Friday, July 31, 2009

Cub Camp: Day 4

So, was it really hot enough that arrows burst into flame on the archery range? Not quite. But it was awfully close. The kids hardly noticed, though, and no one complained.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Cub Camp: Day 3

Actually, it really was that hot -- either 105 or 109 depending on your source. They do something really cool for the kids at camp, however (cool in both senses of the word). There's a fire station next to the camp, and they come over with a truck and hose off the kids in the afternoon. If only they could add some soap!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Cub Camp: Day 2

'nuff said about that!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Monday, July 27, 2009

Monday skechbook: History in the making

See, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir has several hundred voices...and, as this is the early version of the choir, they probably only had a few people. Which leads us to another reason to celebrate: the Choir is 80 years old this month as well! Rock on, MoTab!
The video is of Walter Cronkite performing a version of "Silent Night" with the Choir.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Grammar lessons

We were asked to create a "plain English" class at work to help folks write so that the public can more easily understand what we write -- less jargon, fewer acronyms. Let's hope it works.

Friday, July 24, 2009

On the trail

When the Mormon pioneers first entered the Salt Lake Valley, there wasn't much to see. In fact, one recorded his impression that "there wasn't even a tree you could call a tree."

It's changed a lot since then.

Happy Pioneer Day!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Cricket Crossing

This is an illustration I did to go along with a story I did for our Utah Department of Transportation internal newsletter, The Fast Lane. Here's the story:


They were around in the early days, back before Utah was even a territory, and they nearly wiped out the first crops of the pioneers. They’re back again, only this time they’re on Interstate 15.

Thousands of Mormon crickets have swarmed I-15 in the Kanosh and Cove Fort area. Many met their doom when they tried to cross the freeway near Kanosh. The bugs were part of a swarm heading west, leaving little in their path.

Thad Stevens, District 5 materials lab, said that back in May “there were a whole bunch of bitty ones on the interstate, but they didn’t create any kind of a traffic hazard.”

Now those bitty ones have grown up and returned.

Van Burgess, deputy commissioner of the Utah Department of Agriculture said, “I’ve seen it when they were so thick on the road that they stopped traffic. It’s almost like driving on ice. They’re wet and greasy.”

“They’ll eat anything,” he said. “They just bite, chew and spit. They leave nothing behind.”

Darwin Hunt, District 5 construction engineer, said conditions on I-15 were bad, although the bugs were more annoying than anything.

“I don’t know about them making the road slick,” he said. “That may be kind of an exaggeration. It’s kind of like a chip seal.”

“They stink like crazy,” he added.

The pioneers’ crops were saved by flocks of seagulls that devoured the crickets. That could happen this time around as well.

“You may think I’m BS-ing you,” Hunt said, “but I’m not. There were sure a lot of seagulls around there!”

— UDOT Fast Lane, July 1991

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Interrupting cow?

This is borrowed from Good Heavens as a response to all the deaths in the news. I was OK with all of them until I got word that Walter Cronkite passed away. He was cool, and epitomized what a news anchor should be: a newsman, not a celebrity. He voiced some of the most important and memorable stories of a generation, from Kennedy to Vietnam to the Apollo program to Watergate. His voice will be missed.

So, on to this, our regularly scheduled cartoon.

Perhaps you can see why I don't mind interrupting it. I'm not even sure what this one means...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Monday skechbook: Moon Day

Today is the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing. I remember sitting in front of my grandma's old black and white television watching the broadcast. Even though I was little, I still remember that moment vividly.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Breakfast of champions

The Miracle of the Gulls is one of my favorite stories from early Church History. In a nutshell, hordes of crickets devoured the crops the pioneers had planted. They were stopped by seagulls who devoured them, regurgitated into the Great Salt Lake and then came back for more.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Tour de Biko

I have to at least make mention of the Tour de France, so here's Biko Gecko (our bicycle safety specialist) to remind us to obey traffic control devices. Not that there are many stop signs on the Tour, but you know what I mean.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

To the moon, Alice!

OK, the cartoon is kind of dumb, but it leads into a cool topic: this year marks the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon. And today marks the 40th anniversary of the launch. You can learn all about it at We Choose the Moon, a flash Web site that aspires to create the whole Apollo 11 experience online. NASA has its own site commemorating the event as well.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Yet another summer camp

When the kids are home in the summer, one of the big challenges we always faced was getting them to do their chores. We came up with the idea of "cleaning camp," a summer camp to help kids learn how to do chores properly. They thought we were kidding until we came up with a logo. It's funny -- all the kids we talk to HATE the idea, but all their parents LOVE it!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Monday skechbook: Safety first

One of the buzz phrases in transportation these days is "distracted driving," which is kind of a catch-all for all those things that take attention away from driving. So, I asked, did that ever happen to the pioneers?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Cover me

This is an illustration from The Dutiful Daughter-in-law: The Story of Ruth. It's my mother-in-law's birthday tomorrow, and she was part of the inspiration for the story.

This particular scene is when Ruth goes in to Boaz and asks him to "cover her with his cloak," to signify that he would take her in.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


One thing that surprised a lot of people was how well the University Avenue project went. There were very few glitches, and most of them were minor (at least the ones they told me about!). The project engineer said he didn't want to think about how well things were going so he didn't jinx it. By the way, the project finished under time, under budget and got extended, too!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Get it? Got it. Good!

A few years ago (several, really), the City of Provo ran a promotional campaign, "Provo's Got It, Get It!" That same summer they had a bunch of flooding and mudslides. In fact, we had a branch of the river running down the road in front of our house on 9th East. The natural disasters and the promotional tag line just seemed to fit together so well!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

It was somewhere over here...

I did a similar cartoon for my Good Heavens strip. The punchline might be the same, but the settings are totally different.

I hardly ever hear of people losing contact lenses these days. Has contact technology advanced so far in the past couple of decades that they've eliminated the problem?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

You move sixteen tons, what do you get?

We spent a good part of yesterday cleaning out our garage. We found all kinds of interesting treasures...not to go into too much detail, but for some reason this cartoon came to mind!

Amongst the discoveries we uncovered in the archeological dig in our garage was this old Christmas card from either middle school or high school. What's significant about this particular card is that it's from Just Me, the Mom. I thought that was pretty wild!

BTW, the card wasn't one of the items from the Netherworld as referenced in the cartoon.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Called to serve again. And again. And again.

One of my e-acquaintances (Christi Williams) suggested this idea to me. Her parents were called on a mission and were asked to extend several times. They became an eternal fixture in the mission office.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy fourth!

A few years ago I was asked to make some T-shirts for a group who spent the Fourth of July on the north coast. They called themselves the "Happy Camp Crabbers." This was the design of the shirt.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Who you callin' PYT?

I had to draw a new one to acknowledge the passing of Michael Jackson, since he was the artist of their era. I figured Kerri Jo would be the most broken up about it.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

We stand on guard for thee

Hey, it's Canada Day, eh? So here's one for our neighbors up north.

For the Gee Whiz file: In the first panel, Kerri Jo is holding a brochure for Raymond, my Mom's hometown in Alberta. Now you know.