Hi there! Smee again :-D I guess I am one of those people that like getting things for free, even in those cases when there is no need/use for the things or it is not really for free. A month ago, while checking out one of my favorite sites (http://www.boingboing.net/) I came across an entry about valleyschwag (http://www.valleyschwag.com/) and it really hit me. I mean the idea behind it was something so out of the ordinary for me that I decided to sign up. It sounds easy but for someone from the other side of the globe, without prior ties to any other direct subscription/order from the U.S. it was something. Probably this was also a reason why I signed up. To see if the world actually works like it is being advertised. So I created me a paypal account, signed up for the valleyschwag care package, found out how the paypal to credit card stuff works and was done with. I signed up on April 29th and therefore missed the April package which was awesome. And then the waiting started. The on-site blog was not changing very much, but enough to keep the feeling that something is at work there. Mid-May was coming up and still nothing was really happening, but then things changed. An information appeared on the site that the packages will be shipping a week later, as the number of members jumped from 60 to 1500. Wow. Again, WOW. I said that’s some jump. So I went back into the patience mode, although I was really really starting to feel worked up about it. When is the package gonna be shipped, when is it going to be here? I could not just sit as usually and do nothing, I had to ask. I decided that it wouldn't do to ask when the schwag is going to be shipped, as I guess the team had enough pressure on them anyway, but at least the second question whirling about my mind could get answered. So I asked if anybody had an idea how long the shipping to my little home country of Slovakia would take. The answer tuned me optimistic (usually not a good sign with me, but I was so excited and up from it all, that I haven't even noticed). I mean 4-7 days to get a package from the West coast to Central Europe! Cool. I am not known to be very patient, but I have to say, in a situation where being impatient does not change a single thing, I can be patient or at least try to ;-) The days went by and finally the day came when a new blog entry announced that the schwag is on its way. Yipeeee, Hoooraaaaah, Great. I was really excited. A couple more days and it is here. I started to check out the blog more often, to search the blogosphere (via the friendly service of http://www.technorati.com/) for blogs about the package. As the first packages started to arrive and the friendly people who got them started to put the pictures of their take up on their blogs I was growing more and more impatient on one side and happy on the other, as the time for my package to arrive was getting shorter. Even though the team behind it all (Rubyred labs) was really working hard to ship all the packages out, they found the time to do a short video introducing the people behind the curtains, to give us a peek at what is going on there. It really was a nice touch, kinda bringing the audience into the show. Great Idea. Made me want my package even more. That was the status of today's evening. I came home from work, checked the blog on valleyschwag, to see how many more people got their package, how many blogged about it, what the variation in content is. I read through the posts and bang a bunch of shockers right there. The first shock-post that got my attention for full was by Thor (one of the cool people behind it all), stating that the June package will be even better (doozy was the word he used). Now I was really having trouble keeping my excitement at bay, but when there is nothing one can do about it, then there is nothing one can do. An often used phrase tells us that Patience brings roses, so I wrapped myself in patience again. The next shock-post made a crack into the armor of my patience and resolve, when the same Thor stated (citing): "Our job is to make schwag a bit less useless. Jonathan will be posting on this subject soon, but most packages will have one shirt. We give extras to you fine folks who participate!" Hmm, one t-shirt only? Now, when I saw so many blogs from people in the U.S. who all had two! How is that? Can’t be that all these people were seen as participants, when I guess most of them where fresh sign-ups (no on for the first package, exactly like me). Hmm, well, no need to jump to conclusions, optimism is the rule here, and even a pessimistic soul like me, has to sport some occasionally. I can’t say that the next shock-post made me feel better. It was by Jonathan and let us know that the packages are being sent out a few hundred at a time. Up to this point - Great! But it also said that the U.S. packages will arrive at their destination till the end of the week, but the International will take longer. Hmm, longer. Longer? I somehow hoped that those will be the first to ship, but I guess I was wrong. But it is never as dark as it seems, as the same post stated:“ We’ve figured out a lot of the logistical stuff now and future packages will be much more efficient." So there is always something positive to find out. Well, what does all this writing want to say? Hell if I know. It is just a snapshot of my feelings. What do I want to say? Patience my friends, patience. The packages will come, when they come. And a lot of patience and strength for the crew@valleyschwag, so that they can go on sending the packages to us, the impatient schwagless crowd. Good Job people, keep it up!