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Seven more new and different father’s day gifts 2010

Paul Banas
Author Paul Banas
Submitted 03-06-2010

Here are more Father’s Day gifts you might not have thought of for the upcoming festival of dads.

1. For dads who love reading about how things work. Okay, this is book for dads to read with (mostly) little boys. It’s the David McCauley series on buildings, including Pyramid, Unbuilding, Cathedral, and Arena. David MacCauley, the artist behind the The Way Things Work books and software uses beautiful pen and ink drawings to explain how different structures are created.

But he doesn’t stop there. He creates fictitious stories around each to explain the buildings using stories of how and why things may have been built as they were. For example, in Castle, he explains how the King has a nobleman build a castle in Wales to secure territory for the kingdom. These are fun books for dad to read to kids. The descriptions and illustrations are smart enough to interest an adult while compelling to a small child. These are books that dads won’t mind reading again and again.

2. For meat-loving dads. We eat a lot less meat in our house, after seeing movies like Fast Food Nation. and reading way too much Micheal Pollan. Now I need to know where my meat comes from before I mindlessly gnaw away at a big hunk o’ steak. Wherever you live now, through the magic of the internet, you can get access to good organic, grass-fed meats. One we tried recently is a package from La Cense out of Montana. The beef in your ordered varieties, including rib-eye, steakburgers, all beef hot dogs, and New York strip, comes in a super-cold ice chest with each piece individually wrapped and vacuum-sealed. The beef here isn’t just organic, but both grass-fed and “grass-finished,” which means that even at the end of the cow’s life, when most processors send cattle to a big yard where they are grain fed, La Cense beef is fed grass all through their entire lives. La Cense is offering a special for GreatDad readers: 20% Off Three Special Packs, plus free shipping on orders over $95. The promo code is already entered when you visit La Cense Beef so look for the discount at checkout.

BMAW Father's Day

3. For cake-loving dads. Did you know you can even send a cake to someone, including someone in the military. Cakes are usually for birthdays, but who says you can’t send one for Father’s Day, especially if dad is a long ways off, and you know he LOVES cake. We recently tried a chocolate cake from Bake Me A Wish and it was very good. Expect a cake similar in quality to one you would find freshly baked at Whole Foods, with all-natural ingredients and plenty of frosting. The cake was very very moist, perhaps because it had to travel. My wife found it too “wet,” but I enjoyed it. Bake Me a Wish cakes come in 20 plus flavors and can be shipped overnight to any place in the United States, including military addresses. Bake Me a Wish also gives 5% off all proceeds to send birthday cakes to soldiers overseas.

4. For paranoid dads, here’s a security device for the home that is so simple that you’ll be surprised it’s not more common.

The Fake TV Burglar Deterrent from Smarthome is just a small box that just makes random color light patterns, which make a room look like someone is there watching TV, as in every other house up and down the block. Burglars don’t hit houses where they know people will be. They just move on to the next one. At $31.99, this is a far better deal than a security alarm, and probably more effective.

5. For iPhone (and other smartphone lovers), here’s a make-it-yourself project that’s perfect for smaller hands. I love this little gift, and so much better than a ceramic ashtray. It’s a simple iPhone, iPod, or iTouch stand made from a paperclip, and for once, this is actually something dad will use.

I never was interested in an iPhone stand until I got one free along with an inCase iPhone case. It was a goofy little piece of plastic, and I laughed at it when the sales guy showed it to me. “Now that’s something I don’t need, I thought. At least, until I found myself watching a movie on four hour flight and got tired holding the phone and trying to prop it on a coffee cup. The little stand really did the trick, but of course, I lost it almost immediately. I searched Google for “iPhone stands” and found plenty for $20! Hey, that’s just not right. Then, I spotted this little guy: a perfect and portable iPhone stand that costs less than a penny and is a perfect gift for kids to make for dad.

All you need is the bigger size paper clip and a pliers to do the bending. It’s an easy project a ten-year old could do.

You can find static directions and commentary at Paperclip iPhone Stand.

6. For iPhone business users we just tried and I heartily recommend ScanBizCards, a new iPhone app. ScanBizCards scans business cards, sticks them into address book, prompts you to send an intro email, or even let’s you send a LinkedIn request on the fly. This is a very cool app, and well worth the $5.99 it costs (and I don’t say that lightly since I am very cheap. Ask my kids how many “lite” versions we have of games they’d like to upgrade.) We have a ScanBizCards sweepstakes running until 6/20/10 to win a free download.

I just sent back a $200 scanner that was supposed to scan business cards and receipts. It was hitting about 60% accuracy and was far more trouble than just typing them out myself. This little ScanBizCards app was 100% accurate on the first try (though results varied under lower light conditions and tiny print sizes). Not only do I think it’s a way cool product, I think it’s a poster child for the type of game-altering technologies that the iPhone (and iPad) are capable of. The other functions like LinkedIn are just gravy.

7. For sentimental-father’s-day-coffee-table-book-lovers, I like a new book by Robert Houser self-published at Blurb.com, entitled Fatherhood. In Fatherhood, all the pictures are in color, and the images look like photos of real dads. Rather than relying on the drama of black and white to show the power of fathers, Houser instead looks to portray a modern dad who isn’t just there to save the day, but also to do the laundry and make breakfast. Perhaps this is why Gloria Steinem penned the introduction to the book. 201005291617.jpg

The quotes in Fatherhood arre powerful in their simplicity. The quote “‘Look a baby bear and daddy bear.’ ‘Yes.'” has a meaning that will send shivers down the back of any father who has faced the end of those book-reading days. Other quotes are by non-famous dads and often pack a punch.

Unfortunately, given the length of Fatherhood and the fact that it’s self-published, the price for this book is very high: $54.95 plus postage.

GreatDad.com Review Policy: Some of the featured products for this review were provided to us, at no cost, by the manufacturer or representing PR agency for the sole purpose of product testing. We do not accept monetary compensation for reviewing or writing about products. We only review products that we have personally tested and used in our own homes, and all opinions expressed are our own.