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Ho, ho, ho …. Madman’s last minute gift guide

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Posted: Friday, December 23, 2011 2:56 am

Ahh, the holidays are here - mistletoe, eggnog and packed shopping malls. I would be lying if I said I did not enjoy the holidays despite the season's annoyances. Lets see, there are beautiful light displays, time with the family and gift giving.

Gift giving gives way to panic as the big day approaches like a runaway train. Procrastination and holiday gift giving go together like a mall Santa in an ill - fitting beard. There is no need to panic, however, you still have two whole days to find that perfect gift. Allow me to be of assistance.

Ok, let me start by clarifying how I can help. I am going to give you gift ideas for the car - brained guy in your life. First let me help you identify a car guy. Car guys come in all shapes and sizes and from all walks of life; but we are all a little weird. If your guy parks one hundred feet from the closest car in the parking lot, he's a car guy. If your guy has given his car a name, he's a car guy. Finally, if your guy has a jar marked "tire money," he is absolutely a car guy.

While buying tires as a gift may be difficult, a quality tire gauge is not. Car guys are obsessive about proper tire pressure and can always use a good tire gauge. Both Kobalt and Craftsman make excellent examples and are available at Lowes and OSH here in Lodi. I prefer digital over analog and price is usually under twenty bucks. These little gauges also make great stocking stuffers.

While you are at the hardware store, pick up a nice pair of work gloves. These work gloves come in many types and sizes and are often purpose built. Ask a salesman to help you choose a glove suited to garage duty. Also check your guy's paws before you shop as most work gloves are sized. I take a large. Work gloves are almost mandatory even while doing routine maintenance and they eventually need to be replaced. A good pair of mechanics' work gloves run about twenty - five bucks.

If your auto enthusiast has been a very good boy this year, a new set of tools would be a great way to reward him. Both Kobalt and Craftsman offer very comprehensive "mechanics" tool kits. The Kobalt kits for sale at Lowes are very good and offer the most bang for the buck. A 138 piece set runs about eighty bucks and comes with a lifetime "hassle free" warranty. Craftsman tools also have the easy exchange warranty; but they cost a little more. Ether way you go, both are easy ways to wow any handyman this year.

Does your car guy spend countless hours with an X - box controller in his hand, glued to the television like a video - game zombie? If the answer is "yes," then head to the video game aisle and grab a copy of Forza 4. It is an excellent racing game and it will keep him out of your hair for hours. If he has a Playstation - 3 instead of an X - box, Need for Speed "the Run" is also new and is at the top of every car guy / gamer's wish list.

So, all of you last minute Santas, don't despair. There are carols to sing and gifts to be bought and I hope my last minute gift ideas help. I would also like to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and happy holidays.




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