Posted in Monday Mayhem

A Piece of Utopia—Family Day

Stay tuned this Friday when I make a major announcement regarding the direction of JackFlacco.com.

I have to admit something. I’ve been thinking a lot about Utopia. I don’t find it a difficult thought to think about. All I have to do is to think of what would make me happy and I’m there. Given today is a holiday here in my province, I thought instead of writing a dark Monday Mayhem post filled with zombies, the undead and creatures from the abyss, I would concentrate on something light—Family Day.

A game of Apples to Apples
A game of Apples to Apples

Every year, the third Monday in February is when we Ontarians dedicate time toward the family.

Our household celebrates the day off big with board games, a special meal and perhaps some other things that we’ve wanted to do but never seem to have the time to accomplish—like tobogganing.

Casa Flacco loves board games. Over the holidays, we played a fierce battle of Monopoly while gorging on snacks. This year’s version of Monopoly featured characters from cartoons. Have I told you how much I love animated movies? The game went well and we negotiated Park Place, something my younger child was adamant to not bargain away. In the end, I lost to said younger child and it reminded me of when I was young to decline deals from my relatives ultimately winning the game.

I’m not sure what we’ll be playing today, but I’m sure whatever it is we’ll have a lot of fun doing it.

As of the time of this writing, a week ago, I had yet to decide what I wanted to make for our special meal today. In reality, I’ve been preparing the same meal every year. What meal is it? you might ask. Sushi, of course. Would you expect anything less?

I learned how to make sushi a long time ago when a friend introduced me to the delicacy during a long trip from home. I eventually loved it so much that when I returned, I scoured Google to find recipes to satisfy my palate.

If you’re interested in how I make sushi, you can find it in this Freedom Friday post I had published several years ago. The entire process does take time, but it is well worth the effort.

Okay, we spend the day playing games, eating food—basically, having fun. This year is different in that I planned to take the entire weekend off. To me it means not doing any writing whatsoever. You have to understand what that means. I take pride writing every day except Saturdays. Therefore, taking yesterday and today off to spend time with the family is a huge bonus. It means no committed deadlines. Nothing looming to review. But more importantly, it means…

Sleeping in!

There was a time I never used to be able to sleep in. Having suffered from severe bouts of insomnia, it prevented me from functioning like a normal human being. That was then. Nowadays, I live for my bed. It’s cozy. It’s comfy. It’s quiet. Gosh, I love weekends.

All right, I had better stop. I think I’ve deviated from the Family Day theme, but somehow you might not think that.

Anyway, to all those who have today off here in Ontario, Happy Family Day!

Get the Ranger Martin trilogy now!

Does your state or province have today as a day dedicated to the family?

Posted in Monday Mayhem

Zombies and the Weather

I’m writing this post a week in advance with the temperature outside having dipped to a balmy -26°C/-14.8°F. Of course, balmy is not the word I would have chosen to describe the frigid arctic air mass that has settled here in Northeastern Canada. But know it’s my attempt at sarcasm. I’m hoping by the time this publishes, this paragraph will remain relevant. Nonetheless, since I’m talking about the weather and our frosty climate across the border, I’m now curious as to whether the undead would be able to survive our environment here in the Great White North.

Winter in Canada
Winter in Canada

So, without much fanfare, and since today is Family Day here in Ontario, I thought it interesting for my Monday Mayhem series of articles if I talk about zombie survivability in extreme weather conditions.

[Note: Please folks, don’t take this post seriously, because I’m going to share some ideas with you that will not have relevance of thought, or applicability to current conditions in the grand scheme of zombiehood. In other words, take it as light reading for a Monday morning.]

All right, with that out of the way, let’s talk about zombies and the arctic weather we’re experiencing here in Canada. Would zombies be able to survive our climate if they walk the streets at night and no one’s around to feed them? Literally. Knowing what I know about the draggers, and how stupid there are, I think they’d freeze solid before they even try to get their grimy little paws on us. First, at least on my street, it gets quiet during winter. If it’s quiet then chewers can’t find us. More than likely, they’d roam or maybe stand in one spot, which, by the time I wake up in the morning, I’ll have a bunch of undead statues standing erect on my driveway ready for the hammer to the head. Second, snowstorms have blessed us up here. I’d love to see those miserable eaters fight through our frozen winter wonderland chasing after their food. They’d have to find us first. The blustery wind alone would shake them off their feet.

Tornado and Lightning
Tornado and Lightning

Since I’m talking about the wind, what about tornadoes? In the summer, just north of where I live, resides twister alley. Do you think the undead would be able to survive a blast from nature soon after one of these cyclones touches down on terra firma? The impact alone would kill them. I’ve seen videos of how one of these funnels cut a path straight across a neighborhood leaving devastation in its wake. No way would a zombie live through that. I mean, after getting slammed a few times upside the head with a pickup truck, I’m sure there wouldn’t be anything left either of the zombie or the pickup.

How about thunderstorms? In minutes, I’ve seen our neighborhood go from birds chirping, sun shining and a gentle wafting of the breeze to utter devastation, thunder clapping, deluge of water coursing through the streets and lightning. I think a storm of such ferocity, though, would do little damage to the chewer population. Oh sure, perhaps a few bolts of lightning frying the unfortunate undead who happens to stroll the sidewalk that day could prove nature still had a way announcing its control. But really? It’ll last a few minutes and the zombie crowd would still be around for the fight.

No, what needs to happen is for the earth to open and swallow anything dragging their feet. Then, and only then, would there be peace on earth.

Unfortunately, our neighborhood hasn’t experienced an earthquake in years. Not that I would want one, mind you.

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Do you think the weather could prevent the undead from attacking? What would be the most devastating thing the weather could do to destroy a zombie horde?

Posted in Freedom Friday, Other Things

Family Day

During these dark days of winter, nothing quite beats the freedom we have to enjoy our indoor activities. In Ontario, Canada, we have a statutory holiday called Family Day, which is the third Monday in February. Yes, it is this Monday, in fact. My family’s typical use of the day goes something like this: I make a bucketful of sushi, we pig out, then we play board games until dusk. I have to admit, I’m looking forward to it.

Family Day
Family Day

I’ve always tried to make Freedom Friday to revolve around things that make me who I am in an effort for you, the audience, to understand that not all authors who write about zombies are half-crazed loons with a bone to pick on a society gone mad. Some of us, if you can believe it, walk on the right side of normal—depending on what normal is.

As I was saying, here in Ontario we have this awesome long weekend called Family Day. What do I have to do to convince you we don’t only eat, and play board games all day? Some of us—me—wake up at an incredibly late hour and lay in bed doing absolutely nothing other than enjoy the warm comfort of our bed. When I say wake up late, I mean eight or nine in the morning. Remember, I’m a parent whose kids have no concept of what sleeping in is all about.

Chess
Chess

That day is also when I can dedicate a large chunk of my time on productive activities. Like, chess. Have I ever mentioned I once won Second Place in the Eighth Grade Ontario Regional chess tournament? I say it in passing because I think it’s the most perfect game on the planet. I mean, here’s a game with the potential to provide countless hours of fun yet only a handful of folks know how to play. Most of my play nowadays is either on my iPod or on my Nexus 7. I have two different apps to satisfy my craving. Let’s not forget the other apps on my laptop. Needless to say, I get my fill of chess whenever I can.

Not any different from any other weekend other than for nostalgia, but Family Day also includes a movie. I say nostalgia because I’ll usually whip out a title I haven’t seen in a long time that would remind me of when I was growing up. A title like Raiders of the Lost Ark brings me right back to 1981 watching the movie in one of those big screen/big sound theaters. It may also entail my watching something like Terminator 2: Judgment Day where the film brings me right back to the cusp of my youth. Am I allowed to say, those were the days?

This last Family Day bit has to be my favorite. I’m talking about spending time with the family. The sushi, the board games mean nothing without someone to share. And share I do, with those I love the most—my family. Without a doubt, no matter how bad things may get, family makes things all better. Nothing quite compares to having them around to boost ego and morale. What would Family Day be without family?

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, now on sale.

Do you have a special day where you can splurge doing the things you like doing without worrying about time or responsibilities?