For me, going to bed early is a guarantee that I’m going to have dreams. So is eating anything with tomato sauce (such as..oh…baked ziti) before bed. Last night…both. No surprise I woke up at 3am after a few weird dreams. The first was short and simple enough – I was living at my childhood house in Brooklyn when a blackout takes place. I wind up standing guard in front of my favorite Korean grocery store with a plate carrier and a pistol grip Mossberg 500. It’s fairly uneventful except for the shotgun being rather stiff in its action and me thinking I need to remember to take some oil to the stupid thing.

At that point I woke up, saw it was 3am, and resigned myself to another long night of unwanted dreams.

Next dream was a zombie spectacular. It may have been the zombie apocalypse but the threat was other people wanting what I had. In my dream I was being led around the house by some bad guy who felt he had a right to everything I owned…very Negan-esque. I was wondering if I might be able to find a gun or two hidden around the house that I could use. I wound up sneaking a NAA minigun when he wasn’t looking, and five shots to the face later, problem solved. After that it was a series of people wandering up to the door and demanding entry to my shattered yet habitable home. Of course, in this dream things don’t go as planned….magazines are missing or unloaded, the wrong ammo is present, and there was a maddening sequence where I was trying to load a SIG MPX magazine in a hurry from a box of mixed loose 9mm and .40 cartridges.

About the only part of the dream worth dwelling on, for me, was the NAA revolver. I already have a tiny last ditch .22….a Beretta 21A…but the NAA is a good deal smaller. (Although, ergonomically, it is a nightmare to handle with it’s virtually non-existent grip and having to watch your fingers with the cylinder gap.)

Ah, dreams…..sometimes we can learn things from them, sometimes not. In this case I’m learning that I really need to not eat right before bed.

Walking Dead – metaphors

Remember the last season episode where right before our crew of intrepid survivors walks into the setup at Terminus Rick is showing Carl how to make a snare to trap game? He explains how the animal is funneled into the trap and is caught before it knows its even in jeopardy. Remember that?


So look at the metaphor in tonights show. The horse has been running around during this crisis and has been surviving just fine. And then…someone tries to reintroduce it to civilization, and once its in the pen behind the fence it gets swarmed and killed by zombies. It was safer outside the confines of the pen, taking its chances with everyone else.

Foreshadow much?

Walking Dead – Shane Was Right Edition

My wife pointed out, after last weeks episode of TWD, that Rick has become Shane. Shane was all about how they needed to do whatever was necessary, that this would not all blow over in a few months, and that the world was going to be a completely different place with different rules and different morals.

And, now, it appears that in Season Five Rick has become what Shane was in Season Two.


fullshaneNow, you could argue that Rick has never killed innocents for the sake of the group, as Shane did when he shot Otis, but in this most recent episode of TWD we see Rick casually saying that if it becomes necessary they’ll just “take” their new sanctuary from its owners. And Rick has, in the past, been less-than-reluctant to let strangers meet a gory demise without helping (which, yes, is not the same as killing them).

But it appears that ol’ Shane may have been ahead of his time in regards to his outlook and attitude.

Walking Dead – Episode 511

Man, I know the apocalypse can be a rough neighborhood….what with crazy one-eyed bossmen, colonies of cannibals, and just the general this-doesn’t-look-good crowd of dangerous survivors….but, geez….Rick and Co. are now just as bad as any post-apocalyptic gang of scumbags? Rick coldcocks a guy, takes his gear, takes his food, and threatens to kill him…and all the guy did was, unfortunately, use some language that was somewhat similar to what the folks at Terminus said. “Community for all” and “Stronger with you than without you” and all that jazz.

On the bright side, this episode was at least a somewhat better episode than the last couple that seemed to focus on experimental direction and storytelling.

Clearly, the end of the world is going to be rife with trust issues. Especially 18 months after the world flushes itself and you’ve spent the last year and a half being hunted, hounded, hungry, hurt and hopeless. But still….that was pretty thuggish behavior. I suppose it’s to show how the character of Rick has changed over time, or something like that.

Slightly better tactics than usual with a 2-man rule being shown, and more finger-off-the-trigger discipline than I’ve seen in a while. Thus far, these first three episodes of the new season seem pretty lame. I think I could have skipped the last three episodes and felt like I haven’t missed anything.

Oh, and probably more than anything else, the blogosphere will be burning up with much teeth-gnashing over the showing of a pair of gay guys kissing. You can show heads being impaled, limbs being ripped off, and cars literally covered in blood, but two guys kissing…thats objectionable. I kinda like the idea of them introducing a couple gay characters…(Everyone forget that there’s already a gay character in the group? Tara.) ..makes things seem a little more real and certainly opens up some previously unexplored story lines. When the end of the world rolls around there’s gonna be all sortsa folks running around trying to survive…men, women, blacks, whites, religious, non-religious, etc, etc. Stands to reason that there’s gonna be some gay folks and couples out there as well. I’d worry less about ‘what’ folks are and more about whether they’re ‘good’ or ‘bad’.

All in all, probably the strongest episode of the season in terms of story and plot development. Now that the ‘Alexandria Safe Zone’ storyline from the comics has been picked up I look forward to seeing how it develops.

Zombie wargaming epiphany

Originally published at Notes From The Bunker. You can comment here or there.

I’ve often said that preparedness fiction, and even zombie fiction, have some merit in our busy reading schedules because they may force us to think about circumstances or situations that we may not have otherwise thought about…and those situations may have more practical applications in ‘real world’ preparedness.

Lemme give you an example……

I’m walking back to the house from work today and I’m thinking, “Ok, zombie apocalypse. Ammo and guns are scarce. What can I do to find more?” And then I have a brilliant idea. Have the team members check the wallets of any zombies we kill and see if they have a concealed weapon permit. If they do, odds are good there might be more guns/ammo at that person’s address.

Started to pat myself on the back and then another thought occurred to me – if I lose my wallet with my permit in it, whatever goober finds my wallet will make the same assumption: theres lotsa guns and ammo at this address. Hmm..I dont need that kinda targetting.

So…I need to make sure my carry permit address isn’t my ‘real’ address. I should be able to have them use my business shop address or the PO box.

This PSA brought to you by an overactive imagination, a touch of paranoia and the letter Z.

The Walking Dead, new breathable emergency bivvy, export bans?

Originally published at Notes From The Bunker. You can comment here or there.

Man, the latest episode of The Walking Dead had what everyone has been clamoring for since first season: heroic Davy-Crockett-at-the-Alamo zombie killing. Honorary Superman Cape awarded to Daryl. Cuisinart Medal of Achievement to Michonne.

Static defense is always tough. It’s great to hole up in a fortress, but if youre locked inside that gives everyone outside all the time and space they need to do recon and move in forces. Smart money would be to always have assets outside the wire who can surprise attackers from the rear and lend a hand as needed. Team Rick managed that only by accident.

Note: I have shot Webleys from time to time and they have trigger pulls that are only slightly better than your average staple gun. Kudos to the panicked extra who actually made it look like a smooth DA pull. (Although, really, they probably just CGI’d the muzzle flash. Still, the Webley Mk I just has classic lines. Love the birdshead grip. I had to freezeframe to amke sure it wasnt a Merwin & Hulbert.)


A while back I posted about the AMK Bivvy Sack a nice piece of gear to keep in any kit. Turns out they make an improved version that combats the biggest complaint about the product: moisture. Since it wasnt terribly breathable, it kept humidity/moisture in there with the user. That leads to clamminess which is rather unwelcome. Turns out they have a new version that is breathable (AMK SOL Escape Bivvy ). A step in the right direction, to be sure. What I find even more interesting is that they are going to offer it in a color other than blaze orange…green! So no more looking like a giant orange baked potato. Sometimes you  want that hi-viz color, sometimes you dont. The green ones aren’t available yet (as best I can tell) but I’ll definitely be swapping out my older non-breathable versions for the new ones.


I received an interesting email from someone overseas the other day. He asked if I had heard anything about a magazine export ban. He had been going to his usual sources  and found that they were not shipping internationally. Perhaps there’s some new program or policy review going on? If anyone can shed some light, I’d like to hear about it.