Saturday, November 10, 2007

Leaving Utah

Well this is not fun at all. We are sad to leave Utah. I have 2 sisters, 1 brother, and a few cousins and friends that I am very sad to leave. Aimee has 1 sister, 2 aunts, and cousins and friends that she is sad to leave behind as well. The good thing is that in Washington we have family and friends too. Our parents and Aimee's sister Diana are in Tri-Cities. Aimee keeps talking about how much she is going to love being closer to her big sister. They are definitely kindred spirits. We also have friends in Seattle.

The actual move itself is going pretty well. We don't have to worry about moving our things because the moving company is going pack and ship not only all of our stuff, but our cars as well. The only stressful thing so far has been trying to sell our house. I am happy to say, however, that we are accepting an offer today, only one week after listing it. YES!!

Moving to Seattle

Most anyone who reads this blog also reads Aimee's blog, so I am sure everyone knows that we are moving to Seattle. It is strange to think that it is really going to happen. Here is how this all started:

The Recruiter
This all started a few weeks ago when a Microsoft recruiter found my resume on When he called me, I really didn't take it seriously because the thought of moving out of state just didn't seem to be within the realm of possibility. I don't know why, I just never saw it happening. Still, I agreed to a phone interview. The interviewer's name was Simon, and throughout the call, I couldn't shake the feeling that he was not impressed. Apparently at least one of the rumors about interviewing with Microsoft is true: they will never let on if you are doing well, so you have to try to pretend that you are so as to not get nervous and give up. A couple hours later, the recruiter called me back, saying they wanted me to fly to Seattle for a day of interviews.

The Interview
Even though they were flying me to Seattle, I still didn't believe they would actually ever offer me a job. I thought to myself "I mean, tons of people interview with Microsoft so I shouldn't get my hopes up or anything". The day of the interviews came and I interviewed with some really cool people. Even though one of them said "I'm not supposed to give you feedback, but you're doing very well, I hope you join the team.", I still thought that they would probably give me an offer, but that it wouldn't be good enough to make me want move to Seattle.

The Offer
The first offer came, and I turned it down, not because it was a bad offer, but because I really didn't feel like we would ever move to Seattle. Then the second offer came, with more Salary and more Microsoft stock. Again, I turned it down, assuming that they would not counter offer again. Don't get me wrong, the benefits at Microsoft are awesome: Completely FREE health care (no premiums, co-pays, or deductibles), annual stock award, bonus program, and (my favorite) 4 weeks paid paternity leave if Aimee has a baby. Still though, Seattle seemed very far away. But, when the third, even better offer came, we started planning our new life in Seattle.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The happiest day of my life

It's true. The day I married Aimee was the day I realized I was the luckiest man alive. Isn't she beautiful? I could look at that face forever.

It's crazy how time flies. We have now been married over 2 1/2 years and we have a baby! I can't think of anyone I would want to spend my life with more than her. She "completes me", and that's no joke. It's funny how alike we can be and still be so different. We are alike in all the ways that matter, and the ways that make life fun. Our differences balance each other out to make us better people (well, at least to make me better). It's exciting for me to think of what possibilities lie ahead of us. Whenever I look at these pictures from our wedding I am reminded of the excitement of starting a new life together, and I feel it again. Who know what's in store? I suppose only heaven. We've been talking recently how we know that Cole isn't going to be our last kid. I am filled with anticipation for what our family will become, and what adventures could be in store. Aimee, you are my world. I love you.

Monday, September 17, 2007

My Dad

Today is my Dad's birthday. Aimee and I went over to Dana's house to have German Chocolate cake in his memory (his favorite cake). Ever since he died, we have tried to get together as a family for his birthday for this tradition. We normally don't talk about Dad much, because it is still too tender of a topic for most of us on days like this. It's definitely a hard topic for me and writing about it is hard as well. I am trying to make this blog somewhat personal because I think I have a lot to learn about myself, but at the same time it is difficult to talk about such a sensitive subject. I am holding the tears back as I write this.

Where do I begin... My Dad's name is Dean Stewart Bergam. He was born Sep 17, 1949. I looked up to him more than anyone in the world, and he took good care of his family. It has now been almost 10 years since he died. I remember when it happened and that it didn't really sink in at first (I still don't know if it really has). I can remember standing in the hallway with my Aunt, who was calling family members to tell them what had happened. I didn't cry, just stood there. He had died due to complications during an open-heart surgery, something he had always been afraid of. I would give anything if I could go back to stop that surgery.

Since his death, I have noticed a few changes in myself. I still have managed to maintain an undying optimism about life, but along with that optimism comes an almost mechanical response to anything that goes wrong. Since the day my Dad died, I have been prepared for anyone I know to die. I may not be as prepared as I think I am, and it's not like I try to be ready for anything to happen, it's just that my sub-conscious has already done the work to build any coping mechanisms that could conceivably be necessary. I haven't noticed that this has adversely affected any of my close relationships. I don't have trouble getting close to people or "letting people in", but I sometimes if there are other effects that I am not aware of.

Thursday, September 6, 2007


For Labor Day weekend we went to Reno, NV to visit my Uncle Brad and Aunt Shelly. What a fun time! We went there last year for Labor Day too so it is becoming somewhat of an annual tradition. The main event of the trip is the Annual Rib Cook Off that happens downtown by the casinos. Man those ribs are good! I salivate the whole 9 hour drive for those things. We mostly love going down to see the family though. Brad and Shelly are so fun, and their house is so nice and comfortable it really makes the trip easier (shu-shu-fu-fu). I especially loved spending time with my cousins Jason, Lauren and Daniel (who flew in for the weekend). It's a shame Brooke couldn't be there. There is something really special about being around them, I think partly because Brad is like my Dad in many ways, and it is comforting to be around someone who reminds me so much of the father I miss every day. Anyway, I am very grateful to have them and I hope they want to continue this tradition as much as we do.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Darth Cole

This was taken by Dana when Cole was still very little. Aimee (who is hilarious) edited the picture. The title says it all.

Monday, August 27, 2007


I love my family. Wife and son; mom, dad, brothers and sisters; grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles; and yes, even al of the in-laws (I am lucky to have great in-laws). I love 'em all! Yesterday we spent some time at my sister Dana's house and then went over to Aunt Patsy's (Aimee's aunt). I loved it.

At Dana's we got to hang out with her, my sister Haley, their husbands JJ and Shawn, and their kids. The kids are all so cute and sweet. It is fun to have Haley and JJ back (thery were in Arkansas for the summer for an internship with Walmart) because it means that all the cousins get to be together. Cousins were always very important to my family with I was a kid. There is really nothing that can compare to hanging out with my family. With the hard things we have had to go through, there is a special bond between us siblings ("it cannot be broken... not by a thousand swords"). The parenthetical comment was a joke by the way.

After Dana's, we went over to Patsy and Brett's for Chloe's birthday. She had asked if we could come so we felt very special to be there. I love going over there. I wish we could do it more often! We always get to eat great food more importantly it is so fun to be around that family. There is something about the way they are that makes me want to be like them. I think Patsy and Brett have done an amazing job as parents. If you have the priviledge of knowing their kids then you know what I mean.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Mind Games I - Introduction

This is the first of a series of posts describing the different games I play in my mind. It may sound strange, but for every minute of every day, I am solving meaningless puzzles based on the letters, syllables, words and sentences that I say, hear and read. If you ever catch me whispering to myself or silently moving my lips in the middle of a conversation, this is what I am doing. I don't know why I do it. It's just something that started when I was a kid, and I am completely unaware of it most of the time. Somehow when I was young I developed this "mental pathway" that just kind of runs at all times in the back of my brain. There are about 10 different games that I play, and it gets really interesting when - without consciously deciding to do so - I mix them together forming new rules and patterns with the words running around in my head. To give you an idea, I will explain one of my games. Although I have never done so, I am going to start giving them names so that when you read about them, you will be able to distinguish which one I am talking about. I will start out with one of the simplest ones. It isn't challenging at all, and you can always win. The point is that there is no point and it merely provides something for my brain to work on while it is "idling". I will call it "Vowels 4 Sale". The rules work something like this:

** You can still be my friend if you don't want to read this. :) **

1. To play the game, you need a set of words. This is usually a sentence that you have read, said or heard. Sometimes I even do it with an entire paragraph.

2. Next, take the words in the set and count the vowels. The goal is to come out with a number of vowels that is divisible by 4 (hence the name of the game). This may seem pointless since you cannot change the number of vowels. Just be patient, this mother of a cliffhanger will be continued in the next instruction.

3. What makes the game work is that fact that most punctuation can be converted into a number of vowels by replacing it with the actual word for the punctuation mark. For example, if you had the sentence "Are you hungry?" you might at first think your score is always going to be 7... not so. Instead you can convert the question mark and get "Are you hungry question mark" making the total vowel count 12. You win! Doesn't that make you feel great? :)

4. This instruction is really what makes the game work. In order to really have options on how you can make the vowels add up, you have to take advantage of punctuation that has different words to describe it. For example, the '.' character can be read "dot", "period" and "point" or the '-' character can be replaced with "dash" or "hyphen". This means that you can come up with many different totals if you have a paragraph with just a few of these symbols.

5. To wrap it up, we need to go over a couple of rules that make it more interesting. When analyzing a sentence, it is better to only read through the sentence once, and then come up with a good result by making smart substitutions along the way. This is harder than just reading through a million times and getting it right. The other thing that I haven't mentioned is that multiples of 4 are good, but there is something better. Anything that is a power of 2 and is >= 4 is a REALLY good answer, so you should try for these. Examples: 4, 8, 16, 32, 64 etc.

OK, you can roll your eyes now.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Walgreens, Blockbuster and Greyhound. Oh my!

Work has been crazy lately. I love my job, but sometimes I really wish I could be my own boss and have more control over my time and income. Lately we have been closing some big deals. In the US: Walgreens, Cumberland Farms, Blockbuster, Greyhound; and in the UK: WHSith, Somerfield, Clinton Cards, PayPoint. Each one of these requires a lot of time and effort for me and a lot of other people at the company. All of these projects combined could add up to a total of over 15,000 new locations for us. We only have 6,000 right now. Since I am now the Lead Software Engineer in our group here in SLC, I feel more responsibility than ever to make sure our system doesn't crash or get overloaded and tank. I find myself going to sleep at night thinking about whether there is anything I have forgotten about that might cause a transaction to fail or whether a small bug might cause a very important customer to get upset. I know that being more organized would take away a lot of the stress, but that is another story. Even if I did have better organization, I know I would still wake my wife up in the middle of the night talking in my sleep about transactions and databases and program designs. Don't get me wrong, I really do love my job. I've had it since I was 16 and I love how much I have grown and learned because of it. It's just that sometimes I feel like I could be doing more with my career. I think I just want to be solving bigger problems than invoice formatting, or shaving off a few milliseconds from the round trip time of a transaction. Things like solving the world's energy problem, making higher education available for everyone, or finding a unified field theory for the world of physics are the big three that always come to mind.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Here goes nothin'

Well this is exciting for me. The idea of a blog seemed a little out of character to me at first but after watching my wife do it I realize now what a creative outlet it can be. I have always felt like I could be a good writer if I put some time into it (actual writing, not rollin' doobies). So the question now is, what should I write about? Well, I added a list to the main page that contains upcoming blog entries. I also left comments turned on so that anyone can suggest post ideas; I really want to post things that are interesting to other people so please do so! You can name any subject that you think I might be interested in and I will research about it and write. That would be fun for me.

I hope this Blog is everything you have been dreaming of.