I got a request for more Akemi pictures (from Akemi’s mom) so here we go – snapped today while we were having dim sum at THE best place for dim sum in Vancouver = Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant on No. 3 Road in Richmond.  A great selection of items, all listed with accompanying photos, in the easy to peruse dim sum menu.  On this day, we ordered…way too much.

They make the best - what Akemi likes to call - Daikon Mochi in town (actually, second only to the labor-intensive version Rob Cooper makes)
I ordered these ube cakes figuring I'd enjoy them - but Akemi wouldn't. It turned out to be just the opposite. She loved the texture. As for me - I don't know. Call me crazy, but I like my desserts sweet.

Now THIS is more like it - the restaurant's special egg-yolk buns. I love to order a plate of these for first timers and watch them bite into one, unwittingly unleashing a spray of searing, sweet yellow lava onto their fingers and the surrounding table. Heh heh.

On the way home, we stopped by the pet store and picked up some doggy surprises: a squeaky lamb, a squeaky ferret, and a couple of comfy beds including a tiny one for Maximus who prefers squeezing himself in over sprawling himself out –

Plenty of room for one more!

Jelly, on the other hand, is more of a sprawler.  Compare and contrast:

Maximus hasn’t been doing well lately.  His on again off again on again off again appetite is off once again.  He hasn’t eaten in two days and I’ve run out of options.  Guess I’ll see how he does over the next couple of days.


Shiny writes: “And I still haven’t been able to find that purple pasta shaped like flowers that you had at I think a Thai restaurant?”

Answer: Yes, they’re a Thai dish called chor ladda.

Flower-shaped dumplings filled with minced chicken and peanuts.  Legend has it they were a princess’s favorite, thus they are referred to as Princess Dumplings in some places.

Shiny also writes: “Whey you’re done with Breaking B I hope you’ll check out Misfits and Spy!”

Answer: Downloading the first season of Misfits now.  Haven’t heard of Spy.

Fred writes: ” He’s looking more like a sociopath and I question whether that kind of fundamental personality shift can really occur in an individual absent any earlier clues.”

Answer: Given the number of sociopaths who have been described as “perfectly normal” by friends, family, and neighbors, I’d say yes.

cherluvya writes: “Mike has become a very likable character.”

Answer: And I think the show’s producers realized this, which was why they injured him and took him out play for that final episode – otherwise he would have been in that room with Gus.

ben writes: “You should check out Boardwalk Empire, but it does take a few episodes to get going and to get used to.”

Answer: I’ve heard.  The first season comes out on dvd soon.

chevron7 writes: “I don’t know why you’re mad at me..it’s why I’ve stayed away these last few weeks…made me sad…”

Answer: I’m mad at you?  This is an assumption based on what?

michelle writes: “Now onto the “Breaking Bad” finale, since I know I’m one of the ones who hyped it.”

Answer: Yes.  I was going to give you the weekend before I dropped you a pestering email.

michelle also writes: ” Because I just didn’t believe Walt would sink to that level…”

Answer: Really?  I think I could excuse the poisoning on the grounds that he is a scientist and might know how much of the stuff to administer to ensure sickness short of death, but I have a harder time forgiving him for sending his elderly neighbor into a home where a bunch of killers may have been lying in wait.

michelle also writes: “Regarding your 4, have you watched the little featurettes that came with the iTunes eps?”

Answer: Mine didn’t come with a featurette. 🙁

michelle also writes: ” I think Giancarlo is an amazing actor. You should watch a featurette just to see what a different/happy guy he is in real life.”

Answer: Speaking of clever writing, you should check out Mr. Esposito in a movie called Fresh.

Dave Clark writes: “Hey, can you just send me one?  And advanced copies of the rest?  And season 2 of Stargate Universe?  And some braised short ribs?”

Answer: Sure.  They’re on their way.  Make sure to tuck into those ribs the second they arrive.  You want to eat ’em hot.

39 thoughts on “January 14, 2012: Dim Sum! Maximus! Mailbag!

  1. Cute pictures of Akemi, Maximus, and Jelly!! Sorry to hear that Maximus isn’t doing well. We went to our local bakery the other night, and I thought of you. They had some little cakes that looked just like the ube cakes and some other dessert you like. Of course, now I can’t remember what it was. Well, my 15 yo says my memory is going all of the time. LOL And then today, when I went to get your comic, hubby and boys all said I was channeling my brother. My comic collecting brother (with 6000 plus comics) had nothing to do with it. 😉 I just wanted to read Dark Matter.

    Have a great night!!!!

  2. Hi Joe, regarding sprawlers and squeezers (?), I’ve always wondered why dogs like to hang their heads off the dog beds. I always find Gumbo with his head on the cold floor (and he has a big doggie bed). Elway has two huge beds he sleeps in during the day (and sleeps with us at night), but no matter what I do, his head will be hanging over the edge onto the floor. I purposely bought Elway’s beds with bolsters (thinking safety first for seizures), and it doesn’t deter him from putting his head on the floor!

    That’s a very pretty picture of Akemi, by the way. Thinking of you guys and Max. Have a good night!

  3. Beautiful Akemi!

    @Joe you are still an excellent doggie daddy trying to find things to make Maximus days as comfortable as possible. Like I said, if I die anytime soon, I want to come back and be one of your dogs. If I ever do die and you happen to be alive and this golden retriever (because that is the only kind of dog I’m going to come back as) shows up and won’t leave you alone, that would be me Not that I have plans to go, but you don’t know what life has planned. Never would I expect my friend who has ALS now of 15 years to still be alive and some of my recent friends to have died, so life is just screwy.

    Thank you for the blog dedication yesterday. You are always so kind to me. What I have left of my heart right now is going out to Narelle. Went through that 20 or more years ago (my mother dying). Horrible thing to work through. Life and death are part of life; does not mean I have to accept it at all.

    I will have you and Maximus in my heart in the days ahead. Well you are always there–I’m just reminding you that you are.

  4. Thinking good thoughts for Max.

    Akemi looks FAB.

    Can’t wait for the upteen day delivery of the hard copy of Dark Matter so did a download. Awesome and of course the dreaded “to be continued”…aarrrgh.

    And we wait…

  5. *sigh* Hope you’re joking about the egg-bun stunt. Not only could it result in burns, but us egg-sensitive folks might become very ill.

  6. Mr. Das will never, ever go to a dim sum restaurant again. Ever. Not after the tripe and chicken feet debacle a few years back. First our Chinese friend insisted that he try tripe, but he thought she said it was fish (her accent is very heavy). He took a bite and said, “This is awfully crunchy fish”, to which mom and I started chuckling, to which he got a funny look on his face and said most seriously, “Alright. What IS it?”

    We told him, he pushed the plate away, and lamented that there was nothing for him to eat. Our friend asked him what he liked, and he said “chicken”, so next thing you know she’s pulling a tin of chicken feet off the cart. Again, Mr. Das didn’t know what she was giving him, at first he thought it was like a chicken tender. Instead, it was a chicken not-so-tender. He got a little lightheaded when he saw the ‘toes’. I’ll give him credit that he at least tried to bite it, but quickly tossed it aside. Me? I feasted on pork buns and sticky rice, but Mr. Das didn’t like those because they were very strongly scented with anise. In the end all he ate was some coconut thing for dessert. He still goes on about how that was the worst meal he’s ever not had.

    Also, those purple dumplings are beautiful!


  7. Agree with Deni, Akemi looks very elegant in that picture.
    Kisses to Maximus and all the dogs.

  8. Hi Joe,

    I know I’m late to the party on this, but I think you should only keep blogging if you want to. When something becomes a chore, there’s no fun in it. I’d miss your daily entries but would be happy to hear, when you feel like it, what you’ve been up to.

    Thanks to everyone for your continued well wishes.

    Poor Max. You’ll know when the time is right. My Mum came back from her holidays when she died to watch Scruff and make the decision after a couple of days. Scruff is deteriorating quickly, and without Mum around I’m afraid he’s having to be put down tomorrow or Tuesday. My cousin thinks my Aunty and I have been through enough so she’s going to take him. His legs keep giving out and is starting to choke. His appetite still seems there though. At 21 he’s done well.

    Take care.

  9. Daily updates are a ‘be-yotch’ (California word indicating ‘overworked, stressed, and underpaid for efforts’) and it’s amazing that any human has the ability you’ve shown to keep us in touch. Should you choose to dispense with the daily updates, may I request that you keep us informed on your food choices and pet tales/tails on whatever basis you are comfortable with? Team Maximus. ; ) and, Team Vancouver Good Eats.

  10. Hi Joe,

    It looks like Akemi was about to take your pic, too. 😉

    Have you tried feeding Max oatmeal? My vet once told me that most animals will eat cooked oatmeal (cooled, of course) when they don’t feel well. It has worked for our family from dogs to rats and gerbils. And I’m sure you’ve already thought of it, but are any of his teeth sore? It could be his mouth hurts.

    Smiles, Julie

  11. Hey Joe,

    Had my laptop up for awhile today. Seems I may make it back online.

    I love the discussion on “Breaking Bad”….there are many great characters and plot twists to keep it captivating.

    Haven’t heard about this new series your about to watch. I’m still trying to decide myself which to watch next.

    I just purchased Fringe on DVD and shipped it to myself at home because carrying all of Christmas on a plane seemed crazy. One box came…one has not. No DVDs…gifts from Christmas. I hope the post office changes it’s mind and coughs it up soon.

    Best to you Joe,

    hmmm….still thinking of a series.

  12. Hello Joe,

    Why do I think you’re mad at me? It’s a number of things

    1. I emailed to let you know when I was visiting Vancouver to see if we could get a coffee because you seem to like meeting blog members and I wanted to meet you & get your signature on my Ivon book. I expected you might be busy, especially with Maximus being sick & Dark Matter, but you never replied to the email.

    2. I asked questions about Vancouver and the food trucks on the blog but you didn’t answer.

    3. I chalked all that up to you being busy but when I was in Vancouver and broke my wrist and let everyone know, well you never wished me well, you never said anything. I was alone in Canada, needing surgery so it was a pretty major thing for me…therefore I figured you must be mad at me about something because you would have responded to anyone else.

    So I figured I’d give you some space & have a break from the blog and come back in a month or so.


  13. Thanks, I google chor ladda pics, looks too beautiful to eat! And for some reason google images included a pic of Bill Nighy in Underworld 2; not sure why.

    Maximus looks so comfy on his bed, and it has such a nice puff to rest his sore jaw on, nice choice.

    I will add to the chorus of oohs and ahhs for Akemi’s ultra elegant look, wow. Off to bed, my NY resolution of getting more sleep has been foiled again, this time by a rockin’ Wilco documentary and delicious chor ladda pics, can’t wait to try it.

  14. Joe, just wanted to add to all the wonderful responses from folks on this blog. I too “found” your blog because of your Stargate connection. Initially, I enjoyed all the behind the scenes Stargate and insider industry knowledge, the glimpses of “what really goes on during a TV production”, all really good stuff. Then I realized I enjoyed your writing in and of itself, your sense of humor, insightful commentaries and your intelligence. No, this isn’t flattery, it’s the truth. Your announcement the other day just rocked me, I was stunned.
    To be gracious, I should say, sure, whatever you think best, I can understand the pressures of your work, life, yada-yada, but I will not. I’ll be selfish.

    You, Joe are an important part of my day. We have never met in person, but that does not matter. I so look forward to reading about your life, (the parts you generously share), your exploits, challenges and triumphs, food choices, travel woes and of course, dear Akemi and the furry gang. I’m interested in knowing what goes on! Your guests have been incredible and fun. The comments this place generates are without doubt, some of the best I’ve seen anywhere. They are awesome, endearing, hilarious and so, so genuine — heartfelt.

    I have shared information learned from here with others, and always said they should come here and read for themselves. We all have shared wisdom, joy, sadness and concerns, snapshots of our lives, good times and not so good times. We’ve shared prayers and hopes to uplift, to restore, to heal — with each other, as a community. It’s a rendezvous, a refuge and a home, for so many of us.

    I know this blog is work to upkeep. So moving to a less than daily post is, really, okay. But don’t leave it altogether. Just don’t Joe.

    Thanks for reading this and thank you so very, very much for sharing — that’s for everyone folks, thanks for sharing. Love you Max!

    Good night now,
    2cats — Carol

  15. Very sorry about Maxumus. Maybe he’s just tired of everything, poor guy.

    Ah, as far as Walt taking the risk… I meant the risk that Jesse would just finally shoot him rather than buy his b.s.. But also, given how hard it seemed to be for the docs to save the boy, Walt had to know there was no guarantee he’d survive. The elderly neighbor thing was horrible. Clearly Walt doesn’t give a sh*t what happens to anyone besides himself or his family.

    Do you think his MRI was really clear? He seemed to be hiding something when he said it was. Do you think he’ll become a full-on kingpin dealer next year? He needs cash again.

    I’m going to dim sum for breakfast tomorrow — will be looking for egg yolk buns for sure.

  16. Re:Breaking Bad Season 4 finale

    Taking in all of the episodes of the past seasons and compress them into a single year, as was indicated that is the amount of time that has passed, and considering Walt’s motive since day one, how could anyone think that Walt would do anything other than want he did?

    We find out that Walt is an atheist, he dying, he loves his family more than anything, he has guilt over his older sons condition, and he is driven by all of this and the drive that since morality is subjective and after he dies there is no reward no afterlife, no nothing, so do whatever it takes to allow your loved ones to live in relative comfort after he’s gone. Sociopath? More like a fatalist with no qualms about good and bad being man made constructs.

    Now myself? I believe in little, but my life is all the proof I need for the reality of KARMA. Walt doesn’t even that.

    Best. Show. Still. On. TV.

  17. Hi Joe!

    Was wondering if you’d mind if I could ask a Stargate-related question… wasn’t sure where to go to get some help from someone official re: the MGM Stargate website.

    I’ve tried over the last couple of days to get to the http://stargate.mgm.com website to grab a few photos for Michael Shanks’ official website. Have been there before, many times, but I’m finding now I get an ‘access denied’ message. Checking with my service provider, they too were also denied access, and other friends in Australia (on other service providers) have the same problem. Seems like Aus is being blocked.

    What’s weird is a friend in the UK can get to the site, so it doesn’t appear to be a U.S. restriction… and usually if you’re denied access, you can at least get to the site and it tells you content is restricted – what I’m getting is a web message, not a ‘stargate website’ type message.

    Could you perchance provide any guidance as to how I could find out if Australia is suddenly being denied access to the site or whether this is a design fault? I can’t find a contact on the website at all (manage to get to part of the site going through an anonymous surf port), and a post querying this on the official Stargate Facebook page got deleted with no answer provided.

    Would appreciate any help you could perhaps provide. 🙂

    Bests to you and yours for a great 2012, Joe!


  18. Ahh, dim sum. I am spoiled, I’ve only had such wondrous treats in San Francisco, and my brother spoke Mandarin, he knew the owner and could ask for special buns. I think. None to be had in Utah, I may have to do some traveling. Vancouver was in the running for the spring 2013 trip, but Tobago won out. Maybe 2014.

    Hugs and pats to Max, and the rest of the fur babies. And hugs to Akemi, although I’ll leave the patting to your discretion.

    Hugs to Narelle and Scruff too while we are at it. That is hard, hang in there.

  19. Yummmmmm!! that egg-yolk bun looks delish! 🙂 Awwww! Maximus! Jelly! So sweet! Jelly gets the big bed and poor Maximus gets the itty-bitty bed. 🙂

    *hugs and kisses to Maximus and the doggie clan* 🙂

  20. @ JulieAloha – Not sure if you know, but Maximus recently had a tumor removed from his mouth. It was not benign, and it will not get better. Joe is keeping the little guy as comfortable as possible, and we are giving Joe as much support as possible. That’s about the best anyone can do.


  21. Akemi looks lovely, and the food looks delicious. I’m with you about desserts. I like them to taste sweet, too. A warm belly rub for Max.

  22. Questions for Martin:

    1. How many names did you go through before coming up with LA Complex?

    2. Where did the idea for LA Complex come from? Real life experience?

    3. Are you always thinking of new projects while you’re filming?

    4. Road to a Dream was one of my fave special features. Any thought of working with Ivon again on something?

    5. What was your favourite piece of Stargate dialogue or scene to write?

    6. Did you make films when you were a kid?

    7. What’s your favourite ice cream flavour?

    8. Which TV or film character (any show) is most like Brad, Rob, Joe, Paul, Carl, Ivon, BamBam, Mark Savela and Lawren (pick some if not all)

    9. Which one of the above people would you most like to arm wrestle?

    10. When was the last time you laughed until you cried?

    Cheers, Chev

  23. @Das –Thank you for the update – I haven’t made it through the backlog of posts I’ve missed as yet. I’ve really missed this place and all the regulars *kicks self for absenteeism*

  24. I’m so sorry to hear about Max. I hope he’s not in pain. My heart goes out to you and Akemi.

    I got my first copy of Dark Matter yesterday and chatted with the counter guy. He said he hadn’t read it yet, but it was a tough week because about 50 titles came out at once. Most were continuing series, and some were new like Dark Matter. I told him it had gotten great reviews and he said he’d check it out. It’ll be interesting to hear his opinion, since he deals on the retail end. It’s a shame it was released with so many other titles, but hopefully it will hold it’s own. I plan to read it by the end of the week. Are you going have a formal Q&A?

    Then I got my hair done, and had a brief but interesting chat with another client. She was getting gussied up for Golden Globe parties last night. Her husband was one of the many writers involved on “Moneyball”. He’s in his late 50’s and has been struggling for many years, so this is a great moment for him. I hope the movie does well, and gets nominated for an Academy Award, if only for his sake. Score one for the older folks who desperately need the recognition in this industry.

    @Narelle I’m very sorry about your Mum, and your pup. It sounds like your family is wonderfully strong and close. My best wishes to you all during this tough time.

    @PBMom Dang! Do they know what you actually have? Or are they still trying to figure it out?

  25. Narelle: I’m so sorry about Scruff. How are you and your family doing?

    Mr. M.: Wonderful pictures! Akemi is a very pretty lady. I’m glad Max is holding his own and the dog bed looks well received.
    Those ube cakes look like chocolate. What are they made of?

    I’ve made a Mom visit and I’m glad to be home again!!!! We gave my brother a kindle for Christmas and I never thought about the limited Wi-Fi choices. There are only two public Wi-Fi hotspots in the whole county and they were closed or not working correctly. He tried to set it the kindle at Christmas but set it aside, so I could help with it. I’m a sad rabbit because I couldn’t get it done this weekend for him.

  26. 😳 I re-read about Max. (My eyes are tired from driving) You could try the Vet again. I’m not sure how many steroid shots Max can get but it helped last time. Keeping my fingers crossed, praying and whatever good luck things I can think of 😉 .

  27. Joe already asked my questions for Martin Gero. But I have a Martin Gero question for Joe: Why is he “Golden Boy”?

    Okay, that’s all. I went cross-country skiing today for a couple of hours and I’m wiped out.

    @das: Poor Mr. das. I can see why he would be a little nervous about dim sum after that experience.

  28. @ JulieAloha – You have a lot to catch up on! I mean…there was Joe’s new job, his move to Toronto, his leaving the new job, his move back to Vancouver, his comic book, his gender reassignment…

    (Yeah, that last bit is just to see if you’re paying attention… 🙂 )

    @ Deni – Are you flirting? 😉

    @ Sparrowhawk – Mr. Das is English/Irish through and through, right down to his stomach. Meat, bread, potatoes, and no-frills veggies. His dad – the cook in the family – is a good cook, but bland. Even when he makes ‘chili’ there’s no chili powder in it. I’m not even sure they have a spice cabinet. Really. Salt and pepper – that’s about it. So, needless to say, he prefers more traditional foods, the sort of stuff grandmom used to make. Pot roast, turkey dinner, baked ham…that sort of thing. Since we’ve been married he has become a bit more adventurous and now eats spicy and garlicky things, but I still can’t get him to eat my favorite things, like feta, olives, hummus, and dolma. One day, I hope…one day…


  29. Best wishes Maximus as always!


    Worst ‘how come’ room experience on SG1 & SGA?
    as showrunner, were you responsible for who did DVD commentary on SGU?
    ZATS-who created them? Why weren’t they used on SGA & SGU….why weren’t they ALWAYS used since potentially non-lethal??
    Who owns what???? Does MGM own your writing on THEIR characters?
    I see Willie Garson (SG-1 Martin Lloyd) on USA Network’s show White Collar playing Mozzie/Mr.C…identical, in MANY ways, to SG-1 Martin Lloyd….does MGM own him? What is the deal, side deals for intellectual property or just another ‘old boys network’?

  30. Thinking of and praying for Narelle, PBmom, Joe, Max. It won’t change anything but you know we’re here.


  31. To Monica, I can’t get to stargate.mgm.com either, and I’m in California. I get a proxy server error after many minutes. I’m afraid they may have just shut it down?? Leave it to them to be that stupid!

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