“They make-a me a prisoner inside-a my home,”my elderly neighbor Tony informed me this morning.  Needless to say I was surprised, not so much by the implication that he was being held captive and had somehow managed to escape in order to tend to his tomato plants, but the fact that he was actually engaging me in conversation.  Prior to this sudden and inexplicable conversational outburst, our neighborly banter had been limited to his parroting my friendly observations.  “Nice day,”I’d say.  “Nice-a day,”he’d agree.  “Hey, working in the garden,”I’d remark.  “Hey-a, working in-a the garden,”he’d confirm.  “Looks like it’s going to rain,”I’d note.  “Looks like-a rain,”he’d concur.  I suspect that if I’d hollered “Woozle wozzle ding dong!”, he’d have chimed back with: “Woozle-a wozzle-a ding-a dong-a!”.  His wife, Rosa, on the other hand, always hung back and never uttered a word – until she learned that I not only understood Italian, but spoke it.  Since then, she’s been incredibly chatty, flagging me down with some cover story about passing along some beans, plums, or tomatoes from their garden and then launching into a lengthy discourse on everything from local politics to the insufficiencies of her extended family.

This morning, however, it was Tony doing the talking – moreover, the complaining.  Apparently, he failed his compulsory senior’s driving exam and, faster than you can say “farmer’s market”, had his license yanked.  Now, he has to make the 15 block trip to the supermarket and back on foot.  I lent a sympathetic ear, offered to give them a lift whenever the need arose but, in the back of my mind, I couldn’t really muster much in the way of commiserative indignation.  I mean, sure, I felt badly for the guy and wished he was still driving – but not at the risk of ending up a hood ornament on a vintage Ford LTD.

Of course, before you accuse me of ageism, allow me to point out that I hold young drivers to the same rigid standards.  As a matter of fact, I don’t think anyone should be granted a motor vehicle license unless they own enough shit to make suing them worthwhile.  And a scooter and Shakira’s complete discography aint gonna cut it.  I’m talking flat screen t.v.’s, top-of-the-line sound systems, or one of those rare white tigers.

Hey, one of the many, many great things about Stargate: Universe (besides the catering and the fact that my parking spot is only steps away from the entrance to the production offices) is the unbelievable depth of our cast.  Our leads are fantastic, but then so is everyone else.  In fact, I dare say that all of our supporting players are lead-quality talents.  Take Patrick Gilmore for instance.  Patrick plays Dr. Dale Volker, one of the many innocents fate has drafted to crew Destiny.

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When the show first went into prep, Dale Volker was, like most others, simply a name on a page.  But over the course of the season, Patrick has helped fashion him into an interesting, likable, and, above all else, wholly believable character.  He’s taken what we’ve written and brought it to life, giving Volker his own spin – and we have responded by taking that spin and adding a little more depth to the character in subsequent scripts – and he has responded in kind.  It’s a little like tag-team painting in which, quite often, it’s not the big picture additions that make one take notice (the river, the tree, the bear in the lederhosen) but the small touches (the subtle shading, the gentle cresting of waves, a parakeet trying to remember where he put his keys) that make everyone take notice and, more importantly, say “We’ve got to write him in more.”

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I bring Patrick up because we were watching the Day 2 Mix of Life today and there’s a performance he gives that, despite repeated viewings, has never failed to delight.  Check it out.  When it airs.  Oh, and check out Patrick’s twitter account here: http://twitter.com/patrickgilmore

Luis Ferreira (Colonel Everett Young) and Patrick Gilmore (Dr. Dale Volker)
Luis Ferreira (Colonel Everett Young) and Patrick Gilmore (Dr. Dale Volker)

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dasNdanger
dasNdanger

Glad I stayed up for this.

Just wanted to say that I think I need my license revoked, too. I went through one, maybe two, red lights today (fortunately, I didn’t kill anyone, or get a ticket). I do NOT know where my head was at the time, but it wasn’t on driving (and I wasn’t on the cellphone, either). Mentally I was just not on the planet, and it scared the crap out of me.

I think I need a chauffeur. razz

das

Thornyrose
Thornyrose

Intriguing idea you have there about needing “stuff” to get a liscence. But then those without the stuff would just throw themselves in front of those with, and boom, instant transfer of wealth. Still, worth pursuing the idea. Maybe it can lead to an alternate universe story someday.
So, since you’re so gung-ho about the cast, are you lining up potential online interviews for once the show airs? That way, you can possibly edit some q&a posts before the Tokyo trip and have them ready for posting if and when you suffer any digestive complications due to the ambitious dining schedule you’re tackling.
One request for when you do go on the trip. Now that you’ve shown us the NASA designed toilet seats, could you do a similiar “tour” of the bathtubs? During my trip, my travelling companion enjoyed looking over some of your older posts, but noted the lack of commentary on how the Japanese have managed to trick out that particular bathroom componant. Just something to keep in mind once you’re on the road.
Thanks for the chuckle, and one more stray question. How many languages do you actually speak. English, French, Italian, a bit of Japanese. Any others on the list?

Narelle from Aus

My Gran was one of those ladies that had her head screwed on. She handed in her license when she turned 70 even though she was still more than capable of driving. She just didn’t want to hurt someone and then say, “Ok, it’s time to stop driving”. She walked everywhere until she was 80. She fell while walking home one day. She’d broken 5 vertebrae and her wrist. No one would help her up until an elderly Italian man came along and assisted her. She walked home. From then on, she never recovered and suffered for 8 years until she didn’t want to suffer anymore. When I got told that no one helped her while she was lying in the street, I believe that was the day I lost hope in humanity.

Narelle from Aus

artdogspot – My cousin is great to sit down and talk to. She cites sources and experiences rather than hearsay and gossip. It’s refreshing. Although, I’m concerned that each time I go to her house I end up lying on her leather couch…

crayonbaby
crayonbaby

I hate it that I have to chauffeur the kidlets around. The oldest is sixteen and I’m tired of it. I agree that they probably shouldn’t be able to drive before they are eighteen, but timewise, I can’t wait until he drives. I also agree that anyone over the age of seventy needs to be tested every year. Sometimes I think I should be tested every year. Stupid LA traffic.

Gah, you keep showing pictures of all the cast members. I really want the show on the TV now. You keep teasing us, in a good way.

ytimynona
ytimynona

Ah, driving. In Pennsylvania, they can take refuse to give you your license because they don’t like you. I learned soon after I turned 16 that PennDoT is eeeevil. And all of my driver’s license examiners seemed to positively hate me. And yet somehow I am a licensed driver anyways.
I actually prefer to walk to the local stores… today I walked half a mile to the post office and back.

I love love love Patrick Gilmore! Volker dresses like an Amish dude. And that machine he’s working on looks rather old as well… is he a time traveling scientist? razz

Arctic Goddess

My dad lost his license to a vision test failure at the local license bureau. But he just had to argue with the lady giving him the test declaring that the letter ‘G’ was really a ‘Q’. When she said that it was a ‘G’, his comment was, “Well, maybe it’s a ‘G’ where you are from, but I know it’s a ‘Q’. Then he proceeded to send letters of complaint to everyone he thought would listen. Thankfully, he never got his license back. His neighbors were relieved as well. It wasn’t until after he couldn’t drive that the people next door told me that whenever they heard a screach of breaks and a horn sounding, they knew my dad was on his way to his local Legion.

As for the ongoing issue of writers having a rough time finding work due to the glut of reality tv shows, there is an interesting Show Runner perspective here: http://www.scriptmag.com/features/showrunners-speak-out-the-state-of-scripted-television.html

Apparently, Jay Leno’s upcoming 5 hours of talk show is stiring the pot of anger and frustration among series writers.

Patricia

paloosa
paloosa

I sympathize with your neighbor. My mom is very elderly and coming to that crossroad in life where she has to decide about her future. Except she won’t do it. Her latter life has been one of stubbornness to the point of being self-destructive, which has finally caught up to her. She really can’t live by herself anymore, and all the other family members will be gone in two weeks, which leaves me. I work two jobs, and I have no idea how I’m going to manage this. If she was a positive, happy and life loving person, it might not be so bad. But she’s not.

So I was stuffing my face with junk food at Universal City Walk today and watching music videos on the Big Screen. There was a promo for NBC Universal programs and I saw a nanosecond SG-1 clip of RDA lying prone shooting at someone (thing?). I’m hoping to see a longer SGU promo in the coming weeks.

I’m also a huge fan of William Goldman. I was lucky enough to find a first draft copy of a screenplay he wrote called “Mr. Horn”. It was meant to be a feature film, but ended up as a two-parter on network TV. I just love the narrative he writes between the dialog. It’s so engaging and funny, and he really pulls you into his story. What’s great is that what is on screen is practically verbatim from the script. And it starred Richard Widmark, who has always been one of my favorite actors.

pastrygirl
pastrygirl

I remember when my grandmother failed her eyesight test for the driver’s license. She was told she had to have her glasses prescription adjusted, and then would have to take the driving portion of the test after she could pass the eye test. Boy was she steamed, because as she put it “I’ll never pass the driving test!”

She swore for years that my mom and I must have bribed them to fail her. Sigh. Then, having just gotten my license, guess who got to play chauffeur? Good times.

Can’t wait for October!!

Gilder
Gilder

That reminds me…gotta ask Texas Dept. of Public Safety if I can secretly request driving exam for Husband’s next renewal. He’s well under 60 but his driving makes me nervous.

I had to take the driving test for my last renewal. Passed and received a few useful pointers from the examiner.

Fresh produce from your neighbors? I am SO jealous. Though both parents had green thumbs, I did not inherit gardening talent nor inclinations.

cherluvya

Hey Joe,

I find it quite generous of you to offer to drive your neighbors to the store. That is a long way to walk and they probably will take you up on it after the first journey by foot.

Your driving stories remind me of an elderly man here in LA who plowed through a farmer’s market killing so many. He wasn’t convicted. Very sad. They need to tighten the laws that pertain to those allowed a license. The money thing, that would help too.

I am on twitter and Patrick is really witty. Love his sense of humor. Glad to hear that you like him and that we might see more of him. I only knew from your pictures of him earlier that he wasn’t part of the military. Finally asked him. He said the long name for what he does, but I thought “geek speak”. Can’t help but love him.

Thanks for a few things to think about. hmmmm

Have a goodnight.

Cheryl

ccdsah
ccdsah

Hi Joe, Have you watched “District 9”? What did you think about it? It amazed me what can you do for only 30 mil! In only 10 days it already grossed over 90 mil worldwide… I wish MGM would consider putting more funding and make big screen movies instead of DVDs…

otros ojos
otros ojos

You really just don’t get Shakira, do you?

*sighs deeply, then clicks on the Pearl Jam/Eddie Vedder playlist*

And if anyone for whatever reason tries to take my sound system, they’d better hire a Slayer first. And wear some protective ear covers. I want those jugular veins to stay nice and plump.

otros ojos
otros ojos

Narelle – I’m very, very sorry to read about what happened to your grandmother. What a terrifying experience that must have been for her, and one to cause intense anguish – and anger – in your family. I hope that at some point you’ll feel healed of that pain – still on the same journey myself.

anais33

Hello Joseph!ça va ?

Super ces photos, Patrick à l’aire d”être un bon acteurs =) Je suis impatiente de le voir jouer dans la serie!

Mince, vous n’avez pas répondu au questions aujourd’hui^^. Pour une fois qu’en j’en ai posé!

Je trouve que les voisins en amérique son trés étrange…les gens sont encore plus individualiste qu’ici . C’est chacun ça vie et si l’un commence à s’ intéressait à la votre c’est limite si on soupçonne notre voisin d’être un meurtrier…bizzarre lol

Passez une bonne journée!
Bissssouuuuuuuuuuuu!

Shirt'n'Tie
Shirt'n'Tie

Hi Mr M!

Congratulations on the Gemini nods! Well done all. And also well done to the Sanctuary Cast and Crew. There be Magic in them there studios!

@DP @ Gen : Also agree. With regard to SGA and SG1, and probably SGU: when it comes to the smallies, selective viewing of eps is a given. For example, they have not seen, (nor will do for another couple of years) “Whispers”..too scary….Heck even I watched it between my fingers!

Funny you should talk about your elderly neighbour and driving, yesterday, I was called upon to herd cows.Yes, it’s rather a departure from my usual job, but living on/around a farm, even the “Pin-Striped Wellied One” is called upon to herd occassionally (Their name for me) (or Mr Clean Boots…depending on the mood…..Clean Boots being perhaps the greatest put-down on a farm = no work done). Anyhoo, I was a passenger with my father in law (aged 86) who insists on driving his jeep everywhere. A talented driver who shakes his fist at the speed merchants who drag past on the main road, he ambles along at a breathtaking 20 miles per hour. Thankfully, as we live in a very rural community this is the norm rather than the exception.

Funnily enough I was trying to explain my fascination with SciFi to him yesterday as we “whooped and hollered” at the grazing cows. I was suddenly struck by the almost surreal discussion of FTL drives, as we ambled along at 20mph in the jeep!

My father in law, recently re-sat his driving test and passed with flying colours and I suspect he would never part with his Glen Miller CD collection if anyone did become a hood ornament!!!!

Anyway, best to all at The Bridge and well done again on the Gemini Nods!

Shirt’n’Tie

shiningwit
shiningwit

Hey I’m back! I know you missed me…NOT LOL.
real life is a bitch when you’ve a virtual one to take care of.
My mum had a mini-stroke 3 years back and wasn’t aware of it until she went to the docs about what she thought was a pulled muscle, due top the nature of the potential type of stroke she’d had she promptly stopped driving as she reasoned she’d probably give herself a major stroke by worrying she’d have one whilst driving and could injure an innocent party. She uses public transport or I chauffeur her to and from wherever, I like to think I would be as public spirited should the circumstances arise. Whilst I’m on this particular soapbox I’d like to comment on the number of truly dreadful drivers who rampage around in big 4x4s in an attempt to overcompensate for their motoring malfeasance, I wonder how many of them can actually take their vehicles off-road with confidence? I think a separate license and test is now appropriate due to the sheer numbers on the road since I spent an agonising half hour behind one who braked at the sight of anything coming in the opposite direction on a journey that would normally have taken me ten minutes. Then there was the white van man yesterday who pulled out in front of me on a roundabout making me brake, I tooted my horn at him and he stopped dead in teh middle of the roundabout and opened his door to hurl abuse at me so I stopped my car and got out, he took one look at the hormonal expression on my face, slammed his door shut and sped off. My mum was in the car trying not to have a stroke…lol

JES
JES

@crayonbaby–I used to hate chauffeuring our daughter and her friends everywhere as well. Then she got her license at 16 and her own car at 17 and my chauffeuring days were over. I remember that when I drove her and her friends they would chatter about this and that and I would get a glimpse into their lives and thinking. I was like a fly on the wall because who pays attention to the chauffeur? As she grew older, I was included in many of their conversations that we might not have had under different circumstances. That all ended the first time she pulled out the driveway on her own. Now when she leaves I tell her to be careful and hope she doesn’t literally run into a little old man or lady in a tank-like Buick who should have given up his or her license years ago. She’s off to college in a few days and I find myself wishing, among other things, that I could still be her chauffeur. I have no idea where the years went.

Amz

For a moment I thought you were going to say that Tony felt like a prisoner because of the tomatoes, which probably would have ended up with some sort of reference to Triffids. Still, I remember last year when you mentioned Tony a couple of times and how he rarely spoke to you. This could be a breakthrough, Joe.

After a hard-earned holiday (during which I was forced to avoid all computers!) I’m having fun catching up with everything here.

I have to say I am really looking forward to the Stargate:Universe episode Sabotage, after reading about it. I was also really excited to see that Reiko Aylesworth will be in an episode, she is a great actress (hope that is confirmed news and not rumours by the way).

Anyway, back to playing catch up.

Cheers,

Amz

Matt
Matt

You may NOT want to post this……

Hey Joe,

So I was poking around Patrick’s twitter and went over to Brians. He wrote this in July….”@LouDPhillips Yo Lou! Can’t believe I haven’t been following you all this time. Miss ya buddy – hope to see you again SOOOOOON.”

I know we may be loosing some main characters and since Lou was on Celebrity Get me out of here blah blah and this twitter comment leads me to believe Lou’s time on SGU is limited.

Not looking for confirmation, just wanted to let you know I came to that conclusion based on a twitter comment from a cast member. The increased access to direct communication leads to more leaks, it would seem…and if I am correct wink

Looking forward to SGU and love following your blog.

Airelle
Airelle

I think there are those who should not be behind the wheel, and hopefully when its my turn I will oblige and not do it. I love driving and can’t imagine not doing it. I understand Tony’s frustration.(does he grow tasty stuff in his garden??) I live in Fl and we have our share of elderly drivers, but likely as not when someone does a jerky move, possibly dangerous, it might not be the elderly. The texting and cell phone stuff is bad also for many ages. Even bluetooth stilll takes away the concentration that should be on the driving and roadway. And then there are always people eating and doing other things…besides driving. Most be written in to the rules that we can do all this stuff, til we get caught or cause an accident. And then theres the guy who drove his truck into a tunnel and got stuck, and said he shouldn’t get a ticket coz his GPS told him to go there….how many times have we heard that story,,haha. Well, time to down off this little soapbox, and let someone else have a turn. thanks for listening. Have a great day!!

Airelle
Airelle

pps. the guys on the show are all nice looking fellows,(and the gals too) thanks for sharing photos. Am looking forward to Oct 2, not so far away now.

Thornyrose
Thornyrose

@Narelle. I’m sorry your gran suffered a fall and that it took so long for someone to help her. But I’d like to say that my experience is that is the exception rather than the rule. So many times I’ve had neighbors, friends, and most often strangers stop to help accident victims or people with medical emergencies. For every instance I’ve come across a case of abuse, neglect, or callous disregard, I’ve seen eight or nine situations of unsung heroes stepping up to do the right thing. So, don’t give up on the race yet. There are still Good People out there. And I suspect that you will find a good number of them right here sharing this blog, not to mention our kind host.

JimFromJersey
JimFromJersey

I’m a huge advocate of the compulsory senior driving exam. I only wish that would become law in NJ.

Just last week, I was stuck behind someone from the cotton-head club who was in the passing lane (which is a law in NJ. Keep right except to pass) of a major highway (Rt 73) going 35 MPH. The speed limit is 55 MPH. I think I turned fuchsia.

dasNdanger
dasNdanger

@ Narelle – That’s so horrible! Heck, I even stop to move turtles out of the road (and have been known to hold up traffic doing so… razz ). Some people just have no heart. Makes me think of the ‘good Samaritan’, where a Jew fell victim to robbers and was left for dead. Two of his kinsmen – a priest and a Levite – ignored his plight and passed him by. But a Samaritan – an enemy of the Jews – felt pity and helped the man. I think that parable – written about 2000 years ago – well illustrates human nature as a whole, even today. The majority of people just don’t care – not about their own, and certainly not about strangers. But there is still a few altruistic human beings out there – the ones willing to make sacrifices to help another – and knowing that somehow encourages cynical ol’ me not to write humanity off as a whole.

Yet. wink

das