One of those high-end groceries just opened up a mere five minute stroll from our place. It’s your one-stop shops for such unique upscale products as four dollar avocadoes and rosewater soda, items no sane person would ever consider buying. Cyprus black lava flake salt? Truffle honey? Pickled capers? Okay, maybe if you’re looking to create a very special dish. Or kicking off a new video blog segment titled “The Weird Food Purchase of the Day”.

Yes, what I thought I’d do is pick up the strangest food product I happen to come across on any given day, take it back home, then have Fondy document me sampling it for the first time. Will the discovery of a delightfully exotic concoction have me singing its praises? Or will it have me rushing off to the bathroom to induce vomiting instead? Let’s find out. The first video in what I hope will be a semi-regular feature (stomach permitting) can be found at the bottom of this blog entry.

Hey, pursuant to yesterday’s entry concerning my top 5 July reads, I was wondering about your respective attitudes toward books on the opposite end of the scale. Are you a patient reader? How patient? I, for one, consider myself a fairly tolerant reader and do try to finish most any book I start – but there are occasions when that’s just plain impossible. Either the story hasn’t grabbed me, the style is off-putting or, in some instances, I’m bored to tears or wholly unimpressed. Still, looking back over the past 100 books I picked up, I have a pretty impressive 95% completion rate. Whenever I start reading a book, I like to apply my 25% Rule. It’s quite simple really: Stick with it through at least 25% of the narrative and, if after completing that 25% you still feel like flinging the book across the hallway, then you’re well within your rights to fling away. It doesn’t happen often but it does happen. The last book I gave up on was an 800 page tome. I reached the 350 page mark before calling it quits. It was very well-written but it didn’t engage me and, at the end of the day, I thought “Hey, I could be out back watering Fondy’s hydrangeas!”.

So, do you have any set rules applicable to challenging reads? Is it 10%, 25%, or 100 page cut-off? Or are you like my writing partner, Paul, who adopts a Life’s Too Short attitude and drops books more often than he finishes them?

And what rules do you apply to authors? As far as I’m concerned, one bad book is not enough to cross an author off my to-read list. Two will do it though.

Another reminder: You have one more day to post your questions for writer-Supervising Producer Alan McCullough.

Mailbox:

Wams 352 writes: “So, First Atlantis Recon Team – you do know what that makes the acronym, right? (and for those of you who don’t – FART?).”

Answer: Thanks for pointing that out when you did or it could have been very embarrassing. Fortunately, we were able to change the team designation in post before the episode shipped. Officially now, they’re Stargate High Intel Team. Whew! Dodged a bullet there.

Iamjohn writes: “Why did SG1 seem to have a much easier time renewing seasons 1-5 then Atlantis did?”

Answer: Because SG-1 actually spent its first five seasons on Showtime and only moved to SciFi in its sixth season.

Charles Cooney writes: “ Are the aliens we see in daedalas variations the same ones in the mid season 2 parter?”

Ryan writes: “I would like to know whose idea was to let Shepperd play around with a Nintendo DS in a few scenes this season?”

Answer: I believe that was director Andy Mikita’s idea.

MysteryMadchen writes: “What I don’t understand cause I missed a few episodes was why did Rose go to an alternative reality? Wasn’t see from earth, I mean the none alternative “our” earth? I’m soooo confused.”

Answer: Haven’t watched Dr. Who’s 4th season but, back in season 2, Rose was stranded in an alternate reality and unable to continue her travels with the doctor.

Inpa writes: “I read over at Gateworld (since they provide some behind the scenes tid-bits on episodes in the episode page) that you once said that you were worried about the episode (Daedalus Variations) while it was in the outline stage, what was it at the time you were concerned about?”

Answer: In its early stages of development, I was concerned that the reality-jumping beats would prove repetitive. As it turned out, however, they were executed in a way that proved both unique and fun. And the huge VFX budget helped.

132 thoughts on “August 2, 2008: The 25% Reading Rule and I Kick Off My Weird Food Purchase of the Day Video Segment

  1. You should take up acting. Your face said everything whilst you were valiantly munching those nuts.

    Take them in to work on Monday and offer them around – then record the reaction of each of your victims.

    🙂

    Have a nice Sunday

  2. If you really want weird food, try here! Unless, of course, Fuel serves baloney on a Chef’s Salad? (And yes, I do mean cut up in the salad, not a bologna sandwich with a salad. )

    Anne Teldy (who — sadly — is not making this up)

  3. Will we be seeing the new bad guys in the mid season two parter?

    If not when will they be back?

  4. Papitas are pumpkin seeds, as far as I know

    Hey – do you hold only one chocolate party a year? Or do you have one every once in a while? How many different brands have you tried to date? Are there any you haven’t tried that you are eager to try?

    Love season 5 – great work everybody! 🙂

  5. Hey, you’re a writer. I’m with Tina. Describe the taste.

    Questions for Alan: How did you come up with the science to explain the incredible reality jumping in TDV? Did you have to consult knolwedgeable people or reference works to ensure that the science made sense? PS: Loved the episode.

  6. Oh Joe!

    I feel so sorry for you…in a “I’m rolling on the floor laughing” type of way. Kinda makes me wish my friends had a video camera around when my dad made me try barley tea. I think I almost smacked my best friend in the face in my flailing. My mom described it best, she said the aftertaste was like wet cigarette filters. Being a non smoker, I’m not exactly certain, but it sure did make me want to cut my tongue off to get rid of the taste.

    About your curiosity on our reading rules, I find it really quite simple. I have perfected the art of judging a book by its cover, and if I like the cover and the description, 99% of the time I finish the book within a week. Books that are a bit tough to slog through I will continue reading till I hit the month mark. If I’m still reading it in a month, and haven’t gotten close to finishing, I’ll set it aside. I always attempt to return to books I haven’t finished later on in life, hoping that my patience or taste in books has changed enough for me to read all the way through. Right now I’m waiting to grow into Eifelheim. My mother and I both tried to read this book two times already and never managed to get past the first chapter, but the story intrigued us so much we keep trying. Hopefully someday we’ll succeed. And hopefully its worth the time spent!

    Just as a final note, Daedalus Variations was a great episode, I enjoyed it immensely, besides having to wait till the next afternoon to watch the recording I made of it. I reveled in guessing what the team was going to be doing before they did it (I was right 95% of the time). Unlike some people, I find it fun to be able to guess whats going to happen, I tend not to describe it as predictable, just that I was prescient.

  7. I love SusantheTartanturtle’s idea. No sense in letting the stuff go to waste. And it will teach the folks at work to keep an eye on your blog. Speaking of which, any idea on what the count is on views? It’s been some time since you’ve indicated numbers. And how do you rank in relationship to the other wordpress blogs? It’s time to knock those kittens off their pedastal if they are depriving you of your rightful spot at the top of the heap…
    In reference to your questions about finishing a book. I have a pretty high percentage rate of completion, about the 90% mark. I don’t have a set rule for when I will abandon a book. Often I’ll be alternating between two or three books, finishing off those nearest at hand or holding my interest. If I find myself reaching for another new book instead of finishing the ‘leftover”, I take my own hint and shelve it. As for trying an author out, I don’t normally hold a single book against the author, but if I get two duds in a row, I’ll tend to avoid him or her thereafter. What’s harder is when you pick up a book, enjoy it, then on getting other works by the same writer discover you lucked out the first time. Because of that one hit, it’s hard to decide when to hope lightning will strike twice, or give it up as a bad job.
    Some questions for Mr. McCullough. First, thank you for taking the time to participate in this forum. In regards to Tabula Rasa, how did you decide on a virus that affected memory? What sort of medical research, if any, was involved? How much of a story do you have mapped out in your own mind when first presenting it as a possible story; a bare outline, or do stories seem to spring full blown to mind? What aspect of working on a show like Atlantis is most rewarding, and what is most challenging? Do you see yourself going on to directing episodes, or do you have some other career goals? Hmm. Sorry for so many questions, and thanks again for any answers you provide.
    And thanks to you Mr. M. for that great video. I eagerly await your further trials and experimentation on the exotic fare so near at hand.

  8. OMG… Joe you are sooooo funny! Loved the strange food review video a lot… Fondy did great job of shooting it!

    And S.H.I.T. that must of been a huge bullet that missed! LOL!!!!

    Very funny! Thanks

    Patricia Lee

  9. Hiya Joey. I am currently bogged by the humboldt hell. First it starts with a sore throat that lasts for three days and by the end, you’re ready for someone to just rip out your neck. And then it progresses to the sniffles, constantly blowing your nose, and sneezing like you’ve shoved a pepper shaker into your nose. It has even affected my Stargate Watching Schedule! ACK! *sneeze* Couldn’t very well watch Phantoms while covering my face with a tissue every two minuets as my body gets ready to revolt the contents of my nose. This blows, litteraly.

    Wanted to ask thought, in Phantoms, is there a deleted scene between where John found Carson with Kagan, and when all is well at the entrance o the cave? And how did those supplies get through the gate? Did they just toss em? Doesnt sound very safe….

    Anyway, wish me luck as I battle whatever hellish bug found its way through my system. Perhaps there is a cure in sight. If it were television, it would not be till the 56th minute that I would discover such cure. Leaving the last four minutes for recovery. Templates are a bitch.

  10. Great video. Perfect timing on the zoom, Fondy!

    Regarding books, I’m afraid I’m more like Paul than like you. I’m not such a speedy reader, so I can’t afford to waste precious minutes reading stuff I don’t like. For me giving up is a sudden instinctual reaction. I’ll be giving a book a try, and one thing will bug me, then another, etc, and if nothing pushes the dial the other way, then very suddenly my brain will just switch off on the book. Then I’m really not able to continue. Unless it’s for your book club, in which case I’ll at least skim to the end so I can join the discussions. 🙂

    I recently changed jobs after the very same reaction to what was going on. In the past I would push through it, but yeah, life it too short and getting shorter!

    My questions for Alan M. re DV, which I enjoyed very much:

    1. In the spinning/breaking stage, did you envision that the VFX would be so huge (and playback too)? Was it supposed to be more of a bottle episode?

    2. Which VFX shot cost the most or was the hardest?

    3. How do you imagine the other team died? They didn’t really look starved or ill (just dead, heh). I loved that they lay down together, though. Sniff.

    4. I love the new aliens. Do you have a backstory for them yet? What is the red glowing light in their foreheads? Whose idea was the green weapons fire/beams? Nice new color for Stargate, I have to say!

    5. This may be more for the director, but in quite a few scenes, the actors were alone, reacting to radio conversation or computer screens. Do they get to hear each other’s dialog, or see something played back on the screens? How do you or the director convey to them what they’re supposed to be seeing? I thought they all did a great job, btw, but it must have been hard!

    6. Did David Hewlett threaten to harm you for all the techno-babble he had to memorize?

    Okay, that’s enough for now. 🙂

  11. That was too funny!! Nasty! My DH just made sassafras iced tea. he brought home sassafras from the ole homestead (his parents) added pine needles and a plum. YUCK! But he likes it…..

    and Mercie..I almost peed my pants with your description of barley tea!!

    Reading – well I’ve gotten pretty lazy with my reading..I have about 20 or so books started, everything from “When I Was Puerto Rican” to “Sense and Sensibility” to “Lies of Locke Lomara” to “Sugarcane Academy” So I pick them up and read several pages, then put them back down. Also have a bunch of kids books started from “Dragon Rider” to “The Penderwicks” cuz I teach third grade and have to be on top of that reading, too. I do read an occasional “historical romance” cuz they are fun. Started one last night at 12:30 and read through until 5:00 this morning…..But did enjoy “Old Man’s War” …and want to get back to my reading….But I also have to read “teacher books” too

  12. Hey joe.

    Its my first time replying,
    Your blog is great, And I loved this weeks Daedalus Variations…

    Would you be willing to shine some light on what the chances are, that the aliens from “Daedalus Variations” are another version of Michaels warriors/hybrids?

  13. Hey Joe,

    Thanks for the laugh. I needed that! 😆 So I know now that if I ever end up eating at a restaurant with you again and the food is not up to par, I am allowed to spit it out, then! Good to know. 😉

    All I have to say about Daedalus Variations is that it was a great team epi with great suspense! That’s as far as my brain will work today.

    Again, to everyone: I do agree losing a pet is like losing a child. I’ve certainly lost a best friend. It helps enormously to know that there are wonderful people out there who understand what I’m going through.

    I’ve also discovered that playing with a puppy is great medicine at a time like this. My sister just adopted a six week old blue Great Dane named Isis. Just try not to smile when you’ve got eleven pounds of fur wiggling in your arms. 😀 I dare ya! In fact, I double dog dare ya!

    Trish

  14. Okay that little flinch near the end almost made me want to gag..lol Great video! You need to make a video showing your co-workers eating these wonderful nuts!

  15. Hey Joe,

    Loved Daedalus Variations – the new aliens seem hard to kill!! Would love to see them back at some point.

    Questions for Alan –

    Do you have a favorite character to write for?

    In DV, when they jumped back to the reality with the alternate Atlantis and were bailed out by the F302s, where did the fighters come from? Are they able to be launched from the surface?

    What were some of the other “alternate realities” that were bandied about when you were writing the script?

    Thanks and keep up the great work!

    Jean

  16. “So, do you have any set rules applicable to challenging reads?”

    Rules are for people who are not me. Actually, I’m usually all in when I read a book. I finished some real crap because for whatever reason, even if I don’t like it, I have to finish. Very rarely do I give up.

    “And what rules do you apply to authors?”

    If I read one book I didn’t like by an author, I don’t automatically junk them. I usually give them another shot. I’m actually doing this right now with Peter Straub (I didn’t care for “Ghost Story”, but I’m liking “In the Night Room” so far).

    “Officially now, they’re Stargate High Intel Team. ”

    Do you know what if feels like to have a bite of Oreo Blizzard come out of your nose? Well, now I do. Thanks for that, Joe. 😀

  17. When I was younger, I finished the book regardless.

    As I have gotten older, I have found myself being a little more selective about what I start and a little more unwilling to put up with crap.

    I would still put me at the 95% completion rate stage.

    I also reread books often. Some are on a regular rotation while others are rereads just on a whim.

    Saw “Continuum” today.

    It was absolutely fabulous. My only objection was that I didn’t get to see it on the big screen. (Much better than most of the Star Trek movies that did see the big screen!)

    It was great to see the nods to Stargate history and especially enjoyed the character moments. It’s not easy to show a new facet to a character that we have been watching for 10 years, but the movie pulled it off.

    And the music …… WOW!

    I have told you before when I didn’t like an episode and simply not commented on a few. I even rated “Ark of Truth” as just “good”.

    I loved “Continuum”.

  18. I have a full-time job, a consulting gig on the side, a blog habit that I can’t seem to shake AND a 15-month old. So my reading time is VERY limited. I hardly ever finish anything, sad to say.

    Unless it’s Dr. Seuss. Dr. Seuss I read cover to cover, nearly every night.

    I do loves me some David Sedaris, though. And Kinky Friedman can usually hold my attention till the end.

    Oh, also? It took me a second to get the second acronym… ya got me!

  19. Hey Joe,
    you may have answered this question but i have CRS (cant remember sh*t lol)
    What do you do with your books after your done reading them
    Do you give them away like to reading programs or donate them to poeple who cant afford to buy books?

    thanks
    barb

  20. Yeah, I’m addicted to this blog. With an hour to spare before heading off I thought I would see what was up.

    Nice video! Was Fondy sniggering in the background?

    As for reading, I have a relatively high tolerance. It’s very rare I give up on a book. Well, anything under 400 pages anyway. I think it’s from having to read so many computer books which aren’t exactly riveting.
    Plus a full term on studying Lord of the Flies in High School all those years back meant that if I could get through that, then I could get through anything.

    I’m finding my reading habits changing the longer I have my Reader. Having so many different books with you at one time means that if you are a little bored with one book, you try out another until the mood strikes you again. Being able to make the font larger makes reading a book easier that I am having struggling with too. Just makes it easier to read.

    Before going electronic, crazily sometimes the texture of the paper or the font would be enough to tip me either way if I was struggling. I have a stationery problem.

    Trish – I hope your family is holding up ok. Sorry about the cat reference yesterday. The brain producing this text is a little frazzled (nothing like your Hubby saying at 10pm the night before you leave “I can’t find my passport anywhere” amongst other things.)

    This time I’m definitely going.

    Seeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeya.

  21. Oh yeah, this new feature is definitely a winner. 😀

    I mean, it’s got everything: tension (how will it taste?!), humor (haha, look at his face), product placement (just like Eureka!), drama (oh no, he’s wasted money on this thing!), relatable characters (who among us haven’t eaten something strange with unknown/unpronounceable ingredients?), and of course, the sense of adventure (self-explanatory). All it needs is some cool CGI moments and we’ve got another Stargate Atlantis!

    Just, you know, warn us if you’re gonna vomit on screen. 😉

    Speaking of Atlantis, I finally saw The Daedalus Variations and DAMN it was AWESOME! One of the best team episodes Atlantis has ever done, and the CGI…Mark Savela and his team MUST win something for this episode. MUST.

    MUST.

    And…well, I don’t know what’s going on; either I’m getting longwinded in my old age, or the episodes are getting deeper so there’s more to write about, but…I had to split my review in 2 again because I wrote more than 12000 characters (word limit for a Gateworld post). Here they are:

    Part 1
    Part 2

    Questions:

    For Joe: Do you mind revealing the line in the spoiler poem that refers to The Daedalus Variations? Thanks!

    For Alan (and maybe Joe as well): If you can, please share with us the alternate realities that you guys thought up that didn’t end up in the episode; like, I don’t know, a reality where New Lantia was actually Unicron or something. Thanks!

  22. I’m loving the new acronym, although yesterday’s was quite the treat too! Ha ha ha, funny, I love pistachios but I think I’ll take your cue and just not try those ones… I think this new segment will be a blast!

    Jessica

  23. Watching you eat that reminded me of when I was in college and I’d dare frat guys to eat all sorts of random things. I highly enjoy it!

    As for how much I’ll give to the book before dropping it, I usually try to read a third before I’ll give up on the book. Sometimes if I really liked a different book by the same author I will try and make it half way through it.

    If I don’t like the first book I read by a certain author, I don’t bother trying any of their other books unless it comes highly recommended. On the other end, if I really love a book I’ll buy another book or two from the same author. After finishing In the Garden of Iden, I went out and bought the next two books in the series and I’m betting I’ll pick up the rest of the series as well.

  24. If I were trying something for the first time I would of never put a whole handful in my mouth like you did. On the contrary, I would of barely touched it to my tongue and if it passed that test then I would of chewed it to fully taste it. You are brave.

    About reading, lol, as you may or may not have gathered, I am not an avid reader. Oddly, I have tried reading more because of your blog. Although they are the Stargate Atlantis Novels, I consider that a start (have all of them and most are good). I have consider reading your recommended books (really), but haven’t actually taken the full plunge yet. If the book doesn’t sound interesting by the summary on the back, I don’t usually give it a second thought.

    I bought Atonement in January to read on my Aruba trip (I had seen the movie trailers and it seemed pretty good). However, after Eight months now, I still haven’t finished it. You might say I never began it, because I couldn’t get past the first 100 pages (I am gonna have to rent the movie). It has a long build up to, I guess the point of the story, but darned if I am going to keep trying to read it.

    I am more of a TV and movie person, it has to get to the point quicker which is why I like them. If I can find a book that grabs me in the first chapter or two, then I will read it. I want to read more, but if I am gonna spend my time invested in something, it needs to intrigue me right away. On a plus note, I did read all 11 or so Stargate Novels in a matter of 8 weeks (probably because I am more familiar with the TV show I can relate faster). I did promise myself to give one of your book suggestions a try. Just waiting for one that really stands out for me when you post its description.

  25. RE: Reading…

    I am a VERY impatient reader. Reading often makes me anxious and my mind drifts terribly. As I have said here before, the only author I have ever been able to completely read is Agatha Christie (and, come to think of it, several books more than once). But that was back when I was single, with a LOT less responsibility. Now, if a book can’t keep me from thinking about the bills that need paying, or the laundry that needs to be done…or how many pages until the end of the chapter…then I’m lucky if I get through a quarter of it.

    I’m not sure you answered Charles Cooney question…

    But along those lines, I would like to ask you – or Alan: Will we see the Daedalus Variations’ aliens again, and learn what they are and where they come from?

    Questions for Alan:

    1. In a recent GW interview, you talk about the cloning tech used in Spoils of War. Are we to understand that ALL Wraith (faced and masked) are supposedly cloned? Does this, in turn, mean that the males are sterile?

    2. With the exception of Todd, individual (pure) Wraith have not been developed beyond the ‘grrrr! I’m gonna eat you’ expendable villains they started out as, even though we now know that – as a whole – the Wraith are far more complex than first thought. Any chance of seeing other Wraith developed beyond one, deadly episode, perhaps even moving a few into the more survivable gray area – as neither friend nor foe?

    3. In Spoils of War, when Teyla insisted upon waiting for Sheppard to return to the hive ship, Todd became a bit snarly there for a moment. Was this an attempt to show the limits to the character’s patience, or was he just hoping to get away with the ship, and a few ‘hot meals’, before Sheppard could interfere?

    4. Are you guys aware of how very important the Wraith are to a certain percentage of fans out there?

    5. Have you ever considered shaving off your eyebrows, painting yourself green, and plopping a white cotton mop on your head? 😉

    das

  26. I’m with Paul. Life’s Too Short when it comes to books as well as movies and TV shows. For books by unfamiliar authors, I apply the “Did-This-Book-Make-the-NY Times BestSeller List or Win-A-Prestigious Award?” I also accept a trusted friend or colleague’s recommendations. Once I start reading I, too, give it about a 25% chance and more times than not I complete the book. After all, I rely on the rigorous screening of professional reviewers to do the work for me and give a stamp of approval. While not a sure thing I find it usually works for me.

    Hey, keep up that rigorous food taste-testing! You know, life-is-too-short to experiment with exotic food and your gastronomic expertise will be much appreciated as you report to us in the vids.

  27. I’ve just finished watching Continuum. It was terrific fun, if not quite what I’d been expecting (spoilers can be very misleading). In fact, I like it better than Ark of Truth, even though that one was pretty good too (just never was a real fan of the Ori storyline).

    As for books, I’m very careful with my time and money, so I’ve seldom bought a book I couldn’t finish. I generally leaf through them and pick out a paragraph or sentence here and there to see if I think it will grab my interest before I buy them, unless I’ve read a review somewhere.

    But sometimes it takes a long time to finish one. After two years, I’m only halfway through the second of Robinson’s trilogy, Blue Mars.

    Generally, when I make a mistake and snag a book that proceeds to preach at me, that’s one I toss in the dumper.

  28. You put my question on the webpage but you didn’t answer the question. please explain?

  29. hey enjoyed reading your blog today on my 28th brithday.

    what ever you were eating in your video looked nasty.

    skye

  30. It depends on how long the book is for a cut off if I can’t get into the book. Most of the time if I can’t get into a book by at least 100 pages there is usually no hope for it. I try and give authors 2-3 books before I push them to the curb. Cause it could just be that particular book or series that isn’t any good but some of the stand alone or a different genres they try are OK. There’s a book that I felt I had to get through because it was in a series that I absolutely love, but I just didn’t like the one book and it took me a month or so to get through cause I just wasn’t motivated to read it. Ever had that problem?

  31. Have you ever tried Durian? My father once bought durian crackers and i had to throw it out because the smell just destroyed the house.

  32. Wow Airelle thanks for pointing that out about the baby playing Torren. When I first saw the credits they were little and pushed to the side (apparently, on top of everything else, I must need glasses too). I just looked at my itunes S&R and you are right about the spelling.

    So, sorry Alan for the confusion. I stand corrected.

  33. I’m a stick-to-it reader. The longest it ever took me to read a book was two years for Tolstoy’s War and Peace. But I’m also a read-more-than-two-books-at-once kind of person, so taking forever to read a really old, really boring book doesn’t bother me too much!

    I’m back from summer camp counseling and celebrating having use of electronics once more by reading the last seven weeks’ worth of blog entries =)

  34. Hey Joe!

    So, what did you wash down the taste of the ‘nut mix’ with? Want a strange food to try? Try ‘Fruit Sushi’, regular sushi but with fruit inside it (strawberry, pinapple, kiwi). It may sound gross or weird, but trust me, it tastes good. 🙂

    Stargate High Intel Team? May I also recommend First Underground Company…….ugh…..scratch that thought…. 😛

    When it comes to reading books, most of the time, I usually end up reading 50-75% of the book unless I am fully interested in it. I have a full load of novels which are only half completed. I, of course, complete novels if they are required (school :P), but, most of the time, I don’t fully finish a book.

    Thanks as always!

    – Enzo Aquarius

  35. Hi Joe,

    I just wanted to drop you a note to say I loved, loved, *loved* The Daedalus Variations! It had everything– awesome special effects, great character moments, cool action, fantastic plot, wonderful dialogue, excellent surprises! Sci fi at its best.

    – Spectacular special effects. From the reality shift white-outs to the space battles, the effects were jaw-dropping.

    – Fantastic character moments. I mean, really, what’s better than the end when Rodney hands back Torren and says, “Watch out, they wiggle.” Ha! Nothing, nothing is better than that! (Though Teyla ‘s uber-competency with the ship’s systems, Ronon’s fury/frustration with the computerized weapons, and Sheppard complimenting himself are awfully close.)

    – Beautiful plot and resolution. Four shifts out. Four shifts back. I was waiting for a complex (perhaps convoluted) method of return… something involving coordinates and a lot of trial and error. I loved the simplicity–the symmetry– of the way it was resolved. Clean, clear, *perfect*.

    – Great writing. I can imagine the work it took to come up with the backstory of and internal logic behind the alternate reality drive. It worked out wonderfully, though. Everything was understandable, and the geeky part of me loved hearing how it was powered, how it worked, and what went wrong. (And also? I loved the fact that Alternate Rodney came up with the drive!)

    This was really an outstanding episode. Taut, fast-paced, griping, entertaining. I’m a sucker for alternate reality stories. . . for good alternate reality stories. . . and this was one of the best.

    Thank you.

    Lindsay

    PS- Question for writer-Supervising Producer Alan McCullough: The Daedalus Variation seemed very Star Warsy. (Sheppard/Ronon’s view from the bridge was very reminiscent of the Millennium Falcon. In the space battle, there were a couple of shots that followed the fighters as they dodged in and around the Daedalus, and that felt very much like a TIE fighter scene. And, of course, Sheppard called Ronon “Chewy.” 🙂 Are you a Star Wars fan? And was that Star Warsy-ness (yes, I’m just making up words now) intentional or just happenstance?

  36. shanshan wrote:
    Hi, umm this may sound like a stupid question but what does IFF stand for?

    Shanshan, IFF stands for Identification, Friend or Foe!

    Cheers,
    Patricia lee

  37. Paul’s attitude about giving books a chance is Life is Too Short? Mine is Life is Too Busy. As a result, I have plenty of books that I’ve bought but never got around to reading. So once I do start reading, the book has to get my attention immediately and keep me engaged through the first reading session – whether that’s 15 minutes or an hour, 20 pages or 100 pages. Because once I put the book down that first time I may never pick it up again. Life just gets in the way.

    So the book has to literally call to me during the day. It has to make me want to read while I’m eating breakfast or waiting in the dentist’s office or the long lines in the grocery store, or while I’m waiting for the water to boil for the spaghetti. It has to make me want to forgo sleep or my desire to just become brain dead and veg out in front of the TV after a hectic day. Any book that doesn’t do this just ends up in the “I’ll get back to it tomorrow” pile – and tomorrow never comes.

    As a result, the author generally has one shot with me. If another book by the same author comes highly recommended, I may try again. But the same rules apply. And if the second book ends up in the “tomorrow” pile – that’s it for that author.

    Interestingly, the reverse has been true with some authors. There have been times when I’ve gone through several books by the same author, gobbling them up, then the next book hits the”tomorrow” pile – usually because I realize the stories are too formulaic and predictable, and, well, life is too busy.

    I’m happy to say that so far Scalzi is falling into the “makes me want to forego sleep” category. I’m currently reading Old Man’s War (having read Android’s Dream at your recommendation) and I love it.

  38. Question for Alan:
    What kind of stuff can you not put through Ring Transport?
    And what would happen if you did?

  39. @Gracey–I’m glad you enjoyed the description, I rest at ease knowing someone got enjoyment out of that experience. My dad still slugs the stuff down like its ambrosia or something, I think he’s lost his taste buds…

    Oh, and I forgot to say about my preferences about authors. Ironically, since I seem to inhale books (I like to think I have mastered the art of osmosis), I don’t usually even realize when I’m reading something from an author I’ve read before, except for the few authors I truly enjoy. Having said that, it really doesn’t factor in much with my choice of reads. Normally I only avoid an author if they don’t write the type of literature I enjoy reading. And even then, I have been known to read one or two on the recommendations of others. I’m such a wishy-washy person, never can give a definite answer for anything…sigh.

  40. Hi, Joe.

    Wow, SGA season five is cooking! Looking forward to ‘Ghost.’

    In regards to finishing books that I’ve started, I’ve discovered that a book in print I will finish completely – eventually. Took me four times (over the span of three years) to finally get through “Catch -22.” However, I read way too many Alistair McLean novels, and one of his last novels, Athabasca, I did give up on. I keep meaning to get that one from the library and finally finish reading that novel.

    Some authors (like Alistair McLean) tend to get a bit repetitious in their writing (especially after the first 20 books or so. I’ve stopped reading Stephen King, John Jakes, James Patterson, Ken Follett and Tom Clancy novels. However, I continue to enjoy Jim Butcher, Barbara Hambly, Diane Duane, Sara Peretsky and Sue Grafton novels.

    Now, online fiction, I’m more fickle (especially fan fiction). If fan fiction online stories don’t “grab” me by the first couple of paragraphs, I’m clicking on a new story. In the old days (pre-internet), when the only way you could get fan fiction was to buy a fanzine, I’d read everything in the zine, because I had paid for it. And on the TOC, I’d place a sticky noting which stories never to bother re-reading again. (Fortunately, most stories in fanzines were terrific because of established writers and their editors.)

    Well, off to continue reading Jim Butcher’s fourth novel in the Codex of Alera series. I have to wait until October for Mr. Butcher’s latest The Dresden Files novel.

    Best wishes, Joe. Thank you for all your hard work, and to everyone at Stargate for their’s as well.

    Morjana

  41. Hey Joe, I hope you don’t get any strange reactions from your next food choices.

    I’ve got an idea for the Medial areas: Post/Pre-Operative-Observation-Purlieu.(I had to use an online thesaurus for that last word)

    For my reading, whenever a book doesn’t seem right for me, I try to get about 30% of the pages, if not, i’ll only try hit an arbitrary 20%. Oddly enough, I don’t think my view would count as i’m not an avid book reader. (Good and different books are hard to come by down here, hardly any specialty bookstores, and I don’t have a payment method for online yet.)

    If you ever come down to Aus, I could probably get my dad to try cook you something. I want to see what your opinion is on his food.(I would have a bucket on the sidelines just in case)

    Few questions for you(as I don’t know what to ask Alan)

    For some of the Stargate Characters with the military background (Namely Sheppard, O’Neill, Lorne), when they signed onto the Air Force, what did they initially sign up as? (Like did they first join as pilots, or something else?)
    If a lot of the Military on Atlantis were Air Force, what job would they have been? I don’t really see them being guards, but the weapons training might say otherwise.

    What do you think is the most over-used/over-hyped ingredient in the current food industry?

    Would you be willing to make a “Stargate – The Musical”, ever?(If so, who would you want most to sing?, and who would you want not to sing?)

    Also, what is your opinion of the downloading of the episodes (not by legal means)? Would you say its fair for countries that would not get the DVD’s released, or only released before it even airs (for the Seasons of course.)
    I want to know as Australia’s media isn’t very kind to Sci-Fi shows or those of different interests.
    One anecdote: 2 years ago when the Season2 Set for SGA was soon to be released, the network television company airing it only aired about 2 or 3 episodes before going on a half-year hiatus on it(it was essentially like, finish S9 of SG1 then air the first 2 episodes of S2 SGA, then a freaking break.) So in essence, 2 episodes of Season2, then the boxset, I can see where this will be going.
    Season 4 is due to be released next month, however there have been no signs of it airing on network TV, and the Sci-Fi channel down here is being slack with it (no idea if they’ve already aired Season 4 for that matter.)

  42. Hi Joe! I must say, with a new team acronym AND the weird food video, the entertainment quotient is very high today 🙂

    To answer your book question, I finish most of what I read. I enjoy reading and usually want to finish a book quickly — I’ve joined the read through the night club myself, more than a few times!

    There are times though when I just don’t “get into” a book. It’s like music — we don’t like everything we hear, even within our favorite genre, or by our favorite composers.

  43. Hey Joe!

    I’m diggin the new feature…should be interesting to see each day! One question, if it’s not too much to ask, could you post the links to the video’s? I’m not sure if I’m the only one, but my computer has a problem with embedded videos where I can’t hear them…And I’d really like to hear your reviews of these expensive, albeit weird products. Thanks a bunch!

    Tupopoflungo

  44. I’m needing a better clarification on the taste too. At what point did you know you made a terrible mistake, and why?

    Maybe for future adventures, a sniff test first? And no sacrificing the pups.

    For Alan:
    I love the episodes that isolate the team together and this was another great one!

    Would you have written DV differently if the network hadn’t required five act breaks for the US market? If so, how would it have been different?

    This has been a fantastic season so far, and many thanks to you, Joe and the cast and crew for all your hard work.

  45. 1. I love the new feature. I love exotic food ideas, so keep them coming. Speaking of truffle honey–I just got in the mail today chestnut flower honey. It’s got a very nice taste, very distinctive. While browing for it, I did see the truffle honey. Can’t even begin to imagine. Are you going to try that for us? 🙂

    2. Book patience. I’ve never developed a rule as such, and I will slug through a book to the end most of the time. Often the gem of the book is at the end. However, when I do drop a book, it’s usually because of those things I truly dislike–like the author hitting me over the head with some peculiar or overt political idea, or plain ugly story about ugly people having ugly lives with ugly deaths–then page 10 is pretty much where it flies.

    3. The Daedallus Variations has been quite fun to watch and got me thinking in scientific ways, playing around with the altnernate universe concept. I’ve read quite a bit about it in Scientific American and few other such publications (Warning: I am an engineer, so I get kind of weird about things like that…) When one gets to such matters–did you know that there could be just a thin layer a few atoms thick between two parallel universes?–the line between the scientific and metaphysical becomes quite blurry. That is why, when it comes to science fiction and the universe, parallel or otherwise, and infinity and string theory (which now may not be such a grand theory…), just let it rip. Everything is possible.

    So, what is the next exotic food?

    Who are those creatures they encountered on the ‘other’ Daedallus? Or, it doesn’t matter…

    Oh, I almost forgot. Do Wraiths drink liquids? Like water?

  46. I highly enjoy the new feature. Fun times!

    As far as books go, If I realize I’m looking on my shelves for a book to read and I already have one sitting on my nightstand or next to the bathtub, it will more than likely be abandoned, no matter how much I have read.

    Also, your kitchen is nice.

  47. For Alan McCullough:

    Ok, mister writer-man extraordinaire, can you compose a haiku about one of the episodes you’ve written this year?

    For Joe:

    I am impatient, but it is not just confined to my readership. I will stop reading, watching, listening to, looking at, etc. something or someone that no longer holds my attention or interest.

    Of course at work I fight my impatient disposition, but on my free time I don’t suffer it, so a book that doesn’t immediately grab me simply doesn’t get read.

    My bookshelves are full of the discarded bodies of futile attempts at entertainment.

  48. Hey Joe,

    Regarding your book question, I usually like to stick with the book as long as I can possibly hang on; its very rare that I ever give up on a book. In the event I consider giving up, I use a complex set of rules and standards to determine my decision. And by “a complex set of rules and standards”, I mean I flip a coin.

    Anyway, I was curious as to where you attended college and what you studied.

    Thanks,
    apk51 🙂

  49. Hey Joe.

    So I’m guessing that your taste-test didn’t turn out quite so well?!?!

    I was wondering if there is any way to get a hold of one those Atlantis symbols/stickers on the backs of all the laptops on Atlantis?

    Oh, by the way….I’m glad you avioded the embarrassment of having an acronym spelling FART…great improvment 🙂

    Thanks Joe!

  50. The New Food Tasting Feature – Priceless!!!
    You ought to be in movies.

    Re: chewing with mouth open – probably had no choice cause the mixture looked extremely gummy and difficult to chew. Possibly thanks to the fig chunks??

    Thank you for sacrificing yourself for our benefit and entertainment. You are way too cool.

    Next up – some chocolate tasting?????

  51. Hello. I really enjoy reading your blog (and watching the episodes of course!) If I sent you a very short (like 3 minutes) Stargate Atlantis themed video that I shot with a friend of mine, would you watch it? I promise, it’s better than you might think. The editor was a wiz.

    And I enjoyed the latest epi of SGA very much. I liked how it felt different from other episodes. I can’t quite put my finger on how it was different though. The new aliens were wonderfully tough, like bad steak, and Sheppard complementing himself like that…priceless. Thanks again.

  52. Trish My condolences to you and your family on Sebastian’s passing. *sends cyber hugs and supportive thoughts*

    Joe, I really enjoyed today’s video entry and hope you keep it up. It was not only humorous, but I now know not to buy an entire bag of that stuff just to try it. Also, if you want to try something truly disgusting, try a very tiny sip of Tincture of Rosemary. I had a bad case of strep throat and a friend of mine who is an herbalist gave me a small bottle to help boost my immune system. The strep throat cleared right up, probably because the taste of the stuff was so horrible that the strep bacteria decided that discretion was the better part of valor and, like Brave Sir Robin, ran the hell away. Rosemary is my second favorite seasoning, next to garlic, but that stuff was truly gawdawful! Good grief, my tongue is shriveling up and my throat is closing off at the mere memory…. X-p

    As for a good cutoff point for a bad book, it depends on the book. For a truly bad book, I’ll give it 100 pages and skim some of the rest to see if it gets any better (though I have read one or two that I only made it to 50 pages). If not, it goes directly into the ‘take to the used book store’ box so that it’s not a total loss.

    Morjana Yay for Jim Butcher! His panels at ComicCon drew a good sized audience and I have to say that he’s a very interesting man in person. He talks almost as fast as Rodney McKay and is quite funny and humble (as well as good looking, in a somewhat Rasputin-ish way). I don’t know if you’ve been on his forum boards or not, but the itty spoiler he gave out for the very beginning of the next Dresden Files book has me wishing I had a time travel device so that I could get the next book now. Unfortunately, I doubt we’ll have it by October, because he said that he has yet to sit down and type the story out, though he does have everything outlined and planned out. I don’t know if he was joking or not, since he seems to have a similar sense of humor to Joe M’s. As for that spoiler, I’ll just say that apparently Morgan plays a fair part in the next book and leave it at that. 😡

  53. Hi, Joe!

    In my country (Spain) pipas / pepitas are sunflower´s seeds.

    S.H.I.T. ?? For Mallozzi´s sock´s sake!!!! What´s next??

    Lory

  54. Arrgh… Okay, that was not the emoticon I wanted. *sigh* I was going for : – x. Sorry, Joe.

  55. Joe,

    Hey…I’ve finally caught up on reading your blogs. Unfortunately my off-line life interrupted my online life for a while. ;o)

    I laughed out loud at you spitting the nut concoction into your hand and then giving the ‘cut’ signal…lol. I’m still chuckling a bit.

    When asked if y’all would ever do an episode which features a specific Earth holiday, you answered “No”. I was wondering why?

    I think it would be interesting to have Teyla/Ronon experience some Earth customs such as holidays. We’ve been able to see a few of the Athosian customs…so to see how Teyla/Ronon would react to ours, would be cool.

    As far as authors, it depends on how much I hated the first book, as to whether I will buy another from the same author.

    And, I don’t think I own a book that I haven’t finished.(unless I haven’t started it yet) *big sigh* Once I start reading, even if I don’t like it or it doesn’t engage me, I have to get to the end. Usually if it gets boring I will skim to the end and hope I don’t miss anything important on the way.

    I do tend to read parts of the book before I purchase it…to see if I’m going to like it first…so that helps. I also find it hard to buy a book, just because someone recommended the author or because they are a “popular” author. I was told how great Danielle Steele’s books were by a friend and I really don’t like her style. Too much angst and not enough happiness. I guess I’m just a sap for a real good happy ending. I didn’t like how Gone With the Wind ended either…lol…so maybe it’s just me? There’s too much real sadness in the world for me to want to waste my time reading a book that ends that way. (just my opinion…please don’t blast me if you like Danielle Steele or angsty sad endings everyone)

    I do reread good books. My kids and husband are amazed that I can be entertained by a book a second time. But, it’s like watching a good movie again. Still good the second or third time around!

    Kimberly

  56. Joe, something I’ve noticed and I’m wondering if it is just me. I liked Daedalus Variations, but it seemed like a very short episode. I realize it was the same length as any other, but is there a psychological aspect that writers are aware of?

    Since there was only one real location in the episode I wonder if that helps to compress time. Or, conversely, does a movie or tv episode with a lot of varied locations seem longer because the mind adds in “travel time”? Or was it because the episode took place in almost real time without a bunch of “next day” transitions?

    When I watch the old James Bond films from the 60’s and 70’s they always used a lot of locations all over the world and they seem longer. The more recent ones seem to stay put in just a couple locales and seem shorter (ok, except for the last one which seemed long because it was two hours of watching people play cards).

    Liked the new bad guys. Wish the other universes had more interesting elements like that rather than “big sun”, “empty planet” and “big space rocks”.

  57. Joe,

    I could be wrong, but I think I found a tiny little plot hole in Broken Ties. If not, please let me know why.(it’s bugging me…lol) If so, please don’t hate me. ;o)

    Ronon accused Tyre of giving him and his friends up to the Wraith and he said “last year”….like it was a year ago…or close to it. Then Tyre said the Wraith had cut him off right after that, because he messed up and the Atlantis crew got away. So if Tyre hadn’t been getting his dose of Wraith enzyme for close to a year or for arguments sake at least a few months, why was he still hooked on it? And, why did it just take a few days for him to get off of it at Atlantis? (if he’d already been off of it for months)

    I watched it twice and still came to the same conclusion that it didn’t make sense. My husband said maybe he got the wraith enzyme on the black market( it’s never been mentioned on the show that this occurs). But, it never mentioned him buying it or killing wraith to get it…so I still say it’s a plot hole. Am I right?

    Would you rather I email this question to you? I don’t want to start something up with the negative viewers.

    Kimberly

  58. Hi Joe – The video was just too funny for words. You really looked surprised as you were munching on your new treat. You were very classy even when you spit it out!! Was Fondy chuckling behind the camera?? Love your kitchen!!

    Thanks for another great episode, too

    Question for Alan: The new “bad guys” in DV are very different from anyone else we’ve met on SGA. They reminded me of the “Cardassians” (sp?) from Star Trek-Deep Space 9 and a bad version of the old “Rock ‘Em, Sock’ Em Robots”. Did they turn out the way you initially envisioned them to be? Was their “Kamikaze” actions an attempt to board the Daedelous or destroy it?

    Thanks for taking the time to visit with us.

    Evelyn

  59. I just had to tell you that I loved the video. I know what it’s like to try something that sounds so good but tastes so nasty. Try having extreme food allergies and stores decide not to carry anything you can eat because it might not sell in a small town, which forces you to do the majority of your grocery shopping 200 miles away. Then you have to try to find something that tastes good. I wanted to tell you that, since you make you own, I had a new flavor of ice cream tonight at my cousin Marisa’s 14th birthday party. Gluten-free, dairy-free Blueberry Cheesecake soy ice cream by Purely Decadent. So good. I love the ice cream by Purely Decadent because you can’t tell that it’s soy. Just thought I’d share.

    As far as books are concerned, I usually try to give books 25% or 100 pages, which ever comes first. I rarely put books down but about two months ago I put down A Field of Darkness by Cornelia Read because after 125 pages the book didn’t hook me and I got so sick of the cussing and husband-bashing. I was very disappointed because it sounded so good. Right after I put that book down I picked up A Wicked Snow by Gregg Olsen and fought my way through and actually did finish it when I should have put it down as well. It had a great storyline but wasn’t told correctly, in my opinion, and I was reminded about every chapter (or at least it seemed) who the characters were and how handsome the FBI agent was. I usually don’t give up on authors, but I was reading books by Lisa Gardner for a while. She had a few good books but then I read one that I didn’t like, but did manage to finish. Now I’m hesitant to read the others I have sitting on my shelf collecting dust. Maybe one day…

    I will admit, even though the disscussion is still a few weeks away, that I’m struggling with The Church of Dead Girls. I just started it two days ago and it hasn’t hooked me yet and I’m getting to the 100-page mark, but I assure you that I will finish it in time for the disscussion and will let you know what I thought. I hope I get The Orphan Tales on Monday so that I can have it read in time for the disscussion. Barnes & Noble split my order for what ever reason and I’m getting it late. I was supposed to have it on Thursday with the rest of my order.

    I realize this is getting long so here are my questions:

    For you Joe: You always seem willing to try anything, but as someone with many, many food allergies I was wondering are there any foods you are allergic to and any that you simply refuse to eat?

    For Alan: What was/is the most difficult or interesting script you have written, for Stargate Atlantis or any others and why?

  60. Joe, I want to thank you for putting yourself through such torture for our entertainment. By the way, were you one of those kids who ate worms on a dare? I love your new blog addition.

    For Alan: It seems, with Joe’s latest taste testing endeavor, that you are surrounded by crazy people. Someone once told me that most of the entertainment industry is completely insane and that, with my background in psychology, I’d fit right in. I am working toward script writing. Do you feel you are the normal one in a room full of lunatics, or do you include yourself to be as wakko as everyone else?

    Patricia (AG)

  61. Joe;
    Thanks for the answer. I missed the whole Rose not being with the doctor portion of the show and that makes more since and fills in a gap for me.

    On an off note I went to the eye doctor friday and had my Diabetic checkup. When I told the Doctor that I’ve had type one Diabetes for 13 years she was amazed that I had no damage to my eyes. She said it’s very rare that someone who’s had this form for this long has no damage. Yay me… I hope I can continue that trend. I could do with out the numbing of my eyeballs, or the dialating portion however. Makes my eyeballs feel like floating grapes inside my sockets. 🙂 When I told the tech that i’d had my night and day contact’s in for over two months I got the NO NO BAD NICOLE speach and she told me to take them out and surender them because I wasn’t getting them back. I’m a rebel I told her and left it at that. tee hee.

    Anyway thanks again, Joe, for filling the gap and make sure to see season four. It’s worth the lack of sleep to see it, if you don’t have any other time to watch. Who needs sleep anyway.
    Have a great week, Nicole.

  62. Hi Joe,
    Haven’t posted in a while, but thought I’d take a moment, and comment on how great that Wierd Food Purchase video is! Fondy likes to zoom alot, doesnt she? My question is where did the rest of that bag go?
    For books – I read as long as I’m interested! Usually what I figure is that I take some time out of my school studies, and read a bit every night. If I don’t feel like picking it up again after a couple nights, then I don’t. Author wise, usually I give 2nd, 3rd, and 4th chances.
    Great episode last Friday, and I loved Continuum!

  63. Hi, Joe.

    SciFi Channel did it again, with ‘spoiling’ Ghost in the Machine in their episode trailer:

    http://morjana-subductionleadstoorogeny.blogspot.com/2008/08/stargate-atlantis-video-ghost-in.html

    Also, I’ve noticed that the last 5pm weekday rotation episode for SGA (repeats of previous episodes) will be Sept. 19th. SGA is being replaced by Star Trek: Enterprise weekday’s at 5pm.

    When Sanctuary premieres on Oct. 3 at 10pm, will SGA move to 9pm to the lead in show for Sanctuary?

    Best wishes, Morjana

  64. LOL. You’re hilarious, Joe (though for some reason you never seem to sound like what I expect). I do hope this new feature sticks around.

    So, as far as Daedalus Variations, I have to say, I’m a tad disappointed. Not because there was really anything bad about it, but I guess it just wasn’t what I was hoping for. I love the reality-jumping idea, but I guess the appeal of AUs for me tends to be seeing the different ways the characters could turn out, and we got pretty much none of that at all. Not to mention I thought it incredibly irresponsible (though, admittedly, not especially OOC) of Sheppard to start firing on an alien ship without knowing who was really the bad guys, what with the ship he and his team were on hardly in fighting shape. Sure, it turned out all right, but what if it hadn’t? He could have easily been firing on the good guys, or have gotten him and his team killed for no reason.

    Here’s my question: are we going to see the aliens introduced in this ep again? Personally, I think it would be great if when they finally met them in the real universe, it would turn out that the aliens were good guys. Though I know the odds of that are slim. Still, I hope this is just an introduction of another race that will play a bigger part later.

  65. Oh, yes, and about the reading…I think I obsessively finish books. Perhaps it’s because I have so little time to read that if I get very far into one, I feel like I should finish it, but there have been a handful of books where I just figured “life’s too short” and gave up on. One was a novel that I read most of for a college history class called “Words of Bernfrieda” that was some kind of historical fiction. Another was a Star Trek novel about Quark co-authored by Armin Shimmerman (fantastic actor, not so good writer, apparently) that bored me to tears. It was mostly talking and whenever the story looked like it might get interesting, it would cut away to some people talking and return to the original story once the excitement had safely passed. Even with that one, though, I didn’t just toss it aside. I skimmed the last part to find out how it ended. So I guess even when I want to just leave a book, I still usually skim it to find out how it turns out. Yeah, I think that’s some kind of OCD thing.

  66. I would say I ‘m fairly tolerant reader too. I’ll try to finish any book I pick up (ok as of late any book you have recommended) and have finished 90% of them.

    As for when a book doesn’t cut it for me-it varies. I don’t have that life’s too short approach. Though of one this month’s BOTM selections I just could not finish (skipped most it about 50 pages in.) Just not what I thought it could have been. Then again another of this month’s BOTM author’s has me buying my they have writting.

    Will watch the video at home. Doubt work would enjoy hearing me laugh. 🙂

  67. Daedalus Variations was a good episode. Very exciting and fast moving. The team seemed to have regressed a bit though and I found them off at times. Too much Sheppard/McKay annoying babble and Teyla just seemed to be going through the motions. Motherhood seems to be turning her into a boring character. What was going on with her and Sheppard. They didnt even seem like they wanted to be in the same room and I don’t recall her calling him Colonel constantly since about season 2. Inconsistant characterization seems to be prevalent in SGA. The characters in DV seem totally different to the characters we saw in Search and Rescue. Sheppard congratulating himself seemed very unsheppard like as well.
    So except for the odd and at times inconsistant characterization, this episode was otherwise enjoyable. Loved the new enemy.

  68. Wow….Joe, that was priceless. Dont take up acting, your face said ‘DEAR GOD WHAT HAVE I PUT IN MY MOUTH????’ from the moment you started chewing! It was sort of a…’I’m eating what tastes like dried monkey testicles…MEDIC!!! Do we start shipping you weird and wonderful ‘snacks’ incase you run out of stuff to try?

    Cant wait for the next installment! haha 😀

  69. Questions for Alan:

    Thanks Alan for guest blogging. When I saw your photo on the Gateworld interview page I thought you looked like someone else. Maybe Tobey Maguire? Perhaps grow a beard and don a Spidey suit and I can decide. Anyhoo, on with the questions……

    1. Do you have to be very disciplined to be a writer?

    2. Do you ever watch the episodes you’ve written?

    3. Which character (main or supporting) do you enjoy writing best?

    4. What’s your favourite word?

    Cheers, Chev

  70. I loved Daedalus Variations. Well done TEAM episode. Thank you. I love it when the team is out together and doing stuff. And finally some interaction between Sheppard and McKay! I love AU’s (and mirror universes and time travel), so YAY.

    re: questions for Alan McCullough. My question. Sheppard has been shown as both A) Smart and B) able to fix ancient tech. Why was he being a pill and demanding Rodney fix it when it would have been much faster and more productive if he HELPED RODNEY?

    Come on! We like Sheppard being smart. And it’s cool he’s learned from Rodney. This was a good chance to put it into action. Yes, nice to work in showing Teyla is learning things. But they all three could have been helping Rodney. (and Teaching Ronon as well), or Teyla could have been on the bridge. They didn’t show her how to fire the guns?

    re: Book patience. I buy a lot of books – lately the Urban Fantasy I like is very popular, so even more books than normal. I usually read the first three chapters or so straight. If I’ve lost interest, or the POV switches and I’m not caught by the new POV, or the style is a little hard, I start ‘flipping’ or ‘skimming’, in that I’ll flip a few (10/20) pages, and read a page or so and I’ll keep doing that through the rest of the book. Either it will catch my interest again, and I’ll stop to read page by page, or I’ll do the whole rest of the book via spot reading bits to see if it goes anywhere, or picks up the character I liked or something. Sometimes I even do this if there’s a nasty hint that a main character will be killed (I HATE THAT), so I don’t want to get too involved if this is true. If it’s an author that’s done this to me before, I’ll often skim the 1st chapter (and last chapter) in the store before buying their new book. And yes, there are authors who’ve done books I’ve both liked and disliked.

  71. I can’t think of many books i’ve never finished reading – with 1 exception. I can’t remember its title, in fact the only thing i can remember is that the lead characters were soooo cliched i hated them like i have never hated a fictional person before – it didn’t take long (3 or 4 chapters maybe) before I gave in to the urge and hurled the book across the room – where it stayed until someone else picked it up ;o)

    Most of the time, I’ll finish the book even if I am bored with it. It’ll take me longer than my average 4-5 days reading time – and maybe another book will be read in full during it – but generally I dont like to not finish a book – i gotta know what the whole point of it was!!

    btw – loved the new food taste test video. brilliant bit of footage! I’ve always thought that those Travel tv show presenters should just come out and say what they really think about the unusual food stuffs they try and obviously hate but still say how yummy or “interesting” it is – you could give them lessons I think!

  72. @Narelle: I keep meaning to tell you, the cat reference is pretty much awesome. When I read it I froze for a moment. Sebastian was *like* my kitty. I can’t have kitty-cats since Jeremy and Princess Erin are highly allergic. Great Pyrs are noted for their *cat like independence*. So, I say to myself, “I DO have a kitty. He just happens to be a dog that weighs over 100 pounds.” I was trying to figure out if you were psychic or maybe knew the breed well. Then I saw your next comment saying you meant to say *dog*. Really, no harm, no fowl. It actually brought a smile to my face. 🙂

    @About the whole F.A.R.T. and S.H.I.T. jokes… I have a story. Jeremy works in the *public sector* group for Microsoft. (I have NO IDEA what that means.) But for Jeremy’s specific group they were looking for a name to put on their business cards that would distinguish them from the *other* public sector employees. Jeremy, being the HILARIOUS GENIUS he is, suggested “Secure Homeland Intelligence Team”. It went up the ranks and was the ONLY suggestion that EVERYONE loved. The guy at the top read it and said, “This is fantastic! I love it! Who suggested it?” When he found out Jeremy had he said, “It’s a trick! Something is wrong with it!” It took another minute for him to realize what the acronym spelled. 😆 Jeremy got a phone call and was told, “Nice try.” I asked Jeremy what would have happened if no one had caught it. He said, “I would have had the funniest business cards around! It would have been great.” 🙄 He was HOPING they’d never figure it out.

    I guess my point is, great minds think alike. 😀

  73. good job on the exotic food video,,yeah!! I can tell from your expression, you loved to hate it,,yuck, poo..LOL!! Fondy, great filming! Looking forward to your next food adventure!
    –Reading,,ahaa…does that include the instruction manual for anything you buy,,,my eyes sort of glaze over those… but books,, well,,let’s see.. I read the back cover description, look at cover art,,,and if that caught my eye, I guess I give it a try. If I can get into it after the first chapter or 2 I will try to finish.maybe 15%..and so far I have enjoyed your recommendations for reading,(scalzi is great!) Not enough hours in the day sometimes,, I can have a couple books started, especially if I am flying and want something, ah maybe not so intense, or involved to keep my attention for the airport/plane.maybe one with shorter sentences, and not plane crashing related. And then there is my collection of (lots)cookbooks, will make a nice addition to a yard sale someday. I read those when inspired in the kitchen to try something new,,alas, not enough hours in the day or pepcid in the cupboard, which you might want to get some alka-seltzer or the like for your new venture, which btw I am looking forward to more entries. thanks and have a grand day!! 😉

  74. A quick question for Alan on DV: How is it that Sheppard has learned to manage all stations on the big D? Seems he handled weaps, flight, and miscellaneous engineering.

  75. Hi Joe

    You know what really throws me when I watch the show? When I see a scene of everyone in the “Mess” Drinking water from Plastic Bottles. In the beginning of the show “Atlantis” was surrounded by water. I would think that the Ancients and the Atlantians would have designed a water system.

  76. *waves*

    I’ve not reviewed TDV yet because my brain was about to explode and so didn’t exactly go into it with thoughts other than that, so I got kinda distracted during the ep. So i’ll rewatch it later and tell you my thoughts with fresh eyes and fresh brain. 😛

    So before I forget, because that seems to be a trend lately a question for the other Mr M. 😉

    Alan – *waves* I’ve noticed in the episodes you tend to write that there’s very much a time/space element to them; The Road not taken, Tabula Rasa, TDV, Line in the sand. Does this element of story writing come naturally to you, or have you had to research AU’s and shifting realities to make sure you get the science correct?

    Also with episodes like Tabula Rasa (which I adored) how difficult was it to write the timelines for it and have them finally merge into a central point? And were there any particular obstacles you had to overcome writing that ep? Did you literally write a timeline and then fill in the gaps? What was your writing process for that? Sorry, I should have warned you that i’m extremely long-winded. 😛

    Thanks for some great eppies, and the wonderful infirmary scene in TR. 😛 *blows a kiss*

    Now for the other Mr M – Joe, Joe, Joe… you like like you’re about to puke on that vid. Thanks for that. 😆 I’d say it’s whump Shep not self, but you’re doing a great job of that so far. 😉 😛 😀

    Thanks to both Mr M’s for letting me ramble, tis much appreciated.

    *hugs*

  77. <>

    If a book doesn’t catch my interest by Chapter 3, I drop it. Commuting is the only time I devote to reading. You never know when you’re train will be delayed, so I keep a book with me at all times. I commute 40 min. a day to work, so I read to and from work. Unlike you, it can take me two weeks to finish a book, which is fine for me. My success rate so far is 98%. There’s only been two books I totally gave up on.

  78. Hahahahahaha..OMG Joe, what a great idea the exotic food video is…as long as you don’t throw up of course. 😛

  79. Joe Mallozzi: Trying crappy food products so you don’t have to.

    My reading rules are to try and make it through a book. But I usually end up petering out about half way through and picking up another one. If that one goes quickly, then it wasn’t my addled brain and, thus, the book is not picked up again.

    And I will give an author another chance if it is so recommended by friends. But I do have to be convinced.

    Dang. I sound so picky!

    Of course, I’m reading the last Twilight book, right now. And I can’t believe I’m doing it, even while I read it.

  80. Hey Joe,
    I really liked how McKay said to Sheppard, that he can´t do ten things at once in The Daedalus Variations. Could he please say that to Sheppard more often? Sheppard seems to forget it a lot and usually only yells at McKay.
    And I think The Daedalus Variations was a very nice episode 🙂

  81. Books: It is rare for me to NOT to finish a book that I start. Usually I stick with it or try again a bit later. There are very few that I really can’t finish, probably less than five in my entire life of reading!! I read a lot – not to your voracious standard (certainly not right now), but at one point I was going through 2 to 3 books a week! Now it’s more like 1 every fortnight, with the occasional book that gets finished faster. As for authors, if I’ve read a book I’m not keen on it is unlikely that I will read more from that author, unless I bought a few by him/her and then it depends on why I wasn’t keen on the first book. I’m probably more likely to give an author a second chance in fiction than biography, but only if a friend insists I read a dud one!

    I’m a bit like it with fanfic too – once I start I like to finish, but if I’m not keen then I will do a skim through to finish it quickly and I will be cautious about reading more from that author…though I do give fanficcers second chances (especially if a few months have passed) because sometimes a person will improve (like I have).

    I’m also pretty good at giving TV shows more than just the 1 episode to see if I like it (it’s rare I’ll watch 1 ep and give up) – because a) if I’ve come in part way I may have hit a not so good ep (they happen even to the best shows) and b) if it’s the pilot, well, sometimes they’re not as good due to the setting up that is required – though there are some cracking pilots too! The Sentinel TV show had me hooked from halfway through its pilot, for example. Hmm, and that other show I’m a bit fannish about, it’s pilot was pretty good…let me think…what is it called…. Oh, SGA!!! *g*

    The Daedalus Variations: Another great episode, full of some really good team moments, which is always fun! But also, little things – like the fact Rodney dropped the baby!! No wonder Teyla is ‘hiding’ Torren from him!! I love how at the end he’s all sort of ‘now what? Take him back!’ when he gets to hold him – and John’s line about Rodney as a father being the scariest thing ever cracked me up totally! I also loved how Rodney says he had to try and not think like himself and he figured Sheppard was about as far from that as he could – and John takes that as a compliment!! LOL! Lots of other stuff that I liked…but this is a pretty long comment already, so just take it as read that I really enjoyed this episode!

    Questions for Alan: Of the episodes you that have written for Stargate, are there any that didn’t turn out quite as well as you had hoped? Were there any that turned out better than you had hoped? Also, which is your favourite episode, whether written by you or someone else, and why? Thanks.

    Leesa

  82. Pickled capers? Are they the kind that come in a jar similar to (or with) olives? This is a fairly common ingredient in Hispanic and mediterranean cuisine. Pretty much anything that would have olives as an ingredient would go well with capers.

    I wouldnt try them straight, but I have had them at a good Italian restaurant on a very thinly sliced carpacio di carni with drizzled olive oil. As for my culture, they are used when making the base sauces in Puerto Rican (sofrito) or Cuban cooking. Next time you go to a “real” Cuban or Hispanic restaurant pay close attention to the flavors, if it is a red or “green” sauce based dish chances are it has capers in it. Picadillo (ground meat prepared as a main dish) is one of my favorites.

  83. I absolutely loved DV. It was exciting, involved the whole team working together and even had some Rodney whump! What more could I ask for!

    A question for Alan – How hard is it to write all the technobabble? Do you have a science background or do you have to do much research when writing the script?

    As far as reading goes – I have a terrible habit of skimming books after about 100 pages. I did that once when reading The DaVinci Code, and my mother-in-law’s eyes glazed over when I made the unfortunate mistake of telling her what I had done. Sometimes I don’t even bother to skim when the book, I feel, is just going nowhere, and I am spending way too much time trying to get through it.

    I must say, though, that The Android’s Dream, The Empire of Ice Cream and now In the Night Garden are a rarity – all of these books have so captivated me that I didn’t skim, and I read them from cover to cover. A real first for me!

  84. Colour me amused; the almost smirk of disgust on your face while you were eating those things was priceless. Kudos for trying them though. If it were me, the ingredients list would have got the real life equivalent of this face… o.0 then I would have put the packet slowly back on the shelf.

  85. glad you survived the experience of the first “weird food purchase of the day”, (for some reason, i think that should be said in a loud announcer voice) but i think it should only be a weekly thing & it could be one entry you don’t have to think about too much. also, please chew with your mouth closed. BTW nice kitchen.
    as for the 25% book rule i usually plow through the difficult ones which are rare, thank the gods. i once was reading a book & thought; “i don’t like this book. that’s crazy, i’ve only read two paragraphs.” i was right, i didn’t like it. but continued to read it because it was the first of a three part story. the other books were better.

  86. Joe,

    I have a question for Alan.

    In each of your episodes, there is always at least one great McKay/Sheppard friendship moment. Is that by design — in other words, is there a conscious effort to include such moments in your episodes — or is it just a by-product of the plot? Whatever the reason, your episodes are some of my favorite of the series. Thank you!

    Best,

    Rose

  87. I really miss the focus on the Stargate. It seems like it is rarely (seen to be) used, and when it is, it’s always with the puddle jumper. I’m guessing this might be a CGI cost cutting measure, but it makes me sad. This season will we see a return to obvious (visible) use of the Stargate, and maybe even people going through it?

  88. Hi Joe, could you find out from one of the sound guys how they make the Goa’uld voices? I need to be able to make some Goa’uld voices for a project I’m working on but want them to sound authentic. Thanks Joe.

    P.S. Loved the latest Atlantis.

  89. I know at least one person, a writer even, who believes life is too short to read mediocre writing. She starts to skim if a writer doesn’t catch her in the first two pages and then stops.

    For me, I want to give due respect to a writer’s effort and give each a fair chance. Heck, I once took a full year to get through “Fire Upon the Deep” by Vernor Vinge. I kept having to stop and restart. In the end, I loved the book (though likely I’ll not pick it up again). KJ Bishop’s book was one of those I had to push through for a bit, but then she had me.

    I’ll push through to at least half-way before I switch to a skimming mode or I stop. Although, I find I’m much less forgiving of science ficiton of late than with most other genres. If the story is weighted down by hard science indulgence and characters are there just to support the ideas, I stop much sooner. I don’t even bother to skim.

    Thought I’d mention that I’m enjoying SGA thus far this season. Lots of team moments and the personal interaction is good to see. I’m also thrilled not to be hating Woolsey. I’m still waiting to see how he handles large scale life and death. You started smart with small with him and he’s had the chance to appear sympathetic before the large chips are down.

  90. Your face is priceless dude…really all I got to say.
    God bless you on your next food try…Hopefully its a good one…

  91. Did you name Colonel Sobel commander of the alternate Deadalus ship after Dr. Sobel played by Billy Crystal in Analyze This?

  92. 10% book completion Rate! I recently got halfway finished with a copy of Arthur C. Clarke’s The City and the Stars that I bought about 30 years ago, after several previous attempts.

  93. Thank you Alan for a wonderful episode on Friday. I’m not sure if you can field this question but after listening to the commentary to “Outcast” the idea was mentioned that Dave have returned for “Hexed”. Since I think, I’m not sure, you might have been the one who was asked to pen that script….and now that its been shelved.

    Could you tell us what that one would have been about? I’m very curious even though it’ll never see the light of day what would have brought back John’s brother in the picture not to mention elsewhere it was mentioned that Sheppard’s hair would have needed to be flat for the eppy.

    Thank you.

    Kim

  94. Joe,

    We have a local paper here called the Riverfront Times. They used to have a column in there called Keep It Down!, where the columnist found the most obscure foodstuffs to try. Seems you’ve picked up that particular torch. 😉

    I usually try to finish any book I start reading. So far, the only ones I couldn’t were just about anything by Anne Rice (she’s way too wordy), and (sadly) The Lies of Locke Lamorra. That story just didn’t engage me. 🙁

    BoomerG.

  95. Daedalus Variations = flip flop fun! Most impressive was the VFX, what a 2001 feel the beginning had, and throughout!!! I thought this episode might be a bit boring, but the continuing character insight bits (DH didn’t have to act at all at the end, did he!!), the dialog, the action (awesome Cyberwraith!! hope we see them again their craft kicked ASS) and the way the story was handled added up to a really good episode. Good job, very solid. Got a kick out of Shep to Shep again (for #4) and finding “themselves” dead, creepy. Excellent that Teyla learned ship stuff, very smooth. But she should’ve remembered how different “Rod” was and applied that to her AU perception, instead of comparing to the repli-Teyla. Ronon too.

    You ask: So, do you have any set rules applicable to challenging reads? Is it 10%, 25%, or 100 page cut-off? And what rules do you apply to authors? As far as I’m concerned, one bad book is not enough to cross an author off my to-read list. Two will do it though.
    I’m not a patient reader anymore. Usually if the story doesn’t grab or bored with a book after 4-5 chapters, that’s it. Not really picky about style, I consider that the author’s “voice”, always nice if it’s in tune with the story (i tend to think of things in musical terms). I’m working on my patience via this here BOTMC, you’ve picked some that have been great which I praised and some I’ve forced myself to finish, with subsequent frustrated reviews. Me too, I’ll give an author a couple books before disliking. Charles Stross is currently on that list, however, you’ve convinced me to try Glasshouse… sometime.

    Oh, and they call out for it in a lot of episodes- Sheppard’s team is obviously the Core Recon Atlantis Patrol.
    DD

  96. Question about the AU team that died on the Daedelus: How did they die? If they were starving why didn’t they use their puddle jumper t abandon the the ship and get down to the planet’s mainland or was every AU they came across worse than starving?

    Tammy

  97. Well, I just had my friend over to watch Broken Ties – she’s a diehard SG1/SGA fan – from the beginning. We’ve never watched an episode together, but she had missed this one and was dying to see it. So, I invited her over and we watched it – and it will be the LAST time I watch any episode with her, EVER! She screamed – literally SCREAMED – every time the Wraith came on the screen. Screamed…cringed…buried her face in a pillow…the whole bit.

    Since she knows about my little Wraith obsession I thought – at first – that she was just joking. She wasn’t. She told me that she’s petrified of them, and totally creeped out by their looks. I say, “Wait. You don’t think they’re hot?” And she says, “Oh my god! NO! Their teeth are soooo ugly! They’re so creepy! And the thing they do with their hand – ACK! Scariest things ever for a tv show!”

    *blinks*

    Sure, the Wraith give me chills…once in a while they even make my skin crawl…but at the same time I find them incredibly interesting and attractive. But after today…wow. Seeing her reaction has me thinking that maybe there’s something wrong with me now. 😆

    Oh, and those questions I asked Alan – I worded a couple all wrong. I really must remember to come here after I wake up in the morning, and not at the end of the day…brain doesn’t work so well when it wants to sleep. They’re really meant to be ‘what’s your take on this or that’ sort of questions, not asking for specifics or facts here, since I realize everything’s subject to change. Just wanted to hear his speculation, or opinions…or whatever. I hate when things come out wrong.

    And Joe, after watching BT again I realize I’m still mad at you for killing the Wraith. Despite my friend’s reaction, I found him to be quite – magnificent. Heck, even Ronon had to agree with me on that one. 😉

    das

  98. Absolutely loved Daedalus Variations – it had team, it had snark, it had team snark and it had things exploding – what was not to love? It was also touching to see Sheppard finally find his one true soulmate: himself.

    I don’t have a question for Alan but he’s definitely one of my favourite writers.

    As for reading habits, my one talent, besides juggling flaming chainsaws while yodeling the national anthem with a duck balanced on my head, is being able to read quickly, so I normally bowl through them regardless and only one book has ended up thrown across the room. Plus normally I cheat and read the first page – if the writing style is engaging it’s normally a safe bet – even if the plot sucks at least it’ll sound good while tanking.

  99. Loved The Daedalus Variations, although at times it reminded me of an old Star Trek: The Next Generation episode (the one where Picard’s double from an alternate timeline comes back in a shuttlecraft to warn the Enterprise of a spatial/time anonaly). Also, the new bad guys (will we see them again?) reminded me of the main villain from the Farscape episode “Eat Me”.

    Fun episode. Hope we have some more like this down the line.

  100. <blockquote>dasNdanger wrote on August 3, 2008 at 1:47 pm
    Sure, the Wraith give me chills…once in a while they even make my skin crawl…

    Really? 😯 I never felt that way. I was fascinated by them from the day the first Wraith appeared in “Rising”. The nearer he came the bigger and bigger my eyes became and I forgot to breath. The only thing I was able to say then was “Wow!” From that day on I was hooked and after Steve appeared I was lost forever. 😀 In the forums I’m member I was the first Wraithfan and I’ll probably be the last one someday. I’ll never be able to leave them. 😀

    And I know a few people that feel similar. So relax – nothing is wrong with you, das. 🙂

    <blockquote>dasNdanger also wrote on August 3, 2008 at 1:47 pm
    And Joe, after watching BT again I realize I’m still mad at you for killing the Wraith. Despite my friend’s reaction, I found him to be quite – magnificent.

    No – I’m not angry, because that was the only end that fits in that story. I have no problems with seeing Wraith die, but I have problems when the Wraith are described as fools.

    BTW – am I the only one that thinks that Ronon working for the Wraith clashed horribly? I would have really loved to see him there for several episodes – together with Tyre. Still hoping he’ll go back to them. 😀

    And yes – that Wraith is really adorable. 😀

  101. That video was too funny. Looking forward to more wierd food videos!

    As for reading, I’m a scanner. I start the first page or so and if it hasn’t piqued my interest I scan the rest. My husband actually believes my super power is reading.

  102. Just a thought. Sheppard’s team should be designated the Primary Offworld Operations Patrol.

  103. When fighting the Darleks, the Doctor managed to work out a way of sending them to the void. The void had nothing in it so there was no where for them to go. It was “between” space.

    In order to do it, he created a tear in space that sucked anything into it that had a time signature on it. Rose got caught in that and was about to be sucked into the void too. If she sent she would die.

    In an alternate universe, Rose’s dad was still alive. He — with help from the Cybermen’s invention, managed to jump to our reality, grab Rose as she was being sucked into the void and take her to his dimension. Rose’s mother also ended up over there so they ended up being a whole family once more.

    The doctor destroyed a sun by using it’s power to send a message to the other dimension to tell Rose what had happened.

    Just as he was about to leave he said something to her but the sun was dying and there wasn’t enough power left for the message to get through.

    Hope that explains a few things that happen later on 😉

  104. For Alan:

    I have to admit that your first SG-1 episode “Prototype” got me upset concerning Daniel’s not forgiving Woolsey at the end. But, after some time, I’ve grown to list that episode among my favorites.

    Was there any debate in the writers’ room concerning Daniel’s ending scene with Woolsey? Did you have something else in mind?

    What did you do to prepare to write “Prototype”? Were you afraid that there was too much “previously-on” history in the episode and that it would get bogged down? If you had had more time, what else would you have included in the story?

    I also read that there was a scene that was originally written for Cam that was given to Daniel instead. Is there any truth to that rumor, and if so, which scene was it? Why was it changed?

    How was your transition to Atlantis for Season Four after having written for SG-1 for two years? Do you miss writing for the SG-1 characters? Do you identify with any of them? Do you wish that you could write a cross-over episode in SGA just so you can have a chance to write SG-1 characters again?

    Thanks. 🙂

  105. The machine that can jump through alternate realities was very cool. Will it figure at all in Stargate Universe?

    On books I always feel like I’ve failed when I can’t get through a book I bought. I’m pretty good at filtering out duds when I’m at the bookstore but there are always a few that slip through. I’m on page 425 of 750 of the Glasbooks of the Dream Eaters and I hope I can finish it…someday.

  106. Hi Joe, I took Friday & Saturday off, cos it was still raining (from Tuesday) so I am just catching up with a few comments.

    Joe said: 1. Answer: Hate to say it, but I’ve answered this question before. The Atlantis teams are numbered. Sheppard’s team is First Atlantis Reconnaissance Team. Lorne’s team is Second Atlantis Reconnaissance Team. And so on.

    SFM – The teams could have been numbered “Atlantis 1”, “Atlantis 2” etc. Making abbreviations – A1, A2, etc.

    2. I, for one, consider myself a fairly tolerant reader and do try to finish most any book I start – but there are occasions when that’s just plain impossible. Either the story hasn’t grabbed me, the style is off-putting or, in some instances, I’m bored to tears or wholly unimpressed.

    SFM – Ditto – re: Gormenghast. I had to read this for my fantasy literatur epaper, and was given permission by the lecturer to watch the video instead – but no luck; still couldn’t “get into it”

    @Anne Teldy – am watching BSG because my friend loves it; I tried to watch when it first aired, but, like Gormenghast – was into it at all.

    Also – I too decline to put my name to your petition. Joe should not be guilted into changing his mind. I believe Ivon said that Joe is away from the studio as soon as he has finished work so that Ivon can’t catch up with him and that he (Joe) flies home every weekend.

    @Trish, sorry to hear about Sebastian. I have lost count of the number of cats I have lost – some have just never come home. But in all the times I have had to take cats to take to the vet – never paid for the final treatment yet.

  107. love The Daedalus Variations story I though it could have been a two parter. Although i have to admit i was yelling at the tv at the end, to put on the space suits. I’m glad you took my advice. I thought their for a moment you guys where going to mess something up. Know one mentioned the suits.

    Their was a good question somewhere about writing for a roll . I believe the question was directed at allan I would like to ask all of the writers if they have one they like to write for.

  108. Joe,
    Thanks for the food review. My local supermarket carries those (I live in NY City and it seems like every supermarket carries wierd, exotic food). Anyway, I have been eyeing those snacks and now, after your review, I will stear clear.

    But the bag carrying the snack is very pretty.

    Stupid marketing department!

  109. Ooh, I forgot to compliment you on the exotic foods video yesterday… hilarious!!!
    Fondy has amazing videography skills!!!

  110. @ noir – the thing about the Wraith making my skin crawl – trust me, I mean that in a GOOD way. 😉 NOT in a bad, “I’ve just seen a spider!” kinda way.

    Of course, I was introduced to them backwards – Todd first (for the most part), and then the others. I WISH I had the same experience as you … being introduced to them slowly and learning about them from the beginning. I envy you your experience.

    And Steve….*sigh*….he was pure perfection. Would love to see James come back, but I guess that will never happen. But I have hopes for Tyler. I really liked him lots. He’s not James, he’s not Chris, but he’s up there. He was a bit…chilling (and I mean THAT in a good way, too).

    As far as death being the only fitting end for the Wraith in Broken Ties, I agree – and disagree. I think it would have been far more interesting to see him left to his own kind, facing their discipline for his failure. Blowing him up was just too much like the end of Todd in The Last Man. Not sure if it was done like that on purpose, or not, but I would have liked to see somethng a bit different.

    And I still have problems with the Wraith dying (as the only ‘solution’), AND looking like fools. But I won’t bore everyone – especially Joe – with my opinions on it…again.

    “BTW – am I the only one that thinks that Ronon working for the Wraith clashed horribly? I would have really loved to see him there for several episodes – together with Tyre. Still hoping he’ll go back to them.”

    I agree. I would have liked to see him with the Wraith for a bit longer. It was a good episode – but I think it would have been a better overall story if it was stretched out over a couple episodes, AND if it gave us more insight into the Wraith and what drives them.

    “And yes – that Wraith is really adorable.”

    Ahhh…yes. Couldn’t agree with you more. Beautiful bugs, they are.

    Speaking of bugs…

    I saw my very first real, live black widow spider today – in my freakin’ yard!!!!! We have a wormwood bush around our mailbox, and each year I cut it back a little so it doesn’t grow into the street. Well, I was cutting off the old flowers, had my hands all up in the thing, and asked Mr. Das to pull some of it back so I could cut it away from the curb. Well…when he did, I saw this shiny, round black spider – its body almost the size of a dime…and I screamed and told him to let go of the shrub. When he did, the spider turned upside down, and there it was – the red hourglass on its belly. Ugh. If we have one, I bet we have lots more. Hubby killed it, but I’ve had a really bad case of the willies ever since, and not in a good, “I’ve just seen a Wraith’ kinda way…

    .:P

    das

  111. I’m playing catch up after things like graduation and moving across the state and fears of being too spoiled for the new season sent me away. Really there is much too much to ever truly catch up, but I figure commenting a day behind isn’t too bad.

    First, I hope you feel better.

    Second, I think my completion rate of books I read for fun is pretty much 99.9%. School related readings are closer to 40% and those are what have been eating my life the last couple years. If I went to the trouble of starting the novel I’m going to finish it. But I’m not that experimental in my reading so I don’t have many chances to start things I wouldn’t want to finish. I stick with genre I like or things people recommend and read the flaps or back and flip through the book to see if anything strikes me as offensive (I’m not one for cursing or sex scenes) before I’ll actually check it out of the library. The closest I came to not finishing a book recently was reading “Twilight,” but I already had the next two books in the series waiting, as well as at least a dozen fanatical friends wanting to discuss it.

    Third, aw, I liked F.A.R.T. much better. I could just imagine Chuck on the city-wide, “Fart report to the gate room immediately.” Of course if there are more than 3 teams it could get confusing.

    Fourth, is it just me or has every episode ended in a hospital bed so far this season? I’m all for whump, but if you give the fans too much they won’t appreciate it like they should. 😀

  112. I don’t have a “25% rule” but I have something close. I generally use the “100 page rule” when reading an average novel. Be it 300 pages or 800 pages. But being an obsessive-compulsive and a completist, it’s very hard for me to stop reading a book, even a bad one.

  113. So joe, I have a serious question for ya! This may even decide my future!

    You may not have an answer to this and I understand. I am still a newb when it comes to the acting profession, but what sort of schooling does it require to be at the level of skill to get a part on a show like stargate?

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