Winning is good

My friend Paul emailed me a couple of days ago and asked if I wanted to check out the Summerblast at MacForce, a local non-Apple-owned computer retailer, located in the inner industrial Eastside. Sales of cool Apple shit, a barbecue, ice cream, and raffles? Sounded fun and I don’t hang out with Paul enough, so I said, “sure!”

When we walked up, we each got a free t-shirt, and a goodie bag. In the bag was a program, showing the schedule for the free seminars throughout the day, and a schedule for the raffles. Every half-hour they were giving packages of stuff away. We were there around noon – the next one was in less than a half-hour, and it was from a company I hadn’t ever heard of. The big one, of course, was the Adobe giveaway, but that was an hour away. Each person was given 10 tickets, which were to be distributed to the various half-hourly drawings.

Summerblast couldn’t have been a more apt name, with the heat wave rockin’ the temperature over 100° F for the third day in a row. MacForce had filled up their parking lot with tents, and lots of Apple-related vendors (but not Apple itself, strangely – maybe Apple Retail sees them as competition?), but, man, standing around on asphalt for hours on end wasn’t that appealing. Paul and I figured we’d scarf our free burger and drinks, get our free ice cream, and wait for the Adobe raffle, then split.

Since we were there, though, we entered the upcoming raffle at 12:30. I tossed in three of my tickets, and we waited.

The first ticket drawn wasn’t the same color as my tickets, so I mentally disengaged. The emmcee read the number off several times, reminding the crowd that “you must be present to win!” but no one stepped forward. So they drew out another number.

And this time, it was one of my three! Whoo-HOO!

I stepped up, showed the guy my ticket, and was whisked away into a fabulous world of showgirls, luxury cars and dream vacations… OK, no, not really. I filled out and signed a model release, allowing MacForce to use my likeness to promote their store, and then they had me hold up the major goodies I got while they took a picture of my likeness (with which they will promote their store).

What all did I get?

  • Freeway Pro from softpress, which appears to be web design software. OK, maybe I will use this.
  • AccountEdge from MYOB, which is accounting software for small business. I probably will be selling this craigslist.
  • A serial number for Parallels Desktop for Mac, software that lets me run Windows XP as a process within Mac OS, which for the non-geeky is something called virtualization
  • A 1GB and 2GB USB thumb drive.
  • 6 tickets each to any 2008 season Portland Beavers baseball game and Portland Timbers soccer game at what I will always refer to as Civic Stadium.
  • And last but certainly not least, my favorite of all the prizes, a Timbuk2 Commute messenger bag, in black and “mineral heather”. Sweet! And it’s “sustainable”, made from hemp and PET fabric. But don’t try to smoke my sweet new bag, man. This thing has so many pockets and zippered enclosures and straps, it’s crazy. I’m still finding new ones, a day later. I love it.

I thanked Paul for asking me to tag along with him. Heh. We stuck around for the Adobe giveaway, and Paul’s wife, Ellen, joined us briefly, but when Paul read the fine print and found that contestants can only win once, I realized I had no chance. But even though Paul had 19 tickets in the Adobe raffle, some dude with the worst tattoo ever got it. So it goes.