Saturday, September 28, 2013

Home Improvement and Zombies

Working around the house.

based on a photo by MöWmEm
Having some work done around the house.

Ongoing projects around the house.

Regular, scheduled and emergency maintenance around the house.

It's all around the house.

And that's part of owning a home. There are just things that have to be done. Some of those things you can defer until later. Some you can pay others to do. Hell, without some very specific home improvement skills, sometimes you have to pay someone else.

Inevitably, though, you find some stuff you'd forgotten about. Old art projects from your kindergartner who is now in high school, a photograph of yourself from when you were a kid, a trinket from your beloved you'd not even realized you'd lost!

It's good to dig into your dwelling place from from time to time and see what's filling up the nooks and crannies of that place you call home. This applies to your laptop, your smartphone, and that awesomest processing tool you carry around between your ears too.

This post reminds me of an article written and accepted for a zombie anthology a few years ago. Unfortunately the anthology, a moron's guide filled with humor and damned good tips on surviving that inevitable walking dead apocalypse, was abandoned when the small press sponsoring it shut down and the editor moved on to bigger and better pastures. Still, this story lingers on.

Hope you enjoy the first half, which I'm sharing below. I'll share the rest next time.


by Bob Chalet for The Home Despot

Hi, friends!

Bob Chalet here with this week’s helpful hints. If you’re like me -- and I know many of you are -- the resettlements and walled camps are nice and serve their place for those that have the stomach for close quarters, but there’s just nothing like the thrill of living in your own place in one of the wilderness communities. Whether your stake your claim in the burbs or on a Hickstowne mountainside like me, the exhilaration of driving that nail in your new downspout one minute and shoving your favorite wrecking bar between the eyes of a shambler the next, can’t be beat.

Yeah. Now, that’s living.

In order to live free or die trying, though, you’ve got to keep that castle in tip-top shape and what better time to work outside than when those freezing temperatures come gnawing at your nose? Yep, while you’re chopping firewood inside your fence or relaxing with loved ones over a can of dinner, the dead outside are succumbing to Mother Nature’s yearly present to the living.

As the temperature drops and the shamblers slow and freeze, here’s a few things you can do to keep yourself, your loved ones and that castle of yours safe when the thaw comes.

First, grab that heavy coat, a scrap of paper and a pencil and inspect the exterior of your home. Make a good list of supplies for scavenging the nearby abandoned homes or -- if you’re lucky like me -- your trip to a conveniently located Home Despot. Home Despot, where the living buy the stuff they need to stay that way.

Now, check out those windows and doors. If the plywood is showing signs of decay or damage, why not go ahead and replace it? Some of the finest sections of salvaged triple-ply is available from your friends at the HD and they are staying open later than they should to make sure you get a chance at it. No fighting and no guns, please.

Add layers over existing sections that are structurally sound, but remember to remove pieces that keep you from anchoring solidly to the frames. You don’t want a whole section coming down on you in a spring rainstorm. Nothing worse than gathering up the little ones and the missus and fleeing the undead on some dark, rainy night. Gives me the chills just thinking about it.

Be sure to cover windows inside and out with insulation between. The more layers you have, the longer you can hold out. That first floor should be as solid as possible. You can live there and store your goodies there too, but you don’t need to be entering and exiting at ground level. Trust me. Second floors are for windows and doors. If you’re living in a one-story -- how can I say it? This is a family article, so I’ll just say this -- don’t!

If you’re in a brick home, good choice! But, now let’s go one better and brick up those unused portals for the hungry undead. HD barters for some truly wonderful all-weather masonry epoxy. Developed once upon a time by the space program to work in the harshest environment imaginable. This stuff is guaranteed to stand stiff against even the peskiest of the walking stiffs. be continued.

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