Category Archives: Stories

Prepare Yourself: Zombies are Coming

My niece posted a question on Facebook recently.  “What would u do if everyone around u got infected and were trying to eat and u were trapped with other survivals in a building?”  Translation since it appears to have been written on a phone late at night:

What would you do if the Zombie Apocalypse started?  The building you are in is surrounded by Zombies and you are trapped inside with survivors.

I started by just having a good time and posting what I could easily find on the net.  Then I realized that I had quite a bit of information that needed to be placed in one handy spot.

What can I do to prepare for the Zombie Apocalypse?

The Center for Disease Control (www.CDC.GOV) has setup the CDC EPR | Social Media | Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse – Blog.  

This is a good guide and incidentally can be used for other issues as well.   If you live in an area that is prone to natural disasters, this is a great guide to getting prepared for the natural disaster, while simultaneously preparing yourself for the coming Zombie Apocalypse.

Recently I finished reading World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War. This is a good read; it’s a collection of interviews with survivors of a Zombie Apocalypse.  Max Brooks, author, did a great job of capturing the stories of what different people went through in different parts of the world.  What I really enjoyed was his interpretation of what different governments would do during such an event.  He also wrote the The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Deadwhich apparently I should have read.  That’s my next download on my Sony Reader.

Zombies involved in the Epic Zombie Lurch held...

Image via Wikipedia

Zombie Ammo – apparently Mid-South Shooters Supply has Zombie ammunition available.  What I love from the PDF at the hyperlink is the “This is not a toy” warning.  I can easily see someone picking this up as some sort of Halloween prank and using it on their zombie costumed friends.  Not sure about this one.  As always during a Zombie Apocalypse ammo may be very difficult to come by after non-stop swarms.

Hand-held weapons would be a key factor during such an outbreak.  With your sharpshooters conserving ammunition, you may very well be able to outlast the Zombies.

Hammer out some of your cookware (pots and pans) so that they are flat, and put an edge on them. These act as impromptu blades that can lop off undead heads. If you can find shovels and metal rods from construction areas, hammer them down and sharpen them.  Very good last minute tool.

Food and water rationing would be key.  You have no idea when the food and water supplies will return.  Start a garden, locate a garden supply store and pick up what you need to start growing your own veggies.  Sure, you say, I’m a meat eater.  Well, at the very least grow vegetables to feed to your livestock.  Plus, you do want sides and not just meat.  Start preserving your fruits and vegetables, can them and save them for the lean times. Canning provides a safer means to preserving food than freezing, since electricity might be cut by panicky citizens.

Identify weak points within your building.  Barricade and reinforce everything.  Check it, then when your done checking it, check it again.  If the building is too weak, you may need to find something else that is more difficult for the Zombies to get through, or consider relocating to a more secure structure.

Make sure all of your wounds are covered. You do not want to get infected yourself. Treat it like a disease. conduct regular checks after every attack, and do a full strip search of every person to look for wounds. Anyone who is wounded, will be treated and then quarantined for at least 48 hours (I would probably go longer).  You can never be too sure.

Get rest, post guards and rotate shifts. Remain quiet; you do not want to attract attention of the zombies.


Halloween Story

It was Halloween, and three youngsters were daring each other to do crazy stunts.  An older kid overheard what they were doing and decided to give them a tough challenge.  He told them about a Mikel Nickerson who recently passed away.  He was a guard at a mental asylum and was bitten by one of the patients.  Apparently the bite festered and he died of a nasty infection.  The body was at a local funeral home and he dared the kids to go and open the coffin and for each of them to leave a piece of candy.

Instantly, the kids said that’s not scary we can do it.  As they started to leave, the older kid gave one warning.  The patient who bit him believes he’s a vampire.  The kids blew him off, but as they walked over to the funeral home that evening the fog started to roll in and their minds began to play tricks with them.

They arrived at the funeral home, was able to get in through a back door and work their way over to where the coffins where.  They realized that there was more than one coffin, they didn’t want to open all of them.  They searched around the room and realized that most of the coffins were marked.  Soon they found the coffin of Mikel Nickerson and pulled out their pieces of candy.  One of the kids tried to open the coffin, but it was too heavy.  He asked for help, but even with all three working at it, they couldn’t get the coffin open.  One of them banged on the coffin in frustration.  Suddenly as if in response a bang came from within the coffin.

The kids jumped back in fear, looked at each other and waited.  After a moment nothing, ten more seconds nothing.  They began to relax when the coffin began shaking and rocking.  One kid bolted in fear and ran out of the building.  The other two were still in shock, looking at the moving coffin.  The coffin stood itself upright and began rocking itself towards the two kids.  They shook themselves and ran haphazardly at their friend who was already outside hiding behind a tree.

The three of them hid behind the tree staring at the funeral home door, waiting in the fog and catching their breath.  They began to hear something from the funeral home: clack, clack, clack.  They looked at each other in fear and then back to the door.  It was pitch black, they couldn’t see anything, but they could hear the clacking echoing in the fog.  From out of the shadows they saw something move; they hesitated, could it be?  Clack, clack, clack.

The coffin was standing upright in the doorway.  The kids yelled and ran down the street as fast as they could, the clacking noise keeping pace behind them the whole way.  They ran on pure adrenaline not caring where they went as long as it was away from the coffin.  The noise began to fade. They stopped to get their bearings and realized that they were lost.  Nothing was recognizable in the fog.  It looked like they were in a new housing development, just the skeletons of houses all around them.  They sat on a street corner trying to catch their breath, not one of them saying a word.

Clack, clack, clack.  The sound reappeared.  They couldn’t tell where it came from.  The fog was playing with the sound.  The coffin could have been anywhere.  Clack, clack, clack.  The looked in all directions but couldn’t see anything.  One of the kids pointed at a home that was mostly built.  Maybe they could hide there.  Clack, clack, clack.  Slowly and quietly they made their way to the home.  Clack, clack, clack.  As they approached the entrance, they looked around one last time to make sure they weren’t being seen.  Then darted into the home. Clack, clack, clack.  Clack, clack, CLACK.

The boys looked out the window.  It was like a different world out there in the fog.  Bits of the world would reappear only to become hidden once again.  It seemed like an eternity had passed without hearing the coffin.  The boys relaxed and sat under the windowsill.  They began to take stock of their surroundings.  In addition to the main entrance, there was a stairwell going up and an entrance to another room.

One of the boys closed his eyes and clasped his hands in a shaky attempt at prayer.  The other two followed suit.  Reciting whatever prayers they had from church or the TV.  CLACK!! The noise jolted them upright and from the other room they saw the coffin waiting for the boys.  In a panic they tried to scramble out the front entrance only to realize that somehow it had become blocked.  Their only path was up the stairs, and they scrambled in a mad dash toward the upper floor.

The upstairs wasn’t finished; there were straight drops down to the ground, but it was too far for the kids.  They were stuck at the end of the stairs with nowhere to go. CLACK, CLACK, CLACK.  It was coming for them.  CLACK, CLACK, CLACK.  They could see it coming up the stairs now. CLACK, CLACK, CLACK.  Halfway up the stairs, the boys were terrified.  CLACK, CLACK, CLACK.

The coffin was in front of them at the top of the stairs, slowly it made its way towards the boys.  “Wait!!”, one of the boys exclaimed.  “I know what to do!”.  He reached into his coat pocket, pulled something out, and pointed it at the coffin.  It stopped dead in its tracks.  He kept his item in front of him as he waved his two friends by.  They made it out the house, and the coffin never followed them as they ran the rest of the way home.

The next morning, the kids got together and they asked the one boy what he did to help them get free.  He reached into his coat once again and brought it out.  “Luden’s!”, he said with a smile on his face.  “It stops the coffin.”

And you thought it was going to be a Michael Jackson joke. Shame on you.

Let’s Hear It for the Hair!

Several months ago, while writing the Savvy Shopper blog for ShopCompanion on The Shopping Vine, approached me and asked me to become a VIP Reviewer. If you’re crazy for hair — and yes, I am — you might already know that this was an exciting opportunity. At Folica, it’s “all about the hair”, and they feature many of the best hair products available at very good prices. The concept is easy: Folica sends you products, and you write a good review. You keep the products or free, and they get better product content! That’s the win-win result I love, from either perspective.

Croc Greenion Flat Iron

Croc Greenion Flat Iron

Here’s an example, my detailed review for the Croc Greenion Flat Iron. As you can see from the review, Folica’s write-up field does have a few issues with odd characters and formatting (it didn’t like the degree symbol). However, the review was a blast to write! Previously, I’d written a handful of less-than-enthusiastic reviews about the France Luxe line of hair accessories, so I was a bit concerned that a few negative ratings might affect my chances of writing for them in the future.(Note: they weren’t all negative; I loved the France Luxe Stacked Crystal Bobbie Pins and the Triple Strand Pearl Headwrap!)

It turns out that I had nothing to worry about — Folica contacted me again for reviews about more complex products. The trick to this, it seems, is to write up a few, then leave them alone for a while. Give them a few months to cycle through their long list of other VIP Reviewers eager to try something new. Then send your contact a note and remind them that you’d love to write for them again.

France Luxe Stacked Crystals Bobbie Pins

France Luxe Stacked Crystals Bobbie Pins

France Luxe Triple Strand Pearl Headwrap

France Luxe Triple Strand Pearl Headwrap

I found that mentioning specific products — even those without reviews — doesn’t influence their choices when they send you a box full of goodies. They know what they need, and they’ll send what they think needs featuring, so mention products you’d like to try if you wish, but enjoy testing the products you get — and you will!

If you’d like to become a VIP Reviewer, they’re still accepting applications at the page on Facebook. Just fill out a fairly quick form, and they’ll contact you when they’re ready for your reviews.

Have you been a VIP Reviewer for Folica? Tell us about your experiences!

FOX Changes Online Streaming Access

Behind the Streaming Curtain

This season, FOX pulls a few of my favorite series behind a curtain, making the latest episodes available online for immediate viewing only if you have a subscription to DISH Network. These shows include Fringe with John Noble, as well as Glee, the runaway musical hit. Don’t have DISH? Wait eight days for the latest episode to unlock, then catch it before it expires, generally 45 to 60 days after it originally aired.

This isn’t the first network to delay episode streaming by a week or so; The CW kept streaming viewers a week behind on shows like Supernatural and Smallville, which worked out well enough as long as your coworkers didn’t talk about it. The temptation of spoilers balanced by the anticipation of surprises — this was the CW episode stream.

However, FOX finds a curious compromise between near-instant gratification, as all shows streamed the day after they aired, and a reward system for those who already pay for programming:

“If you have an account with DISH Network you can be among the first to watch the most recently aired episodes on Otherwise, full episodes are available for viewing 8 days after the airdate. This is true wherever full episodes of FOX shows appear online.”

You’re not with DISH, but still want to stream today’s episode… tomorrow? Send FOX your e-mail address for an update as soon as they add your content provider to their access list. Meanwhile, you’re waiting for the episode to unlock with everyone else (or watching it on TV, of course).

What do you think of the new streaming curtain at FOX?