Father's Day is this Sunday; have you gotten your father a gift yet?
Here are some ideas (some are unique!) if you're still looking for that perfect gift:
Inevitably, a father is going to be stuck doing manly household chores, like mowing the lawn. And when he's finished, he'll probably want a cold beer. Save him the misery of Budweiser and sign him up for the Beer of the Month Club. Packages start at $20.95 per shipment, and for a little more you can mix in some international varieties. [Link]
What else? You can never go wrong with something that cuts, plies, grips and screws, but a Leatherman is particularly ideal if dad's growing tired of his wimpy Swiss Army knife. The Skeletool, pictured above, is pretty basic for its size; true handimen may be interestd in the Charge TTi, which packs a whopping 19 tools in one. [Link]
Growing up, did you ever notice a collection of vinyl albums piled up in the basement? Help Dad turn those into usable music with a USB turntable. For $110, Ion Audio's iTTUSB will rip the audio to Audacity, a software program that can save the audio to MP3 or WAV files. And who knows, maybe your father will have a mid-life crisis and start his DJ career. [Link]
Sure, a grill or related gift is an obvious present; Cooking ingredients or professional tools are easy to find. If you're feeling a little more creative -- and perhaps more financially secure -- consider a wood-fired or fireplace grill. For the traveling father, there's also the boatside grill or a variety of other portables. Dad'll never be without barbecue again.
Mom might not be happy if her husband's out impressing the ladies with a Ferrari 360 Spider or Porsche Boxer all day, but luxury car rentals don't last forever, so he's bound to come home some time. All it takes is $250 and a good stretch of highway for Dad to spend five hours acting like a millionaire. [Link]
A simple tool kit, or a Leatherman for that matter, will suffice for the occasional handyman, but if your dad's garage looks more like a wood shop, consider Kobalt's 53-inch tool chest. In addition to the usual drawers -- with ball-bearing slides -- this 16-drawer chest includes a refrigerator and a Pioneer sound system, plus LED lights in the lid for late-night tinkering. [Link]
For every great camping trip, there's always one missing accessory that could have made for a better weekend. Maybe it's something as simple as a headlamp, or perhaps it's a bigger, better tend. If Dad's an outdoorsman, check out Cabela's camping selections or head to REI for Father's Day-specific ideas.
Baseball is pretty much the definitive father-son bonding experience, unless you're one of those newfangled football fans, or you have no soul. The positioning of Father's Day in June makes the perfect opportunity for a baseball road trip. You can plan it yourself, or have site like Roadtrips.com do it for you, with packages starting at $1,800 for four games and luxury accommodations. That's just a little more cash than a Yankee Stadium hot dog. [Link]
Correction: Smoking cigars with your old man is the definitive bonding experience. It signifies to him that you've matured from bumming smokes from your buddies in high school into a more sophisticated individual. Treat Dad to a box of cigars from the Famous Smoke Shop or, if you're feeling lucky, try importing some Cubans.
If your father's got a grill, has a cigar ready for smoking, plus a Leatherman for cutting off the tip, with a beer to drink on the side, and hates baseball, already owns a luxury car, owns no vinyl albums and doesn't care much for handiwork, there's always beef, because it's what's for dinner. Check out instructions on how to buy a side of beef or sign him up for a steak of the month club. Unless he's a vegetarian, in which case, you're on your own. [image courtesy: mike johnson]
What are you getting your dad?