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Domination of Eiler

2009 Southern Road Trip Blog (#19)

June - May 2009

In This Episode:

What Is the Domination of Eiler?

Oh, just treat it like another pretentious web log.
At least until you get to know it better, citizen. This web log wants to conquer the world.
Educational links are provided at the top of the page.
Hello and welcome to the Domination of Eiler! 2009-06-30 2009-06-30

30 June 2009

Talk Back!
Abandoned House Safari Abandoned House Safari
Big game for the adventurous.
The Kitchen May Need Some Work
After a foreclosure, the landlord is lucky if the tenants just strip the house bare.
The New Tenants May Have Some Surprise Neighbors
At least the hornets might protect this house from break-ins.

Some plans for world domination involve real estate. The theory goes, the population increases but the land area remains constant, so land becomes more valuable. Too bad about places like New Orleans that become less valuable instead, because land can be damaged. Florida's had some problems with that too - enough that a sizable fraction of the real estate market is abandoned houses owned by banks.

Now people are going on safari in the real estate market, looking for bargains. The Domination of Eiler has sent its web journalist along on one such safari, alongside "The Consort". Observations:

  • In hurricane-prone areas, wood-frame houses are especially cheap right now - and not worth it. Go figure. Until roughly 1960 and after roughly 2001, most houses used hurricane-proof concrete blocks. If you properly paint a bunch of concrete blocks on the outside, they look just like a house! For similar reasons, tile flooring beats carpeting.
  • If you see a house with holes or graffiti on the inside wall, the common response is to just shrug and blame the angry tenant who got evicted - even if the house shows signs of break-in. Likewise, one may expect the tenant to have stripped the house bare of appliances.
  • If the house smells like sulfuric acid, ask if the drywall came from China, then offer half the asking price.
  • If a realtor says the house is not in a flood plain, don't believe her. The entire Florida peninsula is a flood plain.
  • If a realtor says that no bank will pay for paperwork which is usually the seller's responsibility, make the bank reimburse the closing costs instead.
  • Some houses are offered as "short sale", which is the last step short of foreclosure. These require much extra paperwork. If you want your house quickly, avoid these.

One realtor warned of safety issues for those who buy houses in the redneck part of town. The Dominator had to help explain to The Consort what a redneck is. This led to explaining the U.S. Civil War: "Rebels of 1861. We can go see Andersonville and learn more." This got a chuckle from those who already knew what rednecks are.

28 June 2009

Talk Back!
Domination of Eiler Frontline: Key West-Florida
Return to Key West
In the Domination of Eiler, a proper date with a lady naturally includes world domination.
Operation Map - Coming Soon Expeditionary Force
The operational map.
The expeditionary force.
See also:
  • Line to Take the Southernmost Picture
  • The Low-Rent District
  • The South End of U.S. Highway 1
  • The Mickey Mouse Ship
  • A Popular Sunset
  • The Domination of Eiler is now undergoing its most ambitious operation since the Brazilian Offensive of 2005. As far as the map is concerned, the goal is to drive to Florida - thereby putting at least some of the Domination's Florida holdings within its Frontline. But this operation is also intended to develop an alliance with a lady to be referred to as "The Consort".

    • The Consort is a native of Siberia, and operated extensively through the Soviet Bloc countries before coming to United States. She particularly likes Florida because it reminds her of Cuba.
    • She has her own highly advanced plans for world domination, particularly everywhere between Wisconsin and Florida. This operation was her idea. And being Russian, she knows how to dominate the world on a budget.

    Early stages of the operation marched through parts of Georgia that General Sherman never cared about; the main tourist attraction along the way was the infamous Andersonville prisoner-of-war camp. This and all other attractions were bypassed in favor of speed. The Consort likes to move fast.

    The troops then occupied the Florida Gulf Coast bedroom community of North Port. Local intelligence there revealed the existence of a ferry boat onto Key West. That island was promptly chosen as a target to cap the offensive.

    • The Consort's never been there, but Domination of Eiler forces airdropped onto Key West in 1994. The place has some new museums and a new brewpub since then. The new museums were bypassed per desire of The Consort, but the brewpub was subjugated, as was ice cream and cheap gifts.
    • Ernest Hemingway's house was subjugated also. It is most famous for its six-toed cats, all descendants of Mr. Hemingway's favorite cat.
    • The ferry boat was pleasant enough, though infested with drunken passengers in the evening. If you act like a drunken fratboy on a boat from Key West, you might just be one.
    • The Consort has some advice for restaurant patrons: If you ask the bartender what the best restaurant in the area is, be prepared to stay at the restaurant you're at and have dinner.

    On the map, the operation is a success. The Frontline of the Domination of Eiler now extends to the Gulf of Mexico as far as Key West. This enables the Domination to declare a protectorate over the coastline between Key West and Virginia Beach. This is now declared as the Tidewater Protectorate.

    Off map, the operation has made progress also: the alliance between the Dominator and The Consort is blooming. But they both have world domination plans with different objectives. For one thing, the Dominator would rather dominate north or west than south. So let's give it some time and see whose plan works best.

    22 June 2009

    Talk Back!
    The Next Assault Vehicle
    With General Motors and its Tracker both defunct, arrangements have been made to obtain a Ford Escape hybrid vehicle.

    21 June 2009

    Talk Back!
    Wrath of Summer
    Even 500 miles north of here, people are complaining about the heat. Bicycle missions have therefore been cut back - but not eliminated.

    17 June 2009

    Talk Back!
    Outer 25-Saloon Initiative: 20
    Music City vs. the Meat Puppets
    Perhaps the best band Nashville (and everyone else) has never heard of.
    Music City Lets Anyone Play
    The Meat Puppets for free in Nashville. Not the best photo op, but at least there was one.

    "Holy $#!+, it's just like high school! Most folks are tying their boners in a knot waiting for Eddie 'Mumble Mumble' Vedder to play, and we're standing here going, 'What the #3!! is wrong with you people? The *@(%ing Meat Puppets are playing!'" - Sean L. Maloney, Nashville Scene, June 11-17, 2009.

    After last weekend's music festivals, visitors to downtown Nashville (a.k.a. "Music City") have had to walk carefully to avoid tripping over Dolly Parton, Elvis Costello, and quite a few other famous musicians. But as usual the Domination of Eiler avoids these big-ticket celebrities, and chases the equally good acts that appear on small stages. The Dominator's high school classmates don't recognize John Mayall, Wishbone Ash, The The, Kathy Mattea, King Missile, or Cracker... but the Domination of Eiler does. The difference might be, the Domination of Eiler has garrisoned Boston and Chicago, while most of the classmates haven't gotten out of Indianapolis.

    The Meat Puppets are most famous for having Nirvana play three of their songs on MTV Unplugged once. Tonight they play in a Nashville bar... but they warm up in a record store, with free admission to the general public! Now that's Music City.

    The Domination of Eiler in turn warmed up, with a bicycle-based pub crawl. One of the pubs had a "Week of Recovery" sign up. Perhaps the visit of the celebrities of music (and their fans) has been rough on them.

    Dodged a thunderstorm on bike, and arrived at venue about 5 minutes early. Show started maybe 5 minutes late. Entire store filled up by then.

    • Some people brought the whole family, including the bored kid, the toddler and the baby! The kids were entirely tolerable, but the Domination of Eiler felt bad for them.
    • Stage not well-visible; go figure. Not exactly a big venue - but also not well-planned. How much do a couple of risers (one for each of two lead singers) cost for these occasions?
    • More surprising, the "M" rack of CDs (near the "L" rack which the Dominator reviewed extensively during the concert) had absolutely no Meat Puppets for sale! Perhaps these coveted CDs were only available to lucky fans near the stage. But as a business model, this sucks.
    • Meat Puppets did their three most famous songs as expected, plus "Comin' Down" (especially appropriate for some Tennessee mountain hikers) and one more recognizable one (sadly not "Party 'til the World Obeys", but instead "Touchdown King" from that same album). Meat Puppets were on the Conquering Cell Phone soundtrack last month, so the Dominator knows his Meat Puppets fairly well.
    • Four or five apparently-new songs were performed. Worth getting the new album, if there should be some record store which will actually let the Dominator place his hands on it.

    14 June 2009

    Talk Back!
    Outer 25-Saloon Initiative: 17
    Festival Weekend vs. the Domination of Eiler II
  • Unlike Nashvillains who drive downtown to church nearby the country music district, the Domination's bicycle force avoided traffic issues.
  • Quiet Sunday dinner in the West End rock and roll district.
  • Also no festival in R&B town (a.k.a. North Nashville), therefore refereshing.
  • 13 June 2009

    The Infamous Fan Fair
    Talk Back!
    Outer 25-Saloon Initiative: 16
    Festival Weekend vs. the Domination of Eiler
  • Downtown Nashville thronged with tourists for Country Music Awards festival.
  • West End Nashville emptied of its student population for nearby Bonnaroo music festival.
  • A lovely weekend to hang out in the West End - and neutral North Nashville which had a neighborhood festival.
  • 12 June 2009

    New! Talk Back!
    Outer 25-Saloon Initiative: 15
    Talk Back to the Domination!
    Finally, a way for the general public to respond to these wonderful web log entries.

    8 June 2009

    Domination of Eiler Frontline: Mount LeConte-Tennessee
    Return to the Smoky Mountains
    This trip was so action-packed, the journal had to wait.
    Waterproof Trail Map
    Bandana - and trail map! Also the map for this trip.
    The Touristy Falls
    Some waterfalls don't have swarms of tourists, but some do.

    On 4 June 2009 the Domination of Eiler moved beyond the Gatlinburg-Tennessee part of its Frontline on foot, to storm Appalachia's steepest mountain, Mount LeConte. Atop that peak, the full-service LeConte Lodge awaits the weary traveller who's made a reservation a year in advance - or in the Domination's case, got lucky on the waiting list. After coming down the mountain, there were more days of hiking just for fun.

    For once, the Domination's expeditionary force consisted of more than one trooper! An ally (to be referred to as "The Consort") provided transport, cooked food, shared expenses, and helped the Dominator blend in to the general population (for once) as he escorted her around Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains. Yes, the Dominator was a perfect Christian gentleman.

    The alliance precluded writing a journal, but the advantages were well worth it. And the journal's pretty simple anyway.

    31 May 2009

    The Altar of God, TP'd
    Outer 25-Saloon Initiative: 14
    A Toilet Paper Offering Unto the Lord
    Nashville's Downtown Presbyterian Church puts up with 200+ homeless people flushing its toilets every week, so they have a different sort of paper drive.

    30 May 2009

    Outer 25-Saloon Initiative: 13
    Not Exactly a Diet Plan
    One aspiring writer suggests losing weight by forcing oneself to write as much as you eat. This is already standard practice in the Domination of Eiler, but it doesn't lead to weight loss there.

    29 May 2009

    Outer 25-Saloon Initiative: 12
    Nashville, the Lansing of the South
    Much the same stuff, just backwards and twice as much.

    The Domination of Eiler likes to write summary descriptions of its Districts of Dominance. Let this serve as the Nashville-Tennessee supplement.

    Nashville likes to think of itself as the Athens of the South; that's basically why they built their own Parthenon. But Nashville is like unto Lansing-Michigan instead, only inverted and twice as densely packed.

    • Nashville invented the concept of taking over the whole county, so their city limits include a lot of open space. But the relevant parts of the city are as compact as Lansing, only twice as populated due to high-rise apartment buildings.
    • Like many cities, Nashville and Lansing are set up so that migrants from roughly the Ohio River and the Mason-Dixon Line can find cheap housing on the side of town nearest home. This makes North Nashville roughly the equivalent of South Lansing. They have much the same ambiance, except North Nashville is being infested by yuppies.
      • West Nashville is the counterpart of East Lansing, only with two universities (Belmont and Vanderbilt) instead of one (Michigan State).
      • East Nashville is much like West Lansing, because they both have the biggest shopping malls in town.
      • There being practically no North Lansing, any comparison to affluent South Nashville fails.

    Operations of the Domination of Eiler have therefore fallen into much the same pattern in Nashville as in Lansing, so as to include the phrase: "Turn right at the Statehouse, cross under the main streets, and head for the brewpub".

    26 May 2009

    Federal Flag Over Nashville Nashville Surrendered
    Outer 25-Saloon Initiative: 11
    Fort Negley
    Nashville has a nice Civil War fort - built by Federals after Confederates surrendered the city! Its park ranger says, not exactly Nashville's proudest moment. But Kix Brooks (of Brooks and Dunn) narrates the park video!

    25 May 2009

    Outer 25-Saloon Initiative: 10
    Race Day Weekend 2009
    Tennessee heroically threw itself in the path of the storm and saved the Indy 500, but it couldn't do that and save the Charlotte 600 too.

    22 May 2009

    The End of General Motors
    You know it's over when they send you to dumps for spare parts.

    After the Tennessee spring offensives, the Domination's motorized assault vehicle (1997 Geo Tracker) needed routine maintenance so as to replace some rusted fuel lines. Independent mechanics referred the Domination of Eiler to General Motors dealers. The Nashville-Tennessee GM-Chevrolet dealership in turn referred the Domination of Eiler to independent mechanics. GM no longer has access to the required spare parts for this vehicle.

    It's been conjectured that United States automakers will become non-reputable if they ever go bankrupt and can't pay their suppliers. The suppliers have already had some issues, according to the news. (The Domination's primary news source for GM issues is Lansing-Michigan local radio, where they have General Motors plants nearby. But GM issues make the news in Nashville too, thanks to a plant in Spring Hill.)

    The Domination of Eiler has become sensitive to supply issues. Its formerly-favored computer from OQO needs a new motherboard under warranty repair. But the computer company had issues with paying its suppliers, and couldn't get replacement parts before it went bankrupt. It seems warranties are legally irrelevant once the company goes bankrupt.

    General Motors seems down that same path. If they already can't afford support for their own vehicles, it's already too late for them.

    The Domination of Eiler regrets this. It acknowledges how GM does not get Gov support to the level its foreign competitors do. It has ancestral links to GM. And it would like to keep its GM vehicle running forever, or at least beyond 83,000 miles.

    But under the circumstances, General Motors is now declared to be in rebellion against the Domination of Eiler. Obviously the judgment of Heaven is already closing in upon them. And the Domination's next assault vehicle could well be a Volkswagen. That alone will be enough lifestyle change for this year's Day of Glory.

    21 May 2009

    Outer 25-Saloon Initiative: 9
    Expansion of the Nashville Saloon Initiative
    Nashville's East End deserves to contribute to the West End Saloon Initiative.

    20 May 2009

    West End 25-Saloon Initiative: 8
    Rebellion on a T-Shirt
    The South ain't risin' again on the Domination's watch - unless they get it right this time.
    God Created Rebels?
    Did God really intend to create rebellion?
    Tacky Dixie T-Shirts
    Someone needs a history lesson. The question is who.

    Within the Domination of Eiler's subject nation "United States of America", there's a lot of lip service given to rebellion. Various parts of the Domination still fly the rebel flag of "Confederate States of America" every chance they get. This practice actually starts about 30 miles southwest of Boston-Massachusetts, but is most prevalent further south. For example, Mississippi and Georgia have rebel-style "stars and bars" in their state flags. And this year Texas is still talking about its right to secede.

    Rebellions within "United States" have justified themselves by opposing excessive power held by nation-states. This seems to be the justification for a T-shirt with the Confederate battle flag plus a slogan: "If this t-shirt offends you, you need a history lesson". Presumably these freelance history teachers wish to emphasize, "Confederate States" rebelled to defend states' rights, not slavery. After all, most of the Confederate soldiers weren't slaveholders.

    The Domination of Eiler appreciates the need to oppose national power on occasion. It allows its citizens to organize as they see fit, as long as they acknowledge a superior authority for the good of the world. Modern nation-states don't do that. Unfortunately, neither did historical rebel-states.

    Whatever its political justification, each governmental entity will ultimately be remembered by what it tried to accomplish. "Confederate States" had a debatably-valid position about political power, but they used it to defend human slavery. Those who hold this up as a political model, are the ones who need the history lesson.

    12 May 2009

    The Gatlinburg Offensive
    Target: Gatlinburg-Tennessee. Journal

    10 May 2009

    Mother's Day 2009
    Per custom for this non-holiday, dined at Hooters. So did two moms and their families.

    6 May 2009

    The Natchez Trace Offensive
    Target: Tupelo, Mississippi. Journal

    5 May 2009

    Downtown 25-Saloon Initiative: 26
    Happy Days - The Musical
    Oh, why not, it was free.

    During last Saturday's patrols the Domination of Eiler learned of the existence of "Happy Days - A New Musical", a revival of the TV show but presuably with a dancing Fonz, to be performed at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in Nashville. During Sunday patrol the Domination scored a free ticket from its Nashville church/artist allies! (That's the Domination's kind of faith community.) The allies wanted to chat up publicity for the show. They may not have realized just how well the Domination of Eiler can do that.

    After receiving his ticket, the Dominator consulted with one of the associate-Eilers - the one who's a health food gourmand. Together they determined, before going to see "Happy Days", a dinner of sausage and beer would be appropriate. The Dominator made do with roast beef and beer at "Riverfront Tavern". Said tavern has non-Mexican drink specials and only professional drunks, which makes it a good place to spend this Amateur Drunk Night. (Valuable local information courtesy of the Nashville Twenty-Five Saloon Initiatives.)

    "Happy Days" is a travelling company! That is to say, the City of Nashville went to great effort to have the concept brought in from elsewhere. The show goes to Houston next week. (Discovered this from talking with show's electrician at "Sports Page" bar after the show.)

    • The show wasn't horrible. Its electrician summed the plot up as, "The Fonz grows up." And The Fonz did dance, but only in a cool way.
    • The musical was entirely faithful to characterization. Most of the audience (or at least the balcony section) gave it a standing ovation at the end.
    • And it had that high school nostalgia factor, to appeal to people like the Dominator who are finding their old high school friends on Facebook in time for this year's reunion.
    • But either the acoustics of the Andrew Jackson Hall of the Tennessee Performing Arts Center suck nearly half the time (usually when the supporting actors are trying to enunciate), or the Dominator's going deaf. Could be either. Andrew Jackson's favorite Presbyterian church building in downtown Nashville has a similar problem with acoustics, but that doesn't prove anything either way.
    • Still, it's fun to get out and socalize. Recognized people from church, who got other free tickets!

    This musical made the Domination of Eiler ask: Is there anything that can't be made into a musical? Coming soon to the Tennessee Performing Arts Center: Legally Blonde - The Musical! And the Sommet Center will host Thomas the Tank Engine's Musical Review. Really!

    • Maybe "The Who's Quadrophenia - The Musical"... well, we've already had "The Who's Tommy - The Musical".
    • How about a Dilbert musical? Dogbert could dance, but only in a cool way.
    • Today in the news, a girl found a condom in her McDonalds french fries! How about "Deep Fried Condom - The Musical"? Most any news headline could be made into a musical, even "Happening Now, Nuclear Confrontation, Billions At Stake" from CNN's somewhat sensationalistic Pakistan bureau earler this week.
    • Maybe we could even have "Domination of Eiler - The Musical". Guess who dances in a cool way for that one. Deep Purple and the Meat Puppets can provide a soundtrack; they're programmed into the Conquering Cell Phone tonight... No, let's just stick with last year's Domination of Eiler Xmas pageant.

    3 May 2009

    Saloon Band
    Downtown 25-Saloon Initiative: 25
    Tres de Mayo 2009
    Nashville's Fancy Places are in hibernation on Sunday afternoon, but the 25-Saloon Initiative stepped up for Tres de Mayo dinner and recreation.

    2 May 2009

    Downtown 25-Saloon Initiative: 23
    Free Comic Book Day 2009
    Persistent storms in Tennessee suppress some opportunities for Tres de Mayo weekend fun, but it's still Free Comic Book Day. And the Domination can still write a new web page per holiday custom.