Brie meets Bubba
Brie meets Bubba

Brie and, uh, Jelly
Brie and, uh, Jelly

Brie is fascinated; Jelly, bored already.
Brie is fascinated; Jelly, bored already.

She won't sit still long enough for me to snap a proper picture!
She won't sit still long enough for me to snap a proper picture!

Negotiating the stairs is a bit of a chore.
Negotiating the stairs is a bit of a chore.

Presumably she'll grow into those paws.
Presumably she'll grow into those paws.

Hanging with the pugs.
Hanging with the pugs.

Lulu feels the need to remind everyone: "Hey, lookit me!  I'm still cute!"
Lulu feels the need to remind everyone: "Hey, lookit me! I'm still cute!"

Bubba eyes his mortal enemy: that yappy labrador across the street.
Bubba eyes his mortal enemy: that yappy labrador across the street.

Foraging under Jelly's watchful eye.
Foraging under Jelly's watchful eye.


I was on fire last night, writing well into the wee hours of the early morning. I’m about a scene and a half away from finishing a first draft of the short story (although the last five pages are going to need a major massage). I even had enough leftover energy to write three more kino scenes, bringing the grand total to five. Here’s a line for you: “They stumble BACK INTO FRAME, hungrily devouring each other like Ben and Jerry Cherry Garcia ice cream cone on a hot summer‘s day.”

One of my favorite short story collections of all time is the SFWA European Hall of Fame: Sixteen Contemporary Masterpieces of Science Fiction from the Continent. Editors James Morrow and Kathryn Morrow have assembled a marvelous mix of stories “never before published in English”, a selection of the weird, the wacky, and the out and out wonderful, all authored by writers you’ve likely never heard of. A mind-bending introduction to some of the best SF being produced outside of North America and the U.K. I was hugely disappointed to learn there would be no follow-up – so you can imagine my delight when I came across a link (compliments of Ellen Datlow: to Lavie Tidhar’s World SF News Blog, a site “dedicated to posting news and links about international science fiction, fantasy, horror and comics.” For those looking to expand their horizons beyond the traditional, head on over and check out recent articles on African and South African speculative fiction, Danish SF, and Malaysian horror ( Also, the site provides a link to a free PDF file of Shimmer Magazine’s 10th issue containing a host of international SF stories. But, best of all, is the news that our friends over at Apex Books are taking pre-orders for The Apex Book of World SF (

Speaking of reading – Let it be known that you have a full week to read the first of April’s book of the month club selections, Powers: Who Killed Retro Girl?, written by Brian Michael Bendis and illustrated by Michael Oeming.  Yes  “illustrated” because the book is a graphic novel, a first for our little book club.  So make the time to track it down, read it, and come armed with questions for author Brian Michael Bendis, one of the most popular writers working in comics today, as he takes time off from scripting the pilot for the Powers t.v. series to visit.  Yep, that’s right.  The Powers t.v. series.  Read the graphic novel and get in on the ground floor BEFORE the series is developed, that way you’ll be able to rail against prospective casting rumors from an informed position.  Discussion on Powers: Who Killed Retro Girl? begins the week of April 6th.  

Well, March Madness is down to its Final Four and, since my brackets have been busted, I’m free to root with my heart instead of my week and a half old score sheet. Having said that, my pick to win it all this year is “Not the Tar Heels”. Here’s hoping they come through. They’ll have, if need be, up to two chances to get it done!

Finally, we had a little visitor drop by the house today. Alas, she didn’t stick around but it’s very likely she’ll be back. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Brie.

Finally, tune in tomorrow for that Amanda Tapping Q&A you’ve been anxiously awaiting.

P.S. I ate too much today. Well, specifically, too much nutella and ice cream. I have got to show some self-discipline.

Today’s mailbag:

EricaHP writes: “Any recommendations for places to try foie gras in Toronto?”

Answer: Sorry, that’s the other side of the country. I’m not at all familiar with the Toronto restaurant scene.

Ziva Z writes: “When you go to a restaurant, do you take a little notebook with you so you can write down exactly what it is we are seeing in the pictures you show us?”

Answer: Nope. I simply snap a pic of the menu.

Suziesbluefeather writes: “May I suggest that you take some me time for yourself. You seem to have been pushing your self hard lately.”

Answer: Quite the opposite. I haven’t been pushing myself hard enough. It’s hard to believe that, back in SG-1’s tenth season, I actually wrote three scripts (Morpheus, Counterstrike, and Memento Mori) in two weeks.

Ytimyona writes: “What is a “kino” scene?”

Answer: A kino is

Ben writes: “Since the Destiny wasn’t really meant to be inhabited (I recall hearing that at some point, so I’ll be disappointed if the crew finds a spa & sauna deck), will be technologically savvy of the bunch be often mcgyvering useful items and tools out of materials found on board?”

Answer: Actually, the Destiny WAS meant to be inhabited.

Ponytail writes: “Tonight I was watching “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives” on the Food Network. That is the kind of places I love to eat at. Joe would you ever consider trying some of those restaurants?”

Answer: Hell, yeah. Incidentally, this is one of Exec. Producer Rob Cooper’s favorite food shows.

Ponytail also writes: “Joe have you ever thought about one night doing a video blog?”

Answer: I have. And will. Eventually.

Riley writes: “and what was that particular argument all about!? Misdirection much?”

Answer: It made an excellent point about what I was referring to yesterday – the hypocrisy of meat-eaters (especially those who enjoy fast food chicken and burgers) who jump on the anti-foie gras bandwagon.

Jedi43 writes: “Quick question, who played John’s dead father in the wake picture in “Outcast”?”

Answer: Someone we hired to play the role (in the picture).

Alex writes: “Where’s the food from?”

Answer: Au Pied de Cochon.

Nodakgirl writes: “Thank you so much, Joe, for remembering us in the Red River Valley fighting the Red and fighting water all over the state.”

Answer: Do keep us posted on how you’re all doing.

Rose writes: “In comparing the “Big Love” response from Mormons and the response of the Disney company to South Park, you were comparing apples and oranges.”

Answer: But my point was that drawing attention to the subject is often counter-productive since it only serves to shine a spotlight on the controversy. As you put it, the response of “some Mormons […] provided the free publicity that Big Love was undoubtedly hoping they would receive”


TBA writes: “- Are all SGU episode slots filled now?

– Are there any more cliff-hanger episodes in the season, other than premiere/midseason/finale?

– In SGA’s ‘The Return’, dr. Lee mentions he has a lvl 75 mage on World of Warcraft, which wasn’t possible at the time. Was this intentional, or have none of you ever played WoW?

– Any plans to bring in The Trust again, in either SGU or one of the movies?”

Answers: 1. As a I mentioned in a blog entry just the other day, there are two slots still open. 2. Yes. 3. That’s a question for Marty G. who wrote the episode. 4. Nope.

Thornyrose writes: “Is your concern about burglars affecting your own outings?”

Answer: It kind of has. That and the fact that I’ve lost my culinary wingman (Marty G.), my wife is very busy, and I’ve been cooking at home more.

Lance writes: “The Right can’t claim it wants to throw more people in prison and have tax breaks be their mantra.”

Answer: When did a desire to see violent criminals off the streets automatically make you right-wing? Seriously, is it that much to ask that repeat offenders face some actual jail time? The guy who was casing my house last weekend had some thirty prior convictions – which didn’t seem to have inconvenienced him in the least. Should I have invited him in and politely asked him to mend his ways and refrain from robbing people in the future? Should I have given him a hug and told him I sympathized with his inability make it in this tough world and then helped him load my stuff into the back of his van? Do tell. Also, throwing more of these people in prison doesn’t have to equal higher taxes – simply a more judicious use of taxes already gathered. As has already been pointed out, our prison system is filled with individuals serving time for relatively minor infractions.

Major D. Davis writes: “1. You film an average Stargate episode in 7 days, correct? If not how many days does it take?

2. Will you begin filming Water next week? If not, when?”

Answers: 1. Yes. Seven days to prep and episode and seven days to shoot it.

2. Off the top of my head, I’d say “very soon”.

Quade1 writes: “Joe is Stargate Universe going to explore Greek Mythology??”

Answer: Nope.

Dovil writes: “@riley, I found this article here that nicely touches on at least one of the gaping holes of logic.”

Answer: Yes and no. The writer does a nice job of neatly oversimplifying the hypocrisy charge leveled against most meat-eaters who have a problem with foie gras. It’s not “Either you eat animals or you don’t eat animals.”. Rather, it’s “It’s incredibly hypocritical to criticize foie gras for its treatment of animals if you’re eating most fast food because the chicken and beef that supply these restaurants are treated with shocking cruelty on their way to slaughter.”


66 thoughts on “March 29, 2009: My Foray into Harlequin Romance, International SF, A Gentle Reading Reminder (the next one is going to hurt), My Final Four Pick, A Fursome Surprise Visitor, and The Mailbag. Whew!

  1. Hi Joe, I LOVE THAT PUPPY. Is she going to be yours? If you don’t want her, send her on down to my house. We could use some young blood around here 😉 Flannery’s been eating boneless, skinless chicken breast and rice all weekend, but is still going in for the ultrasound and more lab tests this week. The Cocker (Summer aka Dinky) is all better after much projectile vomiting a few nights ago – oh never mind, you didn’t ask. Still, that puppy had my name written all over her! Looking forward to Amanda Tapping’s Q & A tomorrow! Have a good night 😉

  2. Finally, tune in tomorrow for that Amanda Tapping Q&A you’ve been anxiously awaiting.

    woo hoo!! 😀

  3. Thanks for new dog pics. I’m still wondering how Brie made it back up the steps.

    >you have a full week to read the first of April’s book of the
    >month club selections, Powers: Who Killed Retro Girl?

    Only a week until the April BOTM? Eek. Guess I’ll have to hurry up and finish “Multireal”.

    Back to an old BOTM, “The Book of Joby”, which I’d given to my very Catholic parents as a birthday present. Joe, you said you’d be interested to know what they thought of it: I heard from Mom and (as I’d hoped) she loved it, thought it was an interesting and wonderful modern “morality tale” (her words). She said she also found it hard to put down. So, thumbs up from Mom. Dad, on the other hand, hasn’t read it yet and is still apparently quite leery. But that’s Dad. And he’s 70, so I think I can forgive him for being slightly set in his ways (and I’m at least as stubborn as he is, so it wouldn’t be fair to hold it against him anyways).

    – KB

  4. Hi, Joe
    I remember you said that no magic english speaking aliens in SGU. Is it for sure?
    And will the exploration team meet some alien in first ten eps of SGU?

  5. Hey….Joe! Love your puppies. They’re just adorable. I got a ice cream flavor you have to try……Starbucks’ Moca Frappaccino! Omigosh! It is heaven in a pint size tub! BTW….are you gonna go on Twitter?

  6. Hey Joe,

    What happened to the kino answer? Or was that meant to be an answer in itself? (rather cryptic though…)


  7. Okay, I don’t know the proper route to the mailbag, so I’ll ask here… (and I think I know the answer). But when you go to a restaurant, do you take a digital camera or are those phone pics that you post?

    I had a nice fire out front… two pieces of paper formerly known as NCAA Tournament Brackets. Dashed again (though I have won two pools before, so I’m playing with house money for the next 30 years or so).

  8. Answer: A kino is
    I know that they exist, I just wanted to know what they are! 😉

    Thanks for the teaser line for your short story… leaves a LOT open to the imagination, that does!!!

    I’m so excited for the Amanda Tapping guest blog tomorrow… I was talking to one of my friends today and telling her all about how we get the “inside scoop” on the behind-the-scenes of Stargate and she got excited and said she’s gonna try reading soon and AT’s guest blog will be the PERFECT hook!

    Today, while I was out running, it started out a little overcast and 54 F, then poured rain, then the sun came out but it was only 45 F–all within 30 minutes! And later, it started snowing. I seriously love Cleveland… anybody else have weather this erratic?

  9. Also: Brie is gorgeous! And so cute and little! She looks so tiny next to Jelly. 😀

  10. I was wondering about the kino answer myself but then I thought maybe I just needed to go to bed and not go read archives to see if that question was answered elsewhere.

    I have question for you or someone who would be in the know, I’ve never understood how ground fire could bring down a dart or a death glider. I assume that if not protected by shielding then at least the metal would be tempered to withstand more than bullets shot from at a minimum of 100′ away. This might be a question for Mythbusters. 🙂

    Sidenote, Brie is adorable! (As is Lulu of course, brindles are my favorite coloring on dogs.) My friends just got a French Bulldog, white with black saddles that look to be turning to brindle, and he is just the sweetest, most playful thing ever.

    Thanks so much for your updates on all things SG and otherwise.


  11. Thank you Joe! Knowing that the Tapping Q&A will be posted and waiting for me when I get off tomorrow will give me the strength I need to go the 13 hour shift.

  12. Hi Joe,

    So I wanted to pop my head in and say “thanks” for the blog dedication the other day. I have spent a lot of time offline the last several days and it was awfully nice to see that I have great friends who think of me(alternately- THANK YOU TRISH!!!).

    I have a very interesting link talking about the actual production of Foie gras(DEFINITELY NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART THOUGH!) .

    So I’m looking forward to Thursday as I will once again be visiting Vancouver(it has been far too long even though its right down the road) and hopefully not end up scarred for life this time 😉 😉 😉

  13. Wait… do I need to do a little detective work here?

    Do the blog title “My foray into Harlequin Romance” and the lines “They stumble BACK INTO FRAME, hungrily devouring each other like Ben and Jerry Cherry Garcia ice cream cone on a hot summer‘s day.” answer my question? I googled “kino” and I learned that it is the Russian word for “cinema” and that there are two rock bands named Kino… I’m guessing that, in Vancouver, it means something different entirely 😉

  14. Isn’t a “kino” slang for “key note”?

    Sorry haven’t been around to read and comment but tax season has been murder and I’m still pi**y about the cancellation of SGA. HOWEVER… after viewing the trailers (commercials) on YouTube, I *may* give SGU a look — at least for the pilot set-up.

    Hope things continue well for you. Be back after April 15.

  15. Yay Puppies! Never mind Brie’s paws she’d better grow into those ears!

    one more week of daily grind then HOLIDAYS! I’m gonna sleep for the first half.

  16. I wish I was on fire last night. It is 1:23am and I have finished 1 4000 word paper, 1 5 page conference paper, plus powerpoint and clips and am half way through another 4000 paper.

    You wanna write it for me? Its about the politics of Race and Gender in Hannah More’s “Slavery, a poem” and Richard Polwhele’s “The Unsex’d Female”.

  17. Hey Joe,

    One of my students did his “how to” speech on how to make Arincini. Have you had it? I tried it out this weekend and it was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.

    Picture risotto flavored with lemon and sweet Italian sausage rolled into little balls with a square of mozzerella tucked inside. Lightly coat the ball with breadcrumbs, gently crisp the outside, then serve immediately – so the mozz inside is melty. There’s a fabulous sauce that goes with it too. S made fresh rosemary basil focaccia to go with it. Super yum! I’ll email you a pic of the finished product. A must-try for you.

    Looking forward to Amanda’s QA, hopefully one of my Q’s made the cut!

  18. To EricaHP.

    Don’t know about Toronto, but if you ever get to Santa Barbara, CA, you have to try the foi gras at The Stone House. Best I’ve had anywhere. Bar none.

  19. Hello Joe, Glad to see the doggie pix, and yes Lulu is still a cutie. Thanks for the sidebar of books, makes it easy to check out a new book for my library. I missed a couple days reading blog, but caught up once again, thanks for writing. Sorry to hear about passing of Christine Mooney, condolences to family and friends. Good luck on finishing your short story, a little harlequin is ok in a story, whats the front cover going to look like? Have a great day!

  20. Being a vegetarian I’d like to add my 2 cents to the “foie gras” discussion.

    I became a vegetarian because I didn’t want to support the industry of meat production any longer. I think that there’s a lot of cruel things going on.

    But I soon realised that I could as well eat vegan and still support an industry that isn’t ethically sound. But I believe that eating vegan is far from healthy and it’s too expensive for my small students budget.

    So I just kept to my vegetarian way knowing that it’s close to impossible to behave completely ethically sound. BUT I do my small bit. It’s as much as I feel I can do.

    I don’t critise people for what they eat. I keep my ways to myself and only talk to people about it who asked me. Everyone does what he/she feels is right

  21. Brie is simply adorable! (And, yes, Lulu is STILL cute!)

    All my teams fell last Saturday, so I kind of lost interest. Well, not MY teams, but any of the ones I had ties to. I’m such a fair weather fan anyway.

  22. Oh my, Brie is sooooo cute. Are you getting a new dog?

    – To TBA about the WoW question: The DVD does address your question on the level 75. Something like the person who gave them the level gave them the figure of what they knew was coming out in the upgraded version thinking the show would air by the time the new version came out but it didn’t.

  23. So, who is the lucky person who Brie owns? How did you come around to getting her visit? Absolutely adorable. Amazing how selective breeding can push up a cute factor.
    Geez, more websites to check out. I’m tackling the latest Honorverse now, but I’;ll mark the sites for investigation later. I also need to get reading on the two book-BOTM club selections, having managed to obtain and read the graphic novel offering already. The heck with immortality; I’d settle for a medical breakthrough that allowed me to function on 2 hours of sleep a night. I’d use the saved time to make sure to cut through my backlog of books. Out of curiosity, how fast a reader are you exactly? 1-2 pages a minute? faster?
    Glad to hear the work side of life is going so well, even if it will be months before we get to find out what kino is. Meantime, siffy has managed to schedule a decent program in on Friday nights. A shame I’ve not only viewed them on BBC America, but own the dvds. Guess I’ll just have to find other entertainments that night, till Universe finaly airs. Thanks for the cute pics and great Q&A., as well as the links.

  24. i think we should send them to space, criminals that is. you know let them see what Mars is like.

    what i dont get is how people feel so safe knowing that criminals are getting it easy now. do you guys realize that the blame is on you for not stopping them before they do it again. and using the overcrowded prison excuse is just pathetic. its like God saying, well hell is not big enough for all those rapists so i hope those goody two-shoes in heaven wont mind sharing a home with em. recipe for disaster i tell you. and are gun ownership illegal in Canada? and is the crime rate going up?

  25. In response to TBA- Dr. Lee did say he had a Beta copy of the game. Living with a super geek (he helped developed Chalice and has won 2 Academy awards for his work) has taught me (among other things), games are hackable. Dr. Lee could have very easily (and most likely did) hack WoW to allow infinite levels.
    Besides, you do know this is fiction right? Since star gates are improbable but are written about, level 75 can exist too, and wraith, and super Ford, and my all time favorite that if you eat something for millions of years you’ll eventually evolve into a hybrid combination of you, and what you’ve been eating. (Aratis bugs evolving into Wraith because they ate humans) snicker. It’s science FICTION. Good thing otherwise I’d end up a TCHO chocolatey version of myself!

  26. “They stumble BACK INTO FRAME, hungrily devouring each other like Ben and Jerry Cherry Garcia ice cream cone on a hot summer‘s day.”

    Wait a minute. Is this a kissing book? 😉

    Actually, I hope that sentence is about kissing. Taken literally, it’s about cannibalism. Sweet, creamy cannibalism.


  27. I have a question – in the episode in which Keller exchanges minds with the outlaw woman (memory is failing). When Keller returns to Atlantis and is in her room, she looks at a picture of her graduation with her “Dad.” Was that Carl in the picture? Forgive me if this has been asked before.
    The bead shop I frequent (spend all my money) has a resident pet just like Brie – although older. He loves to play, bringing his toy to you and dropping it at your feet and then looking at you with that loveable face.
    Is the breed a German bulldog?

  28. bonjour joseph!

    vous allez bien? Moi super, demain on va en sortie avec l’acole nous allons visiter le musée de la douane et l’un des rare site ouù l’on fabrique les piéces d”euro =D
    En plus ce week end j’ai eu plus de 800 commentaire sur mon blog de stargate et plus de 100 visites hier sur mon blog “JM-Land” =D on peut dire que vous êtes aimez!

    Bon j’y vais, bisou à demain!

  29. I thought for a second that you had added to your pack of animals there. Brie sure is a cutie and has that look in her eyes that she’s one smart dog. Of course, so does Lulu.

    I’d have to replace the Cherry Garcia with the Chocolate Cookie Dough that they make. Delicious. Was this for your short story or for an SGU episode. It’s still hilarious either way.

  30. Harlequin Romances … ick. Yuck. Of course I have a ramble about the books…

    Sitting in my tiny Japanese apartment, I realized, I’d run out of books. Horror! And I couldn’t just run out to the local bookshop; they didn’t carry anything in English. and by the time I could get to base, the Exchange would be closed. oh no! So I went downstairs and knocked on the door of the gal who worked with me. I knew we had different tastes, but surely she had something to read. I was right; she did have books. She opened the cupboard and there were dozens of books, all neatly lined up, matching in size and thickness and even color. Harlequin Romances. “That’s all I ever read, they’re so wonderful and positive!” I took three, hoping that they were at least dirty bodice-rippers. Nope, Harlequin is pretty darn sanitary and at an eighth grade reading level too. I got halfway through the first book and quit. Wasn’t long after that I purchased my first VCR and a TV. Even late night Japanese TV is better than Harlequins!

    This is the same gal who asked me if I had any tapes of piano music. Sure, I have Mozart and Tsaichovsky, maybe some Chopin but he’s a little light for me, and maybe she’d care for some jazz? No, no, she meant piano music … “where they take songs and play them without the words. ” Muzak. Really, not making it up, no embellishments, she really did want elevator music to listen to at home. Wow.

  31. I’m glad you told us who Brie was standing with in that 3rd picture. I had a 50% chance of guessing correctly. And I would turn around and bite you if you ever took my picture from that angle!

  32. Awwwww, she is cute! Betcha she an Lulu could get into all kinds of mischief. Is she a potential addition to the family? Was Maximus napping? Although, that could be difficult with 4 others running around the house.

  33. “Ziva Z writes: “When you go to a restaurant, do you take a little notebook with you so you can write down exactly what it is we are seeing in the pictures you show us?”

    Answer: Nope. I simply snap a pic of the menu.”

    Ah HAH! I will remember that trick for next time.

    We went to Chicago over the weekend and ate at Everest. But later on, it was a struggle to relate the details of the eating experience to friends, particularly when it came to the amuse bouche and the dessert!

    “It was definitely a little piece of fish. Something with an F…fluke? Yes, that. Served over a little bed of…ah…cucumber and something else cut into matchstick size bits. Then there was the emulsion of celery with crisps…um…chipotle crisps, yeah!”

    It was a lovely meal from start to finish, but alas, our descriptions did not do it justice.

    Oh! Finished off the experience with an Earl Grey truffle. Very tasty, that.

  34. 1. Awwwwwww! Lulu has competion! Brie is too cute! Nice shot of Jelly, too. 😉

    2. Joe – if you hurry, you can still make Oakdale’s annual Testicle Festival!

    As they say, you’re guaranteed to have a ball! 😀

    3. Mr. M…as a foodie…I gotta ask for your take on the Wraith – do they eat to live, or live to eat??

    4. Someone posted a name analysis link at GW (not sure if this was posted here before – forgive me if it was…it seemed familar).

    Now, I’m not into horoscopes and all that mumbo jumbo, and I certainly don’t buy into this, but I decided to try it on my name, just for the fun of it. I find it is disturbingly true 😆 :

    The name Deirdre creates a dual nature in that you can be very generous and understanding, but you can also be so candid in your expression that you create misunderstanding.

    You struggle with the requirement to soften your expression with tact and diplomacy and to consider the feelings of others.

    Difficulty in accepting advice or admitting that you may have made a mistake causes you to appear to be stubborn and set in your ways.

    Thus, you have too often created the wrong impression, and friendships have suffered.

    Even though the name Deirdre creates the urge to be artistically creative and original, we emphasize that it causes an emotional intensity that is hard to control.

    This name, when combined with the last name, can frustrate happiness, contentment, and success, as well as cause health weaknesses in the nervous system, and tension or accidents to the head.

    Emotional intensity? Stubborn? Dual nature? 😳 Yeah…I always told my mom that naming me that made me crazy. 😆 I couldn’t even spell it until the 4th grade!

    So, I decided to type in ‘Joseph’…just for funsies:

    The name of Joseph gives you the desire to meet and mix socially and to create congenial circumstances for everyone.

    However, all too often, you express yourself in a matter-of-fact or awkward way that results in your good intentions being misunderstood.

    If you are in sales work, you could do well because of your friendly personality, interest in people, and desire to please.

    You prefer situations that allow a degree of independence, but are not too demanding in work-load or responsibility.

    The name Joseph creates the desire for harmony with others, but we point out that it causes a blunt expression that alienates others.

    This name, when combined with the last name, can frustrate happiness, contentment, and success, as well as cause health weaknesses in the fluid systems, and tension or accidents to the head.

    Hey, Joe! Seems we are BOTH prone to accidents to the head! And ‘blunt expression’? Certainly not you, Joe! 😉

    And, finally, I couldn’t resist doing Todd, too – it’s hilariously true (except the talky part)!:

    Your name of Todd creates a quick, clever mind capable of grasping and assimilating new ideas.

    You are rather studious, mentally challenging each new idea before accepting it.

    Because you learn so quickly you have little patience with those whose mental processes are somewhat slower, and you could become supercilious or somewhat “know it all” in your attitude.

    This characteristic could make you rather unpopular with your associates.

    Although you are very knowledgeable and intelligent, you often find spontaneous verbal expression difficult.

    You crave friendship, understanding, love, and affection about your reserved manner appears forbidding to others.

    Although the name Todd creates the urge to be reliable and responsible, we emphasize that it limits self-expression and friendly congeniality with a moody disposition.

    This name, when combined with the last name, can frustrate happiness, contentment, and success, as well as cause health weaknesses in the heart, lungs, bronchial area, worry, and mental tension.

    A quick and clever mind? Unpopular with associates? Moody disposition??! That’s our Todd! 😀 Now, just to loosen him up a bit so he doesn’t appear so ‘forbidding to others’…lol.

    Have a great day, Joe!


  35. I don’t know about right wing or left wing political separation when referring to criminals and criminal punishment, but I know one thing:

    I’m left handed. Down with left bound spiral notebooks!!!

  36. Hi Joe,
    Thanks for posting the doggy pics. Yea, Amanda Q&A Tomorrow. Oh and thanks for answering my questions. Got one more.

    Is Will Waring directing Water?

    Thanks so much
    Major D. Davis

  37. Once I finish this essay I’m working on, I’ll sitting here refreshing. Every fifteen minutes or so. I’m so excited about tonight’s blog entry!

  38. What a cute puppy!! And I love your caption for Lulu.

    Congrats on all the writing! I wish I could be that productive of late…

    As for me and the Red River, we’re doing ok. I was able to move back into my apartment as they no longer have the roads closed. They’re still worried about sustaining the dikes especially since we’re in the middle of a massive snowstorm (8-12 inches. Just what we needed.), but we’re holding out. The national news is doing a great job of covering us, and the federal government has been great as well, sending us over 1000 National Guardsmen. I’m thinking and hoping we’ll come out of this flood with less damage even than we had in ’97.

    And because of it all, I get two weeks off of school. Though sandbagging makes one sore, it’s still nice to have a bit of a mental break!

    Hope all others, including Nodakgirl, are doing ok.

  39. Rather, it’s “It’s incredibly hypocritical to criticize foie gras for its treatment of animals if you’re eating most fast food because the chicken and beef that supply these restaurants are treated with shocking cruelty on their way to slaughter.”

    Hypocrisy has a nasty habit of sneaking into a lot of debates, but if doesn’t necessarily mean that the arguement being put forward is any less valid. Unless it’s a case of saying “Only vegans/vegatrians/people who live in countries that have a more strigent animal welfare system within place in the meat industry, are free to comment on this issue.” There could be forms and tick boxes.

    That article was pointing out tautologys, and I think this still lands nicely within that.

    Also, throwing more of these people in prison doesn’t have to equal higher taxes – simply a more judicious use of taxes already gathered.

    See, in NZ we could have maybe could have scrounged around the couch cushions and been able to afford another five lifers, but they’ve just given us tax cuts. I’m going to buy a goldfish with mine.

  40. Brie is just so precious! I love Frenchies..but I’m not really a little-dog person, so I doubt I’d ever be able to own one..Maybe eventually. I prefer Great Danes, Greyhounds (my current baby, Dusty, is a Grey), and big giant mutts. But the occasional small dog is cute too. Is she going to be yours?

  41. Brie is so adorable…she’s definitely Lulu’s competition in the cuteness department.

  42. Brie is cute! How old is she? I like the pic of her meeting Bubba. What made you choose to get pugs? Just curious. Those pics make me want one. Though I seriously doubt my OCD would permit me.

    Das- I thought it would be interesting to look up my name…

    * Your first name of Amber has given you a responsible, expressive, inspirational, and friendly personality.

    * Expression comes naturally to you and you are rarely at a loss for words; in fact, you have to put forth effort at times to curb an over-active tongue.–LOL! Quite the opposite

    * Self-confidence has made it easy for you to meet people and you are well-liked for your spontaneous, happy ways.—not anymore 🙁

    * You sincerely like people and do not often experience loneliness; your work and home-life are likely filled with association

    * Although the name Amber creates the urge to be reliable and responsible, we emphasize that it frustrates you through a scattered and emotional nature.–that explains the OCD!

    * This name, when combined with the last name, can frustrate happiness, contentment, and success, as well as cause health weaknesses in the liver, bloodstream, and through worry and mental tension.–that’s about the only thing thats right lol

  43. @ selkiesgrace – I have a friend named Amber who roams here…and it’s a pretty close match to her! I wonder if she’ll see that.

    I tried it with my mom’s name, and it was totally off – TOTALLY. My dad was spot on, and so was my sister (for the most part), and my husband was a 50-50 split.

    So, basically, it’s a good guessing game in which they sometimes hit the nail on the head, and other times they just smash the thumb. 😉


  44. Brie looks like a flashy fawn boxer (but not show quality, as she has no white on her face), in which case she can’t be more than six or seven weeks old. I could be wrong. Alien breeders could be breeding pugs with French bulls to get flashy fawn colors… unsuccessful, so far, with the face, though.

    Oh, yes. International speculative fiction is not new. One of your earlier BOTM picks was an anthology incorporating nontraditional speculative fiction, including an intriguing story about robots in India (I don’t remember the name now). But, in fact, speculative fiction (or scifi, if you will) has been coming to us from Britain and Europe for some decades now, and I kind of think of that as international.

  45. @ das- I’m sure she will 😉

    @ RebeccaH- I’ve never seen a boxer puppy look like that before. Course I’ve only seen one litter and the puppies were show quality. Ugh. I know what breed she is I just can’t think of the name. Grrr. I hate when that happens.

  46. Brie is all kinds of adorable! Do all pugs have back legs that are tinier than their front legs?

  47. @ Selkie! – You changed your username, didn’t you??! LOL! You got me, ya li’l stinker-POO!

    Just you wait…if you make it to Jersey this summer, I’m gonna make you sleep with all the cats…at the height of FLEA season! 😈 Hee…


  48. Threaten me all you want, but I’ll never join your Wraith Worshipers club. :p I will never turn to the dark side.
    *brandishes lightsaber* Oh wait, wrong fandom. Hee.

  49. GraceO’Malley/Amber/Selkiesgrace/Whateveryou’regoingbythesedays,probablysomethinginvolvingEdwardtheVampire:

    That’s okay. I don’t want you to be a Wraith Worshipper, I just want you to come along for the ride, so…ya know…I have a snack with me to keep Todd happy. 😈


  50. I’ll send Edward along instead. *evil grin* I wonder what would happen if he tried to turn Todd… I wonder if Todd’s blood would be appealing?

  51. Amber – not sure about Todd’s blood being appealing, but the rest of him certainly is! 😀

    Uh…H’hum…of course, I love him for his mind, not his body…

    … okay, and his hands. I love him for his hands.

    Alright…and his hair, and his smile, and that little glint in his eye, and his swagger, and that spiffy leather coat of his, and…should I go on??



  52. I think we’ve heard enough. 😉 Though I must say I love how Todd says “Sheparrrrrd!” 😀

    Ok why is my pic STILL a christmas tree!! Ok, maybe that fixed it. How do you get smilies in your posts?

  53. You have smilies in your post, silly!

    Oh, and lovin’ Todd’s voice is where the obsession begins! Watch out! Pretty soon you’ll be ripping open your shirt, beggin’ him for a quick suck n’ puke! 😉


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