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!):

File this one under “Not Exactly Breaking News”.  New(?) research suggests that eating red meat and processed foods can be bad for your healthy:

Wow!  It pains me to see this group fall victim to the economic downturn.  No, not the children, silly!  The French sex toy industry:

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:

From a rapping Barney Rubble to Mattel’s so butch Earring Magic Ken, check out’s “9 Corporate Attempts At “Edgy” That Failed (Hilariously):

The Mailbag:

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.”

Answer: !

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.

59 thoughts on “March 23, 2009: A Burglarless Monday

  1. Once again, I have to agree with your thoughts on criminals.

    On a different note, your telemarketer comment reminded me of something that happened today. Some guy knocked on my door and when I answered, he was holding some kind of clip board, which immediately put me on edge when I realized he didn’t have a package to deliver. I stared at him for several seconds as he stumbled over a few sentences before asking, “Do you speak English?” Now, I’m really about as white as it’s possible to get. What did he think I spoke? Swedish? Welsh? No, doofus, I’m not staring at you because I don’t speak English; I’m staring at you because I’m waiting for you to get to the point and get out of my face.

    Have I mentioned I don’t like people coming to my door to talk to me? Unless you’re a friend, apartment manager, or delivering something, just keep walking.

  2. Hey Joe,

    So how is the cast of SGU adjusting to filming in our interesting weather here in Vancouver?

    Freezing cold one minute then warmer the next. And of course the last few days nothing but lovely rain!!!

  3. So many wonderful stories have been shared the past couple days… do you think we have enough for a “True Story: I Almost/Nearly/Actually Got Robbed” anthology? 😉

    Ytimyona writes: “I can only hope SGU retains the humor that we’ve come to know and love…”
    Answer: It will.

    Glad to hear it!!! October can’t come soon enough!!!

  4. Training dogs to do complex tricks (like dialing a telephone) is a pain in the ass. My aunt has a poodle that she taught to say “mama”. I have a 1 year old golden lab with disciplinary problems that I decided yesterday to try to teach to say “mama”. While he was sitting upright on the couch next to me, I said “mama…mama” in a mocking bark-like fashion, and no word of a lie, the dog raised his paw and punched me in the mouth.

  5. My apologies for misleading you on the Lulu training. As soon as I’ve gotten my guard-lovebird business up and running, I’ll compensate you for the long distance calls by providing you some birds gratis. Besides divebombing intruders, they will provide great entertainment for you pugs. And, if your dogs are energetic enough, they will be good for a quick snack.
    You really seemed to have hit a nerve in people concerning criminals and the judicial system. I wish I could be suprised at the stories told. But folks need to bear in mind that as citizens we have not only a right to be protected byour legal systems, but a duty to support it. This means serving on juries when called, stepping forward and testifying if we witness illegal behavior, and in challenging the most egregious cases of abuse by judges imporperly wielding their power. And while I have no problem with a homeowner shooting an intruder to “protect a television”, I’m also a believer in proportionate punishement. A rapist deserves years in prison, not the death penalty. A murderer deserves life, and in certain cases, a death sentence. If there are cost effective ways to rehabilitate criminals, great. But I want oversight and evidence that the methods work. Otherwise, I expect that when someone is sentenced to ten years, they serve ten years, not four after “good behavior. If people have trust in the system, they won’t fortify their homes, or shoot at anyone coming through the doors. But a system that endows the criminals with more rights than the victims is begging for its citizens to turn to vigilante methods.
    At the moment I can chip in a couple of hundred for that English village. If only I’d have hit the lottery when it was over 100 million…
    Glad to see that you’ve at least made progress on the short story. I suppose that we can always arrange for more incidents to get the adrenaline pumping and goad you into writing faster.
    All humor aside, here’s hoping you can regain a sense of security and go about living your life without having to obsess on you and your family’s safety. Life’s too short to let the bad guys steal even more good moments from you.

  6. As for those who apparently are unable or unwilling to make amends…we need a new can’t say where because I don’t wanna offend anybody happening to live there by pointing out their ancestors were a bunch of criminals and the locale being so out-of-the-way was just the bee’s knees.

    Personally, I worry about all the bees. Although, if our power grid gets knocked out (and cell phones are in fact to blame for the bees dying) then the little guys should flourish. So there’s that.

  7. Are you teaching Lulu to play dead? How on earth did she get her legs that stiff?

    I have to be calm to be able to even write an email, much less something important, like for my job. You’ll have to clue us in when the episode you’re working on right now comes into the rotation. We’ll want to see if there’s more anger or more comedy in that script.

    Why don’t we all pool our money and buy that town? No? No takers? Yeah, I think it’s the two blacksmiths that set the price too high.

  8. In the case of the latter, I honestly don’t believe they can be rehabilitated

    I think most people are happy for violent criminals to be locked up for society’s protection, and would have doubts about their ability to be rehabilitated, but it’s a rare violent offender who launches their criminal career with a rape, violent assault or murder. Most start off with less serious crime, and it would be good to be working on the problems before they graduate to beating people’s heads in.

    Love the picture of Lulu – and Earring Magic Ken is a gem! I really hate advertising. Advertising a product is almost guaranteed to make me not buy it (I’m a contrary cow.) I really do enjoy reading of monumental advertising failures. Does that make me a bad person?

  9. @PoorOldEdgarDerby: You’ve just reminded me – my ma’s side of the family ended up in Australia instead of Ireland because my great-great-great-great-grandfather was sent out as a convict!

    Luckily, our family has moved beyond crime. Although … I do jaywalk an awful lot.

  10. It’s very interesting to sit here in the lobby of the police station reading all the opinions and stories. I email my sister the great stories and then save them for later, when I can tell them to more people without losing my job.

    Back when I was a volunteer, I spent thousands of hours at the county jail helping keep an eye on an inmate who was on suicide watch in the infirmary. It was a very strange situation. The guy was partially paralyzed, thanks to a failed suicide attempt in the jail, and in utter physical and mental misery. The lights were on in his infirmary cell 24/7 because of the suicide watch. He had someone looking in at him every 10-15 minutes round the clock. He wasn’t allowed his reading glasses because he might break the glass and use it to hurt himself (he really would have). There was no TV, not even a clock, just white concrete walls. He had to wear a diaper, and you don’t have a call button in jail, so you have to wait until the nurses are scheduled to come in. He had horrible bedsores. It was impossible not to feel sorry for him to some degree. He was polite and pleasant on the few occasions we spoke, and he would always wave goodbye when he saw me (through the tiny window) putting on my coat to leave. However, he had no one to blame but himself for the situation he was in. He had raped and beaten his teenage stepdaughter. On one hand, he deserved everything he got. On the other hand, who deserves that kind of misery every day for months on end? After six months of that, he was released on probation and died less than a year later in a nursing home.

  11. Oh my, poor, poor Lulu. Traumatized with having to deal with the telephone and under stress too. She really does have that stressed look in her eyes.

    Regard crime and punishment/penalty, perhaps we may want to consider an old approach toward letting the punishment fit the crime.

    An eye for an eye, etc., let your mind wander – not too far though regard stealing, rape, child abuse/incest, and so on. If some of the bozos received the treatment they inflicted on others, perhaps that could be the deterent and not putting them in luxury accomodations.

    sorry, climbing off the soapbox again. I must owe a lot by now.

  12. Having finally caught up with the SGU news, I can’t help but think that the cast are getting younger with each new series. This leads me to believe that the next series in the SG franchise will be Stargate Babies.

    Cut to a playroom where the kids are causing quantum singularities, opening up miniature blackholes and flying around the room entering one side and coming out the other – as well as allowing baby space aliens with high-tech catapults through in an epic battle involving bizarre alien soft-toys and the Stargate kids throwing lego bricks. Suddenly the door to the playroom opens and Mom walks through. Everything is normal. She exits and the chaos continues…

    “Stargate Babies, they make your dreams come true..” Although I must say that Seinfeld Babies would work better.

  13. Wouldn’t it be great if we had another continent like Australia where we could send our prisoners and never think of them again?

    (I’m actually not sure if I meant this to be sarcastic or honest *lol* ;))

  14. Sulien,

    Your very generous gift of the first two Dresden omnibuses arrived Monday. Thank you so much! I look forward to reading them.

    Mr. M, a dedication to Sulien, please? She deserves it.

    Anne Teldy

  15. It’s amazing how one man, who disliked a certain religious group, can change the course of the judical system all over the world (talking of course about Charlie Chaplin lookalike, Mr Hitler). Frankly Joe, I completely agree with you and even go as far to suggest a penel colony should be set up on an island somewhere in the middle of an ocean. As for murderers, they threw their human rights out of the window when they took someone elses right to live. And as such capital punishment should be brought back to many countries so as to eliminate this problem, a little harsh but cost effective (not including the electric chair). Anyway, rant over, I can’t help you with protecting your house but here, in the UK you can’t physical confront a burgular if they break into your home but you can if they pick something up and move off towards an exit. But even then you have to use minimal force otherwise you have an assault charge to look forward to.

  16. Maybe Lulu got tired of all that dialing & decided to work on her “play dead” look so Jelly would call 911 instead!

  17. @PoorOldEdgarDerby, its ok dude, i think they’ve decided on the UK as a prison, its small (but perfectly formed LOL) easily patroled by sea and we’ve got most of the eastern european criminals here now anyway, just in time to lock the doors and throw away the keys. I’m heading Ozwards myself one day, I love the laid back lifestyle.

    Has anyone here heard of this that I got in an email? if its true I want to join the guys fanclub!

    “One thing about blokes from Oz is that their hearts and humour are always in
    the right place! TB Bechtel, a City Councillor from Newcastle, Australia,was asked on a local live radio talk show, just what he thought about the allegations of torture of suspected terrorists. His reply prompted his ejection from the studio, but to thunderous applause from the audience.

    HIS STATEMENT: ‘If hooking up one xxx terrorist prisoner’s testicles to a car battery to get the truth out of the lying little xxx xxx will save just one Australian life, then I have only three things to say:’
    ‘Red is positive, Black is negative, and make sure his nuts are wet.’ ”

    Love it

  18. Space plasma?! Thank goodness mum’s disaster mansion is built and ready to take on the storm.

    Well said Thorny, I stop short at the death sentence but thankfully I do not have to make those decisions.

  19. Hey Joe, I see the guys who got Continuum dedicated to them are in the news again. Sad, but thats life I guess.

    This burglar thing – so if you mysteriously kick the bucket, at least we’ll know who we’re looking for now.
    Here is an old army acronym for remembering people – BASHA = Build, age, sex, height and attire. You of course could use that term in a more literal sense and ‘basha’ there faces in – LOL

  20. @Thornyrose: Although this is akin to discussing politics or religion I’d say that your views on punishment are fine – for you. However, what if someone murdered one of your children or parents? Would that person “deserve” life? Proportional punishment? Is there “proportional” murder or rape? Are there different degrees of murder? What do you think happens to any woman who has been raped? Do you think she has a life after that? If someone in my family fell victim to one of these bastards, there would be no “proportional” anything. If a rapist “deserves years in prison”(Really? DESERVES?), what’s to stop it from happening again after release from prison? Betcha anything that if the death penalty was imposed and applied swiftly, we’d see the sad statistics looking much better. Rather than our “revolving door” system of “justice”, real accountability would serve as a much better deterrent.

    @ Joe: Lotsa heart-warming stories with this thing, hey? Dogs biting, arrows flying, snakes, guns and poison, pissed off people, oh my! Truth is, we’re all sick of it and something has to change.

  21. Mornin’, Joe…

    My sister and I managed to behave ourselves last night, but I don’t think we’ve laughed so hard in ages!! Everyone in the casino figured we had won big (and neither of us gamble at all), but we were just having good ol’ sister time together. I really wish she hadn’t moved to Florida… 🙁 She’s going home at the end of the week, so the fun’s almost over.

    Awww…that Lulu. She reminds me of one of these:

    And for the record, one can never have too many blacksmiths, as all the iron work in my house can attest to… 😛

    Have a good one!


  22. Coucou Joseph! Vous allez bien? Moi bof j’ai encore eu une mauvaise note en comptabilité…graaa je déteste cette matiére.

    C’est vrai qu’une fois sa nous arrive on doit guaiter des moindre fait et gestes des individu qui passe chez nous. Moi je ne me suis jamais fait volé quelque chose, il faut dire que je suis trés méfiante rien qu’en voyant une personne trainer devant ma maison je m’invente un scénario catastrophique^^.

    Bonne journée !

  23. I remember a tale told by my boss some years ago. Her parents owned a lovely golden labrador, but one day they got home to be greeted by the dog running down their drive, tail wagging and a piece of door in its mouth. They’d been burgled. Fortunately, the police caught the culprits who, apparently, said ‘oh that house, the one with the nice dog that showed us round’!! Hmm, not ALL dogs are good guard dogs!

    However, certain geese are very good guard-geese! Choose a vocal and territorial species and you’re set. Of course, they can also be aggressive to their owners too, and the dogs might not be happy, but they’re very good at scaring off burglars!

    Just some random thoughts. Now I’m back off to lurking…


  24. Plasma balls?! Now I have to worry about plasma balls?

    A thought on the homeowner and firearms … home invasions in my state have tended to be violent lately. The burglars are not simply taking goods, but beating and torturing the home occupants while they’re at it. It is legal for me to shoot an intruder INSIDE my home without warning. Can I shoot a person? I hope I never have cause to find out.

  25. @ crazymom 1: Ok, here I got again (so sorry Joe), but suicide watch for this person? Are you kidding? What about his teenage stepdaughter? Obviously, you have a conscience and felt bad for the guy, but again, if it were one of your children, would you really give a shit? I know I wouldn’t.

  26. Your Lulu photo is hilarious. I wonder what’s up when they do the “going stiff” thing. My middle fur person does it often and she wags her tail in her sleep. Of course, she can also recite the alphabet and bring me cocktails. Perhaps it’s the sign of intelligence.

  27. “Answer: Hmmm. Maybe I should invite the VPD to my chocolate party.”

    Make sure nobody else attending has a Polish background, if so make sure to hide the office supplies 😉

    I think there is something going on behind the scenes of the Canadian Judicial system, ESPECIALLY, in B.C.
    I’m not one of those conspiracy nutjobs but you have to admit the government does have their hands in alot of cookie jars. I think that Gordon Campbell is playing the judgicial system, with the upcoming provincial election he can play off bringing down the crime rate and punishing those who offend. Just like when he came up with the great idea to remove the Coquihalla Toll Booths just weeks before the last election.

  28. No kidding, Joe, but we had a burglar or three, four in our garage last night around 2.30!

    Wanna hear about it?

    Yesterday night, I was still up at 2.30, reading some Atlantis fic I beta, which I do on the laptop in the living room at the street side, everybody can see me sitting there, as I’m under a big light for it, and when I had enough I went prep for bed by going to the kitchen and have some meds I need to spread over the day.

    So, I heard something being tossed aside in the garage, right next to the kitchen, and a bit later like a footstep? Okay, so I was like huh? Thieves? Over here? There’s nothing in the garage that people need, as it’s really junkie…

    I didn’t know what to do. See, it’s not like I can open up the door to check, because I’m physically disabled, one blow and this tall girl is down…

    Okay, so I decided that, if there was indeed someone in the garage, they’d probably be scared off if I just played with the doorhandle a bit, you know, up-down, up-down, make some noise with it. Which I did, and I thought I heard another step, and in my imagination it was retreating.

    So, about 5 minutes later, and remember that I was somewhat tired, cos you know, 2.30 in the frigging morning, I ‘decided’ that it was probably my imagination, cos no one would steal from our place, we’re not rich or anything, and they didn’t try for the lock on the door to get inside, or anything… Just my imagination, it must have been. It was perhaps a bit windy, and it was raining, perhaps my mind was playing tricks on me and stuff… 2.30 in the morning!

    Before I went upstairs, I somehow found the courage, or the stupidity, to check the garage really quick. I mean, unlock, open up 5 cm, see if stuff is black, and then hurry and close again. If they don’t jump at me, there’s no one there, for real.

    Also I took the note I quickly wrote for dad, saying I heard something and that he should check if everything was still in the garage, back away from the table, because I was imagining things, right?

    One of the end thoughts I had that night before I fell asleep, was ‘don’t take the Brussels sprouts’. Just as a joke, cos who likes those things, right? I seriously couldn’t think of anything valuable in there, except for the bike I bought like 15 years ago, but can’t ride anymore because of the disability. No one can ride it because I paid for it, it’s my bike, even though I can’t use it anymore. Right.

    So, this morning, somewhere before 8, mom comes up the stairs and goes to my dad’s room…

    Fred, Fred… The freezer and the second fridge are gone…

    With *everything* in it, both of them. All vegetables mom chopped up that were in the freezer, the fanta, cola, fruit, tomatoes and other stuff that was in the fridge… They took it all.

    After the cops came by, we noticed that a pump for the bike tires was gone too, and a compressor, and get this: my mom’s brooms, the stuff she uses to clean the kitchen with that was in the garage: gone!

    So basically, they/we’re going for a person or persons (because to carry that huge freezer out of the garage they had to be with 3-4 people, take 2 for carrying, and 1 for taking care of the lights, and then just one extra, unless they had lights on helmets?) that are just moving in somewhere, and are ‘gathering things’ to put in there, get their stuff somewhere else instead of buying it like an honest person.

    Good thing for me, though. They didn’t take my bike. Phew. My pretty purple Giant very expensive citybike is safe. Right in the dust where it belongs. (I of course had to fall for the most expensive frame the seller had.)

    But the ‘not so good thing’, is that we of course apparently have no insurance against theft. Great, isn’t it?

    My brother has seen tire tracks where they don’t belong. On the, damn, what’s the English version of ‘jeu de boules/petanque’ if my French of it is correct? Anyway, we have a lane/path or something next to my house that belongs to the community, and on there are tire tracks, and that just means they drove their van (?) right next to the wall I had my back to when reading, some nerve! I was SITTING right there!

    Good thing I didn’t opt for opening the door to check if there were thieves in the garage, with 3 or 4 people… :S I could have been killed. People kill for less than having their identities undiscovered these days.

    Now I’m of course going all ‘grr’ about not having gone upstairs and taken a proper look at the condition of the driveway (they weren’t there) and then a look to the big hall window upstairs to see if I saw something suspicious there. I could have had a partial licence plate or something!

    Some CSI fan I am. 🙁

    But it was 2.40 in the frigging morning by then, so I think I’m forgiven, yes? If they saw me and carried guns or something. Brrr….


  29. Shiningwit wote:

    ….TB Bechtel, a City Councillor from Newcastle, Australia,was asked on a local live radio talk show, just what he thought about the allegations of torture of suspected terrorists. His reply prompted his ejection from the studio, but to thunderous applause from the audience.

    HIS STATEMENT: ‘If hooking up one xxx terrorist prisoner’s testicles to a car battery to get the truth out of the lying little xxx xxx will save just one Australian life, then I have only three things to say:’
    ‘Red is positive, Black is negative, and make sure his nuts are wet.’ ”…..

    You do realise that means Australians capture by said terrorists or some other enemy would be subject to un-mentionable tortures if you sanction torture on them.

    Currently IMO Americans capture by the Enemy prior to the Obama administration renouncing torture have no legal right from beginning torture. Might you the Obama administration still fuzzy on torture carry out by the CIA and their irks including 3rd parties (ie Syrians, Moroccans,etc.)

    You renounce the Geneva conventions and risk your own service personnel.

  30. Hi Mr Mallozzi – here’s a story to cheer you up. Quite a few years ago, Spike Milligan (a ground-breaking British comic actor from aeons ago) had his house broken into while he was there. He took his trusty army rifle from his service days in the Second World War and shot the guy – in the bum. Whereupon he was charged with GBH (grievous bodily harm). When asked in court if he had said anything to the burglar before shooting him (thus warning him of the impending danger), he said “Yes, I said ‘Stop! Hold still so I can shoot you, you bugger!’ ” He was about 72 at the time (Spike, not the burglar). This story always makes me smile because he was completely unrepentant and it merely showed how asinine the judiciary were being to suggest that he didn’t have the right to defend himself or his home. Also, my husband read that a street thug got a shock in eastern Canada recently when he tried to mug a 6-times world ju-jutsu champion who, even though he was 93, still had the bad guy in tears and begging for mercy by the time the police arrived. Even if this story is more urban legend than truth, it still warms my heart. I am as liberal as the next guy, but I do not accept that as meaning that we as a society have to allow or accept any level of violence against people or property.

  31. As far as security goes, I think the wraith would be excellent security guards. With the understanding that any trespassing “evil doers” would be payment in full.

    Bwa ha ha

  32. Another ‘funny’ thing they took: fluid washing-powder, three bottles of it.

    So basically they were probably moving on to the washing machine and the dryer, but perhaps my fumbling with the door handle scared them off…


  33. I forgot to mention, Lulu looks like one of the “fainting goats”. They don’t actually “faint” their muscles go tense and they fall over.

  34. An English village with two blacksmiths? Hmm. Could be handy if it was the dark ages… 😉

    Joe I wasn’t around so here’s me catching up: on the thieves – Maybe they want to steal your pugs. Or, maybe, you recently put something on eBay with photos on which an expensive sound or television system can be seen. You know theves sometimes do that, scout online advertisements for photos which reveal what people have inside their homes, and then base their further investigations on that?

    As for the justice system – we have the same type of it here in the Netherlands. We call these serial-thieves “draaideurcriminelen” which means “revolving door criminals”, because as soon as they’re out they’re back in again! The system they came up with here is that now, if somebody is a “regular offender”, they can get an extra third of a sentence! Yay, that should cover it, given that they’re usually cut a third of the sentence for good behaviour a priori!
    I wonder how “regular” you have to be to be a regular offender though. Is it like coffee regular, as in, the most common brand of criminal? Or does regular mean like number-two-toilet-business regular, do you have to steal something every day?
    And on that pensive note, I’ll leave you for today.

  35. Dear Joe,

    I am truly sorry to hear about your burglar situation and hope that everything turns out alright. I know that you are probably very busy at the moment dealing with the burglar and working on SGU, but I was wondering if I could ask you for a favor. I am a Radio-TV-Film student at the University of Texas in Austin and in one of my RTF classes we have an assignment where we are to try and find someone whose work in the “business” we admire and ask them to participate in a five question interview. I was wondering if you’d be interested because I truly appreciate the work that you do. If this is a bad time for you or you’re not interested, I understand, but if not, it would be sincerely appreciated.


  36. I guess I didn’t really have much to add to the conversation so instead, some random thoughts…

    Lulu seems to be looking at you as though to say, “Finally, he’s here with the camera. Take the picture already, Joe, I’ve been lying like this for hours waiting for this while you’ve been running around staring down the neighbor!”

    I highly recommend guard ducks. I used to have a pet duck when I was a kid and it could be mean. It left a few blood blisters behind on legs and hands with each encounter with certain folks.

    As for my fruit and vegetable growing skills? I’m thinking if the Dark Ages come again, starvation may be on the menu. Or cannibalism (though as a vegetarian, that might be gross…oh, okay, as a rational human being as well, that might be gross.).

  37. Hey MR Mallozzi. what did the Beta countdown on MGM lead to? i mean, Alpha was the teaser, but Beta? i havent seen any new teaser or other stuff.

    good luck with the criminals trying to break in. i hope the criminals get caught once and for all.

  38. <b.Deni B. said:
    However, what if someone murdered one of your children or parents? Would that person “deserve” life? Proportional punishment? Is there “proportional” murder or rape? Are there different degrees of murder? What do you think happens to any woman who has been raped? Do you think she has a life after that? If someone in my family fell victim to one of these bastards, there would be no “proportional” anything.

    The above scenario is why we have a legal system, and not trial by victim, or family – because people tend to be a little emotional when it’s their loved one who has been killed, and they are not in the right frame of mind to be in charge. Mind you, my friend’s father was murdered and she argues against the death penalty and vicious treatment of criminals. Her father being killed hurt her family, and she sees that the execution of his killer would have hurt his family – who have done nothing, and deserve no punishment.

    As for life after rape – it is hard, but yes, there is life after rape. Fran Drescher is but one famous example. There are many courageous women out there fighting to overcome rape. There lives aren’t over, they’ve just been made more difficult. I know you where arguing that as a justification for worse punishment for rapists, but it tends to ignore or downplay the efforts of women to overcome their adversity.

    Also, let’s not forget the two British men who have been released from jail over the past year after having been found Oops! Not guilty after all of the murders they were sent down for 27 years ago.

  39. Joe, if you had the chance to name a new Chinese/Thai restaurant, what would you call it? i cant come up with one. any suggestions? and what attracts you to Chinese restaurants, is it the food? is the place/style/experience? or is it the chopsticks?

    its for an assignment, i have to make an ad campaign for this restaurant.

    does Sun Tzu restaurant sound good to you? lol

  40. Much as I can see the reasoning behind rehabilitation, there is no reason to replace what should happen in prison with it.

    I want prison to be one of the most unpleasant experiences a person can go through, fully nasty including hard labour and so on so they realise its a punishment and dont want it again.

    Once the perp has taken their punishment, they can then have some “rehabilitation” as a seperate exercise upon release.

  41. Hello Joe and Fellow Blog commenters! Miss me? Probably not as much as pg15. But oh well. Oh and sorry about that crooked crook. Anyways. Got a couple questions

    1. I might come visit Canada sometime soon, would it be too much to drop by Bridge Studios and finally meet you in person?

    2. Are you done with filming Air yet?

    3. I had a dream that you were mad at me for asking the budget of the Universe episodes and the Atlantis movie. Is that true?

    4. I want to make a career in the film industry, hopefully acting or writing. Any tips on how to get started?

    Thanks so much,
    Major D. Davis

  42. There is definitely a pervasive attitude in society that nothing works as far as rehabilitation goes for violent offenders, however empirical evidence just doesn’t back that up. And I didn’t just learn that watching the Crime network on cable, ahaha!

    I wonder if a lot of people’s perceptions aren’t built on anecdotes, splashy cases in the media, politicians touting populist “get tough on crime” rhetoric, and episodes of Law and Order, Criminal Intent, CSI and the 1001 other programmes that paint very black and white pictures (figuratively and literally *cough*) of Us vs Them. As soon as you throw fear and anger into the picture then the calls for blood get sounded whether it’s about criminals or the unemployed or even whole countries.

    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).

    But why is there that distinction when you’ve basically written down the recipe for violent offending. And as riley points out people generally don’t start with murder, there’s a trail that leads up to it. If it’s the same person, and the same problems, why does a different result automatically mean that they’re exempt from being able to change?

    If you’ve written someone off as a human being (expert opinon or should we just do a phone vote in?) and said that there’s absolutely no hope for them then it’s not about longer sentences, because they’ll still be eventually out on the streets regardless, it’s as you say, about locking them away forever – and I would argue that if you actually want to be compassionate at this stage you have to bring in the death sentence (though that opens the huge can of worms that people who don’t trust the government with taxes, want to trust the government with the ability to execute it’s own citizens – oh, logic).

    You can either use society’s resources up on building bigger and more prisons, and at this point you might as well just build them on slums and cut out the middle man, or you actually fund rehabilitation programmes (instead of a lot of the half-arsing attempts that happends because of public pressure not to do so) and get on with the job. Personally I think the culture of a society is informed by how we treat people we have power over, whether it’s the poor, or prisoners, or any one else that’s been marganilised, which leads to…

    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.

    This I disagree with. I think if you look at the different idelogies that do spell out people’s world views. Conservatives seem to view the world as a meritocracy – if you pull up your bootstraps you can make something of yourself, everyone has the same chances, and if you’re living in poverty etc that’s to do with personal failings on that person’s part – which is why there is a push towards less tax etc. Liberals see people’s positions in society not as a natural fall of the cards, but that the world instead is not a meritocracy and because of this we have a government and other functions of society that are there to intervene and spread a bit more equity about the place – to give people access to parts of society such as education and positions of leadership and just simply having a voice that would otherwise be closed off to them. (I would argue that the conservative position has a fair amount of unspoken classism, racism and sexism embedded in it – because if someone seriously thinks that the playing field is remotely even, holy crap.)

    Alternatively Neo-liberals are people with a god complex with a lot of cake who don’t want to share it, and probably majored in economics.

    Hey, try not to get burgled! 🙂

  43. about the Alpha/Beta countdown thing, as i said before, this show needs proper viral marketing. let the new people get into the franchise through such means. it will also create some buzz.

  44. well there is nothing to say about the judicial system as it seems I’m with Joe on everything.

    and as for the space storm, I just dont know why we have been protected for so long. with all the asteroids flying around, its a miracle that a cataclysm hasnt happened it in recorded history. we are so fragile, and our technology wont be able to save us. thats one of the reasons i like stargate, it makes me believe that we can stand up for ourselves.

  45. How long has Lulu been playing dead?? Looks like rigormortis has set in! Your dogs are the cutest little things. They are loaded with personality. Simply adorable!

  46. Hi Joe, commiserations on your near miss with the burglar. 19 yrs ago I was robbed (35mm Ricoh camera, sterling silver baptismal cross and costume jewelry taken). The camera has not been replaced; the cross can never be replaced – and Grandfather has died; and the costume jewelry has been replaced. Sad thing for the burglar – he missed the emerald earrings and blue ridge opals in the jewelry box. Yes, he! A habitual offender that ‘visited’ my neighbours 2 weeks previous. Seemed he would target certain neighborhoods on a rotating basis – as and when his jail time allowed. 🙁 Your post reminded me of this.

    Last night, I too delivered a smack down to a telemarketer (calling from India) and told her that the company she represented has been reported in the news for scamming people – and that the people the company was scamming where those who could not afford to lose money. She was very quiet when I finished, but said she hadn’t heard anything on the news – “Um …. like how??” was my response. Hopefully, that company won’t be targeting me again – but honestly 2 in 4 days – by 2 different operators!! UGH!!!!

    “Sherwood Forest Maiden writes: “Hi Joe, maybe you have answered this question before, and if so, my humblest of most humble apologies, but why does the network need to see a copy of the script before filming starts??”
    Answer: Well, given that they do pay a licensing fee for the show, I’m sure they would want some input into what goes on their channel. By reading scripts and providing notes, they can flag any problem they have early in the process so that they don’t end up with a scene where, say, the show’s alien resident character ends up attending a reading of The Vagina Monologues.”

    Myself and 3 friends regularly get together and watch Stargate or other SciFi/Fantasy movies/tv dvds depending on the mood. But this SG-1 episode you mention above is a favourite of 2 of us (a mum and a midwife actually) but it is all the more funny for us when we have to repeatedly explain to the other 2 exactly what the Vagina Monologues is all about.

    Sparrow_hawk writes: “Wish me luck: tomorrow I’m helping my mother move out of the house I grew up in, where she has lived for 50+ years (and near as I can tell has not thrown out ANYTHING in that entire time)!”

    I spent 2 weeks at Christmas helping 2 people pack and move – and was left with furniture to store as they had no room. I enjoyed it so much that I have been turning out my own house. Since January 12, a van from a charity shop has been at my house 3 times – 2 of those visits were to take away my own cast offs. And I’m not yet finished.

  47. Dear Joe,

    I sympathize with you on your near burgle episode. Perhaps a monitored security system equipped with in/out motion sensors and monitors, at least one each key pad inside and a bottle of whatever alcohol suits your fancy as you write the check.

    My son learned the hard way that the monitored security system is priceless and actually works when needed.

    I know others have probably suggested this route somewhere along the line but I haven’t had a chance to read all the suggestions yet.

    Take care –

  48. I actually do some of my best writing when I’m angry.

    Ok… someone call Fuel and tell them to burn the duck! Someone tell Fondy to stomp on Joe’s foot! Someone train the dogs to chuck up on command! (although they seem to do that already)..

    Will that help?


  49. People can talk about “poor misunderstood criminals” until they get their house broken into. I’ve had my house broken into and to this day I am anal about locking my door, leaving the TV on so it seems that someone is home and putting my lights on a timer. My dad was robbed in his home; dad used to be a big and tough but now he’s just another frail old guy to be robbed by crack heads, thankfully all he had were cuts and bruises. I have no pity for criminals. They do more than steal, they take away our self respect, our dignity and our sense of security. The thief class of society has skated by on lax laws for years. As more of us end up robbed and have family hurt or killed there will be crackdown if for no other reaosn than the criminals will have hit every house by then and will have run out of bleeding hearts to protect them.

  50. and will have run out of bleeding hearts to protect them.

    Heeeee! I step in front of the criminals and protect them using my bleeding heart to cause people to slip over and fall so that Slashy McKiller may flee to freedom!

    If retribution actually worked in reducing crime, I’d be all over it. It’s not like myself, friends and family haven’t been victims of crime before and I fully understand the anger. But the evidence just simply doesn’t support that approach, even though the push for punitive action is beloved by politicians every where because it’s an easy emotional button to push.

    We’re all on the same page here that crime is a bad thing and we all want similar outcomes, it’s just our approach with dealing with it is different.

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