Christmas Gift Guide 2012


Christmas Gift Guide 2012


Well, the gift-giving season is here again, and we all know how difficult that can be. Especially if you’re buying for a romantic interest. I know that, from a man’s point of view, it’s as if at this time of year we are forced to look deeply into our relationships, decide where they are going, and, sometimes, to decide what we want from life in general. And that’s a lot of thinking to do during a 20-minute halftime.

So if you’re wondering what to give that special someone in your life this Christmas, I have come up with a list of ideas that you may want to consider. However, if you’re still referring to them as that ‘special someone,’ chances are that the relationship is not going anywhere. C’mon, break down and at least learn their name.




If you give her jewelry, make sure it’s not too nice. You want something that says “I want to be with you for…some indefinite amount of time. And if it doesn’t work out, we can always claim that somebody stole the ring and make an insurance claim. And then, to demonstrate my profound feelings for what we once shared, I would be willing to take the settlement money and let you keep the ring.”

But don’t go too far in the other direction, either. You want to give her something that at least looks like it IS a gift, and not some trinket you found in a parking lot, or that a couple of 16-year olds stole from their mother’s jewelry box and traded to you in exchange for buying them liquor.

A Bottle of Wine

A nice bottle of wine says something. Something like “I care enough to spend some money, but not enough to really put any thought into it.” This is especially true if she’s an alcoholic.

And do not try to hide this by giving her the wine as the centerpiece of a gift basket. Then you’re only drawing attention to your lameness. It’s like you’re saying, “I not only didn’t want to put any thought into it…I REALLY didn’t want to put any thought into it. In fact, I actually went to extra trouble to not put any thought into it. Now here, drink your wine, eat your pistachios, and get naked, please!”

A Negligee

Well, now, this is really more of a gift for you, isn’t it? But nice try.

A Pet

Okay, now you’re just trying to keep her occupied while you’re dating other women. Well played. But if she catches on, beware. The only thing scarier than a lover scorned is a scorned lover with a pit bull.


Probably not a good idea, and almost always considered an insult. Unless it’s over $1000, in which case it’s generally considered very, very thoughtful.

Writing Her a Poem

Unless you’re Maya Angelou, don’t even try. Seriously, you’re just making a fool of yourself. I’m embarrassed even talking to you.

Making Her Something With Your Own Two Hands

Again, seriously? Believe me, unless your last name is Tiffany, Cartier, or Bulgari, she’d rather get a store-bought gift.

Sex Toys

If you must go with this, at least make the gift fit the occasion. If you give her edible underpants, for example, make sure you choose either the Candy Cane or Eggnog variety. You know, something Christmasy. But if you give her a flavor named, say…Suntan Coconut, that’s like admitting you want to get the summer-themed inventory out of the way now, because you plan to break up with her in the spring.



Sports Equipment

This can sometimes backfire. For instance, if he’s out of shape, giving something such as a Nautilus set is like telling him outright that you want him to have a better body. As if he didn’t already get that from your obvious drooling each time you pass an Abercrombie and Fitch store.


If you’re going to buy him clothes, for everyone’s sake, please make it something basic. A solid-color sweater, a pair of jeans, a Hooters baseball cap, whatever. But something he will actually wear. Also, make sure it is something that does not have to be hand-washed/dry-cleaned. If not, you will see him wear that article of clothing exactly once. The next time you see it after that will be when he’s using it to wax his car.

Subscription to a Magazine

Again, be practical. A subscription to Money isn’t going to suddenly turn him into a mover-and-shaker. If his idea of ‘playing the market’ is calling the local grocery store to ask them if they have Prince Albert in a can, don’t bother.

A Car

Be careful; you don’t want to give him something so nice that he can aspire to meet someone hotter than you. You might even want to consider a lease-option instead.

A Porsche would be the first choice. After that, maybe a ‘Vette, BMW….at least a Mustang or Trans Am. But please, no Volkswagens. I mean, nothing will kill the moment faster than unwrapping a Passat on Christmas morning.

But whatever you do, do not, I repeat, do NOT give him a moped. Or you will be alone next Christmas. And if he actually rides it, you should want to be.

Well, that’s it for now. But whatever you do, please keep in mind the most important thing during this or any holiday season: that’s right, always keep your receipts. And  have a Merry Christmas.




Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Terry Stain - December 23, 2012 at 11:21 PM

Categories: Uncategorized   Tags:

The Election 2012


November 2, 2012

Election 2012

It’s almost election day, and I think we all know what that means. That’s right, your life over the next four years will unfold the same as it would have, anyway, but after the election, you’ll know who to blame it on.

But I like having someone to blame. I find it easier to have a scapegoat than to have to dig deeper to find the real problem. So give me a bad President any day. I mean, if you’re trying to fill in your vote-by-mail ballot while driving down the 101 and you hit a guard rail after swerving to avoid a cement truck, it’s very convenient to have an actual name to append to your cursing. You can’t just start yelling, “Freaking…whatziznname!” Or “God****…dem…o…pubs!” It’s like trying to make your point by hanging up abruptly on a cell phone. Just not very rewarding.

But every time I try to blame something on any given President, there’s always some jerk who’ll say “Actually, that policy wasn’t implemented by the current President; it was the one before him.” (You also know they’re a jerk because they’re using a semi-colon, and you can just hear it in their smug, little voice). Or sometimes it was some other, earlier President you’ve never even heard of. And who wants to even try to think back that far? Or they might even say “It’s not the President of the United States that evicted you, but the President of the Homeowners’ Association, because they keep hearing screams from inside your home and it always smells like ammonia.” Yeah, like that was my fault.

So anymore, I don’t even try to figure out who to blame. When I get into the voting booth I just guess.

Now I know some people will chastise me for that. You know, the old ‘every vote counts’ syndrome. Right. Every vote counts. Tell that to Katherine Harris and see how long she keeps a straight face before bursting into laughter. Or tell it to Al Gore (“I had  as many votes as Bush, so why did he win the election?”) And he would have a very good point. In fact, many people still think he actually was the President from 2000-2004, including George Bush, which may be one reason why Bush took so many vacations.

Now I’m not a super-leftist, either. I’m mostly middle of the road. In other words, if anything goes wrong, you can’t blame me. And middle of the road is comfortable. As long as you don’t get hit by a car swerving to avoid a cement truck.

For those of you unfamiliar with the political terms, it’s fairly easy to remember the difference: Republicans will steal your money in a business deal. Democrats get the government to do it for them. Either way, you’re stuck with no money, and also having to decide between the Republican, the Democrat, or Ralph Nader. So in the end, we all lose.

Actually, in the last election I voted for Obama not because of his politics, but because I thought he was Irish. (I figured he just had something against apostrophes). Okay, so that one is on me. But another thing I liked was that he smoked cigarettes. I’m still amazed that we actually elected a guy that was not only half-black, but also had a Muslim name, and he smoked! I was seriously proud to be an American that day.

But Romney has his good points. In fact, I am really tired of hearing about how he tied his dog to the top of his car. First of all, dogs aren’t people. In fact, I know more than a few people who wouldn’t even qualify as people. Or dogs, for that matter. But my point is that his dog probably didn’t even care that it was tied to the top of the car. Hell, when I was young it was common for parents to tie extra kids to the tops of cars all the time. When my mom drove my soccer team, she’d cram about 4 of us inside the car with her. (That’s actually where the term ‘four on the floor’ first originated). Then she’d put 2 on the roof, a couple on the hood, and 3 more inside the trunk. It was no big deal, and we hardly ever lost anyone. In fact, if you told me that Romney put his mother-in-law and attorney up there with the dog, I’d vote for him today.

But I think the final litmus test is when pundits discuss which candidate they’d rather have a beer with. However, having done my share of drinking, I can tell you that the beer theory is useless. What you really want is the Jack Daniels theory, i.e., see how they act after splitting a fifth of JD.

If they get all blubbery on you (“Dude, you are my BEST friend! I love you, man!”), that’s not great, but probably still acceptable. However, if they start fantasizing about what your wife looks like naked, that may cross the line. And if they start talking about balancing the budget by putting a meth lab in the basement of the White House, at least they’re showing some entrepreneurial spirit, although perhaps misdirected.

In the end, my advice is to guess. I mean, it’s no worse than a multiple-choice test, so you’re bound to get at least half of them correct. Just make sure you don’t hit the cement truck.




Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Terry Stain - at 11:14 PM

Categories: Uncategorized   Tags:

Thought for the Day…April 19, 2012

The number of Mexican immigrants living illegally in the U.S. has dropped significantly for the first time in decades….

…Many believe it’s because they have been outsourcing the immigration to India.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta apologized for US soldiers that took photos of themselves posing with the bloodied remains of dead insurgents in Afghanistan…

…Why should we have to apologize? If people don’t want their body parts displayed in photos, maybe they should think twice about being suicide bombers.

Top 5 Reasons Soldiers Gave for Having a Severed Hand on Their Shoulder:

5. “Last time I looked, there was a full body attached, I swear!”

4. “I thought someone was just tapping me on the shoulder.”

3. “It’s ‘Thing’ from the Addams Family.”

2. “I thought he just lost a lot of weight.”

1. “What, am I supposed to keep it in my pocket?”

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Terry Stain - June 24, 2012 at 11:01 PM

Categories: Uncategorized   Tags:

Today in History…April 19, 2012

On this date in 2005 Joseph Ratzinger of Germany was elected Pope and took the name Benedict XVI….

…I can’t help but think that there had to have been an easier way of getting his name changed.

Also on this date…the US Mint went off the gold standard on this day in 1938.

Obviously things have gone  way downhill since then. Here is the progression of materials on which the dollar has been based in the intervening years:










2006—Particle board


2011—Old milk cartons

2012—Used Kleenex







Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Terry Stain - at 10:55 PM

Categories: Uncategorized   Tags:

Thought for the Day…March 24, 2012

Today is the anniversary of the birthday of Harry Houdini (March 24, 1874). On a related note, I can’t find my car keys.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Terry Stain - at 10:41 PM

Categories: Uncategorized   Tags:

Today in History…February 16, 2012

On this date in 1968, the nation’s first 911 emergency phone system went into effect in Haleyville, Alabama.

The first 7,000 calls were all from people with the same problem….(“Help! I live in Alabama!!!!”)


In 1862 at the Battle of Fort Donelson in Tennessee, Ulysses S. Grant earned the nickname “Unconditional Surrender Grant.”

Not as well known, however, is the fact that the among some of his advisors, the height of his pants also earned him the nickname “Unconditional SUSPENDERS Grant.”


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Terry Stain - February 16, 2012 at 11:22 PM

Categories: Uncategorized   Tags:

Thought for the Day…January 17, 2012

It’s no big surprise that the Costa Concordia sunk in Italy–the Italians aren’t really known for their maritime accomplishments. Except for maybe the meatball sub.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Terry Stain - January 17, 2012 at 11:30 PM

Categories: Uncategorized   Tags:

Thought for the Day…January 16, 2012

Today was a holiday? I wouldn’t know, because I had to work. For anyone who was off work today, you should know that Martin Luther King would have been very disappointed in you.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Terry Stain - at 11:25 PM

Categories: Uncategorized   Tags:

The (Almost) Daily Tortured View/December 30, 2011

I heard on the radio today that the ability to exercise will power is largely dependent on your overall health, particularly diet. In other words, if you’re well-fed, you have more will power. Or, to put it another way, the best way to keep from overeating is to, well…eat.

The good news is that from now on, anytime you see a skinny person on the street, you’re justified in running up to them and shouting, “You weak, spineless, piece of shit! You make me sick!”


A few weeks ago I read an editorial by Ann Coulter in which she explained why Newt Gingrich would be a bad choice for the Republican party nominee. At one point she essentially called Gingrich crazy.

That’s the point at which I realized that Gingrich really would be a bad choice for the Republicans. It has nothing to do with his politics or anything; I just figure that if Ann Coulter says someone is crazy…well, that’s a pretty solid endorsement.


Why is everyone so freaked out about the ancient Mayan prediction of the end of the world? I mean, we don’t follow anything else the ancient Mayans did; we don’t go around performing human sacrifices, we don’t generally wear face paint and perform war dances, we don’t build pyramids…but suddenly we believe in their calendar? That would be like not believing anything espoused by the Mormon religion, but then suddenly deciding it’s okay for men to have more than one wife….

….hmmm. Perhaps I spoke too soon. I may need to revisit this Mayan thing. More later….


On a Sunday in early December, seven teenagers broke into a high school in Lompoc, California, in the middle of the day. While inside, they broke into the teachers’ lounge, the library, and the cafeteria, where they actually ate some food.

WTF????!!!  What, were these guys sitting around on a Sunday afternoon, maybe smoking Spice (or sniffing glue, which is still my favorite), and suddenly they say to each other, “Hey, you know what’d taste GREAT right now? CAFETERIA FOOD!!!!!”

I mean, seriously, the cafeteria? The teachers’ lounge? The LIBRARY? I suppose it’s possible that this was simply a group of very unpracticed young criminals, but I suspect something more sinister; I’m thinking it was a group of rogue nerds. Authorities should beware.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Terry Stain - January 1, 2012 at 4:44 PM

Categories: Uncategorized   Tags:

Thought for the Day…December 30, 2011

I can’t believe it’s been over six months since my last entry. But I have to admit right up front–this one is my fault. For the longest time I had a problem with my laptop–it got stuck closed, with the lid down–and I could not get it open. So I finally gave up. Until a few days ago when a friend who was visiting me pointed out that what I thought was my laptop was actually a cutting board…

…Y’know, I thought it looked a little scratched-up. I guess it’s time to get my eyes checked.


One more thing…I have sat through yet another year of pro football, and I still cannot get used to, or accept, the continually-growing phenomenon of players doing stupid, asinine dances and making ridiculous gestures after making a good play. I mean, it looks more like a high-school girls’ dance party than a pro football game.

However, in their defense, I suppose part of the reason the players perform these ridiculous routines is because they can. I mean, they’re probably thinking they should get it out of their system while they’re still young enough to do so. As they get older, their bodies might not be able to continue to perform all those twists and contortions. Especially after menopause.


Anyway, belated Christmas greetings to all. And, to my pagan friends, belated Happy Halloween.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Terry Stain - at 4:37 PM

Categories: Uncategorized   Tags:

Next Page »