2016 Father’s Day Gift Guide: Gear

Guys are pretty easy to shop for. Most of the time, you can just get stuff you’d buy for yourself. Here’s a grab bag of Father’s Day gift ideas geared towards looking good and improving your daily life. And for more great suggestions, be sure to check out the other categories in our annual gift guide.

Burley D’Lite Bike Trailer

burley

Just because you have kids doesn’t mean that you still can’t enjoy the great outdoors, and with the Burley D’Lite bike trailer, your little ones will be begging you to take them wherever you go. The company’s top-of-the-line model is loaded with premium features to maximize comfort, performance and safety, including a full internal aluminum roll cage, seating for one or two children (up to 100 lbs.), adjustable suspension for different terrains, and Spring Integrated Technology seating to prevent tangled and limp straps. The D’Lite also features a water resistant cover and zippers, UV protection windows, an adjustable sunshade, interior pockets for things like snacks and toys, and a spacious rear cargo area for bigger items. This is the Cadillac of child bike trailers, and that’s before even mentioning its ability to convert into a one- or two-wheel stroller, jogger or sled. More importantly, the D’Lite provides a smooth ride that distributes passenger weight remarkably well and easily breaks down for storage and transportation. Though Burley has an excellent range of bike trailers that fit most budgets, this is one of those rare instances where splurging for the high-end model is totally worth it.

Husqvarna 136LiL Trimmer

Yard work doesn’t have to be fun, but it can at least be a little less miserable with the right tools from Husqvarna. We reviewed their AWD lawn mower a few years ago and were very impressed with the quality and performance, so it’s no surprise that this battery-powered trimmer continues the company’s tradition of delivering first-rate products at reasonable prices. Lightweight and easy to use thanks to its intuitive keypad, the 136LiL is powered by a 36-volt lithium-ion battery that is interchangeable between all Husqvarna handhelds (like chainsaws and leaf blowers) and features an eco mode called savE that extends battery life during less demanding projects. It’s also one of the quietest trimmers we’ve ever used, and it does so without surrendering performance. In fact, it boasts 25% higher efficiency than a standard brush motor, all while reducing the vibrations caused by a gas-powered trimmer. To say that the Husqvarna 136LiL is a massive improvement over our current trimmer is an understatement, but buyer beware, because once you own one Husqvarna product, you’re going to want to replace everything else in your garden shed as well.

husqvarna

Read the rest of this entry »

  

You can follow us on Twitter and Facebook for content updates. Also, sign up for our email list for weekly updates and check us out on Google+ as well.

2016 Father’s Day Gift Guide: Booze

Walk into any liquor store and you’ll see hundreds of options. You can zero in on your dad’s favorite drink when picking a gift, or you can get creative and choose something he wouldn’t buy for himself. And for more great suggestions, be sure to check out the other categories in our Father’s Day gift guide.

Bulleit Bourbon

bulleit

There’s something so American about a “frontier”-inspired bourbon that sounds like it can be shot from a gun. And this bourbon comes with all the backstory one would hope. Dating back to Louisville, Kentucky in the 1830s, Augustus Bulleit tinkered with a high rye content recipe until he mastered the perfect bourbon. But it was almost lost forever along with Augustus himself, who mysteriously vanished while transporting his precious barrels to New Orleans, never to be heard from again. Lying dormant for 150 years, the recipe found a new place to settle in our modern day. Built on a mash bill of malted barley and corn, we love a bourbon that also packs in the rye (28%). Spicy and bold upfront with an adequate burn from its 90 proof character, Bulleit Bourbon finishes dry and clean, with tones of maple, oak and nutmeg. Your dad may not may wear flannel shirts or build log cabins in his free time, but we think this bourbon will make him feel as though he’s still blazing new trails.

Rodionov & Sons Polugar No. 3

polugar

What exactly is Polugar, you ask? Obscure and mysterious, one would be amiss in mistaking it for vodka. Rather like the Russian greats themselves – Ivan the Terrible, Fyodor Dostoevsky and Anton Chekhov, who all imbibed it – this white distilled liquor is far more intriguing than that. Resurrected from recipes of old, ‘breadwine’ has not been subjected to the double, triple and even quadruple distilled practices that strip away all character and imagination. Instead, the wheat, rye and caraway base are formally invited to coexist and contribute to a pronounced and distinctive flavor profile that lingers on the palate. Delicately soft and powerfully reminiscent of rye bread, Rodionov & Sons Polugar No. 3 is delightful to sip, enjoy and dream of bygone eras. Inspired by recipes handcrafted for Russian nobility, a few glasses will have you saying, ‘Vashe zrodovye!’ And what father doesn’t deserve an experience like that?

Read the rest of this entry »

  

Filling Your Camera Bag: The Top Gadgets for Beginner Photographers

canon-1275642_640

Some interests become hobbies. From there, pastimes can become lifelong passions. Those who love what they do enjoy the technology and gadgets involved in the craft. A novice photographer finds that an increased interest in the hobby creates greater interest in tripods, lenses and other camera accessories. Here is a number of gadgets that will fuel passion and fill the camera bag of beginner photographers.

Bag Insert

Camera components are small and very fragile. The most protective camera bag may not supply a snug fit that is enough to keep accessories from moving around and getting damaged. A water-resistant insert with padding will increase the organization of the camera bag and better protect components.

Read the rest of this entry »

  

Drink of the Week: The LeMANade

The LeMANade.As I’ve mentioned here about 20,000 times, my approach to Drink of the Week is that these are reasonably quick and easy to make cocktails for the home, not major DIY projects. While I love the companies that send me free drinks and (for the most part) really good cocktails, if a recipe calls for, say, a ginger-asparagus-truffle reduction syrup, I’ll skip it. If it demands that I use freshly ground nutmeg, I’ll very likely just stick with the store-bought pre-ground stuff, thank you very much. In other words, I’m kind of lazy and I think you might be, too!

So, when I saw that today’s recipe called for “fresh lemonade,” my heart sank. The Hornitos Tequila people have been very generous to me, both in terms of freebies and in sending me good-to-superb recipes to share with all of you, and I trust them. Also, I am a big believer in the cocktailian ethos that demands fresh juices as much as possible. (Yes, sour mix is a crime against both God and man. You can quote me on that.) I really wanted to do this recipe right, but I just didn’t feel like making my own lemonade.

I decided to get tough with myself. After all, lemonade is just lemon juice, sugar and water. How hard could it be to simply make a mini-lemonade and add it to the drink? Well, it really wasn’t difficult at all, but all I know is that when I substituted the 1 1/2 ounces of fresh lemonade in today’s recipe with 1/2 ounce of lemon juice, a tablespoon of sugar and an ounce of additional water, the mixed drink that resulted was kind of disappointing. A bit too sweet, perhaps. Way too sweet? Maybe. I’ve never made lemonade before and my poor math skills were not helping in terms of trying to make a very small amount of the stuff based on the many recipes I found online.

Read the rest of this entry »

  

2016 Father’s Day Gift Guide: Gadgets

Gadgets dominate our everyday lives, so a good starting point for your gift shopping is with dad’s phone. If he has the latest and greatest model, don’t bother, but if it’s been a while since he upgraded, he’ll probably appreciate a new iPhone or Android device.

If you’re looking for something a little different, however, we’ve put together some ideas for you. And for more great suggestions, be sure to check out the other categories in our Father’s Day gift guide.

Fibit Charge HR

fitbit

A Fitbit can be a great gift whether dad is already into fitness or needs a nudge to take better care of himself. It’s available in a wide variety of colors, and it’s a great gadget to track daily progress for all types of health and fitness measurements. It’s a particularly good tool for someone who needs to be reminded to be more active. Does that sound like someone you know? The Fitbit Charge HR is the brand’s most popular model and can track workouts, heart rate, distance, calories burned, floors climbed, active minutes and steps taken. It can also sync stats wirelessly and automatically to your computer and smartphones, as well as monitor your sleep automatically and wake with a silent alarm.

Fluance Turntables

fluance

Vinyl has made a huge comeback, and dear old dad may love a new turntable if he held on to his old record collection. Sure, we all loved the convenience of compact discs, iTunes and then streaming, but the rich sound of a vinyl record on a great turntable and stereo system is hard to replicate. Fluance has just introduced its new RT80 and RT81 turntables that leverage the company’s extensive experience in audio engineering, signature sound and impeccable design. These belt-driven turntables utilize styluses that provide freedom from noise and distortion, clarity on musical peaks and channel balance. Pick up some new vinyl records for his favorite bands as well and enjoy some great music on Father’s Day.

Read the rest of this entry »