I’m told the week after Christmas is one of the biggest shopping weeks of the year. It’s almost a holiday in its own right. I’m addicted to eBay, but some other online retailers are pretty good too. Among other things, I figured I’d post links to a few of my favorites.
Every year after Christmas Nordstrom has their Men’s Half-Yearly sale. If you’re in the Seattle area my friend Sarah works the sale at the Southcenter Nordstrom in Tacoma. Stop by and buy something; I’m sure she’d appreciate the commission. If you live in a Nordstrom-deprived area, click here to shop online.
If, like many of my friends (Ammon, Morgan, Brandon) you are a new professional, then you might want to check out the men’s sale at Brooks Brothers. Sometimes they provide additional discounts for things purchased online.
Though they tend to cater to a little older demographic, some of the Filson-made bags and leather goods are great. Check out Filson (like Nordstrom, another Seattle based company) and Mulholland Brothers.
My brother will probably get mad at me for sharing a family favorite, but if you’re looking for a parka and don’t want to wear The North Face like everyone else, check out Arc’Teryx. Between my dad, brother and me we own 4 different Arc’Teryx parkas and love them all. Also look at Cloudveil (their “Troller” glove is great), Eider, and a new one Matt discovered the other day–Norrona.
I’ve been asked by several people to identify a good do-it-all ski. Though my research has been admittedly limited, I have pointed most to this ski, the Atomic M:EX. With 84mm at the waist, this is a good all-mountain ski. In fact, though I’m told they changed a lot, it is the descendent of the Atomic R:EX–a ski my dad owns and one I have skied. Variations of the R:EX won ski of the year from different publications for 3-4 years in a row. It is a heavy ski with a heavy binding but it is great in the crud and wide enough for the powder and yet not so wide that you can’t ski it well on the groomers. It is very stable at high speeds. $400 is not a bad price for skis and bindings.
In the days leading up to Christmas several people asked me for book recommendations. Both Trevor and Morgan provided great suggestions. I make no attempt to create an exhaustive list here (at least not yet), but these are a few suggestions if you are looking for a book to buy with your Barnes and Noble gift card. I will never recommend a book I haven’t read.
Short Novel: “The Dante Club” by Matthew Pearl. If you enjoy mysteries and the such you will like this book. Pearl is a great writer and here he tells a great story weaving literature (“The Divine Comedy” by Dante Alighieri) and history (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and others in Boston circa 1865). I don’t read many novels but this one was great.
Long Novel: “The Pillars of the Earth” by Ken Follett. This is an author known more for his Cold War-era spy novels but the historical fiction of “Pillars” is awesome. This is a long book that tells the tale of the construction of a cathedral in England. No one writes people better than Tolstoy, but Follett’s characters in “Pillars” are compelling.
Biographical History: “The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt” by Edmund Morris. Teddy Roosevelt is one of my heroes and Morris really brings him to life in this, the first of a two part biography. This half of Roosevelt’s bio tells about his childhood, his days as a bronco buster, a rancher in the Dakotas, experiences at Harvard, in the New York State legislature and as commander of the Rough Riders and their role in the Spanish-American War. Great book.
As always, comments related to good books, good skis, or any other topic are invited. Thanks. Let me know about skis and outdoor gear/apparel, I’m thinking about doing a more extensive list of recommendations.