Digital Slob
Curt Brandao

There’s still time
to get some gadgets

WHILE these last two weeks spent pointing out holiday gift ideas have had some sense of urgency, most of us have yet to get off our backsides and reach for our wallets.

But now the clock is ticking. We've just entered what is known in some Arctic Circles as Kris Kringle crunch time.

Beginning tomorrow, the festive small talk in line at the post office suddenly ends, and the exasperated sighing behind the old lady who needs each of her 144 Christmas cards individually weighed begins.

As we make this final turn toward the Dec. 25 finish line, the Holiday Spirit has a message for Digital Slobs and Respectable People alike -- it has no time for losers. Either you've got the goods all tightly wrapped with a matching bow and no tape showing, or you don't.

Don't cry about how society's shallow quest for materialistic perfectionism is ruining your holidays. Your neighbors adhere to it; Macy's' entire business model depends on it; Martha Stewart is serving time for it -- the least you can do is make sure Santa hits his mark at your house on queue.

But history teaches us not to buy just any high-tech gizmo thinking it will be a holiday panacea. After all, most of us now have more computing power in our junk drawers than was used on all the Apollo missions combined.

Yet there's precious little time, so here are three last-minute items you can, theoretically, pass off to an entire world of Digital Slobs and/or Respectable People.

» Monday Night Football Universal TV Remote (excaliburelectronics.com): With this $20 football-shaped 4-in-1 TV clicker, sports lovers can finally toss the remote the way nature intended from a shotgun formation. Of course, depending on factions within your household, battle strategies for the remote could quickly escalate into X's and O's tactics, which might all prove to be more entertaining than anything on TV.

» Mini-Car Racers: Face it, 1,078,652 unwanted online pop-up ads can't be wrong. These tiny, battery-operated, remote-controlled toys (about $15) can provide minutes of entertainment before being forgotten forever, which is more than you can say for your Web cam. Amuse the kids, freak out the cat, but keep it away from Rover unless you want to try wirelessly navigating the toy out of his lower intestines in the doggie emergency room.

» Donald Trump "You're Fired" Talking Bobblehead (nbc.com, available Dec. 15):

I believe the producers of "The Apprentice" actually thought of this $20 catch-phrase-repeating desk accessory first, years ago, and then backward engineered an entire TV show behind it.

This eerily detailed likeness is roughly 1:16 scale to the size of Trump, who is, himself, roughly 1:16 scale to the size of his own ego.

Many do not yet realize, however, that by simply modifying a few hundred of these toys with a motion-detecting device and placing them in plush corner offices, Fortune 500 companies should be able to force legions of CEOs into early retirements.

See the Columnists section for some past articles.
Also see www.digitalslob.com

Curt Brandao is the Star-Bulletin's production editor. Reach him at: cbrandao@starbulletin.com

E-mail to Business Desk


© Honolulu Star-Bulletin -- https://archives.starbulletin.com