Cartoon Challenge - Results Show Part II

Monday, October 30, 2006

Okay, I can tell that I've hurt some feelings by not granting awards to everybody who commented on the cartoon challenge. It took about 29 hours and three nights of staying up until 3:35 a.m. to come up with those first three awards, but I've got to give my peeps what they want. So without further ado, here are the rest of the awards:

The "Cockroaches Can Live For A Week Without Thier Heads?" Award: Sandy. Every time I watch a PBS documentary on insects there is always a moment where the narrator says something wild like, "....and because of this survival mechanism, cockroaches can live for an entire week after losing their heads." and I think, "What!?" (the cockroach factiod is true, by the way. Here are a couple of websites that back it up Essortment.com and The Science Spot). I had one of those moments when Sandy informed me that there was a Saved By the Bell cartoon. Wait, what? There are animated versions of Zach, Screech, Mr. Belding, Kelly.....Sandy, I hope you're not too squeamish because you're the proud winner of a roach. If you need to get rid of him, do something other than decapitation.

The "Daniel Cabrera Oh-So-Close!" Award: Andrea. On September 28, 2006 Daniel Cabrera of the Baltimore Orioles took a no-hitter against the Yankees into the 9th inning before giving up a hit with just two batters left. After 25 stratight outs, he couldn't get the last two. Andrea came out of the gates very strong with the Smurfs and then scored major points with Space Ghost. I loved Space Ghost as a kid. You had the no-hitter going until you busted out The Snorks. Sorry, babe, but I've never heard of them and the intro on YouTube is...ummmm...weird to say the least.


The "Understanding the Origin of Hippies" Award: Barbara (Mom). We can all better understand Flower Power, Woodstock, Pet Rocks and how the entire decade of the 1960's came about by mom's choice of cartoons. What lesson does Yogi Bear teach? Nothing less than the virtues of being a lazy moocher who bums snacks off of other people. Heckle and Jeckyl? It's okay to sit around with friends doing nothing all day but being cynical and inhaling addiction forming substances. Fractured Fairy Tales? Cartoons (and therefore, life) do not need to have any common thread. Cartoons (and therefore, people) can peacefully exist on their own as free spirits who are independent and self-actualized, while still being part of a greater community. Kids watching this on a daily basis in the 1950's had no choice but to end up ushering in the 1960's. Thanks, mom, for clarifying this for me. How in the world did you ever end up as a Relief Society President after that upbringing?

The "Tom Cruise Jumping On Oprah's Couch" Award: Angie. When Tom Cruise jumped on Oprah's couch and proclaimed his love for Kat, the entire world did a double take at the TV and thought, "I am emabrrassed for Tom right now. He's really going to regret having done that once he sobers up". Every actor in the trifecta that Angie nominated - HR PufnStuff, Land of the Lost, and Kids Are People Too - must be thinking the same about their roles on these way, way, way out there shows. These parts probably don't show up too high on their resumes. The actors have got to be thinking, "I'm not proud of what I did in this show, but hey, I've got three kids and rent is due next week....."I've put an HR PufnStuff clip below just so everybody can appreciate the beauty of this little known television gem. It's also a Halloween themed clip, so enjoy your awards and Happy Halloween!

Cartoon Challenge - Results Show

Friday, October 27, 2006

Welcome to the Cartoon Challenge Results Show. That's right, results show. At Normal Mormon Husbands we don't just blurt out the winner, we build up to it a-la American Idol. Only on this blog you don't have to listen to Ryan Seachrest, which is definitely a positive. Excellent responses on the cartoon question. You should each be proud. Since there were so many good comments I have decided to grant winners of several different categories before revealing the grand prize winner.

Winner of the "LOST Episode Ending" Award: Greg and Nicolle Sherwood. I'm a faithful LOST watcher. When each episode ends I always think to myself, "Nooo! You can't end now! It's just getting good! Will we ever see Walt again? Is Sun carrying Jin's baby? Why did the whole island light up with the numbers reached zero? Please, just five more minutes, please!" This is what happened to Greg and Nicolle's post. They gave two excellent recommendations (Ducktales and Ghost Busters), but didn't include a third. I finished reading their post asking myself, "Is the third cartoon Scooby Doo? Underdog? Gem (she's truly outrageous)?" Unfortunately I'll never know.

Winner of the "No, But I Stayed In a Holiday Inn Express Last Night" Award: Dave. This award is a tribute to the commercials where a person speaks like a very authoritative doctor, for example, only to later confess that he's not really a doctor, but was smart enough to stay at a Holiday Inn Express. Unfortunately for good ol' Dave, he laid down the gauntlet when he said, "I consider myself a cartoon expert...." I was intrigued, nay, excited to see what my ultra-intelligent brother-in-law would come up with after that bold introduction. But when I saw the list included Bobby's World (which I've never seen) and Animaniacs (which was one of the first cartoons I ever labeled as "annoying" as a kid), Dave secured this lovely runner-up prize.

Grand Prize Winner: Amy. That's right, my little sister who thought she was a cat until she was nine years old pulled it out in the clutch. The Simpsons (which I'll address below), Alvin and the Chipmunks, and then she busted out Teen-Age Mutant Ninja Turtles. When I saw TMNT I thought, "I should have had that on my list". Way to go A-mix, you won yourself this beautiful picture of an Ab-Flex to tone your muscles as you watch endless hours of reruns on the Cartoon Network.

Strike Up The Simpsons Controversy:
The Simpsons was mentioned a couple of times among the best cartoons of all-time. I was really hoping for more Saturday morning-type cartoons instead of primetime shows like The Simpsons. But since they were brought up, here is my take on Homer, Marge, Moe, Apu, and the rest.

I still remember the first episode of The Simpsons that I saw as a junior high school student in 1989. I thought it was the funniest show I had ever seen, and it was until the late nineties. Some of the best fringe characters in the history of TV are on the show - Disco Stu, Snake, Comic Book Guy, Duff-Man.....I could quote line after line from the first few seasons, but in the late nineties The Simpsons completely jumped the shark. I stopped watching it five or six years ago.

Where the "old" Simpsons humor used to be slightly irreverent at times, the "new" episodes blatantly cross the line. The newer stuff tries to be too socially edgy as it repeatedly addresses politics, religion, and gender issues and portrays them in a light that I just don't agree with. The writers of the show made a conscious decision several years ago to take the show from the classic, dumb, well-written humor (Mr. Plow, Bart of Darkness, Homie the Clown, Talkin' Baseball) to controversial social issues that they try to wrap in a blanket of funniness, but it hasn't worked for years. If you look at the link below, viewers have rated all 350+ Simpsons episodes and 49 of the top 50 rated shows took place in Season 8 (1997) or earlier. The Simpsons are currently in Season 18, so only one episode in the last 10 years even cracks the top 50:

Top-50 Rated Simpsons Episodes

Over the past six years I've tried on two occasions to give the Simpsons another chance. They seriously let me down both times. One episode was flat out blasphemous while the other one featured Patti (or was it Selma?) coming out of the closet. I didn't finish watching either episode. Too bad they messed up perhaps the funniest show of all time.

Ran-Dumb Award: Best Cartoon Ever

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Now that we have wresteled with important issues such as global warming, liberal Hollywood, and the reasons that T-Rexes have such tiny arms, let's lighten it up a little by granting the Ran-Dumb award for the best cartoon ever. (You have to read that with the Comic Book Guy's voice in your head, "Best. Cartoon. Ever.") This week I will also be holding a contest to see who can comment with the three best cartoons that were left off my list below, so please comment. Who knows, you might be this weeks big winner.

I was born in 1974, so my frame of reference centers heavily upon the early-to-mid 1980's. By the time I was ordained a Deacon I had moved on to more mature things than childish cartoons, you know, like burning things with magnifying glasses and making boobie traps in the backyard. So without further ado, the best cartoons ever (you can click the hyperlinked cartoon names to see a quick Youtube clip):

5.Voltron
The creators of Voltron were geniuses. They had five characters that each rode in these robotic, powerful panther-like vehicles that were awesome by themselves. But they didn't stop there, the five individuals could come together to form a giant, unstoppable mega-robot that wielded a 30-foot electric sword! I still remember being a kid and only having three of the five toy panther vehicles and never being able to fully assemble the megabot. One of the only regrets of my otherwise blissful childhood. Nonetheless, a great cartoon.

4. GI Joe
In the intro we learn that GI Joe's purpose is to, "Defend human freedom against Cobra, a ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world." Not only was GI Joe a very cool cartoon, but it prepared us for life in two ways:

1) It coined the phrase, "Now you know, and knowing is half the battle" where at the end of each episode a public service announcement was given by a soldier with a grenade in one hand and an AK-47 in the other. My personal favorite is from Flint who wisely instructed kids who were yelling at their goalie for allowing the game-losing goal by saying, "Will yelling at Billy help?... Look, if you want to play your best you got to play like a team. Remember, you need teamwork to win, not arguments." If only Kobe Bryant had listened to Flint, the Lakers might be going on a six-peat right now.....

2) Get ready for a future that will be heavily impacted by terrorist organizations that want to rule the world. If only the Bush administration could somehow remind everybody in their in their 20's and 30's that our military is only doing what Sgt. Slaughter, Snake Eyes, Duke and the boys were doing years ago, his approval rating would go through the roof.

3. Thundercats
Definitely has the best intro of all-time. It gets my adrenaline going to hear the theme song and see all of the he-felines running around. I truly debated having Thundercats ranked as the number one cartoon of all time, and in many ways it is. No matter how good the show, however, you simply cannot get past the sniveling, whining, always frightened Snarf. He is the original Jar-Jar Binks who can single handedly kill an otherwise great show. I'm sure they put him in for "comic relief", but all we needed as kids were explosions and cool fight scenes. In this case, it cost them the Ran-Dumb award.

2. Transformers
Autobots. Decepticons. Optimus Prime. Cyberton. What else needs to be said? The storylines were nothing memorable, but I'll never forget the time I saw the Decepticon transform into a casette player/boom box and then two cassette tapes were ejected into the air and transformed into mini-Decepticons! Transformers within a transformer.....definietly more than meets the eye.

1. He-Man



And the winner of the Ran-Dumb award is He-Man! Not only is He-Man a classic hero, but Skeletor is hands-down the best cartoon villain in the history of television. I think He-Man also resonated with me because I was accustomed to the uber-muscular Arnold Friberg Book of Mormon paintings. He-Man looks similar to what I imagined Nephi would have looked like weilding the Sword of Laban. To take this one step further, could Battle Cat be the mysterious curelom or cumom referred to in Ether 9:19? It says they were "useful unto man", and what could be more useful than a magical, armored green and yellow tiger?

My favorite part of the He-Man intro is when he looks right into the camera and says, "...and I became He-Man, the most powerful man in the universe!" and then punches you right in the face! Bam! No warning. No reason. No remorse. He just rears back and cheapshots you! Is that really necessary if you are the most powerful man in the universe?

This weeks challenge:Now that you have read my list, please comment with your top 3 cartoons that were not included above. Whoever has the best selections and the best reasons for them will be crowned this weeks champion.

Global Warming - Guh?

Friday, October 20, 2006

I love the minor controversy the side comment about global warming has created. Let me clarify two things:

1. Rush Limbaugh - My car radio has not worked for a long, long time and I have not listened to Rush in ages. I listen almost exclusively to ESPN podcasts, which feature heavy doses of Keith Olberman. Keith started at ESPN and moved to MSNBC where he is one of the network's most outspoken liberal commentators. If anything, the main political voice that I hear these days is Keith Olberman, who can somehow blame the Kobe/Shaq breakup on the Republican-controlled House.

2. The GEICO Cavemen prove that global warming is a non-issue. Let me explain. There are brilliant scientists who can convincingly prove that the planet has either been cooling since 1979 or that it will explode like an egg in a microwave by 2015 unless we all start riding bicycles (that study was sponsored by Schwinn). They are all much more informed in this area than I am, so I don't believe either side. Honestly, I hope global temperatures rise by 10 degrees. Give me 85-degrees year 'round and I’m thrilled. I don't like being cold.

Now to tie this in to the GEICO Cavemen who would have suffered through an ice age that suddenly covered the entire planet. Here is a great quote from the BBC’s Science & Nature website:
“This Neanderthal stood no more than 1.65m (5' 4") tall, but he had a robust and powerful build - perfect for his Ice Age environment…The popular image of the Ice Age is a period of unremitting freezing conditions. But over nearly a million years, Europe has seen huge climate swings including warm as well as cold periods. For much of the last 200,000 years, when Neanderthals were alive, the climate was mild, sometimes even warmer than today's. But they did also have to live through periods of intense cold.”

In other words, the earth has shown us over the centuries that its temperature is going to wildly fluctuate, regardless of human involvement. The polar ice caps left behind from the global ice age melted away because of natural environmental changes, not because the Cavemen were irresponsibly cooking too many wildebeest over open flames. (Though had Al Gore been alive at the time, he may have contended this was the case). I realize that that we as an industrialized world burn a lot of junk into the atmosphere, but in my very unscientific opinion it's no big deal. In a couple of years, something else will take the place of global warming as the topic du-jour. Perhaps it will be how the corn grown for our ethanol-powered cars should be given to people who are starving to death in underdeveloped nations.

I can already picture the Sweat Family Reunion in 2065 and I will bring up the, “Remember when people thought global warming was going to kill us all?” question. We will all chuckle a bit, get into our hover cars, float to our dwelling pods, watch Survivor Season 78, laugh at another GEICO Caveman commercial, and then go to bed praying that the earth doesn’t explode like an egg in the microwave before the sun comes up.

Advertise on NMH! It Rocks. Seriously. It Rocks.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

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Why Advertise on NMH?
Because thousands of people will see your ad. Normal Mormon Husbands has a large, loyal following consisting primarily of Latter-day Saints, parents and stay-at-home moms. Plus I would really like to buy a PlayStation 3 and a wireless router and your ad revenue would go toward fulfilling this dream.

How Much Traffic Does NMH Get?

Between May 2008 and June 2009 there were nearly 214,000 page views, or an average of about 16,500 per month. If you think I am a dirty rotten liar you can click on the Google Analytics report to the right to verify. (If you clicked the link to verify, I am deeply wounded! I would not jeopardize my eternal salvation over cost-effective web ads. Who do you think you are dealing with, anyway? Esau?)

Why Does The Cost of Advertising Change?
I run this blog for fun, not to get rich. I believe in the free market so if nobody is buying ad space for $30, for example, then I will lower it to $25. If nobody buys at $25, the cost of the ad will be lowered to $20, and so on, and so on.

Does Advertising on NMH Really Work?
Yes, it does. But don't just take my word for it. Here are a few testimonials of people who saw results from advertising on NMH:

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Manliest Movie Quotes

This week I have decided to let the Normal Mormon Husbands blog sprout some chest hair and bring up a subject that definietly has a Y chromosome in it somewhere. The topic is so manly, in fact, that the blog is actually beginning to grow some back and ear hair as well. So without further ado, let's open up the discussion on the Manliest Movie Quotes of all-time. Please submit up to three quotes of your own and the comment with the three best nominations will win the Manly Man award. I hope that all of my male readers come up with good recommendations since it would be embarassing for a married mother of several young children to walk away with this award.

I gave this about 45 seconds worth of thought and came up with my list of the ten manliest movie quotes of all-time, which are:

10. "For England, for home, and for the prize!" - Capt. Jack Aubrey, Master and Commander
9. "I play for the United States of America!" - Mike Eruzione, Miracle (about the US Hockey Team)
8. "It's only a flesh wound! Have at you!" - The knight on the losing end of the swordfight, Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Classic.
7. "I know Kung Fu." - Neo, The Matrix (Cleanflix edited version, of course)
6. "Cut me, Mick" - Rocky Balboa, Rocky I
5. "My name is Indugo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die." - Indugo Montoya, The Princess Bride
4. "If Coach stays, I play. If Coach goes, I go." - Jimmy Chitwood, Hoosiers
3. "Sweep the leg" - The Evil Sensei, Karate Kid
2. "If he dies, he dies" - Ivan Drago, Rocky II
1. "Wolverines!" - Patrick Swaze, Red Dawn

I remember as a teenager living with the fear that we would go to war with Russia. If you have never seen Red Dawn, it stars almost every young cool actor of the early nineties (Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Jennifer Gray, Lea Thompson, and Charlie Sheen). When the US is suddenly invaded by a Cuban and Russian army, these high school students retreat to the woods and then singlehandedly topple the invasion. Their high school's mascot is the Wolverine, which they yell at very manly moments throughout the movie. I think my voice began to change the first time I yelled, "Wolverines" while pretending that my younger brother, two best friends, and I had become guerilla rebels who somehow saved the country with our .22's. This phrase was so moving to me that when Hunter High School was built and they asked for the incoming students to vote on the mascot, I voted for "Wolverines", which ended up being our mascot.

Best of luck racking your brains and coming up with something that can give the rest of us goosebumps.

Introducing the "Ran-Dumb" Awards - Best Commercials of All-Time

Monday, October 16, 2006


This week I am introducing a new segment to the blog called the Ran-Dumb awards. This is a shamelessly contrived gimmick to increase readers of the blog, I'm man enough to admit that. Since kicking off the blog I've realized that it is hard to come up with new content based upon my daily or weekly activities. Most weeks it would sound something like this: "Participated on numerous conference calls and resolved multiple HR issues, spent most of Wednesday and Sunday in Bishopric. Watched Survivor, Lost, the Nine, and the Panthers game. Made the most out of Friday and Saturday with Andrea and the kids". In other words, my blog would be about as interesting as Al Gore discussing global warming (which, by the way, is a sham.)

My wife, Andrea, has a detailed blog that does a fantastic job updating everybody on the fun stuff the family does, I've decided to focus on random stuff. Hence, the Ran-Dumbs, where I will do random Top-5 lists and shamelessly beg people to comment on them.

Ran-Dumb award for the Best Commerical of All-Time:

(Click the hyperlink to view the Youtube video)

5. Sports Center - "New Kid" (ESPN)
Came out at the same time that the NBA was having waves of high schoolers declaring for the draft. For every Kevin Garnett, there was a Kwame Brown. This kid was Kwame. Great social commentary on the world of sports.

4. Terry Tate - Office Linebacker (Reebok)
Perhaps the HR Manager in me secretly wishes that I had a Terry Tate at my disposal every once in a while. Better remember to put the cover letter on the TPS report next time......

3. When I Grow Up - (Monster.com)
I'll never forget seeing this depressingly funny ad while watching the Super Bowl a couple of years back. You know a commercial is effective when it ranks up there in the "I remember where I was when I saw this" category. After watching this, it is hard to not ask yourself, "How did I get into my career again?"

2. Cavemen 1 and Cavement 2 - (Geico)
I love that Geico is gutsy enough to address how politically correct everybody must be all the time. You can't even take a pot-shot at cavemen these days. The Caveman 1 clip, which kicks off this series, catches you off guard with the off-camera commotion. I always chuckle in the Caveman 2 clip when one orders the very sophisticated entre of roast duck with mango salsa while the other just smirks condescendingly.

And the Ran-Dumb award for the Best Commercial of All-Time goes to.......

1. Cat Herders - (EDS)
The dramatic music, sweeping cinematic shots of the rugged terrain, and the perfectly casted actors make this more of a movie trailer than a commercial. When one Cat Herder looks at the other and says, "His face is just ripped to shreds, you know", how can't you laugh. Great writing and cinematography make this the funniest commercial of all-time.



So there you have it, the innagural Ran-Dumb award winner. Please comment on these commercials or any other funny ones that may have been left off the list.

Thoughts From General Priesthood

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Elder Eyring. Good talk about quorum unity and related some of his experiences from being a Deacon. It never ceases to amaze me when General Authorities who range from 60-95 years old can recall with crystal clarity their experiences as 12 year olds. How do they do this? I can't even remember what I did two weeks ago. Did the GA's think as 12-year-olds, "I'd better write this down because I may need to use it in General Conference in 63 years"?

D. Todd Christofferson.....Glad I'm not 26, single, working at Kinko's 16-hours a week and living in my parents basement. The George Costanza's of the Church probably squirmed a little when he made that reference.....His talk made me grateful that I have a good job, can provide for my family, and remind me that even though at times the responsibilities of life, church, work, etc. can get overwhelming, it is all part of our Father's plan to help us learn to rely on him and progress in life.

Stanley G. Ellis.
I had never thought about how harsh it really does sound to just take care of the talent you are given (cast to outer darkness) instead of adding to it. That really made me think about our responsibility to always be increasing in good works and knowledge. This was the one talk that impacted me the most.

This is a great opportunity for the Joseph Smith (prophet) vs. Joe Smith (1995 no. 1 overall NBA pick) comparison. The Prophet goes from uneducated, humble farmboy to the great prophet of the restoration. Never quits, never gives up, faithful to the end. Joe Smith goes from the wildly-talented number 1 overall pick in the NBA draft to an average role player who has averaged 12 pts. and 7 boards in his 10 year career. He's going to have a lot to account for given the $34 million contract he just completed.

President Faust. Despite sitting in a chair, you can tell he is very mentally alert and strong. He spoke on spiritual nutrition, again drawing from an experience as a young boy hauling salt licks to the cows. He said, "we would never eat spoiled food......" Which made me think, ummmmm, he didn't see what my roommates and I ate at Ricks College, particularly the Ramen noodles that may or may not have been fit for human consumption.

President Monson. Every time I hear one of his talks I think to myself, "Maybe I should go to the hospital and pay somebody a visit". He always seems to put the gospel in action.

President Hinckley. I am reading his biography by Sherri Dew right now and it makes me respect and admire him as an amazing man and wonderful prophet even more. My bets are that "Rise Up O Men of God" rises from obscurity to the #1 Men's Choir song of 2007. When the prophet counsels on the dangers of pornography and the importance of education for young men, we had better listen.