Category: Featured Articles

Zombie University – It could save your life

Zombie University – It could save your life

As we all get ready for the Holiday season, it’s important to be prepared.  The chances of a zombie outbreak are always greater when you find yourself in a shopping mall.  As you all get out to brave the masses over the next few weeks, make sure you are alert for signs of the undead.  For those not as conversant in all things zombie, I’ve found an informative and video to teach you Zombies 101.  Please take time to watch this video and share it with your family and friends.  It could be the difference between becoming a survivor and becoming bait.


Ten Things I’m Thankful For This Year – 2011

Ten Things I’m Thankful For This Year – 2011

Last year I shared with you ten things I was thankful for on Thanksgiving.  It gave me an opportunity to sit down and reflect on the year and really served to start my day off well.  So, in the spirit of giving, I’ve decided to make it an annual event and share ten more things I’m thankful for this year.  It’s not an exhaustive list (and I’m still thankful for almost everything from last year’s list), so consider this more an expansion of that list, not a replacement.  Either way, I hope you enjoy it. 

  • I’m thankful for the new opportunities and challenges I’ve been given this year.  I’m not one to enjoy standing still – it’s good to have motion in my life.

  • I’m thankful for the support of my family and friends.  Those new opportunities have come with a healthy dose of change – and without the support of those closest to me, I wouldn’t have even considered them.

  • I’m thankful that my wife has a love of scrapbooking.  She is capturing so many moments, both large and small, that we will be able to savor again and again like a fine wine in our old age.

  • I’m thankful for the time I got to spend with my grandfather before he passed away this year.  Saying goodbye is never easy – but it’s far better than not getting the chance to say anything at all.

  • I’m thankful for the light in my daughter’s eyes as she greets me at the door when I get home from work each night.  It always makes my day better.

  • I’m thankful for books.  I am still able to lose myself in them every single day.  They open up new worlds to me, provide me with an escape when I need it most, and make me think about the world around me.  They’ve helped me meet some very cool people over the last 18 months.

  • I’m thankful for my grandmother’s strawberry cake.  It is, quite possibly, the perfect food.

  • I’m thankful for afternoons working on piano with my son.  He doesn’t always enjoy it (especially my clapping to keep him in tempo), but sharing music with him brings me great joy.

  • I’m thankful for warm blankets on a cold winter’s morning and cool sheets on a hot summer’s night.

  • I’m thankful for my freedom.  Okay, you’re right – this one was on last year’s list as well – but it’s so important, it bears repeating.  Without freedom, we’re all just colorful paper puppets dancing at the end of someone else’s strings.   

Take a moment and think about all you have to be thankful for this year.  You may find it’s more than you thought.  I hope all of you have a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving.  Enjoy the food, the family, the friends, and the football!

Guest Review – “Elf” and “Unlovable”

Guest Review – “Elf” and “Unlovable”

My daughter is just learning to read.  It’s a fun time here in our house, and particularly gratifying for me to see her beginning what I hope is a long and rewarding love affair with books.  .


She’s always been artistic (she designed the logo for, and now she’s throwing her hat into the writing and reviewing ring.  Not really knowing what blogging is about, she still wanted to “review” a few books for me and have them posted.  As a father – how could I resist? So, without further ado – here are the first two book reviews by my daughter – or, as she told me she would like to be known here – “Little Miss Chocolate Zombie”.



“Elf” is a story about Buddy the Elf.  My favorite part was when he reached the tallest branches on the tallest Christmas tree.  It was really funny when he carried a bunch of candy canes.  I didn’t like it when Buddy left Papa elf for a while. 


I learned the being different from everyone is what makes you, you.  “Elf” is a good Christmas book.   You should read it.




“Unlovable” is about a dog named Alfred.  The cat tells him that he is unlovable. I didn’t like it when the cat taught the parrot to say “unlovable”.


My favorite part was when the new people moved in next door to Alfred. Alfred’s next-door neighbor is a dog like him named Rex.  At first, Alfred told Rex he was a Golden Retriever because he though he was unlovable.  Rex dug a hole under the fence so he could play with Alfred.  I liked it when Alfred and Rex played together.


The story showed me that even when someone says you are unlovable, you CAN be lovable.  I think Alfred is lovable.  He is really cute when he eats and sleeps.  He has a cute curly tail.


You should read this book.  It will teach you a lot of different things.  I learned that you should stay away from people who are mean to you. 



And there you have it.  The first is what could be a long string of hard-hitting reviews from “Little Miss Chocolate Zombie”.  Let me know what you think – I’ll pass the feedback along to her.  I would just caution you to be nice.  She has quite a temper and holds a grudge for a LONG time.  She is, after all, her father’s daughter.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you…


What haven’t I written anything in almost a month??

What haven’t I written anything in almost a month??

First, let me apologize to everyone.  It’s been almost a month since I’ve posted anything new here at The Word Zombie.  When I sat down, looked at the site and realized how long it had been, I was shocked.  And saddened.  I’ve poured myself into this site over the last year and a half.  The last thing I want to do now is to let it languish.  I still have a lot to say (that will come as a shock to no one who knows me), and a lot to share.  So why the long delay?  Let me explain.


Two things have conspired to keep me away from the keyboard over the last month.  They are both good in their own right, but not so good for the flow of content to The Word Zombie.  The first has to do with my job.


Last week, I accepted a new position at work.  After starting there 18 years ago as an unpaid intern, I’ve just been promoted to the head of sales for the US and Canada.  It’s been a long and exciting journey, but the new job will require that I relocate my family to Los Angeles.


That wasn’t a decision or decision making process my wife and I took lightly.  Both of my children are now in school.  Having myself lived in the same house from the day I started kindergarten until a few months after I graduate college, having my kids deal with changing schools again was not something I looked forward to.  Add to that the pressure of finding good schools in LA and it made for a lot of late night discussions.


We’re not new to relocation – we’ve done three times before.  Still, it’s stressful.  There is a lot you have to do.  Some things go well and some things don’t.  Selling a house is never fun, even in a good economy and housing market.  I’m not sure if you’ve read the news lately – we don’t have either right now.


That being said, the job is a great opportunity both for my family and I.  It’s something I really wanted to do, and to her credit, my wife supported me – just as she’s always done.  So, we made the decision to take the job and relocate.  It was announced last week and now the wheels have all been set in motion for a move.


During all the conversations over the past few weeks, all the late nights doing research on the internet, and all the pitches to my kids on how cool California is – I found it hard to focus on writing.  It was hard to find the time and, quite frankly, I gave myself permission to let the blog slip while we where making our decision.  Right or wrong – that was the choice I made.  Now, however, everything has been decided and I can’t give myself a free pass any longer.  I need to write.  So, here I am – writing about why I haven’t been writing.  Ironic much?


The second reason I haven’t written much has to do with what I’ve been reading.  I have a few reviews I need to catch up on, but about 5 weeks ago I dove headlong into a tremendous series of books and haven’t been able to put them down. I’ve literally been finishing one book and picking up the next in the series within minutes.  I’ve been so consumed with reading them; I haven’t even begun to think about how to review them.  I wanted to finish the series first.


What are the books you ask?  They are the Repairman Jack novels and the Adversary Cycle novels by F. Paul Wilson.  Between both series there are 21 books, telling the “secret history of the world”.  The final Repairman Jack novel was published in October and a revised version of the last book in the Adversary Cycle is due to be published early next year.  When I get finished with the last Repairman Jack book I’ll share all my thoughts on the entire Repairman Jack series.  Next year, I’ll recap the Adversary Cycle after “Nightworld” is published again.  I promise.


I’ll have a lot of time on airplanes in the coming months – time I plan to spend reading, writing, and also sleeping.  As I said, I still have a lot to say.  I’ll have new content up more regularly over the coming weeks.  In fact, to get things back on track, my daughter has graciously agreed to provide reviews for two books she’s recently enjoyed.  (She’s just learning to read and is excited to be joining the blogosphere.)  They’ll be posted by the end of the week.


Again, let me apologize for the sorry state of the blog over the past month.  I don’t take a single reader of The Word Zombie for granted.  You are gracious enough to spend a small portion of your day here with me; I owe you a small portion of my day spent writing in return.  Thank you all for your patience and your understanding.  Talk to you soon.   

12 Proposed Common Sense Airline Rules

12 Proposed Common Sense Airline Rules

I have what might be best described as a love/hate relationship with flying.  I love to travel and see new places – I hate the ridiculous amount of regulations and “theater of the absurd” rules.  I’ve written about many of my adventures on airplanes and in airports in the past.  This week, I hit a new level of the absurd.  It would be laugh out loud funny if it weren’t true.

On a flight to Los Angeles this week, I had taken my seat and was getting settled in for the trip.  I’m a quirky traveler, but I have a system that works for me.  I pulled out my iPhone and headphones and dialed up my “Plane Music” playlist.  I took my book and a thermos of hot tea (brewed after the security checkpoint, of course), and put them in the seat pocket in front of me.  I checked my Blackberry, answered a few messages, and then turned it off for the flight.  All systems checked out – I was ready to go.

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