The model Destiny sitting in Brad’s office is pretty sweet but, as nice as it looks, the fact that it is under glass kind of defeats the purpose.  “How do I get it out of there?”Brad asked the other day.  The short answer: “You don’t.”.  What Brad was looking for was not so much a Destiny for Display as it was a Destiny for Play – something he could bring to the various meetings and point to, study, angle this way and that, and generally fly around the room when the meetings lag.  Apparently, he’s getting a second (less detailed) version specifically made for clumsy handling purposes.

My first foray into truffle-making did not go quite as smoothly as I’d hoped.  I made six different batches but only three firmed up to the point where I could actually complete the rolling/dusting process.  I ended up freezing the other three batches overnight and got to work on finishing them up yesterday…

Fresh Blueberry and Advokaat White Chocolate Truffles. Both the alcohol and high sugar content ensured this one remained soft even in the freezer. A disaster. But tasty disaster nevertheless.

Fresh Fig and Black Muscat Milk Chocolate Truffles. This batch firmed up nicely in the freezer, long enough for me roll and dust them with cacao powder. Only moments after leaving the freezer’s cool confines, however, they began to lose their shape. Also delicious, but next time I’ll use half as much fig and liquor.

Hazelnut Dark Chocolate Amaretti Truffles. These were mind-blowingly good. I mixed hazelnuts and Frangelico in with the dark chocolate and then, following a night in the freezer, rolled the truffles, dipped them in Nutella, and coated them with crushed hazelnuts and amaretti cookies. They tasted amazing frozen.

Our work done, Akemi and I headed out for dinner.  She felt like having Japanese and suggested we go to Dan on West Broadway.  So we got there a little after 6:30 p.m. and, since we didn’t have reservations, settled for two seats at the counter.  The food was great –


Grilled fish head.



So we were finishing up our meal when Akemi fell into conversation with one of the young waitresses.  They were chatting away in Japanese when they were suddenly interrupted by the Chef (presumably the owner?) who snapped at the waitress.  They fell silent and Akemi seemed mortified.  The waitress shuffled off and, when I asked what was up, Akemi informed me that the Chef had told the waitress to get back to work.  I didn’t think anything more of it until, moments later, when a suddenly very quiet Akemi asked if we could go.  I paid the bill and we left.  No sooner had we walked out the door than Akemi burst into tears.  Once we returned to the car and she’d settled down a bit, I asked what had so upset her.  The Chef probably wanted the waitress to see to some other tables and, besides, having worked in the Japanese service industry I assumed she’d be used to that sort of behavior.  She informed me that that sort of behavior was unheard of in Japan.  It’s one thing to berate an employee privately, but quite another to do so publicly, in front of a customer and, in so doing, indirectly rebuke the customer as well.  Looking back on it now, I’d have to agree.  It WAS pretty damn rude.

Well, needless to say, that was our last visit to Dan.

Jelly continues to improve following a stem cell procedure to treat her hip dysplasia and arthritic elbows and shoulders.  A little over a month ago, she could barely manage the few stiff-legged staggered steps from bed to water bowl.  Now, look at her go…

Thanks to Dr. Alan Kuzma and the gang at Canada West Veterinary Specialists as well as the good folks at Vet-Stem (

Various members of the media are filtering into Vancouver for Friday’s big press junket.  One of the early arrivals was journalist Curt Wagner covers the show for Redeye Chicago (  He dropped by the office today enroute to a grand tour of the Visual Effects Department –

Curt Wagner takes in the magic of Stargate (aka my office).

Great guy.  My writing partner Paul swung by and we ended up having a great chat about SGU’s first season, what lies ahead in season two, challenges, character arcs, shocks and surprises, and the Japanese Chef who was rude to my friend Akemi.

60 thoughts on “August 31, 2010: Destiny! Truffles! Jelly! And Curt!

  1. Hey Joe can you post my announcement here too, pretty please. You’re posting early tonight.

  2. Hey, Carl! Is that the Destiny in your pocket, or are ya just happy to see…Joe? 😕

    YAY, JELLY!! Great to see her scampering about! You’re a good daddy, sir!



  3. Clumsy handling purposes–I like that one. Maybe he can have one made for the rest of us too. 😉 Nice to see Jelly getting around so well. Have a good night!!

  4. No freaking way.. I just met Curt last weekend at the con, along with Sherry, Michael Hinman, Terry (colEZ). Tell him Major Davis said hi… To late though I guess… dang it. 🙁 Will Michael be up there friday too?

  5. That vid of Jelly is amazing, she’s positively spritely… She is doing soooo well!!

    That’s too bad about the other batches of truffles, although if they taste good…. I would rather have something look a little wonky and taste amazing, than have a perfect looking confection that’s tasteless. What about boiling down the alcohol to reduce the liquidity and concentrate the flavour. It may boil out some of the alcohol content, which shouldn’t matter for truffles, but it may be worth an experiment. Just a suggestion…

    It’s too bad your evening out was marred by that chef making Akemi cry, so not nice!! That chef should get a talkin’ to…. I wouldn’t have the guts to do it, just wouldn’t go again, but I believe in Karma… what goes around, comes around.

    Have a good one!!

    P.S. Niiiice photo bomb Carl!!

  6. Good to see Jelly is improving.

    Can we all have one of those Destiny models? Please, pretty please?

    Congrats on the Gemini nominations for:

    Best Dramatic Series: SGU
    Best Performance by an Actor in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role: Robert Carlyle for Human & Louis Ferreira for Justice
    Best Direction in a Dramatic Series: Andy Mikita

    This one’s for das: Best Performance by an Actor in a Guest Role, Dramatic Series: Christopher Heyerdahl for Haunted episode of Sanctuary

  7. @das Looks like it’s gonna be a little windy for you Friday/Saturday. Make sure you keep an eye out for it…


  8. Pic #1 looks like a cow patty 😛

    Way to go Jell-ster!!! She has improved so much and is so lively now..I left a thankyou message on their facebook page.

    hahahah @ Carl, never one to be left out of the mirror gag you attention junkie you Carl-ster..

    You know Joe-ster, I love being creeped out by a show I get to watch on youtube called ‘monsters inside me’ – all about parasites and how they’ve affected their hosts. Really creepy.. and it made me think of you, because you love to eat sashimi and all sorts of wonderful and weird stuff.

    Do you ever get worried about picking up a parasite or 3?

  9. Grilled fish head really?? Can you describe the taste and texture??

    I can’t believe that happened at the restaurant @Dan: your an ass!! And I will not visit your establishment!! I know that he won’t read this but I needed to say that in support of Akami.

    @Kymm: 20 years is long for a cat to live so I do feel blessed to have her in my life that long. Thanks for your kind words!

    @Nathan: it has been hard but I’m working though it. Knowing that everyone here is sending me their strength and well wishes is also very comforting.

    @Tammy Dixion: I’m so sorry to hear about the closure of your humane society!! It’s so sad that cats sometimes gets over looked for adoption. I will be hoping for the best and hope everything works for the best.

    @dasNdanger: her name has a funny story, when I first got her we got her and her sister. The guy at the pet store said that Bubbles was a boy and the other one was a girl so we named them Pebbles and BamBam from the flintstones. When we took them to the vet for the first time they broke the news to me that BamBam wasn’t a boy so I didn’t feel right keeping that name. So one the ride home my sister and I were bouncing names back and forth. She looked really round so I said Bubbles and it stuck. We lost Pebbles about 5 years ago so they are now together again, forever. Prissy is a very abt name for a cat I bet she was very independent!

  10. Hooray for Jelly!

    Kudos for the Carl cameo today. It seems like each day, another face shows up in the glass.

    Poor Akemi. Daijoubu Yo.

  11. cat4444 asks:
    >Can we all have one of those Destiny models? Please, pretty please?

    I second that. But what we *really* need is Destiny models… made of chocolate.

    Chocolate Destiny. Yum.

    – KB

  12. Send me the schematics and I will make you a Destiny. I have a 12 year old son so I know that I can make one that you big boys can’t break.

  13. Super cool Destiny! You might want to reconsider breaking the glass. Seems like it would be hell to dust. Oh no, look! There’s a new dork standing in the background getting his 15 minutes of fame!! (maybe you should break that glass)

    Poor Akemi. She was just being nice.

    Sweet Jelly is having a blast. That is great to see.

  14. How the heck does Carl find his way into almost every picture you take! His workload must be comparable to Ashleigh’s.
    Good to see Jelly doing so well, looks like it was totally worth the money.
    And what is a press junket? You just invite the media over to promote the show, talk to the cast?

  15. Interesting… about the look into the Japanese culture. Does Akemi have problems adjusting to our culture? I’ve seen such things at businesses before and considered it “tension filled” but I didn’t break out in tears. Some of our ways must seem so rude/crude to her.

    Great news about Jelly. I’m going to forward the link to my vet friend, Jo. I must say, Jelly looks like she is five years younger! Does your vet say how long this will last?

    I’m still processing the news about our humane society closing. I’m worried about my “thugs”. My thugs are 12 kittens that are nearly full grown now. They are the sweetest teenage kittens and I pray they find good homes soon.

    Das: that hurricane going to affect you?

  16. Hi Joe, I simply can’t believe the change in Jelly. Amazing! Give her a big kiss from all of us 🙂

  17. A means of getting Destiny out of the case easily was devised before it was put in. (also, this does not involve shattering the case 😉

  18. awwww…so cool that Jelly can scamper again.
    You are a good daddy!
    Bad chef! Not adding that place to our list of restaurants in Van.

  19. You and Akemi were dissed and you didn’t even know it? Not to mention the poor waitress. I suspect that you left a tip large enough to help her over her distress. But I’d be tempted to try the place just for the opportunity to be obnoxious to the chef. With my luck, it would be the wrong chef…
    Very glad to see Jelly doing better. Have to admit to chuckling at her odd way of moving her hindquarters, but as long as she is moving and she’s pain free no point in quibbling.
    I confess to a certain relief that your truffle experiiments were not a total success. You’re entirely too good at things you set your hand to as it is. And as long as the results were still edible, who cares what it looked like? Now, if you can just manage to get a batch to work and let us know what the feedback was there….
    thanks for yesterdays’ q&a, and the video, photos, and other ramblings tonight. Enjoy the big wig invasion and the tapdancing you may be required to perform.

  20. Hey its ShowPatrol!! Curt rocks!!

    I must say I empathise with Akemi…I’m pretty sensitive too and when people are rude or nasty it makes me cry too..


    I won’t go to Dan either, OK?

    Congrats to all of those nominated for Geminis….I did notice there were some omissions….no writing nominations? No nom for VFX for Space?

    Cheers, Chev

  21. Just got an email to say my Super Secret Project is being shipped to me….then I’ll ship it to you Joe…I’ll email you with the arrangements….are you able to look after it in your office for people to come and sign?

    Cheers, Chev

  22. Hi Joe,

    great pics again, but…. – may we also have a side view of the Destiny? – Would be very nice, if yes.


  23. Hey, Joe! I thought of you today, when I read an old Marvel Team-Up from 1979. It had Spidey & the Hulk fighting bad guys who were trying to create an anit-matter nuclear warhead inside of Cheyenne Mountain. After their battle extraordinaire, I realized something… it was the Hulk who cleared out all that space big enough for the gateroom @ SGC. Who knew????

  24. Kowaii sou. Poor Akemi chan. For all the times I’ve been to Japan (15 last count) in all the restaurants, I have to admit that even if the wait staff was super friendly, they never hung around for too long each time they came by. There is always a sense of urgency and a need to be attending to all customers. But unless it’s in a drama or movie, I don’t recall seeing any wait staff berated like that in public, either. It did send the message that not only was the waitress slack in attending to others, but that it (supposedly) Akemi’s fault as well, since it takes two to tango. Hopefully she doesn’t take take it too personally, and hopefully by you deciding not to eat there again, you can also convince coworkers and friends to avoid the place. Money talks and unless you’re the Soup Nazi, the food alone isn’t enough to allow for unhappy experiences.

  25. OMG! Jelly looks fantastic! She’s such a sweet baby girl! Awwwwwww! Love to see her scamper! She like a puppy again. 😀

  26. Hugs to Akemi.

    @Penny — Sorry to hear about Bubbles. Hugs to you, too.

    WOW, I mean just WOW about Jelly. I was so excited to see her moving around so well. Will she continue to improve as you rehab her and strengthen her up, or is that about as good as it will get (which is saying a LOT because from where she was, she looks like she has gotten a second life)? I am so happy that things went so well for you and for her.

    Funny pictures with you and Carl in the mirror with Destiny, like two wicked clowns trapping the Destiny within a glass menagerie, the crew trying to find a way of escape…oh wait, that was a Star Trek script, I think, minus the clowns.

  27. “My first foray into truffle-making did not go quite as smoothly as I’d hoped.”

    How dare you even show us those horrible pictures of that disgusting chocolate you made? And your descriptions were downright diarrhea inducing. Either take it to work and feed it to your poor, unsuspecting coworkers, or bundle it up and send it to me. As a favor to you, I will properly dispose of all those pitiful truffles, and you can try again until you get it right. Do you want my address?

    (I hate to be so harsh, but someone had to say it.)

  28. Poor Akemi. I probably would have been upset also. Aren’t waitresses supposed to be friendly? That chef might want to learn that skill in addition to not being rude.

    Yay Jelly!

    I think that Carl photobombed you, Joe. There is a whole site dedicated to photobombs. Go figure.

    Your creations don’t necessarily have to look perfect. Taste great. I’ve made many cookies that don’t look the best, but yummy. Of course, this means you’ll have to make more batches to perfect your skills.

  29. @sci-fi guy: ooo very tricky, but don’t give him anymore hints or he might figure it out. Also, I was wondering what you used to create it. I think you may have mentioned a 3d ploter and the kind that comes to mind is the tub of liquit that gets hardened when a laser passes through it. Just curious, I love that kind of thing. At my school I love using the laser cutters but unfortunately we don’t have a 3d plotter of any kind…yet.

    The difference in cultural customs is facinating to think about. I’m sorry your dinner didn’t turn out very well, but at least you had plenty of chocolate when you returned home.

    thanks always

  30. Who makes the destiny replica? same people who do the CGI? or a separate company that is not involved in filmmaking?

    it would be cool to have those around when you guys are brainstorming or just to tell the CGI guys the shots you want.

  31. Just caught up with your blog, been busy with school, and I currently have no access to Internet. 🙁

    Whoa, LDP’s Q&A was massive.

    Congrats on Gemini noms. Finally, episodes like “Light” and “Human” need some recognition. Not to mention Louis in “Justice” and Bobby in “Human”.

    I sense great success. 😀

  32. I just found myself audibly yelling, “GO JELLY!” while doing \o/ with my arms. Do you realise how strange that sounds to people nearby when there is absolutely no context given? Ah well, people think I’m mostly nuts anyway.

    das – I’m so proud of your spider keeping! A couple of years ago you would have hired some kind of earth moving equipment to get that spider down and squished.

    Gilder – Can I have Supergirl’s powers please? I must try wearing my undies on the outside to see if the powers naturally morph with said outside undie wearing. My brain just came up with a mental picture that was. not. good.
    Hope your knee is on the mend!

    sparrow_hawk – Trip was eventful! People really don’t believe you do any work at conferences until you come back from somewhere tropical without a tan.

  33. It’s good that you get what you give and the service given to you by ‘Dan’ and the comments you’ve posted here make me for one not want to visit that restaurant either. Course, I live in England so it wasn’t likely any time soon but if ever I do come out your way, I’ll be sure to avoid that place – fortunately you’ve confirmed the street address in your blog so I’ll be sure to miss it!

    There should be a small glass hammer affixed to the side of the display case: “In case of urgent need to make ‘woooshhh’ noises with a spaceship, break glass” written on it…

  34. Wow, yeah that was not cool what the chef did. Poor Akemi. It is not right to yell at an employee in front of a customer or in front of other employees. If someone needs to be spoken to you do that in private.

  35. Coucou Joseph!!!

    Comment allez vous?

    Merci pour ces photos…les truffes ont l’aire délicieuse !!

    Oh, la pauvre Akemi =(…c’est sûre que le monde du travail au japon est horrible, j’ai lu plusieurs livres qui en parle et j’ai du mal à imaginé que cela existe dans un pays aussi développer…si cela se passerai en france il y aurai des milliers de procés pour diffamation envers l’employeur lol…mais je pense que les japonnais son très fière et ils n’osent pas s’imposé face à un employeur terrorisant….franchement on comprend mieux les no life ou autre jeune qui refuse le monde des ça fait peur =S

    Si ce n’est pas déjà fait je vous conseille de lire “Stupeur et Tremblement”…on comprend tout de suite mieux.

    Passez une bonne journée!
    Gros bisou!

  36. Whoa, Jelly!! Looking good!!

    So, yummy, yummy, fish heads? I think I would have to take a pass on that one. I don’t think that chef’s behaviour would be appropriate anywhere. That just sounds like bad form period. I feel bad for the waitress and I hope she finds a better job soon.

  37. Hi Joe,
    The truffles look pretty sad. I have an excellent recipe for truffles from that French restaurant I worked in, if you want it. It is easy and delicious.

    Out of curiosity, do you all plan to have a big party for the season 2 opener?

    Thanks for your time,

  38. Ah Joe, truffle disaster, I think not, thats why they invented spoons..(the large(spoon) ones,,yum)

    And now the word is out on the x*&%# chef, making it to Chicago rather quickly now, and all over the globe,, so karma is spot on. Bad chef, good waitress and great Akemi.
    I think I remember you saying you are not supposed to tip in Japan, their custom, but is it the same in Vancouver?

    I remember you showing us Jelly’s stiff legged running and dragging, such a tremendous improvement, Way to go Jelly and thanks daddy and of course the doctor!!

    Congratulations on the Gemini nominations!! Well done!

    Can’t wait to see Brads new toy that he can take out of the box and actually fly around the room with. Thanks to sci-fi guy for making the one you have been showing us.

  39. Hi Joe, just curious, where was “Nightwalkers” filmed? I’ve looked all over and can’t find any info.

    Also, re Akemi and the waitress incident, it does occur to me that when in Rome… I hope Akemi’s feeling a bit better over the whole thing.

    @Tammy: Amazing to think that with all the homeless and needy animals, your humane society has to close due to lack of funds. You’d think somebody would care enough to help out! How sad. Are you taking one (or more) of the kittehs home? 🙂 I’ve been feeding two strays for 4 years (I guess they’re no longer stray…) and now have another two that showed up a few months ago (Spot, Peaches, Todd and Bob). Providing medical care, flea treatments, etc. for these guys takes time and money, but somebody’s got to do it. I’m terribly allergic to cats, so they stay outside, but I do provide them with adequate shelter from rain/cold and they eat like piggies. Can’t imagine what will happen to your bunch if someone doesn’t adopt them. If you need to place any dogs, I’d be more than willing to take a female, just let me know and we’ll work something out.

  40. That stem cell treatment is like magic! Good for Jelly. Can they do humans yet?

  41. RE: Hurricane Earl – So far, so good – looks like it will be well east of us. Surf and rip currents will be bad, but otherwise we shouldn’t have any problems.

    @ Narelle – A couple years ago I actually did ask a neighbor to come in my house and rid it of a rather large (to me) spider. I have gotten a LOT better, although the thought of spiders (and just typing THIS) makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck. 😛

    @ Joe & Akemi – I’ve been really busy lately and only catch the blog in bits (first stop-by, I check pictures, second stop-by I scan the mailbag for key words like ‘Wraith’, ‘Todd’, and ‘nippleless’, third stop-by I finally get around to reading). Well, I read…and I really feel for Akemi and her bad experience at Dan. Please give her hugs from me! Obviously, the Chef has developed a more western personality, and it only reflects poorly on him, certainly not on Akemi, or the waitress. A person who belittles another in public only makes himself look small. He should be ashamed, and – if it were me – I would write a letter to the restaurant (acknowledge the good food, but express how disappointed you were with the Chef’s lack of professional in dealing with the staff, and how it put you off your meal experience). I would consider writing it in Japanese, too.

    Wishing Akemi the best today!


  42. Carls facial expression in the 2nd picture is hilarious, the way it kinda makes it seem like an evil smile looking down on Destiny. Really cool.

  43. @berate an employee privately, but quite another to do so publicly

    Perfectly agree, especially infront of other customers, it doesn’t look that good. And really shows the character of the owner.

    One thing to be angry at an employee behind closed doors, to do it infront of everyone seems horrible. And unprofessional.

  44. Good news! Humane Society closing has been put off but we won’t be taking anymore new critters for a while. That might be difficult to stick to because at least once a week some poor dog is tied up at the door when I arrive. Or a box with a cat/kittens is waiting for me. If anyone wants to look at the dogs online: They ship out dogs frequently. Shelly, a volunteer, has her own reality show now: It follows her finding the pet and it’s journey to find a new home.

    Deni: thanks for your concern and good wishes! I brought two of the cats home. Anymore and my older cat (Harry) will have “another” nervous breakdown. 🙁 I’m allergic, as well, and pay the price for working with the critters. I’m taking a small pharmacy of anti-allergy meds. Three cats at home is my limit and I can’t put any outside because of the traffic. One day I’ll move into the country and have a thriving barn cat population like Das.

    Das: I’m glad you won’t get the hurricane. Enjoy the rain.

    Penny: Thank you and again, I’m so sorry about your cat. Most of us here on the blog have been there. 🙁

    Narelle: Hi! Don’t work too hard!!!!

  45. Just saw the Jelly video…she’s amazing, what a transformation…you go girl.

    @Penny…sorry I must have missed your sad news, I was totally bummed out by the LDP Q&A….still am

    Sorry to hear about your cat, Bubbles. 20 years – wow! *hugs* from Chev

  46. @das Don’t mean to scare you, das, but if that hurricane hits Cape Hatteras it may, and I repeat MAY, swing in and hit New Jersey and Manhatten. I’m not sure where in New Jersey you live but I hope it’s not near the water.

    My thoughts will be with you…


  47. @ Tammy Dixon – I’m not exactly in the country – in a residential area with houses on 70×100 lots. I’m just fortunate that right now I have really tolerant neighbors (although most of the cats I feed stay in my yard most of the day).

    RE: Hurricane Earl – I may have spoke too soon. They just issued a tropical storm warning for our area – 40+ mph winds. That’s really no big deal, I hope. They’re not even calling for any tidal flooding, which we usually get with these things.


  48. @das You going have to really keep an eye on EARL and it storm path. There is a slight chance (16%) that it will travel up the Eastern sea coast from Newport News VA to Bangor ME. If this comes to pass, then we will see how well the landscape of New York City & Boston weather a CAT 2 force hurricane.

    For the folks in Florida, hurricane FIONA have a slight chance of visiting Miami.

    They just name GASTON as the third current storm in the mid-Atlantic heading West.

  49. Go Jelly go! Is Jelly really so tiny? The dogs look big when they are running around together, but she looked tiny when compared to your hand when you gave her the treat. Unless you have big giant hands, then I apologize for pointing that out. I’m glad Jelly is doing so well!

    It’s terrible that the mean chef made Akemi cry. There’s never a need to be unpleasant or cruel to coworkers, let alone a guest. My goal in life is to never work with yellers, screamers or emo-ers ever again.

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