Be Prepared

Not only is “Be Prepared” the Scout Motto, but it’s also a really good idea.  Or to quote Nathan Muir from Spy Game:

When did Noah build the Ark?  Before the flood.

When disaster strikes, it is too late to begin planning for disaster.  So, obviously, the answer is to be prepared.

Zombie Banner from the CDC

The CDC agrees, and last week they published Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse, which I have now permanently added as a link over the right hand side.  They aren’t the first to utilize an undead plague to illustrate proper planning.  A group called the Zombie Squad has been doing it for some time.  The main idea being, if you are prepared for zombies, you are prepared for anything.

While the CDC article and the materials provided by the Zombie Squad are good, the key element to disaster preparedness to understand is that you are not a priority for anyone else, and that includes the government.  In the event of any disaster you should be able to survive on your own for at least 72 hours.  That’s three days.

Let’s just say, for example, a hurricane comes tearing through your area.  The first job of the government is not to rush in and rescue survivors.  What would it do with them?  No, the first job is to set up hospitals and aid stations so that survivors who can come to them can be taken care of.  They will work on re-establishing communications and power, and only once they’ve gotten themselves firmly dug in will they begin ranging out to find stranded survivors.  If they ran out and got people first they’d simply be dumping them all into an unprepared cluster without power, communications or medical treatment.  Not to mention that if they rush in they could be putting themselves in great danger.  They are “slow” for a reason, and that is because when they get to you, you will be saved, not just temporarily reprieved.

Even more than that, however, is that by being able to help yourself, you free up resources for people who cannot help themselves.  If you have food, water and shelter for three or more days, then the rescuers can leave you alone and spend their time finding people who have been injured or are trapped or who didn’t plan ahead and have no food or water.  By being prepared, not only are you helping yourself but you are indirectly helping others.

The best thing about being prepared is that it doesn’t cost very much.  A few dollars and a little time will put you leagues ahead of those who don’t.  You probably have many of the things you’ll need in your house already, and if you don’t a quick trip to Wal-Mart will solve that.  Then you just need to pick rally points.  Your home, just outside your home, miles away, states away.  Make sure everyone knows where to go and how to reach each other.  Just like that, you are better off than you were before.

It’s so easy that there is no excuse to not be prepared.  If you aren’t, do it now.  Do it within the next week.  Pick a day and get it done.  Because after the zombies come, it’ll be too late to prepare.

Get Smart

12 out of 13 nots
for missing it… by that much.

I don’t want to mislead you with that little snippet above. This movie didn’t really miss it. It nailed it, but it just wasn’t perfect… and that’s okay.

If you never saw the old TV show, you should. Get Smart was always great, in the same way that Police Squad was great (Police Squad being the TV show that came before the Naked Gun movies). In a world jam packed with awful genre parodies, like the “[blank] Movie” franchise (Scary, Epic, Date… and Meet the Spartans, because really, even though they changed the name format, its the same thing), its nice to see a movie that is genuinely funny and doesn’t rely on jokes that won’t make sense to anyone in five years… okay, I’m being generous… three years.

Get Smart is a funny spy movie, as opposed to being a funny movie about spy movies. Maxwell Smart is the best analyst at Control. So good that even when he passes his field agent exam he isn’t going to be assigned into the field because they can’t afford to lose him. That is, until Control is compromised and covers are blown, and the only way to track down the forces of Kaos is to use an agent no one knows… Maxwell Smart. Accompanied by Agent 99 (who for reasons I won’t spoil is also able to work in the field), they try to learn Kaos’ plans and save the world.

Steve Carell plays the part of Maxwell Smart to perfection. Don Adams would be proud, I think. The rest of the cast is also fantastic, Anne Hathaway, Alan Arkin, Dwayne Johnson, Terence Stamp… just great.

In the end, this is a great comedic film about spies. In my opinion, well worth your movie going dollar.

The Mod Squad

I’ve never seen the TV show, but it had to be better than the 1999 movie.

Giovanni Ribisi is fairly good in everything he does, and he’s about the only watchable part of this film. Almost, because he’s barely watchable in this. Claire Danes acts poorly, and Omar Epps proves that he’s not Wesley Snipes (a compliment to neither Omar or Wesley). The only real actor worth a damn is Dennis Farina, and he dies in the beginning… good thing too, at least he can say the rest of the movie wasn’t his fault.

I think the worst part of the movie had to be that it was just so absolutely predictable. Linc (Epps) tells Pete (Ribisi) not to damage his car… so Jodi says, “Its going to be a running gag, Pete’s going to keep damaging the car.” And it was. Like five times Pete does something to hurt the car, and it got less and less funny because you could see it coming ten miles away.

In the end, I believe I’ve spent far to much time talking about this movie… it was filmed, and that’s the best thing I can say about it.