Sunday, May 11, 2008

What Are You Going To Do With 20 Pounds Of Flour?

Or twenty pounds of rice?

Let's face it, the latest "craze" in the form of the current popular mania is hording of rice and flour and other stuff, because "there's a shortage and if we don't collect and get our stuff now, we'll be all out!".

I remember the Cabbage Patch Kids riots, my friends. And, I knew a friend that paid her rent for about two months just on Furbies alone. Human frenzies are nothing new. Still, that leads to the whole issue of "what the frell am I going to do with twenty pounds of rice and flour? Oh, and twenty pounds of beans, too."

Well, eat it, of course.

Besides, you should be doing it anyways-the usual recommended storage time for bulk foods is about six to eight months, tho with some techniques you might be able to extend it out to sixteen to eighteen months. A rotation plan should be a part of any bulk storage plan-older stuff on the top, newer stuff on the bottom.

And, until the disaster hits, you really need to pick up some very useful items.
  • Food storage containers smaller than 20 pound sizes. It's easier to get to flour and rice when you don't have to heft and carry and toss twenty pound bags. And, the containers are air and vermin tight, so you can store them and use them for a good, long time.
  • Rice cookers and bread makers. A really good rice cooker also includes a steaming tray for things like vegetables and potatoes, so it's a multi-purpose item. And, let us not forget that in some ways, it's better to have homemade bread. And, I defy any family of four to go through a two pound loaf of bread in less than two days, three at the most.
  • Cookbooks. Let's face it, you'll have a lot of stuff...and learning how to do new things with it is never a bad idea. And, it never hurts to have a copy of Apocalypse Chow on your bookshelf-it has a lot of very good recipes that might come in handy one day.
And, at have plenty of stuff to make use of, one day.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Did I Not Threaten You With Idea #2?

I did, didn't I?

Idea #2 is another RTS idea, based around the idea of giant robots.

Once upon a time, actually around 1954 (the day after Godzilla is released in Japan, actually...), one of the first of the Beasts appears on the shore of Japan. Thirty feet tall, it takes just about everything the United States has to kill it, short of nuclear weapons.

Then, sometimes weekly, sometimes daily, more Beasts of the four big types come up from the water in the Pacific Ring of Fire...and a few of them take nuclear weapons to stop. Including one that surfaces between Seattle and Portland, and requires a nuke to stop. For nearly fifteen years, the Beasts attack. Humanity learns of the nature of what they call the Alpha/Omega (A/O) field, which serves both as a shield and as a way to "break the laws of physics" so that something like the Beast can actually exist. And, desperately, they build a mechanical generator (the Beasts are some kind of bio-mechanical organism) that can replicate the A/O effect. They build a prototype giant robot-Unit One-and place it in San Francisco to hopefully fend off the first attack (okay, there's a few more in Japan and up the rest of the West Coast, we are paying attention to the San Francisco one).

They wait for an attack...and it never, never happens. For forty years, the robots stand (okay, layed out on the ground to prevent stress to their frames) as almost black sheep in the fight against the Beasts. Some mild renovations of Unit One to make sure that it can actually function over the years. It becomes a joke, something to tell on the evening news about waste and such.

One day...a detector mounted near the Cliff House goes off...and the joke has to defend San Francisco against attack.

We're using San Francisco because it's a nice battlefield to use. Lots of nice, graphical property damage. It's also got a whole bunch of "in jokes" for various robot anime...and maybe some special guest stars (if we can get the licensing rights).

The game is based around two sections-a "base building" section, where you do research, build and improve your giant robots, train pilots, create the technology you need to make it easier to deploy your giant robots (early on, they have to be hauled to the battlefield location by truck-their batteries have a lifespan measured in minutes).

The second section is a tactical battlefield section, where you face off against a Beast with your giant robots, all commanded at your "command truck" (the game interface). Lots of explosions, lots of things happening that will make anybody go "oooh, ahhh".

More details as I keep thinking of them.