Minecraft: Diary of a Miner Part 2

Work at Pigeon continues. I constructed the Stargate.

Also, the stairs go all the way from the Stargate and Nether Portal in the sky, down to the bedrock now. I’m working on making the stairs entirely encased so you don’t have to worry about creepers (or getting your pet dogs wet).

I miss my base at Aerie. The world known as Floaty has been my home and favorite place, but since the Nether Portals all come back out at Bunnies (the main world), I don’t really have a choice but to rebuild here.

I still go to Aerie. I can get to the Nether from there via the Nether Portal I built, it’s just a one-way ticket. It will spit me back out at Pigeon. So, to get back to Aerie I’d have to go back through the Stargate. Since the 1.6 update that also logs me off and accuses me of hacking, so I have to log back in too.

Hopefully Minecraft will one day natively have multiworld support. For right now I’m slowly rebuilding in the main world known as Bunnies.

Minecraft: Diary of a Miner

The Minecraft deity known as Notch released update 1.6 recently which allows Nether Portals to work on Multiplayer Servers like the one I play on.

Since Minecraft itself doesn’t support multiple worlds, we all knew that something weird was going to happen when we built and went through a Nether Portal in another world. Maybe nothing would happen. Maybe each world would have it’s own Nether.

What really happens is a lot less exciting. Every portal in every world goes to the main world’s Nether. Then, if you go back through that gate, it spits you somewhere in the main world (Bunnies).

The first time I tried this, I went through a Nether Portal near the Floaty Stargate. Floaty is a world I spend a lot of time in. I found myself suspended high above some lava with little room to move somewhere in The Nether. Then I went back through before I fell or was killed by ghasts and ended up in the middle of the ground somewhere in Bunnies right by a monster spawner. I died a few times and repeated going back through. I cleaned out the area and Kiashien helped me make a Stargate called Bridge so that I could get out of wherever it was I’d ended up.

I’m pretty good at exploring The Nether. I practiced in our “psudo-nether” world (Stargates Nether1 and Glowstone). These were created using multi-world before the 1.6 update. In those days glowstone dropped less glowstone dust when harvested. I was pretty obsessed with finding a ‘prettier’ light source than torches, torches, and more torches to use in my bases and other creations. So, I did a lot of exploring and digging and building in The Nether. Ghasts were a huge problem because at that point, I couldn’t actually see the ghasts correctly. They would flicker across the screen as if they were in multiple spots at once and I couldn’t see their projectiles flying at me. So, dodging them and hitting them back at the ghasts was impossible. Killing ghasts was all guesswork.

So, when I was given a Nether Gate high above open lava with barely a platform to stand on and a lot of ghasts spawning, I said, “Challenge Accepted”.

I don’t die a lot in Minecraft, but here I died about a half dozen times trying to make a place to stand and walls around the portal.

Each time I died I’d end up in at the Bunnies spawn point by our main base Chuck. It didn’t matter that I’d slept in other beds in Bunnies, which is supposed to reset your spawn point to the bed. I spawned there every time. Each time I’d go into Chuck and hop the stargate to Floaty. Since the 1.6 update, Minecraft disconnects every time you transport to another world using a Stargate, accusing you of hacking. I’d reconnect, then go through the Nether Portal there and end up back in The Nether.

The last time I was there I actually made a lot of progress, but still messed up and fell to my doom. I was back at Chuck and made my way back to Floaty. This time, though, I didn’t end up at that same gate in The Nether. Instead I ended up coming out of a gate in the Nether that was fairly secure. I explored the tunnels for awhile and made the place a bit more homey. I mined some glowstone. I didn’t have a lot of supplies since I expected to end up back at the deathtrap and die again. Once I decided I needed to get some wood and other things, I went through the gate. I expected to come out at Bridge.

Instead I ended up under water at night somewhere. I swam up and looked around. It was a river. The banks had forested mountains. Our Other Places mod told me that I was closest to Bridge, but closest is a relative term since nothing familiar was anywhere in sight.

I didn’t have any supplies on me except netherrack, a shovel, and a flint and steel. Since I had no torches, I placed some blocks of nertherrack and lit them on fire to try to keep the bad mobs from spawning on top of me, then I waited in the water for morning. Things didn’t look any better in the morning. I was very, very lost. Kiashien decided it was okay to teleport me back to civilization since it seemed like the game had glitched.

Some people might decide to do something else at this point, but this just made me want to try again, and yes, possibly get stranded. However, this time I brought obsidian to make a stargate. That way if I was stranded, I could get myself out.

The Nether Gate went to the same place as before. After working for a short period of time, I stepped back into the Portal.

For the love of cheese, where am I now?

Oh, hey. It’s the netherrack beacons I made before! So I did come out at the same spot. It seems like last time the game fast forwarded to me falling and ending up below in the water. I had almost nowhere to stand, so it makes sense that I fell and, no, I didn’t think to look up.

So, now I’m here and I can build a Stargate, right? Actually, I need to build a place to stand first.

Watching night fall was pretty awesome. Since I was so high up I could see it fall on the lower elevations first and progress to other areas.

I worked through the night to build a platform around the Nether Portal. So, now I can build yet another Stargate.

The question still remains, what happened to the Nether Portal suspended over lava?

The better question is what happened to the Nether Portal at Bridge? Is it still there? What happens if I go through it?

I don’t know what happened to the Nether Portal suspended above lava and I kind of doubt I’ll ever find it again.

The Nether Portal at Bridge goes to this new, same spot in The Nether. When you go back through, it goes to this new little platform high in the sky.

This new Stargate, once it’s done, I think I’ll call it Pigeon because it’s kind of annoying and high up in the sky. That and this whole thing has been a pile of bird poop.

To be a useful place at all, there needs to be a way to get down, so I made a leap of faith into the river and started building a staircase…

As you can see, the rain is pooping on my head like a pigeon as I build away.

Forward Momentum

Yes, I think about them: the caveats, pitfalls, and fears I’ve followed down the hole before. Hindsight is so much better. With it I can see the course that will lead me away from falling, but if I fail to do anything now then I miss the chance to move forward. Hindsight is only so useful.

Would I know that I was moving backwards until it was too late? I don’t know that I have a sense of my momentum, but I think that I’m moving forward. I feel wind passing by me, the air crisp, and my head clear.

Being with someone again has been great, but I am a little bit leery of this limbo that I stop and see myself in sometimes. Freeze frame, I worry and wonder if I am making the same mistakes, falling into old patterns. I have no evidence, by I am constantly, acutely aware of the past.

I’m also not used to ‘seeing’ people. The way it has always been for me: either I’m in a relationship or I’m not. I don’t know if I’m entirely comfortable here, but I also know that the self-improvement thing is about taking risks, going outside of your comfort zone, and goddamn trying. Everything tells me this is a healthy thing, to force me to learn not to rush into things.

I don’t ever want to get stuck and hung up on a person to the point of potentially losing myself. I’ve done it before. It’s been a long time since I’ve even approached a relationship, it’s been a long time since this has happened, but I’m always aware it has. As much as I’ve grown, that person who made those mistakes in the past was me, and I have to work not to make any repeat performances.

But this is already so different, will I really repeat myself that considered? What happens if I get hung up anyways in spite of myself?

At first he scared me, and now I scare me. That’s a pattern I know and I’m scrubbing it with steel wool, but who knows if the stain will come out. Why am I scared- because I like him. I like him a lot.

I’m not saying I want to be with someone I don’t like, but I’m very scared of liking someone too much. I’m afraid that one day I’m going to be used to being with him, and he suddenly will have moved on to someone else. Irrationally, I think that labeling our relationship differently (going from seeing each other to full blown relationship) will allay these fears and make them an impossibility. I know that is stupid.

So if I call this something different, is that supposed to make my hold on him tighter?

And why would I want it to be tighter? It would be tighter around me too. I like not feeling too relied on, or relying too much. It’s so much more healthy than what I’m used to. My sense of self is strong and I am on my two feet relying on just that. He is also strong, not leaning on me in any way, threatening to take me down wherever he may go.

Is this simple jealousy maybe? I don’t like the idea of him potentially seeing other people, but I constantly remind myself of the idea… not to torture myself, but to stay used to the idea. I might still want him around and he might be gone (or with someone else). That will hurt regardless, but it will hurt more if I believe it can’t happen.

Is it the idea of him being with someone else, or is it him not being with me? The fact that I’m okay with the situation tells me it’s the latter. I don’t want another girl he’s seeing to take him away from me. I don’t want to lose what I have gained.

What I need to realize that what I have gained are experiences of being with him in a positive way. People go away. I hate those facts, fickle natures and the that things end. But, they do end. People move on, including me.

I keep telling myself so I stay used to the idea of him not being around. Maybe that’s pessimistic, but pinching myself is allowing me not to get lost in a romantic dream.

I am likely making an illusion of control. He makes me happy, and to have a degree of happiness taken away, one needs to find new happiness all over again or get used to it being gone. It’s not always easy to find again. Absence can be felt strongly regardless if you were told it would come.

I hate relying on others. People suck. I hate trusting.

And that’s what it boils down to- I trust him and I don’t want to trust anyone but me. I know I’m trustworthy. I always pull through in the end.

Maybe the answer is to see even more guys, but I’m not exactly interested. Oh, sure, there are guys I flirt with, impossible people who would never put forward a foot to walk along side me. I honestly wasn’t looking to see him when it happened; he fell out of the sky.

Maybe I’m a misanthrope, because when I seriously consider the idea all I can think about is how disgusting men are (women too in all fairness, people in general, but I’m not romantically involved with women, so I say men). I could pick up guys, but I don’t actually want them. Would most men respect me for me or just want to get me in bed? I like sex as much as the next person, but I am the type of person that doesn’t need it from other people. The things I seek: actual care and respect, these things are much harder to find.

So, where the hell did he come from and how did I let him in? I’m still just asking that basic question. I wasn’t looking, but there he was. I want to hold on tight, and I want to run away. This is scary stuff.

So here I am, trying to take slow the speeding train that time and time again is how my head handles things. Slow down. Smell the flowers. Keep your base so you don’t get swept off your feet.

I am learning, even if it is at my own pace. And even with those worries below the surface, I can still make out my face staring resolutely towards my goals. I am more than okay, and this is way more that okay. It’s just my nature to worry, analyze, question, and try to anticipate any chance of a wrong foot forward. I should try not to focus on it. If I do, I might accidentally allow it to stifle the steps I take towards something new and wonderful.

Here’s to something new and wonderful- and stop worrying about it already! Life happens, and will continue regardless. Change is scary. Have the courage to face forward!

Brits Eat..?

spotted dick in a can
My original thought was that I needed to come up with something in honor of Gary Gygax now that he has passed on to that campaign setting in the sky. This may still happen after I’ve finally come to accept its truth. Until then, I’ve made some startling discovery at what our friends the British apparently eat.

As a disclaimer, yeah, McDonalds is from over here and it’s gross. I’m sure there are other nasty things that make it out of our borders that I don’t eat, like Jello. As far as I’m concerned, none of it comes even remotely close to what I have discovered…

1. Spotted Dick: This is one I’d actually heard of. What I didn’t know is that it comes in a can. Also horrifying is that on this can it says you can microwave it. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME, because last I checked metal cans and microwaves don’t mix. I knew this, but didn’t know the extent of it until my little sister blew up the microwave trying to make Jello one day.

I have not tried spotted dick, but one of my friends has (see photographic evidence). Let’s see what she has to say on the matter:
eating spotted dick

“It’s as good as can be expected considering it’s cake from a can cooked in boiled water…”

I think that’s as good a review as we’re going to get.

2. Mr. Brain’s 4 Pork Faggots in a Rich West Country Sauce: I barely know where to begin. I am trying to figure out what about this meal is a faggot. I am searching my definitions… homosexual man? No. Bundle of sticks? Nope. Measuring those bundles of sticks? No again. Cigarette? Uh-uh. All right… I’m just going to have to assume that one of these weird meatballs is also known as a faggot.

Pork Faggots

My next question is what is so west about this sauce. The spotted dick friend tells me: “…the West Country (where my Brit ancestors originally hailed from) is a region of England.” This is good to know, but it tells me little about the sauce. Another friend who tried the ‘faggots’ recalled the experience like a horror story. She had this to say on the matter:

“I shudder to remember. This was back when I was eating meat, but no amount of creepy processed fast-food spaaaaaaaaaace meat could have prepared me for this. Pork faggots are basically these meat balls made not out of what we would typically define as “meat”, but instead is ground up pig’s liver and possibly some other organs covered in some disgusting gravy. Ugggh!”

So far, spotted dick in a can is better than microwavable Mr. Brain’s pork faggots.

Toad in the Hole
3. Toad In The Hole: So… you put sausages in “Yorkshire pudding” batter and bake ’em. Now I’m out of willing candidates to try these things, but my spotted dick friend did have this to say:

“Oh, SHIT, Toad in the Hole? That looks terrible. TERRIBLE.”

Brits need to stop taking their sausages and putting them in everything! …


…we’ve already mentioned spotted dick, so I’m sure that couldn’t have sounded much worse.

Also on the subject of Brits and sausage…

4. Black Pudding: It’s sausage made with congealed blood. Brits like sausage apparently, and need variations.

5. Brawn apparently is a sausage form of head cheese. This has nothing to do with cheese, but everything to do with a head of a calf, pig, or sheep. It also can contain meat from the feet or heart. It’s even eaten cold. At least then we won’t smell it if someone reheats it. Thank heavens for small favors. I am not posting a picture as I’m afraid to try and find one.

Alright. This is about as much on the subject I can look into right now. If any Brits are out there reading this, we could use some insight into your cuisine. I for one, don’t get it. This is coming from someone who loves sushi, so I’m thinking the average American would be even more lost.

I guess my biggest questions are, do you actually eat this stuff, eat it often, and like it? …or is this just food propaganda that makes it across the borders to frighten us? I mean, there’s fish and chips, and that’s great.

Inquiring minds in the U.S. want to know!