Last night, I eschewed the tried and true remedy I’ve always used to cure past maladies (a.k.a. ignoring the pesky ailment until it eventually tires of trying to win my attention and redirects its focus onto some other poor sap) in favor of the speedy solutions of the internet age.  After about fifteen minutes googling my symptoms, I’d narrowed down my mystery illness to blood poisoning, circulatory issues, or a hilarious difficult to pronounce albeit deadly virus.  Anyway, needless to say my insomnia was back.  Today, I finally got to the bottom of things by going to see my doctor.  Thankfully, no diagnosis of any of the aforementioned conditions.  Instead, he didn’t know what was wrong with me either.  Whew, what a relief.

He figures its stress-related and suggested Claritan.  And some blood tests.  And a full physical.

In two weeks.

Hey, how long is too long for a Christmas tree to remain up after the holidays have ended?  I mean, it’s obviously something I’ll get around to, but I’ve got other things to do and it’s not really hurting anyone sitting there all festive and such.  The same could be said for my giant plastic Halloween pumpkin, but my sister wasn’t buying it.  Guess it’ll join the tree and the creepy dancing gift-giving grandma back in the garage.  Eventually.

Today’s entry is dedicated to the memory of my sister’s chameleon, Buffy the Cricket Slayer…


Ponytail writes: “It was pretty cool of your mom to come visit you. Especially since she had broken her leg just last year. I guess she has gone home now? Did she have any advise for you? Don’t you have any more pictures of her visit?”

Answer: Sure.  Here’s a shot of her relaxing with the kids.

As for advice – she’s a mother!  She had plenty.

Arctic Goddess writes: “I’ve been very impressed with Space Channel’s support of the show so far. Does MGM or Bridge have an agreement with Space, or are they just being great Sci-Fy fans?”

Answer: They’re just being a great broadcaster.  They’ve gone all out to promote the show and have produced THE BEST teaser-trailers out there.  Check ’em out

SyFySucks writes: “Can’t say I’m that surprised by the cancelation. When the President of the network, Mark Stern, can’t even be bothered to mention the show on his twitter, you know the shows days are numbered. The move to Tuesday nights and lack of promotion was the last in a series of moves designed to sabotage the franchise.”

Answer: First of all, Dave Howe is the President of SyFy.  Mark Stern is the Executive Vice President of Original Programming for the Network.  Second, while in retrospect the moves did hurt the show, I don’t think there was any malicious intent.  In fact, while risky, I saw the logic in trying to move the show to Tuesday nights where, hopefully, viewers would be less likely to record (Friday is the most heavily DVR’d night of the week) and more likely to watch live.

DeanGrr writes: “You’ve talked in the past about the need for ratings and DVD/download sales to renew a show, but is it possible to do a direct approach (similar to Sanctuary), and say, produce a pilot and then ask for online donations, while MGM still holds ownership.”

Answer: Sorry, this isn’t an option.

DeanGrr also writes: “You’ve probably answered this before, but was the Atlantis finale Enemy at the Gate meant to be a 2-parter that got compressed into 1 show (i.e. would you do things differently if you could go back?).”

Answer: No, Enemy at the Gate was always planned as a single episode.  If there was anything I would have done differently, it would have been to seed the notion of the wormhole drive earlier in the season.  It was a technology intended for the movie that we saw the opportunity to set up in the series – but would have felt more “organic” had it been introduced sooner.

Major D. Davis writes: “Hey Joe.. I know your busy… so no rush, but I sent you an email (im assuming you still have the same email).”

Answer: Sorry.  Didn’t receive it.

Chris writes: “I don’t mean to be rude and keep on asking you but seriously….Stargate Worlds the mmorpg game…whats going to happen?”

Answer: Haven’t a clue. Sorry.

Shannon writes: “I am curious now after your statement on the King book – what is the freakiest experience you’ve had with a fan?”

Answer: The vast majority of fans I’ve met have been very, very nice people.  The weirdoes who tend to talk shit on the internet are uniformly gutless in person.

Shannon also writes: “Have you ever read anything by Connie Willis?”

Answer: Yep.  To Say Nothing of the Dog, Fire Watch and Doomsday Book.  Blackout is sitting on my to-read pile.

Cody writes: “Out of curiosity… could your stomach and other issues be a result of unconscious stress.”

Answer: Probably.  But it looks like things are going to sort themselves out.

osirisoflight writes: “I borrowed Masked from my local library recently and just finished reading Downfall. It was a great story and i thoroughly enjoyed it. However, I know there is supposed to be something significant about the box that smelled like jasmine and sandalwood but i just can’t figure it out. Can you explain?”

Answer: I sent you an email with an explanation of the final twist/revelation.  Shhhh.  Spoiler alert!

Thornyrose writes: “I’m no doctor, but I’m going to prescribe two things. No more House episodes for the next 6 months, and no googling medical symptoms for the next 3. We already know you have a reasonably active imagination, or you wouldn’t be in the line of work you are in.”

Answer: Ha.  I sent off an email last night in which I effectively summed up that same sentiment: “I’m a hypochondriac, have chosen a career that forces me to be very imaginative, AND I watch a lot of House.  The dreaded trifecta.

Mirth Mistress writes: “Chris Kimball of Cook’s Illustrated fame wrote Fannie’s Last Supper chronicling his 2 year saga of recreating a 12 course Victorian dinner from the Fannie Farmer Cookbook…”

Answer: Ooh, sounds like a book I’d like to read.  And meal I’d like to eat.

Marjorie Roden writes: “With some of the ideas that I’ve been bouncing around with other fans, it’s included going into co-production with other networks (Canada’s Space or CTV perhaps?)…”

Answer: I’m certain the studio is pursuing any and all options.  We would, of course, love to continue our relationship with Canada’s Space Channel.

52 thoughts on “January 6, 2011: Getting to the bottom of things! At my place, it’s Christmas all year round (or at least until I take down the tree)! And the mailbag!

  1. Wait. What? The doc didn’t request a stool sample?? Pfft! I’m tellin’ ya, Joe…it’s WORMS!

    Or lupus. 😉


  2. Hello Joe.

    Maybe your symptoms are related to your diet. Your diet did change after all while you and Ivon were on your grand foodly adventure over seas. Maybe your body just needs to readjust to your regular diet. Then again, with the whole cancelation shake-up, I would understand (and bet) that it could be stress related too. My advice: Push an SGU Movie, and try working some food that you ate while on vacation back into your diet to ease the transition. 🙂

    By the way: I hope to take my tree down this weekend… We’ll see what happens…

    Best Wishes,


  3. I hope that your doctor continues to find nothing wrong with you. Hypochondria is such a heavy burden to bear.

    Did not your mother and sister put the tree up and decorate it – if so should they not be responsible for taking it down and packing it away again.
    Failing that I can let you borrow my little Frankie de Tom Cat – destroyer of ornaments, clothes airers, trees, plants etc etc


  4. Not that it is interesting in the slightest but we recently lost our cat of 18 years whose name was Mini the Mouse Slayer…

  5. Stress related. 🙁 Joe, take it easy man! Lifes great. Heck, the situation with stargate might be a bummer, but enjoy life. 🙂

    I hope you feel better though! 🙂

    By the way I had my first match today, well actually, two matches back to back. Lost both, but had a blast, and 95% of people loose their first match anyways, so it was no big deal! Better luck next time maybe.

    Hmm, your emails still right? Ill resend it then! 🙂

    Thanks so much,
    Major D. Davis

  6. Sorry to hear about Buffy the Cricket slayer.
    And get the christmas tree down or toss it behind the couch.
    Your mom looks so totally relaxed with her watchdogs beside her. or do the dogs look relaxed?!?
    I do hope you find a cure for what ails you soon Joe, not fun to be feeling poorly for so long. Drs,humph, but I bet he took your money for the visit,,no results,,,keep the receipt, maybe get a refund… I would offer you some warm sunshine if we ever get it here in Fl, not much so far. unusual winter season so far. Now have some warm cocoa and get your butt to bed. play some soft melody to lull you to sleep… stop thinking.
    Do you have any idea what John Scalzi new book Fuzzy Nation is about??
    Have a better day.

  7. I was wondering if you could tell if there is any chance the future Stargate DVDs come with subtitles in Portuguese as well. The DVDs get here in Brazil with a big delay and it would be much better if I could purchase it direct from site.

    The fifth season of SGA recently arrives here and I recently bought it. I finished watching with my family during the holiday and after a very fun discussion we were wondering if you could reveal what the future intensions were when the Asgard lost tribe was introduced. We are very very curious about it!! Would they come to strike back? Would they for some reason join forces with the humans to end for good the wraith? What would have happened?!

    Here the SyFy Channel Brazil does not transmits the SG franchise but with SGU is being different the new series season 1 is being transmitted!

    Thanks for the amazing shows and we are here with the fingers cross to SGU not die at all!!

  8. Thanks for sharing the pictures of your mom. That looks like heaven. Laying on a comfortable couch by a window on a bright sunny day, reading, with a couple of dogs lounging right beside you. Your mom looks very relaxed and content. Where do you live? I’m coming over.

    I know what’s wrong with you. You have the post holiday blues. You are coming down off a Super-Tokyo-Vacation-Mom-and-Sister-Visiting-for-Christmas high. You are crashing back down to the What-The-Hell-Am-I-Going-To-Do-Next reality of life. I feel for you.

  9. I think you need to see a psychiatrist about your inablity to use the correct date on your blog posts. I’m sure that is saying something about your personality. Something dark and sinister.

  10. Today is Coptic Christmas! We always left the tree up until Jan. 10th.

    And – have you considered that you might be allergic to the tree? Or something that came out of storage with it?

    Claritin is good – give it 10 days for full affect….. hence the return appt in 2 weeks.

  11. Don’t worry about the Christmas tree–you left it up for Ukrainian Christmas (todayish) and now must leave it up for at least another week. My family likes our trees so much that they usually stay until the needles fall off (end of Jan); although that might be a long wait with an artificial tree 🙂

  12. Speaking of Space promos, you did pay attention to the “When Animals Attack” one, right?

  13. @Das

    That’s something Dr. House (or Dr. Forman) would say!!! 😉

    Best Wishes.


    Ps speaking of which, I need to get caught up. I have not seen this past season yet…

  14. Hey Joe,

    I have often wondered if there is a connection between how long outdoor lights and Christmas Trees stay up are connected. I have noticed that some lights come down promptly after New Years while others stay up…but not lit all year round. Personally I believe live trees must go because they are very much a fire hazard. What kind is yours? Do you worry what friends and family might say. I think a new pup, the tree being up and boxes of office things stacked around might be just what “the doctor ordered”.

    It is called relaxing AND STOP worrying what someone might think. You are very quick witted and could come up with a fun explanation for all three. A tree would always be a great lead into “I haven’t been feeling very well lately and Carl promised to come help..but he’s been busy!” *smiles* there is nothing wrong with enjoying a little extra time with the magic of Christmas Tree lights.

    The best advice I’ve been given when sick with a mystery illness is to build your immune system. It is ALWAYS a good idea to let the doctor “kick the tires” so to speak.

    Good time to enjoy more reading and snuggling with the pups.

    My thoughts will be with Joe.
    Cheryl 🙂

  15. Blackout is really good (I just picked up the sequel All Clear but am going to go reread the first book as a refresher). To Say Nothing of the Dog is one of my all time favorites.

    Glad to hear that fan experiences have been good IRL and elsewhere. I know I have a lot of fun interacting on GW and on LiveJournal with fellow fans. Here’s hoping for good news soon. 🙂

  16. Don’t worry. I just took my tree down today, and I would have kept it up, except my mother was driven crazy. You watch Monk? That’s my mom in a nutshell. My point is, keep that tree up as long as you want. It’s not hurting anyone, and in fact, it’s a symbol of hope, which is something this franchise could use a helluva lot more of.

  17. I think it’s OK to keep it up through Epiphany … but that’s today! 🙂 ( or Sunday depending on which denomination you choose to observe). We took ours down yesterday.

  18. Gas and Stress… Have you gotten any of your Vacation Credit Card Bills yet?

  19. I was just wondering how soon do you think you will know what the future of the Stargate franchise will be? I know that you keep saying that things are being looked into, and I am very glad to hear that, but I was hoping you could tell us when you thought you might know something concrete. Thanks.


  20. Can’t quite shake things like you use to? Getting old? See what I mean about the Wraith.

    But I’m sure you’ll be fine. As soon as you figure out what the heck you’re going to be doing, and where.

    I’ve been going doctors for months. I’ve had either adult onset MS, fibromyalgia or osteoarthritis. And nobody can explain the left side tremors I have. Plus my knee is still screwed. I don’t have MS or fibro, and if weren’t for the probability of losing my music industry (sinking faster than the Titanic) job and health care along with it this year, I’d take the year off from doctors and chill out.

    And sorry to hear about Buffy, the gecko. She was a real cutie, with an amazing face. Condolences to your sister.

    @Das Oh, yah!

  21. Your mom looks so comfortable with Lulu and either Jelly or Bubba. Thanks for posting those. Hope your doctor comes up with nothing or something treatable. My Christmas stuff is still up. Might take it down this weekend.

  22. Joe, don’t worry about it. Our tree is still up, and I have no idea when it’s coming down. Hubby has to go have a fistula gram as a precaution–doctor is pleased with healing, but wants to make sure about one site that is still draining. (sorry if that’s TMI) Hopefully, we will be done with doctors soon, and you will be feeling better and also done with doctors.

    Take care of yourself.

  23. I think I figured out your mystery illness, It’s lupus!

    And as far as christmas trees go, I’ve seen em still standing even somewhen around April. Plus there was a guy on the Dutch news a little while ago that was living in a house filled with christmas decorations all year long (Think hoarders, except more christmas-ey)

  24. Yesterday was the Epiphany, also known as the last day of the 12 days of Christmas. We generally take them down the weekend after which would be this weekend. However, there was one year when Patrick was fascinated with them and we were using it to get him to practice the sign for “on.” That year we left the tree up to March.

    While it is likely stress, to not order the tests there (including a stool sample to check for Giardia and the like), and then have you come back in 2 weeks to discuss them seems like backwards to me. You probably would have had to take the kit home to get a stool sample at home to bring it back and those things take some time to culture and give results. Two weeks to come back and talk about the tests would have been appropriate. Dizziness is part of the traveller’s illness. That’s pronounced Gee-ar-dee-a by the way.

    Oh well. I go on Tuesday for my abdominal x-ray and Wednesday for the urology x-ray to see how my last surgery did (which judging from what came out–didn’t do much to reduce it at all). So I think it is time to get more aggressive on left side. But the right side still needs to be dealt with. I only have a $2 million lifetime plan and these surgeries have been very expensive and that is now ticking down. Frustration level after 4 months of dealing with this — About a 7-8.

    But the Patrick is stirring and I must get him up to go to school. We need to leave in 30 minutes. I have a feeling we will be late. Have a wonderful Friday. Say hello to the family and Akemi and the wrestle with the pup-pups for me.

  25. Hi Mr. Mallozzi,

    I have a technical question for you: If the Destiny’s crew find a way to dial the address of earth through a sun (while recharging), will the flares of that sun will cause a time travel trip?

    By the way, thank you for answering our questions !

  26. My deco is still up til this weekend. It’s Twelfth Night! aka Russian Orthodox Christmas, so a currently decorated tree is still appropriate. One year, I didn’t take it down, just changed ornaments for the month. The Patriotic Independence Tree in July with sparklers & the Hallowe’en Tree were really really cool. Assuming you have a fake tree.

  27. @ Sis – So sorry about Buffy the Cricket Slayer. 🙁 She (he?) was such a pretty thing. I would like a critter like that. I really want a snake, but I have this little problem with feeding it furry things. And even if I can start out feeding it fish and bugs and stuff, it’ll still grow to a point where I’m gonna have to feed it furry things. 😛


  28. Wow, on what planet was I? SGU’s cancelled???

    You just broke the news to me. If it wasn’t for Christmass season, when I reckon paying less attention to the news and a little more to ethanol based compounds, I could have learned this faster. (I guess the timing was well planed to wet down fan flaming campaigns)

    Does that mean SGU got the ultimate recognition given to intelligent science-fiction shows by the industry: being cancelled? Right up there along with Firefly, Dollhouse, TTSCC & als… (Caprica?)

    I guess your next job will be to figure out how to make a real working stargate and turn the SG franchise into a reality show… :O …or have more fight to compete with that WWE that moved you to Tuesdays…!

    I have a confession to make: you almost lost me a few eps into the second season. But you managed to keep me aboard and I didn’t regret it cuz the rest was not only great but awesome. This is a rare achievement as I’m usualy quick to pull the trigger on shows that bore me. Lost never managed to do this, even after all the hype. Never gave it a second chance after seeing that still working jet engine disconnected from its fuel line and FADEC (which, in this later case, would automatically provoke an engine failure to operate).

    I will support any other way you find to continue this story.

    Now, I guess I’ll have to go back on whatever planet I was on for the last two weeks. This one’s beginning to get really boring.

  29. Coucou! ça va ?

    Tiens vous avez rendu hommage à Buffy..vous savez qu’elle age elle avait?…humm c’est un Gecko et non un Caméléon..

    Moi aussi j’ai eu un animal qui s’apellé Buffy, c’était une chatte mais elle est décédé à cause de calcule rénaux=(.

    Lol vous aussi vous vous trouvez pleins de maladies sur internet? je crois qu’on est tous pareil;)

    ….alalala impatiente de vous voir, plus qu’un an et demi !! =P

    Gros bisou!

  30. Soooooo when the hell is SGU going to be back on? Its these godamn breaks that are killing the ratings. I understand a couple weeks off during the holidays, but this is pushing it.

  31. Joe — To pass the time, get in shape, feel better, etc., I think your and Ivon’s next project should be training for Ninja Warrior. Then, next visit to Japan, you will have something to do other than eating and drinking.

    12 years old – wow. Is that old for a lizard/gecko?

    We once left our tree up until Valentine’s Day. It wasn’t on purpose. Life got a bit crazy and the tree was not a priority. The one from this year is still up, but will be coming down soon.

  32. I’m being completely serious here. Who should I talk to about doing an overhaul on how TV shows and advertising work?

    I have this whole idea where sponsors will set a quota of how much must be spent buying their products to keep a show on the air. If everyone who watched Universe had to contribute to a set goal it would be a lot easier than inane petitions. This would also help with shows that never get a following because the PTBs never figured out who to pitch it to.

  33. You mean a tall, dark-haired, four-eyed woman asking to hug a Ba’al-costumed you doesn’t qualify as a freaky fan experience?

  34. If you want historically themed meals, there is a cookbook laying out the last meal on the Titanic, first class menu naturally. That would be right up your alley. Thanks for the pics and the mailbag, and looking forward to more. Also, a suggestion. You may perhaps wish to obtain a post office box so that you can continue to recieve the odd letter and/or package. Unless the Bridge Studio people don’t mind forwarding things to you for the next couple of years…

  35. Ive become obsessed with the crime channel… do something in crime… a sg crime series… a manga crime series… im just blabbering, dont do anything of the sort mr m, crime is bad.

    What you up to, ive been munching Galaxy chocolate… 🙁

    I hope there may be a blog tomorrow Saturday morning as i love to read them after breakfast…. and as i said tomorrow is Saturday…

    My Questions for future mail bag… but not the next one, or the one after that… but the one after that… or the next one… what ever suits you mr m.

    1. Whats the first thing you took out of the fridge after returning home from where ever you have been

    2. One place you went today non work related

    3. Tell us a random thought of the day which you dismissed after a little giggle

    My gf is watching a reality show called how to dance or something like that… is this my future… reality sucks

    Good night Mr M….
    or Afternoon Mr M…

    P.S i dreamt i was a planet last night… I walked down the street and found MGM studios, I definteley remember lions, or cats… Then i was incharge of MGM and felt shit, cause no one remembered Stargate… i dont remember anything else…

    but if… just if… i was glimpseing a bizzare alternate reality where planets can walk down streets…

    maybe just maybe… i helped create stargate somewhere else… so chin up… cause the first thing im doing when i “wake” up is employing those pugs of yours as the new SG1

  36. I’m probably not the first to say it, but… that’s a leopard gecko, not a chameleon. I’ve got one named Wesley. Used to have another one named Oz, but I had to get rid of one and he bit me like a pit bull once.

  37. I really meant to add some condolences to that. It’s never fun losing a pet, and that one was a cutie (with a great name).

  38. @ Sis, so sorry about your gecko. S/he was beautiful. What a cool creature to have. I liked “meeting” geckos in random places in Florida. You must have taken wonderful care of Buffy to reach 12 years. Again, so sorry.

  39. Poor Buffy the Chameleon! Didn’t you come from one of your previous Tokyo trips feeling poorly? Could be a combo of jetlag, time diff, tears in the fabric of space time and a lowered immune system.

    I prescribe staying in bed this weekend, with your celly, laptop, books and snacks, and fire up some good juicy movies and TV, rising only to replenish your cup with tea, cocoa and/or soup.

    No booze, noise or sudden movements. Or shaving. Bathing is optional. Can’t hurt to rest and lose yourself in a good book or movie, or rewatching an ol’ fave.

  40. Apparently your Christmas tree is following an Asian calendar. Just got an e-mail from my brother, who’s in Taiwain visiting my SIL’s family. He writes:

    One funny [thing] is the amount of Christmas stuff around in Taipei and Taiwan. Most banks have a Christmas tree and Christmas decorations, AND several government buildings, as well as all the shopping districts. Here is the US apologizing and taking down trees when Taiwan has no problem putting them everywhere, including GOVERNMENT buildings. Humorously, they were still playing Christmas music after January 1st. [snip] I was chuckling to myself while at the Flora Expo, I heard an “O Come All Ye Faithful” instrumental repeating for at least 45 minutes. At a Flora Expo, in Taiwan, in January. Amusing.

    In the past, bro has also told us that it’s customary for Christmas decorations to be left up until after Chinese New Year. The red & green of one holiday can easily be converted to the red & gold colors for New Year’s. I don’t know when Japan celebrates the new year, but Chinese New Year is Feb. 3rd, AND they celebrate for two weeks! Your Christmas tree won’t be passé until Feb. 18th. 🙂

    See? You’re just in an Asian state of mind.

    Now all you need to do is consult a similar health practitioner. Instead of the pharmacy, they’ll probably send you to the Asian grocery store to pick up a couple of things. My brother does not recommend the bacon-flavored sawdust remedy. (Whatever that’s for!) 😀

  41. RIP Buffy…I’m so sorry to hear that Joe’s Sis…she was a beautiful chameleon. Is there a Faith?

    So Joe, what’s your take on the birds falling from the sky…is this someone’s cruel joke…turtledoves…just after Christmas?


  42. To get SyFy to pick up the series again all you have to do is announce that Dean Cain is joining the cast as the Mansquito….. Guaranteed 10 more seasons. 🙂

  43. Space Channel is yes the best network to show Stargate. They ROCK to the EXTREME!!!!!

    Love the pictures of your mom and your kids!! Adorable!!!

  44. Just read that SGA: Extinction might not be made and I´m very disappointed. I have been looking forward to see if Sheppard and Todd was to be mortal enimies or “brothers”. My favourite episode in SGA was “Common Ground”. Think I´ve worn out the DVD watching that episode over and over again.

  45. Along with everyone else I am hoping that a benefactor for seasons 3-5 of SGU can be found. I have been glued to all things Stargate since day 1.

    My question is, what is the timeframe, or deadline, for “keeping the band together”? I imagine that the cast must have contracts that expire at a certain date, the crew needs to work somewhere, and the infrastructure/sets/etc can’t stand forever. So then, if SGU is to get a reprieve and go on to season 3 and beyond, how long do y’all have to make it happen?

    Thanks much, and best of luck. I will (hopefully) be watching.


  46. MGM should really talk with CBS. They need some science fiction. Can you imagine SGU or something like it right after Big Bang?

    I’ll read Revelation Space, after I finish Sleepless, thanks for the heads up.

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