You know how you hear many a lottery winner state that, despite their sudden financial windfall, they have no plans to quit their jobs? Well, hopefully they’re true to their word because studies reveal that 70% of lottery winners blow through their winnings in just a few years. But that’s beside the point. Of greater interest to me is the prospect that someone who has attained sudden financial freedom would, nevertheless, choose to continue working. Why? So that they can be a contributing member to society? In order to maintain purpose? To score an invite to the company Christmas party so that they can check out Doris from accounting’s annual eggnog-fueled strip tease? Maybe all of the aforementioned? Maybe none of the aforementioned? Maybe it’s just something to say at the time like “Sure, I’d love to have dinner with you!” or “You should call me whenever you’re in town!”, an off-the-cuff declaration that no one in their right mind would ever hold you to.

I wonder about this because this morning, while I was talking to my writing partner Paul, he reminded me that we would be heading back to the office on Monday. It may surprise you to learn that my response was not “Oh, it’ll be great to see the old gang again! I wonder if Carl got a new haircut?” or “Thank God! I’ve been going stir-crazy being at home for the past two weeks!” but rather “So soon?” as though this unforeseen demand on my schedule would somehow hamper a crucial project I had in the works (Although at the time – in the interest of full disclosure – I was standing in my socks and fleece pants in my garden striving to differentiate between the scents of three types of thyme and trying to figure out why they called it lemon basil when it smelled nothing like lemon and really smelled more like marijuana.) Yep, crazy as it sounds, three and a half weeks into my four week hiatus and I’m in no hurry to get back at it even though, in truth, I have been “back at it”, working on the script for episode #20 since my return from Montreal. Maybe my attitude would be different if it was three months, say, or six months, or perhaps two years spent in the isolated darkness of my home theater room freelancing via email, eating Chinese take-out, and watching my entire collection of anime including Ninja Cadets and Elf Princess Rane. Maybe. And then again, maybe not.

Prior to signing on with the Stargate franchise, I spent several years freelancing from home. I’d settled into a nice comfortable routine although there were, admittedly times when I would miss the social interaction that comes with a group story meeting or a good old-fashioned face to face script harangue. I wonder now if, given the choice and all things being equal, I could go back to a more laidback home office life.

Of course, given the uncertain nature of show business, there’s a good chance that, somewhere down the line, I won’t have a choice and may well find myself sitting at home in my socks and fleece pants, working away on my freelance scripts, secretly missing the on-set action, the camaraderie, and Carl’s snazzy post-hiatus haircuts.

Well, that’s it for now. I’m all by my lonesome tonight as my wife went to a “women only” beachside get-together that sounded suspiciously like a Wiccan gathering. I’m off to watch The Orphanage.

Today = video of some early gate tests.

71
Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
ytimynona
ytimynona

Oh look, the gate spins both ways! Do they add the cool watery event horizon effect in later (like in SG-1) or is there a thingamabob that mimics it but isn’t there in these videos (like later on in SGA)?

I read once in Reader’s Digest that working is one of the keys to happiness… maybe that’s why lottery winners don’t quit their jobs.
Also, after taxes, their winnings probably amount to just enough to cover their debts (apologies: this is me being cynical about money. It seems like there’s never enough of it in this crappy recession. *Sigh*).

Hmm, can you expand the discussion of freelancing versus full-time? It seems to me like either you have a greenlight to write a script (and hence, a full-time job) or you don’t (and then you’ve got NO job). But I’m sure there’s more to it than that.

MightyStarGazer

If I ever got so lucky to win enough money to last ´till I sucked my last breath (at age 99 or so), I would most certainly not be working anymore! Ok, so first I would have to start playing the lottery to be able to win, but you get my point! **grin*

Oh, and Joe, do the wraith have bellybuttons? Inquiring minds are dying to know!

pg15

Uh oh. Joe’s in reflection mood. Last time that happened SGA got cancelled.

That said, if you ever do quit Stargate to pursue a freelance thing, may I take your place on the writing staff? I’d be ever so good.

Thank you so much for the gate-in-action videos! Wow, that’s a smooth operator; it’s like it’s on greased ballbearings. Those construction people do good work! I especially like the 2nd video, where it’s like the beginning of an episode or something. You start on the gate, slowly pull out as it dials, and then pan back to reveal the team standing, waiting, and bantering. Classic Stargate.

pg15

Addendum: it took me until yesterday to realize that ytimynona‘s name is Anonymity spelled backwards.

I’m slow with words.

ZeroPointBatteries
ZeroPointBatteries

HOLY CRAP!! that is awesome. It never occurred to me to think of the entire gate spinning. I was a little worried when I first saw the gate design because it almost seemed a little too plain, but now I am relieved and excited about it once again. Great job and thanks for the vids.

-ZPB

PBMom
PBMom

For the last 20-1/2 years, I have been a telecommuter for my employer (medical transcription company). I was a telecommuter before it became fashionable to do so. What I don’t miss are the office politics and game playing. What I do miss is the human contact. It is a double-edged sword. Everything in our job is done by email. There is no “home office.” Even the owner of the company works from home. We do have a data center, but it strictly a machine-only place where the occasional programmer has to run to if there is a problem.

Having a nonverbal child doesn’t help that need for conversation. Although I talk to the dog, she doesn’t talk back (in human words at least). I did a lot of volunteer work when he was younger, but oddly enough the older he gets, the harder it seems to take care of him, and I don’t seem to be able to squeeze volunteering in any time in my immediate future. That leaves me with my husband (who falls asleep early because he gets up early), and the occasional monthly book club meeting I get to go to (when I’m not on-call for my job), shopping, and hair appointments and other such things, and phone conversations with my sisters. With email, I don’t seem to talk to many people anymore either. That is why on weekends, I’m just not on the internet. That is the time I squeeze in all my errands, human contact, conversations with family and with my husband (not to mention the other usual household chores and taking care of my kiddo). If I didn’t do that, I’d think I’d wind up like Tom Hanks’ character in CastAway.

But all things considered, after 20-1/2 years of working at home, I don’t know if I could really work in an office setting anymore. That is almost half of my life. I’m sure I could do it if I HAD to, but it would not be a willing choice. Just the thought of having to wear shoes again, and shudder, shoes with HEELS, makes my feet hurt.

Montrealer
Montrealer

@Mika wrote on July 21 at 6:34PM

@Montrealer,

Completely true, and with your permission I’ll happily quote that at my Catastrophic Disasters students.

Mika, you have my permission to quote my previous posting from July 21th at 11:37AM on Joe’s blog.

PoorOldEdgarDerby
PoorOldEdgarDerby

What’s your take on telecommuting writing jobs? I’ve been trying to get into something awhile now, and since I don’t live near any good creative hub, I’m more or less resigned to the remote work, but it doesn’t always seem worth it.

riley

I’d go part-time, but I’d still work. Or volunteer somewhere. I’d turn into a stinking, filthy hermit if I didn’t. Besides, my family would suck me dry of my winnings in a very short time. Unless I didn’t tell them the full extent of my winnings …. hmm. Now I just need to win!

crayonbaby
crayonbaby

I speak with teenagers and toddlers daily. I’d give anything to speak with an adult during the day and not the one at Target in the check-out line.

Cool spinning gate, although I had to stop the closeup because it was making me sick. Spinning things and me don’t mix.

paloosa
paloosa

Everyone in my department plays the lotto weekly. It’s the only way we’re going to get a raise.

And yeah, I’d stay. With pre-existing medical problems, I’d be denied medical insurance no matter how many millions I might win.

All the set pics and tech stuff looks great, but I have to admit that my interest is in the characters. They’re what kept me watching SG1 and Atlantis. So I guess I’ll have to wait and see about SGU.

Tim Gaffney
Tim Gaffney

That second gate video makes me dizzy.

Iamjohn
Iamjohn

Joe have you ever heard of anyone injured by the gate? That thing seems to be spinning quite fast, and you’d think with 15.5 seasons of stargate something must have gone wrong at some point with actors in close proximity…

Thornyrose
Thornyrose

It would depend on how much money we’re talking about, if I would retire or not. A few million, probably not likely. by the time the taxes are paid, friends, family, and charities given a cut, the splurge spending done, I suspect the remaining amount would be more suitable for a retirement fund than for retiring on. Once you get over ten million though, I’d start thinking in terms of giving up the day job. Much as I love my job, there are younger people who could do it, and I could always volunteer and keep my hand in things. Also, my biggest passion is travel, so having both funds and money available would make retirement a no brainer. And should I manage to swing a 100 million dollar plus windfall, well, let’s just say that London, Vegas, and possibly someplace in New Zealand would be nice places to have an apartment. The one thing I would make sure of is before collecting the money, talk to a financial adviser/accountant/attorney to both maximize my income and to set up the appropriate funds to live off of once I blow the rest of the cash. Such musings always make for a few minutes of blissful entertainment.
As for freelancing, never having held a job that was so potentially feast or famine, I’m not sure how well I would like it. I admire those who are willing to take such risks, given it indicates a certain passion for their chosen field. But in a world where skill and talent do not guarantee a rise to the top, it’s a hard road to choose. Unfortunately what talents I do have do not lend themselves to jobs such as yours. Or maybe that is a fortunate thing. In a world where both the dreck and the jewels are being preserved for future generations, it’s just as well that any of my artistic attempts won’t be around to embarrass me in any future life.
Cool video of the gate. Thanks as always, and know that we will all be sympathizing with your having to drag yourself back to work.(carefully maintaining a straight face)

NZNeep
NZNeep

It does spin! YES!

Purp
Purp

Which are your top 5 NCAAF teams heading into the regular season?

dasNdanger
dasNdanger

Uh…how is it you know what marijuana smells like, ya freakin’ hippie?

das

Daniel Willis
Daniel Willis

This is so exciting, to see the gate moving! I feel like such a nerd ha ha!

You might have answered this before, so if so I apologise.. But why do you have a hiatus? Is production only half way through? I thought it was a bit further along…

Daniel

Narelle from Aus

If I won big I’d quit what I was doing but go and live the remainder of my life as a volunteer. Orangutan Sanctuary in Borneo, Tiger Temple/Elephant Sanctuary in Thailand, open a free Vet clinic on Koh Samui with a local vet training centre included. **sigh**

Mika – I’m one of those in Australia that was close to the fires in February. I look back on it now and see how close we were to being wiped out and wow, were we lucky the freak wind change happened when it did.

There were some obvious factors that contributed to the catastrophe that meant no matter what the resources, there was still going to be serious damage and casualties.
1. It has been council law that you are not allowed to clear your property in any way, including fallen logs and branches. I understand it is better to leave fallen matter for the environment, but we need to find a balance. Australian flora has so many species that need fire to reproduce. Surely that would suggest that fire is a natural cycle?

2. We have been in drought for over a decade. Everything was crispy dry and ready to burn. With water restrictions in place, it meant the usual lush lawns and green gardens that used to surround our properties were dry and mostly dead.

2. We were all glued to the CFA website for fire updates, but it was over AN HOUR OUT! Handy when the fire is travelling at 200kmph.

3. And yes, the fire was travelling at an incredible speed on two fronts so even for those that saw it coming, many couldn’t outrun it.

If it had have reached our suburb, who knows what would have followed. We’re only 28kms from the Central Business District. Between us and the CBD is pure urban sprawl.

The weeks that followed what our media has dubbed “Black Saturday” was spent clearing dry debris, making fire breaks and ensuring people were notified promptly of potential fire danger. All these are courses of action that could have been taken prior, but, as with most things, it’s only when something bad happens that action is taken.

What I’m interested in is that so few noticed some of the subtle changes during the Summer. I post on my blog in early December about animals, bugs and grasses that I hadn’t seen since the last big bushfire season and posed the question of whether the return of these particular aspects of nature would mean bushfires over the Summer. Wish I’d been wrong. Here’s hoping more councils take the lead of a gas company in the Northern Territory by using local Aboriginals in an advisory capacity on how to manage the land. They’ve been doing controlled burnoffs and managing the land for 40,000 years. That’s got to look good on anyone’s CV!

Sorry about the off-topic ramble Joe… as usual.

otros ojos
otros ojos

It’s always enjoyable to read your reflective-mood musings; you have that natural-writer knack for making them entertaining and atmospheric without sacrificing insight. So, with a talent that equips you for working from home at a job you like, I guess choosing becomes that much harder — that is, if you’re seriously pondering a change rather than just going through the “what if’s” that seem to affect most people.

Sitting around in socks and fleece pants (oh, and shirt — guys have all the luck) to mull over a project, or taking in the essence of a nighttime garden in the same loungewear I’d put on for work, was a real pleasure when I was copyediting. I miss that, and miss even more the freedom to order my day as I pleased, as long as I got my work done at some point. But it seems there’s always something to nag at you, whether it’s not doing more of what you’re capable of doing (say, producing, plus the all-important task of keeping Ashleigh in line), or the camaraderie, or the opportunity to pad the bank account against more cutbacks in your line of work. (Alternatively, to pad the basement walls for Ninja training, or for bouncing off them when your job overloads your circuits.) Or at least that’s what I found.

My aspirations are modest: I’ll be happy if, 10-20 years from now, I haven’t morphed into Doris from accounting. Or into the manic-euphoric patient, still attractive at 51 — that much was clear from observing male staff — who came tripping down the hallway one evening in her purple sneakers, crimson-lipstick smile, and nada in between. (She’d done a nice job with her hairdo, but still. Even psych floors have limits.)

Thanks for a couple more nifty vids, and the Twitter pooch-pics.

Anais33

Bonjour Joseph!! Vous allez bien?
Moi oui, encore une belle étape du Tour de France nous attend aujourd’hui et Lance à retrouvait les jambes de ça jeunesse

Oula, vous vous posez beaucoup de question aujourd’hui, je vous répondrez….bah “c’est comme ça” lol

Merci pour ces video =D. Les fans seront content!

Passez une bonne journée!
Bisou!!

otros ojos
otros ojos

@ das:

I’ve long thought that Johnny Depp has a creepy, mutating portrait in the attic, for certainly there is some sort of strange, dark magic at work keeping that man so beautiful!

Maybe some of his creepier roles served the same purpose . . . ? Dunno. But in the absence of signs of botox use (and thank goodness for that; I really don’t like looking at living masks), it’s fun to speculate. – BTW, it sounds like you had a really nice time and some mighty fine eatin’ yesterday. Good deal. smile

Jmanzione
Jmanzione

I picked up the brad wright Children of the Gods DVD yesterday. Awesome job!!! It was like watching it for the first time, only better. Why hasn’t it been mentioned here lately?
And why was this released with no marketing while DVD sales are way down? I’m as poor as a church mouse but even I bought this DVD.

Paula

I get to work from home twice a week. I rather enjoy having that mix; although you do miss out on some fun stuff every now and then.

I’m not sure I could do it all the time.

As for that lottery win? Once I put in enough to live a nice retirement, I am SO quitting my job!

I hope your wife has a nice time at her all-girl beach getaway. I’m doing the same with some girlfriends this weekend.

Angelus
Angelus

Cool! The gate spinning is not a CGI trick grin

Still wondering how the gate prop gets its power though, I’m pretty sure its not power cables. (they would be torn apart if the gate would spin to far in one direction) Perhaps batteries are hidden inside the gate?