Sunday, May 8, 2011

colder than the moon, it's been so long

It must be an important machine, is all I can think. It keeps popping up in things. And it hasn't needed an upgrade in...forever.

There's a lady out there doing--in addition to her other art projects--historical recreations of the Disney princesses. This is actually really cool from a costuming angle: what she chose and why, what styles of that era look like in the token single-hue color variants of the princesses, what changes she's made to bring them more in line with the clothing of the time. They're very well done, and well worth a look. (My favorites: Jasmine in her ghawazee coat, and Ariel with the leg-o-mutton sleeves.)

"Every gamer has instant messaging, every gamer has a Facebook account."

Gabe Newell is an ass, and I think he's a large part of why Valve sucks right now. Frankly.

And back to Minecraft!

(from the Minecrafting album)

Avon calling.

Only problem was, this was post-update. And that update has meant doors are unstable in multiplayer. So I went up to the door, laughed, snapped a shot, then turned my back...

...and the door friggin' opened behind me.

*BOOM!* was the next sound I heard.

(from the Minecrafting album)

When I came back from the deathing, the impromptu earthen base I'd set up outside The Pit was half-missing. Oh, the joys of post-creeper reconstruction.

So. This is the reason I've been posting the glut of Minecraft pictures. It may only have relevance to me, but I'm going to do my best to lay this out in order.

The night I heard that Elisabeth Sladen had died, I took it really hard. She was one of the few Doctor Who stars I'd actually met in person, and she struck me at the time as almost endlessly patient and affable with her fans. Plus, no one knew that she had cancer. She didn't want to worry people; had, in fact, kept working right up until the day she died. (As Baker pointed out, afterwards, he was scheduled to do some voice recording work with her the day following her demise.) It seemed inconceivable to everyone who knew her--the first round of news struck nearly everyone not with grief, or pain, or even anger--all of us fell into near shock because it was just so unexpected.

I knew I had to do something, and there was nothing, specifically, to do. I didn't want to be in SL, I'd decided after a few hours Twitter was not the place to be, and I didn't want to console myself with my current Tumblr feed of nudes, Victoriana and retro oddity. What did that leave?

For me, my thinking went to Minecraft. So I started a project. Let me be clear--the project itself has nothing to do specifically with Sladen's passing. It was just what my mind seized on when I went into world. I wanted something that would require a lot of 'physical' activity, and digging out a triple-hundredsth-weight of stone seemed perfect to me.

I selected a high bluff and spent several hours bisecting a mountain--literally, carving it nearly in half and mining the halved section completely flat, then clearing away everything else in a flat sandstone plain. This took a couple days to get it completely leveled.

Just to the right of the above shot, in fact, you can see both the shaved sections of the mountain still left, as well as the first level of the glass plain.

(rom the Minecrafting album)

The original plan was for sandstone all the way down, but there's a potential problem with that. Actually, the same problem existed with sand. Namely:

TO MAKE GLASS:
  • Dig out cube of sand.
  • Take to forge.
  • Smelt into cube of glass. (1x1 conversion)
TO MAKE SANDSTONE:
  • Dig out four cubes of sand.
  • Take to inventory.
  • Combine into one cube of sandstone. (4x1 conversion)
You can see, in a project that is planned to be primarily glass and torches, why this might be a problem.

[Insert from the Editrix: Hank tipped me that this was wrong; I plead tired when posting. But yes, to make glass, the above procedures are followed. To make a cube of sand, well, you dig out a cube of sand. Done. *coughs*]

(from the Minecrafting album)

Later on, we developed a better routine for digging out each level, dividing them mainly into sections, but the first level, it was mostly me poking around, digging things out. And then night fell.

(from the Minecrafting album)

I just planted torches and dug on. I had to get far enough away from the white space in my head. And then a skeleton showed up.

Skeletons sound very odd walking across glass. But moreover, occasionally he'd forget there was glass between he and I and fire an arrow anyway. Very odd. Then dawn broke over the horizon.

(from the Minecrafting album)

Well, then. Problem solved.

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