Sorry for the huge delay in posting. My schedule has been very hectic, so I haven’t had a ton of time to play.  I’ve tried my best to tackle a few hours here and there, so here is the next four days of my adventure for Erica! Again, thank you for all the kind words!  I am very much appreciative.  It makes me happy to know that people enjoy reading my Minecraft diaries and support my cause!


Erica's Monument-al Adventure: Day 3

I was only able to play for a little over an hour on Day 3, but enough was accomplished.  Tommy Bruner joined me once again.  He continued to mine out the cave and tunnels that were being dug down into just east of the village.  I started out by fixing and rebuilding all the damage done to the village from the previous day’s shenanigans.  I rebuilt houses that were destroyed or torn down and even restructured a few of them.  While this being done, I was pestered by Creeper after Creeper.  They weren’t able to kill me, but would continually blow holes in the landscape in and around my village.  I would have to stop what I was doing and make sure those holes were filled.  And yes it’s because I want the village to look nice around the monument.

When the village was fixed and the Creeper attacks slowed down, I had to figure out what was best to do next.  I decided on making a ladder from the newly blown skylight (thanks to Ryan and his TNT antics) down to the enormous chasm underneath the village.  I used some cobblestone to make a barrier around the hole, to prevent future adventurers from falling down and losing their valuable items (although it would be quite funny, maybe a trap door for the future perhaps?)  A cobblestone wall was then erected down to the bottom of the chasm.  The ladder was placed upon the wall and created easy access from the village to the bottom of the chasm for future exploration.

While I was working on the village and getting the new chasm ready for exploration, Tommy was braving the caves just east of me.  He was able to dig multiple tunnels and eventually set up a base of operations inside the cave.  Tommy came across a few lava beds, some gold ore, but still no diamond.  He told me to join him down at his underground base once I was finished up on the surface.  Once I traveled down to the tunnels, we heard monster noises coming from the other side of a wall that was near a lava bed.  We just thought a few zombies were in another cave nearby.  I had TNT in my inventory (don’t ask why) and decided to blow the wall.  I set the TNT and blew the wall, even some of the ceiling.  The monster noises were now much louder, and we crept up to see a monster spawner and eight zombies staring us in the face.  We possibly found a stronghold!

Tommy and I tried to reach the monster spawner, but died multiple times in the process. We decided to plug the wall, mark the spot, and wait to tackle the possible stronghold until we had help from some more people.  Even though we found little gold and no diamond, the possibility of finding a stronghold bodes well for us.


Erica's Monument-al Adventure: Day 4

Day 4 contained the bulk of my playtime for this segment.  I started the game solo and remained that way for the first few hours.  I had to replant all the wheat that was used for bread and made both a cactus and sugar cane farm, for future materials.  I planned to start building the base for the monument today, just outside of the village.  I decided on a 19x19x3 stone base, with the bottom layer being a stone floor.  I mined 505 cobblestone blocks and smelted them all into stone blocks.  I then made eight buckets and traveled from the village to Tommy’s lava cave and back, hauling buckets full of lava.  I filled up the next layer of the base (which is 18x18x1 inside the stone wall) with lava until every block was basically a source block.  This took maybe 90 minutes in all.  I would have used more buckets, but I did not have enough iron to spare.  While I was hauling the lava, I was smelting sand into glass for final layer (another 18x18x1) of the base.  A total of 324 blocks of glass were used and meant as a platform to help illuminate the monument.



A little while after I finished the base for the monument, Ryan McGinley joined.  Since Ryan’s bed was destroyed the previous day, he spawned all the way across the map.  He had a fun time trying to get back to the village and died quite a bit (he wasn’t able to use his mic at this time).  Because he was continually traveling and dying, I wasn’t able to sleep through the night and had to battle waves of skeletons, zombies, and spiders.  I decided to barricade myself in my house, and leave to get some ice cream (yes, you heard that right) until Ryan was able to manage his way back.

Once I got back to the game, with twenty dollars’ worth of sundaes mind you, the first thing I saw was Ryan being blown up by a Creeper, taking half a house with him.  I don’t think I laughed harder that whole night and nearly lost one of my sundaes in the process.  When the damage was fixed and the excitement died down, Ryan went and traversed the chasm.  I started to build a new fortress in the village, which would act as item storage and my main base of operations.  While I started planning that out, Ryan had an idea for a flower bed to put in front of the monument.  He gathered the dirt to place around and dabbled with some waterfall ideas, but decided against it.  He started placing flowers and roses across the dirt.  We ran out of roses, so we were unable to finish.

And this is where Day 4 ended.  No gold or diamond was found, but a lot of construction for the monument was accomplished.  We have a great idea how we want the surrounding area to look!



Intermission: A Memory of Erica

It is well known that Erica was a fan of the Timesplitters franchise, Timesplitters 2 being her favorite of the series.  About a year ago, I had a free weekend to myself. I decided to spend it over at the hospital with all the kids. Erica was in a really good mood that weekend and feeling energetic.  I always stored a bag full of games and a few game systems in my truck every time I went to visit the hospital.  When Erica saw me walk in, she gave me a huge hug.  I read a few stories to the kids and then asked Erica what she wanted to do.  She yelped ‘Timesplitters!’  So I hooked up the PS2 and booted up Timesplitters 2.  We ran through the single player mode cooperatively and all the challenge missions the rest of the day.  Some of the other children sat and watched us.  I decided to spend the night over in the visitor’s area (I still find it funny the staff allowed me to do that all the time).  The next morning I woke up to Erica shaking me.  Apparently she snuck out of her room to wake me up.  After breakfast I booted up Timesplitters 2 again for some multiplayer.  I tried to get some more of the kids to play with us.  We played until about mid-afternoon.  No matter what, Erica was always Monkey in multiplayer.  That was her favorite character.  She did win the majority of the games, which always made her happy.  I left later that afternoon knowing I made her weekend.


Erica's Monument-al Adventure: Day 5

Day 5 was another extremely short day.  I really didn’t have much time to play.  I started by finishing up the basic structure of the new fortress with what stone brick I had left.  I added more chests inside the fortress as well.  There was a severe shortage of Creepers today, which made me happy that I didn’t have to worry about patching up random holes in my village.

Another fraternity brother, Bryan Cobb, joined me.  He knew I wasn’t playing for that long, so he went searching for my village and got a feel for the layout of the world.  He searched all the buildings and the cave below.  He made a bed and went off on his own searching for materials.

At this point I started wandering around the map, marking interesting locations and caves that I deemed important enough to dig out in the future.  There still is a lack of diamond, and I am determined to change that over the next few days.  As I was wandering, I made sure to collect supplies to bring back to the village for when we decide to storm the stronghold.  I also searched for roses! Once Cobb and I made it back to the village, we called it for the night.  Not much accomplished (no gold or diamond today), but we did what we could.


Erica's Monument-al Adventure: Day 6

Day 6 was another day of minimal playing during a hectic week.  I finally had enough stone brick to put a roof on the fortress.  Again, I ran out of wood and wooden planks for tools and went out searching for more trees.  This was becoming a mind-numbing task. I started saving the saplings that the trees dropped when chopped.  They would be planted in and around my village for easy access to materials.  Once I got back to the village, I dug out a huge section and placed down some dirt blocks and water.  I planted the saplings and made myself a tree farm.

Tim Smith joined up with me right as I finished the farm.  Because he’s been absent since Day 2, I showed him around the village and the progress made on the monument’s base.  Once finished looking around, Tim gathered supplies and traveled down the ladder to the chasm and started excavating.   I could tell Tim was rusty because he died right away from skeletons, and then died a few more times after that!  I ran down to help him, but fell down a waterfall, was bum rushed by zombies, and died.  I gave up on helping Tim in the caves and focused on the farm.  Luckily I had collected an enormous amount of bones over the course of six days.  I was able to make bonemeal and speed the tree growth.

I heard Tim screaming through the mic.  Apparently he was being attacked by more skeletons and zombies.  He ran away from the enemies and started digging his way to safety.  Lo and behold Tim dug up right into my tree farm!  We decided to keep it as a secret entrance to the caves underneath the village.  I gathered some more wood using the saplings and bonemeal.  Tim dug out more tunnels.  This is where we stopped for the night.

Over the course of Days 3 to 6, a lot of work was done for the monument and the village.  There is still more gold to be found, and the lack of diamonds thus far is a bit unnerving.  I hope to log in a good amount of hours over the coming days!