Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve

Yule Blog - New Year's Eve

Where does the time go!?

Not only have Saga and I been here in Minnesota for three weeks now, but the year is over. It is time to start thinking about heading back to Denver.

My father is making a good recovery from his surgery and my presence here is no longer required. I am pretty sure that Flo and Dad will be able to handle things now without further assistance. (Besides, there is that old show biz adage: “Always leave them wanting more!”)

So this afternoon, I will be spending some time packing the car. Then tomorrow morning Saga and I head west again. As of this time, the predictions are still for good roads (once I hit the interstate) and though the temperatures along part of the route are slated to be sub-zero, it still looks like it will be a good day to drive. (…and that’s 0° Fahrenheit and not the wimpy 0° Celsius, which is a nice, warm spring day here in Minnesota!)

The first part of the trip is the only part that may be a bit harrowing. I went to visit my uncle up on the family homestead yesterday and the county roads where sheets of ice. I have a secondary state highway all the way to the border and then a couple county roads in South Dakota to get to the interstate, a trip that usually takes just about an hour… I’m thinking I’ll be taking that part of the trip a bit slower tomorrow.

So that’s the plan, pack the car before bed tonight (everything but what I’ll need in the morning, Saga’s bedding and food, and the thermoses), celebrate the end of the year – though not too much, and then take off whenever I get up and about in the morning.

But I have a full day with my parents left so I am going to enjoy it! Perhaps a game of scrabble or some cards would be in order!

Wherever you are this morning, I hope that you are closing-out the year with those you love!

Don Bergquist – December 31, 2009 – Kensington, Minnesota, USA

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Yule Blog - After the Storm (?)

Well, it appears as if the storm may (finally) be over. Five days of snow has transfigured the woods into what looks like a stretch of black and white tweed from where we sit in the house. The only color to be seen out the back window is the one ice house on the lake; a garish green in the midst of a black-and-white fantasy.

This morning, after bracing myself with a few cups of coffee, I set-out into the newly clear air. The smell of the morning was cold, clean, and new. If nothing else the storm was transformative in that way at least!

A walk down the drive way showed that we’d received another two-to-three inches since the neighbor had been by with his tractor to plow the drive yesterday. I shuffled through ankle-deep snow to the berm left by the county plow as it went by this morning clearing Honeysuckle Lane. Crossing that I was off down the road to the north to see what the fields at the top of the hill looked like. Well, not to put to fine a point on it, the looked like a field covered in snow and dotted here and there with the stalks of the sumac waiting for spring to dress them in leaves again.

I then headed down to the south property line to take a look at the woods between the property and the next home owner’s property. I then set across the yard braving the knee-deep snow. (Actually, it was thigh deep in places.)

It wasn’t as hard to traverse the snow-filled yard as I would have expected; but then I did have a Golden Retriever and a Canaan Dog blazing the trail ahead of me. It is amazing how much snow those to can plow!

But then, my walk and my shooting completed. I decided it was time to get back indoors and change into some dry clothing! It is still too cold to spend too much time outside… especially with the melting snow robbing you of body heat.

With this written and posted, I suppose it is time to get a cup of coffee, a tipple of something in it to fortify me, and perhaps take on my parents in Scrabble or cards or something. That is the way we pass the short winter days here in Minnesota!

Wherever you are today, I hope that you’re having a pleasant morning!

Don Bergquist - December 27, 2009 - Kensington, Minnesota, USA

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Yule Blog - Boxing Day

cabin fever


1. A state characterized by anxiety, restlessness, and boredom, arising from a prolonged stay in a remote or confined place.

2. Boredom, restlessness, or irritability that results from a lack of environmental stimulation, as from a prolonged stay in a remote, sparsely populated region or a confined indoor area.

3. Winter in Minnesota.

1915-20, Americanism

In all the years that I have been coming to Minnesota, I do not remember the weather being this bad. But we have each other, we have the internet, and we have a number of games to keep us occupied. I doubt we’ll be reenacting The Shining any time soon.

It is kind of a bummer that we didn’t get the chance to head up to the farm in Parkers Prairie, but it was not to be…

My folks and I were just saying this morning that it is unbelievable that I have been here two weeks already, but looking at the calendar, it is so! Two weeks ago Saga and I were driving here; Dad was lying in the hospital recovering from surgery; and Flo was at dad’s bedside, trying to keep his spirits up.

Flo was later told that Dad’s recovery would have been faster had she not been there keeping him awake, expending energy wondering if she was entertained. But I am sure that regardless of what the nurses say Dad was glad to have her there.

So here it is, another lovely, cold, snowy morning. The snow is predicted to end today but we’ll see… at least we have nowhere to be until Monday.

Wherever you are today, I hope that you are with the ones you love and inside, warm and safe.

Don Bergquist - December 26, 2009 - Kensington, Minnesota, USA

Boxing Day

Friday, December 25, 2009

Yule Blog - Christmas Greetings!

Dear Friends and Family,

As I write my Christmas missive, it is a wonderful, snowy day in late fall here in Lakewood, Colorado; just the kind of day that one wants to casually sip a warm cup of coffee, watch the snow fall and get into the Christmas spirit. And so, fittingly, I have popped a Christmas music rotation onto the MP3 player, poured myself a fresh cup and sat down at the computer to write my annual holiday missive. The year has been a busy one for Saga and me.

The year started at a New Year’s Eve party with friends. It was a wonderful start to an interesting year. The noteworthy news for January was the unfortunate skier who slipped partially out of the ski lift and hung mooning Vail for a while.

In February we were blessed with an early spring. But as anyone who lives here know, don’t count on spring to arrive early in the Rockies! Oh, ad I turned 47.

March, true to its nature, gave us a couple significant snowfall events (that is Coloradoan for “Blizzards”) along with the few obligatory nice days between. Professionally, the software package I have been working on since last summer finished its technical trial. We found that the software was viable. Now we just had to find the correct client.

Tax Day, Tea Parties, and Illegal Immigrants were the news of the day in April. I continued to work on the development of my software, and Saga was plagued my more snow. The worst snowfall of the season fell in April; nearly two feet of snow fell so Saga looked like a barge plying a frozen ocean of snow every time we went out for a walk.

In May the family gathered to celebrate Dad’s 75th anniversary in Minnesota. All my siblings were there; all Dad’s siblings were there, and although we didn’t take attendance, we think that there were about sixty people who turned-up to help celebrate. I scored points among my siblings and cousins of my generations by showing pictures of my grandparents and pointing out that we were now as old as they had been when the pictures were taken.

In the cliché of every small-town paper ever published: a fine time was had by all!
One other noteworthy item from the trip was that with the lovely weather on the day I left and the nearly perfect road conditions I set a personal best on the trip home. We covered the distance in just under twelve hours at an average moving time of about 78 miles-per-hour.

There is nothing much of note that happened in June. Well… except that the first of my generation turned fifty. I will not be so crass as to say which of my siblings that may be, you would have to ask my sister.

July was an interesting time... “Interesting” in that not-so-good way. The big news was that NASA had handed all the crack-pot conspiracy types who do not believe we went to the moon a boon by revealing that the “could not find” the original footage of the moon landing. Personally, it was interesting because Lakewood was hit by the first of four hailstorms. This one, as we would find out later, did about a quarter-million dollars in damage to the condo complex that I own a home in. As we would soon discover, we’d need to replace all the roofs in the complex.

August came along and brought with it more hail. Aside from that, it was a lovely month. Oh, and my brother Denis celebrated his birthday.
September was a lovely month. Fall came and it was spectacular, for the few weeks it actually lasted. We had early snowfall and a hailstorm in September. But other than that, it was a lovely month.

Doing my civic duty in September I appeared on for Jury Duty. I was not seated on a jury, but I spent the morning watching the jury selection process. It was an interesting way to pass a morning.

September also was a major milestone for me. It was my twentieth anniversary with my company. My boss had a nice party for me and prepared a bunch of factoids filling-in a timeline of the years since I was hired back in 1989. It was interesting looking back over the years to see what I had forgotten about.

October came and with it the annual family gathering to make horseradish. Saga and I drove up and spent time with the family. All my siblings made it in for the gathering. A sudden change in the weather at the end of the trip caused Saga and I to beat a precipitous exit the weekend after the gathering. What looked to be a bear of a drive turned-out not being so bad. We dodged between two fronts and aside from a bit of fog and a little freezing rain in Nebraska, we had no problem getting home.

I had a couple friends over to my place for Thanksgiving dinner. Aside from that, November is noteworthy only because of the news that the first paying client for my new software was in the last stages of negotiations.

And that brings us to today. Here is sit, listening to a Christmas playlist. I have a client that I will be supporting remotely from my parents’ home in Minnesota where I will be heading at the end of the week. Why?

Well, Dad is going into the hospital this week for surgery to correct an aneurism and I am headed up there to help out during his recuperation.

The New Year promises to be one of new and exciting adventures as my new product gets released and grows. Our first client goes live January 20th in The Netherlands.

That is about it for me. I hope my annual holiday missive finds you and your family well this year! With the snow continuing to fall outside, the only fitting Christmas song quote I could think of was from White Christmas!

May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Don and Saga

Christmas Day

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Yule Blog - Christmas Eve

The stocking are all hung by the chimney with care…

Well, except that there are no stockings and no chimney! We've strung lights festively outside in the tree, and they are winking prettily through the snow… the little tree in the living room is sitting atop a pile of gifts that have been sent by friends and relatives and are awaiting whatever additions Santa has to make this evening.

It is a cold and snowy start to winter here in Minnesota but Saga and I are bundled up snug and warm with family and all is well.

I hope that wherever you are today you are with the ones you love!

Don Bergquist – December 24, 2009 – Kensington, Minnesota, USA

Six Inches By Morning?

This too is Minnesota...

As of six this morning, the snow was still the light, dusting, powder fall that we have been getting since yesterday afternoon. it is still pretty dark out, but from what I can see it appears we might have had a inch of new accumulation overnight.

This morning's weather reports are still calling for a major winter storm, but right now I am happy just watching the snow gently falling; as it slowly erases the tracks of the cars in the driveway. I imagine the frosting of new snow on the woods across the street will be quite nice, when I can finally see it.

Wherever you are this morning, I hope it is a lovely morning!

Don Bergquist - December 24, 2009 - Kensington, Minnesota, USA

Christmas Eve

Happy birthday to my cousin Elizabeth

Happy birthday to my cousin Abigail

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Six Inches By Morning

The predictions have been changing all day (so what's new?) but as I am headed off to bed, the prediction was that by the morning there would be six inches of snow on the ground. Add that to the four that are still there and the two days of snow predicted to follow, and it does not appear that I will be going to the family homestead for Christmas.

That is too bad, but this is Minnesota and it is winter. What did I expect?

Saga is going to hate life when she has to go outside tomorrow – we have record-breaking snowfall for Christmas Eve predicted; bitter cold temperatures, and more snow predicted for the rest of the holiday weekend. But on the bright side, it does not sound like the weather back in Denver is any better!

At least I am here with my folks; we are all safe and sound in the warmth of the home. The Christmas tree is lit and festive, and we have all the provisions we need to make it through a cold and snowy weekend.

Wherever you are this evening, I hope you are warm and safely with the ones you love!

Don Bergquist – December 23, 2009 – Kensington. Minnesota, USA

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Life Is A Bitch


I have to be quiet. Daddy is sleeping and I am using his glowing box while he is in the other room. I need to get this done quick.

You've got to help me! Daddy spends his day looking at this thing when he could be spending it playing with me and petting me. He brought me to a place that is cold and snowy when I could be at home. A place that doesn't smell like another dog.

It started a week ago; he put me into my kennel in the car. That was pretty cool! I love going for rides in the car. Well, unless they end at the vet or the groomer. But nice long rides in the car? Those are great! Daddy often gives me carrots while we're driving; and I get to get out of the car occasionally to smell new things… and pee on them! Why can't we do that all that time!?

But then we arrived here. And Daddy brought me to this place where there a big dog who has to be herded or she will think she owns the place. And what's up with that! She eats the food that Daddy puts out; she tries to make Daddy pet her; and she comes along after me and pees right over where I have just peed! the nerve!

Something has to be done! Please, magic glowing box, help me! I've seen Daddy stare at you for long periods of time and lake the clacking noise that I can here when I hit this thingy with the letters on it and then he will suddenly get all happy and pet me. So if you are some magic box or something… get Daddy to take me home. It's too damn cold here.

Get to work on it magic glowing box!

Saga – December 20, 2009 – Someplace cold and snowy with a big mean dog!

Happy birthday to my friend Christine

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The skies have cleared, but of course, that means the cold has really set in! Winter in Minnesota... Need I say more?

The mornings have been lovely, though. And since I sit at my PC by the kitchen window that faces east from before sunrise until it is time to shut-down (with occasional breaks to get coffee or tea) I get a great show as the sun paints the sky behind the woods first grayish blue, then red, orange, and yellow in turns.

I pop some music in the player, and get down to testing, looking-up over the monitor while waiting for a test to finish or a screen to paint and taking in the beauty of the morning.

Wherever you are this morning, I hope you're having a lovely one in your neck of the woods!

Don Bergquist - December 16, 2009 - Kensington, Minnesota, USA

Happy birthday to my friend Janine

Happy birthday to my cousin Craig

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Torn Between Two B!tches

I sprang Sunshine from the big house yesterday afternoon. Poor thing, she'd been sent to the kennel when Dad and Flo went down to St. Cloud for Dad's hospital stay. Was she ever happy to see me! She was thrilled to sniff me and catch the unmistakable whiff of another dog. (Score! A Playmate!!) She was even more ecstatic to see that I was there to pet her and talk to her and give her cookies! And when it then transpired that we were going for a ride in the car (!!!), well! Ecstasy was no longer sufficient and she found herself practically pissing herself with pure pleasure.

It didn't even matter that the back windscreen de-foggers couldn't keep-up with the fog she exuded onto the windows… I couldn't see out the back anyway as Sunshine kept repositioning herself so as to take up the entire surface of the rear-view mirror anyway! She kept peeking over the seat to see if I was still there and would occasionally poke a

So imagine how pleased I was to get home and have the two of them realize they had to share me! Sure, Saga owns me and knows that I will always be there for her, but ya can't jut ignore poor Sunshine who has been set-up in a kennel for days! Trying to play with both of them in such a way as to let them both know that they are loved and not make either of them too jealous is walking a fine line. When we got home last night and Saga saw that Sunshine was with me she immediately ran out to the garage to sniff around my car – er her car – to make sure it was still hers.

As I checked my email for one last time before bed I had a dog nose poked under each arm… do you know how hard it is to type with TWO bitches vying for your attention!? Oh well, I guess there are worse problems one could have.

Wherever you are today, I hope that you are having a good day.

Don Bergquist – December 15, 2009 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Happy birthday to my friend Becky

Monday, December 14, 2009


The snow started as I was driving home from the hospital last night.

This morning there is a light frosting across the entire lawn and on all the trees. The temperatures are still below zero and I am lucky. Nothing more to do today than stay inside and do some testing…

I brought my computers with me so that I could work between the times that I am needed by my folks. I've set-up at the kitchen table in front of the window that overlooks the woods. It is lovely, but I have testing to do.

So I guess I had best get this posted and get back to work.

Wherever you are today, I hope it is lovely out!

Don Bergquist – December 14, 2009 – Kensington, Minnesota, USA

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Burrrrr Is Right!

According to the thermometer outside the back window, it is fifteen below zero this morning! Burrrrr! For those of you who wonder how people can live up here in the "frozen north" with the temperatures so often below zero… Remember, it is not normal to be outside, well, not often or for long periods of time.

For instance, I am off to St. Cloud this morning to see my dad and see how he is doing. So at least I will be going from the warmth of the house to the warmth of a car, to the warmth of a hospital. In the cities, it is even better… there is no reason to ever leave the building if you live in downtown Minneapolis. Practically every thing in Minnesota is close to the network of skywalks that attach the buildings.

But here I am in the sticks. I need to head to the hospital. That actually involves my leaving the house and getting in the car.

Wherever you are today, I hope that you're having a good day.

Don Bergquist – December 13, 2009 – Kensington, Minnesota, USA

Happy birthday to my friend Jacqueline

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Tales From The Road

As is her practice, Saga winged in the backseat in her kennel until it became clear that we were not headed to the kennel, the groomer, the vet, or any other horrible place that Daddy so often takes her.

The roads were great. I did decide to change my route around North Platte, Nebraska. I noticed a number of the trucks I saw at the gas station which had come in from the north looked suspiciously snow-covered. It was then that I decided to stay on the interstate.

The only real areas of concern today were a bit of icing in the bridges in northern Iowa, and a bit of fog while making my way north through South Dakota. Other than that, we made good time.

It is not a record breaker or anything. At fifteen hours door-to-door, and an average moving speed of around 77MPH, it was still a respectable try. We're here. It is freezing, the car is unpacked, and I am going straight to bed once Saga and I have gone out to inspect Dad's property.

On a night like tonight, the poem Stopping By A Woods On A Snowy Evening by Robert Frost comes to mind.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep…
Luckily, there is nothing left to do before I sleep!

I hope wherever you are this evening, you've had a good day!

Don Bergquist – December 12, 2009 – Kensington, Minnesota, USA

Driving East

It is a lovely morning. It's cold to be sure, but it is lovely out. The sunrise is a brilliant confusion of reds and oranges. Saga was not too ambitious about our morning walk, poor thing; I hate to tell her that no matter how cold it is here, it will be even colder tomorrow morning in Minnesota!

On last check, the weather reports still looked favorable for the drive. According to the weather reports on, the only iffy spot is going to be around Sioux Falls, SD. The temperatures are likely to be hovering right around freezing the entire way and plunging well below zero tonight in Kensington. Decem-Burrrrr in Minnesota: just the thing Saga loves!

But now is the time for me to be getting on the road. The car has been packed-up since yesterday and all there is to do is get Saga in her kennel and my foot on the gas so here we go!

Wherever we are today, I hope your day is perfect for whatever you've got scheduled.

Don Bergquist – December 12, 2009 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Happy birthday to my nephew Eric

Happy birthday to my cousin Emily

Happy birthday to my cousin Chantell

Monday, December 07, 2009


According to a news report I heard this morning one of the free benefits that the delegates to the Copenhagen Environmental Conference will receive with their conference credentials is a free "date" from one of the many "professionals" available to the residents and visitors of Copenhagen.

This may be the most environmentally friendly benefit of the summit; given that the delegates have traveled there (largely on private planes and in limousine motorcades) and are being shuttled around the down in what is likely the least eco-friendly transportation available. They are being fed caviar and other delicacies being flown in at great cost (both monetarily and to the environment) so why not offer them something that won't kill the planet? In Copenhagen, this is completely legal, ya just knew someone would think of it!

My personal qualm with the Environmental Summit is why don’t they start by being environmentally responsible themselves? I'd like to propose that the next time someone wants to get together to talk about a way to be environmentally responsibly, the start by planning the conference via Tele-Presence. In this world of computers and the internet, is there any real reason for a face-to-face?

Oops! I need top step down off that soap box. That was not what this particular rant was about – it was about something that Tele-Presence cannot do as well as actual presence. At least not yet!

Wherever you are today, I hope that you will do something good for the environment today!

Don Bergquist – December 07, 2009 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Musings On A Snowy Morning

It is a cold and snowy morning in Lakewood, Colorado; the kind of morning that makes Saga try to walk without three of her feet hitting the ground. It was ten degrees out when we went for our walk at five-thirty. The snow was coming down in heavy flurries; the flakes light and downy, the kind you get when it is this cold.

The water-to-snow ratio is really low. The three inches of snow in the meter gave me only a tenth of an inch of water. There is a lot of the snow, though! And walking through the heavy snowfall in Saga's park, the noises were muffled by the falling crystals.

It is a lovely morning to sit at my computer and try to get my Christmas mailing finished. I would usually have a couple more weeks to finish it, but as Saga and I are headed to Minnesota to help-out while Dad recovers from surgery, I am under the gun to get the mailing out by the end of the week.

But with the snow falling, it is such a nice morning to be sitting in my warm office, sipping my coffee, and writing. Every once-in-a-while, Saga comes up to check-up on her daddy who is, once again, staring at that glowing panel on his desk which has apparently nothing to do with providing her food... and wouldn't it be better if he petted her and gave her a "good girl" now-and-then? That would make him happy! I think she just appreciates the occasional attention.

Wherever you are today, I hope you are with someone who appreciates you and that your day is conducive to doing what needs to be done.

Don Bergquist - December 06, 2009 - Lakewood, Colorado, USA