Monday, December 8, 2008

Finals Time

Well, finals are here, so that means its video time!

Today's theme is floating robots.

First of all we have Dr. Ball, M.D. from Robot Chicken. It is easily the best minute I have invested this week.

Next, we have a real life floating robot.

Wow. I do not want to face down the flying death cube.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Lots of news to go over. First, yesterday was the single busiest day of my college career. Originally, I had planned to make a list but it turned out rather boring. So instead, I'm going to talk about pizza.

In fact I'm going to use this as a platform to launch a new feature of mine. I'll call it The Hunter Wholehearted Recommendation. I'm a man of strong opinions and excellent taste. Truly, it has been criminally negligent to deny the world this information for so long.

There are two predominant kinds of pizza: the New York style and the Chicago style. There is an alleged California style, but from what I can tell, all they do is put expensive toppings on wheat crusts and charge you twice the price for it. That misses the fundamental glory of pizza. It's an affordable way to have delicious food and feed a family of four teenage ninja turtles.

But I digress. I consider myself an expert on Pizzaology as it has been my primary subsistence for nigh on eighteen years. So, as you might imagine, I've had a great deal of experience with pizza. But considering the results of the election, experience might not be the best angle for me to preach. But I shall preach it nonetheless. But I digress.

The Chicago pizza is best known as the deep dish. It also has some very unusual backwards pizza, wherein the cheese is on top of the crust and the tomato sauce is on top of the cheese. It is very delicious but easily the messiest pizza. Outside of Chicago, this pizza is almost entirely a deep dish, which is code for "Fill them up with bread". I am confident that chains come up with an amount of cheese and toppings they'll give you and just fill up the rest of the pan with crust, be it thin, hand tossed, or Chicago Deep Dish. So unless you like having a loaf of bread with your pizza, I'd stay away from the Chicago Pizzas in Murfreesboro.

I hate everything about New York. I hate the Mets. I hate the Yankees. I hate the Knicks. I hate the crowds. I hate the subways. I hate the taxis. But I love their pizza (also, Broadway is good and the museums are great). The slices are giant. The toppings are plentiful. The pie has a dominant presence on the table. The crust is light and delicious. All in all, if Jesus made a pizza, it'd be close to the New York Style.

Hunter Wholeheartedly Recommends: New York Style Pizza

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I'm shocked. Almost too shocked for words...

But hey! What do you know? I've managed to find a few. First, allow me to establish a few facts ala Dickens in A Christmas Carol. I've loved the Civil War since I was 12. I've been reenacting it since age 13. I've loved dinosaurs from the moment I learned about them at age 4.




Some things should never meet.

I take a quote directly from the website of the Dinosaur Kingdom in Natural Bridge, Virginia:

It's 1863 and Union soldiers have discovered a hidden valley filled with dinosaurs. Now the Yankees plan to use the dinos as weapons of mass destruction against the South.

It begins with the impossible and moves onto the more impossible (somehow). Ignoring the fact that no one has ever found a T-Rex skeleton in Virginia, ignoring the fact that gigantic, cold-blooded lizards could not survive a winter in the Shenandoah, ignoring the the fact that no dinosaur fossils were discovered in America until 1856 so the typical reaction to finding a live one would be terror, ignoring the implausibility of dinosaurs not evolving over the course of 65 million years, ignoring that the commanding officer would have to be certifiably insane to deploy a meaningful number of troops away from the front in a war they were either losing (as of early 1863) or had just suffered horrific casualties from (post-Gettysburg), there are three outstanding problems.

1. A dinosaur is not a "weapon of mass destruction". There are two possibilities for whatever the commanding Union officer was thinking when he issued an order to capture the thunder lizards. One, he intended to domesticate the dinosaurs, adapt his saddles to a dinosaurs back, figure out how to mount a dinosaur, prepare the dinosaurs for the sound of cannons going off, properly devise tactics for dinosaur warfare, teach his subordinates how to properly execute these tactics (Company! Mount! Tyrannosaurus! Tyrannosaurus, at the double time, MARCH!) and organize regiments of Dinosaur Cavalry in a timely fashion. I'll be fair and say he's doing this right after Gettysburg, so he has all of ten months before Grant attacks Lee at Spotsylvania Courthouse. I'm no expert in Animal Husbandry, but I believe it takes a bit longer than ten months to make a previously undiscovered wild animal a Beast of War.

The other slightly more plausible explanation is he intended to capture a few of the dinosaurs and just unleash them on the Confederate ranks, like war dogs except without the loyalty. The problem with that is the logistics associated with transporting a hungry T-Rex to the front. Best case scenario, the T-Rex kills a few companies of Confederate Soldiers before getting gunned down by gunfire (I'm not sure what T-Rex's skin was made of, but I'm fairly sure it was softer than lead).

In either case, it's hardly a weapon of mass destruction.

2. Last I checked, there weren't any Union soldiers in the region of Natural Bridge in 1863. After Stonewall Jackson beat the Union Army of the Shenandoah in 1862, no serious effort to take the valley was launched until 1864 with General Franz Sigel, the only German general of the latter 19th century to not be an unstoppable killing machine. Whoever was commanding those soldiers was about 125 miles behind enemy lines when he gave his orders. Of course, I did say no serious effort was made to retake the Valley, and this was a rather silly effort.

3. How could there be a "hidden valley" within the Shenandoah Valley capable of supporting a Cretaceous Ecosystem with enough genetic diversity to ensure the survival of creatures for 65 million years?

Well, at least they only implied there were T-Rex's living here, not anything crazy like the Velociraptor.

Wait a second, what's that behind the T-Rex?


Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Funny Ones Are Back

All right, inevitably, with every major event, people wonder how their favorite carpenter from 2,000 years ago would handle the situation. Naturally, the question was raised of how Jesus would vote. I know I'm about 3 weeks late with this post, but I feel its important to consider.

For those of you who may be rusty on your Biblical history, Jesus was tried and convicted of sedition, treason, and apparently tax evasion (the latter of which is completely false). Now, I'm pretty sure that those charges would be considered felonies by today's courts. At least, I hope they would. It's real bad if we're executing people for misdemeanors. But I digress.

My point is that, according to national law, Jesus wouldn't be allowed to vote because He is a felon. "But He came back from the dead," you may argue, which would've fulfilled His debt to society. Except the last time I checked, serving your sentence doesn't make you any less of a felon.

Also, I very much doubt He has applied for US Citizenship.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

You win some, you lose some...

And sometimes they change the rules in the middle of the game. I won't name names, but certain organizations I may or may not have been fairly elected to the position of Vice President of Public Relations for the Raider Republicans have decided that the first election didn't count. You see, despite agreeing to the original date of the election, my opponent decided not to attend the meeting with the election. So when my organization of an indeterminate nature met again this week, my opponent decided to call a redo on the election. And since he was friends with most of the higher ups, they decided to let him give his prepared speech while I was supposed to make something up on the fly to compete. It did not help that he had brought in a healthy supply of his friends and attendance was down from the last meeting. But I fought well. Just not well enough.

Suffice it to say, I'm no longer a member of that organization. I prefer not to associate with people who have such a vague concept of the rules. It's the same reason I stopped hanging out with Oliver North, Bill Bellicheck, and the 1918 Chicago Black Sox.

P.S. I have a funny one in the works. Don't worry.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Holy crap! I have followers

All right, things don't show signs of letting up. As I type, phones are ringing everywhere and anarchy threatens to consume the Academic Support Center. So I will rely on the trusted numbered list to detail my many accomplishments this week. (I was typing this last Friday, as I type this, I am eating a Red Baron mini-pizza).

1. Gears of War 2 is a dozen kinds of awesome. In a week where I have not been able to focus my normal amount (read: borderline insane) of video game time, I have still managed to kill 2,000 Locust monsters in a week.

2. My interview for the position of SOA (a glorified tour guide at MTSU) went very well. I had clever answers and avoided horrifically stupid mistakes that I made in last year's interview (I won't list them, but one involved making an inside joke at the expense of Bean).

3. Speaking of Bean, he did manage to make it to Circuit City, unmauled by wolves. But when he got there, they announced that since they were going out of business, they didn't really feel the need to sell anything to anyone. So they reneged on their end of the deal. So the Bean and I did not patronize them. However, I still demanded my limited edition Gears, and to find one was a quest in and of itself.

4. I was elected to the position of Vice President for the Raider Republicans, proving that Republicans can still win, so long as they run against other Republicans.

5. I nailed my Macro test. SUCK IT FUTURE EARNINGS!

6. Titans are still undefeated! There's a legit chance that we will see an unbeaten team play a winless team on Thanksgiving. That's good entertainment!

7. There is no seventh item on the list.

8. What is the point of Instant Replay in Football if the refs are too corrupt/stupid to make the correct call? I'm looking at you Steelers/Chargers Officials!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Gears of Peace

Well, the day is finally at hand. Gears of War 2 is just hours away. I could have gotten it last night at midnight, but Circuit City had a really good deal. If you bought your copy of Gears 2 from them, they gave you a $20 gift card for the Xbox Marketplace, an online store where dorks such as myself can waste their money on video game related content such as extra songs for Rock Band (the $1.50 I spent on More Than A Feeling was a wise investment), extra content for games (Shivering Isles for Oblivion pushed the total amount of time of my life I spent on Oblivion to ridiculous proportions), and even entire games (Pac-Man has a game on approximately his 900th console). So that bonus alone made it worthwhile to wait til this afternoon to get Gears 2.

But there's a big risk associated with it. There are no Circuit Cities in Murfreesboro. Heck, I doubt there's a Circuit Municipality. So I would have to drive to Nashville, if I was a sucker. For you see, I have a friend in Nashville called "Eric" Bean Machine who attends school at Belmont, a college famed for its ability at hosting presidential debates. I've given him instructions to pick up Gears of War 2 for me from Circuit City when he goes to get his copy. that way we kill two birds with one stone.

But that doesn't seem like much of a risk, right? Having my half Bean, half Cyborg friend pick up the game seems like a very easy solution. Those of us who know the Bean Machine know it's never that simple. The Bean Machine is about 5 foot 6 and weighs in at a whopping 80 pounds. So there is the possibility of a strong breeze coming in and bloweing him away. But I digress, that is not the Bean's forte. His real mystery is the seemingly supernatural way in which things backfire for him. Based on numerous errands I've seen him run in real life, and slightly less numerous errands I've seen him run in Oblivion, here is my prediction of what will happen:

The Bean will be driving along, following his Google Maps directions to Circuit City. He will accidentally turn left too soon and get hopelessly lost. The Bean Machine will meander aimlessly for a few hours before running out of gas. However, being a marathon runner, he will get out and make a bee line for the Circuit City, sprinting as fast as he can. Unfortunately, he will run into a wolf and anger it. So then he'll be running from a wolf to Circuit City only to run right in the middle of a bandit camp, where no less than 3 motley brigands wait for the opportunity to stab and rob him. Then the Bean will run into a den of skeleton monsters. The skeletons, bandits, and wolves will make an impromptu alliance in which they decide not to kill each other until the Bean is dead. The Bean will, somehow, make it to the Circuit City only somewhat wounded and pick up the Gears of War. But as soon as he walks outside, he'll be chased once again by the skeletons, bandits, and wolves until he runs into a skeleton wolf bandit. At which point the Bean Machine will be utterly doomed and the wolves will probably end up with the Gears of War.

But I digress. My broader point is that if there is a way it can go wrong, the Bean Machine will likely find it, through no fault of his own.

P.S. When I said all that stuff about gift cards, I really meant it was a gift card for scented candles. And Gears of War 2 has a bunch of stuff about being in touch with your emotions and being a good listener. You know, just in case any of my many lady readers managed to make it this far with a positive opinion about me.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Baba O'Riley

Well, I made a promise to myself that no matter what happened in the election I would quote The Who today.

The change, it had to come
We knew it all along
We were liberated from the foe, that's all
And the world looks just the same
And history ain't changed

Yeah, check out that vintage sassback, courtesy of Pete Townshend.

But seriously, everywhere I voted for the Republicans, they won in a landslide. Mere coincidence? Or undeniable proof that my vote counts 1,000 times more than a regular vote?!

I think we all know it's the latter.

Anyways, I'm not too upset about the election. And that is almost entirely because Gears of War 2 is coming out in 48 glorious hours. Then, everything that doesn't have a chainsaw bayonet will be insignificant for a solid weekend. So that's how I'll survive the first week. Now, time to formulate a plan for the subsequent 207 weeks of Obamania.

The real victim of the election is the Daily Show. For the past three years, since the departure of the Stephens (Stevens?) Colbert and Carrell, Jon Stewart's only joke has been "Mock a Republican". Now, what will he do for funny? He can't rely on his alleged supporting cast, as they're a black hole of funny. Truly dire times for comedy central.

Monday, November 3, 2008

My candy preferences is just a little bit racist...

I just turned down a Crunch Bar because it was made of dark chocolate. However, I have a proud history of enjoying white chocolate and milk chocolate. So in order to keep from being racist, I took the dark chocolate Crunch Bar and I am hating every fun sized bite of it. As I type, I'm looking at its half mangled body wondering how I will purge the taste from my mouth and now I'm thinking of that delicious cookies n cream bar that Hershey made years ago and how effective that would be at getting rid of the taste.

Anyways, to conclude this post, I accuse my taste buds of being racist.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

New Stuff

Well, there are lots of new things on the horizon. My work at The Exploding Barrel has not gone unnoticed and I was invited ot be a part of their podcast. Unfortunately, none of us live within 500 miles of each other so actually recording it has been difficult. But the important thing is, bit by bit, the world is realizing how awesome I am.

I made two news packages, those little stories you've seen on the evening news that cut away from the news room. My first one was serious and was filmed and edited in a day and a half. I wasn't too proud of it, but it did well. My second package was significantly more Hunterian, and took an entire TWO DAYS to film and edit.

Speaking of news, I also became the host of a game show called Faceoff. The first episode was rough, but by the second episode I was as zany as they come. I will be posting both the game show and the package here as they become available.

Also, I may have gotten addicted to Fable 2 and stayed up til 3 am playing it more than once this week. But that's unlikely, to any single females reading this blog. I was most definitely staying up late rehearsing incredibly sincere romantic phrases.

Think I'm kidding? I've engineered a phrase that never backfires. "Your ex-boyfriend has done you wrong." It may not be the most romantic saying, but every girl who has ever dated another guy will entirely agree with it, regardless of objective reality.

This week, I am producing an election coverage show for the MTSU tv network. Then I film not one, but two more episodes of my game show. Then I will get addicted to Gears of War 2 on Friday. I mean, um, come up with a new method of affectionately holding hands?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Jim Carrey, what the heck?

I just saw a preview for his new movie: Yes Man. In this movie, he plays a man who always says no, but for 24 hours will do nothing but say yes.

If it sounds familiar, its because he already made this movie. If you replace "says no" with "lies" and "say yes" with "be honest", then you have his hit movie Liar Liar. That would've been all right, except the concept was originally an episode of I Love Lucy.

So my question is, at what point does it stop becoming plagiarism and start becoming an oral tradition?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Blog is Not Dead

Man Bloggy, where did we go wrong? This song goes out to you.

I quit updating the blog/
Its updates were reduced to vapor/
I hope I don't see its name in the paper/
In the obituaries/
Because that would mean it was dead/
The Blog is not dead!
I'm so glad the Blog is not dead!
The Blog is not dead!
I'm so glad the blog is not dead!
I quit posting ideas/
But to be fair, the blog can't always be first/
I hope I don't see it in a hearse/
At the cemetary/
Because that would mean it was dead/
The Blog is not dead!
I'm so glad the Blog is not dead!
The Blog is not dead!
I'm so glad the blog is not dead!

Anyways, as I write this, there is no AC in my dorm. I am filled with loathing and hatred towards MTSU's repair staff. But I shall quell my fears by linking no less than three articles I wrote using the magic of hyperlink! I'll also throw in my archive, so you can skip the non-Hunter articles.

Unfortunately, I type this, I'm afraid my head has mostly been vaporized. Until next time dear readers.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Second article

It's here. You should view it a thousand times each and leave a series of clever comments.

First August Post

Sorry this took so long, but my writing job sapped a lot of my creative juices. Fortunately, I am back and as opinionated as ever. Tomorrow morning, I am going to discuss Michael Phelps, LeBron James, why I hate the French, and maybe have a second article for you to hype.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

I'm a professional writer!

And here is my first article! That article has occupied my time for the last few days so I'm glad to have it finished.

Now, two questions pop to mind, no doubt. First, how did you get this job? Second, how much does it pay?

Well, I'm going to answer the latter first because I'm in a saucy mood. It pays nothing because the site has only been up since February (suspiciously, the same length as English Muffin Power Hour). Well nothing unless you help me. There are two ways in which I can get paid $20. The first is if my article gets 20K hits. So if you own 100 computers, please visit my article on each one. The other way is if I make the front page of Digg. That would require you to make a Digg account and "Digg" my articles.

Second, I never actually interviewed for this job. I was offered the job because I made a series of smart posts on one of their articles. After one particularly well-researched comment, I got an e-mail from the web site owner with the job offer. Just goes to show you never know who is reading what you write.

The Movies

Let me start this post out with some good news. The Dark Knight is incredible. If you do not go see it before school starts, you are a bad person. Not seeing this movie will corrupt your moral fiber.

But, this post is not to lavish praise upon the Dark Knight with its compelling characters, stunning action sequences, and clever plot. Oh no, this is dedicated to two movies I had high hopes for but failed miserably. Movies that disappointed me so much that it defies any normal simile. I speak of Cloverfield and Beowulf.

These movies seem like they would be right up my alley. After all, Cloverfield is about a Class 5 Sea Monster terrorizing New York City. And Beowulf is defined by the monsters he fights. He really fights them all. He fights a Class 3 Ground Monster (Grendel), a Class 4 Sea Monster (Grendel's Mom), and a Class 5 Sky Monster (the dragon). All he needs is to fight a Cave Monster and he'll have a full house. And yes, I have developed a bureaucratic method of Monster Classification, with Class 1 being relatively docile and Class 5 being some sort of apocalypse monster. The details of the system are for another day.

Here's what Cloverfield did wrong. First they made an 80 minute monster movie and spent twenty minutes, a full quarter of the film, at some party before the monster comes out. And the success of Lost seems to have convince J.J. Abrams that explanations are for suckers. Because not once in the ensuing hour of monster mayhem is an explanation given about anything. In retrospect, it was probably a good idea, because when I did get an explanation from the internet, it sucked. I'll let Wikipedia explain it.

Abrams described the creature as a baby who has been underwater for thousands of years

A baby, that is thousands of years old. Yeah, that makes sense. A truly ancient baby. And it gets worse. According to the viral sites, the monster was awakened by a satellite crash by some sort of deep sea slushee company. That's right. They expect me to believe that, first of all, a company big enough to have oil tankers and satellites would produce slushees. Second, they expect me to believe that there are valuable ingredients for slushees in the deep sea.

But it gets worse. In the film, when they have the occasion to explain something, they don't do it. For instance, one uninteresting survivor that the cameraman likes for some reason gets bitten by the inexplicable dog monsters that live on the giant monster. You think "well that is unfortunate" until she gets to a medical center and all the doctors freak out when they see it. So they drag her into a translucent tend and she explodes in silhouette or something. What a let down. I know, in theory, what you don't see is more terrifying, but in this case, we desperately needed to know what to be afraid of. I'm sure being blown up is bad, but it hardly seems like getting an entire hospital worked up about. Worst case scenario is that it is really disgusting. Not quite a national security concern.

But it gets worse. Somehow the monster is unkillable. The viral community insists that it is because the monster lives in the deep sea and is immune to very low and very high temperatures. I want to know how that renders him invulnerable from point black annihilation! So what if he can stand some heat, what about all the deadly, deadly shrapnel? Or the concussions from impact? Worse yet, the cameraman gets eaten by the monster, drops the camera, and the main character goes up and gets the camera. Never mind that the monster is big enough to swallow the cameraman whole. Never mind that the camera should have broke when dropped from 30 feet in the air. Never mind that there is a city destroying monster in front of the camera. No, let's get it back because J.J. Abrams still wanted to waste more of my life.

Then finally, one last blow that ruined the movie. At the end of the movie, there's some indistinguishable blurb that, according to the internet, when listened to backwards is "It's Still Alive" said by the main character. Now this is a bit odd because of the much talked about Hammer Down procedure wherein the Air Force drops a lot of bombs on it and blah de blah de blah. Clearly, it didn't work. But isn't it obvious that a bombing run that failed to kill a guy under a bridge in Central Park would also fail to kill a much larger monster?

For the sake of brevity, I'm skipping over the "alternate" endings (which were exactly the same) and the inexplicable nature of the fireballs the monster throws at the start.

Beowulf should have been a slam dunk. It's a classic tale of Norse Mythology. But Robert Zemeckis decides that, as the director of Back to the Future, he knows way more about Norse mythology than the Norse did. Allow me to list just a few of his more noticeable mistakes.

1. How about instead of a mead hall, we made Heorot a castle. Everyone knows the vikings had castles... NOT!
2. How about we make Grendel have really sensitive hearing so his senseless murders were justified?
3. How about when Grendel attacks, we make the fire burn blue and flicker, making the whole hall look like some sort of 6th century rave?
4. How about we incorporate the rise of Christianity into the movie for some reason even though that region would not convert for another 500 years?
5. How about we make Beowulf fight Grendel naked?
6. How about we replace everything the book says about Grendel and his mother with Angelina Jolie?
7. How about we don't even bother animating a different look for the character of Grendel's mother? It can literally just be a CGI Angelina Jolie that floats and stuff.
8. How about we imply that Angelina Jolie has sex with the rulers of Heorot to create monsters?
9. How about we forget all about Beowulf's Kingdom and never mention it again?
10. How about we change Wigluf from Beowulf's last loyal thane, a young prince from Sweden, to his oldest comrade-in-arms?
11. How about we change Beowulf from the consummate Norse Hero to some sort of whiny manwhore?
12. How about we make killing a dragon with your bare hands not cool?

Those twelve concepts the Zemeckis had for Beowulf are why I hated that movie so much.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Trip to Atlanta- Pictures Later

This weekend I helped my sister move her worldly belongings from her apartment to that supply depot at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark. I did not know my sister had that much stuff as we filled up all of her section, and snuck some DVDs into the Egyptian Artifacts of Unimaginable Power section. I am confident that nothing horrible will happen to the DVDs, like say Ra the Sun God melting them all.

After working up a sweat lifting crates and probably invoking the wrath of a 5,000 year old mummy or something, we visited our grandparents. It was good to see them again. I've seen them less and less frequently over the years as I have had more things to do and they've been able to do less and less. Even at ages 84 and 85, they're still kicking. Perhaps not as strong as they used to, but humans weren't designed for over 80 years of wear and tear.

The next morning we took the relatively short trip from Knoxville to Atlanta. I have always loved the Atlanta Braves, to the point of jingoistic loyalty and blind regional hatred to their rivals. It sounds bad, but really, has Philadelphia produced anything worthwhile since Will Smith? No, because they are trying to keep the Braves out of the postseason. Maybe if the Phillies disbanded, there would be another movie star from that town. it's worth a shot.

But I digress.

Once we get to the stadium, I am rife with excitement of cheering with 30,000 other like minded individuals as the superior Braves will no doubt annihilate the Nationals. Except they didn't.

I could go on with agonizing details of the Braves ignoble play, but I'm trying desperately to block it out of my mind. Instead I'll let Chipper Jones summarize it:
Those Little Leaguers from Columbus who won the World Series could have beat us

But even threw the Little League play, I remained persistent. All the Braves needed was a touchdown and a field goal and they'd be back in the lead. Then the seventh inning stretch came. Finally, something I could rely on to be good in a game filled with incompetence.

"Ladies and gentleman" said the announcer "please rise to honor America..."

With the singing of Take Me Out to the Ballgame, I thought. I've gone into a great deal of detail about how patriotic and freedom loving that song is.

"In singing..." yes, go on.


At that point I had had it. You can play like little leaguers on the hottest day of the year when it's 85 in the shaded part of the stands and I'll have a nice time. But if you do that AND remove Take Me Out to the Ballgame, then you have crossed the line.

I could take it no more. My family and I left right then and there. Pictures of the event will come later.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Crap, is it tomorrow already?

Well I meant to write this today. Shame how the time flies when Rush is on Colbert. Anyways, some of my more astute readers will recall my dwindling fondness for the Facebook application Nations. Well, as you know and indeed this very blog is validation of, I cannot resist an opportunity to put my two cents in. Now, you know I have an uncanny ability to be right, even when I'm clueless (point in case: I successfully argued all matter was made of triangles, unaware that Plato himself agrees with me). Below is a transcript of my message to Nations developer and his response (the funny ends here, but it will be back).

I know you get a million messages about Nations a day, but I hope I might hold some sway since you've had my review on top of the list for about two months.

I have a simple suggestion that could drastically improve the realism of Nations.

Randomize the issues.

Before you write me off as a crazy guy, hear me out.

The problem I've been having with Nations lately is I figured out which of my friends started their nations a day before I did. Now I know exactly what issue I'll have tomorrow. It ruins the gameplay on two levels. First, it gives me an advantage because it removes the surprise value of the issue. Second, it ruins the realism of the game because regardless of how I deal with terrorists, I know that tomorrow I'll have to deal with malfunctioning traffic lights.

I understand why it is necessary to give the bigger, more complex nations bigger, more complex problems. But there is a simple way to solve this.

Before I continue, I must confess I have virtually no knowledge of programming games for facebook. I understand some concepts but not how they should be executed. So I apologize for being vague.

You wouldn't completely randomize all the issues a nation gets. Instead you would create large blocks of issues (for example, a group of seven), have the program randomly order them for each nation, and then give the issues to the nation in that order.

The more issues you can get in a block, the better. It's not the same as creating a comprehensive system of issues that respond to your choices, but that'd be too much to ask of a free game. It would, however, address the issue of predictability and increase the realism of the game.

Thank you for your time.

~Hunter Barry


Thanks for the thoughts. You will be happy to know that we plan on randomizing the issues with the new user interface... once it has all the bugs out.


+ Z. S. Morgan

Translation: You are much more awesome than I could ever hope to be. I bow before Hunterian Superiority.

It never hurts to ask.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Baseball Tragedy

This evening I, like every red-blooded American, watched the All-Star game. If you didn't watch it because you were doing something more patriotic such as beating up the King of England/Kaiser of Germany or creating an engine which runs on apple pie and dreams, I'll fill you in.

It's a tragedy. I don't mean the play (although as of this post, Dan Uggla of the Marlins is trying his best to lose it for the NL). I mean the 7th inning stretch.

It is an American tradition that after the top of every 7th inning, the crowd sings "take me out to the ballgame" because you will look completely insane if you ever try to sing that song elsewhere. It's been that way for 100 years.

But tonight, they decided to sing "God Bless America", a trend that grows increasingly popular since 9/11. Now I am as patriotic as the next guy, probably even more so (who else can claim to have fought the Nazis, terrorists, and the space monsters which threaten the democracy of the future). But you have to draw the line. America gets it respect at the start of every game, when everyone in the ballpark removes their cap and pays their respect. If they don't, the crowd will sense a traitor in their midst, and rip him or her limb from limb is a bloody spectacle.

Or at least, that's how I imagine it. No one has been bold enough to defy the National Anthem at a Major League Park.

The problem is that "God Bless America" is not quite thematic. Sure it's a catchy song, but what's it got to do with baseball? We're entering the final two and a half innings of play, in a battle that will settle which geographic region of the country is better at recruiting a baseball team for all time (or the next game)? Nothing! But "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" is a dream come true. Why? Because you are at the ballgame. Why else would you be singing this song? All you need are some peanuts, which are conveniently located at the concession stand for the bargain price of $5.

A rip-off? Not according to capitalism!

And if the home team wins (because, no doubt, you root-root-rooted for them) there is a legitimate chance there will be fireworks.

Capitalism and explosions. All thanks to one glorious song. Nothing could be more American. Not even America.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Belated Fourth of July Story

I recognize that I am horribly late with this story. However, it is a good story nonetheless.

My good friend Bean has a nice habit of hoarding fireworks on sale on the fifth of July. I'm all for this method of celebration. It promotes the two greatest things about America- capitalism and explosives.

Anyways, on the fifth of July, we're setting off fireworks, which I surprisingly suck at. You'd think with my proud history of blowing things up (usually in video games), I'd be a natural. But no. While everyone of the Beans was able to set off their miniature bombs with what could on be described a smoldering twigs, I had to use a candle lighter. I wouldn't feel bad about it if the others had been struggling. But this felt like using a military-grade flamethrower to start your campfire while all the other Cub Scouts were rubbing sticks together and getting roughly the same effect.

I'll skip over the nuances of the night and get to the main event. The Beans had acquired a series of grenade-like fireworks which could only be fired out of some sort of mortar and had a fuse so long that they were able to wrap it around the firebomb around a dozen times. The first one went off without a hitch. It was a magnificent explosion and proved my fireworking superiority in all fields (except lighting, arguably the least important part of fireworks).

After a few more fireworks, I decided to go with another grenade. After I loaded it into the mortar and lit the fuse, I trotted back a few steps to better appreciate the firebomb in the sky the grenade was destined to become. Unfortunately, this one went off with a hitch.

The first sign that something was subtle. When the standard firework is launched, you see a small ball of light rocket quickly into the heavens. However, this time, an unholy green flame arose from the mortar and lingered.

Now, I am a man of logic. There were several cases where it would be feasible, even advantageous, to have unholy green flames arise from your mortar. For instance, suppose you made a bet that Lucifer, Prince of Darkness, would come to your fireworks show. Well this blaze might just be your ticket to getting $20 from your friends. But I digress.

I decided to hasten my trot away from the firework/potential portal to Hell. At which point, the mortar exploded. In a glorious technicolor blaze, the mortar was no more as sparks and plastic shrapnel were scattered across the field. Of course, I had gotten a safe distance away by that point.

And by a safe distance, I mean only some of the ex-mortar and sparks flew past me.

Suffice to say, I had proven my superiority in fireworks. No one's fireworks were good enough to destroy a mortar and no one else was bold enough to survive point blank annihilation.

To this date, nobody knows what caused the mortar to explode. Some argue it was Hunterian superiority in explosions. Others state I put the firework in upside-down by accident. I let my readers decide.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Gift Card Conundrum

On Wednesday, my good friend Pimpmaster Doug threw a party for me. Sure it was a week late, but nobody, and I mean nobody, is in town during the week of fourth of July. I failed to realize this truth in my younger years and was disappointed by the turnout in many a birthday (specifically, my 10th when only two people came and one forgot a present).

It was a good time as approximately a dozen people crowded into the bus at Mellow Mushroom. Sure there were easily four conversations going on at once and it was impossible to get a refill, but it's the reaffirmation of the fact that I am beloved by the masses that counts. Arguably, this blog is all about he reaffirmation of the fact that I am beloved by the masses. But I digress.

Anyways, once you graduate high school, the standardized gift giving unit becomes gift cards. We all know that if you try to make an educated guess without a list of demands from a person, you will, at best, get the wrong, incompatible version of the product (e.g. Caddy Shack in Blu-Ray instead of DVD). At worst, you will get a similar, yet cruel bastardization of the product (e.g. Caddy Shack 2). So the safest route is to get the person a gift card and express in clear terms exactly how much you appreciate them and trust them to find something they like, when they like.

Gift cards are always good, but especially when holidays and birthdays roll around. If you are lucky, you will be able to compile a very nice collection of cards and be able to go to a store and buy everything you could want guilt-free. However, my friends did not collaborate that much.

WARNING: I really do appreciate the thought and effort that went into acquiring a gift card and I thank everyone who did give me a gift card very much. I do not begrudge you for failing to collaborate, I blame the spirit of rugged individualism this country inspires.

I now possess a $10 Hastings gift card, a $20 Target Gift Card, a $20 Xbox Marketplace gift card a $25 GameStop gift card, and a $60 Best Buy card (that one was a collaborative effort).

It is an impressive collection, but what I need now is some sort of universal gift card shop.

"You're thinking of money, Hunter" some of my sharper readers will say.

To which I respond, money is a HORRIBLE GIFT. Unless it is a check from your grandparents or distant relatives, but family is immune to these rules. It doesn't show any thought or premeditation to the gift. Plus, there is no guarantee that it will be used in a fun manner. Last year, a friend of mine tried to get me the Xbox Marketplace card so I could get the game Shivering Isles but couldn't figure out where to get it. He figured that $20 would be just as good. Little did he know that within the week, I had used that money for fuel, not fun. Gift cards ensure that the person needs to buy themselves a gift with that money.

On the bright side, I will clearly be able to credit who exactly I got my paid-by-with-gift-card stuff from.

P.S. Those of you who forgot to give me a gift card can redeem yourself by coming up with a gift card exchange shop. I'd go there.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Okay, I've been busy lately but now I am thoroughly exhausted from two hours of ultimate frisbee.

The big news is I will turn 21 tomorrow, meaning I will be one of the few to not drink underage (unless my mom spiked the orange juice, which she may have).

The smaller news is my friend Bean and I finally got around to the Never Ending Setlist in Rock Band. This may seem minor or trivial, but bear in mind that I failed 6th grade Band. Any minor positive reinforcement regarding my musical talent is a rarity among rarities for me. I was playing lead guitar and Bean was playing bass. The best part about playing guitar is you can always comically mispronounce the names of your role so that you are playing a guitar which is made of lead (probably too heavy and I bet it wouldn't sound good) or that you are strumming a some type of fish.

Another good thing about rock band is it lets you live out the fantasy of being a rock star in virtual form. I kept my rocker as close to myself as I felt I could. So he ended up with long flowing hair, a bandanna, and sunglasses. I also got him a double-neck guitar so I could pretend I was Jimmy Page... if Jimmy Page wore a bandanna. Sometimes, the immersion of the game was ruined by the clicking noise the guitar controller makes whenever you strum it or the annoying squeaking noise it makes whenever I miss a note. But if I close my eyes and use my imagination, it'd feel like I was up on stage with Mick Jagger, beating a mouse while tap dancing.

Bean and I formed a band right after Christmas, when I got Rock Band. We were the "Glorious Mausenheim Orchestra". We even have a band logo (a fireball with "GMO" written in Gothic letters) and motto (OMG! It's GMO!). It's pretty cool, for something abstract and intangible. You even get to pick where your band first meets (London). We began as a band which does crappy covers of songs by The Clash and Nirvana. But as our fan base grew, we began doing crappy covers of the Rolling Stones, Boston, and Black Sabbath. We became international superstars. After months of touring, GMO traveled the globe until we were invited to the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame (they really lowered their standards). The only odd thing about this invitation was the concert we had to play to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, the Never Ending Setlist, was that it was in Moscow. Because when the public thinks of rock n' roll, they think Moscow?

It was probably a trap set by bitter communists to assassinate me. But what the hey? It's worth the risk of dying to be immortalized.

But I digress, I was fully prepared for three hours of rocking. There were just under 60 songs and I thought that five minutes a song would be a fair assumption. Unfortunately, one of the criteria for getting a song in Rock Band is it must be freakishly long. The ordeal ended approximately seven hours later. I admit, 2 and a half hours were spent recovering from the first three hours of rocking. As the final notes of "Won't Get Fooled Again" appeared on screen, I new I had entered the echelons of those few great rock n' rollers who themselves had a friend and seven hours to kill.

Plus I got to see an awesome pretend pyrotechnics display.

I haven't let the success go to my head. My character still wears the same bandanna and sunglasses. Only now he plays his guitar in a suit of armor, made of gold. And I replaced with double-neck guitar with a more modest single neck guitar, also made of gold.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Dorkius Maximus

I am a dork.

A handsome dork with a great sense of humor, mind you, but a dork nonetheless.

As such, I always overthink the games I play on a regular basis. When I played Ocarina of Time many years ago, I actually spent hours thinking about what gave the Master Sword its evil-vanquishing power. More recently, I got behind a game on Facebook called "Nations". I really enjoyed it the first few weeks, but then I figured out that every nation follows the same set of issues in the same order. To most people, that's just an issue of convenience for the developers. The worst case scenario is you can look ahead and plan what you want your decision to be. But for me, it removes cause and effect from the game. It no longer matters whether I exile terrorists to the frozen north or if I let them litigate their way to freedom, because tomorrow, my issue is going to be about traffic lights no matter what I do.

Now, these rules don't apply to every game. In great games like Gears of War or Halo, I am more than content to shoot, slash, bombard, or incinerate my way through legions of enemies to reach the inconveniently located objective. But when you declare me to be the Grand Vizier of Hunteria, I want my every law to affect the the destiny of my country. Without that immersion, the game begins to feel less real.

Which is what I love about Spore, or at least, hope I love about Spore. For those of you who don't know, Spore is a game designed by Will Wright, the man behind the Sims and virtually every game with "Sim" in the title somewhere. In a drastic departure from company strategy, Mr. Wright has forgone the "Sim" title and with it his restraint. The game will allow you to take a single celled organism who creeps forth into the vast ocean and follow that creature's evolution into the supreme ruling species of the galaxy.

In blunt terms, HOLY CRAP IT'S AWESOME!

I've been excited about this game for a long time and it is coming out this September. But they recently suckered thousands of eager consumers such as myself the buy a sneak preview of the game's Creature Creator. It allows for you to design as many creatures as you like and, best of all, those creatures will show up in the game itself. Not only do I get a feel for the biological future of my Unnamed-Spore-Critter-Until-Further-Notice, or USCUFN, but I also am designing several of the creatures he or she will eat or be eaten by.

The flagship creature I made combined my great love of Velociraptors and of naming stuff after myself. So I present to you the Hunteraptor in glorious YouTube-vision:

This is the first video of my flagship creation, the Hunteraptor, in the Spore Creature Creator.

There is a story here beyond poor camera work and arbitrarily pressing buttons.

It begins with Maximillian Q. Hunteraptor enjoying the carefree life of a Hunteraptor in a demo. Roaring, dancing, flexing his muscles, proving that he is capable of love, etc.

But all that changes when three orphaned Hunteraptors are dropped at his Hunteraptor-doorstep-equivalent.

Maximillian is terrified at the prospect of parenthood, but then decides to educate the orphans in the language of dance.

Then I ran out of tape.

The thing is, this is just the start of the possibilities. I've already finished my first dozen creatures, each one significantly different than the last. Combined with the other 400,000+ entries on the Spore website that can be added to your collection at will, the possibilities are endless. This game should be nothing short of spectacular.

But then again, I am a dork

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Holy Crap! I meant to write this yesterday!

I want to wish everyone a Happy Father's Day. The good thing about this holiday is that everyone celebrates it, by virtue of having a father. But I think we should focus on the greatest father of them all, you might even call him The Father.

No, I'm not speaking about God, or even the Pope. I speak of the man who has been a father figure to us all- James Earl Jones. After all, he reminded us so often about how he was our father.

Whether he was the deceased King of the Jungle in The Lion King (skip to 3:54)

Or as the leader of the insane snake cult in Conan the Barbarian

y child, you have come to me my son. For who now is your father if it is not me? I am the well spring, from which you flow. When I am gone, you will have never been. What would your world be, without me? My son.

Or his most obscure role as Darth Vader in some weird sci-fi movie

So I wish you a belated Father's Day, James Earl Jones.

I would give you til the count of ten to tell me your favorite thing about The Father, but why when I can let James Earl Jones do it?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Lord of the Dance

Apparently, part of the interview process for Dark Lord of the Sith was competitive dancing. Furthermore, it explains why stormtroopers never hit anything. They spent all their time rehearsing instead of at target practice.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Has it really been two months?

Wow, I am a horrible liar. I said I would stick away from content heavy dribble but I fell into the same trap again.

Anyways, Washington was going to win. He'll kick you apart. He'll kick you apart.

I'm going to work more on this site to be spur of the moment what I am thinking.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Yeah, the bracket sucks...

But have you ever tried adjusting a template someone else set up? Not that I did a google search to design that or anything...

Anyways, the point is you can fill out this bracket in Microsoft Word, so I expect to see some filled out brackets tomorrow!

Just copy and paste into your word processor.

I have provided you a bracket to fill out


George Washington


Thomas Jefferson

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Alexander Hamilton


Andrew Jackson

Ulysses S Grant

Abraham Lincoln

Benjamin Franklin