Thursday, March 31, 2011

The coming All-Fools Day

I am not a big fan of April fools day. Though if something were to occur, more than likely it would backfire on me, and involve zombies even if it shouldn't.

Also for those of you making plans for pranks, anything that you do after 12 noon is considered bad luck and will backfire on you. Be careful.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Apocalyptic Survivability

I am a survivor. Now before you dismiss me as being overly hopeful, or just ignorant of the steep curve of basic natural survival of animals, Think about your own personal knowledge, and what you know how to do to survive. Hollywood, and even the science channel have tried to figure out the multitude of ways to collapse human-kind in on itself. Movies like the Terminator, 12 Monkeys, I am Legend, 2012 - these are all films that question the ability of humans to respond to calamity. 

Let's face it as well - many of us our soft. We spoil ourselves with driving our environmentally controlled cars, we hide from nature behinds walls of stone, wood, glass and steel. In a fight between man and a natural beast - there are many interactions where mankind is on the losing end without technology to back him up. Nature is something I called the MOAB talking to my better half tonight. Not to be mistaken with the Russian Mega-bomb, or perhaps an American ICBM, MOAB (a bigger version of a son of a bitch) stands for Mother of All Bitches. When it boils down to it, nature is not a son of a bitch, she is THE biggest one in all existence.

That being said, humans have survived for tens of thousands of years. In earthly terms, we are still just a blink in a tectonic image. Mother Earth hiccups - and chances are we go flying without a passing thought in the mind of the planet. The question I pose is what are we doing to survive if that hiccup occurs.

Zombie, Nuclear, extra-terrestial, or microscopic - there are lots of ways for humans to be wiped out. How many of us know how to find shelter, or locate clean water supplies or know where to get food if suddenly the supermarket is out? Who among us can figure out the fastest means to travel between two points if highways are impassible and your vehicles is rendered useless? Does anyone know the proper quarantine procedures to protect your home in the case of a disease outbreak?

We are soft, not in a morbid the divine-will-punish us soft, but we are quite honestly ignorant of what we have to know to protect in order to survive. I know people who won't last a day without wikipedia. Quite frankly I know people that if it wasn't for my near eidetic memory of some techniques and information they probably wouldn't survive long in a disaster. However I also know my limitations and who I need to work with to make sure myself and those I care about survive.

Before you think I have lost my mind or find me paranoid, I just ask that you think very carefully on what steps you know you need to take to survive in whatever disasters can reach you. In the span of a few hours a single weather event can bring us to an etch-a-sketch end of the world (thank you Eddie Izzard) scenario where 100,000 years of civilization is thrown out as fast as yesterday's trash and everyone is in kill or be killed mode. Sadly that first reaction is also conducive to making sure fewer survive. Perhaps tomorrow I will write about how collectivism is more important for survival than individualism, for now I leave you with the thoughts of "What they hell will I do if...?"

I think that should be frightening enough since most of us can't answer that question.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I am still not totally relaxed after the movie attempt. Just this morning I was walking to work, and a cyclist caught me unawares.

Now you are wondering as to why this was an issue, I mean how could a man on a bicycle scare me so well? I wasn't paying attention and they rode up behind me. Then, as I was lost in my thoughts and he simply asked me to move.

I nearly jumped into traffic in the street. As I caught myself and regained my composure I let the man pass.

I was embarrassed but at least I didn't have to tell him why I looked terrified.

Monday, March 28, 2011


My nerves are calming down more today. I was actually able to walk to work without a panic attack as I neared corners and shrubs that were blocking my view.

Doing laundry this weekend was an exciting panic attack as I repeatedly went downstairs to check the wash. It was only strength of will alone that kept me from printing back to my door. My other half was nice to not laugh to my face, but she was laughing. Not like I could blame her, she deserves to occasionally laugh at my expense.

I am looking forward to not jumping at every small sound. I freak out at any unexpected noise still.

I am not doing this again.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Exhaustion: Aftermath

I am completely exhausted today, to the point of being ill. What reason do I have for this you might ask? This is the result of trying to watch a zombie film.

I spent my my entire night fighting with a sick child, and the paranoia that any moment I would have to fight off a zombie horde from my apartment. I even block the main doorway again. Damn-it all to hell.

My better half (who only an hour ago was allowed close enough to kiss me again) keeps trying to remind me that the film was comedy. To which I repeatedly remind her that it doesn't matter if it was funny or not - zombies were still present. My mind doesn't make a Vietnam film any funnier because Bob Hope shows up for a gig in the middle.

I am hoping my paranoid thoughts stop so I can sleep tonight. God would sleeping a whole night be great or what.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Zombieland: Fail!!!

At the constant request of my better half I attempted to watch the film Zombieland. I am proud to report I made it a grand total of 15 minutes before I was unable to watch it any further.

Yes, only fifteen minutes.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Dark side of Business

After reading the news I am appalled at the rationalization they use to explain business practices. It is rather like seeing a man use technicalities to get out of Hell. Business in its most pure form is devoid of emotion and morality - rather like zombies.

How does he draw this conclusion? Just take any zombie movie and change two things. First, put your zombies in Armani and Gucci suits, and change the cries for human flesh to cries for money, derivatives, and stock options in shortselling other companies.

In fact zombies have the decency to at least bring you to their side if at best they don't kill you. I prefer the outright death over undead lifestyle. I enjoy being alive - except when bankers are around.

Damn bankers.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Zombie Children

Nothing pisses me off more than the idea of Zombie Children. I mean seriously, children? Like people don't already have a hard time surviving the playground, now they have to go start eating people to top it off? I hated recess before Zombies. After - just makes it a living hell that was upgraded with more hell.

First, let us ignore the disturbing fact that children would have to get infected somehow. If you are an adult on a playground you already have a sign on you that says "attack me". Anyone who has worked with children know how this works. Within moments of stepping into their domain they are sent into a frenzy the likes of which is not rivalled by anywhere else in nature. It is like a collective, mad consciousness is ruling them from the moment they reach the slide. For some reason playground equipment brings out the primal energy of children. Turning them into fast moving torpedo's for attacking, tackling, climbing, swinging tunnelling and digging - it is a sight to behold.

Now make the mistake of letting them get infected. Children have the cleanliness facter of earthworms. Once it is in the ground they all share everything. Once a child has something, they all end up with it. They have a natural tendency to share every single contaminated item that comes into their possession. Everyone knows how quickly lice spreads? Colds? Flus? Now take all that primal energy and make it hungry. So now adults change from jungle gyms into buffets.

Let us not forget the cuteness factor. What group of national guard soldiers coming upon a playground full of children will shoot first and ask questions later? None. I can see it now:

"Oh these children are so cute, they are running to greet us!"


"My god the cute children are now trying to bite my ankles. Now they are climbing up on me, ow! he bit my neck!"



National Guard 0, zombie children plus a million. The most terrifying part of this is the fact that the chances for human survival are pretty darn slim with a child zombie army roving about. They would be like locusts eating crops. Quick moving packets of cuteness laced with death (and undeadness), scouring the countryside for the next group of stupid people who think it is cute when a wave of children come running at them. Think ahead and plan people. Go experience your son or daughter's playground. Once you see the terror they can wrought without  deadliness you will start to think about how to defend yourself.

Here is a hint: Children like to climb and wiggle through very small holes we otherwise don't think they can get through. Start preparing.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My Response to Zombie Movies

I do not care to watch Zombie films. At one point I was able to do so, but in the past few years that capacity has been lost to me.The tension and the fear are too much for me. That, and every zombie movie involves things jumping out at you suddenly and usually involve fair amounts of gore. My two least favorite cinematic techniques.

I am reminded of a night years ago when I was watching the first two resident Evil films in a row. One night of "lets get this over with" zombie action. I finished both films - I was a trooper. However I spent that night barricaded in my bedroom. I even had a crutch being used as a door jam against the door frame and the wall - to give me a few more moments to escape if the filthy beasts came and attacked. I even slept with my katana and waki-sashi on the floor next to the bed - just in case.

The few times I have tried watching these films with significant others - I always end up not wanting to cuddle. Because of course someone infected would want to cuddle and get near my neck. Look, EVERYONE, if I am having a paranoid day about zombies, leave my flipping neck alone. It is the one place that I do not want you near. I don't even want to touch anywhere else, but for the semblance of sanity I must. Also on a side note - thank you for those who have been sensitive about this.

Do I want to watch zombies in any form? Not particularly. I mean, it is not like my undead list precludes undead as a rule. Oh no. Vampires are ok. Mummies are fine. Skeletons do not frighten me. Ghosts are not an issue. Liches - well, depending on the type I will ave my concerns. It is just those damnable zombies that need to be erased.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Location, Location, Location

I enjoy Europe, well, at least I did the one time I went. I enjoy spending the rest of my time looking at pictures of places in Europe I want to go see. Like Hallstatt and Neuwanschtein Castle, and Kuchlbauers Bierwelt (that would be "Beer Land"). Part of the reason I enjoy looking at these places is because Europeans built fortifications and living spaces everywhere. I am talking castles people!

What better place to wait out the Apocalypse than your very own fortified location? And, a majority of time castles were built in locations that helped them defend a region, with access to resources (remember our sustainability blog entry?) Zombies have never been known for their engineering finesse, so it is not like they would be able to construct a catapult or trebuchet and come after you any time soon.

So yes, location in important, especially in Europe. Just be careful you don't pick a palace - that would be a deathtrap. Why? Because they typically were designed to just be places of lazy luxury and opulence. I am sure many think that might be a good place to go in case of zombie attack - but it could quickly turn into a ZBA. A Bunch of drunk humans tired and sleepy from eating too much. It is like their are preparing themselves like veal. I am sure the zombies appreciate that though.

Now I know in case of me taking over a castle I have a host of all new concerns. First making sure the winding halls are cleared of infected, and then only letting who I want to have inside - selection of allies is important. I don't need idiots who get bit while out working or on patrol coming back inside thinking "oh I will be different, I won't turn zombie!" More people means more risk. And to any who end up working with me in the event of a Zombie Apocalypse - I have a zero tolerance policy for the infected.

Will I tell you which castle I am looking at going to? Not likely, I don't want neighbors, at least not too many anyways.

Monday, March 21, 2011


The question of my day is whether or not that guy shambling through the alleyway is just drunk, or if he is infected and waiting to eat someone. Zombies should have some sort of bright sign that can be seen from 100 yards out.

Perhaps that is a nice addition for enhanced reality vision systems?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Inclement Weather and Long Drives

I had to drive through some terrible weather today. After driving by what turned out to be a fatal accident a discussion of my fear of zombies began. I guess discussions of death are linked together.
In either case the conversation revealed the amount of zombie lore I actually have inside my head. I guess that is why I am so terrified.
In other news, I offer my condolences to those that were taken from us today. Chances are they will never read this but after seeing multiple fatal car accidents (and a carseat for a small child in the middle of a road) I feel it would be best to pray for those souls to be carried by the Mandate to whatever god they hold dear.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sustainability in the Post-Apocolypse

We all want to survive. I mean, unless I have some suicidal members of society reading this today, pretty much all of us want to make it to the ripe old age of (insert some large number here) and die in our sleep peacefully. The question is what you do to maintain your survival in the event of a catastrophic Zombie attack.

I just don't think many people understand how ridiculously inter-connected our world is these days. You take out one peg and it all falls apart. Redundancy has not been good business, and much of our country has been left to its own devices without worthwhile civil construction projects. Did you know that our power grid was last up to date in the 1970's? Without human intervention we lose electricity in about eight to ten hours. How sad is that? Water systems are similarly ancient, with some cities still using water pipes installed in the early 20th century. And you wonder why so many water mains break in the winter New York City? Now you know.

Now that you know these are going to be problems, what are you going to do about it? How will you provide food, water and defensible shelter with a bunch of Zombies running amok (or shambling depending on their incarnation)? I think, dear readers, you should focus first on shelter and water. Water almost always draws life of some type or another, be it animal or plant. Hence why a concern for water may trump all the other concerns. Just remember one important fact about sources of water if you do not control the entire system - Nature likes to put sharks in the ocean and alligators/crocodiles in the water. It is that nasty thing she does with evolution, the fittest survive. If you are drawn to water, that which eats you will be drawn to water as well.

So - once you have a water system you can keep contained and defend easily (micro-water treatment - yes please!) your next concern is finding some way to have a stable dependable food source. Also - this is a point where science class and the few nerds you thought ahead to save from that college campus overrun with undead (please tell me you saved every nerd not already dead?).

Farming and growing food leads to two obvious options, each with their own problems. Number one, open field growing of whatever food you can stomach eating day in and day out for the next few decades. And the second is high-tech indoor hydroponics. First lets cover that open field scenario.

Field food crops are a pretty easy thing to run, so long as you understand your food won't look grocery store fresh. You will have to fight for your food against mother natures most numerous organisms - insects. With everyone dead or undead and obviously the number of people depleted to minimal levels, that whole "buying land" thing goes out the window. Its all free! So long as you can maintain it, it is as good as yours. There are some downsides to this though. Growing enough food to support yourself and possibly a few others takes a sizable chunk of healthy soil. Soil you hope does not have any weird stuff in it from the military trying to kill the zombie horde (you know; that whole nuke thing?) Also, Zombies may not bother to eat your fresh corn, but have you ever wandered a field of corn where the plant is a foot taller than you are? It is a bonefide ZAA - Zombie Ambush Area. Not pleasant trying to get dinner and becoming dinner. Just like that damn watering hole with the crocodile - #$^$^ nature!

The second option is a hydroponics setup. Here is where the nerds come in handy, quite literally worth their weight in food or gold, whichever you think is more important. Hydroponics can be maintained in sealed structures. Underground with artificial lighting or above ground using natural light - this is science meeting gardening. You can easily find articles online about how much bigger the fruit is, the vegetables grow healthier... blah blah blah. Basically it is contained and can be placed anywhere you are, no matter the climate or time of year. Here come the downsides. You have to put up with the nerd or group of nerds you saved from before - unless you have the time to monitor a very technical set of computer systems that are in turn running a complicated balance of water and nutrient cycles and all the amazing machinery that goes with it WHILE fighting off the zombies that wander in from time to time. If you do, no problem - except for keeping electricity and your heating running. Oh, and you have to have an internally controlled water system. Going to get buckets of water from the damn watering-death-flipping-trap-hole in the ground just is not going to cut it. And guys and gals - that whole line of "Not if you were the last person on Earth...." line goes out the window after awhile. Humans are animals after all.

Now, while each option has some pro's and cons to it, just remember that it is your choice for how to survive. Myself I know my choice, but yours may be different. Just make sure you know which way you want to go first - saves you some time fixing your mistakes (and trying to find nerds for the hydroponics once you are already left them for dead).

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Importance of Armor

Armor has existed for millenia. Granted the first armor was probably only decorative paint used to ward off enemy weapons an evil spirits, the idea id not the practicality was there. The people at least knew their frailty needed a suitable counter agent.

Eventually people wizened up and realized that pieces of tanned animal hide, wood and metal were much better protection than a gallon bucket of eggshell with primer mixed in. (Can you imagine the first person to question the witch doctor? "I don't know, your war paints are great but I think I still want to bring a shield for the archers...")

In the event of a zombie apacolypse I think everyone should keep in mind a quick and effective plan to make sure the walking dead have a harder time turning you to their ranks. Movie after Movie show so many of our would be heroes walking around is not much better than their Sunday best. While that is great for church, it pretty much does nothing to stop nails and teeth. I mean seriously - each one of you idiots knows that your opponents bite and scratch; yet you don't even take the time to wear an arm guard or long sleeves? How much trouble is it to take that big winter fleece and shove books or magazines inside. Do you know anyone who can bite through a full sized magazine?

Now that I have given one simplest of the simple ideas for body armor, I will go into other more complex ones. For those of you reading and who I advised to take note of Armories - remember they do have some limited amounts of body armor. Flak vests are better than nothing. Riot gear is a great full body protector. Not heavy duty but will give you a few extra close calls before you are lunch. Also take note of biological defense systems - the breathing apparatus will help make sure if you are facing an air-borne pathogen that you can breath easier (but not really. I hear it is a real pain in the ass to breath through those things. Once the filter is clogged it is like breathing with a 400 pound Samoan on your chest)

For myself, I like metal. I am a lithe guy, but I am strong enough to walk some distance even while wearing 60 pounds of steel covering me. I also know how to make chainmaille. Sure, it may be a pretty jewelry making skill, but when push comes to shove - I can make armor that can resist full on stabbing attacks with knives. That sort of protections pays, but making it takes quite awhile. If I had to work on my own I may take weeks to produce enough to make sure I am completely covered and bite proof. It also has almost know pathogen stopping system - so airborne zombieism would leave me vulnerable (but hence why I know about biological protection breathing wear - just in case)

So dear readers, make sure you are aware of how to save your skin, quite literally. When it comes to sharing body armor - you probably won't have any to spare.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Balance of Weaponry

I am at times torn between the two important considerations of balanced weaponry to protect myself. What are these considerations? Ammunition and Range. I hate getting into a bind where I have to pause to reload (like this is a common problem or concern). Especially when I somehow find myself trying to fight a zombie horde in the event of a zombie Apocalypse - I don't want to get caught unable to fight my way away to safety.

Both of these concerns revolve around a basic question of how to defend yourself. Melee weapons have the amazing benefit of never running out of ammunition. A Spear or baseball bat don't jam or run out. But lets face it, using them means you have to close enough to a zombie where the chances are good they may be able to infect you. Not very good in my mind.

The other option is a ranged weapons - the glorious ability to wreak havoc without being near any zombies is powerful - without that infection range that would be a concern with a melee weapon. However ranged weapons are limited when clearing out a city or a building, as your opponent is relatively close. Also, you have to keep track of how much ammo you have and when it is safe to reload. All these decisions and information to be up to date on. A poorly maintained weapon or miscounted ammo stock can be the difference between getting to safety and being on the menu.

All in all I still would prefer to maintain a distance between myself and any zombies. At least a good hundred miles or so. If that isn't possible I would like the world to invent the amazing and beautiful belt-fed combat shotgun. You have a choice between Double-0, Slug, and incendiary shells with the beauty of a near limitless magazine and the close quarters effectiveness of the shotgun.

Let the orders start coming in.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Riding that Highway....

Roadways are the strings that connect the far-flung cities of the world. More so than ships or planes, roads are the premier artery of people for this world. Boats and roads have both been around for thousands of years, and boating may have even pre-dated roads - at least in a formal way. How else did the Polynesians spread their culture across the south pacific so completely? Roads however have stuck with the American personality above all other modes of transportation.

I am going to be on the road tonight, and I am reminded of the fact that many of these roads will get clogged with people in any sort of emergency event. Do roads qualify as ZBA? I guess that depends on the roads. In cities like LA, where the highways are an after-thought to a massive population then I think a fair portion of them will become ZBA.

Awareness of the most secret alternate roads out of your area are a must. First, as a personal escape route, secondly so you know where to leave landmines to prevent zombies from coming unannounced. For hikers this means you will be the future scouts of America in times of need. You know the back areas of the country, and how find the routes through.

So, be nice to your family and friends who hike. Chances are they could save your life and avoid possible ZBA traffic jams.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Common Concerns

Today is a list of common thoughts that run through my head as I go through the day.

1. Walking through amusement parks, I often try to figure out the most defensible rides. I mean, if zombies attack an amusement park, since it is a veritable buffet of people, I need to know that I can get myself and my family to a safe place quickly while the slower people are eaten.

2. Supply point. I am one of those people that does their best to take note of the Nationa Guard Armories that I hear about. Between my apartment and Phoenix Arizona, there are three places where weapons will be available. Take note.

3. Ranchers are your friends. Many times they are very close to being self-supporting, and their first instinct is to shoot people running onto their lands, not embrace them and be bitten and infected. You want that sort of trust around you.

4. I will always place a trip to Home Depot above a trip to Costco on my list of places to be in an Zombie apocolypse. People in Home Depot are more likely to be armed, and be living in a defensible location, and Driving a truck (because trucks run down zombies easier then compact or fuel efficient vehicles). And besides, pretty much any Tom, Dick, and Sally goes to Costco - not ones packing heat. Another Zombie Buffet Area.

I think that is fine for now. In all future posts I am creating the ZBA acronym. ZBA = Zombie Buffet Area. Now you can talk to your friends in code about these places and not sound as crazy I do.

Monday, March 14, 2011


The balance between defence and aesthetics is hard to maintain. There are few places in history where defenses have not been overcome at one point or another. But even fewer where beauty made a structure easier to protect

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Daily Concerns

I wake up and I am alone. Nothing different from when I went to bed, also alone. No one is around. Many nights the apartment building I call home is quiet, empty it seems of active life. It is moments like that, as I just pass the time until I am forced to leave, I wonder how I would know if something happened.

I mean - I am locked in my apartment, with only a few windows into the world, and those face an alleyway. I am functionally blind. If some event occurred and the world was quiet because everyone had evacuated (and I fear I missed the call) then how would I know? I have been known to sleep through rock concerts - would I really wake up to the sounds of sirens in the distance?

Yes I am careful when I open the door. Almost always I check out the peep-hole to make sure nothing is waiting for me, before I turn the knob to go out. So think on that next time you are completely alone, and everything is quiet around you. Is it quiet because it is just a quiet neighborhood; or is it quiet because everyone is dead and you are the last one left?

PS: I found out yesterday at work that the county emergency plans involve everyone gathering at the nearby community college. Note to self: Another reason to avoid the community college if emergency crews set up shop.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Kinetomortophobia: A Day in the life

Humankind has been plagued by fears throughout our entire existence. Since the first simian began the evolution to leave the trees and move across the ground - we have evolved a portion of the brain that allows us to recognize danger and respond proactively. You know, to run away before the big bad lion, tiger, or bear runs us down for their next lunch. That being said, I have a healthy appreciation for fear - it is something to be aware of as it makes sure we live longer lives and keep ourselves out of harms way (when done so reasonably).

However, many of us have strange fears - places our minds go that we can't really explain. There are strange fears, if you can imagine it; it is possible to be afraid of it. People who are afraid of the sun, people who are afraid of the dark, people who are afraid of ducks, open spaces, closed small spaces - all of these are fears one can have. There is even a fear of fear.

The purpose of this blog is to catalogue my own personal fear, a completely unreasonable and strange fear that I am not interested in facing, nor do I seek out a cure for. While this will be of pure entertainment value for most readers, I will list and post the thoughts and panicked emotions that come with my day to day living with my fear. You see dear readers, I am afraid of Zombies.

Now that you have taken the time to stop laughing, I would urge you to follow along as I let this year run its course. This is a fear that stays with me as much as a person lives fearful of clowns or spiders or snakes or anything else. So as the thoughts and the fear pop into my mind, I will post it here for everyone to read. Perhaps by the end of this you will see the tragic comedy that plays out in my mind day after day - and get a few laughs along the way.

Its okay - I know it will be at my expense, but that is a tab I am willing to pay.