Lose weight, quit smoking, learn karate

It might surprise you that even as prepared as I am, I too have room for self-improvement. Maybe it wouldn't surprise you, but in any case, this is the week we all pretend to commit ourselves to one thing or another, and if we're even on track come 1/2/2011 it's considered a success. Anyone who's sticking to their resolutions a month from now will seem like a loser - not because they are a loser, just because their success makes the rest of us look bad, so we all act like it's not cool, thus becoming cooler ourselves by comparison. It's a great system, isn't it?


The Night before Christmas

'Twas the Night before Christmas, and in our compound
All the humans were sleeping, not making a sound
The guns were all loaded, lying next to our beds,
Just in case we wake up and need to shoot zombie heads


All I want for Christmas is some napalm

I know that at about this time, about a week from Christmas, there's probably someone left on your list to buy a gift for. This is probably your most hard-to-shop-for person. They probably buy things themselves, or just don't want many things, so anything they want they already have - so where does that leave you? In a department store looking at the gift card rack, I bet.
A $20 dinner at Outback Steakhouse? Bleh. I've had a good meal there, but as a rule any place that sells gift cards at a different location probably isn't worth eating at. So maybe then the store's own gift card? Well, that's at least something you might assume they would use, right? I wouldn't count on it though. And it's such a thoughtless item! It says, "I don't really know you that well... but I consider this amount of money appropriate for a gift for you." If you're going to say that, you might as well give cash - at least you can use cash wherever you want.
Seriously, cash is a great option. In general, cash is my preferred form of gift to receive. It's not as thoughtful, though. If you want to send a message, but you don't really know the person well enough to say something eloquent, I suggest (for the purposes of this venue) to at least say "I hope you manage to survive the coming apocalypse."


The Carrot and the Pointed Stick

When I was a kid, I had a different understanding of the phrase "carrot and stick". I was influenced by cartoons, of course, as all kids were and still are today, and in cartoons a dumb animal (or person) can be induced to move forward by a combination of a carrot and stick. You tie the carrot (or occasionally a sausage) to a piece of string and have it dangle from the end of the stick; you then hold the stick in front of the animal (or stupid person, usually a stupid fat person if you're using a sausage) and it walks forward, thinking it's going to get the carrot. Of course, you're sitting on its back, or on the cart it's pulling, and it never gets closer to the carrot - the stick always keeps the carrot out of reach. I suppose that eventually the animal needs to eat, and you'll give it a feed bag of grain or corn or something, but it'll never get that carrot, will it?

Today I understand that most people mean the carrot as a reward and the stick as a punishment; "if you clean your room you can have a carrot, but if you don't, I'll beat your ass with this stick."

I can see how that might be effective, but sooner or later you'll get used to the carrots and sick of the stick - or the other way around, which might be worse. And two hands can wield the same stick, if you get my meaning; I don't see it as a long term solution. My way, the carrot is the only carrot around; you might be able to rationally see that you won't be getting it any time soon, but lacking another option, what else can you do but follow it? I'm not saying that I'm right and you're wrong, but look how hard all these people today are working toward "retirement" and paying off their "mortgage". Watch people on treadmills facing a mural of an open road.

What, if anything, does this have to do with the Zombie Apocalypse?


Headcracker Suite

Walking on ice is hard, but to me it's always going to be easier than skating. Once you get the hang of walking you can control where you go very easily, and stop whenever and wherever you want to. You can even learn to keep yourself from falling. You seem to develop a keener sense of balance from prolonged experience. I spent most of my youth in an area that had ice all through the winter, and before I moved to a warmer climate I was a very proficient ice-walker. I can't count how many times I've almost slipped but managed to put my foot in the right place in time to stay upright. It's almost as many as the number of times I fell right to the ground without warning, but most of the former were in later years and the latter in earlier ones.
Zombies will not have that much skill, and certainly not the adaptability. Maybe if a zombie knew how to do it before death, some of that skill will survive. I don't think it will be much, if any at all. No, ice is not a friend to zombies.
But remember, it's not exactly an ally of yours, either.