Cheeseburger Gothic

Helluva week to go national.

Posted September 13, 2009 by John Birmingham
I go cyborg tomorrow at 8 in the AM, and will allow that I might need a coupla hours to recover from the installation of my new atomic powered titanium limb. Quokka seems to think I'll be out of it for a week, but I call that bull talk from a one eyed fat man, even though she's not fat, or a guy and she has both eyes as best I can tell.

Still, I'm writing and filing blunty today and if I overnight in the hospital, which I'm thinking of simply because I really like the idea of having a bed with a TV suspended over it, then it'll be apres lunch time Tuesday at the earliest afore I get to reply to any comments. Also, I'm pretty sure the wrangling of the blog will move from BT down to Sydney to the new National Times Death Star. For us, that's not necessarily a good thing because the BT blog mavens have been well acculturated to the ways of the Instrument and its band of brigands and camp followers. I was surprised at drinks the other night to find out just how closely they follow the regulars and indeed how much of a celebrity cult has built up around some of you.

Anyway, we lose that familiarity on Tuesday because of the new format. But, on the upside, we gain potentially millions of new slouchbikers and vegans to harass.

As I understand it there'll be some new and bothersome Fairfax Digital registration process to begin commenting. Haven't used it myself yet, but I suspect market forces will see it evolve into something more akin to the current email and pin system very quickly. I can only ask for your patience while that happens and while I get back up to speed after the op. It's unlikey I'll be able to post a link here in the morning however. I dont think they'll let me take my lappy into the ward.

Still have no real concerns. You guys are widely recognised are the gold standard in blog crews.

So. Arm yourselves. Stand to. And prepare to kill like champions.

72 Responses to ‘Helluva week to go national.’

lostatlunch ducks in to say...

Posted September 13, 2009
no blogging from the ward.... can ya tweet from the operating table?

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DrYobbo ducks in to say...

Posted September 13, 2009
National infamy beckons!

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WalkingShaw swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 13, 2009
The Nation better be prepared. In more ways than one...

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Bangar puts forth...

Posted September 13, 2009
Good luck.

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MickH mumbles...

Posted September 13, 2009
good luck with the op mate.

I'm really thankful I didn't break anything while in NZ.

I'm a bit worried about the right hammy though.

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DrYobbo has opinions thus...

Posted September 13, 2009
How the hell are we going to explain Virty to these people?

And should we bother?

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Paul Nicholas Boylan mumbles...

Posted September 13, 2009
Hey, wait a minute: are you saying quokka is a woman?

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Albion Love Den reckons...

Posted September 13, 2009
PNB - I think he was referring to Quokka in the female terms like one does with God sometimes. IE - better to be safe than sorry, yadda yadda.

And I dunno `bout you, but that was one helluva "from the trenches" speech there, boss. Sorta feel like one of the unwashed mob right after Kenneth Brannagh's spittle-addled up-n-at'em speech in Henry V.

I, for one, welcome our new and improved metallic(a) leader. Sure will give those zombies a run for their money.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan would have you know...

Posted September 13, 2009
I just re-read JB's post. I am not comfortable with the possibility, no matter how remote, of a celebrity cult built up around me. Although it does explain why there is so much shouting lately.

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Quokka is gonna tell you...

Posted September 13, 2009
Damn those followers, I thought they'd snap a manolo and give up the chase when I headed up hill.

If they're still brandishing pitchforks, tell em I went Thataway. To Fairfax, and Beyond.

Don't listen to JB, Paul.

He was heading a panel on hoaxes at the writers festival last night and arguing that we need them to have a good laugh.

I payed some wench a fiver to go up and say hello and pretend she was me.

He'll be confused about that one for months to come.

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jennicki swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 13, 2009
I apologize to the rest of you bloggers for bringing down the curve. Sorry but there's always gotta be someone.

Hope all goes well with the procedure, Mister Birmo. Are there bunny nurses around to work the remote control to the suspended TV for you?

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Sweet Jane Says puts forth...

Posted September 13, 2009
STOP IT! You've milked the oh-me-poor-arm thing to bits. It's an arm. It will grow back. Get morphine, eat Jell-o and be happy. Do you forget? I've titanium in my neck. You'll know the true pain of rainy days for the rest of your life; so, stop whining now. Be grateful for your health care. Do you know how many Americans don't get titanium? Seriously... My neck cost $400,000.00. I walk, many Americans in my position don't walk ever again. They don't get the best operations, but your Republican, US friends don't give a damn about those people.

You suck.

J.

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Flinthart has opinions thus...

Posted September 13, 2009
Aaaaahhhhfuck. New URL? Do I hafta go surfing for the goddam thing? You're gonna put up the usual pointer, right? Register? With Fairfax? Sheeeeit.

Oh well. Line up them tin ducks; I'll get the air rifle out.

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MickH reckons...

Posted September 13, 2009
now now Jane

Stop feeling jealous

I'm sure if you slam your arm in a door you can have a broken one too!

Respond to this comment

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 13, 2009
From what i can tell, mr flinthart, the old blunt url should work. they seem to be aggregating opinion stuff from across fairfax network at the national times site, but the individual columns and blogs sourced from say BT or the Age, will still run on those separate sites. if that makes, uh, sense.

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Lobes is gonna tell you...

Posted September 13, 2009
"It’s an arm. It will grow back."

Hes not a Starfish Jane.

Not sure what this talk of the blog 'moving' is about. Am pretty sure it will still be here in front of me on this computer.

I also am uneasy of this talk of 'celebrity'. I'd rather be feared than celebrated. NB to self; Must. Try. Harder.

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sibeen puts forth...

Posted September 13, 2009
Hold on, hold on a minute here. Are you telling me that the BT is somehow related to The Age, the Pravda of the south?

Thank god I use a nome de plume around here, if the boys at the Melbourne club found out I'd been posting on that filthy site I could end up tarred and feathered and barred from walking down Collins St.

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hughesy puts forth...

Posted September 13, 2009
Wow - a crew! I feel like I should have a hoodie a ho and gold tooth, or something.

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Quokka puts forth...

Posted September 13, 2009
Dr. Yobbo don't worry about Virty.

I heard he's filling out job applications down at Austereo.

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Albion Love Den swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 13, 2009
That's funny, hughesy - you just perfectly outlined my mental image of SJS. Oh, with an added full body bandage and a chest full of medals.

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Big Bad Al swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 13, 2009
First things first: Wasn't there a Quokka, a MS Quokka, at the last Bounders Meeting? A Quokka is a Girl of the Female variety, you say? No wonder all our secrets have been getting out.

Now, about this move to Syd... Sydn... That place south of the border. Did you agree to this? Were you consulted? Do you remember signing anything whilst under the influence of Broken Arm Pain Killing Drugs? Think man, Think!

Damn it! I have only just got to the stage of having been censored by the Brisbane mob. Now I've got to convince the Southern mob I am a Bad Boy.

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John Birmingham mutters...

Posted September 13, 2009
Just filed the first copy of the 'new' blunty. Decided to hold off on the robbins piece till thurs.

Instead try to think of one of the most inflammatory topics going, and you're halfway there.

It's poss they wont even run it, i guess. but BT would.

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Quokka asserts...

Posted September 13, 2009
http://tfqn3a.bay.livefilestore.com/y1pTw2Rt7cIIb8zj6w81TpQ1qDWhl_LByJ-2h2xATSHNKd3aMZV0p9EF6jwuJjqjNG19HfD1eWmKXOmAwmKqzwfP4zGNVFXoPe8/quokka.jpg

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Brian is gonna tell you...

Posted September 13, 2009
Wait a minute . . . .(processing . . .processing . . .). Does this mean I have to learn something new? Dunno . . . .seems like a very suspect concept . . .. .and we have to share? . . . . .and be creative? . . . . .

Next you'll be telling me women can vote and Obama is a Democrat.

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Quokka ducks in to say...

Posted September 13, 2009
Now remember, JB. If you wake up bilious and some fool offers you a kidney dish, just ask them where they would like you to project everything else that churns and pitches between your teeth and your kidney.

From experience, when one of those suckers hurls upwards into the dish, the ensuing splatter sure can mess up the view on the telly.

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Brian mutters...

Posted September 13, 2009
Err . . .I guess while he's under the knife he could get a few other things done. Tummy tuck. Botox. The ole snip-snip thing the missus has been wanting him to have. Some follicle transplanty thingies . . .

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Chaz mutters...

Posted September 13, 2009
Bugger I can never remember my fairfax registration thingy.

Funnily enough wandered past the Fairfax bunker a few times on thursday and saturday. In fact almost walked in to the great Tetsuya himself only a few meters away by the wharf.

Back in Perth again now...not happy.

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Monster Yuppy is gonna tell you...

Posted September 13, 2009
SJS - "Seriously… My neck cost $400,000.00."

I wonder how many kiddies could have had vaccinations for that amount of money, or how chemo that could have got a cancer patient.

Obviously, the Drs thought it was money well spent on you, as opposed to helping children.....

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Abe reckons...

Posted September 14, 2009
Monster Yuppy for the win!

Good luck Birmo. I shall have a beer in your honour, although I will have to drink it fast before it gets cold. Here's to a speedy recovery.

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girlclumsy puts forth...

Posted September 14, 2009
Wow, end of an era, of sorts.

I'm so not good with change. But I trust the rest of the Burgers will walk me through it.

It's SO fun being a part of this crew; you guys rock.

I'm pretty excited by the NT coming back - am I right in guessing it's the Fairfax response to The Punch? (of sorts, anyway).

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mckinneytexas would have you know...

Posted September 14, 2009
If something new is required to access and post, please post instructions, preferably in large, monosyllabic capital letters for Sweet Jane and me. We're both a little slow.

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Lobes ducks in to say...

Posted September 14, 2009
The Punch died in the arse when they decided to side with Austereo (or more accurately Austereos sponsors) over the whole Sandilands thing. But then I never did really get over the dissappointment of finding out that it was not, in fact, a reincarnation of the original London Punch. Just cashing in on its name.

Lets hope whatever Fairfax is cooking up doesnt fail the same way.

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Puma reckons...

Posted September 14, 2009
"Hes not a Starfish Jane"

LOL

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Paul Nicholas Boylan would have you know...

Posted September 14, 2009
I fear change.

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Murphy has opinions thus...

Posted September 14, 2009
PNB, hey, it is change you can believe in.

Birmo, per the arm, will Tony Stark be doing the honors?

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Sweet Jane Says puts forth...

Posted September 14, 2009
I was just a research subject with good insurance and the physical conditioning to survive the surgery. It was fortunate that I was flown to a university hospital with imported doctors. Luck... The thing that the uninsured don't have...

J.

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Quokka is gonna tell you...

Posted September 14, 2009
Lets see.

What do we have.

Troll with snapped neck, replacement value $400,000.

A science experiment gone horribly wrong.

This has all the essential ingredients to become a best seller on Oprah's book club.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan puts forth...

Posted September 14, 2009
I am deeply offended by your oblique accusations of freak status merely because Jane was the subject of medical experiments. I myself had an extra arm for a while (and was paid handsomely for it), but do you see people calling me a freak? Hell no. If they did, I would drink their blood and eat their flesh.

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Quokka asserts...

Posted September 14, 2009
Around these parts, that just makes you Tasmanian.

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Quokka mumbles...

Posted September 14, 2009
And another thing, PNB, I want my arm back.

Now if you'll excuse me I have to feed the parrot and change my eye patch.

Arrharrrh.

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Sweet Jane Says has opinions thus...

Posted September 14, 2009
Listen, obtuse bitch, the surgery went very well. Money bought me good luck. You people must have everything spelled-out for you. PEOPLE WITHOUT INSURANCE HAVE NO LUCK.

J.

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Matthew K puts forth...

Posted September 14, 2009
SJ is apparently some kind of lizard as she can grow back limbs.

Now what's happening? Blunt Instrument is moving or what? Not been paying as much attention as I should lately.

Good luck with the op JB, I'm sure you will bear it with the manly stoicism we expect from you.

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Quokka is gonna tell you...

Posted September 14, 2009
Matt some days we all have trouble following.

From things she's let slip I understand that SJS is the subject of a top secret military experiment. The week long silences are not gin baths, as has been hypothesized, but deep spells of slumber induced by darts from the trank gun when she escapes from her cage.

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Quokka ducks in to say...

Posted September 14, 2009
And Matt, remember.

If you suspect she has sustained further brain injury with her thrashings and squeals, follow the first aid code and inquire:

Can you hear me?

What is your name?

Where do you live?

Who is the prime minister?

And, most importantly, this one

How many fingers am I holding up?

And try not to waggle them.

Respond to this comment

Monster Yuppy puts forth...

Posted September 14, 2009
SJS - "Listen, obtuse bitch, the surgery went very well. Money bought me good luck. You people must have everything spelled-out for you. PEOPLE WITHOUT INSURANCE HAVE NO LUCK."

Actually, that is factually incorrect.

Americans without insurance have no luck.

Australians, Danes,Canadians, the French et al, without insurance, still get good health care.

Suck it up.

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Sweet Jane Says is gonna tell you...

Posted September 14, 2009
You know, as well as I, that only one thing equals luck in this world - regardless of nation; it is MONEY.

J.

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Sweet Jane Says puts forth...

Posted September 14, 2009
And, I know better than to advertise my branch of federal employ when making public comments.

J.

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Quokka is gonna tell you...

Posted September 14, 2009
We're gonna need a bigger cattle prod.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan would have you know...

Posted September 14, 2009
Twenty five dollars says quokka can take jane in a wresting match.

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Quokka mutters...

Posted September 14, 2009
PNB, how many fingers am I holding up?

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Quokka is gonna tell you...

Posted September 14, 2009
I refuse to indulge in your sick fantasies by rolling around in a pit of Jello.

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El Coqui has opinions thus...

Posted September 14, 2009
I take that and raise you up 25. :)

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Quokka has opinions thus...

Posted September 14, 2009
My fear is that she'll become amorous.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan would have you know...

Posted September 14, 2009
How dare you, Madame, insinuate that I indulge in any kind of "fantasy" involving you, Jane, and "jello"?? I am deeply offended by the accusation! Do you take me for a pervert of some kind? Have some respect for, if nothing else, my years!

I was thinking more along the lines of some kind of vegetable oil.

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Monster Yuppy mutters...

Posted September 14, 2009
SJS "You know, as well as I, that only one thing equals luck in this world - regardless of nation; it is MONEY."

No Jane. You are wrong again.

Place of birth matters more than luck.

As an Australian, I am lucky on two fronts...

Firstly, I was born here.

Our second stroke of luck is that you were not.

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Steven Danno is gonna tell you...

Posted September 14, 2009
I have something better than health insurance..a gold Amex card...opens doors internationally,... except in the Arab Republics and western NSW but who would to go to a hospital there anyway. Good luck with the implant JB..faster, stronger, better...

Fairyfax pffft to that: we are nothing if not adaptable, that is why we are the alpha virus on the planet, well apart from dolphins who couldnt care what anyone thinks of except the Japanese maybe who think they all look the same...

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sibeen puts forth...

Posted September 14, 2009
I take that and raise you up 25. :)

Before raising PNB the $25 perhaps you should be asking whether PNB can raise the $25, global meltdown and laid of lawyers etc, etc.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan reckons...

Posted September 14, 2009
Okay, okay. I will change my bet, and increase its value, by converting to Euros (which I do possess in a bank account in Poitiers, France). 25 Euros says quokka can take jane (notwithstanding jane's presumed extra abilities stemming from the aforementioned medical experiments)!

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Paul Nicholas Boylan asserts...

Posted September 14, 2009
http://womenswrestling.tribe.net/photos/345e4841-1fbd-4db2-8277-a373c47214b3

http://www.podcastingnews.com/content/wp-content/uploads/2007/11/female-wrestling.jpg

http://www.thehygrade.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/yapb_cache/27wrestling2.er07ljd3ri0wokcswo08c8480.ae6egtt2xvk0sowk84g4ock8k.th.jpeg

http://images.beijing2008.cn/20070823/Img214138161.jpg

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_GzXYfK-lDG4/Rtp8Jg4KISI/AAAAAAAADNk/KUglIWsV3sM/s400/women%27s+wrestling+competition+4.jpg

http://www.canadagames.ca/groups/Picture%20Library%202005/Day%2011%20extra/women+wrestling.jpg

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/40862000/jpg/_40862834_wrestle300.jpg

And, from the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3lqUXfAk2c

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Wrestling Promoter asserts...

Posted September 14, 2009
Wrestling Inc gladly announces a new pay per view coming soon to JBSPN. Its teh Feral Quokka against the Titanium enhanced SJS! Will SJS' metal reinforcement be enough to hold off a wild Quokka? Quokka's manager, PNB, when not pressed didn't say,

"Quokka will be all over SJS like a cheap suit. Quokka has the power and the style to tear the Titanosaur apart. SJS will be hapless krill to Quokka's minke whale, Ibanez to Stratocaster, Hanson to The Beach Boys. From the Shizzle to the Jizzle to the Ess Aitch izzle, she be gone."

Tickets on sale next Monday or subscribe to QuokkavSJS via your remote.

Respond to this comment

Quokka asserts...

Posted September 14, 2009
For shame, our noble leader is away for a day and the place turns into a den of iniquity. Gambling, jelly wrestling, slinging of mud and spurting of oil.

I can't imagine what he'll have to say about all this when he awakens.

And PNB, you forget, as a one armed fat man, I am at a gross disadvantage here.

Before the next Jelly Wrestling Championship Throwdown at this fine establishment, I expect all of you clowns to draw straws to ascertain who should be Match Official.

The lucky winner gets to do a cavity search of Jane and check for undescended testicles. If there's more than three, the rules require that you rip them out. And then trim her nose hair. We don't want it dangling over Princess Leia's gold bikini. That just wouldn't look right.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted September 14, 2009
Spoken like an obtuse bitch. Well done (and I mean that).

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Brian would have you know...

Posted September 14, 2009
Gee . . . I dunno about Quok and Jane. I mean . . .has anyone checked 'em out for rabies. IIRC Quokka's are rabid little buggers. . . . .on the other hand they've got one hell of a libido.

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sibeen swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 14, 2009
Hold on, are we using jelly or some form of cheap vegtable oil in this contest?

Is it the JWC or the CVOWC?

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Quokka ducks in to say...

Posted September 14, 2009
It pays to pay attention, PNB.

Now, in the interests of fairness I should point out the flaw in your Vegetable Oil Reasoning.

If you get Jane all lathered up in that, how do you think she'll go when she tries to get a grip?

Something she has trouble with at the best of times, I might add.

Nope.

That's just not a fair fight.

I don't want it said that I don't play fair.

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Quokka ducks in to say...

Posted September 14, 2009
Whereas Jello, on the other hand, should any of the competitors panic and soil themselves, is still on that list that JB tacked up on the bar fridge for 'Acceptable Troll Snacks.'

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Paul Nicholas Boylan puts forth...

Posted September 14, 2009
Fairness has nothing to do with it, and the ability to "get a grip" doesn't even factor into the equation.

It is painfully apparent to me that virtually none of you have ever seen two or more women wrestling - with or without condiments.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan puts forth...

Posted September 14, 2009
Once again, I feel alone in an alien and uncaring universe...

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sibeen has opinions thus...

Posted September 14, 2009
Can cheap vegtable oil be considered a condiment?

*Note* I haven't been to the American South, what they do or do not consider a condiment is beyond my ken.

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Quokka mutters...

Posted September 14, 2009
Oil becomes a condiment when you marinade stuff in it.

Vegetables, trolls, enemies of the state.

Whatever takes your fancy.

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Patricia ducks in to say...

Posted September 16, 2009
*tears stream for her eyes*

Guffaw!

You've made me laugh. Even SJS

The obstuse bitch comment just takes the cake.

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Quokka would have you know...

Posted September 17, 2009
There's cake?

What kind?

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Respond to 'Helluva week to go national.'

Waiting... waiting...

Posted September 7, 2009 by John Birmingham
... on delivery of MacSpeech Dictate before I can get any real work done. Little blog farts like this I can squeeze out, but anything longer, typing one handed on the wrong side, and it all turns to shit.

The beauty of the interwebz though... I was able to spend a few hours yesterday cruising reviews and youtube demos of the software, and i downloaded the manual in pdf. MacSpeech Dictate is a ground up rebuild based on the Dragon engine which has been powering the vastly superior performance of windows based dictation programs for a while now. From the reviews, both pro and amateur, the rebuild looks very impressive and altho there are some genuine flaws (such as an inability to integrate mouse and keyboard based editing with the program's voice commands - a major problem, that one) many of the frustrations that some amateur reviews in particular experienced seemed to come from not having trained the software properly (which takes about 10 mins) and not having read the manual.

I suspect the real secret to getting the most out of this program will not be training the dictation elements, but the editing commands. They, unlike, simply speaking what I want on the page, are not at all 'natural' and will take a few days to become ingrained. However, having invested the better part of a day studying this program I have some high hopes for it actually increasing my productivity.

When it finally arrives.

Until then I have some books to read for review (surprisingly difficult one handed - perhaps i shouldn't have dissed the kindle so badly). And of course exercise. I'm greatly afeared of putting back all the flab i took off this year. To that end I've been walking a lot - about to trundle into the city to see my sawbones in fact. And I've worked out a pretty basic routine of lower body work and some core strength exercises. Some kicking drills. And I'm also doing some free weights on the uninjured arm, which should give me a nice lopsided look when the plaster comes off.

Two things I've discovered in the last twenty-four hours though. I cant do right handed chopstix. And my xbox controller is going to have a long, well earned rest.

For now, my neck and arm are all cramped from this cap'n hook style of typing. so, l8r.

34 Responses to ‘Waiting... waiting...’

Tarl would have you know...

Posted September 7, 2009
David Weber reports that he does essentially all his writing through Dragon speech recognition. He occasionally bitches about the effort to train it to recognize particular words that aren't in the normal vocabulary (e.g., "Manticoran", "Clyntahn", ...), but it's clear that it works for him.

Good luck.

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Barnesm asserts...

Posted September 7, 2009
Thanks for the update, its an intersting journey in to the one world of yours.

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NBlob mumbles...

Posted September 7, 2009
Many moons ago I did a four day conference gig for the justices of the Family Court of Victoria. I had a fair bit of contact with one of the beaks who turned out to be a nice bloke with a wickedly dark sense of humour, but I digress.

He used Dragon free speech for all of his file notes. He said he couldn't wouldn't use it for his actual findings but would keep it open as he read documents and used it to take notes while reading submissions. He even used a little digi voice recorder and then fed that file to his lappy.

One feature I particularly liked was any time the laptop thought he had said "Grumblefutz" it would highlight it in the text and when he hovered the mouse over it - it actually played back the audio of what he had said.

He commented it had taken almost a full month to train it to understand his voice, but it learnt "better than most secrataries."

One observation he made was that he had to learn not to dictate around a coffee cup as that buggered it everytime.

Once he had got into the swing of it he reckoned it was as nessecary as his arm.

oh, sorry.

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HAVOCK reckons...

Posted September 7, 2009
I'm thinking Military terminology and then CAPPIN THE FUCKING MACHINE.

We might start callin ya CRAB..one bi, one little arme and Very ROUND in the middle.

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Quokka would have you know...

Posted September 7, 2009
This is where I say 'I told you so'.

You need a massage.

Failing that, there are some really good yoga stretches that work the horrible kinks out but somehow...somehow...I think you're two or three broken limbs away from figuring out the value of such.

So I guess this means if I bring a batch of my blueberry, white chocolate and macadamia muffins to the WF for you to sample, you'll be virtuously waving them away with your one good arm?

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Quokka ducks in to say...

Posted September 7, 2009
http://herpes-coldsores.com/std/pubic_lice_pictures.htm

Now Havock dear that's just not playing nice. It conjures up some very ugly images.

(see above)

Off to the naughty corner with you.

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John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted September 7, 2009
Wel, quok, maybe one wafer thin slice.

But no yoga.

As if.

NBob, one the things i can do to steepen the software's learning curve is feed it a few thousand words of my own writing and then read the copy to it. Makes a huge difference apparently, but it's not something the average punter can do, not having long samples of their own work.

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Matthew K is gonna tell you...

Posted September 7, 2009
My Dad used Dragon a lot, doesn't any more. I'll ask him why.

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lostatlunch asserts...

Posted September 7, 2009
Was your assasin called Annie Wilkes & your #1 fan?

She got the wrong limb.. We wanted more writing done, not less.

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Quokka asserts...

Posted September 7, 2009
Righteo.

I'll save the Rum and Raisin Baked cheesecake for when the bionic legs are installed, then.

Dunno about this software.

Voice to Text is convinced that my bloke shares a name with one of the singing chipmunks.

'Hell there Alwyn'

and its all downhill from there.

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Chaz mutters...

Posted September 7, 2009
Yes I see Dragon as the main way I'll actually get works of any length done (due to my pretty crap typing skils).

However I'm dissapointed to note you're surprised that amatuer critics actually feel that they don't need to read the instruction manual!

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Quokka reckons...

Posted September 7, 2009
Chaz any gadget that requires reading of a manual is not for the likes of me.

I'm still wondering what all the little buttons on the dash of our C4 do but there's no way in hell I'm reading the manual to find out. That would be Men's Work.

Any instructions that do not start out by 'Grease tray and preheat oven to...' are not for me.

Brisbane Burgers have you lot seen the writers festival program?

We have tickets to the thing that JB is chairing on Saturday evening at 5.45pm.

I don't know how many of you are familiar wtih Christian Lander's 'Stuff White People Like' but he's absolutely hilarious. Heard him on either Radio Nat or 612 a while back and rushed out to buy the book. There's a particularly good section on 'how to choose a name for your child'.

Warning, River Fire is on so wear steel capped boots for the journey home.

Booking info below:

https://www.qtix.com.au/show/BWF_The_essential_hoax_09.aspx

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HAVOCK has opinions thus...

Posted September 7, 2009
Chaz, given the amount of time its going to take me, to type up the edits to the HARD COPY, I think this might be well fucking worth it. Not to mention, proof reading rthe edits themselves. Mine ( typing) is my ONLY weakness, but its a real cast iron m#fker of a bitch at that!

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NBlob reckons...

Posted September 7, 2009
Ya reckon H?

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El Coqui is gonna tell you...

Posted September 7, 2009
Hey let's call John software package a Buckley!

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Quokka asserts...

Posted September 7, 2009
Yes.

The Bloke has much the same theory, El Coqui...

JB, dictation 'The hapless chap reached for his gun, only to...fuck off dog, get your own brownies...(clink of ice into scotch) be riddled with a spray of bullets from the roof of the tower'

Translation

'The happiness tap reached foreskin only to FUCK OFF DOG GUEST DOREEEN'S FROWNING ...splat plink slurp befiddled witherspoon of bullets from deerhofff's pullover.'

etc

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Quokka has opinions thus...

Posted September 7, 2009
Followed by the splash of the software as it hits the darkly rippling waters of JB's pool (yes yes he'd be aiming for the river but he's down a good arm you know) and meets the same fate as Jeff Buckley.

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Orin ducks in to say...

Posted September 7, 2009
I think that it may be easier to have trained yourself to use a FROGPAD http://www.frogpad.com/ . They are one handed keyboards (you can buy either a left handed one or a right handed one)

It took me about 2 days intense practice to get up to 40 WPM (two handed I'm > 120)

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DrYobbo puts forth...

Posted September 7, 2009
That'd be more the fate that Brian Jones met surely? Jeff fell (ie was pissed as 40 bastards), Brian was pushed... allegedly...

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Quokka swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 7, 2009
I thought you were busy drowing in your own mucous?

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Stephen is gonna tell you...

Posted September 7, 2009
JB,

Having read some of Weber's unedited works (snippets, etc) I'll have to say that the thing you're going to have to watch out for is homonyms. The software is really good at replacing bare with bear, break with brake, etc. Hopefully these days they use some grammar analysis to pick up the worst of these, but who knows. specially with a new program.

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Quokka swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 7, 2009
Ha!

So, JB, you tell us you walk into the city and yet at 13:46:42 hours I get a text from my spies saying that they see you and your poor sore paw awaiting the arrival of a city cat type hovercraft.

Scared you'll get your cast wet?

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John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 7, 2009
I walked half hour to the cat, and half hr to the doc. That's all yr getting from me, you merciless harpy!

Stephen, the software is much better at contextual analysis than in the past. Moore's law helps.

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Quokka asserts...

Posted September 7, 2009
Arrh, you're soft.

The Bloke walks 45 mins each way to and from work in the city each day AND he goes out at lunch time to walk off my cooking. Which is how you got spotted today. He was out doing a few extra yards to justify the weekend's intake of date and pecan loaf and the pie that he et for lunch.

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damian ducks in to say...

Posted September 7, 2009
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chorded_keyboard

There are a few one-handed input devices around. One that is now defunct, the Twiddler, had many ardent fan/users who had stories about getting up to 50-60 WPM within a week or so. Not sure about existing recent commercial models though, but I'm sure the fine Google can help

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Havock mumbles...

Posted September 7, 2009
Quockkkka ya should know that sooks are easier to spot. Gotta say the train driver is related to mark webber. Can't fkn drive for shit

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Quokka mutters...

Posted September 7, 2009
Havock SHHHHH!

He's having his nap.

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Chaz is gonna tell you...

Posted September 7, 2009
Quokka, I bet JB made a sad and lonely picture waiting there with his war-wound!! Shame it wasn't raining!

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Quokka has opinions thus...

Posted September 7, 2009
All but, Chaz. It was a squirrel of a day here, with chill winds swirling about, rain looming and utter lies from BOM about how we should expect a glorious fine 27C day.

From what The Snitch said to me I gather he did look a bit forlorn and confused, trying to work out the finer details of the city cat timetable.

I fear that visit to the optometrist may be in order.

Which may explain why he didn't see that kick coming...

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sparty swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 7, 2009
bet you are glad your books don't have significant sex scenes in them- be damn embarrasing to dictate them....

Saw a suit on the tube today reading AoT 3 -really had to resist telling him the author had broken his arm, the tube is really where i love the kindle / sony ereader so much easier to hang on to a pole and turn pages...

actually heres a thought - record it all and you can release the audio book read by the author (but with strange commands in teh middle of paragraphs...)

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Brian puts forth...

Posted September 7, 2009
Tskk . . .you go all to the trouble of training Dragon . . . .and then you get a head cold . . . .just sayin . . .

Thought . . .If'n you can get Havock recognised by the application? Shit . . .it'll work for Inuits with a cleft pallette.

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NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted September 7, 2009
You know Brian, I suspect H uses some speech to text software for all of his posts.

It would explain a lot.

[internal monologue from software]

H'm he's shouting at me again, I'll use caps lock.

Crikey he's really shouting now I'll stick in a couple of exclamation points.

Jesus H Christos he's going off his pills now - I'll have to start speliing phonetically.

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Chaz asserts...

Posted September 7, 2009
NBob: LMAO soo funny.

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El Coqui ducks in to say...

Posted September 8, 2009
Yeah, that's a Joe Buckley PDA for sure. Hopefully it will not go up in a spectacular fashion, as all Buckleys are prone to do.

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Respond to 'Waiting... waiting...'

First full day of being differently abled.

Posted September 4, 2009 by John Birmingham
Went for a long walk up and down steep hills to make up for loss of cardio training. (Cant use heavy bag or even treadmil according to sawbones).

Did some weights. Leg lifts, curls on the good arm, sit ups, bulgarians etc.

Edited Monthly feature one handed.

Took half an hour to unpack groceries (internet purchased).

Hired a guy to break Havock's arm.

Considered Quokka's massage advice but dismissed as too gay (not that theres anything wrong with that).

Removed dairy and bread from daily diet ('cept for one cup of tea at breakfast).

About to google up some research on comparative calrie counts of various alcohols. Have high hopes for increased whiskey intake.

Reread first draft of AA.

Made edit notes on iPhone's dictathingy app.

Resisted urge to scratch inside cast with chop stick.

68 Responses to ‘First full day of being differently abled.’

Quokka is gonna tell you...

Posted September 4, 2009
Er...that bloke that you asked me about, he wants to know if The Target has had his booster shots this year. He said something about seeing foam flecks around the mouth yesterday and is worried about the possibility of being bitten and contracting rabies.

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Quokka reckons...

Posted September 4, 2009
Oh, and if you're not brave enough to have a massage, my suggestion is that you get a day spa pass for Mrs. B, who by the end of next week will probably need one from the trials and tribulations of living with a slow, hungry, fractious spouse.

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Quokka mumbles...

Posted September 4, 2009
AND did the dog do anything of interest on your walk?

How'd that work out for you both?

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simon bedak swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 4, 2009
I'll only start to worry JB if you start driving an open-topped sports car and growing sideburns.

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Quokka is gonna tell you...

Posted September 4, 2009
bedes in my professional experience, men who are scared of massage generally have a lot of unsightly back hair which makes the experience squirmy and uncomfortable. tug on some nostril hair for a sample demonstration of the pain involved.

I always told them that their discomfort could be alleviated by a simple visit to their local House of Wax prior to their next session.

That's what he's worried about, I'm guessing.

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Quokka mutters...

Posted September 4, 2009
Oh, and by that I meant JB's nostril hair, not yours.

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yankeedog puts forth...

Posted September 4, 2009
Yeah, I heard you busted a wing, troop. Good luck. Not fun at any age. Fortunate for you that you can afford a buxom chauffeur to drive you around in the Brazen Chariot during your stint on the disabled list.

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Naut reckons...

Posted September 4, 2009
Isn't there an app that reads barcodes and gives you the calorie count? Or is that only available in the US?

There is probably an app that will break Havock's arm for you too and it would only cost a couple of bucks.

Best way to home remove a cast ('cause you are gunna want to), soak then cut with scissors or tin snips.

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John Birmingham mutters...

Posted September 4, 2009
There's a free app which will dislocate one of his fingers, but I'm willing to go the whole buck ninety nine for a premium wounding.

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Havock swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 4, 2009
Yd the disabled list ....hmmm I so could but shall not. I fear he might be in a fragile state.

Ooooooh the itch

itch

Mmm itcy itchy scratchy that arm

Lol

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jennicki reckons...

Posted September 4, 2009
This is your time to shine!

Pull out that sympathy card and display it proudly!

Go to the movies--see a double feature--District 9 and IB--no one expects you to work!

Let the bunnies pamper you with sponge baths and make sure you have a little bell to ring any time you decide you want something like a Kleenex or the answer to Chuck Norris v Jack Bauer in a Wii boxing match--who would win?

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Chaz reckons...

Posted September 4, 2009
Funny I wouild have thought such an app would be freeware...

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Chaz puts forth...

Posted September 4, 2009
I believe that single malts have lower calorific counts than blends so time to hit the laphroig or cardhu

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Havock would have you know...

Posted September 4, 2009
Jen JFWept we are trying to get him to Cowboy the fuck up, not head off ta day spa and get more god dam girly

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Paul Nicholas Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted September 4, 2009
When I read that you hired a guy to break Havock's arm, I felt so proud.

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Quokka mutters...

Posted September 4, 2009
But Havock, where else is he going to get waxed?

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Chaz would have you know...

Posted September 4, 2009
Paul, well he couldn't really do it himself could he?

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FKNHVK puts forth...

Posted September 4, 2009
Make sure you get the roit HVK. When is comes to FKN BRKN Arms you dont want ta mess up and geta clone.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted September 4, 2009
Chaz - John's inability to do it himself isn't the point. Any boy can hit a bloke; but a man hires a thug for the job. And always pays cash.

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Tarl has opinions thus...

Posted September 4, 2009
You don't want to break Havock's arm... Just his CAPS LOCK key.

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Barnesm mumbles...

Posted September 4, 2009
"differently abled"

Doesn't a broken arm just mean you're dissabled?

Differently implys some sense of equity.

I bet if you asked those guys and girls who use wheelchairs if they would rather stay in the chairs or have their legs back you'd be knocked down in the rush.

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WalkingShaw asserts...

Posted September 4, 2009
JB, excuse the ignorance - but which arm (left or right) got broken? And are you left or right handed?

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Quokka puts forth...

Posted September 4, 2009
From observation at author events, he's a south paw and I think that's the one that copped it.

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Naut would have you know...

Posted September 4, 2009
Paul a man hires a thug and PROMISES to pay cash. He then only pays up half because there is nothing more manly than having a pissed off, short changed thug for hire chasing you.

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Therbs would have you know...

Posted September 4, 2009
Ignore Naut's advice on removing the cast. Just use a blow torch and burn it off. Hey presto, scorchio!

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Paul Nicholas Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 4, 2009
You are more of a man than I am, Nautilus. And you traffic with stupid thugs. What kind of a thug breaks bones on spec? None that I know of.

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Chaz has opinions thus...

Posted September 4, 2009
Paul, lots of them used to operate in Melbourne esp in Carlton.....allegedly

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Paul Nicholas Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 4, 2009
I should have suspected that. Most of the thugs I know are Blues supporters.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted September 4, 2009
Allegedly, of course.

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DrYobbo swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 4, 2009
Harden up. I'm coughing up my lungs with fricken deadly swine flu and you don't see me complaining. Other than now. Quite a bit actually. OK, as you were.

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Naut would have you know...

Posted September 4, 2009
Paul, Bedes's tipping contest has really paid off for you. Carlton supporters are indeed thugs (allegedly) and Collingwood supporters are ferals (again allegedly).

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Flinthart asserts...

Posted September 4, 2009
Ah. You did get it broken. Ouch.

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HAVOCK reckons...

Posted September 4, 2009
NAUT, whats with the Allegedly crap. they are.ON BOTH FKN COUNTS!

As for thugs, I guess I misspent some of my day. You know!, remaining in one place awaiting the much heralded arrival of the so called alleged " do me in beast", which simply failed to materialise. Unless of course that 6ft 8 150 kg bloke I BEAT THE SHIT OUTTAwas the emissary in question.

I always thought it would take more than a bug to knock ya over Doc...WTF is going on.

BEN, I do believe that it was the BABIES RIGHT ARM, Ulnar, not radius that got a small fracture in it.

Actually, that raises a QUESTION, do we, have we seen any hard fucking evidence to back up this so called allegation!!!!!.

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John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 4, 2009
left handed. and yep, that's what side got broked.

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Flinthart puts forth...

Posted September 4, 2009
Hey -- what's wrong with the treadmill? How many goddam hands do you need to walk with?

Oh - and which bone got broken, and in how many places? Inquiring minds with too much goddam close association to medicine want to know.

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John Birmingham mutters...

Posted September 4, 2009
ulna, clean fracture about three inches up from wrist. tready ill advised acc to orthopod. great chance of further injury.

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Abe mutters...

Posted September 4, 2009
That's really bad. I feel for you brother. How's the dictation technology holding up so far?

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sparty mutters...

Posted September 4, 2009
oh dear - time to make a comfort purchase to fit in with your disabled life style - thought activation remote control for TV? Are you getting the right degree of sympathy from Mrs Birmo? Mine teachers austic children with love and attention but has no empathy when it comes to me - I the caring gene in women turns off when they get the ring...

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HAVOCK mutters...

Posted September 4, 2009
LEFT HANDED..FUCK doesnt THAT! explain a lot of things

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Quokka has opinions thus...

Posted September 4, 2009
Sorry JB. I am diverting all my sympathies to Doc Yobbo who is yacking up his lungs in arctic temps. Get well soon Doc.

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Quokka is gonna tell you...

Posted September 4, 2009
Then again this is probably what you can expect from visiting Palmerston North.

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Matthew K mumbles...

Posted September 4, 2009
You got one of those dictation programs JB? That could help... although my sister's wrote "Hitler" every time she coughed or cleared her throat.

Or you could take Jennicki's eminently sensible advice. I would.

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Flinthart has opinions thus...

Posted September 4, 2009
My two in-house GPs (it was movie night tonight) suggest your orthopod has a very, very low opinion of your co-ordination. To quote the trained sports-medic doc: "Yeah, maybe if he was an eighty-year-old granny I suppose there'd be a danger of losing control of the treadmill and all..."

I suspect Dr Ortho is carefully covering his arse. If a patient went back on the tready with his blessing then went tits-up and tried to catch himself with the already broken arm, theoretically there might be a lawsuit in it. Doctors get sued for patient stupidity pretty much all the time.

Clean fracture? Damn - must have really caught it hard. At least you have the comfort of knowing it was your forearm, not your hand. The block may have been ill-focused, but at least you were using the right blocking implement - as opposed to a number of other twonks I've known.

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HAVOCK would have you know...

Posted September 4, 2009
just a thought, now I have read Flints comments. Whats the Odds that due to OLD AGE, JB has Brittle bones....??, " Just asking is all"

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Brian asserts...

Posted September 4, 2009
Havock . . . .watch yerself . . .you've got 2 arms and John's got mates everywhere.

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Chaz mutters...

Posted September 4, 2009
All the best people are left handed....

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HAVOCK puts forth...

Posted September 4, 2009
yeah right!..wobbly headed, unbalanced individuals.

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El Coqui reckons...

Posted September 4, 2009
Hey, I am a southpaw, too. Watch the fireworks.

Anyway, guys. Thanks for the laugh. What a great way to start a Friday.

Now, where is the tip jar to help JB to pay for Havock's visitor?

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Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted September 5, 2009
This is not the sort of thing I need to read before karate.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Paul Nicholas Boylan would have you know...

Posted September 5, 2009
People who write with their left hand are sinister. I'm not revealing a prejudice - just stating a fact.

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Oldsinger would have you know...

Posted September 5, 2009
"Scrached nuts with left hand instead of right. Could only reach one testicle". Or, is it the other way around?

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El Coqui swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 5, 2009
Darn, now we are going to get regaled with tall tales about this being a two-hands job

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Paul Nicholas Boylan reckons...

Posted September 5, 2009
"Two-handed job" sounds distantly pornographic. I very much approve, and my mind is reeling with possible scenarios.

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Quokka swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 5, 2009
My Bloke is a south paw.

I read some frightening statistics about how left-handed male drivers tend to have more traffic accidents. It may have nothing to do with left-handedness, though. I spent 18 years telling The Bloke that he couldn't drive and it turned out he needed glasses.

Since then he's stopped tail gating but he's still a bit slow in the reflexes dept.

As for the treadmill, could be caution, then again, it could be the state the Old Bones are in. Men get osteoporosis too and it may be that they found some reduced bone density when they examined him.

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tygertim has opinions thus...

Posted September 5, 2009
JB, my sympathies... Ouch! As to Jenn's advice... DON'T DO IT! Practical personal experience (Patty and I "experimented") suggests a wonderful product called Epil-Stop. Don't know if it's available down under though. You spray this product on the hairy spot and wait ten minutes. Wipe with damp cloth... voila! Sexy skin, and NO burning sensation... wonderful stuff you should be able to find it on the net...

As for choosing this time to cut out Dairy... I've just got to ask, Where is your ulna gonna find the calcium it needs to perform repairs?

As for Havock, Might I suggest Gayle Rivers? Author of "Five Fingers" and "The Specialist: Revelations of Counterterrorist" he's a retired SAS chap, available for a small fee... Read his bio (second title) I bet he'd give another Author a cut rate price... Really talented chap.

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Quokka would have you know...

Posted September 5, 2009
Probably not a good time to give up dairy or whole grains, actually.

Although there are lots of good sources of calcium

i.e bony fish (sardines salmon mackerel - you can get all three in one in some cat food varieties) also leafy greens, broccoli, sesame seeds (tahini) tofu, soy beans etc..

WAIT! WTF am I thinking, JB giving up the dairy and scarfing down a meal of tofu and bok choi....

Better stick with the cheese and jatz for now, JB.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 5, 2009
Jatz?

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Quokka ducks in to say...

Posted September 5, 2009
http://images.calorieking.com.au/branding/dc/runtime/portionsense/104.jpg

Jatz.

A staple of the Australian school child's diet, circa 1960 - 1980.

goes well with chunks of cheddar or even better, smeared liberally with lashings of butter and vegemite.

If I have to explain vegemite to you, a smack over the head for your ignorance of Australian culture must follow.

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sibeen would have you know...

Posted September 5, 2009
Jatz?

It's a biscuit of salty goodnees, Paul.

A coronory with every delish morsel.

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Quokka would have you know...

Posted September 5, 2009
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3106/2748219023_875dece75c.jpg

Jatz and vegemite, with worms, image above, PNB.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted September 5, 2009
Cool!

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Sweet Jane Says is gonna tell you...

Posted September 5, 2009
Bloody hell...

J.

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Lobes reckons...

Posted September 6, 2009
Speech recognition software sounds interesting. I know they have had problems in the past with recognising words but apparently its improving.

When you get it do a blog and post it unedited so we can see where the standards at.

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John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted September 6, 2009
good idea. i'll do one before i've trained it and after.

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savo is gonna tell you...

Posted September 6, 2009
Time to hire a temp.

and maybe a whipping boy.

How are you going to hide this from your missus?

Savo

Canadia

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Chaz asserts...

Posted September 6, 2009
JB, which package are you getting?

BTW Chaz Day in Sydney is being celebrated on 10/09/09 (ie next thursday) at the Gaucho Grill if anyones available. It should be BYO on that night

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Quokka asserts...

Posted September 6, 2009
I too am deeply suspicious about how well this translating software will work.

The Bloke has Voice To Text which suffers horribly from its attempts to translate messages from the Irish Secretary at his workplace and our builder, whose accent is very like Jake from On The Buses. East end of London I would think.

Makes for some hilarious efforts at understanding WTF the voice-to-text translater thinks they've actually said but can't imagine that would be amusing for a writer with a broken arm.

At least you've got something to club the software with if it fails to perform to expectations.

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Brian reckons...

Posted September 6, 2009
Spooky. Dave Webber broke a wing some years back and was using Dragon something for his work - not sure how he got along with it. Given that he had a background in printing - probably a darn sight slower than keyboarding.

Puts me in mind of that stupid Telstra service some years back - just couldn't cope with some peoples accents.

Good luck.

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Respond to 'First full day of being differently abled.'

I dips me lid to the Force Development Group.

Posted August 31, 2009 by John Birmingham
They hosted me to lunch in the Mess and a chat on Friday when I was out at Puckapunyal, and as always with the armed forces, they know how to put on a good show. Highlight of lunch was corned beef in white suace which I haven't had since I was a kid. It was fantastic. A really old fashioned meal done really well.

The talk and Q&A were interesting, although I got a much better idea of what they actually needed from me after I'd done it all. FDG thinks long term. Really really long term. As in what the Army will look like decades from now. That was why I asked that question here a week or so back about war fighting in 25 years.

So I have another pepsi challenge. I may well go back to Pucka in Feb next year to run a little sesh for the new staff intake. Something along the lines of How to Geek It Out Like a Champion. The challenge for these guys, whose careers are based upon traditions, institutional learning, generations of received wisdom and so on, is to wrench their minds out of the Army Box and into something akin to what a novelist or film maker does when they set a story in the future.

Hence the interest in the AoT series.

But I'd like to go back with something more than that. Something like an integrated coursing in Advanced Geekery. So, lets put our propeller beanies on, and come up with some books, magazines, web sites and movies/tv shows I should be adding to the recommended reading/viewing list with an eye to actually breaking some of them open and analyzing their moving parts during a geek training session.

Example. The early cyberpunk novels of William Gibson for the way they examine the machine-mind interface.

77 Responses to ‘I dips me lid to the Force Development Group.’

NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted August 31, 2009
Lots of interesting discussion on the chinese hacker actions, when do the efforts of these quasi-state actors become warfare activities?

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Lobes ducks in to say...

Posted August 31, 2009
The Oil Drum website. It examines how society deals with its energy sources and their increasing scarcity. Often has speculative threads about whats to come and how it will be managed.

http://www.theoildrum.com/

I also think most of Desmond Morris' books are pretty good for examining why people act they way they do. Will be more relevant as populations grow and social boundaries change. Also Jared Diamond worth a look too.

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El Coqui has opinions thus...

Posted August 31, 2009
John:

The late G. Harry Stine "Warbots" series. As the Australian Army is small in numbers, they may find interesting the deployment of specialized fighting robots under human command as force multipliers. He also posit the development of neural communications to replace battlefield radio.

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El Coqui puts forth...

Posted August 31, 2009
Oh yeah, "Hurrah's for the Washington's Grays" (Third Robot Infantry Regiment)

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Chaz reckons...

Posted August 31, 2009
nah, corned beef en croute with the beef covered in horseraddish suace...

Stines 'Contact' series as it deals with fully intergrated crews (ie female and male).

James Rollins "Omega section' novels as they deal with gadgetfying and also mixing scientists with military units.

Space above and beyond: dealt with a number of 'issues' that would effect near future troops

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SJPONeill ducks in to say...

Posted August 31, 2009
The TBOM has a great kitchen!

I haven't read 'em for a few years but I used them as guided for a similar paper I did for my Masters in the mid-90s and that is the Falkenberg's Legion and 'There will be War' series by Jerry Pournelle. With wanting to over-blatantly suck up, if I rewrite it this year AoT will be a reference (certainly 2.1). The other series I found had some really good concepts on future war was the Bolos series based on Keith Laumer's original book - while not promoting the use of giant autonomous machines in the next couple of decades, I do think that they do a good job of identifying some thing about war that are enduring...

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Nocturnalist swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 31, 2009
Cool challenge. It's pissing me off that I was too sick to go to the mil-sf panels at Worldcon, since this was just the sort of thing I was looking forward to taking lots of notes on.

Lacking that, however, I'll start off with Dave Wolverton's novel "On My Way To Paradise". It's been around for a while but is still excellent. A group of South American mercs are hired to travel to a Japanese corporate colony as muscle in an internal insurgency. Lots of interesting clashes between the cultures - aggressive machismo versus discipline and conformity. The question of how free you can be if you've had human designers deliberately hardwire certain reactions and behaviours into your genes. How the way we think about our bodies and minds might change as both get easier to manipulate and alter. All wrapped up in a mil-sf plot with some memorable action scenes and some cool Matrix-y training sequences.

If we're talking body/mind interface get Greg Egan's collection "Axiomatic" and check out the title story and "Learning To Be Me".

I've owned up to being a David Brin fanboi before now, his ideas of world history as a clash of memes rather than cultures, and about the factors tha make up a benevolent, culturally resilient society with the ability to progress and improve itself. I'll see if I can dig up some of the better blog posts and articles.

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jp asserts...

Posted August 31, 2009
They should look at some of the stuff that's developed out of Homeland Security's Analytic Red Cell office -- I'm sure someone in our DoD can get some inside findings from previous year's groups -- and we could do worse than host our own version. I know some of the US authors and film types who've taken part and it seems like a useful exercise.

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MickH asserts...

Posted August 31, 2009
I think the colonial marines in Aliens is worth a look JB

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Tarl mumbles...

Posted August 31, 2009
It's probably worth having them go through Vernor Vinge's /A Deepness in the Sky/ . The use of drugs like /focus/ for military purposes is regrettably likely in the next few decades.

While we're on this author, the /Across Realtime/ duology for exploration how an ultimate defensive construct (bobble) gets used quite effectively for offensive purposes.

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nhamilton@iinet.net.au swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 31, 2009
The Company of the Dead by David Kowalski, alternate future but without trust in technology.

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Abe would have you know...

Posted August 31, 2009
Is this for real?

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MickH swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 31, 2009
Did you manage to read all of that book Tarl? If you did then you are the first I know of who managed it. well done.

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MickH has opinions thus...

Posted August 31, 2009
If you can JB get hold of the latest popular Mechanics magazine, it shows one possible future for the military through internet/network control systems and an extension of 3g and 4g phone systems. Very good but very techy but i can see that once they become robust enough, it will provide yet another edge.

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houyhnhnm has opinions thus...

Posted August 31, 2009
F****n wankers. Nothins changed an nothin will change. Drrrr! Brave new world...1984...Dipshits livin in a mentality that technoville is somehow gunna make a difference. F**k sake...get a life instead of a new gadget

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Enjoy Medway swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 31, 2009
I want Corned Beef with White Sauce now.

Must ask mum to supply on sunday...

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John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted August 31, 2009
Yes Abe, but it's okay. Very little money was spent!

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John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted August 31, 2009
Oh, and we'll be ignoring hoony for this thread.

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mckinneytexas would have you know...

Posted September 1, 2009
Totally lacking any ability to talk techno, let me put out there that in the fairly recent past a USMC general war-gamed, as leader of either a conventionally defeated Iranian or Iraqi army (IIRC), a follow-on insurgency that came out quite well for the insurgent remnants. I may have garbled the exact scenario, but the point is that high tech vs. low tech has its own set of unforeseen problems. A low tech adversary may lack the funds for a high tech inventory, but will likely have the money/philosophy/surrogate status to attract advisers who can degrade/evade the hi-tech advantage. As an example, don't imaging technologies depend on active beaming of some kind that is usually amenable to passive detection and counter-measure? Power suits have to be recharged and maintained, I would think, making secure supply lines and a secure rear area outcome determinative should either fail for a longer time than the suit's field life. What do our 21st century troopies do if their stuff breaks and they are mano-a-mano against a horde of sneaky guys with AK-47's?

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robW reckons...

Posted September 1, 2009
If they could learn anything it would be nice if it were this: Science is a way of knowing about the world, whereas technology is a way of solving problems that always has both negative and positive side effects. Technologists are not necessarily scientific thinkers. In fact, technologists are the worst transgressors when it comes to misapprehending and then misusing or abusing science. Proof: most of the defenders of “creation science” are respected and capable engineers; they just don't “get it” when it comes to understanding evolution theory, uniformitarianism, hypothesis testing, and earth system science. And, while most all technologists are “rational thinkers” they are not necessarily “optimal thinkers” simply because they never question underlying assumptions, which can be based on politics, religion, or culture rather than tested facts. Received truth is a wicked thing.

The fiction bookshelves are more or less bare when it comes to books that explore this. Perhaps CONTACT (Carl Sagan). Essays in the nonfiction shelf might be easier to identify: THE TWO CULTURES AND THE SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION (C.P. Snow) or ASCENT OF MAN (Jacob Bronowski).

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tygertim mumbles...

Posted September 1, 2009
JB, this occasioned a hard think... and while I agree whole heartedly with O'Neills Suggestion about Jerry Pournell's Falkenburg's Legion as an excellent lead in,I'd like to bring in a classic... Heinlein's Starship Troopers (not the stupid movie though) RAH had clearly given much thought to the future of Military science and as usual, his thinking was way in advance of his time. Dated though it is in some spots Heinlein's thinking on the uses of integrated forces, and what is now called C3 or Command and control is still ahead of it's time more for the way the Tech are used than the Forces involved. It's still on the required reading list for all of the service academies as well on the suggested reading list for all of the services...

Another place to look would be in Johnny Ringo's Aldentata universe, especally VR training, its effect on real time intelligence flow, and applicability to C3 control of the battlesphere on Powered Combat Suit tactics, as I think he has perhaps pointed out how the tec would influence the tactics (ignore the stupid decisions forced on the feather merchants by the author)

Television will also supply much needed food for thought, and I recommend watching the Military Channel's Future Weapons programme for a look at the up and comming weapons systems with an especial look at how their capabilities will affect both tactics and the ability of smaller countries with fewer resources to act in their defense and offensivly. For example; The Predator and it's variants are going to have a huge affect on the battlesphere, much more than they do now in fact. (With the Predator and some of the up and coming variants Australia would be about to control the waters around the Island Continent as far as the littoral coastline environment of the Asian continent and take on a force far larger than it's own, and defeat them handily.)

Another subject worth considering is Materials Science, as things such as sapphire nanotube construction come out of Science Fiction and into reality. We can only dimly glimpse through the murk what will come and its effect on everything...

Of course computer science is also important in the shaping of the future of military science and we have barely scratched the surface there. In Ringo's Kildar series, computer networking combined with battlefeild communications point the way. I leave it to Orin's capable hands to come up with some other applications.

I think we're looking at a revolution in military science, albeit one with many dangers and pitfalls. Some cinematic warnings such as Battlestar Galactica or Terminator are obvious but important to the future of military science.

There, at last my train of thought has faded out, but given time I'm sure I could come up with more...

Tyger

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NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted September 1, 2009
I heard a guy the other morning say words to the effect of "The US Army has a technological advantage never before seen in history. With so much Air support and armour and a profesionalised force the US is effectively unbeatable in a stand up battle. So no one will ever take them on THAT way. To send your army against the US Army is wasteful insanity, instead baddies will look for means of attacking that nulifies that advantage." EG the insurgancies of Iraq & the Stan, Cyber attacks, financial atacks, so perhaps the Army will become a broad focus "response force."

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Tarl would have you know...

Posted September 1, 2009
Mick - yes, I read /Deepness/ - a couple of times, I recall. Finding more flaws on the second pass. I found it readable, unlike his most recent book - /Rainbow's End/ , which read like he'd been consuming rather different drugs.

The point I wanted to flag for military thought was pharmacological warfare - not only nasty things to do to opponents (sleeping gasses, paranoia-inducing drugs, truth drugs), but things to do to your own people to make them more effective. We already supply our pilots with amphetamines to keep them awake and alert in combat missions, we'll probably find more drugs which boost various forms of brainpower at some long-term expense.

Of course, if we find drugs that boost brainpower without long-term side effects, I want some :-)

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Murphy reckons...

Posted September 1, 2009
If it hasn't happened already, I suspect the ability to text communication from brainpan to brainpan is next up. Instead of using hand signals or whispered commands, soldiers will see the text floating at arm's length before them in real time. As that advances, the technology may morph into soldiers who can send their thoughts to each other. Secure commo technology already exists for this, we just need a sophisticated brain interface device that can read the speech patterns in the brain, override the jaw and transmit the information to other similiarly equipped soldiers.

Another thing that I forsee is a weapon that can custom build a round for each situation it faces, switching seemlessly from armor piercing to flechette and back again.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Abe swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 1, 2009
Well at least it wasn't 'corned brisket of wagyu', I suppose.

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Orin ducks in to say...

Posted September 1, 2009
I finished the Vinge stuff as well - and I *liked* Rainbow's End. I thought the second Realtime book dragged, but I did finish it.

The Augmented Realities of Rainbow's End feel closer to what we will have in 20 years than most other cyberpunk I've read.

Augmented reality is more likely than the full VR of gibsonian cyberspace. There are already some AR apps for the iPhone that hook into the GPS and compass functionality. YouTube has some demos.

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El Coqui ducks in to say...

Posted September 1, 2009
Murph:

G. Harry Stine deal with a similar communication system in both "Warbots" and "Contact" series. Users have to be trained to control what they send to prevent oops moments.

Another interesting short story is "CAV" by Stephen Coonts, found in his "Combat" anthology. It depicts a near future armored cavalry platoon (7TH Cav no less) centered around one command Stryker type vehicle controlling and fighting with three robotic ground fighting vehicles and multiple UAVs. And of course, the men and women that continued the mounted tradition.

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Chaz ducks in to say...

Posted September 1, 2009
tyger: C3 is old hat, back in the '90's it was C3I (command, control, communications and intelligence), the in about 2001-ish it became C4I (command, control, communications, computers & intelligence). I remember writing a piece on management based on the concept.

I mean look at the Pom's new bird, the ASTOR which is classed as an ISR platform. Our ability to suck in battlesphere data is limited basically by three factors

1, Our ability to access the data

2, Our ability to interpret the data

3, Our ability to utilise the data.

because in the end the OPFOR are always going to try and degrade datalinks to remove our advantage.

Abe, yes it's not like the Mess at Pucka is to the same standard as the memebers dining rooms at Canberra eh?

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SJPONeill has opinions thus...

Posted September 1, 2009
Murph - good point - having watched teen nephews text back and forth and only needing to look to see incoming messages, it's amazing that someone hasn't already designed a 'twiddle stick' device for a weapon hand grip that would allow intra-section texting to come up on a HDU - even into the ubiquitous Bladz shades...

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Abe would have you know...

Posted September 1, 2009
I wouldn't know, Chaz. It's my job to save money, not spend it on lunch.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted September 1, 2009
John, tell your military mates to make sure they are familiar with a program called Wireshark. It is a network protocol analyzer. It seems innocuous, but it isn't.

If we presume that, to a lesser or greater extent, war will be conducted on the Internet, then figuring out who, exactly the enemy is, where the enemy is located and how the enemy is attacking are going to be key to both defending and striking back. Cyber warfare is essentially invisible. Wireshark makes it visible, and is being used by militaries today to analyze cyber attacks.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted September 1, 2009
I never realized I am a geek until just this very moment.

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shifty_mcgee mumbles...

Posted September 1, 2009
I say you should try and get AoT onto the required reading list for the FDG. Nothing like a bit of harmless self-promotion.

I recommend holographic computing. Like JARVIS from the Iron Man flicks. And AI for that matter too.

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Matt Kitchin mutters...

Posted September 1, 2009
Twas a great afternoon. The guys here really appreciated JB's ideas. We are all astounded by the level of interest and support here, and the ideas that came out.

Great discussion from our point of view.

The 'Cav' story in Coonts' book (El Coqui) was referred to on Friday, and we have been talking about a plan to do a short story anthology here to capture some of the ideas we work with in a more readable form the boring old staff papers.

Any takers!

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Jaden3 would have you know...

Posted September 1, 2009
Robert Asprin's "The Cold Cash War" is a glimpse into a possible future where corporations, not governments fight wars. (and use mercenaries as their soldiers) They also feature "killsuits" which are designed to immobilise a wearer when a lethal blow is received.

Tom Clancy's Netforce novels always struck me as becoming a possibility. Attacks that take place thru the internet that then require a physical response..

And then there are loads of books where entire planets are producing mercenary/soldier forces to go to other planets to fight wars for their employers.. Bujold, Drake, Pournelle, Frankowski/Grossman.. to name but a few.

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aaron mumbles...

Posted September 1, 2009
Too right mckinneytexas, Robet Heinliens starship troopers pointed out the importance of maintaining centuries old skills like hand hand combat, target practice etc. the instructor demonstrates by breaking the privates arm - without the use of his modern weapon.

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tygertim swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 1, 2009
Chaz, My terminology might be dated but I did touch on all of the points you've brought up....

Thinking about it some more, the way John Ringo's Mike O'Neill uses his Combat Suit's information interface points the way that information and control of the tactical and strategic battlesphere by unit commanders at all levels is and will change the way battles are fought (ATTN:Matt Kitchin). It seems to me that the important bits of Military Science are all about Information, it's dissemination and use, Logistics, and Training... these things lead to successful military operations by the chaps at the pointy end of things no matter the branch of service and come to think of it, the ability to think out side the box is also very important... Was it Patton who formulated the American Military aphorism "hit'em where they ain't? Still a good example of thinking outside the box... You know, JB the guy you really need to talk to is Thomas Kratman author of Watch on the Rhine.... He had some pretty good thoughts on this very discussion on Baen's bar...

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tygertim has opinions thus...

Posted September 1, 2009
Oh, and add The Last Centurion by John Ringo to the list...

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Chaz mutters...

Posted September 1, 2009
Matt, Be careful what you ask for...

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tygertim asserts...

Posted September 1, 2009
The Last Centurion is an excellent commentary on the bureaucratic process at its most dangerous and is especially pertinent here... especially for Australians

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tygertim asserts...

Posted September 1, 2009
The more I read The Last Centurion the more I realize that I'm being "Inged" as in Dean Ing, pretty good writer (See Pulling Through)... Some pretty good social commentary and some rather pointed lessons

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Matt Kitchin is gonna tell you...

Posted September 2, 2009
Chaz, why start now?

When I started the job, we were given a copy of 'Crisis in Zefra' (2005) by Karl Schroeder - it was a commission work for the Force Developers in Canada (http://www.kschroeder.com/foresight-consulting/crisis-in-zefra). A fictional work to look at the blend of emerging technologies (nothing fanciful, and like AoT probably things that will be on top of us quicker than we imagined) and the Canadian Army future warfighting concepts. It let anybody get immersed in and understand the future operating environment, adversary, threats etc. I know the US Army use it as well.

We struggle to do this sometimes, because to fully understand the challenges – or the options – our audience has to wade through so much. Of course in the early 21stC, we should just go straight to a fully animated movie and drop it to YouTube!

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El Coqui reckons...

Posted September 2, 2009
Tyger:

Tom Kratman also taught at the Army War College, so he do have ideas worth listening to.

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Robert puts forth...

Posted September 2, 2009
I read a very good short about a global war fought with machines remotely controlled by teen gamers sitting in warehouses in India. That's not much more than simple extrapolation from video games.

For a look at how it's NOT done, re-run the Starship Troopers movie. Heinlein's concept of war hasn't held up well 50 years on. People shooting insects when a can of RAID would do best.

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savo mutters...

Posted September 2, 2009
I think one of the most important things besides the actual 'staying alive' business for soldiers, will be hardening or protecting individual squaddies from the actual horrors or pys-op generated horrors that will face them. Certainly a new beaut Battle-Net will give the general staff the best possible overview and team leaders all the way down to squad mates better and better battlefield surviability likewise new guns and armour, but how do you keep a cap on retaliatory brutalities against helpful locals or more sophisticated attacks against the families of troops, back at home. With modern communications, the enemy will know how the person they are up against and will be able to find family and relatives. They can't be protected against irregural forces. How can our forces be hardened/protected against the psychological impact of these reprisals attacks to ensure they are still effective combatants, planners and leaders?

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Beantown USA

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Allan Dunbar would have you know...

Posted September 2, 2009
Richard K Morgan's Takeshi Kovacs novels are excellent if you like sci fi, but also good because they look at a world where life is cheap because you can simply "re-sleeve" someone in a new body. He also has advanced VR technology that is used in both interrogative and theraputic ways.

The idea of tailoring bodies for missions (in one, they use Maori sleeves (bodies) due to their higher resistance to radiation) is pretty interesting. He doesn't go into a huge amount of detail tech wise, suggesting that use of remotes is wide spread and large scale, especially for defence in hostile territory.

Bodies that sweat less, have higher endurance (we're not talking superhuman here, but if you can grow an adult body, you should be able to tweak DNA a little), give off lower pheromone signatures (to avoid detectors), bodies that have better night vision.

Body replacement is not a new concept, Peter F Hamilton looks at it as well in his Commonwealth novels (far more space opera than hard sci fi, but it has a lot of tech in it if you like that kind of thing).

His Night's Dawn trilogy is good fun and also has some interesting ideas, like combat fatigues that harden when struck, controlled by smart computers as well as extensive use of custom grown combat bodies and so on.

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El Coqui mumbles...

Posted September 2, 2009
Robert:

First, anyone that think that the movie had anything to do with Heinlein's book other than the title had no read the novel. So far, I had not found any die hard Heinlein fan which I am proud to say I am one, that had liked that monstrosity. Strangely enough, the third straight to video ST release was somewhat closer to the book.

Speaking about movies and TV, we are watching in the US a new SF show tittled "Defying Gravity". Is a tale about a future exploratory trip to the solar system with a crew of 8 astronauts. On the last showing, one of them got badly injured and lost her thumb. They were talking about regenerating the thumb in one month. However, her thumb was recovered and they were expecting her to be back on duty on a week.

Make me wonder about the military implications of medical advances to return soldier quickly to the battlefield.

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Quokka mumbles...

Posted September 2, 2009
In outer space?

WTF did they plan to grow it from?

Human waste?

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Mithridates mutters...

Posted September 2, 2009
Check out Peter Singer (not that Peter Singer) Wired For War. Its non-fiction and non-sci fi just covering current tech and robots. Two really interesting findings:

The guys and gals running the UAVs out of mainland US are getting up in the morning, racking up hundreds of kills a year, and going home for tea. Lots of suspicions of new forms of PTSD caused by the disfunction of the two lifestyles. No group bonding with the unit and no separation of 'going to war' and the homefront.

More information is being extracted that can be analysed by humans and the complexity of solutions overwealms human imagination and conscious retention. We are slaves to AI.

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Quokka asserts...

Posted September 2, 2009
Sorry, I didn't mean to sound inflammatory, just gobsmacked.

I was at a mental health conference a couple of years ago where a doctor and a cop were both speaking about intervention tactics for hostage situations -it was inherently about the flaws in our mental health system here in lovely QLD where if the cops take someone utterly deranged to the hospital to be assessed, there is this lovely loophole whereby the hospital is not required to hold them. Thus, the psycho is free to walk out and escalate whatever bit of crazy he/she was pulling off back out on the street.

Anyway, there were a lot of questions from the audience to the dr and the cop that referenced TV shows and they were met with guffaws from both. They said that the rule of thumb (pun intended) is that cops cannot sit through cop shows and docs cannot sit through doc shows because of all the utterly stellar factual inaccuracies and fanciful bits of fluff that the writers produce for the show. They said that basically television writing is about stretching the imagination to lengths previously unseen in either of their worlds and that stretch is usually a loooooooong stretch from reality.

Sorry, but if a thumb went missing there's at least one nerve that they could probably never restore and its all about timing, restoring lost digits so that blood/nerves etc can be reconnected and restored to full function.

I had surgery to an ankle some years ago whereby they had to sever the nerve supply to the lateral side of my foot. The surgeon was brilliant but I was warned that I'd probably lose most of my feeling in that foot and there was nothing they could do about it, c'est la vie.

Since then, you don't want me as a dance partner, El Coqui, unless you like your toes squished.

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Chaz puts forth...

Posted September 2, 2009
Matt at the very least you'd be able to get a few scenarios from some of the Burgers, myself included.

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Moko would have you know...

Posted September 2, 2009
Federation of American Scientists. http://www.fas.org/

Global Security http://www.globalsecurity.org/

Popular Science http://www.popsci.com.au/

Scientific American http://www.scientificamerican.com/

Air Unversity Center for Strategy and Technology http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/awc-futr.htm

Those would be somewhere to start maybe.

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Moko ducks in to say...

Posted September 2, 2009
Possibly very relevant.

http://csat.au.af.mil/2025/a_f.pdf (1mg)

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ACK swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted September 2, 2009
PTSD by remote - begs the question, will or should there be a human in the 'future' kill chain loop?

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Chaz would have you know...

Posted September 2, 2009
ACK good point however it seems that alot of human rights lawyers believe a human should always be in the loop so that soemone is always 'responsible' for each fatality..ie if it ever comes to war crimes.

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Mithridates would have you know...

Posted September 2, 2009
If you can get PTSD remotely that sort of stuffs the theory that mechanised killing removes empathy.

If you take the humans out of the kill chain and it becomes perfectly logical do we end up with the Terminator blind killing machines or the Doctor Who pure logical stand off (Daleks vs Cybermen). Why were logical purists like Vulcans killing machines?

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Mithridates ducks in to say...

Posted September 2, 2009
Woops. That should have been "weren't... killing machines".

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Patricia mumbles...

Posted September 2, 2009
Matt, I for one would love to spill my guts out for the benefit of our armed forces, just to stretch their minds and make them think outside the box.

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Chaz mumbles...

Posted September 2, 2009
Patricia after how many bottles of red will the spilling occur?

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Havock mutters...

Posted September 2, 2009
Matt if you are interested yep so am I. Assuming you are not an axe murderer. Lol jb has all my contact details drop me a line

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Moko asserts...

Posted September 2, 2009
...or youse could just skip it all and employ Chuck Norris....cause, ya know....guns use HIM for protection.

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Matthew K reckons...

Posted September 2, 2009
Mithridates "No group bonding with the unit " But is group bonding necessary if the job gets done? Surely this is only useful because of the extreme danger of conventional combat. With remote control "teletroopers" or drones the operators could even take decisions uninfluenced by andrenaline. (Although playing Xbox Live I make plenty of dumb, jumpy decisions).

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Moko reckons...

Posted September 2, 2009
Only Chuck Norris makes decisions. He just allows us to believe we do.

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HAVOCK mutters...

Posted September 2, 2009
hmmm, utilising a Bot, has issues. sensory perception for starters, then the issue of wastage, or unserviceability due to operator error let alone combat loss. Wouldn'T be that hard to chew through a shit load of bots, which i don't think would come cheap.

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Murph mumbles...

Posted September 2, 2009
How can you get PTSD using a bot? Part of what generates PTSD is the direct exposure to hardship, danger, etc. I can't see how that would be a problem if someone is sitting in an air conditioned conex in California while their Predator is popping hellfires at Taliban over Pakistan.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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tygertim would have you know...

Posted September 3, 2009
Robert,

Even though El Coqui, mi compadre magnifico (we're both barflies AND Burgers) beat me to it let me point out that I wrote "(not the stupid movie though)" on line three of my original post.

Mi Amigo I concur with your comment about any TRUE Heinlien fan. Me too!

From Wiki: "The film rights to the novel were licensed in the 1990s. The first film, also titled Starship Troopers, was directed by Paul Verhoeven (RoboCop, Total Recall) and released in 1997. The film diverged greatly in terms of the themes and plot of the novel, and received mixed reviews from critics."

In my opinion Paul Verhoeven should be stood up against the wall and shot for the way he raped Heinlien's legacy...

He had a script and Legal pointed out that Heinlien had published a similar storyline back in the late fifties and could result in a lawsuit...So Verhoeven bought the rights, Used some of the character names and situations in a revised script.... Anyone thinking that the movie in any way resembles the original story....Arrrgh!

Rant off. Rabid Heinlien fan...

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Moko has opinions thus...

Posted September 3, 2009
Surely video games are part of the tech deal too?. Many games out out there with tech that caused headaches creating.

There's always emotions when it comes to remote technology too. Granted, angry or happy are your primary emotions when it comes to gaming. But that's only because what's on the receiving end of your pixel fury is merely more pixels, with an under laying knowledge that someone else has emotional value in the pixels you're blasting but there's always respawn and maturity to mix in. I mean, who WOULDN'T wanna take out Birmo with a well placed claymore in CoD4?...but you KNOW Birmo gets to respawn just so you can spend the rest of the game trying to knife him...

But what if those weren't pixels you were destroying?. Are pilots immune to PTSD?. Doubt it. Why would drone controllers be immune. Chances are they're watching the result on Ultra-high definition widescreen. You drop your load - so to speak - and you get to go home to the missus' shocking cooking and to play soccer in the yard with the kid. Certain personalities would struggle with that, and I believe there's an article floating around about it...

Please stand by...lol

Here: http://www.4vf.net/they-circled-above-and-watched-u-s-soldiers-die-in-front-of-them/

Has someone mentioned Wired For War yet?...If not: http://wiredforwar.pwsinger.com/

Anyway, I'll send the goats on a tech savvy game mish...

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Robert mutters...

Posted September 3, 2009
Tiger and Cockie: I'm sure the Australian Army is not seeking movie reviews--they are looking for illustrations of future warfare, of which Starship Troopers, the movie, is a very poor example. Which was my point.

Personally, I think that what we see from Iraq is indicative of the distant future, in that superior forces highly armored will suffer brain injury or amputation or suicide from the stultifying boredom. Oh, and as we saw in Iraq, governments will short-change their soldiers such that many of them won't have access to the life-saving armor.

Hey, maybe in this sense Starship Troopers (the movie) gets it right. Amputees are rehabbed, fit out with prothesis, and sent back to battle.

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RobinB ducks in to say...

Posted September 3, 2009
JB, from a biologicals point of view we now have the theoretical capability to construct pathogens targetting specific blood/tissue types. Such an agent could be dropped into an area or water supply and all invading troops would not be susceptible and not need immunisations.

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Moko mumbles...

Posted September 3, 2009
Hey, about PTSD. I was thinking whilst wandering the aisles of the local woolies collecting random snack for this fucken SHIT HOUSE drive to FUCKING Emerald tomorrow - (SOOO don't give a shit about what's going on there) - .........SIGH.

...anway, PTSD, perhaps the military could improve the psychological side of the recruiting process. Instead of just (not just, but anyone can make it) go by phsyical and aptitude ability but by subconscious profiling.

For example. You really wouldn't want an 'Alpha Male' in the role of attack drone pilot - (or whateverthefuckyoucallit) - due to the sense of helplessness they'd feel watching fellow 'Alpha Males' being slaughtered in HD. You're probably better off putting clinical pointy headed lab tech types in those roles where they know within themselves that even if they were there there's fuck all they could do to help. They might be inclined suffer less from those sorts of situations...

And at the Mayonaise section I realised the military might benefit from the psychological criminal profiling techniques of Quantico and such. I mean, not all psychopaths are psychopathic. A lot of high achievers in business fit the psychopathic profile but utilise those techniques they've learned through life for personal gain as opposed to destructive payoff. I guess that's where nuture enters in to the equation.

Same as if you give a kid whose basic fundamental make up is that of an IT dude but you make him do a butchers apprenticeship. Short term he'll suffer from trauma but will learn to cope - (or not) - through necessity, depedning on his dominant personality, but long term he's affected.

Won't say what I thought at the produce section due to self incrimination, but all I'll say is 'darkhair, early 20's, SHORT skirt, low cut TOP and STACKED...'

That is all. OH, except for the Chuck Norris thing....SRSLY consider it.

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Bangar ducks in to say...

Posted September 3, 2009
I don't believe any one has brought up Haldeman's Forever War and Forever Peace.

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El Coqui has opinions thus...

Posted September 3, 2009
Quokka:

None taken, the show is set close to 50 years in our future. I am a Registered Nurse at the Cardiology Ward at Walter Reed. When I started there over 20 years ago, we used to treat then with open heart surgery and weeks long stay. What we now treat with a visit to the Catheterization suite and overnight observation period.

DARPA is putting funds now in tissue regeneration research and the show writers perhaps extrapolate what could be available then. In another scene, they were shocking someone and the paddles were wireless.

I wonder if any researchers out there see this and have a "star trek" moment. (Communicators are basically cell phones)

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Allan Dunbar has opinions thus...

Posted September 4, 2009
I was thinking this morning over coffee that since urban environments are looking to be a major theatre of operations for military and police in the future, are there any sci fi novels etc that look at this particular facet of it? I was thinking maybe of Peter F Hamilton's Mindstar novels. They have some parts on urban combat between insurgents and paramilitary police.

I can't think of any off the top of my head. But imagine an urban insurgency in somewhere like Manhattan. How do you fight that? Do vehicles help or hinder?

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Matthew K ducks in to say...

Posted September 4, 2009
There doesn't seem to be much grey area between full on Fallujah and sitting target Belfast in urban warfare.

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HAVOCK asserts...

Posted September 4, 2009
@ allan

Mate Vehicles most definitely help, however it takes extensive training and co ordinations between the MECH / Armour units and Inf units to ensure that they don't get busted up unnecessarily. Its interesting that one Israeli tactic was to armour up a D9-D11 doz er and driver it through successive houses. Given the construction methods over there that's OK, in a Modern urban CBD, its got issues. What it did do, was remove the ability of the insurgents to TARGET the dozer, well, lessen them anyway.

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Chaz mumbles...

Posted September 4, 2009
Matt the lack of SOP between Ulster and Fullujah is basically a lack of adaptation on the part of planners.

However the middle ground is probably Kosovo/Bosnia in their 'endgames'.

Light, precision CAS is lacking. Even the SDB (GBU-39) is in my mind too big, we need to have munitions at least half that to minimise CD to a more acceptable level. Yes it then brings it to the same level as the Hellfire lethality wise but the cost per round is still cheaper.

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Matthew K mumbles...

Posted September 4, 2009
You probably all see this but I'll post it because it totally blew our minds in this family:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2bExqhhWRI

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Respond to 'I dips me lid to the Force Development Group.'

A generous serving of fan fic to see you thru the winter. Or summer.

Posted August 16, 2009 by John Birmingham
Savo is away on a secret mission, and I forgot to grab the key to the mini-burger.

So, as a one off, I gift you with John Johnson's epic fan fic piece...

After The Wave

by John R. Johnson

After The Wave

By

John R. Johnson

The District Commander

New Headquarters Building

7th USCG District

San Juan, Puerto Rico

William "Wild Bill" Elliott wearily watched the yeoman typing a form, he had been waiting almost two hours and was building a head of steam. He shook his head. If anyone else could express such disdain and haughty attitude, without saying a word, as the yeoman he had never seen it them. He wondered how long it would be before the new sector commander, correction the new 7th Coast Guard District commander, corrected her. Rear Admiral John Brimo had only been promoted a week before.

The Matinicus had anchored the day before and he had been ordered to report to the new district commander. Elliott had barely had time to greet his wife properly when his phone had rung and the yeoman said the Admiral want to see him as soon as possible. Well, if the district commander was that impatient to see him he hoped it was important. He had been planning to spend a couple of days with the family before diving back into the work needed to get the Mattie back in shape. He almost jumped when the intercom buzzed and the yeoman told him to go in.

"Lt. Elliott, it's a pleasure to meet you," Admiral Brimo said, returning Elliott's salute. "My message said at your earliest convenience. I expected you to take a couple of days with your family." He picked up the phone. "Yeoman, two cups of coffee, please."

"Yes sir, I thought you wanted to see me ASAP," Bill said. He wondered what the penalty was for strangling a yeoman who put her own interpretation on orders she relayed. "I figured you wanted a first hand account of what happened in the fight with the Venezuelan patrol boat."

"I read your report but I'd like to hear what happened and your reasoning for the actions you took," the Admiral admitted. He frowned as the yeoman put a cup of coffee down in front of Elliott hard enough to make the coffee slosh out of the cup and left the office. "As you know I'm from the aviation side of thing so I'm more familiar with air operations. And I had only been assigned to the air station a couple of weeks before the wave hit so I don't know the sea going personnel as well as I should. Start with the pirate ship where you rescued the retired marine and his men."

"Yes sir," Bill paused to gather his thoughts. "We had been at sea about three days..."

***

"And that's about all," Bill finished hoarsely. He had been talking almost non-stop for an hour answering the Admirals penetrating questions. "We were already closing the distance with the Alabama when the shooting started. I felt the most immediate danger was from the ship. The patrol boat only had time for a couple of shots at us and I think the P-3 Orion's appearance shocked them so much they froze for a minute. When they started paying attention to us again we were too close to the ship for them to get a clear shot at us. They might have fired a shot at us but we were behind the ship by then and I think they hit the Alabama instead."

"Very enlightening," the Admiral said. He looked at the clock on his desk. "Lt. as you may have heard the commandant has ordered an increase in anti-piracy operations. He has ordered the GALLATIN (WHEC 721) homeported in San Juan. A 378-foot cutter will enhance our operational capabilities immensely. The Eagle has been in Iceland since the wave and it's ordered to Seattle to the new Coast Guard academy. The Eagle will join the Gallatin in the Bahamas and be escorted to the Panama Canal with some other ships. So the Gallatin should be here in about two months."

"In the mean time we are going to follow your example and put larger crews on all our ships. We can't send sailors to Seattle for training so we are going to work with the Navy to set up some schools here in San Juan to train the new men on. Pick the men you want to send for gunnery training, electronics, engines and fire fighting. We have three week courses starting next week. It's enough to teach them not to shoot themselves anyway. Also, you and the other 110 ft. cutters are each being assigned four ensigns, they are all from the naval ROTC programs from the local universities." The Admiral was all business now. "My Yeoman has orders promoting your exec and engineering officer to Lieutenant (junior grade). It will be their and your responsibility to train these ensigns up to Coast Guard standards. Any questions so far?"

"Sounds like a good idea," Bill said. "If I might make a suggestion. I think each cutter needs to have a corpsman assigned. A lot of these islands have little or no medical care or trained personnel. A corpsman could treat the sick and injured when we visit the islands and we could transport critical cases back to a hospital in San Juan. But it means we will need more trained medical personnel."

"That's a very good idea," Admiral Brimo said. He made a note on his computer. "Any other suggestions?"

"Just one more," Bill answered. "I have a couple of kids I took on that I was planning on training as officers. They are bright and enthusiastic but they don't have the education to qualify for college. I thought if we could train them it would give them an opportunity and it would set an example for other kids in the islands. It would also help cement relations between the islands and the Coast Guard."

"I see," the Admiral said softly. He rocked back and forth in his chair for several minutes, looking out the office window, thinking hard. "Just what were your plans and how were you planning on teaching them?"

"I don't have definite plans yet, sir." Bill said. "I know what I want to do. I want  to starting remedial classes for them and any other crewmembers, who want to learn, to bring them up to snuff on the basics of reading and math, also start teaching them leadership and navigation. I had an old time quartermaster chief when I joined. He insisted all the strikers under him learn celestial navigation. He didn't trust all the "new fangled" navigation aids. We still have navigation satellites but they would be easy to take out if someone has the will and knowledge and resources."

"Hmmm... I see," the Admiral repeated. He rubbed his chin thoughtfully. "Tell you what. I'll write up orders allowing you to sign them on as midshipmen. You'll have three months to get them up to speed. At the end of that time we'll test them. If they pass I'll see about getting them scholarships at the university here in San Juan or an appointment to the new Coast Guard Academy." He made more notes in his computer. "Good point about the navigation satellites."

" In addition to everything else you will be getting orders in a few days to escort a shipload of scientists to Florida. Seattle has ordered scientific investigations to check on conditions in the states. It will be about five weeks before they are ready to leave. So run as many of you crew through the new services schools as possible and start getting your ship ready." He stood up and held out his hand. "Good luck on your assignment, Lt."

"One other thing," Bill said. "I lost my gunners mate and I would like Bill Barron to replace him. Barron is the retired Marine Gunnery Sergeant. I enlisted him as a seaman but I would like to promote him to Chief. He showed he knows how to handle the bushmaster in the action against the terrorist ship."

"I guess you didn't get the word yet," the Admiral said. "The commandant sent out an all Coast Guard message authorizing unit commanders to promote internally until further notice. We aren't in a position to conduct service wide promotion exams just now."

***

USCGC Matinicus (WPB-1315)

USCG Station San Juan

Puerto Rico

Elliott saluted the JOOD and the quarterdeck then looked aft to where the laughter was coming from. His exec, BMC (Boats'n Mate Chief) Jose Cabrera, and engineering officer, MKC (Machinist Mate Chief) Don Perillo and retired gunnery sergeant now Seaman Bill Barron huddled together laughing at some joke. Before heading aft he gave the bulky manila envelops he was carrying to the messenger of the watch to be taken to the ships office.

"What's so funny, Jose," Bill asked? "I could use a good laugh after spending the afternoon with the Admiral and in the personnel office."

"Do you remember MKC Jack Slidell?" Jose asked?

"Sure we pulled a tour on fisheries patrol off Alaska when I was just a petty officer first class." Bill frowned in remembrance. "Had a knock out wife by the name of Jacqueline if I remember correctly. Jack and Jacky was what everyone called them. She was sure a looker but as hard as nails, didn't take guff from anyone, much less Jack.  What about him?"

"He was stationed in San Juan at Air Station Borinquen about a week before the Wave," Don laughed. "That's why we didn't run into them."

"Well, when the Navy tried to slip a Navy captain in when the sector commander was killed they picked a Capt. Kalb," Jose picked up the story. "As you know things in the commissary and exchange are in short supply on a lot of items so whenever a shipment comes in from Europe or Seattle there is a rush on the facilities." He took a deep breath to control the laughter. "Picture it! All the wives lined up to buy things and this lady tries to shove her way into the head of the line. The woman she tried to get in front of told her to go to the back of the line. The lady drew herself up and looked down her nose at the other woman and said, 'I'm Mrs. Captain Kalb!'"

"The other woman looked her straight in the eye and said, 'I'm Mrs. Chief Slidell, we both fuck sailors. Go to the back of the line.' ... Oh Man!" Jose exclaimed. "I wish I could have been there to see it."

Bill almost started laughing when a little voice in the back of his head said. "Don't blow it now but this is the chance of a lifetime."   His face turned red with the effort not to laugh. "Chief Cabrera, Chief Perillo, Seaman Barron, you all know it's against regulations to show disrespect to a commissioned officer. Well, I'll have to do something about that." He raised his voice and called the JOOD. "Have all hands fall in on the fantail in five minutes." He looked back at the other three. "You men wait here, at attention, until I get back."

Cabrera and Perillo stood with mouths agape, stunned. Gunny Barron put on his poker face. He had seen a few mustangs, after making officer, let it go to their heads. Sometimes they took a few days to get over it but others never got over it. Until sanity returned though it was never an easy time.

The three, braced at attention, could only answer, "Yes Sir!"

***

"Boatswain Mate Chief Jose Cabrera, Machinist Mate Chief Don Perillo, Seaman Bill Barron you have all been making disrespectful comments about officers," Bill said formally. "Do you have anything to say for yourselves?"

All three, standing blank faced, shook their heads.

"Very well. Chief Cabrera and Chief Perillo, attention to orders. Under the authorization of order number... well the number doesn't really matter at the moment... you are hereby promoted to the rank of Lt. (junior grade). Seaman Bill Barron you are hereby promoted to the rank of Gunners Mate Chief. Congratulations!" Bill said. The three stood like they had been struck by lightening. "Before I forget. Crew of the Matinicus you have done well and these three newly promoted shipmates will be buying for everyone at the Black Angus Bar after working hours. Dismissed!"

***

USCGC Matinicus (WPB-1315)

USCG Group Miami

100 MacArthur Causeway

Miami, FL

Six weeks later

The Matinicus, followed by the cargo vessel carrying the scientists and coast guard personnel, eased toward the floating docks which made up USCG Station Miami. Elliott shook his head at what he saw. The CGC Chandeleur (WPB-1319), the CGC Farallon (WPB-1301) and the CC Valiant (WMEC-621) were still tied up to the piers. The CGC Dolphin (WPB-87354) and CGC Matagordo (WPB-1303) were tied up but listing, the Matagordo was listing heavily. There was no sign of the other cutters assigned to Group Miami, no way to tell what had happened to them or where they were when the Wave struck.

"Cdr. Nicholson, it looks like you'll be able to get the Valiant under way with minimal problems," Bill sighed. The Mattie and the cargo ship were crawling with coasties. Admiral Brimo had decided to send along extra personnel with orders to get the Valiant underway to San Juan. "Of course we won't know the ships condition until we can get a survey crew aboard. As soon as the boarding parties signal all clear we can tie up. Then the two Marine Recon squads the Navy sent along will try to start some vehicles and scout the city itself. I want to make sure everything is secure before the scientists are allowed to wonder around."

"Sounds good to me," Cdr. Nicholson said. He rubbed his chin slowly. "I brought a full crew, twelve experienced officers and eighty-three men, for the Valiant. If the ships are in good condition I think I'll try and get the Farallon and Chandeleur under way also. Lord knows we can use the assets and two more 110 ft. cutters will be a godsend." He sighed, "All my people will be tied up getting the cutters ready for sea. Do you think you could loan me enough people to start gathering the material the Admiral wants?"

"No problem, sir," Bill answered. He paused briefly. "I can understand getting all the supplies and charts and operational material from the base and District Headquarters but why the personnel records. Except for personnel still living I can't see the need and that space could be used for a lot more important things." He shrugged, "I'll make sure we keep a list of serial numbers on all computers and weapons, especially the ones that come from civilian sources."

"Ours but to do or die..." Cdr. Nicholson murmured. "I'll see your work details have copies of the Admiral's list. If you think of anything which might come in useful just add it to the list. I've already added several items." He rubbed his chin. "I expect you'll be ordered to remain in the area for some time. Headquarters and the Navy are going to want a report on the condition of military assets. The navy will be sending their own salvage parties soon but right now though they're busier than a one-legged man in a ass... never mind. I expect they'll be sending people soon, so you might start preliminary plans for salvage operations." He looked at the Miami skyline. "Personally I don't think Miami will ever be as big again, at least not for a long time. The only thing it had going for it was the beaches and weather that attracted tourists and retirees. It's going to be a long time before we see many tourists again."

***

USCG Group Miami, FL

100 MacArthur Causeway

Ten Days later

Elliott leaned tiredly on the bridge rail of the Matinicus and watched the Valiant, towing the Dolphin, accompanied by the Farallon and Chandeleur sail out of sight. The Valiant and the two 110ft cutters had been relatively easy to get ready to sail. But Cdr. Nicholson had decided to add the  Dolphin to the mix. The 87 foot Dolphin had been a stone cold bitch to pump out in the time allotted and get ready to be towed to San Juan. It would need extensive work once it reached it's new home. Finding the supplies and equipment the Admiral wanted had been a job and a half too.

On top of everything else the Marines had reported large portions of the city, especially the older and more crowded sections, had burned down and also that someone had been looting liquor stores, banks, jewelry stores and malls and at least one pharmaceutical warehouse in the Miami area. The commander had immediately ordered complete radio silence and ordered the marines to find the looters and report back without being seen. "Why, oh why, couldn't the Marines have reported back before Cdr. Nicholson left. Then the commander would be the one to fill out all the reports and paperwork," Bill grumbled softly. In the meantime he was in command and responsible for the safety of the scientists.

"Sir, I didn't catch that," the seaman on watch said.

"It's nothing. Carry on," Bill said, turning as the exec stepped onto the bridge. "What's up, Jose?"

"Skipper, I just got word the marines are back and they have a civilian with them, Jose reported. "The watch on the causeway reported back by landline they have the marines in sight. They don't know if the civilian is a prisoner or with them willingly. They should be here in another half hour."

"Very well, have the marine CO and the civilian report to me as soon as they get here," Bill said. "Tell the cook to have some hot chow ready for the troopers."

***

"Skipper, I have Lt. Ingram and a Mr. Ron Daly," Jose said. "Mr. Daly is leader of a group of refugees and can provide some information about the looters."

"Sir, Lt. Ingram reporting as ordered," said Lt. Doyle Ingram. At Bill's nod he continued, "As per my orders I conducted a scout of the city. I found two groups of people. Mr. Daly and his people are refugees who arrived a few weeks after the Wave disappeared. The other group, the looters, are holed up  to the southeast of Miami. I was unable to locate their ship in the time allotted but they have converted a self storage facility into a prison camp and have about a hundred and fifty slaves held there."

"Very well, write up a full report," Bill said, looking at Mr. Daly curiously. He saw a tall lean man wearing old cammies, about fifty years old, with salt and pepper hair. Mr. Daly had a rifle slung over his shoulder. Elliott's eyes widen as he recognized the Cadillac of sniper rifles, a Russian made Dragunov SVD.

"Mr. Daly, suppose you explain to me who you are and what you and your people are doing in Miami." Bill repeated, "Who sent you and why are you here?"

"Major Ron Daly of the Rhodesian Light Infantry and then the Selous Scouts under Colonel Reid-Daly, until we were disbanded in 1980. Then I took my unit to South Africa and served with 5 Reconnaissance Commando until I retired in 1995. You can call me Ron." He rubbed his chin thoughtfully. "Had me a good farm until the Wave. A lot of my men took up land nearby too."

He pause to gather his thoughts. "After the Wave things started to change. Government policies changed and then we started hearing about men disappearing and farms being raided and burned. Rumors that the government was getting rid of all white men and Asians, anyone not black. I got together with my friends and neighbors, there are about three hundred of us all told, and we decide to leave South Africa. We took all of our resources and managed to lease a ship to try to get back to England. After we sailed we radioed the British government and they told us we couldn't land there permanently, that we could pass through but not stay. Something about wanting a culturally and racially homogenous population." Ron grinned. "We had already fought off three pirate attacks when we heard the Wave had disappeared, so we decided to make for America. 'Send me your huddled masses' and all that. We are a mix of races and most countries are throwing out anyone not racially, hmmm... compatible. The ship dropped us off just north of Miami instead of the Carolina's like we requested. We are trying to get enough vehicles working to move further north, maybe to the mountains."

Elliott shot a quick glance at Lt. Ingram when Ron made the statement about his group being of mixed races. At the marines nod of agreement he leaned back on the bridge rail thinking.

"Would you be willing to help us fight the looters," Bill asked? "I don't think the looters know we are here but we can use the help."

"Take my word for it, Captain," Rod assured him. "They know you're here. You've got generators working and at night turn on floodlights around your base like it's a football field. The glow in the sky must be visible for ten miles. It's real noticeable since there aren't any other lights to drown them out. Ask Lt. Ingram here." The Marine nodded reluctantly. "But we'll help you against the looters. Seems like every time we move to a new country the first thing they want is for us to fight."

"Lt. Ingram, you and Ron get together and try to come up with a basic plan to take the looters," Bill scowled. "I'll be damned if I stand by while some assholes are keeping slaves in the United States of America. My great grandfather fought to put an end to that shit and I'm not going see it make a comeback in this day and age."

***

USCGC Matinicus (WPB-1315)

USCG Group Miami, FL

100 MacArthur Causeway

One week later

"That's about all we can do for now," Elliott looked around the planning group. "I think we've taken everything into consideration in our planning. At least until Murphy decides to put in his two cents." He looked down at the plans for the prison camp/storage facility where the slaves were held and the gated luxury condos next door where the looters were living. "To recap then, there are approximately sixty looters. Lt. Ingram, you and your men will take out the prison guards and free the prisoners. Mr. Daly, you will take forty of your men and try to capture or kill the looters. You say they're pretty lax as far as security is concerned so maybe you can move your men into position and take them before they wake up." He looked at his watch. "Start moving the men and equipment into position today and at five o'clock tomorrow morning we hit them. Jose, you will be in command here at the base and will have to sit on the civilian scientists. I'm going to take the Mattie down the coast a little ways and see if I can spot the looters ship. If there are no question lets get moving. Ron, could you remain behind for a moment."

"Ron, I understand that you have about three hundred men, women and children in your group," Bill said. "Lt. Ingram reports you also have a small herd of cattle, sheep and horses. Why did you bring those with you?"

"Aye, we brought some livestock, even some chickens." Ron said after a long pause. "We figure there will be some canned food available, at least long enough to get some crops in, but we are going to need fresh meat. There's no electricity and the petrol has been sitting in tanks for a year, so there's no telling how much longer it will be good. Wherever we settle it might be years before we see new supplies. So we figure we will have to be self-sufficient for the foreseeable future and not depend on what we can find. Why do you ask?"

"This came in from naval intelligence in San Juan," Bill held out the message. "Seems they have a report about someone raiding a town on the African coast right after the Wave disappeared. The raiders shot the local honcho and his lieutenants and stole a bunch of livestock. Kind of odd you and your group show up here not long after with a herd of livestock."

"Well, Skipper, I could lie to you and say it wasn't us but it would be a lie and we both know it." Ron eyed Elliott thoughtfully. "I will say the town we raided was the source of the last pirate attack on our ship. We killed them and took their loot. The local townspeople seemed pretty happy to see the pirates gone. So what are your orders and what are you planning to do?"

"We'll discuss that after we take out those looters," Bill said. "Headquarters seems to be leaving things up to me. When I asked for orders they pretty much said to handle it."

***

In position outside the looters compound

5 A.M.

Ron looked through his binoculars at the back wall of the looters compound and at the prison camp across the road behind the compound. Four guards, who appeared asleep, by the back entrance to the gated condo compound and it looked like six guards around the makeshift prison.

He checked his watch and signaled the scouts to move out. At the same time he radioed the code word to the sniper teams on the roofs of the office complexes surrounding the living compound. The snipers assigned to the teams were better shots than he was and with the Barrett .50 caliber M82A1 sniper rifles with the 10X Leupold & Stevens Ultra Mark IV telescopic sights would take out any bad guys before they knew what hit them. The range was a little long, about a kilometer, by not impossible. He grinned and wondered what the Skipper would say if he found out Ron had raided the SWAT armories of two police stations to get the Barretts and the radios they were using. He checked his watch as the ten infiltration teams moved into the compound.

***

Lt. Ingram checked his watch and gave the signal for the marines to start their assault on the prison compound. The sky was already starting to turn gray and it would be light in another half hour. If they were lucky they could take the prison without firing a shot.

He saw several shapes merge with the guards and then there were just some dark lumps on the ground. He started running as fast as he could for the prison gate, coming to a halt at the corner of the first storage unit. A quick sweep with his M-16 showed nothing moving. All clear for now.

The marine with the bolt cutters ran forward and in a few seconds had the lock on the unit cut. The marine pulled the door open and suddenly staggered back, leaning against the wall gagging and heaving. In seconds a foul, fetid odor spread from the open door.

Lt. Ingram held a handkerchief over his mouth and nose as he looked into the first unit. There appeared to be about twenty men chained inside, from appearances several of them were dead. He staggered back outside.

"Gunny, get the medic up here now and get some water for these men." Lt. Ingram ordered harshly. "Pass the word that I don't want to see any of these bastards that did this. At least not alive."

"With pleasure, boss," Gunnery Sergeant Abraham Lincoln Karin said, looking inside the unit. "My people were freed after the civil war and I've heard the stories all my life. But I never realized what slavery is all about till now." His shoulders shook with rage. "I'll start getting the other units open and see what we can do to help these poor bastards." He walked over to one of the dead sentries and pulled back his boot to kick the body.

"Gunny, as you were!" Lt. Ingram ordered harshly.

"Sir, how could anybody do that to another human being?" Gunny Karin nodded toward the door of the storage unit. "He's was black! He knew the stories! So how could he do those things? Things like this aren't suppose to happen in America!"

"Gunny, we don't know that he was an American. He probably wasn't." Lt. Ingram said, "That being said you've seen it elsewhere. This is what happens when the rule of law breaks down. Even piss poor government is better than the chaos of no government at all. Then there's nothing to stop people from giving in to the darkest parts of their soul."

***

Ron had his back against the wall beside the condo's door, his partner, Corporal Nkomo, on the other side. It was time, the sky was already starting to turn gray with the dawn. He tried the door knob first and when it didn't turn his partner squatted beside the lock. In seconds the door swung open. They moved inside rapidly, covering all corners.

The first closed door opened onto an empty bedroom. The second room was occupied to judge by the snoring. Shouldering his FN-FAL rifle he slid his knife from the scabbard. He was moving toward the bed when he realized there were two people on the bed.

He froze, expecting a scream, when he saw the wide blue eyes staring at him, shifting back and forth between his face and the knife. The smile on the girls face surprised him but not any more than when she motioned him to come on. He sorted through his options. He could un-sling the rifle and shot them both, setting off the alarm, or he could knife the girl, she didn't look more than fifteen or sixteen, and then the man or...

The girl moved and Ron saw the chain around her ankle. Making his decision he signaled his partner to cover him. Rapidly stepping forward he drew the knife across the man's throat. The naked girl grabbed the knife as blood started spurting from the jugular, stabbing the man over and over in the chest. Her mouth open like she was screaming but no sound came out.

Ron took the hypodermic Corporal Nkomo handed him and stabbed it into the girls shoulder. She didn't even feel it until she fell over and rolled off the bed.

"All scouts, be alert for slaves in some of the rooms. Handle the situation as you see fit." Ron radioed the warning. He was already moving toward the next door.

***

The morning was noticeably lighter as Ron came out of the third condo. There had been one other slave in the rooms they had checked, a young boy. They had left him drugged also and headed toward their fourth lodging. That was when all hell broke out. There was a sudden scream and a pistol shot, then the sound of a rifle firing.

Ron rushed toward the door which suddenly burst open and a large latino man burst out, gripping a MAC-10. Before he could fire the man was picked up and thrown back into the condo. A hole the size of a quarter appearing on the man's chest, a spray of blood coming out of the exit wound in his back. 'Damn, you have to love that Barrett .50.'

***

It was another half hour before the last of the slavers were hunted down and killed. The price had been heavy, four scouts killed and two marines. Several had been wounded.

None of the slavers had survived. After seeing what the slavers had done the marines and scouts had been in no mood for surrenders. There had been a hundred and eighty slaves in the storage units. Seventeen were dead in their chains from starvation, lack of water and mistreatment, the others couldn't have survived more than a few more days.

***

Elliott tiredly stirred his coffee. He had been on the bridge of the Matinicus for the last eight hours as it sailed slowly parallel with the shore south of Miami, doing radar sweeps of the mangrove swamps and islands along the coast. Another half hour and he would head back to the Group. In the meantime he was taking the opportunity to get some breakfast and coffee. He had received a radio message from the shore parties that they had successfully taken out the looters and freed the slaves.

The intercom buzzed and he picked up the hand set.

"Captain, we have a large contact on the radar," the Officer of the Deck, Ensign Pulver, reported. "It's five miles southeast of us on a course for Miami and moving at about twelve knots. I don't think it has spotted us yet."

"Very well," Elliott said. "I'll be right there. In the mean time plot an intercept course and keep a sharp watch for any course change the contact might make when they do spot us. Call Chief Barron and have him meet me on the bridge."

***

Elliott watched the huge, rust streaked ship as it continued on course toward Miami. They must be blind on the bridge not to have seen the cutter closing on the ship from astern. There must be some crew aboard but he had seen no movement on the bridge or deck. Whoever was in command was a idiot.

Through his binoculars he could make out the name of the ship, Splendor of the Seas. He shook his head in disbelief. The last time he had seen the Splendor she had been sparkling white, no rust anywhere, a proud cruise ship of the Royal Caribbean Line. He had heard the Splendor had been at sea when the Wave hit. Then about a month later she had disappeared.

The Splendor's 867 foot length dwarfed the 110 ft. Matinicus. Elliott grinned, of course the Mattie had something the cruise ship didn't have, a chain gun. He picked up the intercom handset. "Any response to our hails on the radio," he asked? "I can't believe they don't at least have a radio listening watch. Oh well, we'll do it the hard way."

"Splendor of the Seas, this is the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Matinicus. Stop your engines and prepare to be boarded," Elliott's voice, amplified by the PA system, boomed over the water. "I say again, stop your engines."

"That got their attention," Bill remarked to Ensign Pulver. They watched men scurrying across the deck of the Splendor. "I hope they'll be reasonable and do this easy. Nope, it was too much to hope for. Now we do it the hard way." He sighed as the Splendor altered course and headed toward the beach three miles away. He straightened as he saw muzzle flashes on the ships dark bridge. "Gunny, put a warning burst on the bridge. Everybody else hold your fire for now but kill anyone who tries to return fire."

"Splendor, stop your engines before you run aground. You can't escape that way. Stop your engines!" Bill looked at the shore, judged the distance and ordered, "Engine room come to dead slow. Be prepared to reverse engines if it looks like we're going to run aground ourselves." He looked back at the Splendor as the Mattie dropped further astern. It looked like the crew were trying to lower four boats on the far side of the ship.

As Bill watched one of the falls on one of the boats hung up and the stern fell loose, dropping the six men aboard in the ocean where they were sucked under the ships hull. Men slid down the cables as the other boats hit the water. The men aboard the next boat tried to release the cables as soon as the boat touched water. The bow cable came loose first, the stern cable yanked the boat around causing it to capsize.

The last two boats hit the water. The crews managed to unhook the stern cables first and play out the cable on the bows, starting the boats engines. Finally, they gave the engines enough throttle to ease up on the bow cables so they could be unhooked. The boats, engines screaming, sped away from the Splendor throwing up a large rooster tail.

"Cigarette boats! Gunny, take them out! I don't want those boats getting away." Bill shouted. "Helm, full to port. Engine room, give me all you've got. If we don't stop those boats now we'll never catch them."

The Mattie steadied up on her new course, slowly gaining speed. With a clear shot the chain gun opened up. Elliott thought Gunny had missed until all the expensive gasoline and pricey plastic in one of the boats, with an explosive whoosh, went up like a roman candle. The final boat must have been doing sixty-five mile per hour when it hit an underwater obstruction and started cart wheeling through the air. Bodies and boat parts flying in all directions.

Elliott turned back to the Splendor heading steadily toward the shore. It was a couple of minutes before the ship seemed to shudder and hesitate and then continue it's drive ashore. Tortured metal screamed and collapsed as the ship forced it way through the sand and rock before finally coming to rest.

***

Elliott stood on the bridge of the Splendor. He had read the reports from the boarding party but it hadn't really hit him until he came over himself. Seated in the captain's chair was an emaciated, bearded man, wearing a ragged captain's uniform of the Royal Caribbean Line. There was surprisingly little blood around the two bullet holes in his chest. A thin smile of triumph forever on his lips.

Elliott looked at the chain around his ankle, just long enough to reach the ships wheel and bridge wing. Nearby was the bucket the pirates had given him to urinate in. The few survivors from the crew said the captain had been chained on the bridge ever since the ship had been capture a year ago. There had been over twenty-five hundred passengers and crew aboard the Splendor when she was captured. Less than three hundred still survived.

"I though you must be blind not to see me overtaking you from the stern," Bill said. "But you saw me alright and used the opportunity to take your ship away from the pirates. The pirates didn't know how to handle this large a ship so they kept you alive, figuring they could keep you under control, that there was nothing you could do. But you made sure no one would ever use your ship in such a way again. Well, Captain, I'll see that they don't forget you anytime soon."

USCGC Matinicus (WPB-1315)

USCG Group Miami, FL

100 MacArthur Causeway

One week later

"Ron, good to see you before you and your people pull out," Bill said. "You said you were going to head north, maybe to Georgia or the Carolinas, so we might run into each other again soon." He grinned warily. "I've been ordered north to check out the ports at Savannah and Charleston. I'm also suppose to drop off the Marines at Kings Bay in Georgia so they can secure the base and any submarines and nukes until the navy can send a ship and personnel to check everything out."

"We'll be pulling out at dawn tomorrow morning," Ron answered. "About sixty of the slave survivors have asked if they can come with us. About half will be going to San Juan on the ship taking the loot the slavers had collected. The remainder want to stay here in Miami with the men you are leaving to mind those idiot scientists."

"Speaking of the loot I asked headquarters about a reward for your help in dealing with the slavers," Bill said. "I'm sorry but they said no. All the jewelry, coins and art work are to be returned to San Juan. The cutter Key Largo will be here tomorrow to escort the ...ummm... recovered property back to San Juan. They will also be bringing enough personnel to watch over the scientists here in Miami and to provide small units to be stationed in Savannah and Charleston."

"And now as the poet said," Rod smiled. "It's time to put away childish things and speak of other things. What did your headquarters say about me and my people?"

"I'll tell you the truth," Bill said. "I asked but never really got an answer. I get the impression everyone wishes you would disappear down a black hole somewhere. They like the fact you helped with the slavers but then they think South Africa and Rhodesia. I think they can't get past the old stereotypes. But it looks like they've left it up to me again."

"So what have you decided, Skipper?" Ron turned a blank face toward Elliott. "You going to load us up and send us back to Africa?"

"No! I would recommend you take your people to north Georgia." Bill said. "There's farm land around the Rabun Gap area, north of Atlanta. It'll probably be years before any one in authority gets back up in the area." He shoved over a stack of papers. "These are grants from me for each of your personnel, giving them two hundred acres of reclaimed land, in return for your assistance with the slavers. Four hundred for the families of the ones killed." He looked at Ron's astonished face. "They probably aren't worth the paper they're printed on but it's official Coast Guard letterhead and might save you from a lot of charges and accusations in the future."

"Thanks, Skipper, thanks a lot!" Ron held out his hand. "If you ever decide to give up the sea then come on up. We'll save some land for you." He hesitated for a moment. "Skipper why are you doing this? It would be a lot easier for you if you just sent us back to Africa."

"There were two things which decided me," Bill said. "One is the fact that your party is multiracial. But the main one is your livestock."

"Our livestock!" Ron exclaimed. "What does that have to do with it?"

"It shows you are here to stay and to make homes," Bill said. "Anyone can claim they want to make homes here but bringing your livestock shows you're serious. You aren't here for whatever you can loot from the museums, stores and warehouses. You're here to build homes."

The End

44 Responses to ‘A generous serving of fan fic to see you thru the winter. Or summer.’

Brian mutters...

Posted August 16, 2009
Hmm . . . .John Johnston? A name I think I know.

Comments latter. Got a dissassembled thingie to put back together. Ultrasonic cleaner/ zapper gadget.

brian

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Matthew K ducks in to say...

Posted August 17, 2009
Cheers. Enjoyed that.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan would have you know...

Posted August 17, 2009
Savo totally stole my idea.

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Chaz is gonna tell you...

Posted August 17, 2009
Excellent, well written and moves nicely

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El Coqui reckons...

Posted August 17, 2009
Good Job, Johh. More!

Jose

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NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted August 17, 2009
Top work.

Loved the "handle as you see fit" protocol. I agree that within the standards of an officers code of conduct there would be much lattitude given to local reps. The Brass has big enough headaches dealing with securing nukes ect.

Enjoyed it greatly & good to hear the Manticore is out & about fighting the good fight.

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HAVOCK puts forth...

Posted August 17, 2009
Jebers, not Bad, not bad at all.

Somebody is showing their age though, Rhodesian light inf, Selous Scouts, bloody hell. Its been a LOOOOONG time since I hear either of those mentioned.

Then we get the WHEC, somebody has been doing research or is already up to speed. Good Job.

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Chaz reckons...

Posted August 17, 2009
H I'm sorry I knew someone who fought in a similar unit to the Scouts.. are you saying I'm old?

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HAVOCK puts forth...

Posted August 17, 2009
Chaz, like me...YOU ARE OLD!

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Chaz reckons...

Posted August 17, 2009
Young whippersnapper..

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Paul Nicholas Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted August 17, 2009
I totally was going to say "young whippersnapper."

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Quokka ducks in to say...

Posted August 17, 2009
Sorry, busy busy, no time this week to read much at all.

Just darting by to report there's been more f*ck ups with the E-toll.

Got stuck on the GD bridge the other day when I missed the turnoff so am waiting for a fine to arrive. Bastards.

http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,25940139-952,00.html

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Brian puts forth...

Posted August 17, 2009
Bloody kids. You've woken me up from a nice Poppy nap.

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Quokka swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 17, 2009
Time for a bex and a lie down?

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Matthew K would have you know...

Posted August 17, 2009
What did I come out here for again?

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Quokka puts forth...

Posted August 17, 2009
We were whining about old age and decrepitude, remember?

And I'm pulling out an ace.

I went to the skin specialist today to get all my little nasties zapped and sliced and the Doc looked at me and said 'You know, really we should laser and peel your face and your chest soon. It will get rid of all these little lines around your eyes and your mouth.'

A PEEL????

WTF am I, a fricking grape?

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Brian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 17, 2009
What are they doing for your varicose veins? I always reckoned tattoos were the go for that . . .a bita . . .err . . uhhm . . . camouflage . . .that's it . . . .camouflage . .

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Quokka puts forth...

Posted August 17, 2009
Nah. My veins are good. Its just that the chicken skin covering them is slightly overcooked.

Queensland sun and all that.

As for tatts, these are for people who like needles and excruciating pain.

I still can't believe that the doc thought I'd be excited about getting a PEEL.

Jesus and Mary.

The bloke got in from work and after saying reassuringly 'Well that's not too bad, I was expecting worse', he told me that his boss had a peel done, he was off work for two weeks and came back looking like a sundried tomato.

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houyhnhnm is gonna tell you...

Posted August 17, 2009
sorry JB, the delusional fantasy doen't cut it. might work for old dead white guys (an a few Quokks into the S&M thing) but real people read real Lit. no awards here, will hav to look for kicks elsewhere. if i was a behaviourist instead of a social constructionist, maybe i could excuse, but nah

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HAVOCK would have you know...

Posted August 17, 2009
Chaz...not "C" squadron was he?.

the rest of ya old age decrepid busted arse sooks..lol. I AM NEVER AGEING!..

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HAVOCK swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 17, 2009
PNB, anybody, anybody who falls into the realm of knowledgeable, worldly knowledgeable, such as yourself..IS AN OLD FART, or, called " Father time". pick ya poison.

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John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 17, 2009
Hoony, I don't believe you were ever promised literature before you signed on here? Did you not read the product disclosure statement?

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Quokka mutters...

Posted August 17, 2009
There might've been a smear of troll dung obscuring that passage JB.

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houyhnhnm mutters...

Posted August 17, 2009
as a BIG fan of Falafel, i thought i'd c wot the G.O. was' that's all. i'm disappointed, so i'll move on. there are other daddys that may not hav already sold out. an u hav yr share of quokks to clean yr nappies. so, allgood

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Brian ducks in to say...

Posted August 17, 2009
Where were we . . .oh yeah . . . peeling . . .is that like Old White Guys version of botox. . . .and pulling the skin extra tight?

Only thing keeping me warm is my wrinkles. Being a Mexican and all.

BTW Where's SJS? Speaking of wrinkles.

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sparty puts forth...

Posted August 17, 2009
Houyhn...alot of what gets talked here is absolute rubbish, but thats missing the point - the fact is that it DOES get talked here. The level of interaction here is probobly unique for an author blog...

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sparty puts forth...

Posted August 17, 2009
oh and.....

Mathematical Modelling of an Outbreak Of Zombie Infection

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/scholars-put-braaaaains-together-to-thwart-zombies/article1253006/

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Quokka puts forth...

Posted August 18, 2009
Brian I think it might be the cocktail hour at some important social event. And then she's got some staff to sack.

I think The Peel is something that appeals to both sexes if you drive a Lexus and are worried how you look in front of a television camera. The doc seemed shocked that I thought it was something you did to vegetables.

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NBlob mumbles...

Posted August 18, 2009
Quokka, let me know if you go ahead, I'd be fascinated to hear if they dip you in boiling water first - like I do before peeling tomatoes.

Hav,"I AM NEVER AGEING" either A delusional, or B we are back to discussing vampirism.

I'm hoping A.

Really strongly hoping A.

But it may go some way explain them stupid wicketkeeper wrap around shades & the Chapelli floppy hat.

Back to the Fan Fic; John R. Johnson - double plus excellant with an elephant stamp.

I think you have captured Birmo's Big & Small picture scope perfectly, much more betterer than I ever did. Intimate descriptions of ricochets and theatre command level decisions.

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NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted August 18, 2009
Oh and Himonym, get a grip.

This is not about high lit, it's not about man's insensitivity to man, nor a searing critique of post Jungian psychology.

It's an interesting (& enjoyable) excercise in what ifs, given a set of agreed circumstances set out by Birmo in his book. Which if you read you may understand.

Much more interesting to me than the status of some footy players groin. Or the new MARPOL regs that I should be working on.

My main criticism of SJS is that he/she or it hasn't bothered to get the background on the discussions he/she or it wades into. The lack of coherence is understandable - medications or lack there of can do funny things to a persons (I use the term losely) postings.

Sorry guys.

(I must not feed the Troll)X 50

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joe ducks in to say...

Posted August 18, 2009
Thanks for that, really got my morning off to an entertaining start.

Prose wasnt entirely up to JB's two-fingered standard, but the action, action action was fun.

just wondering:

what, exactly, other than maybe extra mouths to feed, were the slavers using all those people for?

wanted some more descriptions of stuff too. You know, general postapocalyptic stuff, with piquancy and shit.... followed abruptly by stomach-churning episodes of gore-splashing combat.

Thanks John R Johnson, this fanboi might just submit a quasiscientific rant on the Wave in future, maybe even in short story format.. ;)

nah i too lazy ill probably just wait for the next book and buy it..

Anti-neutrino pulse to clear the way for a gigantic interstellar dark-matter tentacled spacesquid/CThuluBeast..... plz?

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SJPONeill would have you know...

Posted August 18, 2009
"houyhnhnm"? I'm sorry but is that how 'dick' is spelled now? What was the point of even making a comment unless you were well-under at the time (possible points) or saying that just makes you feel good (no points)...I hate pretentious prats...

And that ends my blast of personal unconstructiveness for the day...

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Chaz puts forth...

Posted August 18, 2009
H, can't remember. He said he'd worked with the Scouts and his unit was similar, tough bloke like you'd expect to find in the bush, good shot, used to hunt with my boss of the time.

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Quokka mutters...

Posted August 18, 2009
Nowherebob I will offer my neck up to the fanged folk before I dip myself in anything hotter than our spa tub.

The Peel will not be happening, and I plan to carry on swimming daily laps at Yeronga pool and as a consequence, ageing gracelessly.

Hell. Leather always suited me.

Why not wear it on my face?

I was seriously wondering if he thought he could sell it to me by playing on mid-life female insecurities, except for The Bloke telling me that his boss (male, big boy around town type) had it done. If any of you boys have to get your skin lesions zapped and they offer it up, do tell.

My personal theory is that women who have midlife crisis that their menfolk will abandon them have clearly not spent 20 years feeding them blueberry muffins and double chocolate macadamia brownies.

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Brian mumbles...

Posted August 18, 2009
Quok? Whats your take on defolac . . .deflora . . .err . . .defe . . .that skin thingie girls do . . .and some Metro's in Qld?

NwB : hooney hiney aint so bad . . . .filed under 'cute but deranged'

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savo asserts...

Posted August 18, 2009
Up on mininburger now.

JB do you know what the 'more' function does?

signed Savo

at a secret location currently surveilling Area 7

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Quokka swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 18, 2009
Brian...I'll run through the list, pick one you like the look of and I'll get back to you.

* Defoliation

* Deforestation

* Defecation

* Defamation

* Deflowering

All I can think of is exfoliation, have never done it but I suspect it has the same effect as ringbarking.

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Quokka is gonna tell you...

Posted August 18, 2009
If its exfoliation you're thinking of, the closest I've come to that is scouring my toes trying to get the dirt off the soles and discovering I now need to wear my glasses in the bathtub in order to tell the difference between dirt I've tracked in from a day in the garden, and the beginning stages of a plantar wart.

The joys of middle age. Trust me, Havock my dear, this too shall come to you.

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Quokka swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 18, 2009
Wart gallery attached for those of you who think a Verruca is a hot chick in a gay girl band.

http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/hardin/md/dermnet/plantarwarts.html

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Brian puts forth...

Posted August 18, 2009
quok. Sounds like its up there with defluffing your navel.

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Quokka mutters...

Posted August 19, 2009
Depends how long you've left that, Brian.

I've seen some where a water canon is probably in order.

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SJPONeill ducks in to say...

Posted August 19, 2009
Enjoyed this as a light read true to the 'birmoverse' although struggle with rating the SVD as the Cadillac of sniper rifles (Lada more like it!)...I did think that it may have been better to either leave out of expnd more on the Splendour takedown part of the story as this came across like a bit of an after-thought...the pirate/slavery line i think is totally valid and already seen in various places around the planet sans Wave...

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John R. Johnson reckons...

Posted September 1, 2009
In response to some of the comments I wrote the following prologue and added it to the master of the story. Hope this makes things clearer.

The District Commander

Prologue

It was over a year since the Wave, as it was called, hit the United States, Canada and Mexico. Every person living in the boundaries of the tear shaped wave had disappeared. The wave had covered all of the United States, except for a portion of the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. All of Canada south of an arc which extended from Oregon, brushing Edmonton, and the southern half of Hudson's Bay was gone. The northern two thirds of Mexico from Belize to Acapulco was lifeless. The survivors in southern Mexico had fled south. Afraid the Wave would expand and take them.

The Wave, after a year, had disappeared as mysteriously as it had appeared. During that time civilization had started coming apart at the seams. Many had celebrated the demise of the United States but were now regretting the reality. Already some people were talking about the "golden age" when America had kept sanity in the world and put limits to the ambitions of despots.

In every country were men who were trying to hold things together. Some were more successful than others. So far the most successful had been the new President of the United States, James "Kip" Kipper. Working from the new Western White House in Seattle he still controlled the U.S. military, around the world, and when push came to shove it was still the most powerful in the world. A few nuclear exchanges had convinced most of the world leaders to back off a little in their grab for power. The situation was still dangerous but slowly things were settling out and positions were becoming clear and leaders were able to see where they stood in scheme of things.

New Headquarters Building

7th USCG District

San Juan, Puerto Rico

William "Wild Bill" Elliott wearily watched the yeoman typing a form. He had been waiting almost two hours and was building a head of steam. He shook his head and turned back to look out the window at the Puerto Rican sunlight. If anyone else could express such disdain and haughty attitude, without saying a word, as the yeoman he had never seen it. He wondered how long it would be before the new sector commander, correction the new 7th Coast Guard District commander, corrected her. Rear Admiral John Brimo had only been promoted a week before.

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BoomerMMW would have you know...

Posted September 8, 2009
Well, it all has to continue on somewher, this is as good as start as anything, over to you Birmo, Do your stuff.

BoomerMMW

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Respond to 'A generous serving of fan fic to see you thru the winter. Or summer.'

Thinking about writing small iPhone novels.

Posted August 4, 2009 by John Birmingham
I was browsing the app store tonight, checking out the new Navigon GPS which I'm thinking of buying while it's still available at a loss leader price. On a whim I dropped into the book section of the appe shoppe and was unsurprised to see a lot of old, out of copyright titles, and a lot of other unattractive books.

Got me to wondering if there might be a market for me to directly release into the app store, particularly for something I wouldn't necessarily want to release somewhere else. A novelette (say 15k words) set in the AoT universe. Or a WW spin off. Perhaps even a collection of fan fic with a couple of contributions from me bracketing the thing. It's appealing because it wouldn't involve the investment of time involved in a full novel.

It'd have to be something my publishers wouldn't want, but enough readers would.

Interesting idea, or waste of time?

51 Responses to ‘Thinking about writing small iPhone novels.’

Kieran ducks in to say...

Posted August 4, 2009
I think there might be a market for shorter-form stuff. Something episodic that you can read between bus stops. People often use apps to kill time - 5 mins here and there. Failing that, what about an audiobook/podcast? How's yer reading voice?

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Markus Wolf would have you know...

Posted August 4, 2009
I would like the WW spinoffs, say Quiet Room missions.

You could do it a different style of writing as its a short stories, do it more in the style of those Boys Own Adventure books which was out when we were kids, where its just basic storyline, then evil baddie, confrontation, baddies shakes fist and utters words like a commando comic e.g Gott in Himmell, Actung Tommy etc... Well that's my sad idea.

The 39 Steps was a slim volume,yet a classic, would that even be 15k words?

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beeso reckons...

Posted August 4, 2009
I like doc yobbos ITWPT book that he has on his second blog. It's just long enough that it doesn't get tiring and the episodic nature keeps me coming back.

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beeso ducks in to say...

Posted August 4, 2009
Is be so down organising some podcast stuff jb. Big big fan of podcasts.

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John Birmingham reckons...

Posted August 4, 2009
I don't think it's a sad idea at all, Markus. I always liked the idea of doing some Quiet Room stuff. And i think Kieran is on the money with the emphasis on short form. I do a lot of reading on the iPhone, but all short stuff. Mag articles etc. You'd need lots of cliff hanger breaks. But I already do that.

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Flinthart is gonna tell you...

Posted August 4, 2009
Actually -- if you kept the prices down, I think the fan-fic idea is very fucking clever. Because there are a zillion people writing fan-fic, and it seems to me there'd be an instant market. And of course, the feedback-to-fandom thing would get tighter and more powerful still.

Definitely worth considering, Mr B.

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Orin mutters...

Posted August 4, 2009
This form of fiction is very popular in Japan (where people read on their phone during commutes) - there are some people that made some serious cash out of it. At some point iPhone exclusive fiction will go nuts - better to be too early to the party than too late.

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DrYobbo swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 4, 2009
The shorter stand-alone stuff would be easier to dissect away from the 'core material' but perhaps better for hooking a long term audience would be just serialising a longer piece in easily chewed regular lumps? Kinda what I did with ITWPT (In The Worst Possible Taste) which Beeso kindly mentioned above - though picked that format not for any commercial reasons, just because I thought the ideas in it deserved better than gathering dust and 5-6K lumps is kinda how that story gets told anyway. Commercial model would just be to have a new ep out every week or two a week or something, content by subscription from the app store. I'd have guessed that would do you more consistent business than one-offs or fan fic compiles - though the latter would presumably involve less manhours on your part.

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tc forest is gonna tell you...

Posted August 4, 2009
Good idea, except for those of us that don't have iPhones or use itunes. Bittorrent will come to the rescue I suppose.

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jennicki reckons...

Posted August 4, 2009
I wanna know about Fifi's adventures before she ended up on the boat with Pete and Jules.

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jennicki mutters...

Posted August 4, 2009
Or Caitlin's adventures before she ended up as Cathy in a Parisian hospital.

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jennicki puts forth...

Posted August 4, 2009
But I don't have an iPhone (silly Macs!) so that sucks for me.

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BrianC asserts...

Posted August 4, 2009
All of those would be good, but i would be looking for the fan fiction selection stuff. As a bonus you could later point to the books and say to your publishers see they want more AoT stuff, and they we could get more AoT stuff, and then i would be happy, and isnt that what its all about.

But dont be a snob, make sure you make it available to us trailblazers on the Google Phone.

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PeterMoore would have you know...

Posted August 4, 2009
Hi John.

Another Aussie writer, Max Barry has been trying a similar thing, through email, RSS feed etc called Machine Man. It's an episodic novel, where he writes a page a day, taking on board stuff left by readers in a comments section. The first 30 pages were free then you signed up for the rest for $US 6.95. Last I heard he had about 6,000 people signed up.

His motivation was that his readers were complaining about the time between books. But I like your idea of harnessing the App thing - especially now that 3.0 has push capabilities. And with Pre and Android coming along nicely I'm sure you'll be able to tweak the App so it can work with them and their stores too.

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PeterMoore is gonna tell you...

Posted August 4, 2009
BTW Max's website is www.maxbarry.com

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sparty is gonna tell you...

Posted August 4, 2009
xcellent idea. Will be a while before everyone kindles etc but more and more (esp your audience) read stuff on an iphone - pity its so hard to do, given amazon geographical restrictions on kindle content outside us (ie reading on an iphone in europe). 15K AoT novella sounds good and lets face it- it could be a little more rough and ready so quicker to do - bookending some fan fic sounds great idea too

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John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted August 4, 2009
Nods to those trapped in Satan's own operating system hell. I'll expand my horizons to consider other smart phone platforms.

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Front Porch Philosopher puts forth...

Posted August 4, 2009
Definitely intriguing, but why limit yourself to the Iphone? There IS an Iphone App store, but no Kindle equivalent. There ARE or will be App stores for Blackberry, Android (Google OS), Symbian, Palm Pre, Nokie and other App stores within 2 years.

You could do it yourself and license the distribution and get your agents to handle it. You write and upload, they edit and you argue it out, then publish electronically.

You could do what several science fiction authors have done and create the "universe," and let them (fans) publish to IT, and then let your publishers/agents deal with licensing and downloads and etc.

A whole new universe of possibilities. If you currently buy a John Ringo book in hardback, you frequently get a CD-ROM with several OTHER books to peruse. You could do illustrated books.....

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mckinneytexas puts forth...

Posted August 4, 2009
A good plan--just what you need, more work. Good for us, maybe for you, not so much. Actually, why not serialize a book? Main question is: how do you get paid? Subsidiary question: if it's a financial venture as well, do you have your legal ducks in a row? Copyrights, waivers, etc.

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Roscoe is gonna tell you...

Posted August 5, 2009
Well, I am an iPhone newbie myself - and downloaded the app Stanza - which in turn gave me Weapons of Choice for free through Random House 'Free Novels' thingymajiggy.

Yes - I will claim the word thingymajiggy for New Zealand thank you very much, before you Aussies start on it!

But is there an app to download quality books to read?

I'm chomping through Alice in Wonderland at the mo...re-connecting with my youth...

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El Coqui ducks in to say...

Posted August 5, 2009
Front Porch:

The CDs in Ringo and other Baen books are part of Baen merchandizing strategy. Give away the first one free and hook them for the rest (it works with drugs too, kids)

I would go for it, if John let me explore my alien scenario of the biggest collateral damage incident in history. Or my Puerto Rican take on the WW. I even have a non-canon "what if" if the Venezuelans had not surrendered and we have been force to do a "coup-de-main" at Gitmo.

Jose

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El Coqui ducks in to say...

Posted August 5, 2009
We can seek advice with the folks at 1632, Inc who had done something similar with the Grantville Gazette, websubscriptions and similar items.

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Murphy would have you know...

Posted August 5, 2009
On a somewhat related note, I seem to recall that Charlie Stross was toying with the idea of trying to write a novel using a cellphone. This was a few years ago, before the iPhone era. I don't know how far he got with it.

Another thing to consider is a twitter style flash fiction format. The Shine Anthology, edited by Jetse de Vries, is running something like that via Outshine. I don't know if it is generating any revenue though.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted August 5, 2009
Oh, an AoT project would be cool. I think I have one laying around here somewhere. :)

Respects,

Murph

On the OuterMarches

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El Coqui asserts...

Posted August 5, 2009
This is what I mean, I think that it maybe 6000 words long if I ever finished it.

WITHOUT QUARTER

A Without Warning Non-Canon Fan Fiction

By Jose J. Clavell

Airfield, Guantanamo Bay Naval Base

1035 Hours Local time.

Captain Roberto “Robert” Cabrera used his boot to prod the body of the dead Venezuelan soldier. It was more procedure than any serious attempt to find anyone trying to play dead. Besides, with half his face missing and the remaining covered by a thick layer of black flies, the young officer was quite sure that aside from a sudden onset of a Zombie’s plaque, that dead man was not going anywhere. He looked wearily around the hard fought ground to check how the rest of his men were doing. His command, Bravo Company, First battalion, 65th Infantry Regiment had suffered heavy casualties on the assault. His first platoon and his XO, had been on the first C-130 Hercules that attempted to land under Warthog cover, and their funerary pyre now added a black and oily smoke to the gray haze that covered the battlefield.

Cabrera would have been on that first plane but his battalion commander had given him a direct order to take a later one, assuming correctly that given the expected opposition, Command and Control was likely to get decapitated in the first few minutes of the assault if they were on the lead. It was a damn shame that any of those precautions failed to save his own life, as his fire-engulfed C-17 had gone nose first into the harbor with no survivors. From Cabrera’s point of view, the first combat engagement for the 65th since the Korean War was far from the glorious action over which future military historians would pour in minute detail trying to glimmer a higher truth.

Despite that, Cabrera still considered himself lucky, a company of the 82nd Airborne had volunteered to jump ahead of the assault landing. So far, he had not encountered or seen even one live or unwounded paratrooper. Yes, he was lucky despite his strong suspicion that he was now his battalion senior surviving officer. He had started the battle with three radio operators and now PFC Luis “Luisito” Gutierrez, the youngest man in Bravo, was the only one remaining. Young, of course being a relative term, because when he looked into his eyes, Cabrera could not find any trace of the boy that had been but only of the new man that seemed to had seen too much. A similar expression was in the face of almost every surviving member of his company.

“Hey captain, you better come up and take a look at this.” Of course, there was always some glaring exceptions and his First Sergeant, Hector Pabón, was one of them. Standing beside a gun pit while peering inside, he seemed as nonchalance holding his M4 carbine like a hunting piece as if they had been conducting a routine weekend drill exercise back at Camp Santiago in Salinas. His casual manner even included puffing a rather smelly cigar, his trademark, whose obscure brand, he fancied. However, as Cabrera made his way towards him while trying not to step into the dozens of smelly, bloated, fly-covered and rotting corpses of the initial casualties of the Venezuelan airborne and amphibious assault on Gitmo. He started to understand the true value of his prop and wished that he had one of his own as he started gagging over the stench.

Keeping his stomach under control was not exactly one of the things that Cabrera had learned at Ranger School but he manfully managed to do so as he stopped beside Pabón and took a peek inside the pit. Luisito loyally stayed with him to cover his back and kept the radio handy. But one glance and he turned to face the other way with a strangled sob. Cabrera could not blame him. He already suspected that given the Venezuelan casualties disposition that this had been the last stand positions for the airfield defenders. So as he expected, the pit was full of American bodies, mostly Marines but with smattering of the other services, to include armed civilians, possibly volunteers from the refugees that had not found temporary resettlement in Puerto Rico. All were men, except for one lonely woman in a distinctive and very out of place Air Force service uniform.

That forced him to pause and stare, too. Cabrera had joined the Puerto Rico wing of La Patrulla Aérea Civil or Civil Air Patrol at age 15, so her blue uniform was achingly familiar. Heck, growing up, Cabrera had seriously toyed with the idea of going Air Force until he finally decided to stick with family tradition and joined the Army. The woman wore the shoulder epaulets of a lieutenant colonel in her blouse and her presence in the pit made him felt uncharacteristic weary and sad, and for a moment to forget everything else. It was difficult to figure out how she had looked, because someone had shot her in the face while she lay pinned under one of her own troops but Cabrera could read her partially detached nameplate.

“Colonel Pileggi, the airfield defenders’ commander I presume, Top,” he heard himself comment in a detached manner.

Pabón nodded once. “Must be, sir, she is the only Air Force field grade officer that we had encountered so far.” The First Sergeant didn’t have to mention that there were perhaps hundreds of other women, mostly civilians, whose bodies lay all around Guantanamo. On this day, death had been an amazingly equal opportunity equalizer.

“However, she took a hell of a lot of jonnies with her,” Pabón said looking around with great admiration. “If we still have a nation, she would be a shoot-in to be the first woman to get the medal for sure.” Cabrera nodded thoughtfully, gazing back at the terrain around the pit, the dozens of bodies and the thousands of shell casings around and decided that her actions must be recognized somehow, even if he had to push the report in person through whatever channels were left.

“Heads up, Captain. We got company coming of the cute variety, sir,” Pabón warned him. He looked up to see a lieutenant of military police making her way towards them through the bodies strew field escorted by two of her MPs and instinctively moved to block her view of the pit. Being protective of her was an intrinsic part of his make up and had done that for all her life.

His little sister, Carmen was four years younger than him and since childhood had looked up to him with both a mixture of admiration and sibling competition. Whenever he did something, she would try and do it too. So she had dogged his steps all throughout school and sport competitions. He joined CAP and as soon as she reached the minimum age, Carmen even joined the same squadron. He took Army ROTC while studying at the University of Puerto Rico and she did that too. Like him, she had ended up as Cadet Commander and distinguished military student on her senior year. No one in their family has been surprised, that after her own commissioning, she had followed him into the Army Guard. However, he was glad that as a woman, she was barred by law to follow him into the Infantry. Of course, being Carmen, she had chosen the next best thing, military police.

So given her track record, Cabrera wondered why he had been so surprise when she followed him into combat. Both had been in orders to deploy to Iraq with the follow-on forces when the wall hit. Of course, it was now part of her job and intellectuality, he could understand that not only was she ready but was superb at it. However, he was still her big brother and did not have to like it. So he had boarded his plane cursing a blue streak under his breath after recovering from the shock of watching her lead her platoon at a trot into the next C-130 waiting on the flight line.

But his concern was also tinged with huge amount of pride. Because, when everything was said and done, she had demonstrated to be a child of First Sergeant Joaquin Cabrera, US Army retired. A man who once had sported the tower of power in his left sleeve, the so-called juxtaposition of the Airborne, Ranger and Special Forces tabs. Together with the tabs, he had also sported an impressive collection of medals for valor in his chest. Most of whose citations to this day remained classified and his dad still refused to discuss the particulars with his grown children despite their security clearance and the many years passed since his retirement.

On top of everything, Carmen was also a very attractive young woman, a fact that even her camouflaged face, helmet and battle rattle could not failed to conceal. The effect that she usually had in any breathing, living non-related male with enough blood left to pump a heartbeat, finally convince him that there were no Venezuelans pretending to be dead around. Even Luisito, managed to momentarily forgot his weariness to stand tall, puffing his chest out. Of course, he knew that was a wasted effort on his part, because like many attractive women, Carmen seemed totally unaware of the effect that she had in men. The only one that seemed wholly unaffected by her arrival was Pabón but after meeting Mrs. Pabón, who even at forty and four kids could easily turn heads around, he could easily understand the why.

His sister stopped in front of him, with expertly held M4 muzzle down at her side but did not salute as there may be snipers still hiding around. “Sir, we are secure. We had taken all the civilians that we found still alive to the aid station. I got my platoon canvassing the area again in case that anyone is still hiding but I seriously doubt that we are going to find any more.” Cabrera did not immediately reply allowing for the noise of a C-17 in its take off run noise to subside. The airfield had been opened by combat engineers just as the last remains of resistance were finally put down. The plane was now on route back to Puerto Rico with the latest load of wounded and survivors. Cabrera took the opportunity to look around once again as he nodded in agreement with his sister assessment. The bastards have fought with the ferocity of trapped rats and went for the “soft” targets first.

“Very well, LT. I heard that you talked to the Cubans. What they had to say about themselves.” Cabrera had not liked when Pabón told him that her sister had been sent to liaise with them. However, given her appearance, diplomatic skills, and native Spanish speaking prowess, it was a wise move from the command staff.

“You mean after they stopped drooling, Robert…sir,” the short female MP Sergeant taking a knee at her sister’s side, wisecracked. But come up short when an angry look from Pabón froze her on the spot. Being in the Guard was not exactly like being in the Regular Army in respect to fraternization. Noelia Rodriguez was her sister best friend since high school and a classmate at the UPR law school. So, Cabrera personally knew well that under her battle rattle and painted face, she was not too far off from his sister in the looks department either but found her odd sense of humor at the few times that they gone out together, perplexing.

His sister accustomed to those antics, ignored her and kept reporting in a correct but mechanical manner. Cabrera noted a haunted look in her eyes and his gut told him that’s something was very wrong but decided to wait until she brought the matter herself. “No much, Robert. They denied having any knowledge of this Cuban government–in-exile that Chavez claimed. I tend to believe them, some of Chavez’s thugs sought refugee with them. They showed me their bodies. In the other hand, they provided shelter for close to 300 of our refugees, mostly women and children and had asked if there is anything else that they can do to help. Command is thinking over their offer.”

Cabrera nodded and was going to pull her aside to ask what was wrong with her, when Luisito interrupted. “Captain, I got a FLASH message for you.” He almost slapped the handset out of his hand on his haste.

“This is Bastard six actual, go ahead,” and listened.

To be Continued.

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John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted August 5, 2009
I can see there's gonna be some actual research needing to be done here. There are already a coupla dozen small web publishing outfits which will turn your ones and zeroes into phone novels, and push them out across as many platforms as possible. Of course, to do that they take a huge bite out of your royalties and the thing that attracts me to the App store and it's imitators is the 70% royalty they pay. I think it's worth mastering the new publication process and doing it all myself to maintain that royalty.

I've been doing some work on the future of media/publishing for a feature story, and although I'm not entirely despondent about the collapse of the current business model, especially with trad book publishing, I do see massive changes ahead and agree with Orin that it'd be a wise idea to get in early with direct distribution and a micropayment model. I don't see it as a direct challenge to my mainstream publishers. Indeed it's likely that allowing an AoT or WW universe to spawn in this way would feed back into increased hard copy canon sales.

It is also the surest way I can think of to actually get a fan fic operation properly commercialised.

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lostatlunch reckons...

Posted August 5, 2009
just needs more than the iphone platform... otherwise you have your junkie here.

JB:- the new media publishing mogoul.

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MickH is gonna tell you...

Posted August 5, 2009
well i know of an MS that is sitting in a corner some place gathering dust. Perhaps this may be the place for it JB?

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Moko is gonna tell you...

Posted August 5, 2009
A few of 'em couldn't do any harm as advertising...

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Lobes reckons...

Posted August 5, 2009
Sounds like a good idea in theory. Though must admit have some reservations, See my comments re the Kindle thread at geek.

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Friendless puts forth...

Posted August 5, 2009
I vote interesting idea. I read the Sherlock Holmes stories on my Palm. It needs to be cheap though, not like Steven King's attempt where he tried to sell a serialised story for much more than it was going to cost if it ever came out as a book.

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jp puts forth...

Posted August 5, 2009
From a reader's POV, I think the idea of a serialised thriller would work. Eg, perhaps book ends written by you, then X amount of fan fic chapters in between, where each author takes over from the last.

I did this recently for a project with 15 or so other writers. Jeff Deaver did the book ends, then the rest of waited for our turn where we'd have two weeks to write a chapter in the story. One author acted as a running editor to keep some sort of continuity going, and then Jeff did some slight tweaking so that his final chapter would come together (we needed to resurrect a key antagonist). It was a heap of fun and a challenge - the amount of twists and turns was a mindf*ck. First it comes out as an audio book, called "The Copper Bracelet" (which I think on release they serialise it in chapters and then follow with the full book... I think... it's been several months since I've thought about it), and then a published/paper book "The Watchlist".

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John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted August 5, 2009
OT, just picked up your latest from my po box, JP. Sweet lookin cover.

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Luke puts forth...

Posted August 5, 2009
Yeah sure, if you want to sell one copy and then have a zillion on peer to peer. I think you'll find the price will just not be worth the effort. While the writing might be 10% of a normal book, I think it will still be 40-60% of the usual effort. Really, I have no idea, I'm just guessing.

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Quokka reckons...

Posted August 5, 2009
John/anyone else in Brisbane who has renovated recently

Sorry, way off topic, but can anyone recommend a cabinet maker to do wardrobes/home office stuff?

I wasn't happy with the work that the last mob did over June/July, so I still have two rooms at Casa Quokka to fit out. Preferably by a company that uses dust sheets, builds cabinets that resemble the plans that you've agreed on, and doesn't take chunks out of the freshly polished and painted surfaces surrounding said cabinets...grrr...

The Bloke is an architect and when he heard you on By Design he looked it up on the website. Looks good to us.

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Therbs is gonna tell you...

Posted August 5, 2009
Definitely a good idea. Fan fic and episodic publishing would lessen the workload and give the fans more explodey goodness. That Quiet Room idea FTW.

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John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted August 5, 2009
Quok', our cabinet maker was a genius, but a solitary, reclusive genius who doesn't take on clients unless they've been sent to him via our builder.

However, I have some other sources. i'll ask around.

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Quokka mumbles...

Posted August 5, 2009
Thanks John.

Our builder was great but unfortunately he's in England now visiting his twin who is dying of cancer, so the last thing I'm going to do is hassle him right now.

The cabinet maker was someone that the bloke found independently, and while the end result looks OK, something went wrong with the design in every room that they did so the thought of having them back here is enough to put me into foetal, twitching, on the sofa.

Although at some point I will need to get them out here because the drawers that they built to store my CDs & DVDs don't actually have the height clearance to put the GD things in there...

Can't offer advice about Ipods as we don't use them. Although while my bloke was commuting for the 9 weeks away by train from Sandgate, he did come home with some creative suggestions for what he'd like to do with the overloud doof doof ipods on the spotty teenagers seated beside him for the journey.

I'm off to seek consolation from Goran.

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savo is gonna tell you...

Posted August 5, 2009
sounds like a great idea. Love the thought of you letting other authors play in your universe. My vote: Go for it

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Tarl puts forth...

Posted August 5, 2009
Whimper....Don't limit it to phones...

Some of us have been resisting carrying around those electronic leashes, and if you released a story only readable on a phone, I might have to go out and buy one. And then I'd curse you every time I got a SPIM or robo-dialer call.

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Quokka puts forth...

Posted August 5, 2009
Oh! Iphones! Misread it, that's what you get from twitching in foetal staring at an unpacked box of DVDs.

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aaron swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 5, 2009
didnt the count of monte cristo, one of the greatest epic adventure stories ever told start as a newspaper serial? actually i think the book was the collected serial.

basically, it could be a whole book on the fly although i do love the idea of extra helpings of AoT universe.

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Markus Wolf is gonna tell you...

Posted August 5, 2009
All the tinitin books were just the collection of the newspaper stories. They were successful as at the end of every third frame, there was a dramatic ending forcing you to wait for the next paper. Could you even do The Quiet room illustrated say 3 -5 panels daily and 5c per daily download? Its a pity that nothing like tintin exists anymore in the papers, just the same bland/inoffensive cartoons and forcing toons likes doonesbury to be so overrated as no one else is aiming for an intelligent audience.

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Guru Bob mutters...

Posted August 5, 2009
I like the idea - we had a UK guy here last year who did a community publishing project where they put out books of short stories opf different lengths that were written tlo be read on public transport - opne was called 'Commutes' (with longers stories) and the other was called 'A couple of Stops' (for short jaunts)...

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nhamilton@iinet.net.au would have you know...

Posted August 5, 2009
I think it is a fantastic Idea, I think it would give you a chance to write back stories to any of the WW characters that interested you. I would love to see a real range of writing styles too, newsreports filed by the reporter, diary type stories by other characters, even officiasl report type writing by some of the officials. Long time since I read WW, can't remember character's names that good.

Maybe after a certain time it called all be published in a book for us that don't have iphones to get hold of. Similar to Hovercar Racer years ago.

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sparty swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 5, 2009
yep mastering the app development for books is the thing - although the book side of teh app store is going to have to shape up now its kind of hitting critical mass.

El Couqi - best line ever!

"This is Bastard six actual, go ahead"

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David S. reckons...

Posted August 6, 2009
Michael Stackpole is already doing this:

www.stormwolf.com/

He sells ebooks from his site as well as via iTunes and has said that it's been very successful for him. Maybe you could drop him a line and get the skinny on it.

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El Coqui swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted August 6, 2009
Thanks, Sparty. My little homage to John Ringo's The Last Centurion.

:)

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Front Porch Philosopher puts forth...

Posted August 6, 2009
Specific to the discussion in question:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/ebooks/index.asp?r=1&afsrc=1

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adam keys puts forth...

Posted August 8, 2009
i am never going to get an iphone but i would be very keen to read AoT stories.

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Lolly ducks in to say...

Posted August 10, 2009
Interesting aricle from NY Times on point....

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/20/world/asia/20japan.html?_r=1

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