Okay, I’m about to lose it.  After days of exhaustive online research, I finally found: a) a suitable doggy daycare in Toronto and b) a couple of potential neighborhoods within reasonable driving distance of the studio.  Progress!  Until today when I realized that I was looking at the wrong studio.  To be more precise, the wrong Cinespace Studio. Apparently, there are a half dozen of them scattered about the Toronto area.  And so, the perfect doggy daycare and ideal neighborhoods are no longer perfect or ideal and I had to recommence my research on both fronts today.

Also, the closer we get to that mid-March departure date, the more anxious I grow with regard to flying the dogs cross-country.  I have two friends who’d be willing to make the trip with us (meaning we would each carry a dog) but have been unable to get anyone from Air Canada on the phone to get a clear understanding of the airline’s in-cabin pet policies.  Furthermore, my friends want to fly as late as possible, preferably Sunday, which would make my turnaround all but impossible given that I have to be in the office on Monday morning.

I did look into doing my best John Madden imitation and (following the advice of one of my readers) chartering a luxury bus for the trip, but the cost would be 2/3 that of chartering a private jet that could get me there in 6 hours rather than 6 days.

Paul, my writing partner, phoned me today and he’s feeling equally frustrated by the pending movie.  Misery loves company.  We discussed the possibility of splitting the cost of a private jet and flying both of our families over in early April – meaning I would spend two weeks in an apartment, figuring out the landscape, finding a place and a car, before flying west to pick up the dogs, hopping on a Hawker 700, and heading right back.

Meanwhile, time ticks down on getting things done here in Vancouver: taxes, paperwork, payments, mail, drycleaning, general cleaning, and goodbye dinners.  Tomorrow night, it’s sushi with Ivon Bartok and Mike Dopud.  Wednesday night, it’s burgers with Jodi and Steve.

Miscellaneous pics –

Dried fish treats for dogs. According to the guy at the pet shop, they're human-grade and Japanese people enjoy eating them. This is something I can confirm.
Stargate SG-1 match box. No idea where I got this.
Lulu snoozing, spooning her stuffed raccoon.
Akemi managed to salvage Lulu's toy caterpillar by sewing up what was left of it. It now resembles a stuffed turd.

Bubba and Lulu test the durability of yet another toy.
Akemi's scalloped baked potatoes. Oishikatta!

Scripts are out and in network hands.

We await the verdict…



49 thoughts on “February 28, 2011: Back to square one…

  1. I spend about an hour each week regutting and sewing up toys. I have a gutter (Arwen). I have one who loves stuffies especially the ones that squeak. My spousal unit says don’t get them any more toys, but Cara loves to squeak them. SO I pick up guts, pick up shredded toys, and once a week restuff and sew while I use words my mother would have used washed my mouth out with soap for, and some combinations of the words that would impress her.

    The stress is clear. Hope you get things sorted soon 🙁

    But now I am confused, which Monday do you fly out to Vegas?

  2. Joe, I feel for you. I can’t imagine making such a move with 3 cats, let alone 4 dogs. I think it would be a good idea to go first, find a place, get settled, then send for the family and pets. It would make the transition a wee bit better for the dogs, too, if they come into a new place that isn’t totally turned upside down.

    Love the pics, and the stuffed turd. 🙂 Have a good night, sir!


  3. I’d suffer a night of arthritis pain for those scalloped potatoes!

    Could you write off the jet rental as a business expense on your taxes? Seems shady, but worth investigating. But hell, if you can afford it, go for it. Chartered jets just seem hopelessly cool to mere mortals. Not tragically hip, mind you, just very rockstar. “My dogs travel by private jet only …”
    Yep, rockstar, go for it, live the legend. You can scrimp on something else later.

  4. Joe,

    Out of curiousity, how many hours of sleep on weekdays did you get when you were still working for the SG series?

  5. The idea of finding a place first and then going back for the dogs makes a lot of sense to me. That gives you more time to get a place found and ready, and the pups will have a home that’s prepared and already has your scent in it when they get there.

  6. I should imagine that travelling across Canada in a jet with 4 dogs, a handful of tired adults and numerous excited children in it would be an ‘experience’. Words like chaos and bedlam spring to mind.

    Take your parachute just incase it all gets too much – drop in on your mother and sister.


  7. 2/3 of the cost and six days? that’s a surprise. I’m sorry it didn’t work out better. I’ll keep thinking of ideas but options are limited now.(Maybe a school bus versus a luxury one?lol)

    I remember looking at the prices of flights versus a train from Halifax to Ottawa to visit my sister, and the train was more expensive then some flights..and it took 24 solid hours versus a 2 hour flight. I dunno how VIA stays in business.

    I’ve heard of some well-off people who were also qualified pilots who bought surplus Soviet/Warsaw Pact Mig-15 and 17 fighter jets. I guess they are super cheap and easy to maintain versus a business jet. The weapons are removed so they are legal. Now that would be a cool way to commute around but unfortunately the only cargo capacity is inside underwing pods that are converted external fuel tanks. I don’t think the dogs would care for that.


  8. I had to laugh at the stuffed turd 😉

    I can sympathize with trying to keep the dogs supplied with toys. Over Christmas, one of my kids gave our Husky-Lab mix a stuffed Santa squeaky toy. I’m glad we didn’t have any small children over or else they would have been treated to the sight of “Santa” being decapitated and dis-membered (while squeaking pitifully). Not enough left to put back together; I was picking up bits of stuffing for days…

  9. I think that is a good idea — going first, checking things out and then flying the dogs over. You know they will be well cared for in Vancouver while you were doing that. It would certainly take one major decision off your plate for the time being.

    I’m equally frantic right now about some things. I’m living a hypochondriac’s wet dream — I have seen more “ists” in the past 2 weeks then I care to. Example: Feb 14 saw the urologist, on the 16th the rheumatologist, the 18th the physical therapist, the 20th in the ER for a possible broken finger (jury is still out on that, which is why I haven’t posted much. Hurts too much to type), the 22nd in the internist’s office for a followup to the ER visit, and on the 25th was supposed to see the nephrologist (but they rescheduled to this Friday, the 4th). Then the urologist’s office called today and wants to do surgery #4 on the left kidney stone — yep still there (and we haven’t even done the surgery on the right–was going to do it last time then backed out of it at the last minute), and apparently it has grown almost back to its original size — so now that is on for Friday of this week (which means cancel nephrologist for another Friday), Wednesday I see the hand specialist about my poor left ring finger, and then Friday surgery. I’m very anxious about this. The last time they did this type of surgery, I had an allergic reaction to the paralytic drug that could have ruptured my aneurysm. If only I were joking about all this. So my anxiety has kicked into overdrive not about the pain I will inevitably feel Friday afternoon after the surgery, but all the stuff that is out of my control–my weird allergic reactions to drugs. Also my lupus might be back, and well multiple myeloma might be on the table too as a cause of some other lab values that came back positive. Too early to say. If the blood taken on 2/16 comes back positive, then I’ll know more. Still waiting on the results. Autoimmune labs take a long time to come back.

    Then this weekend, my husband reminded me that we needed to file a tax extension for April 15 because it did not appear I was going to even get our 2010 receipts into Quicken to even start our taxes in Turbo Tax. I was about to agree with him until I remember — crap — we cashed in a large amount of his retirement account and even though we had the penalties and interest taken out at the time, it is possible we might owe this year. You don’t get an extension on owing. If you owe, the IRS wants their money on April 15, even if you are filing an extension to get in the paperwork. If not, penalties and interest galore.

    Then there are the two huge fundraisers I have already committed to for Patrick’s school. One is called Rock Autism (April 3). The other is the Boots & Bling Gala (April 9). And I look over at the box of receipts I still have yet to enter wondering how I am ever possibly going to get it done, especially with a possible broken finger.

    And in between all that I have to work which also requires the use of my fingers for word production pay. Oh yes, and get my driver’s license renewed before my birthday on March 17. I guess the picture they took 15 years ago is no longer good enough for them. Seriously I haven’t changed much. Only difference is then I had the flu on the day that picture was taken.

    But on the bright side, there is a new Glee on tonight and SGU returns on Monday. There is always a bright side.

  10. Hi Joe,

    I noticed you’re currently reading Irredeemable. What do ya think of it so far?

    Sean D.

  11. As a person who moved from cross country with animals, FLY! We drove for the move, animals as passengers. DON’T DO IT! For the next move, which was back across country, everyone flew. That was not fun either but it was six hours instead of three days.


  12. Joe, the matchboxes were in the swag bags at either the 100th or 200th parties.
    I’m pretty sure it was one or the other as those were the only two wrap parties I attended in fifteen years on the show.
    Hey, maybe somebody has already asked but have you considered the train?
    Pretty sure you’d have access to the dogs, you could even arrange for your Audi to be shipped too.

  13. “Paul, my writing partner, phoned me today and he’s
    feeling equally frustrated by the pending movie.”

    Hmmm??…possibly a not so secretive encoded message?

    …and followed up by this:

    “Misery loves company.”

    Hmmm??….another possible writing/writer’s reference

    SGA movie?….MGM? (company?)

  14. @PBMom. Anethesiologists have high learning curves. Don’t sweat the meds, as long as the place you’re having surgery has good records. And the best of luck with that.
    Mr. M., sorry, but I do have to laugh just a little bit. All that work, only to find out there are not 1 or 2, but SIX studios? It almost sounds like a conspiracy. As for the doggies, well, have passport, will travel. Perhaps you can recruit travel companions from a wider circle of friends and aquantances. My sympathies on the difficulties of moving your four legged friends cross country in the least stressful manner possible. Less stressful for them anywyas. It would be interesting to see what hourly Blood pressure checks would reveal about your stress levels.
    And congrats on the pending birthday. Once you’re settled in, you’ll have to let us know an appropriate mailing address to ship things for, just in case a belated b-day present needs to find its way to Toronto. Thanks for maintaining your unbroken string of posts.

  15. As much as I loved SG1 it felt like it was more or less the Jack O’neill show up until the last 3years. So when SG1 season 9 came around I was a wee bit unsure how how I would feel watching it without O’Neill, but man did you guys pull it off. I actually loved it as much as before except in a lot of ways it was like a brand new show, weird but a good weird.
    Now with SUU 2.5 right round the corner I really have so many mixed emotions like I had with SG1 except, as we stand right now once it’s finished it’s finished, no new characters no weird but good weird, just nothing ‘POOF’ gone.
    I know right now it’s gonna be great to watch probably the way season 2 has been so far the last 10 will be the best yet.
    Hopefully after the last have been shown there’s a change in the air and the Wrestling Channel(syfy) reconsiders and if they don’t someone else will pick it up…

    Joe, I love your dogs man they really are little cutie’s.

  16. Hi Joe. I’d like to hear more about your next gig. I’ve heard it’s going to be a TV series after “Transporter”. If that’s the case I’d love to see it as I’m a huge fan of the three movies.
    Now I’ve heard you’ve been working on the show’s “bible” and I’d like to ask you if, when you first got to SG-1, there was a show bible for SG-1 and if it said anything at all about Sam and Jack.
    Also can you please tell me if the rest of TPTB (Rob, Brad, Paul) are in agreement with you that Sam and Jack got together after the episode “Threads”?
    Thank you

  17. Really feel for you on the move and feeling out of control. Kind of feel that way myself right now on hubby’s job situation. No news on whether he is getting an interview for the one job he applied for in the area. Hopefully, we will hear something today.

    Liked the pictures of the dogs and scalloped potatoes. Yum on the last one!! Any chance of a recipe??

    Have a great day!!!!

  18. Oh my, it does sound stressful. I hope solutions pop up today for you. The charter plane with Mr. Binder sounds the best (my vote). Like your Vegas idea, maybe you should just say “screw it” and go with the easiest solution for you. There is something to be said for peace of mind.

    Thank you for the pictures! How do you find time to post a blog? You must not be sleeping….

    As for dogs w/toys. You should see what they do to a volleyball at the humane society! They don’t last long.

    PBmom: ever thought about an internist? The internist is trained to see the “big picture” rather than just focusing on a few specific symptoms. Plus, they are supposed to coordinate all the specialist and keep track of all the treatments. I’m probably not telling you anything you didn’t know but a reminder might be helpful 😉 .

  19. @ “Paul, my writing partner, phoned me today and he’s
    feeling equally frustrated by the pending movie.”

    I suspect he meant MOVE, not movIe.

    PBMom.. sending prayers, hugs and sympathy. Your plate is overflowing and it’s no wonder stressed.

  20. Can you file an extension on your taxes? Don’t want you to end up in the slammer with Wesley Snipes but it does take one thing off the stress plate.

    I feel for you, I absolutely hated my last move, so much so that I’ve borne cold, heat, demo in my unit, demo in other units and general random hell from my slum landlord just so that I don’t have to move again. I would love to move with lots of time to search for a new place, find a great deal, and calmly move, but most likely my next move will be a sudden, chaotic and distressing as the last.

    The joint charter on the way out sounds good. But you can also do several trips over several weekends, and rack up tons of miles that you can use on a vacation to La Romana in the Dominican Republic; you fly right into the resort and the huge resort has a ton of restaurants.

    Are you going to use Air Canada’s Jetz charter service? They handle the Maple Leafs and Bruce Springsteen; surely they can handle a diva like Lulu.



  21. Moving: Needless to say, I don’t envy you. I have made one traumatic move and it was hell. That said, you might not think so, being so wrapped up in it, but it looks like things are falling slowly into place as one decision/idea follows another… and then suddenly, there will be a plan. Lists are good – I hope the stress doesn’t sicken you. Dogs seem to be oblivious and are having fun… dog’s life…

    Goodbyes: This, is the hardest part of leaving

    Sushi: Supper with 2 of the most talented people – no doubt will be a good time. The business being what it is, I’m sure that you will see both again. Please pass my regards to both from someone who appreciates their work. I am unable to twitter either as I’m on computer not phone.

    I’m looking forward to seeing Varro in the 2nd half of SGU… so sorry that the program is not continuing (maybe). I hope that Mike Dopud’s visit to SGU serves as a stepping stone to greater opportunities…. I’ll be watching.

    Bon Appetit tonight and good luck with the scripts.

    I wish Mike Dopud speedy success in his field.

  22. G’day Joe.

    As a veteran of 3 international house moves (Melbourne, Australia to Wellington, New Zealand; Wellington, New Zealand to Tasmania, Australia; and Tasmania, Australia to Bristol, England) I feel for you. The last two moves involved moving cats as well! We used a professional pet moving company that were very good (no in-cabin pets for international long-haul flights!) but probably overkill for moving cross-country.

    My advice is to get a short-term lease on an apartment in the general area you want to live. It might cost a bit more in the long run but you get to know the lie of the land before committing to anything. Rent/buy in haste, repent in leisure.

    I’m looking forward to many reviews of fine Toronto eating establishments as I fully intend to have an extended Canadian holiday while I’m living in the Northern Hemisphere.

    Good luck with the move!

  23. You’l likely feel better once you’re settled in and watching your new show come to life, at that point you’l realise it was all worth while.

    Also, hope you bring Mike Dopud over to your new show.

  24. PBMom – The best I can offer you is a cyber hug and encouragement. If you were closer to me, even northern NY, I would try to help you. Best of luck on Friday and speedy recovery – your plate is full and I’ll be thinking of you.

  25. Did you talk to Apple about an Itunes direct production of SGU.
    Rumors are they are trying to get some of there own content.

  26. Thanx for allowing us to ‘stalk’ you online.

    About all of the group situations I have been familiar with involve a hierarchy of some sort that establishes over time. What kind of ‘pecking order’ do the dogs have.

  27. Hi Joe:

    It’s a balmy -28 today here in Alberta. See what you are missing by not driving across Canada? By the way, if you take turns driving and not stop except for meals and gas, you can get across from Vancouver to Toronto in two and a half days. I know because I’ve done it. I didn’t want to get into another car for weeks afterward, though. And for two days after, I still felt like I was in the car. Uh, I’m not selling this very well, am I.
    But, hey, I am Canadian. I’m tough, and resilient. Frozen, but, tough and resilient. Now that you are moving from Lotus Land, you are going to be tough and resilient too. Vacation is over, buddy boy. Welcome back to The Great White North.

    I agree with everyone else about you heading to Toronto first and setting up your household before you bring the dogs. The Canadian Armed Forces have sent their members on house hunting trips just before transfers for as long as I can remember. It provides an opportunity to familiarize yourself with your neighborhood and get comfortable before your final move. Can you get recommendations from your new coworkers about the neighborhoods they like, where they take their dogs for services?

    Well, that’s my two cents.


  28. Just been watching some dvd extras from SG-1 S8, and had to ask just for the sake of a good laugh;

    Did you ever get around to pitching your telepathic dog/musical episode of SG-1 for S9 😛

  29. Saw this on Syfys twitter, a fan was asking him about what it would take to get SGU back, i.e huge ratings etc. Craig also mentions this.


    I would like to think that puts to rest peoples theorys that Syfy hated SGU. Even Craig Engler wants the show to do well enough to come back.

  30. Joe, your dogs don’t look stressed at all. Don’t you wish you could lay around all day, playing with stuffed turds, waiting for your dinner.

  31. Please tell Akemi, I love the look of her potatoes!wow,,any chance she would share the recipe? yum!
    I would definately put them on my diet. thanks.

  32. We want scalloped baked potatoes recipe!
    We want scalloped baked potatoes recipe!
    We want scalloped baked potatoes recipe!
    We want scalloped baked potatoes recipe!
    We want scalloped baked potatoes recipe!
    We want scalloped baked potatoes recipe!
    We want scalloped baked potatoes recipe!
    We want scalloped baked potatoes recipe!
    We want scalloped baked potatoes recipe!
    We want scalloped baked potatoes recipe!
    We want scalloped baked potatoes recipe!
    We want scalloped baked potatoes recipe!
    We want scalloped baked potatoes recipe!
    We want scalloped baked potatoes recipe!
    Thank you.

  33. oh you meant move not movie……. 😛

    Anyways…. I realize how much stress you must be going though… Just remember, it won’t always be like this. And before you know it, you’ll be partying in Tokyo during the first season hiatus of the new transporter series. 🙂

  34. While surfing the net I stepped upon a ” do not cancel SGU petition ” at: http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/savesgu

    I was hesitent to post the link at first since there’s only 6409 signatures and the goal is 1000000 but when I look at the numbers on December 16, there was only 400 signatures. Not sure if it will do any good but felt like spreading the word…

  35. Hmmm. Dried Fish, deep fried and some fish sauce, after a couple of Beer Chang or Beer Shing that is good snacking.
    But personally, I would settle for the scalloped potates, maybe with a touch of tabasco.

  36. FYI for those interested in the petition: There’s no need to make a donation to sign it.
    It can be signed via your facebook or e-mail address account. I signed via my e-mail address. Once done , a confirmation e-mail will be sent to you. All you need to do afterward is click on the link inside the confirmation e-mail. You will be redirected to the petition website. Once redirected to the website, just exit it . 😀

  37. @ PBMom – Dang. So sorry to hear you’re going through all of this. I NEED to be going to all the ‘ists’, but I tend to procrastinate. 😛 I hope you get feeling better soon! {{{Hugs}}}

    @ Akemi – 😆 You’re just too cute! 🙂


  38. So sorry the travel arrangements and things are so unsettled. It’s nerve wracking to be sure. Just look at the cute picture of Lulu sleeping and all will be well. Things will work out just be positive. Good luck and I want that recipe too. Yummy 🙂

  39. I recommended the Beach(es). It’s a fantastic neighborhood with loads of dogs and the beach of course. I don’t know what studio you are going to be at but it is near Pinewood (the new studios) and one of the Cinespace ones (the one on Eastern Ave).

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