Cheeseburger Gothic

The McKinney Ranch Hoedown.

Posted February 13, 2009 by John Birmingham
The latest in the series of JB's World Tour Shout Outs goes to the senior Senator from the Peoples Republic of Texas who put in a huge effort looking after your main man here when I pulled into Houston yesterday.

I was feeling kinda worn out after New York, where I may have given things a bit too much of a nudge. The Senator settled me down into the Presidential Suite where I rested while he worked the phones on behalf with the book lovers of the city. I'm thinking Random should hire him as publicity consultant as his arm twisting skills with the readin' public seemed to be considerable.

A good gig was had by all, and we repaired to a local high end noshery where of course I had the steak. It was qite beautiful, so tender that I only needed to wave the knife over it and perfectly medium rare chunks would away.

I'm in Seattle now, having finished my uni bookshop gig, which was also good fun. CraigWAs mate Dave and his family took me out for curry afterwards and I've just got back to my hotel, which is somewhat swish. A room so big and well appointed I think I could live here.

Tomorrow I'll sign books and do the Underground tour.

51 Responses to ‘The McKinney Ranch Hoedown.’

Paul Nicholas Boylan puts forth...

Posted February 13, 2009
A steak I had in Texas was the best I ever had. As someone who only recently learned the definition of "Seppo" I am gratified to know we've shown you decent hospitality.

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Brian mutters...

Posted February 13, 2009
Good eatin'!

Paul - to be fair. We only explain the term seppo to our mates. Mostly we prefer to leave people confused.

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Moko would have you know...

Posted February 13, 2009
mmmmmmm steeeeak.

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DrYobbo has opinions thus...

Posted February 13, 2009
'Seppo' is best left unused in Southern company, purticly Texas. Would you believe that they actually get offended?

One of the better steaks I had in Sydney was ironically at a tex-mex place in the Golden West. Ribeye you only needed to look sideways at and it melted onto your fork.

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girlclumsy has opinions thus...

Posted February 13, 2009
Mmm, steak.

Sorry, I've got nothing else. ;)

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girlclumsy would have you know...

Posted February 13, 2009
And I copied Moko without even realising.

I need a good nap.

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Abe swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 13, 2009
Hope you've managed to upgrade to Business Class.

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Lobes asserts...

Posted February 13, 2009
I hope you put a dent in his cellar

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Brian puts forth...

Posted February 13, 2009
How big was this steak? Did it have a suitable garnish? Did you have a choice with gravy ie ketchup. diane, mushroom, a cheeky little number made with an approved wine?

On a sadder note. The grape harvest in SA and Vic has been severely damaged by heat waves and fire - best to start stocking up the cellars and wine racks immediately. Hmm . . . perhaps Victorian truffles are going to be in short supply as well - I'm not precisely sure where they've sourcing them, but if its the Yarra Valley, well . . . .bye, bye.

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HAVOCK mumbles...

Posted February 13, 2009
Brian, they be Crispy truffles

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savo mumbles...

Posted February 13, 2009
Did y'all go huntin' 'n fishin'?

Yarra Valley OMFG!!! I have some superb 2001 DeBortoli Yarra Yalley Shiraz. I'd better check on it!

Yup, still good.

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Trowzers is gonna tell you...

Posted February 13, 2009
Unrelated to anything previous, but just noticed a new Tarantino movie trailer seems to have snuck out: http://www.pajiba.com/inglorious-basterds-trailer.htm

Hmmm, not really a Tarantino fan, but Brad Pitt in some sort of Dirty Dozen-ish remake by Tarantino? ... I dunno what to think. This movie has been on the radar for years, I guess it has made me curious. Be interested to see what other thought.

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Brian mumbles...

Posted February 13, 2009
That reminds me. Texas does concealed carry. So . . .did you get properly dressed? What's the proper dressing for a Jackalope?

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damian is gonna tell you...

Posted February 13, 2009
Best steak I've had was in Rockhampton and not at all expensive. This was at the Cri - the 19th century hotel in the middle of town - but probably could have been anywhere, and not at all expensive.

Culturally Rockie is probably about the same distance from Brisbane as Texas is from California, though I wouldn't push that analogy too hard. I have no doubt that some of the finest steaks in the world can be had in Texas, but it may be the one truly parochial streak in me that wants to insist: Queensland beef is the best beef.

Sounds like a great ol' time anyhoo, hope all goes well.

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damian mutters...

Posted February 13, 2009
Meh, overedited or underedited or something... price was significant because it easily equalled steak that cost 4-5 times as much

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DrYobbo mutters...

Posted February 13, 2009
I see your Rockhampton and I raise you a Casino. THE ONLY TRUE BEEF CAPITAL. FACT. A concrete and chicken wire bull with frequently stolen bollocks does not a Beef Capital make. Not compared to the glory and wonderment of the Miss Casino Beef Week pageant.

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Mark R. Whittington mutters...

Posted February 13, 2009
Hmm, I had no idea that Kay Hutchison was a fan.

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Mark R. Whittington would have you know...

Posted February 13, 2009
Hmm, JB said "he" which suggests John Cornyn, who is the junior Senator from our great state.

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Nautilus is gonna tell you...

Posted February 13, 2009
Sorry Doc Yob, it is an established fact that the Beef Capital is in Wagga Wagga!

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yankeedog mutters...

Posted February 13, 2009
You should get a good steak-it is Texas, after all. I'm told Houston is a decent stop if in the Lone Star state.

OT- "On a sadder note. The grape harvest in SA and Vic has been severely damaged by heat waves and fire - best to start stocking up the cellars and wine racks immediately."

-Brian

I was going to ask you locals about that. There has to be some crop and livestock losses down there. We get a lot of Oz wines up here-looks like it'll cost a bit more now. Which state in Australia is considered the 'breadbasket'?

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James is gonna tell you...

Posted February 13, 2009
JB - if you get a chance, Mario Batali's dad runs a cured meat and sandwich shop on the southern end of downtown Seattle called Salumi... HEAVEN

The only great restaurant in the city is a place called Wild Ginger - and it really is fabulous. High end fusion food... and really worth the time

Wish I was still in town to host you at one of them!

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damian puts forth...

Posted February 13, 2009
Doc, I hear you there but I still hold that there's a certain unworldliness about Rockie... hard to explain I guess.

I did learn recently that after the Maralinga tests in the 50s a cloud of strontium-90 was tracked passing over central Queensland. Perhaps this goes some way toward an explanation...

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CraigWA reckons...

Posted February 13, 2009
I hope you find much joy in hearing all about Thomas Crapper and his toilets on the Seattle Underground tour.

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jennicki asserts...

Posted February 14, 2009
Mmm...steak...especially cooked med rare.

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mckinneytexas swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 14, 2009
It was a filet served with wild mushrooms. I had the grouper. We split a bottle of French pinot. John gave a great chat. We finished the evening with an Irish single malt. As it happened, the next morning I had to fly to San Antonio about an hour before John was wheels-up for Seattle, so it all tied together pretty well.

Burgers, on a related note, our man needs to slow down a bit. He pushes himself too hard and needs to cut back. Seriously. I am worried about our boy.

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Matthew K puts forth...

Posted February 14, 2009
Brian concealed curry? Wouldn't the pungent aroma give it away?

Oh CARRY. I see. Still, I prefer the idea of packin' Indian heat in a shoulder rig. What would Dirty Harry be hefting?

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Rhino asserts...

Posted February 14, 2009
BAH... if Birmo would have made it to Atlanta I would have BURIED him under stacks and stacks of BBQ pork ribs slathered in smoky sweet sauce at Matt's Rib Shack with an armed security detachment of members of this country's armed forces. Pork ... the true food of the gods.

But no ... the rat bastard goes hailing off willy nilly to rainy, damp Hippieville.

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Rhino swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 14, 2009
Oh ... and another thing, steak, mmmmmmmmmmmm

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Rhino mumbles...

Posted February 14, 2009
Matt ... Dirty Harry carries the .44 magnum.

In his own words, "I know what you're thinking. "Did he fire six shots or only five?" Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?"

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Paul Nicholas Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted February 14, 2009
I didn't say that Texas steak I had was the best in the world, just the best I've eaten thus far. I am quite eager to make it No. 2 on my list. replacing it with, perhaps, some Beddak White Tail. Damned if I don't find myself thinking about just that.

Rhino: I am on my fucking way to Atlanta to be buried in ribs. Truth be told, pig meat is my favorite, and convincing - but admittedly circumstantial - proof that God loves us.

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Matthew K asserts...

Posted February 14, 2009
So what's the curry equivalent of the .44 magnum?

Coincidentally the the .44 magnum was invented by a man called Elmer Keith - no relation though. That's as close as I'm liable to get to a legal pistol seeing as I'm British.

(Although I understand that illegal concealed carry is quite the fashion nowadays in some urban quarters)

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Robert is gonna tell you...

Posted February 14, 2009
I put $6 into my Steak Fund last night after I bought WW for $19 at Borders, where they included a discount card, which makes a handy bookmark.

Say, Birmo, today is Feb 13 and you might bend the ear of your publisher that Borders STILL is WTF about WW. Your book is on the shelf, tucked away in the sci-fi section, but it's not listed properly in their database. If you seek WW the dbase sez it's not published yet. But is IS in the dbase under Disappearance or some such.

Now, that's no way to treat a New Release that has a cool fighter jet on the cover. (I'm only to chapt. 9, so I don't know why the jet, just yet--but knowing your style, I expect all hell to break loose soon--the Caitlin hospital scene was just warmup...)

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Murphy asserts...

Posted February 14, 2009
Hmm, maybe we walked him too much in the Big Apple.

It is possible we all caught some sort of bug there. Or more likely (since I am willing to take the blame) he caught something from me as I had some sort of ear/nose thing which flared up that Friday afternoon before we met at the bar. If that's the case, I feel pretty bad about that.

Hopefully it clears up.

Robert speaks the truth per Borders and Without Warning. It is listed in a screwball manner and you've really got to dig to find the book. I don't know WTF is up with that.

Go easy for the rest of the trip, Birmo.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Brian has opinions thus...

Posted February 14, 2009
So. . .we send one our reveed authors to a far off place and he's catching exotic diseases?

Gawd . . .he'll be in quarantine for weeks . . . .living on institutional food.

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savo mutters...

Posted February 14, 2009
Dose this mean we'll have to send care packages to Brisvagas as well as Victoria and FNQ?

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Tucker Dwynn reckons...

Posted February 14, 2009
Arrgg!! You are in Seattle? When Where?!?! I kept looking for Book Tour dates and times, and I never saw one for Seattle Listed! ARRGGGGG!!

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Trinity ducks in to say...

Posted February 14, 2009
Hope you feel better. Take care. Drink plenty of juice and get as much rest as you can. Hopefully Murph didn't make you sick like he did with me, the bastard.

Take care,

Trinity

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Brian is gonna tell you...

Posted February 14, 2009
Trinity - Murph is a sharing, caring kind of person. You're making him out to be the livig embodiment of 'Typhoid Mary'.

Wait a tick . . . .?

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Murphy asserts...

Posted February 15, 2009
It's typical of Murphy family tradition to blame me for the illnesses. Trinity has picked up on that tradition. :)

I need to link her blog.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Leo euler has opinions thus...

Posted February 15, 2009
You had a senator helping you out? Cool! That sounds like a lot of fun, very hospitable. Hopefully it was not as hectic as the political stuff in WW.

While we're on the subject of local cuisine...I think Oklahoma is more famous for its BBQ, steakhouse stuff, etc., and more infamous for it's bull testicles (Rocky Mountain oysters). I'm thankful I've never had the latter.

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Tarl reckons...

Posted February 15, 2009
S.F.Murphy writes: "It is possible we all caught some sort of bug there."

Don't think so... I sat next to you for a couple of hours, sharing that guacamole, and didn't catch anything from you. Not that I'd have been able to tell, spending several hours on subways and Amtrak the next day.

Granted, walking from Union Square to Central Park in the howling wind and cold could have been more than a tender Brisbanite should have been doing - but you have no excuse. :-)

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Murphy mutters...

Posted February 15, 2009
Well, I'll take what absolution I can get, Tarl. Thanks.

Umm, it was awfully cold, walking to 52nd Street, wasn't it? But not intolerable.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Murphy mutters...

Posted February 15, 2009
BTW, Suvudu finally put up the Birmo interview at YouTube. I've got the four parts up at my blog but you can also get them at the Suvudu.com channel on YouTube.

But they don't have The Soggy Bottoms Boys as a bonus feature at their blog. :)

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Paul Nicholas Boylan puts forth...

Posted February 15, 2009
I thought they were referred to as "Brisbanians."

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Paul Nicholas Boylan reckons...

Posted February 15, 2009
I just watched that interview. Despite my delight in hearing the term "MacGuffin." the rest of it was gruesome. Seriously.

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Lobes has opinions thus...

Posted February 15, 2009
PB: I thought they were referred to as “Brisbanians.”

IIRC the correct term is "Banana Bender"

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Paul Nicholas Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted February 15, 2009
Really?

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Lobes mutters...

Posted February 15, 2009
For real. Its a colloquialism for anyone from Queensland. They grow em bent up there apparently.

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Paul Nicholas Boylan ducks in to say...

Posted February 15, 2009
I like it, and will remember.

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damian puts forth...

Posted February 16, 2009
Lobes - no they come off the tree straight, we have to bend them because people expect bananas to be bent for some reason. It's a bit like the way Americans expect cheese to be orange.

Paul - Brisbanite is much more commonly heard than Brisbanian, which I think is an error of the uninitiated. Brisbanite, Sydneysider, Melburnian, Canberran, are all pretty constant.

Actually -ite is quite common in Australia for smaller towns too... I think we like to think of ourselves as lost tribes of Israel or something.

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Nephasis has opinions thus...

Posted December 1, 2010

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