Well, things are starting to pick up.  I’ve secured a car rental for the first couple of weeks I’ll be in Toronto while I wait for my Q7 to be shipped over.  No house as of yet and since we’re cutting it kind of close, I’ve decided to rent a pet-friendly condo while I’m hunting.  I’ve narrowed my search to two potential doggy daycares located fairly close to the production offices.  I finally got through to someone at Air Canada and informed them we would be traveling with two dogs.  I’ve also got a couple of candidates for next weekend’s dog haul.  Finally, the writers’ room on the new show is taking shape and chances are you’ll recognize at least one familiar face –

Or two.

Hey, check out the new Conan the Barbarian trailer starring Stargate: Atlantis’s own Jason Momoa.  Looks like he bulked up for the role.  Also, it’s nice to see him put those sword skills SGA Stunt Coordinator James “Bam Bam” Bamford taught him to good use!

While on the subject of Mr. Momoa, another one of his projects is headed to a t.v. screen near you.  And soon!  Game of Thrones (based on the uber-awesome book series by George R.R. Martin) premieres on HBO April 17th.

Also headed your way soon (Opening March 25th to be exact) is Sucker Punch!  I’m so hoping this turns out to be as good as it looks –

Also, last night, while perusing the latest news headlines on twitter, I made the mistake of checking out some of the trending topics, which brought me to the following music video.  You know how some stuff is so bad it’s good?  Well this is so bad it’s good and then slingshots back through bad to downright awful.

“Yes-ter-day was Thurs-day.  Thurs-day.

To-day it is Frid-day.  Friday.

We we we so excited.

We so excited.

We gonna have a ball to-day.

Tomorrow is Saturday.

And Sunday comes afterwards…”

Seriously.  Her parents presumably help her with her math homework.  Would it have killed them lend out a hand with those lyrics?

Yesterday, Fondy sent the following pics of Stewie – Lulu’s future boyfriend.  Hope she likes younger dogs…

Relaxed, no?

Some Ghosts of Manhattan discussion:

dasNdanger writes: “What I loved most about the book was the relationship between Donovan and The Ghost.”

Answer: Yes.  This relationship was one of the book’s strong points.  I actually found it much more compelling than Gabriel’s relationship with Celeste.

dasNdanger also writes: “I also enjoyed the atmosphere of the book, and after a slow beginning thought it flowed just right.”

Answer: Slow start?  Really?  I thought the book opened quite fast with the Ghost’s violent takedown of Roman’s men.

dasNdanger also writes: “As far as the revelation about the Ghost’s identity, it was more of a sense of satisfaction that I had picked up on the clues…”

Answer: But it wasn’t as if you had to think that hard.  It was so obvious!  Especially if you happen to be familiar with a certain Batman character.

dasNanger also writes: “he was revealing the identity slowly to the reader so that we already knew who he was, while Donovan did not.”

Answer: But, again, why do the slow reveal when there was really no mystery?  Why not just reveal it from the beginning and still keep Donovan in th edark?

dasNdanger also writes: “I saw it as more of a sci fi turn, keeping in line with the whole steampunky feel. I can’t find my book right now (I SWEAR I set it next to the computer last night for quick reference, but I was half asleep, so who knows where I stashed it), but as I recall wasn’t it some sort of portal between worlds? Isn’t that more sci fi than supernatural?”

Answer: It’s admittedly a very fine line but given the creature’s physical manifestation, the reason for its intrusion into our world, and the whole life-giving angle, it definitely felt supernatural.  It had a very chthulu-esque quality about it which I would classify as horror over SF.

dasNdanger also writes: “Also, getting back to the supernatural element. I went back and checked because I was sure there was a hint of it early on, and sure enough, in chapter 8 Gabriel is having a nightmare about crashing his plane during the war, and making his way to a farmhouse that’s in ruins, and once inside, he hears a noise and tentacles start reaching out for him, at which time he wakes up with Celeste on top of him, trying to wake him up. A nice bit of foreshadowing there, I’d say, and something I did recall once I got to the part with The Roman.”

Answer: Well, okay, but we’re talking about a dream sequence here.  In last week’s episode of House, we glimpse a dream sequence where House battles a bunch of zombies.  If, at the end of the episode, he would have to actually battle zombies outside of the dream sequence, I wouldn’t have considered that setting up the supernatural angle.  Rather, my reaction would have been  more along the lines of WTF?

anneteldy writes: “I agree with Mr. M., however, that golems, rocket boosters, and the flashback to France weren’t enough to set up the SF ending.”

Answer: True. Golems aside, the story itself was fairly grounded in reality.

anneteldy also writes: “Also, I felt the use of profanity was awkward and uneven. Not that I mind profanity in literature, per se, but in this novel, it was inexpertly used. I felt it was put there to try to shock me as opposed to being an indication of people’s vocabulary and way of thinking. It didn’t work.”

Answer: Hmmm, interesting you should bring this up because I did kind of bump on it but I wasn’t sure why.  I think it’s because the book has the feel of a pulp novel of a bygone era.  It does such a great job of capturing the spirit of those classics that the use of profanity just took me out of that world.

Thornyrose writes: “I also found the sudden appearance of the Moss Men to be a bit odd for a steampunk story. The moreso since they appeared, with no real explanation of how they operated or were created.”

Answer: Yes.  While I liked them, I kind of wish they’d been more fully integrated into the narrative.  They were a unique and interesting obstacle for our hero, but nothing much beyond that.

Thornyrose also writes: “The Roman made for an interesting villian, so long as he remained mysterious.”

Answer: Alas, so it is with almost all mysterious characters.

Thornyrose also writes: “And Celeste’s connection to the Roman really didn’t make sense to me. If I have an extended family watching an immortal villian through the ages, the heck with waiting till he calls on an alien/demon/extradimensional entity to extend his life. Kill the Roman, and you don’t have to worry about sacrificing a family member to kill the creature.”

Answer: Excellent point, Captain Logic.  This would be a good question for the author.  Why DIDN’T Celeste act sooner?  And why was she so evasive and secretive when the information she held could have helped the investigation?

Thornyrose also writes: “As for Gabriel/The Ghost, I’m ambivilent about him. He’s not the classic pulp hero, absorbing damage or even avoiding it by outwitting his foes. I like the fact that we do see him battered, and often out of control of the situation. But other than the peeks at his wartime experiences, we don’t get much of a feel for the man vs. the vigilante.”

Answer: I’m thinking this book only scratches the surface of the character, and we’ll be offered more in the way of backstory and development in future installments of the series.


44 thoughts on “March 15, 2011: Things are picking up! Trailers! We we so excited! Stewie! And some Ghosts of Manhattan discussion!

  1. Hi Joe, is it just me that can’t see the first 4 vids/pics? Just black boxes here. Glad to hear everything’s falling into place! Stewie’s too cute!

  2. Wondering, in Twin Destinies, if when they picked up weapons, food, etc from the dying Destiny, did they also pick up the Communication stones machine and the stones? That would give them six or eight stones and two machines, something interesting could come from that. Also, what was in the room that Varro and the other L.A. guys were going to go into but instead almost got BBQ’d? They went there for a reason, so it had to be something important.

  3. Doesn’t that teenie-bopper realize she can’t over enunciate like that and have any sort of street cred?

  4. Does it disturb anyone else that the rapper is most likely at least mid 30’s and she’s like, 14? No? Just me? Okay then…

    Actually, while the lyrics are incredibly simplistic, it’s her nasal pronunciation of “Friday” that bothers me the most. Autotune, much?

  5. I saw this week’s ep of SGU. Several times during it I was nodding to myself thinking “yes…this is exactly what the show has been missing.” Damn shame it took so long to get here.

    What I am hoping to see, although I know all the eps are shot and in the can by now is some more definition to this mission. Kind of the way that SG1 kept coming at the Ancients concept from different angles to develop it. From Keb, to the frozen Ancient girl, to the Ancient repository…each one fleshing things out in its own way.

    Granted, not a lot of time left for that but I can still hope.

  6. Oh, I am so excited that Carl is not included in the party in TO. Now I know the series will be fabulous. I am also looking forward to all the new pics with model Carl. I hope to see more familiar faces when the show comes to air.

  7. EXCUSE ME!! I made a mistake in my earlier entry. I am excited Carl IS included in the party. Please excuse that mistake in my earlier entry.

  8. Congratulations on the moving list progress.
    Yay! Carl!
    Thanks also for posting the link to donate for animals yesterday. It was nice to be able to give something to those that often get overlooked.

  9. I was just about to crawl into bed…so I’ll make this quick (HA!).

    Answer: Yes. This relationship was one of the book’s strong points. I actually found it much more compelling than Gabriel’s relationship with Celeste.

    I agree. But then again, you sorta know how I feel about females in my stories…I mean, where IS a refrigerator when you need one??!

    Answer: Slow start? Really? I thought the book opened quite fast with the Ghost’s violent takedown of Roman’s men.

    I meant that I had a little trouble adapting to the prose style (not that the story itself was slow). Having just read 9 Pendergast books in a row in a very short period of time, I had trouble switching from Preston & Child’s prose style to Mann’s. That’s what I meant – but once I adapted, I was fine.

    Answer: But it wasn’t as if you had to think that hard. It was so obvious! Especially if you happen to be familiar with a certain Batman character.

    Answer: But, again, why do the slow reveal when there was really no mystery? Why not just reveal it from the beginning and still keep Donovan in th edark?

    Uh, like…Batman? 😉 And why are you asking ME all the questions??! You shoulda been a lawyer. 😛 I don’t know why…but for whatever reason it didn’t bother me. I was under the impression that it was supposed to be fairly obvious to the reader, and the ‘suspense’ is wondering when (and if) other characters will discover who he is, too. I think it was important not to know when the characters were first revealed, just to keep from forming certain opinions. For instance, I didn’t like Gabriel at first, but then warmed to him once I realized he was also the Ghost. So for me the ‘slow reveal’ was effective because it manipulated my feelings towards the characters.

    Answer: It’s admittedly a very fine line but given the creature’s physical manifestation, the reason for its intrusion into our world, and the whole life-giving angle, it definitely felt supernatural. It had a very chthulu-esque quality about it which I would classify as horror over SF.

    You were just lookin’ for an opportunity to write ‘Cthulhu’… though I question your spelling. 😉

    Okay – we can perhaps say there was a fine line between the supernatural and sci fi in this book, just because I’m tired.

    Answer: Well, okay, but we’re talking about a dream sequence here. In last week’s episode of House, we glimpse a dream sequence where House battles a bunch of zombies. If, at the end of the episode, he would have to actually battle zombies outside of the dream sequence, I wouldn’t have considered that setting up the supernatural angle. Rather, my reaction would have been more along the lines of WTF?

    It was a dream sequence at the beginning of a chapter and so it stood out and that made me immediately recognize it as significant, especially since it did have a sci fi/supernatural-y feel to it. I just figured it was important. I don’t know how else to say it, other than to suggest I might make a better detective than you. 😉

    I’ll try to gather my questions for Mr. Mann tomorrow…right now I’m a wee bit tired.

    Oh, and I must leave you with this:




  10. Also, it’s nice to see him put those sword skills SGA Stunt Coordinator James “Bam Bam” Bamford taught him to good use!

    i heard that’s what won him the role; the fact that he could handle a sword.

  11. And where IS Sparrow?? I know she read the book…

    *kicks computer*

    There, maybe she felt that. 🙂


  12. Carl is going to join your new show??! That is so great I might cry.

    Hey I’m way ahead of you with Jason Momoa news. I’ve been keeping an eye out for anything new with him and saw that trailer last week. He looks fantastic. Too bad I don’t have HBO. 🙁

    Stewie is so cute. Looks like he could use a girlfriend in that picture.

    I missed the SGU episode this week! How did that happen? You didn’t remind us. Never did get use to it being on Tuesday…

  13. Thanks Joe. That was 3:48 I’ll never get back. Although I have to admit that I am looking forward to the weekend and being back in Vancouver. Fun fun fun fun, I know what it is.

  14. Wait… “We we so excited!” 😕 Oh, you KNOW I just wanna say something about THAT…

    …but I’m a lady. 😀

    (I’m thinkin’ it, though… 😈 )

    Yeah – remember – I’m OVER-tired. We’ll just blame it on that… 😉



  15. I was knocking around Twitter about six this morning due to a bout with insomnia and found the same thing. I’m gonna go ahead and call dibs on any parodies involving those kids and their complete disregard to seatbelt laws.

    Unless they live in New Hampshire, of course.

    But yeah, I can definitely say it would be an effective tool with the sleep deprived.

  16. Rebecca gets a C for effort. I certainly would not know how to put a music video together. I think it was the same 4-6 notes of music, but had a nice beat to it, but the singing was meh.

    Stewie is adorable. Lulu is going to have him for breakfast. We’ll see what Brie thinks about that.

    Game of Thrones looks wonderful. I’ll have to wait until it is not on premium channel.

    Off to get my driver license renewed tomorrow (leaving my house at 4:30 a.m. to get there by 5:00 a.m. to wait until they open at 8:00 a.m. I don’t expect this to be pleasant, already there once and tried but the wait was nearly a full day. I was also informed because it was spring break, all the kids were there trying to get road tests. But my birthday is on Thursday (yes, St. Patrick’s Day) and after that, if I get pulled over by a police officer, I could get a big fine. You would think they would have 2 lines — 1 for people needing to get road tested, and 1 for people just needing to renew their license, but that would make just too much sense. And it’s the only one in the entire county.

    BTW, Patrick had a huge leap in his development today (in case you didn’t see me swell with pride on Twitter or Facebook yet). It’s about 21 seconds long. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQVFbCR2SZ8

    Awesome early birthday present.

  17. You know Joe, I’m a little disappointed you won’t be driving the dogs to Toronto in a cool RV. I can’t believe it would take you 6 days to get there! Six days??!!! How slow do you drive Grandpa? Put some diapers on and don’t stop! That astronaut drove from Texas to Florida in what, like, 20 minutes? If you drive the speed limit and stop at all the McDonald’s along the way, yeah it could take 6 days. But I was thinking more like straight thru in 2 or 3 days. It could have been so entertaining. Oh well.

  18. Carl? On the new show? Woohoo. Congrats to him too. It’s like getting the band back together, or whatever the saying is.

    Awwww. Stewie is so adorable. Lulu will run circles around him.

  19. Hi Joe,

    I thought I’d forward you this link, it should help to clarify some of the confusion you’re having with the nuclear situation in Japan and just how close it is to a Chernobyl disaster and why through a couple of interviews with physicists.


    The last report I read said that the radiation particles reached 800-1000 so they had to pull out the workers. Radiation on that level causes radiation sickness.

  20. I thought “Deliverance” was so awesome it could not get any better and now I just saw “Twin Destinies” and that was even better.

    It makes me feel depressed all over again that those will be the last few episodes of SGU. I have watched most of them at least 3 or 4 times, those of the first season at least half a dozen times (most of them more often in fact) and still find it amazing and exciting every single time.

    As much as I am happy for you to have found a new job that you so obviously like, I will most likely not be interested in anything else for the next few years. I do not quickly change my loyalties (if ever).

    Off to watch “Twin Destinies” again now before I have to be off to work.

  21. Twin Destinies. Loved it, but . . . my brain hurts!


    This episode hit the ground running and didn’t stop. It was certainly an interesting and diverse group that chose to stay with Rush onboard Destiny rather than gate back to Earth. I can kind of see Young’s reasons for staying: an attempt at a final burying of the hatchet with Rush and, given that Emily either is in the process of or has already divorced him, maybe he sees no reason to go home.

    Greer makes sense in that he’s loyal to Young and doesn’t trust Rush, so his staying would be a means of supporting and protecting Young while keeping an eye on Rush.

    Chloe’s a little harder to pinpoint. She gives every indication that she wants to go home, yet chooses to stay. Why? The folks on InnerSpace had a possible take on it and that was that she was “programmed” by the blue aliens to stay with Destiny. That may be the case or, perhaps, because of the “alterations” that were done to her, she may not feel comfortable going home since she’s not really “her” anymore. Also, I’m not so sure that those devious blue guys didn’t put some sort of tracker in her with that big-assed needle thing they had. If so, it obviously wouldn’t be of the same type as was put in Rush, since they know the Destiny people could locate and remove it. I think it would more likely be a genetic tracker of some sort rather than a physical one.

    Scott. No-brainer. He’s staying with Chloe. Yes, he did express a desire to go back to Earth and see his son, but when it comes right down to it, he loves Chloe and his son is a stranger to him who has lived all of his life without a father.

    TJ kind of surprised me, but then she may have chosen to stay because she’s the only person that has any real medical training and those staying would likely need someone who has medical knowledge. Also, I would assume she knows about Young’s (pending) divorce and, perhaps, saw a chance of rekindling their romance.

    Volker was another surprise given his “enthusiasm” for the “neighbors.” I guess he either decided he had no real reason to go home or he wants to see what’s at the “end of the rainbow” and the only way to do that is to stay.

    Varro and, it looks like two other Lucian Alliance people, also chose to stay. Varro I can see in relation to his attraction to TJ, and I’m going to guess that the other two were simply to round out the ten.

    Anyway, the best I can figure it, what we are left with is:

    Original Telford is back on Earth; original crew is who knows where – maybe they got dumped on another planet in the Milky Way or on a planet with a gate near the sun they were using to power the gate or maybe some planet in between or further ahead or maybe they just got nuked. However, if original crew did get dumped somewhere nearby, they could potentially show up again, and wouldn’t that be interesting. Original Rush looks like he may have ascended.

    Then, we have alternate Telford killed by original Rush, albeit accidentally; alternate crew going on their merry way after pilfering parts and supplies from original Destiny; and original Destiny destroyed by the sun. Oh, and alternate Destiny has another fully-functional, pristine original shuttle. Yay shiny new shuttle!

    Then there’s the question of whether everything or just Destiny and her crew were affected by what happened. If it was only Destiny and her crew, then it raises the question of whether they are now somehow slightly apart from the universe they live in, or, I suppose, further apart given the events of Time. Sort of out of phase a bit and, if so, how it will affect them and what happens down the road.

    Did I mention my brain hurts?

    As an aside to Brad Wright: Why you make me think? TV is supposed to be mindless drivel, not something that has any semblance of intelligence attached to it. TV audiences are not referred to as couch potatoes for nothing. 😉

  22. Well my VHS recorder still works, and whoa, this last episode was a shocker. I keep thinking at the end of every episode so far that it’s impossible to ramp up the intrigue and action any more. But man I have been wrong. I’m so excited to see how everything plays out next week.

    I knew you couldn’t leave Carl behind. But how are you going to fit him in a carrier?

    I haven’t been able to stop watching all of the videos coming from Japan. Each one is so unbelievable. My heart just aches for the Japanese people. They have such a long road ahead of them. The aftershocks will last for years. But the threat of fallout is even more devastating considering the contamination can affect their food supply for decades.

    And CNN is seriously pissing me off. I usually love their coverage, but I wish the weather people would stop pretending to be seismologists and earthquake preparedness experts. One announcer told people they should run out of buildings during a quake. He’s going to get people killed.

    For anyone living in the midwest, please consider participating in the Great Central US Shakeout: http://www.shakeout.org/centralus/all_participant_list.php?orgtype=

    It will give you the most up to date information on how to prepare and survive a quake for both the long and short term.

    And here’s an amazing and haunting animated video of the quakes leading up to and beyond the mega quake: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xylDxj6-9dY

  23. Ok just got myself a blog on here…not sure what I am doing yet so won’t post a link…LOL….just trying to see what happens when I post…sorry Joe!

    Kriss 🙂

  24. Hello Joe,

    So happy Carl is joining the writing team for the (Transporter???) Series! I love his story telling ways! Is he planning to move from LA or commute occasionally and be virtual for the rest of the time?

    Peter Deliuse did an fabulous job directing Twin Destinies! As did Mark on the VFX… LOVE IT…

    @PBMom, I did not know your B-Day was the 17th, mine too! I knew you were an awesome lady! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!


  25. Carl! Congratulations buddy! GoT and Conan are definitely on my to watch list. Big props to Jason!

  26. Happy to see team Stargate stuck together in the writers room for this show. Should be interesting to see how the show turns out now.

  27. ah.. Fridays….. ah.. that video!! that’s all i’m going to say.

    Just wanted to pop by and let you know I’m still available if you need help travelling this weekend…or next… or never!! I have no kids and 3 dogs of my own now so I know how hard travel can be. My sister adopted Ellie from an older couple who where moving and couldn’t keep her. She’s a Yorkie-Poo but doesn’t look anything like a Yorkie but she is on the smaller side about 10 LBS and has us and the 2 boys (Daka and Dorje 2 Shi-Tzus) wraped around her little paw. I thought it would be hard adding a new dog to the family but after a few days she has adjusted well.

  28. I know a nuclear physicist who has been pointing us to technical blogs with science for dummies, which explain what is happening with the Japanese reactors, why they aren’t going to go Chernobyl on us (they’re not the same kind of reactors), and updates. I can post the links if anyone is interested in something besides “the sky is falling”.

    Not that the problems aren’t large and serious, but really, taking iodine tablets is silly.

    Jason… swords…. going into daydream trance……

  29. Hm, none of those trailers are particularly inspiring. The Conan one looks like a cheap budget (“here, use these 100$ on a trailer, don’t go overboard now!”) one, Suckerpunch looks more like a computer game.
    As for Game of Thrones, everybody who has read the books are totally freaking out, guess the books must be very good – I haven’t read the books so just look at the trailer and wonder what the big deal is.

  30. Hm, been getting hints that my friends want to see “Source Code” instead of “Sucker Punch” or “Paul”, so before I bathe my eyes in the wrongness of Jake Gyllenhall’s pout I definitely have to see Sucker Punch. Saw the trailer last year and I cannot believe it’s coming out at long last.

    Jason is rocking that new Conan catchphrase! Not sure yet if it’s as good as “crush your enemies…” but I’m liking it. Game of Thrones has a lot of great people in it, lots of great stuff.

    But most exciting is The Carl Binder; interesting! Is the name of the new show known or are we still guessing?

    Stewie will need to stop slackin’ and get a job rooting for ladybugs or chewing socks, because Lulu won’t date a scrub.

  31. Hello Joe!
    I’m a long time reader first time commenter.
    First, I’d like to say I loved SGU and I was rather disappointed on it’s cancellation. Same with Atlantis, which I do believe you did everything to keep on, yet it wasn’t enough.
    Despite all of this, I’d like you to comment the newest scifi I’ve been watching – if, obviously, you watch this series.
    V. On ABC.
    What’s your take on Morena Baccarin performance? (I mean, I think it is great, it is absolutely amazing how she can change her character so brilliantly, plus I loved her on SG1 aswell).
    What do you think of the storyline? I do realize it is a remake of the 1983 series, but still, the writers/producers gave the story some direction, which I love.
    Which is/are your favorite character(s), and why?
    Finally, do you think the final episode of season 2 (rumored to be the season finale) gives any type of conclusion to the story?
    Am I destined to have all my TV series “cliffhangered” for eternity?

    (Plus, what race are your dogs? Would they be friendly/caring to my 3 year old godson?)


  32. I hope that Jason Momoa’s movies do well. I’d heard he bulked up but I can even see a difference in his face!

    Sucker punch: it’s a maybe.

    Oh please say you aren’t going to enter the dog breeding business? Don’t you have enough stress in your life?

    Congrats on your moving progress! Good luck this weekend.

    Hubby and I loved the show Monday night. We are both going to miss Greer…..

  33. Oh. my. god.


    It’s like…it’s like twitter put to music. Lord. That is horrible!! What makes it even worse is the autotune (which I hate and which should be banned from the music industry, btw). The autotune makes everything sound so monotone and boring, so I can’t really buy into the idea that she’s gonna have ‘fun, fun, fun’…especially if the biggest decision in her life is WHICH FRIGGIN’ SEAT TO TAKE! AAAAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!

    Now I need to go and drink some BEEEEEEEER!!!



  34. @ Jayenkai – Amazing how a change of pace and a little emotion in the voice changes that entire song. Totally blows my mind. Thanks for posting that! 🙂


  35. Was already excited to see Conan. And now Game of Thrones has been added to my must watch list.

    BTW…glad to hear you made it to TO with at least 2 of the poochs. Hope things go well with the others as well.

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