Last Minute Gift Ideas

It's a public service, I tell ya! But, just in case you've run out of ideas for thoughtful gifts for people you like, here's a small grab bag of ideas.

Books I just finished Andy Weir's 'The Martian'. Recently released as a movie with Matt Damon. (Or Ben Affleck, or one of those interchangeable Hollywood leads.) I saw somewhere that the book was better than the movie. The book was really good. A real page turner. Must have for anyone channeling their inner geek. Note: some NSFW language

I bought Dana Loesch's book 'Hands Off My Guns', initially as an "in your face" to support Dana, through her book sales, in light of the onslaught of people who were attacking her. I expected it to be "preaching to the choir", but I was impressed with her story, the way she tells it, and the amount of new information in it. Buy this one for your favorite Second Amendment supporter.

I just started '13 Hours - The Inside Account of what Really Happened in Benghazi'. It was also recommended to me, but might be a little intense for some readers. Or your blood pressure as you consider that you know how this one turns out.

Finished Michael Connelly's latest, 'The Crossing' about a week ago. Connelly is one of my favorite authors. Always bittersweet coming to the last page.  I'm a bit of a purist, so if he's not been on your radar, consider starting at the beginning of the Harry Bosch novels with 'The Black Echo' (1992)  

DVD/Blu Ray Clint Eastwood's blockbuster 'American Sniper' bears more than one viewing. Chris Kyle is the Alvin York of our time*. This movie would have been Six Stars out of Five if it only hadn't been for that fake baby! Add this one to your collection or if you can find any of the six people in America who didn't see it first run.

A thoughtful gift on a budget is the Blu Ray of 'The Island'. Seen this one for $5 or less at Target. Thought provoking sci-fi, well acted with a little bit of edge-of-your-seat action thrown in. Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson star, with some top notch supporting actors.

 A DVD I gave all my kids last year was an HBO movie with Kevin Bacon called 'Taking Chance'. Taking Chance and the Island are the two best movies you never heard of. CDs

If you like acoustic guitar (and if you can find it) 'The Charlie Byrd Christmas Album'. Outstanding! Still time to order and get these shipped in time for Christmas. Since I already have all these things, if you're wondering what to get me, dead president portraiture is always in season.

If you are an Amazon shopper, consider signing up for AmazonSmile. A small portion of your purchase is donated to a charity of your choice, like Wounded Warriors, at no additional cost to you. I support Phoenix Patriot Foundation.  

Update: I thought I would include one more suggestion, but for a very narrowly defined group of people. That and a disclaimer that I am not profiting in any way, shape or form from these endorsements. Michael Connelly is NOT sending me a personally autographed copy of his next book (Hint, hint.), nor will Dana Loesch start following me on Twitter (although her husband Chris does), Andy Weir will not write me into one of his next books as the blogger who saved NASA until I do something like... actually saving NASA. (Clint Eastwood and I will still go bar hopping on New Year's Eve, but that goes without saying! If we do run into Scarlett Johansson, that's just luck!)

This is the one product I do not own, but I am quite impressed with the design. If you or someone you love is a pistol shooter, but has trouble gripping the slide to charge the pistol, a company called Brass Stacker has an ambidextrous ring that mounts to the back of the slide, which would make charging the weapon much easier for someone suffering from arthritis or injury. The design is quite simple and elegant, and I was tempted to buy one even though I currently do not need it. I know some folks have purchased Beretta Bearcats in .380 for self defense simply because they lacked the hand strength to chamber the first round. Again, a very narrow subset of people, but if someone in my audience fits this category, look into it.

Merry Christmas! Don't get caught up in the commercialism. Give gifts from the heart for the joy of giving. I also accept Pay Pal.  : )

 *If you don't know who Alvin York was, get a copy of Gary Cooper's Sergeant York for yourself. STAT.

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