Author Archives: leeduigon

About leeduigon

I have lived in Metuchen, NJ, all my life. I have been married to my wife Patricia since 1977. I am a former newspaper editor and reporter. I was also the owner-operator of my own small business for several years. I wrote various novels and short stories published during 1980s and 1990s. I am a long-time student of judo and Japanese swordsmanship (kenjutsu). I also play chess, basketball, and military and sports simulations.

Lady Margo’s Hand (‘Oy, Rodney’)

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Introducing Chapter CCCXXIX of her epic romance, Oy, Rodney, Violet Crepuscular writes, “Dear reader, I wish to introduce Chapter CCCXXIX by reminding you that years ago, in her youth, Lady Margo Cargo had her hand chewed off by a goat. Which hand, I don’t rightly remember. But do keep it in mind, for it’s bound to be important later.”

Frantic to raise money to put a new roof on Coldsore Hall and stave off his legion of creditors, thus saving his centuries-old family heritage, Lord Jeremy Coldsore grows increasingly desperate to conclude his marriage with Lady Margo, the richest widow in Scurveyshire. His latest scheme is to have the marriage performed in secret. “We can elope,” he explains to her, “and get married in an abandoned warehouse in the quaint rural village of Mucklethorp. No one will interrupt us there.”

“Isn’t that the warehouse where they found all those skeletons, years ago?” she asks.

“I am sure they have removed the skeletons by now, my sweet!”

“I don’t know about this,” Lady Margo muses. “I have heard the place is haunted. Who would perform the ceremony?”

“Geoffrey the Unemployed Shepherd has been ordained a minister of a mail-order church somewhere in India. Treat him to a bottle of Col. Gamba’s Special Blend, and he’ll marry anyone.”

Lady Margo is shocked. “Why, it was one of Geoffrey’s goats that chewed my hand off!” she cries. “I find it very hard to trust him!”

The chapter breaks here with a telephone call: the local cable TV station has offered Ms. Crepuscular a position as host of a new cooking show. She is too excited to continue writing.

“Just in time for me to share with the world my Toothpaste Yule Log recipe!” she exults. “With leftover crab meat, no less! I must hasten to the studio and see to setting up a kitchen!”

There is no truth to the rumor that the show will be called The Suicidal Gourmet.

 


Bonus Hymn: ‘Hold Fast Till I Come’

I’d never heard this beautiful hymn before, until just now, and I decided I liked it way too much to hold it off till tomorrow. I’m not going to run out of hymns to post, am I?

Hold Fast Till I Come, sung by the students at Fountainview Academy, against a backdrop of God’s handiwork–we can’t ask for more.

 


Barf Alert: ‘The Music Academy’

(Thanks to Susan for the tip)

This is the most obnoxious commercial I’ve seen in years. Something about financial planning seems to inspire ad men to their very worst efforts.

Here we have the teenage daughter playing the cello but ohnotoobad, she can’t go to the music academy because it’s too expensive and they ain’t got a pot or a window–that’s why Mommmm drives that crummy old car that stalls all the time. But unbeknownst to Little Miss Cello, Mommm has gone to Principal.com for her financial planning, and they’ve got it covered. We get to go to the dreadfully expensive music academy after all.

“I still have this car so you can afford to go,” Mommm explains. Heartstring time. They dive into each other’s arms.

Uh… where’s Daddy?

Shut up! Get out of here, Mr. Man, we don’t want you around! We don’t need you! Principal.com has got us covered. (Is Principal.com all women?)

Ah, well–is there any sacrifice too great to make for Higher Education?

Thousands of ’em, I’d say.


Impeach… Me?

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The Kook’ll get you if you don’t watch out!

Uh-oh. It’s looking bad for me.

Everybody who reads this blog knows I voted for President Trump and support his re-election. It’s on record–nothing I can do about it. No one will believe me if I say, “Wait, hold on, I see the light! Hey! Evo Morales has been kicked out of his job as socialist dictator of Bolivia–he can be our president!” Too late for that.

But the decisive horrible promble is… today I got a couple of views from Ukraine. That is to say, I have been in contact, never mind how fleetingly, with certain persons in Ukraine. And you’re not allowed to do that unless you’re a Biden abidin’ with the gas company.

The word has already come down from the House of Ninnies: I must be impeached. The fact that I’m not president of anything is immaterial. They can always make me president of something and then kick me out. Oh, the shame of it.

 


‘New York Values?’ (2016)

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I don’t much like that word, “values.” It leads into stupid discussions like the one Ted Cruz started in 2016.

https://leeduigon.com/2016/01/15/new-york-values/

I mean, come on–what are “values”? The word takes us another step away from good vs. evil, right vs. wrong. After all, everybody has his own “values.” You don’t have to wait long before the term becomes meaningless.

You won’t find “New York values” in the Bible–or anybody else’s “values,” either. We are to seek what God values.

“Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart: who hath not lifted his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully” (Ps. 24:3-4).

God doesn’t care what your “values” are.


‘There’s No Hiding Place Down Here’

Here’s a spiritual for you, by the Original Carter Family–There’s No Hiding Place Down Here. This is plain, this is simple; this is raw. But that’s how God’s Word is, sometimes.


Cats and Snow (a Festival)

Look, if we get some decent snow around here this year, I promise to go out and make a snow angel–and at least a snow baby, if not a snow man. It’s the least I can do to show solidarity with these cats.

Although, come to think of it, when I offered our cat Henry an opportunity to go outside and frolic in the snow, he took just two steps and then, with a loud meow of protest, looked up at me  with a dirty look that made me feel about two inches tall… Can’t please everybody, can we?


The Lord is One

From Marcia Settles’ blog, “A Mom Looking Up”

Language is a gift of God. Use it wisely.

A Mom Looking Up

While praying on Monday night I was reflecting on this verse and mulling over how 3 distinct persons can be One God. When trying to explain it to my son, I always used the egg analogy, but that is an imperfect analogy.

To make a long story short, this is how the Lord explained it to me:

We know Jesus is the Word who became flesh and that in Him and through Him were all things created. ( John 1:14; Colossians 1:16-17)

In the beginning, God spoke.

Father spoke, Jesus is that Word, and Holy Spirit is the breath which carried the Word.

Man often speaks out of turn and inappropriately. We say things we don’t mean, things we shouldn’t, things which are not true and things we later retract.

God is not like that. When He speaks, it is deliberate and always True.

The entirety of Your word is…

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Mr. Nature: Mosasaurus

The Komodo dragon of Indonesia is, as Bob and Ray observed, the world’s largest living lizard. Full-grown at ten feet long and 300 pounds, occasionally it eats… people.

Some thousands of years ago, certain monitor lizards in Australia grew to be twice the size of a Komodo dragon. But they were pipsqueaks compared to the Mosasaurus of the Cretaceous Period (or whenever–we don’t want to take such things too seriously).

As you can see in this clip from Jurassic World, the Mosasaur was very, very big–up to thirty or even forty feet long, depending on the species. Mosasaurs are all the rage in dinosaur movies today, and of course their size is exaggerated therein. Closely related to today’s monitor lizards, the Mosasaur was likely the supreme predator of its time. Instead of legs it had flippers, so it had to stay in the water. And no, it was not as big as a New Jersey township.

What hath God wrought? We can only marvel at the scanty remains of these gigantic creatures that are no longer with us. Where they are now, only the God who made them knows. But maybe someday He will tell us.


The Last of the Speidermans

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As the 20th century opened, the Speiderman family was producing successful doctors, lawyers, academics, and admirals.

Today there’s only Jonathan Livingston Speiderman left: the last of the Speidermans.

“Everyone else in the family has dumped the name,” he laments. “So all my relatives have names like Smith and Jones and Dripply. They’ve even gone into Wikipedia and changed the names of all the Speidermans in there. Just try to find Senator William Speiderman, General John Speiderman, or Barbara Speiderman, the movie star. I’m the only one left who remembers our family history.”

Why has this been done?

“You’ve really got to ask?” Speiderman cried. “How would you like it if people guffawed every time they heard your name, because there’s a cartoon character whose name sounds just like it? Do you know how many times a day I hear people yelling, ‘Hey, Spiderman! Why dontcha climb up a wall?'” He shuddered. “I once knew a man whose real name was Elmer Fudd. He died in a straitjacket.”

Why doesn’t Jonathan change his surname, then?

“Because if I do, that’s the end–no more Speidermans at all!” he said. “I want to raise up a new generation of our family; but so far I haven’t met a woman who wants to be Mrs. Speiderman.”


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