Crazy Uncle Ryan's favorite quotes

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

Saturday, September 17, 2011

White Pumpkins

I have picked my first two white pumpkins. The one on the left weighed in at 10.6 pounds and is called My DHARMA Lady. I picked that one last Saturday. The one on the right weighed in at 2.4 pounds and has been dubbed Wannabe Softball. I picked that one this morning. There's still one more white pumpkin out there. I'll probably pick that one pretty soon.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Years Later - Where are we now?

I remember that day like it was yesterday. I was at BYU and I woke up the same as I did every other day, got ready for class and headed to campus. I got to my Hebrew class and heard people talking. Something about some plane crashing in New York. My teacher got there a little later and gave us a bit more information. However, I don't think anything could really have prepared me for the shock that came when I found a TV on campus, surrounded by my fellow students where I first saw the footage of the attack that none of us will likely forget.

We all learned a lot that day. We learned that in spite of what we may have long thought, our country was not invulnerable. I think that we realized that maybe we needed to look a bit more at our priorities and spend a little less time focusing on the trivial and more time concentrating on what is most important.

Now, 10 years have past and I have to ask the question: Have we forgotten those lessons we learned that day? The Washington Post printed a series of articles written by religions leaders of numerous faiths about the effect that the 9/11 attacks have had on the nation. One of those articles was written by Thomas S. Monson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He spoke of the "remarkable surge of faith following the tragedy." But, after that he wrote something that I think we would all do well to think about:

Sadly, it seems that much of that renewal of faith has waned in the years that have followed. Healing has come with time, but so has indifference. We forget how vulnerable and sorrowful we felt. Our sorrow moved us to remember the deep purposes of our lives. The darkness of our despair brought us a moment of enlightenment. But we are forgetful. When the depth of grief has passed, its lessons often pass from our minds and hearts as well.

It makes me think about the Nephites spoken of in The Book of Mormon. Throughout their history we see cases in which they boast of their own strength and take it for granted that they cannot be hurt by their enemies. They are than attacked and lives are lost and the people turn back to their God with renewed fervor. But, without exception, within a few years after the initial shock of the tragedy has worn off they forget God and go right back to their lives as they had been before and forget all the lessons they learned.

Are we really much different from them? I sincerely hope that the answer is yes.

On this tenth anniversary of the worst terrorist attack in our country's history I hope and pray that we will not just remember those who lost their lives but that we will really remember all of the lessons we learned. I pray that we will never let our devotion to God, our families and all those around us waver. We should not need a tragedy like this one in order to remember what is really important in this life. When we say that we will never forget, for heaven sake, let's mean it!

May God bless us all.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

First Pumpkin of The Year 2011

So, back on Monday September 5th Collin and I went out and picked the first of this year's pumpkins. This pumpkin had actually been ripe and ready to pick for weeks but I didn't really see any good reason to pick it in the middle of August. However, on Labor Day I just couldn't resist any more and we went out and picked it. This is actually a really nice looking pumpkin that weighed in at 12 pounds. Considering our less than stellar crop of pumpkins last year I should note that this pumpkin, which is by no means the biggest one out there, is almost 2 pounds heavier than the biggest one I got last year. So, after picking this and weighing it the next task was to decide on a name for it. Since I picked it about a week earlier that I picked the first one last year I contemplated calling it something along the lines of Early Bird or some such other descriptive name. But, in the end, my good old Hobbit sense kicked in and I picked a much simpler name. I therefore dubbed this pumpkin Super-Sonic Sucker-Punch. OK, there's no real practical reasoning behind the name but hey; it's pretty cool!