While here in Tokyo, I’ve been checking in with my dogsitter, Christine, who has been taking care of the pooches while I’ve been away.  Today, I received the following update on the gang and a post-operative Jelly in particular:

“We are doing great. Jelly is recovering very well, today she was very happy to go out and sniff everything and I think she is starting to feel more herself again. Of course she is still on pain medication, but I haven’t had to give her any of the additional pain drugs they gave me at the vet clinic.   We are doing leg massages and some exercises a few times a day.

She certainly has a good appetite, I have cut her food down to 1.5 pucks per meal and I’ve been giving her a little bit of pumpkin puree to help with her bowel movements. I will probably take her in to the vet on Wednesday when I take Max for the check up. I will be able to get her on the scale there and see if she has already lost some weight. It is going to help her a lot in her recovery.

I’ve attached two pictures. I gotta say, Jelly is such a trooper, I just love her to pieces:)

The rest of the gang is doing very well, loving all their walks and attention they get. Of course, Lulu always has to be the tough girl when it comes to other dogs…”

Jelly's wicked scar

One of my aims over the course of this two-week trip is to introduce Ivon to a wide variety of Japanese foods.  On our first night in, we did teppanyaki and he sampled kobe beef for the first time.  Since then, we’ve covered sushi, ramen, yakiniku, yakitori, and izakaya.  Last night, we did tempura.   

We went to one of the higher-end tempura restaurants - Kondo in Ginza - where we were seated at a counter in order to encourage our chef in the fine art of batter-frying.
Our first appetizer was a raw green onion and some sort of bean. The onion was pretty damn raw.
Our second appetizer was a foursome of ankimo (monkfish liver), giant sea snail, rabe, and hirame sashimi. Ivon was horrified by the size of the sea snail, but ate it regardless. It would be the first of several horrors for him on this night.
Yuba. What Keiko refers to as tofu in its purest form. And, might I add, most delicious form. Of everything I had on this night, this was my favorite.
Ivon didn't quite know what to make of these flash fried prawn heads - when they were served and even after he'd eaten them. I loved their crispy texture and flavor.
And the rest of the prawn. This was more up Ivon's alley.
In addition to asparagus and onion, we were also served this tempura staple: the renkon (lotus root). Another favorite of mine.
We were served several types of white fish, all lightly battered before being flash-fried in sesame oil.
I ordered this terrific little item a la carte: sea urchin wrapped in shiso, then flash fried. I hesitated to pop it whole into my mouth but Ivon assured me it wasn't that bad. Then, once I'd put it in my mouth and bit into it, releasing its molten hot contents, Ivon added: "Sucker!"
Crispy sea eel. Sadly, we don't get a lot of sea eel (anago) in North America. Unagi (freshwater eel) is more of a sushi staple back home.
I got my revenge on Ivon later in the meal when I ordered this. When he asked what it was, I told him it was cod. And it is cod. Just - a specific part of the cod. Shirako. Look it up. Or check out the video.

Heh heh.  Makes me sorry I’m not traveling with Carl too.

Tasty sweet potato tempura. The crispy skin is the best part!
We capped off our meal with a great kashiage made up of tiny scallops, prawn, veggies, and flash-fried batter.

Ivon and I tried to walk off dinner by walking around Ginza and, when that didn’t seem to be working, tried to burn it off with a few drinks at – where else? – Star Bar.  We allowed Kishi-san to call the shots on this night.

My Grasshopper. I'm not a big fan of mint, but this was a nice drink, reminiscent of those After Eight chocolates my mom used to love.
I was presented with the line-up of elixirs that went into the special drink Kishi-san prepared for especially for me.
I believe it was called a Kannon Cocktail (although cannon - as in all the firepower of a cannon - would've been just as appropriate). It packed one helluva punch.
But the drink of the night was this delectable concoction - essentially at gin and tonic with fresh pear juice.
The Master of Ceremonies - Kishi Hisashi

The following morning, I awoke as dehydrated and dizzy as usual – but at least I had a good reason for feeling hung over on this day. I WAS!  Fortunately, I knew the perfect hangover remedy…

Sushi breakfast!

We checked out the Tsukiji Market in passing…

Ivon says: "Get me more of that shirako!"
Found some!
Check out the crab line-up!
Abalone and giant sea snails!

Then we hopped on the Ginza line and headed over to Shibuya.  At the immense station, we stopped of Decadence de Chocolat where I purchased the best pistachio macaron I’ve had on this trip (sorry, Pierre Herme).  Then, we headed out and snapped a pic of Hachiko –

In memory of Hachiko, a dog so loyal that he continued to come to the station to welcome his master back home, even years after his master had passed away.
Hey, check it out! Bump of Chicken has a new album out!
And so does Flumpool!
Check out this tacky thing. And the gaudy piece of art he's standing in front of.
I was going to take the Tron bike for a spin but realized too late it was already occupied. Hey, buddy, get off my back! Sorry.
Sound Horizon's costumes were on display. Wonder how Ivon would react if I came down to dinner wearing that center number.
Awesome Shibuya fashion
Walking the streets of Shibuya

Two rainy days in a row, but Wednesday promises to be brighter…

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Bad, bad Joe! Tricking Ivon like that. How I wish you had Carl along, too!

everlasting song
everlasting song

Love the pics smile

But out of all of them, Sound Horizon is the only group I know…

woody woodward

Glad Jelly’s recovery is going well and that you and Ivon are eating and attempting to stay hydrated. Although you know water is the real way right? lol Even though I don’t eat red meat anymore, I do remember the wonderful taste of Kobe Beef. When I was stationed in Okinawa, we spent plenty of time at Sam’s Anchor Inn. Thanks for the wonderful read and photos…and video. Love to hear you two.

Tammy Dixon
Tammy Dixon

OMG, the video was hilarious! I was wondering when the Cod Sperm was going to shown.

Thanks for the Jelly update! I’m so glad she is doing well.


Regarding TRON: LEGACY, look for SG1/SGA guest star and Rev Bem of “Andromeda”, Brent Stait, as the “Purple Game Program”. He told me to watch for the white Mohawk and goatee. 


You totally caught Ivon off kilter.. love it!!! ‘Creamy’ ‘yoghurt’.. ahahaha.

I’d watch it now Joe-san. There’s another part of the male reproductive organs that is eaten… nothing goes to waste hehe.

Jelly looks great and has a scar to brag about now!

Christine, if you are reading this, thanks so much for taking such good care of Jelly pugkid. I’m pretty sure everyone loses their heart to her cuteness razz


Poor Ivon…but must say, he took it like a man (?)!

So glad to hear Jelly’s doing so well! She looks great, and her scar will be just a bad memory in no time. Christine sounds wonderful, you’re lucky to have her. I pretty much gave up leaving Elway with pet-sitters (even though they were techs at the vet’s office) because I found that most of them could not have handled a seizure if it had actually happened while they were here. They didn’t do anything but feed the dogs and watch tv for the small fortune I was paying them to stay for a weekend. I’d come home to find empty or dirty water dishes and the place was a wreck every time. So, now he goes with us wherever we go, and if there are no dogs allowed, we don’t go. Happily, everybody at my vet’s office loves him and he can stay there during the day if needed (and not in a cage), and my ER vets have agreed to let him stay there even for a couple of hours if we need a break in the evenings.

My daughter’s flight home for tomorrow was cancelled today, so hopefully we’ll see her on Thursday. I’m bummed. Stupid winter weather, I am SO over it.

Thanks for the laughs tonight, Joe (and Ivon)!


@Joe on “Hachiko”!

The kids and I just watched the Richard Gere film about this dog; for a dog lover it was a very touching film.

@Joe on Shirako:

I’m not sure about the Cod Milt…I’m more partial to Ikura myself. So…what’s it taste like? wink

A question for the mail bag:

My daughter came across a “rumor” on the Stargate Facebook Fan Page that Sky One may be open to funding the Stargate Movie(s)…can you offer any comment on this?

Connor P


Glad to see you’re having fun, and that Jelly is recovering…


Connor (anxiously Waiting for SGU season 2 pt 2)


just not a tempura fan. and raw onion? You had to go to tokyo to try raw onion? Still, glad you enjoyed. And impressed you’re holding up under all the booze. Glad to see Jelly is doing well, and hope you enjoy the rest of your trip.


Between Joe’s vacation and the mid-season hiatus, if any of y’all are missing your Stargate fix, I’ve finally gotten around to writing up the atmospheric science of SG:A “Brain Storm” (http://bit.ly/e1eA5d) and an introduction to the cryptography in SG:U “Human” (http://bit.ly/gh8QFv). I should have the astrophysics behind the 22-minute pulsar of SG:U “Incursion” written up within a week.


That incision/scar made me wince. Poor Jelly girl. Christine is a dream sitter and a keeper. Glad Jelly is getting better day by day.

Liver or gallbladder — I can’t decide which one you might be taxing more. Maybe both equally. We’re waiting for Ivon to tape you.

I would definitely like to see you in that outfit. It would rock. I have a feeling Ivon would not even react if he saw you in that. I bet he is a good poker player. There was a slight moment of disgust on his face when you told him what it was, but he hid it well.

Sean D.

Hi Joe, glad to hear Jelly’s doing well and improving! And that video… funny! grin


hmmm. Definitely sticking to the veggie kind of tempura. (and know that, like traveling with my boss, to not trust Joe about food.)

NOW. I am to share the fact that my auntie “das” is in the hospital. She went in last night & she’s saying that it’s almost like vacation! smile Day 1. Yeah. Not so happy about her clear liquid diet at the moment though… and lack of internet. But she is getting to do some reading. They’re expecting to have her for about 3 days. I think I’ll avoid her then. ESPECIALLY if she’s still on that liquid diet!
@Sparrow_hawk I’m to let you know she’s got Pendergast keeping her company in her hospital bed. grin

@Joe love all your pics! It’s like sharing the adventure! wink


Don’t forget Maisen at Omotesando Hills for tonkatsu!!!


Just think what fun you would have if all you guys (Joe, Carl, Ivon, Gero, Lawren) went to Tokyo together.

Ivon is so cute!

Joe speaking of cod sperm asks Ivon, “have you ever had something like that before?”

And Ivon says, “In my mouth?”

shock Just what does that mean Ivon??

Jelly looks great. Thanks for keeping us updated with her. Sounds like you have a professional taking care of the kids.


I am so glad Christine sent you photos of Jelly baby, thanks Christine. I don’t know how big a puck is, but Jelly must be doing ok with it. Scars, the hair/fur might grow back over it, and it makes her unique, battle scars. Joe is fortunate to have a good dogsitter, thanks Christine.
Are all the streets inTokyo full of people always?, thats a lot of people. ANd such fashion sense too. Joe if you don the outfit in the window, please,please take pictures for us. Might just be dashing or something.
Ivon is funny, and the glasses do look good.
I love tempura, thanks for sharing this with us. yummm. So lucky you have a good watering hole to go to. Sometimes that makes all the difference in a trip, and the mixologist sounds like a magic maker. should you be mixing all that stuff?!? lol your poor stomach or head… Enjoy !!


Hey, where’s Das?


BEST VIDEO EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Cheers, Chev


Sound Horizon’s costumes were on display. Wonder how Ivon would react if I came down to dinner wearing that center number.

Probably better than he would if you showed up in either of the end ones.

Yay for Jelly! And look, she has a “battle scar” now.


Hey Joe,

OMG…YOU really have outdone yourself this time. OMG OMG

Sorry…I can’t stop laughing. Okay…you are really going to have to work hard to come up with something better than this IVON vid!!! Sorry..I am not certain that even Carl could top that one.

*giggling out of control*

Best to you…and Jelly
Cheryl smile

P.S. Thank you for the pup updates. I ♥ஜ☆LOVE♥ஜ☆ the picture of Jelly. That face…how could anyone not love and squish her. *sending squishes to Jelly*


HEY! I miss a few days and Das is in the hospital? Whassup wi’ dat?? LadyH, please pass on {{{hugs}}} and let her know she is missed, it doesn’t feel like I’m reading the right blog without her!


Glad to see Jelly doing well. smile


Thanks for the Jelly update and to Christine for taking such good care of her. Glad all the kids are doing well while you are gone.

The video was priceless. I will be giggling at that all night.


@das, not sure if you said and I missed why you are there, but hope to hear from you soon, best of luck and {{hugs}} take care. smile