[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

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 practice 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. My participation in that event is marginal, 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. Numerous different religions and cultures have contributed traditions to my Christmas — it’s a holiday much richer than any particular religion or culture. 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 family. 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.

Wednesday, 2014-01-08

Pay attention, this is your life you are missing

Filed under: Fine Living,Friends — bblackmoor @ 18:57

Pay attention to the people around you. Your life is ticking away, minute by minute, and when they’re gone, you’re gone. Don’t waste your life staring at an object in your hand.

For myself, I am going to attempt to spend my time more wisely, with a greater awareness of who and what I am paying attention to.

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.”

Christmas (or Yule or whatever other name you want to call it) is not merely some religious festival. It is bigger than that. Christmas belongs to everyone — that is the entire point of “How The Grinch Stole Christmas”. And that is the lesson that Grinches who want to limit it to their tiny religious set-piece need so desperately to learn. Christmas is no more a “Christian” holiday than Tuesday is a “Norse” day of the week. Christmas is a human holiday, for the whole human family.

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

Wednesday, 2013-07-31

Protected: Mountain Brook elections 2013

Filed under: Friends,Home — bblackmoor @ 17:15

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Monday, 2013-03-04

Slings & Arrows

Filed under: Friends,Television — bblackmoor @ 22:41
Slings & Arrows

I have been watching Sling & Arrows, a Canadian show about the theatre. It’s like Glee, but with better writing and no musical numbers (which also makes it better than Glee). It reminds me a great deal of Smash, although it has no musical numbers (which, again, makes it better than Smash). Here’s the thing: that camaraderie the cast feels on the completion of a successful show… I have felt that. Not often. Not after the conclusion of a successful convention (I was on the staff of a local SF&F convention for most of its history). The last time I felt that esprit de corps was probably back in the late1980s, after a successful performance of Rocky Horror (in which I was a cast member for a few years). I imagine (rather, I assume) that it’s the same feeling that members of a sports team feel at the end of a good game. It’s a good feeling. Even then memory of it is a good feeling.

Friday, 2013-02-22

MystiCon 2013 schedule

Filed under: Conventions,Friends,Gaming,Travel — bblackmoor @ 11:52

Here is my MystiCon 2013 schedule, in case you are interested in that sort of thing.

Fri 8:00 PM
Ballroom D
Gaming for Beginners

Fri 9:00 PM
Ballroom E
Game Development

Sat 10:00 AM
Ballroom C
A Conversation with Steve Long (I’m interviewing him)

Sat 1:00 PM
Ballroom D
Blog Much?

Sat 10:00 PM
Boardroom 1
Ouch! You Bit Me! A Zombie Survival Guide

Sun 10:00 AM
Ballroom C
The Artistry of Gaming

Sun 12:00 PM
Ballroom E
No Shirt, No Shoes, No Entry ‐ Business Etiquette

Sun 1:00 PM
Boardroom 1
If They Came in Saucers, Why Are We Smarter?

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!

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
Scary!

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!

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