When someone walks into your office, gives the place a once-over, and asks: “Was this place hit by a tornado?”, you know it’s time to do a little tidying up. Well as it turned out, I had the opportunity to do a little summer spring cleaning today since my planned outing to Widgen Park for the first day of Harmony was rescheduled due to unforeseen circumstances. Part of me was disappointed to hear I would not be making the 1 1/2 hour trek to the forest location as I had already set aside my long-sleeved t-shirt and bug spray and, more importantly, gotten up at 5:30 a.m. for the excursion, while another part of me was even more disappointed because it meant the schedule was pushed and I would have to do it all over again tomorrow morning. Well, not exactly, as the call time has been pulled a half an hour which means I’ll be waking up at 5:00 a.m. instead.

The last time the production shot at Widgen was way back in SG-1’s fourth season on a little episode called Scorched Earth, the very first script Paul and I wrote for the show. According to legend, one of the actors refused to come out of their trailer until the bear that was stalking the grounds had left the area. In the end, it came down to a couple of P.A.’s who saved the day by chasing away the no-doubt adorable furball. Seriously, I wonder what that conversation must’ve been like. Martin Wood: “Hey, Spencer, we need you and Tim to wrangle the extras, get the guest star a script and, oh yeah, chase away that hungry predator.” Hmmm. According to the fine print on the spray I picked up, it repels mosquitoes, ticks, and something called “chiggers” (which, if I remember correctly, are surly forest-dwelling gnomes). It doesn’t say anything about bears. In fact, it’s quite possible that bears enjoy the taste of Raid.

Still, it should be fun. Though probably not as much fun as trying to upload a video to blogger. Yesterday, after innumerable attempts, I eventually gave up and went through photobucket instead. Hopefully, the bugs will be worked out (of either blogger or me) sooner than later.

Today’s pics: Andy Mikita means business, the big men on set, what’s so funny?, locked and loaded.

Mailbag will return…hmmm, don’t really know when. I’ll be on location for the rest of the week and while I’ll probably be able to upload my entries and some pics and, hopefully, some vids, I probably won’t be getting around to answering any questions. So, for the time being, limit your comments to effusive praise and we’ll get back to questions this weekend.

59 thoughts on “August 28, 2007

  1. Effusive praise it is then. Very cool to see the old SG-1 halls again… and to see Ronon at the SGC!

    And watch out for the chiggers. If you’ve never had a chigger bite you’re lucky… very lucky…

    Thanks for the pictures and yesterday’s great video!

  2. “Hey, Spencer, we need you and Tim to wrangle the extras, get the guest star a script and, oh yeah, chase away that hungry predator.”

    LOL! I do hope they got some sort of bonus, or at least got to go to the front of the line at lunch.

  3. Hi Joe!

    No questions – got it. (That wasn’t a question!) Effusive praise for the lovely pics! Very nice! WooHoo! I’ve named a happy dance for you!

    OK, now with that out of the way…

    Bummer about having to get up so darn early – and having to enter The Bug Zone. Those chigger gnomes are nasty li’l buggers who like the taste of blood. Be sure to spray the bottom of your pant legs to discourage them from climbing up your legs and biting the places-that-should-not-be-bit. Luckily, since they are gnomes, you can spot them by their little red pointy hats.

    Scorched Earth is a good ep. Interesting moral dilemma – good team conflict.

    Be safe and not eaten by bears (or anything else!)

  4. If you have any Steven Culp behind the scenes photos, I’d love to see them. I’ve always thought he’s a fine actor, ever since I first saw him play Bobby Kennedy. One of these days, I’m sure he’s going to get that breakout role.

  5. Didn’t realize you guys got chiggers up there. Believe me, if they chew up your ankles, you’ll know. Wear socks! Nasty little buggers.

    Love that shot of Ronon in the SGC gate room!

  6. Great pics! Yet another episode of Season 4 I’m looking forward to watching.

    From my experience, chiggers like to linger in grass, so beware!

  7. I’ll be waking up at 5:00 a.m. instead.

    Ahhh, the glamorous life of the tv industry.

    And look out for bears. If one attacks just throw the can of insect repellent at it, or follow my lead of what to do in life threatening situations – namely hysterical crying and urination. Normally whatever is attacking will just give up in disgust. *nods wisely*

    Thanks as always for the photos!

  8. *effuses praise*

    Wow… The Teal’c character is dressed… really similarly to Ronon’s.

    Thanks for the pics! Awesome stuff!

  9. Joe Mallozi fantasy book club?? Yep, I’m in!!

    Hogfather is a good book, but Wyrd Sisters, being the first I read, is the best IMHO. Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax remind me of my 2 late, and very sadly missed, grandmothers. Masquarade (sp?) is also very funny.

    On an SGA note, please don’t ‘off’ or badly injure Col. Sheppard. Joe Flanigan is a great actor and it has taken so long for him to be cast in a decent series, well, since Providence anyway.

  10. Is there a chance, even a slight one, that you will write Carson into an episode or two of season 5?

    and no i am not fishing for info whenever or not Carson is alive, dead or otherwise in the kindred, i just wanna know if the poor guy is you know available to serve the good ship atlantis should it reach another year in the service of… lol i was going to say Weir.. but its carter sadly

  11. ZOMG! Ronon at the SGC! *gasp* I know there’s no mail bag for a bit, but I just thought of a question and will probably forget it in a couple of seconds:
    If Martin Gero was going to cast himself as ‘Danger Beckett’, who would you be?
    Also, per orders, I sneaked a picture of you from your blog and posted it in the place of the one with you in front of the gate. I also thought to pick you up some furniture. Check it out, m’lord:

  12. fyi – chiggers,aka red bugs, are mites that feed on your skin and itch like h***; related to spiders.

    If you take one of your orphan socks and put powdered sulfer in it you can lightly bat around your ankles (prime chigger target area)to dust yourself and keep them from attaching to you.

    Unfortunately, Sulfur does nothing to repel bears; would suggest siccing Ronon on them.

  13. Joe-

    To keep the bears at bay, use the old trick shown in The Parent Trap (Haley Mills version) to scare away mountain lions, bang two sticks together as you walk. The noise is sure to scare them away 😉

  14. Thankee again for the piccies. Chris looks younger and younger in your photos, despite the white streak — shouldn’t he look older?? *laughs* Maybe it’s all the laughter 🙂

    Tell Mr F “O-genki de”! 🙁

  15. According to Hewlett, your day off was due to JoeF’s food sickness, so hopefully he’s rehydrated for tomorrow. I guess actors have to be there earlier than producers as his call was for 4.30 (or he lives further away)

    Looking forward to the Book Club, I’m going to re-read Hogfather again. i always found it one of the more complex of the stories, but a lot of fun.

  16. Heya Joe,

    Keep those pics coming – I love looking at onset ones.

    I saw the vid but without sound as I am at work and we don’t have soundcards in the computers here… but it was really nice of you to post a vid of McGillion.

    I was going to say I hope you get better as Hewlett mentioned a Joe getting food poisoning, then realised that maybe he was referring to Mr F not yourself.

    Seriously though, would any bear attack the crew? I thought you’d have to be in the yukon or something to run into one?

    How’s the Pratchett reading going?

    Take care and we’ll hear from when we… uh hear from you… (gee that was a very enlightening sentence).


  17. I dunno about praise, but thanks are in order! I read Scalzi’s “Old Man’s War” on your rec, and I loved it, so thanks! I only had time in my minute break between summer and fall semesters to read one non-school-oriented book, and I’m glad that one was at the top of my pile. 🙂

  18. You’re worried about mosquitoes when poor little Joe Flanigan has food poisoning?

    You’re a wuss!

    I hope someone is making sure he gets time to get over his illness!


    Sorry. They’re really frightening. They dig under your skin and stay there, and only die in reasonable time if you paint nail polish over the hole.

  20. I love the photo of Chris and Gary!

    The location of Scorched Earth was gorgeous! I think you will be fine if you have Amanda with you. I heard that in the arctic, she wrestled a full grown polar bear to the ice with her bare hands. Then she stuffed it, gave it to her daughter and told her it was a rabbit.

    True story.

  21. I think maybe I’ll actually say something with substance today.

    I don’t know for sure, but I don’t think that the western areas of this continent have chiggers. I’ve at least spent most of my time on the west coast and hadn’t even heard of them until I visited the mid-west.

    Scorched Earth: People with the crazy lookin’ eyes episode. And the black ship with the pasty white interior I’d be afraid to walk in with shoes on. Sort of like having white carpet.

    …Okay maybe that didn’t have any substance.

  22. Chiggers are common in these parts. They mostly live in tall grasses. We used to put some sort of powdered sulfer compound around our elastic socks and waistline at camp to ward them off.

    Here’s a chigger song I learned in Camp Fire when I was a wee tot:

    I’ve got a chigger
    I’ve got a chigger
    Running up and down my spine
    Looking for a place to dine
    I’ve got a chigger
    I’ve got a chigger
    Louder, louder insect powder
    I’ve got a chigger.

  23. Bit of bush knowledge – spray both your shoes and socks with the heavy-duty bug repellant, lighter coloured clothing is apparently less attractive to insects (and possibly humans too)

    bears? well, we don’t get many of those in Australia. Mad bullocks, crocs and snakes I can offer advice on, but bears…you could try Crocodile Dundee’s hypnotism trick, or bring half a cow carcass with you as a decoy (be sure to wash the blood off your hands first or Mr Bruin will think you’re dessert).

    Good luck avoiding the chiggers.

    – dana

  24. Oh boy, I hope my comment didn’t offend you Joe. Believe me when I say that I didn’t mean it to mean anything but a simple observation. One of my friend does indeed refer to himself as *that*; I mean, it’s in his MSN screename for cryin’ out loud.

    Anyway, apologies if I did offend thee, Joe.

  25. Hey Joe! I’m a big fan of SG-1 & SGA.

    You can say me why Christopher has long hair into the serie.

    Thank’s you
    Bye Bye Joe

    Signed: Anthony

  26. Shawna said…
    “Hey, Spencer, we need you and Tim to wrangle the extras, get the guest star a script and, oh yeah, chase away that hungry predator.”

    LOL! I do hope they got some sort of bonus, or at least got to go to the front of the line at lunch.

    *ahem* They were at the front of the line at lunch…. for the bear! 😆

    If nothing else, the Austin Powers movies have taught us that being a henchman for an evil mastermind is a career fraught with unforseen danger… 😉

  27. Salut Joseph!!
    sa va??

    Super les photos!! Merci!

    Je n est pas tr�s bien compris ce que vous faite sur votre blog en ce moment ..des videos??( de vous! de vous!! ^^ please)et vous ne r�ponderez pas au question avant ce week end?

    Je suis vraiment heureuse!! je me suis fait une nouvelle amie , qui vous adore aussi!Elle s appelle allison!!
    Donc maintenant vous avez 2 blogs qui vous sont consacr�!!^^

    Voici le mien:
    Dite moi se que vous en penssez s il vous plait?

    Aller gros gros bisou!! je vous adore!! a demain!

  28. I find it kind of amusing that Scifi’s talking Elizabeth up in the advertising/promotion for the show.

    Could it be that those on the marketing side of things actually have more of a clue than whoever made the decision to give Torri the boot?

    They probably know which side their bread’s buttered on. You gain fans by showing loyalty to your actors and characters. You lose them for mass dumpings.

  29. Super, merci pour les photos!

    Je suis trop content de voir Ronon sur Terre, en plus il y a Teal’c et il sont l’air d’etre bon copains tout les deux.

    Conversation entre Ronon et Teal’c:
    Sheppard et O’Neill: alors, on a fait connaissance?
    Ronon: moai
    Teal’c: indeed
    —————————————————— C’est a mourrir de rire, j’ai hate de la voir cette saison 4.

    C’est quand que Teyla ira sur Terre?
    La seule fois qu’elle y est allée, c’était dans une hallucination colléctive.

    Bon, passez une bonne journée Joe, et merci pour les photos!

  30. I loved the location for Scorched Earth! Clearly you are a producer of great merit to allow this location to be used. /effusive praise

    Honestly. Totally worth the drive and hassle of you guys shooting there.

    Hopefully Joe is back on his stomach today (David spilled on his Twitter) and you guys can catch up.

    Say hello to the bears!

  31. O.K. Joe

    You should contact the Raid company and ask them if Raid repels pesky bears? Anyway maybe it was a bear with acting talent trying for a spot on the show. Another Yogi Bear !!!!

    Hope your summer spring cleaning went well. I love the play on words.

    ENjoy your week


  32. Merci pour toutes ces photos, ces vidéos et informations que vous postez réguliérement… Ca me donne l’impression d’être constamment en train d’assister à une Q&A de convention…

    D’autres nationalités viendront-elles s’ajouter à celles déjà présente dans l’expédition Atlantis ? (des Français par exemple…)

  33. Insert effusive praise here. I’m sure you well deserve it!

    As always, thanks for the great set pics. Enjoy the wilderness.

  34. EEEKK Chiggers… sounds like the would dig in to one’s skin.. yuk!!

    Effusive praise, I think I can manage that:



    How’s that??? Oh right no questions… LOL just ignore that and bask in my high praises of you 🙂

    Hopefully that will make you 5am wake up time easier! I myself get up at 5:30 every morning for work so I feel your pain and sleep depravation!

    Have an awesome day and don’t get eatten alive!

  35. Alas, it would seem no amount of pleading equaled Joe and David pictures! Unless they’ve grown much bigger and had serious tans…Chris and Jason are nice though, so I’ll be happy and hope for Joe and David next time.

    Growing up in the interior of Alaska, I can give you the number one tip for staying safe when faced with bear country: DON’T GO THERE. Okay, okay, that’s not feasible, so, if you do happen to stumble upon a bear there’s certain protocol.

    1. Saying, “Oh, look at that big dog! Here doggie, doggie,” and trying to pet the bear cub previously confused with a large dog is not a good idea. In fact, you’ll likely find yourself up a tree(if you’re lucky). But see #2.

    2. You can’t outrun a bear. Find a tree. A very tall tree. But then again, bears tend to be fickle and short of starvation, they’re often not impressed with humans and are just as happy to ramble off the other way when faced with them. See #1 and why I’m still alive today.

    3. When entering bear country, make noise. Lots of noise. They don’t like it. If you’re on set in these woods with Mr. Martin Wood and his almost scary, “…and CUT!” that we’ve heard on the DVD extras, then you should be fine. Just stick him in front and have him shout the whole way in. There won’t be a bear for miles.

    4. If a bear is a) starving and b) charging, remember the RULE: stop, drop and roll…er, no, wrong warning…stop, drop and cover your neck. Fetal position, both hands wrapped around your neck because they’ll go for it and you’ll be a goner. Six feet deep. With worms. But then again, a tree is always preferable. A very tall tree. See #1 and #2.

    5. Carry a very big gun. Don’t miss. Or, make sure you’re good at climbing trees. See #1,2 and3.

    6. Don’t read Alaskan Grizzly Tales before venturing into bear country.

    And, last but not least, number 7 — You do know how to climb trees, don’t you?

    ~ciao and good luck filming in the wilds. Hopefully I won’t open msnbc to see:


    “I only wanted to go through the Stargate. All my buddies kept telling me about these blueberries on the other side that were THIS BIG.”

    //Bear sitting in jail cell shakes head defeated, his big paws (with very big claws) held widely apart to indicate freakishly large berries of mutant proportions//

  36. Joe thank you for the news because you write everyday in your blog.

    Sorry for english because I’m french. ^_^’

  37. Man, I need to stop watching so much tv. We don’t even have chiggers in the UK and I still know what they are thanks to CSI and Grissom’s bug obsession…

    Hope you enjoy the on-location shoot. If you do get eaten by a bear, where would you like the flowers sent to? (Oops. Question. Sorry.)

    Great pics, nice to see the SGC again.

  38. Effusive praise? Can do!

    I started reading the book “Excession” yesterday. It’s rather confusing, but I really like the way he makes the actions and the characters work. It was just a little hard to read at 23h30 last night…

  39. Anonymous said…

    You’re worried about mosquitoes when poor little Joe Flanigan has food poisoning?

    You’re a wuss!

    Have you seen the size and quantity of Canadian mosquitoes? I have first-hand, er, bite. One bite is annoying – twenty bites sucks (no pun intended).

    Chiggers and fireant bites are more itchy and painful, though. And don’t even talk about midges!!!!

  40. Joe you are an amazing boon to Stargate fandom (however if you were Daniel Boone, you’d know how to deal with that thar bear).

    Hope Joe Flanigan is feeling better.

    Adore the photo of Gary Jones and Christopher Judge laughing. I can almost hear CJ.


  41. Chiggers dig in under your skin. If you do get chiggers, cover the spot with nail polish, I suggest clear, to suffocate them.

    As children we got chigger bites every summer when picking blackberries. The nail polish trick really works.

  42. Please tell Joe F that we all hope he is feeling better soon!

    Hewlett told us the poor man got food poisoning. That is pure misery!

  43. yaaaaouuuuuu!!!

    je suis tro heureuse!!! Je vient de recevoir le calendrier 2008 de stargate atlantis!!!! Trop g�nial! je suis super heureuse!!

    Alors mon blog sur vous? il vous plait?

  44. I read about JF’s unfortunate bought of food poisoning from David Hewlett’s Twitter post. I hope he is feeling better today.

    After looking at your pitctures, I’m really looking forward to watching Ronon and Teal’c together.

  45. Do you have Adobe Premiere or Quicktime Movie Conversion? You can always use a movie program to convert the files of the films to an .mpg or whatever file it is you need.
    Just make sure when you use these programs you watch what the movies file size is 320×250 or something close to that was the suggested size I was given to use for a youtube. The longer the clip is the better it is to keep the movie file smaller.

  46. I am so envious of you being able to spend the week in and around Widgen Park. I would love to be there or pretty much any park in British Columbia. Rain or shine.

    Have a good week. And be sure to keep your wits about you as you enter the realm of the bear.

  47. Raid bug repellent — I love it.

    Lucky Joe! I’d love to spend a few days outside in the Northern Rockies. You know, they do make bear repellent sprays. (Nope, not joking.) It’s more powerful than mace so make SURE you read the fine print that says to point the nozzle at the bear because you do NOT want to wear this stuff the way you would wear bug repellent…

    Of course a ZAT might be reliable for self defense as you’ve got to be within 30 feet of the bear to use the spray.

  48. *waves*

    For some reason i’ve got the song, “Teddy Bears picnic” going round in my head! Thanks for that!

    To get rid of creepy critters, you might want to try Tiger balm, it’s supposed to be a great insect repellant (including chiggers) and works as a treat for aching muscles. My mom used it all the time in Hong Kong when we were little… I didn’t think they had chiggers there though, lol.

    Hope you’ve not been working Mr F too hard after his poorly tummy. Maybe you should add a whumping addendum into the script and a nice infirmary scene? That way he can recouperate while still doing his job! It’s a perfect solution! 😉

    Have a good time.


  49. Hi Joe !

    I don’t really understand everything (I’m french…pouah! lol) but I think you’re funny!

    I have 1 question (or 2, I don’t know^^):
    David.H and Joe.F are democrats or republicans??
    I’m curious to know that…If you don’t know that, can you ask them? lol!

    So, that’s all! Good continuation, you and your blog are great!


  50. For the bears? Just bring Martin Gero along and tell him to bring that machine gun he and Kurt were using for target shooting. Maybe bring Kurt too as he got a bullseye!

    Or you can use the P-90’s from the set and the noise may scare away the bears!

    That was a beautiful location. Watching SG-1 (and Double Jeopardy) has made me want to visit northern Washington and British Columbia! Absolutely gorgeous!

  51. Heh, you don’t have to be worried about bears… you just have to be faster than David Hewlett; or the PAs.

    (an old joke, but a good one)

  52. Joe, may the blog be dedicated to me? I started two courses in American Sign Language interpreter training this week. Thanks!

  53. That was Chris Judge afraid of the bear, was it not? I have heard stories about Michael Shanks dressing in black and scaring the bejeezus out of him…and something about taping Teryl Rothery to a tree?

  54. I just wanted to say I really appreciate the time you take to let us see and read about the work behind SGA, love the show!


    1-) When do you know is season 5 it’s a go.
    2-) I see you speak French, do you speak Spanish?
    3-) I’m kind of new at your blog, so…what’s with all the food pictures? Do you actually like cooking or just dining out?

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