This morning, I took part in my very first Skype conference.  It was not without its problems.  For some reason, my writing partner’s webcam wasn’t working properly and, as a result, he appeared as a faceless avatar for the call’s duration.  It was a little unsettling, like I was chatting with that Anonymous guy.  Everyone else’s webcams worked just fine – until about halfway through the call when I lost their video feeds and all the nodding, inquisitive faces were replaced by unnervingly silent, stoic avatars.  At one point, I yammered on for so long that I had to stop and ask if they were still there.  Thankfully, they were.  My writing partner’s audio, meanwhile, kept dropping out at the most inopportune moments.  I swear to you, in one instant he actually said: “But the most important thing is…brzzzgrdsdjktosvbxfzzlslasrzzbreekdtlbrzzz… Anyway…”.

Sure, it was frustrating at times but, at the end of the day, preferable to the alternative:

[P.S. – That guy with the dog?  That’s me.]

Anyway, it’s a terrific project and I’m hoping today’s call put us through to the semi-finals.   Technical issues aside, it went very well.  Or at least, I assume it did since I couldn’t gauge any reactions.  I also assume the video feed cutting out was an accident.  Hmmmm.

Received some preliminary notes on my Southern Gothic pilot from southerner Jeff and will await another set of notes before proceeding to the final polish.  After that, it’s off to my agent and smooooooth sailing!

And, for those of you asking (well, one of you anyway) about our A.K.A. project that was announced as “in development” (here: – we delivered a series overview, polish of the pilot, and a revised draft of the second episode script a couple of couple of weeks ago and now await the good news.

Or what I assume will be good news.  In March.

Who’s in a celebrating mood?

Our Stargate: Atlantis rewatch continues with…well, we’re supposed to be watching Before I Sleep but we accidentally skipped and watched The Brotherhood instead.  Sorry about that.

04Well, damn.  I quite enjoyed this episode on second viewing.  Plenty of suspense, clever puzzles, McKay almost gets the girl for a change, and Kolya at his dashingly diabolical best.

Akemi liked it well enough as well and – in what’s become a running pattern – expressed great admiration for Mckay’s smarts.  And Beckett’s eyes.

In addition…

When the two monks rush outside and get nabbed by the wraith: “Why go outside?  So stupid!”  True.

She was very defensive of her boy McKay when Jana seemed to lose interest in him after finding out he was originally from Earth: “Why she didn’t like McKay after finding out he’s not from Atlantis?  Prejudice!”

Akemi also demonstrated an unnerving bloodthirsty streak in her reaction to Sheppard’s decision NOT to kill Kolya: “I didn’t like the fact Sheppard didn’t kill the bad guy.  He caused so much trouble.”  I pointed out that Sheppard is a good guy, a good guys don’t shoot unarmed people in cold blood.  But she wasn’t buying it and proceeded to offer up a reference to the cartoon series Anpanman to bolster her argument: “Baikinman steal the bento box from hippopolice and Anpanman so angry he punched him and Baikinman went very far and crash into mountain.”  And then, in summary: “So if you do something bad thing then you have to do revenge.”

P.S. Akemi wants me to let you know that her comments may give the wrong impression of Anpanman.  It is, in fact, a very peaceful show.

Today’s entry is dedicated to blog regular (and budding young artist) Bethany Boo and her grandma.  Get well soon!

Bethany in action
Bethany in action

17 thoughts on “February 18, 2014: Project updates! Our Stargate: Atlantis rewatch continues with…oops!

  1. Good luck on all your projects. McKay is the one who’s the playboy in this series, that’s for sure. Loved Shep figuring out the puzzle. “Could of been MENSA!”

  2. SKYPEing… How hard can it be? My Sister’s youngest Granddaughter has been doing it since she was TWO! And at just over 3 now, knows her way around an ipad way more than my Sister ever will!

  3. After that, it’s off to my agent and smooooooth sailing!

    Uh oh. You jinxed it. 😉

    On the conference calls, that’s not the worst I’ve seen (or been involved in). One of our Italian teams has a sub-par speaker-phone that would block sounds from other sites when the Italian site was speaking. That coupled with a certain Italian manager who would talk for half an hour without pause and meander constantly made for some very long and frustrating calls.

    Also, the old secure call conference systems (back when I did defense contract work), would drive you crazy with the test tone every 30-seconds or so. The tone was supposed to make adjacent offices aware that you were having a conference call and keep someone from leaving the conference line open and accidentally disclosing secure information. For me it was more like the loud noises in Fahrenheit 451 that were used to disrupt the thoughts of the “overly intelligent individuals”…BEEP…now what was I saying?

    I actually did watch the brotherhood tonight (I’m a little ahead), so I was enjoying this too. And having Kolya in this episode made it all the more fun for me. He became my favorite Genii villain in the end. Oh and the reason Sheppard didn’t kill him was because when you have a good villain that the audience loves to hate, you need to keep him around for a while That makes for good television!

  4. Oops indeed. Didn’t have time to watch Brotherhood, figuring to sneak it in in the morning. As I recall, a decent episode, several good moments with McKay(and his cluelessness about a woman actually making advances on him). Yes, Sheppard should have killed Kolya. We’ve seen his ruthless streak, and given Kolya’s near kidnapping of Weir, it would simply have been completing what he started back in the Eye; the destruction of an enemy combatant. Ah well. At least it allowed for one of the top 10, if not top 5 episodes of the series to come into being…

  5. I was all ready to provide insightful thoughts and meaningful critique on Before I Sleep, but I’m nimble. So, Brotherhood it is…

    Like Akemi, I also did not understand why the monks ran outside. And I have wondered if the darts can beam people through walls and ceilings. Canon does not show them having this ability, so then it leads me to question why all the people on all the planets where we have seen active culling are running around out in the open. Just hide in your hut and make the Wraith come get you on foot. Less action, but better survival chances. Hmm.

    I love, love, love, love, love puzzles, brainteasers, riddles, math problems, and games. National Treasure, Indiana Jones, The DaVinci Code….yes, please!

    Props to Martin Gero for his writing this episode. It is too bad the Genii make an appearance, but I’m willing to overlook my detestation of them in this one instance. Kolya is less annoying in this episode, except for the opening scene which I found to be weird.

    McKay and his cluelessness regarding Elena makes for some great moments. I also enjoyed how the clues and puzzle pieces were strewn throughout the land and not contained just in one location. A certain amount of journeying is good for growth.

    The B story back on Atlantis…I enjoy seeing that the rest of the expedition can handle things without our heros present.

    I could write tons more, but I’m out of time.

  6. Haha, conference calls…

    Being the first one on at 9:59:45. Wondering if you’re on the right number at 10:01:30.

    *loud machine whirrs*
    “Is that an air compressor? Hahn, you there? … ”
    *KaChunk, KaChunk*
    “He’s shingling his roof.”
    (and we couldn’t even complain about it because he was on vacation)

    “Kris, hit mute if you’re going to write code during the call”

    For me, it’s a kid screaming to get in the room. Or worse, “Mommy, na-nurse!” Then no kid sounds the rest of the call.

  7. Skype is a pain in the @$$!! But then, you get what you pay for. It’s easy to access, but never reliable when you have more than two people talking on Skype. Can anyone tell me why, when it comes to new technology, that tech behaves like the Model T of tech for ten years after it’s been invented?

  8. Conference calls are horrible. I Skype my mum regularly and video is usually a problem.

    Luckily I watched The Brotherhood last night. Pretty good episode. I, too, was yelling at the monks not to go outside. Stupid monks!

    I thought the Atlanteans gave in a little easily to the “renaissance level peasants” and showing so much vim and vigour against the Genii.

    And, yet again, we have another people who know the Genii’s secret. Were they only hiding from the Athosians?

    Ooh! Ooh! I forgot about Kolya in my list on nominative determinism the other day. Kolya can mine for coal. Get it? Hahaha. I’ll get my coat.

  9. yep.. sky sucks when networks goes bingo.. and usually works best with no video… and in a good spot for network 🙂

    yep.. Akemi is spot on again! clever one! and i love the fact that she now backs up her arguments like a good scientist does… i can tell that she is learning a lot from McKay and from Geek bad guy in SGU (Rush) . it is hard to dismantle her argument in that case all right, and i also was a little gutted when Sheppard left Koyla go.. but i love bad ass Koyla. He is the ultimate vilain! so i was happy to see him drop by on SGA again 🙂

    Yes, McKay … sad… but hey! stuff like that happens all the time… like when you marry someone for their bank account, and then turns out they loose all .. and then you have to leave them, right? lol

    Wil look forward to more AKA project, sounds real good!! looking forward to some good sci-fi or action on TV again.. it is a disaster since SGs have no new episodes.. 🙁 eeks! so long! meowz!

    ps: almost wet myself with that conference youtube.. yep. reminds me of many other conference calls..

  10. I hate conference calls. Hate them. And I have two today! I’m more either like the guy who gets booted out (and has “trouble” getting back in *sits and looks out window*), or I’m working away on something else while someone is blathering on. That becomes a problem though, when someone says, “So Gary, what do you think about that issue?” Um, sorry I was distracted with another matter. I love that video, by the way, and it describes practically every conference call I’ve been in for the last several years.

    Anyway, that’s some great drawing Bethany! Good work!

    I really enjoyed “Brotherhood” – great puzzles and some really nice character work for McKay – who once again I share traits with in his utter obliviousness. Also, I figured that the monks were trying to get somewhere even more secure. As far as people running around outside, you never know how people will react in a panic.

  11. Also, I figure that people probably try to leave the whole area since they know that the wraith will come to get them “in person” eventually anyway. Better to try to avoid the beams and maybe survive, I guess.

  12. I took part in my very first Skype conference. Did it make everyone’s heads too big and grotesque? 😉

  13. I’m with Akemi; Sheppard should have killed Kolya and saved them all future trouble. Alas.

    Good luck with those projects! I hope they come to fruition.

  14. “Akemi also demonstrated an unnerving bloodthirsty streak in her reaction to Sheppard’s decision NOT to kill Kolya: “I didn’t like the fact Sheppard didn’t kill the bad guy. He caused so much trouble.” I pointed out that Sheppard is a good guy, a good guys don’t shoot unarmed people in cold blood”.

    Sheppard is the good guy and I do not seem him being pushed to that point unless Kolya had killed Weir or Teyla or something of that sort.

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