Country Scribe : Eric Bergeson's Weblog

February 25, 2005

Fargodome

The is the weekend of the Home and Garden Show at the Fargodome. I rent a table and spend the weekend talking to people. On the table, I put up a 4-H like exhibit of gardens pictures with lighting behind. People like color this time of year, so they tend to wander over and visit.

We have a drawing for a $50 gift certificate, which is just an excuse to get people to sign up for a catalog.

The idea of the home show is that people who are building a home can come there and get ideas and talk to companies. Of course, that happens. Last year, I talked to a representative of Wisconsin Log Homes at the Grand Forks Home Show--he had a booth near mine--and now I have one of their houses.

But for the most part, I think people just want to get out and see something different than a mall.


February 24, 2005

New website

Cousin Anne has been working diligently on the Bergeson Nursery website. Her job was to get it ready for those of us at the nursery to start putting in the bulk of the information. I started yesterday.

It will be a long time until all the information is ready--in fact, it will take a long time to have everything up on the site which I hope to have their eventually. However, there are a few pictures and some garden tips up there as of this evening. Check back for new stuff every couple of days.


February 23, 2005

Policia

A big park in Mexico City was patrolled by these whimsical lookingpolicemen. Rest assured, the park had many policemen who looked a little more typical. I never did figure out all of the various branches of the police, but they stood on most corners.


Hat sellers



A little boy at a fountain



Budding skeptic



This little girl in a group of schoolchildren at a museum didn't seem to be buying the line being fed to her by her teacher.


Street vendor



Street vendors sold everything from soap to nuts in Mexico City. One specialized in scissors. Another sold radio batteries and fake dog poop. This woman probably was the more traditional form of vendor. I suspect she came in from the countryside with her supply of statues, jewelry and textiles.


Organ grinder



We frequently heard and saw organ grinders on the streets of Mexico City. Their music reverberated for a block or so in each direction. Most were alone, but others had helpers hitting up passersby for donations.


February 22, 2005

Girl and her pet



At Los Remedios, the church atop the pyramid, this girl and her nine-month-old pet monkey held court at the main door. I think I would have gotten a better picture if I had agreed to fork over some pesos. Oddly, the girl and her friend acted sort of like they were caretakers of the church. They seemed to watch over us as if they were worried we might get into some sort of trouble.


Latino lovers



They're everywhere, even leaning against the stoplights.


Gumball machine



The gumball machines, like so many things in Mexico, were done up in stunning flourescent color.


Dancers



The main square in Mexico City bustled with activity, especially on the weekend. At one end was a rock concert with thousands of spectators--a little off to the side, next to the cathedral was this dance troup performing an Aztec dance. I tried to learn more about it--a gentleman started explaining the whole thing to me, and then offered me a pamphlet of information "for a small donation." I coughed up some pesos. When I got back to my room and looked it over, it had nothing to do with dancing whatsoever.


February 21, 2005

Mexico pictures

I see traffic to the website is up a bit--perhaps some of you are looking at the Mexico pictures. If you want to see them all, you must go back in the archives--at the bottom left hand side of the page. The earlier pictures take a lot longer to download because I hadn't figured out how to reduce the image quality yet.

I have many more pictures to post. I went through them again today with employees Dot and Ken. Dot, who manages the gift shop, and I are planning a trip to Mexico to purchase items for the gift shop. Probably a pipe dream, but it sure would be fun.

Because the battery ran low on my camera, I didn't get any pictures of the most beautiful city of them all, Guanajuato. (At the bottom of this informational link is another link to a picture gallery of the city.) So, I have to go back there. My idea is to go there, take a few hundred pictures, blow the best of them up, frame them, put them on display in the gift shop, and then fill the gift shop with items imported from that town which I purchased while taking pictures. I can't imagine a more enjoyable (deductible) trip!

Dot loved that idea. Now, we have to figure out how to ship things back to Minnesota. Customs is a barrier, no matter what they say about NAFTA.


Warming the Swamp Castle

I just went over to the Swamp Castle to toss in some firewood, and it was seventy degrees inside! That is a first. It only makes sense, since Dean finished insulating the inside yesterday. Now only the ceiling of the garage remains to be insulated. When that happens, I suspect I will barely use any firewood at all, at least compared to what I used the past couple of months.

The standing dead green ash which surround the swamp, the same ash which lured me onto the ice with the skid steer in December, are still exercising their pull. I cut down a couple last week and dragged them across the swamp, and I went out after a few larger ones today.

I think the ice would be thick enough for the loader, but the trouble is there is at least a foot of snow on the ice, and it is crusty hard. Hard enough to hold me up while walking, but not hard enough to hold the loader. Yet, hard enough to keep the loader from moving forward.

Yet, there is all that wood out there. So, I took the chainsaw out there and cut down about eight trees today. I trimmed the branches, which left a length usable for firewood of twelve to fourteen feet. I took the thin end of each log, one under each arm, linked my hands together and pulled forward like a mule.

Once I got going, it was easy. The tough part was getting through the grass and reeds at the edge of the swamp. However, when I got a head of steam up, that wasn't any big deal either.

So I got all eight logs up on shore by the stove and cut them up. It made a nice little pile of dried ash wood.

By that time, I was down to a light jacket with no cap and I was drenched in sweat. I went inside the house to cool down. Dean was in there carpentering and he said he figured I had finally lost my mind, dragging logs across the swamp like that.

He's probably right--I won't be dragging logs across the swamp for many days before I get sick of it, but it was kind of fun on a nice sunny day like today to feel productive and useful. And a person doesn't need to ride an exercise bike in the evening after a day like that.


Pipe dream



Don, an organist from Texas, plays the enormous Tamborini organ at the National Auditorium in Mexico City. Micheal Barone, host of the radio show Pipedreams, is manning the stops.

Once considered the third largest organ in the world, the five-manual instrument has something like 20,000 pipes. This was the only organ I played. However, when I hit the first note, a loud pipe sounded which was way out of tune. I just kept playing, and things got better.

When playing such an enormous instrument in such a vast auditorium, the organist doesn't have the luxury of hearing what the organ sounds like. In this instance, the console (the keyboard part) was right up by one set of pipes. The sound of those pipes obscured the sound which came from the pipes situated 150 feet away. The audience hears the complete effect, but playing the instrument takes some getting used to. Especially when there is a slight delay in the sound from the far away pipes.