Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesday Finds: Teeth

Hallo again! Those of you who have followed me on Twitter might already know that the recent blog silence was due to me having a couple of wisdom teeth pulled out. They were the last two, both bottom ones. Everything went pretty well, despite them being a bit infected and despite the dentist having to drill them both to bits before being able to get them out. I think the main feeling I've had from all this is a sense of relief to finally get them out. (There was also joy at being able to eat icecream with no guilt whatsoever, as it was one of few things I could eat without trouble last week.)

I've been feeling better each day after the operation and today the stitches were removed, which officially marks the end of all my wisdom teeth. Woohoo! I shall celebrate with more icecream!

Friday, September 17, 2010


Now for something a bit different than the usual posts on this blog. Today I bring you a game recommendation! The indie game in question is Minecraft and it has given me more excitement and intense adventures than most games I've played recently.

Oh my, look at those huge caverns. Who knows what riches and dangers await inside.

You start off with nothing in a randomly generated HUGE world (apparently the surface area is about 8 times larger than earth) and your goal is simply to survive. It's a bright day and everything is peaceful, maybe with some cows, chickens and such wandering around. However, at night when it's dark, monsters will come out and it's a bad idea to be out in the open at this time. In order to live through it, you'll have to gather some resources and make a few basic tools, so that you can build a shelter lit by torches (light equals safety). You'll want a safe place that the monsters can't get into. Once you have one and have made more tools (including a weapon) and gathered supplies, it's time to start exploring!

Some worlds are snowy ones. Behold my house built on a cliff by the seaside. On the right you can barely see my greenhouse, growing crops for food.

For me, the appeal is two-fold - creative creation and danger-filled exploration. First of all, everything that you have in the game are things you've made yourself. There's a certain pride and satisfaction you get from that, even in a game. You can build a house (or a fort, or a mansion, or an underground lair with a moat of lava...) for yourself, in any shape you wish. You can use a variety of materials and decorate the place with things like paintings and bookshelves. For example, you can collect sand and clay to make glass for windows and bricks for walls, respectively, by heating them in a furnace. Use your imagination to your heart's content. How about a rollercoaster?

The scary scary dark night. The greenhouse is on the left and on the right is a big lighthouse I built because it seemed like a cool idea. I'm also hoping it will help me find my way back as I explore the surroundings. But mostly I built it just because it seemed like a cool idea.

Actually, there's a nostalgic element to this too. The blocky look of the game reminds me of building secret bases and such out of Lego when I was a kid. Back then I'd always run out of pieces before I was finished, but in Minecraft I can go out into the huge world and find more. Awesome.

Mr Morrgan enjoys the game too. Here's his house by the sea, complete with a manmade stream and planted trees and flowers.

Second, the world is full of cool caverns and cave systems to explore and mine for useful things like iron ore. The deeper you go, the better materials you find for making better quality tools, weapons and armor. It's dangerous, as these are dark places and monsters could be anywhere, but oh so exciting. I have had several great adventures in such places.

These waterfalls lead into dark caves below. Dare you go in and explore?

And after a scary adventure in the deep, it's a big relief to get back to your house by nightfall. Then you are safe in your home while zombies and other creepy things roam the land outside, and you can fry some bacon for dinner and work on more tools and weapons for your next expedition while you wait for morning.

Darkness falls and the moon rises as I return to my house just in time before the monsters come out. What a welcome sight.

Well, these are just some examples of the things you can do. If you're interested in the game, you can go to the Minecraft website to get the Alpha version that I have (a beta version should be available soon - yes, the game is actually still unfinished). There's also the older but free Classic version you can try out to see if this is your thing.

Inside Mr Morrgan's house.

You can also check out this series of Minecraft gameplay videos to get a better idea of the experience.

The view from the balcony of my cliffside house.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

My Creative Space: There Be Monsters

The knitting (and crocheting) of warm stuff for autumn and winter continues. This week it's mostly been dreadful monster scarves. Rawr.

Looks like I'm all out of that blue yarn, so those will be the last two of this colour and material. Grab 'em while you can! I'll keep an eye out for a replacement yarn, though, so similar monsters may appear in the future.

(For those who might be wondering about the never-ending sock project, they're still not done. After all that knitting, unraveling and knitting again, I needed a break from socks. Wild monsters seemed like a much nicer project.)

Want to see the creative spaces of others? Head on over to Kootoyoo's blog for a look!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

My Creative Space: Yarn trouble

This week I bring you a tale of woe, misery and broken dreams. And socks.

Remember the beige and green socks I'd just started on last week? Well, that project failed miserably.

It wasn't anything to do with the pattern or the knitting itself. One sock turned out just lovely, and the other was going well. And then I ran out of yarn. Yarn I'd bought about 5 years ago, so I can't get more of it now. Arrrrrgh.

beige and green knitted socks in progress
I undid the 2nd sock and started again, making the sock a bit smaller this time. And ran out of yarn again. I then undid the finished 1st sock and am currently making it in the smaller size too. Hopefully there will be enough left over from that to finish both socks, and all this yarn puzzling will result in two fine, albeit smaller than planned socks. Hopefully.

So that's the reason why these socks are still in the works this week.

(Well. That and the fact that I may have gotten myself addicted to Soulcalibur 4 and Borderlands, taking up most [er, all] of my time. Again.)

Want to see the (more successful) creative spaces of others? Head on over to Kootoyoo's blog for a look!
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