Showing posts with label Journal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Journal. Show all posts

Friday, 17 August 2018

The Media

Last week I was approached by someone on Twitter who wanted me to answer a few questions on why I have started prepping, of course I answered her questions as best as I could and everything was fine, until I checked the profile of the lady who was asking the questions and found out that she was a journalist.

I am well aware that Preppers and journalists or the media don't have the best if relationships. Preppers nearly always get portrayed as "Doomsday Preppers" waiting for the end of the world so they can play with their tactical gear.



I admit, that there are a few Preppers out there who are like this, but not the majority. To say that all Preppers are waiting for the apocalypse is wholly inaccurate, that would be like saying that all people who have a lot of tattoos and prefer wearing boots are criminally inclined just because that group over there are, note, I have a lot of tattoos and prefer to wear boots and have never been in trouble with the law.

Yet the media continues to portray Preppers as gun crazy survival nuts waiting for the zombie apocalypse.

Thanks to the media wanting to protect your family during troubling times is seen as a bad thing when even the CDC strongly recommend it, they even have a "zombie survival guide" on their website. 

The journalist who I was talking with asked if she could interview me for a case study of people who have started prepping because of Brexit and the possibility of the UK crashing out of the EU without any trade deals in place in March 2019.
Needless to say I made some half arsed excuse and declined her offer. Last thing I want is for what ever I say to be taken out of context and used to make me look like a nut job lone wolf who is planning on shooting up a school. I`m not.



I am just a middle aged bloke who has come to realise how fragile society is and how easy it would be for everything we have come to rely on to be snatched away from us.

They say that as a society is only three meals away from anarchy, if that is the case I want my family and myself to be ready, whether that is ready to lock down and bug in until it all blows over and our streets are safe again or if the need arises to bug out and leave the area.

As for the media, historically the media will report on what they want you to know, they will set out their report in such a way to colour your point of view, the way you see a situation or a group of people, sensationalism, big stories set out in a big, larger than life situations sell papers and get views, we must also remember that the best way to make a group of people or an idea look bad is to question their credibility and their grasp on reality, as society and the media would have it seen.


Question what you read, ask for proof and demand receipts, dont rely on one source for your information, read the same event from four or five different sources to get a good overview of the event before making up your mind.




Friday, 10 August 2018

Letting My Stretched Ears Heal

I can't quite remember if it was just after or just before I made the post about The Gray Man Principal when I was nearly accosted by one of those annoying street sales people while in town, you know the ones.

"Hi, how you doing? Looking good today, yeah, would you be interested in switching electricity providers/making a regular donation to [insert obscure charity here]

Except this one, a young woman caught me slightly off guard when she made a beeline for me with the line,

"You have stretched out your earliest lobes like me, cool... Can I interest you in"...

Of course I told the young lady that I was late and apologised, like so many other people have in the past. Not only did she catch me off guard but she did freak me out just a little bit. She had picked out a feature on me and used it by way of starting a conversation.

With this in mind on the 8th August 2018 I took the 10mm tubes out of my ears with a view of letting them shrink back down to a relatively normal size, I have also removed the ring I had in my nose, as this could possibly become another feature which stands out.



Two reasons, if a SHTF scenario were to happen (and god knows I hope that it doesn't happen) I simply will not have the time, or resources to take my tubes out every few days to clean them. My priorities will be totally different.

On top of this, I am in my 50's now, and seeing a person of my age with a nose ring and stretched ear lobes is well its not something you will see every day. Even though they are small things, they are something which will make me stand out and I don't want that to happen.

I want to be able to walk down any street and not do anything which could cause unnecessary attention, and obviously my stretched lobes were doing this. At least now, or in a couple of months time, once my ear lobes have started to shrink down, I will be able to move around my home town, or any town for that matter, virtually unnoticed. At least that is the plan

Of course I will be keeping you updated with how the healing process is going in case anyone else is in the same situation.


Saturday, 21 July 2018

Make memories

Have you ever had one of those days where you are just in one, you have no idea why your in a bad mood, you just are. Well this was me a few days ago, I guess I just woke up in a bit of a funk and after making the phone calls I had to make, my day went from bad to worse, not because of the calls but because of the attitude of the person on the other end of the phone.

This went on for most of the day until I watched a video by the Youtuber Canadian Prepper, he was talking about living in the moment and being thankful for the little things we have now because, if and when the SHTF we probably will miss them, we will also miss little moments like watching our kids play in a safe environment, being able to sleep in the knowledge that we are safe. You can watch Canadian Preppers video below, go on, watch it and then tell me that you dont feal even a little bit inspired.



After watching the above video, I finished making tea and, with the help of DT 2 put up a 4 man tent in the front garden, we made a small fire pit and we just sat, in the rain, later, once the rain had stopped we were joined by the rest of the family.

Marshmallows were roasted and dropped into the fire. We even cooked pasta in my son's mess tins.
After the sun set my wife and the dogs went back into the house, leaving DT 2, 3, 4 and myself  to spend the night in the tent.
It's the day after now and I am tired as all hell, hardly slept a wink last night, I was almost constantly making sure my youngest son and daughter were OK. Of course they were fine, even slept through two cats screaming at each other and the arguments of a few drunks coming home from the local pub.

A few months back I made a post titles "I Dont want to commit that crime"where I said that I don't want to be constantly writing about things that are going wrong in the world while missing all the beauty that the world has to offer.

Even though these days I am prepping for the SHTF, even if that ends up being another Beast from the east this winter, this time we will be ready, don't get me wrong I don't want society and the infrastructure of the country I live in to crumble, I just want to be ready incase it does, in the mean time I want to be able to live in the moment, make sure my wife and children have happy memories, something to smile about when the look back at their past.

Tell me, what have you done this week where you were "in the moment"?

Saturday, 23 June 2018

Bringing Back The Stocks


Looking at the world we live in today there seems to be a set of people who think that they are above the law, kids running riot in our streets who think that because they are under 16 years old the law can't touch them, drug related crime, knife and gang related crime, bullying, shop lifters and those who fiddle the state the list is endless. Our prisons are over crowded with petty criminals who are costing the tax payer to keep them at the Queens pleasure, but not to worry I have the solution. Bring back the town stocks.

Now I know there are people out there who think this would be against their Human Rights or inhuman but I would argue that the crimes that these people have committed are just as bad if not worse. I'm not talking about hanging, stoning or even burning at the stake, god knows we have been there before, public humiliation is the way forward. No, I kid you not I am deadly serious, in a world where image seems to be everything this type of punishment would be quite fitting.

As well as warning off prospective petty criminals and social nuisances there is the jobs that the stocks would create. Obviously the stocks would be run by the local authorities but we will need people to maintain the stocks as well as fit them, we will also need people to clean up the mess left around the stock site after the public humiliation has taken place. Costing would be low as the fruit and veg can be supplied by local supermarkets and once used given to local farms or community garden projects to act as fertilizer so returning them to source.

As well as deterring would be toe rags, the community as a whole would benefit from two or more sets of public stocks in every town centre coupled with the fact that if the Stocks were reintroduced into the legal system in a short space if time the prison population will be drastically reduced, saving the tax payer money that could be better spent else where.

There are Monsters Out There...

It is late in the afternoon of a beautiful warm sunny day, there is hardly a cloud in the sky and the streets are deadly quiet. There is not a single child to be seen in a street filled with young families.

Earlier today, I stood in the middle of a street and looked round, taking in a desolate landscape. You would be forgiven if you were to think that you had accidently walked onto a set of the movie 28 days later.



It wasn't like this last week, or even two days ago. Kids were out on their bikes or playing football outside of their front doors. But not now, not after yesterday.

See, yesterday morning a young girl was followed on her way to school by someone in a white van. When she stopped, the van stopped. When she started to panic and walk faster the van moved faster, following her as she made her way along the street.

In a panic she turned and started to run, the van turned round and follows her.

It wasn't until she started screaming in a panic as she ran past a group of parents taking their kids to school, that the white van picked up speed and left the street.

I have no idea if the little girl went to school that day. I do know that she didn't get taken by whoever was in the van.

The thing is, the street where this happened is the street I live on, the school.. the school is literally 4-5 houses away from where I live and all this happened at the same time as I was taking my 8 year old daughter to school.

Parents in my street are on a high alert now, we watch every van that passes along our street.

Our children are within eye sight, in our back gardens where no one can take them.

We see things like this on a weekly basis and we always think, "That poor child, I bet his/her parents are worried sick, so glad it's not me".

We think of the parents in Mexico who have had their children taken from them because they crossed into a new land looking for a better life and we think "So glad that isn't me, I have no idea what I, we would do if that was us".

Yesterday it nearly was one of us and yesterday it was too close to home, the monsters were in my street.

Advice time: It doesn't matter how old your children are. Tell them, if they are followed or they think they are being followed. Run, run to school, back home, into a shop and tell someone.

If your a kid, yeah I know you think it won't happen to you and I know you think you can deal with it. But it could and you might not be able to deal with it. It nearly happened to a little girl on my street yesterday. The little girl is 9 year old.

Luckily she will be able to celebrate her 10th birthday at home with people who love and care for her.

Some are not so lucky.

Friday, 15 June 2018

The 1st Holy Communion

The past few weeks has been kind of hectic as we built up to my youngest daughter's 1st Holy Communion. Today has been extra manic as we try to get every last detail ready for her special day.



Making sure her dress is perfect, all her accessories are ready, her veil, red sash, gloves and shoes. Today we organised the flowers for her head band, tomorrow we get up at 6 in the morning to start getting everyone else organises while she goes to the hair dressers.

Once DT4 has had her hair done she is getting dropped off at her school where she will stay until she is ready to go to the church at 10 which is when everyone else is expected to be there.

DT4 is saying that she is getting nervous now, not just because she will have to stand at the front of a full church but because her big sister (The Eldest) has said that she is coming as well. They have only met two times and absolutely adore each other.



Everyone is due to meet at our house before the communion starts, as you can imagine it us going to be absolute bedlam with around 15 people, 5 dogs and two cats all added to the same mix.

Note: I wrote everything above yesterday. Its not late in the afternoon of today, the day after and the day of my daughters Holy Communion. Everything went according to plan, to a greater or lesser extent. My daughter (DT4) had a lovely time and my eldest (The Eldest) did as well, it was wonderful to see both my step dad and my eldest daughter again, I really should see more of them. DT4 really loves her big sister and it showed when they saw each other for the first time today in the church, DT4`s smile was amazing, it really was. If I could see her smile like that every day I would be a happy bunny..

For now, its business as usual except for the extra attention we are paying to our doggo`s, poor little buggers had to be kept out of the way while everyone was here.

Sunday, 3 June 2018

First time away from home

At the time of writing this it is Friday June 1st 2018. My 15 year old son has just left for a weekend camp with the Army cadets, Rifles detachment.

Quick bit of history.

I used to be in the Army cadets when I was a kid and I used to be a member or the Territorial army. The regiment I was in was the Light Infantry, when the Light Infantry was disbanded a new regiment called The Rifles was created in its place and my son is in the Rifles. His base is in the same building as my old regiment.



I have to admit that I did enjoy helping my son prepare for his weekend away, maybe a bit too much. Not because my son will be away for the weekend (yay) but because it brought back some memories of when I had to prep to go away on exercise and camps with the cadets and when I was in the TA.

I know only too well that this is going to be a shock to his system and a bit of a wake up call for him, but at the same time I know that he will absolutely love every minute of it.
Not My Son`s Regiment

The best but will be when he comes home, tired and dirty, drops his kit back in the kitchen so I can prep his uniform for the next day while he goes up stairs to see his beloved pet python Gerald and finds a new 4 foot vivarium waiting for him.



The worst bit us me having to figure out how to fit this vivarium into his already crowded bedroom.

Friday, 18 May 2018

Lost in Space 2018. My Thoughts on Dr. Smith.

Warning. This post contains spoilers from the Netflix TV show Lost in Space. If you have not finished watching Season 1, stop reading Now!


Recently I have been binge watching the remake of Lost in Space rewritten for 2018 by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless. All 10 episodes from season 1 are available on Netflix as of April 13th 2018, so if the need takes you, you could watch all 10 in one go.

I have to admit that I have become 100% hooked on this show to the point of watching the whole of season 1 in less than a week. I love this show and am devastated that now I have to wait until late 2019, early 2020 before season 2 is launched.

Posey Parker

It didn't take too long before I found my favourite characters and a couple of characters I did not like and couldn't see myself trusting in any situation, one of the characters I don't like is Dr. Smith. I am not ashamed to say that both my wife and I could be heard telling Will Robinson to not listen to a word Dr. Smith says, "do not trust her Will, she is a devious, manipulative person".

You could tell right from the start that Dr. Smith, whose real name is June Harris (played by actress and musician Parker Posey) was going to be trouble when she drugged her own sister so that she could steal her identity and escape a dying Earth, later stealing the identity of Dr. Zachery Smith so that she could take his seat on an evacuating Jupiter ship when the Resolute ran into trouble.

Dr. Smith is an out-and-out Sociopath with no sense of remorse or guilt for any of her actions, as can be seen from the two identities she stole by way of getting what she wanted regardless of the consequences for the people she left behind.



With the Dr. Smith from the original 1960`s Lost in Space, you knew where you stood, he was a coward, if there was the slightest hint of danger, you could guarantee that he would be nowhere to be seen, this and his mistrust and fear of Will`s robot meant that the original Dr. Smith was always on guard, saying that as far as I can remember, the original 1960's Dr. Smith would not have put any of the Robinson's in danger, not intentionally anyway. The new Dr. Smith, to be blunt, just can not be trusted, she is only too happy to play the victim, lie, cheat, steal and if the opportunity arises kill as long as it gets her what she wants.



Unfortunately it took some time for the Robinson family to realise this and even then, it took Don West (Ignacio Ariel Serricchio) a mechanic from another Jupiter to find the ID of the original Dr. Zachary Smith, in one of the rooms on a piece of Resolute debris which had fallen to the same planet that those who had evacuated the Resolute in episode 1 had landed on.

Once Major Don West and the rest of the fuel recovery team were back at the Robinson Jupiter and Dr. Smith's deception had been shared, we finally saw Smith's true form, a person who will do her best to manipulate, bully and threaten people, as well as planting seeds of doubt in anyone's head.

In the last episode of season 1 "Danger, Will Robinson" we see Dr. Smith apologising to Maureen Robinson (Polly Parker) for what she had done, even this can not be taken as a genuine apology and Maureen knows this, later we see Dr. Smith saying to herself that she will do anything to get out of the makeshift prison she is being held in.

Season 2 looks as though it is going be packed with new adventures and creatures, maybe even Dr. Smith, June Harris or what ever she calls herself in season 2, will finally realise that manipulating the Robinson`s is not going to work. Not now that they know how she operates anyway..

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Sanity.

Why you should never listen to those who say that you're insane or mad for wanting to be your self and follow your own dreams..

A random internet dictionary defines sanity as follows..
The ability to think and behave in a normal and rational manner; sound mental health. "I began to doubt my own sanity"
The problem with this is, the word "Normal", what society deems to be normal is not necessarily, well normal behaviour.


Let's have a look at what some "normal" people do.. Some of them work a 9-5 job and go out with their friends on Friday night, spending between £50-£100+ on alcohol alone, get so drunk that they can hardly stand up and not be able to remember a thing.

"I can't remember a thing about last night, it must have been awesome"!



Saturday, if the same people are not too hung over, is shopping day, a day where they will think nothing of spending £80 on a shirt, more of they find a pair of shoes that they "really" like even though they have nearly 20 pairs which they hardly wear.

There are some people who "just can't be seen in the same outfit more than once".

The reasoning behind this is that "they earn the money, so they can spend it how they like", which I can't argue with, even if I don't see the logic of spending that amount of money on booze and clothes.

Our society is lead by people who are only too willing to declare war on another country, fabricating the truth by way of justifying such actions.

Terrorist groups, dictatorship, chemical/nerve agents being used on children (it is not unusual for our leaders to use key words like "innocent people, children, hospital/school bombed" by way of swaying public opinions in such a way that war seems like the only solution.

So we go to war, £10's of millions, billions are spent to fund a new war by the same government who only a month earlier were telling how we are in a recession.

It is my opinion that sanity, by definition is flawed, as it is those who's sanity I question who set the definition as to what we deem to be normal.

Or, maybe I am wrong, as society deems going out on a weekend and spending £100's on how we look and how much fun we are seen to be having while listening to our leaders tell us that this person is evil and needs to be killed, by the way we need to raise the prices on fuel and set another 2% rise on V.A.T. because of the recession we are all in.



It's called positive disinformation. Tell them what they need to know or what you think, they should think they know, while keeping them happy and they won't cause trouble by asking too many questions.

Maybe this, being normal is what those who don't question are allowed to call them selves, while laughing at those who are "not normal" with their wanting to be different, their free thought and conspiracy theories and belief that they can follow their dreams.

The best way to make a person's questions, theories and tales seem less credible is to question that person's sanity and integrity. Make them look like fools, get society to mock and ridicule them and people are less likely to listen to them or engage them in conversation.

Friday, 11 May 2018

Alien Life On Earth. A Theory.


Not everything post apocalyptic has to be zombie orientated. What happens if we were to be invaded by aliens from another planet?

On that note, what would you think if I were to tell you that I believe that there is alien life on other planets?

Let me prefix this, not only do I believe that there is life on other planets but I also believe that there is a very big "possibility" that, that life could be on this planet and moving among us, freely on a daily basis.

Before you click away from my blog, I do have a theory about this.

See, things on this planet, my phone, my cup of coffee (the cup any way) are a solid. They are a solid because at a molecular level they vibrate at a very slow rate. As an example, lets take an ice-cube. An ice-cube is solid water, it is a solid because at a molecular level the water molecules are vibrating at a slow rate.

But, if we were to heat the ice-cube the molecules would start to vibrate at a faster and faster rate until they start to separate and become water again. Now, if we were to continue to heat the ice-cube the water would turn into steam as we all know, and then vapour at which point it becomes invisible to the human eye.

This is where my theory comes in.





What happens if there is an alien life form that at a molecular level, can vibrate at such a rate that it becomes invisible to the human eye?

Hows that for feeding Human Paranoia?

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Why I Like ZNation More Than The Walking Dead

When it comes to Zombie TV shows top of the list has to be the comic book adaptation The Walking Dead by AMC. The story of once police man Rick Grimes and the struggle for survival he and his people face on a daily basis. The Walking Dead is filled with zombie action, good plot lines and excellent character development, coupled with a strong narrative which drives the whole show into its 9th season come the end of 2018

With that kind of write up why is The Walking Dead not sat at the number one spot in my Top 10 favourite TV shows? More over why do I prefer The Asylum`s ZNation? Especially when you consider how I prefer a more serious Horror over ones with splashes of comedy and trust me, if you havnt watched ZNation yet, it does have moments where you sit and wonder what you are watching and what was going through the script writers head when they came up with that scene and to prove my point, see the clip below

Truth is, it comes down to the production team, the crew and the cast. Dont get me wrong I know that both groups are equally as crazy busy making excellent Zombie shows for TV, but it feels to me as though the cast and crew of ZNation have more time for their fans.

Even though the two shows are Zombie related there is a mile of differences between the two, as an example, TWD is a serious show and it is not unusual for me to be left on the edge of my seat full of fight or flight by the end of an episode, as does ZNation, but, I can also be sat thinking "Geez, what was Murphy thinking"? or "Crap, I cant believe Doc said that to...". Yes, I know that if youre in the middle of a zombie apocalypse cracking a joke is not high on your things to do list but, if you have been in said apocalypse for over 4 years then yes, there are times when you will say or do something so silly or dumb that those around you raise a smile and ZNation shows this.

I have lost count of how many times I have tried to contact a member of The Walking Dead team and have had no replies and trust me I have made a point of trying to make relevant comments on as much of their social media activity as I can, on the other hand I have had almost full conversations with some of ZNations production team as well as some of the cast.

Doc on Twitter

This to me means a lot, not just for the fact that these people are taking time out of their busy days to acknowledge something that I, a fan, have said or made for them, but it also helps to build a connection with the character that they play. No one wants their favourite character to become a human happy meal, especially when that character is played by someone you have connected with outside of the show.

Maybe if the cast and crew of The Walking Dead did spend some of their time chatting with their fan base I would feel a bit different, but right now they don't, and The Asylum and Znation do and that is why I prefer them over AMC and The Walking Dead to the point where I would and do search out and actively watch other shows and movies made by The Asylum.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Why 28 Days Later is NOT Zombie Movie.


If you were to run a search for Best Zombie Movies you can guarantee that the movie 28 days Later and its sequel 28 Weeks Later are going to be somewhere on that list. This is where the internet has it soo wrong. 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later are not zombie films and this is why.

One of the earliest mentions of Zombies comes from the poem "The Legends of Gilgamesh" when Ishtar, Queen of the nether world threatens to unleash her zombie armies on the land of the living unless the gatekeeper opens the gates to the Nether world saying..
"Gatekeeper, open your gate! Open your gate that I may enter!

If you do not open the gate to let me enter, I shall break the door, I shall wrench the lock, I shall smash the door posts, I shall force the doors.

I shall bring up the dead to consume the living, I shall make the dead outnumber the living"


Later in Haiti folklore we hear of voodoo priests called Bokors, these people were called upon by villagers to deal with that one annoying villager that everybody knows.
The Bokor would administer something called a Coupe deparde which is said to be a powder that you would give orally, the main ingredient is Tetrodotoxin a deadly poison which comes from the porcupine fish. Once the poison has been given, the recipient will fall into a coma and for all intense and purposes be looked on as dead, and therefore buried. Much later the Bokor will return to the grave and recover the body, which, no longer in a coma will be totally under the control of the Bokor.
It was Haiti zombie folklore which inspired Victor Halperin when he created the first ever zombie movie in 1932 called White Zombie. Later zombie movies always followed the same pattern where the zombie was always under the control of a voodoo priest or a vampire.

George A. Romaro


That was until 1968 when George A Romero broke the mold and released "Night of the Living Dead". This was the first movie where zombies were not under control of anyone and were basically free roaming.
OK so, up until this point, The Legends of Gilgamesh, Haiti folklore and zombie movies, all have one thing in common and that is that the human died before being turned into a zombie. Getting back to 28 Days Later and its sequel 28 Weeks Later, the infected were infected by the Rage Virus, they never died.
Spoiler time. if you havnt seen 28 Days Later you might want to plug your ears.

The beginning of the film 28 Days later we have animal rights activists break into a laboratory, one of the animals that they release is infected with the Rage virus, this animal then attacks the activist who let it out of the cage, the activist then goes on to attack other people and this is how the Rage virus spread. At no,point did anybody die and because they didn't die there is no way for the zombie virus, no matter what you call it take over the brain and turn that person into a zombie.
In 28 Weeks Later which is the sequel to 28 Days Later, someone is also heard saying that most of the infected have died out and starved to death, zombies don't feel the need to eat, they don't need to eat because they are Dead.
... and that is why 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later are Not, zombie films. Just like the film with the little monkey, "OutBreak" where the protagonists are infected, they are not dead.

All that being said, I have to admit 28 Days later is still in my top 10 best horror movies collection and I do still go back to watch it.

Friday, 4 May 2018

I Only Sneezed

It's that time of year again, the time where once again I need to let everyone know that I am not patient Zero, as I get looks of abject fear from the people I share public transport with.

Last week I had to go to my son's school for a parent/Teacher meeting so we could see how he is doing at school and whether he is hitting his targets or needs more support from home.

While I was on the bus I sneezed, I sneezed about 4 or 5 times in a row and the looks I got...

You would think that I had sneezed and sprayed everyone in front of me with some deadly toxin or a huge glob of lung had shot out of my mouth and hit the guy in front of me on the back of the head.

I sat there, all red eyed and snotty nosed and looked round at everyone, looking at me as if I had just unleashed Novichok on them, their faces carrying a look of a cross between disguised and slight panic.

So to the people I shared that bus with, here's the deal.

It is spring time and I suffer from Hey fever. This is where tiny bits of pollen and flowery junk tickle the back of my nose and make me sneeze, you think you had it bad last night? You should see me in the morning when I have an hour long sneezing fit.



I do take antihistamines to help with my hay fever but, there are the occasional times when I do sneeze, a lot, when these tines do occur I sneeze into a tissue or my hand. My head does not spin around like some kind of demented fair ground clown as a spray toxic fluid over everyone, so you have nothing to fear.

Truth of the matter is, if there was a zombie apocalypse, chances are I would be one of the first to become a zombie banquet when I alert a zombie horde by sneezing whike hiding behind a wheelie bin.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Should I Start Uploading To YouTube Again?

Last Thursday I joined with nearly 100 parents from my town as we descended on my youngest son's school for the annual Parent/Teacher evening. Hated and feared by kids the world over while their parents give that sly "Now I get to see what you're like at school" grin to their young ones.

As it happened the evening went very well and even managed to throw in a few unexpected surprises.

One such surprise was from my son's Technology teacher, the same teacher my son did not want me to see. He told me that she is scary and no doubt would have something bad to say, she shouts a lot and is super strict. Needless to say as he tried to walk in a different direction, I made a beeline for her table and sat down in front of her.

Much to DT3's surprise she smiled at him and asked why he didn't want to see her. As my son stumbled across the words to say why he didn't want to come over, I jumped in and just told her the truth.

"Because he thinks that you are a scary teacher".

Funnily enough his technology teacher was not at all surprised by my comment, replying..

"Oh (DT3) I am lovely, a big softy. The problem is we have 4-5 children with rather big personalities who need to be kept in check, I am an old school teacher, been doing this for over 35 years and I don't go with pandering my pupils. You, on the other hand, if I had a class full of people like you, you would see a different me".

Unfortunately my son went a deep shade of red and didn't quite know which direction to look in.

Parent-Teacher Night

This was only the first surprise that my son had in store, Yes, there was one more waiting for him.. and me, and that came from his Religious Education teacher. Needless to say his teacher was more than happy with his progress and how he worked. The surprise came when his teacher turned to me and said..

"I am a very open-minded person and have to say that I do like the videos that you upload to YouTube and I look forward to watching your next instalment".

On this occasion it was not only my son who had problems finding the right words to say, especially since I have taken most of my videos down.

Thing is, my son's 'RE teachers comments have got me thinking, should I re-upload them again?

It would give me a lot to write about as I fill in the back stories behind them.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

I`m Going Dairy Free

Last year I found out that I have Ulcerative colitis, in a nutshell, the auto immune system in my gut, the system which attacks foods or substances which it deems to be a poison or a threat has decided to attack random pieces of food which are not a threat, like that bit of lettuce or that chunk of cucumber. Because of this I have to be very aware if what I eat and drink, which leads me onto why I am doing what I am doing now.

For the past few months I have noticed that I am feeling very bloated and gassy after I eat certain foods, mainly dairy products. When I have researched the possible reasons for my bloated fartiness the possible causes could be one of the following.



  • My small intestines are having problems breaking down the A1 protein found in most dairy product's (Thanks small intestines)

  • As part of my UC I have developed an intolerance to the sugars found in dairy products (lactose) where they can not break the lactose down into its separate sugars.

  • Or.. My Ulcerative colitis has been upgraded to Crohn's disease. Needless to say that I am hoping that it is not the last one. I can do without dairy, even if it does mean that my usual cheese sandwiches and pizza with have to stop, hell come the apocalypse my chances of snagging a deep pan pizza with mushrooms or a cheese sandwich are going to be almost zero.

The Zombie Survival Guide mentions that the first and best weapon to master is your self. Know your strengths and your weaknesses, then work on fixing your weaknesses and for the next few weeks this is what I am doing.

On Monday I stopped eating all dairy products by way of seeing of my fat bloated belly goes away. If it does then I will know that I have issues with one or more of the above. After a couple of weeks I will maybe drink a glass of milk and if my bloated belly comes back then I know that I have issues with either lactose or the A1 protein found in it and I go dairy free for good. Well it's either that or I get bloated and alert that horde of Zombies just round the corner by farting.

Question: If you had to give up dairy what would be the one thing you would miss the most, or if you are already dairy free what was the one thing you found hardest to do without?

Friday, 20 April 2018

How to Survive The Apocalypse.

It has finally happened, the apocalypse is here and you're sat thinking, "OK, What do I do now? How am I going to survive this"?


Lets cut to the chase shall we, the first thing you are going to have to come to terms with is that it has happened, this is not a video game, there are going to be no cashes of ammunition and guns lying round in random places and no, there will not be a fully stocked first aid kit in every other house you go into, your survival depends on you and you alone, there will be no respawn and no do over.

What ever the reason for this total shit storm of an apocalypse, whether it be a man-made nuclear winter we have just walked into, Zombies, Monkeys, Alien invasion, what ever it is, we need to get the mind-set that we need to Just Survive Somehow and we need to get it as a matter of priority.




Luckily I am here to give some advise on getting through the first few days. So here we go..

The Basics.
First thing we need to do is gather a few things together, Water, Caned food, blankets, medical supplies or a first aid kit if you just happen to have one, Sun glasses (No honestly, there is nothing worse than the sun being out and you not being able to see because the sun is in your eyes, there could be anything coming over that hill, and you wont be able to see it and you need to be prepared for that, even if it is not sunny, even if there is 25 gazillion feet of snow outside, snow blind. Sun glasses could be a life saver, they are not just to make you look good.

Weapons.
Your going to need some kind of weapon, personally I would go for a weapon that is light and will make no noise what so ever, a hammer with a good solid metal shaft, a hatchet with a metal shaft and handle or a machete.



baseball bats are OK but the wooden ones will tend to break in a pretty short amount of time if it is used often and an aluminium one will bend. Guns are out of the question because of the noise they make, even if you were to fit them with a silencer, ammo is finite and will run out. Adding to that, I live in England which means I don't have hunting stores on every other street corner.


A bow and arrows or a Cross bow, yes they are cool, and yes we could go all Daryl Dixon, they are quiet and we could make our own bolts or arrows but, you would have to be a bloody good shot to hit your target in the head and you will have to hope that the bolt does not break on impact. This is real life baby not an episode of The walking Dead.

Clothing.
I personally would go for a good strong pair of boots and clothes with pockets, lots of pockets, cargo pants, and a combat jacket or sorts, yes, you might end up looking like an Action man but it will be well worth it as you need to carry stuff around with you and you need to get to this stuff fast.
If you get that nasty booboo or paper cut on your finger you are going to have to get a band-aid as soon as possible, so what better place to have a small first aid kit or a couple of nastyplasts than in your pocket.
The next thing you are going to need is a bag to carry your gubbings around in, at this point I feel I should point out that the more stuff you put in your bag, the more stuff you will need to carry so Travel light!



Misc Items.

A wind up torch, having the best battery-powered torch in the world will be useless once the batteries run out and even a solar-powered torch requires sun light to charge, what happens if your stuck underground for days on end? Your super torch wont last more than a day or two. I would recommend this torch its tough, waterproof and can be either solar or crank charged.

Dont laugh but one of the most basic items you will need is a tin opener, you have no idea how important this little beastie will be, imagine a few weeks into the apocalypse, you're hungry and you happen across a tin of food but you don't have a tin opener, damn it. this affiliate link you can get two can openers like the ones in the picture for £5.50 inc postage and I get a nice little kick back as well).
I would highly 100% recommend getting a few of these tin openers pictured on the right, you can get them from any Army surplice stores as well as most decent camping shops, they are also available to order on line, they are small, light and can easily fit in your pocket or on a key chain (Heads up, if you click

It would also be advisable to make sure you have a sewing kit and fishing wire with you. You never know what you will need to repair and when. The last thing you will want is for one of the straps on your bag to give way.

Mobile phones. Chances are that the mobile phone networks will either be flooded with people trying to contact loved ones and family or they will be down so a mobile phone is your choice. If you feel that being able to play that last game of snake will keep you from giving up on everything then yes, go for it but, once again your phone battery will die at some point and you cant guarantee that your charging block will last for ever. You should also remember that carrying a dozen charging blocks for your phone will take up space which could be used for a more important item.

Shelter.
Finally we should talk about shelter. If said apocalypse is not a man-made one (Nuclear) then your next priority is shelter, you are gong to need somewhere safe to come back to, somewhere safe where you can hide until the crap blows over or those Aliens or zombies have moved a couple of blocks down the street.


The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks advises that your own home is the first best place to stay. If you do choose this option then you should disregard staying down stairs, gut the ground floor, barricade the doors and windows and stay on the 2nd floor, he also advises to destroy the stair case to make it harder for anything to get up to you This I would leave to you, its your choice, me personally, I would leave the stairs as is.

My priority would be shelter, food and weapons but not necessarily in that order.

Good luck and remember, noise travels further at night time.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

The Walking Dead Season 8 Finale Thoughts

Warning! Spoiler Alerts.

The end of last week saw what AMC called "Survival Sunday with the end of season 8 of The Walking Dead with "All Out War" and what a finale and the start of season 4 of the Walking Dead spin-off Fear The Walking Dead.



For me TWD season 8 saw the "Ricktatorship" start to crumble as Rick Grimes (played by Andrew Lincoln) slowly started to lose it after his meeting with Negan (J. D. Morgan) and the Saviours in Season 7, his group started to do their own thing regardless of what the plan was supposed to be. Maggie (Lorran Kohan) took control of HillTop and Carol (Melissa McBride) joined King Ezekiel (Khary Payton) in The Kingdom and things stated to go pear-shaped in a very bad way, especially for Morgan (Lenny James) who, as season 8 marched on started to revert back to the old Morgan pre big stick.

With the death of her husband in season 7 Maggie has shifted her focus to the people if Hilltop and their best interests, something which we could see happening for a long time.



The division among Ricks people is even more evident as Maggie is seen telling Jesus (Tom Payne) that her plan is to rebuild Hilltop while making its people stronger so that she can show Rick that keeping Negan alive was a big mistake.

But Maggie's plans to overthrow Rick and kill Negan was not the biggest surprise, that title would have to go to Daryl Dixon (played by Norman Reedus) siding with Maggie and Jesus, thus showing just how fragmented the ranks among Ricks people truly are.

As a side note, this move also leaves the story line open for Daryl`s possible demise. Yes, I know all about the "Daryl dies and we riot movement" but let's face it, Daryl Dixon was and is not part of Robert Kirkman`s The Walking Dead comic.



To end, in my opinion the award for best character portrayal has to go to Lenny James and Morgan and his fight against hordes of zombies, Negan and the saviours as well as his own demons which, as S8 progressed became more and more of problem for him, to the point where, after telling Anne Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) that she should not be alone, she needs to be with people, going on to tell her that he, on the other hand does not need to be around people right now.



By way of coming to terms with his demons, Morgan feels that he should be alone, this way he is less likely to attack a friend, thinking that they are a threat because of his hallucinations.

Those who can't bear with The Walking Dead being Morgan free don't need to worry as he will be meeting up with Madison Clark (Kim Dickens) and her people in Fear The Walking Dead in the upcoming season which from what I hear will spend a lot of time focusing on Morgan and what happens to him between leaving The Kingdom and meeting Madison.

Monday, 16 April 2018

It`s Time To Nut Up, Or Shut Up.

20 points if you can guess which movie the title of this post came from. I will tell you later which one in a little while.

Easter has come and gone, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake and my kids loved it, all those chocolate eggs, sweets and candies. Not forgetting The Easter Ice-Cream Desert Idea that I shared with everyone. This Easter was every kids dream come true!



It turned out to be a bit of a bad dream for some of us as we walked through a house littered with chocolate goodies that had been left unattended. For some of us the temptation became a little too much as we buckled under chocolate coated pressure, or maybe that was just me.

I admit it, the Easter holidays have not been the easiest of holidays for me to get through, many a time I caught myself popping something sweet and covered in chocolate into my mouth. I have to say that I am not impressed with what I have eaten over the last couple of weeks. Let me put that another way, I am not impressed, not with what I have eaten rather, the amount I have eaten. My diet has been loaded full to the brim with junk food, calories and sugar.



Trust me, if I keep going the way I am, I guarantee that when the Zombie apocalypse comes I will be one of the first people to become a human happy meal for any hungry zombie that happens by, hell they wont even need to put that much effort into chasing me down. Yep, I am not at all impressed with my eating habits and what they have become.

Part of the problem is that I have a rather bad relationship with food. I have noticed that I turn to it in times of stress, and boredom. It has always been there for me and nearly always made me feel better. Of course I know this is a destructive relationship and it needs to end, easier said than done it seems.

Last month I posted an article where I talked about Getting Fit At 50, I said, and I quote..
My main pitfall is my eating habits. I am a creature of habit and find it ever so easy to form new ones, especially where food is concerned. Chocolate, biscuits, cookies, cake and most types of junk and fast food will have to go. I know that the only thing stopping me is me, I just need to keep reminding myself of the benefits. I will look and feel a lot better, both physically and mentally.



As Tallahassee from ZombieLand said, "Its time to Nut up or Shut up", I do not want to be that Human Happy Meal. It is time to put away those ever so tasty custard cream biscuits and start eating healthy like my life depends on it.

At the time of writing this it is Friday 13th April 2018, my three son`s go back to school and college on Monday so I have no excuses for eating junk and sitting round the house watching reruns of Dr.Who with my youngest son.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

My Daily Routine

I thought it would be cool to share a day in my life as I dont think I have ever done it before.

My wife starts work early three days out five so our day usually starts at 6.00 we are rudely awakened by our alarm clocks and a chorus of dogs shouting.

I consider myself a morning person, even through I take my time getting out of bed, there is something special about watching the sun rise on a brand new day, especially when you get to see the sun rise, it feels as though we have had nothing but rain so far this year.

My first point of call is usually the kitchen to put a pan of milk on the hob for my wifes morning coffee and switch the kettle on for my morning cup of tea.


I know I have said this before somewhere, but I am not a breakfast person, just the thought of putting food in my mouth in the morning turns my stomach, so while my wife is having her breakfast I get on making everyone's packed lunches.

If I am lucky, which I'm usually not, I have everything ready for 7am, which is when I wake the rest if the tribe. One and a half frantic hours later, everyone has either left for school or is putting their coats on and heading out the door.

9 o'clock is when I usually get back in from the school run and start getting the jobs around the house done.

Once all the jobs (or most of them have been done) I sit down and start to work on ideas for future blog posts and podcasts or actually working on a blog post.

This could be either just jotting down ideas, making a first draft or even getting out and looking for photographs that need to be taken.

Inspiration can hit you out of the blue so I always have my mobile phone to hand so I can take that photo or just jot down a few notes while I am on the bus.

When I am away from my computer I use the WordPress app on my mobile phone (I am actually typing this part of the post on my phone). I love this app, without it I would not be able to write drafts or post ideas as and when they pop into my head.

I would 100% recommend getting a WordPress or Blogger app installed on your phone to anyone thinking about starting up a blog.

Needless to say that there is a chance that the plans that I make on any given day don't go according to plan, things like one of my kids being ill, a flat tyre on my bike or anything else happening can throw my day off on a tangent and before I know it, it's 2.45 and time for me to get organised to collect my daughter from school.

By 3.30 most of my family is back at home and its time to start thinking about what everyone is going to have for tea as my kids vanish to their various rooms and that is my day, to a greater or lesser extent.

By the time my wife gets in from work and we eat the day is all but over. Though we do like to end the day with either a good horror movie or a Tv show about the Paranormal.

I feel that I should say that weekends and holidays are a totally different kettle of fish. 😂

Regards

iJim

Friday, 13 April 2018

Horror Movies, The Missed Opportunity

Dear Horror movie Creators, Directors and Producers.

Have you ever settled down to watch that new zombie movie that youb ordered a few weeks ago, you know, the one that seemed like seemed like something you would enjoy? After all the description seemed ok.

Did you regret getting that movie about 20 minutes into it or sat and watched the end credits roll and thought to yourself that you would never that hour and a half of your life back again?

I know I have, the thing is you are missing out on a golden opportunity as a creator of horror movies to make your mark on the horror movie industry.

Around 95% of zombie movies are seen as a joke, they have little if any substance, zero character development and are poorly thought out and written, as an example, the three movies I have listed below are a random selection of the kind of movie which has, in my opinion made the zombie genre the joke genre of the horror movie industry.

Cockneys vs Zombies, Strippers vs Zombies, Zombie, zombie, zombie, in fact any movie title which includes the words "Vs Zombies" should throw up all kinds of red flags as something which is going to be a waist of time watching and certainly not worth the money you spent on them.



We (or at least I) dont want to see a movie where a couple of drunks in a strip club hear banging and noise coming from outside, open the door to have a look and get their faces chewed off, only to be joined by a few strippers who, accidentally forgot to get dressed again, before going total Rick Grimes a horde of undead who have gathered in the parking lot.



This is not a movie plot, there is no character back story, who were the drunks? Why were they at the club? Was it part of a badly thought out stag party? Who were the strippers, what is their history?

I am not saying that a "good" Zombie movie has to be a gore fest as hordes of flesh hungry undead roam our streets, tearing apart anything that moves, while groups of survivors armed to the teeth barricade them selves into safe rooms. If I can use the hit TV series by AMC The Walking Dead as an example, hours of watch time is spent purely on character development, we become emotionally connected to the people we are watching.

I dont expect that we should have to sit through hours of character backstory before we get in to the movie, but a little bit of history about the people we will be rooting for later in the movie on would be nice.

Let's look at a few classics which have done very well and, have gained a cult following.

  • Any George A. Romero movie.. Any

  • 28 Days Later and it's sequel 28 Weeks Later. (Technically not zombie movies).

  • World War Z (Again, technically not a Zombie movie)

  • ZombieLand

  • The Walking Dead (AMC)

  • Fear The Walking Dead (AMC)

  • ZNation (Asylum)

The above movies and TV shows and many more all have one thing in common, they are all well-written zombie shows with a well thought out character development and back story.

The difference between classic movies like Dawn of the Dead and hit TV shows like The Walking Dead is easy to see. Time and effort has been put into making these movies, the character's have been planned, their likes, dislikes and even their faults have been looked into before the camera's started rolling, unlike most zombie themed movies which for the most part look as though they have been thrown together over 3 days with the idea of cashing in on the horror movie scene.

Think about it, not one of the "Thrown together" movies has stood the test of time, yet nearly every well thought out zombie/infected TV series and movie has done well and gained quite a following.

Dont get me wrong, I don't expect a gazillion pounds to be spent on a Zombie movie, but I do expect a little bit of effort and thought be put into the characters who we will be watching.

If you the creators, Directors and Producers of Zombie movies can do this I would go so far as to say that you will at the very least make your money back if not double it. All it is going to take is planning, time and effort.

I know I would go to watch it at the cinema and even buy it when it comes out on DVD.

Kind Regards

iJim