It’s something I’ve been wrestling with for a while and, well, this morning, I finally decided to accept it. No, better. I’ve chosen to embrace it. I’ve always been respectful toward those with alternate opinions or values, and yet I’d always considered people who espoused this particular conviction – well, a little wacky. That was because I had the facts wrong. I pre-judged without actually walking the long mile in their shoes. But that has changed.

Of course I realize that some of you will feel that this isn’t the forum to discuss such a topic and that I’d be far better off keeping this epiphany to myself. But I can’t do that. It’s part of who I am now. So please understand – I’m not preaching to your here, only telling you about my own wonderfully revelatory experience in the hopes that maybe, just maybe, some of you will open your hearts to this life-altering truth:

You know what makes a sandwich great? Cucumber slices!

I know, I know. I can already here the disappointed groans, anxious murmurs, the sad, slow headshakes. But I don’t care. I’m comfortable with my new, pro-sliced cucumber stance. While I’ll never be a fanatic (eating cucumbers on their own or tossing them in a salad and calling that a meal), I’ll probably never again eat another sandwich without their delightfully crunchy presence.

The veil has been lifted and, even though some of you may be disappointed, know that I am, at heart, the same person I always was.

Which clearly some of you know better than others judging from the response to yesterday’s blog. To win the (somewhat) special prize, I figured I would test you with 20 tricky blog-related questions. “When’s the deadline?”Fondy asked. “I don’t have one,”I replied. In fact, I assumed I’d have responses trickling in over the better part of the weekend. If no one came up with all twenty answers, which was more than likely given the range of questions, I would end the contest on Sunday and award the prize to the person who got the most answers right. And so, I posted my blog entry and headed out for dinner. About an hour later, I received my first response from Charles Schneider who scored an impressive 18 out of 20. A half an hour later came the second response – from the eventual winner who scored 20 out o 20.

The winner? None other than encyclopedic blog regular PG-15. Congratulations PG-15. Again. Honorable mentions to everyone who made a game effort, especially Uber, HiddenSky, and Emily who got ‘em all right but, alas, weren’t fast enough.

As for those of you wondering about the answers…

1. Name 3 members of the League of Aliens and Mutants for Evil.

Baron Destructo and the League of Aliens and Mutants for Evil made their first appearance on an August 20th, 2007 blog entry. Baron Destructo responded to a scammer’s offer of $950 000 by thanking him and assuring him the money would go to a good cause – specifically, the League of Aliens and Mutants for Evil‘s goal of total world domination by the year 2010.

The League’s membership roster, cc’d at the end of all of the Baron’s emails, is made up of –

Calamitous Jane, Glaxnor the Miscreant, Sinderella Washington, Xxxaptak’qul, Dr. Catastro, Dr. Disastro, Dr. Quinn Meddlesome Woman, Ray Mephistopheles, Archfiend Animus, Brutus Badly, the Plague Zombies, Vorzik the Planet Squisher, the Malevolater, Count Sinister, Kugal Baruth, Death Knell, Star Father Celestio, Shatterdam, Princess Arcana, the Mystifier, the Procrastinator, the Soul Emancipator, Quickstrike, Professor Frosty, Flamer the Flaming Man, the Pummeler, the Purple Lamprey, and John Tesh.

2. What was the warning on the cool Stargate Atlantis mug I received from MGM?

“This product contains or may contain a chemical known to the state of California to cause birth defects and other reproductive harm”. Like I said back when I first blogged about his back on August 31, 2007 – Good thing I prefer dogs over kids!

3. What is my dark horse football team of the 2007-2008 NFL season?

The Cleveland Browns who, as I write this, are neck and neck with Paul’s dark horse Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

4. What did we find out we had unwittingly consumed in Japan when we ate a soup containing “milt”?

Back on December 3, 2006, I blogged about a wonderful meal I enjoyed in Tokyo. Among the many great dishes we enjoyed that night was a monkfish hotpot and dumplings. I wrote: “Fondy’s dumpling contained a mysterious yet incredibly sweet and creamy white filling that I asked our waitress about. She pointed to the menu: monkfish milt. Not a clue. It wasn’t until later that night when I checked online that I discovered we’d eaten monkfish sperm.”

5. According to Cookie Monster’s account of a recent Games Night on Sesame Street, why was The Count arrested?

My August 20, 2007 blog entry included an email from Cookie Monster to the scammer he was stringing along. It related the events of a recent Games Night on Sesame Street that ended badly for some: “ Everyone have good time and try to stay up late but first Telly pass out (tired), den Bert pass out (tender meatballs), den Big Bird fall down stairs (Jagermeister) and Ernie have to call ambulance, den police come and arrest Count for yelling and pants down.”

6. Name one of the ways I once suspected my wife of trying to kill me.

Back on March 17, 2007, I revealed three highly suspicious incidents that could have ended very badly for me – and, coincidentally, my wife insisted were mere oversights on her part. 1. I got the okay from her to drink from a water bottle – that happened to contain oxy clean. 2. She closed the never-ever-closed glass door to our solarium and then didn’t answer the phone early one morning, causing me to jump up and rush over to answer it – and right into the plate glass solarium door. 3. She set the blender back into its cradle but minus its base so that when I poured milk in, the contents seeped out the bottom and onto the counter. The blender was plugged in at the time.

When I told Fondy about this question, she vehemently protested, but not for the reason you’d think. “I only tried to kill you twice!”she claimed. Then I reminded her about the blender. “Oh yeah!”she laughed.

7. Who was my dog Jelly named after?

Fondy named him after the lovable gangster played by the late Joe Viterelli in Analyze This.

8. What was the title of the phony episode outline that “mistakenly” appeared on my blog?

The boards lit up after I posted a photo of Carl on my blog, a photo that seemed to inadvertently include a full outline for an episode titled Foxy Loxy with Floppy Socksies. The boards were abuzz – but it was all for naught. The outline and episode title were as fake as a reality show.

9. What did Carl give Marty G. for his birthday this year?

Carl gave Martin a second season dvd set of the show that gave him his first break: Punky Brewster. And wrote the following inspirational message on the front cover: “Martin, Follow your dreams!! Carl”

10. What delighful delicacy have I likened to “tiny orange tongues”.

Back on March 18, 2007, I reported on a terrific meal I enjoyed at Tojo’s, Vancouver’s premiere sushi restaurant. One of the night’s most memorable dishes was the live sea urchin which I likened to tiny orange tongues.

11. How did I kick-start my incredible weight-loss regimen of late 2006-early 2007?

Back in late 2006, while traveling in Asia, I ordered the snake soup at the Hong Kong airport – and lived (but just barely) to regret it. I was incredibly sick for the ensuing week in Tokyo, dropping a good ten pounds between before returning home – and embarking on a diet and work-out regimen that allowed me to shed another five pounds.

12. What Marvel villain adorns my Bridge Studios pace card?

My March 8, 2007 included a shot of my new Bridge Studios pace card. “Does the green of the body suit bring out the opaque or my fishbowl helmet?”I asked. This one was a little tougher for those using the search option on this blog because I never named the villain pictured. But fans of Marvel Comics and Spiderman in particular recognized the nefarious Mysterio.

13. What mispronounciation during an audition for SG-1 villainess Adria almost had Paul, Andy Mikita, and myself on the floor?

On March 31, 2007, I mentioned an audition in which “an aspirant referred to herself as “the daughter of the Oreo”.” We almost lost it.

14. What Disney movie did Carl Binder write the screenplay for?

That would be Pocahontas.

15. What did Ben Browder say to Pierre Bernard upon first spotting him at this year’s Comic Con?

Back on July 28, 2007 I gave you my report on the San Diego Comic Con. After the Atlantis panel, Ben Browder, Martin Wood, and I swung by a fan gathering where Pierre Bernard was present. “Ben, upon spotting Pierre who put in an appearance in 200 as a zombie that Mitchell guns down: “Bernard! Didn’t I kill you already?”.”

16. Name 3 authors (and their respective books) I have enjoyed reading.

Lots to choose from here. Three of my favorites off the top of my head:

Joe Abercrombie (Before They Are Hanged)
John Scalzi (Old Man’s War)
Iain M. Banks (Consider Phlebas)

17. How old was my grandmother when she passed away?

Props to Charles Schneider for trying “She’s not dead and just turned 57 last year” (which should make me, at best, 29). The real answer is, of course, 112.

18. Name one of the fictitious anime characters (and the series they appeared in) I claimed to have voiced during a recent appearance at an anime con.

My August 19, 2007 blog entry gave you the run-down of an anime con I guested at – and a particularly painful autograph session where I learned that most anime fans do not watch Stargate. After disappointing a string of excited fans in search of famous voice actors, I decided to change my tact. ““What voice work have you done?” I stared blankly back at them and then, after a few seconds, tried: “I was Orville the recalcitrant emu in Butter Ball Apocalypse. Did you see that one?” They shook their heads. “Sugoki from Squidbaiters One and Two? Carmelito 3000 from Mecha-Nibs? Sunomono Jones from Junior Revenge Seekers?” That last one seemed to spark some recognition in the guy dressed up as the hedgehog soldier who gave a slight nod and an: “I think I’ve seen it at the store.” I signed autographs for all for.

19. Name one of the top ten shows that influenced me growing up.

I gave you the breakdown back on May 2, 2007, listing them and giving you the reasons why. Take your pick from: Dallas, Spiderman, The Beverly Hillbillies, Soap, Gilligan’s Island, Hogan’s Heroes, Star Trek, Get Smart, The Flintstones, and Batman.

20. What is the name of Aloysius P. Hazzencockle’s orphanage?

Way back on July 2, 2007, Aloysius P. Hazzencockle sent an email to a scammer, Ali, who was desperate and (literally) dying to enlist someone’s help (and money) in setting up an orphanage. Aloysius was more than happy to lend his support, and even went so far as to suggest possible names for the orphanage. They were –





The very next day, I reported that Ali had written back: “ As regards the orghanage name conclusivelly, ALI IN THE FAMILY – HOME FOR ORPHANS AND ALOYSIUS P. HAZZENCOCKLE has finally caught my likes,and i settles for that .”

Again, thanks to everyone who participated. In the end, there are no losers. You are all winners. Although PG-15 is just a slightly more winner in this case.

Before finishing up today’s entry and moving on to the overdue mailbag, I’d like to dedicate today’s blog to Mags, her mother, and family (who are going through a tough time right now), and Amber at the request of her friend Anna (who is going through an equally rough time right now).

Today’s mailbag:

Royal Nonsuch writes: “Can you hint as to which series concept (if any) was cut?”

Answer: It was pre-Stargate and, believe me, not all that interesting.

Anonymous #1 writes: “What part of Italy is your family from? My last name is Turchiano and we’re from the South, near Bari.”

Answer: My mother’s side is from a town called Altamura in Bari.

Nikki writes: “So are you dubious and erring on the side of caution saying no, or dubious on the curious side and saying yes?”

Answer: I’m not a fan of hard or chewy candy – but I don’t speak for the rest of the writing staff. So dubious and saying yes.

Kirfect writes: “Do you let your lovely dogs sleep in the bed with you?”

Answer: They used to, but their snoring kept Fondy up so now they sleep beside the bed (in their own little doughnut beds).

Anonymous #2 writes: “is Torri Higginson in 4 episodes int he first half or not?”

Answer: The first time I answered this question way back when, I said that Torri’s 4 episodes would be in the first half of the season. This is no longer the case.

Amac251 writes: “ What was everyone’s reaction (at the studio) to Atlantis receiving a Peoples’ Choice nomination?”

Answer: Everyone was both excited and honored. Did you go vote? Did you get your friends and family to vote? Great! Now go back and keep voting!

OhioAnne writes: “If you were an Iron Chef and the secret ingredient were turkey, what would be your five courses?”

Answer: 1. Crisp turkey spring rolls with sweet chili sauce. 2. Cream of turkey soup with chives. 3. Turkey-pea risotto with pancetta. 4. Garlic-stuffed roast turkey. 5. Turkey ice cream.

Jenny Robin writes: !

Answer: Get somebody to illustrate it and then get it published!

Val a ecrit: “ Je voulais vous demander, est-ce que Torri ou Amanda ont été blessée par certaines remarques qu’elles auraient pu lire?”

Reponse: “Sans doute ils ont lu certains de ces commentaires.”

Morjana writes: “Your blog has been nominated — in several different categories — for the 2008 Blogger’s Choice Awards!”

Answer: Is there some sort of awards ceremony I need to attend? Would you happen to know if they’ll be serving dinner and, if so, what is on the menu?

Sis writes: “Dad had, and I have an allergy to penicillin as well as any drug in that family… now you do as well. I had my first reaction when I was in my 20’s. I have (also since my 20’s)a slight fruit intolerace… canteloupe, honeydew, eggplant – ok, one vegetable – and yes, pineapple. Did you excercise after consuming the fruit? There are excercise induced fruit allergies.”

Answer: Eggplant? Really? You have no problem eating mom’s eggplant parmesan. On the other hand, is that why the roof of my mouth gets all sensitive and prickly after I eat it?

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