocross frame together with a steel fork, strapped on some new cranks and a new cassette, bolted my parts to it, and gave it back. All that leaves for me to get are a couple fenders, a pannier rack, and some panniers. With all that, I'll be kitted out for routing, or just commuting more comfortably.
The whole package was well worth the $500, since it comes with much higher-end components than I would have otherwise gotten. The only downsides: the shifters are a tad abused -- one of them came from me -- and the fork is actually very very very very very dark green.
Indeed, as seen in the above setup, my first real ride on it was on a trainer. The weather promptly turned rainy, and I wanted to give the whole thing a test without having to clean the bike after 12 hours in my house.