Today's haul
Today's haul

This morning proved my productive beyond my wildest dreams. I completed three whole pages of my SGU script AND plotted out the next scene. I also started organizing my thoughts on the wondrous and weird City of Saints and Madmen, the next book up for discussion early next week. To be honest, a bit of a melancholy day, somewhat brightened by my latest book haul (pictured). I discovered a terrific little bookstore specializing in genre fiction called White Dwarf Books just a five minute drive from my place. I stopped in this afternoon on my way to pick up meds for my dog, a flash drive for my laptop, and some lamb for tomorrow’s lunch (Oh, and six different ice creams. Surprisingly, the one thing I missed more than anything during that two week no sugar, no fruit, no breads, cakes, or pasta regimen was ice cream). Armed with my Pick-Up list which I’d had the foresight to save to my blackberry, I was carefully making my way through the selection by alphabetical order – only to inadvertently delete the document somewhere between MacLeod and McCabe. Don’t ask me how I did it because I have no idea. Just like I don’t know how the hell my blackberry manages to dial 911 when it’s locked. I suppose it’s just one of life’s unsolvable mysteries.

Hey, anyone familiar with haggis? Is it any good? I spotted some at my local butcher’s and asked about it. T ingredients don’t sound particularly appetizing; the preparation even less so. I figured if, at the very least, I could bring it home and broil the crap out of it, I might consider making it a Weird Food Purchase of the Day, but the fact that boiling and steaming are the way to go discouraged me from picking up some up. So, all you haggis aficionados – what say? Am I missing out?

Today’s entry is dedicated to Das. Get well soon!


PG15 writes: “1. Is Martin and Alan leaving the writing staff?

2. Is there more of a solid backstory for the characters this time than there were for Atlantis and SG1 characters?

3. How’s episode 9 doing now?

4. Do you guys have an idea for the season finale yet?

5. Will there be a military advisor for Stargate Universe? If so, who is he/she?

6. The secondary characters on this show seems a lot more plenty, and a lot more developed than in the past (they already have names!). Will they play a more active role than secondary characters of the past (i.e. Lorne, Zelenka, Dr. Lee), even maybe getting their own storylines and showcase episodes?”

Answers: 1. Martin and Alan are not on staff this year as they are pursuing other opportunities. That said, they will each write a script for the first season. Just spoke to Marty G. a couple of hours ago and I’m happy to report that he’s doing well.

2. Yes. We’ve made a point of sitting down and discussing established backstories for each of our main characters.

3. The episode originally slotted in the #9 spot has been moved back in the schedule and a new story -which we’ll be breaking next week – will take its place. Carl Binder will assume writing duties on the script.

4. Nope.

5. Don’t know if there is a specific military advisor but scripts went out to both the USAF and Marines.

6. This series will be a true ensemble show so, yes, the supporting characters will play a more active role.

Patricia Lee writes: “ How are Jelly’s hips doing? Has the extreme cold been more of a problem this winter?”

Answer: She’s doing alright although her mobility is very limited. She surprises us with the occasional bursts of energy but, for the most part, she’s become very sedentary and reluctant to go on walks. When I do manage to get her out, she’ll last about a half block before giving up – meaning I have to carry her back home. Today, I was at the vet’s picking up some of her pain medication when I noticed a lively little pug with a shaved back and an eight inch scar. Apparently, he was experiencing disc problems (the symptoms were very similar to Jelly’s) and, after much deliberation and despite the fact that he was 12, they decided to take him in for surgery at a specialized clinic (the same clinic I brought Jelly in for her consultation). Now, he’s back to his old self, running around and enjoying himself like he used to. After thinking about it, I’ve decided to bring Jelly back for another consult. Even though the prospect of major surgery concerns me (they would have to replace her ball joint), I can’t help but feel it would improve the quality of her life immensely.

Matt writes: “Would the anthology editor happen to be one Mr. Scalzi? And would it happen to be the sequel to a certain Anthology editted by Mr. Scalzi?”

Answer: No, it wouldn’t happen to be Mr. Scalzi. I was unaware he had edited an anthology.

Fathercrow writes: “Hey, who got the brain of the suckling pig? And what about the eyes and tongue? I only ask because these are supposed to be some of the best bits and I was wondering if they actually served them.”

Answer: Surprisingly, they did not. I figured I’d be a shoe-in for the crispy ears.

Davidd writes: “I was wondering if the first season of Universe will have 20 episodes like SGA’s first season, or 23 lke SG-1?”

Answer: Actually, SG-1 did 22, not 23 episodes for many seasons. Like Atlantis, Universe will produce 20 episodes a season.

Rose writes: “It seems like SGU is taking up a lot of your time lately. Is the Atlantis movie taking a back seat until the new series starts?”

Answer: Part of it is optics and part of it is reality. Since we wouldn’t start shooting the Atlantis movie until the summer, as opposed to Universe which begins production in February, the series is more of a priority at this point. Also, because there is more work to do on SGU, you’ll be reading a lot more about it as well. As for the SGA movie – Paul and I have an outline we’re very happy with. The next step is to actually sit down and write it.

Bugguy writes: “Hey Joe, I’m baaaack.”

Answer: It’s about time. I’d feared you’d fallen victim to one of those hideous microbial infections you’d always warned me about.

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Mackenzie's Momma

*grins* great to see you doing some mailbag again.

*sighs* its SNOWING again here. *glares out window* I had enough of this stuff before.

Haggis- not had it so no help there.

susan the tartan turtle

Haggis – being Scottish I should like Haggis, but it is not my favourite dish. I find that it is okay for a few mouthfuls then it becomes disgusting.

Try it with Neeps and Tatties. (Mashed up turnip and potatoes – mixed or separate).

Let us know how you got enjoyed/hated the dish.


Hi, Joe.

Finished reading ‘The Ghost Brigade’ and ‘The Last Colony’ by John Scalzi. Excellent novels, clearly addressed my concern about manifest destiny. Loved the humor. Asked my library for ‘Zoe’s War’ and ‘The Sagan Diary’.

Oh, by the way, Amazon today put SGA Season 5 Official Companion book on pre-order at:


Ann-Marie Sloan
Ann-Marie Sloan

Oh My God, Haggis. Run Joe, Run away fast!!!

That is totally disgusting. Had it once in High School cooking class (we were doing a cultural week. Needless to say when we did Scottish day, the only part of the meal that we actually finshed, was the boiled potatos lol!!!


About haggis…either you like it or you don’t. I can’t stand it yet my brother loves it.



I tried haggis when I went to Scotland – I was a little leery of the ingredients, but then I realized that I’ve consumed all of those things (except lungs) in various Asian dishes, so I said what the heck. It was actually very tasty – the texture reminded me a bit of corned beef hash, but the flavor is much more rich and full of seasoning. It’s especially good with mashed potatoes.


I had Haggis in Scotland, where it is prepared well. I tried it to stay true to the culture. My recommendation: Stay far, far away. It is the worst taste I have ever had. I think dirt tastes better.


Hope Jelly does ok if you elect to have the surgery.


So I had this whole schtick about the origin of haggis. If you enjoy a little Latin etymological subterfuge like I know I do, it woulda been a gas.

I found an interesting bit about Scottish national poet Robert Burns who wrote “Address to a Haggis.”
As it were, there is this commemorative event during the week of January 25th.
You picked a good time to be curious about it.


White Dwarf is so much fun! There’s a whole series of those specialty book shops. The Murder Mystery one is Dead Write Books, I think, and there’s also one for Romances, and maybe a few others. You can get a list of the whole set of specialty shops at the counter of any one of them, if I remember rightly.

If you’re ever digging for particularly obscure out-of-print scifi, the used bookstore just down the street, Pulp Fiction, has a huge warehouse-store on the edge of the city & will hunt through the stacks & hold books for regular customers.


White Dwarf Books is great bookshop — I stumbled across it on my last visit to Vancouver and picked up a few books. More than a few, actually — I ended up having to ship some home at the end of my trip because I had no more room in my backpack.

As for the Blackberry calling 911 when it’s locked — That’s the one number it can call while locked, and it’s fairly easy to do because “Place emergency call” is one of the three options you get if you just start hitting buttons when it’s locked and password protected. I’d often wondered what selecting “Place emergency call” would do, until I came upon on a late-night car vs deer accident (driver mostly ok, car totalled, deer… also totalled) on a fairly remote highway — Turns out that Place emergency call dials 911.

Now as to why you Blackberry would decide it needs to make emergency calls on your behalf… Maybe it’s afraid you’re going to try the haggis.

– KB


Wow, thank you so much for answering all of that! I thought I was pushing it but…well, I guess not!

Damn, I’m gonna miss Marty G. and Alan M. They wrote some incredible episodes. I wish them the best of luck in their future careers. And of course, I wouldn’t mind if they dropped by and write a script for SGU while they’re visiting. wink

I am VERY glad to know that you guys are laying down the backstories, as well as making full use of the secondary characters. A fully ensemble show, eh? Sweet. Hopefully that’ll result in a “big family” of well-developed, consistent characters. That’d be awesome.

2 more questions for tomorrow:

1. Any new writers? Any freelancers looking promising?

2. Is the start of shooting for SGU Feb. 4th, or Feb. 11th? The latter date showed up on a BC Film Commission website.

Feel better soon, das! We’re all here for you!


Haggis is great, a lovely dish with a hint of spice. It’s traditionally server with neeps and tatties – turnip (or swede) and mashed potatoes. Today (Sunday) is Burn’s night, the big day of the year where the dish is served along with Burn’s poetry. Take a look at ‘ Address to the Haggis’, where he talks about it being the chieftain o’ the puddin-race. You can get tinned and microwaveable haggis, but the traditional serving way is the best.

Patricia Lee
Patricia Lee

Hi Mr. M.,

Thank you for the update on Jelly. I am glad you are going back for a consult. If the risk is minimal to Jelly and you can afford it, it might be a good thing. Do keep us informed.

Haggis… afraid I’ve never been tempted, but I did smell it once and gagged sufficiently enough to avoid it like the plague. Maybe you should ask Paul McGillion, he’s Scottish is he not?

Happy Sunday :p



It is an acquired taste, and trust me on this, although the ingredients do not sounds appetising, this is one of those dishes that tastes better than it sounds….a bit like toad in the hole.

Served with mashed potatos, mashed swede and with some scotch whiskey drizzled over the top…a perfect dinner.

Or slice it, and fry it for breakfast

And yes it should be the weird food purchase of the day smile

Arctic Goddess

Welcome back to Bugguy. I missed hearing your dire warnings. What say you about pig brains, eyes and tongues?

Joe, has a script for another SG-1 movie been discussed?

I had some Haggis on Robbie Burns day. I found it a tad greasy, and a bit bland. I thought it could do with more spices. And I refused to hear what’s in it, for fear that it would taste as bland going back up, as it did going down.

Patricia (AG)

Amy Lynn
Amy Lynn

Hope Jelly feels better soon.


Oh boy, you should not have looked at the ingredients for Haggis before eating it. I’ve never wanted to try it, but I believe my parents find it tasty. So it might be worth a try, if you’re brave enough =P


Haggis is GREAT!!! It tastes like spicy, mincy oatmeal loveliness (actually it tastes better than I could describe it tastes). You have to have it with neeps and tatties (mashed turnip and mashed potato) yumyumyum.

If you don’t like the ingredients for the proper haggis you could try a vegetarian haggis. Also yumyumyum!

I think you should go for it and make it your weird food purchase of the day so we can see you enjoy it.

D. W.
D. W.

Hello there. I’m a Stargate fan and I just have a simple question which I hope you could answer. Is the Sun Tzu (the ship mentioned in ‘Enemy at the Gate’ episode) a Daedalus-class ship? We never see it in the episode and I would really like to know.

PS: Thanks for some of the best Stargate episodes out there!


Today is the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns, the Scottish poet. Now, on the 25th of January every year across the world in all the places with Scottish ex-pat communities, there are ‘Burns’ Suppers’ where Haggis is the central meal of the supper. Burns was quite partial to a Haggis you see.

That’s why you’ve spotted it in your butchers. It does taste really nice despite the meal’s contents. I’d suggest that if you are going to try it then there is no more appropriate time of the year, Joe. You need potatoes and turnip for a truly authentic Scottish meal. ‘Haggis, neeps and tatties’ as it’s known.


Good to see even experienced writers have 3 pages on a good day. I’ve had one good day, going for the second, and last (script isn’t long enough for a third). Just added the final headache for our supposed hero, and I’ve got to tie it all up very, very soon, and move on to the next project. A sci-fi short for a children’s movie festival script contest.

Onto a couple of questions, that may or may not have been answered before.

1. Where do you get your ideas? Personally I usually get them while I’m on the toilet. Sometimes in the shower.

2. Outlines. Love or hate? And do you do a very detailed outline first, or do you leave opportunities for the script to take it’s own directions, and add it into the outline later?


Hey Joe this is a total shot in the dark but I was just thinking, since the SG-1 film hasn’t been officially announced and it’s already being written, and well into it as it seems. Would the “details” MGM is working on happen to be major motion picture “details”??

I just ask because that would be fricken awesome.


Joe, it does depend on who made it, but I think if you like sage and onion stuffing, you’ll probably like Haggis. It’s one of those things that make you think ‘ugh!’ but in fact tastes pretty good smile Traditionally it should be eaten with ‘neaps and tatties’, more commonly known as turnips and potatoes.

And no, I’m not a Scot wink


I’ve had haggis a few times – with mashed potatoes and neeps (I think they are mashed and buttered turnip/rutabaga)….. = COMPLETELY DELICIOUS.

And considering what other things you don’t mind eating, Joe, I’m surprised you are squeamish over the ingredients!
(BTW you don’t eat the skin of the haggis)

NB I am English, not a Scot, so apologies for inaccuracies!