Hey, check it out! Akemi packed the dogs a snack box today. We dropped them off at doggy daycare so that they could work on their social skills and get some exercise. Lately, they’ve been doing way too much of this –
Winding down the hot chocolate festival…
Big Bad Wolf: A 38% milk chocolate flavoured with a blend of gingerbread spices and steamed milk. Served with a gingerbread cookie.
At: Schokolade, 2263 East Hastings Street, Vancouver
A comforting cup with a flavor reminiscent of Christmas nights – minus the Italian bingo. In addition to the gingerbread cookie, it was accompanied by your choice of four hand-made chocolates. I highly recommend the pistachio!
Bacchus’ Dream: Made from 72% dark chocolate with red wine reduction and apple ginger compote. Served with walnut shortbread (vegan and dairy free).
Available: At Cocoa Nymph, 3739 W. 10th Ave (at Alma), Vancouver
As dark and rich as the previous three Cocoa Nymph entries, but this one was my least favorite. Unlike Akemi, I wasn’t a fan of the apple ginger compote.
Verdict: Gingerbread trumps red wine reduction and apple ginger compote.
Winner: Big Bad Wolf (Schokolade)
Winter Comfort: 100% pure hazelnut blended with your choice of milk or dark chocolate. Served with freshly made chocolate-dipped hazelnut biscotti.38% milk chocolate served with four pieces of artisan chocolate.
At: Schokolade 2263 East Hastings Street, Vancouver
Surprisingly bittersweet, but not in an unpleasant way.
Blonde Fatale: Valrhona Dulcey caramelized white chocolate and salted caramel. Served with “Sable Chocolat” (chocolate and sea salt shortbread).
Available: French Made Baking, 81 Kingsway, Vancouver
Odd. I was expecting more of a caramel kick but this one tasted more like steamed milk, albeit buttery steamed milk.
Verdict: Again, I always lean toward the more flavorful hot chocolate.
Winner: Winter Comfort (Schokolade)
Continuing our Stargate: Atlantis rewatch with…The Storm!
Ah, now this is more like it. After a patchy start, Stargate: Atlantis really hits its stride with this mid-season two-parter. I loved this episode. Then again, who cares what I think. What was Akemi’s take on The Storm?
Well, she liked it. But, surprisingly (bewilderingly?) not as much as the preceding episode, Home. Apparently, she prefers twists and turns over action and suspense. Nevertheless, she did enjoy the episode – and had plenty to say…
On Lord Smeedon’s initial reluctance to offer the Atlantis personnel refuge from the storm: “People not helpful. Not like Japanese.”
She took an instant liking to Zelenka: “He looks like scientist. Looks more scientist than actor!”‘
She questioned why the hell the (really) drunk Athosian had a GDO, insisting that it should have been in the hands of the military or, at the very least, a civilian from Earth.
A low opinion of the Atlantis military personnel when compared to the SGU marines, especially after Kolya and co. take the gate room: “SGU army guys – handsome guy and Jamil – very strong. Army here just stand around and talk about bacon and get shot and killed. Army in Universe is better quality.”
She demonstrated impatience with the straggling Athosians who grounded the jumper on the mainland: “I didn’t like the fact that the three of them are very late. When people say I’m leaving five minutes from now you have to be on the ship four minutes from now.”
And sympathy for McKay: “I’m so sad the fact McKay was hurt.”
Agree? Disagree? What were your thoughts on The Storm?
Mike A. writes: “For next year’s Hot Chocolate festival(provided you’re still in Vancouver and not in LA or some other town running a new show), how about developing a tournament bracket structure to find the ultimate hot chocolate?”
Answer: Would love to. Theoretically. Hell, I could sample a couple of the off-menu hot chocolates and make it a legit 64 contender bracket. However, given the fact I only managed a little over two-thirds of the hot chocolates this year, I’m not at all sure I’d be able to sample all 64 flavors – much less sample them again in second, third, and fourth round match-ups.
alan writes: “Did you get free DVD retail sets of the 3 series you co-produced/wrote by SciFi or MGM once it came out, or did you have to buy the 3 series at the retail store on your own dime?”
Answer: I received DVD’s of all three shows (SG-1, Atlantis, and Universe) – with the exception of the second season of SGU because, by the time the DVD’s were released, production had wrapped and we had moved on.
Line Noise writes: “Joe, how much of the differences were scripted and how much were the decision of the director?”
Answer: All of the visual cues were scripted, from Weir stepping through the gate alone to the wardrobe changes to the appearing/disappearing necklace.
michaelsgal writes: “What would be the odds of this turning into a book at the very least?”
Answer: Ideally, the adventures of SG-1, the Atlantis expedition, and the Destiny crew could continue in comic book format (because, quite honestly, I don’t think anyone creatively connected to any of the shows is interested in writing books). As I always said, it’s up to MGM – but I suspect they’re more interested in wiping the slate clean and going with a big screen reboot.
gforce writes: “Did you guys write all the technical stuff that Rodney was talking about regarding the gate dialling?”
Answer: Yes. With a little help from our resident gate expert, Brad Wright.
arctic goddess writes: “Teyla shows Sheppard that the Athosians had command of fire by using a device that sends energy over a distance to light a candle. That lighter was advanced beyond what the expedition have. If it was an Ancient device, how did she activate it without the gene? Why was it the only advanced item they seemed to have? Why was it only seen once in the series? Every action in a script is supposed to move the story forward. How did the advanced lighter move the story forward?”
Answer: Well, somebody has been taking creative courses :). The advanced lighter “moved the story forward” by demonstrating that, despite appearances, the Athosians were capable – and a little more advanced than one would assume. It wasn’t an Ancient device.
arctic goddess writes: “As a Consulting Producer in Underground, what were your and Paul’s specific duties?”
Answer: As consulting producers, we helped spin and break stories, provided notes on outlines, drafts, and the various cuts of the episode. We also offered support/input (“Weir should wear the blue shawl!”) during prep.
SGW1 writes: “Hmm, why didn’t the Atlantis team ever threaten the Genii to tell everyone the truth about them?”
Answer: They don’t roll that way. Somewhere down the line, they would have to work with the Genii against the wraith and it made no sense to antagonize them any further or bully them into giving up their dated tech and bombs.