Thursday, December 25, 2014

Winter Wonderland

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening?

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Bergquists At Christmas

There are a few things that are more-or-less given at the holiday season. One is that you will get socks and underwear from your grandparents (if you are lucky enough to still have them around to give you gifts), another is that someone is bound to wax nostalgic for the movie A Christmas Story, and one is that every theater guild in the world, and television station will insist on totting out the Dickens in one or more of its incarnations. To that short, but inevitable, list I wish to add the perennial return of The Bergquist Christmas Eve Story. Perhaps one day this will be as loved/reviled (take your pick) as any other holiday classic. 

I have told this story to friends and family for years and even posted it on my blog a few times. Every year, someone asks me to tell the story again, and every year I get emails asking if I am going to post the story again to my blog. The answer to both questions is "yes." So, here it is.
 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Ten Years...

My first blog post from Thames Ditton, UK

My, how time flies!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Huh!? How's That?

There is a phrase I keep hearing in the media and reading in the news and for the life of me, I cannot parse what they are saying. The words alone are pretty clear but the meaning of the phrase is completely beyond me. The phrase I keep hearing is “Throw the bums out.”

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

The Gunpowder Plot

"Remember, remember; the 5th of November; Gunpowder Treason and Plot; I see no reason
why Gunpowder, Treason;
ever should be forgot."
~ Traditional Rhyme

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Head Shaking

During the 2010 State Of The Union Address (January 27, 2014) Supreme Court Justice, Sam Alito, shook his head when the President claimed in his speech that their recent “Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission” decision had opened “the floodgates for special interests –- including foreign corporations –- to spend without limit in our elections.” Besides being unspeakably rude it has also proven to be almost wholly untrue.

Monday, October 27, 2014

How To Paint A Still Life In Three Easy Steps

Today, as a public service – I present an educational piece (that’s right! NO POLITICS!) on how paint a still life in three easy steps. Follow these three easy steps and you too can be an artist!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Settle Down, Everyone!

It is a shame that the political right in this country has chosen to use the recent couple of deaths from the Ebola virus as a talking point when they are far from in the clear as far as health care is concerned.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Does This Really Surprise Anyone!?

Okay, perhaps this should be filed in the "WELL DUH!" file, but yes, as bad as it is, a recent study confirmed that there is a "news source" that is less accurate than Faux News!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

OH, GROW UP!!!

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again – I HATE LIVING IN A “BATTLEGROUND STATE!”

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Children!

That’s It! I’ve Sussed it! I have finally put my finger on why all these damned political ads REALLY bother me so much! I had my epiphany this morning, watching ads for one of the local races battle it out for an entire break!

Monday, October 06, 2014

George Orwell: A Man Before His Time

“Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power”
~ George Orwell
1984

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

What? Again!? Really!?

Today’s screed is brought to you by the Colorado Voter Guide for the November 04, 2014 election. Please remember to voice your opinion this fall and VOTE! Warning: This column contains words and concepts that some people may find offensive. Please do not continue if you are easily offended.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Hate Speech

Hate Speech [ˈhāt spēch]
noun
1. speech intended to denigrate, disparage, or insult an ethnic, racial, sexual, or social group or any member of such a group

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Sharia Share

My uncle Terre shared a story to his facebook wall which I felt required more than a simple thumbs up-thumbs down or twenty-five word response to. This screed is that response. The story concerns a group who are posting bills in an East-London Borough who are attempting to enforce Sharia Law in their neighborhood.

Friday, August 29, 2014

And Then A Miracle Happens

The running gag from the trip was a quote from a cartoon that was in a text book (formal logic?) from college. It showed a professor with a student in front of a chalkboard. On the board, there is a long and complex equation on the left and right sides of the board and written in the middle is the phrase “and then a miracle happens.”

Thursday, August 28, 2014

What A Long, Strange, Trip!

Yeah, I have said it before - this is the song that I keep coming back to when thinking of how to describe this trip:

Sureality Check

It is bad enough when the are at least PRETENDING that they are cleaning the room whilst I am away at work. What am I supposed to think when I return to my room, and the towels have been haphazardly tossed on the rack and the cleaning products are left behind in the bathroom?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Sureality Check

“I’ll take the Zinfandel, please. Thanks!”

Sureality Check

It is not as if we are (with no slur intended to any actual town of this name, I reference it only a the epitome of the small town in America - something to be proud of) in Podunk! For gods' sake! We are within shouting distance of the largest metropolis in America. We are in the home of a dozen high tech companies. Why is transportation so damn backward here!?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Sureality Check

...and we're back! When the screams came at just before midnight I could not really identify them.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Sureality Check

Have you ever noticed how - when something starts to develop into a pattern - you come to expect things to happen? You know, like when you open the door to the refirgerator and the light comes on, you just expect it to do so the next time and that one time that it doesn't, you just don't notice for a while!?

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sureality Check

“Go for the peppahs!” She said to me as I was standing there, waiting for the omelette chef to ask me what I wanted; her thick north-eastern accent almost completely obscuring her message. “Peppahs will keep ya on ya toes all day!”

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Sunset On The Wonder Wheel

I had hoped to share a photo or two with you – but the fact is, technology fails. My camera started reading “write to card cannot be completed” while filming a short video of my last ride on the Wonder Wheel. I have been trying to find a good recovery programme since I got back from Coney Island and discovered the card was somehow corrupted!

Sureality Check

Okay, so there seems to be a pattern developing here and I am not entirely sure whether it is just me or if this is New Jersey... Either way, it certainly seems to be (with apologies to The Grateful Dead) what a long, strange, trip it’s been!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Sureality Check

It must be something about New Jersey; that is the only thing that comes to mind. In no other place to I so consistently have odd occurrences in the hotels I stay in... often.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Surreality Check

"Oooooh Man!" The big, booming voice exclaimed as I stepped into the elevator and the doors stood closed behind me. "You look like you own the company!"

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Surreality Check

Roll-Out The Barrel!? Yes, that is definitely the tune! It took me a bit of a moment for me to identify it because it is just a bit out of tune. But it is definitely The Beer Barrel Polka and it is definitely being whistled by that cleaner on the third floor.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Illiterate

illiterate [ih-lit-er-it]

adjective
1. unable to read and write
2. having or demonstrating very little or no education
3. showing lack of culture, especially in language and literature
4. displaying a marked lack of knowledge in a particular field

noun
5. an illiterate person

Monday, August 18, 2014

A VERY Pleasant Weekend!

This weekend my hikes were all accomplished around the rest of my plans. The weekend plans called for a nice trip up to the mountains and a pleasant weekend with friends. I have to say that it delivered - in spades! The weekend included a couple hikes in the mountains and a rafting trip on the Colorado River.

Monday, August 11, 2014

I had company on my hike this morning. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Sunshine

The weekends continue to be bright and sunny times to enjoy the outdoors and the wonders of the area.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The New Colossus

While most of us know the end of this sonnet it seems that many have forgotten its message. Today’s screed is brought to you by the “close the border” protests that are going on this weekend. This group of boisterous and vocal protesters (many of whom belong to the TEA Party and the Religious Right) seem to have forgotten the basis on which this country was founded – but that doesn’t stop them from turning right-around and claiming that we should “return to the founding principles.”

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Reviving History

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all dollars are created equal.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

…And It Continues…

Yep, anyone who didn’t believe the SCOTUS ruling this was to be the beginning of a long slide toward a further diminishment of the treatment of women in the US was either not paying attention or really took a simplistic view of the nature and scope of the ruling. I understand the need to protect one’s deeply held beliefs (even when those beliefs are demonstrably wrong – or at least contradict that of the VAST majority of those who actually have informed opinions on the matter. The problem is when that right is taken to the extreme and is exorcised to the exclusion of the rights of others.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

One Last Walk

Saga and I took one last wall last night around sunset.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day!

"If I have seen further it is by standing on ye shoulders of Giants."

~ Sir Isaac Newton 
(in a letter to Robert Hooke dated 15 February 1676)

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Saturday, May 24, 2014

You Have The Right To... Uh... Wait. What Was I Saying!?

I listen to podcasts as I drive. And on my way to Minnesota I heard one that was in my queue that was discussing the new "Right To Be Forgotten" ruling out of the European Courts.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Sound And Fury

There was a protest yesterday. There were people, placards, and pavement pounding. And there were problems. The main problem being one of trying to suss-out exactly what was being protested.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Playing Politics II

Do you remember when election ads were limited to election time!? Yeah! Those were the days!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Playing Politics

Have you seen the new ad from the Republican Noise Machine? It is almost elegant in its simplicity. It is just a woman standing in front of a very simple background plaintively explaining how she doesn't like political ads. "People don’t like political ads.” She says and goes on to decry that health care isn't politics and that facts are facts. “I don’t like them either. But health care isn't about politics, it’s about people. And millions of people have lost their health insurance, millions of people can’t see their own doctors, and millions are paying more and getting less." What follows is a political smear campaign that is most unbelievable in its willful disregard for the truth.

Friday, March 21, 2014

“Breaking” News

Is the fact that there is no news about the missing plane really “breaking news!?” Granted, I spent four of the last eight days scampering across a desert landscape looking at rocks, mountains, and patterns in the sand to see the geology that I have been studying, so to me this news would be new, but really? “Breaking News!?”

Thursday, March 20, 2014

R.I.P. Fred Phelps!

I have just heard that the “GOD HATES FAGS” guy, Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist “Church” passed away last night.  Were I a devout person, I would pray that his god is more forgiving of his transgressions and imperfections than he was of the sins and transgressions he perceived in others.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Woe For You

Today, if you – kind reader – will allow, I am going to make a bit of a departure from my usual screed. I’m going to take a bit of a tour of a book that the religious right in the US reveres but apparently fails to read – or at least to comprehend. I am going to apply biblical teaching to politics.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Headed Home

It's been fun, but the bags are packed and I am waiting for the cab - 24 hours until touch-down in San Francisco and then another six hours to clear customs, change planes, and get home to Denver!

Wherever you are, I hope you're having a more enjoyable day than mine will be!

Don Bergquist - 08 February 2014 - New South Wales, AUstralia

Friday, February 07, 2014

Same Old Thing In Brand New Drag

Years ago an old friend of mine and I were walking down a road in London, talking about a “new” push in education that was taking place back in the states. Kansas was, at the time, debating whether the theory of Intelligent Design. She had heard of it and was convinced that it was, as it claimed to be, a new way of looking at the way science it taught.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

How Un-American!

Being a traveler, and not a tourist, it should not surprise me when a place that I am visiting on business turns out NOT to be “American,” but it still sometimes surprises me on HOW it occurs to me that it isn’t like home. Take this morning…

Sunday, February 02, 2014

You Would Think...

You would think that via rabid apathy, and willfully separating myself from it by half the globe, I could ignore and escape the idiot parade that is the Super Bowl. But no!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Being A Tourist

 “The difference between a traveler and a tourist,” a publican once explained to me over a pint “is that a tourist goes somewhere and expects to be entertained. A traveler goes some place and is entertained by learning about the place and the people.”

Monday, January 20, 2014