[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

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

Wednesday, 2012-08-08

I love Christmas (and you should, too)

Filed under: About Me,Family,Friends,Mythology — bblackmoor @ 09:54
I love Christmas

I love Christmas. It vexes me when this or that group wants to claim it as “theirs” and declare that no one else can have it. It vexes me when someone dismisses it as no more than an excuse for crass commercialism. Christmas isn’t about some guy being tortured to death, and it’s not about feral crowds and shopping. It’s not about this or that religious festival which coincidentally happens to be held at the same time. Christmas is about love, hope, good will, generosity, friends, and family. It’s about reaching out to people that you’d normally ignore, at best. Frankly I wish we — and by we I mean everyone: atheist, Jew, Buddhist, Christian, Pagan — would take Christmas back from the Scrooges that want to poison it.

Christmas is no more a “Christian” holiday than Tuesday is a “Norse” day of the week. It’s just a name: the actual holiday is much bigger than that. Christmas is a human holiday. Christmas is about love, hope, good will, generosity, friends, and family.

Christmas is for everyone.

Friday, 2012-08-03

You may be right, I may be crazy

Filed under: Family,Friends,Mythology,Society — bblackmoor @ 17:01

(I originally wrote this on Roger Carden’s Facebook page, but it got realy long, so I am posting it here, instead.)

I’ve mentioned this once or twice before. I’ll mention it again, because I think it’s something people don’t usually think about. I could be wrong, but it’s my dime, so here it goes.

There is some overlap between those who agree with me on “issues” and people whose company I enjoy, but it’s by no means 1:1 correlation. It is not necessary to despise those with whom we disagree, but by the same token, it’s by no means certain (for me, anyway) that I’ll like someone who happens to agree with me.

Personally, I’m either agnostic, atheist, or pagan, depending on how whimsical I’m feeling and how dark it is when I take out the trash (it’s a long way, through lightless woods — it’s the scariest thing I do in my day-to-day life). There are people I consider friends (real friends, not just a-name-I-see-online friends) who are Jewish, Buddhist, Quaker, Mormon, and yes, Christian. There are people I consider friends who are agnostic or atheist, as well. And of course there are people whose metaphysical framework is completely unknown to me.

There are also people wearing all of those labels whose company I avoid.

While I personally see no correlation between people who profess to follow [insert metaphysical framework here] and people who are pleasant, honorable, and interesting, I don’t see an inverse correlation either. There might be religions that serve as accurate predictors of the behaviour of people that follow them, but if so, I’ve not seen it.

I don’t believe that people’s behaviour is based on their religion. I believe that people choose their religion based on their character. A pleasant and honorable person raised Shinto will find Shinto explanations for their actions. A hateful and close-minded person raised Shinto will, too. If you’re kind, or unkind; honorable, or dishonorable; compassionate, or hateful; reasonable, or unreasonable — I really don’t care why. Not much, anyway.

I admire kind, honorable, compassionate, reasonable people, and I try to be more like them. This was not always the case. I hope that this indicates some marginal improvement in my own character.

Saturday, 2012-07-21

Taking a break from the real world

Filed under: Family,Movies — bblackmoor @ 15:25
The Lost Skeleton Returns Again

I am taking a break from the evil and general unpleasantness of the real world for the rest of the day. Susan is napping on the couch, Vixen is napping on my shins, and I am going to call my mom and say hi before settling in with a pitcher of screwdrivers and The Lost Skeleton Returns Again.

The Lost Skeleton Returns Again is a sequel to the famed Lost Skeleton Of Cadavra. I watched that the other day for the fifth or tenth time. Great fun. Last night we had some folks over and watch Godzilla vs. Biollante and Dark And Stormy Night. Dark And Stormy Night is also a Larry Blamire movie. Jennifer Blaire, who plays Animala in the Lost Skeleton movies, plays Billy Tuesday. Billy Tuesday is a real doll, a regular firecracker, see? She’s awesome. I also got a kick out of Brian Howe’s character, Burling Famish, Jr. His monologue next to the fireplace where he describes his uncle Sinas Cavinder is one of the funniest things I have ever seen.

Anyway, that’s my plan for Saturday. I hope yours is nice. Yes, there are terrible people in world, and awful things happen, but those things happened yesterday, and they’ll happen again tomorrow. Focus on the good things, once in a while. Like today, for example. Today is a marvelous opportunity to focus on good things.

Sunday, 2012-02-19

Looking at the snow, February 19, 2012

Filed under: Family,Friends,Work — bblackmoor @ 16:21
falling snow

I am here with my cat Vixen watching the snow fall, and feeling very grateful for how my life has turned out. I am not the smartest, wisest, or most hard working person I know. And yet, here I am.

I think I have generally made good decisions, but I have also made a number of mistakes. That my mistakes have not ruined my life is … I am tempted to say miraculous, but of course that’s nonsense. Good things happen to people who are better and worse than I am, and bad things happen to people who are better and worse than I am. There’s no secret plan. No hidden hands are pulling strings. Life is just chaos. We can ameliorate it a bit, but we can’t eliminate it. We can choose whether to build a house on sand, but the snow falls on the just and the unjust alike.

I’m not sure I would even want my life to have been perfect. Some of my most entertaining memories are from times when things went wrong. I once spent 24 hours in snowstorm, trapped in a crappy little Chevy S10 pickup truck that was nearly out of gas. I started the engine for a few minutes once every couple of hours, just to keep from freezing. All I had to eat was a frozen pizza I found behind the seat. I had nothing to drink at all.

It’s not 60 days in a Chilean mine, but it’s about as life-threatening as my memories get.

I have been really phenomenally lucky, all thing considered.

I wonder about my family and my friends, sometimes. They are good people, by and large. They have made decisions, some better than mine, some worse than mine. Chance and chaos have taken their toll. I look at their lives, and I would not trade with any of them. Do they feel the same way about mine? I really hope so. I hope that despite the things that have gone wrong, that they appreciate what they have, and would keep it even if offered the chance to trade.

The snow is a couple of inches deep now. I wasn’t expecting this. It was 60 degrees yesterday (15.5 degrees Celsius).

I really hated this house when we bought it. I hated it for not being what I wanted. I wanted two basins in the master bath. I wanted a vaulted ceiling in the living room. I wanted hardwood floors. And so on. I am more materialistic than I would like. I think it’s because I grew up poor (although even then, I never truly wanted for anything — I had a safe home, and food, and clothes, and toys, and parents who loved me).

Suffering is caused by desire, or so the Buddhists say. There’s some truth in that, obviously.

yellow flower

I have been noticing more about the house than what it isn’t, the past few days. Being grateful for what is, rather than resenting what isn’t. I would like to do more of that.

I just noticed that the yellow flower that bloomed yesterday, the first flower I have seen here, is covered by snow. I am going to go put a plastic cup over it. Maybe it will survive.

Sunday, 2011-09-04

Happy birthday to me

Filed under: Family,Food,Friends — bblackmoor @ 10:26

I turned 45 this week. I had a great week. We got a new kitten, Vixen. A friend and his son came over and we grilled hot dogs and watched a Batman movie (Mystery Of The Batwoman). We had dinner with a different friend at Famous Dave’s (a rib place). Life is good.

Sunday, 2011-08-28

The Mugs of August – Simple glass beer mug

Filed under: Art,Family,Food,Friends — bblackmoor @ 22:06
Simple glass beer mug

I am going to post a photo of a coffee mug every day in August and talk a little bit about where we got it and why I like it.

Spent an hour or so with Erik, one of my oldest friends, this afternoon. That’s the best thing that’s happened to me in a few weeks.

Sometimes the simple things are best. That’s what I like about this plain glass beer mug. It’s solid, sturdy, comfortable… it’s just a good, practical mug. Like the Pepsi mug, it was a gift from my mother.

Saturday, 2011-08-27

The Mugs of August – Engraved beer mug

Filed under: Art,Family,Food — bblackmoor @ 23:30
Engraved beer mug

I am going to post a photo of a coffee mug every day in August and talk a little bit about where we got it and why I like it.

Hope everyone is safe from the hurricane and is among people who care about them.

This mug was made just for me by someone who cares about me: my sister-in-law, Danica. Danica is super artistic; she has her own photography studio. She engraved this mighty beer mug with my name and gave it to me for Christmas in 2009. (Susan received a wine glass, similarly engraved. Hers has her own name, of course.)

Tuesday, 2011-08-23

The Mugs of August – Clear glass Pepsi mug

Filed under: Art,Family,Food — bblackmoor @ 23:21
Clear glass Pepsi mug

I am going to post a photo of a coffee mug every day in August, and talk a little bit about where we got it and why I like it.

In the late 1980s, I moved to southern California. City of Orange in Orange County, to be exact. If you start at Los Angeles and drive south until you can see the horizon, you’ll be in Orange County.

Shortly after I moved out there, Susan flew out and visited me there for a week. That’s the first time we went to Disneyland together. We weren’t even really friends yet, at that time, although I’d had a crush on her in high school. By the time she went back to Virginia, all of my friends had a crush on her, too.

A year or so after I’d moved to California, my mother followed. I don’t think it’s because I lived there. She’s always been something of a rolling stone: an artist and an explorer, never satisfied with one place for too long. Very Jack Kerouac, my mother. There was a span of about six months in the late 1980s when neither of us knew the other’s address. We weren’t estranged: we just fell out of touch for a little while.

Anyway, before that, she lived down the road from me in Orange County, just behind an Arby’s on Tustin Ave. That’s where this mug came from. I admired it at the time, and years later, in the mid-1990s, she gave it to me. I don’t recall if it was for my birthday, or Christmas, or if she was just moving and didn’t want to pack it. The important thing to me is that she remembered that I’d liked it.

According to Google Maps, that Arby’s is still there.

View Larger Map

Friday, 2011-08-19

The Mugs of August – Name Your Poison mug

Filed under: Art,Family,Food,Travel — bblackmoor @ 22:20
Name Your Poison mug

I am going to post a photo of a coffee mug every day in August, and talk a little bit about where we got it and why I like it.

We spent the night in Virginia Beach because we were going to our niece’s “graduation” that evening. While at a gift shop, we saw some pirate shirts. Susan bought a really cool pirate shirt in Savannah, GA years before, but it was in storage. We found the exact same pirate shirt, and some similar pirate shirts, so we each got a new pirate shirt. Then we purchased a couple of pirate mugs, because we did not have any, and we thought that would be a cool thing to have. This is one of those mugs.

The girl at the counter said, “Y’all must really like pirates,” which still makes us chuckle.

I also got a half-pound of fudge, which I am pretty sure I ate all of before be made it back home.

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