So the previously mentioned 3 months is just a guess? It is random? Like it could be "tomorrow" or "next December"? I am sorry if it is an idiot question... I am trying to figure all this out myself...

I started out joining a pool about a week ago myself. I have netted about a whole BitPenny so far... so, at the rate I am going, will have a whole BTC in about a year...

It could be the next minute, the next month or the next season

It's kind of lottery. The 3 months is the average for his case. If you use the calculator link at my previous post, you can see the probability of finding a block. Just fill in the difficulty and your Mhash/s.

Pool mining is completely different. If you join a pool you will receive constant smaller payments at a good rate (depending on the options you chose).

Example for a really fast machine (2Ghash or something...):

- If you mine solo you will find a block (50 BTC) every 50 days on average

- If you join a pool you will receive 1 BTC every day on average (minus the pool fees)

You can also use this calculator to find out how many bitcoins you will earn on average with your current hardware:

http://www.alloscomp.com/bitcoin/calculator.php