thA couple of weeks ago I gave away a box of swag obtained at conferences in New Orleans, Austin and Kansas City, Mo. At the time I promised a second giveaway of other such items.

I misspoke myself. But I did it for you!

Specifically, the folks at the Swagbucks rewards program stepped in and offered to give away a $50 e-gift card. Couldn’t down a chance for a reader to gain a $50 advantage on this year’s holiday shopping (or for a gift for themselves), so I put the second box on hold.

(The $50 prize is still up for grabs: You have until Dec. 5 to enter. Do it now, while you’re thinking about it.)

That second box o’ oddities is the subject of this week’s giveaway. Among the items included are:

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th-1Fun fact: During the holiday season, the lowest price for toys is about 10 days before Christmas.

Funner fact: You can get a $50 head start on your toy-buying (or anything-else-buying) if you win this week’s giveaway.

The Swagbucks rewards site has offered to award one lucky reader his or her choice of a $50 e-gift card from the Rewards Store. It’s quite the lineup of cards for restaurants, electronics emporia, retaurants, entertainment and other categories (including my personal favorite, Amazon).

This giveaway is a little different: You must be a member of Swagbucks and earn at least 50 points between now and 7 p.m. PST Friday, Dec. 5. Instead of entering up to five different ways, leave one comment with your Swagbucks user name.

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card179Beginning at 6 a.m. PST on Valentine’s Day the Swagbucks rewards program plans a day of games and riddles totaling 25 easy points. Folks on the East Coast will find this very civilized, i.e., a 9 a.m. start. Where I am it’ll be 5 a.m., i.e., I’m almost certainly going to miss that first code.

Those of you who already belong know that the Swag Codes are just one way to win. People can (and do) earn hundreds of points per day taking surveys, watching videos, shopping and doing online searches.

I trade my points in for Amazon gift cards, which I use for holiday and birthday gifts and, sometimes, to confound my daughter by having toilet paper shipped to her home.

You can find hints about the codes (and, often, the codes themselves) on the Swagbucks Facebook page, so check it throughout the day. Or check my site’s Facebook page, since I’ll post as many as I find.

But as noted above: You can pretty much assume I’ll be missing the first one.

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STK525975Late yesterday afternoon the UPS left leaving an envelope whose contents — “Superman: Last Son of Krypton” and “Beware the Batman” — sent me rocketing back to my childhood.

They’re two of the books to be given away tomorrow for Free Comic Book Day 2013. Every first Saturday in May the comics industry gives away millions of titles for free at comic shops across the country.

Some 4.6 million comics will be handed across counters this year, which is a 30% increase over 2012.

Comics have moved beyond the POW! ZAP! these days. SpongeBob Squarepants has his own comic series. So does “Sesame Street.” The wildly popular series “The Walking Dead” began as a comic book, although purists would probably call it a graphic novel.

The free-comic lineup is quite the mixed bag: books based on the usual superheroes like Superman, Batman and The Hulk, plus titles whose heroes range from Judge Dredd to MegaMan to the children’s book character Pippi Longstocking. (Go here for a full list of offerings.)

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thI mailed my taxes on Tuesday. Nothing like waiting until the last minute, huh? Since some of you may be finishing up the paperwork, or may be glum about the paperwork you just mailed, I’m hoping this week’s giveaway will cheer you up.

And if not, maybe my upcoming Swagbucks announcement (more on that below) will do the trick.

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