My mother is 74, yet she still works four days a week, walks her dog two to three times a day, and prepares some of the most labor-intensive holidays dishes this side of the Imperial Palace. Today, for instance, I offered to lend a hand and spent a couple of hours carefully arranging mussels and scampis, basting each morsel with garlic butter and oil, following up with a healthy sprinkling of breadcrumbs, parsley, garlic, and parmesan, then topping them off with a second basting. By the time I was done, I could barely lift my left arm. Yet, to my mother, it’s no big deal at all. All this said, she did admit to me the other day that she was feeling old age catch up with her. “I work six hours straight and I’m exhausted,”she told me. I pointed out that working six hours straight would exhaust pretty much anyone to which she responded: “I used to work thirteen hours straight no problem!”

Despite being active and independent, my mother considers herself fortunate that my younger sister is around to help out whenever the need arises (ie. rides to the doctor, impromptu shopping requests, etc.). In fact, she makes a point of remarking how lucky she is to have children to take care of her in her old age. Yep, mighty lucky. She doesn’t know what she would do without her kids to take care of her. Somewhat not coincidentally, I don’t have any children of my own. Who, exactly, will take care of me in my old age?

I know, I know. I brought this up around this same time last year but, having looked into the prospect of training my dogs to act as caregivers, I’m afraid I’m going to have to bring this subject up again. I believe that last year I also pointed out the thrills and genera satisfaction any true Stargate fan would derive from the opportunity to cook for, dress, and bathe an actual writer-producer of the show they so love. The way I see it, it’s a win-win scenario. Unlike last year, however, I’ve decided to start the hiring process well in advance. So, what I’ll be looking for is:

A great cook who enjoys keeping a clean house and spending quality time with several dogs (walking them, feed them, and, occasionally expressing their anal glands). The individual should also be mobile, own their own car, and be able to pick out fresh pastries and top quality chocolates. A flair for gardening, home repairs, and Swedish massage is also a must. Sponge-bathing experience is not required but appreciated. Finally, the candidate should be female and between the ages of 21-35 during the period of my decrepitude which, conservatively, should be in about thirty years.

Well, in advance of tonight’s festivities, I’d like to wish everyone a Happy New Year! And to fans in China, Korea, Japan, Australia, and New Zeland – Wait up for the rest of us!!!

Today’s entry is dedicated to birthday boys Jay Lewis and author, fellow blogger, and passing acquaintance of Baron Destructo Joe Abercrombie (send him birthday wishes, congratulate him on the completion of his next book, and read his rundown of the editing process here:

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Wishing you & Fondy (& all the blog readers) a very Happy & Prosperous New Year as well!


“A great cook who enjoys keeping a clean house and spending quality time with several dogs (walking them, feed them, and, occasionally expressing their anal glands). The individual should also be mobile, own their own car, and be able to pick out fresh pastries and top quality chocolates. A flair for gardening, home repairs, and Swedish massage is also a must. Sponge-bathing experience is not required but appreciated. Finally, the candidate should be female and between the ages of 21-35 during the period of my decrepitude which, conservatively, should be in about thirty years.”

Are you looking for an assistant, or a concubine? unamused

Ya know, Joe…I’d put my app in right now if it wasn’t for the fact that you’re just not pale enough. Sorry. wink

Hmmmm…I wonder if Todd is hiring…



Hey Joe,

Happy New-Year to you and your family

Be careful with fireworks tonight, You never know if you’re going to need your fingers, toes or even eyes next year. (Although a pirate eye-patch might look cool)

See you next year,


Happy New Year!!!!!

Hmmmmm, like last year I will bow out of applying to look after you in your decrepitude for the following reasons:

a) I’ve already been born
b) I’m older than you, so I couldn’t meet the age requirement
c) I’m a cat person as indicated by my user name
d) What about Fondy? After all, women tend to outlive men (Methinks maybe she should be advertising for some young buck to look after her. Sven or Carlos, maybe)


Happy New Year! May it be a prosperous one!


1 am here (yawn).

Happy New Year. As CNN said, good riddance 2008.

2009 has got to be better – right??


Dear Joe,

I’m very sorry to inform you that I cannot meet the requirements on the stipulations of your eventual decrepit care.

I know you were looking forward to long, interesting conversations about the purpose of digital camera zoom lenses protruding unneedingly, hypoallergenic Himalayan cats, and the joys of microwave tv dinners, but my shortcomings of age and not owning a time machine have limited me where, otherwise, I’m sure I would have met your criteria.

You were looking for a cook but I would have been sure to wow you with my pre-prepared frozen meal techniques, already celebrated and infamous even today. Think of how beautiful your body would have looked in your casket after shoving all those preservatives down your throat!

I love small dogs. If they’re anything like cats, we shouldn’t have had a problem. I’m a sucker for animals. I don’t necessarily like them, but they do like to lick me. Get it? Sucker? You would have loved my witty conversation!

I hate driving long distances, but a bicycle or go-cart should have been efficient. If you weren’t stationed close enough to a local grocery store, moving your frail body in a close hotel would have been no problem. We would have kept the dogs in the closet. Cats enjoy warm closed in areas.

I would have had a great flair for gardening, too! Cacti on every shelf! Wal*Mart always has great sales on them. We could have had a few “Chia” pets, if you would have liked, as well!

And during Valentine’s day the retail stores have a very good array of chocolates. I dunno, have you heard of “Hershey?” They’re splendid.

I love Swedish meatballs too! We would have been so much alike.

And don’t you know I have bathing experience. I do it every day! Holding up your body to a gardening hose every day would have been such a memorable experience for the both of us, I’m sure.

Oh, if only I had a time machine…think of all the fun we would have had! I’m just kicking myself for the blasphemy of being born 25 years too late. I’m sure I’ll be a pretty randy 55 year old if you ever wish to reconsider your age limitations…

Give it a thought or two. Give me a ping if you get the chance.


We’ll talk business.




Sounds like a very fulfilling job. Unfortunately for me, I can’t satisfy the age requirement. By that, I mean I’m old as dirt and will be needing assistance myself very shortly.

I have some bad news to report. Our dear puppy did have to have her leg amputated. She and the doctors fought hard but in the end, they weren’t able to save it.

She’s home now and getting around just fine on three legs. She doesn’t seem the least bit hampered and when it’s time to eat, her ears perk up with the same enthusiasm as ever. She’s a pretty remarkable dog and we love her even more as we watch her carry on.

Thanks to everyone for their good wishes. It really meant a lot.



Patricia Lee
Patricia Lee

Well now Mr. M.,

Do you think you are too old for Kids? I say Nay! You and Fondy are still young enough for kids…so get cracking!

It’s a new year, why not make a baby??? Just think, your kid could not only take care of you, but carry on your blog tradition… But then again, maybe not!

Wishing you and all the members of the Stargate Atlantis Team a Happy New Year!

Patricia Lee


Happy New Year, Joe!

Loved your blog yesterday. Some of us who write found it quite inspirational. In fact, look what popped up from one of your fans (not I, alas…) on one of the GW threads:

TPTB have quite a following, I hope you know. ;

All the best in the New Year!



We spent part of Christmas evening haranguing a younger cousin, each time he came in from the freezing cold after his cigarette break, about how after he has his stroke from smoking, we are NOT going to take care of him, and in fact, we will all gather around his sickbed and drink, and not SHARE with him. He said we were all just old and cranky.

Happy New Year!


Just to put your mind at ease, I’ve approached one of my workmates, who has an adorable 1 year old daughter. I’ve expressed my interest in babysitting, watching, and otherwise looking after the little tyke. He has no idea, of course, of my ulterior motives. But I figure I can still instill the needed skill sets into her, as well as hook her onto sci fi, and all without the need for me to maintain the expense of actually raising her. I’ll make sure her resume is ready when you will need it. And just to be fair, I am taking the same approach with another worker with a son who is also less than a year old. After all, Fondy is entitled to the same, if not superior level of care many decades hence.
To you, and all the others, I wish a very happy New Years. Here’s to keeping the important resolutions, and merrily breaking the ones that really don’t matter.


Happy New Year to you and yours!
Will the dogs stay up to watch the ball drop>
Good luck with the interviews.


Sorry Joe! I couldn’t wait up grin

I live in Tasmania (yes we do actually exist!) so we got to New Year about 11 hours and 26 minutes ago. I have seen the new year in, and I have had about 6 hours sleep razz

I hope you and Fondy and your family (and yeah, why not, the dogs too) have a great 2009.



Happy New Year Joe!!!


Happy New Year!

I agree with Cat4444’s statement. Fondy is the one who needs to be looking for someone to take care of her. Or are you just trying to make Fondy’s life easier for her in your old age?


Happy New Year from Cornwall! Apparently I slept through it but as no-one was looking it doesn’t count. Me and my tissues, Olbas oil and Vick’s Vaporub are going to bed.
I must admit to a certain comfort from knowing my kids will continue after me. A kind of vanity I guess but it means it hasn’t all been pointless when, as I previously pointed out, I peaked in primary school.


Happy new year everyone!!!

My daily cliché for your illumination:
It will all be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.


Love to help you out, Joe, but I’m an only child — I’ll already have to care for a parent by myself, whichever one is leftover. Although … right now they’re both sick and refusing to go to the doctor, so if my situation changes and I get freed up, I might end up applying after all — so long as the benefits include being a major heir in your will. wink

Me, I’m hoping that cloning and consciousness-transplantation will be feasible by the time I’m old enough to worry, since I won’t be having any kids either. Mind, I don’t mean to clone *my* body. I’d upgrade! *G*

I’ve discovered something intriguing about the snow on your blog: the direction of the snowfall is determined by the placement of the mouse on the page! Keep it on the left, and it will fall to the right, & vice versa — put it in the centre, and it falls straight down. Also, it falls faster when the mouse is on the left or right than in the centre.

Clearly, I have spent too much time looking at the adorable pic of Max at the top, where the snow is easiest to see. (It’s not as creepy as it sounds — I ended up having to answer the phone when I was just about to read the blog. What a happy accident! :))

Anyway, Omedetou! Hope the new year is a prosperous and creative one for you & the Stargate crew, old and new — and your readers too! smile


Weird… I think I saw a similar “ad” from Fondy in GQ…

BTW, my mom [who’ll be turning 74 this year] is the same way… sorta. She doesn’t [can’t] do half of what yours does anymore because of her health – which is *why* she complains of it! Especially when she sees her 85 year old friend living on her own and cleaning things within a nanite of its life!

You’ve got it good there, Joe, living sooooo far away from Mom, *not* having to deal with the “everyday” elderly parent maintenance… [Should a sibling whack you upside the back of the head for no apparent reason, the aforementioned is ‘why’!] I think I need the T-shirt that says: Parent Herder

Hope you’ve been shoveling a few driveways, washing dishes, changing lightbulbs, correcting the time of the VCR, picking up pooch-poop…


Dear Baron Destructo

Thank you for the presents last week, the ipod is awesome. I do have one more late Christmas request though. Please take my sisters in law far, far away. All 3 of them. The local one can come back when the others are far away again because her claws will retract in time. The worst one is very good at cleaning (read anal and obsessive) so she might make a good minion at the moonbase.

Think about it.



Sorry, Joe.. guess that’s one job i’m happy to let someone else take on. I’m quite content to chill on the beach with you and watch the sun set over the horizon; drag you up a few mountains in your wheelchair when you’re old, decrepid and drooling all over your bib; and even tie you to the underside of a kayack when you’re no longer able to paddle for yourself or stay afloat..

But that’s about it.. And the spot on my longboard’s already been taken up by one territorial Labby. He doesn’t like to share razz

That said.. I will wish you a Happy New Year. All the best to you, Fondy, the doggies and the rest of the family. Also to all Bloggers here and the extended souls of the SG Franchise. 2008 was a rollercoaster of a ride.. here’s to 2009 and whatever it might bring wink

Deni B.
Deni B.

Really, a concubine it is! Golly gee, I’d do it if it weren’t for the age thing, the gardening (oh please, get a gardener) and the Swedish massage. Home repairs? You need a husband.


Ann-Marie Sloan
Ann-Marie Sloan

HAPPY NEW YEAR to Joe and your family!!!

Narelle from Aus

Hey Joe, HAPPY NEW YEAR!! It’s great to see you spending it with your family. The time you spend together is so valuable. Cherish it and all of the thoughts and emotions it brings to the fore. I’ve been spending a lot of time talking to my parents of late. Listening to their lives, their parents’ lives, what their motivations and thoughts were behind particular decisions they made along the way. It’s made me both melancholy and inspired. As they head towards 70 you can see the irreversible aches and pains set in, but at the same time, they haven’t lost their spark for life and have lived their lives to the fullest. When you sit with them the reality of time and it’s effects are right in front of you. So, realising this and accepting it, last night for New Year’s I headed off with Hubby, my Brother and a great friend to watch my Dad play in his rock band (along with 200 other people). And I’m so glad I did. It’s his passion and what keeps him kicking. He’s played with every major band of the 60’s and met some amazing people through it. As a kid I don’t think I understood how unique it was to have the stream of talented muso’s through our house. It will be one of those stories you pass on. “Hey! Did you know your Grandpa used to play drums? He used to nail his kit to the beams of the floor of his parents house when he was 16 because they couldn’t afford boards for the floors. And your great-Nanna was the youngest ever violinist in the San Francisco Philharmonic. Here’s her violin. It’s almost 100 years old.” Maybe it is enough to inspire a future generation to pickup a musical instrument. By the way, you didn’t list an email address in which resume’s to become your elderly aid can be submitted to. Looks like the up and coming blog readers will only be able to apply judging by the criteria. Maybe by then they’ll have a Stargate Writer’s Home. It was great to see your universal translator. Guaranteed to bring a smile to your face when you find old objects like that and remember your thoughts as a kid. Here’s one of my books from when I was 11. Please note the “Terrific” stamp in the bottom right-hand corner It had a gripping sequel as well, “The Galactic Dogs meet the Galactic Cats in Space”. It’s around here somewhere. Writing as a kid was so much fun. You are in a profession that sounds great from the outside. However, the criteria in which someone likes or dislikes your work is completely subjective. I can only imagine how difficult this makes your job. The genre of Sci Fi makes this even more difficult as you battle with an audience which is generally more informed than those of others. So not only do you need to create a story that piques… Read more »