Amazing. We can put a man on the moon but can’t invent a blackberry that doesn’t accidentally dial 911 on a regular basis. I mean, seriously. Of all the stupid features you can incorporate into a device, this has got to top the list. Brush up against it the wrong way, and your blackberry will automatically dial 911 – but ONLY if it’s LOCKED! Now normally, you lock a phone so that you don’t accidentally hit redial and end up unwittingly welcoming the last person you spoke with to listen in on your latest conversation – which, more often than not, will be about them. The whole purpose of LOCKING your phone is so that it doesn’t ACCIDENTALLY DIAL. But the geniuses who designed the blackberry ensured that LOCKING your device will actually increase your chances of an accidental call. And not just any accidental call. Knock it, tap it, or lean it against something and chances are you could be calling the cops.

I remember when my wife got her first blackberry. We hopped into her car and, as she handed me her bag, she cautioned me to be very careful with it as her blackberry was in the side pocket and the slightest bump could result in a 911 speed-dialing. I thought it was hilarious – until I got my own blackberry and it happened to me. Twice in the first week! The latest was today while I was out walking my dogs. I was unaware of the fact, of course, until I received a phone call from the police. I told him it was an accidental dial-up from my blackberry. He required no further explanation. It would seem that this happens a lot. “Maybe some day they’ll create a patch to stop it from happening,”he said almost wistfully.

It’s enough to make you get an iPhone.

Spent most of the day dealing with other things, but managed to sit down and get in a couple of hours of script work tonight.  Almost done.  Have the goodbye scene to write, the big wrap-up and then…I’m done.  Well, not quite.  Then, I spend days re-reading what I’ve got, polishing it up, afterwhich I’ll send it back to Paul who will read what I’ve done, question my sanity on certain decisions, and battle over a couple of elements before doing his pass. 


Daniel Willis writes: “Maybe I missed it, but what were they “solidifying developments” of the Stargate Atlantis script – that Joe has passed the climax point?”

Answer: No, it has nothing to do with the creative. And I never specified.

Bailey: “PS – when you say “outing” do you mean you will finally reveal who the gay character in SGA is?”

Answer: Nope. Sorry.

JJ writes: “You said days ago that TPTB will allow you to post some SGU set pics this week. How’s that going?”

Answer: There was a delay on their end. I’m hoping by Wednesday.

Rose writes: “Ah ha! So I was proven right. Or wrong? I’m confused now.”

Answer: No one can be proven right or wrong until the first day of principal photography. I’m just saying that given recent developments, some fans will have to find something else to complain about.

Laura writes: “Do you ever go to games, either in Vancouver or back in Montreal?”

Answer: No. To be honest, I’m not a big hockey fan but am following the playoffs – mainly because of my bet with Kerry.

Morticae writes: “I couldn’t help but notice the whiteboard in your picture. You are quite sneaky! Clearly giving us some hints there…

15. Havoc
16. Sordid
17. Penumbra
18. Marriage
19. Death of T.C. (What/who is T.C.?)
20. Reveal team bac(kup?) all along. Destiny is only (just getting started?)”

Answer: Actually, 20 is “Reveal team back on Earth all along. Destiny is only V.R.!” Don’t tell anyone.

Dustin writes: “Just wondering on the time line between the series finale of Atlantis, and the start of Universe.”

Answer: SGU picks up where Atlantis leaves off at the end of its fifth season.

Lcshepp writes: “With SG1 getting a third movie before SGA’s 1 is even approved is alittle disconcerting, regardless who owns what, etc.”

Answer: A third movie was in the works long before we considered making an SGA movie. That fact, and the dynamics and strengths particular to SG-1, gave the third SG-1 the early start.

Belouchi writes: “Will there be extended scenes for the season 5 episodes of Atlantis included in the DVD box set comingout soon?”

Answer: Yes, the season 5 box set will include deleted scenes.

Deni B. writes: “Ahh Joe, you disappoint…no pictures of my Daniel? Really?”

Answer: Coming your way next week.

Sandra writes: “Oh, and I’m about half way done with “Mort.” Any thoughts?”

Answer: I liked it a lot.

47 thoughts on “April 18, 2009: @&%#ing Blackberry! And Some Mailbag.

  1. Heh. That’s what you get for brushing up against your blackberry the ‘wrong way’… 😉


  2. That does suck!! I can understand about wanting to make it easy to make a 911 call in an emergency, but is it that hard to unlock the phone before making the call…

    Nice box art… Still really similar to the past seasons.. but none-the-less, its whats inside that counts 😀


  3. hi, joe,

    if you’re giving Deni B pictures of her daniel, how about pictures of my sam for me? well, my sam, shared with about a billion of sam/amanda fans. 😛

  4. I see the ads alot about needless 911 calls killing people (weather info, sports scores, the name of that cute cop that just stopped by). I wonder how many calls are made annually by the blackberry glitch.

    By the way, how did we express our indignation at how technology has failed us before we put a man on the moon? I can’t think of anything quite as folksy.

  5. Cam-traya! Hey Joe, I have a few questions for you.

    1. Was that the real Ba’al who was extracted at the ceremony at the end of Continuum? If not, is the real Ba’al still alive?

    2. If the 1st Atlantis movie doesn’t tie up the wraith storyline, will you guys eventually make a conclusion for the storyline? You know, the final defeat of the wraith like the ori and their followers had in AoT?

    3. What’s with the lack of Ladon Radim in the second half of Atlantis’ series run (he hasn’t been around since episode 50). Do you think the Genii will ever have an important role in future movies?
    P.S. Forgive me for the cam-traya above, I just saw the epidsode “Tin Man” recently.

  6. Hey,

    I hate that stupid feature on the BlackBerry’s also. One day while I was sitting in class, it called the cops, so I had to answer when they called back so they didn’t send out someone to check on me and I got my phone taken away. (Highschool)

    So now I only carry my iPhone, it hasn’t screwed up once on me 🙂 Been leaving the BlackBerry at home.

    You should consider getting an iPhone.


  7. I scanned the first paragraph, and seeing the prominant ACCIDENTAL DIAL and LOCK only made me think of Stargate.

    Not surprising, I suppose.

    Goodbye scene? Uh oh. Nothing good ever comes out of Goodbye scenes. Is it like “Goodbye, for I have to shuffle off my mortal coil” kinda thing? 😉

  8. I know several people who have iphones and they are crap. They offer great applications and whatnot but as a phone it is terrible. I have been looking at getting a blackberry but I only use my phone for, get this, phoning people. so my LG chocolate works pretty good, although i left the charger in a hotel in edmonton and it’s been dead for two days, which worked out ok since i couldn’t find it until today.

    point in case, don’t get an iphone

  9. *waves and comes out of retirement to provide this important warning*

    Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the iphone is just as bad!! Of course I quickly try and stop it from dialling, to no effect I might add. 😆 And when I do finally stop it… I receive a call back from concerned parties because i’ve switched it off too quickly…. hmmm.

    I know return you to your regular blogging, thanks for the update on the movie front. 🙂


  10. Hey Joe,

    Pics from the Creation Con Tour reveal the USS George Hammond, is it going to feature in Universe? Or for use later?



  11. Sorry to report that iPhone 3G, when bumped, will mysteriously dial the last number called. Can be corrected by putting screen on “standby”, which effectively locks the touch screen.

  12. You know, they incorporate the feature of dialing 911 in locked mode so you can even in a panic dial the number.

    Hey if you push in 911 as your pin number and hit dial, it’ll dial emergency services.

    It’s a weird implemented feature, but implemented nonetheless.

  13. So Joe. Anybody getting married in the new SGA movie? Say your favourite little puppy-look maiden Jennifer?

  14. Well, I dislike most of these fancy all-singing, all-dancing phones. Call me old fashioned, but I just want a phone that can actually call people – and have people call me.

    That said, I’m a hypocrite. I have a Sony Ericsson C905 which has GPS, Google Maps, 8.1 megapixel camera, MP3 player, video player, etc. The downside is that the front buttons are a little hard to push, which makes it quite possible to somebody accidentally if you’re not careful (since the phone has helpful “shortcuts” to various functions).

    It’s a damn sight better than the LG Viewty I had – it had some kind of design fault which meant the battery lasted about 1 day before running out of juice – even when you didn’t do *anything* with it. The phone, the battery, and the charger were all replaced twice and it still did it.

    As for the iPhone, not happy to be locked to a single supplier, thankyouverymuch. I’d like some choice about who I use a phone with.

    The next phone will just be a phone, I think.

  15. Hi joe, i have a couple of questions for you

    1.Given the seemingly good news on the SGA movie, is it still possible that both movies (sg1 and atlantis) will start shooting at the same time?

    2.Can you tell us how many people are there on the Destiny?30? 70? 100?

    thank you in advanc if you’re gonna answer my questions

    ps:sorry if my english is not great, i’m french

  16. I have a new blackberrry and have found myself almost doing the 911 thing, but luckily I looked at my phone when the question came up as to whether I wanted to connect because had I not, I can see how brushing up against that darn little ball thing can happen easily to click on the yes.

    As far as SGA movie, I have been one, that even though some have some pretty good and interesting points on it not happening, with hopes it will still happen. Of course my hopes also include it being a TEAM episode which doesn’t include romance or SG1 in it. My hopes are for action, suspense and of course some shep whumpage wouldn’t hurt, lol.

  17. That blackberry feature could actually come in handy one day – if you ever see your little burglar guy again you could throw your blackberry at him, knocking him out, and it would dial 911 at the same time. Sounds like a feature you couldn’t do without. 😉

    Or you could just get an iphone, throw a brick at the burglar (coz you wouldn’t want to damage the iphone) and then dial 911 manually……….not as cool though.

  18. I was thinking that you’d reveal that the episode 20 reveal would be of one of the (preferably male) characters in the shower(thus offering a double entendre), only to have another character appear and ask the first if they’d had any more crazy dreams bout “Destiny.
    Love the title Penumbra, even if all the titles are simple fake-outs. Have you ever started with a title and worked up a story around it? I know that’s not the way you normally develop an idea into a script, but I’m just curious if you ever try starting with the title just for mental exercise.
    The mailbag is greatly appreciated, as is word we may get to see some Universe pictures in the next week or so. Thanks for taking the time to keep us posted.

  19. Thanks Joe, pictures on Wednesday,whoopee,, My birthday, what a nice present from you! flowers would have been nice also,, I am 29(again). I like numbers, you can pick any magic one you like.!
    How is the hockey puck flying today? In your favor I hope. Well its off to see the wizard! So please have a grand day! 🙂

  20. Ah butt-dialling, a work colleague has a problem with signing up to ringtones by butt-dialling….. you could get a case or I hear that you could hold down the mute to put it into Standby mode instead of locking it.

    Cheers, Chev

    p.s. in what form is the Mallozzi v Mullie battle going to take – thumb wars, a few rounds of Twister or a Survivor food challenge?

  21. I dunno….blackberry (which I inadvertently called a “black-mail” the other day) or iPhone….both are just too big for me to want to deal with plunked up against my ear.

    Plus, I kinda like NOT having to deal with my email when I’m away from a computer.

    In a pinch, I have an iTouch & a regular slim, tiny cell phone.

    But that’s just me.

  22. Hi! I’m very curious about one thing:

    Do you writers have any plans for young O’Neill clone (season 7 episode 3) in a future stargate movie?

    Now he should be in his twenties. What is going on with him?

  23. Wow, I have never had that problem with my blackberry before. Could it possibly be a feature that was enabled by your service provider? I have used Verizon and AT&T here in the states and neither of them had a 911 speed dial on there. Currently I am using a Curve.

  24. Bonjour Joseph!!

    Me voila! J’ai passer une semaine formidable!!!

    Ont a beaucoup bouger, ont a manger des choses délicieuses (comme des hamburgers au foie gras), on a fait du shopping ( makette de vaisseaux de star wars) et j’ai rencontrés un fan de stargate. Je me suis vraiment amuser! Enfin me revoila! Vous allez bien au faite?

    Moi aussi j’ai ce genre de probléme avec mon Samsung F330, mais heureusement je n’appel pas la police mes les 1er numéro qui ce trouve dans mon répértoire ou alors je vais sur internet.

    Passez une trés bonne journée!

  25. Mr. M… I both blame you and thank you for introducing me to Kage Baker, author of accomplished wit and creativity. I really enjoyed your many months ago book-o-the-month pick “In the Garden of Iden”. It was one of those books that just stays with you as your mind deliberates all the quirky ins and outs. Usually at odd moments, while sitting in a dept meeting or while listening to the radio, or watching some lame TV repeat, etc.

    Eventually, I gave in to the urge to read more of her works and starting purchasing everything written by Ms. Baker that I could locate on, eBay, Amazon, etc. I’m currently on book 7 of the company 8 book series. What a wild ride! My credit card sobs now and again, but I just hush it up. She has written several ancillary Company books too, all very enjoyable. In these, certain characters are given in depth treatment.

    Happily, she has also written a slew of short stories found in various compilations, anthologies, etc. and I hope to read all of those as well. My local library doesn’t have her newest works, 2008-2009, so I’m hunting those down now.

    For any of your readers that have not as yet read Kage Baker please note, she is witty, creative, intelligent, funny, thought provoking, dynamic and devastatingly sharp in her approach to writing fabulous stories.
    Her characters come alive in your mind with such vividness and intensity that I’m often reading into the late hours of the night, reluctant to leave them.

    Thanks for posting this Joe. And really, thanks for the intro to Kage.

    2cats in NJ
    recently laid off with lots of time to read, read, read…

  26. Good morning everybody 🙂 Joe, can’t wait for the pics “my papacito Daniel”! Damn, that guy…

    We woke up to no water in the kitchen or the laundry room. Everywhere else, we have water. Plumber’s coming out “within the hour”, hope it doesn’t ruin my lunch plans at the new TooJays (non-Kosher Jewish deli) with hubby and Elway. Pastrami, chopped liver to die for, you know, the usual. So, we’re doing it third-world-country style here today, schlepping buckets of water to the kitchen, but I suppose it could be worse w/o water to flush and shower. The plumbing bill, I’m sure, will be astronomical. Good times here, too!

    Enjoy what’s left of the weekend! D

  27. Hi Joe,
    Sorry about the Blackberry thing. It must really get annoying. You should get the iphone. I have the itouch and it is amazing. I missed the mailbag, what a shock, In your eyes it’s probably a pleasant shock. Ok, so here come the questions.

    1. How is Time going(i’m assuming thats the one thats filming, unless the episode order was changed and time is now 108)?

    2. Did you design the Icarus Base Uniforms from scratch of did you use the U.S. army uniform pattern.

    3. Is Andy Mikita directing Justice?

    4. Will there ever be a Atlantis crossover in Universe?

    5. Will Universe be more explicit(violence, language, sex etc…) than Atlantis and SG-1?

    Thanks so much,
    Major D. Davis

  28. Ha! That’s funny…pretty much only because it didn’t happen to us. My husband had a blackberry for a year or two and never called 911. Maybe they have it set up different here.

    Definitely go for the iPhone! We just got ours maybe two weeks ago, and I feel like I have Jedi powers when I use it. It’s so fun! Definitely like it more than the blackberry. We were even able to keep the same #’s when we switched providers.

  29. Hi Joe! I’m stumped. My dad bought me 6 ducks and 6 geese. 4 each are for eating and 2 each are for breading.

    I’ve cooked duck once in my life. While it was good I just have not gone back.

    My question is other than the obvious Foie Gras (I can’t do because we are going to be using them for breeding too so the raising method wont mess.) what ways do you like your duck and goose cooked?

    My dad is insisting on Turdunken for thanksgiving. Have you ever had it? What was your impression? I’ve had it before and felt that it was more of a novelty dish than anything.

  30. The Blackberry dials 911 when it’s locked? I am so glad I have my beloved Iphone. It does everything but brush my teeth. They’re working on it.

  31. Seems like everyone who’s anyone has either an iPhone or a blackberry, but I think it’s more a faddish thing, because it seems like there are some pretty big drawbacks to both. I like my LG Voyager. Not as cool, maybe, but I can’t complain about it at all.

  32. Not sure about the other Blackberries (should this be plural or berrys?); anyway, the 8830 has a plastic clip holder and the Blackberry must be inserted with the “trackball” side toward the back. This effectively minimizes any unwanted call outs. I usually the “pointer” on email; but that does not mean it won’t “drift” over to calls.

    I am not thrilled with the holder, but, it sometimes comes in handy.

    As others have mentioned, the iPhone makes lots of mysterious calls too. A colleague of mine has an iPhone that makes “butt or pocket” calls a lot…lol.

    An older version of the Palm 300 smartphone was a “flip” type that had a clear view of the touch screen but the flip cover effectively covered the touch screen and keyboard and there were NO butt or pocket calls.


  33. I got a call from the police a couple weeks back for the same reason. I am holding on to the hope that a patch will be made sooner than later.

  34. Well I’m off to my monthly book club meeting in about an hour. They’ve gotten used to me not reading the book choice every month. I’m surprised I haven’t gotten kicked out, but I think they feel sorry for me and all the stress I’m under. LOL.

    I’m sorry about that feature for all you IPhone/Blackberry users. Since I use about a whole 5 minutes a month (if I’m lucky) on my cell phone, I have a very old phone with prepaid minutes. It never dials numbers unless I manually put them in. There is something to be said for lower technology.

    Hope you are all having a beautiful Sunday.

  35. Joe,

    Thanks for the answer. I reserve the right to complain – but I promise to always try to do so politely.

    What I hope for the SGA movie is just this – that the story revolves around the four members of Sheppard’s team. That’s all. Not their families or significant others – just Ronon, Teyla, John and Rodney. If the movie does that, I will be one very, very happy fan.



  36. Now the f#$%^ing air conditiner took a shyt. Still no water, plumber’s going nuts (says he’s stumped), utilities company coming back out (after they said it wasn’t their problem this morning), it’s hotter than a three-peckered billygoat in here and the dogs are not happy. Chopped liver was good though! I’m thinking winter, snow, bitter cold, but it’s not really working. Hubby’s “fixing” the a/c, this I gotta see. Long night ahead, I fear. Send Daniel. That’ll fix me!

  37. My hubby has a Sansung’s Blackjack 2 and he doesn’t have any problem with it accidentally dialing anybody.

    Thank you for news of Atlantis script.

  38. Poo…something really screwy with my internet today – I can ONLY stay connected to the net if I’m on the phone at the same time. 😕 So, my husband let me call him at work, and didn’t hang up the phone on his end so I could play on-line. But he’s done work now and will have to hang up the shop phone, so I can’t stick around for tonight’s entry 🙁 .

    I’ll just catch up on some comics (boarded and bagged a bunch today). I feel slightly more organized, and now I’m totally caught up (except for a couple books I’m saving to read all at once). I’m going to start tackling some of the back issues I’ve been saving (most from the 90s) – I have an entire short box full, so this might take me a while… 😛

    Have a good evening, Joe – and everyone!


  39. Oh, Vancouver, Luongo yes, sorry Joe, I gotta go with Kerry on this one. I happen to catch the last 5 minutes of the game tonight… is it too late to change your mind??

  40. For anyone anxiously awaiting the results of the SGA Fans Choice DVD design contest, I heard from Jenny @ Fox and she says that they selected a Top 10, got the judges to select the finalists, sent those to Bridge and they finally have their winners. She said they should announce it this week. So…..more waiting but at least we know.

    Joe, were you judging?

    I suppose that now it’s all said and done I can out myself as half of the warrior_chevron team. I couldn’t really plug our designs on this blog.

    Next up I think I’ll design a background for my Twitter.

    Cheers, Chev

  41. I have one of those free phones you get when you sign up for your plan (Verizon, an LG that’s so cheap it has a number instead of a name!) and it hasn’t failed me yet in the two and a half years since I got it! I’m gonna keep it until it dies!

    David Blue put up a picture from the set on his blog so can’t you put up yours soon?!? Granted, there was nothing in the picture but a bunch of chairs, but still!!!!

  42. My 3 year old gets my phone every now and then and calls 911 accidentally. I hate that! This blackberry feature is so stupid!

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