Walking off a ride

When a theme park ride breaks down and it can't be immediately fixed they turn up the work lights and guests are asked to walk out. It's something I secretly hope for each time I visit the parks. I learn plenty each time it happens as I get a peek behind the scenes. Yesterday after supper I decided to go for a quick trip up a logging trail on the local mountain. My kids and crew liken riding in my Jeep to riding the Indiana Jones Ride at Disneyland and I get the same kick each time I explore the bumpy roads. The plan was to go one hour in and one hour out this trip. It was a good plan, except for the fact I forgot to throw the spare tire in the back. I had a wonderful and bumpy ride up into the bush, complete with my favourite sound track played at low volume. The scenery was spectacular! Just before the clock hit one hour I turned around and headed back down. Shortly after I heard a hissing from the front tire. I instantly remembered what I had forgot. I drove to a widening of the road and the ride came to an unscheduled stop.

It was time to walk off the ride. You can bet I learned lots in the process. I had plenty of time to think about things as I walked down the mountain, 21 kilometres and about 2000 feet of elevation by the metrics on my iPhone. My good friend Chris met me at the bottom, we zoomed home to pick up the spare and then back up the mountain in his Jeep. We changed the tire and I was home just after midnight. The sturdy off road tires are scheduled to go on the Jeep this coming Tuesday. That means I will have four spares for the future.

Company mascot

One of the things we encourage our customers to do is have a quality mascot to promote their projects and also to provide a memorable experience for their guests. It's only right that we walk the walk and show our customers we believe in what we say. We of course have a mascot of our own. Although he doesn't get out much he's front and centre in the studio for all to see. His name is Spaz, the dragon. He's a perfect representation for the magic we create daily in our shop.

Fond memories

As a young artist  in my mid-twenties I was heavily influenced by one of my favourite illustrators, Normal Rockwell. At the time I made my living doing pen and ink drawings and limited edition prints. I tended to work in series, thoroughly exploring themes or subjects before moving on to the next. For a while I did many drawings of kids and typical situations, most often featuring my favourite models, Peter and Rebecca. One series I worked up was of them and their favourite outdoor toy 'the TORNADO' They had robbed the undercarriage from a classic red wagon to build their personal hot rod. The punch line was the bumper sticker on the back which read 'I drove the Coquihalla' - a new freeway through the mountains. The first drawing in the series was called 'the critic'.

The next piece was called 'the race' for obvious reasons.

A local police officer and friend kindly posed with the kids for this classic piece called 'Friendly Reminder.'