Plucky Teen Sells Out Again

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We were starting to feel sorry for Mike Rowe, the British Columbia teenager who gave up the rights to his Web site's domain name,, after a certain software company raised objections.

But it seems Mike may have been after the money after all. He's put one of the inch-thick legal dossiers Microsoft's lawyers sent him up for auction on eBay.

"This is your chance to own a piece of Internet history," Mike says on his eBay page. "This is the book [the World Intellectual Property Organization (search) guidebook] shown on TV, Internet, magazines and talked about on the radio and seen by millions of people world-wide."

In case you're wondering what's so special about that, Mike's throwing in the 25-page cover letter, full of nasty legalese, which accompanied the file.

"Take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity," he adds, alongside a picture of himself holding the documents.

As of 4 p.m. EST Wednesday, bidding was up to $1,075 in U.S. dollars. Mike's already getting an Xbox (search) and a free trip to Microsoft headquarters from the software giant, plus a reimbursement for all expenses incurred in starting up his Web site.

Easy, Fast Credit Available to All Comers

A young Californian recently got his first credit card, a Platinum MasterCard with a spending limit of $1,500.

All very nice, especially considering Clifford J. Dawg is only 2½ years old and, well, a dog.

Clifford's human, Steve Borba of Livermore, Calif., set up a free e-mail account to receive junk e-mail and registered it to his pug, reports the Tri-Valley Herald of Pleasanton, Calif.

Within three weeks, Clifford got a letter from a major bank telling him he'd been pre-approved for a credit card.

Borba filled out and sent back the application, stating that Mr. Dawg worked at "Pupperoni Factory" and that his mother's maiden name was "Pugsy Malone."

He even added a note: "You are sending an application to a dog! Ha ha ha."

Naturally, the card soon came in the mail. Borba called the bank to cancel it, but the person on the other end of the line was delighted and soon started discussing using the incident in a commercial.

"Dogs don't chase us — we chase them," Borba said the bank representative suggested as a tag line.

Every Internet Lonely Heart a King

Sveinung Hobberstad, a single father of two from Varhaug, Norway, was intrigued by the e-mail he got from a young woman in Ghana (search) named Sylvia.

She'd found his name on the Internet and wanted to get to know him better, reports Norway's TV2 channel.

Soon, romance bloomed, and last summer, Hobberstad flew to the West African country to marry his new queen.

He had no idea she really was about to become queen of her tribe.

"When I chatted, she asked if I knew if she was a queen," Hobberstad told the TV channel. "I answered that of course, she was my princess, and didn't think more about it."

Hobberstad brought his bride back to Norway to live with himself and his two teenage daughters, but the missionary-society worker and avid birdwatcher will be heading back to Ghana in March for his own royal coronation — as king.

"I guess I won the heart of Ghana's most wanted woman," he shrugged.

Cat Donates One of Nine Lives to Owner

HUDSON, N.H. (AP) — A man who rescued a stray cat from the cold got the favor returned on Sunday when the cat woke him as his house filled with smoke.

Roland Rioux, 76, who lives alone, fell asleep watching television, but was jolted awake when the cat, named Munchkin, jumped up and landed on his chest with all fours.

Rioux was able to get up in time to call the fire department and evacuate safely.

Rioux put the cat in the garage and in the confusion, Munchkin bolted. Rioux and his family are asking for help finding the black-and-white cat.

Fire officials say the fire was probably caused by an electrical malfunction in the basement.

Six Thousand Pounds of 'Awwwww'

SEATTLE (AP) — So a day care center is getting a new teddy bear. Big deal, right?

When the teddy bear is 12 feet high and weighs three tons, it is a big deal, and moving it is no small matter, either.

Workers began barricading the affected streets at 4:30 a.m. Sunday for the move of the bear, which was installed outside the downtown Seattle FAO Schwarz in 1995 and was sold as part of the toy store chain's bankruptcy proceedings.

An hour and a half later, the bear was unbolted and loaded onto a flatbed truck for a ferry ride across Puget Sound to Bainbridge Island, Wash., where it was placed on a concrete platform.

The most eager and anxious spectator was Doug Hartley, 47, a teacher at Chief Sealth High School in Seattle who bid $11,800 for the bear on eBay and paid another $8,000 for the move to First Years, his family's day care center.

"Think about it: What can you buy for $20,000? I have a piece of art here," said Hartley, who lives on the island.

"You fall in love with him. He's really cute," he added. "He's like a teddy bear. He just happens to be giant."

That's Rough, but We're Still Waiting for Our Large Pepperoni

JAMESTOWN, N.Y. — It just wasn't Erik Carlson-Coulter's day. The Pizza Express deliveryman started out using his wife's car for pizza runs Monday.

But he had to switch to his own car, after getting struck by a hit-and-run driver in Jamestown.

While making another delivery, Carlson-Coulter drove into what he thought was a pile of snow. But it wasn't snow, it was a toilet. Police say the john had apparently fallen off a pickup truck.

Officers responding to the mishap discovered that Carlson-Coulter's insurance had lapsed. He also owed $125 in unpaid parking tickets. To make his bad day worse, Carlson-Coulter was hauled to police headquarters.

But he finally made it home after paying his parking fines.

— Thanks to Out There reader Denise B.

Compiled by's Paul Wagenseil.

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