Archive for the ‘Dogs’ Category

My cousin Paul and niece Erica were in town for a week, visiting Vancouver.


Their stay involved a lot of eating, mainly dessert, but also included plenty of sightseeing, shopping, and spending quality time with my dogs.
1Did I mention we ate a lot of desserts?  yes?  One of the highlights was the carrot cake at Cadeaux Bakery, pictured above with extra end-piece frosting!


We did a fair amount of walking Vancouver’s various neighborhoods – after which we stopped for a snack.  Yes, dessert in the form of ice cream.


Erica and Paul trekked across Van, tracking down about a dozen “pianos” interspersed throughout the city.  Akemi and I (and the dogs) joined them for their Olympic Village hunt, finally locating one of the pianos.  Pictured above: Bubba shows off with a little Chopin.


We did Vancouver-style dim sum at Sun Sui Wah where our meal was accompanied by Jerry Springer on the big screen.  Jer-ry! Jer-ry! Jer-ry! Ha-gow! Ha-gow! Ha-gow!


Our restaurant itinerary included Taqueria, Meat & Bread, Fable Diner, Bob Likes Thai Food, Rangoli, and, of course, Minami for their salmon oshi sushi.


Among my cousin Paul’s Vancouver commemorative purchases was the beginnings of his Halloween ensemble.

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Before leaving, Paul and Erica presented us with going away gifts: wacky themed socks for me, and a Pokeman cap for Pokeman-obsessed Akemi.  Bubba immediately took ownership of the cap.

Paul and Erica couldn’t get enough of the dogs, especially Lulu who, despite her snoring, outrageous belching, and terrible gas, seemed to make a great impression.


Erica bids the dogs a fond farewell.


Brought Bubba in to get his stitches out today.  The results came in on the two masses removed from his head and, while one was benign, the other one was inconclusive.  We have an appointment in late September with an oncologist for further tests (x-rays and ultrasound) as well an anti-cancer vaccine.


Lulu, meanwhile, continues to slow down.  At 9, she is officially a senior!

Well, our guests have left and Akemi (and I, but especially Akemi) are already missing them.  Akemi LOVES to entertain, so much so that she suggested we could home-stay visiting international students.  I, on the other hand, prefer responsible adult guests, so I’m looking to adopt.  Any of you interested in a move to Vancouver?

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Guess who’s going in for surgery tomorrow morning to get a couple of lumps removed from his noggin’?  Today, we treated him – and Lulu – to a stroll through Granville Island and a  visit to a local pet boutique.  We picked up treats, a patriotically handsome bow tie/collar but, sadly, not that awesome Hawaiian shirt we had our hearts set on because it didn’t come in his size.

Meanwhile, a post-Lasik Akemi (“I got my eyeballs fixed!”) is enjoying her improved vision – to a certain point.  She spent most of yesterday madly sweeping, vacuuming, and generally cleaning the place.  When I asked what had gotten into her, she informed me that now that her sight is improved, she can actually see how messy everything is.  I feel her situation is reminiscent of some tragic character from Greek lore, but I’m not sure which one.

Hey!  May I direct your attention to some pretty damn fantastic Dark Matter articles…


First off, a great, GREAT article by The Nerd Recites’ Christopher Hart titled How Dark Matter Utilizes Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai Within Its Narrative

“We matched up Dark Matter‘s characters against each of the personality types and all of the characters fell into the set types with such astounding ease that this only lends further credence to the writers’ utilisation of this trope.”

In interviews, whenever asked about my inspirations for Dark Matter, I always cite: Cowboy Bebop, The Thunderbolts, The Dirty Dozen, Stargate, The Shield, Stargate, and, yes, The Seven Samurai!  Good catch, Christopher.


Meanwhile, over at The Workprint, Jen Stayrook wonders Who Will Betray the Crew of The Raza?  Building off Milo’s prophetic warning in “We Should Have Seen This Coming”, she breaks down the list of suspects and posits an intriguing theory or two.  What do you think?


Continuing a weekly tradition, I sit down with Kelly Townsend of The TV Junkies and discuss the most recent episode of Dark Matter.  I drop a lot of interesting little tidbits in this one…

“One of the big picture things is this looming corporate war, and as Milo says, there are certain moments of history where individuals can step in and make a difference, and that’s something that will resonate as we head towards the back half of Season 2.” 


And a nice little write-up on the show at Mikhail’s Film and TV Blog: Why Sci-Fi Fans Should Watch Dark Matter

“This year, while browsing Netflix, I chanced upon a new, engrossing space opera that Sy-Fy aired earlier as part of its agenda to revive its status as the premiere channel for science fiction television. […] After seeing the 13-episode first season, I’m ready to declare it one of the best new sci-fi shows on television. Here are a few key reasons why it’s absolutely worth seeing.”

Thanks for the support, Mikhail!

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Based on what you’ve seen so far this season, do you think you can piece together the clues offered by the dog-themed pictures accompanying each episode title?

Let’s find out!

205 Dog

“Episode 18: We Voted Not To Space You”

206 Dog

“Episode 19: We Should Have Seen This Coming”

Screen Shot 2016-07-31 at 8.01.00 PM

“Episode 20: She’s With Them Now”

208 Dog

“Episode 21: Stuff To Steal, People To Kill”

209 Dog

“Episode 22: Going Out Fighting”

210 Dog

“Episode 23: Take The Shot”

211 dog

“Episode 24: Wish I’d Spaced You When I Had The Chance”

212 dog

“Episode 25: Sometimes In Life You Don’t Get To Choose”

213 dog

“Episode 26: But First We Save The Galaxy”


The tunnel collapse sequence in “Episode 18: We Voted Not To Space You” was inspired by the Stargate: Atlantis season 5 premiere “Search And Rescue” – and other fun facts…

We Voted Not to Space You – Fun Facts!


I talk about We Voted Not To Space You with Kelly Townsend of The TV Junkies


TV Equals’ Jason Alsaqa discusses Dark Matter’s Shifting Status Quo


Kneel Before Blog’s Craig McKenzie speak’s with Jeff Teravainen, Dark Matter’s Lieutenant Anders

Today’s blog entry is dedicated to my sis who, along with my mother, is an avid Dark Matter fan.  It’s too bad Space Channel decided to change the Sunday (re) air date, causing them to miss the latest episode.  Anyway, Happy Birthday!

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Is July over yet?  Following a frustrating few weeks, I was looking forward to saying goodbye to 2016’s most miserable month and, just when the end was in sight, two more irritating little developments made it in, right under the wire.  It was a double dogtor visit for this duo…IMG_8457

Patient: Lulu

Age: 9

Issue: She does this weird thing where she drags her hind legs whenever she’s on gravel.  But only on gravel.

Diagnosis: Potential neurological issues.

Suggested treatment: Surgery.

Estimated cost: $6400


Patient: Bubba

Age: 14

Issue: Two tiny masses on his head.  A year ago, he had a similar one removed that tested malignant pre-surgery, then benign post-surgery.  Aspirations of these latest growths have yielded inconclusive results.

Suggested treatment: Surgery

Estimated cost: $3600

Ultimately, what gives me pause is not the price of the surgeries but the fact that both dogs will have be anaesthetized for the procedures, always a bigger risk with these brachycephalic (snorty) breeds.  Also, they aint gettin’ any younger.  I’m leaning toward delaying Lulu’s surgery until further symptoms develop, and maybe holding off on Bubba’s until he requires his next dental so that he’ll only have to be put under the once.  Akemi and I still have to discuss.

What a nice change of pace it is to go from sitting at my laptop all day, working on scripts for season 2 to…sitting at my laptop all day, working on scripts for season 3. Turns out I may have bitten off a little more than I can chew (or, really, write) in the time allotted – three scripts in two months.  Seems doable if not for the fact that I’m not working off any handy writers’ room-generated outlines since these were three episodes that didn’t get the “full treatment”.  301 is more or less complete – but, in all fairness, I had the month of May (between wrap, cutting, and mixes) to hammer out the story on my own.  Progress on 303 is akin to walking a tightrope without a net – and approaching a pissed-off-looking seagull a the halfway point.  Yeah, I saw it sitting there when I embarked on my perilous journey but I assumed it would have taken flight by the time I drew closer.  No dice.  And don’t even get me started on 304!  Tack on an end-of-August L.A. trip and you have all the makings of neural burst.  And not the good kind.

Oh, yeah.  A new episode of Dark Matter airs tomorrow tonight.  For those of you watching live (Bless your hearts!) it’s on at 7 pm PDT/10 pm EDT on Syfy and Space Channel.

Some Dark Matter news…


Dark Matter – We Voted Not To Space You – Advance Preview: “Masterpiece” by Amiee Hicks at SpoilerTV


Kris Holden-Ried Joins Dark Matter Cast In Recurring Role by Michael Ahr at Den Of Geek.

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Last year, the wardrobe department put up Dark Matter-themed dog pictures, each corresponding to a particular episode of the show’s first season.  For instance, this picture –


…corresponded to Episode 5, the one in which our anti-heroes run afoul of the mutated, zombie-like crew of The Far Horizon.  And this picture –


…was a tip of the hat to Episode 8 in which SIX uses clone tech (Transfer Transit) to travel to a distant space station.

See how it works?  Great!  Now all you have to do is correctly match up all 13 of the wardrobe department’s dog pics with their respective season 2 episodes.  And it aint as easy as it looks.

Winner will be whoever manages to guess correctly.  Or closest.  It the event of a tie, the winner will be chosen randomly from our top contestants.

Ready?  Okay.  Here are the Dark Matter season 2 episode titles:

“Episode 14: Welcome To Your New Home”
“Episode 15: Kill Them All”
“Episode 16: I’ve Seen The Other Side Of You”
“Episode 17: We Were Family”
“Episode 18: We Voted Not To Space You”
“Episode 19: We Should Have Seen This Coming”
“Episode 20: She’s One Of Them Now”
“Episode 21: Stuff to Steal, People to Kill”
“Episode 22: Going Out Fighting”
“Episode 23: Take The Shot”
“Episode 24: Wish I’d Spaced You When I Had The Chance”
“Episode 25: Sometimes In Life You Don’t Get To Choose”
“Episode 26: But First, We Save The Galaxy”

And here are the Dark Matter season 2 dogs:



























A lot of clues and connections here, some obvious, others, admittedly, very tenuous.

Good luck!  Lucky winner will be announced the week of July 4th!

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Oh, damn.  Today, was our first early pre-flight weigh-in.  Bubba tipped the scales at a negotiable 20.4 lbs.  Lulu, however, was a robust 22.4 lbs!  They both have to trim down to an even 20 lbs before they can fly.  Fortunately for us, they have roughly two and a half months to get into shape!

Forget prep, production, and post – THE most stressful part of working on this show is transporting the dogs to B.C. and back.  And we only have two!

A few of you have asked, so I’ll be honest with you.  The day I adopt that third pug is the day I’ve decided to stay put in Vancouver.

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As I told Paul yesterday: “Between the scriptwriting, notes, rewrites, prep, onset production, post, and seemingly interminable email and dropbox approvals, I’m dangerously close to hitting critical mass” – which is why the weekends are so important.  They give me a chance to set Dark Matter aside, however so briefly, and decompress.  Granted, with scripts and cut notes still looming,  the prospect of a totally Dark Matter-less weekend is unlikely for about another month an half, but I’ll take what I can get.

In the case of this particular weekend, it was quality time with Akemi and the dogs –

Bubba visits the dog park, observing the action for the relative safety of the other side of the fence.

Bubba visits the dog park, observing the action for the relative safety of the other side of the fence.

A little local shopping –

Comic books, purple dress shoes, and these ray run cufflinks.  I'm not on the hunt four some Flintstone cuffs.

Comic books, purple dress shoes, and these ray run cufflinks. I’m not on the hunt four some Flintstone cuffs.

A little online shopping –

Got a bunch of these Juanita Nakamura originals

Got a bunch of these Juanita Nakamura originals

(here: http://www.zazzle.com/angelicalcradle/products?sr=250430484475676180&prsnl=False&pg=1&sd=desc&st=date_created)

A nice Saturday dinner at Parcae –

Squid ink risotto with sturgeon marrow.

Squid ink risotto with sturgeon marrow.

A lot of walking –

The weekend would not be complete without a visit to my friend, Tova, at Don't Call Me Cupcake in Kensington Market.

The weekend would not be complete without a visit to my friend, Tova, at Don’t Call Me Cupcake in Kensington Market.


And dim sum with VFX Supervisor Lawren Bancroft-Wilson and director Jason Priestley who offered a very spirited argument for why I should keep my house in Vancouver despite the prospect that I may spend a good chunk of the next three years here in Toronto, shooting Dark Matter.

Tonight, it’s Walking Dead night with Roger Cross, Jodelle Ferland, and a whack o’ eclairs at which point the respite will be over and I’ll be back at it.

Looking ahead to this week:


Director Jason Priestley’s final day of main unit on Episode 207 concludes with some infiltration, a discovery, and a rooftop render-vous.

Our last day of prep on Episode 208 with director Andy Mikita.  While John Stead oversees the stunt rehearsal with some surprising guest stars, I’ll be in morning meetings (a timeline review, a tone meeting, the 208 production meeting), and taking a walk-thru the newly built “systems control room”, before sitting down to the cast read-thru.

In the afternoon, once the dust has settled, I’ll make my way over to post where I’ll review the recently completed Android scenes for Episode 205, and the Episode 206 “producer’s cut in progress”.

Notes meeting on the script for Episode 209!

Script work continues on Episode 212!

And, if I remember, I’ll post the poll for our next Episode Title Vote, this one for Episode 206!


Prep begins on Episode 209 (written by the lovely Ivon Bartok) with fab director Peter DeLuise!  Location scout.  Set walk-thru.  And another Stargate alum who we haven’t seen since – oh – Episode 14: Kill Them All makes a triumphant return to Toronto.

Production begins on Episode 208 with director Andy Mikita at the helm.  Things get downright messy on the bridge of The Raza.

And I’ll still be working my way through the script for Episode 212.


Prep continues on Episode 209.  Concept meeting.  Stunts/Special FX meeting.  VFX meeting.  I suspect I’ll also be putting out new script pages to reflect anymore necessary changes.

Production continues on Episode 208 and we’re back on the bridge for some desperate diplomacy before shifting over to the as-yet-unseen Systems Control Room.  Meanwhile…

Jason Priestley returns to direct second unit for his episode, a little bit bar scene and some Marauder in-flight action.

Episode 212?  That script aint gonna write itself.


The Episode 209 Art Department meeting will be followed by the Props meeting before we move on to the Costumes meeting and conclude the day’s festivities with  the Graphics/Playback meeting.

Day 3 of production on Episode 208 continues on our standing sets while the final day of second unit photography on Episode 207 takes place over at Tabor’s swanky bachelor pad.

I’m hoping to be well into the third act of Episode 212 by this point.


Off the top of my head, I’m not sure – but I suspect it’ll be Dark Matter-related.

Haven’t been keeping up on the blog?  Pressed for time?  Well check out Tom Gardiner’s Dark Matter digest for the rundown:


Finally, the weekend wasn’t all fun.  We learned today that the little pug Akemi had her heart set on adopting (she’d wanted to name her Konatsu), passed away last night.  So, today’s blog entry is dedicated to little Konatsu’s (aka Rodgie’s) memory:



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