I got out of the driver’s side and pressed the button on my key, releasing the trunk and causing it to spring up as I rounded my parking spot and reached inside for my briefcase. Crap. I suddenly remembered I’d brought Lulu to work with me. Better to take her out for a little walk first. I started toward the passenger side and then, suddenly remembering the trunk, turned back to shut it – not realizing I had inadvertently hit the remote so that in the instant I swung around, the side of my head met the corner of the descending trunk door with a skull-thrumming crack that almost dropped me to my knees. I sprang back unsteadily, dazed, left ear numb and ringing. It took me a few seconds to gather myself. Well, I wasn’t unconscious. That was a good sign. I shook it off, gathered Lulu from the passenger seat, and took her for a stroll along the green area by Stage 1. As we walked, I said hi to a passerby. He said hi back and threw me a curious look. And that’s when I felt the burning sensation just over my left temple. I reached up to test the no-doubt bruised area and my fingers came away bloody. Great. A perfect start to the day.

I headed upstairs and stepped into the production offices where Martin Wood and Alex Pappas broke off their conversation to throw me a look. “I’m going to call first aid,”Alex advised me as I handed Lulu off and stepped into the bathroom to inspect the damage. A fair amount of blood and nasty cut but, thankfully according to first aid, no need for stitches. The wound was tended to and then dressed with a big-ass bandage that will, no doubt, tear my hair out at the roots whenever I choose to remove it (Unless, according to our office assistant Lawren, I apply olive oil to the area first. I threw him a dubious look. Yep, what you want to do is make sure you cover the entire area, that’s your head and hair, in copious amounts of olive oil or Newman’s Own brand Ranch Dressing. Of course it has to be Ranch. French or Italian won’t do…). Not a big deal except that it turns out today is crew photo day. Great. I’ll either go with the profile or, better yet, make use of a strategically-placed French Bulldog…upside my head.

Well, with Hogfather and Excession out of the way, I blazed through John Steakley’s Armor (a fantastic book that makes my Top 10 Reads) and have switched back to Martin’s A Feast of Crows and that collection of short stories by Lester del Rey. In the meantime, keep those Joe’s Book Club comments coming. Also, I’ve narrowed down the field for next month’s selections. I’m thinking either William C. Dietz’s Legion of the Damned or Niven and Pournelle’s The Legacy of Heorot as the scifi book, and Donaldson’s Lord Foul’s Bane or China Melville’s Perdido Street Station in the fantasy category. Thoughts? Votes?

P.S. Paula, you won the unofficial Last Man vial of sand! Include your email in your next comment.

Today’s pics: a lonely guy waiting for his photo op, Lulu razzes the camera, Say “Cheeeeese!”, Carl and his new writing partner, Attack of the Frenchie (snapping Lulu’s terrifying mid-yawn)!, Linda-Lisa and Beverly drop by for their chocolate fix, bark softly and carry a big stick.

Today’s video: Click on the date to catch some of the late arrivals for the crew photo.

Today’s mailbag –

Anonymous #1 writes: “Since you asked, season 4 will have the following “relationships” (per your responses and words coming straight from the actors themselves):
McKay/Katie Brown (everyone)
Keller/Ronon (per Jewel)
Teyla/Unnamed (its a “real” pregnancy, someone close to her people. (per RL)
Shep jealous of Teyla’s situation (per JF).
Shep/Larrin (oh so hot, per Mr. JF)
Sam is VERY lonely (AT)”

Answer: “Sam is VERY lonely”? Seriously? In your mind that counts as a romantic storyline? What about Zelenka is VERY lonely? Or Chuck the technician is very, VERY lonely? Would those count as romantic storylines as well? As for the rest – with the exception of the McKay-Katie Brown relationship which we established in season 2 – when you get around to actually watching season 4, you may well find yourself quoting The Prince Bride’s Inigo Montoya with regard to all of the expected “romance“: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

Jen Kirk writes: “Paul McGillion has confirmed he has auditioned for Scotty in JJ Abrams Trek movie. Chris Doohan has also officially stated his support for Paul and wants him cast and to follow in his fathers footsteps.”

Answer: I wish Paul (who phoned me last week to gloat about his Dallas Cowboys and pass along his condolences on my underperforming Raiders) the best of his luck with regard to the Star Trek movie. I think he would make a terrific Scotty.

John writes: “So if you’re not a coffee drinker (I’m not either) can I assume you drink tea? Any opinions on flavors and brands?”

Answer: Green. Matcha. One cup in the morning and another cup before dinner.

Ptarmigan writes: “I just LOVED the pic of King Bubba perched on the back of the couch.”

Answer: Actually, that’s Jelly. She likes to lord it over the other dogs.

Kellie writes: “I converted my uncle into an Atlantis fan. He’s in a low-security penitentiary right now and will try get the other inmates to watch with him. It’s a shame their viewership probably won’t be counted.”

Answer: That IS a shame. The show always seems to perform very well with women aged 31-33.5, leprechauns, and inmates. I wonder why that is. P.S. – Did you get my email?

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