Random chances at free stuff, this week only!

Everybody loves free stuff. And everybody hates having their pocketknife taken away at the airport cause they forgot to leave it in checked luggage. I mean, seriously, who am i going to kill with a 2″ nail file, anyway? Or that plastic toothpick? Completely harmless. And if i’m going to go down in a plane crash, i don’t want to die with a vicious hangnail or something stuck in my teeth; teeth and fingernails are all that’s left of you 1000 years later for archeologists to find. Do we really want the robot overlords to think we were total slobs?

Anyway, it’s not quite free, but the stuff those airport nazis have been taking from all of us is now for sale on ebay. (if the link gets changed – as ebay is prone to do – just go to and search for “ntsa”). You can buy 50 pounds of scissors! Swiss army knives by the barrel! 46 used folding pen knives! It’s a sharp object fanatic’s dream! In case you weren’t already thinking what i’m thinking: tools by the pound are an excellent belated birthday gift for yours truly. 🙂

Here’s something that’s totally and completely free, no joke. Saturday is free comic book day. I know! There’s a *whole day* where they just give away comic books, for free?!? What could be more american than that? Maybe if there was pie, also, i guess, and that was free, too. That would be pretty darn american. I’d be all over that. I’ll do just about anything for pie… But anyway, look up your closest local participating comic book shop and go pick up your free copy of Betty & Veronica.

Bitwise IM client

So i found this really great new IM client, better than all the other silly ones. Called BitWise, it’s better than other IM for several reasons. Of course, it’s totally cross-platform – Mac, Linux, windoze – even when it comes to file transfers and other add-ons, more than i can say for any of the others i’ve tried. The interface is simple and easy, the network is reliable. No spam-chat like ICQ. Best of all – and this is the big one – all communications are encrypted and secure, so your boss, creepy internet trolls, bored war drivers, the CIA and wayward Homeland Security agents are all unable to stroll thru your private conversations. There’s no ads, no spyware, no selling of your info to everybody and their dog. You can download it right here and come look for me (my user name is “schuss” – shocker). The owner/creator of BitWise, Kevin, stopped by to say hi today and seems like a cool guy. He uses phpbb for the BitWise Forums and obviously feels strongly about personal privacy and internet security, so that pretty much says it all right there. 🙂

Anyway, go download it, recruit your friends, and start chatting where big brother can’t eavesdrop. And don’t be surprised if you don’t see me online in the other clients as much… I, for one, value my privacy!

And now a word from the yesterday-was-my-birthday department: People keep asking me how my birthday was, so i’m just gonna spill it and save all the quizzing – i’m starting to feel like i just tried to cross the Canadian border with a bag full of ganja! Anyway, it was very nice to not work all day, i slept in – started the day off right! Kim bought me coffee, then Danielle bought me lunch, then Christian bought me a beer on a harbor cruise. Steph picked us up and we put the top down and got some sunshine as we drove around Alki beach. Then a 5-course italian meal at Luigi’s involving bottomless red wine and espresso-chocolate sauce. Ian and Jenn gave me a funny (and slightly sarcastic) book and Adam and Lindsey hooked me up with an iTunes gift certificate – thanx, peeps! Mom and Dad sent me a totally sweet *personalized* Mariners jersey – has my name on the back and everything! – that i wore all day, feeling like the rockstar that i should be. Then Eric bought dinner and drinks last nite after we worked on his car in the sunshine all evening, and Patrick bought coffee…. overall i pretty much paid for nothing and hung out with my friends for two days straight, not a bad way to spend a birthday! And tomorrow we’re spending all day on the boat – the party continues! 🙂