Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Mines of Moriah

Anyone who has been a scout has stories of camping. Some of them are funny. Some are downright horrific. Some, like the Orc Trek, are excellent.

In the name of two-deep leadership, I volunteered to go along. My son Sam was going, too, which was another really good excuse to go on what promised to be a great adventure. We set up base camp near Mt. Adams, just across the Columbia River in Washington, and from there we explored a series of caves — caves with exotic names like “Dead Horse Cave.” Most of the trip was scrabbling around dark, dank and musty caves, like Orcs. And, being scouts, by the end of the trip they smelled just like Orcs, too! Unlike Orcs, we didn’t dine on man flesh. Rather, we had Dutch oven barbecued ribs. Mmm!

With the help of my two young apprentices, Sam and Ben, we created this trip logo and made up a couple of T-shirts. Great trip!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Monday sketchbook: Blind dates

Guess the cinematic inspiration?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Something a little different...

Last week, being Father's Day, I was asked to speak in church about fathers; in particular, I was asked to speak about father and son relationships in the Book of Mormon.

Quite naturally, I started with Lehi and his sons and the interesting relationships there. My theory is that leaving all their stuff behind when they fled Jerusalem had a greater impact on Laman and Lemuel because they were the older brothers. It didn't bother Sam and Nephi as much because they were the little brothers who were always in the way and never got to play with the cool toys anyway. All the later problems stemmed from giving up all their cool stuff.

The Alma family (Alma, Alma the Younger, Helaman, Shiblon and Corianton) had some interesting things going on, too. Powerful men, but a bit of a rebellious streak that shows up in all three generations, ya know?

My favorite father and son team is Mormon and Moroni. They were both pretty cool in and of themselves. I think it's way cool that they both wrote in each other's books, and that it was Moroni who delivered the plates that became the Book of Mormon. Their letters to each other became scripture, they encouraged each other in troubled times. One particular point that shows the strength and depth of their relationship was after Mormon was killed in battle (along with all the rest of the Nephites), Moroni took up where Mormon left off by saying, "Behold I, Moroni, do finish the record of my father..." I think it's meaningful that he didn't say "the record of my people," but rather, "the record of my father."

Anyway, all that leads to today's piece. This is another in our series of bookmarks, this one of Moroni burying the plates.

If you want to know more about the Book of Mormon and what it's all about, I suggest starting here.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


As much fun as watching them work on the road was, one thing that was pretty nasty was when they sprayed the sealant on the finished concrete. Not only did it make the surface extremely sticky, it STANK!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Camera back on me...

That's interesting...we have cartoons this week about a wedding, a honeymoon, and now the birth of a baby. What's up with that?

I was strolling around the blog world a while back, and was checking out the links on one interesting site (sorry I don't remember which one!). One was a link to Seriously So Blessed, a blog that parodies the mommy-blogosphere. It cracked me up! The entry on the birth of their twins, Alivyiah TreCole and Tridger Kaegrin, reminded me of this cartoon...well, without the Slip 'n' Slide.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I may need a bellhop!

One of the purposes of the Explore Provo cartoon strip was to encourage people to patronize the businesses that were affected by the construction work. One of the first segments was on the south part of town, which at that time was...um...the less desirable part of town. One of the few businesses located there was the old Hotel Roberts, which in its day may have been a nice hotel, but at this point it was way past its prime.

The challenge was to promote it without mocking it. This is the result...it could have been worse!

Afterthought: What was I thinking that made me think it was a good idea to put a pine tree in the corner? Why not a lamp or a chair or something a little more typical of a hotel lobby?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Soap opera

For the next nine weeks we're down to one kid at home, and I'm convinced that we have more laundry now than we ever did when everyone was living at home. My theory is that we as parents have been saving up all our dirty clothes until they were all gone so that (a)our clothes didn't get mixed in with theirs, and (b) we could be sure the washing machine and dryer were actually clean before we put anything in them...with five boys, it's amazing what kinds of things turn up in the laundry room!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Monday sketchbook: "Let them eat kibble!"

My wife is the French teacher at the high school, and today she starts her summer French camp for elementary and middle school kids. For one of their activities, they're making trebuchets out of mouse traps. It's better (and safer!) than making guillotines. That little activity reminded me of this idea that never made it past the sketchbook, probably for good reason.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

In 140 or less

The sequel to yesterday's cartoon.

Why no Fathers Day cartoon? To paraphrase Spock in the latest Star Trek movie, it would seem oddly self-serving.

Happy Fathers Day to all!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Status report

June is the month of weddings, and having just gone through one recently, I understand the importance of incorporating modern technology into the traditional.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Sam's day!

Sam's heading off to start work at camp today (his birthday!), but before he leaves, he has to clean his room. This might be a good idea.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

What's on the menu?

I thought it would be fun to run this cartoon today because we were supposed to have the missionaries come over for dinner last night. All too often for the missionaries' liking, members sometimes forget about the dinner invitations or they call to cancel and the missionaries wind up fending for themselves.

Well, we got a call last night from the elders...and they bailed on us! Can you believe they dumped us to go teach some investigators!?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

When we're helping we're happy!

We have a saying in our house: "You're helping too much!" It usually happens when someone is doing something fun, like baking cookies or drawing. It never seems to come up when we're doing chores...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The water's fine

Yesterday was the last day for students at high school; today is the last day for teachers. It's amazing how much traffic drops off as soon as school is out.

I drew this cartoon for the newspaper during spring semester finals at BYU. My brother was notorious for hanging out at the pool whenever he wasn't in class, and I could just imagine something like this happening to him.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Reverent, Lee! Quiet, Lee!

I know the idea's not exactly new, in fact, I'm sure it's something a lot of parents have thought about!

We moved into out new church building yesterday. It's probably twice as big as our old building. It's going to take a little getting used to!

BTW, I had a buddy named Lee who hated that old Primary song, "Reverently, quietly." He always thought that he was in trouble whenever they sang it!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Flag Day!

I think this is why in some quarters they call the game "Capture the Flag."

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Friday, June 12, 2009

Mmm, good!

It's Elder Zach's birthday! So in celebration, here's a missionary cartoon.

I remember one time as a missionary in Korea we had a zone activity at an Army base. All the American elders were looking forward to a meal of cheeseburgers and French fries. My companion at that time, however, was Korean. He wanted to leave before the meal because he thought American food was gross! Luckily for me, the zone leaders said that he needed to stay, but he didn't have to eat. That was a compromise that worked for me!

P.S. We got word from Elder Z that they just had six baptisms last week, with two more scheduled! Happy birthday!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

These cleats are made for walking

Tonight is our last game of the Little League season. It's been a good year: the coaches have been positive, patient and nice; the parents have been well-behaved; the kids seem to have had a good time and improved in their skills. And that's what Little League is supposed to be all about.

This particular cartoon reminds me of one of my sons who always managed to get on base. His skill wasn't in hitting, however. For some reason he was a ball magnet at bat -- he'd reach first by getting hit with the ball. Oh, he'd swing occasionally. Every now and then he'd get a hit. But we could always count on him to get on base...one way or another!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Monday, June 8, 2009

Monday sketchbook: The more they stay the same

News reports indicate that Kim Jong-il has named his youngest son as his successor, making him the third generation of the Kim family to govern the nation. Some say that the recent missile launches are part of the succession planning, with the intent of showing that the youngest Kim planned the launches to show North Korea's strength to the world.

In the meantime, those who aren't in power continue to starve. Hence the saying, "plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose" or, "the more things change, the more they stay the same."

That's what the sketch is supposed to portray: on one side we have the statues of the "great leaders" and their missiles with soldiers marching in front of them; on the other side we have the hungry, everyday people scraping up what they hope will be enough food to get them through the day. Think that'll change with the new regime?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Ahh! The smell of pepperoni sizzling over an open campfire!

We had a father and sons overnighter scheduled for last night. While other folks have their Dutch ovens or camp stoves going, there's one family that always brings pizza. The dad says that it's because pizza is the only thing the kids will eat. The kids, however, tell me a different story... I wonder which is true?

The weather canceled the camp, however, so they were able to have their pizza at home.

P.S. For all you purists out there, I know that Scouts aren't supposed to bring electronics when they go camping. For all you realists out there, I know they often do.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The end is at hand!

We have a high school junior and a high school teacher here under our roof; both of them are saying the same thing!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

It soon will be tomorrow!

This school year is fast drawing to a close. Some of the kids are running out of time to procrastinate!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Monday sketchbook: Saved from the heat?

Sunday was one of the hottest days of the year so far. It was nice to spend a good chunk of the afternoon in a nice, cool chapel.

On a side note, our new church building is almost complete. We should start meeting there in the next few weeks. The new building will become the new stake center (which will necessitate a name change for the stake). Our ward (Eola Hills) and the Glenn Creek ward will meet there, and the current/old building will be left to the Brush Hills ward and the Spanish branch.

Not only does the new building have AC, it's got a full-sized basketball court as well. Cool!