Crazy Uncle Ryan's favorite quotes

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

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Books

So, when it comes to reading I have certain traditions. Around Easter each year I read The Chronicles of Narnia. During the summer I read Harry Potter and around Christmas time I read The Lord of The Rings. Last year I also started reading some Christmasy type books during the month of December. During December 2008 I read several such as The Autobiography of Santa Claus by Jeff Guinn and The Lump of Coal by Lemony Snicket. I continued the tradition this year. Of the five I read this year my favorite was the wildly inappropriate yet ferociously funny The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore.

As for the rest of the books I read I have to ask: "What's the deal?" Why is it so many Christmas books have to be about someone (usually a parent) dying of cancer? Hello, can't we come up with something else to get people in the Spirit of Christmas? I gotta tell ya, 'twas a little depressing after a while. I had also checked out the book The Christmas Shoes but having heard the song it's based on I figured it would be in my best interest to skip that one and just go back to my beloved Lord of The Rings.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

About Time

So, two years ago my sister Shanna (a.k.a. "The Cross Stitch Queen") made us a really beautiful cross stitch and gave it to us for Christmas. As much as we loved it we have never hung it up because its size was not one of the standard frame sizes so we knew we would need to get it custom framed. That can be expensive so it stayed rolled up in the top of Collin's closet. Anyway, this morning, Alisa surprised me with an early Christmas present. She had managed to finally get it framed (there was a sale). So, after two years of waiting we now have this lovely decoration up on the wall where it belongs.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Another Amazing Race Finishes

Well, earlier this week, The Amazing Race 15 concluded in Las Vegas with Meghan & Cheyne pulling out the win. This season was unique for several reasons. First off, a team was actually eliminated right at the starting line before even getting to start the race. So, Eric & Lisa lost the race before even having a chance to go anywhere. I don't know if anybody else noticed but they were the only team that was not at the finish line. The other thing that was unique was the fact that for the first time since I started watching the show I really didn't have a single team that I strongly disliked. Usually, there is at least one team that I can't stand and which, interestingly enough, seems to always make it into the final three so I have to endure them for the whole race. Fortunately for me, there wasn't a team like that this season.As for my predictions. I was right on some and wrong on others. Several weeks ago I predicted rightly that Meghan & Cheyne and Sam & Dan would both end up in the final three. However, once it got down to the last four teams I was sure that Flight Time & Big Easy would make it to the finale. But, they got eliminated and Brian & Ericka took third place. Once it got down to the end I predicted that Meghan & Cheyne would take home the prize and though it looked at times like Brian & Ericka might actually pull it off, I was right. One of the great things about this show is the fact that it is so popular that CBS airs two seasons of it every year. That means I just have to wait a few more months (February probably) for the show to come back again.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Evil Parking Lot!!

So, last night, I drove over the the local grocery store. For those of you who are worried about me going to the store on Sunday; I was just returning a movie to the redbox I had rented the day before. I had been planning to just wait and return it today but the movie was so very unsatisfactory that I decided I didn't want to be charged a whole 'nother dollar for it. Anyway, I returned the movie and came back out to my car. But, the car would not start. Fortunately, a nice gentleman was more than happy to give me a jump. So, with cold hands I went home. Now this may not seem like a particularly interesting thing if it were not for the fact that I have needed to have a jump three times in the last two weeks and they have all happened in that same parking lot of Harmon's Grocery Store!

There are several lessons that can be learned from this whole thing. First, if I am going to drive my car somewhere on a night when it's 15 degrees out and I haven't driven it all day I should take some time to warm it up first. Second, I probably ought to get my battery checked. Third, and most importantly; The Harmon's Parking Lot HATES My Car!!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

On Fatherhood, Christmas Stockings and Talented Siblings

If I may, I should like to wax philosophical for a moment. I wish to address and attempt to answer the age old question: When does a man truly become a father? Does he become a father when his child is born? Is he a full fledged daddy when he changes his first ferociously rancid diaper? How about when he gets barfed on for the hundredth time or the first time his little spawn scratches his face and actually leaves a mark? None could deny that these are all important and defining moments in the development of fatherliness in a man's life. However, none of these truly represent the moment that a man ceases to merely be a male human who happens to have donated genetic material toward the production of a child and becomes a father. So, when does he become a father? Well, I will tell you. A man becomes a father when he receives a Christmas stocking that no longer bears his actual given name but that displays simply the word "Dad."I have a very talented sister. Actually, I have three talented sisters but at the moment I'm only talking about one of them. Last year my sister Shanna used her mad cross-stitching skills to make Collin a really beautiful Christmas stocking. This year, as a present to our family, she made stockings for Alisa and I as well. It was a very nice early Christmas present and one that Alisa and I both greatly appreciated. Thanks Shanna Banana wearing Purple Pajamas!

Thursday, December 3, 2009


So, this past Saturday as we were driving back from Montana we had the chance to listen to the BYU -vs- Utah football game. Well, most of it. When we hit Pocatello that's when we started being able to pick up the radio station that was carrying the game. There was a lot of static at first but as we got closer to home the signal got better. At the end of the 3rd quarter BYU was beating the Utards by a score of 20 to 6. All that changed in the 4th quarter where Utah came back to tie the game 20 to 20. I was getting a little anxious. Fortunately, in overtime BYU managed to pull out a win and the final score was BYU 26 Utah 23. So, we didn't beat them as soundly as I would have liked but the important thing is we won. Now, it's time to listen to the Ute fans give their laundry list of excuses as to why they lost. Shall they blame it on the refs? Was it the weather? What will they blame in order to convince themselves that BYU's victory doesn't really count? The one die-hard Ute fan I have spoken with thus far was just in a state of shocked denial. She kept stating that her team had won whilst she stood there with a rather glazed look on her face. I just had to pat her hand and assure her that everything would be alright and that we would get through this together. So, why did I do all this for an avowed fan of my rival school? Well, I am her home teacher and for heaven's sake; it's just a football game!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thanksgiving and Grace's Baptism

Last week Alisa, Collin and I went up to Montana to spend Thanksgiving with my sister Kathleen and her family. We had a wonderful time and ate a lot and gave lots of thanks. However, the real highlight of the trip came the day after Thanksgiving when we got to attend the baptism of my lovely niece Grace.As difficult as it may be to believe seeing as how I am the quintessential awesome uncle, this is the first time I have actually been able to attend the baptism for any of my nieces or nephews. Unfortunately, that is one of the prices you pay when you and all your siblings end up spread all over the country. Well, not all over the country; at least we're all in the same time zone now (Thank-you for leaving Pittsburgh Erin). Anyway, it was really great to be there and participate. Congratulations Grace!