It's Jim Menard and Michael Blundell!

Yes, it’s that time of year.  The time of year when thoughts turn to home, family, and lovable Directors of Photography bearing gifts!  Thanks for the vino, boys.  Your work continues to amaze and here’s hoping we get a chance to do it all over again next year!

In addition to home, family, and Directors of Photography, my thoughts have also turned to the seven days when mom and sis will be visiting during the Christmas holidays and what, exactly, I’ll be cooking for them while they’re in town.  Rather than take the easy out and hit some restaurants, I’ve decided to handle all dinner duties during their stay. As a result, I’ve been spending a lot of time testing various recipes, finding what works, what doesn’t, and what makes the holiday line-up.  Last night, it was pork belly two ways…

Slow Roasted Pork Belly with Hoisin
Pressed Belly of Pork

Both very good but, alas, not good enough to unseed stronger candidates like Chicken with Morels and Metaxa, Bacon-Fried Pork Chops, and Costa Brava Fish Stew.  Tonight, I tried my hand at two more dishes…

Panko-crusted fried red tomatoes topped with sour cream, chives, and crumbled prosciutto. Damn, these turned out better than I could have imagined. These sour cream-crowned treats were the perfect accompaniment to...
Slow-Roasted Baby Back Ribs with sweet and spicy maple/chipotle glaze. The sauce was so good, I'm considering making it my next ice cream flavor.
And Akemi made her totemo oishii dumpling soup!

This weekend, I may tackle one of three desserts, either a Tarte Tatin, Maple Pecan Pie, or Chocolate Stout Cake.

This weekend, I finalize the short-list for the “I Make the Best Whatever…” contest.  It’s going to be tough because there are a lot of great-looking/sounding candidates to choose from!

Thanks to everyone who sent Jelly well-wishes and helpful links.  She’d like to take this opportunity to thank each of you personally.  Oh, and Maximus says thanks too…


Bryan M. White writes: “A while back, you had mentioned a recent secret development that you were going to fill is in on (possibly movie/comic book project/season 3). Any news???”

Answer: Yep.  It’s the comic book project I’ve been referring to over the past month or so.  As I mentioned in a previous blog entry, we delivered the scripts for the first two issues (of the opening four-issue arc) last week and hope to reach a decision on the artist soon.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to reveal more in the coming days.

Randomness writes: “What’s the lowest SGU can do and still get renewed?”

Answer: There is no set rating that will guarantee a show a pick-up or doom it.  As a rule of thumb, however, higher is better.  Still, a number of other considerations will figure into a broadcaster’s decision-making process.  It’s not as straightforward as simply looking at the ratings.

Jermaine writes: “Sorry, Joe, but if you have to try and explain the events that occurred in Visitation to many people here on the blog then the episode must have failed to a large extent.”

Answer: My prefacing my response with “One could draw the following conclusion from having watched the episode –” was intended to suggest this is a theory.  You may choose to interpret things differently although, presumably, you’d settle on the explanation that makes the most sense given the evidence provided.

PJR writes: “Does SGU, instead, approach its world by look more at what makes each species tick, and so is more about comparative ‘good’ and ‘bad’ among species? There is no simple white hat, black hat play in this telling?”

Answer: Yes, and I think that’s very apparent in the way we’ve written the characters and their relationships.  Elements of the show (particularly characters) aren’t as black or white as in previous Stargate incarnations.

Gilder writes: “Somehow I missed any/all references to a neural link and to confirmation of Franklin’s continued “existence”. You say this happened in “Trial and Error”?”

Answer: Nope.  There is mention of Destiny getting into Young’s head (the aforementioned neural link), so if the ship made Young have visions, it’s quite possible that it is also responsible for what T.J. experienced in Intervention and the visions/avatars Rush interacted with on the bridge.  Again, I’m offering up a potential theory based on the evidence provided (note the use of the term “what appears to be” in my response).   Your mileage may vary.

Arctic Goddess writes: “Do writers get residuals?”

Answer: Some do.

VB writes: “Was curious as to how the seed ships are manufacturing the gates. Aren’t the gates constructed out of some very rare material called naquahdah? I would doubt if the seed ships are carrying this material with them since launch time.”

Answer: They would definitely have to locate and source the materials for the gate-building process.  They certainly weren’t stocked with a limitless naquadah supply.

PoorOldEdgarDerby writes: “It’s been awhile since I’ve lurked, so I thought I’d stop by again, mainly to tell you that Nielsen finally wanted my opinion. So that top pixely line in viewership last week among males 25 to 34?”

dioxholster writes: “let me see if I understand you correctly, you are saying that the method the powerful aliens used to bring back those people only works with aliens but fails to do the same for humans?”

Answer: What has lead you to conclude that these powerful aliens have used this method of resurrection before?

Answer: I was just saying the other day: “You know who I haven’t seen in a while?  PoorOldEdgarDerby.  I love that guy!”.

Eliminster writes: “Hey Joe, It’s yer mom. You take the pups for a walk yet? You got the yard cleaned up? Whatcha waiting for? :)

Answer: Quit nagging me!

42 thoughts on “November 26, 2010: Gift-giving! Recipe-testing! Question-answering! And Jelly says thanks!

  1. You get me with the food every time. All those pictures look great, and I especially liked the pork dishes. Much luck in making your decisions.

  2. Hello Joe.

    Thanks for answering our questions. Give Jelly a big hug for all of us!!!

    Best Wishes.


  3. Thanks for the answer Joe. It does kinda worry me as well as everyone else. Well as you can saw over the weeks when the doom and gloom talk occurs on here. Let’s hope Syfy gets into the christmas spirit and gives the show the best present in the world. A new season.

    I hope Jelly gets better too, must be heartbreaking watching her unwell. I know from having pets that have been unwell that it’s horrible to see and you wish with all your might that you can make them better again. I think only pet owners can understand the bond between humans and animals, more so appreciate it. I’m sure you would agree.

    Also I wrote a somewhat longer answer but lost it due to my computer going funny for a moment forcing me to retype.

  4. Maple chipotle glaze/maple chipotle ice cream – could be a winner.

    The food looks great! How did you keep the tomatoes from oozing juice and making the panko crust soggy? Or do you just eat them very quickly after frying?

  5. Hey Joe, what are you getting your mom and sister for Christmas? What are you getting Akemi? Come on, we won’t tell…

    All your “kids” are uniquely special, but I must say, Jelly is the most beautiful of the bunch. The others are extremely cute but Jelly is your beauty queen. Was she really talking to us or did you give her some peanut butter? (I thought I could smell some on her breath)

    That picture of Jim Menard and Michael Blundell is too cute! Are they giving you presents because your writing makes them look good? Shouldn’t you be giving them presents since their photography brings your words to light? Maybe it’s a trade off. A good one.

  6. Seeing the food pics made me hungry but I had to get by with a bowl of Shreddies…too late in the evening to be more creative then that 🙂

    Just wondering…….

    -Can we assume the obelisk planet builders were better at fixing the shuttle then fixing people? (ie. the shuttle is here to stay for awhile)

    -And just what “was” the Boone reveal? I remember you mentioning it a long time ago in an entry. Was this a piece of disinformation to draw us away from Telford as the spy? Or maybe an idea that was thought up but then shelved?


  7. Hey, Joe!

    Last week’s episode was a Western…
    this week’s episode was about zombies…

    …you guys have been hanging out over at Psych’s set haven’t you?

  8. Hi Joseph,

    1) Was there ever an official confirmation of the number of seed ships out there?

    2) Are they all headed in the same direction (assume yes since Destiny has passed one damaged ship and many gates still exist after it)? And if yes, does it mean that background noise/signal is traveling outward or inwards from a specific coordinate in space somewhere out there?

  9. You said:

    “Answer: What has lead you to conclude that these powerful aliens have used this method of resurrection before?”

    I’m not the one who asked the original question, but I’ll take a stab at responding to you…..

    You’re right. There’s nothing in the episode that would indicate whether or not the aliens have tried to resurrect anything in an way before. But, you have to admit, if you were an Awesomely Powerful World Building Alien it would be damn peculiar to come tromping back to your Obelisk-decorated chateau, find a crashed, derelict shuttle filled with strange beings now devoid of all life and have the notion to try out a brand new resurrection device. Maybe they’re mad scientist aliens?

    No, I’m afraid it’s kind of logical to think the aliens have tried to resurrect/fix stuff before. This would be a strange circumstance to give it a first go.

  10. Hello Joe, Thought I would pop in on you for a moment. I was thinking about the recent episode. Then I thought how is it possible for the shuttle to be fully restored as it was? Easily done if the planet builders accessed the ships schematics and whatnot from scans and data base. I can reason they could do the same for Destiny. This is not relevant tho. The aliens must be quite advanced to track the Destiny from such a distance. Moving the shuttle I thought of Madeline L. Ingle’s A Wrinkle in Time. More specifically I was thinking about the tesseract or “wrinkling” this makes sense as rather than traveling a distance instead, one moves space in a way much like folding a paper and making the two opposite edges meet. Like how the shuttle’s navigation log stated one moment it was on the planet, the next it was at station keeping with Destiny when it exited FTL. Makes me wonder if the aliens were tracking destiny in FTL, like the Asgard track ships in hyperspace, or they forced Destiny out of FTL. Oh well, the ancients were close with their own version of this travel with wormhole drive, only the aliens must have the ability to construct a dyson sphere and use it as a power source.

    Did I tell you I did an escoffier dinner?

  11. The gift giving seems to be a little one-sided or do you give the crew and cast gifts too?

    So – Christmas will be:-

    Joe, Bubba and Maximus


    Mum, sister, Akemi, Jelly and Lulu.

    The guys are vastly outnumbered – should be ‘fun’. 🙂

    Enjoy your trip to Tokyo. 😉

  12. Hi joe but even after Rush shut down the neuralinterface link,
    he was still seen talking to Franklin.The talk about trouble still ahead ….. . So how is that possible.
    Sorry for my gramma I am not a native.

  13. Did I miss a post of Akemi’s miso soup recipe?

    Your food looks scumptious too. I might try doing your tomato dish.

  14. Hi Joe

    Just to say that we have everything crossed for Jelly and we hope that she gets sorted.

    Also loving season 2 especially the last 4 episodes.Visitation was a nice change of pace. Read a interview with Mr Caryle this morning talking about his character one day eventually “peaking” Should we be worried for the future of Rush?

  15. Please can we get a confirmation that it is official that the Destiny has a functional shuttle again ? It won’t break down like the returning settlers’ bodies did right ??
    many thx !

  16. Coucou! Comment allez vous?

    moi très bien, contente d’être en week end! Ce soir soirée Kinect avec des amis et demain je vais voir HP7 au cinéma, vous avez été le voir? qu’en pensez vous?

    HUmmm, tout cela à l’air très bon, je n’ai jamais manger de morilles et je le regrette, j’aime beaucoup les champignons…je me demande quel gôut ça peut avoir?

    Oui!! Vivement les fêtes en famille!!

    Gros bisou,

  17. Joe

    Late Season 2 (or some other time), should an Ancient be found, brought back, re-activated, thawed, re-manifest or whatever on the ship – as per your watch this space hint a few days back – and they’d probably be in areas not yet opened up, then which would the ship’s apparent AI defer to – Ancient or SG?

    Potential takeover? Or not quite so clear cut, for if the Ancients hadn’t manned the ship then who is he/she/they – what’s their story?

    Maybe, then, the ship becomes more of a character in establishing (through Avatars, suitable to each different side) what next to fulfill, or choose to alter, its mission?

    Hmmm…barking anywhere near the right tree, or at least somewhere in the right field? Woof!

    best, PJR

  18. I say we all crash Joe’s place for dinner.

    Rice in Japan? Short grain white, although you can get some “sweet” varieties for special dishes. Incredibly expensive, and rarely imported unless the government has stood up to the big rice growing families since I departed. I recall a flap over impending rice imports from Thailand when I was there in the Dark Ages. The grain was too long, said some, although I suspect it was too cheap and threatened the domestic monopoly. Whole grain brown rice in Japan? HA! Oh, I am sure it could be found somewhere at some price, but I wouldn’t put money on it.

    (Other than on base, from the commissary…)

  19. Just had to pop in and say again that Greer is one of the most fascinating characters on the DESTINY. That scene with Lisa Park was sweet. Nice to see a different side to him. Loved her line about him being too deep again. So are they a couple or just good friends?

    Greer almost made me cry last night. I love the scene between him and Scott where he says he prays for Chloe every night. Then when he went to see Chloe and she forgives him for what he might have to do.

    The whole ep was quite powerful.

    Only one more ep and then the hiatus. Do you have any idea when the second half will be aired? I hope SYFY doesn’t wait until Spring.

  20. @Jermaine – There is really no indication one way or the other though that the aliens simply immediately zapped them with whatever device they had on hand and presto, they’re “fixed”. It’s fair to guess that there was an undetermined amount of between the aliens’ arrival and when the shuttle was returned. In that time, the aliens found Caine near death (and shortly, dead) and the rest of them already dead. They then possibly used whatever technology they had for generating simpler life on the planet (kind of Genesis device-like, I suppose) and gave it a try on the human remains. This could have been a fair amount of time really, and wouldn’t indicate they had the exact technology on hand.

    Also, I’m not prepared to completely right off T.J.’s vision as merely a ship-induced fancy yet. In other cases where the ship has used that influence, it has had specific reasons such as interacting with Rush when he was trying to control it or “testing” Young. For T.J., it would seem that it would be only for altruistic reasons, and I don’t think we’ve seen any other evidence yet that the ship is that sentient. (Note I did say “yet”.)

    Anyway, once again a GREAT episode. I’m looking forward to next weeks, but then again I’m not – because it’s so long until the next one! :0

  21. So my family has issued a moratorium on pointing out which episode of Stargate random actors on other shows were in. It got pretty bad.

    I might have to look up a recipe for those panko-crusted gigs. I just read Canadian media is about to get a little more Fair and Balanced. So…good luck with that scene.

    And it’s always nice to feel missed.

  22. “There is mention of Destiny getting into Young’s head (the aforementioned neural link), so if the ship made Young have visions, it’s quite possible that it is also responsible for what T.J. experienced in Intervention and the visions/avatars Rush interacted with on the bridge. ”


    I see it now! The final scene sees Jack O’Neill wake up from a nightmare! He’s in bed and turns to Sam next to him saying “You are not going to believe the dream I just had!”

    Now that’s an ending I could get behind 😉

  23. I think that, no matter how powerful the Obelisk planet aliens are, the Ancients are better. These aliens failed to recreate life, whereas the Ancients seeded the Milky Way with the Dakara Superweapon and *poof* look at us now. Pwning the Ori, stomping on the Goa’uld, and finishing the Ancient’s unfinished business.

    BTW, this season is really, really good. I wasn’t really too on-board with Season 1, but this time around has been really fun. Almost fun enough to the point that I want to beat the producers over the head with a bat for having this hugeass midseason break coming up. *luke skywalker style scream*NOOOOOOOOOOOO….noooooooooooo…..


  24. Speaking of doggie back problems… our family Cocker Spaniel Izzy, only 4 yrs old, just had spinal surgery after she ruptured a disk and became paralyzed within just a few hours. (requisite cute pics here) Now 10 days later she still can’t control her back legs, although she can stand on them for a few seconds. Otherwise she drags them around pitifully. She’s missing critical reflexes in each one, and docs aren’t sure if they will come back. Meanwhile she has no control of her bodily functions, so taking care of her is nearly a full-time job for my sister. And she didn’t take kindly to the doggie diapers I brought with me to visit for Thanksgiving, either.

    The best the docs have said is “don’t give up yet; there’s still hope”. So comforting, especially since they promised the surgery has an 85% success rate if you do it within a day of paralysis, which we did! She needs 6 weeks of rehab, complete with acupuncture and electronic stimulation before we can know for sure. (ka-ching!) Then it will be a very tough decision. She was my late mom’s dog, so we’re doing everything we can for her, but yeah, I feel your pain, Joe!

  25. One quick question: Rush broke Destiny’s master code and gained access to the bridge, but why does he not have full control over Destiny’s flight path yet? What elements of control do they not possess fully yet?

  26. @Michelle: So sorry to hear about lovely Izzy, but hang in there! My daughter’s cocker, Molly (who is now my dog) had the same surgery in Houston a few years ago. It takes some time and effort to get through, but don’t give up yet! Molly’s fine now. Hugs to all of you 🙂

    @Joe: That Jelly is one gorgeous girl! Please don’t forget to tell us what the neuro says, we’re all thinking of you guys here 🙂

  27. Thanks for the clarification, Joe.

    To all: Prayers, please, for my local friend AB, who is working through a complex family problem.

  28. Well Joe,

    If you ever want to try out any of your dishes, just give me a shout.

    It would a hardship I know, but to help you out I would be willing to be your taster…

  29. For those of us that like Jewel Staite, she is appearing on the Halmark channel at 8p est tonight, in Debbie Macomber’s Call Me Mrs. Miracle. Looks like it might be fun to see her.

  30. As Ponytail said, Jelly is the beauty queen of the bunch. When is the next vet appointment? I hope they find something treatable on Jelly’s CT scan.

    I need to take my big cat to the vet for an ultrasound of his heart. I’ve been putting it off because he is so hard to get around by myself. He is 26lbs of reluctant feline. His diet isn’t going so well. 🙁

    Your mom and sis will have a great time visiting you. You have the main meals covered but are you planning on taking to them any local events?

    DP: your cobbler recipe looked good!

  31. @ Scary

    I read somewhere (Gateworld???) a month ago that SciFi was planning on airing the second half in April, but am not sure if that is rumor or fact.

  32. @Chris B

    Isn’t that all just theory at the moment? Could be wrong but it hasn’t really been proven 100 percent that something existed before the big bang, as mostly because the universe just came into existance from a single point that expanded infinitely in all directions and the whole concept of time coming into play then.

    Too bad Destiny doesn’t have the tech to make a direct wormhole from one part of the universe to another. Then again that would be impossible and would end the show lol

    Anyway no idea how many Amazing Race fans are here but they just visited Japan within the past few days, next season should be interesting on TV.

  33. Thanks for the tip on Gail Simone’s Secret Six comix, will take a trip down to Ye Fancy Comix store once pay day rolls around. I’m keeping fingers crossed for Jelly on this new round of med treatments, she’s such a sweetheart!

  34. @Randomness

    Well there are patterns in the CBR, but what they might mean is just theory. I’d be amazed if there wasn’t a multi-verse though.

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