More?  Sure.  Here are my picks for some great gift ideas. Some are new. Some are timeless.  This part is devoted to more miscellaneous ideas.

Gadgets and Radios from C. Crane Company – I’ve known and recommended Bob Crane’s company for more than 16 years and never had a complaint. How’s that for a track record!  He’s a great guy with business ethics better than anyone else I know. Above all that, he carries great products, perfect for gifting.


Favorite products include his class-leading CCRadio Plus. It’s the best there is for listening to news, talk radio, entertainment and sports. It will pull in distant stations more clearly than others, perhaps finding stations you otherwise could not find. Great sound and operation for up to 250 hours on one set of batteries, but you can leave it plugged in (no big brick adapter) and let the batteries operate it in the event of a power failure. Has NOAA weather alerts and forecasts, plus TV audio (channels 2-13) plus AM and FM. I use mine as my clock radio.  Free shipping and worth every penny of its $164.95 price.



For just $15 add a great performing Pillow Speaker, the one I use and recommend. Used with the CCRadio Plus, radio sound is routed to the connected pillow speaker. When the alarm sounds, it goes through the radio’s speaker. Clever!  Can be used with any radio that has a standard 1/8-inch earphone jack.



Bob’s new Sonido radio has most of the same features and performance of the CCRadio Plus, but it’s smaller and newly styled, and it costs only $100, with free shipping.  I use mine in the kitchen, but your gift recipient can use it anywhere!  The same 250 hours of battery life, too, on four “D” size alkaline batteries.



Probably not in time for this gift-giving season, but maybe worth the wait for your radio aficionado, Bob’s newest design, the Mini CC Radio is almost here, now due in July. I can’t wait!  You’ll have to read about it at the link above. It’s really going to be his best effort ever and is on track to be one of the best portable radios of its size ever produced. That’s a tall order, but if anyone can do it, I know it will be Bob Crane.

Browse the C. Crane catalog online for more suggestions or call their staff for ideas. They’re there to help. They’ve done this before, you know.  Whether it’s cool new LED flashlights (This one, this one, this one, this one is my top pick, and these two keychain lights, 1, 2, are my favorites from Bob), home & garden, and much more, Bob has an eclectic mix of products your dad or grad will love.

Call 1.800.522.8863 for more information and please be sure to let them know Mr. Gadget sent you!


Another group of easy-to-recommend gift ideas includes a monthly gift subscription to the Internet-based DVD rental services, Netflix or Blockbuster.  Give your movie-loving dad or grad a year of video bliss!


If audiobooks are your dad or grad’s thing, give a gift subscription to or  Audible audiobooks and their other content are also available through the iTunes Music Store, so you can consider a gift certificate to the iTunes Music Store as an always-welcome gift for music, videos and autiobooks, so long as the gift recipient uses iTunes to organize this content and, even better, the recipient has an iPod.



Don’t just attach it, Rivet it!  No, these are not that kind of rivet. Rivet is a company that makes simple but effective attachment products for phones, cameras, MP3 players. They’re lanyards and belt clips with special attachments for your devices unlike anything I’ve seen.  Their newest, the Rhythm Earphone Lanyard for iPod nano and other small MP3 players is unique.

The lanyard combines with earphones and also attaches to the player in a seamless design.  The earphones come out from the lanyard near to top as it round the back of the neck.  The earphone wires do not entangle themselves with the rest of the assembly. At the bottom of the lanyard, hanging around the neck is the attached, clipped-in MPs player. This is clever innovation that works.

At the heart of each product is their clip and pin design, with variations thereof. The pin attaches to the product (with sturdy tape that won’t let go) and the clip is where the pin clips in to hold everything together, whether on the belt, about the neck, in the back pocket or attached to the car’s dash area.  Where to buy?  Look HERE.


More High Tech LED FLASHLIGHTS for dad or grad.  Why?  Because they’re cool, they work great, last a long time on batteries as compared to the old technology and they are really useful.  I’m impressed with these I have recently tested by Dorcy. They are reasonably priced and offer fine performance with super-bright Luxeon LEDs (all are 1 watt except for one that is a 3 watt source) that will never wear out. These designs are durable, too, perfect for travel to far off and exotic places.  My picks; 1 (Headlamp), 2, 3, 4, 5.  I’ve seen their line at Lowe’s Home Improvement, but you can call them at 1.800.837.8558 to ask the best place to buy in your area or search online.  Another precision brand I like and admire is Princeton Tec.  I’ve just refreshed my knowledge and experience, finding these stand-out products – In a headlamp design, I like their Apex.  It’s an $84 3-watt Luxeon design along with four additional super-bright LEDs and switches to select each, with two setting on each for total flexibility. Where hands-free is the way to go, so is this.  Attitude, under $20, is rated at 150-hours on a set of batteries and is a very good pocket product as well as one for travel, especially in the event of a power failure.  Hey, it happens!  I has happened to me and, boy, was I ever glad I was well-equipped with my LED flashlights.  In a rigged, waterproof, small powerful 1 watt Luxeon that burns for about 50 hours on its four AA batteries, it’s hard to find anything better than their Impact XL, $30, which is at hand all the time, including when I travel.  Use their Site to locate a retailer nearby or one that is online.


Here’s a tip on how to get the longest run time on LED flashlights that use AA or AAA batteries.  I replace the standard Alkaline batteries with super-strong and long-lasting Lithium disposables from Energizer. They’re not cheap, but they are reliable and the only ones I use for “mission-critical” operations, such as travel. When you need your flashlights to work, period, and for as long as possible before the batteries need changing, this is the ONLY way to go,  I buy mine online from Thomas Distributing.  If you use alkaline batteries, the best value I’ve found is from Costco on their Kirkland brand. It’s about $12 for 48 of them!  I’ve heard about really inexpensive AA Alkaline batteries at IKEA, but there is not one conveniently located to me. It there’s one near you, give them a try and let me know your results, please.

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