Its the second installment of our annual shopping tradition (2012 first edition is here) — these are some of the more interesting and eclectic items I stumble across each year.
Across a broad variety of price points, here is the next Shopmas list for those of you who may have been very, very good this year. The goal is find items that you may not have seen and will make the recipient smile.
Select some items and effectuate your own economic stimulus package:
• Underwater Dogs $11.33
The exuberant, exhilarating photographs of dogs underwater that have become a sensation.
More than eighty portraits by award-winning pet photographer Seth Casteel capture new sides of our old friends with vibrant underwater photography that makes it impossible to look away.
A perfect stocking stuffer.
• Nebo 5615 RedLine SE Flashlight $32.69
After last week’s gift post, a few people asked about “that flashlight you mentioned” (discussed here, “My Hero of the Blackout.”)
The power and intensity of this compact tactical light is amazing. The Redline SE is the perfect flashlight for Firefighters, EMTs and Police Officers. You can illuminate an entire room in flood mode, or illuminate objects 175 yards away in spot mode. light. 5 modes include 100-Percent, 50-Percent, 10-Percent and power settings + Strobe & SOS allowing batteries to last up to 72 hours.
This 14-disc career retrospective set includes all twelve of George Carlin s HBO concert specials, spanning nearly thirty years. One of the greatest comedians of all time, Carlin performs his most memorable routines (Baseball and Football, A Place for My Stuff, Losing Things, Al Sleet the Hippie-Dippie Weather Man, Hitler, We Like War, It s Not A Sport, Why We Don’t Need Ten Commandments and Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television).
Two bonus discs round out the collection including interviews — Carlin fans will adore this set.
Last time, I mentioned Exploring Wine ($39) and several of you wrote to recommend 2 other wine books:
The less expensive of the two is the sixth edition of Hugh Johnson’s Wine Companion.
Hugh Johnson’s Wine Companion presents a unique approach to wine and wine producers, combining detailed information with practical advice on how to enjoy wine to the fullest. Color maps and photographs and detailed glossaries of the wines of each region are just two of the additions for this exciting new edition.
This is the other book recommended by readers — described as “an indispensable book for every wine lover, from some of the world’s leading wine experts.”
Where do wine grapes come from and how are grape varieties related to one another? What is the historical background of each one? Where are they grown? What sort of wines do they make?
Using cutting-edge DNA analysis and detailing almost 1,400 distinct grape varieties, as well as myriad correct (and incorrect) synonyms, this book examines grapes and wine as never before. This is a serious book for serious oenophiles!
For anyone who loves their iPad but is less than thrilled about the typing on glass, these ultra-lite, portable keyboards are the way to go. They turn your tablet into what is essentially a touch screen ultralite laptop.
Clip-and-go design: Magnetic clip instantly attaches keyboard as a cover, which also works as a stand. The same instant on/off that wakes and sleeps your iPad when you open and close the cover.
I never go anywhere without mine.
• Large Navy Zip Top Anchor Tote with Navy Rope Handles (Seabags) $150
I love the idea of this company, which I first found in Anguilla: Take old sailboat canvas (sails) and repurpose them into new products.
I like this Sea Bag anchor as a large tote for the boat or a family day at the beach.
Recycled sail with navy hand spliced rope handles designed for hand carry; zipper top to keep things secure.
• Beatles Box Set (Stereo) $179
Look, you either know and love the Beatles, or you don’t. Anyone who is a fan and gets this set will be delighted.
Digitally remastered 17 disc box set (16 CDs + DVD), the set contains all of the 14 original Beatles albums released between 1963 and 1970 plus the two CD Past Masters collection of non-album tracks (plus other bonus DVD material and documentaries).
Note which version you order — I suggest stereo, your annoying brother-in-law wants the original mono, and your weird uncle insists on Vinyl.
• Pentax Optio WG-2 underwater camera Kit $222.54
I have the prior version of this camera, and it takes good underwater photos and video. I will be upgrading it for the new Pentax Optio WG-2 Camera, which can take crisper cleaner photos in lower light situations.
Durable, 16-megapixel point-and-shoot camera is waterproof, dustproof, coldproof, shockproof, crushproof, and still capable of professional-level images and full 1080p HD video. 36X combined zoom and macro lens.
Its waterproof down to 40 feet, shockproof to 5 feet, and freezeproof to 14 F degrees.
The Master of Suspense, the legendary Alfred Hitchcock directed some of the best thrillers ever made.
The Masterpiece Collection features 15 iconic films including Psycho, The Birds, Rear Window, Vertigo, North by Northwest and many more.
Over 15 hours of insightful bonus features plus an exclusive collectible book, each film has been digitally restored from high resolution film elements for the ultimate Hitchcock experience.
• Clifford Bailey Lithographs $1,000-$3,000
Clifford Bailey paints amongst other things, delightfully whimsical jazz bands in full swing. There is a charming sense to his work, which capture the full energy of improvisation. “The work is playful, intense, funny, twisted, easy to look at and hard to forget. His signature style is original and unique.”
The Miami born artist lives and works in Los Angeles. Full bio is here.
• McIntosh Manhattan $7,000
The system also includes a built in AM/FM/RDS tuner, CD/SACD as well as auxiliary input to playback your favorite source.
This reference quality system will blow you away and is built to last a lifetime. If you have discretionary income to burn, want something to impress your friends, take a look at this little beatsie.