After a Wednesday of heavy-duty eating, I took the Thursday to relax and recuperate.  Well, part of Thursday anyway because, by last night, I was back at it again in a different venue but following a very similar agenda: eat, drink, repeat.  We celebrated Christmas at my sister-in-law’s along with the rest of the Tam clan (special mention should be made of my brother-in-law Lippman who is a devoted reader of this blog).  We were about twenty in all and feasted on everything from the usual (ribs and lasagna) to the unusual (cow’s tongue and lotus root).  As Fondy sat down to talk jewelry with the ladies, I grabbed a seat in the living room and killed time playing brick breaker on my blackberry (I truly, truly hate this game) and watching my two eight year old nephews play a James Bond video game.  The adorable little rascals shouted “Kill ’em!” and “Shoot him in the face!” as they teamed up to take down the enemy.

“Hey, where are you guys?”I asked, watching their armed onscreen counterparts negotiate a dangerous warehouse setting.

“The bad guy’s hideout,”replied little Anthony.

“Well then you guys are trespassing,”I felt the need to point out.  “They have every right to shoot at you.”

They ignored me and kept on playing, running afoul of the nefarious Jaws.

“You know, maybe deep down, Jaws isn’t such a bad guy,”I piped up.  “Maybe he was bullied as a child and just needs someone to love him.”

I was roundly ignored.  They dispatched of Jaws and moved on.

“Violence begets violence,”I said.  “Instead of shooting those ninjas, can’t you just befriend them?”

“No!”snapped Anthony, finally growing tired of my running commentary.

“Really?”I persisted.  Then, leaning over for a closer look at his controller: “Are you sure there’s no hug function on that thing?”

He jerked his controller out of reach, turned his back on me and sighed in frustration.

Good times.  Good times.

I ended up heading home early to spend some time with mom, start on this blog entry, do a little more work on my short story (I’ve finished mapping out the final four scenes), and continue reading Jeffrey Ford’s The Physiognomy (an incredibly creative and captivating read).

For anyone interested, Brad has informed me that they have cast two more roles for Stargate: Universe.  More news as it becomes available.

Today’s entry is dedicated to birthday boy and blog reguar PG-15.  Happy Birthday!

49 thoughts on “December 26, 2008: If video games were more about love and friendship than shooting and killing…I’m guessing we’d have a lot less kids playing video games.

  1. “Are you sure there’s no hug function on that thing?”

    Yep. Can just imagine that.. Instead of whipping out the Walther PPK, our Hero surprises Goldfinger with a tackledive and squidges the guy to death.

    Admit it, Joe.. all this Christmas goodwill is getting to you. Beneath that sleek ‘n streamlined exterior, you’re really an adorable, huggable bundle of lovingness just waiting to break out, right?

    A closet Lucius! 😀

    Das: “Well…except the torn-off genitals part…that just would not do. At all. 😛 “

    That.. is just sooo..

    I worry, Das.


  2. “no hug factor”, lol. I am laughing so hard here at work. Too funny. I always did say that the invention of the violent videos is a huge factor in the juvenile deliquents we have now. Way to make yourself their favorite uncle.

    Happy Birthday PG-15!

  3. Meery Christmas and Happy New Year! How was the cow tongue dish? I heard it is good.

  4. I’m pretty much banned from the room when video games are being played because I have such a hard time following the plot line.


  5. “Are you sure there’s no hug function on that thing?”
    Thanks for the laughs!!!
    Glad to hear your Christmas Eve and Christmas day were so full of food, family, and fun! Makes it totally worth the travel troubles…

    Got some Stargate DVDs for Christmas… off to enjoy them 😀

  6. I can understand where you’re coming from Joe, all these violent games… they’re either shooting one another, stealing cars or crashing them..

    Spyro’s ok but you’re still eliminating stuff..they go poof!! and transform into butterflies. Chrysalis enemies!

    Wow what food!! Will you adopt me as a long lost sister or something?

    Oh yeah and don’t forget the treadmill…. you’re gonna need it!

    Merry Chrissie again and that tongue of Fondy’s might be rather err…. cool (wink wink) if you know what I mean.

  7. “Are you sure there’s no hug function on that thing?”

    LOL!! Wish I’d thought of that one. My little cousins are very similar to your nephews, just younger. Instead, I just attempted to tune out the sounds of Lego Indiana Jones for the evening.

    Great pictures!

  8. Haha, thank you, Joe! I much appreciate the blog dedication and birthday wishes! I also appreciate the update on the Universe front; do we know any of the actors hired? Do they know what craziness they’ve gotten themselves into? Lol.

    Thanks again. This means a lot. 🙂

    Speaking of craziness…IT’S. STILL. ****ING. SNOWING. I kid you not. I got up this morning, looked out the window, and shouted “oh for crying out loud!” as I witnessed the snowflakes drifting down in massive numbers. It’s ridiculous.

    When are you coming back to Vancouver? I think you might be coming back a little later than planned with this kind of weather!

    Meanwhile, THANK YOU wolfenm, Tam_myst, and shiningwit for the birthday wishes! You guys are awesome! 😀

    Some replies:

    @ dasNdanger: Of course I’m higher on the Geek-o-meter! Where have you been? 😉

    @ Tam_myst: Hehe, thanks for the encouragements! I have no doubt that it’ll take a looooong time for my mind to even begin growing up. 😀

    @ shiningwit: Well, I’m relieved. Hooray for continuing to feel like a kid! 😀

  9. Hey Joe!

    Very nice family photos there! I have to ask this, and I am unsure if anybody has ask you prior. What kind of camera do you use? Your images come out really well, and I was curious as to what one you use (or which ones, if you have different ones).

    Glad to hear you folks hired some more cast for Stargate: Universe! I greatly look forward to hearing about them!

    Thanks as always!

    – Enzo Aquarius

  10. So I don’t know if anyone has asked this before, but I’m curious. According to Quarantine, McKay was born in 1968. When was Sheppard born?

  11. OK Joe, I know you are upset with my last unposted comment, but I really wanted to see it! I’M SORRY! Please forgive me!! Anne Teldy- Glad to hear your better! It’s 80 degrees here in South Florida, Too warm for me at the holidays, but I’m also glad we don’t have 3 feet of snow on the ground! Can’t please me, so don’t try. Presently watching FAU- (Florida Atlantic University’s) bowl game- it’s required- my son goes to college there- GO FAU!! Nothing good on sci-fi tonight, another week till sga!! Happy New Year to everyone. Sheryl

  12. Jewelry? Who mentioned jewelry? I can smell gold and stones a thousand miles away.

    Hugs? Yeah, I know enough hippies I never lack for hugs. But Death Hug 5000 sounds fun.

    My poor hubby was headed to pick up his semi and was innocently waiting at a light, when a car got cut off by a pick up and was sent spinning into our poor little Scion. Smunch! Hubby is fine, bruised and rattled, and is sleeping off the adrenalin now. No worries, he says he will get the truckload of Coors to Spokane on time and within DOT legal driving hours (no choice, the company installed electronic logs). Poor guy, that’s the same stretch of road he got nailed on on Christmas several years ago while driving a rail crew shuttle SUV. he’d not have even felt the bump if he’d been in his big rig.

  13. Heya Lippman! And Merry Belated Christmas to all!

    The cow tongue picture was deeply disturbing. Loved it.

    One of the best parts of playing World of Warcraft is that you can, in fact, hug, blow kisses,and even dance with monsters and members of rival factions. The monsters are generally unimpressed, but sometimes the rivals (played by real people, somewhere out in the world) can be convinced to skip killing you in favor of frolicking and flirting for a time.

  14. Hey there Joe,

    Check out the following article at BBGeeks 170+ Free games for your Blackberry.

    Me I liked the description for MonkeyMadness

    You are Pistachio, a lone monkey battling against a gang of penguins. Drop bombs to clear a path to the final tile of each level (it will be flashing). Avoid the polar bear at all costs.

    Cheers, Chev

  15. Soooo…defending the Bond bad guys? See how easy that is?? Now. Apply that logic to the Wraith. 😉

    @ Perragrin – Worry about wot? Me? Or Joe somehow working creepy spider mating rituals into Wraith reproduction?

    Ah, tonight I made a fantabulous dinner! Vanilla flavored sweet potato with oranges, wafu steki, and Bhutan red rice…all very yummy! 😀 Now…gonna catch up on my comics…

    Have a good one, Joe! I’m enjoying ‘meeting’ your family!


  16. @ pg15 – Where have I been?? I’ve been over at GW, watching you geek out there! 😀 Remember…fan fiction…



  17. Joe, you should know that both of the new episodes that are going to air in january are on megavideo, each uploaded several times.

  18. Happy Birthday PG15!

    PG15 wrote:

    Is it sad that when I read “I believe they ship” I immediately thought about shipping, as in “oh, you mean the salmon is shipped with the dill? How romantic”. Yes, I believe that is sad.

    Oh I’m so glad someone else mentioned that.
    I was thinking “Avocado and saffron? Not a natural ship for me personally, but I’ve never really been that into ships”.

    And if you are worried about having to be all mature, I have some good news for you, bad news for me.

    Quite often you say what I’m thinking – because I was thinking the same about Lawren and the dogs but didn’t want to frighten Joe into catching whatever transportation he could find to get back home; snow plow, tennis rackets on shoes, husky powered sled, all visual images that were brought to the very front of my jelly-like cerebrum.

    So either you are a 21 year old going on 31 or I’m a severely stunted 31 year old. I’m leaning towards the latter, but maybe there’s a middle ground there somewhere 😉

    Maggiemayday – Hope the Hubby is ok.
    My brother hit a bridge last week in his truck. Peeled open the empty container he had on the back like a can of sardines. A lot can be said for markings on the side of containers. He has a lovely imprint of his steering wheel in his stomach and key gashes on his legs from where he got thrown forwards. Truck drivers do not have it easy.

    Joe – My friends brother is in a World of Warcraft support group. Seriously…

    Hope you are using the Hug button a lot on your family.
    Keep having fun!

  19. You are a wonderfully wicked man, torturing the kiddies like that. I knew there was a perfectly good reason I read this blog daily. Belated Happy birthday to pg 15.

  20. i keep thinking macaroon everytime i read macaron, then i see the picture and think, oh yeah. They must be good though, do you know a couple local places in vancouver that i could check them out?? and what is the pronounciation of macaron?

    christmas was a bust for me, both christmas and boxing day dinners were cancelled due to 3-4 feet of snow, the only ones that decided to come over ended up getting rear ended on the stupid Pattullo bridge and spent the night in the hospital. hopefully i won’t have to cancel the UFC fight night i had planned tomorow, but it’s not looking good 🙁

  21. Greetings to Fondy’s family!! Merry Christmas and Kung Hee Fat Choy both for the occidental New Year and the Chinese New Year soon to be upon us.

    Glad to see that you have not lost your sense of timing and humor. The “hug function” or “hug button” is priceless. As MaggieMayDay pointed out…a game named Death Hug 5000 might be fun.

    Good thouhts and vibrations to Maggie’s hubby. Hope the mending after the big boo-boo, is good.

    ANNIE T – good to hear from you! Please do send us updates. And, if the body wants to sleep – do sleep. That often is the best medicine.

    Thanks for the pictures of your vacation, escapades, and dining.

  22. Hi Joe:

    I just about fell off my chair too, when you mentioned hugging. My gosh, Joe, you will ruin your reputation as evil overlord at Bridge Studios!! Carl will never be the same!!

    Happy Birthday, PG -15. How do Christmas presents and Birthday presents work at your house?

    Two questions, for you, Joe.

    1) When you first accepted the position of writer with StarGate, did you realize that it could be very much like Star Trek in fan devotion?

    2) What is the difference between:
    – Cut to
    – Rush cut to
    – Smash cut

    Happy Boxing Day. Watch out for all those boxes.

    Patricia (AG)

  23. I don’t own a cell phone so I can’t play on there, but my favorite games are hidden object games on my PC. Usually I just do the 60 min free trial but if I really like a game then I’ll buy it. I’m not really keen on the violent games.

  24. OK, so now that Christmas has finally passed by in a blitz of color and confusion, and excitement and chaos, it’s time to start planning for New Year celebrations! The fun never ends!

    Enjoy your trip – glad you are enjoying yourself!

    Blessings to you and yours,

  25. Happy Belated Birthday PG 15. When was your birthday? It wasn’t Christmas morning was it?

    I agree too Joe about the violence in video games as well. Its just as bad in movies and tv shows too. I see your wife got the Wii for christmas. My mom and dad got the Wii too for the whole family and it is fun. We played the videos all afternoon christmas eve, but the only problem was I was knocked out by my five year old nephew in the boxing program.


  26. Sounds like you got some work done which is great, can’t wait to hear the casting news, as I’m starting to get intrigued by “Universe” *hides in anticipation of the stones about to be hurled her way*

    @Trish- yes we got your sun YESTERDAY, for a couple of hours, then it was right back to snowy tundra today, racking up another 4 inches of snow. At least we got a bit of a melt/refreeze which has made walking 2 feet in the air(on top of all the snow) infinitely more easy.

  27. @ chevron7
    You are Pistachio, a lone monkey battling against a gang of penguins. Drop bombs to clear a path to the final tile of each level (it will be flashing). Avoid the polar bear at all costs.

    OMG just the description had me laughing out loud! where in the hell do they come up with this stuff? someone out there has waaay too much time on their hands!!

    thanks for the chuckle, chev 😀

  28. The family had a lot of left overs this Christmas, including prawns that were passed on to us to take home. We decided to make a chilli prawn pizza that turned out fabulous. I highly recommend it if you like prawns.

    Chilli Prawn Pizza

    1 frozen pizza base
    3 tbsp tomato paste
    2 tsp vegetable oil
    1 tsp ground cumin
    3 fresh red chillies, seeded and chopped
    2 cloves garlic, crushed
    2 tbsp lemon juice
    500g green prawns, shelled and deveined
    1 red capsicum, sliced
    1 green capsicum, sliced
    2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
    2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese

    1 – Place the pizza base on a lightly greased baking tray and spread with tomato paste.

    2 – Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat, add the cumin, chillies, and garlic and cook, stirring for about a minute.

    3 – Stir in the lemon juice and prawns and cook for about 3 minutes longer until the prawns are almost cooked.

    4 – Top the pizza base with the capsicum, then with the prawn mixture, followed by the coriander, and then the parmesan cheese. Bake for 20 mins at around 375 – 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

    The coriander really helps to make the pizza extremely tasty. Anyway, I thought I’d share the recipe if anyone likes prawns and want to try something a little different.


  29. Fondy’s parents are so cute! I have to say, though, ewwwwwwww on the Gene Simmons impression. Thanks for the pictures and the video game commentary.

  30. Sorry I didn’t say this yesterday, but happy (belated) birthday PG-15!

    Oh, if only the controllers had a hug function! That’d probably startle the enemies enough to give them heart attacks, and that would save ammo. XD

  31. G’morning all.

    PMSL. I just asked my eldest son (23) if there’s a hug function on the controller for the PS3 (he’s playing Metal Gear Solid 4) I got a grunt!
    If these game consoles had been around twenty something years ago I might never have had kids.
    The battle of the game consoles went on till about 4am so it is with great relish that I make everyone get up this morning.

  32. Merry Christmas , Joe and fellow blog readers. It seems like you all had a great Christmas. I think there is a little Peter Pan in all of us. I have a few Barbies that adorn my bookshelves in my loft ( I don’t play with them… I might change there attire)
    I have a few Star Trek Enterprise action figures, mostly Capt Archer, and the old Daggit from the good ol’ BSG.

    The best present we received was our floors are finally done, our house is back to “normal” and now that we have new floors… I think we need new appliances, new cabinets,counter top… it all happened a day late, but hey it’s done. It’s really like being in another house.

    Safe travels to all as everyone heads back to their homes.

  33. You’re a fan of Asterix and Obelix?

    Awesome!!! So am I!

    But I don’t read them in French. My French is as bad as a hated subject in school can be. I’ve got them all in German. My brother and me used to save our mnoney as kids to buy the next, and the next and the next comic.

    Tonight German TV shows Asterix and the vikings for the first time… I can’t wait to see it :o)

  34. Sounds like you are having tons of fun out there in Montreal!!!

    More SGU casting. DOUBLE SWEET!!!!

  35. Happy Birthday to pg15. Did you say 21 years old? Your such a babe! First part of January, I turn the dreaded, the older than dirt, big 5-Ohhhhhh shit!!! But in my vast accumulation of experience and knowledge, I have come to the realization that adults are nothing but REALLY BIG kids. Don’t worry about having to act more mature. No one else does!

  36. Come now, kids don’t develop higher cognitive functions until their late twenties (if you are lucky) – those concepts were way to abstract *g*

  37. We three viewers of viewership did
    Something evil to never forgive
    But we’re grateful
    Though you’re spateful
    Of what we watched last niii-iiight

    Nineteen and Twenty were well worth the watch
    Regular airings I’m not able to catch
    Because I’ve no cable
    We put the laptop on the table
    And watched them pre-aired Ooooh-oooh.

    Joy to the show
    Those last two were good
    We watched them after food!
    What happened to our morals
    We never had them anyway
    We watched them, we were rude
    We watched them, they were good.
    And doooown dooo-oo-own our morals went.

    Oh Joseph M. Oh Joseph M.
    Oh please forgive our
    Faux Pas
    I don’t have the cable to watch your show
    When it first airs for public view
    Oh Joseph M. Oh Joseph M.
    I ask forgiveness
    For my Faux Pas.

  38. Hi Joe!

    I don’t know if you know. YouTube currently has pirated video of the last two episodes of Stargate Atlantis. You may want to contact YouTube and have them take it out. Otherwise, hope you are having a good vacation.

    from Indiana

  39. “Worry about wot? Me? Or Joe somehow working creepy spider mating rituals into Wraith reproduction?”

    Uh.. Both.

    @ pg15: Happy-Belated-Birthdays! 😀

  40. Great holiday pics of friends and family – I enjoyed them! I am looking forward to another year of your wonderful blog and reading all the comments. I feel as if this blog is a family too.

  41. I hope you are well, and a happy holidays to you and yours!!

    You probably know this already, so I am late to the party as usual, but I heard that Vegas and Enemy at the Gate was leaked.

    Will they still air as usual in January?


  42. I once tried to get my nephew to get the ninja turtles and that rat guy to get together, clean up the city and plant gardens. He didn’t go for it.

  43. So, who would have leaked them?
    Will we get an earlier showing of the last two episodes of the series as a result?
    Do you think someone will put these episodes on You-boob?
    Do you enjoy woodworking?


  44. I wish you all the luck with SGU even though I have a lot of misgivings, especially being one of those older female viewers that you folks apparently are of little importance.

    I serious doubt you will be able to maintain the sg1/sgu core audience with SGU. Sorry but that is just my opinion.

    Hopefully the francise won’t become stagnant like star trek francise seems to be heading.

    I see SGA as equivalent to star trek deep space nine, both in its makeup and execution.
    I see SGU heading down the same path as star trek enterprise.

    Here’s my opionion why.

    First of all with SGA and DSP 9 there was a gradual transition if you will, early on it was felt that dsp 9 would be an immeadiate replacement for stng which was still doing fairly well in the ratings. But early projections did not pan out, and both series ran concurrently for a while, this essentially delivered the core audience to the new show.

    Entrerprise on the other hand had no such transition period and lost its core quickly.

    A tv series is basically a contract between the viewer and the producers. As part of that contract the viewer expects some kind of continuity. Drama series might have a long unraveling affair . Science fiction because it tries to get the viewer to believe something outside their realm needs an elaborate history. Human beings learn through history, A human child develops an emotional bound with her/his parent because there is a history of safety and nourishment. In some sense viewers social interaction to a tv series may not be that far from this type of imprinting.

    So to make the series believable you start with something somewhat in the viewers domain. So you see there was this stargate that was discovered on an egyptian expedition in 29 and US airforce personal have been gating between worlds for the last 10 + years. That is how the world as we know it today is secretly transformed into a type III civilization overnight .

    Problem with Enterprise is it tried to rewrite that history, which the core audience had already accepted as fact.

    So with SGU we have this ancient ship, that has a hyperdrive that is either mulfunctioning or not understand very well and the humans have little control over it.

    But wait, don’t the humans aka sg1 , atlantis have a fair knowledge of ancient technolgy, where is mcKay when you need him. Who are these bozo’s , did you scrape the bottom of the barrel.

    This leads us to another parellel between Enterprise and SGU, helpless humans in a bad economy.

    Yea just what the viewer wants as an escape from the real world, a bunch of humans like themselves on an out of control ship analogous to their life which is also out of control.

    SGU is also going to run into the same problems that voyager had, cutoff from earth it won’t be able to do a lot of the type of familarity “box” stories that actually end up being the best.

    Espisodes such as McKay and Ms. Miller or BrainStorm. Voyager at least had the holideck. SGA was a good show, again I wish you luck with SGU. maybe SGA is better positioned to take advantage of the niche market ondemand tv era that is coming despite the efforts of many to derail it.

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