Discovery channel has a new ‘reality’ show coming out on July 21st called “The Colony”. According to the website:
In the first experiment of its kind, real people from a wide variety of backgrounds and skills will be challenged to rebuild their own civilization in a devastated world.
The test will take place in an isolated urban compound with no electricity from the grid, no running water, and no communication with the outside world.
Ok, maybe it’ll be cheesy but I’m such a sucker for apocolyptic fiction I will be compelled to watch. While it is a shame they won’t be having any zombies (or even C.H.U.D.) attacking the members, there will be a ‘gang of thugs’ who attempt to harrass them to make the whole thing more dramatic.
The website for the show has some cool things to waste some time with and it looks like there will be some sort of facebook related game to go with it.
Still…I wish it would have zombies. Everything is better with zombies.
This weekend we were taking a little walk in the woods and came across this little number (actually 2 of them):
Laetiporus Cincinnatus (or possibly Laetiporus Sulphureus but I don’t think so) AKA: Chicken of the Woods.
I’ve been a sort-of vegetarian (I still eat seafood) since 1997 (except for my time in Afghanistan – it just wasn’t practical) and the one meat item I really miss is fried chicken (good fried chicken, not that KFC crap). So, taking the mushroom books I’ve got at their word that this mushroom tastes remarkably like chicken I cleaned, cut (the flesh of this fungi looks almost identical to chicken breast meat), dipped it in some fried chicken coating and fried it up.
I was amazed at how close the taste and texture was to chicken meat. The first sample I cooked up was just turning a bit old so it actually reminded me of slightly dry chicken breast but it was still very good. Most of what I’ve read about this mushroom says that the older mushrooms or parts closer to the center are too tough to eat but I must have lucked out. Virtually all of the mushroom I harvested was good to eat (I left some so that I could look forward to a harvest next year as well).
A couple days later we stumbled upon another, younger version of the Chicken of the Woods and harvested that as well. This was much softer and a quick saute of a piece in butter revealed a taste that reminded me very much of eggs!
I sauteed the stuff we couldn’t eat fresh (these mushrooms are pretty big) and put it in the freezer (the guides say it holds up well to freezing). It’ll be great for Thanksgiving! Do I hear Chicken of the Woods pot pie?
Update: The Chicken of the Woods stood up very well to freezing and defrosting. Both the color and texture were maintained although I think it may have lost some flavor in the process. I mixed some with some risotto and stuffing and both dishes came out great.
I saw this in another blog and thought it was pretty cool plus I wanted to try the video upload feature.
The video is a demonstration of how to turn a regular desposalable camera into a ‘taser’. I don’t think it has a great deal of practicality as a weapon (I don’t know about you but I’m probably going to be a bit suspicious of a guy coming at with with a disposable camera that’s got two wires sticking out of it) but it might have some other applications (he mentions it as useful for starting fires or as an ignition spark for other items like a potato gun). Some of those uses may be criminal but it also might have some survival applications as well like starting a camp or signal fire. I might just try this to see if it works.
Update 17 December 2007
It seems that video has been taken down…Here is another set of instructions though (you’ll need to log on to YouTube to view it)
There was flurry of comments (Ok, there were 2. But for me, that’s a flurry.) about my ‘Go Bag’ post so I figured I’d reply here. You really want to keep your Go Bag close to where ever you are. Some extreme ‘Go Bagger’ might advocate actually carrying it with you but that’s too much work for a slacker like me. If you get the word that a huge tsunami is on its way, you don’t want to have to run home to get your bag (although, I guess I would have to anyway to go pick up Shiloh but don’t bog me down in details). I’d say that your car is probably the best place to keep it since you’re most likely always near that and the bag shouldn’t take up much room at all. In your car it also serves a double purpose of providing you some supplies if you happen to break down in the middle of nowhere or get stuck in bad weather. I’ve seen some people recommend different ‘levels’ of preparedness. They keep some small items on them at all times (a swiss army knife, cell phone, etc.), a small ‘Go Bag’ (like the one I discribed), and a bigger one that might actually have some clothes, important documents, etc. that I guess you’d keep at your home and be able to take out quickly. Again, that’s a bit too paranoid for me but everyone has their own comfort level. You’re go bag should be generic in its contents. You want to be ready for a wide range of emergencies. If you think there’s a decent chance of a particular catasrophe happening you can pack specifically (bats might be OK for zombies but remember you need to destroy their brains or remove their heads to knock them out so there might be better tools out there). A good idea is to read up on potential threats beforehand. Think you’re prepared? Take the test.
I’ve seen enough movies to know that if we’re struck by meteors, overrun by zombies or the victims of some terrible new disease you’ve got to be prepared or your a goner. I’ve acquired a lot of junk of the past few years so I figured I’d combine my overabundance of crap with the virtue of being prepared and decided to create my very own ‘go bag’. The idea behind it is that if disaster strikes, you’ve got this bag of stuff close at hand that might help you get through the tough times. Don’t think this could come in handy? Check out this and this. Besides, like I said in my earlier post, I think Shiloh would start looking at me like a giant piece of kibble if the big one hits so (like the contestants on survivor) I need to bring some value to my ‘tribe’ or I’ll get voted out. So, here’s my ‘go bag’.
1) Can’t have a go bag without a bag. This is a CamelBak but obviously I won’t be storing a full bladder of water.
2) MRE. I’ve got a few of these during my ‘vacations’ with the army. They have a shelf life of 5 years (and taste like it) but they are good energy food. Mine is vegetarian (of course!).
3) My camping first aid kit.
4) A pocket SAS survival guide.
5) A waterproof notebook
6) Mini-water purifier
7) Battery powered chem light
8) Emergency blanket
9) Wire saw
11) Mini-chem lights
12) Fire starter
13) Needles, fishing line and box cutter blades
14) Waterproof matches
15) Fishing hooks, line and sinkers
18) Mini multi-tool
19) Light reflective twist ties
20) Leather cord
21) Soap box (keeps most of the small items together and is waterproof)
22) Water purification tablets
OK, hopefully I’ve inspired you to make your own. You better do it because I only have one meal and if the big one hits, I ain’t sharing!!