[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

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!

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

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.

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, 2012-01-01

A non-hungover Happy New Year

Filed under: Friends,Gaming — bblackmoor @ 14:38

For the first time in a very long time, I got a good night’s sleep and woke up refreshed on New Year’s Day. I woke up late, but not hung over. The party at Mike & Rob’s was fun. I enjoyed the hospitality and the company. However, if I was a bore or a boor, I have only myself to blame, as I only had two glasses of wine all night.

I am not done writing Bulletproof Blues, which is disappointing. I’d hoped to have the text done by now, and be working on the layout. I am not in panic mode yet. As long as it’s done and up for sale on DriveThruRPG by Mysticon in February, I’ll be happy.

I am a little worried about when I’ll be able to play after we move, though. I game rarely enough as it is. Once we relocate to Charlottesville, I’ll be at least an hour away from any gamers I know — or, indeed, from anyone I know, other than my sweetheart. Kind of a bummer, that.

On the bright side, I have recovered from the horrific food poisoning I got at Carytown Sushi on Wednesday. I am actually hungry for the first time in four days.

Sunday, 2011-12-18

Festive pre-Christmas weekend

Filed under: Friends,Movies — bblackmoor @ 22:58
2003 Tiburon rear body work

I recently got the hatch of my car fixed at Pouncey Tract Collision. They did a great job. I just wanted to start off with that, because I keep forgetting to blog about it.

This has been a great weekend. We went to a friend’s Christmas party on Saturday, and then went out to dinner at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar. Great food, but ludicrously overpriced. About double what we would normally pay. But it was a celebration, so what the heck. The food and service really were great.

Vixen's first Christmas tree

Today we made lasagna and gingerbread cookies, and invited some good friends over to watch Christmas specials and movies. We watched Santa Claus (the crazy Mexican movie where Santa fights Satan), Elf, Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas, and How The Grinch Stole Christmas. That was great. I firmly believe that Christmas is for everyone, regardless of religion or lack thereof, and I love sharing it. As usual, we made too much food. We’ll be eating lasagna for the next week. Lucky for us, we really like lasagna.

Tomorrow we go to fill out the loan paperwork for our house. Yay!

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