Sunday, December 12, 2010

Welcome Benjamin

Headed East yesterday for the Pilgrim's shower for little Benjamin Eugene. That's a fine name if you ask me. Ben was a little early in his a arrival a few weeks ago, but he's doing fine now and doing all those normal baby things (pooping, sleeping, crying, pooping, and pooping). It was a good time, but probably the last time Matt and Beth will have to hang out for 18 years or so. Good luck with that. And I don't change diapers.


sleeping: activity 1 of 3

crying: activity 2 of 3

oh yes

from one Eugene to another

carhartts, direct from Indiana (courtesy Miss Brown)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Something I Can Shoot My Eye Out With

Sure, I know that titled ended in a preposition, but it seems a little pretentious (actually considering this blog, extremely pretentious... on second thought, I think the word pretentious is a little pretentious) to be to proper in this space. On third thought, this whole paragraph is seeming pretentious. Unfortunately my Backspace key fell off yesterday, so starting over...

Things I want for Christmas. That's what this post is about. Me, me, gimme, gimme.

OK, that's not quite right either.

Due to popular demand - and my apologies on the tardiness of this for those who have been clamoring for days, if not week (yes week... not weeks) - I give you the latest installment of my Christmas List. 2010 Edition. As usual, it will be a mixture of class, whimsy, and idiocy. The same mixture that resides within me. Also, literally the mixture that resides in me as I'm just polishing off a cocktail of Macallan, Grape Kool Aid, and Mr. Clean General Purpose Household Cleaner.

Being the eternal student that I am, books are always on the list. And what better way to simultaneously stir my intellect and indulge my predisposition for being super manly than a book of super manly stories?

Also of interest are Microcosmos and another we should all read, as well as any other book you think I'd like. And since I think it's important to learn about what my special lady likes, my own copy of Twilight.

The time of the horse in the Wild West has passed us by, now something like this would be ideal for traversing the wilderness. Of course, that's a bit rugged for the daily grind, so one would need a nice and sensible commuter, take this Dodge for instance.

priced to sell!

Whilst away in my Rally Fighter coupe for a weekend in the sticks, a nice knife like the Gerber Epic would come in handy. Since rubbing sticks together went the way of the horse, the Soto Pocket Torch starts fires nicely by turning your trusty Bic into a flamethrower. And no better way to keep that cowboy coffee hot after the fire goes out than this classic Stanley thermos.

Being a 21st Century man (the era, not the real estate company), there are many layers to this onion. Even though I may have the appearance of the second coming of Paul Bunyan, I have a refined side as well. Which couldn't be happier than listening to some pops and whizzes on my gold-armed Denon DP-A100.


Unfortunately large speakers aren't ideal for my current dwelling, so I'd be enjoying the a great tribute album (or anything by Ramblin' Jack Elliot) on a pair of sweet soundalicious cans. (Seriously though, these or these more reasonably priced phones would be awesome.) As you might expect, maintenance costs for such sophisticated hobbies can be a bit taxing on the wallet, so investments on my behalf are welcome as well; Berkshire Hathaway would be my preference and just a couple shares would do fine.

On a serious note though, I enjoy anything unique and fun (toys are always good). In particular, I would really appreciate some clever, quality coasters and refrigerator magnets. I never can get enough sweet tees (like this on on, but my favorite gifts are usually the things I would never think to put on a list. As always anything Wabash is sweet or any of my other schools for that matter (actually a Martinsville swimming tee would be super nice!). In the end though, the best thing is getting to go home and see all my loved ones... and get sick on ring-a-lings. Can't wait!

Gobble, Gobble

It had been a number of years since I was able to make it back to Indiana for Thanksgiving. Which is particularly sad because if there were ever a holiday for Lazy Uncle Ryan, this would be it. Thankfully (get it?) I was able to go home this year. And I did get to be lazy (for the most part - taters were mashed and dishes were washed), and I did get to eat a lot of turkey (thanks, Browns).

The trip also included a date to the new Harry Potter (without Woody or Caleb), numerous trips to Haps, and even more vanilla Cokes. Of course the best part was spending time with the people I am most thankful for (for those of you I didn't see last week, now you where you rank). Can't wait to see you all again in a couple weeks.

prepared for a feast

Bruce carves

building the Lego robot family; can't
remember their names

trolly time at Haps

More pics.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The City That Never Sleeps, Indeed

Two weekends ago I met Kelsey and our friends the Meyers in The Big Apple. They say it's the city that never sleeps, and I felt like I didn't either. It was, of course, a busy time with so much to do, but I think most of it was the jet lag and ambitious red eye travel itinerary that did me in. Believe me when I tell you that I was T-I-R-E-D when I got back to LA. And maybe a little grumpy when I was in NY.

But it was worth it because it was a great time with great people in a great place. The weather couldn't have been much more perfect - warm, but not so warm that the subway smelled too bad, blue skies with fluffy white clouds - which made all of the outdoor sightseeing we did even more enjoyable. We walked over the Brooklyn Bridge from Brooklyn to Manhattan, took the elevator to the observation deck atop 30 Rock, rode a ferry to Liberty and Ellis Islands, explored Central Park - the greatest park in America - and walked, walked, walked, walked around the city.

Besides walking, the other great thing to do in NYC is eat. And eat we did. We had the best pizza you'll ever find at Grimaldi's (eating ice cream while waiting in line), what some people called the world's best nachos - congratulations! You did it! - overpriced drinks at the hotel lounge, greasy burgers behind a curtain in a fancy schmancy hotel, a 5-star meal at Bobby Flay's Bar Americain, and all the cured meats you could ever need at the famous Carnegie Deli.

What an awesome time we had, and I can't wait to go back again. Thanks to the Meyers for meeting us there, you made it that much more enjoyable. Here's a few pics, but you can see them all here.

world's best pizza at Grimaldi's

Brooklyn Bridge

hotel view

pond in Central Park

top of 30 Rock

Liberty Island

the "Woody Allen" at Carnegie Deli

the 'ol stompin' grounds of Columbia

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

You Built It...

...And we came.

This subject deserves a much longer post, but it's late, I'm tired, I've got a lot to do tomorrow, and I've already posted my butt off these past few days. So I'm going to try to sum it up in a few paragraphs. Of course, it deserves a much longer post because it was so awesome.

Labor Day, the last day of a long, long, but fun, fun weekend, we opened up Johnson Field Of Dreams (name is not set in stone yet - which makes me think, hey, does the field need a sign?) with a game of softball. JFOD, naturally, was built by Josh, with a little help from Caleb, on the back lot at Josh and Abrah's house. I don't recall exactly how this idea came about, but I'm guessing it had a lot to do with all Riley wanting to do this summer being play baseball (anyone feel free to recount the real story in the comments).

Monday morning we all gathered up to play a few innings to christen the field before stuffing ourselves silly. It was a beautiful early Fall day, if a little windy. I think everyone had a great time (I know I did), and no one got seriously hurt - though we had a couple close calls. I think this needs to be a regular occurrence now, and I even heard rumors of a football game at Thanksgiving? Big thanks to everyone who put in work and to everyone else for showing up. A perfect way to end a great weekend.

Josh at the bat


well played

More pics.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Surprise Woody!

Fall is a great time of year as not only is it the beginning of football season but also the culmination of baseball. While baseball ending isn't good itself, it is an exciting time of year, and there's just a different buzz about fall baseball.

Megan had bought tickets to a Cubs game at Wrigley for Sunday, and when she heard that I would be home for Labor Day, she offered the other two tickets to Kelsey and me. Normally I'd be against anything to do with the Cubs, but I figured I could make an exception for my brother. Plus, how bad could a day at the park be anyway?

Now Megan had planned all this as a surprise, but she did finally cave and tell Woody Saturday night. He came strutting home with new Cubs shirt and tickets in hand (along with some P.F. Flyers) and gave us some lip when we all played dumb like we didn't know what was going on.

We took off Sunday morning just before church (no Cornerstone, Kelsey and I are not broken up) and Woody drove us up towards Chicago. I think most of the conversation was between Kelsey and Megan (hard to shut those two up), but I seem to remember something about cow stomachs and milk tankers/trailers (which is it again?).

I was planning on stopping at a Park and Ride outside of downtown and taking the train in but changed my mind on our way to the station. So Woody courageously got back on the freeway and headed further into town. We found parking at an apartment building a couple blocks from the field which wasn't too much trouble other than a 23-move exit when we left and Woody nearly road raging on some pedestrians on the way in (kidding... kinda).

We had time to grab some lunch at a tavern near the stadium, then walked the couple blocks to Sheffield Ave. and the start of the game. The game started out fairly competitive, but then things turned south, way south, for the cubs after the 4th or so. Fortunately we had several other sources of entertainment, not the least of which was Woody's new best friend beside him. I'm not sure all what they talked about, but I'm sure Wood could tell you. Kelsey seemed to enjoy the food, most notably the cotton candy, which seemed to crack Megan up for some reason. Oh you want one more? Ha ha! Actually the only reason I did those was because I had already wanted to make something of the "record setting wave" that occured that day. But when making that the idea to make the cotton candy ones flashed into my brain. And I'm glad it did. I could watch those all day.

nice day for a game

strike up the band

Cubs fans

The game did end up in a blowout (we left in top of the 9th before the Mets scored 5 more runs), but we all had a great time and it was a beautiful day. Thanks to Megan for inviting Kelsey and me. I'd be glad to go back any time. Maybe we should all do a trip to Busch III next summer?

happy birthday, Woody!

More baseball to come next post. And more pics!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Are You Ready For Some Football?!

Though we had a late night Friday, we had to get up early to drive to Cass County for the first Saturday of college football season - and the head-to-head between my Boilers and that team from South Bend. Bruce and Reta generously offered for all the Tuttles / Mallots / Johnsons / Corwins / Bruners to come over and watch the game and eat. And eat. And eat.

Not sure how many actually showed up, but it was quite a few, and there was still entirely too much food. And that's even with Caleb and Chris (and Kelsey) around. Bruce did some grilling, and Reta made a bunch of eats (and desserts), and Kelsey arranged for authentic Spanish cheese dogs, direct from B&K West. Not to mention the largest cooler I've ever seen full of glass-bottled Grape and Orange Crush. Nice touch.

Caleb and Abrah check out the spread

game time (slight interrupted by Riley)


I love college football season, but I can't really remember when I've been able to sit around with my family and watch some games. I can't really think of a better way to kick off the season than last Saturday. A big thanks to Bruce and Reta for opening up their home to all of us. Next time we just need to make sure Bruce gets in on a game of cornhole. As I understand it, he has a score to settle.

the real game begins

Brown court

Thanks again, Browns, I loved it.

More pics.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Hillbilly Holiday

I was back in Indiana last weekend for a full slate of Labor Day activities covering nearly the entire state (and parts of another). It all started with a plan to get together with some of my high school pals, and as the preceding weeks went by more and more got penciled into my calendar. I'll devote a post to each event.

I took the red eye Thursday night, meaning I arrived at IND at around 5:30 am. Geesh. Kelsey met me there bright and early to start things off. Perhaps foolishly, with her exhausted from a long week of school and me getting zero sleep on the plane, we were a couple of zombies. Worst part was we had more or less nowhere to go. We had plans in Bloomington that night, but couldn't check into the hotel for some time, and it would be pointless to drive back to Cass County. Kelsey did have a last bit of homework to finish up, so we ended up at a McDonalds just off 465. Free wifi and a McMuffin kept us awake for a while.

It didn't take long for Kels to finish her assignment so we headed down 37 to Bloomington. If I had planned ahead, I'm sure we could have crashed for a bit at The Pauls, but in my defense, I didn't. I kind of had an idea that we could just drive over to Lake Monroe and nap the day away there. The gloomy skies overhead quickly reminded me that I wasn't in southern California anymore and that I should consider the, you know, weather. We drove on anyway (what were our other options?), and things just worked out as the clouds opened up and the sun came out within a couple minutes of laying a blanket down.

We napped for an hour or so then decided we would head into town for an early lunch and try to get another nap that afternoon. Well that was the plan for about 20 minutes when we found out that we could get into the hotel a couple hours early. We promptly discarded lunch for sleep.

Unfortunately the nap didn't really take, so we just decided to get ready for the evening, realizing we would likely fall asleep spontaneously at dinner, dropping our faces into our plates. Jason and Liz met us and Kelsey's parents at the hotel around 4, and we all walked the ped/bike path over to Upland Brewery for dinner.

This was also the location for that night's main event, a benefit concert headlined by none other than Todd Snider. Deeter and his new gal pal, Mendi met the rest of us at dinner and we all proceeded to chow down. While we all chowed, it can not be said that we did so equally. The highlight was Deeter (of course) and Bruce ordering "Inferno Burgers." I dipped a corner of a fry into the habanero sauce, and I all I can say is that I am shocked that meal doesn't come with a waiver form.

After dinner we all walked over to the brewery parking lot where a stage and hay bail seating had been set up. There were a couple good folksy opening acts, The Elly Maze and T.V. Mike & The Scarecrows, and then Todd came out with a bassist and electric man. I've seen Todd many times - only with a band once - but this was something entirely different. They went straight into rock versions of Todd's songs and continued to kill it all night long. It. Was. Awesome. I had so much fun, and seeing all my old buddies just made it that much awesomier. Looking forward to next time.

the gang

todd snider, dan baird, and keith chritopher

More pics.

Update: and if you feel like downloading a great show, do it here.


Webster’s Dictionary defines wedding as “the fusing of two metals with a hot torch.” Well you know something? I think you guys are two metals… gold metals.
-Michael Gary Scott

OK, so maybe that was welding, not wedding, but I think that speech is worth repeating nonetheless. And it is pertinent as Kelsey and I did fuse together a weekend of camping with a wedding. In fact, we even took the wedding gift (a camping stove) along on the trip - though we did not use it, I swear, the wrapping paper just got ripped over the course of 600+ miles.

And we did make it back to SoCal in time to clean up and show up at the wedding on time. As usual, we packed more than seems possible into our short time together. It was a very lovely wedding, and a lot of fun with people that we both care for very much. My (our?) only regret is that we were so tired after a long week/weekend of running around that we faded pretty early in the evening. But I was able to talk Kelsey into one dance as the evening wound down.

the happy couple

So, congrats to Mitch and Val, and a big thank you for inviting Kelsey and me to enjoy your day. Best of luck for both of you, always.

my beautiful date

More pics.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Kelsey has been begging me to go camping nearly every trip she's made here to California. And in my defense, I've tried just about every time she's made her way here, but for one reason or another things have just never worked out for us in that regard. Well things nearly didn't work out this time either. I went back and forth all week about the logistics of where and when (as we still needed to be back for a wedding on Sunday). As a matter of fact, I had actually decided Thursday night that we would go somewhere in San Bernardino, but then decided with Kelsey's help Friday morning that we would go to San Luis Obispo or Big Sur instead.

Friday morning we got up early threw everything into the truck, grabbed a coffee, and headed north (after we decided we weren't heading east). Quickly after we got on the 405, I recalled what an utter mess it had been recently. So I got off on the 90 W over to Highway 1 and stuck with that all the way. We cruised through Santa Monica to Malibu to Santa Barbara to Santa Maria and finally, San Luis Obispo.

scenic PCH

We stopped at the SLO Taco Bell for lunch and I explained to Kelsey what the various options for campsites were. There was one spot in the hills of SLO. Only problem with that was it was a warm weekend, and it was a 30 minute drive from town. If the sites were full, we'd have to drive back down and make the 90 minute trip to Big Sur and try there. Having already driven 4 hours, I figured our chances of finding a site in Big Sur were slim if we took an hour detour in SLO. We decided to keep on moving north and take our chances with the three campgrounds at Big Sur.

Which was fine by me as that was where I really wanted to go anyway. I had been trying to get up there for camping going on about 3 years now. But the combination of me not planning ahead and those campgrounds being reserved well in advance resulted in it never happening. And it doesn't help that one of the largest campgrounds has been closed for two years due to fire damage.

The drive between SLO and Big Sur is easily one of the most beautiful pieces of roadway in the 48 states. Highway 1 winds up, over, and around a hilly coastline. With the Pacific ever present to the West, the fine sand and rolling yellow hills of Southern California begin to give way to the rocky cliffs and coastal trees of the North. Even more enjoyable than the scenery was being with Kelsey as she witnessed it all for the first time. Around every bend came another "Ooooooh" or "Ahhhhh."

Big Sur coastline - Highway 1

The first two campgrounds we came to are located just off Highway 1 and offer the quintessential Big Sur camp experience. Lush vegetation and trees surround with just a short hike down to the rocky beaches. The first one we came to was full up, but we drove through for a look around anyway. It had a very weird commune sort of vibe to it and very little privacy between the closely-spaced campsites. We figured we were better off elsewhere and drove a couple miles up the road to the next campground, Kirk Creek. Now this campground was what we were looking for, but unfortunately full as well. Located on a bluff a couple hundred feet above the ocean, every one of the 30-some sites has an unobstructed ocean view, as well as a great view of the green hills to the east. This was where we wanted to be.

Unfortunately it was not where we were to be, so we moved along once again. I was fairly certain the last campground would have available sites as there looked to be many unreserved according to the world wide web and the Yelp! reviews were less than impressive (complaints of bugs - which I didn't believe - and a windy road - oh no!). Well the road was a little windy (go figure, a windy road in the wilderness), enough so to make Kelsey a little queasy, but we did find about three empty campsites when we finally made it in. Of course, two of these were "closed" due to bees, and the third was in a very open, hot location. One of the bee sites didn't seem too bad, so we figured we'd give it a try for at least a night. The campground host assured us that if we avoided their "flight path" that we'd probably be fine.

And we were fine; the bees were mainly in a tree nearby, and by the time we got settled, they were more or less inactive for the rest of the night. So we made our dinner and sat around the fire to enjoy the night.

windy road to Ponderosa Campground

the "bee camp"

As we were engaging in said fireside night enjoyment, the couple from the next campsite were passed by with their dog. The four of us (five if you count the dog) ended up talking for a bit, and we invited them to bring their camp chairs over for a bit. Turns out they were really nice and we had a lot in common (really nice being only one commonality). Plus they had a really nice dog, which is all that really mattered to Kelsey.

The next morning we woke up to the morning sun and the sound of chirping... wait,... buzzing... bees. We fixed some breakfast quickly, but as we sit there eating the buzzing got louder, and the other bugs (I'm assuming those of Yelp! fame) started to show up too. With the campsite starting to warm up as well, we figured we should head down to the coastal campgrounds and see if we could luck into a spot, and if we couldn't pack up and head back to SLO.

We drove the 12 miles of turns and hills down to Kirk Creek, and checked all the campsites. According to the campground host, there were a few that opened up that morning, but it seems at 9am we weren't the early birds. So back up to Ponderosa to pack our things and head south. On the way back up, we passed our friends from the night before (Andrew, Brittany, and Rugby) who waved us over. Turns out they had been down to Kirk Creek about 45 minutes before us and claimed one of the open sites. Then they very graciously invited us to share their campsite. Kelsey and I jumped at the offer.

We parted there, they heading down the mountain to unload at the new camp, and we up to pack up our things at the beehive... which we did as quickly as I've ever cleaned camp before. Due in no small part to Kelsey being "over it." Actually she was so motivated I think she carried every heavy item up to the truck while I fiddled with the tent and sleeping bags.

As soon as we got the truck back onto the road to the coast Kelsey's spirits lifted. Mine did too, as we were really excited for oceanside camping. We pulled into the campsite drive in front of Andrew and Brittany and unloaded our things. Kelsey fixed lunch while I set up.

western view from camp

view to the east from camp

"forget the views, I'm just glad to see Rugby again," says Kelsey

After a quick lunch and many "thank yous" to our hosts, we all hiked the path down to the ocean to play. It was a short but pretty hike along a creek canyon leading out to the ocean. Flowers and green leaves lined both sides of the trail, finally dropping us onto the rocky coastline. We spent a couple hours or so climbing around the rocks and taking pictures. All Rugby wanted to do was play in the water. Eventually Andrew and I joined him, wading up to our knees and throwing water over our heads. Rugby must have had a heater tucked under all that fur because that water was COLD! I am not exaggerating when I say that a few seconds in the water at a time was all I could stand. It literally made my bones ache. But at the same time, very refreshing.

the gang playing on the rocks

one of us is enjoying this a little more

ocean trail

When play time was over, we hiked back up the trail to camp and relaxed for the remainder of the day. We sat around talking, taking pictures, and playing with Rugby. With Kelsey's help I finally managed to get some camp potatoes to turn out pretty good. We ate dinner watching the sunset. We even got a visit from a "lost" surfer. It was about 3 minutes into the conversation that he realized we weren't his camp mates, and it wasn't, in fact, his campsite. Then he took a couple grapes and continued on his way. Pretty much everything you could ask for in Big Sur camping. Amazingly, there weren't any clouds or fog to move in all night. I woke up at around 3am to use the bathroom, and the moon was sitting out over the ocean alone, reflecting for miles of the water.

Big Sur Time Lapse 1 from Ryan Tuttle on Vimeo.

a time lapse movie i made at our campsite

Kelsey and I packed up early the next morning, as we had to be in Ventura for a wedding (and would require a considerable amount of cleaning up). We thanked Andrew and Brittany again, and Kelsey said her goodbyes with Rugby. We traveled back down Highway 1, stopping in Cambria for breakfast, and at the Hearst Castle parking lot to unload some trash. We saw the elephant seals lie on the beach lazily, then continued on to the wedding, satisfied with our trip.

Kelsey scared the seal off

I can with all sincerity say that it was worth the wait. Kelsey is no doubt a great camping partner. And I look forward to all of our adventures to come.

camping grade: A+

More pics.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Just Kickin' It

Usually when Kelsey and I get together - whether it be out here in LA or back home again in Indiana (go ahead sing along) or some other place in these here United States - we tend to pack in the fun. Which leaves us both completely wiped out afterward. But this visit by Kelsey was supposed to be all about a relaxing time, just hanging out, being normal and not running around constantly.

I think we tried that for a while, but then Kelsey realized this meant sitting through my movie recommendations (and Shaun Of the Dead is a great movie, by the way) and so we ended up doing a bunch of stuff anyway. Actually the first few nights were pretty relaxed (actually really relaxed for Kelsey but I had to work during the day like a sucker), we just had dinner around town (Kelsey's first trip to Richmond St. for the peanut butter bacon burger - I had a salad) or fixed it ourselves (Kelsey's self).

soooo good

Then at midweek things started to get a little busier. Wednesday night we met up with Kelsey's friend Justin (okay, my friend too) at one of my favorite joints, Father's Office, for beers and the famous Office Burger and fries (the regular non-sweet potato variety for me). I don't know about everyone else (okay maybe I do), but I had a really great time. And Kelsey and I got to try out the LA Metro a little more taking the Big Blue Bus up to Santa Monica.

The next night (Thursday if you're following along) we met up with my friend Justin (okay Kelsey's friend too) and his girlfriend Jillian (okay she's my/our friend as well) for dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. It was, um, interesting hanging out with them as always. Just kidding, I had a lot of fun, it's just the conversation seems to go some awfully odd places when we get together. We tried to make it to a movie at the "sexy theater" but we all were kinda beat and had to be up early the next morning, so that didn't happen. Another time perhaps.

see? doesn't this conversation look interesting?

The reason Kelsey and I had to get up early the next morning was for our camping trip which will be in the next post.

And I do believe I set a personal best for parenthetical insertions in this post. I hope you enjoyed it.

(A few) more pics.