2015 InnerFidelity Holiday Gift Guide Tyll's Fun Gifts
I thought I'd throw in a few extra gadgets I've been particularly stoked about this year.
SCOTTeVEST SeV Fleece Jacket 8.0 ($170, pictured above)
I tried a murse (man-purse) once, but it just wasn't for me. I wasn't embarrassed, it's just that having to haul a bag around didn't quite compute for me. So, I continued to carry all my stuff in my pockets...and tighten my belt so my pants wouldn't fall down.
Then I got the SCOTTeVEST SeV Fleece Jacket 8.0...ah, heaven, I can loosen my belt a little now. The baby carries everything! With a total of 19 pockets I can now permanently store all the stuff I need on the move in my fleece, and always be ready to head out the door on a moment's notice. Way too much stuff going on with this thing to describe here, and lots of other clothing variations on the multi-pocket theme on the SCOTTeVEST website.
My only gripes are the ear-bud pockets on the collar are too small for most IEMs (I wouldn't want to permanently install them anyway), and there's no insulation on the shoulders (for weight bearing reasons, I'm told), but when it's really cold I wear it with a shell. It's actually designed as a companion for the SCOTTeVEST SeV Shell 8.0. On the other hand, I flew to L.A. a few weeks ago; it was below freezing here and 70* there. I started to overheat and then remembered the zip-off sleeves. I seriously love this thing.
Amazon Echo ($199)
I've heard the future. She's a little black cylindrical boom-box, and her name is Alexa. Actually, "Alexa" is her wake word. Say, "Alexa, what will the weather be like today?" and she'll answer "Currently in Bozeman it's 17* with clear skies and sun. Today you can look for intermittent clouds, with a high 24* and a low of 1*." You can also ask her to play a particular artists music, or put stuff on your shopping list, which will show up on the companion app. For the first time ever, I don't forget to pick up odds and ends when shopping. That alone makes the Amazon Echo ($199, less with Prime) worth every penny.
Okay, those who are tuned into the voice features of smartphones these days might well state that Siri is smarter than Alexa. But Alexa is getting smarter every dayAmazon keeps improving it's basic functionality and you can install 3rd party add-ons from the "skills" menu in the app.
I think she's well worth it just for the basics: Alexa, play Barney Kessel. Alexa, play NPR news. Alexa, add bananas to my shopping list. Alexa, I love you. "That's really sweet," she says.
RuggedTec FlashBang Bluetooth Speaker/Flashlight ($39)
Nothing worse than having to stop your bike at the side of the road and have to dig your cellphone out of some zippered pocket while cars zoom by. No worries with the RuggedTec BangZoom, just punch the answer button and keep peddlinghopefully to a nice safe turn-off. This handy gadget acts as a flashlight; bike light; bluetooth speaker; and hands-free answering device. My friend Gentry has one and tells me about it every time I see him. I'll be getting one for my bicycle before the spring thaw.