Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Holiday Gift Guide for Men


Hi, it’s Brandon, aka Kara’s husband/co-worker/baby-daddy.  I’m writing a guest-post gift-guide for some ideas for your husband, dad, brother, or anyone of any gender, age, religion, or political opinion that may like these things.  Most, if not all, of these items I actually own and use, so I’m not just throwing random things at you. 


TOOLS!


I love tools and feel like there is no such thing as too many. I also greatly prefer ones that are well made and will hold up under heavy use.


First up is the Milwaukee Multi-Bit Screwdriver.  I got one last year and have used it in a number of situations (and dropped it a bunch) and it’s held up spectacularly.  It comes with seven different bit types (2 Philips head, 2 flat head, 1 square-ish one, and 2 star(?) shaped ones) that all fit in the handle, so they aren’t just floating around, waiting to be lost.  This is my go-to screwdriver for pretty much everything. 


Next is the Milwauke Compartment Deep Pro Organizer.  This thing is perfect for holding all the screws, nails, hooks, random Ikea leftover pieces that are all over your house and keeping them in one, organized location.  The little cup things are removable and the lid shuts tightly, so nothing splashes around inside.  You can flip it upside down, and everything will still be in the same little container.  It’s great to have at home and whenever you need to fix something on the go.  And whenever someone asks where the nails are, you can just shout “In the red thing!”.



This one is a little bit more pricey, but it’s honestly one of my favorite, most reliable tools I use.  The DEWALT Impact Driver Kit is like a drill on steroids.  While a lot of smaller, less powerful drills will kick or twist when it meets resistance (and really hurt your wrists if you’re not careful), this thing just. keeps. going.  It makes a lot of noise and sounds like it’s going to explode, but that’s just how it works.  I’ve used it to put together a fence, built things out of wood, metal, etc, and have yet to find anything it can’t drill through.  It comes with a Phillips head I believe, but I’d recommend getting a set of drill bits too.  The rechargeable batteries it comes with are superb.  They hold their charge a long time and give you probably over an hour or two of constant use without a problem.  It’s awesome.

Entertainment!

If you’re not sure what it does, it plugs into your TV (your TV will need to have both an HDMI port and a USB port; most newer tvs should have them, but checking just in case is a good idea) so that you can watch Netflix, HBO NOW, Hulu, Amazon Prime, or whichever other apps you have subscriptions to.  It’s easy to install and easy to use.  If you’ve only been watching Netflix on your phone or computer, then this is for you.


Speaking of HBO NOW, it’s a streaming-only option version of HBO that includes every show ever on HBO and has new episodes available at the same time they air on the HBO channel.  It’s $15/month subscription and also gives you access to a ton of movies that are rotated out every few months.  This is a great option if you have something like the Roku for you TV.  Ordering HBO through your cable provider will be twice as much, but HBO NOW gives you exactly the same shows and movies that are available, just cheaper.  You can also download the HBO NOW app to your phone and tablet and watch things there too.  I always thought HBO was over-priced, but $15/month for unlimited access to Game of Thrones, VEEP, Westworld, tons of other shows AND new and classic movies is a pretty good deal.  There’s no contract either, so you can cancel whenever you want.

Full disclosure: I’m a huge comic book/sci-fi/Star Wars/fantasy/etc aficianado.  One of the best graphic novels from the last 15 years is a series called Y: The Last Man.  It’s set in a near future where a mysterious illness has killed every man on the planet except one.  It follows his travels as he tries to locate his girlfriend as well as figure out what happened.  It’s incredibly well written by Brian K Vaughn (Runaways, Ex Machina, the equally awesome Saga) and would be great for any fans of dystopian future stories (Walking Dead, The Road, etc).  This is definitely for more mature audiences, but I highly recommend it.  Every time someone asks me about a comic book that a non-comic book reader might like, I recommend this one.
<a target="_blank" href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/140125151X/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=140125151X&linkCode=as2&tag=akachli06-20&linkId=f95e525e19fdafc4bb5bfc8d9feeaf67">Y: The Last Man Book One</a><img src="//ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=akachli06-20&l=am2&o=1&a=140125151X" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />

Other Stuff!

If you think your husband/dad/brother/boyfriend/significant other’s footwear could be a little more stylish, there’s nothing wrong with the classic Vans slip-ons..  They have a ton of print/color options and they are incredibly comfortable and well-made.  I think I probably have 8-10 pairs.  They’re not overly flashy (unless you get the ones with pizza slices on them), so they shouldn’t upset any conservative dressers, and they go well with anything (jeans, pants, shorts (though probably best with low-ankle or no socks)). They could be the first step (no pun intended) in getting someone to dress just a little bit more current (you’re on your own though when it comes to getting them to wear jeans that aren’t as baggy as sweatpants).


If someone you know plays guitar or bass and is in need of a new tuner, the Snark Clip On Tuner is a great low-cost option.  It just clips to the head of the instrument and shows you when the string is in tune.  Super easy to use and a lot nicer than the ones that use a small microphone in them.


The Black and Decker Dust Buster Hand Vac is a great cordless hand-vacuum that has a cleanable filter and a rechargeable battery that lasts a good amount of time.  Even my kids like using it.  Good for around the house, but also ideal for cleaning out cars.  I’ve been using ours for almost two-years, and it’s held up great.  I’ve only used the filter it came with and just rinse it in the sink periodically.


Hopefully you’ve seen something useful or that spurs you on to some other gift ideas.  Or maybe you’ve seen a bunch of stuff you want and are going to tell other people to buy them for you.  I won’t judge you! Happy shopping!

-brandon


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