Spiked Battle Hammer

Saw this at the Maryland Renaissance Festival and thought this was a notable weapon/art piece. 


It’s a War (Battle) Hammer with a spike on one side and an animal head for the hammer on the other. 


TV shows like Vikings and Z(i.e. zombie) Nation have made these sort of famous again.


It’s sort of crazy the things people used in the past to fight and kill with. 


Imagine getting clobbered with one of these…ugly!


But before guns, when the battle was up close and personal, what choice did people really have to defend themselves with.


It was life or death…and many in the most gruesome ways ended up the latter. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Halloween DC Style

So Halloween in Washington, D.C. is no small deal.

I liked the new spooky Orange Fanta soda cans with the scary lady on it–it really stood out from all the others–Coke, Pepsi, etc.–that were otherwise so boring. 

Then there was this other lady riding the Metro in her Halloween outfit–anybody need a nurse?

Let’s just say she seems to have evoked some attention on the train. 

Even more than another women (lower left) holding 2 baby dolls slumped over backwards in a very unfortunate manner.

One more is Mr. Baywatch lifeguard here, and peering over his shoulder is someone with scary Zombie hallowed out black eyes and sharp growling teeth!

Finally, one of my wonderful colleagues told me about a Halloween party she went to with her male friend. 

I asked whether they dressed up. 

She said, “yeah,” and smiled.

So I asked, “What did you dress up as?”

Well this was a new one for me…

She was dressed up as the jelly side of the sandwich and he was the peanut butter side. 

What all this means for this zany holiday, I have no idea…but it’s a fun time of year that doesn’t go unnoticed by anyone. 😉

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

Culture Intersects With Preparedness

Preparedness Kit.jpeg

Just really loved this emergency preparedness poster by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).


It builds off of the #1, hit TV show, The Walking Dead that films in Atlanta where the CDC is. 


The show is about a zombie apocalypse and the story of how people survive (or not) amidst a global pandemic and the murderous awakened dead that feast off of the living. 


Here’s a link with what the CDC recommends you have in an emergency preparedness kit. 


The CDC also has a comic book with a zombie outbreak theme that further drives home the importance of a preparedness kit and what to have in it. 


I think it’s great when government thinks outside-the-box in ways that appeal to everyday citizens to serve them, help them, and especially keep them safe from disasters. 


(Source Photo: here with attribution to CDC)

Greatest Danger Is Still Man

broken

Season 7 of “The Walking Dead” kicked off last night, and it was an absolutely devastating storyline


This was the long awaited episode to see what happens after Rick and cohorts are captured and literally put down on their knees in the gravel by the evil and ruthless Negan and his army. 


The killings of Glenn and Abraham by getting their skulls brutally bashed in was one of the most horrific things I have ever seen. 


And forcing Rick to nearly cut off his own child’s arm and all the other mental torture and physical abuse he endured left the show’s leader and hero, a completely broken man. 


All that they had overcome and survived was now just a shattered history. 


They were overcome, they were defeated, they were wholly broken.


What is amazing is that they could handle the Walking Dead zombies (even hordes of them), but ultimately, it was the evilness of man himself that they could not win against. 


Zombies are dangerous and scary, but man is the most dangerous and brutal predator out there, and the horrific things they can do to each makes everything else pale by comparison. 


Especially, when Negan kills and destroys, he does it with such completele evil joy that it leaves one questioning, how can this whole evil thing exist in a universe created and maintained by a good and merciful G-d. 


My wife said to me that this was a small reminder of what the Holocaust must’ve been like–with the Nazi’s holding a stranglehold of power and committing the most heinous atrocities and genocide against 6 million starving and enslaved Jews held in notorious concentration death camps.


After the show, watching “Talking Dead,” viewers indicated that this was the turning point in the whole show, and there was no going back for Rick and his group.


Yet, I am most certain that even if it can no longer be Rick who regains his strength and leadership mantle, there will be another who will rise up and overcome the evil Negan. 


It’s a dog eat dog world, and there is always another younger, leaner, and meaner dog in town–hence, every dog has it’s day.


Ultimately is that justice?


While perhaps we all wish to see good triumph over evil every time, there are certainly moments when good takes a good walloping. 


And then G-d sends a savior to restore good to it’s rightful dominant place in the universe.


In the process though, lives and souls can be shattered and never be the same again. 


Watching the eternal battle between good and evil is what totally tests our faith and gives us the free choice on which side to be on. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Adaptability And Integrity In The Face Of Catastrophe

Adaptability And Integrity In The Face Of Catastrophe

The Walking Dead is the #1 TV show–and this past Sunday was just amazing not only in terms of the plot, but the lessons it provided.

The big question raised was can people change?

The Governor went through a seeming metamorphosis after the destruction of his prior town and murder of his people (by his own hand) and now he has a newfound family and tribe.

When he comes to attack Rick and the prison to take it for the protection of his own people, Rick says let’s just share it, it will be hard to overcome old rivalries, but we can do it–we can change!

But the Governor, yells in a blood curdling voice, “Liar!” and proceeds in a craze to chop off Hershel’s head.

What is particularly dramatics about this–aside from their opposing views of change–is that Hershel is the doctor who not only takes care of the physical health of his people, but also is the conscience of his group seeing that they don’t lose their moral way.

The Governor is a cold killer that truly can never change–and he not only executes Hershel, but screams “Kill them all!”

He also kills his newly adopted daughter after she is bitten by one of the walkers..he shoots her right in the face.

At first, this seems like the Governor has changed, he can kill a Walker even if it’s from his new family, as opposed to his own real daughter that he kept (unwilling to let her go) until Michonne kills her.

But this was not real change for the Governor, because as he told Hershel about attacking and killing someone else’s children to survive, “they aren’t mine!”

The Governor is all about himself and will do anything selfishly to survive without consideration of others–this does not change.

On the other hand, Rick and others survive by their ability to change and grow–they kill when they must, they have empathy when they can, they live by a code of right and wrong–in every situation, they adapt.

For example, in a prior episode, Carol is forced to leave Rick’s group because she brutally killed and burnt two of people in the prison when they got sick and were a threat of spreading the disease. However, Rick understood that this was wrong and banished her for what she did. Not all killing is justified, even if it helps you survive.

The Governor (and his new cohorts) are finally killed off in this episode, and although the safety of the prison is gone, and Rick and the others must leave and wander again, they continue to survive another day–changing with ever new challenges and adhering to an informal code of conduct that they maintain, even in the face of a world catastrophe.

(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)

The Baconator

So I went to Cabin John Park in Rockville.

In the park was this Baconator machine.

It is a pig for collecting garbage (and not being a pig and trashing the park).

When you press the bottom on the upper right, the pig tells you what to put inside–paper, cardboard, and soft drink cans, but not bottles or broken glass.

The kids seemed really curious about it, but also were sort of scared of it–especially when it says, “I’m hungry, hungry, hungry!”

The Baconator will eat your refuse, but then who would want to eat the Baconator?

Plus as my niece used to say when she was very little, “Piggy isn’t kosher!” 😉

(Source Video: Andy Blumenthal)