Every one in a while I like to check out the blog stats on this site to find a little more about you, the readers.  For instance, what were the most popular referrer links to this blog over the past few days? (http://michaelshanks-online.com/news/index.shtml and http://forum.gateworld.net/threads/72174-Sam-Carter-Jack-O-Neill-Ship-Appreciation-Thread-2.0/page659)  What was my top post of the month? (July 15, 2010: Atlantis crossover? Which).  And, my favorite – What were some of the search engine terms used to find this blog?  The most popular ones tend to be “Julia Benson” and “Elyse Levesque”, but it’s the not-quite-as-popular ones that never fail to amuse.  Some of the more noteworthy of these logged over the past couple of days:

“elyse levesque hot” (15 views)

“cowgirls” (6 views)

“old industrial shacks” (4 views)

“a liquor that ends with oo” (3 views)

“chicken morsels” (3 views)

“gilligan’s hat” (3 views)

“bubba from bubba beyond underwear” (2 views)

“trail of breadcrumbs” (2 views)

“gene simmons tongue” (2 views)

“sesame balls” (2 views)

Come for the industrial shacks.  Stay for the adorable dog pics…

Lulu

Bubba

Jelly

Maximus. The serious one.

Well, back at it tomorrow.  I’ll be on set for the 7:00 a.m. crew call (ish.  The doggy daycare doesn’t open until 7:00) and the first scene up after hiatus. Alas, I’ve misplaced the call sheet I received four weeks ago, but I’m pretty sure we’re shooting something from episode 9 (on the airing schedule, episode 12 on the production schedule).  In the downtime between shots, I’ll no doubt be working on those final few pages of my script, The Hunt, which I seem to have stalled out on near the end of Act IV.  I foresee a lot of pacing/running of dialogue on Stage 4 over the next several days.  At some point, I’m also going to have to find time to head over to post and visit Mike so we can lock Resurgence, episode 1o.  Provided, that is, we receive those network notes.  However, my thinking is no news is good news and they probably felt my cut was perfection and doesn’t require any tinkering.

Tonight, I’m going to try to answer that SFSignal Mind Meld question JP Frantz sent my way the other day: “Comic books have been garnering more public attention in recent years due to the massive popularity of many superhero based based films. And while superhero comics and science fiction are kindred genres, not every SF fan has read a comic. What comics should a science fiction fan read?”.  I’ve got seven recommendations so far and would like to round it out to an even ten.  You can read my response later this week at SFSignal.com

35 thoughts on “August 8, 2010: Blog stats! Dogs! And back to work!

  1. @DP – Congratulations and Happy Birthday to Grace!

    @Riley – plz tell Narelle we miss her!

    @Das – the Wraith clone themselves, right? So they don’t actually need anything anatomically reproductive down there (although the wraith Queens still have breasts, and if wraith don’t breed the “old fashioned way,” where the heck did Ellia come from?)

  2. G’day Joe

    We had our official opening of the new playground at my kids school and there was CAKE!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Jack O’Neill would be proud!

    Take care of those woofers.
    Janet

  3. Joe I just wanted to say while I am a big stargate fan, one of the main reasons I come to blog besides stargate is that I love the dog pictures. Keep posting them. Love them. 🙂

  4. What do you think an old industrial shack is used for…and why might one google that.

    Dear Joe.

    Please share your chocolate chip cookie recipe.

    Love Tim.

  5. Okay, it is officially Monday where I live, so here is what Operation Patrick is about (Short version): I’ve fired the school district and told them I’m putting him in private school and would be coming back, after a time, to go to due process to seek reimbursement for expenses. My husband was saying he could just see them all celebrating that they finally got rid of us, that they won. I said, “If that is the case, then how sad for Patrick since it would confirm that it has always been just about them and never about him.”

    All of this still is very delicate in the balance of how he is actually going to get to be in private school at $4800 a month (yes, please gasp now, more than our combined pay), and I cannot go into details because the district still might be googling me, so I just ask for prayers (if you believe) or good energy (if that is your thing) for all of this to work out for him.

    It was a very strange feeling in the pit of my stomach the morning I was about the send out the registered mail letters (since I needed a signature that they were received). I wasn’t sure if this is what one feels before they leave an abusive spouse (because you do not know life any other way), or if part of this was that we were doing a John Sheridan in the Babylon 5 series where we jump off the cliff and hope that we fly, or maybe a mix of both.

    If anyone would like the more lengthy story, you can pop over to my blog for the details: http://community.myfoxhouston.com/pbmom/blog/2010/08/09/operation_patrick_freedom

    Thank you awesome people for supporting us. We love you.

  6. Have fun back on set tomorrow, Joe, and thanks for the dog pictures. Hope Jelly continues her forward progress. I have shared with so many people I’ve told of your success story.

  7. The time has come for you finally post an industrial shack pic. The fans demand it (all four of them)!

  8. Coucou Joseph!

    ça va bien? moi oui, j’ai passé une super semaine!!! Mais hier j’ai un peu trop manger, j’ai des douleurs à l’estomac affreuse depuis hier….

    Dans 20 jours j’emménage à Paris, j’ai peur de ne pas me faire à la vie parisienne…enfin on verra bien.

    Je suis torp impatiente de venir à Vancouver, j’ai dèjà de l’argent de côté!

    Merci pour ces photos, vos chiens sont fun!

    Gros bisou!!!

  9. My hubby used to keep a computer blog (with some personal stuff). When he looked at engine searches, he was amazed that his most popular blog was the time he made cat towers (at my request) for the humane society. They WERE awesome cat towers. 😀

    PBmom: prayers going to you and to the school board, so they will stop being so spiteful!

    Thanks for the dog pictures!

    Riley: say hi to Narelle for us!

  10. AWWWWWW!! Love your baby doggies! 😀 Looks like Lulu, Bubba and Jelly are giving you the rasberry! LOL! I think poor Maximus could use a nap. 😀

  11. @PBMom – Just wanted to say I was praying for you. I read your blog and was struck by some of the similarities to what I had heard from my brother-in-law who has two autistic children. They have really had to fight for what these children need. And even though my children are not autistic, public school was not the place for them either. We’re starting our fifth year of homeschooling next week, and I can say that both of them are thriving. I’ll be thinking of you.

  12. @ JulieAloha – Ah, Wraith reproduction – my favorite topic!! 😀

    Yes, the show did suggest that some Wraith are produced through cloning – in Spoils of War we saw the cloning of the masked soldiers. One of the writers (Alan, maybe) speculated that the higher (‘faced’) Wraith may be cloned as well, that’s why so many looked alike (which is an okay ‘excuse’ for using the same actor over and over again to portray different Wraith who all just happen to look alike).

    We also know that Wraith ‘hatch’ from pods. This is shown in Spoils of War, as well as suggested by comments Michael made to the pregnant Teyla in Search and Rescue: “I can’t imagine carrying a child inside of you is very comfortable.” The way he says it indicates that in utero pregnancy is foreign to Wraith. It wouldn’t be very practical, either, considering the number of queens, as well as their disposition: Can you imagine a queen being inconvenienced by a pregnancy for months on end? I sure can’t. Also, since they are evolved from insects and live in a hive society, it makes more sense that their young develop outside the womb – in cells, or ‘pods’, much like bees and wasps.

    Still, as you point out, there is Ellia. As I understand it, Ellia was originally supposed to be a young male Wraith, but later changed to female to elicit more sympathy from the audience. This suggests that not all Wraith are cloned adults, and that some do come about through natural Wraith reproduction. This is also alluded to in Spoils of War, when the commander tells the Queen: “You have done well. The second batch of warriors is flawless. We now have a suitable genetic template with which to proceed to the next phase.”

    One would assume that the ‘next phase’ is the cloning, suggesting that the ‘suitable genetic template’ is a naturally-produced Wraith. We know from the episode that the Queen’s DNA is extracted through ‘tendrils’, indicating that only her DNA was being used to produced the ‘suitable genetic template’. However, one of the writers (Alan, again…mebbe) thought that male DNA played a role in the production of the more intellectually advanced Wraith.

    Interestingly, in the hymenoptera order of insects (bees, wasps, ants), males are produced from unfertilized eggs (1 set of chromosomes – haploid), while females are produced from fertilized eggs (2 sets of chromosomes – diploid). However, some diploid males CAN be produced from fertilized eggs, especially in the case of inbreeding between close relatives (siblings, for instance).

    Now…I don’t assume the writers looked into any of this, but it still works well to explain Wraith reproduction for those of us (me!) who need their fictional reproduction to make some sort of scientific sense in the real world. So, if we use the reproduction of bees, wasps, and ants as a scientific guide, then we could say that less advanced male soldiers are produced using only the Queen’s DNA from unfertilized egg cells (haploid). Between this and cloning, it would explain their greater numbers in the hive. So, if the male ‘drones’ are produced from unfertilized eggs, then – based on hymenoptera reproduction – the Queens must be produced from fertilized eggs (diploid). But then what about the higher, more intelligent male Wraith? Well, again looking at hymenoptera biology, these ‘diploid’ males could also come from fertilized egg cells, the result of close inbreeding within hives. This could also explain why they look more like Queens than the soldiers (having beautiful faces and luxuriant hair, for instance 😀 ).

    That all said, the big, unanswered question is this: how do Wraith eggs get fertilized? Is it through actual physical mating, or through some other means like the external fertilization common in many species of fish. Since Wraith are not fish, external fertilization seems unlikely, but at the same time physical mating would leave a queen vulnerable to nasty throat slitters, like Todd. 🙂 I could see male DNA extraction similar to what we saw in Spoils of War as a possibility (especially if my crotch Cthulhu theory is correct! :D), but I am still way up in the air about it. Perhaps Joe could share his speculations with us in this regard.

    das

  13. Hi Joe,

    It’s been a while since i’ve made a comment in here, couldn’t be helped,, with holidays and kids getting out of school, thank god they are going back in 3 weeks,, lol

    Anyway, main reason why i popped in was, i was wondering about ur pugs,,, where u got them? I got a beagle now and she’s 9 yrs old. I want to keep my eyes and ears open for another dog incase anything happens. Though note, i have an autistic child who had a bad experience with a dog, so having Angel in the house is a huge success and big step for our son. Or do u have another suggestion on a small, very quiet dog that don’t jump around too much??

    Karen

  14. Aw, puppers.

    I have been offline mentally, didn’t realize I’m a week behind.

    When did Howie Mandel become Lou Ander’s alter-ego?

  15. That’s a pretty good question. For myself as a SF fan, comic books came later because I watched cartoons on TV & scifi movies first, and wasn’t allowed to buy comics of any kind, not even Archie- had to sneak them from friends. Yet I was allowed to read them in the newspaper! My parents were so nuts with their rules!! Anyway… My first awareness of any “genre” was definitely horror, then scifi, then mystery, then it all started rolling together 😉
    DD

  16. @DP – Congratulations!!!!

    @Deni – c’mon doesn’t everyone kiss Christmas trees???

    Ok here it goes, just so y’all don’t think I am totally whacked. We all pamper our pets, right? and we’ll do whatever it takes to whatever done. Christmas is pure he** for my bird, but life goes on and she gets over it. She does not like the color red, so what’s Christmas w/out red??? Anything new or “foreign” in the house can cause “stress.” Now I love my bird, but I ain’t not celebrating Christmas because she’s afraid of red and a Christmas tree. Putting her on another room… for her to be away from people… not a good thing either. So to get the tree, and mind you it’s only 3 feet, ok 4 if we get a good deal, to get the tree in the door, if I kiss it and say”awwww” she recognizes that it won’t harm her and by the time it’s decorated she’s giggy with it. Ok so I am just slightly whacked. @ Deni – “Good Night Moon”

    Funny thing is you’d think this is what’s causing her stress to pluck her feathers. But her feather plucking happens in the summer and is always linked to some infection. I need a bird psychologist, anyone know any?

  17. @ maggiemayday – Ha! I was thinking the same thing, ‘Look, Howie Mandel’s twin!’…but – for once – I didn’t blurt out the first thing that popped in my head. 😛

    RE: The comic book question. That’s really a hard one, since comics aren’t just about sci fi. For instance, characters like the Punisher, Batman, and Daredevil often appeal more to those in law enforcement, and sorcerers like Dr. Strange and even Dr. Doom might appeal more to a fantasy oriented reader than someone who wants their books and characters grounded in science. I would say that as far as Marvel’s mainstream ‘hero’ books go, those that would have the most appeal to sci fi fans would be the Fantastic Four, Silver Surfer, and the X-Men. Marvel has other books that pop up now and then that strictly deal with aliens and space (the whole Annihilation series, for instance), but not so much an on-going title (granted, not all sci fi is space-oriented). Not sure at all what DC has to offer.

    das

  18. @Kabra: Ok, yeah, since we’re fessin’ up here, well, uh, yeah, Elway does like his “Goodnight, Moon” book. Oh hell, his ER vet reads it to him when he’s there! But hey, that’s NOTHING compared to kissing Christmas trees. Or worrying about tendrils, tentacles and testicles 🙂 xoxo

  19. @Das – Wow, we sure picked YOUR subjects today! So, I can’t imagine Queen Wraith wanting to create rivals or allow themselves to be cloned, so perhaps when a Queen dies, the Alphas take an undeveloped larva, like bees, etc., and give it some special treatment to make them Queens. I understand temperature control can also affect gender outcome, so special treatment plus a cooler temp could be used to create the Alpha males. I also think it’s interesting that most insect colonies are predominantly made up of females, but the Wraith are mostly male, Alphas and drones – could the drones be neuter? As for mating, maybe they did reproduce like humans in the early phases of the bug/human hybrid, but they are technologically advanced enough to artificially inseminate – better control of genetic results and less danger to the Queen. Thinking further about Ellia, perhaps Queens need more time or special training and cannot develop entirely to adulthood within the larval sac; maybe they have to go through certain hormonal changes to be fertile, so they have to “grow up” the old fashioned way.

    So, Joe, what do you think?

  20. Went to the Silver Diner in VA this weekend and had the meatloaf, mash potatoes and apple pie, yum! I almost took a pic for you but hunger took over.

    There’s one at BWI airport if any of y’all ever lay over there.

  21. @ JulieAloha – I’ve wondered if Wraith are hermaphroditic by nature, with their sex assigned at birth, or if – as you suggest – a Queen is produced through some special treatment during the larval stage, like bees…’cause, if so, I’m 100% certain Steve could have been a Queen! 😀

    Problem here is that Todd (in Be All My Sins Remember’d, I believe), said that some hives were reluctant to fight because they had no Queens. That makes me think that Wraith need Queens, and have a really hard time producing them. Otherwise – if there was some sort of easy gender determination – you would think they’d replace fallen Queens quickly.

    As far as drones being neuter – oh, lord…I HOPE so…but have you seen the size of their codpieces!! 😯 Maybe it’s the other way round – the drones are the fertile ones, and the more intelligent, ‘faced’ Wraith are the eunuchs! 😆 (Might explain all the extra time they have for fixing up their hair. 😉 )

    das

  22. @Das – yes, well, Anubis’ Super Soldiers had magnum codpieces also and somehow I doubt they had useful naughty bits either – perhaps the costuming or design departments could shed some light (though not too much, please) on the subject. Todd doesn’t strike me as a eunuch (much to the relief of Chris H, I’m sure) and his voice is far too deep for a castrati, so I’m inclined to toss that one away as unlikely. Regarding Todd’s comment about hives without Queens, it strikes me that they may have had immature queens or their own queens had been killed by rivals which forced them to submit to another hive, but they must have had a Queen to begin with. Another possibility is that when all the Wraith were awakened prematurely there were not enough Queens to control them all.

  23. @Janet, no, she wasn’t named after an episode. I don’t think my husband would go for that.

  24. I have a question that has been bothering me.

    Where is the bridge located on a 304?

    the episodes where 304s appear seem to contradict each other

  25. Hello, Joe. I was wondering if you can show the stats about countries… for example, I don’t know if someone else from my country is following your blog… and maybe you can tell us which country surprise you the most… maybe some place that you didn’t expect to have followers of your blog…

  26. @ JulieAloha – I truly thank you for chatting with me about my favorite subject…just no one around to do that with anymore, it seems. I really like a lot of your ideas, and only wish the show was still on so that we could get some answers, but even that was all up in someone’s head…so I guess whatever we come up with is gonna have to be okay!

    One last thought about the Queens. It could be that after the war the Wraith saw no need to continue reproducing like they were since now nothing much could kill them (pre-Sheppard, that is), so perhaps they were not concerned with the lack of Queens. Only after the Altanteans started turning things upside down did they become threatened, and then it was too late – they have to make do with the Queens they have on hand.

    And one last thing…of course Todd isn’t a eunuch! As I understand it, however, he is saving himself for Sheppard. 😉

    God, I’m tired. 😛

    das

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