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Tool organizer and other gifts are perfect for dads

On the way back from the Hardware Show in Las Vegas, Michelle, a Northwest Airlines flight attendant, asked for tips because she was going to spend the weekend painting her garage.

For the do-it-yourselfer

She also confided that her father, Ron, was always coming over to her house and fixing things for her. The man was an ardent do-it-yourselfer, but he always came to her house carrying his tools in a paper shopping bag. I told her that a Bucket Boss tool organizer from Duluth Trading, (800) 505-8888, www.duluthtrading.com, would be a great Father's Day gift. The Bucket Boss fits over a 5-gallon plastic pail and makes it easy to carry a large number of tools. The company Web site shows the Bucket Boss 56 (56 interior and exterior tool pockets), clearance priced for just $15.99. If your dad doesn't have one, it would be a great gift for him, too.

Mike Klawitter, Duluth Trading's press manager, said he thought the two best Father's Day gifts on the site were the company Short Sleeve Top Shelf No Polo shirt for $32.99 and the Short Sleeve CoolMax No Polo shirt for $29.99.

The Top Shelf is made from 9-ounce cotton pique that is almost indestructible. The CoolMax shirt is made with CoolMax fabric that wicks perspiration away from the skin and dries faster than any other shirt fabric. Both shirts are made 3-inches longer than ordinary shirts so the shirt won't pull out when dad bends over.

A bobblehead dad

Your dad is one-in-a-million, so why not commemorate him for all time with his own bobble head doll? It may sound weird, but I went "wow" when my crew gave me one a few weeks ago. Each head is hand carved from your photos and placed on one of a wide selection of bobble head doll bodies. The cost is between $100-$200 depending on your choices and the complete process takes between three and six weeks. You can find all about it on the company Web site at www.bobbleme.com or call (866) 696-7515.

Scanner finds studs

If dad is into tools, the coolest tool going is the new Zircon MultiScanner i700 One Step, (800) 245-9265, www.zircon.com. This little baby has a floating scanner head with a bright backlit LCD display. Press the i700 to a wall and it automatically adjusts to your hand's angle. Move it sideways, and it beeps when it finds the center of a stud.

It locates wood and metal studs, finds copper up to 1 1/2 inches deep and rebar up to 3-inches deep. The i700 Wirewarning continuously detects hot AC and the AC Trace features helps map out subsurface locations for hot electrical wiring. Priced at $69.95, the i700 won't break the bank and you can find it at Lowes, Home Depot and many full-service hardware stores and home centers.

Portable hammocks

If your dad would rather just sit back and relax, I have two great gifts that will make dad supremely

comfortable wherever he goes. The first is the Xchair from Green Eggs & Hammocks, (877) 902-9112, www.hammocks.org. This is a full-featured hammock that takes up one-third the space, is easily portable and sets up anywhere. The cost is $149.95 direct from the company.

Inflatable furniture

If dad's constant complaint is "Oh my aching back," the LoungAir could be the perfect gift. The LoungAir is a combination inflatable lounge/bed/chair. It is very lightweight so dad can carry it anywhere. It sets up in a couple of minutes, costs only $99.95 and there is no charge for shipping. Order on the Web at www.loungair.com or call (877) 240-6158.

If dad is techno-savvy, really into downloading music and you have a spare $1,000, I have a gift that will make dad sing with joy.

Whole-house music

Folks with large music collections often make it a practice to download or copy much of their CD music collection onto their computer. The trouble is it this makes it difficult to listen to the music anywhere but where the computer is located or to share that music with other members of the household.

The Sonos Digital Music System, www.sonos.com, (800) 680-2345, makes it possible to access the central music system from anywhere it the house.

The basic system includes two Sonos ZonePlayers and a Sonos Controller for $1,199. Set up takes less than 10 minutes and once you plug dad's speakers into the zone players, the entire family can enjoy his entire digital music from the computer anywhere in the house, wirelessly. The controller fits in the palm of your hand. It's like it as a 'whole-house iPod.' To order, call the company direct.

No matter whether your budget is $15 to $1,500, the gift that dad will treasure most is a quick hug and a heartfelt "I love ya dad." If you are a child, be sure that you give it. If you are a father, I hope that you get it. It is the one gift that will make your heart happy all year long.

Note: This article was accurate at the date of publication. However, information contained in it may have changed. If you plan to use the information contained herein for any purpose, verification of its continued accuracy is your responsibility.

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