Ryan's Journal

"My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?" — David Mitchell

Glendale, California

Posted at 1:45 pm, December 7th, 2003

I just realized that the journal has been broken for the past week — sorry about that, I work off of a local copy and didn’t realize that the server had automatically “cleaned up” the links I use to build this page. It should hopefully be fixed now.

Glendale, California

Posted at 11:30 pm, December 3rd, 2003

Twenty-three days and thirteen minutes until the plane leaves from SFO and the Antarctica trip starts. Between now and then I’ve got to finish up at Warner Brothers, move out of JB’s place, and figure out whether it would be easier to survive on penguin meat or leopard seal, should the boat become encased in ice. I would think leopard seal would be tougher to catch, although penguins can be wiley little buggers…

Ahem. Despite the fact that Google has changed their searching algorithms such that this site is no longer the top result for searches on “Ryan Holliday”, I still found the results for miserable failure to be really amusing. Another fun one is to type “French military victories” into Google and then click on the “I’m feeling lucky” button. Last of all, this site is retarded.

Glendale, California

Posted at 8:05 pm, November 30th, 2003


Drove through the night Wednesday, arriving home at 3:00 AM Thursday morning. Five and a half hours later Aaron woke me up for the Turkey Bowl, which is the annual football game held at “Aaron Field”. Herrod showed up wearing the helmet cam 2.0, an improvement over the prior helmet cam which had survived only long enough to record Aaron tackling Herrod followed by the helmet flying across the field before shutting down. This time around the video camera was triple taped to the helmet, a chin strap was added, and tons of bubble wrap was used. The video was fun to watch, but next year’s version is going to need some steady-cam action to reduce viewer naseau.

The joys of one touchdown and knocking Miner senseless during a kickoff return were lessened when I misunderstood what the option play was and tossed a perfect strike to Junior, who took the interception back for a touchdown. Our Thanksgiving eating contest followed several hours later, but when Aaron weighed out with a net seven pound weight gain I conceded. Scott stayed in, chugging water for all he was worth and holding on gamely for second.


Sleep, beautiful sleep. Also scanned in a few more pictures from my 1999 trip to the Galapagos.


Skip and I went into the city, hitting up Woo’s for the standard barbecue pork rice noodle rolls and won ton. After a bit more roaming we returned home, and once Aaron was off work we headed out. Ping pong and pool at Masse’s was thwarted by a five dollar cover charge, but a good time was still had by all.


Wanting to avoid traffic I started on the road at 11:30 Saturday night, and drove to Monterey where I planned to get a few hours of sleep in the K-Mart parking lot. Unfortunately the local police were out in force, and while watching them pull over a girl and run her through a sobriety test another cop snuck in behind me and demanded to know what I was up to. When I told him I was watching this girl being forced to touch her nose and stand on one leg he lost it a bit, but once he was done laughing I was on my way down highway one. Finally got a few hours of sleep on a turnout along the ocean, and then spent the day moseying south along the most beautiful road in America. Stopped for an hour or two to say hello to the elephant seals, and finally got back to Los Angeles late in the afternoon.

Glendale, California

Posted at 9:30 pm, November 23rd, 2003

The next version of the Linux kernel, which is the software that this web server is running, is nearing its production release. Here’s an excerpt from Linus Torvald’s release announcement:

Btw, I tried to come up with a good name for this release. But the fact is, that as Scott Adams has so often pointed out, you can’t do much better than “weasel” when it comes to funny. Ever since the “greased weasel” series of kernel releases I have been stuck for a good name.

This release is tentatively called the “stoned beaver” release (beavers are _almost_ as good as weasels, as I’m sure Scott Adams would agree).

If you feel strongly about the issue, please send your votes and ideas to “feedback@beaver-overlord.com”, I’m sure somebody will find your insight fascinating.

Thank you in advance.

One can only imagine the meetings at Microsoft tomorrow morning where high ranking executives will be forced to say “stoned beaver” with a straight face.

Glendale, California

Posted at 11:15 pm, November 19th, 2003

Greg just added a new update on the Galapagos. I may try and get another trip together for May 2005, so if you’re interested or know someone who might be drop me a note and I’ll keep you in the loop. If you need details, the trip would be very similar to the last trip, although there are no guarantees of snorkeling with orcas this time around (as Greg would say, “it’s a crapshoot”).

Marine Iguana

Glendale, California

Posted at 1:45 pm, November 14th, 2003

I was writing to an old friend from work today about places in the world that I still want to visit. While trying to remember how to spell “Lechuguilla” Caverns I stumbled on this page (and this one) which has some absolutely amazing photos. Lechuguilla is high on the list of places to visit before I die, but it’s also very difficult to get access to.

A few of the other places on my list (since people ask a lot) are:

  • Australia and New Zealand – This one will be a trip that lasts several months some day, but I’m waiting to first meet exactly the right travel partner.
  • The Himalayas – The dream is to spend a few months trekking in Nepal, Pakistan, and/or Tibet with just a backpack and a camera.
  • Pribiloff Islands, Alaska – If you’ve ever seen a picture of a puffin or a walrus, there’s a good chance it was taken here.
  • Polar Bear National Park, Manitoba – I need to do some research to find out if there’s a lesser known place in which polar bears can be seen, otherwise Manitoba will be the spot to visit.
  • McNeill River Sanctuary, Alaska – Highest concentration of grizzly bears in the world.
  • Turkey – A girl I met on a train in Greece in 1998 put this one on the list.

There are hundreds of others; throw a dart at a map and you’ll hit something interesting. Easter Island, Machu Picchu, Siberia, Africa, the Great Wall of China, and so many others. Plus, there’s no doubt that I’ll return to the Galapagos, Alaska, and Europe. One lifetime isn’t enough.

Glendale, California

Posted at 11:25 pm, November 13th, 2003

progress (n) – Steady improvement, as of a society or civilization

Thousands of years ago primitive humans lived in caves. Their diets consisted of whatever they could scrounge up, and their social lives were little more than grunts directed at one another.

irony (n) – Incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs

Today I work in a small room with no windows. Occasionally I wander out to pick out whatever items might be left in the vending machine (yesterday it was a pack of mini cookies and some snack mix). I don’t know the names of most of my co-workers, but I mutter a hello when passing them in the halls.

I’m not complaining, especially not with only forty-four days remaining until I leave for Antarctica, but it is amusing when you step back and think about things a bit.

Glendale, California

Posted at 11:30 pm, November 9th, 2003

I’m not quite sure how best to describe the events of the past weekend. There was Aaron and Colonel Streule bumping and grinding on the dance floor while their girlfriends pretended not to know them. There was mud football and mud lacrosse, sleepwalking (“There’s a floor! And a carpet!”), grilled sausage with onions and peppers, near-debauchery with a girl whose name rhymed with Denali, and an ugly Browns game. And of course there was the 750 mile round-trip drive. I’m ready to move back to the Bay Area now.