Fight the Bite, Part 2: The First Class

The first part of this post series, my interview with The Forge instructor and Fight the Bite organizer Tim, was published on Monday.
Note: this is a sponsored post; while In Case of Survival was not paid for this series of posts, I did receive a significant discount on the class because of it.
Also note: this post is long, yo.
On October 22, I attended the first part of the two-part Fight the Bite zombie apocalypse survival/self-defense workshop. The classes are put on by The Forge Western Martial Arts and held at Dynamic MMA in Calgary.
If you’re wondering if I willingly went to a class where I get my ass kicked, the answer would be yes. But! It’s for a good cause! No, not for ICoS. I mean, yes, it’s good that I’m writing these posts, but it’s also good because if a zombie ever comes after me, I know what to do to get away and, you know, run like hell out of there.
You may be wondering how I know I can get away from a zombie. I mean, in theory I shouldn’t know that unless there were actual zombies around, and aside from a few bath salt-induced zombiefication, there aren’t any. Right? Well, yeah. In theory. But lucky for us students, The Forge happened to have some pet zombies on hand, so it was all good.
Let me back up and start from the beginning. After all, the pet zombies didn’t come out of their cages until we’d learned a couple things.
Continue reading “Fight the Bite, Part 2: The First Class”

Fight the Bite: Interview with The Forge Western Martial Arts

At Calgary Horror Con, I met Tim, one of the instructors at The Forge Western Martial Arts. They were promoting Fight the Bite, a zombie apocalypse survival/self-defense workshop. Of course, I was interested. I mean, zombies! Martial arts! Swords! What more do you need?
Note that this is a sponsored post; I was able to take this course at a heavily discounted rate because of my posts here at ICoS.
Hi Tim! Welcome to In Case of Survival! And thank you for letting me take your course and pick your brain (though not at the same time, heh).
We at In Case of Survival would like to learn more about you, your martial arts school, and your course. We’ve got some questions for you (because of course we do, lol). Here they are!
1. What is western martial arts, exactly? How long have you studied it?
Western martial arts (also known as Historical European Martial Arts or HEMA) is the study of combat principles and techniques from ancient European sources. A lot of people think that the Europeans didn’t really have a martial art and simply bashed away at each other with heavy metal swords. This is not the case, there were a number of very complex combat systems that were taught and practiced “back in the day”. These combat arts died out with the advent of gun powder and firearms, but not all was lost as instructors from that time wrote down their teachings with detailed illustrations in what are commonly referred to as “Fechtbuchs” or Fight Books. These manuals detailed their techniques and principles of combat. So, when some guy who has survived over 30 duels to the death with a sword has something to say – I’m going to listen! Over the past 20 or so years there has been a renaissance of sorts wherein these ancient manuscripts have been translated, studied, and their knowledge is now being taught as a living, breathing martial art. We focus on striking, grappling / wrestling, knives, and swordsmanship.
I have been a martial artist for 32 years and have been practicing Western Martial Arts for the better part of 8 years.
2. Tell us about The Forge Western Martial Arts. When did it open? Who are the instructors? What are classes like (ie. are there different levels, like in Karate or Tae Kwon Do)? Are there a lot of western martial arts schools?
The Forge is the Calgary chapter of a larger organization called The Academy of European Swordsmanship that has it’s head chapter in Edmonton and an affiliated group in Madison, WI. The Calgary group was started by a group of us approximately 5 years ago. We used to be quite small, only 6 or so students, but over the past year and a half we’ve grown to a school of 30+ practitioners. It’s worth noting that we are not-for-profit organization. We do this because we love it!
There are three main instructors; myself – Tim Holter; As mentioned previously I have 32 years worth of martial arts experience and hold high ranking belts in Tae Kwon Do, Shaolin Kempo, and a combat form called Combatto Libero (Mixed Martial Art style that combines Muay Thai kickboxing with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu). I’m also a certified KAPAP (Israeli martial art) instructor. My main partner in crime is Mark Winkelman who, along with WMA, practices Japanese sword arts – Kageryu battojutsu and Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu kenjutsu. We also have John who is a 13 year vet of the police service who volunteers his time to assist with unarmed instruction, self defence, and urban survival.
The classes generally run 2.5 hours long. We focus on combat conditioning, armed combat and unarmed combat in each class. A typical class would involve a warm up stretch, followed by cardio conditioning, then working on our combat techniques. Generally we would start with armed combat (either longsword, short sword, or knife) followed by unarmed (striking or wrestling) and then we finish the class off with sparring. Recently we have also started teaching urban survival as an interest class every other Tuesday.
We do have different ranking levels, but not to the extent of most Eastern-style martial arts. We have two paths for people to follow; the martial path wherein you can achieve rankings of Initiate, Savant, and Provost in the various armed and unarmed skill sets we practice. And we have an academic path where people can contribute to our overall body of knowledge by researching related topics, writing papers, etc. We have rankings in the academic path of Scholar and Sr. Scholar.
There currently are not a lot of WMA schools out there. There are four to my knowledge in Alberta – two in Edmonton and two here in Calgary. Of those only one is not affiliated to us. In Europe the art has progressed a lot further than it has here. And there are some rather large organizations in the US as well.
3. Let’s move on to the Fight the Bite course (because that’s why we’re all here, right?). Tell us about the class. Why did you decide to offer this workshop? Why use zombies? Do you find that zombies and the zombie apocalypse increases interest in the course?
Right! Let’s move on to Zombies!! Well the class is at it’s core is a self defence class. We will be covering key survival concepts like mind-set and situational awareness, as well as, the hard skills you need to defend yourself. We will be providing really basic hand-to-hand techniques that simply work if you need to defend yourself from the living or undead alike! Along with those unarmed skills we will be touching on some basic knife defences and an introduction to swords. See… if I can teach you how to effectively use a sword… well that translates nicely into how to use a baseball bat, broomstick, piece of rebar… you get the idea. And the best weapon is the one you have… not necessarily the one that’s hanging on your office wall! We will also provide an introduction to urban survival concepts – where to find water, how to get home in the case of a disaster… or Zombie Apocalypse!
Why a Zombie Survival course? Well I was originally putting together a self defence course for women, but had thought that the idea had been done to death (pun intended). I wanted to cover more topics (e.g. swords and urban survival) and reach a wider audience. Being a fan of the zombie genre – the idea just popped into my head! So, I designed the course around basic skills one could use to survive the zombie apocalypse and of course, your daily commute downtown! And to differentiate ourselves even further I have developed fun personas for our instructors and a background story. The course is being taught by The D.U.D.E.S. from The Forge: Western Martial Arts. D.U.D.E.S. standing for Dead / Undead Deanimation and Eradication Specialists. A group of bad ass mercenaries that quell zombie uprisings around the globe and now want to teach YOU how to survive!
I’m hoping that the use of Zombies will provide people with a unique and entertaining class wherein they’ll learn some real world skills. People always want new experiences… and this will be one of them!
4. What do students learn in the Fight the Bite course? For those who haven’t taken any survival or self-defense courses, can you tell us why those topics are important for people to know?
As stated previously we’ll be touching on a number of topics; survival mind-set, urban survival basics, striking basics, self defence (e.g. how to get away when that Zack grabs you by the arm!), a couple of knife defences (for that time when another survivor is trying to steal your stale cheezies), and wrapping up with armed combat focusing on sword techniques and improvised weapons. All of these skills will be applicable to your overall chances of surviving any kind of confrontation. Ideally knowing what to look for and being aware of your surroundings will first of all, allow you to avoid those bad situations. And if the situation can’t be avoided (hey… I thought the old lady was asking for help across the street… I didn’t realize she was a ZOMBIE!) you’ll have something to draw on to help you survive.
At the very end of the course you will be practicing what you’ve learn at a Zombie Smack Down! We’ll be setting up zombie-esque targets for students to wail away on with their go-to Zombie Apocalypse weapons… there will be blood!
5. Do you plan to offer the Fight the Bite course on a regular basis? Will it be offered on a weekend for those who live out of town?
I would love to make this course a regular offering, but it really depends on the public interest. Right now we don’t have plans to offer this past October. We would be willing to host a weekend course if there was enough interest.
6. Are you a prepper/survivalist? Or do you think it’s just a good idea to be prepared in general?
Can I say yes to both questions? 🙂 I think having some level of preparation just makes good sense whether you’re a “prepper” or not. Too many people are reliant on others to ensure their own safety and the safety of their loved ones. And we don’t have to look too far to see the results of little to no self reliance. The ’98 Quebec ice storm was a perfect example of people not being prepared and self reliant. Over 30 people lost their lives due to a STORM! We are statistically the most heavily insured population on the planet. We have hail insurance for our houses and cars, we have life insurance, we have collision insurance, the list goes on… but do you have enough food to feed your family for a few weeks if the trucks can’t get into the city and stock the shelves?
As to the self defence aspect of that question… I think everyone has the right to defend themselves and those they care about. Essential services do a great job of cleaning up and finding the bad guy AFTER the crime occurs. And of course there are great preventative programs out there trying to reduce crime, but lets be real. Things happen. And when seconds count… help is minutes away.
7. What do you think will be the most likely apocalypse? A slow and eventual decline of society? A sudden apocalyptic event? The zombie apocalypse? Evil space monkey pirates?
Have you ever seen “Idiocracy”? Watch that… I see that being the most likely scenario! 🙂
8. Zombies or vampires?
I want to be a Zombie-killing Vampire… that doesn’t sparkle in the sunshine! I’m allergic to sunlight and proud of it!
Thanks for the opportunity to talk about what we do here at The Forge!
Thank you, Tim, for taking the time to talk with me!
 

Zombie apocalypse parenting class: Part three

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been writing about the zombie apocalypse parenting class I took at Babes in Arms, a local baby store. Part 1 is here and Part 2 is here. This is the third and final installment to the post series.
Note: Babes in Arms gave me the complimentary seat in the class because I’m writing about it for ICoS.
 

COLD WEATHER PREP: FOR THOSE AWESOME MID-WINTER BLIZZARDS

 
So, okay. This class was held in Calgary. You know, in Alberta. Where it gets cold and snowy for six months of the year. (Yuck, I know, but such is life.) But since we live in a place where winter takes over for what seems like forever, we always have to be prepared for blizzards. Which are kinda like the hurricanes of the north, if you think about it. I mean, it gets windy, with ridiculous amounts of precipitation—though instead of being flooded out, you get snowed in. And instead of drowning or dying from heat stroke, you could freeze to death when the power goes out.
Either way, it’s pretty bad. And blizzards do happen. So, as always, it’s best to be prepared.
Continue reading “Zombie apocalypse parenting class: Part three”

Book review: Existence by David Brin

Existence book cover

Existence by David Brin

Release date: June 2012

Publisher: Tor

Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

Amazon blurb:

Bestselling, award-winning futurist David Brin returns to globe-spanning, high concept SF with Existence. 

Gerald Livingston is an orbital garbage collector. For a hundred years, people have been abandoning things in space, and someone has to clean it up. But there’s something spinning a little bit higher than he expects, something that isn’t on the decades’ old orbital maps. An hour after he grabs it and brings it in, rumors fill Earth’s infomesh about an “alien artifact.” 
Thrown into the maelstrom of worldwide shared experience, the Artifact is a game-changer. A message in a bottle; an alien capsule that wants to communicate. The world reacts as humans always do: with fear and hope and selfishness and love and violence. And insatiable curiosity.

Continue reading “Book review: Existence by David Brin”

The Last of Us Comic by Dark Horse

Dark Horse announced that they will be releasing the obligatory pre-release comic for the upcoming video game The Last of Us.
Naughty Dog, who brought us the Uncharted series, is known for not only innovative gameplay but also captivating storytelling.
The demo of the Last of Us that was shown at PAX this fall gave us a glimpse of what promises to be an expansive world in terms of scenery and characters. Even the NPCs clearly had motives aside from being violent obstacles.
Dark Horse is the perfect publisher for the comic book team-up with Naughty Dog as they’re the publisher known for stories. Their lineup is not the normal superhero fare, featuring the likes of Tom Morello’s post-apocalyptic Orchid, the Mass Effect comics, and Umbrella Academy.
There is no form to adhere to just a story to tell and a trained eye fro ensuring quality in the medium it’s told in.
I’m so excited for Ellie’s back story and this new, influential character.

Dark Horse announced that they will be releasing the obligatory pre-release comic for the upcoming video game The Last of Us.
Naughty Dog, who brought us the Uncharted series, is known for not only innovative gameplay but also  captivating storytelling.
The demo of the Last of Us that was shown at PAX this fall gave us a glimpse of what promises to be an expansive world in terms of scenery and characters. Even the NPCs clearly had motives aside from being violent obstacles.
Dark Horse is the perfect publisher for the comic book team-up with Naughty Dog as they’re the publisher known for stories. Their lineup is not the normal superhero fare, featuring the likes of Tom Morello‘s post-apocalyptic Orchid, the Mass Effect comics, and Umbrella Academy.
There is no form to adhere to just a story to tell and a trained eye fro ensuring quality in the medium it’s told in.
I’m so excited for Ellie’s back story and this new, influential character. Check out the press release for details:

The most anticipated video game of 2013, The Last of Us, comes to print with a comic series and an art book from Dark Horse Comics and Naughty Dog!
The Last of Us: American Dreams will be a four-issue series by TheLast of Us lead writer Neil Druckmann, with rising star Faith Erin Hicks (Zombies CallingFriends with BoysThe Adventures of Superhero Girl) as cowriter and artist.
Ellie, the heroine of The Last of Us, has grown up in a postpandemic world, shuttled between military orphanages in one of the last remaining quarantine zones and resigned to the fact that when she’s old enough, she’ll be channeled into the army or left to fend for herself—until she meets an older girl determined to find a third way out.American Dreams explores Ellie’s backstory and her first steps on the road that led her to her companion Joel.
The first issue of The Last of Us: American Dreams will appear in the spring of 2013.
The Art of The Last of Us, a deluxe hardcover exploring the characters, the infected humans, and the intricately realized world of the game, will launch in conjunction with the release of the game.

[More about The Last of Us]

Blood Zero Sky by J. Gabriel Gates

A prophetic glimpse into a chilling future dominated by two massive corporations, where systematic greed exploits the credit value of every citizen and endless productivity is the costly price for the lie called freedom. The only hope? A revolution is brewing in the America Division. . .
Unprofitables are banished to work camps to pay off their credit. Other tie-men and women look on apathetically. Fair is fair. Everyone knows you shouldn’t use more credit than you are worth to the Company. They turn their attention to the next repackaged but highly coveted N-Corp product on the market, creatively advertised on the imager screens that adorn virtually every available flat surface. All the while, their mandatory cross-implants and wrist-worn “ICs” keep them focused on the endless cycle of work and consumption to which they are enslaved.
May Fields—the CEO’s daughter—would like to believe she is above all that. Head of N-Corp’s marketing team, the young woman who has almost everything anyone could want spends her days dreaming up ingenious ways to make workers buy more of what they already have and don’t need. Even before May discovers that the Company is headed for its first loss in thirty years, she is feeling the stirrings of dissatisfaction with the system that has given her everything she’s ever wanted . . . except the freedom to be herself.
When she is kidnapped by a member of the Protectorate—a secret order dating back to the American Revolution—May is suddenly faced with the frightening truth of what the Company’s greed has done to our most basic human rights. Will she embrace who she is and join the battle to restore America’s democratic freedom, or put her blinders back on and return to her safe and passionless life?
Blood Zero Sky [1. provided free by HCI Books ] Is not an easy read, but it’s a book that should be read.
A powerful criticism of commercialism and coroporation interference in government, Blood Zero Sky  is also a very good read. It drags the reader on a roller-coaster ride, using prose and description effectively to truly bring home the unnatural state of the future.
It’s not perfect. I found it’s focus on America somewhat off-putting and alientating as a Brit – many of the concepts presented within Blood Zero Sky are uniquely American, and many of the things that were supposed to fill me with fear or horrified recognition meant nothing to me – and that lack of aplicability weakens to book.  At times, Blood Zero Sky slips into the didactic and the lecturing, which can be irritating when it gets in the way of the story. Also, I am a bit sick of rape being used as backstory or a plot point in dystopian or apocalyptic fiction, and rape is used that way here. It’s a small point of the narrative, however, and my distaste for it noted, I will leave the analysis of it to other book bloggers who may wish to tackle it, such as Requires Only That You Hate. Even with these flaws, I found the portrayal of a corporation-run future in Blood Zero Sky frightening and believable.
There is every chance that Blood Zero Sky will become a very controversial book. I can see many school districts wanting to ban it, as books like 1984 have been banned before it, although it’s focus on Christian faith may keep it in the good books of some. This is exactly why you should read it now.
Long story short, you should read Blood Zero Sky. Despite it’s flaws, it’s not only a well-written and readable book, it’s important. It deserves to sit up there with other great works of dystopian fiction.
[rating:5/5]

Hunger.

Let’s talk about hunger. You probably think you know what it is to be hungry, right? Your stomach growls, and you get more and more obsessed with food the longer you are unable to eat. But chances are (if our stats are correct) that you’re a person from a western, industrialised country who has never really expereinced proper hunger. You may have eaten crap for a day or two, or a week or two, or a month or two. You lived on beans while in university. You only have one or two proper meals a day while you’re on the dole. These all suck and leave you hungry.
But the thing is, that’s not proper hunger. Thats ‘wealthy, powerful country’ hunger. That’s not the hunger of having NO meals for the last week, of being forced into eating rubbish or rats or weeds from the garden. You’d turn your nose up at those, because even though you may be poor, there is still food available for you that isn’t that awful.
There won’t be when the end happens. Finding food will become more unlikely and fraught. Fussyness will not happen. Thee’ll come a point where you kill a rat and eat it – maybe even raw, because your hunger is now so intense that something that foul doesn’t matter to you.
I don’t say these things to scold or scare you, but to prepare you. Start letting go of your rich-country food prejudices. I’d still say avoid eating dogs and cats, because they’re invaluable for killing vermin and protecting you, but if feral dogs attack you, don’t waste the meat. Most things are edible, even if they taste bad, just remember that. Don’t let hunger drive you to it, accept it early on and it’ll be more easy to deal with.
See, the problem with not knowing what is actually edible and what isn’t, and allowing squeamishness to make your food decisions for you, is that in desperate situations you are then completely ignorant as to waht you can eat or not. Hunger my then drive you to poisonous berries and mushrooms, because you don’t know that dandelion leaves are perfectly fine (if bitter). It might drive you to eat your shoe leather because you can’t let go of the idea that, psot-apocalypse, your pet bunny is better as a source of meat than as something to cuddle.
Hunger. Don’t let it win.

Zombie apocalypse parenting class: Part Two

General Prep: Just Trying to Stay Alive

Note: This post is part two of the post series about the zombie apocalypse parenting class I attended at Babes in Arms Shop. Babes in Arms gave me a complimentary seat in the class.
All right, so, last time we covered the general overview. Now we’re getting into the nitty gritty. Face it—this is what we all need to know if we want to have a hope of surviving the apocalypse. Or a really bad blizzard. You know.
Now. Even though we may be parents trying to survive the post-apocalypse (or whatever disaster you may be facing), we would, first and foremost, still be people trying to survive. You know, we’d still need food, water, supplies—everything that non-parents would need to survive a world that has just gone to hell.
So, before you even think about what to put in that diaper bag for little Junior, think about what you’re going to put in your survival kit. Because if you don’t survive, neither will Junior.
Your 72 Hour Kit
The 72 hour kit is the bug-out bag of sorts. It’s got your food and supplies for the first three days—or more if you think you’ll be barricaded in your house for longer.
When you put your kit together, think about what you’ll need for those first three days. Lindsay at Babes in Arms has a long and detailed list of what you need in your kit. It’s a great list. You should find something like it.
However, for those of you who can’t get in touch with Lindsay or another prepper/teacher like her, here’s a basic list from the Government of Canada:
• Water (at least 2L per person per day)
• Non-perishable food, such as canned food, energy bars, and dried food (replace food and water once a year)
• Manual can-opener
• Crank or battery-powered flashlight (and batteries). Replace batteries once a year to make sure they work
• Crank or battery-powered radio (and batteries), or Weatheradio
• First aid kit
• Extra keys to your car and house
• Cash in smaller bills and change for payphones (Char’s note: I don’t know how easy it is to find payphones now, though, so while you may have change, you may not be able to use it)
• Copy of your emergency plan and contact info
• Prescription medication, infant formula, equipment for people with disabilities, food/water/medication for pets
• Additional water for cooking and cleaning (2L per person per day)
• Candles and matches or lighter
• Change of clothes and shoes for each family member
• Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each family member
• Toiletries
• Hand sanitizer
• Utensils
• Garbage bags
• Toilet paper
• Household chlorine bleach or water purifying tablets
• Basic tools (ie. hammer, pliers, screwdrivers, pocket knife)
• Whistle
• Duct tape
List from “Your Emergency Preparedness Guide” by the Government of Canada, pp 16-17
Lindsay made a good point: consider putting together a separate kit for your car or office. This one won’t be intended to get you through the first three days—that’s for your at-home 72 hour kit. Instead, this kit will be used to get you home.
After all, we can’t always assume the apocalypse will start when we’re at home. And it would seriously suck if you got stuck in your car (or worse, your office) with no supplies, but a fully-stocked emergency kit…at home. You know.
Food Storage
So. You’ve got all your food and water and all that good stuff for the apocalypse. Yay, you can eat! But if you don’t store it properly, it might go bad. Or rats or cockroaches or other fun stuff might decide to eat it for you.
Either way, it’ll be unpleasant for you. Moral of the story: store your food properly. To do this, make sure you keep canned, dried, or dehydrated food. And then store that non-perishable goodness in sturdy, tightly sealed, plastic buckets. Or Rubbermaid containers, whichever you prefer.
But! Don’t forget to put away spices and comfort food, for those days when you no longer want to eat canned beans. I’m just saying. (During the class, Lindsay also pointed out something called “appetite fatigue,” where you get so tired of eating the same thing, you just stop eating. Which will kill you. And that would totally defeat the point of all this survival preparedness you’re doing, now wouldn’t it? Exactly.)
Also, make sure you put a can opener in one of those buckets, because it would seriously suck if you cracked your food boxes open on one rainy apocalyptic day and realized you had no way to get into your food. Because they’re all canned. And you don’t have a can opener.
Make sure you put a water sterilization system in one of your food buckets. Because post-apocalyptic water just might kill you.
One more thing: make sure you have copies of all important documents in your survival kit, and have another set of copies at another location (ie. a friend or relative’s house). Have your documents, along with any survival plans and other notes, in a “survival binder.” Which is exactly what it sounds like: a 3-ring binder full of your survival stuff.
First Aid Kits
A very important part of your 72 hour kit/bug out bag/what have you will be your first aid kit. Well, okay, so all parts of your emergency kit will be important, but my point is, don’t neglect your first aid kit. After all, you don’t want to have enough food and water for three weeks, only to die from an infection you got from a paper cut, right? Because, wow. Holy irony, Batman.
Anyway. You can get wonderful—and wonderfully stocked—first aid kits from places like AMA (the Alberta Motor Association, not the American Medical Association, though they might sell first aid kits, too), Costco, and St. John’s Ambulance. Obviously these aren’t the only places you can get first aid kits, so buy yours wherever you feel most comfortable. Of course, you can always make your own. If you do, make sure you’ve got at least one (preferably more) of everything you can find in the most deluxe store-bought kit. The more the better, right? Especially when it comes to your health.
However, most first aid kits will always be missing something. Like, you know, medication. Sure, they might have an aspirin or two, but if you’re in serious pain, an aspirin isn’t going to do much. So make sure you put any medication you’ll need in your first aid kit. This means prescription medications, T3s, anti-inflammatories like prescription Voltaren, Percocet, etc. etc. Make sure they’re in your first aid now, because in an emergency situation, you’re not going to be able to run down to the pharmacy to get more.
If you use herbal or naturopathic remedies, make sure you’ve got a supply in your first aid kit as well. You’re not going to be able to go to your friendly neighborhood health and wellness to stock up on your herbal medication after the shit hits the fan. Well, you might, but it’ll definitely be more hazardous than it is now.
Also make sure you’ve got a defibrillator and a first aid book tucked away in your first aid kit. You never know when either of those could come in handy.
Oh, and, take a first aid course. Preferably a wilderness/backpacking one. This will get you the most prepared for emergency/survival first aid, and will probably be the next best thing to being a nurse or a doctor. (Also, it’ll be cheaper than going to med school. Hey, we’re all watching our wallets.)
And remember, in a post-apocalyptic situation, first aid will be a skill that can save your life. Those marauding bandits? Yeah, they get hurt too, and it’s a good bet they don’t want to die either. I mean, it’s why they go around stealing supplies and eating people. So when they stumble upon you and want to rape/kill/maim/eat you, make sure you scream “I KNOW FIRST AID!!!” as soon as possible, as loud as possible. Whatever saves your life, right?
Next week: the final post in the series! I’ll be talking about cold weather prep and survival parenting.

Colds and Flus and The Apocalypse, Oh My.

I’m sick. I have a cold. It’s loud and uncomfortable and I’m full of medicine.
How am I supposed to deal with a cold during the apocalypse? I can’t pile up pillows and alternate guzzling night and day medicine.
I should try some hippy apothecary shit while I have the chance but I really just want to sleep peacefully, breath without coughing, and not be in constant minor pain.
And speaking of noise, there is no way to hide someone coughing the way I’m coughing. There is almost no suppression for sale that can tame this noise.
Seriously, fuck this noise.
I’m the worst thing in the office and I’m sleeping on the couch to be polite.
One thing that has worked for me a bit that will be around post-apocalypse: honey. I put it in water or drink it straight from the bottle.
Most of the articles I’ve read discount the use of Zinc or echinacea to boost the immune system or combat colds, they also seem to agree that vitamin c can be helpful but is not a remedy or preventative. Boo. I guess I need a wizard and a spell book.
WebMD offers 8 Tips to Treat Colds and Flu the ‘Natural’ Way, a list that includes gargling with salt water and keeping the right fluids in and out of your body.
Do you know any solutions? Solutions to have handy in case of apocalypse.

STUFF redux

So, I have successfully moved house. I now live in a place that with only a small amount of work can become a reasonable fortress. I can even extend said fortressing to the whole neighbourhood. Awesome, I’m done.
But I started thinking about stuff. As suggested by my last few posts, I have a metric fuck-ton of STUFF. This isn’t even including the practical STUFF that most humans tend to collect over their life-time. I just have… STUFF. Random stuff. Pointless stuff. Stuff that apparently, I cared about enough to fill my house with. I’m a collector. In a chest, I found some schoolwork from when I was seven. Seven! In another box I found stones. Actual stones, because apparently I like to pick up interesting stones and then keep them forever and ever. I understand keeping the whale bone, but did I really need sixteen seperate stones with holes in? I know they’re supposed to be useful for seeing through fairy glamours, but even I think a fairy apocalypse is unlikely. Ah well, this is all silly. Of course I’m not going to get rid of them.
This packrat tendency made moving house horrible, but it will make becoming a nomadic family post-apocalypse FUCKING IMPOSSIBLE. I will have no way of transporting seven van loads of crap through the badger-infested wastes and I know from experience that my hoarding tendencies get worse under stress or when I have any kind of excuse. “Oh, I can’t get rid of these six bags of pen lids, we might need the plastic!”
Now, I’m a big believer in being able to turn ANY personality flaw or psychological abnormality into a plus point in a post-apocalyptic world, but even I’m struggling with this one. Sure, collecting things is a part of the human psyche and presumably exists for a good evolutionary reason, but I honestly have no idea how a drive to collect rubber ducks will help me. All I can hope is that the apocalypse is a cosy catastrophe, allowing me to stay in my own home, with my stuff. Perhaps I can throw some of the heavier things at raiders. And the soft toys might keep me warm at night.
And on a plus side, I can always use those 20-odd boxes of books to restart society along the lines of my personal tastes.