“You have to guess what it is,”said my dining companion as my hand probed the contents of the brown paper bag.  Inspired by my recent blog posts about sampling new, exotic fruit, Denise had gone through the trouble of picking me up a couple of worthy candidates.  I’d failed to guess the first one , mangosteen, but this one felt oddly…familiar.  I stroked its rough exterior.  “It gave me an allergic reaction,”she informed me, perhaps by way of a hint. Which brought my groping to a sudden halt.  What?  “Yeah.  My hands turned red.”And suddenly, I recognized the mystery contents of the paper bag – and the fact that what she suffered WASN’T an allergic reaction.  SHIT!  I took a peek.  Sure enough, it was a prickly pear.

You may wonder why they call ’em prickly.  Well, apparently by handling them you run the risk of being stuck by hundreds of tiny fiberglass like shards.  No, not apparently.  You do.  Last week, when Ashleigh found out I’d be eating one, she cautioned me against touching it, giving me detailed instructions on how to peel the fruit with a knife and fork.  And here I was, a week later, petting one as if it were a particularly adorable hamster.

Needles to say, soon after, I too developed “an allergic reaction”.

On the brighter side, we enjoyed a fiery good meal at Peaceful Restaurant…

The beef tendon was excellent but a tad too spicy. I like heat but, in this case, it overpowered.

The Peaceful Beef Roll. THE dish to get when you’re there. Love the sweet (hoisin) and savory combination.

You have a choice between two types of noodles - hand-dragged or blade-sheared - that you can watch being made in the glass-walled kitchen. I prefer the blade-sheared (pictured here with chili sauce) as they are a little more al dente.

Cumin lamb with hand-dragged noodles. I actually preferred this hearty noodle accompaniment.

Xiao-Long Bao! Watch out for the hot soup in the pockets!

Sweet Rice Patty - filled with black sesame, ground walnuts, sugar and coconut. Denise's fave dish of the night.

Today, between follow the various NCAA match-ups (Curse you, Georgetown and Marquette!), I managed to squeeze in some Stargate-related business.  In addition to further discussion on Remi’s episode and a meeting on a couple of the HUGE sets being built for the show’s second season, I took part in an audio commentary for Space with Director Andy Mikita and Visual Effects Supervisor (and birthday boy!) Mark Savela.  Boy, does this episode move!  It’s a visual feast and I look forward to hearing the fan reaction.  I also think that, given the episode’s spectacular visual effects, it’s high time Mark made a return visit to this blog for another guest Q&A.  Whaddya think?

Last night, editor Lou Anders sent me the final proof pages of the upcoming superhero anthology With Great Power.. (available for pre-order ici: http://www.amazon.com/Great-Power/dp/1439168822/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1268968259&sr=8-1) which includes a modest contribution, Downfall, from yours truly.  Lou instructed me to review my story and inform him of any requested changes by April 1st.  Sure, sure.  I’ll get to it.  Eventually. But my story is over on page 227.  Between it and page one, stories by Matthew Sturges, James Maxey, Paul Cornell, Mike Carey, Mike Baron, Daryl Gregory, Gail Simone, Stephen Baxter, Chris Roberson, Peter David and Kathleen David, not to mention the wonderful Introduction by our fearless editor.  I spent last most of last night and early this morning reading the terrific contributions, then took an hour to re-read Downfall and, ultimately, limit myself to a mere dozen requested changes.  Between the end of my story and the last page of the collection, stories by Mark Chadbourn, Marjorie M. Liu, Ian McDonald, and Bill Willingham.  Looks like I’ll be busy again tonight!

27 thoughts on “March 18, 2010: The mystery bag holds an unpleasant surprise! Peaceful Restaurant! Busy on the SGU front! With Great Power…

  1. I have to agree with you on Georgetown. they did major damage to me. however, im glad marquette lost, called that one.

    I gotta say, this tournament has been crazy, with plenty of upsets!

  2. Joe, do as I say, not as I do…HOMEWORK FIRST!

    Yeah, I’m guilty. Been playing with ancestry.com, letting some time-sensitive stuff slide. BUT I’ve connected with “lost” branch of Husband’s family. Have I mentioned the “PoW blanket”?

    Which reminds me…*opens US Census form*

  3. At this point, I’m just happy my picks for the championship haven’t been eliminated yet.

  4. I also think that, given the episode’s spectacular visual effects, it’s high time Mark made a return visit to this blog for another guest Q&A. Whaddya think?

    I think that’s an excellent idea.


    I learnt that from a friend who’s fiancé was a comedian and their room mate was also a comedian who asked her if she’d like to try some of the hot nuts he had. The bag was resting on his lap. Do I really need to explain the ‘hot nuts’ metaphor further?

    Aussies would also be pretty familiar with both of these comedians so I will withhold names to avoid incrimination.

  6. If you release the book on kindle I’ll probably buy it, I have an ebook reader on my ipod and use it all the time.

  7. Joe said: Curse you, Georgetown and Marquette!

    Yeah WTF Georgetown? I had them to make the Sweet 16. My other losers so far were San Diego (had to 2nd rd), Texas (had to Sweet 16), Notre Dame (another sweet 16) & Richmond (2nd round)…….ouch I might lose to Ivon after all…NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

    I’m happy Marquette lost, I picked that one….woo hoo!!

    Cheers, Chev

  8. Coucou !!!

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!BONNE FÊTE JOSEPH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Aujourd’hui c’est la Saint Joseph dans le calendrier et ça me fais plaisir de vous la souhaiter !!! 🙂

    Mince pour votre main, j’espere que ça va aller mieux, je ne savais pas que les figues de barbari faisaient ça. Toutes ces photos me donne faim ^^!

    Passez une très bonne journée!
    Gros bisou!

  9. Yes, get Mark back,then I can raz him !! He’s a fun guy, and very talented. A pleasure to talk to. Well tweet with!! Sheryl.

  10. Hey Joe,

    Gonna link you to a pic – my sister made this for her brother in law who’s a Stargate freak. Made from fondant and hand painted. It’s depicting him being sucked into the gate. Neat huh??


    Why is a roll peaceful?

  11. Ha — Ohio beating Georgetown was a bracket-killer for almost everyone I know (including myself) but since it’s my alma mater I had to be happy, if more than a little surprised! 🙂

  12. 1. That food looks (and sounds) amazing!

    2. Was tired last night, so went to bed early…I think I’m fighting off something. Since my health issues last winter I’ve been taking vitamins, and – at the suggestion of my doc – using a saline nasal spray throughout the day, and feeling much better. No congestion, no throat tickle, no post-nasal – I’m swearing by this saline stuff. So now it seems that when I start to feel a little under the weather, I just go to bed and usually feel better the next day. So far, so good today…but we’ll see. Either I’m getting something, or I’m allergic to sunshine. We’ve had a solid week of bright sunshine and temps in the 50s and 60s, and I think it’s counteracting my vampire side. 😉

    3. Can’t wait to read your story! And QUICK! You still have time to change your main character into a long-locked albino! 😀

    4. And lastly, Joey, I sure hope that you didn’t go to restroom after petting that prickly pear…



  13. Can’t wait to read your story!!.

    Well this is one of the first times that i’ve wanted to eat everything you took a pic of 🙂

    @annie from Fremantle: LOVED the pic that is so creative!!

  14. Sometimes I appear as “JeffW” (which is what I put in the form) and sometimes I appear as “PilotJeff” (which is my Gravatar Handle). No clue as to why WordPress chooses one over the other…and sorry if it confuses anyone.

    Anyways, speaking of Prickly Pear reminded me of a fruit I had in the Caribbean, Guanabana:


    The juice is delicious! The fruit itself looks something like an armored pear and is a little fibrous. You could probably find cans of the juice in a Mexican market.

    The fruit itself might make an interesting prop!

  15. @Annie from Fremantle – It’s very good, I, too, love it. What did you get?


  16. Hello all, miss me? Nope? Had really bad internet via Wimax so have just upgraded to unlimited ADSL (4096 kb/s line) for R899. That works out to US$121.

    Das has a nasty mind. BTW, how is your… no-no, forget I asked. 😀

    I know how you feel tho’ – My Mom had a rockery full of different kinds of cactus. Sports and cactuses = ouch. Growing up was rather traumatic at times. 🙂

  17. Hey Joe

    What’s with the time? Something, somewhere not update to Daylight Saving, you’re usually 3 hours behind me and I just noticed you’re now 4.


  18. hello,
    am loving the new sgu series, as from uk cant watch on telly only online but its good.

    am emailing to ask as i love atlantis and you have prob been asked this loads of times. is there any news of the long awaited extinction movie?

    many thanks and keep up the great work.

  19. I was wondering, are the comics from Dynamite Entertainment going to be considered canon by you and the rest of the writers? Or just another side canon like the novels?

  20. Have the anthology on preorder, and looking forward to reading it. I’ll even resist reading your story until I come to it in sequence. Hope the prickly pear experience doesn’t affect your ability to type, as you have plenty to do. Though I admit to an evil chuckle at the thought of your expression as realization set in…
    I swear I can almost smell that sweet rice patty, and my mouth began drooling at the picture. Some good memories there. Thanks for sharing, and hope you have a great weekend

  21. The cake was my sister’s done for her brother in law… she posted the pic in facebook so I had to nab it.. she knows 😛

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