Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Nicholas Cage Among the Undead?

A purveyor of old photos claims to have a photograph of Nicholas Cage dating from the Civil War.  Says the article: "'Personally, I believe it's him and that he is some sort of walking undead/vampire, et cetera, who quickens/reinvents himself once every 75 years or so,' the seller -- who's asking $1 million for the photo -- writes on eBay."

Reminds me of the plot of the movie, "The Night Strangler."

Friday, September 16, 2011

This Has the Making of a Bad Movie...

An adult film company is constructing a bunker to survive the 2012 apocalypse. There are too many puns and snarky comments that come to mind to pick one. The location of the bunker was not released, but I'm sure that it won't be too far (i.e., far enough) from the San Andreas fault.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Learn How to Change the Tires on Your Vehicle

Well, I did my good deed for the day this morning. My new neighbor, Lil, had a flat tire on her car and was out trying to figure out how to change it when I was leaving to work this morning. She'd been able to find the jack, but that was about as far as it went. She didn't know how to use the jack, or how to release the spare tire from underneath her vehicle. After going through the directions in the owner's manual, we finally found where to crank down the spare tire from underneath the back of the vehicle. After that, it went pretty quick.

It seems to me that there are certain things you need to know how to do on your car, and being able to change the tire is one of them. And by "change the tire," I don't just mean how to jack the car up and undo the lug nuts. Do you know where your jack is? Do you know how to get the spare tire out? This is knowledge that can save you a lot of grief in day-to-day living, or in the event of a zombie apocalypse.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Kukri Knives

To survive the Zombie Apocalypse, you are going to have to kill zombies. To kill a zombie, you have to destroy the brain or the brain stem. This is probably best done using a firearm to shoot the zombie in the head--preferably from a safe distance. It goes without saying that it must be a clean head-shot. Shooting off a zombie's jaw isn't going to do much, except maybe make it harder for the zombie to chew on you.

Sometimes, however, you won't be able to shoot a zombie. Maybe you have run out of ammo. Maybe you have lost your gun, or can't get to it. Or maybe you don't want the sound of the shot to attract more zombies. These are situations that call for a hand-weapon.

In the Zombie Survival Guide, the author suggest a variety of different swords, machetes, and other bladed weapons. I certainly don't want to challenge the efficacy of particular weapons in the hands of an experienced warrior, but for most of us, there are problems with these weapons.

Machete: the standard machete has a long blade (generally around 20" on a typical model), but made of thinner metal. While great for hacking through grass or light undergrowth, the blade is too thin for serious zombie chopping, which will need something that will cut deeply into a skull or through a neck.

Sword: there are a great variety of swords out there, but lets face it, most are nothing but poor copies, made of cheap materials with inferior workmanship, and too heavy to boot. Compare a real sword to a "reproduction" and you will immediately notice that the real blades are generally much more narrow and lighter, and much better balanced. The real thing is a weapon, as opposed to a wall hanging. Even if you get hold of the real thing, most will be too long to be useful in the confined spaces of a building. Also, lets be honest here, using a real sword effectively takes a lot more skill and training than most of us have or will acquire.

What is needed is something of almost caveman simplicity--something that takes advantage of the natural and strong chopping motion of the arm, but is strong enough to take out a zombie. One weapon that satisfies this criteria is the kukri.

The Complete Encyclopedia of Arms and Weapons (Simon & Schuster: New York, 1979)  indicates that the kukri (or khukari) is:
The national knife and principle weapon of the Gurkhas of Nepal. Its form, especially the forward-angled blade, shows that it is closely related to the ancient Greek swords MACHAIRA and KOPIS, which almost certainly accompanied Alexander the Great to India. ...
The Encyclopedia of Handheld Weapons (Chrysalis Books: 2002) notes that the kukri is not only a superb weapon, but also "a highly effective field tool which is favoured by many experts besides the Gurkhas themselves for jungle survival use."
The kukri's weight and blade shape provide superb chopping, hacking and slashing performance. The heavy blade chops powerfully through logs and branches, and the reverse curve edge cuts deeply with little effort. The kukri is almost unmatched for heavy survival tasks such as shelter building and clearing vegetation and can also be used for surprisingly delicate work. It also excels as a close-combat weapon, where the power of its chopping stroke is legendary--tales abound of Gurkhas lopping off the heads of their enemies with a single stroke.
The Wikipedia article linked above also indicates that the kukri can be used effectively as a stabbing weapon. For someone with experience in fencing, the angle of the handle relative to the blade may make this seem awkward, but stabbing with the kukri may be more natural to someone with no preconditioning to thrusting in a particular fashion or style.

The particular model in the photo above has a 12 inch blade with a full tang. The blade is approximately 1/4 inch thick steel at the spine. The handle is covered with two wooden scales on each side fastened with brass steel rivets. The sheath is wood with a thin leather covering and (presumably) brass over the tip. The knife was made in India, and supposedly represents the government contract knife for the military.

The knife is solidly built. The knife tang actually stuck up a bit past the wooden scales, and really dug into my skin the first time I tried using it for chopping. I took a Dremel tool and sanded these down, which made it much more comfortable to use. The blade came unsharpened. I typically use a Lansky sharpener, but this was way more than it could handle. I ended up using a fine metal file, and finished it up with a stone.

As promised, the knife puts most of the weight of the blade toward the tip, making it natural to swing. I've tested it out on chopping wood, brush, and grass. It does not cut into thicker wood as well as an ax or hatchet, but would probably work. It does very well in cutting through brush. Surprisingly, I had trouble with chopping through grass and fibrous weeds, such as milk-weed. It would obviously break the stock, but it didn't cut through, which allows the grass and weeds to collect around the blade, which I had to pull off. This may be more of an issue with my sharpening or cutting technique, or perhaps because the blade is so thick.

While it would be a serious weapon, I think that a longer length would work better as both a weapon and as a field tool. In some of my reading, I had come across references to the kukri's used in WWI and earlier were longer--15" or more.

I ordered mine through Atlanta Cutlery, which has other models available. I would also note that kukris can be ordered through Amazon.com. Sarco sells various kukris, including 18" and 24" models.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Sorry About the Lack of Posts--"Vampire" Attack

I have really fallen down on posting, but I'm hoping to keep this up better in the future. Jeff and Lissa have moved out of the state, however, so I don't know what to do as far as our little group. I guess this will become more of my own personal blog as to zombie and survival related stuff, and we'll see if our little group continues.

Anyway, came across this interesting little story today about a man attacked by a woman claiming to be a vampire. This may not seem too related to zombies, but this is the weird (as if this could be any weirder) part of the story. You would think that a "vampire" would attempt to drink the guy's blood. But no. "Police told The Times that Smith bit off chunks of Ellis’ face and part of his lip." That bites, but it doesn't suck! More like a zombie than a vampire.