Well, last night I received a call from my writing partner, Paul.  It was the call I suspected and expected and altogether dreaded.  He was a couple of days into his pass on the first four acts I’d written and, while things were going well, they were also progressing slowly.  “I don’ t know what I was thinking saying I’d be able to push ahead,”he admitted.  “I just finished doing a pass on the first act.”  And then: “It would probably be better if you just went ahead.”  An awkward lull in the conversation, broken by him: “But why don’t you take tomorrow off as well.”

Sigh.  Eye on the prize.  Eye on the prize.  I figure I will press ahead and keep to my act a day pace.  Once I complete the next four acts, I’ll take a day off before picking up again.  This way, I will have a finished a draft by the end of May.  I’ll take a couple of days off, then do a pass on Paul’s pass and, by the time the delivery deadline creeps up on us, we should be all set.  The studio will have their script and I’ll be planning my vacation, stopping only to eat, sleep, update this blog – oh, and, oh yeah, do the rewrite.

I was feeling unusually chatty today, so check out the mucho mailbag.

Today’s entry is dedicated to Deni who said goodbye to her buddy Elway today.  Condolences.

May 16, 2012: A Major Mailbag!  Includes: The Scoop On The Dark Matter Trade Paperback!  T.v. Thoughts!  And Where I Would Like To See The Stargate: Universe Movie Go!


Lewis writes: “Did you catch the premiere of the new season of NEXT FOOD NETWORK STAR? I think they’re re-airing it tonight. Any early favorites from the new crop of talent? The new format is.. interesting.”

Answer: Akemi enjoys the show but I’m not a fan.  The competitions and character dynamics can be interesting but, at the end of the day, what’s the point?  This is their eighth season.  With the exception of Guy Fieri (admittedly a natural in front of the camera) can you name any of the other winning contestants?  And, no, I won’t accept “Sandwich King” as an answer unless you actually watch his show.  Which you don’t (and don’t tell me you do).

Lewis also writes: “You have so got to review “STEEL” starring Shaq.”

Answer: Yep.  Got that penciled in for July 23rd.  Should be truly terrible.

Tam Dixon writes: “Cookie’s been hitting the booze a little too hard! Meteor Man got 4 cookies but The Rocketeer dipped into the sugarless range?”

Answer: Far be it for me to defend Cookie Monster’s reviews but, relatively speaking, 6 sugarless chocolate chippee cookies beats 4 chocolate chippee cookies.  Monster just felt that Meteor Man did offer some genuinely funny moments (he laughed so hard at the model-off that he almost choked on a snickerdoodle) while Rocketeer was admittedly more accomplished – as beautiful and respectable as an arid landscape.

Maggiemayday writes: “I seem to have missed that particular Marmaduke film.”

Answer: I hear the sequel is coming out this summer = Marmaduke: Number 2

DP writes: “In the very end…The real end, not the other dozen times it seemed like the movie was over…”

Answer: Yeah, I hear that every time Cookie Monster assumed the movie was over, he would start for the bathroom only to have the movie continue.  After about the fourth time, he just said screw it and used the kitchen sink.

luis811 writes: “Joe have you got a Sat. Signal yet?????”

Answer: Yes, thanks to technical wizard Lawren Bancroft-Wilson who not only set up both DVR’s and calibrated the basement satellite, but also created a kill setting for my microwave.

2cats writes: “Hey Joe! I recently viewed a Food Network episode, Diner’s, Drive-ins and Dives and a Vancouver eatery was featured:
The food looked fabulous. Have you ever visited this place?”

Answer: Not yet, but I am a regular at the other place he visited on his Vancouver tour: PEACEFUL RESTAURANT.  Get the beef rolls!

Andre writes: “I would so much love to hear if the SG Universe guys got to the end of the Galaxy. Maybe you as an insider could share some thoughts.”

Answer: That’s a closing chapter for Brad Wright and Robert Cooper to write provided they’re ever given that opportunity,  I, for one, would love some closure as well.

Andrew writes: “Are you still reading Rising Stars? I was just listening to a podcast that talked about it was the greatest series for the first 6 issues then fell off. Hard. Thoughts?”

Answer: I would agree that it certainly started strong.  I heard there was a year-long delay somewhere in the run that may have colored some fan perception of the series.

Debra writes: “Have you ever tried Kope Luwak Coffee? I can’t imagine any coffee worth $420 a pound. (much less pooped beans)

How about the Dragon Dog from dougieDog in Vancouver? “A cognac-infused foot long hotdog” for $100 bucks. Just drink a lot of cognac and give me a cheap hotdog.. but who knows, maybe it is worth $100. Nah.

And The Fleur Burger, from Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.. $5,000. “A Wagyu burger topped with duck foie gras, smothered with truffles, and resting on a brioche truffle bun. It comes with a bottle of Chateau Petrus.” (Thanks to reader’s digest for the above list of foods I won’t be buying.)”

Answer: No on all counts.  I’m not a fan of champagne, cognac, coffee, or poop.

Brent writes: “For example I have 13 years of security experience with alarm systems, video systems, and access control systems. I’d hate for you to get burned out.”

Answer: I might take you (and your fellow expert/blog readers) up on this.

baterista writes: “Reminding you of a question for Cookie. Does he think, as I do, that some comic franchises lose something in translation to live action?”

Answer: Cookie Monster agrees that the written word is always better whether its film, television, or hotel porn.

JeffW writes: “I don’t know if this is the kind of info you’ve been researching, but as a young engineer in the late ’80′s, I had to visit NSA to fix a driver issue on a Parallel Processing box they had bought from a company I worked for.”

Answer: Great story.  I can’t use it for the miniseries but will file it away for a future project.  If I do make use of it, I’ll be sure to name one of the characters Jeff W.

Lewis writes: “Now that all 4 issues of DARK MATTER have been released are there any plans for a collected graphic novel release (hardcover or tpb)?  And if so are you going to add any extras to it (ie- character bios, background info, etc.)?”

Answer: Funny you should mention this.  I recently approved Garry Brown’s terrific cover for the Dark Matter trade paperback which will include all sorts of goodies like sketches and early design work.  It will hit the shelves sometime in October – but will let you know once I hear a firm date.

archersangel writes: “speaking of doughnuts; any opinion on cake vs. yeast-raised doughnuts? or did i miss that?”

Answer: I prefer yeast-raised because you can cram more into your mouth.

shaneac1 writes: “if hypothetically speaking MGM and rob cooper came to you to write a script for a big summer blockbuster release of a stargate universe movie how would you write that story.”

Answer: This would be most unlikely since, in the event an SGU movie ever did get a green light, Brad Wright and Robert Cooper would be the ones to write it.  If, hypothetically speaking, they wanted to hear my thoughts on where to go: Eli is able to reroute power from the shuttle to a pod and go into stasis, awakening one hundred years later. They find themselves in the clutches of an off-shoot of their descendants, a military civilization with designs on Destiny.  Earth, meanwhile, has undergone major changes.  Everyone they once knew has passed on but the standing world organization has been able to create a power source that, with the help of the Destiny, will create a stable, limited time wormhole to the ship.  Some return, some remain, while some familiar faces (the A Team whose members allowed themselves to be placed in stasis should the opportunity to finally reach Destiny present itself) join the crew (I’m thinking maybe Daniel, McKay).  The time in stasis has allowed Park to heal and she can see again while the crew’s interactions with their advanced descendants offer T.J. a cure for her condition.  With the help of advanced Earth technology and know-how in addition to a few of the descendants themselves who turn against their own, Destiny is transformed into a lean, highly efficient powerhouse that kicks major ass and makes good its escape.  That’s all I got.

DP writes: “Is your mini-series about Dark Matter?”

Answer: Alas, no.  Any potential developments on the Dark Matter front are still months away at least.

Travis B. writes: “What’s up with House? Did you watch this week’s episode?”

Answer: Probably the strangest episode of its eight season, 175 episode so far.  At times, I wondered if it was all some extended dream sequence.  I didn’t understand why finding a photo of a young boy in a patient’s drawer would be construed as bizarre.  I simply assumed it was either of childhood picture of him or a younger brother (the latter turned out to be the case).  I didn’t understand why a mother, ten years after the death of a son, refused to even talk about him at the request of a sick but very much alive son.  I don’t know why Wilson went off on House at the restaurant and why he couldn’t plainly see that all of House’s machinations were orchestrated because he cared. Wilson is smarter than that.  I didn’t get why the fire department would forward the tickets which were clogging the pipes to the police department (the insurance sure, but the cops?) nor can I understand how the police could have lifted House’s fingerprints off them.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but when they dust for prints, aren’t they  essentially matching the oil deposits left by the fingers.  How do those survive being flushed down a toilet?

38 thoughts on “May 16, 2012: A Major Mailbag! Includes: The scoop on the Dark Matter trade paperback! T.V. thoughts! And where I would like to see the Stargate: Universe movie go!

  1. My deep condolences to Deni about Elway. I’m sure he knew he was greatly cared for.

    Joe, your four days on, one off schedule sounds like a nice way to pace yourself. I’m sure in any case you’ll come up with some great stuff.

    “That’s all I got.” Sounds good to me! Although, I would still love to know what was up with the ordered Big Bang background radiation and how it related to Destiny’s real mission. I loved the idea of its purpose being on such a grand scale. Hopefully, some day…

  2. My best wishes to you Deni. Elway will have a nice time in doggy heaven chasing cats with Maximus and the other dogs.

  3. Deni, I’m so sorry. I know you cared for Elway greatly.

    Joe, that was some entry and mailbag. Just about touched every possible thing that’s on your favorites list. The most excitement around here right now is that we’re having a drive-thru dinner at the apartment tomorrow night. Apparently, Pizza Hut is sending a van to sell discounted pizzas to us residents. Another restaurant is including dessert. Since I have two teenagers, the pizza is very much welcomed.

    Have a great night!!!!!

  4. @ Deni – {{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}} So very sorry about your big guy! Elway had become part of the blog family here, too. We will all miss him!

    @ Joey – Heh-heh, heh-heh…you said ‘poop’. Heh-heh, heh-heh. 🙂

    AND, I missed another mailbag. 😛 I’m starting to get a complex here… *sniffs armpits*…nope, not BO. Maybe it’s my breath. Or my overbearing personality. Is it the teamster thing? You know, YOU started that one. 😉

    Very busy with my sister in town. Today she helped me get all my planters planted and/or spruced up for summer. For flowers, I just went with impatiens since I have so much shade in my yard, and they are a very rewarding flower, blooming up until the frost. Most of my herbs, including my tarragon and savory, survived the winter. Only lost the thyme and marjoram. So, planted more thyme (regular and lemon), plus added purple sage and hot and spicy oregano. Everything else – the rosemary, oregano, chives, parsley, and sage (along with the tarragon and savory) – are just doing great! I also have mint, and lavendar. Lots of herbs all winter, and now more than enough for the summer. And LOADS of spiders. 😮 😛

    Went out with Mr. Das and my sister to a new place for breakfast and had a great omelette (with cheddar, spinach, peppers, onions, and curry), and amazing pancakes (with raisins, nuts, and fresh fruit cooked inside). Then did the garden stuff, then shopping, then introduced my sister to the new (tv) Sherlock Holmes, and now I just really need to fall into bed.

    Nites, Joey, and thoughts and prayers with you, Deni dear.


  5. Lavender! Argh. I saw that typo before I posted, and forgot to correct it. I hate when I’m stupid. 😛


  6. Thanks for the lengthy mail bag, Joe. So is this script you’re writing a prelude to producing the show, or did you decide to let someone else do that “as a personal favor” :)?

  7. @ Deni – Oh my gosh! I am shocked! I am so, so sorry about Elway. I am just shocked. And saddened. I was not expecting this and I know you were not either. So, so sorry. Shedding tears for your baby. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  8. Joe,
    Have you seen the TV show “Around the World in 80 Plates”? It’s kind of a cross between “The Amazing Race” and “Master Chef.” In the US it airs on Bravo, E!, and Oxygen networks. Not sure if it’s on up in Canada. I’m watching it for the first time tonight. It’s…interesting. I’ll give it another episode or two before deciding whether to continue.

    And hey, whatever happened with the two senior pugs?

    So sorry to hear about Elway. What a handsome fella he was. Hugs.

  9. Eh, you don’t need another scientist on Destiny – you need Sheppard, Lorne or Ronon to show ’em how it’s done. 🙂

  10. Well I’ve been loving each week’s movie review, I’m finally hopping on the bandwagon for an upcoming Superhero movie! I’m already 20 minutes into the unreleased 1994 Fantastic Four movie! Just making sure that Cookie Monster is actually going to watch it – it’s too bad to miss! And the whole thing is on YouTube so there’s no excuses. Cookie is going to review it, right?

  11. Oh Deni, I just read the news. Left you a message on your FB page. My heart goes out to your whole family. Elway became a part of my heart. You were a fantastic mommy to him and I often wondered if I would have given up with all those seizures way sooner than you did. I admired your love and your courage and your devotion to him.

  12. G’day Joe

    @ Deni, So sorry to hear about Elway. Came to care for him through this blog. You were a great Doggy Mum.
    Take care


  13. Thank you all for your kindness and caring. My heart is broken, but if I know Elway, he’s looking after me from wherever he is and will make sure I mend in time. I wish you could all have met him, he was truly the best dog ever. Again, thank you, your friendship means so much to me and my family. xoxo

  14. Hey Deni!
    Sorry for your loss. I know how you feel. A buddy of mine back home had to put is horse ‘Chato’ down 4 days ago. Chato was also my first horse sharing partner. We all loved him quite a lot. He had a ruptured artery in his belly. There was nothing they could do. They still fought for 3 hrs helping him stand and keeping him from fainting.
    It sucks that I can’t even hug my best friends, because they are so far away. 🙁
    But they all did what was possible and I’m sure, so did you. Keep all the good memories!


    Sorry for not posting for so long. Thanks again for leaving us so much space here. It’s much appreciated!

  15. @Deni:

    I’m so sorry to hear about Elway…hope you’re doing okay.


    Answer: Great story. I can’t use it for the miniseries but will file it away for a future project. If I do make use of it, I’ll be sure to name one of the characters Jeff W.

    Wow, thanks! And good luck with the miniseries. Any idea when you can disclose more about it?

  16. Deni: I’m sending a big hug. Hang in there! How is your daughter? Sending prayers!!!!!!

    JeffW: another great story! Hubby enjoyed it too.

    You probably have a different selection of cookies to choose from up North but around here sugarless cookies are awful! It’s quality not quantity Mr. M.. Sugarless cookies are in the negative range on the cookie scale.

    I didn’t get a chance to read all the Q & A’s. A lot of work to do and a migraine. Popping off for Aleve/caffeine. I’ll have fun reading it all later. Have a g’day all!

  17. @Deni: I’m so sorry about Elway. From your stories on the blog, he got to be a member of the family here. {{{hugs}}}

    @das: Where do you find hot and spicy oregano? Sounds delicious! I’ve just got the regular Italian Oregano taking over a corner of my herb garden, sage (also trying to take over the garden),English lavender :p, thyme, lemon thyme, basil, dill, parsley and a new rosemary plant to replace the one that died over the winter (mine tends to be more an annual than a perennial) And do you have new Spiders of the Purple Sage?

  18. Interesting take on an SGU movie. The only issue I see with it is that one of the appeals of the franchise has been that it’s set today, and not in the far future. A lot of the fan base was able to identify strongly with the show for that very reason. (The fact that the Stargate program was kept classified also allowed us to imagine that perhaps they really were doing something like this under Cheyenne Mountain.) Moving the show 100 years into the future could take away that appeal.

    Of course, from a practical perspective, an SGU movie of the sort you describe would essentially be the end of the franchise, so perhaps the need for a contemporaneous story wouldn’t matter as much.

  19. Yeah, the last several episodes of House have been a major disappointment. It is a real shame that a series that was so good for such a long time will end with some of the worst writing in sitcom recent history.

  20. @ Sparrowhawk – Funny you should make the purple sage reference. When I bought the stuff, the first thing that popped in my head was ‘Riders of the Purple Sage’…which I would totally prefer over the spiders!! My backyard is turning into horror flick!

    Picked up the hot and spicy oregano from a local farm, but you can find it on-line. Like yours, my regular oregano is also taking over my garden. It’s spread to a second planter, and is growing in the lawn and flower garden, too, but I don’t mind. My sage is huge, but not really spreading, and both my rosemary plants are doing great, but it was a mild winter and I moved the planters up against the house. Just planted basil, which I keep separate from the other herbs, as I do the parsley (mainly because the parsley turns into a swallowtail hatchery 😛 ). I don’t plant dill or cilantro because it just goes to seed too fast and I can easily get it fresh when I need it (NJ is still the ‘garden state’, with lots of farm markets around).

    I hope to make a patio in my yard this summer, but we’ll see, finances are always a problem. Ideally, I would love a professional job with fancy-schmancy pavers and such, but I think in the end I’ll just frame out an area, fill it with sand, and put down those red patio blocks (with a fire pit at one end). I just need something to keep all the pots off the ground, and to give us a little outside living space. We were thinking of building a deck, but I decided the spiders don’t need any new hidey-holes. 😛


  21. @Maggiemayday, Sparrow, JeffW, Sylvia and Birdy: Thank you so much, guys. It’s been a very tough morning, but muddling through any way I can. It’s a great comfort to know so many people care. We’ve been together (and by together, I mean TOGETHER) for so many years it’s hard to know what to do next.

    @Tam: Lauren and baby are doing fine! She went for a scan this morning and all is excellent. I’m sooooo relieved. She’ll be home for good on July 4th. I just wish Elway could have met the baby, he would have loved it.

  22. @Deni {{Hugs}} So sorry about Elway. And {{@all}}, too. We’ve all been hearing about him.

  23. “Andre writes: “I would so much love to hear if the SG Universe guys got to the end of the Galaxy. Maybe you as an insider could share some thoughts.”

    Answer: That’s a closing chapter for Brad Wright and Robert Cooper to write provided they’re ever given that opportunity, I, for one, would love some closure as well.”

    At this point, do you think there will EVER be closure in TV or DTV form?

  24. Hey, Joe!

    Okay, I admit that I did watch the 1st episode of Sandwich King ..oh, man, did I really just admit to watching that? Did they ever air any other episodes? I was shocked that guy won last year, I think he was probably funny w/ a quick wit when they were live but put him on tape and he comes across dry and forced; plus who wants to watch a whole show about sandwiches… I mean c’mon, sandwiches!! If people wanted that then a long time ago they would have called the comic strip ‘Dagwood’ instead of ‘Blondie.’ The irony was that the episode I watched there were commercials for Subway, Big Macs, and Whoppers ..talk about oxymoron! They should’ve stopped Next Food Network Star after Guy, it’s doubtful they’ll luck into another on air personality like that again ..and yet I keep finding myself watching each season and don’t know why. It’s the same w/ American Idol here, they should’ve stopped after Carrie Underwood’s year because they’ll probably never “discover” another kid that goes on to as successful a career ..and yet I keep watching each season and don’t know why.

    Tell Cookie thanks for planning to review Steel… can’t wait!

    Also can’t wait for the DARK MATTERS tpb!! Will be sure to reserve a couple copies! Hey, I know, I’ll hand them out to the neighborhood kids for Halloween 🙂 well, not for free, maybe swap for their trick-or-treat candy. Talk about a win-win situation!

    I just realized that it’s been a year now since the final airing.. I really miss SGU!!!

  25. Speaking about your SGU idea Joe, personally I think it’d be cool if say for example Eli used the shuttle to power his pod, but as said in your idea but slightly different Destiny doesn’t make it accross the void between Galaxies, the FTL engines shut down, all power is diverted to life support and keeping the crew alive. The ship drifts for say a 100 years and is almost accross the void but has little to no power.

    Elis pod during this time loses power, he discovers the shuttle can’t sustain his pod anymore.
    (You could have him waking up, feeling disorientated, unsure what’s going on, tries to fix his situation.. Realises he’s almost accross the void anyway)

    He notices ships approaching Destiny, they’re not hostile, they want to help. They’ve been searching for Destiny. Eli isn’t aware of this and wakes up Young etc.
    (With this idea, you could say they’re an offshoot of the Novus colony, or perhaps friendly humanoid aliens that have heard of the Destiny ship)

    Cue first contact stuff, ships power being restored with help, new galaxy, new people.

  26. @Deni, so sorry to hear about Elway, many hugs to you and your family, he was blessed to be in your family.

  27. Also, I thought that would make a good Eli episode to be honest, with 80 percent of this episode being Eli alone.

  28. Oh, Deni… 🙁 You know all my prayers are with you, your family, and your vet family. Because of the all stories you’ve told us the past couple of years, Elway feels a little bit like ours too, just the way Maximus did. {{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}

  29. Great synopsis Joe, and I especially like the hundred year gap plan. Thanks to all the ideas about wormholes and gravity, and time dilation and the like, I’m writing a lot of interesting potentialities; with each one bringing me closer to something hopefully unique and special, thanks for that, and all you’ve done, rock on good sir, and Deni, though I’m not an animal person or a people’s person, and is somewhat distant all the time, not to mention, I don’t necessarily feel either way, regardless, I believe I should also give my condolences.

  30. Joe since you brought up SGU… any word on a Soundtrack. if you’ve replied recently sorry for asking/begging/pleading yet again. I loved the music

  31. Since it is more unlikely for movie or series of Stargate Universe to get the green light, will we ever know exactly what exactly is the “cosmic microwave background radiation”? Is truly a message? From whom? What does it say?

    Also will we ever know who are the creators of Berzerker Drones? What is their mission?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.