Blow Your 2012 Tax Refund
It’s free money! (That you worked all year to earn)
It’s free money! (That you worked all year to earn)
If you get money back from Uncle Sam, it’s your duty as an American to blow it on yourself. It stimulates the economy, but more importantly, it gets you stuff that you want, but would otherwise be too poor to buy.
The urge to drink is a natural reaction to filing taxes, but getting hammered on box wine to drown your sorrows is a poor choice. Instead, opt for this high-end, California tequila. It’s 42% alcohol by volume and is made from Blue Agave grown in Mexico. It’s aged for months in white oak whiskey barrels from Tennessee. Each bottle is hand-corked and numbered and comes with a metal snake charm. There are three different varieties: Silver 42, Reposado 42, and Anejo 42. They each have their good qualities, but we recommend getting one of each to keep yourself stocked up until next tax season.
Logitech Harmony Link ($99)
Using your smartphone or tablet as a TV remote makes almost too much sense. It’s always with you and there’s almost no chance you’ll lose it or leave it in a place where the dog can chew it beyond recognition. This little box is only about the size of a personal pizza, but it lets you control your entire home theater by connecting to your local WiFi network. The app sets up easily and lets you create custom functions so you can keep your favorite channels close. It’s compatible with over 225,000 home theater devices and the set-up is so simple you’ll wonder why you ever spent a single second entering stupid codes to program a traditional universal remote.
Reebok RealFlex Crossfit Nano ($120)
Running shoes are great if all you want to do is run, but the current fitness trend makes you move in directions other than just forward. These ultra-light kicks have an almost totally flat bottom that will help you keep your feet and legs in proper position when you’re trying to push serious weight. But, they also offer Reebok’s RealFlex cushioning, so they’ll give you some padding for high-impact exercises like box jumps or running away from security up the stairs at the stadium. They’re made to be the ideal Crossfit, shoe, but you don’t need to belong to a Crossfit gym to use them. Though, they might be overkill if all you’re going to do is play Xbox Kinect.
Nike Fuel Band ($229)
Most people make resolutions around the New Year and give up on them well before tax time, but April is a great time to re-up on your regimen. Nike’s slick little band resides on your wrist and tracks various stats about your body. It knows how much you walk, what your heart rate is, even how much you sleep. It then lets you analyze that data using your computer or an iPhone app. You can even set goals for yourself once you realize that you only take 34 steps a day and most of them are from desk to vending machine.
Pentax WG-2 ($299)
From rocky mountain trails to the toilet in the men’s room at the bar, there are a lot of things out there just waiting to destroy your digital camera. But, Pentax’s honey-badger-like compact camera can handle just about all of it. It’s waterproof to 40-feet, can survive a 5-foot fall and won’t flinch at extremely cold or hot temperatures. Plus, it has a 16-megapixel CMOS sensor so it’ill take nice, sharp photos and videos of your buddies as they’re eaten by bears. Instead of a strap, it comes with a carabiner, so you can attach it to your backpack and spare it the trials of surviving in the unfriendly terrain that is your pocket.
Marshall Amp Fridge ($300)
On the outside, this compact fridge looks exactly like a Marshall amp, complete with control knobs that go to 11. Inside, there’s 4.4-cubic feet of refrigerator space as well as a high-efficiency freezer for keeping candy bars and booze. It’s a normal fridge, so you can store cold cuts or use it to chill prune juice, but it’s optimized for bottles and cans, so copious amounts of beer would be a better choice. Plus, it’s cheaper than a real amp, so it’s a great way to fool people into thinking you know how to play an instrument other than the kazoo.
Callaway Udesign RAZR Fit Custom Driver ($450)
Custom clubs can make a big difference for your golf game, but they usually require Phil Mickelson money. Callaway has lowered the barrier for entry a little with their custom RAZR Fit custom drivers. You design your club online, choosing important stuff like loft, grip, and shaft, as well as less important stuff like the color of the club head. The result is a club that fits your your game and matches perfectly with those plaid knickers you insist on wearing every time you go out on the course.
Asus Zenbook UX21 ($999 and up)
At its thickest point, this metal-bodied laptop is 17mm. At its thinnest, it’s just 3mm. How skinny is that? If you were to strap this thing onto a handle, you’d have yourself a pretty good battle ax. But, despite its little body, the Zenbook still has an 11.6-inch HD screen and Intel’s powerful Core i series processor. They start at $1,000 and go up from there, so you can adjust the specs depending on how crooked your tax preparer is. It’s as portable as a tablet, but it’s a laptop, so you can actually, you know, do stuff with it.
HIGH ROLLIN’ REFUND
Grilla Smoker ($1,500)
In the immortal words of Kramer from Seinfeld, when it comes to barbecue, “It’s the wood that makes it good.” This murdered-out cooker is fueled by wood pellets. A precision, motorized system doles out fuel in the proper amount, so you can set your temperature and go chill out while your meat is perfectly charred. Because it keeps the temp automatically, you don’t have to babysit your barbecue and there’s no need to singe your eyebrows opening the lid. Once you get it going, stand directly next to it for about 15 minutes or so and you’ll have infused yourself with delicious barbecue smell that will be more effective with the ladies than any cologne.
Giant Reign SX Mountain Bike ($2,750)
Unless you’re one of those sadistic Spandex types, going downhill on a bike has always been more fun than going up. With 6.7-inches of suspension travel, this burly mountain bike is capable of bombing any mountainous terrain you can throw at it. The ALUXX aluminum frame is light, but ultra-tough so it won’t fold up like a Clif Bar wrapper if you take a spill on the hill. It’s also light enough that you could actually ride this thing uphill if you wanted to. Plus, this thing is most at home on jumps, drops, and chutes so steep they’d make a mountain goat say, “Bro, that was gnarly.”
Nikon D800 ($3,000)
Some people say that megapixels don’t matter, but we say those people are suckers. Nikon’s new pro-grade DSLR has a 36-megapixel full-frame sensor that will grab billboard-ready images at the push of a button. It has advanced autofocus and exposure systems so you can still use it to take great photos, even if your previous photography experience stops at the iPhone camera app. It also grabs incredible-looking 1080p HD video, so videos of your buddies hurting themselves will be ready for both America’s Funniest Home Videos and the film festival circuit.
Sharp 80-inch LED TV ($5,000)
The term “big-screen TV” doesn’t really mean much in a time where 46-inch sets are the norm. But, at 80-inches, this LED-lit TV is still massive. It has a 120-Hz refresh rate to fight motion blur and the LED backlight makes it bright as well as efficient. At 80-inches, efficiency is key so watching Braveheart doesn’t raise your electric bill by $23 each time. When you feel like firing up your game console, you can flip it over to game mode, which negates any lag between the system and the TV. The downside: You now have one less excuse for getting fragged every two seconds in Call of Duty: MW3.