Caption Contest

Greetings, loyal minons. Your Maximum Leader is still working on real content here… But until the real content materializes here is something for you…

How about a caption contest? Here is the photo:


You caption the photo. Your Maximum Leader will think of some prize for the lucky winner.

Thanks to our friend Irish Elk for the link that lead us to this photo.

Have at it!

Carry on.

Happy Birfday!

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader would like to give a big shout out to his dear friend, and sometimes contributor to this space, Smallholder. Today is Smallholder’s big birthday. Many happy returns you pig manure besplatted tiller of the soil and husbander of livestock.

Carry on.

Overtaken by events

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader finds himself somewhat overtaken by events. This is to say that he’s had lots to think about over the past few day - and lots to do. Family stuff has been rather busy (lots of sporting events, yard-work, and parenting to take care of). Additionally your Maximum Leader has been feeling rather funky. Part of this is due to the condition of Kevin’s mom. I’m nearly 40 years old and have known Kevin’s mom for nearly 34 of those 40 years. Her recent brain surgery, her upcoming treatment, and her long-term prognosis has been wearing on me emotionally.

I also discovered last week that a good friend of mine was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer. He was given about a month to live. I had planned on seeing him today. Sadly, he died on Saturday night. He was buried today. My friend, Irwin, lived a good long life (he was 78). He went like he lived - fast and without indecision. I would have liked to have a few words with him. But I don’t know that he or I would have anything substantive to say to one another. I don’t feel regret that I didn’t get a chance to speak with him. I am saddened however because it would have been nice to let him know that I was thinking about him.

Irwin was what I would classify as a non-observant Jew. There was a Jewish ceremony at the graveside. It was the first such ceremony I’d ever attended. At the end the family and friends were invited to deposit a small shovel of dirt into the grave. Although I’ve been to a number of funerals, this was the first time I’d ever encountered this act of participation. At most other graveside services the prayers and songs are sung and then people depart leaving the work of actual burial to the gravediggers. Today I felt something good in putting that small shovel of dirt into the grave. I can’t really describe it. It was both comforting and closing. As the Rabbi presiding mentioned, the act was the last thing we could do for our friend. It was also described as an act for which the Irwin was unable to thank us. Those words were particularly striking. I will remember them for a long time.

There is not much else to mention here. Your Maximum Leader hopes to get back to some regular posting soon. Sorry for letting old posts linger here for so long.

Carry on.

Salt Cured Nirvana

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader, at long last for those of you out there who love ham, has finally loaded in the photos to complete the story of his Easter ham.

For those of you who missed it, you can click here to read about the quest for the ham.

So… When last we left the story your Maximum Leader had a ham that was being stored at the Villainschloss for Easter dinner. Now you may be asking yourself, “Self, this glorious ham that my Maximum Leader quested for, what could it look like?” Good question there. If you have never seen a Smithfield ham (or a Country ham - since the only difference betwix the two is where the curing was done) straight from the smokehouse you can now feast your eyes on this… (NB: For the sake of space on this page your Maximum Leader has opted to use thumbnails. If you so desire you may clicky the smallish pic to embiggen it.)

This photo is of the skin side of the ham. This is the “top” of the ham. As you can tell from the photo this was a right side ham. Some people believe that there is a difference in the quality of the meat between the left and right side hams. Your Maximum Leader has never been able to tell a difference from one side to the other on the same pig. Although he has tasted differences from pig to pig…

This photo is the bone side of the ham. You may notice the discoloration near the bone. That grey-brown splotch is a harmless mold that grows (frequently) on salt-cured hams. It is superficial and can be wiped off with a sponge (or even a dry paper towel) before you soak the ham.

So… There you have the ham. It’s a beauty n’est-ce pas? Oh yes. A beauty.

So… Easter is a Sunday. (Duh.) Your Maximum Leader started to prepare his ham on Palm Sunday. He took a paper towel to the ham and wiped off some (but not all - he got lazy) of the pepper that coated the ham after salting and through smoking. Normally your Maximum Leader is pretty diligent about this step of “cleaning the ham.” But he was sort of busy that day and did a half-arsed job. Lucky for him, since he was soaking the ham for so long there was little chance that the pepper and any surface detrious would remain.

Here you have a photo (courtesy of Villainette #2) of your Maximum Leader hosing down the ham in a cooler. Well… It wasn’t really hosing down the ham. It was more like putting the ham in a cooler and using the hose to fill the cooler with water so that the ham was completely immersed in the water to a depth of a few inches.

This is the critical part of preparing the ham. Once a Smithfield ham is cured, it is inedible. This is how the meat is preserved. If you can’t eat it, it is unlikely that various critters can eat it. (Hence this is how hams were cured for millenia before refigeration.) Your Maximum Leader put the ham in the water Sunday night. He drained the cooler the next morning and filled it again immediately. Thereafter he “changed the water” at least daily (he might have missed a change - but he sometimes did it twice a day) until Friday night. On Good Friday your Maximum Leader packed up the family in Ye Olde Suburban (Mrs Villain’s primary vehicle) and alighted to his sainted in-law’s home.

So, Saturday morning your Maximum Leader drained the ham for the final time and gave it a quick wash. Since this was sort of early in the morning he forgot to take a picture. Why was it early in the morning you ask? Well… Your Maximum Leader’s ham was 15.5 pounds cured. He estimated it had picked up about 5 pounds of water weight. So it now weighed about 20 pounds. In case you forgot… That ham was cured - not cooked. So that cured meat is still uncooked pork. Not good for eatin’. How does one cook a country ham. Well… You can’t just put it in the oven and let it go. The salt in the meat (and even after 6 days of osmosis there is a lot of salt in the meat) would cause the ham to dry up and be inedible through cooking in an oven. So the next step is to boil your ham.

Now your Maximum Leader should have taken a tape measure out and given you a measurement on how long the ham was. You can judge from its position in the cooler about how big it is. As you can imagine you need a hell of a pot in which to boil that sucker. Lucky for you all your Maximum Leader has a hell of a big pot. His pot is good for boiling hams - or steaming a half bushel of crabs - or about a dozen lobsters.

This phot shows the ham in the pot. Now you are probably noticing something here… The ham has been dismembered. Yes, loyal minions… It has. You see your Maximum Leader’s pot is very big… But not so big that he could immerse the whole ham in it. Since he didn’t want any part of the ham to go unboiled, he and his father-in-law performed a surgery of which a Civil War era “sawbones” would be proud. The hock of the ham was boiled in the same pot.

In case any of you were wondering what type of rig your Maximum Leader used to get the pot boiling… Let this photo show you. This rig is also used in the aforementioned steaming of crabs and lobsters… We had one propane tank standing by in case the one shown ran out of gas (literally). But, we didn’t have to go to the auxillary tank.

Here we are about an hour into the boil. As you can see the pot is boiling well. You can also see the froth and some rendered fat on top of the water. It is important to keep an eye on the boiling pot because if some of the liquid sloshes over the side (which it will) you have the potential for the dual niceties of the fat igniting on the side of your pot (or on the ground) and your flame going out. So keep an eye on your boiling ham.

Here you have your Maximum Leader checking the ham - as he did ever 15 minutes for the nearly 6 hours he boiled the ham. The rule your Maximum Leader uses is about 20 minutes boiling for every pound of weight. (20 pound ham = 6.6 hrs of boiling.) Your Maximum Leader says nearly six hours. It was more like 5 and a quarter. You see… Cutting off the hock reduced the cook time by reducing the weight of the ham - and creating another fleshy side (not covered in fat) for the boiling water to seep into the ham. In case you are wondering what exactly your Maximum Leader is doing here… He is moving the ham in the pot. This doesn’t aid in cooking, but does prevent the ham from cooking to the side of the pot and burning in a spot. (Your Maximum Leader learned this important titbit in 1992 when he had to spend hours scraping incinerated pig fat off the side of his cook pot.)

Five hours and fifteen minutes after going into the water… This is what you get. One fully cooked Smithfield ham. This photo shows the ham only about 4 minutes out of the pot. Your Maximum Leader got the ham out of the pot, turned off the gas, then ran to the kitchen to start removing the fat. This is best done, in your Maximum Leader’s opinion, when the ham is hot. Sure the fat is slippery and sort of slimy. Sure it burns when it touches you… But it is most easily separated from the good stuff when it is hot. This photo was taken by Villainette #1 after your Maximum Leader had taken one swipe at the fat with is knife.

Here is the glorious finished product. One cooked and cleaned Smithfield ham.

At this point the ham is ready for eating. And, truth be told, a small bit was carved off the end of the ham and sliced thinly and the whole family partook of the ham as it was.

The ham was just as good as it was in Dee Dee and Tommy Darden’s store. Just like in that first sample Dee Dee had offered, you could taste the salt, the smoke, and the nutty finish. It was a good a ham as your Maximum Leader has ever had in his life.

So… Saturday night the ham was wrapped in foil and refigerated. On Easter, your Maximum Leader took out the ham and put a light glaze on it and reheated it. For those of you interested in the details… The glaze was a thin mixture of mustard, honey and brown sugar. He reheated it in the oven at 350 for about 35-40 minutes. Really it was in the oven just long enough for the glaze to set and brown. Your Maximum Leader runs hot and cold on the glazing of country hams in general. Sometimes the very faint trace of the sweet and spice is a help to offset the salt of the meat. Sometimes it is a distraction. In this case the glaze was nice since the ham was served warm with scalloped potatoes, grilled asparagus, green salad and a few fried oysters. (Dessert was the best damned Key Lime pie on the face of the planet - courtesy of your Maximum Leader’s good friend Joe - the founder of the Key West Key Lime Pie Company.)

Your Maximum Leader and his family consumed lots of ham… But we still had lots of leftovers. Your Maximum Leader cut off quite a bit of meat in large-ish chunks. He left a considerable amount of meat on the bones with the understanding that his beloved mother-in-law would use the bones (and the meat attached thereto) and make a good bean soup for the big oyster roast she’ll be having at the end of April (and the end of Oyster season). Another chunk went to some other friends down in the Northern Neck. Your Maximum Leader put another chunk in his freezer for later. Then he gave away the rest to various friends around Fredericksburg. In case you were wondering… It is the unanimous opinion of everyone who has tasted the ham that it is one of the best they’ve ever had - if not the best outright.

So once again… If you don’t want to make the trek yourself you can get a ham from Tommy & Dee Dee Darden at the following address:
Darden’s Country Store
16249 Bowling Green Rd
Smithfield VA 23430
deedeedarden - at - aol - dot - com

Your Maximum Leader is already planning a second trip to the Darden’s later this year to get another ham… Possibly one for Christmas or New Years…

Carry on.

Shad planking - OBE

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader had this post in his draft folder and didn’t finish it when he wanted to. Last Wednesday was a big day in politics. It was tax day. It was also the day that many Tea Party protests were occuring across our great republic.

If you are a Virginian the annual Wakefield Shad Planking. Took place last Wednesday.

Sadly… Your Maximum Leader had a longish post lamenting the passing of this great political institution. Well… It hasn’t really passed - it just has become more… base.

You see down in Wakefield they put these bony, oily shad on cedar planks and smoke them over open flames. This gives people an excuse to eat smoked fish, drink beer and talk politics.

In the glorious olden days of the old Byrd “machine” in Virginia it would be at the Shad Planking in the year that Virginians elect their Governor (odd numbered years after a presidential election) when old Harry Byrd Sr. would walk around and “introduce” his good friend “Mr So-and-so.” Old Harry would mention as an aside that “Mr. So-and-so” was a “good man” and had Harry’s “full support” as he is my “very good friend and collegue.” This was the secret code going out that meant that the man going around with Harry Byrd was the very man Harry wanted to be elected Governor in the fall. Since everyone who was anyone went to the shad planking this was where the “machine” got its marching orders for the fall.

Well… That was the way it was until the early 60s at any rate.

Now the political side of the shad planking is seeing how many volunteers you can get out at the ass-crack of dawn to fill open feilds along the road to the shad planking with poster and banners and signs exhorting you to vote for someone. What used to be a drive into the woods in the glory of (mostly) unspoilt nature is now a road festooned with vulgar displays of repetative signage that numbs one’s optic receptors to the point where you would just as soon pull and Oedipus Rex as look on another political sign. The candidate speeches are, as one would expect, sound-bite laden and trite. All in all people are just going through the motions.

On the upside however… There is a lot of beer and smoked shad…

(NB: The “OBE” in the title of this post stands for “overtaken by events” and not “Order of the British Empire.”)

Carry on.

It’s not you. It’s me. Um. No. It’s you.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader apologizes for being dark here for a few days. Early last week a few different things came up that reduced your Maximum Leader’s blog time. (Namely Mrs Villain and the children were having spring break.) Then your Maximum Leader had trouble logging into into his control panel to blog when he did have time. Turns out some person who’s site is hosted on the same server as this one was doing bad things and screwing up this site and some others. Luckily as soon as your Maximum Leader figured out that the cause of his blogging problems had to be something outside of his control and notified the good people at Superb Internet had the problem fixed quickly. So that is good.

While your Maximum Leader was checking out his site he decided to visit his server stats page and look and see referral and traffic history. When your Maximum Leader first started blogging visitor information and traffic was much more important to him than it is today. He checks the information quarterly - mostly out of habit than anything else. Normally his direct referral traffic comes from the usual suspects. Kevin, Robbo, FLG and Mrs P. But since your Maximum Leader last checked he’s been linked by a few new blogs. He expected to get some traffic from our new blog-friend Robert Stacy McCain. Sure enough your Maximum Leader did get a bunch of traffic from The Other McCain. Indeed, your Maximum Leader received over 1000 new unique visitors from Stacy McCain’s site. But there was one site who provided more unique visitors than did The Other McCain.

Your Maximum Leader needs to give a big shout out to Suzanna Logan.

Yup. Your Maximum Leader got more traffic from Suzanna than he did from Stacy McCain. It was close, but Insert Clever S. Logan referred more people to this site than anyone else’s direct link over the past 30 days.

You know what makes that statistic more interesting… The link that Suzanna has kindly given your Maximum Leader is to a feed page that doesn’t even work right! (Which is something he’s going to be working on this week to resolve.) Yet the visitors still come!

So… Suzanna… Your Maximum Leader doffs his bejeweled floppy cap in your direction.

And while we are speaking about Suzanna lets do a little comparison shall we? Suzanna is a very attractive, socially aware, volunteer oriented and ideologically correct young woman. Your Maximum Leader is not. Suzanna is not a lesbian. Your Maximum Leader is not a lesbian either. Suzanna has been blogging for a few months and has been Instalanched. Your Maximum Leader has been blogging since 2003 and has never been Instalanched.

Basically, your Maximum Leader is a lucky guy to be able to get so much traffic while being so undeserving of it.

Thanks Suzanna. Your Maximum Leader should give you a T-shirt (or something - okay I’m pushing here aren’t I?) as a thank you gift.

Carry on.

Opening Day - in Washadelphia

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader needs to get cracking on ham blogging. Yup. He cooked up his Smithfield ham from Darden’s Country Store over the weekend. He doesn’t want to give away too many details… But it was really really good. You’ll all get some photos and commentary coming up…

Well… Today is baseball’s opening day in Washington DC. Your Maximum Leader’s beloved Nats are opening against the Philadelphia Phillies today in a few hours. He is expecting the ballpark to be filled with Phillies Phans. Especially since the “Mayor of Natstown” - Stan Kasten - encouraged Philly Phans to come to DC to catch the game. Did your Maximum Leader mention that Kasten did this on the radio in Philly? Oh yeah. That was a smart move.

Well… Your Maximum Leader shouldn’t complain too much he supposes. After all, as of today the Nats are on pace to drop 162 games this season. Your Maximum Leader is already beginning to second-guess his prediction that the Nats will not lose 100 or more games this season…

Well… Although he will not be in the stands… Your Maximum Leader wishes the Nationals a victory today.

Go Nats.
The Nat’s curly “W”

Carry on.

Love. It.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader’s friend FLG sent him a link to a page with a title that read thus: Art Peaks Forever as Two Chicks Lightsaber Battle in Their Underwear Without Irony. FLG comments that your Maximum Leader “might like this.”

Might like it? Hell. Your Maximum Leader LOVES IT.

For your viewing pleasure:

Carry on.

Money laying around

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader knows that the federal government has been rather free with money of late. But it seems as though money is just being left around in parking lots and such.

To wit: Woman finds $357,959 cashier’s check and returns it. Also: History Channel host finds money on Montana street.

Apparently around the streets and parking lots of our great republic there has been recently nearly $370,000 just laying around.

The good news here is that in both cases the money was returned to its rightful owner.

FYI. Your Maximum Leader hasn’t found any money laying on the street. (Excepting pennies and the lot.)

Carry on.

Richest in history

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader sometimes just follows links on websites. That is the whole joy of the interwebs isn’t it? He doesn’t do it as much as he could - or probably should. But from time to time he winds up finding something interesting.

Your Maximum Leader has been listening for a long time now (at least a year) to a podcast recaping the history of the Roman Republic/Empire. From time to time he will go back to a book he owns or to a web site or Wiki article to read up on a subject. So it was that he stumbled across a Wiki page on the 200 wealthest people from history according to Forbes Magazine in 2008. The individual’s wealth is was adjusted into 2007 US dollars to make the list. Your Maximum Leader isn’t sure exactly how the good writers at Forbes were able to make some of their estimations of wealth, but the list is an interesting read nonetheless.

Here is the whole list for your reading pleasure: Wealthy Historical Figures 2008 .

Some interesting people on the list:

Marcus Lincinius Crassus - Number 8. (Yes. That one. The Triumvir. Lawrence Olivier if you remember the movie.)
King William II of England - Number 14.
Jay Gould - Number 37.
Cecil Rhodes - Number 60.
George Washington - Number 126.
Sir Richard Branson - Number 200.

There are lots of notables on the list. Your Maximum Leader was not surprised by Number 1. Indeed, it was exactly who he thought it would be. There were a few who were not as high up on the list as he thought they’d be. The one who’s low ranking truly surprised your Maximum Leader was J.P. Morgan. There were a few who were higher than he thought (namely Andrew Mellon and Henry Ford).

List is worth a look at any rate.

Carry on.

Random stuff

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is having a hard time putting a cogent thought together this morning. He’s not sure why… But there it is… So… Random link dumping here…

Have a few mil and an itch to fly a reconfigured model of the greatest fighter of WWII? You can buy a two-seat Spitfire at auction on April 20. Your Maximum Leader would love to fly in a Spitfire. He’s not sure he’d like owning one, but a flight in one would be cool as all get out.

FYI… The Nationals are still tied with the Phillies in the basement of the NL East. Only 160 games to go!

Historical names we love… Courtesy of FLG.

You should go and peruse “The Other McCain” which is chocked full of good politics.

Your Maximum Leader found himself defending Senator Edward M. Kennedy yesterday night. He was watching Sports Center with Villainette #2 and the Wee Villain. They showed a clip of Ted Kennedy throwing out the first pitch at the Sawx home opener. The Wee Villain proclaimed that he could throw a ball better. Villainette #2 agreed. Your Maximum Leader had to add in quickly that Senator Kennedy has been suffering from a brain tumor and is lucky to be alive right now. Villainette #2 said that in light of that he probably did okay. The Wee Villain (with the candor of a 4 year old) piped in that not only could he throw better than Kennedy he could hit better than Kennedy too… One supposes that the Wee Villain’s reaction is still age appropriate.

The Maersk Alabama was siezed by pirates yesterday. This is the first US flagged vessel to be taken by pirates in a very long time apparently. The US Navy is sending a ship to interdict the taken vessel. The Navy vessel (likely a destroyer - perhaps an Arliegh Burke class destroyer) should arrive on the scene today. There are, reportedly, 20 US nationals on the Maersk vessel. Your Maximum Leader believes that he heard somewhere that the Maersk Alabama is based out of Norfolk, VA and carries materials for the US 5th Fleet. The linked article doesn’t mention this tidbit or if the cargo is for the Navy.

Your Maximum Leader believes that the announced merger of Pulte Homes and Centex Homes is likely a good sign. It seems unlikely that Pulte would be willing to dip so deeply into their cash reserves to make this accquistion if they didn’t see some light at the end of the housing tunnel.

That is about it for now…

Carry on.

Nats tied with Philly in standings!

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader wasn’t one of the 6 to 10 thousand people watching the Nats season opener on TV. He was listening on the radio while attending Villainette #2’s soccer game. (NB to the Nationals Media people: Could you please find a partner to broadcast your games in Fredericksburg? It is nearly impossible to get any of the DC sports stations on AM or FM down here. Your Maximum Leader doesn’t want to have to buy XM/Sirius just to get a few games a year…)

So… That was painful. The game that is… In case you aren’t tracking this (and it is likely that only Robbo and I are) the Nats lost 6-12 to the Florida Marlins.

What is the good news in this drubbing? Here it is: there are 161 games left in the season; the Nats are tied with Philly at the bottom of the NL East.

There might also be one more bit of good news… According to the great Thomas Boswell, the one significant veteran player on the team looks like he might try and provide a leadership focus for the team.

It can only get better from here.

The Nat’s curly “W”

Carry on.

Calling Mr FLG.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is going to have to call out his friend Mr. FLG. Yes… Call Mr. FLG to task for what your Maximum Leader hopes is a momentary lapse of reason and judgement.

Did you happen to read this recent post from Mr. FLG? Go thee now and read.

Back? Great.

Now your Maximum Leader really doesn’t have a beef with that post until the end. FLG’s favorite holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas, St. Patty’s Day, Halloween, and Cinco de Mayo.


Where the hell is the FOURTH OF JULY!!!!! Cinco Friggin de Mayo makes the list and the FOURTH OF JULY doesn’t?

Allow your Maximum Leader to ennumerate the reasons why the FOURTH OF JULY is the greatest of all American holidays. Pay close attention and we may be able to avoid re-education camps down the road…

1. A time to celebrate the ideas behind the founding of our great republic.
2. Completely secular.
3. No gift-giving required (assuming that you don’t consider the beer you might bring to a party as being a “gift”).
4. Good weather.
5. Bikini-clad hotties.
6. Fireworks.
7. Cook-outs.
8. John Phillip Sousa marches.
9. Drinking.
10. Day off work regardless of when it falls in the week.

(Did your Maximum Leader mention Bikini-clad hotties, cook-outs and exploding shit? Well let him say it again… Bikini-clad hotties, cook-outs and fireworks.)

Your Maximum Leader hopes not to have cover this again with you FLG…

Carry on.

Opening Day.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader supposes that today is really opening “day” and the Phillies/Braves game was opening “night.” Of course, opening day here in the Washington DC area isn’t until April 13th…

Let the baseball begin!

Predictions from your Maximum Leader… (Baseball predictions that is…)

The Washington Nationals will finish in last place in the NL East. The Washington Nationals will not lose 100 or more games. The Washington Nationals will split their interleague series (phah! interleague play is an abomination, but appears to be here to stay) against the Baltimore Orioles. New Nat Adam Dunn will hit 38 home runs this year and have 98 RBI.

Other baseball predictions…
NL East Winner - Philadelphia Phillies
NL Central Winner - Chicago Cubs
NL West Winner - LA Dodgers
AL East Winner - Boston Red Sox
AL Central Winner - Cleveland Indians
AL West Winner - LA Angels
NL Winner - Chicago Cubs
AL Winner - Boston Red Sox
World Series Winner - Chicago Cubs

Go to Vegas. Place your bets. Be assured to lose most of your money because that is how Vegas stays in business. But while you are there gamble some more, have a few nice meals, take in a show…

Here are some Washington baseball memories for your viewing pleasure:

The Big Train pitching:

Opening Day in 1957 & 1959 (see Vice President Nixon!):

George W. Bush throws out first pitch last year:

Enjoy yourselves…

Carry on.

UPDATE FROM YOUR MAXIMUM LEADER: You should go and check out Robbo’s Washington Nats predictions. Your Maximum Leader particuarly likes the prediction about Teddy winning a president’s race. Your Maximum Leader doesn’t think it will happen this year. Teddy winning will occur during the first home playoff game…

Also, you can tell that Robbo is a true fan. He is looking through his rose-colored glasses and predicting a third place finish for the Nats in the NL East. Your Maximum Leader, who lost his rose-colored glasses years ago, can’t see that. He can see a possible strong fourth place finish - with the Marlins in the basement; but can’t see how the Nats will surpass the Braves or the Phillies. No need to worry about the Mets who will cruise through the summer in first place in the NL East and self-destruct by September and have to settle for second or third…

Carry on.

Nasty Boy to DC.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader sees that Nasty Boy Rob Dibble has joined the MASN Sports Net team broadcasting the Washington Nationals on TV.

Your Maximum Leader has always liked Rob Dibble. One wonders what brought him to DC? You know only a few thousand people watch the Nats on TV… One hopes Dibs will change all that…

Carry on.

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