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The Whitman’s House: A Halloween Story

May 20th, 2015 Posted in Stories No Comments »

I wrote this in 6th grade for class.  I preserved all of the bad grammar and/or spelling errors that might be present.

I. There was always something strange about that house in Hintelville. The house in Hintelville is so weird every time someone walks past it they is scared to death! Every Friday the thirteenth all the ghosts attack the town of Hintelville … the town where Anthony lives.

II. “Hey guys if we’re going to get to Anthony’s house by sundown we have to go NOW!” Dave and Matt’s dad yelled

“Just a minute dad!” Dave said. Dave is twelve years old, he hopes something exciting will happen in his life. He can hack into any computer system, and he has black hair and hazel eyes. Dave’s brother, Matt, has black hair and hazel eyes, is 11 ½ years old, and he can program games on computers. Anthony is their favorite cousin. He is awesome, at age thirteen, and has cool ideas on how to have fun. Dave was stuffing their clothes in his gym bag while Matt was getting their laptop computer in his bag.

III. When they finally got to Anthony’s (from a two hour car trip), they rang Anthony’s doorbell. In a few minutes Anthony opened the door. He said, “Dave, Matt what are you doing here?”

“We’re going to stay over for two weeks! Isn’t that great?” Dave said.

Anthony said, “Come on in, I gotta talk to you about something.” When they went to Anthony’s room, Anthony closed the door and said, “It’s really bad that you came today.”

“Why” Matt asked.

“Because tomorrow is Friday the thirteenth. At the stroke of twelve the ghosts of the old Whitman house attack Hintelville. Every Friday the thirteenth we’ve been able to stop them from taking over the town.” Anthony answered.

IV. So tomorrow was Friday the thirteenth. Everybody in the town was ready for action. The people of Hintelville had made a little “army” outside. While Matt was outside with the “army” Dave stayed inside with the laptop. Suddenly Dave heard screams, gun shots, and more screaming. Then Dave looked back to the laptop and opened a file called “Ghost Houses.” There were about twenty houses. Dave typed in “Whitman” and then he saw the house! Dave looked down at the “What you should do to make the ghosts disappear”: 1.Call the Ghostbusters. 2.Get outta Hintelville. 3.Hack into the house’s computer system.

“Hey, wait a minute! Since when does a haunted house have a computer system?” Dave said. Dave heard a bloodcurdling scream. Dave pressed on “Hack’em!” At the bottom of the page. Inside the Whitman computer system, there was were many types of ghosts and everything. “So the ghosts are all computer holograms!” Dave said.

V. Then Dave rushed to the window and yelled, “Everybody head for the house!” Everybody listened to Dave and started racing to the house. Inside Dave put on a bullet proof vest that Anthony had left him just in case. He also took two hand guns and a machine gun. He also took a helmet. Then Dave scampered to the house for the final confrontation. When Dave got outside all the “ghosts” had suddenly disappeared!

VI. When Dave got to the house everybody was waiting for Dave him.

Then Anthony said, “So, are we going to get in or what?” When he said that, they started banging down the door and breaking windows to get in. When they got in they started ambushing the bad guy behind it all. They chased him through the house. Finally they caught him. It was some guy named Antonio Pilowpioosowsomething. He said, “Dang, I almost captured the town.”

THE END

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Essay on the Iceman

May 20th, 2015 Posted in People, Screwed Up Chronicles No Comments »

I wrote this in 6th grade for class.

The Iceman is the best preserved human ever found. He was found in Italy. Nobody knew where he came from or who he was.

The Iceman’s clothing was a cape, shoes with grass on the inside (found only in the Alps), a leather sole in each of his shoes, and ibex shoelaces. He also had a coat made of animal skins and a leather pouch. The Iceman is about 5,300 years old. He was said to have lived in the New Stone Age or “Neolithic Epoch.”

The Iceman had some tools. His tools were: a flint knife and a metal blade ax made of copper with a wooden handle. He also had a quiver of arrows, and a wooden bow.

His copper blade ax had a wooden handle but strangely enough the Neolithic Epoch was before the Copper Age when Copper was first found, so what was a Neolithic man doing with a copper blade for an ax? That’s something that we might never know.

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Squacklecast Episode 25 – “Mad Max: Spoiler Road”

May 16th, 2015 Posted in Media, The Squacklecast No Comments »

This entry is part 25 of 25 in the series The Squacklecast

Hey all!  We talk about lots of stuff today, including Japanese game shows, Mad Max: Fury Road and lots of upcoming/canceled TV shows this year.

We don’t talk about any Mad Max spoilers really until we accidentally let some slip, so we don’t talk about Mad Max until about the 25 minute mark.

Here are some clips to look at for the Japanese game shows we are talking about in particular:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFaF2etEJaE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlGWOBpZObg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qh4VNuW_1w
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfMLmv1jULs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2lzoEwRUA0

Then we talk about Mad Max: Fury Road for a considerable amount of time:

New TV shows for the upcoming 2015/2016 season.  Lots of procedural shows where there is a person/thing that has a lot of extra knowledge or abilities to solve crimes.

Limitless being one of them, where Bradley Cooper plays lovable huggy bear who only appears in one episode per season.

And then there are like procedural shows for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend or whatever, and then Legends of Idiots which is another super hero show procedural based on a comic book.

There’s a lot of time spent on TV show stuff.  We stop talking about Mad Max completely at around the 1 hour 1 minute mark.

See ya next time!

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Ireland: Status Quo for Ireland

May 3rd, 2015 Posted in Screwed Up Chronicles, World No Comments »

Note: This is a debate about whether or not reforming Ireland in the 1800s would be good or not.

By davepoobond:

Ireland will stay the same when it comes to the British. Irish hate British. Irish don’t like the British because they tried to rule over them, but they don’t like that. Crumpets and tea – no way! The Irish don’t like anything about the British, no sir.  Fish and chips – yeah, right.

The Irish like to fight, so therefore they fight the British. British don’t like the color green so they fight the Irish. Irish don’t like Scottish because they’re on different islands.

The Irish like to drink magnificent amounts of alcohol, having boxing matches with farm animals, the first Irish war started when an Irishman blew up on a hot air balloon, and boxed it for 3 hours straight.

By Soup Nazi:

Dave and I are for the reform of Ireland. Anglican churches were using Irish money to support themselves. This wan an unorthodox and a poor way to flourish, even for a church in our minds.

This is also towards the landlords. They charged their tenants unfairly with outrageous rents. The reform protected them, and the land they worked on.

Overall the reform ensured no one abused their power, we feel that many abuse their power enough.

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Hawthorne Heights – If Only You Were Lonely (2006) Review

May 3rd, 2015 Posted in Music, Music Review No Comments »

I like this album, though it’s a lot mellower than their previous album, “The Silence in Black and White.” Most of the songs were slow to medium tempo with only a couple songs being fast. I hope the next album has a faster overall feel to it though. There are a lot of songs on it that would qualify as some of my favorite songs of all time.

Song Ratings – Overall – 4/5:

This Is Who We Are – 5/5
We Are So Last Year – 4/5
Language Lessons – 4/5
Pens and Needles – 5/5
Saying Sorry – 5/5
Dead in the Water – 5/5
I Am On Your Side – 5/5
Breathing In Sequence – 5/5 – This was probably the song I listened to the most.  Very catchy song.
Light Sleeper – 5/5
Cross Me Off Your List – 4/5
Where Can I Stab Myself in the Ears – 5/5
Decembers – 4/5

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AFI – Decemberunderground (2006) Review

May 3rd, 2015 Posted in Music, Music Review No Comments »

As a big AFI fan over the years, Decemberunderground is definitely a huge difference from their previous albums. I view the album as more of an extension of Sing The Sorrow, which took me a while to get used to, but when I did I couldn’t stop listening to it. Same goes for Decemberunderground, but the “getting used to” period was definitely longer this time around due to the screaming and integration of more electronic sounds.

Song Ratings – Overall – 5/5:

Prelude 12/21 – 3/5
Kill Caustic – 5/5
Miss Murder – 5/5
Summer Shudder – 5/5
The Interview – 4/5
Love Like Winter – 5/5 – Very catchy song, the best off the album.  I couldn’t stop listening to it for a loooonnnnnggg time.
Affliction – 5/5
The Missing Frame – 5/5
Kiss and Control – 4/5
The Killing Lights – 5/5
37mm – 4/5
Endlessly, She Said – 5/5
Rabbits Are Roadkill on Rt. 37 0 – 5/5

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GameLoading: Rise of the Indies (2015) Review

April 25th, 2015 Posted in Movie Review, Movies No Comments »

Game-Loading-Logo2

GameLoading: Rise of the Indies (2015), directed by Anna Brady/Lester Francois

Production Company: Studio Bento | Length: 85 min | IMDb || Rating: 8/10

GameLoading: Rise of the Indies is a documentary on the modern indie game movement. Not unlike something you may see on an informational cable channel, the documentary takes a specific aspect of the gaming industry and peels back the different layers to see what is beneath. This documentary is primarily focused on a smattering of the social, philosophical, and human elements of the indie game movement, and less so about the games themselves.

Throughout GameLoading: Rise of the Indies, we are primarily presented with a few recurring indie developers; Davey Wreden (Stanley Parable), Zoe Quinn (Depression Quest), Rami Ismail (Vlambeer) and Robin Arnott (Soundself) primarily drive the overall tone and base of the documentary.   A wide-range of diverse indie game developers and people who are famous historically for their indie roots (John Romero and other founders of id Software) also make an appearance and drive along some of the overall points in the documentary. A lot of people from different aspects of coding, from education and into the very niche corners of indie game development also offer insight into what motivates them or what their goals are and what challenges they face, including sexism, social media trolls, and of course, money.

The tone of the first roughly 30 to 40 minutes of the documentary is setting up the basis of what indie games are, who these people are, what their philosophy is, and what the motivation for doing what they’re doing is. You instantly feel a romanticized and articulated quality to nearly everything that is going on, and at times it can feel like the documentary is sort of dragging its feet in moving on from this introductory phase due to how this first piece is structured. They intersplice the stories of Davey Wreden and Robin Arnott with all sorts of other random game developers giving their small tidbits of information to expand upon a particular point. It can be a bit hard to follow the narrative of the documentary at this point because you are not sure who you are actually really supposed to be invested in paying attention to and who you are going to see repeatedly.

A big thing missing in the first chunk of this documentary is a conflict to keep the viewer invested in what is going on. You don’t realize that the primary focus of the documentary is Davey Wreden until much later.  Considering the game had released in 2011, it was a bit disorienting to finally figure out about halfway through that the Stanley Parable had been on the cusp of release while the documentary was in production rather than taking place after its release.  If the documentary were structured a little bit differently, it could have framed the Stanley Parable as something that was impending release during this segment to create a slowly progressing storyline as the narrative base since there is no narrator to provide that structure.

We learn a lot of interesting tidbits about the thought process behind the Stanley Parable, and as we are introduced to and follow that game’s progression, we also follow Soundself. Other games such as Depression Quest, Cart Life, and Analogue: A Hate Story among others, are profiled in the same fashion, though not as in depth as the Stanley Parable or Soundself.

Overall what the documentary helps us learn is about the philosophical and human elements of these games as an outward expression of the developers themselves. Giving these games a human element gives people a reason to connect these products with emotions and events in real life. In the context of this documentary, most of the indie developers view their games as interactive art projects and storytelling devices. The whole of the documentary focuses on these indie “art” games, and less so any of the indie “pure game” games, which primarily focus on level design, controls, and the concept of “fun.” While mentioned where necessary, the “pure game” games are definitely not the focus here which elevates the purpose of the documentary to something that seems to be selling “indie games” to someone who doesn’t normally play them and also may not find one of those “pure games” as fun or interesting. Which is FINE – it is an interesting look at this segment of games regardless, but the flaw is that the documentary unfortunately doesn’t take a tempered approach to both of the main draws to the indie scene when it calls itself “Rise of the Indies.”

Another large part of the documentary is the different events/conventions that are introduced. There is a small piece on an event called the Fantastic Arcade, but the main event of the documentary is GDC. Leading up to the GDC, there is an interesting coding event called the Train Jam where people form teams and create a game within a 50 hour train ride from Chicago to San Francisco where GDC takes place. We have a quick overview of some of the games being quickly developed on the train and Zoe Quinn takes part in some of the festivities. I thought this segment of the documentary was very interesting and it was cool to see how things like that happen. While it wasn’t supposed to be a huge focus of the documentary, it would have been nice to see a little bit of a more in depth look at what was going on.

Overall the documentary looked very good. It seemed professionally shot and I didn’t notice any terrible lighting or editing issues (for reference, I am a video editor so I notice these things). There were some questionable backdrops where a couple interviewees were against a completely white backdrop and Ben Kuchera from Polygon was in a seemingly empty office in a tall building of some sort. The frequency of the cuts between different people during the interview portions prevented the documentary from having time to breathe at certain sections. I also thought they could have completely cut out a couple of people and/or interview cuts because they added nothing to the overall information in the documentary. It would have been nice to be a bit more focused on fewer secondary interviewees instead of including a lot of extra random people who are of questionable value to the overall product. An interesting aspect of the documentary seems to be that there are a lot of people with different colored hair, with the primary color being pink. There is sort of an “alternative” lifestyle being sold in this documentary and the interesting looks and clothing people wear in the documentary fits into that quite well. While not everyone they interview is going for that look, there are enough in the documentary where you begin to notice it as a theme.

At a running time of 1 hour 25 minutes, I thought GameLoading: Rise of the Indies was interesting overall and a nice introduction to deciding whether or not you may want to get into the indie gaming industry itself as a hobby or otherwise. It was less informative about the technical and day-to-day aspects of indie gaming, with an idealized look at the culture and events of the indie gaming scene instead.

GameLoading: Rise of the Indies can be purchased on Steam, iTunes, and other gaming storefronts.

A reviewable copy of GameLoading: Rise of the Indies was provided to Squackle.

A trailer for the documentary can be seen below:

 

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The Coffee Fires

April 23rd, 2015 Posted in Fairy Tales, Stories No Comments »

There once was a man who became an arsonist.  Orson the Arson was a coffee-drinking fiend and would take caffeine pills by the handful before going to work in the morning.  He worked at a coffee shop in Los Angeles.  The traffic in the morning was pretty boring to sit through, as you could imagine, and for every five minutes he was stuck, he would take an extra caffeine pill.  All in all, he pretty much ingested 100 caffeine pills a day before going into work and drinking The Canoe of Coffee, the specialty drink of the coffee shop Canoe Coffee.  It was literally a canoe filled with coffee.

At Canoe Coffee, there were many other caffeine addicts who lazed about all day, drinking a Canoe of Coffee.  When a caffeine spike kicked in, the customers were regulated into the Rumpus Room where they could swing from trees, canoe down a fake river, and battle mechanical tigers and lions.  There was one time when Tiger 89 malfunctioned and almost gnawed off a customer’s leg, but since they signed a waiver saying anything that may happen in the Rumpus Room stays in the Rumpus Room, they were trapped in the Rumpus Room forever!!!  It was like a jail, but everyone got to point and laugh at the delegged customer who was renamed Deleggy the Legs.

Deleggy the Legs was given a desk and a computer so that she may browse the internet.  She had a wireless mouse and it wouldn’t work so she called the front desk and asked for a corded mouse.  Unluckily for her, it was Orson the Arson who picked up the phone.

“DELEGGY, I DON’T KNOW WHAT A CORDED MOUSE IS, LEAVE ME ALONE.  I DO NOT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT TECHNOLOGY I BARELY KNOW HOW TO USE THIS PHONE.” Orson screamed at Deleggy.

Orson hung up the phone, and that was that.

Across the street, Canoe Coffee’s competitor Kayak Coffee served the Kayak of Coffee, which was literally a kayak full of coffee.  They were having their “buy one for the price of three sale.”  Kayak Coffee’s marketing of their event was pounding Canoe Coffee’s sales the whole week and they were falling behind, as they do every year around this time.

Stan Jinjam, the owner of Canoe Coffee, devised a plan to take care of Kayak Coffee once and for all.  He would replace all the coffee at Canoe Coffee with Green Tea!  Green Tea was super disgusting and no one likes it.  Canoe Coffee would go out of business in a day!

It was around that time that Jenny Sanzdfit, owner of Kayak Coffee, devised her own plan to put Kayak Coffee out of business – replacing all of their coffee with melted butter.  Canoe Coffee would go out of business in less than 3 hours!

Orson the Arson had other plans, though.  He couldn’t work somewhere for very long without burning it down, since he was insane like that.  Canoe Coffee and Kayak Coffee would both be good targets considering they would probably blame each other for the mess he created.  It was the perfect plan, especially since they were both planning on destroying the others’ business to begin with.

That was the day when The Three Leaf Clover Gang made their move into the coffee industry.  The Three Leaf Clover Gang was pushed out of the hard drug business by rising prices on gasoline, and they just couldn’t afford to keep their cocaine supply chain AND pay for gas for all their cronies.

In the middle of the night, behind Kayak Coffee, Orson was dumping gas on the persimmon trees that would start the fire.  On the other side of the building, Jake “Kidney Stone” Marauder was placing explosives.  He had already wired Canoe Coffee and was planning on blowing them both up at the same time.  Little did either know of the other’s plans until they bumped their backs into each other.

“Who are you!?” Jake yelled as he placed his hand on his pistol.

“Who am I?  WHO ARE YOU??” Orson screeched in his high-pitched caffeine voice.  Orson was waving his gas can around in the air.

“What are you doing with that can of gas?”

“What are YOU doing with those explosives?”

“I’m burning this joint down, I’m an arsonist!”

“I’m blowing this joint up, I’m a mobster!”

Orson was very confused.  “A mobster?  Look buddy, this is my score.  I need to see something burn, and soon, and your explosives are going to get in the way of my basking in the heat of fire.”

“Your score?  This is our turf, we’re moving in, buddy!  If anyone’s going to destroy these coffee places it’s gonna be us!  We need to make a statement!” Jake poked Orson with his finger.

Orson flipped out when Jake poked him and grabbed it in his hand and then bit it.

“AHHHH!  YOU BIT ME YOU SON OF A MOTHER!!!”  Jake screamed.

Orson hissed at Jake and ran around behind the tree, swallowing even more caffeine pills.

Jake pulled out his gun and started blasting away at the tree.  Persimmon juice started splattering everywhere as the tree was riddled with gunshots.

Orson reached into one of his pockets and began to throw caffeine pills at Jake while swallowing another handful.

“What the hell is this stuff!?” Jake smacked as many of the random raining pills away as he could.  Orson quickly jumped into the tree, came down onto Jake, and began scratching him after they both crash-landed on the floor.  They were showered with persimmon juice and caffeine pills as and rolling around on the ground.

“I’ll show you why they call me ‘Kidney Stone,’ you freak!” Jake grunted during the exchange.

Jake grabbed a stone off the ground and started smashing it into Orson’s kidneys.

“WAAAHHHHH!!!” Orson winced in pain as packages of caffeine pills exploded out of his pockets after being hit in the kidneys a couple of times.

“HOW MANY PILLS DO YOU HAVE???  THIS IS RIDICULOUS!!!” Jake got up and backed away from Orson.

Orson crawled on the ground towards one of the loose bottles of caffeine pills.  He was eating pills along the way as fast as he could.

Jake took out the detonator and started to back up again towards the persimmon tree.  “Ok, kiddo.  I didn’t want to kill anybody, but I’m going to put you out of your misery.  Your caffeine addiction is absolutely ridiculous.”

“I can quit if I want to.”  Orson slowly said as his real plan was coming to fruition.

“Yeah, that’s what they all say, but we all know that…” Jake began, but was interrupted by being lit on fire.

While Orson was behind the persimmon tree, he placed a fuse on the ground which lit up the persimmon tree — and Jake “Kidney Stone” Marauder.

A good five minutes of burning corpse later, Orson was still picking up caffeine pills off the floor, swallowing one for every three he picked up.

The Twin Brothers McGee, Lefty “Left” McGee and Righty “Other Left” McGee came out of the car to see what was holding up Jake.  To their astonishment, they saw Jake; dead and burned to a crisp with the detonator still in his hand, and Orson on the ground picking up large white pills that were littered all over the ground.

Lefty and Righty looked at each other and stared at Jake and Orson in equal amounts.  Orson paid no attention to the mobsters and kept picking up his pills in frantic fashion.

Lefty pointed to Orson.  “Did this guy burn Jake?”

Righty pointed to Jake.  “Well he wouldn’t burn himself!  …would he?”

Lefty went over and grabbed Orson by the collar.  “Hey man, who are you, what are you—“

Before Lefty could finish his stereotypically inquisitive line of questioning given the situation, Orson freaked out and began throwing caffeine pills into his mouth and then threw some at Lefty.

“HEY MAN!  CALM DOWN, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!”

A swift kick to the balls from Orson was all that was needed to subdue Lefty and have him release his collar.  Lefty yelled, “MY LEFTY!” and fell to the ground and passing out.

Righty, equipped his trademarked Left-Handed brass knuckle (his brother, Lefty, had a Right-Handed brass knuckle and was right-handed, too, as opposed to Righty who was left-handed) and swung at Orson the Arson.

Orson’s face got smashed and he fell to the ground into a pile of caffeine pills.  Orson’s mouth became a vacuum and he sucked them all up.

Righty was getting ready to beat Orson a little bit more, and maybe marinate him for cooking, when Orson got a caffeine spike.  When Orson gets a caffeine spike, he begins to get crazy.  If you thought he was crazy before, you should see what happens when a crazy person goes crazy in relative terms.

Orson took a match out of his coat and took a swig from a flask full of gas.  He turned around, lit the match, and sprayed the gas onto the match, lighting up Righty.  Righty ran around and then fell to the ground after inhaling flames.  He was soon burned on the floor.  Orson removed another container of gas from his pocket and dumped it on Lefty, who was barely conscious on the floor.

Orson’s maniacally caffeinated smile filled his face as he lit another match.

Out of nowhere, from the distance, the mobster sharpshooter Langdon “The Big Sleeper” Cranson shot the match out of Orson’s hand.  It flew into the air and as Orson turned around, the match landed only a couple inches away from Lefty.

Orson was caught off guard by the gunman.  “The Big Sleeper” got his name not from being able to shoot very well but the fact that he is a fat guy and sleeps a lot.  He was a mobster, after all, not in the military or even a local police force.  He was classified as a sharpshooter because he could actually hit something when he’s shooting, unlike everyone else in the Three Leaf Clover Gang that likes to just spray bullets everywhere.

The Big Sleeper lumbered forward as he tried to make his way up the incline towards Orson and the rest of the burning bodies.  Orson spat out the caffeine pills in his mouth.  As they flooded out of his mouth in an endless stream, Orson began a high-pitched yell as he reached a psychotic high from the caffeine.  The Big Sleeper, tired from having to shuffle at a fast pace for about ten steps, stopped dead in his tracks as he saw the flood of pills coming out of Orson’s mouth.

“Oh, no.  I ain’t paid to deal with junkies no more.  We are in the coffee business, now, not doing this no more.  No more.” The Big Sleeper made a U-Turn and started shuffling away from Orson, occasionally looking back and trying to take a shot at him with his handgun with a scope on it.  However, he completely missed every time because the angle of his large body didn’t allow for him to shoot directly behind him.  Instead of shooting in the direction where Orson was, he shot to the sides, where innocent Persimmon trees became victim to bullets.

Orson jumped into the air, his hands and feet somehow lit on fire and he grabbed a hold to the back of The Big Sleeper.  The Big Sleeper yelled in pain as he fell to the ground and rolled around on the floor.  Orson didn’t hold on for long since the rotund man rolled faster and faster down the five foot incline.  Orson remained on the floor, crawling in a slithering manner towards The Big Sleeper who was laying in the middle of the road with his huge belly up.

“I have a Fascination for Fire…” Orson said as he slithered toward The Big Sleeper.

The Big Sleeper, unable to move, could only watch as the menacing arson made his slow crawl toward him.  His gun lay just out of his reach.

“AND I MUST BURNNNNN YOUUU!!!” Orson screeched as he scrounged on the ground toward The Big Sleeper.

“NOOOOOO”

Gun shots and the sound of flames erupted as the two coffee houses exploded.  The Big Sleeper’s voice echoed into the night, but was soon masked by the explosion and fires.

“YESSSSSS!!!!!” Orson rose up from the ground as the energy from the fires invigorated him.

“It has been 600 years, but I have finally burned enough coffee-related structures to return to my true form!!”  Orson’s skin began to turn to scales and large claws began to form on his hands.  In a blast of stanky air and caffeine pills, Coffee Breath the Dragon has been renewed!

At that instant, 40 more members of the Three Leaf Clover Gang trooped down the street in the middle of the burning commercial complex.  They had heard of the atrocities that happened to their special forces and came to deal with the “issue.”

Johnny “Funny Man” Toofonny unsheathed his sledgehammer from its holster and pointed it to the roaring dragon.

“This dragon killed Jake, Righty, Lefty, and Langdon!  Let’s get him!”

At the same time, all forty of the henchmen began shooting with their submachine guns at the large dragon.  Every bullet bounced off the dragon’s shiny scales as he came close to the group of henchman.  With a swipe, five henchmen flew into the air towards Canoe Coffee.   The large canoe on top of the building had been filled with melted butter, and the flying henchmen knocked it loose, spilling a flood of melted butter into the street where the other henchmen were.

Another swipe from Coffee Breath and this time henchman hit the kayak on top of Kayak Coffee.  The kayak had been filled with green tea, and came pouring down into the street along with the melted butter.

Unknown to anyone in the world before this day, the mixture of melted butter and green tea created a concoction that had more energy in it than rocket fuel, and the gun powder residue from the firing machine guns hit the fumes created by the Melted Butter Green Tea Rocket Fuel, or MBGTRF for short.  Everyone was lit on fire in a magical-looking green fire with yellow streaks.

 

All that was left of the Three Leaf Clover Gang in the area was Johnny Toofonny.  He watched in horror as all of his friends burned in the magical green fire.  Coffee Breath walked up behind him and grabbed Johnny by the head.  He crushed him with his claws, throwing away the remains into the pile of burning corpses that were once his friends.

Coffee Breath began to flap his wings, and as he gained height, the MBGTRF energy began to swirl around him.  It began to swirl fast enough that it turned Coffee Breath into the fastest dragon in the world and he disappeared in a streak of melted butter and green tea.

After the dust had settled, Deleggy the Legs emerged from the rubble.

 

“FREEDOOOOMMMM!!!”

 

The next day, both of the owners of Kayak Coffee and Canoe Coffee were sued for conspiracy of false imprisonment.  It turned out Kayak Coffee and Canoe Coffee were conspiring to create insurance fraud for sabotaging each other’s companys and forcing people to harvest coffee beans in their underground jungle lair.  Even though their buildings were blown up by gangsters and a dragon, their underground jungle lair became the only focus.

 

Moral of the story:  Don’t trust news sources, they leave out the whole story.

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Squacklecast Episode 24 – “Starvenger Warman v R2-D2″

April 18th, 2015 Posted in Media, The Squacklecast No Comments »

This entry is part 24 of 25 in the series The Squacklecast

Hey all!  Welcome to Squackle.com: The Record of Human History.

Today on the Squacklecast we talk about:

Stripper stories and strip clubs.

Some random “funny-concept” games like Goat Simulator and I Am Bread.

We talk about the following trailers:

Ant-Man:

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice:

Avengers:

Star Wars:

We talk about a long list of dealbreakers someone posted on their dating profile.

Some stuff about spiders and bugs, too.

See ya guys next time!

-~-

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Odin Shops Supplies Commercial

April 6th, 2015 Posted in Commercials, Squackle Broadcasting Company No Comments »

(Karen runs around the screen with her arms in the air.  She is clearly freaking out.)

Karen: O-M-G! O-M-G! Like, what am I totally like gonna like do?

Johnathon Huxworthy: Hey Karen!  Why are you flailing your arms around like a valley girl on a power drink?

Karen: Like, oh my gawwwwww–

(Scene cuts from Karen’s face to Johnathon Huxworthy’s and back again)

Karen: awwwwwwd!  I’m an art student, right?

Johnathon Huxworthy: Um, sure?

Karen: And like I totally forget I had a project due in like 10 minutes.

Johnathon Huxworthy: Well, that’s not problem, Karen!  Odin Shpos has lots of supplies so you can practically make it all right now!  Without leaving campus!

Karen: Great!  I’m going to need 5000 staples, 100 paper clips, a bag of rubber bands, and a glue stick.

Johnathon Huxworthy: Uhhh.. what are you making?

Karen: IT’S A SECRET I CAN’T TELL YOU!  REALLY, JOHNATHON!  YOU KNOW THESE THINGS ARE CONFIDENTIAL!  LIKE MY LOVE FOR HUNKY ANNOUNCER-TYPE MEN WITH DEEP VOICES.

Johnathon Huxworthy: That’s… nice.  I’m leaving now!

(end)

-~-

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Odin Shops Hat Commercial

April 6th, 2015 Posted in Commercials, Squackle Broadcasting Company No Comments »

(Julia is hiding under a rock)

Johnathon Huxworthy: Hey Julia, why are you hiding under that rock?

Julia: Shhh!  The sun might hear me!

Johnathon Huxworthy: Which sun?

Julia: The big bright one that shoots those rays of light at my face!  That guy is so mean!

Johnathon Huxworthy: You know, Julia, if you wore a hat from Odin Shops you wouldn’t have to be afraid of the sun and get out from under that rock.

Julia: Wow… I never thought of that.

Johnathon Huxworthy: Obviously…

Julia: You know what else is kinda hot?

Johnathon Huxworthy: I haven’t the slightest —

Julia: You.

Johnathon Huxworthy: Oh… Kay…

Julia: I think there’s space underneath this rock for both of us.

Johnathon Huxworthy: Yeah, you see, I’m not into girls who hide under rocks.  See ya.

Julia: I feel so alone.

Sun: Hey Julia, I can keep you company.

(end)

 

-~-

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Odin Shops Web Site Commercial

April 6th, 2015 Posted in Commercials, Squackle Broadcasting Company No Comments »

(Don is on a computer)

Johnathon Huxworthy:  Hey don, whatcha doin on that there computer?

Don: Playing minesweeper.

Johnathon Huxworthy: You know what you could be doing?

Don: No, what?

Johnathon Huxworthy: Going to Odinshops.com and buying lots of CSU Asgard gear!

Don: Why would I want to do that?

Johnathon Huxworthy: Because its easy and convenient and it has a great selection!

Don: Do you get paid for this?

Johnathon Huxworthy: Not yet.

(Johnathon Huxworthy looks at camera)

Johnathon Huxworthy: Pay me!!!!

-~-

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Hand of Fate (PC) Review

February 17th, 2015 Posted in Game Reviews, Games No Comments »

Developer/Publisher: Defiant Development || Overall: 9.5/10

Hardware Used: Windows 8.1, i7, Nvidia GTX 780, Xbox360 Controller

New trends such as Kickstarter and Steam Early Access have made feasible genres and products that theoretically may not have been available otherwise. With investment on the front-end rather than the back-end, some game developers take this opportunity to fill in very specific niches which may (or may not) further garnish interest and investment. Hand of Fate is a product of this investment trend in the form of a deck-building card game featuring action-based combat.

The set up for the story is you are challenging a talkative mystic to a card game, sitting across from him at a table. You get thrown right into the game, moving your piece across a set path of cards on the table with a boss at the last level. As you make your way through the first couple of bosses, you slowly learn the flow and mechanics of the game and learn more about the Dealer himself and the origin of the card game. With further progression you assemble the pieces of the story that each card tells and how they relate either to your nameless character or the Dealer himself. Hand of Fate begins to feel more like a throwback to an old adventure game with a narrator as you start to settle into the gameplay.

As you progress through the board, you primarily get items, equipment, or encounter scenarios. How well you do dictates what gear you get and how easy the action-oriented encounters can be. While you will primarily be spending your time at the table, you will port into encounters to beat up enemies and, eventually, bosses via action gameplay. The best comparison I can make for these interludes is something like a grounded God of War. That doesn’t mean you can’t feel quite powerful depending on the gear you get, though.

These action encounters are really only one part of the greater picture, but they are very important to successfully complete as competently as possible — namely not losing health. The action gameplay takes a little bit to get used to, but is mostly satisfying. Normal swings with your weapon feel like they “snap” to one enemy and you don’t cleave other enemies who seem like they should get hit as well – this is counteracted by being able to quickly “switch” targets around and stun them with a shield (if equipped) or counter an enemy ability. The combat seems to be mostly based on your ability to counter and dodge attacks and when to use special abilities (if you have any) as there are no combos to perform. The combat doesn’t feel flat, but can feel a bit like spamming one button over and over — this can take the fun out of it if you prefer at least some sort of alternate attacks despite there being special abilities that are on long cooldowns. You can also stun with your shield and it is required to interrupt an enemy’s impending attack in certain cases. Sometimes you sort of fly at enemies that are a couple of steps away due to the way the “snapping” is designed, which can be a bit jarring but ends up helping you more than not.

Encounters include combat, mazes, and shops. The locales in the combat are a bit varied, but you’ll begin to notice you see the same ones pop up over and over which allows you to familiarize yourself with the maps, which inevitably helps you. Traps are also set on the maps which can hurt both you and your enemies, so you may have to strategize exactly where you can run and which direction to dodge to. Mazes use these traps (and other unique ones) to hurt you, the motivation being to get through with minimal injury and to the treasure at the end of the maze. Shops allow you to buy health, buffs (called blessings), food, equipment, and remove debuffs (called curses). Depending on your progression and when you stumble upon a shop, it can be a game changer.

Since the overall goal is to essentially prepare your character for the boss, doing terribly in one of the encounters could swing a good game into a bad one. As with other rogue-likes, death is permanent and you will lose the current progression of your run and have to start over if you end up failing. Any tokens you earn from cards will be yours to keep regardless of the outcome, which unlock more cards to play with.

The Dealer reveals (and you are shown) early on that there are twelve bosses to progress through. For me, it was pretty smooth sailing for the first five bosses, but the sixth boss I felt a very large difficulty jump. Where you notice this difficulty jump could potentially be different for you depending on how many cards (and which cards) you unlock, but you’ll begin to notice that chance takes a very big toll on your progression. Some cards have a 25% chance to succeed, while others require you to have two lucky 25% draws. Most of the chance games require you to choose between four cards, but other chance-oriented games involve actions you take in a given story scenario. Depending on if you memorize what card does what you can mitigate chances towards the desired outcome in a story scenario.

Rogue-like progression takes charge in unlocking more and more cards as you naturally play. As long as you accomplish a particular card’s challenge you’ll attain a token which rewards you more cards. These cards may or may not be able to unlock further cards, which adds to the amount of encounters and equipment you can acquire in the game. There will be cards that you’ll have to encounter multiple times before you get lucky or remember what didn’t work last time before you’re able to acquire the card’s token. This can get subtly frustrating if they are based on chance on top of choosing the correct prompts.

Graphics and sound are also boons to the overall experience. Character designs and animations work well with each other with a cartoony “flavor” to it. The more unique character designs come from the Lizardmen and Mages, while other characters in the game such as Thieves and Skeletons leave a bit to be desired in the style department, but serve their purpose fine in the end. The soundtrack is enjoyable and properly matches what is happening on the screen. The table has ambient music and little sound effects for every time you activate a card. I also experienced no noticeable frame rate drops or graphics issues during gameplay.

Hand of Fate is fun to play, but in the end what is it that actually tries to excite you to come back for more? The challenge is certainly there and despite being a bit frustrating at times, you do get a sense of accomplishment when you finally take a boss down. But what is really fun, unique, and even mysterious about the game itself is one thing: the Dealer.

The gameplay of Hand of Fate seems to become only a tool in learning about the character of the Dealer. It is almost as if it is a character study when he says little tidbits about himself or what the purpose of certain things are, such as the card game itself and who he has played against before. He also voices a very strong opinion about in-universe-specific problems such as fake fortune tellers and other strange outbursts. As you replay the game over and over you’ll notice that you are hearing him say a couple of things repeatedly but for the first four or five hours, almost everything is unique, and he will usually have a little blurb for each new card.

The Dealer’s fluid animation is interesting as he will occasionally play with his bracelet or make amusing gesticulations. What primarily sells the character is the voice acting, which is perfectly executed in the context of this game with the voice actor chosen. You also learn a little more about the Dealer himself from the set design. The slowly panning camera reveals what is on the table, and the halls where the game is taking place are able to be inspected a bit. The progression in the game itself seems to head toward a particular goal, but without taking wild guesses (or cheating and reading spoilers) it isn’t outright predictable.

Game options may feel a bit sparse. You can only choose between Story Mode and Endless Mode. Endless Mode allows you to play with all of the cards you’ve acquired so far, which allows you to grind out locked cards. Endless Mode diverts from Story Mode’s rules in that every level you progress you draw a bad card which can be a Curse or something less impactful like loss of gold or health. The point of this mode would technically be Leaderboards, but I was using it to grind out some cards to unlock since I was having a lot of trouble with the sixth boss (and finally beat it before writing this review).

Also related to game options is a curious lack of character customization for the avatar you use in the encounters. It would be one thing if the avatar you play as were characterized, but since he is seemingly vacuous, it feels like something is missing in that regard. It doesn’t take anything away from the gameplay, really, but if they were at least somewhat randomized each time as far as the face/skin tone went it wouldn’t feel as large of an oversight – I’m just left wondering why the avatar you play as looks like that and what his purpose is. Part of the mystery, to me, is whether or not the Dealer actually sees “you” or the “avatar guy” sitting across the table from him.

Being that Hand of Fate has been available via Early Access, it has seen many changes: balance, UI, and otherwise.  There are also plans for DLC, such as extra cards which would expand the gameplay down the line.  It will be interesting to see just how much gets added by way of DLC and what impact it has on the game as more additions are made.

Hand of Fate is a very enjoyable game and a unique experience. Pushing on and completing the game, as well as unlocking all of the cards, can prove to be a time-intensive and challenging endeavor, but with hardly any harsh criticisms to be had about the game it isn’t a particularly daunting proposition. Hand of Fate is available for PC, PS4-PSN, and XBone-Live — console versions are available for download at 4 PM.

A reviewable copy of Hand of Fate was provided to Squackle.

-~-

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Squacklecast Episode 18 – “Leaked Avengers Comic Con Video”

August 2nd, 2014 Posted in The Squacklecast No Comments »

This entry is part 18 of 25 in the series The Squacklecast

This episode we talk about that LEAKED AVENGERS COMIC CON VIDEO you have heard all about!!!!!

There’s also talk of Guardians of the Galaxy, movies from 1995, and several other fantastic things, like all of the things you see in the following pictures:

guardians-galaxy-650-430 Internet_in_1995_1 Nicole-Kidman-Batman-Forever-promo-shoot-nicole-kidman-and-naomi-watts-aussie-bffs-15062945-618-768

See you next time!!!!

-~-

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Squacklecast Episode 17 – “Sexy Asian Girl Feet”

June 7th, 2014 Posted in The Squacklecast 1 Comment »

This entry is part 17 of 25 in the series The Squacklecast

This episode we talk about sexy Asians and how cute their feet are.  We also talk about all of these hot Asian girls in this post here:

sexyasiangirls

Sexy Asian Girl

Sexy Asian Girl

Sexy Asian Girl Feet

Sexy Asian Girl Feet

 

Sexy Asian Girl 2

Sexy Asian Girl 2

And we talk about X-Men: Days of Future Past.

-~-

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