Well, mom headed back to Montreal today, her three week stay with us having drawn to a close with nary a museum visit or art gallery foray. My mother, alas, was not interested in any of the cultural excursions I had planned. She was, however, up for Fondy’s cross-city tour of various Vancouver landmarks including what is apparently the largest Buddhist temple in North America, skeevy Chinatown, and Stanley Park (highlighted by the breath-taking view from Prospect Point which is, incidentally, where I nodded off, awakening an hour later as we were pulling up in front of the house). I have to admit, though, I did enjoy myself at the Buddhist temple where, strolling through its expansive grounds, I was transported back to our last visit to Hong Kong and was once again filled with regret we were unable to make the return trip this year.
I was so bummed, in fact, that I decided to try a little experiment. Before embarking on our last East Asian vacation, I purchased two new bottles of cologne – one for my stay in Hong Kong, the other for my stay in Tokyo – in the hopes that their unique scents would forever evoke fond memories my time there. After all, I’ve heard it said that scent is the highest memory trigger of all the senses. So, last night, I put that theory to the test by dabbing a bit of Terre d’Hermes beneath my nose before bedtime, just enough for its subtle bouquet to work its magic on my sleeping brain. Would I be whisked back to Hong Kong in my reverie? Would my drifting mind be steered toward remembrances of Lantau, Kowloon, and the spicy shoft-shell crab at Hutong? In a word: no. Instead, I dreamt that special features producer Ivon Bartok played a practical joke on Rob Zombie, who was on the lot directing his latest feature, pissing the man off enough that he dispatched some Siamese dwarves to my home to inquire about my involvement in the affair.
Well, I’m almost caught up on my reading for the upcoming book discussions, with this month’s selections ranging from excellent to tough slogging. Remember, you’re not expected to read all of them. Just a pick a book from the genre that interests you. I’ll be weighing in with my thoughts on the official selections – The Time Traveler’s Wife, The Princess Bride, and Ghost Story – starting Monday. If you’re interested in having a shot at taking home the sequel to Sean Williams’ The Crooked Letter, then weigh in with your opinions on the book the following Monday (January 14th).
Today’s blog is dedicated to the sickly Quilani.
Today’s pics: The sights and sounds of Vancouver (minus the sounds).
Sagacious writes: “Since Atlantis is now on a different planet, any chance our heroes might have to deal with extreme weather, such as snow, wicked cold, or even extreme heat? Assuming you have one, what’s on your iPod?”
Answers: 1) Possibly. 2) I own an iPod I never use. Fondy has it.
Steph writes: “what’s your opinion on manga?”
Answer: I don’t read manga, so I can’t really weigh in with an educated opinion.
Narellefromaus writes: “Do you find that your dogs have different reactions to your return home after a trip?”
Answer: No, they pretty much all go nuts the second we walk in the door.
Ladydulcinea writes: “…we have just sold all of our worldly posessions and are 10 minutes away from leaving for the airport. We’ll be at your door tomorrow night and we’d like to bed down as soon as possible.”
Answer: Now I feel really bad. You see, to take advantage of the skyrocketing home prices, Fondy and I have sold our house. We are living in our car until after the 2010 Olympics when, presumably, the market will crash and we’ll be able to buy a new house at half the price. If only you’d told me sooner.
Valerie writes: “How much say do the actors have in what is required for them for the show? For example if the script called for an actress to shave off her hair or to perform a stunt without a stunt double (due to how it needed to be shot) could she be required to do so due to her contract?”
Answer: We would never force an actor into such a situation. For instance, in Adrift, that was a stand-in whose head was shaved and not Torri. There are, however, occasions when we will hire an actor with the understanding that they may require some physical change of them. A gag I like to play during auditions is to ask the nervous actors whether they’d mind waxing their eyebrows for the part.
RachelCooperLPN writes: “As a writer on Stargate, you do realize that while you guys create the material, it is fans such as myself and the others who visit this blog who make or break your enterprise, do you not?”
Answer: Of course. If it weren’t for our fans, there wouldn’t be a show.
Susiekew writes: “ Several times over the past few months people have asked for your recommendation for a good scifi book, and more often that not you answered John Scalzi’s Old Mans War. Well, I picked up a copy and loved it. I will be definately be reading more of his work. Any more suggestions?”
Answer: Scifi? Check out some Iain M. Banks – The Player of Games or Consider Phlebas.
Arctic Goddess writes: “How come all the alien civilizations that the teams on Stargate visit speak English?”
Answer: Good question. In my mind, gate travelers are implanted with translator nanites that allow them to understand and be understood whenever they travel off-world. Of course, the system isn’t 100% efficient as evidenced by the inability to translate goa’uld.
Rdcalalow writes: “I wanted to know if you knew about or had had Canadian or American Kobe beef and how different it is from the Japanese?”
Answer: Canadian and American Kobe beef is excellent – but nothing beats the real thing.
AnneTeldy writes: “. Someone once told me that the city of Atlantis is about the size of Manhattan. Is that the closest comparison, or is there something else you(collective) use to visualize the size and scope of the city? 2. Will you settle a good-natured argument about Atlantis, please? I say that the city of Atlantis itself was more of a government center/research facility/university than a true city.  Opponent says that, given its size, there had to have been factories and schools and children in Atlantis making it a true city.”
Answer: 1) That’s the comparison we’ve always drawn in the room. 2) I’ll call it a tie. Although, quite clearly, the main focus of the city was research, the war with the wraith eventually forced the surviving Ancients to fall back to Atlantis, transforming it into a stronghold and more of the community described by your friend.
Knightie writes: “I am assuming that the editors will use different camera angles to put the finished product together? Who determines that: The editors or the director?”
Answer: The editor will gather together all of the footage and put together the first cut, what is referred to as, appropriately enough, the editor’s cut. The director will watch it, then join the editor in the editing suite, replacing shots and making changes as he sees fit. Once he’s done, he puts out the new cut which is called, appropriately enough, the director’s cut. The producer watches it, then joins the editor in the editing suite, replacing shots and making changes as he sees fit. Once he’s done, he puts out a new cut which is known as, appropriately enough, the producer’s cut.
Crazymom writes: “What is yang chow fried rice?”
Answer: I’m sure there are many variations, but the one my mother enjoys includes eggs, barbecued pork, shrimp, green onions, peas, and, of course, rice.
Grapesofwraith writes: “Do the directors sign up for episodes, or do you write with a director in mind, or is it chosen in another way?”
Answer: We (the producers) put together the directors schedule prior to the start of production.
Cat4444 writes: “If WordPress already has a preview function, Joe figures out how to enable it…”
Answer: If it does, I haven’t been able to find it.
Annie from Freemantle writes: “What factors are considered when the PTB make their final decision as to giving the go ahead for the next season?”
Answer: It’s the network that decides whether to pick up a show or not and their decision is based on the show’s performance only insofar as they are concerned. Variables like dvd sales, episode downloads and international sales and viewership, on the other hand, inform the studio’s decision on whether or not to continue production.
Jedi43 writes: “Have you ever tried Venison or Buffalo? And if yes did you like it?”
Answer: I have enjoyed both, but prefer venison over buffalo. They are lean meats and, if improperly prepared, can be tough.
Atimson writes: “Would you rather see the deleted scenes reedited into the episodes, or see them simply live on the disc as a “what might have been”?”
Answer: Given the choice, I’d choose the latter. Deleted scenes are usually deleted for a very good reason.
Neep writes: “What is your current favourite chocolate?”
Answer: Amedei Chuao.
Stargatemagic writes: “Is the show Psych shot in Vancouver?”
Answer: It was.
Firefly827347 writes: “I also have a question about staff-type weapons, i.e. Jaffa staffs and the ones Ori soldiers use. Is there some kind of trigger on them used to fire them or are they fired by thought control like Lantean weapons?”
Mrs.B108 writes: “1- Do you think the darker feel of this season will continue into season five? 2- Would you say the loyalty and bond between the core team really shine through the remainder of the season?”
Answers: 1. Possibly. 2. I think so.
Josh Hancock writes: “Have you or any other writers ever taken ideas for episodes for SG1/SGA from fanfic or theories that people have come up with?”