Sunday, May 31, 2009

Fashion warehouse

I always worry about the people who work on road crews and don't look good in orange.

And thus endeth our monthlong look at transportation in celebration of Transportation Safety Month. Now hit the freeway and go crazy!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A passing note...

Another in the series of PSAs, created in partnership with the Highway Patrol of the Department of Public Safety.

Didn't get me out of any tickets, however. Dang!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Superheroes in action, part 2

The new Office of Consultant Services was a success, and Judy found herself with a new nickname, "Consultantwoman."

We were never able to find someone to wear orange tights, a hardhat and underwear to be her sidekick, however.

That's probably a good thing.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Superheroes in action, part 1

At UDOT, we started an office that had the function of making it easier to work with consultants, the Office of Consultant Services (it's now a separate division!). It was new to the agency and new to the consulting world. So, to introduce the concept, the head of the new office asked me to help her make a fun, offbeat presentation. We came up with the idea of Consultant Woman and her faithful sidekick, UDOTMan.

These were done in the days before Photoshop and PowerPoint came of age, so the pictures were all hand colored, then photographed and made into slides - that were run through a slide projector! Talk about ancient technology!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wheel of (mis)fortune


My bike was stolen on Memorial Day - the bike I use to ride to work. Or that I used to ride, I guess.

It wouldn't be so bad if it weren't the sixth bike that I've had stolen since moving to Salem. It doesn't seem to matter if they are locked or unlocked, secured on not secured, cheap or expensive.

I guess someone felt they needed my bike more than I do.


This is a page from a bicycle safety coloring book that we started at the Utah Department of Transportation. We got to the draft stage, but then something happened and it didn't make it all the way to print. It stars two bicycling geckos: the good example, Biko Gecko, and the bad example, Bonk - who always winds up getting in trouble because he ignores the safety rules.

At least the work wasn't wasted. I use the coloring book every year to teach my Cub Scouts about bicycle safety.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Walk this way!

The crosswalks in downtown Provo were pretty cool. They had audio cues for the visually impaired -- one direction was a chirping sound, the other direction was a cuckoo. When the roadwork was going on, the air was filled with onomatopoeia!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Monday sketchbook: Live long and nyuk, nyuk, nyuk!

OK, so this may be really stretching it for the transportation theme this month (perhaps the voyages of the Starship Enterprise boldy going where no one has gone before?), but Ben came up with this idea after learning about the Vulcan salute: the Three Vulcan Stooges doing a two-pronged eye poke (with the logical defensive move) and a Vulcan nerve pinch. I think the Stooges would have been a big hit on Vulcan, don't you?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Drive less. Save more.

ODOT is part of a campaign to get people to use alternate forms of transportation, like mass transit, car pooling, biking or going on foot. It's called "Drive Less. Save More." Our transit folks are running an ad in the Chinook Book, an eco-friendly coupon book targeted to the Portland area. They wanted to have something "fun" for their ad, so we made this cartoon for them. The coupon is an e-coupon, meaning you can get it online. Each month we partner with another group, so if you bring in your bike helmet or bus pass and the coupon you get some sort of sweet deal. And when you buy the coupon book, you get your very own copy of one of my cartoons!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Arrive Alive - faster!

I can see the influence of Calvin and Hobbes in this one. I should have made the guy Spaceman Spiff.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I get by with a little help

When we were doing the University Avenue project, I half expected the Young Men and Young Women from one of the local wards to come by with their shovels and trowels and offer to do a service project. That would've been cool.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Beavers and ducks!

Every now and then I get asked to draw mascots for different organizations. ODOT hosted a national conference a couple of years ago, and one of the concepts we considered was having these mascots be on all the conference materials: signs, name badges, tickets (as Oregon is the Beaver State, and the Beavers and Ducks are the mascots of the two biggest universities in the state, Oregon State and the University of Oregon respectively).

In the end we went with another idea, but I thought these guys were kinda cute.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Needs a little bit of newt...

Every department of transportation that I know of has what they call a "materials testing lab" where they take samples of pavement materials and other stuff and see what they can do to destroy it. It's all kind of secret, kind of like the DOT equivalent of Area 51.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Monday sketchbook: before there was air

Besides work zone safety, one of the other big messages we're pushing during Transportation Safety Month is occupant protection. So that got me thinking, what did they do back in pioneer times when they didn't have seat belts?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Somewhere in there...

This was a lot of fun to draw, a "Where's Waldo?" take on road construction. The idea was to find the engineer (who is sporting a buzz cut, popular amongst the engineers I knew at that time and place). There's all sorts of fun stuff going on elsewhere in the alien, a football player, an unfortunate bungee jumper, a guy working in wet cement. Click on the image for a larger picture and see what fun things you can find!

Friday, May 15, 2009

High road to Provo

This is one of my Daily Universe editorial cartoons. When I was going to school, I thought it was pretty stupid that the city would have one of the main north/south roads to campus torn up (900 East) during the summer. Little did I know that a few years later, I'd be telling folks what a great idea it was to have the other main north/south road to campus torn up all summer (and into the fall!) with University Avenue (see the Explore Provo cartoons).

I was a little surprised that they didn't typeset the caption, "Third guy today looking for a road to take him back to 900 East."

I also thought it was pretty cool that I could show off my mad han-ja skills, using the Chinese characters for China. I was impressed!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Heroes in a half shell

This was incredibly popular amongst a certain group of employees at the department of transportation.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Revenge of the nerds?

The idea of uncivil engineers just totally plays against the stereotype. I like it.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Monday, May 11, 2009

Monday sketchbook: making a good impression

My niece used this method while serving on a mission in Arizona. Accidentally, of course!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Crossing the globe

Tomorrow is the anniversary of the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in the United States. So to commemorate the event, I want to fulfill a promise I made long ago.

One day at the Utah Department of Transportation, a man wearing a hard hat came to the information desk. He had an idea that he wanted to share, and wanted us to share as well. I told him I would share it...but I didn't say where or when.

Proposal by Clayton Harold Walker III

"This proposal is brought UP from Kansas City and Colorado because there are definite advantages. Nevada concurs.

"Problems historically almost resurrect the Civil Ware East of the Mississippi. Furthermore, the 40th parallel is very complex, especially in Europe and Asia.

"I have gotten acceptance of the 40th parallel as far east as the 87 37 west longitude, but Michigan and the Great Lakes problems amplify problems greatly on those reconciliations.

"Within Utah, the population versus territory (IM [out of]) balance becomes readily apparent at the suggestion of four territories divided by Super Powered Train Lines and Related Organized Utilities.

"The train would run across Utah through Ouray, Thistle, Payson and Ibapah. However, the majority of the problem seems to be to the EAST.

"The linear regression model is extremely sensitive to distance squared from the line. Whereas the majority of the Utah and Arizona universities are east of the line, it appears advantageous to DOG LEG A DOUBLE DRIFT. RECENT PRIORS MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE KITT PEAK DATA IN Southwestern Arizona during early April of 2323 A.D.


"Expectations of the magnitude of the problem heading north are considerably out of calibration. Could not find crayons in PANIC BAG. CHINESE SECURITY STAMP 2:35 P.M.

"Although there are many advantages in a trip direct to Greece by airplane, the train calibration and tuning systems that were tested on AMTRAK in Kansas in 1988, In Canada in 1987, and in Europe both years can provide some very useful information for future planning. We really need a well-developed research prject.

"One of the biggest problems is the difficulty of thinking under pressure. Navigators and certified public accountants and hard to find and train. Proof is rewarded. Proof is rewarded. Herzberg of Utah.

"The government and the public are the same, and therefore, those objecting to reorganization are those who know they have been taking more than they give. Some lawyers and lobbyists also.

"Seriously, Clayton Harold Walker"

Now I've fulfilled my promise. You're welcome!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Isn't that right, George?

With Mother's Day coming up, I figured I should take a moment and pay homage to my Grandma. She could have done it, too!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Why did the crow cross the road?

This is another of our parodies of The Far Side. I don't know whether or not it's a good sign, but it took me a while to determine that I drew this rather than Mr. Larson.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Why did the cow cross the road?

For a few years, we ran a parody of our UDOT newsletter The Fast Lane that we called The Slow Lane. At the time, Gray Larkin, a businessman from St. George, was one of our commissioners...which, of course, led to a couple of parodies of The Far Side, by Gary Larson. If it's possible to parody The Far Side...?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Monday sketchbook: a driving force

Driving in Utah is waaaaay different than driving in Oregon. Oregon drivers are laid back and courteous (for the most part). In Utah it seems that driving is a competition rather than a mode of transportation.

Case in point.

We were driving between Spanish Fork and Salt Lake where the posted speed limit was 65. The pace of traffic, however, was 75+. Then we came upon a work zone, complete with "Reduced Speed Ahead" and "55 MPH" and "Fines Double" signs.

Well, knowing that May is Transportation Safety Awareness Month, and as a former UDOT and current ODOT employee, and further knowing that the No. 1 cause of work zone crashes is excessive speed, like an idiot, I slowed down!

Big mistake!

I had people zooming past me on both sides, not giving me "welcome to Utah" gestures. And I had only slowed to 65! I can just imagine what would have happened had I actually dropped down to the posted legal limit!

It then occurred to me that the majority of the population along the Wasatch Front professes to believe the 12th Article of Faith, which says "We obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law."

Every time I go back, I realize how much I miss the mountains. But the traffic? Not a bit!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Special guest artist: Shauna Mooney

Here's another one from way back when...I have to say that this is a lot more calm than my original drawing!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

A public service announcement

I warned you about the transportation theme! This is from a series of print ads we (UDOT) did as public service announcements, partnering with the Utah Highway Patrol and the Utah Department of Public Safety. The ads were really successful, as was the larger campaign, especially with the weekly papers in the outlying areas.

This particular one is especially appropriate for today. Frequent readers may recognize the baby in the car seat as the star of Christopher's World, a strip I tried to do when my first son was born. Thursday was his wedding. Today we are traveling from Utah to Oregon, going from the reception there to the reception here. I hope we, as we say, arrive alive!

Friday, May 1, 2009

A witness to history

Welcome to May and Transportation Safety Month! It's my job; I have to tell you that. A lot of my entries this month will be transportation-related...although it may be a stretch of the imagination for some of them.

Here's the first one.

OK, it may be a lame little cartoon, but it holds a special place in my heart (eww!). That's because this was the first cartoon I ever rendered entirely on a computer. I used an early version of Adobe Illustrator (sorry, I don't remember which one), and it was done on a "portable" fit in a 3x3x5 case, weighed about 50 pounds and often rode shotgun with me in my little Honda.

By the way, I just took our little Lab out for a walk. The cartoon is still true!