[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Monday, 2012-11-05

Lady Scrubbins

Filed under: Friends,Home — bblackmoor @ 09:46
Lady Scrubbins Old-Fashioned Goat's Milk Soap

By the way, that great-smelling soap that everyone was drooling over at the Halloween party is from Lady Scrubbins. You can order it on the Lady Scrubbins web site.

P.S. If you enter the coupon code “SIXFER” you can buy six bars for $25.

P.P.S. Here is a link to their Facebook page.

Sunday, 2012-11-04

7th Annual Blackmoor Halloween Party review

Filed under: Friends,Home — bblackmoor @ 23:21

Another Halloween has come and gone, and the Blackmoor Halloween Party has gone with it. In our opinion, this year’s party was a great success, and possibly the best Halloween party we’ve ever hosted. At least, we think so. We hope that the people who came enjoyed themselves, as well. We love Halloween (we got married on it!), and have always thought of it as “our” holiday (although I guess everyone does), and we love sharing the festivities with people.

We don’t get to see any of our old friends as often as we’d like, and it was great seeing so many of our best and oldest friends. We are touched and grateful that our friends were willing to drive two, three, or even more hours to join us. It was also wonderful to spend some time with one of our new neighbors, and a few of our newest friends.

And now: photos! Not of everyone, alas, but I got almost everyone at least once.

P.S. I just counted the kids in our photos from Halloween night — 50 trick or treaters! That’s outstanding!

Tuesday, 2012-10-16

Bugs and mopping

Filed under: Gaming,Home,Work,Writing — bblackmoor @ 20:06
angry mop man

What a day. I tracked down a very devious bug of my own design and fixed it, so hopefully that project I am two days behind on will be finished before I am four days behind on it.

Then I cleaned the hot tub thoroughly with a mop and a bucket of bleach-water, in the dark. Thank goodness for security lights and cotton string mops! There’s nothing quite like a cotton string mop for a job like that. Then I filled the tub and started it up. The pump is running and the tub doesn’t appear to be leaking, but there’s a lot of water splashed all over the place so I can’t be absolutely certain about the lack of leaking. The current water temperature is 58 degrees — let’s hope the temperature rises!

And now I get to spend the next couple of hours before bedtime working on the Character Sheet Helper for Bulletproof Blues. I have renamed it from “Character Builder” in the hope that the new name will better convey the notion that this spreadsheet isn’t required to play the game: its main purpose is to help make attractive, easy-to-share character sheets.

Friday, 2012-10-05

Things I hate about amateur singers

Filed under: Music — bblackmoor @ 20:10

I have been suffering through various TV talent show contests such as The Voice and The X Factor and so on. Here is a list of things that I would be happy to never see or hear again:

  • Excessive head-swinging and upper body swaying (almost always female singers)
  • Waving hands around: punching the sky, making wave motions, reaching out, and so on — especially the wave motions
  • Hunching up shoulders and holding elbows in close to the body (almost always male singers)
  • Repeating “uh-huh, yeah” between each verse (almost always male singers)
  • Warbling vibrato-ee-ooo-eee-ooo-eee-ooo
  • Bizarre spasms of the head and/or lower jaw while holding notes (often accompanied with warbling vibrato-ee-ooo-ee-ooo-ee-ooo)
  • Weird twitchy arm movements like the singer is going through drug withdrawal (often accompanied by hunching up shoulders and holding elbows in close to the body)

If you do any of these things, please do the world a favor and stay away from cameras and microphones.

An observant child

Filed under: Art,Family,Gaming — bblackmoor @ 19:12
Grimknight by Malakai

While visiting my mom, one of my sisters, and my sister’s family a few weeks ago, I took a few minutes to change my Champions Online password because I received an email that made me suspect my account might have been hacked. I logged in just long enough to do that and then logged out again: a minute, perhaps, at most.

I did not realize that my 6-year-old nephew Malakai was looking over my shoulder while I did so (children are sneaky). Later that day, he presented me with the drawing on the left, which he had done entirely from memory. Note the things he noticed and remembered: not just Grimknight in the foreground, but the waving police officer and the insectoid spaceship behind him! I was, and am, amazed.

Outrage over PBS

Filed under: Politics — bblackmoor @ 18:43

Here are two meme images I made in response to the outrage over the cost of PBS, and the outrage over that outrage.

Wants to cut PBS funding

Outraged over cutting PBS budget

Saturday, 2012-09-29

The wild, wild life

Filed under: Home,Nature — bblackmoor @ 16:53
The Hole

The wildlife around here is pretty amazing. Other than the usual birds and squirrels, in the last 24 hours I have seen a bunny, a deer, a huge possum, a tiny frog, and some kind of tiny, ground dwelling yellow-jackets.

The Hole

The possum led us to the yellow-jackets. Last night we were watching Cabin In The Woods (which isn’t bad, if a little slow and predictable). Suddenly, the motion-sensing light on the balcony came on, startling us. Looking out, we saw a huge grey skull-faced animal walking along the railing: a possum! It wandered around, but had meandered away by the time I got the camera.

The Nest

This morning I was out back, spreading grass seed and generally looking around, and I found a huge hole. Could this be why the possum was on our deck? Had it taken up residence? Crawling closer, a bug flew out. I backed off, and it flew back in the hole. Huh? I crept closer again… and a bug came out again and flew toward me. I backed off again.

The Hole

I retrieved the camera and took some zoomed-in photos. Examining the photos, it’s clear that these are yellow-jackets. Did they take over the possum’s hole and drive it away? If so, where has it gone? In any case, tonight I’ll need to do something about the yellow-jackets.

P.S. Here is a photo of that tiny frog.

Wednesday, 2012-08-29

7th Annual Blackmoor Halloween Party

Filed under: Family,Friends — bblackmoor @ 19:55

You may have been cordially invited to the 7th Annual Blackmoor Halloween Party! If so, keep reading. If not, bugger off.

Costumes are encouraged! Snacks, drinks, and Halloween Chili will be provided. If you have special dietary needs or are prone to complain about what is offered, bring your own.

You may bring guests and/or children, but you are responsible for their behavior.

We have abundant amounts of room, including a couple of private rooms. Regardless of where you sleep, you will need to bring your own bedding (such as a sleeping bag or inflatable mattress). You may also reserve a room at the nearby Best Western Plus Crossroads Inn & Suites. A sober driver will be available to drive drunk guests back to their motel rooms — your safety is important!

Update! All of the private rooms are spoken for (if you haven’t already arranged for one, you don’t have one). However, we will have tons of open floor space on the first floor, and you are welcome to bring an air mattress and crash. Just be aware that you may have trouble getting to sleep until the party is over. Also, don’t forget that there is a nearby motel, and that a designated driver will be available to shuttle people to the motel.

Please RSVP, so that we can plan appropriately. Thanks!

6 PM, Saturday, November 3, 2012
Let us know if you want to arrive early!

Castle Blackmoor
70 Starling Ln.
Troy, VA 22974-3278

Saturday, 2012-08-25

Satire is having trouble keeping up with reality

Filed under: Civil Rights,Politics — bblackmoor @ 13:21
Onion vs Republican

POP QUIZ: One of these articles is satire, and one of them is factual. Can you tell which is which?

1) ‘Pregnancy Begins 2 Weeks Before Conception’ Now The Law In Arizona

2) Ann Romney: “Why should women be paid equal to men?”

I am of the growing opinion that our state and federal governments are all just an elaborate prank.

Saturday, 2012-08-18

A criticism of journalistic ignorance

Filed under: Journalism,Politics — bblackmoor @ 10:41

This is not a political blog entry. I don’t care what your politics are, and I’ve no interest in convincing you to adopt mine. The topic today is not politics, but political journalism.

Richi Jennings (who seems like a nice guy, and whose tech-related articles I typically enjoy) posted an article on Forbes, “Paul Ryan stimulus budget: What would Ayn Rand say?”

Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI): Is he a libertarian or just another budget-busting politician? And does he or does he not support government fiscal stimulus?

Um… wait. What? What the..?

First, Paul Ryan is obviously not a libertarian. You may as well ask, “Is he a Klingon?” Uh, no. Clearly not.

Second, Ayn Rand despised libertarians even more than she hated communists. So why would anyone seek Ayn Rand’s opinion on whether someone else is or is not a libertarian? That makes no sense.

Granted, the article is basically a summary of what various pundits are saying about Paul Ryan (and what they say is equally nonsensical), but that doesn’t excuse this bizarrely nonsensical introduction.

I pointed this out to Richi Jennings. He replied,

Lest we forget, the point of OTOH is to sum up what a range of voices are saying on an issue. Whatever your own particular point of view, some of the voices are bound to be ‘wrong’ ;-)

Suggesting Ryan might be a libertarian or that Rand might approve of him if he were is not ‘wrong’, with quotation marks. That implies it’s a matter of opinion. It is flat out blatantly incorrect. “Mars orbits the Moon” kind of incorrect. “Chickens built Stonehenge” kind of incorrect.

People who don’t know the difference between objectivism and libertarianism, and which one Ayn Rand promoted and which one she despised, shouldn’t be using those words in a sentence. You may as well say, “Is Ryan a nihilist? What would Albert Camus say?” (The point being that Ryan is obviously not a nihilist, and that Camus was rather famously not a nihilist, either.)

Here are some other equally nonsensical headlines:

“Is Paul Ryan a dinosaur? What would David Wozney say?”

“Is Paul Ryan a moon of the planet Jupiter? What would Cyrus Reed Teed say?”

“Is Paul Ryan a 19th century geologist and naturalist named Charles Darwin? What would Pat Robertson say?”

Follow-up: Richi Jennings has modified his intro to say, “But is he a libertarian, an objectivist, or just another budget-busting politician?”

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