Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pool Time

I guess that I just never appreciated how nice a pool my complex has. I mean, it is a nice pool and I know that. And I know that it is nice to have a pool only about fifty yards from my front door, but I guess that until I started spending a lot of time at home (or near home in coffee shops) during the day I never realized how nice it was to have it handy.

Yesterday after a morning of working on my job search at Caribou Coffee, and then running a few errands, I lay out by the pool and took a dip to cool off in the heat of the afternoon! Ah! What bliss.

I guess I should enjoy this while I can (without becoming too used to it) because soon enough I will have a new job and it will be back to the nine-to-five. But right now, this is so nice!

Wherever you are this morning, I hope you have something nice to look forward to!

Don Bergquist – June 30, 2010 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

...And The Fun Never Ends!

Comcast is gone! They are out of my house as my internet provider as soon as I can get someone else to install a connection! I am sitting at the Belmar public library (Jefferson County Public Library System) to get all this posted. I spent four hours at a coffee shop this morning to get through my email.

The problem? No clue!

The technician was out last night for two hours. At least he didn’t try to blame it on the wireless router that I didn't have hooked into my PC when it failed! But try as he might, he could get my PC to see the modem but not the internet.

It didn't impress me in the least that he could get his PC to connect. But that did me no good as it was MY PC that I needed to work. After two hours, he gave up and suggested that I try rebooting my PC repeatedly until it started working.

I have no idea how this would help when, as I explained to him, my PC has worked fine on the networks it has been connected to (both hardwired and wirelessly) over the past month as I traveled around the country and the problem only happens when I attempt to connect to the internet at home.

So, there it is. Once again, Comcast has been out and has been unable to help me.

I guess I will be spending a lot of time at the public library and in coffee shops this week. I hope my new internet is installed quickly!

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

Don Bergquist – June 29, 2010 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Happy birthday to my friend Dan

Monday, June 28, 2010

Home Again, Home Again, Again

A friend and neighbor of mine watched Saga while I was away and left me cute notes about how she had told Saga the she was going to get a surprise, but wouldn't tell Saga what the surprise was.

I am not sure if this added to the usual frenzy that Saga usually displays whenever she has not seen me for a long time, but she seemed extra excited to see me when I walked in the door last night. It was sweet! It is nice to have someone so excited to see you when you get home.

On the down side, I have no internet service! I got home and discovered there was no internet service. I called Comcast and got a recording that lead me to understand that there was probably a wide-scale outage as they gave instructions to reset the modem and do a few other things before calling to speak with tech support. I did this and was not at all surprised to discover that it did no good whatsoever.

I have scheduled service for this afternoon, after my interview. But first I have to get to a hotspot to do a bit of refreshing of my memory on some things for my interview this morning.

Ah, the fun of job hunting!

Wherever you are today, I hope that you are doing well!

Don Bergquist – June 28, 2010 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Adventures In Travel II

Last evening after lunch at the farm, I stopped in for a visit with my uncle Gene and aunt Judy in Waite Park. We had a lovely visit and then I spent some time with Judy working on helping her get her arms around a photo project she wants to do.

There was a heck of a storm again last night and the news reports this morning were of localized road flooding in the cities. This is the second day in a row they have talked about flash floods due to heavy rain storms. Odd!

It was a good end to a whirlwind visit. This morning she and I shared a cup of coffee and then I jumped in the car to get to the airport. Somewhere in some other part of the building my sister should have been recently departed for Miami. (She came down with my brother last night and stayed the night in a hotel near the airport.)

But the call I received recently informed me that her flight to Tampa was in the air when there was a medical emergency on board and the plane had returned to the ground. (What is it about flights to and from Tampa? Is it because Tampa is the home of the newlyweds and nearly-deads?)

I have no other information, but hope the person is alright.

Wherever you are today, I hope that you are doing well also!

Don Bergquist – June 27, 2010 – Minneapolis International Airport, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Armed Forces Day (United Kingdom)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Funeral

What a lovely service, what a thoroughly touching outpouring of love!

Parkers Prairie, Minnesota, my Dad's hometown, and the site of the family homestead, is a town of about 1000 people if the signs at the entrance to town are to be believed. (I think they had to include a large proportion of the livestock to reach that number, though.)

So it was incredibly heartwarming to see how crowded the church was for Diane's funeral. It was standing room only. I would guess that there had to be at least two hundred in attendance.

The eulogy was delivered by a friend of hers who did such a great job. One moment she had us all laughing, the next we were moved to tears. It was a lovely description of my aunt as a friend and as a person. The two things that stick with me from the eulogy the most was her description of how dedicated to her family, my uncle Dick, my cousins, and her grandchildren she was; and how dedicated she was to making sure that the church got a thorough cleaning each Monday, "…just in case it is needed for a funeral or something…"

After the service, we walked down to the cemetery and paid our respects at the graveside. There was then a luncheon served in the senior center, and then the family removed ourselves to the farm to hang-out with Dick, Kristi, Dirk, and the family.

It was a fitting day for the funeral. There was a light rain, I overheard someone say "see. even God is crying today" about the weather. Storm clouds gathered to the south as we drove home and there was a heck of a storm last evening.

Today we will be going to the farm for lunch then each of us will start making our way back home. I am so glad I had the opportunity to see my aunt just a few weeks ago at my parents' big open house they have each spring. I sometimes get busy but try always to remember how important family is.

Wherever you are this weekend, I hope you will take time to spend time with your loved ones!

Don Bergquist – June 26, 2010 – Kensington, Minnesota, USA

Friday, June 25, 2010

Adventures In Travel

Well, I made it! I pulled into my dad's drive around four o'clock this morning and what an adventure!

The flight that was coming in from Tampa, the one I was flying out on, came in about an hour late because they'd had a medical emergency en route and this somehow delayed the plane. (Though I would have expected they'd want to speed it up to get here and get the passenger to the emergency services rather than slow down…)

The EMTs worked on the woman, who came out of the plane in a wheelchair, and she left the airport on a stretcher, but apparently awake, lucid, and okay. They then had to service the plane and replace the emergency oxygen and other supplies they had used in flight. This took place and the flight left a little more than an hour late.

They made-up some time in transit, but we still arrived in Minneapolis around midnight. I picked-up my car and headed up to Kensington. And other than a deer hitting me on the interstate (ran right out onto the highway and smack-dab into the side of my car – thankfully, there was no damage and I do not believe I killed the deer) the drive up was uneventful.

The rosary and funeral for my aunt Diane is today so I had best put away my notes and get ready for to go. I will be posting this up to the web when I return.

Wherever you are today, I hope your day will be uneventful!

Don Bergquist – June 25, 2010 – Kensington, Minnesota, USA

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Beach Withdwawal

We do have a lovely pool at the complex I live in. Yesterday after my interviews I went for a swim in the heat at the end of the afternoon. This morning after cleaning and packing I think I am going to go for a dip.

But it just isn't the same as the beach!

This morning I came across a snack pack that I had put in the car, packed at the beach house on departure day. It contained a couple of my cousin Sheila's sweet potato biscuits. I know what I am having for breakfast!

Wherever you are today, I hope that your day is a good one.

Don Bergquist - June 24, 2010 - Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Busy Day

In addition to the interviews that I had on my calendar (the reason I returned to Colorado instead of going on to Washington), I have to make arrangements to get to Minnesota.

I learned last evening that the funeral for Diane will be on Friday. So, please forgive the brevity of this morning's post. I have a busy couple days ahead of me. ,

Wherever you are today, I hope your day is a good one.

Don Bergquist - June 23, 2010 - Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Happy birthday to my niece Elizabeth

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

In Memoriam

This morning I received the sad news that my Aunt Diane was in a traffic accident. She died at the scene of the accident. (The link above will take you to the accident report.)

I will always think of my aunt Diane as a women who loved her family, her church, and a good laugh!

Some of my fondest memories of Diane come from my visits to the farm, her telling stories about when my brothers and I came to visit; her consternation at having to cook eggs 'just so' so that my brother would eat them; my inability to drive the tractor at my first attempt (and the humorous consequences of that!); and for the way she would roll her eyes and give a pained laugh if someone told a joke that was a bit blue.

My aunt made the best baked goods! "A little lunch" at the farm always consisted of a number of her cookies, bars, or cakes. And it was a light lunch if there were only three fresh baked goods on the table at the same time.

Her excess in baking was exceeded only by the love she exuded for her family. My aunt is survived by her Husband, Richard, her two kids and their spouses, and three grandchildren. She will be sorely missed. She is probably baking up a storm in the afterlife right now.

God bless you, Diane and "Uff-Da!"

Don Bergquist - June 22, 2010 - Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Monday, June 21, 2010

By The Numbers

By the numbers, It was not a bad drive at all.

With the stops for gas, food, rest, and visits, I spent just over 44 hours on the road (door-to-door. The total mileage for the trip home from the beach came it at 1,823 miles. So with a moving travel time of 23.3 hours, I averaged a moving average of 78 miles-per-hour. If you take into account the stopped time, the average speed was 44 miles-per-hour.

My gas mileage was excellent for the trip as well. I filled the tank three times en route, burning about 40 gallons overall, an average of about 45 miles-per-gallon.

In the end, I did decide to change the route a bit. Just after entering Colorado, I saw a sign advertising state road 85 through Elbert County to Castle Rock as an alternative to the I-70 Route. This is a route I have never taken, and as I live on the southern side of town, it seemed to be a good choice as I would then miss the big northward swoop of the interstate through Agate, Byers, and Watkins. I would also miss the transit through the city.

It turned-out to be a lovely drive. I am glad I chose it.

Today I have lots of unpacking to do and then I have an HOA Board meeting tonight So I guess I had best get into the "back from holiday" mode and get to unpacking and cleaning the car.

Wherever you are today, I hope that your day is a productive one.

Don Bergquist – June 21, 2010 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Summer Solstice

Happy birthday to my friend Patricia

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Home Again, Home Again!

Jiggity Jig!


It is Sunday afternoon and the GPS reports that there are 187 miles left of my journey.

There is a storm developing off to the south. Once again, it appears that I have made a good choice in following the northern route!

The day has been a good one and Thank heavens, I am finally in Colorado! I have less than three hours to go, assuming all goes well on the road from here-on-in.

Wherever you are today, I hope your day has been going well!

Don Bergquist – June 20, 2010 – Somewhere in Eastern Colorado, USA


It is Sunday lunchtime and the GPS reports that there are 419 miles left of my journey.

The skies have cleared nicely and it appears that I have nothing but smooth sailing ahead of me. (Dang! Kansas goes on for ever. I have been driving all morning and still have 230 miles to the Colorado Border!)

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

Don Bergquist – June 20, 2010 – Somewhere in central Kansas, USA


It is Sunday mid-morning and the GPS reports that there are 525 miles left of my journey.

There is no real reason for this post other than the fact that I am passing the largest wind farm I have ever seen! The fans stand on their immense pylons over the trees to the north and west (and east as I am passing them at this point) for miles.

As I pass them by, it strikes me how large these things are. I mean I have passed the blades being hauled on the back of extra-long trailers on the Interstate before, but these things tower above the forest, dwarfing the pines in the foreground.

Wherever you are today, I hope that you're being blown away by your surroundings!

Don Bergquist – June 20, 2010 – Somewhere in Eastern Kansas, USA


It is Sunday mid-morning and the GPS reports that there are 630 miles left of my journey.

Saga and I have crossed into Kansas (Oh, god! Kansas! It goes on forever!) and we have stopped to stretch our legs at a rest area around mile marker 430. While walking Saga I noticed a sign describing a statue that commemorated the spirit of the plains. (Really!? I see no statue.)

So Saga and I climbed the hill through the woods to see "The Guardian of the Prairie" statue. I am not really sure what this is supposed to be, but it is an interesting statue, so I took a picture of it.

From the summit of the hill that the statue stands atop, there is a panoramic vista of the surrounding plains. There is an awful lot of flat out there! (The great plains slope slowly up to the feet of the Rockies six hundred fifty miles or so from here.)

At the foot of the statue, there are wildflowers growing and I snap a few pictures of the scenery and the flowers as Saga spends her time sniffing (and peeing on) things that she finds particularly interesting. Someone at the beach referred to this as "checking her pee-mail."

Lovely though it is, I think that it is time for me to get Saga bundled back into her kennel and get heading west. (Kansas will never end if I don't keep moving.)

Wherever you are today, I wish you a lovely day!

Don Bergquist – June 20, 2010 – Somewhere in Eastern Kansas, USA


It is Sunday morning and the GPS reports that there are 781 miles left of my journey.

I spent the night last night just east of Jefferson City, Missouri. I had hoped to make it all the way to Kansas City, but my theory is to drive until you start feeling it might be good to stop over somewhere and then start looking.

A friend I was talking to suggested that the goal was to drive 'til I couldn't drive any more and then drive a bit further… but that is dangerous. If you drive until you can't drive any more you have nothing left for looking for a place to stop!

So we stopped at a little hotel just off the interstate. This morning, it is already 75 degrees and 80% humidity so it is going to be a roaster of a day! Time to spend it in the comfortable environs of an air-conditioned car!

The skies are clear except for a web of cirrus clouds to the east. Does this mean I have passed the weather front? Isn't that the thing about cirrus? I can't remember what I used to know about the various cloud formations. Oh well… Saga is settled in so I guess it is time to drive.

Wherever you are, I wish you clear blue skies with enough clouds to make them interesting!

Don Bergquist – June 20, 2010 – Near Jefferson City, Missouri, USA

Father's Day

Happy birthday to my sister Mary

Happy birthday to my friend Mamie

Saturday, June 19, 2010


It is Saturday afternoon, and the GPS reports that there are 1380 miles remaining of the journey.

This morning was not good on the overall average transit time!

There was construction at the North Carolina/South Carolina border. It turned I-26 into a parking lot. There was no real reason for it but that people are incapable of merging as they should. When I got to the head of the mess and discovered that there was no problem, per se, causing the backup, I just wanted to scream "LEARN TO DRIVE!"

There was a bit of rain just before getting to Knoxville, a hard, pounding, heavy rain that may have had a bit of hail in it. That slowed traffic to a crawl, but it lasted only a few miles and then, once again, the road cleared and I should be able to pick-up a bit of time between Knoxville and Nashville.

It still appears that the norther route looks to be the better choice. The weather radar as I was going through Knoxville showed storms all the way through western Tennessee and Arkansas.

Wherever you are today, I wish you open roads and clear skies!

Don Bergquist – June 19, 2010 – Somewhere in Southwestern Kentucky, USA


It is Saturday morning, and the GPS reports that there are 1589 miles remaining of the journey.

Yesterday's journey was pretty uneventful. We met at a Mexican restaurant in Charleston for lunch and ate out on the patio (dog friendly so Saga could hang with us) under the canopy in the rain.

Just as we were finishing lunch, Fritz called, he was finished with the last tasks and on his way so Saga and I waited at Wentworth Avenue so Saga could say good bye to her "emergency backup daddy." My friends all love Saga and think she is a dog more like a cat than any they have previously encountered.

Other than torrential rain that we encountered just outside of Charleston, the road was good. The sunset was lovely, and we made good time up to Chapin. Last evening, My cousins and I spent time reminiscing, telling her boys the stories that we hold dear about our parents. We said good night around eleven.

This morning, I was awake early and really tried to get back to sleep but after an hour-long nap, I could not get back to sleep again and decided to get out of bed around six. After showering and packing everything back into the car, Saga and I sat watching the weather channel for the forecast. It does appear that I will take the default route.

It appears that there is a front blowing through Arkansas and Tennessee that may cause severe thunderstorms. Argh! Kansas it is, then!

I was just leaving a note around seven when my cousin woke-up. Good! I really didn’t want to skulk off without saying good bye, but I also didn't want to wake them up. Their rising at just the right time allowed me to be beaten mercilessly by my cousin, Christopher at Wii bowling before getting on the road. (Nothing like a crushing defeat to make you want to hit the highway!)

Wherever you are today, I hope that your morning has begun with a win!

Don Bergquist – June 19, 2010 – Chapin, South Carolina, USA

Friday, June 18, 2010


Well, I guess that means that Beach Week for 2010 is over. It's just about 12:30, all the cars are packed, the maintenance staff is here to clean the house and it is time to head home.

It has been a lovely week, a good time with good friends and I have to say again how lucky I have been. Luck, fate, god, the universe, or whatever you personally choose to believe in has chosen to put some really good people in places where I could meet them.

My itinerary is still up in the air. It appears that the short route (although it is, by far, the more boring) is the one I am going with. It appears that there will be heavy weather along the southern route (I-40 through Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas then north to Denver) so I am planning (unless things change in the forecast by tomorrow afternoon when I have to commit to one route or the other) to take the default route; US 17 to Charleston, I-26 northwest to I-40, then west to I-24 at Nashville; Northwest in I-24, north on I-57 and then east to St. Louis on I-64. It is then I-70 west all the way home.

Along the way, I get to have lunch with some of the Beach Week Crew in Charleston, a night with my cousins in Chapin, South Carolina, and then one, possibly two evenings on the road. It depends on how the trip goes. But unless I get started, I will never get finished. So I had best head out.

The GPS tells me that I have 1,785 miles to home. To quote J. R. R. Tolkien:
Roads go ever ever on
Under cloud and under star,
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.
Wherever you are today, I hope the road before you is smooth!

Don Bergquist – June 18, 2010 – DeBordieu Colony, South Carolina, USA

Beach Day

The last day at the beach has arrived. It always comes too fast! (I guess it is true that time flies when you're having fun!)

My cousins (Sheila and her family) arrived yesterday afternoon, a storm was blowing in and a visit to the beach was out of the question for the moment. So I did introductions all around and the boys disappeared into the recesses of the house immediately to play. Sheila and I started swapping family stories as she made dinner. Craig went outside to see what Fritz and the crew were doing around the house.

After the storm blew past, there was time for a quick visit to the beach and a bit of fun in the surf. It was then time for dinner, beverages, and pretty much a good evening of camaraderie.

The morning, as always, was a flurry of activity. There was the ritual clean-up of the house (there is a cleaner, but we clean it first because we do a better job!) and the packing of leftovers into coolers for trips home. Because we were robbed of a day-and-a-half at the beginning of the stay, we have asked the cleaner to come at noon. The plan is to get the house clean, pack the cars, and head to the beach for one last frolic in the surf.

It is a lovely day for the beach and everyone wants one last crack at the waves for this trip so I am off to the beach. Time to pack the computer, head down to the water, wriggle my toes in the sand and, for one last time this summer, enjoy the company of my friends and family at the beach! Ah! Bliss!

Wherever you are today, I hope your life is a beach!

Don Bergquist – June 18, 2010 – DeBordieu Colony, South Carolina, USA

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Kickin' Back

I should really have gone online earlier to look for a Weight Watchers meeting in the area. By this time, the only choice I have for this week is to head into Myrtle Beach. I am not going to leave the beach, drive all the way to Myrtle Beach, and sit in a meeting just to be told I was being bad this week.

I know that. There are three things the house design is exemplary at: Launching beach excursions across the road, Recovering from beach excursions, And eating to keep up your next beach excursion!

Kicking back is easily accomplished in either the hammock in the screened-in porch, or on any number of couches and chairs. (The trick is to find just the right one.)

When Saga is here, the real problem is that she has the knack for picking out the choice locations for her own naps. So, not only is a 35-pound Canaan Dog good at covering the better portion of a bed, she can also occupy multiple seats simultaneously. And she looks so comfortable as she is doing it that it is almost a shame to kick her out of your chosen seat. - Almost.

Today is our last full beach day. Tomorrow, Saga and I pack ourselves into the car and head west. It has been a really good vacation, but it is almost time to get back to reality.

Wherever you are today, I hope you will have some chance to kick back and enjoy yourself.

Don Bergquist - June 17, 2010 - DeBordieu Colony, South Carolina, USA

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Poor Puppy!

It is not as if I think of these things all the time.

Saga has never, to the best of my recollection, gotten fleas. There was once when I was at my parent's place that I found a tick on her that she had picked-up running through the woods, but never, to my recollection a flea.

Apparently though, there are fleas in the sand around here and she has spent enough time outside to get them. I found one in her coat last night and where there is one...

So we went into Pawley's Island first thing this morning and we got her some flea treatment. She is now all flea free and happy again. But to get her that way, I had to take her to the bad place. (Though never having been to this vet, she didn't immediately recognize it as a vet.)

To make it up to her, I stopped and got her a number of treats. (As if the gang at the beach has any trouble spoiling her. At least they don't give her food... beyond what is actually allowed.)

She spent the rest of the day resting-up and recovering from the whole ordeal. But then, what better place to rest and recuperate?

Wherever you are today, I hope that you're not recovering from anything too traumatic!

Don Bergquist - June 16, 2010 - DeBordieu Colony, South Carolina, USA

Happy birthday to my aunt Diane

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


What a great day for a beach day! Yesterday was almost absolutely perfect! The weather was not too hot, the sun was not too sunny. Who could ask for more?

There was a weather forecaster in Tampa years ago when I worked there who used to say "JAPDIP" all the time... an acronym for "Just another perfect day in paradise." This is what he was referring to!

Today is shaping up to be almost as perfect! I have already taken a walk in the cool of the morning and took the dog with me. It gets hot later on and that is when I retreat to the cool of the A/C. Having walked and brewed coffee, it is now time to work on my job search for a few hours. Then, once everyone has had their breakfast and their coffee, it is off to the beach for another glorious day of sun and fun.

I'd say that I wished you all were here, but then the beach would be a bit crowded.

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

Happy birthday to my friend Sara

Happy birthday to my friend Karl

Monday, June 14, 2010


gre•gar•i•ous [gri-gair-ee-uh s]
1. fond of the company of others; sociable.
2. living in flocks or herds, as animals.
3. Botany . growing in open clusters or colonies; not matted together.
4. pertaining to a flock or crowd.
1660–70; < L gregārius belonging to a flock, equiv. to greg- (s. of grex ) flock + -ārius -arious

—Related forms
gre•gar•i•ous•ly, adverb
gre•gar•i•ous•ness, noun
non•gre•gar•i•ous, adjective
non•gre•gar•i•ous•ly, adverb
non•gre•gar•i•ous•ness, noun
un•gre•gar•i•ous, adjective
un•gre•gar•i•ous•ly, adverb
un•gre•gar•i•ous•ness, noun

1. social, genial, outgoing, convivial, companionable, friendly, extroverted.

See also: "Ethan."

I was in the local supermarket yesterday doing the shop-up for the dinner I preparing for the beach crowd (Tex-Mex Meatloaf, Yellow Rice, Roasted Veggies, Salad, Tortillas and Salsa) when I met Ethan.

Okay, technically, I was done shopping and loading my purchases onto the conveyer for the disinterested clerk to tally for me. During the process, I dropped a bulb of garlic without noticing until I hear "Is this yours?" from just behind me. That is when I met Ethan.

"Why, yes, thank you." I replied as he held-out the garlic to me. And to his mother and father who were standing there watching. "Such a helpful little one you have there!"

"I was helping my friend." Ethan said to his parents then to me, "You look like you're going to the beach!"

"There's a good reason for that." I replied and waited for him to ask what it was before I continued. "I am going to the beach." And I looked the part. I had on my navy trunks, the Flowered Aloha shirt I had bought in Hawai'i a few years ago, and the sunglasses.

This response drove my new friend (I would say he could not have been more than four or five) into fits of giggles. "I knew it! You're going to the beach."

In a way, Ethan reminded me of myself at that age. Dad and Mom used to tell hours of stories of how gregarious I had been when four-or-five; going so far as to invite myself to have breakfast with our neighboring campsites when we were on vacations. But I digress…

The next few minutes were taken-up with Ethan asking if items on the conveyer were mine. "Is that yours? What is this? Are you getting those?" The looks from his parents made it plain that this was more-or-less the normal way that Ethan interacted. I was loading the basket with bags when I heard Ethan speak again. Assuming he was asking whether something was mine, I turned and asked him what he had said.

"I wasn't talking to you." He giggled. "I was talking to Daddy!"

The parents looked surprised at what could be taken as the petulant tone the boy responded in. "Ethan!" they both exclaimed in unison. (I had the feeling this was fairly common for them!)

"It's no problem" I responded feigning sniffling and sobbing. "It's okay that Ethan wasn't talking to me. I am okay. I'll just mind my own bees wax!" This elicited squeals of laughter from my young friend.

"I'm sorry. Don't cry!" but I would not be placated just for the moment.

I paid for my order and as I was walking away, the last thing Ethan called out was "Enjoy the beach!" I will! I had just had a fun little exchange with a new friend.

Wherever you are, I hope your day is filled with pleasant and surprising exchanges too!

Don Bergquist – June 14, 2010 – DeBordieu Colony, South Carolina, USA

Flag Day

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Let The Vacationing Begin

I arrived at the beach around nine last evening.

It was an excellent drive. Except for the one little incident near the South Carolina-Georgia border…

I-95 through Georgia has been under construction for approximately the last century and it shows little sign of improvement. Passing through the "completed" section north of the last bit of construction, I was following a truck pulling multiple trailers when he dropped the right wheels of one or more of them off the main roadbed onto the apron of the road.

Correcting the situation caused both the trailers to fishtail wildly. I slowed to 55 to put a bit more space between me and the wildly swerving truck when the truck behind me (who was coming up on me way too fast) swerved around me causing a bit of fishtailing of his own load. It was a minor thing, both drivers got their rigs back under control, and nothing really happened.

So, it was a little fun, but a mostly uneventful drive. It was hot, but since I was in an air-conditioned car most of the time, what did I care? It was a good day for driving. I have to put a bit of laundry through the washer and drier, and then, it is time to get down to the serious business of doing some hardcore relaxing!

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

Don Bergquist – June 13, 2010 – DeBordieu Colony, South Carolina, USA

Children's Day

Saturday, June 12, 2010

McClellanville Sunset

I had to add just a short little entry because as the sun was setting over the South Carolina low country, I was just about to arrive. It was such a good day to drive!

With the exception of the strange way that I-95 changes speed limit every few miles, some really bonehead moves on the parts of some other drivers, and the almost constant construction zone on US-17, the roads were good and the drive went by uneventfully.

Whenever you are today, I hope your day has been great!

Don Bergquist – June 12, 2010 – McClellanville, South Carolina, USA

Driving North

The car is all packed… Well, except for Saga, my computer, and the supplies I will need for my shower.

It is just after ten and it has got to already be eleventy-hundred degrees outside. I decided that it would be prudent to pack and get everything put together and then shower. Good move! I feel like the Wicked Witch of the West (I’m melting!) but at least, I am all ready to go and have, according to the GPS, about 550 miles to drive today.

The iPod is programmed with ten hours of books and music, the dog has been walked, I had best get this posted, and get out there and on the road!

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

Don Bergquist – June 12, 2010 – St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

Friday, June 11, 2010

Off To Orlando

Not a lot of time to chat this morning.

Today I am headed off to Orlando. I have to visit a couple recruiters there, a former client, and make a trip out to my old university.

Filling-out an on-line application this morning took me longer than I had expected. But that is now done and I need to get moving or I will get caught in the traffic trying to get to Walt Dismal World (The Tragic Kingdom).

Wherever you are today, I hope your day (Busy or not) is a good one!

Don Bergquist – June 11, 2010 – St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Graduate

I am not entirely sure what the thinking was, but the graduating class of 2010 from Lakewood High School (the fighting Spartans) began crossing the stage on the football field at the high school just about eight o’clock last evening.

The festivities, having started about an hour earlier, were progressing well and the sunset off to the west of the bleachers, while pretty, didn’t do much for those of us trying to immortalize our loved ones as they hit this milestone. At least I have pretty good camera gear (and as my best friend points out, an experienced photographer’s assistant) and was able to compensate for the failing light. I cannot imagine how bad the snaps people around me were getting with their cheap instamatic cameras.

My pseudo-nephew, James, graduated with honors, even though they were not mentioned for some reason. It seemed after the initial bout of announcing honors the rest were catch-as-catch-can. But James did graduate Cum Laude and with some advanced placement college credits. So I congratulate my pseudo-nephew, James, and wish him well on his endeavors in college this fall!

Wherever you are today, I hope that you’re having an excellent day!

Don Bergquist – June 10, 2010 – St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

It’s A Different World!

No matter where you live, no matter where you started out, one thing is constant: Coming home is always a mixed experience. Sure, you’re glad to see the old sites, to spend time with friends and family, and to soak in the old and familiar. But there are also the downsides of coming home.

For example: You see changes to the place you remember ("Was that park always that small? It used to seem so big!"); There are the things you have forgotten ("That's right! This road doesn't go anywhere."); And there are the things you have intentionally suppressed ("God! People in South Florida can be so darn rude!").

This point was driven home to me as I went to the store yesterday to grab some lunch. I had a craving for a Cuban Sandwich and so I headed off to the local deli counter to acquire a couple. After grabbing a number from the dispenser I stepped to a place a nice respectful distance (about two feet behind) the person at the counter. As the person at the counter finished their transaction, I made to step forward and give my order when this woman and her son barged-up to the counter and started ordering. I cleared my throat to indicate my presence and held-up my number which showed that I was the next to be served. I also to another step forward. She ignored me.

She completed the order for six different, complex sandwiches (each with a confusing list of restrictions, additions, and preparation rules designed to make them almost impossible to make for anybody but a combination advanced chemical engineer and conceptual architect); she then sent her son to go forage around the shop for an impressive list of staples and side-items that she wanted to serve with the sandwiches. Resigned to waiting 'til this person had finished with their order (which seemed to be in a constant state of flux), I took a half-step backward so that I once again gave the person at the counter a bit of respectful privacy. As I took my step backward she seemed to see me for the first time. She took a contemptuous little glance at my number and looked at the display. "Oh, were you next? Too bad. You should have said something." She said, her voice making it clear that there was no way I could have gotten my order first without physically shoving her back to her proper place in line.

She had just finished paying for her order when her son returned for the third time from his foraging with an armload of additional stuff to be added to the growing pile on the counter. As if she hadn't thought she would have to pay for the stuff she had sent her son to round-up, she had put away her wallet. She then had to wait for the clerk to ring-up her order and then she remembered to dig-out her wallet to pay for it.

I seethed as this second transaction for the line jumper was beginning when I heard a second voice behind the counter say "Whose next?" I raised my number and started to take a bit of a step forward when this voice behind me started making an order. If the woman with the brat ahead of me had been rude by jumping into line, ordering from the back of the queue, this was beyond the pall.

Luckily, she only wanted a tub of salad and it was finished quickly. Unfortunately the second person behind the counter disappeared, apparently having dispensed her allotment for the day. When, finally, I got to the counter, I placed my order and waited for the sandwiches to be pressed.

It was here that I noticed that there were other differences between the Deli I was at and the ones I might have visited back at home in Colorado. Not only did they offer Cuban Sandwiches, but the hot foods they served are totally different as well.

Whereas in Denver, the hot foods would include vegetables and sides like corn, potatoes, creamed spinach, and fries, here they had offerings like okra and tomatoes, black-eyed peas, plantains, croquettes, and empanadas.

Rudeness aside, the sandwiches were great! The plantains were such a wonderful sweet-salt balance... Yum! You can't get food like this back in Denver!

Wherever you are today, I hope you can take your place in line to enjoy this lovely morning!

Don Bergquist – June 09, 2010 – St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

Editor’s Note:

The author had a little “help” with this column. Much to the chagrin of the usual contributor of the blog, Saga the Canaan Dog, Smokie the Domestic American Shorthair cat decided to lend a hand, er, a paw, well, a head actually. He feels that his contributions have been pivotal in the creation of this entry and demanded his due credit be given.


Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Is It Always This Hot!?

You'd think, from her behavior, that Saga had not been born and raised in Memphis, had never seen the south, and didn't even know what heat and humidity were. You'd think that if you observed her on our walk last night.

We pulled into St. Petersburg and my friend's place around seven, unloaded from the car what we would need for this stay, and then went for a walk to stretch our legs. Saga got ten feed from the door to Fritz' place, decided (apparently) that it was too hot, then went and rushed back to the house, nearly de-arming me in the process. I take her point, it is a lot hotter (and more humid) here than in Denver, but that is the fun of travel!

To go places you've never been, see things you've never seen, and pee on things you've hither-to-fore never peed upon before! At least, that is what I love about travel! How Saga sees it, I imagine, is much the same!

Today I am running around and getting a few things done that I wanted to do while in Central Florida, and tomorrow James graduates from High School. Right now it is lovely out, but this afternoon (no surprise here) they are predicting rain.

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

Don Bergquist - June 08, 2010 - St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

Monday, June 07, 2010

Still Heading South

Well, the weather reports I saw were dead on! I encountered the first rain just north of Nashville, it rained pretty much all the way through, and then, by the first time I entered Georgia, the weather was lovely. All-in-all, other than the small bit as I was going through the city of Nashville, the weather was great!

The Georgia Welcome Center was an interesting experience. Apparently everyone with a dog was stopping there yesterday! Saga got to meet a bunch of canine friends. And everybody wanted to meet her! But we eventually extracted ourselves from the doggie meet market and got back on the road.

We made it into Atlanta around six thirty (local time) and checked into a hotel. I spent a few hours unwinding, took a dip, and then played with Saga a while before retiring. This morning, I got up early, and got ready for my appointment here. Afterward, I will return to the hotel, change into traveling clothing, and then get back on the road and head south again.

Tomorrow: St. Petersburg, Florida!

Wherever you are today, I hope your day has started out well!

Don Bergquist – June 07, 2010 – Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Sunday, June 06, 2010


The drive ended last night somewhere in southern Illinois. I am not entirely sure where I am, the sign on the hotel next door says “Paducah.” The TV stations on the TV include Paducah, and Cape Girardeau. But the hotel seems to have a fixation with Superman.

The name of the place is the Metropolis Inn. They have dozens of depictions of Superman in the lobby and more still in the pool house. I am not at all sure why this is, but I suppose there is some reason.

This morning, The Weather Channel tells me that I had driven right past a couple pretty bad storms. The weather for the drive was excellent, though and I made good time overall. I cannot believe the damage the storms did! It looks lovely out right now, and the only weather for the drive is a band of showers currently crossing south of Nashville.

According to the GPS I have about 400 miles left to go to get to Atlanta. I am, I guess, going to take it easy this morning, go for a swim, get a bite to eat, perhaps do a little reading before I trundle the dog into the car and head out.

Wherever you are today, I hope that you have the luxury of taking things as they come!

Don Bergquist – June 06, 2010 – Metropolis (?), Illinois, USA


Happy birthday to my friend Deborah

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Heading South

It is a beautiful morning and the house is sleeping. I’m sitting in the bedroom I’ve borrowed from my brother and his family; Saga is snoring away at the foot of the bed, and there is no reason for me to be awake either, except that I have a lot of miles to grind away beneath my wheels today.

I want to be in Atlanta, Georgia on Monday morning and although, I could probably make it is a day, there is no real reason for me to push it! Part of the purpose behind this sabbatical is to take time to relax. So, there is no reason to push it. tells me that the morning is likely to be a wet one until I get south of the cities. So, perhaps, I should get moving. I know that Saga will be just as good sleeping in her kennel in the backseat as she is sleeping here so I suppose that I should get going.

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

Don Bergquist – June 05, 2010 – Apple Valley, Minnesota, USA

Friday, June 04, 2010

Side Trip Down Memory Lane

Having grown up in Florida (about 1800 miles from my nearest Johnson relatives, probably much longer without the Interstates and their more direct routing…) there was not a lot of time for me to interact with them.

As anyone over thirty will remember, the Internet is a relatively new thing and the almost limitless communication between people at great distance was so futuristic a concept back in the sixties that it isn't even worth mentioning. So, when I got the opportunity to spend a day with my aunt Judy and Uncle Gene in Waite Park yesterday, I jumped at it.

My aunt had a project she wanted to start; to scan a bunch of old family photos and start to organize them so that they could be referenced in the future. This being something I have a little experience with, I brought my scanner, my laptop and my organizational skills to getting the project started.

It is far from completed, but at least we have made a good start at it. And I got the opportunity to spend time looking at old photos of the family and hear some of the stories that I hadn't heard before.

This photo is of my mom with her little sister, Judy, outside their home on James Street in St. Paul. The street is there, but if any of those homes that I saw on Google earth were around in the thirties, I'd be amazed. They all look more modern than this.

What a great way to pass an afternoon and then to round it out with one of my uncle Gene's meals off the grill! I'd do this again; it was well worth it!

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

Don Bergquist - June 04, 2010 - Waite Park, Minnesota, USA

Editor's Note:

This article has a bit of the feel of a crotchety old guy piece. The only clichés the author seems to have missed were:
"...back in my day..."
"...when I was your age..."
" don’t know what hardships is, you young whipper-snapper!"

When I attempted to point this out, the author threatened to 'turn the hose on me' and told me to 'get off his lawn.' The editor hereby disavows himself of all responsibility for the tenor of this article.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

...Never Enough Time...

Where does the time go? It seems every time I come to visit with my parents I am left with the same question. It seems I just get here and unpack when it is time to repack the car and head out. The woods are lovely this time of year and I have had the chance to walk along the lakes, taking in the scenery, the wildflowers, and the occasional look at the loons.

But now it is time to get the car packed-up and head off into the cities. My parents left a few minutes ago, leaving me the house to myself so I can get things organized and packed-up... Saga has been watching our things being carted out to the car. The pre-travel anxiety is not affecting her, though... she lifts her head to watch me go by and then goes back to snoozing in the square of sunshine by the front windows.

Ah! The life of a dog! It must be nice.

My next stops include Waite Park, to visit my aunt and uncle and then into the cities for a visit with my brother and his family. I guess I had best get used to packing and unpacking the car. It seems there will be a lot of it over the next few weeks.

Speaking of which, that car is not going to pack itself. I should post this and get back to work. But right now it is such a lovely morning. I may just sit here and sip coffee for a few more minutes.

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

Don Bergquist - June 03, 2010 - Kensington, Minnesota, USA

Happy birthday to my uncle Billy

Happy birthday to my friend Helen

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Bad Daddy!

My father used to have a single specific justification for doing all the evil things that are necessary when you're a parent: "Because, I'm A Mean Daddy!" I am certain that must be how Saga is feeling this morning.

Early this morning, we left for a ride in the car (yeah!) but we went to a bad place; the groomer! I then left her behind and went on into town to run a few errands. When I got back a couple hours later, Saga had been bathed and had her nails clipped. She was a good girl! And I am such a Bad Daddy for taking her to bad places. It took me quite a few peanut butter treats to get back into her good graces.

But, eventually, there were enough cookies for her to forgive me. Tomorrow we leave on the next leg of our trip. It will be a short one, only into the cities. But if we are to head-out on schedule, I need to finish laundry and packing.

Wherever you are, I hope you're not being forced to do anything you dislike today!

Don Bergquist - June 02, 2010 - Kensington, Minnesota, USA

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


It is a lovely, eerie, soul-wrenching sound. Laying in bed as the last dregs of the twilight drain from the sky, the only sound that can be heard are the pair of nesting loons that have made my parents' lake home for the past few years.

I have always loved the haunting song of the loons. Whether it is the call of alarm that sounds so like the laugh that an insane person may emit when nervous, or the unearthly wail of the mating call that wafts plaintively across the lake, the call of the loons is something I have always loved about Minnesota. We don't experience anything like it in Miami.

Last night, after everyone had retired, I lay listening to the loons as I drifted off to sleep and the loons were the first sound I heard this morning. What a relaxing way to bookend a good night's sleep!

Wherever you are today, I hope you greeted this morning as pleasantly!

Don Bergquist - June 01, 2010 - Kensington, Minnesota, USA