Getting the flu during the apocalypse

A little while ago, I dropped off the face of the earth for a couple of weeks — not because I’ve been on holidays or anything (I wish I had been, though), but because I was off battling the flu. The actual, legit flu, and not just a really bad cold.
Yay me, I’m now part of this year’s flu statistics! Huzzah. The flu has been super bad this year, and the epicentre of it seems to be my city (well, the epicentre of the flu in my province, anyway). Which is fantastic and all that. I mean, having the flu sucked, but at least I managed to stay out of the hospital.
But! As I lay in bed for those two weeks, feeling like death, I thought to myself: this is all well and good now, when the worst thing I have to do is ferry my kids to and from and school (and to all of their extracurriculars because sadly, moms still don’t get sick days), but what if this happened during the apocalypse? Or during the post-apocalypse? (I’m assuming a sudden apocalypse here, like a zombie apocalypse or an alien invasion or the robot apocalypse or something, not this slow descent into madness that we’re currently living.) How will you run away from zombies when you can barely lift your head off the pillow?
Let’s face it: as much as I’m constantly told that the flu is “no big deal” and it will “beef up my kids’ immune systems” (this is almost always told to me by a mom who thinks it’s no big deal to send her kids to school WITH THE FLU), the flu is no joke. The flu actually kills people, which is pretty evident during this year’s flu season. (And, in fact, a lab-confirmed case of the flu once sent my otherwise healthy oldest child to the ICU. The ICU, you guys. In an ambulance. When she deteriorated, she deteriorated fast.)
Unlike having a cold, the flu can — and does — take people right out of commission. You can’t eat, your entire body aches, you have a super high fever, you can barely sit up, let alone run away from zombies…in other words, it’s not an ideal condition to be in when you’re trying to stay alive. And on top of all that, flu season is in the middle of winter, so not only will you be trying to keep down food more substantial than a Premium Plus cracker, you’ll also likely be trying to stay warm when it’s -20° outside. While trying to outrun zombies.
Hopefully zombies get really sluggish in the cold. Because that would be handy.
In any case, it will not be a fun time.
So, what can you do to survive an apocalypse flu? (Unless, of course, the flu causes the apocalypse. That is one hardy virus, so who knows, maybe a mutated strain is the cause of the epidemic that ends up killing us all.) Aside from just not getting the flu (ha), I guess the best thing to do is to hunker down somewhere until the worst of it passes. So, travel with at least one other person, who can watch out for you while you thrash around in a feverish delirium to make sure you don’t become zombie lunch. (It goes without saying that you should actually trust this person.)
Hopefully, you’ll also have packed some of the following in your bug out bag:

  • Cold and flu meds: things like Tylenol Complete, Benylin All in One, Advil Cold and Sinus
  • Cough syrup if you get hit with a horrible cough
  • Cough drops/lozenges. I’m a big fan of Ricola myself, but my husband likes Fisherman’s Friend
  • Kleenex. Lots and lots of Kleenex
  • Extra layers of clothes or blankets, for when you get the chills
  • Water
  • Lipton Chicken Noodle soup, which is the best thing since sliced bread when you’re sick (no, really)
  • Tomato soup in a can, if you don’t like Lipton Chicken Noodle (you monster) (also, if you don’t have access to a stove, this is probably better)
  • A can opener, for your canned soup or beef broth or whatever
  • A thermometer, so you can keep track of how high your fever gets (you know, for funsies)
  • Antibiotics, like azithromycin or amoxicillin, in case you develop complications like bacterial pneumonia or bronchitis
  • Antivirals, like Tamiflu

Hopefully you won’t have to deal with this, but if you do, I hope you’ve got a trusted friend or family member travelling with you to keep you safe from zombies and winter weather and to help nurse you back to health.
Also, if it’s winter, hopefully you haven’t actually gone anywhere and you’re hunkering down at home, where there is a bed. And walls. There may not be any heat or running water, but at least you’ll have walls and a roof.
Um, I hope.

Stuffed Fables: an adventure book game

I’ve written about Stuffed Fables on my (not yet live) (new) personal blog, but I thought it was geeky enough to mention here at ICoS. About a month ago, my husband was at the mall by himself, picking up a tablet that had been repaired. I’m pretty sure he stayed for a bit and looked around so he could justify spending a ridiculous amount of time trying to find parking, because the particular mall he went to has an insanely busy parking lot, especially on weekends. (We avoid going there when we can.)
Anyway, I digress. The point is, as he wandered around looking at…whatever it is one looks at while at the mall, he went to Discovery Hut and discovered a new board game called Stuffed Fables. He described it to me as “D&D for kids.” Okay, sold.
So. What is Stuffed Fables? Basically, it’s a thematic cooperative game with several different stories to play through. The official website describes it as an “adventure book game,” where gameplay is contained to a book. It’s a large, spiral-bound book and the pages are basically glossy cardstock, but it is in fact a book. It’s actually a really neat idea, since the story, the rules, and the board itself are kept together in one spot. There are a lot of loose bits and pieces, though, like cards, dice, buttons, and character miniatures, so make sure to keep the box to keep it all contained. The game is for ages 7 and up; my four-year-old doesn’t play, but he’s in charge of handing out the buttons and hearts (we call him Button Man; he thinks it’s great because he still has a role to play). My older two kids think it’s the best game since Super Smash Bros.
You guys, this game is so much fun. My kids are actually asking to play. It takes hours to get through one story, so we’ve started splitting it up over two afternoons (we play one story over a weekend). There are seven stories in the book, but the company adds mini stories and whatnot to the website as well.
The stories are very well developed, and the characters are fun (the miniatures are also fun). I think it’s a great way to introduce this type of game to kids. And — bonus — it’s also a great way to spend time together as a family (assuming, of course, that spending time together as a family is a thing you want to do).
It is super, super fun, and I highly recommend it.


To help you see what the game looks like, here are some photos, taken during one of our games. (I think we were working our way through Story 3 in these photos.)

stuffed fables 5
Group shot! Character miniatures of the “good guys.” From left to right: Flops the bunny, Theadora the teddy bear, Lumps the elephant, Lionel the lion. Missing: Stitch the ragdoll and Piggle the pig.

stuffed fables 4
Overhead shot of the board side of the book, with miniatures at their starting spots.

stuffed fables 3
En garde! Theadora battles a boss.

stuffed fables 2
The good guys surround a boss in battle. That cleaver, though.

stuffed fables 1
A darkheart (one of the bad guys), with Lionel (a good guy) in the background.

Doesn’t this game look fun? Have you played? What did you think?

7 Popular Zombie Survival Tactics That'll Get You Killed! [Infographic]

7 popular zombie survival tactics that'll get you killed!| Mike Johnson | Infographic
7 popular zombie survival tactics that’ll get you killed!| Mike Johnson | Infographic

Shared with us by Mike Johnson, who orriginally posted this on his site, Mike’s Gear Reviews:

I'm Going to My Happy Place… The Far, Far Range from Slime Rancher.

According to XBox’s statistics, I’ve played more than 72 hours of Slime Rancher. That feels about right.
I’ve mentioned before that Winter in New England is one of the forgotten circles of Hell. Sometimes you just have to suck it up and create the reality you want to live in. The place I want to be my reality is The Far, Far Range from Slime Rancher. I want to live in a place inhabited by greedy slime and stupid chickens.
My husband would pick up Slime Rancher every so often and ask aloud, “How do you win this game?”
Winning isn’t the point. Not for me at least. Sure you could get all the achievements or, like me, aim to finish the Slimepedia. However, I find myself picking up Slime Rancher, not for the challenge of finishing it but for the feeling playing it. I just want to play. The dopey Slimes just want to play (and eat, they eat a lot).
Continue reading “I'm Going to My Happy Place… The Far, Far Range from Slime Rancher.”