Free Zombie Story & We Are On Smashwords!

Free zombie story

Free Zombie Story & We Are On Smashwords!

It is the giving season, and instead of going out and giving our money away to companies, we are instead giving back to you, our lovely and always appreciated readers.

Click here to download your free Zombie story from Zombie Killing Stoners, Episode 2.

If you enjoy the story (and we think you will), consider buying the books. In addition to Amazon, we are also available on Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers.

C Che is working as we speak on Episode 3. This has been a long time coming, and we will keep you posted about publishing dates and such.

Enjoy!free zombie story

 

 

Amazon TOS Now Covers the Zombie Apocalypse

Amazon TOS Now Covers the Zombie Apocalypse

Now game developers who are working with Amazon’s new Lumberyard Materials can truly help out in the event of a Zombie Apocalypse. The Amazon TOS now covers the Zombie Apocalypse.

So, while in normal times developers must not write game software to be used militarily, this rule is dropped during the Zompoc.

Clause 57.10 of the AWS terms of service:

The Lumberyard Materials are not intended for use with life-critical or safety-critical systems, such as use in operation of medical equipment, automated transportation systems, autonomous vehicles, aircraft or air traffic control, nuclear facilities, manned spacecraft, or military use in connection with live combat.

However, this restriction will not apply in the event of the occurrence (certified by the United States Centers for Disease Control or successor body) of a widespread viral infection transmitted via bites or contact with bodily fluids that causes human corpses to reanimate and seek to consume living human flesh, blood, brain or nerve tissue and is likely to result in the fall of organized civilization.

Gotta love this! But it makes sense, doesn’t it? Why not have game software developers help the military after the Zompoc, when all other bets are off?

Yet another reason to love Amazon. And maybe another plot addition to ZKS?

(photo by Gage Skidmore)

RIP Miss Smiley (Best Dog Ever)

RIP Miss Smiley (Best Dog Ever)

Miss Smiley was 13 years old, and we had her for 11 of those years.

I remember well the day I met her. C Che had moved to Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, several weeks before me. One night he told me about this Potcake stray who was showing up at our house every night.

“The first night I thought she was going to bite me. All I saw were these teeth! But then, I noticed that her tail was wagging. She wasn’t getting ready to attack – she was smiling!”

Then I came, and she did the same thing.

“Don’t you give that dog any smoked turkey breast! You know that will make it keep coming back!”

He didn’t listen.

The dog kept coming back.

And one evening she rolled on her back in front of our three cats. That’s right, that alpha dog rolled on her back in front of our cats. Isabel, our smallest and oldest cat, was the alpha (see Smiley waiting for Isabel to finish drinking at Smiley’s bowl below – the cats had their own, which you can see).

izandsmiley

I decided then and there to keep her. Thanks to Susan Blehr and the TCSPCA for the help and support (this pre-dated Potcake Place).

We socialized her, boarded her, and groomed her at Donna Doran’s Pampered Paws dog spa. And ultimately Donna organized Smiley’s travel to the US, where the lovely folks at The Wagging Tail welcomed her.

From a stray on Providenciales, to play dates with celebrity dogs on Parrot Cay, to life in a NYC skyscraper. Smiley loved life throughout. She knew nothing but love and how to give and receive love. Just sweetness.

DSC00025.JPG

When we moved to New York, started writing Zombie Killing Stoners, and started getting the then 8 year old Miss Smiley some top notch medical care (thanks to Healthy Paws pet insurance and Seaport Animal Hospital), we discovered some things about her health. She had Cushing’s disease caused by a tumor on her pituitary gland, protein-losing kidney disease, high blood pressure, a heart murmor, chronic hepatitis, and an “undefined mass” in her abdomen. She was on $1000/month worth of medication (thanks again, Healthy Paws!).

Then the tumor in her paw started growing aggressively, at the same time as the pituitary tumor. She experienced balance issues, dementia, and was in a lot of pain (Ultram and Neurontin for pain).

IMG_20160126_130249That last big snow we had? That was Smiley’s snow. She loved it and had a great day! We scheduled her euthanasia that Wednesday.

We brought her roast chicken, cooked her omelets, and I bought her that McDonald’s burger and fries she had been trying for years to eat on the street. Look at her tail!

We walked her to the vet. We laid on the floor with her. Dr. Klafin came in to administer the medications. C Che was able to feel when her heart stopped beating.

RIP Miss Smiley.

Mountain House Freeze-Dried Chicken Fried Rice Review

Mountain House dried

Mountain House Freeze-Dried Checken Fried Rice is a worthy addition to your bug out bag and emergency rations.

Be Prepared, Even In a Big City

While I wouldn’t call us full-on preppers, C. Che and I do like to be prepared for emergencies. Yes, we live in a luxury skyscraper in way downtown NYC, but we came through several hurricanes when we lived in the Caribbean and in our first winter back in the states we went through Hurricane Sandy in lower Manhattan.

No power when you have a dog and live on the 22nd floor means that you relay on one emergency elevator. But when that elevator is awaiting fuel for the emergency generators, that means walking 22 flights for dog walks and supply/food runs.

Store MREs and Freeze-Dried Foods

While we do store some military MREs, which we replenished from National Guard supplies after Sandy, they are not our favorite. Salty, pasty, and low in fiber, they keep you alive and active (and constipated).

My concern about freeze-dried food was that it would be salty and spongy, but this was much less salty than a cup of ramen noodles with way more nutrients.

Mountain House Freeze-Dried Chicked Fried Rice

This Mountain House freeze-dried chicken fried rice is good for 12 years, and is full of chicken, egg, and vegetables. It is surprisingly low in salt, using other seasonings. It took 15 minutes total from putting water on to eating, and was very easy.

Here is the product before adding water.

Mountain House dried

Pour in 1.5 cups boiling water, stir, close.

Mountain House mid-cooking

Open and stir after 4 minutes. It will look like this:

Mountain House Done

Close again for 4-5 minutes. And it’s ready.

I took a photo of the finished rice in a glass bowl so you can see the finished product. It is good! The meat is not spongy, the vegetables not too soft or too chewy, and the rice has some texture.

Mountain House Freeze-Dried Chicken Fried Rice

All in all, an appetizing meal in a bag. We liked it so much that we now own the Mountain House Best Sellers Pack!

Our Blog Was Hacked!

our blog was hacked

We feel a bit more significant now that our blog was hacked!

The past few weeks have generally been a giant pain in the ass, what with jury duty for both C. Che and myself (I went last week and he is there now) and both of my WordPress blogs being hacked.

Seriously, I stupidly thought that because my blogs are relatively small and not full of crazy traffic, hackers wouldn’t care. Well, I was wrong.

A couple of weeks ago I tried to log in to the admin dashboard of PilatesandReiki.com, only to be greeted by a wrong password message and no receipt of reset emails. When I logged into mysql over at GoDaddy, I discovered that the email and password were changed.

Our blog was hacked!

When I reset the password and logged in successfully, I was greeted by four “j”s at the top of a blank white screen. Yay!

So we restored my database (GoDaddy saves backups) to two weeks prior, and it has been fine ever since.

Yesterday C. Che BBMed me from Jury Duty (yes, we still use Blackberry) to tell me that Zombie Killing Stoners had a problem. Our blog was replaced by some Islamic militant hacker page. Once again, our blog was hacked. Sigh.

So I went to mysql, deleted the two new admins from the database, and changed my password. Then I downloaded and ran a scan with the free version of Wordfence, which identified and quarantined the altered index.php and a few other files.

I then went into my files on the server and deleted all unused plugins and themes, along with the main .htaccess file (wordpress will automatically create a new one). And I deleted the extra database tables from mysql.

We are all good, except that no images are showing up on the blog. The files exist and they are in the uploads folder as they should be, but for whatever reason they are not connecting to the blog content. Sigh.

I am pretty sure I need to delete the whole folder and re-upload the images via the dashboard. A giant pain in my ass, yes. But at least I have ownership and control again!

UPDATE – Images not showing problem is fixed! All I needed to do was go into Settings – Permalinks – and hit the Update button. So happy!

 

Zombie Apocalypse – Best Place to Hide?

zombie apocalypse

Hiding will be hard after the Zombie Apocalypse.

According to CBS News, researchers at Cornell University have published a report finding that the Rocky Mountains are the best place in the United States to hide during/after the Zombie Apocalypse.

Big cities like New York, not so much.

In “The Statistical Mechanic of Zombies”, which will be presented this week at the American Physical Society meeting in San Antonio, TX, researchers looked at

a full scale simulation of an outbreak in the United States, and discover that for ‘realistic’ parameters, we are largely doomed,” the study’s abstract said.

“Modeling zombies takes you through a lot of the techniques used to model real diseases, albeit in a fun context,” Cornell physics graduate student Alex Alemi told Phys.org.

The research team used various equations factoring in population and rate-of-infection to determine how and where a fictional zombie outbreak would spread across the U.S.

Basically, densely populated areas will go first after the zombie apocalypse, giving less populated areas a chance to prepare. The northern Rockies will do the best.

To us, the difference in Manhattan is that it is an island, so once you cut off all access by blowing up bridges and tunnels, no more new zombies wandering in.

And you have enormous buildings with great infrastructure, including alternative energy sources and uber-security.

Zombie Killing Stoners is set in one such building in lower Manhattan near the Brooklyn Bridge. Totally secure, with lots of infrastructure and tenants who are both well heeled and well armed.

We find that situation to be much more interesting. Hope you do too.

Indestructible Folding Bong

folding bong

The Roll-Uh-Bowl is an indestructible folding bong. Best idea ever!

Sometimes you see something that is just so useful and so perfectly designed, it boggles your mind. I have had that experience recently, when I saw a review of the Roll-Uh-Bowl from our good friends at Stuff Stoners Like.

This a folding bong made of 100% food grade silicon. This bong is basically indestructible, unless you take a sharp blade to it. It won’t break, rolls up for storage, and cleans with soapy water or in the dishwasher. (We are not so sure about the dishwasher. Wouldn’t the resin that comes out stick to the dishwasher and dishes? Yuck!).

The bowl is metal, and has spring mechanism to eject the ashes when you are done. Cleans with rubbing alcohol. Convenient!

The Roll-uh-bowl folding bowl comes in black, blue, green, and purple.