Today, Vancouver Time, is Joseph Mallozzi's Birthday **cough43rdcough**
So in the great tradition of, well I really don't know, this event calls for a special episode of This Is Your Life... blog style.
For the long time readers of Joe's blog, this will be a journey reliving some of the entries and people that have frequented his blog. For the newer readers, this will give you a quick run-down of the past 23 months of blog entries so you don't go and do what many of us did and caught up on every blog entry, reading white text on black background for days on end and finding yourself inexplicably walking into walls.
Where It All Began...
On November 21, 2006 while on an expedition through Hong Kong and Tokyo, Joseph Mallozzi decided to start a travel diary. Like most of us bloggers, initially his entries didn't attract much attention with his first entry attracting a mere 2 comments.
Astonishingly, on November 29, 2006 there were no comments at all to his almost daily entry!
However, unlike the rest of us who are still lucky to get 2 comments, Joe's blog started to build in popularity. Yes, by December 1, 2006 with the word out he had started up his blog, the comments grew to 3.
During November and December of 2006 readers were transported to Asia as Joe gave his culinary reviews during his travels. Well, personally I wasn't. At this point Joseph Mallozzi was the guy in the credits of Stargate who had lots of "l's" and "z's" in his name. But for the now growing fan base of his blog, they were treated to his dining tales of eating milt (the sperm-containing secretion of the testes of fishes) and the food poisoning event when Joe ate snake... at an airport. Someone must have been saying "I told you so" on that one.
December of 2006 also saw the introduction of items that would become part of the DNA of Joe's blog. We met Jelly for the first time after dental surgery, casual references to book recommendations, a little bit of Stargate news plus more food reviews (and thus hungry readers).
On December 31 we were introduced to the first version of the Stargate spoiler poem which attracted the largest number of responses to date, 20. And let's not forget that during the festive season we received the Joseph Mallozzi guide to parenting which I think we could all learn from.
2007... The Formative Years
The spoiler poem had made it to GateWorld as a link so the visitor count was increasing. Depending on your viewpoint of GateWorld, you could see this as a positive or a negative...
January saw the prelude to what we would know in the future as "Lulu". Joe and Fondy headed off to meet some little French Bulldogs to see if one would make a cute addition to the family. To quote you Joe, " Ultimately, however, I don’t think we’re ready for a new addition to the household". Hmmmm? Lose a bet?
And while the blog entries were still mostly culinary and general going's on in nature, the comments were Stargate related and thus the mailbag as we know it was formed.
It was during February of 2007 that a new aspect of Joe's blog came to be; the posting of Stargate artwork. While mostly informative, there were occassions that misleading artwork was post to get fans in a tizz, and to have Joe letting out a big "Mw-mwa-mwahahahahaha" as fandom got their knickers in a knot taking some of the artwork literally, rather than thinking that it could be from a dream sequence or AU episode... which it generally was... and then Joe had to post a retraction before fans starting jumping from the tallest building they could find. Just admit you have fun doing that Joe?
The comment numbers had reached to their 50's by this point so the news was getting around that you could post anonymously and harrass the Executive Producer of Stargate.
Once the word was out that you could not only post anonymously and harrass the Executive Producer of Stargate Atlantis, but he would answer your questions, then the comments doubled in the space of a month.
During this time we learnt about the Fondy conspiracy to cash-in on Joe's life insurance:
"Back on March 17, 2007, I revealed three highly suspicious incidents that could have ended very badly for me - and, coincidentally, my wife insisted were mere oversights on her part.
1. I got the okay from her to drink from a water bottle - that happened to contain oxy clean.
2. She closed the never-ever-closed glass door to our solarium and then didn’t answer the phone early one morning, causing me to jump up and rush over to answer it - and right into the plate glass solarium door.
3. She set the blender back into its cradle but minus its base so that when I poured milk in, the contents seeped out the bottom and onto the counter. The blender was plugged in at the time."
And what it takes to get noticed during an audition:
"On March 31, 2007, I mentioned an audition in which “an aspirant referred to herself as “the daughter of the Oreo”.” We almost lost it."
During April the blog had it's first ever chocolate party. An annual ritual we would soon become familiar with. Back in those days we saw Joe Flanigan make an appearance photographically every now and then and the "gang" were still a three and not the four as we know them now.
In June of 2007, Aloysius P. Hazzencockle became involved in the heartbreaking plight of Ali Abbas. Poor Ali was on deaths door, with lots of money to give away and so Aloysius kindly offered to build an orphanage in Ali's honour.
Some of the names up for considerationwere:
ALOYSIUS P. HAZZENCOCKLE’S HOME FOR WAYWARD YOUTH in memory of Ali Abbas
ALI IN THE FAMILY - HOME FOR ORPHANS AND ALOYSIUS P. HAZZENCOCKLE
HAZZENCOCKLE’S HACIENDA OF LOVE AND CARING AND ALI
THE HOUSE THAT GOD (AND 38.5 MILLION DOLLARS) BUILT
Ali agreed that Ali In The Family would be suitable.
Many more guest spammers would come to visit Joe's blog, including Cookie Monster, Agent Wexler and the man destined to have his own straight to DVD movie, Baron Destructo.
With comments now up around the 100's per daily entry, what better way to bring more people across than award prizes! Woohoo!
In June of 2007, PG-15 was the 250,000th visitor and received his special prize... flocking... or Stargate DVD's, I can't remember which now.
And not that this has any relevance, but how cute are these Pug Puppy pics that were posted??
And these ones...anyhoo...
July of 2007 was a big month for the Mallozzi family. 3 kids were about to become 4. Furry ones that is. We had all got to know Jelly, Bubba and Maximus so how would they feel about Kobe joining the family? Not that bad really, because he was passed over for Lulu.
September of 2007 would see Joe's blog history. The Book of the Month Club was formed. What started as a "So, anyone want to read some books?" idea, has now become a Book of the Month and Half Club with almost every author chosen for the month now visiting to participate in a Q&A with fellow readers.
Another prize was up for grabs for the 750,000th visitor to Joe's blog. The first person to post after the 750,000th visitor would win.. **drum roll**.. a virtual dinner with Joe. Emily was the lucky winner and is still virtually full from the great dinner at virtual Fuel.
In December of 2007 I happened to stumble across Joe's blog while researching a story line from Stargate. I was not a part of fandom, I didn't even know there were other people out there talking about the show! So on December 10, I plucked up the courage to post a comment, and then BANG! Joe doesn't post again.
"He's post everyday for a long time now, what have I done?", "Was what I asked so offensive?", "Hang on, I didn't ask anything...".
All thoughts that were running through this Commenting Virgin's mind.
Turns out Blogger had shut Joe's blog down. And so the amusement began...
Racking in at an incredible 580 comments, the next 3 days were spent devising a resuce plan which would take us to the moon and save Joe from the evil clutches of Baron Destructo. Yeah, I know, crazy. And somehow the spork became the weapon of choice (???)
If you're interested here is the team from back then:
Blogger ptarmigan said...
"To all members of BITEME and co. Okay, time to regroup. Here’s my understanding of the status of current assignments – in no particular order. (Updates are appreciated as my head is still throbbing.)
AMZ & Narelle from AUS: Will figure out what “tomorrow's upside-down midnight” translates into in Atlantis Standard
AV Eddy: in charge of ARGs and all sound effects
Pauline: Ransom Keeper (any accountants out there? I think we may need an auditor.) Yasmin: Kick and Slap Committee leader (with the help of PG15)
Patrol Peek: Searching through all packages to LAME HQ with the help of Fluffy the alligator Susan the Tartan Turtle: Dog Whisperer – (Careful there – they’ve been growling)
Dovil: Special Forces Coordinator
Lt.Col.ErrandBoy: Refreshments (You’ve been helping Shawna w/ the SF Bake Sale right?)
Jr. Mint: Bake Sale Clean Up
Neep, Annie, Toni, Brenna, Charles Schneider & Uber: SPORK MAINTENANCE AND SUPPORT
Morgia and Anais: Interpreters and PG15s protectors when he attempts to handle ransom transactions
Edward4th: Sage Advice (not to be a pain, but we could use a little at this point - Marsha_R has been a voice of reason lately, maybe she could help with that *grins*)
Moe Jacuzzi: Mr. M’s personal escort once found…
Mel the Marvelous: Mastermind who suggested a rescue in the first place…
Kdvb1: Profiler and Team Choir Director
Alipeeps, Gracy & hachi: Ace Spellers – very important as the kidnappers are probably asking our beloved JM to read all correspondence to them, and, well, misspells in front of a professional writer would just be embarrassing! (Alipeeps is also in charge of the SJM campaign banners. Are you doing okay with the multitasking?)
Scarym and K8T: Logistic Support
Elizabeth: In Charge of Mr. M’s Water Color Distribution
Logic Sequence: Moral Officer
Grapesofwrath: Heading up the SUA (Secret Universal Alliance)
Anon, good nurse: Forensic Computer Specialist – tasked to ID all RepliComputers at Blogger Joshua Meyers: Visiting all BC rehabilitation centers looking for AWOL Rescue Team members (We’ve just gotta get Joe back on Blogger soon!)
Firefly827347: BITEME Team Psychiatrist (And is excused from tonight’s action to take yet another final exam.)
Jade and jumperpilot: Transportation Coordination –Do we have an Aurora class vessel yet? Royal_Nonsuch: Chaplin
Leese Perrie: Proir Lookout
Waybeyondsoccermom: Literary Liaison (As mentioned before, we ARE trying to rescue a professional writer!)
Valerie: Poetry Department
Dr Amyfro & ThornyRose: In charge of medical verification of Joe’s identity once found. (We really don’t want to bring back a RepliJoe, now do we?) Must also be ready for any further spork wounds. BTW thanks for the yummy chocolate!
Limar13 & Replicator
Bill: Anti-time-loop Technician (Joe seems to fall into these time loops a lot, so we need you up front okay?)
Linz: We need you to make sure that PG15 doesn’t eat the flocking and visa versa!
42 and Narelle:Lunar IT Department
Ranger One will round up the chimps at the Blogger Help Department and put things in order there.
Peek and Fluffy may be able to help once they are done with the parcels.
Ptarmigan: rising star apprentice to Dr. Q. Meddlesome Woman *checks latest updates* We really need that auditor for Pauline! I’m sure I’ve missed some of our team, so pipe up with the updates please: Name and position please.
From what I can recall, of the $1 billion ransom we managed to raise around $12 plus some buttons and a dry cleaning receipt.
Back then I didn't know who ANY of these people were. It's amazing how you get to know a group of people over a year that you've never met in person.
Upon the return of the blog four days later (and a notable increase of intakes at Rehab Centres) we were given the reason for the blog getting shut down, and it appears we were all to blame.
Joseph Mallozzi wrote on December 13, 2007:
"BUT, according to the blogger folks (who will heretofore be referred to as “the blokes” or, conversely, “the floggers”), spamming is the issue here.
“Blogger’s spam-prevention robots have detected that your blog has characteristics of a spam blog,”they say.
Characteristics of a blog? What characteristics? Well, according to blogger, spam blogs “can be recognized by their irrelevant, repetitive, or nonsensical text”.
Irrelevant, repetitive, or nonsensical text! Holy shit! If that’s all it takes to raise the red flag, I’m surprised they didn’t shut me down sooner!
Blogger breaks it down (and I feel increasingly guilty) - “Spam blogs cause various problems, beyond simply wasting a few seconds of your time when you happen to come across one.”
Dovil: “Oh hell. Here we go with the friggin’ oxtail risotto again!”
“They can clog up search engines, making it difficult to find real content on the subjects that interest you.”
Cheeky Lil Devil: “Why can’t I find any entries about Shep getting beaten up in one of those Japanese mud bath spas?!”
“They may scrape content from other sites on the web, using other people’s writing to make it look as though they have useful information of their own.”
PG-15: “Hey, wait a minute! This Cookie Monster response is lifted almost word for word from Senator Joe Biden’s 1988 Democratic primary speech.
“And if an automated system is creating spam posts at an extremely high rate, it can impact the speed and quality of the service for other, legitimate users.”
Jenny Robin: “Our computers are running slow! It has to be Mallozzi!”
So here I sit, blogging for no one (or hopefully everyone eventually) wondering whether an alternate blog host might be a better way to go given that this particular hiccup has cost me three days and counting. Anyone have any suggestions? I’ve looked into wordpress but can’t figure out how to upload images. I could set up my own website, but I have a feeling that would prove incredibly complicated. Far more complicated than, say… subletting Robert Picardo’s blog?
Hey, Bob, how about it?
I’ll promise to tidy up when I’m done! "
After this incident, the switch to Wordpress occurred which the blog has called home for the last 11 months.
The final day of 2007 saw another spoiler poem to tease fans for the upcoming Season of Stargate Atlantis.
As we farewelled 2007 and Blogger, with Wordpress came the removal of Anonymous commenters and the blog seemed to have a calmer feel about it... until the Keller-bashers, Bring-back-Weirers and SGU-panners figured they would just post under fake names.
One of the highlights of 2008 was the amazing prize up for the 1,000,000th blog visit. As with the previous event, you had to be the first poster after the 1,000,000 visitor. Sometimes the little detail about being the first poster AFTER the 1,000,000th visitor is ignored and random posting began in the hope that they were the 1,000,000th commenter. Not quite right, but points for effort.
But, what was up for grabs? The prize; you will be immortalised in an episode of Stargate Atlantis.
I think the following passage from Dovil sums it up:
"Best. Prize. Ever!
I’m officially changing my name by deed poll to Lady Regina Gertrude McTwaddleson on the one in a gazillion chance I win.
I hope you mean the person’s actual name and not their internet handle though, because if someone has to yell for Major WeirSheppardLovers4Eva, it may seem…odd.
Oh god, has anyone won yet?
The suspense is killing me!
Which nicely links to… …obviously I didn’t want to burden you with the fact that I’m really an adorable 12 year old orphan, but now that I’m in the last days of terminal urchin puppy cancer, I *cough, cough* just wanted to say thank you not only for being such a great blogger, but also for being such a devastatingly handsome man and all round wonderful human being.
*cough, splutter, hack*
Is…is that my name I hear on the show giving me reason to live and bringing a spark back to my huge childlike pleading eyes, or is that the sound of the baby jesus calling me to a dimming light? So very weak… *cough*"
But did she win, nope! Anne Teldy (as we have come to know her) was the well-deserving winner and the episode Whispers will forever carry her namesake.
This prize netted over 635 comments on one post.
It even beat the entry where we all received the devasting news of the cancellation of Atlantis.
As people comment, it creates great mailbag fodder.
Some mailbag entries of note include:
1. The Kellerific mailbag
2. A smackdown mailbag incorporating Joe's viewpoint on freedom of speech which also in turn relates to Keller-haters.
Here's a taste...
"Evolution Anyone writes: “You all have no shame…again Atlantis is going to copy, scene for scene, an SG-1 episode? I let out a gasp when I saw the “alien autopsy” pics from First Contact/Lost Tribe.”
Answer: Oh, I hear ya. Another alien autopsy! It’s like we do one of those every second episode. And, wait, it gets worse! If you can believe it, there’s also a scene where the team exchanges weaponsfire with some aliens (shades of SG-1!) and even a scene in which two characters talk as they walk around (freakin’ ripped off from Louis Le Prince’s 1888 Roundhay Garden Scene). Gasp!
Kath writes: “Its a shame that this has turned into a sniping match now and because some fans dared to voice their opinions that a lot of focus seemed to be going to a new addition of the cast then automatically we are deemed haters.”
Answer: You know, it never ceases to amaze me how certain fans can be so free and vocal with their own criticisms and yet so incredibly thin-skinned when someone criticizes their infantile behavior.
Rather than simply “daring to voice their opinion”, some fans, who clearly lack the capacity to express their thoughts in any sort of intelligent manner, choose to be insulting or launch personal attacks. Of course, on the rare occasions when they are called on it, they seek to defend themselves under the guise that they are protecting their right to free speech. I’m afraid I’m going to have to call bullshit on that.
If you don’t like a character or the writing then, sure, feel free to post your opinion. But if you’re so childish and devoid of any intellect that the only way you can get your point across is by being disparaging people, then expect to be on the receiving end of a firm smackdown.
FYI, this all started two days ago because some fan, clearly upset by the fact that Jewel had received a Gemini-nomination, intimated that the only possible way she could have received said nomination was by facing no competition from her fellow cast members. This fan wondered whether Jewel was the only one submitted for nomination. I sarcastically responded that, in fact, she was. And when the rest of the anti-Keller crew started their foot stomping, I responded in an equally sarcastic manner. For the record, other cast members were submitted for consideration but only Jewel ended up with a nomination. If you’ve got a problem with that and suspect the Gemini selection committee of “being in love with Jewel” or playing favorites, then I suggest you take it up with them."
Let that be a lesson in mailbag smackdown.
In 2008 we have seen Lulu grow, Atlantis enter into it's 5th and final season, fan dinners, BOTM&1/2 develop, Fuel triple its patronage, the introduction of Weird Food Purchase of the Day and read as people go through loss and others celebrate.
Now at around 6500 hits per day, according to some website that told me, this blog is now worth some money if Joe decides to cash in on some commercial arrangements!
So Joe, from your blog readers, regulars and lurkers we say "Happy Birthday" and This Is Your Blog's Life.