“So, it’s books now,”remarked Brad, looking over the scifi library in my office, the titles, ranging from Adams’s The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy to Zelazny’s My Name is Legion, alphabetically arranged across three bookshelves. Yes, this year it’s books. Last year it was chocolate. The year before that, ice cream. All in all, and given the choice, I believe my co-workers would prefer to support my food-related obsessions. “When are you making ice cream again?”asks Carl every now and again, fixing me with a look usually reserved for underachieving youngsters. Soon. Soon. Paul in particular finds my outdated passion for reading amusing. “You’re reading!”he remarked yesterday. “Next thing you know, you’ll be wearing bowler hats and riding around on one of those old-time bicycles.”.

I was watching Food Network the other day and caught the tail-end of an episode of Road Tasted in which the two hosts visit Seattle’s Alaska Silk Pie Company. There’s they are treated to the preparation and sampling of what the company describes as their “Roll Royce”: the Café Diablo, a seven later dessert. It looked so good that I looked the company up online, checked to make sure they could deliver to Canada, then placed an order for an overnight Fedex delivery. I also ordered two more cakes: the customer “all-time favorite” Key Lime pie, a Chocolate Silk Royale cake. They arrived just before lunch and, although the instructions specified I should freeze the cakes overnight before serving (apparently, it makes them easier to cut), there was no way we were waiting until tomorrow. The cakes were excellent, incredibly rich and dense. The Café Diablo, my favorite, was topped with chocolate-covered coffee beans and came with a listing of what exactly comprised the dessert’s heavenly 7 layers:
“1. Almond caramel with a hint of lemon and spices
2. Chocolate, tangerine, and espresso
3. White chocolate, Cognac with a hint of cloves and cinnamon
4. Dark chocolate espresso
5. White chocolate tangerine with hints of cloves and cinnamon
6. A combination of all of the ingredients with the exception of the almonds
7. White chocolate Grand Marnier”
Hoowhee! I’m so stuffed I don’t know whether I’ll be able to eat supper tonight – which is unfortunate timing given that tonight is the cast dinner.

Today was the big Arctic briefing for Stargate: Continuum. Those heading up North for the shoot were regaled with sobering warnings on thin ice, wandering polar bears, and wind gusts that freeze exposed skin in less than three seconds. But assurances were made that everyone would be accompanied by “someone with ice experience”. Like, say, a shotgun-toting Dorothy Hamel?

Whew, the questions are really piling up –

Anonymous #1 writes: “We were wondering if you were stuck for a week with any character from the Stargate universe, who would it be and why?”

Answer: That Anise tok’ra from season four seemed very intelligent and nice.

Copernicus writes: “Will you guys be developing new story lines for Teyla, or should we merely expect more stand alone episodes?”

Answer: We’ve got a season-long arc in the works for Teyla.

Carolina writes: “I did a quick search and found out that comes from the Criollo bean… that is also cultivated in Venezuela? or Mexico?”

Answer: Yes, Porcelana is a pure Criollo, the cacao bean an almost translucent white – thus it’s name. It is very rare, originating in Venezuela.

Cel writes: “Btw, on the chocolate thing, ever had Cadbury’s chocolate?”

Answer: I do like Cadbury but find them a tad too sugary.

Shawna writes: “I’d recommend against going to a pet store next time.”

Answer: True. This was before we knew any better. Our later additions to the pack – Maximus and Bubba, hail from reputable breeders.

Shawna also writes: “What happened to Carson’s wee baby turtles?”

Answer: They are under McKay’s care. Happily, he hasn’t killed them yet.

Arctic Goddess writes: “Did you use the Metro often when you were in Montreal? […] If you had to pick among the many wonderful restaurants, what would be your favourite restaurant in Montreal?”

Answer: Yes. When I was a kid, and while studying at McGill, I used to take the Metro all the time. My favorite restaurants in Montreal? Casual: Smoked Meat Pete’s in Ile Perrot (check out my December 29, 2006 blog entry). Pricier but still casual: Au Pied de Cochon (check out my December 28, 2006 blog entry). High-end: Toque (blog entry to come).

Anonymous #2 writes: “Ever thought about having an episode where Ronon and Teal’c slug it out in an epic battle? Who would you put your money on?”

Answer: The thought has crossed my mind. Even Chris Judge wondered about it sometime last year – although he admitted that Ronon’s down and dirty fighting probably has the edge over Tealc’s “wushu shit”.

Mimi writes: “I too love Bourdain’s writing as well as his No Reservations show on the travel channel. With that in mind there’s an article that he wrote and posted on his buddy’s blog that has been causing quite a stir among the foodies.”

Answer: I love his writing as well. I read the article in question and have to disagree on his take on Rachel Ray. She loves food and she’s a cutie. What more could you want?
Thanks for the David Lebovitz link.

Anonymous #3 writes: “Any progress made on the possible big SG-1/Atlantis crossover?”

Answer: Still too early to tell.

Anonymous #4 writes: “Do you make all those dishes every night?”

Answer: Hell, no. I leave that to the professionals.

Anonymous #5 writes: “How many pugs do you have? You mentioned Pug rescue once – have you gotten some of your dogs from a rescue?”

Answer: We have three pugs. We tried to get one from our local pug rescue but, to be perfectly honest, the people running the Vancouver Pug Rescue didn’t seem particularly eager to help out. They didn’t return our initial calls and seemed far too busy to follow-through with our request – which is a shame. Still, it worked out for us in the end as we ended up with Maximus and Bubba.

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Copernicus
Copernicus

Shawna also writes: “What happened to Carson’s wee baby turtles?”

Answer: They are under McKay’s care. Happily, he hasn’t killed them yet.

http://forum.gateworld.net/showthread.php?p=6220191#post6220191

Any thoughts on this admittedly self-penned petition?

Aaron Weinburg
Aaron Weinburg

Mr Mallozzi,

There’s some rumbling going around at the firm today about Sci-Fi Channel’s long-term planning. Rumor has it that neither Stargate:Atlantis or Battlestar Galactica are a part of those plans. We haven’t done any work for them for some time, but I think they’re looking at a new ad campaign and network image.

Having enjoyed both shows myself for a while now, I was sad to hear about their intended shift in focus. Do you know if no season five is already a forgone conclusion? I’ve already heard plans for an endgame for Battlestar Galactica. Is the network telling you guys to plan for the same on Stargate:Atlantis?

Mark K.
Mark K.

Hi Joe,
You mentioned food network on today’s entry. How often do you watch it, and what’s your favorite show on there? I’m particularly fond of Alton Brown myself.
thanks!

majorsal
majorsal

hi, joe,

do you know if amanda will be included in the atlantis cast pictures? if so, do you know when they’ll be done and/or released? yes, i’m rather excited by sam joining a brand new (for ME) show! grin

sally smile

Kirsten
Kirsten

Hey, you tell them that all the cool kids are out there reading books. I read around 5-6 books a month… /used bookstore employee

Oh, and good luck with those polar bears. razz I work with them on a daily basis at my other job (marine mammal keeper at a zoo). Polar bears are particularly aggressive, even for bears. They regularly slam into the gates next to us, jaws open and claws digging to get at us. We call it “getting killed.” Just a little reassurance for ya there. wink

But kudos to you for mentioning books and polar bears (two of my favorite things) in one post!

I read the article in question and have to disagree on his take on Rachel Ray. She loves food and she’s a cutie. What more could you want?

Thank you – that confirms my side of a bet we made once at my bookstore job over why Rachel Ray is popular. wink

TheOldOne
TheOldOne

This question will be asked using indirect references so as not to ruin the surprise for others. If you want to post just the answer it is fine with me.

The question was asked about actors influencing the writers through suggestions.

I saw a recent episode of SG1 that, at the end, incorporated some of the core of one of the non-Stargate activities that Ms Tapping is currently involved in.

Did she come to you and say you might want to use this in one of the episodes or did you (the writers) hear about the activity and include it in the script?

Bugguy
Bugguy

So Joe are there any lead actors heading up north for Continum. I would hate to hear about anyones demise.

Mariposa
Mariposa

Thanks so much about the Teyla-arc spoiler, Joe! You just made my night. smile

Shawna
Shawna

Ah, yes. I misunderstood that the pug was a new addition.

Good to hear about the turtles, though. And if they ever actually make an apperance…just make sure not to let them freeze half in and half out of the water. It’s…not so good. (Yes, I once had a couple of wee babie turtles. It’s fun to watch them chase minnows.) Also, they make great classroom pets. And brilliant scientists (or television writers) are as easily amused as 2nd graders, right?

Whatever happened to the wraith’s ability to make people see “shadows”? I can’t remember an instance of that since the first season. Now it seems like most of the wraith mind superpowers involve posessing Teyla and just communicating with each other.

Jenny Robin
Jenny Robin

I hope you enjoyed your dinner and that a good time was had by all.

Re: Terror — I am still making slow headway. I have yet to break page 200. It is proving to be Bolero-esque in its pace. A slow build indeed. Though Bolero is one of my favorite pieces of music, the handing off of the melody from one voice to the other annoyed me the first few times I heard it. But the full orchestra pay off is a big redeemer. I can only hope this book plays the same way and packs a whallop in it’s final handoff.

FraiserFan
FraiserFan

Dear Joe: That white-on-black type is murder on my eyes. Have some pity, please!

Also, as a resident of Las Vegas, I’m curious to know what places/events you particularly enjoyed (or loathed) when you visited here, especially where restaurants are concerned. We ‘locals’ tend to get very detached from the city as it’s experienced by visitors like yourself. I you haven’t been to Nob Hill, I can particularly recommend the cuisine there … but bring a lotta Loonies. I took my girlfriend there for Valentine’s Day and it set me back the better part of $300. The things we do for love!

Anonymous
Anonymous

Are we in for any big surprises in Dominion and Unending considering it’s the end of SG1? Til the movies of course.

Peter
Peter

Hey Joe! Just watched “Family Ties”; 3 things:

1. I loved the character moments between Vala and her father, and Fred Willard is a genius.

2. That ending exceeded my expectations. Truly hilarious

3. Digs at SciFi? I applaud you sir.

Anyway, very enjoyable episode, a perfect one before we get onto the (I’m assuming) pretty dramatic Dominion and the…ack, series finale. That is not fun to say.

So, I guess a question: If this is not covered in your blog, do you mind sharing with us some of the more interesting/hilarious moments from the cast dinner?

If your future blog is about that, here’s a backup question: How many standalone episodes would you say are in the first 10 eps of Atlantis Season 4?

Night Spring
Night Spring

Add me to the list of people who would love to see Carson’s wee turtles on screen! wink

Jenny
Jenny

Dear Joe,

With Atlantis’ season four premiere in the fall, most or all of the episodes will already have been shot and produced by then. This might mean that if, in the hopefully unlikely event Atlantis is cancelled after season four, there will be no real resolution to the show, as the final episode will have already been produced before word of either renewal or cancellation arrives. As a longtime Stargate fan, I would hate for that to happen. What are your thoughts on this? Is this something you will keep in mind when you are writing the last script of the season? Or have you spoken about this with Sci Fi?

Best, Jenny.

Michael
Michael

Have you ever been In germany. When – where and why?
When not – will you ever?

Les Ferris
Les Ferris

Hi Joe

I’m a big fan of both Stargate shows from England, and first off I want to say the secnd half so far of s10 (Up to Family Ties) Has been the strongest half a season I have ever seen of either show, there have been some brilliant episodes and scenes. It was great to see the Vala/Sam interaction in the most recent episode and the last scene was possibly the funniest end scene ever!

Onto the question: I was wondering if you and any of the Cast/crew of the show could help support the ‘Bite Back’ petition to save dolphins who are massacred by the Japanese? I have seen cast and crew getting very involved in charities etc… so I thought it would be a good thing to support, as it is a really disgusting act. (The petition is under the video *warning* the video may cause some distress)

Also good on you for your reply to the reccent ‘booing sam Carter coming to Atlantis at the UK convention’ question that was replied to in your february 23rd blog. I think that kind of thing is really insulting, if I didn’t like a decision I certainly wouldn’t react in such a petty way.

Thanks for your time, and for the great shows!

Royal_Nonesuch
Royal_Nonesuch

I just saw your food network comments–I’m addicted to that channel! I’m partial to Bobby Flay and Mario Batali, but just about any show on that channel is amusing and appetizing.

You must lobby for a food network chef cameo on Atlantis–that would be most fun.

Finally, if you are an ice cream fan, you must try Cincinnati’s own “Graeter’s” ice cream. It is fabulous.

Royal

foolishpleasure
foolishpleasure

While “Family Ties” wasn’t my fav SG1 episode, I loved the Skiffy poke in the eye. Kudos to the writers (do it again, please!), especially after seeing BSG get .9 rating for their last episode. . .and a renewal. Bah.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Hey Joe, a quick question, is that major arc for Elizabeth in season 4 still on? I very much hope so. What are the chances you guys make her back a regular exactly like it was before?

Anonymous
Anonymous

Joe, do you still check out the episode threads at various forums after episodes you’ve written air?

ccdsah
ccdsah

So it’s March and no news of RDA’s involvement in the movies does this mean that “The Shroud” was his swan song ? How can you not have him the movies ? Hope you get what you deserve !!!

Farscapefan
Farscapefan

I’ve just finished watching “Family Ties” episode, it was great and I’m going to watch it for the second time tonight smile But could you tell me why you wasted an opportunity to explore more Vala’s past as a host? It would have been great to know what her dad’s feelings were about this subject…

Anonymous
Anonymous

I know you’ve said that you don’t have a confirmed number of episodes for Torri (the rumours I’ve heard would tell me otherwise, and I’ve heard them from a couple of sources that the number is a very long way from double figures.. but who am I to know for sure)

My question is this: are you just going to give her a ‘token appearance’, or is she actually going to be used to her full potential?

On top of that, if a season five goes ahead, is there a hope of Torri coming back to the full cast?

Also, I’m not optimistic that you’ll get a season five, given the cast changes and the ridiculously late return of the show, along with the way Scifi seems to be more interested in things other than scifi these days — anything for a quick ratings grab.. wrestling, anyone?It seems the show is being set up to fail. Do you guys feel like you’re fighting an uphill battle? You’ve been around the industry long enough to know that what people say isn’t always what they mean, so despite the words of support, it’s just as likely they’re sitting around saying “How long until we can get rid of this and replace it with something we don’t have to pay for?”

Vincent
Vincent

m.k. writes: “Are there any plans for returning to any planets/people introduced in seasons 1-3, that we haven’t seen again?”

Answer: Are there any you have in mind?

uh…yes! the Nox

Ny chance we meet the Furlings anytime? even in Atlantis… or that we have big episodes Asgard-related?

Your posts made me really hungry…an gave me ideas about new recipes to try! Thanks

My favorite chocolates are the Côte d’Or Chokotoffs from Belgium, ever tried’em? They’re hard to find in Canada or even on the web…I hope to get some more in the future.

I’m looking forward for more exotic food! What do you like for sushi? Ever tried tandoori chicken or Gallo Pinto?