Great gifts for the holidays

In case you’ve wondered, life has had to take a front seat to keeping you informed on the inner workings of Dayton. I should be back on track soon. But, in the meantime, it’s CyberMonday and if you are going to shop- here’s my advice on some gifts that I think rock. Plus- if you buy by following the link- it helps pay for this site.

My first advice- is shop local. This doesn’t help me fund this site- but it helps us keep our economy vibrant. Many local restaurants have gift certificates- as do small shops.

Apple earpods in the amazing great case

The case makes the Apple Ear Pods even more delightful.

The best improvement for your iPhone or iPod. Apple came out with new ear buds- or ear pods- as they call them. Getting the ones with your iPhone is ripping you off of the best part of the retail item- the little white case that they snap into and wrap the cord. For $29 they sound awesome and carrying them around has never been easier. Unfortunately, Amazon isn’t the best place to get them- so go to MacTown or MacDepot. If you want to spend a bit more at Amazon- avoiding sales tax and driving, they are $33 I carry mine all the time, and for the first time- can actually use these ear buds while running.

The Next Learning Thermostat

Save money year round with the Nest Learning Thermostat

My favorite gift that keeps on giving- is the Nest Learning Thermostat – not only does it look great, and is easy to use- it will save you a ton of money. I have the first generation- it’s a little thicker – but uses the same software as the new one. Either way- spend $229 to $249  and save money all year long. You can access your thermostat via your smart phone- and turn the heat down (away) and back up when you need it. You get monthly reports of how much energy you saved- and it takes into account local weather as well. Amazing technology from the guy who designed the iPod.

If you want to eat healthier and feel great- I’m going to point you back to another post- where I talked about our government, your health and our food- I’ve loved the Breville Juicer- but now am looking at an Omega J8006 Nutrition Center Commercial Masticating Juicer, Black and Chrome too- believe it or not- each has it’s own advantages. For $200 to $300 you can get into juicing and feel great and get a lot of nutrition easily and not feel hungry. Really.

If you really like someone- I can’t live without my iPad- and now you have choices of the iPad Mini which is really sweet- or picking up an older iPad 2 for about the same $350. And while the DDn version of the paper sucks on the iPad- you can read it for free- saving you a subscription- and the dead trees. Get a subscription to the New York Times for $20 a month and you’ll have plenty of great news. Amazon isn’t always the best place to look- the Apple store is always good to buy refurbs which have the same warranty as new ones, but here’s Apple iPads on Amazon

If you know any photographers- or budding ones- the DSLR is getting close to perfect as it’s being threatened with obsolescence by the ubiquitous cell phone cameras (The iPhone 4s has an amazing camera- and supposedly the iPhone 5 is even better). The camera we love at the office is the new Canon EOS Rebel T4i 18.0 MP CMOS Digital SLR with 18-55mm EF-S IS II Lens I’m not a huge fan of the stock lens- I really love this camera with either the “Nifty 50″ Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens for $110
or the new pancake Canon 40mm EF f/2.8 STM Lens which is $149 – both lenses will give you amazing low light portraits with “bokeh” and take your photography to the next level.

A subscription to Netflix is another thoughtful gift- I’m amazed at how well this service delivers entertainment value with a really amazing fun interface. You can watch it via so many different devices- your iPad, your laptop, or with a Playstation, Wii or many of the wired DVD players on your TV.

I also still love giving people a subscription to Wired magazine. It’s not just tech- it’s what’s next, written beautifully- and they give it away for $12 a year.

And, if you haven’t switched to a Mac yet- and are considering a computer purchase- I love the Apple MacBook Pro MD102LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop once you switch- you’ll never go back to a PC. Yes, they are expensive- but worth every penny.

And, just FYI- if you go to Amazon via any of these links- and then do your shopping, it helps.

Any suggestions of other great gifts?

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