'Tis the season to Crave: Jeff Sparkman's picks

CNET copy editor Jeff Sparkman narrows down his wish list to five vaguely tech-related items. He's been really good this year. Honest.

Jeff Sparkman Senior Copy Editor / Reviews
Jeff Sparkman is a copy editor at CNET who also writes about goofy and retro gadgets and contributes lame jokes where needed.
Jeff Sparkman
3 min read

Editor's note: From now through the end of December, various Crave experts will be sharing their top five (mostly) tech-related wishes for the holiday season. See what we crave, and maybe you'll get some ideas!

plush microbe
Who knew gonorrhea could be so darn cute? Giant Microbes

1. Guitar Hero World Tour/Rock Band 2 (full band set). This is fairly self-explanatory. Sometimes sitting around playing a video game is just too sedentary. These games will have me rocking out with my stocking out not just on the fake guitar, but on fake drums, too.

The pretty extensive track list will keep me going for a while, and then there's all the downloadable content after I've finished. While I doubt they'll ever offer certain songs in my personal music collection ("The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins" as performed by Leonard Nimoy), there are enough songs I like to make it worthwhile. Plus, everyone looks cool playing it, right?

2. Plush gonorrhea. Enough people get The Clapper for Christmas; why not get The Clap instead? The plush version. There are actually a menagerie of plush microbes you can get, but how often can you tell people you were happy to get gonorrhea for Christmas? Sober, anyway.

3. Digital Diamond game by Tomy. My uncle had this handheld electronic game back in the day, and I played it as often as I could sneak it away from him. It's primitive, loud, and kinda cheesy, but I've already written about my weakness for old-school electronic toys.

It's only electric in that it lights up; the main gameplay is mechanical, hence the noise. I was, believe it or not, not a great sportsman as a kid, but I had a lot of fun playing baseball with this toy.

4. Amazon Kindle. I'll probably want the Kindle 2 when that comes out instead, but the concept of a portable book reader appeals to me a great deal. Not enough to, you know, actually buy one, but I would accept one as a gift easily.

Amazon Kindle
Gimme... Periscope

The problem is that I read too quickly. I don't always have space to bring two or three books to keep me occupied on a flight or other long trip, and sometimes I just like having options. This way, I could just carry one item and still have a bunch of books to choose from at my leisure. Of course, there's the issue of how a book feels in your hands, and it would be nice if there was a way to replicate the smell of an old paperback, but for the sake of convenience, sign me up.

But what I'd really like...

5. Create your own channel on-demand programming. Yeah, I know how likely that is right now in terms of licensing and all, but this is a wish list. I have the most basic cable package right now, partly because I'm cheap, but mostly because there isn't a whole lot of programming I really want to watch. I'm much more interested in television as a kind of bad TV explorer, sifting through forgotten sitcoms, poorly animated cartoons, weird game shows and stupefyingly bad variety programs. The creme de la crap, so to speak.

Seriously, while I like watching Seinfeld, it's on about a bajillion times a day on multiple channels, so that's pretty much covered. But what about Battle of the Network Stars, Lidsville, or The Magnificent Marble Machine?

Some shows are on DVD, but do I really want to buy a DVD of a show I might only want to watch occasionally? Do I want to be seen in public buying the box set of Pink Lady and Jeff?

So all I'm asking for is a magic box that allows me to watch what I want, when I want. Let's get cracking.

PREVIOUS CRAVE HOLIDAY LISTS: Sharon Vaknin, Anne Dujmovic, Erica Ogg, Dan Ackerman, Matt Hickey, Leslie Katz, Emily Dreyfuss, Candace Lombardi