For Christmas this year I got a new 600W Power supply for my main computer at home. It’s so much better than the other one and makes much less noise. There is also no more ripple sound effect that the previous one had. I did however take the old power supply and rig it into my multimedia computer as the power supply I had for it was malfunctioning. So now both computers have the juice they need and are working good.
By now, most everyone should be getting their Christmas DVDs in the mail. I know its not the best production in the world, but hey, where is the feedback? 🙂
Yesterday, we finally received the picture order for our 2006 Christmas Card mailers. Its a nice casual Christmas picture of our family on a glossy 4×6 with our new address and cell phone numbers on them. I have been waiting for about 2 weeks to get these, which is why we will be mailing them out late. Better late than enver! We are mailing them out to 3 families today or tomorrow, and sending a bunch to my mom to distribute. Its not as good of a video as I was hoping, but I’m sure people will still enjoy it.
Today was Sarah’s first day back to school after the long holiday break. I took off the two work days before the Christmas weekend and then had a long New Years weekend. We got to spend a lot of time together as a family and did a lot of different things. We had a nice Christmas at home and went to a friend’s house for New Years. Saturday before New Years we had some people over and played a game and let our kids play. I get spoiled with times like that. We get used to being together again as a family and then have a hard time adjusting to a schedule again, where Sarah is off to School, and Liz has her things that she does and life just gets hectic! I don’t think we are the kind of family mentioned in that Christmas song that says “And mom and dad can hardly wait for school to start again”. We love being together and when we are not, we miss each other. When I get home from work, my little Abby says, “Daddy, I missed you at work”. They come running up to me for a hug as soon as I walk in the door. Those are the kinds of things that make life fulfilling.
Abby loves balloons, so much so that I thought it would make a great Christmas present to give her a hellium balloon kit for Christmas. She is so cute, to watch her carry around a balloon all day tied to her wrist. I broke down and gave Sarah another bolloon last night since she popped her first one seconds after I gave it to her. Abby got a new one as well, since they only seem to last 2 days or so at best. I think we are going to try to get some mylar balloons which might last longer and are safer in general for little kids. I found out last night that the tank holding the helium is not refillable, its a single use tank. So I’ll have to get another one if we run out of gas! I going to search online and try to find a better way to get hellium for balloons for Abby. They just arent’t as much fun if they don’t float.
Much to our delight, the Christmas video for 2006 is complete!!! I was up until 11:30 last night encoding the last of the video and rendering the DVD menu. This is the second annual video we have done and its still a learning curve. I thought things would be a bit more smoothly, but we did run into a few snags. The girls weren’t the most cooperative and we waited until way too late to really do it up the way I had wanted. I did come up with a few last minute ideas that I think made it nice, but its up to the audience to decice. I have 7 separate video sections on this DVD. Aside from the main movie, I added a bloopers section, special features which include auditions with the girls beforehand, and there is a deleted scenes section as well. For a final touch I added a slideshow containing some of the best pictures of 2006. After reviewing the final product, there are many things I would change and improve, but I just don’t have time. I think it came out good and its another step in learning all the software and video techniques. I hope that year to year they will get better and better. The video is sometimes sudden in starting and stopping, which is something I plan to correct next year. The slideshow has some blurry pictures in it, but hey, we have so many pictures, you try to sort through all of them and not go crazy. I also used some new software this year to compile the video, and was able to create a nice DVD menu. I was pleased to find out that the DVD works great, the whole project turned out fairly well and we have time to mail it out to people before Christmas. If I had more time I might be more concerned about it and spend more time tweaking the scenes and correcting a few things, but I’m sure whoever watches it will like it just fine. This year, I show two new additions to our family in the video, Michael of course, but also two nice scenes of my Miata!!!
Sorry to say that so far there has been little to no progress on the churchgang.us website re-design. I’ve been totally consumed with the Christmas video and various things going on lately and just haven’t had any time to work on it. Not to mention it took Liz days to finally get back with me on something I could use for a graphic on the site. And I didn’t like it so we have to re-do that too. I am setting a goal of Jan 31st to have the site completely done and switched over to the new layout. It just takes time and work.