Friday, January 28, 2005

Best Laid Plans…

Well, it wasn’t the photography that was the problem last week it was the schedule. I actually did take photographs last week. Well a few at least, it was a beautiful sunrise one early morning as I sat in my office looking at the insurmountable pile of stuff to get through. I took a few moments and shot the pictures that are at the link.

So, Friday night I had a party. An old and dear friend of mine made it back to Colorado after having returned to the south with her family. We got the old gang (or at least a great fraction of them) together to toast the return or our prodigal sister. It was a riot! Saturday morning I started cleaning carpets (it was well past time) and except for a few hours I tool off to go out and have a relaxing cup of coffee with a friend, I was still at it when I finally gave up for the afternoon. Sunday was full of all the things I would have normally done on Saturday but didn’t. I decided that I would get my blog updated on Monday when I got to the office.

Perhaps I will. You see, I have not yet been hack to the office. I was half way to the light rail station when the flu I have been trying to get over for the last five days hit with a vengeance. Yes, I’ve spent about twenty-one of every twenty-four hours for the last five days asleep. I feel like I have been rolled in a barrel with rocks.

Now, you may think that this is an idle simile, but I know that it is apt as I have been rolled down a hill in a barrel with rocks! When I was growing up in Southwest Miami, we had a lot of vacant land that the church owned, it had been cleared for building but nothing was on it. Clearing land for construction in that area of South Florida basically consists of scraping all the vegetation (and about 2” of the topsoil and loose rock) off the entire area to be developed and leaving the spoils in a hill to be disposed of later.

Out church owned a large lot that had, as I said, been cleared but been left undeveloped so the land had started to cover over with the local vegetation. There was always a barrel or two to be had in those days, I am not really sure why. I know that they were used for everything, fire pits, making pontoon docks, and construction junk bins, but if you were a kid and wanted to get one to play with (as the fulcrum for a see-saw, for instance) you could find one that could fit the bill.

The time in question, was after the conclusion of the annual church carnival. My friends and I had had lots of fun on a ride that spun you end-over-end in a disc-shaped car that spun around on a circular track. It was fun and left you just on the verge of not being able to go back to the food tent for Arros con Pollo! So we decided that the spoils hill at the back of the church property and one of the oil barrels could provide the same sensation. With a few old army blankets as padding, and a ramp cleared down the side of the hill, we would have one of us crawl in, sit so that we would roll end-over-end and then have the rest of us give a nice push down the hill.

The problem is that the open end of the barrel (required for the ingress and egress of the rider) also allowed various other things into the barrel as it rolled down the spoils. Things like chunks of coral (the main kind of rock in Miami), masonry, cinderblock, and broken bricks discarded when the surrounding houses had been built tended to enter the hole. For some reason, it seemed once this detritus entered the barrel, it never left until we dumped it out with the rider at the bottom of the hill.

But it wasn’t the ride that did the most damage, it was the sudden stop at the bottom when the barrel invariably hit one of the sapling palmettos or banyans that had started to reclaim the empty lot. But we were far too young (and stupid) to allow a little thing like a few bruises, contusions, and a minor concussion or two stop us from having fun! Remember, the point of all this was to have fun! If looking like we had been beaten was the price of fun, okay!

As a matter of fact, the feverish feeling I get when I am vertical for more than an hour or so while battling this flu also reminds me of having just stepped out of the barrel!

I think I should get horizontal and let someone else have some “fun” for a change.

Have a great day! Stay well!

Don Bergquist – Lakewood, Colorado – 28, December, 2005

Friday, January 14, 2005

January Reflections and Resolutions

Well, the new year is two weeks old now. I have yet to break any new year's resolutions. The fact that I have failed to actually make any is immaterial. My thinking is that if I don't make any, I can't break them!

I guess there are things that I should resolve to do. I should take more pictures. It is a craft I enjoy and one at which I wish to improve my skill. I guess the best way to do that is to take more pictures. So starting in the coming week I plan to make a photo excursion, no matter how mundane the subject, once a week and put at least one picture per week up here to my blog. We'll see how interesting the results can be.

I hope you're doing well on your resolutions!

Have a great day!

Don Bergquist – Lakewood, Colorado – 17, January, 2005

Saturday, January 01, 2005

New Year's Letter

Anybody can write Christmas cards and send them out before the holidays. Well, anybody but me, apparently! In my own defense, it has been quite a year, right down to the wire.

The year started normally enough, I worked on getting caught-up from the unfinished business of last year, did a little work around the home, and updated my website with my favorite pictures of the previous year. At work I was trying to figure-out whether I was going to have a job as they kept canceling projects that I was assigned to. It was an interesting time. And as we all know there is an ancient oriental curse that says: “May you live in interesting times.”
In the winter I got assigned to a new project that had (and still does) the capacity of completely changing the way that my company does business. We have started a new development project that has changed the methods we use and the conceptual methods we use to create new software. It was a big step outside my comfort zone, but it has been a great move! I’m loving my new position.

I did get to meet-up with friends and family this past year. I made my annual pilgrimage to the beach to spend some time with my best friend and his family. While there, my old roommate and his family were also in South Carolina so I got to spend time with them as well!

Self Portrait in London

I got back to Minnesota for Dad’s annual spring/birthday party. It was a nice surprise to see that both my brothers made the party as well! We all had a great time!
I also got to host my parents as they came through Denver on their way to Western Colorado for a visit to my Brother Denis and his family who took a tour of the western sites this summer. I then joined them as they drove across the state to Durango, Colorado. Denis and his family had rented a cabin outside Durango where we based ourselves as we explored Mesa Verde and the local mountains.

I did spend a short time in the hospital following the visit. I may never know the actual cause of my illness, but I suspect that I had an allergic reaction to a spider bite combined with an infection at the site of the bite.

One of the highlights of my year was my business trip to the United Kingdom at the end of the year. I spent four weeks working with one of our offices over there and doing some sightseeing when not at the office. I got to see lots of cool things. Since this was my first trip there, I started a web log. You can see it at:

It has been a good year and I am looking forward to more of the same this year. I sincerely hope that you and your family have a wonderful new year filled with all manner of good things!

Don Bergquist - 01 January, 2005 - Lakewood, Colorado