Tag Archives: Tony Hawk

Christmas Gift Guide for Teenagers | 2013 Edition

Mark is turning 13 which means he is both more expensive and impossible to shop for.  If you have a teen, you know what I am talking about.  To help save you some pain and stress, I put together this Christmas gift guide full of ideas for your teenager this Christmas.

The bad news here if you are Mark, don’t get too excited.  I know you read this and you aren’t getting any of it.


GoPro Hero 3+

Mark loves my GoPro Hero whenever I let him use it and now that he has gotten older and his having his own adventures, his desire to document jumping off cliffs, swimming in a summer storm, or biking single track wherever he can find it increases by the day.  If your teenager is like him, check out the GoPro Hero3+ Silver Edition.  It is 15% smaller and lighter than previous models, it’s 2x more powerful—making it the most advanced Silver Edition camera yet. Wearable, gear-mountable and waterproof to 131’/40m, it captures professional-quality video at resolutions up to 1080p60 and 10MP photos at up to 10 frames per second. With faster built-in Wi-Fi, enhanced low-light performance and 30% longer battery life, the HERO3+ Silver Edition makes capturing and sharing your life easier than ever.

GoProHero3 action camera

  • Purchase at Amazon | $300

Nikon Coolpix S31 waterproof cameraNikon Coolpix S31

Nikon has an entry level shock proof and waterproof camera for under $90.  It takes decent pictures, has a variety of creative filters and features and unlike other low cost cameras, allows a person to do time lapse photography.

It offers 10 megapixel photography, 3x optical zoom, 720p HD video and with it being waterproof, it can be taken everywhere.  A great first camera for any teenager.  It also comes in blue and pink.


Canon Powershot N

Canon Powershot N cameraThe new PowerShot N opens up a new dimension of photographic expression, helping you express your personal style and flair with a whole new camera design, you know because the old camera design isn’t that cool anymore.

The PowerShot N features an entirely new design, sporting a functional sleek shape. Shutter and zoom rings enable quick, intuitive operation, and a new 2.8-inch tilt-type capacitive touch screen offers amazing photographic flexibility; shoot diagonally, horizontally, from low angles or high for versatile expression. The camera features a new Creative Shot mode for artistic image capture, automatically creating an additional five unique images every time you take a shot. The 12.1 Megapixel High-Sensitivity CMOS sensor and DIGIC 5 Image Processor create the Canon HS SYSTEM for stunning image quality and low-light performance, ensuring every photo is a powerful statement. An 8x Optical Zoom with 28mm Wide-Angle lens captures brilliant images with grandeur, from up close or far away.

Record 1080p Full HD video when you want to express yourself with moving images, and know that the enhanced built-in Wi-Fi® of the PowerShot N makes sharing easier than ever. A convenient Mobile Device Connect Button also brings powerful new sharing capabilities with smartphone connectivity. Express your creative style with the PowerShot N and share with the world, all with a simple touch!


X-Mini UNO Portable Capsule Speakers

X-Mini UNO Portable Capsule SpeakersThe UNO is the first of the X-mini Capsule Speaker series to feature new ceramic drivers. Seen more commonly in industrial-sized speakers, the ceramic drivers have been scaled down to the pocket-size with the UNO, which delivers clearer and crisper sounds than ever before.

Delivering on the promise of Sound Beyond Size, the UNO is petite in size but massive in sound. The UNO retains all the outstanding features of the X-mini Capsule Speaker range but ups the ante by offering sound quality that no other affordable speaker can rival.

They sound pretty good but won’t provide so many watts that it could damage the foundation to your home.


Sony MDR-ZX100 HeadphonesSony MDR-ZX100 Headphones

Like most teens, Mark loves his music.  After he broke his old headphones the day before a big trip, I went out and bought him a pair of Sony MDR-ZX100 headphones.  The price was right and I have always enjoyed mine.  Mark fell in love with him and despite me asking him if he wants to upgrade, he keep saying no that these are the pair that he loves to listen to.  Since then I got Wendy a pair and she loves hers as well.

They fold flat, sound even better after being used for a while and are comfortable.   Add it all up and for $16, you get an attractive set of headphones that sound great.


Skullcandy Ink’d Heaphphones

Skullcandy INK'd headphones

Individual tastes matter a lot with headphones.  While I prefer my Bose IE2 headphones, Mark loves his Skullcandy headphones.  Skullcandy’s best-selling INK’D earbuds feature a customizable fit and 11mm speaker drivers that tattoo your temporal lobes with full-color sonic art. Select colors include an inline mic and control switch to keep you in touch with your tunes and the outside world. Skullcandy’s INK’d earbuds come with three separate sizes of silicone eartips (small, medium, and large) to help you get the perfect fit to go with your sound.


Tony Hawk Birdhouse Skateboard

Tony Hawk Birdhouse Skateboard

Brand New Birdhouse skateboard brought to you by skateboard legend, Tony Hawk.

  • 4 – Tony Hawk Birdhouse Wheels 53mm
  • 2 – Tony Hawk Birdhouse Raw Trucks
  • 8 – Tony Hawk Birdhouse Abec 3 Bearings
  • Tony Hawk Birdhouse Hardware Black Grip Tape
  • Purchase at Amazon | $65

In case you don’t know who Tony Hawk is

He’s still a really big deal around the world.


Acer Aspire V5

Acer Aspire V5 Netbook ComputerI know tablets are the next big thing and we love our iPad but students have homework and have to learn how to write.  The best device for that?  A laptop.  If you are looking for one, check out this laptop by Acer.  It features

  • Windows 7 Home Premium – 64-bit version (let me be honest, you don’t want Windows 8)
  • 1.5GHz Intel Celeron 1007U processor, 4GB DDR3 memory, 500GB hard drive
  • 11.6-Inch LCD display (1366 x 768), Intel HD Graphics, Intel NM70 Express chipset
  • Webcam, Wi-Fi, 10/100 LAN, Bluetooth, HDMI, USB
  • card reader, 6.5-hour battery, 1-year limited warranty

Once it is opened up on Christmas Day, head on over to Ninite for the free (and spyware free) software that will make this computer and excellent student (or work) computer for years. 


LiteHawk Zoom R/C Airplane

LiteHawk Zoom R/C AirplaneHow much fun would one of these be?

Take to the skies with the LiteHawk ZOOM R/C airplane. It’s controlled using powerful 2.4GHz wireless technology, features a 17.5″ wingspan, and makes it easy to progress from take-offs and landings to more complex maneuvers. It’s made using high quality brushless technology, as well as light yet durable materials.  Several of the reviews say it can be easily controlled by even a novice pilot.

More Information

  • Designed for outdoor flight with few obstacles and low winds
  • Boasting brushless motor technology,
  • 2.4GHz spread spectrum radio technology ensures a strong signal and compatibility with up to 80 different zoom airplanes
  • 17.5-inch wingspan
  • Manufactured using ultra light, anti-crush foam, the Zoom features carbon control links, a carbon reinforced elevator, reinforced leading edges of wings for added strength and a detachable landing gear for field or uneven surface landings
  • 10 minutes of flight time per charge
  • Radio features include a soft touch throttle control stick, power switch and rudder control stick
  • A variety of replacement parts are available

 


Fender “Stop Dreaming, Start Playing” Set

Fender Guitar and AmpAffinity Series Strat with Fender Frontman 10G AmpThere’s no easier and more affordable way to get started on electric guitar than this value-filled Squier set. Opening this box opens a whole new musical future for you, with a great-sounding, cool-looking and easy-playing Affinity Series Strat guitar, a compact 10-watt Fender Frontman 10G amp to plug it into and all the accessories you need, including an electronic tuner, instructional DVD, gig bag, cable, strap and picks.

Squier Affinity Series Strat is available in Black and Brown Sunburst, and features three singing, sparkling single-coil pickups on a classic single-ply white pickguard, rock-solid bolt-on maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, skirted white control knobs and a sharp new gold-and-black Squier headstock logo. Fender Frontman 10G amp features custom-voiced built-in overdrive for natural grit and adjustable gain control that rocks guitar tones from tube-emulated overdrive to full-strength ultra-saturated distortion (perfect for blues, metal and the famous Fender clean tone), along with volume, treble and bass controls, 6-Inch Special Design speaker, closed-back design for heavier bass response, auxiliary input and headphone jack, and classic black panel/skirted knob/silver grille cloth looks. You get guitar, amp, accessories and instruction all at once, and more than ever it’s everything you need to Stop Dreaming and Start Playing!


Christmas Gift GuidesAm I missing anything?  Do you have some great ideas I should be thinking of?  Let me know in the comments.

You can also find all of the rest of the 2013 Christmas Gift Guides online here.  There is a lot of great ideas for all of the important people in your life.  Good luck with your shopping and have a great holiday season!

Christmas Gift Guide for Teenage Boys | 2012 Edition

A couple of weeks ago search results looking for Christmas gift ideas started to appear so I knew it was time to dust off the Christmas Gift Guides and start on 2012’s.  As usual, I start with the kids and move from there.  If you have any idea or feedback, let me know in the comments.

Shopping for a tween or a teenager is hard.  Amazon suggests MacBooks, they all want $600 iPhone and if you get it wrong, they will hate you forever.  Welcome to shopping for a teenager.  Here are some ideas that are cool, won’t break the bank, and may actually inspire them.

HTC Desire CI have long been a fan of Virgin Mobile prepaid for teens.  You can control their data, their minutes, and if something goes wrong and the phone is lost, you aren’t hit with a massive phone bill or contract.  Everyone wins.  The HTC Desire C ($149) has the newest version of Android Ice Cream Sandwich, a 5 megapixel camera, and a sound system that is by Beats by Dre.  It’s only $149 upfront and you can either put that on their no-contract plan or go prepaid.  It’s not a Samsung Galaxy III or a iPhone 5 but for someone that is 12 or 13 years old, they don’t need a better phone than you.  If  you really want to spoil the kid, you can get them some Beats by Dre headphones ($149) to go with it but a more fiscally sound and responsible choice may be these highly rated and fairly inexpensive JVC Xtreme-Xplosivs headphones ($14.99).

Kodak Playsport video cameraWhile Kodak has fallen on hard times, it still makes a great little compact camcorder in the Kodak Playsport ($80).  It’s shockproof, rustproof, and waterproof to a depth of 10 ft. Since it is designed to be used on the go, it has built-in image stabilization to smooth out the ride. It also has a share feature making it easy to get the video onto YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.  If you want more stability from a manufacturer, check out the Sony Bloggie camera (or the Sport model).  All are great options for your young aspiring filmmaker.

Of course they will need some adventures to film.  Geocaching is extremely popular all over the world and Magellan has created the eXplorist GC Waterproof Geocaching GPS ($119).  It easily connect to the Geocaching.com User Community and perform "Send to GPS," create and sync Pocket Queries, and upload Field Notes. Pre-loaded with the most popular geocaches in the world.  Additionally, the product comes packed with common outdoor GPS features, such as waypoint creation, a worldwide base map, active tracking, and trip odometer.

If they are a gamer, chances are that they have grown out their Nintendo DS.  If they have, check out the PS Vita ($249).  With any gaming system it is all about the games and I am pleasantly surprised the amount of good looking games there are out there for the PS Vita (compared to the PSP).  There is Assassin’s Creed III ($39), Madden 13 ($25), or FIFA 13 ($39)

2012-ipodnano-product-initialWhile my son would love an iPod Touch ($299), I am not sure if any child needs to be online 24/7.  There is a great alternative in the new iPod Nano ($149), especially if the child you are shopping for is extremely active (or you want them to be more active).  The redesigned iPod nano now has a larger, 2.5-inch Multi-Touch display. It plays music and has Genius playlists and FM radio.  It has enough memories to watch watch movies and widescreen videos on the bigger screen. The iPod Nano tracks your steps, your runs, and burned calories and syncs to the Nike+ website to challenge friends. And with built-in Bluetooth technology, you can wirelessly connect to speakers, headphones, or car stereos.  While you are at it, you can add some amazing iHome rechargeable mini speakers as well.

If your child is a skateboarder, you may want to consider a Tony Hawk skateboard deck and kit.  I know what you are thinking, "What’s Tony Hawk a skater back when I was a kid?" and the answer is yes and somehow he is still skating and he is still pretty awesome… if you consider a 900 degree turn on a skateboard awesome.

If you teen is planning to do something awesome like that, you may want to get them a GoPro camera ($169) and a headstrap to record the madness/injury.

Sometimes the best technology and gifts are some of the most basic.  Binocular prices have dropped while the optics are still great.  A pair of compact Bushnell binoculars ($30) are perfect for a hike, some urban exploring, and compact enough to toss in a bag.  If taken care of, they will last a lifetime.

Canada at War: A Graphic History of World War II:  A visual look at Canada during World Ward II.

Canada at War follows the developments and setbacks, wins and losses, of a nation learning to stand up for itself in the midst of the most difficult war of the 20th century.

In graphic-novel format, fully illustrated and in full colour, Canada at War shows the growth of a nation’s army, navy and air force through movingly depicted triumphs and tragedies. From the disheartening losses at Dieppe and Hong Kong through the Battle of the Atlantic and the invasion of Sicily, it focuses on the human dimension of the key battles and decisions that ultimately swung the war in the Allies’ favour.

This poignant graphic account ends, after the victories of D-Day and Juno Beach and the liberation of Europe, with a final reckoning of the legacy these storied years have had on a country forged through war. Aimed at both adult and young adult readers, this very human history tells the stories behind some of this country’s most distinguishing military moments.

Christmas Gift Ideas and Gift GuidesIf I missed anything or if my suggestions made you think I was absolutely crazy, let me know in the comments. You can access the current edition and previous years list of Christmas gift guides here.

Retro Christmas Gift Guide: Toys of Christmas Catalog’s Past

I don’t know if you remember Consumers Distributing but when their catalog came to the house in the 80s, it was chaos as we all went through it to decide what we wanted for Christmas.  I don’t know why I was thinking about that today but I remember really wanting some really bizarre stuff for Christmas over the years.  In honor of the Ghost of Christmas Catalog Past, here is my list of things that I wanted for Christmas but never, ever got.  Some for good reason.  Actually all for good reason.  If you have any gifts that you wanted as a kid but never got, let me know in the comments.

Tomy OmnibotTomy Omnibot :: In reality these probably were not that cool but back in the 80s, the promise of real life working robot kept me awake at night just dreaming of the awesomeness.   Having just mentioned it now, I won’t be able to sleep tonight just thinking about the awesomeness that I missed out of.  I had so many plans for this thing.  A couple of years ago Market Mall had a retro toy place in it and one of these things sat in the window.  Even as an adult it inspired some retro lust.

Vic 20Vic-20 :: In grade 4, our teacher at Queensland Downs Elementary School was a bit of a computer geek and our classroom filled up with one Apple II, a bunch of Commodore PETs, an Atari 400 and other computers that we geeked out on.  He had a Commodore 64 with a revolutionary floppy drive and gave this lecture once about if we worked hard, got a good education, made good investment decisions and had some luck, we too could afford a Commodore 64.  While I had a Commodore 64 later in life (and I loved it), at the time, the Vic-20 was what we played with and I really wanted one.  It was actually the star of our class Christmas play (it also crashed during the finale, wrecking everything)  You know, after the spring of 1984, I don’t think I ever even saw one, let alone ever used one again.

Speaking of Mr. Taylor’s Grade 4 class, he was the one that brought in a robot into class.  I think it was called Adam and it could be programmed to do a couple of things which seemed cool at the time.  It probably explains that why I was so fascinated with Mr. Omnibot up there as well.

Sinclair ZX81Timex Sinclair :: These may have been the cheapest personal computers that I have ever seen and I pestered my mom daily for one in 1985.  Radio Shack at the Mall of Lawson Heights sold them.  I think what sunk my quest to convince mom to get me one was she actually saw how crappy it was.  Like Steve Jobs has taught us, the demo is really, really important.  Of course if I had a Tomy Omnibot, it could have demoed it for me.  For the record, that Christmas I got a Cooper XL7 helmet which despite what everyone said, looked pretty cool in it’s time.

IMG_7927 Tony Hawk Skateboard :: Now I had bought a Dominion Firefly skateboard a couple of years earlier.  For those of you who remember Dominion Skateboards, they were skateboards sold at Zellers and other big box retailers that were pretty cheap.  Looking back at it, it took a lot of abuse and over the years I put some new wheels and trucks on it and it wasn’t a bad board.  Of course it wasn’t a Powell Peralta and there was no way I was going to be accepted as a member of the Bones Brigade without one (I also had no really moves but that is irrelevant) A Tony Hawk Skateboard was a long ways out of the budget back in 1987 but I got a great generic skateboard for Christmas that year and with some really great old school stickers and some parts off my old deck, life was good.  I was going to skate forever or at least until I discovered high school football.   Tony Hawk BMX glovesWhat cracks me up now is that I bought some Tony Hawk biking gloves this summer, Mark plays Tony Hawk games and refuses to accept that Tony Hawk was even alive when I was a kid.  20 years later I am still buying Tony Hawk products.  When I am 80 I may be asking for the Tony Hawk Motorized Wheelchair.

4AF006_1 GI Joe Skystriker :: I had a lot of GI-Joe toys over the years but I also thought the coolest toy was the F-14 Skystriker.  I never ever had one but I had the GI Joe attack helicopter, a missile shooting jeep, the snowmobile, and a couple other really cool vehicles as seen on the page below.  A couple of friends of mine had them and we never really played with it, it was like we were in awe of it’s greatness.

Page from the 1984 Consumers Distributing Catalog

Metal Detector :: I totally forgot about this until Mark posted his Christmas wish list, I wanted a metal detector.  I am not sure what I was hoping to get.  Lawson Heights was still a new neighborhood so the likelihood of buried treasure or even spare change being found was slim but I remember thinking how cool it would be to have one.  My grandfather had one so maybe that is where I got my inspiration from.

Sharp Wizard Sharp Wizard Organizer :: Continuing the computer geek fest, how cool would a pocket computer have been to my life.  It included a memo pad, a telephone pad, calendar and scheduling with alarms and repeating events, multi-time zone clocks, and a calculator.  I am not sure how useful it would have been in real life as a kid but then again, all of those Palm devices I owned were not that much more useful.

Gateway Handbook 486 running Linux Gateway Handbook 286 :: In high school I was pretty much a nerd (which is different than now how?) and we used to love going through computer magazines as a group of nerds and talk computers.  I remember the day when we first saw an ad in Computer Shopper for the Gateway Handbook.  It was too expensive (I think it started out at $995 USD when it came out) to ask for but my heart beat a little faster every time I saw an ad for one.

I later owned a Gateway 486 and loved it.  In a lot of ways, it was the world’s first netbook but it was before it’s time (and the web).

So what Christmas gifts did you miss out on?  EZ Bake ovenCabbage Patch KidsIntellivision? Coleco Adam?