“Hey!”said the guy behind the counter, glancing over my shoulder. “Is that your dog?” My dog?! For a split second, I was panic-stricken. My mind flashed back to a recurring dream in which I board a bus on my way to school, unzip my sports bag, and have Jelly, Maximus or Bubba (who I’ve inadvertently packed away along with my books) jump out and start tearing up and down the aisle, evading my best efforts to corral them. Was my nightmare become reality? How was this possible? Had one of my dogs actually followed my car all the way down to the corner of 4th and Burrard, gamely scampering behind my Q7 as it rolled through the busy intersections?! Had one of them slipped out the door while I was heading out and jumped into the car without my noticing?! I looked back, expecting to see Lulu standing outside in the pouring rain, staring in at me. “Hey, wait a minute!”I quickly realized. “This guy doesn’t even know my dogs!” And true enough. I was looking out at a German Sheppard sitting in a parked Ford Explorer? German Sheppard? Ford Explorer?! Jesus, buddy! You nearly gave me a heart attack!

That half second of panic was about as exciting as it got today UNTIL a good friend called me up to inform me that he had attended a charity event the other night and won not one, not two, but three door prizes. A trip, watch, and, best of all (because I can get in on it) a Southern Style Barbecue for him and 29 of his friends. Basically, this guy will come to your house and cook up anything from smoked chicken and lamb to a whole suckling pig. How brilliant is that? My buddy calls, gets me all worked up, and then tells me that because this is Vancouver and it’ll probably rain from now until May, it’ll be a half a year before we actually cash in on his prize. Come on! I want my Southern Barbecue now!

To tide me over, I turn to my sister’s recent email review of Bofingers Barbecue Smokehouse:

“A simple and basic smokehouse place serving beef & pork ribs, chicken, lamb, and burgers. You order at the counter.. choose your meat, choose your sauce, choose a side dish. The decor is clean & simple… large black booths, white walls… counter service only… cash only… predominantly male clientele.

Mom’s lamb with the Memphis sauce – the meat was good. Although I did find the sauce spicy, I found it a tad too vinegary for my taste… overpowered even the taste of the lamb.

Fondy’s pork ribs with a side salad (?) why salad… to counter the fat of the ribs? Mom got salad too, forcing me to add an extra side. Ribs were tasty, but a tad dry.

PoBoy – shredded pork, swiss cheese and fries… all in a bun – and a side of the bright yellow mac & cheese. Too much bread, but the sandwich was tasty… had a good smokiness to it. Mac & cheese – bright, yet bland.

My chicken & rib combo… my favorite plate. The chicken was a little charred on the edges, but you could really taste the smoke. I would order it again… maybe try the wings next time. Ribs were good as well – with the traditional Texas BBQ sauce. The coleslaw, although good, was nothing special… remember the coleslaw at the wing place on Sources? That was the best!

Enough food to bring back for the dogs… or maybe even Lili.

Prices are very reasonable.

Desserts are pathetic… nanaimo bar, generic brownie, chocolate chip cookie. What, no deep fried Mars bar?”

No deep friend Mars bar? And they call themselves a smokehouse! More than barbecue, my sister’s picture make me want to go out and buy her a new camera (that second picture looks like an autopsy photo).

Today’s blog is dedicated to Paul’s wacky black lab Maddy and to iB’s equally wacky mom.

Today’s mailbag:

Jenny Robin writes: “ I must cease visiting your blog for a few days, for tomorrow (Saturday) I am off to Memphis to take in some music, eat some real Memphis bbq, and oh, train a new GM.”

Answer: Memphis BBQ! Check in with an update when you get the chance.

Anna writes: “”The future is predetermined by the character of those who shape it.”
That is a truly powerful sentence. Which writer came up with that?”

Answer: Paul Mullie.

Cheeky Lil Devil writes: “I have to say, loved the wraith’s humour, it had me in stitches. Was that Marty G’s humour by anychance or was it Rob’s?”

Answer: Again – Paul, who was also responsible for my favorite exchange. When a nervous Woolsey is about to head in to face a wraith for the first time, he hesitates and then motions Carter with a “Ladies first.”.

Mags writes: “When Carter and Sheppard about the annoyances of the IOA she says something along the lines of “Now I know why *** didn’t want to take the job” I heard HE and my brother heard YOU.”

Answer: She said “you”.

OhioAnne writes: “In watching the episode, I felt we were handed a laundry basket of individual scenes with little overall coherence.”

Answer: This, more than any other episodes, left many questions unanswered. Teyla’s pregnancy. The raising of the stakes in the ongoing wraith-replicator war. And, of course, Atlantis’s latest guest, Todd. And, of course, the city’s seemingly inevitable destruction. This season, more than any other, will be arc-driven and hopefully, as the pieces fall into place and some surprising answers revealed, you’ll appreciate the narrative tapestry we’ve woven. Or not. Still, here’s hoping Miller’s Crossing is more your cup of tea.

Crazymom writes: “Do you ever take a break from computers and go internet-less for a period of time?”

Answer: And miss a day of blogging? Never.

Anonymous #2 writes: “Joe, the big discussion over at most of the stargte sites I frequent is all about the stupid new uniforms. […] What made you guys decide to go the way you have?”

Answer: The actors who found the old uniforms incredibly uncomfortable and, like us, love the look of the new one. You’re overruled. Sorry.

Firefly827347 writes: “ Hey Joe, I noticed you’re on facebook. (At least, I think you are. Otherwise you have your very own Doppelganger…) Would you object especially if I added you as a friend or is that a bit weird?”

Answer: You can but you probably won’t get a response – not because I’m ignoring you but because I’m rarely on Facebook as I find it a mind-numbing waste of time.

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