Sounds easy, right? Wrong :(
Loading a picture has never been this painful in my life. It turns out, I can add the image to the stage (which for some reason is not respecting my skin, contentgroup, or vertical layout settings). Regardless, I can finally load any stored image via this "not-so" simple routine. One caveat I have is, I am downloading images in zip format, and using a utility to unpackage them into the storage directory in folders. originally I though that would be a problem, but it turns out, because I can update the file.nativePath with the new folder, this works just fine.
and in my showPic method: