After church I slept for maybe an hour, then got up again and went to my aunt and uncle's house for Christmas dinner. I was there until 4:15, at which point I took my leave and came home.
I flopped for a couple of hours; and when I'm done posting I'll be going back to bed.
With all the running around, with all the activities, with all the cleaning and preparation--I have been getting short sleep since Thursday, and the past couple of days have been even worse. I am pooped.
* * *
The Vivitar camcorder is going back, damn it.
...although it did record the entirety of the church service, there are numerous CLICKs and POPs in the audio track. Loud ones, loud enough to upset the automatic gain circuit in the mic preamp; so choir is merrily singing along and "Still, CRACK! Still, Still, It is the POP! eve of our Savior's bir-SNAP!
Etcetera. Despite it being on a tripod with no one touching it. I could see it from the choir box; no one went near the thing the entire time. I had heard similar noises when I was testing it out Friday night, but thought it had come from me handling it and such. Not so.
The video quality is abysmal. Okay, right, I don't expect broadcast quality video from a $50 camcorder; I'm not stupid or insane. But what I do expect--from a device which is touted to be "HD"!--is better quality than I can get from viewing a copy of a copy of a copy of an analog videotape made in 1985.
I had expected it to be perhaps on par with VHS-C, despite a vertical resolution of 720 lines. But this thing hasn't got the vertical resolution of an old analog NTSC tube camera. The stuff I did Friday night was not done in good light, so I assumed the video was crappy because of that. No: the blue flecks that I thought were low-light artifacts were present even in medium lighting. You need daylight to get rid of them.
Result: this thing does not do any of the things I need it to do, so it's going back and I'm more-or-less permanently soured on cheap camcorders. I'll just have to find some good replacement batteries (and blank tapes) for my two analog camcorders.
I spent some of my "not sleeping" time last night trying to convince myself that it was fine, that I didn't need to return the thing, but I couldn't. And then I realized that it's not a "I'll buy this, use it, and return it" scam anyway (regardless of what the clerk might think at the store) because these are legitimate issues that I have with the thing's performance. I didn't need "perfect" but I expected better than "poor", and got "Holy CRAP what a piece of--!". If the audio, at least, had been noise free--but it wasn't, and so it's going back.
It's such a shame, too, because it's a pretty cool device with plenty of nice features. The only problem is, the actual "video" part is junk.
* * *
I am about ready for Christmas to be over:
(Yes, it's another Christmas-themed home-brew Garfield Minus Garfield.)
I realized while relaxing in my rocking chair this evening that I've hardly listened to anything but Christmas music since the first week of December. I've been singing Christmas music in church and for choir, and listening to it on my MP3 player, and-and-and--
...and yeah, I'm about done with it for another year.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.