Sunday, February 27, 2011

#Minecraft continues to amaze

Minecraft was down for a good portion of the day yesterday. After it came back up and I was able to get logged into my friend’s server again, the feeling of how great Minecraft is hit me again. Minecraft is full of endless possibilities for every type of player. After hundreds of hours of playing the game, it continues to amaze me each time I log in.

My current project is two-fold. I'm expanding out of the topside of my mountain hideaway. I am building both a sapling/log catching apparatus and a chicken coup. These will solve two annoying problems for me: collecting saplings and farming eggs.

The first, collecting saplings, may not seem that big of a chore. Chop down a tree and wait. A minute or so later you can collect all the fallen saplings. However, during large tree cutting operations, who wants to have to go back and run all over the place to get fallen saplings? Instead, I’d rather go to a single point and collect all the fallen saplings on my way to the storage area.

My tree farm is moving out of my main base and up to the top of the mountain. Two stories tall, it will be situated over a series of six whirlpools that will collect fallen saplings and logs and funnel them all to a single collection point. After clearing the trees, the collection point for the saplings will be on my way back down to the storage area.

The second item on my list, collecting eggs, is nearly impossible to get started and annoying to babysit afterwards. It generally involves finding and pushing several chickens into a hole and letting them procreate. Later on you jump in and collect the eggs. This is made easier by one of the recent Minecraft updates which allowed eggs to be broken and chickens spawned from them. However, a chicken only spawns from every eighth egg.

Now, the “chicken pit” is the simplest form of egg farming . It boils down to throwing eggs in a hole and waiting X to go in and get the eggs. Not only is that too simple for me, it is annoying to have to run all over the pit to get the eggs and when I’m done collecting, what do I do with the chickens?

My current solution is a crafty piece of engineering. It is two stories tall and features two whirl pools stacked on top of each other, each on their own floor. The top whirlpool sucks all the chickens together into a group so they lay eggs. The bottom whirl pool catches the eggs and funnels them to my collection point.

The important feature is that the second floor whirlpool is situated on signs. The water in the whirlpool keeps the chickens on the second floor and the signs hold up the water. However, since the signs are not solid, eggs fall right on through to the first floor. Throw in two dispensers with a clock generator and a flip of the switch unleashes a blizzard of eggs (and eventually chickens) into the second floor. Just like in real life, chickens sit on top, eggs get collected at the bottom. The system feeds into the same collection area as the saplings.

But there is still an important question to answer: what to do with all the chickens when a sufficient amount of eggs have been procured? If the area is left alone by all players, the chickens will simply disappear with time, but that isn’t much fun. Instead I will eventually have a door on the second floor that can be remotely opened. The whirlpool will force the chickens through the door and a short trip around a cactus corner and the chickens will be killed. Their feathers will then be collected into the same collection stream as the eggs and saplings and be delivered to my collection point.

Now this is a wall of text, so I promise that once I have the bugs worked out of these two systems I will post a video. Real life continues to be busy, so please be patient!

Sunday, February 06, 2011

The Green Bay Packers are WORLD Champions!

The Green Bay Packers just won Super Bowl XLV.  The curse of 4th and 26 is lifted.  The shadow of Favre has passed.  A new era of Packers greatness has been ushered in.

Now, lets see how I did prognosticating the game:


  • The Packers have not trailed by more than 7 points in any game this entire season, including the Playoffs.
  • The Packers lost their six games by a total of 20 points, not losing a single game by more than 4.
  • Of those six losses, most came down to the final play.
  • The Packers played one of the toughest schedules this year of any team in the NFL.
The Packers never trailed during the game. If they would have lost, it would most likely have been on the last play of the game and it would have been by one point.
  • The Packers went ON THE ROAD and beat the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd seeded teams in the NFC playoffs to advance to the Super Bowl.
This paid its dividends in what seemed like a game that was being played at the Steelers home field.
  • The Steelers probably didn't anticipate the Packers having a running game. The Steelers are most certainly sleeping on James Starks. And while James Starks is not the next Barry Sanders, he has shown a spark that no other Packer running back has this year. He could single handedly break this game wide open running the ball well which will lead to Aaron Rodgers picking apart the Steelers defense with the play action.
Well, I was definitely off here. The Steelers didn't bite on play action, but then again the Packers never tried to run the ball to set it up. Starks showed some promise with a couple good runs. Would like to have seen him with the ball near the goal line.
  • Unlike last years match up with the Steelers, the Packers have Sam Shields this year, easily one of the top cover corners in the league. Big Ben will find it very difficult to throw against this years Packers because Sam Shields talent allows the Packers to blitz freely or drop extra men into coverage elsewhere.
Wow, what a prognostication this turned out to be. When Sam Shields was out of the game due to injury late in the first half, along with Charles Woodson and Nick Collins being out at the same time, the Steelers attacked that side of the ball. When Shields was back in the game the impact was immediate and outside of a couple plays the Steelers respected Shields cover ability.

  • Big Ben is known for shrugging off would be tacklers and creating big plays outside the pocket. And the same thing was said about Michael Vick this year. The Packers played him and beat Vick twice this year, forcing him into being mainly a pocket passer and wrapping up their tackles on him every time. I anticipate the same thing when the Packers get to Big Ben.

Big Ben was forced to stay in the pocket for a lot of the game. He broke containment a couple of times, but once the Packers put Clay Matthews on spy-mode Big Ben was stuck throwing it in normal rhythm. This may sound like a bad thing, but this actually prevented Big Ben from opening up huge plays long after the normal rhythm of a play had ended. Basically, the Packers contained Big Ben, hit him a few times, and wrapped him up when they did get their hands on him.  The didn't "shut him down", but they didn't need to.  Big Ben is average when he can't extend plays.
  • Oh and the Packers are missing 14 starter-caliber players to injuries and yet proved they had and still have amazing depth at every position other than running back (which may be changing, see my Starks comments above). Imagine this team next year.

Another beauty of a prognostication considering the Packers lost three starters during the course of the game (and had more starters sit out several plays). IMAGINE THIS TEAM NEXT YEAR!
  • My actual prediction? The Packers win by double digits.
OK, the Packers didn't quite make it to a double digit win, but they did lead by 18 at one point. Also, they lead by 11+ point sat half time of every postseason game this year. The Packers may not have had a perfect game, but the first quarter couldn't have gone any better.

See ya'll next year when the Packers attempt to repeat.

#Packers Super Bowl XLV Motivational Video

Saturday, February 05, 2011

A Few Thoughts on the Super Bowl

It has been a long time since I last watched the Green Bay Packers in a Super Bowl.  So long in fact, that the last time it happened, most people still liked Brett Favre.  Two teams and three retirements later, Favre is a distant memory.  The Packers have a new ace in town: Aaron Rodgers.  Super Bowl XLV will usher in a new era of Packers football.  By this time tomorrow night, the janitor at the Packers Hall of Fame will be dusting off the pedestal for Lombardi trophy #4 (how ironic).

Overconfident you might say?  No, what would you expect from a Cheeshead?  For me not to be confident that my team is going to win?  Here are some bullet points to chew on:
  • The Packers have not trailed by more than 7 points in any game this entire season, including the Playoffs. 
  • The Packers lost their six games by a total of 20 points, not losing a single game by more than 4.  
  • Of those six losses, most came down to the final play.
  • The Packers played one of the toughest schedules this year of any team in the NFL.
  • The Packers went ON THE ROAD and beat the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd seeded teams in the NFC playoffs to advance to the Super Bowl.
  • The Steelers probably didn't anticipate the Packers having a running game.  The Steelers are most certainly sleeping on James Starks.  And while James Starks is not the next Barry Sanders, he has shown a spark that no other Packer running back has this year.  He could single handedly break this game wide open running the ball well which will lead to Aaron Rodgers picking apart the Steelers defense with the play action. 
  • Unlike last years match up with the Steelers, the Packers have Sam Shields this year, easily one of the top cover corners in the league.  Big Ben will find it very difficult to throw against this years Packers because Sam Shields talent allows the Packers to blitz freely or drop extra men into coverage elsewhere.
  • Big Ben is known for shrugging off would be tacklers and creating big plays outside the pocket. And the same thing was said about Michael Vick this year.  The Packers played him and beat Vick twice this year, forcing him into being mainly a pocket passer and wrapping up their tackles on him every time.  I anticipate the same thing when the Packers get to Big Ben.
  • Oh and the Packers are missing 14 starter-caliber players to injuries and yet proved they had and still have amazing depth at every position other than running back (which may be changing, see my Starks comments above).  Imagine this team next year.
My actual prediction?  The Packers win by double digits.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Out of steam

I've been out of steam lately and haven't been posting much.  I was planning to do some stuff for all of 2011, but I haven't gotten around to it.  I was thinking about moving to a daily posting schedule.  For example, I'd have like Minecraft Mondays, Indie Tuesdays, What I'm Playing Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday, and maybe even Frisky Friday!

Also, I want to redesign the site layout again.

Any spare time I do have I am dedicating to either Minecraft or the backlog of singleplayer games I have piled up in Steam.  I finished Bioshock 2 and have moved onto The Witcher.  I have Dragon Age and a ton of other games to get to.

I think for the time being I will just go with the flow and see what happens.  I want to get this site back on track at some point.  Hell, I may even get around to mentioning the Packers are in the Super Bowl.

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