A great gift awaits at Hidden Track Bottle Shop in downtown Phoenix. (photo Downtown Phoenix Inc.)

A great gift awaits at Hidden Track Bottle Shop in downtown Phoenix. (photo Downtown Phoenix Inc.)

It’s only Tuesday, so, as someone committed to a deadline-driven world, I resist the notion that we are in a “last-minute” situation for Christmas. It’s not until Friday, after all.

But if you’re still on the hunt for a little something-something for people you care about, here are a few ideas.

First, head here to read about gift ideas for the downtown Phoenix enthusiast. (Sorry, but I have no comparable link for Tucson or elsewhere.)

The story includes 13 super, smart, and curated links to #dtphx businesses. A few favorites of mine include Hazel & Violet letterpress and Hidden Track Bottle Shop. They—and the other businesses—may have what the holidays yearn for.

It doesn't get much more artisanal than this: handmade items from Hazel & Violet letterpress, on historic Grand Ave. in downtown Phoenix. (Photo Downtown Phoenix Inc.)

It doesn’t get much more artisanal than this: handmade items from Hazel & Violet letterpress, on historic Grand Ave. in downtown Phoenix. (Photo Downtown Phoenix Inc.)

A second suggestion comes via photographer James Palka. You may recall the Pulitzer Prize-winning fellow by his great work for Arizona Attorney Magazine photographing the historic Pima County Courthouse.

Happily, he has a few calendars featuring his work. But you won’t be relegated to courthouses all year ‘round. No, instead he’s offering calendars featuring phenomenal shots of two of his favorite cities, Chicago and Tucson.

James Palka Chicago calendar

To view the images contained in these 8.5″ x 11″ calendars ($20 each), go to his etsy shop.

James Palka Tucson calendar

Or email Jim at jfp1111@gmail.com. He’d love to hear from you.

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Wisconsin Lawyer 25 Cool Tech Toys

This week, my expectation is that only a small portion of folks are reading legal (or any) blogs. But for those of you who are—and who may still be scouring Amazon for that perfect last-minute gift—I urge you to read an article on the topic.

Thanks to the Wisconsin Lawyer Magazine, we have a story on the “25 Cool Tech Toys.”

And to kick off your week, here is a video snippet from A Christmas Story, all about “an indescribable award.”

Let’s hope you’ve got an indescribably great week planned.

clueless Santa

This holiday season, you may not be the only one who is clueless about great gifts.

Last year as we approached Christmas, I linked to the talented Washington State Bar Association, which recommended some holiday gifts for lawyers.

I’ll do the same this year, but there is a reason I’m posting this on Christmas Eve, giving you virtually no shopping time:

This year, the WSBA’s shopping list is tongue in cheek. That is, you can’t actually buy these presents anywhere (and the links they provide are fake, so don’t try clicking them).

I suspect those who are still desperately trying to finish their shopping will not think the joke is too funny. But for those who are done—or beyond caring—enjoy the funny column here. And then have a wonderful Christmas.

Arizona Attorney wine label 2

No, Arizona Attorney doesn’t have a vineyard. But we can wish.

Happy Change of Venue Friday! As we get closer to the holidays, I thought you might enjoy this piece that comes from The Onion.

Or, at least, I thought it came from The Onion. But then I realized it was a special deal that came from the American Bar Association (those wags).

Here is the pitch:

“ABA invites you to experience exceptional sommelier-approved wines personalized for you or your firm at a special discounted price. White or red, dry or fruity—select the wine that suits your palate and custom-label it to your liking. Don’t miss this limited-time opportunity! Order by 12/15 for delivery by 12/25.

That alluring and vine-y call points us to a sales page; click here to head over.

A portion of the ABA wine ad.

A portion of the ABA wine ad.

Once I was there, I realized that the offer allows you to create your own semi-custom label for a variety of wines. This, it was intimated, is the quintessential gift that the discerning lawyer and law firm will be handing out this holiday season.

Intrigued, I searched high and low for the best of the boxed wine that we could distribute for Arizona Attorney partners. But I guess boxed vino is not the superb oenophile experience the ABA seeks to impart.

So here at the magazine, we won’t be buying any wine to re-gift. But I couldn’t resist using the site’s cool “create your own label” tool. I led this post with one of my semi-custom artworks. And here is another of my favorites:

Arizona Attorney wine label 1

Here at the magazine, we celebrate early and often, as our custom wine label shows.

I suspect the ABA thought only serious purchasers would fiddle around with their label-maker, so I apologize to them in advance for pointing people to the label page and saying, “Have at it.”

Have a great weekend. And if you decide to get me a gift with a really good nose, I prefer reds.

A mug for coffee and case names is just one idea for lawyer gifts.

A mug for coffee and case names is just one idea for lawyer gifts.

As if I needed more evidence that I’m living in the past

Last week, a colleague commented that she guessed next Friday afternoon will be pretty quiet around our office’s hallways.

Only half paying attention, I asked why that would be.

She gave me a sideways glance, apparently thinking I was pulling her leg.

“Um, it’s the start of the weekend before Christmas … ?”

“No way,” I responded with confidence. That event is still two full weeks away, not one, I asserted.

She smiled at my idiocy. And my smile faded.

And so it is the case. The holidays are far closer than I suspected, and with them their attendant challenges.

So if you, like me, have been blindsided by a season creeping in like cat burglar, you may be in need of certain last-minute ideas.

Fortunately, the Washington State Bar provides that very thing: a quick-and-easy holiday gift list for lawyers.

You can read all their ideas here. What would you add to the barrister’s bucket list?

Good luck with putting the “ease” back into “season.”

It came to my attention just the other day that December is well afoot, and that what many call “The Holidays” are near upon us.

Distressed at the disappearance of October and November, and aghast that what I call “The Troubles” are rising into view, I suspect that at least a few of you share those non-sentimental sentiments. But today is Change of Venue Friday, so let’s take those lemons and make a blog post out of it, shall we?

Therefore, here are three only quasi-random things to occupy you as The Troubles bear down on us like an out-of-control sleigh:

1. Gawk at cakes you cannot eat.

The Arizona Make-A-Wish Foundation does great work, and until December 19, you can view some amazing gingerbread houses in the Arizona Biltmore lobby. The cakes will be silent-auctioned to support the foundation’s work, so if you’ve always wanted a confectionary Gammage Auditorium or Guggenheim Museum or Fallingwater, hie thee to the Biltmore, a Frank Lloyd Wright jewel in its own right.

(More cake photos are at the Arizona Attorney Magazine Facebook page.)

2. Buy some “lawyer gifts” that may be ridiculous, but by purchasing them you’ll help the economy, or something.

Yearn for a Lincoln bobblehead (see above)? Can’t exist without some red-tape cufflinks? Obtaining both items may be some kind of cry for help, but they’re destined to generate a chuckle or, among lawyers, a guffaw.

3. Tread on the boards that actors have trod.

Granted, this may seem like a time-waster in the busy month of December, but a backstage tour of Phoenix’s Orpheum Theatre could be just the ticket to alleviate a law-filled month. Here’s some info on next week’s (free!) tours:

The Friends of the Orpheum Theatre invite you to enjoy the holidays with a free tour of the historic Orpheum Theatre.

Originally opened in 1929, the Orpheum Theatre premiered as a much sought-after venue for vaudeville acts. The theatre changed ownership and became a deluxe movie palace prior to being purchased by the city of Phoenix in 1984. The city registered the site as a national historic landmark in 1985 and embarked upon a massive restoration project.

Orpheum interior by (my brother-in-law) Keith Taylor. More great work at http://www.keithtaylor.com/photography/

Visit the Orpheum to learn more about how the restoration project became a reality and what production premiered when the theatre reopened in 1997.  Tour reservations are not required, but encouraged. For more information please contact Patty McMahon at 602.495.7139 or patty.mcmahon@phoenix.gov.

WHAT: FREE Orpheum Theatre Public Tours

WHEN: 12 – 1 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 20; Thursday, Dec. 22; Monday, Dec. 26; and Friday, Dec. 30

WHERE: Orpheum Theatre, 203 W. Adams St., Phoenix, AZ 85003 (Meet under the marquee)

Have a great weekend.

Orpheum Theatre from the actors' view