The V-day in review.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader’s Valentine’s Day did not go as planned. It started to go south when Villainette #2 started acting up with her friends here (from the sleepover). Your Maximum Leader disciplined her quietly and not in front of her friends so as not to embarass her too much. Alas, she was a bit thickheaded and needed another go - this time in front of everyone. No fun… Your Maximum Leader’s mood perceptibly grew a little foul.

Then, Mrs Villain and the Villainettes had a group of kids over to work on a school project. This school project involved painting some sheets to use as a backdrop to a play. Mrs Villain didn’t think through the painting and had the kids paint the (thin cotton) sheets on top of a (thin cotton) sheet on the carpeted floor of the Villainschloss basement. Needless to say, the carpet got painted too. Your Maximum Leader had to go out and get one of those industrial-strength carpet cleaner thingies to save the day. The day is pretty much saved - but it wasn’t pretty and your Maximum Leader was starting to get really pissy.

Then came time for dinner. Your Maximum Leader had planned a feast of T-bone steak, fried oysters, roasted-garlic mashed potatoes and green beans. Well… Villainette #1 decided she didn’t want to help peel potatoes. Your Maximum Leader told her that if she didn’t she was getting a peanut butter sandwich for dinner. Villainette #1 thought the threat was an idle one, so she left. Your Maximum Leader was now very pissy. He cooked four (instead of five) steaks, fried up the pound of oysters he bought (already shucked - this morning in fact), and got everything cooked. Dinner was served and Villainette #1 was surprised to discover that not only was she going to actually get a peanut butter sandwich for dinner; but that it was served to her on a Lightning McQueen plate normally reserved for her 4 years old brother. She was all sorts of upset. She sulked through dinner. Your Maximum Leader was informed by Mrs Villain at the table that she didn’t want any oysters (fried or otherwise). Villainette #2 had a couple of oysters (she liked them but wanted more steak). So it fell to your Maximum Leader to eat pretty much all of the oysters. (NB: They were quite delicious. Lightly breaded in a corn-meal/flour mix and a little buttermilk.)

Did your Maximum Leader mention that he started drinking bourbon and coke from his 20 oz tiki mug earlier in the day? No? Ooops.

So now your Maximum Leader is all hopped up with oysters and liquor. And what does he decide to do?

Go and read blogs of course…

He should draw your attention to the best “Valentine’s Day” type post he’s read in a long time. Mr. C.S. Perry is a friggin genius. Not only is Mr. C.S. Perry a friggin genius, but he caused your Maximum Leader to remember through a bourbon induced haze that he is filled with the amourousness that comes through alcohol and oysters in mass quantities. In fact he is likely filled with enough amourousness to occupy two normal men his age (or one 16 year old boy).

Mrs Villain has, of course, turned in early and is fast asleep.

At this point your Maximum Leader is seriously considering… Well… He’s considering lots of options…


Carry on.

BSG - mixed thoughts

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader decided to watch Battlestar Galactica last night on the little TV rather than wait for tonight.

Well… He can’t decide if BSG just jumped the shark (or nuked the fridge - or whatever the hip expression is now). He’ll have to watch the episode again to see if he can get more out of it a second time.

So the final five are the ones who taught the Cylons how to resurrect. The toasters came up with monotheism. Brother “John” Cavil is more evil than we thought. And there might be a grand design implemented by God at work here.

That was a heck of a lot to come up with in one episode.

Your Maximum Leader is wondering if the stress of writing the show isn’t now affecting the storyline. One almost feels as though the writers sat down one day and said “Holy shit! We’ve only got 6 more episodes to wrap this baby up.” (NB: Do people speak numbers rendered as numbers or numbers written in words? Should those writers have said “Holy shit! We’ve only got six more episodes to wrap this baby up.”) Then they went back to the outline and wrote an episode to bring us up to speed.

The status of Starbuck and the mentioning of God at work led your Maximum Leader to have an intersting shower thought. You know how the writers have (mildly) incorporated a few elements from the old series into the current one? (Your Maximum Leader is thinking Pegasus here. Which by the way - it has always stuck in your Maximum Leader’s craw that Pegasus was destroyed and not Galactica. Why sacrifice the the newer better ship and keep the older one around? Especially now that we know that Galactica is falling apart…)

How about this… Remember in the old series that big blue ship that harrassed the fleet for a little bit and then deposited with them that guy who turned out to be some sort of demon? Remember those? What if (in the current series) we have a group of humans/cylons out there who are acting in the role of God? This could be a separate group who’s role is to observe from afar with their superior technology and then hit the reset button when required? They are the ones leaving additional clues - or changing the ones already left to suit altered circumstances (since there seems to be some other force at work per the conversation between Cavil and Ellen about the “Temple of Hope.”)

It’s just a random thought.

Still can’t decide if BSG has started to suck or not.

Carry on.

Gift to myself

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader was beginning to worry. Villainette#2 sleep over is scheduled for tonight. Your Maximum Leader feared for what he was going to have to do in terms of TV watching. He knew that the big uber HD TV was likely out for viewing Battlestar Galactica tonight. He was afraid he was going to watch BSG on the little TV.

But now there is a new plan.

Your Maximum Leader will record BSG on the Tivo in all its HD glory and watch it tomorrow night. Tonight on the little TV he will watch the little gift he gave himself for St Valentine’s Day - but didn’t expect to receive until next week.

Your Maximum Leader bought “My Name is Bruce” from Amazon. He actually ordered it a few weeks ago. He pre-ordered it rather. It was supposed to be released this week. Amazon said that your Maximum Leader should receive it on February 17th. Unexpectedly it appeared at the Villainschloss yesterday evening. Woo hoo!

So, tonight your Maximum Leader will make himself a large adult beverage in a large tiki mug called Grog; pop up some popcorn and watch Bruce Campbell, Sam Rami and the lovely Grace Thorsen fight Guang-di the Chinese God of bean-curd.

How lovely is Grace Thorsen by the way? Judge for yourself:
Grace Thorsen

Carry on.

Happy 200th Abe

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader should take a moment to recognize the 200th anniversary of the birth of our 16th President Abraham Lincoln. If you haven’t heard that today is Lincoln’s 200th birthday you are ignorant or living under a rock somewhere.

Your Maximum Leader has at various times, for fun and mental exercise, rated the “greatest” presidents of our great republic. His first four don’t ever change. They are (in decending order) George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt and James Knox Polk. Beyond those four your Maximum Leader changes his mind.

For a great many thoughtful (and some not so thoughtful) people, Lincoln is number 1 on that list. Your Maximum Leader can see why one would rank Lincoln above Washington. Your Maximum Leader doesn’t agree with that assessment, but if that is your opinion it is a sound and thoughtful one.

Washington in the popular American mind is a legendary figure. More man-myth than real man. It takes effort in our times to better understand George Washington. But Lincoln is an accessible figure to so many. Your Maximum Leader believes that this actually starts with Lincoln’s photographs. We can see that face and connect with the man. Also, the problems of Lincoln’s time, in many ways are still the problems of our times. Race continues to be a central issue in American life. Lincoln’s role in defining that issue is still relevant daily. (Whereas Washington’s influence on American political life is not as easily seen day-to-day. Although it is there in everything surrounding the Office of the President.)

Last night your Maximum Leader watched about half of Henry Louis Gates Jr’s, “Looking for Lincoln” on PBS. He watched half because he didn’t know it was on and just stumbled upon it while surfing. If it comes on again your Maximum Leader will try to tivo it and watch the whole thing. It was good. Gates did a good job of describing his own inner conflict about Lincoln. On the one hand you have the Lincoln that was taught to Gates by is slave-decended relatives. This Lincoln was the Great Emancipator. The free-er of the negro. The new father of all Americans. Then you have the actual historical Lincoln that Gates grew to know through his study of history. This Lincoln was defined by political motives, expediency at times, and doubts about what he was doing. Watching Gates try to reconcile the two Lincolns was good (and informative) television.

Your Maximum Leader likes to think that he tries to these great men of history in their own time. He tries not to force his own knowledge of history and present values on men of different times. It is hard to do with figures like Lincoln and Washington. But certainly in the case of Lincoln, if you view him in his own time and try to put his actions in context and try to imagine a veil of uncertainty on how his actions would turn out you get a compelling narrative of a man to whom we all (as Americans) owe a great deal. You also get a moving story about human suffering and the trancendence of that suffering to create a greater good.

If you are in Illinois you might stop by the Lincoln Library. Or, if you are in the DC area (as is your Maximum Leader) you might want to stop in and see the Lincoln artifacts (including the Emancipation Proclamation) at the American History Museum of the Smithsonian. Or you might go by the refurbished and reopened Ford’s Theatre. Or go to the Peterson House across from Ford’s Theatre. The Peterson House is the house where Lincoln died. Your Maximum Leader remembers visiting the Peterson House many years ago (mid 70s perhaps) and looking at the bed where Lincoln died, which at the time had the blood-stained pillow resting on it (in a plexiglass box), and being a little overwhelmed.

Your Maximum Leader admires Abraham Lincoln very much. He thanks God (and Providence as the Founders might have said) for Abraham Lincoln.

Carry on.

…he is remembered decades later…

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader was over at Ted’s site and decided to clicky through on the link to visit the “Shrine of the Mall Ninja.”

Oh. Mah. Gawd.

Your Maximum Leader was afraid he was going to laugh so hard he would have some sort of infarction and need medical attention. Your Maximum Leader has met some “mall ninja” types in his day. If you ever visit a gun shop or gun show you are bound to run into your fair share. He thinks he pretty much lost it when he read this:

You’re just jealous that SPECOPS and I have something to show for our lives and you do not. The Corporation’s work is the only thing I can talk about, SPECOPS may have led a more adventurous career, but his actions must have been very above-board for him to be able to discuss this much of his work with you. My “Black-Ops” history ensures that you will never know about the missions I accepted in my younger days, and Vietnam still shudders when it hears the name of a an assasin so skillful and deadly, he is remembered decades later. I hope all of you manage to find some meaning in life, because you obviously have never put your life on the line for others, and until you have almost died, you have never lived. In my profession, you take risks that would be considered impossible to 99% of other men, and undergo pain that the mere shock of which would kill any three of you pantywaists.

Oh my goodness this is good stuff. If you have any experience with this type, you will get a kick out of this site.

Carry on.

Question for ye.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has a question for you all.

At what age (approximately) does one stop “growing up” and start “growing old?”

Your Maximum Leader figures 30-35 is likely the time frame. But he isn’t sure.

Carry on.

A conversation

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has had a few action packed days here recently. He went with the whole family (and his sainted parents) to the Pompeii exhibit at the National Gallery of Art. That was Saturday. It was quite fun for the whole crew. Well… It wasn’t quite as fun for the Wee Villain. He is only 4 however and did spend about 45 minutes in the exhibit before he needed to be excused to sit in the atrium and play his Nintendo to pass time while the rest of the family took in the art and artifacts.

Then on Sunday the celebration of Villainette #2’s tenth birthday began. The extended family got together for a buffet lunch and ice cream cake. Monday was just filled with lots of little time-occupiers. Yesterday was actually Villainette #2’s birthday. She got her special birthday dinner (barbequed chicken, mashed ‘taters, green beans with bacon). This Friday the birthday celebrations come to a close with a sleep-over. Villainette #2 has invited 3 friends to sleep over and play the Wii until all hours of the morning. Your Maximum Leader will likely be up late with the kids - then wake up early to make sure there is a nice big hot breakfast available…

So… Monday night Villainette #1 and your Maximum Leader were driving around town in the Villainmobile while trying to get pick up a last-minute gift for Villainette #2. The ole iPod was plugged in and was dishing out random tunes. A song your Maximum Leader happened to mention in the past was dished out. As the dulcet tones of Air Supply’s “Making Love Out of Nothing At All” started to play this little conversation transpired.

Villainette #1 - So Dad, this guy singing has a high voice.

MaxLdr - Yup. He also had blonde hair that was long and feathered like that old picture of your mom hanging up in your Papa’s house. The one you laugh at when you see it.

V1 - So he had long hair like a girl and a high voice?

MaxLdr - Yup. He did.

V1 - Did he dress like a girl too?

MaxLdr - No. He did wear a lot of linen however. It was the style at the time.

V1 - And people liked it?

MaxLdr - Yes. People loved it.

V1 - I’m glad those days are gone.

MaxLdr - Oh… Those were the Reagan years. Halcyon days they were. Feathered hair. Miami Vice. The Soviet Union menacing the free world.

V1 - Dad you can stop. Things are better now.

MaxLdr - Really?

V1 - Really. We have a Wii. Our hair is normal. And we have cool songs like “Black and White” by Katy Perry.

MaxLdr - Hey! Look there! The hot sign is on at Krispy Kreme. Want a doughnut?

And so it went that your Maximum Leader was able to change the subject before he had to start a harsh critique of the “aughts” and Katy Perry.

Carry on.

What we’re missing here is…

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has been missing the occasional agriculture post from his dear friend The Smallholder. Yes… He would like to read about the glories of farming and husbandry in the mountains of Virginia.

While he waits he’ll just have to consume massive quantities of sausage from the hog that Smallholder raised for him. Last night your Maximum Leader made “Sausage O’Patties” with Villainette #1 for dinner. Sausage O’Patties are essentially 1 lb of sausage mixed with 2 medium shredded potatoes. The potatoes and sausage are mixed, formed into patties, and fried in “The Skillet.”

Quite tasty.

Carry on.

Gotta keep an eye on her.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader enjoyed the snow he got last week. Indeed, he enjoyed it a lot; but his villainous offspring loved it. Time off school… Playing in snow… Building a snow-fort…

Yes… They (all the Villainous offspring and a few others in the ‘hood) built two snow-forts out behind the Villainschloss…

Well… Not really snow-forts as much as snow-redoubts.

There wasn’t a lot of snow here so they actually went far and wide to gather more snow. They trudged around with a wheelbarrow and a load of shovels to transport snow to build the fort/redoubts. There were two constructed at opposite ends of the yard. Villainette #1 built on the southern side of the yard. Villainette #2 built on the northern side of the yard. Both of the redoubts were rather wide semi-circles. Thick walls at the bottom becoming narrower towards the top. Standard design really. Your Maximum Leader didn’t pay much attention to the construction of either of the redoubts. He did notice when the fighting was done that Villainette #2’s redoubt seemed a bit larger and more robust.

If only he’d known just how robust at the time…

Now that the snow has melted your Maximum Leader has noticed that there is a nice assortment of firewood in the area where Villanette #2 built her redoubt. The firewood is of a generally uniform size and appears to have been pounded into the ground a little before being covered with snow. When your Maximum Leader asked Villainette #2 about the firewood she said that she had used it to “reinforce the wall.” She apparently cleared ground before building the redoubt. She selected pieces of firewood of roughly the same size and shape from the woodpile. Arranged the wood in a semi-circle. Used another piece of wood to pound her “posts” down. Then she covered the whole lot with snow. When asked why she did this her answer was, “I didn’t want [Villainette #1] and her friends to come by and knock down the wall with their feet like I planned to do to their wall.”

That girl has got promise…

Carry on.

HMS Victory discovered

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader sees that the wreck of the HMS Victory has been discovered. This is not the famous flagship of Lord Nelson at Trafalgar. (That HMS Victory is still commissioned and sitting at Portsmouth - where by the way it needs your help.) This HMS Victory is the one that sank in 1744. The one commanded by Admiral John Balchin.

The HMS Victory was found about 60 miles west of where she was thought to have sunk according to the Odyssey Marine Exploration company. According to the piece:

Generations of researchers have puzzled over the loss of the Victory, which sank in 1744 carrying a crew of more than 1,000, more than 100 brass cannons, and four tons of gold it was transporting from Portugal.

Most historians have said the wreckage of the ship had to lie close to the Channel Islands, near the French coast, where Adm. John Balchin was believed to have fatally steered it onto rocky shoals.

But the wreckage was found much farther out in the English Channel, said Greg Stemm, chief executive of Odyssey Marine Exploration, the Florida-based firm that announced the discovery at a London news conference.

Stemm, who said finding the Victory “has solved one of the greatest shipwreck mysteries in history,” said the famous ship’s remains had been damaged over the years by natural erosion and by fishing trawlers dragging heavy nets across the sea bottom.

“Rather than staying frozen in time beneath the waves, this unique shipwreck is fading fast,” marine archaeologist Sean Kingsley, director of Wreck Watch International, said in a statement released by Odyssey.

Very interesting news. One hopes that the treasure hunters will get to salvage and keep artifacts that they can save from the wreck.

Carry on.

It seems nothing is certain but death for Obama appointees.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader wonders what the hell it is with the people President Obama wants to appoint to his team of rivals. Lets see… Treasury headed by a man who failed to pay self-employment taxes that he was advised by his employer to pay. (He also accepted reimbursments of taxes he failed to pay.) Then you get the former Senate Majority Leader and Health and Human Services Secretary designee hasn’t paid taxes on goods and services provided to him. (Who’da thunk Tom Daschle wouldn’t pay the taxes - and somehow not be tainted by an ethics investigation and trial - like Ted Stevens.)

Now you get the “Chief Performance Officer” designee (Nancy Killefer) declaring that she hasn’t paid taxes for domestic help and is withdrawing her nomination.

Great jeezey chreezey. Isn’t failure to pay your taxes a crime? Didn’t they get Capone for that stuff? Your Maximum Leader might (just might) have been okay with giving one appointee a “pass” in the spirit of bipartisanship (and peace and love and all that hooey). But we’re up to three now. Where the hell is the honor that Bill Richardson had by just bowing out early? This is a serious problem that no one (in the mainstream media certainly) seems to be too worked up about. Heaven forfend what we would be hearing if these people were McCain appointees.

Of course, your Maximum Leader is only focusing here on the tax problems of Obama’s people. There is the whole Bill Clinton issue for Hillary. Does anyone think that Bill is going to show restraint when it comes to accepting donations to his foundation? Your Maximum Leader doesn’t.

All these problems seem to be blythely passed over by most people who should be reporting and causing a fuss. Afterall the economy is in the crapper and we can’t be bothered with focusing on this small stuff… Hey! Your Maximum Leader has an idea for you… How about we just make the whole problem better by just giving everyone a year without taxes? That way people who wouldn’t ordinarially pay their taxes (like many in the President’s cabinet-to-be) wouldn’t have to worry about getting caught not paying their taxes. Normal tax-paying citizens would get the benefits that potential cabinet level officials are already getting. Since we are borrowing more money than anyone can actually conceptualize, what is a few gazillion more dollars? What are our creditors going to do if we decide not to pay? Invade? Fart in our general direction?

All in all your Maximum Leader would say that President Obama isn’t off to a very good start.

Carry on.

SciFi and The King

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader found a cool link over on Agent Bedhead’s site. The link takes one to’s page entitled Elvis Has Left the Planet.

Your Maximum Leader, a great Elvis fan, had never heard of many of the stories and tv episodes that are mentioned on the io9 site. He’ll have to check some out. There was one that your Maximum Leader did see listed that he actually owns on DVD. That would be Bubba-Ho-Tep. io9’s bit on Bubba-Ho-Tep:

Weary of his fame, Elvis decides to take a breather and find someone else to endure his endless public adoration. He exchanges lives with the world’s most convincing Elvis impersonator, but when the facsimile dies on the can, no one believes that Elvis is the genuine King. He lives out his remaining days in relative peace, at least until the mummies and vampires start showing up.

What a great film… Elvis and Jack Kennedy spending their twilight years fighting mummies and vampires…

Check it out if you’ve not seen it.

Carry on.

Putting the “izzle” back in fosizzle.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader isn’t sure what the hell is up with that title. He isn’t up on all that type of talk. What your Maximum Leader is up on however is sexy. Oh yes… Your Maximum Leader knows sexy. Knows it like the back of his gauntlet-clad hand.

You know what is sexy?

The new “age regressed” portraits of Martha Washington.

Yes… That Martha Washington. George’s wife. The “mother” of our Country.

You should clicky the linky and read the piece on the WaPo web site. Be sure to click on the photos and see the age regressed portrait.

Your Maximum Leader will never think of her the same way again… He might also pack up the kiddies and go and see Martha’s purple wedding slippers at Mt Vernon.

Carry on.

Commenting on a comment

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader wanted to take a moment and thank our commenter/reader Old School Lady for her recent comment. Your Maximum Leader did spend some time this weekend meditating on the notions of justice and revenge. As satisfying and bashing someone’s head in with a cricket bat might be, it isn’t always a good theory of justice to which to adhere.

Carry on.

General Note to Commenters

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader should note for those of you who might be new to the site that he does approve comments from new commenters. He doesn’t read the pending comments bin every day, so if they don’t appear right away it is likley because he hasn’t looked at them.

Of course, your Maxmium Leader reserves the right to delete any comments and ban any IP address for any whimsical reason that might pop into his mind. Blah… Blah… Blah… Blah…

Enjoy yourselves.

Carry on.

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