Tuesday, December 8, 2009

YouTubesday - MegaMan 2 with Words

It's YouTubesday!

Today's entry is another videogame special--my favoritest Nintendo game ever--MegaMan 2!! (Next gen consoles don't got nuthin' compared to 8-bit ingenuity.)

Thanks to brentalfloss for this gem of a video. We are eternally grateful for lyrics like "the MegaPoo has hit the fan" and "Blue and cyan, likes Chopin and Rodin, MegaMan."

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

YouTubesday - Super Mario Bros Race

It's YouTubesday! Featured this week is two guys racing to win the Original Nintendo Super Mario Brothers. Don't think I ever completed this game that fast - even with all the secret warps.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hint Fiction Contest - Everybody Try!

Hey Everybody, there's a nifty new contest for a genre of storytelling called "Hint Fiction:"

Whatduheck's Hint Fiction?

I'm so glad you asked:

Hint Fiction (n) : a story of 25 words or less that suggests a larger, more complex story

That definition is from the following link: http://www.robertswartwood.com/?page_id=8

This website also provides the contest rules (deadline is August 31). Winners get published in a Norton Anthology. No fooling. On-line submission, too, so it's free to submit.

Go for it, gentle readers AND writers!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

Today is the 2-year anniversary of wedded bliss for my wife and me. In honor of this special occasion, I've provided a link to our Love Story. Read and enjoy (and try not to gag on the sweetness)!

We were E-Harmony's 2007 Couple of the Year for Kansas. Got a trophy and everything. Not bad, considering we got married in Missouri.

Love you, Sweetie!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thrifty Thursday - Free Stuff

Howdy, consumer comrades! It’s time for THRIFTY THURSDAY. Cha-ching!

In honor of the total meltdown of America’s economy, I’m sharing some sound financial advice. What follows is my list of objects one should NEVER have to purchase again in his or her lifetime.

Take the money you save by NOT buying these items and save for your children’s college education. It's never too soon (or too late).

1. Pen/Pencil.
It’s the least you should get for taking out a $100,000 loan from the bank.

2. Travel size shampoo/conditioner/bar soap/lotion/shower cap/shoe polish.
Thanks, Holiday Inn Express! I’m the reason you have to up your prices to counteract missing toiletries. Still love those cinnamon rolls, though.

3. T-shirt.
Sure, I’ll wear this free shirt in exchange for advertising your 17th Annual Bike-Riding Brownie-Eating Festival. Do you have it in any color besides chartreuse?

4. Magazine/Newspaper.
Why buy a paper publication when you can read nearly all the content on-line and usually much sooner?

5. Satellite/Cable TV.
See #4 above. Sure, there’s always http://www.youtube.com/, but my =legal= favorites are http://www.colbernation.com/, www.animenewsnetwork.com/video/anime, and http://www.hulu.com/. Go ahead, Alec Baldwin. Suck my brain.

6. Calculator.
How much did this contraption cost thirty years ago? And it didn’t even have a square-root button. Accountants and bankers love to give out these devices, just to show you they don't need them.

7. Flash Drive.
The free calculator of the 21st century. Just don’t expect it to work after six months. Back up your back-ups.

8. Ruler.
I can’t quite see the connection between the metric system and your filtered drinking water service, but I’ll take it anyway—the ruler, not your business. Call me when I actually own an office.

9. Notepad.
I forgot to swipe it out of the Holiday Inn. Good thing I’m staying at this Super 8. I’ll carry this pad around and pretend to be a gumshoe private eye. Who needs blackberry?

10. Advice.
Here it is (free of charge)--Don’t buy any of this stuff. Return to your hunter/gatherer roots and scavenge these articles whenever you have an opportune moment. You never know when you’ll need another shower cap.

So what other items have you found free of charge? Let us know in your comments below—no hidden fees!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Five Reasons--Wichita Wingnuts

Five Reasons why the Wichita Wingnuts of the National Baseball Congress has the GREATEST team name ever:

1. Alliteration—Wichita Wingnuts. It rolls off the tongue. All great teams need alliteration: The Philadelphia Phillies, The Los Angeles Lakers, The—um—Manitoba Moose.

2. Multiple Mascots—Every excellent team these days has more than one mascot. First, we have the actual Wichita Wingnut, found on ball-caps, T-shirts and various logo-ized merchandise.

Isn’t it soooo cute? It’s a baseball wearing a wingnut like a little beanie cap. Awwwww. And it looks so angry, too—maybe the wingnut is screwed on a little too tight.

If beanie-wearing fuming baseballs aren’t your thing, then you might enjoy the second Wichita Wingnut mascot—the child-friendly Spinner. How’s that for adorable? (Just ignore those chicks draped on each arm—those are the Diamond Doll dance girls. Ugh.)

3. More mascots!—If those two don’t float your boat, check out all these other sorts of characters you’ll see at the ballpark. Crazy!

4. Hometown Connection—As Wichita is the “Air Capital of the World” (since the Kansas landscape’s pretty darn boring), the Wingnuts take their namesake from the aviation industry in the surrounding area—at least as long as those companies stay afloat.

For those of you not in the know, a “wing nut” or “wingnut” is a steel nut having two flat, widely projecting pieces such as it can be readily tightened with the thumb and forefinger. Now, I don’t know if wingnuts are used all that extensively in the manufacturing of airplanes anymore—not since the days of Orville and Wilbur, maybe—but I do know you need a lot of steel to hold those birds together. And since jets have wings, the name is all that more appropriate. Wichita Wingnuts. Sounds a lot better than Wichita Butterfly Nuts or Wichita Thumbnuts.

5. Clever Play on Words—Go Nuts! Between every inning, the MC tells us to yell that one the count of three. Ready? Try it . . . one, two, three . . .


Wasn’t that fun? And, of course, the whole enjoyment of said rally cry is the duplicity of its meaning—1) Yes, we are supporting and rooting for you, Wingnut baseball players; and 2) WeEHAAA!! Let’s go crazy! WhooowoOOH!

Naturally, the fans walk around in T-shirts claiming membership in the “Nut House.” I didn’t see any particular zone in the stadium where these “Nut Housers” congregated, but I like the idea. Let’s put all the most obnoxious fans in one section—kind of like a mosh pit. Works at the college level—and most of those fans are underage.

Unfortunately, there already is a Nut House in Wichita. It’s the Nifty Nut House, a wonderful store that sells candy and nuts. Best in town. Check it out: http://www.niftynuthouse.com/. Maybe the Wingnuts and the Nifty Nut House can do some sort of joint marketing. I can already see free peanuts and sunflower seeds for all the players. Maybe the fans, too? I’ll take some dark chocolate covered Brazil nuts. They’re good for the prostate.

One drawback (?) of such nut nonsense is some people are bound to snicker at the name and revert to their middle-school mindset. (Nuts. Kee-hee.) Grow up. But maybe that’s what the PR people like. Beats me.

I DO know that if they ever need another promo, the Wingnuts should milk the first part of their name. Give out free Buffalo wings for each home run. Have some sort of wing-flapping cheer to go along with “Go Nuts!”

Go wild on this. Call me, people. I’ve got tons of ideas.

So there you have it. Wichita Wingnuts. Fun minor league distraction. Brilliant team mascot and marketing. Don’t even have to like baseball.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Star Trek Ears

In honor of the revived Star Trek movie franchise, I've posted a brief essay below. I wrote this over ten years ago, and recently revised it for everyone's viewing. Enjoy!


Here’s one for all you fans of psychology, psychiatry, cinematography, and/or otology (look up that last one):

When I was about six years old or so, my dad took my older brother Greg and me to a movie in the one theater in town. We saw the sci-fi flick (or as they sometime call them, “space opera”) Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. For younger readers, this was the original Kirk/Spock (Shatner/Nimoy) era of Star Trek, way before Trekkies and non-Trekkies alike would ever believe a bald man could captain the USS Enterprise.

Anyway, the aforementioned Khan ("Khaaaaaaaan!") was a bad-dude super-human from 300 years in the future’s past, as revealed in his first Star Trek appearance 20 years prior in one of the original television episodes. It all had to do with Khan being a criminal awoken from a cryogenically-frozen sleep, and some other techno-jumbo about which I had no clue. All I knew was Khan was the bad guy. And this was no Fantasy Island.

= ?

Back to the movie. In one scene, Khan and his bad-guy flunkies capture a couple of Starfleet crewmembers. (You know how it goes: the never-ending supply of nameless victims in Star Trek stories, although I believe one of these two was Mr. Chekov—poor Russian squirt.) So now, Khan’s got his human prisoners and wants to do something with them.

"Hmmm . . .” he broods, “It is time for me to do something evil.”

Naturally, Khan goes and gets a hold of some slimy finger-sized scorpion/eel type-creatures. These parasitic beasties take over their hosts’ minds. That’s not bad. But here’s what’s bad. They get to the victims’ brains by burrowing through their EARS! Eeuuwww!!

Granted, I’m sure we all have seen plenty of nasty stuff. However, for this six-year-old sitting in that cushy theater seat, the scenario scarred me for life. I’m talking major psychological damage here. Both Greg and I (and Dad, too, come to think of it) were pretty much grossed out for the rest of the movie.

That night when I went to bed, I feared deeply for my ears. I had to do something to protect their well-being. I’ve never been one to pull the covers over my head. I always feel like I’m going to suffocate under the heavy blankets. So I came up with a much more efficient, yet effective technique. I wrapped the spread up just barely over my ears, leaving my nose to have free access to open air.

Today, of course, I notice some flaws in this strategy. My nose, mouth, and eyes were utterly defenseless. The bad guys could do whatever they wanted with them. But not the ears. They were key.

In the thousands of nights to come in my childhood, I continued to get in the ear flap position before I would feel completely safe to slumber off into dreamland. I’m 22 years old and I still do this at night. I truly can’t get comfortable unless I’ve got the ears covered and safe from any nighttime invaders. And this all started from watching that creepy movie. Thanks, Gene Roddenberry. (I'd spit on your ashes, if they weren't orbiting Earth in outer space.)

Anyway, that’s just my own analysis of my condition. In all these years since, I’ve never again viewed that scene in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. I wonder if the burrowing brain suckers really are that disgusting.

Better be safe and not find out. I’d rather not bring back any post-revulsion shock still buried deep within my consciousness.

If anybody’s out there with a license to handle such idiosyncrasies, give me a call. You could get a couple of counseling sessions out of me. I welcome your diagnosis. Dig into my brain.

Just don’t mess with the ears.


Post Script: Ten years after first writing this essay, I can proudly say I no longer require blankets over my ears in order to sleep peacefully. Instead, I insert a mouth guard to avoid grinding my teeth. I'll leave that story for another day . . .

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Cannonballs - The Origin Story

Do you remember the first time you stayed up past midnight?

I do.

It was a momentous occasion. Our family was at my Grandpa Bergman’s house over the Christmas holiday. Together with all the cousins, we ate food, opened presents, laughed, ate food, played games, visited, and ate food. This ritual occurred every holiday season. The night would pass by and suddenly it was late. Late for a kid, at least. Turn back into a pumpkin late.

On one such night, I remember all of us sitting around at the end of the festivities. It was around midnight, and we were about to disperse for slumber. The problem was we were all too tired to actually get up and go to our various houses or beds. I was lying on Grandpa’s lavender couch. It was one of those big geometrical couches, not like the cushy sofas of today. It had these wide armrests that were the perfect size for a kid to perch or lie on.

It was late and we were too languid (oooh, big word) to even visit much. As my parents and older siblings tell me, we were lounging in this weary silence when suddenly I disclosed my divine revelation.

At least that’s what I call it. (Cut me some slack. I was eight years old.)
What did I say?
I’m glad you asked. Your life will never be the same after you hear it. I know mine never was (my family won’t let me forget it). Are you prepared to broaden your horizons? Are you sure?
Okay, here goes:
“Cannonballs are heavy.”
I’m not certain where this outstanding observation originated. I recall just staring at the ceiling and letting it escape my lips. I don’t know if I had ever even seen a real cannonball before. (I have since on trips to historical forts. And those metal spheres do look pretty hefty.) I probably figured out the relative weight of cannonballs from watching too many Bugs Bunny cartoons. Thanks a bunch, Warner Bros.

Needless to say, my declaration made an impression on my relatives. Impressed in the same way they burst out laughing during another Christmas. My brother, sister, and I were jointly opening a present. As we did, I thought the gift was a board game we already owned. So I said, “Push Over again!” in an all-knowing fashion. Well, it was not Push Over. It was Sorry!, and boy, was I sorry. Everyone thought my mistake was hilarious—everyone except me.
Live and learn, I suppose.
I encourage you to learn from these writings and resources. Alas, not all of my contributions will be as meaningful as the massiveness of artillery projectiles. Nevertheless, the purpose of my words here are to teach, inspire, and expose you to the revelations encountered in my life. (Along with the joy of all things internet. Gotta keep up my geek-cred.)
But why should you learn from me? Why should you spend your valuable time reading my thoughts?
Got me.
As Socrates once said to Plato . . . .

Well, it was in Greek and I wouldn’t understand it, anyway. If my writings are for no one else, then they will be for my ancestors. When I’m old and senile, my children, grandchildren, nephews, nieces, etc., can read through these paragraphs and say, “Hmm, that explains a lot.”

Maybe someday when I’m rich and famous, I’ll compile these entries as my official “memoirs.” It could be after my ten hardcover bestsellers; or after my Box Office record-breaking, Oscar-winning, provocative action-romance movie saga masterpiece for kids of all ages; or maybe after my two-term presidency. I’ll retire and publish a book for the millions clamoring to experience all that is “Daniel ‘Danny’ Jay Bergman.”
Then I can relax and ride this gravy train until the day I hop aboard that sweet chariot to the Other Side. All thanks to some heavy cannonballs.

Note: All characters, produce, and philosophers are copyrighted by their respective creators.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Self-Photography - Introduction and Works #1-3

About ten years ago, I created a new form of art. It’s a combination of photography and self-portraits. It’s self-photography. This artwork is rather self-explanatory. I take pictures of myself.

“Well, that’s rather easy and egotistical,” you might say.

I shall address both issues, starting with the latter. Yes, perhaps there’s an underlying sickness in my obsession of myself. I was single until age 31. Gimme a break.

Now about the former issue. The actual method of self-photography is harder than it looks. The most challenging part is aiming the camera back at me. You see, I don’t use a timer and set the camera on a stool. I actually hold out the camera with one arm and point it back at me. While I strain to keep the camera steady and focused on me, I push the button using that same hand. Usually, I hold the camera with my left hand, because it’s easier to reach the button that way. For most of my pieces, I used an automatic camera with an automatic flash.

Another challenge in self-photography is holding the camera far enough so it takes the picture. If it’s too close, it won’t allow you to take the picture. It has to be about three feet from the object (my head, in this case). That is the most aggravating part. So, depending on how limber I am at the time, I strain and stretch to get the camera just far enough so it will click. This stretching also leads to accidentally shooting with my head out of the camera’s focus. So, I often have “partial” self-photography pictures. These are the more artsy pieces—more avant-garde. (“Hmm,” a critic might think, “He seems to announce his partiality in human spirit with this one. How courageous!”)

My foray into a pioneering art genre began when I was in college—probably one night when I was bored in my dorm room or taking a break from studying. Besides boredom or self-indulgence, there actually was some purpose to my innovative artwork. There were actually two major reasons, to begin with.

First, I did it when I wanted to use up some film. Back in college, I had the old fashioned film canister camera—that was before everyone and their toddler had digital cameras. Often I took a bunch of pictures from an event or trip, and wound up with two exposures left from the roll of film. Rather than waiting for the next big event for pictures (usually two months later), I’d just finish up the film lickety split.

The second purpose of my self-photography origination was much more narcissistic. I did it so I could do a “hair check.” I took pictures all around my head. I wanted to see how my hair looks from all angles. The view from the mirror reflection was too simple. I needed to see more. What does everyone else see? Often, I’d take pictures of my hair before and/or after a haircut. That way, I could see how it looks longish, and how it looks shortish. (Of course, this was before I realized I could just buy a cheap hand mirror and use it in conjunction with a bathroom mirror to view my noggin from the side and back. But I had more important things to worry about as a bachelor, such as the legalities of eating pancakes with Spaghetti-O’s® for brunch.)

So you see, there was (and is) a reason to my madness. Although if I did admit I was crazy, it would make my self-photography art even more cutting edge and revolutionary! (The next Dali—except no funky mustache.)

Sadly, my dabbling in self-photography has taken a sharp decline since I got married. My wife can tell me when it’s time to get a haircut. And we now take pictures together.

Without further ado, please enjoy the pieces selected from my self-photography collection. Each feature will include the approximate date and explanatory commentary.

Check back to see additions to my on-going on-line gallery. I will post one or more at a time whenever I want to see myself from years past with more (or less) hair.

Self-Photograph #1 – January, 1998
This is perhaps my earliest piece of self-photography art. I took this picture to use up the film (and you can tell - that white stripe on the left is part of the picture - the actual edge of the film!).

The time of this photo was right after getting home from my Orange Bowl trip with the University of Nebraska Cornhusker Marching Band ("The Pride of All Nebraska"). The NU football team won the National Championship that year (the “Bowl Alliance” one). They beat Peyton Manning and the Tennessee Volunteers. (Go Big Red!)

I have dubbed this self-photo my “Eyeglass Model Photograph.” Betcha can't tell why.

Self-Photograph #2 – Spring, 1998
Me in my dorm room with Ace. I actually met the REAL Ace Ventura at Walt Disney World-Hollywood Studios in Florida. After posing for a picture with me, he said, "Spank you very much." My reply? "No, Ace. Spank YOU." Comedy gold.

Self-Photograph #3 – Early Summer, 1998
I tried to make a cute little self-photo with me and a kitten after a summer evening of playing basketball. (I rule the hoop at Rural Route 1 Box 24-A.) Unfortunately, this self-photo didn’t quite work out the way I intended. So, I’ll go more introspective on this one:

This self-photograph elucidates a mysterious fractionalization of the human experience in comparison with the innocence of a tiny kitten.
Does that work? (I didn’t think so.)

More Self-Photography Coming Soon!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Jesus Christ did something important when he was 33 years old.

Today, April 7, 2009, is my 33rd birthday. I figure I'd better get started on doing some important stuff.

So smack on some Chapstick® and double-tie your shoelaces. This is it, friends—the OFFICIAL blog (i.e. “web log”) of Daniel Jay Bergman: Cannonballs are Heavy!

Check out Cannonballs are Heavy whenever you need to catch up on some profound thoughts, random trivia, pop miscellany, and—of course—the latest goings on in my world and inner universe. You may not get it all, but that’s 14% of the fun.

Stay tuned, gentle readers!