Potatomas Gift Idea!

December 5th, 2005 by Potato

Do you have a working fire extinguisher? It might be a good gift idea for the person who has everything. I got one for my parents (and one for myself) last year. They’re reasonably cheap (starting at $20 for a tiny kitchen one) and odds are no one else will think of it… unless they’re reading my site, too. They’re also easy to find if you don’t mind asking a store clerk for assistance: most Canadian Tire and other general merchandise stores do sell them, though they may be hidden (hence asking the sales staff — our local Canadian Tire hid them in the back with the sandpaper).

While it’s not usually a good idea to try to fight a large fire by yourself (if a whole room is going, just call the fire department and get out, and not necessarily in that order), smaller fires, especially kitchen ones, can be handled on your own. I remember on the news a month or so ago a story about a woman whose dinner was set ablaze and just lost her head and started screaming in the hallway of her apartment. A man came to help her, putting the fire out by pouring instant pancake mix on it (baking soda would probably work better, since with pancake mix there’s a risk of just having the flour & sugar ignite and making things worse).

One thing that I really want to go to is a short fire safety session the hospital puts on here; hopefully they’ll do it again this summer. It involves hands-on use of a few fire extinguishers: the fire department will light some fires on the hospital lawn and let people put them out. It gives you practice with pulling the pin and aiming, and also gives you a feel for the size of fire you can handle with a fire extinguisher (it’s probably smaller than you might think).

Switching topics, I took a look at an under-development game called Sword of the Stars. It’s a turn-based deep space 4E game (along the same lines as Master of Orion) and it looks like it might be really good. One thing that has really tickled my interest is the concept that different races are really fundamentally different, right down to the way they ply the space lanes. One race gets faster-than-light drives similar to Star Trek’s warp drive: they go anywhere they want in any direction, and are detectable in normal space the whole time. Another uses sub-space lanes, restricting travel to directly one star to another (presumably one star to its next few closest neighbours, preventing you from leapfrogging systems), but while in sub-space is separate from normal space (can’t be ambushed, but also can’t be redirected). Yet another uses a hyperspace gate system similar to that from Babylon 5: while in normal space, they are restricted to slower-than-light travel, but once they make it to one of their gate locations, they can instantly jump to another gate. Sounds like a great concept, and hopefully it’ll follow to a good game. Sadly, I’m reminded of MOO3 which was also a decent concept (we really didn’t need the sub-versions of the popular MOO2 races) involving truly 3D-space and intelligent governors to handle things for you (actually restricting micromanagment, since as the emperor you only have so many ways to split your attention)… that in the end just wasn’t much fun to play.

One Response to “Potatomas Gift Idea!”

  1. rez Says:

    Fire extinguishers, eh? Not a bad ideer.

    I’m read a bit about Sword of the Stars and it sounds pretty good. I’m also keeping my eyes peeled for Space Empires V. When’re we gonna play some Civ4?