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Archive for the ‘Dogs’ Category

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My Fantasy Football team, The Snow Monkeys, are on life support following a career worst performance by Green Bay Quarterback Aaron Rodgers.  And subpar performances by Tre Mason, Steve Smith, and Adam Vinatieri didn’t help.  We’re down 96.82 to 71.2o heading into tomorrow’s Monday Night game.  Do you think my final player, running back Matt Forte, has 27 fantasy points in him?  He did it once before this season, in Atlanta.  Can he do it at home against the New Orleans Saints?  I’m staying positive!

Drunken Uncles!

Drunken Uncles!

In addition to bemoaning my Snow Monkeys inevitable defeat, I spent much of the weekend refining my recipe for Monday’s Dark Matter cookie exchange.

"A watched cookie never bakes" - old proverb

“A watched cookie never bakes” – old proverb

All told, I will make approximately 80 of my Bourbon Brown Butter Cookies with Roasted White Chocolate Chunks (a.k.a. “Drunken Uncles” – thanks to Lawren Bancroft-Wilson, a fellow Fantasy Football weekend loser, who came up with the name), six for each cookie exchange participant plus leftovers for the innocent bystanders.

A dejected Lawren heads home, depressed by his team's elimination from fantasy football playoff contention - and the fact that there's already a drink called a Drunken Uncle.

A dejected Lawren heads home, depressed by his team’s elimination from fantasy football playoff contention – and the fact that there’s already a drink called a Drunken Uncle.

And when she wasn’t helping me bake cookies, Akemi was making the dogs breakfast…

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This morning, for instance, it was banana pancakes.  Yes.  The dogs had a banana pancake breakfast.  They can file that one away in the “pro” column.

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And this one under “con”.

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December 13, 2014: Snow Dogs!

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Well, turns out I’m not the only one who is going to have to get used to deep freeze here in Toronto.

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Due to her hip dysplasia, arthritic shoulders, and advanced age (almost 16!), Jelly gets a free ride.   Literally.  She gets shuttled from the hotel to the park and back in a special dog stroller.  Pro: The comfy trip.  Con: She pays the price by having to wear the Santa Pug outfit.  Akemi insists: “The dogs LOVE to dress up!”.  I remain unconvinced.

In emergencies, the patio offers a great back-up to the long and involved trek to the park.  Snow can complicate matters though!

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For the rest of the gang, who don’t have the luxury of stroller rides, it’s socks and boots (and jackets and Christmas bells)!  Getting them dressed is a two-person job.

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But once we’re done, it’s a stylin’ all systems go!

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Although, in retrospect, the addition of hats might be advisable.

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Alternately, dialing down the fun ensures a mercifully quick and much less snowy stroll.

Lulu, however, always makes the best of even the worst situations.  If life gives you snow, make snowmanades.  Or just chase down a ball.

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That’s it!  My Snow Monkeys move on to the semi-finals to take on The Mighty Merkins!

Let’s celebrate with doggy videos…

First up, Bubba finally has enough of Lulu’s noisy toy-playing:

Next season on Discovery Channel’s “Eaten Alive”:

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Today, I completed a first draft of episode #12 in which the various arcs we develop over the course of the show’s first season converge in a story about identity, loyalty, and friendship, culminating in a shocking conclusion that sets the stage for an even more shocking finale.  It joins my first draft of episode #9, on a virtual shelf, until the intervening bunch of scripts get done.  Paul is halfway thought #5 while Rob and Trevor have started work on scripts for episodes #7 and #8 respectively.  Ideally, I’ll have a bunch of first drafts to review by the time I come back from Japan on September 21st.

Yes, I’m off to Japan next week for 10 glorious days of cultural enlightenment and eating my face off.  Before then, however, there’s plenty to do.  Tomorrow, a conversation with our VFX guys, Mark Savela and Lawren Bancroft-Wilson, to discuss the first four episodes.  Next week, Tuesday, another conference call with our Line Producer and Production Designer – also about episodes #1-4, and ship and space station designs.  And I’m hoping we’ll have our first three directors slotted before I leave.

When I get back from Japan, I’ll have roughly two weeks to do my passes on episodes #5-8 before I head to Toronto for our first official week of prep: more meetings in which we’ll discuss key crew members and casting.

At present, the plan is to head to Toronto for that week of meetings during which I’ll stock our new Toronto place with everything we’ll need: dog mats, dog beds, kitchen gadgets, pillows, toiletries, and a big-ass winter coat.  Then, I go back to Vancouver to pick up my dogs – and girlfriend – and make the final move.  Since we’ll no longer have access to a handy backyard, I’m going to also have to buy a doggy stroller to make life a lot easier for Jelly – and Akemi.  On top of all that, I’m going to have to find an animal clinic where Jelly can continue her accupuncture treatments:

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Is it helping her?  Well, tough to say.  Between the accupuncture, Metacam, painkillers, pulsed electro-magnetic dog bed, and joint pills, SOMETHING is working.

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Well, I got that second opinion on Jelly’s hip.  Apparently, she dislocated it a while ago.  It’s an old injury and that makes it even harder to treat.  Popping it back in will be a very painful procedure – and given the deterioration of her hip bones, it’s almost guaranteed to pop out again.  Our options are a major surgery to address the issue (and the potential dangers given her advanced age) or treating her with pain meds.  Well, the other day, we started her on Gaba-pentin and, so far, so good.  She a comfortable night’s sleep…

1Then, today, as a special treat, we surprised the pack with smoked bones.  They were greatly appreciated…

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Also today, I received a treat of my own in the form of a t-shirt delivery from TeeFury (http://www.teefury.com) who offer all sorts of interesting and original shirts for geeks, nerds, and sundry social rogues (I, of course, consider myself part of the latter group).  Guess the shows while I model ‘em for ya!

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Finally, to show Akemi isn’t be left out of all the fun, here is a picture of her yesterday with her good friend Boxy…

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August 9, 2014: My poor girl!

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Akemi and I came back from visiting the farmer’s market to find Jelly’s water bowl upended and Jelly splayed out on the wet hardwood floor.  Her head was completely drenched and I suspect she must have done a face plant into the water before losing her balance and falling…and then not being able to get back on account of her arthritic joints and hip dysplasia.  I dried her off and took her out back to see if she was okay.  On the one hand, she is still able to squat/support herself and do her business; on the other hand, she can barely walk.  So, I whisked her off to the local animal hospital where they did an x-ray and discovered her right hip is dislocated.  If she were younger, the vet would recommend surgery but given her advanced age (fifteen and half – which is about 78 in human years) he’s suggested pain management might be the best way to go.  She’s already on Metacam and she was on Tramadol, but the vet suggested we try Gabapentin.

So, we’ll see how that works out but I face a bit of a dilemma here.  If her hip is dislocated, my initial response would be to curtail her walks and save her the pain of putting pressure on the joint.  But if I don’t walk her, I’m afraid her muscles will atrophy.  What to do?

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While at the farmer’s market, Akemi and I came across a stand for Beyond Bread (http://beyondbread.ca).  While waiting to be served, someone stepped up – and got served before us.  I waited, impatiently, and then when they had moved on, I started making my order – when the guy redirected his attention to ANOTHER couple.  At that point, I was ready to leave – but Akemi desperately wanted a poppyseed bagel.  Fortunately, another guy – who apparently WASN’T wearing blinders – noticed us standing there and took our order.  Akemi got her bagel and I picked up a couple of amaretti and pistachio-lemon cookies:

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Sweet, citrusy, and slightly bitter from the almond…and my customer service experience.

Which reminds me.  I watched Elysium yesterday and, after that experience, have decided to start a Worst Recent Watches movie list.  You’ll find it in the right sidebar under my Top 20 Recent Reads.

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The other night, I was awakened by a kerplunk (!), the unmistakable sound of a portly, elderly pug falling off the bed.  I sat up to discover 15 year old Jelly, struggling to stand up on the polished hardwood floor.  She seemed surprised but otherwise okay.  Just in case though, I brought her out to the backyard to make sure.  She did her business and seemed perfectly fine, so I scooped her up and we headed back up to bed.  This was the first of several incidents involving my old gal who has seemed notably crankier of late.  Akemi suspects it’s because Jelly senses my impending Toronto trip and is demonstrating her displeasure by acting up. Apparently, when I’m away, she is uncharacteristically quiet, sleeping through most of the day and only getting up for meals.  This is in sharp contrast to her demanding,  downright “diva-esque” attitude when I’m home.  Nary an hour goes by when she isn’t whining or crying or barking at me to pick her up, take her out, give her a snack, or generally demanding my undivided attention.  I’m amazed she’s able to get along without me and I wonder how she’ll do while I’m away.  I suppose she’ll be fine so long as Akemi remembers to keep her updated by reading my blog entries aloud to her.

Whoa, where do you think YOU'RE going?

Whoa, where do you think YOU’RE going?

Yes, I’m headed to Toronto for a few days to discuss strategy and come up with a game plan for my new scifi series.  We fly out early tomorrow morning and get in with plenty of time to have dinner with a former fellow Stargate writer-producer. Then, on Thursday, it’s all day meetings re: budgets, locations, visual effects, and deliveries.  I figure we’ll assemble a writers’ room here in Vancouver for a month in July-August and hammer out our 13 stories, then disperse and retreat to our respective lairs where we’ll write 10 of those 13 scripts.  I’m assuming we’ll go to camera sometime in early 2015.  This will give us plenty of time to prep what should be one hell of a twisty, turny, suspenseful, spectacular, action-packed, character-driven inaugural season.

Friday, I’ll be fly out of Toronto and head to Montreal for a day to visit with mom and sis and then, Saturday night, I’m homeward bound!

Of course this blog will be traveling with me.  I needn’t remind you that, tomorrow, we kick off our Star Trek: The Original Series re-watch.  Me and my fellow reviewer, Cookie Monster, will be weighing in on episode #1: The Man Trap!  Watch the episode and join tomorrow’s discussion!

Today’s entry is dedicated to blog regular whoviantrish.

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