Tangerine Travels #5: Have a Wookie Christmas

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I honestly can not believe that I have made it to column number five. It reminds me of a time when I was 4, and sure that there really was a monster living under my bed. Periodically -- though therapy later led me to understand I was dreaming -- the monster would come out and warn me that I wasn't going to live to see age 5.

Okay, so I made that up. But if it was true, you would understand my fear of the number five. And don't get me started on number six! There were six Brady kids, you know. But I'll save that for next week.

And so begins column number six. Welcome, my friends, to what could be the best column yet. This week is packed full of crazy web sites and crazier commentary... plus, best of all, an unsolicited reader compliment!

Travel to a Land of the Lost

Perhaps this was inspired by my review last week of the Unofficial Brady Bunch web site, but a reader forwarded me a link to Land of the Lost dot com ! I'm not sure if this site is run by the production company responsible for that show, or some lucky 17-year-old kid who threw the proverbial Network Solutions dice and got something good. The site contains pictures of the crew, interviews, current Land of the Lost news (there is some, you know!), downloadable music, lyrics to the theme song, and much more! You could spend, oh, a good five or so minutes on this site!

Ho, Ho, Hoth

While working on this column, a co-worker of mine came by my spacious cubicle and informed me he'd be sending a URL my way. Always one for a good URL, I accepted, and what I found was the oddest thing I've ever seen, and it's just in time for the holidays.

The tale goes like this: There was once a Star Wars Holiday Special. Airing only once, and starring Bea Arthur, it is something George Lucas would probably like to forget. Included on this site is a lengthy description of the actual movie including screen shots. By reading the description you begin to think the movie is about 6 hours long, or the guy who wrote this is having flashbacks that don't quite sync up. For the first time in my short career as a columnist, I am at a loss for words to describe the Teleport City Movie Reviews: Star Wars Holiday Special page, other than this: You really have to see this thing to understand it, and reading it makes you feel very strange. Fair warning: the language on the site is beyond anything you could say on TV.

Perpetually Bubbly

You know, the thing I love about the holidays is all the bubble-wrap that comes around my presents. Sure, the gifts are great, but even better are all the poppable bubbles! Yes, I could spend hours sitting on the floor popping bubblewrap bubbles one by one. If I was really feeling daring, I'd go for a whole slew of bubbles at once, making that firecracker sound that can really scare the cats.

But my days of waiting for bad Christmas gifts and lurking around the torn-up boxes at my nephew's birthday party are over. And it's all thanks to the Perpetual Bubblewrap web site! Yes, by simply moving your mouse over the pseudo-bubblewrap you can pop to your heart's content. The bubbles magically reappear as you mouse over their bubble siblings -- try and find that in a box of china!

Mahir was Here!

Okay, so he didn't come to see the one man who made him known to every Macworld reader in the world, but he did come to the USA! An Internet company flew him here for the PR value.

But the visit from Mahir brought more to us than Mahir! The coverage uncovered even more Mahir Pages... including Mahir the Cat (featuring fluffy at her finest and inviting other cats to visit her in Boston -- where there are 4 million kitties and many mice). And don't miss the Ask Mahir Page , where, much like the Magic Eight-Ball, you can ask him questions and he'll answer.

Thank goodness for the Internet.

A Good Review -- Trust Me

I never thought the day would come. After weeks of reader comments like "Your column is trash!" and "You should be writing for a PC magazine!" and (my personal favorite) "You are the spawn of the evil one!" (okay, I made that last one up) comes an unsolicited reader review of my column. And it's good!

Thank you to the reader who wrote a simple e-mail that I now can't find. It's true what they say: the good stuff is always the stuff you forget about -- in this case, Eudora forgot about it.

In closing...

I wish you well this week, and want to squeeze in one more site -- geekcheck.com . Just go. You'll understand soon enough. Friends, have another week of happy web surfing, and merry Christmas! Until next week...

Brett Larson creates interactive Flash games you can play in a web browser. His latest creations are "It Came From Outer Space and Looked Like Michael Jackson!" and "Who Wants to Play Yahtzee!" Send him your site suggestions at brett_larson@macworld.com.

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