Unauthoritative Gift Guide 2014

What better way to start my birthday than with a useless gift guide for other people? Birthdays near Christmas are the worst. Buy me a birthday cake decorated with poinsettias at your own peril.

For Tea and Coffee Drinkers

Bauer Pottery Coffee Mug


A beautiful, handmade ceramic mug from sunny (it’s raining right now) Southern California. The aqua-glazed beehive is my favorite container for warm beverages. If you want to really wake yourself up in the morning, the orange is eye-searing.

For Fussy Hipsters

The Moscow Mug


This copper chalice makes your moscow mule look like a million bucks.

The main reason it’s on this list is because Matt Alexander doesn’t stock enough of them so you can’t have any. Excuse me while I go back to hoarding copper mugs.

For Aspiring Podcasters

Audio-Technica ATR2100 USB/XLR


I recently switched over from the Blue Yeti to the ATR2100 because of issues I’ve had in my recording space regarding ambient noise. I’m very pleased with it, and it’s a bargain over many competing mics. I need to get better at speaking in to the microphone, because it’s not as forgiving as the Yeti, but it’s worth it to not have it pick up every little noise in the world.

For All Humans

iPhone 6


I love my phone. I still have problems with the rough spots in iOS 8, but the overall experience makes the device something you just can’t put down. Even when you really, really should. Like when someone says, “You love your phone more than you love me.” Probably a hint that the phone is great. (Also might be a hint about something elseā€¦ whoops.)

For Internet Tinkerers

Digital Ocean


This is for the person that constantly talks about running scripts for things, or how great it will be when he finishes his static blogging engine. You know, the real nerds. Not like you and me. (Cough.)

For Aspiring Writers


$2.99 + $9.99

I almost exclusively write in Byword. I’ll even write notes in Byword because it’ll sync between my Mac and my iPhone. The publishing features are very nice if you happen to blog with one of the supported platforms.

For Aspiring Screenwriters



This is John August’s special little app. It can convert Final Draft documents, PDFs, and plain text. It even has a very simple text editor inside of it. It wins out over Slugline because I find the “helpful” margin shifting stuff really distracting when I’m trying to write a fake screenplay. There is a free demo of Slugline though.

For Visual Effects Artists

Winner: Rowan’s Creek


This is quite possibly the most hideous bourbon bottle you will ever see. That’s great for you though because it means it’s camouflaged from all the people that would think this isn’t worthwhile. And remember, pretty containers aren’t always good choices.

The bourbon is aged for 12 years, and has a traditional mash mix that is very pleasant. However, it is quite strong at 100 proof. You may have trouble locating it.

Runner-Up: Four Roses Single Barrel


Depending on where you the gift recipient lives, you might not be able to buy, or ship, the bourbon. A decent fallback bourbon, that’s more widely available, is the Four Roses Single Barrel. I’m specifically saying the “Single Barrel” one here because I don’t find any of their other products to be very impressive, and I certainly wouldn’t gift regular Four Roses to anyone.

2014-12-17 08:10:00

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