Friday, March 28, 2008

UCF Bomb Shelter

In the comments of the previous post, commenter Jeri suggested the following: ...maybe we need a UCF bomb shelter, stocked with good beer, gourmet food and a lifetime supply of used SF books & DVDs.

I find this idea interesting and worth pursuing.

So, here's the thing - if we, the UCF (I forget what that actually stands for - but we all know who we are) and those we choose to let in, were to build ourselves a lifeboat as an insurance policy against the growing insanity - and against the hordes of YEC spewing, fuzzy logicked, neocon, Britney loving, Paris worshiping, Limbaugh listening, Pluto-haytin', restroom cruising, crazed hollow-eyed zombie mobs who think that No Country For Old Men was actually a deeply meaningful movie and who will soon be roaming the surface of our ravaged world in search of gullible and tasty voter flesh - what then would that look like?

Assumptions and ground rules:
1) Since we all make millions in disposable income from our secret lives as kings and queens and various nobility of the blogohedron - we'll assume unlimited funding.

2) The shelter will accommodate the principle members of the UCF and their families, loved ones, pet budgies, and so on and so forth within reason (reason being whatever we define it to be based on arcane rules that none of us actually understand but assume that everybody else does). All others are subject to rigorous screening, a trial period, and random chance.

3) BYOB and enough to share.

4) Government will based on something vaguely Heinleinesque. However, decisions affecting the group will require a special two-part parliamentary procedure as follows: First: we all drink, dance, and generally whoop it up. Once we're all good and lubricated we'll discuss the issue and vote. Second: If the decision still sounds like a good idea the next morning when we're sober and hungover - we'll go with it. Otherwise, shake, lubricate, and repeat as necessary.

5) Assume plenty of room, automated child and pet care, a big damn kitchen, a top of the line video/audio entertainment system with media on demand, Broadband, and fresh hot chocolate chip cookies.

OK, that's enough with the ground rules, we'll just wing the rest.

So here's what we need to get the ball rolling:
1) Location. Where and why? Don't limit yourself to Earth, however, I think anything beyond the Kuiper Belt is probably mostly wishful thinking.

2) Food and Drink: Somebody is going to have to make a supply run prior to locking the door, we'd better have a list. Just saying. Calling for Take-Out is probably not going to work, and I don't want this to turn out like that time my unit deployed and the Supply Officer forgot to bring along coffee (yes, this actually happened to me. Bad Suppo. Bad. No biscuit).

3) Music: Because, seriously, I've been trapped in windowless secret buildings for extended periods with nothing but government issue Musak versions of various 70's soft rock bands looping endlessly on the cover sound system - and frankly I'd probably end up killing all of you and decorating myself with your entrails if I have to do it again. Really.

4) Movies: Because when we're not drinking, dancing, and generally whooping it up in parliament, we're going to need something to watch (somebody put popcorn on the shopping list). Besides good movies, we're going to need some really crappy flicks so that we can do the heckle as a group bonding thing.

5) Books: Because if we don't save the books from the zombie hordes, well then, what's the point of surviving?

6) Various and sundry miscellanea: Whatever else you think we need.


  1. Not that I'd want one, and not that we'd probably need these if the entire shelter is properly outfitted, but have you seen the Quantum Sleeper yet?

  2. Under miscellaneous... board games (like Scrabble!) and decks of cards.

    And I think we need an exercise room so we can still fit through the hatch when the nuclear winter settles down. If nothing else, it will give us someplace to hang-dry our clothes.

    Shoot... speaking of hang-dry... how about a lap pool? Great water storage, and with space age filtration it can just be part of the system.

    In addition to the mini-shop that Jim will no doubt be installing, we probably also need a mini-project room - sewing machine, electronics parts & tools, maybe even a potter's wheel & arts/crafts supplies. (The sewing machine is purely practical - I don't intend to wear rags to the Post-Apocalyptic Ball.)

    We probably need a *separate* gaming room for the kids & teens, with both physical games & video games, apart from the adults' media room.

  3. How about we just purchase the Mall of America? That way we have most of what we'll need already. We can then just move it elsewhere if necessary. I think it should be somewhere scenic.

  4. Encase the mall inside a bomb-proof bubble, add some sort of atmosphere maintenance system, plant more stuff inside the bubble, and park it on the far side of the moon. Do this after hours so the minimum wage employees, wonderful humans though they may be, won't get to tag along for the ride.

  5. Sounds good. But we'll need some robots to do all the stuff that the minimum wage employees were doing.

  6. There should be cake. Because anyone who's played Portal deserves it.

  7. If we have unlimited funds, we can buy the Greenbrier, since it was originally created for just that. And since it was to house the big wigs from Washington, it's probably got all the amenities.

    And I second the sewing machine. I can bring mine. But my fabric stash is gone.

    I figure if we all bring our own libraries, we'll have plenty of reading material for quite awhile. Then again, can we bring Patricia Briggs? I really like the series she has going and I'd like to continue it.

    Same thing for music libraries--as long as they're in mp3 form. I'd also recommend noise canceling headphones for everyone. And some backups to spare.

    Here's a stupid question. Do we have any qualified medical personnel to bring along?

    Because I'm a big damned klutz.

    If we don't have medical personnel, I want a pair of steel mesh gloves for the kitchen.

  8. Can I be a member of the UCF? I can be your medical professional. I'd want the library to include 2 sets of emergency medicine, pediatric, surgical, and internal medicine textbooks -- one current set and one from the 1940's (since I suspect that I won't have access to CT or MRI scanners, etc). I'd like IV catheters, saline and glucose IV fluids, antibiotics, scalpels, and suturing material also. How unfun.

    The entire series of MST3K -- perfect for heckling...

    Location -- on Earth, as the current technology doesn't allow for otherwise. I'd probably pick the middle of Saskatchewan -- not too many people there, tectonically reasonably stable, not likely to flood when the polar ice caps melt, etc.

    And I must have the Court Jester and the movie version of The Princess Bride.

    And coffee.... Can't survive without that.


  9. I want a human sized gerbil habitat so I can play with the Zorb I'm bringing with me.

    You guys can have a turn too.

  10. ::waves hands around in Pope-like manner::

    As the creator of the UCF (its the Union of Collaborating Founders, Jim), I hereby grant Natalie post-dated membership. And shut yer yap, Vince, you're in too. And Saquib needs to comment more cause we all need perspectives from other continents, but he's now the head of the Asian franchise. Congrats one and all.

    Two other suggestions. 1. We need to corner the market on Chex Mix (original flavor). I like Chex Mix. 2. Can we kidnap Scalzi and his clan. This is not stalkerish at all. In fact, if he so chooses, he can live in a totally separate part of the complex and interact with us no more than he does now. I just want my daily dose of Whatever and a couple of books every year.

  11. We need Natalie, 'cause like Michelle K, I'm a klutz.

    Besides good movies, we're going to need some really crappy flicks so that we can do the heckle as a group bonding thing.

    Then we'll need the entire collection of MST3K.

    We'll need sufficient space for growing food staples and plants that have medicinal qualities. A way to recycle waste products. Solid waste can be recycled to provide fertilizer.

    Starter yeast, recipes and equipment for making beer. Recipes and equipment for making wine.

    A well-stocked electronics shop with everything needed to repair our electronics.

    A blacksmithing shop. You can make a lot of things with a good anvil, hammers, and a forge, such as knives, swords, and other sharp instruments of destruction.

    Gunsmithing tools and supplies.

    We'll need to be able to make our own soap.

    Robert's Rules of Order.

  12. Why thank-you Nathan. I am now shutting my yap.

  13. I've made soap before--the correct term is saponification. It's pretty easy--assuming you don't set the chemistry lab on fire.

    You need fat and a base. I believe the tradition materials were lard and ases? And water and fire.

    IIRC, it makes a rather pH neutral soap.

  14. Michelle is bringing a lardash to the shelter?

  15. We probably need a firing range too... and mountains of ammo. Is there a Cabela's at Mall of America? All those post-apocalyptic outside dwellers are probably not peaceful.

    I hadn't thought about agriculture... I have teens, I hereby volunteer them as farmhands. :) I don't know crap about farming, though I do a decent job with very small-scale gardening.

    My mom's partner is an ER trauma nurse - so she'd be helpful too. Far more than me! IT will become a completely obsolete profession. Maybe I can be a seamstress and metalsmith, and teach part time?

  16. Jeri - there's no Cabela's at Mall of America, but there IS a Nickelodian Universe there now. And a Barnes and Noble to help with the needed book supply. And a Chapel of Love wedding chapel should single members of the UCF find love and have a hankerin' to get hitched. And a Bllomingdales, Macys and Nordstroms. And about 30 places to eat, including a Hooters. Or so I've been told. Not that I, personally, have ever eaten or would ever eat at such a sexist establishment.

  17. I want Lazarus Long's bathroom.

    And we'll need a REALLY LARGE INDUSTRIAL KITCHEN since so many members of the UCF like to cook.

    For a location, I'm suggesting the Dora.

  18. This is gonna be the best post-apocalyptic party EVAR!!!

    Y'all love to cook, I love to eat -- if we can find someone that loves cleaning and rubbing feet, the UCF will be complete!

    ...I'm going to to pick out my Lazy Boy now. :)

  19. {waves hands} I'm weird -- I'll admit it. I don't like to cook, but I do like to do dishes. I don't do feet though.

    We had a similar thread many years back on a SF listserv I belonged to. The basic premise was that a meddlesome alien decided to populate a distant planet with the members of the listserv and we could only take with us what we could grab from near our computers. We eventually decided that the colony wouldn't survive, but it was fun thinking about it...

    However, if we had been able to bring along the Mall of the America, I think we would've made it. :-)


  20. Power generators and solar cells. We need to locate someplace where coal is plentiful, unless we have nuclear engineers on board.

    Metallurgical supplies.

    I want a brass cannon from the local Civil War re-enactors. they may be geeks, but a Napoleon will really keep the riffraff away.

    I'm bringing CW with me, too.

    I've got tons of old-time chemistry stuff for saponification, nitration of toluene, etc. I can make acetone from corn, various kinds of alchohol, and with the right solvents, you can make almost anything.

    Neurondoc - I work at the research HQ of a major Pharma company. Tell me what you want in terms of equipment and drugs, and I'll bring it along when the shit hits the fan.

  21. Power generators and solar cells. We need to locate someplace where coal is plentiful, unless we have nuclear engineers on board.

    I keep telling y'all! The Greenbrier!

  22. Jeri! Scrabble is a must.
    While I do not like to do feet, I do like to clean (just don't tell my hubby). I would also spend every waking minute in the kitchen..and used to do so for money..so we won't starve.
    And I can help with the robots (or at least I will once i am done learning/teaching this grade school class on robotics) They don't have to be big ones right? Little bots can be very useful.

    I also vote for a large supply of glasses/lenses for those of us who are glassware dependent. I would hate to be trapped with all of those books and have my glasses break. (love that twilight episode)

    Lastly....can i come too? (should have asked before i babbled)

  23. Instead of books and music, how 'bout we bring along some writers and musicians? Renewable resources ROCK!

    And some weird instruments none of us know how to play, just for sh*ts and giggles?

    And a M*A*S*H-like still, and an ass-load of potatoes?

    And not to kiss your heine, Jim, but I want Alaska for the locale. Or Luna. Samey-same.

  24. You have chemists on board, so the still goes without saying. I know where to get a still with a 30 ft high condensing column, so y'all better have LOTS of potatoes.

    But plenty of copper pipe and solder is a must.

    I'm voting for the Greenbrier for several reasons:

    1. I know the general area.

    2. Lots of coal and other resources in those hills.

    3. Close enough to raid fomerly "civlized" places such ad Balmer and DC, but far enough away that the riffraff will have a hard time finding us. (Alaska loses on the lots of readily available detritus of civlization criterion).

    4. Ready made bomb shelter from when they were serious about that stuff.

    5. Lots of rolling stock in the area. And I know where to get our hands on a steam engine in good working order oin my way there. I have a feeling steam trains are going to be big again. (See access to anthracite).

    6. There is no guarrantee our smokeless ammo will hold out, and Navy Arms is right there in Martinsburg with high quality black powder weapons. I can make really good corned black powder.

  25. I'm back from vacation and Damn, does this scenario sound awesome.

    I'm a bit of an Anne of All Trades (tm Tom), so I'd be happy to do most anything. Except the feet thing. My dad is currently into community gardening, so he'll be useful.

    I vote for Greenbriar as well, as I am also familiar with the area.

  26. Being an admirer of George Romero, I feel obligated to cite the "Dead" movies for the proposition that the sheltered survivors will be their own worst enemy when surrounded by drooling, mindless hordes. Even if things start out pretty well in the shopping mall utopia, eventually envy, greed and pride will bring a violent downfall (cf. 1975's Dawn Of The Dead) Sorry to be a bummer. But the moonbase sounded pretty darn cool.

  27. Michelle: NINE SHOTS of unjammable .44 caliber goodness and a single, central .65 caliber barrel? "

    Q: "Did he fire six shots, or only five?"

    A: "Who gives a fuck?"

    How much kick does that .65 give?!?

    I never was much of a Civil War geek aside from knowing the major campaigns. So I don't know all that much about the minutae of equipment and arms. But I've got to change that soon. That revolver is SWEET.

  28. Sorry folks, I was away from the computer all weekend - and missed this whole bit.

    John, I second the Le Mat - though I do prefer my Navy Colt for sentimental reasons. As the resident chemist you'll be in charge of gunpowder production - We can probably get saltpeter from the compost heap and charcoal from the charred zombie bodies, sulfur I'm not sure about - maybe we should keep Anne Coulter chained up in the basement, I understand she actually excretes the stuff. I'll handle the gun smithing and reloading.

    So, the Greenbrier, eh? I dunno, that's a pretty heavily populated area and the flesh eating zombies from D.C. are going to be a continuing problem. Personally I like the far-side of the moon idea or somewhere up here in my neck of the woods.

    Looks alike a good spread of skills, cooks, doctors, chemists, a librarian, a couple of ex-military folks, lot's of children for general labor - and it looks like we won't have any problems in the IT department.

    I really like the human sized habitrail/Zorb idea. I don't know of any other shelters that have one - that's a real standout feature of our lifeboat.

    It's going to be a big place, woodworking shop, a couple of labs, entertainment room, green houses, knitting parlor, one big-ass library and a shooting range. But I think it's doable what with the unlimited funding and all :)

  29. So, the Greenbrier, eh? I dunno, that's a pretty heavily populated area and the flesh eating zombies from D.C. are going to be a continuing problem.

    It's a what?! As compared to what?

    And the flesh eating zombies are going to have a hard time making it over the mountains. The main interstates, which they're most likely to shamble along, don't lead directly from DC to the Greenbrier.

    I mean look:

    From Washington, DC

    Interstate 66 west to Interstate 81 south to Interstate 64 at Lexington. Interstate 64 west to first exit for White Sulphur Springs.
    Approximate mileage 250. Driving time 4 ½ hours.

    That's a driving time. Shambling along with body parts falling off? Much longer. Much less likely to arrive.

  30. compared to what?

    Where I live, for example :)

    Well, it is beautiful area, I suppose. But, Michelle, the zombies are already there. In fact, there's an attached zombie breeding ground at the Greenbrier - it's called 'the Golf Course.' :)

  31. I dunno Michelle. Granted most of the zombies will fall apart long before they can reach us, but what's going to happen to all those zombie parts dropped by the side of the highway? Yup, that's right...dogs are going to eat them. Big giant smelly feral dogs. And then after ingesting zombie detritus, they're going to turn into big giant smelly feral zombie-dogs. And let me tell you. Those suckers can move.

    I'm not sure whether or not there's gonna be an zombie-cats, but they behave pretty much like normal cats, so it really doesn't make much difference.

  32. The real problem, Nathan, will be zombie congressmen - especially the Neocons, they're ferocious. But like zombie cats, it's hard to tell the shambling undead from the live ones.

  33. For instance, can you really tell whether our current president is a shambling undead monster, or just a mumbling, integrity-challenged normal neocon?

    And where/what is the Greenbrier?

  34. Jeri, the Greenbrier is a Resort in Sulfur Springs, West Virginia. It's famous for it opulence - and nowadays for the fact that there was an enormous cold war era bunker secretly hidden beneath it. For fifty years it was the emergency nuclear war shelter for Congress, complete with everything both houses would need to run the county in the event of nuclear catastrophe. Greenbrier.

  35. Jeri: zombies have an easier time pronouncing "nuclear."

  36. Ha! Damn, Eric, I wish I'd thought of that comment.

  37. And a local source of sulphur. There ya go!


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