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.

83 thoughts on “January 24, 2009: To Haggis or Not to Haggis?

  1. *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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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:


  4. 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!!!

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


  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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. 😉

    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!

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Haggis

    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 🙂

  15. 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)

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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!

  19. 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.

  20. 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?

  21. 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.

  22. 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 🙂 Traditionally it should be eaten with ‘neaps and tatties’, more commonly known as turnips and potatoes.

    And no, I’m not a Scot 😉

  23. 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!

  24. I used to have haggis at special events when I played the bagpipes. It was ok in small portions, it tasted a bit like a sausage roll.

    One day when I was in High School I couldn’t make it to the annual Scottish festival because I was working. My dad thoughtfully wrapped a portion up in a paper towel and came across the road to give it to me in the book store I worked in… it sat in the staff room stinking the place up until lunchtime. I was horrified and haven’t touched the stuff since.

    As for the preparation- I left that to the experts. It does smell really bad though.

  25. “Are you loathsome tonight?” cracks me up every time because I can’t help but picture a zombie Vegas Elvis singing it.
    I tried to read cities of Coins & Spice but I just couldn’t get into it after the first one. I think you’ll like it tho.

    The Illustrated Man, Ray Bradbury. GREAT book.

    Haggis, sorry no don’t like. I classify it only a few rungs above Vegemite.

  26. When our dog became diabetic and came close to death, between my mother and I we spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $2,000 for treatment. When they told us that she likely had cancer and suggested chemotherapy we actually considered it. (But it was not fair to put a 13 year old chihuahua through such a horrible experience and quite frankly, little things such as being able to pay the rent factored into our decision)

    I have heard of excellent alternative treatments. In particular with higher dosage glucosamine and chondroitin. I am ever the sceptic, but I was sold on the stuff when a family friend started this treatment on her dog with such severe arthritis in her hips that she would drag herself instead of walk. Within two weeks she was walking and a month later she had good movement and was waging her tail. I then started taking the stuff for a chronic cervical disc problem I was having that was keeping me in bed for days at a time and I am happy to report that I no longer get headaches that last me days.

    Anyway, have you looked into alternative treatments?

  27. Congratulations on the book store discovery. Not a bad little haul. It’s making me itchy to go hit my own specialty store, but I figure to wait at least till the week’s new books are released.
    Sorry to hear that you’re having to consider surgical interventions on Jelly, but it’s good to see you’re willing to explore every possible option. Here’s hoping you’ll get some good news, and better results, and that Jelly can shock her compatriots with newfound vitality.
    Ahh, outline is ready for the SGA movie? I don’t suppose there is some sort of bribe that could cause you to “accidently” let that slip out, is there? Summer is so far away…..
    Glad to hear Mr. G. is doing well. And I hope Mr. McCullough is also enjoying success in his latest efforts. Not that the writing skills of the other five of you are by any means substandard, but both gentlemen have turned in very strong scripts in the past, and I can’t help but feel that the franchise is a little poorer for their absence. And I look forward to their final Stargate offerings. Many thanks to both men for hours of Stargate enjoyment.

  28. Hi

    Haggis. I’ve had haggis twice. The first time, it was lovely. The second time it was horrid – but seeing as the resturant also served mashed potatoes that were clearly made from powdered potato, I suspect that the haggis wasn’t up to proper standards either!!

    I’d say, give it a go. And hope you get the nice stuff!!

    And don’t forget the tatties and neeps. Tatties are mashed potato, neeps – I can never remember if this is mashed turnip or swede, but I’m sure someone else will know that.


  29. Joe, Haggis is all in the preparation – its only as good as your butcher. If you have someone who takes pride in their haggis, chances are it’ll be pretty good. My concern for you is that today (25th) is Burn’s night, the supper honoring Robert Burns and where the traditional haggis will be served (and addressed). If you butcher is only doing this for the supper (read: once a year and never again), well…

    Regardless, it’ll be a good time to break out the whiskey and remember dear Rabbie’s Address to a Haggis:

    Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
    great Chieftain o the puddin’ race
    Aboon them a ye tak your place
    painch, tripe, or thairm
    Weel are ye wordy o a grace
    as lang’s my arm.

    [I skipped a few verses for you]

    Ye Pow’rs wha mak mankind your care
    and dish them out their bill o fare
    Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
    that jaups in luggies
    But if ye wish her gratefu prayer
    Gie her a haggis!

  30. Good morning Joe, I got the David Weber -Basilisk Station in the mail and am currently enjoying it, thanks for the suggestions about books to read. I missed the discussion, but am looking forward to more. When should I look for the next round of book discussions? I will head to the bookstore then. You might have said already, and I am not caught up on reading all the blog since being out of touch,,lol,,lots to read…enjoying it!
    –sorry to MacKenzie’s Momma about your snow, I don’t miss it at all,, if I do, I still have pictures, yuck, still sorry…think spring! 😀

  31. @das: get better soon! I hear pnemonia is quite yucky.

    yesterday sucked for me. 🙁 But I’m not in horrible pain today. I’m wanting to know how they expect me to drive a car with this cast on me. Tomorrow we’ll find out. Allie has physical therapy for her wrist. 🙄


  32. Looks like Joe’s taking a well earned day off today, well a few hours at least.

    As for Haggis, well thanks to the Beano and the Dandy comics I spent a short time in my early years convinced Haggis were a species of animal indigenous to Scotland and lived on the sides of steep mountains hence why their legs on one side were shorter than the other, and no it never occurred to me what would happen if they wanted to face the other way, look I was about 4 ok! Then on a holiday in the Scottish Highlands at the age of 7 and having discovered that haggis wasn’t an animal I was quickly corrected when I assumed that what was actually a sporran was a haggis and wondered why men in Kilts had a haggis on the front….yeah, I know, I didn’t improve much from then.

  33. Oooh, I see you have another in “The Orphan’s Tale” series by Catherynne Valente. I never did finish the first book which you had as a BotM club entry as I had gotten behind on my reading assignments, but what I did read of it I liked it a lot!

    I’m looking forward to hearing what you and everyone else have to say about “City of Saints and Madmen” next week.

    I’m afraid I can’t help on the haggis question either — never had it and never had the inclination to try it. It sounds rather unappetizing. But I’m betting some of your UK regulars will be able to help you there.

    @Mackenzie’s Momma: Yeah, I’m getting tired of shoveling the darn stuff, too. But on the positive side, I’ve gotten to do a fair amount of cross country skiing in the past month. I even took a lesson yesterday which seemed like a good idea since up to that point I mostly was going out and pretending I knew what I was doing. I actually did pretty well with my push-off and glide and shifting weight from one ski to the other, but need a lot of work on leaning out over the front ski to extend my glide. And I earned lots of extra credit for practicing how to get up after falling down! My balance just ain’t what it used to be.

    @das: You got a blog dedication! 🙂 Congratulations! There had better be lots of napping going on today, young lady; we don’t want you in the hospital. Get well soon.

  34. Here is my haggis story. About 16 years ago I was dating a guy who played the scottish drum I (I am sure it has an actual name but I have no clue what it is, but a smallish drum held by hand with a strap while the other hand held a stick) in a bagpipe band. Not sure if you would call them a band, more of a marching band then a rock band but I am getting completely off topic. So he took me to a banquet where he was to perform and all the fellas were wearing kilts in the true scottish fashion. While I am of Scottish decent on my mother’s side I had never had haggis. They brought it in a huge ceremony, playing music and parading this steaming dish of intrails around, then poured scotch all over it. My date proud as could be brought me a dish which I could hardly refuse considering the honor the haggis had been given. I am a fairly adventurish eater (not nearly in your league) so I took a large fork-ful. To this day if you ask me what the most disgusting think I ever ate is without a seconds hesitation I reply Haggis. I am sure there are those that love it, you might even be one of them but ewwwwwwwwwwwwww.

  35. Awww…thankies, Joe! *smooches*…oh, wait…um…maybe you better dip your face in Lysol after that cybersmooch…just to play it safe. 😛

    That was really nice of you to think of me…so I take back all the mean things I’ve said in an ‘Oh nos! They killed the Wraiths!’ moment…and I’ll stop buggin’ ya about their bodily odors. Of course…if any of the other visitors here want to help me out with speculation on this point…I’d be thrilled! Personally, I’m thinking leather, and something a bit reptilian in aroma. Black rat snakes give off a sort of sulphur smell…so I’m leaning towards that.

    Haggis – no personal experience, but my sister has had plenty – mostly in Scotland. She’s had good, and not so good. The best, she says, seems to be that which is freshest. Haggis that has been stored for a bit tends to get bitter. I guess it’s like fish – fresh fish tastes far better than frozen fish.

    The best haggis she’s had was when staying with friends in Scotland, and the wife went out that day and picked up a freshly made haggis from the butcher – she said it was the best she’s ever had.

    But that’s really not the point, is it? I don’t think you can consider yourself a true foodie unless you’ve sampled one of the world’s most maligned dishes. So, do it, Joe – do it! Do it do it do it do it do it do it do it do it!

    God, I’m starting to sound like pg15…

    Speaking of which, once you’ve tackled haggis, I’m still waiting for you to move up to this, if you haven’t had one already:

    pg15 and I are eagerly awaiting to hear your reaction on that sucker. 🙂

    @ Sparrow_hawk – Thanks for the advice! I really appreciate the feedback from everyone – it’s amazing how little the doctor really tells you. Of course, I talked to my mom this morning, and she said, “Well, back when I was a kid, everyone used to get pneumonia, and there was no medicines to take back then, so people died. They always said that, if the fever broke in three days, you’d be okay…but if it didn’t, you’d die.”

    Uh…thanks, mom. I’ve had a fever for a week. 😛 Then last night my sister asked me if it was the same kind of infection that killed Jim Henson. And they wonder why I’m so damn neurotic. 🙄

    And I’m almost caught up with all my comic book reading – loving Amazing Spider-Man since his reset (not married to MJ, web shooters back, etc) – this is really a fun book! About 20 new books to go (I was REALLY far behind), and then the rest are back issues from the 90s that I can read at my leisure…so finally tackling Elric is looking more promising all the time!



  36. I remain with mixed feelings about this, and I’m curious how you feel: were the Ori a good (appropriate) enemy? I liked the potential, but I also feel it fell through as SG1 always seemed to be searching for the magical Ancient ista-fix.

  37. Haggis is absolutely delicious. I was most determined to give it a go went I went to Scotland a few years back, and don’t regret it at all. It’s extremely tasty.

  38. Ah, that also reminds me: Have you ever tried black pudding? I think that if you like black pudding, you’ll like haggis. That’s probably the closest comparison I can think of it right now.

  39. Out of all the things you have eaten you have never tried Haggis? Haggis is awesome only when done by someone who knows what they are doing. Fortunately we have a Highland Games that comes to town every year and there is a Scottish vender there that does it perfectly.

    Do you cook? I thought you ate out every night. Lamb, nice are you going to do the traditional mint or are you going to braise it and serve with a chutney. Did you get a chop or a shank? What am I talking about you probably got a square cut or a crown and will be roasting since that is easier and just as tasty.

    I got a gift card in the mail yesterday for B&N I’m happy to say I used it to buy Dogs, The Book of Joby, and my first graphic novel.

    @Das, how are the lungs?

  40. Das, You take 2 pills to get your blood level up to theraputic range on the 1st day, then 1 pill a day for 4 days after. What most people don’t know about this drug is that it stay’s in the blood stream for 10 days, so basiclly you are on it for 10 days. It is a really good drug, but doesen’t work for everyone. So if you are no better in 3-4 days, GO BACK TO THE DR.! Take the steriods on a FULL meal, they are VERY hard on the stomach! The cough meds have codeine in them, which makes alot of people sick to their stomach also, so take with food. The puffer- Shake well take 1 inhalation , wait 5 minutes , then another. They leave a bad taste in the mouth, so rinse afterward. Take at least 1 hour before bed, so the side effects will wear off before you go to sleep. They may make you shake a bit, but that will go away in a few minutes. It speeds up the heart and opens the airways, it has epienepherine in it! So now that I have given you a medical lesson on your meds, your bill is forth comming-ha ha. Most Dr.’s never tell their patients how to take the meds or the side effects, so they may take them wrong or stop taking them and stay sick! Get well soon! Hey Joe, see, we are good for something other than driving you crazy! Sheryl

  41. Veggie Hagis is lovely….I know it kinda defeats the object for many, but it really is nice…very peppery.

    You can roast it if boiling it sounds wrong to you.

    Think tastier version of meatloaf.

  42. After all the wild and crazy things you’ve eaten, I cannot believe that you would shy away from haggis, vile though it may appear.

    I thought you were more brave, more adventurous, more willing to make a personal tastebud sacrifice on behalf of us readers than that.

    I challenge you, O culinarily courageous one, to try the haggis. In fact, I insist.

  43. Have you read Swan Song by Robert R. McCammon? I absolutely adore this book and if you haven’t yet, you should add it to your botm selections.

    Here is the cover info:
    On the edge of a barren Kansas landscape, an ex-wrestler called Black Frankenstein hears the cry…”Protect the Child!”—In the wasteland of New York City, a bag lady clutches a strange glass ring and feels magic coursing through her—Within an Idaho mountain, a survivalist compound lies in ruins, and a young boy learns how to kill.
    In a wasteland born of nuclear rage, in a world of mutant animals and marauding armies, the last people on earth are now the first. Three bands of survivors journey toward destiny—drawn into the final struggle between annihilation and life!

    They have survived the unsurvivable. Now the ultimate terror begins.

  44. About the haggis. If you can handle eating chitlins, you can handle haggis. and vice versa. But the problem is getting someone who knows how to prepare the stuff and season it properly. Sort of like liver and onions. Personally, the smell is enough to keep me away from all three dishes, though in a pinch I can choke them politely down.

  45. @das: Get well soon – this has to suck for you. I think Joe should send Todd to your house, that’ll fix ya 🙂

    Hi Joe, re Jelly, I think it’s a good idea to look into the surgery. Molly (my daughter’s Cocker, the one that is back in FL with us) had an extruded cervical disc and had surgery last year. It was expensive ($5,000 +), but she’s so much happier now. She is an older dog, was a bit overweight, but in general good health. Do you have experienced specialists in your area? The University of Florida Small Animal Hospital has some of the best anywhere. You may want to contact them, at least for a long distance consult. You have my email, so if you’re interest in talking to somebody there, drop me a line and I’ll get you in touch with the right doctor. I know people from all over the US bring their dogs here, and my experiences with them (neurologists for Elway) have always been excellent.

    Everybody else, be well and have a good Sunday 🙂

  46. Scalzi was the editor for the audiobook Metatropolis, which is different in that, instead of having a theme, it has a common futuristic world in which all the stories take place. Here’s a link to when he announced there will be a printed copy (I seem to recall a certain dislike for audiobooks?) coming out in August:
    Personally, I got the audiobook from iTunes… it was cheaper!

    The more I hear about SGU, the more excited I get… and yes, I know I’ve said that like six times already! I’m looking into staying in the city over the summer and working, but my real (secret, never-explicitly-stated) motivation is to be living in a place with cable when SGU airs!

    @das: Sounds like the doctors gave you the good stuff!!! I was just on steroids and azithromycin 2 weeks ago for bronchitis + sinusitis and I began feeling better the next day! The steroids left a really nasty taste in my mouth though 🙁 Anyways, here’s hoping you feel better already!!!

  47. I know this is a day late, but YOU MUST ABSOLUTELY HAGGIS. Some people might not agree with me, but personally, it’s the best stuff on earth (or anywhere in Milky Way or Pegasus). In fact, I’m going to a Burns Supper tonight to eat my fill. Yum.

  48. FYI:

    As per what “sorrykb” said…
    The 911 function is pretty much hardwired into all cell phones made in the last few years… Which why if you have an old one laying about that is NOT connected to any service provider, if it can still be powered up, it can still make 911 calls! — Take note those with small children who let them play with said old phones – TAKE OUT THE BATTERY!

  49. @Das – So sorry to hear you’re under the weather. Feel better soon.

    Take care,

  50. Interesting topic of discuss that I just can’t pass up. I have had haggis once while working in Scotland. It was one of the things I decided I would have to try while I was there. It was actually good. I would compare it to scrapple (feel like you’ve mentioned eating scrapple before and liking it). I agree with most previous posts that it depends on the preparation.

    I wasn’t aware of the Robert Burns Day celebrations but it sounds like a good idea if you can still get it from your butcher.

    All of this brings to mind some excellent dialogue from SO I MARRIED AN AXE MURDERER

    Harriet Michaels: Do you actually like haggis?
    Charlie Mackenzie: No, I think it’s repellent in every way. In fact, I think most Scottish cuisine is based on a dare.

    Can’t wait to get a report if you try it.


  51. *waves*

    I heard about poor Jelly and thought i’d tell you about my Barney bear. A golden retriever who was 12 when he started having back problems, and started sitting down in the most strangest of places. So we took him to the vets and they did the myelogrophy (radiograph) and they found his disc was herniated and pressing onto his spinal cord which kept causing his collapse. So we did all the tests, weighed up the benefits of what effect it would have on him, being an older dog, and it was the best decision we ever made. It was a long recover. They shaved his back from his neck to his tail, bless him, and fixed the problem. His back looked like a zipper and he struggled for a few weeks after the op, and it was hard to see him in pain. But we took it slowly with him, and gradually he got better. After a few months he was back to his old self. Best decision we ever made. Our Barney was happy again and although didn’t go back to running like he used to, he trotted and never had any problems until he devoled cancer a few years later. But his quality of life was so much better after the op, and at least he got those few good years. So, if you have the chance for Jelly to get her hip done, think about it, and the risks, because they are a few, but as Jelly’s daddy, you tend to know what’s best for her. 🙂

    But it’s not cheap. 😆 Our Barney bear’s op cost $5000! 😮 All I can say is thank goodness for insurance. 😆

    I hope you let us know what you decided and keep us posted. 😀


  52. Hey Joe,

    Haggis – I’ve had it, both here and in Scotland, and it’s ranged from pretty darned good to spectacularly bad. Anyone who’ll drink bottled sweat-water (isn’t that what it was) should have no problem with either end of the spectrum. Do share, of course.

    Thanks for the continuing updates on SGU, I can’t wait to see it. Any further news on SG1-3 (the movie?). Got any commitments from cast as yet? Specifically RDA and AT? Hmm?

    The latest book haul looks good, of your pile I’ve only read Sarah Waters’ Affinity. I enjoyed it. The David Weber discussion has prompted a reread of the entire series, thanks for that.

    Have a great week. ~Pol

  53. @Das and everyone else feeling under the weather. Hope you’re all feeling better soon guys. Lungs suck!

    OOH! Someone mentioned black pudding, YUM! fried not boiled though! Hogs pudding is another tasty morsel which is a kind of Cornish haggis (sometimes, depends on the butcher that makes it) and I love my liver and onions, got to be lambs liver though the other tends to have a bitter aftertaste. Pretty much everything else tastes offal…get it?

    Its my bed time now so night night all.

  54. To Das and Jelly – Get better soon.

    Joe, with regard to the supporting characters on Universe, will we see some actors we’ve come to know on Stargate, but in different roles?

    With regard to White Dwarf Books, checked out their website – yuk! Man do they need help. But they do have Aussie author Isobelle Carmody (Obernewtyn) in their Winter 2009 releases so that’s cool – must get back to that series one of these days.

    Happy Australia Day to all of the Aussies!!!

    Cheers, Chev

  55. Sorry to hear the the SGA movie may be postponed, or even cancelled, due to the current economic crisis. It’s very disappointing. I am glad, however, that you have other fish to fry.

  56. Hi Joe:

    Just a comment that people are probably reading more today than before with emails, instant messages, facebook, myspace, chat rooms, and of course, blogs. Yet, what many are not reading are books, magazines and newspapers. An article was recently published stating that newspapers may soon become as often used as the fountain pen. What are your thoughts?

    Patricia (AG)

  57. I don’t know how the hell my blackberry manages to dial 911 when it’s locked.
    Oh yeah, those “911 hangup” calls are fun. Do the dispatchers call you back? They do here.

  58. Joe,

    It’s being reported out of the Wolf Pegasus convention that’s going on this weekend that the Atlantis movie has been put on hold due to the economic crisis and that it won’t be filming until next year at the earliest.

    Is this true!!!?? And what about the SG-1 movie? Is that one going ahead??!

  59. First of all, I want to say thanks to everyone who’s wished me well, and given me advice – too many to name! Hugs all around!

    Can’t say that I feel ‘better’, but my fever’s been down for 24 hours, so that’s good. (Warning – grossness ahead!) But now I’m starting to – ya know – bring stuff up, which is yucky and making me feel like I’m more congested. All while I had the fever, I didn’t cough stuff up…so I can’t tell if I’m getting better, or getting worse. I’ve never felt any restriction with my breathing, so I can’t gauge whether that’s better, or not. This is just a real pain in the arse.

    And yes, I did a lot of napping. 😀

    For those who are concerned – my doctor told me I must go back tomorrow, whether I’m feeling better, or not. So don’t worry – I am going tomorrow, even if I wake up feeling like a million bucks.

    @ susan the tartan turtle, et al – Neeps and Tatties (mixed) are yum! My father-in-law makes ’em all the time! 😀

    @ Trish – *hugs* I usually see pain as a warning not to do whatever I just tried to do, but in your case…well…it’s just something that can’t be avoided, which sucks. So here’s to a speedy recovery! 😀 Hey, at least you’re not hacking up great green gobs of goo! 😛

    @ Deni B. – Yes…Joe SHOULD send Todd to visit me…I trust that he will ONLY give me the gift of life, and not a life-sucking hand hickey from hell. Afterall, I am one of his defense attorneys… 😉

    @ Joe – Last, but certainly not least! Firstly, don’t listen to the naysayers…be a man and tackle the haggis!

    Some have suggested vegetarian haggis – which I have had, and which IS delicious, but it just is not really haggis, is it? 😉

    Secondly (and more importantly), best wishes for Jelly! I had to make a decision for my old lady cat a couple years back – she needed bladder surgery to remove a type of stone that – get this – only dalmatians get. 😕 Not nearly as serious as Jelly’s situation, but my kitty pulled through like a trooper. It’s always a 50-50 thing…but I think I can say with certainty that whatever choice you make, it’ll be one made by a loving puppy pop who just wants what’s best for his baby.

    Thirdly, I will miss both Marty and Alan, for sure. Especially Alan, since I got to ‘know’ him a bit better through the nice Q&A he did with us, and for the many Wraith-themed episodes he brought us. I hate to say it, but one of the 5 episodes I have NOT yet seen from S4 is Tabula Rasa…I’ve heard nothing but good about it, and yet I just haven’t gotten around to catching those missed eps from the first half of the season, and that’s one of them.

    But Marty had such a great sense of humor, his eps always had something in them that made me laugh my ass off. A good storyteller, too, and he will certainly be missed as well.

    If you can, please keep us posted about any upcoming projects they get into! Thanks!

    Fourthly, funny that you craved ice cream after no sugar. I have greatly reduced my intake of sugar over the years, and mostly now eat dark chocolate for a treat. The first thing I lost a taste for is ice cream – it’s just TOO sickening sweet to me now, as are most commercial cookies and other baked goods. The things I haven’t lost a taste for, besides dark chocolate, are pumpkin pie, and homemade baked goods, where you can control the sugar amounts. But ice cream just tastes like crap to me now, which is probably a good thing, considering. 😉

    Have a good evening/afternoon/morning, everyone!


  60. hi, joe,

    since i know the 3rd stargate movie’s a ways off, when do you think we’ll start getting more tidbits about it?

  61. Mmmmmm Haggis – I LOVE IT! If I don’t know to much about what goes in it ;o)

    Have to say tho that the bought stuff here in Australia is not the same as the real stuff in Scotland. SO my recommendation is to wait to try the real deal if/when you ever get to Scotland. That said, I do have a Haggis here waiting to be cooked, might be my dinner tonight actualy :o) yummmmm….

    And a shout out to all the Aussie’s out there – Happy Australia Day!

  62. Hey Joe.

    Guess what?!?! I’m going to get contact lenses in a week and a half when I get paid again. No more will I have to wear these stupid, constanty-dirty, uncomfortable, somewhat-small glasses! YAY!

    Hey, how come you’ve been so late in the night to upload new entries the past few days? Is your internet still acting strange?

    Thanks Joe!

  63. Happy Australia Day to Narelle/b> and all the other Aussies!

    @das: I’m glad to hear that your doctor is keeping a close eye on you! Hope you feel better soon.

  64. @sparrow_hawk- yes well around here(in the northwest) we just are NOT used to the stuff. I’m used to ‘balmy’ 40 degree days and overcast grey skies year round 😉 🙂 so the 12 days I spent stuck in the house were pure torture. With over 3 feet of snow on the ground though it was impossible to get anywhere 😀

  65. Moderator’s note: kindly delete the two comments immediately preceding this one. I don’t wanna take up too much space, and I also truly hate posting typis.

    @Davidd…there’s a trick to the angle of lens entry that takes some getting used to, unless I was just a complete dink. Still, give yourself an extra ten minutes in the morning if you find it more tedious than expected.

    @Arctic Godess: Until people feel comfortable toting a laptop or other electronic device into the can to read the news for five minutes (varying on coffee and regularity), I think the newspaper will still have a chance.

  66. Woohoo! I am so proud of myself. I got my review of City of Saints and Madmen all typed up! But I will look it over in the clear and sober light of day and edit it a bit before posting.

    @MacKenzie’s Momma: Ouch! 3 feet of snow would be a lot even here in the Midwest near the Great Lakes. We have about 18 inches on the ground at the moment, but more due midweek. There was a time when I considered moving to the Northwest, but I wasn’t sure I could survive the endless weeks of grey skies. So I stayed centrally located (continent-wise) and just try to time my visits to your neck of the woods to those rare times when the sun peaks through – like mid-June. 😉

  67. You know you’ve been in the business too long when your first thoughts on seeing ‘to haggis or not to haggis’ is, oh, is he contemplating working with Paul Haggis?

  68. “Jelly’s Hips” sounds like a gentleman’s club from the 1940’s.

    Hope Jelly will be okay, it would be cool if the surgery gives her back her oomph. With all of us living longer we could all end up with artificial bits and bobs at some point.

  69. Hi Joe,

    Haggis as many people have said is an aquired taste and you either like it or hate it I have never found any in between. Each year being Scotish I celebrate Robert Burn’s birthday at Burn’s Night or Nicht Wi’ Burns at the Oak Lawn (Chicago Area) Hilton every January. Haggis is served as part of the traditional faire. I highly suggest you try it with some mustard which accompanies it well and helps to dull any icky taste you might encounter.

  70. Go with the Haggis Joe.

    Haggis is lovely when spiced properly.

    A real Haggis should have a kick but not enough to knock you to the other side of the room. It should always be eaten with bashed neeps and tatties, and with a dram of the real stuff to wash it down.

    If you want some of the real stuff you and Fondy should come to Scotland (Glasgow) for a short break. Were nicer than those folks south of the border and we have many other delicacies you would love.

    Other than that some could be shipped to the production offices for you.

  71. Good thoughts for Jelly. I have four favorites of your dogs and she’s definitely one of them.

    Good thoughts for Martin and Alan as well.


  72. Forgive my ignorance but why do you need to send a script to the military?

    Because they withhold resources if you don’t? lol

  73. So have you tried the haggis yet? It really is incredibly delicious stuff, if you get it from the right place. Dangerous to cook on your own if you don’t know what you’re doing, but it can definitely be done. Just stay away from canned haggis.

  74. Haggis! Wonderful stuff, but blow all the hassle of broiling or steaming, skice it and fry it then serve it with Neeps and tatties! My dearly beloved is preparing it as we speak! OK so it’s a day late for Burns night but I was on call last night, so it wasn’t practical!

  75. Hi just a question. who do I send a S.G. story that I have writen to. I cannot find an postal address or e’mail address to submit to. Please help if you can. Regards Tony.

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