I call myself "Incompe-dad" all the time. It's a blend of the word "Incompetent" and "Dad", obviously. Even though my family might say otherwise, I think it describes me perfectly at times. I certainly don't feel like a great dad all the time. Sometimes I have a short fuse. Sometimes I yell. Sometimes I say things I shouldn't. My kids get gold stars for their use of four-letter words in both usage and context. You get the picture...
With Father's Day coming up, my wife and children always ask what I'd like as a gift. And as a guy that usually just buys what he wants most of the time, it's a lot of work to come up with suggestions for stuff that I want/need. I'm very practical in my gift-giving, so when it comes to receiving a gift, I want it to be useful and practical as well. It doesn't mean you can't surprise me. But truth be told I'd rather just handle it myself. It's too important to me to get it perfect and there's too much minutiae to put it in the hands of someone else. That way I can only disappoint myself, and only have myself to blame if something goes wrong, or it's not the precise model or color that I wanted. And most of the time I'm too Midwest nice to return it or say something.
But not everyone is me. (Thank god.) So if you need a little help in picking a gift for pops, then here's a little list of shit that I like. (Affiliate links, ahoy!) This is all stuff that I would totally dig receiving, as most of it I own already. But there are a few things that are on my wish list.
Let's start with kicks. Everyone knows that I'm sponsored by Adidas. Not really, but I wish that I were. It's the brand I wear 99% of the time. I rock the three-stripes because they have quality, timeless design, and comfort. The Gazelle is one of my favorite shoes that they've ever produced. They look good with just about anything you wear and come in practically every color. I only hate that I can't wear these in the rain because of the suede. But I have so many other similar pairs that can get wet, that it doesn't matter. (Like these Daily 3.0 Skate Shoes that I own in Red, but not Denim. Hint, hint. They're on my list. For the record, I wear a 10.5.)
I love music. I love vinyl. Ever since I was a kid I have loved the tactile experience of listening to a record. And these Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT turntable models (available in three colors: Red, Black, and Silver) are awesome little workhorses. I have a couple of them scattered throughout the house and if you're not a super serious audiophile, these things are great. (Don't come at me that you should be playing off a much better/more expensive setup. Fuck you. Bob Marley sounds the same on this deck as it does on your highfalutin rig. Especially when you're chillaxing, hitting your happystick pen.) Anyhow, they sound good, are easy to pair to Bluetooth, and are super simple to use. There is a lot of junk on the market these days, and I would consider these AT's to be the bare minimum you want to play your records on. Playing on the wrong deck can jack up your vinyl, and that's the last thing anyone wants.
If you need a recommendation to go along with a player, I highly recommend the Album "Colors" by Beck. It's not filled with radio hits, you/he probably doesn't have it in his collection, and both sides are a fun listen. I love live albums, and these three have eluded my searches. If I had a record wish list these would be at the top of it: Bob Marley and the Wailers, ‘Live!’, Cheap Trick, ‘At Budokan’, and Talking Heads, ‘Stop Making Sense’.
It took a while to get used to, but I've been wearing my Oura Ring for over a year now. I'm not a "jewelry guy" per se, so this one was a little weird at first. But I have learned to love it. I only take it off to charge. (The battery lasts about 3-4 days and alerts your smartphone when it hits 20% and needs charging.) It tracks sleep, fitness, heart rate, blood oxygen levels, and more. I even had a problem and needed to RMA my first ring. Their support was top notch and did quick and easy work of getting it remedied. TLDR: It's very good at tracking sleep. You can save $40 by using my link.
You probably already have a Ring Video Doorbell. And you probably know that you can use your Amazon Echo devices to alert you of motion or when someone rings your bell. But the Ring Chime boxes are perfect alternatives when you don't have access or want to extend the range of your doorbell alerts. Just plug it into a wall outlet, connect it to wifi, and away you go. I had one for a long time and it just up and died not too long ago. It sounds counter-intuitive to say, but I love the way it makes the dog go mental when the motion is set off. It's like an early alert system, and I miss it. I know Father's day is coming up, but these are all Amazon products, so I would wait until Prime Day to buy any of them as they always put them on sale, and you'll save big.
It took me forever to find a good Smart Phone Mount for the car. Vent mounts suck and block the cold air, which is kind of important in Arizona. Magnet mounts are weak and never worked for me, they'd always fall to the floor. Then I was driving my Mom's car one day and she had one. It uses the CD slot (which I don't use anymore, hello, I have a smartphone) to mount to the dash. It stays attached really well, the grips keep it in place nicely, and it's a perfect position on the dash and doesn't block my view of the controls. And for $12 it's a pretty good deal.
I love this belt for a couple of reasons. First of all, it reminds me of the 80's and my dad. He used to wear one that was extra long, and the excess pointed down to the floor. That was the style back then, don't judge. I think his was leather though. Now we have space-age polymers and fabrics, fit for astronauts. So it's nothing like his. First of all, it's super stretchy. Second, there are no preset holes, so if you're feeling a little fat after that all-you-can-eat brunch buffet, you can let it out a little bit if need be. But, as I said it's super stretchy so you might not even need to do that. And if you drop a few pounds after a few hard days at the gym, this belt's got you covered as well. Just keep tightening it until you look like my Pop in 1987. (Then maybe buy the next size down.) It comes in a bunch of different colors so if you need something a little more formal, the good people at Gallery Seven have got you covered. I also feel pretty good that I take a "Large" on their sizing chart. I haven't worn any articles of clothing in a size large since probably 8th grade. This is a great gift for Dad and beats the hell out of a tie. I need a couple more colors to round out my wardrobe and for $15 why not grab him a couple as well?
I absolutely hate coming home to a dark house at night. You've gotta remember to turn on the lights before you leave, wasting energy along the way, yada yada yada... You can see the problem, so I set out to fix it. Smart Home technology has come a long way in the past few years. I have an original SmartThings hub but they've gone up in price so much that I'd buy one of these Aeotec Smart Home Hubs if I had to buy one today. It can get a little pricey but I started slowly and then added to my system as my budget and desires allowed. That's why I like this hub so much, it allows you to add a ton of different devices made by a ton of different manufacturers to your smart home network. Devices like smart locks, bulbs, switches, dimmers, sensors, and more can all connect and be managed by a single interface. So my very first purchase was a hub and a couple of these Z-Wave Dimmer switches. I started with my outside coach lights. I like replacing the switches themselves because if I decide to change out the light in the future, it's still instantly a "smart" device. (Which I did when I painted my house last year.) Now I can have the lights turn on to 80% at sunset and dim down to 20% at midnight (which is plenty of light and still saves energy and extends the bulb life) and then turn off at sunrise. Since then, I've added lamp modules, timers for exhaust fans in the bathrooms, smart light bulbs, smart locks, and a bunch more that I can't even remember. It's fun to automate things and have Alexa turn out the lights when you leave a room. And this hub is where it all begins. I could talk about this stuff all day long so if you have any questions please give me a call. I'd love to chat.
I used to be 100% Apple fanboy. We were heavily invested in movies from the iTunes store. So when we streamed, we used AppleTV. They work great, and I love them, but they come at a premium. You can't get your foot in the door for much less than $150... Until Roku entered the picture. When I found out that I could access my Apple library I made the switch. I'm a huge fan of the Roku Express 4k+. I think it's the best streaming box on the market. Period. You can find them anywhere from $20 to $40. And when you can get them on sale for $20 I usually replace at least one of my AppleTVs. (We have a lot of TVs in our house.) And of course, you can watch all the standard streaming apps (Netflix, Hulu, Max, etc.), but Roku puts out its own content as well (Hello! 24-hour Degrassi channel! #IYKYK)
I love grilling and smoking. Obviously, if you follow me on Instagram you know this. One of the tools in my BBQ arsenal is an instant-read thermometer. I hate cooking without one. I have a Thermapen but it's old and starting to flake out on me. Eventually I'll replace it. But if I could buy another one, I'd buy the Typhur InstaProbe. It solves most of the issues that I have with my Thermapen. I like that you can fully wash it (that's a no-no with the Thermapen), it uses normal AAA batteries (Thermapen uses CR2025s and I never have one when I need it), and it's billed as being fast. That's really the key for me, quickly getting a good temperature reading. You'll be the hit of the Carne Asada if you show up with one of these.
And finally, my sister gave me a charging stand for my phone, Apple watch, rings, glasses, etc. for Christmas last year. And I love that thing. I can't find the exact one she gave me, but this one is similar so you get the idea. It keeps everything neat and tidy and I appreciate having everything in one spot.
So there you have it. I tried to find 10 cool things that I really use and appreciate in my everyday life. I hope you find something cool for your dad this year. Good Luck!