1Hey, check out what was on t.v. in the hospital waiting room.  Yes, SG-1 – specifically, season 9 episode Evolution II.  Right at the part where the bad guy is about to clamp the  booster cables on Daniel Jackson’s junk, I get called in to see the doctor.  I explained the situation.  Lower back pain, more of an ache, focused on the right hip area, going on three weeks now.  Minimal pain at night.  Hardly any at all in the morning. But often overwhelming stiffness after sitting down for prolonged periods of time.  The diagnosis: Try not to sit down so much. Really.  Oh, sure, he checked my spine, had me bend this way and that, asked me to push, pull, resist.  All good.  Like everyone else, he assumes it’s muscular – and muscular issues can take up to six weeks to clear up.  He suggested that if it doesn’t clear up in another two weeks, I should ask my family doctor for an x-ray.

I could.  But I got a line on a guy with an MRI machine.  That might be the way to go – especially with Tokyo less than three weeks away!

So, tomorrow is my birthday.  (As if you didn’t know).  And, today, Akemi surprised me with THIS –


It’s a super blender, apparently capable of liquifying everything from fresh fruit to hands of your enemy.  Anyway, Akemi captured me going through the standard The Three Stages of Surprise Gift Getting…


It’s like close-up super slo-mo footage of a hummingbird feeding. Pretty fascinating, huh?

And in other news:  Paul and I have signed a development deal to write a script and series overview for an original project, and also signed a deal to develop a premise and pitch a series based on a book by an acclaimed SF author.  In addition, we’re developing a show with Robert Cooper, and I’m about to tackle the second scene of a new pilot script.

I’m pretty much done with all of the new fall shows.  On the other hand, I did check out the fourth year premiere of what looks to be a very promising new season of The Walking Dead.  I’ve also been catching up on some of the movies languishing in my PVR.  As much as I enjoyed The Orphanage, I thought Guillermo del Toro’s Mama was aptly named for the Japanese market, “mama” being the Japanese equivalent to “so so”.  Judge Dredd, on the other hand, was a pleasantly kitschy, ultra-violent surprise.

50 thoughts on “October 15, 2013: Finally getting around to this and that!

  1. Wait, what? Your birthday is here again? It seemed like it was like no time ago at all. These years, they’re going by too fast lately. Happy pre-birthday anyway!

    That blender looks awesome. What’s the first thing you’re going to blend? I suggest the control panel for your oven. (How’s that working, anyway? I can’t remember if you got a new one or not.)

    Good news on the work front, although of course I’m still waiting to hear something positive on “Dark Matter”. I watched the season premiere of The Walking Dead as well, and thought it was a great start. My grocery shopping is never that exciting.

    1. GForce I H.A.T.E. S.P.I.D.E.R.S. You remember my arm? The hospitalization? Speaking of hospitals, how is your stepmom?

  2. Early Happy Birthday. In 4 hours Texas time, you’ll be….30. Nice gift.

    Get the MRI. It is a long trip to Japan.

    Actually I was going to say that is exactly what Maddie does. So I guess that means she thinks anything we leave on the counters is a gift for her? BTW, everybody, she is fine. She ate food today. So enough raisins to make her tummy upset and her energy low, but not enough to kill her.

  3. What what? You’re done with all the new fall shows? Like you’re not watching any of them at all? Not even Agents of SHEILD? Or Sleepy Hollow? Or Michael J. Fox’s show? You’re Canadian; you’re supposed to LOVE anything with Michael J. Fox, Fellow Canadian. (I’m not watching it either, but I’m Canadian by choice, not by birth, so I get a pass, right?)

  4. Happy Birthday Joe! Might not have access to a computer tomorrow, so I will say it now. I hope you have a great day.

  5. Yes, Yes, Yes, thats a lot of good news in one blog, thanks for sharing, and its almost your birthday too. Early well wishes, and a speedy solution for the back/hip, don’t envy you that plane ride. Maybe you have lost so much weight you have no meat on your backside to cushion a session of sitting, try some pillows. I really don’t know what to tell you to try but hope its better tomorrow. Nice gift Akemi, great idea, maybe Joe can blend up a drink to soothe his achey stuff. Happy day before Birthday!

  6. Joe, I seriously thought when you said “I explained the situation” that you were going to say you told the doctor that SG-1 was on in the waiting room and could he please wait so you could watch the end of the episode.

    As for tomorrow being your birthday, I have unfortunately been lax in my stalking of Stargate people’s Wikipedia pages, so I was not aware and am so glad you reminded me. Happy, Happy Early Birthday. I thought I would go ahead and say that now because tomorrow I will be spending all day looking at houses to buy because my better half now insists we move to his state of choice since we have been living in mine for the last fourteen years. Tomorrow night I will most likely be drinking to drown out the memories of horrible real estate agents and the shanties they try to pass off as mansions.

  7. Happy Birthday, Joe!

    It must be a banner day as Barb and I are celebrating our 19th wedding anniversary today. We’ll have to celebrate your belated birthday sometime during our next visit.

    And funny enough, Barb and I were looking at blenders/juicers tonight, although Barb is more interested in the single-serving cup type (I think she was dropping hints for her birthday in December).

    And congrats on the script, pilot, and series contracts! And with Rob C a well! I can’t wait to hear what it’s all about!

    As for Judge Dredd, I’ll admit watching it was a guilty pleasure. I watched it this past weekend when my kids and wife left me all alone for Saturday night. Not much thinking involved, just a lot of action sequences. I saw the Sylvester Stallone version years ago, and while there was less character development in the new Dredd, I enjoyed it more just for the eye candy action sequences…just right for a decompression Saturday night by myself!

  8. Okay, I had a comment but pressed the wrong freaking button and it disappeared!! 😡 It was something about your doctor visit, gforce’s spider, Paranormal Activity and Paranormal Entity, Shark Tank, your MRI, and future blog entries starring your new blender. And maybe something about your birthday, but I forgot. Leaving now before I press the wrong damn button AGAIN!! 😡

  9. AoS is growing on me – I like the little Scottish kid. 🙂 (‘Like’ as in, I’m enjoying the character…not as in ‘creepy old cougar has the hots for a wee li’l lad’. 😉 )

    Anyhoo…kitchen gadgets aren’t my thing. I have limited space, so I’m good with just the basics – a good blender (which happens to be my grandmother’s 1970-something Osterizer Galaxie 10 blender), a hand mixer, and food processor (that I rarely use, except to make hummus), and a coffee-type grinder. I also have a electric lemonade (or OJ) squeezer, but that’s only because my crappy tunnel syndrome won’t allow me to squeeze more than one or two citrusy fruits at a time. I also find that the clean up of fancy time-saving gadgets is more of a hassle than if I just used a cutting board and knife, so I just don’t see them as making anything easier.

    As far as non-electric gadgets go, I do have a couple choppers, but I only use them when a dish requires a lot of chopping, or fine dicing. And, of course, I have the basic peelers, graters, and stuff like that, and a great garlic press from Pampered Chef. Best press I’ve ever had (and I tried just about every single on on the market until getting this one over 10 years ago).

    My parents, on the other hand, have every gadget that has ever been made – dehydrators and juicers and blenders and anything else you can name. Cabinets full of the things, and once the novelty wears off, that’s where they usually stay. It’s probably also why I don’t like buying a lot of kitchen appliances that I know will eventually end up collecting dust in the back of a cabinet, taking up space and long forgot.

    Damn. I am a negative nelly tonight, aren’t I? Sorry. I’ve been a tad moody today. Must be hormones. 😛


  10. The diagnosis: Try not to sit down so much. Really. Oh, sure, he checked my spine, had me bend this way and that, asked me to push, pull, resist. All good. Like everyone else, he assumes it’s muscular – and muscular issues can take up to six weeks to clear up. He suggested that if it doesn’t clear up in another two weeks, I should ask my family doctor for an x-ray.

    I could. But I got a line on a guy with an MRI machine. That might be the way to go – especially with Tokyo less than three weeks away!

    that’s a good plan, considering that you’ll be sitting on an airplane for several hours 7 want to be pain free for your trip.

    and every time i go to a medical waiting room there’s nothing that good (like Sg-1) on tv. it’s mostly the news, sports or reruns of a tv show i don’t like. 😕

  11. Happy Birthday!
    Good boy, doing the smart thing with the MRI.
    Otherwise, all the doctors in the house would get after you again.

    Akemi – Great Gift!!!

  12. G’day
    Is the 16th here now, so Happy Birthday!!!!! You old fart :p

    Stupid doctors. Take a pill and see in a few weeks, sounds about normal.

    @ gforce – yep so it’s a spider, get tons of them here.

  13. Wow, congrats on all the work developments.

    Still haven’t gotten around to even watching a lot of the fall shows I want to check out yet…

  14. Happy birthday!
    As for the pain, you are going to be on a freaking airplane going and coming… tell them to figure it out. If it is muscle, hopefully they can give you something for pain. Pain gets old fast.

  15. It’s after midnight central time, so Happy Birthday Joe!!!
    (Yes, that’s supposed to be you and the furry baby)
    You really do need to have the back situation sorted before the long plane ride. Sitting will only aggravate the situation. On the other hand, lots of in-flight cocktails couldn’t hurt.

    Excellent news on the writing front. Also glad to hear of developing a show with Robert Cooper.

    I’m not so sure about eating the blender box though…

  16. Joe have they xrayed your hip joints I have bad hips from sitting for long periods of time (truck driver) and my initial simptons sound familiar to yours.also could be a hip Bursitis.

  17. so.. with that “bad back”, should you really be *lifting* such gifts..??

    Anyhoo, HAPPY B-DAY, DUDE!! And, try not to blow out a lung! 😀

  18. By the size of the box, you are sure Akemis gift not is a BENDER (Futuramas one).

    Happy Birthday Joey and you know its a wonderful Day for pie!


    Im excited with the work news, especially with the incorporation of Rob. Holly M.. it smells like good old times.

  19. Happy Birthday, Joe!! (It is the 16th) Hope you have a great DAY! 🙂

    I agree with everyone who’s suggested MRI … you don’t want to take chances with such a long haul flight on the horizon!

    As for a TV in the hospital waiting room, well I tend to avoid hospitals like the plague! However they used to always have entertainment at my dentist – modern screen above the dentist chair which kept me suitably occupied while they poked and prodded. Now it’s always switched off and the last time I visited she (dentist) spent several minutes griping about not having time to visit the loo! What was I supposed to say? Go now and don’t forget to wash your frickin’ hands before you put them back in my mouth!!

    Anyone know how to deal with a post cold cough? It’s driving me nuts! I went through the cold from hell – Ribena and Soup – all I could tolerate for days! Now I’m left with this cough. It’s definitely chesty, I talk and it leads to coughing in a really undignified way. I suppose I just have to wait for it to go on it’s own and hope everyone still wants to sit next to me on the bus! No, wait, maybe I’ll have both seats to myself … okay, there is an advantage! 🙂

    PS: Good luck with the writing projects, Joe! 🙂

  20. @PBMom: Sorry about the arachno-shock therapy! 🙂 My step-mom is still doing pretty well, but still at the hospital waiting for nursing home placement. For better or worse, we’re waiting for a few other people to die to free up space. Not a nice thought, I know.

    @Janet: The more remarkable thing is that it’s been below freezing a couple of recent nights here, so bug and spider season I thought was pretty much done. Poor thing – there’s not too many flies out and about any more to eat!

    1. @Gforce. I understand that. Not a pleasant thought but an accurate one. In my previous job, when the hospital beds were filled there was a lot of medical reports and therefore a plenitude of work. So my prosperity was on the suffering and illness of others. It is a necessary job, but you have to keep that in mind when you are working and I would always say a short prayer for all those who were there before starting my day.

  21. I enjoyed TWD season premier. It was a nice slow burn. Clara, the creepy girl in the woods, really made that episode. And I can’t wait to find out what killed Harry Potter. The entire group dynamic has changed now, with the new additions and I anticipate some great stories this season.

    Great gift Akemi! Joe, what will you blend first?

  22. So, ol’ man…how are ya feelin’ this morn? Old and creaky? Or are ya wakin’ up feelin’ just like a spring chick, a-scratchin’ and a-peckin’ at the dirt like a banty rooster lookin’ for a fight?

    I hope it’s a good day – enjoy it to the full!


  23. ARGH! I forgot to say congratulations on all this stuff. I had to look up which one of you was attached to Echoes, but that was Carl and not Robert Cooper. Sounds like 2014 will be an excellent year!

  24. Nice blender!

    Ugh, pain and flights are not a happy combo. Hope you find relief soon.

    Happy birthday! My hubby’s B-day was yesterday. He;s been training a new driver, so he’s on longer runs instead of staying regional and coming home every few days. He was in South Carolina last night, had dinner at a Waffle House. Pork chops, eggs, grits, gravy and biscuits. I have no idea how he stays so skinny.

  25. Happy Birthday, Joe! I hope Akemi does something special for your big day. Hope you have a blast.

  26. Season 9, as if I wouldn’t know the names and seasons of all the episodes with RDA. Are you testing us?

  27. Hello there,
    are those deals related to your own projects or are they new projects for you and Paul?

    I’ve had that same pain in the same area for years now. It started when I was in my early forties. I take Aleve for it since there is nothing they can do for it. The pain if from a bad fall I took down a pair of steps when I was in my 30’s. It’s actually not caused by any thing located where it hurts, but rather from injured muscles in my lower shoulder contracting and pulling on the muscles below it. If it starts hurting too much where you can’t even walk, then raise your arms above your head and then bend straight down from your waist very gently and slowly as as far as you can go. No side to side, just straight down. Also do shoulder rolls.

    Mama becomes and even better movie when you find out that, except for a few scenes no human can do, Mama was played by a real actor who was basically manipulated like a large puppet.

  29. Wow, all these Stargate fans, and no one else noticed your typo? Evolution is actually a season 7 two-parter, isn’t it? That’s the one with Enrico Colantoni and the zombie guy. I really think Enrico would’ve been a great fit on SG-1 with a semi-recurring role(or, dare I say, as RDA’s replacement instead of Browder!).

    So, who’s your doctor, Groucho Marx?

    “Hey doc, it hurts when I lift my arm.”

    “Don’t lift your arm.”

    Happy Birthday, Joe! Don’t sit down.

    Great news on the development deals! Just try to keep your Sunday football time with Rob and the guys all about football(or fantasy football) and food. Once the games are over, then talk about work. It makes the football more enjoyable, especially if you’re just watching the NFL RedZone channel.

    -Mike A.

  30. I watched Death Note. Rather enjoyed it.
    I mentioned before I watched Bakemonogatari, and all and all I think I enjoyed watching that too. It had a very little bit of fan service of rather poor taste, but otherwise I enjoyed the clever dialogue.

    Birthdays. I never stop wanting the presents but the actual contemplation of another year older and further slide into decrepitude, well I try to avoid thinking about that. My daughter takes great delight in reminding me.

    I got an early birthday present, a Casio solar watch. It has an analog face with a small digital window on the bottom. The face is a solar cell. The watch case and band are black, the numbers and hands are orange. It has a phoney divers time ring, which is silly, whats the point if it doesn’t actually turn? But it was relatively inexpensive and on sale.

    I wanted a watch that didn’t need a battery, and the all analog self winding watches in my price range are not all that accurate. I have a half dozen digital watches in a box that are worth less then the battery costs that need to be replaced. I’m hoping that I’ll never have to replace the rechargeable battery, and the watch will last a very long time.

    It has a timer function, world time function, stopwatch, and a few other features I will probably never use. Hopefully it will keep decent time.

  31. @PBMom: I think in your case your prosperity was probably on the REDUCING of suffering and illness in others! 🙂

  32. Happy birthday Joe, I hope it’s a good one without too much pain. I guess that it’s an occupational hazard when you work sitting down at a typewriter or word processor for much of the day. Here’s the thing. I hate them but… what if you used one of the voice recognition programs for a couple of days.

    You wouldn’t have to sit down. IBM and Dragon are pretty good these days. I had to use one when I was on holiday with the family to write a detailed report. I just used a dictation recorder and my phone to record my voice. I got home and converted the sound files to text using Dragon.

    Ok I had to carefully read what it had transcribed (some of the results were hilarious) but it worked for about 20,000 words. I spent most of the holiday walking about (and talking to myself obviously) Just a suggestion.

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