Here are some recommendations for Father's Day gifts. Since you've left it this late, you may as well just buy what we tell you to and stop worrying about it.
Logitech Anywhere Mouse
This is a thoughtfully designed, genuinely useful addition to my computing setup. The fit and finish really shine, from the business with the battery to the surgical and deeply satisfying click that is the mouse equivalent of the chunk of a Mercedes door. I'm actually finding myself pining for the mouse when I'm away from my desk on my laptop, and am thinking of getting another for home.
Dan Yaccarino: Every Friday
A treat for dads and kids: a sweet, short, beautifully illustrated book about a regular father-son breakfast date at the corner diner
Greasy Tiger Balm
For dads who ache and need their ointment in job lots. By the time you've used this stuff up, you'll be so acclimated to the stuff you'll be using it as contact-lens solution.
Hario Hand Grinder
The perfect Aeropress accessory, great in travel kits for kick-ass hotel-room coffee independence
Yama Northwest Glass 32-Ounce Cold Brew Drip Coffee and Tea Maker, Black
Cold brew coffee isn't iced coffee; it's coffee made by infusing cold water into coarse-ground beans with excruciating slowness. Several hours later, you've got a liquor that's ready to go into the fridge; it's 60% less acidic than coffee and tastes like you'd expect Guinness to taste. There is probably nothing better first thing in the morning on a hot, sticky day. The Toddy is revolutionarily cheap at $35; the Yama gives a taste of the full-bore, lab-glass, chem-lab mad scientist glory that lives at the extremes of the cold brew world; at $212, it's pretty pricey, but it's nothing compared to the $2k-$3k versions you find in really ass-kicking coffee shops.
Ingersoll Skeleton Mechanical Watch *LIMITED EDITION*
If you've won the lotto this year and want to treat Dad, the Ingersoll Skeleton watch is the way to go; a 44mm case watch with a domed glass top that reveals the chased-metal workings whirling hypnotically; and a clear underside that shows off the bright anodized aluminum screws and the backside of the movement. This is one the most beautiful contemporary watches I've ever seen.
Stop Making Sense (extra tracks re-issue)
All that music you loved in the movie that didn't make it onto the original LP, along with all the tracks you love -- one of the greatest live concert albums of all time
The Definitive Hoosier Hotshots Collection
Hard to be more "dad music" than the Hoosier Hotshots, one of the all-time great novelty comedy C&W acts that ever swung a swing. Has such awesome funnytunes as "I Like Bananas (Because They Have No Bones)" and "Since We Put a Radio Out in the Henhouse"
Another high-ticket item, but Cydwoqs are worth it. They're made to order, last forever (with regular re-soling), feel great, and they look like nothing else on the planet. Cydwoqs aren't everyone's cup of tea, but for those of us who are drawn to them, they're unbeatable.
The Essential Bob Wills: 1935-1947
For ten bucks you get enough authentic country swing to send you larking back to the prairies. Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys stomp and swing it and make it all sound so effortless, as they put the jazz into country.
Allan Sherman: My Son, the Box
I can tell you why I loved these: they were subversive, they had wonky, comic rhymes, they were sung in a broad, nasal borscht-belt comedy voice, and they reminded me of the MAD Magazine parody songs that were my favorite part of every issue. I sang those songs everywhere I went.
An album of classic "Jewish minstrel songs" from the golden age when klezmer and vaudeville mixed it up together. Mastered from cylinder recordings and billed as "one of the most offensive albums ever," this gave me plenty to bond over with my bubbies and their friends.
His Royal Hipness
Poetry in jazz from Lord Buckley, a man who understood that the New Testament, Edgar Allan Poe, Sigmund Freud, and other subjects were all fitting to be adapted for jazz poetry. The kind of thing dads and kids can learn to recite together to embarrass and infuriate uptight relatives.
Lenny Bruce: Carnegie Hall Concert [Live]
Toilet humor of yesteryear for dads to listen to after the kids have gone to bed; a classic in free speech and dope history.
Crosley CR249 BK Keepsake USB Turntable
a USB turntable in an old-fashioned style for digitizing vinyl collections to computer.
Smith & Wesson Military and Police Tactical Pen
A "personal protection weapon" that actually writes. This Kubaton pen is machined from aircraft aluminum, and "excels in the boardroom" as well "in the field." Never go "unprotected" again.
Moleskine cover for iPad, with paper notebook
I bought one of these for my father, who is still easing in to the digital world, and enjoys writing out lists, thoughts, and sketching things on paper, old-school style. He loves it. It's a little thicker than the cheap, crappy looking rubber cases everyone gets at first--you are fitting a paper pad in here, after all. But if you want both paper *and* a stylish cover for the iPad, this is great.
Of the styluses (oh, alright, styli) available for the iPad and other touch-sensitive tablets, the BoxWave is my favorite, so far. A stylus isn't for everyone, but if you're going to be doing sketching, or prefer handwriting to typing for capturing fleeting thoughts, you will need one.
Dodocase for iPad and iPad 2
If you don't want an iPad case that also includes paper, this is my favorite. Tell them Boing Boing sent you.
Tasteful girlie books
Here are a few of my favorite large-format books of beautiful women, from Taschen. They also publish more explicit stuff, but these three are more in the dad-gift-appropriate spectrum (though tastes may vary).
If the dad in your life is planning to spend any time at the beach (or near any body of water) this summer, or if he's looking for an alternative to more common athletic footwear, these odd "foot gloves" might be fun. Yes, yes, they look a little weird, but no more so than the Crocs or Birkenstocks he probably has in his closet. And they really are comfortable. The dad I bought them for says the shift from "regular" running shoes to these is not unlike the shift from a sitting desk to a standing desk.
Panasonic Lumix GF3
The newest in Panasonic's line of compact cameras that pack all of the punch of more fancy SLRs, the GF3 offers a simplified design for beginner photographers, or dads who are used to more simple point-and-shoots or built-in cellphone cameras for taking family snapshots. Downside for more "serious" shooters: features such as hotshoe are missing. Comes in four colors, resolution at 12.1 megapixels, captures 1080i AVCHD video, 3" touchscreen display, ISOs from 160 to 6400. Engadget has a nice review here.
Bikehugger's iPhone kickstand
Ridiculously simple design, and only $4.99. Holds iPhone (with or without bumper) on your desk while your dad work, listens to music, or watch videos of the grandkids. Buy a few, perhaps, for home and office--and for the inevitability of leaving one behind at a restaurant table.
Chrome bike messenger bags
I've purchased these, in "Citizen" size (the medium of three sizes available), for two guys in my life who happen to be dads. They loved 'em, and I do too. I use one myself (the larger "Metropolis"), for packing gadgets and gear and a change of clothes while traveling light around the world, or for cycling around town back at home. They're waterproof, durable as hell, and they look bad ass. I dig the black/red colorway with the black metal, but there are less goth looks to choose from, too. The style bottom line: these look like grownup bags. They're surprisingly comfortable on one's back, even when filled with heavier loads. Random spec: you can fit a six-pack of beer in the "Citizen," easy.
Sony PlayStation Vita and Nintendo's Wii U
The bigger buzz items out of E3, these aren't available yet but are worth bearing in mind for later this year. The Vita will sell for $250, priced to compete with Nintendo's 3DS. Plays nice with PlayStation 3. Available in WiFi or WiFi+3G. To be released December 31, you can pre-order already. The Wii U comes out at an undetermined date next year, at a still-undetermined price. Our friends at Kotaku reported from E3 on both the Vita and the Wii U. About the Wii U, Brian Crecente writes: "The Wii U will include MotionPlus Wii remote support, the ability to deliver high definition graphics and apparently a more robust processor. But the key difference is the device's tablet-like master controller."
Chill a drink without watering it down
Penzey's 4- or 8-jar Indian Curry Mix Box
If there's one thing my Daddy taught me, it's that there can never be enough curry powder around the house.
Free State Brewery "Because Without Beer, Things Do Not Seem To Go As Well" T-Shirt
You're Dad may not be from Kansas. But he'll still appreciate this classic T-shirt from the Sunflower State's first craft brewery.
Described as a paperless LCD writing tablet, the Boogie Board incredibly cheap, thin and light. Unfortunately, living in the future does not come with a 'save' feature.
Promissory note for the forthcoming MacBook Air
If your dad needs a laptop and likes things Apple flavored, you have absolutely no businesses getting him anything before the forthcoming MacBook refresh expected this month. Buying him an "old" one will only further disappoint a parent who has already long-endured your presumptuous and ill-considered gifts. He can wait.
Lenovo x120e or the Lenovo X220
If he likes PCs, however, Lenovo's X120e and X220 are easy recommendations. The former is a cheap but decent 11.6" netbook, the latter has more grunt and girth at a stiffer price tag. If you really hate money, get the best of both worlds with the too-expensive Lenovo X1 ultraportable, which has has USB 3.0, a 13.3" display and an i5 CPU.
Universal Gadget Sock
A cute "universal" gadget sock, at a fraction of the ludicrous price you'd pay in-store. (It's also fun to gift these to people who would have no idea what they are for, completely stripped of packaging or other contextual cues, and let their imagination do the work: "I know you really wanted one of these, and though I felt a bit weird buying it I hope you'll enjoy it.")
Canon T3i or the Nikon D3000
If he wants a decent camera, get him a decent camera. These two are just a little above entry-level in their respective manufacturer's DSLR lineup, making them great for both still and moving pictures.
Kindle, New Nook, or Sony Reader Pocket
The Kindle has the best store but no touchscreen, the Nook is perfectly tiny, and the Sony is pretty and made of metal. They're otherwise the same thing and they are all about $150. Avoid color models; they're just not as nice to read on. Nor does your father need 3G. He is far more patient than you and will enjoy the ritual of synching over USB.
Photo: United States Navy
The Grumman G-21 Goose
Every father embodies adventure, daring and courage to their kids. To really deliver on that promise your Dad needs a Grumman G-21 Goose. This storied amphibious plane is just the thing a Dad needs to travel from island to atoll and back. If my daughter were to give me one gift for this holiday, this'd be it. Luckily there are 4 for sale at the link provided. Now I just need an A2 jacket and a monkey side-kick.
Surefire E2-D LED Flashlight
A flashlight and brass knuckles all in one! This intensely bright flashlight kicks ass -- and its got a serrated bezel to cut up assailants too. Shedding light on any situation and providing for personal protection with its dual modes (super bright "blind the bad guy" and mellowly "light-up a path") -- give the gift of love.
Sage 5wt Fly Fishing Set
Incredibly versatile at 5wt, this set from Sage -- makers of some of the finest fly fishing gear around -- is sure to allow your dad to take a relaxing day on the river or feed your family after a total collapse of civilization. Fly fishing is one of the most reliable ways I know to put a meal on the table, or campfire (after the supermarket) -- but in the next few years we'll probably have rendered all the fish inedible or so terrifyingly vicious you'll need a cattle prod to get them off the line . Either way, its the thought that counts!
K-Bar Full Size Black Straight Edge Knife
Now thats a knife! This is really a gift for you AND your Dad -- look at what happened to Bruce Wayne when his dad went wandering around unarmed! Save yourself tons of therapy and danger, get your dad a K-Bar!
Full Foot Pajama's with Drop Seat
Your Dad should be warm and comfortable.