New toys

Christmas has come and gone, and with it, the opening of new gifts for a new year. I got some nice presents this year, and also decided to splurge and get myself a few things having saved up some money over this past year.

First was an Xbox 360 wired controller, to be used with my PC. (I don’t have a 360) I’ve always liked the feel of the smaller Xbox controllers, and the 360’s is even better to me. It’s working great with games like the Lego Star Wars series. Sure, it was more pricey than competing PC gamepads, but my experience with other PC gamepads has been somewhat lacking – they’ve always had some shortcomings, whether it was a fidgety D-pad or weird button layouts. I decided to go with something I knew would be good. Plus, it has the added bonus of being compatible with friends’ 360’s, should the need arise.

Timex Heart Rate Monitor Watch

I also went down to the local MEC store to get a heart-rate monitor watch. I do a lot of running so I think it’ll get put to good use. Also, it’s neat to see how much you can make your heart rate rises when you get up from your chair. I decided to go with a Timex Ironman model, and so far it’s working pretty well. We’ll have to see if it pasts the durability test though – if something can’t last five years, it’s not worth it to me. (Though, by that measure, university would be worthless!)

MEC is a great store as well. Not only do they have a wide selection of stuff useful for almost any outdoor activity (though admittedly I’m really only interested in the running stuff), but their prices can’t be beat. Though it costs $5 to become a “member” (which allows you to buy stuff from them), that cost is negligible and you’ll easily save many times than on your first purchases. Also, many of their products are designed and made by MEC themselves, and provide a higher level of quality – all at prices that are lower than competing brands from what I’ve noticed. The downside? They only have stores in major Canadian cities, but you can always shop online from them – though it’s generally not ideal to buy stuff like clothes or backpacks without trying them out.

I also got a few nice gifts from MEC, mostly running wear, that should make me look less like a bum when I’m out for a cold-weather run.

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