Believe it or not, the dogs are actually even more freaked out and skittish about this move to Toronto than I am.  As a result, in an effort to reassure them and ease the transition, I’ve taken to sleeping with the pack on the apartment’s pull-out bed.  It’s a lot less roomy than my king-size bed back in Vancouver and certainly a lot less comfortable.  For the first two mornings, I woke up with sore knees.  Sore knees?!  WTF?!  Then, this morning, when I woke up, my left hand was so stiff I could barely make a fist.  [insert crude Carl Binder crack here].

Today, we finally broke my second episode in the writers’ room.  While the other stories averaged about two and a half days to break, mine took only half a day.  On the upside, we wrapped it up in record time.  On the downside, unlike all of the other stories, there’s not much in the way of details concerning the action sequences.  I suppose it’ll all become clear to me this weekend after some careful thought and several drinks.

Anyway, consider the following diagram your first spoiler of the new series…

Keep it under your hats.

Today was Carl’s last day and what better way to commemorate the solemn event than with burgers and skillet cookies with ice cream?  And so, tonight, we all headed out (in Akemi and my case, back) to m: brgr.

Alex and his better half, Sarah
My kobe beef burger with caramelized onions porcini mushrooms, black truffle carpaccio, and fig jam.
Carl asks “What’s with the milkshake in the woman’s belly?”
Training my hipstamatic on Alex.
In honor of his belated birthday, Alex was presented with a skillet cookie and sparkler – that fizzled out before the dish even hit the table.  A bad omen, noted Paul.
This thingie came with the skillet cookie.  Hmmmmm.

In addition to fleshing out the various beats of my episode this weekend, I’ll also need to run a couple of errands and pick up a few things.  It’s amazing how you never know how much you really need something until you don’t have it.  Like last night, for instance, after we finished roasting our dinner.  “The seabass is done!”I announced, throwing open the oven door.  “Where are the oven mitts?”  Where?   Well certainly not in this apartment.

Speaking of the apartment – Hey, anyone know how to remove scratches (aka dog claw marks) from a wooden door?  There must be a way, right?  If humanity found a way to make Chuck Cunningham, the Andorians, and Re’Tu Charlie disappear without a trace, surely we can find a way to do the same with door scratches, no?

39 thoughts on “April 1, 2011: Sore knees! Carl’s last day! m:brgr!

  1. You didn’t realize you didn’t have oven mitts until you had something in the oven??? Geesh, that’s something I would die. LOL As far as the dog scratches go, I have no idea, but if you know how to remove pen from a wall, I’m all ears.

    I liked the pictures of the outing. That looks like a good burger. We were able to go out to eat tonight after a long spell of not being able to. (hubby found a job after being unemployed since December, yeah!!!) I asked him, “Could I start taking pictures of the food, and he said sure, if you remember the camera next time?” Of course, our teens weren’t too pleased. I think we’ve gotten to the “Please don’t embarrass us.” phase, LOL.

    Have a good weekend!!!

  2. Go get wood fill, cover the scratches, sand, paint. Then get a sheet of plexiglass, affix to said door to prevent new scratches till you leave.

  3. If the door is painted, I don’t know anything you can do that doesn’t involve well-matched touchup paint. (Look around, you may find extra of the original paint stored somewhere in the unit for just such needs.)

    If the door is stained wood, though – Old English Scratch Cover furniture polish will disguise an amazing amount of damage.

    And then shield the door, like Debra said. Good luck!

  4. “Then, this morning, when I woke up, my left hand was so stiff I could barely make a fist. [insert crude Carl Binder crack here].”

    I was taking a sip of my fruit punch when I read this…it caused me to laugh and blow snot out my nose into my punch. Thanks a lot.

    I got your housing situation all figured out in a way you can buy a house, make money from it, keep your accountant happy, and save the homeless: Get a house big enough that you can dedicate a room and bath to Carl. When he is in town, he stays with you. He pays you, of course, for the room and board. (He has to live somewhere – right?) You could even try to get a house with a side door, so he can come and go and not bother you. He rents a car while in town, but you give him rides to work with you. Akemi sneaks his car out to run errands. She gets a car and Carl pays for it. You get a house and Carl helps pay for that too. He needs a place to stay anyway and sounds like he won’t be there all the time. I think that would work for both of you and make your accountant happy. What do ya think?

    By the way, you guys are horrible artists. And while I’m complaining, get a new camera.

  5. The thing that came with the skillet cookie looks like it might work as an oven mitt in a pinch.

    @Lisa R: Congrats to hubby (and you) on the job! 🙂

    – KB

  6. Is the door painted or wood? If painted you’ll need to sand it and use some matching touch-up paint. If it’s wood, you need to stop by your local hardware store to get some Min-Wax Blend-Fil Pencils ( to fill in the scratches. Then, as Debra said, cover the part of the door that is being scratched up with plastic:

  7. Claw marks? How can they prove it wasn’t the previous tenant’s pug trying to claw her way back to Vancouver?

    I get most things out with the Magic Eraser because our kids don’t have claws. When the kids get hold of a screwdriver, we just say that’s how you know it’s real wood, not laminate so that makes it classy.

  8. furniture stores use wood color markers and wood color crayons to fix scratches on furniture. I would imagine you could buy these at a hardware store or home improvement store. Which one you use depends on the type of scratch and how deep the scratch is. The Old English can work for shallow scratches. Be sure to try the product in a corner that is least to be seen, such as the door jam or near the hinges for example in case it doesn’t look right.

  9. Hey Joe,

    Love the drawing. Yes…very helpful in determining…something terrible is going to happen in the intersection. *giggles* That was a huge hint.

    Pups can be a cause to lose sleep. When you are in a rental…breaking, demolishing…ruining…all takes on new meaning. Maybe you should hurry along the purchase of “Home Sweet Home”… *more giggles*

    Best to you Joe,
    Cheryl 🙂

  10. easiest might be to leave it up to the landlord and pay him off.

    Before you cover, first try to make the crushed wood inside the scratches well up again by soaking them (but not the wood around them). I used to insert some water into the scratches to that effect. This un-crushes the wood thus levelising the scratch to some extent.

    To the same effect, there is a website recommending to put a wet cloth on the scratch and then cautiously heat cloth over scratch it with the edge of an electric iron i.e. selectively steaming the scratch (but says this only works if the wood is not painted?), or soak scratch with vinegar, then polish over with olive oil (repeat if necessary). Plus says that DIY stores have a range of products for this like hard wax sticks or – for small scratches – laquer pens.

  11. Will this new series have as much action as human target? (recent, likely to be cancelled fox show)

  12. Real chefs don’t use oven mitts. They have a towel thrown over their shoulder while cooking. It is for wiping their hands, wiping up a drip from the counter, wiping excess food from a dish (wiping the sweat off their face on Chopped) and handling hot items.

    I would ask your building maintenance guys how they would take care of the scratches, apologizing profusely while you admit what happened. They would probably just give you something to fix it yourself from their supplies or might even offer to stop by and do it for you. I think they would appreciate your honesty and concern in the matter. (Some people skip town and leave a mess.) Introduce them to your dogs. After the dogs charm them, you get them on your side and they will help you out in the future too. Then like others have suggested, protect the door in some way.

  13. By the way, Joe, if you decide to put up one of those plastic shields to protect the door from the pups, be cautious with the double sides sticky-tape: some types can take the paint/finish off of wood and walls. Check with the hardware store guy for tape with an adhesive that won’t hurt the wood or opt for a shield that lets you screw it on to the door. Then when you take it down, you can fill the holes with the same stuff you used to take care of the scratches!

  14. Hey Joe,
    yesterday you mentioned SGU, and that there is no new news, but my question is this, has Brad and co made any new progress then last you said they had made progress (earlier last month) not that you could tell us much but has there been ANY moves forward for SGU? you don’t have to give details just a yes or no answer would be great.

    Looking forward to the new show as well you guys are great writers and will no doubt pull off a winner

    in the case of the door joe maybe repaint it? or varnish which ever the option.

  15. Stiff hands? Dehydration is a good bet, but if not, try taking capsules of powdered ginger. Has done wonders for me. Come on, you know I’m a hippie and know all about herbals, dude.

    Off on a tangent: friends of mine have a running “oven mitt of doom” joke, too long to go into here, but as an end result, several of us walk around parties with big ass oven mitts clipped to our belts. Hands free, padded, just the right size for a fifth of booze.

  16. Just a quickie…

    Joe, about those sore knees. If you sleep on your side, try sleeping with a pillow between your legs. I often wake up with sore hips or knees if I don’t have something between my legs for support, especially if I’m on a cheap mattress. Of course, halfway through the night I’ve usually kicked the pillow across the room, but even a little support through the night seems to help. I ‘cured’ a bad case of bursitis in my hip that way. Took a while, but it was better than getting steroids shot into my ass.

    So try putting something cushy between your legs at night, see it it helps.


  17. Hello Joe.

    Mix wood glue and ground-up wood chips to make a filler. Rub that into the surface. Next, sand the area with fine sand paper, and stain the whole door.

    Any solutions as far as finding a gym or home workouts?

    By the way, finally replaced the blackberry with a druid. Love it! Was going to get an IPhone, but the druid seemed to better suit my needs.

    Best wishes,


  18. Awwww…poor baby doggies. Dogs don’t like change. Especially…change in their environment. It may take awhile, but eventually they will adjust. Maybe when the weather gets warmer you can take ’em out for more walks, or go to the park. They need get to know their surroundings. 🙂

    Mmmmm…that kobe beef burger looks scrumptious! 😀 Though…I bet would take a chunk out of my bank account to buy one.

  19. FYI Joe

    Stargate Universe – Illegal downloads at any one time are clocking in at 20’000 this minute.
    Realise this is the amount of people downloading/uploading season 2 ep 11/12/13/14 in total.
    Average download is 15 minutes some people leave it online for about 24 hours.
    So best guess is a minimum of 385’000 illegal downloads in the past few weeks of season 2 by my calculations.
    Why because they do not release the series in other english speaking countries at the same time. Lost business BIG time!
    Pity this doesn’t count towards the ratings.
    Although I loved the show – with the knowledge of the fact its cancelled I am in no rush to see it end – ill wait till season 2 is done and grab the box set instead.

  20. @ irish pete… NO NO NO. Okay I know they are probably going to be canceled, but don’t say it. 🙁 Love Human Target, lol. Though not nearly as much as Sons of Anarchy.

  21. Your knees and hands are hurting because your fur kids are sleeping ON you instead of next to you. Another thing that happens is THEY get comfortable where they want to be, and you have to contort your body around them. Eight hours of being in an awkward position results in all kinds of aches and pains. After a couple of times, I realized that comfortable babies (that I hated to disturb) can get REcomfortable again a lot easier than I can. 🙂 Good luck.

  22. your sacrificing comfort for your dogs’ sake will surely earn you some good karma points. And was the sea bass overcooked while you decided on how to get the fishes out?
    I was already drooling when you mentioned kobe beef burgers. Once you added the onions and other toppings, I was ready to find a flight to Toronto. Reason prvailed, and I’ll settle for adding that place to my “must visit if I am ever in….” list.
    It’s somewhat conforting to see that the creative talents of the writing staff doesn’t manifest in artistic form. It would just be unfair for you folks to have that much talent. Still, the “teaser” is appreciated.
    Thanks for the pics, and best of luck on finding a more comfortable and permanant place to call home.

  23. @das – re: Carl ruining your joke. When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. I believe you can take a ruined joke and make it even better. Go for it!

    @Joe – I think it’s very gentlemanly of you that (as far as what you’ve disclosed goes), it hasn’t occurred to you to give Akemi the pull-away and you and the pack sleep on the bed.

  24. Too bad about your sleep problems. It reminds me of a TV show called “Mad About You”. Do you remember it?
    Paul Reiser’s character, Paul, kept waking up sore and tired. After advice from a sleep therapist, Paul decided to place a camera next to his bed. To his surprise, the camera showed his wife, Jamie (Helen Hunt), wailing on him while she was asleep.
    So….., is one or more of the pups getting revenge for the big move? 😀
    Sleep well tonight!

  25. If they are deep just get wood filler its a small crayon looking thing that fills the scratchs. If its not deep just paint it.

  26. Questions about the new series:
    1. What does the new series have in common with Stargate?
    2. What does the new series have in common with the Xbox game Simpson’s Road Rage?
    3. What are some locales we’ll see in the new series?
    4. Who is your favorite character?
    5. What are some of the main character’s quirks or, oh, let’s say, rules that govern his/her behavior?
    6. What has the main character been doing since the last movie?
    7. What will the main character be doing in the pilot that we’ve seen him/her do before?
    8. What does the main character do for a living?
    9. Does the main character have any special skills?
    10. Is the main character an upstanding, square-jawed hero?
    11. What does the main character have in common with you?
    12. Does the main character have any pets?

  27. Meant droid in my previous comment. Sorry. Any chance you could kindly correct me? Thanks.

  28. @ DP – I lost the moment. 🙁 But I’m sure I’ll make it up sometime! 😉

    @ Joey – Since it’s fresh on my mind – any news on the comic book front?



  29. @das: “So try putting something cushy between your legs at night, see it it helps.” Come on, this is too easy. 🙂

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