Archive - Aug 2006

August 30th

First day of class

I found myself getting nervous before heading up to Crookston to teach today. The first day is always a time when the class is stiff and uncomfortable and most attempts at humor fall utterly flat.

Leo, the Brazilian living with me who has worked at the nursery since March, has decided to go to UMC for fall semester, so he went along to register for classes.

August 29th

Preparing for class

Tomorrow is the first day of the American history classes I am teaching in Crookston at the university. I have taught this class two or three times before, so I have old notes and I am familiar with the basics. However, each time there is the challenge of tweaking things so the class goes better than before.

Crookston is the first "laptop university" in the world. That is, all students are required to have a laptop and many of the classes are based upon the internet and computers. Quizzes, tests, notes and research are done on the internet.

August 28th

August projects

Spent the day on the Cat loader scooping out peat from the swamp in front of the house and moving it on shore where I am building an earthen ramp along-side the swamp. The ramp will be for observation of birds on the pond. I think it is already almost ten feet high at the apex.

Things go well early in the day before the soil wears out. As the day goes on, things get more muddy. Finally, about half-way through, I got good and stuck. Because I was behind an immovable stump, it took a little finagling to get out.

August 26th

Rejection is painful

A week or so ago, a woman called inviting me to get a Discover business card. She claimed that I would get 2% back on all gas purchases, so I listened instead of hanging up on her as I usually would. I decided to let her sign me up.

So, she asked a bunch of questions, including, "When was your business established?"

I said, "1937," and she said, "Whoa, congratulations!" I guess she doesn't deal with many businesses that have been around that long.

August 25th

Gardens in evening

When I checked Channel 641 only to find that the Twins game was at 7:30 instead of 7:00 p.m., I decided to head up to the gardens for a few photos. Above are the lewd amaranthus, lording over all else, including the white nicotiana, or tobacco plant.

Superb game

Heaven for a Twins fan: The Twins rally from a 3-0 deficit to win 5-4 in the ninth in front of a screaming crowd in Chicago. Solid defense. Great relief pitching. Drama to the end.

Radke had to leave after only two innings because his arm was falling off, so the bullpen had to do its thing. Neshek gave up a home run to former Twin Pierzynski, but otherwise the bullpen was perfect.

August 24th

Summer winds down

Ah, the lazy days of late summer. Harvest in the nursery business is in the spring. By fall, we are winding down. So, I have the luxury of spending the day as I did today, putzing on the Cat loader doing improvements in infrastructure. I hauled rock, firewood, and muck from the swamp.

Ten days from now, there is a Bergeson family reunion at the nursery. Over 52 Bergesons (including attached others and offspring) will covene. One of the parties will be at the Swamp Castle. So, I am trying to wind up some of the messier outdoor projects by then.


Weblog reader Kent, chiropractor to the stars in the Los Angeles area, visited today with his two children Ryan and Brett, and his nephew Zach, right.

Kent spent many summers in Rindal while growing up, and he returns frequently. He checks in here for news of the Rindal area.

August 22nd

Olla and Florence pay a visit

The Cat loader got fixed today. Diesel is now flowing uninhibited into the engine, and we're not sure why. Whatever, we'll take it. And I immediately started cleaning out parts of the swamp.

When I drove back to the yard for a break, I found that Olla and Florence had driven out. Florence, 91, picked up Olla, 95, at the Fertile Hilton and they drove out to visit the gardens.

August 21st


Took some pictures in the gardens yesterday. These daisies combine with some lavender to create some deep textures.

The rubdeckia with a wide angle lens look like they're arching towards the prairie sky.

Amaranthus, otherwise known as pigweed, contrast with the dark-leaved castor bean.