“Did you know,”said Rob, “that Applebee’s and Chili’s are two completely different restaurants?”

In fact, I had long suspected that they were the same restaurant serving the same menu under different names, so Rob’s revelation was downright shocking. This interesting fact was one of many my fellow producer picked up over the course of his location scout down south. Another great pearl of wisdom he picked up was “always bring a satellite phone with you if you’re driving into the desert on a location scout”. Apparently, they experienced a spot of truck trouble some ten miles into nowhere. None of them had cell phone reception but thank God for OnStar. They were assured that someone would be there in forty-five minutes. An hour and a half later, with the OnStar no longer working, they were considering either sending someone back on foot or (and this would have been my choice) making a human sacrifice to whatever ancient desert god might see fit to saving them, when rescue showed up in the form of a tow truck. An actual lift, it turned out, would have been preferable but, hey, doomed wayfarers can’t be choosers, right? Fortunately, from what Robert tells me, the casting went somewhat smoother. Still no final decisions made but they’re close!

Last night, Fondy and I went to dinner with our friends Steve and Jodi. No doubt envying the fantastic meal I’d enjoyed at Campagnolo’s just the other night, Fondy decided we should pay the place a return visit. As we started perusing our choices, owner Tom Doughty came walked by and did a double-take. He threw me a “Seriously?” look. Yep. Serious. I suppose I was bound to return sooner than later to try the three menu items we didn’t order the last time I was in with Marty G. We had an excellent meal followed by an equally memorable dessert (a double decker nutella tart from the kitchen because I had been quick to note the downsized version on my last visit) and booze. Yep, one of my New Year’s resolutions for 2009 will be to drink more (which should dovetail nicely with the Weird Food Purchase of the Day: Liquid Edition I’m planning to co-host with Martin when we both get back from the east coast). To that, Fondy and I enjoyed a delectable dessert wine and something called Strega Liquore, that translates to Witch Liquor from the Italian and smelled and tasted like spiked Armani code. It was pretty brutal but, quite frankly, was ambrosia compared to the complimentary digestif Tom served us, another Italian concoction that tasted exactly like the Chinese medicine Fondy takes to settle her upset stomach (check out me enjoying the Chinese medicine in this installment of the Weird Food Purchase of the Day: http://josephmallozzi.com/2008/08/20/august-20-2008-production-update-more-guest-announcements-and-the-weird-foodmedicinal-purchase-of-the-day/). Anyway, it was only a taste, but the taste was horrid. So horrid, in fact, that I tried to chase it with a glass of water. Only problem was that, instead of water, I inadvertently downed the glass of strega instead. GAAAH! It was one helluva a one-two gut punch. I couldn’t help but think that had I agreed to have my mind transferred to an android body last summer, it would have been a simple matter of switching over to my default tastebuds.

On my way out, I ran into George Heffelfinger, co-owner (with George Sung) of The Memphis Blues Barbecue House, THE place for ribs, brisket, and pulled pork in Vancouver. Although I’m still a semi-regular customer, the opening of a third location has kept Park busy so it had been a while since our paths last crossed. He seemed genuinely happy to see me, leading me to believe he had mistaken me for someone else. “Bring back the lamb ribs,”I took the opportunity to request. He suggested I give him a call and he would bring some in. “Better yet,”I said, handing him my business card, “just give me a call whenever you get them.” Done and done. I am now on the Lamb Hotline.

Things I learned today:

1) Usually, when someone invites me to their child’s birthday party, I swing by Toys”R”Us and pick out the noisiest toy in the store (usually one of those space guns with the flashing lights and seemingly endless repertoire of buzzes, blips, zips, and warbles), thereby ensuring I will never again be invited to some kid’s birthday party. I always assumed noisy toys were the way to go, but this list provides some wonderful alternatives. Like the “gun that shoots little bits of hard candy down kids’ throats.” Brilliant:


2) The Green Pit Viper and Rock Rat are not cool new supervillains but one of some 1000 species discovered in the Greater Mekong region over the past decade:


3) Hollywood is still, evidently, making some pretty bad movies according to the fine folk at Television Without Pity who put together their list of the top ten offenders. As much as I would have loved to have seen Beverly Hills Chihuahua, The Happening was the only movie on the list that I actually saw. And, yes, I did hate it. “Look out, the wind is coming for us! RUUUUUN!!”:


4) Want to lose weight? Eat dark chocolate:




Shiningwit writes: “Is Lawren going to be updating your blog as well? or will we not be deprived of your mutterings and chunterings over Christmas after all?”

Answer: No, I’ll be updating throughout the holidays. Unless I’ve been misled, Montreal has internet now!

T’loc writes: “after reading the background info regarding SGU i think it sounds Farscape”

Answer: It does?

PG15 writes: “Don’t you have to apply a cream to Jelly’s eyeballs as well? Is that in the Lawren Instructions?”

Answer: Apply a cream to Jelly’s eyeballs? Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s actually a gel – which needs to be applied to the eyeballs of all four dogs. And, yes, it’s in the instructions.

Alexandria writes: “My only question is where are the hover boards that Michael J Fox claimed we’d have by now?”

Answer: I picked mine up at Best Buy two weeks ago but I had to wait several hours in line. I think the manufacturer purposely short-supplies the retailers to create buzz.

Chevron7 writes: “So what was the fallout from yesterday’s post? Any reaction from the mob at work?”

Answer: Yes. Paul said he had an idea to do the exact same blog entry several months ago.

Quacky writes: “Eating the liver of a duck who spent two weeks being force-fed while confined in a 1 foot by 2 foot cage does not sound like a high-class experience to me. Might as well be kicking a dog or beating a child.

If you’re really interested in eating well and love animals, choose more compassionately than that.”

Answer: The gang at Fuel strive to source ingredients from organic and ethical suppliers. Chef Rob himself has made it a point to visit his Quebec producer. While I certainly understand your position, I can’t help but wonder about the compassionate choices you make when it comes to your own eating habits. For instance, I’m sure you know of the great suffering experienced by the battery chicken and the feedlot beef sold in many fast food restaurants and supermarkets experience in their journey from factory farm to your dinner plate. Do you always make it a point to always seek out organic, free-range meat? Or are you, hypocritically, only targeting consumers of foie gras because you can consider it an elitist dish and therefore easy to critique without running the risk of offending meat-eaters in general?

DasNDanger writes: “Since the audience gets it, will we ever see Todd and the Lanteans come to an understanding about the events in FC/TLT so that the matter can be put to rest, and not used against either one of them in the future? Or was it just put to rest in Infection with Todd and Sheppard’s little blow up over it, and their subsequent [positive] actions towards one another thereafter?”

Answer: The issue was effectively put to rest in Infection. However, while some may be more forgiving of Todd’s actions, Sheppard is likely the type to allow events of First Contact and The Lost Tribe to color his opinion and impact future dealings. Let’s just say that Sheppard will always opt for the more cautious approach in dealing with the wraith.

DasNDanger writes: “I guess I’m just wondering if these two – and especially Sheppard – will ever openly acknowledge that they understand where the other is coming from. After Miller’s Crossing I really thought that Sheppard understood that the ‘need to feed’ was just that – a need, and not some evil, depraved act practiced just for funsies. But he has really regressed this season, especially through this back half, and I know I’m not the only one who is frustrated by it.”

Answer: I believe you’re confusing Sheppard’s opinion with that of the Atlantis expedition as a whole. Sheppard has agreed to work with the wraith in the past (somewhat grudgingly) and has seen the benefits of the treatment that would “cure” them of the need to feed, but that has never made him sympathetic to them. That said, there is still hope for their working relationship in events to come…

AMZ writes: “ Has your approach to the short story been any different to how you would approach a script?”

Answer: In many ways, the approach is very similar: come up with an idea, think it through, flesh out a story, imagine the scenes, then sit down and write.

AMZ also writes: “And, just because I haven’t seen it asked before, have you ever watched either the original Battlestar Galactica or the re-imagined series?”

Answer: Sorry. I’ve never watched either but I hear very good things about both.

WayBeyondSoccerMom writes: “Are there plans on Stargate: Universe to concretely explain how people from Earth can/will communicate with the aliens they meet?”

Answer: Yes. No magical English-speaking aliens.

Steve writes: “Can you tell us if it’s known who will be directing the two movies next summer? Will Martin Wood direct the SG1 movie? Will Andy Mikita or Rob Cooper himself direct the Atlantis one?”

Answer: We’ll have to wait and see on the SG-1 movie, but Andy is slated to directed the Atlantis movie.

Ada Caley writes: “How did you end up with all your dogs? And who was first? (I’m a dog person, owner, and shelter volunteer, so dogs and dog related things interest me!)”

Answer: It’s nice to hear you’re helping out the lovable little furballs. Jelly was first. She came with us to Vancouver from Montreal. Eventually, we picked up Maximus (pictured in the banner) to keep her company. Bubba was supposed to be a gift for my wife’s brother but, after having him for a week, we decided to keep him and get her brother a toaster oven instead. Lulu, the Frenchie, was the latest addition (she’s a year and a half).

Ponytail writes: “Didn’t you once tell a story of how Lawren borrowed Beau Bridges’ car at lunch and wrecked it?”

Answer: I did? I’m uncertain because, on the one hand, I don’t recall this event ever happening nor do I remember telling this story but, on the other hand, Beau did have a car and Lawren does drive so hmmm….

BlueJay writes: “1…what is it specifically that wraith get from humans that they can’t get from other beings?

2. Does Todd know the team calls him Todd? Will we ever get to see his reaction to being called Todd?

3. In infection, what exactly were the wraith exchanging with the ship?

4. Which brings us to infection. Which hive was it that became ill and crashed? I mainly want to know if Kenny was onboard cause i don’t want him to be dead. Was he on another hive in Todds alliance?”

Answers: 1) Specifically? Good question. I want to say life force but that isn’t really specific. 2) Oh, he knows. 3) They weren’t exchanging anything. They were receiving nutrients that would keep them hail and hearty while in stasis. 4) The hive that crashed as the hive that Kenny was not on.

Thunder writes: “Thanks for the video of the dogs. One seems to be missing though, Jelly I believe. Too cold for her?”

Answer: Hey, good eye! Yes, in fact, it is Jelly who is missing from the video. She of the sensitive paws was watching the action from inside the house.

62 thoughts on “December 20, 2008: Rob’s Hilariously Dangerous Adventure, Back to the Old Chomping Grounds, Indigestives, and The Lamb Hotline

  1. No magical English-speaking aliens, eh? I can’t wait to see who gets the unlucky task of learning to communicate with them!!! Unless a certain Dr. Daniel Jackson has been smuggled aboard 😉

    Does this mean that the NM location scout was unsuccessful due to lack of dependable, long lasting transportation? 😉

    When we were driving through SW USA I remember the signs by the gas stations that said stuff like “last gas and water for 200 miles” and we always stopped there. Hehe 200 miles is a long way to go without a bathroom! 🙂

    Anyways, glad to hear casting is coming along well!!! Can’t wait to see the team Mr. Weber and Brad and Rob put together!!!

    Lol I love how you know all these restaurant owners by name! Thanks for sharing all of your food adventures with us… I think we’re all inspired to go out and try new foods now 😀

    Thanks for the links and mailbag… The lawn darts sound fun, the Pitviper is a bit too green for me, but the Laotian rock rat is soooooo cute!!! And of course dark chocolate is good for you! 😀

  2. Hey Joe, no need for a Satellite phone ONStar uses Verizon Wireless so pick up a phone from them or one of the CDMA carriers in Canada, as those can roam on VZW. I believe that those are Bell and Telus but I may be wrong. As for where my food comes from I really don’t care as I subscribe to the” God gave us dominion over all animals,” theory of the food chain. On the plus side I know belief in God can’t lead to hell.

    Bon Noël to you and yours Joe.

  3. Say, thanks for continuing the tradition of posting vids of your dogs and their various escapades. I loved how Lulu hightailed it back into the house after a few brief moments of showing off in the snow. (There’s a lesson to be learned there, and I will do my best to make sure the spouse learns it.) I’m so glad that two dozen different readers suggested you put pet videos in your posts. Whoever you guys are, you had a gold-star idea.

    I’m so glad it was *your* idea to have a copious snowfall in Vancouver. Given your modesty, I know you would deny it, but I’m sure thousands of commuters were very grateful. – They should have a contest to see who can cross-country ski back and forth to McDonald’s (especially after having the Big Freaking Breakfast), thus reinforcing Canadians’ notions about wintertime survival skills.

    Emily, if you read this, thanks much for the link to the YouTube spot of the spotted dog running through the snow. I am besotted with the spotted dog. “It needs a dotted tot,” I thought. (Perhaps a polka-dotted snowsuit rather than c-pox.)

    Joe, I hope you enjoy your trip back to Montreal. Fondy’s idea, was it? Or possibly Lawren’s? (Way to score a sweet pad, dude!) Anyway, I hope family-and-friend gatherings are enjoyable for you both. If not, you could start early on your resolution to imbibe more in 2009.

  4. So, DID your meal include the three menu items you had not yet sampled? And, YAY for double decker nutella!

    What’s with the Italians taste bud’s fondness for bitter? Ever sampled their version of Coca-Cola? Ew! Talk about a face maker!!

    I dunno….Green Pit Viper would be a good villainous name. At least the costume could be cool..

  5. Like Nathaniel, I subscribe to the “we’re the top of the food chain” theory of eating. I find the obsession over organic to be a bit baffling. Mind, the way foie gras is made seems a bit nasty, but then again those creatures were bred for the sole purpose of being food. I’ll certainly not pass up an opportunity to try foie gras at some point in the future. And of course, there’s always the Kobe beef. Is there a more pampered food animal than a Kobe cow?
    I’m glad to see that Universe is not going to take the easy out on communicating with alien lifeforms. Are you consciously setting out to accomplish a first in television sci fi? You’re (generic sense) to be commended for being willing to put in the extra labor such a decision will require.
    As for bbq, with all due respect to folks up that way, you really need to make a field trip in this part of the country to find out what real bbq is. One of the nicer things about living in the mid atlantic is the fun of comparing the competing styles of bbq. Lots of bragging rights hang on who has the best bbq, and brunswick stew. If ever you find yourself in the region, I and no doubt several other readers here will be glad to send you a list of recommended places to try out. Thanks for the daily smile and enjoy the winter weather up in the northeast.

  6. Hey Joe,
    Funny you mention pit vipers. That was actually a nickname given to me by an ex-boyfriend…while we were still going out. lol Actually, I was flattered with the comparison. It meant he was scared of me. 😛 My New Year’s resolution is to try to date guys who I like, respect and don’t want to crush under my platform heel.
    Anyway, to continue with those Wraith-related questions from Das & Blue Jay:
    1. So have I completely misread Sheppard all this time? I never thought of him as that “cautious” around the Wraith. (Not as cautious as the IOA would like him to be.) He’s the daring one that’s always agreeing to meet with Todd or boarding a hive ship when everyone else wants to turn around and go home. Granted, he usually has considerable backup, which just proves he knows his job. I always thought of him as the “maverick” and this was partly why he related to Todd, who is a maverick amongst his own species.
    2. Why the lack of interaction between Todd & Teyla in this episode? She exerted a little bit of her queenliness in one line (“We need you to fix the ship”) but that was it. Not enough time?
    3. I thought Todd might have figured out what the Lanteans called him by now. But didn’t Keller call Todd by his name when she radioed Sheppard to come back to the lab in “Infection”? The shot was just of her, but weren’t we to assume that he was nearby, just in the next room?
    Oh, and thanks for not killing Kenny…yet.

  7. When you say ‘life force’, is that because you don’t wan to elaborate on the process too much, or because it really is supposed to be something supernatural?

  8. Wow, my first question and it got answered! Let’s try for two for two!

    Joe, can you tell us when we’ll hear something definitive about the third SG-1 movie? I’ve been waiting (and waiting and waiting) with bated breath for news from you guys ever since RDA mentioned it to us at GateCon, but it’s been months of nothing. I’m needing an SG-1 fix something bad. Please help!

  9. I was trying to watch hunkahunka Michael Shanks in Lost Treasure of the Grand Canyon but couldn’t stomach it any longer. Between dead horses, human sacrifices (with the obligatory extraction of cheesy beating hearts) and Michael’s pronunciation of “Quetzacoatl”, I gave up. I only started watching because of him and JR Bourne, and although they are the only hope this thing has, enough is enough!

    I was watching all the funny SG1 episodes today and had to tell you, Moebius 1 and 2, Avenger 2.0 and The Other Guys still made me laugh to tears. Really excellent stuff 🙂

    My daughter and her husband arrive from England on Tuesday for Hannukah/Christmas. I’ve been taking care of their two dogs for the last 6 months (UK quarantine junk) and they will all be leaving the first week of January. No idea what I’ll do with only 3 dogs! We’re doing a Guatemalan Christmas dinner, tamales, chicken in jocon sauce, tostadas chapinas, the works. Ever had Guatemalan food? Some of it is to die for! You’re welcome to come over on the 24th! Really.

  10. “The gang at Fuel strive to source ingredients from organic and ethical suppliers. Chef Rob himself has made it a point to visit his Quebec producer.”

    Joe, are you suggesting Chef Rob has located a cruelty-free source? So, the ducks are free-range until it’s time for the daily force feeding?

    “While I certainly understand your position, I can’t help but wonder about the compassionate choices you make when it comes to your own eating habits. For instance, I’m sure you know of the great suffering experienced by the battery chicken and the feedlot beef sold in many fast food restaurants and supermarkets experience in their journey from factory farm to your dinner plate. Do you always make it a point to always seek out organic, free-range meat? Or are you, hypocritically, only targeting consumers of foie gras because you can consider it an elitist dish and therefore easy to critique without running the risk of offending meat-eaters in general?”

    Factory farming does involve a lot of cruelty, that’s very true. Thank you Joe for pointing it out. Since you do acknowledge the cruelty in that aspect of the food industry, I do find it odd that you’re fine with foie gras. Nevertheless, I’m glad to see you promoting free-range and organic farming. It also does my heart good to see the obvious love you have for your four-legged family members.

    I’m an animal lover myself. That’s why I’m vegetarian, won’t wear fur or leather and have adopted several stray cats and dogs that have found their way to me. I know there’s more I could do, but I make the effort where I can. I guess I just find it upsetting to see you get on someone’s case for objecting to an obviously cruel practice.

  11. Thank you, Joe – for answering my questions. At times I must admit it’s hard to distinguish Sheppard’s feelings from the team’s, since he is there leader and thus seen as their ‘spokesman’, so thank you for the clarification. Really appreciate it…and I REALLY appreciate your answers to BlueJay’s questions, too! Poor Todd… 😆

    As far as what Wraith get from humans, it would be nice to know. 😉 One theory out there is that it’s what keeps them humanoid – if they started to feed on other animals they may start de-evolving, and become more like the creatures whose essence – and, presumably – dna, they absorb. Perhaps that’s the simplest way to look at it – they need to feed on humans because they need a constant infusion of human dna, or they will start to revert back to a more animalistic stage.

    Tonight we had our annual employee dinner here:


    Everything was delicious – I had the special – filet mignon, and my brother-in-law (visiting from Florida) had the lamb, which was amazing! I know – I stole some. 😀 Hubby had a shrimp and lobster special, so I steered clear of that 😆 , but I sampled a few other things, including my sister’s babaghanoush appy, which was massive – with tomato wedges, olives, cucumbers and pita – enough for a meal, easy. Very good, too. We had a great time, especially since a couple of the guys drank waaaay too much! Amazing the things you learn from drunk employees. Speaking of which, I can’t wait for your Weird Food: Liquid Edition, Joe! 😉

    Have a great one, and thanks again for answering our Wraithy questions…and for giving us a wee bit of hope…


  12. Hey Joe, on the Duck thang?

    I am a an ethical vegetarian (pretty much vegan these days… did you know white sugar is only white due to using animal bones to “polish” it? Humans are weird! lol)


    I doubt there is such a thing as an ethical way to produce foie gras.

    Be brave and just admit it; you don’t care unless they are dogs 😉 then you put little hats on them and humiliate them 😛

    Merry Christmas Joe! 😀

  13. hey joe, just finished Basalisk, cant wait for the discussion and everyones thoughts, I had a good time doing this so far, thanks for running this!

  14. And I say feed all consumers of foie gras to the Wraith! THAT’LL learn ’em!

    Honestly, I do have a wee bit of a problem with foie gras myself…although I did just eat a chunk of a sweet little lamb tonight. Ugh. I’m doomed. I love animals, but I have no problem with consuming or using animal products. I think it’s what’s left of my primative nature – to live off of the earth – and all that it provides – including the animal life. However, I have started drawing the line in certain areas – won’t eat shark products (though shark is one of the few things from the ocean that I actually like the taste of), try to only buy dolphin-safe tuna, stopped eating veal a while back, and avoid a few other things. I would go vegetarian (not vegan because I love milk products and eggs) if I could only give up bacon, filet (and beef in general) and a good bbq

  15. AND that entered before I was finished typing…crapola.

    Now I forgot what else I was going to say. Oh well, it’s past my bedtime anyway… 😛


  16. Hey Joe,

    Just sent you an email. Just want to be sure you’ll get it.


  17. @Tardishart – I just had to look this one up (Wikipedia) because I’d heard of alternative methods to produce foie gras:

    Alternative production
    Fattened liver can be produced by alternative methods without gavage, and this is referred to either as “fatty goose liver” or as foie gras (outside France), though it does not conform to the French legal definition, and there is debate about the quality of the liver produced. This method involves timing the slaughter to coincide with the winter migration, when livers are naturally fattened.[45] This has only recently been produced commercially, and is a very small fraction of the market. While force feeding is required to meet the French legal definition of “foie gras”, producers outside of France do not always force feed birds in order to produce fattened livers that they consider to be foie gras, instead allowing them to eat freely, termed ad libitum. Interest in alternative production methods has grown recently due to ethical concerns in gavage-based foie gras production. Such livers are alternatively termed fatty goose liver, ethical foie gras, or humane foie gras, though these latter terms are also used for gavage-based foie gras production that is more concerned with the animal’s welfare (using rubber hoses rather than steel pipes for feeding). Award-winning Spanish producer Patería de Sousa produces foie gras under the brand Ganso Ibérico[46] by taking advantage of the natural instinct of geese to fatten their livers in preparation for migration,[45] which results in a seasonal product, as slaughter can only happen in winter, prior to migration. Others have expressed skepticism at these claims of humane treatment,[47] as earlier attempts to produce fattened livers without gavage have not produced satisfactory results.[48] In 2006, Schiltz Goose Farms began developing non-force-fed fatty goose livers by similar seasonal methods,[49] producing their first “fatty goose livers” in 2007, with sizes two to three times that of normal goose livers (by comparison with up to six times for force-fed geese.

    I sincerely doubt Joe is “humiliating” his dogs in any way – they look very, VERY well loved.

  18. LoL, human sacrifice. With your luck, it would be the first time they remember you had the idea and sacrifice you as the one who came up with it.

    The list yesterday of what the dogs do and need, too funny. It is like having kids except they don’t talk back. I would of commented yesterday, but your snow came this way to New Hampshire and I was digging out this morning and then just forgot to go online. Now we are preparing for yet another storm Sunday. I am done with winter now.

    Have a great Holiday Celebration in Montreal!

  19. Joe Answered, “I did? I’m uncertain because, on the one hand, I don’t recall this event ever happening nor do I remember telling this story but, on the other hand, Beau did have a car and Lawren does drive so hmmm…”

    And, Lawren did work with Beau, and Lawren does go out to pick up lunch on occasion for the staff and crew so hmmm … Oh well, someone else must have said it. Just chalk me up to the growing number of people who can’t remember what you say. But at least I give you credit for saying things – even if you didn’t. Wonder what this means about you? Maybe Joe, . . . you talk too much? Naw!

    On a personal note. I watched the mailman accelerate by my house today. He was flooring it. Damn, even the junk mail people aren’t sending me anything for Christmas!

    Merry Christmas! Thanks for the daily blog. It’s a lot of fun and great reading.

  20. Oh, my….thank you for this!!!

    4) Want to lose weight? Eat dark chocolate:
    And, it is heart healthy too.
    Sign me up.

  21. So, I finally got to see “Identity” last night, and I was wondering a. Was that the partially-finished weapon that Daniel built in “The Quest” sitting behind the Ancient communication terminal? and b. Why wasn’t Neeva’s body in a coma the way Daniel’s and Vala’s were when they linked with Harrid and Sallis?

    Other than that, I really liked it. Anything with Beckett is great, and I loved that they used that trick like they did in “Crusade” with the cameras showing Keller and the audience seeing Neeva.

    One more question: are you going to be at all involved with “Sanctuary” at any point? I ask because I saw three episodes yesterday, and it’s already got half the “Stargate” cast and crew.

  22. Poor Lawren! When does HE get a vacation?

    It’s interesting reading about Rob’s experience scouting locations in New Mexico. I’ve been on many geology and archeology field trips throughout the southwest. My suggestion, stay away from Animas during the summer. I almost drowned in a flash flood there once.

    On the other hand, the most beautiful place I’ve experienced was in Utah at Horseshoe Canyon. http://www.nps.gov/cany/planyourvisit/horseshoecanyon.htm

    We camped at the trailhead on a mesa, which felt like we were on top of the world with nothing to obstruct our view. The geological history of the canyon was incredible, and the rock art there was astounding, including the famous “alien” figures. But it was the night sky that I remember most. The Milky Way shown like a rainbow over our heads. It was the first time I got a glimpse and a sense of the vastness of our galaxy. And to this day, it’s one of the most profound memories I have. If you ever feel adventurous, it’s a great place to visit.

    Best wishes for a wonderful and relaxing Holiday vacation. And looking forward to seeing what you’ll be munching. Although, I still don’t get with all the funky things you eat, how can you not like Hawaiian pizza (Canadian bacon with yummy pineapple smothered in cheese)?

  23. Hi, Joe
    Because Dr. David Rush was not in the character breakdown.
    So I’m a little confused. Is he a series regular?
    If he is a series regular, can you do a character breakdown for him?

  24. i hope you’re getting out of town soon, supposed to get hit with 30 cm of snow tonite and more on the way!!! I was visiting my family in Pointe Claire in ’98 and was scheduled to leave during the Ice Storm and ended up spending 4 hours getting de-iced.

    I’m dreamin….of a white…christmas

    Happy Holidays

  25. LOL…regrettably, I’m a few days behind…so read that last few posts just now…LOVE the points idea. I felt like that sometimes when I was going to my book club meetings while we were predicting the outcome of HP 7…(which I was right about alot of things)

    Speaking of Harry Potter…

    As I was reading your point system, I couldn’t help but be reminded of House Points. hehehe…..

    Maybe you have jars labeled with each of your names and drop something in everytime you get a point…I’m sure you could come up with something.

  26. Oh, and I’m not sure how much “Sanctuary” you’ve seen, but there was an episode with a boy who draws the monsters that he sees in people, and one of his pictures was of an Unas.

  27. Coucou Joseph!!

    sa va???
    Moi oui comme chaque jour^^!!

    Je vois que je suis toujour la seul frenchi sur votre blog, snif je me sens seul! Par contre en regardant vos commentaires je suis choqué de voir le nombre de mot qu’on a en commun en anglais et en français.
    Oui mais notre langue est plus belle et *toc* lol XD

    ahhhhh qui parle de foie gras?? o_o j’adore sa!!! J’ai entrepris des recherches afin de tester la qualité de certains produits et la surprise lcertain produit les plus chére provenant de marque connu peuvent vraiment être beurkkk par rapport à une marque de distributeur qui a bien plus de qualitée.
    Tener cela pourrer vous intérésser:

    1)Combient de foix par semaine allez vous au restaurant.
    2) Ou avez manger le plus bon foie gras de votre vie?
    3)Que va apporter le pére Noel à vos chiens?

    Passer une bonne journée! Bisou!!

  28. No magical English-speaking aliens.

    But a magical translating device, eh? *g* (Fine, I buy that, we are not far from that now 🙂

    Besides, it seems like a good potential cost cutting measure: Drag in some random people from the street, have them move about mouthing words (or perhaps spouting something incomprehensible in Esperanto) – THEN you get the A listers into dub the voices – it doesn’t matter there is no lip sync since its the universal translator doing the work!

    Excellent 🙂

  29. Hi Joe,
    I have been a lurker on your site for a very long time and really enjoy your daily thoughts, tirades, rants and ruminations, as well as those from all the commenters (…well, most of them). I think my favourites are your tirades and rants.

    Your recent habit of posting links to the weird and wonderful, dragged me out of lurkdom so that I could I could share this link. There were moments I thought I was going to die laughing while reading this, and all I could think was “Nooooo, let me finish first!!!”

    I have linked you to the first post because I think it may be best read in order. I should also say that there is quite a bit of swearing, so if that offends anyone then they shouldn’t go there. Also, I know the url may read a little like an incredibly dodgy porn site, Joe – but I swear it isn’t. There is also a “tip-line” so that people can nominate animals. I think the picture of maximus at the top of your blog would be a winner. It’s really not right that he is so cute.

    Anyway, I hope you and the family and all the commenters here have a good christmas and I hope you get a laugh out of the link.


    ps. Joe, I’m not really sure you are supposed to leave the kids behind when you go away. What kind of parent are you?

  30. Ponytail writes: “Didn’t you once tell a story of how Lawren borrowed Beau Bridges’ car at lunch and wrecked it?”

    Answer: I did? I’m uncertain because, on the one hand, I don’t recall this event ever happening nor do I remember telling this story but, on the other hand, Beau did have a car and Lawren does drive so hmmm….

    Maybe Ponytail’s error was a result of my short script:


    Written by Patricia Stewart



    We see PugJoe sitting at his desk, visibly angry as he talks on the phone.

    What do you mean Joe Flanigan hasn’t shown up
    for work yet? He is in all of the crucial scenes.
    He can’t not show up. This is terrible. This is a crisis of epic proportions!

    Carlbindingwire enters PugJoe’s office.

    I think it’s the Cowel, Joe. I think the evil
    Cowel has him. It might be time for Baron Destructo
    to come to your aid once again.

    Yes, yes, it all makes sense to me now. Flanigan
    does have a lovely singing voice, and those other contestants, well, can we say, “Wraith scream”?
    Cowel must have him. I’ll contact the Baron immediately.

    Geronimo rushes into PugJoe’s office.

    Joe, Joe, a terrible thing has happened! David
    Hewlett just phoned! He and Flanigan have been
    involved in a traffic mishap!

    If Flanigan gets himself killed, I swear, I
    will never speak to him again!

    It’s worse than that! They were driving Jason
    Momoa’s pink cadillac! If there is any damage,
    Momoa will kill the both of them!


    Where is Momoa?

    He had to run to the store. I told him he didn’t
    need to run, he could take his car. That’s when
    he told me he’d bet me $50 that I was dead. I was afraid to bet him!

    Let me get this straight, Hewlett and Flanigan
    are in a fender bender and Momoa is on his way
    to the store. Dare I ask where Paul McGillion is?

    Actually, he’s the only one who showed up for
    work today.

    And Rachel Lutrell?

    She hasn’t been seen since she had her baby.
    Oh, no! It’s no wonder that love scene with the
    alien entity didn’t work!

    We can’t complete an episode with only one actor. We
    have to find Flanigan! Oh, and Momoa and Hewlett as well. Tell the crew to stop production immediately.
    We must find Flanigan!




    Off Carlbindingwire as he stands beside the window.

    I have an idea. We could use Bam Bam. He would
    make a passable Flanigan. And Chuck Campbell might
    fool the viewers that Hewlett is still around.

    Don’t be silly. The viewers are not that dumb.
    We’ll call Richard Dean Anderson in to play Flanigan. And Michael Shanks can be Hewlett. The viewers will know the difference, but they will think the show
    is even cooler than it is now. And with brilliant strategy like mine, it’s clear why I’m the boss and
    you two are just the writers.

    You really are brilliant.

    Off Carlbindingwire…

    And evil. Baron Destructo would be proud.


    Patricia (AG)

    P.S. The story has a happy ending if anyone is interests….:)

  31. Oops! Sorry! Don’t worry, I’ve got it figured out now. Gels, instead of cream, 4 instead of 1, and tongue instead of eyeballs. Got it.

    Good luck to Lawren with that!

    Rob’s Adventure reminds me of those grisly Discovery Channel stories where it starts with “and he was never seen again.” as the main character walks away from his car, which broke down in the desert. Glad he got rescued though! Hopefully the fear that nature put in him for those 1.5 hours will be put to good use on Universe, just like how his fear of Jaws worked.

    Ah yes, that Chinese medicine video. I didn’t think back then that humans could make those noises that you did, and I still don’t think that.

    Those toys are hilarious. I especially love how a toy gun in this case can actually kill you dead when you pull the trigger.

    Hooray for no English-speaking aliens! Actually, I think it’s more likely that they won’t speak at all, nor will they have mouths to speak from. Many possibilities, there are.

    Yes Joe, us fans are fast. Very fast. See, I’m not the only one who repeatedly refresh your blog to catch the exact moment that you post an entry!

  32. Wow! I bet your going to try telling me that Montreal has indoor plumbing too.

  33. Hi Joe
    thanks for the answers. Though i notice you sidestepped the wraith sex and offspring question. Oh well, i’ll just have to keep bugging you.

    posting this bit again:

    this is something Laura Dove picked up on, would you care to comment.

    LD: I think I have a guess about when Todd was captured… I am in the process of rewatching all SGA, and something Cowen said in “Underground” caught my attention: “Many generations ago during a culling, the Genii were able to shoot down a wraith dart.” (It’s how they got a wraith storage device.) Anybody else thinks Todd could have been the pilot of that dart?

  34. Saw David Odgen Stiers in “White Christmas” at the Fox Theater in Detroit last night. Alas, no sticking his hand into anyone’s forehead, a la Oberoth, but he sang very well!

    Dinner was at the Coach Insignia, on the 71st floor of the Renaissance Center (http://www.mattprenticerg.com/urc/coach.asp ). Lovely view at night. Had the seared duck breast and confit leg, glazed root veggies with parsnip and pear puree, and Calvados sauce. Very tasty. Stop in, if ever you’re in town. 😀

  35. Joe, Did you see Shanks and Bourne in the sci-fi movie last night? Better than most sci-fi movies but still……… It still was nice to see them, man I miss ALL the Stargate stuff! I guess you have to make a living somehow. I do like Amanda Tapping in her show, but, I still can’t get used to the dark hair. I see its still snowing on my screen. So OK , what about the picture of Fondy, did she agree to let you put one up? Have a wonderful holiday. Sheryl

  36. Before the craziness of the week and work keep me away from the internet, let me send my wishes for you, Fondy, and your families and friends to have a wonderful Christmas, Joe. Safe travels, happy times and wonderful food!

  37. Aaaah, the issue of foie gras. I personally eat mostly organic food and even partly wear organic clothes (yes, that exists; they’re hard to find and you don’t find everything, but that exists); but at the same time, I don’t hesitate to eat foie gras from time to time. I don’t grasp how force-feeding a goose by hand is worse than cutting the beak and claws of chickens to prevent them from self-mutilating due to the insane amount of stress they suffer in their ridiculously tiny cages. (And people complain about wraith feeding? Pshah!) That’s even the same if you don’t eat meat but eat eggs.

    Industrial production mechanisms are much, much more cruel to animals than traditional foie gras production. Not all foie gras is produced in a humane way, granted, just as not all meat, eggs and milk are, but as long as you choose the producer, eating foie gras doesn’t make you more insensitive than eating meat, eggs and milk. Again, it all goes back to hypocrisy, a topic you may have noticed I feel particularly concerned with if you remember my comments about Sheppard in “Infection”. 😉 Our society seems to love wallowing in hypocrisy, doesn’t it?

    Anyway, thank you a lot for answering some of Das and BlueJay’s questions about wraith! I’m so relieved Kenny’s still alive. I don’t love him as much as Todd, but I still love him very much.

    About Sheppard, you said once regarding Todd’s actions in “The Lost Tribe”: “Still, yes, he almost did wipe out the ship and everyone on board but, at the end of the day, he had little choice. But I’m sure that whiny, narrow-minded Sheppard will take it as a personal affront.” While I thought at the time your last sentence was ironic and Sheppard wouldn’t react so, it looks now, after “Infection” and today’s insights, that Sheppard IS indeed a whiny and narrow-minded person who takes Todd’s actions in “The Lost Tribe” as a personal affront. :-/

  38. Hey Joe,

    Did you know it’s National Haiku Day? So, in honour of that, and the fact that my last attempt didn’t get a bite…

    Fans anticipate
    The episodic poem

    (At least this fan, anyway.)

    Happy Hannukah to those celebrating, and a safe holiday season to all!


  39. To celebrate National Haiku Day, how about we write some SGA haikus? They are 3 lines long, and just have to follow the format 5-7-5 (syllables). Anyone game? (Hope you don’t mind Joe.)

    Here’s an example:

    Wraith are in Vegas
    A new Universe debuts
    As the Gate shuts down

    Let your creative juices flow…I’d love to see one from you Joe. 🙂

  40. Did Chef Belcham mention that at the farm where he sources his foie gras (Aux Champs d’Elise if I recall correctly, third largest producer in Quebec) they are force-feeding 4,000 ducks on any given day? They force feed 400-500 ducks in one hour, at the owner’s own admission. That’s all due to the extreme confinement of the ducks. Because they can’t move away, the feeder can go down the line much more quickly – it looks a lot like pumping gas, only the pipe is much longer.

    It’s a simple fact that in spite of his proclaimed support for local and organic products, Belcham is sourcing a “product” that is produced in an industrial scale farm using methods that would not be allowed under BC’s organic standards. Sounds like he’s more interested in the marketing appeal of “local and organic” but not really willing to stick to it like Raincity Grill or Bishop’s.

  41. @ Sandra – RE: Sanctuary – there was also a picture in that batch of the UberWraith (Dan Payne) from Sateda! Nice nod to both Stargates, and to Dan’s previous webisode work on Sanctuary!

    I have a dilemma! Take a nap, or continue bugging Joe about the Sheppard/Todd romance relationship! Nap! Shodd! Nap! Shodd!

    Okay – in this case, nap wins out, in HOPES I’ll dream about Todd…sans Sheppard.

    But just wanted to say one thing… Hey, Narelle…I just bought two packages of Tim Tams! WOO! Already looking forward to tomorrow morning’s coffee time!

    Now, nap! Later, Shodd!


  42. Arctic Goddess. RE: Patricia Stewart’s short script, “Finding Flanigan”.

    Nope. Thats not it. But nice story! Loved the Jason Momoa parts.

    Lawren? Lawren are you out there?? Lawren, did you or did you not once wreck Beau Bridges’ car? Just anwser the question. (Surely Lawren takes the time to read Joe’s blog.)

  43. Hey Joe,

    Vegas and Enemy at the Gate have both leaked. Whoever is in charge of your effects should be fired. How many times are you gonna let yourselves get screwed over this way?

  44. The Vegas leak, at least, appears to be fake or a scam. Haven’t seen the Gate one even show up on the sharing sites.

    It seems the episodes were sent out for review, so it’s possible a reviewer leaked them, but if so, not anyplace obvious!

  45. Sandra – I also wondered why Neeva was not unconscious while inside Jen like Daniel and Vala’s bodies were. I believe that their unconsciousness was likely linked to the bracelets. I’ve run my mind over many different scenarios but the effects of the bracelets did go a little haywire when they activated the device so I assumed that it was a complication of that.

    Am I on track, Joe? Or am I way off base? =)

  46. Joe, why such a strong reaction to the objection voiced to the consumption of foie gras? I was kind of surpised at the intensity of your response.

    Ice storm last week, double whammy of snow storms this week. I need a break from winter and it has only started. You’re on your way to a snowier part of Canada. Do you like the snow and cold?

    Stay warm!

  47. Wow. You actually demoted Carter. It’s about time she got what was coming to her. Way to go! Stick her off on her own ship and away from any future SG-1 movies. BRILLIANT!

  48. Hey Joe (again)!

    Have you watched or heard how the Stargate Legacy auctions are going? The ribbon device is over $2k! It’s exciting to watch the bidding.

    Take care!


  49. I’ve been quiet for awhile, since most of my questions are usually asked for me, but I still enjoy reading the blog and following the exciting adventures of a sci-fi writer/producer.

    Since people have been asking about the alienness of aliens in SGU and you’ve assured us there’ll be some non-humanoid and non-English speaking ones, what are you going to re: the languages? Are there going to be bizarre extenuating circumstances that allow them to speak pseudo-proto-Latin like the Ancients or pseudo-proto-Coptic like the Goa’uld, or will you consider retaining a pro linguist of some sort to come up with a frame for a language that isn’t related to any of Earth’s, the way you have a physics consultant to either bend the show’s equations toward reality or come up with reasons for them after the fact?

    I know translation is a bummer for dramatic reasons, but one of my favorite things about SG-1 was the link to reality that Daniel’s scholastic bent maintained. Sure, every linguistic bit that he struggled with was so far out of context to us that it looked like miraculous Trek-style universal translation, but at least there was a nod to the books and notes and pushing-up-of-glasses. I’ve missed that with SGA, although we’ve got math and physics nerds coming more to the fore instead, and that’s fine, since the gate-nanite-translation-ex-machina works all over Pegasus and engineering seems to be more relevant to the Atlantis situation, but I’d love to hear about the field linguistics of SGU.

  50. Okay. I’ll admit that I’ve been WAAAAAAY too busy job-hunting and going to tax school for the season but… when the heck did they change and/or add-to the character list for SGU? I found your little poll thingy, recognized no one, referred back to the GateWorld article with the proposed cast of characters and now I’m like… Are we even talking about the same show anymore?!

    As for the rampaging McKeller debate — Just don’t let Rodney develop the “Little Joe Cartwright” syndrome, okay? (in case you don’t know what that is: LJ meets girl, LJ falls in love with the girl, LJ’s girl is shot/drowns/dies of horrible disease/is run over by stampeding steers/eaten by mountain lion/stolen-n-murdered by indians… sometimes, he even got to marry them first)

    Lastly… How the heck are you gonna manage to do an SGA movie considering the ending of the 100th episode? Obviously, I can’t put anything spoilerish in this blog but… we seem to be majorly screwed, now, with our Adventure Options yanked out from under us. *frowning darkly*

    So, my position hasn’t changed, even with skipping your blog for almost a month: Still hating the cancellation of SGA, can already feel the bile rising for SGU, not thrilled with McKeller (prefer McShep) but she’s MUCH better for him that the botanist, and can already hear the excuses from MGM / SciFi / whoever-else on why the SGA movie has been shelved (probably budget, considering the economy).

    Now that I’ve caught up, I’ll try to be more diligent about your blog again. No really…

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