Weekly Roundup, Friday 6 December, 2019

Is this what people buy when they panic at the incipient arrival of Christmas?

Good morning

What does a t-shirt have in common with a kitchen thermometer?  What does a coin wallet have in common with a laser distance measuring tool?  And what do any of these have in common with an Apple Watch or Bose noise cancelling headphones?

They are all items featured in this year’s Christmas Gift Giving Guide.  We’re all starting to get into the “X Shopping Days Until Christmas” countdown.  With that in mind, I’ve been assembling a collection of hopefully slightly out-of-the-ordinary suggestions to help you with the harder to buy for people on your list.  I’ve come up with a list of items ranging from $5 to $500, and I’ll wager that at least one or two of them are things you’ve not thought of, and may be delighted to see as solutions for the harder-to-buy-for people on your list.  And, who knows, maybe you’ll choose a little something for yourself, too!

So there’s no need to panic as apparently three people did, buying duct taped bananas on a blank piece of wall board (and bidding the last of them up to $150k).  Stand by for plenty of much more sensible – and modestly priced – suggestions!

That’s the good news.  The bad news is that at just after 2am on Friday morning, I’m still a few items short of loading the entire list onto the website.  As you can probably guess, this list is a lot more than a simple series of one line half-dozen word entries!  All items have details and discussion associated with them, and many are linked to articles and reviews.

So I’m calling it a night/day for now, and will complete it on Friday, including – yes, at last, the long awaited Dash Cam recommendation!  What with losing memory cards (embarrassing but true!) and having units fail and need to be replaced, it was a very lengthy and challenging process, but I’m now in a position to anoint a winner.

I’m not going to write any more at this point, but I am attaching three articles to give you something for your Friday morning – two book reviews (both fascinating) and an analysis/commentary article on one of the two books.  And if you’d like something else “meaty” to read this morning, here’s a dismaying and thoughtful essay on why transportation projects take so long to get done.

I’ll write again on Friday when the main article is published.

Best wishes until then





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