Sign above the Stargate Production Office fax machine.

Hey, I went to a terrific inexpensive little ramen shop the other day…

Well? Have you?!

Located on the bottom of Robson Street right across from another ramen shop I’ve been meaning to try and surrounded by about a dozen Korean restaurants, Santouka is a popular noodlery that always sees a healthy line-up during the lunch time rush.  Which is why you want to get there around 11:30ish, which is when I went.  Seating is cozy, most of it offering a view of the glassed-in kitchen area where the various ramen broths can be seen simmering away. It’s a nice room, much nicer than your average ramen-ya, and the food is certainly a cut above many of the others I’ve tried.

You have three (actually four) choices when ordering your ramen.  You can choose a salt-based broth, soy-based broth, miso-based broth, or miso-based broth with chili.  I went miso-based with the pork jowl combo.

Apparently, you have to get there early if you want the pig jowl because they run out fast.  And, after sampling it, I’m not surprised.  It was THAT good.  Oh, and the ramen was excellent as well, delightfully firm and chewy noodles swimming in a rich, thick, savory broth.

If I understood correctly, this is the Vancouver outpost of a Japanese ramen-ya.  I’ll be interested in comparing it to its Nihon counterpart in December when Ivon and I hit Tokyo.

Speaking of which, I was discussing the impending Tokyo trip with Ivon this morning.  He warned me that, since I was traveling with him, I should be prepared for some heavy drinking and potentially queasy mornings.  I countered that since he was traveling with me, he should be prepared for some heavy eating and equally queasy nights.

Went to see the doctor today to check out what I assumed was a pulled muscle in my chest.  He checked my blood pressure (very good) and ran an EKG just to be sure (a-okay).  Next month, I go in for a blood test that will check my sugar levels and cholesterol.  So what I need to know is how far in advance do I have to switch to an all egg-white, steamed broccoli, and oatmeal diet in order to fool the test?  Suggestions?  Would two weeks do it?  I hope so because I just picked up a huge piece of freshly baked blueberry pie I intend to have with vanilla ice cream tonight.


Rafael writes: “Why the hate against Germany and Brazil!!!?  There are people there that love you!!!”

Answer: And I love them as well.  Provided they’re not playing for their respective national team.  Nothing personal.  I’m sure there are least a dozen Stargate fans in the New York City area, but that doesn’t stop me from hating the Yankees.

Tanie writes: “I love markets, so I’m wondering if yours have anything other than food?”

Answer: Yep, plenty of kitsch stuff to buy, alternately cheap and crappy.  On a previous visit, I picked up a styling pair of baby blue, inflammable (I checked to make sure they weren’t flammable) Mashimaro pyjamas.

Bryan M. White writes: “BTW, how has Jelly been doing lately?”

Answer: She’s doing alright – just not exactly lively.  She does more standing and sniffing than bouncing and bounding.

But she’s still playful.

for the love of Beckett writes: “Ya know something? I’m still remembering The Speed of Dark, July 2009′s book-of-the-month selection.”

Answer: Yeah, Lou is a wonderful character, and The Speed of Dark is a wonderful book, one of my faves – which is why it was one of those rare titles I made a Book of the Month Club pick even though I’d already read it.

maggiemayday writes: “No screwdrivers? Hmmm.”

Answer: Occasionally, as long as they’re served on the rocks.

steph writes: “And a Stargate question, who has been the most difficult character to kill off/which were you saddest to see go, there were so many wonderful ones: Martouf, Janet Fraiser, Narim, Elizabeth Weir (by not naming SGU characters I wish to express my firm belief that they did all make it!)?”

Answer: They were all sad, but that final Jack-Daniel scene at the end of Meridian gets me every time.

Tammy Dixon writes: “My car is back from the body shop. When do you get your car back Mr. M.?”

Answer: Hmmm. Let’s see…  They’ve had it about a week and they called me, again, to tell me it would be ready tomorrow, again.  So I’m guessing sometime late next week.

Major D. Davis writes: “1. Do you think you could maybe feed us another SGU season two hint to get us psyched? Maybe just a small detail? :)

2. So say that the best case scenario happens for the movies.. Extinction and Revolution get the greenlight and film this fall. They come out in summer and do amazing with DVD sales and get lots of viewers on syfy. And say MGM is in better shape then it is now… Is it likely that we’ll get a second SGA movie and fourth SG-1 movie, or will that probably be the last of SG-1 and Atlantis we’ll see.”

Answers: 1. Park is a vegetarian.

2. Sure.  In the unlikely event that every piece fell into place and the DVD market were to magically rebound then, yes, there would certainly be the possibility of more movies.

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Fool the test? In which direction?

I used to eat a lot of cholesterol to build up my tolerance while I was young. Maybe try that for the first 2 weeks, but keep in mind I didn’t think that through very well.

People who don’t eat refined carbohydrates have to do something similar for glucose tolerance tests so they don’t get mistakenly labeled intolerant based on ranges meant for people who eat junk food all the time. You can’t just tell the doctors to take that into account unless you have a great one. You do have to game the tests.

A month seems like a long time for a simple blood draw. I hope that’s because the chest pains are no longer a concern after the EKG so the blood test is just routine now.

Okay, writing too much here, not enough where I’m supposed to be writing. I’m seeing a pattern.


Speaking of ramen and noodles in general… I’ve been trying – unsuccessfully – to find a shop locally that does a great laksa (which is a Malaysian soup with noodles), so what is your recommendation to prepare noodles? What broth is best, what meat do you add, any veg?

Poor Jelly. I sure do hope that the outlay that you’ve made for her helps. One of our furkids has pretty bad arthritis in her front leg and we give her ‘Arthricare’ every day. It has New Zealand Green-Lipped Mussel combined with Vitamin E, and it seems to help her no end… also, she has a magnetic underlay to lie on as well! grin Maybe that would help Jelly too.


“So what I need to know is how far in advance do I have to switch to an all egg-white, steamed broccoli, and oatmeal diet in order to fool the test? Suggestions? Would two weeks do it?”

Okay Joe. Come closer. Listen up. I get a full reading blood test every year. This is what ya gotta do…

1. You’re right, get off the sugar – I’d do it three weeks before. Sorry.

2. You’re right again, start eating food that is good for you. Salads, veggies, fruit. No fried foods! Gross, I know, but it will pay off. (You can go celebrate after you get the great test results!)

3. Eat more bran or foods that make you poop more. Sounds disgusting but it will lower your cholesterol – trust me. I eat bowls and bowls of bran flakes and that does the trick. Remember – lots of fiber!

4. Drink tons of water. Tons = 8 to 10 glasses every day. If all that bran and all that water give you diarrhea – that’s even better!! Again, think lower cholesterol.

5. Then, of course, fast for at least 12 hours before the test.

Anyway, works for me! Good luck!

JELLY IS PRECIOUS (and beautiful)!


Lots of people have complained that SGU owes a lot of its look to BSG. I watched enough of BSG to see what they mean but I wasn’t a fan because it was just so damn dark and heavy. SGU does seem to follow in BSG’s footsteps that way as well. Do you believe there is room for more humor in SGU’s future episodes? Would it take creating a new character who’s function was primarily comic relief or maybe an event that can hit the reset button on the show’s overall tone, allowing for a little more levity? Like say a world that the crew might visit that opens up new story possibilities like “The Torment of Tantalus” or “The Fifth Race”? When you tuned into SG1 or SGA you didn’t know if this was going to be a serious ep, something more fun or a mix of both. They both had more possibilities. Tuning in to SGU so far has been…predictable. I can count the surprises so far on one hand.

Those three crew members who got left behind in ep 1, Rush getting dumped on that planet, Franklin disappearing while he was in the chair, Col. Young letting Telford suffocate, and Lieutenant James seeming to have killed Scott. I think that’s it.

When a show says “We’re going to another galaxy!” you would expect that to open up all kinds of new avenues for storytelling. Wouldn’t you? Funny how rarely it works out that way.


Um, Joe… the whole point of the blood test is to find out what your cholesterol and fasting glucose levels REALLY are so you know whether you are at risk for heart disease, strokes and diabetes.

Eventful Horizon
Eventful Horizon

You should answer my question from yesterday’s comments about the weakness in Wraith technology mentioned in season two’s “Aurora.”

Tim Lade
Tim Lade

Maybe I just missed it because I have been living out of a suitecase for a month…but when did Akemi peace out from Perth and come back your humble adobe. Secondly…is the house as clean as when she was visiting before. Third…how did you meet? I’d like to replicate said wonderful relationship with a fine friend myself.


Awwww Jelly….. she may not be in tip top health but she sure listens well *crooked smile*

That soup looks and sounds really delicious. I loooove noodles… Although I don’t usually eat them in public, cuz I’m such a klutz.

You and Ivon are gonna be trouble, but it sounds like a lot of fun is going to be had…Have you two ever taken a trip together before? Or will this be your.. er.. maiden voyage?

I’m glad all went well at the Doctor’s, but it’s funny that you have to go back for blood work. Could he not have done it today, since you were there already?
It’s done differently here, here the Dr. would just give me a piece of paper, with what needs to be tested checked off and then I would take it to the lab where they draw the blood, have it tested and send the results to the Dr. Then if there was a problem I would get THE CALL. Or you could call if you wanted to know what the numbers are. I usually just ask the next time I go in. My levels are always in the normal range, so not usually a big suspense thang.

Ummm… I assume you were joking when you said you were going to try and fool the test, right? It would be interesting to get your blood work done again, when you got back from your trip, to see if your numbers change after all of that dissipated livin’.

You kinda suck at Spoilers…. *grins*….. I know, I know… I don’t suppose you could you try again? *wistfully* Yeah, I didn’t think so….

Have a good one anyway!!


No matter how many times I see the death of Jacob Carter the waterworks always flow sad

You’ve been to Japan sooo many times (yes, you love it) but wouldn’t it be nice to have a change of pace and, let’s say, go down the Amazon or visit the Swiss Alps for example?

Narelle from Aus

When you tell Jelly what to do in that video, the look she gives you is very, “I’m too old to pretend you’re really my Master.”


For some reason I can’t get the video to play?? Anybody else have this problem or have any hints??


If the Tokyo trip will involve late night drinking, perhaps you can sample the fares of the late night noodle carts. I seem to recall they were great, but there is the slight chance my judgment was impaired at the time.

Then there was the time we were standing around eating noodles, had to have been two in the morning. A drunken business man looked up from his bowl, eye-level with my friend’s sweater. My very buxom friend’s very tight sweater. Sugoi, neh! he cried, dropped the bowl on the cart and reached out both hands toward her buxom chest. His buddies restrained him and we staggered off laughing. Good times, good times.


Awwwww, Jelly! Crossing fingers and toes things go with the procedure you are working on.

And, now hungry for soup.

You and Ivon are going to be the Terrors of Tokyo. Oh, a new comic title perhaps?


So…you hate the germans. But nobody finds it o.k., when a german says, he hate the U.S.A. Interesting.
Don’t use the word “hate”! You don’t like our team. That’s your thing, but “hate” is not suitably.


Keep eating the blueberries sans the “pie” part!! I have blueberry juice everyday and it has lowered my glucose levels quite noticeably.

And you do eat enough fish [though I’d switch out any tuna for salmon]… But you’re always eating “rich” foods – perhaps you should stay home and eat “IN” for a while. That way you’ll know exactly *what* you’re ingesting. Start cutting the sodium, dairy, corn-based foods… BTW, I recently came across an article on some study that suggested that doing any exercise workouts on an emptier [although you do need enough food to keep your blood sugar levels up so you don’t pass out] stomach, results in body fat being burned off more. However, if the activity is one of great accuracy and intensity, your skill level suffers.

So, maybe have a light breakfast, then when that morning “break” comes along, instead of that latte and Timbit, hit a treadmill for 15 minutes and then a cup of fresh blueberries! And maybe some watermelon – has tons more lycopene than tomatoes!


Hey, Joe! If they plan on drawing blood from a vein (i.e.- your arm) and sending it to a lab to get a blood sugar reading then it is probably a A1C test which gives a 3 month reading of what your blood sugar has been (which is the most likely)… but if they just want to prick your finger for an instant reading then that would just only be checking what your blood sugar level is at that moment. If it’s an A1C test they plan on doing then it is too late to change anything in your routine to lower the reading (which means it is okay to keep eating what you want because your level is pretty much already determined), however if they are just going to prick your finger than drink lots of water and exercise throughout the day before going to the dr.’s office to lower your level (and of course don’t eat anything for several hours beforehand). As for the cholesterol test… start eating some Omega-3 foods to keep your lipids in check and the test should come back good. Stuff like salmon, blue berries, flax seed, even some dark chocolate among other things (although I wouldn’t recommend combining those 4 into one dish… but then you never know). I have ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) so I get tested for all kinds of stuff every 3 months and have found one thing out… unfortunately there is no real way to beat the system, those techs at the blood lab are pretty savvy and can find out if you’ve been healthy or not (I don’t know this for a fact, but I’m pretty sure they could be informants for Santa’s naughty/nice list). Love the pics of Jelly! Hopefully the procedure will be smooth with her having a quick healing time! Our vet has talked about the same procedure for our German Shepherd when she gets older… she has a broken spine. Someone threw her from a truck over a bridge in front of our house, but she has since learned to walk again with only a slight limp; the vet thinks as she gets older her condition will worsen and that the same procedure Jelly is getting would help when that time comes. Okay, Stargate question: What’s the fictional timeline on SGU? Some of the episodes have only days between them, while other episodes take place within week(s)/month(s) time setting. After watching all the episodes again it seems like that at the end of Season 1 they have been stranded on Destiny for maybe 6 months …or am I way off and is it really a year? And will the following seasons have the same fictional timeline? (i.e.- when SGU ends it run *crossing fingers for 5-10 seasons* will we know how long the survivors have been trapped on board Destiny away from Earth) Thanks, Joe, for your blog! It’s so great to read all the “behind-the-scenes” stuff at one of the all time best… Read more »


I hope that the trip does not end in both of you getting deported back to Canada. You are sort of like the Odd Couple, you know? And we are going to love hearing about the reports.


joe, on denman and robson there is a ramen place that reigns supreme among ramen restaurants. It’s called kintaro. You’ll know it by the long line up.

annie from Fremantle
annie from Fremantle

How cute is that pic of Jelly??? Is that the normal way Pugs sit, or is she sitting that way because of her condition? Hugs to the pugs xx


Coucou Joseph smile

Merci pour les photos, ça a l’air trés bon tout ça!
C’est bien que fassiez attention à votre santé, c’est rassurant smile

Yey ! Dans un mois c’est l’anniv à Andria smile je vais lui envoyer une petite carte, je pense qu’elle sera contente.

Merci pour ces Q/A!

Gros bisou !!!!!!!!!!
Anais…your favorite fan wink



Reason most likely why you couldn’t play the video. Is that the version of Adobe Flash Player you have installed on your computer is too out of date.

First check on version of Flash Player you have install on your machine. Right click on the Jelly video. You should get a pop up dialog box.

Select about Flash player 10 in the dialog box. A new web page will appear to indicate which version of Flash you have installed on your machine. The current version is

If you don’t have the current version click on the Flash download center link just about the table of results on the bottom of the screen which take you to the Adobe Flash player download page. Remember to unselected the check box to download McAfee Adware before you click on the install button for Flash on the bottom.

note – If you are reading this blog on an iPad or iPhone, well tough luck. Steve Jobs in his infinite wisdom have build them incapable of supporting Adobe Flash. You will get to miss a lot of web contents exclusively running on Flash.


Here’s to best case scenarios. Even if it would mean waiting till summer to see more movies.
Thanks for the shot of Jelly. I cringed a bit watching her non-movement. I really do hope the treatment works as promised and your grand old dame is able to pick up her activities.
No point in trying to foll the tests. Trying to fool the chloresterol test by changing diet is simply not worth it, given the junk you would have to eat. And if for some odd reason your blood sugar is off, best to find out now so you can bring it under control. I doubt if you’re high risk in the latter. With the former, who knows? Physical build and activity levels has never seemed to corrolate with the chloresterol.
It’s going to be VERY interesting following your trip to Tokyo this year. Assuming you will be able to post at all. And full stomachs and heavy intake of alcohol? I shudder. And will laugh if and when you report on your recycling of your stomach contents.
Thanks as always for the post. And what’s going on at the office, besides the World Cup pool?


Hey, Joe (and Sparrowhawk) – you in???


I really hope we get this over here at least in DVD (subtitled, not dubbed).

That was my favorite anime of all time…love to see it come alive. Plus, there’s a REALLY hot guy in it. grin


Lisa R.
Lisa R.

I like the sign. I’ll have to remember that one. And as far as death scenes go, I always cry when I see the scene at the end of Heroes. I think that it is representative of what the Stargate program is about.

Tammy Dixon
Tammy Dixon

Yes, I was told two days to fix my car and it took 8. I have to go back later and get a small part sad .

I was diabetic when I was preggers with my son. A big shock to everyone, since I’m very thin. I “cheated” on my diet some but my glucose was always normal on testing days. In short, by the next day your glucose should be normal They DO have a test that will show glucose spicks for the last three months but they seem to only do that test for suspected diabetics. As for your cholesterol, with all the foie gras you eat, you’re screwed wink .

Narelle: Yes, I understand your confusion/anger over Ralph. I hope the vet can give you an idea of what happened but he might go into CYA mode. I’m just grateful that Ralph will be back to his old self. I pray that opossum has moved on…..
The drain idea could work.

Das: I grew up with three TV channels and none of them showed Rugby grin . I can see why you are so into it, however. The players/game are extreme! I like to watch their antics. Thanks for the videos!