I’d like to kick things off with a book recommendation. Now, to be perfectly honest, I don’t read much fantasy. I don’t have the time given the number of scifi classics I still need to get through. But recently, after finishing my twentieth scifi novel in a row, I opted for a change of pace and picked up Scott Lynch’s debut: “The Lies of Locke Lamora”. It was terrific. The novel follows the misadventures of the title character, Locke Lamora, from his early years as an orphaned apprentice thief to his rise as a creatively accomplished scammer, all set amidst the backdrop of a world so elaborately detailed and skillfully conveyed that one would think the author either a brilliant storyteller or a crazy person persuaded to the reality of his own fiction. The world he creates is that convincing. The writing is smart, darkly humorous, and downright touching at times. Highly recommended.
Also let me take a moment to offer congratulations to one of my favorite Vancouver restaurant reviewers, Andrew Morrison, who besides writing food-related articles for various publications and running waiterblog.com and urbandiner.ca, will soon be assuming some additional duties as the editor of the new Vancouver edition of EAT magazine. Bon Appetit, Andrew.
So, the other day I was listing those way-back t.v. chesnuts like “knock someone unconscious by hitting them with the butt of a gun”. Well, another one came to mind yesterday: the old “shoot something out of someone‘s hand without actually injuring said hand” gag. Just like they did on Lost last night (after which they knocked someone unconscious by hitting them with the butt of a gun). I didn’t watch the whole episode as I was distracted by Bubba trying to get at one of his chew toys that had rolled beneath the living room couch, and Fondy left halfway through to go check her email, but I was confused by the actions of that Other woman character – you know, the one that looks like Nicole from SG-1 accounting. At first, she lets Jack radio her people and tell them to back off and let his friends go. Then, seconds later, she gets on the radio herself and tells them to hunt them down and kill them. Then, after a conversation with Henry (who demonstrates remarkable mid-surgery endurance), she decides that she’ll let them leave after all. And then goes off to help them escape. But – wouldn’t it have been easier to just get on the radio and call off the hunting party? Again, I was retrieving the blue rubber flying saucer toy from under the couch so I didn’t see what happened so I might have missed the explanation – and, apparently, the incredibly well-orchestrated deployment of a bus as a lethal weapon.
Based on Fondy’s internet research – and the glowing online reviews she came across – we decided to check out Pho Tan Vietnamese restaurant (4598 Main Street, 604-873-3345). Fondy had the pho (a Vietnamese soup containing noodles, rare beef, tendon, and brisket) which was, no bunk, the best we‘ve had. The broth, according to our friendly server – who may have been the owner – had been simmered for some ten hours and contained no MSG. It was clean and flavorful, non-greasy and delicious. I had a combination plate that included excellent lemongrass chicken, shredded pork, and egg meatpie on broken rice. Overall, a very nice restaurant serving some very good food. The menu offers twice as many choices as your average Vancouver Vietnamese eatery and I aim to work my way through most in time.
Finally, I said I would make special mention of my apprentices in evil – Marsha Robertson and Juanne Michaud – who were kind enough to send me my very own, master villain snow white scheming/stroking cat. Thanks, ladies.
William Heap writes: “Joe, I’ve seen both First Strike and Bounty now, and can’t fathom how the same writing team could possibly put out both. […]. First Strike restored my faith in the franchise yesterday, only to have it savagely struck down by Bounty this morning. […] Help me understand, because I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.”
Answer: Laugh during Bounty and cry after First Strike. Well, that was the plan anyway.
Peter writes: “When does shooting for Season 4 of Atlantis start?”
Answer: We start prep for season 4 in the last week of February and begin shooting the first week of March.
Mike writes: “Why did you guys came up with a new enemy from outside our galaxy for season nine? […] I personally would find it interesting to explore the aftermath of the goa’uld downfall and the several factions trying to come to power. The Lucian alliance could have been a formidable foe like the Genii of Stargate Atlantis. Plus the many people who might still follow the Goa’uld as gods could also be great to explore.”
Answer: Given the fact that we defeated two of our major villains (the goa’uld and the replicators) and said goodbye to series regular Richard Dean Anderson in season eight, the decision was made to introduce a new villain (the Ori), along with some new regulars, as a means of reinvigorating the Stargate franchise and creating a new beginning of sorts. The idea was to fashion a major story arc focused on this new threat, but to also tell stories that explored our post-goa’uld galaxy. The Lucian Alliance was originally imagined as a coalition of mercenaries that would prove a dangerous wildcard in SG-1’s battle against the Ori army. In the end, it didn’t exactly pan out as I had hoped.
Sgeureka writes: “Can you say whether you or the other producers have been approached yet to do DVD audio commentaries for seasons 10 and 3?”
Answer: Sure I can. This Monday, Paul and I provided DVD commentary for Family Ties and Memento Mori. Paul did the Quest II commentary with Andy Mikita, while I joined Andy for the commentaries on Quest I, Morpheus, and Counterstrike.
Sally writes: “1 – If you know, what teams did amanda and rick root for in the superbowl? (mom and dad are from chicago). 2 – what is your favorite starbucks drink? (I work there)”
Answer: 1 – Sorry, I don‘t know. 2 – I‘m not a coffee drinker. But I do steal the occasional sip of my wife‘s eggnog latte.
Anonymous writes: ” Who is the Grim Reaper coming for next?”
Answer: I don’t know. If I had to guess, maybe Olivia de Havilland?