Tuesday, October 30, 2012

11 Tips to a Happy (and Safe) Halloween


Halloween is a scary time – it seems that every psycho killer and thing that goes bump in the night is just waiting, out of sight, for the chance to attack.  And if that is not bad enough, there are all those treats floating around waiting to defeat the stoutest diet and add pounds as we head into the heart of the holiday season.

               Fear not, though.  Halloween doesn’t have to be so deadly.  Follow these basic safety tips and you may just survive…if you’re lucky.




  1. When you find yourself running from a ghoulish beast out of the cemetery, desperate to escape; keep your car key on a ring by itself.  Then you can find it quickly without fumbling through 50 keys as the monster approaches.  Better yet, get a remote starter.
  2. Speaking of cars and getaways, make sure that your car starts immediately and has a good battery.  Also, keep it filled up so you don’t run out of gas in some dark, creepy and haunted backwoods.
  3. Never take the lonely and remote shortcut, especially if it goes through an old cemetery.
  4. If you are babysitting at a gloomy, isolated house and the phone rings – don’t answer it.
  5. Be aware of any and all clowns not traveling with a circus.  They are just plain scary.
  6. Don’t turn your back on the psychotic fiend that you just stabbed, shot, pushed off a balcony or any combination of.  It will come back to life at least one more time.
  7. Stay away from barns or tool sheds full of sharp, pointy farm instruments.
  8. When running for your life from a zombie or other stumbling, lumbering creature of the night, be prepared to fall.  A lot.  No matter how slow it is, it will always catch up.
  9. During a power failure, when the lights are out, don’t go looking for what just caused that thump in the basement…alone…and without a light.
  10. If you have other people around, don’t split up to investigate all the other mysterious disappearances.

And last, but certainly not least….

  1. Never, ever end up in the sequel.  The monster/beast/murderer always kills more victims, with more gore and is harder to stop or destroy.  And the sequels are never as good as the original.

Have a scary Halloween from Business Karate.


Eric Smith, CPP is the leading authority on organizational self-defense.  He has extensive experience in law enforcement as well as security management.  Eric is available for staff education and security awareness training as well as business coaching to help organizations provide safe workplaces.  To learn more email eric@businesskarate.com.


 

If you would like to reprint this post, please contact Eric at eric@businesskarate.com. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Keeping our Kids (and Selves) Safe


As the Colorado community struggles to understand the evil behind the killing of 10-year old Jessica Ridgeway and fervently hope that police find the killer, it is also a time to think about how to talk to our kids about these kinds of situations.

If asked, most kids will quickly tell you that they know not to talk to strangers.  Someone offering candy or asking for help finding a puppy are the common ploys that we explain.  But we need to go further and let our kids know that a predator may not be that obvious.  In fact, a killer can be very clever and deceptive.  The tactic to get close could be just a matter of walking by and grabbing someone or simply asking what time it is.

When talking to my own kids, I have been very clear that they should not even let a stranger get close to them as they may try to use drugs or chemicals to stun them or knock them out.  I’ve also had to teach them that no matter what, they never, ever go with someone and that they must fight no matter what.  The majority of victims in these cases who are abducted from a crime scene are murdered.  Teaching kids to fight goes against how we normally teach them to respond, but this is one time where it is appropriate.  Even a child facing a larger adult can scratch, bite, kick, punch, scream and even claw or poke at the suspect’s eyes.  Anything goes to attract attention and to escape.

More news related to this murder has been coming out and now it appears that the same suspect may have tried to abduct adult women earlier in the year.  In two cases, the women were jogging in open space and the suspect came up behind them.  In one, he tried to put a rag that smelled of chemicals over her face, but she was able to fight him off.  In the other, the jogger’s screams may have scared him away for fear of attention.

As always, be aware of your surroundings, pay attention to anyone else near you.  Be mentally and physically ready to fight off attackers and do whatever it takes to escape.  Teach your kids to be alert and not to let anyone near them, no matter how nice or polite they may seem.  If anyone touches them, fight back in every way possible and escape.
For more information, read about the most dangerous time in a crime or school security tips.

Follow-up - Police arrested 17-year old Austin Reed Sigg for the murder of Jessica Ridgeway and for the attempted abduction of one of the joggers mentioned above.  This is great news, knowing that one less violent predator is on the loose.  However, these safety tips still apply and the topic should be discussed with your children, as there will always be another psychotic killer, unfortunately.

Eric Smith, CPP is the leading authority on organizational self-defense.  He has extensive experience in law enforcement as well as security management.  Eric is available for staff education and security awareness training as well as business coaching to help organizations provide safe workplaces.  To learn more email eric@businesskarate.com.

 

 

If you would like to reprint this post, please contact Eric at eric@businesskarate.com. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

What Would James Bond Drive Today?


This month marks the 50th anniversary of the release of the first James Bond movie, Dr. No, in London.  A lot has changed over that time – the cold war ended (officially anyway), man has walked on the moon and we’ve seen terrorists with destructive desires that rival some of Bond’s worst fictional enemies.

Not only has the world changed, but the vehicles that we drive.  For a little entertainment and a break from some of the real world worries, give some thought to what kind of car James Bond would drive today.  An Aston Martin is the quick thought to come to mind, as it has so long been part of the movies.  In reality though, that is probably out of the price range of a government agent, even one very well paid and a bachelor.

In the original Ian Fleming books, James Bond drove a 20-year old 1933 Bentley convertible coupe, grey, with a supercharger.  The car was described as big, rear-wheel drive and fast for the time.  He bought the car almost new and had it inspected each year by a Bentley mechanic to keep it in top condition as he was passionate about his driving and liked to drive it hard and fast. 

If Bond were looking for a car today, it is hard to imagine him driving something 20 years old – today’s products are not designed to last like that and the technology changes so fast.  Bentley’s had a strong association with racing at the time and during the 20’s won a number of world championships.  It is a safe to imagine that someone like James Bond would want a car associated with a racing tradition.  There are so many different classes of races and vehicles from sports cars to Formula One race cars that most car manufacturers have some representation in some form.  Even Bentleys have reappeared on the race circuits in recent years.

It is also likely that Bond would prefer a British car, although not necessarily.  He carried an Italian and later German handgun.  He also preferred coffee to tea, a not-very-British concept.  Car manufacturers are so intertwined with suppliers and owners from other firms it is hard to find something purely British.  Even Aston Martin is owned by Ford.

One remaining British car company is the Morgan, which sells cars with a classic look that are capable of reaching 170 mph.  The Morgan AeroMax is one model.  Morgan’s have also been seen on racetracks recently.  The handling may not be quite up to Bond’s standards though and at 130 mph, the front end starts to lift due to the aerodynamics (the race version features a spoiler for control).  The price is steep though at well over $150,000. 
Morgan AeroMax - Google Image search

Bentley could still be an option, with the price tag again being the biggest hurdle.  The Continental GT coupe with a V12 engine is impressive and reported to handle well.  It still has the classic style and luxury one would expect for a Bond-like character.  Aston Martins are also a good choice, balancing performance with style, but again may be pricey for a realistic perspective.  In the books, Ian Fleming often had Bond’s character or cover story being a rich playboy, explaining why he was given an Aston Martin to drive in Goldfinger.

There are several high performing cars available for under $100,000 that could be serious contenders.  One is the Nissan GT-R, by all accounts a top-notch sports car that really delivers.  Of course, it is a bit hard to imagine our favorite British spy driving a Japanese car, but not out of the question if focusing on the performance.  Another option would be a Porsche 911 Carrera.  Again, a very fast car, one that can accelerate from 0-60 in about 4 seconds, just like the Nissan.  The Porsche handling has been improved and offers great cornering speed and control and has a very strong tie to sports car racing.

One last car to consider is the Lotus Evora.  It is built to race and can reach 160 mph.  The Evora S with a supercharger added to the Toyota V6 will reach 60 mph in less than 5 seconds and is comparable to the Porsche.  The Evora has a top speed of 162 mph and great handling.  For those of us that grew up watching Roger Moore as Bond can certainly relate to the Lotus via the Esprit featured in several of the films.  After all, what boy could forget a car that turns into a submarine, equipped with anti-aircraft missiles?  Bad news, though, for those readers looking for a ‘real’ British car for the Bond of 2012 – Lotus is now owned by a Malaysian car manufacturer, although still produced in England. 
Lotus Evora - Google Image Search

Lotus is also well represented in the racing world, with the Lotus Formula One team being a solid contender.  In fact, this season, one of their drivers has made a point of literally bumping off the competition, which has helped his teammate – but that is another story.

Looking at the options, the Lotus Evora S seems the best pick for Bond’s personal car.  He could even get it in the battleship grey of his original Bentley, although, the name is much fancier and is now Storm Titanium.  Buying a used Bentley, one a few years old, is another solid option and would certainly meet the criteria set by Ian Fleming when he wrote the first Bond book in the 1950’s.

Certainly, any one of these would be a fantastic car and you could hardly go wrong.  I know that I’d be content driving any of these!

 

Feel free to comment and share your pick (there are many other cars not even mentioned).  Keep it classy - we are talking about Bond.

 

Eric Smith, CPP is the leading authority on organizational self-defense.  He has extensive experience in law enforcement as well as security management.  Eric is available for staff education and security awareness training as well as business coaching to help organizations provide safe workplaces.  To learn more email eric@businesskarate.com.

 

 

If you would like to reprint this post, please contact Eric at eric@businesskarate.com.