A Contest to Beat All Contests

Jousting knights hi-res stock photography and images - Alamy

How to rev up interest in this blog? How to inject excitement? Gee, I wish I knew!

We’re less than 3,000 away from having had 100,000 comments. I really feel I ought to do something special to mark that milestone. At the same time, my viewership is only half of what it was two years ago. What to do, what to do…?

Jazz up the prizes, maybe? Books and T-shirts–maybe that’s boring. Not to be compared to a lamp with a genie in it. Or your own little country to boss around.

I suppose I could have another contest to see who can offer the best idea for the next contest. [He just manages to duck a rotten grapefruit.] (I’m guessing that means “No!”) A foreign policy contest?

As you can see, I just don’t know! Stuck, stymied, brought to an impasse–and therefor open to suggestions. Feel free to make as many as you please.

Here, Have Some Fun With This

1,600+ St Louis Arch Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free ...

I don’t know how many minutes I have before the computer slides off the Internet again. Verizon informs us we have “an issue” in our area. Ya think?

Anyway, here’s a little game Patty and I were playing yesterday, and we had fun with it. You can also play it solitaire. Simply provide an answer to this question:

How many cities can you name that have songs written about them? Let’s see how many we can come up with.

Here are three to get you started:

“Meet Me in St. Louis, Louie”

“The Streets of Laredo”

“Galveston” (Glen Campbell)

I’ve just been told we’re likely to have a thunderstorm. So I’d better wrap this up… NOW!

Fantasy Cliches I Have Tried to Avoid

It’s almost enough to send you back to Serious Mainstream Literature. Or reading the backs of cereal boxes.

I think we ought to have a chat: which fantasy cliche do you find the most odious, the most soul-deadening, imagination-killing, boring old pap? The crusty but benign wizard? The invincible female warrior? The thief with the heart of gold?

(He runs screaming to the sidewalk…)

Fantasy Cliches I Have Tried to Avoid

One of the purposes for which this blog was originally set up was to advertise my fantasy novels and hopefully to get people to buy them.

But we should have a chat. Which fantasy cliche really frosts your buns? Here’s your chance to vent! Which particular cliche moved you to drop-kick that book across the room? C’mon, tell me–I really want to know.

Should I Change This Blog?

10 tips for delivering bad news—Commentary

I’ve been pondering a suggestion by a reader that I go nooze-free here for a whole week, every other week. There’s too much bad nooze out there, and we who follow it are at risk of losing heart.

Other readers, including my editor, don’t want me to change. This blog is part of Chalcedon’s international Christian ministry; and considering the wide liberty they’ve allowed me, gratitude demands that I do my best to please them. But I want to please my readers, too.

I do try to lighten the burden by going mostly nooze-free on the weekends and offering three series–Joe Collidge, Byron’s TV Listings, and Oy, Rodney–that are there solely to perk us up. A good laugh is a gift of God. Plus we have posts about nature, history, Bible study, and any little oddities I think might be of interest.

I know the nooze is daunting; it certainly daunts me. But we don’t want to be like those Israelite spies who said it was a very bad idea to obey God and go forth to claim the Promised Land. Caleb said “Go for it!”, and he was blessed for that. We’re up against a bad patch in human history… but doesn’t God Himself say “Go for it”? Are we going to hide from the wicked, or stand up toe-to-toe against them and proclaim Christ’s kingdom?

As bad as it is, it’s nothing compared to what the early Christians faced. As Christ promised, the gates of Hell could not prevail against them.

The fight is long and hard and often discouraging.

But it’s our fight, and God is with us.

‘Delight Thyself in the Lord’ (For Erlene)

This is our way of showing our sister Erlene that she’s still in our prayers, not forgotten, and we pray that her recovery is making progress. We know how she loves Carroll Roberson’s hymns.

So here’s one now–Delight Thyself in the Lord. I couldn’t resist the bison in the background.

Memory Lane: ‘The Vikings’ Theme Song

We’ve been having fun here, pawing through our memories for old TV show theme songs that we haven’t heard in years and years. Hey, I cover nooze every day and lately it’s been getting to me. Let’s have a little fun!

So far the themes you guys have mentioned are themes that I like, too. But here’s another one that I’ve always liked, and I wonder how many of you remember it.

Tales of the Vikings lasted only one season, 1959-60, but that was enough to get the kids in my neighborhood playing “vikings.” This show was a blast! And when I went on, in my college career, to specialize in the history and politics of the Viking Age–well, maybe this TV show had a little something to do with that.

Keep them memories comin’, folks. It contributes to the general fund of sanity.

Memory Lane Game: Some Harmless Fun (With Peter Gunn)

In light of the supremely good news of Christ’s Resurrection, I deem it nugatory* to discuss any fallen-world nooze today. Instead, a bit of harmless fun.

I enjoy remembering (or trying to remember!) the theme music for TV shows that were popular when I was a boy… live coverage of the Trojan War, etc. The Peter Gunn theme I always heard it in bed: no way I was going to be allowed to stay up and see it in 1958. But Henry Mancini’s music was hard to forget. How did they ever get him for television?

Anyway, I would love to hear from all of you out there–what were some of your favorite TV theme songs? Maybe I could offer a prize to the reader whose memory clip gets the most enthusiastic response from the rest of us.

How about it, boys ‘n’ girls? Any antique themes you’d like to share?

Meanwhile, please keep up the hymn requests. That’s always the first order of business around here.

*I have always wanted to use that word, but never had occasion for it till now.

How About a Comment Contest?


Nannie Witkom, who died a few years before, lays out the future for some of the king’s chieftains

O frabjous day! Calloo, callay! Bell Mountain No. 14, Behold!, is being published as we speak. I’ll be getting my author’s copies in a few days.

Let’s celebrate! How about a nice comment contest? Whoever posts Comment No. 96,000 wins an autographed copy of this book.

You know the rules: no profanity, no total-loss Far Left inanities, and no abuse of other readers.

And a lot of customer reviews on amazon.com and elsewhere would really help me out!

Your Favorite ‘Bell Mountain’ Character (Take 2)

Review of Bell Mountain by Lee Duigon – Allison D. Reid

What–only four votes cast? Well, maybe yesterday was the wrong day for it. Risking reader displeasure, I’ll try again.

Your Favorite ‘Bell Mountain’ Character

Let’s have some fun with this–why not? It’s got to be almost as dreary to read the nooze as it is to write it.

I’m supposed to write a Newswithviews column today, and I haven’t got the ghost of an idea. Maybe some chance remark here will set me off.

‘Companionable Mice’ (2019)

Have any of you had mice for pets? Honk if you’re put off by the very idea.

But I’m here to tell you… mice are nice.

Companionable Mice

How something as tiny as a mouse can form an affectionate bond with something as big as a human being is worth pondering.