Thank you to everyone who weighed in with suggestions on ways to burglar-proof my home. They were all wonderful ideas and I’ll certainly give them some thought. By the way, Thornyrose, I’ve already contacted our local Reptile Guardian & Aquaria with a view to acquiring, as you put it “the skin of a large snake“ that I can place “strategically by a window, and post warnings about dangerous reptiles inside”. And, yes, I will decorate the exterior of my home with NRA stickers. However, teaching Lulu to dial 911 has proven a bit of a problem. It’s been less than a day and she’s already racked up close to two thousand dollars in long distance charges.
Well, I was home for the day and, following yesterday’s events, I was pumped up and prepped for a possible return visit from our friendly neighborhood burglar. Every time I heard a car approach, every time my dogs barked, I was up on my feet and ready for action. But, alas, each time I peeked out through the front window, it was a false alarm. There was one suspicious character I considered confronting who turned out to be my elderly neighbor. I stared him down in passing, just in case.
All in all, somewhat anti-climactic given what happened Sunday. Nevertheless, I was able to redirect my pent-up energy in a positive direction, completing a killer work, making some significant progress on my short story, AND taking the time to lay the smackdown on two telemarketers whose calls I normally would’ve simply ignored.
So I was walking through the kitchen the other day when I happened to look down and see Lulu stretched out on the floor like one of those stiff-legged plastic animal toys. It was as if she’d been frosted over by Mr. Freeze, toppled over, and was patiently awaiting the spring thaw. Anyway, I snapped a pic. Check it out.
Hey, how are everyone’s fruit and vegetable-growing skills? Rusty, you say? Well, you may want to consider brushing up – oh, and maybe consider learning to hunt as well – because, according to a report funded by NASA and issued by US National Academy of Sciences, a severe space storm could well send us back to The Dark Ages. And then where would we be? (Weren’t you listening? The Dark Ages!): http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20127001.300-space-storm-alert-90-seconds-from-catastrophe.html?full=true
File this one under “Not Exactly Breaking News”. New(?) research suggests that eating red meat and processed foods can be bad for your healthy: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16824-steak-and-hot-dogs-linked-to-early-death.html
Wow! It pains me to see this group fall victim to the economic downturn. No, not the children, silly! The French sex toy industry: http://www.reuters.com/article/oddlyEnoughNews/idUSTRE52F4RH20090316?feedType=RSS&feedName=oddlyEnoughNews&rpc=22&sp=true
Hey, who wants to pitch in and buy an English village? Apparently, it comes complete with 22 houses, a cricket pitch, and two blacksmiths. TWO blacksmiths? I would’ve figured one was overkill: http://www.reuters.com/article/oddlyEnoughNews/idUSTRE52F4RX20090316?feedType=RSS&feedName=oddlyEnoughNews&rpc=22&sp=true
From a rapping Barney Rubble to Mattel’s so butch Earring Magic Ken, check out Cracked.com’s “9 Corporate Attempts At “Edgy” That Failed (Hilariously): http://www.cracked.com/article_17153_9-corporate-attempts-at-edgy-that-failed-hilariously.html
Belouchi writes: “Will there be Starship sights of the likes of BAMSR in Stargate Universe?”
Answer: It’s a pretty big universe. Chances are Destiny may well come across its share of “starship sights”.
Myth86 writes: “Last year I was out xmas shopping with a friend and my purse was stolen…”
Answer: Happy holidays. I find it hard to believe that the mall security cameras didn’t pick up anything.
Deni B. writes: “Many years ago, someone tried to break into my house and my dog, a Lab/German Sheperd mix, Riggs (as in Martin Riggs from Lethal Weapon) took a chunk out of the guy’s thigh as he was about to come in the house.”
Answer: What a feel-good story. And the one after that. Sounds like Riggs was a wonderful companion. Sad to hear he’s no longer with you.
Alfredo De La Fe writes: “At 9:45am some lowlife robbed my 89 year old grandmother of her purse while she was sitting at a bus stop, taking her rent and Avon money…”
Answer: I don’t know what’s more outrageous – the fact that someone would rob an 89 year old woman or the fact that the bus driver couldn’t even be bothered to help her.
Paloosa writes: “ How hard is it for you to concentrate on writing after this?”
Answer: I actually do some of my best writing when I’m angry.
Suziesbluefeather writes: “At the gas station I work at I befriended the police and paramedics with free coffee so every 10 mins or so there is some sort of law official coming in.”
Answer: Hmmm. Maybe I should invite the VPD to my chocolate party.
Annie from Freemantle writes: “The lights disturbed the occupant who taught them a lesson they’d never forget.. they never came back.
See my friend was a retired S.A.S dude (special air service) ahahaha…”
Answer: Another heartwarming story.
Ytimyona writes: “I can only hope SGU retains the humor that we’ve come to know and love…”
Answer: It will.
Narelle from Aus writes: “My Dad had an interesting crime prevention technique that I’m sure would land him in trouble now.[…] Dad is a skilled archer so he aimed for the sky and the first arrow landed about 2 feet from where they were on their bikes. They left in a hurry, Dad packed up his bow, put it back in the garage and we never saw them again.”
Answer: How inspirational! I was thinking of something a little more modern like, say, a crossbow.
Mix-martes86 writes: “ Even better… a guy in a near town to the west, abuses of his daughter with the complicity of his wife. They get caught and sentenced to go to jail. Sentence isn’t executed due to inefficient secretarial and judge coordination, and a few years later, the same guy kidnaps, abuses, and kills a little girl from his neighbourhood. That time he gets sentenced (again), and goes to jail. The secretary gets fired, and the judge only gets a 1000 euros fine.”
Answer: More than any individual, a lot of the problem stems from judges who need to be held more accountable for the decisions they make (or, in many cases, fail to make).
Chatoyant writes: “I agree with the underlying sentiment, the refusal to act on obvious evidence, but seriously, what was the right wing rant about? Please tell me it wasn’t really a friend of a friend casing the joint?
Most of your audience is from the US and we lock up people for jaywalking and littering.”
Answer: That’s a whole separate issue that needs to be addressed as well but surely one can make a distinction between rapists, murderers, violent offenders and chronic property thieves and, say, someone who has failed to pay their parking fines or forgotten to return an overdue library book. As for the “right wing rant” – I’m always amazed by people who freely label themselves are either right wing or left wing, liberal or conservative. When it comes to my leanings – hey, it depends on the topic. I like to consider myself fairly progress and forward-thinking, but when it comes to the subject of crime and our judicial system, I guess you would have to label me decidedly conservative.
Chatoyant also writes: “I would like to invite you to Dragon*Con.”
Answer: I appreciate the invitation but I will, alas, be unable to attend. Still, do kiss you maltese for me. On the nose, natch.
Jinx writes: “The DA is NOT filing the case because my sister gave the guy a dirty look, thereby discriminating against him & justifying the crime.”
Luvnjack writes: “There is a rumor running amuck on a certain GW thread that the SGA movie has been postponed/cancelled.”
Answer: Neither postponed nor cancelled. If there’s a change in plans, I’ll let everyone know.
Dovil writes: “Ideally you address it before it gets to this stage, but if not, and if people are slipping through the cracks, you can either hit them with the stick of retribution, or you can realise that if you want to lower recidivism rates, if you want people to fulfill their potential, not just because it’s the tree hugging good thing to do, it’s because it’s these individuals that go back into the community, it’s these people who go on to have kids of their own – it’s about making broken communities a better place, it’s about breaking that cycle so that there isn’t that next generation of disfunctional people.”
Answer: Let me start by saying that I agree with you regarding the need to target the problem at its roots. Education and compassion can be our most powerful tools in combating criminal behavior. Of course the hope is that, through support and a better understanding, the individuals more likely to commit crimes can be guided toward a more socially responsible path. However, where we fundamentally disagree is the belief that violent offenders can be rehabilitated. And, again, I’d like to make a distinction between substance abusers, the uneducated and individuals from low socio-economic backgrounds who are more likely to offend (on the one hand) and violent offenders (on the other). In the case of the latter, I honestly don’t believe they can be rehabilitated, and I don‘t believe they’re likely to become productive, functioning members of our society. The thought that these individuals “go back into the community, it’s these people who go on to have kids of their own” is, quite frankly, a scary thought for their respective communities, and a very sad one for their prospective children. So what’s my solution? Am I advocating we simply lock these individuals away and throw away the key? Well, yes, that would be the best case scenario. But barring that, then putting them behind bars for as long as the law will allow (which, granted, aint all that long) would certainly be the way to go. Every time you roll the dice on idiots like these, what you’re actually doing is gambling the lives of countless potential victims.
Vafan writes: “i work for a local police department. take 911 calls. some thoughts on your recent brush with a burglary.”
Answer: Great advice. The policeman who visited my house did do a walk-thru and did offer a few pointers although, for the most part, I had my bases covered.
Matt writes: “What kind of instructions did you have for action beats? Was there ever a quota? Did you ever feel you were guilty of killing a script with dialogue?”
Answer: There is no hard and fast rule for how much action or dialogue is required. That said, an overly talky script is the kiss of death.