Crazy Uncle Ryan's favorite quotes

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."— Arthur C. Clarke

Friday, May 29, 2009


Well, I went to the mailbox a few minutes ago to get the mail and found something there I had been really fearing. No, not any packages with strange white powder, no letter bombs, no divorce papers. As most of you should know I had a job interview almost 2 weeks ago. What I found lurking in my mailbox was a very polite rejection letter from that company. I was a bit sad to say the least but I guess that this job was just not the right thing for me and my family.

I would very much like to express my gratitude to all of you who have been praying for me during these seven long months of my unemployment. It really does mean a lot to me and my family to have your support. I will keep you all posted.

But, on the bright side, we also got the new copy of the Ensign and Alisa and I both received coupons for free candy bars. See, life's not all bad!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ryan's Pumpkin Patch

Well, the whole “job search” thing hasn’t really been going too well today so I took a little time to plant my pumpkin patch. So, come October I should have pumpkins all ready for my good little nieces and nephews to make into jack-o-lanterns. That is if I don’t decide to keep them all for myself.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


So, I just got back from watching the new Terminator movie. I really enjoyed it. There were lots of the things that guys love to see in movies. Lots of explosions, really cool machines and a naked, computer generated, version of a young Arnold Schwarzenegger. OK, so maybe not so much on that last one. Though, that was a pretty incredible piece of special effects.
All in all this was a really good movie. I enjoyed the fact that they made an effort to have all the classic Terminator lines like: “Come with me if you want to live” and “I’ll be back.” I thought that Christian Bale and Sam Worthington did really well. I’m especially glad that Christian Bale didn’t use that annoying, so-called menacing voice he puts on when he plays Batman.I have a hard time deciding whether I should refer to this as a sequel or a prequel. This is the first of the Terminator movies (as far as I know; I never saw Terminator 3) that actually takes place in the future. However, this movie shows events that form the back-story of the original movie. This shows us a young Kyle Reese before John Connor sends him back in time to stop the terminator from killing his mother Sarah Connor. So, in a sense this is prequel that takes place years after the original. Is that clear as mud? Good!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

“You’re very talented. I would know; I’m very talented too.” – The super early sneak peak of GLEE

Last night I watched the pilot for FOX’s new show Glee. I thought it was a pretty good show and I had a fun time watching it. However, I almost didn’t end up watching it at all. I found out yesterday while reading online that though the pilot was airing that night the show was not actually going to be running until fall. After reading this I was a little confused as to why they were bothering to air the pilot so far in advance. The reason has to do with the fact that it is a musical comedy so they wanted to air it right after an episode of American Idol as a way of giving it greater exposure and hopefully, ensuring a bigger audience in the fall.
That being said, this looks like it will be a good show with some really funny characters. It revolves a teacher Mr. Schuester (played by Matthew Morrison) who is trying to resurrect the school’s defunct glee club. He naturally ends up with a bunch of lovable misfits and one little diva named Rachel (played by newcomer Lea Michele) who has an incredible voice. From the previews I had seen I was expecting Rachel to be really annoying but she actually pulls off the diva routine in a way that is cute and endearing. As a matter of fact, when I heard her sing “On my own” from Les Misérables that was when I really started thinking that I would end up liking the show.
One thing I found a little strange about this show is how it seems to revolve around the same view of high school clicks as you see in High School Musical. In this high school if you are a jock you are essentially not allowed to do anything related to music or anything else equally unsports like. Maybe I went to a weird high school but I just don’t remember it being like that. I was involved in theatre and the orchestra in high school but I was also ran track. Nobody on the track team seemed to care one bit that I spent the rest of the school year playing my little violin or putting on tights or sassy cinnamon lipstick for whatever play I happened to be in. I also remember that there were several guys on the football team who were also in the choir. But then again, I did go to school way back in the 90’s so perhaps things have changed since then. One other thing that I found a little annoying was the portrayal of one of the school cheerleaders. She is the president of the “Celibacy Club” so naturally she is portrayed as a self-righteous, semi-hypocritical, religious weirdo as well as the least desirable of all possible girlfriends. I guess that’s not too surprising considering the values of Hollywood.Anyway, looks like a fun show with great music. I look forward to watching it in the fall.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Job Interview - Update

OK, so I had my job interview today. I felt like it went well and it really looks like a good company. They said they would be calling people for second interviews in the next week so I have my fingers crossed.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


It looks like all the death/bomb threats that have been directed at NBC for the last couple weeks may be taken back. Chuck has been renewed for a 3rd season!! All the online “Save Chuck” campaigns seemed to have done the job. The show has been renewed (with a reduced budget) for 13 episodes with the promise of an upgrade to 22 if the ratings are good enough.

I would personally like to thank all my fellow "Nerd Herd" wannabees who joined with me in rallying to save this show. We pulled it off!


May 19, 2009 UPDATE: My sources tell me that Chuck's budget will indeed NOT be cut as previously reported however, the show will not be returning until March 2010 after The Winter Olympics. March? Are you kidding me? I don't even have to wait that long for LOST to come back! Oh well, what can ya do? If ratings are good enough the show will continue into the summer.

You'll Never Believe it!

It is official, Dollhouse is returning next season. In a move that surprised a lot of people FOX announced that the show that most TV industry people had given up as dead will indeed be renewed next season for a run of 13 episodes.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

STAR TREK – Awesomeness . . . in Space!

This review contains spoilers. Just wanted to let you know ahead of time just in case you have not seen this movie yet.I went to see this movie this morning and I have to tell you, after I watched it I was sorely tempted to head over to the box office and by another ticket to see it again. I decided not to because I figured my wife and baby would maybe like to see me some time today. I was absolutely blown away by this movie. Oh yeah; it was that good! I think that the way this movie was set up was ingenious. The whole story was based around this idea of an alternate reality. The great thing about this way of approaching a new Star Trek film is that it allowed director J.J. Abrams and writers Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman to create an alternate version of the Star Trek reality without throwing out the history established in the original show, subsequent series and movies. With the inclusion of the future Spock we have the ability for both the original timeline and history to have been real as well and the version that transpires in this movie. So this was not truly a remake as much as a rather plausible and believable alternate version of the Star Trek universe.Since this was only meant to be a slightly modified, alternate version of the original story it was important that the various characters be essentially the same. I think they did this incredibly well. They managed to give a look to the film that made you feel that though you were seeing at a slightly updated version of the Star Trek world it still clearly reminded the viewer of the original show. As a lifelong Star Trek fan there were a lot of subtle little things from the old show that I was glad to see were included in this film. Scotty yelling: “I’m givin’ it all she’s got Captain.” Dr. McCoy telling Spock: “I’m a doctor not a physicist.” Sulu being trained in fencing. Chekov’s inability to pronounce the letter “v” (“We are looking for the nuclear wessels”). Uhura’s earpiece. The fact that Captain Pike ended up in a wheelchair. The communicators that looked like flip phones. Kirk's liking for green women.Of course, one of the biggest nods to fans was also one of the film’s most subtle. One of the little oddities in the original Star Trek series had to do with red uniforms. When Captain Kirk would lead an away team down to a planet if you saw a guy in that group who you had never seen before, had no idea who he was and he was wearing a red shirt, you could be fairly certain that the team was going to be attacked or there would be an accident and the unnamed, red shirted crewmember was going to die. This became so predictable during the show’s run that once when I was watching a TV special about Star Trek back when I was in high school James Doohan (who played Scotty) actually made a joke about it. Well, in this film Kirk, Sulu and some random crewmember in a red shirt all parachute down onto this giant drill that is cutting into the planet Vulcan. One of them died; I guess you can figure out which one. Did J.J. Abrams do that on purpose? I like to think so.Now, as much as I loved this movie there were a few little things that kinda made me scratch my head. The whole romance between Spock and Uhura was a little weird. I also thought that it was a bit far fetched that in a matter of about a day Kirk would go from being a Starfleet cadet to becoming the captain of the Federation’s new flagship. Of course, I got over those things pretty quickly. All things considered this was a great movie and I really hope that they make another one in the not too distant future.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Danny Victorious – Hell’s Kitchen

Hell’s Kitchen had its season finale last night. It was down to Danny and Paula and I had predicted that Paula was going to win. However, to my surprise Danny took the $250,000 and will become the head chef of his own restaurant at The Borgata Hotel in Atlantic City. I liked both Danny and Paula so I would have been just as happy for either of them.

It is very interesting to consider what a misnomer the term "Reality Show" can sometimes be considering how contrived some of the things on such shows can be. There are usually people on any reality show that quite obviously don’t belong there. On Hell’s Kitchen there always seems to be a contestant or two who just plain can’t cook. Last season there was a guy on the show who wasn’t even a chef. This season you had Lacey. This girl couldn’t have cooked a bowl of Cheerios® most days. During her last dinner service before being eliminated she even admitted that she couldn’t cook meat. So, how do ding-dongs like Lacey get to be contestants on the show and more importantly, how do they manage to actually stave off elimination as long as they do? I think that has to do with the Producers of the show. Though Gordon Ramsey the host has the final say (supposedly) in who ultimately wins the competitions I think that producers have a lot of say about how things go leading up to the finale. The producers and the studio people I think are not nearly as concerned with getting the most qualified chefs for the show as they are about filling Hell’s Kitchen with those people who will make for the most interesting show. Lacey wasn’t there because she had any chance of winning. She was there because of her crazy attitude and the reactions she could solicit from the other competitors.

As I have said before with other shows: great season and I look forward to the next one.

The Wise Man’s Fear – Update

There are three things all wise men fear: the sea in storm, a night with no moon, and the anger of a gentle man.So, I got a bit of good news about one of my favorite authors yesterday. Patrick Rothfuss reported on his blog that he has finally sent the first draft of “The Wise Man’s Fear” to his editor. This is the second book in his series The Kingkiller Chronicle. Ever since “The Name of The Wind” came out in 2007 Ruthfuss fans have been eagerly awaiting the publication of this next book in the trilogy. There were a couple of publication dates projected that fell through or turned out to have not been genuine in the first place so this is really exciting.


Well, I watched the season finale of The Office last night. To be honest I was a bit disappointed. It didn’t really feel like a season finale at all. It was cute and very funny but it didn’t have that really good ending that you expect from a finale that makes you look forward to the next season. I won’t give away the ending since there might be a few of you out there who haven’t seen it yet. Though it was a neat little thing to end with it was a little obvious what happened even though they didn’t come right out and say it. However, I did enjoy a lot about the episode. I enjoyed the stuff with Dwight and Angela during the volleyball game and I was really glad about the return of Holly. I’m very much looking forward to next season.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

What lies in the Shadow of The Statue? – The LOST season finale

WOW!!! This was an awesome finale. I’m not sure what to write about it. So many cool things were revealed and. I did think it was pretty cool that we finally got to see Jacob and how he was showed up in the lives of the various people on the island long before they ever came to the island. Well, accept for Hurley and Sayid; they didn’t meet Jacob until later.So, who was the guy hanging out on the beach with Jacob at the beginning? Was the ship off in the distance the Black Rock? If it was that would put the scene some time in the 1850’s if I remember right. Who are Ilana and her people and what is their role in this whole thing?
This ended with the mother of all cliffhangers. All the various storylines have reached a point where you’re just dying to know what is going to happen next and they could go just about any direction. I think we can rule out the idea that the “dropping the bomb down the shaft” plan worked because if they managed to change the past such that they never crashed than there’s really nowhere to go next season. But that still doesn’t leave any clues as to what actually will happen? Did the bomb actually go off when Juliet whacked it with the rock? So many questions!

We now seem to have three immortal or seemingly immortal characters on this island. Richard (or Richardus), Jacob and Jacob’s unnamed companion we saw at the beginning of the episode who seemingly has been walking around as Locke this whole time. But, so far we have virtually no background on any of these characters. They have seemingly all been on the island for a very, very long time but nobody knows how long. I have no theories about Richard but I think that perhaps Mr. NoName may be the smoke monster and he and Jacob have been slugging it out for control of the island for freakin’ ever. This would fit if you consider that NoName seems to be able to take on the form of other people just like the smoke monster. Also, when Locke and Ben went in the see the ruins Locke was nowhere to be found during Ben’s little conversation with Mr. Smokey. Anyway, I guess we’ll find out in 2010. Since it’s gonna be the last season I guess any answers will have to come then. I just hope there isn’t another freakin’ writer’s strike.

Melissa, Jeff and Heather. If any of you are reading this I want your thoughts.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Job Interview

Well, I got a call today from a company I applied with last month and they asked me to come in for an interview. I'm going in Monday afternoon so wish me luck.


As we all know it is season finale time. This is both an exciting and depressing time for me as season finales are usually the most exciting episodes but they also mean I have a minimum four month wait for new episodes. Last night I watched the finale of the first season of Fringe and it was a doozy. I know, I said doozy. It was the best I could come up with. Anyway, I really enjoyed this show’s debut season. The show was packed full of teleportation, alternate realities, weird genetically engineered mutant monsters, mental telepathy and bunches of other stuff that makes sci-fi nerds get all excited.

One thing that I think is really effective in a TV show for creating a compelling and exciting story is having that one mysterious character that is kept in the background for a significant amount of time. Usually, the mystery of this person is built up for a number of episodes and there is a big climactic moment in which you see the character for the first time and surprise, the part is being played by a well known actor. This is what happened in Chuck when we met Chuck’s dad last season played by Scott Bakula and in Heroes when we saw Linderman for the first time played by Malcolm McDowell. In Fringe we have William Bell, the mysterious founder of Massive Dynamics played by none other than Leonard Nemoy. I think these kind of reveals are most fun when you don’t know ahead of time who is going to be playing the “man (or woman) behind the curtain.” Unfortunately, I heard on the radio ahead of time that Leonard Nemoy was going to be appearing in this role so it took some of the excitement out of the reveal. Of course, the fact that Agent Dunham meets Mr. Bell in an office in one to the World Trade Center towers in an alternate universe seems only fitting considering Nemoy’s Star Trek roots.

Speaking of Star Trek; I gotta say something about the second to last episode. There was a great scene in which Peter and Agent Dunham are speaking to a guy who is giving them some information about Massive Dynamics and their role in a big conspiracy. The guy turns out to be nuts when he informs them that the Romulans are behind it all and informs them that he is Spock. Funny how this episode aired just a couple of days before the new Star Trek movie opened up. Oh, and Fringe creator J.J. Abrams directed Star Trek. That Abrams is so sneaky!
Last I just want to mention the character of Walter Bishop. There was a scene where Walter was in his old beach house with his son Peter having a bit of a loony freak-out session and I almost expected him to start ranting about how there could be no victory against the evil in the east and to set himself on fire. I wonder what it would look like to see John Noble play someone who isn’t crazy.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Amazing Race Concludes

Seeing as how The Amazing Race is one of CBS’s highest rated shows and is in no real danger of being canceled you can be sure that this will be rather briefer than my other TV related blog entries. So, Tammy and Victor won! This is what I predicted would happen though I will admit it was not particularly what I wanted to happen. It’s not that I don’t like the brother and sister, lawyer team but I was really rooting for Jaime and Cara. What can I say? I guess I just have a thing for redheads.
The one team I didn’t really want to win came in last and that was Margie and Luke. I will admit my respect went up for them a lot near the end but they were still my least favorite team of the final three. My problem was really with Luke. I just thought he was a bit of a whiner. But, in the final leg of the race he and his mom Margie did great and came incredibly close to winning the whole thing.
Anyway, another great season of The Amazing Race. I really look forward to next season.

My First Pound Cake

So, last night Alisa was feeling a craving for strawberry shortcake. I always have a hankering for strawberry shortcake so we set out to figure out how to get some. We found we had no shortcake so I mentioned we could go online and find a recipe for it. Alisa went and found a really good pound cake recipe and later that evening I made it. It turned out great and the strawberry shortcake was delicious. I should have been a baker.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

My New Calling

Well, something has happened that I really didn’t anticipate. A couple days ago a member of our Stake Presidency came over to see me and Alisa. After chit-chatting with us for a few minutes he told us that he wasn’t just there to visit. To my surprise he told me that they were reorganizing the Elder’s Quorum presidency in our ward and he asked me if I would be willing to accept the call as the 2nd Counselor to the new president. I was pretty surprised; I loved serving in the Primary and I was comfortably planning that I would continue there for the next twenty years or so. I guess The Lord had some other plans. So, today I went to Elder’s Quorum and the new presidency was sustained. I then went to Primary and taught my last lesson to the one boy who showed up to class this week.

I have greatly enjoyed this time and I really believe that being a primary teacher is the best calling in the church. I’m going to miss all the singing and the way I can get all the kids wound up and not get in trouble for it. When I was at BYU I served in the Elder’s Quorum presidency for a long time as Assistant Secretary, Secretary, 2nd Counselor and 1st Counselor (I moved out of the ward before they had a chance to make me President). But I’ve never served in the presidency of an Elder’s Quorum in a “regular” ward so I am looking forward to this new challenge. I just hope that whoever replaces me knows how to make lots of funny faces. I mean, how else will we keep the Sunbeams entertained?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Call the fire department; someone’s trying to burn down the DOLLHOUSE!

So, last night I watched the season finale of Dollhouse and it was really, really good. This show just premiered this season and I was surprised at how quickly and completely I got hooked on it. Unfortunately, the show has experienced low ratings and is therefore in the same boat as one of my other favorite shows (and the subject of my last blog post) Chuck. Dollhouse may very well be canceled and the decision as to whether it will return next season is still up in the air. Thankfully, like Chuck this show has a pretty militant online following. There seems to be a good amount of opposition to this show’s return though. There are definitely strong opinions on both sides. Much of it revolves around whether Dollhouse is a feminist show or not and whether the main character Echo (played by Eliza Dushku) is a strong female lead or a weak one. Blah, blah, blah; who cares? I just like the show.

One of the arguments (besides the feminism angle) that has been made against the show's return has to do with the story’s ability to maintain another season. This is one of those shows that relies greatly on back story. Like my current favorite show LOST, Dollhouse’s premiere basically dropped you into the middle of the story and as the show goes on it gives you brief little glimpses of the back story through flashbacks. Dollhouse relies greatly on this to keep the story exiting and interesting. But, some people have expressed the concern that Dollhouse’s creator Josh Whedon has essentially exhausted the back story and therefore, there would not be enough left to reveal about the characters or the mythos of the Dollhouse to maintain the show through a second season. I can certainly see the logic in this thinking and if Whedon and the others associated with the show don’t feel like they can make the show work for another season than they should pull the plug now. That would certainly be better than having it come back just to see it get canceled after a couple of episodes.
However, now that I have seen the finale I don’t really think that argument holds water. In this last episode of the season some new ideas were introduced and many things were left unresolved so I think there would definitely be enough material to produce another season. But, if it is not renewed at least it went out with a bang and those of us who were fans will remember it as an action packed show that kept us very entertained for at least twelve Friday nights.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


OK, so our good buddies at NBC announced their fall lineup for the 2009-2010 season a couple of days ago. Well, kinda. They actually only announced part of it. They acknowledged that certain shows like Heroes and The Office are being renewed for another season but they will not be announcing the complete lineup until May 19th. So my big question is: WHAT ABOUT CHUCK? There has been a lot of speculation online that Chuck might not be renewed and that has made a very large number of people rather annoyed at NBC for not giving a straight answer. I happen to be one of those people. I say “DON’T CHUCK CHUCK.” Chuck is one of NBC’s biggest hits and let’s face it; NBC doesn’t have a whole lot of those at the moment. I really love this show and if it is not renewed there will be blood in the streets of Burbank!! Of course, it will not be shed by me because hey; I’m a lover, not a fighter. But, from the comments of other Chuck fanatics I’ve been reading online I can tell you that if NBC unwisely gives the axe to this show there will likely be upheaval and riots such as the world has not witnessed since the Vandals sacked Rome.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, I feel rather passionately about this show. I mean, I may be out of work but I’ll be darned if I’m gonna let a bunch of network executive types put Yvonne Strahovski and Zachary Levi out of work! If they cancel the show everyone associated with it will lose their jobs thus increasing the unemployment rate. And in this economy that’s just plain un-American! I have already sent a message to NBC telling them my thoughts on this issue and I would encourage all the Chuck fans out there to join with me in making their voices heard.