Hi @quiet1, thanks for the update, and sorry to hear about your health issues. The recipient of the gifts is one lucky person, and I am sure he will enjoy them!
I never heard about The Little Black Bar Book, can you tell us more? Or were you referring to Morgenthaler's Bar Book maybe?
Simple syrup isn't hard to make at all, even when you are under the weather. I just made a batch which took less than a minute. I scooped half a cup of sugar into a container (using a small funnel), and added half a cup of filtered water (you can do this by weight if you prefer). I closed the container and shook for a few seconds. I let it rest while I was preparing my cocktail, and shook it again a couple of times. Done, and no need to heat the syrup. There is no reason to ever buy simple syrup at the store!
Lastly, if you liked the spoon from Standard Spoon, the same people came up with a very cool looking mixing glass and muddler that are available for pre-order here. I am tempted!