Category Archives: guy gifts

James Bond Gifts for Dad

When I was kid, James Bond made me clean the basement.

My dad — a Bond movie fan and avid Ian Fleming reader — made 007 movies like Goldfinger our reward for the tough chores. After hours of housework, I’d see Sean Connery on The ABC Sunday Night Movie, edited for TV broadcast.

This Father’s Day, I gave Dad a trio of James Bond gifts.

What to Give on Towel Day, May 25

How do I know the world will not end today?

Simple — it’s not Thursday and I’m not clutching my “DON’T PANIC” towel.

You see, the world is supposed to end on a Thursday, demolished by the Vogons to make way for an intergalactic hyperspace bypass. Fans of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy know what I’m talking about. Douglas Adams wrote the hilarious Hitchhiker’s science fiction book series that I loved as a teen.

And if today truly were the End of Days, we’d all miss Towel Day on Wednesday, May 25, 2011. The 10th annual Towel Day honors the late author Douglas Adams and his books. Why a towel?

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy has a few things to say on the subject of towels. A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you – daft as a brush, but very very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.” — From The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Show your nerd cred with Towel Day gifts for Hitchhiker’s fans.

Father’s Day 2010

Happy Father’s Day! This year, the celebration of Dad turns 100 years old.

I gave my dad an even more established gift: a few bags of Eight O’Clock Coffee (100% Colombian Ground). This coffee brand has been perking up fathers for more than 150 years, and I know he likes it. Taste matters most for my dad, and Eight O’Clock bested other ground coffees (like Folgers, Maxwell House, and Starbucks) in a blind taste test by Consumer Reports in March 2009.

Now I could pair the coffee with a “World’s Greatest Dad” mug. But his style is more understated. Six months ago, we had brunch at the Cheesecake Factory, which serves coffee in elegant glass mugs. He really liked the mugs, so I picked out a set of four Bodum Bistro Double-Wall Insulated 10-Ounce Glass Mugs.

Give a Personalized License Plate

Is your car vanitized? Soon mine will be. I’m joining the nine million Americans sporting a vanity license plate on their vehicle, thanks to an MBA graduation gift from my wife.

However, this gift isn’t the easiest surprise to pull off. Most state agencies require a driver registered to the vehicle to apply for the personalized plate. If you are not jointly registered with your gift recipient as the car owner, you still can present your suggestions, write a check to cover fees and complete any paperwork. Maybe a few states will follow the example of Texas, which offers a vanity license plate gift card.

Select the U.S. state for your giftee to learn more about applying for a personalized plate.

Valentine’s Day 2010: 10 Gifts for Him

With Valentine’s Day three weeks away, it’s time to think outside of the chocolate box for guy gifts. Women may be tempted to give sentimental tokens on February 14, but most men prefer playful or practical gifts. (See the Seven Guidelines for Guy Gifts.) Consider these 10 guy gifts to celebrate Cupid’s big day.

Victorinox Swisscard. Arm your guy’s wallet with a credit-card-sized multi-tool. The SwissCard includes a letter opener, scissors, tweezers, a magnifying glass, 3mm and 5mm flat-head screwdrivers, two Phillips screwdrivers, a LED mini light and an integrated ruler ($20 from
Mr. Beer Premium Edition Home Microbrewery System. Have your Valentine home brew and bottle his own batch of beer. With just four steps, this kit is great introduction to the craft of beer making ($40 from
6-month Netflix Gift Subscription. Introduce your guy to Netflix (or extend his current subscription). He gets DVDs in the mail or he can instantly stream movies to computers, game consoles and other devices ($54 to $102 depending on the plan, from Netflix).
Buckyballs. Rolling Stone’s 2009 Toy of the Year. This set of 216 magnetic spheres can forms countless shapes. Give your Valentine this highly addictive gadget/puzzle ($26.31 from
Popcorn Palace. Send him a Valentine’s Day one-gallon tin filled with Chocolate Drizzle Caramel Corn and Gourmet White Cheddar Popcorn ($25 from Popcorn Palace).
Gigantic Sweet Hearts Fortune Cookie. Create your personalized fortune message in a Nerf-football-sized fortune cookie. This treat is dipped in chocolate and coated with candy hearts. I loved the cookie received as an eighth wedding anniversary gift ($30 from Good Fortunes).
Coffee Tote. Make sure he has java on his next junket. This black canvas tote holds a stainless steel vacuum flask for piping hot coffee, two insulated mugs, a small container for cream, two stainless spoons, and a napkin ($56 from Uncommon Goods).
Cricket Laptop Stand. Make life with his laptop easier with this ergonomic stand. The Cricket props up any laptop computer nine inches for more comfortable viewing ($40 from Relax the Back).
Slingbox PRO-HD. Set the TV free. Slingbox allows your guy to watch his DVR, cable or satellite TV on the go. This nifty device streams his favorite shows to a laptop or smart phone ($264 from
Personalized Steak Branding Iron. The mark of a real grill master. Order your guy’s initials for this iron, seared into a wooden gift box ($47 from Texas Irons).