Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Top 5 Buys of 2010

Every year at this time, I like to look back and analyze what I've spent my discretionary income on. What have I purchased in this past year that I'm truly thankful for? That I've really gotten the best bang for my buck from. With Black Friday looming, I thought I'd share my top 5 buys of 2010. Previous top 5 buys have included the likes of Little Big Planet, my roomba and the Droid. Here's what made the cut this year:

#5 - Vingette App for Droid / 4 (~$5.33) at the Android App Market

Take that boring coffee cup picture you took with your Droid and turn it into an artsy masterpiece. The camera on my Droid left much to be desired in terms of dynamic performance. The Vingette application fulfills those desires and then some. It's vastly superior to the stock camera interface and improves flash synchronization for night shots. It's also fun to simply play with the filters to see what you end up with. Good stuff.

#4 - Spare Battery for Droid / $5 with free shipping at

As much as I'm addicted to my Droid, my #1 buy from 2009, I find myself killing the batteries. Often. From listening to Pandora at the gym, to watching Youtube, smashing pigs in Angry Birds or just killing time on, my battery dies. I weighed the options for viable battery extending solutions, from portable kinetic chargers to rechargeable 3rd party battery packs, and found that the most elegant solution to be a simple spare battery! They're only $5 with free shipping on Amazon!

When I have really long backpacking trips, I can keep my GPS running for days with spare batteries or just record hours of video. Video of me eating everything I can get my hands on. It's awesome to just swap out the battery and have a fully charged phone again, such a win.

#3 - Generic Aviator Sunglasses / $15 + tax at Pacsun

Yes, good old cheap, generic aviators. I got these on sale one day and I use them all the time. For when I need to get into my competitive eating mode, a simple pair of sunglasses does the trick. I'm really not sure why I love these so much, but maybe because for $15 I really don't care what happens to them. They're extremely liberating to wear. They've also held up quite well and have lasted me through several adventures. I find myself leaving my $150 Oakley's in the case more often.

#2 - Motorola Rokr Bluetooth Headphones / $25 with free shipping on sale at Verizon Wireless

Yes, I know, another phone related purchase, but I do love my phone accessories. Motorola took two things in life that I enjoy, music and technology, and combined them into a practical, compact package. For all my workouts or just when I want to ignore the world for a bit, these things are magical. The audio quality is great and they even have controls built into the headset so you don't have to pull your phone out to change the song, adjust the volume or even answer phone calls. And since they're bluetooth, the batteries last all day too. Brilliant.

#1 - Starcraft 2 / $59.99 + tax at Gamestop

As some of you may know, I'm a pretty hardcore Starcraft player. For the last 14 years I've been hooked, pwning Koreans on their servers and have been refining my zerg rush ever since. It's saying a lot, that for the amount of video games I play, Starcraft easily out ranks the total amount of time I've spent on everything else I've played - combined. That includes all of the Final Fantasies, fighting games, Metal Gears and even Gran Turismo! 

The sequel to my most played game of all time came out a couple months ago and has lived up to all the hype and expectations! It has completely stolen my heart. Though with all the eating contests and adventuring I've been doing lately, my overlords have been getting lonely. I should really spawn more of them.

I hope this gives you guys some ideas for your own holiday shopping, and at least inspire you to quantify the enjoyment you've derived from the purchases you've made. It will definitely be a subjective measure. But for all of us, money is a finite resource, so we might as well spend it on things we truly enjoy. There's nothing worse than irrational exuberance.

Enjoy your Black Friday.

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