Sunday, March 29, 2009

Wasn't It Just Spring!?

This is what two-days of snow looks like.

At three-o'clock (approximately) on Thursday morning the national weather service here in Colorado changed the Winter Storm Advisory to a Blizzard Warning. The difference being (and don't feel bad if you didn't know this – I had to look it up) the wind. I know what time this occurred because my weather radio (which I had forgotten included some of the winter weather warnings) went off at that time alerting me to the imamate danger of foul weather.

I decided to work from home on Thursday. Which turned out to be a wise choice; the conditions were not too bad when Saga and I went for our walk in the park at five. There was only a dusting of snow and the temps were not that bad. It was a bit breezy, but nothing like what we would see the rest of the day.

Looking out about nine, the situation was totally different. The wind was whipping the aspens outside my place around. The snow was flying by horizontally, and the visibility was practically nil. I could not clearly see the next building over which is a distance of less than 30 yards.

By the time the snow quit falling on Friday morning my garden bench had 19.5" of snow on it, there was about 15" of snow on the center of the deck, and the snow in the yard was as low as 11 inches and as deep as two feet; depending on where you took the measurement. The deck, where I had spent a pleasant, warm afternoon just this past weekend, had a nice thick layer of frosting all over it!

That was a couple days ago, though, and the weather since has been lovely. The snow is melting and the park, while a bit muddy, is once again Saga's preferred venue for our walks. This is what I love about springtime in the Rockies! Ya just never know what you're gonna get!

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

Don Bergquist – March 29, 2009 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Happy birthday to my cousin Kristen

Forget it!
You Can't
Keep That Wave
From Coming Crashing In!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Happy birthday to my cousin Shawn

Go Ahead And
Do Whatever
Gives You
A Kick!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Happy birthday to my nephew Nicholas

It's your birthday...
...go ahead and
hit the bottle,

Monday, March 23, 2009

"As Pretty As An Airport"

The Long, Dark Tea-Time Of The Soul
by Douglas Adams

It can hardly be a coincidence that no language on the planet has ever developed the phrase "As Pretty As An Airport." Airports are not pretty. Airports are ugly. Some airports are very ugly, and some attain a degree of ugliness that can only result from a special effort.

I think that the Denver International Airport is an exception to this otherwise infallible rule. Well, from the outside, at least!

The design of the airport includes a circus tent-like white expanse of canvas peaked into spires which mimic the mountains behind. I had read somewhere that the number of peaks in the roof is supposed to represent the 14ers (mountains who reach to a height of at least 14,000 feet above sea level) in Colorado. Whether or not it is correct, you have to admit that the airport, it's white expanse of canvas shining in the morning sun, is a lovely site.

This weekend, the prediction was for a lovely, sunny weekend and comfortable temperatures, so I got out and drove in a random direction. I started by turning right every time I hit a red light and turning left at every dead-end "T" intersection. When I found myself on Tower road out by the airport shortly before sun rise, I decided to drive around the airport and take pictures of it.

I've spent enough time actually in the airport, that I felt it was only fair to consider it from the outside. One thing that the observer needs to appreciate is its scale. The building is massive. Add to that the fact that there is nothing around it and it looks even larger.

When I lived on the slopes of Green Mountain (located about thirty-five miles to the west-southwest) had a view of the airport. It could clearly be seen out on the eastern rim of the Denver Piedmont. Up close (how most people see it) it loses some of its perspective. It is only from the distance, across the field that you can appreciate its beauty.

The residents of this back country road have a spectacular view of the airport. 120th avenue is a dirt track with scattered farmsteads on the northern boundary of the airport property. Their front yard overlooks the terminal and the outlying concourses.

Continuing clockwise around the airport, I was presented with the best view of the airport… looking west from Imboden Road along the eastern boarder of the property you have a breathtaking view of the airport with the front range of the Rockies rising beyond the peaks of the roofline in the distance. It is too bad that this is a view of the airport that more people do not see. "Pretty as an airport" may enter the common vernacular of they did.

Wherever you are today, I hope you'll take a moment to look for the beauty in every day things around you today!

Don Bergquist – March 23, 2009 – Rural Adams County, Colorado, USA

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Strange Defense

What a strange defense!

Reading reports of the Ward Churchill trial, I cannot believe what I just read! The testimony has been weird!

A professor from Cornell University defended the paper that Churchill wrote. The paper accused the government of intentionally sending blankets that had been laden with Small Pox virus to the indigenous peoples of the US in order to wipe out the Native American population. The professor's argument in favor of Churchill's argument is that the US Government is always denying the accusation of genocide in this manner.

That's pretzel logic if I ever heard it. If I understand the line of reasoning it goes something like this: "It must be true because they are always saying that it isn't true!" Steely Dan would be proud!

Sure, some people think that denying an accusation is the action of a guilty party, but it is also the act of an innocent party! Would you say that they are innocent if they admitted to it? You seem to have boxed the US into a Catch-22!

One has only to look at some of the evidence that has already come out; whole passages of essays and books directly quoted and unattributed, photographs claimed as original art which are nothing more than photos printed from a backward negative image… you needn't look too far to see that there is a case to be made for intellectual property theft if not plagiarism. His academic ethics could euphemistically be called "questionable!"

Mr. Churchill has the right to believe any crazy thing he wants. He has the right (under the First Amendment) to say anything he feels like saying (provided it does not present a clear-and-present danger to the life and safety of others) so firing him for this reason would be constitutionally indefensible. But with so many good reasons for his termination, it is a fools errand he is on to prove that this one indefensible reason is the one THE ONLY reason he was terminated.

But I have a soft spot (in my head) for people who embark upon fools errands.

Wherever you are today, I hope that you are well and happy!

Don Bergquist – March 21, 2009 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Friday, March 20, 2009

Vernal Equinox

Happy birthday to my step-sister Jo

It's your birthday...
...go ahead and
eat cake with
reckless abandon!

Happy birthday to my uncle Gene

Four Your Birthday...
...have a blast from the past!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

$tupid! $tupid! $tupid!

It's one of those ongoing news stories that has me shaking my head. I wondering: "What were they thinking?"

Okay, there are two big and damaging Ponzi Schemes that have come to light recently and in the latest news, Barnie Madoff has recently settled for a plea bargain which, essentially, equals a life sentence. The commentators keep talking about how he had to be so brilliant to keep the scheme going so long, but I would argue that the fact he kept it going so long is indicative of his lack of intelligence!

Think about it: Ponzi Schemes are inherently unstable. Anything that requires, for its success, a continuing influx of participation which can only be rewarded by that influx constantly growing is inherently an unstable scheme. The only outcomes possible for someone perpetrating a Ponzi Scheme are Failure through lack of participation and Failure through exposure.

It becomes progressively harder to maintain the illusion of returns by recruiting new marks into your scheme. Eventually, the house of cards you're building. Plus, the more people who are involved, the more likely it is that someone will notice that something is amiss. If you are worth your salt, you'll get in, make your mint, and get out before you are discovered, fleeing beyond the reach of the law and retiring to live on your ill-gotten gains.

So far from being brilliant, the perpetrator of a large and impressive Ponzi Scheme is too stupid to realize that it is destined to fail. They would be better-off picking a single rich person and robbing them honestly. They would be far less likely to get caught that way. But that is just the way I see it.

Wherever you are today, I hope that all your investments are paying off!

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

Happy birthday to my cousin Michelle


Happy birthday to my cousin Ann

It's your birthday!
Go ahead! 
Eat cake with reckless abandon!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Friday, March 06, 2009

What Part Of “Illegal Immigrant” Do You Take Exception To?

Last night the Colorado Legislature’s Education Committee voted to grant in-state tuition at Colorado Universities to illegal immigrants who attended Colorado schools. Okay, I’m a pretty liberal guy when it comes to social issues, but this just really yanks my chain!

Please! Tell me how is it that you justify giving a benefit to someone who is breaking the law‽ Let’s see if I have this logic right. They are here illegally, but since they have been here long enough to attend a primary or secondary school in Colorado, we’re going to make it cheaper to stay longer and attend a college.

Where is the logic in that? If we know that they are here illegally, we should encourage them to go to their country of origin and apply for entry through legal channels. By giving them a price break on their tuition as if they were a legal resident of the state you are encouraging them to stay illegal! What's next? Specially provided carts for shoplifters?

No! You know what; there are plenty of people who speed down the road I live on. A good number of them speed because they have never been ticketed; they think they are immune to punishment. So let’s just give them a certificate that allows them to keep driving as fast as they want through that school zone that is directly outside my home! That’ll teach ‘em! I mean, I am sure that once we have given out a few hundred certificates allowing people to drive as fast as they want past that school the speeding problem will be resolved!

Oh, and when did they become “undocumented aliens?” Alien residents are required by law to be documented. They must have a work permit, a green card, or at the very least a visa that allows them to be here. Therefore, any alien who is in this country without documentation is, ipso facto, here illegally. They are therefore, illegal immigrants. Let’s not try the linguistic slight of hand! (Would that be slight of tongue?)

Being someone who legally went through channels to live and work in a foreign country, I can tell you the process is not all that arduous! I hope that the Colorado Legislature on the whole is a bit more restrained… Please do not pass this bill on! There is a reason they are called “illegal immigrants!”

Wherever you are today, I hope you’re happy, safe, and legally wherever you happen to be!

Don Bergquist – March 06, 2009 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Happy birthday to my friend Angie

Another birthday
another chance to blossom!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Happy birthday to my cousin Dale

To someone who stands apart from the herd!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon

With my project work being fast and furious this past week and my Saturday being filled with adventure, it is so nice to have nothing pressing to do today.

Yesterday was a day filled with cleaning, laundry, software testing, taking Saga to have a B-A-T-H (!!!) and running errands. Today, there is nothing what-so-ever pressing that desires my attention so I am spending the day working on my photography catalogue, writing email, and basically doing not much of anything.

I spent the morning watching the talking heads programs and sipping coffee while petting Saga. (She is so nice and soft now that she has been to the dog wash.) I am making no absolute plans, but I may get the cameras out and go take some pictures later on. Other than that, however, as Queen puts it: “I’ll be lazing on a Sunday afternoon!”

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

Don Bergquist – March 01, 2009 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon
Words and music by Freddie Mercury
I go out to work on Monday morning
Tuesday I go off to honeymoon
Ill be back again before its time for sunny-down
Ill be lazing on a Sunday afternoon
Bicycling on every Wednesday evening
Thursday I go waltzing to the zoo
I come from London town
I’m just an ordinary guy
Fridays I go painting in the Louvre
I’m bound to be proposing on a Saturday night (There he goes again)
And I'll be lazing on a Sunday (lazing on a Sunday)
Lazing on a Sunday afternoon