Saturday, June 30, 2007

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

It's raining, it's pouring
The old man is snoring
He went to bed and
bumped his head
And he didn't get up in the morning!

(I don't think I ever really considered what a violent song that little children's ditty is!)

It's been running through my head this morning because, well, it's true today. It is absolutely pouring down outside and has been since I returned to consciousness this morning. At around six thirty, I rolled over and looked out the window at the deluge. Realizing that there would be no bike ride this morning, I rolled over and decided to doze off for a few more minutes.

At nine, the next time I woke up, I looked out and it was still raining. I got up and did a bit of housework, made some breakfast, and had a bit of a lie-in on the couch with the dog. It's now just about noon and I have friends coming over for lunch. The rain has slackened but not stopped all morning. I hope I can get a ride in this afternoon. I doubt it, though!

Ah well, I have friends coming over for lunch and need to get cooking.

Wherever you are today, I hope the weather is not obstructing your plans for the day.

Don Bergquist - 30 June 2007 - Thames Ditton, Surrey, UK

Friday, June 29, 2007

Insomnia

Lots of time to write this morning, I just have very little energy for it.

It's just about three and I have been up now for over an hour. I cannot sleep. My mind is racing with possibilities. Nothing really pressing... just some things on my mind.

when I realized that I was not going to get any sleep tonight, I came down to the lounge to check my email and to do some writing. of course, now that I am here, I really haven't the energy to write. I am tired, just not sleepy.

Well, I guess I will head back upstairs and try to get an hour-or-two of sleep. (Said he generating an air of purest optimism about himself as he went...)

Wherever you are, I hope you've gotten a good night's sleep.

Don Bergquist - 29 June 2007 - Thames Ditton, Surrey, UK

Thursday, June 28, 2007

No time ~ Gotta Run!

This morning I have no time to be sitting here, writing. I really must dash. The weather is supposed to be crap today, windy, rainy, and cold. Right now, however, as I sit here at six writing (when I really have no time to do so) it is lovely out. Okay, it’s a bit on the chilly side with a hint that the day may get dark later. (I can see dark clouds in the distance over the houses to the south of me.)

But right now it is so lovely out… I really think I should get in a long ride this morning. New Malden? No! I think I'll go for the ride around Bushy Park this morning! It should be lovely. Perhaps even, if they got the rain we did here last night, it will be shrouded in that early-morning cloak of ground fog.

I have some paperwork to file today first thing at the office and then a full day of testing ahead of me. Big doings are afoot. More on that later, but right now, I'm outta here!

Wherever you re today, I hope your day is full of excitement and fun!

Don Bergquist - 28 June 2007 - Thames Ditton, Surrey, UK

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech

Is it just me or is that a pretty straight-forward statement? I think the framers of the constitution were pretty unambiguous when they wrote that.

What the hell is the Supreme Court thinking? The kid was standing on a public street and not saying (or communicating) anything which would:
  1. Incite the violent overthrow of the government

  2. Create a clear and present danger
The currently acceptable abridgments of the right to free speech. I guess that the Supreme Court (or at least the far-right majority on it) no longer believes that all Americans are subject to the protections and rights granted by the US Constitution.

Sorry, this is a pet peeve of mine. The right to say whatever you want… regardless of how stupid it may be… is one of the things that makes the Unite States great! Without it, the world would be a much darker, sadder place.

Wherever you are today, I hope you'll go out and exercise your right to express your opinion! (While you still have that right…)

Don Bergquist - 27 June 2007 - Thames Ditton, Surrey, UK

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I'm A Clothes Horse

This fashionable outfit came from the little girl who comes into the pub with her mummy and daddy. She arrived wearing it but decided that she wasn't cold and took it off, allowing it to fall to the ground. Apparently, Jennifer hasn’t learned that a jumper is a piece of clothing that a child puts on when its mother gets cold...

"It's not my jumper!" she said, crossing her arms, pouting, and shivering just the slightest bit.

"Put it on, anyway, Jennifer." I said. "You look like you're a little cold.

"I am not cold!" she said with a flip of the head. "It must be your jumper. You put it on!"

I held-up the small, pink garment as if appraising it's size. "You're right!"

I held-up the little arm of the jumper and slipped it over my wrist like a bulky, pink bracelet. I could have worn the whole garment as a pair of handcuffs. "Ah! That is so warm.

"That's not how you wear it!" Jennifer said. "You've got to put on the hood."

I slipped off the jersey material handcuffs and put the hood over my head. The rest of the material barely covered my shoulders. "Ah! Toasty! You suckers have to shiver in the cold."

"I'm not cold!" she protested again, her lip looking like the prow of an ocean liner.

She sat at the table sneaking looks at me and giggling. She did eventually give in and put on the jumper. Her mother was happy that she had put back on her jumper.

Wherever you are today, I hope that you do something to make your mother happy!

Don Bergquist - 26 June 2007 - Thames Ditton, Surrey, UK

Monday, June 25, 2007

Monday Again

It is Monday again. The rain has abated, but the weather forecast is for rain all week. The temperatures are noticeably cooler than they have been. It was a good weekend.

I was able to get to the pub a couple times with friends, my colleagues from the states came with me on Saturday night. It was fun! We even got to go see the fireworks from the Hampton Court Music Festival from the courtyard of the pub. (Sorry for the poor picture quality, I didn't know that there was going to be a fireworks show, I had only my mobile phone to take pictures with.)

But the weekend is in the past. Today is Monday. I have to wait for Saga to finish-up her morning routine and then I have to get a ride in. It's cool enough that I need to wear long-sleeves, but at least it isn’t raining (now!) so I should get moving.

Wherever you are today, I hope your Monday goes well.

Don Bergquist - 25 June 2007 - Thames Ditton, Surrey, UK

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Sloth Mode

It's worse than slug mode! I awoke to a downpour at 06:00 this morning. So I decided to roll-over, get back to sleep and hope for drier weather later. "Hope" being the operative word in that sentence.

When I again opened my eyes at 08:30 it was still raining, not as hard, but raining none-the-less. So I lay in bed, dozing and thinking of what to do for a while and then went down to the kitchen to make coffee. I took a quick nip over to the convenience store to get the paper and spent the morning reading and waiting for the rain to end.

It turned-out that it was waiting in vain. It's not as if I don't have choices. I have plenty of things to do today! TV, read, nap, catch-up on email, my plans are flexible.

My colleagues, over from the states on business, went into town a short while ago. I was invited to join them, but as it is still raining, I really don't want to go out and beg the weather gods to take their best shot at me. I think I'll stay in today and watch TV. I've been lent Yes Minister, a classic old British comedy show and a movie by a friend. If the weather clears a bit, I may go to the store and get groceries for dinner. If not, there are plenty of leftovers here.

Wherever you are today, I hope your plans are flexible.

Don Bergquist - 24 June 2007 - Thames Ditton, Surrey, UK

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Riding

The rains of the past few days have left the air relatively clean. For the first time in weeks, I haven't needed an allergy pill. The flowers are still in bloom and the city is lovely this time of year!

What a great day for a ride! I rode around the neighborhood this morning and then decided that I wanted to ride around in Central London. So, I headed into Surbiton, got the 07:30 train into Waterloo and I was off.

The decision then was where to ride to. Having never been to Battersea, I decided to try and head that way and by dint of following the posted signs directing me to the appropriate bike route, I found myself completely baffled as to where I was. I think I was somewhere near Elephant and Castle. So I bumbled around a bit and finally found my way back to Waterloo, then I took a route I was fairly familiar of. I went to Greenwich. At the farthest point into my ride, approximately six miles from the station, the skies opened and it poured.

Knowing of no overpasses in that part of the city, I looked for a bus shelter. Not finding one, I turned and started my return ride. Luckily, the downpour ended as suddenly as it began. As is shut-off by a tap, the rain stopped. I finished my ride and took the train back to Surbiton.

I did get caught one more time just before getting back to the villa. When I returned home, I took a long, hot shower, got dry and did a bit of housework.

This evening I am headed into the pub with Saga and some friends. For the rest of the afternoon, though, I believe I will just relax and read. I may even take a nap. The possibilities are rife.

Wherever you are today, I hope you are faced with choices as pleasant!

Don Bergquist - 23 June 2007 - Thames Ditton, Surrey, UK

Happy Birthday to my niece, Elizabeth

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Weekend Is Neigh!

Once again, the week is drawing to an end. What a week it has been! There has been so much going on this week at the office that the week has really flown by. I may have to go into complete slug mode for the entire weekend.

I know that this is a short post today, but it is time for me to head to the office, I'm completely knackered, and quite frankly, I have nothing really new to report today.

Wherever you are today, I hope that you have a good day and a wonderful weekend!

Don Bergquist - 22 June 2007 - Thames Ditton, Surrey, UK

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Summer Solstice

It is the Summer Solstice. I wish a happy solstice to any readers who are Druids, Wicca or practitioners of any of the various nature-based religions that hold this day as blessed, holy, sacred, or in any other way special.

I've long understood the mechanics of the day: the earth, spinning on its axis, is canted off the perpendicular to the plane of the ecliptic (the plane that contains the earth's orbit around the sun) by about 23.5º. This means that the shadow terminator on a Mercator Projection map of the globe describes a parabolic wave as it moves across the planet. Twice a year (at the equinoxes) the shadow is more-or-less- two vertical bands, one light, and one dark. The rest of the year, the shadow and light sections are two sides of a wave drawn across the map.

At the solstices, the Polar Regions get very long days and nights (depending on which pole and which solstice) and the closer you are to the poles, the greater the disparity between the day and night.

Like I said, the mechanics of this is something I have long understood. The practicality was something that never struck me until I started spending lots of times at these extreme latitudes. Being from the tropics, the whole concept of the equinoxes really didn't strike home. It's hard to appreciate when the total difference between the longest and shortest nights of the year is an hour-or-so.

Sure, as a kid, I vaguely remember the sunset being later in the summer when we were visiting my grandparents, but when I thought of that at all, I pretty-much chalked-it-up to the excitement of being on vacation, or to Minnesota being special in some way, or to mom and dad forgetting to put us to bed. This last was only when I was really young.

It has really hit home recently; now that I am spending lots of time in London, I can really appreciate the difference between the longest and shortest day of the year.

Sunrise this morning was about a quarter to five. Sunset tonight will be about nine thirty. The twilight will extend that a bit more so that there are nearly seventeen hours of daylight today! That's too cool!

Besides the daylight thing, there is the whole history thing. Radio Four this morning had a report on the doings that they were expecting at Stonehenge today. (This, come to think of it, must have been pre-recorded. I was listening to the radio, as is my wont, as I woke-up this morning.)

Lying in bed at 04:50 I heard a story of the celebrations that they are expecting to take place to day from the various groups that consider Stonehenge to be a mystic place. Surely, as the sunrise is the hour at which the sun appears in the gap between the stones so as to fall across the altar-stone, which would have been when the celebrations occurred… but I digress.
I suppose my points here today are:

  1. I love the long days of summer
  2. I really enjoy being in London where the long days of summer are even longer
  3. It is the Summer Solstice, which means the day today is going to be really long
  4. Stonehenge has something to do with the Summer Solstice
  5. This post is just about over
Wherever you are today and what ever your views toward the summer solstice, I wish you a happy one!

Don Bergquist - 21 June 2007 - Thames Ditton, Surrey, UK

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Self Portraits

video
Today, playing with a piece of software that I am trying out for video editing, I put togther the above montage of self portraits for the eyar. It wasn't until I did it that I understood why I keep getting the "you're losing a lot of weight" comments from people who only see me periodically. (And some of my friends who are more observant than I.) I don’t notice that I am still losing weight because I see my face every day.

Looking at these pictures, taken over a period of about the first four months of the year, I can see that my face, at least, really shows that my diet and exercise are working.

Cool!

Wherever you are today, I hope that you have something to celebrate!

Don Bergquist - 20 June 2007 - Thames Ditton, Surrey, UK

Happy Birthday to my sister, Mary

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Ginger and the Evil Balloon

Blogger has finally introduced a way for me to insert video into posts. (Not that I have all that much video that I would want to insert, mind you…)

This clip (about 15 second long) is of one of the dogs that hangs out at the pub, Ginger. The occasion was the birthday of my friend, Kevin last year. Ginger likes to attach balloons, paper napkins, bar towels, and anything else that gives him offence.

video


Shortly after this ended, he caught the balloon and popped it. He had fun.

I guess I'll have to get to trying some video for my blog… not quite sure what I'll shoot video of, but watch for it here!

Wherever you are today, I hope you'll have a great time and learn new things!

Don Bergquist - 19 June 2007 - Thames Ditton, Surrey, UK

Monday, June 18, 2007

What A Bitch!

Saga is not on my good list today!

It's a good thing that there is no doggy Santa! Saga would be in for a lump of coal (or whatever bad little dogs get in their stockings) after her stunt of this morning.

At about 05:30 after getting ready to ride into the office, I put her out to do her thing. The problem was that she didn't want to get outside and do her thing. The rains of last night have left the grass wet.

And of course, she is such a priss that she cannot stand to have her feet touch anything wet. So she immediately went through the bushes and ran down the back stairs to try and get into the basement. Try as I might, I could not convince her to go out into the yard.

All I succeeded in getting her to do was to run repeatedly back and forth between the basement and the back door to the lounge, through the bushes on each trip, all the while getting muddier and muddier!

By 06:05, I finally gave up. She can stay in the mud room (the vestibule behind the kitchen) where I store her kennel. It has a slate floor so that should she fail to be able to hold it until I get back from the office, I can at least clean it up easily.

Unfortunately, the repeated trips through the bushes meant that it was time to get the mud off her. So, before I could leave for the office, I had to give her a bath! Needless to say, I had to change after that because I was covered in doggy bath water.

Grrr!

I hope that wherever you are, you have a wonderful day full of cooperation!

Don Bergquist - 18 June 2007 - Thames Ditton, Surrey, UK

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Super Slug

Look there in the chair! It's a potato. It's a sloth. It's super slug!

What a relaxing morning. I was awake at 06:45 and was unable to get back to sleep so I headed off on my bike for a ride. I made the entire 20 mile ride and back to the house without even the threat of rain; which is nice, because on the way to and back from the Tate yesterday I got rained on two more times.

I have absolutely no plans today! Unless sitting in this recliner on my back patio, reading the papers and drinking coffee constitutes a plan. Perhaps, I'll take a nap this afternoon. It is a lovely (if a bit cool) day, but it is the kind of day that makes me want to just slip into a state of maximum inertia. Unless something makes me move (like the need for more coffee, or the battery running down in my laptop) I plan to sit here until I can think of something less strenuous to do!

Even Saga feels the lethargy in the air! She walked out about an hour ago and plopped herself down in the middle of the floor under the pergola. I haven't seen her move since.

Well, I suppose that I should post this and get on with the strenuous schedule of relaxation I have set before me for the day.

Wherever you are today, I hope that you'll sit back, relax and enjoy the day!

Don Bergquist - 17 June 2007 - Thames Ditton, Surrey, UK

Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Saturday in the Rain

According to the news, the sunrise this morning was spectacular due in no small part to the heavy cloud cover that we are under. Not that I was up anywhere near sunrise this morning (which happened some time around 04:30 BST - at which time I was still hugging my pillows) and that it was probably the last of the little sunshine that any of us would see today.

I finally awoke around 06:45 to the sound of a brilliant downpour hitting the windows. The rain, which is welcome because we need the water, was enough to encourage me to pull the duvet up around my shoulders and drift off again for a nap.

At around 08:00 I finally shed the covers, got dressed and headed downstairs. A quick breakfast of coffee and toast later and I was on the road. Taking advantage of a break between the downpours (or so I thought) to get a ride in.

Around the point that I was reaching the farthest point in my circuit (in the area of New Malden) it started to rain. No, not so much "rain" as "pour!" It was an all-out deluge, so quick, that I had no time to look for shelter before I was completely drenched. By the time I got to a bus shelter, the rain had ended. I decided to keep going.

I wrapped-up my ride without getting soaked again and warmed-up to a long hot shower. Ah! The pleasures of a long hot shower after a work-out! This afternoon, I'm planning on going into town and going to the Tate Modern. There is an exhibition of photography there that I want to see.

I suppose I should make hay while the sun shines (literally - the sun is shining!) and head into town.

Wherever you are, I hope that you have some simple pleasure to savor!

Don Bergquist - 16 June 2007 - Thames Ditton, Surrey, UK

Happy Birthday to my aunt, Diane

Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday!

It's been a long and busy week and it is now Friday again! Long experience has taught me to make no plans. I am not so stupid as to think that anything I plan would actually happen, or if it did, would in any way resemble the plans as cast.

I know that I want to take a ride this weekend, but it looks as if a good portion of the weekend will be raining. I'd love to take my cameras out and get some pictures, but again, with the wetness predicted, It would be far better to leave them away.

Should the weather be bad enough to force me to stay inside, I know that I could always get some personal computer work that I've wanted to do - cleaning-up and organizing my music files, etc. - but I am really not in the mood to sit at the computer too long at the weekend after sitting at the computer for 50-60 hours during the week.

So, what to do!? Interesting quandary. I guess I will do what I always do, take the weekend as I find it and make the best of whatever comes my way. What more do you do?

Wherever you are today, I hope that you have a wonderful day and a great weekend!

Don Bergquist - 15 June 2007 - Thames Ditton, Surrey, UK

Happy Birthday to my friend, Sara

Happy Birthday to my friend, Karl

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Bush's Watch: An Object Lesson

By the way, have you heard all the claptrap about President Bush' watch? It apparently was stolen whilst he was shaking hands with the adoring crowds in Albania.

At least that is the spin that is in every paper over here. The White House has issued a statement that the watch was not stolen, the wanker er, uh, President had taken it off. Which leaves one to wonder... WHY? Why should (arguably) the most powerful, most fiercely protected world leader feel the need to remove his watch?

It is a good story as reported over here that the president got his watch stolen. It is a better story that he feared having it stolen. I, personally haven’t worn a wristwatch in years, but the purpose of one is to have it at hand. Why, then did Mr. Bush feel the need to remove it whilst out and about in a country where he is so clearly adored?

Perhaps, thinking of his cronies and friends, he feared that these people who appeared to like him would steal his eye teeth given half a chance. With friends like he has, can you blame his being distrusting?

Wherever you are today, I hope that you're among people you can trust!

Don Bergquist - 14 June 2007 - Thames Ditton, Surrey, UK

Happy Flag Day!

NEWS FLASH!

In a rare spate of integrity, it has been reported today day that President Bush has made another cabinet appointment:


Follow this link to listen to the report on the Onion Radio News.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

You Must Have Mistaken Me For Someone Else

Anyone who knows me (and many of you whose only knowledge of me is via this blog) know that I am not really one to play my cards close to my chest. If I think it, chances are, it is out there for you to see, discuss, hate, whatever. Don't ask my opinion if you don't want to hear it.

This is the lesson that one of the drivers from the car service I use here in the UK learned last night. I had just entered the car and was being driven over to meet some friends when the driver (a native Albanian) struck up a conversation.

"So! What do you thank about Bush visiting over here?" the driver asked with only barely disguised enthusiasm. My feeling of foreboding at having to be enthusiastic about a topic I am pretty-much over began as a low, nagging itch.

"I hear that your countrymen gave him quite a reception." I replied, trying to be polite and disguise my loathing for the man. (The president, not the driver.) "He got the real rock star treatment."

"Yes!" the driver said with unbridled enthusiasm. "He is a great man! We love him in Albania!"

"You should have kept him." I offered. "I'm sure he wouldn’t have been missed."

From this point the discussion pretty much foundered touching on but not sticking to whether Bush was intelligent, whether he was honest, whether he was popular, and whether his presidency will go down in history as anything but a truly tragic mistake.

"Well, you must love him, he is what America is!" the driver finally offered, grasping at straws.

"Don't ever say that!" I said emphatically. "That is an insult to the 67% of Americans who think he is a buffoon and many of the minority who don't. Don't ever compare me to that man. What an insult!"

I'm pretty sure that he hadn’t intended to insult me, but I was still seething as we arrived at our destination. I did tip him well and (thankfully) we didn't reprise our discussion a few hours later on the way home again. All I can say is "Thank God for good British ale!" It took the taste of the conversation out of my mouth.

Wherever you are today, I hope that any comparison made between you and anything/anyone else are favorable.

Don Bergquist - 13 June 2007 - Thames Ditton, Surrey, UK

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Panic Attack

The other evening, I had a horrible experience. The landlord had been by The Villa to fix the gate to the back garden which had been hanging loosely on one hinge. Unfortunately, when he completed the work, he didn't completely close the gate.

He pulled it to, but didn't latch it securely. While the gate was not in proper working order, I had gotten into the practice of looking at the gate to see that it was closed before going into the house and allowing Saga to go out into the garden. With one hinge coming off, the gate would not swing without being picked-up.

Since it was fixed, it stays closed unless you put force against it one way or the other. Saga, being enthralled with barking at the Scotty across the street, never misses the opportunity. How she knew that the Scotty was being walked is beyond me. I was in the lounge, reading when I heard the barking. The neighbors who own the Scotty suddenly looked over at The Villa with concern and When I realized that Saga had somehow gotten out of the garden I freaked!

I ran to the window and saw her standing on the walk in front of the house with her hackles up. Unfortunately, she was smart enough to figure-out how to open the gate once it was ajar. Fortunately, she was also smart enough to see the road as a hazard and stay on the pavement. Even so, I called out the window in panic for her to come here.

She just looked at me as if to say "How am I meant to do that? I have no keys!"

She did, however, obey and trot back to the house and stand in the kitchen door well waiting for me to run down the stairs and let her in. I've taken to stepping out the front door and pushing against the gate to make sure that it is securely latched these days. That last call was too close for comfort!

Wherever you are today, I hope that you've had no unpleasant surprises.

Don Bergquist - 12 June 2007 - Thames Ditton, Surrey, UK

Monday, June 11, 2007

Back To Reality

What a lovely weekend! With all the stuff I did, I cannot believe it was only a regular, regulation, two-day weekend!

Today, I have to get back to the office. The office is going to be warm today. It is already 16º Celsius. (63º Fahrenheit) and it is supposed to push 25º (80º) today. In a country without air conditioning, that is not good!

I suppose I should get into the office and get to work. It is Monday, and there will probably be a bunch of stuff on my desk to follow-up on.

Wherever you are today, I hope that you'll have an excellent day!

Don Bergquist - 11 June 2007 - Thames Ditton, Surrey, UK

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Slug Mode

What a lovely weekend! What a great day to do practically nothing. Well, nothing but the barest minimum required activity that is.

Yesterday, I was on the train with my bike to go for a ride around central London. I wanted to explore. I ended-up going down the Thames to a short way beyond Greenwich. It was a bit overcast but not that cold and it was a nice day to ride.

After my return, Saga and I were invited to a bar-be-cue (well Saga was told she could bring me along - Saga actually got the invite) at my friends' place in West Molesey. It was a very pleasant time! We had, as always, wonderful food, good drinks and an atmosphere that promoted good conversation. Terry and Angie outdid themselves with the food and the hospitality! We ended-up sitting late into the night watching the fire in the chimnea.

This morning, I did the minimal required duties around the house, brewed coffee, made breakfast, did a bit of clean-up and then took my second cup of coffee out to the terrace and sat with the morning papers for the rest of the morning. Saga must be loving the quiet morning as well. She hopped into my lap and fell asleep as I red the paper.

I have absolutely no plans for the day. I know that I will be going out for a nice, long ride later today, but for now, the terrace is just too tempting to leave!

Wherever you are today, I hope you're having a very relaxing day!

Don Bergquist - 10 June 2007 - Thames Ditton, Surrey, UK

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Family Travel

There was a family on the train this morning that caught my attention. Okay, to be fair, I only assume that they were a family, the group sitting in three rows at the end of the car facing me and on the opposite side of the aisle could have been six completely unrelated people who just happened to be the only six oriental people in the car.

But what caught my attention was not the apparent nationality of the group. (They were oriental as we use the word in the states; by which I mean from China, Japan, Korea, the Asian area of the world. Over here, they use "Oriental" to include the Indian sub-continent.)

The family was a group of six, the parents sitting in the front of the three rows they occupied, the elder children, a girl and a boy, sitting in the next row and two little boys sitting in the third row. That is what caught my attention. The constituency of the family was identical to mine. (Add a daschund named Schatzie and a station wagon and the comparison would be complete.)

In an extended comparison to my family, the mother was listening to music on her MP3 player - had they existed then, I am pretty certain mother would have had one and would have sung along with it the entire drive to Minnesota. The little girl, a year-or-so older than her next brother, kept leaning over to him and telling him to sit still. The little boys in the back row kept poking and prodding each other, probably in an attempt to annoy each other as much as to pass the boring trip on the train.

The father, in what I can only assume was an attempt to pretend that the children were behaving, was reading a book. It put me in mind of the family vacations we took as a kid.

Granted, we would never take international trips and almost never took one that wasn't in the station wagon, but as we passed the twenty minutes from Surbiton to Waterloo, the oriental family across the aisle morphed in my mind into Dad, Mom, Mary, Denis, Chip and me in the station wagon on the way to Juniper Springs.

Why is it that a trip of only about three hundred miles seemed to take all day? We'd leave well before sunrise and I swear that we would never get there before sunset - well, at least that is how it was in my mind!

I used to love going to Juniper Springs! They had this great water wheel (that apparently used to run a small electric generator for the ranger station) that we would always want to go and see right a way, the massive wooden wheel being spun by the power of the water passing out of the spring into the creek. Soon we'd be swimming in the cold water of the springs and canoeing down the creek to Lake George.

My reverie was dispersed when the tannoy came to life with the train guard announcing our imminent arrival at Waterloo. The wheel I was seeing now was far larger than the waterwheel at Juniper Springs, the London Eye peeked over the buildings at me from its position over the Thames. Silently, I thanked the family for the brief trip to Florida as I collected my belongings and prepared to leave the train.

Wherever you are today, I hope you have a pleasant day!

Don Bergquist - 09 June 2007 - Thames Ditton, Surrey

Friday, June 08, 2007

Friday Again!

Yeah! It's Friday!

It has been a very busy week here and it looks as if there is plenty for me to do this weekend. I've housework and a few things that I have been asked to do outside with friends. And then, of course, Saga has to go an purchase a park or two this weekend so I know that we'll go on a few walks.

As predicted, this morning it is wet. The rain started some time around the time I awoke. That is why I am avoiding going for my ride this morning. If it doesn't stop before six, I guess I'll don my wet gear and head straight to the office.

Saga didn't want to go out this morning. She is so prissy and she hates getting anything wet. I had to coax her out the door so that she could get outside. Once out there, she paddy-footed around for a few seconds, took care of her needs, and bolted back into the house.

This morning I have a new report that I have been working on at the office... I have no idea how long it will take to create. (I guess I should get into the office and find out.)

Wherever you are today, I hope your day is dawning bright and sunny. (Unless you need the rain, that is...)

Don Bergquist - 08 June 2007 - Thames Ditton, Surrey, UK

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Busy Day

There's lots to do today and the weather outside this morning is clear and sunny so I am going to leave early for the office. I plan to get the long ride in on the way to the office and still get there by 06:15.

(The weather is supposed to turn warmer and wetter for the weekend starting this evening so I need to get my riding in today!)

That being said, Saga is doing well. She is sitting at my feet as I write this in the lounge. She has been very clingy all week. Which is fine by me! It's good to be wanted! I suppose I should put her downstairs now and head out.

Wherever you are today, I hope you feel wanted!

Don Bergquist - 07 June 2007 - Thames Ditton, Surrey, UK

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Wanderlust

I haven’t traveled in weeks! I wonder where I will go next. Any ideas? I'd welcome comments for a good quick trip from London if anyone out there has any.

As for what I have in mind, I am thinking of perhaps flying off to Germany or perhaps Spain. Both are places that I have been thinking of going. I could also rent a car and drive across to the alps. It is a long drive, but it is complicated by the fact that I don't speak the language!

Perhaps I'll stick to the air! Getting lost in a place I do not speak the language, may not be the best idea.

Wherever you are today, I hope you're full of great ideas!

Don Bergquist - 06 June 2007 - Thames Ditton, Surrey, UK

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

What A Difference A Day Makes

Oh my! I have no idea what kicked me in the head yesterday but my allergies were really horrible yesterday! My medications stopped working altogether and my sinuses throbbed with the pressure of the congestion.

I made it into the office, but because of the pain and the constant running of the nose and throbbing in my head I could not concentrate and could not effectively get anything done. My allergies have kicked me this hard only once or twice before and the only thing that has helped was an injection of cortisone from my allergist.

Knowing this, I made an appointment with a local physician here in Surrey and asked for the steroid treatment for my ills. The doctor was impressed by the nature and number of antihistamines (I am on a course of four antihistamines from my allergist) that I take and said that she could not understand why yesterday should have been a special case. I explained the nature and intensity of the symptoms had just exploded!

In our discussions, she agreed that it was time to try the steroid course. Unfortunately, they do not give cortisone injections here. They feel that they are not as easily controllable. Instead I was given a course of tablets to take over the next week. God! What a difference!

I still have my allergies and they still are present. (That will not change without either totally eliminating the pollens I am reacting to or going through the desensitization procedures that I have heard can be somewhat effective.) But today my eyes have stopped burning, my head has cleared-up somewhat, and I feel I am able to get work done today.

I am not sure if it is the addition of the hormones, the fact that I was so zonked that I slept an additional eight hours yesterday, or a combination of the two. What ever it is, I feel great today!

Wherever you are today, I hope you're feeling well!

Don Bergquist - 05 June 2007 - Thames Ditton, Surrey, UK

Monday, June 04, 2007

Allergies

I am truly suffering this morning!

Three days with no rain has left the air so full of whatever pollens I am reacting to that I wish I were in bed and under the covers! The allergies were no better when I was horizontal, but at least I didn't have to deal with maintaining verticality as well as trying to vacate my sinuses!

I hope that my medications kick in soon! God! I hate allergy season!

(or rather I hate the allergies… I love the season…)

Wherever you are today, I hope that all your reactions are pleasant ones!

Don Bergquist - 04 June 2007 - Thames Ditton, Surrey, UK

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Sleeping In

How rare for me to sleep in! Or, rather, how rare for me to sleep in this late!

I was absolutely unable to drag myself out of bed this morning! I stayed abed until well after nine this morning. The duvet was too tempting to give up. It wasn't until Saga jumped on me and insisted that I play with her (in an effort to get me to let her out) that I even thought of stirring.

It is great to take the time occasionally to indulge in a little late morning snoozing. (I am not going to make a habit of it, though!) I have things to do and places to be today, so I guess I should get going!

Wherever you are today, I hope you have taken time out for yourself!

Don Bergquist - 03 June 2007 - Thames Ditton, Surrey, UK

Happy Birthday to my friend, Lucy

Saturday, June 02, 2007

What A Lovely Day!

The rains have gone (for now) and the temps are rising. It is just about nine o'clock and I am sitting in the lounge with the back garden doors wide open. The day is lovely and I am about to hop on the bike and go for a ride.

It is supposed to be sunny and warm today. The day is shaping-up to be a good one. I have laundry and yard work to do today but I think that I will wait until after my ride to tackle that!

Wherever you are today, I hope you have a great day to do whatever you want to do!

Don Bergquist - 02 June 2007 - Thames Ditton, Surrey, UK

Friday, June 01, 2007

Oh! Grow Up!

Is nobody in this benighted country over twenty-one? Granted, I was standing in a bicycle shop, not known for hiring people who are incredibly old, but if you insist on being a child, could you please keep it to yourself?

So, there I was, last night, standing in the bike shop waiting for my bike to be returned to me (they were installing a couple accessories for me) and the person behind the counter and I were chatting as the announcer on whatever radio station they were listening to was chatting away about some song or other that was just finishing. The announcer mentioned that the song was something like a Muddy Waters tune.

"Who?" the guy behind the counter said.

"Muddy Waters." I responded. "Blues great, Muddy Waters… Big name in blues from the later half of the last century… surely you've heard of Blues!"

He stared at me as if I had just grown a tree out of my forehead. I gave up.

Wherever you are today, I hope that you’re surrounded by people who share your interests.

Don Bergquist - 01 June 2007 - Thames Ditton, Surrey, UK