I Am Bismark


probably looking like death because of play practices this week, but he is too scared to look in the mirror to find out..


my favorite jeans have a hole in them. they got worn through right under the back right pocket. i noticed the spot a few weeks ago, and to my dismay as i was throwing them in the washer tonight, i saw right through them…

i ask a few friends for advice, as i am not very skilled in these sort of things. tangerine sent me a few websites, which inspired the homemaker inside of me. i cut the pocket out of an old worn out pair of jeans, and i started sowing. yes, i sowed! i realized after the first edge of the patch was done that i was totally off center of the hole, but it appears to still be covered. it took me about an hour and 30 minutes to put in a square inch patch. i was quite careful to only take up a few threads on the jeans, so there are only a couple of spots on the outside that look like there is a patch… all in all, i am pretty proud of myself.

nevertheless, i am 100% positive the patch will fall out the next time i wash them. do any of my faithful readers have skills in this extremely esoteric field? i would be forever grateful to anyone who would assist me in this endeavor. i am sure we could work out some sort of payment plan. perhaps i could cook you curry (once again, the only thing i can cook decently it appears..)?

i’m tired again. one of these days i know i will get to be on time..

introspecting about the meaning of life… especially of life with less than four hours of sleep…

our lips can touch, our cheeks can brush

i’m doing good. i feel good. things are good.

friday was rough as you could tell from the post. that was for a number of reasons. but the rest of the weekend went a lot better. i enjoyed myself.

the play is coming along well. i know my lines, i can do most of the dances (the polka still eludes me…), and i am finding i can actually sing most of the songs decently… wow. we open this friday, and run until march 10th. we are performing monday, friday, and saturday nights for all of those weeks, so none of you have any excuse not to be there.

–> www.csmtc.com <–

i can be cynical sometimes, but sometimes i realize that my life really is too good for that. i don’t have the right to complain about anything, whether it be girls, my nerdiness, or the lack of decent japanese restaurants in provo. i would like to sleep more, but hey, isn’t this what college is all about? i’m a lucky guy. thanks to all of you out there who have helped me get here.

testimony and false expectations

this is a serious blog, so only read if you feel up for it.

i recently read this cartoon (WARNING anti-mormon material… i don’t highly recommend it for some):


i laughed. great stuff. i loved the line about shipping the missionary off to timbuktu. did jack chick’s attempts to attack my religion phase me? not really. there wasn’t anything in there i hadn’t heard before, besides the supposed jupiter talisman joseph had on at carthage. so, joseph, much like a great man early 19th century americans, had interest in the occult. following his own teachings, he tried to find and assimilate truth from all religions and beliefs. neat.

but it’s pretty hard for me to give much credibilty to anyone who treats things like The Seer and the early editions of Mormon Doctrine as church doctrine (i believe some of orson pratt’s beliefs were officially denounced by the brigham young’s first presidency, and the church leaders had bruce r. mcconkie take out some of the more opinionated things in mormon doctrine because it appeared too authoritative). just as an example, bruce r. mcconkie said in general conference that everything he had said about the priesthood ban was incorrect and should be viewed as such.

i think the main point of this blog is to discuss my feelings about true testimony in the gospel of Jesus Christ. i am currently reading bushman’s amazing “Joseph Smith, Rough Stone Rolling”. i am only just beginning, but already, my belief that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, but also an extremely imperfect human, with his vices and incorrect opinions (much like any biblical prophet… jonah anyone?), has been strengthened. i feel that the people who have difficulty in keeping their testimony of the gospel because of historical issues struggle because of false expectations. why does it matter that joseph smith only translated the missing 116 pages of the book of mormon with the urim and thummin, with the rest done with the seer stone? it doesn’t, the tools of translation were not important, because as Joseph emphasized for the rest of his life when he was asked, it was by the power of God. a lot of critics blame the church for white washing the history. but in reality, to interested parties, the information is there (and is becoming more and more available, for example, the joseph smith papers project). the church gives a basic, quick outline of the history, focusing more upon the doctrinal teachings and faith building stories. why would they do this? well, because as a church, they are more interested in helping people gain salvation by understanding needed doctrines and by building their faith. i have no issue with that. but i do have an issue when members incorrectly assume that anything outside of the quick history is harmful or wrong. don’t be afraid of history. if you aren’t interested, thats fine. but if you find out something that seems strange or different from what you thought about the history before, please don’t let it hurt your testimony. and why should something like joseph’s plural marriages not affect your testimony? here is why:

“And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.” -Helaman 5:12

build your foundation on Christ. don’t have false expectations. let the critics kick against the pricks. if you are interested, learn your history. i highly recommend Rough Stone Rolling to anyone who wants to learn more about the early history of the Mormon church, and about the amazing man that is Joseph Smith.

tonight is all about we miss you

“my smile’s an open wound without you.”

do you want to know what loneliness is? 11:00 PM on a Friday night at BYU.

i am an island, and no one can take that from me.

a nerd and there isn’t a whole hell of a lot that can be done about that.

lifes little lessons

jumping into pits of things, despite seeming like a great way to spend a saturday night, isn’t really as exciting as one might think. especially when it just makes one realize one was born with absolutely no athletic ability. trust me on this one, always choose the alternative to jumping into pits of things.

i was tired all day. probably because i was up until 3 am eating omelets with current and former 100 hour board writers.

anyway, like i said before, i have absolutely no athletic talent. no coordination, no balance, nothing. various events have reminded me of this (tonight’s pit jumping, dancing in a musical play, etc). i suppose i could blame in on bad genes. no one in my family has ever been even the slightest athletic. my dad played video games with me instead of playing basketball.

story time (IOW, more than you ever wanted to know about ryan): like i said, no athletic ability whatsoever. always last picked at recess. always worst in gym class. little league bench warmer. the list goes on. but i always wished i could be good at basketball. i was tall, i enjoyed watching it, and it was fun to play despite my lack of talent. i went to basketball camps all the time. i wonder how many times they asked themselves when that silly red headed kid was going to stop showing up to these things. middle school rolled around. being a boy who wished he could play sports with the other guys, i did what seemed natural, i joined the football team. dumb. dumb. dumb. even dumber for the coaches to make me a left tackle. knocked flat on my back every time. no thanks. basketball was decent. i played second string for the second team… after the season, it was going to be going back to video games in the evenings. no spring sports for me. i had given up on baseball years ago. but then my homeroom teacher just had to be track captain, and she just had to hound on me everyday to join the team. i did. failed miserably at the events the gave me also. they made me throw discus. wow. i think i hit opening heigth for the high jump once. 400 meter dash was a joke. but at least i was exercising. kept me from just sitting in front of a computer all day. then came the dreaded 1 mile run in physical education class. i was usually one of the last in the class to finish. i prepared myself for another debacle, but as i began, amazingly, i was running faster than my classmates. it was definitely a new experience. 6:34 mile. enough to have the cross country coach invite me out for the team the next fall. tried it, wasn’t too hot, but enjoyed it. even though i was slow, i had the feeling that i could get better. track the next season was even better. conference runner up in the one mile run. to prepare for high school cross country the next fall, i decided to run 3 miles every day. i had no idea how to measure threee miles, so i ran around the track 12 times every night. freshman cross country year, i made it onto the varsity team by midseason. continued with a decent track season. i never was great. i think i can safely blame that on the aforementioned complete lack of any innate athletic talent. but i can’t be sad with what i acheived. 6 times all-conference in CC and track. track mvp my senior year. its what put me through high school. even if our team was the only winning sports team at the school (which was basically true), we were still the nerds and the losers, but that was ok. it felt good to be good at something.

lame story, sorry for the waste of time. just a peek into the person that makes up ryan.

well hello dolly

per tangerine’s request:

when i was a young missionary lad in japan, some kind hearted members drove my companion and i up into the mountains of tochigi prefecture to a magical place called nikko. after hundreds of years as a sacred shinto shrine, tokugawa ieyasu, the great shogun of edo japan, designated the area as a temple to honor himself after his death. deep in the thick forest lies a series of grand halls and temples, filled with treasure and buddhist shrines. each building is ornately decorated with brightly lacquered wood carvings. most famous of these carvings is that of the three monkeys. one with his eyes covered, one with his ears covered, and one with his mouth covered. see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. one reason monkeys are found in these carvings is that the nikko mountains are home to a species of japanese monkeys. these monkeys grow to be rather large, around the size of a small toddler for the largest adults. the monkeys have learned over the centuries how to co-exist with the dense human populations of japan. near the temples, souvenir shop owners must constantly watch their wares in case of a mischevious monkey looking for a new toy or snack. signs warning tourists about eating food near forested areas line the trails. this is where i saw my first wild monkey, and it remains today as one of the most exciting events i have ever witnessed. as we drove up the mountain road, we came up to a large parking lot off to the right. much to my great joy, i saw a rather large monkey bounding down a row of cars! riveted as our car continued on, i watched the monkey approach a woman who was pulling what appeared to be a cooler out of her trunk. just as our car completed the turn, putting the scene out of view, i saw the monkey jump up onto the back of the woman! i was giddy with delight! i saw a real, wild monkey interacting with a human! oh happy day.

on a more serious note:

i am now the 100 hour board heart throb. you may call me that if you wish. i plan on signing all future questions with that title included. i haven’t even used my pheromone cologne yet and look at where i’ve gotten!

strong curry

we had an international potluck for our ward fhe last night. having lived as a missionary in japan, i knew that making curry was the only way to go. so, my roommate and i set out on the arduous task of making a big pot full of curry and also a bunch of rice. we were a bit late, and as i carried our pot up to the food table, i noticed someone had made “potato and carrot curry” from sri lanka, which look suspiciously like my japanese curry. they also had a bowl of rice, which looked like it actually tasted good, unlike mine. well, that was rather embarrassing, because i am a horrible cook, so i assumed the entire ward would find this out after comparing the two curries. actually, things turned out not so bad. it would seem that sri lankan curry has quite a different taste than japanese curry (and i preferred the latter). but, the point of this whole story is that i went to play practice stinking of curry and onions. opening night is february 2nd, so mark your (you know who you are…) calendars.

bad ideas:

  • going to a dance, knowing beforehand that everyone was going to be way too young

  • being upset at the fact that everyone at the dance was way too young

  • acting stupidly because of being upset and doing things one will regret later

  • after acting stupidly, staying up until 3 AM watching movies

the simple things in life

i felt like i needed a late night snack while putting my laundry in the dryer, so i stopped by the creamery. 4 corn dogs for $1.39 seemed like a good deal. well, lo and behold, they were half off, so i got them for $.69. Half off corn dogs FTW!!

play update

i have a speaking part. for anyone who knows the play, i am ambrose, the guy who dolly (as in hello dolly) is helping to get married. at least thats what i think the story is. to be honest, i really don’t know.

why do we do things we know we shouldn’t? i’ve seen it both in my life and in those nearby. out of some morbid sense of curiosity, we do something that is only going to hurt us. i don’t know.

drooling over the Apple iPhone and is wondering if he can afford to break his Sprint contract early…

i am in a play

I am part of the chorus of Hello Dolly. I get to sing and dance. I will be posting the time/place for all of you to come. Thank you.

welcome to provo

first day back in provo. went back to work. woo. i went for a run tonight. it felt really good. just a 3+ miles.. nothing big. time to get rid of those mission-esque love handles that started sneaking back over the break…

i found myself throwing up my outside arm for leverage, lowering my head, and surging through a tight corner… gosh… no better way to break someones will than by suddenly being three steps further ahead of him once he gets around the corner.. i loved racing…

ITOTD (interesting thing of the day): lately i have had a lot of street lamps just suddenly turn off while i was walking/running under them. at least 5 or 6 in the past month or so. weird, huh? i have a few theories:

  1. i am such a cheery and bright person so my glowing personality makes the lamp think its daytime.
  2. i am surrounded by an aura of evil darkness that drowns out all light.

the second one sounds pretty cool actually. all will succumb my evil aura of darkness!

i am a nerd

so, i got this kooky idea that it would be cool to be able to use linux on my computer without destroying my OSX install. macs can boot from firewire drives, and my ipod can be used as a firewire drive… so, i decided to install linux on my ipod.

if you are a geek, read on. if not, skip to the end. first, i needed to figure out how to partition my ipod without destroying its music playback capabilities. this actually wasn’t very hard. you can’t just toast the entire thing, because the ipod firmware is on a small partition at the beginning of the drive. after backing up the firmware partition using dd, i then backed up the ipod’s OS which is on the large partition using ditto (first i took off all of the music so there was very little to backup). using pdisk, i resized the 18.9gb partition to 14gb, and left the other 4gb empty. using ditto again, i put the os back onto the 14gb partition, and it worked like a charm. i didn’t even need to do a restore. then, booting up with an ubuntu install cd, i started the linux installation process. this is where i hit a snag. apparently post 1999 macs use whats called a newworld apple bootloader partition on the harddrive instead of a ROM. i decided it was just easiest to let the installer automatically set up the partitioning, but at the very end of the install process, everything croaked. it said it couldn’t find the newworld partition, so it wouldn’t boot. well crap. here is what i’ve found out so far. the boot loader that is used for booting linux on newworld ppc machines is called yaboot, and that is what is supposed to be loaded onto this partition. i bet that because the ipod is an external drive, the yaboot.config file didn’t get set up correctly. i am looking into manually editing this config file to see if i can’t get the settings pointing to the correct partitions. in order to load yaboot, i am going to have to find out if/how the apple open firmware (which is stored on the newworld boot partition on my internal disk) sees the ipod. if my tinkering with the yaboot config file doesn’t cause the ipod to be automatically recognized as a bootable drive, then i might be able to use open firmware commands to point to the ipod’s partition to run the boot loader. in the end, this is all rather moot because the ipod harddrive was not built to handle loading operating systems, so using for anything more than a short period of time will basically fry the drive. i guess it is just for the geek factor of it all..

end of geekiness. i am looking forward to school starting again.

for auld lang syne, my dear

another revolution around the sun.. hurray! well, hopefully it will be a bit better than the last.

my list of resolutions:

  • be a nice guy again. no more “slutting around” (thanks michelle!!).
  • straight A’s. no more of this A- crap.
  • bring sexy back.
  • less procrastinating.
  • find a hobby.
  • fall in love.
  • have someone to kiss next news year eve.

just some thoughts.

didn’t do a whole lot tonight. played games with the family, shot off the little confetti cracker things, freaking the heck out of babe the dog. drank my last glass of egg nog for this holiday season.

tomorrow: football games, cheese, and crackers.

did you know jimmy carter once was attacked by a swamp rabbit?

if wishes were horses, we’d all be eating steak.

its 4 am. another dreary night, though thankfully not cold enough to freeze. my parents were kind enough to leave some lights on downstairs for me. i decided i ought to go out and at least wish a few people a happy new year. it ended up just being luke and i beating resistance: fall of man and listening to emo music.

We twa hae run about the braes,
and pu’d the gowans fine ;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary foot,
sin auld lang syne.

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