Roger's Blog

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Knocking over a liquor store

We've had kind of a rule about alcohol around here--never keep enough in the compound for anyone to get drunk. Personally, I don't drink. Neither does Matt. Just about everybody else does. Back in the real world, a drinker could take a Friday night to go out with their friends, have a little too much to drink, call a cab and go home. The worst that happens is a hangover, an unexplained tattoo or a sexually transmitted disease. In the middle of a zombie apocalypse, having too much to drink is a great way to kill yourself.

If you think about it, al we have over the zombies is reflexes, coordination and intelligence--three things that we willingly surrender when we have too much to drink. I made a couple of soapbox speeches about the dangers of alcohol when we first got together, but I knew I was outvoted so I settled for the "Don't get drunk rule." For the most part, they've followed it (which is really incredible under the circumstances--there's been many a night I wished I could drink myself into another world).

Anyway, all that is going by the wayside, now. When we send half of our group out on their northbound journey, we're going to tie one on like it's the end of the world (pun intended). I might even have something myself (I think I can drink whiskey or something if I mix it with coke--I hate the taste of alcohol). To pull this party off, we had to hit the liquor store.

We weren't the first to hit the liquor store, as you would imagine. The good news is, nobody ever takes much--it's just not practical, so there was plenty left for us. The bad news is that a few guys aparently drank themselves to death right in the store, because there were three fresh looking zombies in there. The problem with multiples is the sound of the gunshots. We're not sure how sharp the zombies are, but Matt says that in the army the snipers tried not to fire twice from the same location, and never three times because it would give away their position. Even the roof patrols we instruct not to fire more than two shots at a time. Anyway, this creates a real freakin' problem when you open a door and three zombies are coming at you. It creates an even bigger problem when a certain dumbass who shall remain nameless misses one of them at point blank range.

The fact that none of us got killed was a flipping miracle. One of them did manage to draw blood on me, though. Not a bite, thank God, but a cut. I hacked the zombie with a machete and I got more shoulder than neck, so it was still coming at me. The blade was embedded and I used that to keep its head away from me, but the hing was able to push me into a shelf and I got cut, I think from a broken bottle. I got to see a real old west zombie kill--Shawn broke a bottle of whiskey over its head. Okay, we really killed it with the machete, but the whiskey bottle sure got its attention. The other two went down a little easier--shotgun and axe (after a missed pistol shot).

My cut's not bad, but these days anything could be fatal, so I got it cleaned up, treated and bandaged real well when I got back. We brought back enoug booze for the party, too, so I guess it's mission accomplished. It's going to be the ultimate irony if I, the tea-totaler, die from a cut I got from a bottle in a liquor store.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Zombie Currency

It's interesting to see how our little society has been resolving day to day issues. One of the big ones that we never really thought about was compensation. Obviously, money is useless, so we needed a new value system. We pretty much had a share and share alike mentality here when we were smaller, but as the group has grown we got into a lot more "How come she gets two bags of chips" and "He uses too much water to wash up." Well, we've worked out a ration system for the food and water and bullets and all, but there was still a need for barter, with people trading what they don't want for what they do. This led to the interesting development of a universal currency--labor. Everything here can bought by taking someone's patrol time or foraging time or latrine-digging time. It's funny because it's not like we've got great options of how to use our free time, but we still value our free time. I guess the natural human state is laziness and we always trend towards that., even in a zombie apocalypse.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Post-Apocalyptic Zombie Depression (PAZD)

I'm sorry I haven't been writing lately. I've coined a new term: "Post-apocalyptic zombie depression." Not to be confused with "Post-apocalyptic zombie stress disorder," which is what Matt (and maybe Heidi now, too) have. I've definitely got it (PAZD). I just look around and see nothing but death. I can't hear anything anymore except Matt and Heidi taking shots at zombies so far away that I can't even see them...That and the sound of those damn cats. The smell seems to be getting worse, even though everything around us should have decayed months ago. Sometimes, if the wind is right...It's enough to drive you crazy. I'm tired of canned food. I'm tired of rationing electricity and water. I'm tired of taking a gun with me every time I go to use the bathroom (figuratively speaking--where I go is far from a bathroom). This sucks. This whole thing sucks. I wish I would just wake up and be back in my living room watching a Bears game with...

Okay, I'm going to stop that line of thinking right there before I really do go crazy. Let me go back to what I do best--practicality. It got cold here last night--really cold. None of us have really come up with an answer to the question of what we're going to do when winter hits. We've talked about electric heaters and kerosene heaters and woo stoves and all that, but for those to work, we're going to need to get in a much tighter space. And we're going to have to start getting them together--and fast. I don't know what the heck Heidi is thinking--taking her group further up north just in time for winter. I guess it's partially my fault. She wanted to leave over a month ago, but I kept finding reasons for her and "her group" to stay around. I feel like Luke's Uncle Owen from Star Wars. It's time now. They'd better go or we're all going to end up holed up in here all winter and we'll probably kill each other. We're going to need to have some sort of a going away party or something, though. I guess we'll need to go shopping again. I wonder how late the liquor stores are open these days?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

I Hate Cats

You know what I'm seeing a lot of lately? Cats. I've got a theory on that. Dogs, being loyal, faithful, loving creatures, probably stayed with their owners to the bitter end, sacrificing themselves in the process. Cats, well the minute there's trouble a cat is pretty much on to the next meal ticket. And a living human usually can't catch a cat, so the odds of a zombie catching one, well, forget about it. Now that humans aren't around to spay or neuter those little whiskered psuedo-pets, they're breeding like crazy. At least we may have found a renewable food source, assuming they don't turn into zombies when we shoot them. I'll have to make sure Heidi takes all the cat lovers with her when she goes.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Zombie I Almost Dated in High School

It was bound to happen I suppose. You live through a zombie apocalypse, I guess it stands to reason that sooner or later you're going to run across some long lost friend or acquaintance in zombie form. This was a girl I knew back in high school--I probably would have asked her out if I had been a normal sort of kid who actually asked girls out in high school. I'll not mention her name to protect the innocent. Besides, what if this message really is going back in time and she sees her name and learns that she's not going to survive?

I'm surprised I recognized her, actually. I guess it was the sunken eyes. She always wore way too much eyeliner in high school, so she had kind of an undead look to begin with (I thought it was really sexy at the time). We had a few classes together and I always kind of liked her, although I can't for the life of me remember why. I hadn't thought of her in more than a decade though, so it's kind of surprising that I recognized her--I saw her in the home depot when I went to get some more solder in case I need to do more work on the solar panels. She'd gained a few pounds, which I guess we all had before the zombie apocalypse hit. She looked older, too, and a bit decayed. She also had a big chunk missing from her neck and some big old blood splotches all over her clothes. I was stunned. Shawn wasn't. He pretty much liquefied her with the 12 gauge before I even had time to remember when I had seen her last. He always had a way with women.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Power Outage

Sorry I haven't posted for awhile (in case anyone is reading); we had our first "solar incident" a few days ago. One of our solar panels came down in a thunderstorm and ripped out a bunch of wiring. Everybody looked at me because I had been bragging about having studied electrical engineering in college. I tried to explain that when you leave engineering school after the 2nd year, all you've really learned is raw math and science--nothing practical. Nevertheless, when the storm rolled out, I found myself putting on some thick rubber gloves and going up on the roof to try to patch things together. I wish some other facets of the internet had survived the zombie apocalypse, since I'm sure I saw a few articles on how to build and repair solar panels at one time or another online.

There were a few panels that were cracked beyond repair, but I got the rest patched and soldered (yes, I have a soldering iron in my tool box--doesn't everyone?). I was pretty scared when I made that last connection, but I'm still here. I couldn't help but notice Matt standing close by with his hand on his .45--I guess he had thought it through that if I got electrocuted, they would have zombie to deal with in the middle of our compound. Anyway, I'm not sure what effect the cracked panels are having on our total load capacity--it's not like we're running a lot here to begin with. I imagine we might see a problem if we get a few overcast days in a row.

Matt popped two more zombies on his watch last night. I think that's five this week. At least he's hitting them far enough away that they're not attracting more attention to our compound. He said it looked lke one of them might have been getting ready to eat another one that he shot, but he hit it before it had the chance. I wish he had let it go for a minute or two--I'm really curious about that. When we shoot a zombie, does it just become "meat" to other zombies? How do they know not to eat each other before we shoot them? Things to ponder during the zombie apocalypse.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11th

September 11th. It's weird, that day was so important, so significant before the zombie apocalypse. Now it's faded away with the rest of civilization. But yet when the date arrives, I still get that welling of emotions. Maybe it's because it's a tangible point in history--a day when everything changed. The zombie apocalypse is not nearly so condensed. It started on a day nobody is quite sure of and it's still going on now. It ends...When? When the last human dies? When the last zombie decays to nothingness?

I remember September 11th, 2001. The day started strangely. I was sitting at home, checking my email and preparing to go to work when my dog (my stepdog, really) came up and put his head on my knee. He looked at me with such sad eyes, as if to say "Bad things are going on out there, you better stay home." It was strange because he had never really shown any particular affection for me before; we were kind of like college roommates--polite, respectful, cordial, but not really close, at least not at that time. He must have known something, somehow. I wish he was still around when the zombie apocalypse hit--he could have warned us.

Anyway, the first plane hit while I was driving to work, listening to Mancow Muller, a local radio talk show host. I don't know why--I hated talk radio and wasn't very fond of him particularly. I thought it was a joke when he said the plane hit the World Trade Center (he was the sort of radio talker who would follow up serious political discussion by calling some random person and making farting noises in the phone--real high brow entertainment. I wonder if he's a zombie yet?). By the time I made it to work, the second plane had hit, I had checked other stations and it had become clear that we were at war.

Now we have a different kind of war. No terrorists, no airstrikes, no speeches--just waves and waves of former humanity out there somewhere waiting to feast on us. Zombies or terrorists, I'm not sure which is worse.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Pizza Night

So last night was Tuesday. I usually don't keep track of that anymore, but it was kind of significant this time. You see, back before the zombie apocalypse, Tuesday night was my pizza night. I would go out with the same two guys I'd gone out with every Tuesday since 1989 and we'd get a pizza and some ridiculously unhealthy appetizer (the bacon cheddar fries were my personal favorite) and we'd shoot the breeze and complain about life and why everyone else was stupider than we were and if people would just listen to us the world would be such a great place...You know the routine. Anyway, a lot of us here have pizza high on our list of things we miss, and since it appears our group isn't going to be together much longer, I thought it would be cool to have a pizza night for my new group of friends.

So to make this miracle happen, I have been secretly squirreling away supplies when we've gone on foraging runs. The crust was easy--we've got plenty of flour, salt, oil, and even yeast (we've been experimenting with baking bread). Over the last few weeks, I've picked up a few cans of pizza sauce and lots and lots of parmesan and romano cheese (the only cheese I can find that doesn't seem to need refrigeration and lasts more than a few months). Yesterday was the day I put it all together, using the expertise I learned during my early days as a master pizza chef. Okay, I was a line cook for Pizza Hut, but at least I knew the basics. I took it all out back and grilled it and we gathered to have our first (and possibly last) pizza night as a group.

It sucked. Without a doubt the worst pizza I've ever had in my life. I don't know if the ingredients had gone bad if if you just can't make pizza with those cheeses, but UGH. So in case this blog is really being received in 2011, I need somebody to buy like 100 frozen pizzas, preferably from Villa D' Carlo in Kenosha, Wisconsin or Quonset Pizza in Waukegan, Illinois, pack them in ice, put them in some sort of solar powered freezer, and leave them where I am sure to find them after the zombie apocalypse hits. If I can find an old newspaper maybe I'll post some winning lottery numbers or something so you can afford to do it.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Heidi's First Kill

We went to get Heidi a laptop for her journey and we ended up getting her some much-needed experience in using guns and killing zombies, as well. We made it to the store with no problems, then on the way back we decided to take a detour through this school we found, thinking it might make a good secondary base or at least maybe have some more first aid supplies and stuff to scavenge (not to mention books--Heidi will stop anywhere that might have a book). Well, there's absolutely nothing of any use to anybody in there, but before we leave, Heidi decides she needs to use the bathroom. Keep in mind that we haven't had running water for awhile and we've found that undisturbed bathrooms usually seem to have one good flush left in them, so they're a bit of a luxury. Our mistake was to forget the lesson that any idiot who's ever seen a zombie movie knows--the zombie is always in the bathroom. We should have checked it first as a group. I guess having so few zombies around now has made us soft.

Anyway, she went in, opened a stall door, and there it was, just standing there staring at her. Not breathing, of course, not making a sound, just staring and waiting for somebody to open the door. At least Heidi had her flashlight in one hand and her pistol in the other. The way she described it, the thing just started calmly walking toward her the minute she opened the stall door, so Heidi screamed, backed up, and unloaded 4 shots into its head and neck at point blank range. If Matt was with us, he would have been really ticked about using the extra ammo. Anyway, I took a couple of photos for posterity.
The zombie was female, not too damaged (just bites on what was left of the neck and shoulder) and, somewhat disturbingly, not decayed at all. I've seen decay on all the others we've seen, so that means she had to be a fresh victim. We did a quick search of the school and couldn't find any other zombies. We found some blood, but that's about it.
I don't know--every time we go out, it's like another mystery. Anyway, Heidi is pretty shaken up about it. She might even be rethinking the split, now. We'll see. We all go through it the first time. Actually, I went through it just about every time. Academically, we know they're already dead. Emotionally, it feels like murder.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


On the list of sounds you'll never forget, I think the sound of gunshots at night has got to be near the top of the list. I remember during the brief time that I lived in downtown Milwaukee I would fall asleep on Friday and Saturday nights to the sound of an occasional gunshot. I wasn't worried--I was in a secure building, but still I was a little creeped out. Of course when the zombie apocalypse hit, there was a lot of gunfire. And screaming...endless screaming. It seemed to last for months. Then it stopped. I guess the last humans were like us--hiding in the shadows and trying not to call attention to themselves. I imagine people were still dying, just dying quietly.

The reason I bring this up now is that as a few of us gathered on the roof to watch the sunset, drink some weak coffee or tea and breathe in the stench of death that assaults us day and night, we heard gunshots. Distant--I think southeast of here, but clearly gunshots. My first thought was of Geoff, maybe fighting for his life against a zombie horde with the last of the guns and ammo he stole from us, but now I'm not so sure. The shooting has been sporadic, but it has gone on for more than an hour now, sometimes closer, sometimes farther (although that could be a trick of the wind). If I didn't know better (and I guess I don't, really), I would say someone was out there hunting zombies. At least I hope it's zombies they're hunting. There's a part of me that's worried, but there's another part that's saying "Rock on! Pop one in the head for me, pal." All hail the new hero of the zombie apocalypse, whoever he is.  


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Zombies did our work for us

The guys came back a little later than we expected, but they came back alive, and with some of the stolen gear. They never found Geoff, but they found Cynthia, at least what was left of her. She had turned. I'm told that by the look of it, the zombies feasted on her pretty good while she was alive, which means either Geoff was dead or he ran off. Based on the fine character he showed by leaving with her in the night with a bunch of stuff that didn't belong to them, I'm betting on the latter. Oh well. One guy alone out there isn't going to last long. I know I sound callous, but we have so little around here, we don't have much patience with people who try to take more than their share. We got back one pistol, one shotgun and some shells. We're still mising one shotgun. They did find most of the food, but the stumblers had apparently torn into it so they didn't want to bring it back.

Back on the homefront, I think a split is unavoidable now. Heidi wants to go north and it sounds like Sarah and Matt and maybe a few others want to go with her. I told her she has to take Louie with her too, or she gets no food or guns. She thinks I'm kidding (Sorry Louie). I want this to be farewell, but not goodbye, or however the heck that goes, so we've got to work out some sort of long range communication plan. I had set Heidi up with her own account on here (although I'm not sure if she knows how to use it yet); I'm thinking we need to go back and snatch another one of these computers if we can. That will let us blog back and forth so we can stay in touch and hopefully reunite after they find whatever the heck they're looking for. It's going to be sad to see them go, but I guess I feel better knowing that we can stay in touch. There's also a part of me that's curious as to what things are like out there.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

20 People left alive--why do some of them have to be jerks?

Just when I thought things were settling down a bit, we get two idiots who risk the whole group. Geoff and Cynthia decided to leave early this morning, before most of us were up, and the A-holes took 3 guns and a bunch of our food with them! Matt spotted them from the roof--he didn't know what they took or he probably would have popped them right there. There was no time for a discussion or a vote or anything--when we saw the guns missing, we formed up a posse and they went after them. Matt, Shawn, Corey and Jacob went out right on their trail. I wanted to go with them, but then again, I didn't. I mean killing zombies is one thing, but what the heck are we supposed to do with these folks? They're just ordinary people, a young couple, right? Except they're armed, armed with guns they stole from us. If I went along, I would be the cooler head who is supposed to prevail--the problem is I don't feel very cool right now, and even if I was, I don't think Matt is going to be in any mood to negotiate (Shawn either for that matter--he has kind of become keeper of the food and he's taking this theft personally, too). They're coming back with those guns and food, no matter what, and I guess I'd just as soon not know what the "No matter what" is. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Zombies are irritating, but people drive me nuts

When we had our triumphant return from the outdoor store, I thought we were in pretty good shape. We had more food, more gear, and a lot more weapons. I come back to find out that some people had left and more wanted to leave. If there's one thing this whole zombie apocalypse has proven, it's the value of numbers. A dozen zombies can beat one guy with a gun almost every time, but when you've got 15 or 20 people and most of them are armed, well, you can take out a lot of zombies. I guess that was what I thought we were going to have when we got back--a big group, lots of guns--safety. Whether we stay here or move on, I felt like we were going to be read for whatever came at us.

Now people are leaving. Sharon, Stan, and a bunch of others left while we were gone. Geoff and Cynthia just got here and they're already talking about leaving. I'm hearing whispers from others. Even Heidi keeps talking about wanting to go north and look for her family. I'm sorry, I didn't like going to Wisconsin when there weren't zombies there--why would I go now? I just feel like this whole thing is falling apart. I keep thinking if I was stronger, if I was a "Rah rah" guy, maybe I could give some rousing speech to rally the troops and get us all pulling in one direction. That's not me. Hell, I'm not even officially the leader. People just keep asking me what to do because I kind of sound like I know what I'm doing and I've been here the longest.

The one  really worry about is Matt. He's been volunteering for two shifts a day on the roof, watching for zombies. He's not just watching for zombies, he's hoping for zombies. Before this whole zombie epidemic or whatever it is hit, I always joked that Matt was the type of guy who would end up on a roof with a high powered rifle someday. Well, the day has come. And he's got plenty of ammo.

Friday, August 5, 2011

One-Stop Zombie Apocalypse Shopping

Cabelas was in better shape than we expected. It had been looted, but whoever did it closed up afterwards--probably planning to go back. I suspect it may have been whoever was holed up in that shopping mall surrounded by zombies where we lost Mike. I think the looting happened early in the outbreak, though, because the stuff that was missing was kind of stupid. Lot's of clothes and shoes and high-end electronic stuff was clearly missing--like somebody thought they were going to pawn it or something. The display guns were gone, of course, but nobody even looked in the back of the store, where they keep the real stuff.

We tried to stick with calibers that matched what we had--12 guage shotgun, .45 caliber pistol and Matt's SKS--we struck out on that one and had to get a different caliber of hunting rifle. We came away with a couple of Remington 870 pump shotguns (just like the one Matt left with Shawn), four 1911 pistols (like the one Matt was letting me use on this trip, amazingly enough) and two classic Springfield M1A rifles (they don't use exactly the same ammo as Matt's SKS, but the damage is supposedly similar). We also grabbed so much ammo for all of those that I thought we would break the springs on the Blazer. I crammed in a couple of fishing rod and reel kits (the break-down kind), some binoculars for Heidi (with night vision), 6 absolutely badass machetes with 19 inch blades, a few flashlights, batteries, and sleeping bags, and (strapped to the top of our grossly-overloaded vehicle) 6 crates emergency food kits. Matt also insisted we make room for gun-cleaning supplies.

If hotwiring were a skill any of us had, it would have been nice to pick up another vehicle to replace our lost truck and load it as well--we left a lot of good stuff in that store. We did something abso-freaking-lutely brilliant with some of the extra guns and ammo in the store, if I do say so myself. I won't go into it here in case the wrong people are reading this, but I'm really proud of this one.

Another thing we did before we started back--we camped in an industrial building down the block and took target practice on a small cluster of zombies that came wandering down the street (they might have followed us from the mall). It was almost fun. I don't really care for the shotgun, but I think I can do some damage with the pistol and rifle. Matt was on--three kills with 4 shots from his SKS. Corey handled the shotgun pretty well for a smaller guy. Justin...Well, I think Justin might have to stick with the machete--he pretty much just wasted ammo. More importantly, we all kind of acclimated ourselves to the idea of being the hunter instead of the hunted. I'm kind of starting to feel like Matt--we've all lost so much to these things; maybe it's time to get some payback. After we dropped the cluster, we kept waiting for more to come, but they never did. We even thought about going back to the strip mall and cleaning house on those 100 zombies, but we were afraid we might be overrating our own abilities...And we didn't know how we'd handle it if Mike was one of them.

When we finally got back on the road, the trip started out pretty much uneventful. The roads were still clear. Well, almost. There was a blockage on Dundee Road that wasn't there before--it couldn't have been, or we wouldn't have made it. It was a school bus, a yellow school bus, overturned in the road with a couple of cars crashed around it. We're not sure how it got there, but we agreed it was bad news--Matt thought it was a classic ambush. Luckily we saw it far enough ahead that we were able to take an alternate route (thanks to Heidi's new binoculars). We actually took an extra night because we detoured up through Palatine and set up our own ambush, waitingto see if anybody followed us (we didn't want to lead anyone back to the camp). Nobody came, though. I still wonder where that bus came from. Anyway, we made it back acouple nights ago and nobody has showed up at our door (human or zombie), so maybe we're just paranoid. We're alive. These days it's one and the same.  

Thursday, August 4, 2011

In Memory of Mike-the Zombies Took Another One

Sorry for the coarse way in which I informed you of Mike's death--it's been a long week. I guess you didn't know him anyway so it probably doesn't matter. As you can imagine, we've become a little callous about death here--after the first 100 million or so, deaths start to lose meaning. It's been a while, though. We lost Kevin in the Sam's Club a month or two ago, but he had just joined us--nobody really knew him. Mike...Well, we all liked Mike. Mike deserves better.

I remember the day he joined us. It was still early in the outbreak; we were really just getting started. Most of the people who joined us were friends and relatives of the core group (Heidi, Shawn, Matt and I) and everyone was coming with their family photos and heirlooms and whatever survival gear they thought they'd need. Everybody brought bottled water, it seemed (thankfully). Nobody knew Mike or knew how he found us. He just showed up at our door carrying nothing but a box of doughnuts. I'm terrible with names, so for the first month, I just called him "Doughnuts." He never seemed to mind.

So here's how it happened. We had toyed with the idea of making up some grand story about how he sacrificed himself to save us in some great zombie battle royale, but it doesn't seem right to make his memory a lie--besides, it seems like nobody really gets a hero's death during the zombie apocalypse. The truth is, we made it all the way to Hoffman Estates almost without incident. We had to clear a few cars and we saw some zombies along the way (some followed us, but we out-distanced them), but we made pretty good time and we were actually at the intersection of 59 and Higgins not long after nightfall on our second night (we mainly traveled at night--I still think the zombies mainly hunt by sight). That intersection is where it all went bad.

We were in two vehicles--three of us in the Blazer and two of us in the pickup. We've agreed not to say who was where, other than that Mike was driving the pickup. There's this little strip mall at the intersection (a Target, a Caribou Coffee, etc.). Well, we turn onto Higgins to head toward Cabelas and about 100 zombies come pouring out of the mall. Mike panics, hits the gas and flips the truck. His passenger made it out, but Mike was pinned with 100 zombies coming at him. I guess a hero would have made a stand and tried to kill those zombies and save Mike's life. There are a lot of dead heroes out there. We took off. You could argue that the person in the truck could have done more to try to save him, but the bottom line is that any one of the four of us would have done the same thing. You don't live this long by worrying about the people you have to leave behind. Matt fired a few shots to try to blow up the gas tank (pretty near impossible, I've heard, unless the tank is empty) and then he fired toward the driver's side to spare Mike from what comes next. Judging by what we heard as we drove away, I don't think he was successful.

The mission was a success--we're loaded on ammo and supplies now--but the cost was high. I don't think any of us who were on that trip are going to be able forget what we saw and heard that night. We did learn something, too. The zombies are starting to cluster--that's why we don't see so many of them anymore. They find a building with somebody in it and literally hundreds of them gather around. We suspected that was happening, but now we know for sure. I guess we did well to dispose of our watcher last month before his friends arrived. This makes me think maybe there were some other survivors in that strip mall where the 100 zombies came from. Maybe our distraction helped them to escape, assuming they wanted to escape. I guess now we know how to find survivors--look for concentrations of zombies.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

We're back

We made it. We got stuff. We lost Mike. The zombies are still out there. I haven't slept in three days. I'm going to bed . More tomorrow.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Growing and Going

We've got two new survivors who joined us today--Geoff and Cynthia. They seem like nice twenty-somethings, a couple. It was one of those things we were wondering about--they were holed up in a building like 2 blocks from us, living on rainwater and rice. For some reason I have yet to understand, they must have had like 50 bags of rice--they're already okay in my book; I love rice. Anyway, we apparently shop at the same stores. We found them in the 7 Mart or whatever the heck it is while we were scrounging for power bars, batteries and water. I think we were the first non-zombies they've seen in a long time--they were really happy to join up.

Now it's almost like we know what we're doing. We've got supplies and even a destination. We want to hit a sporting goods store, hoping to grab some weapons and survival gear (I know, I know--maybe that would have been a good idea like 5 months ago). Heidi suggested Bass Pro Shops up in Gurnee because it has (or had) everything we need and because she knows the layout of that mall pretty well and could probably get us in and out of there easily. My issue with that is that it's in a mall. Every clown who ever saw "Dawn of the Dead" will be heading to a mall, and that's the biggest one in northern Illinois. It's been ransacked at best, at worst, it's full of zombies or whacked-out survivalists trying to start a new world order. No thank you.

I managed to convince the group that Cabela's in Hoffman Estates is a better bet. It's a stand-alone store in an industrial park, so the zombie count is probably low and I'm guessing not as many people thought to go there when this hit. I'm not expecting locked doors and a full inventory, but maybe we come away with a shotgun, some sleeping bags and a propane stove. I wish their website was still up--I would love to put together an accurate shopping list and get the layout of the store. We debated about whether to use a truck or golf carts to get there--it's kind of a haul. We decided to chance it with a truck, since at least it would offer us more protection than an open cart and it could hold more gear. That means I can look forward to  pushing cars out of the way all day--I can't imagine the roads are clear from here to there. If all goes well, we leave tonight. Matt's coming with me--he knows what to look for in guns, more so than I do. Shawn wanted to ride along, but I talked him out of it--we're bringing Corey instead. He's smaller and faster (and has two working knees, unlike Shawn) so he can scout for us. We're going to leave the computer here, so Heidi and Shawn will have to do the blogging for awhile (or forever, if we don't make it back).

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Creeping me out

Before this whole thing hit, I was somewhat of a "Zombie fan." I saw all the movies (Romero's original "Dawn of the Dead" being my favorite) and loved them. I saw the tv show ("The Walking Dead") and yes, I even looked at zombie webpages, places like and, but something has been kind of bugging me. More and more, I'm starting to think I've seen this blog before. I know it's a generic blog format and a million sites looked like this, but a million zombie sites didn't--they usually had black backgrounds with blood and all that other stuff that made the site look creepier.

What really got me was when we put the names at the top. I saw my name and had a total feeling of deja vu. I remember seeing this site and thinking "Oh cool, this guy is named Roger, too." I don't remember reading much of it, though. Maybe things are finally getting to me. The date stamp on this thing keeps taunting me. 2011. Could this blog actually be some kind of link to 2011? I must have watched too much Doctor Who. I'm going to have to figure out how to test this idea, though.

In the meantime,we're going to be doing a quick foraging run to get supplies for a longer trip. We've hit most of the local stores, but there's still one or two that might have something left--we really need some more bottled water and power bars and transportable stuff like that, not to mention flashlights and batteries. We haven't quite settled where the longer trip is going to be yet--Shawn wants to go toward Evanston, but I think that's suicide--the population is too high and it's too close to Chicago, but he thinks we have a better chance of finding survivors there. Heidi wants us to go up north toward Wisconsin (once a cheesehead, always a cheesehead), but she's probably not even going on this trip, so it's not up to her. I'd kind of like to go west, maybe toward Crystal Lake or Carpentersville, see if we could find some abandonded farm or something. Matt just wants to go. He's beoming more and more sullen and I think it's driving him nuts that we're not doing anything. More and more, I think he's starting to think he'd rather be out killing zombies than hiding from them. That kind of thinking got a lot of people killed--I hope we don't have to add him to the list. Everybody else in our group is just content to stay here--there's a lot of shell-shock, or PZSD (post-zombie stress disorder) as I all it. I hope they come out of it soon and start contributing, because right now they're just eating our food and drinking our water...Sorry. I've got to be more sensitive about these things.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Zombie Apocalypse Stinks

The smell is something you never quite get used to. Imagine finding a dead animal that had been laying out in the sun for a few days. Now imagine several billion of those animals dying within a one month period. That's about what we're dealing with. We tried all kinds of things at first--wearing masks, wearing excessive cologne and perfume (I'm allergic--I'm glad we stopped that crap), and then there were the air fresheners. The last straw was when somebody who shall remain nameless insisted on putting some kind of aromatic pimp oil all over the compound. This place stunk to high heaven--we took a vote and decided we all liked the smell of death better. I guess you can adjust to anything. I won't tell you I can't smell it anymore, but I really don't think about it much anymore. It's actually a pretty good early warning system--when the smell intensifies, you've got a stumbler in the area. We actually thought we smelled something last night when a couple of us were up on the roof, but it passed. Maybe something walked by. Odd that we didn't see it. We're all getting kind of jumpy now, anyway--it's been awhile since we've seen anything.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

We Gotta Get Out Of This Place

We're all starting to get a little stir crazy, now. We've been peeking out every window, we've even gone up on the roof at night and looked around. There is nothing but nothing out there. Is it still technically a zombie apocalypse if there are no more zombies? I know this is exactly what the hero does wrong in every zombie movie I've ever seen, but the urge to go and see what's out there is overwhelming. There are a few of us who want to move on, or at least go out on a real scouting mission, maybe go out a few miles and see if we can find some survivors. Or food.

The 1800 pound elephant in the room around here has always been food. We do our little foraging runs and we're doing okay, but the thing we never talk about is that sooner or later, there will be nothing to forage. Whether we're talking about our neighborhood or the world in general, there is a finite amount of stored non-perishable food out there. Even non-perishable is a misnomer--everything spoils eventually (except honey, as I recall--it last thousands of years. I have no idea why). This means that for the continued survival of our group or our race in general, we will eventaully face the same decision our cave-dwelling ancestors faced--hunt or farm.

I'm not even sure hunting is an option. We don't really see animals around here, except birds (I presume the zombies eat animals as well as people). If we were to kill an animal, I can't say with 100% certainty that it doesn't become an animal zombie of some kind. Can you eat a zombie, an animal zombie, I mean? Or does the affliction make it deadly to us the minute it "Dies?" This is all assuming that there are animals left out there. 4 billion flesh-eating zombies can put a good dent in the food chain, I imagine. Except fish. I bet there are still fish. Can there be zombie fish?

For that matter, I'm not sure what kind of an option farming is, either. I had a garden; I can grow carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers and such, but how do you grow rice? What about wheat? If you grow wheat, how do you turn it into grain? Then what? Does anybody know how to build a good stone oven so we can bake like one loaf of bread with the wheat we spent 6 months growing? We were a society dependent upon the idea that other people and machines would do the work for us. Nobody knows how to do anything here. We're security guards, computer geeks, cashiers, salespeople--none of us have skills that apply to the world the way it is now. The fact that we're still alive is nothing short of a miracle. Of course, maybe we're alive because of who we are. When this thing hit, we had no delusions about fighting the zombies or saving our distant relatives downstate or joining the police citizen militias to help keep order--we just grabbed who and what we could and hid. Again, just like our anient ancestors--when the going gets tough, take to the trees and wait for the right opportunity to take over.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

I wonder how China is doing

When the outbreak was at it's height, it seemed like China was getting the worst of it. It stands to reason--more people, more zombies. They had a very radical theory that they put into action at least once or twice. They basically sent out the word for all of the living to evacuate a city, then they nuked it. I know they killed a lot of innocent people, but I've got to tell you, they may have been on to something. We know the cities are the biggest concentration of zombies, so you eliminate those and you've got a fighting chance. Of course the down side (besides the loss of innocent life) is that now you've got radiation and blast damage in the neighboring areas. Basically anybody who gets killed without being incinerated or decapitated is a new zombie. I guess maybe by nuking the city you're just pushing the problem to the suburbs, because now everybody immediately around the city is dying of radiation poisoning and becoming radioactive zombies. The China solution may not have been such a great idea after all.

It's just so frustrating--not knowing what's going on. The radio is getting worse--even the televangelists are dropping off. I'm getting nothing on the internet; no blog responses, nothing. There is occasionally something weird on the net, though. Society is gone, every government and commercial website we can think of come up blank, but we can still find an occasional active porn site. There was a group with a business model to survive the end of the world. Still, we get no news. We have no idea if there are survivors in China, or the U.K. or India, or even a few miles away in Chicago. Hell, there could be 10,000 survivors in our own town a just few blocks from here and we would never know. We need to get out more--this is driving me crazy.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Zombie Bites

I promised to tell a bit about the theory of the zombie bite, and now that I've done a thorough skin check and I'm sure I haven't been bitten, I can discuss this clinically. First of all, the whole zombie thing does not appear to be a virus, or at least not a normal virus. It doesn't affect the living; only the dead. In other words, you can't "Catch" zombie-ism while you're alive, but if you die, regardless of the cause of death, you will become a zombie. This is key because in the beginning, most of the deaths weren't directly caused by zombies. Let me give you a zombie history lesson.

Picture this: Every corpse in a hospital morgue suddenly gets up and starts attacking people. Most of the patients in the hospital are not in any kind of shape to run or fight, nevermind that they have no clue what's going on. The patients get killed and now you've got the morgue zombies and the patient zombies. They quickly overcome whatever staff that doesn't escape, so now you've got the staff zombies. Now suddenly every hospital in the country is not only out of commision, but they've got a population of a couple hundred zombies that start to spread outward. With no hospitals and most of the health care workers dead, death rates go up, creating more zombies.  But that's just the tip of the iceberg--now comes the human factor. People start to find out what's going on and they go batshit crazy. Driving like maniacs to try to get to the country or their family or the CDC or whatever. They end up causing accidents, killing themselves and innocents along the way. All zombies now. The criminals and the crazies see this as their chance and they start looting and rioting, killing a few more people along the way. More zombies. The cops finally have to start shooting on sight to get control. More zombies. Your creepy neighbor has always wanted your car, your tv, your wife, whatever--figures this is his chance while the cops are busy. He comes over with a gun and either he shoots you or you shoot him or you shoot each other. More zombies. And once a family member turns, that whole house is gone--who can chop off mom or dad or junior's head?

Now back to the bite. I heard a guy on the news near the end saying that the bite itself was not infectious, but zombies were like kimodo dragons--they carry so much bacteria in their mouths that once you're bitten you will die of a systemic infection in a matter of days (hours?) if you don't get antibiotics. This of course caused a panicked run on antibiotics which resulted a whole new round of killings and a new generation of zombies. So the cause of zombie-ism? Who knows. The cause of the apocalypse? People. Stupid people. Here endeth the lesson.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Not Watching Us Anymore

Well, I did it. I'm not happy about it, but I did it--I took down the watcher. We talked about maybe Shawn and I going out there together, but in the end we decided that just doubled the zombie's chance of biting somebody. I put on the thickest clothes I had and some gloves (great freaking idea in July), grabbed this ice scraper/chopper thing we had (it had a nice blade and a long pole) and I went out there to seperate this stumbler from its head. I had a great plan--swipe at the legs to bring it down, then slam down on the neck. Quick and easy. Yeah, right.

Tool of the Trade for the Zombie Apocalypse

I hit it in the legs and it just kept coming at me. I finally jab at its neck and it ends up catching the pole. We dance around like that for a minute then I finally get it up against the wall and I start pushing with all I've got and the blade starts going into it's neck. The whole thing took like 10 minutes. It reminded me of that scene in "Saving Private Ryan" when the nazi was on top of the American GI and saying "Shhh" while the knife was slowly going in. This was some disturbing shit. I'll spare you the rest of the gory details and just suffice it to say that killling one of these things ain't quite like it looks in the zombie movies. I'm just grateful that none of its friends came by.

We got rid of the body (I never heard the definitive word on if zombies eat dead zombies, but we're not taking chances). When it was all done, the guys were congratulating me like I just won a a ball game or something. It kind of made me sick. I wish I could take a shower.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Killing Zombies

We're kind of at odds about what to do with this watcher. Matt wants to bust a cap in its ass (well, head, but you get the idea). We're all a little worried about the noise (as I mentioned) and what it might bring down on us. The problem we're facing is that nobody wants to volunteer for the alternative--going out there with a sharp implement and seperating this thing from its head. We all talk a good game, but when it comes down to it, killing these things is tough. Have you ever chopped someone's head off? Well, actually, if you're alive to read this, you probably have (unless, of course, you really are in 2011). It's really tough, unless you've got a Samurai sword or something (note to self--find Samurai sword). Plus, these are, or at least were, people. Luckily this watcher doesn't look like anybody I know, otherwise I'd have real issues. Then there's the whole bite thing. It seems like most, but not all, of those who get bitten end up turning. Somebody had a great theory on that--maybe I'll get into it in another post, but the bottom line is your chances aren't so good even if you get a superficial bite from one of these things. I guess what I'm saying is all those movies where the guys go out there with baseball bats and bash zombies like it's a freaking sport are pretty much full of shit, unless of course the heroes are thesort of people who are used to going around bashing people with baseball bats anyway (in which case it kind of makes sense). None of us really did that back in the normal times. I would have liked to sometimes, but never did it. Well, we're going to have to do something about this thing soon and I'm becoming increasingly afraid that I"m going to be the one who has to do it. If you don't hear from me again, you'll know what happened.