Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ash Wednesday Memories

A few years back, I was staying in a pub in Surbiton during one of my first trips to the UK. I will often remember the trip for having lived above a pub for so long, and for making such good friends whilst over there.

I will also (on this day) always think of that pub because of the publican and his wife (? - Partner?), who was the cook; at least she was in the kitchen whenever I ate there. She was also (it is my firm belief) an observant Catholic.

I know this because of what happened that Ash Wednesday. It was breakfast and the publican was taking order-after-order for the Traditional English Breakfast; sausage, beans, mushrooms, eggs, and grilled tomatoes. He had sent back quite a few while I was sitting there, and he had just delivered a plate of steak and eggs to the next table and was commenting on how nice it looked and how he would love to have had that for breakfast when his (again – partner? wife?) cook walked out of the kitchen and announced in a voice that filled the bar and dining room:

“For those of you who would rather not eat meat on ASH WEDNESDAY we do have Kippers and Eggs or Bubble and Squeak on the menu today!” (And yes, when she said it, you could hear that she was speaking in all capitals!)

She then disappeared into the kitchen again trailing a look of disdain and roll of the eyes from the publican. I am not sure how many takers she had for the kippers, but the sausages were lovely!

Wherever you are today, I hope your breakfast was whatever you wanted it to be!

Don Bergquist – 25 February, 2009 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Ash Wednesday

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Laissez les bon temps roules.

Even Saga wanted to get into the spirit of Mardi Gras! She got all dolled-up in her beads for the day!

The other night at my Mardi Gras party she begged enough to be allowed to join the festivities. I am not entirely sure if she is just generally lethargic this morning or if she has finally come down off the sugar rush from all the goodies Saturday. (Perhaps she finally got someone to give her a Hurricane.)

Either way, she is definitely looking stylish in her beads this morning! Even if she got all dressed up just to luxuriate on the couch for a active morning of lying in!

Wherever you are today, I hope that your Mardi Gras is a pleasant one!

Laissez les bon temps roules! 
Let the good times Roll!

Don Bergquist - February 24, 2009 - Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Mardi Gras

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My Birthday, A Recap


What more can I say‽ Ahhhh!

Thank you to all of my friends and relatives who called, wrote, sent cards, and poked me on Facebook. Yes, thanks! I had a lovely birthday!

So, what was the plan finally?

Well, I spend the day in blissful decadence!

I took the day off work and went to the Indian Springs Resort & Spa, up in Idaho Springs. Oh, my god! How relaxing. When you spend your day getting a massage, taking a mud bath, lolling in the hot mineral baths in a steamy cave, and swimming laps in the mineral water pool, it is not likely you will have a scintilla of stress left when you’re done.

That is unless you choose to do it on a holiday and have to deal with the I-70 traffic trying to make its way down out of the mountains and back into Denver afterward.
 But after the day I'd had even the traffic could not blunt the good mood I was in!

I came home and sat at my computer taking a look at the pictures I took… not many because I wouldn’t take pictures inside and compromise anyone’s privacy, so just pictures of the outside. It was a lovely day and I will long remember my 29th Birthday. (That is it was my 29th Birthday in Base 19.) It was one relaxing day!

Today I have taken off to recuperate from the fun and relaxation of yesterday… well, let’s face it. I am not as young as I once was. But then, who is?

Wherever you are today, I hope your day has been as pleasant!

Don Bergquist - February 17, 2009 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Monday, February 16, 2009

Happy Birthday to…

I remember birthdays past.

When I was a kid, my mom used to make a big deal of our birthdays.
This one year, mom set-up a table by balancing a bunch of boards across a couple oil barrels and setting-out such a feast! Friends came from all over the neighborhood to have cake and punch.

There were games and fun and everyone with their party clothing on.

Another year we all went to a local pony ring to have pony rides on my birthday. I've kind-of gotten out of the practice of having a big celebration of my birthday... it just seemed a lot of work to go through.

A couple years ago, I went to Amsterdam to celebrate my birthday, spent some time bumming around the town and taking in the sites. I have no big plans for today, myself. Of course, I may, at the spur of the moment, make a plan... who can tell.

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

Don Bergquist - February 16, 2009 - Lakewood, Colorado, USA

President's Day

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Early Spring

Okay, this is TOO much!

Here it is the middle of February and my spring bulbs are just itching to get bursting. I have tulips (at least, I think they are tulips...) starting to put up shoots! Even though it is the middle of winter things are sprouting!

Perhaps it is a tribute to the comfort and warmth this winter has afforded us here in Colorado. We've had a bit of snow over the past couple days, but only a light dusting.

Actually, it was the light dusting of snow that allowed me to see the sprouts at all... The had been lost in the tangle of last year's dead foliage along the front of my home.

But with the recent snowfall, I could not miss the purplish-green shoots poking through stark white of the snow as Saga and I headed back from our walk this morning. I would say "Spring is on its way," but with the lovely weather we have been having, it's like it has been here for weeks.

March is usually the snowiest month here, so I fear these tulips (at least I think these are tulips) will be regretting the decision to pop up this early soon! But for now, it is a sign that the winter is wearing on - regardless of what the weather report says!

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

Don Bergquist - February 15, 2009 - Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Happy Birthday to my nephew Andrew

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Double Standard?

Have you been hearing 'bout The Pope reinstating the excommunicated bishop from the UK? (Having written that, it seems that would be a good opener for a joke, but this is serious!)

The bishop in question, one Richard Williamson, is a devout believer that holocaust was a hoax. Now I am not going to get into the ridicule of Mr. Williamson for this. That is not the point of this entry. I should (as I was taught by my Catholic upbringing) have referred to him as "His Excellency" but I cannot bring myself to do that. What is so excellent in accepting at face value something you think might be true while denying something that has left behind so much physical and documentary evidence?

Now let's forget for a moment what the Bishop did... let’s look at what the Pope did. In reinstating the Bishop he said that denying the holocaust was nothing more than a lie and a person should not be excommunicated for lying.

Uh, excuse me... since when did lying become okay. I vaguely believe I read something about bearing false witness in a book somewhere. I kind-of took it as read that the author was more-or-less against it.So he sinned.

"So what!" You might say. (To quote another passage from that same book: "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.") No, not stones, let's sling a little logic around. We could easily ridicule both of the participants in this little face.

But that is not the point! The point is that the Catholic dogma (at least as I learned it in Chasidism classes) was that God forgives sinners but only repentant sinners. Furthermore, one is not (again, according to my recollection of the training) allowed to take communion unless one has repented all their sins and done penance.

So let's recap: The Pope admits that Mr. Williamson is wrong about the holocaust. He goes on to admit that holding and expressing the belief is a lie. Further he goes on to at least strongly imply that it is his (Pope Benedict XVI’s) understanding is that the Bishop has no intention of recanting his statements that the Holocaust never happened. The Pope, rather than insisting that the sinner make penance and "sin no more," welcomes the unrepentant sinner back into the pulpit.

If you've been following all this, my disclaimer (see the upper-right of the blog’s home page) notwithstanding, were I to assert that I was 6'6" and be an almost exact copy of [insert the name of your favorite movie star here] I would be a sinner and unable to take communion until I had admitted to being 6'4" and at best bearing a passing resemblance to Benny Hill; repented the assertion, did penance, and promised never again to say I was a real hot guy. (Unless it ever became a factual statement.) 

But if I were to tell anyone who would listen that despite all the evidence to the contrary, the Nazis got a bad rap and should be considered nothing more than a band of misled frat boys on a bender that fell in with the wrong crowd, I could continue to say the Eucharist - or I could if I happened to be a Bishop that a previous Pope (who apparently hadn't had a lobotomy that affected his logical reasoning) had excommunicated for preaching that doctrine.

And people wonder why I am a member of the Existentialist Branch of the church... by which I mean I believe the church exists. The rest I can take or leave. (...which is the real reason I don’t take communion!)

Being a proponent of free speech and no longer a member of the church, let me just say that Mr. Williamson has a right to say whatever crazy thing he feels like saying. And being the Pope Benedict has the right to lift excommunication on anyone he wants to. But if anyone sees the logic in this, I wish they would explain it to me!

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

Don Bergquist - February 10, 2009 - Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Thursday, February 05, 2009

I Hate Being Right Some Times!

A while back I wrote a blog entry on programs that seem to be based on nothing more than the fact that their music has recently come into the Public Domain. In this article I bemoaned the fact that the music that was going to be used in the next round of this nostalgia TV was going to come from the eighties.

I recently got my hands on a copy of the new BBC series, Ashes to Ashes. This is the sequel to the wildly popular series Life on Mars. Gene Hunt and the the crew from the seventies are back but now transported to a police precinct in London in the eighties.

I was absolutely right, but I missed one salient point: The "fashion" of the eighties was really horrible! The lead character of the show wanders through her dementia loosely swaddled in baggy tees with necklines that hang half-way down her upper-arm, exposed bra straps, and all the other trapping we remember (and are embarrassed by) from the eighties.

In one episode she goes to a nightclub and encounters her coworkers in full Glam-Rock regalia. Ugh! Hold-on to your lunches, folks… We all know what has to be coming down the pike next!

Wherever you are today, I hope you're having a wonderful Day

Don Bergquist - February 05, 2009 - Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Sunday, February 01, 2009


The rule is that she's not allowed to beg. Canaan dogs, are however, too smart for their own good.

Somehow she has taken it into her head that just sitting off to my right (almost but not quite out of range of my peripheral vision) and staring wantonly at whatever it is that I am eating or drinking that interests her, is not technically begging.

Should I happen to have the unguarded moment in which I allow my gaze to fall on her, she will (without otherwise moving a muscle) alternate her gaze from looking at me lovingly and looking at my plate expectantly. "You gonna eat that, Daddy? I'd be happy to finish that for you." is the clearly telegraphed message of that alternating gaze.

Should I fail to make my stern face, clear my throat menacingly, or otherwise chastise this behavior, she will start to wag her tail as if to add to the hypnotic rhythm of the eyes moving from my plate to my face, and back again and again.

You can almost see her thought process: "you will give me that... you will give me that... you will..." poor thing. It is a shame that her daddy never feeds her! Pobrecita! One day, perhaps, her hypnosis will work.

Wherever you are today, I hope that you will get what you are longing for!

Don Bergquist - February 01, 2008 - Lakewood, Colorado, USA