Friday, October 31, 2008


Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.
2 Nephi 2:27

h/t Exurban League

My new business idea

I have a brilliant idea for a new business opportunity. It's a clothing store for gay people who are still in the closet. It will be called 'In the Closet.' And it will be genius. Because it will just sell normal looking clothing. Gay people who are in the closet still will shop there because they want to fit in and look like how their contemporaries look. But it will sell normal looking clothing, so straight people will shop there as well. I'll get the gay shoppers as well as the straight shoppers, and will double my profits.

If anyone steals this idea I will sue you were you stand.

And we're back!

Midterms are done (except for one next week, but that will be easier...) and today is Halloween-the best holiday of the year, except for Christmas and daylight savings time. That means everyone at my work made a big deal out of it, including myself.

Some ghost Twinkies a team member made:

Some team members. The girl on the left won for best costume ("deadbeat mom"). The woman next to her won for most timely costume ("Sarah Palin") and the two guys on the end won for best duo ("Tinky Winky & Lala"). Last year they won for best duo as Mario and Luigi.

Some dip a team member brought in.

The deadbeat mom costume

Jeff & Scott again

Gravestone cupcakes Jan made for me. I supplied the arms and some rummaging through the team's 'party drawer' turned up a blue gel icing pen thing, with which I used to write the 'RIP'.

The head zombie

Thursday, October 30, 2008


of course, The Last Supper. With each guy/girl (depending on if you've seen the Da Vinci Code or not) drawn individually and then merged into the picture to bring it together. Drawn painstakingly by hand in MS Paint in about 25 minutes or so-the longest I've even taken to draw anything in Paint. Feel free to click on it (or any other picture here) to get the much larger version.

OK one more

Here's one from church, depicting the 'sower,' who sows seeds of goodness instead of seeds of evil. I can't really remember how I used him in the lesson, but enjoy regardless:

Light blogging this week

Sorry for the light blogging this week; I had a huge midterm on Monday and another one tomorrow. After that I promise to do better and to innundate everyone with additional tragic stories from my life that will delight and amuse you.

Until then, here is an unreleased paint picture, from a time I gave my wife a bag of gummy bears.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Halloween pieces

Halloween game pieces for our Sunday School class today (13-14 year-olds). The game: look up Halloween-themed terms in the scriptures (tomb, skull, moon, etc). It's a bit of a stretch but with this age group if you can break through the constant chattering to wedge even a sliver of spirituality into their heads for a week, you've succeeded.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Insecurity Doctrine

I'd never thought about it quite like this:

So if the Democrats win it all this year, they will try to resuscitate the corpse that is the Fairness Doctrine. The Fairness Doctrine illustrates a key truth about liberal thinking: no one actually likes it. The fact that you`d need government regulation to force radio stations to broadcast this crap is proof that society has no need for it. Without forced indoctrination of liberal thought – there would be no liberal thought. If you want an example of how successful liberal talk radio is on its own, consider Air America.

Even more, the Fairness Doctrine reveals a scurvy of insecurity that riddles the left. They are so unsure of their own beliefs, that it`s not enough for them to control nearly every media entity on the planet (including movies, television, magazine publishing, off-Broadway one woman shows). They feel they must regulate talk radio, as a means to destroy talk radio – only because it`s not like them.

This part I knew:

If the Fairness Doctrine comes to pass, most likely talk radio would cut back on their successful shows, because they`d lose money supporting liberal shows they`d be forced to run. And that`s the left`s real strategy all along: it`s not about giving Paul Begala another outlet to babble. It`s about eliminating dissent from the people they hate.

A word from the author

For those of you who are less familiar with me, the childhood horror stories are a Hoopes tradition dating back to 2002's Christmas Eve. My siblings and I would stay in the same room for Christmas Eve and tell funny stories. In 2002 I started telling stories about embarassing or sad things from my childhood, all of which involved some kind of unfair twist or misunderstanding that would result in my humiliation/shame/crying (pick one). My brothers and sister thought the stories were hilarious and for several more years I would keep everyone entertained with additional episodes. One of my brothers told me I should write a book about my childhood memories, and I said "and call it what? "My Terrible Life"?" I don't think anyone would buy anything like that, but now on this blog everyone can enjoy my sorrow for free.

That is all.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Christian who?

A blog my aunt just posted about making a school poster for an environmental contest reminded me of my own poster story-my first brush with politics.

I was in 4th grade and the class was holding elections. I was the least popular kid in school because I borrowed my personality from whomever I was sitting by at the time and I had a stupid haircut and wasn't good at sports and wasn't particularly funny and didn't have any money and so on. So naturally I would be a shoo-in for class president.

I'm not sure what inspired me to run for class president. It might have been my mom, who probably encouraged me by leading me to believe I had a really good shot at it. Maybe all the popular kids would get deadlocked with ballot box stuffing and the principal would declare me the winner. I'm not sure.

But I did know you couldn't run for office without having a candidate poster. Everyone was making candidate posters that were flashy or had glitter on them or neon (it was like 1986 or so). I weighed the options and decided to go patriotic. I said I wanted a picture of Uncle Sam (I didn't know him by name at the time) pointing at people and telling them to vote for me.

Since I didn't have any art skills at the time either (and arguably still don't), Mom got a lady from the ward to sketch out Uncle Sam for us on a big piece of white posterboard. It came back incredibly detailed-this fine art pencil sketch that was hyper-realistic. We added the 'I want YOU to vote for Christian' text and submitted it to the school.

My poster was one of about 50, and one of the kids got Kinkos to run him off about 20 professional quality posters with his picture on them. The candidates also gave out candy, but I didn't have any so I gave a kid one of my pencils, telling him that was all I could spare. I didn't receive a single vote-not even my own, having been told by my mom that it's not classy to vote for yourself. But I learned a valuable lesson that day. To not run for office without some kind of professional sponsorship.

He's gonna scuttle the ship!

OK, time for a diversion from politics. One of my favorite movies, The Hunt for Red October, is out now on Blu-Ray and I might pick it up with my trusty Best Buy rewards certificate. It's an excellent film in which you don't hate Alec Baldwin and in which Scotsman Sean Connery plays a Russian submarine captain. You can tell he's Russian because he speaks 2-3 sentences in the movie in Russian and he wears a fuzzy hat sometimes and has a beard and access to vodka.


The best part in the movie is when Ramius (Connery) announces his intention to submerge Red October (the submarine) and 'scuttle the ship.' This causes all manner of reaction from his crew (some anonymous bearded guys and Tim Curry), who react with marvel upon the announcement of his intended scuttling. The great thing is that the movie never once explains to the audience what that means. It assumes everyone watching the movie is a full-time naval officer or submarine engineer.

Even to this day I have no idea what it means to scuttle something, and I don't want to look it up so I don't ruin it. Personally I'm just fine believing that scuttling has something to do with giving the submarine a bubble bath.

Regarding today's quote o' the day

The Gwen Ifil quote-not the phone conversation quote. Upon a little bit of relfection I think that quote needs to be fleshed out a little bit, because on the surface it would seem to be saying that just the answers are important no matter what. But there's a difference between a guy on the street who was at his own home, minding his own business, and a moderator of a political debate. One is supposed to be objective. The other is not. That Joe the Plumber is being so harshly shredded by the media is all the more galling-he never signed up to be objective. He's a voter and he had a question.

This isn't to say that complete objectivity should be the gold standard in a debate. On the contrary-I think the Republican should be only asked questions by a Democrat and the Democrat should only be asked questions by a Republican. And then maybe during the last 10-15 minues or so the candidates should be allowed to put forth their own statements to clarify whatever they'd like. But Republicans should not have to be the only ones who ever get asked any real questions. That in a debate Obama was never asked by a moderator about Bill Ayers or Annenburg or Jeremiah Wright or the $800K he gave ACORN or his foreign campaign donations or that he was the #2 recipient of FNMA/FHLMC money in the senate or his 129 'present' votes in the Illinois state senate or his vote against the born alive bill is just plain cowardly.

Zombie workplace install

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Quote o' the day

"It’s funny. When PBS’s Gwen Ifill had a straightforward conflict of interest — her forthcoming book hinges on an Obama presidency — that should have prevented her from moderating the VP debate, she and her fellow journalists tittered at the critics. All that matters, Ifill and company insisted, are the answers, not the questioner.

That’s apparently the standard for people like Gwen the Journalist. But if Joe the Plumber gets revealing but embarrassing answers out of the media’s preferred candidate, suddenly the questioner matters more than the answer. And he must be punished."

-Jonah Goldberg

Guilty, with an explanation

Tonight I loaded up my car with all 5 of my zombies so I could bring them to work tomorrow to decorate my office for Halloween. I took all of them out and stuffed them in the back of the Jeep, but first I had to remove 3 22's I'd borrowed from my brother. I left all the zombies in the back of the Jeep and then walked over to pick up one of the guns when I looked over and noticed a neighbor who had been out walking their dog. They had stopped in their tracks and were looking right at me. Which really makes no sense, considering they'd just watched me haul 5 human-looking bodies out of my house, put them in the back of my car, and then move 3 guns back into the house. Can't people just mind their own business?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Zombie logo

Zombie pie chart

Zombie EOM

Close your eyes

Close your eyes and imagine two groups of people. Group A supports a law that has redefined a long-standing societal institution. Group B opposes that law and funds advertising to get the law overturned in an upcoming election. Group A gets a list of people who have funded that advertising and solicits the following of readers of a widely popular blog:

Find us some ammo.
Use any LEGAL tool at your disposal. Use OpenSecrets to see if these donors have contributed to...shall we say...less than honorable causes, or if any one of these big donors has done something otherwise egregious. If so, we have a legitimate case to make the Yes on 8 campaign return their contributions, or face a bunch of negative publicity.Here's the bottom line for me: if someone is willing to contribute thousands of dollars to a campaign to take away legal rights from some very dear friends of mine, they had damn well make sure their lives are beyond scrutiny--because I, for one, won't take it lying down.

Are your eyes still closed? Good. OK, now tell me which of these groups is the more tolerant one.

It's kind of a long story


Monday, October 20, 2008

Beat the Beat the Devil DVD

My latest Netflick was "Beat the Devil," a movie that promised to be a brilliant send up of 'spy' movies starring Humphrey Bogart, Gina Lollabridgida, and Peter Lorre, directed by John Ford. It was supposed to be very funny and biting and stuff.

Only when I started watching it, I realized I'd already watched it, several years before. And it wasn't brilliant or hilarious. It wasn't bad, by any means, but it's a goofy little story about a bunch of guys trying to import uranium, and the women in it are kind of goofy and the acting's uneven. Bogart's great, as always, but everyone else is trying to act silly and it doesn't match up very well.

I guess what I'm saying is that they should have burned all copies of the movie after I'd had a chance to watch it, which was apparently a few years ago.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tomb, cost

Oh yeah, also, what should I dress up as for Halloween? It's a little harder to find a good costume when you know you're going to have to sit at a desk and wear it for 9-10 hours. I thought about using our TV cardboard box and making a tombstone, but whose name would I put on it? Not mine-that would be too weird. And also there's the whole having to sit in a box for 9-10 hours. Maybe I should cut air holes.

Zombie, not Rob

So I've started something at work that's gotten away from me. I told the department we'd have a contest this month to have the scariest Halloween-themed cubicles. Then I went around bragging that mine would be better than anyone else's. And then I thought that I would stuff a bunch of clothes and make a bunch of zombies and put them in my office and have them be attending a zombie board meeting. And then everyone went out spending all this money and decorating their cubicles really elaborately and cool, but they're still waiting to see what I have planned.

And I just now realize I have no idea, really, how to make a zombie by stuffing clothes. What should its face look like? Hair? Eyes? Demeanor? I'm really not sure. Is there a picture book out there somewhere?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Monday, October 13, 2008

I believe I can fly

Inspired by a recurring dream my Dad related about how he discovered he could hover about 2 feet off the ground by flapping his arms down by his sides really fast.

Is it a bad sign

that our kid is always depicted floating around on his head? He looks kind of...well, I won't say it.

Indie song of the week

This one's from a guy named Richard Hawley, and is the only song I know of his. Some people only write one good song ever, and maybe Richard has more in him somewhere, but I am a bit tired of slogging through stupid bands who only have one good song to try to find others. Only consistently good bands from now on...

Richard Hawley - "Baby You're My Light" (free d/l takes 42 seconds to load)


By popular request:

Sunday, October 12, 2008

OK I can admit it.

The skeleton looks stupid.

Dinner, Mr. Wayne?

I just watched my first John Wayne movie. He's really good-very understated, not at all like the over the top impressions. Kind of like Jimmy Stewart that way. "Rio Bravo" was the movie-I must be conditioned to gritty/realistic modern movies, because the entire time I was pretty sure that everyone was going to get killed or horribly tortured. Instead, John Wayne and Dean Martin had the one-up on the bad guys the entire movie, and it had a happy ending and several actually pretty good 50's songs, courtesy of Dean Martin who played a cowboy who inexplicably had a New York accent and could sing like a 50's blues crooner. It's kind of funny that in the 50s you could just cast whoever was famous in music right then and they could actually act without looking like an idiot. Movies were probably better when they didn't take themselves quite so serious.

Really, what male vocalist today could you cast in a movie and have him act naturally? Rob Thomas?

Baby Names Pt 1

Vote for your favorite baby names below:

1. Gauis Baltar
2. Caprica 6
3. Guiseppe
4. Matigliano
5. The Duke
6. Supra
7. Bartelby
8. Scrivner
9. Admiral Adama
10. Brian

Indie-anna Jones

I was almost interested in seeing "Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist" until I saw the soundtrack listing. It's obscure, even for me-I only knew 4 of the bands and 1 of the songs. I'm just undecided if the rise in use of indie music in films has been a good or a bad thing. On one hand it's fun to discover an obscure new song-on the other, if they use one you already know, you feel decidedly less cool and unique for liking it.

It's the "Depeche Mode" factor, wherein we used to resent other people who liked Depeche Mode because other people were stupid. Now I realize other people, though they might be stupid, include me-I'm one of those other stupid people to someone else. So far as I can tell, the only solution is to dissolve society and stop talking to each other and having the internet and meeting in one place at a time for concerts. But this makes it a lot harder to purchase tacos at Barbacoa, so I'll probably scrap that idea.