No, not some back country trail in the early evening hours.  This was my mother's street at 10:00 a.m.
No, not some back country trail in the early evening hours. This was my mother’s street at 10:00 a.m.

And another reason why moving back to Montreal holds little appeal: the snow and the cold.  It’s miserable out there today.  Pretty.  But miserable.  Especially when you’re trudging through two foot high drifts with your mom’s dogs, the wind whipping your exposed skin to a rosy pink.  The plan was to head downtown today for a little underground shopping followed by dinner at a Japanese restaurant (after three straight days of heavy French and Italian, Akemi is dying for Asian cuisine) but the weather has put a little hitch in that schedule.  It’s looking more likely we’ll be going with the alternate plan: season 2 of Modern Family, George MacDonald Frasier’s Flashman, and leftovers.

And not even last night’s leftovers!  We left those with sis!

Last night, we went to one of my favorite restaurants in town, Au Pied de Cochon, for a truly rustic, down home, Quebecois meal…

We were joined by my friend, fellow writer, and former co-worker (way back when I held an office job, developing animated shows for kids), Anne-Marie and her boyfriend, Jerome.
We were joined by my friend, fellow writer, and former co-worker (way back when I held an office job, developing animated shows for kids), Anne-Marie and her boyfriend, Jerome.
Sis and Daisy.
Sis and Daisy.
Akemi, off to a good start = bread and butter.
Akemi, off to a good start = bread and butter.
The tarragon bison tongue, a can't-miss menu item.
The tarragon bison tongue, a can’t-miss menu item.
The poutine temaki.  I wasn't completely sold on the potato-rice combination.
The foie gras poutine temaki. Not bad but I wasn’t completely sold on the potato-rice combination.  It came with a foie gras sauce for dipping/pouring.
The melt-in-your-mouth foie gras terrine.
The melt-in-your-mouth foie gras terrine.
The guinea hen liver mousse.
The guinea hen liver mousse.
Akemi - not the biggest fan of foie gras.
Akemi – not the biggest fan of foie gras.
The blood sausage tart.  It's an acquired taste - which, yes, I've acquired.
The blood sausage tart. It’s an acquired taste – which, yes, I’ve acquired.
The headcheese.  Fear not.  There's no actual "cheese" in the dish.  Only parts of the head.  And tasty potatoes!
The headcheese. Fear not. There’s no actual “cheese” in the dish. Only parts of the head. And tasty potatoes!

Other menu items sampled included some bison rib, cromesquis (tiny deep fried foie gras bites), two types of pork chops, creamed squash, onion soup, tomato tart, and this interesting dish – duck in a can (served table side):

And, of course, dessert…

The uber dark chocolaty dark chocolate pot e creme.
The uber dark chocolaty dark chocolate pot de creme.
Sugar pie.  Yep.  Pretty damn sweet.  But tasty.
Sugar pie. Yep. Pretty damn sweet. But tasty.
The lemon meringue tart.
The lemon meringue tart.
Maple ice cream.
Maple ice cream.
And to wash it all down - everyone else ordered coffees and teas, but I went with the maple milkshake.
And to wash it all down – everyone else ordered coffees and teas, but I went with the maple milkshake.

I guested on Blog Talk Radio last night, the first part of a two part chat on SGU and the Stargate franchise in general.  It was fun, interesting and, occasionally, a little bewildering.  One of the early discussion points was character creation and I explained how screen presence and chemistry will often steer character development.  I cited the case of Dale Volker, a character we had planned to kill off halfway through season one – but who won a reprieve on the strength of Patrick Gilmore’s impressive performance.  He was too good to kill off!  We covered a wide range of SGU-related topics (the creation of the series, ratings, its premature demise) and I fielded a few questions.  Join us next week for the second part of our Stargate-related discussion during which I’ll field some more of your queries – and fill you in on my plans for 2013.

Apparently, Montreal isn’t the only area snowed-in.  But it’s nice to see our very own gforce making the best of it –


32 thoughts on “December 27, 2012: Snowed in!

  1. Um, regardless of how that picture came to be, suffice it to say people will probably be wondering (until it’s completely buried again) why there’s a snow angel in the middle of the commuter bus parking lot. And if leaving the parking lot with what felt like a shovel full of snow down the back of your pants doesn’t scream “FUN!”, I don’t know what does!

    Not sure I like the thought or the look of that “canned duck”, but the label looks fairly entertaining. The desserts however, all look great. Personally, I don’t think I could actually look at anything containing sugar again for a few days.

    As cute as he is, I’m not sure that poor little guy in the first picture is making a good sled dog! Mush!!

  2. Yay Joe! You were entertaining last night on Blog Radio. Too bad the technology your host was touting so highly had a hiccup. I waited with the other 26 of us in chat queue, and finally the sound returned. I wish your host would have allowed more callers in AND know when to shut down someone monopolizing the short time allotment. I shall listen in again next week!

    I’m glad the Volker character wasn’t killed off. Patrick Gilmore is top drawer.

    What the heck kind of can opener was the waiter using in the duck in the can vid? Odd looking thingy. And no, I would not eat the stuff in that can, for any amount of money.

    No snow sticking here in Eastern shoreline of NJ. Too warm, so it all turned to rain and we have flooding! Oh joy.


  3. That’s your mom’s street? Yicks! I’m glad I live in the South. Don’t the dogs mind going out in that blizzard? Are you going to be able to fly home? The dessert pictures look yummy! Akemi is cute as always.

  4. That food doesn’t look good. I could even skip the desserts. I must be sick of food. Maybe not eating for a few days will cure me.

    gforce is crazy!!

  5. Hi Joe, I listened to the web cast. Well, she is not the only show I have listened to that had problems. It seems a farely common occurrence with “free production values”-Ed Moressey of Hotair. Overall I enjoyed it. I agree a bit on the callers. Yet they were intelligent and passionate. I knew I liked Volker for more reasons than I like to admit. I look forward to the next installment.
    An hour goes by quickly even with no commercials. With one hour done are there areas that you would like to persue next week? Or, would you like to explore further ideas of this last show?

    Your pictures of food never fail to impress. They make my roasted chicken w/rosemary , wild rice and cranberries w/ a tautch of fennel seed seem like a Happy Meal.

    Well off to some sushi, but the only dessert will be watching the wait staff. From snowless Chicago

  6. I listened to the interview last night, but came away with much frustration with the host….it felt kinda fan-girly to me…and she really didn’t seem all that familiar with the history of SG…I know the main topic was SGU, but there is so much history to Stargate and she seemed to be ignorant of it…and the two callers that I remember (where there more?) seemed kinda inane….I did not call in or log into the chatroom, but just listened….although you were great, on the whole, I was disappointed….but loved the Dale Volker stuff…have you seen Patrick Gilmore’s Laptop Chats? They are hysterical!!! You should do one of those! I don’t think he has done one in awhile…

  7. The blood sausage tart. It’s an acquired taste – which, yes, I’ve acquired.

    You had me at “blood sausage”! The sausage I get from the Irish store looks exactly like what’s in that tart. I’d like to try that dish, so any recipe recommendations?

    On the snow front, we’re waiting for a big snow here in Chicagoland; my son is anxious to try out the new 4×4.

  8. I was a big secondary character fan for SGU. It felt like they had their personalities intact and causing conflicts on the Icarus Base Show and then we picked up their story on the spin-off to SGU.

    Patrick Gilmore sold that to me very early on. I can’t quite describe what he and others did, only how I feel about it because I don’t understand the acting craft that well. Gilmore’s performance was definitely the early anchor for that feeling that everyone on that ship had a story. I tried to ask him what he did in the Q&A on this blog, but I had no idea how to word it.

    I really experienced being at risk, just not so in control of the outcome through the secondary characters. Most shows would have you exclusively empathizing with the main characters and the weight of responsibility for the peanut gallery lives. The experience of the secondary characters was SGU’s something special to me.

    Of course, I haven’t watched as many of the shows with extended casts. I’m not in the best position to say whether it’s special.

  9. Thanks for the dog photos. (Hugs and love to dear boy Aspen.) You can always take more family photos if you’re still there! 🙂 Mom and Sis look well. Did you play the rowdy domino (?) game with your relatives? That always sounds like fun.

    What a spread of dinner! My Sassy Dad comes from the Wisconsin peninsula, where many of those items are familiar. (His area was settled by French traders, and the Germans, Swiss, and Polish.) He grew up eating head cheese, blood sausage, and blood soup. I tasted the latter two as a kid, and was not won over. 😛

    Aside from those, the food does looks good. I have to agree (and had to laugh) with Ponytail, though. When even cuisine doesn’t look great anymore, you know it’s time to stop eating! I might have pushed it for a Maple milkshake. Joe, you must have two hollow legs. I swear I don’t know where you put away all that food. 🙂

    I hear ya about the snow! Love looking at it, but being out in it for longer than a short walk is too brrr! We had blizzard conditions in Indy yesterday (26th). Winds were blowing at 30-40-ish mph, driving drifts of what normally would have been 10″ of snow.

    Officials on TV warned people to stay off the roads unless they had to work or had an emergency. Luckily for us, that meant my bro, sis-in-law, and baby nephews extended their Christmas visit a day longer, until after dinner. “Auntie Lise” bundled up the 2.5-y-old nephew ala Christmas story, and then applied same to self. It was his first time playing in “deep” snow, and I had to lift him over the 1.5′ drifts. Without any prompting from me, he dropped and made a snow angel. Aw! It was so cute. His laugh was something else. He loved watching the cats come out of the cat house. We have 5 feral cats here in the burbs, and they’re still half-grown kittens. What a riot, them pouncing through the snow and ambushing each other! He asked to go back in after about 20 min., so he did pretty good!

    I listened to the radio interview, but think the callers and/or questions could have been screened. To think there almost was no Brody & Volker! Really can’t wait to hear what type of arc had been planned for Rush, and Destiny’s, well, destiny.


    Deni, is that baby boy done yet? He can’t stay in the oven too much longer! Both my nephews got too big and had to be delivered C-section, the younger one 10 days early. And he was still 8 lbs.! He’s seven months old now, and is already a big guy. Sending prayers for Lauren, baby, you, and everyone else.

    Joe, sorry this was a long post!

    JeffW, hope you feel better soon! Ditto for you, Cherluvya! Hope you got to do some fun things you wanted to. Sending prayers and a hug…

  10. Man, I have been BUSY! Pet sitting started last Friday consuming 10-12 hrs of my day between 11 pets. Fun stuff. First day off since. Also our local Fox news wanted to do an update on Patrick’s story from May 2007. Good exposure for Patrick’s school. Of course I found out 55 minutes before they showed up so I was glad I took a shower and got dressed up with makeup on for Patrick’s holiday party at school. I’ll post the link once I get back to the PC. Haven’t quite mastered doing that with this IPad.

    First off belated Merry Christmas to everyone. I’m planning on going backwards in the blog here and see I missed a talk radio moment. I’ll try to catch part 2 next week. Also belated Happy Boxing Day to my Canadian friends.

    The snow is beautiful and I would probably like it for 1 day then want the warmer weather back. We had rain and tropical storm force winds with power outages but I am not complaining. It could have been worse.

  11. I had a window of opportunity yesterday to drive from Ottawa to Cornwall to visit my brother in a residence. Good trip but came back too late to listen to blog radio. I’ll have to check out whether it’s on file somewhere.

    Snowed in today but hubby managed to blow the driveway before the tractor broke… always something… it seems nothing goes smoothly for us these days. I remember the good ole days living in Montreal, they sure stepped up to the plate and got the city cleaned up in no time. I used to love the underground shopping – what a concept. Some people (depending on where they live) would be able to conduct their daily travel and business totally underground, not having to go outside at all…all good and interesting times.

    Weather beside the point, I hope your visit goes smoothly and that you and Akemi thoroughly enjoy the Montreal family visit and experience. Best wishes to all – thinking and hoping for the best for Aspen.

  12. @Airelle, Tammy, for the love of Beckett and anybody else I forgot: Thank you so much for caring, it means so much to me! Lauren got an ultrasound done and the baby’s doing great, but her doctors will not let the pregnancy go beyond 42 weeks, so she’s scheduled for an induction on Sunday afternoon if nothing pans out before. Prayers for Lauren and little Anakin would be very appreciated, and if you’d throw one in there for a very nervous grandma-to-be, all the better! xoxo

  13. Sorry to hear about being snowed in, and maybe if you had been home in Van, you might not have felt the 3.3 magnitude earthquake occurred at 10:36 p.m. Pacific time on Wednesday evening.
    It was centred in the waters off the southern Gulf Islands, 13 kilometres east of the Victoria-area community of Sidney, B.C.
    ~~food,yum, thanks for the dessert pictures. maple ice cream and maple milkshake, wow. How quickly will they get the streets cleared there? Be safe.

  14. And if you do watch it, leave a comment at the bottom. The station likes comments and perhaps they might do another story on the school again.

  15. @ PBMom – Wonderful story on Patrick and your family. You are a beautiful person, and Patrick is blessed to have you as his mom. The blessings seem to be flowing both ways. Glad you all had a great Christmas.

  16. @for the love of Beckett:

    Thanks for the prayers and the well wishes. I’m feeling much better today (just a little cough and minor congestion left.). I had a flu shot in October and I think it reduced the severity of my symptoms. I should be almost 100% tomorrow.


    I forgot Boxing Day! In my defense, I was in bed with a case of the flu…so I had an excuse…but still! Sorry to the Brits and Canadians and a belated happy boxing day to all!

  17. @PBMom

    From one warrior mom to another, Hilda, you rock! I am so glad that Patrick is doing so well. A good school makes such a difference.

  18. I like snow, but that’s too much. Yeah if you got it once a year for a few days. And no more than 4 inches any other time. Brrrr.

  19. duck in a can? for some reason that reminds me of cheeseburger (or was it just a hamburger) in a can. i wonder if they still make those?

  20. Hi Joe, it,s a big snow storm we had but I have not seen that much snow since I was a kid. Apparently it closed to the “tempête du siècle” of 1971. So normally it’s not that bad. Which Japanese restaurant do you go to ? I used to go to the Katsura on the la Montagne, but don’t work in Montreal downtown anymore. I once did go to the usual PE Trudeau japanese restaurant, he was there (a year or two before he died), I did not liked it.

  21. I love the Snow, just not a big fan of the freezing cold weather that comes with it lol.

    Anyway, I’ll see if I can catch the new blog talk radio thing from the start, as said yesterday I only managed to catch the last 20 minutes when I realised it was on, not intentional just was late in tuning in lol

  22. G’day Joe

    @Deni…Sending best thoughts and wishes to Lauren. My first pregnancy almost went to 42 weeks. Went into natural labour 2 days before I was due to be induced. So there is still time. I did not want to be induced. I also went for a drive in a 4×4 over some not too rough tracks, beach mainly, at 41 weeks. Hope it all goes well. Good luck to Lauren.

  23. I warned you…

    Spent 3 hours myself doing cryo-hydrological-kinetics! We had about 7 to 9 inches in Ottawa. The good news, IT was LIGHT! DRY flakes that didn’t stick. – Not sure what will be out there for tomorrow’s ROUND-2..? I’ve yet to see what the EVIL-SNOWPLOW-GUY has left me…

    And BTW, this OLD LADY doesn’t own any sissy snowblower. As you probably have a special set of cooking Knives, I have Shovels! — mind you, I’d never say no to having the use of a flame-thrower every so often… 😀

  24. Snow! I would like some
    A lot actually. Yes.
    No snow here in months

    This haiku brought to you by the letter “F”. For Friday.

  25. @PBMom – That’s great that Patrick is doing better with the therapy. My son has Asperger’s. People call that mild autism, but I’ve seen plenty autistic kids coping with more than him. I’ll look into more therapies. There’re already things we can’t do because of the cost, but hearing stories of it working makes it more appealing than taking a risk on something that doesn’t look like it’d work. The school district is cooperating on a lot, but I don’t think they’re going to respond to the ways he’s getting worse if what they’re already doing helps him academically.

    And my doctor was telling me the other day he reads the blog of a woman who would have to push her asthma medicine to the point of wearing out her something hormones. It sounded like your story. Except he was supposed to be answering my question about telling the difference between high cortisol and pre-diabetes so now I don’t remember what he said about that.

  26. @Janet: Thank you! From your mouth to G-d’s ears, we’re still hoping things will resolve naturally,but she’s got 2 1/2 days to get going. The poor girl has been doing squats and cleaning the house and walking many miles, all for nothing. Maybe I’ll rattle her cage this morning and take her for a “country drive”. 🙂 (JUST KIDDING)

  27. Maple milkshake. Yesssssssssss, prescioussssssss…..

    We have 11 inches of snow here, nice light Utah powder, with more coming down. Pretty. I have a fireplace, so I’m staying put.

  28. The one place I visited briefly in Canada was Montreal … yes, the underground shopping, and the big jewelry store above and across from it. And a museum down by the water. Looks like a place to spend more time, but we only had the one short day trip.

    What’s with the red tape over the mouths of the statues? Obviously a protest of some kind, but what?

  29. I really really really really hare snow! I hate shoveling it. I hate driving in it. I am a complete nervous wreck when driving in snow. I don’t like it, and my anxiety is through the roof. I really hope we just get rain. At least, you don’t gotta shovel rain.

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