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.

If a Cat Answers, Hang Up

A few of these smart cats have turned up in other videos, but they’re still fun to watch. See the cat answer the phone. See the cat take the dog for a walk–on a leash. And try to answer this question: Which is smarter–the cat who figures out how to open the window and get out, or the cat who waits for him to do it and then just follows?

By Request, ‘Ave, Maria’

Okay, now the hymn requests are coming in, and I will get to all of them, I don’t care if I have to post half a dozen hymns a day. It’ll be great for anyone who happens to stumble upon this blog.

This is Ave Maria, sung by Rachael Lampa, requested by our esteemed colleague WeavingWord, who knows the Middle Ages even better than I do.

More to come!

Your Christmas Hymn Requests, Please

I’m kind of baffled by the paucity of reader requests, compared to the celebration we had here last year. C’mon now, folks! It’s only 16 days to Christmas! I’d rather post hymns than politics, but I can do both.

Meanwhile, I like this carol so much, I’m posting it again–this time by Maddy Prior and the Carnival Band, performing it the old-fashioned way. And if the Hillsboro, Oregon, school district doesn’t like it, so much the better!

Reach for the Barf Bag

Image result for barbara boxer

After ten years in the House of Representatives and 24 in the Senate, California’s Barbara Boxer is retiring.

Don’t let the door hit you in the tuchas on the way out.

I don’t know which is more appalling–Boxer calling politics a “noble profession,” or The Los Angeles Times’ sycophantic puff piece on how great she’s been ( ).

But if “noble” means enlarging the government at every opportunity, voting for Obamacare, voting for public funding for abortion, and voting to confirm the appointments of every left-wing tin-pot Democrats could find to head up bureaucracies, sit on federal courts, and make a mess of our republic–well, gee, Washington D.C. is chock-full of noble people.

We have gone from elected officials as public servants to lifelong politicians as our masters, thanks in large part to careerists like Boxer. Their arrogance takes one’s breath away: remember then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (thank you so much, California!) saying, of Obamacare, “You have to pass it to find out what’s in it”?

These–ahem!–leaders are God’s chastisement of our nation for our sins. May He now call us back to our senses: and this time, may we listen!

There are a lot of Boxer types to get rid of, before our country can be right again.

Sanity Break: Funny Dogs

If only dogs could talk, they might get somewhere with these arguments. It might be interesting to hear this one dog’s reasons for why he ought to be given some sushi. But all the dogs in this video have something to say–and we humans just don’t get it… whatever it is.

They Keep Trying to Ruin Christmas

I have a bee in my bonnet this morning: supposed “scholars”–they think we won’t be able to see they’re atheists–trying to convince us that certain Christmas carols are nothing but old pagan stuff with Christian trappings, and that Christmas itself is nothing but a pagan winter festival under another name.

It is an old, old heresy to say that the physical world of matter, nature, the human body, etc., is altogether wicked and that only the spiritual is good; and therefor only pagans can appreciate nature, blah-blah. So if I respond to the sight of cardinals perched on an evergreen bough in the snow, if I have an emotional response to the colors: bright red, soft brown, white and green–well, heck, that must mean I’m not a Christian… because, you see, all those colors had secret meanings to the Druids–

How do you type a Bronx cheer?

The Bible tells us God created all these things and took pleasure in them, and pronounced them very good (Genesis 1:31). Furthermore, “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made” (Romans 1:20)–but pagans in their error worship the things that have been created, rather than the Creator (v. 25).

Christmas is a very sense-engaging holiday. Think bright colors, think good food, think music. It is not required of Christians that we not enjoy such things! If someone honors God by not partaking in this holiday, while we honor God by enjoying it–well, fine: either way, God is honored.

I mean to revel in Christmas with a clear conscience. It’s a way for me to proclaim that Christ did indeed come in the flesh, as an indisputable historical event that no amount of pseudo-intellectual pettifogging can erase.

And they can take their blatherings about “the stag god” with them, a long way off a short pier.

‘The Holly and the Ivy’

I have to go out and try to finish my Christmas shopping, but first a hymn: The Holly and the Ivy, sung by Mediaeval Baebes. I hope this old, old carol will get you in the mood to ask for more.

And please don’t anybody fall into the trap of thinking that any of the beauties of the natural world–holly, ivy, deer, a crisp clear winter morning–are anything but witnesses to the glory, the goodness, the wisdom, and the love of the God who created them. The only God–who sent His only begotten Son into this world in the flesh, Jesus Christ the Son of God… to save it.

A Fabulous Jumping Cat

Eat your heart out, Jackie Chan! You only wish you could do stunts like this!

I wonder if the cat in this video will develop the ability to fly.

God’s Stuff: Salamanders

Hi, Mr. Nature here–with some fond memories of salamanders.

Take a look at that Red Salamander (P. ruber ruber)–isn’t he gorgeous? When my friends and I used to go out catching salamanders, this was the grand prize. They were never very common–but just look at that color.

The video shows the Red Salamander entering water, but none of the ones I ever caught were in the water, although they were never very far away from it.

It’s been a very long time since I’ve seen one of these. As a rule, salamanders are pretty good at adapting to humans in their environment; but we’ve reached a point beyond which salamanders cannot go. Even the little redbacks, who used to be ubiquitous (gee, I don’t get to use that word too often!) around here are getting hard to find.

Red-backed Salamander (Plethodon cinereus)

It would be a poorer world without them: and it doesn’t strike me as wise to squander even the smallest of God’s blessings.

The Ultimate Safe Space

Walking to the Y this morning, a new sign enticed me up the steps and into the ancient graveyard on the hill. All I could read from street level was “Breathe Easy,” and I wondered what more it had to say.

Well, the old graveyard is now a “No Smoking” zone. No smoking in the cemetery. I wonder who complained.

And then I thought, hey, this is just what we need–a place where no one ever says anything controversial (or anything at all, for that matter), no one has an opinion that might contradict yours, no one will demand you pay for anything: the safe space America’s been looking for. It’s even better than collidge. Here in the graveyard, no one is smarter, better-looking, or more athletic than you.

Unless somebody else comes up the steps; and then you might as well leave.

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