Free Wildflower Bookmark

Free Wildflower Bookmark

The Nature Conservancy of Arizona is offering free wildflower bookmarks that you can stick in a book or the ground.

Yep, you read that correctly! Not only will this bookmark keep your pages straight, but it will also sprout wildflowers if planted in soil.

I'm no scientist, but I feel like a bookmark that grows flowers is one step closer to the fabled Money Tree! With my luck, my Money Tree will only grow rubles.


broken b70 keurig coffee maker

Why I’ll Never Purchase Another Keurig Coffee Maker

Check out my new, heavy duty paper weight!

I don't normally use HIF as a vehicle to complain. But when you take away my coffee and throw in a hearty dose of Crappy Customer Service, what you get is an exacerbated Goob who no longer gives a f*&k.

I'm a fairly smart guy. I'm a tinkerer. When something breaks, I'll at least spend a few hours trying to figure out why and fix it myself.

I also take good care of my stuff. Take my Keurig B70 coffee maker. I used distilled water to keep the pipes clean. The instructions said to Descale it by running vinegar through the machine every few months, which I always remembered to do. So you can imagine my surprise when my B70, which was purchased in July 2012, suddenly crapped out on me this month by saying NOT READY despite being powered on and full of water.

After running through all the troubleshooting steps, I turned to Google and YouTube. I learned how to put the Keurig in maintenance mode, which confirmed that the pumps were still working fine by sputtering out some cold water. Next I removed the Keurig's bottom plate to check for leaks, rust, or any water damage but found nothing wrong. I wanted to look further inside the Keurig, but every YouTube video I found practically explained that you have to break a part of the back case to get it off! What brilliant engineering!

It was around then that I realized I wasn't hearing the soft humming noise of the heating coil unit whenever I powered on the Keurig. A little more Googling revealed that there was no real easy fix for this and that I should probably just call Keurig to see what they said.

And that's when things got fun.

Keurig's Crappy Customer Service

After reaching a Keurig customer service rep and giving her my serial number, she spent a grand total of 90 seconds trying to help me. Her first solution was to open and close the Keurig's top arm.

….

Seriously.

Then she asked if I'd poked a paper clip into the k-cup needles to clear any clogs. Sadly, I'd already tried this trick to no avail, but you know things aren't off to a roaring success when jabbing a $150 machine with a paper clip makes it into your Top 3 Solutions.

Her final attempt was for me to turn the machine on and off.

…. ….

Shockingly, none of these solutions did a thing for me. Thankfully she had a final idea, which was to upsell me by offering a 20% discount on a new Keurig 2.0 machine for the low, low cost of $149.

At this point I should mention Keurig 2.0 coffee makers famously tried to DRM coffee! That's that Nerd Talk they tried to restrict which coffee you could and couldn't brew in a Keurig 2.0 maker!

The 2.0 … less-publicized feature has been getting most of the attention: the brewerโ€™s advanced scanning system that locks out any coffee pods not bearing a special mark. Itโ€™s essentially a digital rights management system, but for coffee, and itโ€™s proving to be the brewerโ€™s downfall.

I can understand why an Xbox would have this technology to prevent kids from using Playstation games on it. But a coffee maker?! Sorry Keurig, but I'm not spending $150 on a machine that'll only brew the coffee you choose and will before the next Olympics when I can pick up a $12 Black & Decker drip machine on Amazon. (Imagine if Black & Decker tried to tell you which screws you could or couldn't use with their power drills. That's literally what Keurig tried and failed to do with their DRM 2.0 machines……..)

Look, I know electronics and consumer goods fail. It's the nature of Stuff. But I don't think it's insane to expect a $100+ device to last at least as long as a World Cup title. My monitor cost ~$150 5 years ago and it's still kicking just fine. If it was to break, I could either attempt to fix it or buy a similarly priced new one with far better specs, bells, and features. The same can be said for my window a/c, vacuum, microwave, bedroom TV and that's all just off the top of my head.

But in Keurig's case, they 1) make it incredibly hard for DIY people like me to attempt a fix along with 2) trying to upsell me a new $150 unit with weird DRM licenses and no other upgrades after just a few minutes of support. As a consumer, I find that a bit asinine.

K-cup technology is great and all, but Keurig's idea of support is a freaking joke. And that's why I'll never purchase a Keurig coffee maker again.


free guitar picks

Free Guitar Picks

I'm not sure how many we'll get, but the submit button for Bohemian's free guitar picks uses the plural tense, so hopefully they're sending out more than one. As for what these are used for, and correct me if I'm wrong, but I think they're for picking your guitar's nose.


A Freebie Helped Save a Lost Toy

This isn't a freebie, but I recently read an article on a boy who lost his favorite toy in an airport and loved this part:

If a boy named Owen suspects his stuffed tiger named Hobbes has a secret life, the staff of Tampa International Airport won't disagree. Owen recently lost Hobbes at the airport โ€” and when he reclaimed the tiger, he also received photos of Hobbes touring the facility.

When Owen returned from Texas, he was reunited with Hobbes and given a bound book of photographs that showed what his tiger had been up to. It was all the brainchild of Airport Operations Center Manager Tony D'Aiuto, who says he used a coupon to make the photo book at a drugstore.

Look at that! A freebie (and a little elbow grease) putting smiles on faces worldwide!


Free Marlboro Aluminum Water Bottle

Free Water Bottle

If you're looking how to get a free water bottle, then you're on the right path! While never a huge freebie, we still see these freebies given away once or twice a year. Surprisingly, the most frequent sources of free water bottles are health insurance companies and tobacco companies. ๐Ÿ˜„

While we wait for the next sample, here are some of the classic jokes we made!


Camel is giving away free water bottles that you get to customize no less. Mine features a wolf wearing a helmet alongside a tiger donning a fedora because … well why not?!

Click Activities then Bottle Lab to get to the freebie section.


If you're anything like me, you're scared to death of opening that cabinet in the kitchen right above the microwave. The second you crack the door, you'll be buried in 900 free water bottles, some of which your parents have kept from a local bank sponsorship in 1989. They'll come tumbling since you've stuffed way too many in there and then you'll never be able to cram them all back in and meanwhile, you're busy trying to pick which one you want to take to the park with you and finally you become too flustered and just plop back down in front of the computer to see what you can find on YouTube. What, I'm the only one who does this?


Unfortunately, the second word in the title above only contains two n's, which means this is just a free water bottle from Canon. I think we all can agree it would have been much cooler if this was a “cannon water bottle.” I could go either way with it too: it could be a cannon that shoots water bottles or a water bottle in the shape of a cannon.

You know, the next President should make a new Cabinet position titled Secretary of Awesome Ideas and then give me a call. I wouldn't even mind being placed near the bottom of the line of succession!


The only habit from running cross country in high school that I've carried with me through life is drinking water. I probably go through a gallon of water a day by constantly filling up a water bottle similar to this free PUR water bottle. In fact, I've probably got like 9000 of these things in my kitchen cabinets, but of course I just signed up for this as well. ๐Ÿ™‚


This free C'elle water bottle offer has me worried. The survey is about storing blood cells from a babyโ€™s umbilical cord and then they juuuust happen to give away an object that holds liquid?


Hope You Had a Magic Christmas!

I was in Amsterdam last week with my brother and there were signs everywhere saying “Magic Christmas!” It's become one of our newest favorite sayings.

I hope everybody had a Magic Christmas or Hanukkah or Boxing Day or Festivus or casual Tuesday or whatever the heck you happen to be celebrating this week. I've been home for a few days and probably won't work until tomorrow. It's my brother's birthday and it's snowing outside! All I can focus on right now is making snowballs and launching sneak attacks.

Magic Christmas!


Free Gentleman Jack Custom Label

Here's a cool free Gentleman Jack custom label offer available on their site. This seems more like a gag freebie than anything else, but we can't be picky today. Plus it's not even that bad – you don't have to “like” them and you can make up to 10 custom labels a month!

Now to see if they actually send me the ones I made with curse words ๐Ÿ˜€


Free Celebrity Autographed Pictures

I think after all of the cold medicine that I've had this weekend that I'm finally beating the sickness. I mean, sure, it was a three-day weekend from my day job, but man, with as many freebies as I've found? I feel like I've been working doubletime.

And then to find this free celebrity autographed pictures link? Oh man, I've just completed my weekend by ordering an awesome photo of Michael Dorn. What? Don't judge! You know that Worf was your favorite Klingon too!


Free CDC Publications

I like to think that my taxes go to something cool like paying for space shuttle missions or repaving roads (What? I think that asphalt layers are awesome!). In all likeliness, I realize that the reality of the world is that my taxes probably go to something more along the lines of these free CDC publications and material. Why would I need these when wikipedia can tell me that my problems are because the stork dropped me on my head when he dropped me off on my mommy's doorstep?


Free Human Rights Information Kit

I think the first human right is that we should all have the right to have pancakes for dinner and steak for breakfast. As you can tell from the multiple food posts in a row, its time for me to eat so I don't get much loopier than this. So while I'm waiting for this free human rights information kit to come, I might have to create my own list of human rights and see if I can get people to follow them… I think my first right should be something about cake…

(Thanks again, Audrey!)


Send Your Face Into Space

Two years ago NASA offered to send your name to the moon. Now they're willing to blast your face into space! Sure, it's not a traditional freebie that comes in the mail, but I can't resist having my face float amongst aliens.

I fear it's the closest I'll ever come to traveling off our planet on account of my fear of heights. Plus, there's the fact that I'm vastly under qualified nor am I a rich Russian oligarch who can buy my way up there. But I'm sticking with the whole heights issue as my main obstacle.


Free Sharpdraw Carpenter Pencil

Tobacco Freebies, Gear, & Swag

Free tobacco cigars and cigarettes themselves are fairly rare. But freebies and swag from tobacco companies are some of the best freebies still offered! Great freebies are offered from various tobacco companies multiple times throughout the year – just check out the list below! Tobacco conglomerate Altria are constantly offering great free gifts and giveaways via their subsidiary brands, like Marlboro or Copenhagen.

If you don't want to miss out, I advise making a free account with Altria's three main parent companies – Philip Morris (cigarettes), US Smokeless (smokeless), and John Middleton Brands (cigars & pipes). Then when the next high value freebie is released, you won't have to waste time going through the verification process.

Your login credentials will work across all similar brand websites. I'd personally start with Marlboro. As you can see, registering with Marlboro then lets you login to 11 additional sites as well, which greatly increase your odds of snagging a freebie!

Philip Morris Brands – Cigarettes

  • Marlboro
  • Basic
  • Chesterfield
  • Commander
  • Dave's
  • L&M
  • Lark
  • Merit
  • Parliament
  • Players
  • Saratoga
  • Virginia Slims

Once setup there, I'd head to Copenhagen – the website, not the Danish capital. The bulk of smokeless freebies come from either them or Skoal.

US Smokeless Brands – Chewing & Smokeless Tobacco

  • Copenhagen
  • Cope
  • Skoal
  • Red Seal
  • Husky

Finally, I'd register with Black & Mild to gain access to their great offers.

John Middleton Brands – Cigars & Pipes

  • Apple
  • Black & Mild
  • Carter Hall
  • Middleton's Cherry Blend
  • Gold & Mild
  • Kentucky Club
  • Prince Albert
  • Royal Comfort
  • Sugar Barrel
  • Walnut

Now let's talk about that verification process for a minute. If you've never signed up for a tobacco freebie before, it can seem a little hard. The trick is that tobacco companies are forced by federal law to make sure you're not a minor. Thus, they must pay for a system that checks your identity against your state's DMV system.

When you register, depending on the state you live in, you'll possibly need to enter the last 4 digits of your social security number. Again, this is completely normal for tobacco freebies. The system using bank level of encryption to cross-check your name and address with the DMV's database to make sure you're 21 or older. Federal law mandates this!

This is why registering ahead of time is crucial. If their verification system is lagging or down and you haven't pre-registered, then you might miss out on the free samples, coupons, and offers!

Typical Tobacco Freebies

So, what type of free swag sounds good to you? While this list isn't 100% complete, here are some of the previous tobacco freebies offered since I started HIF in 2005!

Black & Mild

  • Bottle opener
  • Cigar tube
  • Coasters, set of 4
  • Money clip bottle opener
  • Pair of headphones
  • Phone wallet
  • Smoking jacket to channel your inner Hugh Hefner
  • USB portable battery charger
  • Lighter

Camel

  • Customized tshirt
  • Customized water bottle

Copenhagen

  • Bower Rugged BT bluetooth speaker
  • Camouflaged trucker hat (multiple times)
  • Coasters, set of 4
  • Leather wallet (multiple times)
  • Margarita glasses, set of 4
  • Monogrammed rock glass
  • Multitool (multiple times)
  • Personalized flask
  • Sharpdraw carpenter pencil
  • Thermal flask (multiple times)
  • Tire gauge (multiple times)
  • Wagan Brite-Nite dome lantern

Grizzly

  • Label cutter
  • Sunglasses lanyard

L&M

  • Keyring bottle opener
  • Magic wallet
  • Personalized money clip
  • Spice tin
  • Travel mug

Marlboro

  • 3-in-1 tool of flashlight, compass, and match holder
  • Bandanna
  • Bluetooth speaker
  • Bottle opener (multiple times)
  • Canteen
  • Car vent phone mount
  • Darts
  • Flannel pajamas
  • Headlamp
  • Hot sauce
  • Keyring Multi-Tool (multiple times)
  • Leather keychain (multiple times)
  • Leather luggage tag
  • Leather work gloves
  • Movie tickets
  • Paracord multi-tool
  • Personalized beer pint
  • Personalized t-shirt
  • Playing cards
  • Pocket ashtray
  • Portable litter device
  • Smartphone travel tripod
  • Travel mug
  • Vapur water bottle
  • Zippo lighter (multiple times)

Red Seal

  • American Hat
  • Multitool

Skoal

  • Bottle opener
  • Magnetic bottle opener
  • Multi-function utility band

Virginia Slim

  • Bath salts
  • Personalized monogram stationary set
  • Sleek & chic slim lighter