Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Fear of Death

Since zombies are the most loathsome of dead things, some people have asked me if I have a fear of death. While I do have a healthy fear of the living dead, as such fears tend to prolong the life, I do not have a fear of death. I think this is crucial if heading into a battle where your betrayal of the humankind depends solely on whether or not you fear death.

The likelihood of becoming infected, especially in a post-necropalyptic world, is extremely high. In order to prevent your corpse from joining the hordes of the undead (which you had previously been fighting), you will literally have to bite the bullet and look death in the face. This is an honorable death, where your corpse will not be a burden (or threat) to the remaining survivors. Do not confuse it with suicide (which is the coward's way out). Technically, you're dead the moment you get infected, you are merely preventing more deaths.

In this pre-apocalyptic state, there is still some time to prepare yourself mentally for this inevitability. To be an effective member of the resistance, you have to resolve to take on the responsibility of your remains and whether or not they become reanimated.

This is the way of the zombie hunter...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Dead Rising

I have finally, mostly, recovered from my trip to Manhattan. I have to admit that being back in the rural midwest truly feels much safer (from zombies), at least I can have some time to evaluate the situation should the menace strike...
However, while in New York I had an opportunity to finally play Dead Rising. Since nothing in the world could convince me to walk around during that sickening ode to consumerism, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, I decided to rent Dead Rising, and decide if it can be used as a training simulation. The answer is no.

The problems with Dead Rising as a training game
1. The zombies do not require severe head damage to die. Granted, enough damage to any type of body should immobilize it, a couple of strikes with a baseball bat (irregardless of where they land) are enough to "kill" the zombies of Dead Rising. Moreover, a single gunshot to the head is not necessarily enough to stop a zombie.
2. If you are bitten, you don't get the zombie virus, your health just goes down (and can be brought back up by drinking a gallon of orange juice- without fear of a diabetic coma). There is no fear of the contagion, and armor upgrades seem to be for aesthetic reasons only.
3. The weapons break too quickly. A lead pipe is not going to be useless after attacking a zombie ten times. The lead pipe will seriously outlast a good chunk of the zombie threat.
4. Some of the most effectual weapons are the least plausible. For example, a park bench can be used to sweep 5-6 zombies aside (also killing them). How many people can wield a park bench? Although, the lawn mower was pretty cool.
5. Finally, movement logistics. The biggest challenge I had in the game was picking up and not dropping weapons. In real life, picking up a lead pipe would not be an extremely difficult task requiring repeated references to the gaming manual. Also running in a specific direction would normally require little thought, but in Dead Rising, I have to make sure that I am aimed in the right direction and that my camera is providing me a view of the direction I'm heading in. This last complaint is probably the most revealing of my video-gaming capabilities, but also is probably the biggest difference between attacking a horde of zombies in the simulacrum versus the real world.

All in all, Dead Rising is an entertaining game, however, time would probably be better spent preparing for the zombie menace by working out and arms training (not trying to figure out how to shift to the crosshairs perspective). Other reviews are welcome.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

New York and the Evil Dead

Evil Dead: the Musical was fantastic! If you are going to be in New York it is definitely worth a visit. Granted, it has its flaws when considered in the scope of zombie defense training, since these are not true representations of zombies. Yet the humor found in the situation is truly inspiring. I hope that when I am fighting legions of the undead, I can reflect back on Evil Dead: the Musical and remember the good times.

In other news, as we discussed in the environmental posts, the urban terrain of Manhattan is absolutely the worst possible environment for disabling hordes of zombies. There are way too many people (and at times, non-zombies seem to have very zombie-like behavior... suspicious)and way too many hiding places. Still, as long as the zombie apocalypse is not immediately immenient, New York is worth a visit purely to see Evil Dead: the Musical.

Monday, November 20, 2006

New York zombie extermination

I am going to New York, New York tomorrow, as part of my pilgramage to see Evil Dead: The Musical. Yes, this is an important part of my zombie defense training. Yes, I will scope out the city to see if I have any additional input of city defense (especially relevant to our recent discussion of Urban vs. Rural). Yes, I will keep an eye out for any possible zombie activity. And, yes, I will eliminate any zombies I find.
So I might be a little light on the posting for the rest of the week, but don't worry, it's not from succombing to the zombie threat.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Rural Defense continued

I definitely have to agree with Grand 'Poon's comments. Farmland is the way to go. Even if all of the livestock have escaped or been eaten by previous groups, you're likely going to be able to find produce of some sort. Just don't lock yourself in the basement of the farmhouse (we've learned our lesson from Night of the Living Dead).

Using the terrain to your advantage as a lookout is also a good idea (unless your in Iowa or southern Illinois). By using a hill as a lookout post instead of a building as you would in a urban setting, you enable a much safer escape path because of clear visibility in all directions.

So good advice, Grand 'Poon

In one last shameless promotion (for awhile, anyway)... I added T-shirts to the online store:

Zombie Defense Training Store

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Rural Defense

Wozgog! I was wondering where you were... hoping you weren't swallowed up by the zombie menace, or even worse, having fallen into the depths of non-belief...

I have to agree with your comments. Having grown up a rural girl, I feel fairly confident in my ability to navigate and survive a more natural terrain. In regards to your concerns, research has shown that the zombie virus is non-communicable by animals other than humans. Though they can become infected, the virus will simply kill the non-human subject. The nature of the mutation that kills non-humans always prevents non-humans from transferring the virus to humans. So good news, in kind of a horrible way. At least animals don't have to suffer the horror of their kin resurrecting and trying to eat them.

In other news, I've added a bumper sticker to my online store, Zombie Defense Training Shop:

I hope to get some more stuff up this weekend. Remember, I don't see a bit of profit, and these products are intended purely to inform the masses of the impending threat.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Urban or Wild: Part Two

As promised, the second installment of which environment is superior during a zombie apocalypse?:

The Wilderness

1. Less people equals less zombies
2. The terrain is naturally more difficult for the balance-challenged undead
3. It is much more difficult to be cornered as there are no corners; you can always outrun a zombie
4. The abundance of wildlife makes for a good zombie alert system
5. Depending on the area (particularly, if the population is very into hunting), the people may be better hunters

1. If you're not good at hunting, you'd better get good quickly... food will be sparse
2. Unless you happen upon some hardcore survivalist (who's been stockpiling), weapons are not going to be readily available. If you do happen upon said hardcore survivalist, chances are, he or she is not going to help you out.
3. Climate varies drastically by area, unless you're in a fairly temperate climate (i.e. around the equator), you're going to be lugging around layers of clothing

Again, please weigh in with your opinions.
I think it might be best to set out a rural outpost with supplies, so you get the best of both worlds: supplies and terrain. Or at the very least stock up and load up the car the night of the zombie explosion and get out on the road. That's my plan anyway.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Urban or Wild: Part One

Because of my bad typing hand (and shooting hand) this will be a two part installment to answer Justin's question of which landscape is superior to fighting zombies, urban or wilderness?

Today, we discuss the Urban terrain:

1. Abundance of foodstuffs: grocery stores, corner stores, people's apartments/homes
2. Abundance of weaponry and ammo: sporting goods stores, depending on the area, gun stores, probably the previously mentioned corner stores...
3. Abundance of first aid supplies: available at hospitals, but also pharmacies, police/fire stations
4. Abundance of vehicles which can make escape easy, if necessary
5. Likelihood of finding other survivors, due to denser populations

1. Aforementioned denser population means more zombies... lots more...
(This is a big con in my opinion)
2. There will be more competition for resources, and possible group collisions
3. Shelter may be more problematic, as lack of natural defenses will lead to the setting up of barricades, which, as we all know, can become death traps
4. Likelihood of government sectioning off city and nuking it to destroy zombie menace (this depends of the state of government post-necropalypse)

These are just a few things I can think of, off hand, please post any pros or cons you may have.
Tomorrow, part two!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Evil Dead... the Musical!

Ok, my hand is still destroyed, so enjoy this instead of a post...

Evil Dead- The Musical

I'm seeing it later this month!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Hand Troubles

My finger/hand is just sprained, not broken (or should I say, not broken enough to do anything about).
I have to keep it splinted for about three weeks, or until I get sick of the splint and "lose" it.
In the meantime, I'll have to learn to shoot left-handed.

(Mental note: must stop injuring my hands)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Zombie Nightmare

After my post yesterday about the subtle states of zombiism, and had my worst zombie dream ever. Let's make one thing clear... I have zombie dreams every night. When you spend everyday trying to prepare for the zombie menace, the menace integrates itself into every aspect of your life. That being said, this was one of those dreams where I wasn't kicking ass.

As I described in my last post, the first of wave of the zombie menace will be less detectable because of lack of public knowledge. This is exactly what happened in my subconscious vision of the future. I was caught up in a hysterical suburbia. My prepared fortress was inaccessible, and my machete was nowhere to be found. I was trying to defend myself with a steak knife with an unsupportive group that would soon crumble from infighting. On top of it all, I got bit trying to protect my half-assed group (that will teach me). I wanted to fight until the bitter end, but I couldn't get any reassurances that I would be put down when the time came.

So, I would say that I have some definite insecurities about what the apocalypse will bring. Hopefully, I will have another of my much-more-fun zombie destroying dreams tonight.

In other news, I might have broken my finger, typing is difficult. It's my trigger finger, so this could be problematic...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Zombie Appearance

The public perception of zombies will make visual identification of zombies difficult in the earlier stages of the zombie apocalypse. As evidenced by "zombie lurches" and related halloween events, when people emulate zombies, they do so in the most graphic, gory sort of way. Think of most zombie movies, the zombies that most memorable are the most dilapidated.

However, during the beginning of the zombie uprising, most of the zombies will appear normal. Early on, before the masses have become informed, the virus will likely spread by bites. The only damage a person may take from a zombie may be a bite or a scratch, as the zombie will quickly be restrained and unable to further its feast. The virus will spread quickly as seemingly normal people (who are, in fact, infected) go "untreated". The lack of quick, lethal response, will allow the virus to spread even further, as infected individuals succumb to the virus, and rise again in a relatively unscathed state.

Thus, the first big wave of the undead will be unlike the zombie stereotype. Other than being room temperature, they will probably not look much different than the average living citizen. Vacant stare, shambling pace, lack of purpose: these are all qualities rampant in the living. It's only when they try to eat you that the distinction becomes clear(er).

Vigilance is the zombie hunter's primary weapon. Don't rely on a bloody trail of innards to help you distinguish zombies from the living. Subtlety is the virus' mode of transportation; it is how an infestation becomes an apocalypse.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

A pensive moment

I haven't posted in the last couple of days because I've been having a rather introspective week about being a zombie hunter. (I also messed up my hands pretty badly over the last week... typing has been a little difficult). In this time, I've been asking all the important questions:

1. What does it mean to be a zombie hunter (especially in this pre-apocalyptic state)?
2. Is is possible to be fully prepared without having been exposed to a single zombie?
3. Given these questions, how can one convince others of the zombie threat in earnest?

Unfortunately, I don't have any definite answers to these questions (and many others) but I think that they are crucial to consider. I don't even know if there is a single answer to these questions, but I hope that thinking about them will enlighten my daily practice of zombie defense training.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Grand 'Poon Interview

The lovely people at Grand 'Poon (who occasionally post here) have interviewed me for my perspective on the zombie menace. I agreed, as a major part of my stance on zombies involves getting information out. Hopefully, this interview will cause a few more people to prepare themselves against the undead threat. Check it out:

Grand 'Poon Zombie Defense Interview

Regarding Lyz's question from yesterday (and I paraphrase), "is it appropriate to call in sick, if the undead are at your workplace?":

If the undead are overrunning your workplace, chances are, your work doesn't expect you to be there. The more likely scenario is that someone (who is very dedicated) has become infected and chooses to come to work. If you notice that a co-worker (or child- in the case of teaching) is infected or in a pre-zombie state, you may want to pull them aside, explain what is happening, and offer to put them out of their soon-to-be cannibalistic misery. If they resist, lock them in a broom closet.

Personally, I probably wouldn't call in sick because I like to be proactive against the zombie menace. Therefore, I would take whatever precautions I could to isolate and destroy the zombie virus before it reaches an apocalyptic state. I don't think I could do this on my own, but, hopefully, I would set an inspiring example.

Besides, who doesn't want to take out that seriously annoying coworker that makes your work-life a living hell? Once they're a zombie, of course.