By Chris Lane
By Olivia Flores Alvarez
By Angelica Leicht
By Jef Rouner
By Jef With One F
By Jef With One F
By Marco Torres
Special Advertising Supplement
It's Christmastime once again in the Bayou City, and we're all bracing for subzero temperatures and torrential ice storms. Right? Okay, that might be true only for that idiot who forgot to buy his wife an anniversary gift last week (note to self: buy gift). One thing that's true, though, about this time of year is that most women already have begun thinking about what they will give those close to them in this holiday season. And almost just as definite is that many of these women have absolutely no idea whatsoever what to give the men in their lives. So most of these men will be getting the typical Christmas gift staples: underwear, socks and ties. Now, it's sometimes nice to get a new tie, and God forbid we men have to go through life wearing sacred socks (holy... get it?). And of course there's a certain charm in opening up a gift that's been wrapped by that special someone and finding a pair of red-and-green boxers embroidered with the loving caption "Santa's Little Helper," but come on, ladies! How about getting your man something he wants this year!
If you really want to get him something he'll love, something he might never have asked for in a million years, something that will let him know that you appreciate all he does day in and day out for you, then get him the ultimate in boy toys. Head over to Momentum Audi, 713-596-3300, and check out the brand new 2002 Audi TT. With a 1.8-liter turbo engine and acceleration of zero to 100 kph in 6.4 seconds, the Audi TT is without a doubt the car for the discerning man to take out onto the open road with the windows down, the music cranked and the wind whipping through his hair.
Now, if electronics are more your man's style, or just more within your budget, then look no further than Phone Warehouse, 713-777-9494. Get him the Panasonic KXTG2680 2.4 GHz digital spread cordless phone with digital answering machine. This is the newest and most high-tech phone on the market today. It comes complete with talking caller ID on the base and the handset. Yes, talking caller ID.
There are so many new items on the market this season, so many electronic gadgets! The hard part in choosing which gadget to get a man is not trying to figure out what he wouldn't want. That's simple. He wants all of them. The hard part is weeding through the endless clutter of "new" and "state-of-the-art" gadgets and finding the genuinely unique and altogether cool gems that are out there. If he's into music, then you can't go wrong with a portable MP3 player. Creative Nomad and Sony both make fantastic models in the $200 range. Or perhaps he enjoys being one of the "early adopters" and insists on having the next big thing as soon as it hits the marketplace. Then this winter, say hello to the brand-new iPod from Apple. Compatible with Mac computers, the iPod is the next wave of MP3 players.
A digital camcorder would also make a great gift idea. This year the hottest models seem to be from the Sony and Panasonic camps. And if still pictures are more his cup of tea, then there is no beating the Canon Power Shot G1 digital camera.
Is he in the market for a computer? Maybe it's time to invest in a new laptop. After all, PCs have become so passé, and with the prices of some models like the Compaq Presario 1800T dipping below the $1,800 mark, it's getting harder and harder to argue that laptops are just too expensive. If, though, you're not ready to sink two grand into a new computer simply to make it mobile, then you might consider a Palm Pilot. The prices range from $100 to $500 and come with any of a number of applications. Look for great units from Palm, Sony, Handspring, Casio and Compaq.
For the truly die-hard tech junkie, though, there is no cooler mark of frivolous fancy than owning the Philips Pronto Pro TSU6000. A universal remote, it has 8MB of memory, which will allow him to program it to do everything but walk the dog. It's a bit pricey, ringing in at a healthy $1,000, but then again, it don't get much cooler than this.
Men and sports typically go together like stars and stripes, America and baseball, and couches and potatoes. It doesn't matter if your man is a spectator or an athlete; if he's a sports enthusiast, then you can find something at a number of places. If he's more the athletic type (or thinks he is), then take your pick from a handful of great athletic supply stores in the Houston area. Run Wild Sports, 713-622-9453, at Uptown Park has running watches and heart-rate monitors that will help him be a better runner. Well, he can at least look the part and know exactly how fast his heart is beating when it's pounding out of his chest after his brisk 100-yard dash.
Academy (www.academy.com) is a great place to get him outfitted for his ritual of pain. Stock up on winter apparel so he won't have an excuse to skip his run, even if Houston happens to experience the coldest, harshest and most unrelenting winter in recent history.