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Haggis musings

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader generally doesn’t stay up late too much. That said, he is a big fan of TV’s Craig Ferguson and the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. Your Maximum Leader DVR’s the Late Late Show and watches it the next day.

So, your Maximum Leader was watching Ferguson’s monolouge from the other night and learned something that he didn’t know. Ferguson was talking about Burns Night and haggis and mentioned that haggis is illegal to import into the US because it contains lung. Wha? Your Maximum Leader has wondered in the past why he could find canned (tinned?) haggis in Canada and Britain, but couldn’t find it in the US. Until last night your Maximum Leader figured “Hell… It’s haggis… How much demand could there be?” and assumed that the demand was so low that it wasn’t economical to import canned (or other) haggis into the states. But apparently there is a law against importing foods into the US that contain sheep’s lung. Again your Maximum Leader writes “Wha?.”

After a little poking around, sure enough, it seems to be the case that one cannot import haggis to the US due to the content of sheep’s lung in the pudding.

This caused your Maximum Leader to wonder if he’s had traditional haggis in the US. He knows he got a traditional haggis in Scotland. (If you can’t get it there where can you get it?) And he suspects that he could get it in Canada (if he wanted to). But he’s had haggis a few times in the US and now wonders if the sheep’s lung was included in the mix? Since it was domestically produced one may assume that it was. But if there is this import ban on sheep’s lung is there some sort of other ban on using the lungs of domestic sheep in haggis?

Your Maximum Leader wonders.

If you care… Here is the Craig Ferguson monolouge in which he discusses Burns night and haggis.

One final note… Your Maximum Leader and the Smallholder had threatened for years to have a “bad heritage food dinner.” This dinner would feature the most awful food we could make from our ethic backgrounds. This would be haggis for your Maximum Leader, and probably some sort of blood sausage for the Smallholder (who’s heritage is German). Since the Smallholder could raise a sheep for the meal, it might prove to be the opportunity your Maximum Leader needs to make an authentic haggis.

Carry on.

Jan 26 thoughts

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader doesn’t know why he watched the State of the Union speech last night. He did watch of course. He always watches. Well, almost always watches. There were a few George W Bush SOTU speeches your Maximum Leader missed; mainly because he couldn’t stand to watch the man give a speech. It was painful.

Of course last night’s SOTU speech was painful in a different way. It was painful in that way that a rational person feels when his brain is about to explode due to the contradictions. Sadly this is how most SOTU speeches have been for 20 years. The president stands up there and tells everyone what they want to hear. In last night’s example, President Obama called for lots of new spending as well as spending freezes. He wants to invest and cut the deficit. He wants to spend wisely and eliminate the debt.

By the way… Is “high speed rail” actually code for something else? Your Maximum Leader wanted to think that “high speed rail” was actually code for “riding the love train to Bill Clinton’s office in Harlem” - which is something many women would like to do (at least this is what your Maximum Leader is told).


Luckily for your Maximum Leader, his lovely wife (Mrs Villain) came in about 25 minutes into the President’s speech and wanted to talk about other things. This talk went on for about 30 minutes. So your Maximum Leader was able to preserve his brain from damage by focusing on his wife and largely ignoring what was going on at the Capitol.

Your Maximum Leader thought that Paul Ryan’s response was competent. Your Maximum Leader has heard Ryan speak before and last night wasn’t his best work. Sadly, your Maximum Leader missed Michelle Bachmann completely as Mrs Villain needed some help on the computer (which is not code by the way) and he was away long enough to miss the “tea party response.”

All in all your Maximum Leader believes that he’ll have completely forgotten the SOTU by about 2:47pm today.

In other news…

Who’s rooting for the Packers in the big game? Your Maximum Leader is. So are you if you’ve got any sense about you. Sadly it looks like your Maximum Leader will be watching the Super Bowl at the home of some close friends who are Pittsburgh fans. Your Maximum Leader worries about the dynamic in the house during the game. Perhaps he should cancel and stay home… Perhaps he should find new friends….

Di ye knew wha to-day is? It is Robert Burns Day! Huzzah! While your Maximum Leader will not be partaking of haggis sliders; he will have a little of the “water of life” to go along with his poached salmon with dinner. He may even read a poem or two to the family.

Finally… We are on snow watch here in Virginia. The Villainschloss is in the “wintery mix” to 5″ of snow zone. As with all these winter storms, one never knows what will happen until it is happening. Frankly, your Maximum Leader is hoping for rain and nothing more, but with his luck the snow will come and cancel schools and thereby disrupt his harmony.

Carry on.


Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader wishes his friend Buckethead and his lovely wife many congratulations on the birth of their fourth perfidious offspring…

Your Maximum Leader is sorry he missed this last week, but is glad that mother and daughter are well.

Carry on.

Photos and sports musings

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader mentioned, a few days ago, that he’d been at a fancy dinner in DC recently. The guests of honor at the dinner were Cal Ripken, Jr. and Alex Ovechkin. The event was hosted by Lindsay Czarniak of DC’s own NBC 4 news. Your Maximum Leader sadly doesn’t have an impromptu photo with Alex Ovechkin that turned out okay. (Most were slightly out of focus.) But he does have a few others for your viewing pleasure.

Here is your Maximum Leader and Washington Capitals Coach (and hockey lifer) Bruce Boudreau. (Clicken to embiggen.)
ML & Gabby Boudreau

Here is your Maximum Leader and Cal Ripken Jr. (Clicken to embiggen.)
ML & Cal Ripken Jr

And here is your Maximum Leader with Lindsay Czarniak. (Again, clicken…)
ML & Lindsay Czarniak

Your Maximum Leader hopes that the official photographer was able to capture your Maximum Leader and Alex Ovechkin. And once again for the record… Lindsay Czarniak is both charming and attractive. She also shows a tremendous amount of patience with middle aged men who want to be photographed with her.

In the sports musing department…

Your Maximum Leader has been watching a fair amount of hockey of late. His beloved Washington Capitals are something of a puzzle. They are getting and taking shots. But they aren’t scoring. Coach Boudreau is mixing up the lines to good effect, yet the big superstars of Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Alexander Semin are not scoring. The team is surviving on good play from the second and third lines.

The Caps have been playing a more defensive style of game, rather than last year’s (very exciting) wide open game. The defensive habits they are practising now should help the Caps if they make it to the playoffs. Your Maximum Leader doesn’t want to jinx the team, but right now they are in a tight race for the lead in the Southeast Division. The Caps can’t afford to assume that they will win the division and make the playoffs. After crushing the other teams in the division for so long those other teams have been able to build in the draft and are now showing significant signs of improvement.

Anyhoo… Your Maximum Leader is generally pleased with what he sees from his Capitals. They are on the right path and he is hopeful that they will continue to travel on this path for a long while.

In other sports news…

Your Maximum Leader is darn near estatic over how the football playoffs have been going. His much loved Green Bay Packers have found a running game to compliment Aaron Rodger’s great control of the passing game. Your Maximum Leader is giddy with anticipation over the NFC Championship game this weekend. The Packers and the Bears. The oldest and most storied rivalry in the NFL. The only way the game could be better would be if it were held at Lambeau and not Soldier Field. But Soldier Field in January is pretty good… Your Maximum Leader thinks the Packers can pull off the upset. But he will be watching very closely.

Lastly… Is it too early to be thinking baseball? Your Maximum Leader’s beloved Washington Nationals have been pretty active this off-season. They have been overpaying players to fill out the roster. Of course, when you suck for a few years and don’t show an inclination to win you have to spend some big bucks to attract good players to come to town and turn around the team. Your Maximum Leader thinks it is too early to judge if the moves have been good, but his early gut feeling is that the Nats should have kept Dunn. The offence Dunn produced for the team generally offset his defensive shortcomings. Your Maximum Leader isn’t sure that LaRoche and Werth are going to fully make up those runs (but they will save runs on defense). Your Maximum Leader should probably engage in some advanced statistical analysis to figure out how the runs would change, but he doubts he’ll do that…

With that… Your Maximum Leader will cheer on his Caps and Packers and hope for the best for them.

Carry on.

You’re kidding, right? Right?

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader sees on The Superficial, that The History Channel has decided not to air their 8 part miniseries on Jack and Jackie Kennedy. Apparently the miniseries wasn’t up to the rigorous standards of The History Channel.

What? Not up to their standards?

This is the same History Channel that runs all those great shows like “Ancient Aliens,” “Nostradamus Effect,” and “UFO Hunters”? Because you know there is all sorts of legitimate historical evidence of aliens/UFO’s…

Great jeezey chreezey… What is going on in the world?

Carry on.

Busy year so far

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader’s 2011 has started out with him running around quite a bit and now feeling the need for a long night of sleep.

This week started with your Maximum Leader going out to a school function with the Villainettes on Monday night that wound up going on until 8pm. By the time we got home and got settled it was sort of late. Tuesday started very early for your Maximum Leader. You see, your Maximum Leader ran afoul of some laws regarding the speed at which one is able to operate a motor vehicle and Tuesday AM was a court hearing. (Your Maximum Leader was minimally admonished in case you care. He thanks the judge for her wisdom in deciding his case.) Then Tuesday night your Maximum Leader and Villainette #1 went and saw his beloved Washington Capitals fall in OT to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Wednesday was a late night because your Maximum Leader and Villainette #2 went to a fundraiser in DC with Cal Ripken Jr and Alex Ovechkin as the guests of honor. (More on this later he hopes - especially when he can get photos together.) Then last night your Maximum Leader trekked up to Kevin’s house to mark the 1st anniversary of the death of Kevin’s mother.

With all this running around your Maximum Leader is dragging a little bit this morning. He could use a few hours more sleep. Sleep he hopes to get tomorrow in fact.

And in the real mundane crap department… Your Maximum Leader has a lot of TV on the DVR that he’s got to get watched. About a week worth of the “Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson,” the last two episodes of “The Walking Dead,” the last three episodes of “Burn Notice,” the last episode of “24/7 Capitals v. Penguins,” and various other stuff.

By the way… Also at that fundraiser was NBC4’s Lindsay Czarniak. After meeting her, your Maximum Leader can say that she is a charming person as well as quite pretty. He should also report that when we watch her on the news we don’t get to see her most outstanding physical asset, which are lovely legs. Your Maximum Leader thinks that she should get out from behind that desk for some reporting.

Carry on.


Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader wishes you all a prosperous new year. He hopes that one and all of you will experience more joy than sorrow, more optimism than pessimism and that you all will be showered with blessings in 2011.

Your Maximum Leader hopes to blog more, read more and think more than he did in 2010.

Some images of the new year from around the world for your view pleasure…

From Sydney Austrailia (courtesy of the AP):
2011 New Year’s Eve Sydney

From Moscow (courtesy of the AP):
2011 New Years St Basil Moscow

From Venice, Italy:
New Year’s Eve in St. Marks

And from London, England:
2011 London New Year’s Eve

Now back to the bubbly for one more drink before bed.

Carry on.

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