Let’s kick things off with a brand new Weird Food Purchase of the Day video installment…

That wasn’t so bad.  In retrospect, I also should’ve picked up that bottle of Aloe Vera juice.

Hey, I heard from my Tokyo travel buddy Stefan today.  He dropped me an email in which he related his late-night visit to an Izakaya.  Apparently, he had a wonderful meal, had way too much too drink, then caught a cab home – but the driver had no idea where he was going despite being given a map to a nearby hotel.  After driving around for who-knows-how long, the driver simply gave up and asked Stefan to get out.  And so, in a drunken stupor, in the pouring rain, with no idea where the hell he was, Stefan searched for home.  It took him two hours.  Along the way, I’m sure he must have grabbed many a stranger to ask for directions.  What does it say about me that, despite the evening’s nightmarish epilogue, I was actually jealous that I wasn’t there with him?

Hey, can a non-resident own property in Japan – like, say, a modest apartment?  maggiemayday, you’re the resident expert on Japanese culture, property law, and bodypainting.  What say you?  What I was thinking might be cool is that if 1000 of us chipped in $100 each, we could probably get a nice place that we could time share.  Everyone would get approximately a third of a day during the year.  Thoughts?

More progress on the script, albeit of the slow and painful variety.  Hit the 15 page mark today which means that, this weekend, I will no doubt fall well short of the 50ish pages needed for a full script.   Still, 25 pages five days off an exhausting trip to Asia would be pretty impressive.

Hey, remember when I used to do that thing where I’d take excerpts from your various comments and respond to them?  Whatchamacallit?  The yuutai, ne?  Okay, let’s do that…

Maggiemayday writes: “That was the beauty of a couple hours “rest” at a Love Hotel, no one had illusions what you were doing.”

Answer: Damn.  I missed out on the Love Hotels.  Perhaps they’re someplace to consider for my next trip.  How’s the concierge service?

Thornyrose writes: “You forgot the laundry service availabe, so that when you come back you also have the ol’ whitey tighties folded along with the appropriate suit for the evening dinner.”

Answer: And it was all delivered via the valet box (dumbwaiter) in the other room.  I suspect that if I’d wanted to spend all two weeks in my hotel room without setting eyes on a living soul, I could’ve done it.

Thornyrose also writes: “So, when do we start talking Stargate again?”

Answer: Whenever you want.  What’s on your mind?

Gina writes: “Were the doggies glad to see you or were they angry that you left them for so long?”

Answer: They seemed genuinely thrilled to have me back – but, then again, they’ve been brought as very polite dogs.

Fsmn36 writes: “You, as a regular guest, looking like a business man? Not at all noteworthy.”

Answer: I’m the nice, polite Westerner who always says hi to everyone and gets ice wine and macarons for the concierge staff.  It’s just as bad as being the church guy.

ZeroPointBatteries writes: “Any idea when we will find out about season two for sure, and while we are on that note when is the break over for this season?”

Answer: Not sure when we’ll receive the official pick-up.  Sometime before we start production on season two hopefully.  The writers head back into the office in early January, spin, prep, then we all go our separate ways for two weeks in February when the Olympics shut down the city.  After that, we’re back and it’s full steam ahead!

dasndanger writes: “Instead, this time Mr. Das decided to put a brand-spankin’ new blade in his utility knife…”

Answer: Hope he’s okay.  This is why I always get Exec. Producers’ Asisstant Ashleigh to cut up my lunch for me.

g.o.d. writes: “Hi Joe. Is there any chance we might see those aliens from “Space” before march? A picture, or a promo”

Answer: I’m not sure.  I would certainly hope so.  And, given past promos, I imagine we will.

Garion55 writes: “So I saw the latest ratings of SGU. Not good bud. Almost half the audience from the high is gone.”

Answer: I’d hold off in presuming “half the audience form the high is gone”.  In fact, prior to the mid-season finale, +7 time-shifted numbers have us holding almost our entire audience from the premiere – which is unheard of.  In fact, SGU made the list of The Top Ten Time-Shifted Prime Time TV Shows in 2009, coming in at the #5 spot (tying Tru Blood) and picking up, on average, a whopping 46.9% uptick in viewership.

DP writes: “I’m volunteering to coordinate US protest caravans heading to Michigan to protest the Peter Watts beating. Email to: peterwattscaravan@yahoo.com

Answer: Scary stuff.

Wade writes: “I tripped upon your blog when reading some of those negative comments on some boards that concerened your rant.”

Answer: Welcome aboard, Wade.  Just send us your blog reader membership dues and we’ll be on our way…

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Hey Jamil Walker Smith (Sgt Greer) now on BONES.


Oh, wait! There are membership dues?

Why doesn”t anyone tell me these things!


Aha! The Felix picture vote website – is smart..kinda. It probably captures your puter IP ID and MAKES that puter wait at least 24 hours before another vote can be cast from it.


As an experienced world traveller, how do you deal with the jet lag?


Yay-WFPoTD! Tamarind is a fruit pod with pits. The picture on the can is tamarind. Normally it is tart in flavor, not bad…but perhaps not a first choice when one wants a fruit. In another much younger lifetime, we would actually look to find the bushes/trees with these cause these are similar to the oriental preserved fruits – called “See Moi” at least that is what it was called in Hawaii. (spelling not exact) Chinese names – Li Hing Mui – dried sweet/salty plums and Chun Pei Moi a darker, moist, and sweeter variety, and a very salty version – we just called salty seed cause I don’t think any one of us kids knew the proper name. The really salty ones are also sold in hispanic food stores and called saladitas. The salty ones are like putting a glob of salt in your mouth. Realllllly salty.

Sorry, did not mean to post a book.


An interesting concept, to spend an entire fortnight without human contact while enjoying the luxuries of a properly decadent hotel. If I could come up with the time, I’d be tempted to try. Then again, unless some of the better places will deliver meals, room service offerings would get old real fast.
I grow ever further in awe of your willingess not only to taste weird stuff, but to actually sample the same substances two or three times to confirm your first impressions. You’ve also made it one of my ambitions to find a sufficiently weird food that you either are thrilled at, or refuse to take that second sample of. Ye gods, I have such modest life goals…
As far as Stargate talk, I was wondering about your thoughts on the last aired episode, given it is the midseason cliffhanger. Any enlightening tidbits about the episode’s production?
Thanks for the daily update, and good luck with the remaining pages of your script. And just think, just a few months till we get our hands on your short story!

@Das. oopsie. hope Mr. Das the hubby is doing well, and that you have lots of fun cracking jokes at his expense.

Shadow Step
Shadow Step

“How’s the concierge service?”

They come when you call.

If I have a dollar and get another I have increased my wealth by 50% ! wink


A time-share in Tokyo? Sign me up! And it sounds like you are a very thoughtful and gracious guest – ice wine (from Vancouver?) and macarons would be a lovely thank-you gift.

Thanks for the Weird Food/Drink Purchase of the Day installment. I don’t think I would drink grass-jelly on a bet. You should look for Wasabi-flavoured Ramune next time – a real taste sensation!


“I’m the nice, polite Westerner who always says hi to everyone and gets ice wine and macarons for the concierge staff. It’s just as bad as being the church guy.”

Haha, I suppose in that context you could be right (although I’d still put you a notch below church guy. You’re not being a hypocrite.). So, maybe you go noticed. DO they judge you for it? Well, it’s Japan so I don’t know if they judge porn-watching or not. But they seem to have a lot of half-clothed anime characters, so probably not as much as the southern states of the US.lol

I’ve forgotten to ask you before, but I see you’ve recently read Freakonomics. I borrowed it from a friend in like, August, but hadn’t gotten around to it. It’s second on my holiday break reading list (the first being the most frivolous, non-academic book I own that I haven’t read yet). I’ve heard some great things about it (and the sequel). Any thoughts?

Yay for the weird food purchase being back! I laughed at your commentary. Always amusing, Joe.

Alfredo De La Fe

Tamarind is a fruit that grows on a tree. It has seeds in a “pod” with a sticky flesh and it is sour and very sweet.

It is very popular in most of Latin America. Mexican’s eat it a lot and I usually order tamarind soda when I eat traditional Mexican (If all you have had is Taco Bell or the local equivalent, you need to eat REAL Mexican food)

When in season it is sold in local “bodegas” (small grocery stores) and I have eaten it fresh from the tree in Puerto Rico. It is actually pretty good if you like sweet/sour fruit.


Oh, I’m for the apartment in Japan. It would be one of those high end ones, eh? I’m not spending my hard earned money on a dump. I want luxury!

I’m trying to get a copy of the January BOTM book. It said it was released November 24th, but I haven’t been able to find it yet. The plan is to be able to read it as a part of my holiday reading.

I’m intrigued by the Kindle (maybe I can get the book on that) and glad it is finally available in Canada. I love rereading books, but… let’s put it this way, I call my decorating style Early Library and I’m running out of space to put additional bookcases. My brother thinks we should put bookcases down the hall, not happening!

I’ve seen Aloa Vera juice in my local No Frills. I wonder how it tastes. Try it and let me know ;-).


Check yer date, Joey. (Geez, yer gettin’ senile.)



Well, I wikied “tamarine” (or however it’s spelled), and it’s,

“a musical instrument of the percussion family consisting of a frame, often of wood or plastic, with pairs of small metal jingles, called “zils”. Classically the term tambourine denotes an instrument with a drumhead, though some variants may not have a head at all.”

Ah, looks like I misspelled “tamarine”; it’s actually “tambourine”. Ewwww Joe; you drank the juice of a percussive musical instrument. That’s totally gross. I don’t even think it’s a food, at least not in Canada; I believe it’s a musical instrument. Though, I guess the drum head could be made from animal skin, so it looks like you drank the juice of animal skin, metal, and wood or plastic.

I take it back. It’s not gross. Plastic juice is delicious!


My grandma used to drink Aloe Vera something by the jugful. I’m not sure why. I’d say it was a mountain thing, but I never heard of anyone else … oh, never mind, I figured it out. Probably not accurately labeled jugs, huh?


Love the square glass! Very Romulan. And I concur–you should’ve bought the Aloe Vera juice. I’ve never had the pleasure of sampling it, but a friend of mine takes it regularly for assorted reasons and absolutely hates it. It probably would’ve made for an even more interesting installment…


Unfortunately the +7 time shift numbers did not save Atlantis. Hopefully the long hiatus doesn’t hurt the numbers further. SGU isn’t my cup of tea, I miss the SG humor, but my hubby likes it. I don’t like darker shows, during these tough times I’m kinda into shows that make me laugh and feel good with one exception, Supernatural. We’ve not seen Life or Justice yet, but we’ve planned to give the first season a chance. The numbers though are a bit of a concern.

Please keep us updated on any new info about the SG1 and SGA movies. I miss those shows so much! I can’t wait to see what you and Paul have written for SGA! smile


When I lived in the Virgin Islands I had a tamarind tree at my house. I made jelly. I actually like it. It has a very tart sweet taste.


1. I miss Stefan already. sad

2. Whose teapot collection?

3. Hubby is doing good so far (thanks for your concern). His biggest complaint is how bad his arm feels from the tetanus shot – it’s a ten-year shot, so I suppose it really packs a punch.

4. Weird food. Hmmm. Is it just me, or are you turning into Mr. Rogers? I wasn’t thinking, ‘ewww…Joe is drinking asparagus juice’…I was thinking, ‘where’s his cardigan sweater!’

5. If 1000 of us chipped in $100 each, we could pay off my mortgage! grin Then everyone could come visit for a day, which will be limited to the summer months only, and you have to spend the day at the beach, but you can come to my house afterwards and wash the sand out of your bathing suits with my garden hose. How’s that?? smile



Oh, I thought that this was the ‘part 2’ of the last entry. OK then, I’ll put in my questions now in case you happen to be doing a, uh, yuutai tomorrow.

First of all, both myself and my Aloe Vera-drinking friend are curious as to exactly how many pairs of cuff links you have. If you have a moment in between your writing, could you quickly count them for us, please?

Second of all, I’m a tad…befuddled about the Atlantis cancellation. Don’t get me wrong–I wasn’t particularly upset that it was cancelled, although I do miss it. I’ve just been hearing confusing reports about the cancellation itself. In his interview with Gateworld (http://www.gateworld.net/interviews/all_good_things_….shtml) Brad Wright said, and I quote: “We have been in discussions with MGM and SCI FI about “Where to next?” and we decided basically to pull the trigger on movies sooner rather than later, while Atlantis was still doing well.” But yet, in his January 2 Q&A on your blog, Mr. Wright totally contradicted that statement–he said, “Folks, if Atlantis was performing brilliantly in the ratings, it would still be on the air.” and “SGA did not have the numbers to go beyond season 6. That was a factor among many.” So if you can, could you please just tell me: why was Atlantis cancelled? Was it a unanimous decision or a question of ratings?

Well, here’s hoping that you can answer these. Thanks in advance!


Interestingly, tamarind is used in Worcestershire sauce. Next time, just drink a bottle of that! grin


AV eddy

So I saw the latest video of asparagus juice. Not good bud. Almost half the drinkers from the high are gone. Look at Asparagus Weekly or other sites at the posts, 8 out of 10 of the drinkers’ reviews are negative. I have gotten over being mad and upset and have moved on to thinking about ways to save the beverage. I feel like I am drinking tamarind juice all over again. Take a great drink and ruin it. I don’t want to see that happen with asparagus juice. The very first thing the makers of asparagus juice should have done when making this drink was to figure out what the buyers want, what made people buy it week after week for years and stay devoted to the beverage and then build on that foundation. Reading the reviews the list would go something like: green, juicy, fibrous, soft, vegetable-like, and of course, green. Like it or not that is asparagus. Now look at the last 10 bottles of asparagus juice. How much of any of that is present in those bottles? The two bottles the drinkers seemed to enjoy the most are the ones where the color was green and the last half of the bottle was not so sweet. The drink seems to be about 80 percent sugar 20 percent asparagus and the drinkers are not digging it. 5 years of grass jelly and i couldnt tell you if the grass was green, how jellified the jelly was, or anything about how it was made, and I was fine with that. So moving on for future that trend needs to reverse. If its not too late I would recommend a re-evaluation of the second half of the manufacturing season. Review every product and make some changes now if possible. Like dumping any asparagus that isn’t fully mature. That is one of THE biggest complaints of them all. Use the company jet to bring people like Mckay or Carter to the plant, figure out how to get control of it if you are going to use the jet at all. Add some light hearted labeling! How many times did the tamarind can say something that just made you bust out laughing? Grass jelly too. I dont think I have laughed once in 10 bottle labels. Dump any flavors tasting weird. You know the rhubarb-asparagus, asparagus cola, and asparagus with hollandaise sauce. Hollandaise sauce! Hollandaise sauce is making people nauseous. Reflavor these beverages if its not too late. High fructose corn syrup should also only be used sparingly. The product needs a complete overhaul. I dont know, at this point it might be too late to save asparagus juice. Too many drinkers have already bailed. If i were in charge I would put out an official statement today. Let the buyers know that you see that they are not happy with asparagus juice. Let them know that you wanted to take the product line in a different direction but that you… Read more »


Sigh. Per “Food Lover’s Companion” (you don’t have a copy, Joe?): Tamarind – Also known as an Indian date, the tamarind is the fruit of a tall shade tree native to Asia and Northern Africa and widely grown in India. The large pods contain small seeds and a sour-sweet pulp that, when dried, becomes extremely sour. Blah, blah, blah, used in East Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines similar to lemon juice is used in Western cuisine. Only other interesting note – integral ingredient in Worcestershire sauce.

There, my culinary degree has officially been used for something other than playing with sugar paste….!! lol

Tamarind is indeed very popular among the Hispanics here in the southwest, I’ll see if I can pick you up some other interesting goodies. Candy should be finished and on its way by end of the week, I have dessert catering for the holidays due first.


otros ojos
otros ojos

Hey Joe, short post (“It’s a miracle!”) to say welcome back.

Good luck with your script.

Ice wine is a really nice gift. Class act.

Good thinking re. having Ashleigh cut your sandwiches. And an impressive show of trust on your part. *w*


Welcome to Wade. The new guy buys the next round!

@pg15 and AV Eddy–Good ones!

A little OT news: Brent Stait (SG1’s Ferretti and Connor Trinneer’s sub for SGA’s Michael) seems quite excited about his upcoming turn on “Smallville” late in January. Anyone heard how Shanks handled the Hawkman wings?

@Joe — You almost had me interested in the time share, friend. Though next year I really need to find one in BC during the summer…!


Arctic Goddess

After all those incredible dishes you consumed in Japan, I must say that your willingness to taste three less than appealing juices for our entertainment is a very considerable gesture. I have an interesting concoction to add to your list and will be forwarding it to your office in the next few days.