lIn today’s world, no one has everything. And as soon as you think you do, you find that something new has been invented that you didn’t know you needed. For example, my wife had no idea she could use a lipstick printer, which could produce paint in any color she wanted that day. Neither of us had any idea you could get a projector that produced crystal clear images on our wall (even if it didn’t have speakers). And while I, of course, knew all about Moleskin notebooks—the legendary brand beloved by Hemingway and war reporters—one with a pen that “records” what you write and converts it into digital form, or even typing, immediately made me greedy. That’s our Christmas list almost sorted then.
Moleskine digital notebook
Sometimes being a journalist is disappointing. As a teenager, I imagined life on the fringes of war zones, drinking beer through gray stubble under a languorously swaying ceiling fan. Sitting alone in a tacky Southeast Asian bar, I read my Moleskine notebook in which I had recorded, weighed down by my noble calling, the horrific scenes I had witnessed that day. I couldn’t have imagined – with the utmost respect for Yves Saint Laurent – testing lipstick colors in the home provinces. Thus it is that a man reaches an age when he realizes he will never be a footballer, never leaving behind a string of mistresses in the East as he lifts dusty elevators in Land Rovers to pursue man’s inhumanity to man. But what about the notebook? Also in a digital age? There is no shortage of electronic note paper on the market. However, what I would like is electronic stationery with an emphasis more on the “stationery” piece than the “electronic”. I don’t want a rigid screen that acts like a slightly more advanced Etch A Sketch. This is where the Moleskine smart writing set comes into play. It looks and is almost exactly like a Moleskine – loved by eminent writers and those who want to become eminent writers. What is different is not the paper, but the pen. Instead of a rigid “document”, which records what I write with a stylus, I have an actual notebook where a pen actually writes – but then a small camera on the pen records it for an app. The result is a series of notes that are literally just notes. The pen uploads it to an app that records and saves the page (if you’re using a non-Moleskine page, you’ll learn that some of the magic comes from tiny dots triangulating the position in front of the camera) – and, if desired, , converts your scribbling into typed text. Now all I need is the ceiling fan.
£229, moleskine. com
Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Sur Mesure lipstick maker
There’s a surprising amount for men to enjoy in Rouge Sur Mesure, an at-home lipstick printer from Yves Saint Laurent. For example, it loads like a shotgun. “Ker-klunk” it sounds when you put in the blush-pink cartridge. Ker-clunk it continues while adding a delicate shade of red. I imagine myself as an SAS hostage carrying out a daring late-night heist, rather than a husband installing a custom lipstick machine for a mildly technophobic woman. Then there’s the app. When I point the phone at my wife, the screen shows versions of her with different shades of lipstick. In short, seductive, I have an adaptable woman. Except, only on the lips. Also, the lips object and begin to say things. And the hands take control of the phone. You can choose a color that automatically matches your Christmas party dress, or choose something a little more daring to kiss Santa under the mistletoe. My wife prefers something more muted. She presses the button and the machine, which emerges as a pink wormcast, releases the chosen color – in just the right amounts for one application. It works, but my wife is not completely sold. For her, part of the fun of lipstick is going to a store, trying it on and “getting away from everyone. Seeing how it’s made kills the magic: like seeing the sausage factory inside. For women who change their lipstick color regularly, tells told me, however, that this would be just the ticket. Apparently I know several such women, although I’ve never noticed their ever-changing lips. If I point out that my non-comment – as a man – would be the point of the regular lipstick changes can deny, it is strongly suggested that this view is precisely the problem with men.
Sony home theater projector
When people ask us what we watch on television, I like to answer that we don’t have television. The implication is clear: On a winter evening, we sit around the fire and read improving tracts in conversational silence. If my wife or I are feeling frivolous, maybe we’ll ask one of the kids to “play something happy on the piano.” What I usually don’t add is that although we don’t have a TV, we do have a big projector so we can watch movies this Christmas that aren’t very good on a very big screen. The problem with projectors, however, is that they don’t work very well during the day. On a clear winter’s day with the curtains drawn, we sometimes have to wait until 4 p.m. before we can numb our minds with television. How to watch the king’s speech? The answer is Sony’s flagship projector. The VPL-XW7000ES is huge. It’s at least ten times the volume of my now-unmanned projector. Even knocked out there is an uneasy threat, like a powerful stallion at rest. It projects the image not so much on our wall as image by image. This is a projector that is about pure brightness. And while it takes up a lot of space, it’s supposed to, I suspect, disappear into your ceiling when it’s done. What should I look for to test it? It’s clear that a projector of this power needs – nay requires – a similarly sized film: something high-octane and high-tech, masculine yet sophisticated. Something where masculine men sweat together and then hang out in handkerchief-sized towels. Of course it is necessary Top gun. Whatever it needs I realize only if Danger zone begins, is a separate speaker. As someone used to a cheap all-in-one projector, I wouldn’t have appreciated that at the top end, as with sound systems, everything comes off. So it is that on screen, in pinpricks, an F-14 Tomcat roars to fight for freedom, but in my living room that roar comes from my laptop. The bad guys are defeated in dazzling Technicolor, but the sound of their defeat comes from tiny speakers.
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