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Posts Tagged ‘exercise’

I was thinking about how much “screen time” my brother-in-law has each day.  He is seven years old and I think he needs to get outside and play more, or read a book, or make up a game like school or house (which I played a lot as a kid).  He spends a lot of time playing on the computer (club penguin, anyone?) as well as video games (Mario, and Halo when he’s at his friend’s house, which is an entirely different post) and sometimes Wii.

I wasn’t allowed to have video games as a kid, and when I was very little I could only watch a half hour to an hour of TV a day. There were times in my life when I wasn’t very supervised, like when my parents were separated, and I spent hours each day watching TV.  I can remember feeling like the day had been wasted, even as a kid.

However, I think there’s a real argument to be made that using computers and video games prepares kids for life in a world that is more technologically advanced and fundamentally different than the world our parents grew up in, or even the world that our generation grew up in.  (I am 26.)  Maybe I have antiquated notions that he should be reading books more or playing flashlight tag, when really the skills he needs to succeed are more common in Club Penguin and Mario.

Are you going to (do you) limit your kids’ “screen time?”

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I went for a walk in the woods today with my husband as part of my zombie apocalypse preparedness plan.  We had driven to IHOP for breakfast and then had a few hours to kill before my husband was supposed to play soccer.  I decided that instead of going to see a movie or taking a nap at the soccer park, we should go for a walk.  It occurred to me that maybe getting fit isn’t some momentous choice like taking part in a marathon, as much as it is small choices to walk instead of nap.

While we were in the woods, I asked my husband what he would do if there were a zombie apocalypse and we had to bring supplies from our apartment and go somewhere to hide.  He thought we should go to cave, but I pointed out that most caves don’t have a food supply and they only have one entrance, which would make you vulnerable to being trapped and starving, or being overrun by a zombie horde.  I thought it would be smarter to hide somewhere like a mall.  Most malls don’t have a lot of windows, and they have clothes and a food court, so at least as a start you’d be able to fortify a certain section and make small excursions when you need more food.  Eventually most of the food would probably go bad, but I thought it would be a good place to start.

We don’t have much in the way of emergency preparedness supplies.  We’re not the type of people who stocked up for Y2K or keep earthquake kits hanging around.  However, just about everyone should be able to grab these things from where they live:

-a big kitchen knife

-matches

-a first aid kit

-a blanket

-some cans and water bottles

-batteries

-a flashlight

It would be nice if you had  a radio, a machete, maps, or water purifying tablets, but these are just not things I keep on hand.  Frankly if the zombie apocalypse does come I just won’t have those materials.  Also it would probably be very important to learn how to siphone gas off of other vehicles for when the gas stations run out, but eventually even the gas in stranded cars will be used up.

What troubles me most is the notion that in the unlikely event of some terrible dystopian catastrophe, there won’t be any way to take books with me.  I read a few books a week, so there’s just no way there would be enough new reading material to sustain me unless I hole up in library.  Maybe when it’s clear that disaster is imminent I could buy a kindle and download massive amounts of books since credit card debt wouldn’t matter, and then get some kind of generator.

What would you take if you could only bring items you already have that would fit in your car?

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Have you noticed that dystopian fiction is on the upswing?   My best friend and I share a love of dystopian movies and books, so we were years ahead of this trend.  I’m trying to get her into the TV series “The Walking Dead,” which is about zombies.  I’ve finished all of seasons 1 and 2 in the past 2 weeks, and I’m excited for season 3!  I’m not normally a zombie person – I read very little zombie dystopian fiction, but this TV show is making me a convert.

I’ve been struggling lately to start exercising.  I’d like to have kids in the next year or so and I’ve been consciously trying to prepare my body for that, hence no longer taking anxiety medicine, trying to use my CPAP machine more, drinking water, and now exercising.  One of the most motivating thoughts I’ve had is just how completely unprepared I would be for the zombie apocalypse in my current physical shape.  Yeah, I look pretty healthy, but I start to get out of breath after 3 flights of stairs.  I don’t want to be dead weight, so I’m going to try to start walking and running.

This train of thought has led to me to wonder exactly what skills I could contribute if we were overrun by a plague of the undead.  My husband normally has a monopoly on all practical skills since he runs a construction company.  It’s pretty easy to see how useful being able to fix things and build things would be in that kind of future, but my line of work wouldn’t really transfer.   I don’t think there would be that much call for linguistics or research.  Here’s a list of skills I have that I think would be useful:

(1) People like to help me.  If you’ve ever traveled with me, you know what a bonus that can be.  There’s just something winsome and innocent about me that makes people trust me.

(2) I can knit.  Mostly scarves, but a blanket is just a wide scarf, so if we broke into a Michael’s and got lots of yarn, I could make blankets for us.

(3) I have scary good aim.  I know this because I visited my brother at OCS when he was a Marine and participated in family day, where I got to shoot M-16’s and M-203’s.  It caused a lot of comment among the Marines that my aim was so good and I got a few extra turns with the M-203 (grenade launcher) to see if it was a fluke.  I don’t rate this as my number one contribution because I don’t like guns and might freeze up if a zombie attacked me.

(4) If there were a book on survival, I would read it and learn a lot of useful things about the plants we could eat and how to tie knots, etc.  If anything is in a book, I can learn it.  The problem would be finding such a book on the run.

(5) I’m good at giving shots.  That could come in handy if anyone needs medical care.

(6) I’m good at languages, so if we had to travel or encountered people who didn’t speak English, I’d be a good choice for first contact.

Hopefully I’ll be able to add, “Runs quickly” or at least, “I can walk a lot” to this list in the next few weeks.

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