Ah, apartment life.  This morning, at a tick past 5:30 a.m., we awakened to this:

The dogs were freaked out by the alarm, Lulu in particular who just sat at the top of the stairs, refusing to move until I went up and got her.  At one point, a voice came over the P.A. to inform us that they were investigating and stay tuned for another announcement in two minutes.  Back to the soul-quaking blare. I took the time to brush my teeth and put on pants.  Five minutes later, when the second announcement came, it went like this: “The fire department has been called.”  And nothing else.  No “Stay put while we investigate further.” or “Guests are urged to make their way down to the lobby.” or “RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!”.  I was leaning toward heading back up to bed to wait for the next announcement but noticed that Akemi already had her coat on and was headed out the door with all four dogs.  I followed her out into the empty hallway.  Had everyone else already made their way down?  While Akemi attempted to coax a skittish Bubba and Lulu down the stairs, I scooped up Jelly and Maximus, a pug in each arm, and followed.

Not surprisingly, in the end, it was all for naught.  Akemi and I (and the four dogs), along with the other dozen residents who bothered evacuating, cooled our heels for about an hour (And I do mean cooled.  It was fucking cold outside!) before we were allowed back upstairs.


Akemi: "The sky is so beautiful." Joe: "$&@$ the sky. I want my beautiful bed."


At one point, Akemi popped into Starbucks for a cappuccino and a quick warm-up. Bubba parked his furry butt down and refused to move until she came out again.

One week in the new place and one fire alarm.  That’s some average.  On the bright side, given that we were up so early, we had the whole day ahead of us.  Theoretically.  I went back to bed and slept in until 9:30 a.m.

Today, it was back to St. Lawrence Market where we picked up more produce – and partook in another terrific Mustachio’s sandwich, this one the chicken parmsean –


Now THAT is a sandwich!

After dropping off our purchases back at the place and taking the dogs for their second walk of the day, we headed out for my location scout to Casa Loma, the possible sight of the big episode 5 climax…


Built at a cost of 3 million dollars about a hundred years ago, the comparative cost today would be 100 million.
This would be perfect for the "Frank comes crashing through the skylight in his Audi, lands on the bad guy, and races off to save the gal" scene.
Lots of room to pull some doughnuts in here.
And plenty of racing room down this corridor.
Then Frank drives his Audi down this set of stairs with two wheels riding the handrail.
Suitably creepy bad guy interrogation room. ("Is it safe? IS IT SAFE?").

The climb up to the tower. It's freakin' me out, man!

Back down on the ground, safe and sound. And much relieved.
Give up all hope, ye who enter here. Apparently.
Scary, no?
Akemi assumed this was the international sign for Bee Room: Beware!
Pretty scary too.

In a perfect bookend to my day, I locked myself out of my apartment tonight.  Fortunately, the affable security guard had the master key and was kind enough to open my door for me – while informing me that Stargate: Universe didn’t have enough action and was too complicated for him.


43 thoughts on “April 8, 2011: An early start to my day!

  1. All this nonsense about the politicians not doing their jobs and not funding the US gov’t makes me sick. Now they all smile and pretend to love each other again — WE HAVE A DEAL!
    I shall gag

    Ah — Joe, I read your post, you changed my mood and gave me a laugh. Sorry it was at your expense.

    Thank you. I’m glad there was no fire. The kids look swell -how’s Jelly feeling?

    g’night – 2cats

  2. That sounds like a horrible day, ps the security guard really said that??lol seems like it has enough action as it is

  3. Joe wrote,“Fortunately, the affable security guard had the master key and was kind enough to open my door for me – while informing me that Stargate: Universe didn’t have enough action and was too complicated for him.”

    Not enough action!? What is it you like to say Joe?…“I’m going to have to call bullshit on this one”. All three of your shows, SG1, SGA, and SGU are fantastically action packed!

    (did you just notice you are teaching me how to curse too)

    Too complicated? For me, SG1 sometimes, SGA no, SGU yes, since I’m trying to watch while my crazy beagle is bouncing off the walls (I did not have her when SGA was on). But I can certainly see (from your blog commenters), that the diehard-record-every-episode-and-watch-30-times-before-the-next-one-comes-on, would not think it was too complicated at all. And you know who you are.

    Damn fire alarm. Someone probably put some eggs on to cook then went to take a “quick” shower.

  4. Ditto what 2cats said. sure 11th hour, magical, while much money was wasted by each agency to prepare for the shutdown.

    love pix of the lil ones.
    nite nite

  5. I think this is the first time I’ve seen you in jeans and a t-shirt, Joe. Then again, I’m getting really old and can’t remember shit lately. 🙂 Whatever the case, you’re looking good! Glad to hear there was no fire. The pics of the dogs are, as usual, too cute. Have a good night!

  6. So Joe, lemme ask you, when somebody like the doorman says that to you about SGU, does it make you glad that they at least gave it a shot or does it bug you at all?

    (or do you roll your eyes and mutter “Troglodyte..” under your breath?)

  7. Casa Loma looks fucking cool, I want to live in a castle. Cant wait to see this show, any news of a Canadian broadcaster?

  8. Hi Joe:

    The procedure your apartment building used for fire alarm was just like the hotel in Toronto that I stayed in for the Polaris convention a couple of years ago. Is your apartment building a Double Tree by Hilton? When I was there, most of the people ignored the alarm, unless you were Rainbow Sun Franks and Cliff Simon, then you stood outside for two hours while nothing much happened. Great way to get to know the celebs, especially when they were in their jammies…or not. 🙂

    While exploring Casa Loma, did the tell you that the owner paid the locals a dollar each for the numerous rocks to build that imposing wall around the place? Even today, who wouldn’t take a deal like that?

    What did you think of those bathrooms and shower facilities? Well ahead of their times, but not exactly luxurious by today’s standards.

    I sure hope you pick Mike Dopud as a lead, or at least a regular on the series. He really is a sweetheart. He deserves every success.


  9. Shouldn’t that be “bee-ware”? Ha! Anyway, beautiful picture of the early morning Toronto sky.

  10. Hi Joe,

    Sorry you had a rough day. But atleast you go to see a great sunrise as well as see some great architecture. While I do agree with said Security guard, there are some damn good episodes mixed in there as well.

  11. For some reason I found the last paragraph the most amusing. Stupid security guard, what does he know :P.

  12. At least they warned you. As you are not on the ground floor a real disaster would have been extremely bad news.

    Luckily I have a house, where exiting fast is an easy thing to do.

    Case in point:

    I woke up at 2am because the dogs were barking, blearily made my way to the bathroom to do my thing and finally realised that one side of the house was a pretty dark orange colour.


    It was the longest – pee – of – my – life as I watched the one side of my house being slowly consumed by flames.

    Finally I was done and raised the alarm, getting dogs, cats and us outside (summer here in Cape Town) where we could watch the drama unfold.

    We saved the house due to a couple of things:

    We had two fire extinguishers. I cannot even begin to stress how important this was.

    We could call ADT and scream for help. The fire cut the alarm and telephone wires just after I phoned them, which really must have got them moving fast – I had the first security car screech to a halt two minutes later.

    The two ADT cars also had fire extinguishers and four people with fire extinguishers managed to hold back the flames until the fire trucks finally arrived 15 minutes later.

    Apparently a couple were firebombed outside our house (we have a parking lot on that side). The burning accelerant also splattered our house and guttering and continued to burn. The rest was history.

    I found out later that the man survived. She wasn’t so luckily.

  13. “the affable security guard had the master key and was kind enough to open my door for me – while informing me that Stargate: Universe didn’t have enough action and was too complicated for him.”

    I guess it’s not a temp job.

  14. Hey Joe,

    Loving the St.Andrews Flag, Scotland’s National Flag in the corridor 🙂 Good catch

    Brilliant blog fella, the dogs are always good for a laugh.

    BTW the sky is gorgeous


  15. No offence to the security guard personally, but SGU being too complicated is why he is a security guard…just maybe 🙂

    Joe, did you see the SGU rating per Trendrr.tv?


    It was the number one show in TV last week. SGU does have an audience and HUGE. SGU, and the Stargate franchise need to go online distribution only.

    Good luck with The Transporter. I look forward to seeing it 🙂

  16. Hi Joe how about instead of the fire alarm how about instead imagine it was like at the sgc a incoming wormhole coming in noise and alarms and walter on the pa giving instructions.

  17. Casa Loma! I haven’t been in years. But as soon as I saw those pictures of the tunnel, I remembered.

    Have you been to the Ontario Science Centre yet?

  18. how come on youtube most viewed videos that get millions of views i always somehow come across a comment mentioning SGU? i dont ever read anything about other shows, its allows something something sgu. could the show be the popular just on the web? can’t brad focus just on that instead of a dvd movie? i made a thread on gateworld about how webisodes could work better: http://forum.gateworld.net/showthread.php?80554-How-about-SGU-webisodes-spin-off

  19. the tvbythenumbers guy doesnt know what hes talking about. SGU might not be as popular as BSG but people out there wont pass spaceships and ‘space marines’ and go to watch mtv.

  20. deeinsouthafrica: so sorry but glad you are safe!

    I hope you get a nap today Mr. M..

  21. Try not to take this the wrong but…I want your life. Its so much more interesting than mine.

  22. Always loved that castle & looks cool in ANY production!!

    I would be ripping the alarm out. Or requesting another sound. I realize it is supposed to make you want to run away.

  23. I’m with Lulu. We have three alarms in our office, the fire alarm, a panic alarm for the basement, and a motion sensor alarm for the property room. I said, “Suppose there’s a fire in the property room, which is in the basement, someone there hits the panic button and runs, setting off the motion sensor alarm. If all three of those alarms go off, I won’t be calling for backup, I’ll be curled up in a ball under my desk, hands over my ears, crying.” Or I could hit the panic button on my radio, sending out the distress tone to all the other officers…at what point do alarms get ridiculous? And so they have to be so freaking LOUD??

    We had a hailstorm last week, with hailstones larger than golfballs–no exaggeration! While I ran around closing windows, Spock huddled under the coffee table and Cheetah climbed up onto Bill’s shoulders, freaked out by the noise. All the screens on the west side of the house were torn out of the frames, but we didn’t lose any windows. And strangely enough, no dents in the car.

  24. @ deeinsouthafrica
    Here in the USA, we forget that many people around the world live with such happenings as almost routine. I am glad you and your house are okay. Terrible about the couple and loss of the woman. 🙁

    Joe, a while back I told you to marry Akemi. SO marry her or adopt her, but keep her. You need her sunshine personality. What a gorgeous sky! You can go back to bed any time, lol.

    SGU has plenty of action. He probably watched ONE episode that wasn’t a lot and condemned the whole thing.

    LOL I couldn’t live in your building. My husband uses the smoke alarm as a timer for the oven… ALARM… pizza’s ready. Sigh.

  25. So, Joe, you took my advice and visited Casa Loma. 😉 ‘Tis a beautiful place, I hope someday to see it myself.

    @ deeinsouthafrica – What a terrible story! I’m glad you and yours are safe, but so sad for that couple. Geez…I think the world is just going insane.

    @ Quade – Ever since I was a wee lass I’ve wanted to live in a castle. Not as elegant as Casa Loma with the plastered walls and such, but something more like this:


    I just love stone. Stone, and wood. So, most rooms stone, except the library, where I would want lots of wood. And wood beams showing…love wood beams, too. I was so born in the wrong era. 😛

    @ Joe – Glad it was a false alarm, but that’s one thing I hate about apartment life – you’re at the mercy of all the strangers that live in your ‘house’. Someone may fall asleep while smoking, someone may be using a bad extension cord, someone may leave a pan of oil on the burner unattended. But at least your place has a good alarm system. Let’s just hope it’s not something that commonly goes off in the middle of the night.


  26. hey Joe, please tell me that your new show is not going to be as romantic as SGU because that is what I think made SGU fail, fans were not used to watching something not based completely on action and I personally prefer action over romance.

  27. I want that solarium with domed stained glass ceiling. Someday, one can dream.

    I’m enjoying the 4th book in the Bartimaeus Trilogy, Ring of Solomon, kind of a prquel. Cleverly has Solomon and Sheba as warring enemies, a nice change to that tale.

    The sandwich looks so fabulous. I have not been able to get a decent meal out in a while; every time something has vexed me; like the cafe at work has icky barley soup instead of the wondrous creamy tomato. April is turning into a month of missed dining opportunities, grumble grumble.

  28. No exit from tunnels or stables…yeah, creepy, those words don’t belong together.

    And, if you ever ask to tour my 19th century estate, I’m definitely asking your intentions.

    I thought I was the only one who imagined driving a car through when touring mansions, but you’re the only one who intends to make it happen for real. Speaking of which, there’s a hotel at a back gate of Versailles w/ some nice straightaways leading to the pools.

    Have you seen this 100 year old mansion in France?


    The dude wanted future generations to see how he lived so he had the place shuttered for 100 years. I’m guessing his lifestyle was more representative of an eccentric bachelor than typical French life. Just a guess.

  29. @Destiny 101

    I actually like the romance elements. I mean, I like it when they serve a purpose (character development, or woven into the story in a way that matters).

    For instance, for me, one of the things that made the original “Terminator” such a fantastic film is the romance element that was both genuine and integral to the storyline.

    What I love about sci-fi in general is that, literally, anything is possible. Action, adventure, romance, magic, mystery, suspense, horror…they’re all fair game in sci-fi and when several are combined, those are the best sci-fi moments to me.

  30. @deeinsouthafrica

    Wow, I am so glad you all got out OK! I shall ask my DH about the status of our fire extinguishers. Thanks for the reminder.

  31. that alarm must go off a lot if not many people responded to it.

    nice-looking chicken parmsean sandwich.

    casa loma looks like a great place to visit.

    i don’t think that’s the international sign for bee room, just a rather plain coat of arms.

  32. That alarm at 5:30am DAMN, would scare the shit out of me. When I used to live in the apartment that I shared with my dad back in Blenheim, Ontario. The firealarm in the apartment was right outside the bedrooms. I once was woken by it when the battery malfuntioned. Talk about being pulled from a dead sleep.

  33. @Stargate: Universe didn’t have enough action and was too complicated for him.

    Honestly speaking, while I agree the show needed one or two maybe action scenes, they shouldn’t really be there just for the sake of being there, and complicated? I don’t think any of the 40 episodes come accross as complicated.

    I would say the lack of Adventure dissapoints me, SG1 and Atlantis both had it, going to new planets discovering new things, meeting new friends and foes, lots of team bonding moments.

    While I think it could of used more Adventure, I still think the show could of structured Matt, Eli, Greer and someone like Chloe going offworld some eps, meeting some humans in costumes lol(You know cheap Scifi aliens), getting into some random trouble, bonding more, and having you know fun?

    Forget the flashy CGI, some old fashioned Vancouver forest episodes would of been welcomed, you know like how you did a ton for Atlantis.

    That’s one thing that makes me kinda sad when looking at the characters. Brian J Smith would of made a great team leader in the old style Stargate way, whilst keeping his character true to the roots of SGU.

  34. By the way, any idea who Frank will be in your Transporter show Joe? I assume by now there must be a few people that come accross as suitable for the job?

  35. I am so annoyed that the quality shows are the ones getting canceled.
    My wife and I love SGU. It was a thinking persons Star Gate.
    Don’t get me wrong, I always liked Rich Anderson and all , but the story lines on SGU were great.
    TV is heading into a black hole with the lowest common denominator being the goal. I am about ready to shut down my cable and just go with hulu and dvds etc.
    I am glad for you that your life is as rich as it is. Good for you, but don’t drop your standards. We really really need quality shows out here. Thanks for the space to rant.

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