Cheeseburger Gothic

I'm in lerv with Annabel.

Posted February 2, 2009 by John Birmingham
Not the chick, whoever she may be. The bar-n-grill.

About two doorsdown from my hotel there's a great little joint, a bar/bistro called Annabel's that the hotel's wine guy recommended . I'd been wary of eating there because it's almost always a bad idea just to choose a joint on the basis of proximity. But the Palomar staff assured me it was cool, it was the place they went after shift, and I could could do a lot worse.

So, to answer Lobes' question below I dropped into Annabels to catch the Superbowl after I'd filed Blunty, and stayed for dinner after perusing the menu which was 90% organic, with nary a burger or fry to be seen.

Best bit though was the bar, where dozens of loud Americans had gathered to watch the game. I instantly backed Arizona because they were the underdog and some hapless Aussie was playing for them.

They lost, but it was damned close run ting thing in the end, and although I had no effin' idea what was going on, and the flow of the game seemed incredibly jerky and stop-start, it was still great fun and all my new best friends were more than happy to explain WTF was happening.

I think they were mostly backing Arizona too, given their barbaric joy at the late game come back from the less fancied team.

26 Responses to ‘I'm in lerv with Annabel.’

Abe has opinions thus...

Posted February 2, 2009
Hope you took the opportunity to sell some books...our economy is relying on you and this trip.

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yankeedog puts forth...

Posted February 2, 2009
Glad The City by the Bay is treating you well. The weather there can be a bit interesting, but not Midwest frigid!

That was a fairly exciting game, if not necessarily brilliantly played in spots. I thought Arizona might get a pass down to Fitzgerald at the end to steal the game but Pittsburgh's defense was (only just) good enough to hold.

Good observation on the flow of action there. It is jerky and in no way fluid, especially when there are reviews and challenges. Back in the '80s, ESPN showed AFL games. Now I enjoyed Australian football but my thought was 'How the hell do you stop someone?' The ball carrier was getting tackled and he just got up and kept running! A fun watch, Aussie football.

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Therbs swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 2, 2009
You're staying in a Hardware Store? That's cool.

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Chaz swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 2, 2009
It's not like it's Union though, is it?

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NBlob would have you know...

Posted February 2, 2009
No Chaz, they only play one game Up There.

Therbs, Your coherence pills buddy, 2 in the morning 2 at night.

Were you buying drinks boss?

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Lobes has opinions thus...

Posted February 2, 2009
The Dennys ad made me LoL

http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=p96FC_fQrg0

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HAVOCK puts forth...

Posted February 2, 2009
Chaz, they don't tend to sniff each other, poke bums, pick noses or stomp and squirrel grip. TF.

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DrYobbo ducks in to say...

Posted February 2, 2009
Ben Graham looks very, very old. He makes Troy Corser look like Casey Stoner. I don't care that that's an obscure bike racer reference. What's more important is that as the punter he's less important than the team bus driver and the guy who peels the half time oranges (or whatever the US sport equivalent is, probably making up the Gatorade)

Steelers won narrowly, as picked in the World of Bollocks' Superbowl for Dummies preview (gratuitous self promotion being a hallmark of the World of Bollocks) but in truth I'd have preferred to see the Cards get up, washed-up ex-Geelong punter or no.

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Nautilus is gonna tell you...

Posted February 2, 2009
i got ya reference good doctor.

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sparty puts forth...

Posted February 2, 2009
Good game although wish I'd seen it in teh States- although its been good to be at Wembely last 2 years to see teh NFL there. Best Foreign policy decision the US have made in a while!

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Puma reckons...

Posted February 3, 2009
last few minutes of game was interrupted by 30 seconds of porn here. Signal from Club Jenna was somehow accidently spliced in. or not accidently. they don't know yet and alot of the locals are irate. LOL.

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mckinneytexas reckons...

Posted February 3, 2009
If the Steelers hadn't had have the ref's calling the game for them and the other half asleep on most plays, the Cards would have won. I started off with a lukewarm interest in the underdog winning, but the flagrance of the shitty officiating was too much. I'm still pissed that the game turned on shitty calls by the officials.

Glad you found the gringos to be friendly folks. That's pretty typical.

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mckinneytexas ducks in to say...

Posted February 3, 2009
'Have' in the first sentence should be 'half'.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan reckons...

Posted February 3, 2009
Except for the typo, I agree with McKinney. I am not a big football fan and I didn't even plan on watching the game, but I did, and it was clear, even to me, that the Cards got robbed as the world watched.

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Rhino reckons...

Posted February 3, 2009
::AHEM::

ROBBED?

You have got to be kidding me.

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Rhino puts forth...

Posted February 3, 2009
Best headline from Fark.com this morning:

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow today, so we can expect six more weeks of whining about the Super Bowl officiating.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan mutters...

Posted February 3, 2009
Yes. Robbed. By the zebras.

Every time I see Punxsutawney Phil I am overcome by the question of what groundhog tastes like in a light cream sauce with capers.

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John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted February 3, 2009
Ah, this would explain why Groundhog Day was on the in house movies last night.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted February 3, 2009
See if it is on the room service menu.

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Nautilus would have you know...

Posted February 3, 2009
Hang on, lets go back to Puma's comment.

"last few minutes of game was interrupted by 30 seconds of porn here. Signal from Club Jenna was somehow accidently spliced in. or not accidently. they don’t know yet and alot of the locals are irate. LOL."

The locals are irate???? Are they getting charged for the 30 seconds???

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mckinneytexas reckons...

Posted February 3, 2009
Robbed in broad daylight. Repeatedly.

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Chaz puts forth...

Posted February 3, 2009
Naut, the puritans are banging at the gate!

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Lobes mutters...

Posted February 3, 2009
How do you think I felt when I was about to see Jenna get a faceful and suddenly my porno-channel cut to Kurt Warner getting sacked!

Real mood-killer.

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puma would have you know...

Posted February 4, 2009
It certainly got a rise out of alot of people.

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sparty would have you know...

Posted February 4, 2009
wonder if it gave Rhino the horn?

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echidnaz would have you know...

Posted December 1, 2010

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Respond to 'I'm in lerv with Annabel.'

Great day in San Fran'

Posted February 1, 2009 by John Birmingham
The flight got in about ten minutes early this morning due to west-east tail winds and I cleared customs/immigration in less than five minutes. It was astounding really. The inflight video about US border security was a horror movie but I had no trouble at all.

The flight over was great. I decided to save my upgrades for the US domestic legs, which are way uglier than the transpacific route. Luckily the girl at the check-in desk at Brisbane was a fan so she grabbed me the best economy seat on the flight, near the over wing wing exits, which gave me two metres of leg room room, and nobody in the seat next to me. Poifect!

As always there was one hideous, excrutiating moment when a fellow passenger attempted to get themselves bumped up to business or first class. A Russian in this case, mumbling some garbled shit about 'Do I need passport to go up to First"

No, you just need another twenty grand Ivan, sit the fuck down.

Had a lovely salmon salad in the Qantas Club before embarking so I skipped the in-flight meal. The Bose QC 3 headphones proved their worth by blocking out most of the engine and cabin noise, allowing me to read Iain Banks Matter and watch a couple of eps of 24,  Series 1, which I'd never got around to before.

Random House had organised a limo to pick me up and take me to the hotel, which was nice, and I deployed my first tip, ten bucks to Jonathon the driver. My next tip went to Atiz the bellhop, who was from Pakistan. Keta the receptionist was from South Africa, so we blew off fifteen minutes discussing the test cricket rankings and the recent series in Oz. Was just like being at home.

I rang Professor Boylan and organised to meet him after skyping home to chat with the chillun. We went down to the markets and embarked upon a tour of the non tourist waterfront district, where me met a couple of Germans recently decamped from Noosa, and partook of crab salad. some excellent local and imported caviar and oysters and some rather nice west coast reds, which I believe Mr Flinthart had warned me against, but WTF, when in Rome.

Big props to Paul who was the perfect host and pulled out all stops. I cannot imagine anyone matching him his performance for grace and generosity today. We met some interesting folks along our travels and he deposited me back to the Palomar Hotel in good order where I discovered a complimentary fruit basket and bottle of Beaujolais waiting. courtesy of the manager. The Prof and I shall breakfast in the morning. All in all an examplary start to the tour, almost entirey due to the Prof's good graces.

49 Responses to ‘Great day in San Fran'’

Tarl would have you know...

Posted February 1, 2009
Welcome to the 'states!

It looks like we're actually going to have good weather for you in New York - after the snow on Tuesday, it should be mostly sunny, and will actually get above freezing on Friday.

See you Friday!

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uamada is gonna tell you...

Posted February 1, 2009
See now i had heard Paul Boylan was the devil, so be careful.

At breakfast try Vegemite on him, see if he dissolves into a pool of goo.

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Lobes would have you know...

Posted February 1, 2009
How nice to hear of your pleasant journey.

Ice Cube said it best: http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=c4RY-eJgHHs

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Moko swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 1, 2009
Holy shit. Lucky bastard.

Eat a New York pizza for me.

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Orin swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 1, 2009
I've found SFO to have the best "entry experience" into the USA. They seem a lot more relaxed and happy than they do at other places. Going through the process at LAX and Dallas can be a nightmare.

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Rayse ducks in to say...

Posted February 1, 2009
A Limo and a bottle of Beaujolais! Thats quite a welcome.

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Abe mumbles...

Posted February 1, 2009
Actually I found Boston the easiest and SFO the worst. Mind you, in SFO's case, it was just before the 'tech wreck' so I figure anyone working at the airport had a 2 hour commute and then probably spent half their paycheck on rent to boot.

Disappointed the publisher didn't spring for business class. I might just have to shelve the spy novel plans after all.

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Abe asserts...

Posted February 1, 2009
PS Not surprised Boylan put on such a show. He seems like a very decent chap.

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Bangar ducks in to say...

Posted February 1, 2009
A good start to the trip.

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Flinthart asserts...

Posted February 1, 2009
It's only the Zinfandel, man. The rest of 'em were... well, they were the kind of swill I'm well accustomed to keeping down. But the Zinfandel was just flat wrong. All the way wrong.

SF is a very, very fine city. Portland, SF and Seattle would be my three fave US cities, if I had to choose which I was gonna save from a nuking.

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Nautilus swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 1, 2009
Well done Paul. Sounds like you are making the most of the trip and meeting the people instead of just seeing the sights!

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Big Bad Al reckons...

Posted February 1, 2009
The Birmo juganaught has hit the USofA. Good to see the locals were friendly.

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beeso has opinions thus...

Posted February 1, 2009
you tried fring on the iphone for skype calls jb?

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Murphy is gonna tell you...

Posted February 1, 2009
My girlfriend will be pleased to know you enjoyed the wine down in San Fran. :) Glad you had a safe flight and a good first day.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Lobes puts forth...

Posted February 2, 2009
Here you go JB. A bit of Fan Art for your American campaign:

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Lobes would have you know...

Posted February 2, 2009

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Lobes is gonna tell you...

Posted February 2, 2009
Ack, my mad html skillz have been pwned by the new Cheeseburger.

Does anyone know which exhaust port you have to torpedo to get an image in a comment?

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Rhino has opinions thus...

Posted February 2, 2009
He lands. Should have thought about this before you arrived ... but it would have (could be?) be very cool if you could Twitter while you are in the States about things that are happening so that we get a running narrative.

Yes, it is the interwebs and we are that intrusive.

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RobinB would have you know...

Posted February 2, 2009
I have to agree with Flinthart re the Zins, vile stuff. By the same token the Prof has mentioned in a few of his entries the fine quality of some examples that only he and a small cadre know about. Hopefully you we party to those.

Well done on missing LAX.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan mutters...

Posted February 2, 2009
Too late, mates. Birmo has sampled three different zinfandels. As Chaz implied, I am all about corrupting the innocent.

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John Birmingham asserts...

Posted February 2, 2009
Well, they were very small samples, but quite nice a refined, smokey sorta way. Would hve gone very well with a strong blue cheese, if I was eatin' cheese at the time.

Again, props to the Prof for some champion hosting.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan asserts...

Posted February 2, 2009
Not Chaz. uamada. I often get you two confused. You do look alike.

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Brian puts forth...

Posted February 2, 2009
Prof - Re. Chaz and uamada resemblance. I guess its the slightly feral look in their eye's that do it.

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Therbs ducks in to say...

Posted February 2, 2009
JB, just make sure the good Prof shows you his collection of lesbian pantomime horse pics featuring Sarah Palin.

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Chaz reckons...

Posted February 2, 2009
JB: Just five minutes through customs and no reaching for the rubber gloves? Damn must have got the flight number wrong!!

PB: yes having two eyes and a mouth can be confusing!

Brian, it's not feral it's well something else!

Therbs no he can't, he promised me I'd be the first one to see them!!

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Havock asserts...

Posted February 2, 2009
GOD help us all now, Chaz, I thought the back up call may well have worked,

Lobes, when ya get the CODE for it ( HTML), let me know. I AM A WIZ I THINK.well, watch the writing dis

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tygertim has opinions thus...

Posted February 2, 2009
FYI, Non Zin Fans! The closer to the vinyard, the better it tastes....

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Orin mumbles...

Posted February 2, 2009

I suspect that IMG tags are not enabled on this blog.

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Guru Bob reckons...

Posted February 2, 2009
Good to see that Mr Boylan is keeping up appearances to the standard we wish to become accustomed to.

Is every one over here set for Thursday's meat fest with Chaz and Mr Bedak in sunny Melbourne?

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tygertim ducks in to say...

Posted February 2, 2009
Hey! Rhino! Where's the Crown? Ya gotta have a Crown on that Rhino....

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Lobes asserts...

Posted February 2, 2009
NOOOO!!!

I was really pulling for the Cats... er Cards by the end of that.

Where'd you watch it JB? Best Ad?

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Havock ducks in to say...

Posted February 2, 2009
yep, just need an address

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Havock asserts...

Posted February 2, 2009
or are we killin a steer and cookin it on the side of the road?

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Chaz reckons...

Posted February 2, 2009
H. we are meeting at 18:30 at Butchers Grill which is at 141 Bourke street. With drinks at the Carlton afterwards.

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Chaz would have you know...

Posted February 2, 2009
Orin, do you thing you'll be able to make it?

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HAVOCK puts forth...

Posted February 2, 2009
Chaz , please tell me the BG is Licenced...PLEASE. for IGHT, I have to get home afterwards ya bastards.

Hey, if they run outta food when can grill that BLARKON thing

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Chaz is gonna tell you...

Posted February 2, 2009
Of course it's licensed. What sort of palce do you think I'd take you to?!!

Hmmmmm grilled space lizard..tastes like chicken!!

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tygertim swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 2, 2009
Licensed? Licensed? What the devil are you chaps gassing on about licensed???? I thought all spirituous purveyors were licensed....

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Paul Nicholas Boylan mumbles...

Posted February 3, 2009
I once had a license to kill. Now I don't even have a permit. And you know what? I'm glad. Even the fees associated with the permit were killing me.

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tygertim puts forth...

Posted February 3, 2009
But Professor, I hear you're licensed to Thrill.... at least according to the tourists...

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mckinneytexas puts forth...

Posted February 3, 2009
Boylan sets the bar high. I'm with Flint on zin. You can occasionally find a good bottle, but the cabs are much more consistent.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan mumbles...

Posted February 3, 2009
Mckinney, y'all come on out and allow me to extend a little Northern Californian hospitality and I guaranty you will develop a better appreciation for zin.

As I attempted to explain to John during fleeting moments of lucidity, Californians drink zin in much the same spiritual manner that Russians drink vodka and Serbians drink Slivovitz - it is part of our culture.

When I push it on non Californians I don't expect them to like it. But I do hope that, by tasting it, they come to understand us a bit better. Zin is a reflection of our character, both good and bad.

It is the only true strain of the original zinfandel brought here 150 years ago by Croatian immigrants - and those old vines are still producing. War and neglect has rendered the same grape extinct in Europe, despite what some Italian vintners claim.

The resulting wine is a product of our soil and our sun. It is big, bursting with flavors overtones and undertones like chocolate and red berries. It is meant to be opened and poured immediately. No breathing - so no waiting. It is instant gratification, which we crave.

It accompanies grilled meats beautifully. We've learned that there is a certain magic when it is sipped while nibbling on dark chocolate to cleanse the palate.

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mckinneytexas puts forth...

Posted February 3, 2009
Boylan, there is a better than even chance that you will have that opportunity, but I will likely be traveling with my spousal unit and that does cramp my style a bit. As it happens, when Birmo hits town, the bride will be out of the country. Damn good thing too. One thing I won't do is tout Texas wine to a Californian. The best I can say about PRT wine is that a lot of it has gotten to the point of being drinkable, and not immediately distinguishable from mid-range, high production Californians. But if you're ever in Houston, I do have a decent stash of Cal, French and Italian (along with Chilean and even some pretty decent Oz stuff). And, I will put our restaurants up with anyone's, including Manhattan.

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tygertim swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 3, 2009
McKinney, what's the name of that Steak House, you know, the one with the world's biggest Steak??? Ahhh, what's the name, place is drowning in Lone Star Flags... Take Paul there and show him real Texas hospitality.... (My sister in Law is from Corpus Christi, and y'all ain't lived until you've had barbecued Texas Prawns the size of small Lobsters! The Colonel's family does'em Tex-Mex Mummmmnnnn!)

Now as to Cali Zin, welllll, like I said, the closer to the vineyard, the better it tastes, Y'all best get Paul to drive you to the estate tasting room for the true quill, which will surprise you no doubt about it...

That should take care of THAT pissing contest... :P

(notice i've steered them away from the prawns. i have my reasons >:-D)

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Paul Nicholas Boylan reckons...

Posted February 3, 2009
McKinney: I don't mind at all if your wife accompanies you. The odds are mine will, too. Between you and me, my wife cramps my style in ways that will keep me alive a bit longer than if she did not.

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John Birmingham mutters...

Posted February 3, 2009
Yeah, wives do that.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted February 3, 2009
And thank God.

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mckinneytexas mutters...

Posted February 3, 2009
Yes, they do. Mostly for the good.

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tygertim puts forth...

Posted February 4, 2009
Ayup. They do.

"You're not wearing that old thing are you"? They do try to save us from ourselves....

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Respond to 'Great day in San Fran''

JB's travel tips.

Posted January 25, 2009 by John Birmingham
That's for JB, not by JB.

The heads up on getting a cheap US cell phone, and Monster Yup's advice on seat allocation and upgrades has led me to think it'd be a good idea to throw open this topic to all comers.

What have you got for me?

From sneaky upgrade tricks to immune system bolstering vitamins and where to get a decent cup of coffee in New York, I'll take 'em all.

The cities I'll be visiting are San Francisco, San Diego, New York, Huston, Seattle.

56 Responses to ‘JB's travel tips.’

Mark R. Whittington ducks in to say...

Posted January 25, 2009
One of the best TexMex places in Houston, one of which which I believe is near the bookstore where JB is appearing, is Ninfas.

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jennicki reckons...

Posted January 25, 2009
Cheap cellphones...Virgin Mobile is a good one. You can buy the phone really cheap at Target, with no contract. You can either purchase pre-paid minutes at Target or you can set it up right on the phone, I believe.

Wish you were coming to the Midwest! My brother (cartguyforever) and I would love to meet with you if you were in the Detroit/Chicago area.

I hope you have a fun trip!

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lostatlunch mutters...

Posted January 25, 2009
walk up to the first airport security guard you see and smack him in the face... you will get more respect that way... then explain the special relationship between Austria & the USA will ensure you get off.

I would not take my advice.

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Flinthart would have you know...

Posted January 25, 2009
1) Take the Underground Tour in Seattle, if you can. Sometime in the late 19th or early 20th century, they had a real problem in Seattle with mud and floods. Their solution was to raise all the streets and sidewalks one level, so that the ground floor became sub-ground one level. Of course, the old facilities and entrances remained, and the new sidewalks became the roofs of tunnels around the various buildings, and linking them in places.

Fantastic bloody history to those sub-levels. They were nigh-forgotten, all but abandoned after they were sealed up due to rats/plague early in the C20th... so you can imagine the uses they found with The Wrong Element. They also featured in an early episode/movie of The Night Stalker... and if the tours are still operating, they're worth every minute and every penny.

2) Beer is highly problematic. In an emergency, ask for 'Malt Liquor'. At least you can be sure the strength will be roughly what you're used to. Otherwise, confer at length with the locals about the microbrews from their area. Under no circumstances --- NOT EVEN IF YOU'RE TRAPPED FOR THREE DAYS DUE TO MASSIVE RIOTS IN LOS ANGELES -- should you purchase beer from a convenience store. They... do things to it. They hurt it. Don't. Just... don't.

3) When they offer to put cream in your coffee, they mean milk. And don't accept the Non Dairy Creamer. Nobody actually knows what's in it, but prevailing theory suggests it's part of a Reagan-era Black Ops mind control programme. Or a very sneaky method of disposing of industrial waste.

4) Buy a bottle of pepper sauce, like Tabasco, and carry it. Americans make excellent pepper sauce, which is surprising when you discover how very very bland is most of the food you can easily get at.

5) Don't let the orange stuff fool you. It isn't really cheese. The converse of this: if you like good cheese, you must make a point of asking, wherever you go, for the nearest high-end Euro-style or similar delicatessen. Nothing you can find in convenience stores or supermarkets actually resembles cheese as you presently understand it.

6) Look, I know you like big red wines. For the love of God, Montresor: DON'T LET THE CALIFORNIANS FOOL YOU INTO DRINKING ZINFANDEL. My friends and I rechristened that variety "Infidel", and to this day, I have nightmares. Stick to the pricier pinot noirs from Cali, or source Oz imports if you must chase a good red.

7) When in doubt, a robust Steve Irwin impression may actually serve to get you out of trouble with the natives. They liked him, for some reason. Hopefully it won't come to that... but you could try carrying a stingray barb with you, just in case.

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MudCrab asserts...

Posted January 25, 2009
Seatle has the Sci Fiction Museum which is located near that big Space Needle thingy. VERY cool.

Also if you want some top end plane porn goto the Museum of Flight. You do not realise how sexy a SR71 looks until you see one in the Titanium Alloy Flesh.

As for North American beer? The local brewers do actually make REALLY good beer. As long as you don't reconise the brand name you should be fine.

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Monster Yuppy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 25, 2009
I echo Flinthart's advice on Steve Irwin.. When in doubt...make out like you are the bastard lovechild of Paul Hogan and Steve... Gets you great service in bars/pubs, and possibly out of speeding tickets if used correctly...

Can you be a bit more specific as to your itinerary ?

Which places will you be visiting and how long for ?

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Monster Yuppy would have you know...

Posted January 25, 2009
Shit .. didnt read the fine print.. ok...I know where you are going...New York is probably the pick of my sightseeing experience...will pull out my travel notes...

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Big Bad Al puts forth...

Posted January 25, 2009
Vegemite. Take heaps of Vegemite.

Is Vegemite a banned substance in the USofA? Check with the US Embassy.

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Tarl reckons...

Posted January 25, 2009
Flinthart is mistaken - our mass-market beer hasn't been hurt, it's supposed to be like that. It's a demonstration of America's biotech dominance - we have managed to produce artificial horse kidneys to filter the beer, and the result tastes just like it went through a real horse.

As for real hints - in NY, since you are still recovering from pneumonia, I'd recommend you minimize the time spent outdoors.

If you have any control over your flights, try to get flights which take off in the morning, since weather-induced delays cascade through the system and affect pretty much *all* afternoon flights across the country. If you have to make a connection in Chicago, your day is going to be shot.

Bring a laptop, most hotels will have wireless service (although they'll probably charge you $10-$15/day for it).

You might want to keep the following URL around so you have an idea what to expect the next day:

http://weather.yahoo.com/New-York-JFK-Intl-Arpt-New-York-United-States/USNY0999/forecast.html?unit=c

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Flinthart asserts...

Posted January 25, 2009
Horrible how well that accent works, isn't it MonsterYup? Downright cringeworthy.

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John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted January 25, 2009
I'm planning on getting some India Pale Ale from the Dogfish brewery to see me thru the trip.

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Monster Yuppy is gonna tell you...

Posted January 25, 2009
I use it in situations which require

A. Free drinks B. Attractive women C. Better Hotel rooms D. All of the above.

At the last conference I went to in LA, one lady kept coming up to me and would ask me "Say something Australian..It's just so cute.."

The "Evil Idiot"* in me had me reciting Kevin Bloody Wilson songs to her

I also have used the accent just to confuse the seppos for my own amusement.. Walk into The Gap at any mall and when one of the little fresh faced kiddies wearing a headset welcomes you to the store...shake their hand vigorously and just rattle on with anything... the look on their face is priceless after a few minutes of them not understanding a single word they say...

* as opposed to "Evil Genius"

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sparty puts forth...

Posted January 25, 2009
Do the harbour tour of Midway and see the Clintons relations at berth! The Midway Carrier is a great visit - really cool sitting in the captains chair on the bridge looking out across the flight deck and seeing nuclear super carriers dead ahead.

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sparty has opinions thus...

Posted January 25, 2009
sorry that shluld read harbour tour of san diego!

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HAVOCK would have you know...

Posted January 26, 2009
The accent does not surprise me, I am still amazed at how many Yanks ON LINE love the accent and want ya to talk, so LIVE I would suggest you quite possible could get away with Murder. Thought about anything with CROCK skin..ya never know.

And SLEEP, I found sleeping on the plan as much as possible. AND THEN GROG when ya land. But i could be wrong to.

Barman attention is bet got by..." HEY MATE", or "OI Mate", delivered loudly. Just be ready for the stars. that accent sticks out like dogs balls.

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HAVOCK asserts...

Posted January 26, 2009
Oh and if ya catch up with the Pettin Kitty Cats feral, slap the big bastard for me, that or get him BLIND and bring back pics.

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thelonesailor ducks in to say...

Posted January 26, 2009
As far as Houston (Huston) goes it is only around 45 minutes to the battleship Texas. the Museum is open it appears, but that area may stil be pretty beat up. Also , in texas instead of soda, or pop, all soft drinks are cokes, even if they are Dr. Pepper. A GPS might be a good investment. The larger cities in Texas have a bunch of toll roads and most GPS systems can be programmed to avoid them. Plus, if you get a TomTom, you can change to voice to sound like John Cleese. This helps alleviate the stress that comes from the realization that the other drivers actually ARE trying to hit you. This is assuming you will be driving. If not, just hope for the best.

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tygertim reckons...

Posted January 26, 2009
John, instant (sort of) replay:

By Tygertim8, January 22, 2009 @ 6:27 am

When in London, order Spitfire Beer. Downed all over Kent, just like the Luftwaffe….

When in Canada, order LeBlatts, Pam Anderson got her start by wearing their Tee Shirt at a Footie game, Jus’ sayin’

In OZ, order anything BUT Fosters. It’s for the tourists…

{Important Tip for John B.} In Seppoland, go immediately to the nearest microbrewery (Anchor Steam in San Francisco) as microbrewery guys worship Beer, and CRAFT their product… You’re sure to find the Beer for you, as they usually have handcrafted small batch “specials” worth the extra coin…. Try:

21st Amendment Brewery Cafe

563 Second St.

(bet. Brannan & Bryant Sts.)

San Francisco, CA | Map

415-369-0900

or in the Haight-Ashebury

Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery

1398 Haight St.

(Masonic Ave.)

San Francisco, CA | Map

415-864-7468

or

Rogue Ales Public House

673 Union St.

(Columbus Ave.)

San Francisco, CA | Map

415-362-7880

And don't forget MAX's ! If there's a sticker that says "This is a bad place for a diet" on the door, you're at the right place... You can check out their online site at:

http://www.maxsworld.com/maxs/index.php

Now that I've saved you from the horrors of Coors, Budwiser, Pabst and Miller, my good deed for the day is done...

Oh, and a Survival tip for the intrepid Aussie traveler, "Olde English 800" will serve in a pinch as a stand in... and can be found in most liquor stores.

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tygertim would have you know...

Posted January 26, 2009
Hey, how come there's no TT8 or Tygertimate orTygertim's Journal on the blog roll? :l

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TeamAmerica would have you know...

Posted January 26, 2009
BigBadAl-"Is Vegemite a banned substance in the USofA? Check with the US Embassy"

Not so much banned, AKAIK, as much as unknown.

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Leo euler puts forth...

Posted January 26, 2009
I will agree that everyone here pretty much loves an Australian accent.

Some things last year I learned going around in New York, as someone who had never visited:

1. If you are driving a car, it might be several hours before you can find parking. So paying 20 bucks immediately for a parking garage might be a good deal. Also, car driving might be kind of slow for you. The second time I visited, it took me something like two hours to go from one end of Manhattan to the other in a car, lol. If you get a rental car, get one with GPS!

2. I was excited about eating New York pizza. I know every place says they have the world's best pizza, but when I saw a sign outside Totonno's that said something like, "Only God makes better pizza" I wanted to go there...I eventually had the opportunity, lol.

3. If you visit Ground Zero, you will see that it's huge. Also, don't take pictures inside the building right next to it. They don't like that. -_- (it's called the World Financial Building or something like that. Something to do with money).

4. It's just funny how you can be driving around in Manhattan and go from one section to another so quickly. It's cool.

5. By the way, did you know that New York has TWO Chinatowns? The one in Manhattan, and the one in Flushing (Queens). It's kind of interesting. I actually had Christmas dinner in a hot pot place there in Christmas 2007. Hot pot's good if you've never had it.

I wish I had the time to see you in your trip, JB, but I'm afraid I don't this time. Take care, though.

-Samuel C.

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Orin swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 26, 2009
Why don't you just turn on global roaming on your current mobile phone?

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Orin reckons...

Posted January 26, 2009
And a phone card for longer calls home from your hotel - you can get them almost anywhere - I had a walmart one last time I was over there - as if you get a cheapie mobile (I still think you should just get roaming on your current one - assuming it supports roaming in the US (most do, but check)) you'll still pay evil rates for non phonecard calls to Oz.

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Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted January 26, 2009
Cindy/Trinity says if in California to go to Napa Valley and visit the Coppola Vinyards. Sometimes Francis Ford Coppola will be there.

Trinity also says that Napa has some of the best red wines in the world. Me personally, I prefer rieslings myself so I don't have a dog in this fight. That said, I've got her back.

And she's got mine all the way to NYC.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Blarkon puts forth...

Posted January 26, 2009
Don't dress as awesomely as you usually do. Americans aren't ready for an Australian metrosexual. They'll think your Austrian.

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JBW reckons...

Posted January 26, 2009
Hey JB. As far as coffee in NYC goes, Cafe Grumpy is the ticket: www.cafegrumpy.com/

That said, Ninth Street Espresso also comes highly recommended: www.ninthstreetespresso.com

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HAVOCK is gonna tell you...

Posted January 26, 2009
Orin, Global roaming ( lol), I was gunna ask, but figured our resident GEEK author would have checked THAT!.

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HAVOCK ducks in to say...

Posted January 26, 2009
Opps, JB, it does work, A friend I have is now is Boston, her current number is the same as she had in OZ,

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damian has opinions thus...

Posted January 26, 2009
In Seattle, make sure to get someone to take you to see the Fremont Troll. Actually - in addition to the underground tour there ought to be a "other kind of underground" tour or at least a tour of the public art, which is some of the quirkiest in the world.

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Tucker Dwynn swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 26, 2009
When are you going to be in Seattle?

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John Birmingham reckons...

Posted January 26, 2009
You cheeky fucker. I have roaming on, but I'm getting the local cell for local calls and voicemail. You think I want to pay Telstra's rates for making a call across the street in NY?

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John Birmingham mutters...

Posted January 26, 2009
I've already turned roaming on, and the phone card is a good idea, but I want a cheap throwaway phone for local calls and voicemail without the hassle of cards or Telstra's international rates.

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John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 26, 2009
I'm at at Borderlands Books, 866 Valencia St, 7 p.m, on 3 Feb.

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Pete mumbles...

Posted January 26, 2009
If my Canada experience is anything to go by, and the SBS doco on coffee & the fact that the Yanks only ever buy the worst available beans, take your own pack of Lavazza or other coffee! Next time I go, that's what I'm doing. Screw THEIR bongwater 'coffee' byproduct extraction. Eyeww.

Have a great trip!

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HAVOCK puts forth...

Posted January 26, 2009
hey!, another thought that popped into my already full head. WHO are you giving the keys to at BLUNTY whilst ya gone?.

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John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted January 26, 2009
Blunty will get filed, same as always.

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HAVOCK mutters...

Posted January 26, 2009
Wicked,

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Matthew K reckons...

Posted January 26, 2009
Happy Australia day.

love

A Pom

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MudCrab is gonna tell you...

Posted January 26, 2009
Extra to what Monster Yuppie said WAYYYYY above about putting on the Aussie Twag, inventing Australian words and throwing them into the conversation is always fun.

If you get a bad ale tell the girl the beer is 'a bit Moomba' and ask (politely of course) if she could get you another one.

"Actually it's worse then Moomba, it's totally WoggaWogga."

And if you are feeling completely childish remember that ROOT is a clothing label and NOT something to get on a Friday night :D

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Lobes mutters...

Posted January 26, 2009
Happy Australia day all you mad punters!

I am off to the Big Day Out to celebrate all things irreverent. Check me in the boiler room

Oh yeah... Come on Jelena!!

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Blarkon swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 26, 2009
Make sure that all the nudie pics sent to you by hot burgerette fans are removed from your hard disk prior to you going through customs.

You can continue to forward them to Rhino for review though as it makes his day a little brighter each time you do.

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G would have you know...

Posted January 26, 2009
Whats this sneaky upgrade trick i keep hearing....One sure fire way is to get a Right Hon, Next to your name on the Airlines database, Like my Son of a bitch cousin did. His best mate's Mother works for Qantas and did it for him. BASTARD.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 26, 2009
I do not deal well with jet lag. But over the years I've learned a little trick: I drink heavily on the flight, take a motion sickness pill, and sleep through the flight.

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Nautilus mumbles...

Posted January 26, 2009
Remember, over there fanny means bum.

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Murphy is gonna tell you...

Posted January 26, 2009
There are plenty of Starbucks in NYC (though strangely, they are all far away from the lodgings). Here is something I found while noodling around on Google Map.

http://www.joetheartofcoffee.com/

I wonder if I can get a decent cup of tea? I must be the only American who is addicted to the leaf instead of the bean.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Lobes would have you know...

Posted January 27, 2009
I got my US phone from a shop called Radio Shack. Its a chain of electronics stores. They are pretty much everywhere.

New York lives up to its reputation as a pretty crazy place. Just visualise yourself as being in an episode of seinfeld and go with the flow. Something nuts will happen before too long. This website http://flavorpill.com/newyork and the NY Post are must reads for the modern Manhattanite.

My tipping dilemma involved a haircut. I wasnt sure how much to tip the hairdresser, if at all. So I had to surreptitiously text message my American friend while I was being snipped to discover the correct criterion.

FTR the haircut was $30 and I tipped her $5. It seemed to be fairly well recieved.

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mckinneytexas is gonna tell you...

Posted January 27, 2009
A couple of thoughts: first, don't try to drive in San Fran or NY--it just isn't worth it. I can navigate SF, but just barely an only because I'm used to driving on the wrong side of the road. Also, parking can be very tough in SF, impossible in NY--taking a cab or hiring a driver is the best route. Manhattan, if not too cold, is great walking country. I don't know enough about Seattle or San Diego to have an opinion. Houston is a bitch too, but I think I can find a way around that. Always carry 3-400 in cash, 50 of which in fives and ones. Make absolutely sure your ATM cards will work in the US. If necessary, put some cash in a Fidelity account and get a VISA debit card. Do that today because your time is running short. You get the best exchange rate using ATM's when you travel--no agent's fee. Keep two pair of underwear and socks in your carry on. with all of your flying, they are likely to misplace your luggage. You can buy a razor, toothbrush, etc. at any hotel. Jet lag is a bitch. I can't even guess at the sleep cycle variance you'll face when you hit the west coast, but, for example, when we go to Europe, it's technically an overnight flight with arrival usually around 10 a.m. local time, but I still leave the day for recovery--hit the hotel, shower and take a long nap, get up around 5'ish local time and hit the city. I take a sleeping pill at 11 or so and I am on local time until I leave. I believe in better living through chemistry. I'm sure you have the strongest stomach in the world. Still though, I would carry a shitload of quality acid reducers, like Zantac 150, and take one or two everyday before dinner. The cumulative effect of massive amounts of rich food, booze, schedules, airports,etc will take its toll--waking up at 3 a.m. with acid reflux is no fun at all, especially with no medicine at hand. Rolaids and shit like that don't work. Likewise, get your doc to give you a prescription of 20 or so 10mg ambien--good shit for shutting down the brain and getting some rest. Go to a quality travel luggage shop and get the mini-umbrella and keep it in your carry-on travel bag.

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tygertim asserts...

Posted January 27, 2009
John, When you get to your hotel, take a nap. Then, as San Francisco (downtown) is pretty good walking country, go to the Visitor Center at Civic Center BART station, I think you can get a Pass for all of the Municipal Transit services like MUNI, the Cable Cars, BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) train, and this should get you close to anything you want to see in most of the Bay Area (BART for instance can get you from Walnut Creek which is accros the bay, to Berkley, almost to San Jose. (

Welcome to Civic Center

Civic Center Station is nearby some notable San Francisco destinations including including City Hall, War Memorial Opera House, Asian Art Museum, Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall, and the Main Branch of the San Francisco Public Library.) See : http://www.bart.gov/index.aspx BART does have a neighborhood Map on it's website, but pick one up at the Hotel Concierge desk...

The DeYoung Museum in Golden Gate Park is Worth the visit along with the Aquarium/Heparium just across from it.

Market St. is a nice slice of San Francisco to walk and get a feel for the town. Beware of the Pan Handlers though... Walk down to the Embarcadero, and hang a left (Herb Caen Way) and walk to Fisherman's Warf (that timeless tourist trap) or take the Cable Car to Ghirideli Sqare which is right there. For Drinks go to the Top of the Mark: Top of the Mark? 9

Address:

Top of the Mark Frommer's Recommended

Address

1 Nob Hill

Location: In the Mark Hopkins Intercontinental, California and Mason Sts

Phone 415/616-6916

Web site www.topofthemark.com

Prices Cover $5-$10

Frommer's Review

This is one of the most famous cocktail lounges in the world, and for good reason -- the spectacular glass-walled room features an unparalleled 19th-floor view. During World War II, Pacific-bound servicemen toasted their goodbyes to the States here. While less dramatic today than they were back then, evenings spent here are still sentimental, thanks to the romantic atmosphere. Live bands play throughout the week; a jazz pianist on Tuesdays starts at 7pm; salsa on Wednesdays begins with dance lessons at 8pm and the band starts up at 9pm; on Thursdays Stompy Jones brings a swing vibe from 7:30pm; and a dance band playing everything from '50s hits through contemporary music keeps the joint hopping Fridays and Saturdays starting at 9pm. Drinks range from $9 to $12. A $59 three-course fixed-price sunset dinner is served Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm. Sunday brunch, served from 10am to 2pm, costs $59 for adults and includes a glass of champagne; for children 4 to 12, the brunch is $30.

* approximate times

- topofthemark.com

This is a very important link for you John, it lists all the BEST Places to get a Cab...

http://maps.google.com/maps

San Francisco

Best places/streets to catch a taxi cab in San Francisco

13,996 views - Public

Created on Nov 7 - Updated Mar 3

By Mr. Lohan

There's just too much more.... dam it!

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Patricia would have you know...

Posted January 27, 2009
Jetlag prevention: Melatonin. Heaps of it.

Do not drink alcohol on the plane, as opposed to popular belief. It will dehydrate you and give worse jetlag.

On arrival in SFO, just ask for directions' to Pete's Coffee in town.

If you need free wireless, go to Starbucks. I kid you not. Don't bother buying a coffee. Just ask for the WEP key from someone next to you.

In Seattle, great coffee is plentiful. Even the street carts purvey good coffee.

Try the seafood chowder at Pike Place Market. Local speciality.

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Robert puts forth...

Posted January 27, 2009
John, I don't know why these pups queue up to whine about beer in America. You can get just about any kind of brew you desire--bottled or on tap--in the cities in your itinerary. Craft-brew, or microbrew, is all the rage in the metro areas.

Honestly, it's enough to make me think these pasty-faces don't actually circulate in public establishments.

As for the throwaway phone, I believe MetroPCS has service you can purchase by the month. The others want your 2-year contract signed in blood in order to get the phone.

Actually, you probably need only the proper SIM card for the phone you presently have in order to use local services. I think a skip through the darker side of the internet would illuminate this aspect.

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Lobes reckons...

Posted January 27, 2009
The phone I had in the US had no SIM card I think. Or maybe that was Japan... At any rate I wouldnt count on your Oz handset working there with a new SIM. A cheap and nasty throwaway handset is all you need with $50-$100 prepaid credit.

Whenever I check in to fly I just ask the boarding agent if there are any emergency exit row seats available. As long as you're not a cripple they'll put you there. You just have to be prepared to blow the hatches and man the lifeboats if called upon. Might even be useful on the NY leg.

If you're flying into JFK a Taxi to Manhattan will cost $50+. Cheaper way to do it is catch the Airtrain to Jamaica Queens ($5) then take the subway all the way in. Or do what I did and catch the Airport bus ($15) that drops you at Penn Station.

Subway is a good way to get around town but first get yourself a pocket map with the stations marked. Often its just as quick to walk.

City is built on a grid with Avenues running North-South and Streets East-West. Crossing 10 streets equals 1 mile.

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DrYobbo swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 27, 2009
Dr Mrs Dr Yobbo was in Berkeley mid last year for an evolution conference. When asked about the quality of coffee she went very quiet and ashen faced and took on the haunted look of a recently repatriated war refugee. I realised she'd seen horrors unimagined by man, woman or donkey, and let it slip.

I have no insights for jet lag other than get your head down and figure the first two days will feel like the dead-on-yer-feet bit of a hangover. My Piss Head Degree supervisor who toured the world and elsewhere on account of being quite apparently shit hot had a scientific approach to jet lag prevention which involved the careful combination of melatonin, alcohol and antihistamines (the latter as a mild sedative.) Bollocks that up and you'll know about it, but apparently when it goes well, it goes very well.

The only Septic beer I know of which doesn't deserve spiral-punting into a skip is Sam Adams, but of the corporate beer factory offerings I've heard OK things about Schlitz, don't know how widely available it is. Most of the Americans I know are Texans and drink Mexican beer.

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tygertim mumbles...

Posted January 28, 2009
Sure cure for Jet Lag... Go to the nearest bar and order a shot of EVERCLEAR... used to be you could only buy it in Nevada or Montana (the home of REAL Men).... Oh, and ONLY one shot... as it's like Grappa, (250 proof) my best friend in high school Rob, used to carry a fifth in his trunk as emergency fuel for his Ford Fairlane. Claimed it cleaned his carburetor. I bet it did. And him too.

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Sturt has opinions thus...

Posted January 28, 2009
Fer chrissakes, please please PLEASE do not - under any circumstances - lay on the ocker affectation. While most Aussie blokes passing through the US think a liberal smattering of "crikey", "strewth" and "onya" is a short cut to getting a leg over a flighty divorcee, or becoming the most popular guy in a bar full of strangers, most Americans are familiar enough with Australians to wonder why it is we feel compelled to play up our bumpkinish image in the company of foreigners. In truth, laying on the ocker has the opposite effect of its intention - it gives most Americans license to look down on us as less cultured and sophisticated than them, rather than letting us think we're putting something over them (which is harder than their stereotype would have you believe). They're just too polite to tell us.

Can I ask you JB, for the sake of our national reputation, to put your game face on. Our reputation among ourselves for sardonic wit, irony and the occasional outrage is constantly undermined here by the phalanxes of witless hoons who pile off QF108 in LA and think they're advancing cultural diplomacy by pretending to be Barry McKenzie.

Tips:

Seattle - eat lunch at Salumi (309 Third Ave S, Seattle) run by the father of Mario Batali (rotund bloodnut American Italian celebrity chef of Food Network fame)

New York - publisher paying: Joel Robuchon or Daniel Bouloud. JB paying: Le Singe Vert (The Green Monkey) 160 7th Ave in Chelsea. Both: outstanding French.

As someone who's lived here for 10 years, there are no easy solutions to the existential dilemmas posed by American coffee and beer (other than amphetamines and whiskey).

If you don't go a day without being totally smacked upside the head by the counterintuitiveness of American customs, either your publisher has you in a very effective cocoon or you're not paying attention.

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Lobes ducks in to say...

Posted January 28, 2009
LoL, Sturt for comment of the day!

JB ya better leave the khakis and pack a few skivvys instead.

In my experience the worst Australian expats are always Adelaide Crows fans. Seems it doesnt matter where in the world you are theres always some drunk f*ckwit in a Crows jersey acting the goose.

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John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted January 28, 2009
Duly noted, although it's been a long time since I played the yob. That'd be havock's gig.

My dining will be a mix of JB and publisher funded, so I may check out all the recommendations.

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German sale, and admin stuff.

Posted January 23, 2009 by John Birmingham
Just got word from my agent that WW has sold into Germany, so huzzah for them.

Prof Boylan was wondering if anyone in the San Francisco area was looking to get in on some yum cha action when I arrive on 31 Jan. I get in about 10 AM and will want to stay awake to wrench my body clock around to your godless heathen time zone.

Later that week there's a few burgers getting together for a  Mexican feed in New York, probably on the friday night after comicon.

And finally, big thanks to whoever linked the old cheesburger address to this one. I had meant to do it but forgot when the lurgy claimed me.

16 Responses to ‘German sale, and admin stuff.’

Steve has opinions thus...

Posted January 23, 2009
Well done on geting WW sold in Germany . . . . how did the AoT trilogy go over there?

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Havock puts forth...

Posted January 23, 2009
Another Bunny???????

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Brian puts forth...

Posted January 23, 2009
Terrific about the German thing. Might be worth your while to build in some German action in the sequal. Hmm . . .you don't suppose the Germans liked WW because the French were getting the shit kicked out of them?

brian

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Lobes ducks in to say...

Posted January 23, 2009
Brian more likely they are interested in the demise of the USA. Could be a mini boom in nostalgic stories about the last 8 years now we (sort of) safely made it out.

Stand by for an avalanche of hindsight

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Nautilus puts forth...

Posted January 23, 2009
I can see a publicty tour of Munich around late Sept to early Oct.

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Therbs puts forth...

Posted January 23, 2009
That's a good score getting into Germany. I wonder how Rhino translates. That would be amusing.

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Matthew K swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 23, 2009
Echte geil, sehr gut fur Sie. Aber wann kommt diese verdammt buch zu GrossBritanien hmm?

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Brian puts forth...

Posted January 23, 2009
Rhino . . . .hmm . . .how about a makeover into a German. Should be easy enough . . .not much to do. . . or is that typecasting? I think Rhino's significant other has real potential for a character.

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Chaz ducks in to say...

Posted January 23, 2009
Good news JB, another house renovation planned?

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Barnesm mumbles...

Posted January 23, 2009
"you don’t suppose the Germans liked WW because the French were getting the shit kicked out of them?".....

not just the German's liked that.

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savo mutters...

Posted January 23, 2009
<""> You don get these petting at ze Salon Kitty.<"">

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Paul Nicholas Boylan asserts...

Posted January 23, 2009
Look, don't make me sit along with this guy watching him drink beer and shovel down Chinese canapés while he tells me "abo" jokes, okay?

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tygertim puts forth...

Posted January 24, 2009
John, Paul, I had originally planned to see about hooking up with JB in Feb. but Jan 31st., I work unfortunately... John, I work on your "normal" schedule (1 am to 9am) so I am a Pro at staying awake "adjust" to a Day time schedule on my days off...

Let me see if I can get off? Might be able to....

Say, John did you get my SF tip on your tipping post?

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John Birmingham reckons...

Posted January 24, 2009
I'll go see. I'm in SF for the whole weekend, and then working there on the monday night at a gig.

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tygertim is gonna tell you...

Posted January 26, 2009
John, Sorry. Chinese New Year is getting in the way. NOBODY gets Chinese New Year Off, as it's the Casino's Biggest night. No. I am not making this up. Can't even switch days, as we're ALL being called in to work. (Last year, the Parking lot was sooo full, even the employee lots, that even though I left home an hour early, I was almost late to work just trying to park :( )However, Monday and Tuesday's are my days off.... Where's the Gig? Oh, and do they have PM here? I would give you my Email if they do...

> Paul... At least take John down Herb Caen Avenue (boulevard? Street? Way? ) Inspire JB to get a street named after him in Brisbane! Oh, and John, Pier 39. The SEAL's may still be there! Great pictures of Forlorn boat owners mooning over their occupied docks... Some great restaurants too of course.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan mumbles...

Posted January 26, 2009
I planned on taking him to the Ripley's Believe it or Not tourist trap museum and ditching him.

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Calling all Texans...

Posted January 19, 2009 by John Birmingham
I have a quick After America related research question. What kind of farming would you do in east Texas, besides running Bedak Whitetail beef cattle (to replace all the longhorns that disappeared in the Wave.)

Specifically what kind crops are you looking at if you had say two hunnert acres somewhere around Limestone or Robertson counties.

Or perhaps I should ask, if you were a small homesteader with that many acres, and you'd been tasked to run a mixed cropping farm under President Kippers resettlement scheme, where would be the land for that in Texas?

And, as a bonus question for everyone else, if not Texas, and if not anywhere within say four or five hundred miles of eastern seaboard, where?

104 Responses to ‘Calling all Texans...’

Moko ducks in to say...

Posted January 19, 2009
1st comment!. Sorry mate, that's all I've got.

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yankeedog is gonna tell you...

Posted January 19, 2009
Since you've depopulated Illinois rather nicely, if I had to grow a crop here, I'd probably stick with the same crops that do well here now-corn, wheat, or soybeans. Good staple crops, though the yields might not be what they were pre-Event. Mind, though, that the climate here will also support potatoes, melons, and most vegetables and tree crops-apples, pears, walnuts.

What would grow in that part of Texas, though-someone from there will have to chime in on that.

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Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted January 19, 2009
http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/LL/hcl9.html

Specifically per Limestone County.

The population dropped to 18,100 by 1970; the year before, farms had numbered 1,434 and cotton production had totaled 2,608 bales. The number of milk cows declined from 7,627 in 1930 to 549 in 1969, and the number of fowl dropped from 159,961 in 1930 to 6,942 in 1969. Businesses fluctuated, then rose during the same period. In 1947 there were twelve businesses, and in 1967 there were seventeen. By 1980 the decline had stopped. In 1970 most residents were employed in the retail trade, manufacturing, and services. By 1980 jobs had been added in construction, transportation, and public utilities. The retail trade was by far the largest employer in 1988, with more than 1,000 employees, as compared to 550 employed in professional or related services. By 1969 the number of cattle raised in the county had risen to more than 74,000, but the number of swine had dropped to 3,150. The main crops on the 1,434 farms were wheat, hay and forage, corn, cotton, and peaches.

http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/RR/hcr9.html

In the early 1990s Robertson County's economy was still closely tied to agriculture, and ranching and farming were the leading industries. Beef and dairy cattle accounted for the largest source of income. Leading crops included cotton, sorghums, small grains, watermelons, and corn. Leading industries were agribusinesses, brick manufacturing, and a power generating plant. Other important sources of revenue included oil and natural gas and lignite mining. Local attractions include hunting, fishing, historic sites, the County Music Jamboree, and the county fair held in Hearne in March.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Murphy puts forth...

Posted January 19, 2009
As for the Eastern Seaboard, frankly, I recommend Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia. Specific locations will take a bit more time to ID.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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BrianC mumbles...

Posted January 19, 2009
Depends on your goal...

If you want to feed people nothing beat rhye, wheet or corn.

If you want to make money... Tobbacco is still (i think) the best cash crop in the world. And with no cigarettes comming out of the south in quite a while american cigarettes will be a valuable commodity.

on another note. JB can you drop me an email. I just about have a miniburger mark 2 site ready for you if you want it.

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SpookCountry asserts...

Posted January 19, 2009
I'd like to be helpful, but I cant.

And to be honest, first thought was, "What?!? You haven't written it yet? Do you know how impatient us untalented Gen X's are?"

But given your cast of usual suspects I'm sure the answer will appear............

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Chaz mutters...

Posted January 19, 2009
Oil?

Yucca?

Dope? yeah Dope

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Abe swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 19, 2009
Soy is very versatile.

Canola (rape) might also work there.

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Abe mutters...

Posted January 19, 2009
What about the bees? Did all the bees die? You'll need bees to pollinate whatever you're growing.

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aaron mumbles...

Posted January 19, 2009
considering how much toxic crud would be left over from the mass fires, you would have to grow something robust i imagine. with that in mind, would it even be edible - maybe it would be better to grow something like tobacco to trade for cleaner food stuffs (but then again everyone has copped it)

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BrianC asserts...

Posted January 19, 2009
Abe... have you been watching "the happening" again we told you it would rot your brain.

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Therbs has opinions thus...

Posted January 19, 2009
Hops and barley.

Rye, corn and wheat.

Sugar maple (to turn into charcoal for whisky filtering).

Grapes.

Oak trees.

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Timbook2 puts forth...

Posted January 19, 2009
I agree witn Yankee, you can grow pretty much anything in Illinois with the exception of citrus.

My Grandmother had a garden for a couple decades where she grew everything from tomatoes, beets, onions, radishes, rubarb, carrots, green beans, herbs and more.

But, if this state's been turned into a nuclear wasteland or something, all that's down the crapper.

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simon bedak would have you know...

Posted January 19, 2009
Wow, thanks Birmo for fixing the Aus/US FTA so my fkn Whitetail steers can finally compete with the local product, what's left of it.

Although I ain't Texan, I'd be surprised if beef growers, if re-establishing an american civilisation, didn't at the very least favour planting oats or triticale in the first instance. The beauty of these crops is, if there is a drought and the seed isn't properly developed to harvest the grain, you can graze the cattle directly onto the paddocks without any fuss whatsoever and the animals growth rate is remarkable, even without HGPs.If you do get a harvest, the oats may be stored as grain for either human or cattle consumption. You'd only need about 8" of rainfall to get the oats done, and perhaps 12"-16" for wheat.

Yet wheat on the other hand as a first up crop does have a couple of drawbacks if being done in tandem with beef production. It 'burns hotter' than oats in the bovine rumen and I have lost thousands of dollars by accidentlally killing cattle stone dead by feeding it out and bloat taking effect.

The funniest of these epsoide saw me accidentally kill two dozen of my best heifers and steers by running about 80kg of grain out in a paddock near one of our houses to mark out an "H" in a circle for a helicopter to land in. I thought from 3,000 feet, the sight of cattle in 'helipad formation' would have been the funniest things my arriving guests would have ever seen from the air. That gag cost me betw $15-17.5K and I still have never seen a fkn photo from it.

The other thing you might need to take on board is weed control. You can annihilate more weeds from wheat than you can from oats employing present day chemicals.

Ideally, on a fresh paddock, in the first year you'd smash the shit out of it with chemicals like Triflur, plant lucerne to fix nitrogen and leave it in there for a few years; second planting - sow wheat; te next year - sow oats undersown with a sub-clover, then, leave it alone for a couple of years. But it depends on your rainfall and what the pH in your soil is, but not much else.

I'd commend you on your choice of cattle in the Bedak Whitetail breed. They are a 'finched' strain of charolais x poll hereford cattle which have a remarkable growth rate. At present, they're only grown here on my farm as the breed is still under development, but on Thursday I had a brief chat with the Sydney Royal Easter show about how I go about registering the breed.

Sorry, I've got distracted. If these new settlers of yours are new to farming and have only 200ac to play with, may I suggest they block it into 4 x 50ac paddocks, sow 50ac oats (first late summer rain), 50ac wheat (early autumn sown dual purpose variety) and 50ac lucerne using a direct drill (early spring). I'd recommend a Duncan 734. The other 50ac they should leave alone, or, run 10 x 2nd calf heifers that are pregnant & set to calve in Winter. Cattle gestation is apprx 283d. Toodles Simon

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qwh mutters...

Posted January 19, 2009
simon, that is some funny shit about the helicopter, expensive mistake but at least you got a good story out of it.

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simon bedak swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 19, 2009
Abey baby - flies can also do the work of bees if the hives are rat-shit

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YB reckons...

Posted January 19, 2009
Flies had to be useful for something other than surgery :)

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Tarl would have you know...

Posted January 19, 2009
In northern New England (Maine), Potatoes.

In southern Massachusetts, cranberries.

In Boston, Cell-phone towers.

In New Hampshire, Apple and Maple trees.

I know you can grow a variety of grains during the fairly long growing season, as long as you can protect them from the birds and other winged predators.

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NBlob would have you know...

Posted January 19, 2009
Holy shit !

Agrarian information overload.

Once again I tragic underestimate the complexity of another mans profession. I dip my akubra Simon.

Birmo I offer my 2nd born.

Please please please let there be some rastafari moonbeam biodynamic farmer who'll want to go all biodynamic - only to be smashed by a warparty from over the state line.

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John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted January 19, 2009
Nbob, consider it done.

Simon, much appreciated.

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simon bedak reckons...

Posted January 19, 2009
There's something bugging me though Birmo. When Aust was a pioneer society, the Charles Throsby discovered a lot of good grazing land by taking his cattle from Glenfield Farm on the outskirts of present Sydney (which I used to manage for a few years) and setting the buggers free into the bush. With a bunch of convict labour and black trackers, they simply followed the beasts to suitable farming land, along what today is still named Cowpasture Road in parts.

Anyway, if I was given the task of establishing a cattle herd in Texas, it'd be a better use of my labour to let the cattle do the work. I'd brand my herd, which'd probably be hereford cows with a different breed of bull for every 40 girls and set them free to run wild for a season of two, letting the dominant genetics sort themselves out for the local conditions. That way, with my 200ac, I could crop that extra 50ac I was holding onto for cattle.

You see, the beauty of cattle and livestock is they can run along areas you can't crop..

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Murphy would have you know...

Posted January 19, 2009
It isn't my area, Simon, but I think initially (I should look before I type) free ranging cattle was the way it was done in Texas. I do know (because I lecture on it) that in 1865 the vets of the late Civil War came home to find five million longhorns fat and ready for market.

I'd think, however, you'd have to watch your herd to a degree given all of the crumbling infrastructure in the area.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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savo is gonna tell you...

Posted January 19, 2009
Geez I love learning things.

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Chaz ducks in to say...

Posted January 19, 2009
i still think people are missing out on the the big money that could be made out of using the area to grow narcotics. listen ,no DEA, no competion from pakistan and the 'Stan.

Just pack it up and sell it to the poms who'll need something to deal with their sad, grey lives.

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Lobes asserts...

Posted January 19, 2009
Cant believe this hasnt been said already...

Only two things to farm in Texas son, Steers and Queers. So it looks like you could even reopen the Brokeback ranch JB.

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simon bedak reckons...

Posted January 19, 2009
Superb point Murph. In Aust, those with cattle out-gunned the local population betw 1800-1810. Our Texan cousins appear to have had well established cattle trails where they could fatten stock en-route to their markets. Peppered every so often along these cheeseburger super-highways appear to be forts, which might even today serve to protect meat on the hoof heading outta Texas.

Ref: 1867 map of Texas frontier forts & cattle trails, http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/atlas_texas/texas_frontier_forts.jpg

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simon bedak would have you know...

Posted January 19, 2009
Actually, just looking at a very basic rainfall map.

Cattle could exist with in varying degrees of happiness east from a line passing north/south thru Amarillo & Lubbock, gaining in happiness the further east of that line they got.

In land under 8" rainfall, if you seriously had to crop it, I'd only try barley myself. But really, in rainfall 24" plus, you can achieve just about anything seriously bloody useful.

Bugger me, looking at these figures I could live in Texas very easily.

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simon bedak mumbles...

Posted January 19, 2009
Actually, just looking at a very basic rainfall map.

Cattle could exist with in varying degrees of happiness east from a line passing north/south thru Amarillo & Lubbock, gaining in happiness the further east of that line they got.

In land under 8" rainfall, if you seriously had to crop it, I'd only try barley myself. But really, in rainfall 24" plus, you can achieve just about anything seriously bloody useful.

Bugger me, looking at these figures I could live in Texas very easily. http://web2.airmail.net/danb1/annualrainfall.htm

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life-lived reckons...

Posted January 19, 2009
Rape works just about anywhere however as an antipodean I will do my best Sargeant Schultz ands say "I know nussssink, nussink!!" Maggs

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savo mumbles...

Posted January 19, 2009
Where's the Senator, no input from him yet.

.

USAburgers - happy Martin Luther King Jr Day.

.

"life-lived: Rape works just about anywhere" ... Yes, yes it does.

.

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NBlob would have you know...

Posted January 19, 2009
Are we recreating pioneer days, where each settlement has to be largely self sufficient.

Or are we restarting the economy, feeding for fun & profit a US millitary machine off doing good in the world?

If the former than (supply issues aside) I reckon I'd be going shotgun approach - a pinch of this & a dash of that to see what works.

If I'm raising crops and livestock for sale then I'd be going for a monoculture.

Savo, not for long.

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John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted January 19, 2009
Nbob, the former.

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damian has opinions thus...

Posted January 19, 2009
Do we assume that a certain large US-based agrichemical company is out of business? They have (in the WW world, had) patents on a lot of stuff which would then be unavailable till someone could replicate the industrial processes and labwork. Not that I don't think the world would be better off without the company in question or its products, of course.

That pretty much rules out the use of rBGH for the first few years at any rate, on top of what Simon has pointed out above in terms of it not being needed. With the pollution form the event, in any case, looking after what's left of the farmland would sort of be a priority. Hormone use means antibiotics to deal with the negative effects, and the level of antibiotics in milk and beef we have right now is breeding antibiotic-resistant superbugs.

Heard a great interview on the radio the other week of a guy raising organic beef in Brazil. Basically he does what Simon suggests above, just lets the cattle find the grazing land. Without spending anything at all on trying to increase yields per acre or breeding rates, he just lets them go out into this huge savanna land he has access to among the forests there, and rounds up enough each season to make plenty of money on it. Not to say it's totally unmanaged, just that he lets most of what happens, happen. Nbob: organic farmers mostly don't look any different to regular farmers - many are the more hard-worn types, who go that road because there can be more money in it. The higher sale price and the money saved on chemical inputs can offset lower yields.

What I suppose I'm getting at is that most agriculture in that world would of necessity be basically organic, simply because the upfront costs to high yield agriculture are so high. For more serious producers, we'd even be talking biodynamics, because that's a way to increase yields without spending money with companies that don't exist in their previous form.

With cropping, it isn't that hard to go back the the pre-60s practices, it's still in living memory after all.

If we're talking about cash-crops, there will be (as always) a huge demand for rice. If the post-event rainfall is up to it, I'd see someone with an eye for the main chance and some capital behind them turning big swathes of Texas into rice fields...

Of course I'm talking off the top of my head and I hope Mr Bedak will contradict anything that needs contradicting :)

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simon bedak mumbles...

Posted January 19, 2009
No alarm bells went off for me in what you say Damian. At its most basic, if you have higher rainfall you get more lucisous plant growth. The mroe feed there is, the more cattle grow.

On bugs, the further east you go on the simple rainfall map of Texas, the higher the annual rainfall. Under tropical conditions, you can end up with ticks that can bugger up a european-british bovine herd. There is a natural resistance to the tick in bos indicus cattle (brahmany thingies) than in bos taurus (euro) types. Therefore, popping a couple of Brahman and Braford type bulls into the mix of free ranging herd sires could be a real goer. Plus, if there's 'good' feed, these blokes will outgrow anything - even the Bedak Witetail. There is however a trade-off in a lower eating quality in the meat as a lot of the tendons are doubled-up resulting in more grissle. However, if you're happy to have stews, breed away.

If there's a lack of drench, there might be one problem in having liver fluke fuck up your cattle too. This will occur if your herds are grazing along rivers in Aust and there are snails. Cattle liver fluke in their life-cycle exist in snails until the snails are accidentally consumed by cattle foraging grass. The eggs eventually escape back onto the ground after digestion occurs, however, they do bugger up the animal's liver on the way resulting in poor condition leading to death.

Anyway Damien, your Brazillian mate has the right idea. And cattlemen in NZ often send their animals up into the mountains and forget them for a few months and then bring them back down.

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HAVOCK has opinions thus...

Posted January 19, 2009
I'm liking it. cattle, guns, horses, images of John Wayne, no wummen to drive ya batty, actually I'm thinking of ZZ tops song and a big black guy on a motor bike.

HEY, what about a Brewery JB, whos gunna open that and we better have crops for it.

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lowandslow puts forth...

Posted January 19, 2009
Actually, east Texas is not as heavily agricultural as you might think. Nacogdoches in east Texas ranks fourth in the state with crops such as vegetables and melons, but most of th rest is just hay (cattle feed). By contrast, the Rio Grande valley (south of San Antonio) is much more fertile, as is west Texas from Lubbock north into the panhandle. In the west look for corn, potatoes, and LOTS of cotton, and of course beef production. In the far south of Texas you'll find much citrus growing. Hope this Dallas boy has helped. :)

S

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mckinneytexas is gonna tell you...

Posted January 20, 2009
Limestone and Robertson Counties are not 'East Texas', although it may appear that way on a standard map. Texas has something on the order of 9-12 separate ecological zones. L and R Counties are in the Post Oak Timber region, I am fairly sure, in which oats, corn, sorghum (called 'milo' by most gringo farmers) and soybeans are grown. Rain is spotty in July and August, so corn is a non-starter without irrigation, which is a whole set of problems all by itself. Cattle are everywhere in Texas and those that haven't died of starvation or thirst due to being penned in and unable to get food, water or both consistently have already broken out of their pastures and gone semi-feral. Meat will not be an issue anywhere except far west Texas where the environment is just to hostile for any but the hardiest. I am not sure how successful a bunch of greenhorns are going to be saddle-breaking horses that haven't been ridden in a year and then galloping off to round up the right breeds of cattle, per Simon whose comments I agree with. Sadly, most of your registered herds will be the ones most carefully penned and thus most likely to have died off due to lack of humans around to keep them fed and watered.

Texas and the south generally are not wheat country. I don't know if that is because other, more profitable crops can be grown there or if there is something about the mid-West and Canada that make wheat easier to grow and get good yields.

Oats, soybeans and corn if you can grow it make for an unbalanced diet. Most garden type vegetables do well until high summer at which time it is just too damn hot to keep a tomato on the vine or for lettuce to 'head up'. Spring and Fall gardens do fairly well. Greenhouses are a good idea. Ditto broccoli, cauliflower and other 'flowering' type veggies. Green beans, peppers and egg plant do ok, if you have the water to keep everything growing. Peaches, pecans, plums all do well, but not apples or citrus. Some varieties of pears grow ok. Figs and pomegranates, oddly, do ok.

Now, moving out of Limestone and Freestone Counties, if I had to farm and didn't want to freeze my ass off in the winter, I would choose Austin, Washington, Brazos or Grimes Counties near either the Brazos or Navasota rivers--fertile soil, plenty of equipment to scavenge, adequate water except in drought years (but dig a deep enough well with the substantially reduced load on the water table, and you can irrigate without reference to rainfall, if you have the system to irrigate) and lots of pasture and improved pasture for ranching and cutting and baling hay for the winter.

Victoria, Matagorda, Jackson and Calhoun Counties on the coast south of Houston are much hotter in the summer, but have good rainfall and already prepared rice farms. Humidity is high and mosquitoes are a huge pain in the ass. Fishing, if the coastal refineries and petro-chemical plants haven't melted down and dumped a shitload of toxic waste in the water, is good. Hurricanes, however, are not so good.

As for the rest of the US, 400-500 miles west of the Eastern seaboard, I think that puts you in Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas in the south and moving up into Ohio/Illinois farther north. I've worked on farms and ranches in Missouri and Texas, so I am making educated guesses here: corn, wheat, vegetables, apples, oats all should do well in Ohio/Illinois. Farther south, the same holds except for apples. Winter is a factor the farther you get from the gulf coast. We are talking, I suspect, about relatively inexperienced urbanites making a go of it with little or no experience. Bad water, insects, plant disease, rattlesnakes, fire ants, twisted ankles, broken bones, flat tires, heat prostration, hypothermia etc. are all part of getting food out of the ground in start-up, stand-alone conditions. I would settle people where the climate is most hospitable and let them raise up a generation that can move inland and north with a lifetime of farming and ranching experience behind them: coastal and slightly inland Texas, Louisiana, Mississpi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida.

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simon bedak mumbles...

Posted January 20, 2009
Must say McKinneyTexas and everyone,I've enjoyed your insightful comments.

I'm still finidng it difficult to comprehend that a lot of Texas appears to have better than 24" annual rainfall.

Is there a good private membership club somewhere where I can dress like an adult and have a glass of cognac after dinner in Texas?

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mckinneytexas mumbles...

Posted January 20, 2009
Yes, Che` McKinney offers private fine dining and only the finest spirits. Seriously, if you are contemplating a trip to the PRT, you can get my private email from Birmo.

And, yes, a lot of Texas gets a lot of rain, but it often comes in amounts that produce mostly run-off and widespread property damage.

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John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 20, 2009
Thank you Senator. Guess I better go rewrite that chapter.

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Bedes would have you know...

Posted January 20, 2009
Just before this thread joins cyber-history I just came back from the paddocks to mention that as I made the transition from dazzling urbanite bumming around CBD law firms to humble cattle king, the most important info source to make up for lost time was the internet. I don't know what the position of the WWW is in AA, but without it I'd be 20 years behind where I am in terms of knowledge.

That said, the www doesn't cover everything there is to know about cattle. That's where my 78 year old father-in-law comes in handy with observations such as 'If you see a pregnant heifer or cow pacing the fence at sunset, she will have trouble calving.'

100% of the time this is true. And the reason I wear a water-proof watch, even in drought.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan mutters...

Posted January 20, 2009
That shows a significant and telling difference between us, Simon. I wear a waterproof watch because I think it is cool.

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mckinneytexas has opinions thus...

Posted January 20, 2009
Birmo, de nada.

Bedes, I always took my watch off if we had to pull a calf.

Paul, it IS cool.

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robW reckons...

Posted January 20, 2009
Okay, I'll bite and give some info. Assumption: going back to Pioneer days.

First, here is a bit of background. Any information I can give is mostly based on “family legacy” in that my family comes from this area, extending upward into Oklahoma and eastward into Alabama. What I remember of my great-grandparent's farm, which my great-grandfather bought from his father back in 1902, is that it was a difficult piece to work. First, an off-the-hand comment, then a preliminary comment, then the comment.

Off-the-hand. Look up in the library an essay written about 1828-1832 in a Scottish rag call “The Eclectic Journal” or something like that. I recall reading it years and years ago while doing research. A fellow takes a sailing ship to Texas, and gets lost on the wildflower fields leading his horse in a huge circle. It wouldn't take much for those gigantic wildflower fields to return. Yes, people would get lost on them and travel around in circles.

Preliminary comment: Choosing where to site the house was difficult, especially if no electricity and air conditioning is available. Building next to the trees provides shade in the heat of the summer, but ticks and bugs love the woods. The dogs and cats would be covered with those horrible things, all fat, grey, and ugly and hanging onto the spine where the cat or dog couldn't get to them to scratch them off. Chickens, guinea hens and peacocks would free-range in the wooded area for bugs like these and flourish. Guinea hens in particular would love to go for the ticks. Mosquitoes, too, would be thick in the woods.

My great- and great-great-grandparents gave up on the tree concept and next built in the clearings: away from the trees there wasn't “as much” of a problem with the mosquitoes, ticks, and snakes. The small garter snakes (the black ones with a red ring around the neck) would still wriggle up through the floorboards, though, and give a fright, and the scorpions were ever present. Also, being out in the open meant that the white owls and hawks would make short work of the cats and kittens and possibly the poultry. Animal control back in those days consisted of white owls taking the kittens at night. Those things are huge and swept down over the grassy areas where the cats are stalking the tarantulas that love to creep and crawl over the newly-mowed grass in early evening. The owls will (and I assume would) pluck the cats up like a small rabbit on the road. Even today one can sit out on the porch in summer and watch the owls collecting the excess cats and here or there a spare rabbit or small rodent, though keep in mind the bobcats generally keep the rabbits in check.

The farms of today bear no relation to the farms of yesteryear, which probably bear more relation to the setting of your book. The farms of yesteryear tended to be market farms, meaning most of their high-intensity working produce was for local consumption, while there was a cash crop for export. The favorite export crop was cotton, which fed the clothing mills on the east coast. While the east could supply its own corn crops—in this case, “corn” meaning wheat, oats, soybeans, winter wheat, maize—locally. What they could not supply was cotton, which required high heat and rich soil. Cotton will not grow in Massachusetts. Hence the southern cash crop, cotton. The cotton crop depended upon having a cotton mill and a railroad to transport the cotton to the mills in New England, where they had the “fall line” or rivers/streams/creeks that would support a mill system that could weave the cloth from the raw cotton. (The part of the country in question doesn't have that kind of water supply, but rather a sporadic one.)

These market farms always had the same sorts of fruit produce. In catholic areas they grew grapes for local wine production (there were catholic monasteries throughout Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana, but not so much in Alabama, Kansas, and Arkansas). They also maintained apple, pear, and apricot orchards, as well as cherries and other fruit, depending upon the microclimate of the particular farm. They also grew bamboo, believe it or not, and don't forget sugar cane. It wouldn't have been a staple, but a cultivated plant it was. Poultry was the main meat supply, not beef. Forget the cows.

You see, there is a problem with cows, they require water and forage. Even if one had 100 acres, that isn't enough to maintain cows, as they would also require hay. Hay, now, is of several types. Hay just isn't hay, and making hay is, contrary to the saying, not so easy. Clever farmers will plant all sorts of seed for hay, but include peanuts, which will enrich the hay and the value thereof. Ever since the depression, though, farmers are paid NOT to grow peanuts, so that is part of the problem, but not in your post-apocalyptic world. Anyway, harvesting hay is a backbreaking job. Maybe you should try it for a summer and see if the hay part of the equation is worth the steak part of the equation. For me: free-range, yes; on 40 acres or so, no way.

Anyway, suffice to say that cows in the part of the country you are talking about are high maintenance. They require hay and water that isn't always available. Also, the cows won't keep the fields clear (there are too many different types of tree seedings they won't eat) so the fields will quickly go to trees (such as cedar) and that's it for the cows. Cattle work better when there are thousands of acres at play, which is why west Texas over toward San Angelo, Stockton, Midland, Abeline and elsewhere are considered better cattle areas.

I haven't shed any light on what market farms in this neck of the woods produce when not producing cotton, fruits, and poultry. Answer: the basics: carrots in the winter or fall, potatoes, parsnips, turnip greens, squash, pumpkins, watermelons, okra (yes, okra does very well in this neighborhood), tomatoes in the spring and fall. As someone else here commented, it gets way too hot in July and August for tomatoes or other tender vegetables. I recommend you talk to the people on gardenweb.com and ask them what they are planting to get a better idea.

One final note: while this part of Texas may be considered a diverse area, it is not rich in the agricultural sense. It requires technology, including deep water well technology, to make it pay and prosper. In your post-apocalyptic world, the people here will have a very hard time of it. Personally I would give them maybe one year, possibly two, before they would have to move on to better, more promising areas.

Hope that helps.

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tygertim asserts...

Posted January 20, 2009
John, I'd love to know what the plot line is as I can only assume that you're contemplating repopulating Seppoland.... For this purpose, and quoting McKinney, TX "I would settle people where the climate is most hospitable and let them raise up a generation that can move inland and north with a lifetime of farming and ranching experience behind them: coastal and slightly inland Texas, Louisiana, Mississpi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida." California is far better placed for you (from Aus/NewZeland POV) as an entry. California has it ALL. The most temperate climate (We have all the varied climate zones in one state) you could ask for, California is mostly an Agricultural state, but we also have a LOT of industry, along with some quite nice Cities (too bad your upcoming visit is in February, not August or I'd take you to the State Fair in Sacramento (less than Twenty miles from my house...) ready for occupation... There's a reason most of the Pioneers traveled the Oregon Trail to California, Oregon, and Washington Territories. I.E. easy living, good farmland, and mild (for the most part)winters, not like, say Kansas City, MO... just ask Murph..... Murph, if the currant economic situation wasn't F.U. by the state's politicians here in the People's Republic of California I'd urge you to move here, but with the state's budget all screwed up the university system is goin' tit's up....

These rambling thoughts are brought to you by Tygertim8 or Tygertimate on either livejournal.com or at Blogger... please leave comments so I can track back and add you to my listings... John, I wanna sign up on Cheeseburger Gothic, so could you leave me a message as to HOW??? Thanks!

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tygertim mumbles...

Posted January 20, 2009
Oh, and Californians grow EVERYTHING, and I MEAN everything... no problemo as they say hereabouts...

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mckinneytexas reckons...

Posted January 20, 2009
TT8 has a point about the California weather, but my sense of it is that CA has a lot of drought. Weather extremes, for the most part, would not be an issue in CA. Logistically, California makes a lot of sense for people relocating from Washington, but I was assuming Birmo wants to get an American foothold on the east and gulf coasts as well as the west coast. Still, I'd want to know where in CA one would go for a mix of high yield grains, vegetables, cattle and poultry.

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NBlob asserts...

Posted January 20, 2009
Holy crap boss you opened up a live one here!

Damian, no offence intended.

I've just had my fill of smelly hippy alt.farmers getting in my face about being "the man" & how we are raping "The Mother Earth" when I chip them about their half arsed mariculture efforts requiring them putting fish like carp in carp free catchments.

I know twitch whenever I comeacross anyone who wants to ram "The Answer" down my neck.

I fully agree that many farmers - hard bitten National voting big hat types = are looking at more "sensitive farming methods." And more power to them.

It's jihadi nutbags of any bent that I have issue with.

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Bedes swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 20, 2009
RobW, nice read. I do think the solution with meat is to let the cattle wander in the first instance. Yet if stuck with only 100ac, I'd opt for perhaps a dairy herd of a handful of animals and eat the male offspring and trade milk/cheese. I'm thinking dual purpose breeds like a glocester or pinzgauer? Be a fkn awful life though.

But I think there's a basic problem in President Kipper's premise of leaving people stuck on only 200ac and wanting them to grow proper cheeseburger filler for him.

I've just had an idea. City folk in need of quick domestic protein could farm rabbits. Biggest rabbit farm in Aust a couple of years ago was only about 20ac in total. The csiro developed a breed using something they called 'the Crusader Rabbit' program.

Quick growing, quick breeding. Get past just sustaining their keepers in no time.

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tygertim ducks in to say...

Posted January 20, 2009
OH! and I'm just now on JournalSpace.com at tygertimsjournal... Comeon guys... no more silent treatment.... I'll take down the photoshopped pics with you all doing unspeakable, unmentionable, and disgusting things at those "Cheeseburger" get-togethers before your beloved spouses see them (yes, John even the one of you doing your impersonation of Larry the Lounge Singer Naked on the tabletop at that Curry place With Brigadier Barnes, Savo, and Lobes....) Honest...

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tygertim mutters...

Posted January 20, 2009
McKinney, Northern California is far less prone to drought than Southern. The first three settlements in the Los Angeles area perished due to drought.... I live in the Sacramento region, and you're right! But We grow EVERTHING hereabouts.... even the demon weed:)

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tygertim swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 20, 2009
SB, I saw a picture of the world's biggest rabbit a while back on the old JS..... the size of a small child.... no kidding! Good Idea!

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NBlob mutters...

Posted January 20, 2009
Ok, funsters.

Caveat caveat - This is my understanding not hard fact.

One subtle difference between Texas & California is the water pattern.

In Texas (to a much higher extent) it rains, it runs off. In California the precipitation falls as snow, melts & runs off. It'd be worth sussing out how the pollution load is affected by the diferent pattern. I reckon the snow pack would trap more pollution & release it over a much longer timeframe.

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Murphy reckons...

Posted January 20, 2009
Per Missouri, wheat, corn, soy, milo, apples, hemp is possible though not currently grown, peaches, cherries, strawberries, tomatoes, potatoes, squash, eggplant, lettuce, raddishes, onions, carrots, peas, broccoli, brussel sprouts, pears, grapes, watermelons, cantelopes, tobacco near Weston (not as much as they used to).

Pecans, walnuts, gooseberries.

According to my green thumb parents, the only thing that will not grow here is tropical items.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

Growing Seasons: April to November.

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Sweet Jane Says ducks in to say...

Posted January 20, 2009
Hogs. Don't ignore their importance in quick yield, quick cash livestock.

In my geographical area, anything less than 300 acres is nothing but a garden. Beef cattle, and the crops to sustain them, require at least 300 acres, and this is floating land located above natural springs and situated between constant creeks - anything without a constant supply of water needs more acres per head of beef.

Oh, a few in Texas still raise longhorns, but they eat black angus.

J.

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damian is gonna tell you...

Posted January 20, 2009
Murph raises a good point: hemp is an amazingly useful agricultural crop that could quickly fill some of the huge hole left by the sudden demise of much of the plastics industry in the event. This would of course have many interesting literary possibilities in the hands of one like the esteemed Birmo...

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Chaz reckons...

Posted January 20, 2009
Might I point out that I recomended growing dope..sorry hemp way back at the start of this thread?

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damian mutters...

Posted January 20, 2009
Viscount Bedak: "100% of the time this is true. And the reason I wear a water-proof watch, even in drought."

EWWWW!

My grandfather was a dairyman with 100-200ac and about 50 head. He managed to crop on that land too and did a lot of contruction work in his "spare" time (when he was having his second knee replacement done in Ipswich, he could see from his hospital window a lift tower that he helped build). Some of my earliest memories are pulling a cow out of the mud in the creek with a tractor. Or of being woken early one morning to see the remarkable result of that night's calving: a completely pink and white albino calf.

What this is leading to is: Shirley you take your watch off?

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damian reckons...

Posted January 20, 2009
Sorry Chaz, there seems to be something wrong with my short-term memory

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Bedes has opinions thus...

Posted January 20, 2009
Actually Damian, on the watchfront, I have no idea where it is at the moment. Maybe I've left it somewhere. I don't know about the titles I seem to pick up around here such as squire & viscount. Perhaps I'm happy with cattle baron, although we call eachother Cowpokes in our castle. Ooops, I mean chateaux..sorry, house...humpy..whatever..

SJS, the hogs idea is a sound one. On the subject of watering cattle, post-Birmo apocolypse pioneers might consider that (for want of a better expression) 'fresh clean bore water' often contains a superb array of minerals which adds lustre to your stock. It's difficult to put my finger on it, but on the whole, cattle drinking our groundwater from regularly cleaned troughs do much better and seem, well, happier. Dam and rain run off just doesn't have the same level of magnesium, and whilst the human palate may consider it brackish, cows dig it. I suspect there will be plenty of wells still dug along the 1867 trails in Texas. Indeed, there'd probably be a bloody good map of them tucked away in a library someplace.

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lostatlunch would have you know...

Posted January 20, 2009
might I say that this beyond my limited knowledge of farming and the territory, but it is sounding damned interesting and the book seems much too far away.

Kudo's to all you clever muchkins for giving the education to the Birmo.

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Brian ducks in to say...

Posted January 20, 2009
Simon's plan is the way to go.

FActoid. Argentina and Brazil.17thC Estimated free range herds of cattle, mule and horses in the near millions. Ahuh . . .millions. Just like Australia but better climate. And these were the unmanaged herds. Ferals. No surprise really when you look at the plains lands down there.

The point? If left unmanaged the herds will breed themselves up.

Err . . .Bernand Fraudels economics books IIRC.

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damian is gonna tell you...

Posted January 20, 2009
If you're a baron, then we should stick with a simple "Sir Simon" ;)

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savo ducks in to say...

Posted January 20, 2009
"water-proof watch" - gag - "Maybe I’ve left it somewhere" - shudder -

.

"it gets way too hot in July and August for tomatoes or other tender vegetables" - crap, I'll be there in August.

.

'mazing discussion.

.

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damian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 20, 2009
My mistake, I was thinking of a baronet. As a baron it would be Lord Bedak.

Hope this clears things up once and for all ;)

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NBlob mutters...

Posted January 20, 2009
Good thing your a southerner Bedak.

Poking cattle is unlawful north of the Tweed River

Unless you marry them first.

Badoom tish.

Re missing watch; How suprised is that slaughterman going to be?

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Lobes reckons...

Posted January 20, 2009
RobW, did the guy who got lost in the wildflower fields have a compass? That would help the going in circles IMHO.

Also, what is the state of the GPS network after the wave? A lot of the earthside maintenance for those satellites would be one from North America. But I assume there would be ways the Hawaiians could keep the system functional.

I think Russia recently has its own GPS network up, or maybe that was europes. Was it by 2003 I am not so sure

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savo ducks in to say...

Posted January 20, 2009
Lord Bedek of Wagga Wagga: For the story line, I just can't see some homesteader standing protectively in front of his family, Winchester in hand, nobly fending off desperados out to russel his rabbits.

Inda was doing something about their own GPS too.

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Lobes would have you know...

Posted January 20, 2009
Savo, I think the Indians are helping Ivan restore the GLONASS constellation but it's not finished yet. Google Earth wasnt launched until 2004, so thats out for navigation. But maps and compass along with existing road networks should make it easy to get around.

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Bedes puts forth...

Posted January 20, 2009
Story line, Savo? I thought this was real life.

The main thing you'd need if you were droving pre-burger across post-US Texas would be some four-legged employees. Again, if I were doing the job, I'd favour three types of dog for this exercise.

The first employee it may surprise some would be a brown kelpie. Normally, they're sheep dogs however their tendency to skirt to the animal widest from the mob and return it to their master would be just the job to make my droving life easier. My second choice in dog would be the Blue Heeler, which is a more brutal animal which tends to drive the stock from behind (ie, running backs in NFL) rather than skirting like brown kelpies (like wingers in rugby union).

My third dog would perhaps be the most important. A small, vicious yappy mongrel bastard, female, something with a hatred of everything in the world bar me, no larger than a Jack Russell, who would ride on my lap and bark psycho at any one she didn't know. The sort of dog that would kill you as soon as look at you, but liked a scratch on the tummy.

...back in the real world, the drought contiues and i've just dragged a dead rotting cow out of a drying up dam in 39deg heat. I'm running out of tucker on the ground and have to work out how many more cows to cull before dancing on the knife-edge rips a hole in the bottom of my ballet shoes.

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damian would have you know...

Posted January 20, 2009
GPS satellites are made to last ten years and are replaced continuously, so there ought to be enough still available for a fix 5 years after the event.

Nothing at all wrong with the traditional methods, of course. On land, even dead reckoning is pretty accurate if you do it right (ie, use a compass and measure your speed).

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Bangar mutters...

Posted January 20, 2009
Damian makes a good point, tech fails (apologies for re opening the JS wound), always have fall back ways of doing something.

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DrYobbo ducks in to say...

Posted January 20, 2009
Fascinating stuff. Uneducated guesses: hilly stuff might do better with baa baas or venison as they do in the ugly stuff over here (NZ). And I keep coming back to the point that burning down most of the US is going to create so much toxic shite that large swathes of the joint ain't going to be particularly habitable for a very bloody long time (not sure of the prevailing winds but big eff-off mountain ranges to west surely won't help.)

I dare say Monsanto's US patents re canola aren't going to be much of an issue given neither Monsanto nor the US Patent Office are available for comment. Canola will grow on pretty much anything, GM or otherwise. Hey JB if you really want to piss off the lesbian dolphin empowerment types you could add a pro-GM agenda to your right-wing military-industrialist definitely-not-thinking-of-the-children war porn and really ensure busted arse book sales in Newtown and Fitzroy.

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NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted January 20, 2009
And the Dr. pipes in late with some quality thoughts.

The deer will be in plague proportions. Why raise beef when tasty sweeeet venison *drool* will be falling over themselves to get at your vege patch?

Thinking to myself some steam punk action going on. Vacola fruit bottling & jerked vennison with wifi web access.

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mckinneytexas mumbles...

Posted January 21, 2009
When birmo's greenhorn settlers arrive in Texas, they will find more semi-feral cattle and fully feral hogs than they can manage comfortably, but probably no dairy cattle, which like the closely penned registered stock, are so well penned that they likely died for lack of human intervention. Meat will not be an issue, at least on the initial procurement side of things. Preserving the meat is another issue altogether and part of a whole host of subsidiary skill, maintenance and labor issues involved in living off the land.

Dairy cattle are the highest maintenance, highest labor operation I know of. The cows have to be milked twice a day, everyday and the milk captured under sanitary conditions and then kept so that it doesn't spoil. Pasteurization and homogenization are also part of the process.

Hog farming is smelly, labor intensive work, but most importantly, the settlers cannot live on meat alone, at least not for long.

Murph is right, you can grow pretty much anything in Missouri. There are a lot of clear, year round creeks and rivers in southwest Missouri (I graduated high school there and farmed for my girlfriend's dad for 3 years, fortunately he'd gotten out of the dairy business the year before), but some have been pretty polluted--the Spring River comes to mind.

Pollution is another issue. Someone with the necessary skills needs to check the groundwater. also, someone with the necessary skills needs to have the equipment and power sources to get the water out of the ground. Lord Bedak is right, bore water is best for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is reliability.

A final note--JB is it realistic to limit people to 200 acres? there is more than enough land to go around and what is to prevent someone from moving inland and declaring himself owner of 12,000 acres (or pick your number)? And who is going to do the surveying, record land titles, etc.?

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Murphy has opinions thus...

Posted January 21, 2009
I should have remembered hogs. Missouri is a fairly substantial hog state and most of my family was involved with hog farms at one point. Sheep is also another though perhaps not to the same degree.

Hemp, for those wondering, was grown in Missouri during the Civil War era along the Missouri River Valley. It was also one of the industries which utilized African American slaves (cotton is a no go up here near as I can tell). I often wonder why they ban it (yes, the dope thing but from what I hear, hemp and ditch weed are very poor stand ins for Mary Jane).

mckinney makes a good point about water resources. My parents were talking this morning about the dangers of drinking the water from the Murphy Hometown of Maysville, Missouri. The reservoir has drums in it with dubious chemicals. The well water is probably safe but it tastes nasty in parts. Also many of the ponds will have decades of run off from various livestock lots (the lake near Grandpa Murphy's farm will turn your feet orange) as well as chemicals.

It should be noted, since we don't know (not even I know) what effect the Wave has on the environment. The standard, perhaps even cliched answer, is that it left a polluted wasteland.

Another entirely plausible (since we don't really know what the Wave is, how it works, what it kills and doesn't) is that the Wave has a cleansing effect on the environment. It would be up to Birmo to decide the parameters but in our earlier discussions, I pointed out that if you killed EVERYTHING in CONUS then you weren't dealing with a resettlement situation, you were dealing with a terraforming situation.

Which would also make for an interesting novel, terraforming, but also an incredibly difficult existence. I think that the US needs to have some value (territory wise) aside from minerals and salvage. Perhaps the Wave addresses issues such as water quality, soil fertility, and other problems.

One neat side effect is that if the Wave neutralizes, say, gasoline, then maybe all of the fuel in the US is useless.

Mckinney, I think the 200 acres limit is originally tied to the Homesteading Act of 1862 model I suggested (which was an initial start of 160 acres). I'd have to look but I believe they were eligible to acquire additional land up to 1000 acres. I'd need to check my notes and do some research.

Another place where cattle work might be viable is Montana. And I'm trying to remember where The Horse Whisperer was set but I think it was in the Dakotas. That might also be useful.

On the survey work issue, there will be a lot of out of work surveyors from the artillery branches of the Army and the Marines. Those skills are useful in the civilian world and perhaps they could do the work.

As for squatters, I don't think there is much to stop them aside for the ever so often patrols.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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tygertim reckons...

Posted January 21, 2009
Do'ya know, I think we've forgotten the marginal species, such as the plains buffalo, and the original Grasses that grew on the Great Plains... Most of the Wheat seed is designer Wheat, and does not replicate well on its own, thanks to the Seed companies proprietary patents. With no one to plant it, the native grasses will stage the beginnings of a comeback. Here in California, the bobcat population will grow, along with just about all the other native fauna, due to lack of human pressure to keep them in check, and a large available food sources due to lack of same.... Birds will be problematical throughout the Continental U.S. especially around the cities because of the feral cat population explosion, and near cities, the dog packs will pretty much take care of the rest.... I once saw a quote from a Book entitled "Biological Imperialism" about the damage done to the east coast due to the introduction of the earthworm to the New England States, and I know that Australians have a personal experience with that kind of thing due to one man's desire to hunt cute bunny rabbits. (In the end, Australia's use of their biological warfare department was the only thing that kept them from drowning in Rabbits.) I'm sure that these oft over looked effects of something like the wave will be reflected dramatically in the next book.

These confused rambling of a dazed mind come to you from Tygertim whom can be found at Tygertim's Journal on the new journalspace, Tygertimate on blogspot, or tygertim8 at livejournal....

PS, do you suppose the elephants and rhino's will be able to smash their way out of the Zoo's???? That would make an interesting mix out on the land, wouldn't it?

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mckinneytexas mumbles...

Posted January 21, 2009
Last post then back to work--i would rethink the land limit. Also, the practicalities: There are conflicting priorities. Initially, people will want to live close to one another for mutual support. In time, they will want a lot of acreage to expand and, ultimately, to pass down, which has them move apart. I see friction as to who moves and who stays.

The other issue, particularly when people are spread out, is health care delivery: medical, dental, optometry, etc.

Murph, Montana's winters are too cold and you'd have to spread people around too much to be able to provide medical, dental, mutual support, etc. Besides, having enough cows will not be a problem. Rather, there will be too damn many and reproducing all the time. Feral cattle will be a major nuisance in the out years unless the US imports 20 million or so new citizens.

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Murphy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 21, 2009
Good point, McKinney. Thanks.

Per population, I do think it is vital that the US replenish their citizenship ranks as rapidly as possible. I'd try to offer opportunities to folks with desireable skills, agricultural being one of them.

The US grew rapidly during pre Wave History and if managed correctly, with the right environmental conditions, I think it can grow rapidly again.

I have a teacher In Service to attend and an inaug speech to read (blah). Later.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Bedes reckons...

Posted January 21, 2009
On farming in Limestone County Texas, there's an excellent, if not a little long-winded yarn at

http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/LL/hcl9.html

Regarding farms for sale at Limestine which one person could run pretty easily, there's 1000ac at Grosebeck which was overpriced before the Wave but might suit:

http://www.landsoftexas.com/texas/index.cfm?Detail=&INV_ID=218992

Although ideally, I find about 2500ac of mixed fair/good country is ideal for one family to run a cattle & cropping operation with appx 24" rainfall p.a.

This has been a most interesting discussion. Good to meet you again Murph, McKinney, Damian, Savo, TygyerT & all. Toodles

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Brian reckons...

Posted January 21, 2009
Careful on the 200 acres thing. 200 acres of Texas plain doesn't equal 200 acres of prime watered bottom land in the East - in terms of fertility or animal carrying capacity.

For some reason the 200 acres has embedded itself in the conciousness without reference to the capability of the land to support a family. It also depends if its a monoculture or a truck farm AKA mixed farm operation.

I was suprised to learn that a so called self sufficient peasant operation in the Middle Ages varied from about 5 hectares for a family to about 300 for a village (50-100 people). Hmm . . . .please read 'Last Centurian' by Ringo for a rough idea on current ag realities.

brian

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savo mutters...

Posted January 21, 2009
"Another place where cattle work might be viable is Montana" but how are masses of people easily going to get there? The coastline and banks of the bigger rivers are easily accessible by large numbers through water transport. You may have been able to get to Montana once via the Missouri but there are too many dams now and the road from Seattle looks like a b'tard to walk.

TT8 thakyou for that word from our sponsor but Tygertim’s Journal on the new journalspace ain't there.

re the zoo business, there is going to be all sorts of imported carnivors wandering around looking for a tasty cheeseburger to munch down on. I'd imagine some high tech settler armed with the last of the first gen commercial GPS's getting lost coz the satellites are falling out of the sky and being rescued by the Lord Bedek type witha map and a compass. 3-4 years after the wave means there's two generations of lions tigers etc on the ground.

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Bangar reckons...

Posted January 21, 2009
The fauna may not be a problem

"besides running Bedak Whitetail beef cattle (to replace all the longhorns that disappeared in the Wave.)"

I read that to mean no mammals survived(plus possibly affecting other animal groups).

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dm60462 mutters...

Posted January 21, 2009
cotton

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dm60462 mumbles...

Posted January 21, 2009
Agriculture in Limestone County

Average size of farms: 371 acres

Average number of cattle and calves per 100 acres of all land in farms: 22.13

Milk cows as a percentage of all cattle and calves: 0.20%

Corn for grain: 11786 harvested acres

All wheat for grain: 1037 harvested acres

Upland cotton: 1467 harvested acres

Vegetables: 286 harvested acres

Land in orchards: 736 acres

Agriculture in Freestone County

Average size of farms: 292 acres

Average number of cattle and calves per 100 acres of all land in farms: 23.48

Corn for grain: 3 harvested acres

Vegetables: 144 harvested acres

Land in orchards: 384 acres

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dm60462 ducks in to say...

Posted January 21, 2009
Agriculture in Robertson County

Average size of farms: 331 acres

Irrigated harvested cropland as a percentage of land in farms: 25.98%

Average number of cattle and calves per 100 acres of all land in farms: 21.85

Milk cows as a percentage of all cattle and calves: 0.54%

Corn for grain: 7018 harvested acres

All wheat for grain: 166 harvested acres

Upland cotton: 14979 harvested acres

Vegetables: 48 harvested acres

Land in orchards: 716 acres

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DrYobbo reckons...

Posted January 21, 2009
Just to follow up the thinking on the venison thing, my thinking was that like 'roo it's a very dense, high protein, low fat meat which might be better in a food-limiting environment than moo cows, and would tend to bash less hell out of the environment (ie might not need as intensive farming practices.) However I'm reminded that deer, particularly semi-feral ones, are thorough-going bastards to fence and herd. They hunt the wild ones with choppers in the more feral parts of the NZ South Island. Still, makes good eating.

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damian puts forth...

Posted January 21, 2009
Doc, I thought more rather than less fat was better for meat in a subsistence level diet. Thinking energy density there. Leaving aside the Inuit of course, one of the few cultures whose life expectancy actually improved after adopting a European diet, no matter how much oily fish they could keep down. But their options were rather more limited than the scenario we're thinking about.

Of course we're not talking about subsistence, are we? Just a brainfart, then, esscuse me...

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Bedes swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 21, 2009
I've been admiring your thinking on this side of the ditch Prof Yob and you're right about the fencing costs. Even though I'm a beef-man, I adore rare venison provided a french-chef makes it for me. I know many farmers, better than me, who'd chuck their current sheep operations tomorrow if the govt kicked in with some fencing for 'roo. Beautiful meat, great conversion, adapted for the conditions.

Perhaps a compromise dear chap which ties in with where you're going would be goat. Admittedly, it can be a bit grissley, but it would work up in the mtns and on the proposed plains of Texas. Friends of mine with hundreds of thousand of more (shit) acres than us, use goat-traps around dams and water holes to draw the buggers in and they can't escape. Saves the herding prob.

Damian, nice beard. Dr Yob, nice hat. Fella with the stats, um...nice...

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Bedes has opinions thus...

Posted January 21, 2009
PS ...Bangar, there must've been a cargo vessel full of bedak Whitetails on route to the Port of Galveston when the disaster struck - http://www.portofgalveston.com/

Which is kinda cool cause they're the only breed of cattle that dig Jim Webb and Glen Campbell, although they prefer MacArthur Park.

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mckinneytexas asserts...

Posted January 22, 2009
Bedes, Doc et al--the Texas plains are in the panhandle. The area Birmo is talking about is rolling oak country not dissimilar from large parts of Europe and Argentina. Texas' venison is whitetail deer. I've eaten a lot of whitetail, but mostly either as sausage mixed with pork and seasoned all to hell or the tenderloin. IMHO, venison is a pretty shitty meal. It is tough, dry and gamy. After a year of living off of grass, avoiding predators, doing a lot of running for various reasons, etc, your feral cattle herd will be running plenty lean.

But, gentlemen, meat will never be a problem for a very small but armed human population: the hard work will be getting seeds in the ground, harvesting and transporting the crop.

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tygertim has opinions thus...

Posted January 22, 2009
My dear Savo, Try:

http://tygertimsjournal.journalspace.com/

or

http://journalspace.com/members/tygertim8/

Or

http://tygertimate.blogspot.com/

Or

http://tygertim8.livejournal.com

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tygertim is gonna tell you...

Posted January 22, 2009
I'm there, guys I'm there I tells ya!

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tygertim ducks in to say...

Posted January 22, 2009
I oughta write a book How's Ghost in the Machine for a title?

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tygertim is gonna tell you...

Posted January 22, 2009
and how does altPam have so many more people who believe in her??? She's even got a Pommy Aristo pouf Sir Reginald Boult, 7th Bart. on her friends list.... :(

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tygertim is gonna tell you...

Posted January 22, 2009
At Savo

Westy says in her blog JournalSpace(New)for Dummies:

"It says you haven’t published a “public” blog yet - it seems to consider it “not public,” but not quite private either. Readers can only access it by manually typing in balognabutt.journalspace.com (or whatever your address is), and a lot of people don’t know that they can do that! They just see that message and believe it, grumbling about how that lazy (insert cuss word here) hasn’t gotten off of their moldy butt and made a journal yet. I’ve started typing in people’s blog addresses manually (username.journalspace.com) if their profile says that they haven’t created a blog, just to see if they have made one or not. Only TWO of those times, the person actually hadn’t created a blog."

So there. I do too exist....

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Bedes swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 22, 2009
Thanks McKinney sir. I assumed we had some diesel after the wave. Life'll be a bit of a struggle without it.

In real life, I have some 1920s ploughs and cropping plant here which can be towed behind some horses, but even though I have 3 horses on the place, I wouldn't want to trust my livelihood to them, nor have to rely on my lack of equine skills.

My quickest solution for the cropping in the new PRT, off the top of my head is, and this is in a post-apocolyptic emergency mind you, to use sheep first up.

Yep, I'd need a huge mob of sheep in a fenced area. Their poo to act as fertiliser. Graze everything bare by way of soil preparation. Wait for rain.

Remove sheep and with dogs drive a herd of cattle around the bare wet ground to make muddy clomps.

Remove cattle, make a simple seed broadcaster, walk and distribute oats by hand at say 100kg per hectare or 100lbs per acre if you prefer. After seed is cast, hook up a bar with light harrow scarifiers behind a horse or two to cover the seed. Wait.

Shoot birds attracted to any uncovered oats and eat them.

Hope for rain.

Alternatively, millet might work although this year my crop of that failed so don't listen to me.

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savo mutters...

Posted January 22, 2009
Lord Bedek, is this all off the top of your head or are you the agricultural equivalent of Brigadier Barnes?

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Bedes puts forth...

Posted January 22, 2009
Savo, it's off the top of my head but I suspect it might work.

Plenty of farmers, good ones and shit ones, use sheep to clear paddocks of weeds before sowing so the above's an extreme example of that I s'pose.

I was just thinking that another way to cover the seed might be to employ a herd of cattle running over it all again to trample it in when it's wet.

"Ah, but they'd eat the oats!" I hear a sensible voice suggest.

Well, given that these are desperate times, and let's say my lack of equine skills has seen my horse and harrow set-up skip over the horizon, the solution to the problem is a simple one.

Get your herd in the yards.

Place an empty 20kg seed bag over the muzzle of each animal in the herd, secured with baling twine.

Run them around the paddocks till the seeds are covered.

Return herd to yards, remove bags, send back out to their paddocks.

BarnesM with a pitchfork? Dunno. But if the great man was here he'd probaby suggest it's almost time for a Zombie Burger

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DrYobbo has opinions thus...

Posted January 22, 2009
McKinney, if you ever get over to NZ, try some decent Bambi. Wild stuff is gamey as hell (some like it that way, usually hairy men who live in bracken huts on hillsides) but the farmed stuff is fairly spesh.

Or we could spot you some roo. I think we have a couple million spare out the back of Boggabri. Big advantage of roo is that it seems to take two fifths of arse all to look after them, they weather drought etc particularly well. Fencing situation would be even more ugly though, as Bedes wisely foreshadows. Would advise bolting very large roo bars to the Dodge Ram for after-dark sorties. Horse-drawn or otherwise.

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thelonesailor ducks in to say...

Posted January 22, 2009
I live in west texas, and it is really the only area that comes to my mind when texas farming is mentioned. actually, the panhandle. east texas is now very ...built up. The only real farming that I remember reading about in the area was during the early history of Stephen F. Austin's settlement, and then it was mostly subsistance. East Texas is has hills...which can be very annoying for farmers unless they have the super deluxe ATV tractor. In the panhandle no trees even grew naturally,they were imports. East Texas could spport most crops, but you would hsve to clear the land. west Texas is flat, and cotton, corn, and watermelons are grown a lot here. Since the 70's there have been winerys popping up due to some study that was done about the climate. The east is mostly cattle and large magical places called cities.

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NBlob reckons...

Posted January 22, 2009
Damian - it will be subsistance if the wheels fall off. Given low start up population, likelihood of long tern "high end culture" is grim. Right down to basic governance, I think land titles & surveying will be small beans priority wise in 1 or maybe 2 generations. Remember the title - After America.

Baling Twine Definition. Nylon string universaly in 1.6m length - primary use holding bales of hay / oats ect together. 2ndry use..... somewhat like duct / gaff tape - a million uses & counting.

Fuel resources have a fixed lifespan. After 12 months unleaded is unreliable at best due to evaporation / oxidation of key volatiles. I believe Diesel has a slightly longer shelf life. Either way unless oil to fuel infrastructure restarted, CONUS is dependent on import - for which you need real cash $.

On a slightly global perspective - could the oil trade survive the loss of the top 100 supplier companies? Right down to the component pumps valves & piping suppliers?

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damian puts forth...

Posted January 22, 2009
Supply of nylon string after stockpiles are used would be iffy. Likewise all plastics and agrichemicals, without oil and the associated industrial infrastructure.

Even a small hemp crop would answer the string issue though. Not to mention make for amusing plot developments in the hands of the author of Felafel.

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mckinneytexas puts forth...

Posted January 23, 2009
Dr Y, i do plan to get to your neck of the woods. I am thinking Feb of '10 but more likely '11. I will definitely partake of the local cuisine. We have imported deer here, Axis mainly, that aren't so bad, but it's hardly a hunt--drive out, find the animal, kill it, clean it and have someone process it. I prefer bison for low fat meat. Or a filet.

Sailor--all of the farming i've seen in west texas is irrigation dependent, whether around Lubbock, Amarillo, Childress. I've seen no farming to speak of west of Del Rio on out to El Paso. East Texas, as in Piney Woods East Texas is almost uniformly red clay soil, not loamy stuff to produces good yields. Some cattle, horses, gardens, etc. Coastal and slightly inland is the best choice.

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Got my advance US copies.

Posted January 16, 2009 by John Birmingham
A courier arrived with a parcel from NYC, which I sort of ignored for a days while I was sick. But I finally opened it up to find a couple of copies of WW, as expected, but in hardback form, which was totally unexpected. I had no idea it was coming out in that format.

Anyway, it looks much better than I'd been hoping for. Like Rhino I was a bit perplexed at the cover art initially, since it seemed to give no indication of the content beyond a vague promise of explodey goodness.

But it's weird. You wrap that cover around 600 hard back pages and it suddenly looks quite awesome.

Anyway, back to work.

63 Responses to ‘Got my advance US copies.’

Murphy is gonna tell you...

Posted January 16, 2009
I'm looking forward to bringing signed copies home from NYC for myself and my friends. I've got people lined up to read the novel.

Glad you are feeling better, John.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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BrianC ducks in to say...

Posted January 16, 2009
Speaking of Rhino when is that horned holligan going to get another blog up and running? ey?

Im talking to you, you grey skinned scalliwag.

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Therbs swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 16, 2009
Hardback sounds as though they're expecting big things. A step up.

BrianC - check out Rhino's new blog - rhinorog.blogspot.com

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Guru Bob mutters...

Posted January 16, 2009
Rhino hunting on my blog came up with the goods...

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Bangar reckons...

Posted January 16, 2009
BrianC, check the links to the left, it's good to be the Rhino.

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Barnesm swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 16, 2009
Just hopped over to Amazon in prep for lodging my review, and read some of the editorial reviews.

James Rollins is certainly warm for your form.

Still with the new year it is timely to remind folk of the Three Laws of Zombies behaviour as recorded by Daryl Gregory Author of 'Pandemonium'

1. A zombie must not stop hunting and eating human beings, or through inaction, allow a human being to go uneaten.

2. A zombie must disobey all orders given to it by human beings, except when the order is to eat human beings.

3. Braiiins!

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Luke mumbles...

Posted January 16, 2009
Does hardback vs paperback affect sales? I prefer paperback. I find hardcover is more a put on the desk and read as opposed to carry in hand and read.

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Big Bad Al reckons...

Posted January 16, 2009
Rhino has found his new stamping grounds.

His game reserve is at http://rhinorog.blogspot.com/

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savo mutters...

Posted January 16, 2009
The hard back guarantees at least a couple of print runs.

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DrYobbo mumbles...

Posted January 16, 2009
Normally I'd guess hardcover wouldn't sell as well as the inevitable softie followup because of the obvious cumbersomeness of it - takes up too much space in your hand luggage for flying with it, too bulky to take down to the beach, too difficult for puny geeks to hold upright for the lengths of time required to finish the thing off.) But given it's 600+ pages anyway it hardly matters, the softie version is still big enough to be used in lieu of a phone book by the NSW fuzzy muff. Hardcover looks better on the shelf and doesn't age as dramatically with heavy reading I guess but would leave more bruising.) Staring at the stack of monolithic textbooks above my work colleague's desk (comparing the disintegrating softies with the still-hanging-in-there hardbacks) it makes sense to given really big f--- off books a spine to hold them together. Unless you want the thing to split into an unintended trilogy before its time.

Any links to the new cover art to compare with the orig? (Which seemed fairly appropriate I'd have said)

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savo mumbles...

Posted January 16, 2009
O/T

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,24920345-1702,00.html

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,,24785577-1702,00.html

hasn't happened in 40 years.

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DrYobbo has opinions thus...

Posted January 16, 2009
'Course I could just google it and not be such a lazy smegger

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/images/0345502892/sr=1-1/qid=1232068563/ref=dp_image_0?ie=UTF8&n=283155&s=books&qid=1232068563&sr=1-1

I guess the plane motif is to fit in with the O/S covers of AOT?

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damian reckons...

Posted January 16, 2009
I like a softback when I can stash it in the pocket of cargo pants, for reading during odd, otherwise wasted time. If the book is big enough that this isn't possible, then a hardback will do just as well and as the doc mentions, lasts longer. I find I prefer to remove the dust jacket for reading - my reading habits seem to preserve paperbacks well enough, but destroy dust jackets on hardbacks with ruthless efficiency. I guess there's always the temptation to use it for a bookmark, which hastens the process.

Other than non-pocketability, the only downside to hardbacks from my point of view is the price.

These days, incidentally, I carry a couple of dozen titles off of Project Gutenberg in my phone, as reading matter for unexpected downtimes. Getting new edition/commercial books in an unencumbered format would be a real boon to me... I so far have not deigned to dabble with DRM-crippled ebooks.

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Orin mumbles...

Posted January 16, 2009
Why does a hard back guarantee a couple of print runs? Or is this something all hardbacks do? (not that it won't sell awesomely, I'm just curious about this statement)

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damian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 16, 2009
Orin: because there will be a paperback release subsequent to the hardcover one

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Rhino reckons...

Posted January 16, 2009
Sweet. I've had a couple of people to whom I've pre-pimped it go to Amazon and look at the cover and say that it doesn't evoke the story that I told them about. Oh well. Guess that's why I'm a Rhino in Atlanta and not a marketing guy in NYC.

IMHO being hard cover means that the publisher expects sales to be strong and it is a mark of 'prestige'. I like hard covers as they look nicer on the shelves of my library and I buy them at 30% to 40% off when they are first released. I also like to scour the clearance racks for recent bestsellers as well ... picked up Weber's hard covers of Armageddon Reef for $5.96 and By Schism Rent Asunder for 50% off that way.

My only fear is that the Amazon comments will be overtaken by a deluge of love for The Rhino and the pure literary praise will be lost in the noise.

Oh, and thanks to Guru Bob for the rockin' new icon I'm sportin'

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Rhino puts forth...

Posted January 16, 2009
An icon that you can't see here. Damn. LOL

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damian puts forth...

Posted January 16, 2009
The question piqued my curiosity about the pros and cons, also. Here's a pretty good discussion:

http://nathanbransford.blogspot.com/2008/10/hardcover-vs-paperback-debuts.html

A hardcover release also suggests the author has "made it", especially in genre fiction, because it indicates the publisher thinks the author is well known enough to sell reasonably in that format, and not queer the push for paperback sales later.

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damian has opinions thus...

Posted January 16, 2009
Yo Rhino:

http://en.gravatar.com/

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Orin would have you know...

Posted January 16, 2009
I can stash it in the pocket of cargo pants

Only if they are MC Hammer cargo pants.

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savo has opinions thus...

Posted January 16, 2009
My thinking is what Damien said AND

Amazon.com Sales Rank: #18,363

and not a book sold yet. Way to go!

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Timbook2 mumbles...

Posted January 16, 2009
I've had my copy of WW pre-ordered for months now and I'm really looking forward to a fantastic read.

It won't be quite the same though since I seem to be off the friends and favs list of certain folks these days.

Oh well, I guess whipped, kept, man-house-mommies can't expect much respect.

I'll still buy the books and read them though.

Best to all.

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MickH mumbles...

Posted January 16, 2009
Found in the "About the Author" section in Amazon

"...He lives at the beach with his wife, daughter, son, and two cats. "

WTF!

ROFL. Close enough I suppose but where's the dog?

:-)

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John Birmingham reckons...

Posted January 16, 2009
Ah, an old bio from my Bondi days.

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damian would have you know...

Posted January 16, 2009
Closest beach now is the one at Southbank, right?

For some values of "beach", of course.

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DrYobbo is gonna tell you...

Posted January 16, 2009
Ahh, Breaka Beach. Even Chandler Aquatic centre gets more swell. And smells less stridently of wee.

The plane is a bit misleading (a F16? Used to be able to pick 'em but my planespotter days are long gone) - can only think of one incident in WW which makes a feature of one, and it ain't over continental US. Or at least if it was it'd be a bit of a smear somewhere across the Midwest shortly after commencement of action.

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Sparty would have you know...

Posted January 16, 2009
"but in hardback form, which was totally unexpected"

scary how authors are kept in the loop

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Rhino mumbles...

Posted January 17, 2009
@Damian ... Thanks Dude.

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gtrof mutters...

Posted January 19, 2009
I much prefer hardcover. Paperbacks tend to degrade after a couple of years. Plus love that thick cover and dust cover.

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dm60462 swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted January 21, 2009
Just finnished WW. REALLY confused about something. If fallout cloud tracked N of HI, as mentioned, why would the state be out of coffee so fast? It was possibly the first mention of "none to be found anythere" in the book. The big island is rife with coffee farms. Other than that, lots of fun. Especially laughed at the Aussie expressions coming out of American's mouths! :)

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BiggyRat ducks in to say...

Posted January 21, 2009
Great Read! Thanks JB! I was disappointed that you were straying from the Axis of Evil series, but damn. it was worth it.

Okay, when's the sequel???

;0)

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BiggyRat reckons...

Posted January 22, 2009
DOH! Axis of Time of course...(what an idiot!)

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Norm ducks in to say...

Posted February 25, 2009
Love the book but wonder why no side story about Puerto Rico, large National Guard of both

army and air forces would have been a much better place to gather the remains of what was left in the Caribbean as opposed to Cuba (Guantanamo).

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Johntae would have you know...

Posted February 25, 2009
Good read, it's a fun story. Hopefully you'll have more feedback on back story going forward. It's understandable that most people don't realize how massive and massively far flung US military assets actually are. Especially at the point before the Iraq war. The reserve Divisions were activated and sent to Iraq so the forward based regular forces could remain at their prewar posts. Many Air and Army National guard units were federalized and shipped over seas to provide support as well.

I was curious why the US would abandon the Atlantic when the Med Fleet and it's Carrier group could easily maintain control of the south Atlantic by basing out of Belize, Honduras, Panama or share resources with the Sub fleet in Scotland, especially considering the US wouldn't give a dam about Europe's problems. What about the US Troops in Haiti? You could transfer the European command assets to the Central American bases. A couple regiments and a couple of squadrons of fighters and choppers would make them the most powerful combat force in the south Atlantic. Sorry if I'm rambling.

Great story telling though, I know you wanted to get the books out and paid before the world economy completely tanked.

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