Author Archives: GumbyBlockhead

2016 Sign of the Times Party


The 2016 Sign has been installed, and preparations are underway for the 2016 Sign of the Times celebration, scheduled for New Year’s Eve. This year, members of our community will be meeting in the Northeastern Reaches of the GamingEDUs Professional Play Server (in Survival) at Gumby’s newest build, The Red Castle.  You can join us by logging on and using /warp 2016Sign to get straight to the party. Things will be well underway by 8 PM Eastern Time.

Jack and Emma and CosmicDragon and Joop have all been lending a hand with getting things ready. Jack’s Snack Shack is back again, with the menu already posted. Emily has opened Emily’s Art Gallery right next door. We have a wonderful Viewing Area set up again this year, and Cosmic has started work laying out the wiring for the fireworks. Our Selfie-Station is in place in front of the sign, and we will be taking a group photo just before 8 pm, so be sure to be online a bit early!

New arrivals to The Red Castle may also be interested in undertaking a self-guided tour of the structure, which features a prototype sorting facility in the basement and an XP/ZombieDrop Farm just across the front yard. The recently-installed Pyramid Chickenatorium is housed beneath a nearby Desert Temple a short walk away.

As with our previous New Year’s celebrations in 2013, 2014, and 2015, the Sign of the Times: 2016 get-together promises to be a great event! Be sure to drop by! Party hats provided!

SPECIAL NOTE:  In addition to the Sign of the Times party at 8 pm, we are also hosting the first annual Great Wall of Gumby Marathon Run Event, commencing at 7 PM Eastern Time, one hour before the New Year’s event. To join the run, meet at the Circle Garden at Gumby’s HorsieField Castle. You can get their directly by joining us at /warp GumbyMarathon — arrive shortly before 7 pm so that you have time to get fed and hydrated before we head out. We’ll be running the complete perimeter of the Gumbian Empire atop The Great Wall. We’ll conclude by travelling back by boats from the far end of the wall via the ocean portion as demarked by The Sea Towers.

#BIT15 Minecraft LAN Party at


Conference attendees at the annual ECOO conference, Bring IT, Together! are in for a treat on the evening of Thursday, November 5th, 2015, as Gumby and other members of the GamingEDUs community will host their third annual Minecraft LAN Party in Niagara Falls.

The event get started at 8:30 pm and runs until midnight! Stop by Peller Estates Ballroom B at the Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls on November 5th, 2015 for some crazy Minecraft fun! Details in

So Nice to See Mi

"It's So Nice to See Mi!"

“It’s So Nice to See Mi!”

Taking Care of Your Skin

Despite the fact that I usually play Minecraft in the first person view, it is always reassuring to see yourself and know that your skin is representing your Minecraft self.

gumby_skin It’s really quite amazing that the entire external appearance of a Minecraft characters is captured in a tiny (231 byte) .png file.  I’ve not adjusted my skin since I initially designed it back in June 2012, but I’m looking forward to seeing if there are any tweaks that can be made with the newer Alex skin that is now available.  At least some headphones or sunglasses might be cool to try out once in a while.

The Original Television Gumby

Of course, the Gumby of my childhood was an animated clay television character. With the recent cold and wind chills, we’ve had a good number of indoor recesses, and on a few occasions I’ve fired up YouTube during our nutrition breaks and my students and I have enjoyed a few of Gumby’s early adventures.

Re-emerging into the First World

"Gumby on a Bucket" by @GumbyBlockhead

“Gumby on a Bucket”

In recent weeks I’ve been enjoying my custom personal GumbyBlockhead figure from Following the simple acts of filling in my Minecraft name, forwarding a small sum ($9.99 for the simple, or $14.99 for bendable legs) and waiting for a couple of weeks, my 3D plastic self arrived.  My First Life incarnation of my Minecraft self has taken up residence in my classroom, commanding a view from a bucket perched high atop one of the shelves at the front of the room.

Descent into Overworld

"Gumby Gets into Descent into Overworld"

“Gumby Gets into Descent into Overworld”

Earlier this week, my physical copy of Liam O’Donnell‘s first Battle of the Blocks Minecraft novel arrived, and the First Life Gumby figure followed in the footsteps of his progenitor by going into Liam’s Descent into Overworld book to get a first hand look. We read the electronic eBook release in my classroom on the iPad earlier this year, and we are now anxiously awaiting the second in the series, Nether Nightmare, due out for beta readers in the coming month! In the meantime, the students are waiting in line to read the paper copy of the first book! Talk about motivation for reading!

Immortalized in Green Wool!

"A Giant GumbyBlockhead, built by Raj"

“A Giant GumbyBlockhead, built by Raj”

And then, this afternoon, at the end of the day, I was more than overjoyed when some of my students called me over to an iPad to show me the result of their efforts. Having finished their assigned work, they had taken a few free moments in the last period to collaborate on the creation of a giant, scale copy of GumbyBlockhead in their Minecraft PE world.  How wonderful! They really have done a excellent job, getting the scaling done very accurately, and even getting the slope of my Gumby head looking just right!

What a nice gift to end the week!

The Tower of Pi (with Pie!)

Tower of Pi distant

“Tower of Pi (distant),” by @GumbyBlockhead

While exploring the far reaches of the new GamingEDUs Multi-School MinecraftEDU server, I have so far encountered a huge ocean with only a few dots of grassy islands and two or three mushroom biomes (certainly a statistical anomaly).

However, on one of the islands in the far west is a most amazing construction, The Tower of Pi. Gumby’s Tower of Pi is fashioned in the shape of the figure of pi, built using the MinecraftEDU-specific blue pi-blocks, and is decorated in an appropriate fashion. To enhance the visitors’ positive experience, the top of the Tower observation deck also features a goodly number of double-wide chests FILLED WITH PIE!

"Tower of Pi (closeup)," by @GumbyBlockhead

“Tower of Pi (closeup),” by @GumbyBlockhead

Be sure to stop in and take in the beautiful ocean panoramic view, and enjoy the tasty pie treats that are waiting, just for you!  (And don’t forget, teachers new to Minecraft are welcome to join us for our weekly Tuesday Evening Build ‘n’ Learn Nights, starting at 7 PM ET).

Explore far! Explore wide!

Your pal in Minecraft,


Tuesday Evening Play ‘N’ Learn Events on GamingEDUs



  • Would you like to have a supportive place to poke around in Minecraft?
  • Are you looking for a safe place to lay down some creative blocks?
  • Do you want to get up to speed in how you can use Minecraft to support learning?
  • Are you keen to n00b It Up with your peers?
  • Do you want to have a better understanding about what all these kids are talking about?

GamingEDUs Professional Play Server is just the place! And Tuesday evenings (starting at 7pm) is just the time!

First introduced in mid-October 2014, our Tuesday Evening Play ‘n’ Learn Nights are an ideal opportunity for you to hop onto the GamingEDUs Professional Play server and hang out with me (GumbyBlockhead) and PraxisMaxis and the other Elders. Master your keyboard and mouse in our Teacher Training Zone, stake your claim on some land, and build up an inventory of materials and skills so that you are ready to sally forth (or fifth) into the World Of Teaching with Minecraft. Yes, indeed, there is such a land!

The hardest part in joining us is making the decision to join us! Once you’ve done that, the rest is easy peasy!

  1. Get yourself a Minecraft account (pick a cool username!) and download and install Minecraft ($26.95 USD).
  2. Let us know your username so we can add you to our server.
  3. Log on to our server Tuesday evenings starting at 7 pm (eastern time) and join in the fun!

You can always drop me a line at gumby [at] gumbyblockhead [dot] com, or connect with me on twitter (@GumbyBlockhead) so we can prepare a fine welcome for you. Or just drop in spontaneously starting at 7 pm, and join us for some delicious Minecraft cake!

Remember, everything you do for the first time is a great opportunity to learn — and learning new things is what we’re all about! n00b It Up with us and get your learning on!

Put Tuesday evenings on your calendar now, and we look forward to seeing you in the near future!

Your Friend-in-Gaming,


Happy Birthday, Dog!

Happy Birthday CogDog from GumbyBlockhead

“Happy Birthday, Cogdog” animated GIF by GumbyBlockhead

Today is the birthday of my good buddy, Cogdog. He and I hang out in a number of different spaces, but we spent some time in Minecraft way back in 2012, when he was one of the camp counsellors at my summer camp.

“Cog Dog In The (Monkey) House” on Flickr

The Monkey HouseI truly enjoyed my summer camp visit to Camp Magic Macguffin during the summer of 2012, and learning with all of my bunkmates at The Monkey House.  Alan (@cogdog) and Martha (@mburtis) were amazing counsellors, and you may remember when they vanished for a time when that bizarre Zonestone mining accident occurred. We sent out search parties. After the server died, I spent my time in the world of Gumby Isolation before finding my way to GamingEDUs. I have often dreamed of somehow returning to Camp Magic Macguffin, but that return one day may come to exist only in my imagination …

Anyway, on this day, I send my best out to my buddy, Alan (@cogdog) !!

Some More Sounds from April Fool’s Day

Well! I was going through my boom blocks recordings and I found this great tune! It is the “Mice on Venus” original piano song, with a wonderful sung accompaniment from April 1st, 2014.

Next up, I identified the epic tune that I enjoyed so much on April 1st. It is, of course, the theme song from the hit show, “Game of Thrones.”  What a wonderful complement to MineCraft. I’ll have to watch more than the first episode of season 1 some day!

Today My World Was Different

On April First, 2014, when I was exploring my world, it sounded different. I wanted to remember this special day, so I recorded the sounds using my boom blocks.

Here is what it sounded like!

I hope that you enjoyed your time in your MineCraft world today, and that you have some nice memories of your April Fool, 2014 day.


Gumby Discovers a Massive, Majestic Mesa Biome

“Gumby’s Mesa Continent: January 19th, 2013” CC licensed BY-NC-SA, shared by Gumby Blockhead on Flickr.

Although some significant changes to the MineCraft world took place over the holidays, I was pretty much hanging out at HorsieField Castle, what with the Open House and all, and didn’t see much of them. And then, following the New Year’s Eve 2014 Sign of the Times event, I undertook to demark the current boundaries of the developed area surrounding HorsieField Castle, electing to build The Great Wall of Gumby. The Great Wall is no small construction, and so it took up a chunk of the first part of January. (More on that later)

However, the call of the wilds has been strong, and so it was that the time came to set out from HorsieField Castle in search of new species of flora and new lands. Planning to travel by horse, and then by boat, I set off with Jack, heading essentially West from the castle grounds.

After a couple days travel (discovering some bizarre evidence of odd world joins, a huge gravel mountain (“Gumbys Gravel Pit”), and Gumby’s Acacia Forest, it was late last night that I came upon a new, as-yet-undiscovered Mesa. (Scanning the map, it appears to be the first uncovered in the GamingEDUs Survival world.)

Mesa stands for A-Meza-ing! Check out these majestic colours!

“Beautiful Strata” CC licensed BY-NC-SA, shared by Gumby Blockhead on Flickr.

Having arrived on what turned out to be a huge Mesa continent, my first construction was a standard-issue Gumby tower of Orange-Stained Clay (“GumbysOrangeTowerOnMesaContinent”) — complete with a small pool.

“The Orange Tower on Mesa Continent” CC licensed BY-NC-SA, shared by Gumby Blockhead on Flickr.

The colours in the Mesa biome are striking.

After a rest, I continued to explore, travelling by boat to map out the boundaries of the Mesa Continent, and discovering that the biome extended to a number of large islands in the ocean. Man, that mapping expedition took a long time! Check out this image of the biome, noticing  the footprint of The Great Wall of Gumby that is animated into the upper left corner for a size comparison.

"Mesa Continent, with The Great Wall animation for comparison"

“Mesa Continent, with The Great Wall animation for comparison”

As the exploration progressed, other towers sprang up.

As with other Gumby quests (The Quest for Carrots, The Quest for Mushrooms, The Quest for Horses), it was necessary to journey to new lands to find the new elements — and so travel far and wide is a necessity — and so much fun!

Although the Mesa biome still presents an opportunity for continued investigation, and my journeys have resulted in the opportunity to collect a wide variety of new flora, it is unlikely that I will be spending much time at HorsieField Castle in the near future, as there is still so much of the new world to explore.

Watch for future back-posts on The Great Wall, The Acacia Forest, and some other events of recent interest.

In the meantime, dig and learn!


See all of my Flickr Photos …