Monday, March 31, 2008

Weekend Wrap-Up

It was a lovely (if somewhat schizophrenic) weekend. The snow was all melted away by the time I finished my Sunday morning housework routine; washing the dishes from the party, straightening-up my bedroom and my office, vacuuming, the normal weekend drudgery…

I did head out and visit a couple garden centers. One has a big sign out advertising that they will have their annuals on display next weekend! I cannot wait! I'm not going to actually buy any yet, I made that mistake on year… the year I did spring planting twice!

This morning I awoke to a fresh snowfall… the weather reports say it will be changing to rain by midmorning. Well that's good! We need all the moisture we can get at this point. I know it is sick to say so, but I agree with a friend of mine who is hoping for one of our famous spring blizzards where they measure the snow in Denver in feet rather than in inches.

Wherever you are today, I hope you're having a lovely morning!

Don Bergquist – March 31, 2008 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Springtime in the Rockies

Ah! Springtime in the Rockies!

The sun is shining, the crocuses are blooming, the daffodils and tulips are pushing their heads up to see the sun and will soon been in bloom themselves. The temperatures are pleasant. In short, it is a lovely day for a walk in the park with the dog, or a drive in the foothills.

No! Wait a minute! That was yesterday!

In a turn of the weather that is so common here in Colorado this time of year, Saga and I were met by a half-inch of snow on the grass when we went out for our walk in the park this morning. It was a surprise.

Our visitors came by last night; Saga was well behaved only begging for treats when she knew that daddy wasn't looking. We had a pleasant evening of games, conversation and snacks. Then this morning I look out on a bleak, cold, white morning.

So, of course, I had to toss the cameras back into the car and head back for contrast pictures of the places that I shot yesterday. This is why we never plant our gardens for spring here in Colorado until Mothers' Day. (…and that's our Mothers' Day, the one in May; not the one that they celebrate in the UK in April...)

But it is nice to dream… I've already started stalking the garden centers looking at what I am going to plant in my patio area this year. I'm looking forward to planting a garden again… it has been a couple years, after all!

Wherever you are today, I hope your spring is progressing well!

Don Bergquist – March 30, 2008 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Springtime in the Rockies

Ah! Springtime in the Rockies!

The sun is shining, the crocuses are blooming, the daffodils and tulips are pushing their heads up to see the sun and will soon been in bloom themselves. The temperatures are pleasant. In short, it is a lovely day for a walk in the park with the dog, or a drive in the foothills.

Saga and I have tossed the camera gear into the car and headed into the foothills. (Well, to tell the truth, Saga had very little to do with getting the camera gear into the car… She offered more of a hindrance than a help! But she meant well, I'm sure!)

Our first stop was at Red Rocks Park (just outside Morrison). It was beautiful! There was a wedding either just about to start or just finishing at the chapel – there was a photo shoot with the groomsmen and the bridesmaids going on as we drove in.

Ever since I have moved here, Red Rocks has been one of my favorite places. It has these lovely jutting slabs Fountain Formation sandstone thrust up by the Laramide Orogeny that form the walls of a natural amphitheatre that overlooks the Denver Skyline to the east. (The Laramide Orogeny was the uplift that formed the ancestral Rockies; The mountains you see here to day were mostly raised in a later mountain-building event. – I've been reading books on Geology since I moved here and find it fascinating!)

Saga was not being too cooperative because she was not the only dog in the park, and so she spent half her time trying to get away from daddy and the other time trying to figure out why daddy was letting her defend the car from the other dogs in the park for him while he went off with his cameras.

Ah! It was a lovely day but I have guests coming over tonight so I really need to get to preparing the house for company!

Wherever you are today, I hope your weather is lovely!

Don Bergquist – March 29, 2008 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Happy birthday to my cousin, Kristin

Friday, March 28, 2008

A Sad Note Of Passing

A couple years ago, in A Fond Farewell, I wrote of the passing of “Skipper” Chuck Zink, from the children’s show, Skipper Chuck’s Popeye Playhouse. This morning I received a note on my blog that the musical director that I had mentioned, “Uncle” Don, has passed away.

On the show, Skipper would banter with “Uncle” Don at his Hammond Organ. Uncle Don would play music and the kids would sing along to silly kids’ songs, it was the kind of things that was very popular back then that I cannot imagine happening these days.

It is another sad day for people of my demographic who originated (or lived) in Miami in the late fifties or early sixties. My sincerest condolences go out to Keith and his family for their loss. I thank them for sharing “Uncle” Don with us.

…And Keith thanks for the memories this morning!

Wherever you are this morning, I wish you happy and fond memories of your childhood.

Don Bergquist – March 28, 2008 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Editor’s note:

I could not find any pictures of the show as I recall it, but at this link:

you will find some old publicity shots of the show (some of them before my time) I hope you enjoy them.


Happy birthday to my cousin, Shawn

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Evening Rides

After a few nights of pleasant, warm, clear, and dry evenings, they care calling for a windy, wet day and evening. Bummer!

After getting home from the office this week, I've been hopping on the bike and going for a ride along the creek. I've ridden up to the lower limits of the dam, and down as far as the grade crossing where the greenbelt temporarily gives way to the suburbs.

I had been trying to ride at the office at lunchtime, but the roads are pretty crowded with manic drivers. In the interest of safety, I decided not to continue that routine.

Interestingly, in the day that the bike has been off the back of the car, the on-board computer has changed its estimate of my average fuel mileage from 40 to 41.5 mpg. The bike and bike rack on the back of the car significantly eats into my gas mileage… I guess the best plan of action is to leave the bike at home and ride at night after work.

Wherever you are today, I hope your weather is conducive to whatever it is you want to do out in it!

Don Bergquist – March 27, 2008 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Road Rules Rant

Occasionally, try-as-I-might, I cannot get over how asinine some drivers can be! Now, before I begin, I can hear my detractors (and you now who you are) saying: "Don, other drivers probably think the same of you." And I say let them! I at least can rest assured that I occupy the moral (and in some cases the legal) high ground.

My first rant, of the morning, I want to point-out that this sign is not a stop sign. (Those look like a big red octagon – that eight-sided, four-lettered thing!) There is no reason that this sign (seen in the acceleration lane accessing C470) means that your (the right-hand) lane is about to end and you will have to merge into the traffic on your left. It does not mean that you should meander down the lane at 20 MPH until the point where that car behind you can almost (but not quite) actually merge into the traffic stream.

When you came to a complete stop leaving me a good three inches to spare that I could clear you and the traffic barrier, I took the chance, squeezed around you and used the acceleration lane for its intended purpose, accelerating and merging into the highway traffic. You disappeared from my sight a mile later when I crested the next hill.

And speaking of merging, this sign means the exact opposite of the last sign. This sign means that the left-hand lane will soon end and that traffic should merge into the right-hand lane. It does not (as the tosser who tried to run me off the road yesterday seemed to think) mean that the larger vehicle has the right to do whatever it wants.

These signs appear all over Denver on the entry ramps to the interstate and C470 and US6. The problem is that there are so many people who (being charitable I will say) don't know or (being realistic here I say) don't care what the sign means. (Or perhaps, they just think that the world and the traffic patterns revolve around them.)

Here's the scoop, you tosser! When you see this sign, it means that you may have to move to the right. If you are alone on the road, this should be no problem (and the use of that blinkie light on your vehicle will be optional – though I would recommend you use it anyway, just to stay in the habit.) if there is a car in the lane to the right of you – like that pretty little blue Honda Civic Hybrid, you will have to know how to merge. Merging means that he (that nice man in the Honda) has the right of way. (Oh, and those little dots to the rear-right of the merging vehicle indicates that the car is using its turn indicators - those blinking lights that you some times see when cars are changing lanes or turning. I suggest you consult to car's owners manual on their use.)

This means that if you accelerate to match speed with him, you'll have to stop. He does not have to stop to let you in. (Though, I know that he is a nice guy and if you had started out in front of him and stayed in front of him that he would slow to increate the already adequate room in front of your car.) But an abortive attempt to pass – or more sinisterly a deliberate attempt to make him stop to let you in, starting out behind him and then matching his progress 'til your lane ends, is neither smart nor likely to work. You see, he had really good insurance and is in the right anyway!

Wherever you are today, I hope your lane is clear and your can merge into the day seamlessly.

Don Bergquist – March 26, 2008 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Welcome To Frost Lake!

Greetings all! I hope that this Tuesday finds you all well and happy. Today's blog entry is to announce that I have been working on my website. Over the weekend I added a page to my website, added a couple "gee whiz" features, and did a bit of reformatting on the site in general.

You'll also find that in my photo gallery, my South Africa gallery has been totally updated and all the choice shots from my African adventure have been uploaded to the site. I'm continuing to add to my gallery on a daily basis and expanding the website every chance I get. I'll soon be adding an archive page which you can access if you want to see all the photos I have uploaded to my old photo sharing site. (That’s all the photos, not just "the good ones." You get the wheat and the chaff!)

Please, stop by my photo gallery; if you enjoy your visit, why not sign the guestbook while you're there! If you have comments, suggestions, or requests, please email me.

I hope that today, wherever today finds you, you have some accomplishment you can celebrate.

Don Bergquist – March 25, 2008 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Happy birthday to my nephew, Nicholas

Monday, March 24, 2008

What A Lovely Weekend!

What a lovely weekend! Even Sunday, when it was too cold to ride, it was nice enough that Saga and I went for a nice long walk around both the lakes in her park. She just kept going and going.

If only the weekend could have. It was a lovely weekend and it would have been nice if it had been just a day or two longer. As it is in the UK… they had a bank holiday on Friday and one again today. I imagine that my friends spent a little time in the pub and that they did all manner of wonderful things that I miss.

Sure, the holiday is earlier thus year than it as been in years, but that is the problem with basing holidays on something mutable like the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox.

Last year, I spent my Easter with my friends in the UK, we had beers at the Albany – or rather, I had beers at the Albany, they were at the Albion! The plan changed at the last minute and by the time I found out about it, I had already had a beer and was beginning to wonder what was going on.

This year, I spend the weekend with Saga Roo in her park. What a difference. The weather cooperated, the days were pleasant, and the skies were the purest azure. But the weekend is over. I have been out this morning with Saga, the temperatures are clement, the skies are clear. My bike is on the back of the car, so I suppose I should head out and get to the office.

Wherever you are, I hope you had a great weekend and holiday, I hope your week will be spectacular!

Don Bergquist – March 24, 2008 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Easter Monday

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Cruise Control

Gee! Yesterday turned out to be a lovely day! The promised rain never came; the snows that threatened were, at best, a light dusting. It was a lovely day!

I got my bike out of the garage, went for a nice ride along the river and then put the bike rack on the car. I am going to start bringing it to the office tomorrow. It is supposed to be in the high sixties tomorrow and I want to start riding my bike at lunchtime.

Driving around yesterday after my ride, it suddenly hit me. I finally figured out what the problem with my morning commute is: Nobody seems to use cruise control.

I can understand not using it in city driving, but my entire trip (with the exception of the couple miles on either end) is entirely on limited access highways. And at the time of the morning that I commute, it is not as if the roads are exactly crowded!

I thought of this as I was driving along C470 headed home from the last shop I went to yesterday. I had my cruise control set at a nice, safe, comfortable speed. I came up on this car that was cruising along at its own speed and overtook it. A few minutes later, he puts on a burst of sped, gets faster than me and passes.

That’s no biggie, but within a couple miles, I passed him again – never having put my foot on the accelerator! You’d think that with gas prices being what they are today, people would use cruise control. It does, after all, save gas!

Oh well, I’m outta here for a bike ride!

Wherever you are today, I hope you’re cruising through a lovely day.

Don Bergquist – March 23, 2008 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Early Morning

Yes, it is the weekend again. (Yeah!) I do believe I will start it out with a nice, long, lie-in! The weather is (according to last night’s predictions) supposed to be horrible. I have nothing scheduled, no projects that have to be done, nothing to keep me from snoozing all day if that is what I want to do!

It’s just after three and I am wide awake… Saga and I have gone for a walk in the hopes that it will give me the desire to go back to bed and sleep a while. I’m not sure why I am awake. It’d not like I didn’t sleep well, but I awoke really early.

Well, while I am up, I guess I could go on a grocery run – this is the best time, all I have to deal with is the stocking teams; there is no fear of having to deal with crowds of people trying to get to the registers.

Perhaps when I get back I will lay on the couch with Saga and watch some infomercials… (But wait! There’s More!) That should put me to sleep.

Wherever you are this morning, I hope that you are having a great morning!

Don Bergquist – March 22, 2008 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Friday, March 21, 2008


After posting yesterday's entry on the whistling tea cups, I received a message from my aunt Jen saying that she remembered the fun that my siblings and I used to have with the whistling tea cups.

I do too! Every time I look at the sideboard where they are proudly displayed in my home I think fondly of my grandmother and the times we spent visiting my grandparents in Parkers Prairie, Minnesota.

Grandmother was a fairly no-nonsense woman but she had a remarkable sense of humor. She laughed the time my siblings and I set off smoke bombs in her basement. The house must have smelled of sulfur for weeks! She used to laugh so hard when she told that story that tears would well in her eyes.

But the highlight of any visit to the Bergquists of Parkers Prairie, was the day when Grandmother Bergquist would get the small brass key out of the china gravy boat (The gravy boat was from the other set of china that dad had brought her from Korea, is how I always understood it. – My Sister, Mary, inherited that set of china, I believe.) and open the ornate oak china cabinet (with the curved glass doors) that stood against the wall of the dining room. She would take-out four of the china cups, wash and dry then and set them out on the table with Grape Kool Aid in them.

My sister, brothers, and I would get cookies and Kool Aid and have the most fun at a little "tea party" acting all grown up and sipping from the cups to see who could make the best bird sounds. Afterward, we'd watch as Grandma washed and dried the cups and returned the key to the gravy boat atop the now relocked cabinet.

Our ritual completed, we would then head-out to play in the park, explore the gardens, see who could walk furthest along the rails of the Soo Line tracks that ran through the lot behind our grandparents house, or wander up to the main street of the town and see what wonderful ways there were to spend our allowance at Wally Block's store. It really was like something out of one of those sappy childhood remembrance novels.

Wherever you are today, I hope that you're making your own fond memories today!

Don Bergquist – March 21, 2008 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Good Friday


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Whistling Tea Cups

Some years ago, I inherited from my grandmother a tea set that my father had brought back from Korea. I am posting pictures of it because I have been trying for a while to get someone to identify it. I have no idea who made it, what the ideograms on the bottom mean, or what the name of the pattern is.

I know that my dad purchased it in Japan on his way back from Korea (that would make it some time in the mid-fifties). The china is white. The sauces are white with a coupe shape. (There is a small indentation at the bottom of the saucer which would make it sort-of a rim, but the overall shape is more bowl-like, so it looks more like what I am told is called a coupe shape.)

All of the pieces have gold around their rims; the cups have a bit of a baroque curlicue to the handle. Other than the gold around the rim and the base of the cups, the rim of the plates and service pieces, the only color comes from the pattern. Each plate has a plumb branch in bloom painted on it. The cups and service pieces have a branch painted on each side. The branch is painted in black, red, and pink. There are yellow and gold highlights on the blossoms. The branches are outlined in gold and there are small green veins in some of the branches.

The bottoms of the saucers and service pieces contain a rectangle in gold containing three Japanese ideograms.
(Though perhaps it is two… one above the other.) Below this on the saucers and the service pieces is the word (written in English) "Japan".) The number 569 appears on all the pieces. It is on the bottom of each of the tea cups, and below the word Japan on all the other pieces.

The strange part about the set is that the cups whistle. There is a tube of china built up along one side of the cup that runs along the outside to the bottom of the cup and terminates in a hole in the base of the outside of the cup. The idea is that the drinker, as they sip their tea, gets some tea from inside the cup and air that comes through the tube from the bottom of the cup. The air moving through the hole whistles. The tea moving across the top of the tube causes the whistle to break into irregular lengths. The result is it sounds vaguely like a chirping bird.

I would ask my dad for information on them, but my whole family knows how [shall we say “Creative”] dad can be while answering questions. Let’s just say (as I say in my disclaimer) that “Creative License” sounds better than “Lying.”

If you have any expertise in identifying china, I’d love to hear from you, please post a comment on this or email me.

Wherever you are today, I hope that your day is going well!

Don Bergquist – March 20, 2008 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Vernal Equinox

Today is the first day of spring. The Vernal Equinox occurred at 05:48 GMT this morning.

Happy birthday to my stepsister, Jo

Happy birthday to my uncle, Gene

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


This time last year I was noticing that everybody in the UK seemed to be wearing them. I was cycling so I really didn't need them, but was glad that I had big tires with a fairly aggressive tread on my bike. This year I am wondering where I can get a pair.

The snows we have had were really pretty. An inch here, an inch there, it was really nice. But with the warmth between the snows, the park is a complete mud trap. I almost hate taking Saga for a walk because I just know that she will want to go out and find the muddy spots and will track it back into the house.

Dopey me! Saga hates the wet. She avoids the mud. Now if only I could. This morning, walking in the dark, I slipped and almost fell over backward on a place in the path where the macadam had long-since worn away leaving a large mud patch barely covered by a layer of loose gravel.

Granted, the galoshes would not have prevented me from slipping this morning, but it would save so much time trying to scrape the mud off the shoes I wear to walk Saga! I have one pair that I keep by the door that are so mud-stained that I can't wear them for anything else until I spend major time on them with the shoe cleaning/shining kit that I have.

But I have no time for that this morning. I have to get to the office.

Wherever you are today, I hope that the path beneath you is dry and solid! (…or that you have a good pair of wellies!)

Don Bergquist – March 19, 2008 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Mom used to say "I have four dishwashers: Mary, Denis, Don, and Chip. What do I need another one for?"

"No, Mom!" We'd protest, when she trotted-out this line of logic. "We want an automatic dishwasher!"

"How much more automatic can it be?" she would counter "I say 'Go wash the dishes!' and you go wash the dishes. The dishes are washed just because I say so." We'd grumble, having been defeated by logic once again, and go wash the dishes. Mom, if not the younger members of the Bergquist family, would get along just fine without a machine to wash the dishes. We children would live with a life of torment, drudgery, and prune-fingers.

My tormented childhood was brought to mind recently, and kept in the forefront of my mind by the breakdown of my dishwasher. I had an old whirlpool that was in the unit when I purchased it eight years ago, and guessing from the looks, was probably installed by the builder in 1972.

The problem is that the pump seems to have given-up the ghost. A mug placed upright in the bottom rack is less than a quarter full at the end of a long dishwashing cycle so what I have is more of a built-in, under-the-counter drying rack than a dishwasher. I have had to revert to the old dishwasher. The one my mom acquired in 1962. (…though she had to wait a few years for the installation…)

I've had to wait a bit more than a week. When I had sussed-out that dishwasher was not working, I called a repairman. Asked about repairing it and was told that I could do so but parts and labor would be pretty dear. I could buy a new one for what it would cost to fix the old one. So buy a new one I would!

The one I selected was not in stock so I was told that it would take a couple weeks to get in. It took five days. The installer called Friday and said they could install Tuesday if I could be home.

So here I sit. I'll be working on a writing assignment for the office while I wait, as a matter of fact, it is time that I get working. It will make the wait go by faster!

Wherever you are today, I hope that you have something you're waiting for!

Don Bergquist – March 18, 2008 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Monday, March 17, 2008

Under The Weather

Today is a great day to be under the weather. The big blizzard they have been prediction has fallen apart. I have only about 2” of snow outside, but it is still coming down.

The problem is that I am still not feeling 100%. It would probably be best for me to stay home and work from here today, better than taking the bug back into the office and passing it on.

I guess I should be spending this time working before I get feeling worse again and want to go to bed.

Wherever you are today, I hope that you’re feeling well!

Don Bergquist – March 17, 2008 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Happy birthday to my friend, Amy

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Headed Back To Bed

That darn bug that has been going around my office has hit me! For a while, I was successful in avoiding it, perhaps it is because I spent so much time walking around the office installing furniture for people…

I was feeling pretty good last night, but this morning, I has hit. I think I will spend the day in bed.

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

Don Bergquist – March 16, 2008 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Palm Sunday

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The New Digs

As you may know already, the company I work for has just moved from Downtown Denver out to the Denver Tech Center. While the distance from home to the office has changed by about ten miles, the time it takes me has inversely changed by about fifteen minutes. I’m driving further but spending less time doing it.

There are only four traffic lights between me and the office; that’s less than five miles of local, surface roads! The rest is all highway driving. It is a really much nicer drive too! Going to work, it is dark, so there is not much in the way of scenery. The return trip, however, is wonderful! C470 is up on a ridge with the Front Range spread panoramically before me.

Unfortunately, there is no good mass-transit option. Mass transit in Denver is designed to bring people into town from the suburbs or between the Tech Center and the downtown area. To go from the suburbs to the Tech Center would mean a trip to downtown as an intermediary stop. Instead of a thirty-minute drive, it would be about 2.5 hours of buses, trains, and waiting rooms. Not really a viable option.

The workspace is nicer too! There is more light and it is open and airy. I’ve moved from a cramped office that I shared with three people to a more spacious work area (cubicle) with far more desk space and room to spread out my work. The cubicle has two walls that are whiteboards and tons of desktop area.

I’ve dedicated one of my whiteboards as an art wall… (though as I drew it, I use the word “art” completely without bias and in the strictly non-aesthetically judgmental way) the other one I’m using for keeping track of projects and messages.

What the heck am I doing writing about this on such a lovely Saturday morning? Saga has been in twice while I have been sitting at the computer as if to point-out how lovely it is outside. I think, I will go and take a walk with her in her park.

Wherever you are today, I hope that you have a lovely day!

Don Bergquist – March 15, 2008 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Happy birthday to my cousin, Ann

Happy birthday to my cousin, Michelle

Friday, March 14, 2008

A Long Week Ends!

To quote Loverboy: Everybody's Working For The Weekend!"

Thank heavens for the weekend! This week has been a full one! I have been diving into the new office in Englewood for the past few days and it has been a long week!

All week long, I have been installing desks and ancillary office furniture for my colleagues, and doing my own job besides. It will be good to relax this weekend. Unfortunately, that is not actually in the cards for me.

I have a new dishwasher being installed next week. I have to work on getting ready for that this weekend. I also have been planning on doing some work around the house which I have been putting off because the weekends have been so lovely! Luckily, the weekend is supposed to be wet, cold and dismal!

I'll spend the weekend cleaning and doing housework.


Wherever you are today, I hope you have a weekend to look forward to!

Don Bergquist – March 14, 2008 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Working For The Weekend
by Loverboy

Everyone's watchin' to see what you will do
Everyone's lookin' at you, Oh
Everyone's wonderin' will you come out tonight
Everyone's tryin' to get it right, get it right

Everybody's workin' for the weekend
Everybody wants a new romance
Everybody's goin' off the deep end
Everybody needs a second chance, Oh

You want a piece of my heart
you better start from the start
you wanna be in the show
c'mon baby let's go

Everyone's lookin' to see if it was you
Everyone wants you to come through
Everyone's hopin' it'll all work out
Everyone's waiting to hold you out

Everybody's workin' for the weekend
Everybody wants a new romance, hey yeah
Everybody's goin' off the deep end
Everybody needs a second chance, Oh

You want a piece of my heart
you better start from the start
you wanna be in the show
c'mon baby let's go


You want a piece of my heart
you better start from the start
you wanna be in the show
c'mon baby let's go

You want a piece of my heart
you better start from the start
you wanna be in the show
c'mon baby let's go

Happy birthday to my godson, Zachary

Happy birthday to my cousin, Justin

Thursday, March 13, 2008


This past weekend on one of the Sunday Pundit shows I heard one of the "Talking Heads" (and I mean the panel, not the band) ask how, this late in the day anyone could still be undecided. They were discussing one of the latest polls that showed that may of the people that voted in the recent primary had decided upon whom they wanted to vote at the last minute.

The commentator's logic was something like: "How can anyone, this late in the game, really not know who they want to vote for?" And I suppose that in any previous year that would be a valid question. Unfortunately, this isn't any other year. This isn't any other election.

This is Florida 2000 on a nation-wide scale. We have a Democratic party which is so evenly split against itself that it is in danger of losing an un-losable election.

We have a Republican candidate who is running on a platform made-up largely of "more of the same" policies in a year when the incumbent of his party is almost historically unpopular, who started an ill-advised grossly expensive and hugely divisive war. The economy is bad and getting worse, the dollar is an international joke; American popularity worldwide is practically non-existent; in short, if ever there was an election that should be change-driven, this is it!

Throw that into the pot and let it simmer a while. Now, spice it up with a popular press that has decided that it is more Jimmy the Greek and less Edward R. Murrow and there is no wonder that people are going to the polls undecided. I must admit that I am torn myself.

The least disingenuous person in the race is the one that I am least likely to vote for anyway. With the Republican (presumptive) candidate at least you know where he stands. He really is serious about continuing the Bush War and Economic policies that have worked so well for the last eight years. (Pardon me here while I splutter with sarcasm, disbelief, and derision.)

Neither of the likely Democratic candidates has had a position that they have felt strongly enough about to hold it the entire race. They both have changed their minds on whether large state wins should count more than sheer number of elected delegates or popular votes as a method of securing the nomination. They have both changed their opinions as the wind blows. (Which ever benefits them at the moment… that is what they want!)

One has a campaign spokesperson that calls the other a monster and it is a huge deal. The other has a campaign spokesperson that makes racist and sexist comments and it is no biggie… One feels they are being picked on by the media, the other says they're overreacting. The media turns their gaze the other and they think all the sudden the media is being unfair!

If there was any real and qualified third party in this country, I would vote for it! (That's the advantage of being an unaligned voter.) Unfortunately, a protest vote this year would be stupid in the extreme. (That's the disadvantage of being an unaligned voter.)

Children! Unless you want to watch the next four years from the sidelines, you need to play nice! Start talking about the issues, quit squabbling with each other! (Don't make me pull this election over and come back there to separate you two!) Just let us know how you plan to fix what the idiot who currently holds the job has broken. You can't expect to get the job if your entire interview is pointing at the other guy and calling him a doo-doo head!

Wherever you are today, I hope you'll get active in your local politics… all politics is local politics.

Don Bergquist – March 13, 2008 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Off To The Races!

It hit me on the way in this morning. I know why I am getting so disgusted with the media this election cycle: more than any previous election (as far as I can remember) the election coverage is more of a horse-race handicap than coverage of an important decision to be made.

There is practically no coverage of issues, no discussion of how the candidates compare on the economy, the mess healthcare is in, or the stand they take on the war. Nothing that could even remotely be considered as helpful! It's all about the handicapping.

"If ____ wins in ___ then they will get an additional ___ delegates. But ___ has the opportunity to take ___ and so the total gain will be..." and so on!
While the handicapping is marginally interesting, it is really unhelpful! For those of us who are more interested in the policies than the party, the news coverage is sorely lacking. It is precisely this mindless coverage that turns people off of politics. It further proves that the parties are more interested in perpetuating their own power than helping the public.

Altruism aside, the candidates, and by extent ion the parties, have a responsibility to allow the public to know where they stand. The media have the responsibility to report the news, not to generate hype by handicapping the horserace! It's like the endless inane blather that spews forth from the untethered tongues of the insipid sports commentators that cannot seem to just shut up and let people watch the game.

Wherever you are today, I hope you'll press for more news in your news coverage!

Don Bergquist – March 12, 2008 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Watch It!

The fact that I am writing to you today is more due to luck than anything else. I admit it. I am here not because I am a good driver but because I was lucky!

Driving home last night, I fell victim to a total tosser who cared more (apparently) about getting home quickly than watching what they were doing. It happened at the interchange between Santa Fe and Hampton about ten last night.

I was on my way home from my Monday night class and having just made the turn (from Santa Fe Northbound) onto the entry ramp (on a protected green arrow); I was accelerating to merge into the traffic on Hamden when the idiot came up the entrance from Santa Fe Southbound blowing right through the yield sign, and nearly clipping my right-front fender. He was no more than a few inches from me when he squeezed his obnoxiously oversized Cadillac SUV into the space between my car and the one in front of me.

It was all I could do to keep from slamming on the breaks in reaction and having the person behind me slam into me. The idiot then proceeded to change lanes (despite the fact that the two lanes would merge into one, the one he and I were already in) without signaling – or apparently looking – and attempted to pass the car which was in front of him, now in front of me. He was unsuccessful and had to merge back into my lane (again without signaling) so that we could all merge into Hamden.

The sad part about it was that the wanker had two children in the car. (He had the idiot boxes in the backseat showing cartoons so perhaps the children do not know how badly their daddy drives!)

Wherever you are today, please share the road and watch what you are doing behind the wheel.

Don Bergquist – March 11, 2008 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Monday, March 10, 2008

Spring Forward, Sure - But This Is Nuts!

I have no idea why my body clock decided to spring forward with the clocks this weekend, but there it is! My internal alarm, much like normal, decided that I needed to be up before the clock's alarm started to ring…

Unusual was that the time I awoke for the morning was 03:00! Even Saga stared at me as I got out of bed as if her opinion was that I had totally lost it! Oh, I didn't actually get out of bed at three… no! I decided to try and get back to sleep for nearly half an hour before giving-up and getting out of bed.

So here I am. I'm sitting at my desk, drinking my first cup of coffee at a quarter-'til-four and waiting for Saga to want to get out of bed for our walk. Well, it's a good thing I am up early, I have to make my way to the new office for the first time at the normal time; I have no idea how long this will take.

Wherever you are this morning, I hope your day starts out well!

Don Bergquist – March 10, 2008 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Happy birthday to my cousin, Rebecca

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Spring Forward

In most US locations, the clocks changed from Standard to Daylight Saving Time this morning. It is earlier this year than last and earlier last year than the year before. Which gives me pause for thought…

Has Daylight Saving Time outlived its usefulness? Okay, I’m not just cranky because I lost an hour of sleep last night… I am going to make it up today. It is just that I have been reading of late how the original benefits of Daylight Saving Time have been offset of late by the drawbacks.

For the original reason that we started using DST, you have to look back to WWI England. Daylight Saving Time was developed to save electricity for lighting. This saved the coal that was used to generate that electricity so that it could be redirected to the war effort. DST was again employed at the time of the second World War, and again, it was to save electricity, thus saving the coal used to generate it so that it could be reallocated to the war effort.

The problem is that as of late, it no longer saves electricity. It now cost more than we save! Starting the day an hour later means there is another hour of cold, dark morning in the late winter/early spring which means we are running our heaters an hour longer. Conversely, in the summer time, the summer evenings mean that schools, work places, shopping malls, and homes need to be cooled a hour longer.

This is a side-effect that the original proponents of DST could not have foreseen. Very few homes and businesses are air-conditioned (as compared to the US) in present day Great Britain, even fewer were a hundred years ago.

Sure, there are ancillary affects to the time change, longer evening hours encourage people to go out and be active an hour longer after work, studies show that once the first few days of the change have been passed, rates of traffic accidents go down. But if it is these ancillary affects you want, why not stay on DST all year long? Presumably, you would see the traffic accident rate go down in December if it is down in July! (Which is not to point out that not changing back-and-forth between the two eliminates the bump we see in the traffic accidents when the time change occurs.)

It’s not a bad idea, this daylight saving time, just one whose original justifications are no longer valid. We should rethink how we practice it!

Wherever you are today, I hope that you are on time!

Don Bergquist – March 09, 2008 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Where Does The Time Go?

It’s a good thing I have my furry, four-footed timer handy! Saga comes in about every hour when I am working on my PC in the office… Apparently, she wants to make sure that I am not spending too much time ignoring here when we are at home together.

So, here she is, for the third time. I have been working on my photography website for the past couple hours… I guess she wants me to know that she is ready to spend some quality time… I suppose I should go and get something warm on and take Saga out for a walk.

It is a nice day; at least that is what the news said this morning.

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

Don Bergquist – March 08, 2008 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Friday, March 07, 2008

The Will Of The People?

I have to admit it: I am a bit of a news junkie. I read some online newspapers, I listen to news podcasts throughout the day from four different sources (intermingled with my MP3 collection, of course), and I watch three different newscasts at night.

One thing that keeps getting airplay in this political season is the story of the voters disenfranchised by the Democratic Party in Michigan and Florida. (Or as the news keep putting it: "The Michigan/Florida problem.") I submit to you, however, it is not a problem with Michigan and/or Florida but with the inherent unfairness of the process that the Democratic Party has put in place for the selection of their candidate.

Don't get me wrong, the Republican Party's method is no fairer, and I am not a big fan or party politics period! I am very Jeffersonian in that respect. Jefferson warned that the newly forming political parties would be the bane of Democracy and freedom of choice and we now see that he had s positively prescient perspective on the problems of party politics.

But the problem here is two-fold. Not only do we have two parties bent only on gaining and holding power, but they perpetuate their power by the systematic suppression of any serious third-party. The second part of the problem is that the system that they have put in place for the selection of their candidates is inefficient, time-consuming, and inherently unfair.

Both parties have spread-out their primaries over the course of an ever-increasing span of time assuring that it will cost copious quantities of cash to run a successful campaign. Additionally, by spreading it out, many of the choices available to the earlier states are no longer available to the later states. Unless you live in Iowa, Wyoming, or New Hampshire you are presented more a fait accompli than a choice. Your choice dwindles the further from the start your state is.

Can you blame Florida and Michigan from wanting to be earlier in the process?

Having lived abroad, I can appreciate the problems with our electoral system all the more. In the UK, the whole process of the election that I was there for was over in six weeks. They also have dozens of parties to choose from as well as well as truly independent politicians. Now, I'm not proposing that we go to a parliament as they have; there are problems with their government too – let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater… but let's not keep the bath water! It's time to rinse off!

The obscene amounts of money spent over here would not be necessary if the primaries/elections tool less time. Sure there would be tons of advertising, but the amount of advertising in a given time span is finite. Dragging the process out this long just assures that there would be more that can/must be spent.

As far as what to do with the Florida/Michigan problem… well, that's a problem to be dealt with by the parties. Anyone interested in a valid third party?

Wherever you are today, I hope that you'll be active in the political process – whatever your personal political preference!

Don Bergquist – March 07, 2008 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Thursday, March 06, 2008


I read somewhere once that life is the accumulated changes that happen to a person as they travel through the world. Or perhaps I made that up, I can't tell anymore. But it can hardly be an entirely original thought, now can it?

Geez! How many changes I have seen! When I started this job the company was based in Memphis, Tennessee; the job was one of supporting some nice, but well established (read "old" software. Since that time, my job has changed about a dozen times; the company has probably had half-a dozen names (due to countless mergers); the company has been housed in three different buildings (in three different cities: Memphis, Golden, and Denver); and there have been tons of other changes.

I'm thinking of change because my office (in Denver, at Harris, not the one that I am sitting in, here in Lakewood) is in the process of a move. We're moving to the Denver Tech Center – south of downtown by perhaps fifteen miles-or-so.

My office is full of boxes. My roommates are mostly packed-up; Monday we will have new offices. My desk is almost completely ready, I have left out only the things I will need for today at the office. This afternoon, I plan to bring my laptop home with me. I would prefer not to be in the office tomorrow there will be far to much activity for me to be productive at the office.

But today, I have things to do that require me to be there, so I had best wrap this up and get to the office.

Wherever you are today, I hope that all your changes are good ones!

Don Bergquist – March 06, 2008 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Snowy Day

Ugh! I really don't want to go out and drive to the office today! It probably looks worse than it is, but it looks bad. Saga and I went to walk in the park this morning and, while the ankle-deep snow does not seem as bad as they thought it would be, Yale Avenue is icy!

Saga could get no purchase! As is her wont, she tried running to the park the moment we got into the street. I had not unlocked the flexi-lead, though so she could not run; she nearly fell over as she lost her footing. I'm glad that I hadn't unlocked the lead; she would have pulled me over had she hit the end of the lead running full speed.

They are saying on the news that you should allow yourself twice your normal commute time today. It's too late for that! If I do not leave now I will not be in the office 'til almost eight! Let's hope that they are talking to people in the seriously outlying areas, there!

Wherever you are today, I hope that you are well and your commute goes smoothly!

Don Bergquist - March 05, 2008 - Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

National Grammar Day!

It's national grammar day! Dangle a participle, split an infinitive, go wild!

I learned of National Grammar Day last night while listening to one of my favorite podcasts: Grammar Girl's Quick And Dirty Tips To Better Writing. It's a fun podcast about grammar. (Yes, I am that much of a geek that I enjoy learning about Grammar!)

Her podcast this week dispels her top ten grammar myths. Check out her site to see what they are! In celebration, I plan to correct anyone who uses one of my pet peeve phrases: "whole entire…"

As is you could have part of the entire thing! Actually, I recently had this conversation with someone and since he has been deliberatel slipping it into conversation at every chance. I slipped it into a couple sentences last night to show that I had gotten the barb and appreciated the irony.

Wherever you are today, correct someone's grammar! Happy Grammar Day!

Don Bergquist - March 10, 2008 - Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Monday, March 03, 2008

New Home – New Look

Well, it is ready for the unveiling!

I've been working on my new website for about a month now and want to thank my friends, Mike and Sean for consultation and input on my design and formatting. Frost Lake ( is my new website, and I hope to be adding onto it in the near future.

I'd love it if you would pop over to Frost Lake when you get a chance and let me know what you think!

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

Don Bergquist – March 03, 2008 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Happy birthday to my friend, Angie

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Gather Ye Rosebuds...

It cannot be truer that the poem says. You have to get out and enjoy the day while you have the opportunity. After a day whose temperatures were fair and lovely, I went to bed with the windows open. The cool evening breezes were pleasant. When I got up to see what Saga was whimpering at (not anything I could see) the grass was still green and the night winds, while a bit colder, were still pleasant.

At four this morning, when I woke-up, it was white and wintery outside. The March Loin, apparently, missed his cue. But he is now with us.

The footstool I used yesterday while sitting in the hammock chair after my walk along the creek in the park is now covered with a couple inches of snow. The pleasant time spent petting the dog and enjoying the clemency of the day, now blown away by the same cold wind that was blowing the snow around.

I walked around the property with my camera after having taken Saga over to her park. The snow has already frosted the trees and shrubs. It is a lovely morning, but so very different than it was yesterday.

The park is blanketed under a good deal of snow; there is no sign of the rabbits and prairie dogs that drove Saga so wild only yesterday! They have returned to their dens and warrens to sleep off the return of winter. I think that is an excellent idea. I have returned to my own cave and will probably spend the day snuggled under the duvet, watching movies on television.

Wherever you are, I hope you have a relaxing day!

Don Bergquist – March 02, 2008 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

To the Virgins, to make much of Time
Robert Herrick. 1591–1674

GATHER ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying:
And this same flower that smiles to-day
To-morrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he 's a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he 's to setting.

That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.

Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may, go marry:
For having lost but once your prime,
You may for ever tarry.

Happy Birthday to my cousin, Dale

Saturday, March 01, 2008

In Like A Lion?

One could only say that March is “coming in like a lion” if one was referring to The Cowardly Lion of The Wizard of Oz fame. It is absolutely gorgeous outside today! I have no idea what Saga and I are going to do, but it will be outside. I know that I will probably get out and walk in the park with the dog.

Other than that? Who can say! As mom used to constantly harp at us: “It’s a lovely day! Go outside, enjoy the fresh air and the sunshine!”

A lovely day it is, bright, sunny, about seventy degrees! I am going to head outside and enjoy it while I can!

Wherever you are today, I hope you’re having a lovely day, whatever the weather!

Don Bergquist – March 01, 2008 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA