The Seventh Annual Mindless Diversions Unsolicited Shopping Guide



Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to

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15 Responses

  1. Avatar Silver Wolf says:

    For next year

    It is that time of year again!
    Once again, it’s that time of year!Report

  2. fillyjonk fillyjonk says:

    I’m an adult, but I don’t have immediate-vicinity kids (I have a niece, but her family spends Christmas at their family home, 1000 miles away). I still like getting presents, partly because where I live shopping is crap and partly because I hate shopping for things like clothing. I gave my mom a list (my parents ask for one from their kids). Mostly Northstyle and Duluth Trading clothes, because if I get a few new tops and a new skirt I won’t have to clothes shop for at least six more months. I’m hoping my dad will volunteer to let me pick out a pair of good sturdy walking shoes at the good shoe store up there and offer to pay for them…

    (Secretly? I would still like to get a stuffed animal or some other toy but I feel like, at nearly 50, it’s not quite proper to ask my parents for something so frivolous)

    I gave my brother (among other things) the Simon’s Cat card game because it seemed like it would be fun, and for him and his, playing games is a favorite pastime. I also got him Cobra Paw, continuing the cat-and-game theme. (I am pretty sure neither of those are games he already has)

    My niece is getting (again, among other things) a kid-friendly joke book, partly because I know little kids tend to LOVE the “secret knowledge” of riddles, and little kids love torturing their parents with dumb riddles, but also as an antidote to the fact that my brother and sister-in-law sometimes let her watch humor I would not regard as age-appropriate.

    I got a nice calendar (scenes from Texas parks) as a joint gift for my parents, so they won’t have to put up the freebee ones from the drugstore.

    (Most of the other stuff is kind of personal. I knitted a hat for my mom; she is the only person I currently knit for because she’s the only one who knows how to take care of handknitted things).Report

  3. Avatar Marchmaine says:

    +1 on Burt’s suggestion for the immersion circulator (don’t get the countertop types); I find it is particularly good for feasts/parties where there are a lot of things going on… uncertain dining time… and the need to move as much as possible from “a’la minute” to “prepped and done”. The sous vide is great for that. Flash finishing in a cast iron skillet is super easy too and can still yield a good pan sauce if you are quick and careful about not burning the butter.

    Grilling a few steaks for the family? It works there too, but I find it is just as easy to grill without the added steps, but YMMV.Report

  4. Avatar pillsy says:

    If you dig “classic” point-and-click adventure games, there are a lot of them on the iPad (and I suspect Android tablets as well), many of them new games that try to recapture the feel of the old ones. Most of them are also on GOG.

    A lot of them are really good. One that I particularly recommend is Technobabylon, an unusually well-done cyberpunk adventure with a diverse cast of protagonists, puzzles that almost all hit the sweet spot between “trivial” and “annoyingly gnomic”, and a lengthy, surprisingly thought-provoking storyline. There’s a bit of unevenness in its tone, especially in some portions of the game where you have to get past goons by murdering them in hilarious ways [1], but even that makes me nostalgic for games like Neuromancer and Beneath a Steel Sky, which had oddly slapstick-y gritty dystopias to explore.

    If it’s your thing, check it out.

    [1] Really, one of them made my top five list of video game puzzles.Report

  5. Avatar Hoosegow Flask says:

    The links in the “One disadvantage” paragraph are broken.Report

  6. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    My suggestions seemed to have slipped through. What is this without Saul’s Satorial Advice?Report

  7. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    Give the gift of dance and get people a private lesson at a reputable dance studio in your neighborhood. Hopefully, they will get hooked.Report

  8. Avatar dragonfrog says: has tires on for less than half price. I got some Schwalbe Marathon winter tires (some of the best studded bike tires going) – one for me from Fledermaus, one for her from me (romance! magic!). Two tires delivered to the front door under the price of getting one from a store in town.Report

  9. Avatar Roland Dodds says:

    I didn’t submit my recommendation, but you should have everyone come visit beautiful Sonoma County and enjoy the beer/wine. I will give you a personal your.Report

  10. Avatar Maribou says:

    I mostly want to emphasize to everyone that Jaybird is 100 percent right about that showerhead. He’s SO right about it that when we had a guest coming to stay for a while, we bought a SECOND ONE for the guest bathroom.

    Every single day as I’m standing in the shower I think “OMG I love this showerhead.” (OK, occasionally I first think “CRAP I SHOULD HAVE CHECKED THE SETTINGS FIRST” and lunge for the little flipper thing, because Jaybird forgot and left it on “firehose”, but he’s getting a lot better at not doing that :D).

    Also, he wasn’t kidding about the 3 loungers. Heck, you may want to buy them for yourselves, regardless of gender expression preferences, they are that comfortable (and it’s not like you’d be leaving the house). Everyone knows about coupon codes though, right? Roaman’s always has a jillion out there. Just google “Roaman’s coupon codes” and they’ll probably be cheaper than list.Report