Friday, September 24, 2010


This is a momentous occasion. If you have been around reading my blog since I started it, or are some crazy person who went back and read all of my heroically bad grammared posts, then this is the first time that you have seen one of my drawings done in Photoshop color. Hallelujah. I have actually had Photoshop for awhile, but I hadn't the slightest idea of how to use it until recently. There you have it fellow losers, I mean, bloggers: color. Now, I probably should have followed some sort of color scheme so that the colors kind of fit together, but I need to leave room for improvement, right? The drawing looks a little better than it did last time at least.

I would probably have more to say about this drawing if I was able to post it back when the Vancouver Olympics was actually happening. I can barely remember what happened that year. But one thing is for certain, it is obvious that Shawn White with snowboarding was the only interesting thing about it anyway.

Oh yeah, and if you are some crazy person who actually wanted to look at the journal I took while on the road trip-tacular, you can check out my other blog, which I have devoted solely to travel time-type stuff.

Well, I hope to get all the drawings I have posted in color at some point. Until then, that's all I got.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Back in the st'eh'ts.

Entry 12 of my travel journal. No need for you all to read every single one of these, but I figure when the zombie uprising occurs, the sane people will have something to laugh about while their flesh is devoured.

August 11, 2010, Day 12:

Watch out, the Davis family is on the road again, and we are armed and dangerous with Burger King and Costco under our belts. Don’t ask me how we fit the two buildings in our pants; I’m still not quite sure myself.

As it was for most our nights up north, we got rained on. Last night was no exception. It looked a little strange to have our tent set up in the back of the Burger King parking lot to dry while we ate lunch, but even stranger were the looks we got because of our drying method. One man got out of his camper and asked us if that was the only place we found to camp. We came up with a witty remark much later, as most witty remarks come, and said, “Looks pretty good to us, we’re from LA.”

We left our campsite in Jasper around eight this morning and finally got out of Canada at about four. It would have taken half as long had we gone the fast way, and there hadn’t been a line the exact length of Rhode Island to get across the border.

While still in Canada we saw mountain goats running up and a steep hill, fields of purple flowers, and yet more stinkin’ waterfalls.

We entered into Idaho and made our way to Washington State. I have never been in Washington before and Joey made the comment that northern Idaho and eastern Washington look exactly the same as south western Alberta; he was right of course.

On the drive, the temperature has changed as often as the time. Apparently we are driving on the thin line between Mountain Time and Pacific Time. Right as I wish I had the last hour of my life back -poof- it’s there! If I want time to pass by a little quicker –poof- it happens! -Even though we aren’t an hour more down the road.

I am now getting a little tired, it has been about 12 hours in the car so far and there are many more to come, (especially if we cross back into Mountain Time). I think the best way for me to knock out and sleep right now is to get a whiff from my wide selection of footwear; Righty and Lefty. I just can’t hold my shoes to nose level or everyone else will droop off too, including the driver.

With power at my toe-tips, Ben.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Entry 11

August 10, Day 11:

I have taken so many pictures of so many things that I don’t even remember what the things are anymore. With all the pictures I have taken I may as well have had my view finder stapled to my face, documenting everything on the trip. A glue stick might have worked, but I didn’t have one lying around. We saw more waterfalls, similar to the ones we saw yesterday, one of which I call the Water Slide of Death. Not sure what it’s really called, but mine is more accurate and easier to pronounce I’m sure. One waterfall that I took a billion and twelve pictures of had a rainbow in its mist. Ah… many a memory of viral videos on the web.

We didn’t end up going on the glacier tour, but we went on the most awesome hike to a glacier and a lake with large ice chunks floating about inside. On the way to get there we saw many more vast glaciers, and a black bear. There might have been more, but that’s as much as I could tell with a camera stapled to my eye.

To get to the hike, we had to drive up a very windy road, and the irony was that the two people who don’t get motion sick were to two in the front seats; namely, my dad and I.

The hike was gorgeous with an amazing view 300 and 60 degrees around us. The scale of everything seemed to grow the closer we got. Waterfalls that seemed ten feet were actually more like 200 feet. Perhaps I could be more exact if I used meters like Canada and the rest of the world, but I am a rebellious American. Boo Yanks!

We switched seats on the way back and just now got all choked up about dinner; mostly because we ate in a smoky room with an old oven. The smoke turned the ceiling brown while the rest of the place was white washed wood. We will be leaving Canada early tomorrow, and let me tell ya’, I’m gonna’ miss the place. With its beautiful Rockies, funny accents, and no paper toilet seat covers in their “washrooms” (which around here at least don’t have running water), who’d want to leave? Well, I’ll see ya’ll back in the U-S-eh, that is if I get these staples out of my face.

Friday, September 17, 2010

When are these going to be over?

Below are entries 8 and 9 to my travel journal, enjoy.

"August 8, 2010, Day 8, I mean 9:

We continued our stay in the beautiful place of Banff, Canada, driving around the park because of the off and on rain showers. We saw many gorgeous lakes, marvelous mountains, cataracts, a big horn sheep right by our car, and glaciers! It’s funny that in our whole stay in Glacier National Park we really only saw one glacier. Now we are seeing many wondrous glaciers on glorious mountain sides. YAY Canada!

Today while we were on a small hike to look at a place where there was an active coal mine, I was thinking about the people’s lives that lived and worked there. It got me thinking about eternity, and the saints we will meet who lived at that time. God cares about each one individually throughout all times.

The one time I forgot to bring my camera was on another hike which just happens to be one of the best, most beautiful, amazing hikes of the trip. Both upper and lower falls were fantastic, but at lower falls there was a lady who was laying on a rock at the top of the falls. It would have ruined all my pictures had I brought my camera. Perhaps it was more of God’s providence.

I am trying to hold myself back from taking pictures of everything, because the camera is starting to get full, and this is only the 8th I mean 9th day of travel; two more weeks of the trip to go.

I think I’ve covered all that has happened, except maybe my dad’s photo taking obsession. Oh yeah, Zac found two four leaf clovers so far on this trip. I don’t think I have ever found one; talk about overkill. Zac says that he has found too many to count in his life, but if he had to put a number on it he would have to say around 50. I’d say closer to 49, but I digress. I think he’ll find more before the remainder of the trip is over…maybe.

August 9, 2010, (8/9/10), Day 10:

As if the trip couldn’t get any worse, Zac found 16 four leaf clovers just today, and 5 five leaf clovers! Five leaf clovers? I didn’t even know they existed. Perhaps the leprechaun wouldn’t have found so many had he helped more with the tent take-down this morning. No, I’m just kidding, he probably helped more than I did, because I was looking for the lucky clovers, with no luck. If Zac just looked down he’d see three more, so I taped the back of his head to his shoulder blades and glued his eyelids shut. I said, because of his luck, that I’d undo it all when we came to the next Canadian Lotto place, which I figured we’d find sooner than I would ever find a four leaf clover.

Well, we went on the wrong freeway for a while, but right before we noticed we saw a ton of people stopped by the road. Pulling over we saw a huge grizzly out in the distance. Three steps better than any old speck, we stayed for a few minutes watching the bear walk on the train tracks. I still don’t quite know the end of the story, but the bear was still trudging along after we turned around and went back the other direction in Yoho, British Columbia. Once we got going the right way we saw a black bear right by the gutter, and later a mom and two or three cubs trailing behind.

Still in Banff, we experienced some of the most picturesque sight of the entire trip with huge glaciers all over the place! Look right, then left, beauty all around.

We are now in Jasper, enjoying the many glaciers and are planning on walking around one on a three hour tour. I am a little wary however because we all know what happened on another three hour tour. Especially with the possibility of the glacier suddenly breaking, separating, or the possibility of falling down and getting lost in a deep dark crevasse with little hope of survival and rescue…It is now getting late, sweet dreams! "

To read day one of this crazy long thing, click here.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Below is entry 8 for my road trip journal. Click here for day one... 'case you wanted to catch up.

August 7, Day 8:

Yesterday’s sarcastic one didn’t go over so well with the fam, so I’ll stick purely to the facts. Haha, eh hem.

The day picked up quickly, with a citation just after breakfast. We committed the felony in the campsite right around the corner from ours where the former tenants left, nice, fresh wood sitting in their fire pit. My dad looked both ways, and didn’t look back. They probably left the logs for the people who would be staying in that campsite next, but we didn’t care, and quickly exited the crime scene. After we entered Canada we realized that we weren’t supposed to bring wood across the border. It might have taken us longer to figure it out except for the fact that there was a huge sign that said, “No firewood in case of Dutch Elms Disease.” But the border patrolman didn’t ask, so we didn’t care. We got out just desserts however because we are now staying at a campsite where you cannot have fires. I’m now wondering how we are going to burn off all the Dutch Elms disease we brought over.

As if stealing firewood wasn’t enough, almost immediately after the huge sign, there was a pullout with a restroom. The men’s and the women’s sides were separate, but since each had a pit toilet, where the stuff went down into for both sides was connected. My dad thought that my mom was still in the women’s and when he heard a long trickle of wee coming from the other, he yelled through, “I hear someone a’ pee’n in there!” But, that was not my mom weeing. Hello Canada, here come the Davis Family!

After this we went to the Bison Paddock, which unless I spelled it wrong sounded promising to us. At least all 7 buffalo that were way in the back corner looked majestic.

To change the subject, right as we crossed into Canada we noticed all their road signs are a lot more pictorial. It makes the signs much more enjoyable, so much in fact that drivers might actually look at them. Not that I could understand the signs if they did have words, because half of it would be written in Quebec-ian French. I actually think that is why they use pictures because it is more universal; that way they don’t have to write it in English as well as French.

Since we missed the US so much, we went to a KFC/Taco Bell combo for lunch. How much more American can you get?

Now we are at a campground in Banff (which is surprisingly difficult to say), and with each stop we get faster at setting up the tent, with the exception of making a lean-to out of the tarp in case of rain. We told Joey to hold it down so that when the wind starts blowing he’ll have a nice Para shoot ride into the trees. Eh hem…well, it is nice to be clean, I hadn’t had a shower since the RVish Park. This shower had a button, so you can’t control the temperature, and the water kept shutting itself off every 10 seconds. I’m not complaining or anything (or being sarcastic), I’m just stating the facts. Oh yeah, I am calling the mosquitoes, “Mass-quitoes” because of their great numbers up here. My dad says that since it gets so cold, they only have a few months to attack. That’s why they are so vicious. Who knows…just hand me the hair, I mean bug spray, lady.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Having a wonderful time.

August 6, Day 7ish:

Today, after a long, hot, crowded bus ride, we went for a long, hot, hilly, humid, sweaty, bug infested hike with dead trees and no rest areas. We had a great time, seeing great views like the one we saw while stopped by construction the other day. To sum up everything we saw on the extended trail today would be waterfalls and deer. Though the two made the trip exciting for the first turn or so, it got well frankly, boring. If someone was up ahead and said, “Look,” I’d say, “Let me guess, a small waterfall, or a deer perhaps?”

“Yes,” they’d say, “how’d you know?”

“The last bend.” I’d say.

I am now starting to think about mosquitoes here, and those back home. The difference, I suppose, aside from the Alamo type fighting numbers up here, is the smog down in So Cal keeps the creeps small, slow, and stupid. The ones down in my backyard hardly would make a mark when they would bite you, but the mosquitoes here are nasty, with bites that double the size of your arm. My legs are a small scale model of the mountains here in Glacier, complete with snow and wild mountain goats bouncing about. Each bite steals a little of my pigment. The ones that I am getting now turn white and look surprisingly like a skin disease, or an allergic reaction. Though I am not quite sure they are mosquito bites, I assume they are, since there is nothing else around here except poison oak.

The more people I see, often in long, crowded bus rides, I see the contrast to the people here and those in the California region. Unlike the bugs down south, the people in OC stick to themselves and aren’t super friendly (with the exception of the people in my church). Now the great sights and the fact that these people are on vacation could be factors in their kindness, but partially I think it is because where I live is on-your-toes-busy; fast paced. Taking things slow is a nice way to go, especially when there are waterfalls and deer on every around every turn.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Days 5 and 6

Here are days five and six of the journal I took on the summer trip. To read day one, click here.

Aug. 4, 2010, Day 5:

We are now camping at Glacier National Park in Montana. We’ve been in four National Parks in the five days we’ve been gone. Also today we go to see Jeremiah in his natural habitat, working by the road on an animal crossing over pass. The slow day of driving was a nice break seeing the Saoon Saloon, Taco John’s and various specks that we thought were animals. Chillin’ back at Glacier, we went down to Lake Macdonald, and on this lake we went on a raft. I always did like spinning in circles. We also attended a ranger-talk slideshow time, which looked as though no one in the campground was going to go to. Obligated by guilt, we went, and had a pleasant time looking at animals dangling over cliffs about to fall to their deaths. And actually a lot of people we; my conscience feels alright now.

Well it is getting dark. The family has a fire going, just waiting for it to finally get dark. Zac is still hoping to see the aurora, and I will show off my excellent constellation finding skills pointing out the Seven Sisters tonight. Oh yeah, I’m good. I can’t wait to see the glaciers, and soap in the bathrooms. C’mon, how hard is it to put some soap in all 50 of the restrooms, and restock them when they’re empty? I mean really? I’m an American, I want ease and comfort! What do they think I’m doing, camping?

Aug. 5, Day 6:

Glacier National Park is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. Wide open places with snowy mountains, and deep gorges. The landscape, apparently, was carved out a lot by moving glaciers from many years past that have later melted away. The view is like a thanksgiving banquet for your eyes; the turkey being Heaven’s Peak, with snowy mashed potatoes and gravy, smothered up and down giving your pupils the heart burn plate of beauty.

Well, as we found out today, Glacier’s signs are easily misinterpreted. We decided to ride the bus, so we thought we would stand around waiting for a couple of minutes until it arrived. But when we read the sign that said that busses come every couple of minutes, it really meant a couple of hours. At least the view was interesting…for a couple of minutes. I was looking forward to the bus ride back when it finally did come, so I could complain to the second bus driver about the first one’s absence. But we had the same bus driver both ways, which hit me like a 5 year old Twinkie, interrupting the thanksgiving feast in my bowels.

Along with the inside of crammed buses, I saw mountain goats, big horn sheep, an aggressive granny, deer, and a sign in the bathroom stall which said, “Please flush twice.” The people who made the bus signs could learn from that sign; short, blunt, and short. Though I’m not quite sure why they have a sign that says that. Is it for the courtesy of others, or the janitor? Either case, the sign can’t really be misinterpreted. And just incase it was too direct, it even says, “please.”

We are now on the other side of Glacier, at a nice little campground. And trust me, after a full day of thanksgiving feasting, the bathroom is the first place I want to stop at. One…two…this is for you, janitor.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Three s'things

Continuation of the journal I took on my Epic Annual Family Summer Road Trip-Tacular.

Aug. 3, 2010, Day 4:

The day has now been completed, consisting of three words that all begin with the letter “s”; Staring, Sustenance, and Jeremiah.

Most, if not every activity, applied the use of Staring today. I am surprised that so quickly in the trip I have nearly perfected the art of Staring. Staring, as defined by me, is the act of using one’s eyes to see everything but the back of one’s eyelids. Similar to the Look, Gaze, Glance, and Observation, the Stare usually first appears when one first wakes up, and terminates when they go to sleep.

Today I occupied the Stare while on the drive. My mom got her Bachelors in Observation and quickly graduated with a Doctorate in the Stare on the section where I was at the wheel. Not only did my parents give me the hardest part to drive, with construction on hilly roads, big semis, and passing lanes were present, but also some of the most beautiful drives to torture me as I attempted to attend the community college of Stare looking at the pavement.

To continue the trend of fast food on road trips, I filled up with this Sustenance. And how full I am! While my dad and I worked our Stare at Pizza Hut (which was a $6 buffet), we realized that living in California had made us accustom to different sorts of peoples and ethnic groups. We felt like the minority when only caucasion people present. Not to mention we were the only two sitting at the longest table in the entire restaurant, and we were the skinniest people in there; probably by 200 pounds. That’s including the children. We also ate at 5 Guys. In combination of both places I have eaten, I have been stinkin’ up everywhere I go. Thank the red meats!

And last but not least, Jeremiah. A friend I haven’t seen in a whole week! Now that he has a job here in Montana, we decided to come and visit him. After showing us around Missoula, he, the fam. and I went to go see an aurora, which supposedly was/is happening tonight. Well, at most that was a waste of time. And at least I got to work on my Stare, looking at absolutely nothing.

Well, bed is looking tasty. Oh yeah, we decided that we would overstay our welcome at Jeremiah’s and spend the night. It is now twelve’ two. Happy Wednesday! Alright, Tuesday is over - shut up.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Oh give me a home...

Here is Day 3 of the journal I took on the trip. And you can find the first two by just scrolling down or clicking here and here.

Aug. 2, 2010, Day 3:

What did the buffalo say to his kid going off to college? “Bi-son.” Well, that’s the word of the day, bison,…or tired. Unlike my previous visit to Yellowstone where we saw buffalo at a distance, and that only on the last day, this time we have been within 15 feet of bison, and have seen them in several places. I love buffalo, so majestic, so wooly, so fat headed. Nothing beats a buffalo, literally, they are massive, and yet so gentle looking. Amazing.

Along with bison we saw plenty of Elk, deer, antelope, geysers, waterfalls, and people stopped to look at a speck which they claimed was a bear. I guess they must have seen out license plate and rallied their cousins and uncles to pull a fast one on us. Silly hicks, tricks are for kids!

Although I didn’t think it possible, we had more stops today than we had yesterday. Seeing geysers and mud pots, and geysers and waterfalls, and geysers and geysers, in and out, and in and out of the car made me tired. Not to mention standing around waiting for Old Faithful to blow. Speaking of tricks, that guy-zer faked us out more than any uncle, looking like it was going to blow a dozen times. It made the camera run out of batteries, but thankfully it’s my mom’s camera, not mine. Again, ‘Ol Faithy must’ve seen the license plate.

We are now right outside of Yellowstone, at a KOAish R.V. Park, which Zac observed isn’t park like “grass and field,” but like “park your car.” RV, duh.

Well, I gotta’ go shower now, even though I have been bathing in bug spray, sunscreen, and sulfur mist all day. Not to mention sweat.
I am now convinced that the invention of bug spray was some guy who was going mad from the heat lathered himself with his wife’s hairspray, and noticed that the bugs didn’t bite him as much as his prankster uncle. Now they use the left over hairspray at the factories and replace the original label with one that says, “Bug Spray.”

I am also convinced that the spray does absolutely nothing, with the exception of annoying us all. Maybe it is another trick. The only thing mosquitoes are warded off by is the smell of the stuff, consequently so is the rest of the world. Funny how the one place we don’t put the old hairspray nowadays is our hair. Perhaps going mad from the heat is how most entrepreneurs start. Perhaps like the inventor of sunscreen.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Still Trippin'

Below is the next part of the journal that I made on my family's long summer road trip. You can read the first day's entry here.

Now on with the show!

August 1, 2010, Day 2:

Today is the first day of camping. Driving today, we passed through three states, two national parks, and what seems like 300 visitor centers from various places. The worst one was in Utah about the Oregon Trail. Half of it was paintings made for the museum, the other half was quilts. Quilts. Quilts? Who cares about quilts?! They may have been interesting had they actually been made by people traveling to Oregon, but they were made just to fill the other half of the visitor center.

The third half didn’t even have its lights on, even though that looked like the most interesting part. I guess they decided no to pay the electric bill on Sunday mornings because everyone in Utah a Mormon. So there are plenty of crew cuts, bicycles, and carefully planned brick communities around their tabernacles (which everyone would be at on Sunday mornings).

The rest of the drive was way more exciting consisting of beautiful forests, open plains, and The Tetons. And what Grand Tetons they were; spectacular mountains we spent most of the day looking at.

Following twisty, barfy roads, we found our way to Yellowstone. After our recovery, we ate dinner. Thankfully it was my mom’s cooking so we only got a little sick from eating the meal. We went to the lake to see some bugs, and we ended up seeing some geysers as well. We went to a spot we went to the last time we were here, and the mosquito bites hurt then too.

Coming back to the campsite we saw some Elk. It doesn’t take one long here to realize that you can’t see stuff from the road, all you have to do is to look for people stopped by the side of the road acting like they are pointing and taking pictures. Joey finally saw something.

Now I am writing by the light of the flashlight, I hope we have enough batteries. A few moments ago I saw a bat, or a big bird, or a small bird depending on how big you think a bat is.

Alright, I need to go to sleep, but here is my Yellowstone song, sung to the tune of the Hawaii Chair commercial, “Yellowstone, it’s a great place, don’t ya’ know! Saw some geysers like ‘Ol Faithful. You really outta’ go!”

Oh yeah! I had my first heart attack of the trip today when Matt nearly stepped on a snack and I was standing right behind him. Until tomorrow, if the mosquitoes allow. Good Night.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Day 1

This is the first journal entry of the trip. I am hoping to put all of them up here eventually while I work on learning Photoshop. I usually wrote each entry any time from late afternoon to midnight, and that usually by the light of a flashlight or while we were eating dinner, so I didn't spend a whole lot of time on any of the entries; just free writing. In typing it up I tried to fix most of the mistakes, but left a few in their for its vintage quality.
And just so you guys would have no idea what we did on the trip, I was sure to fill each time I wrote in the journal with inside jokes that were made on the trip, and sarcastic extremities. If you didn't know me, you might say I didn't like the trip, but that's why I am putting this on the internet, where anyone can see, people who have no idea who I am, who could totally misinterpret what I say... Um well, here you go:

July 31, 2010,

Epic Annual Family Summer Road Trip-tacular Day 1:

Today we started out epic trip north similar to birds in summer. My family and I, a couple of bird-brains, are questing on another summer travel. But if you are reading this you probably know all that already.

We didn’t leave too early this morning which was kind of a bummer because then none of us got any sleep in the car. The drive today was smooth with just a few 30 foot potholes, 30 billion pit stops, small fights, cliffs, rocks, and the occasional thunder storm. Yeah, it’s going pretty smooth. Today is the longest day of driving, or so my parents make me believe, but thankfully video games saved the day. And I actually won a few times on Mario Kart. We saw many exciting sights today such as Kolob Canyons (a part of Zion National Park), which was beautiful, sunsets, double rainbows, and Joey didn’t see any cows. We stopped and ate lunch today in a Carl’s Jr., in a gas station, in Las Vegas…yeah triple sketch.

Seems like a long time since we waved goodbye to Mark, Tawnie, and The Cimino, since we have gone through four states today. And yet after all that traveling I still can’t sleep because my body is on Pacific Time, while reality is in Mountain Time.

Well, I will try to keep these things short since not only am I penning down this even with journal and comic, but Matt is documenting via video, Zac through facebook, and Joey is doing absolutely nothing. (Sorry for all the disses Joey.) So the trip should be well remembered.

Shutter Shades in the Shadows, Ben.