Lunar Eclipse

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is saddened because he missed the eclipse lasst night. Did you all see it? Here are photos.

It was a clear night and the moon shone brightly around 8pm. Periodically (during commerical breaks between innings), your Maximum Leader would go out on to the Villainschloss grounds to look at the moon. Just as the moon was about 1/2 covered in shadow, clouds moved into the area. It stayed cloudy the rest of the night and consequently your Maximum Leader missed the show.

Damn.

Carry on.

Why Does a UN Vote Make the News?

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader was reading over the newswires when he saw the following headline: UN Votes Overwhelmingly Against U.S. Embargo on Cuba.

Why exactly is this news? The UN General Assembly has been casting the same meaningless vote for years. Why does it merit a place at the top of the news wire? Except possibly to show US contempt for the UN… Humm…

Carry on.

Frivolous Spending

Sometimes I wish that I was irresponsibly rich and, to coin a phrase, needed to be taxed.

I would love to have these sets of blocks for my children. Look at the price tags.

If anyone out there in the blogosphere wants to be my sugar daddy, e-mail me.

UPDATE FROM YOUR MAXIMUM LEADER: Your Maximum Leader is happy to buy some lumber and dowels and then come over to your place with a few power tools and make some blocks. We could spend the difference on beer… Or books…

UPDATE II FROM YOUR MAXIMUM LEADER: Your Maximum Leader just forwarded to the Smallholder a very kind e-mail from the good people at Barclay Woods. He will not go into the contents of the e-mail. (Leaving that to the Smallholder should he choose to.) Let is suffice to say that your Maximum Leader is very pleasantly surprised that they should respond to quickly to this post. Also, let your Maximum Leader say that he feels a little badly about making the snarky comment above. It is obvious to your Maximum Leader that the good people at Barclay Woods care about their product and are mindful of its cost. It seems like a good company.

Yassir goes to Paris

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader reads that Yassir Arafat is going to be going to to France for medical treatment.

Your Maximum Leader thinks it is so that he may die among friends.

Carry on.

An Announcement from the Villainschloss.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has a few things to say. Pay attention now. You may be quizzed later.

1) Your Maximum Leader has a personal reason for being happy that the Sox swept the Cards in the World Series. Now he can tune into all the horror flicks on AMC and TMC and watch them without using the split screen function of his TV. Now he can spend time relaxing watching Christopher Lee bite buxom women and turn them into vampires. He can enjoy the cheap thrills of a teen slasher movie. He can watch Bruce Campbell host the Scariest Moments on Film on BOTH AMC and Bravo. And he can do this without fearing he will miss something good on the baseball iamond.

2) Your Maximum Leader is officially sick of the campaigning for President. He thought he wouldn’t become sick of it. But now in the last week he has discovered that THERE IS NOTHING NEW TO TALK ABOUT. As he expected, the campaign has devolved into both sides becoming as shrill as possible and hoping to change minds by pointing fingers. Yes, this is how it always is every four years. No, it doesn’t surprise your Maximum Leader at all. No, it doesn’t upset him. He is just tired of it. Great Jeezey Chreezey people. It’s not like we haven’t been blogging about all this and paying close attention to politics for well over a year now. He doesn’t know how much more pre-election blogging he can do. Your Maximum Leader is sure he will have much more to say about the election, on Tuesday or thereafter. But right now it is just getting on his nerves. In your Maximum Leader’s opinion the media is doing everything it can to boost Kerry’s chances. To the point now that they are rehashing every old story they can get their hands on. This is not to say that there aren’t questions to be raised in all these matters - there may be. But nothing that your Maximum Leader has heard in the past week has changed anything substantive in anyones mind.

3) Your Maximum Leader doesn’t believe that anyone who is still “undecided” at this point should be allowed to vote. The “undecideds” are, categorically, stupid.

Allow your Maximum Leader to address any “undecideds” who might be reading these words: If you are still undecided, as of Thursday, October 28, 2004, you are perhaps the most spineless, gammy-handed, crack-addled, mush-brained, drooling fool in all of North America. How can you not have heard enough? The only concievable explanation your Maximum Leader can come up with at this point is that your brain is not capable of operating both its autonomic nervous system and stringing together a cogent thought at the same time. At this point nothing either candidate, or their adherents, can say to you will be new or insightful. It has all been said before. What are you waiting for? A sign from the Almighty instructing you on how to vote? Let your Maximum Leader clue you into something. The closest you will come to hearing from God are the words you are reading right now. Your Maximum Leader is here to tell you that you may inherit the earth, but you shouldn’t vote. Because any ballot you cast will be a bad one. Stay home. Floss for once. Investigate getting sterilized. Just don’t vote. Our nation is better off without you casting an uninformed vote for either candidate. And by the way, if you don’t have children yet (and your Maximum Leader hopes you do not) you’d better have them soon. Because when the MWO comes, you will not have to investigate sterilization - it will be a reality for you. (Of course, in the MWO you will be allowed to vote; because your vote will not mean anything.)

4) Did your Maximum Leader mention that he loves horror movies and plans on watching them continuously between now and Sunday? Oh he did? Well, if any minion has see the recent “Van Helsing” movie and would care to tell your Maximum Leader about it, he would be most appreciative. He was considering renting it sometime this week.

Your Maximum Leader feels much better now.

Carry on.

$804,129.00

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has only one thing to say concerning the $804,129 some idiot paid for Barry Bond’s 700th homer ball.

Stop the insanity.

Carry on.

Sawks Win! Sawks Win!

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader doffs his bejeweled floppy hat and congratulates the Boston Red Sox on their great World Series Victory. He will not attempt to capture the spirit that have overcome the Red Sox nation. But he will comment that he has been surprised by the general lack of rioting and mob destruction.

If you want to read about it, as if you haven’t already, you should check out the Major League Baseball Wrapup site.

Congratulations again exorcists of the curse.

Carry on.

Yassir: “I’m not dead yet.”

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader reads that Yassir Arafat is holled up in his Ramallah compound and barring the Grim Reaper from the door. Or, as the headlines put it in late 1970’s-era Soviet fashion, “very sick.”

Now let it not be said that your Maximum Leader wishes ill upon any man. Your Maximum Leader doesn’t want Yassir to suffer. That is suffer any more than the many victims of his decades long terror campaign against Israel suffered before dying.

Be that as it may, your Maximum Leader did stop to think about what would happen after Yassir Arafat died. Your Maximum Leader pondered this question from the point of view of the Arab/Israeli question. He wasn’t focusing on what to actually do with Arafat after he died. Luckily for all of us, Iowahawk has been thinking about it for us. Top Ten Uses For A Dead Palestinian Nobel Laureate.

Brilliant!

Carry on.

Fash-ism Tutorial

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader sees that those wacky Munuvians are back up. So, the first place he went to look was the lovely Annika’s site. He needed to see if she had posted her promised piece on shoe fashion.

And so she has: annika’s journal: Fash-ism Tutorial For The Maximum Leader

Male minions! You must go to Annika’s site and read what she has posted. Look at the photos. Learn them. Know them. Impress your girlfriend, spouse, or casual female friends with your wide-ranging knowledge of ladies footwear. Double your pleasure by commenting to your lovely sex partners by commenting on her stylin’ d’Orsay pumps with ankle strap as you remove them and gently caress her calf…

Ahem…

But that is not all! The Divine Minion Molly also sent your Maximum Leader a slew of e-mails all containing photos of the shoes of which he knew nothing.

So it seems your Maximum Leader has been properly schooled. By two women…

Heh. “Schooled.” By TWO women… Heh.

He now knows something of the different types of ladies footwear out there.

Your Maximum Leader will likely spend the next few days looking at women’s feet and trying to work out the classification system. Before too long, he will be shooling the Villainettes…

Carry on.

Bibliophilia

I enjoyed the Maximum Leader’s link on the book collecting habit. oth Mike and I are inveterate bibliophiles. My wife requires me to hand over my wallet before she lets me go into a used book store.

My wife and I live in a century-old two over two farmhouse. It is cramped and genteely collapsing around our family. But I love the dining room. The previous owners installed built-in bookcases around two entire walls. It houses almost half of my books and I love being able to pluck a book off the shelf for a quick ten minute read.

When Mike and I visited Seward’s house and Sagamore Hill, I returned and smugly told my wife that since both of these great men had bookcases in every room of the house, she should let me install a bookcase in every room of our house.

She looked at me, rolled her eyes and said “look around.”

We have a bookcase in every room of the house.

At the very least, I explain to Mrs. Smallholder, my vice runs to books and not booze, drugs, or hookers. She might sometimes think a crack whore addicition would be cheaper.

Even bookcases have an emotional claim on your Minister of Agriculture. My daughter’s bedroom has two bookcases; one made by her Maternal grandfather and the other built by a paternal great-grandfather from scrap wood left over at the Rockford Moose Club where he checked coats.

When my grandmother died and the family divided her furniture, we took a bed built by my great-great-great Uncle (who also helped build the benches for an important 1854 meeting in his hometown of Ripon, Wisconsin) and a cheap, mass-produced faux wood bookcase that my father gave her when he got back from Korea in 1954. My wife thinks this bookcase is ugly, and she is right. But it is a part of family history. Even if it had not been a reminder of Vater Smallholder’s overseas adventure, I would still remember it as the place where Grandma kept “Uncle Wiggly” books for the grandchildren.

The bedroom bookcases are mass-produced items; fiberboard white Walmart specials. They date to when my wife and I were in college and will probably be workhorses until we can afford something better - probably about when Jack finishes graduate school.

The Maximum Leader has a great collection of books AND some very nice bookcases. His skilled father-in-law handcrafted a couple of glorious, dark brown edifices. My favorite Maximum Leader bookcase isn’t handcrafted. It’s a mass-produced cheapo bookcase. Perhaps the Maximum Leader would like to tell the story of when someone broke into his apartment and, instead of robbing him, left a bookcase.

An Off-topic Quiz.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader saw an interesting sounding quiz on Pejamesque today. He took it and scored 50%. He presents to you the: Al Gore or the Unabomber? A quiz.

Carry on.

More Electoral College. (Nightmares Edition)

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader knows that we’ve been spending lots of time on the Electoral College here at Nakedvillainy. And he also knows that we aren’t the only ones talking about how the election might turn out (electorally speaking).

Your Maximum Leader has been waiting to see if any news source would report on any of the really unlikely senarios that could come up. And behold, the Washington Post obliges.

Your Maximum Leader thinks a tie is quite unlikely. What is more likely is the senario of Bush winning the popular vote and losing the Electoral vote. While he recognizes that many would view such an outcome as a bit of delicious karma, frankly your Maximum Leader (who can - intellectually - appreciate that view) thinks it would be a bad outcome.

Anyway. Read the post and conjure up your own electoral nightmares.

Carry on.

The Charlock’s Shade

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader always feels relaxed and refreshed after reading Enoch Soames’ blog, The Charlock’s Shade.

Yesterday, your Maximum Leader wrote a note to himself to be sure to direct his readership over to this post: Ones own library…. He read it last night and loved it. Be sure to click through to the full article on the Chronicle of Higher Education website.

And following other links on The Charlock’s Shade, your Maximum Leader found a fine post on Wagner. Specifically listening to Wagner’s operas in a large opera house versus a smaller opera house. Your Maximum Leader has heard Wagner’s Ring Cycle produced at the Washington Opera house (before it ws refurbished); and he’s heard “Die Walkure” and “Der Fliegende Holländer” at the Harrison Opera House in Norfolk, VA. (He’s also seen some Wagner at the Met in New York, but his memory of the music is not as clear as the others.)

As you might imagine, the Harrison Opera House in Norfolk is quite smaller and more intimate than the Opera House at the Kennedy Center in Washington (or Constitution Hall - where the Washington Opera performed most of its last season). And your Maximum Leader’s memory bears out what James Panero is writing on Armavirumque. The music at Harrison was “ringing and resonating.” You could feel it deep into your bones. And frankly, that is the way Richard wanted it.

Mrs. Villain frequently chides your Maximum Leader for playing his copies of Sir Georg Solti’s recording of the Ring very loudly. For some reason she doesn’t like your Maximum Leader “feeling the music in his bones” while in the Villainschloss.

BTW, if some loyal minion out there wants to really really really show how much they love their Maximum Leader they would buy him the Solti recordings on CD. As much as it disgraces your Maximum Leader to say it. His current copies are a combination of LP records and tapes. Weep…

Carry on.

Omnibenevolence.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader doesn’t know how long or detailed this post will be, or even if he will actually publish and keep it up. But reading the word omnibenevolence in the Smallholder’s post about the Packers struck a chord in him.

Your Maximum Leader and Mrs. Villain frequently disagree over the characteristic of Omnibenevolence in God. Mrs. Villain’s beliefs are quite straightforward. God is all-good and all good things come from him. Evil, bad, germs, disease, disasters, and all other non-good things are not part of God’s creation. They are errors.

NB to readers: Just to let you all know. Your Maximum Leader will not broach any further discussion of Mrs. Villain’s beliefs here. He only described them to put his beliefs in a little context.

Now your Maximum Leader believes that God is beyond our comprehension. And to the extent that it is possible to know such things, God created and emcompasses all things. Good and Evil are all part of God and God’s creation. God is beyond typical moral appelations like Good and Evil.

In this context, God is both responsible for Good and equally responsible for Evil. That is responsible to the extent that we can understand God.

Your Maximum Leader, while certainly demi-godish, does not presume to understand or even guess at God’s plan for anyone. But it certainly does seem as though God is witholding good things from Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers.

Or, as your Maximum Leader’s Catholic upbringing tries to remind him, God doesn’t give unbearable burdens to those who cannot handle them.

What a post. Damn.

Carry on.

Did you read the Bleat today?

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader started down his list of blogs he reads every morning when he discovered that all the Munuvians appear to be down. (”The piper is down. I repreat, the piper is down.”) So, your Maximum Leader shot off a little e-mail to a few good munuvians letting them know (in case they didn’t already). One of those good Munuvians, Robert the Llamabutcher (So? Charley teels me you’re a bootcher.), wrote back accusing Rusty of hogging bandwidth and crashing the party. Which may or may not be the case.

Anyho…

Robert said that your Maximum Leader really had to read the Lieks bleat today. So, your Maximum Leader interrupted his normal reading to do just that.

It was worth it.

Turn. Go. Read the Bleat. Now.

Carry on.

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