Tastes and Gift List


A Big List of Terry’s Tastes So That I Can Forestall The Idea That I Am Hard To Buy Things For (this means you Mom and Debra and Rick).


I don’t *really* need anything. I like Kiva.org and support it. So if you are inclined, donate to Kiva in my name or send me a gift certificate. It is a gift that keeps on giving.

General Tastes

Colors: blacks, charcoal, greys, rich dark reds and burgundies, gold, ochre, burnt siena, copper, sunflower yellow, forest greens. Avoid blues and browns, especially navy blue anything. Primary colors are good but it depends on what. Not for clothing other than socks. Good for kitchen things. I like richly textured and patterned fabrics.

Flavours: generally not a fan of sweets; hot spices, jerks and curries; partial to Asian foods. Seafood anything. Smoked meats.

Scents: wood scents, sandalwood, cedar, cinnamon, patchouli, orange, pine. Definitely nothing sweet, overly fruity or too floral. Avoid lemony scents. Good quality incense is very nice, especially the Japanese ones.


Always appreciate nice linens for the bed (queen size) but the colors should be dark reds or black. High thread counts are nice. Flannel equally so. I particularly like Lands End bedding. It does not have to be Lands End but this provides an indication of colors and styles I prefer. Love the Herringbone Paisley Bedding or Antique Blossom Bedding Ensemble. Another one is the 250-count Highland Paisley Bedding. The 250-ct Solid Sheet Set in graphite is a nice set. The Embrace Flannel Bedding is also nice (wine color). Would love a Polartec fleece blanket (light ceder or light tan). The deep cardinal colored Polartec Aircore-200 Blanket is lovely. Blankets should be queen sized.


I like bubble baths therefore bubble bath is a good present. La Compagnie de Provence Blue Line Foam Bath: my current favorite is their Mandarin/Orange Foam Bath but the lavender and jasmine are nice too. Again, a bit hard to track down. L’Occitane en Provence: easier to find. I like many of their things so experimenting there is not a bad idea. I like the Green Tea Bath and Shower Gel, but the Magnolia, Vetyver and Vanilla products are interesting. Their incenses are great as well. Body Shop: have been off them recently but the Oceanus & Satsuma shower gels (their foaming baths are yuck) are okay. I am always willing to experiment with different bubble baths and fragrances in the bath. Nice bath salts also work.

In bath scents, my favorites include (in rough order of preference): spicy, cinnamon, orange, vanilla, tea, jasmine, lavender.


I am ultra picky here. I only do natural fibres, generally cotton. I avoid anything with brand labels (I refuse to be a billboard for some company). But black sweaters are nice, size XL. Nice cotton or good quality acrylic cardigans (button downs, zip fronts) are also good (Harry Rosen has nice ones). Basic black or dark grey works. Nothing with heavy patterns or horizontals.

Tend to like very good quality in sweaters and cardigans as they last much longer. But the potential for getting it wrong is much greater here.


I like funky men’s socks. But these are hard to find in regular stores. Some higher end men’s stores or import stores may have these as well. I wear a size 41 shoe if sizing needs to be considered. Buying two duplicate pairs is a strategy I like. When a hole wears in one, I can always make another pair therefore making them last longer.

Currently I am a BIG fan of Moxy Maus socks, which also happen to be based here in Ottawa!

Home and Garden

I have most kitchen things so don’t really need more. In fact, I need to get rid of some things as stuff is overflowing. Too many coffee mugs and tea things.

Drink: Always appreciated. I prefer red wine over white. Scotch or port equally warm my heart.

  • Red wine (shiraz, zinfandel, syrah, merlot), white wine (fume blanc, chablis, cabarnet sauvignon)
  • Port (anything good: the older Grahams are faves)
  • Scotch (single malts only: the Macallan, odd barrel Glenmorangie, older is better, little known or oddball scotches, surprise me)
  • Tea (bad: I have tons already and am a snob about my oolongs)
  • Coffee (bad: as I drink it sparingly and only outside the home)

Food stuffs: Nice, high quality olive oils are appreciated. Exceptional or hard to find unique sauces or spices are nice though. Cheeses: very blue blues, smelly cheeses, very old cheddars also work for me. Smoked salmon slices are nice too. Avoid jams and jellies as I don’t use these. Ditto to cookies and cakes. Not really a dessert person as I have enough problems with weight.

Garden: Avoid. I have everything I need and anything nice for outside will get stolen.

BBQ: I have everything I need at the moment except charcoal…



To make it easy, use my Amazon list: this is highly recommended as I keep track of lots of things there. If you see older and odd items, well those would be good surprises. Art, design, typography, books about books are the best choices.

Steer away from the literature list as this list gets rotated quickly: I am getting many of these as e-books.

I like older books that are a little trickier to get. I love Bookfinder.com for the ability to pull up editions from second-hand dealers around the world. Used is good as long as the quality is fine (no markings, dust jackets complete), preferably first edition, etc.

For example, on my list of hard to get out-of-print books:

Subscriptions: A great present… I am a magazine junky. Subscriptions to any of my favorites like Guardian WeeklyTimes Literary SupplementNew York Review of BooksNew YorkerHarpers Magazine would be more than welcomed.

Cookbooks: In general, avoid cookbooks. I am out of space for new cookbooks and need to work through the ones I have.


Unless it is specifically on my Amazon list, a bad idea. I have *lots* of music and tend to buy very particular things only, usually classical and opera that I am seeking. I get lots of my music online so buying anything that is current or hot is a bad idea as I may already have it.


No movies unless they are on my Amazon list and these are probably Criterion Collection sets.


Yeah, there are some things here that I am wanting:

  • Western Digital Passport 2TB portable hard drives (they can be found online at FutureShop, BestBuy, TigerDirect, Staples). I always need more hard drives
  • Shortwave radio is still on my list after all these years: a Grundig s350 or YB400PE shortwave radio for example or newer versions. Ultimately I would like to get the monster Satellit 800 Millenium radio, but this is rather pricey.
  • New iPad with at least 128Gb of storage is on my list of future upgrades.
  • A new desktop computer is in my future and am hoping I have work and money enough for a new Mac Pro…haha
  • AirPort Express because my WiFi connection with my current system sucks.


I am increasingly NOT wearing cologne as there seem to be too many people with environmental sensitivities these days. But Bulgari Black (eau de toilette) in the black hockey puck is the preferred choice. Now getting harder to find as well.


A bad idea: I have very particular tastes here. Posters or prints are a disaster as I will never put them up no matter how nice they are. Original works I like to pick for myself. Photos are generally avoided with few exceptions. Ditto for picture frames unless I have picked them out specifically.


Just don’t. I am getting swamped with little things that add clutter.

Dreaming in Technicolor

  • A house in a good neighborhood would be good.
  • A car is not necessary. But if someone is giving me one, hey, what the heck. I will even get my license.
  • Large amounts of cash has a certain appeal. Winning lottery tickets of obscene amounts are suitable.