Goob has hair again

So About That Cancer…

This awesome news was originally posted on November 24, 2011

Yep, that's a month of hair and a week of beard growth. And the eyebrows are back! I'm thankful for two out of those three.

I'm a private guy by nature. Heck, my sense of humor is a textbook case of having developed as a shielding mechanism. But it feels silly now that I ever debated keeping quiet on my health situation.

I was already in the middle of treatment when I wrote that post. I remember hitting publish then flopping over onto the bed for a smooth 10 hour nap. The next time I loaded HIF, the comment count had skyrocketed into the hundreds and I was shocked. I actually didn't read them. I didn't even look at them. I was terrified there'd be a heavy dose of negativity (I mean, we're talking about anonymous Internet comments here!) and I was already having enough trouble smiling.

The worst period of all occurred a week later when a perfect storm of side effects culminated. For three straight days, my dog and I lied in bed staring at one another, trying to will the other into venturing out to find food. I finally mustered the energy to get out of bed, but the kitchen felt light years away, so I sat down in front of my computer and loaded the comments.

You punks had me crying within minutes.

And that was it. That was the lowest I ever got and everything from there was an improvement. It sounds corny, but knowing I had thousands of complete strangers out there rooting for me was encouraging in a way I'd never thought possible.

Suddenly I wasn't fighting this damn thing alone! I knew my family and friends had my back, but I never expected in a million years that people I'd never met would care as well. Every corner of the globe seemed to have a vested interest in vanquishing my tumors. I got emails from Canada, India, Ireland, Australia, Japan, and countless others. HIF doesn't even post freebies for those countries!

I wasn't able to reply to everyone individually, but I read and appreciated each and every comment and email.

And I'm thrilled to say that I'm now officially in remission.

I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again, but thank you. Y'all were phenomenal to me throughout this and knowing that I didn't have to post freebies every day was a giant load off my back for a few months. So, again, thank you for the kind words and thoughts and prayers and love and every ounce of goodwill channeled in my direction! It made a huge difference and I'll never forget it.

Now go find some turkey, enjoy the day with family and friends, and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

I know I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but thanks for all the warm wishes over the past few days. I took a break from working over the holiday, but my phone kept blowing up with comment notifications on Thanksgiving. Not only did they put me in a extra good mood, but they kept extended family from constantly asking “so when are you going to stop playing on the computer and get a ‘real' job?” Seriously, trying to explain how a website works to somebody who still thinks email technology is on par with time travel is never fun. So thank you!

Thank You

I have a confession to make. I’m not 100% incompetent when it comes to freebies. I know I’ve missed a bit over the past few weeks and I HATE to make excuses, but long story short I've got cancer and am in the middle of chemotherapy.

I debated announcing this for a while. One of the few ways I’m oldschool is how I don’t like broadcasting my problems to the world. The goofy, semi-moronic character named Goob you see on HIF is the same persona I carry on in my daily life. Just ask any of my ex-girlfriends.

But the fact of the matter is there are days where the chemo kicks my ass. I've never been so tired in my life and this is coming from a guy who used to nap at least twice a day in college. Knock on wood, this will all pass soon, but in the mean time I'm going to keep missing the occasional freebie.

I ultimately decided to publish this because I wanted to say thank you. I wouldn’t be in a relatively rocking position if it weren’t for y’all. I don’t know how many people know this, but HIF is my job. It went from a joke site to paying for an occasional six-pack to a full time, get up and be at my desk by 8am every day job. Okay, 10am. And I love it! I’m my own boss, I can work from anywhere, all successes (or failures!) are mine and I get to fly by the seat of my pants in so many areas. Trust me, I knew nothing of server maintenance or business tax law or negotiating ad rates 24 months ago.

And with this newfound success, I bought health insurance.

So many of my friends and family are still out of work three years running. They don’t have a steady income, let alone health coverage. And the only reason I do is because of each and every one of you.

Had so many of you not emailed, tweeted, liked, shared, stumbled, telephoned, carrier pigeoned, and however else you spread the word about HIF, then this site wouldn’t still exist. I can't even begin to fathom how harder that would have made my life now.

So thank you. Even if all you do is scan the page once of twice a week, that’s one or two more pageviews that ultimately led to me being able to take care of myself and put me in a position of optimism. Thank you, thank you, from the bottom of my fraking heart, thank you.

Are You Following HIF on Twitter or Facebook?

Occasionally people ask why they should follow HIF's Twitter or Facebook page. Well, for starters, it's how some Hiffers were able to get the large Tide sample from last week's Freebies Received post.

Basically I sometimes find smaller offers or freebies that are about to expire. Neither are worth the time or effort it would take to write a proper post, either because they're only available for certain people or will die before I can think of something funny. So instead I throw them up on Twitter and Facebook.

As a bonus, questions asked on Facebook are answered by other Hiffers somewhat lightyears faster than if they were emailed to me. Turns out they're a pretty helpful and knowledgable bunch.

So if you're not already following HIF on Twitter or Facebook, what the heck are you waiting for?

My Painkillers Were Free!

Hey Hiffers. I had some major surgery yesterday and will be taking the next day or two off from posting, emails, and the sort. I might try getting a few posts up this afternoon if my laptop plays along (what a perfect time for my battery to die!), but I apologize in advance for any freebies we miss while I'm off in Never Never Land. Please do me a favor and play nice while I'm gone though. Taking the time to delete batches of inflammatory comments is even less fun than it sounds.

Goob’s Going Gcamping

Seeing as it's almost Memorial Day weekend and I haven't left my apartment since there was snow on the ground, I'm heading out early to go camping with some old friends. Don't worry though, I've got a few Budget Busters queued to publish and have set it up so that they'll also get pushed to the Facebook page as well.

In the mean time be safe, go have some fun, and I'll see ya Monday or Tuesday barring I'm not abandoned in the woods for telling too many obnoxious puns!

On Why I Don’t Post All Freebies

Recently I've gotten an increase in the number of emails that more or less say “Hey, why didn't you post X?” and thus I thought I'd take a moment to address this.

The freebie isn't free. There's shipping. Or a minimum purchase. Or an “identification check” via your credit card. Or any number of other strings that are attached to freebies which make them not worth our while. This doesn't mean I won't post something that isn't 100% free, but it is the first bar that an offer generally has to cross in order for me to even consider it on the site.

The freebie stinks. Seriously, who wants a DVD for vacationing in Montana just because it's free? Anybody even remotely interested in that would have already Googled for it instead of waiting for a freebie site to post it.

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Hey, It’s A Quick Favor

Over the past few months Hey, It's Free! has been featured in various newspapers, radio segments, and local news broadcasts. These pieces have brought with them new readers and more freebies, not to mention a source of entertainment for myself. The only problem is I typically have no idea when Hey, It's Free! is featured in such a piece!

So I have a quick favor to ask. If you've recently read, heard, or seen Hey, It's Free! in a news segment then please let me know. You can either leave a comment here or contact me privately and just say “I read about HIF in The Springfield Shopper” or “I saw HIF on KBBL last night.”

Consider such a kind act as your eternal freebie to me in exchange for all the wholesome goodness I try and provide every day 🙂 Thanks!

So there's been a section on the freebie forums called Hey, It's Free…To Help People! for months now, which I have yet to do a darn thing with. But I decided to change that today.

A few days ago I heard about, which is a non-profit website that specializes in helping aspiring entrepreneurs in third world nations. Using microfinancing, they are given small loans to be used to improve their daily lives before they ultimately pay the loan back to us lenders. To idea is to enable people to help themselves individually instead of simply throwing billions of dollars in aide to a foreign government and hoping it trickles down to the people. In fact, Muhammad Yunus recently won the Nobel Peace Prize for his research into microfinancing and wrote a book called Banker To The Poor, where he details how effective the method is.

Just to give you an example, José Medina lives in Paraguay and is trying to raise $600 to purchase supplies for his handcrafts business. In 12 months time, he would have made enough money to repay the loan in full . They have had 2171 loans paid back in full and only 7 which have defaulted! Those are some darn good odds if you ask me.

Now, Kiva lets anybody loan money, but the minimum amount is $25. But I thought if anybody out there wanted to simply donate $5 or $10, that we could put our money together in a HIF pool or something and then pick a person to “sponsor” and help! It'd be kinda cool to think that all of us here at HIF specifically helped one person out there in the third world better their life!

So the basic plan of action is this: Donations of any amount can be sent to me, where I add them all together. No matter how much or little money we actually raise here, come September 12th, I'll post two or three different potential people that we can “invest” in to help them out. We'll take a day to pick a person and then I'll invest all the money I collected into their venture. We'll all be able to follow their progress along via I'll even post a progress bar here on HIF or something. Then when they ultimately (and hopefully!) succeed in their business, they'll pay me back. At which point, I'll announce that we need to pick a new person and start the process all over again!

The beauty of this is that your one time donation doesn't just help one person, but multiple people time and time again. If this is something nobody's interested in, no worries, but I thought since we all get so many freebies all the time, maybe we could muster up a little support and pass the baton to those who could really use it.

Thanks for taking part in this and here's to actually making a difference in the world!

HIF’s First Secret Service Investigation

A while back I got an e-mail that caused quite a bit of laughing in the Goob Household. Luckily for all of you, fellow Hiffer Melissa said it was all right to share with the HIF community as well!

I love your site and wanted to let you know a little something that happened due to my new sample addiction. A bottle of energy drink I had ordered leaked during the shipping (potential bomb threat). The post office contacted the Secret Service and now I and the company that shipped it are being investigated.

Hahahaha. Oh, I love it. Not only do freebies provide a source of money saving and entertainment, but they also can get you in trouble for no good reason! Here's to hoping the Secret Service soon realizes that all Melissa wanted was a free pick me up drink to help her get through the day.

More Press Coverage!

Kathleen Ramirez, from the Ka Leo O Hawai'i newspaper, (I hope you can figure out where their located) wrote an awesome article about HIF that I recently got a chance to read. Their main website is down right now, but you can find the article below the fold.

I also want to thank David Pham, one of the newspaper's editors, for sending me copies of the newspaper and keeping me in the loop about the article's status. And remember, if you have a local newspaper, please send them an e-mail with a short little blurb about HIF and see if they might not want to write about us. The more, the better! 🙂

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Hey, It’s Free Press!

Earlier this month, I was interviewed by a few fantastic reporters who were interested in putting together a story on HIF and the freebie world in general for their respective newspapers!

The first article to come out was written for the FSView, the college newspaper for Florida State University. We conducted a phone interview for the story and I was pretty nervous. It was the first time I'd ever been in the interviewees shoes instead of the interviewer's, but I think the article came out pretty darn well.

The next article was written for the Ka Leo O Hawai'i newspaper, which represents the University of Hawai`i at Manoa. Their website is down at the moment, but the reporter, Kathleen, was nice enough to promise to send me a few copies of the newspaper itself! So as soon as I get them, I'll scan the article and upload it here to HIF!

The rest of the interviews I've given recently have yet to produce any articles, but I'm told that a few will be running in the near future. As soon as they do, I'll post them here on HIF. But I wanted to add that if you're a college student yourself, or have any friends that work for a newspaper or radio station and you want to help support HIF, then PLEASE e-mail them and let them know about HIF!

One of the best ways to get new readers here on HIF (and with that, new people who can find some freebies!) is to spread the word via any form of media whatsoever. Newspapers, radio, TV, even blogs! Each and every bit helps and with each new article comes new readers! Heck, even if you just e-mail your local newspaper and tell them about us, I'd be forever grateful, even if nothing ever comes of it. So thank you in advance for helping to spreading the word about HIF!

Merry Christmas

From the entire Hey, It's Free crew, I want to wish each and every Hiffer a Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, Rocking Boxer Day, Vengeful Festivus. Here's to a day full of family, friends, food, and fun!

I've said it many times before, it's worth repeating: this place wouldn't be anything without each and every one of y'all. I hope everyone reading this has/had a fantastic holiday and I'll be back with more freebies and deals soon.