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pittsburgh

gifts for men

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Feb. 12th, 2009 | 07:27 am
posted by: halseaon in pittsburgh

every year i try to get an awesome gift for my fiance and i fail so bad.

so i had some questions and would like input from like-minded people.

my fiance LOVES cars (especially international ones) and crotch rockets. he likes to read car blogs and techie blogs. he is very proud of being a life-long eagle scout. he's an engineer turn mba. he likes cute and furry things. and he really likes good food, fancy wine and high-end desserts. so... this being said.. here are my ideas for his bday/valentines.

get really spensive designer chocolates from a pittsburgh chocolate specialty store (do these exist in pitt? if so, any recommendations??)

purchase some cool looking boy scout badges and sew them onto his "business" socks (does anyone know where there are boyscout stores in pitt??)

buy him a subscription to a cool car magazine or geeky tech magazine (suggestions on what mags are out there??)

get him flowers and some novelty caffeine gift (like bawls or something??)

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Comments {42}

Julia

(no subject)

from: jaz853
date: Feb. 12th, 2009 12:43 pm (UTC)
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I'd suggest getting him Top Gear on DVD. It's a British show about cars. Apparently, it's quite popular among boys into car, and it's fun and witty.

What would he do with these badged socks?

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halseaon

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from: halseaon
date: Feb. 12th, 2009 12:47 pm (UTC)
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top gear -- he does love the show (and forces me to watch it). is this something i can buy from best buy or do i need ot order it online??

socks -- wear them and silently feel proud at work while he mind0numbingly crunches numbers??

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halseaon

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from: halseaon
date: Feb. 12th, 2009 12:47 pm (UTC)
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thank you!!

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karebear82

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from: karebear82
date: Feb. 12th, 2009 12:44 pm (UTC)
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There is a fancy chocolate store called Mon Ami down in the strip district. Ive never had chocolate there, but their gelatto is yummy!
There is also one called Chocolate Celebrations in collier. Its in the same plaza as the Pittsburgh Bottleshop Cafe.

As for boyscout badges the boyscout store is down in the city near the mellon arena.

Hope those help at least a little bit.

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halseaon

(no subject)

from: halseaon
date: Feb. 12th, 2009 12:48 pm (UTC)
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that's great, thanks! the bottleshop cafe.. is that bridgeville area??

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Quamzin Kravshera

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from: khyron
date: Feb. 12th, 2009 12:59 pm (UTC)
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Unless something has changed in the BSA since I was a kid, you can't just waltz into a store and buy merit badges...you used to need to have the appropriate little cards signed by troop leadership showing someone had earned them (at least this was true when I led a patrol in the 90s).

Of course now that they're owned by the LDS church, anything's possible.

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halseaon

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from: halseaon
date: Feb. 12th, 2009 01:00 pm (UTC)
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yah i was afraid of that.. but the badge i need isn't available on ebay... and i need it by the beginning of march. do you know any leaders? maybe i can explain that my fiance is an eagle scout...

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C a RR i e

(no subject)

from: indigobluejelly
date: Feb. 12th, 2009 01:21 pm (UTC)
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I'd skip the flowers and socks. It sounds kinda cheesy.


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brian j. parker

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from: beeporama
date: Feb. 12th, 2009 01:49 pm (UTC)
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Isn't the whole holiday kind of cheesy, though?

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sorcha_ruel

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from: sorcha_ruel
date: Feb. 12th, 2009 01:43 pm (UTC)
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Top Gear is awesome :) They have a magazine as well but it's expensive to get shipped here - something like 100 bucks for a subscription I think. There's one called Evo that I pick up occasionally for my car porn fix, it's printed in England and pricey too though.

There is an import chocolate store in the Strip called Mon Aimee Chocolat. They have tons of stuff from all over, very easy to find good quality stuff along with some odd things. Chocolate bars with bacon? Yeah, they have 'em. http://www.monaimeechocolat.com/contact.htm

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brian j. parker

Vosges

from: beeporama
date: Feb. 12th, 2009 01:49 pm (UTC)
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If you're thinking of Mo's Bacon Bar, it can be picked up just about anywhere that carries Voges, which includes all local chocolatiers and even the high-end groceries. Oddly, the cheapest place I've seen them is the Shadyside "Market District" Giant Eagle, where it was a buck or two less than anywhere else.

I very highly recommend the Naga from that line, easily my favorite. My friends who love bacon were a little disappointed-- thought the bacon-and-chocolate was kind of a novelty. I've never tried it myself, though.

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brian j. parker

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from: beeporama
date: Feb. 12th, 2009 01:44 pm (UTC)
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Besides the previously mentioned chocolatiers, on Forbes in Squill you can find The Chocolate Moose, if that's convenient to you.

I have seen scout uniforms in thrift stores. You might be able to cannibalize from them. Although (in line with what other posters mentioned) he might think it's a little irreverent.

Off-topic, but if you're looking into caffeinated or geeky gifts, try thinkgeek.com for inspiration (too late to have it delivered now unless you spring for rush delivery). I've seen Bawls at Target, at least; I don't know if any local retailers have a really deep selection of obscure caffeinated goods, though.

Considering his interest, I would support a local restaurant with your business, where you can get good food, fancy wine, and a high-end dessert. I'm a fan of Kaya. (And they are doing a "Chocolate and Rum Dinner" this week I wish I could afford... not that my wife would go, since she dislikes both chocolate and celebrating Valentine's Day.)

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halseaon

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from: halseaon
date: Feb. 13th, 2009 03:47 am (UTC)
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i know.. thinkgeek was my go-to net place for many moons. i'll check out kaya. thanks for the reco.

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reflex

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from: reeeeeeeeflex
date: Feb. 12th, 2009 01:54 pm (UTC)
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First, I want to commend you for trying to put yourself in the shoes of the gift-receiver. Not many people do that. Usually people buy gifts that THEY would like.

That said, I think the car magazine subscription is the only choice out of the ones you listed. Maybe, MAYBE the chocolate.

As a general rule of thumb, when buying gifts for men, and if you want to buy something they really will like, not just say they like, stay AWAY from clothes!

Men grow fond of particular kinds of clothes, but usually it is for clothes that they have picked out. Your chances of giving him an article of apparel he'll truly like, while extant, are slim.

Here's what men like for gifts, in no particular order:

-tools
-electronic stuff
-sex

Now, the best thing you could give him would be a new Craftsman socket set that can be used to control his Wii while he drives a racing game at the same time engaging in intimate relations (forgive me for being forward), but since that's not likely to happen . . .

Does he have good tools? He likes cars and bikes? Does he work on them? Does he work around the house? Is he handy? Get him a quality socket set from Sears (Craftsman) or something like that. If you don't know what he has or doesn't, get him a Sears gift card. A quality socket set is always appreciated (metric and/or SAE). Good channel locks are always needed. WRENCHES. You can't do anything without WRENCHES.

Good tools are somewhat expensive, but you don't need to buy much to make an impressions. A small set of quality wrenches, a small socket set if he doesn't already have one, etc.

I am assuming he doesn't already have these.

I can think of lots of other items, tools and non-tools, and if you want more suggestions, I'd be pleased to give them to you.

The point is, not just ANY tool, like you can get for cheap at Freight Harbor or Big Lots. Sure, that's probably all he needs, but a man likes to know that he's got some QUALITY tools. Craftsman will work just fine (though there are better brands).

Just think, every time he tightens a lug nut, he'll think of you!

He's lucky to have a fiancee who's really trying to get him something he'll truly appreciate!




Edited at 2009-02-12 01:55 pm (UTC)

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Mary

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from: marymcglo
date: Feb. 12th, 2009 03:56 pm (UTC)
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As a general rule of thumb, when buying gifts for men, and if you want to buy something they really will like, not just say they like, stay AWAY from clothes!

I wish somebody had told me this earlier, as it took me about five years to learn. I can always tell when he needs to do laundry, because he's wearing a shirt I've bought him.

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Claire C. Cake

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from: ras2883
date: Feb. 12th, 2009 02:09 pm (UTC)
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Last year I got my boyfriend a year's subscription to Wired magazine, since he's also into techy stuff. I got it through Amazon for $5.

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(no subject)

from: acrossthewalls
date: Feb. 12th, 2009 02:30 pm (UTC)
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A gift doesn't have to be a surprise to be a good gift. I run most of my gift ideas by my bf before purchasing, and it's worked well so far. Like when I was going to buy him a new coffee maker ... turns out he wasn't really into the one I picked out, but he ended up finding one he really liked so I got him that instead. I was much less romantic for his birthday when I bought him a grill - I told him that it was his job to pick it out and I gave him a rough price range. He thought it was so awesome that he didn't seem to notice the fun of the surprise had been totally tossed out the window. Ask him if he has anything in mind he'd like for a gift. He may just want to hide out with you in the apt. all weekend ;)

The previous commenter said stay away from clothes, but only do that if it makes sense. My bf wears socks and underwear absolutely ragged ... and he's bought ONE new pair of boxers in the three years I've dated him. His socks have 2+" diameter holes in the bottom ... and he makes about 4-5x what I do so I KNOW he can afford to replace it. He insists that no guy in his right mind will replace clothing until it ceases to stay on the body ... so I got him nice, thick cushioned socks (which he mentioned liking before) and a few new pairs of boxers ... in addition to a geeky-guy gift he'd been wanting for a while. Beware though, getting someone something they like and buying him stuff you want him to wear (implying he can't dress himself) are very different and not always super obvious to the gifter.

I've also gifted my bf chocolates - and he loved it. He said no one had ever given him chocolates before (at 29 y.o. no less), and he's a raging foodie so it worked pretty well (I went to the Chocolate Mousse in Squirrel Hill). Plus, you get to eat the chocolates too!

And there's always the old standby of either cooking a really nice dinner or taking him out. One year I got him a gift certificate for a massage, and that went over pretty well too.

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(no subject)

from: undixneuf
date: Feb. 12th, 2009 05:07 pm (UTC)
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You are absolutely amazing.
I read this to my fiance, and he loved the idea of him picking his own things out.
Haha. :)

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su_carbs

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from: su_carbs
date: Feb. 12th, 2009 09:38 pm (UTC)
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As an MG owner, I get plenty of car mags. I'm a bit partial to Classic & Sportscar or Practical Classics. Both are British magazines, and are sometimes a pain to find over here.

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halseaon

(no subject)

from: halseaon
date: Feb. 13th, 2009 03:52 am (UTC)
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so he likes going to that car show in oakland. and he likes th elotus dealership in sewickley. would these sort of cars be featured in the class & sportcar magazine? how do you purchase your brit car mags??

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Old Narnian

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from: doorinward
date: Feb. 13th, 2009 04:03 am (UTC)
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You might not be able to get badges, but there is always the other gift stuff: www.scoutstuff.org (section for gifts and collectables. I know that they have an awesome pen/pencil set for eagle scouts). There is a scout store locally, but I do not know how much of what they will carry. You can always call and ask before going over there if they have a specific thing from the catalog.

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Dean J

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from: talldean
date: Feb. 13th, 2009 04:14 am (UTC)
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Do a desert tour of a particular neighborhood; Squirrel Hill might be best. Alladin's and Gullifty's, Dozen Cupcakes, Gluuteny, Sweet Tammy's, and at least three ice cream shops.

Does he have a sportsbike? What kind? What color?

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halseaon

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from: halseaon
date: Feb. 13th, 2009 04:21 am (UTC)
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ohhh! good idea about the desert tour!! he had 2 sportsbike. kawasaki ninja and a suzuki sv650. now he has an mr-2. hopefully i can take motorcycle class this summer and get my own crotchrocket!! :O

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