There are a lot of things I miss about my days on Stargate, perhaps none more than the enormously talented people I worked with over the course of my twelve years with the franchise.  I do keep in touch with many of the old gang.  Still, emails exchanged and phone conversations are a far cry from seeing them on a daily basis and so, when the opportunity to actually get together comes along, I’m more than happy to clear my schedule and make the time for lunch, dinner, or drinks.  Such was the case yesterday when, after several failed attempts, I finally met up with former Stargate SG-1 VFX Supervisor James Tichenor.

After putting in four years on SG-1 and another one on Atlantis, James moved on.  He was a VFX Supervisor on Kingdom Hospital (where he got to work with one of his favorite authors, Stephen King, who was, apparently, a terrific guy) a season of Smallville, and various other productions.  I lost touch with him after he left Stargate and moved his family to London, so I was surprised to come across him online a month ago.  After some back and forth, canceled plans and rescheduled lunch meetings, we finally ended up grabbing lunch.

It had been almost seven years since I’d last seen James and, I have to admit, I almost didn’t recognize him.  Last time I saw him, he was heavier and bearded.  Now –

James Tichenor, male model

He’s slimmed down, lost the facial hair and, quite frankly, looks about ten years younger.  My first thought when I saw him waving at me in front of the restaurant: “Who is that kid?”.

We had lunch at Peaceful Noodle Restaurant where we caught each other up on our respective lives while enjoying, among other tasty dishes,

The house special Peaceful Beef Rolls

Turns out James moved to London, moved back, worked on various productions, went to L.A. where he took several writing courses before returning to Vancouver, working on various productions, taking some acting classes, and working on even more productions.  There was so much to cover that we continued our conversation over post-lunch coffees (okay, a banana mocha for me).

Portrait of the writer as a younger looking man.

We spent the next hour or so discussing the craft of writing – our approaches, experiences, the business.  It was a really interesting chat.  Some day, it’ll make a great blog entry.  We had so much ground to cover that, unfortunately, an hour at the coffee shop wasn’t enough to cover everything so we agreed to get together again in a couple of weeks and pick up where we left off.

Hey, speaking of writers, anyone remember this guy?

Thrilled to meet ya

Yes, former Stargate Exec Producer Carl Binder is in town prepping his new series for Hallmark Channel, Cedar Cove, which starts shooting next week.  Fortunately, Carl was able to squeeze in a dinner with Akemi and me before things got too production-frenzied.  And what did Carl feel like eating?  Foie gras and truffled potatoes?  Lobster Thermidor?  Chateaubriand?  Puleeze!

The Crack Burger at Hub Restaurant – packs a terrific cracked pepper punch.

My buddy is a man of simple tastes.  A burger, some fries, a beer and he was set.

See?  MUCH happier!

And, of course, nothing quite beats a down-home dessert –

Giant chocolate chip cookie served in an alarmingly hot skillet with vanilla ice cream.  I also get the extra scoop because the single is never enough.

At one point, we reminisced about the old Stargate days, especially those writers’ room lunches spent spinning, joking, and getting Carl to sample everything from 99% dark chocolate to ghost chili sauce…

Good times.

Getting together with a group of friends is always fun, but nothing quite beats the smaller, more intimate gatherings.

25 thoughts on “March 23, 2013: Familiar faces!

  1. I love to hear what the others are doing. The pictures are great. Carl is one if my favorites. Happy to hear about his new show. 😊

  2. my favorite weird food purchase with carl binder was the astronaut ice cream. quoting mr. binder; “it’s like eating a shoe. including the aftertaste.”

  3. That was my first thought, wheres the beard gone ? 🙂

    “We’ll meet up on the third moon of Tichenor !”

    Always stays in my mind that line for some reason …..

  4. Cedar Cove? Ex Stargate Doc Teryl Rothery is making an appearance on that show. (Met her in Adelaide last weekend. She’s lovely!)
    I hope it’s successful for them both.

  5. So cool for your guys to get together after all this time. Peaceful Restaurant IS a great place to go, the beef rolls were excellent!

    The video was funny – poor Carl. Subject to all that ribbing, he’s always such a good natured, long suffering fellow. An example to us all, really. Who was it that was coughing so much? Not poor Ashleigh, I hope. What a trooper, dragging herself to work when she clearly was unwell. Such dedication to her boss!

    Seriously though, there’s nothing like getting together with old friends and reestablishing relationships. Old friends are like old shoes – they always fit comfortably.

    I’m planning on a trip up north to the Yukon in June (via Vancouver!) put I’m pondering whether to extend the trip for a couple of days and go north as far as Inuvik – above the Arctic Circle. There’s actually not that much to see up there, with the exception that because it’s above the AC the sun NEVER sets that time of year. I think that would be cool to see. However, it would add a lot of expense to the trip (almost $1000!! – mostly airfare), so I’m not sure it’s worth it.

    So, everyone’s thoughts?

  6. Awwww the good ol’ days. Well I know we can’t go back… but can we bring back the weird food purchases or have you bought all the weird food there is to buy??

  7. Ditto what cherluvya said…always good to hear your good times.

    Started to read an on-line article about how some fatty foods are good for you and discovered a link to what could be your WFPoD – deep fried pancakes…and then references to one of the Montreal restaurants you have mentioned.

    Excerpt here:
    Martin Picard, the intrepid Montreal chef, has devoted his newest restaurant, Cabane à Sucre Au Pied de Cochon (in English he calls it Sugar Shack), to celebrating the amber liquid. For his second contribution to this column, he shares a recipe for deep-fried pancakes with a warm cream and raspberry maple syrup.

    Deep-fried pancakes, the chef said, are a Québécois specialty. A hybrid of a funnel cake and a beignet, these breakfast treats puff up the minute they hit the hot oil. A golden crust forms and gives way to a moist interior. The resulting pancake pairs beautifully with the accompanying sauce.

    Link to entire article including cooking directions:

    Never been fond of pancakes per se…love waffles.
    But maple syrup – yum…and this combo of deep fried pancakes and syrup sounds yummy.

    Bon apetit!

  8. (Joe – use this one, I entered the links wrong on the other)

    Wow. Sexy!! I wonder how much younger Carl would look if he shaved off that lip caterpillar. 😉

    On second thought, I have a feeling that shaving off Carl’s moustache would be akin to cutting off Sampson’s hair. It would leave him a weak, empty husk of a man. 🙁

    Okay…this is what happens when you have cats instead of kids. People who never had cats (or pets in general), or those who have had cats/pets but also have some concept of propriety, should avert their eyes now. You’ve been warned. 🙂

    Yes, he is a spoiled child. So is the cat. 😀


  9. What is it that makes watching Carl suffer so much fun? And you should win an Emmy just for maintaining your composure after going first. Ever since I got a similar concoction in my eye once(to the merriment of the emergency room staff; I happened to be there when I tried the substance, then rubbed my eye) I instinctively jerk away from such tests. Good memories. And what is with the crutch? Hope your weekend is a good one.

  10. All the food looks great especially Carl’s burger (and your dessert and the beef roll makes me drool). Next time tell Carl to say “cheeeeese!”. He’s such a handsome lad when he smiles. Funny weird food purchase video!

  11. @JeffW: Didn’t even read the rest of yesterday’s comments until now, but thank you for your kind wishes for the baby. His mom has just taken him to the Sunday pediatrician (which is so nice to have, especially in this town) because he still had a slight fever last night. It hasn’t been anything earth-shattering, just a little cough, a little ear-tugging, very pink cheeks and lots of fussing (in other words, enough to drive a new mom crazy!). There has been some sort of weirdo virus going around everywhere, according to my doctor. My daughter goes back to work on Wednesday and then I’m chief cook and bottle washer (literally) during the day, so wish me luck. It’s been a loooong time since I did this full-time, oy!

    Joe, the burger looks delish, but seriously, you’ve got to try Burger and Beer Joint in Miami Beach. It’s to DIE FOR. 🙂

    We have the Wagyu with Maytag Bleu (extra, please) and red onion marmalade, and it’s worth the 6 hour drive from here. 🙂

  12. If a nice burger is Carl’s choice I have a friend in Bangkok who in on a senior member of a small franchise in Thailand the tailors to a more boutique taste of Burgers similar to burger depicted at “the Hub.” They are so enticing that it is difficult for most burger enthusiast to get his mouth around them (Bangkok Burger Company).
    Ghost sauce? Made with real Ghost peppers? Now that is something that should have a warning label on it. I was starting to sweat by just watching the Video. I had a friend who sold hot sauces on line. He brought in some ghost pepper for us to try. A little dab would do ya.
    Oh what was going on in the background? Seamed to be some serious shouting. Intern labor running amuck? Someone trying to herd cats? Keeping the writers room open to hear the screams like Sokar?

  13. @gforce – Well, I lived up in Moosonee for almost 2 years, it’s below the Arctic Circle. The nights right around the solstice were very pretty. The sun set, but you had a ‘glow’ that ran right into sunrise, so for a few days it was light all night.


  14. Totally agree. There are some people you meet along the way that right from the start, you know you’ll always be friends.

    As a novice writer keen to learn, I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall while that conversation was taking place! And I really hope you do a blog dedicated to writing one day. If you do, could I put in a request? I’d like to learn the essential differences between writing a story and a script (apart from the obvious!)


  15. I’m dutifully munching carrot sticks and green grapes while staring at those delicious pork rolls. Yesterday I dreamed I was chomping down a whole cake. Congrats to your buddy James for slimming down; it’s a bear and a half to stay on the diet wagon.

    I haven’t read any of the Cedar Cove books, sounds very cool for Carl. I can see Carl writing “Greyston’s heart pulsed with shuddering emotion as Rowena’s raven hair tumbled from her abundant weave…” Just kiddin’, I’m sure I’ll be glued to my tv wondering if Maxwell will sweep Miss Kitty off her feet, I’m a sucker for romance.

  16. We’re all still waiting on one of your projects to come to something Joe. Everyone else seems to be having more luck than you, and you deserve some 🙂

  17. @ Deni – Those burgers look fantastic!! I think I gained ten pounds just reading the menu. 😛


  18. G’day

    Hi James.

    I would join Carl for a good burger and beer any day. Best food.

  19. @gforce: Never pass up the opportunity to do a once in a lifetime thing. You never know when the opportunity will come up again.

    @MamaSue9: I’m going to call you this week – just a heads up to answer your phone. 🙂

    @Joe: I’m emailing you a suggestion/thought/request.

  20. Carl—Love his food choices. I’m a simple-food gal myself.

    Did you post this video in the past, because I’m having deja vu. It was one of my favorites.

    @Gforce: If you can afford the $1000, I’d go. There are many opportunities I have had to pass up because I simply could not afford it. If it doesn’t impact the budget short-term or long-term, definitely do it.

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