Well, today was the day Jelly finally went in for that stem cell procedure I’m hoping will help her deteriorated hips and arthritic elbows.  At eleven, the poor gal can barely get around anymore, limping to and from her food bowl every morning and night, requiring my assistance to negotiate stairs, couches, and that lofty perch atop by bedroom pillow from where she surveys all the action.  For several years now she’s been taking glucosamine and chondroitin for her joints and metacam for the pain, and, on the advice of a fellow animal lover (thanks, Annie), I’ve special-ordered some Glyco-Flex chewables.  Still, despite the meds, she continues to stagger around stiffly like me the morning after I do lunges – so I’ve decided to try something called a “Vet-Stem regeneration cell procedure” that goes something like this:

Day 1: My vet collects a 10-50 ram sample of fat from the pet, usually from the belly area.  Fortunately for Jelly, she’s got more than enough to spare.  The fat tissue is then shipped overnight to the Vet-Stem lab in San Diego.

Day 2: The techs at Vet-Stem process the fat, extracting and concentrating the stem and regenerative cells, generally work their magic, then ship the treated cells back overnight.

Day 3: The stem and regenerative cells are injected into the problem areas – in Jelly’s case, her hips, shoulders, and elbows.

From what I’ve read, many dogs who have undergone the treatment see results within two days.  Some don’t and even if that turns out to be the case for Jelly, at least I’ll know I tried.  I’m not looking for a miraculous turn-around and certainly don’t expect to see her bounding up and down the stairs in a couple of weeks, but I am hoping she’ll be a lot more comfortable.

Jelly being comfortable.

Bubba getting into the laundry.

Bubba and Maximus (above), all smiles after a day at the spa.

Jelly, also all smiles as opposed to crabby Lulu...

Photobomb!

Maximus's "WTF's your problem?" look.

Bubba settles in all nice and comfy and then, when he hears the clatter of is dog dish, charges out to the kitchen, unplugging the laptops and bringing the router crashing to the floor.

Jelly this morning, enroute. She suspects something's up!

Yep, it's confirmed. Something IS up. She wasn't very happy when we got to the animal hospital.

Five minutes into my discussion with one of the techs, Jelly

casually ambles over the entrance as if to say “Okay, I’m ready

to go now.”

Definitely having trouble getting around.  Note the drag in her right hind paw…

Anyway, the harvesting of fat cells was done under general anesthesia this morning and it apparently went well.  They’ll keep her their overnight and then I’ll pick her up tomorrow afternoon.  She’ll spend the night at home and then, Thursday, she’s back (Oh, she’ll be thrilled to recognize that entranceway!) for the injections.

It will be interesting to chart her progress, if any.

Alastair Reynolds has already started on your questions.  If you go ’em, post ’em!  You have until Thursday after which you’ll have to live life resigned to not knowing the answer to that burning question!

And some House of Suns discussion:

bytehead writes: “I figured it was going to be some kind of mystery, but that certainly wasn’t the climax, so I really wouldn’t say the novel is a sci-fi mystery.”

Answer: I don’t know if I would call it a sci-fi mystery either, but the mystery element certainly drives the story as Campion and Purslane try to figure out who wants them dead and why.  In fact, the answer to both is a huge revelation, one that left me conflicted.  I could sympathize with the House of Suns, regardless of the extreme measures they deemed necessary to guard their secret.  And, believe it or not, I could also understand Cadence and Cascade’s desire for vengeance.

bytehead also writes: “As I was reading up to the climax (it is hard to actually claim what the climax is, but I think it would be opening up the star dam), I really didn’t understand where this book was going. Sometimes that’s a good thing, but I usually like to have an idea of at least the direction we’re going.”

Answer: The climax was certainly the opening of the star dam and subsequent encounter with the First Machines.  It was like two young siblings arguing, then trying to outrun each other to be the first one’s to tell dad their version of the story – only it turns out dad isn’t interested in their squabble and sends them on their way.  As for not understanding where the book was going, I thought it was pretty clear.  Campion and Purslane were able work out where the robots were headed and, eventually, why.

RebbbecaH writes: “I have to point out that it’s “Gentian”, not “Gentean”. Gentian is a flower, which explains why the Gentian Line is called the House of Flowers, and every cloned member has a plant name. That was the second thing that struck me. The first was that, at the beginning of the book, I thought it was going to be an Iain M. Banks Culture knockoff. Of course it wasn’t, though the universes are similar in some respects. Also, I believe the Line met every two hundredthousand years for the Thousand Nights of exchanging information.”

Answer: I stand corrected.

RebeccaH also writes: “It was more realistic to me that Reynolds didn’t bother to give the minor robots, ships, etc., personalities. They were merely smart robots, not sentient beings.”

Answer: And yet Hesperus had his own unique personality, one I really grew to like as the story progressed.

Mailbag:

Susan the Tartan Turtle writes: “So – Jamil has an outrageous wardrobe ? Are there any piccies available?”

Answer: How ’bout this one –

ytimynona writes: “I’ve been trying to find the Very Keller Mailbag you did (the whole post about how Jewel is frakking awesome)… it was so snarky and amazing and I was telling my friend about it today and now I can’t find it to link her to it… can anyone else find it?”

Answer: Elminster was kind enough to point you in this direction:

http://josephmallozzi.com/2008/09/02/september-2-2008-a-touch-of-evil-a-kellerific-mailbag-and-the-weird-food-purchase-of-the-day/

Dodoalda writes: “Where’s the next part of “pineapple diaries”?”

Answer: I’ll hold back on a couple because they contain spoilers for season two.  A few more are on the way and I’ll continue the interview format with Louis once he’s back from vacation.  We’ve got a lot of questions to cover…

Kymm writes: “I saw on CNN today that Paul (yes the octopus), is getting all kinds of offers for endorsements etc.”

Answer: I know.  I just saw him do a spot for the new Arby’s Jr. Deluxe.

susiekew writes: “best of luck to jelly! are you going to get her a little pug walker whilst she rehabs?”

Answer: Fondy picked her up a stroller a couple of years back.  It’s still sitting in the garage.  Hopefully it won’t come to that (ie. me turning into “the crazy dog guy” – although my writing partner, Paul, thinks I’m already there.).

Quade writes: “Joe, I don’t really want to get involved in the SG-movies debate, but you always reference the poor DVD sales. Has there been any discussion about theatrical releases for either?”

Answer: I don’t believe that’s an option.

Joseph writes: “Joe, I know you’re leaving after SGU, but are there any of the current writers who are interested or likely to stay on for a fourth Stargate series, if that happens?”

Answer: Believe it or not, the topic of a fourth Stargate series has never come up – and I don’t see it coming up anytime in the foreseeable future.

imadaman writes: “Joe, apparently Todd’s name in the upcoming Stargate Atlantis: Legacy book series from Fandemonium is “Guide”.
Can I ask your opinion on this: Do you like the name?”

Answer: I prefer “Todd”.

chevron7 writes: “@Kymm – I get that you were trying to be funny but I didn’t find that amusing at all.”

Answer: ???  I don’t see what was offensive about her comment.

77 thoughts on “July 13, 2010: This blog goes to the dogs! Again! Some House of Suns discussion! And the mailbag!

  1. Hey Joe,

    Thanks for answering my questions, I like those pictures of Jason, Especially the one with him jumping on the sofa. That one almost made me have to buy a new keyboard.

  2. Quade writes: “Joe, I don’t really want to get involved in the SG-movies debate, but you always reference the poor DVD sales. Has there been any discussion about theatrical releases for either?”

    joe/Answer: I don’t believe that’s an option.

    how about putting the movies on the syfy channel first? maybe do them as a mini series? (and then maybe put them on dvds?)

  3. All my best to Jelly, the poor old girl!

    So, season two spoilers in the next Pineapple Diaries? Weee…settles in to wait…

  4. I don’t know Joe, I would think a guy walking a dog with a tiny little mobility stroller would be a “babe magnet”. I’d think you would be extremely popular with everyone who saw you two (especially the ladies!). I know I’d have to stop and talk. (sweet little doggie and her very caring owner) Try it and see…

    Thanks for the Jelly updates. I’m going to take a peanut butter and Jelly sandwich to work tomorrow for lunch in her honor.

  5. Hope that Jelly feels better when it’s all over. Also looking forward to the next installment of the Pineapple Diaries.

  6. Ouch, I really shouldn’t look at anymore Jelly videos. It hurts me too much. I’ve got my fingers crossed and saying prayers that the procedure works! My vet is thinking of having the procedure done on herself, so the procedure must have something going for it.

    Great dog picces! Hey, didn’t you have router problems last year? When was that picture taken?

  7. Best of luck to Jelly, hope it all works out for her. I can imagine these kinds of things being extremely nerve wracking for owner and pet if anything because it’s an operation.

    Well I hope it all goes okay Joe.

  8. Oh Joe, I hadn’t seen that Blog about Jewel…. so so funny, I have been known to have those sort of days…. thanks for sharing it!
    All the Best to Jelly – totally deserves a tummy rub for that

  9. Jewel Staite is appearing on Warehouse 13 tonight! 🙂

    (If someone already mentioned this and I missed it, um…sorry. Move along, nothing more to see here.)

  10. That second picture of Jelly looks like she’s playing hide and seek… 1..2..3..4..5..

    At first I thought Bubba was wearing a babushka like a little old woman, but then I saw the other pics and realized it was a hipster neck bandana gone awry. But all he really needs is a pair of huge sunglasses, a cigarette in one of those long holders and a convertible and he could be a 50’s movie star.

    Ohhhhh Lulu is NOT happyyyyyyyy……… You may want to check your bed, for puddles, before you get into it. Just sayin’

    Jelly had pupster liposuction!! I hope she regains some of her former puppyish figure. She should, at the very least, get a bonus benefit for having to go under the anesthesia. Hopefully, that way she can have extra treats while in recovery and the weight issue would be a push. I really wish the stem cell injection has her show improvement, hopefully a lot!!

    So was Paul EATING the burger or was he IN the burger?

    I think you may be doomed to a lifetime of links to really scary food!! Whenever someone hears of a weird/unusual food, they think of you (I know that I do) and will let you know about it. Here’s another one for you, whale vomit. The video shows a close-up picture of it….. It’s part of a royal 300 course meal (yes, 300 not a typo).
    http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/Strange-News/Jelly-Chefs-Sam-Bompas-And-Harry-Parr-Recreate-Queen-Elizabeth-Banquet-At-Kenilworth-Castle/Article/201007115657669?lpos=Strange_News_Article_Related_Content_Region_1&lid=ARTICLE_15657669_Jelly_Chefs_Sam_Bompas_And_Harry_Parr_Recreate_Queen_Elizabeth_Banquet_At_Kenilworth_Castle

    Have a good one!!
    Kymm

  11. 1. Sending loads of good vibes and lovey hugs Jelly’s way!

    2. I prefer Todd, too. (And yet another reason not to read the books.)

    3. Joe, sorry I missed the mailbag – I had a quick question. Today at the weekly farm market I picked up some fresh-made macarons – first time ever trying them. They were simple – chocolate, lemon and strawberry – and sweet. Are all the macarons you get like that? Some of the ones you’ve had don’t seem to be flavors associated with sweets.

    das

  12. Joe, sending lots of good vibes for Jelly to get significant relief from this procedure, and to you while you wait and hope for the same – the hardest part, clearly. I’ll guess that most or maybe all of us have gone through something like this, and know that it’s a tough job.

    Thanks for sharing the photos of your fur-kids in their colorful bandanas. That makes my day. I hope that Kymm will be glad to see that Jelly had Mr. Ducky with her this morning, en route to the vet’s. *smiles*

  13. I hope this works wonders for her, Joe. Does she have two good front legs? If so, you know there are those doggie carts where their back legs are immobile and they power it with their front legs. Takes a little bit of training, but if this does not work (but fingers and toes crossed that it does) that may be an option if her front legs are still good.

    I think she and BamBam should get side-by-side beds so they can recuperate together.

    Personally I would have a difficult time leaving the vet. I don’t suppose they have overnight options there?

    Sending positive energy yours and Jelly’s way.

  14. Good luck to Jelly. I’ve seen those strollers. You should give it a try. Jelly would probably like it, although is an exercise program in the future? Do they do rehab in these situations? Don’t worry, I’m a crazy cat lady. I’d do just about anything for my fur friends.

    Waiting in anticipation for more Pineapple Diaries. I’m really liking his responses to questions. The outfit makes the video though.

  15. Good luck to Ms Jelly. I hope the procedure works. I think it’s great that you’re willing to give it a shot. When Dion was diagnosed with cancer and I made an appointment with an oncologist to find out if we had any options, a friend of mine said, “Oh, Riley. You’re so cute.” All I could think was, “Spot the person who’s never had an animal in their life.” I felt sorry for her that she had never known what it was like. I am saddened by people who intimate that it’s stupid that people are willing to ‘waste’ serious money on what is ‘just a cat/dog’.

    Great pics of the dogs today. Very cute.

  16. @Das I’m catching up on the blogs here since Friday and I saw you can’t take ibuprofen. You might ask them for something called Voltaren Gel. It works wonders (like I’d like to sit in a vat of it 4 times a day) and it goes instantly to the problem area(s) without any of the GI side effects. Just in case you need something better than aspirin.

  17. riley – I had a ‘friend’ say to me when we were spending thousands on Ralph, “You need to look at whether this is worth it Narelle”. I asked her if she would spend thousands to get her child better. She looked at me like I was nuts. “Of course I would.” Tried to explain to her that something doesn’t have to be from your own blood to want to do all you can to save their life. She didn’t get it. But then again, I’d like to adopt a child rather than bring another into this world. She thinks that’s crazy too. Label me crazy then. I’m fine with it.

  18. Hi Joe, I love the photo of Jelly in the car, she’s really a beauty, and what an expressive face! You know we have her in our thoughts, looking forward to nothing but good news!

  19. Everybody is always getting offended by something. Its the state of being human apparently.

    Good luck to Jelly.

  20. My heart melted watching Jelly struggle to walk.. yeah I noticed the right back leg.. even more hugs to the beautiful gal xxxxxxoooooooooo

    Can you post some more vids of her after the treatment so we can see if the stem cell treatment is working??

    ewww @ Metacam.. I had some for my rats. That stuff stinks. How do you get Jelly to take it?

  21. Hi Joe,

    Oooooh! Puppy pics! But that vid of Jelly is painful, poor little girl! I echo everyone else here wishing Jelly a quick and positive result from her procedure, for her sake and yours.

    Loving the Pineapple Diaries! Maybe SG needs a Q&A vid booth, like Real World’s Confessional, where actors and production staff could drop by for a little video face time with the fans, answer questions, sneak us advance scoop, and start playful little rumors. 😉

    Smiles, Julie

  22. Awwwww. Poor Jelly. My prayers for the baby girl on her procedure. I’m sure she’ll get plenty of nummies and belly rubs after it’s all done.

  23. Love the dog pictures. Hoping for the best with the treatment. The old gal deserves a little , no make that a lot, of relief from the constant discomfort. You’ve earned beaucoup brownie points for your next reincarnation and/or afterlife for taking such good care of her.
    Really really got to read the BotM club, even if it’s too late for discussion. The comments are whetting my appetite.
    Here’s something for people in the New York area to consider for the upcoming weekend. If I’d known about this before the con last weekend, I’d have altered my plans to build in a run up north. And why didn’t you tell us of the man’s singing abilities?

    http://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Robert_Davi_Headlines_A_Tribute_to_a_Legend_Davi_Sings_Sinatra_At_Hofstra_718_20100706

    Thanks for taking the time to put up such a photo laden post.

  24. Hope your dog feels better soon. if it makes u feel better my dog bites the doc when we take him to see the vet.

  25. @Joe & Jelly – You are in my prayers. Best wishes on the new treatment. May it bring Jelly a new lease on life. Thanks for the picures of the dogs.

    Peace & Love,

    j

  26. @Elminster and Joe: Thanks a million! Passed it on and my BFF is quite impressed…she thought *she* was snarky! 😉

  27. Questions for Mr. Reynolds:

    1. Given your background in the field of science, is it safe to assume you were a fan of science fiction prior to embarking on your career in the genre? If so, do you have any favorite SF authors (or non-genre writers) who either inspired you? Did you have any favorites growing up?

    2. Given the obvious thought and care that went into House of Suns, I imagine you’re a fairly discerning viewer when it comes to science fiction on the big screen. Are there any movies that came out in the past twenty years or so that you feel got it right?

    3. At what point did you decide to give up your day job of the day and night job of a full-time writer? Ever regret the decision?

  28. Wishing all the best for Jelly! What’s Carl’s favorite dish at Chili’s? I live a stones-throw from Chili’s and can check the menu. Love Louis and his pineapple diaries!

  29. My very best for a successful treatment for Jelly. Thanks for the great pics. I love dogs and hate to see them suffer. I’ve been giving my 14 year old blue healer mix MSM. It seems to be working better than Gluc/Cong. I’ve been using it too for my knee and jaw problems and I’ve notice a big improvement.

    Will be anxiously waiting for the (good) news 🙂

  30. Joe, do you ever feel like the show has lost something in it’s link to Earth mythologies, or would you consider that more of an SG-1 theme than a franchise one?

  31. Lots of good wishes for Jelly!

    And as for being the “crazy dog guy” — You might already be close to that, but nothing wrong with that so long as you take good care of all the furry friends. 🙂

    – KB

  32. Why are you not a fan of ascended visits? Morgan Le Fay was awesome in my humble opinion. Wish she got more screentime for sure.

  33. E writes: “What SGA episode are you talking about? Only similar title is “Submersion”.”

    Answer: Right. Submersion.

    Sweet! Do I get a gold star now?

    (Sorry, I’ve been using that Young’s expression way too often. 😛 )

    Best of luck to Jelly. I hope everything goes well. 🙂

  34. Debra, so sorry for the recent loss of your Rottie dog. It’s so hard when it is “time.” I am without my favorite breed (or any dog) right now, too.

    Joe, what a good dog father…and you did send a favorite toy with her, too. 🙂 Hang in there, Jelly! Help is on the way.

    The video will be great for before-and-after purposes. Watching it was really painful for a couple reasons, though. (No disrespect for Jelly’s pain!) It reminded me of my late Samoyed grrl’s gait. She was eaky and creaky, but would often fall splat on the floor, especially the vet’s slippery floor. Kudos to Jelly for staying up on all her pins. I just wanted to scoop her up and carry her where she needed to go.

    Annie, good call on the Glyco-Flex chew treats. The customer reviews are very positive, especially for one dog after knee replacement surgery. (Link below.)

    http://www.entirelypets.com/3glycoflex2.html

    Narelle, I’m with you (though pet health insurance will definitely be considered next time). When you love a member of the family, two-legged or four-legged, and you’re responsible for their life, you do everything you can. The decision is made the first day they come home.

    I’m still paying on the vet bill for my departed doggie grrl, but it’s almost done. It bought her, me, us, another valuable year together. If she still had the spirit and willingness to try, I was going to give her that chance. The vet hospital let me visit her twice a day, and that probably tipped the balance in our favor. She wouldn’t eat for them, but she did for her “mom.” My beautiful Sammy grrl rallied, and they released her to come home. It was a miracle, and her “grandma” and “grandpa” (a.k.a. sassy Dad) were as overjoyed as I was.

    Unconditional love is priceless.

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    Your Daddy loves you, Jelly! And so does your blog family. 🙂

  35. Question for Mr. Reynolds:

    I remember reading somewhere that you were a firm believer that we are alone in the universe. Given your scientific background what lead you to this belief? How do you respond to people who think there are so many stars and planets that there surely must be life out there somewhere?

    Thanks!

  36. Wishing Jelly a speedy recovery and a happy outcome! But either way, she’s still such a spunky little girl, and I can’t help but think how much fun she’d have seeing the neighborhood with her ears flapping in the wind and you to jogging behind her stroller.

  37. PS did anyone else (Besides me and Gen) see Jewel and Sean (Maher, also of Firefly) in Warehouse 13 tonight. [Sorry Canada, apparently you don’t get it. 🙁 ]

    Here’s hoping Jelly feels better soon!!! 😀

    Thanks for the dog pix, Joe! Like Scalzi with his cats, they’re one huge reason some of us stick around! 😉

    😉

  38. Weird! Could you see the words I put inside the ?

    I swear I learn something new about HTML every day! 😀

  39. 2 days with no pineapple diary ? did Louis Ferreira give up on them already ❓ 😀

  40. Even if Paul is right and you’re already at crazy dog guy level, at least you’re doing everything you can for your pets and not neglecting them like so many others sadly do. Kudos and hope it works for Jelly!

    Lotta questions about a 4th season seem to be popping up, and you keep saying there’s been no discussion about one. When were SGA and SGU thought up and then actually developed?

  41. @ Das – I’m curious about the macaron thing as well…

    When I was in Toronto, last week, I had my first macarons. I bought about 12 flavours at 3 different patisseries. At two of the places they were really sweet (and yet rather tasteless) except for the cassis flavour at Nadege (lovely). The third place, La Bamboche, is reputed to have the best macarons in the city. They all had quite a tart filling, which contrasted nicely with the sweetness of the meringue shell. They were delicious and were definitely my favourite. Well, except for the lavender, I did chuckle after the first bite, it tasted like how I imagined my bathwater would taste. (I’ll sometimes put in a few drops of lavender essential oil to help me ‘relax’).
    But yes, I was also wondering if they are ‘supposed’ to be sweet, or if these were an anomaly. I wonder if it would also depend on the flavour… Although, Das, you tried the lemon and if one was going to be tart, you would think that lemon would be it.

    @ Otros Ojos – Too funny, I had actually already looked to see if that was Mr. Ducky, and am sure it’s not. I can’t remember my name half the time, but I can remember that Mr. Ducky isn’t pink. *shakes head* I’m glad Jelly has a toy to help soothe her. Although I think Joe may need the soothing more than Jelly does. The procedure sounds safe, but one can’t help worrying about the lil’ furries, perhaps a good stiff drink… or some chocolate… or a phone call home to Mom… or all three (maybe not in that order).

    In general, I’m personally not overly fond of time travel episodes, they’re usually a total mind $%# for me. The SGU episode of Time, I was all wha????? Hopefully, if it sticks for Eureka, it will be relatively self-explanatory and I can forgo the remedial class *smiles*

    @ ytimynona – No, I don’t get Warehouse 13 in the part of Canada where I live. However, I have a couple of kick butt indexing websites for online viewing. I hate to miss out on anything….

    @ J Chris Tucker – I believe that today’s question pertained to a fourth Stargate series, not a fourth SGU season, but I may have misunderstood. A couple of weeks ago, Joe was asked if they had done high-level planning for the years following SGU’s Season 2. The answer was yes, but for some unknown reason he declined to share it with us. Go figure!! *wink*

    Kymm

  42. I’m keeping Jelly in my prayers. How you treat the animals in your family says a lot about a person.

    @ytimynona

    I saw Warehouse 13! Loved it, it was nice to see ‘Kaylee’ and ‘Simon’ together.

  43. Kymm & Joe – I’m not offended, I just thought it wasn’t cool to insinuate that Ivon would deliberately hit Joe. I realise IB wouldn’t even blink at it but I honestly felt it went way further than Joe’s joke (which I found funny ‘cos you guys are friends and joke around). That’s all. 🙂

    Cheers, Chev

  44. All my best for Jelly and her recovery! I really hope things work out well and the procedure works. She’s a lucky dog to have such a caring and responsible caretaker. (I hate using the word “owner” with pets. They’re living things not some kind of chattel.)

  45. Aww…been thinking about Jelly and BamBam today…hope their respective procedures and surgeries are successful.

    I’m glad Jelly stayed overnight. My cat had to be sedated at the Vet’s office several months ago. It was heartbreaking when I picked her up a few hours later and took her home. She was awake enough to lift her head but had no control over her body. She crashed into the cat carrier so I had to take her out. She kept trying to get up and walk but couldn’t and didn’t understand what was wrong. I ended up nursing her in my arms for hours. She wasn’t being treated for anything serious, she is terrified of other people and attacks the vet each time we go, no matter how many warnings I give them. I think we’re on a blacklist.

    *hugs Jelly*

    Thanks for all dog pic spam Joe. You should get some spiral cable wrap – available at any electronics store. Would clean up those cables nicely and protect you from unnecessary router purchases.

    Cheers, Chev

  46. My sister-in-law recently bought a stroller for her chihuahua. I think she needs an intervention.

    Good luck to Jelly–we’ll keep our fingers crossed for her.

  47. Das: I missed the reference to Todd yesterday? Good health vibes going toward your crappy tunnel.

    Narelle: You are way to young for back pain! I don’t know what medical condition you have. Someone suggested Voltaren, I use that for my Arthritic hands. It works very well. I get bouts of Sciatica in my back. Rest doesn’t work well for the sciatic pain I have but exercise works wonders. Mainly exercises that stretch the back muscles. You’ve probably tried everything, though. Good luck and I hope your back is better today!
    As for pet care, I’m an odd ball in the pet health care community. I believe in euthanasia when a pet is in a lot of pain and they have no good quality of life, then it’s “time”. In euthanasia, the pet is given an overdose of an anesthetic and if done correctly, they don’t feel any pain. I believe, in what is best for the “pet” and try to remove myself from the equation. Although, I know what a hard decision it is to make, either way. So I try not to make any judgments and respect all.
    As for Ralph, he was so young and still had great chances for recovery! I’m glad you stuck with him!
    Adoption: great idea but I hope the Aussie laws make more sense than the U. S. laws. I’ve heard some adoption nightmares here. The bio parents get all the rights, it seems, screw what is best for the kid. When a friend tried to adopt her foster child after two years of no contact with any bio relatives, the grandmother would put a protest in (just in time). After a year, she finally gave up adoption procedures and kept being his foster parent. Of course, the bio relatives faded back in under a rock.

    for the love of Beckett: you made me tear up over your story.

    Debra: So sorry for your loss.

    Yes, Jelly comes home today!!!!!! Lots of treats for her!

  48. Hello there,

    I continue to read your blog every morning.

    A forth instalment for Stargate… I do not know why to dream of it. One serie of 10 years (!) and 2 spinn-offs is more than any other TV show never had. ( Farscape deserves a fifth season that it never happen) It is a business at first and I agree with you, I can not imagine a reason for MGM to do so.

    And about a film, I think that we must forget it for the very simple reason that the author of the idea ( the original film) has been wise enough to keep his copyrights on it and it is to expensive to buy it.

    Have a nice day and continue your good work.

    P.S.: Since one month we are watching all episodes of Stargate era that we have. Just finished Atlantis season 3-5 and begin SG1 season 7-8-9-10 tonight. Our children are thinking to ask a psychiatrist to come home to help us to stop our addiction…

  49. Hi Joe,
    I really enjoy reading your blog.

    In preparation for SGU, did you ask the recurring cast members to watch/study SG1/SGA to prepare for their roles?

    I am curious about how much it costs to produce an episode of SG1/SGA/SGU. I have never read anywhere what the average total would be but have heard on the DVD commentaries many references by producers and directors to cost saving measures. Just curious….

    From this point forth, can we impose a moratorium on your website on the usage of the neologism “frak” and any of its permutations?

    Having followed your blog for some time now, I understand that you love Japan. What are your feelings about China? Other than Hong Kong, have you been to mainland China?
    By the way, I went to Hutong, too. The best Chinese restaurant I have ever been too, and the laser light show on the Island during dinner is pretty awesome.

    Thanks for your responses.
    Nick

  50. @Nicholas T – no frakking way – that’s my vote 😉

    What does everyone else think?

    Cheers, Chev

  51. Drive-by posting…

    Quickie @ Tammy Dixon – I missed it, too, it seems – the comment about Todd is in today’s mailbag. Of course, I kinda have Todd on the brain. And Steve. And Bob. And…oh, you get the idea! Still love those guys, and just wish there was still some serious Wraith discussion going on, instead of all the thunking. Oh well…

    Quickie @ Kymm – All mine where sweet (which I expected, considering the flavors). However, if memory serves me right, I think Joe has had some crazy-flavored macarons, including foie gras. It’s that sort of thing I’m wondering about – are the odd flavors sweet, even when those flavors are not normally associated with sweet things?

    Gotta run! ZOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!

    das

  52. Aww, such a cute puppy! I’ll be praying that his treatment results go well! I had a similar dog in the family, we loved that pup!

    I do have one suggestion for SGU, is there anyway that we might see a Pegasus Gate attempt to connect to destiny? After all, the pegasus galaxy is somewhat closer to destiny, therefore the power requirements might be lower.

    Also since the gate is essentialy a 2.0 model, perhaps it is designed to more efficiantly connect to the destiny?

    Or perhaps I’m just a fanboy that would like to see a pegasus gate use all nine chevrons… 🙂

    Later!

  53. Poor lil’ Jelly! She must be so sad to be away from home, but I hope she’ll get healthy and come away with a bounce in her step. Just think, the tech for manipulating stem cells seemed futuristic back in the day, and now Jelly is getting space age health care. And I’m certain most of us will have the same procedure done in our old age.

    Question for Alastair Reynolds: The Gentians chronicled the rise of fall of different civilizations who precipitated their own through conflicts driven by greed, imperialism and fascist ideology while remaining above the fray.

    Will the Shatterlings now escalate the war among the different Lines in future books because they’ve succumbed to the behavior of lesser cultures who perished through infighting?

    And is there are warning in your book for our own civilization about causing our own demise through wars, greed and rigid ideologies?

  54. poor Jelly, hopefully it works out.

    The pics of the dogs are my favorite, although some of the Carl pics are pretty good. Let’s see more Maximus pics aswell, I always laugh when I see him with his mouth open like he is chuckling at the crazy dog guy with the camera always stuck to his face!

    Also can you let the dogs know to start updating their twitter account more often. Thanks.

  55. Out of curiosity, just how old are all your pugs? And how many do you have now? I seem to have lost count, and would you ever get a cat? 🙂

  56. Joe
    Glad to hear you and Paul’s comic book series is comming along fine. As big a comic fan as I am what are my chances of getting the very first issue of your Comic Book Series autographed to me by yourself and Paul??….I’ll mail it to you with a self stamped envelope…

  57. @Debra: So very sorry for the loss of your beautiful dog.

    @for the love of Beckett: You’re aces in my book, kiddo 🙂

  58. @ Kymm

    Well, I know that you have a better eye than I do, so thanks for your kind correction on that not being Mr. Ducky. – Yes, good for Jelly to have something familiar and soothing . . . And I’m smiling over your list of possible soothing agents for Joe, although a tad ruefully from past experience as a pet parent. So true, one can’t help worrying.

    I have to LOL over your comment on time-travel episodes. For me, much of sci-fi is a total mind $%&#. I take in what science (or quasi- or pseudo-science) I can the first time around, but almost always wind up in the remedial class. I usually don’t mind. (yeahhh riiight, i thrive on things like not being able to tell good guys’ fighter craft from bad guys – “what am i to do, cahn’t help eet” – best marlene dietrich impression)

    Ooooh, I read “patisserie,” and now I’m drooling. (Good thing it’s lunchtime.) – Lucky you! Sweets, scented bathwater – gonna have to do the “home spa” thing this weekend. *sighs happily* – You’ve got great ideas, chica. *g*

  59. Das: thanks for pointing it out in mailbag! I’ve read 10 or so SGA books and love them. Of course, I haven’t read any with Todd in them yet. I do prefer the name, Todd. All of the SGA books I’ve read take place when Weir is still in charge.

    Mr. M: You are so right about Jelly’s next trip to the vet. She will probably suspect, the minute she gets in the car. Poor girl. I’m sorry she has to go through this but the results may be sooo worth it!

  60. Happy Bastille Day!

    @Debra – so sorry about your rottie

    @Nicholas T: WTFrak are you worried about a little frelling word play, particularly if it keeps the dren down to a minimum. Feldercarp, this is standard SciFi invective, so if you don’t like it, just ignore it – don’t be a smeghead. 😉
    Just playing with you, Nick – welcome to the playroom!

    BTW, I remember some of those choice words from Farscape, BSG, and Red Dwarf – can anyone else remember alternatives from other shows?

    Is it macaron or macaroon? Or are they two different sweets?

    Smiles, Julie

  61. I’m hoping the best for Jelly. I hate to see an animal in pain. On one positive note, she felt well enough to check out who else had been in the clinic (sniffing all the planters).

    I hope you’re not irritated at my “corrections”. Sometimes I don’t put things as tactfully as I could. It’s just that I thought those were important points.

    Also, I did make a distinction between the minor service robots, like ships, and the Machine People (i.e., Hesperus), regarding Alastair Reynolds’ decision not to give the minor ones personalities. It think it was far less distracting to have the minor machines just be machines, while the Machine People were characters in their own right (and Hesperus was my favorite).

  62. AWWWWW LOVE the pup pix!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG animals just know, my poor bird is really hating riding in the car, pukes all the time. ugh!

    Hoping this all works out for Miss Jelly, watching that video was painful. Hugs to you Jelly. muh!

    @Debra so sorry to hear about your loss

  63. @Tammy – Agree re euthanasia. You’re correct about a person’s right to choose. My dog before Jack, I stayed with him as they put him to sleep. Heart breaking, but it was the kindest thing we could do considering the pain he was in. Having watched my Gran suffer over days of extreme pain knowing there was no hope and trying to be calming to her while she gasped her final breaths made me wonder why we euthanase a dog out of kindness but have to let our human family suffer so badly.

    Ralph was only 3 months old when he had his first major surgery so there was no way we were giving up on him. Ralph is my Husband’s first dog and he would give his left arm (he’s a leftie) before giving up on Ralph.

    My back pain is related to the sports I did when I was younger. I do a lot of things to help maintain it but there’s the odd day, especially cold days, where it can seize up badly. Yesterday was one of those days. It finally released at about 4pm and I hadn’t realized until then that I’d also lost a lot of circulation in my legs. There’s only so much you can do for yourself when you’re at work and on a deadline though.

    @FTLOB – I hope you have another bundle of fluff in your life again soon 🙂

    Time to walk into another meeting.

  64. @ JulieAloha – Yup, two totally different things. A Macaroon is an easy homemade treat, made with chocolate and coconut. In my neck of the woods, we also call them haystacks. Here’s a picture of a chocolate Macaroon.
    http://www.cookiemadness.net/cookinglightchocmacaroons.jpg

    Macaroons can also be plain coconut. I don’t know too much about these ones, my family has always preferred the chocolate ones. Here’s a picture of a coconut Macaroon.
    http://www.egglesscooking.com/images/macaroons/eggless-coconut-macaroons-big.jpg

    A Macaron is a delicate French creation, to make things more confusing, it can actually also be pronounced macaroon. They come in a vast multitude of flavours and qualities, hence the hunt for the perfect Macaron LOL. They have a meringue shell that is both chewy and yet has a crispy/crunchy outer shell. They are sandwiched together and filled with a variety of fillings depending on the flavour of the outer shell. They are apparently very difficult to make (26 steps or some such crazy number) and they actually teach day classes on how to make a ‘proper’ Macaron. Here’s a picture of a selection of Macarons.
    http://www-static.weddingbee.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/14/macaron01.jpg

    Hope that helps!!
    Kymm

  65. @ytimynona
    I had forgotten about the Warehouse 13 ep until it was almost over and tuned in to see the last few minutes. This because Jewel and Sean Maher were in it and I loved them from Firefly!
    I hadn’t seen an ep since the Joe Flanigan one last season, I still don’t think it’s a show for me – too corny and that younger gal, the sarcastic one, is a bit too over the top with her attitude for me to want to watch again.
    But I did enjoy the brief glimpse of Sean and Jewel 🙂

  66. Joe I really liked reading House of Suns, it was hard to put it down. Thanks to Mr Reynolds for writing it. Are we sure for certain that Hesperus is gone? I enjoyed his character. The time dialation torture, very effective, I could feel it slicing and dicing..ouch.. worse than fingernails on a blackboard. Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed reading Mr Reynolds book and will certainly be looking for some more of his books, thank you.

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