Cheeseburger Gothic

And while you're at it... another challenge.

Posted July 29, 2009 by John Birmingham
Imagine you're the new (Post Wave) Poet Laureate of the US.

It's your first gig at the (western) White House.

You're reading from your first epic bit, entitled, 'The Disappearance'.*

Gimme what you got, poets, it may be your only shot at mass market publication.

And don't be too upset if I totally cut and paste your couplets in with somebodyelse's.

Like William Burroughs used to do.

* For those poetically incline coming here from Twitter, the Disappearance is wot happened in my last book, Without Warning. One day, everyone in Nth America just Disappeared. Much post apocalyptic hilarity ensued.

55 Responses to ‘And while you're at it... another challenge.’

NBlob would have you know...

Posted July 29, 2009
Excellent work JB. I line my poet traps with sharpened stakes, but had never thought to bait one with kudos.

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damian reckons...

Posted July 29, 2009
Hee:

And now for once, you must try to face the facts.

Mankind is kept alive by bestial acts.

Not a submission, but homage to the above named late, magnificently awful poet

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Chaz is gonna tell you...

Posted July 29, 2009
I'm not a poet,

And I know it.

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jennicki mutters...

Posted July 29, 2009
Hmmm...a challenge.

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DrYobbo has opinions thus...

Posted July 29, 2009
There once was a man from Nantucket...

which was lucky for him really since the Wave ate most of the rest of the US.

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Twitted by JohnBirmingham reckons...

Posted July 29, 2009
[...] This post was Twitted by JohnBirmingham [...]

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Therbs would have you know...

Posted July 29, 2009
Jen is soooo going to own this one. Mind you, Dr Y's classical approach has merit.

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DrYobbo asserts...

Posted July 29, 2009
Actually scratch that, for some reason I thought Nantucket was in Alaska.

There once was a man from Nantucket...

but now there isn't.

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Medway asserts...

Posted July 29, 2009
I went to the loo

to do a big poo

when when I looked down

there was nothing to be found

surely a big plop

secures the dramatic plot

But sound is a sound

and there was no one else around

my hearing was declining, that is for sure

but the pressure and effort was for something more

else i wouldn't have released such vile

so leaving the room I thought "Do I have piles?"

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Lobes ducks in to say...

Posted July 29, 2009
There once was a girl from Wasilla

The only survivor in a Techno Thrilla

She avoided the Wave

Not by being brave

But by being out on tundra with drillas

;-)

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Brian asserts...

Posted July 29, 2009
Jeez . . . .poetry, yet.....

Stuff that . . . .a concert.

Springsteens 'Born in the USA' . . .'The Devil came Down to Georgia' . . . .AC/DC "Highway to Hell". . . Jackson's 'Thriller'. . .'All Along the Watchtower' . . .'Khe San'. . .a singing fat lady.

I couldn't work in the 7th Cavalrys signature tune . . .Garry Owen. PIty . . .an allusion to Custer would have been cool.

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Lobes reckons...

Posted July 29, 2009
I wake up everyday it’s a daydream

Everything in my life ain’t what it seem

I wake up just to go back to sleep

I act real cool but I’m in too deep

And all I care about is sex and violence

A machine-gun is my kind of silence

Y'all say I got to get a grip

But I let sanity give me the slip

(With Apologies to Dizzee Rascal)

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Tony Foley asserts...

Posted July 29, 2009
Damn! haven't read "Without Warning". Sounds like it's right up my alley.

From the cornfields of Iowa, silence...

From the plains of montana, silence...

From the streets of Chicago, wind...

Lady Liberty mute.

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Thor puts forth...

Posted July 29, 2009
These now empty unquiet miles abhorrent

As if some giants hands pickd clean

Of life and vibrant ugly human kind

The voices gone the roads un traffickd

A twisted authors daydream horror

Now the dawn beyond a dream

Breaks daily and those left

Wish to forget

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Michael asserts...

Posted July 29, 2009
Shadows on the prairie,

Rustling in the grass,

A tree branch creaking in the breeze,

The Disappearance coming fast.

A boot print with no boot to fill it,

A empty, swinging tire,

A broken truck with none to drive it,

Resting in the mire.

The Disappearance comes, they say,

Not tomorrow, but yesterday,

As empty streets yawn on and on,

Yesterday, there is no-one.

No-one comes and no-one sees,

And no-one hears the creaking trees,

The night that falls is cold and dark,

The sky itself has grown stark.

There are no stars, nor moon, this night,

Because there is no living sight,

The Disappearance claimed it all,

The planet rests in deathly pall.

There is no sadness, nor alarm,

For those have vanished too,

There is no rising of the sun,

Because there is no me, or you.

There is no way to stop it,

No way to wind it back,

Because the very point of this,

Is that it all turns black.

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lostatlunch ducks in to say...

Posted July 29, 2009
Maya Angelou is rolling in her pile of gloop.

By The Darkman

The nation has gone

the mightest has fallen

the vultures circle and feed from the corpse,

Then from the west

where the liberals reside

the spirit abides

a nations staggers and stubles

and looks to the light

the dawn rises over the east

... Fergawdsakes JB, you earn the bucks, you fix it up

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Patricia would have you know...

Posted July 29, 2009
One day we woke up to silence

One day we woke up to emptiness

One day we woke up to chaos

Armageddon upon us

A holy war unleashed

The fortress breached from within

(to be continued)

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John Lease asserts...

Posted July 29, 2009
We are the ones who have remained.

The ones that are here to see.

What we have become our world of the free.

We remember those that have gone.

But we dont feel we need to pine.

The world that has been created we will make stonger with time.

We will bring together those peoples of the world that are with us.

To ensure that this world is stronger in God we trust.

John just something off the top of my head I hope u like but "Without Warning" is a book that I cant stop thinking about. It is a book that will go down as a master in literature.

thx John

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Steven Danno puts forth...

Posted July 29, 2009
There was an old farmer from Young

Who made little balls out of dung

He'd shape them and roll them

And try to control em

By keepin' them under his tongue

True story, well nearly true he kept maggots under his tongue when he went trout fishing but couldnt get maggot to rhyme with 'ung'

Hope you written yourself into a corner with this one JB, I think epic poetry has seen its day after Tolkein croaked but a lofty ambition all the same

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Brian would have you know...

Posted July 29, 2009
*He died with a techno-thriller in his hands*

Early one cold winter morning,

On the fridge we discovered a note.

The US had moved out without warning -

"Screw y'all, suckers!", quote/unquote.

Though they'd left all the bills half-unpaid,

And dishes stacked-up in the sink,

We were not upset or dismayed,

For now there was more beer to drink.

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Sweet Jane Says reckons...

Posted July 29, 2009
Birmingham! First the insult to American "cowboys" - now the slight to American poets... Admit it; you hate the US. The wave is your way of dispensing of what you cannot have. What did the editors say about your "cowboy" cliches?

J.

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John Birmingham asserts...

Posted July 29, 2009
John Lease, thx buddy. Quite like that opening line of yrs.

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Bendweb asserts...

Posted July 29, 2009
Men and women, children all

Millions of us vanished

Buildings burned and choked the earth

Our innocence was banished

With one fell swoop the wave destroyed

The lives and loves we'd known

Sweet Liberty and Uncle Sam

Unseated from their throne

But from the farthest point northwest

A light dawned bright and clear

Noble deeds and love prevailed

To drive away the fear

A shared resolve to build again

The country we revere

And when we're done to not forget

The ones no longer here

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DrYobbo swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 29, 2009
SJS, that's NO way to talk to the captain of your nation's cricket team. Respect the baggy green red and blue stripy thing.

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Brian asserts...

Posted July 29, 2009
SJS : 'What did the editors say about your “cowboy” cliches?'

Err..? . . .Yippee Kiyay? . . .err . . .Yeeha?

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JB’s poetry challenge at The Blue Corner swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 29, 2009
[...] The brief was: Imagine you’re the new (Post Wave) Poet Laureate of the US. [...]

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John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted July 29, 2009
Giddyup.

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Brian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 29, 2009
Classic quote ; "Yahh mule, yaah . . ' . . . .Y. Sam

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Nick is gonna tell you...

Posted July 29, 2009
We say to those who left us:

We Remain

We Rebuild

We Remember

America Abides

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HAVOCK would have you know...

Posted July 29, 2009
All right, like the rest, ya get this straight from head ta paper first draft.

Our Nation once strong, its still here today

The envy of some, others wish us away.

The wave, it arrived like a biblical menace

wrought terror, destruction, some called it penance.

But now its our time,

once more we shall shine.

With true friends discovered and our enemies defined.

Our Nations still strong, still proud, we're not meek

With help from our friends, in time we shall peek.

Opportunity it knocks, we might wind back the clock, those things we did wrong, shall we re write that song.

This future , this plan , some say its too grand, but with toil and sweat we'll rebuild our great land.

Hope, Faith aspiration we need, keep sowing those seeds of freedom, not greed.

As time trickles by, prosperity shall follow, but keep your gun close at hand, as you furrow and plan.

our Country, our freedom its all still at there, make it better, make it stronger, don't ever despair.

Liberty and justice, free men we are still, the land of free men, hope glory and strong will.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan mumbles...

Posted July 29, 2009
I want to give it a shot, but am hella busy. Is there a time limit on this thing?

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John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted July 29, 2009
Coupla weeks.

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Brian ducks in to say...

Posted July 29, 2009
'Coupla weeks'

Prolly take that long for all the limericks to work out of our systems.

Havock's effort deserves a gold star but . . .

The mental image of him sitting around composing this stuff is right entertaining. Personally I did all me better work in pole dancing clubs.(used to get free tickets . . .and snacks)

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Paul Nicholas Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted July 29, 2009
Reasonable.

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Patricia has opinions thus...

Posted July 29, 2009
can you lot stop rhyming?

that is just not on...

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HAVOCK mutters...

Posted July 29, 2009
PNB..REASONABLE!....FUCKING REASONABLE. down right go dam generous I reckon, seeing as all the rest of us had a crack straight up, non of this bloody I'M BUSY SHIT, stop having them nanny naps during the day ya big god dam sook and get crackin, before we dispatch some ...members to deal with ya. Poor form...very, very..very poor form

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HAVOCK has opinions thus...

Posted July 29, 2009
The joints been fucked over, I reckon ya could say. That sheet thing, the wave, its gone washed'em all away.

Yippe i shout, long with other here about, no bull shit, bad films and fucking about.

have a laugh, its them, not us thank fuck.

Just imagine the planet with the seppos still here, killing and burning, seems it bout all they know.

Can't build cars, can't run plants, fuck it up is there gift, that wave thing, OH YEAH, it gave the fuckers a short shift.

I guess we should help, not much, just a bit.

After all we all know, most yanks are just gits

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HAVOCK is gonna tell you...

Posted July 29, 2009
I'd write you a poem, a masterful prose

laden heavy with words, that nobody knows.

Alas, I despair, I haven't the time, I'm working my arse, thats why that I cry.

How long do we have, an extension if you please, my names PNB, I'm a god overseas.

I'll return, after all, but I'll check out the comp, get some ideas and maybe then write.

Alas, I'm bust, gotta run from this fight.

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Brian ducks in to say...

Posted July 29, 2009
See . . .a little praise and there's no shutting him up.

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HAVOCK reckons...

Posted July 29, 2009
NAH...IT WAS PNB BRIAN..lol

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DrYobbo puts forth...

Posted July 29, 2009
Havock... the Rupert McCall of Bacchus Marsh.

Here would be placed an emoticon to suggest I mean that in good humour but as I believe emoticons are the currency of the stupid, I will refrain.

;-)

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houyhnhnm would have you know...

Posted July 29, 2009
these last two blogs read quite blatantly as if you're using the position to garner intellectual property, ie, other people's ideas for your own use. this is not my criticism, by all means go for it. my criticism is that if that's the intention, then go where the result will be exhaustive...these blogs won't cut it

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Monster Yuppy reckons...

Posted July 29, 2009
This has been one of the more fun pieces that I have read

A ditty about all of the Seppos turning up dead

A big "wave", was what JB said...

Could only have been better, if done by Zed

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jennicki mutters...

Posted July 29, 2009
Havock, you are a natural!

Michael, I really really like yours!

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Brian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 29, 2009
Uhhm . . . yeah . .. .hmm.

Houey sounds like he's getting screwy.

Ahh . . .shoot . . .you got me talking in rhyme, i hate that . . .it tales time . . .y'know? . . . to stop the flow . . .

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brentcu swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 29, 2009
Our Debt of Duty

Fifty stars rest on the blue of our flag,

Forty seven rest in peace.

A triad of the young will stand tall

Where their elders have fallen,

And give their blood of freedom,

Proving through that long night,

Against all enemies,

Under rockets, under bombs and under Wave

That our flag is still there, Our land remains free,

Our people evermore brave.

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NataliatheRussianSpy swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 29, 2009
These opening lines came pretty quick:

They had no warning.

Despite it calling

In whispers and a shout.

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HAVOCK would have you know...

Posted July 29, 2009
These opening lines came pretty quick:

They had no warning.

Despite it calling

In whispers and a shout.

We picked it up and ran with it, a mess we made, the norm. Go off we do, on tanged too, its what this mobs about

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Michael puts forth...

Posted July 30, 2009
Thanks, Jen!

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Marian Dalton mumbles...

Posted July 30, 2009
(found this challenge via Twitter - hope this is the right place for an entry!)

We mourn for those who are gone

For every loved one not beside us

For every hole in our lives

We hold the questions in our hearts

And even now, cling to slowly-fading hope

That one day we will understand

But we do not mourn America

There is no headstone for America

For America is more than the cities that lie silent

Crumbling towers and paper blowing in the streets

More than the cars abandoned on the interstates

Doors open as though every driver just got out and walked away

More than the empty houses with their photographs on the mantels

and the schools with their dust-covered desks

echoing with long-gone laughter

America is the memories we carry with us

and the dreams we will never give up

America is the strength of our hands

Reaching to lead each other out of the dark

America is every man, every woman, every child

Who says 'we will not lay down and die'

Who says 'we will rise again'

We do not mourn America

We are America

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NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted July 31, 2009
Quick JB, close the trap now.

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jennicki asserts...

Posted August 2, 2009
Just got my copy of WW so I'm studyin' up!!

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Murphy mutters...

Posted August 3, 2009
Did anyone read Ray Bradbury's Poem America in the latest edition of The Saturday Evening Post?

http://www.saturdayeveningpost.com/2009/06/25/art-literature/fiction-poetry/ray-bradbury-america.html

You know, that poem fits the bill but you'd have to sell off quite a few of the hovercraft in order to get that into the book.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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DK ducks in to say...

Posted August 5, 2009
Laughing and weeping... well here's an attempt:

Letter To My Vanished Mother

Dear Mother,

How are you?

I have good news.

I finally have that inner city apartment you wanted me to get,

With good parking facilities.

In a quiet neighbourhood.

Close to the city centre, yet away from the hustle and bustle.

I'm eating less these days,

That's what you said I should do right?

I'm not seeing my ex-wife so much these days,

Or the kids,

Or you.

I miss you all,

In America.

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tygertim puts forth...

Posted August 18, 2009
Not seen, deeply felt

did the Wave strike,

The blow snatched my loves away.

The night wind did blow on a silent and burning land.

Cities bright, glowing red in the dark,

drowning the sky with poison.

All that was left of you, my love-

a smoking little pile of goo.

And I, whom was away, yet I still remain

grief my refrain.

By my own hand did I nearly die -

for Alone shredded my heart.

Somewhere though; however faint, still remained some spark

that bent my will to live.

Through the long months We all worked (to forget my pain)

striven to survive to return to our land,

as Chaos and the Four Horsemen rode the wide world

leaving wrack and woe in their wake.

Til we reached the end of wait, the Wave standing no more.

Now we begin again, from west to east

wrest from sorrow's feast our dreams -

and to love once more,

as the Eagle becomes Phoenix.

First draft. I'm not sure I like it though.

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Respond to 'And while you're at it... another challenge.'

Traps for old players.

Posted July 20, 2009 by John Birmingham
The ladies of the household were both occupied with ladylike goings-on yesterday, leaving Thomas and I to amuse ourselves for the better part of the day. I had Stargate Continuum recorded on the magic TV box and had been saving it for a post deadine sesh, but the day was bright and warm and the park beckoned first, so we repaired down the hill with a frisbee and football.

I decided, having lost so much weight and improved my fitness that I was gonna give him a harsh lesson in the sort of tricks old lions can get up to in winter, and for a good half hour I was all over the wee devil. Then, a poor frisbee toss saw the disc pop up high and fall into no man's land between us. Thomas saw his chance and took off. Right, I thought, we're not having that. And so I engaged the hyperdrive and lit out at maximum warp aiming to reach the estimated impact point well before him.

RRRRIIIIIIPPPPPPP.....

That's not the actual sound a hamstring makes when it fails spectacularly. But that's what it feels like deep inside your leg.

Because no matter how much weight I've dropped, or how much excerise I've done, there simply is no way that 88 kilos of 45 year old aged beef can cover twenty metres of open ground from a standing start as quickly as 17 kilos of sugar powered spring chicken.

Much limping, a hot bath and a very large glass of red wine later we settled down to watch Stargate instead.

28 Responses to ‘Traps for old players.’

Chaz is gonna tell you...

Posted July 20, 2009
Don't you mean '45 year old aged and marinated beef'?

yep none of us of getting any younger. the only upsdie is that I know you've got three years on me!!

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Therbs ducks in to say...

Posted July 20, 2009
And why is it that next time we go out to kick a ball around we forget the pain of the previous time? Ah yes, that's right, its called alcohol.

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simon bedak asserts...

Posted July 20, 2009
Ouch, baby. If you can find one, grab an old fashioned three-armed Flo-Bo to play with in the park. Much more chance of getting it stuck in a tree and forgetting about it than a Frisbee.

Nice tasty read. Get better soon.

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drej ducks in to say...

Posted July 20, 2009
Thats the problem with those aging hyperdrives, punching max warp always carries higher risk of suffering either some form of minor structural integrity failure as in your case, or even more embarrassingly, total loss of containment.

Best remember, "old age and treachery..."

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YB puts forth...

Posted July 20, 2009
A hammy can actually 'pop'. I've heard it. Two people vomited. All the best getting better, and enjoy the teev sessions. I'm on a paint miniatures and teev marathon due to being sidelined by the flu. Joy.

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Moko has opinions thus...

Posted July 20, 2009
Tough work being a Spartan sometimes.

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HAVOCK swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 20, 2009
LMAO.... The good news.mmmmm. THERE IS NONE. But to impart some HARD FUCKING WON WISDOM, be prepared for the following.

1 He will at some point bowl a bouncer at you and almost take your head off.

2 A tackle ( football), will be laid, it won't be you doing the laying either, which WILL result in your arse being splattered on the ground.

3 A day is coming where the phrase, " You have to come home at some point", will be uttered by you, its a result o you no longer being FAST enough to catch the little shit.

We have not YET, hit the point where he can bench press more than me..alas, its approaching I suspect.

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MickH ducks in to say...

Posted July 20, 2009
so if the hammy is gone, it's off to the hospital for a stay?

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Flinthart is gonna tell you...

Posted July 20, 2009
Owtch. Fortunately, I limit my competitive suff with the kids to the mats in the dojo, where experience really counts. I know better than to try and take 'em from a standing start...not the hams with me, but the knees.

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Bangar reckons...

Posted July 20, 2009
Ouch, at least it was in a good cause.

PS any thoughts on parallel importation of books? I'd have more respect for the idea if the buggers had gone after the GST on books first.

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Domestic Daze is gonna tell you...

Posted July 20, 2009
So good to see another forty-cough loudly person growing old in such a wonderfully disgraceful way. Keep up the good work!

Hope the leg is on the mend for you.

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houyhnhnm@yahoo swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted July 20, 2009
since i suspect that u r quadreped, rather than simian, and notwithstanding the obvious differences, i empathise, to the extent that that is possible. How's the hock? so to speak. However, one suspects that the efforts reulting in hamstring problem are a result of being hamstrung, by stubborn pride. "get thee behind, tarsal." Sorry, my tendon-ness appears to have departed prematurely

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savo would have you know...

Posted July 20, 2009
No fool etc.

Wait until the two of them work out, that by co-operating, they can bring down the old man.

You'll be on the plus side of 50...

snigger snigger snigger

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Patricia asserts...

Posted July 20, 2009
JB - i have great tips for recuperating on that one:

[a] there's this dude in Sunnybank, does cupping and bleeds you - not as painful as it sounds and it works wonders name of Lewis Lee Accupuncture;

[b] go to a physio- a good one- my one is in Kelvin Grove and looks after the Broncos- Optima Sports Therapy ;

[c] yoga - there's actually a yoga physio out there try www.yogaphysio.com.au - you'll be back on you feet in no time.

I just did my ankle in on Saturday, and did the RICE thing, and yoga. I'm maintaining range of motion and flexibility with yoga and cycling, but hammies are another matter. Also seeing both my physio and my accunpuncturist. Be careful, at 45 it takes longer to heal

Happy 45 by the way!

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sparty ducks in to say...

Posted July 20, 2009
on the subject of sport...one nil, one nil, one nil .....

although you have my apologies on the catch Strauss claimed.....

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Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted July 20, 2009
Yeah, they ain't growin' replacement parts in tin buckets yet so one had best watch themselves as they advance past forty.

I'm getting there myself. Things don't heal quite the way they used to.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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NBlob mumbles...

Posted July 21, 2009
Murph 20/7/09 22:42.

"growin’ replacement parts in tin buckets "

Please please please please please (ad nauseum)

C'mon - what's your VA hospitals doin over there? In Bobworld they're the goto guys for bit culture & replacement. *

With the cold my knee is starting to pain me - might be time to get some of the shark fin gear.

*Bobworld may or may not bear much in common with reality.

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HAVOCK mumbles...

Posted July 21, 2009
Given the warnings now laid out here, I'm shocked i have done this and shall continue. Seems that with cricket season upon us, the gym set being firmly established in the shed an the fact the shed is CLEAN ( has been for a while shock horror), I have a the eldest pestering, taken up sessions with him on a nightly basis. THIS, started SUNDAY.

WTF went through my head I have NO FUCKING IDEA!, the WHOLE god dam body is killing me and we are due tonight AGAIN......THIS will end badly. But ya have to do it....

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HAVOCK ducks in to say...

Posted July 21, 2009
I should also point out for those who have not perhaps observed such, that Injuries tend to occur more frequently the older you get. Now, whats not been noticed, or has but stated incorrectly is the JB is NOW, approaching 50, not 44, not 45, but approaching 50...... thats really starting to wind the OLD clock up a bit.

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Murphy would have you know...

Posted July 21, 2009
But Havoc, he doesn't seem that old. Hell, he glides across the floor like some rapper in a Spike Lee Movie.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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HAVOCK mumbles...

Posted July 21, 2009
Murph...that glidin shit...its the wheel chair, they only shoot him from the waist UP

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Steven Danno would have you know...

Posted July 21, 2009
Have you noticed the inverse relationship between pain/suffering/disability and sympathy/tenderness/additional lurvin from our significant others? Not that in my case sympathy/tenderness/additional lurvin were ever on the cards anyway but are noticably even more absent in the case of serious and debilitating injury. The only caveat might be JB when the injury occurs while in the service of the War Office, instead of doing things designed to enhance enjoyment, fitness and healthy outdoor living that isnt gardening, house painting, digging holes cleaning up dog shit, transplanting perfectly happy giant shrubs, cleaning out gutters... an injury sustained in these pursuits would be because you weren't doing it properly...I don't mean to go on but sheeeeit..Good luck with your recovery, do you retain control of the remote? That is the final ignominy in my view when that is taken from us.

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Otto has opinions thus...

Posted July 21, 2009
At 44 I decided to go back to cricket after 15 years off. Survived the first game - but could not walk for a week. Second was rained off, but the physio appointment was booked for the tennis elbow from batting practice. Third was a 1 day game at which I excelled by hitting some runs. On the last ball of the match, while trying for the winning run I tore my left calf muscle and right hamstring.

The physio laughed a lot on the Monday morning.....

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John Birmingham asserts...

Posted July 21, 2009
Ah yes, Steven, those poor, happy stupid shrubs. Why can't they just be left alone?

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John Birmingham reckons...

Posted July 21, 2009
ROTFLMAO. My return to cricket lasted two hours, at a drunken bucks party. The next day I was in so much pain I could not even lift my head from the pillow.

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HAVOCK asserts...

Posted July 21, 2009
yeah but I'll bet you were not training at that time either JB. Its the reason I have started the gym sessions already, I don't want a week off to recover from the FIRST training session. Squats will get incorporated next week or this keeper might end up pulling all sorts of muscles.

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John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted July 21, 2009
Jumping box squats Mr Havock. There is no substitute for quality.

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NukemHill asserts...

Posted July 22, 2009
Well, I guess I'm in good company. Shortly after bragging about my wonderful exercise program, I torqued my back. I've been on and off the regimen for the last 2 1/2 weeks. I'm going back tonight for the first time in a week. Hopefully, it'll go well.

It really sucks, because part of the point of my exercising is to strengthen my back so as to avoid fucking it up!!!!.

Yeah. How's that workin' out for you Greg?

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Respond to 'Traps for old players.'

JB's deadline workout.

Posted July 10, 2009 by John Birmingham
Well, we're back as you can see. The host got hacked, but had the sense to have maintained proper back ups.

I've been spending the day reliving my youth as a pol sci post grad, reading heaps o' journal articles about the coming superpower rivalry in the Indian Ocean. Why? Cos someone's playing me to.

I sent the draft manuscript away this week, but rather than having time off I had to swing into this hasty commission. It's interesting, after having been on the novel/blog treadmill for so long. But at this very minute I've just got back from a family lunch at CrossTown Eating House, so until that settles there wont be much deep thought from ol' JB.

Instead I'm gonna blow off a few minutes doing something I've meant to do for a while. A few folks who've seen me the last few weeks have commented on how much less JB there is to go around. About ten kilos less so far, but I'm looking to trim another 4-5kgs to get down to my fighting weight of low to mid eighties.

Partly it's cos I'm about to go back to the dojo and didn't want to embarrass or, more likely, injure myself. Partly it's because I did enormous damage to my health and fitness during last year's restaurant review season and I only dropped weight again after that little pnuemonia incident in January. I figured that with being on deadline for a few months I could either harden up and regain control, or lose it totally and finally and embrace my Inner Blob.

Deadlines are like that. They can go either way. This time, thankfully, it broke the right way and been able to pull my belt in five notches so far.

So for those who asked how...

Well, lemme tell you.

Not eating in cafes and restaurants three times a day is a start. But not everyone has that problem.

I switched to just having a coupla pieces of fruit for breaky. Usually a banana and a mandarin with a cup of tea.

Then a light lunch, often just a sandwhich.

Then I'd eat what i wanted for dinner, but less of it. In the past I've always filled the plate right out to the edge. Now I try and leave half the surface uncovered (without cheating by piling up the goodies on  other side).

I'm still drinking a glass or two of wine at night (what parent doesn't!) but I've cut that right back from 4-5 glasses, and it helped that when I finally put pedal to metal on After America I had one month alcohol free. Lost two kgs right there.

The exercise though is what's really helped.

I started very light, after being so sick early in the year. Kicked off with just 20 mins of relatively gentle walking, a few push ups and sit ups, some very light weight training.

I've gradually increased that to the following work out.

10 mins dynamic stretching.

15 mins tredmill, maximum incline, interval setting.

20 mins floor exercises. 5 burpees. 16 rotating crunches. 1 burpee. 8 jumping box squats. 1 burpee. 10 diamond push ups. 1 burpee. 20 low side lunges. 1 burpee. 5 dorsal raises. 1 burpee. 8 inverted press ups. 1 burpee. 10 Bulgarians each leg. Repeat all. (A burpee is a nasty bit of gear where you get into a push up position, before pulling your knees quickly up to your chest and driving up thru your heels so you leap about a foot off the ground).

15 mins heavy bag work. (My fave bit. Lot of anger to work out by this point).

25 mins various weights, with the sets broken up by front, side, crescent, roundhouse kicks. 20 reps each.

Stretch and cool down.

I've try and get a session in 5-6 times a week. It takes for fucking ever, but it's been stripping the rest of the blubber away from me and once I get down to my target weight I'll cut back to 3 times a week + 1 sesh at the dojo.

Anyone who has any favorite work out tips (I'm looking at you Lobes) feel free to leave 'em below. I need to break this routine up every now and then.

As for me, lunch is settling, so it's back to the Indian Ocean.

57 Responses to ‘JB's deadline workout.’

CraigWA ducks in to say...

Posted July 10, 2009
Good to hear. At least you haven't decided to do the diet to try and lose weight. Just the sensible eat less, do more.

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Lobes puts forth...

Posted July 10, 2009
Thats a good 90 minute workout. If you're doing that 5-6 times a week I'm not surprised you've gone in so many notches. Well done.

It all sounds pretty good but I agree you want to mix it up a bit so it doesnt get too repetitive. I like the use of the burpee. I do a lot of those myself. I dont bother with crunches anymore, find them useless to tell the truth and have replace them with burpees almost altogether but I digress.

Something a bit different if you dont allready use one get a swiss ball (giant inflatable ball) and try and involve it into every part of your routine. ie feet on bench with hands on ball for push ups. Lying back on ball for crunches, sitting or kneeling on ball when doing weights etc. I use examples from your current routine but you can make up your own.

Also I'm reluctant to recommend running as I hate it and its such a punishing exercise to recover from but short distances are usually ok. For explosive power shuttle sprints are really good. I set out cones (conveniently spaced trees actually) about 10m apart. Sprint to 10m touch the ground then sprint back touch the ground, sprint to 20m, then 30m, then 20m then 10m then 20 burpees. I usually do that 3 times. 4 if I'm feeling frisky.

If you can stay above 75% effort for the whole set you're doing well.

My main exercise these days is SUP paddling though. Its a great workout. Much better than any gym and most sports I've played. Its a lifestyle though.

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John Birmingham mumbles...

Posted July 10, 2009
In fact I just bought myself a swiss ball this week. Been meaning to get one for a while. Used them quite a bit in the past but the dog chewed thru the last one we owned.

I've just started to integrate it into the overall routine, but yes, you're right about using it with weights etc. I'll have to look online for vids and tips.

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Chaz asserts...

Posted July 10, 2009
yeah i could see you expending a lot of anger on the heavy bag if you've cut down on your drinking....

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Bangar reckons...

Posted July 10, 2009
Me I'd be happy to see the underside of the ton, so I'm envious, congrats JB.

PS yes I could stop drinking but I'm a mean sober.

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damian is gonna tell you...

Posted July 10, 2009
I have been wanting to get back into the "waving a sword around like a fool" method of fitness training, and for various reasons don't care to go back the group I'd been doing that with, for now anyway. I'm actually quite interested in having a go with the group who practice in Hawthorn Park, which would be in your stomping grounds.

These guys do German longsword, which is a kind of two-hander that weighs 2-3kg. From the bouting I used to do with two-handers in the previous group I played with, I can attest it's about as much fun as you can have standing up. Sparks and fluid motion and all. Drills are fantastic core muscle workouts, similar to what you'd get with kettlebells. And bouts are like squash, with 2-3kg racquets...

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John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted July 10, 2009
Hawthorn Park you reckon? Damn. Never seen that. Have to keep my eyes peeled. Sounds like something the kids would love to watch.

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DrYobbo puts forth...

Posted July 10, 2009
Smaller plates. It's stupid but it works. Makes more of a difference than almost anything else.

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WalkingShaw mumbles...

Posted July 10, 2009
Thought about the pool? I swim laps, great way to freshen the body up, great for increasing lung capacity and strengthening back/shoulders. You've also got some great outdoor climbing along the river in Brisbane [not like the freezing conditions in climbing gyms in Melbourne!] - it's dynamic, explosive and works completely different muscle groups. Maybe good as a change up?

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John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted July 10, 2009
Ben, my wife is a swimmer, and I totes recognise the benefits, but I hate it. I'm no good at it. And I've built a gym under the house where I can train without having to organise child care. Parenthood is the enemy of fitness. It's partly why I dont run any more. (And partly cos, like Lobes says, running is dull and hurts a lot).

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HAVOCK reckons...

Posted July 10, 2009
mm, at 68 kgs I guess weight is not an issue, neither is being selective on what I eat. also, playing sport ( nil in winter), but its a bitch the first two weeks back and pre season starts shortly. I have no doubt the hamstrings, quads and calves will bitch like crazy and I reckon I'm gunna steal portions of your regime I think JB.

Swiss BALL, thats what they re called, I have one, got it for rehab on the knee. If you like squats, try wicket keeping..fucking heaps of'em, occupational hazard.

Maybe one day I might have to worry about my weight, but to be honest I would LOVE another 10-15 kgs.

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HAVOCK reckons...

Posted July 10, 2009
OH, and the WIFE being a swimmer...YEAH, mine was as well, its like a fucking outboard motor in the pool and not only does she kick my arse, its fucking depressing as well!

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Moko would have you know...

Posted July 10, 2009
I want a machine that I can strap myself in to and just let it do the weight loss/fitness thing for me.

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Matthew K mutters...

Posted July 10, 2009
JB: "I’ve built a gym under the house"

Ah, so THAT'S the secret. Well done for being so self motivated that you train well alone.

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damian reckons...

Posted July 10, 2009
John: http://collegiuminarmis.com/classes/

I intend to make it along to either the 26th or the 2nd after.

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WalkingShaw mutters...

Posted July 10, 2009
Parenthood is the enemy of fitness. True! Man, please tell me it gets better - twin girls almost at 2 only thing they like doing is swimming, dancing and at the moment screaming! So swimming is only exercise that my wife, kids and I can do together!

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Lobes ducks in to say...

Posted July 10, 2009
Pick something and master it. I suggest either skipping or chin ups. If you went hard on chin ups you'd be able to bust out 10+ in a row within a few months. Not many people can do that. But start on about 3 or so.

If you're willing to lay out the dosh get a rowing machine. The Concept2 ergometer is the best by far. If I could only afford one piece of indoor gym equipment thats what I'd get. Better than a treadmill IMO.

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Naut is gonna tell you...

Posted July 10, 2009
I have been thinking about hanging a chinup bar for a while now.

I'm a fan of running because if you do enough of it you can eat what you want and still lose weight.

I tend to do pyramid training, pushups 2 then hold 4 then hold etc up to 10 then back down again.

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Matthew K asserts...

Posted July 10, 2009
Lobes: "The Concept2 ergometer is the best by far. If I could only afford one piece of indoor gym equipment thats what I’d get."

Word. I have thought the very same thing many times.

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Lobes reckons...

Posted July 10, 2009
Helps to have a rowing background or at least some coaching on the device though. I have seen so many people rowing like absolute muppets and not exercising effectively at all.

Just noticed the Concept2 website has a world rankings list. Back when I was right into ergos I would have given the top 100 a very good shake. Theres your challenge JB, try and get in the top 100 for your age group. Looking at the times even making Top 10 for Australia is very achievable.

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damian reckons...

Posted July 10, 2009
Personally, I'd love to have a good rowing machine but it'd be no substitute for getting on the water. I actually hope to build my own one of these days, but that's another story.

JB, the German longsword group I was talking about are these guys: http://collegiuminarmis.com/classes/

I probably wont make the 26th but possibly the sunday after

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damian would have you know...

Posted July 10, 2009
Oh, I did mention it. Duh, no short term memory loss here

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lostatlunch would have you know...

Posted July 10, 2009
just making the rest of us look bad.. AGAIN.

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HAVOCK mumbles...

Posted July 10, 2009
NO DARKMAN..there are those of us who are FIT, not FAT and require no EXTRAORDINARY training to stay the NORMAL shape. We can eat what we please and our body weight varies about 2 kgs if we are lucky. These people are like gods, I should know, I am one of them

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Murphy mutters...

Posted July 11, 2009
The fruit and carb for breakfast is probably the best way to go. I did that for years during the Rent-A-Donut era and managed to maintain a tolerable weight level.

China-India issue, I read a recent article in Foreign Affairs (and it figures that I can't remember the title) which suggested that the United States could play the role of intermediary between the two growing naval powers, creating a coalition security force from the navies around the Indian Ocean. The author seemed to suggest that if our moderating influence was present, it would mitigate the traditional tension between India and China, prompting them to look at their common interests in a secure and stable ocean going environment.

Wish I remembered what the title was. I read it this past spring so I suspect it is on your stack. Ref Foreign Affairs Journal.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Matthew K ducks in to say...

Posted July 11, 2009
All depends on the quality of those in power doesn't it Murph. The recent bollocks about "racist" atacks on Indians in Oz and the attendent rabble rousing by Indian pols showed the level of sophistication we can expect from there. Painful as it may be to admit but undemocratic China might have better government than democratic India.

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sibeen mutters...

Posted July 11, 2009
I can't be bothered with all that crap. I pull on a pair of shorts (why are shorts always in pairs?), do 60 odd sit-ups, 40 odd push-ups, 8 to 10 chin-ups and then hit the running track.

Mind you, the sprogs do put the kybosh on this on a regular basis; but I do find that when I've gained an extra pound or two (sic) that it only takes me about a month to shed those unsightly few kilos by running.

I like running, I really do. It's my equivalent of the heavy bag. All my worries and anger seem to drain away with the copious amount of sweat that I manage to produce. Sometimes it's strap the iPod to the arm and listen to some decent music whilst pounding away, on other days it's podless and some decent thinking can go on.

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girlclumsy mutters...

Posted July 11, 2009
Oh, goodness. This is very impressive - and everyone else's tips as well.

I'm so bad fitness-wise. I've tried various things over the years and lose interest and/or motivation.

I enjoy going for long walks with the Wah at a reasonable pace, and I've a few home exercise videos that I pop in from time to time. But you've all given me inspiration that I should be doing better!

Mind you - I just did an impro show tonight that had lots of action and running about, and I feel like I've done a proper workout. Maybe I just need to perform a lot, lot more. :)

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mckinneytexas has opinions thus...

Posted July 11, 2009
Keep in mind that what works at 20 doesn't work at 30, at 40 and so on. Degeneration occurs regardless of training although musculature can compensate significantly. North of 45, ligaments, rotator cuffs, cartilage, disc material, etc. start to fail. Bicycles, treadmills, etc. for heart and weight control, medium weights, stretching, etc. for the rest.

And cutting back on the booze, as you've noticed. Glad to see you are in the health mode. Moderating your work load? Not likely. Oh well.

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NukemHill asserts...

Posted July 11, 2009
I like it. I've just started working out again myself. Started losing weight last Fall, after getting on Concerta. Reduced my appetite, and the weight has been peeling off. Haven't been working out 'til now, 'cause I still had too much poundage for my knees, ankles and feet, which couldn't take the punishment. I'm running on the treadmill now, and rowing on the rowing machine (trading off each day, so I'm not doing too much to either my lower extremities, or my back). Up to 30 minutes on each, which is phenomenal for me. The weight loss has clearly made a difference in my capacities.

I think I'm going to start working some karate moves into my routine. Your mention of it above really struck a cord. I'm also ordering a new exercise ball for home stuff. My previous one met recently with a sharp object wielded by an unknown junior assailant. Crime unsolved. Perpetrator remains unknown. Oh, well. I know itwern't the twins. They're pretty honest about the mayhem they instigate.

I peaked at 242 lbs. I'm 6' 2" so, while not devastating on my frame, it was clearly too much. I'm currently floating between 217 and 222, depending on the day. My target is to be between 205 and 210 by the beginning of September. My eldest will be Bar Mitzvah'd then, and I want to look good, both for myself, and also for him. He's worked his ass off for this, and I want him to be proud of me, so I'm willing to work my ass off for him.

Best of luck, JB. If you can tolerate it, I highly recommend rowing. It's absolutely brilliant for your back muscles, and a great cardio workout. Once I get into really solid shape, I'll probably row every day, and tack on jogging every other. When I was in grad school, I got into a workout jag, and put in a solid 9+ months of just about every day. I had previously been suffering from back problems. But I went over a year-and-a-half with absolutely no pain during and after that stretch of exercise. My bad for not keeping with it. But now I'm pretty committed to making it a lifestyle issue.

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NataliatheRussianSpy is gonna tell you...

Posted July 11, 2009
Lots of uphill walking with handweights...keeping your middle sucked in and your spine stretched. Great for general core strength.

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damian mutters...

Posted July 11, 2009
mckinney: "And cutting back on the booze, as you’ve noticed."

Noooooooooooooooooooo!

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John Birmingham mutters...

Posted July 11, 2009
Nukem', you inspire me. I had exactly the same probs starting off. I was carrying so much weight that it was actually dangerous to consider any exercise. I think that's why people get put off. Because to begin with progress is so slow and incremental. Congrats on your efforts.

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John Birmingham reckons...

Posted July 11, 2009
Unfortunately I have no rowing experience. Used the machines a bit in my old gym, but I was probably one of those wallies doing it All Wrong.

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GT ducks in to say...

Posted July 11, 2009
re: Indian Ocean & Murph's article, I think the local Financial Review picked up that article and ran with it in their Friday Review supplement a few weeks ago. If interested, I would hazard a search would bring it up ?

Cheers

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NBlob mutters...

Posted July 11, 2009
I'm 6ft 2 & 105 Kg (Approx 220Lbs I think.)

Lots of my friends are doing the late 30's stress about weight. I weigh myself about 3 times a year. While I have never been overly concerned I know that I'd benefit from losing 15, but I'm not about to make my life a misery about it. Not being a beer drinker & not having much of a sweet tooth puts me ahead of the game.

I have a good mate "Innapropriate Donny" who has shed > 30 kg in the last 12 months and gone from "Heavy set" to "Weekend at Dachau." I'm seriously concerned about his weight loss. Cutting out 2 cans of Coke per day was good, the 150kms on the bike per week was understandable if a little excessive, what really freaks me out is his no carbs after 5pm policy.

No carbs! Why not just slit your freakin throat? What's next no lamb?

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savo mutters...

Posted July 11, 2009
Love the rowing machine. The treadmill can't keep up with rapid changes in speed and effort and the stationary bike feels like, well.. I have something of an endomorphic shape so the bulk is where I sit.

On the weekend I like to do what me exercise physiologist calls Centuries. It's as much aerobic as weights: pick as many exercises as you need (15/20 whatever)and do one hundred reps nice and fast. Weights not too high but don't be a girl about it, it's only 100 reps. Beats the crap out of doing a fixed time because you know that you still have to do a certain amount, with a timed amount you can slack off and still reach your goal. Some faves are weighted punch outs, situps (15kg on chest) and a count down 1 star jump run 15m 1 push up run 15m 2 star jumps run... 10 star jumps run 10 push ups run 9 star jumps same back down to one. Star jumps are my nod to burpees (God I hate burpees) Some of you have see me and so should realise getting both feet off the ground at the one time is a major major achievement.

Doing it with a training buddy helps (I've 2 skinny mates my age - skinny bastards!), have a well balanced and correctly programmed series of work out sessions that spread the workout load around the body is essential, just "knowing what works for me" don't cut it.

Breakfast is fruit (narnie for recovery) and carbs in the form of a Sanitarium 'Get Up & Go' = 2 weetbix and milk.

Lunch a salad sango

Dinner anything but a lot less of it.

Oh yes and anti inflamatories and analgesics.

Senator & JB: I haven't kicked all of that last 25kg but I buy off the rack now :o)

About India and China playing around the Indian Ocean with the US on the other side, I seem to remember Tom Clancy doing a novel based on that, them threatening to take over the Southern Economic Zone (Australia)

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damian mutters...

Posted July 11, 2009
savo: Rising Sun, but it was Japan not China. Not a particularly compelling thesis really. Some of the free-trade talk was practically insulting to non-USians who attempt to engage in said practice. The book was notable in that it predicted using a large plane with full fuel tanks as a bomb, annihilating everyone in a building (actually, Congress I believe, thus turning Jack Ryan into the POTUS).

Give me Jenkins over Clancy any day ;)

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Bangar ducks in to say...

Posted July 11, 2009
Savo, a Dale Brown book perhaps?

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beeso has opinions thus...

Posted July 11, 2009
i train with a few Aussie touch boys who put me through a fair bit of pain, lots of sprints. Thursday we did a 12 min interval run, 5x150 on the 30 1min 10x70m on the 30 sec 15x30m on the 15sec. Absolutely killed, especially the ones into the wicked headwind.

However its not shifting the weight and anyone whos read the food blog knows what my attitude to food is, none of that no carbs after 5 madness, so I bit the bullet and I'm doing 3 bike classes a week at the gym.

we'll see if that helps...

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lostatlunch puts forth...

Posted July 11, 2009
Havock... you are still using a lot of caps since th4 whole holocost thing... have you been off the prozac? God has also been kind to me and maintan a lovely 90kg's with minimal effort & gross neglect and as I hit 40, I am being more aware of taking care of it..

Did god bless with with a 9" penis as well?

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HAVOCK ducks in to say...

Posted July 11, 2009
SAVO, the dogs you were talking about were, India, china and IRAN!, that was Debt of Honour and it was HALF a plane load of jet fuel. It was because the JAPANESE..MAFIA / Industrial mega corp players had built nukes and threatened to utilise them, these guys were in cahoooots. Stage one was NEC ( northern economic zone), from memory and then Southern . Executive Orders is on the NTH one,.....I THINK..NO sorry. That book deals with IRAN / IRAQ. The BEAR & THE DRAGON, is based on the Northern one. But they theme is ambitions both those players have ( china / india ) , they are not against each other..YET.

However, in real life...I suspect its one that has yet to be played out, I've said it before elsewhere, possibly here as well. have a look at where the majority of India's water flows from and who just happens to be sitting on top of it!.

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damian would have you know...

Posted July 11, 2009
Yes, Debt of Honor (not sure what Rising Sun was. Crichton?) Definitely thinking of the same book, but I won't read Clancy more than once. Which is twice more than one should read Cussler, I'd add.

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Lobes reckons...

Posted July 12, 2009
Rising Sun was a Crichton book about industrial rivalry and espionage between USA and Japan.

Was turned into a good movie with (I Think) Sean Connery and Denzel.

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NBlob asserts...

Posted July 12, 2009
Back on topic, Very Very interesting & disturbing program this morning about fructose & it's role in obesity & type 2 diabetes.

Will make me think twice about putting a poppa juice (juice box) in The Bobettes lunchbox everyday.

Podcast isn't up yet but the transcript is there & podcast coming soon.

http://www.abc.net.au/rn/ockhamsrazor/stories/2009/2621415.htm

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Patricia ducks in to say...

Posted July 12, 2009
JB - I used to do corporate rowing. If you come in one arvie to QUT, we can use one of their rowing machines. I can coach you on technique, posture and rhythm.

Which makes me think I should go back to rowing. Lobes is right. A rowing machine is WAY better than a treadmill. I hate treadmills. I hate running. But rowing? *sigh* one of the greatest things invented.

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Lobes mumbles...

Posted July 12, 2009
Technique, posture and Rhythm with Patricia

Think about it JB....

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HAVOCK would have you know...

Posted July 12, 2009
wesley snipes was the other fella Lobs, with sean. Its taken half an effin hour to think of his god dam name..lol

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savo puts forth...

Posted July 12, 2009
Vixen 03 was Cusslers best book, with each progressivly filled with more and more crap. Take Note Birmo, that is how to screw a franchise/universe.

With Clancy must say I prefered the Clark stories to the Ryan ones with Red Storm Rising being his best and having neither in it.

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damian is gonna tell you...

Posted July 12, 2009
My copy of the 1951 edition Admiralty Seamanship Manual has a marvellous(ly camp) diagram of correct rowing posture through the stroke. Not meant for a sliding seat, but the principles are the same. I'll scan and post it somewhere sometime.

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damian would have you know...

Posted July 12, 2009
savo - you name the only one that I actually enjoyed reading. All of his others made me angry for some reason or other, usually just some stupid cultural ignorance or other that the twerp couldn't be bothered researching. At least, that's what I seem to recall - I think I've mostly successfully whiskey-scrubbed those memories.

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damian asserts...

Posted July 12, 2009
Done. It's actually from HMSO Manual of Seamanship Vol. II, Admiralty 1951.

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Lobes puts forth...

Posted July 12, 2009
Raise the Titanic was a fairly entertaining romp. I like most of the Dirk Pitt novels but he has now killed off Pitt and replaced him with someone named Kurt Austin. No good.

Damien not a bad rowing diagram. the key picture is figure 6 ('The Release'). Its important to remember that your hands should be moving around in an oval (or ellipse) when viewed from side-on. Its not just back and forth. And you notice the first few diagrams he is putting all the force through the oar with his back. He doesnt try to bend his arms until the oar has some momentum through the water.

Diagrams 1 & 2 show perhaps the most crucial moment 'The Catch'. You're not trying to rip the oar through the water at this stage. You want a nice clean entry which you acheive just by releasing pressure off the oar and let the blade drop in with a plop. Check the height difference in his hands btw Fig 1-2.

Damn... I used to coach rowing at Uni. Didnt realise this stuff was so seriously embedded even a decade later. Hmm, probably should have started my explanation with the catch though, but you get me going on racing starts and I'll never stop.

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NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted July 13, 2009
I always new my Dad was a pretty smart dude, then I heard how he picked up my mum - by coaching the womens rowing team.

If you like your women big & strong it's a gold mine.

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damian mutters...

Posted July 13, 2009
Lobes - what impressed me most is how clearly it shows him keeping his back straight at all times, and his arms as much as possible.

I think the only bit missing so far from this discussion is rhythm. When I last rowed it was High School, and they used to get us to do 4:1 for cruising, and scaling up to 2:1 and 1:1 sprints for racing.

When I was getting to the gym regularly a couple of years ago, I'd do a "virtual" 30km or so in a session on the machine, mostly cruising with a 3:1 (ie, 4/4 time) rhythm, broken up a bit with 1:1 sprints. 4:1 could only work in the gym if the background music is 'Take 5', on a 45rpm single played at 33rpm, IMHO.

Note to Birmo - the numbers are the ratio of time the blade is out of the water (7 to 10) and in the water (1 to 6). The larger number is the time out of the water.

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Annabel Candy would have you know...

Posted July 13, 2009
Well done on your fitness program and weight loss.

I have a swiss ball I love. The Aussie queen of the swiss ball is Lisa Westlake who has a string of books like Get On The Ball and DVDs such as Hard Core Strength which is full of sweaty muscle men. I recommend you borrow them from the library to see if you like them.

I enjoy doing fitness DVDs as it's like having personal trainer and they make you push yourself. Get a heap of them so you don't get bored and to make sure all your muscles get worked on. I try to alternate days of weight training and cardio such as power walking (look how trim it keeps Kim Day-Knight!) and biking.

Keep up the great writing and exercising!

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jp asserts...

Posted July 21, 2009
I'm a big fan of pilates -- especially pushups etc, and a lot of stuff with a power band (big elastic band, the ultimate travel-gym for book tour).

The 300 workout is good, as is this one:

http://www.esquire.com/the-side/video/dr-oz-workout-0509

Pretty much everything Esquire does has helped this writer stay alive.

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Respond to 'JB's deadline workout.'

Book recommendation.

Posted June 22, 2009 by John Birmingham
Every deadline I inevitably get distracted by one book I shouldn't read, but do anyway. This deadline it was The Destroyermen by Taylor Anderson. It's alt hist, WW2 based, sort of. Anderson takes a couple of clapped out WW1 era destroyers, pressed into service at the start of the Pacific War, and sends them through a time warp, wormhole, Transition Event, whatever, into a parallel earth where humans may or may nor have evolved, but where they certainly aren't the dominant species. There are two of those, a sexy, peace loving, half cat half monkey species. And a bunch of hungry orcs who eat them.

The destroyermen find themselves drawn into this conflict as the most technologically advanced posse on the planet, even in their clapped out old destroyers. It's interesting to watch how he deals with resource scarcity.

I enjoyed this piece of top shelf airport novelage immensely. Anderson uses the chaos of the war's early days on Earth 1.1 to cram a disparate bunch of characters onto his boats before sending them thru the event horizon. The action is very well handled, and I liked the character development even if, like WoC, there are probably too many speaking roles. The author did make another mistake that I recognise from own early work, shifting in and out of multiple POVs without adequately sign posting the change in the text. I was lucky enough to have Steve Saffel at Del Rey pull me up on that before we got into print. TA wasn't, but then he only does it a couple of times and it may well be that only other writers would notice.

Anyway, if you're in the way of needing some alt hist explodey goodness to tide you over until After America, do yourself a favour and check out The Destroyermen.

As for me, I got another five chapters to write, a Penthouse column overdue, and I lost most of today to a hell meeting.

On the upside, I took my belt in another notch today.

31 Responses to ‘Book recommendation.’

Brian reckons...

Posted June 22, 2009
Keep away from Parliament Play Time. You're whole day could get blown. Half the net is watching the Utegate play offs.

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Tarl asserts...

Posted June 22, 2009
The first two of the Destroyermen novels are pretty good. I lost interest halfway through the third, though.

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Chaz reckons...

Posted June 22, 2009
Interesting, similar to an idea i had a way back about a WW1 troop convoy getting sucked into an alt fantasy world.

good news about the belt, however you're going to have to breathe out eventually!!!

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Moko asserts...

Posted June 22, 2009
Your recommendation of The Winter of Frankie Machine was spot on. One of the best books I've read. It's fighting for a top five spot - for me - with Tales of The Otori: Across The Nightingale Floor, by Lian Hearn (who is a chick). I've read Frankie Machine two and half times now lol. I'll check this one out. Cheers.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan would have you know...

Posted June 22, 2009
Sounds good. Can't wait. Will find it.

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El Coqui mutters...

Posted June 22, 2009
John

I like it too, third was not as good but still I want to get the 4th. Right now, I am reading in my kindle, One Second After by Forsham.

The premise is that the US is hit by a series of high altitude nukes and the EMP wave transforms the whole country from first to third world in a moment.Makes Katrina looks like a children tea party in comparision.

However, like John, at the moment I am also writing. I just posted another 17th century NCIS story draft in 1632 slush, check it out. My story The Duchess is a Leatherneck was posted on issue 24 of the online magazine Grantville Gazette.

Plus I am hearing a CD from an Australian rising start Hayley Legg, check her out because she possess the whole package, looks, voice and talent. Her CD is on ITunes and she had posted music videos at YouTube.

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John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted June 22, 2009
Moko, The Winter of Frankie M is perilously close to literature, which Destroyermen ain't. It is, however, great fun.

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NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted June 22, 2009
When you get the architect in to re-model this place, can we have a dedicated wing for "I read & really enjoyed..."

Recomendations from other readers are so much more valuable than the publicity mavens spins & spells.

Particularly when a book purchase is a saved for event, not a consumable item like for some around here. (I'm lookin your way Orin)

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lostatlunch swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 22, 2009
Someone is going to get beaten by his fanbase if he does not get back to work.

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Flinthart reckons...

Posted June 22, 2009
Yay for the beltnotch. You're still doing a Penthouse column?

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Tarl asserts...

Posted June 22, 2009
Something you just reminded me of - I have to subscribe to Penthouse. I'm too embarrassed to admit I'm doing so for your articles, I'll just pretend that I'm buying it for the porn.

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Therbs mutters...

Posted June 22, 2009
Tagged the tome, will check it out. Sounds like fun.

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savo ducks in to say...

Posted June 22, 2009
"...a Penthouse column overdue..."

I knew I got it for the articles!

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Orin reckons...

Posted June 22, 2009
Just reminding Havock that he has to go read Enders Game. As always I recommend River of Gods by Ian McDonald. I haven't put up any reviews recently because I've been doing more writing than reading ... but I will be getting back to the polity series now.

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yankeedog ducks in to say...

Posted June 22, 2009
I've not read any of 'The Destroyermen' because it seemed too much of a ripoff of the AoT basic idea.

Maybe I'll write a book about a Navy ship that gets sucked into a time/space vortex and travels to a parallel universe where intelligent snails rule, or Lichtenstein is the major power in the world, or Keith Urban is a real talented singer. Everyone else is doing it, after all...

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sibeen puts forth...

Posted June 22, 2009
Just reminding Havock that he has to go read Enders Game.

A nice read.

Until I saw this in the last few days.

http://home.austarnet.com.au/petersykes/topscifi/lists_books_rank1.html

This list has Ender's Game as the best S.F book of all time.

What utter, utter crock.

It also has 'Speaker for the Dead' on the list. The fucking thing was unreadable. I suspect a shit load of Mormons voted...that's my only explanation.

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Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted June 22, 2009
You know, I can't remember the last SF novel I picked up that really got me excited. I keep roaming the shelves, picking up titles, shaking my head and putting them back. I think the last thing which tripped my trigger was Titanicus by Dan Abnett. Unfortunately it happened at the local library when I was sans library card (I had my NYC card, which wouldn't work there) and some greasy teen probably got it.

Right now I'm reading Pacific Fury by Peter Thompson and I have to admit, it is one of the better history books I have read in the last three years. I'm looking forward to reading some Peter Hamm next.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Murphy is gonna tell you...

Posted June 22, 2009
I should qualify my above statement by saying that I enjoyed Without Warning but that goes without saying. :)

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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mckinneytexas mumbles...

Posted June 22, 2009
Steve Stirling and his group are touting a book called The Foresight War in which two historians, one British and one German, go back in time to the mid-30's when each gains the confidence of highly placed persons and from there, both sides mend the errors of their strategic and logistical ways. Bad for France and the low countries, the Ruskies and no Dunkirk--I am unclear as to whether the Holocaust goes forward--is what I take from the reviews. I've ordered and will post if it's worth the $$$. Will give Destroyermen a try. Glad John is losing weight, though I suspect it's mostly his serial illnesses.

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HAVOCK on lappy mumbles...

Posted June 23, 2009
well, I be here in WET, its pisin down Camperdown Vic and on BLOODY EFFIN DIAL UP NO LESS! Sheez, get onto that fuckwad sol boy or his god dam next of kin will ya and get that roll out completed. Even the cows are faster than the net down here. Sounds like a good book , however, I have been informed by ORIN that..End of Days,ooops, Enders game is me next purchase. This might well mean that post the consumption of this I can say, I offer a balanced and unbiased view on all things, being well read and all.

PS, just a short note: After todys , almost wasted exercise of draggin me carcass down here, that bloody blunty tomorrow had better be a cracker or I just might hav to AMP up the GOIN ORF bit. Now given its eight god dam below, I have dragged me arse all over Vic and its raining effin cats and dog at the mo I figure we might toddle off to bed. At least I mnaged to shave 30 minutes of the old man best transit time down here though, mind you it cost me an exra half a tank of fuel..lol, but thems the brek for speedieness...

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Matthew K reckons...

Posted June 23, 2009
Foresight War eh? I'll check that out.

I am also feeling vaguely ill and have been losing weight, I am turning (back) into a pencil neck geek.

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Robert asserts...

Posted June 23, 2009
Destroyermen recommended as a light summer read, by John Birmingham. Cool Karma, for it was a recommendation for light summer reading in Time magazine that I sought out and read Weapons of Choice.

I do believe Birmo has just "paid it forward."

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Patricia is gonna tell you...

Posted June 23, 2009
Houston we have a problem in Blunty. The number codes are not refreshing. You may have a problem updating new comments, JB

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Quokka mutters...

Posted June 23, 2009
Hey JB

Thanks for the tip. We are out bayside being renovation refugees, and The Bloke has been reading on the train. He came home very confused while he was reading WW and said that he lost touch with reality several times and kept forgetting where he was. His mind wandered several times during meetings and he nearly muttered 'But America is GONE' during one particularly dull gathering of the white shoe brigade.

The bloke won't normally won't read anything longer than the newspaper, I have been trying to get him to read books for years, without success...so I'm still just shaking my head at the turnaround.

I'm speechless. Thanks for keeping him entertained, you have no idea how much I was dreading 2 months of living with cranky commuter man.

Cheers, Q

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John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted June 23, 2009
Ah thank you Quokka. It's stories like that which keep me at the keyboard... well, actually it's the royalty cheques and Playboy Bunnies. But I do enjoy stories like that.

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damian would have you know...

Posted June 23, 2009
"On the upside, I took my belt in another notch today."

Go you! I let mine out one today :(

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El Coqui would have you know...

Posted June 23, 2009
Guys:

Clear your 2010 TV watching schedules.

Tom Hanks and Stephen Spilberg "Pacific" is coming,as seem by the first teaser, it looks like a worthy successor to their acclaimed "Band of Brothers". I am sure that their AO would be a matter of particular interest to our OZ comrades.

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andyf mumbles...

Posted June 24, 2009
ive read the foresight war,, pretty good

just read an online book, fan fic thing, cracking

http://www.strategypage.com/militaryforums/390-2990.aspx

heaven and hell declare war on earth..

we dislike this..

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Matthew K puts forth...

Posted June 24, 2009
McKinney, here's a taster of The foresight War.

http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/TFW%20Extract.htm

Not bad, historically accurate and credible, description and characterisation a bit thin, a lot of professional weapons porn (Brits go with a Bullpup semi-auto Bren).

Yes I will buy it. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Cheers!

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Mark Orth mutters...

Posted June 25, 2009
I just finished "Without Warning" last night, very good book. You have quite an imagination. It is the first book of yours that I have read. You style is kind of a cross between Tom Clancy and Robert A. Heinlein, Looking forward to the next book in the series. When is it due?

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Friendless is gonna tell you...

Posted June 26, 2009
Hey Birmo, which bookshop(s) do you recommend for buying your books? I'd like to support someone who supports you.

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Respond to 'Book recommendation.'

WW question from Jose.

Posted May 31, 2009 by John Birmingham
He was wondering where the US might get it's military equipment in future, after the current stocks run down. It's an interesting point, as Reconstruction is taking up so much of the Federal Budget and a military industrial complex is a helluva thing to run on the cheap.

Below is his question:

"What you think about Armidale class patrol boats for the new US Coast Guard post wave. No having the need for NIMBY and frankly being in the beggars can't be choosers bussiness, means that the New US may go around the world for what they need insterad of answering to local politics. Example, Russia make a jet powered sea plane, that it would come handy for the USCG enforcing hands off policies with any free booters."

72 Responses to ‘WW question from Jose.’

Tarl puts forth...

Posted May 31, 2009
The general answer is that once a nation isn't an industrial power that can build its own weapons, it tends to buy what it can find on the open market. At the moment, the second largest arms seller behind the U.S. is Russia, followed by some European nations (France and Germany, as I recall). Israel is in there for some specialized niches.

All of their weapons productions would probably have ramped up in the... disorder... following WW. If the rump US can pay for weapons, they'll sell. Otherwise, not.

There would probably be purchases of airframes from both Aerospatiale and Ilyushin, possibly with electronics from Israel. They probably don't need to purchase ships in the short term, the navy's ships should last long enough to get industry going again.

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Orin ducks in to say...

Posted May 31, 2009
Are you talking about the Russian Ground Effect planes (wiki: Ekranoplan)? I thought that Russia, like China, had been hobbled in WW. Anyone who is in a position to sell kit to the US would seem to also be in a position to assert themselves geopolitically. Why would the Empire sell Tie-Fighters to the Rebel Alliance?

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Moko is gonna tell you...

Posted May 31, 2009
If I was a South American country/Alliance I'd be thinking about a slice of the pie.

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Orin mumbles...

Posted May 31, 2009
The other question is of course how will they pay for it? It isn't as though the alternate-Universe US is exactly going to be raking in the cash. Also, didn't the US have a rather substantial foreign debt at the time of the wave? If they turn around and say "well suckers, we ain't paying anything back" who will lend them more money for toys?

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WalkingShaw mutters...

Posted May 31, 2009
Surely because the military is largely intact, the 'brass' would want to trade technology with it's pre-wave alliance partners. British, German, Japanese and Australian contractors would benefit largely.

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Leo euler reckons...

Posted May 31, 2009
"By Orin, May 31, 2009 @ 2:21 pm

The other question is of course how will they pay for it? It isn’t as though the alternate-Universe US is exactly going to be raking in the cash. Also, didn’t the US have a rather substantial foreign debt at the time of the wave? If they turn around and say “well suckers, we ain’t paying anything back” who will lend them more money for toys?"

Leases of land (for cities) and/or immigration/colonization rights? Land would be perhaps the most valuable thing America would have to offer, but the possible problems are a very scary prospect.

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Brian has opinions thus...

Posted May 31, 2009
Hmm . . .not sure if its as a big a problem as it could be.

The USAF graveyards in the desert areas are huge.

Case in point. Vietnam Era Phantoms are being dicked out as robot controlled platforms. A 35 year plus airframe. Its where parts for the F111's come from. In some cases these are pristine aircraft. Built and mothballed as spares or ready replacements.

Shipping is a problem. They are forever rotting away before your eye's. Saltwater environment.

The USN is screwed for large shipbuilding capability. It has the yards - but the trained workforce is gone. I worked at Williamstown Naval Dockyard back in the '70's - it struck me where the workforce came from ie Belfast, Malta and New Zealand. Specialist ship builders from specialist Naval yards mostly ex-Brit. The US institutional Naval buid expertise is gone.

Similarly armoured vehicles. Tank cupola's. Armour production. Naval armour belting. Gone.

Japan could fill the gap.

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HAVOCK swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 31, 2009
There are a couple of issues in adopting RUSSIAN equipment, not the least of which is reliability, supply of parts, or a lack of continuity in that, commonality with existing US equipment and then toss in the state of Russia. I’m pretty sure that the Russian Government will have its own issues to deal with, let alone trying to supply the US.

As for the availability of ship builders, lets not forget, that persons bailing out from the Military and those that are retrenched as I would suggest the US downsizes somewhat will need employment. I think availability of labour will be the last problem.

Given the Armidale is a relatively small craft, its perfect, commonality and interoperability with US equipment is already their, so two large boxes are ticked already.

Then add, the US will want a stable base, the Aus government would also jump at the chance, its what we will get in return, and whether its cash, land, a blow job from the First lady, is really irrelevant. Unless the US no longer was an Allie to Aus a deal will be worked out.

The base Armidale is a good ship, fast, good sea keeping abilities and readily upgradeable as well. Let’s not forget also, they are not the same size as frigates, so with a ramp up in construction facilities I could see this being met. The Austral facilities in Tas will also be intact, Cats are fast, the US has them and I wonder if a slightly smaller armed version would not be put on the books as well.

Boeing, DSTO and the likes here could quickly I suspect come up with a solution, I cant see the US going to Russia, maybe South Africa, although I’m not up to speed on their A/C industry.

As for Bone yard A/C, yep, lots there, but recommissioning A/C from the bone yard takes time and manpower, more so, expertise to do it.

At the point in time we are talking about, I would be hunting for F111’s, especially as we have ALL the TECH knowledge and capability here in OZ for those birds. That’s a cheap, re-readiness of SAC, buts its also maritime strike, birds don’t cost a shit load on the ground, well a lot less upkeep costs than Boats, destroyers and so forth.

Bone yard also has a massive P3 stockpile as well. We have significant expertise in that arena as well, so for a surveillance point of view, we could surge with those units to.

I would also be looking at secure communications equipment manufacturing, if you can have reliable, secure coms, then you could install them on a vast array of vessels, add some fire power as well . I am specifically thinking of all those large luxury yachts that have no owners anymore, very capable of patrol and interception duties, most big ones have a helo pad and Rhibs of a sort. They just need some bang sticks and comm’s to complete the picture. That’s a rapid, cheap expansion of capability if taken up I think, certainly in the short term.

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HAVOCK swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 31, 2009
JB, its not just the Armidale class either, Austal also have the following and these are shipped OS, to customs as well.

16 metre police boats for New South Wales

22 metre police boats for New South Wales

22 metre Coast Guard boats for Kuwait Ministry of Interior

37.5 metre naval patrol boats for Yemen Ministry of Defence

38 metre Bay Class patrol boats for Australian Customs Service

56 metre Armidale Class naval patrol boats for Royal Australian Navy.

they, given other issues around the planet would possibly be VERY well placed

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Chaz has opinions thus...

Posted May 31, 2009
*cough* britain*cough*

considering frances' little problems and the decline of germany. The only major arms exporter will the UK.

Now personally i think the leclerc is a better tank than the challenger but beggars can't be choosers.

Also the Uk still has a functioning aerospace industry that can probably ramp up production at that moment in time.

I'd say though that the US would have to pay in tech transfers, whih could mean that the Uk military finally gets the kit it deserves.

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HAVOCK asserts...

Posted May 31, 2009
CHAZ, Normally I would have said YES, but Hasn't the poms gone all, we'll look after ourselves and closed borders and all sorts of shit?...and we know you lot can't build boats, lost it after they stopped making them outta wood, well, actually after the Hood got its arse Kicked...

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Chaz is gonna tell you...

Posted May 31, 2009
H, from WW there's no indication (from my memeory) one way or another as to the status of the special relationship.

However you can't deny that if the UK is untroubled by warfare (assuming the 1st Armoured Div etc got back to blighty from saudi) that the UK suddenely gets a fillup in it's status. And it's one of the top arms supply countries in the world. if that industry is either intact or in mothballs (which some of it was) then it's game on. Also the UK via BAE systems has probably the best relationship with US arms companies...

As for boats, Type 23 is the best FFG afloat at the moment and the new type 45 would give an ADW a run for it's money. Finally the pommie SSBN's are arguebly getter than their seppo counterparts. the astute isn't perhaps quite as good as the virginia but it's close...

H in the edn if the seppos offer tech the poms will take it, esp with US bases still on soil, possible long term

trade and instability in europe

IMHO of course!

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HAVOCK mutters...

Posted May 31, 2009
Mate...I would never cast aspersions, throw much ot toss out a line..you know me, i'm far far to serious to even consider something like that. BUT,

With regards to medium / lge hardware, yeah i fully agree, its possibly a sign of our smaller water craft expertise ( and I'm not saying the poms dont have it!), that inroads for sales have been made. I'm also going to wager that the larger yards for construction will be seriously inundated for repairs / maint , plus maybe some construction as well. that would as I'm guessing its the purp of JB's Q, allow the likes of OZ, to fill gaps. EG, supply Armidale class type boats.

OH BTW..as a small aside, have they fitted CLOSE IN DEFENSIVE systems to them boats..cant have a repeat of the Falklands now, an old man and his 12g does not constitute CIWS...IMHO.

OK Back again.

It also occurred to me, that OZ, just might become a parking lot as well, whilst heavy gear would be welcome at home ( UK), I'm not sure that all would be needed, perhaps some lgr storage facilities here as well.

The UK as you say, is set up logistically and infrastructure wise for lgr scale ops of US equipment.

Split the planet up, UK, then OZ, then the US, toss in US bases in the Pacific, with Japan lending a hand, its possibly a very, very key partnership. Also, strategically, we have depth here, lots of space that you cannot get to a base unless you go down a serious hardware path ad commit massive resources, so parking lot comes to mind again.

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Orin asserts...

Posted May 31, 2009
Yeah - but how they going to pay? Wasn't a big part of the first book how the global economy was fracked?

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HAVOCK asserts...

Posted May 31, 2009
EP, and I'm guessing that why SML, Patrol craft and not...let say, high tech, busted arse type 40 odd frigates from pommie land are being selected. lead time will also be an issue.

But I think, they by far better option would be to acquire those , now owner less sea going ,multi billion dollar yachts and up gun/ grade them.

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Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted June 1, 2009
South Korea and Japan are two places I'd go to in order to purchase spares for the current generation of equipment. I think most naval and air power stocks can probably be maintained if they are the providers.

Of course, paying the bill is another matter. How is the United States going to refinance itself? That is a question I've been pondering as I read books covering the period from the American Revolution to 1800. The US was born in debt, heavy debt, and yet managed to find a way out of it. I suspect, given enough time and the right conditions, the post Wave US could probably effect a recovery as well.

I would say that there is so much military material laying about that I would place canibalization and stockpiling on high priority. I would send teams out to gather the gear, transport it to central points such as former automobile assembly plants and systematically strip, inventory, assess and stockpile those parts for future use.

As for the money issue, we need a historian who understands Alexander Hamilton inside and out. Someone who could explain how the Bank of the United States really worked. I have a very poor understanding of that institution at present but I suspect the US is going to need something like that in order to solve some of their problems.

The other thing is that we are going to have to get people to invest in the country. There is a stockpile of stored wealth in terms of equipment, salvage and more to the point, raw materials. I'd start there.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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sparty would have you know...

Posted June 1, 2009
oh please go Ekroplan! But write it better than Sebestain Faulkes did in his "Bond novel" where he really wastes a greta plane / boat in what could have been a major set piece.

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andyf would have you know...

Posted June 1, 2009
nah m civilian built boats are very vulnerable compared with mil spec ones. compartmentalization etc .

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Matthew K swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 1, 2009
Lots of specialised stuff I don't fully understand here.

But: How soon would they run out of stuff? Given the stockpiles and all, I could see them selling stuff off and building up a nice little profit.

Basically: what Murph said. The point about financial expertise especially.

One of the Top Gear team did a thing on the Ekranoplane, could have been James May. I'm sure it's on Youtube.

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El Coqui asserts...

Posted June 1, 2009
Guys:

My main intend was to therize how you will do the reequiping of the new Coast Guard. I had seen the Armidale boats in action on "Sea Patrol" and I think that they will be ideal in Caribbean anti-piracy patrols, possible with some upgunning but they are big enough to allow that easily.

For seaplanes, I was looking at Beriev products, like the A-42P Albatross or the BE 200. Those are true amphibians that also had fire fighting capabilities.

I'm not too concern about heavy stuff like tanks, etc because with the wave gone, we can access equipment and ammo storage and factories.

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HAVOCK ducks in to say...

Posted June 1, 2009
El C, the armidale class, is designed both for in shore, but also true off shore patrols, their sea keeping abilities given their size is excellent and possibly over kill for the majority of the work required. Whilst I would have some off these, I would look at the slightly smaller Bay class type vessels as well.

The smaller vessels, can easily handle having .50 cal mounts, maybe some Javelins and the like. that gives te smaller boats serious punch, but the can still do general duties.

The Rafael Typhoon, mounted on the Armidales is stabilised and thats good reach, but I think you can also get a SSM equipped version as well. Like you say, up gunning, and thats not hard.

Rhibs, x 2 are capable of being launched in sea state 5...thats rough, plenty of crew space, boarding parties specialists and so on. A VERY GOOD BOAT.

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Lobes puts forth...

Posted June 1, 2009
The USN has enough floating assets around the world. You'd have to think rebuilding the USCG would be the first priority. But it will take a while to recreate the shipbuilding institutions so adopt PT style fast patrol boats to cover the gap. There are many thousands of high speed manoeuvrable small boats between 16 and 30 foot length already prepositioned all over USA.

Equip each of these with a driver, navigator, weapons handler and signaler. Arm them with stingers (or whatever the sea to sea equiv is) a 50 cal on the front and possibly their own predator drone supplying advanced radar and weapon range. You would get very good bang for your buck and any losses are easy to replace. The boats are available and the training required for the equipment is minimal compared to a battleship or submarine. Air support FTW.

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El Coqui would have you know...

Posted June 1, 2009
Because of the war, most of the Navy assets, I think were at sea. That's not the case with the Coast Guard. On "Fish Guts", a story by John R Johnson and yours truly at the mini-burger we establish a requirements for extra crew needed because the pirate situation in the Caribbean had degenerated back to the good old days of the seventeen century. So we now required larger boats that can accomodate the extra crew and have good inshore capabilities.

Because, I doubt that the Navy is going to risk an Arleigh Burke doing that job.

About the Beriev, I wonder if we could use western engines.

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HAVOCK swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 1, 2009
Pirating hey El C, yeah it would be. I'm wagering fast, very fast pirate craft as well. which means you are in th 40-50kt range of speed. Way to quick for a Armidale. Intercepts, would be best at dark, use its detection capabilities.

I would still have some, general duties, punch and stability, all good. And they would sure as shit need a greater stand off ability than the 25mm, SSM,s for sure, chaff & IR decoys too.

re engining hey..I'll think about that, Have a suspection ist harder than it looks, certainly short term.

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Tarl swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 1, 2009
Unfortunately for the fans of Ekranoplan, it's a concept that doesn't work all that well. It isn't particularly fuel-efficient, and it can't do bad weather. It's about as weather sensitive as any other jet, but it can't fly over the bad weather - and if it crashes into a 30-meter wave at speed, it's all over.

One thing that you absolutely need for a military patrol vehicle is all-weather capability - because pirates and other undesirables will know if there are any conditions you can't fly and take advantage of them.

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Brian mutters...

Posted June 1, 2009
One point to be made. Mothballing large ship assets is difficult and the rot does not stop. A ship's lifecycle is like that of a mobile phone battery "Good for X years. Less if used." You get to a point where its cheaper to build a new one than try and keep the old one afloat. Hmm . . .2 years use, than put her in drydock I think it goes.

Jose? IIRC didn't that happen with the Kitty on her last mission?

Torpedo/ Patrol boats aren't a bad idea. Easy enough to base in shallow water ports.

Here's a thought. Would a seaplane and blimp strategy be a good fit for the USCG mission profile? Seriously. The US is looking at blimps for surveillance work and I know for a fact they're used in AUstralia to do building imspections. I witnessed a remote control unit over Melbournes CBD.

In some ways blimps are a good idea. They do have a heavy lift capability and they can loiter on station for a pretty good time. Useful for radio repeater work. Sufficiently low tech. Multi role. ANd the US has the lock on Helium I believe. Stevo seems to have some useful idea in that direction I believe.

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lostatlunch has opinions thus...

Posted June 1, 2009
Salvage can keep the US military up and going for decades... The can also fall back to the reserve and 3rd grade equipment and still be a dominant world power in the After America world.

Paying for the manpower and keeping the military machine fuctioning is the problem, for every fighting man you need the army that supports him (or her). the food needs to be produced, not in 2 years when a crop has come in from the first wave, but now.

You can pay their wages with land grants, but they are pointless when you want them on active duty. I see away around this by releasing the majority of troops to civilian life as local militia's that are commanded by senior officers in each state. Martial law with loyal officers, each mutually dependent to ensure none of them get any uppity ideas about leting the South rise again, may be a way forward.

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NBlob mutters...

Posted June 1, 2009
I still see massive manpower shortages.

The US government would have a short list of a bazillion jobs;

Locations & material to secure.

Restarting agriculture.

Infrastructure jobs like road clearance, dam maintenance, electrical generation & distribution.

These are all massive undertakings currently occupuying armies of labour, imagine after 12 months +++ of degradation.

Where on this 'to do list' is border security?

Would the US be devoting men & resources to policing the Caribean? I doubt it, if there were still federal treasury stockpiles of bullion lying around, or Nuke's waiting to be snaffled up.

On rereading the other day I thought about the change to an Asian led Jihad and it's significance in the light of the Arab holocaust.

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HAVOCK ducks in to say...

Posted June 1, 2009
BAAAAAAH, its doing me head in JB. WHATS THE EFFIN TOPIC PEOPLE. NOT FOOD, NOT BULLETS, NOT HWOS GUNNA LEAVE..ITS EFFIN BOATS, TYEPS, Would the Armidale be good, would somefin else be better, A/C, types, life cycle, procurement and where from. Find me a god dam A/C Engineer for engine swaps, or conversions..SHEEZ.

Other stuff is good, but I'm guessing most background has been hashed to blody death and the author will have it ,maped out to a degree, not rally sure on that one and I sure as shit dont speak for JB. BUT, its driving me fucking nuts tha OT seems to be the ONLY fucking thing getting done.....RANT OVER..Its Monday

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Brian puts forth...

Posted June 1, 2009
People. Havock done had his rant. His blood pressure is now good. Well done. :))

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lostatlunch swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 1, 2009
Susan "Havock" Boyle has been taken to the celebrity Priory Clinic, She had a breakdown after a topic was highjacked on the Cheesburger... again.

Now Susan, take a couple of happy pills, the point a few people have made is.. Hardware may be a furphy topic... the last thing the US is going to need for a about 10 years is hardware. Crikey, Kipper could go to some rednecks houses and have enough gear to take Alaska back from the Ruskies.

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El Coqui has opinions thus...

Posted June 1, 2009
Dear Nowhere:

Nature aborrs a vacuum and in case that I had not stated my case clearly enough, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands are still there with significant portions of the remaining US population.

So although would be impossible to do everything that probably needs to be done, at least we ought to try to maintain a presence. Doing otherwise or like you suggest is likely to come back to bite in the ass at the worst moment possible.

Going back to the original theme before Havoc blows up again, we are not talking about large acquisitions programs. I calculate at least half a dozen Armidales and four Berievs. Funding would be difficult but at least for the Beriev company, part of the deal is offering them a foothold in the American and Western markets. How much in future sales, having A-42Ps or Be-200s in Coast Guard livery be worth to them?

Lastly, I think that we have warehouses full of MREs, which are going to be woth their weigh in gold. So we are going to be doing a lot of recovery and scavenging.

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HAVOCK reckons...

Posted June 1, 2009
I'm tippin that NBOB will be able to amplify on this, but vessels left in water, thats salt water for a lengthy period tend to rust up, seize, grow all sorts of junk on them underneath. Lets also remember that the coast guard operates relatively close to shore in most cases and I would venture a lot of crews...puddled, and the boats would then motor around till running out of fuel, foundering or hitting something. then nature will literally MOVE IN. Toss in some storms and so forth and a lot of gear, outside in the elements with be badly damaged or require significant work to FIX.

Question will be. What do the pirates have in terms of gear, its going to range from piss ant stuff through to sexy, Darwin's law will ally on the high seas, even amongst pirates.

so half a D of OPV's, Armidale Class, will be loaded to the roof with gear, I for one would seriously want a SSm of som sort, maybe even some SAM's as well, not fixed SAM's, Stinger type should be OK.

Q for Bob, A 7m RHIB, just what sorta Mount could you put on one or TWO mounts for that matter?.

The other thing JB, given lad times on gear, would the US, perhaps look at initially doing a lop sided swap, say three Armidales from OZ, for a couple of bigger Can's or other gear.

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HAVOCK is gonna tell you...

Posted June 1, 2009
Are you thinking also about a forward deployed ship / vessel of some type, thats larger, better Surface search abilities, mainly stationary. Might be worth stopping in place a LHA/LHD of some sort.

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HAVOCK asserts...

Posted June 1, 2009
Hmmm, just had a thought, its almost Mad Max like too I guess, but on the high seas. Multiple high speed boats, zooming around armed of course and ONE, OPV Armidale class boat fighting the Hordes. Fort Apache on the water. Of course, I am skippering this craft, which is on its way to rescue another Mil vessel, that was poorly commanded and is now disabled....WONDER WHO, the commander of THAT WAS.

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NBlob mumbles...

Posted June 1, 2009
Hav the blu pills! Let one dissolve under your tongue before you beat another keyboard to death.

"Q for Bob, A 7m RHIB, just what sorta Mount could you put on one or TWO mounts for that matter?."

Mate you could go all the way up to one of those 50mm recoiless rifle jobbies you see in the back of 4X4 in the Mog, if you wanted to, but you wouldn't have much deck space left for anything else. I reckon port & starboard 50's on bungees - like Huey door gunners, would be as much persuasion as you'd want. You don't want to bog her down with armour plate - wrong boat for the job, you want something like JFKs PT boat - tin to hide behind.

El Coqui - no offence intended, I was just thinking who you could apportion out which jobs to?

We have discussed in other threads numbers of yankees left alive after the wave- Summarised as sub 4 million I think.

If the expected hordes of African, Central American & South Asian settlers are coming, well not to put too fine a point on it, the gov would trust the recent immigrants to clear highways & raise corn, but probably not to retrieve nukes from or conduct border security operations.

If I was President Kipper I probably wouldn't be devoting much in the way of resources (ships & men) to forward operations in border security. I'd probably just broadcast to the world at large that any vessel entering a 20 mile limit, outside of a couple of approved sea-lane approaches to ports, will be met with immediate overkill. Not boarding parties, not "are your papers in order & do you have any fruit or veg to declare" just immediate arse ripping inbound missiles.

Shortsighted? Almost certainly, but the to do list - remember the to do list.

Perhaps the US could contract out coastal operations. Letter of Marque style. As I undertand it the Blue Water Navy will be needed at least largely in place as a MAD type discouragement for unfriendlies.

I'm really liking retro-fitting phantoms as UAV platforms. I believe it's already done as gunnery practice units, so you are not starting from scratch.

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Brian is gonna tell you...

Posted June 1, 2009
Hmm . . .I keep thinking about blimps. Recall these things were used in a Coast Watch during WW2. But they were pre radar. Pre a few things.

What happens to the satellite network over time? There's a limited auto station keeping capability - but they do wander without ground station instructions. Given that CONUS has lost near orbit capability - things like spy sats and GPS can and do wind down. The priority would be on the defence network. Weather forecasting has fallen into a hole. The Wave is nearly pre-satellite ground temperature recording for meteorological purposes.

Russia now owns space. International Space Station springs to mind.

I'm thinking near atmosphere stable platforms could plug a few holes. Hell of an easy target. But orders of magnitude cheaper than satellite and launch costs.

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HAVOCK swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 1, 2009
Brian, where was the shuttle when all this happened. BUT, the cape and NASA will be high priority targets to secure

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Lobes mutters...

Posted June 1, 2009
Havock the entire space shuttle fleet was grounded in February 2003 after the Columbia disaster.

There was an ISS crew rotation scheduled for April (just after the Wave) using a Soyuz rocket. At Wave time the ISS had 3 pax

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NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted June 1, 2009
Brian I concur, Blimps 'R Cool.

Someone (Lobes I think) came up with a tethered blimp / aerodynamic kite unit for instant comms tower. Same idea scaled up or conventional blimp would make a pretty sweet low cost radar platform.

Combat Air Patriols (EG Murphs eg Falcon Masters @ Mini Burger) covers a lot of ground, briefly. Could an array of tethered blimp radar arrays give headsup for scrambled fighter intercept?

I think the US is going to really push the development of remote operation due to manpower shortages.

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sparty has opinions thus...

Posted June 1, 2009
Havock - quite afew astronouts were in Russia at the

time of the wave think NASA were hedging bets on Shuttle return to flight status.

Tarl: Because Ecktoplanes are cool!

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Matthew K ducks in to say...

Posted June 1, 2009
Susan Boyle is getting together with a well known Australian band... they're going to be called Midnight Boyle. Boom Boom!

I'm so sorry.

Anyway, Coqui. If the US has large amounts of heavy ordnance, stretched manpower and a pirate problem on it's doorstep then they would simply use a sledgehammer to crack a nut and hit their home ports with whatever they had to hand. (Moral = don't be anywhere near pirates if you want to live).

It's like, I have been known to use a 12 bore for things that might possibly been better suited to a .410 or even an airgun but I had the 12 bore to hand and... you know.

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Guy asserts...

Posted June 1, 2009
As others have said, one main issue is how any new supplies would be paid for. Partly by technology tranfer perhaps, but the US would not want to send such information to a sometimes less than friendly power such as Russia. The UK is already the country which, alonside Israel, gets the most access to restricted technology (and in the After America world Israel is no longer popular with the US or anyone else). Also the book states that the UK and Japan were already bankrolling the US military day to day expenses. This was certainly in British interests to continue as long as they could, and doubtless they would be prepared to accept payment in all sorts of ways, just as the USA did from the UK duing and after WW2 when the British economy was on its knees. Worth remembering that the British government would be keen to provide as many jobs as possible for its people during what would certainly be the greatest economic crisis of modern times. Building weapons is a major UK industry and provides lots of jobs.

The UK government would be thinking short term, medium term and long term all at once. Supplying arms to the US serves all three. Ultimately the UK needs the US to be rebuilt as strongly and as quickly as possible. Obviously Britain would be keen to carve out a larger position for itself as well. All in all it would be in the best interests of both the UK and US governments to strengthen the already close military contacts ASAP.

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Brian puts forth...

Posted June 1, 2009
Hmm . . .let's remember that one of the US points in WW2 was to secure all of Englands gold reserves. I could see that happening in reverse.

Securing all bullion will be a national necessity.

A recent economics piece showed that Australia did herself in the eye when she sold off her reserves. The big buyer was China. India is always a buyer. In fact gold production is almost predicated on the Indian Jewellery market.

History factoid : Where did all the Inca and Aztec silver and gold go to? India and China. True. One reason for the Anglo-Sino wars was the bleed out of bullion to China. Spain bled out via the Philipines. Minor factoid : Anyone in the Philipines who has pretence of Spanish ancestry will almost certainly have Mexican Indian ancestry as well.AKA Aztec

Hmm . . . .US strategic material stockpiles. X amount of oil and other vital materials. Copper?

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HAVOCK would have you know...

Posted June 1, 2009
Brian, guys, aerostats as they are called have been around for a while, here are some links for ya.

http://www.spyflight.co.uk/Aerostat.HTM

http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/usa/airdef/tars.htm

Courtesy of Wiki

The first aerostats were assigned to the Air Force in December 1980 at Cudjoe Key, Fla. During the 1980s, the U.S. Customs Service operated a network of aerostats to help counter illegal drug trafficking. Their first site was built at High Rock, Grand Bahamas Island, in 1984. The second site was built at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., in 1986. Before 1992, three agencies operated the TARS network: the Air Force, U.S. Customs Service and U.S. Coast Guard. Congress in 1992 transferred management of the system to the Defense Department, with the Air Force as executive agent. Under Air Force management, through contract consolidation and system standardization, the operations and maintenance cost per site was reduced from $6 million in fiscal year 1992 to $3.5 million in 2007.

[edit] Technical and operational data

Primary Function: Low-level, downward-looking radar; aircraft detection

Volume: 275,000 and 420,000 cubic feet

Tether Length: 25,000 feet (7,600 m)

Payload Weight: 1,200-2,200 pounds

Maximum Detection Range: 200 nautical miles (400 km)

Operational Sites: Yuma and Fort Huachuca, Ariz.; Deming, N.M.; Marfa, Eagle Pass, and Rio Grande City, Texas; Cudjoe Key, Fla.; and Lajas, Puerto Rico. Sites located at Morgan City, La., and Matagorda, Texas, are in a cold-storage configuration. Contract management office and logistics hub are located in Chesapeake, Va.

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Lobes puts forth...

Posted June 1, 2009
By NowhereBob, June 1, 2009 @ 5:57 pm

"Brian I concur, Blimps ‘R Cool.

Someone (Lobes I think) came up with a tethered blimp/aerodynamic kite unit for instant comms"

The blimps idea was Savos I think

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Brian reckons...

Posted June 1, 2009
Savo - probably. Neat little dinguses though . . .got a site for them in Melbourne. Make their money doing these photo shoots. See if'n I can dig it out . . . .tomorrow.

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Murphy is gonna tell you...

Posted June 1, 2009
There is a fleet of B-2s which could be converted for surveilance work. God knows it would be prohibitive to continue using them for combat missions. However, their long loiter time and their stealth capability might make them excellent observation platforms.

In any case, I suspect the cheaper option is to commandeer whatever civilian, military and police vessels are left laying around which are in useable order. Refurbish those vessels and put them on patrol. Given the human resource issues, wide portions of the US coastline are simply going to go unwatched.

Thus priority should be given to those coastlines which are most important and more to the point, most likely to see habitation again.

The West Coast would definitely have to be high on the list. Puerto Rico would have to be provided for. In researching Puerto Rico after Jose's initial posts here, it turns out there are significant resources there, to include a pharmaceutical firm, among other things.

One point which has not been mentioned is control of the rivers.

If one wants to assert control over the interior of the United States, one needs to control the rivers. In this order, here are the big three I'd push for.

1. The Mississippi River. If you control this, you control the center of the continent.

2. The Missouri River. If you control this, you control the approaches to the Western Plains and the Rockies.

3. The Ohio River. If you control this, you control the approaches to the Eastern Seaboard.

It is worth pointing out that the Seven Year's War/French Indian War started part in parcel due to French and British efforts to control the Ohio River Valley. During the American Civil War, a central point of strategy among Federal Commanders was to secure control of the Mississippi River for trade, troop transport purposes and in order to divide the Confederate States of America.

Thus, if I were Kipper or one of his advisors, I'd be pushing very hard to assert some level of control over riverine traffic on the Missouri and the Mississippi. I'd want to tie rail links to vital points along those two rivers, probably using Kansas City as a central focal point (and I am not saying that because I love my town, most regular readers know I do not care for this place).

In any case, I'd refurbish what small watercraft I found. There is a mountain of weapons which could be fitted to these craft as well as surplus communications equipment.

My rule of thumb, if I were in the post Wave US Department of Defense would be, "Keep it simple, keep it cheap and if possible, grab it off the shelf."

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

On the Outer Marches

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El Coqui swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 2, 2009
I like some of the ideas posted. Heck, I will like to see some of them turned into stories. Like the Armidale last stand of Havoc or perhaps when the Pirates saw the light, literally, of Matt. Perhaps from the pirates POV and a light comedic touch.

:)

I concur that securing the waterways are of a paramount importance, especially because some of the heavy stuff that would be looters and others with far more nefarious intentions are likely to use to move it out.

About satellites constellations and GPS, I bet that there are substations to keep them under control outside CONUS, just in case.

Going back to the Berievs, if the UK gets then and reconfigure them to western standards, I can see a win-win situation for many.

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mckinneytexas swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted June 2, 2009
You can only fire a bullet once. This point has been made before. With considerable difficulty, Japan, S. Korea, the UK and to a degree Australia, Germany and/or France could adjust their industrial base to keep what remains of the US fleet afloat, but (1) why would they do this and (2) how would they get paid? Answer: it depends on how each country perceives the near and mid term threats from the PRC and Ruskies. With sufficient motivation, payment terms might be fairly lenient. OTOH, if both countries are reeling internally and no major industrial power sees much of an existential threat, then only cash will do. Or land. We have a lot of that.

Did WW account for the US' Med fleet? What capital ships were at harbor and what was the state of their stores? Could be that the navy could resupply once or maybe a bit more from what is on existing ships. Ditto the army, marines and air elements.

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NBlob would have you know...

Posted June 2, 2009
Murph "“Keep it simple, keep it cheap and if possible, grab it off the shelf.”

Amen brother.

Lots of opportunities there for the kind of bush mechanic, gaff tape, fencing wire & baling twine kind of operation Australians are famous for.

I know there is no opportunities for JB to do it, but I'm intrigued by the policy about face the Kipper Gov went through when the wave went from "right outside & can gobble us up any moment" to "gone."

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Murphy ducks in to say...

Posted June 2, 2009
McKinney, WW discussed US elements transiting out of the Med into the Atlantic during the later stages of the Gitmo Crisis. It was the scene with the USS Nimitz.

4th ID's equipment would have been bound for theatre when the Wave hit, a division's worth of the latest combat gear. Given the chaos of the US Exodus from the Middle East, it is possible that some of those ships could have been snagged.

Or it is possible that the equipment made their way to some friendly power, such as the United Kingdom. It could, in turn, be used to barter for capital or other concessions.

In the case of both South Korea and Japan, while they have their own designs for many items, many of those items are modifications of US designs or use US equipment (such as the Aegis radar system). Further, if one were to dig deep, I suspect we'd learn that both countries manufacture components needed for the US defense industry anyway.

Speaking of defense industries, here is something to ponder. Someone has to restart Lake City Army Ammunition Plant, which is located here in my neck of the woods. The company which runs it would have been vaporized along with everyone else. I spoke to someone who works at the plant and they tell me that while the manuals and documents are there, it is no mean feat running the place, especially if you lose the institutional knowledge to do so.

The US is either going to have to find a new small arms ammunition source or they are going to have to get Lake City operational.

Because at some point we're going to be reduced to combing through gun stores and military installations for crates of 5.56 mm. Not a happy place to be if you are an infantryman in a firefight.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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mckinneytexas puts forth...

Posted June 2, 2009
Murph, let's take a step back on the ammo production. There is nothing magic about making cartridges if you have the facilities in place to cast bullets, manufacture powder and primers and draw the cases--pretty much every country in the world, and for sure S. Korea, Japan and Taiwan, has the capacity to grind out zillions of rounds of 5.56. Plus, that stuff is lying around everywhere here in the states. Bullets, not a problem. Corn, beans, beef and refined petroleum products, there are just some your obstacles to a functioning country.

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El Coqui mutters...

Posted June 2, 2009
Let's not forget the POMCUS equipment in Germany and Diego Garcia. So the Army and the Corps are set up. I wonder about the AF but everyone uses F-15 and 16s, spare parts and ammo will not be an issue.

Ammo stocks stored in igloos on the states and now available for official scavengers are probably enough to replace the material spend during the war. Let's not forget that with the Middle East "sanitized" by Israel, there is not going to be a need for large amounts of ammo for a while.

Especially after the US demostrated his willingness to speak softly and carry a nuclear stick.

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NBlob would have you know...

Posted June 2, 2009
Not putting words in anyones mouth, but I interpreted the original Q in a longer term - perhaps 10 years.

What chance the US can restart domestic industrial capacity to a level where it can supply it's armed forces inside a decade?

I say slim.

But if still extant & unable to recapture the former industrial productivity she will be in the market for all kinds of goodies. From .50 cal rounds to warships.

If mainland China has fractured into the internal sh!tfight described in WW, I'm voting Taiwan as supplier to the stars of all kinds of millitary goodness.

Or Korea _if_ they gets proactive 1st strike sh!t on Pyong Yang's ass.

Both have massive production capacity from circuitry to warships, privatised but with V' close government ties.

Both will be pretty quick to position theselves as friends of the US with priviledges.

Detroit becomes a little Hanoi as it is being restarted by Hyundai.

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Lobes mumbles...

Posted June 2, 2009
"Detroit becomes a little Hanoi as it is being restarted by Hyundai."

Umm a little Seoul maybe? Hyundai is Korean.

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Lobes has opinions thus...

Posted June 2, 2009
And assuming they get the musical industry back running that would make Motown the capital of Seoul music wouldnt it?

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mckinneytexas is gonna tell you...

Posted June 3, 2009
Lobes wins.

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Murph would have you know...

Posted June 3, 2009
Yes, I know 5.56 is common but Lake City produces everything for the US arsenal in terms of munitions.

In any case, I do agree that beans and fuel should take priority, to a point.

Or perhaps money. Cicero said something about it being the sinews of war. The US is going to have to figure out how to fund itself.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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El Coqui mutters...

Posted June 3, 2009
Sell F-22 to Australia?

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NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted June 3, 2009
Doh, yeah Seoul not Hanoi.

Sorry geographic dislocation.

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Murphy would have you know...

Posted June 3, 2009
Considering the mish mash of American cover music I heard on the bus from Osan to TDC, I'd say that the South Koreans can help out in many ways.

Music isn't one of them. At least not anything that resembles pre-Wave US music.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Brian mumbles...

Posted June 3, 2009
To help with these sort of speculations it might help to preface things from the date the Wave comes down. Call it '0". Then 5AW, 10AW. 5 years After Wave.

Maritime building becomes a real issue 5 years out for instance. Conventional armaments not so much. Manpower 5AW - yep. Satellites 10AW - sure.

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NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted June 3, 2009
Wasn't that Pol Pot's idea?

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Brian mumbles...

Posted June 3, 2009
NWB : Damn! You're right. Old Timers disease.

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El Coqui mutters...

Posted June 3, 2009
I saw this on STRAFOR article by Peter Zeihan, that could explain why the US is likely to rebound and rebound big. Also supports Murph contention that we need to secure the waterways.

>The United States and the Free Market

The most important aspect of the United States is not simply its sheer size, but the size of its usable land. Russia and China may both be similar-sized in absolute terms, but the vast majority of Russian and Chinese land is useless for agriculture, habitation or development. In contrast, courtesy of the Midwest, the United States boasts the world’s largest contiguous mass of arable land — and that mass does not include the hardly inconsequential chunks of usable territory on both the West and East coasts.

Second is the American maritime transport system. The Mississippi River, linked as it is to the Red, Missouri, Ohio and Tennessee rivers, comprises the largest interconnected network of navigable rivers in the world. In the San Francisco Bay, Chesapeake Bay and Long Island Sound/New York Bay, the United States has three of the world’s largest and best natural harbors. The series of barrier islands a few miles off the shores of Texas and the East Coast form a water-based highway — an Intercoastal Waterway — that shields American coastal shipping from all but the worst that the elements can throw at ships and ports.

The real beauty is that the two overlap with near perfect symmetry. The Intercoastal Waterway and most of the bays link up with agricultural regions and their own local river systems (such as the series of rivers that descend from the Appalachians to the East Coast), while the Greater Mississippi river network is the circulatory system of the Midwest. Even without the addition of canals, it is possible for ships to reach nearly any part of the Midwest from nearly any part of the Gulf or East coasts. The result is not just a massive ability to grow a massive amount of crops — and not just the ability to easily and cheaply move the crops to local, regional and global markets — but also the ability to use that same transport network for any other economic purpose without having to worry about food supplies.

The implications of such a confluence are deep and sustained. Where most countries need to scrape together capital to build roads and rail to establish the very foundation of an economy, transport capability, geography granted the United States a near-perfect system at no cost. That frees up U.S. capital for other pursuits and almost condemns the United States to be capital-rich. Any additional infrastructure the United States constructs is icing on the cake. (The cake itself is free — and, incidentally, the United States had so much free capital that it was able to go on to build one of the best road-and-rail networks anyway, resulting in even greater economic advantages over competitors.)

Third, geography has also ensured that the United States has very little local competition. To the north, Canada is both much colder and much more mountainous than the United States. Canada’s only navigable maritime network — the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway —is shared with the United States, and most of its usable land is hard by the American border. Often this makes it more economically advantageous for Canadian provinces to integrate with their neighbor to the south than with their co-nationals to the east and west.

So the US had the geographic chop to make it worthwhile to invest on it and its defences.

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Brian puts forth...

Posted June 3, 2009
Jose. Some time back I wa studying the Eerie/ Great Lakes system. The damn thing is mind boggling.

People forget that one of the big kickers for Old China was the Grand (?) Canal. Took generations to build . . .but as an internal trade multiplier it was stupendous.

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Lobes reckons...

Posted June 3, 2009
Murph, dont tell me you didnt come away from Korea a RAIN fan??

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mckinneytexas is gonna tell you...

Posted June 3, 2009
I respectfully disagree with the notion that the interior waterways need to be 'secured'. From whom? There are 5-6mm Americans left and presently zero somebody elses on the US mainland. The Mississippi is accessible by water only at one location, New Orleans. No one is going to portage a missile cruiser over the Allegheny Mountains and surprise NO from the rear. Besides, the world is in chaos right now. Bad guys coming in over the horizon will be very small in number, have a finite amount of supplies, ammo etc, and will be, at most, a localized threat. Just getting from, say, Venezuela, to Florida is no small feat.

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NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted June 6, 2009
Sir I disrespectfully disagree with your respectful disagreement.

Transport is one of the key pieces of infrastructure that a state provides her citizens. Crops to markets, people to services or services to people.

@ 0(zero)AW the roads are impassable. Pile ups of traffic - rusted into place + naturally occuring degradation eg flood damage, concrete spalling, land slip - what those highway maintenance guys do all day.

@5AW the situation will only be worse except in localised resttled areas with sufficient manpower to clear & maintain key roads.

North America's inland waterways which are in "as new" condition and require very little maintenance effort from the state to keep functional.

If a strategic decision was made to encourage & support repopulation was along river corridors, that may be one less thing on the Kippers To Do list.

Also bottlenecks provide opportunities for the Gov to "stick it's nose in." If transport is airbased scatered across 1000 unregulated airfields the government can't do what governments like to do.

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tygertim is gonna tell you...

Posted June 11, 2009
Jose. How does a fleet of cigarette hulled MGB's, say:

Displacement: 100 tons (max)

78.9 tons (standard)

Length: 175 ft

Beam: 8.06 m

Draught: 1.47 m

Propulsion: 3 - Daimler Benz twenty-cylinder diesel engines MB 501; 3,960 hp

Speed: 73.8 knots

Range: 800 nm at 30 knots

Complement: 24-30

Armament:

4 x MM38 Exocet anti-ship missiles forward,

1 x GDC Rolling Airframe Missile launcher, 21 cells, midship

2x 25mm Bushmaster Cannon, port, starboard midship next to pilothouse

Electronic warfare

and decoys:

* Decoy launcher HOT DOG

* Chaff launcher PUFF 2200 Wolke

Note, there is no armor. Hull construction is Aluminum or Marine firberglass.

sound for anti-Piratecy work?

Tyger

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tygertim mumbles...

Posted June 11, 2009
Includes 2x MQ-1C Warrior UAV's

Armament

Hardpoints: 4

Missiles: 4 AGM-114 Hellfire

JDAM and Smart Bomb capable

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A day without migraine - and foregrounding the background.

Posted May 25, 2009 by John Birmingham
Well made it thru a day in front of the screen without suddenly having the world fall apart in a pixelated mess, fifteen minutes prior to getting a meat axe in my head. Or feeling like it. Which is to say, I had no migraine.

Yay!

There were a couple of moments were I thought I might have been about to go down, but that's not unusual the day after. And yesterday, of course was the day after, and I fucking did go down with a second of the fuckers. Fuck them.

Anyway, back on deck now and writing like mad to catch up. I had been planning a massive writing weekend. 5-6 chapters. In the end, between the headaches, i got about 400 words done.

Just have to suck it up and punch harder this week.

Spent this evening editing a couple of my 'cowboy' arc chapters, which feature Miguel from WW. I don't even recall whether Mig' rated a POV chapter of his own in book one, or whether he was simply an ethical foil for Juilanne. But he's really come into his own in this book. I think his story arc might be my fave of all. It certainly generates some of the best lines and iconic imagery.

Miguel prodded his horse forward again and rode up next to the Agent.

He spoke in a low voice, but with great power.

“If I were you, I would be looking to make this as painless a leave-taking as possible, senor. If I were you, I would shut my mouth now, unless I wanted to die with my neck stretched and my insides hanging out over my belt, swinging in the air for the crows to pick.”

He casually drew the knife with which he had killed two men the previous evening, stropped it slowly on his jeans and gave the Road Agent his stone face.

...

"Out here" said Miguel, "Justice is a bullet."

...

Miguel hoisted his own rifle, his much loved Winchester and held it in front of the boy. “This gun has been leveled at five men, Orrin. They are all dead now. Do you understand? I have never pointed this gun at a man and failed to take his life.”

Anyway, enough farnarkling around. Back to it.

41 Responses to ‘A day without migraine - and foregrounding the background.’

Brian mumbles...

Posted May 25, 2009
Been waiting for the ear shattering 'KABBOOM" as your head imploded. Jeez . . . .what do you take for pain relief?

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savo ducks in to say...

Posted May 25, 2009
Ol'M's last forever. I never get pain associated with them only the visual distortion. Firsttime was f**ken scary thought I'd had a stroke or sumpthin.

Don't think Miguel had a big part in WW but ...

NExt road trip after dead line?

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NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted May 25, 2009
*Stamping feet*

more farnarkling

more farnarkling

more farnarkling

more farnarkling

c'mon folks, don't leave me hanging like this

more farnarkling

more farnarkling

*softer*

more farnarkling

*trailing off*

more far har aah crap.

Good stuff JB, looking forward to some mesa & circling buzzards action.

Bummer about the migraines. Have you tried tincture of morphine or luadanum?

Post wave skillsets: Cowpoke?!

I guess real estate agents are redundant.

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Orin asserts...

Posted May 25, 2009
What is a farnarkle?

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Lobes has opinions thus...

Posted May 25, 2009
the fajoint on your fafinger. moral of the story dont fa with miguel

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HAVOCK is gonna tell you...

Posted May 25, 2009
so ya been operaing on LOW RES!, just might need a JasJAM upgrade and all will be good JB....

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Orin ducks in to say...

Posted May 25, 2009
And why does Orin have too many R's?

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Chaz has opinions thus...

Posted May 25, 2009
It could be worse, look whats happening to havock..ooops said too much!!!

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Matthew K is gonna tell you...

Posted May 26, 2009
Were I one of Miguel's companions and he spoke to me like that I'd put a magazine into his back the first time he turned away from me.

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sparty mumbles...

Posted May 26, 2009
lovin this lonesome dove stuff!

Orin - you've just joined O'Neill (with 2 L's) company!

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Paul Nicholas Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted May 26, 2009
I love visiting this blog because it serves as a frequent reminder that my life has taken the correct path. I am a fairly good attorney, but I could never be a writer. I don't have the artistic integrity to write professionally. for example, if I were writing WW II, I would try to fill it with lines like this:

“Out here” said Miguel, “Justice is often mispronounced.”

I will keep my day job and leave the legitimate writing to professionals. John, I can't wait to read the sequel.

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John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted May 26, 2009
'And why does Orin have too many R's? '

Different Orrin.

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lostatlunch would have you know...

Posted May 26, 2009
Orrin... are you hard enough to take Miguel? I dont think today is a good day to die.

I could do with a bit more farnarking...

Can a Brissie local express a Muffin Basket to Mr. B... we need more farnarking... or a meat tray from Wagga.

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Orin puts forth...

Posted May 26, 2009
Sounds like "Orrin" is a kid, so technically Miguel can point the gun at him and not take his life because his original statement is about "men".

If Orrin ever turns up here, it will be a geek-off at a pico parsec. No one is taking my title of Alpha-nerd!

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Lobes swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 26, 2009
Or to give his full title, Ensign Orrin Crusher.

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Therbs ducks in to say...

Posted May 26, 2009
Farnarkling is what it says it is - farnarkling. It was once a fictional sport invented by John Clarke ("And that's a magnificent arkle!")to satirise the theologising of sport, but really, its just farnarkling.

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Sweet Jane Says has opinions thus...

Posted May 26, 2009
Blah... No-one talks like that! Jesus... Google: Cowboy Poetry. Watch rodeos on ESPN. Randomly phone what's left of the giant spreads.

My grandfather had a big spread in Oklahoma, and he never talked like that. His hired help didn't talk like that. I've lived on his land until he died and split the land among his eight children, and none of them talked like that.

It's laughable.

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Sweet Jane Says has opinions thus...

Posted May 26, 2009
Check the writings of two Oklahomans for a taste of the West that was and the cowboys that barely scraped a living: Tony Hillerman and Louis L'Amour.

J.

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Sweet Jane Says asserts...

Posted May 26, 2009
Seriously, Birmingham, it's horrible and insulting.

J.

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John Birmingham ducks in to say...

Posted May 26, 2009
And yet it sells by the truckload. Go figure.

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NBlob ducks in to say...

Posted May 26, 2009
Sweet familiar stereotypes.

Where would we be without you?

You seem to have missed a point J, one of the standard (or readable) lit tropes is to take a mutually recognisable character & place him /her in an extraordinary situation. Without this Birmo'd spend pages & pages on character development & little or no A narrative, B explodey goodness or C international intrigue - which are kind of the point of his books.

Which you'd know.

If you read one.

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Trowzers mutters...

Posted May 26, 2009
Of course, US television would *never* use a horribly stereotyped Australian character with a completely inaccurate accent!

Maybe you should consider it revenge :)

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Therbs mutters...

Posted May 26, 2009
Since when does dialogue in fiction have to reflect real conversation? My guess is hardly ever. Sure, that would be fascinating stuff full of "Seriously, you know, I was like, wow dude, and he was like, you know, oh my god! And then he was you know going oh my god, like, you know, as if!"

I think I prefer "...swinging in the air for crows to pick." to "He was like, awesomely like whoa! You know?"

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DrYobbo reckons...

Posted May 26, 2009
Farnarkling FTW. Aside from Roy and HG noone's captured the self-referential idol-worshiping idiocy of Strayan sports and sports media like John Clarke in that (and in the Games of course.)

(bowing and scraping) A thousand apologies sahib for the poor showing at Blunty today - manflu, moving hourse, bone in my trotter, and pretty much over the farnarkling story since it's all the NZ meeja talk about. Yeah I know, this is Sparta, but as far as my ancient history recollection goes being Spartan mainly involved leaving infants on hillsides to die of exposure and sodomising fellow barracks-buddies between sorties. Jeez where do I sign?

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Lobes reckons...

Posted May 26, 2009
JB's namesake Billy at the Twelth Man made a pretty good attempt. Alas the humour has slowly diluted in the follow up series'.

Still, it changed the way I view Max Walker forever.

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Matthew K would have you know...

Posted May 26, 2009
JB: "And yet it sells by the truckload. Go figure."

I know, it does all come down to the bottom line on the balance sheet in the end. But I have to admit it doesn't quite convince me either.

Not wanting to gang up on you or bring you down JB it's just I figured you'd rather hear it now than later.

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Robert has opinions thus...

Posted May 27, 2009
Levi's Hand-Stropped Jeans?

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John Birmingham mutters...

Posted May 27, 2009
Matt, I wouldn't bother replying to SweatJane but I will for you. There are three things to remember about the extracts.

First, they're extracts, you're not seeing them in context, where Miguel's dialogue is just one set of lines amongst many. Dialogue is a great way of establishing and differentiating character, and thus fictional characters tend to have emphasized speech patterns in a way that real people don't. Read a taped interview or surveillance transcript if you can, then compare it to the dialogue in a movie, even a movie with 'naturalistic' dialogue such as Pulp Fiction. They're very different. Normal speech is unreadable.

This leads me to the 2nd point I'd make about Miguel. He's learned English as a second language, ie formally. He speech patterns will be much more formal because of that.

Finally, it's a genre novel. With a cowboy narrative. There is an element of homage paying but also gentle piss taking involved. Hence the line that opens that particular chapter, "You cain't do this mister. We ain't done nuthin' to deserve a hangin!"

Would anyone ever say that? In real life? Maybe. If they were an ill bred moron. In a Larry McMurtry novel? They just might. But in the TV adaptation of a Larry McMurtry novel, they almost certainly would. And that's the market in which I'm working.

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Matthew K mumbles...

Posted May 27, 2009
All true, especially the second language thing. I'm quite used to hearing English spoken as a second language and it is true that people speak differently to native speakers. I can often spot the best of them by the almost formal care with which they speak, but people often strike slightly the wrong tone. (I know I have in Spanish).

Then there's the difference between real life and fictional speech.

And I was indeed seeing it out of it's context.

I'll stop talking, finish this fine beer and go skim WW so I actually know what I'm talking about.

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Jorge mumbles...

Posted May 27, 2009
Somehow McMurtry makes it sound so natural and the characters never seem like caricatures. Your Miguel sounds like an R-rated Speedy Gonzales. Aim a little more for Cormac McCarthy. Part nuts and part mystical.

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Sweet Jane Says would have you know...

Posted May 27, 2009
I taught ENGLISH as a SECOND LANGUAGE to HISPANIC kids in NEW MEXICO. I travel exstensively in MEXICO, and I've never encountered someone that talks like Slim Pickens. Reference the works of Robert Rodríguez. Read a bit of Tony Hillerman and Louis L’Amour. Read a few excerpts from our Hispanic writers. But, you won't; you're content with tripe when you could be doing quality.

J.

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Sweet Jane Says would have you know...

Posted May 27, 2009
You're trying to make the character sound like the captain of the Firefly, aren't you? Jesus...

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lostatlunch swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted May 27, 2009
After Meryl Streep in Evil Angels there is NOTHING that an Australian can do to any American speech pattern that can compare to that infamy.

There is a troll under this bridge.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan mumbles...

Posted May 27, 2009
Jane - first of all, Miguel doesn't sound a thing like the captain of the Firefly. But even if he did, what would be wrong with that? The character of Malcolm Reynolds is still the coolest of the cool and some of Joss Whedon best work. I try to talk like him all of the time. True, it is silly when I do it, but that isn't the point. The point is that trying to make a character sound like Malcolm wouldn't be a bad thing at all.

My wife just walked into my office and said "bacon flavored vodka..." and walked out.

I hate when she does that kind of thing.

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damian has opinions thus...

Posted May 27, 2009
I'm a big fan of Elmore Leonard, and probably wouldn't stumble into modern western genre writing without rereading his recent stuff in depth. Don't really know the genre well enough to do a survey, but I'm sure it wouldn't be onerous.

But then I don't have a deadline :)

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damian reckons...

Posted May 27, 2009
Darkman, I always get this idea that there ought to be a brand of cheap and nasty port, called "Billy-goat Port", that comes in 2-litre flagons complete with oversized brown paper bag. It strikes me as the perfect offering for the sort of trolls one does in fact find under bridges in our age.

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Sweet Jane Says has opinions thus...

Posted May 27, 2009
Yes, yes... Someone invented bacon flavoured vodka. It's gruesome.

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Matthew K is gonna tell you...

Posted May 27, 2009
Damian: "Elmore Leonard". Hell yes, good point. That is damn cool dialogue. The best ever maybe, I feel inspired to go out and buy one now.

J: Talking of striking the wrong tone, is English your mother tongue? ;-)

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Dick Shanarry has opinions thus...

Posted May 28, 2009
"exstensively"

Shame they had to learn English from someone who spells like a 10 year old.

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Sweet Jane Says mutters...

Posted May 28, 2009
I do a damned fine job considering the scalping, cracked cranium, and amnesia that came with the broken neck. In addition, my kidneys were hemmoraging blood through my bladder last night. And, no - English wasn't my first language. My first language was a Southern dialect that I didn't abandon until 5th. grade.

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Sweet Jane Says reckons...

Posted May 28, 2009
Hell, Birmingham, you were in California, Texas, and New York surrounded by Hispanics, Latinos, Mexicans, Cubanos, and Puerto Ricans, but you stuck with your peanut gallery and botched your research. Did you ever venture into the real America without your geeky goons? Whites are the minority; it wouldn't have been difficult to find Spanglish speakers. They're the ones that keep this country running.

J.

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