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Tue, Feb. 12th, 2008, 11:26 am
It just seems *wrong* to me

My father-in-law's birthday is coming up, and Bert suggested getting him a TV/VCR/DVD combo, so that he can watch all of the videotapes he has from some educational lecture series he has, and also for the few DVD's he and his wife have. Unfortunately, MIL positively shrieked "No! Nonono!" over the phone with Bert, so that idea is obviously a bust. She then suggested, via e-mail, that we should send FIL a short-sleeved shirt from big outdoorsy retailer. Is it just me, or is the idea of sending one's FIL a shirt somehow akin to sending him, I dunno, underwear? Granted, there are different levels of familiarity implied here, but, a shirt?

I offered to knit him a hat or a scarf once, but I was told he wouldn't wear it, and Bert is concerned that a few CD's of Theodore Bikel might never get a listen and/or a book by Paul Krugman might likewise sit unread. He did get a big kick out of a coffee mug I found one year, one with the caffeine molecule printed on it (FIL is a retired chemistry professor), and he likes another mug with the periodic table of the elements, but what on earth to send this year?

Any ideas for something useful for a semi-reclusive 80 year old who digs math, Shakespeare and diet soda? I'd like to send another coffee mug, one custom-printed with an image from the Library of Congress' Works Progress Administration archives, but I cannot for the life of me figure out how to scale it for either Zazzle or CafePress.

Tue, Feb. 12th, 2008 04:50 pm (UTC)

I have the same problem. I go with the quirky.. so that even though he might not always use it, at least you spent time thinking about him and it shows.

Is there some chemestry museum that might ahve something you could send??

Tue, Feb. 12th, 2008 05:20 pm (UTC)

Well, "Bert" is considering ordering something from The Teaching Company, and if I thought my FIL would wear a t-shirt, there's one that's perfect: "What part of -insert complex equation- don't you understand?" I did google "chemistry museum" and came up with the OMSI gift store -- I'm sooo tempted to send one of those kiddie chemistry sets...

Tue, Feb. 12th, 2008 05:26 pm (UTC)

A shirt is so impersonal IMHO. I like the TV/VCR/DVD combo- do they already have a VCR & DVD setup?

If you're going for quirky, I'd like to suggest: http://www.shakespearesden.com/
Periodic table of the elements magnets, Shakespeare & scientists & other literary character action figures, games & puzzles, Shakespeare insults mug/shirt, and a heck of a lot more.

Tue, Feb. 12th, 2008 06:01 pm (UTC)

I have the shakespeare insults mug and I love it!!

Tue, Feb. 12th, 2008 06:37 pm (UTC)

I assume it has quite a few from Margaret and Anne to Richard III? Those are among the best insults I recall from Shakespeare, Margaret being the better insulter of the two women. (Anne, IIRC, folded up and rolled over quite precipitously and unreasonably. Never did understand why she did that, but it must have served the play's purpose.)

Tue, Feb. 12th, 2008 06:28 pm (UTC)

They do have some very intriguing coffee mugs, and I adore the equations mug. I'll have to roam around longer in this treasure trove -- many thanks for pointing it out! :)

Tue, Feb. 12th, 2008 07:25 pm (UTC)


there you have chemistry and salt shakers. AWESOME.