Saturday, December 24, 2011

Iron Dirigible: Championship Week Edition

You may be wondering why I haven't written about the last two weeks of fantasy football action. Well, when I neglected to write a preview for Tune and mine's matchup, I also neglected to mention that Maurice Jones-Drew is a Fantasy Shark, just lurking beneath the surface and waiting for the moment to devour all your hope. The Hope Devourer scored 37 against me and, even though the Velociraptors scored 122 points (15 more than anyone else), Team Tune scored 137 (did you really need four touchdown, MJD?! FOUR?! THE GAME WAS OVER! You were just running up the score!). So I was more than a little heartbroken.

And then, in a complete absence of upsets, I was denied the opportunity to beat the Bean for the 5th time in one year (which would be nearly three years worth of beatdowns in a single year). But at the same time, I feel like Bean playing in his third career last place game in a five year league is an even greater present.

There were no surprises last week, presumably because the NFL was saving its gifts for Christmas. Oh sure, if you look at the actual games, there were tons of surprises, but we care about the metagame of Fantasy Football. For the first time ever, we have 1 vs 2 for the championship and 7 vs 8 for the last place game. The only upset in the postseason has been the Maus Munchers dethroning the Pimpmasters. This is what Doug gets for being too dignified to slap a cat.

Pimp of the Week

For the first round of the playoffs, it has to be Maurice Hope-Devourer, I mean, Jones-Drew. Not that I'm bitter or anything. The pimp of the  week for the second round of the playoffs had to be the sick combination of Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson. They combined for 66 points and lifted Team McLovin into the playoffs. If they had been merely incredible rather than phenomenal and scored maybe 40 points, then Team McLovin would have lost and the Baron would be talking about renaming his team "The Fourth Reichs". But no, Calvin Johnson got 214 yards receiving, 2 touchdowns, and a motorcycle to drive off into the sunset on. Johnson willed the bike into existence so he could look as badass as possible.

Gimp of the Week

The Gimp of the Week for Round 1 is Jason Witten. Normally, tight ends can't screw up bad enough to be the Gimp of the Week, but Jason Witten took it to the next level. Witten has shown flashes of prolonged greatness this year by scoring 10 or more a half dozen times. He led the Bean to trust in no other tight ends. And then Witten gets a measly 3 receptions for 12 yards to score 1 point for the Godfearers. Everyone else scored 7 or more on the Godfearers and they lost by 5 points. That means if Jason Witten had just been tied as the lowest scoring starter rather than excelling at incompetence, the Bean would be in the winner's bracket. Did I mention he would go on to lose the next game by 1 point? A fantasy touchdown is literally all the difference between dignity and the garbage bin for the Godfearers. In Round 2, it was all of Team Gray, again. For the third time this year. I think he's set some sort of record for "Most Games Scored Below 50". But, seeing as how that dismal performance masked the collapse of the non-Tom Brady, non-Arian Foster, parts of my team and let me go to the 5th place game, I consider it an early Christmas gift and an apology for Maurice Jones-Drew.

I've been negligent in my updates this year. To make it all up to you, I'm going to do a nice year-end retrospective after Christmas. I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a non-sucky day of Fantasy Football.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Cinnamon, NO!

This is my favorite online video in a long time. Isn't that right, Meatball? No, Meatball, NO! AAAAAHHH! The house cats have turned on us too!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Playoffs?! Don't talk about playoffs!

Internet Law dictates this video be included

In a daring attempt at relevancy, I'm going to try and write about the playoff matchups this week before the game. Labor economics and Linear Algebra be damned!

More Dr Pepper vs Team Gray- Psyche! More Dr Pepper has a bye week because when you set the single season record for points scored and wins, you deserve a spot in the second round. This is mostly here because I still can't believe More Dr Pepper (at 9-2) lost to Team Gray (at 2-9). If this were any kind of just system, we'd skip the playoffs and have the media vote on who they would like to see play for a championship and then get a computer's insight on the matter. Wait, there was a typo in that last sentence. I meant to write "completely insane and greed-driven" rather than "just".

All joking aside, I do feel compelled to write a small retrospective on each team's season. More Dr Pepper had a very zen (zen means lazy, right?) approach to the draft. Sam touched nothing and let the players fall where they would. He let the fantasy flow through him rather than fight the fantasy. As a result, at one point, Sam had the #1 scoring fantasy quarterback and 3 of the top 4 fantasy running backs. But that doesn't do him justice. On the free agent pool, he picked up the #2 tight end and the #3 wide receiver. There are two trains of thought as to what could trigger this Juggernaut of a team. One is that Sam is part Miyagi and could get maximum results with minimal effort. The other is that the rest of the league highlighted the good players by taking nothing but terrible ones in the draft. However, over the last three weeks, Sam lost two of his three top running backs (Matt Forte and Fred Jackson) for the rest of the season, effectively. Sure, there's a chance that Forte could return, but it'll be at least two weeks and he still will have the spectacularly incompetent Caleb Hanie in the backfield.

Look at the little kitty!
Team Gray's season was a terrifying black hole of failure. I tried to analyze it, but I became filled with an immeasurable sadness whenever I looked at it. It was as if I saw a box filled with the cutest kittens in the world and then had to see them all violently commit suicide.

Iron Dirigible Weeks 3-13 Updates: Screw it, we're doing it live!

Okay, I’ve been really awful about updating the league and the blog in general. Luckily, I’ve derived a simple formula explaining why: Skyrim + Grad School + Occasional Social Life = No Blogging. It’s not my fault, it’s the fault of the Emperor Titus Mede for allowing the Thalmor Elves to persecute the good people of Skyrim, causing Ulfric Stormcloak to rally… FOCUS HUNTER! FOCUS!

"Can we finish this later? I really need to update my blog."
Anyways, normally, I always fall behind on my weekly awards because I believe if something is worth writing about, it is worth writing about in detail. As a result, it becomes too much effort to update and then I fall behind and won’t do the work to get caught up again. So I end up forgetting about doing updates, much like how the Blades forgot the sole weakness of Alduin the World-Eater and, with it, the key to stopping the draconic dominance of… FOCUS! FOCUS! YOU LIKE FOOTBALL! The pimp of the week is listed on top and the gimp of the week is listed second for each week.

I did mean to include a preview for the playoffs, but that’ll come tomorrow morning. Btw, Sam and Dylan do have byes this week, but ESPN has issues with me giving out 200 point bonuses.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Muppets

First and foremost, go see the Muppets movie. It's a travesty that Twilight 4 is dominating it in the box office. It's well-paced, very funny, and most importantly, completely innocent and optimistic. So much comedy these days relies on shock value or some level of adult humor (like The Hangover) and carries an overwhelming aura of pessimism (because it's easy to be funny and pessimistic). But the Muppets manages to be very funny throughout without resorting to foul language or sexual innuendo. I could go on for a while about how much I loved this movie, but I'll save that for another time. Instead, I will share my three favorite songs from the Muppets. I've actually been humming these in the back of my head ever since I heard them.

Man or Muppet?

I'm not a music critic, so I won't go into detail about why I like these songs. But I think this song does a great job of being an emotional pivot for the movie, allowing for important character questions while still being funny. There are very few things which manage to be simultaneously funny and serious. Although to be fair, most of the comedy is derived from seeing a Muppet version of Jason Segel and from the line "A Muppet of a man". But sometimes, the simplest things are the best.

Life's a Happy Song

This is the opening number and does a great job of setting the tone for the movie while being very catchy. It's very visually stimulating and has a number of fourth wall jokes. For example, Jason Segel breaks the flowers he got his girlfriend because there "was this big dance number I got into on the way over here".

Smells Like Teen Spirit

How can you not laugh at a barbershop quartet cover of "Smells Like Teen Spirit"? Answer: Because you are a robot and do not have algorithms capable of interpreting humor.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Crazy Times Call for Crazy Measures

Hey there, blogaholics. It's Friday, which means you can have some more delicious blogahol. Last week, I alluded to the fact that I had a plan for daily update schedule. I thought I would take some time today and talk to you about it. I wanted to discuss this earlier in the week, but a combination of Labor Economics, Linear Algebra, gray cats, and Gears of War 3 meant that this was the first time I really had clear to blog. Without further ado, let's get to the proposed blogging schedule!

Week of English Muffin Power Hour

Video Game Mondays
Top Five Tuesdays
Fantasy Football Wednesdays
Toss-up Thursdays
Wild Card Friday
Adventure Story Saturdays
Silly Video Sundays

Now that I've revealed the schedule, let's talk in detail about each category. Video Game Mondays was something I was hesitant to add, because I know there are few things more boring to my non-gamer readership than video games. That said, I also have a freaking huge back catalog of content here and gaming is rapidly becoming a part of mainstream life. So I'm not an oddball for liking Halo and talking about how much I enjoy playing Halo with friends. I'm an oddball because I have an almost encyclopedic memory of Halo.

Total tangent here, but I'm actually the #1 Google search result for "Almost too shocked for words" (first out of nearly 86 million results, mind you). You may notice that the rest of the first page results are from the Halopedia. Draw what conclusions you will.

But I digress. The point is talking at length about video games is no challenge for me and, especially considering how crazy my Mondays are this year, this is a good thing. I can update this regularly. The Iron Dirigible updates showed me that I can still maintain a strong readership when I'm not talking strictly about comedy.

Top 5 Tuesdays and Toss Up Thursdays are both great concepts for blogging I had earlier this year. Sadly, I abandoned them because... I kinda forgot about them. But no more! Yes, the reason these updates are on Tuesday and Thursday is because of mnemonic devices. At times, I am a very simple man.

Fantasy Football Wednesdays have already happened 3 times, never on a Wednesday though. I got a lot of quality feedback from non-football junkies about the Iron Dirigible updates, so I'll keep posting that here. I'm sure my league will appreciate having regular updates.

Wild Card Fridays are there because I couldn't come up with another topic. This will be the closest to the old school style of English Muffin Power Hour, because I have almost nothing to do on Friday afternoons (except Tae Kwon Do). So expect this to be like the regular EMPH, but much, much better at kicking.

Adventure Story Saturdays are going to be tales of my adventures in Middle Tennessee. Silly Video Sundays are where I post a video I find funny, because Sundays are for football and/or homework and probably church. Really, the weekends are self-explanatory.

My main concern with this update schedule is quality control. I'm worried that the average length of articles would fall significantly with a daily update schedule. To that end, I'm considering cutting out the Saturday and Sunday articles. It would give me the weekend to work ahead (a stunning concept) and the weekend topics are definitely the weakest of the seven.

So how does that sound, readers? In either case, you're getting substantially more English Muffins than you're used to!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Week 3 Update: Suck it, Sam!

I said "Easy Rider"! Though both have Peter Fonda.
This week has been brutal. There's that... baseball incident involving Atlanta teams and my copy of Gears 3 is getting delayed until Monday, probably. Throw in an afternoon of Tae Kwon Do (it turns out I am great at punching and jumping, but I suck at kicking, although my youth soccer coach will insist this was always the case), a haircut, and a load of chicken wings later, and I want to kick back and watch Easy Rider. After all, Iron Dirigible doesn't kick off until Sunday. But I'm not going to let that happen. Why? Spite.

The English Muffin Power Hour has never had double digit updates in the span of a single month. There are many reasons for this, such as me being easily distracted and the average EMPH update requiring me to spend my down time not playing Gears of War, not macking on the fine honeys, not tricking the Bean and not performing any combination of the three. One day, I will trick the Bean into letting me play Gears of War with a fine honey. I will have met my soul mate then. But I digress. The point is there are seasons where I don't update ten times, much less months. So I made a wager with Sam that I could update the EMPH ten times this month. If I didn't, then Sam would continue to mock my infrequent update schedule. If I did update ten times, then I'd win... um... I'd win... comedy? Let's just say I'd win comedy. I probably should have demanded some sort of stakes to this wager. I think I've been tricked.

In any case, if I don't write this update, then Sam gets an optimal outcome: more than the average dose of Hunterian Humor and bragging rights. But I'm not going to let that happen. You may beat me by 40 points in fantasy football, Sam, but you'll never take my freedom! My freedom to blog at whatever pace I feel like! CHAAAAARRRRRRRRRRGGGGGEEEE!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!

This is triumphant screaming.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


I see what you did there, fate. I was boasting about how I'd persevere through tough times and then the Braves go and blow a lead in the Ninth Inning and complete one of the biggest collapses in baseball history. While I watch. For thirteen innings. WHY?! WHY BRAVES WHY?! WHY DOES DEREK LOWE SUCK SO MUCH? WHY CAN'T ANYONE HIT TO SAVE THEIR SOUL? WHY DID BOURN TRY STEALING THIRD WITH NO ONE OUT?!

Excuse me. That was unprofessional. Anyways, the point is that not even the Braves' collapse can turn the English Muffin Power Hour into a hate-filled rant. Although even winning 1 in 3 games would have gotten us to the playoffs. And the terrible Houston Astros can mange to win 1 in 3 games. The terrible Houston Astros who beat the Braves in an 18 inning playoff game back in 2005, which precipitated the Braves' inglorious fall from grace. A fall from which they had only just recovered last year and now have managed to go back into shame and dishonor. I HATE ALL OF YOU CARDINALS! ADISUXCGHISUC! DYUWECGBOQGS!GYCUO! NL CENTRAL! ASTROS CAN'T DO ANYTHING! AAAAAA!! AAAAAA!!! AAAAA!!

But I will write about tonight's topic, even though I wore my rally cap and tomahawk chopped through the night and 2 OUTS WAS ALL WE NEEDED! HOW COULD YOU WALK 3 BATTERS IN AN INNING, KIMBREL?!

I'm officially at Bat Credit Card levels of mad.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Iron Dirigible Week 2 Update: Update to the Future

If my calculations are correct, then this Iron Dirigible update is occurring precisely one hundred and sixty eight hours late. My experiment was a complete success! By typing at precisely 88 words per minute, the blog was able to generate the 1.21 jiggawatts of power required to activate the flux capacitor, which is what makes time travel possible. Who knows what strange future this update will find? Maybe Bean will have won a football game by now.

So readership of the distant future, let me tell you who were the Pimps and Gimps of the Week in the distant week of September 18th, 2011!

Pimps of the Week

You'd think dual wielding hammers would impeded catching a football.You'd think wrong.
Let me tell you the tale of Miles Austin, the fantasy football John Henry. See, the San Francisco 49ers had developed a steam powered secondary. And Miles Austin said "A man ain't nothing but a man, but before I let that steam secondary beat me down, I'll pull my hamstring with a hammer in my hand". And so Miles Austin caught pass after pass, touchdown after touchdown, and scored 34 points. That was nearly one-third of all of Team Gray's points in Week 2. And Team Gray needed every point as they just barely edged out the West Katzen Maus Munchers by two points. Unfortunately, this also meant that East Katzen was invaded and the Baron burninated the countryside, burninating all the peasants. But is there anything more pimp than providing me an opportunity to make a reference to Back to the Future, John Henry, and Trogdor all in the span of a few paragraphs? No, no there is not. Anyways, the downside is that Miles Austin did pull his hamstring and will be out about three weeks because of it.

Honorable Mentions: In my time, I would start with the honorable mentions first and build up to who the Pimp of the Week would be. But in the future, I'm confident that social media has dominated the world. By the time you read this sentence, you'll have 14 tweetbooks to read and repost on Googleopolis. My only hope is to lead with the interesting stuff.

Best Fantasy Pirate
Pimpmaster Doug had what I like to call the "Lonely Island Trio" going, with Vincent Jackson as Andy Samberg, Darren McFadden as Kiv Schaffer, Jahvid Best as Jorm Taccone, and Michael Bolton as Jack Sparrow.

Mad props also go to Team Tune, for winning a ridiculously exciting game 119-118. Better yet, Tune kept his pimp hand strong despite having two players (Kenny Britt and Peyton Hillis) score above 15 points. It helped that no one in his starting line up scored below nine points too.

Gimp of the Week

Half of the Velociraptors. Okay, I know it's not cool to keep picking myself for these awards but I seriously could not make a better case for anyone else. I had 5 of my 9 starters combine for just six points. The other half of my team managed to put together 69 points. I know everyone can't be Tom Brady good, but I'd settle for slightly competent. Even if the Underachieving half just a very disappointing 5 points per player, the Velociraptors would have finished with a much more respectable score. Can I declare this half of my team apocryphal?

Also worthy of dishonors are Deangelo Williams and the Bills Defense. Deangelo Williams made a strong case since, despite his impressive pedigree, he only managed an awful three points. If he had scored a below average six points, then the Maus Munchers would have won and Miles Austin would have been denied the triple threat of Trogdor, John Henry, and Back to the Future. So maybe it's for the best.

The Bills finished with -4 points, which is always worth serious consideration for Gimp of the Week. After all, the Bills defense was so terrible that they form a black hole of sucking that drains the points from nearby players. However, Bean's team also lost by 52 points. So it's not like the Bills would have impacted the final result a great deal one way or the other.

Fall to Pieces

From the get go, let me be clear, this is not a normal English Muffin Power Hour update. I know there isn't a "normal" EMPH update by the regular definition, but normally they're lengthy, funny, and generally impersonal. I don't normally like writing about myself, because it comes off as self-absorbed and I prefer writing about things that are interesting. I also avoid writing about things which are melancholy because there's enough suckiness in the world today without me contributing.

The net effect of those beliefs is that when I feel sad, I don't blog. In fact, almost every lengthy stretch of time without blogging can be attributed to something bad happening to me. I won't go into detail about what's happening, but life has been very rough for me lately in pretty much every way. The kicker is that, without a lot of imagination, life could be a lot better than its ever been for me right now. I could go into detail, but I'm in no way comfortable with that. I will not be beaten down by these times, I promise you that.

The good news is I have a lot of real good ideas for updates. I know I've fallen behind on Iron Dirigible updates, but both of those will be written in the next 48 hours. I even have a tentative daily update schedule filled with subjects that I could write 500 words about at the drop of a hat. I mean, I'm not sure if I can keep up with such a schedule, but having ideas drafted out ahead of schedule will certainly help.

Well, I don't want to reveal my crazy schedule yet, and I can't come up with a funny conclusion. Instead, I leave you with one of my favorite songs made in the last ten years.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Best Political Ad Ever

It starts slow but trust me, it's worth it. How can you not laugh at this video? It is the perfect blend of comedy: 50% serious political ad, 50% insanity. I could go on for a while about why this makes me laugh, but I'm running out of daylight to get a blog post in. I'll talk more tomorrow. Tonight, we laugh!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Week 1 Update: And They're Off!

Gimp of the Week

That should be pronounce "Vimmen".
They say save the best for last so we’ll start this week with the Gimps of the Week. First, we have a very unusual dishonorable mention: every single Houston Texan. You may say “But Hunter, didn’t the Texans crush the Colts, seen them driven away, and heard the lamentations of their women?” and I’ll respond “Conan the Barbarian, starring the Terminator and Darth Vader, was a great movie.” I’d also add that despite the complete humiliation of the colts, the highest scoring player in that game was, in fact, a Colt (Reggie “Bruce” Wayne with 16 points). Somehow, the Texans managed to win by a huge margin without having a single player score higher than 15 points. That’s like making the Dean’s List with nothing but B+’s. It shouldn’t be physically possible, but it happened!

Another dishonorable mention goes to Frank Gore. Despite not being eaten by a shark yet, he still managed to underwhelm in Week 1 by scoring just six points against the Seattle Seahawks (whose defensive line consists of coffee baristas and computer technicians). Also, I don’t think I’ve made fun of Bean enough recently.

Like the Greek Pantheon, but twice as petty!
But the Gimp of the Week honors actually belong to a higher philosophy of Fantasy Football. Analysts say that you should never draft a kicker before the 16th round and a defense before the 14th round (and there are only 16 rounds). The train of thought is there’s fundamentally no real difference between kickers. The top scoring kicker was only 39 points higher than the 20th best scoring kicker (which is slightly more than 2 points a game). Inevitably, people in every league do that. But the Gods of Fantasy Football said “No More!” this year and decided to punish the people who took the top defense and kicker.

The top defense taken this year was the Pittsburgh Steelers (who averaged over 10 points a game last season). The Baron spent an 8th round pick on them, twirling his mustache all the while and wearing a picklehaube, saying that the Steelers would be essential for the invasion of East Katzen. But the Pittsburgh defense managed to be worse than nothing in their opener against the Baltimore Ravens (and it hurts me to write this next part). The Steelers were more like the Tin-Foilers given how Ray Rice tore them apart. They “contributed” -3 points to the Baron’s team. But that’s still not enough to win top dishonors.

How can you be worse than a negative? By being an absolute zero. Nate Kaeding, the kicker of the San Diego Chargers, was taken in the 12th round of the Iron Dirigible draft by Team Gray. Normally, Kaeding punishes owners by being average and somehow being projected to be the number 1 kicker the next year. Last year, he was taken in the 11th round (also by Team Gray) and finished as the 13th best kicker. So how does Kaeding upstage the Steelers Defense? He tears his ACL and gets injured for the entire season before he kicks a single field goal. Kaeding amounted to absolutely nothing this week and will be nothing for the entire season. It is the only time in Iron Dirigible history I can say a draft pick was a complete and utter waste from which nothing good could possibly come. And if making the single worst draft decision in the history of Iron Dirigible football isn’t Gimp of the Week honors, I don’t know what is.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Iron Dirigible Week 1 Review: The Preliminary Stuff

Well, Week 1 of Iron Dirigible Football is in the books and it was kind of a massacre. The closest game was decided by 20 points. While there were a hundred tales from this weekend alone, I think it’s important that we never forget the most important lesson this week. Bean lost, despite scoring the third most points. And isn’t that what fantasy football is all about: finding new and exciting ways for Bean to lose? By the way, for those of you who are interested, here is the Week 1 scoreboard.

Since this is the first update I’ve posted on the English Muffin Power Hour, I thought I would explain a few quick pointers of what these updates contain. Normally, I declare a fantasy “Pimp of the Week” and list several honorable mentions (usually two or three). These are players who go above and beyond what is expected of them and help propel their fantasy team to victory. There’s usually a pretty even split between superstar players like Adrian Peterson and Chris Johnson and pretty good players who have crazy good weeks like DeSean Jackson and Miles Austin (quick poll: did anyone who doesn’t play fantasy football know who those guys are? Did this comparison do anything but further your confusion? It’s too late to bail out now though!). Then I list the fantasy “Gimp of the Week”, for the player whose ineptitude and incompetence crippled his team the most. This is almost exclusively well known players, unless a minor player is terrible in a particularly newsworthy way (like punting a puppy instead of the football). As a rule of thumb, the Pimp of the Week must be on a winning team and the Gimp of the Week must be on a losing team, for obvious reasons. Then I normally end by highlighting the Game of the Week for the upcoming weekend. I meant to write one of those for Week 1, but I caught a bad case of Football Fever and wound up watching the NFL instead.

Unfortunately, this introduction took longer to write than I thought, so I’m going to end this early and get into the actual awards tomorrow morning. But before I go, I’d like to mention a bit about another league I’m in. This league is run by Bean and is filled with a lot of his friends from church and Belmont. You might think that while Bean would struggle in a league a football enthusiasts such as myself and Pimpmaster/Witch Doctor Doug, he would most assuredly thrive against amateurs and casual fans. You would be wrong. Bean finished with the lowest score in the league this past week (and I beat him! Hurray!). Like I said earlier, the point of fantasy football is to find all the ways Bean can come up short (pun intended). More troubling, his old roommate had the second lowest. So it seems the Bean-adjacent are cursed as well.

P.S. I remembered a joke I wanted to use when talking about the Bean Curse. I predict that this year the Bean Curse will outdo itself. Frank Gore will be eaten by a shark in a Shark vs Man Gambling Ring, which itself is organized and funded by Michael Vick, who has grown bored of simple mammalian conflict and is trying to escalate to inter-phylum fights.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Six Degrees of Internet Fame

Long time readers may expect me to post a funny video relating to video games and then call it a day. And 99 times out of 100, you would be right. But today, you're getting bonus blog. This video was made by internet celebrity, Tobuscus, who is now one of my readers thanks to a misunderstanding of cosmic proportions. In fact, the proportions are so cosmic that the misunderstanding has floated into the blogosphere.

Before I moved to Tennessee, I had the online alias "Egoraptor" because I love velociraptors and was also a Latin Nerd. Fact: Simply being in Latin does not make you a Latin Nerd, I had to push the second declension to a whole new place to get that title. Anyways, shortly after moving, my friend sent me an invite to a small, invite-only e-mail service, GMail (back before Google took over the world). Naturally, I picked Egoraptor as my screen name because that was the trend at the time.

Flash-forward six years to today at 12:30 Central Time, I get an email from Tobuscus, Internet Celebrity (which is what is printed on his business cards), asking me if I would animate a new video for him about Dead Island, a video game about zombies. Now, those of you who know me know that I can barely draw stick figures, much less animate anything. I knew I recognized the name Tobuscus from somewhere and about 15 seconds later I realized "It's the literal trailers guy!" and "so that's why his business card read Internet Celebrity". It turns out there's another Egoraptor out there, who is a reputable Flash animator. But I still got to see (or at least hear) the next Tobuscus video weeks before it would debut.

I explained things to Tobuscus, Internet Celebrity, and he laughed at the whole situation. He found it hysterical that the owner of would happen to be a fan of his work. Tobuscus also explained that if I revealed the location of the unreleased video, he would break my Internet Legs and toss me in the Online East River.

So everyone, visit his YouTube channel. Tobuscus, I hope you enjoy your time here at the English Muffin Power Hour and thank you for making the blog Second Degree Internet Famous. Fun Fact: Internet Celebrity is given to everyone whose videos aggregate over 200 million views. So I'm like 1/100,000th of the way there.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Blade Runner for Cats

The first thirty seconds of this video is the feline version of the classic film, Blade Runner. The last thirty seconds is the photographer ruining cinematic gold.

All it needs is some serious back lighting and to have the cat narrate while the andro-kitty approaches him.

Alternative Title: Do Andro-Kitties Dream of Electric Mice?

Also, while you're here, I've made a gentleman's wager with Sam (of Iron Dirigible fame) that September will be the first month the English Muffin Power Hour reaches double digit updates. I'm going to try to get into a regular writing groove now that I'm back to work.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Bean Curse

Last time we were here, I mentioned that my good friend Bean had a penchant for ruining the livelihood of football players. Every year he has ruined (or at least significantly inconvenienced) the players he has taken in the first and third round of the Iron Dirigible draft. Inexplicably, the second round picks escape unscathed (usually, but I'll talk about that later). Despite having the 1st, 2nd (twice) and 3rd pick in the prior four seasons, Bean has never managed to have a winning record. So how does this happen? Let's examine the history of... THE BEAN CURSE!

2007- LaDainian Tomlinson & Marvin Harrison

Found on Page 7 of Google Image Search "Fantasy King"!
 In the beginning, no one could suspect that Bean would be the Reverse King Midas of fantasy football. LaDainian Tomlinson, also known as LT (because football fans are ridiculously creative), was the king of football back in 2007, both fantasy and real world. In the actual football terms, he had just shattered the NFL record for most rushing touchdowns and gained over 1800 yards during the 2006 football season. In fantasy football, he was king because he had slain the foul beast Grendel and strangled an enormous sea serpent while swimming against some punk in the Baltic Sea. Or maybe that was Beowulf. Bean had the #1 draft pick in 2007 and LT was a no brainer. Bean would also draft LT again with the second pick in 2008. Year after year, LT’s yards went down, his touchdowns went down, his crops turned to ash, and the sun no longer shined on San Diego. The year after he escaped from the clutches of Bean’s fantasy team, the withered husk of LaDainian Tomlinson had career lows in total yards, games played, and yards per carry.

Similarly, Marvin Harrison was in a good spot. He was the number one receiver for Peyton Manning, which meant he didn’t even have to try hard to look good. Sadly, Harrison would wish to be as blighted as LT was for being on Bean’s team. 8 months after being drafted (and underachieving all year long), Harrison was investigated by authorities for his involvement in the shooting of a drug dealer. Unfortunately for Harrison, this was not because he had not become a gun toting vigilante ala Kick Ass (a movie which I have never seen, but understand it involves Nic Cage acting crazier than usual). Now his crime is being investigated by the FBI after they successfully proved that Harrison (now out of football) provided the gun, bullets, and likely the trigger finger for the crime, while Reggie Wayne enjoys all the perks of being Manning’s new BFF.

2008- LaDainian Tomlinson & Terrell Owens

Well, I covered LT in depth last section, but let me add this. Once he had a year to detoxify the Bean Blight coursing through his veins, LT saw a significant increase in rushing & receiving yards despite being over the hill in running back terms. Bean drafted 2nd overall this draft, a big step down from 1st (insert sarcastic quip here).

Pictured: Buffalo's Stadium
Terrell Owens, dubbed TO by the original and creative sports media, was actually enjoying something of a career renaissance. Despite being driven out of San Francisco and Philadelphia (for the crimes of being obnoxious, egotistical, and witchcraft), TO formed a bromance with Dallas Quarterback Tony Romo and was reaching numbers close to his career high in yards and touchdowns. Small tangent: Romo was going through a phase where he was really into obnoxious, self centered idiots. TO was his favorite receiver and he was dating Jessica Simpson. Back on topic, after being drafted by Bean, Owens had 300 yards and 5 touchdowns less than the previous season. Dallas, sensing that the football gods had forsaken them, cut ways with Owens. As for Owens, he was forced to wander through football hell (Buffalo, where much better teams stomp you into oblivion again and again) and then into purgatory (Cincinnati, where he saw improved production but never achieved anything of substance) and then into blissful irrelevance.

2009- Michael Turner & Brian Westbrook

From Michael Turner, 2008. "Thanks for picking LT!"
By this point, the Bean Curse had established its almost Biblical powers. In fact, Michael Turner had made a career for himself by stepping up when LT began to feel the effects of the Bean Curse and not only received a big deal with the Atlanta Falcons, but also put up an LT-like 1700 yards with 17 touchdowns to match. So naturally, Bean had to fill the LT-shaped void in his team with yet another 2nd overall pick. Turner was, shockingly, doing well until he hurt his ankle. An ankle injury may seem minor, especially to a football star, but when Bean is involved, anything is possible (so long as it results in comedic tragedy for football players). Somehow, Turner winds up missing nearly half the season with this ankle problem and barely gains half the yards he did the season before.

However, that was nothing compared to what happened to Brian Westbrook. While Westbrook did not become the subject of a federal investigation or be forced to navigate his way through the football afterlife, he did suffer the most severe and sudden case of Bean Curse ever seen. Westbrook had a truly amazing season two years earlier, but minor nagging injuries kept him from repeating the same feat again in 2008. Bean, sensing weakness like a shark senses blood in the water (with his nose), added Westbrook to his team with his third round pick. Not only did Westbrook’s injury get much, much worse, but he also put up career lows in every meaningful statistic. His numbers were awful by anyone’s standards as he finished the year with 274 rushing yards. For frame of reference, Vince Young had 281 rushing yards for the Titans and he only played 12 games that year. Westbrook went on to be cut and forgotten by Philadelphia, buried in the depth chart in San Francisco, and exiled to an island this year along with TO and Marvin Harrison.

2010- Ray Rice & Miles Austin

In a stunning twist, Bean abandons his long-standing philosophy of drafting at least one aging injury-prone superstar and goes with two young, high potential players in offenses that revolve around them. So the Bean Curse had to get creative with how to ruin their value. Ray Rice experienced a touchdown famine throughout most of the season and had to split his meager scoring opportunities with Willis McGahee. While not as huge a disappointment as LT or Westbrook, Ray Rice finished outside of the top ten last year.

Meanwhile, Miles Austin had replaced TO in Romo’s heart. By this point, the Bean Curse had realized that Bean would take “Romo’s Favorite Target” rather than any specific player. Thus, Romo was struck down with a collar bone injury and Austin’s value suffered under the leadership of Jon Kitna, whose claim to fame was leading the Detroit Lions to the worst record in football history (0-16, a mark which can never be beaten).

Maybe I’ve been too hard on Bean. Maybe he’s finally realized to stop buying the hype and going after injury risks and stars who have lingered past their prime.

2011- Michael Vick & Frank Gore

Or maybe not! Fun fact: In their combined 13 years of NFL service, Vick and Gore have played a full 16 game season only once each. Last year, Old Man Gore broke his hip in Week 11 and missed the rest of the season (and I say this as a two-time former owner of Old Man Gore). At least with Vick, Bean’s getting a player who was formerly under investigation by the FBI rather than currently. This year broke tradition with Bean actually drafting sixth instead of his usual second.

A Desperate Plea from Vick & Gore

Well, that concludes my piece on the Bean Curse. Fun story, I actually had this written out earlier and it came to about 600 words long. I accidentally deleted it during Managerial Economics today and had to rewrite the entire thing. Somehow, it wound up being twice as long.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Fantasy Football Fever Foreva!

Sad but true story, I had this blog almost entirely written on August 13th. Then I got busy with hanging out with Bean and going on misadventures with other cool and attractive people. Anyways, one thing led to another and now it's two weeks later. I'm going to update every day this week to apologize for my horrible, horrible tardiness. Without further adieu, let me get this article underway!

Basically, it's a Led Zeppelin joke.
Well it's (the end of) August and the world is burning in the summer heat, rather than melting outright. That means it's time to get excited about the baseball pennant race! And also fantasy football! This year, I've decided to release my writing for the Iron Dirigible Fantasy Football league on the blog as well as posted on the website/facebook. This may come as a surprise to you, but when I focus on my writing, I tend to be somewhat verbose. I figure I might as well make the English Muffin Power Hour the home for all my spontaneous 1,000 word essays and other musings. But first, I suppose I should give you some background so that you might understand the rich history of Iron Dirigible football.

Stopping a Balrog is easy. A linebacker? Not so much.
Actually, nix that. First, I should explain what fantasy football is. It's not football with more enchanted swords, wizards, and Helms of +3 Invisibility (although that would help Jay Cutler get sacked less frequently). It's essentially a form of super gambling for bragging rights with your friends. Rather than betting on teams to win a game, you "bet" on players to do well in a season. At the start of the year, you draft sixteen players (scattered around the key positions in football) for your team. Every week, you select nine of them (again, based on position) to start each week in a game played against another team in your league. You score points when the player you started does quantifiable good things (such as gaining yards and scoring touchdowns) and lose points when they do quantifiable bad things (like fumble the ball and throw an interception, or fumble the ball, recover it, and then throw an interception). So fantasy football is like super gambling because rather than making the relatively easy bet on who would win a given game, you have to make long term decisions about players as well as make short term bets on who will do well this particular week. For example, Calvin Johnson is a much better wide receiver than Kenny Britt is. But if Matt Stafford is hurt and the Titans are playing the porous defense of the Texans, you'd likely be better off starting Britt. Of course, the fun is that the game is inherently unpredictable. You never know when superstars like Peyton Hillis or Arian Foster will emerge and take the league by storm (for a season, at least). Anyways, back to league history.

The league was started in 2007, because a lot of my hall-mates from First Year were in a league together and they looked like they were having fun. The league has 8 teams and plays a 13 game regular season, followed by a 3 game playoff. Rather than bore you to death with the history of the league, I'll just tell you about each of the owners and some of the running jokes and interesting stories from their many battles.

The Hunterian Velociraptors- You wouldn't be reading this if it weren't for my love of shameless self promotion, now would you? The watch words of the Velociraptors is "Consistency." This isn't a consistency of strategy since I change my draft plan every year. Nor is it a consistency of the roster, since I average about twenty cuts & waiver acquisitions on my team annually (which only has 16 players to begin with). I consistently get 8 wins a year in the regular season. No more, no less. When I average 90 points a game, I got 8 wins. When I had the third highest scoring season in Iron Dirigible history, 8 wins. Also, I consistently draft last or next to last despite setting the draft order to "Randomized".

Team Gray- Team Gray is led by my friend Dorian. The philosophy of Team Gray is to be the most nondescript team in Iron Dirigible, a feat that's been achieved four years running now. He always drafts in the middle and has finished with 6 losses three years in a row now. I'm not saying that there is a very realistic chance that Dorian's team is in league with The Beast and will one day rule mankind for seven years in a fiery post-apocalyptic way, but I am implying it.

Team Tune- This team is run by Mighty Tune, Mathlympic Champion and Bane of AP Physics. His team is famous for pulling a three year hustle where he lulled the league into a false sense of security by finishing near the bottom of the barrel two years in a row, and then cobbled together the best record in the league using nothing but a screwdriver, three paperclips, and the remnants of Steven Jackson's knees.

Team McLovin- Team McLovin is run by Dylan, who is Bill Belichick's will made manifest. Regardless of draft position, Dylan is apt to have all the Patriots talent worth having. This included the preternatural ability to avoid Randy Moss like the plague last year and embrace Wes Welker's severed ACL. Unfortunately, Belichick had forsaken Dylan last year as Dylan had more points scored against himself than any other team.

West Katzen Maus Munchers- This team is run by my cat, Baron Wolfgang der Mausenheimmer, Lord of West Katzen, Bane of Birds, Scourge of Squirrels, and Conqueror of the Blighted Mauslands. Because he lacks opposable thumbs, the Baron must dictate his decisions to my dad, the Warden of West Katzen. Unfortunately, the Baron has been very pro-cat in his decisions, at a time when the Panthers, Bengals, and Lions are in last, last, and dead last respectively.

Vandy Pimpmasters- I'm fairly certain that Doug, the eponymous Pimpmaster, is also a witch. Or at the very least in league with otherworldly spirits. Two years ago, despite finishing with the worst record in the league, he won the championship. Last year, he somehow had the foresight to draft Arian Foster (who wound up being the best RB in fantasy football despite never starting a game before) and added Peyton Hillis to his team off waivers (which is right up there with "The Sorting Hat Also Has a Magic Sword In It" in terms of lucky breaks). Then he still managed to win the championship despite scoring a mere 68 points (think of fantasy scores like you would grades in college; you just can't win with a 68!) in his first playoff game. It helped that I only scored 60.

Belmont Godfearers- Here is the main reason for the significant delay in the publishing of this blog. I don't mean that Bean is indirectly responsible because he offers up so many chances for adventures. For example, last week a wizard visited him and wanted to hire him on as a professional burglar for a band of dwarves. I mean that I couldn't find the words to convey just how terrible Bean is at fantasy football (and not through lack of effort). Bean is cursed. Not only is he the only team to never have a winning season in 4 years, but he ruins the lives (or at the very least, careers) of the players he picks in the 1st & 3rd round of the draft (and occasionally the 2nd round too).

I could go into detail about how cursed he is, so I will.

But not in this update. I’m running too long as it is. In fact, as of this sentence, I’ll have written over 1,300 words about a subject I’m not entirely sure anybody outside of the league cares about.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Hangover: Part Hunter

You may not know it by the crazy fun times to be found on this blog, but I am a teetotaler. That's right, Merriam-Webster's dictionary, I'm someone who advocates the principle or practice of complete abstinence from alcoholic drinks, at least on a personal level. There are a number of reasons for this which I have discussed earlier. Mostly, they focus on avoiding universe-destroying paradoxes. However, back in the far off time of December, 2009, MTSU had won the New Orleans bowl and I felt like celebrating our momentous and glorious victory in the town synonymous with drunken revelry and excessive celebration (and we love you for that reason, New Orleans. Never change! Okay, maybe change the height of some of your levees, but otherwise, keep it up!). So I decided to try a Hand Grenade, a mixed drink consisting of God Knows What, because the bottle looked really cool. Well, it took a lot of will power and two slices of pizza to counter the taste, but I finished nearly a fourth of it before I poured it out and gagged. I still have the bottle today though. Good times...

Have you even stopped to consider
Chipper's career batting average
when compared to other switch hitters of this era?
Hey, where are you going?
While my first concerted  effort at drinking was a complete disaster, it wasn't long until I tried drinking again, because Old John Barleycorn is crafty. By that, I mean it took ridiculously long because I got distracted by baseball. I would not make another serious effort at drinking until early May 2011. I ordered a pint of Guinness at a local pub to have with my fish and chips (believing that if I ate like an Irishman and talked like an Irishman, I could drink like one too). Sadly, all the luck in the Emerald Isle could not help me stomach more than a third of that blarney.

But I wasn't beat yet. A month later, I decided to try a Jack and Coke with my friends Doug and Sam. I figured "I love Coke and two of my favorite TV characters are named Jack". Bonus points if you can tell me which two Jacks I'm thinking of. Also, it was Happy Hour and Doug was buying, so I really had nothing to lose. But, I decided to videotape the event for posterity's sake. I must apologize for the limited picture. In retrospect, I should have had people hold the iPhone sideways.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Blogathon Countdown #9: Twitter and Cleveland the Mad

Good evening, beloved readers. I hope you all enjoyed your double dose of Power Hour yesterday. I'm happy to report that we'll be going back to the recommended serving size of blogging today. First, I'm proud to announce that I am officially on Twitter. You can follow me here, @Huntersaurus. It's great for the short observations I have from day to day that are too brief for the blog, but too long to mass text to my homies.

In honor of the upcoming NBA Draft, I'm going to list the Top Five Reasons why Cleveland is Insane for Drafting Kyrie Irving #1 Overall (Probably).

5. The Body of Work

First of all, let's consider that this guy has played in less regular season college games than you have fingers (barring some sort of horrific birth defect or industrial accident). Now, in that brief period of time, Duke played two Top Ten teams and six cream puffs, including famous weaklings such as Princeton and Colgate. In fairness, Colgate did lead the NCAA in Cavities Fought, but that contributes little to the result of the game. In that stretch, Irving averaged 17.4 points a game, which is very good but not exactly Future Face of the Franchise (or Triple F) material.

Then he suffered a freak injury and missed most of the year. Sure, it may have been a freak injury, but with less than a dozen collegiate games under his belt, I don't feel confident that he couldn't have a repeat incident. After all, Greg Oden was a can't miss prospect who only had a freak injury during his brief one year stint at Ohio State. And in the three years since turning pro, he's played exactly one year's worth of games. And he averaged less than 24 minutes a game in those appearances, so really it's more like he played half a year's worth of games.

4. Irving vs. Williams Already Happened.

And Williams won. Big time. In almost every way you can win a basketball battle. Points, rebounds, assists (I argue 2 assists from a power forward is more impressive than 3 assists from a point guard), and the game itself. I just can't explain this one. It's a testament to overthinking, hype, and ignoring the obvious that the entirety of the NBA journalism community has overlooked this pretty substantial bit of information. And you can't pin it on Irving's teammates because, without Irving, Duke was still a top 5 basketball program for virtually the entire season.

3. Irving is the next Allen Iverson

And that is not a compliment. Sure, Allen Iverson piled some impressive stats (and an equally impressive criminal record) but what did he really accomplish? He wins one game in the NBA Finals, then the Sixers fade back into obscurity. Sure they had some winning seasons, but they never really contended. Eventually, Iverson's egomania poisoned the team and he was traded away to Denver (whom he promptly poisoned) and then again to Detroit (who he poisoned and then dragged into a black hole from which there is no escape). Then he wasted everyone's time with two consecutive failed comeback bids with the Grizzlies & Sixers (again).

What does this have to do with Irving?

Let's go back to the humiliating defeat Duke suffered at the hands of Arizona. Irving had an impressive 28 points and it looks like he was the solitary bright spot for Duke. But if you actually watched the game, you'd realize that Irving completely destroyed the chemistry that Duke had built up the entire year. Seth Curry, long distance shooter extraordinaire, was relegated to the bench entirely. Nolan Smith, who had led the team in scoring in Irving's considerable absence, was completely out of sync. Also, it's worth mentioning that this point guard only averaged 4.3 assists per game in his brief career and never reached double digits in assists. He practically has the NBA's "Give and Go" tattooed on his forehead (i.e. "Give me the ball and go to Hell"). He might make a bad team good, but he'll never make a team great.

2. There's tons of depth at Point Guard.

I can't believe the experts aren't mentioning this more often. It's simple economics. Scarcity determines value just as much as quality. There are three point guards you can legitimately consider to be centerpieces to whatever team drafts them: Kyrie Irving, Brandon Knight, and Kemba Walker. There's only one power forward that's held on similarly high regards: Derrick Williams. The Cavaliers have the 1st and 4th pick in this year's draft. If they draft Williams #1, there will be at least one of the three great point guards in this draft left for them to take. If they take Irving, they'll have their pick of household names like Jan Vessely, Enes Kanter, and Bismack Biyombo to fill the gaping void in the post.

1. His name should be pronounced "KEER-EE-AY, not CHI-REE".

Jeesh, doesn't anyone care about Ancient Greek anymore? This is your fault, Servilius Casca! You began the marginalization of Greek two thousand years ago. Did you even think that you'd be assassinating the Greek language as well as Julius Caesar?!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Great Scott!

WARNING: The following post contains highly concentrated amounts of franchise crossover nerdiness. Honeys of a sassy fine nature are encouraged to read this poem (that I wrote in between trips to the gym) before watching.

I promised a funny (albeit nerdy) video and I shall deliver. Just tolerate the first 90 seconds of low budget, fan-created fight choreography and you'll get nearly 5 minutes of comedy gold (especially if you love the Legend of Zelda games and the Back to the Future Films like I do).

Link found a Flux Capacitor!

EMPH Turns 100!

Well, just like I promised, I took a brief hiatus for Mother's Day and now it's time to resume the Blogathon! Wait! Father's Day just passed?! Oh crap! Well, I guess the blogathon will resume now after a lengthy intermission. I lost track of the number of days I had left, but we'll just call it 10 so we can have a nice, even number to work with going forward.

For the longest time, I planned on doing something special to commemorate the 100th post on the English Muffin Power Hour. Unfortunately, I never got around to the specifics, so I'll probably give you guys a Top 5 List and throw in a funny (albeit nerdy) video at the end. Since the official start of summer is just around the corner, I present to you: the Top 5 Reasons Why Summer is the Best Season.

5. Baseball Every Day

Unlike basketball and football, you can expect there to be a baseball game on almost every single night somewhere during the summer. While it may dilute the meaning of each individual game, I think people tend to overlook the brilliance of this system. For this three month block of time, you can count on baseball on television just as sure as the sun rising to brutally scorch the morning. Want to go to the movies tonight? No problem. Baseball will welcome you back with open arms tomorrow. Football will ignore your calls for a week or two if you try to have a life outside of it. Then it will spread catty rumors about you, because football can be petty that way (but we love it anyways).
In the name of the Maddux, the Tom, and the Holy Smoltz.

"But Hunter," you say, "don't you have a passion for the Atlanta Braves that could conservatively be described as 'overzealous'? What if I don't like baseball?" First of all, the answer to both questions is "Yes" and "I forgive your blasphemy." And that's the reason why this is only #5 on the count. There are some sad souls out there, my readership included, who don't like baseball. I cannot understand why, but I pity them and the hundreds of hours of fun they miss out on.

4. Swimming Pools

Now, I haven't been to a swimming pool yet this year. This is largely because, due to marathon training, I have a terrific farmer's tan. If I went to the pool, I would look more like a gigantic Yin-Yang in trunks than an awesome dude (albeit a very handsome Yin-Yang). Pools are great for three primary reasons. First, they provide relief from the the sun's ongoing War on Happiness. Second, it is the only socially acceptable time for a grown man to go down a slide. Third, the fine honeys... I mean, working on my tan. Because that's what I do when I'm not working out at the gym. Or saving kittens from fires.

3. Longer Days

Nothing is more depressing than being trapped in perpetual darkness. It's one of the many reasons I left my job as a Morlock (also, they had horrible dental). During winter, it is so very easy to start working before dawn and not get out until after dusk. And then, when spring rolls around, daylight savings time kicks in and you still don't get used to hanging around with the sun after work and class. But in the summer, the sun is around all the time. You can ride your bike at 8 pm without any sort of ridiculous bike attachment.

2. Ice Cream Trucks

Now this one definitely hasn't been a factor for me since I was a little kid. After all, a few months after getting my driver's license, I realized that the grocery store had all the ice cream sandwiches and popsicles I could ever want. And I could get them whenever I wanted. This revelation was followed by maniacal laughter, ice cream headaches, and then stomach aches. But once I could stand up again, I also realized that I no longer needed the ice cream truck or its catchy jingles from the public domain.

So why is it #2 on the list and it front of my beloved Braves? Because no other season delivers its seasonal food to your door. There's no pumpkin pie truck in fall! There's no hot cocoa truck in winter! There's not a ham truck around Easter (although the influential House Cat Lobby is pushing for legislation to make this happen). The ice cream truck is a quintessential aspect of summer and no season can boast a similar bond between man, machine, and the tilt of the Earth's axis.

1. Adventures

The best thing about summer is it marks the return of the adventuring season. Want to hike for God Knows How Long down a trail? Sure, it's summer! Want to see if we can find an alcoholic beverage that doesn't make Hunter throw up? Why not? It's summer! Plus, there's a reliable influx of awesome people from abroad. Now, I admit, this one is here because of school. For as long as I can remember, I have been a student or been close friends with students, so I suppose life away from academia could have adventures all the time (or chronic depression). But for me, summer time has always been about spending time with truly great people (and if you read this blog, that means you). The rest of the year is filled with countless obligations that get in the way of just kicking back and enjoying life.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mother's Day Hiatus

The blogathon is on hiatus until after Mother's Day weekend. You should all be spending time with your mothers rather than reading awesome blogs. If you can't spend time with your mother this weekend, spend time with How I Met Your Mother and celebrate vicariously. Kudos go to KTP for recommending this show to me. I like it a lot more than I expected I would. I'll pick up the blogathon on Monday.

Fun Fact: this update will mean I've already updated the English Muffin Power Hour as much this year as I did in 2010 or 2009. Hurray blogathon!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Blogathon Day Twelve: Don't Stop... Updating! Hold on to that blogging!

The lesson I learned today is I can only wait until 10:30 pm to consider updating my blog for about 11 days before I run out of topics that I can write about sufficiently in under an hour. So, I've decided to talk about fans who are less fortunate and have content providers who are less committed to updating their material (such as my fans, March 2008-April 2011). Here's my list of great websites that update less than I do.

1. Homestar Runner

Yeah, pretty much everyone who went to high school with a computer lab knows about the superlative comedy of Strong Bad E-mails, Teen Girl Squad, and the rest of the hijinks of Homestar Runner. I can honestly say that Teen Girl Squad is the most influential and inspiring series of doodles in my life. But what you might not know is that there have only been two new videos over the past 16 months. This is a sad day for the internet at large, because Homestar Runner is pretty much the only comedy site on the internet that is not only funny for all ages but also has the broadest appeal of comedy out there. The good news is I realize there were about 5 Strong Bad Emails that I somehow overlooked from 2009. So at least it's new to me. In fairness, they have a decent excuse because one of the brothers had a baby in 2010. I suspect his wife may have been involved in that process as well. Anyways, that's a pretty legitimate excuse to decrease production.

2. Freeman's Mind

This is my favorite non-Red vs. Blue machinima (that is to say, using video game engines as the filming engine rather than other forms of media). The premise is the videos are about the thoughts of the character Gordon Freeman as the events of the 1998 game Half Life unfold. But, here's the twist: Gordon Freeman never says anything during Half Life. He's a blank slate. All you know is he works at a science facility in Black Mesa. I think the series does a great job of humanizing the events of a video game and never gets bogged down in the endless killing (like I do when I play shooters). Unlike Homestar Runner, this series got derailed for much less legitimate reasons.

Back in the fall of 2009, the guy behind the series (I forget his name, so I'll call him Steve) got hired by to make more episodes of the series. This is hitting the internet jackpot because it means a company was willing to pay him legitimate wages to do videos Steve was making for fun beforehand. As a result, there was an astonishing increase in the number of Freeman's Minds that came out. I believe there were 8 in one month at one point. Unfortunately, Steve had another series: Civil Protection. You can check it out, but I wouldn't recommend it. They're generally longer and less funny than Freeman's Mind. Unsurprisingly, those videos were also much less popular. Furthermore, the process for filming that series is much more complicated and takes longer to produce. Reasonably, wanted him to focus his efforts on making the much more popular and simpler to produce Freeman's Mind. Steve wanted to focus on this one episode of Civil Protection and didn't like the way other people were working on it. So Steve decided to stick to his principles and quit his job making funny videos so he could make the funny videos he felt like.

The problem was the episode of Civil Protection he was working on was waaaaay too ambitious for its own good. I haven't seen it yet, because I had given up hope on it ever being done. However, I know that he left to work more on this one episode in October 2009. It finally got posted in late March 2011. In the meantime, this created a gigantic bottleneck for Freeman's Mind. Not only did Steve not have as much time to produce new episodes (since he left his paid job as a producer of funny videos), but what time he did have was going to a pet project. That's to say nothing of moving back and forth between places and transitioning into a new job.

I would go on with this list, but it's almost midnight and I won't stop the blogathon just yet!