Scattershot thoughts

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has survived the holiday and he hopes you have as well. He feels particularly fat and slothlike. He’ll need to get out and exercise or something to try and counteract the urge to remain idle…

Apparently the sloth affecting your Maximum Leader is keeping him from writing a full blog post. So he’ll give you some banalities to occupy this space…

With some of the oysters left over from Thanksgiving your Maximum Leader made “angels on horseback” to have with dinner last night. They were a big hit. The kids kept trying to figure out if the oysters were the angels or if the bacon was. Tough call that one.

Your Maximum Leader must admit a certain fascination with the whole State Dinner crasher story. He’s not interested in the couple per se. Indeed, he couldn’t care at all about them personally. He is interested to know how exactly they got in. It continues to boggle your Maximum Leader’s mind. He’s attended presidential functions both at the White House and away from the White House. He knows that security isn’t perfect (certainly not away from the White House). But you figure that one would have to do more than just show up in a tux and act upset when your name isn’t on the guest list and act your way in. Your Maxium Leader is curious to learn how this happened and who is going to lose their job over it…

Your Maximum Leader thinks that Mrs Villain got him a Blu-Ray player for Christmas… That is a very exciting prospect. But it also means that he may have to get a new tv. His 46″ Sony HDTV is a rear projection job and doesn’t have an HDMI jack on the back. He suspects that he’ll live with the standard component connection for a while… But the urge to upgrade will be strong…

A close friend of your Maximum Leader and Mrs Villain will be getting married in March. It is likely that they will be celebrating the joyous day in Key West, FL. Your Maximum Leader and Mrs Villain are excited to go. But last night your Maximum Leader realized that March in Key West is sort of spring break time… Hummm… That adds an interesting (and often drunken) wrinkle to this trip.

Your Maximum Leader has been getting headaches with some regularity over the past 10 days. He thinks that the problem are his glasses. It has been about two years since his prescription has been adjusted… It might be time.

Your Maximum Leader wonders if a healthcare bill will actually get passed before the 2010 elections. He is beginning to doubt it. That is a good think all in all. If some bill must be passed he hopes it will be a stripped down one containing some insurance company reform and perhaps some minor tort reform. He realizes that such a bill is highly unlikely; but he hopes nonetheless.

What is up with Dubai? Your Maximum Leader isn’t sure if he should be concerned, worried, really worried or start to go crazy over what is going on with Dubai missing their loan payments. It seems like it isn’t a good thing no matter how you look at it.

Your Maximum Leader is also thinking about buying another turkey and cooking it up this weekend. He has left over gravy and needs to put it on something…

Carry on.

Happy Thanksgiving

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader might not get a chance to post anything between now and Saturday so he figured it would be best to wish all of you a happy Thanksgiving. As an American, Thanksgiving is the second best holiday on the calendar (after the 4th of July.) It is a great secular event that in which all Americans can be thankful for the bounty that is our land and remain mindful of the liberties we continue to enjoy.

At the Villainschloss today there will be a lot of pre-Thanksgiving prep going on. Already this morning a mincemeat pie and a peach pie have been made. Two pumpkin pies are in the offing now. After that there will be chestnut roasting. We will also get the dressing (with sausage, mushrooms and the aforementioned roasted chestnuts) done along with the creamed onions. Your Maximum Leader will (with the help of Villainette #2) boil the Smithfield Ham and get it ready. If the plan works well we should only have the turkey, mashed ‘taters, and brussel sprouts to complete tomorrow. That is a managable load.

Your Maximum Leader wishes you all the best. Happy Thanksgiving to all Americans, near and abroad. And a special Happy Thanksgiving to his cousins (Ryan and Cindy), and their comrades, who are serving in Iraq this Thanksgiving. We miss you both and pray for your safe return.

Carry on.

Sexy Pilgrim

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader found the following video very funny… Even if it is a long ad for some enhanced milk type product…

You’re welcome.

Carry on.

All is well with water

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader wanted you all to know that his water bill was adjusted down to the expected level. The meter reader could not acutally read a meter it seems. All is well and the overbilling is a memory now…

Carry on.

The meal is set.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader and Mrs Villain have settled on the Thanksgiving Day feast. For those of you interested, here tis:

Fried and raw oysters - fresh Rappahannock River/Chesapeake Bay oysters supplied by Capt’n Red on Tuesday.
Smithfield Ham - not Darden’s ham, but Smithfield. (This is the “other” ham procured during the Quest for Ham.)
Roast Turkey & gravy - to get perfect skin your Maximum Leader covers the bird with cheesecloth and basts it in a wine/butter/herb mixture every 20 mins or so.
Mashed potatos.
Dressing with sausage, mushrooms and roasted chestnuts - new dish this year.
Grated brussel sprouts with radicchio and bacon.
Creamed onions - a colonial recipe and one of George Washington’s favorites.
Asparagus & heart of palm salad.
Pumpkin pie.
Blueberry pie.
Mincemeat pie.
Stilton & Port.

For the gentlemen (and ladies if they care to partake) there will be various whiskys available before, during and after the meal (exluding Port time of course). We also have a beautiful bottle of French wine (a 2007 sauvingon from Tourraine) for the ladies.

There you have it. The ham is soaking now. Pies will be made Wednesday morning. Ham boiled Wednesday night and reheated Thursday. The creamed onions will also be made Wednesday. Feasting will commence after the Packers game on Thanksgiving.

Carry on.

I’ve had it in the ear before

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is a big fan of the Badass of the Week website. This week he nearly choked from laughing so hard at the Caterina Sforza bio. Caterina, by the way, is the Badass of the Week this week. You should check it out.

Carry on.

Hey man, where’d you get that lotion?

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader apologizes for his absence from this space. Life has a way of sometimes overtaking you and requires that you put by the wayside those pasttimes you would like to partake in more frequently…


Your Maximum Leader figures he’ll share a little story with you all. If you happen to read your Maximum Leader’s twitter feed you might already know this…

So, your Maximum Leader opens his water/sewer bill today. The total of the bill… $112,818.64. Yup. You read that correctly. One hundred and twelve thousand eight hundred and eighteen dollars and sixty-four cents. Well… Your Maximum Leader assumed that there was a problem with the bill. He couldn’t have consumed a few million cubic yards of water in a month. (Afterall he just got one of those high-efficiency front loading washing machines… And cleaning the dungeon doesn’t require THAT much water…)

So, he called the Utility department. They confirmed that the bill seemed wrong, given my past usage. But the meter reading supported the bill. Your Maximum Leader actually walked out to the meter and read what it said to the person on the line. They then started to dispute your Maximum Leader’s ability to read a meter. He informed them that it was their professional meter reader who was evidently not able to read a simple dial meter. They eventually agreed to send another meter reader to check the meter and get a new reading.

The new meter reading is supposed to take place tomorrow (Saturday no less). Your Maximum Leader will keep a sharp eye out for the person and check up after them… Crazy…

Carry on.

Another quick update

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader doesn’t have time for a lengthy update right now but he wanted to let you all know what is going on. His father is home from the hospital (he came home Friday night) and is doing well. He will be seeing various specialists on an out-patient basis this week to confirm that all is well. He looked good (all things considered) when your Maximum Leader and his progeny visited yesterday.

Again, many thanks for the well wishes and prayers from all of you out there. It means a great deal to us.

Carry on.


Hello everyone. I wanted to thank all of you who wrote to me and inquired about my Dad. I thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. I appreciate it. I also hope to take a moment to respond individually to all of you who wrote.

If you have been reading Kevin’s blog you will know a bit of what has been going on with me (and with Kevin’s mom) over the past few days.

As it stands now, my Dad had a heart fibrillation that lasted for about 12 hrs. His treatment was complicated by the fact that he’d had a minor out-patient surgery requiring a skin graft. The graft bled very badly and prevented some cardiac treatment. The bleeding is stopped and the graft is healing as it should. He has been getting tested in the cardiac department today and we are awaiting results.

I can’t thank Kevin enough for all he has done to help and comfort my Dad and me.

Hopefully I’ll be back in character next week.

Carry on.

Light blogging

I wanted to alert any family and friends that might read this space and haven’t heard yet from me that my dad was hospitalized last night after suffering heart-attack-like symptoms. Initial reports seem to show that he has not had a heart attack, but has been suffering from a severe cardiac fibrillation (or irregular heart-beat). There are yet many questions to answer. I’ll report back as I am able.

Many thanks to my bro Kevin for all his support. I can’t express how much it has meant to me.

Well I’m just a modern guy

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is one tired guy. He hasn’t stopped since Friday. He wishes he could have a day just to relax. Let us recap shall we…

On Friday night the formal ball your Maximum Leader and Mrs Villain attended was great. Everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves. Your Maximum Leader worries a little that Mrs Villain didn’t have the best time. He feels this way because this year (and last) your Maximum Leader was responsible (with another gentleman) for planning and execution of the dance. Your Maximum Leader took this duty really seriously and spent a significant amount of time attending to the smooth operation of the dance. This left his lovely wife alone for some stretches of the night. He feels miserable about this. He will not be planning the dance again for quite a while. He hopes to make next year’s dance more enjoyable for her…

Sadly there will be no picture of your Maximum Leader bedecked in his tux. Alas, Villainette #2’s attempt at taking a photo failed because she had the camera set to some wierd setting that made us all out-of-focus… It is probably better anyway. Your Maximum Leader needs to take the tux to the tailor. He needs it taken in about a half-an-inch around the waist. His pants were drooping all night. Not a good scene.

Then on Saturday there was much yard work done in the morning. Your Maximum Leader’s hands have a blister to show how hard it was to get the leaf mulcher started. Eventually your Maixmum Leader excused himself from yard work and got to putting the finishing touches on his speech to be delivered on Sunday.

Saturday night was fun. Villainette #2 and your Maximum Leader went to Tony Cheng’s for dinner and then the Capitals game. We had shrimp toast and Peking duck for dinner. Your Maximum Leader loves Tony Cheng’s, but he should remember that their Peking duck isn’t the best in town. They put something on the skin that changes the taste. The skin is very crispy and has a sweet taste with an undercurrent of citrus. It is a flavor that is different from the ususal taste of Peking duck with which your Maximum Leader is familiar. In his opinion the best Peking duck in town is to be found at the Peking Gourmet on Route 7 near Bailey’s Crossroads (and across from St. Anthony’s Catholic Church).

The Capitals game was great. The Caps played soft during the first and second periods. They were outshot by the Florida Panthers. The Caps looked tired. Very tired. Then they turned it up in the third period and scored 5 goals in the last frame. They won 7-4. It was lots of fun.

Then yesterday your Maximum Leader went down to Longwood University to deliver a speech to members of the Freshman class who were being recognized for their early contributions to the school. The recognition dinner was being sponsored by a secret society that your Maximum Leader helped to establish 20-odd years ago. He made the 2.5 hr drive down to the school in about 2 hours. Then he had the pleasure of meeting a few of the current members of the society before the speech and dinner. They were gracious hosts who indulged him as he blabbed on about how things were long ago… Your Maximum Leader thinks the speech went off well. The students seated at this table were full of questions. He had to deflect the questions about the secret society; but he was happy to indulge them in reminescences about life at Longwood before they were born…

NB to Robbo: Your Maximum Leader is not your hero for ever. Sadly, he couldn’t figure out how to work in the material from the Market Snodgrass speech. He did try to tell an Irish joke to the students at his table and ramble a little bit. But it didn’t come off as well as it could have.

Then on the drive home he missed a turn that he has been making for decades and wound up in Goochland (rather than Richmond) before he knew it. So that added about 25 mins to his return trip that he’d not bargained for…

All in all, it was a good weekend. A bit on the tiring side… But very good.

Carry on.

I’m worth a million in prizes…

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has been quite busy this week. This weekend is going to be a rough one.

Tonight he and Mrs Villain are attending a formal ball. Tuxedos and evening gowns. Big band. It should be a good (if long) night.

Tomorrow night your Maximum Leader and Villainette #2 are going to the Washington Capitals game.

Sunday your Maximum Leader is driving back to his alma mater to deliver a speech on leadership to a group of students being recognized for their contributions to the school. (NB to all: If you have some pithy things you believe your Maximum Leader should add to the speech - which is only broadly outlined at this point - please feel free to comment and let him know.)

He figures when you add into the mix sleep, travel time and regular family stuff he doesn’t think there will be much relaxing this weekend.

If all works out he might post a photo of a tuxedo’ed Maximum Leader. Just for kicks…

Carry on.

HWMMLV? Answered

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is pleased to report that many people seemed to ask themselves that time honored question (HWMMLV? Or “How would my Maximum Leader vote?) and answered the question correctly…

Yes… All in all it was a pretty good electorally speaking. For the first time in a very long time every single candidate for whom your Maximum Leader cast his ballot won. That bond issue even passed. It was sort of crazy. The best news of the night, for your Maximum Leader, came later when he learned that Susan Stimpson had decisively won her race for Stafford Supervisor - Falmouth District. In a three way race she got just over 50% of the vote. That was great news.

All in all the results all over the nation seemed to please your Maximum Leader. There was that whole NY-23 thingie that was a little disappointing. If you don’t mind your Maximum Leader saying so, he could sort of see the NY-23 seat going the way it did. Even after whats-her-name dropped out you had to figure there would be a bunch of people who would see her name and party affiliation and just tick the box without thinking. If it had been a two person race, then he thinks Hoffman could have prevailed. So there is that…

All in all do these elections mean much in the grand scheme of things. Well… Not too much most likely. The President and the Congress are going to do more to hurt themselves over the next year than the damage these election results have done. If anything these elections are symbolic of the bloom being off the rose. One can hope that the major offshoot of the election will be some energetic opposition on the part of the Republicans, good candidate recruitment on the part of Republicans, and perhaps the press will feel that they can be a little less deferential to the President.

Your Maximum Leader should go on the record (again) now and say that conservatives need to call their shots in the upcoming election. This is to say that pragmatism should rule the day over plain ideology. How did the Democrats become a majority party? They did it by getting some “moderate” Democrats in areas where they needed them. Conservatives should carefully study the electoral maps. Where conservatives can win, conservatives should run. But where conservatives haven’t shown a history of winning then you need to find a “moderate” who can win. Politics isn’t an all-or-nothing game. There is always division of the loaf. What a large majority grants you is the ability to get more of the loaf. Pick battles carefully and don’t be sulky if you don’t always get your way.

Now celebrate the day and get ready for another battle…

Carry on.

Thievery isn’t always a bad thing.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is a great fan of Eric’s blog. It is pretty durned awesome.

Did you read one of Eric’s recent stories about the fruits of theivery? If you did not you should.

Your Maximum Leader sees that a few commenters are disagreeing with each other on the nature of the story. For what it is worth your Maximum Leader thinks that Eric was likely an agent of fate in this case. Yes we know that stealing is wrong. But in this case there is redemption in an attempt to right a wrong. No one would be happy with Eric stealing (indeed Eric himself was not), but in this case something was saved that would have been lost.

Regardless… The story itself is great. Read it and think about it some your own self.

Carry on.


Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader voted today. He went ahead and did what amounted to a straight party-line ticket. McDonnell, Bolling, Cucinnelli for the top three. Then he voted for Bill Howell for Delegate and Susan Stimpson for Supervisor. He also voted for Meg Bohmke for School Board (she was running unopposed).

For the first time in a long long time he voted for a bond referendum. This happened to be one to improve public parks in the county.

While casting his votes today he felt as though he was voting against the Washington Post Editorial Board. Why? Because all three of the major Democratic candidates haven’t communicated any message beyond “The Washington Post endorsed me.” That seems to be the big takeaway from all of their ads.

If you live in a locality that has an election today, please go and vote. If you have a question about who to vote for or against, feel free to leave a comment here and ask for guidance. Your Maximum Leader is all about helping you like that.

If you can’t leave a comment ask yourself “HWMMLV?” (Or How would my Maximum Leader vote?) and to the villainous thing.

Carry on.

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