Responses to this rant

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Aeloqyn   Tuesday, 3/29/2005 3:22 PM
badbart   Tuesday, 3/29/2005 4:46 PM
Older rants
June 1, 2020   Trip to the Grand Canyon (last year),
Code Talker
Mar 21, 2020   The World Famous San Diego ComicFest
and the testament to dorkness that is my cubicle
and my sad, sad little doodles
Mar 8, 2020   A return to Potterland,
Meg & Dia's Christmas album, December Darling,
some other random stuff
Feb 21, 2020   Agorafabulous!,
Emeli's amazing creations
Nov 27, 2019   David Savakerrva Volume 1
The cubicle of nerdishness
Oct 28, 2019   Art Matters, Neil Gaiman
Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, Eric Idle
Alternate Routes, Tim Powers
Disneyland - Galaxy's Edge
Oct 4, 2019   Meg & Dia, HappySad tour San Diego 09/18/19
September 21. 2019   David Bowie - Scary Monsters,
More Adventures in Leasing,
More cubicle fun,
A new doodle
September 10. 2019   The Cranberries - In The End,
The Cranberries - Something Else,
Icicle Works, Icicle Works (vinyl),
Dia Frampton, Red,
Juliana Hatfield, Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton John,
The Lemonheads, The Lemonheads,
Green Day, Insomniac ,
Flight of the Conchords, Flight of the Conchords Live in London
August 28, 2019   Heir of Ra (Maciek Sasinowski,
The Catalyst Series (JK Franks): Downward Cycle, Kingdom of Sorrow, Ghost Country
May 11, 2019   Goodbye, little friend
Nov 30, 2018   Fire of Our Fathers,
a Science Fiction Book Club rant
Nov 24, 2018   The Dinosaur Lords,
Dragon Teeth
Nov 20, 2018   My cubicle revisited, really-old ComicCon stuff, Emeli's Art, More Disney Adventures, The Zoo and Safari Park
September 9, 2018   Perimeter - an eBook thriller
September 3, 2018   Take Back the Sky Starcraft Evolution
August 11, 2018   Idaho Dunes Awesome soda Ethanol-free gas an awesome Bald Guy card Our rough dig Harry Potter Interlude story
July 21, 2018   The Cup in the Shadows (The Forbidden Powers Book 1)
June 24, 2018   Jake, Lucid Dreamer
June 13, 2018   Troll-stalking
May 23, 2018   Another badbartopia email spoofer, A sunny-day Disney adventure, Raymond E Feist book signing
May 15, 2018   A rainy-day Disneyland trip The Bassoon King
Apr 28, 2018   Down and Out in Purgatory
Apr 13, 2018   Operation Hail Storm
Mar 4, 2018   American Exodus
Jan 22, 2018   Christmas, Didn't Get Frazzled, The Sea People, The Rooster Bar, Last Burial Night, Doctor Who and the Krikkit Men
Dec 15, 2017   Mistrial, City of Death and Disneyland
Nov 14, 2017   Grace Vanderwaal - Just the Beginning
Nov 11, 2017   Tim Powers Signing at Mysterious Galaxy for Down and Out in Purgatory
November 4, 2017   Return to Disneyland, Halloween at the office, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, The Long Cosmos Maximus One year After War Dogs, Killing Titan Daddy, Stop Talking
October 29, 2017   Bruce Campbell Signing, Hail to the Chin, Further Confessions of a B Movie Actor
October 20, 2017   Meg & Dia, Imagine Dragons in concert, 2 Years 8 months and 28 Nights
October 17, 2017   All Apologies
October 16, 2017   Thrawn
Septempber 7, 2017   The Rage of Dragons, The Lincoln Myth
August 10, 2017   The Molly Ringwalds, Dia Frampton Musical awesomeness, Beauty and the Feast
July 28, 2017   The IT Sweatshop revisited, How to Talk to Girls at Parties, American Gods and The Magicians, Rogue One, Camino Island
July 24, 2017   CRV glovebox difficulties, San Diego Comic Con rant
July 11, 2017   Beauty and the Beast at the Lyceum, Earthweeds, Sons of Neptune Book 1, Aftermath, Empire's End, If Chin's Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor
June 30, 2017   Eastwood: No Direction Home book 2
June 23, 2017   Excellent Adventures on the PCH (part 4/4) - The PCH family vacation tale concludes, my new record, record player, and Emeli's site is live!
Jun 14, 2017   A noteworthy eBook mention before I return to my vacation ranting - No Direction Home
June 9, 2017   Excellent Adventures on the PCH (part 3/4) - The PCH family vacation tale concludes...almost. More pictures of spooky old houses, trees, rocks, and other things that nobody cares about! Plus, Goonies stuff
June 2, 2017   Excellent Adventures on the PCH (part 2/4) - The PCH family vacation tale continues... And more pictures of trees and other things that nobody cares about!
May 31, 2017   Excellent Adventures on the PCH (part 1/4) - Way more detail than anyone wants about our vacation up the coast of California and Oregon. And lots of pictures of trees!
Apr 26, 2017   Resurrection America, Pizza Studio art, AmandaLynn, Emeli art, and Disney art, and Gifted
Apr 14, 2017   My San Fransisco OSI PI adventure & "Thanks for the Money: How to Use My Life Story to Become the Best Joel McHale You Can Be"
Apr 12, 2017   Neil Gaiman speaks, Norse Mythology, American Gods comic adaptation, The Magicians TV series, and Dirk Gently on TV
Feb 2, 2017   A trip to the ever-less-magical land of Disney, The Prince of Outcasts, the Whistler, and a brief mention of The Magicians.
Jan 21, 2017   An update to my nerd wall at work, Found out about Richard Thompson (Cul De Sac) being gone, A list of all the stuff (or most, anyway) I've given up to new homes, A review of Dave! and Warp, and a couple of new doodles.
Dec 23, 2016   My final visit to Potterland and a couple of doodles
Dec 11, 2016   Books and related comics, and free/cheap stuff. Not taco Bell Material, President Me, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, The Hedge Knight (comic), The Sworn Sword (comic) Ooma, Ringplus, Amazon prime and other money-saving stuff.
Dec 4, 2016   I'm sharing my sad doodles with the world again. They're not very good, but I'll bet they're better than your scribbles!
Nov 12, 2016   Yet another trip to The Wonderful World of Harry Potter!
Nov 7, 2016   Blathering on about a few of the books I've read recently - Spire, The Check, and Dangercide, Pirate Detective
Oct 7, 2016   Yet another Visit to Harry Potterland. Oh, and my lease-mileage calculator.
July 25, 2016   Another Visit to Harry Potterland, a new car, a new shirt, a new dog, and a whole lot of the same old complaining
May 17, 2016   Email spoofers, Phishing emails, and scammers galore!
Apr 30, 2016   Winter's Edge and a Management zombie attack
Apr 23, 2016   Harry Potter land re-visited
Apr 9, 2016   Xenia...again
Apr 2, 2016   Sing Street, Batman vs Superman, Craigslist griping
Mar 1, 2016   The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hollywood preview, fun at work, Xenia's new song, A Vanishing Glow, Our Fair Eden, Race Wars, The Force Awakens
Jan 27, 2016   Text Wars, Books I've read... Yup, that's pretty much it
Jul 30, 2015   Xenia Martinez news Still selling stuff on eBay, Hyperbole and a Half (the book), The Path Between the Seas, Trigger Warning, In Fifty years We'll all Be Chicks
Mar 17, 2015   Selling my treasures on eBay, Hyperbole and a Half, the Long Mars, Gray Mountain, Anathem, The Golden Princess, The Given Sacrifice
Mar 12, 2015   You'll be sorely missed, Sir Terry
Jan 21, 2015   More BBC 4 radio dramatizations by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett: The Amazing Maurice, Guards! Guards!, Neverwhere, Night Watch, Small Gods, Wyrd Sisters
Jan 10, 2015   JabberWocky, Neil Gaiman style!
Dec 24, 2014   The Good Omens BBC treatment
Aug 03, 2014   Every hobby has to end eventually, right?
Oct 8, 2013   Warning: Extreme Geekness ahead!
Oct 1, 2013   The Bloody Crown of iGoogle
Aug 26, 2013   Headphones at work
Aug 22, 2013   The guvmint is gonna getcha
June 25, 2013   Dweebs vs Big Bang vs IT Crowd
Jul 3, 2012   Xenia Martinez & Dia Frampton concert
Feb 24, 2012   Reading...just not much
The Reluctant Fundamentalist
Being an idiot with Lev Grossman
Jan 7, 2012   If it ain't broke...
Aug 22, 2011   non-ComicCon report 2011
A Thousand Splendid Suns
An Act of Self Defense
May 5, 2011   On Stranger Tides
On Stranger Tides
March 2, 2011   I'm a gigantic slacker...
Wild Guns
Lord of Ultima
Metin 2
Lord of the Rings Online
Dec 15, 2010   Bring out your dead!
Aug 17, 2010   San DiegoComicCon 2010
August 11, 2010   I'm not dead yet...
May 3, 2010   Hero Comics
Liberty Comics
Dr Horrible
Neil Gaiman & Sam Keith in Batman
The Guild, Felicia Day
April 27, 2010   Mean Gene Wilder! Grrr!!!
April 24, 2010   If it's not one Jihad, it's another...
April 20, 2010   The Satanic Verses
March 15, 2010   Unseen Academicals
Feblueberry 8, 2010   The un-reading shelf (from most of 2009)
Feblueberry 2, 2010   Emily the Strange, the Lost Days...a novel
Nov 25, 2009   Happy Halloween, Mom!
Nov 18, 2009   Summer Vacation in Idaho
Aug 20, 2009   San Diego ComicCon 2009
Aug 12, 2009   I'm a big, fat slacker
June 05, 2009   The networks are helping me cut back on my TV viewing
June 04, 2009   Mandy Moore's Amanda Leigh,
Chris Isaak's Mr Lucky
My name is Bruce?
and Emmy Rossum? Where am I going with this?
May 21, 2009   Randy would have really liked Fanboys...sigh
May 3, 2009   The Spring reading shelf
Apr 21, 2009   Holidays On Ice (a little late for Christmas)
Apr 18, 2009   Leviticus Cross and other Hector Sevilla comic book stuff
Apr 16, 2009   The fantastically amazing and banal Badbartopia RSS Feed
Mar 31, 2009   Neil Gaiman's Blueberry Girl
Mar 30, 2009   My Amazon mis-order turns out to be not so annoying as previously expected...
(AKA the Dr Horrible soundtrack)
Mar 23, 2009   Stephan Pastis & Richard Thompson have me looking forward to the 2009 SD ComicCon
Mar 19, 2009   Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog,
The Guild
Mar 08, 2009   The Wonderful Wizard of Oz comic adaptation,
Neil Gaiman's Sandman: The Dream Hunters
Mar 04, 2009   Little Brother
Mar 1, 2009   Pete & Pickles
Feb 11, 2009   She & Him
Pushing Daisies
Jan 26, 2009   The Scourge of God,
When You are Engulfed in Flames
Jan 14, 2009   On the Road = hippy nonsense
Jan 12, 2009   One-by-one, my fish have met their maker
Dec 26, 2008   My Azeroth-avoidance continues
Dec 23, 2008   Nothing to see...move along
Dec 15, 2008   New scribbles
Dec 10, 2008   The Oct-Nov-Dec reading shelf
Dec 1, 2008   Shalimar the Clown
the economic impact of the events in Mumbai
Nov 21, 2008   Star Wars: Allegiance
Nov 20, 2008   Daredevil Black Widow: Abattoir
Nov 17, 2008   Travel Team
Nov 16, 2008   A new comic adaptation of The Wizard of Oz
Nov 14, 2008   Berke's Books:
The Last Basselope
Edward Fudwupper Fibbed Big
Mars Needs Moms
Opus: 25 years
Nov 13, 2008   Return to Azeroth?
Nov 12, 2008   Goodbye, Opus
Oct 29, 2008   Halloween costumes of 2008
Project Superpowers
Oct 23, 2008   The Graveyard Book
Oct 16, 2008   Nation
Oct 10, 2008   The Joy of Programming
My foray into Ajax
Oct 9, 2008   My Saturn Scare
Opus ends
Terry Pratchett's condition
Oct 3, 2008   The Hitchhiker's Guide, Book Eoin Colfer?
Oct 2, 2008   Media master - music online
Sony builds a "better" camera
Sept 24, 2008   The September reading shelf
Sept 17, 2008   Still missing Randall
The Fish tank...again
The Graveyard Book
Sept 15, 2008 usual
The Sasquatch Dumpling Gang
Sept 9, 2008   The dearth of Opus strips
yes, I meant to say "dearth"
Sept 8, 2008   A new monitor goes bad...but it all ends happily
Sept 3, 2008   A Boy and His Dog,
Richard Corben,
H.P. Lovecraft's Haunt of Horror
Sept 2, 2008   A slightly newish look
(aka "why I will never be a graphic designer")
Aug 11, 2008   Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in all its incarnations Mike Kunkel's re-imagining of Shazam
July 29, 2008   San Diego Comiccon 2008
July 24, 2008   Neil Gaiman
July 17, 2008   Chris Isaak!
June 30, 2008   The Woman Who Wouldn't
Legends II
Mouse Guard Fall 1152
the Jetta's latest round of repairs
fishtank overpopulation
June 10, 2008   The Reading Shelf
Fish tank jungle
Attack of the bees
June 3, 2008   Missing Randall
May 9, 2008   My French Whore
Apr 28, 2008   Fish tank fatality
Flight of the Conchords
The Dangerous Alphabet
Mar 5, 2008   Gene Wilder book signing at Borders
new fish tank
Jan 11, 2008   The Jetta Strikes back!
The Plucker
The Anubis Gates
National Treasure II
Nov 8, 2007   San Diego on Fire,
A clean break from WoW,
UCSD Extension Java I graduation (kinda)
Making Money
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Oct 2, 2007   Back to school, Java class at UCSD
AT&T's Uverse
new sketches
Blockbuster movie pass
August 28, 2007   Mandy Moore concert!
Aug 19, 2007   ComicCon 2007 - Neil Gaiman, Iron Man and all the usual suspects
May 22, 2007   World of Spamcraft (and other spamalicious topics), forum fun...gus, the woes of being a contractor and PIRATES!!
Apr 5, 2007   I'm a conservative - bite me!
Timbaland? Dumb!
Marie Antoinette - snaggle teeth and teasing glimpes. Sweet!
John Q - a lesson about fatherhood or a liberal-propoganda film?
Mar 30, 2007   Things that make me grumpy-er,
employed again at last,
Finn and assorted other ramblings
Feb 8, 2007   The search for employment continues..and the unemployment benefits are NOT pouring in!
Jan, 22, 2007   Freed from the bondage of employment, a very brief review of a few books and films
Dec 17, 2006   Sad excuses, The Innocent Man, 1776, THe Man in High Castle, Absolute Sandman, Wintersmith, garage sale treasures: Ghost in the Machine
Aug 20, 2006   Writers of the Future XXII/Tim Powers, more movie reivews
July 20, 2006   San Diego ComicCon 2006
July 15, 2006   Superman Returns, inconsiderate morons, Peewee's Playhouse returns, my plea for more pirate movies
July 8, 2006   Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Wild Animal Park critters, site remodeling
Jun 27, 2006   The good, the bad and the mediocre (a bunch of movie reviews in the new forum).
June 15, 2006   Because of Romek - A Holocaust Survivor's Memoir
May 21, 2006   The DaVinci Code, Aeon Flux, Everything You Want
May 12, 2006   World of Warcrack, the Office, Coraline, my apologies...
Jan 24, 2006   Christmas Vacation 2006, Syriana, Traveling Pants, Wish You Were Here
Dec 19, 2005   Festive Neighbors, the death of Olivia, Media Misinformation surrounding Brent Wilkes/ADCS, Make Love the bruce campbell way
Nov 15, 2005   Microsoft Technet 2005 launch party, Lexmark printer problem, a bad, bad day, changing dentists.
Oct 22, 2005   Thud!, Anansi Boys, Where's my cow
Oct 18, 2005   Terry Pratchet Thud! signing, Neil Gaiman Anansi Boys signing
Oct 15, 2005   A very, very late Comiccon 2005 report.
Jun 23, 2005   The black hole of Warcraft, The Years of Rice and Salt, After the Sunset, Madagascar, Mr and Mrs Smith, Taxi.
Jun 3, 2005   All is quiet on the PM Front, War of the Worlds (the novel), Kingdom of Heaven, Sahara, Star Wars Episode III, Flight of the Phoenix
May 9, 2005   The program managers strike again, More of my horrendous sketches, Spanglish, A Lot Like Love, Elektra, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (the film)
Apr 9, 2005   Stuck in Corporate Hell, a few of my recent sketches, Miss Congeniality 2, Collateral
Mar 21, 2005   Revenge of the Jetta (car problems), a Newegg purchase, a few new drawings, more Opus
Feb 13, 2005   The Mail mystery solved, more of my crappy sketches, A few new photos of the girls, bill-bert (introducing the new Project Manager), sweet phone skills, Opus, Dungeons and Dragons, In Good Company
Jan 27, 2005   Mystery mail, new photos of my beautiful kids, some new sketches, an Episode 3 spoiler, Opus, Going Postal, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Ubik, Remember the Titans, Lemony Snicket`s A Series of Unfortunate Events, Dodgeball
Jan 7, 2005   Christmas 2004, Update to the site, Elf & King Arthur revisited, National Treasure, Opus, Blade Runner
Dec 18, 2004   A new Stephanie sketch, another Target web page goof, the SD Union Tribune confirms Greg Bear`s research for Vitals, Miramar VW proves my dealer service assertions wrong, neighborhood Christmas fun, Opus
Nov 24, 2004   More of my mediocre drawings, nw russian mail-order coins, Star Wars toys, a big green spider comes to visit, Opus, Dies the Fire, Digital fortress, The Incredibles, Twisted, Van Helsing
Nov 03, 2004   Some thoughts regarding the 2004 election, rants about the environment, a memory rebate update, new computer issues, Opus, The Lone Drow, Deception Point, Roswell season 2 on DVD
Oct 12, 2004   An interesting quiz, mal-in rebates, a parrot joke, my new computer, thoughts on frame removal, web logs, Opus, Vitals, Star Wars trilogy on DVD, Ladykillers
Sep 23, 2004   My "Heath" sketch for Mark Oakley, an update on my a PNY rebate check, the fictitious AWNA Act, Browser Issues with the site, Opus/Pickles, The DaVinci Code, Garden State (Natalie Portman), Man on Fire
Sep 11, 2004   A new drawing: "Stephanie", redneck wisdom, my salary to hourly reclassification, funny video: news from iraq, an update on my mail-in pny rebate, a new rebate through Costco, Ella Enchanted, Highlander Endgame, Princess of Thieves, The Whole Ten Yards
Aug 27, 2004   Fun with my VW Warranty, Opus, Harry Potter & The Order of the Phoenix, The Land of SokMunster, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Wedding, Napoleon Dynamite, Hidalgo, Chasing Liberty, Out of Time
Jul 23, 2004   San Diego ComicCon 2004, the family summer vacation, Bruce Campbell, Opus, Nanny Ogg`s Cookbook, Angels & Demons, Folk of the fringe, Bourne Supremacy, i robot, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, Cody Banks 2, Hellboy
Jul 19, 2004   *** PNY Rebate fun, IE Patch, Linux and socialism, liberal scum, Opus, BIM, timeline, master and commander, tad hamilton, stuck on you,cold mountain, 50 first dates, the terminal, spiderman 2, king arthur, a hat full of sky, the thousand orcs, meditations on middle earth
Jun 20, 2004   Memorial day pictures, Duplex, Mark Oakley/Heroes, Wild Animal Park Dinosaurs, B-52s concertman, Say After Tomorrow, Big Fish, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Eragon, A Hat Full of Sky, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
May 08, 2004   Pat Tillman, LOTR Toys, 13 Going on 30, Mean Girls, Tolkien Miscellany, Last Juror, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Pork Tornado
Apr 06, 2004   Roswell season 1 DVD and a some other mindless drivel
Feb 19, 2004   Highlander site contest results, new downloads, princess gallery updates, lord of the rings toys, harry potter, underworld. lost in translation, the hunted, a tolkien miscellany...
Feb 09, 2004   Murder at 1600, Radio, Cheaper by the Dozen, King Arthur, Spiderman 2, Van Helsing, Harry Potter, Tolkien Miscellany, Mark Oakley, massive snow in Idaho...
Jan 28, 2004   Swat, Uptown Girls, Somethings Gotta Give, Along Came Polly, Seabiscuit, Ashley Judd Marathon, Van Helsing, Harry Potter, Science Fiction Bok Club, Nanny Ogg`s Cookbook, RA Salvatore, Mythology (Alex Ross), Fastner & Larson, Best page in the universe, etc, etc...
Jan 07, 2004   Clint`s rules, X-Men 2, Holes, Pirates, Two Towers, Freaky Friday (Haley Hudson), new drawings, Thieves` World, Playskool Star Wars, new Interest section
Jan 02, 2004   nothing all that interesting...
Dec 21, 2003   Nemo, Highlander page, Christmas vacation 2003, star wars kid
Dec 12, 2003   E.T. (Erika Eleniak), new drawings, Opus, Santa Claus 2 (Elizabeth Mitchell), Legolas toy/pics, How to Deal (Mandy Moore), Myth update, Last Samurai
Nov 27, 2003   Another Fine Myth, Elf
Nov 22, 2003   Dude, Where`s Bill & Ted
Nov 18, 2003   Not much to say
Nov 15, 2003   Disneyland, Astronaut`s Wife, Dumer and Dumber-er, Monstrous Regiment
Nov 10, 2003   Terry Pratchett, Matrix Revolutions
110103   School of Rock, Terry Pratchett signing, Darth Vader MBNA bust, San Diego fires
Aug 17, 2003   Johnny English, San Diego Comic-Con
Jun 17, 2003   Assorted ramblings
May 28, 2003   Not much to say
May 24, 2003   Almost nothing of note
May 17, 2003   Matrix Reloaded, Pirates
Mar 23, 2003   The Police, Pirates, Lord of the Rings grievances part II
Mar 16, 2003   Lord of the Rings grievances part 1
Super auld stuff   A big list of old submissions with boat loads of broken links

Monday March 21, 2005

Update 3.28.2005 - added the book and movie reviews to this page.

Revenge of the Jetta

The Jetta has had yet another mechanical mishap.

I was on my way to the mall with the family for a Saturday outing when the engine temperature warning light flashed on as I was driving down the freeway. I looked at the dash and saw that the temperature gauge was pegged all the way to the red, but I was unable to pull off of the road due to cement barriers blocking the shoulder (the freeway seems to be in a near endless state of construction).

I stopped as soon as I had the opportunity and opened the hood to exert my manly knowledge of all things automotive on the engine. I checked the oil: deemed it adequate with my superior eye for engine lubricants, and then checked the engine coolant: dangerously low, in my mechanically inept opinion. So I paid $20 for a ginormous bottle of anti-freeze, which I added liberally to the coolant tank.

After allowing the engine to cool for about ten or fifteen minutes, I loaded the kids back into the car, and pulled out of the gas station to head home. The engine temperature was super low and didn't seem to be rising, so I decided that my skills had saved the day and all would not be lost. Assured by my mechanical prowess, I headed across the street to the mall, but before I made it all the way into the parking lot, the dreaded light again glared balefully at me from the dashboard. I quickly pulled into the next available parking space so I could again use my manly automotive skills on the engine. The wife and kids went into the mall as I popped the hood and looked around.

I was shocked to see that the coolant level was now well over the "max" line in the coolant storage tank. I was sure that I hadn't filled it that full before we set out on our latest quarter mile trek and then I realized that the heat of the engine was making it expand, so I had somehow, despite my unmatched knowledge of engines and auto-mechanics, over-filled the coolant tank. I set off to Sears to find some sort of tool with which to remove the excess coolant and came upon a turkey-baster looking thing (used for filling batteries) that looked adequate. I also saw the exact same anti-freeze that I had just paid $20 for. It cost $7. My day was not shaping up to be one of the best ever.

I used the sucky-thing to remove quite a bit of the anti-freeze and, sure everything would be peachy this time around thanks to my heroic actions, started up the engine again. I let it idle...but within five minutes the malevolent light came on as the temperature needle again began its ascent.

I found the family, we loaded up, and nearly an hour later we made it a few miles to the local Firestone (with many cool-off stops along the way). Several days later, I was informed that they couldn't figure out what was causing the car to overheat, and they recommended that I take it to the dealer. I called my insurance company (under my road-side assistance plan) and was informed that my towing coverage was for 10 miles or the closest authorized repair facility. I used MapQuest to determine the approximate distance the car would be towed and discovered that the tow job would probably cost me about $20.

Okay, I'm getting this is what happened: the car was towed to the dealer, the dealer determined it was a faulty water pump, I faxed proof of regular maintenance to validate my warranty and the car was fixed under the 100k mile power-train warranty. There was no charge to me. All is well again. The Jetta's revenge will have to await another day. Oh, and Ron Gilmartin was the guy who helped me out again. If this keeps up, I may have to completely rethink my opinion of taking the car to the dealer for service (at least this dealer).


Way back in the late eighties and early nineties, there was a little computer store caled Egghead. I used to buy games there in the nascent days of the PC...long before I had ever cracked a case open and before I had completely abandoned my powerhouse of a home computer, the Atari 800XL.

Egghead closed all their retail store-fronts several years ago and went the fully-online route. They weren't particularly successful and, although Amazon now owns the name, declared bankruptcy after suffering the embarrassment of having their customer database hacked. When looking around the net for a new power supply, I discovered newegg though the recommendation of a friend. He informed me that newegg was Egghead reincarnate.

I have done a little bit of research on the web and everything I have read would lead me to believe that Egghead is actually dead and newegg is, other than borrowing from the recognition of the Egghead name, an entirely different entity. Regardless of the link to Egghead, one thing I can say about newegg: their prices are great. And their shipping...
Okay, two things I can say about newegg: their prices are great and their shipping is extremely fast and reasonable. And they sell quality...
Okay, Amongst the many things I can say about newegg are these: They have great prices, very fast and affordable shipping and they sell quality merchandise.

My newegg experience:
I ordered a 400 watt power supply to replace the 250 watt supply that had been overheating in my computer. It arrived within three days of placing the order. Three days--unbelievable! I eagerly installed the power supply, hooked up all the "stuff" inside and turned it on. There power supply has two fans, each of which has a blue led around it, and a shiny silver casing. The blue light, in my generic case, is almost wasted, but it does shine brightly from the back and a little through the air holes on the side of the case. It only cost $34 (with shipping costs), runs cool, is quiet and I have had no problems at all.

Badbartopia stuff

I have added a few new sketches to the drawings tab: Ariel and Sponge Bob, Mickey Mouse, Jasmine and another portrait (Michael). Sorry Steve, I haven't had a chance to doodle any centaurs, exploding robots, centaurs battling robots or even ligers, yet. If only there was more time in my days...

I have actually updated the "family news" page in the princess gallery. There are some fun things about the girls there. And it only took me about a year to get around to doing it.

I have also added a link to a page (on the bottom of this page) to allow you, the reader, to provide me with feedback. I expect to get at least two or three responses a year if all my loyal readers will respond.

I was going to split the movie and book review pages off into their own pages, but I have lost interest. Instead, I will probably just simplify my original method of review. Or not. We'll see...

Movie/Book Review A Scanner Darkly

This novel, as with all the other Philip K Dick novels I have recently read, was set in the author's future, but the not-so-distant past (sometime in the 90s, I assume) for the rest of us, in Orange County, California. This vision of the future wasn't filled with psychics, space travel, robots or much of anything very different from what was around in the 70s. Surveillance equipment and technological camouflage was more advanced, but little else. The 70's hippie/drug culture (which probably still exists today, just not in my sphere of association) thankfully is not, as far as I know, as prevalent as Dick predicted.

If you want the novel to be a complete surprise, don't read the rest of this paragraph. Here's the book in a nutshell: Undercover policeman, Fred, uses too much of the drug to fit in with the crowd he is blending in with (to try and nail the major supplier in the area).Gradually, the reader discovers that he is losing the ability to distinguish between his "stoner" personality, Bob Arctor, and his policeman identity. Eventually, his world comes crashing down and he is sent to rehab, where he makes an unsettling discovery.

A movie is in production (Starring Keanu Reeves as Bob/Fred) that is due in theaters in 2006. Winona Ryder plays the drug dealing object of Bob/Fred's infatuation, Donna. I find the casting of both actors to be a little bit off, but you never know how well they will play the parts until you've seen the final cut. The script will probably butcher the story so badly that it won't matter.

The Broker

I am unable to think of a single John Grisham book that I have not enjoyed reading. His style of writing flows so well and is so engaging that I find it difficult to put his books down until I have torn through them (usually in a day or two). This novel is no exception.

Once again, if you want the novel to be a complete surprise, don't read the rest of this paragraph. The novel's main character is a power broker/lawyer who is imprisoned and then pardoned by a lame duck president, who receives large sums of cash for the transaction. The "broker" is sent to Europe in kind of a witness protection program (although this isn't really the reason). He is hidden in Italy and taught italian. Along the way, he learns to love the culture and the people--who are so different from everything he has known before.

One of my first impressions while reading this book was that John Grisham had jumped on the Dan Brown bandwagon (the CIA, government intrigue, the immersion of an American into European culture. etc) and was abandoning his down-home types of stories. And now that I have finished the novel and had time to reflect on what I've read...I'm not sure if Dn Brown was the motivation for the latest novel. But I'm still on the fence. There is an end note in which John Grisham's talks about his European vacation, during which he fell in love with the people and the culture of the part of Italy that much of the story takes place in. So it probably wasn't Dan Brown's fiction that prompted him, but you never really know...

Finding Neverland

I went to this movie with high hopes, but low expectations. I generally find that movies that have received an abundance of critical acclaim pretty much suck. But this one, surprisingly, didn't. Johnny Depp's Scottish accent (though it sounded more irish than scottish to me) was passable and he played the part brilliantly.

The story was a real tearjerker (especially as it neared its conclusion) and one of the scenes even managed to touch a cantankerous, emotionally retarded old guy like me (the peter pan performance in the home of the boys--the 'tinker bell dying' scene). Other than that, I don't feel like spoiling the movie for anyone who hasn't seen it (even though it's already out on video--man, what that a quick turnaround?).


Will Smith plays the suave cool guy with ease as he has been doing for years. It's kind of ironic...when you take a good look at him, you relaize what a funny looking guy he is. He has big ears and Webster's head on a tall, adult's body. But his voice is pure Barry White. Smooth and self-assured.

This movie has it's share of amusing, laugh-out-loud, moments and will tug at a woman's heart strings with ease. For a guy, it's entertaining enough, Eva Mendes is gorgeous and the fact that Will Smith is such a goofy, normal guy helps us along.

I also saw, but don't really feel it's worth more than brief mention, The Pacifier. It wasn't horrible, but it didn't really have any redeeming qualities. Vin Diesel is such a flat, expressionless. monotonal actor. I am mystified by his success.

I watched The Chronicles of Riddick and Troy on DVD. Neither impressed me at all. The Chronicles or Riddick's biggest problem was that it couldn't decided if it was a Sci-Fi or Fantasy movie (medieval armor on futuristic galactic stormtroppers wielding archaic weapons was just a little too bizarre). Troy reminded me a lot of Gladiator (another movie I have never liked). The history lesson was interesting (it has been too long since I have read the Iliad to efectively examine how badly this movie treated Homer's version of the events), but little else about the movie interested me.


I discovered, when going though some old papers, that I had saved quite a few of the Opus strips from 2004. These, and the four most recent strips: February 13, February 27, March 6 and March 13, have been added to the Lighter Side.

I don't really feel like summarizing the contents of the strips today, so read them if you want to. If not...don't.

Share your opinion about any of the above or anything else.

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