Today was Round #1 of the big Stargate Ice Cream Showdown pitting big-time writer/director/executive producer/showrunner/show creator Robert C. Cooper vs. humble little me. The judges’ table was comprised of the regular writers’ room attendees – Ashleigh, Lawren, Brad, Paul, Carl, Remi, and Linda – with the addition of producer John G. Lenic and Kerry who made her way up from post for the sampling.
Rob’s Mint Chip Ice Cream vs. Joe’s Advokaat-Laced Vanilla with Crumbled Flake Ice Cream
As I said in yesterday’s post, mint is a polarizing flavor. There are those who love it (ie. Ashleigh, Brad, and Kerry) and there are those who hate it (ie. me – not that it did me any good as I didn’t have a vote). I countered with an ingredient I had a feeling Ashleigh, Brad, and Kerry would love even more. Vanilla? No, I’m talking about booze. We sampled a scoop of each and the voting broke down as follows -
Kerry: mint chip, Ashleigh: mint chip, Paul: vanilla crumble, Lawren, vanilla crumble, Linda: vanilla crumble, and Carl: vanilla crumble.
At this point, I was ahead 4-2 with two votes to go. Both Brad and John Lenic maintained they liked both ice creams equally – but, when pressed, ended up going with the chocolate mint.
Final score: 4-4 (tie)
Rob’s Coconut-Raspberry Swirl Ice Cream vs. Joe’s Coconut Cream Pie Ice Cream
My version is fairly busy – graham crackers, toasted coconut, dark rum – and I figured I would be in trouble if, as I assumed, Rob went with a clean and simple coconut. Instead, he decided to go fruity – raspberry no less! – which I felt was a huge strategic error on his part. Alas, I didn’t bank on an error in judgment on my part- specifically, the addition of too much crushed graham crackers that lent the whole an almost paste-like consistency. In this round, the voting broke down as follows -
Kerry: coconut cream pie, Ashleigh: coconut raspberry, Paul: coconut cream pie, Lawren: coconut raspberry, Linda: coconut raspberry, Carl: coconut raspberry, John: coconut cream pie, and Brad: coconut raspberry.
Final score: 5-3 coconut-raspberry.
Rob ended the festivities with a third, out-of-competition flavor – Smores Ice Cream – which I thought was his best.
So, heading into tomorrow’s second and final round, it’s Rob 1, Joe 0, and 1 tie.
Okay. While I’ll admit that there were textural flaws with the coconut ice cream, I personally preferred its flavor over the coconut-raspberry which I thought was closer to ice milk than ice cream. But I respect the judges’ decisions. I don’t, however, respect their decision on the mint chip over the vanilla crumble. That’s just crazy. Seriously. I haven’t been this outraged since the O.J. verdict.
Well, it all comes down to a round two chocolate face-off (his chocolate brownie vs. my premium milk and dark), and wildcard free-for-all (his peanut butter crunch vs. my salted butter caramel). Despite Rob’s confidence, I’m confident I can sweep tomorrow’s contest for the win. There’s no way anything is beating that salted butter caramel. As for the chocolate brownie, if store-bought brownies can beat a chocolate entry made with Pralus 45% Melissa and Amedei Chuao then fine. In the future, I’ll find it far easier to bring in ice cream cake from Dairy Queen than spend a day making ice cream at home.
Today’s entry is dedicated to the men and women of our Armed Forces, past and present.
dasNdanger writes: “I guess if you just read the first couple issues that means it didn’t captivate you or anything, eh?”
Answer: I did like it, but not enough to continue reading – so, yes, your assessment is correct. In the end, it didn’t really grab me.
Sean D. writes: “Have you read all of the sequels to John Scalzi’s “Old Man’s War” series (“The Ghost Brigades”, “The Last Colony”, “Zoe’s Tale”)? Watcha think of ‘em?”
Answer: I have and enjoyed them all. However, like first love’s and firstborn children, that first Scalzi – Old Man’s War – remains my favorite. I strongly urge you to check out John’s The Android’s Dream, an equally incredible read.
Sean D. also writes: “What would you recommend starting with from Iain Banks’ collection?”
Answer: I’ve been reading them in the order in which they were published, starting with Consider Phlebas, and it’s worked me.
Sean D. also writes: “Which author is your favorite – or one of your favorites – as far as it involves inserting humor into the stories?”
Answer: John Scalzi in the world of literary SF; Joe Abercrombie in the world of Fantasy lit.
BStearns writes: “Everyone is always saying that Destiny is so important, and Rush even said it’s the most important discovery since the Stargate itself. What I fail to understand is why?”
Answer: Yes, why? Why did the Ancients go through the trouble of launching Destiny and the seed ships? Why is the Lucian Alliance so interested in the ship? The answers are coming in season two. And they may surprise.
Kevin writes: “Thanks for answering my questions…this time and others…your my new favorite SGU Exec Producer “
Answer: Would did I bump out of the number one spot? I need to know so that I can go rub it in.
Kevin also writes: “Rush and Scott have both had these ‘visions’ of Telford some time after connecting thru him. Young has connected thru Telford as well, but to our knowledge, never had the ‘visions’. Should we read something significant into this?”
Answer: Don’t read too much into it. Young may well have experienced similar visions at night and dismissed them as somehow related to his past experiences (ie. given the time Telford has spent with Emily).
Kevin also writes: “Also, in the premier, Young has a seizure concurrently in both a dream sequence and in real life. Was he starting to have real seizures before Icarus and this is why he turned down the expedition? Or was the seizure totally related to the blow he took after being ejected thru the gate?”
Answer: His collapsing in the flashback was a bleed-thru of the concussion he received/seizure he experienced back on Destiny.
Shawna writes: “So… are we ever going to see someone make use of the fact that when they use the stones, they’re in a body not their own.”
Answer: We’ll be exploring the dangers inherent in the technology in season two.
PG15 writes: “How did Rush know Kiva’s name when he was on the Cargo ship?”
Answer: Rush’s hesitation is meant to convey him searching the fragments of Telford’s residual memory, which allows him to finally fish out her name. A lot of good it did him.
Anais33 a ecrit: “Vous allez utliser tout ces ingrédients pour la glace!! Qui vous a appris à les faires? Je voudrai en réaliser vous savez où je pourrai avoir la recette?”
Response: La plupart je les ai créés moi-même.
Gilder writes: “Joe, any advice or links to info on adjusting sleep before travel?”
Answer: Simply force yourself into a new sleep pattern and, if possible, swing my a drugstore and pick up some of those melatonin tablets.
Gilder also writes: “I’ve mentined that Ronny Cox is going on this tour. I’ll also see him this coming week at Kerrville (TX) Folk Festival. Any messages, gang?”
Answer: Definitely say hi from us.
Lloyd67 writes: “Do you want include Maximus in a SGU episode?”
Answer: I want to include all four dogs – but they’re holding out for a bigger role.
TBA writes: “Are there any plans to, other than the Lucian Alliance, bring back any unresolved plot elements from SG1 into the show, like The Trust or the search for the Clava Thessara Infinitas?”
Answer: No plans to do so at present.
Echelon writes: “Is it safe to assume that the time slot move will happen when the show returns from hiatus?”
Answer: Yes, it’s planned for our fall return, season two.
niall mcnamara writes: “i was wondering how did you make stargate the entire series into a tv show.”
Answer: I didn’t. Stargate: Universe, like Stargate: Atlantis before it, was created by Brad Wright and Robert Cooper.
Laila writes: “Is he portraying the same character in SGU as he was in SG1, or a different one?”
Answer: You know how they say there is a twin of you somewhere in the world? Well, there are no doubt triplets of you somewhere in the galaxy. The bounty hunter did look a hell of a lot like Varro – which is how he was able to get onboard that Lucian Alliance ship and so close to its commander. See, plans for this character were in the work years in advance.
DANIEL FLEMING writes: “hi, do you think that a renewal of “SGU” season 3 is likely?
Answer: I wouldn’t even hazard a guess at this point. It’ll all come down to how those first ten episodes of season two perform. Ideally, I’d love to see the show go five seasons (and I think chances are very good). Still, when Paul and I joined the franchise way-back-when, it was with the understanding that it would go two more years after which we’d be out looking for work. Instead, we’ve gone twelve and counting. So, whenever Stargate ends, it’ll be a sad day, but I’ll be thankful for the time we had.
Jordan writes: “1. Do you need to have an Agent to be considered for employment as a writer or freelance writer?
2. When do you guys read/skim pitches from freelancers? (With or without Agent.)”
Answers: 1 and 2. Yes. As soon as we get an official pick-up, we put word out to the various agencies who will scour their rosters and put forth potential candidates for staff positions or freelance opportunities. We accept freelance pitches as long as there are open story slots.
Greg writes: “Were you involved with the Stargate MMO (Massive multiplayer Online Game) ? Are you into anything like that ?”
Answer: Nope, wasn’t involved. And I’m not a gamer.
Holloway writes: “I understand you are busy as well but still I would have thought by now you would have at least commented on my remarks at least once.”
Answer: Much of the time, my failure to respond to a comment has everything to do with timing. If a comment is posted on a day in which I don’t do a mailbag, chances are it won’t receive a response. Touching upon your concerns re: Greer, supports of other characters have had similar complaints and, while I can sympathize, I nevertheless feel we’ve done a pretty good job of establishing the show and offering a mix of one-off and arc-driven episodes while, simultaneously, servicing a pretty large cast. Some of those character opportunities you mentioned (ie. the Greer-Wray relationship) will be explored in future episodes and hopefully answer some of your concerns.
dasNdanger writes: “Mebbe you shouldn’t be nekkid when taking pictures of something so shiny… and reflective…”
Answer: Alas, despite initial assumptions, that isn’t me in the pink apron.
me writes: “I just saw David Blue in a Subway commercial – right?”
me also writes: “How long does it take you to make your ice cream?”
Answer: Depending on the base, about 45 minutes to make the custard. Allow it to cool overnight. Then, another 45 minutes in the ice cream machine.
niall mcnamara writes: “is there any possible way for you to have a read of my book”
Answer: Sorry, but I’ll have to regretfully decline.
Ponytail writes: “Is there nothing you can’t do?”
Answer: Yes. Apparently changing the lock on my garage door has proven beyond me.
HBMC writes: “Are you afraid Ashleigh’s bias will make her vote against you?”
Answer: Oh, I think everyone will be impartial. Unless I lose. Then everyone was clearly biased.
Thornyrose writes: “What happens if the voting goes 2/2 though?”
Answer: We go to the tiebreaking fistfight. Winner take all!
Shiningwit writes: “You’ve probably told us before but I’ve slept since then so could you tell us (again) how come you became such a gastronome?”
Answer: My parents instilled in me a love of food at a very early age.
PSYCHObaatezu writes: “I’ve learned doing caramel that usely, you don’t stir at all the sugar water mix while it’s on the cooking fire. You lay it flat and let it do its stuff. But by looking at the picture, you seem to stir it alot. Was it mentionned in the recipe?”
Answer: Sugar. No water. According to the recipe – “Use a heatproof utensil to gently stir the liquefied sugar from the bottom and edges towards the center, stirring, until all the sugar is dissolved.” http://www.davidlebovitz.com/archives/2007/04/salted_butter_c.html
Dodoalda writes: “Why are you still ignoring my soundtrack question?”
Answer: What was the question?
Daniel Fleming writes: “1, I am 15 now and i live in the uk and i have watched Stargate ever since i was very little, and I have always wondered how much did a SG1 episode cost, and did the budget per episode ( or season, whatever easiest) ever go up or down, and could you please answer the question for Stargate Atlantis and Universe, thanks very much.
2, Is there any chance of a spin off show to Stargate Universe and will stargate come to an end if SGU gets cancelled? (I hope SGU lasts a very long time)
3, Is there any chance of MGM cancelling the movie and renewing Stargate Atlantis the TV series ?
4, Will Peter DeLuise direct any more SGU episodes?
5, This is very random but, will you use any of David Bowie’s music on SGU, as it is often about isolation and depression? (David Bowie is my favourite artist)
6, As i live in the uk, i was wondering what is it like in Vancouver?”
Answers: 1. The budgets vary from year to year as the costs of producing the series rise.
2. That is ultimately a studio decision.
3. No chance whatsoever. Sorry.
4. Yes. As a matter of fact, he’s prepping Twin Destinies this week.
5. No plans to use Bowie’s music at present.
6. I’d imagine it’s very similar to London but with more mountains, less traffic, and fewer zombies.