Saturday, June 30, 2007

Next Big Investment

I managed to get my hands on a police/military catalog. In there I discovered my next big investment against the zombie threat. Behold, virtually zombie-proof, riot gear:

At nearly $600 this particular purchase is a ways away (plus I think you actually need to be a police officer to order it).

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Damn Jinxes

As usual, my burgeoning hubris is punished by the fates.
Specifically, fate was responding to my last post, where I assert that my kicks have gotten stronger and more threatening due to the added muscle mass from running. As a result of my almost bragging, I was punished by spraining/severely bruising my foot. My favorite kicking foot to be exact.

It happened during a round of light contact sparring. Oddly, I don't think it was because of a poorly aimed kick, but rather because of a combination of having my foot stepped on combined with being on the receiving end of a takedown. Which leads me to my next point:

I've been doing more practice sparring lately, which I think has helped prepare me (at least mentally) for actual fighting (zombies or otherwise). If anything, this injury has taught me to be more conscientious of my body (and my feet) and my proximity to my opponent. Granted, sparring with a person and fighting a zombie are very different things. However, I believe that if I can improve my skills while sparring with people, this will greatly improve my zombie fighting skills.

All superstitious beliefs aside, this incident has also taught me not to become comfortable with my abilities, because there is always room for improvement.

Monday, June 25, 2007

I'm going the distance

Apparently, my muscles haven't atrophied as much as I thought they had in my time shirking my responsibilities. Since my return to the life of a zombie hunter, I've been running regularly (usually six days a week, and between five and seven miles a day). Today I was able to run seven miles without stopping (ok, except at traffic lights; cars are much faster and harder than zombies and therefore worth avoiding). I accomplished this in a little over an hour. This means that, provided I am not surrounded, I should be able to put a fair amount of ground between me and the zombie crowd in order to prepare a counter attack.

An unexpected positive that has come from all this running is that the additional muscle I've built up makes my kicks brutal. Even though my training has dictated that my kicks should be driven by my weight, the added muscle has certainly lent itself to clobbering my enemy (currently the punching bag and poor guy stuck holding a focus pad). With some steel-toe boots (or steel toe tabi) I should be able to take out a zombie with my feet alone.

The downside to all this running is that my metabolism has shot up, and I need to drink more water, more regularly. While this isn't a problem now, when supplies are scarce, it definitely could be an issue. Maybe I should invest in some water purification tablets and freeze-dried food (in addition to my home-base supplies of bottled water and canned food)...

In other news, check out this webcomic, The Zombie Hunters,

Friday, June 22, 2007

Zombie Hunter for Hire

You may remember my attempts to gain and retain employment during my brief period of "normalcy" when I neglected my duties as a zombie hunter. Unfortunately, the need for an income has pursued me in my return to fighting the good fight. One cannot pay the rent on a desire to save the human race from the undead threat (unfortunately).

One of the plot devices that I always enjoyed in the run of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is the fact that Buffy cannot live a normal life due to her duties as the Slayer. One of the normal aspects which she had special difficulties with was getting and retaining a job (especially in Season 6).

Now I'm not going to claim that my life is anywhere close to that of Joss Whedon's slayer. Far from it. I have neither the supernatural powers, nor the perfect hair. However, there is a certain resonance in that my training as a zombie hunter has left me with a unique skill set that makes finding gainful employment a little tricky.

As I continue to work on my resume (and try to find an artful way of stating, "Able to brain a ghoul from thirty yards"), I'm holding out for the necropalypse before the rent situation becomes desperate.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Massachusetts and Rhode Island

I just got back from a trip to Rhode Island via Massachusetts. I spent a good chunk of time in both Boston and Providence, and it yielded surprising results.

First off, let me say that this is my first time visiting both locations. I imagined that it would be something like New York, being that all these cities are on the East coast (excuse my broad generalizations). Of course, Boston and Providence were totally different. Obviously, they were a lot less busy and intense than New York, but most shocking was the complete obliviousness to the zombie menace (again, a generalization drawn from a select group of people that I interacted with). It seems to me that cities so old (at least in terms of the United States) should have a much larger preoccupation with the supernatural. Not that zombies are supernatural, but they are often lumped in that category, and this is how most people become informed about zombies. But I've never really encountered a large group of people that didn't even know what a zombie was.

Needless to say, I had to brush up on my public speaking skills, and start informing the masses in my short trip. I think I made a little headway, but most people were dismissive. I can only hope that my sermons on the impending threat sunk into the people's subconscious, and that they will become the future army against the undead... the East Coast Line of Defense, if you will.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Zombies and Fire

No matter how you look at it, zombies and fire are a bad combination; here's why:
Zombies (unlike humans) do not feel pain. So fire is not a deterrent in the same sense that it would be for a human. It doesn't initiate any kind of avoidance on the part of the zombie. Of course, it will have the same physical effect on a zombie as it would a human, the zombie will deteriorate at an accellerated rate due to combustion. In other words, you will have a big, stinky, charred zombie mess. Ultimately, this is not a bad thing. It is what happens in the interim that is problematic.

Since the fire will not cause hesitation on the part of the zombie, the zombie will continue to remain mobile, until the fire destroys said mobility. This means that the zombie has the potential to spread the fire, to the surroundings and perhaps back to you (and you don't want to put "stop, drop, and roll" to the test when trying to escape from a zombie). So if this zombie is in or near combustible materials you have the potential to become trapped by the fire (which humans should avoid).

The second, and perhaps more important reason, not to use fire is because of the attention is draws. Specifically, zombie attention. If you're on a non-zombie-populated, deserted island, fire works really good for signalling. However, zombies are drawn to movement, and a flaming, stumbling zombie in the dead of night surely qualifies as movement.

This is not to say that fire can't be used under controlled circumstances. Fire is very good at disposing of zombie corpses and limiting the possibility for contamination. But steps need to be taken to ensure that the fire does not spread, nor does it attract attention. But fire should not be used as a weapon against zombies.

On a incredibly unrelated side note, a friend sent me a link for this zombie t-shirt, which I think is a really nice design, and it might serve its purpose if you're ever caught in a zombie situation and your mind draws a complete blank. Plus it gets bonus points for a cool picture:

Design by Olly Moss, available at

Monday, June 11, 2007

The burden of proof

One problem with being a zombie hunter in a mostly zombie-free world is that no one believes you when you try to save the world by warning everyone about the zombie menace. This is a tough burden to bear because there is no real proof of the impending threat. Oh sure, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence. Or evidence that my insinuate a zombie situation. But no hard proof. I chalk this up to some sort of over-reaching conspiracy to keep the public complacent. Regardless of the reasoning behind the lack evidence, the zombie hunter still has to convince people of the threat in spite of hard proof.

So how does one do this?
I think the best response is to lead by example. My (occasionally wavering) faith that the human race is doomed to perish by undead hands leads me to behave in a certain way. As far as I can tell there is absolutely no major drawbacks for preparing for this inevitable doom. I am physically fit (despite my potato chip indiscretions), capable of defending myself and others, and have a much more expansive knowledge of science, particularly in the field of biology. Yeah, I do get the occasional wayward glance, and mother shielding her child from my presence, but for the most part, many people are more than willing to engage in a conversation about the necropalypse. This doesn't mean that I convince everyone I talk to, but I like to think that I plant the seed for understanding the zombie threat. Maybe the person in question just dismisses me as a crazy (and I'm okay with that), but maybe on some subconscious level they start to fear the undead menace and take some of the necessary precautions (even if it is only a subconscious level). At the very least I hope that our conversation has caused the other person to be suspicious of any moaning they hear and lurching they see.

I'll put the question to anyone reading this: How do you deal with being a zombie hunter in a (mostly) zombie-less world?

Friday, June 08, 2007


As I mentioned in my previous post, perhaps the best scene in 28 Weeks Later is the opening scene. Part of what makes this scene so good is the extremes of emotions covered in such a short amount of time. Robert Carlyle's character goes from a loving exchange with his wife, to making the decision to abandon her to save his own life, to running for his life. For me the running part was especially terrifying. The mindless hordes of the 28 [time demarcation] series are fast moving. Since they aren't actually zombies, this speed is entirely plausible. However, this makes them that much more scary. If zombies could move as quickly as the "infected", we (as in the human race) would be totally screwed. Luckily, zombies cannot move this quickly, even if they are freshly reanimated. Contrary to the terror of this opening scene, it actually drove home the fact that our speed is our best tool to fight the zombies.

With this in mind I've resumed a regular running schedule. The ability to do an all-out sprint (like Robert Carlyle) can be invaluable when trying to escape a closing in zombie horde, however, this situations will (hopefully) be few and far between. Rather, endurance is the name of the game. I quote Max Brooks:

"The fact that a zombie will never stop, never tire, and will shamble after you until you drop dead from exhaustion is what keeps me up at night." (

You need to be able to outrun a zombie, and continue to outrun until you can put together an effective counterattack. Think of running as buying time. I want to be able to access levels of endurance that will give me the necessary time to fight back. So with that in mind, I'm trying to run several miles each day, with the goal of increasing both my speed and distance so that I will have sufficient endurance when the necropalypse rolls around.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

28 Weeks Later... whatever

So I finally got around to seeing 28 Weeks Later. Even though it is not a zombie film (because, as I've outlined before, the infected are not actually dead, or rather undead), I figured it deserved a closer look. (Slight Spolier Warning Here) The first film, 28 Days Later, was pretty good, not because it dealt with zombies, but rather because it dealt with the problems that arise from structural breakdowns in society, and the inherent flaws in human behaviors. (This is also the same reason the malls didn't work in previous films in which they were used as strongholds. Not because of architectural flaws but rather human flaws). As a result, what could have been a slash 'em/eat 'em film was a surprising look at what defines us as human, and how easily that line is blurred in a chaotic situation.

Unfortunately, none of this nuance was present in the second film. There were some interesting concepts that were introduced, particularly the idea of a genetic anomaly that can adapt the "rage virus" (couldn't they have changed the name to something less stupid-sounding?) allowing the individual to continue to behave normally, but isolating them because of the disease they carry. However, this idea is merely a thinly-disguised plot device to give the characters motive to defend the main characters (they're already the only children... do you really need another reason?). The film just ends up being a countdown to evacuate the city. I'm sorry to say that Resident Evil:Apocalypse already covered this territory, and 28 Weeks Later made no attempts to improve on this drivel. The real tragedy is that the movie started off with serious emotional weight... namely the moral question of whether or not to "save yourself". There was such promise that this movie would live up to the precedent set by 28 Days Later, but instead this anticipation makes the whole experience all that much more disappointing.

Of course, there is always the possibility that Resident Evil: Extinction will have some redeeming qualities, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Zombie Survival and Defense Wiki

I would like to take this opportunity to direct you to the Zombie Survival and Defense Wiki. This is a growing resource for those preparing to survive the necropalypse. Seeing as how there are more and more people becoming aware of the impending zombie threat, resources like this wiki give people valuable tools for their preparations.
So check out the Zombie Survival and Defense Wiki and add to their growing anit-zombie database.

Friday, June 01, 2007


I was at the mall yesterday, perhaps because of residual slackerness from the previous month. Regardless, the association between malls and zombies weighed heavily on my mind. Not so much because of the social implications (which are very present) but because of the continued representation of the mall as an urban stronghold.

It is easy to be dismissive of the mall simply because of its prevalence in pop culture representations of the zombie menace. Sort of an "of course that wouldn't work in real life" reaction that stems from being presented on film. However, once I was actually in the mall and able to observe its architecture, and moreover, the flow that said architecture dictated over the abundant crowds, I realized that the mall could, in fact, be a possible safe house. The modular aspect of the mall which so facilitates consumerism, would work spectacularly in a necropalypse situation. Areas could be designated and contained, especially in cases of quarantine, and waste management. Most malls are spacious enough to sustain a larger group and prevent cabin fever over prolonged periods of time. This large space (which necessitates certain security scrutiny and maintenence) could be used to promote exercise throughout the apocalypse, create green spaces, but perhaps most of all represents a space in which it is difficult to be cornered by the zombie horde.

Witness the Urban Ninja who clearly demonstrates the versatility of the mall space especially in an escape situation. I'm not suggesting that everyone is capable of such feats; I know I'm not (though I can tell you what I'll be practicing if I have to spend the necropalypse in a mall).

In fact, I might go out an try some of those moves now, while the health care system is still intact.