One day of shopping left and for most guys that means head to the mall and sprint around with a bunch of other zombified dudes who would seem to be hoping for divine gift-giving intervention. I love it. I think that it is one of the best places to see the best of the "holiday spirit" which to me means a horde of people thinking about other people and trying desperately to get something that makes someone else happy. This mood is at its apex on Christmas Eve in any mall in America so check it out in person but then when you get home sign up for Etrade and get your loved one or friend or whomever a few shares of stock. You can transfer them after the holiday and with the market down as it is there are MANY great buys. I suggest Apple, Nintendo, Starwoods and Sealed Air...but I hear it is the thought that counts not the ROI.
I may be getting to swayed by the holiday spirit but I think that this Faux tree is working. Sure it is a little toilet brush like but I think that is what is making it cool. If the local tree lot is all sold out perhaps Unicahome can you one of these via FedEX?
By now I know that the W hotel is hardly new news to anyone but a gift certificate for a weekend at any of their properties still makes a damn good Christmas or New Years gift. I am staying at the one in the French Quarter in early January and it is sure to be a good time. The one in SF is especially fun due to the expert concierge, Meagan Rounds.
If you are looking to give a gift that is a little less plastic and perhaps a little longer lasting maybe a charity is the way to go. I enjoy charitybuzz.com but I also like to give a little something to the general fund at my college, CCAD. Why give money to a college? Although I personally think teachers have it pretty easy, I donate because of the impressive level of change that is underway at the school and because I think that they teach the right balance of creative thinking and discipline. I think it is the kind of institution that is large enough to be stable and have a lasting impact but small enough to be nimble and fresh. I think they have the potential to produce the kind of people that make the world better for everyone. Also, they accept almost any denomination with sincere appreciation.
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I know it is not new to the market this year so you probably won't get to fight to buy one but the iphone is still worth every penny. It does take some getting used to because it is so much more than just a phone but once you have had it for two weeks you will never go back.
Every year I get a Hallmark Keepsake series ornament for each of the boys. Edison gets the Star Wars series and Ian gets the snow globe. Unfortunately the geniuses at Hallmark discontinued the snow globe series so now I am looking for a new series to switch him onto. Maybe the classic muscle car series? I think that they should never cancel a series (especially after only 6 years) once they get you started it seems weird to switch. Anyway, I went to the local Hallmark store to confirm the cancellation and I highly recommend their new line of holiday wrapping papers. The prices have come way down and the patterns are great. I got two big rolls of paper, three cloth bows and a bunch of gift tags for $11.00.
One more for you HC: I just read an article on Sustainablog.org about the Gateway Electric Vehicle Club. This image shows retired college professor Charlton Jones and his retrofitted ‘74 Porsche 914 (purchased on Ebay) which he spent $19,000 to convert to an electric vehicle.
A good friend recently asked about flat screens. Here is the thing, as far as I am concerned the only way to go is the 42" Bravia by Sony. Oh sure the LG looks sexier and has sweet finishes but do not be swayed by the gimmicks and don't waste your time reading consumer reports. I think they are on the take anyway. Also, please do not even think about Panasonic. To answer your next question, No. 42" is not too big. It may seem too big but believe me it is just right. Could it be too small? Yes! If you sit more than 12' from the TV get a larger size.
I recently had the privelage of receiving a bronze medal at the Japanese Design Foundation's annual competition. It is probably the most professionally run competition I have ever been a part of and all of the board members and jury were impressively coordinated. Unfortunately, being one of three westerners at a conference where the theme is "The power of Asian design" was a bit uncomfortable. Although I know it was not the intention. There is much I could say about the conference, the award process and my experience of Osaka but I think that it is probably not appropriate for the blog. Of course, I might feel differently if I had won, as Michal did in 2007.