Help Me Help Matt Help Kids And Win Cigars!

Confused yet? Let me clear it up for you. Friend, and fellow cigar blogger Matt of Matt’s Cigar Journal is participating in the Ride for Kids benefiting Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation of the United States and he needs a little help making his $3000 dollar goal.

If you’ve been following my blog very long, you know I like a good charity. And it’s been a while since I threw in with Team Hanselman’s crusade against diabetes. So when I heard a fellow brother of the leaf was putting together some money for another good cause, I was interested in helping out. And when I heard that by donating you have a chance to win a box of Opus X, Perdomos, Camachos or Hoyo de Monterreys, it was a no brainer.

It works like this. If you donate $10 by April 25th, and follow the instructions on Matt’s announcement, you get one entry into the drawing for one of the boxes. $20 gets you in twice, as you might expect, but then things get even more interesting. Using a complicated secret algorithm known only to himself, Matt will give you seven entries for $50, nine for $70 and a whopping 14 for $100. (By “secret complicated algorithm“, I mean I haven’t taken the time to figure out how it works. It looks like a heck of a deal, so I’m not questioning it!)

In summary, there’s a bunch of reasons to scratch together a Hamilton (or a Benjamin!)

  1. You help fight Pediatric Brain Tumors. Which is a serious warm fuzzy. (Karma, people!)
  2. You might win a box of fantastic cigars.
  3. Your contribution is tax deductible!
  4. You might keep me from winning a box of cigars! (I know that this is a priority for some of you out there!)

So grab your ten-spots and head over and give. You don’t want me winning that box of Opuses, do you? (You know if I do, there’ll be no tolerating me.)

Thanks for helping out!

Your NetFlix Fix: Another Free Month of NetFlix Up For Grabs!

Sign up for a free month, and you too will happily strum your guitar!Based on the positive response and good volume of traffic to the last time I did this, I’m putting it up again. NetFlix has sent me four free trial month cards, and they’re up for grabs for anyone who’s interested! As before, I don’t know if these codes are reusable (I assume they are) and I don’t get anything in return for passing these out. Well, aside from a little bit of traffic, and maybe a few new readers. And that works for me.

So here’s your NetFlix Fix:

You need to go here to sign up. (http://www.netflix.com/tellafriend in case the link doesn’t work for some reason.)

And you need to use one of the following codes:

  • M74162026215
  • M57814578885
  • M41920954495
  • M37078264715

You have until October 31, 2007 to get your fix. Enjoy!

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Giveaways Galore! The Pre-Release CAO America And More!

The CAO AmericaMan, where does the time go. I can’t believe it’s already been another week. Frequent visitors to my blog will have noticed it’s been unusually quiet this week, will probably be a little concerned about my health. Have no fear, I’m as healthy as an ox, in roughly the same shape, and probably nearly as rational. I’ve just been making my noise and mess on some other blogs. That and working two jobs. I know, I know, the world’s smallest violin is playing just for me.

Here’s what I’ve been up to. Earlier this week, I reviewed the Joya De Nicaragua Celebracion Consul for my buddy Stinkie on CigarBeat. I don’t wanna spoil it for you, but a nearly impervious draw kinda spoiled it for me. And then on the Stogie Review, I continued my video boycott with a text and photo-heavy review of the pre-release CAO America Potomac. Judging by the overwhelmingly positive response to the review, it’s definitely one you want to check out. But be sure to come back here, because you’re gonna want in what’s coming up a bit later in this post. And of course, these reviews will be added to my cigar review index to make sure they’re always easy to track down.

If you’re in the Atlanta area (or anywhere in the south with the desire for a cigar and a road trip), you should join me and a bunch of the guys from the area and the CigarLive forum for the herf at Blue Havana II in Alpharetta, GA. (It looks like his site might be down at the moment, but it’s there! [UPDATE: Link updated!]) It’s happening this Saturday starting at 6:00pm and going until Jim gets tired of all of us and kicks us out of his shop! For more information, check out the official thread on CigarLive. I’ll be there, and if you’re really nice (we’re talking serious brown-nosing, here) I might let you have one of my Gran Habano Corojo #5’s. Trust me, it’s worth that dirty feeling you’ll have inside. ;)

To get things humming again on this blog, I’m starting up another giveaway contest! The last one was so much fun (and generated so much traffic, I won’t kid ya), that I’ve decided to do it again. But this time, I’m giving away two (2, count ‘em, 2) pre-release CAO America Potomacs!

Why do I keep mentioning “pre-release”, you ask? The reason is that it’s been pointed out to me by one of my CAO friends that these won’t be available for around 2 months! That doesn’t mean they’re still rollin’ ‘em like mad (though they might be), it means that the supply is sitting in a warehouse getting some age, which is generally a good thing.

The CAO America Potomac Giveaway rules:

  1. You are allowed two entries to this giveaway. Please note you must be 18 or older to enter. (Sorry, I don’t make the laws, I just try to follow them!)
  2. Your first entry is commenting on this post. Please include the text in your comment “I am 18 or older.”
  3. You may enter a second time by posting a link to this contest on your blog that pingback/trackbacks to this post.
  4. The winner will be drawn on September 2nd, 2007. (Or shortly after. Or whenever entries slow down enough that making everyone wait becomes a pointless exercise. Totally my discretion here.)

Oh but wait, I’m not finished yet. Well, I am, but Stinkie over at CigarBeat isn’t! He’s got two (again, count ‘em, 2) giveaways running on his cigar blog and forum. So this week, you’ve got an excellent chance to really cash in on the generosity of the Brothers of the Leaf (BOTL for short).

Stinkie’s Giveaways

[UPDATE: And now Cigar Jack is in the action, and he's giving away not one, not two, but six (6!) Arganese cigars to some undisclosed number of lucky commenters! Head over now, and enter, the odds are great!]

Best of luck!

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And The Winner Of The Oliva Serie V Is…

Picking A Winner!I couldn’t be happier with the way this contest has turned out. Yesterday, on the final day of the contest, this blog broke the traffic record by a hit or two! And a large percentage of that traffic coming in to have a look at the contest. (Of course, a good helping of that traffic also when to the RTDA picture post. Be sure to check that out if you haven’t already!)

This morning after brewing up a pot of coffee, I scribbled down the huge number of entries on slips of paper, braving almost certain Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. I decided to do this right, I had to put the entries into proper container for random selection. A hat just wouldn’t do it, these little slips of opportunity had to go into the Oliva Serie V box I got the cigars in. (Henceforth to be referred to as the Special Ceremonial Serie V Box. Hey, it’s a contest, you gotta expect it to be a bit over the top. ;) )

OK, I’ve kept you waiting long enough. After a healthy shaking of the box, my wife, who insisted on picking the winners, reached in her rich, maduro-hued paw in an drew a name. And the winner is…

Comment #64: Duane Pullen!

And just like that, the contest is over. Or is it? I’m just like anyone else, I hate to see a good thing come to an end. Especially a quick end. So in a flagrant violation of my own rules (it’s good to be the undisputed Fidel Castro of this blog), I told my wife to pick another. And I can hear Duane Pullen now, saying “hold on there buddy, I won that fair and square!” You’re right! You won one, but I’ve decided another, even luckier person will also win one! And that lucky second person is…

Comment #46: David!

The Serie V Winners

That’s better. But I have one last one to give out. This one I’m not drawing, I’m selecting. (Still dictator of the blog, remember. Don’t make me incarcerate you as a dissident!) The Serie V Cigar Humanitarian Award goes to…

Stinkie of CigarBeat!

He deserves this cigar for several reasons. To begin with, he very generously provided me with my first Serie V smokes (not one, but two!) when they were impossible to find! And in his entry, he expressed his desire for his winnings sent to someone on the CigarBeat Forum who hasn’t had the pleasure of one of the finest cigars on the market! That, my friends, is a true Brother of the Leaf.

OK, now I’m satisfied. Congratulations to all the winners, and my thanks to all the participants! If you didn’t win this time, take heart, this was such a success that I’m very likely to do it again! I hope you’ll keep checking in from time to see my random thoughts on life and, more importantly, cigars!

Wait, one more thing. A humble request. I would ask the winners, if they’d be so kind, to get a picture of themselves enjoying the cigar and either send it to me, or send me a link to it so I can add it to this post. It’s not a requirement (if you’re photo-shy), but it would be the cherry on top of this sweet dessert of a contest. And it would please Brian the blog tyrant, and really, isn’t that what it’s all about? ;)

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Free Cigar: Brian’s Oliva Serie V Giveaway!

Oliva Serie V[UPDATE: This contest is closed, but a new cigar giveaway contest is now open here!]

Even though I made a point of saying I wouldn’t last week, somehow I still left home on Saturday without my camera. So I have no proof of the things I’m about to say. You’ll just have to take my word for it.

On Saturday I smoked the Oliva Serie V Double Robusto (5 x 54) with Jose Oliva. I’m tempted to lie and say he flew in to Atlanta specifically to thank me for my favorable review on CigarBeat, but even I don’t have delusions of grandeur that large. The truth is that was in town for the final Serie V event before RTDA at Tobacco World here in the Atlanta area. And let me tell you, the event was awesome. Probably the liveliest cigar event I’ve been to yet.

Jose Oliva brought with him an entire entourage of Oliva representatives from around the south as well a catering crew serving up hot pasta. (Oh the irony! To quote myself in my Serie V review: “This is not a post-pasta cigar!” :) But oddly, it did go nicely with the cannolis.) And of course there was a generous helping of store regulars there, happy to help Mr. Oliva burn through that box of free double robustos. The air was thick and hazy with the rich Serie V smoke and there was a lively game of dominoes at a packed table in one corner.

I found myself spending a lot of time talking with the Florida Oliva Rep Burt. The guy is quite a character, and has been with the Olivas since the beginning. He’s been such a part of the Oliva’s success that Jose said of him “he is more Oliva than I am”, and he proudly sports a Rolex that was part of his lifetime achievement award. Burt is the definition of a proud company man, and a skilled salesman. Without even trying, he talked me into picking up a couple Oliva 2006 Master Blends and a couple Padron 1964’s for cigar versus cigar comparison. (I’ll admit, I’m not a very hard sell when it comes to cigars.) So I walked away happy with a fistful of cigars, a Serie V buzz and a lighter wallet.

So after this event and my great experience at the recent CAO event, I’ve decided to make a point to attend more cigar events in the future. (Including RTDA!) But the question is, how do you find out about cigar events in your area? Sure, you can sign up for email updates from your local tobacconist, but that won’t keep you in the know on what’s happening down the road at another shop! And not all the cigar manufacturers’ websites include event information. (So manufacturers don’t even have websites!)

Have no fear, I have the answer for you: Cigar Cyclopedia. This website is a gold mine of useful cigar information. And one of the largest gleaming nuggets is their U.S. Cigar Promotions and Special Events Calendar, which is conveniently broken down by state and in chronological order. (A big thanks to the guys at Dog Watch Social Club for mentioning this in one of their recent shows.)

“That’s great, Brian. But what about this free cigar you mention in the title?” You ask. Wouldn’t it be funny if I never got to that? No? OK. Here’s the deal. Recently Cigar Jack had a contest on his blog for a free t-shirt, and I really like the way he set that up. I’ve been thinking about having one of my own for a while now. But instead of giving away a t-shirt, I’m going to give away a cigar. And not just any cigar! Something that’ll really be a treat.

And, as luck would have it, I had the opportunity to buy a few of the Oliva Serie V Double Robustos at this event. As much as I enjoy these cigars, I think it’d be even more fun to share them. So I’m going to send one of these still unreleased cigars to a lucky reader!

So here’s the Oliva Serie V Giveaway rules:

  1. You are allowed two entries to this giveaway. Please note you must be 18 or older to enter. (Sorry, I don’t make the laws, I just try to follow them!)
  2. Your first entry is commenting on this post. Please include the text in your comment “I am 18 or older.”
  3. You may enter a second time by posting a link to this contest on your blog that pingback/trackbacks to this post.
  4. The winner will be drawn August 10th, 2007. (Or whenever entries slow down enough that making everyone wait becomes a pointless exercise. Totally my discretion here.)

Good luck! If you’re not sure whether or not to enter, I encourage you to read my review of the larger figurado and churchill sizes over on Cigar Beat. While these are smooth and tasty full-bodied cigars, they may be a bit potent (especially at the end) for a newbie!

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The Greatest Charity Event Ever

Leering Grafiti PunkI wish I could take credit for the idea, but I can’t. Hell, I wish I could say I was even in attendance, but again, I cannot. But on Monday, I was made aware of the single greatest charity event I’ve ever heard of. The kind of charitable event that cannot help but be monstrously successful. The kind of event that not only could fund the entire operating costs of the American Cancer Society for a decade, but might actually cure the cancer of people that attend the event. What is this charitable event I speak of? Coed Charitable Mud Wrestling.

Surely I’m joking right? Nope. Somewhere in Atlanta this past weekend, a pool was filled with mud, and a small collection of women studying to become pharmacists (and a few bar tenders and waitresses) got together to raise awareness for breast cancer. By beating each other up in mud. And the best part? My friend who was in attendance, thought that he was being charitable.

The exchange was classic (paraphrased here for your reading enjoyment):

Friend: I gotta tell you this. Man, I saw these girls mud wrestle this weekend. It was great, and it was for a good cause. They raised, like, $1000 for breast cancer.
Me: Really? How’d that work? I does sound like it would raise some awareness…
Friend: Well, they charged $15 to get in, and it was $2 a beer from the keg.
Me: And you say this was for a charity?
Friend: Yeah, they raised $1000 to fight breast cancer.
Me: So how much did you give?
Friend: Well, I paid the door fee and paid for each beer…
Me: That was awfully charitable of you.
Friend: But I did pay extra for the beers… And I drank a lot of beer.
Me: Well that’s good. You were, after all, drinking for charity.
Friend (flustered): Um… yeah…
Me: It’s really a noble thing you did, sacrificing your Sunday afternoon to watch mud wrestling and drink beer… For charity.
Friend (busted!): Uncomfortable Laugh.

Of course, I went on to tell him that I was disappointed he didn’t invite me. I’m a pretty charitable guy myself, and would have been happy to sacrifice my Sunday afternoon if I knew it was really going to help people. Or if there happened to be a keg and mud wrestling.

But I stray from my point. Is this not the most amazing fund raising idea ever? If a small group of guys from Atlanta can get together and raise their blood-alcohol levels and $1000 for charity, think of the possibilities on a large scale! The end to world hunger might only be a couple of muddy city-wide weekend benders away! And instead of men staggering home to angry wives at the end of the evening, they could stagger home as heroes. Heroes who were willing to spend their pocket change and part of their liver function to help others.

I think I’m gonna start a foundation. Who’s with me?

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Up For Grabs: Free Month Of NetFlix

[UPDATE: These codes are out of date. You can find the latest codes here.]

I keep getting these things in the mail from NetFlix encouraging me to give coupons to people to sign up. (Or buy them a subscription, which is even more annoying.) I guess somebody in their marketing department thinks customers actually want to make the rounds in the office and the community as a probono salesman for them. At least Vonage used to give you a free month for anybody you helped sign up (may be they still do, I don’t know).

Well, just because I’m a nice guy and in the off chance somebody out there is interested in starting up a NetFlix membership, here’s all the information you need to snag a free month of service.

Go Here: http://www.netflix.com/tellafriend

And use one of these priority codes:

  • M69434362225
  • M14994526905

You have until 6/30/07.

Note: I can’t guarantee that these codes will work, I assume it’s a first come, first serve deal. If you use one, let me (and everybody else) know by leaving a comment. The hard copies (which don’t have any more information that what you already have now) have already become confetti. :)

[UPDATE: Wow, I really underestimated the amount of interest in this! :shock: As of the time of this update, this post has driven at least 70 hits to my blog. Around 45 of those was on a single day! And I didn't submit this post to Digg or any similar social bookmarking site. Man, I really hope these codes are re-usable and that 70 people have gotten a free month! :)

If NetFlix sends me another, I'll be sure to post it. I'll probably also post any other neat freebies like this I get in the future. Anybody want a 12 for 1 BMG membership? Lemme know, I can hook you up with that also! :lol: ]

Making Good On My Pledge, Thanks Everyone!

Fight Diabetes with Team Hanselman!

Thank you to everyone that donated to Team Hanselman during the blog matching challenge! I don’t have the final word yet, but it sounds like it was a great success! I got word this morning that the donations had indeed cross the $1000 mark. (Just before you called James! :twisted: )

Anyway, I’ve made good on my pledge:

My Donation to ADA

If you haven’t donated yet, there is still time. The actual walk takes place on October 20th, 2007, and I’m pretty sure you can make donations right up unit that date. I will leave the donation banner in my side bar until then for your convenience.

Thanks again for your help!

Today’s The Day To Magnify Your Charitable Gift!

Fight Diabetes with Team Hanselman!If you’ve been waiting to make a charitable donation to the American Diabetes Association until it can do the most good, your wait is over. Starting today at noon PST (3 PM EST, 7 PM GMT) the donations you make through Team Hanselman will be matched by 7 blogs! Help us make our $50,000 goal!

The Links:

Thank you for your help!
Fight Diabetes with Team Hanselman!

You Can Help Defeat Diabetes, More Than You Realize

Fight Diabetes with Team Hanselman!A good friend and former colleague of mine is trying to raise $50,000 for the American Diabetes Association to help cure diabetes. It’s a lofty goal, and he’s got a way to go. I want to help and I’d like to ask you for your help also.

If you’ve visited my blog recently, you’ve seen the little fight-diabetes image in the side bar. If you’ve considered giving some money to help fight diabetes through “Team Hanselman” but haven’t yet, you have a golden opportunity.

If you make a donation during the this weeks Blog “Donation Matching” Challenge announced on Scott Hanselman’s blog your donation will be matched by 7 different blogs/bloggers. I am one of those bloggers, and the list may still be growing! That’s right, even if you can only give $10, your money does $80 worth of good starting Weds, May 9th at Noon PST until Friday, May 11 at Noon PST. And of course, your donation will be tax deductible. 100% of all donations will go to the American Diabetes Association.

I am putting my money where my mouth is. (And given the size of my mouth it’s gonna be costly ;) ) I will be personally matching up to at least $1000 of the contributions made during the challenge. I hope you will let me match your donation! Help me give the whole $1000!

Here’s what you need to know to donate:

You can also click any of the banner images in this post to get more information and make your donation. If you lose track of this post, you can also use the image in the side bar. Thank you for your help!

Fight Diabetes with Team Hanselman!

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