Tailgating season - you might prefer to call it "football season" - is close enough you can almost smell the brats.
In less than two weeks, Kansas University will kick off its 2006 campaign, which means you need to dust off your grill and start defrosting your chicken breasts.
Among some, there is a certain element of competition in the tailgate experience. For them, it's all about outdoing the party next door.
It's not too late to check out some of the latest tailgating gadgets - and maybe just add some of them to your arsenal.
¢ Gas-powered blender
If the gas-powered blender seems like a spoof straight from "Home Improvement," there's good reason - it was.
Oh, but it's real. So very real.
The Tailgator is a portable blender that you can fire up from the back of your pickup, tent, etc., to let your favorite mixed drink be part of your tailgating experience.
Its Web site promises by purchasing the Tailgator, you'll "get more dates" and "never be lonely again."
Cost $369 with carrying case (or $299 without)
¢ Portable toilet
Don't want to walk ALL THE WAY across the parking lot to use the portable toilet? Put up one of your own.
The Paha Que Tepee Outhouse/Shower Shelter allows you to do your business without leaving your grill for more than a few seconds.
The official Paha Que Web site doesn't give many specifics for how the system works, but there is reference to "removable wet and dry storage pouches."
Unfortunately, KU officials say while pop-up tents are OK, poop tents are not.
"You bring the beer and brats, and we will be happy to provide the bathrooms," says Todd Cohen, a KU spokesman.
Cost: $169 to $199
¢ Tailgatorz Chair
For those who are just too good to sit in a stand-alone lawn chair - there's the Tailgatorz chair.
It's basically a portable chairback that you might see inside the stadium, only made to fit on your truck's tailgate.
The drawback: No cup holder.
Along the same lines, there's the Tablegater, a 36-inch-in-diameter table that attaches to your truck's trailer hitch.
Its height can be adjusted for standing or sitting.
For those who don't want to deal with a dozen unwieldy lawn chairs, there's the Insta-Bench.
As the name implies, it is an instant bench - basically, a multiple-seat canvas lawn chairs. It unfurls to seat three or six people.
And two of the four colors it comes in are blue and red - perfect for the KU atmosphere.
Cost: $64 to $89
¢ Wonder Pole
No, it's not something you'd find at a strip club.
The Wonder Pole is a temporary flag pole that could help you unfurl your Jayhawk flag or banner up to 21 feet in the air.
It can be placed in a sturdy wheel stand to ensure that your Wonder Pole doesn't end up getting caught in the wind and knocking over your neighbor's grill.
Cost: $139 (base is another $89)
¢ KU Logo Shelter
No more of those generic white tents to keep you out of the sun.
Your canopy should show your school pride, too.
This 9-by-9-foot frame has the Jayhawk on all four sides.
¢ Famous Sippin' Seat
Sometimes, kickoff comes a little too soon.
For those moments, there's the Famous Sippin' Seat.
The Sippin' Seat is a seat cushion that has a liquid-storage bladder on the inside, and a tap coming out one side.
Of course, it's against KU rules to carry beverages - alcoholic or non-alcoholic - inside Memorial Stadium. And we certainly wouldn't encourage illegal alcohol consumption.
We just wanted to give you all your options.