Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

28 Days Later, ultralights

The heatwave has ended, pretty much. It was pretty hot all day, but it cooled off last night, so I shut off the AC and enjoyed a real night of sleep, without the aid of over-the-counter drugs. It meant an okay day here to go to Chelsea and wander around the Best Buy for some DVD damage to the plastic. I spent most of this evening going through that Blind Date uncensored DVD, and the Old School movie. So, an evening of high entertainment.

Last night I saw 28 Days Later, which is a pretty weird British movie that’s basically about zombies and a post-apocalyptic England. But instead of the classic Romero zombie theory, these guys were created from an blood-borne, AIDS-like virus that creates pure rage and self-destruction in the host. Some dumb-ass, Greenpeace types try to liberate a monkey lab and basically end the world SARS-style when they unleash the shit. The movie then starts 28 days later when a guy wakes from a coma, completely islated in a hospital from the complete destruction of London. He goes around and finds other survivors to eventually journey to a military camp that promises a cure, only finding that the military junta is about as bad as the infected zombies. It was a well-shot, very humanist film, concentrating more on the plight of the post-destruction man, the lack of hope and desolation of living in this world. A lot of American films in the 80s themed after a Soviet-US war (Red Dawn, The Day After) have a similar setup, but this captured it much more three-dimensionally. There is gore, but the film is cut much more artistically, so you get shocked more by the jumpiness than the animated corpses vomiting blood onto their prey. It’s a great film and gave me a few ideas for the next book. Unfortunately, I wasn’t into the ending. But at least it wasn’t Charlie’s Angels or anything.

Not too much else is up here. I’ve just been reading the new Ultralight Flying magazine, wishing I had like 15 grand to blow on an ultralight, and maybe some more money to go to some place with a good flight school. I might save my pennies and try to take some kind of vacation to a place in Florida or Louisiana or something where I can try to rack up some hours. The FAA is changing some things around with a new classification called Light Sport, which is basically a step below the most basic general aviation license, and is easier to obtain. Most importantly, it does not require a medical – if you have a driver’s license, you can apply. It’s very limited, and only applies to very light planes, during the day, with good visibility, and so on. But it means I could get a license to fly something much bigger than a powered parachute or powered hang glider or something. I could potentially have a two-seater with an enclosed cockpit and everything. So that’s where my future earnings may go.

Not much else. Time to get back to the DVDs.