Sunday, January 6, 2008

Santa Visits Twice this Year

First off, I hope everyone had a great Christmas. On my side of things, Santa was nice enough to visit me twice this year. The first time was of course on December 25th. The second time was just the other day (more on this below).

I was up in Canada with Carol for Christmas this year. We got to drive up to Kamploops, with my parents, on the 22nd to visit my aunt and uncle that had moved up there from Vancouver. The drive was just as snowy as one might expect for the B.C. interior in winter; but with the new snow tires my dad had put on the car, things worked out really well. We certainly weren't ever in a position where we were having any troubles staying on the road. While we were in Kamloops we also got to stop by my cousin Sandy's place to visit with her, her husband Dan, and their three kids; Emily, Rachel and Julia. It was a great trip. I'm really glad we had the chance to get out of town for a bit and see some family. When you live a long ways away from family like I do now, it's extra special when you get the chance to re-connect with people.

We got to spend Christmas morning with Christy and Rich this year. Not a huge get together, but it was great to see the two of them out at my parents place for the morning.

Santa was very good to me this year. I'd been thinking about buying a new TV for a while. Now that I'm not riding my bike 10 to 15 hours per week, I've got more time on my hands to watch movies, play computer games, etc. Having my old school 32" display was starting to get to be a little much. Also, my old TV was definitely starting to get towards the end of its days. Prior to leaving for Christmas I nearly bought a Samsung 4661 (46" LCD 1080P TV), but by the time I was starting to get serious about buying one, they weren't on sale any more and it was also time to fly up to Canada. When I got back I started watching the prices again.

One thing I learned when I started looking for an LCD, was that the 120 Hz displays are noticeably nicer than the 60 Hz displays. Don't get me wrong, a 60 Hz display like the 4661 is really nice, but the 120 Hz models look even better. Friday night I finally decided I was going to make the big splash and headed down to Fry's armed with some pricing. In the end I was able to get a great deal on a Samsung 4671, which is again 46 inches, but is also a 120 Hz model. So I'm now the proud owner of a beautiful new TV:

As happy as I am, I think my entertainment center is even happier. Back when I bought the long, low profile entertainment center, I did it with the idea of putting a large TV on it one day. It waited 3 years or so to finally get a TV it could be proud to hold and that day has finally arrived.

One of my motivations for buying a large LCD was so that I could use it as my computer monitor if I wanted to. Christy was nice enough to give me a wireless keyboard and optical mouse for Christmas, so now I'm able to sit on my couch and surf the web on my TV. I can also play computer games on my TV, which is pretty darn cool. I've also been watching some of the DVDs I got for Christmas. Movies are a whole new experience with this display. I'm not sure I could ever go back to my 32" display again.

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