Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Five years ago, my dear friend Ed Leonard was found dead of a heart attack after walking and shoveling in a blizzard. He'd had some other health problems I won't go into here.

There weren't many like Ed. He was a fellow member of the Lamb of God Community, and at our "Community Gatherings," he played drums. Or, more accurately, he attacked the drums. He threw everything he had into playing them. He needed to wipe himself off between songs because of the sweat pouring off him. During one Gathering, the sound to the rest of the worship band cut out, so all anyone heard was him and pianist Jo Ellen. We decided Ed needed to cut an album titled, "Ed Leonard's Percussion Praise."

Ed had five other guys living with him in his house. If you went into his kitchen pantry, you would see stacks of foodstuffs, such as 48 boxes of Corn Flakes. Well, if he saw a coupon deal worth snagging, and there was a limit per person, he'd grab the other five guys and have each of them get their limit of boxes. With the Corn Flakes, they were eight to a customer, hence 48 boxes.

Here was Ed's food shopping hierarchy, as denoted by cable channels (which he didn't have):

  • HBO - Household Buying Obligation (Milk, bread, butter, the things you can't be without).
  • CINEMAX - Clear Incentive: Necessary Elements and More Are eXtracted (such as the a/m Corn Flakes). He also wanted to call this FANFARE (Free And Nearly Free: All Remaining Extracted), but it didn't fit the motif.
  • ESPN - Empty the Shelf Price Now! He had no qualms about emptying the shelf where applicable.
Most of his wardrobe came from thrift and second-hand stores. He had a closet full of short-sleeve Oxford shirts obtained that way, and he kept them hung according to color. I think he had about 10 blue Oxfords!

In the words of the (ironically enough) Swirling Eddies:
If you think of Ed today
You better keep him in your prayers
'Cause the Eds of this world
They are something rare!
And so I will:

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Come In, We're Open . . . Now, Get Out.

Cygnus' First Rule Of Retail:

If a store acts like it doesn't want your business, the worst thing you can do is give it to them.

You would think in an economy like this, the last thing a retail store would want to do is go out of its way to tell customers they aren't welcome and it doesn't want their business. But that's exactly what I encountered today.

Back east, one of my favorite places to look for used CD's was the Princeton Record Exchange. Thanks to LC, I found a rare CD by the Christian jazz supergroup Koininia called "More Than A Feelin'" while there. Check it out if you get a chance.

So today I ventured over to Recycled Records on Kietzke Lane. I found a few CD's I wouldn't mind having, although they mark them up quite a bit (all such stores do that). The guy behind the counter with the ZZ Top beard was saying "eff" every three words or so.

And then I saw the stickers. This was one of the nicer ones, and it went downhill from there.

By displaying such anti-Republican, anti-conservative messages so prominently, the message was loud and clear: "Mr. Cygnus, we don't want your kind or your money in Recycled Records. Get. Out." My response: "With pleasure."

Well, Recycled Records has the absolute right to display whatever messages or sell whatever stickers it wants, and tell half or more of their customer base it doesn't want their kind. And I have the absolute right never to trouble it with my business again.

I'm currently boycotting Pepsi and Frito-Lay for the same reason. And I haven't bought a pair of Levi's in eons.

Monday, March 09, 2009

What First Amendment?

HT: BigSis, Adoro, Anita

What part of

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof
is Connecticut -- one of the 13 original colonies -- having trouble with?

Connecticut Legislature Moves To Regulate Catholic Church In Suspected "Payback" For Marriage Stance

For now, the measure has been tabled, but that doesn't mean it's gone.

As Anita points out, this legislation is the brainchild of one Tom Gallagher, who proposed this in a "Voice of the Faithful" newsletter. The "Voice of the Faithful" couldn't be more misnamed; it's a group of opportunistic dissident Catholics who use the clergy sex scandals as their platform to wrest the Church from that pesky Magisterium. Read this bunch of claptrap justifying their position as "adult members of the People of God."

Mr. Gallagher and company: If you want a democracy, leave the Catholic Church! But if you want to violate the First Amendment, you can't be much for democracy either.

Here vs. Back East, Part 3

We got an unexpected snowstorm today, and one which dumped 2 to 6 inches on us in the valley, depending where in the valley you were; here, we have what is known as "micro-weather." Driving was precarious, and listeners were upset that we didn't have this information; our weather forecasts from the TV station were still saying "a chance of snow showers."

But as is the case with much of our snow, it was all but gone by mid-afternoon. True, it was the light, powdery type, but it still didn't hang around long. I wouldn't be surprised to see folks out playing golf on Wednesday, if not tomorrow.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Another Difference Between Here And "Back East"

On Wednesday, some parts of the Sierra in the Lake Tahoe area got up to six feet of snow. Schools in the Tahoe and Truckee areas were closed.

The next day? Not one school even went in late! I doubt that would have happened Back East.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Love That Californica Democracy

State Lawmakers Pass 2 Anti-Prop 8 Resolutions

So, let me get this straight . . . a vote of the people isn't a vote of the people if the legislature says so? Guess we have to coin a new term: "legislative activism."

It just goes to show there are no lengths to which homosexualists won't go to force acceptance of their lifestyle from those like me who know it to be abhorrent, disordered, immoral, and just plain wrong.

Then again, tolerance was never their aim in the first place. As evidence, check out this British Columbia "social justice" conference. This photo says it all:

And just let anyone dare say otherwise, including -- and especially -- parents.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

My First TLM

This morning, LC and I drove down to the Holy Spirit Mission in Washoe Valley for the Traditional Latin Mass, the first I've ever attended (after missing the turn and having to go another three miles before I could turn around!). It's a small church with only one Sunday Mass, and about 40 in the congregation.

Overall, I really appreciated the Low Mass, and found it a refreshing change from the irreverence of many Novus Ordo Masses (on Ash Wednesday, the priest at Our Lady Of The Snows had the second graders join him around the altar because he was "lonely up there." Wrong, wrong, wrong!).


  • One complaint others have lodged about the TLM is that the congregation does not participate. This is true, if the only definition of "participation" is "responding out loud to the prayers." Instead, I felt more directed to participate by focusing my mind and spirit on what was going on, rather than having it spoonfed to me.
  • The reverence and mystery was awesome. Everyone genuflects . . . and means it.
  • I wish I could have been one of the altar servers.
  • I actually received the Eucharist on the tongue, kneeling, at the altar rail! That's the first time I've been able to do that since I was a teenager.
  • I loved hearing Latin hymns again.
  • Although I didn't partake, it was nice to see confessions being heard before Mass.
  • LC looked cute with her head covered.
I know I'm not going to be able to attend TLM every Sunday, but I look forward to doing so as often as possible.

Afterward, we celebrated with breakfast at Joe's.