This past Sunday was my birthday and I celebrated it by sitting in the freezing cold with my girlfiend and dad at the Cincinnati Bengals game and then coming home to nap and watch football the rest of the evening.  Is that what living is about?

I have an odd perspective on birthdays and holidays in that I generally don’t get too worked up about them.  I am considered a “scrooge” through out most of my family and friends though I don’t think I really that bad; just not ‘peppy’ like the others.  I do enjoy many parts of the holidays but much of the commercialization of Christmas and nearly all other US holidays is just a shame in my opinion.  Oh well, nothing I can do will change that now really.

The end of last week consisted mainly of me traveling to Seattle to see our friends at Valve as they showed off their upcoming (some WAY upcoming) effects being added into the Source engine.  We got some cool screenshots as well as videos for you all to see inside my article on the subject

In general I am still just as busy as I was a couple of weeks ago, but now I have the added pressure of making sure I get everyone a gift that needs one and getting around to all the various cities to see all the people that need to be seen.  It can be quite a daunting task and with all the work continuing to pile up here in the office, it is something I am going to have a hard time balancing.  We have our X1800 CrossFire article coming up very soon (though how soon I don’t know yet) as well as articles on a couple of AMD processors, the NVIDIA mid-range 6800 GS GPU and the new integrated graphics NVIDIA chipset motherboards.  Jon has a review of the new XFX RAID controller set to go live this week that shows some interesting results. 

I recently purchased the new Sony HDR-HC1 video camcorder that records in 1080i (basically in HD) and so far have been very impressed with it and its quality.  Like all camcorders I have used, dark lighting makes it look like junk, but day light recordings outside are amazingly sharp when played back on our HDTV.   One negative thing this camera brought out was the fact that my personal PC was definitely lacking in the power department.  It takes a beefy PC to deal with these large, high-res video streams (each minute of video is about 200 MB) and my Athlon 64 3400+ in the work horse system just couldn’t keep up.  A new system with a Terabyte of storage is being put together behind me to take care of that once and for all. 

I’ll be staying busy through the holidays, but I hope everyone else gets a lot of time off to relax!  Have a great week!