Friday, December 15, 2006

Last Minute Gifts

As deadlines approach (see post below) I will start to focus on last minute gift ideas. Given the nature of the last minute shopper we need all the help that we can get.

So share your last minute gift ideas in the comments section. We promise not to give you any gifts based on your ideas. Really.

Start commenting folks.

Holiday Shipping Deadlines Approach

Ok, for some of us the clock is really ticking. If your target day is Christmas then it gets trickier this year as the day falls on a Monday. So shipping deadlines are earlier, too (Amazon's standard shipping deadline for Christmas arrival is 12/18- for others you are already into the express delivery zone).

Dealhack provides detailed vendor info on shipping times. Very useful.

Or you can shop locally and ship it yourself-
FedEx Kinkos locations:
UPS Store locations:

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Stocking Stuffers: Emergency Cell Phone Chargers

You know them. It's that special person who never manages to charge their cell phone. Every conversation is punctuated with the warning beeps of a dying battery. Here are two products that come to their rescue:

Energizers's Energi-To (their spelling, not mine) uses two disposable batteries to give your phone a three to six hour charge. Your mileage may vary. The packaging is clearly labeled by phone type and allows you to match connectors with phone. You just have to steal your loved-one's phone and take it to the store. Learn more here.

The Sidewinder Cell Phone Charger is best placed in the glove compartment or emergency kit for just that: emergencies. Connect to your phone and crank for a couple of minutes and you will have a charge time measured in minutes. While it doesn't offer the long duration of the Energizer product this could be invaluable if your car is dead, power and phones or out, etc. and you need to make a quick call for help.

Either way, you are offering someone protection against on of the annoyances of 21st century life. Choose the right connector and your cell phone (over)user will get a charge out of this gift. Sorry.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Groovy Globes - not your average snow globe

Who wouldn't want this gift in their stocking? Ahnold not your style? Then visit and choose tourist flung from cable-car, hippies, or caffeinated Seattle-its.

Each globe has a bonus haiku.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Gift Idea - Headlamp

A few years ago I went on a couple's camping trip and, since I was employed at REI at the time, brought along a bunch of great gear. We camped among the redwoods and experienced early twilight thanks to the sheltering giants around us.

Dinnertime rolled around and it was time for me to fire up the stove. To keep my hands free for food prep I wore a headlamp. It's like putting on a pair of old jeans to me but generated laughter from my fellow car campers. But not for long. By the time the pasta water was boiling folks were lining up to borrow my headlamp as they searched dark tents for odds and ends.

And everyone wanted one when they made the long walk to the darkened restrooms.

Headlamps aren't just for campers. Great for the home improvement type, late night book lover, or anyone who has tried to hold a flashlight in their mouth during a blackout. Especially good for new parents staggering around while they warm a bottle without waking up the rest of the house.

The Petzl Tikka Plus is my current favorite. I've owned this one for three years and its great battery life, adjustable brightness and comfortable fit make it perfect. Its little sibling, the Tikka, is another great choice.

Gift of Survival Gear

Here in California we are constantly reminded of the need to prepare for earthquakes, floods, fires...let's just say that we aren't as prepared as we should be.

Adventure Medical makes high quality first aid and survival gear. Here are some highlights:

Pocket Survival Pak- small enough for purse, backpack or glove compartment, this small kit provides the basics needed to help you in staying found and remaining comfortable.

Heatsheet Survival Blanket is the perfect complement to the Survival Pak. This durable blanket reflects the wearer's body heat inward reducing the risk of injury due to exposure.

REI offers the Lifeline Two Person Survival Kit- provides relief for two people in an emergency situation with its first adi items, warmth and safety supplies, plus food and water.

If you want to create your own gift of survival here are some resources to help your get started:

California Office of Emergency Services Emergency Checklist

That's right folks - you need to be ready to take care of yourself and those around you for a minimum of three days. This gift idea is appropriate for families, young folks, college students, seniors and active retirees.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Baby gifts for parents with a sense of humor

Ok, let's be clear. The creations available at are for parents who weather the baby and toddler years with a sense of humor. Not for the cutesy set.

I discovered this site when my son was born. The company was started by parents looking for outfits that fit their parenting philsophy ("Laugh."). Check out their great baby shower package.

Baby and toddler wear along with accessories. Great graphics.

Clothing to help you and yours through the holidaze

Wear a Mirrormeteez shirt and get a positive boost everytime you look in the mirror.

Never settle, no excuses, respect yourself...good year round but especially helpful when you are facing mall crowds.

Contributed by a visitor - thank you!

Flipbook stocking stuffer

For only $6.99 you can convert your video into a portable, eco-friendly media player.

It's called a flipbook, folks. Mine are already on order.

How does it work?

1. Visit
2. Upload your video.
3. Choose the book of your choice and order away.

Check out the website for a video demo.

This makes a great stocking stuffer, creative intivitation, party favor or unique way to propose marriage. Surely you can think of even more ideas.

Order by December 18th to guarantee delivery by the 22nd by express mail.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Self-portrait tripod from

The folks at have an interesting new twist on the traditional tripod. If you like what you seen you must make your purchase by December 8th to get their special gizmodo deal.
I have three on order.

The Quikpod extends your arm so that you can take natural looking self-portraits capturing your forehead. The special deal give your $4.95 off the Pro Kit that converts your Quikpod into a standard tripod. All this for $25 plu shipping.

To get the special deal visit and search for gizmodo or follow this link:

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Kid Friendly Digital Camera - Tough, Great Product

My three year old received a Fisher Price Digital Camera for his birthday last week. The reviews on this product gave high ratings so we thought it was worth a shot. The results have been wonderful.

But let's talk about the camera first. Available in blue or pink, the camera is housed in a rubberized, two grip body. The knobby grips reduce accidental dropping. Of course, Tyler dropped his on purpose with no apparent harm (your results may vary). With only five buttons to choose from he quickly put the camera to work with almost no instruction from me.

You can tell that Fisher-Price devoted energy into the design of this camera. The binoncular viewfinder allows kids to keep both eyes open when they take the shot. A small LCD screen on the back can be used to frame the photo but it lacks resolution.

Quality of images: fine for 4x6 photos. Bright sun leads to overexposure but otherwise the exposure is good. Flash fires automatically and the delay between photos is reasonable.

The camera held about 60 photos in its built-in memory. If this isn't enough then you can add an SD card and let your little Ansel Adams capture as many images as they desire.
Online retailers are already indicated low stock on this camera - for less than $70 it makes sense. Amazon and Walmart have it in stock -act fast.

Wildly Popular Remote Control Airplane for $30 - order RIGHT now

Trust me - if you already think this is a good idea don't wait and click here to order from Toys R Us. Or keep reading.

The Spinmaster Aero Ace has developed a cult following online through enthusiastic reviews and a growing YouTube presence. The plane is easy to fly and takes a fair amount of abuse. Controls are simple and a flight time of around 10 minutes is great.

I scoured the web and couldn't find it in stock anywhere. Toys R Us has one model in stock right here. Given the attention that they have received some enterprising folks are selling them for over $50 on eBay.