Right.  So I’m in the office today, pacing about as I’m talking on my cell phone, when I notice that one of the Spiderman Supervillain busts sitting by the window isn’t facing forward.  For some reason, The Lizard has been turned away to face the wall.  What gives?  I turn turn it around to face front and only then do I realize why it was facing back – “someone” chipped off the tip of his tongue and somehow assumed they could cover their tracks by delaying its discovery.  Of course, there’s no doubt as to the “someone” responsible.  It was the same “someone” who broke the crystal skull prop sitting in Paul’s office and then set it back on its pedestal as if nothing was amiss.  The same person who broke Carl’s favorite humpy dog memory stick!  The same same “someone” who broke a glass in Lawren’s office and sought to cover it up by throwing it away in the garbage can at the far end of the hall.  No, I’m not referring to those wild gals in accounting.  I’m talking about the hands-of-stone Bridge Studios cleaning crew.  I mean, come on.  If you break something, at the very least leave a post-it of apology.  Not these oafs.  Not only are they incredibly clumsy, but they’re dishonest to boot.  And, judging by the half-ass manner in which they sought to hide their incompetence, you can feel free to add moronic to the list.  I just learned that, to combat the problem, Lawren has taken to putting a “DO NOT CLEAN” sign on his office door.  Hmmmm.  That’s one way of ensuring these klutzes don’t cause anymore damage.  Another way also comes to mind…

That was just one of today’s many surprises.  Happily, the rest were somewhat more positive.  I received a bunch of great-looking books from the gang at PYR including..

This one.

This one.

And this one.

I have Mark Chadbourn’s terrific-looking Age of Misrule series sitting on my book shelf, patiently waiting for me to get around to it.  I read, and quite enjoyed, Joel Shepherd’s Crossover, the first book in yet another series I want to get around to finishing.  And then there’s SF and Fantasy veteran Mike Resnick, yet another author I’ve had in my sights for a while.  So many choices.  Unfortunately, I haven’t been reading as voraciously as I usually do.  I brought two books with me to Japan and I only got around to reading the first 200 pages of one (a mere fifth of the whole).  And my evenings since my return have proven a bit tricky given that I’m thoroughly exhausted by 11:00 and asleep by 11:30.  Although, I usually do wake up for a couple of hours between 2:00 and 4:00, so maybe I should consider this prime reading time.

Later, Exec. Producer Brad Wright gifted me the following book…

He read the book, LOVED IT, and has since been purchasing copies for friends.  Apparently, there’s only one word in the beautifully illustrated book.  So, what do you think?  A potential book of the month club pick?

Yet another surprise in the form of Robert Cooper’s first draft of Aftermath.  All I can say is “Whoa!  Did NOT see THAT coming!”

And one more surprise with the impromptu appearance of former Stargate script coordinator (and present staff writer on The Border) Alex Levine who is now living in Toronto but is in town for the new few weeks.  In honor of Alex, we will all hit ReFuel for a vertable feast that included spicy pork ribs, crispy squid, lemon risotto, ox tongue, charcuterie, buttermillk fried chicken, crispy confit duck, dry aged beef burger, potato gnocchi, vanilla creme brulee, peanut and chocolate parfait, cheesecake, and apple & pear crostada.  Totemo oishikatta!

Thinking ahead to dessert of course.
Ivon stikes his patented "dreamy" pose.

Hey, Lawren - where's that script?
Carl all smiles. Of course! He's eating crispy duck tonight!

Rob's "You take one more picture..." look.
Paul, stuffed, and already thinking about his bedtime.
While Alex wonders "What's next?"
Me and Ivon. Surprisingly, sober.

Finally – Hey, don’t forget to get your questions and comments in for author Lawrence Watt-Evans!

43 thoughts on “December 15, 2009: A Day of Surprises.

  1. Hi Joe and all,

    The Arrival sounds intriguing, as do the items of the feast at Refuel. Sorry about your Lizard figurine. How dirty could it possibly have been for it to be handled and then damaged?

    On a happier note, I saw Louis Ferreira on the CBC Interview show, The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos tonight, (12/15). (This is my favorite interview show on TV.)

    It was great to see someone from the Stargate franchise on this show as well a good plug for SGU. it was also a treat to see how different (and funny) Louis is from his Colonel Young character. You gotta see his Scooby Doo and Christopher Walken imitations.

    For those outside of Canada (and parts of the US) who don’t get this on cable, you can see all episodes online at http://www.cbc.ca/thehour. This episode should be posted sometime on 12/16.

    And if you plan to visit Toronto, check out The Hour’s website before you go – to see if you can get into a live taping as part of the studio audience. It’s alot of fun to do.


  2. Totally sucks about your Lizard statue. That’s why I have my three good ones (two of Wolverine, one of Prince Nuada) under glass. Mr. Das is rather heavy-handed, and I just know bits and pieces would soon be broken off my lovely boys if he ever got his hands on them. Lookie, no touchie!

    That’s all I have energy for tonight. I’m bushed! 😛

    Oh, except one last thing – Darkcraft’s post about the spider in the sand under yesterday’s entry…yeah, EXPLAIN THAT! (please) 😯

    Nites, sir!


  3. das – Ralph was banging on the door at 5.30am this morning to come inside. On the 3rd bang (45kg dog knocking on the door sounds like a stampede wanting to get in) I finally opened my eyes. Just in time to see a Huntsman spider coming down from his web to land on the bed. He was most unhappy when I managed to catch him in a glass before making it all the way down. Ralph got pats for banging on the door for a change. No matter what my policy may be on killing living creatures, it would have been a reflex squash if it had have made it onto my skin.

  4. Joe,

    I was a bit disappointed in the lack of food pictures.

    I have been lax on my reading as of late too, I am kind of disappointed in myself. I have a lot of excuses as to why, but it’s basically my own fault. I plan to rectify it though, not sure what I’ll start reading. I was thinking some Stephen King.

    I made a totally scrumptious beef stroganoff tonight. I will be eating it for the next couple days. That’s just the nature of living alone I suppose.

  5. The crystal skull? as in the creepy pink one from that very old SG1 episode? I love that thing, I was wondering what happened to Daniel’s grandfather, though I guess a later episode answers it.

  6. Maybe you could just make sure the cleaning staff is strictly ordered not to touch anything breakable. And someone really should pay to replace those things. I mean, a random glass is one thing. A limited edition collectible figure is something else.

  7. I was just wondering how your internet company is doing? After changing companies, have you been pleased with the new service?

  8. what do you thin of AVATAR?
    and honestly i usually ignore your sometimes pretentious book selection, im only in it for the pew pew baby. uh, sorry about that, but i just dont feel excited by books that look boring and by boring i mean they dont deal with the horrors of space battles and rock sex. oh i laughed at ‘wild gals in accounting’ and those cleaning crew man, they are so clueless as to how important these items are, i mean that humpy dog memory stick, its one of a kind!

    SGU needs to be back man, its like months away, WTF? second season needs to bring it! im serious! Go crazy! and it wouldnt hurt if you show the furlings, i mean hows that gonna hurt the show? at least show the us the race that got them extinct. or did they blow up themselves also? it would be kind of nifty if one of the destiny crew went crazy and decided to blow up the destiny like that movie. or maybe something happens and some of the destiny crew get superpowers, like telekinesis more like jedi powers. u could tone it down to personal shields or Goa’uld tech.

    what i would really like and i said it before because i believe its possible, are mechs, like in Aliens or AVATAR, something basic for explorations. use CGI and dim the lighting and no one can tell its fake. seriously its like a jumper with legs hows that hard? no ones gonna fault you if it ends up looking fake. wont be bad if you got real dragons this time too. as for the communication device, i like it, as long as they use it to actually do something important. maybe Earth needs Rush for something? or unknowingly one by one crew gets swapped by lucian and they band to form an army of their own secretly to take over destiny or something. maybe theres another identical destiny that we dont know about. anyway, the mix of body-swapping earth trips and flashbacks together are confusing and are overlapping. just drop the earth and flashbacks and youll be good to go. although earth should remain to be an important symbolic element to the show at least.

  9. What did you think of “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell? I read it a while back, and just finished “What the Dog Saw” (collection of previously published articles) around the end of November.

  10. Coucou Joseph!

    ça va bien? moi oui , bien 🙂

    Merci pour ces photos vous être trop adorable dessus!

    ….C’est vrai que quand on casse des choses mieux vaux le dire, ça ne fait pas très serieux sinon.

    Eh bien, vous allez avoir de la lecture!…la meilleur chose pour se rendormir si on se reveille à 2h00 de matin c’est un calin 🙂

    Aller bisou =)
    Bonne journée!

  11. For once I actually finished the book of the month in time, yay!

    I loved how simple and straight forward the story was. The author didn’t go into un-needed information about the history of the war. At the beginning you heard it was happening and then you were sucked up into the story of Valder running for his life.
    It flowed really well, and normally I like hearing every detail of a characters life (even the mundane things, which is odd) but here I didn’t mind how it skipped parts of his life as it kept the story rolling, if it had included everything it could have become very rambling.
    All in all I loved it, it was a great read for the 1p I picked it up for.

    Afew q’s for Lawrence Watt-Evans:
    When Valder was going round Ethshar of the Spices looking for a way out of his curse, I couldn’t stop thinking about how he had all that money he had saved and didn’t fix his eyesight, surely even if he was trying to kill himself good eyesight would have helped and even been nice, or was it that you knew he’d have them fixed at some point later and left it for a while?

    I guess that’s it, thanks for the great book , will have to pick up some more. 🙂

  12. “That’s one way of ensuring these klutzes don’t cause anymore damage. Another way also comes to mind…”

    Covering select surfaces with curare?

  13. Good news everyone, Paul Cornell – Doctor Who writer, heck, great writer extraordinaire – would love to write for Stargate Universe!

    “@Paul_Cornell: @michelledeidre I’d like to write for Stargate Universe or Flash Forward. But can’t, really, from the UK. #QandC”

    Please make this happen – if only in the interest of UK-Canada relations 😉


  14. 😯


    Never, EVER go to Australia. 😛


    (Thanks, Narelle… 😉 )


  15. I think the Arrival would make a great book of the Month selection, especially if Mr. Wright gets copies for those of us who want to participate and discuss!

  16. haven’t seen Carl look that happy for awhile. Fun pics; thanks for sharing.
    Computer is in the shop. No internet access at home?!! Needless to say, I couldn’t let that situation stand. Now have my netbook in service, with another phone number to pay for. Ah well. Things I’ll do to read this blog daily…
    Resnick is a good writer, and Starship: Mutiny is a decent read, but I wouldn’t rank it as a high priority. There are at least four books to the series, of which I’ve read the first two. I’ll finish up the series, but I’m not in a hurry to do so.
    Quck review of Misenchanted Sword. Have to admit, I’ve loved this book from the start, and enjoyed the reread. Valder is a great everyman, a person without great ambition, but with a sense of responcibility and duty that keeps him performing his job. His reactions to the circumstances of his life ring true, though perhaps he shows a bit more wisdom than many would do. After all, how tempting would it be to kill a person or two just to make the money to live comfortably? of course he is not really in control of his own life for most of the book, when the unexpected end of the war gives him the freedom to choose his own path, literally.
    The narrow focus of the book works well here. World changing events are occuring throughout the novel, millions are dying or displaced, but we only glimpse those through the limited viewing range of Valder. Even when he is in a position to see and hear more as an assassin, he passes up the opportunity to use his unique status to gain any advantage, and just tries to live his life as normally as possible. One sympathises with him when he realizes that the curse of immortality the sword conveys means he’ll become entrapped in a shell of a body, and he seeks to avoid that fate. And while it was a convienant coincidence that he stumbles across one of the few beings in the world who can help hm, by this time I figure he’s entitled to a good break. Valder is an innately likable person, and our investment in his character is justified by his ongoing goodness. And on my first reading I admit to breaking out into laughter at the apology Valder recieves, as it’s explained why he ended up with such a powerful but treacherous weapon.
    For Mr. Watt-Evans. What inspired you to come up with this unusual take on a fantasy adventure? Did you start out to write a series of tales in the same world, or did this develop over time? Which of your works would you recommend to a first time reader, if they could read onnly one of your books? Thank you for your participation here, as well as for many satisfying hours of reading enjoyment over the years.
    For Mr. Watt-Evans.

  17. So, the nurse comes by to see my dad today. Her last name is Schwartz. We get talking about who she is related to, asking her about one person in particular. She says, ‘No, not related to him. He’s a Jewish Schwartz, I’m a gentile Schwartz’, to which I blurt out, ‘Hey, it’s better than being genital Schwartz!’

    Lucky thing she had a good sense of humor. 😛


  18. Question about the sub characters and the extras: Will you please provide a list of survivors, current residents of Destiny on the SyFy website? I am certain that would welcome it but as the writers, your team would have to provide it.

  19. for SGU Season 2 Will we see more of Jack O’Neill if you can get Richard Dean Anderson to come up and do some guest spots like he did for S1?

  20. Are we going to see the Destiny being launched at some point? It’d be pretty cool to see what it looked like with ancients running around preparing it for launch, how and where it was built, and what the ancients were like.

  21. Saw the Hour with Louis, it’s nice to see him outside of his acting. Other than noticing him in Dawn of the Dead, this is the first I’ve seen of him.

    The CBC site seems to have one of the best sites for streaming video. I suppose it’s because they split it into sections with those commercials, which aren’t terribly bothersome.

    Oh, I was wondering why/when the name change happened for SyFy? Am I correct in assuming it’s the same network as SciFi?

  22. Tammy Dixon – The hero is about to look like a whimp. I’m about to take him to the vet. His leg wound has swollen and filled with blood.

    das – Yeah, between the long flight and creepy crawly creatures I’m not sure this would be your ultimate holiday destination.

  23. I’ll take care of the cleaning crew for ya!!! Just got told I passed my black belt grading!.I now hold a 1st degree black belt in Taekwon-do (I’m telling the world!)

  24. Tina: Congrats, I just got my black belt in Shotakan! Woo-hoo!

    Narelle: Poor Ralph! Give him a hug for me please.


  25. Hi Joe,

    I’ve been wondering – what does sea cucumber taste like? And Sea urchin?

    Also, have you ever seen starfish on a menu? Presently studying them, and the question comes up more often than you’d think. As an experienced eater, I thought I’d ask you.



  26. Did everyone purchase their Stargate SG-1 ornament? The chevrons light up and there are lines from O’Neil, Carter, Jackson and Teal’C.

  27. Yeah, like I said when everyone was all “I’d love to live in a 4-star hotel forever”: I do not like having my spaces cleaned by someone other than me. Not at all!

    Ivon does look dreamy in that shot. Mmmm…

    @Joe: I remembered what I had forgotten! I was going to tell you to tell Ashleigh that she’s my favorite person. A couple months ago, I won a poster from Ming-Na, and Ashleigh was the one who sent it out. Yup, she and Ming-Na are my favorite people now! =D

  28. @das: good one!

    @ Narelle: I would really like to visit Australia some day, but every time you write about those Huntsman spiders I have second thoughts. I hope Ralphie is ok.

    @ Joe M: Sorry to hear about the damage to your bust by the heavy handed cleaning crew. Perhaps you could hire a high-level wizard to misenchant their brooms!

    The Misenchanted Sword, a barely coherent and rambling review:

    I liked it. Like Thornyrose, I enjoyed the “everyman” qualities of Valder and found him an engaging character. I thought the opening comedy of errors of Valder’s encounter with the wizard was fun and it drew me into the story. From the title, I knew that the wizard was going to screw Valder when he enchanted the sword, but had no idea just how. I thought the revelation of the sword’s magical characteristics was nicely done – first by Valder’s personal experience and then by the battlefield wizards’ analysis. And I loved the off-screen epic battle of gods and demons!

    One of the things I liked was how Valder grew as a person and faced the realities of aging and the prospect of aging without being able to die: a rather sobering concept for a fantasy novel. The only time that the story bogged down for me a little was toward the end when Valder is looking for a way to resolve that very problem. I liked Iridith. She seemed a nice, sensible woman who shared with Valder the quality of being unspoiled by power. Okay, she did make herself young again, but I can understand that. Who would really chose to stay in a 77-year-old body when they could return to their 20s or 30s? I found the ending satisfying – maybe I’m a bit of a romantic, but I can see how Iridith would find Valder appealing since he was pretty much the antithesis of the greedy, power-hungry people she had dealt with during her long life as a powerful wizard.

    The world the author created was coherent and believable. I felt like I didn’t have a complete understanding of the geography, but then, neither did our protagonist and since I was seeing the world though his eyes, it worked for me. I expect that if I read more of the “Legend of Esthshar” books, I’ll learn more about Esthshar and its neighbors.

    Overall, it was a very pleasant read: not overly complicated, but with enough unexpected twists to keep me guessing and entertained. And it ended happily ever-after!

    Questions and comments for Lawrence Watt-Evans:
    Thanks for stopping by to answer questions for us. I realize that you wrote The Misenchanted Sword more than twenty years ago, so if you don’t have answers to my questions I completely understand. After all, I can hardly remember what I had for breakfast most days.

    1. I really enjoyed the book! How did you come up with the idea of the sword and its effects? At first the whole thing seemed comical but as time went on the consequences of the “misenchantment” took a more serious turn. The idea of aging without being able to die is pretty grim.
    2. I loved the war being resolved off-stage, as it were. I thought it was a very unorthodox, but very effective, way to shift the focus away from the grand, historical scale and into the personal. If that makes sense…
    3. I’m probably being a bit dense and I hate having to ask someone to explain a joke but, since the hermit botched the Spell of True Ownership can Valder eventually get rid of Wirikidor? Not that he would want to now that he has eternal youth to go with his virtual immortality.

  29. Hi Joe,
    Congratulations on the second season.
    I live in Perth, Western Australia and have just recently seen ep 1 & 2 of SGU on free to air TV, I loved it. It is a refreshing change from the previous franchises.
    Will there be an ep on SGU similar to Vegas? That was one of my Favorites, The way the character was explored and the soundtrack made for a great ep. Two words explain that ep… Solitary Man!

  30. Joe, I know you have nothing to do with this but I want to express my opinion anyway. I think splitting up the season into two DVD box sets is lame. I would prefer waiting until the end of the season for one box set. I was introduced to SG-1 via DVD seasons and I think television seasons on DVD is the single best medium for storytelling. I guess its not that big of a deal but I don’t like having like six box sets for four seasons of Battlestar Galactica.

  31. @The same same “someone” who broke a glass in Lawren’s office and sought to cover it up by throwing it away in the garbage can at the far end of the hall.

    That shows a total lack of respect, as you said though if someone breaks something belonging to someone else the least they could do is apoligise, even if they were worried about their job, a simple sorry, although not perfect would at least remove a lot of the annoyance.

    I guess you just need to be alert as to who the clumsy cleaners are and fire them :3

  32. Ivon looks “not well” in that shot… a solid combo of an oncoming head cold and a dinner that was about 63% fat killed me by the time that shot was taken…

    I am only eating lettuce for the next week!

  33. I liked the Misenchanted Sword, it was a fun read, sign me up for Enral’s Eternal Youth Spell. Oh yeah and put me down for one of those bottomless bags too. I wondered what became of the wizard who enchanted the sword, and was thrilled that Valder met up with Iridith, and they lived happily ever after.. Could he and Iridith have kids, would they inherit the youth spell? just wondering.. This was a nice easy read, and I enjoyed it. thank you.

  34. @PBMom: where did you purchase the ornament from? Can you provide a link to the website please?

  35. You guys need nanny cams to catch the perps; would be interesting to see just what the heck they are doing to Lizard when you’re away.

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