Cheeseburger Gothic

The Last Burger… until the next one

Posted Saturday by John Birmingham

So, I have been quiet, but I’ve been busy. Partly writing books and a new subscription column to make up for a pretty dire collapse in my other income. Thanks Rona! But also, partly building a new blog, or rather a new version of The Burger.

I was having real trouble finding the time to post here because I was so busy everywhere else. It was really getting me down.

I’d also been struggling with what to do about my mailing list/bookclub.

And then I thought.

So, sometime in the next few days, as soon as I get the redirect working at my domain name registry, this site, the old Burger, will pass you through to my shiny new site, the… er… new Burger

I’m moving it over to Substack, which I’ve found very easy to use for the Sideboob column, and where any technical issues are their's to worry about, not mine. Unlike AlienSideBob, of course, the Burger will be entirely free.

I’m planning on doing one long bit every week, mostly about stuff I like. Occasionally about stuff I’m releasing. The model I’m following is Warren Ellis’s excellent Orbital Operations newsletter. But the Burger will remain a blog, so I will post a couple of non-email entries a couple of times a week.

It should clean up a few problems here, such as lost comments and login gremlins, and photo management. The last one only affects me, but the first two have been bugging plenty of you for a while now.

I did give serious thought to just ditching the Burger, but I do like having a private club where I can retreat from the supermassive shitshow that the rest of the web has become.

And so, on we go.

12 Responses to ‘The Last Burger… until the next one’

Halwes is gonna tell you...

Posted Saturday
Yo Manymuk djama. Nama yalala. Wurrpuday

Respond to this comment

jl mumbles...

Posted Sunday
In whatever form, I will continue to monitor the 'Burger. I think it helps establish your unique voice and brand.

Respond to this comment

Barnesm reckons...

Posted Sunday
I thought it had been fairly quiet around here, but the hammering you have been delivering from Alien Side Boob to the unrighteous has more than compensated. I look forward to seeing the new incarnation of the burger.

Respond to this comment

Halwes mumbles...

Posted Sunday
Can you put the link to ASB pay subscription here please or resend the email.? I couldn't get to the buy a subscription page from the last email.
Thanks

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted Monday
It should just be at https://aliensideboob.substack.com

Respond to this thread

Matthew F. would have you know...

Posted Sunday
Burgerbital Operations.
Looking forward to seeing what you've got for us.

Respond to this comment

Thalesian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted Monday
Well I, for one, look forward to reading the material written by our new AlienSideBoob overlord.

Thanks for all the fish, Birmo.

(and yes... I'm aware that I'm mixing metaphors terribly...)

Respond to this comment

Bondiboy66 mumbles...

Posted Monday
Glad to see the Burger continuing - it would be a sad day should it evaporate into the electronic ether

Respond to this comment

she_jedi reckons...

Posted Tuesday
A 'new and improved' Burger? Sign me up! :)

Respond to this comment

FormerlyKnownAsSimon has opinions thus...

Posted Wednesday
i'm in. I've been coming along for the ride for long enough now : ) Plus i get some good tidbits on things to look at/consume on here from like minded people from different walks of life. So many books/tv/food/articles etc

Respond to this comment

insomniac asserts...

Posted Wednesday
Will we have to sign up again? Not that it's an issue

Respond to this comment

Therbs mumbles...

Posted 8 hours ago
But where is SJS? I reckon Havoc orchestrated the demise of Journalspace in the peak of their battle then continued to trick media transmission modality to eliminate his nemesis without due regard to Burgerism, Basically it's all down to Havsy's Fkn CAP FKN Muppets SHENanIFKNgans.

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'The Last Burger… until the next one'

A world we could travel

Posted April 14 by John Birmingham

This is my current lock screen, a scene from a bar we came to love to in Paris while there recently. Somebody on Twitter sent me a heads up on this place and I really should look them up and thank them for the pick. I think I fetched up at this joint on the edge of the Marais at least once a day (and a couple of times more than once).

It had everything you'd want in a Paris wine bar. Nice food. Great plonk. A surprising amount of space inside because the locals are smokers and have to take their coffin nails outside. It's a live photo, so all I need do to take myself back there is press a thumb into the image. Suddenly glasses clink, laughter rolls out, music swells in the background as people enjoy themsevles.
I keep this shot on my lock screen because it reminds me there was a world we could travel through, and it was worth the time and money to do so.

20 Responses to ‘A world we could travel’

Murphy_of_Missouri asserts...

Posted April 15
Glad we got to NYC right before all of this crap started.

Strange to see those busy streets we traveled so desolate now.

Respond to this comment

Dave W mutters...

Posted April 16
If...If humanity comes out the other side of this...then I wonder what happens to travel and even the bigger picture of the "international human".

I don't see myself as particularly Australian. I carry two passports and have lived for a time in the UK. Mrs W and I like to travel, like to be in strange parts of the world and see different things. I find most difficult to imagine never being able to do those things, to be 'stuck' here in Oz (granted there are worse places to be stuck).

Sure, I was probably easily identified as a gape-jawed tourist, but I love nothing more than local food in local places, sitting with the locals and watching their world go by: roti canai in a market cafe in Borneo, a curry bunny in Durban, fresh fish cooked on a fire in Carnarvon WA, or a beer in a sidewalk bar in Vienna, Saigon, Phnom Penh, Prague or a million places in England. Will we get to do this again?

Respond to this comment

Dirk swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 16
Dave,

A simple answer to your question: Yes. And we will get through this. Only question we can't answer is when and at what price.
If we take the Spanish Flu https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_flu as a blueprint (which is the only data we can probably compare this with), we can expect to see direct effects of the virus for around 24 months from the start of the pandemic. So that would make it around December 2021.

The increase in worldtravel and the measures taken however can influence this time scale. Cost in the short run for international airtravel will be higher. A number of airlines will fold or merge with others, so competition will decrease. On the other hand this shakeup will lead to the early retirement of older and more expensive to operate families of aircraft (think 757/767, A340, older 737) or conversion to cargo birds (747, A380).

Respond to this comment

Dave W mumbles...

Posted April 17
Yep, and I think it's the latter that could cause more concern. I'd love to be travelling in the pointy end of the plane, but that's not really a possibility. The hypothetical is really around what happens to the travel industry in the medium term? Short-term is obviously this shut-down.

Medium term is it a whole bunch of consolidation or business failures?

Do the major travel hubs eg Singapore, Dubai and Heathrow suddenly need a health screening mechanism that smashes the logistics of international flights? Obviously we deal with the added time of security screenings, but would this be different/more?

And that's just thinking about the travel side of the equation. Will we have jobs, money, freedom of movement?

she_jedi mutters...

Posted April 17
That's an interesting question; the health monitoring requirements might smash the ridiculous security theatre that's underway at the moment, and result in a more efficient security and health screening process in the long term

Dirk ducks in to say...

Posted April 17
There could be a very simple answer for that one. If a person that has had the virus and can't spread it anymore (and that is an answer science will have to provide if that is the case), it would be on option that those people could travel. That includes those that will be vaccinated in due course.
It could be monitored with apps, or a declaration in your passport. The security bit will stay however.

If we have jobs and money is another question. I can see an influx into previously undesirable jobs. Healthcare, education, infrastructure, science. All depends on what we as citizens of planet earth decide on out exit strategy. Do we keep the old neo conservative elites in power, or do we go to a more social liberal and accountable stream in politics.

Do we set up "a Marshall plan 2.0" to fix problems with our infrastructure. An infrastructure that includes fiberoptic nets that are open to competition, produce energy without pollution and store it in a clean and efficient way? Do our societies have to become more self reliant in foodproduction and in medical supplies?

Respond to this thread

andrew is gonna tell you...

Posted April 18
I don't want to be a downer, but there's a great article on the ABC yesterday pointing out that there has never been a successful vaccine made against a corona virus, and many have been tried.

So the only real way out is eradication, as has been managed for the ebola outbreak in Congo and surrounds.

Still not impossible, but not what most of the world's leaders are shooting for. NZ, South Korea, China seem to have the necessary clue. The complex systems guys (Nassim Taleb, Yaneer Bar-Yam et al) explain why modern travel patterns make most of the historical epidemiological models flawed at best. (endcoronavirus dot org).

There's not much that past pandemics can really teach us, because it isn't behaving like past viruses. It's new. It has easy transmission from symptom-free carriers. We still have no idea why some people who get it scrape by unscathed while others suffer permanent respiratory capacity loss and others die alone, suffocating. So you don't want to get it. I don't.

Testing and contact tracing on top of isolation is probably the only way out, but who's going to trust the government contact-tracing app after they comprehensively broke every assurance they made about what use could be made of the metadata storage system? I probably will, but that's because I want it to work more than I trust the government with the data...

Respond to this comment

andrew is gonna tell you...

Posted April 18
That is a great lock screen though. Missing travel is really going to be a thing, I think. Even when our country, and perhaps the ones we're interested to visit, have the virus under control, internally, there will be others that don't. So international travel is very likely to involve weeks of quarantine isolation in both directions (never mind the danger of being in a sealed tube full of strangers). Makes a holiday get-away a non starter. Probably for years.

Respond to this comment

jl ducks in to say...

Posted April 19
This is a seriously depressing thread for me for a lot of reasons.

she_jedi mumbles...

Posted April 19
I feel you buddy :(

Dave W mumbles...

Posted April 20
Yeah, I know, I didn't mean for it to be a downer.

jl reckons...

Posted April 22
Its the circumstances. Not good.

Respond to this thread

Halwes is gonna tell you...

Posted May 14
I really hope that everyone is healthy and working.

Dave W mumbles...

Posted May 15
Doing alright here. Work and health both working healthily. Hope all the 'burgers are doing ok too.

FormerlyKnownAsSimon has opinions thus...

Posted May 18
Still working but only just - the axe is falling. Not sure if we will survive it or not (in education). The university sector as a whole is in a dire situation. Otherwise healthy - maybe a bit fatter due to iso wfh and supervising kids. I seem to be doing more work online and then helping kids with school work the house gets messier and time is just as elusive.

Respond to this thread

WA n'ker mumbles...

Posted May 22
Just jumping on here to say: where is Birmo?
And... is anyone else hanging out for the new Dune adaptation?

Halwes mumbles...

Posted May 23
I heard that JB had been arrested in Hong Kong for subversisive behaviour and sedition. Apparently the AFP turned up at 0200 and whisked him off to Canberra for an intense waterboarding followed by a midnight Hercules flight to honkers. Well he did say that he wanted to get back to travelling.

she_jedi ducks in to say...

Posted May 25
I'm definitely looking forward to the new Dune adaption, and also to the new adaption of The Stand. Here's hoping JB gets out of detention in time to see them.

Dave W puts forth...

Posted May 25
Over here near Canberra airport, I can say that the early morning landing woke me up. I clearly saw JB in an orange onesie, manacled and hooded.

Also, each of the AFP goons was taking it in turns to read passages from the collected works of Mario Vargas Llosa, as a prelude to the water treatment. Hard to know which would be worse.

Respond to this thread

WA n'ker reckons...

Posted May 26
I wonder how they are gonna have the ornithopter looking?
A la "Avatar" perhaps?

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'A world we could travel'

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

Posted April 13 by John Birmingham

Big surprise, but I’ve been eating out in cafes and restaurants a lot of less recently. Well, okay, not at all. But I’ve been spending a lot more money at one of my local haunts than I ever did before the plague.

There’s a place down the hill from us which used to be a French Twist franchise but the owners struck out on their own and now it’s called Fiddeleaf. (I think that’s some kind of tree reference).

We used to stop in on Saturday mornings while walking the dog. I’d grab a coffee and something light to eat. Very light, because I had jujitsu a couple of hours later. I’m now dropping way more money there every week because they’ve set the kitchen to producing take-away-friendly boxed meals. Pies, lasagne, moussaka and so on. We suggested they try some gnocchi bakes and spanakopita - which they did, along with enchiladas and stuff that can be easily carried way and reheated at leisure.

Apparently it’s going well for them.

I was thinking this morning as I walked the dog and grabbed my coffee, that the smaller, simpler food places in the burbs are the ones best suited to adaptation. Their business was never about plating up beautifully realised objet d’art. They just fed people.

The sort of restaurants I loved to eat, the fussy, obsessive providers of food as drama, have a bigger gear change to negotiate. They have to pivot from creating these delicate, intricate works of culinary magic, to boxing up a couple of kilograms worth of carbs and protein in a fridge-friendly manner.

I hope they can do it, because I love those places and I want them to be there when this is all over.

But it’s a hard ask.

It makes me wonder how many other changes are working their through the world, unseen. Will anyone who’s had the experience of exercising at home but with real focus, be all that willing to stump up for gym membership in a couple of months? I’m keen to get back to my trainer, but my membership at Goodlife? Meh, not so much.

Maybe home fitness becomes a much bigger thing. Maybe home cooking too.

Maybe not.

I think telepresence is here to stay. Not just videoconferencing for work, but for catching up with friends at a distance. Interstate, internationally, whatever. Perhaps that in turn has effects on the broadband internet market. And on laptop cameras, which are all garbage because the cult of thinness doesn’t allow for big chunky lenses.

Does Face ID fade away in a world where everyone has to wear a mask for two years? What happens to OPEC when the west stops driving to work?

In my own dodge, do people buy more ebooks, or audio, or simply hook Netflix up to their cortex. I’d guess the latter, but all of the steamers will run out of new content within a couple of months… and nobody is currently making anymore.

On a personal note I got a call today saying all Nine/Fairfax contributors were being cut, at least for now, so there’s no more Blunty to write. No idea whether it will ever come back, but I assume not. I reckon that will be my last news column for anyone.

But obviously not the last thing I write for money.

So I’d better get back to it.

32 Responses to ‘Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes’

Abe Frellman reckons...

Posted April 13
I’m taking much joy in preparing food for the family, planning what meals I can build and then rework from leftovers, what ingredients I can get delivered, and what will require an early morning lighting raid on one of the Big Two before work. I’ve found a local deli that is expanding its grocery and veg lines so I’ve been supporting that, even though it sometimes sees me pay overs. (What is it about broccoli at the moment?)

I’ve also found that I’m spending my readies on mail order a little more deliberately - buying beer and other stuff from my favourite craft breweries and distilleries. It’s not like there won’t be someone home to take delivery 24/7.

I’ve also taken to buying gift vouchers from the local businesses I want to see though this. It’s my way of saying I am happy to stand next to you (well 1.5 metres away) knowing that I’ll be an unsecured creditor if the worst happens.

I find that helping others and providing for my family are things I can tap into on the hardest days at work...and there have been more of those this time around than in the depths of the GFC.

Maybe I’m just less oblivious this time around. Or maybe it’s because I see us buying more toxic stuff this time around. It’s pretty fucked. The Federal Reserve seems to be hell bent on buying everything that isn’t screwed down so I’m not sure how this plays out. If Bernie Sanders hadn’t have capitulated recently I would have guessed he’d be a chance to get in and try out Modern Monetary Theory (helicopter money funded by Treasury bonds that get bought by the Fed and then cancelled/forgiven).

Didn’t work in the Weimar Republic but who knows.

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted April 13
Yeah, been meaning to do some vouchers , but with no more column money coming in, I’ll probably be economising until i can spin up some new ebook income.

Halwes puts forth...

Posted April 14
Maybe revive the subscription thing but just make it once a week.? This would save you having to come up with something to a deadline. I got some of the best laughs and clarity on issues ever out of those articles. Maybe include limited access to some of your other content as a sweetener?

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted April 14
It's an idea I've been toying with, but those columns were very time intensive. Still, I may yet have to go back there.

she_jedi reckons...

Posted April 14
I'd happily pay for a Blunty level of column each week if that helps? :)

Abe Frellman puts forth...

Posted April 18
JB: “...but those columns were very time intensive.”

Time to get an apprentice or two, JB. Pay them 50 cents a word, edit their copy yourself and then churn out a Sideboob article every day... then increase the sub from $50 per annum to $5/week.

Sell cameo roles to narcissistic despicable Republicans like Boylan and maybe do the odd product placement for Ansell condoms or Judo Bank loans.

Surely your time in the Nine Deathstar rubbed off a little?

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted April 19
These are all excellent ideas, would you like a million dollar consultancy fee?

Abe Frellman has opinions thus...

Posted April 19
To be honest I’d love one. But I’d settle for a top-up for whatever Alan Jones convinces the Government I no longer deserve to be paid.

Actually I’d do it for the opportunity to write a column or two (gratis) when the time is right.

Respond to this thread

insomniac asserts...

Posted April 13
We're going down the route of supporting local small businesses as much as possible, so butchers mainly for now but we mean to expand that to restaurants too, although we are eating much more at home, and healthier too, so the kilos are beginning to drop off. I might need a weight sustaining pizza from time to time if this trend continues.

The big two are going to survive this no matter what, so I want the best of what we have around here to be there too once this is closer to normal again.

In the IP field the US had a big rise in abandoned patent applications, curiously in late 2019 to early Feb, well before the world turned to custard, and many more than were experienced during the GFC, so I need to keep an eye out for something similar here. It's not apparent yet, but if it does happen it means less cash picked up at later stages in a patent's lifecycle, so belts will have to tighten and peeps will lose their jobs, probably well after the peak of this pandemic.

Respond to this comment

Halwes ducks in to say...

Posted April 13
I've been wondering how many people will go back to poker machines. I suppose that some people went straight on line to punt however it is much easier to lose money online because the venue never shuts down. A mate said that they would be back as soon as the pubs reopen but I think a lot of them would have gone broke online long before that and may not have the finances to return to pub punting.
I'm also wondering what effect this will have on babies. Babies wont be cuddled by as many relatives and people who just love babies as much. The parents will still cuddle them for sure but I wonder what the cuddle / contact deficit will do to their development.

she_jedi asserts...

Posted April 13
Gosh your question about babies is really thought provoking.

I'm sure I read somewhere that online gambling has skyrocketed since the pandemic hit. Afterwards, if they still have money to gamble will they find the hit of gambling in a pub or a casino as thrilling as the hit they've been getting online? Or will they stick with the convenience and endorphin rush of gambling online instead?

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted April 13
I’ve been wondering how the junkies will score.

Halwes asserts...

Posted April 14
Your time on the streets in Sydney, some of the most intelligent journalism I've ever read on the subject by the way, would tell you that they'll still do OK. I wonder how the sex workers will ply their trade since the two are inextricably linked.

Halwes puts forth...

Posted April 14
Good article on drug supply in the SMH this morning. I would pay to get access to some of the penthouse articles that you wrote way back then. Maybe some re releases of some of the old stuff. I would certainly pay for access to that. Some people may not have read Leviathan because it's huge but within those pages for example were some of the most interesting Australian history facts imaginable. The terrific research that you did must have been punishing so re releasing some of it in a pay format may be cost and time effective. An exploration of your extensive back catalogue delivered to a new generation of readers would have the same impact that it had on me. It's all still quality, unbiased and fearless Australian writing that loses nothing with age.

she_jedi ducks in to say...

Posted April 14
Leviathan was a staggering piece of history, I've never looked at Sydney the same way ever again

Respond to this thread

Barnesm ducks in to say...

Posted April 14
yeah, certainly working from home for a 1/3 of the workforce is here to stay after the ...have we decided what we are going to collectively call this after it's over?

Halwes has opinions thus...

Posted April 14
The Glen 20 20"s?

Respond to this thread

Barnesm asserts...

Posted April 14
Or after this, does the world change like in the prime world in J.K Simmons series Counterpart?

she_jedi puts forth...

Posted April 14
Oh yeah! That concept is quite chilling now in hindsight

Respond to this thread

Brother PorkChop is gonna tell you...

Posted April 14
Said it last week I think but I am so frickin' over this WFH shite. I am tired of nonsense calls and conference calls, and well sick and tired of having to cook every night. In saying that I made the most delightful beef koftas and flatbreads Saturday night - new family favourite.
I have supported local businesses a bit more like the local craft mob and coffee roasters. I always buy meat from a butcher anyways and I have been making more bread, from scratch.
After this is over I am looking forward to getting on the train and going to the office. Maybe a visit to the gym. Lunch out somewhere. The gummint must be shitting themselves with the lack of revenue from gambling and the like but overall it's a good thing. And who'd a thunk that petrol would be 97 cents a litre but nowhere to go using it. I wish I could pre-pay at today's prices for future fills.
Back to work FFS. Sprint reviews this time. At least they're only every fortnight.

Respond to this comment

FormerlyKnownAsSimon is gonna tell you...

Posted April 14
I've mentioned we live rural before - so I always did a lot of home cooking - takeaway gets messy in the car. Kids after school activities which required one or both of us to stay in town after school/work meant we'd do takeaway like burgers or grilled fish maybe once a week/fortnight - so that has stopped. I got a text message from our favourite chinese restaurant saying they were closing down. We tried to get in there more often than usual to show support when the derps stopped going to Chinese restaurants because they might catch the "chinese virus". I miss our salt and pepper pork from there. Not exactly a chinese dish, but that stuff was like crack. Think popcorn chicken but pork, cooked in a nice salty/chilli seasoning. Oh god. Drooling now.
I always did a bit of work from home as well - staring at the same walls is getting to me a bit. I can get outside but winter will kick in soon - that means cold wind/rain and possible snow. I'm getting a few extra chores done in the normal commute time. Got more loganberry shoots stuck in some pots this morning so that will be good. Eating more from the veg patch but i miss the local markets. They'll be there when this gets going again - all the "mom&pop" producers will be back. We are probably putting on weight more than losing it. Kids do less because of devices and we've had to put in some rules like 30-60mins outside and one doco on tv before putting a device in front of your head.

FormerlyKnownAsSimon is gonna tell you...

Posted April 14
As an aside - i probably get more books done now than ever. Still read the physical form but i can listen to an audio book while doing chores. I was able to get the tripod out and sit for an hour or so to get a few bird shots on the weekend. Stuck a book in one ear to listen to a story, while the other ear was tuned into my surroundings listening for possible bird opportunities.

Halwes mutters...

Posted April 15
Sounds peaceful. What are you reading/ listening to? There was a question in Think Tank about early political parties in Aus that I knew. The only place I'd ever heard the answer was in Leviathan so I'm thumbing through it to try and find the page. I've finished Fascism by Madeline Allbright ( outstanding ! ) and am 50 pages from finishing Life Ascending by The ten great inventions of evolution Nick Lane. It's way above my intellect but the bits that I can understand are mind boggling. Still working because we're in an essential industry and bloody grateful as so many of my fellow Australians are unemployed. Still have the same lockdowns as everyone else when not working though. Trying hard to spread some cash to local businesses, buying music on line through grass roots distributors and supporting refugee organisations. I'd hate to be stuck on Manaus or Nauru or anywhere in PNG for that matter.

FormerlyKnownAsSimon asserts...

Posted April 15
Nothing too taxing. For some reason i'm in a fantasy rut. I'm physically reading the third book in the Mistborn series but really struggling with the whole series and still considering dropping it. Sandersons Stormlight ones were much better. And listening is three books at once! Which is crazy - i've always been a sequential book reader. The second book of the Witcher i can only listen to when the wife is around (due to the adult concepts - kids aren't into it). Can only listen to the second book of Monster Blood Tattoo by D M Cornish when the whole family is around (which i thoroughly recommend to adults and kids alike. Those books are great. Excellent world building and character development). And i'm on the second book of Robin Hobbs Assassin series because no-one wants to listen to that except me.

she_jedi has opinions thus...

Posted April 15
How old are the kids? My BFF's kids are devouring books at the moment and Monster Blood Tattoo sounds like a winner. The BFF kids are 12 and 15 :)

FormerlyKnownAsSimon puts forth...

Posted April 16
Pretty close to what mine are, 11 and 14. The Blood Tattoo ones get very graphic in the fight scenes with monsters but there is a reason for it. Those ages are totally fine though. Australian author too. They devour all the Rick Riordan stuff of course. Its a bit of fluff like old westerns churned out at a rate of knots, but okay.

she_jedi mutters...

Posted April 16
Oh nice, I know Mr15 has devoured all the Percy Jackson stuff, and Harry Potter of course, so this sounds like a good alternative. I'll run it past their mum and see what their response is!

FormerlyKnownAsSimon puts forth...

Posted April 17
when i say fluff - i meant the Percy Jackson et al ones not the Blood Tattoos.

she_jedi reckons...

Posted April 17
Yes that's how i read it :) I've run it past my BFF and she's delighted to have a new series to investigate. The kids are working through their Christmas and birthday book stashes at the moment, but she'll definitely investigate Blood Tattoo. I'm putting it on my reading list as well!

Respond to this thread

Murphy_of_Missouri would have you know...

Posted April 15
I can't swim in my tub. So yes, I plan on spending for a membership. And I like my bench press as well, something I don't currently have here in the home gym.

I find I do not care much for the current state of affairs. I don't like being stuck at home for long periods of time, the house I live in was very much a de facto prison when I was a kid growing up in it. I loathe online learning (an oxymoron if there ever was one) with a deep, wide, abiding passion.

As for places to eat, we try to support our favorites, some of which will survive without our help, some of which might not. There are too few decent places here in the Kansas City Northland to eat as it is. Some will go under.

So, I don't much care for the current state of things, even if six graduate hours in The Black Death inform me of the wisdom of them.

Still, it could be worse. At least I'm still getting paid, and most everything is paid off.

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted April 17
Yeah, that's a good place to be, Murph, compared to a lot of people.

Murphy_of_Missouri reckons...

Posted April 18
Hopefully this shit will abate in six months, because my situation will be very different by then.

Respond to this thread

Respond to 'Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes'

This is what an alien invasion will look like

Posted April 11 by John Birmingham

Beyond our comprehension.

ghostCRASH from Donato Sansone (milkyeyes) on Vimeo.

3 Responses to ‘This is what an alien invasion will look like’

Barnesm has opinions thus...

Posted April 11
I thought Wonder Woman had parked her plane carelessly.

FormerlyKnownAsSimon mutters...

Posted April 11
flying TAA? What a weird thing to remember.

Respond to this thread

she_jedi swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 11
That is weirdly creepy but fascinating all at once

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'This is what an alien invasion will look like'

Covid 19 horror story

Posted April 9 into Writing by John Birmingham

Ditzing around on the twitterz last night I came across a really cool horror story by Alan Baxter, a really cool writer of horror stories. I thought it was so good it needed to be preserved in more permanent form. Huzzah! It's now available on his blog for you to enjoy. From 1.5m away.

A Strange Thing Happened at Class Tonight.

5 Responses to ‘Covid 19 horror story’

she_jedi would have you know...

Posted April 9
This was so horrifyingly good!

Respond to this comment

Dave W ducks in to say...

Posted April 9
That has quite a bit of the King-esque short story to it.

And I mean that as a very sincere compliment.

Respond to this comment

Barnesm is gonna tell you...

Posted April 11
I knew there were security issues with Zoom but I never realized.

Respond to this comment

w from brisbane ducks in to say...

Posted April 11
https://twitter.com/unclesteveabbey/status/1248375149159518209?s=21

Respond to this comment

FormerlyKnownAsSimon would have you know...

Posted April 11
that is nice. I was a bit worried he was going to have to fight himself to get out of there. Which is a worry for me because i have impostor syndrome and the covidalt me might actually get my work place out of financial problems and leave me without a job .. . . but as long as it leaves me on my five acres i could probably handle it . . . .

Respond to this comment

Respond to 'Covid 19 horror story'

Cosy apocalypse

Posted April 1 by John Birmingham

So, how's everyone's cosy apocalypse going? I had a pretty decent day, today. Somehow managed 2K+ words on THE SHATTERED SKIES, and a bit of thinking time on a COVID19 project. (What? Too soon? Naaaaah).
I'm luckier than most people in having a super abundance of work to get on with, so I'm not going to complain about multiple deadlines. After a couple of weeks in which I really struggled to get any productive writing done, I seem to be moving on SKIES again. And in some ways the enforced slow down has worked to my advantage. It let me do some really deep architectural work on the structure of the various narrative arcs. I collapsed a couple disparate storylines into each other and amped up some of my villains.
I still need to get a fucking move on, but I'm feeling better about the whole thing. Did some good inventive swearing with Admiral McLennan too.
Had a day off exercise today, but thanks to a long, early morning dog walk I managed to make my minimal calorie burn. I was scheduled for cardio but instead ended up teaching Thomas how to hit the heavy bag without breaking his wrist. Probably a good investment of my time.
Had moussaka for dinner. It was nice.

30 Responses to ‘Cosy apocalypse ’

insomniac puts forth...

Posted April 1
I work from home a lot too so I think we're coping better than those suddenly thrust into it full time, and I now have a co-worker, so things are looking up for me, while she's the one who is struggling. Prior to that there was just a neighbourhood cat who used to visit before he moved, and a magpie who used to look in the window near my desk. "Quardle oodle ardle wardle doodle", the magpie said. Yes, I'm fine and not at all insane.

Respond to this comment

FormerlyKnownAsSimon has opinions thus...

Posted April 2
I live rural and have to gird the loins to do a shop in town tomorrow. Have no idea what it will look like, maybe a burning wreck with ravaging hordes, maybe shuffling old people blinking in the light stubbornly refusing to let go of the new public space they seem to rule before catching the virus, maybe an all female lesbian paradise (thanks to SBS for that movie in my formative years of two guys waking up in an underground bunker society full of women and running around under the threat of castration before they escape into the perfectly fine air topside with a bevvy of attractive open minded females). I work from home occasionally but not full time. Its a bit of an adjustment - the place i work for is under extreme financial stress and because i do numbers i'm under pressure. So its less: "look outside at those cute wallabies feeding on the green grass" and more "look at those effing wallabies eating the green grass in that cursed warm idyll, screw you sunlight". We are all working from the kitchen table - the kids took full advantage of not being supervised so they forced our hands and we all work together like the ultimate micro manager. Now we have to pack up each day and clear the table of work - which mentally works. Its that act of packing it away that helps delineate work/home.

WA n'ker swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 2
Name of that movie please.

FormerlyKnownAsSimon mutters...

Posted April 3
bahaha - i had to look it up, it was many moons ago. The name of it is almost a cliche . . . . . Sexmission lol. Polish movie from 1984

WA n'ker swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 3
Trooper!

Respond to this thread

Barnesm ducks in to say...

Posted April 2
" And in some ways the enforced slow down has worked to my advantage."... well good to know that a pandemic has some upside. Excited to read more in the Shattered Stars universe.

Respond to this comment

Murphy_of_Missouri swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 2
This apocalypse can suck my nuts.

I'd rather be a pile of goo.

Respond to this comment

she_jedi has opinions thus...

Posted April 2
I have to admit this working from home thing is a struggle. I work in store support for Hammberbarn, and since we're an essential service we were supposed to be alternating one week at home and one week in the office. That lasted three days and then we all got sent home indefinitely. I have to say Hammberbarn's management have been excellent, really supportive and there's been some insanely fast moving innovations they're rolling out to keep the stores open and customers and staff looked after. Be nice to your Hammerbarn staff, they're really getting smashed :(

As an introvert I foolishly assumed that I had been preparing for this isolation thing my whole life, and to an extent that's true. But the working bit has thrown a spanner in the works. If I was just forced to isolate at home and do nothing I'd be set, but it's been a struggle to find a balance between home and work at home, especially when my pets see my presence at home as either an unforgivable intrusion on their own schedules, or an opportunity for hourly food dispensing.

My 70+ year old parents have also not grasped that I'm supposed to be working; two weeks ago Dad wrote off their car (he's fine), and a control freak having to wait for insurance assessors and then insurance companies to guide his life in the short term was not pretty. At one point he was calling me four or fives times a day to either provide updates or get advice, and that's before I go through the level of hell involved in helping them buy a new car. Then this morning Dad rang me to tell me mum had had a 'fall' which gave me an instant ARGH moment. Thankfully she's fine, she tripped over a speed bump in their lifestyle village, but the last few weeks have driven home for me the sudden reality that my parents are elderly. This was a shock for me, and an even bigger shock for them, because at 75 and 77 they didn't think of themselves as elderly either!

This has been a long way of saying that working from home in a pandemic while my parents create their own brand of havoc and serving my cats' hourly needs (last night the house panther decided that 8pm was bed time, and wouldn't settle until I went into my bedroom and patted him until he fell asleep. He did not understand that it was not bedtime for ME), has played merry hell with my ability to focus and concentrate on writing requirements for a safety application for stores when my inherent penchant for procrastination is running riot.

So how's everyone else's apocalypse going?

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted April 2
I had to try explain to my mother how to sign up for Skype. Over the phone.

jl puts forth...

Posted April 2
Oh good lord, that IS bad.

she_jedi mumbles...

Posted April 2
Dear god man. How long did that take? Also, you win. Also, have you tried using Team Viewer to remote to your mum’s PC and handle stuff for her? It’s been a lifesaver for Dad and I. Although every session is begun by me reminding him that he has to his PC turned on and Team Viewer open in order for me to be able to remote in.

Dave W mutters...

Posted April 3
We had the inaugual W family videochat the other day. My parents, my 3 siblings, and me and Mrs W.

5 windows, at least a pair of people in each window. At least 3 people talking at the same time the whole way through. And my older sister was on a bush-walk at the time.

she_jedi would have you know...

Posted April 3
HAHAHA!! Well that sounds like an overwhelming success lol!

Dirk has opinions thus...

Posted April 3
I can advise using Jitsi. https://jitsi.org/

it just involves sending a link and works on chrome and firefox.

Respond to this thread

WA n'ker is gonna tell you...

Posted April 2
Been re-watching "The Last Ship", spewing they stopped at series 5.

John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted April 3
I know rite?

she_jedi swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 3
Is that still on Stan? I just finished Locke and Key so I'm in a position to start a news series...

WA n'ker swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 3
Yeah man, still there. Been smashing it
"Get the 5 inch on to it!:

she_jedi has opinions thus...

Posted April 4
Found it! Watched the first episode last night, I am ready binge the hell out of this :D

Brother PorkChop swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 6
Was Locke and Key worth continuing on? Watched maybe 3 eps so far then found Altered Carbon new season.

she_jedi would have you know...

Posted April 6
Definitely; it's a mindset shift after Altered Carbon, because it's more kid friendly, but it's quite good. The finale was a bit "Oh my, didn't see that coming," and I'm looking forward to Season 2 to see how that particular narrative twist gets resolved :)

Dirk swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 7
Another tip is La Casa de Papel or Money Heist as it's called in other places. Spanish series with a lot of humor on a bank heist. Season 4 of that has just dropped.

Respond to this thread

Matthew F. reckons...

Posted April 3
I was looking forward to lockdown, which seemed like it was going to coincide perfectly with my novel edits, except of course I'm in one of the areas supporting everyone else's homeward exodus so I've been in the office every day of it except today, when I had a cough I wanted to play it safe on. (Doc says it's just the regular seasonal bug, not C19).

It's been surreal so far, the instant ghost town in the CBD and all the strange shifting of the culture I'm seeing around me online, but the real hard edge of it hasn't cut near me yet. If my biggest complaint is "but where are MY multi-day Netflix and book binges?" then I'm probably doing OK.

Apparently I've been tapped for possible secondment into one of the other agencies doing much more frontline stuff, so things might get interesting next week. We'll see.

she_jedi ducks in to say...

Posted April 6
Yeah I'm finding that even though I now don't have a commute and ostensibly have more time, I have no time to do anything! The days are endless and I feel 3 times as busy. I don't know where everyone is finding time for their novel writing, Netflix bingeing and gardening efforts, because I'm managing one episode of something a night, depending on how much brain matter I feel I have left at the end of the day. I've been WFH for a week and a half and I already feel like I've forgotten what the office looks like. If this goes on for 3 or 6 months I might end up forgetting where the office is...

jl mutters...

Posted April 7
No Netflix bingeing here, although I simply must see Altered Carbon S2. For some sick reason I can't sit down and watch TV. Maybe it has to do with a passive vs active thing. I don't know.

she_jedi swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 7
Altered Carbon S2 was amazing. I know what you mean about not being able to sit down and watch TV, I sometimes find myself pausing whatever I'm watching, going down a rabbit hole on my phone or tablet for a couple of minutes, then coming back to the TV. Can you lie in bed and watch it on a laptop or tablet, and substitute it for reading maybe?

Respond to this thread

Brother PorkChop mutters...

Posted April 6
Week 3 WFH:
Love WFH when its just me, not my teams. With everyone WFH I am constantly Teams chatting, conference calling, Teams meeting and metaphysically holding hands with my mob. And its sucks great big donkey balls. I realised that this could go on for 2 or 3 more months and I am not sure that I can last.
Aside from the work bit, the kids are now on holidays, OMG, just leave me alone.
And the exercise has been going really well so thats one positive - run at 6.30 followed by 30-45 minutes of weights. Disappointingly not lost a single kilo yet but I am most definitely fitter and redistributing fat for muscle in better places.
Lastly, I believe we are saving money without the $40 + a week for the train, coffees at work and lunches plus the lack of driving kids around for sport etc. Might put it towards a proper boat I am thinking.

insomniac asserts...

Posted April 6
ms insomniac has the same problem as you. Back to back to back video or phone calls for hours.
And the saving money thing, because we're not going out shopping to buy things we don't need, in addition to your salient points.

Respond to this thread

MuddyRunner ducks in to say...

Posted April 11
Have to say, here in the UK it's been a bit of an anticlimax. Not what I was expecting *at* *all* from the zombie apocalypse. In fact, it's more like perpetual Sunday morning than any kind of actual apocalypse. We might all die, it's true, but that will probably be from boredom rather than having our BRAAAAAINS! eaten.

That said, I did spend some time idly speculating on the best way to fortify my village. Not too difficult when you live in the arse-end of nowhere. Sadly we don't have guns, so our defence may come down to using cricket bats and toasting forks.

A couple of other points:

1) I'm going to need a haircut very soon, so can we please hurry up and get this over with?

2) Weird shortages: you can have as much toilet paper as you want, but fabric softener? Not a chance, buddy.

3) Working from home is nowhere near as much fun as I thought it would be.


As you were.

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 11
I dunno that I'd want to go up against a hairy dude with a cricket bat and toasting fork.

Respond to this thread

Respond to 'Cosy apocalypse '