Sunday, June 26, 2005

The Nature of things

This morning I wanted to write an article explaining how I wracked-up my knee last week so that I could not get out and take pictures this week as I had hoped to do. I had the opening all planned but this morning, Saga did something that so reminded me of the way Dad insists I behaved as a child, that I decided to lead with that. Please keep reading for the sordid details of my recent injury. They follow the main story.

It is a story that is legend in my family. I do not recall this ever happening, but if it did, I have to assume that it is just a natural way to behave. Saga did it this morning and it had me laughing!
Every summer, the Bergquists of Miami would take a family vacation. Even years we would drive to Minnesota (pulling the camping trailer behind the station wagon); odd years, it would be somewhere else, one year it was the Great Smoky Mountains, another it was just as far as Ocala National Forrest. It was always somewhere and regardless of where, there was always one thing that Dad insists would happen.

Don, being a naturally gregarious and outgoing boy would make friends will all the campers in our circle of the campground. According to Dad he would then show-up at each campsite as they were having breakfast and join them, returning happily to my own campsite when the rounds were completed. Is this a natural behaviour? I think so. As evidence, I present Saga.

Saga is one of the most friendly dogs I know. (At least if you have food anywhere about your person she is.) Far from being shy of people (as is, after all a breed trait, she goes up to people to see if they have any snacks they'd care to rid themselves of. She would be glad to assist them with the disposition of the unwanted edibles.

Saga

Saga has befriended almost everyone in my complex and if there is anyone that is out and about as we go out for our walk, she is certain to run up to them, say "hello" in her doggish fashion, and offer to rid them of any unwanted treats. This morning, however, she rose to a new low!

Saga, as usual, ran across the yard to rid the tree of those pesky squirrels, then went to Lynne and Peggy's place to see if, by any chance, either Peggy or Lynne had left any extra cookies lying around for her. They hadn't, but Lynne came to the door to say "Hello" as Saga ran up her deck stairs so when she opened the door to pet Saga, Saga ran into the house, and into the "magic food room" and awaited the reward.

Lynne, seeing that Saga wanted a treat, went into the kitchen, gave her a biscuit, and then let her back out. The retrieval of the cookie thusly dispatched, Saga strutted across the yard with more of a wag in her tail than is usual, and retreated to her own deck to consume the cookie.
Add a few station wagons, a couple tents and campers, and you have what Dad claims I used to do all the time. Hmmm… maybe there is some basis to his stories after all.

I hope that you will do what is in your nature today and that it makes you happy!

Don Bergquist - 26-June-2005 - Lakewood, Colorado

Lessons Learned While Bouldering

Last weekend I learned two lessons:

First: That Grus forms on boulders and is detached from the boulder it has formed on before it falls to the ground.

Second: Falling off the top of a six-foot boulder is not nearly as painful as the sudden stop at the end of the fall is.

Here's how it all went down (Pun intended): I went out bouldering in Boulder Canyon last weekend. It is a wonderful workout and a great way to see what there is to be seen of this lovely area that I live in! For those of you who do not know me well, a few years ago, I became aware of the sport of bouldering. Unlike free climbing or technical climbing, bouldering is a sport that calls for no special equipment and not a lot of physical fitness. It is a great place to start climbing.

In bouldering, you go to a mountain that has a lot of projecting boulders and you climb them. Usually, the boulders are no more than eight to ten feet individually, but since they are in piles, they can be bigger provided they lay against each other in such a way as to make climbing without equipment feasible. The object is to find a pile of them that is big enough to present a challenge but small enough that you can still get your arms around them, your feet and legs to places where you can lift yourself, and you then go for the top!

Map of Boulder Canyon

Well, I had made it to a pinnacle that I like to go to. It is about a mile from where you park your car and then a climb equivalent (from base to summit) of about a three-storey Building. The climb is not that strenuous, but by the time I reach the top, it is time to take some water and enjoy the view. It was on my way down that I learned my lessons.

The climb has two approaches. One has a few relatively hard climbs of eight to ten vertical feet interspersed with some nice sloping dirt paths in between and plenty of places to rest. The other side, the one overlooking the canyon is pretty much one long climb with a few ledges that are wide enough to stop on and to take a break and a look at the breathtaking views. Generally, I go up the steep way and then back down the easy way. It was no different this past weekend. I made the climb up the steep side, and enjoyed about an hour-or-so of staring out at the canyon below. (The entire descent into the canyon, all the way to the river, is easily as tall as a forty-story building. It looks as far from where I like to sit and enjoy the view to the river, as it would be from my office to the street. However, I only climb the top part from where the parking area is to the top. I have toyed with the thought of climbing down and back up, but the people I see do that all use harnesses and ropes and are far more fit than I am. It is sheer!)

On the way back down, I was at the last of the climbs before I was at the path back to the parking area when I jumped onto a grus-covered boulder. Of course, I didn't know it was covered with grus when I jumped onto it. Since grus is nothing more than degraded granite, it is granite colored and looks just like granite. It felt like granite underfoot. It was only when I went to jump to the next boulder that I discovered its true nature.

I was standing there contemplating which of the boulders ahead of me I wanted to go to. I could either make a pretty long (for me) leap to another boulder that was about two feet lower than the one I was on, or I could sit on the one I was on and slide down its side to another one that was about four feet lower than the one I was on. I opted to make the jump. This was a mistake. The boulder I was on had a surface of grus that had felt just fine when I landed. It felt fine as I stood there. The moment I applied lateral force to it to make it across the gap to the next boulder it gave way and went shooting off the rock behind me.

The first law of motion (or perhaps inertia is the first law and this is the second… I can never keep these straight) is that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The hope in this leap was that the force that I would need would be imparted to a steady and stable rock and that I would be propelled across a gap of open air landing safely on another boulder about three feet away. The problem is that the only action of thrusting my entire weight against the boulder (pushing with my legs in a direction opposite the one I wished to be propelled) never actually occurred. Instead, my action was to push a few pounds of grus, now loose (there’s a grus on the loose!) from the top of the boulder allowing it to fall to the ground. As this is hardly enough of an action to accomplish the desired reaction (my flying across the gap) I was left to react to the meager action I had created. Far from being enough to carry me across the gap, the momentum was sufficient only to carry me off the top of the boulder. I slid down the side and came to a rest at the bottom of the boulder twisting my knee painfully in the process.

I was not really hurt so I picked myself up, brushed myself off and walked (albeit a bit slowly and with some small amount of pain) to the car. The car was not that far off, about a mile, I guess, and it was luckily mostly level ground as long as I circumnavigated a couple stacks of boulders. And it really didn’t hurt too much when I drove home. Monday morning was another issue. The pain was exquisite! I have already had an X-Ray. There is no bone damage.

Yesterday I had an MRI. That was an unpleasant and painful experience, but that is another story. I feel better today and can almost walk without the aid of the crutches!

I hope your weekend is safe and sure-footed!

Don Bergquist - 26-June-2005 - Lakewood, Colorado

Grus


Grus

GRUS: The fragmental products of in situ granular disintegration of coarse crystalline rocks, especially granitic rocks. (The word is derived from the German word for "grit;" Gr├╝tzen, which also serves as the basis for the word Grout and Groats.)

Monday, June 20, 2005

Happy Birthday, Mary!

Happy Birthday, Mary!

I could not find the picture of you that I really wanted to put up on your birthday. I was looking for the one that Dad has of you from your short stint as a model. Failing that one, I looked for the one that was taken of you coming our of some building (I think it was in a mall somewhere) straightening your cuffs.

Not able to have either of those to post and not being able to get the one of you in your house when it was under constriction, I had to settle for this one. It does however, remind me that you are always there to push me around when I need it.

I do not mean that in anything but a pejorative way! I mean it in the loving and caring spirit in which you push me around. I know that most of the time you do it for my own good. And I love you for it!


I hope that your birthday is wonderful!

Have a great day werever you are!

Don Bergquist - 20-June-2005 - Lakewood, Colorado

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Father's Day Greetings!

Drink A Toast To Dad!

It’s amazing how smart my father gets as I age! Well, okay, I guess it is me that is learning, not him, but things that made no sense to me when I was a kid now make brilliant sense!

My brothers and I, for example used to “Shave” with daddy. We weren’t “allowed” to do so that often at home, but it became a big game every time we were out camping. Summers we’d drive across the country and stop at campgrounds in some of the neatest locations. Each morning, my brothers, my Daddy and I would head down to the bathhouse in the campground and perform our morning ablutions. The routine was invariably to shave then shower and then dress in the clothing Mommy had sent down with us to wear for the day.

Dad would let us slather huge gobs of shaving cream all over our face and then scrape it off with an empty safety razor. This usually ended with all of us completely covered head-to-toe in shaving cream. We’d throw it at each other, we’d get it into each other’s hair, slap each other with gobs of it in our hands to watch it explode all over the place, and that sort of thing. We looked like three miniature snowmen trundling off to the shower stalls after shaving.

I realized the ulterior motive in this when I heard my Dad explain to my baby brother that he should let my nephew “shave.” The discussion came up because my nephew like all little boys, I guess, had developed an aversion to soap. Dad explained that shaving cream, is mostly soap. What a revelation! It now all makes sense. Thinking back, Dad always made sure that we’d wipe really well getting the shaving cream off once we were in the shower.

You’d think that Dad himself might have been a little boy once…

Dad

In fact, it is impossible to say just how profound my dad’s impact on me was. I attribute my career to my dad. I believe that subconsciously it was my father that got me into Broadcasting as a career.

Not because he let us watch Yogi Bear, but because, again of family vacations.


Siblings (The Early Years)

One of my earliest memories is of a trip to Minnesota on Summer Vacation. It was late at night (I remember it being dark and that far north, in the summer that makes it at least 21:30) and we were driving across Wisconsin somewhere. We had stopped early for a bit of root beer from an A&W Drive-In.

I remember being with my siblings in the back seat of the station wagon Mom and my brothers and sister were all asleep as Dad drove on through the night listening to a radio mystery play. After a bit of straining trying to listen along, I crawled over the back of the front seat and snuggled-up next to Daddy and listened along with him. I loved it!

I remember the way the station fuzzed-out as we drove under the power lines, the way the stars shone in the dark sky and the way that the air felt blowing in through the vent windows. I think that my starting my radio/television degree in college was a done-deal that night. This may be the reason I love listening to books on tape as I drive across country and why I love driving when it is dark out!

I hope that you can spend some time with your father today wherever you are!

Don Bergquist - 19-June-2005 - Lakewood, Colorado

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Pictures Pictures From My Recent Trip to Minnesota


Hammock Rides from Uncle Don!

I have finally gotten the pictures from my trip to Minnesota touched-up. As usual, the party was full of food, family and fun. And as the youngest can tell you, the best part was getting hammock rides from Uncle Don!

The next day we went to the family homestead in Parkers Prairie, and topped it off with dinner at Chet's Lakeside Inn in Miltona.

Please follow the link above to see all the pictures from my trip to my father's annual spring party!

I hope that you are having a lovely day where-ever you are!

Don Bergquist - 18-June-2005 - Lakewood, Colorado

Friday, June 17, 2005

Pictures from Sarah's Graduation


Sarah

I have to admit that I have been remiss. (I think that's French or something for "really incredibly busy!") I really should not have taken a month to pick-out and touch-up my favorite shots from Sarah's graduation. Sorry, Sarah! The pictures (and a disk with all the files on it) will go out on Monday. For right now, please follow the link for the pictures I liked best.
I hope you are having a great day where-ever you are!
Don Bergquist - 17-June-2005 - Lakewood, Colorado

Sunday, June 12, 2005

It's a Grey Day in Colorado

It is a grey and rainy day here in Colorado and it is supposed to be raining on-and-off all day.


Clouds over my deck keep Saga inside.

I am getting a lot of things done inside, but there is no chance that I will get outside and do anything fun this weekend.

Yesterday it was lovely in the morning so Saga and I went for a walk in the park. Saga still is trying to figure-out how to herd prairie dogs. She chases after them when I let her off the leash, but then they do something unfair and dash down their holes. When she was herding sheep she never had this problem!

It is a good thing that I made hay while the sun shone yesterday. A front is passing over and the rain is falling. I got about an inch of rain yesterday and there is already a half-an-inch in the gauge this morning.

Not that I am complaining, mind you! I know we need the moisture. But could we not have it rain on the weekdays and be nice on the weekend? I am really miffed about this - no matter how much we need this to end the drought!

Oh well, I hope it is lovely wherever you are today!

Don Bergquist - 12-June-2005 - Lakewood, Colorado

Sunday, June 05, 2005

No Entry This Weekend

Sorry that there is no entry this weekend. I tried to go out and take some pictures, but it was rainy and I got busy. Next weekend. I promise.

Don Bergquist - 05-June-2005 - Lakewood, Colorado

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Stormy Weather

Don’t know why
There’s no sun up in the sky
Stormy Weather
Welcome to Hurricane Season! It sounds like the national hurricane center (which is, ironically, located here in Colorado) has predicted a severe storm season. There will be somewhere between ten and fifteen named storms with three to five of those being major hurricanes.

I say this not because I am gloating that I sit here, safely out of the path of trouble (with the makers of the dire predictions) in Colorado. I make the observation because having grown up in Florida; the first of June is always a date that I remember. It is the day that every newbie to the gold coast spends denuding the Home Depot of Masking Tape and Plywood. I know that storms are serious and horrible things, but I still have fond of storms.

One of my earliest memories is of Dad getting boards up on the house in 1966 when Hurricane Inez hit the Miami area. I remember staying up and listening to the storm buffet the house outside as we stayed in tune to the outside world over the big radio in the living room and then, after the power went out, by the little battery powered radio.

For those of you who have never lived somewhere where there are BIG storms, you’ve never gotten the opportunity to see Storm Light. Before the rain starts to fall, the whole sky gets an eerie green glow. The light becomes a sickly yellow-green and the air takes on an electric waiting tense calm. There is quite literally nothing like it.

So there we were, the seven of us, seven Bergquists and a daschund sitting around the little transistor listening to WGBS and tracking the storm on the map Daddy had spread on the coffee table. Some time much later than I had ever been up I remember all of us getting together and going out to look at the stars though the crystal clear eye of the storm. We then retreated back inside to listen to the storm hit us from the other direction as it moved on out to sea. The next morning we awoke to find that the storm had passed. The skies were clear and the entire afternoon, evening, night before seemed like some bad dream.

The water in the front of the house was standing four feet deep in the street; we piled into “Big Bertha” the ten-person war canoe that Dad usually kept hanging from the eaves but which had been moved into the garage for the duration of the storm. We paddled around a couple blocks and checked out the fallen branches. There have been many storms that I have been through since, but Inez holds a special place in my memory as the first and perhaps the worst.

Oh well, I hope that the weather is fine where you are today and to my friends and family back in Hurricane Alley, I hope that the season is better to you than last year! Let’s keep our collective head in the sand and hope that the current administration is correct and that there is nothing to this “Global Warming” bullshit. Because if they are correct, this season will pass without the excitement of the last one!

I hope you have a great day wherever you are!

Don Bergquist – 01, June, 2005 – Lakewood, Colorado