Over the course of the many weeks I’ve spent researching restaurants for my upcoming Tokyo trip, I’ve made use of numerous resources: professional reviews, personal blogs, the Michelin guide, and, of course, several Japanese food sites. Negotiating the latter has not been without its share of frustration, however, owing to the fact that many of these sites are not in English. Fortunately, Google offers a handy translation service that allows you to translate a page almost instantly – with often bewildering or hilarious results. A recent google translation of a restaurant’s home page yielded the following tasty menu items:

“Liver appetizer dish of sand”

“Zestfully zanthoxylum, side dishes and a menu”

“Shanghai ‘catching drool’ hemp ‘oak Yamato’“

“Vegetable empty cores this month”

“4 old boiled beef”

And the following helpful suggestions:
“People who are bad, please call the voice when you order.”

“Ingredients not in your mouth, please consult us in advance what the charge and any allergies.”

Hey, finally received notes on both scripts today. Thankfully (and most importantly) everyone agrees that it’s a two-episode story. “I can’t believe we thought this was only one episode,”were Paul’s words. Anyway, some terrific suggestions that will help clarify certain elements, address a few outstanding issues, and generally tighten things up. I tend to hate rewrites, but this one (technically, these two) actually looks like it could be a lot of fun.

Ah, the life of a writer. Given your profession, you’re expected to come up with clever contributions or witty turns of phrase upon request. Take this afternoon for instance when Lawren and Ashleigh marched into my office and Ashleigh asked me: “What do you write in a wedding card?“

It took me all of three seconds to come u with the obvious answer: “Come to my wedding.”

Apparently, this wasn’t the scenario they had in mind. I wasn’t the one getting married. I was writing a card for someone else who was getting married. Ah, they should’ve been more specific. Not that it helped. I’m a notoriously terrible card-writer. Still, I thought about it and, as I was heading out, I poked my head into Lawren’s office and suggested what I thought was a fairly brilliant: “May your love prove as everlasting as the Saw franchise”. (Seriously. I think they’re up to Saw 7). Don’t know if he used it, but at least I was able to head home feeling I’d made a great contribution.

Well, off to Carl’s birthday dinner tonight. But, before I go, I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to post some wonderful, incredibly supportive comments. They were very much appreciated. You guys are the best!

Also, before I go, I leave you with a few snaps from a couple of visitors to my office. First up is VFS Supervisor Mark Savela who dropped by to discuss fandom. Visual effects, and t.v. in general. Holy smokes! I thought Martin Gero was a t.v. junkie. Mark Savela actually puts him to shame. He watches everything. And I do mean EVERYTHING! Except, for some reason, Top Chef which Rob Cooper was convincing him to check out as I was leaving the office.

VFX Supervisor Mark Savela talks Big Brother and House.
VFX Supervisor Mark Savela talks Big Brother and House.

Actor Jamil Walker Smith also dropped by my office today, sporting some wacky purple he was only too happy to model for us. Trust me. If you’re throwing a party, this is a guy you want at the top of your invite list.

What the - ?!
What the – ?!


Yep, they're purple alright.
Yep, they’re purple alright.
Jamil Walker Smith IS the hip, new Agent 86.
Jamil Walker Smith IS the hip, new Agent 86.

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Happy Birthday, Carl!

Joe – please give the B-Day boy a big wet kiss from all the fans.


Love Jamil’s shoes! I can’t wait to see him in SGU…even his shoes have personality! grin

Mmm, “liver appetizer dish of sand”. Sounds delicious! I wonder if Google translator is responsible for the funny translations on Engrish.com?


I haven’t been reading here much of late and I’ve missed a few BoTM. I miss the dogs and the books. I’ll have to go back and check out things.

Seems like the turbulence never ends for Stargate. I can’t imagine how emotionally up and down the last months have been with the folks in the Stargate creative world. Lots of emotion and misunderstandings and both sound and questionable decisions on all sides. As SGU premiere time approaches, I doubt it’ll get any easier. Though I won’t be watching SGU, I hope things settle down for those whose livelihoods depend on its success.

I’ll be tuning into season five of Supernatural. Have you ever seen it? Pretty cool. They do a good job with story arcs. I only started tuning in after seeing their self-reflective meta episode with the prophet Chuck. Anyway, it has an exec producer/creator who also engages with the fans. Its fascinating to watch a different creative group deal (perhaps more successfully) with highly passionate and strongly opinioned fans.

I truly do find the fan/showrunner relationship interesting and how the internet (chock full of rumor, some valid, some not) has solidified it, or rather, made it more possible. Also, it’s disturbing how easily the internet can inflame things (in all types of conversations). And is it just genre shows that inspire this kind of ‘conversation’ between fans and showrunners?

Anyway, enjoy dinner.


Whatever you eat in Japan, just don’t eat the hot dogs.


“But, before I go, I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to post some wonderful, incredibly supportive comments. They were very much appreciated. You guys are the best!”

Well, I guess that didn’t include me, BUT I did offer you chocolate sushi! I should get points for that…

Just got back from happy hour[s] down at our local dive bar. Drinks, dinner and dancing with some friends that just moved down from Philly. Wow. What a cultural shock! I am so NOT a Philly girl! I’m usually the ‘sit in the corner and brood type’, but tonight we were the ‘loud rowdy table’. oops Well, they were loud, I still was a bit broody.

Anyway, our friend is a union roofer, and it turns out that two of the guys in the band (lead singer & guitar player) were union roofers, and had worked with him up in Philly back 15 years ago…they were best buddies back then. Needless to say, it’s always better when you have an in with the band – the guys all had a blast. Oh, and to crush all those white/black stereotypes, lead singer is black, and he belted out one hell of a Metallica song. I’m thinking of calling the guy Psycho, just for the hell of it. grin

Nite, Joe…have a good one, and enjoy your date! wink



Happy birthday Carl!!!


Never tried Google translator but it looks extremely entertaining – not terribly helpful, but entertaining.

Re: wedding cards – write something? I thought that was why you bought a card, so you didn’t have to make up your own prose for the occasion. Then you just add something like “wishing you many years of happiness” Yeah, I’m not great with cards either.

Nice purple shoes on Mr. Smith!

Oh- I got a great present from the writers for whom I edited – a Darth Vader Fx lightsaber. It is amazing. The ultimate editor’s red pen. Cuts through everything!


@kabra, 2cats, PG-15, and Tammy Dixon ~Thankee all for your kind words about my painting — glad you all liked it! grin

2cats, thanks for the second exposure! grin

Kabra, it was done in acrylic. smile


He’s (Jamil Walker Smith) the voice of Gerald from Hey Arnold. (Probably been said a thousand times before. This is a thousand and one.)

I use the google translator to check if I misspelled a word in another language. It’s all right if you need to get around a site quickly, though.

Major D. Davis
Major D. Davis

Lol I would die to invite Jamil to a party, but I doubt he would come. Seems like a hilarious great guy, but also awesome onscreen. Like everyone says Greer=Ford but I’m like he looks so much better and cooler please don’t kill him off. Just kill the doctor off, us stargate fans atmre so used to it were just numb to the death of doctors, we probably won’t notice. :). I just got back from a hour and a quater workout. Ran 2 miles and did a butload of machine reps. Starting to get back to working out, after getting thrown out of sync from my missions trip and summer laziness. :). So one question W

What do you do for your workout? Is it a program you follow, or just do random stuff. Like do you do it at home or at the gym?

Really curious what you do cause you seem to enjoy eating really nice food and somehow keep the weight off. When I start to enjoy food too much, I begin to gain weight…. Fast. It’s a strugle to stay in shape for me. Lol Ill stop whining now. Off to watch Eureka. Just out of curiosity, does Mark watch Eureka?

Thanks so much,
Major D. Davis


OK, so now we’re all wondering if Ashleigh and Lawren are getting married….

Belated thanks for yesterday’s post in support of sanity. (And general civility.) And regarding Paul’s comment that the franchise is not a nonprofit: In this economy, nonprofits also are also cutting back or delaying projects. On this I speak from personal experience, having recently been laid off after working over 16 years for the same nonprofit. (The organization cut 25% of the staff nationwide — Ouch.)

And to the more rabid fans: The overwhelming majority of my now-former colleagues who also lost their jobs reacted with considerable less anger to the loss of their livelihoods (in a terrifyingly bad job market, I might add) than some fans reacted to the delay or rumors of cancellation of the SGA movie. How about a little perspective, people.

Ah well. Thanks again Joe for the blog.

– KB

P.S. Job interview Tuesday — my first in 17 years. Wish me luck.


Haha!! Get Smart, I love it!! Also, ask him if he’s a Vikings fan considering the shoes are purple AND yellow. And if so, his opinion on the whole Favre thing. wink


Wow, that Shanghai ‘catching drool’ hemp sounds very appetizing. I think I’ll pass this time though.
Oh man, those are some weird/kinda cool looking shoes. Only Jamil, I think, could pull those off. And he definitely would be sweet to have at a party.

Also, just wondering, but is each character going to get an episode that focuses on themselves this season? (like Ronan w/ Sateda or Teyla w/ Missing)

As an aside, does anyone know what this new Avatar movie is about? I saw the trailer and it looks kinda interesting/confusing….

Also, have/hope you had a great b-day dinner Carl, if you’re reading!


A few days ago, you mentioned Air would use an “established contemporary tune”. You probably can’t tell us the name of the song, but any hints as to who the performer is? Probably not, but no harm in asking.

Eternal Density
Eternal Density

Great to hear word of Ashleigh! The wedding card story had me chuckling to myself.

“Would you believe, this shoe, contains enough nutrients to feed a man for eight days? Would you believe it, eight days?”

“I find that hard to believe…”


@ Carl Binder – happy birthday man!

@ Robert Cooper – my new favorite show on the Food Network is “Chopped”. Have you seen it? It’s fun!

@ Ashleigh and Lawren – congratulations on your upcoming wedding! I wish you many days and nights of wedded bliss. ( just kidding – or maybe not)

@ sorrykb – go get ’em!! Good luck on your job interview.

@ jelly, max, bubba, lulu – my puppy is your biggest fan!

@ Joe – I love you, and your blog.

Major D. Davis
Major D. Davis

Oh anfmd happy birthday Carl. Oh and can I have a link to the painting of Joe, thanks!!!

Oh and @pg15

it’s cool dude. Everyone knows your generally a nice, cool, person. And when I see you out of your element, I feel bad for you not mad at you. (Though that one time where you were about to make fun of me more for my religion when you thought I was taking it to seriously, you know, when the debate started to get heated. It kinda got to me a bit but that’s in the past and as far as I know, were cool). Hope your doing better. :). Oh and were cool… Right?

Thanks so much, good night and good luck,
Major D. Davis


HAHAHA My friend is currently living in China and sends pics of the funniest Chinese – English Translations on menus….now I know how they get it so wrong smile

For a laugh check out http://www.rahoi.com/2006/03/may-i-take-your-order/

And you could have just pointed the girls to google for the wedding invite thing there are NUMEROUS websites online of how to do just that. As for figuring out what to write on cards…you can google that also smile Especially when you have cards to sign at work I have found this site handy (http://www.what2write.co.uk/)



P.S I LOVE Google’s translation service…It has helped me on numerous occasions when trying to translate stuff from Dutch to English for my family tree!!


And make that girl and guy :blush: that will teach me for not reading properly and automatically thinking Lawren was a girls name hehehe


Margaret Clayton

Winter in Japan means yaki-imo carts in the neighborhoods. Is this a treat you’ve had the chance to try? Yaki imo … Ishi-yaki-imo …. like a song announcing the arrival of cold weather.



Mmmmmm, sand. Hey, don’t knock it until you try it. After all, it’s full of minerals!

The Voice? That’s sinister. I guess The Voice is what will make those bad people good.

Glad I’m not the only one who thought Ashleigh and Lawren were getting hitched. LOL. The Exec. Producers’ assistant and the former Exec. Producers’ assistant; awww, what a beautiful love story concept. grin

MD: We’re cool. wink

And the final item on this list of random reactions to your blog post: hooray for the other writers agreeing to keep the finale a 2-parter!! A few questions, as a result:

1. Is the title of the episodes, “Incursion”? Plus “part 1” and “part 2” where necessary, of course.

2. So is this it then? It’s for sure going to be a 2-parter? I mean, unless something unforeseen happens?



Joe… Please tell Carl Happy Birthday… oh and the whole google translation thing was just plain funny! I wonder what those things really said… scary thought.



Well, I finally got my MCAT out of the way (it’s the test you have to write for medical school applications) and let me tell you, 5 hour exams are not my idea of a good time razz Given that, my brain is feeling a little fried so if bits of this comment don’t make sense, that would be why…

My mom and I drove down to Seattle last night, and came back home tonight and we swung by Campagnolo for a late dinner. I was very impressed. And the Nutella Tart was soooo good. And the staff are friendly and welcoming, always a plus…. Particularly after driving up from Seattle.

I didn’t get a chance to weigh in yesterday, but I very much agreed with your post. I’m sure you’ve gotten lots of feedback, but I just wanted to say, as a fan, that I thought you were, for lack of a more eloquent turn of phrase, right. And I was very impressed with your eloquent defense of Brad Wright.

Hope the little ones are all doing well!


Hey Joe,

Congrats on the script(s). That is great. I love two-parters, it extends the story telling. Your stories have made me laugh and even cry. Characters that are admirable and lovable at the same time. Well, Weir….what can I say. There has to be one.

I love Mark Savela. I love the creativity and magic in special effects. He has participated in some great behind the scene interviews with “how to” videos for show and tell.

Jamil in purple shoes, now that is something. I never thought I would see a guy where a “girl” color. Hey Jamil, you are wearing my favorite color.

Have a fun weekend, go see a movie. I just may.

Best always,


Happy Birthday indeed to Carl, and I hope we get a report of the birthday tortur…um, festivities. Loved the google translations, and am wondering which of the dishes you might try. “Shanghai ‘catching drool’ hemp ‘oak Yamato'” sounds like an especially appetizing dish.
As for the wedding card thing, you could have scads of fun with that. First, explain that to make it especially personal and effective, you need to know everything about the soon to be couple. Ask ring sizes, boxers/briefs, how often hair is dyed, left leg or right leg first into pants, first grade teacher’s name…you get the idea. Most likely you’ll never be bothered again. If for some reason you are given the requested data, well, just channel Baron Destructo and not only will you not be asked to help out again, you’ll probably avoid unwanted wedding invitations for years to come. Caveat; I have not tried this myself since I’m not a professional writer, but I just know the idea will work. Thanks for the laughs for the day.