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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Home-made beef burgers

For my first recipe post I thought I would start off with something easy and simple and everyone loves burgers so here is my recipe for Home-made beef burgers

1 Shallot
olive oil
500g Beef mince
1tsp worcester sauce
2tsp dry mixed herbs 

  • Soften 1 shallot in 2tsp olive oil in a small pan.
  • Tip into a large bowl and cool. Add the Mince, the Worcester sauce and the Dried Mixed Herbs. Season well, then shape the mixture into four burgers.
  • Heat a nonstick frying pan or griddle and grease lightly. Cook the burgers for 3-5 minutes on each side.
  • Serve in Italian Style Ciabatta Rolls with mayonnaise, Hamburger Relish and salad of your choice.

If you want a recipe or want some ideas for a special occasion leave a comment and I'll post them up for you.

I hope you enjoy making and eating these as I have.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The New Girl

Hi just a quick post to introduce myself.

I'm new here and I will be reviewing different products each week and give you the top 5 of the best products in that catagory each week. I will also be post recipes for you to try at home.

I am Lissa, I am 21 years old and ive near Brighton, England. I am married and i love cooking, gadgets, camping, outdoor activities, music, archery, crafts, design, drawing, reading and of course blogging.

If anyone has any recipes or gadgets or products that they wish to get someones advice on or to try something new the feel free to commnet on my posts and I will be more than happy to help.

Bye for now


My Ideas Writing for Speculative Fiction/Alternative History Genre

One of my many writing ideas falls under the Speculative Fiction category, particularly the Alternative History genre. In the field of writing, and the arts in general, original ideas are important to find your niche and reader base. I learned early on, in my quest to become an artist, that there is a blurry and tricky line to originality and plagiarism. In both my art classes and creative writing classes I was taught that there is a practice called artistic licence. What this basically means is that an artist can use various types of works or ideas from others, but change things to create a unique work. The same applies to the alternative history genre of writing, whereby an author is using the factual real-world events or timelines and persons, but changes the course of history as we know it, to create an alternate universe of their creation.

An idea I have been fleshing out involves time travel, alternate realities, and corporate global take over. My inspiration comes greatly from the movies Timeline and Time Cop, and from watching an episode on the t.v. show the Universe, which talked about a branch of science called string theory.

The movie Timeline, based on the novel by Crichton, was about archaeologists on a site from the middle ages who discovers one of their own has vanished. Strangely they discover his eye-glasses and a note which carbon dates to the middle ages, but how-in-the-world could it have gotten there? Turns out a supporter of the dig is a company that has been working on time travel. The story sees the characters traveling back in time to see and experience the lives and the events surrounding the importance of the dig, with great thought to not changing history, or being stuck in the past.

Time Cop is a lot more sci-fi-ish, dealing with a police order who gos back in time to stop criminals who have traveled back to take advantage of particular eras to get rich or try and change history. There is involved a corporation who wants to exclusively own the rights and use of time travel, and some crooked up-and-coming politician. The basic premise here is changing history for the greed of power and money in corporate and government politics.  

String theory says that you cannot actually change our own time by going back and making changes. It is based on the theory that there exists multiple and alternative universes of our own world. Basically everything we do sets in motion the future, and to have done things differently creates an alternative and parallel world. For instance, if we could go back in time and somehow not have voted for Obama, and came back home to our own time, Obama would still be the President, but in that past time-world we visited to prevent his election, he is not the President, and a new alternative world was created and is being lived out in sync with ours. Supposedly there are near infinite strings alongside our own world-reality, ever splintering as we make day-to-day choices and think, what if ?

In the comic book world there has been a whole series of What If? alternate realities. In shows like Stargate the heroes have often visited alternate realities where things are either for the better or is a pretty interesting and complex concept- time travel and alternate histories. 

Without title, fleshed out characters, or even a true outline for the making of a story, I have been toying with these concepts for such a book. My take on it involves the research and development for the means of time travel some years back, and unbeknown to the public, people have been going back in time for decades. It is discovered through these experiments, that time never changes here for us, no matter where we go or what we do, things still remain the same here. Unfortunately for other alternative worlds we visit, things change a lot, and higher-powers with less than altruistic motives have been using time-travel and these alternate worlds as their personal playgrounds.

Imagine a corporation, government, or multiple entities, with the power of time travel; and though our world is relatively safe from having our histories and lives changed when we wake up one morning (but never realize it), what would be the ethical ramifications of changing history and the lives of our alternative selves? Though we could not change our own world by going back in time, what if we could go back and set into motion certain events to study the outcome, and apply those findings to our own world? Could we go back knowing when, how, why the economy became as it was, and make changes to see if it fixes our problems as they are, like a lab test with multiple rats and a control group, other alternate worlds could be our own testing lab. Are these "other" people even really real? Is it akin to playing God? If it saves lives and makes our world for the better, does it make it right, being that these alternative time lines and people are really us? I don't know, but I'd like to explore the idea. 

Imagine too, being able to go back in time as a historian or archaeologist to see first hand how things really were, imagine what we could learn. I could also envision some sort of tourism in time travel; how much would people pay to visit other eras, experience past cultures, live as a king or general in a war? After all anything is possible.

So I'm thinking for my story, a corporation and/or the government is using this technology to test advancement of products and technologies, and to "time-test" the changing of events for use back here in our own "ground-zero" world. It has been a secret for many years, but some how the technology and practices has been leaked to a select group of individuals, and it is threatened to be divulged to the public. "They" wouldn't want to allow that! I toy with ideas of a very selective and wealthy group who offer time-travel journey licenses for small fortunes, by which groups and individuals can act out, in real life, but in an alternate reality, being a conquering king, a victorious general in war, or some savvy financier who bankrupts an entire nation or even the world to apply financial theories as to how to make trillions in our own world. I too think of a group of people, who with knowledge of this technology and the practices, also go back in time to apprehend these meddlers of time, and who fight for the cause of justice for the poor people who are victims of our own worlds lusts for power and riches.


My cable and internet service provider is Comcast and over the past year I have had nothing but problems with various aspects of my service/equipment...

First it was the constant disconnection of the internet. We have one PC connected to the modem, a wireless device connected to the modem, and I use my laptop which connects via the wireless modem device. It seemed every week there was connection issues and finally it came down to just having a bad modem; apparently it was a used one and we were offered a newer model by the tech. It has been right as rain since...the internet anyway.

The cable service? Not so much...

I don't know if it is standard with these cable boxes, but if they are unplugged for a length of time they have to be remotely reset, and more often than not a tech must come out to check the box and reestablish connectivity. I should know, they are nearly on a first name basis here with me.

The real issues started when we realized that we were being charged for a DVR/HD box as part of our subscription service...I didn't know much about using a DVR and as far as HD, having an HD t.v. I tried to view the HD channels but all I got was sound. HD sound I guess...and I repeatedly pressed the DVR button on my remote with no luck.

So I call tech support, and they tried this and that over the phone...stumped...then we checked the box numbers and found the issue. We did not have a DVR/HD box in the house, but according to Comcast we did, and were being charged. Bummer.

I disconnected the box and took it in to trade for what I needed and had been paying for. For sure, it was a shiny silver box...took it home, hooked it up...booo, tech support...nothing...had to schedule a service visit.

Come to find out too, the lady at the shop hadn't input the correct box number, so it wasn't making the connection. I feel like someone out there was watching my channels then. Damn them.

The tech guy was really helpful, I was pleased with his service and help. He checked the outside lines and connections, as well as inside. We have multiple splits, some in use, some not, and he explained that the splits cause "bleeds" in the service feeds, and he showed that we were supposed to be getting "x" amount of cable power and were not. He also divulged that it was a recurring issues with neighbors, part our fault for the splits, part the cable providers because there were issues with the outside boxes that he was resolving. So he cleaned up our lines, cosing off useless lines and reconnecting the multiple lines we wanted for use in various rooms of the house.

Hooray for cable, and HD, and DVR!

All was good in cable land for a time...until we decided to move things around in various rooms and disconnect boxes for a new t.v. or switching out a t.v. from one room to the other. Again we lost the connection, the folks on the other end of the phone tried their magic, but no...a tech must come out again. At least we were not charged for them to come out, that would have been a whole other story, believe you me.

Well here I am today...times are a little rough and we are trying to cut down costs. We have taken back the DVR box and scaled down our cable subscription. Having disconnected boxes and reconnected can see where this is going.

Still waiting on the tech guy to come by this morning. No Robin Meade and my morning dose of HLN today.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Thoughts From Me

For my first official posting here with these wonderful people, I thought I would introduce myself and share some of what I am all about, as well as the kind of content I have an interest of sharing. All while I am scarfing my Aunt Ethel's most deeee-lish stuffed pepper mix, MmMmMm...

I am 34 and have grown up all over the U.S. east of the Mississippi from Michigan to Florida, currently residing in S.W. Mi. I have had many wonderful and trying life experiences, to say that I have been around the block is more than an understatement. I have many experiences and interests to draw upon and grow forth from; I love to share my thoughts and ideas, I like my perspective to be understood, but I never force my opinions and way of life onto others. I have long had a passion for writing, reading, drawing, traveling, and so many things in-between. I both embrace and curse the Internet within my life.

I joined Facebook just over a year ago, while I have been on various social-chat sites and Yahoo! group sites based on my interests, I had never really cared for Internet social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace. However, after joining Facebook many wonderful-though-often-time-consuming possibilities began to take fruit. I am generally rather a home-body, very selective in the social circles and events I participate in, so with Fb I am able to communicate with friends and family more frequently than before, and have come to acquire a broad and varied range of friends of many backgrounds and personal interests.

I've started a blog site here and there, but with limited following and follow through. I have a broad range of interests to share and Fb has really helped me to find fellowship in my many endeavors. As I start to contribute here with Snail Mail Pals, a connection made via Fb, I also have a few groups or pages on Fb that I have started to share with friends, family and the world.

I think I have a better than average skill with the written word, but I also know that I have a lot more to learn and practice. My thoughts often ramble and my fingers seem to have a mind all their own.

As far as writing, and blogging, I have many different interests: sharing my love of certain t.v. shows, movies, books, history, culture, travel, fan-fiction, current events, politics, cooking, hobbies, and just the random thought.

On Fb I have started a group called the Vicarious Vagabond Project 2010 to combine my interest in world travel, culture, and blogging. I have invited all my Fb friends to join and for them to pass it along to all their friends and family as well, in hopes of achieving a million members to help support the endeavor in all the different ways they may. In a nutshell the ideology behind the Project is to garner financial and other support to fund a year long journey of world travel, where I would blog back to the world via Facebook on my travels, reporting on all things cultural, and hopefully helping to spread more understanding of different cultures.

I have joined a really special group of Facebookers who share and collect postcards from all over the world. I have started to collect and share cards with many new and interesting friends via I Love Postcards :) on Fb. It is a lot of fun, and always a pleasant surprise to receive a postcard in the mail now and again.

I have long enjoyed writing and sharing fan-fiction ideas with others, and have started my own Fb page for sharing fan-fiction stories, called FB FAN-FIX with G.J. Lentz. I sometimes get rather stuck in what I consider my professional writing, so as a way to keep the words and ideas flowing, I thought a Fb page for the casual fan-fiction short story would be fun, and have invited everyone I know to join and share whatever genre they have interests in.

I don't know that I will ever have the skill or talent to be a successful writer, but I have a dream of being published one day. I try to take time each day to work out different ideas- be it a paragraph or two from some random inspiration, an outline for those ideas to be worked out into a full fledged story, or random scenario writing as the muse teases me along new paths. I actually wouldn't mind at all making a living as a ghostwriter, to sell my works or ideas for someone else to use. I'm not really concerned about fame so much as I am fortune!

So here I am, after having joined the group from Fb, and seeing the call for all writers to take up the cause of the Blog! I thought cool! I can do this! Through Fb Notes I wrote a little something in regards to American Chopper: Sr. vs. Jr., as an answer to one of the topics being sought. I look forward to exploring this group more, reading and sharing my ideas, and making new friends!

Gregory on Facebook
Facebook Fan-Fiction w/ G.J. Lentz
Gregory's Vicarious Vagabond Project 2010 on Facebook

I ♥ Etsy!

I love shopping on Etsy and every now and then I find really wonderful stationery, cards and stickers to buy! I enjoy unique cards and the like and cannot get enough of the Etsy shops out there! Here are a few I found today that you might enjoy:

Winter themed note card set from puddlejumpincards...

Charles Dickens Cards Set by fourelephants...

Post Vintage Sticker and Envelope Set from WonderlandRoom....

Rainbow Bike Parade Recycled Paper Card Set by thecraftpantry...

Perfect for embellishing handmade cards or for scrapbooking,
Multicolor Mini Paper Flower set by DragonflyExpression...

With so many vendors, Etsy is more than a fleamarket and even more than a public market, it is brilliant and easy to access! Check these and other vendors out by clicking the links and start finding great things to add to your collection!


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Paper, Paper, Paper!

Greetings to all! My name is Nadia and I am a new contributor to this fabulous blog. Being that this is a snail mail blog I thought I would write to you about one of my favorite topics: Finding the right paper to write on! I love sending and receiving mail just as much as all of you and am always in hot pursuit of the best paper to send on its merry way to the awaiting recipient. Not long ago this year I came across {papermash} uk through a blog I read called {frolic!}. I fell in love with {papermash}'s gorgeous note cards and things! They've got so much beautiful merchandise, so many wonderful things for the snail mailer...just check these out:

Paris Polaroid Postcards....

Scalloped note cards...

Memorabilia notebook...

And so very much more! They have all sorts of wonderful embellishments and notebooks for anything you could possibly think of! Go ahead, click on the link and check them out!


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Back to School Time!

About a month ago, my son went back to school!  He's in preschool again this year and loves it.  He seems to be doing better than last year.  He knows what to expect and already used to the routine of going to school.  Last year he was in the special education class and had the same teacher as last year.  However, now he's going to be in the other preschool classroom that has more students.  This class also has more boys in it and most (if not all) the students talk!  My son needs this exposure to more students and be able to observe and listen to other kids his age talking!  I am really excited and hope that he will be more verbal and use words instead of whining. 

Do you have children?  Are they enjoying school?  How was the back to school shopping?  Were you prepared for them to go back to school?

Our back to school shopping wasn't too difficult.  He had the backpack from last year and that's about all he needed for supplies.  He did need more clothes for school as his school requires uniforms.  I wanted to have more pants and shirts on hand for him.  We now have new polo shirts and pants that he wears to school.  He wears his school clothes 24/7 because he is picky with clothes that he wears.  We do not have any pajamas for him as it saves time getting him ready in the morning with changing clothes.  If he's in clothes that he likes, he won't want to change into new clothes.  I'd rather avoid a tantrum/whining fest if at all possible. 

Do you have a back to school story to share?

Creative cards!!!

Corresponding is not simply writing letters, it is about bonding with the other person, being there for their special moments in life, sharing your life with your penpal. What a better way to do so than keeping tap of your friends’ special days with wonderful cards. What about handmade cards? If you are too busy to do them yourself you can simply order them. For example, you can visit and find the seller mrsvaught, who is selling wonderful cards. Here’s the link to her site:

If you are more of the creative types, then you can just look around and get some ideas to make your correspondence cute and welcoming, just like MrsVaught’s cards. Hope you will enjoy them as much as I did.


This article is posted here with permission

Kayla's Handmade Letter Writing Sets

If you are looking for out-of the ordinary letter sets and envelopes, then perhaps you are already very familiar with the designs offered by Kayla at her Facebook Group: Kayla's Handmade Letter Writing Sets Stationery
Her idea about setting up the Facebook group begins with her own experience as a penpal and swapper just like all of us. Most of the shops out there that offer lettersets are theme specific but also quite popular and widely seen. However, if you a member of the small but very vivid group of penpals that prefer to have your own and very unique set of stationary, checking out Kayla's designs will be the right thing to do! She offers you the chance not only to customize your own stationary, but also provides quite diverse pre-made designs – you’re your favorite TV series and actors through stationary that are movie specific to the usual cartoon characters that you always wanted to have. I just randomly picked few of her designs that I personally love. As you can see my top 3 would be from the TV screen: Twilight design and True Blood (Yeah, vampires are very popular these days!) and lastly but not least the supernatural David Borreneaz in Angel. They are super cute and on very reasonable prices. I would say even very cheap prices. The payment is done through paypal or through stamps (you have to ask Kayla about the last option).



This article is posted here with permission


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