Survival 001

As 6PM rolls around and everyone jokes and hahas about the end of days, some of us may want to fine-tune our survival skills… just to be on the safe side.  I can’t cover all the scenarios in such a short time, so lets just hit the big DOs and DON’Ts.


  • Learn how to build a fire.  It helped primitive man rise to power and it certainly makes for tasty (and less diseased) foodstuffs.  Wanton travelers of the post-apocalyptic realm will know you’re living large because you smell of smoke.
  • Know how to properly stab stuff.  Sure, we’ve stockpiled enough ammo around the States to last for a decade or two after the collapse of civilization, but we’ll eventually run out.  When we do, you better get with the stabbity-stab quickity-quick or you’ll be deadity-dead.
  • Water falls from the sky.  You can make it weeks without food but only days without water.  It’s important and it just falls from the sky… and does so more often in places like rain forests and Seattle.
  • Travel in packs.  Someone has to slow the zombies down and if you’re lone-wolfing it, that someone is you.  Gather up your wall of sacrificial lambs while you can.  Hey, it worked for Invader Zim in the Hobo 13 episode.  Just make sure you replenish your stock regularly.  Waiting until the last minute to bring in new reserves increases your chances of becoming a lone wolf… and we know what happens then.


  • Recklessly set everything on fire.  Flames are not conducive to the "living" lifestyle.  They take away breathable air, destroy flesh, and give insurance companies fits (although, it is good advertising for them).  Remember… fire = good.   You in the fire = bad.
  • Stab everything.  You still need those sacrificial lambs to slow the zombies.  Animals are easier to take around if they can walk themselves.  Eyes don’t work so well with holes in them.
  • Move to the rain forest or Seattle.  The zombie hordes know you’re going there for the abundance of fresh water, and they’ll be laying in wait to snack on some well-hydrated brain jellies.  Don’t be fooled and always remember the words of Admiral Ackbar… "It’s a trap!". 
  • Trust anyone.  Groups lead to socialization.  Socialization leads to factions.  Factions lead to politics.  Politics lead to betrayal.  Come on, haven’t you watched Survivor?  Plus in the days after the end days, people will be more cutthroat as they achieve higher levels of crankiness and bitchiness than ever before.  "Oh, I lost my house and my dog and my seven figure salary.  Boo-hoo."  "I can’t believe it’s gone.  That car was a classic and I rebuilt it with my own hands."  "I’d effin’ kill for some chocolate.  Or beer.  Or chocolate beer.  Can you combine chocolate and beer?  I must be dehydrated cause I’m feelin’ kinda loopy."

I’ve noticed a strange recurring habit amongst companies out there.  It’s not quite a pet peeve, but it does have a heavy annoyance factor.  And it costs companies millions of dollars.  Here’s the setup:

Take your hardware budget and invest it in a million dollars worth of equipment.  Enterprise-level server.  State of the art routers.  Heavy duty SAN(s).

Now, do one of the following with that environment:

1 – Put dozens of resource-heavy applications/databases on that box and realize you should have spent the extra couple bucks on the next level enterprise server that has the backplane to support all those systems simultaneously.  "Come on, bits and bytes.  We can squeeze through that small tunnel!  Follow me!"

2 – Do just enough configuring to get the system up-and-running and leave it at that.  We threw money at a hardware solution, so that hardware should just motor along at screaming fast speeds right out of the box.  Who cares if that SAN could get a hundred times more throughput if things are configured properly?  Who wants a network that’s consistently timely and responsive? "Uhh… huhuh.  Uhhh… huh, he said box."

3 – Give an executive a personal file server all to him/herself. "Dude, they made me an exec and check out how fast I can stream my mp3s now."

4 – Use it as your development and production box where you’re letting your young system administrator (read: low salary power user laterally moved into the position) cut his/her teeth getting to know the ins and outs of the system.  "But we spent too much money on the server to afford a sysadmin!"

5 – Use it to keep your casserole warm for the company pot luck.  "Wow, this casserole is so… warm.  Someone promote this man!"

6 – Trade it in for an enterprise server with less CPU (and the exact same backplane) to save on licensing costs when upgrading the system due to resource-related performance problems on the server.  "Who needs CPUs when we can replace them one-for-one and get cooking with cores?"

Tech Survival Tip: When you encounter any of these situations in the wild, your two best options are to either run (run far… get a taxi if you have to) or negotiate a really good severance package or an upfront bonus (or both if you’re the Corbin Dallas of salary negotiators).

Okay, I’ve joked about the swine flu, but it’s time to take a somewhat more serious look at it (for the people panicking around the world):

  • It’s a flu.  Yes, it originates from pigs but it can be transmitted to humans in close proximity to pigs.  It can also be transmitted from infected humans to other human just like a regular flu (so the sick person who thinks it’s funny to cough or sneeze on others will probably experience a sudden "worsening" of his symptoms).
    • You cannot get swine flu from eating pork.  It is a respiratory disease, so you’d get it from an infected person/pig’s coughs or sneezes or touching surfaces exposed to the virus (via someone’s coughing/sneezing).  You still need to cook your pork properly though or you still run the risk of sharing fun times with your good buddy Food Poisoning.
  • The symptoms of the swine flu are the same as any other flu.  Fever, chills, headache, body ache, and tiredness (with some possible vomiting from both ends).
  • How do you know if you have the swine flu or a regular flu?  Go to a doctor when you first show signs of the flu and they can run some tests (takes about 24 hours turnaround on the tests).
  • Treatment?  The CDC recommends oseltamivir or zanamivir (antivirals).  There are two other antivirals available, but the CDC says they aren’t effective on the current strain of swine flu spreading about.  These two antivirals are found in the brand name drugs, Tamiflu and Relenza.

For more detailed information, check out the CDC’s helpful guide, Swine Influenza and You.

To aid everyone in their panic over the upcoming swine flu pandemic, I thought I’d share some common sense survival tips to help make sure everyone is properly prepared.  So here are some wrong and right ways of minimizing your exposure to swine flu:

Wrong Way: One night stand with a pig.

Right Way: One night stand with a chicken.

Wrong Way: Rolling around naked in a pile of uncooked pork chops.

Right Way: Rolling around naked in a pile of buffalo wings.

Wrong Way: Get on all fours and squeal like a pig in an overcrowded pig sty.

Right Way: Squeal like a pig in Deliverance territory.

Wrong Way: Pig-licking!

Right Way: Toad-licking!

So, keep your wits about you and you’ll do fine out there in a swine flu riddled post-apocalyptic future.  And if not, there’s still the possibility you’ll come back to (un)life as a shambling bacon-scented pig zombie.