Big Gheorghe gave to me
Eight Miscellaneous Items - Probably for Next Christmas (or for yourself, or perhaps a fellow GTB'r right now, just cuz)
Seven (Give or Take) Voters (Should Be) Voting
Six Simpler Memories
Five shows to binge watch on TV
Four Random Thoughts
Three Punk Rock Playlists
Two Digits Throughout History
And the debut of Mac McFis-ty
In an ideal world, this would have been up prior to the birthday of Baby Jesus. Apologies, for the timing and the usual font/formatting. It's my computer.
2. Anything YETI. I’m guessing everyone here is familiar with the YETI phenomenon? Pricey but very durable and effective coolers, tumblers, thermoses. I know Mark is because he lives in Florida where the value placed on a top-notch cooler exceeds that of our friends in the Yankee states. Plus we are probably exposed to a hell of a lot more fisher people and boaters who wear Yeti hats and place their stickers on the back of their pick-ups. A couple of outdoorsmen, brothers in fact, founded the company back in ’06. They were tired of replacing their cheaply made coolers that didn’t keep their trout and beer chilly. As they say, necessity is the mother of all invention. Now they are a $500M company that sells $400 coolers and $20 beer cozies. Are they that much better than a normal cooler? Yeah. Why? Because science. They are looking at a public offering which some jackasses have valued at more than $3B. That’s a B as in BILL-YON! Folks, I’m not here to discuss and debate the merits of that valuation. What I am here to tell you is YETI makes SUPERIOR products. Don’t feel like dropping $299 on a soft cooler, shown here?
3. Johnny-O. Looking for a comfortable casual polo that offers you the versatility to wear with swim trunks or khakis? Go to Johnny-O. Along with me undies, I’ve been purging golf shirts too. Johnny O is one John O’Donnell, brother of Chris. He grew up a big golf guy as did the rest of his sibs…walked on to UCLA in fact if not mistaken. Started a golf apparel business and here we are. It’s kind of a California lifestyle brand. Whatever they are, they’re comfortable and fairly priced. Meet Johnny here. Doesn't he look comfy? And damned if he doesn't look like his brother.
4. Samsung S7 Edge – What a nightmare Samsung has had this year w/their exploding Galaxy Note followed by reports of the S7 Edge doing the same. Can you imagine owning a phone that has been known to explode catch fire? Well, I can. I just bought one! Technically a few have exploded but let’s not let that get in the way of taking advantage of a great deal. For the last two+ years I’ve been using an outdated S4. When it comes to adopting technology, I’m a laggard. During the smartphone era, other than the very first unit I owned, I’ve never since said about a new device, “Man I really dig this phone.” Well, that has all changed with the S7 Edge! Man I really dig this phone. It is likely more a function of what it is being compared to in the S4 than being that terrific a product. But I’m not so sure…I’ve toyed around with others. This looks and feels slick and has the handy Edge Panel feature. What else is better about this phone than others? The front of the phone. The screen is much smoother. Like warm ice. It also resists smudges entirely. It is as if my phone has never been touched, oddly. I can’t say the same about my S4. If looking to switch from Apple, or upgrade your Android, be Edgey. (you’re welcome Samsung)
5. VR GOGGLES! Dude, I'm no gamer or techy by any stretch. Never been into it. With my phone purchase last month the dealer threw in the Virtual Reality goggles. Whatevs. They remained in the box until Christmas afternoon when I was in the mode of putting things together and reading instructions. Holy shit are these things unreal. I wish I had the gumption to throw them on during my next flight. This is what you look like once you put 'em on. Hilarious right? I mean, this might as well be me, but with great hair.
The day after Christmas I purchased a roller coaster app. Having just eaten and while nursing a small hangover, immediately I almost puked. Despite the directive to not allow kids under the age of 13 wear them, my son wasn't taking no for an answer. Watching him and my wife wear these while experiencing a virtual reality roller coaster is almost as entertaining as wearing them yourself. For a more subtle but very real experience, I later entered a video that was included in the VR app, Ocular. It put me on a naval aircraft carrier, a real one (the roller coasters are animated). It is just a few minutes long where you are aboard this ship while the host interviews the Commander as well as other officers on board and in different areas of the vessel. It was pretty awesome. If your phone provider sells the VR goggles, you need to try them out for grins and giggles. I haven't even scratched the surface but hope to over the New Year weekend. A movie is on the next-up list for sure. Sure you look like a complete tool with them on, but don't most of us anyway?
6. Dillon's Small Batch Rose Gin. We usually flip flop Christmas dinner with our next door neighbors. They have 3 young kids too and they are pretty tight and we the parents get along well also. The dads like to booze. Mike enjoys trying new foods and drink so we often will buy a bottle of something that we wouldn't typically buy with the other in mind. He brought this stuff over on Sunday.
We both very much like a good Martini. But this isn't for a Martini....Drink it straight. Even my wife says so which is a terrific barometer. If a whiskey she can drink straight while enjoying it, you will also. It's cheap too. In a blind taste test your palate would tell you this is something other than a gin. It's smooth, pleasant, and no bite whatsoever at a mere 60 proof. It tastes good. 'Tis a classy looking bottle too.
7. Amazon Echo Dot - AKA "Alexa". Caution! The Echo Dot can be more of an annoyance if you have young children. Sure, the gift was meant for daddy, but daddy can't get near the thing.
How many bones does a dog have?
How many bones does a dog have?
Alexa - how many bones does a dog have?
Alexa - how many bones does a cat have?
Alexa - how far away is the sun?
Do you have a boyfriend?
Do you have a boyfriend?
Alexa - do you have a boyfriend?
Alexa - play Bad Blood by Taylor Swift.
Alexa - are you smart?
Alexa - how many calories are in a Big Mac?
Alexa - how old are you?
How many seconds are in a year?
How many seconds are in a year?
Alexa - how many seconds are in a year?
Alexa - sing a Christmas song.
Alexa - are you married?
And on and on and on on end until you finally have to shut Alexa off and throw the kids outside got dammitttttt!!!!!! Other than that, the jury is out. Like most of the technology at our disposal, we won't use it to its true potential. For example, we have no idea what the true potential is with this thing and that is because we won't take the time to discern. But it's handy for the little things. My wife is heading to Ohio this week with the kids. Yesterday my son asked about the weather there. I told him to ask Alexa. And he did. And she told him. Say Hi to Alexa. She purty.
8. Am I buggin you? I didn't mean to...bug ya. I should have lobbied for Day 4 or 5. I'd be done by now. So would you. The struggle for an 8th item is real. So will go with this...As I zoom through the middle-aged years, see the cliché that is death and destruction in the world, speak with or hear about those who have lost loved ones, witness loved ones losing other loved ones to fates other than death, absorb the never-ending cynicism and hate on social media whether it political, sports, tv-show, or insert any other topic here centric, reflect back on the people that died this year, see family members and their family members deal with serious health issues, see people all over this country and around the world deal with shit I never had to and won't have to, as I realize my parents grew up dirt poor with not much of a chance, I recognize the fortune I have to be able to approach the onset of another calendar year with me and my immediate family in good health, with them still loving me and I them, to hang out with my brothers of yesteryear every so often, visit with the virtual family here on GTB quite often (but I need to change that), hang out with siblings, nieces, nephews, and parents that dote on me 46 years later, never (knocking on wood) to this day having lost someone close to me, while I have a job of 20 some years affording my family items 1-7...my last recommendation is...you know it....appreciation. As some say in the deep south...."Appreciate ya".