Whew!  Two more nights like the last one and I should be right back on Vancouver time.  So, late post today.  Hell, late everything.

Thanks to everyone who has offered up their thoughts, comments, and words of support re: SGU.  If this truly is the end, here’s hoping that you – the best fans in fandom – join me on my next adventure/project/mangosteen-selling venture.  I know you have a slew of questions, but I won’t be able to field them until I’ve returned to Vancouver and had a chance to speak with Brad and Robert who are presently also more or less incommunicado (Rob somewhere tropical, Brad somewhere military – an aircraft carrier I think it was).   

On to Tokyo things…

The other night, we hit Muroi in Ginza.  It`s a restaurant known for its wild mushrooms, so I made sure to have the concierge at the hotel arrange for us to enjoy a mushroom-centric meal. And, boy, did we ever.  The first half dozen dishes or so were all mushroom-centered, a variety of different offerings and preparations.   

One of the great mushroom dishes.

 We were served the above and, about partway through the dish, one of the kimono-clad waitresses leaned and said “Please, don’t eat the soup.”  Ivon and I exchanged uncertain glances.  Uh, why not?  I may have inadvertently gotten some on my mushrooms.  When we finished the last of the mushrooms, our dishes were whisked away.  Seconds later, they were returned with a helping of rice and barley to help soak up the remnants of the soup.  Ooooooh.

I enjoyed those first dishes but, to be honest, when I’d heard the restaurant specialized in mushrooms, I imagined the dishes would feature something else besides mushrooms (ie. mushrooms and chicken, mushrooms and fish).  At a certain point in our dinner, the kindly owner admitted it had been a  challenge to honor my request and prepare an all-mushroom meal.  Hmmm.  Clearly, we’d gotten our signals crossed.  He asked if we would like to have something besides mushrooms.  I could see the palpable sense of relief wash over Ivon.  Yes, I told him.  Something in addition to mushrooms would be great.

Sashimi. I'm a fairly adventurous eater and enjoy most things the average diner wouldn't even consider trying, but I have to admit I had a hard time with the tiny little fish in the front right. Note the adorable little eyes.
Muroi's chef and owner was perhaps the kindest host we've had on this trip. Even though he didn't speak any English, he continually communicated with us throughout the meal (via our lovely dining companion, Tomomi), inquiring about our likes, dislikes, and varied food interests.
The best fugu I've ever had. It's texture was almost chicken like.

As we were served the fugu, the chef informed us it had taken much time to prepare.  “To remove the poison,”Tomomi helpfully added.

“But there’s no actual poison,”said Ivon.  “These are farmed fugu, right?”

“Oh, no,”said Tomomi.  “This isn’t farmed.”  Apparently, farmed fugu is for the lower end restaurants. 

Mushrooms with crispy shirako. Great dish. Ivon, for his part, was all shirako'd out, so he deftly switched off his serving to me when no one was looking.
Sansho. Love the numbing effect it has on the tongue.
Since we were drinking sake, we were offered a sample of a Japanese favorite enjoyed along with the drink: an intense fish paste. We were instructed to just dab the paste on our tongue, taste, then follow with the sake which would taste all that more sweeter by comparison. Boy, did it ever! The paste was apparently made of sardines that had been fermented for six years.
I was snapping pics of everything he was making and, at one point, he set this down in front of me. I took the picture and was about to dig in when Ivon informed me that the dish was actually intended for another group of diners. Then, of course, he instantly regretted telling me.
A truly awesome beef dish. It don't get much better than this.

The meal concluded with three small savories (pasta, risotto, and rice), and two desserts.  By dinner’s end, we’d enjoyed approximately twenty different plates. 

A great meal and a great experience, mostly due to Muroi’s chef and owner who made us feel at ease and welcome throughout.  As I told Tomomi (to tell him), my dining experience at Muroi was akin to enjoying a meal with my extended family (including, I suppose, that wonderful Japanese uncle who speaks no English but can cook and plate like no one else!).

We capped off the night with another visit to Star Bar.  I’ve decided that next time I come to Tokyo, I’m just going to stay there and cut out the middleman (a.k.a. the hotel).

The next day, we met another Marcolini Girl, Kanae, for lunch at a Spanish restaurant we’d been meaning to try.  Last week, we’d followed the great scent of paella up the stairs to the restaurant’s second floor digs – only to be informed they wouldn’t be open for another half hour.  So, yesterday, we returned, a little later in the afternoon, to enjoy that paella.  Alas, there wasn’t much enjoyment to be had.  But it certainly smelled great!

Then, it was off to Midtown in Roppongi where we DID enjoy – some Henri Le Roux chocolates, some Jean-Paul Hevin macarons, and some Sadaharu Aoki desserts –

Kanae checks out my shades.
One of my favorite Tokyo desserts: The Bamboo (Sadaharu Aoki).
Ivon's Tarte Tatin. When it arrived, he threw his hands up and said: "Half of this is yours.". Moments later, after I'd finished up my dessert, I redirected my focus back to the Tarte Tatin only to find him finishing up the last of it. "Too sweet,"he insisted.
Le Plat de Degustation. Hits and misses.
Ivon and Kanae - all full of dessert.

Eventually, Ivon headed back to the hotel while I paid a return visit to the Mori Arts Museum with Kanae for a second viewing of the Odani Motohiko exhibition.  I took the opportunity to pre-order the special book the museum is issuing to commemorate the artist.  It’ll be ready Monday, the day before we leave.

And another day draws to a close.

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PBMom

Is that the view from your hotel room? And you took it without a resurgence (pun intended) of that disease you suffer from? Proud of ya.

Ponytail
Ponytail

“The paste was apparently made of sardines that had been fermented for six years.”

You don’t think that is gross?

I want you to know, I don’t drink, but inspired by you and your trip to Tokyo, I went to the store and bought some liquor. My mother thanks you…I’m sure.

Major D. Davis

Final picture was breathtaking.. Thanks for sharing. smile Don’t let the SGU news bring you down. Have a kick ass time in Tokyo! smile

Lexxye
Lexxye

Thanks Joe. The desserts looked so good,especially the green one.

Jeff
Jeff

i really gotta stop reading your blog when im hungry. you take great pictures of the meals you have! im definitely going to put visiting Tokyo down on my bucket list of things to do in life. If and when i do, i’ll def. ask you for suggestions! lol

Ultracurious
Ultracurious

I’m so sad about SGU (adding yet another voice to the massive chorus).

Thank you Joe – for this blog, and for your years of work bringing SG to us! I have enjoyed every single minute of it all.

I sincerely hope you’ll invite us to continue the journey with you – where ever it may take you smile

Thank you to everyone ever involved in getting an SG episode out there. It has been, and continues to be a blast!

Shiny
Shiny

I’m sad to hear that Destiny’s adventure has been cut short; I hope Syfy will keep the franchise going in films. The cast and crew did a tremendous job. I’m bummed to see SGU end but I’m also excited to see what the future holds for you; comix? films? An original show? Book? Can’t wait to see what’s next.
Santa will be putting coal in Syfy’s stocking this year.

Not sure about eating that Danger Blowfish; that sounds scarier to me than Tokyo Tower. Wasn’t that the poison in the DOA films? Or is it what they make zombie powder from? Either way, scary.

Hope you guys enjoy another delish weekend in Tokyo.

for the love of Beckett

Syfy has nobody to blame but themselves. But there is hope….

If a network wanted to kill off a series deliberately, they could use the Stargate:Universe scenario as a textbook example.

* Take one 1st-class Science Fiction show, SGU
* Backed by a solid franchise with 17 seasons under its belt
* Supported by multi-generational fans
* From many countries around the globe, English & non-English speaking,
* Who buy out DVD releases and still pay for individual episodes
* Representing audience loyalty established over 14(?) years

and…

* Move this 1st-class show to Tues., the most competitive night of regular season television
* Opposite two shows with huge established audiences
* Do Not promote the move before it happens
* Barely promote the move after it occurs
* Promo upcoming episodes during other Syfy shows very little
* Move an episode’s 2nd airing back to Friday, following a sister show, Sanctuary
* Do Not promote the 2nd airing’s move to the show’s original night
* Barely promote that move after it occurs
* Muddy the waters/airtime before the SciFi programming block with Wrestling (???)

then…

* Panic when the ratings dip, following programming laws of cause-and-effect
* Sweat bullets over the evaporation of the younger end of the age 18-49 demographic
* Tragically miss the fact that they had already captured the young, hip market
* Fail to follow that young market to its viewing venues of choice: Downloads & DVR
* Neglect building a business model around the new venues that would support advertisers
* Blame the decades-out-of-date business model of Nielson ratings, which more accurately predicts which audience is not watching than who is
* Relinquish the prized & highly valued market because no one knows what to do with it
* Ironically, renew other SciFi shows for next year which have the Franchise’s original “dramedy” format
* Because those shows pull in an audience the old business model can measure
* Cancel the cash cow/1st-class show with a high-value market, instead of milking it

Everybody happy? Of course not. BUT THERE’S HOPE….

Syfy, and other TV networks, can survive the sea-change in viewer consumption by throwing together a secondary business model now. It would be a quick-and-easy beta version, but they’ve got to track those sought-after viewers, place product, and reward advertisers with revenue. Venue = revenue. Change with the times or get left behind. Sharp minds are already employed in the industry. They can figure this out. They just need permission from the top execs and the boards of directors to go for it.

What are you waiting for, Syfy? Get busy!!!

for the love of Beckett

I tweeted my thanks last night on Twitter, but would like to say it again.Thank You to the SG:U cast, crew, production wizards, writers, and all. So far Stargate has been a fabulous franchise, and every “graduating class” has done an incredible job. You’re a gifted, classy group of people, and your best work is by no means behind you. grin

* * * * * * *

Thanks, Joe, for letting us vicariously experience the Stargate world. We’ll still be here for the dogs, blogs, the food and the fun, and the writing and reading of good stories about memorable characters.

pg15

Hey Joe,

This sucks. THIS SUUUUUCKS.

SGU was an incredible show and it’s just terrible that there wasn’t a large enough audience for it. I mean, I get that its ratings were…well, crap, so I understand Syfy’s decision, but still…I think this speaks more to the audience than anything else. SGU was old school scifi. It dealt with scifi tropes in much more mature and realistic ways than most shows in the last few years, not to mention offered up complex characters and long-running storylines – hell, it just set one up!

But no, the audience doesn’t go for that kind of quality anymore. It’s all about instant gratification, and “safe” shows that repeat the same shit over and over again. Oh sure, critics rave when something original comes along, but still the people just go and watch CSI or some other cookie-cutter show. And then of course there are the “wild” reality shows that are about as sophisticated as a toilet.

Is this such a surprise though? Not really. The numbers spoke for themselves, and considering what’s been rating high these past few years the IQ and attention span of typical audience members are pretty obvious. SGU was just too…good.

I feel sorry for all the writers and producers out there who must confine their creativity in neat little cages and churn out monotonous mediocrity day in and day out because that’s what’s “in” right now, lest they produce a product too unique to be marketable, or whatever.

Well, at least we have 10 more episodes left…that end on a cliffhanger, natch. That should be swell. I’ve no real desire to discuss them while the dark clouds of cancellation hangs over everyone so once again I’ve decided to leave Gateworld. Last time I did this I didn’t come back until the title of “Air” was released; maybe this time I’ll stay away until the next Stargate thing happens, which I guess may not be in a while. Oh well, I’m pretty busy these days anyway.

And so, to all the cast and crew of Stargate Universe (many of whom also worked on Stargate SG1 and Stargate Atlantis, of course): THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH for all these years of hard work that you put into one of the greatest scifi franchises ever. Because of your efforts, us viewers were treated to 357 hours of wonderful entertainment (SG1+SGA = 314; Ark of Truth + Continuum ~ 3, SGU = 40), and they will never be forgotten. Good luck to all of you. With this amount of experience under your belt, I have no doubt all of your futures will be bright!

PS. I’ll still hang around here though. Oh, you’re not getting rid of me that easily!

Firefly
Firefly

Hi! Joe, I just want you to DO NOT GIVE UP SGU ! I don`t believe there is no possibility to keep it alive. You created the Universe, that is real not only for me but for millions of fans. This show must go on!

Olena Saliei, Ukraine

Thornyrose
Thornyrose

For the love of Beckett said politely what I am thinking. My version is simply “F” Syfy. I’m done with the network. Their name is an insult to the genre they purport to represent.
Ugh. Enough of that. Still waiting for you to be able to address the issue once you’re home. Meantime, got a good laugh at the mushroom adventure. Just too funny, that the chef took your request literally. Glad you were able to straighten it out in time to enjoy the remainder of the meal.
Have a save and fun last couple of days, and make sure you don’t miss your flight.

gforce
gforce

I’m really enjoy yours and Ivon’s culinary (and other) adventures in Tokyo. It sounds like a lot of fun.

It is saddening and disappointing re SGU. I’m finding I’m more upset about it that I thought I would be. I think it’s because of the impact to the cast and crew that I’ve come to somewhat “know” because of their online presence (such as yourself) and how that impact will affect them. I hope that doesn’t sound too “over-invested”! I try not to be one of those “fans”.

Anyway, I remember from one of the commentaries from (I think it was) the Atlantis DVD’s, maybe speaking in regard to Beckett’s character, that “in Sci-Fi, no one’s ever REALLY dead.” I hope that’s true is SGU’s case!

Tammy Dixon
Tammy Dixon

Yes, a big Thank you to all the crew/cast of SGU! Are any of the movies in the works? I worry for the crew especially….

Das: I’m so glad you’re feeling better! Although, I can’t believe you would find the hospital relaxing. roll

Love the pictures! I adore mushrooms but I have trust issues. I’m not sure I would eat fugu. You both are either brave or stupid smile .

Airelle
Airelle

What no pic of Ivons face when he found out about the fugu…maybe he had a few choice words…I would have, .well looks like the chef knew what he was doing and doing it well. You all are becoming(and already are) well seasoned travelers, trying all the new foods, you could write a book, or a blog, oh ,yeah, got that one already. Thanks for sharing more pictures of food and friends, and your adventures in Tokyo. Hate to see it end, but mom is looking forward to your visit. Let us know about Jelly and the kids, once you get your second wind. safe journey.

Lisa R
Lisa R

Great pictures! My husband would love all of the mushroom dishes. And the final picture was gorgeous!!!!!

Phil
Phil

Looks like you have a lot of fun in Tokyo. I’m looking forward to see what y guys (Rob, Brad and you) have in mind and what the future brings.

Thanks Joe,
Phil

Tony Smith
Tony Smith

If this IS the end for Universe.. thank you so much for the ride! Universe has been top notch and I feel, the best the Stargate franchise has put forth so far.

I just wanted to say, as a person who’s been a fan( since he was nine years old), that I wish you the best in your career and life. I hope the news of the cancellation doesn’t bring you or the cast and crew down mood wise, because you’re all amazing!

steph
steph

I’m joining everyone whose bad days got worse! Just when I thought today had to be better than yesterday, I see this! SG:U is one of the greatest shows on television, but sadly not the first great sci-fi series to get knocked too early. Perhaps there is hope like some others have been suggesting, I pray it is so.

Which airline are you flying with? For your sake I hope that it’s not Air Canada and if it is that you don’t have a layover in Toronto, the incompetent morons will ruin everything and do something like tell you that there are no flights with any airline to the state of Michigan at 16.00. (Sorry for ranting).

I hope you’re having a wonderful time in Tokyo!

drldeboer
drldeboer

I don’t eat things that still have eyes attached.
I’ve eaten real fugu with no problem either.
Whose apartment are you targeting in that last pic?
DD

Ultracurious
Ultracurious

@ for the love of Becket

Syfy has nobody to blame but themselves. But there is hope….

Well said!

While an industry “insider” may have other points, from a fan’s perspective, this squarely hits the nail on the head.

lt2369
lt2369

(Aka Bloomgate here) Joe –

I have to admit you’re a brave man. You may have a fear of heights, but eating Fugu takes some brass ones. I believe in being a little adventurous while eating. The risk of digestive discomfort is one thing, but the risk of death is something different altogether. I’m guessing that since you were able to make this post that everything was prepared properly. wink

Also, what is a Marcolini Girl? Google was no help at all on that score. Did I miss a post that explained that?

Is THIS TV perhaps a solution to SGU’s broadcast issue? They’ve added several more broadcast stations in Chicago in the past few weeks that have no programming yet. Seeing as MGM is part owner of the network and they have over 130 affiliates nationwide with prime cable placement in most major metro areas………..

Sparrow_hawk

That meal looks fabulous! I couldn’t deal with the baby fish or eels or whatever they were – can’t eat food that stares at me. So did you get that cool fugu tingle on your tongue when you ate it?

Like everyone else here, I’m sad that SGU is ending its run on SciFi. Oops, my mistake – not SciFi, but SyFy, a name change that speaks volumes. Hard science fiction isn’t in vogue, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that they chose not to extend SGU’s run. But I am disappointed. Who knows? Maybe a network with a brain will even pick up SGU and we’ll be able to find out what happens next.

pg15 said it very well: the powers-that-be seem to think that all audiences have the attention span of a goldfish with an IQ to match. They are wrong. I’m glad that Sanctuary has enough of a Steampunk vibe to remain viable for now.

And I, for one, will be following you to your next project! But I’m not too sure about the mangosteens.

Hey, das. I’m on chapter 38. Diogenes is a reprehensible fiend.

Sparrow_hawk

Dang! It’s hard to find smelt these days. How the heck am I supposed to make Christmas Eve dinner without smelt. Sorry, just ranting.

avabird
avabird

I don’t think I could add anything useful or relevant to what has already been said about SGU’s shoddy cancellation by Syfy.

I would like to send the biggest THANK YOU I can to the crew, writers, producers and others who have been with the franchise all these years — you have brought something into our lives that gave us much enjoyment.

To all the fabulous, talented actors who brought all the characters to life in a way that made us fall in love with them and want to watch the shows repeatedly — BRAVO!!!

All of you are used to the fickleness of this industry, but there is no excuse for the method and timing of this announcement.

Joe — glad Jelly is doing so well! Now, with the scar, she’s got proof that she’s the tough gal.
I see you are still torturing Ivon with your food selections.

DAS — Hope you are mending well!