Father’s day techie stuff that doesn’t suck

Your dad, chances are he’s pretty much done with all the “days” and has been for a while, but here’s Father’s Day coming up this Sunday and you’re wondering what to get that will ship free on Amazon Prime, not break the bank, or is actually pretty cool.

As a 40something dad, here’s what I like:

Ratchet Belts

Ratchet BeltsThey’re totally ratchet. OK, if you’re not familiar with these things the concept is sort of like a modern day military/Boy Scout belt. You slide the belt into the buckle and it will get tighter, but not looser. You press a button to release this and bam.

Now I might love these things because I’m a slightly fluffier person, but something to do with my shape has always made me hate most belts. I’ve found that for my job, and for somewhat intense physical work, these things are great and never lose a hole and can always be positioned where it’s comfortable. Not one inch too loose or too tight.

I’ve had ratchet belts from $30 down to about $7, they’re all about the same experience/great. The one thing to note is they’ll all be something like 58 inches and require slight modification before you put them to use (scissors, 20 seconds of work). Go a little long as sometimes the belt will tear and you’ll need to whittle down a belt.

Here’s a link. Don’t want to give us commission? Just search Ratchet Belt.

I seriously buy these for friends on a regular basis.

Digital WiFi Photo frames

Nixplay Seed Photo Frame reviewWe’ve reviewed a few. Personally I like having something to display my insane number of photos on. Your dad may disagree.

As I’ve got limited desk space at work, one thing that can show me 30,000 photos is pretty useful.

Here’s one that I like, and another, and another, and another.

Those are just four of the six I’ve tried, we didn’t do reviews on the failed ones as honestly could not verify that the company they supposedly were had manufactured them.

A digital assistant

Toast Made custom photo etching Google Home wrapScared a Google Home or Amazon Alexa etc are listening in on you? You’re about a billion times more likely to catch your phone doing that in spite of the recent Alexa stories.

These things are useful for shutting off lights (do you think electricity is free young lady?) changing the thermostat (am I made of money?) and playing that huge back catalog of music from back when music didn’t suck.

With the addition of connected lawn devices dad can tell the neighbor’s kids to get off the lawn or face the sprinklers.

Honestly though being able to set timers, reminders, play my daughters bedtime music, and occasionally let them play talking to Mickey Mouse has been one of the brighter moments of tech I’ve run across.

Sense Home Energy Monitor

An energy monitor

Are you trying to cool down the neighborhood? Is every penny going into the 30 minute shower? Well, probably not. You can prove it and also set up some neat actions such as informing dad when the stove is on with a Sense Energy Monitor.

The Sense energy monitor listens to your house’s electrical current and learns what each device is. From there on out you can break things down into how much electric the open fridge cost, how much you’re paying for hot water, etc.

If you’re just looking for bill tracking you can also look an an Eyedro, I really did love that thing.

Customized cover for phones, Google Homes, XBOXs, etc.

The little Google Home digital assistant up there is wrapped in a Toast Made real wood cover with pictures of my kids. There’s like no chance you’re going to get one before Father’s Day at this point, but you can try. They do most models of phones, gaming systems, digital assistants.

A Father’s Day fitness tracker

No, just skip that. You can tell dad he’s fat and failing another day.

Power, bwahahaha

iClever IC-JD31 reviewI’ve been a fan of car jump starters that can also power your phone. So far it’s meant I haven’t had to go help friends jump start their cars, and that I’ve had an emergency power supply the first couple of nights I got out of the house after having a kid (of course I had a failing phone battery).

There’re a couple of cool types – you’ve got your 30 pound car batteries that can jump a horse and inflate tires. I’ve been a fan of the Power Station PSX-series over the past few years. I had the PSX-1 through two cars, my PSX-2 I did not care for properly and it had a relatively short life (three years?) and I believe I’m on the 3 now, which I use at work quite often for people with flat tires, dead batteries, etc.

I don’t see the PSX series online, but your Sams or Costco probably has a pallet of them.

But if you’re looking for portable and light, this was one of my favorites

It should be noted you can find them a lot cheaper, I’ve just not tested any of the less expensive ones. I know that one works, and works well. No aspersions cast on other brands.

It still irks me that I haven’t had a light portable one with an air pump yet. They’ve got just about everything right really quick in the development of these things, but not that air pump.

Does dad have smaller kids?

Snuggly Rascals volume limiting headphones
What volume limiting headphones might look like

Get them some volume limiting headphones for longer trips. Nothing says “I love you dad” like letting the kids listen to Baby Shark on repeat on a road trip without having to scream at them.

I’m sorry kiddo, listening to Finger Family for the fourteenth time in a half hour drive doesn’t make me want to give you  baby brother.

Here’s some I’m playing with now, these are also really good, and these were pretty sweet.

Not particularly sure where his tech love lies?

It’s hard to go wrong with pizza. And in cases where there’s not an addiction, control, or religious component dictating otherwise, beer would probably be appreciated.

Both of these are great if you’re reading this the day before Father’s day and thinking of trotting down to Kroger/Wegmans/Whatever your version of The Store is.

You can also make a generous donation to Pocketables in his name, he’ll like that… yeah.

Does he have a Leatherman?

Does he have one? They’re so cool. I can’t be the only one who wears one all the time can I? Then again my job sort of requires a tool about every ten minutes.

Forget consumerism

Just go to Google Photos and make some video of the kids growing up.

Make a generous donation to Pocketables and we’ll absolve you of guilt.

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts

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