I was out walking my pug, Bubba, this afternoon and we were about three blocks from home when I heard the telltale jingle-jangle of a dog collar approaching from behind.  I glanced back, across the street, at a little white dog scampering up the sidewalk headed in our direction and then, from the corner of my eye, caught the truck barreling toward us. I estimated that, at their current rate of speed, dog and truck would meet smackdab in the middle of the intersection.  I scanned the surroundings.  No owner – no anyone else – in sight.  Just the dog, trotting along, oblivious to the looming danger, and that truck on a collision course.  Doing my best traffic cop, I stepped off the sidewalk, well clear of the truck’s trajectory, raised my hand and waved.  The dog hopped off the curb.  The driver noticed me, presumably saw the dog, and hit the brakes.  The truck stopped short, feet from the do who continued along, right past it, and over to Bubba – who, of course, freaked out and snapped at him.

The little guy was incredibly laid back and, as the truck motored off, took a seat beside me.  I checked his tags, found a name (Barker) and a number which I called.  I asked the fellow who answered the phone whether he had a little white dog.  In fact, he did.  I told him what had happened.  He seemed unperturbed, as though this wasn’t Barker’s first jailbreak.  As it turned out, we were kitty corner from his house. “The big blue one,”he informed me.  “Just bring him back to the girls.”

So I did, scooping him up under one arm, crossing the street, walking up to the front door and ringing the doorbell.  A young girl, late teens or early twenties, answered the door.  She was on her cell phone.  I explained the situation: her loose dog, the truck, catastrophe averted. She stared back at me quizzically.  Was it something I’d said? Something whoever she was chatting with on the phone had said?  A second, older woman, maybe in her early thirties, peeked out from around the corner and threw me a “Dude, what are you doing with my dog?” look.  I explained the situation for the third time, handed them their dog and, while the older woman mumbled a thanks and the younger girl resumed her cell phone conversation, Bubba and I headed back up the walk and home.

Weird.  While happy to have saved Barker’s life, I couldn’t help but feel as though they suspected me of having taken him in the first place.

1Oh, for those of you wondering, Bubba is feeling much better.  The bandage is off and he’s lost the cone – along with his nail…


To those wondering – no, I didn’t buy two bottles of scotch just so I could torture Akemi.  They’re actually for me.  Something about watching Boardwalk Empire makes me want to drink whisky…

As I mentioned in yesterday’s entry, my old high school buddy, Cas Anvar (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0031679), in is in town shooting a movie.  His credits include Argo, Diana (in which he plays the part of Dodi opposite Naomi Watts as Princess Diana), and, various gaming roles (Halo 4, Call of Duty Black Ops 2, Star Wars Clone Wars), most notably Altaïr from the Assassin’s Creed video game series.  Hell, just last night, he was showing off his custom made retractable wrist blade.  When was the last time YOU had a house guest show you that?

Anyway, even if you’re not a gamer, you may recognize him –

As Sayid's brother in Lost.
As Sayid’s brother in Lost.
As Gentleman Starkey in the Neverland miniseries.
As Gentleman Starkey in the Neverland miniseries.
Or getting punched by Jake Gyllenhaal in Source code.  That'll teach him not to finish the last of the craft service donuts.
Or getting punched by Jake Gyllenhaal in Source code. That’ll teach him not to finish the last of the craft service donuts.

Anyway, since he’s somewhat accessible (whenever he’s not working, all I have to do is walk down the hall and kick in the door of the guest room), I thought it might be fun to do a Q&A.  So if you’ve got some questions for Cas, be they Assassin’s Creed-related or otherwise, post them over the next couple of days.

I’ve got a Puerco Pibil roasting in the oven.  Damn, it smells good!


PBMom writes: “If you want a great character to model off of, watch Alphas and Gary if you are looking for higher end of the spectrum. If you ever wanted to come down and do some on-site research, I know Patrick’s school would welcome you with open arms. Of course, CARD in Los Angeles is excellent too and I know that Lou Diamond Phillips is on the board of directors so he’s got connections.”

Answer: Thanks for the tip.  I’d like to get a heavy amount of research in before sitting down to write the pilot.

Jesse writes: “Has there been any decision on the stack of blueprints? I’d be willing to digitize them, photo, scan, cad format… so that they can be shared with those that would like to have a set.”

Answer: Sorry, yes, decision has been made.  I just need to get my act – and all those blueprints together – and head down to my local Kinkos to have them scanned and digitized after which I’ll be giving them away to interested Stargate fans.

C.S. writes: “Have you ever considered starting a kickstarter for an Atlantis movie?”

Answer: This was already discussed in a previous entry (March 14, 2013: Veronica Mars fans are finally getting their movie! So when are Stargate fans getting THEIR movie?).  I’ll have more to say about kickstarter on an unrelated-to-Stargate note as part of tomorrow’s blog entry.

Deni writes: “Wasn’t it puerco pibil day?”

Answer: Today is puerco pibil day!  I moved the recipe showdown to Thursdays.  Tune in tomorrow for my take on Das’s recipe.

38 thoughts on “May 8, 2013: Dog rescue? Ask Altaïr! And a mailbag!

  1. With regards to Stargate and Kickstarter, without MGM behind it, it would be an impossibility anyway. Another thing, the rewards stuff too, MGM would need to provide 10s of thousands of boxsets to offer at higher tier donation prices and realistically I don’t think anyone could realistically fund the rewards out of their own pocket prior lol

    You only have to look at how popular the Veronica Mars thing was, and to be honest I think Stargate would exceed that, it would take a crazy about of time and man power to make that happen.

    That said I guess I was wrong about your friend Joe, now I remember, I watched that Neverland mini series within the past few months, and kinda enjoyed it, he did well there.

  2. Ooooh, didn’t know that! Not that it mattered, I’ve been too sick to cook anything, although I’ve managed to put on a considerable amount of weight in a week. I eat when I’m sick, and it sucks. I’ll catch up with the puerco pibil though, as soon as I”m better. 🙂 Can’t wait to see what everybody came up with!

  3. Bubba…your paw brings back memories. 😉

    Joe, maybe that little dog wants a new home. 😉

  4. Oh, so it wasn’t the upcoming AC movie, but the video game. I’m kinda in a fog the past couple days, sort of wrapped up with this situation in Cleveland, and so I’m not paying (good) attention to other things.

    I hope you enjoy the dish! I haven’t made it in a cpi[le…sorry, fingers slipped because something exciting happened in this rugby match I’m watching…and yes, I’m watching rugby while typing this – as in, my eyes are on the tv screen, not the computer screen – aren’t I talented?!? Anyhoo…I haven’t made the dish in a couple years, so…needless to say…ohhh! some pushing and shoving…these guys are getting testy…anyway, where was I?

    I forget. 😛

    Better go…needless to say, I am a bit distracted by sweaty dudes in shorts. 🙂


  5. So lucky that Barker had someone like you watching out for him, even if his owners weren’t. I guess we know who the real superhero is now! 🙂 I will say it doesn’t sound like Barker’s owners care that much about his whereabouts, which is a little disturbing.

    Regarding the pibil, unfortunately I wasn’t able to find several of the ingredients around here, at least in time to get it done for tomorrow. My step-mom has been rather unwell again lately (still at home, though), so that’s been taking some of my time and attention. I feel bad that I’m not able to participate this week, as I was looking forward to trying it.

  6. I agree with mamasue9 that maybe that little dog wants a new home and agree with gforce that it doesn’t sound like Barker’s owners care that much about his whereabouts. Next time Joe, keep the dog for a couple of weeks before calling home. Let them think about the situation for a little while so they might gain a new perspective on what it means to care for a dog.

    Not making the pibil but I can smell yours from here! Mmmmmm, mmmmm! Glad Bubber is getting better! Cool houseguest!

    @ Deni – Get well soon!

  7. You deserve a pat on the back for rescuing that dog! And those oblivious women don’t deserve to own a dog.

    Enjoy the puerco pibil. And you forgot to tell us that you were moving the recipe days to Thursday. But tomorrow is a travel day for me, so I might not get my review in until Friday.

  8. Some questions for Cas Anvar. Brave man!

    You have a long diverse impressive resume. What has been your favorite job so far?

    Is there anything you haven’t done yet that you would like to do?

    If you could only do one thing for the rest of your career, what would it be?

    What was the funniest thing that ever happened to you while filming, recording, or acting, etc?

    Where do you live when not in Joe’s guest room? Vancouver, Toronto, NY, LA, etc?

    Who speaks more foreign languages, you or Joe?

    Did you and Joe get into any trouble in High School? Like what?

    I guess you got to sample dasndanger’s Puerco Pibil? Well, how was it?

    Thanks for answering our questions Mr. Anvar!! Good luck in the future!

  9. Everytime i hear the word “Stargate”, I get all sad…..because i know it’s done. Maybe in another 10-20 years someone will come along and decide to bring it back. By then though it will not be the same. But no matter how long it takes I’ll be happy to watch. Even if i’m old and in an “old folks home”, I’ll be happy to sit beside someone who thinks they’re a glass of orange juice to get to watch.

  10. Wow, Cas has been in a lot of other things I have seen like Transformers, 24, The Terminal. I definitely remember him from Source Code. Great movie. Of course Lost. I will try to come up with additional questions that Ponytail has not already asked.

    Poor Bubba. I hurt for him.

    Very ungrateful people. I would be gushing over anyone who brought my dog back to me after they escaped. In fact Jeff left the gate open toight, and Maddie did not have her collar on. I heard her barking from what I thought was the front door and sure enough,there she was. Good girl that she came home but I don’t know how long she was out. Was that out of character for Bubba to snap at the dog, or was it because he is hurting?

    Also I heard the character on Parenthood who plays a child with high-functioning autism is well received by the autism community as being an accurate depiction. I think Elizabeth Moon, “The Speed of Dark” was great. Gary was so dead-on accurate of so many of my autism family friends, he made me laugh every time I watched Alphas. I remember when a new writer was coming onto Alphas for season 2, I tweeted them to not screw up Gary. They laughed and promised. Rainman–No. At the time it came out, the community was grateful for the exposure, but as time wore on, we tried to explain that the character had every list of every possible symptom feature but people took away from that movie that all people with autism have a savant skill when in fact most don’t. Alphas also introduced a female character with autism who was nonverbal and I loved how Gary figured out that the noises she would make with items was a form of communication and wrote a program for the computer to interpret, now with the show Touch on Fox, they made the mistake of saying Jake had autism before the premiere. In the show, the father said he was diagnosed with autism but never believed that was Jake’s problem. But you would have thought the world was ending. The autism groups went crazy for portraying the character so poorly. Even Netflix still has the description as Jake having autism. I think it hurt the show. Very tricky subject matter, Joe, because if you piss off the parents of kids with autism, they are even worse than the people who actively sought to create SGU hating sites. Mercury Rising got mixed reviews. I thought the kid who was in that role was incredible and I saw a lot of Patrick in him, but others were very upset by it. Let me see if I can get you some sort of list that parents have criticized or praised.

    @Deni. Sorry to hear you feel crappy. Sending healing thoughts your way.

  11. PS. I am reading (slowly) a book called Colin Fischer. It was written by Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz of X-Men First Class and Thor. The main character is a boy with high functioning autism who has to solve a mystery at his high school. Zack has loved ones close to him with autism so I am thinking the book is modeled off them.

  12. With apologies to Joe….please allow my asking some Rugby questions.

    Heya DAS….Please say what the name for the South Africa Rugby team means. Sprink bok???
    And, what is the purpose of the crisscross bodies in the scrum?
    They seem to create a “table” of bodies over the ball and push pull..so what is this supposed to result in?
    Thanks for any insights.
    Yeah….I had to watch a little of the Rugby Sevens and now is the final between New Zealand and South Africa.
    This is a rufffff game.

  13. A few weeks ago I was watching “Arrow” and I heard this voice that sounded so familiar. I stared at the actor, but couldn’t come up with a name nor where I knew that voice. I listened a few more minutes then I knew. Yes, I recognized the voice before the face of Ben Browder. He did a fabulous job with the role but the role didn’t allow that goofy grin and smile of Cam from Sg-1 that I so enjoyed seeing. good to see him anyway.

  14. You did a good thing, but I have a feeling that little guy would be better getting re-homed. Unfortuately there are too many families like this. They buy a dog for the kids…but with kids dogs are a 7 day wonder, if that, and the parents either don’t have the time (or the inclination) to bother.

    He’s such a cute dog. Looks like a smaller, younger version of my own dog.

  15. Hellooooo…. Joe, on behalf of the universe I thank-you for rescuing Barker. You’re a good man.

    Today was a day of blocks. It started off with a blocked drain & hours trying to fix it until I had to call a plumber. Then I got blocked on Twitter. By my favourite guy of all people. Hockey playoffs do weird things to people, I’ll never understand…. and I’m a sports fan so I’ve seen it all.

    I’m keeping busy. Seems like there’s not enough hours in the day to finish work lately.

    @Deni @Bubba – *hugs* hope you’re both feeling better soon.

    @PBMom – One character (although not officially acknowledged as Aspergers from what I know) that irks me is Sheldon from Big Bang. It’s like they wrote it from a textbook and they’re laughing at him rather than with him. It’s one of the reasons I don’t like the show.

    I liked Mercury Rising.


    1. Chev: That may be why I don’t understand that show. I’ve watched it a few times and I don’t find it funny at all.

  16. 2 weekends ago, on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, I heard the tell tale sounds of dog owners anxiously calling their dog. The dog is beautiful husky, very friendly, and decided she was going for a run…. by herself (it was a perfect day for it after all). After watching her people chase her from one cul-de-sac to another, my son and I went out to help. She was playing a game of TAG (obviously), and she was winning.
    I thought it was time to change the game, knowing that larger dogs like to wrestle, and play “got your hand/paw” (reminder: this is a dog I know – do not try this with strange dogs (or people for that matter……) I got down on all fours, and started slapping my hands on the ground. She liked the idea of the new game, came right to me, but she wanted to start with a staring contest, which quickly morphed into “got your hand/paw.”
    Mr. and Mrs. owner stood amazed as we played. She didn’t even mind that Mr. and Mrs. Owner had snuck up, and snapped on her leash.
    Moral: Don’t chase things, play, have fun – life will have a way of chasing you (well, at least it works with dogs 🙂 )

  17. @pbmom – I don’t mind you being a windbag. I’m following along. My son has Asperger’s and seems typical until he doesn’t. There’s plenty of grace from witnesses if he does something Rainmanny like throwing himself on the ground and smacking his head, but that’s really rare and just short of that level of agitation, it can sometimes appear as if he’s just being a jackass. I do want to know how it’s being portrayed to the public.

    I also understand why it can be scary if autism is portrayed incorrectly or the audience doesn’t get the message that it’s an individual on the screen. The opposite of getting grace for doing something Rainmanny is not getting it and not knowing where we stand as far as the public tolerating us feels like shaky ground.

  18. What do I do with the bone that’s left over after cutting up the roast? I bought a picnic shoulder roast because it was close to the right one and on sale (99 cents/pound 😛 ). I can render lard from the excess fat, but what can I do with that bone?

  19. @ sylvia

    I’ll do my best to answer!

    “Please say what the name for the South Africa Rugby team means. Sprink bok???”

    It’s ‘Springbok’ – a type of antelope. 😉

    The team is referred to as the ‘Boks’ for short, and the junior/under 20 squad is referred to as the Baby Boks. 🙂 Cute, no?

    “And, what is the purpose of the crisscross bodies in the scrum?
    They seem to create a “table” of bodies over the ball and push pull..so what is this supposed to result in?”

    Rugby Sevens is a little different from 15-a-side (which is what I prefer). In 7s there are only 6 men in the scrum (3 each side), whereas in 15s there are 16 men in the scrum (8 each side). But the concept is still the same: The two front rows (comprised of two props and a hooker), come together forming a ‘tunnel’, into which another player (the scrum half) inserts the ball. The idea is that the two props on each side ‘prop up’ their hooker, and then the hooker hooks the ball with his foot and pushes it to the back of the scrum, where the scrum half then retrieves the ball and play continues.

    The scrum is used to restart the game after a stoppage of play (usually due to a minor infringement of some sort). The team with the advantage gets to put the ball into the scrum, but then both teams have a chance to compete and get control of the ball and deliver it back to their team. The scrum in 15-a-side rugby is quite dangerous as the two packs try to push each other backwards in an attempt to get control of the ball while careful not to collapse the formation.

    In 7s it’s not quite as impressive – but then again you’re talking 600+ lbs (270+ kg) a side pushing against one another in 7s, compared to the massive 1600-2000 lbs (725-900 kg) a side grappling in 15s – that’s nearly two tons of body mass colliding head on!

    Because the scrum is a dangerous formation, players must bind in their contact with each other. Players must bind from hand to shoulder, usually by grabbing hold of another player’s shorts or jersey. This helps to keep the scrum from collapsing by keeping it tight and helps to prevent injury. Binding in a 15-a-side scrum is quite different than in 7s since many more players are involved. Here’s a close up of 15s front row:


    Rugby 7s scrum:


    Rugby 15s scrum:


    “I had to watch a little of the Rugby Sevens and now is the final between New Zealand and South Africa.”

    With Rugby 7s accepted into the Olympics now, I think we’re going to see a lot more of this form of the game. They’re even hyping it up here in the States, so it’ll be interesting to see if it catches on. I still prefer the traditional 15-a-side game, however. More ‘sweaty, smelly great big blokes’ to watch at a time. 😉


  20. Well we will thank you for rescuing that little fella, but I supsect Bubba was watching that whole scene unfold whilst muttering, “yes, yes, finish him!” when the truck was bearing down on Barker, and then Bubba threw his paws up in despair when you stepped in to save Barker. When you dropped Barker off Bubba’s parting words were probably “sleep with one eye open, fuzz face!”

    Question for Cas: I loved Argo so any filming tales he can share with us? Was the film as intense to shoot as it looked on screen or was the crew more relaxed to make up for the tense material?

  21. No good deed goes unpunished. Working with animals for a while, I’ve seen/heard a lot of callousness when it comes to pets. The shelter vet told me one of the worst stories though. Some lady brought her cat into the shelter to be euthanized because it didn’t match her couch. The sad thing is, the bitch probably bought another cat to replace the first one. Don’t get me started on bad pet owners……

    WE are glad you took Barker back. Thank you!

    Yay for No Cone of Shame!!!!!! Please give Bubba lots of hugs from all of us. The others may get jealous, so please give them hugs too.

    I recognize Cas Anvar from Netherland. Hi! I hope the visit goes well. Questions for Mr. Anvar: How does acting in movies/shows compare to video game voice roles? Which roles to you prefer between the two?

  22. Good for you, Joe! Good for Bubba, too, on his healing. I wish there were more responsible pet owners, like you, out there and hat young woman should be ashamed for not ungluing the cell phone from her ear. Poor wee doggie.

  23. Joe – Very glad you saved Barker. Sorry, meant to mention that before and got all interested in Rugby. It’s DAS’ fault.

    Are you going to use any of the Kawaii icons Akemi made for you?
    I peeked at her blog.

    Heya DAS,
    Thanks for insight. Re 7 vs 15…yeah, in the movie Invictus…they must have had the full 15 I guess and that looked way more dangerous.
    Now, the comment that is attributed to Mandela when talking to the Boks Captain makes a lot more sense – that his job was not as dangerous because there were no people ready to tear his head off.

    Thanks for the links too.

  24. Okay, I have another one for you Joe. This was a nonverbal teen with autism who is gifted and insightful. When he said, “I escaped my prison” and some other insightful things about what is going on for him, it made me cry. Rapid prompting method was introduced by a woman named Soma. It is sometimes called HALO. She happens to have a center in Austin, Texas…. http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Autistic-Teen-Writes-Book-on-an-iPad–204775591.html

  25. @PBMom – I find the only redeeming character is Penny. Although I must say I watched some of the Bob Newhart episode the other night at Dad’s and Bob was brilliant… he’s my favourite comedian.


  26. @ Chev and PBMom – You do realize that Sheldon is the ‘villain’ of the show, right? He annoys me, too, but my husband loves him! I don’t watch the show much, but when I do my favorite is Wolowitz. 🙂


    1. What kind of kid was Joey back in school? Quiet? Nerdy? Cool? Smart? Dumb as a bag of hammers?

    2. Do you have a specific fond memory/story about Joe and you from back in the day that you could share with us?

    3. Will you have any involvement in the planned Assassin’s Creed movie?

    4. Do you have a favorite Persian dish that you could share with Joey and his blog followers?

    Thankies in advance!


  27. @ Chev and PBMom – You realize that Sheldon is the ‘villain’ of the show, right? He annoys me, too, but my husband loves him! I don’t watch the show much, but when I do my favorite is Wolowitz.


    1. What kind of kid was Joey back in school? Quiet? Nerdy? Cool? Smart? Dumb as a bag of hammers?

    2. Do you have a specific fond memory/story about Joe and you from back in the day that you could share with us?

    3. Will you have any involvement in the planned Assassin’s Creed movie?

    4. Do you have a favorite Persian dish that you could share with Joey and his blog followers?

    Thankies in advance!


    (Joe – my computer is acting up – this may be a dup post)

  28. G’day

    Joe you are a good man.
    Even if the owners do not seem to care for the little fella.

  29. @das I don’t find Sheldon villainous but I really don’t watch the show. My Mum was a fan and if I was visiting I’d watch it with her. I think he’s misunderstood.


  30. “A young girl, late teens or early twenties, answered the door.” — That’s called a young woman, Joe. A young girl would be, like, a five-year-old.

    Something similar happened to me one time, although the people were not quite that bad. But they were a little too, “Yeah, that happens a lot, just bring him over,” for my comfort. Like the dog was just gonna run out into the street right away again. And it would have been nice if the people had been more grateful for a half-dozen or so not-quite-neighbors taking the time to round up a stranger’s dog.

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