Another rambling mess of a post

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader recalls, years ago - 2003/4 perhaps, sitting in a bar in DC with James Joyner, Rusty Shakleford and Cranky (among others) talking about blogging.

He specifically remembers much being made of keeping blog posts “on point.” This is to say that except for a “link dump post” all your posts should have a catchy and topical title and be concise and on a single topic.

Apparently your Maximum Leader never learned that lesson as it is apparent that he will be writing another rambling post with no clear subject, no clear title, and no clear point. But it will be his second post in as many days… So that is something.

Does anyone have a photo or vita on Timothy “Tim” Crawford, the Treasurer of SarahPAC? Your Maximum Leader, many moons ago, used to work with a Tim Crawford (for Tim Crawford more accuarately) of the Republican Governors Association. Your Maximum Leader wonders if it is the same Tim Crawford. Your Maximum Leader isn’t sure what he would do if he learned that Sarah Palin’s Tim Crawford is the same person as your Maximum Leader’s Tim Crawford. Nothing he supposes… Except sit back and know that in the “degrees of separation” category your Maximum Leader would appear to have a (tenuous) 1 degree separation from Sarah Palin. That wouldn’t change your Maximum Leader’s opinion of Sarah Palin at all, or Tim Crawford either for that matter. It would just be interesting.

So… Has your Congressman DM’ed you a photo of his “junk” yet? And if he has done so has he done so with certitude that it was actually a photo of his “junk?” What a huge cluster-f for Congressman Weiner. He can’t say “with certitude” that the photo of the “junk” in question was his. What an idiot. Your Maximum Leader particularly appreciated the reported (Wolf Blitzer?) who asked the Congressman if he at least owned a pair of underwear similar to those in the photo. Your Maximum Leader was less impressed when the Congressman couldn’t say conclusively that he did (or didn’t) own a pair of underwear like those in the photo. FYI… Your Maximum Leader can recall what most of his underwear looks like. (Lots of boxer shorts if you care to know…)

NB - your Maximum Leader is on Twitter himself “@maximumleader” is the handle.

FYI - who started calling the male genitals “junk” anyway? How are we to keep from getting confused by “junk in trunks” and “junk in the trunk?” The former being what Congressman Weiner is accused of sending the photo of and the latter is that which Sir Mix-a-lot rapped so eloquently about here.

Your Maximum Leader isn’t sure what he thinks of the new “MyPlate” nutritional guide the USDA is promulgating today. Sure it might be more easy to use than the old food pyramid, but there doesn’t seem to be any portion size recommendations easily discerned from the new “plate.” If fighting obesity is the problem shouldn’t you have some easily visible portion control message there too?

And while we’re mentioning obesity… What if fruits and veggies are the reason why many people get fat? Contraversial theory indeed but one that seems to have some evidence to support it if one draws similar conclusions to Gary Taubes. What if the carbs in fruits and veggies are responsible for making us fat? If we eat mostly proteins we don’t get as fat. (We may not be any healthier mind you, but we may not be fat…)

Speaking about fruits and veggies… Rainier cherries are in. Damn if your Maximum Leader doesn’t love himself rainier cherries.

Speaking of proteins… Your Maximum Leader has 8 pounds of bacon under cure right now. 4 pounds of “regular” cure and 4 pounds of “maple syrup/brown sugar/bourbon” cure. The regular cure will produce the typical “salty” bacon we all know and love. When the curing is finished he’ll smoke up the bacon over hickory or applewood. The “maple/bourbon” cure is just that, regular salt cure plus maple syrup, brown sugar, and bourbon. Your Maximum Leader used Wild Turkey Rare Breed (a very expensive premium bourbon) in this batch of bacon. Mostly to see if it tasted much different than the last few batches (which he made with Makers Mark). He cut down the amount of maple syrup in this batch as well. When he smokes this type of bacon the syrup gets a little too crusty for his tastes sometimes.

In one last political note… Your Maximum Leader sees that Mitt Romney officially kicked off his campaign to become President of the United States today. Your Maximum Leader can’t recall being this ambivilent about a “front-runner’s” announcement in a long long time. Indeed, 2012 is shaping up to be a year where your Maximum Leader is so very ambivilent about the whole race to the White House. The current president is not good. No one on the Republican side is jumping out as a serious challenger. Frankly, not anyone (other than Paul Ryan of Wisconsin) in Congress or the White House or any potential White House challenger is talking seriously about how to confront the terrible debt/deficit problem facing the nation. Where is a US David Cameron when we need him? Your Maximum Leader believes, but has no economic evidence to support this belief, that uncertainty over the nation’s financial future is causing anxiety that is keeping the recession going. It is discouraging to listen to the political classes talk about how to get our financial house in order.

Of course it is worse to listen to the “man on the street” talk about how we are taxed too much, and how he’ll vote against anyone that touches “his Social Security and Medicare.” If your Maximum Leader educate people about one thing it would be that the majority of US Government spending is for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Without getting those costs down, there isn’t hope of getting ourselves in order financially.

And before any of your Maximum Leader’s liberal readers (there are a few of you out there…) start to say that President’s Health Care bill is a start down that path let him cut you off. The President’s plan isn’t going to be a money saver as best anyone can project. Government health care must (MUST!!!!), because resources are finite, control costs by refusing to pay for some treatments. That decision will kill people. There must be “death panels” as they’ve been described, in order for the scheme to work. Look at Britain for example. They have the NICE board. Basically the NICE board determines what treatments are going to be provided for by the National Health Service and which ones aren’t. If you have a condidtion for which NICE has said there is not an authorized treatment, you don’t get treatment. It is that simple. There seems to be some basic denial among supporters of the President’s plan that you will have to control costs by prohibiting some treatments.

Your Maximum Leader hadn’t planned on addressing “death panels” but he just did. Frankly, if you are going to have some sort of national health plan you have to have a sort of death panel. It is just the way it is. Your Maximum Leader has no problem with that concept. He doesn’t want national health care mind you, but if you have it you just have to HAVE it.

Also… Interesting article in the Economist about the cost of fighting cancer. The interesting bit, that touches on controlling health care costs, was a the Economist’s analysis pointing out that advances in cancer treatment drugs happens because the US health care system (as it is now) will pay for the research. Essentially, the rest of the world piggy-back’s on US health spending. If the US were to cut costs, R&D would diminish around the world and cause new drug advances to come less often or not at all. Now your Maximum Leader knows that some of you out there will dismiss this as “drug company fear mongering” but if you’ve ever worked in a real business you know that businesses are acutely aware of how they make money. They know where and how they make money. If those sources dry up, those businesses also know what will happen to them. Think about it.

Anyhoo…

That is about it for now. Your Maximum Leader will stop writing and go back to day dreaming about boobies (and other stuff).

Carry on.

Food bleg

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader needs a little help. Here is the situation… Your Maximum Leader had a lot of leftover rice the other day. This leftover rice is a standard basmati rice. He was thinking what he could do with it and into his head popped “rice pudding!”

So, he pulled out ye olde “Joy of Cooking” and found a rice pudding recipe. Sadly, it called for uncooked rice. He then checked two other cookbooks and found similar recipes. He then went to the interwebs and found variations on a theme. All of them were rice, milk/cream, sugar and raisins/nuts. He tried one of them and got a delicious tasting pudding, but it didn’t set up like he wanted. Your Maximum Leader likes his pudding (dessert pudding rather than savory pudding) to be pretty firm.

Your Maximum Leader thought that he could add a beaten egg to the mix and that would likely thicken it up and cause it to set up. But before your Maximum Leader goes down this path two things must occur. The first is that he has to finish eating all the liquid rice dessert he’s made so far. The second is that he figures he’d just put up a post and ask any of his readers (NB: your Maximum Leader is looking at you Mrs P) to suggest a rice pudding reciepe that sets up well and uses leftover rice.

Carry on.

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).

Anyhooo….

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.

Lazy, Games & TV

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader sat down last night and had planned on writing a little piece about liberal fascination with China. Specifically, your Maximum Leader has been perplexed by how often “liberal” commentators praise China’s ability to get things done. Your Maximum Leader wonders if these commentators (Paul Krugman leaps to mind) ever consider that the reason China can get things done is because they are an authoritarian state? Sure there is a lot of economic freedom in China, but there isn’t any political freedom. Do these commentators see that connection? Your Maximum Leader wonders if they do.

Of course, since you don’t see a post on China on the site you can safely assume your Maximum Leader didn’t write the post. He didn’t write it because he needed to cook dinner for the family. He whipped together a basic ragout (ragu?). Pork, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, tomato paste, chicken broth, red wine, you know a ragout. It would have been better if it had simmered for a few hours. (Since it didn’t would it really qualify as a ragout? Interesting questions.) But it was tasty.

After dinner your Maximum Leader decided to watch to TV on the DVR. He watched an episode of “The Late Late Show w/Craig Ferguson” and “Chelsea Lately” both guilty pleasures. Then he was going to watch “Castle” with his daughter. But then Mrs Villain and his daughters hijacked the TV and your Maximum Leader went to his office to get on the computer.

He had planned to blog on the computer. But then he decided to play an old game he has. Medieval Total War II. He started a campaign as the Spanish. His goal is to recreate the Spanish/Hapsburg Empire in Europe at the time of Charles V. So far your Maximum Leader has most of Iberia under his control. He hasn’t kicked the Moors out yet, but it is early. He did snag Corsica and Sardinia (which would have been part of the Kingdom of Naples). He also, by chance, took over Rhodes. (He was going on Crusade to take Jerusalem, but the French took Jersusalem first. Since he had an army in the area… Look! Rhodes is nearby!) So he played his game for a while.

Not like that is terribly interesting.

Not like China… That would be interesting…

Perhaps later…

Carry on.

“…alcohol helps.”

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader attened the Fredericksburg Forum last night. The guest was renown writer/traveler/chef Anthony Bourdain. Allow your Maximum Leader to tell you something. Your Maximum Leader was giddy as a schoolgirl in anticipation for this event. He’s been looking forward to it for weeks now.

For a few years now the Fredericksburg Forum has had a number of great guests, but they have tended to the political. Your Maximum Leader had grown weary of all the political figures and had stopped patronizing the event. Well… When he heard that Bourdain was coming he knew he had to repatronize the event and make sure he was there. And so he was…

Your Maximum Leader spoke to some of his friends in town who he knew would attend and made a wager on how long it would take before Bourdain said “fuck” in his remarks. (Over under by your Maximum Leader was under 2min. Indeed Bourdain dropped the ole f-bomb about 1.5 mins into his remarks. FYI, many patrons thought that he would refrain from cursing during his talk. Your Maximum Leader believed he’d have been disappointed if Bourdain didn’t curse. It is part of his charm.)

Your Maximum Leader will not recount everything that was said but will hit a few of the high points. These points are familiar to anyone who has read any of Bourdain’s books or watched “No Reservations” (on Travel Channel Monday nights at 10pm). The best part of the talk was when Bourdain talked about the importance of being a good ambassador for your country when travelling. He encouraged us to actually get away from tourist areas and actually meet people and see the “real” country you are visiting. If you meet interesting people and they offer you food, eat it. These are tenets to which your Maximum Leader tries to adhere when he travels. Bourdain expressed amazement that someone like Gwenyth Paltrow could travel through Spain and never try ham. (NB: Your Maximum Leader believes it is a sin against God and nature to visit Spain and not have ham. Indeed people who go to Spain and don’t at least try some ham should be beaten within an inch of their lives.) Bourdain expressed some sympathy for Bobby Flay having to do that awful Throwdown show. Frankly your Maximum Leader enjoys seeing Flay getting his butt kicked when he watches the show (which isn’t often). Flay seems to be an insufferable prick. That said, it seems as though Flay is getting beat up on a bit too much on that show.

The quote of the night was actually the last thing that Bourdain said during the question and answer session. He was asked about his opinion of Andrew Zimmern. Bourdain said that other than the unfortunate name of Zimmern’s show (Bizzare Foods) that Zimmern is a good guy. They have lots in common. One thing they don’t have in common is that Zimmern doesn’t drink anymore. Then Bourdain pulled this out: “When you’ve eaten a dinner of dick and you know you’re having a big helping of nutsack for breakfast, alcohol helps.” Were truer words ever spoken? Your Maximum Leader doubts it.

After the speech there was a “patron reception” for people who shelled out the big bucks to be there. Your Maximum Leader managed to get up to Bourdain before the huge crush of other patrons arrived. He shook hand and said how much he enjoyed the show and books. Then your Maximum Leader asked him “If you could go anywhere in the world to have a meal, where would you go?” Your Maximum Leader speculated before asking the question that the answer might likely be Arzak in Catalonia Spain. Bourdain thought for a moment and said that if you were going to travel anywhere in the world for a meal you’d likely have time for a couple meals. He said that you should go to the San Sebastian region of Catalonia and eat at Arzak, Mugaritz and Extebarri. If you caught the “No Reservations” show on Spain back in 2008 you’d know which three restaurants these were.

Sadly, your Maximum Leader would have liked a little more time to speak with him, but the crush of other patrons was incredible. Your Maximum Leader felt a little sorry for him, as he was surrounded by fanboys (and girls) and hardly had a chance to relax at all.

Anyhooo…

It was a great night. Your Maximum Leader had a great time (as did his lovely wife Mrs Villain). Now your Maximum Leader is off to Wegmans to get himself some Spanish ham for lunch.

Carry on.

Monday Stuff

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader will probably be doing very little posting between now and after Labor Day. Lots of back-to-school stuff going on which requires his attention. (So Mrs Villain tells him.) Of course, every time your Maximum Leader warns you all that posting will be light, he winds up posting a lot. Then when he posts nothing… Well… He posts nothing…

What to write about now?

Your Maximum Leader had some people over to the house for dinner yesterday night. He anticipated preparing some fancy appetizers. He’d thought of serrano ham and marchengo cheese and proscuitto with melon as two ham-based dishes. (With a mix of olives stuffed with feta, almonds, sun-dried tomatos, and garlic. To be clear, each olive was not stuffed with all of those items. There was a variety of 4 different olives each stuffed with a different item.)

Well… What did the great Muse of Scotland once say about the best laid plans? The ham based appetizers never made it to the table.

Gosh… Your Maximum Leader is so (SO!) torn up inside thinking that he might have Serrano ham and proscuitto just laying about in the icebox. What ever will he do with that wonderful, tasty, succulent cured pork goodness just sitting around? Sadly he is too busy to invite people with whom he’d share the ham.

He’ll just have to eat it himself…

The horror… Oh the horror…

In other news…

Your Maximum Leader is sad to admit that he watches “True Blood” on HBO. He has come very close to giving up on the show on a number of occasions starting last season. This season has a bunch of storylines going on. Most of the storylines don’t do a damn thing for him. While enduring the storylines he doesn’t care for he keeps thinking that he’ll just stop watching. But then the vampire characters just draw him back in. Specifically he is speaking about Denis O’Hare’s performance as Russell Edgington. Damn that man can work magic in that role. If it weren’t for the Russell story-line your Maximum Leader would have just stopped watching earlier this season.

Moving along…

Hey! Is it too early to shill for Christmas (or back to school)? You know that you are looking for a new t-shirt in which to knock about the house or wear on a quick trip to the mall. Have you considered a Naked Villainy T-shirt? If you are particularly stunning woman have you considered a Naked Villainy Tank-top and Thong combo? Your Maximum Leader will keep shilling this particular combination until he gets photos in his mailbox one day of some sultry lass clad only in the tank and thong combo. If that day ever comes your Maximum Leader let you all know. If you want to check out the store the link is here. Your Maximum Leader is probably going to update the store soon with a new t-shirt or two. (Not like lots of people are knocking down the doors to buy the old stuff…)

Anyhoo…

Your Maximum Leader has been re-reading books he’s got on the shelf. He realizes that he’s looking at the books on the shelf and not remembering their contents any more. So he’ll both conserve money and do a little re-education for himself. Like FLG, your Maximum Leader might revisit Hume’s “Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding.”

That is about all from the Villainschloss now…

Carry on.

Fish them to extinction

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader, while not considering himself an environmentalist exactly, does believe in sensible stewardship of our natural resources. Normally he wouldn’t find himself encouraging something as villainous as fishing a particular species to extinction. But these are extreme times my friends.

Apparently the lionfish is destroying reefs and fish populations all the way from Florida to Maine. The lionfish is not native to our Atlantic coast. Now environmentalists, chefs and foodies are going to try and do their part to eradicate the lionfish. According to the Washington Post there is a full-fledged movement afoot to get people to eat the little buggers and remove them from our coasts.

Apparently the major hurdle to widespread ingestion of the lionfish is availability. This is to say availability for purchase. The little buggers are out in the water if you want them, it takes some work to catch them. Did your Maximum Leader say catch them. He is wrong, they need to be speared. Spearfishing is the only way to get the lionfish to market.

Here is a solution to this problem. Take many of the unemployed Americans out there and give them some snorkeling lessons and a spear and see how many lionfish they can take in a day. If people were paid by the fish you could likely put a serious dent in the lionfish population in no time. (How many unemployed former autoworkers from Michigan would enjoy relocating for a summer to the warm and sunny south and get to spend some time snorkling and killing lionfish? It is like a fishing vacation that you get paid for…)

Your Maximum Leader will look around for places where he can get lionfish. He’s all for eating a species to extinction…

This species at least…

Carry on.

The Rick’s of Kabul closes.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is something of a sucker for the light news in newspapers. This isn’t to say that he likes the myriad “fluff” pieces you see on TV news (stuff like surfing dogs, and squirrels that “sing” or anything like that), he doesn’t like those pieces on TV. But you find cool articles in newspapers that are worth reading and are light compared to straight news.

For your reading pleasure in the Washington Post: ‘Casablanca Rick’s Bar of Kabul’ serves up its last drink.

Money quote: “All non-muslims smell like this.”

Go thee and read.

Carry on.

SE Cupp and bacon

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has seen S.E. Cupp on Fox a few times. He tries to read her pieces over at the Daily Caller. He also gets her tweets. She is an interesting commentator and he’s enjoyed what he’s read.

Of course now she is doing her best to catapult herself into the stratosphere of sexy political commentators. How you may ask?

Please read: S.E. Cupp’s “Can bacon save the world?”

Keep the bacon coming S.E..

Also worthy of note about S.E. Cupp… She is a hunter, publish author, and rational atheist who doesn’t hate religion.

Carry on.

Anniversary

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is sorry for silence here. He’s been quite busy of late. Kids getting out of school. Birthdays. Anniversaries. It has been a little crazy.

Your Maximum Leader celebrated over the past few days both his birthday and his wedding anniversary. He’d hoped to get away with Mrs Villain for a nice dinner in town to celebrate the “contract renewal” as he jokes about his wedding vows.

What is the joke you might ask?

Allow your Maximum Leader to explain… He has a friend who, in college, speculated that one of the reasons for rampant divorces in the world was that people were living longer. In olden tymes, when a couple got married it was until death did you part. But death came to people fairly soon. So being married 20-30 years was a pretty good run in this friend’s mind. This friend posited that since we (modern people) live so much longer we ought to change the way we view marriage. In the opinion of your Maximum Leader’s friend, marriage vows should expire after 7 years unless both parties agree to renew for another 7 years.

This year your Maximum Leader and Mrs Villain were married 14 years. In case you were wondering, your Maximum Leader and his lovely bride agreed to another 7 years of wedded bliss.

How did we celebrate this milestone? Did he get away for a nice dinner? Well… Since you ask… We went and got burgers from Five Guys. Because nothing says Happy Anniversary quite like bacon cheeseburgers.

Carry on.

We’re doomed and it is getting worse, Part the Fourth

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is sad. Very very sad.

You’ll recall that a few weeks ago he went to Kentucky and visited a number of Bourbon distilleries. During those visits he tasted the “distillers beer” in the vats that was fermenting and aging and getting ready to be turned into moonshine…

It tasted like bad beer. It smelled like bad beer.

Well… For the first time since he’s returned from Kentucky, your Maximum Leader decided to have a beer last night.

Guess what? (NB: Chickenbutt!)

When your Maximum Leader brought the beer to his lips to drink and smelled the hoppy brew… All he could think about (and taste) was the distillers beer he’d sampled.

Your Maximum Leader couldn’t finish the beer. It was gross smelling. He had to switch to Bourbon…

Your Maximum Leader wonders if he’ll ever drink beer again…

Carry on.

We’re doomed and it is getting worse, Part the Fifth

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader wrote earlier of his acquisition of a new grill. One that is both a gas grill and a charcoal grill…

Remember how he said he’d likely never use the gas side…

Well… Your Maximum Leader is a liar.

Last night Mrs. Villain informed your Maximum Leader that she wanted “grilled chicken” for dinner. And she wanted it in about 30 minutes. So it was out to the gas grill…

The chicken turned out just fine actually… Your Maximum Leader missed the smoke that you get from charcoal…

Your Maximum Leader imagines that this will be a recurring theme in his life. He’ll have to draw the line somewhere… It it goes unchecked next thing you know Mrs Villain will want him to cook ribs on the gas side…

Carry on.

Grill

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader fancies himself pretty handy on the grill. His grill of choice for about 15 years now has been a Professional Char-Griller grill/smoker. (Here is the newest model of the one your Maximum Leader has used for the past 15 years and will highly recommend to you.)

Well, your Maximum Leader’s grill/smoker has served him very well over one and a half decades. But recently its fallen on some hard times. Sadly it has been left out a few times without a cover to suffer the elements. The ash catcher has completed fallen apart. Two of the cooking grates have been broken. (Your Maximum Leader will not say whom exactly broke them while attempting to “clean” them - but know that he’s looking at Mrs Villain right now…) And finally, the original paint has peeled off in a number of spots and the metal is rusting badly. (NB: your Maximum Leader has carefully sanded and repainted the spots with a high temperature resistant special grill paint, but the spots continue to peel and rust.)

Your Maximum Leader suggested to Mrs Villain that it might be time to buy a new grill/smoker. He figures he’d gotten his $99 worth out of the first one. Mrs Villain suggested that your Maximum Leader purchase a gas grill for the Villainschloss.

Well… This was something of a sore spot for your Maximum Leader. You see, he is an inveterate user of charcoal. He isn’t a gas grill type of guy. Grilling is something done over naturally created fire. And by definition when you smoke food (which your Maximum Leader does freqently) it must be using fire which produces heat and smoke.

Charcoal grilling isn’t for Mrs Villain. She doesn’t like the work involved. It annoys her that it takes 25-30 minutes to get coals ready to cook. It annoys her that heating is uneven. It annoys her that you have to watch for flame-ups. Basically, she loves the results, but can’t stand the process. This is to say she can’t stand the process if she has to do it herself. Most of the time, of course, she doesn’t even attempt to use the grill/smoker. It is the domain of your Maximum Leader.

That said, since Mrs Villain is home all summer (being a teacher and all) she likes to cook more over the summer. She would also like to grill more over the summer. But she doesn’t want to be a slave to your Maximum Leader’s schedule when it comes to eating dinner. So she wants a gas grill. One she feels she can control and use better and more often than a charcoal grill.

Well… Your Maximum Leader cannot ever forsee himself using a gas grill. It just isn’t him. But he loves his wife tremendously and wants her to be happy. He also doesn’t feel like coming home and grilling late into the evening during the summer. He also thinks it would be good for Mrs Villain to grill some on her own.

What to do? What to do?

Compromise of course.

The answer… A Professional Char-Griller Duo Model #5050 dual gas grill/smoker. Yes loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader got, what he hopes, is the best of both worlds. A gas grill (with side burner) for her; and a real charcoal grill/smoker for him. (Honestly, he might use both sides from time to time - and he can imagine that the side burner is really handy.)

You will get, from time to time, some updates on how the #5050 is working out. It will get used for the first time this coming weekend. Your Maximum Leader might need to smoke some bacon up since he is running low… He also plans on having some steaks on Saturday…

Carry on.

Refreshing

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has been drinking quite a bit of bourbon over the weekend. He made his first Manhattan cocktail on Saturday. It was fine. He made it with Evan Williams bourbon, sweet vermouth and a dash of bitters. As he said, it was okay but nothing to write home about.

(NB to readers, especially the Air Marshal if he is lurking out there: Your Maximum Leader felt compelled to write the exact brand of bourbon he used in his Manhattan so that the Air Marshal would not wonder about which brand he used. You see, your Maximum Leader brought home a bottle of Wild Turkey Rare Breed from his recent bourbon weekend with the Air Marshal. And the Air Marshal emplored your Maximum Leader not to mix the Rare Breed into a cocktail, or mix it into ginger ale or coke (as he does sometimes). While your Maximum Leader can’t promise that he’ll never mix the Rare Breed into a cocktail or ginger ale or coke, he did want you all to know that he didn’t this time.)

(NB - again: By the way. Your Maximum Leader knows that a “true” Manhattan cocktail is made with Rye Whisky and not Bourbon.)

Your Maximum Leader did notice on the Maker’s Mark website that they mix a shot of bourbon into an Arnold Palmer. It sounded good. So he tried it. Frankly… It is really good. So he’s been drinking them all weekend.

Frankly, your Maximum Leader imagines Arnie Palmer himself (and John Daly for certain) would like their Arnold Palmer’s with a shot of bourbon in them.

Carry on.

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