Yesterday, I came back from Post (where I was spending quality time with editor Rick Martin on my producer’s cut of The Hunt) to find a familiar red, ribboned box awaiting my return…


Quelle surprise!



Birthday cookies!


Yet another round of Cookies By George, this time compliments of the lovely Marjorie M. Liu, author extraordinaire (and Stargate fan –  What a sweetheart.  I informed her that the next time she’s in town, the pig head’s on me!


Ashleigh approves.


Between the cookies and lunch’s poppyseed strudel, I was about ready for bed.  Unfortunately, it was 1:30 p.m. and I was due back at Post to continue editing and approve some visual effects shots for episode 10, Resurgence.  I was on my way down the corridor when Ashleigh suddenly popped out from the kitchen and ambushed me with this –

A cake from Safeway.  The dozen or so people in attendance (curious passersby and the front office personnel who had no choice to take part because we were standing in front of their desks) sang a half-hearted rendition of happy birthday.  There was a smattering of applause followed by someone shouting “Speech!  Speech!”.  I complied, short and sweet: “You shouldn’t have.”  Really, they shouldn’t have.  The cake looked horrendously unpalatable.  Which is, no doubt, why Ashleigh cut me a HUGE slice and made me eat a piece –


She made sure to include the Crisco-flavored roses.


It had the taste and textural profile of a congealed oil slick.  A sickly sweet congealed oil slick.

Anyway, spent most of the day working on my producer’s cut of The Hunt.  It’s timing quite long and there are still some scenes to be shot.  Hate to say it, but the T.J. flashbacks may have to go (and, ideally, find their way into another episode).

Also approved a multitude of spectacular visual effects for Resurgence.  This one is BIG!

AND also watched the producer’s cut of Seizure.  Great performances all around but I have to put in a great word for guest stars Victor Garber, Bob Picardo, and David Hewlett. Loved having McKay and Woolsey back in the swing of things.  Seeing them on screen again really made me realize how much I miss ’em!

Today, my birthday festivities kicked off with a visit from fellow foodie Denise who dropped by, looking very lavender, with a little a little something –


No, not for the dogs!



Left hand corner: Denise assumes I turned 15 today.


Once inside, I gave her a tour of the place –


First stop of the tour = the liquor cabinet for some 15 year old scotch.


Once the tour was over and I had swept up the last shards of the glass Denise had dropped in the backyard (Girl can’t hold her liquor!), we were off…to the local Greek Orthodox Church for Greek Fest!


What excitement! No, seriously. What excitement?


We strolled past the church proper and into the community center where we lined up for meal tickets.  I ordered us two gyros only to be told that the guy who makes the gyros was a no-show.  We settled for chicken and pork skewers so I purchased the meal tickets, then went over to the food station where the guy on duty was completely overwhelmed by the three customers he had to contend with.  The meat was overcooked.  Too late, I noticed a completely different food station offering roast lamb but, given the quality of the other meats, I elected to skip it and head straight to sweets.

We did a dessert medley –


Not a fan of the shortbreadish cookies on the right, but enjoyed all three honey-dipped selections on the left. What? Surprised?


All in all, a bleak affair.  It felt like a Greek Festival in a Palliative Care ward.

I also celebrated today by agonizing over my damn script.  I’ve struggled with scripts before but this one has me truly and thoroughly mystified.  In the past, whenever I reached an impasse, I’d spin my wheels for a few days and then, almost miraculously, I’d have that epiphany, that moment of true clarity that would allow me to find the missing thematic element or linchpin scene or dialogue runner.  The fix.  Well, it would seem my eleventh hour save fairy is on sabbatical.  I lay awake in bed last night, going over each scene in my head until, at a little after one a.m., I threw off my covers, jumped out of bed, and headed downstairs to my office for a round of late-night writing.  I was up until three, restructuring what I had.  And still, I’m a long way off.

The festivities continue…

58 thoughts on “October 16, 2010: The Birthday Post!

  1. sorry you had to work but happy birthday.
    Joe, you wouldn’t survive in the south complaining about your birthday cake. Sometimes you have to suck it up and appreciate the occasion even if the food sucks. 🙂

  2. Joe, I’m totally with you on the store bought cake thing. They are disgusting – an unpleasantly large wedge of fat and sugar on a paper plate. However, if does give some credence to your whole “Ashleigh may be trying to kill me” speculation. Luckily we don’t do the birthday thing at our office anymore, since everyone kind of lost interest in it.

    That Greek fest sure looks like it needs a lot more “fest”, but those desserts actually look pretty good.

    I’m sure the writing log jam will break soon, but good luck on that front regardless.

  3. Damn Joe…. dont let that script kill you… maybe you could ask Paul to help out.. you two have made some awesome scripts together… I mean…. I know Gauntlet is your baby.. but if you really can’t make much progress and are feeling the time crunch outside help might not be too bad of an option..

    Ive felt it before with writing assignments… I have a big assignment due very soon… and I hate what I have and can’t seem to figure out how to fix it.. and its a big part of my grade…. except im fairly certain in your situation the stakes are higher.. especially considering its a season finale lol… still….. I am confident you will sort this one out! 🙂 YOU CAN DO IT JOE! 🙂

  4. Hey Joe so yeah happy b-day. 🙂

    Someone in my family once shared an interesting perspective on birthdays and the age number that we use…

    Let’s say John Perry was born on January 1, 2000.

    On January 1, 2020, he would be turning 20 years old, right?

    Well, that is if we’re considering that he has lived for 20 years.

    From another perspective…

    On January 1, 2020, he could be turning 21.

    …that is with year “zero” (2000) actually being year “one”, so by the year 2020 he is actually living his 21st year from 2020-2021.

    Okay, just a random thought. 🙂

    Happy bday!

  5. I am really the first to wish you a HAPPY BIRTHDAY on the blog? I hope you had a terrific day. Wish I could help you with the script dilemma. That must be the hardest thing. Anybody else you can call to maybe bounce ideas off of?

  6. Happy Birthday, Joe! Sounds like you had an interesting day. Hope you can get past your writing block.

  7. ♩♪♫♬ HAPPY BIRTHDAY ♬♫♪♩

    There is no way that you can be 45 – I am two years older than you and I am only 21. 🙂


  8. Happy Birthday! You really should try to be more grateful though. New Years Resolution perhaps?

    Without Ashleigh you’d be bored at work. 😉 But honestly, it’s a bit much to complain about a cake that people did not have to get for you. I also was raised in the south.

    Ashleigh probably didn’t want to bake it because you’d have given her the nth degree on her baking. Too bad you didn’t have Rob’s home made ice cream to go with it, it would have been far more tasty. 🙂

  9. Happy Birthday ~ (Again) lol

    @Bob Picardo

    Looking forward to seeing Seizure on TV because of this guy. Hope he makes more appearances in Season 3.

  10. Joe, sorry about your cake. That looks cheap even to me. Ashleigh could have at least put your name on it. Are you sure she likes you? No Christmas bonus for her! Oh well, it’s the thought that counts – right? (But what were they thinking?)

    Perhaps if you gave us more information about your script we could help you out with it. I’m sure one of us would have a winning suggestion. It would be our birthday gift to you.

    When you wrote, “I lay awaken in bed last night, going over each scene in my head until, at a little after one a.m., I threw off my covers, jumped out of bed, and headed downstairs to my office for a round of late-night writing.”

    Shouldn’t that be, “I lay awaken in bed last night, listening to the dogs snore, going over each scene in my head until, at a little after one a.m., I wiggled out from under the sheets weighted down by the bodies of 3 pugs and one frenchie, leaped over the dogs, and headed downstairs to my office, to check my blog comments for inspiration to help with a round of late-night writing.”

  11. Happy Birthday!

    Only one guy knows how to make gyros? Maybe the guy with the lamb didn’t show.

    I hate those Kourabiethes (yes, I googled for the spelling) cookies. Sand-flavored. My father-in-law loves those and licorice, but his family still might revoke his Greek license because he doesn’t like lamb.

  12. 15? Yup, that sounds about right. 🙂

    And you’re never gonna get that script written if you keep goofing off on the weekends, birthday boy! 😉

    I mean…*clears self-righteous throat*…*I* don’t goof off on the weekends…*I* get IMPORTANT things done…like…like…GOING TO THE PENNSYLVANIA REN FAIRE!!! WOO!

    The highlights:

    1. ALBANNACH! Aye, they get me Scottish blood ta boilin’ in best possible way!

    (This vid isn’t from today, but from another faire a week or so ago – and yes – it’s all about the guy with the long hair! :D)

    2. I met a really nice young lady with albinism – her hair was soooo pretty, and she was as sweet as can be. We talked briefly about the plight of albinos in Africa…but mostly we gushed about Albannach. 🙂

    3. The VERY first guy in costume I ran into was dressed as Solomon Kane! I asked him if he was dressed as Kane (it was so obvious with the Quaker hat and cloak and pistol and sword, but I still wanted to make sure). He was really nice – and TALL – had to be at least 6’7″ or more. We chatted about the character, and I asked him if he saw the Solomon Kane movie, and he hadn’t, so I recommended it for anyone who’s a SK fan (Mr. Das and I just watched it last week – I really liked it, and felt it kept to the spirit of Howard’s original works).

    There was certainly more, but those were the highlights for me. I bought some loose herbs, an oak cask and the fixings to make my own whisky, and a new spurtle (google it – it’s a Scottish thing), and saw a couple shows and talked with some interesting people. It was very good day.


  13. Happy Natal Day!! You’re probably lucky it was a store bought cake. I’m surprised Ashleigh didn’t up baked up something “special” for you.

    After two years I’m finally getting a vacation and hitting the road tomorrow for Vancouver. But it suddenly dawned on me, how the heck do I watch SGU in Vancouver? What station/day is it on?

    Oh, and please don’t kill off Brody. I’m liking him now too.

  14. Happy Birthday Joe.

    I have quit watching SyFy. But glad SGU is getting some more vieweres from this side of the border.

  15. I am glad that SGU is getting some more viewers from this side of the border, however I have quit watching SyFy.

  16. @ Paloosa – SGU comes on Friday nights on the Space channel. In B.C. it’s at 7:00p (I think…. I’m taking the time difference b/w my province and B.C. into account… so you may want to double check the time just in case *smile*). The show will repeat again later that night and then again on Saturday afternoon.
    You may also want to watch Inner Space which is on right after it, the Hosts will generally discuss SGU, air the trailer for next week’s show and will sometimes have the actors on (usually via phone) to discuss their role(s) and what’s happening with the show.

    Have a good one!!

    P.S. I think the time change is early November this year,
    so depending on how long you’re staying, you may need to take that into account, as well.

  17. oh that cake looks familiar joe,

    You see, while I was out on a cruise, we ended up dropping a cake out in the gulf, looks like it made its way to canada and in your office. did they get you that cake because it was unpalatable?

  18. Happy birthday!You sound a bit down on the whole birthday thing though, but I think I know how you feel: I recently turned 32 and realised that when you don’t get Lego or Transformers anymore, it’s not as exciting!

    That cake looked like a right ‘stick to the top of your mouth’ one; eugh!

    I’m sure your script will come: but don’t feel you can end the series with a “and Rush woke up; wow thought Rush – what an incredible, vivid dream that was”.

    It worked for Dallas but I like to think SGU is in a different league!

  19. Happy Birthday, Joe. I hope it was pleasant for you.

    When I’m writing, and get stuck on part of the story, I find that using lucid dreaming helps. Read the section of your script over several times just before bed with the intention to wake yourself up as soon as the answer comes to you in a dream. Try it for several nights in a row. Write down your answer as soon as it comes to you. Sometimes it works.


  20. Happy birthday Mr M

    You are going to have to properly return the favor with Ashleigh by stuffing her with cheap Chocolate on her birthday.


    On a more somber note. What is Skiffy (AKA SyFy) thinking of, when they put a 4 month break on SGU after the 5 shows during November. That is no way to maintain fan interest.

  21. Coucou!!

    Comment allez vous? Bien je vois =P!

    Vous avez eu beaucoup de surprise pour votre anniversaire 🙂 Sa fait plaisir!

    Je suis contente car hier mon cheri à acheter un new ordinateur le “Sony Vaio VPC-L12M1E/S” écran tactile. Il est vraiment chouette, et très performant 🙂

    Merci pour ces nombreuses photos!
    Gros bisous!!!!

  22. Thank God 4 Maccas free wifi….its 11:30PM on Sun night.


    At our work it’s the job of the birthday person to provide the cake….suggest you start that pronto at Bridge ‘cos that cake looks disgusting…don’t trust Ashleigh w/ food…she is your archnemisis after all…who knows what was in it….have you had any strange symptoms since then?

    Been having an awesome time at Armageddon…sat across from Ben, Michael and Torri at dinner…had fantastic chats w/ each…it’s a tough job but someone’s gotta do it…hehe

    Bought an awesome piece of the SG1 iris with “Chevron 7 is locked” signed by Gary Jones.

    Also all of them signed my copy of Ivon’s book – Shanks wrote this – gotta love Ben Browder for this

    Cheers, Chev

  23. Happy birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I have a question about SGU.

    Lot of people complain with no-continuity beetween episodes.

    Will we see again the ancient stargates ship and the district9 aliens?????

  24. Happy Birthday!!

    PS wish Syfy would explain how it has benefited by being taken over by fake wrestling & other non-scifi content. Always thought those guys were spaced. Too bad you can’t take SGU to some other network conglomerate. Except for a couple shows I can’t watch this channel anymore.

  25. Happy Birthday!

    Safeway cake! Oh dear lord, man, who did you anger? It must have been terrible 🙁

    (I’m a pastry chef and the notion of one of those cakes is enough to give me nightmares. Which sounds melodramatic until you know how that crap is made. *full body shudder*)

  26. Happy Birthday Joe!!!!

    Are you positive that the Cake wasn’t Ashleigh attempt at getting revenge at you for something?

    Good Luck with the Script. Maybe Ashleigh could lend you a hand. ; )

  27. Crisco has uses. Icing on cakes should not be one of them.

    I still have not baked hubby a birthday cake, and he has already hit the road for Disneyland. I have time to plot, um, er… plan. Maybe he could have the backwards 51 cupcake for his 51st?

    Sorting dad’s house is still consuming all our free time. Yesterday I threw out hundreds of Christmas cards; Mom saved every one she ever received. This batch was from the 80s to 2005. I bet all the cool old ones are in the basement where we’ve not begun the digs yet. This is truly a soul-crushing task. And then I found the wedding announcement from my first marriage in a folder dedicated to me during my brief first union. Mom! Really? What other special landmines did you leave behind?

  28. “Lot of people complain with no-continuity beetween episodes.”

    :O Let me just… lol. Have we been watching the same show, thor94? Or at least me and those who say such a thing? I get complaining that it’s literally too dark or not enough humor, but this. Hahaha. Ha. Ha.

  29. HAPPY Belated B-DAY, J!

    Sorry for not getting to this sooner, but I was a tad busy trying to ESCAPE from the COSTCO Parking Lot yesterday! Could seriously have used a few Wraith to direct traffic…

    SAFEWAY, huh? Pure EVIL…

  30. I make it a point to not work for a week befor or after by birthday, on the principle thatI can’t be unpleasantly suprised that way. But congratulations on another year of reasonbly productive and fun living. Hope the rest of your birthday celebrations go well and that the next year is more exciting and lucrative than the last.

  31. Yummm on all the food. I’d even take the Safeway cake! (scraping off the icing, of course). Glad you had a blast!

    maggiemayday: cleaning out after a loved one dies; it’s always hard. Emotionally hard and physically uncomfortable in my hubby’s case. His mom was a two pack a day smoker. Opening her closets, the smoke stench would knock you down! After a week of cleaning out cigarette stained clothes, we all got the croup. It’s no mystery how MIL got lung cancer.
    Hubby found all the cards that we sent to his dad through the years, that was pretty sad but touching.
    Also sad, when we would find pictures with no name tags. History lost….

  32. Happy Birthday Joe! You don’t look at day over 45!

    Yeah, OK, that was low. You actually look about 29, and I’m just jealous.

  33. Feliz Aniversario, Happy Birthday Joe, hope you’ve had a good day and somewhere along the line you tasted better cake 🙂

  34. @Ponytail…

    LOL Brilliant…. that made me laugh. 🙂

    Hope you had a good birthday Joe… even if you were weighed down by work. :p

    Questions for the next mailbag…

    1. Will the Aliens/Telford/Seedership story be further explored later this season?

    2. The mystical elements have been so well done on season 2 so far. That said, will we see/learn more about Franklin and the faith planet this season?

    3. MGM is starting to get their act together and greenlight projects (the hobbit just got greenlit)… any more rumblings on the movies yet?

    4. Besides the atlantis alums and Dr. Brightman, will there be any more characters from the older shows in season 2? I heard a rumor that Daniel might show up again? Could you comment on that?

    5. SPOILERS for UK! When exactly in awakening was that VFX extravaganza you were talking about? Was it at the end where the 30 aliens are closing in on Telford?

    Thanks so much,
    Major D. Davis

  35. Happy Birthday! Quick question, and I apologize if it has been asked before-when can we expect new Kino videos? Embarrassed to admit I only recently discovered them and naturally am looking forward to any new ones.

  36. Ugh, I can’t believe I said Solomon wore a Quaker hat…ugh. Puritan…Puritan hat! 😛

    @ susan the tartan turtle – I still prefer the primal Scottish passion that is Albannach. 😀


  37. There used to be a local grocery store in town – Ukrop’s – that actually had awesome cake and icing. Still good cake, but the icing… changed… with the new owners. Bummer.

    Ah well, I like to make my own anyway. Make the icing too. It’s not fancy, but there’s nothing like chocolate cake with peanut butter icing.

    Happy birthday! Hope the script finally starts flowing.

  38. Better late then never:


    If you think your cake was THAT bad may I direct you to which is an awesome site to see some really REALLY bad cakes.

    Hope your birthday was a good one!!


  39. Joe

    I was reading on Atlantis Blog where in Seisure The actor who plays McKay and the Actor who plays Woosey will be on SGU. Also that the Atlantis movie Extinction I guess is not going to be made. If you had crossed over Joe Flanigan as John Shepperd and the Actor who played Todd and finished their pairing and storyline, which Shep/Todd pairing is great and since no movie if you had to had them go off together, that would have gotten me started watching SGU. I am glad SGU is getting more viewers on this side of the border, but as I have said, I have dropped SyFy and am now watching NCIS and NCIS LA and Burn Notice.

  40. Joe

    I am glad for you and the SGU viewers that viewers on this side of the border has gone up for SGU. However if you were to crossover Joe Flanigan as Shepperd and The Actor who played Todd to SGU and bring especially their pairing to a good end like I saw on yutube you were appearently pairing them in SGA I among some more of SGA fans would watch SGA.

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