Well, damn.  I just realized that traveling next Saturday and the following Saturday will mean missing a big chunk of this year’s NCAA tourney.  It’s the one extending sporting event I look forward to more than any other and I hate the prospect of being on a plane while, somewhere, a Cinderella thirteen seed is upending a Duke, North Carolina, or Kentucky (ideally).  Sadly, no office pool this year, so the excitement of the games themselves will have to suffice.  Or what I’ll see of them anyway.

Oh, by the way, this video sums up my feelings about the NCAA expanding the field to 68 teams:

Thanks to everyone who offered advice on transporting the dogs cross-country.  I looked into many of the possibilities mentioned but, at the end of the day, decided that the “two trip in-cabin” option was best.  Bubba goes stir crazy in the half hour it takes me to drive him to daycare, so driving six days across Canada is not an option.  Hiring one of those luxury buses that approximate the feel of sitting in your living room would certainly be more comfortable but, at a cost of approximately $20 000, it’s a little more than I’d be willing to pay for what would still amount to a six day trip.  Chartering a private jet would ensure I get all four dogs there in one go, but paying $35 000 – $50 000 for a one-way trip feels a bit excessive.  And I won’t fly the dogs cargo.  I’ve heard too many horror stories. Which leaves me with the aforementioned “two trip in-cabin” option.  I now regret having allowed the production to sell off all of our working puddle jumpers in the last live auction.

Next weekend, I’ll fly out with Jelly and Maximus and, the following weekend, will return for Bubba and Lulu.  In the meantime, I’ll continue my attempts to acclimatize my dogs to the sherpa carriers.  And, tomorrow, I’m going to do a test run with the baby gravol.  I picked up two packages.  One for them and the other for me.

Hey!  Look who I had dinner with tonight!

Ivon and Lawren!

Ashleigh and James!

We went to Moderne Burger.  Ashleigh and James were twenty minutes late because Ashleigh was still celebrating her big soccer championship win.  No goals scored but, apparently, she did kick several opponents in the shins really, REALLY hard.  Curiously, over the course of the meal, the conversation would always manage to wind its way back to that spectacular soccer win.  Sometimes, naturally enough: “Whoa, it’s really raining.  Looks like we wrapped up our soccer season just in time!.  Sometimes, not so naturally: “You know what these fries remind me of?  Soccer goal posts.  Also, our big win today…”.

Finish up Ghosts of Manhattan!  The discussion begins tomorrow!

28 thoughts on “March 13, 2011: March Madness! Dog transport! Moderne Burger!

  1. I finished Ghosts like…three weeks ago. I hope you don’t expect me to remember it now. 😛


  2. Sounds like a good plan Joe. I may have to hide my eyes when you fly. Just tell me when you get there. I can just see the headlines, “Man’s Barking Wild Dingos Cause Plane To Be Averted To Nearest Airport. Details At 10.”

  3. Couldn’t you just drive them? Granted, it’d be quite a drive, but you’d be able to have control and it wouldn’t cost thousands upon thousands of dollars.

    D’oh! I probably won’t even get the book from the library until tomorrow. Maybe then if I really push, I can finish it by Tuesday night. I hope that wouldn’t be too late to join in the discussion.

  4. Hi Joe, I hope you didn’t think I meant you should put your dogs in the cargo compartment of any airplane! What I meant was chartering a cargo flight (you can charter much smaller planes) and go with them, in the cabin, as a handler. I’m glad you’ve decided what to do, anyway, and I hope it all goes well for all of you! Have a good night!

  5. Joe, sending good thoughts your way for wrangling the details this week!

    Somebody brought up a good point about a tranqulizer for pugs/Frenchies yesterday (forget who, forgive me). You don’t want something too heavy-duty for breeds known to have breathing difficulties. Let us know how the “gravol” (?) trial worked out. Tammy Dixon, would you recommend something like “Rescue Remedy” for the dogs and Joe? (Seriously, both pets & humans use it). Rather than a serious drug, it’s more of a calming agent, without knocking them into a stupor. And available at health food stores or drugstore.com. (Joe, on the other hand, may want to be in a stupor by the time he gets on the plane.) 🙂

    For your show’s writing team, has anyone considered Luc Besson? He’d be invaluable, even as a consultant.

  6. My uncle sent my dad a pic the other day of this “really” pimped out RV that had rooms in it as big as a normal house. The bathroom was actually full-size. It didn’t look like the inside of an RV at all.

    And here’s the “really” cool part. It had a sliding ramp on the side of it that you could put a 2-seater coupe car “inside” the RV but it didn’t actually take up space in the cabin area (it was a really high bus).

    It actually made me think of your situation when I saw it. Not only would it be a way to get around, but it solves your housing problem too. Problems with neighbors..just move your house,lol. I dunno if you can rent ones like that easily in T.O, but considering the massive size of it, the dogs might acclimate to it if you could.

    If your curious to see pics of it, let me know a way I can paste them to you somehow and i’d be happy to.


  7. Dude!!! I know you will do the right thing for your lil’ ones! And, it will all work out. After all, YOU are the “spin-meister” extraordinare! There is no problem or issue too big for you!

    Sorry too may exclamation points.
    And, yes, we do want to hear more about your travels, and all else that pertains to our main main – Mallozzi!

  8. Hey Joe, I know you are busy and everything, I was just wondering if a precious post of yours meant that a SGU movie(s) was going to be made? Good luck on the move.

  9. Glad to hear you found a viable solution for moving your dogs. As another option, you could always invent a teleportation device. 😉

    Anyway, here’s hoping that the title of your new show is soon announced. (Or if it already has I’ve missed it! :-p All I know is it’s likely a series based off of “The Transporter” movies/franchise. Curious to hear more about it either way.)

    It sounds like you have another interesting book discussion coming up. If I wasn’t so caught up in my dissertation I’d join along but you’re always welcome to read the dissertation. haha Okay, well, it is probably a pretty dry read compared to a lot of (though definitely not all) fiction. 😛

    Sean D.

  10. Well there you go… that’s a sounds like a plan. Needless to say, whatever you decide to do, it’s going to be traumatic for the dogs and tedious for you. They pick up your moods from you, so remember to “skip along gaily” and keep a smile on your face for them…. happy, happy!…

  11. Glad you’ve made the decision on transport. Someone mentioned yesterday checking with your vet about a sedative to ease the stress. I highly second that idea. And you have the added bonus of taking a dose for yourself to ease your anxiety. Though come to think of it, if you did that there would be nothing left for the dogs…
    I personally detest March Madness, as it wreaks havoc on programming, and I do not find ten men running back and forth on the court to be particularly interesting. Still, my own alma mater Virginia Commenwealth University somehow wrangled a spot. So it might make the experience more interesting. If it wasn’t for the fact that they are slated to go against one of the bigger teams, and if they survive that, against another powerhouse. Ah well. I hope you’re able to enjoy the games anyways. And can’t wait to see how your travels go, and where you end up at once you get to Toronto. As always, thanks for sharing.

  12. Coucou 🙂 ça va ? moi oui toujours malade mais je me soigne!

    Je suis contente que vous ayez trouver une solution pour vos chiens..même si c’est un peu compliqué et cher je pense qu’ils seront en sécurité 🙂

    Lol les photos, certaines têtes ne me sont pas inconnue 😉

    Aller bonne journée!
    Gros bisou!

  13. Hey, Joe!

    The 2 times we’ve had to move cross country our Vet had us give our dogs Melatonin (a natural sleep aid available at any pharmacy or grocery store in the supplement/vitamin aisle) so that they would be sleepy (not panicky) during the umpteen hour trips. The amount you give them will depend on their individual weights and length of travel so you’ll want to check with your Vet first about dosage (1/4 tablet, 1/2 tablet, whole tablet, etc.) amount. Or your Vet may even give you a “travel tranquilizer” for the dogs. The Melatonin is good tho cuz it just makes them feel sleepy and not “care” about what is going on around them… we still have to use it on our German Shepherd during 4th of July because she freaks out over the sound of fireworks.

    So glad to hear Akemi’s family is okay! I had the news on a little bit after the earthquake first happened and immediately thought about her and her loved ones.

    Oh, since I haven’t written for a while, just wanted to say that I loved SGU last week and can’t wait for tonight’s episode!! Thank you for all the hard work on it… the writing/storylines are great! SGU has been my favorite show. It’s hard to believe but after SGU goes off the air there won’t be any “space” shows in production on television… unless you count the NASA channel. It seems like since Star Trek Next Gen. first aired there have been at least 1 “space” show in current production non-stop on the tv schedule. From all the Star Treks to Stargates to Battlestar to even the miserable “Homeboys in Outer Space” with aired on UPN in ’96 there’s always been some kind of space show in production. Sad.

  14. Is it actually OK to use children’s Gravol for dogs? I didn’t know you could do that.

    We bought a package for our kids when we did a 2-day drive to Halifax at Christmas. Worked like a charm.

  15. Joe, just out of curiosity… Do you ever go to fast food restaurants or is it always either cook at home or go to a sit down place?

  16. for the love of Beckett: How U? (that is how we say “how are you” in the South 😀 ) I’m not familiar with “Rescue Remedy” but I’m sure Mr. M. can call up one of the pups’ veterinarians and explain the situation. Those brachiocephalic breeds are so sensitive. It would be a toss-up on which situation could be worse: the stress of confinement or the reaction to a sedative. I love animals but they can be a pain to deal with.

    Ashleigh and James make a very cute couple!

    I had no idea it was so expensive chartering a private jet! I have a couple of friends who are private pilots. They make it sound like it is no biggie to fly to Vegas for the weekend. If you had more time, you could take flight lessons 😀 .

    Sending good luck vibes on your trip! Poor Bubba…….

  17. @ KevinInNS, the pimped out RV sounds like a good idea for the trip back with the pugs.

    Bubba will need that doggie valium for sure, poor thing.

    Just watched the first few eps of Luthor and was a bit dissapointed, it was more like Mannix. Luthor graduated from Loose Cannon Univ. Nice cinematography tho.

  18. LMAO – seriously, tears of laughter are running down my face – over the “Steam Room” hoops tournament vid. That’s a gem! Since my alma mater didn’t get a callback, I’m rooting for where I spent my freshman year (plus both summer sessions for three years): UT Austin. Hook ’em Horns!! I’d love to see them pull off one upset after another to make it to the finals against Duke, still coached after all these years by Mike Krzshfyzqwskiy.

    Loved your account of Ashleigh’s “winner’s high.” – Hey, looking at a tennis ball sitting on my desk (great hand-exercisers while reading blogs, email, Justin Bieber’s 432-pg. autobio, etc.), I think “If the ball were white, and bigger, and the logo was printed all over it in a checkerboard pattern, it would look soooo much like the soccer ball Ashleigh’s team won the game with. And it was such a great win! And. . .”

    – Having drinks available on the plane would be such a great option, if you didn’t need to have all 12 cylinders up and running when you hit the ground. Moving (especially with all the issues involved for you) is such a big job even without dependents, and every current or former pet-parent knows how unhappy and frustrating things can be when the kiddos are distressed. Hope everything goes as smoothly as it possibly can.

  19. re: Melatonin (a natural sleep aid)…

    Your vet might think your dog really needs very little or nothing since melatonin isn’t that effective. Research with humans show it has minimal effect, mostly only much effect if the person TAKING it has a deficit. Melatonin is a hormone, not a sleep aid, that HELPS your body regulate things such as sleep.
    www umm.edu/altmed/articles/melatonin-000315.htm

    HIGH doses may give more benefits.

    But if your dog truly panics, get real reliable meds.

  20. Speaking of those Japan pics that Debra linked too, it’s hard to believe anyone could of survived, those districts look pretty destroyed to me. The obvious thing most people would do if they cant get to high ground is to get as high as you can in your home, but even then it didn’t work for those poor people..

    @Dog stuff

    Personally drugging animals seems so wrong to me but as long as it doesn’t do any lasting harm and you really need too then I guess that’s okay I guess. It’s easier I guess if you can control the mood to prevent it freaking out on a plane just obviously make sure you give them lots of love when they snap out of it.


    Battlestar Galactica Blood and Chrome is coming soon to Syfy, granted only a pilot movie but thats a space show, knowing Syfy it’l get 2 seasons only to die out in the ratings too. Not wishing doom to the show but really it would prove that the traditional ship in space shows just don’t appeal to channels audience anymore.

  21. Hey Joe

    If you’re still looking for someone to fly back with one of the doggies you can give me a call. As a last resort. I’m a smoker and 6 hours between butts is a little inhumane, but I can’t see you stuck. I’m in Oshawa, just east of Toronto so the second trip sounds OK. I get off work at 6:00 on Friday and have to be back at it 9:30 Monday morning.


  22. Joe, I must head off to bed early tonight – only 4 hours sleep, and I did a ton of yardwork today. I have Ghosts right here, and will join in the discussion when I awake, or maybe at work since tomorrow the cat’s away… 😉


  23. Hello.

    Wow!!! What a mind job… Good work on the episode!!!

    I think I need to see that again… 😉

    Best Wishes,


  24. Tammy Dixon, loved the southern greeting! Depending on the friends or parts of town, in this metro area of the Midwest, a greeting could be, “Hey, Mizz Tammy! Gurrrrl, how you doin?’ ” Chromatically speaking (is that a word?), I could glow in the dark, but my public school teachers and friends raised me right. 😀

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