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Busy threads in the forums...
What a Brain Bag holds
Sling Bag in the works
Eclipse redesign
The New Powerbooks

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"Just got my ID bag with the Brain Cell - this is the best bag I have ever had! Your company is a well-oiled machine and your products are amazing."
-- Patrick Wilen

"So I just opened up the package containing my new Empire Builder. Very cool, I'm thinking...admiring all that black and gray and anticipating the red inside. Verrrrrrry cool..all that red. Now how do those divider thingies work? Couldn't quite figure it from the Web site. Ah! Perfectly! Those are keepers. And a couple of nifty zip pockets to boot!

So as you can see, I was major pumped, and this was BEFORE I realized there was more under that flap. In my defense I'd like to say I had visited about a dozen bag-maker Web sites prior to sending for this item. So I had a head-full of features, none of them attached to any particular bag.

Wow. Thanks."
-- ww.

"LOVE the MITRE! This is our 3rd one for the office!"
-- Henry Leutwyler, Talk To The Hand

"Hey Tom, I have been using your Monolith bag for sometime now. Today, I was driving down the street, and coming to a stop, my door opened and my Powerbook fell to the ground. I thought that my screen was toast, but when I opened it up, all I found was one small crack on the bottom case. Thank you for your great case."
-- Matt

"I realize my computer is a machine, but your Web site is so personable that I actually enjoyed the time I spent shopping. Not only does the Web site inform, but it entertains as well. Normally I feel like a string of 16-digits and a three digit security code when I shop online, but I felt like a person here. The Web site, particularly the forum, helped me immeasurably; I feel like I'm ordering exactly what I need, and I know exactly what I'll receive. Thanks."
-- Jens L.

"Wow. The bags are fantastic. The Smart Alec is just too cool. We are very happy. Thanks again for making such a great product line. It's so cool to have tools that are so well designed and so well made. I took the bags in to show the guys who buy the computers. They pick them up and look at them and say "These are really really nice bags"." - Gary O'Brien, The Charlotte Observer

"Just wanted to let you know that I received my ID bag this morning and am already in love with it. Where have you guys (and your bags!) been all my life? The bag already passed one important test when I was caught in sudden New Orleans thunderstorm this afternoon. Everything stayed secure and dry. I'll be taking it with me on a trip back home to New York City next week and am confident it'll be able to withstand the rigors of the Big Apple."
--Jonno (see Jonno's blog)

"I got my Brain Bag by Wednesday, just in time! Thank you for such a wonderful backpack. It's really well made and will help me stay organized. I Love it!"
-- Michael J.

"Over the last 2 months I have ordered a Brain Bag, 2 Brain Cells, a shoulder strap, and just yesterday an Empire Builder. All of the products have arrived on time and are of excellent quality and design. I am a regular business traveler, a computer consultant who carries a laptop, a pda, a cell phone, and other peripherals every time I travel. I have used Tumi products for years until another consultant with whom I was working showed me a Tom Bihn bag. I am an obvious convert. Your bags are a pleasure to use and I wanted to thank you for making my job easier."
-- Larry

"I really feel the need to thank you for the extra effort put in by your customer service staff. They were polite, patient, and very helpful as I kept asking questions. I am quite a picky shopper and they received several e-mails from me with new questions almost every day, each of which was quickly answered. I never had to repeat myself, and they knew who I was, bringing in aspects of the queries and comments I made in earlier e-mails and really went out of their way to help me make a well educated decision."
-- BMR in Durham, NC

"I bought a laptop bag from you guys about 1-1/2 years ago. Love the bag, love your company. The bag is literally the best laptop bag I've used and it has saved me on numerous occasions (if you only knew how many times I dropped the bag).

I was on a trip across country and someone spotted my "Tom Bihn" luggage tag at a Starbuck's in an airport and we went on and on about what a great company you guys are. They bought me my coffee... :-) Seems to be a little "sub-culture" you guys have. Tom Bihn Bags... saves your laptop and buys your coffee. :-)"
-- CL, NYC

Veterans Day

Cheri Page, Bob Patsfield, and Tom Bihn
Boxes of supplies for the vets
Tom hands Ron a check and Ron hands Tom a plaque

On Friday, November 5th, we had the opportunity to visit the Seattle Vet Center in Seattle, Washington to see first hand how the money donated from sales of the French Label t-shirt had benefited the veterans.

Homeless vets from all wars, including the current Iraq war, were invited to come by the center to receive flu shots, boots, flash lights, sleeping bags, tarps and a sack lunch. Most of these items were paid for using part of the almost $16,000 we have donated to the center from of sales of the infamous t-shirt.

Thanks to all of our fabulous customers. You are truly making a difference.

Want to know what the whole label story is about?

From top:

Cheri Page (our factory manager and Vietnam Vet), Ron Boxmeyer, and Tom Bihn. Tom is handing Ron the first check.

Ron looking over boxes of supplies to be distributed to the vets during the Stand Down.

Tom hands Ron a second check and Ron hands Tom a plaque thanking us for our donations.

In war, there are no unwounded soldiers.  ~José Narosky

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French label t-shirts back in stock

NOUS SOMMES DESOLES QUE NOTRE PRESIDENT SOIT UN IDIOT. NOUS N'AVONS PAS VOTE POUR LUI.

The French label t-shirt is once again available for order and will ship within one week.

Thanks to you and your generosity, we have donated much needed funds to the Seattle Vet Center. This Friday, the Seattle Vet Center will host a "Stand Down" where homeless veterans will be given sleeping bags, warm hats, gloves, and sack lunches. Profits from the t-shirt have provided the major funding needed for these items.

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Tom Bihn bags in Najaf, Iraq
Reporter Toby Harnden with his Brain Bag

Toby Harnden, reporter for The Daily Telegraph, sent us a picture of him using his Brain Bag in Najaf, Iraq, and wrote us this letter to go along with it:

"Here is a picture of me in Najaf last week using one of your Brains Bags with Brain Cell inside. I am a reporter with the Daily Telegraph of London and was in the holy city covering the battle between American forces and the Mahdi Army.

The bag contained my Toshiba laptop, camera, satellite phone, tape recorder, water, BGAN satellite receiver and a multitude of other things. Along with an Indian reporter, an American photographer and two Iraqi translators, I had just spent 12 hours sheltering in an abandoned house next to Najaf's Old City as the battle raged around us.

An Abrams tank had been posted right outside the door, blasting away. With the rattle of .50 calibre machine gun fire, 25mm rounds from Bradley fighting vehicles and the whistle of mortars from the Mahdi, sleep was not easy that night. We had intended to get to the Imam Ali Shrine and stay there for the night but the sniper fire was too intense.

At one point I was sheltering behind a wall, rucksack on back, as a sniper's bullets slammed into the other side. I have had the rucksack for a few months now and it's been under fire more than once. I find it superb - I can fit all the kit in it that I would possibly need and a couple of Snake Charmers help me keep all the wires well organised."

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New product reviews

Check out these new reviews of the ID and Brain Cell:

Crown Dozen reviews the Brain Cell -- "Simply put, the Brain Cell is the finest laptop sleeve I’ve ever laid hands on. It’s slim design and unassuming appearance belie the level of protection it provides your notebook- offering hard-sided sheathing and a unique shock-absorbent suspended insert, this is some serious next-level gear."

Inside Apple reviews the ID -- "As stated in our previous TOM BIHN review, the quality of the entire TOM BIHN product line is amazing. TOM BIHN has every aspect of mobile portability covered."

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Out of stock products

The ID bag needs a good home.
Spring and Summer have been very busy here at TOM BIHN. Our products and company have been featured in major media around the world and we've been inundated with orders. Our factory is working overtime and we've hired new seamstresses to make the bags that you, our customers, demand. Still, we are behind in production and some of our most popular products are currently out of stock.

With all this popularity and growth, most companies would be tempted to move production to China or Vietnam. We at TOM BIHN keep coming back to the conclusion that to maintain the quality of our products and quality of the jobs we create, it is still best to keep sewing here in our own "backyard". We hope that you agree that our quality is, like a coveted table in a fine restaurant, worth the wait.

If the bag you must have is out of stock, don't worry! Placing a backorder for that product ensures that you'll be one of the first to receive it when it does come back in-stock. If you don't want to place a backorder, you can sign up to receive an email when the product you're interested in is in-stock. To do so, click here.

"Folks: My ID Messenger Bag arrived yesterday and it is spectacular and well-worth the wait. You have a great product, there." -- M.H.

"I just wanted to let you know that I've been using my bag for the last few weeks and it was worth the wait. This is the best bag I've ever had! I just ordered a Brain Cell for my laptop - when I need any other bags, I'll definitely go with you folks. Thanks and all best." -- Eric

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Bags that have the label

Listed here are the bags we sell that have the English/French washing instructions label, just in case you either want the label or you want to make sure your bag doesn't have the label.
NOUS SOMMES DESOLES QUE NOTRE PRESIDENT SOIT UN IDIOT. NOUS N'AVONS PAS VOTE POUR LUI.

The Buzz sling bag
The Empire Builder briefcase
The ID messenger bag
The Smart Alec backpack
Brain Cell laptop case
Monolith laptop case
Tote Bag
Small Café Bag
Medium Café Bag
Large Café Bag
French Label t-shirt

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The Label and the t-shirt

SALES SKYROCKET AFTER MEDIA EXPOSE' ON BAG LABELS

TOM BIHN DESIGNS T-SHIRTS BASED ON LABELS; ALL PROCEEDS TO GO TO HOMELESS VETERANS' CHARITY

PORT ANGELES, WA: Tom Bihn, a Port Angeles-based company that designs, manufactures and sells laptop bags, messenger bags, backpacks and briefcases, has garnered worldwide media attention this week after a Web blog posted the contents of the label sewn into most bags.

The inside label carries instructions on washing and caring for the bags. Because the bags are sold in Canada, the instructions are also printed in French. The French version, however, contains an additional phrase: "NOUS SOMMES DESOLES QUE NOTRE PRESIDENT SOIT UN IDIOT. NOUS N'AVONS PAS VOTE POUR LUI."

Translated to English, the phrase reads, "We are sorry that our President is an idiot. We did not vote for him."

This week, reports have aired on Seattle, Chicago and California NBC affiliates, on Seattle's KOMO radio and the nationally syndicated Paul Harvey radio show, on MSNBC's "Countdown with Keith Olbermann", and on the Port Angeles cable station PNN. Bihn has fielded inquiries from German, Irish and other international media outlets.

The company has recorded record sales this week -- with sales more than double all previous weeks in the company's history. Customers have flocked to the Seattle and Port Angeles stores to scoop up the bags with the now infamous label. E-mails and calls have poured into the store, with many customers ordering directly from the company's Web site at www.tombihn.com.

The "secret" message began as an inside joke among seamstresses and staff at the Tom Bihn factory, and was apparently intended to poke fun at company's founder and president, Tom Bihn.

Bihn has created a t-shirt featuring the label, and will donate all proceeds of the sale of the shirts to the Seattle Vet Center, specifically towards its Homeless Vet Program. The t-shirt is available for purchase on its Web site and at its Seattle retail store.

Tom Bihn products are proudly made in its Port Angeles, Washington, factory.

Supplies are limited. Be controversial. Place your order today.

Note: Feelings run strong on this issue. If you have something to say, we want to hear it. Please post in our forums.

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What are our bags REALLY like?

We can tell you about all the different ways our bags are fabulous -- quality materials and construction, made in the U.S.A., clean styling and tough protection for your laptop -- but if you need a little more convincing, check out these external reviews:
Listen to Inside Mac Radio!

Inside Apple reviews the Brain Bag, Brain Cell, and Snake Charmer
The Gadgeteer reviews the Buzz
MacTeens reviews the Empire Builder and the ID bag
O'Grady's PowerPage reviews the Smart Alec
MacCritic reviews the Brain Cell
MacMerc reviews the ID
TabletPCBuzz.com reviews the Brain Cell
Macs Only! reviews the Empire Builder and Brain Cell

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The Brain Cell Drop Test Movie

Safe Egg!
Our customers often send us emails letting us know how their Brain Cell or Monolith has protected their laptops when they've dropped them, and we know from using the Brain Cell and Monolith how tough they are, but we thought we better prove it. What better way than a drop test? See for yourself how well a free-range egg is protected inside the Brain Cell when it's dropped.

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New Product: The TerraGrip Shoulder Strap

The TerraGrip strap is your first line of defense against laptop breakage: it's the only strap we've come across that won't slip off your shoulder.
Grippy
It's true that our Brain Cell minimizes the risk of damage to your laptop in the event of a fall, but using the TerraGrip strap with any laptop case minimizes the risk of dropping your "brain" in the first place.

Order yours today!

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Everybody's talking: The Buzz

Everyone's talking
Some say we've taken the idea of "sling bag" and perfected it. We like to think we've simply elevated it to an art form. Practical, beautiful and subtle, the Buzz is as easy on your eyes as it is on your back. The main compartment has a built-in, padded laptop sleeve that will fit smaller computers. The strap on the Buzz has a fixed cell phone/MP3/iPod pocket, and the side of the bag has a handy water bottle pocket.

Available for order now.

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Seattle Retail Store

Seattle Store
Have you ever wanted to see a Tom Bihn bag in real life? It's now a lot easier with our new retail location in the historic Pioneer Square district of downtown Seattle. The store features the entire Tom Bihn line as well as factory seconds, one of a kind products, and products from Trager and Truth Belts. For directions and store hours, see our Seattle Store page.


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