So tonight I am able to take time to have a chat with our dog Tilly. @mikmaqpeek and I think she may be distressed since we euthanized our housecat last Friday.

Yesterday, we found Tilly hiding and shaking in the dark in the walk-in shower. We'll keep a close eye. If anyone has had experience with a dog "grieving," I would welcome to learn of your experience. It's not like I can just ask her what's wrong. But I can watch, listen closely, and "see" what she has to say in her doggy way.

Minecraft Borehole 

Oh! I see I missed a bit on the wall in the last post. I use cobble to fill in the holes. Any solid blocks. Gravel? Dirt? Sand? Nope... "solid" blocks. I don't want gravity to move gravel or water blocks should you need to expand. Dirt may "hold", but it doesn't "feel" right. I replace mined out spaces with some kind of stone. While it doesn't actually make the structure more stable, it feels that way to my brain, so I do it that way. You go do your own your way. :)

Gates... I put gates in the overworld on lines that are multiples of 64, such as 0 y 0, 0 y 64, 128 y 256. Naturally, in the Nether gates could be put at 0 y 0, 0 y 8, 16 y 32. I wanted to avoid a situation where someone could put up a gate and "steal" the gates I put up, even if it was not intentional. Other people can put up gates where they want, but mostly it gets left to me as I'm so fussy about it and I build a nice Nether Nexus based off this, so they don't bother.

I build the ages 3 wide 4 high. I prefer building on odd numbers, and having it 4 high keeps it with the same proportions as the basic gate. The corners will have glowstone or shroomlight eventually, as it suits me. But a torch will do fine in a pinch.

Tilly is telling me it's time for her fortune cookie, and we gotta keep the dog happy. Until next time, and I do welcome questions and ideas on how to improve this. :)

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Minecraft Borehole 

Ok, I skipped a night, but sharing my Minecraft time with my wife is a great delight to us both.

This is a different borehole I'm starting at a different location. I don't bother with blocks in the wall except for several issues: 1) No Holes. If I need an exit to a cave that's there, put in a door that closes behind you. Part of the idea of strip mining is that one can be chill and not sweat mobs overmuch. It *can* get dangerous, you *can* screw up and get killed with lava, falling gravel, drown in water, or nasty mobs waiting for you as you dig down. But on the whole in the hole, I try to make mob surprises difficult. Strip mining is "chill time."

Without the vines, starter mine shafts are easier to see in this photo. If I want more space (or more mineshafts), nibble away at the wall between the stops at the level you want. This would be true of both the back (the 2 wide gap) and the front (the side you see here), depending on what you want to do and what obstacles you encounter such as lava. I picked this size and arrangement as my wife and our friends go into the "are you done yet? How far down? Done yet? Can I help? Are you done yet?" loop. This is "just big enough, but no bigger until down to -59.

Towards the front wall is a gap ready for a gate that you would see hint of in other images. The next photo will show the gate with info of how I think about it.

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Minecraft Borehole 

This view shows the gap between the stop and the tunnel wall. I have vines growing down the sides of the support beams because "a" they will anyway eventually, and "b" it's a bit of vine sticking out if you need to grab at it in a panic falling out of strip mine tunnel. The reason for the "top" slab underneath is so if an accident happens... creeper surprises you, or you use the pick on it by mistake... SOMETHING is there. The bottom slab on the top? That prevents spawning regardless of light level. If something screws it up and there isn't enough light to prevent spawn... they can't where the bottom slab is. That, and it's back to that extra layer of "bad things happen" protection you won't get from just a single layer.

Time to break this off, but I have more pictures to show tomorrow night. I welcome questions, discussion, or suggestions on how to improve this. I'd really like to learn how to do better. :)

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Minecraft Borehole 

This view of the back of the borehole combined with the front shows a 3x3 opening on those two sides. This is to make it as easy as possible to enter and exit the borehole in those directions.

As you can see, at this point I started to expand the area "behind" the borehole. When I'm building this, my goal is "get to the bottom as quickly as possible while keeping it consistent." Once built, expand as it is natural to do so, especially if you want an area for "base rooms" such as a furnace room (not shown, but that's why I'm digging this area out) or underground farms, or whatever suits you. As you can see with the gap at 2 wide behind the borehole, I have an entry at the stop to walk on into a starter tunnel.

Oh! I should note, and as you can see here and in the next image, I do *NOT* put the cobble slab on top of that gap between the stop level and the starter tunnel wall. Doing so would make the entry only 1.5x1 instead of 2 high x 1 wide. I don't want you to have to think about it, I just want it easy for you to get in and out so you can strip mine!

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Minecraft Borehole 

This image is of a "stop". Each Stop is at levels of 16, as in 64, 48, 32, 16, 0, -16, -32, -48, and -59 (because bedrock).

The 3x3 opening seen here is actually at level 49 so if you stand on the anvil, the Y is 49. This makes a step so while you *can* walk over it to get into the borehole, your brain tells you "there is a step here" so you are less likely to do so by accident.

The first thing crafted when I reach that level is usually a workbench, seen on the bottom left. Then I drop a double-chest in the center to shove stuff temporarily. When starting out, it is "The" storage though on my server someone usually builds base storage to store the massive amount of stuff I dig up.

Furnace gets dropped in the bottom right so we can cook things as needed. I'll put in a smoker because we'll soon enough have logs. As I get iron, the stonecutter comes in handy and an anvil. Because I'm a completist jerk, I'll put in the blast furnace. Why not? And it's there to smelt.

I put those on every level so it's an expectation and available no matter what level you are on. You don't have to think about it, it's just "there." Torches are on every 3 high "support column" to light the surrounding area. Torches are also in every starter tunnel to help light things up.

At each level there are horizontal "support beams" connecting the level to the wall and a starter tunnel beyond. While the support beam is "for show to make sense to the brain", it's also a fail-safe when water spills, and as you expand the tunnel, water will inevitably spill. It *WILL* happen, so just go with it and have those fail-safes!

Each beam has a top cobble slab, cobble is cheap. Then bottom slabs on the whole thing EXCEPT I leave a gap between the stop and the starter tunnel wall. This lets you climb vines up & down to reach tunnels without having to mess with the borehole. In fact, you can climb all the way up or down on the vines, and you may have to use this as you dig down.

The Borehole is 5x5 including the 3x3 passage and surrounding walls. One space to stand on, the gap, and then the starter tunnel walls. In the back I START the level breaks with a 2 wide gap between the borehole and the wall. This lets you have a starter tunnel each side at the back. I'll show that in the next post.

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I meant to get this to a fellow Minecraft user. It is the basic layout of what we call "The Borehole" on our server. Unfortunately, I was unable to find the original discussion thread. I'll post it here and hopefully the person intended will see it. I welcome discussion on this particular concept.

I'm standing on a ladder looking down. The ladder is necessary because "stuff happens" and the vines could catastrophically break from a water incident, or lava burning them up.

Iron bars at the center and the two opposing corners hold in the water elevator on the side opposite the ladder. One may fall straight down into water at the -59 level. The water brings people back up "not quite as quickly, but still faster than climbing." Vines, not needing support like a ladder, allow one to easily break while descending to climb back up a missed stop. This is lit by torches at every stop. The walls are solid except at each stop, which has a gap 3 high making it easy to enter and leave The Borehole.

If the intent is to "strip-mine," I have found this way to get between stops really does the trick.

If there is interest, I am happy to share screen captures of the stops and how I have those laid out to make strip-mining a breeze. Note, "Strip mining" in Minecraft is different from "real world" strip mining. In Minecraft, it refers to making a single straight shaft, often 1 wide, 2 tall in a pattern to most efficiently encounter an ore cluster without having to waste time and effort to mine out each and every single block.

Pet loss, euthanasia, eulogy, cat 

A picture of "Da Boyz."

Frisco (Left) 2020
Freddy (Right) 2022

We will miss you in our hearts, but our memory will have you forever together best buds.

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Pet loss, euthanasia, eulogy, cat 

I love you, our one-fang boy. You needed attention so badw, but after you gave a gentle pat politely asking, you fled when we turned to you. But over the years you stopped running and basked in our love.

You were so thin, dapper, so "I'd like to meet his tailor." The last few years as your kidneys failed, you put on a few but you were always so beautiful. We teased you for talking in the hall, and you came to us wondering what our problem was when we asked you who you were talking to.

Frisco was lonely, which is why we invited you to be a part of our family. You were a great pal, part of, "Da Boyz."

Frisco had to go in the fall of 2020. Today, we let you go to be with him. Love to you both.

We took Freddy (the cat on the right) to the Animal Emergency place. We were so happy to get Freddy back when we arrived Monday night, but since then he's appeared more week and having trouble with his back legs.

It looked like he was either in pain or having trouble defecating. We took him in to see just how serious it was. He has health issues, chief among them his red blood cell count is only 1/4 of what it should be while all other cell counts from the bloodwork are good.

While we were waiting for the Doctor to sort out Freddy, an older woman came in with her schnauzer... bleeding on her coat. He had been attacked, apparently by a coyote. One bite went to his throat, slashes on his side. We could smell the blood. Together my wife and I wept as quietly as we could.

It was a long night. We hope the schnauzer survives. Freddy... his kidneys are failing, he has a heart murmur, he's 16... and the red blood cell count may be from cancer.

When Frisco (the cat on the left) died, my wife was stuck in a 20 min. memory lapse loop. She'd be fully awake, but then my wife would act confused and ask where Frisco was. Then I had to break the news to her that Frisco had died, she was with me when he was euthanized, that she had forgotten, but it was OK and I'd remember for us both. We would both cry, she'd be ok... then start the loop again. She has no recollection of those two days, but she remembers that Frisco is gone, fall 2020.

As I age, I find so many things I thought were important in my 20's simply doesn't matter, while things I found irrelevant then make all the difference in the world to me now. Life's funny that way.

Hug your loved ones, and your animal friends. Life comes at you fast.

I am happy to be home with my wife. Tilly was with me from the time @mikmaqpeek left, the drive I went to join her, the time we were together, and going back home.

When we picked up Freddy last night, I put my hand into his cat carrier on the drive home but didn't leave room for him to get back out. He pulled my hand in as far into the carrier as he could, then just hugged it while rubbing my arm with his face and hugging me, laying on top of my hand.

I'm so happy to see the old man again! I'm not clear what all we can do to help our daughter and grandkids through this situation, but I do hope we can avoid leaving Freddy behind. Freddy was well taken care of. The woman taking care of the cat ranch is wonderful, and stayed available for us after hours so we could get across the border and make it last night to pick Freddy up. Freddy had the best care possible. I just never want to do that ever again. :(

The Sihedron Medallion is my role as a Dungeon Master. In life, I can look at the bigger picture and promote my values for the outcome I wish to see.

The "genuine imitation dragons too that was likely modeled from a bear claw" is my role as a player. In life, I deal with what I am given. I make my own choices, and if I roll a "1," so be it. I trust in my companionship, and if I go down in a pit of mobs, I will have fun doing so and laughing. You can't win if you don't play.

Both are circled by my wedding ring. My life! My love! You are the better part of me @mikmaqpeek!

I don't really have "good luck" charms. That's not my thing. I have memories, I have scars, and I have my determination to try, possibly fail, but I will by God give it my best shot.

Now on to the mountain pass of Canada while the Polar Express runs across to join my wife.

Dogs taking up bed space 

I took time to hug and assure my wife @mikmaqpeek it wasn't her coughing that had me up at various times last night. It was being bossed around and told what's-what, being complained at and grumbled to. Some people's puppies!

I lost an eyeball down my pants while sitting on the loo. I must have a screw loose. I'll have to go to Walmart to kit out and tighten things up. I'll wait for @mikmaqpeek though. She may have a list.

Tilly yips at me with her "baby" at her feet. I'm to take it and throw the doll down the hall. She races away, then brings it back with this huff-panting that sounds like laughter to me. Then she makes me chase her a bit until Tilly drops the toy for me to throw it down the hall again. I so love the sound of her running and her laughter! @mikmaqpeek

I see you, but you can't see me 'cause I'm hidin'. I come out for treats!

My hand is full of dog butt. She wants her cuddles.

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