12:23 p.m.: I realize I’ve missed “The Call” and try Marty G., catching him enroute. I inform him that me and my Q7 are ready for Operation Magenta (a.k.a. Let’s go to Best Buy and get your brother a flat screen t.v.). He informs me that he is aborting his solo run and returning to home base.
12:51 p.m.: The pick-up goes off without a hitch.
13:02 p.m.: Arrival at Best Buy-ish. I take a wrong turn and end up in the Canadian Tire rooftop parking lot. While Martin checks out the inflatable Christmas lawn decorations, I attempt to master the parking ticket dispenser. It is a true battle of wills, man versus machine, that ends with machine eating man’s two dollars. Martin eventually walks over and pays with his credit card.
13:10 p.m. – We locate target – 40” Sony flat screen t.v. – and await the help of a “sales associate”. They are very friendly (“Hey, how are you?” on their way by) but not particularly helpful. One eventually slows as Martin waves him down with a: “Can I get some help?” He assures Martin that he will find someone to help and disappears into the back.
13:21 p.m. – No sign of help or the “sales associate”. I hope he’s okay. Martin flags down another “sales associate” who, again, slows down long enough to assure us he will find someone to help us before disappearing into the back.
13:31 p.m. – I fear something horrible has happened to the “sales associates”. Marty G. is more worried about which t.v. to choose. Eventually, he chooses among the conveniently available models and, decision made, we pick it up and head to the cash.
13:32 p.m. – We pass an employee (not a “sales associate”) who asks us if we’d like to pay for that. “Oh, no no,”Martin responds and leave him standing there, clearly confused.
13:33 p.m. – We reach the register where the girl at the counter asks us to locate the product’s bar code. We do. She passes the scanner over it. Nothing. She tries again. Nothing. She gives the scanner a shake and tries again. Nothing. “Maybe you should try turning it upside down and then rightside up really fast,”I suggest. She makes a half-effort, tries again. Nothing. “It’s all in the wrist,”I encourage her. She ignores me, types something on her computer screen, and tries again. Nothing. Again. Still nothing. Marty G. is beginning to look weary. “Did you try the upside down rightside up thing?”I ask. “Believe me, I’ve tried everything,”she responds in an obvious attempt to shut me up. Eventually, Martin realizes that her computer screen is prompting her from information. He walks her through the process. She tries the scanner. It works!
13:44 p.m. – The employee (not a “sales associate”) who had earlier inquired about our desire to pay for the t.v. set offers us a “t.v. check up”. Apparently, it’s Best Buy policy to check every television screen for obvious damage (ie. cracked screens, scratched frames, psychologically abused instrumental panels) before the product leaves the store. Martin and I stand by as the employee (not a “sales associate”) summons two peons (“sales associates”) to do the check up. After barely figuring out how to get the box open, they spend a full five minutes trying to remove the protective packaging without ripping it (unsuccessfully). They check the t.v. Nope. No obvious signs of damage. I takes them another five minutes to figure out how to put the protective packaging back on without ripping what’s left (unsuccessfully), then boxing it back up.
13:58 p.m.: One of the “sales associates” transports our purchase to the car. He suggests it sit straight up in the back seat rather than flat in the trunk. Marty G. does the honors, demonstrating great push and shifting skills and determination of spirit. Once he’s done, I complain that the box somewhat obscures my view out the back. “That’s what your back-up camera is for,”he assures me.
13:59 p.m.: As it turns out, my back-up camera only works if I’m driving backwards.
14:06 p.m.: We arrive at home base. I help Martin slide his purchase out of the back seat, across the street, up the stairs, past the giant skulls sitting on his front porch (presumably a Halloween decoration, although Halloween was three weeks ago) and into the house.
14:09 p.m.: Mission Accomplished! I await the customary invite for pizza and beer. It is not forthcoming. Instead, I receive a far less tasty handshake and “See you at work!”. Faaar less tasty.
Today’s photos: Operation Magenta
Today’s video: Click on the date for a mid-operation update from Marty G.
Jon K. writes: “Speaking of fried mars bars, ever had a fried snickers bar?”
Answer: Yup. While I do like them, I prefer the deep-fried Mars bar.
Charles Schneider writes: “Every time I hear the words “deep fried candy bar” I’m instantly reminded of the Simpson’s episode wherein Moe converts his bar into a TGI Friday’s-esque establishment…”
Answer: Where he deep fries the entire table, plates and all. Laugh if you like, but I think it would work. Especially if the plates were edible.
Promogirl writes: “Will we see Carter going on any more off world missions this season?”
Answer: Carter will see action in the back half of the season.
Nikki writes: “Should it turn out, would you like some? Did you ever have molasses taffy growing up?”
Answer: Molasses taffy? Hmmm. I’m dubious. I’m not a chewy candy fan.
Crazymom writes: “I’ve been having a wonderful time catching up on my email, posting the photos of Emma’s “no more chemo” party and writing stories about the crazy people I deal with at work.”
Answer: Great to hear that Emma will be enjoying a nice Thanksgiving dinner.
Cheveron7 writes: “When questions hit your ear about visual effects and space battles you respond BE ALL MY SINS REMEMBER’D. Now I thought the visual effects in Adrift and Lifeline were pretty killer. Are they just going to get better?”
Answer: There’s an incredible sequence in BAMSR that, in my opinion, is the best visual effects sequence we’ve ever done.
Michelle writes: “One thing (of many) I loved about The Seer was that John values the peoples of Pegasus as much as the safety of Atlantis… asserting they can’t defend the city at all costs to the other civilizations. Not only is it the “right” position, we haven’t really seen it stated before, and it sets up lots of potential for more conflict with the IOA and US military. Will that be explored this year?”
Answer: Yep. Very late this season.
Jessy Ka writes: “I was wondering, is there any chance to receive an Atlantis e-card with your signature and best wishes for me?”
Answer: Best wishes, Jessy Ka. Better, no?
Paula writes: “If we ever talk you into coming to Atlanta for Dragon*Con, stay over a couple of days and I’ll take you to some great Southern BBQ!”
Nolim writes: “In my opinion, the main difference between SG-1 and SGA is the question of bad guys…”
Answer: You raise an interesting point but, for me, what makes a villain interesting is both motivation and personality. The great thing about the System Lords was that they were incredibly colorful characters. Lord Yu, especially, stands out because, despite being “evil”, was surprisingly honorable nevertheless. The Ori, while interesting, lacked individual personality, which is why Adria was introduced. In the case of the wraith, you could argue that they have no choice (that they simply consider humans food), but there is no doubt that they enjoy toying with their victims and even take great pleasure in their suffering. If that’s not evil, I don’t know what is. Nevertheless, in spite of their superior attitude, this season we are making an effort to explore a more “human side” to the wraith through the character of Todd. As I said, I always find multi-layered enemies much more interesting than simply “scary for scary’s sake”.
Dee in South Africa writes: “ I have a brother your age and if he said that to me,well,I would have my hand out and an evil grin on my face. Joe, face it, you’re toast.”
Answer: Yeah, she called me last night in celebration.
Cheeky Lil Devil writes: “We were talking about the CG Wraith being in Atlantis, and someone brought up a good point. How are they going to feed him?”
Answer: That’s a great question.
Anonymous writes: “ why did N. John Smith say that the character was only ‘disappearing’ when he leaked word about Paul McGillion no longer being main cast?”
Answer: That is a question for N. John Smith.
Anonymous #2 writes: “I had fantastic barbeque in Kelwona of all places. The Memphis Blues Barbeque House has the best platter I’ve had outside the South and the only BBQ poutine I’ve ever seen!”
Answer: My favorite BBQ joint in town. Their pecan pie a la mode is fantastic.