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     February 19, 2004

Here I am again and it has only been ten days. Wonder of wonders. I am reversing my presentation of the news from the previous "issue," so that being said...

Badbartopia News

I have updated the Highlander page(s) with new menu driven navigation. The content is, more or less, the same--it's just easier to get around now. The 'Best Highlander fan site' contest is over and I didn't finish anywhere near the top of the heap. The site that won the contest is in the "Links" menu in the Highlander page. It's a sloppy piece of work, but had all kinds of links to the "official Highlander" site, promoting their stuff. I have learned my lesson: Don't worry about the presentation of the content, just promote heavily... What, me bitter?

I have also spent a very little bit of time working on the Tolkien pages. There still isn't any real content, but the links are functional (taking you to empty pages wth cool borders). Maybe soon...

I have added a new download to the Shareware/Freeware downloads section: Spybot Search and Destroy. My browser was hijacked recently (rendering url line searches useless) and this badboy fixed it right up. It also nuked a bunch of spyware (mostly cookies) that was residing on my computer.

I have finally added a paltry few pictures to the Princess gallery. One of them is Julie, the other three are of Keli and Emeli. We've gotten really bad about having professional portraits taken--we haven't had their portraits taken in many moons...

And now on to the usual detritus...

 This, that and the other

Here are some useful web sites I have come across recently:
1) Don't be so sure that e-Greeting cards are harmless. Read this for more information.
2) Do you want or need a bootable CD for Windows XP? Here's a site that will help you create one.
3) Do you want to optimize or just clean up your Windows XP install. This site will give you some pointers for XP tune-ups.

Here's a plug for a couple of guys who have been extremely helpful in my recent quest to buy a home. John Medin, the loan king, knows everything about the different loan packages that are available and can find a way to get nearly anyone into a house--even in San Diego's overpriced market. Brad Butner is a realtor who will work his tail off trying to find the perfect home for you. He has even been known to successfully solicit homeowners who are not planning on selling their homes to get a client into a house in a neighborhood they love. And he's a good guy .

I got a few new Lord of the Rings action figures recently. Three were from an eBay auction, the last I picked up at Target.

Here is a picture of my Grandfather (my midde namesake), the navy fighter pilot.


The first movie I'm going to mention is a repeat, but I had not read the book before watching it the first time, so I thought it was worth another look...

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
There were actually very few plot changes that I could detect (from the novel). There were a few omissions, such as Harry's childhood, but for the most part it was all there. One big change I noticed was Hermione. In the book I read her as an unattractive know-it-all. In the movie, she was cast as a very cute little know-it-all. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it was a difference. Or maybe I'm way off about her appearance as portrayed in the book. I thought the Weasleys were right on target, though. But then again, they were described with great detail.

The Hunted
This is an old movie, but I saw it in its entirety for the first time this week. The notorious Dan Denney loaned me his DVD copy to watch, so watch it I did. There were no special features worth mentioning on the DVD, but the movie was much better when watched in its entirety.
A summary for those who have not seen it: Connor MacLeod...oops, sorry, Paul Racine (Christopher Lambert) is an American businessman in Japan who picks up a Japanese girl in a bar (Joan Chen) and, when she is assassinated by a ninja, becomes entangled in a secret war between the Honoourable Samurai and the dark, deadly ninja. It's a great movies for fans of this genre, but may not be all that enjoyable for others. I liked it.

This isn't exactly a new movie, either, but I had not had the opportunity to see it until this week. Once again, Dan shared his DVD with me. What a guy. This movie seemed to borrow a lot from The Matrix. It had numerous black trenchcoat wearing uber-cool people running around shooting at each other and the search and final victory of the "chosen one". Sound familiar? But then again, it was about the secret war between Vampires and Werewolves (Lycan), not the real world outside our falsely perceived existence. It was good. If you are not among the easily frightened (Julie) I would recommend this one.

Lost in Translation
I went into this film with high expectations (it did win a pile of awards or get critical acclaim of some sort from the movie critics), but came out disappointed. The funny thing about it, though, is that the more I think about the movie, the more interesting it becomes. There is no single driving plot behind the events in movie. It just meanders along. But the meandering takes some interesting turns. Bill Murray (Bob) is interesting as an over-the-hill actor mopping up the dregs of his career in Japan. Scarlett Johansson (Charlotte) is captivating as the young, bored newlywed left alone in Japan. The language difficulties (for which the movie appears to be named) are a good source of laughs, but the bizarre relationship that builds between Bob and Charlotte is the centerpiece. This is a movie to think about. Not just to see.

And Coming Soon...

King Arthur
Opens July 7, 2004.
Sorry, I decided not to carry over the detail from last time... Check the Feb 9 news for details/images.

Spiderman 2
Opens July 2, 2004.
Again, I have decided not to carry over the detail. Check the Feb 9 news for details/images.

Van Helsing
Opens May 7, 2004.
Yep, you guessed it. I decided not to carry over the detail from the last issue. Check the Feb 9 news for details/images.


A Tolkien Miscellany
I am still struggling through this book. Smith of Wooton Major and Farmer Giles of Ham were entertaining enough, but the essay (On Fairy-Stories) that follows is dry, to say the least. It's an in-depth look into the "fairy story" and what makes a fairy story. Interesting, but very dry.

© Brett Wilkes. All Rights Reserved.
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© Brett Wilkes. All Rights Reserved.
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