Gadget News from Debra D 20140325

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Here are a few of the geeky gifts and gadget stories that I found interesting today, and posted on Twitter.






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Keep a Cool Head With a Special Pillow

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No matter what interests or hobbies you have, we all have at least one thing in common – the need for a good night’s sleep. Some people can fall asleep anywhere, but most of us aren’t that lucky.

For most people, it’s important to get just the right mattress, and have a relaxing atmosphere in the bedroom, so you’re all ready to fall asleep, when your head hits the pillow.

And what about your pillow? Is it as well designed and comfortable as everything else in the bedroom? Or is a lumpy mess, that you’ve had for way too long?

New Types of Pillows

If you’re buying a new pillow for yourself, or for someone else, there are many more types of pillows than there used to be. In the old days, you could buy a down pillow, or one filled with bits of foam. The down pillows were nice, if you bought a good quality one, and didn’t have allergies to feathers!

You can still buy those types of pillows, and many more kinds, such as ones formed from memory foam. Some of them have special cooling features, and will help you enjoy a good sleep, instead of waking up with a hot, sweaty head.

The ISO Cool Pillow

One of the best-selling cool pillows is the Iso-Cool, which has microscopic beads to absorb heat. There is a thick memory foam filling, and that makes it ideal for side sleepers – it gives good support for your head. The cotton cover is hypoallergenic, and easy to remove and throw in the washing machine.

Somehow, through the magic of its design, this pillow can sense if you’re too warm or too cool, and it absorbs or releases heat to help you maintain an ideal body temperature.

isocoolmemoryfoampillow

Cool Contour Pillow

Another cool pillow is the Sleep Innovations Cool Contour. It is designed for side or back sleepers, and it hugs your shoulder and neck while you sleep, to keep them in good alignment.  It has a two layer design, for maximum comfort and support.

The first layer is cool memory foam, that pulls heat away from the pillow’s surface. The second layer is a different type of memory foam, which is processed to provide good airflow, so you can have a comfortable sleep.

coolcontourpillow

Dream Supreme Gel Pillow

If you prefer something that looks more traditional, you can try this Dream Supreme gel filled pillow. It is standard size and shape, and filled with a polyester gel fiber fill. The fiber is hypoallerganic, and keeps its shape all night, to provide good support.

If you toss and turn during the night, this would be a good choice, because it’s designed for back, side and stomach sleepers. You can machine wash the pillow, and dry it on a cool setting, so it’s easy to maintain.

dreamsupremepillow

 

Organic Buckwheat Pillow

Another type of cooling pillow is this organic buckwheat one. It is filled with buckwheat hulls and covered with unbleached cotton. It doesn’t collapse, like some types of foam, and it adjusts naturally, to adjust to your head and spine.

The buckwheat hulls allow the air to circulate through the pillow, and that keeps you cool through the night. It is a good alternative for anyone who is allergic to feathers or foam.

This pillow is smaller than standard ones, and quite firm. You can remove some of the hulls, to adjust its thickness, so it is just the right height for your comfort.

buckwheatpillow

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Gift Ideas for Martini Fans

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How do you like your martinis? Gin and vermouth, stirred, and served with an olive? Perhaps you like yours with vodka, or a dirty martini, with a splash of olive brine.

Did you know that martinis used to be equal parts of gin and vermouth? Over the years, that ratio has changed, and now they’re mainly gin, with a hint of vermouth.

No matter how you like your martinis prepared, you’ll find something to like in this collection of martini-themed gift ideas.

Martini Chillers

Of course, a martini must be served cold, and these chiller glasses keep your drink on ice, so it stays cold. The glasses look great too, and will certainly impress your guests.

martiniglasses01

Martini Picks

If you like an olive or two in your martini, don’t serve it on a boring stick. Use a unique pick, like the ones in this martini pick set. The shafts are made of stainless steel, and the heads are crafted in pewter. The heads are nicely detailed, and you can see the six variations, in the photo below – cocktail shaker, lime slice, ice bucket, shot glass, martini glass and olives.

martinipicks

Cocktail Shaker

You can’t make a perfect martini without a good quality shaker, like this stainless steel cocktail shaker. It looks sleek and professional, and won’t leak or rust. Best of all, it’s dishwasher safe, so you won’t have to spend time cleaning it, when the party is over.

cocktailshaker

Martini Book

If you’d like to experiment with new kinds of martinis, The Martini Book will be your guide. With 201 recipes, this book covers all the basics, and includes a few advanced recipes too.

martinibook

Olive Juice for Dirty Martinis

If you’re a fan of dirty martinis, you’ll need some tasty olive juice on hand. This 3-pack by Maynard & Child is excellent quality, and has a picante kick, for awesome martinis.

martiniolivejuice

Martini Picnic Kit

Who needs food, when you can take a picnic kit that looks like this one? The exterior of this portable martini kit is leatherette, and the lining is velveteen. There is room for a bottle of gin and a bottle of vermouth, and it comes with two glasses, a shaker, and several other necessary gadgets.

martinipicnickit

And those gift ideas should help you get started on the road to the perfect martini!

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Gifts for the Lone Ranger Fan

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lonerangermovieOh, I had such high hopes for the Johnny Depp version of The Lone Ranger. The trailer looked awesome, with great action shots and amazing makeup, costumes and stunts.

When the movie finally came out, the reviews were terrible! Maybe we’ll watch it when it finally comes out on DVD or Netflix (November 2013?), but I certainly didn’t want to spend my money at the theater for such a bad film.

Despite the bad remake, the Lone Ranger will live on, and if you’re a fan, you can still find gifts that are way better than the latest film.

Lone Range 80th Anniversary

The Lone Ranger first appeared in a radio show in 1933, so he’s been entertaining us for 80 years. There’s no way that one bad movie will kill off such a long-lasting character! If you’re a fan of the old television series, that starred Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels, you’ll love this 80th Anniversary special collection.

It’s a 2 DVD set, that features the first 16 episodes of the tv series, which aired in from 1949 to 1957.

loneranger80th

Lone Ranger Lego

If you’re young at heart, you might enjoying playing with the Lone Ranger and Silver in this Lone Ranger Cavalry Builder LEGO set.

I’ve seen Star Wars lego, and other themes, but didn’t realize that there was something for Lone Ranger fans too. Just ignore that “ages 6-14” suggestion on the box, and have fun creating your own action scenes.

lonerangerlego

Old-Style Lone Ranger T-Shirt

There are t-shirts with graphics from the Johnny Depp movie, but this old-style Lone Ranger shirt looks much cooler. And the shirt is 100% cotton, so you’ll feel cool too!

In the graphic, our hero is shouting, “Hi-Yo, Silver!” and his lasso creates the text at the top of the shirt. Those are some impressing rope skills!

lonerangertshirt

New Style Lone Ranger Mug

Even though I haven’t seen the new movie yet, the trailers looked great, and Armie Hammer looked convincing as a lead actor. He’s younger and hipper than Clayton Moore, so if you like that style, here’s a new-style Armie Hammer mug for you.

You’ll see his face on the front, hidden behind his mask, of course. There is a ranger’s star on the side, and he’s got both guns blazing in a picture on the back of the mug. This might be just what you need to get fired up in the morning! And it holds 16 oz., so that will give you a good caffeine boost too.

lonerangermug

Little Golden Book

When you were just starting out as a fan this masked man, you probably had a Little Golden Book, just like this one. In this story, from 1956, our hero helps a little boy find his missing brother, and they capture some bandits along the way.

You can add this to your own book collection – it would be fun on the coffee table, instead of stuffy art books. Winking smile Or, buy it for a young friend, and help them grow up to be a fan too.

lonerangergoldenbook

The Lone Ranger Creed

Even if you don’t buy yourself any themed gifts, always keep the masked hero’s creed close to your heart. This was written by Fran Striker, who wrote the scripts for the original radio show.

  • I believe that to have a friend, a man must be one.
  • That all men are created equal and that everyone has within himself the power to make this a better world.
  • That God put the firewood there but that every man must gather and light it himself.
  • In being prepared physically, mentally, and morally to fight when necessary for that which is right.
  • That a man should make the most of what equipment he has.
  • That ‘This government, of the people, by the people and for the people’ shall live always.
  • That men should live by the rule of what is best for the greatest number.
  • That sooner or later… somewhere…somehow… we must settle with the world and make payment for what we have taken.
  • That all things change but truth, and that truth alone, lives on forever.
  • In my Creator, my country, my fellow man.

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Gift Ideas for Superman Fans

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The latest Superman movie, Man of Steel, is in theaters now. The critics are giving it mixed reviews, but the fans are loving it!

I haven’t seen the yet, but I like this quote:

  • Lois Lane: They say it’s all downhill after the first kiss.
  • Clark Kent/Kal-El: Only if you’re kissing a human.

Superman’s New Logo

In Man of Steel, Superman has a new look, with a sleek new costume, and no more red underpants over his blue suit. He still wears the red “S” on his chest, but it’s edgier looking than the older version.

The movie DVD won’t be out for a while, but you can see Superman’s new logo on the movie soundtrack.

manofsteelsoundtrack

Superman’s Old Logo

If you prefer the older costume, and the familiar “S” logo, there are still plenty of items that show it. For example, this plastic travel mug has the old version of the Superman logo, and would be a perfect gift for any commuter who loves coffee and Superman.

supermantravelmug

Grilling With Superman

If you’re buying a gift for a Superman fan who loves to grill, how about a Superman apron? This apron doesn’t come with a guarantee that your cooking will automatically improve, but you’ll certainly look fierce while preparing dinner!

The online reviews are good, and all the gift recipients seem to love wearing it. It only comes in one size (“One size fits most”), but the reviewers say that it covers and protects their clothes, and is a good size.

supermanapron

Superman Ice Cubes

If your Superman fan isn’t flashy enough to wear a Man of Steel apron, maybe he would prefer some “S” logo ice cube trays. They’re fun, and practical too, and perfect for summer patio parties.

supermanicecubes 

Superman’s Cape

Even with his new costume, Superman still needs to fly, and his cape is an important part of his outfit. Your Superman fan might not be able to fly, but this backpack with a cape might make him feel like he could take off at any second.

Sure, the other guys at the office might make fun of him if he wears this to work, but that’s just because those other guys are jealous! They’d wear an awesome cape too, if they had nerves of steel.

supermancapebackpack

Drink With Superman

After a long day at the office, what better way is there to relax, than to have a drink with Superman? Well, maybe the Man of Steel won’t show up – he’s pretty busy – but you can use this Superman koozie to keep your beer cold!

supermancoozie

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Reuse a Gift: Outdoor Drink Dispenser

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Sometimes you get a gift, or buy something for yourself, and it seems like a great idea at the time. For me, the great idea was an outdoor drink dispenser. I thought it would be fun for the kids to get their own drinks while playing or picnicking in the back yard.

drinkdispenser

Rarely Used

By the end of last summer, I realized that the drink dispenser had rarely been used. It gathered dust on the basement shelf most of the time. It had been a reasonably priced purchase, so I wasn’t wasting a ton of money, but I didn’t want to have something that wasn’t needed.

The New Hand Washer

The drink dispenser stayed in the basement all winter, but while we were planting our garden this spring, I found a new use for it.

My 3-year-old gardening assistant hates getting her hands dirty, and we had to haul out the hose to wash them, every few minutes.

Then I remembered the drink dispenser, and decided that it would be perfect for this job. I put it on a low bench, where she could reach it, and filled it with hose water. I put a small basin below the spout, to catch the water, and to keep her shoes out of the splash area.

As you can see in the picture below – it works great! Now she can wash her hands whenever she wants, and I even wash my hands there.

handwasher

Reuse the Water Too

With the basin below the spout, the water doesn’t go to waste. After a few hand washings, I dump the collected water onto one of the flower boxes, and the plants are happy too!

Drink Dispenser Video

Here is a short video that shows my outdoor drink dispenser, and how it is now set up as a hand washing station for the kids.

Hand washing station

 

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Kitchen Gadgets: Keurig Platinum Brewing System

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We went to a dinner party at a friend’s house, and after a lovely meal, the host offered us coffee. I only drink decaf in the evening, but didn’t want him to have to make a pot, just for me.

“No problem!” he said, “We have a Keurig, and can make everyone exactly what they’d like.” So, I had my decaf, and other guests had regular and flavored coffees.

Should We Buy One?

My husband loved the idea of a Keurig, but I wasn’t convinced that it was the right thing for us. Our old drip coffee maker worked just fine, so why should we replace it with something new, and more expensive? I wasn’t sure what those little coffee pods cost, but I knew that they weren’t cheap!

Well, eventually I weakened, and hubby found a Keurig Platinum at a good price, and brought it home. We read the instructions (well, most of them), and enjoyed our first cups of coffee.

keurigplatinum

It takes a few tries before you find the cup size and types of coffee that you prefer, so don’t get discouraged if the first cup doesn’t taste exactly the way you’d like it.

Reusable Coffee Filter

To help keep the costs down, I bought one of the Keurig My K-Cup reusable coffee filters. You can put a couple of spoonsful of your own coffee in that filter, and use it in the Keurig, instead of the pricier coffees.

I still use the prepackaged pods in the morning, when my eyes are only half open, but the My K-Cup is great for an afternoon drink.

keurigmykcup

Insert the My K-Cup

It’s a little tricky to get the machine’s K-Cup holder out, the first time that you try it, so that you can insert the My K-Cup’s holder.

I’ve made this short video so that you can see the steps, and avoid injuring your fingers on the Keurig’s sharp needle!

_

Spreading the Keurig Love

Once it was in our house, I’ve fallen in love with the Keurig, and wouldn’t want to go back to a regular coffee maker.

And, to spread the Keurig love, I’ll be giving one to my Dad for his birthday this year. My mom doesn’t drink coffee, so this way Dad will be able to enjoy a cup when he wants one, without having half a pot go to waste.

And Dad is frugal, so I’ll recommend that he buy one of the My K-Cups too, instead of only using the prepackaged pods.

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Gifts for the Hobbit Fan

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As long as I’ve known him, and that’s a long time Winking smile, my husband has been a huge fan of the Lord of the Rings series, and the Hobbit. How many times has he read them? Who know – I’ve lost track!

This year, I’ll be able to find lots of Hobbit-themed gifts for him, thanks to the movie coming out this weekend. We’re going to see it, but maybe next week, when the lines are a little shorter. In the meantime, I’ve rounded up some Hobbit-y gifts, so if’ you’re buying gifts for a Hobbit fan, these ideas might help you too.

The Book

Of course, it all started with J.R.R. Tolkien’s book – The Hobbit. My husband had well-thumbed paperback copy of the book when I met him. A few years ago, I bought him a beautiful hard cover edition of the book, and he treasures it.

This version, available on Amazon, is an illustrated hardcover, and would be welcomed by any Tolkien fan.

thehobbit

The LOTR Series

Instead of buying just one book, you could buy a set of four! This J.R.R. Tolkien boxed set includes The Hobbit, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King. Even if he already owns the books, they’re probably getting a bit raggedy, and maybe even missing a few pages.

Everyone loves to crack the spine in a new book, especially when the book contains a well-loved story.

LOTRset

Lord of the Ring Shirts

If your guy is going to see The Hobbit, he’ll fit right in with the crowd if he’s wearing a Lord of the Rings t-shirt. This shirt has the coat of arms from Gondor, which is one of the kingdoms in the series.

It looks classy, and the design will be recognized by fellow Tolkien aficionados. I like this style of t-shirt better than the ones that look like a poster for the movie. But you can find those too, if that’s what your guy prefers.

LOTRshirtgondor

For Hobbit fans with a sense of humor, this “Keep Calm and Call Gandalf” shirt is the perfect gift. It’s a soft cotton jersey, so he’ll be comfortable while waiting for Gandalf to arrive. Winking smile

keepcalmgandalf

The Hobbit Board Game

For a quiet night at home, there is a new board game based on The Hobbit. It’s great for family fun night, with older children and adults. All the players try to help Bilbo get to Lonely Mountain, to collect the treasure. The game takes about an hour to play, so you don’t have to devote the whole evening to it.

hobbitgame

Magical Letter Opener

We don’t get as much mail as we used to, now that email has taken over. But, it would be fun to slice open those credit card bills with this fancy letter opener. It’s designed to look like Bilbo’s magical weapon – Sting.

stingletteropener

Happy Hobbiting!

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Gifts for Bond, James Bond

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James Bond lives an exciting life, and some guys might dream of sharing in those adventures. I’d rather sit at home, watching a spy movie, but if your guy is a James Bond fan, some of these gift ideas will appeal to his super spy side.

Action Packed Video Game

If you don’t have the time or energy to hunt down enemy agents in another country, how about fighting them at home, in a PlayStation 2 game — Jame Bond 007 From Russia With Love – Gamecube?

This classic movie featured my favorite Bond — Sean Connery. In this game, you can help him with missions from the movie, and use your driving, stealth and jetpack skills. Where else will you get to do that during a normal day?

 Super Spy Gadgets

As every James Bond fan knows, to be a super spy, you need a collection of spy gadgets. Here are a few key items, to help your secret agent get started in the spy business.

First, you’ll need a pen with invisible ink, to use for writing those top secret messages. And if you don’t have any impossible missions to work on , this pen will even make it fun to write a grocery list!

Pen with Invisible Ink

Next, you’ll look mysterious in these rear view sunglasses, while you keep a close eye on the enemy agents who are tailing. Or, use the sunglasses to keep an eye on the kids who are playing behind you. They don’t think you can see what they’re up to.

Rear View Sunglasses

For night missions, these Wild Planet night goggles will come in handy. Is that an enemy agent hiding in the alley? Or, you can use the night goggles while you look for the keys that you dropped in the driveway, when you get home late at night.

Wild Planet Night Goggles

You can’t be too careful, if you’re guarding state secrets. If you bring home a top secret document, you can hide it in this small safe, that is cleverly disguised as a can of Shaving Foam Can.

Shaving Foam Can Safe

If you’d rather record your secret messages, instead of writing them, this PenCam and Recorder will be the perfect gadget for you. And for non-spying days, you can record your to-do list, so you don’t forget to pick up the laundry on the way home.

 PenCam & Recorder

And, if already have all of these gadgets, this book  with 101 Spy Gadgets for the Evil Genius will give you plenty of other ideas for filling your spy kit.

101 Spy Gadgets for the Evil Genius

Happy spying — and be careful out there!

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Gifts for the Dinosaur Hunter

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Most boys are very interested in dinosaurs, and love to read about them, and play with dinosaur toys. My son had a collection of dinosaurs that entertained him for hours, sometimes with fierce battles between the giant creatures, and sometimes playing quietly.

Some boys even dream of being paleontologists when they grow up, to have a career that revolves around dinosaurs. Do you remember Ross, from the TV series, Friends? He had his dream job, studying and teaching about dinosaurs. I’ll bet that he’d love the cuff links in this list (scroll down to see them).

Some guys never lose interest in those prehistoric creatures, even though they’re all grown up. They might not be lucky enough to have a dinosaur related job, but you can brighten their day with one of these fun gifts.

Disappearing Dinosaur Mug

Sadly, the dinosaurs disappeared long ago, and you can make them disappear every morning, with this magical disappearing dinosaur mug. When you add hot coffee or tea to the mug, the color disappears, and only the dinosaur skeletons remain.

Then, when the mug cools, the dinosaurs come back to life. Who wouldn’t enjoy that in the morning? The mug is hand wash only, so keep that in mind when you’re buying it.

dinosaurmug

T-Rex Skeleton Model

If your dinosaur hunter likes to work with his hands, this T-Rex skeleton model would keep him busy for a while. Make sure that you have enough space to display it though – the completed model is about 3 feet long! It sounds like the perfect decoration for that empty shelf in his man cave. ;-)

The good news is that there are only 51 pieces, and they snap together, so the project won’t take weeks to finish. And, because it isn’t glued together, you could take it apart later, if you have to move, or temporarily need that shelf space for something else.

dinosaurmodel

Sophisticated Dinosaur Hunter

If your dinosaur hunter is sophisticated, and a man about town, he’d love these exotic cufflinks, made with fossilized dinosaur bone. They’re very stylish, with the contrasting silver setting and bone in the center.

And imagine what a great conversation piece they’ll be! How many other guys at the dinner party or board meeting will be wearing a bit of dinosaur?

dinosaurcufflinks

Dinosaur Movie

Of course, there is the ultimate proof that even big boys love dinosaurs – Jurassic Park! Did he go to see the first movie, when it came out in 1993? (wow, that was almost 20 years ago!)

We were on summer vacation, and took the kids to see it in a small town theater. They loved it, but were a little scared in places, just like everyone else in the audience.

The Jurassic Park trilogy is available for blu-ray, and it would be great fun to watch on a long winter weekend.

jurassicpark

Quiet Dinosaurs

If you’d rather not spend the weekend listening to dinosaurs roaring, how about some quiet dinosaurs for the wall of his office? This educational dinosaur poster would brighten up the walls, and he might enjoy learning a few new things about dinosaurs, to impress the kids.

dinosaurposter

Happy dinosaur hunting!

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