Minecraft Addiction

Old photo of my bridge on SDBmania Land

Last week I played Minecraft ALOT. Possibly almost too much, but to be fair I hadn’t really played the game much for the last couple of years. Minecraft is the kind of game that you can play for hours at a time until you run out of ideas to build things. For me, I play a lot when I have a cool idea for a project in the game. The last thing I did was build a residential area in my town and wall it up. Now my villagers are pretty safe.

SDBmania Land is quite a sight, if you ever get to see it (which you can if you want to watch hours of YouTube videos). I’ve built up a nice size town, added a nether tunnel, killed stuff, and ventured in the nether world (hence the tunnel). Not to mention I have a kick ass mine cart track and partial subway. ūüôā

My “binge” was the result of anxiety over driving with Lyft. It’s a slow process, but I’m getting more comfortable with it. I plan to drive at least part-time to start, but if I get really serious with it I’m likely to buy a used Prius to save on gas. Right now the Escape I drive gets about 19 mpg, which isn’t bad, but not great either.

Minecraft wonderfully distracted me from my anxiety last week when I went back to driving with Lyft. I’ve been using a slow and steady plan to get me used to driving more. Last week I took a day off in between drives with the exception of last weekend. So far, I’ve driven two days in a row this week, working towards making that 5 days in a row.

Thankfully, I’m not in a situation where I have panic attacks, so this level of anxiety isn’t too bad. It lessens a bit with each drive and now I don’t feel as tired afterwards. I’m also fighting against my old lifestyle. Being out of work for so many years, even with school and volunteering in between, ¬†I got used to not having anything I had to do all day. So, getting back to work is part of the process, though it’s not as difficult as the anxiety.

Most of the anxiety contains a few things, like insecurity, uncertainty, and worrying if I can do the job. I still usually don’t know who I am going to pickup or where I will go until it’s all set in stone, but the insecurity and worrying part is slowing being replaced with the confidence that I can do it. I’m not a great driver, but I’m safe and so far no one has complained. If this is the norm, with the occasional bad experience, I think this could become my job. I’m optimistic. I’ve been doing just one ride a day. Last week was 3 days a week, this week 5 days, and next week I intend to drive more than one person. Ideally I want to drive in the mornings so I get it out of the way.

Sometimes I feel like this is taking too long, but knowing my history, I think I’m doing it the right way. It’s not going to be another month until I am driving more often. This way, I’m able to give myself a chance to adjust and face my anxieties without pushing myself too hard. I think it’s a good balance. And really, it’s not going to be much longer until I am driving 4 or more hours a day. That’s something to smile about.



Minecraft Begats Mine Chest

Bring Minecraft into your real life.

My referral link: https://minechest.com/refer/Scott-LYPTBLES

Have $30 to spend, but don’t know what to spend it on? Mine Chest! What is Mine Chest? It’s pretty much a way to get Minecraft fans to spend more money, yet for some reason I’m still pretty excited about it. Who isn’t curious about what comes inside each box?

I’ve been curious about these “geek” boxes popping up on the internet. Loot Crate is probably the most known box of geeky goodness. They give you an idea of what to expect, but still leave some mystery. There’s a different theme every month, and these companies offer the swag in a subscription based format. You can usually pay month-to-month or in bulk.

Imagine spending $335.88 a year (not including shipping and tax) to get your very own Mine Chest ever month! Paying for a whole year in advance saves you about $25. I can’t see myself wanting to buy that subscription,¬†having all that Minecraft stuff, it seems like too much. After a while, I’d¬†run out of space. That’s why I’m just giving it a try for a month or two. I could use a new t-shirt anyway.


Fast Commuting In Minecraft


The lava filled world of The Nether in Minecraft is a very dangerous place. From the moment you enter, you find yourself exploring¬†islands filled with nether rock¬†and endlessly burning fire. If you are lucky, all you are greeted with are¬†the “friendly” zombie pigmen that travel in packs. If not, you’ll run into the dreaded Ghast, a sad-looking¬†creature shooting fireballs at you. To an outsider, it may sound like a worthless place. Why would anyone want to venture into hell?

There are many uses for The Nether. The rare Nether Wart can be found there and taken back to the over-world where it can be farmed like any other crop. Nether Wart is used to make potions. One in which can be used to cure zombies. It can be found in the large fortresses found in The Nether. My most recent goal, however, has been to find a way to travel from my mining company to my keep on my island.

What is interesting about the way the game designers created The Nether is that one can use it as a fast travel method. Eight blocks in the over-world is equal to one block in The Nether. That means that I can use the dangerous hellish world to travel much faster than my old method.

Before, I had to enter my mine and use my cart system until I reached the end of a tunnel that leads to the surface. It connects to a dock by the sea where I then must travel by boat to my island. This process takes several minutes. In-game, that translates to a big chunk of the day for my character. Plus, I can only make the trip during the day.

After doing a little research, I discovered that I could use nether portals to travel¬†long distances from two points in the over-world.¬†To do this, I had to obtain the coordinates of my mine and my keep. If you press “F3” you can get them. I first tried just making ¬†a second portal at my mine and entering. The game tried to set it up, but the second portal was too close to my first portal in the nether. This messed up the portals. ¬†Both my mine portal and my town portal led to the same spot. I ended up taking down the second portal in The Nether and moving it. Apparently you can set up a manual connection by taking the coordinates of your over-world portal and dividing that by 8. So, say your over-world portal is at 80 and 8 (I believe that is X = 80 and Z = 8). You would then need to venture into The Nether and find the coordinates of 8 and 1. Build your portal there and you will have a working link. Just make sure that you activate the second portal you have in the over-world, but DO NOT enter it. Go back to your original over-world portal and find the right spot in The Nether from your original portal.

The biggest problem I had when I first entered The Nether were the Ghasts that would pop up and attack me. They¬†deactivated¬†my portal with fireballs. This would leave me stuck in the world until I lured the ghast to attack the portal again. That’s why it’s a good idea to have extra flint and steel around so you can reactivate the portal. There were times I didn’t have any, because I had died! Suffice to say, you should be prepared before you go there.

Once I had my second nether portal in the overworld linked correctly, I had to find a way to travel in The Nether without dying! The only real danger in the open spaces of The Nether, besides lava, is fire. The Ghast is the most dangerous as it shoots fireballs that have an area of effect damage. That means nether rock and sand can be blasted away easily. Thankfully, stone is fireproof. Since cobblestone is the easiest material to obtain. It took several real life hours to build my nether tunnel, but now I can travel from my mine to my home without worrying about being burnt to a crisp!

Here’s some pictures of the process: