Finding a gift for a woman on St. Valentine’s Day can be too simple.

Cupid stalks men in store aisles with heart-shaped candy boxes, lacy red lingerie and delivery services that will not only deliver long-stemmed roses to your sweetheart, but sing her a song, too. 

But women have the tougher chore — finding a gift to expose the gooey, aw-shucks center in every guy. Retail Rambo and Barg N. Hunter are here to help.

While Shopping Siren and Bag Lady take some time off, the guys have agreed to help women shop for men … for the benefit of mankind.

First, appeal to his love of gadgets and tools. Case in point: Mr Rambo and Mr. Hunter.

Retail Rambo favors gadgets that actually do things, but he admits good ones can be hard to find.

The current white whale to his Ahab is the Loggerhead Tools Bionic Wrench. Retail Rambo spied it in Sears a couple of months ago, but they’ve since disappeared from the shelves locally. They are available online at the Loggerhead tools website, $28.95 for the 8-inch version. Ladies, if you can get your hands on one, bring it home. Your man will thank you.

Retail Rambo did find some nifty things locally, however.

* Sure Foot Ice Grips, Lowe’s, $14.14

At Lowe’s in Auburn, he found a good-sized stack of Sure Foot Ice Grips, nestled among the new snow shovels, snow blowers and ice-melt compounds. Rubber straps that attach to your boots and add some traction would be much appreciated this winter. Nothing says loving like the gift of “please don’t fall on your butt.” Similar grippers sell for $20 elsewhere.

* USB Portable Power Pack by Sharper Image, Best Buy, $29.99

Retail Rambo knows a man needs a little help keeping those batteries charged. Best Buy stocks a USB Portable Power Pack by the Sharper Image. It plugs into a laptop or wall charger, then fits into a pocket or briefcase to go. A multitude of charging tips make it a great tool for providing last-minute power to a dwindling cell phone, GPS or MP3 player.

* Roxio Easy VHS to DVD Converter, Best Buy, $59.99

A few aisles away, Best Buy offers some salvation for the man who has a beloved VHS tape collection: the Roxio Easy VHS to DVD converter. It’s a bridge between the VCR and computer, allowing him to save cassettes of old football games, vintage “This Old House” projects and other beloved programs onto the slimmer and safer DVD format.

Barg N. Hunter never watches “This Old House” and the last time he tried fixing something around the house, Mrs. Hunter had to get out her toolbox and stop a leak from flooding the kitchen.

But he, too, covets gadgets, particularly the ones that are simple and light up.

* LED Swivel Light, Energizer HardCase Professional flashlight, Pep Boys, $29.99

Energizer makes a whole line of flashlights that come under the name “HardCase Professional.” Each one has that rubberized armored look of a weapon to be brandished. It says, “I’m serious about my lighting.” All that’s missing is theme music and a holster. Pep Boys in Auburn stocks them with shatterproof lenses and a swiveling LED light.

* 11-inch Black Disco Ball, Lowe’s, $19.97

* 1-Light Bronze Bankers Lamp, Lowe’s, $35.98.

Barg N. Hunter was enamored by lawnmowers at Lowe’s — they were self-propelled and shiny — but he found himself in the lighting aisle. Just a few feet from the rotating, 11-inch disco ball, he spied a bronze banker’s lamp. The antique-looking lamp seemed like a holdover from the 1940s, with art-deco shade, single light and pull chain.

He imagined the lamp sitting on his desk in his man cave at home. Then, he imagined the disco ball.

Best Find: Nose and Ear Trimmer by Sharper Image, Best Buy, $9.99

Hunter was seduced by Sharper Image’s Nose and Ear Trimmer at Best Buy. The mechanism sports two features that appealed to his gadget senses. One was a built-in vacuum which “keeps your counter free of trimmings,” according to the box (something the women might appreciate). And it has titanium blades. It sounds like a jet engine re-engineered to rid a man of his unwanted hair.

Think twice: Re:Solve Multi-tools, Lowe’s, $4.98 each

Don’t let the sweet price fool you: The little Re:Solve Multi-tools Retail Rambo found at Lowe’s look handy. Yes, each contains multiple blades, screwdrivers, putty knifes and what-not that would all come in mighty handy when we’re putting up new paneling in the dining room or touching up the paint in the upstairs hallway. But we already have multi-tools and they don’t feel quite as cheap as these do. Multi-tools should not be built to be disposable, no matter how cheap they are.

Think three times, then think again: Craftsman Bottle Cap Wrench, Sears, $14.99

Sears sells this Craftsman-brand bottle cap wrench designed to look and feel like a good-sized combination flat wrench, except it just opens beer bottles. Ha-ha! Cute, right up until you grab the stupid thing and try to tighten that loose bolt on the back deck. Isn’t that why God made pliers? Anyway, we have plenty of bottle openers.

Bag Lady and Shopping Siren’s true identities are protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing and sandalwood-scented Doberman pinschers and the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach them at [email protected]journal.com and [email protected]. Retail Rambo and Barg N. Hunter are doing manly things and are unavailable.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.