You go through all the trouble…

of writing a few post and then they get mashed down to the bottom (or into the archives) after the ML write like 5 in a row!

Egad

Back to the trenches….

UPDATE FROM THE MAXIMUM LEADER: Now you know how the AirMarshal feels. Every time he posted something earlier this year it wound up being pushed down the page by something the Minister of Agriculture would write. Alas, them are the breaks in a group blog… But just this once, your Maximum Leader will give you a break. Scroll down. - Max.Ldr.

a few simple things

UPDATE FROM THE MAXIMUM LEADER: Because your Maximum Leader was unusually prolix today, and because the Foreign Minister doesn’t post as much as he should… This post of the Foreign Minister’s was moved to be ahead of your Maximum Leader’s posts today. - Max.Ldr.

In front of me right now is a weizen glass full of beer and a bowl of chilli.
It sounds simple and straight forward, and in a way it is, but then again it isn’t.

German brewing/purity laws, known here as they Reinheitsgebot,only allow beer made from barley, hops, and water. Most Americans have a mythical view of other countries beer as some sort of Nirvana thing but, as in the States, Germany brews some crap beer as well as some outstanding ones (just like the US!).

I usually buy my beer at Getrank Markt (drink store) which is usually attached to a grocery store but is a separate building. In the Getrank Markt, they sell every think from bottled water to Orange juice and all different kinds of German bottle beers.

One cool thing is that, if you buy beer in a “case”, they usually have some sort of toy 18 wheeler with the beer logo on it for free (and the German chick who sells the stuff in the store I go to is HOT!)
Germans drink their beer in particular glasses. There are special glasses for each type of beer.
They usually get wrapped around the axle too if you use the wrong glass.

I miss the Real Ales of the UK. I think this is where most Americans get the idea that the Brits drink warm beer. Its not really “warm”, but about 55 degrees. (which seems warm to most Americans)
The reason they are warmer than US beers is because, they have not been pasteurized and the yeast is still active. If you cool it down too much, it destroys the delicate flavors of the beer.

On the whole, I like the dark thick beers. The best time for these is in the Lent season when everyone is fasting so you get these fortified beers with 6-9% alcohol in them YUM !

I made the bowl of chili a couple of days ago. Every since a bizarre jalapeño eating contest with the other ministers in college, I have been a hot food nut/connoisseur. I start with making some salsa. I usually buy a package of frsh Habaneros, some jalapeños, scotch bonnets, chipotles, and any other HOT pepper I can find in the store and throw them in a blender. At this point my wife leaves the kitchen as the “fragrance” is much like somebody has set off a can of mace in the room. To this I add a few cloves of garlic, some onion and a can of minced tomatoes. Blend that puppy up for a few minutes then simmer over the stove. Its great on tortilla chips and I add this to the top of any chili bowl for a real digestive tract burning treat!

Sword quiz and dream…

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader was thinking about Andi taking her sword test on the 11th. And then he happened upon Eric’s quiz results and decided to take this (somehow topical) quiz. Well, your Maximum Leader (true to his ethnic origins) scored thusly:

Claymore
Claymore, power and strength rule your fighting,
these swords were only used by the non faint of
heart and were weilded by the most fierce
warriors. (Please Vote)

What sword would you use (info and pis on swords as well)
brought to you by Quizilla

So, if Andi were to come after your Maximum Leader and engage him in swordplay (unlikely as it would be) the quiz says he would use a claymore. And likely get chopped to pieces. Lucky that a) Andi wouldn’t do such a thing; and b) your Maximum Leader is a gun-toting maniac and would lay down a stream of deadly lead if anyone were coming at him with a sword.

And in other news that he isn’t sure why he is sharing…

Your Maximum Leader had a remarkably vivid dream last night. In the dream he was walking on the beach in Santa Monica with a young attractive swarthy bikini-clad woman. It was a bright cloudless day with a breeze blowing across the water. We were talking about Edmund Burke and his Reflections on the Revolution in France, while munching on fish tacos. When your Maximum Leader woke from the dream he thought he could smell the sea and taste the fish tacos…

If you are a seer of some sort, feel free to e-mail your interpretation of this dream to your Maximum Leader.

Carry on.

Søren speaks…

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader thanks new addition to the blogroll Brian for this wonderful Søren Kierkegaard quotation.

People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.

And doesn’t Brian have one of the coolest blog titles ever? Memento Moron. Heh.

Carry on.

Change and Kerry

Greetings, loyal minions. Since your Maximum Leader was just blogging about Conrad blogging about why people will vote for Bush this post seems topical…

The AirMarshal and your Maximum Leader were speaking on the phone the othr day and politics came up. The AirMarshal made an off-hand comment to the extent that Bush (in his opinion) has demonstrably been a miserable president. Thus his impending vote for Kerry is a vote to replace a demonstrably bad president with someone who will likely become (but hasn’t yet proven himself to be) a bad president.

To your Maximum Leader this was (surprisingly) a compelling simple effective argument. What could be more simple than “Change?” He wondered if this simple compelling strategery had ever been used before? Humm… Oh yeah. This guy used it pretty effectively.

So why isn’t Kerry driving home the message of “change?” It is odd. He is campaigning on not changing so much. (That is when he is talking issues in the first place.) He says he will stay the course in Iraq. He will keep most of the tax cuts. Yada, yada, yada… Kerry certainly isn’t presenting any compelling reasons for anyone to vote for him. His campaign seems to be based on the fact that he is not George W. Bush.

So why not, if your John Kerry, try campaigning on the topic of Change?

While surfing the TV looking for more Olympics coverage, your Maximum Leader caught some of Joe Scarborough’s show on MSNBC. In his segment, Joe’s Real Deal, (who comes up with these segment titles anyway?) Scarborough said that Kerry needed to get off his arse and call James Carville if he really wants to win this election.

NB: Scarborough said that he was going to post transcripts of the show to his website, but as of this moment they are not there.

This was a great suggestion for Kerry. If there is a Democratic operative who has shown that he can win an election, it is James Carville. Say what you want about him (and your Maximum Leader could say plenty - none of it too flattering - except perhaps that his wife is cool), James Carville knows how to win a campaign.

But will Kerry fire his Massachusetts buddies and hire a ragin’ cajun to run his campaign over the last 60 some odd days until the election?

No.

Carry on.

Conrad’s lucid comments.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader loves reading Conrad’s blog. He (Conrad) writes so well and fluidly it is disgusting. He regularly posts photos which stiffen your Maximum Leader’s sinews. And he has readers who can best be described as “Hottie.”

All that aside… You ought to go and read over Conrad’s comments on a post from Mark Kleiman. It is a lucid explaination of why many grown-ups are voting for Bush - they are voting against Kerry.

And Conrad’s comments on Alice Cooper are fun too.

Carry on.

If Skippy can…

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader decided to follow a link he saw on Skippy’s site. He was a little disappointed with what he found. But decided to post the results here anyway.

The Ultimate Politics Survey

Describe your stance on:

Abortion: Against

Affirmative Action: Against in most circumstances

Age of Consent: 18 (Which is high in most places.)

Animal Testing: Favour

Death Penalty: Favour (preferably more cruel and unusual)

Downloading Music/Movies: Against

Drug Decriminalization: Favour (mostly Marijuana, not other drugs)

Factory Farming: Against (to the extent that it is possible to eliminate)

Free Trade: Favour

Funding of Arts: Against government funding if that is what this is asking.

Gay Marriage: Against

Gun Control: Against

Immigration: Favour

Hardcore Pornography: Favour, but with some restrictions concerning accessibility

Human Cloning: Against

Miltary Draft: Against

Minimum Wage: Against, to a point. Issue is quite complex actually.

Prostitution: Favour, but in a regulated licenced way. Public health concerns and all.

School Vouchers: Favour

Taxes: This is a stupid question. Taxes are the price of government. You have to have them. If the question is should they be higher or lower than they are, then ask that.

United Nations: Against (But stupid question. The UN as an organization dedicated to “world peace” it is useless. But as a forum for endless chatter and talk accomplishing nothing it is perfect!)

Universal Health Care: Against

War on Terrorism: Favour (Another stupid question. Who exactly isn’t in favour of fighting against terrorists who would like to kill us? One can debate how the war should be prosecuted…)

Welfare: Against, with some qualifications. Some social safety net programs are acceptable.


Take The Ultimate Politics Survey

Get more cool things for your blog at Blogthings

So there it is. Of course your Maximum Leader could have gone into a plethora of mini-screeds on each subject, but in the spirit of brevity he did not.

Carry on.

Those creative political partisans!

I am just amazed at some of the creativity (on both sides). I wish I had the time to think this stuff up and execute it.

Good to see the Farmer’s back with us….

But why did you have to go and say all that Bull Shi7 about me huh? I wouldn’t want those folks on the left to think I am anything but some sort of raving lunatic….

Speaking of those on the left…. what is Bruce so upset about anyway?

But his pictures are pretty cool.

I don’t want to hear you posting anymore about your slow computer! Next time the ML is around, have him hook all that stuff up for you. Its an Athalon XP1500 processor… not the fastest car in town but it will get you out of the stone age!

Been busy hear in Germany. If you haven’t noticed there is Talk of closing the bases (or greatly reducing) the US footprint here. I know it is cutting my own throat, and conventional wisdom would be to vote the pocketbook and all… but.

I think it is a great idea to realign the bases. The only thing the US Army is doing here in Germany (besides providing me with a hellofa good lifestyle) is pumping BILLIONS of dollars into the local German economy every year.

Kerry says he wouldn’t pull them out… I don’t believe him though. If he has two brain cells working in his noggin’ he should be saying the same thing. I don’t think that bringin em back home is the best choice though.

I say plop a bases down in strategic locations around the world where we could get to the hot spots fast, but also provide economic stimulus and project American Culture to the locals (Nigeria, Poland, Romania, etc).

Word around the base though that any re-alignment won’t happen till 2006/7.

So if you have been thinking about a European Visit to the FM, start planing now!

Back to the Trenches

Summer Blogging Report (Part One)

I didn’t blog at all this summer.

I’m sure many of you were relieved to be spared from the dose of cow genetics sullying your morning cup of Maximum Leader ranting.

My home computer was incapable of sustaining a connection the internet.

I didn’t read Big Hominid all summer; his graphics-enriched lair would crash my puny computer every time. Since then I have tried to catch up with his summer posts, but the Poet Laureate seems to have moved away from the political posts I enjoy so much. Kev, man, when the Dear Leader rants, I need a BigHo smackdown of the pompadour!

I hate to confess it, but the first blog I checked every day (other than Naked Villainy, of course) was “Celibate in the City.”

I was like an OCD housewife hankering for her “Guiding Light.”

I soooooooo wanted this sweet woman to meet a nice guy. I kept checking in for updates on her Irish vacation. Unfortunately, she seems to have recently added “blogs” to the list of things that she is “not the kind of girl who…” list. Nonetheless, if you missed the soapy saga, click on over and scroll back through the archives.

Kilgore’s site reliably incites my computosaurus obsoletus to suffer a Java error aneurysm, but clicking through the error messages was always worth it.

My favorites:

The reminiscence of working in a collection agency amused me to no end.

As someone who has been indoctrinated since birth with the Keiloresque virtue of keeping one’s thoughts to one’s self, I took sweet, sweet pleasure from:

Once I was talking off a debtor who owed over a thousand dollars for jewelry purchased on credit at 18 percent interest. She never made a single payment. “Quit calling me,” she said. “I’m raising three kids and I don’t have any money.”"Well, where are you working?” I asked.”I am on welfare,” she said, in the same tone of voice that another might use to say I am the head of neurosurgical research at Johns Hopkins University.”On welfare? Sounds to me like the government is raising your kids,” I said.

I liked the essay on cooking to impress in the workplace. While I’m not the effeminate, gammy-handed little pastry chef that Kilgore is, I do understand his motivation. I like to share farm produce with neighbors, family, friends, baby-group members, churchmembers, and work colleagues. I eagerly await the kudos that follow and bask in the reflected glory of my tasty, juicy, beautiful, organic tomatoes. I have also taken to dragging houseguests into the pantry to show off the 93 cans of tomatoes Mrs. Smallholder put up* from one day’s production.

* For those of you who do not hail from the Midwest, “putting up” is another phrase for preserving or canning food. I used it so I wouldn’t have to use the same word twice in the same sentence.

Kilgore’s skewering of The Da Vinci Code earned my applause. People at work kept gushing to me that, as a history teacher, I would just LOVE the darn book. So I borrow it. And hated it. I thought it was abominable paced, poorly written, and massively implausible. The unveiling of the secret villain made no sense whatsoever.

Read the about the roommate train wreck. As someone who was always blessed with good roommates, I’m somewhat fascinated by bad roommate stories. A little bit of me might even wish that I had had a bizarre roommate just for the story value. Maybe I should make something up about the Minister of Propaganda. I did once wake up in bed - naked - with the Foreign Minister, but the story of how I ended up at AA is another whole can of worms.

I think the villainous bloggers should all write their own version of this “brief summary of people I avoid at work.”

Another great idea the Naked Villainy ought to steal (only be sure to call it, please, “research“): “Am I a man?” charts. Heh. I get to make Rob’s matrix.

More to come…

Bruceeeeeee!

Gosh, how long has it been since the Maximum Leader and I have screamed “Bruceeeeeeee!” in the Longwood dining hall?

We had a friend who was easily embarrassed. So, as good friends, we (okay, I might have been the instigator) proceeded to embarrass him whenever possible.

If he entered the dining hall, we’d yell and he would turn bright red.

My favorite was to yell across the campus: “It’s Bruce ‘hung like a mastodon’ (last name withheld).

He once tried to turn the tables. I’m walking across the quad and I hear a booming voice: “Hey, isn’t that Mark (last name withheld), president of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance!?”

I didn’t miss a beat: “Yes it is, Bruce ! You missed the meeting last night.”

Never try to outembarass someone who dances like me.

At any rate, through the illustrious Kilgor “the homewrecker” Trout, I bring you two post from a blogger named bruce. No capital letter. Just bruce*.

Falwell’s law school

The Maximum Leader’s fellow travelers

* Some people don’t like to capitalize their names, citing humility. It just seems to be backhandedly pretentious to me.

Besides, to quote the great Al Yankovic, “I’m a million times as humble as thou art!”

I’m #42,755!

Smallholder is the 42,755th most popular word in the English language.

You know it will be a good school year when:

…You set up an optional early morning breakfast to discuss an optional reading, expecting four or five kids and one or two parents to come but you end up with 30 kids and a dozen parents.

Or, on a more bemused note that will appeal to the Maximum Leader, I was going over a quiz today and explaining why some choices were not correct; once “distractor” choice was Immanual Kant. I explained that he was a philosopher, not an explorer, and as we moved on, gave the throw away line, “but some people say he was a real pissant who was very rarely stable.”

Without missing a beat, one of my girls replied “Heidigger, Heidigger was a boozey beggar who could drink you under the table.”

Heh.

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

The incident related in the Maximum Leader’s post below certainly sounds scary. If he was on 64, which makes sense based on his itinerary, the incident probably happened within view of my farm; if Rick had looked to the left over the downhill side, he might have seen the back of my hill waaaay below. My first reaction (Analphilosopher would condemn this of course) is relief and thankfulness that the humans involved are okay. Rick did the right thing: rather than endanger his family and other human drivers, he risked the bear’s life. And then, like all people of goodwill, became concerned about the bear.

I’m glad animal control was reassuring and said that the bear was likely to survive, but I ave my doubts. The fact that it was able to make it up the hillside is not necessarily an indicator of its long term prospects. Animal control officers know a lot more about this stuff than I do, but I would think that even a minor break or major bruise that resulted in decreased mobility would end up being fatal. Of course, Bears are largely scavengers in heavily populated areas, so he should still be able to outrun trash cans.

I have never seen a bear on or around my property, but the farmer behind me has found the occasional track. Bears harassing my livestock has never been a particular concern. Dogs with irresponsible owners are by far the greater problem.

You might ask why I had lions and tigers in the post title. Last weekend my wife and I took our sweet little daughter to the National Zoo. She really enjoyed seeing the animals. But, when perceived through adult eyes, the National Zoo is rather depressing. The animals are kept in small, non-stimulating pens. Many of the social animals were penned by themselves. The little plaques describing the animals were uninformative. It is a serious tragedy that America’s NATIONAL Zoo is in such a run-down condition. They need new leadership and new funding to turn things around, improve the living conditions of the animals, make visits educational, and to actually conduct real science.

If that can’t be done, it ought to be shut down.

The government could sell the land to private developers and use the sales proceeds to further cut capital gains taxes.

Bears in Albemarle

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximun Leader was just catching up on some of Rick in Va’s recent posts and read this and this. Like Rick, your Maximum Leader hopes the bear made it. And since this is in the Smallholder’s neck of the wood, your Maximum Leader will ask his Minister of Agriculture if he has ever seen a bear out his way?

Carry on.

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