Shopping

By Missye K. Clarke

Shopping sure isn’t what it used to be, nor is getting that “this gift SCREAMS you!” So, if you’re still planning that perfect stocking stuffer or Secret Santa under the inverted Christmas tree – check www.target.com for the latest rage, I kid you not, upside-down Christmas trees – here’s a few gift ideas for the techie freak in your life… or if you’re looking to re-gift someone as payback for them re-gifting you that seven-year-old fruitcake from last year.

POOL CUE, POWER POINT STYLE.

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Oh, the luxuries of the weekend. No work, hanging out, watching some football, playing some pool with the guys. In this case when I usually get worked by the pool hustler I’m married to, this toy’s a find. But, for you ponyboys with teasing pool buddies, I think I’ve found the perfect gadget to help your game: a laser-guided pool cue. Found at www.gizmodo.com/gadgets, the cue projects a tiny laser on the ball directly where the cue is lined up. Now this isn’t the easy trajectory lines we are so used to seeing on Yahoo pool, but it could definitely help those situations where adding the right english to the ball is key. Cheating? Nah. I’ll take any win however I can get it. So will you. And, priced reasonably at $50, if you win your first pool tourney from this after practicing with the guide, it pays for itself.

A PRICEY DISWASHER YOU DON’T NEED TO FEED OR CLOTHE.

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This isn’t your mother’s Kenmore from Sears.

Not that I’m nuts for dishwashers, but this one strikes me as fascinating. This baby’s got two drawers. The cups and plates get their own baths at separate times, heck, on separate cycles from the flatware and pots and pans. And, the beauty of this is: it delivers the powerful performance of two independent dishwashers in the same space as a standard dishwasher giving you the freedom to run small loads as often as you like without wasting energy.

Ah, there’s the key words: energy efficient. Starting at #1300, from www.kitchenaid.com, while it won’t take your existing flat and dinnerware to grand China level, Cascade and Jet Dry will replace Ultra Dawn and you’ll truly be the envy of the cul-de-sac because you don’t have dishpan hands. You may, however, be the talk of the neighborhood if this appliance is power grid greedy.

MISSING (GOLF) BALLS FOUND IN TALL GRASSES

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Personally, I don’t play golf, don’t play the game and/or don’t really understood the sport. Terms like “par”, “bogey”, “mulligan” and “fore” make about as much sense to me as the “I Love Lucy” episode where she and Ethel mess with Fred and Ricky when they’re playing a foursome with Jimmy Demerit with the words “mashee”, “Mother May-I?” pass grants and the hop skip and jump steps before calling a “strike.” My point: This GPS golf ball tracker and microchip embedded balls from the Sharper Image (www.sharperimage.com) are $350 for the tracking device and $40 for three balls, respectively. At that price, I’d think it’d just make more sense to accept the fact that your balls are gone, are going to have a whole lot more gone between you and them and just chalk up the fact that you’ll have to go out and buy a set of new ones.

A NEW TAKE ON THE CLASSIC LAVA LAMP

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I always knew The Discovery Store (www.shopping.discovery.com) had some neat stuff, but this? Wow. Talk about a different look on a classic 1960s staple. The Lava Lamp Meets Extreme Makeover, Tom Edison style.

Like the lava lamp was mesmerizing to look at, as was the lightning ball lamps – I know you remember those – this desktop, color-shifting colcanic sculpture is fully sealed, contains motion beads and emulates the actions of an an erupting volcano. And, you can’t beat the price: $30. Hey, after the sticker-shock from the GPS (goof, erm, golf) balls, it’s also a comfort to know whomever is the lucky receiver of this gift is, you didn’t sacrifice your firstborn to purchase this. And, your wife won’t get jealous, especially if she gets wind of that GPS thingy you bought and she gets a set of ice under $300 from Zales.

SOMETHIING FOR THE UNDER 18 GENERATION

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You can’t get your hands on an Xbox for miles. And, what’s around you’re not about to play push-and-shove for it, especially if Junior darn near flunked Algebra and American History. But, you still have to get something for the taller-than-you rugrat, don’t you?

Starting at $280, www.lik-sang.com stull has the ceramic Sony PSPs on sale and in plentiful supply. This newest gotta-have features widescreen LCD centered in a sleek design with a high-quality finish that fits your hands with ease. The basic functions of a portable player such as built-in stereo speakers, exterior headphone connector, brightness control and sound mode selection. Keys and controls inherit the same operability of fans all over the world of PlayStation™ and PlayStation 2. Junior’s gaming world is further enhanced by enabling him to enjoy online gaming, or by connecting multiple PSPs to each other, directly via the wireless network. Not bad for darn near $300 and he can share with as many or as few as he likes. Now if he were just as adroit in lifting those grades outta the toilet.

Santa really did Mrs. Claus proud this year. Hey, uh, Kris Kringle, your elves put a lot of help in these selections for you, you know.

Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukkah, everyone.

Originally published December 2005
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