I'll typically keep an eye on the BitTorrent tracker sites such as The Pirate Bay and btjunkie.org, just to see what's popular day in and day out. It's actually an interesting process, though there can really be a lot of junk to wade through (one way to help with this is to create a Yahoo! Pipe to filter some of the data).

In any case, on June 15 of this year, Rise of the Silver Surfer - the sequel to Fantastic Four - was released in theaters. A day or two before that, the movie was released as a torrent. Since then, with very few exceptions, this movie simply will not go away. With the DVD set for release in about a month, it's now time for the DVD rips to start hitting, so I suspect that we'll start seeing those soon.

Bob Lee Swagger served as a Force Recon Scout Sniper, meaning he could shoot guns. He could shoot them really well, very accurately and at a very long range. Not a hundred yards, but thousands of yards. At those distances you need to consider everything and how it can change your shot. There are simply not many people that could do what he did.

That's why he was approached as a special consultant to help make sure that the president would be safe while speaking. Since it's out in the open, they want Swagger to assess all possible approaches and determine how to best protect the president from someone shooting the president, so they can offer the best protection.

It turns out that the president isn't harmed during the speech, but an archbishop from Ethiopia, standing next to the president, is killed. And since he helped scout the location, who better to do the work than Swagger himself? Soon Swagger is on the run.

What is it with Boston? If it was just the cold weather, then any New England town would have problems, but then you wouldn't have movies like Good Will Hunting (actually set around Boston) or Mystic Pizza (set nearby, but not in, Boston). While Good Will Hunting does have violence in the movie, it does also show another side of the city. But other movies, like The Departed and Mystic River definitely show a grittier side.

Whatever the case, Martin Scorsese is in fine form this time around, with an excellent case and some amazing dialog to boot.

With the primaries just a bit over two weeks away, I thought it important to mention a lesson that I learned slightly after the last election: The importance of timely material. More specifically the importance of the timely arrival of material.

If you're like myself and millions of others out there, as an election draws near, you are very likely bombarded by mailings and phone calls to tell you to vote for someone - or, perhaps, to not vote for someone. There's a very likely chance that you simply deposit the mail in the trash (or, if you're a good neighbor, in the recycle bin) without ever looking at it. This is generally what I do.

But one piece of mail caught my attention after the last election, and I thought it worth mentioning. I think that just about everyone will find it interesting.

It's no secret that I don't really care much for politicians. Sure, I understand that they are necessary and all because we can't have complete anarchy (though a little bit might be nice). Maybe they could just get their nose out of everything and we'd be okay.

But I try and keep up on what's happening here and there, just so that I'm not completely bogged down in what's happening to totally tick me off with where they've decided to get involved that they shouldn't. For instance, one of the very first entries on the blog (#6) talked about North Carolina having a state insect and how that might be a little over the line.

When they decide that zero isn't really zero is when I just have no clue.

Before she went to Washington in Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde, Elle Woods went to Harvard. Yes, that Harvard.

You see, it turns out she was jilted on her big night - or that's how she saw it, and that just doesn't happen to girls like her. So she did the only thing she could do, and she went to Harvard to win back her man.

But in the process of doing so, she discovered that she liked being a lawyer.

Premiere: Californication

Now this is how colleges should sell you on your career. No guidance counselor holds a candle to Hank Moody if they are trying to sell you on the benefits of being a writer, especially one who is perhaps not the greatest at their craft and is having troubles in their personal life to boot.

The greatness of a movie is not always measured by its box office take, though Mars Attacks actually did reasonably well in that regard. The problem is that it was not a cheap movie to make for a couple of reasons.

On one hand, the movie had a large cast of well-known talent that could not have been cheap. They may not have had large parts, which probably helped, but they still do not show up to work for free. It's just a fact of life.

On the other hand, there was plenty of destruction, and the iconic locations being destroyed can either be actually destroyed (really expensive) or, for a slightly smaller bill, virtually destroyed with lots of computer imagery. Either way, the bill adds up.

Though it has been established that many people - and specifically those in Charlotte - do not read what they are signing before they sign it, many of you may well be wondering - and rightfully so - where that leaves things. What will happen if the transit tax is revoked?

First and foremost, everyone purchasing something in Mecklenburg County will save a bit of money with every purchase. That's the good news. And it's probably the end of the good news, especially if you're a resident of the county. Why? Because we've already been told that if the tax is repealed that it will be replaced by higher property taxes. The fact that the citizens don't want the tax - and by extension, the transit plan - is completely irrelevant. The council will do what they want. They showed us that with the arena, and they're going to do it again. Are you used to it yet? I'm not either - so let's see what else we can find out.

If you have connected your TiVo to the network, then there is a good chance you have seen this message. Unfortunately, there is not much help from TiVo desktop in resolving this message, which can often be the case with errors, and can make your enjoyment of TiVo, well, much less enjoyable. Luckily it is usually fairly simple to resolve.

A few months back, the Charlotte Observer ran a story about how Eastland Mall must go. Unfortunately, the Observer has this policy where all of their articles older than a week or so are no longer available online (are you telling me if the New York Times can no longer charge, the Observer can?). You can rarely even find a link to them on their own site, and when you can, they want to you to pay to get to them. It's not that I have a problem with that or anything, it's just that they make it so difficult to do - so I can't link to it. That makes it a real pain.

Anyway, I finally went to read the article, and naturally couldn't read it. So I had to dig around my own archives - which is to say, a pile of newspapers that I have sitting next to my desk - and found the article in order to give it a good read. It's actually not bad. Being that I live only a couple of miles from Eastland Mall, it would probably be good for property values. I don't know that it will happen anytime soon, but a man can dream, right?