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Friday, October 26, 2012


At civilization's end, style begins.

You only have days to go before the company Halloween party. It's too late to order a costume online. And if you don't pull off a killer look in front of the boss, you're screwed. What. Do. You. Do?

Yes, the countdown to Hallow's Eve zero hour has begun. Fortunately, from The Hunger Games and The Walking Dead to NBC's Revolution, the recent popularity of survivalist situations in pop culture pretty much ensures that post-apocalyptic costumes will be all the rage at the employee Halloween observance this year. Which is good news for you, because it makes costuming super easy. Just follow these simple tips to save your DIY day and score some last-minute, candy-coated props in the process.

STEP 1: Locate your nearest Army-Navy Surplus Store.

(Live in a forsaken wasteland or a liberal-leaning New England enclave? Your local purveyor or discount sporting goods will do, but only in a pinch.)

STEP 2: Buy these things:

Between the sandstorms, the noxious fumes, the blinding sun and all the other nasty wasteland surprises, I want to see goggles, people. Consider this a pre-requisite.

A gas mask.
From simple dust masks to full-face World War I contraptions, nothing scares or intrigues like a gas mask. For the money, you won't find a better price-to-effectiveness costume accessory anywhere.

A helmet.
As a functional design touch, a well-chosen helmet protects your skull, alters your silhouette and looks hella awesome.

A vietnam-era flak jacket, football pads, BMX gear or paintball armor.
Amp up the badassery and toss some protective gear in the mix. Just remember, A little body armor goes a long way. Use it sparingly as an accent, not a focal point. Overdo it and you'll go from badass to 70's glam band in no time flat. (Bonus point for well-placed spikes.)

Worn-out utility stuff. Leather belts, bags, ratty cotton cloth, whatever.
Survivors are always prepared. That means, whether you go with a simple utility belt or a full-on ALICE field pack, you're going to need both accessories and a place to stash 'em. The more distressed, the better. (Quadruple points for bandoleers.)

Hardware is always a touchy subject. If you must carry, survival in the halloween circuit is earned at the barrel of a Nerf gun. Keep it light. Keep it fun. Keep it from getting you arrested. (I know, I know. Weaponry is fun! It's cool! Just keep in mind, the more props you have to carry, the less hands you have for drinking. 'nuff said.)

Try an eyepatch.
Dashing, sexy and mysterious. Eyepatches are all three.

STEP 3: Don't forget to...

Aim for neutrals and earth tones.
You know why they called the British "Red Coats?" They wore bright red coats. An eye-catching affliction that made them tasty targets for well-camouflaged Colonials. And we all know how that turned out for the Brits. Same goes for the Wasteland. Match your surroundings. If you must toss in a dash of color, keep it muted. Peacocking gets you dead. Or, at the very least, makes you the company Hallow-douche; doomed to an evening of creeping the punch bowl alone.

Customize. Customize. Customize.
Own it by making it your own. Spray-painted stencils, hand-stitched patches and comedic accessories add personality and start conversations. Try it.

And above all, Keep it sexy.
Ladies, you know what we're talking about. No longer the kiddie holiday of old, Halloween is now an adult bacchanalia of debauchery, so dress appropriately. Cutoff shorts. Torn fishnets or tights. Midriff bearing shirts. High-heel boots. Hell, even a well-cut bikini. If you got it, flaunt it conspicuously. (I won't hold it against you.)

STEP 4: Kick it with a tasty groove. Your bosses won't know what - or who - hit on 'em.

How'd we do? We we nail it, or did we fail it? Post your favorite Post-Apocalyptic Costume tips below, biznitches.

Image reference: 1) Warvan on Used under Creative Commons.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


The Hunger Games Halloween costumes are real

Merchandising is best when milked.

Yes, post-apocalyptic costumes are all the rage this Halloween, thanks in part to big ticket pop-culture properties like the Hunger Games Franchise. After raking in massive book and ticket sales, it was inevitable that the Halloween costumes would follow. And, oh boy, they have. Let's explore, shall we?

First, there's The Hunger Games District 12 Training Shirt. Sure, I'll buy that.

Then there's the Hunger Games Mockingjay Pin. Ok. Makes sense.

And The Hunger Games Jacket costume. I suppose I'm still picking up what you're putting down...

I'll even go so far as to accept The Hunger Games Katniss Dog Tags. (Cute. -ed.)

But official The Hunger Games District 12 socks?!

The actual apocalypse can't come fast enough.

Monday, October 22, 2012


No Ghost For You - Penfield Reef Light GSA Auction Cancelled

In the waning months of Summer, 2012, the United States General Services Administration placed the Penfield Reef Lighthouse up for auction. Just a few scant months later, mere days before Halloween, they abruptly cancelled it. But why

Probably because it's haunted. Guarding Penfield Reef on the south side of the Black Rock Harbor entrance to Long Island Sound since 1874, rumor and Wikipedia have it that the station is a potent host to a plethora of paranormal abnormalities. (So you'll probably want to ride out the inevitable zombie apocalypse elsewhere. -ed.)

Haunted Penfield Light Exterior

Reports of strange events began after the death of Lighthouse Keeper Frederick A. Jordan on December 22nd, 1916. Lost in rough seas in a failed attempt to row to shore for Christmas celebrations, his ghostly visage was first reported just two weeks later by Assistant Keeper Rudolph Iten. Later keepers experienced the apparition and its ill-effects on the light, as well, even going so far as to sign affidavits describing the encounters.

Haunted Penfield Light in Profile

The tales came to a head in 1942, when two boys reported that the ghost saved them from drowning. After the Coast Guard automated the  station in 1971, the stories slowed to a trickle. And now, after years attempting to force the sale of the Penfield light, the GSA is pulling the auction prematurely. But why?

Site of the encounter - Haunted Penfield Light Interior Stairs
Site of the encounter.

Now, I'm no ghost hunter, but the station was one of the last masonry lights ever built in the United States. Shortly thereafter, offshore installations transitioned to cast iron towers. Based on the knowledge I've gained via 16 viewings of Ghost Busters 2 and an episode of Food Network's Halloween Wars, I posit that the soft stone construction may be absorbing the ghostly energy, perpetuating the haunting effect. Ergo, good ol' Fred is conspiring to keep the light in its decrepit state, so that he may mourn his ghostly life alone. (Right... that's toootally it. -ed.)

Haunted Penfield Light Interior - Spooky
Extra scary story.

Now, before we get ahead of ourselves with this whole "haunted hypothesis thing," they say the bidding has been cancelled due to governmental "discussions" over the submerged lands lease. Verbatim:
Auction Sale-Lot # BOSTN112005001 has been cancelled due to renewed discussions with the State of Connecticut regarding the required submerged lands lease.  Penfield Reef Lighthouse will be reoffered in the Spring of 2013 with a new Sale-Lot #.  GSA will post a new Invitation for Bids at that time.
But we all know (probably) that it's been cancelled due to haunting (totally). There is definitely (kinda) some serious Scooby Doo level stuff going on here. (Or not...) Long story short, if you want to own this haunted lighthouse you'll have to wait till Spring.

Haunted Penfield Masonry Landing
No one can hear you scream.

Penfield Reef Light Station
Sale-Lot Number: BOSTN112005001
For more images, visit the GSA Shutterfly account for the Auction.

Scary Penfield Lighthouse Exterior
Haunted lighthouse for sale. Not.

Image Reference: GSA

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Filed under: Stuck in my damn head and I like it.

There are Detroit Tigers ballads, and there Detroit Tigers ballads. This track by former-Detroiter-rocker-and-bon-vivant-playboy Kelley Stoltz, in which he actually name-checks the entire '84 Tigers individually, beats the hell out of anything you'll hear on TBS.

#VerlandersPitching #NotWatchingTheDebate

Thursday, October 11, 2012


No swimming. No diving. No Jumping. No duh.

Filed under: Duh.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


Take a stroll through the executive parking lot. What do you see? Mercedes? Bavaria's finest? A Lexus or three? With nary an American badge in view, all I see is a travesty.

Fortunately, Jeep® has seen fit to oblige the domestic 1% (especially us down-and-dirty, hoity-toity types) with a true American contender: the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk(TM) special edition.

By their own words, it's "the most awe-inspiring, most extraordinarily capable Grand Cherokee ever conceived." Tall words, yes. Insanely over-promising words, also yes. But judging by the following truncated list of bitchin' features, I'm inclined to agree. Check it:
  • Quadra-Lift® adjustable height suspension
  • Quadra-Trac II® full-time four wheel-drive with low range
  • Selec-Terrain® traction control with five driving modes
  • Off-Road Adventure Group II
  • Skid-plate and rock-rail protection
  • Flame-red front tow hooks
  • Goodyear Silent Armor Kevlar® Tires
  • Slush mats
  • Anodized silver-painted interior trim
  • Leather trim wrapped steering wheel
  • Suede/leather trim seats with red accent stitching
  • Black hood applique (For "glare reduction," no doubt... -ed.)
  • Ginormous badging
  • General badassery
Finally, you can flaunt your American-bred off-road cred about the country club without derision - or the flies in your teeth style - that comes with dropping your janky-arse trail rig at the valet. And, if the prestige of the hefty equipment-induced MSRP doesn't do it for you, the pride points just keep coming...

Actually imported from Detroit.

As a primary benefactor of Uncle Obama's benevolence, each and every one of these bad boys rolls off the Connor Avenue assembly line in Detroit, Michigan. Making this particular Grand Cherokee variant the product of American knowhow, grizzled union craftsmen and jingoistic flag-waving determination. Just the pedigree needed to smash through G-Wagons and LX-whositiswatsits with pride in your chest and a giant Trailhawk badge on your arse. Go us

(Bonus points if you can ID the controversial song in the above ad. -ed.)

The Verdict: The things we make, make us. And the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk is a pretty awesome thing we make.

MSRP: Starting at $41,995

Get more here: The 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk