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Originally published Sunday, January 20, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Gates spoofers have upgrades on their minds

There may be a version 2. 0 to come of the "Bill's Last Day" spoof video chronicling Bill Gates' impending departure from Microsoft. The Kirkland-based production company...

Seattle Times columnist

There may be a version 2.0 to come of the "Bill's Last Day" spoof video chronicling Bill Gates' impending departure from Microsoft. The Kirkland-based production company behind the seven-minute short hints that a director's cut could be in the works.

"We have a great deal of footage that no one's seen yet," says Mark Dickison of Tri-Film (www.trifilm.com). "There's talk of us adding new scenes and new people."

Tri-Film has worked on humor videos with Microsoft for years, but "Bill's Last Day" was the first one officially released by the company. "Bill has an amazing sense of humor," Dickison says. "He's had some brilliant ad-libs over the years" — including the scene in which he plays with toy action figures on a table ("Never doubt the magic of softwaaare!").

The video was shot during a seven-week period over the holidays, mostly around Microsoft, with the crew traveling to Los Angeles to shoot some celebrities, including George Clooney and Steven Spielberg. And about those A-list cameos: "Many of them were just an 'ask' that Bill made. No one really turned us down." ...

MADISON PARK IS BUSTLING AGAIN after the neighborhood's annual winter pilgrimage to Sun Valley, when many of its residents turn up on vacation at the same time in the Idaho resort town. It's a tradition dating back to the 1950s, when there used to be a train from Seattle to Sun Valley. "There are five or six different restaurants, and you go in and it's all your neighbors from Seattle," says one resident, who describes the appeal of Sun Valley thusly: "The cool thing is — and Seattle is like this, as well — you can't brag about who you are. It's kind of an extension of the Northwest. It's not showy; you just gotta cruise on and not worry about who you think you are." ...

SPEAKING OF FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS: With Howard Schultz back to the daily grind (sorry) as CEO of Starbucks, Madison Park residents wonder if they'll see him at the neighborhood Starbucks earlier in the morning. He used to swing by around 7 a.m. Regulars report that Schultz and wife Sheri are looking trim and fit in the new year. Thanks to Starbucks' new Skinny Latte, perhaps? ...

JESSICA SIMPSON LOOK-ALIKE Lynsey Nordstrom of Bothell became an Internet sensation last week after being hired by the New York Post to impersonate the pop star at the Dallas Cowboys-New York Giants playoff game at Texas Stadium. Simpson, who is dating Tony Romo, was blamed for the Dallas quarterback's poor performance when she attended a game wearing a pink No. 9 jersey in December. Maybe the trick worked: The Giants upset the Cowboys 21-17 and face Green Bay today. ...

AND HE SINGS, TOO: Seahawks defensive tackle Craig Terrill is courting new fans in the off-season. He'll perform songs from his debut CD at a record-release party Monday night at Tap House Grill in downtown Seattle (for tickets, call 206-709-1400). Expect plenty of support from his fellow Seahawks: "I've gotten all good reviews from my teammates." ...

THRICE AS NICE: Now that we know fashion giant H&M will open not one, but three (!) stores in the Seattle area this fall, the next question is: Who will be this year's guest designer? Previous collaborations have resulted in affordable creations from Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney and, most recently, Roberto Cavalli. H&M remains mum on the topic, but the fashion faithful had better start lining up now. ...

CELEBRITY SIGHTINGS ROUNDUP: John Mayer signing autographs and sharing Bananas Foster with two friends at the Met ... Nate Berkus, aka Oprah's design guru, buying two pairs of Loomstate jeans at Marqsmen in Bellevue ... Dominic Chianese, aka Uncle Junior from "The Sopranos," at a private cooking class for his daughter's birthday at Al Boccalino Ristorante in Seattle ... Matthew Lillard rooting for the Sonics and leading the bar in the "Sonics clap" at the Met ... Seahawks wide receiver Nate Burleson having the signature seafood towers with a party of 12 at Elliott's Oyster House.

Pamela Sitt: 206-464-2376 or psitt@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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