Tuesday, November 30, 2010

American Revolutionary War Ends (1782)

Treaty of Paris — In Paris, representatives from the United States and the Kingdom of Great Britain sign preliminary peace articles (later formalized as the 1783 Treaty of Paris).

Monday, November 29, 2010

Back To Reality

At least it is a short week - I go on vacation to Minnesota on Friday.

Wherever you are, I hope you will have an excellent week!

Don Bergquist - November 29, 2010 - Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Still Not Shopping

I caught a news story yesterday of a woman who was shopping for a charity that buys Christmas gifts for orphans or underprivileged children, or something of that ilk. The tease and lead-in made it sound like the woman had been mugged for her Christmas money. "See how thieves stole Christmas from this woman." and "Grinch strikes at local mall."

The story made it plain though, that the actual story was far less nepharious. It was tragic, but not terribly noteworthy. The woman apparently dropped the bank bag while unloading her cart at the mall. When she went back for it an hour later, the bag was there but the cash was gone. Yes, it was tragic, but hardly an all-out attack on Christmas as they made it sound.

Yesterday was such a relaxing day, playing with the dog, doing a bit of work on a website for my sister, taking a nice long walk, and generally just chilling, that I think I may have to repeat it today. I'm going this afternoon to have Dim Sum with some friends, but other than that, I have no big plans.

How nice is that?

Wherever you are today, I hope that you're having a lovely, relaxing weekend!

Don Bergquist - November 28, 2010 - Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Happy anniversary to Mary & Corey

Happy anniversary to Dad & Flo

Black Friday

"Holiday Shopping Season" begins

Black Friday - I Think Not!

A disproportionately large portion of the news yesterday was dedicated to the commencement of the holiday shopping season. I hate shopping in the best of times. Holiday shopping is, in my humble opinion, a consignment to the Dantean nether regions.

The stories these days are always about how many people are willing to spend all night in line to get into a store at some ungodly hour to fight over items, that are slightly less overpriced than normal. None of that for me! No, sir!

Not only is there always at least one story of some (near if not actual) riot that breaks out over some item or other that is the "it" gift of the year, there is usually the story of the crimes at the malls (as if this were the only time of year there was crime at the malls).

Saga and I spent a relaxing day yesterday cleaning-up after the thanksgiving dinner and doing Laundry - well, I did laundry and cleaned, she mostly kept checking-up on me to see if whatever project I was doing had anything to do with feeding her.

Today, I have not a lot to do, but I can promise you this, I will be nowhere near the malls today… I may take a walk with the dog… I may just read. In short, I have no plans for the day. Blissful, isn’t it!?

Wherever you are this weekend, I hope that you're having a lovely one!

Don Bergquist - November 27, 2010 - Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Friday, November 26, 2010



It's all over but the cleaning!

If I may say so myself, I think, the dinner was a success. My friends came over (with a friend in tow) and we had a glass of wine while waiting for the turkey to finish roasting. The sides and accompaniments were all prepared the day before and lined-up in oven-ready dishes on the counter, ready to pop in once the turkey came out.

We had played a few games while waiting for the last of the cooking to complete and then it was time for the serving. It was a traditional five-course dinner:

Puree of Sweet Potato and Squash

Spinach and Herb salad with Bacon and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Roast Turkey
Wild Rice Stuffing
White or Sweet Mashed Potatoes
Green Beans Almandine
Scalloped Corn
Cranberry-Orange Relish

Parfait of Pumpkin and White Chocolate Mousse garnished with Candied Pecans

Coffee or Tea
Cheese Board
Assorted Biscuits

As is my wont, I cooked WAY too much food. Perhaps it is just the Minnesota-Swede background that does this to me; the biggest offense a host can perpetrate is to run out or to send people off hungry. At least that is the way I was brought-up.

So last night, after a lovely time with conversation, wine, and friends, I spent a while getting the leftovers arranged into the 'fridge. I hate to say this, but realized that nobody looking into my refrigerator would have any problem guessing my gender even if they didn’t know whose house they were in. I may not be the stereotypical guy; I cook for myself, I don't watch sports on TV, I rarely order a pizza. But the 'fridge is clearly a guy's 'fridge: a disproportionately large percentage of it is taken-up with beer. I'm not even that big a fan of beer! I have one every now and again, but people bring it over when I have parties and leave the leftovers. It accumulates faster than it is consumed! But I digress…

With the food put away, I loaded the dishwasher for the first (of what would clearly be many) load and then sat down with a glass of wine and watched the news. Saga came up to sit next to me (presumably on the off-chance that I had something to feed her) and we watched the news before going for one last walk and then turning in.

It was a lovely evening and I still have three days of the weekend ahead of me. Yeah!

Wherever you are, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with friends and family.

Don Bergquist - November 26, 2010 - Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Thursday, November 25, 2010


It's a very busy day today! Granted, almost everything is prepared. I still have to make the dessert and roast the turkey, but still it is going to be a busy day. I'm sure you know how it is when you have a big plan coming together, you run through the checklist two-or-three times to make sure nothing is forgotten.

Last year, I was putting away the leftovers when I discovered that I had not served one of the vegetables that I had made for the meal. I really don't want to forget anything again this year. But I had best get to it… time is a-wasting.

Wherever you are today, I hope that you will have an excellent Thanksgiving Holiday!

Don Bergquist - November 25, 2010 - Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Lee Harvey Oswald is murdered by Jack Ruby in the basement of Dallas police department headquarters. The shooting is broadcast live on television. (1963)

Oyster Creativity

They should so let us design our own Oyster Cards.

I mean, credit card companies let us put pictures of our cats on their cards, wouldn't it be cool if the Transport for London allowed people to create their own images for their card?

This is a collage of some pictures I have taken over the years merged onto an Oyster Card. (Can you tell I am avoiding spending more time in the kitchen cooking the big Thanksgiving Dinner?)

Wherever you are today, I hope you're getting the things done that need doing!

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

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Iran-Contra Affair (1986)

Ronald Reagan signs the top secret National Security Decision Directive 17 (NSDD-17), giving the Central Intelligence Agency the authority to recruit and support Contra rebels in Nicaragua.

The Benefits of Jetlag

Three days before Thanksgiving is not really the day to be doing a major grocery-shopping trip. Driving past the stores last evening the lots were packed. The inside must be a mob-scene.

It's a good thing I am still suffering a bit of jetlag! I have been up each morning at three. So this morning, before getting ready for work, I dressed quickly and headed down to the grocery store to get the things I would need for Thanksgiving dinner. It was a bit strange getting all those groceries through the self-check but as I explained to the woman giving me the fish-eye as I pushed a full cart through, I am up, they are open… I'd rather be here doing this now than when they are packed later.

Do you remember the bad old days when the stores were open nine-to-nine six days a week? Argh! How did we live! The bags are un packed, the perishables are put away. I guess there is nothing left but to post this, walk Saga, and head into town. I love being this productive this early!

Wherever you are today, I hope your morning is starting out as a productive one.

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

Monday, November 22, 2010

Denver, Colorado Founded (1858)

Back To The Office

After two weeks of being at the head office in Wembley, it is time to get back into the normal day's routine. It will seem strange, even after such a short time not walking down to the tube (or the Midlands London Overground) to head into the office.

But luckily, there should be no problem making it into the office on time. I have been up since three. So getting things packed and heading into the office on time should be no problem. Now, will Saga let me out the door carrying what might, to her, seem like a suitcase? Time will tell.

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

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

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Happy Anniversary To…

Me! Well, my blog actually - Today is the sixth anniversary of don sees the world.

I hope you are enjoying it and that you will continue to read and comment on my posts.

Wherever you are today, thank you for being a part of don sees the world.

Don Bergquist - November 21, 2010 - Lakewood, Colorado, USA


As with any time one goes away for a while, there are a number of things that need to be done upon return. For me, the day will be spent doing laundry, running out for a few things (there is no food in the house, I cleared out the 'fridge before leaving), take a trip to the library, and do a few things I want to get done before returning to work tomorrow.

Yesterday was pretty much a write-off. Apart from the fact that Saga got nervous any time I picked-up the keys yesterday, I really didn't feel like doing a bunch of chores yesterday. To tell the truth, other than a walk in the park and a few things that I had to get done, I spent most of the day on the couch, Saga nestling under my arm, and catching-up on the shows that my DVR recorded while I was away.

That is now done and it is time to get into the business of getting back into the normal swing of things. So today I am running errands, stocking-up, and getting things done. Yeah!

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

Don Bergquist - November 21, 2010 - Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Happy birthday to my friend Col

Happy birthday to my cousin Christopher

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Saga Forgives

You hear people talk about the unconditional love that pets show you. Who but a dog would let you pack her up, ship her off to a stranger's house, and leave her there for two weeks? While she pines away for you, you're off god knows where, doing who knows what. You drive away while she stares at you at the door and you're

But then you drive up and walk through the door and, aside from a little residual pique, there is no repercussion. You deserve worse; you went off and left her where they fed her, walked her, let her sleep in the sun in the back garden. You've come back smelling like somewhere foreign. And did you really think that cookie was going to patch things up?

But you're back, she's so thrilled she doesn't know whether to whimper and tell you her troubles or jump in your lap and kiss you! The tail is whipping so fiercely that it is in danger of falling off. She doesn't even want to let you out of her sight long enough for you to carry her bed and food back out to the car.

Daddy's Home!

Wherever you are today, I hope that you're with someone who loves you like that!

Don Bergquist - November 20, 2010 - Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Foggy Morning/Empty House

It's after one in the morning; it is a cold and foggy morning. Standing on the island at the airport arrivals side, waiting for the shuttle to the parking area, the near end of the parking structure was only just barely discernable in the orange glow of the sodium vapor lamps.

Making my way around the armory on my way home, in one of the few remaining wild areas on the route, I pulled over to enjoy the unreal calm and silence of the foggy morning. An eerie peace comes over one on a dark foggy morning. Standing there, the first sound that I heard was the whistle of the train at the crossing over on Colorado Highway 2. It was time to go.

Perhaps part of the reason that I didn't want to come directly home was that I knew the house would be cold and empty when I got here. The car is unpacked, the luggage is waiting to be emptied, time to head off to bed.

Wherever you are this morning, I hope your day is starting out well.

Don Bergquist - November 20, 2010 - Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Capital Idea

Here's a thought: People travelling together might want to pass through the Passport Control and Customs process together. Unfortunately, this is not something that (apparently) occurred to the designers of the Washington Dulles International Airport.

The hallways between the airplane and the Customs Hall are too narrow for people to walk two-abreast, let alone for someone to wait for a colleague to come off the plane so they can walk together. Add to that the TSA Agents who, if you try to wait for someone usher you along and tell you to keep moving.

I write this as I am waiting for my colleague to emerge from the Customs area. She and I were separated because we were sitting in different areas of the plane. I've been here long enough to call my family and let them know I was in town, call a friend who lives in DC, and have my colleague paged a couple times. (As if she could respond in the Customs Area.)

It is frustrating sitting here with nothing to do, so I have pulled out my laptop to jot a few notes. I guess I should really stow this back in my bag and head toward the gate. The flight to Denver will be leaving in about an hour.

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

Don Bergquist - November 19, 2010 - Outside Customs - C Concourse, Washington Dulles International Airport - Washington, DC, USA

Headed Home - Part II

Come On! Really!?

So, I packed my cases last night - and this morning!

Apparently, you should remove from your pockets the things that you will need in the morning BEFORE you pack the trousers you wore that evening for your trip home. No big problem? It is a simple matter of picking out that pair of trousers and pulling the item out of the pocket. You'd think so, wouldn't you! But nothing could be that simple.

What if you can't remember what you wore last evening? (What if what you are looking for is a small plastic card that is easily missed the first time you search for it?) No. It took dumping out the bag and doing a thorough search.

Perhaps the problem with my Oyster card (needing to first find it and then to add funds to it) were subtle indications that I didn't really want to leave? Was it just the flight I was dreading? Well, yes… but I also just dig it over there. That is the only reason I can think of for repeatedly putting things I would need for the trip home into pockets of my case and then forgetting which one so that I had to dig for my documentation, tickets, passport, etc.

At least the flight was not too full. None of the movies interested me, so I have been reading most of the trip. I have also had a nice conversation with a couple of the other passengers and flight staff while standing up to stretch my legs. We just passed over the first city we came to in Canada (I am fairly sure it was Fredericton, New Brunswick) a little while ago; the guy I was chatting with pointed out that he could see lights below us. It wasn't too large a city. It had a river looping through the center of the town. (At least I assume the dark ribbon looping across the otherwise regular grid of lit streets was a river.)

It has been a pretty good flight. The seats around me were empty and I was able to stretch out - well, at least I didn't have to actively defend my knees all flight.

Wherever you are this evening, I hope that you're having a pleasant evening.

Don Bergquist - 19 November 2010 - United Airlines Flight 925 - Somewhere over New Brunswick, Canada

Bonnie Parker & Clyde Barrow Begin Their Crime Spree (1930)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Heading Home

It has been a good trip and I have gotten a lot done but now it is time for heading home.

This evening I took the tube into town with one of my colleagues. He had a couple stops he wanted to make and the places he was going sounded interesting so I asked if I could tag along. It was an interesting trip. The Bakerloo tube line was shut down while we were on it for signaling problems. Luckily, a quick glance at the map told me that we were only a short walk to the nearest tube station on another line. It would be a circuitous route, but we could still make it. …famous this words.

We made it from Marylebone to Edgware Road without too much problem. I was even able (without too much problem) to suss-out where we were and where we needed to be to get back on route. The train came and it was a sardine tin! My colleague and I made it on the train (just) by heading onto separate cars. We made it into town and found the first shop only to find that it had just closed. Peering through the windows, we were able to determine that the prices at the shop were not as good as he could have gotten back at home.

It was then off in search of the second shop. This one for something he had to get. (His girlfriend had made one request. This would not be the one to miss!) Unfortunately, after a bit of walking along the high street, we had not found the shop he was looking for.

I offered that I knew of one in the Waterloo train station and that would put us on the right path to getting back to our hotel. (Right path, wrong direction…) So, it was back to the tube and onto a southbound train. As we entered the tube station at Leicester Square, I prodded my colleague and indicated that he should listen. They were announcing the partial shutdown of the Bakerloo line still.

Now, I am not sure if it was the hour, or my growing readiness to head home, or what, but we sat on the train right past the stop we needed and had to double back. It was a wasted trip anyway. The shop was out of the item he wanted. So it was back on the tube and off to another branch of that particular shop. There was one in Euston Station, on our route back to Maida Vale.

The shop was also out of the item he wanted; he said he would check the branch by the hotel. It was a small branch, but perhaps. I asked a stocker in the shop if there was another, larger, shop anywhere around. She suggested I try the one on the other side of the booking hall.

And success! My colleague was able to find the sought-after item and we were headed back to the hotel. Well, we were headed back by way of a curry from the take-away.

This task for me this evening was to pack my cases. Cases packed, I am finally enjoying my curry and a beer. Soon it is off to bed. Tomorrow we head home.

Wherever you are today, I hope your quests have met with successful endings!

Don Bergquist - 18 November 2010 - London, Middlesex, UK

Happy birthday to my cousin Grainne

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Rainy Day In London

It's a cold, miserable, overcast, dark, rainy day in London. One of my colleagues and I took a nice, long walk along the high street this morning after breakfast, but even then it was "a bit crap out," as they would say here.

True to form, the day has been heavily overcast all day. The rain has gone from a light sprinkle to pissing down and has pretty much caused me to stay indoors all day, reading, looking at the pictures that I have been taking, and finally updating my blog.

I've had a cup of coffee, a walk, a swim, and have been staring out at the wet London skyline. I guess there is nothing more to do but to curl-up and take a nap. What better pastime for a rainy day!

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

Don Bergquist - 14 November 2010 - London, Middlesex, United Kingdom

Happy birthday to my friend Russ

Happy birthday to my friend Howard

Saturday, November 13, 2010

At The British Museum

It has been a busy and, generally ugly week. The weather has been cold and rainy, but then, that is what you expect from London in the autumn! The winds kicked up about Monday afternoon and the rains have been more-or-less constant since.

Today, it was fairly nice out but chilly and overcast. So one of my colleagues and I decided to take the tube down to Russell Square and headed over to the British Museum. It was lovely! We saw the Rosetta Stone, a lovely display of artifacts from Islamic countries, the pottery and crockery were so intricate and lovely! There were lovely glass mosque lamps that had intricately painted verses on them, and some very ornate tile work.

We went to the Chinese room, to look at the artifacts there, and I spent some time studying the map of the museum layout. There were only a few things I really wanted to see; I wanted to make sure to hit them before I was defeated. The floors of the museum are that hard concrete type that made walking after a while a bit painful.

A helpful Canadian volunteer from the museum staff came over and helped me decipher the map (which had no discernible pattern to the numbering/labeling. We made it to the rooms dedicated to Egypt and Mesopotamia. There were a number of interesting artifacts there. I really wanted to take a picture of this tiny golden dog from the Egypt room, it had the bearing and shape of a Canaan Dog, and being that it is approximately the right part of the world, I assumed this may have been modeled on one of Saga's fore-bearers. Unfortunately, a combination of the tiny size of the figurine, and the motion of the people behind it, my camera could not determine what it was I was asking it to focus on. Oh well!

My day at the museum ended with the Rosetta Stone and the adjoining gallery of statuary. It ended for me there. My feet and knees could no longer take the pounding that the hard concrete were giving them.

A quick trip back to the hotel for a swim, and a nap and I was ready for a trip to a place I know over in Islington. It was a good evening. Due to planned engineering works on a number the tube lines, however, the trip back to the hotel took much longer than I expected. So it was a take-away curry and a beer in the hotel room for diner while looking at the pictures I'd taken yesterday. All in all, it was a lovely day!

I hope that wherever you are today, you've had a lovely day!

Don Bergquist - 13 November 2010 - London, Middlesex, United Kingdom

Monday, November 08, 2010

Maida Vale

Well, I will say this for Maida Vale: it is certainly prettier than Wembley.

The flight (mercifully) came in early. We were about an hour early getting in and that meant we had to wait for the rooms to be ready at the hotel. Luckily, we're on the Kilburn High Road in Maida Vale and there are tons of pubs and restaurants around. My traveling companion and I checked in, checked our baggage with the Concierge, and headed out to have lunch at a local pub.

I am going to try and stay-up until it is bed time, but that is going to be a push. It is a lovely fall day, the Plane trees are swaying in a gentle breeze and, having been up since about this time yesterday, I may be lulled to sleep just by writing about the serenity outside. The forecast is for today to be the last really nice day this week, so I suppose I should go ahead and get ready to take a walk and keep myself up!

Wherever you are today, I hope your day is even half as lovely as mine is!

Don Bergquist - 08 November 2010 - London, Middlesex, United Kingdom

Happy birthday to my friend Srini

Happy birthday to my friend Doug

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Living To See Tomorrow

By now, I suppose it is almost cliché to say that there was no leg room on a light. Even the person sitting next to me (who is, I noticed when he stood up to grab something from his stowed luggage, a good half-head shorter than I am) squashed into his allotted space now than the man in front of him has put back his seat. He has it easy, though. The person ahead of him has been asleep and relatively motionless since shortly after we reached cruising altitude.

The man ahead of me, by comparison, is a total tosser who may not live to see morning! He sat down and immediately reclined. Before the guy against the window in my row was seated, the guy had already reclined, thus obstructing entry to our row. The flight attendant mentioned to him that the seat had to be up during the boarding progress so he put it up.

I sat down and was immediately encroached upon by this wanker reclining his seat. At the conclusion of the announcements, the flight attendant (who had just announced that you had to have your seat back in the full upright position) came by to again ask him to put his seat forward.

When the announcement came on that he was allowed to put his seat back, he reclined. No, not "reclined," exactly… slammed into the reclined position is more accurate. Without checking to see if there was anything in the way, he slammed the seat back; when he encountered an obstruction (in the form of my knees) he just put the seat back in the upward position, and slammed back a little harder.

Again, none of this would have been inexcusable, but for the fact that for the last couple hours he has repeatedly put his seat forward, waited just long enough for me to wonder what he was doing, and then he slams it back again.

To type this, I have the screen of the laptop laying on the tray table, and the keyboard resting against my body… it is the only position I can get it into so that I can still see the screen and still type - sort of, at least.

I wonder, in these days of heightened airline security if it is possible to cook-up some knock-out drops to use on this guy from the things I have available to me. He will not live to see morning if he doesn't stop moving around so violently!

Wherever you are today, I hope that you're safe, warm, and happy in your surroundings.

Don Bergquist - 07 November 2010 - United Airlines Flight 938, Somewhere Over Northern Canada

Happy birthday to my friend Lisa

Daylight Saving Time Begins (North America)

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Election Day

It's Election Day; the day those bumper stickers become more of an embarrassment. They instantly convert from telegraphing your lack of ability to think for yourself to telegraphing your lack of ability to pick a winner. Or, they instantly change from indicating that you have a political bent to indicating that your car value has been depreciated by a dated political statement that - try as you might - cannot be expunged from your bumper.

I've never understood the thinking behind bumper stickers. I mean, nobody has ever found themselves thinking, "That jerk just cut me off, I think I would like to vote for his candidate." Or "Candidate X must be right! His followers don’t even know how to use their turn signals!" Nowadays, they seem to make even less sense, as the bumper sticker will last far longer than the popularity of the candidate, party, or issue it advertises.

The important thing is not what you put on your bumper; it's what you do on Election Day that counts. Please get out there and vote today. People who don't vote get the government they deserve. Besides, if you do vote and your candidate loses, you have a right to be smug when everyone else realizes that the person elected has turned-out to be every bit as horrible as you thought.

Wherever you are today, please, do your civic duty and get out there to vote! I have.

Don Bergquist - November 02, 2010 - Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Happy birthday to my uncle Richard

Happy birthday to my cousin Michael

Monday, November 01, 2010

OCD Much?

It was like watching an episode of Monk, well, except that she was a young black girl instead of a middle-aged white guy. It happened yesterday while I was running errands. I had a list of things to do so I got started early. Around nine-thirty, I realized I was feeling a bit peckish so I stopped into a fast food restaurant for a bit of breakfast.

I walked in and placed my order. (There was not a crowd at that time so there was no line.) Standing, waiting for my order to be filled, I witnessed a strange behavior from the woman who had taken my order.

She walked over to the end of the counter, grabbed the bin containing the catchup packets, and commenced to iron out each packet with the side of her hand and place them in back in the bin all facing the same way. I watched this for a while, not realizing my order had been filled and was sitting under the heat lamps until the manager walked up and handed it to me and then went off to talk to the cashier.

With one last look, I turned and left with my breakfast. I have no idea what that was all about, but what a strange thing to see! I can understand doing that to the cash in the till; I used to do that myself, I still face the bills in my wallet - but there is a reason to doing it to money, it makes recognition of the bills easier and makes it less likely to spend the wrong ones or make the wrong change. But why would anyone do this to catchup packets‽

I guess she had nothing better to do, but when you're resigned to facing catchup packets, you're really scraping the bottom of the barrel - or the plastic sachet, as it were. If that was the case, I can only hope her day got better.

Wherever you were this weekend, I hope that your weekend was full of fun and exciting things to do!

Don Bergquist - November 01, 2010 - Lakewood, Colorado, USA

Happy birthday to my friend Terry

Happy birthday to my friend Heather