One thing’s for certain, I get my geekiness from my dad’s side of the family. So, whenever I get him a gift, I know he’s going to be all read up on its stats, ratings and all-around hipness. This means I have to try extra hard to stump him and find things he might not know about. I'm still a little behind schedule, but these are my top picks for my dad this year.

Grill Alert Talking Remote Thermometer
My dad is our family’s resident grillmeister, so I can only imagine how thrilled he would be to have a techie accessory to go along with his grill time. The Grill Alert Talking Remote Thermometer’s wireless belt-clip monitor tells you when your entree is ready from up to 300' away, which means dad can actually spend time with the family when the grill is on. You just insert the stainless steel transmitter probe into the center of the meat, select the type of meat and choose how you want it cooked. Get it at Brookstone for $75.

For four more gift ideas for dad, just

Discovery Color-Changing Projection Clock
This clock displays the time, temperature, date and alarm icon on a bright, color-changing LCD screen. You can pivot the lens in any direction to see the time projected in changing colors on your ceiling, wall or any other object. That way, dad won’t have to roll over to see the time, just glance over at the nearest wall. The LCD screen cycles through four colors (green, red, blue, violet). Get it at the Discovery Store for $39.95.

Wired Magazine
Wired is a must-have for any geek dad, or semi-geek, as it covers the heavy-hitter companies, people, technologies and gadgets of our time. Wired is featuring a special buy-one-get-one free subscription offer for $16. I renew my dad's subscription ever year.

Grundig Emergency Radio
I don’t know a dad that wouldn’t love to add a Grundig Emergency Radio to his earthquake kit, car or office. Grundig radios are built to handle the elements, as well as power outages, so they are powered by a hand crank that charges the built-in battery. It tunes AM/FM and 12 shortwave bands, including weather radio and features a white LED emergency light. Get one for $39.99 at

Philips Pronto TSU9600 Remote Control
As the saying goes, he bought you your first car…so you owe him one. The Philips Pronto TSU9600 has a reputation as the crème of the remote crop. When coupled with WiFi and RS232 extenders, the remote can control an entire household of digital devices ranging from high-end home theater equipment and custom lighting to multimedia servers. Available only via custom installers, the remote costs about $1,299, not counting the installation. Like I said, you owe him one.