[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

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.

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Monday, 2011-08-22

The Mugs of August – Travel mug made from corn plastic

Filed under: Art,Ecology,Food,Work — bblackmoor @ 23:06
Travel mug made from corn plastic

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.

You might think this is just an ordinary plastic travel mug. Au contraire! This mug is special. This mug is made from corn.

Susan works in the environmental field. From lead and asbestos, to recycling and greenhouse gas emissions, to domestic and international carbon trading programs, she’s done it all. She was given this mug while doing her environmental thing at Philip Morris a few years ago. It’s made entirely from corn plastic.

You see, when we run out of oil in a few decades, we’ll run out of plastic, too. The USA uses something like 200,000 barrels of oil a day on plastic packaging alone. That’s right: 200,000 barrels of oil a day, on stuff we throw away after we unwrap it. In theory, corn plastic will be the substance that replaces all that petroleum-based plastic when the petroleum is gone. Of course, corn plastic isn’t perfect. We still throw away an enormous amount of, well, everything. But you have to start somewhere.

P.S. “Degesch America, Inc. is located in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley town of Weyers Cave, Virginia, USA. Degesch is a worldwide leader in the specialized field of stored product pest control.” In case you wondered.

Sunday, 2011-08-21

The Mugs of August – Circuit City Oktoberfest 2006 mug

Filed under: Art,Food,Work — bblackmoor @ 21:39
Circuit City Oktoberfest 2006 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 2006, I worked at Circuit City for six months. It was my first job in Richmond, and the beginning of our new life up here. Sadly, I immediately saw that the handwriting was on the wall. The company was woefully mismanaged: it was clear that the people making decisions in upper management had no awareness of what anyone working in the company actually did. I was hired during one of the brief upticks in what was obviously a years-long death spiral. Circuit City became the first of a series of companies on my resume which are no longer in business.

I did get this swell Oktoberfest mug, though.

Saturday, 2011-08-20

The Mugs of August – Grand Canyon Arizona mug

Filed under: Art,Food,Travel — bblackmoor @ 23:10
Grand Canyon Arizona 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 2002, Susan and I went to Las Vegas for the “5th Dr. Laura 50th birthday party”. It was Susan’s idea. I have no tolerance for Dr. Laura. I think she’s a judgmental harridan. Susan finds her entertaining. We are different people, and it’s okay for us to like different things.

Anyway, the Dr. Laura thing was just one night, We spent the rest of the week walking up and down the strip (the new part, where the Paris Las Vegas hotel is, which is the hotel where we spent half of the week), getting free stuff from casinos, and seeing some shows. The shows I particularly remember liking were Showgirls Of Magic and Skin Tight. We also got a kick out of the fountains at the Ballagio, and the all of the interior decorations of the various casinos.

While in Las Vegas, we took a day trip out to the Grand Canyon in Arizona. That’s where we got this mug.

Unlike Niagra Falls, the Grand Canyon was every bit as huge as I’d imagined it. If you ever get a chance to go see it, you really should. It’s just astonishing. I was also astonished at the ravens. They are huge, and apparently they are one of the most common animals at the Grand Canyon. I did not know this.

We were not at the canyon long enough to go down to the bottom. It’s 7,000 feet from the edge where we were to the bottom, and we were only there three hours. Maybe some day we will return, and trek down to the bottom.

On the way back to Las Vegas, the bus crossed the Hoover Dam, which was also quite amazing. The dam itself is still open to visitors, but you can’t drive across it anymore. So if you have never done that, too bad — you can’t.

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.

Thursday, 2011-08-18

The Mugs of August – Haunted Mansion mug

Filed under: Art,Food,Travel — bblackmoor @ 22:00
Haunted Mansion 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.

This is another mug from Disneyland in 2009, the 40th anniversary of the Haunted Mansion.

I love this mug. It’s black with white non-water-soluble paint, so it’s dishwasher safe, and the design is Edward Gorey-esque. It’s also large enough to dunk a large cookie in, which is important.

When Susan gets old, she wants to move to Florida and get a job working at Disneyworld, so she could go to the Haunted Mansion any time she likes. Doing what, I don’t know. Perhaps seating people in the rides, or working at the gift shop.

Wednesday, 2011-08-17

The Mugs of August – Maryland Renaissance Festival stein

Filed under: Art,Food,Friends,Travel — bblackmoor @ 23:23
Maryland Renaissance Festival stein

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.

From 2007 until 2009, I played World Of Warcraft (although I was pretty inactive for the last year of that span). I met some interesting people through WOW. Some of them, sadly, I no longer talk to. Of the handful I still am able to keep in touch with, one or two make an effort to meet up at the Maryland Renaissance Festival in September.

The first year I went to the Maryland Renaissance Festival was in 2008, and that’s when I got this mug. It’s not technically a coffee mug, but it’s one of only two steins I own, and it has sentimental value in addition to being really pretty. It’s numbered 159/300, but really, that should be 159/299, because the first one I bought had a crack in it, and I swapped it for this one. So there are, at most, 298 more of these out there.

I hope the weather is better this year. So far, it has rained every year I have gone. A wool cloak gets really heavy when it’s wet.

Tuesday, 2011-08-16

The Mugs of August – Don’t piss me off!

Filed under: Art,Food,Movies — bblackmoor @ 22:28
Don't piss me off! I'm running out of places to hide the bodies.

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 early to mid 1990s, when Military Circle Mall was more well known for the muggings in the parking lot than the upscale shopping (it’s called “The Gallery at Military Circle” now: ooh, aah), Susan and I would go there from time to time to see movies. What can I say: we are fearless. It was on one such occasion that we were roaming the mall, killing some time before the movie started.

We stopped at a dollar store (not “the” Dollar Store — Military Circle was circling the drain at that point, and all it had was a store run by an Indian or Pakistani family that sold pretty much the same things as the Dollar Store) to get some snacks to take into the movie theatre (yes, we do that). Susan saw this mug, and she immediately fell in love with it. It says, “Don’t piss me off! I’m running out of places to hide the bodies.” It’s one of a handful of mugs that we consider “hers”.

Monday, 2011-08-15

The Mugs of August – Cedar Point mug

Filed under: Art,Food,Travel — bblackmoor @ 23:29
Cedar Point 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 August of 2006, Susan and I went on a road trip up to Cedar Point amusement park, “the roller coaster capital of the world”. On the way up, we stopped at Fallingwater, one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs. It’s nicer from the outside than from the inside, honestly. On the way back, we visited Harpers Ferry, which was fascinating. I had no inkling of any of Harpers Ferry’s history. We spent an entire day just wandering around, touring buildings, and reading signs.

This mug came from Cedar Point, obviously. Susan and I both love cobalt blue glass.

I have two distinct memories of Cedar Point. One is being on a stairwell leading up to some attraction, looking out over the crowd at the park, and thinking how very, very white everyone was. It was kind of eerie and unsettling, like if you walked into a huge crowd of redheads all of a sudden. It doesn’t matter if you are a redhead: to see only redheads in a huge crowd is still pretty freaking weird.

My other distinct memory is riding the Top Thrill Dragster, which was billed as the tallest and fastest coaster in the world at that time. Like every roller coaster, they give you the standard warnings about securing loose articles and so on. I put my sunglasses in my pocket, assuming they would be safe there (they always had been in the past). The ride was very fast, and very short (well, duh — I guess that’s what “fastest in the world” gives you). As we left the ride, I went to put my sunglasses back on, and discovered they were no longer in my pocket. They were gone. I never even felt them leave my pocket. I hope they didn’t kill anyone in the cars behind us.

Sunday, 2011-08-14

The Mugs of August – Pewter wedding gift mug

Filed under: Art,Food,Friends — bblackmoor @ 15:50
Pewter wedding gift 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.

Susan and I were married on October 31, 1991. The best man gave us engraved gifts: a lighter for her, and this pewter mug for me. The inscription says,


“Goodbye and hello, as always” is the last line of The Courts Of Chaos, the last book in the (first) Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny. I loved the (first) Chronicles of Amber, and if I can be said to be a fan of any author, I am a fan of Roger Zelazny.

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