Sunday, November 22, 2009

re-introduction to the cooper five: i'm on that book face thing, so it's time for a makeover

people have been telling me for decades to get into this social networking stuff. no thanks, i thought... just like i thought i could get through life without ever learning how to use a computer. eventually i gave in to the internet, then microwaves, then email, and then i started this blog... but myspace, facebook, linkedin, etc. were where i drew the line. so much for that.

a couple of weeks ago i attended this local networking event that was all about online social networking. they showed this youtube clip there.

actually, they showed one that was slightly different, but i like the fatboy slim track played against this one... so, there you go. between this clip and the social networking expert's lecture, i learned that if i didn't get on facebook and its ilk soon, i would probably shrivel into obsolescence and slowly expire in a shallow unmarked grave. it was like an elephant stepped on my chest at the beginning of the presentation and slowly applied pressure throughout the remainder of it to the point where i went directly home that evening and opened up a facebook account. now the rest of the world can read more and see more of me and my family. how noble of me.

for those who are first timers, here are some helpful hints and ground rules for successfully navigating your way through the cooper five:

1. i have some faithful readers who i refer to as my zombies. get to know them. get inside their heads. emulate their lives as they will likely rule the world someday. actually, i'll rule the world through them and the blog, but i don't want you guys in my head and they're the next best thing... plus, i'm sure they probably don't mind.

2. i post about 6 times a month and at any given moment, so... be ready. i've been told it's almost as good as Christmas, waking each day and running to the computer all giddy with anticipation, ready to read my next pithy diatribe. if you read, they will come. if you comment, i will respond. it's really that simple.

3. you might not get the cooper five. i have a very random and dry sense of humor. virtually everything i post is drenched in sarcastic wit. i occasionally drop in a political statement or two (lately more often than not) and, as such, it won't take long for you to determine my political leanings. in general, however, i try to keep the climate apolitical; but, if nobel prizes continue to be given away like toys in a cracker jack's box, i make no promises. read at your own risk, but know that i take plenty of shots at myself, as well.

4. this blog is somewhat self-promoting as it's all about my family and me. let's be honest, though, isn't that the underlying purpose of a blog... at least in the mormon community? how else is everyone going to hear about all the vacations we go on, see how many friends we have, how active our social life is or how chic our clothes are? now i can shamelessly and "obliviously" promote the cooper five to an even wider audience.

5. my family and i are members of the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints... aka, mormons. as such, a cooper five reader will occasionally come across some mormon jargon he/she doesn't quite understand. never fear, my non-mormon flock, you don't have to be mormon to get the cooper five (just ask alex). however, if you do find yourself strolling down the hall at work and overhear some of your mormon colleagues discussing the most recent cooper five post at the water cooler and all you catch is "fhe" this and "hometeaching" that, it's always safe to assume they are referring to polygamy or riding around on bikes in twos. just approach these mormons and say you were at the stake center last night for a mutual activity with brother (insert last name... you can't go wrong with leavitt or walker) when you slipped on some funeral potatoes left over from that evening's homemaking activity that the eq president was asked to clean up but couldn't find anyone who believed with every fiber of his being that such a cleaning was necessary and so he did not put his shoulder to the wheel and go the extra mile by cleaning it himself. fetch. amen. that will earn you at least two plates of cookies and brownies from your mormon friends.

6. i type in lower case, i can be longwinded, and i digress into tangential rubbish often. deal with it.

7. i don't have a 7th point, i just find odd numbers to be more aesthetically pleasing... that may be why we never become the cooper six because it's unlikely we ever go for the cooper seven.

some of my faithful may notice a makeover on the blog. i'd like to hear your thoughts on the new layout. i'm not convinced just yet.

you'll also notice some new pics. these pics are a story in and of themselves. first, my compliments to the photographer: marissa moss of marissa d photography... she has a great eye and lots of patience. check out her site at (what a nice jingle).

second, let me just say that it's never a good thing when you get to lake las vegas (approximately 40 minutes from our house) only to realize that one of your sons is missing his sports coat... it especially doesn't help when you find out that sports coatless son stuffed said coat into the dirty clothes hamper before he left the house for no apparent reason. thank goodness special k (grandma cooper) was willing to waste a lot of time and gas bringing it out to us. to say the least, we were a little frustrated, but, luckily, marissa d was able to diffuse the situation and snap some great shots. thank you, marissa and thank you, grandma!

in closing, i just want to assure all of my zombies that even though i am now on face book, i'm going to keep it real. i'll remember my pepes, my roots, and those who got in on the ground level. peace out. never fear.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

comic book festivals and a close call for the blogmaster

as usual, this past weekend was a busy one. friday night consisted of me watching the g.i. joe movie with the boys. having grown up fully planning on being a joe myself someday, i was disappointed in the movie. but that's water under the bridge. saturday was where all the action was at as the boys and i headed down to the clark county library for a comic book festival which was part of literary week here in nevada. it was free and full of comic books and geeks... what more could a bunch of wannabe superheroes ask for? i can't imagine why mrs. blogmaster didn't want to join us.

we get there and of course the boys want to buy and touch everything. i get a little worried that some vendor might pull a vulcan grip on me if the kids get a smudge on one of the graphic novels. all in all, we had a good time. the boys got some comic books and we met one of the artists for some of the batman comics who drew pictures of superheroes for the boys and took some pics with us. i was so impressed by how friendly he was that i bought some of the comics he drew but won't let the boys touch them now.

i don't know what it is about comics, but i could waste a lot of time reading them if i weren't such a disciplined man. instead i waste a lot of time typing up blog posts... but that's for posterity's sake (and for my zombies, of course). i'm pleasantly pleased that my boys are comic book fans and, as such, i treated saturday's activities as a perfect opportunity to bond as men and boys or at least boys and one man who sometime acts like a boy.

given the special nature of our outing i took a stroll down memory lane with my sons and we drove down flamingo crossing rainbow where i pointed to the 7-11 on the corner there. i explained with nostalgia that that was the spot to where i used to ride my bike and purchase my comic books as a kid. it reminded me of the time that i rode my bike to a baseball card shop not far from the 7-11 and almost lost my life on the way home.

i remember that night fairly well as it was my 14th birthday and it was a saturday night... meaning it was the first time in my life that i could attend a church dance (in those days you had to be 14 years old to go to a church dance and here in vegas the dances were actually pretty happening events so it was something i was looking forward to). in fact, the 20th anniversary of that night is less than a month away. it was december in vegas, so of course it was dark outside early in the day and as i made my way home in the thick of the night i came to the spot on rainbow blvd where i had to cross the street without a light.

the cars went whizzing by as i waited for a break in the steady procession and finally i saw a gap and made my way out to the middle median to wait for the other half of the road to clear up. i did walk my bike like good law abiding citizens are supposed to do; however, i walked it by straddling it and scooting along rather than actually getting off the bike and walking on the side of it which may or may not have contributed to the following event. you decide.

there is was, waiting at the median waiting impatiently and wanting to get home and open up the packs of baseball cards that i'd bought. no breaks in traffic were coming so i thought that maybe if i started to make my way out onto the road, the cars would slowdown and let me pass like they sometimes did during the day. of course, that was always during the day in broad daylight when pedestrians are easier to see, but that interjection of thought and reason didn't stop me from trying to force my way across at night. thus, i engaged in the aggressive course of action i'd decided upon and really only had to worry about a red truck that was steaming along in the middle lane of the three lane half of southbound rainbow.

i could tell the truck wasn't slowing down so i figured i might be able to outride him across the crosswalk if i just stood up on my pedals and pedalled for my life. i was sure if i demonstrated my intent to cross, in spite of the truck's failure to heed to a pedestrian, that the driver would in fact be forced to slow down and let me pass as i assumed he didn't want to have a vehicular homicide on his record. you know what they say about assumptions. apparently, the driver wasn't any more concerned about following the law than he was about my life because said driver didn't slow down, in fact he may have enven sped up in an attempt to out-chicken me.

at that point, i had a choice to make: start pedaling really, really, really fast, pull back or die an ignominious death and miss the saturday dance. i chose the second option since i valued life and the opportunity to shake it up at the dance that night and immediately commenced back pedaling as the truck continued to approach at a speed that made me uncomfortable.

the truck was coming so fast, i wondered if i was going to make it if the truck didn't slow down... and as it turns out, i didn't make it and ended up making it 14 years even on that day. as a result, i have obviously fooled you all with my existential existence; but, hey, so did bruce willis in the sixth sense. that's right, you see dead people... actually, you read the blog of a dead person... actually, you are the dead ones since that's what zombies are. actually, that's enough of that charade.

as i was saying, the truck didn't slow down, but, luckily, i did make it back in time to spare my young and impressionable life. i also made it to my first church dance that night, but by the skin of my knuckles and a broken toe. unfortunately, my bike didn't make it... actually, it was really just the front tire of my bike that didn't make it. it was bent pretty badly just in front of the front set of forks. but that's just my bike (actually, i think it was my brother's bike: sorry, jeff)... more importantly, i nearly lost my precious fingers as a result of this whole ordeal... that's right, the very tools i use to make my living as a semi-professional blogger. what a tragedy that would have been for the world.

but back to the crash, i still remember vividly the truck slamming on its brakes and coming to a screeching stop after the driver finally decided he better stop the vehicle afer he'd hit a pedestrian on his bike. more chilling is the fact that i remember the feeling of the truck literally grazing along my knuckles which were clenched tightly to the bike's handle bars and the popping feeling i experienced in my big left toe upon contact from the truck. that's how close it was. luckily i had the wherewithal to not try and outrun the truck or else you probably wouldn't be reading this post right now. and luckily the shock and adrenaline from the whole incident dampened what must have been excruciating pain, but i most likely wouldn't have noticed that anyway.

the driver and his girlfriend/wife/sister (not sure which one) were nice and apologetic enough given that they had just about ended my life and, as such, they gave me a ride home since the bike was rendered inoperable. by the time i got home i was fine and after they talked to my dad for a minute, we all parted ways on good terms but only because the heavy hitter wouldn't come around for another 15 years. i was over it before i finished flipping through my first pack of cards and the next thing i knew i was throwing on a white t-shirt and some black pants and then headed over to the old south stake center for my first church dance ever.

it was beautiful. actually, i don't remember much about it other than a few slow dances i must have been a part of and using lots of hairspray to try and get my hair to look like johnny depp's back in the days of 21 jump street. not a pretty image. these images are much prettier. enjoy.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

i am hereby appointing some cooperfive czars

czars seem to be all the rage these days seeing as how they can be appointed indiscriminately regardless of how crazy they are... in fact, it seems the kookier you are the better your chances of working in the powerful governmental office. thus, take note, if you are building your czar resume, consider doing the following: make crazy statements, support terrorists, denounce the country, or name even crazier individuals as your heros.

needless to say, i've recently become somewhat disenfranchised with the state of the czar position. far too much disrespect has been exhibited towards today's czars. all this negative press and political commentary spreading, dare i say, embarrassing or radical information about current czars? come on... real czars would have never stood for such insubordination from the common folk. heads would have rolled in imperial russia, literally.

those were the glory days of the great and powerful czars and that's what we need from our czars today. thus, being the humble civl servant i am... ever conscious and concerned about the state of our union and the respect afforded to our elected and appointed officials... i have taken it upon myself to restore some dignity to the office of the all powerful czar. as such, i have created several czar positions and made appointments from my pool of well qualified zombies to fill said positions.

but before we get into the appointments, a quick note to the zombies:

today i was told by a friend who moseyed upon the blog that i have an acerbic wit. acerbic is defined as sharp or biting, as in character or expression. wit is defined as the keen perception and cleverly apt expression of those connections between ideas that awaken amusement and pleasure. i don't know if the comment was meant as a compliment, but i certainly took it as one. my point is that i'm mostly joking about the following. just remember, we're all laughing with you and not at you unless you consider laughing behind your back over something i said about you to be laughing at you. semantics.

blog comment moderator czar

i hereby appoint: emcghee. emcghee deserves this appointment based on her signature pic next to her name where she is kicking back an unidentified bottle of something. don't ask, don't tell... and, as a czar, if anyone does ask, you will have the authority to nip such inquiries in the bud (if you now what i mean). so, consistent with current czars, the picture which likely precludes you from ever running for public office, unquestionably qualifies you to serve as my blog comment moderator czar.

your role as comment moderator czar requires that you continue to comment on essentially every post and that you threaten, extort, bribe, torture (which torture shall include, but not be limited to, forcing zombies to watch the view in surround sound) any and all individuals who should be posting comments on the blog. furthermore, you are to ensure that the tone of all comments are complimentary and flattering of the respective post's author.

blog wardrobe stylist consultant czar and post drafter

i hereby appoint: megan. megan gets this appointment because she once dressed up like a head of lettuce that looked suspiciously similar to a marijuana crop for a roadshow while in high school. megan's not the only zombie who dressed up all crazy for the roadshow, but she had a speaking part, so she gets the nod. i'm sure megan never knew her costume resembled pot and i'm certain she always passes on grass, but the line between fact and fiction can get so blurry in the media. as such, we'll need some more craziness: i will start a rumor that her portrayal of letty lettuce makes it clear she is in favor of people dressing up like vegetables to remind the rest of the world that cooking and eating vegetables is cruel and insensitive as vegetables are living things, too. would you eat those sautéed carrots if you'd heard them scream while being cooked alive in that torture device you call a steamer? clearly, that's what megan stands for.

your role as blog wardrobe stylist consultant and post drafter is to not only make sure that the cooperfive looks good in all of its pictures on the blog but to ensure that everyone else looks bad in all their pictures on every blog on the entire internet. also, it is your job is to take my posts and draft them into a teleprompter which you will carry around with me so that i can read my posts to the common folk of las vegas nevada upon request... if i feel like it.

picture moderator czar

i hereby appoint: kelly. kelly gets this spot because i once saw her driving her minivan with her husband in the passenger's seat. clearly, kelly is a strong-willed woman who supports something as radical as wives driving instead of their husbands. that's pretty extreme... even for my standards.

your role as picture moderator czar is to curb my sudden enthusiasm for posting halloween pics of the cooperfive. i can't help myself. i've even included some more pics in this post. please help me stop, but if anyone complains about the excessive pics, i need you to take them out for me.

european liaison czar

i hereby appoint: alex. alex deserves this appointment because of, arguably, the most controversial qualification of all: he's french. need i say more?

alex, your job is to ensure that i win a nobel prize without actually having to do anything (you're just not going to let that go are you, blogmaster?). i am also interested in making a pitch to the olympic committee for bringing the olympics to las vegas, so i'll need you to shepherd that whole campaign along for me. lastly, look into getting me my own line of french pajamas, please.

i'd love to go on and appoint all of the zombies to a czar position, but i just don't have the time. but, never fear, i intend to appoint a czar to appoint czars for me. in the meantime enjoy the pics that czar kelly can't prevent because she is not aware of her appointment just yet.

after being inspired by the face painting guy i mentioned in a previous post, i decided to take face painting into my own hands and this is what happened. all cooperfive czars can and should get free face painting from me.

i'm actually kind of proud of this one considering the rudimentary tools i was using.

this is colston with his new belt buckle. aim got these jeans for him recently and he looked so good, aim had to get a shot. he respects the buckle. i need a nice big belt buckle. i feel like less of a man without one. note to blogmaster: appoint belt buckle czar.

these are some witch hats aim made. she got the idea from my sisters. they're pretty cool, so i think i am going to have her make similar hats for all of the cooperfive czars to wear with pride. they'll be the hottest thing since male belly shirts.

iinitiate the blog

iinitiate the blog