I bought a book on how to draw cartoons…

I’m not sure if I have time to learn to draw cartoons, but I really liked the thought of drawing cartoons when we went to the Hobby Lobby in Wichita, KS.  The I bought is a nice hardbound affair, “The Beginner’s Guide to Drawing Cartoons: a step by step guide to drawing Fantastic Cartoons by: Paul B. Davies, Kevin Faeber, Terry Longhurst, and David Pattison, with text by Amanda O’Neill and seems pretty well thought out.

So, tonight, I thought I had a fire department meeting, but I didn’t, so I had the gift of an extra hour.  How often does that happen?

Not very often.  I wanted to get a set of paints and an easel, but really, when and where would I find the time?

Holly is going off cooked food so she’s busy making some Raw food treats.  Elisabet is working on photos, so I thought I’d get out my Motion Computing LE1600, fire up Art Rage 2.0, and practice on the first lesson in the book.  After 40 minutes, here’s what I I have this fish that I know how to draw. 

fish #1

Take care.  Perhaps I’ll do another one later on if there’s time.

It’s nice to be able to relax on the weekend.

Holly likes to do the Calendar days in Spanish.  Mark can count into his teens in Spanish and is really quite proud of himself, as you can see in the photo.  She sings songs with them:

IMG_9909c Uno, dos, tres amigos,
Cuatro, cinco, seis amigos,
Siete, ocho, nueve amigos,
Diez amigos son….

Diez, nueve, ocho amigos,
Siete, seis, cinco amigos,
Cuatro , tres, dos amigos,
Un amigo es.

His 6th birthday is in a couple weeks and he’s really liking Kindergarten so far.

In Kindergarten, they have a calendar time every day, but they do it in English.  I suppose there will be plenty of time for Luke Michael to learn the calendar in English before he makes it to school. IMG_0020c

Also, John Caleb had his 10 month birthday the other day, so we did a really quick impromptu photos shoot on the black bed sheets.

He’s just growing by leaps and bounds; well actually he’s not really growing super fast, but what he is doing is getting more and more mobile at an ever increasing rate.  In the photo, you can probably just make out his prominent lower right front tooth.  The left one is in now too, but it’s just not really visible yet and his top two are just beneath the gums.

It was actually a bit tough taking a picture of him on the bed as he kept crawling towards the camera so fast. Notice the blur of his hand as he dove forward to advance toward the camera.  I suppose it would have helped if I’d had a faster shutter speed, but I was using one of my backup lenses which max out at f/3.5. I can’t wait to get my replacement for the 17-55 f/2.8 IS that should be coming any day now in the mail from Canon.

IMG_0249cToday in Sunday School, Luke Michael was quite the participant, he was following all the instructions and answering questions.  He’s going to be quite the little student when he gets to school.

We wanted to have Elisabet be active in the Sunday School class so we had her help out with the little kids by being the photographer.  She did a great job moving around and changing heights all the time and took this photo of Luke along with a bunch of other ones.  You can tell from this shot that she was at eye level which is one thing that makes the photo so nice, as a candid.

And also this weekend, Elisabet helped me shoot a family portrait sitting.  She was a patient model, smiling and posing while I set up the lights, then helping to get the attention of the kids for the camera, and finally helping to break down all the gear and put it away when we were all done.

IMG_9338The Podsiki family photos turned out nicely.  To get the kids to smile, we used a combination of tickling and Elisabet doing jumping jacks.  I still need to do a bit of Photoshop on the background to get it to look smooth, but that shouldn’t be too difficult or time consuming, all things considered.


The Pastor’s Ass

The pastor entered his donkey in a race and it won.

The pastor was so pleased with the donkey that he entered it in the race again, and it won again.

The local paper read:


The Bishop was so upset with this kind of publicity that he ordered the pastor not to enter the donkey in another race.

The next day, the local paper headline read:


This was too much for the bishop,  so he ordered the pastor to get rid of the donkey.  The pastor decided to give it to a nun in a nearby convent. The local paper, hearing of the news, posted the following headline the  next day:


The bishop fainted.

He informed the nun that she would have to get rid of the donkey, so she sold it to a farmer for $10.

The next day the paper read:


This was too much for the bishop, so he ordered the nun to buy back the donkey and lead it to the plains where it could run wild.

The next day the headlines read:


The bishop was buried the next day.

The moral of the story is . . . being concerned about public opinion can bring you much grief and misery even shorten your life.

So be yourself and enjoy life.

Stop worrying about everyone else’s ass and you’ll be a lot happier and  live longer!

Have a nice day!

I Missed my flight!…

My flight was scheduled to leave Wichita at 11:40 PM, so I thought it’d be good to leave the house at 10:30, since it’s a ten minute drive.  But just when it was time to leave, mom and dad started looking all over Ted’s & Diane’s house to find mom’s missing plan book for work in which she’d written the notes she used while speaking at Grandma’s funeral. 

IMG_8769(Mom, Buddy, and Andy waved goodbye to me from the security checkpoint.  This is the type of shot you get with no flash or diffuser is used)

I was a little stressed and thinking to myself, “Guys, I need to be leaving right now.” But in order to communicate properly, I said, “Dad, I’ve got to leave right now for the airport.  I’m sure Ted can take me if we need him to.”  Turns out he’d forgotten that I needed to catch my airplane.  One of the interesting things about communicating, is that we communicate differently with different people.  If I’d been with Holly, we’d already be out in the cars and on the way, and she’d have been coming back in the door to get me right about then and all three boys would have been securely fastened in their seats…

And none of the rest of this would have even happened…

IMG_8770(On the right is a picture of me and my mom getting our ‘goodbye’ picture taken.  Moms are awesome!)

On the way to the airport, I remembered that I hadn’t bought a card reader for my photography class, and I was in just the right place to get one.  You see, I wanted to get three types of readers: a PCMCIA Compact Flash reader for the older laptops, an ExpressCard Compact Flash reader for the newer ones, and  USB 2.0 Compact Flash reader that would work with the little MACs and figured we just had time to swing by Wal-Mart to get what I needed, as it was right near the airport.  On talking with mom and dad, dad suggested that I check-in first, (after we meet up with Andy’s gang) and that I then go to Best Buy or Circuit City.  Being the flexible intelligent guy that I am, I can realize when a better plan has been offered, so we headed straight for the airport, our first stop.

IMG_8801(I love these new headrests that American Airlines has.  But watch out as it is easy to fall asleep when your head doesn’t flop back and forth!)

As we pulled in at the American airlines curb at the Mid Continent Airport, Andy & Rhoda pulled in behind us and piled out with all their kids to hug me goodbye.  On hearing the new plan, Andy quickly snatched up my bag and carried it in to the counter.  At the scale, I paid the ticket agent the $15 for the first checked bag (the charge is now $25 for the second and $150 for the third) which weighed 48.8 pounds, then put a pair of corduroys into it to top it off at an even 50.0 pounds, and then we were off to the electronics store.  I don’t like wearing two pairs of pants anyway.

IMG_8798 On the way to the shopping area, we saw Best Buy first so we headed there.  Rhoda ran into the store behind me to help me find the stuff.  I interrupted a salesman trying to sell some suit a phone then set off running to the camera section for the card readers–duh.  When we got there, a skirt trying to sell a polo shirt a point-n-shoot, so I started cruising up and down memory lane looking for the card readers while Rhoda staked out the sales interaction for a pause in the diatribe..  I couldn’t find anything using both eyes, but in short order, Rhoda had the lady over next to me and we quickly snatched the item off the shelf and ran for the checkout line. 

IMG_8819 Up front, there were eight retail isles but only one was womaned (as opposed to being ‘manned’), so I started tapping my foot and looking around anxiously.  The line moved quickly along until she started to ring up my stuff and I had to tell her in No Uncertain terms that I did NOT want a Best Buy awards card, or whatever it she called it.

Back at the terminal, Mom wanted another round of goodbye pictures, so we did some grin-and-clicks, then Mom, Andy and Buddy walked me up to the security ramp.  While we were walking along, it occurred to me that I’d forgotten to download the pictures from her Canon G9 to my HD last night and I was tempted to stop and pop her card into the built in card reader on my Inspiron 6400, but thought better of it.

Going through security, I wasn’t really thinking, then I proceeded down the concourse to the end of the line mentally patting myself on the back as I went along for having accomplished so much with so little time on the way to the airport, when all of a sudden I realized there were no planes pulled up to my concourse and no passengers either.  I’d made a wrong turn. 


I did a 180 on my heel and set off at a lumbering jog with my sore left knee and a backpack full of books.  After quite a little jog, winded, I plopped my bag down and fireman’s jacket in Gate 5 and walked around a bit catching my breath and dissipating heat..  Thirty seconds later, they started the boarding call.


IMG_8835Here’s another thing that never would have happened if Holly had been with me…

In the DFW Airport, I found Gate D40 for flight 897, confirmed that I still had 2:15 in layover time, found a discarded ‘Smarte Carte’ (is that French) at an empty gate plopped my bags onto it and then went tup to the overhead train so I could find the J6 crowd and the Richters, which turned out to be an easy task. 

We exchanged flight numbers, took some pictures, and made plans for lunch in Seattle, then I went back to the D concourse gates on the overhead train and got some lunch at the Golden Arches (McDonald’s).  I was reading through an interesting magazine article on the recent battle of the giants in laptop computer motherboards (powerful 3D GPUs (think Nvidia) vs. Faster CPUS with integrated GPUs (spelled Intel)) when I heard something that made my adrenaline pump like a fire engine.

IMG_8815c“This is the last call for Flight 1626 at Gate D40 with service to Seattle.  All passengers should now be aboard.” 

WHAT?  That was my gate ‘D40’ with a flight to Seattle.  I immediately dropped the magazine, ran out of the store, and started sprinting for the gate, pushing my ‘Smarte Carte’ at full speed and lengthening my stride as people leaped out of my path.  Thankfully I was at Gate D34 with not far to go and there were no small children anywhere in sight.  What was with the change in flight numbers?  I need to buy a watch!  How did this happen?

IMG_8853(Turns out there is a dedicated Croc’s store in the SeaTac Airport!  Cool.  I almost bought a pair for Holly.)

When I got to the Gate, D40, there was just one other passenger waiting in line at the head of the ramp.  The pressed suits and white shirts were eager to close the door and the fluorescent vests were doing one last look around.  I handed the white shirt with a scarf at the door my ticket and said, “I think I screwed up!”  She looked at my ticket and said, “Yup. Yours is flight 897 Seat 25” Then handed it back to me and looked away.  I looked at my ticket: confused.  My ticket said I was in seat 18b.

The suit at the counter said, “Sir, could you hand me your ticket.”  I walked over and handed it to him over the rope.  He looked at it and hit a few kes. “You’re at Seat 25 but you’ll never make it.  They just started boarding”. 

Now I was really confused.  The suit handed me my ticket and looked at me expectantly.

IMG_8873(Check out these high heeled crocs!)

Sadly, I started to walk away.

He called after me, “This plane leaves for Seattle and will land within 10 minutes of yours.  Yours is Seat 25.  You’ll never make it there now.”  He had a questioning look on his face.  I looked down at my ticket again confused, seat 18B it still said.  My shoulders dropped.

I stopped.  Lame.  I’d missed my plane.  I looked around sadly.  “Why am I in Seat 25?” I asked.  “Is it this way?” I gestured up the ramp to the overhead train.

“Not seat 25.  Your plane is boarding at gate C25, there was a change of gates.  You’ll never make it now.”

IMG_8870(Here’s the type of croc, I almost bought Holly)

“Oh. I see my plane got switced to Gate C25, and that plane is boarding, but I can’t catch that plane anymore.”

“Yes, sir.”


“No sir.  I’ve got room on this plane, and it will arrive within ten minutes of yours. Would you like to board this plane?”

“YES. Can I” I was excited now.

“Hand me your ticket.  We’re already two-and-a-half hours late right now.”

Cool.  So, I boarded a different plane and beat my original plane (and my bags) to SEATAC. 


IMG_8858(Here’s another surprising pair of crocs for your approval!)

The only thing that went wrong with that flight was this: When the flght attendants were pushing the beverage cart up the isle, I put the tray down in front of me and told the cart pushing attendant that I wanted some orange juice please and gestured toward my cup.  The next thing I remember was waking up with really cold fingers on my left hand, then having OJ all over the place.  Evidently, I fell asleep and then was awakened when I put my hand in my OJ: My tray was covered with a thin layer of OJ and the it was spilling off the edge on to my blue carhart fireman’s jacket as I sat and watchted it. I quickly righted the cup then slowly made the decision to push the little overhead button with the picture of the stewardess on it.  She said I was the third person to completely spill my orange juice on myself.  While cleaning it up, I found a fold in my jacket that held about half the cup–thankfully, I’d thought to put the jacket over my lap before I went to sleep.

IMG_8828Here’s a shot of Cliff & Betty at the food court in SeaTac.

When I got to SEATAC, I eventually met up with J6 (Jack, Jennifer, John, Joy, Joanna, and Jessica) and the Richters and we had a nice meal at the food court before I left on my Alaska Air Flight 69 with ser ice to Ketchikan and Juneau. 



More Croc shots I thought I’d include, just in case you’re like me and have never been to a croc store before.  I didn’t realize they have so many types of crocs.  Also, I came near to missing the flight here too, because I was having so much fun taking pictures of crocs.

IMG_8867IMG_8866 IMG_8865 IMG_8872 IMG_8862IMG_8861 IMG_8869

Johnie Esther Davis

Johnie_D Johnie Esther Davis passed away August 31, 2008 at age 92. She died peacefully at the home of her youngest son Ancil Ted Davis in Wichita, KS with members of her family present.

She is preceded in death by parents John Clarence and Margaret Ann Carter, husband Ancil Huber Davis, daughter Betty Jo Crepps and three brothers: Clarence Hall, James Thomas, and Don Fulton Carter.

She is survived by her sons John Wilber Davis of Worthington, IN – Ted, and sister Anne Marie Francis of Temple, TX. Also surviving are her grandchildren Dorie Crepps of Melbourne, FL, Jim Crepps of Fullerton, CA, Tami McCullough and Brett Davis of Wichita, Jack Davis and Betty Louanna Richter of Sitka, AK, Andy Davis of Worthington, IN, and Matt Davis of Haines, AK. She has 14 great-grandchildren and 3 great-great-grandchildren.

Back row L to R: Matt Davis, Andy Davis, Jim Crepps, Brett Davis. Front Row L to R: Betty Davis, Dorie Crepps-Ahnert, Tami McCullough, Jack Davis


The funeral service will be held in Belle Plaine, KS at the Methodist Church at 1:00 PM on Monday September 8, 2008, with visitation on Sunday at the Smith- Hatfield funeral home in Belle Plaine from 1:00 until 8:00 PM. (Family members will be present from 5:00 to 7:00 PM)


In lieu of flowers, memorials have been established at the Belle Plaine Church of Christ, Maude Carpenter Children’s Home, and Know Your Bible at Northside Church of Christ in Wichita.

Seated L to R: Dorothy Marcus, Vikki Fuller, Selah Marcus, Missy Dossey, Cydnee Dossey, Brooklynn Dossey, Matt, Carter, Buddy, Rhoda, Tiane, Andy, Joanna, Jennifer, Joy, Jack, Jessica, and John Davis.  Standing Row 1 L to R: Margie Carter, Diane Davis, Craig Dossey, Lindsay Kingsley, Sandra, Cameron, and Riley Davis, Dorie Crepps-Ahnert, Karen and Anne Marie Francis, Peggy Davis, Betty Richter. Back Row L to R: Ted Davis, Clayton & Tami McCullough, Kelby Kingsley, Brett Davis, Jim Crepps, John & Percy Francis, John Davis, and Cliff Richter.


Grandma’s Viewing

IMG_8439c Belle Plaine MapWe went to the viewing in Belle Plaine last night at a local funeral  home. 

The funeral home is remarkably similar to the one that we used for Grandma and Grandpa Hinds back in Worthington, Indiana and also perhaps similar to funeral homes across the country.  This is the town we always headed for when we went to visit Grandma and Grandad Davis.



IMG_8313There was a handful of classmates of my father and uncle Ted’s there at t he home to pay their respects.  The Family moved to Belle Plain from Wichita in the summer of 1954.  The bought the farm before that, then fixed up the house and moved there later.  Dad lived there for a year before graduating in 1955, Betty Jo graduated from HS in Wichita before they moved and Ted graduated from Belle Plaine in 1957.

IMG_8309One thing about the palor of death in the reclined position is that the skin doesn’t hang downwards.  This was something I didn’t notice myself but was point out to me. 

It’s difficult to imagine that the lifeless body there was my grandma for all those years except that she looks much the same in so many ways.  And it’s difficult to imagine that one day my mother and father will have a similar service that I will probably attend, and then, one day, my lifeless form will perhaps lie in a similar box and my children will perhaps gather around in a similar way. 

Mortality.  It’s quite a creepy thing. Holly has always told me that she doesn’t want to be embalmed, but to just cremate her. 

IMG_8307The Casket is nicely made and the slide show was nice too.  There was no real program at the viewing.

I rode down to Belle Plaine with John & Karen Francis, stopping by Harbor Freight along the way to pick up some galvanized shims so I can align my engine on the boat.

The Funeral is this afternoon and everyone is getting ready for it now.

Here’s another picture from the past…


Back row L to R: Christina, Jimmy, Dori, Brett, Tami, and Clay.  Front row L to R: Jack, Andy, Matt, and Betty.

0043cThis photo must have been taken in the early 80s at the Ancil Davis Farm near Belle  Plain and looks like it was taken in the summer or fall due to the shorts and general summer attire.

Tami remembers being pregnant with Missy at the time, but that seems nearly impossible, as Missy was born in June 1983, and she’s not really showing much.  Brett was still living with his parents and was in Connecticut until 1986. So, I can’t reconcile all that information to figure out a probable date.  If the date was in 1983, then that makes sense because that was the year my family spent the year in the lower 48 states while my folks spent a sabbatical in 1982-1983.

Photos are interesting as they document the way things are, and later on we can look back and see how things were.

Here’s a picture from the past… 1970

We had these pictures taken a long time ago at Olan Mills. See if you can figure out which one is me…


L to R: Jack, Andy, and Matt  Davis.  I suppose I was 10 months old or so.  We were in summer clothes, this must have been taken before we went to Alaska which was in the fall of 1970.  I was born in August of 1969.  I had big eyes back then too, I suppose one can say.  Jack still has his freckles and Andy still has the curly hair.

 IMG_0304cAs I write this, I’m at Uncle Ted’s house.  We’ve  been sitting around reminiscing and telling stories of the past and catching up with relatives from we haven’t seen in a while.  It’s good to see them again after about a year and half.  Andy is here with his three kids: Buddy, Carter and Christiane.  Jack is here with his family, the J6 crowd (Jack, Jennifer, John, Joy, Joanna, and Jessica).

IMG_0259cIn this picture on the left, we see what Andy looks like now.  He’s listening to some classical music that Uncle Ted got in the mail;  and this is his oldest son Buddy on the right.  Down in the picture below, is a picture of my dad and Uncle Ted.  Ted is working on the family tree with photos of each member of the family to display at the Funeral Monday and the viewing which is tomorrow. 



Ted has a wireless network here that allows us all to get online to do projects and keep in touch with family. Today, most of the guys went to watch a football game at Mays.

I went to the Hobby Lobby with the girls in a sort of self imposed time in purgatory, I thought, but ended up being enthralled by the painting section in general and the how-to books in particular.  Pictured L to R we have: Rhoda, Joy, Betty, Jennifer, and Dori.



Road trip Trip to Whitehorse!

I really wanted to go fishing this weekend, but Holly was down in the dumps and needed a pick-me-up.  And truthfully, so did I.

So while we were celebrating Ashley’s birthday party, I told Holly to find someone we could car-pool with on a road trip to my once-favorite getaway: Whitehorse.  With Elisabet in the family, we needed more passenger capacity, as each of our cars only seats five people


IMG_0124 We asked ray first, because he’d expressed interest earlier and has a large car, then we asked Fontenot.  He declined the trip but offered up his ‘stealth vader’ customized van for us to drive!  Cool, with a van like that we can seat seven people and we didn’t need to carpool with anyone.  Holly also invited the new counselor,

Lindsey Moore and the music Teacher Danielle Cousino, and they both decided to come  along.  In the end, the Chapin’s IMG_0126decided they wanted to wait until their mother could come along and so they loaned us their six-man tent to camp in.  Elisabet took this wonderful Picture of me playing with John Caleb right near one of the hot inputs from the hot-spring–it’s tack sharp too.

IMG_0331 One of the big draws of WH, for families, has always been the Tahkini Hotsprings as it has a nice bunch of campsites (of varying quality), it has a nice pool filled with hot water year round, is affordable, and for little kids, they empty it every night, so it becomes a huge toddler wading pool in the mornings.  Lindsay brought a four man tent for the girls to sleep in and we used the Chapin’s tent for our family.

IMG_0313We got a late start due to the impulsive nature of the trip and so by the time we got in to the hotsprings we just had time for some serious fun and then go to bed. 

Of course WH is in the interior and so it has a much wider range of weather than Haines does and some of us were not prepared for the sub-freezing temperatures.  In the photo above, you can see the van we borrowed from Mark and Lenise (thanks!), Lindsey’s tent, the pic-nic table and three fold-out chairs Chapin loaned us, and then Danielle’s car behind the van.

In this night photo, we’re sitting around telling stories and eating S’mores.


After swimming, we found that someone stole Elisabet’s towel so we were a towel short.   Then the younger boys were so tired that the fell asleep in the van before we could get them into their sleeping bags in the tent.  Holly slept with Luke and Mark in the van, I slept with Mark in the big tent, Elisabet and Lindsey slept in the smaller tent and Danielle opted for the comfort of the back-seat of her own car. 

IMG_0190 In the middle of the night, Elisabet opened the van door and asked Holly where her warm socks were, but of course it was pitch dark and she didn’t know how to turn on the lights, so she just told her to climb in the van and sleep on the bench-seat in the back with her and the younger boys.

IMG_0201 Of course no trip to WH would be complete without a stop over at McDonald’s to sample a burger, a shake, and some fries.  One of the main things I like about the golden arches is the play areas the have that sometimes allow the parents some peace and quiet.  In the picture above, Mark shows John Caleb how to spin the ball spinner that’s on the second level.

IMG_0272On the first morning we bumped into the Boron family, who have twin girls in Mark’s Class: Haley and Hannah) at the pool in during the toddler  time and Luke almost drowned in the deeper section after it filled up, but Holly saved him while holding John Caleb the whole time.   Always watch your kids.  Luke, we love you.  Yikes!

On the second day, Holly and I took the boys to the playground and met up with the Boron’s while the girls, Elisabet, Lindsey, and Danielle, went shopping.  Then we went to the Pizza Hut, then it was back out to the Hotsprings for one more round of fun in the hot water.

IMG_0409 IMG_0419 IMG_0427IMG_0450

On the way back, we stopped along the road a couple of times to shoot some fun shots of the kids running toward the camera down a path.


IMG_0382The most memorable part of the trip occurred on the way home about twenty miles past Haines Junction.  Holly said, “Let’s find your coat with the passports in it so we can go through the US border quickly without waking up the boys.  So we started to look all over the van for my Apocalypse jacket that I’ve had for about ten years.  They couldn’t find it as I drove along, so  I pulled over at the nearest wide spot in the road and emptied the van out into the gravel in about 30 seconds.  Sure enough.  The jacket was not in the van: No passports. 

So we turned around and headed back to WH.  When we got to Haines Junction, Holly needed to go the bathroom so we stopped in at a gas station we had just filled up at and they called Wal-Mart, McDonald’s, and the Hot Springs and we located the jacket with the passports at the Hot springs.  Whew!  The agreed to send it to us via mail and I gave them my visa number to pay for that.