[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Friday, 2017-03-17

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Filed under: Family,Food,Friends,Philosophy — bblackmoor @ 09:01

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Much like Columbus Day, this day has very little to do with the actual historical St. Patrick. What we are actually celebrating are the good things that we Americans have gained thanks to Irish immigrants and (if we’re lucky) our Irish ancestors: an appreciation of good food, good friends, and good beer. These are things worth celebrating. If you want to go deeper with it, and celebrate more complex aspects of Irish culture and what we’ve gained from it, that’s great, too.

If you use this as an excuse to complain about St. Patrick, the Catholic Church, or cultural stereotypes, you are missing the point.

Thursday, 2016-11-17

Facebook is not news

Filed under: Family,Friends,Journalism,Society — bblackmoor @ 11:09

I will no longer be getting my news from Facebook. Too much of it is fabricated, and what little isn’t has been slanted and overloaded with emotion until any objective facts have been obfuscated beyond recognition. If you share a meme about this or that protest causing the death of someone, or a story about this or that person being assaulted or beaten by people because of their politics, or even the old-fashioned hoaxes like free cruises from Disney, plots to poison our food, or serial killers leaving diseased needles in vending machines, I am going to hide that post, and if you do it often enough, I will quietly “unfollow” you. (If/when this process can be automated, I will happily install an add-on that does it for me. Perhaps based on a list of fake new sites like this one.)

I have had enough of angry accusations and tragic claims made without even a token effort at verification, and that exist only to sell advertising or elicit an emotional response. I have had enough of political propaganda masquerading as news. Too many of these stories have been completely unsubstantiated, and a claim made without verification cannot be treated as true. Facts matter to me, even if they don’t matter to anyone else.

Share with me how your day went. What sort of things have happened to you today? Not a friend of a neighbour of a colleague — you. How was work? How’s your health? What movies have you seen that you liked? Books that you’ve read that you liked? (Hint: if you haven’t seen it or read it, your opinion about it means nothing. And frankly I would much rather hear about something you liked than something you hated.) Hell, I would even prefer that you share photos of your children — as repulsive as most children are, I would rather see photos of your actual child’s actual accomplishments rather than yet another photo of some anonymous child who may want “likes” for whatever reason — but who probably had nothing to do with their photo being shared.

Facebook is not a source of news. The “news” on Facebook is rumour at the best of times, and malicious lies the rest of the time. No more. Not for me.

The safest assumption on Facebook that any “news” you see is false. In my opinion, it’s no longer even worth doing the few minutes of research it takes to invalidate them: I’m more likely to find gold coins in Vixen’s litter box. If I want news, I will go to a respected mainstream news site that employs actual journalists.

P.S. So what is “real news”? My rule of thumb is that real news has a middle initial “B”: ABC, CBS, NBC, BBC, PBS. The exception is CNN, which takes the place of CBN, which is definitely not real news. (There’s always an exception.)

Friday, 2014-12-12

The three kinds of “Christmas”

Filed under: Family,Fine Living,Friends,Society — bblackmoor @ 08:58

There are really three different holidays, all known as “Christmas”. One is a religious celebration. I don’t belong to that religion, so I have nothing to say about that. The second is a business event marked by pleas for conspicuous consumption and frivolous spending. I have little interest in that event, although I sympathize with small business owners whose livelihood is dependent upon a good “Christmas season”.

The third “Christmas” is the one I celebrate: a joyous occasion when people of all creeds set aside their petty disagreements and share a sense of good will. It is a time when strangers are treated as friends, friends are treated like family, and family is given the appreciation we really should be giving them every day of the year. It is a time of generosity, kindness, and gratitude. It’s a holiday that belongs to everyone — to anyone who wishes to celebrate the best of what it means to be a part of the human race. By whatever name you wish to call it, that’s the Christmas I celebrate.

Welcome, Christmas, bring your cheer.
Cheer to all Whos far and near.
Christmas Day is in our grasp
So long as we have hands to clasp.
Christmas Day will always be
Just as long as we have we.
Welcome, Christmas, while we stand
Heart to heart, and hand in hand.

Tuesday, 2013-12-24

The true meaning of Christmas

Filed under: Family,Friends,Television — bblackmoor @ 20:07

How the Grinch Stole ChristmasIf I had to pick one Christmas special that sums up what I consider the “true meaning of Christmas”, it would be Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

“Welcome, Christmas, bring your cheer. Cheer to all Whos, far and near. Christmas Day is in our grasp, so long as we have hands to clasp. Christmas Day will always be, just as long as we have we. Welcome Christmas while we stand, heart to heart, and hand in hand.”

Friday, 2013-11-01

Happy Vixen

Filed under: Family — bblackmoor @ 12:50
Happy Vixen

Someone is really happy to have her cone off. 🙂 It’s an animated GIF: click the image to see it full size.

Thursday, 2013-08-22

8th Annual Blackmoor Halloween Party

Filed under: Family,Friends — bblackmoor @ 20:52
Scary!

You may have been cordially invited to the 8th Annual Blackmoor Halloween Party! If so, keep reading. If not, avert your eyes!

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.

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

When:
6 PM, Saturday, November 2, 2012
Let us know if you want to arrive early!

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

Sunday, 2013-05-26

The best and worst things about high school

Filed under: Family,Society — bblackmoor @ 14:36
Waaaugh!

This is a note to my nieces and nephews who are, or will soon be, going to high school. I hope it’s helpful.

The second-best thing about high school is that it’s exciting, because everything that happens is the Most Important Thing Ever. Every minor error is the worst mistake in the history of the world. Every small success is the most epic victory ever. Every thoughtless word is the cruelest and most unforgivable crime since time began. You get the idea. Compared to high school, being an adult is pretty dull, if you’re doing it right.

The best thing about high school is that it ends. Eventually you will get a real job, and someone who actually cares about you, and you’ll figure out what love actually means. You’ll realize how completely out of whack your priorities were just a few years ago. And then, a few years later, you’ll realize it again. Hopefully, by the time you are in your late 20s, you’ll actually have some clue about what’s important and what’s not, and you’ll look back at yourself at 16-20 and you’ll chuckle at yourself because you were such a complete idiot.

The worst thing about high school is that some people don’t get the memo when it’s over. You’ll meet people who keep treating every day like it’s an episode of Gossip Girl, well into their thirties or even forties. At first, that might seem entertaining: they are the life of the party, and nothing that happens to them is ever trivial. Every moment of every day is filled with Drama with a capital D. Unfortunately, no one maintains that level of teen-age narcissism without severe deficits in their character. They might be unable to hold a job. They might be unable to maintain a healthy relationship. They might have substance abuse problems. Whatever it is, they won’t take responsibility for any of it: pathological narcissism like this comes with a persecution complex. Everything bad that happens to them, in addition to being the worst thing to ever happen to anyone, is someone else’s fault. Conspiracies abound. Other people nurse hidden grudges. Betrayal is around every corner. If you don’t agree to be part of their narrative, to play a supporting character in their High School Melodrama, you’re part of the conspiracy against them.

Spot these people early, and avoid them. Their entertainment value is not worth their cost to your sanity. And please, please, don’t turn into someone like this. But how do you avoid it?

When something terrible happens to you — your mother gets cancer, a traffic accident makes you late, your girlfriend or boyfriend’s car gets vandalized — stop and think for a moment about how it affects people other than you. Remove yourself from the equation, and see what the picture would look like if you weren’t at the center of it. Alternately, imagine what it might be like if this had happened to someone you don’t even know. If you’d heard about this on the news, would you still consider it a tragedy? If not, then maybe it’s not such a tragedy for you, either. If so, for whom is it tragic? Try to put things in perspective. It’s not always about you.

If this is all obvious to you, then that’s great: I sincerely hope it is. I hope that you are a more mature teenager than I was. But just in case it’s not obvious, I hope this has been helpful.

Sunday, 2012-12-23

My favorite Christmas specials

Filed under: Family,Friends,Movies,Mythology,Television — bblackmoor @ 15:01

I am imposing a unilateral un-grimmening! No more grim tidings for at least one week. Time for Christmas cheer and good will.

As a start, here are my favorite Christmas specials and movies, in no particular order. Some are great. Some are just terrible. Some make me laugh. Some make me cry. I love them all.

How The Grinch Stole Christmas (the real one, not the Jim Carrey abomination)
Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas
Santa Claus Conquers The Martians
(Mexican) Santa Claus
Gremlins
Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town
Silent Night, Deadly Night
Elf
Bad Santa
Scrooged
Star Wars Holiday Special
Hogfather
Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer
Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny

Merry Christmas!

Friday, 2012-10-05

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.

Wednesday, 2012-08-29

7th Annual Blackmoor Halloween Party

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

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!

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

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

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