Shop Mineralicious Here ~ 100% Natural Mineral Makeup!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

How to: Smoky Eyes

Here is a great step by step guid on how to get the smoky eyes look.

Too Faced Smoky Eye Kit

1. Apply a dark eyeshadow over your entire eyelid, blending it up and out towards outer edges (hint: a slightly shimmery texture looks sexier and will be easier to blend). For a true 'air-brushed' effect, use a cotton bud to soften hard edges.

Eye pencil: Bourjois Khol & Contour Eye Pencil in Noir Expert

2. Using a dark eyeliner pencil, thinly line eyes close to your upper and lower lashes, from the inner eye corner to the outer edge and back again for a smooth finish. For added drama, line the inside of your eyes with a dark pencil in black, grey or brown (if you find these colours too severe, try a dark blue or dark green).

Eye smudger: Ruby & Millie Eye Smudge<alt=

3. Smudge the pencil line and intensify if necessary by repeating step 2. For a slightly "slept in" look, use a smudger brush to soften the line.

Eyelash curler: Tweezerman Deluxe Eyelash Curler

4. Curl lashes and apply glossy black mascara, making sure you apply to the inner and outer lashes to really open up your eyes.

Spider Cake

Something to make this halloween tha everyone who comes round will love.

Spder Cake
225g self-raising flour
2 level tsp baking powder
Finely grated zest of 1 large orange
225g butter, softened
225g caster sugar
4 large free-range eggs
To make the icing
100g butter, softened
450g icing sugar
100g chocolate (70% cocoa solids), melted and cooled
3-4tbsp orange juice
Few drops of Black and Orange Food Colouring

  1. Grease two 20cm shallow round cake tins and line the bases. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Add the orange zest, butter, caster sugar and eggs and beat together.
  2. Divide between the tins and level the tops. Bake for about 25 minutes or 
until the top springs back when lightly pressed. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
  3. Beat the butter for the icing with 200g icing sugar until light and creamy. Beat in the chocolate, then sandwich the cakes with the chocolate butter icing.
  4. Sift the remaining sugar into a bowl and add enough juice to make an icing that will coat the cake. Put a little in a separate bowl, colour it black, put it in a small freezer bag and snip off a corner.
  5. Mix the orange colouring with the rest of the icing and pour over the cake, letting it drizzle down the sides. Pipe four rings of black icing on top and draw a skewer through the icing to get a web effect.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

13 Facebook Parodies That Will Make You Laugh Out Loud

13 Facebook Parodies That Will Make You Laugh Out Loud

Steak, Guinness and cheese pie with a puff pastry lid

Steak, Guinness and cheese pie with a puff pastry lid

• olive oil
• 3 medium red onions, peeled and chopped
• 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
• 30g butter, plus extra for greasing
• 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
• 2 sticks of celery, trimmed and chopped
• 4 field mushrooms, peeled and sliced
• 1kg brisket of beef or stewing beef, cut into 2cm cubes
• a few sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves picked and chopped
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 x 440ml can of Guinness (no lager, please!)
• 2 heaped tablespoons plain flour
• 200g freshly grated Cheddar cheese
• 500g best-quality ready-made all-butter puff pastry
• 1 large free-range or organic egg, beaten


Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas 5. In a large ovenproof pan, heat a glug of olive oil on a low heat. Add the onions and fry gently for about 10 minutes – try not to colour them too much. Turn the heat up, add the garlic, butter, carrots and celery and scatter in the mushrooms. Mix everything together before stirring in the beef, rosemary, a pinch of salt and a level teaspoon of pepper.

Fry fast for 3 or 4 minutes, then pour in the Guinness, stir in the flour and add just enough water to cover. Bring to a simmer, cover the pan with a lid and place in the preheated oven for about 1½ hours. Remove the pan from the oven and give the stew a stir. Put it back into the oven and continue to cook it for another hour, or until the meat is very tender and the stew is rich, dark and thick. A perfect pie filling needs to be robust, so if it’s still quite liquidy, place the pan on the hob and reduce until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in half the cheese, then season carefully and leave to cool slightly.

Cut about a third of the pastry off the block. Dust a clean work surface with flour and roll both pieces of pastry out evenly with a floured rolling pin to the thickness of a pound coin. Butter a deep pie dish, then line with the larger sheet, leaving the edges dangling over the side. Tip the stew into your lined dish and even it out before sprinkling over the remaining cheese. Brush the edges of the pastry with a little beaten egg.

Cut the other rolled sheet of pastry to fit the top of the pie dish and criss-cross it lightly with a sharp knife. Place it over the top of the pie and fold the overhanging pastry on to the pastry lid to make it look nice and rustic. Brush the top with beaten egg, then bake the pie directly on the bottom of the oven for 45 minutes, until the pastry is cooked, puffed and golden. Delicious served simply with peas.

Granola Flapjacks

I know its hard to find some good healthy snacks to eat that also taste great so I have found an easy and quick way to have something you will love and it be healthy for you.

The beauty of this recipe (as with anything that you make yourself at home) is that you can alway change some ingredients that you dont like for things that you do like.


Granola Flapjacks

Preheat the oven to 160C/140C Fan/ Gas 3. Line a shallow 28cm by 18cm and 3cm deep cake tin with non-stick baking paper. Put 175g butter, 3tbsp golden syrup, 100g soft brown sugar and 3tbsp lemon juice in a pan and stir over a low heat until melted. Mix 250g rolled oats (porridge oats), 25g flaked almonds, 2tbsp sesame seeds, 50g raisins and a pinch of cinnamon in a bowl and stir to combine. Press into the cake tin and bake for 25 minutes. Line a flat baking tray with baking paper and put it on top of the flapjack tin. Holding everything firmly, flip both tins over, so that the flapjack comes out on the flat tin. Remove the baking paper and return to the oven for 15 minutes. Cool. Cut into bars and serve with yogurt and chopped dried apricots.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

My Facebook Endeavors

I, like 500+ Million others, am a Facebooker.

I have many, varied and evolving interests, that I like to share with the world, and I do so through Facebook. I have yet to see the movie, The Social Network, but it looks pretty interesting. I know who the "Zuck" is, but have never really had much of an interest in researching him or the history of this wonderful concept we know as Facebook.

I started using Facebook to reconnect with friends from the past, and family who I have not seen and live far away...I have used it to share my Likes and to pass time with fun applications like Farmville and Social City...but they grew tiring and mundane for me. Instead, I have recently started a few pages on Facebook to devote more time to my interests, and to share them with friends, family, and to broaden my online social network.

I first started getting involved with Facebook communities through a Facebook friend, Anna, who is from the U.K. She started a postcard swapping page, I Love Postcards :) where I have been sharing postcards and pen pal'n with new friends from all over the world. I also joined her Friendship Room on Facebook, where she promotes the culture of online social networking via Facebook, by providing a page to make new friends and share your lives and interests with others on Facebook.

So I created my own page of Facebook: Fan Fiction on Facebook w/ G.J. Lentz, to share my fan "fix" with others. I have an open invitation to all who like to write fan fiction of any genre, or for those who just like to read them. I have long had a passion for writing; I have joined many different writing groups all over the internet, from PBeM (play by email, a sort of role-playing fan fiction concept), to various fan fiction genre groups on places like Yahoo! Groups. I do love fan fiction; it is a culture of expanding upon the concepts of fan's favorite movies, books, or comics. I personally like science fiction and fantasy genres like Battlestar Galactica or George R.R. Martin's A Game of Thrones.

 I do have an interest in becoming a real writer; I would love to be published one day, but I would also be happy to make a living selling my ideas as a ghostwriter. I have an autobiography in the works, through WeBook, a resource/group I discovered on Facebook. I hope to catch the interest of an agent through the WeBook site once my manuscript is complete. I also have been working on a compilation of fantasy short stories based in a  realm of my own creation called Theara (pronounced Terra). My baby though "write-now", is a complex time-travel piece based on an element of String Theory, with inspirations from the novel/movie Timeline, and the t.v show Fringe.

I decided to create a "professional" writing page on Facebook to share my journey and the processes of writing and becoming published. Titling it after myself, G.J Lentz, I share my ideas and research/inspirational elements of creating characters, plots, and story themes, my aspirations and frustrations, and the process of trying to get published.

Another project of mine involves my love of photography, my interest of being a writer, and the desire to travel the world. I thought one day, in the frustrations of daily life, how great it would be were it I could just pack a bag and just go...anywhere...but to report back via Facebook, posting pictures, video, and blog notes about my travels and experiences. I have an interest in world cultures, histories, and current worldly issues, so I thought to combine all of this and with Facebook as a center piece, I created The Vicarious Vagabond Project on Facebook to try and realize this endeavor.

The "Project" is first and foremost a means to connect Facebook members in the spirit of cultural tolerance and education. One day, I hope to travel the world, and share the world with those who cannot through my Facebook Page. I hope to gain a million members who will share the idea, and through social networking via Facbook, garner the interest and support required to take that first worldly journey.

As a Vicarious Vagabond it is my goal to be able to fund an initial year long journey around the world, through support from the page, having forged an invested community on Facebook who would vicariously experience all the world has to offer as I post pictures, video, and articles of all things cultural. I want to have people involved in all ways, to educate and promote some goodwill. It is my hope that through this project I could earn a living reporting on all things cultural, volunteering where I may, to be an ambassador for peace and tolerance among our varied world cultures. Perhaps one day the Vicarious Vagabond Project could become an organization to help fund other Vagabonds to travel and continue to spread the education and understanding we need in this world to make it a better place...

Bathroom Issues for Law Enforcement - PoliceLink

Bathroom Issues for Law Enforcement - PoliceLink

Snyder builds run on business past | | The Detroit News

Snyder builds run on business past | | The Detroit News

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Next Level Blogs: Promote Your Blog Using Technorati I found this p...

Next Level Blogs: Promote Your Blog Using Technorati

I found this p...
: "Promote Your Blog Using Technorati I found this post to be especially helpful for those of you who want to pump up your blog through the us..."

Next Level Blogs: What To Do When You Get a Hater If you are any k...

Next Level Blogs:
What To Do When You Get a Hater

If you are any k...
: "What To Do When You Get a Hater If you are any kind of blogger, you voice your opinion. Whenever you do this, guess what? You will find ha..."

Friday, October 8, 2010

WANTED: Fan Fiction Writers & Readers...all genres

By G.J. Lentz
WANTED: Fan Fiction Writers & Readers for all genres on FB FAN-FIX w/ G.J. Lentz.

This Facebook Page was created by Moi, to share the fun and interesting world of fan fiction writing with the world via Facebook. While I have my own genres of interest that I like to write and read of, this Page invites writers & readers for all genres to join and share in their works and love for whatever genre suits them!

Currently I have started writing for the Battlestar Galactica and Star Wars genres, with ideas for others like Underworld, and the zombie/undead/end-of-the-world genres. I'd love to meet and discuss writing with new people, and to share and bounce ideas off one another. 

If you have never heard of fan fiction, here is the skinny:

Fan fiction is a genre of writing all of itself. In the writing world you have fiction and non-fiction, you have autobiographies, biographies, historical, you have horror, mystery, romance, young adult, science fiction, fantasy...Fan fiction is the writing of fiction by fans of an existing concept, be it a t.v. show, movie, comic book...

Many people get into fan fiction because they have a real love for a specific show, book, comic, or idea, and they want to write for it or read more of it. Simply they want to be more involved in that "world" than just what is offered from the original content. Like Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings; these genres have a huge cult following that have spawned such elements as role-playing games, online games, fan sites, and what has been coined as "expanded universes". Creative people want to continue what they love about these characters and worlds, some like to write stories about these characters and worlds, others like to read them. Often in fan fiction, fans will create their own plots and their own heroes & villains within that genre. They didn't create the worlds of Star Wars or Harry Potter, or the main characters, but they do create from their love and imagination unique and interesting characters and story lines inspired by the original content. 

The world of fan fiction is not just about "pretending", there is a market for it. The whole genre of role-playing games, traditional and online, are aimed at such people to create and act out adventures n the realms they have interest in. Just about any genre or concept seems to have a RPG. I for one eagerly await the new Star Wars MMO, and have in my youth played RPGs like Star Wars, Battletech, and  D&D.

In high school I came across a series of Star Wars novels by Timothy Zahn, which has spawned many series of Star Wars books over the years, continuing the adventures of Luke Skywalker, Han and Chewie, and the struggles of that galaxy far, far away. They are known as the Expanded Universe, tales sprung from the love and success of George Lucas' Star Wars saga. Until the new Prequelogy (I am coining that word, lol) came out, people couldn't get enough, a series of books have since been published by author who are fans and have a love for the science-fiction genre. The difference between them and people like me, they get paid and published. Maybe one day I could too. 

It's not just enough for me to create and talk about these worlds I love and extrapolate from, I want to share them, and I want to collaborate and discuss ideas. I want to see the group grow and branch off, I want to see people enjoy and share and having fun. 

Aside from the more well known and common genres of Star Wars and Harry Potter, for example, I have also made room for the genre of Alternate History. The alternate history genre is in many ways like Dr. Who, or Sliders, the realm of visiting different variations of the history and world we know and live in. Think 1984, or Harry Turtledoves' Confederate States of America. Any time-era or event of history that someone has an interest of, but has an idea of how things "could have been" different, is ripe for fiction. So being a fan of the American Civil War, and main characters like Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant, Presidents Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, fan fiction could be comprised of re-writing history. 

So come on over to FB FAN-FIX with G.J.Lentz and get your "fan fix" by joining and sharing. Even if your not into writing, but like to read new stories in the genres of your interest, join up and read the works, or leave comments asking us to write on a genre you have an interest or idea of...

Video Tutorial How to make nice and neat FBs (FriendshipBooks)

High Quality (or Nice and Neat) FBsHello, everyone! :)

I am working on a video tutorial on how to make nice and neat Fbs (yeah, those really cute Fbs with cover that we all love to swap). It's my attempt to make a quest against sloppy Fbs as I am sure that people would totally fall in love with the high quality FB's when they see them (and know to how to make them). That's why, I need your help!
I will be collecting photos/pictures of the FBs that you are making/have made to add in the video. That way, the video will contain various ideas about cute Fbs made worldwide, not only my own tips and decorative solutions. If you are as excited as I am, just send the photos to: fun@sandbook.netThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . I will give the credit for your photos by placing your name and country (and facebook profile/email if you want to) and putting them in the video. Let's make the video as colorful and diverse as we know that high quality Fbs can be.
We will be collecting photos all October till early November, so you have time to make your creations! You will be given the credit for your photos - we will publish them with your name/country or your facebook account so others will know how creative and resourceful you are! Don't be surprised if many decide to swap with you seeing your cute Fbs.

The video will be released on Nov 11th, when our humble site will become 2 years old. We will also reveal our new website design then which will offer a lot of more interactive features.

So get crafty and creative! We are waiting to see your Fbs!
Happy crafting!
Raia at Team

Join us in our Facebook Event to keep tabs on how the Video Tutorial is Developing:!/event.php?eid=151846714852176&index=1

Free PenPal and Swappers Magazine hosted by the Team of www.Sandbook.Net

MagazineHello everyone!

Are you tired of placing your ads all over and over again so that they are in the most recent ads? From my personal experience I know how annoying and time consuming that can be! That's why Sandbook Net organizes a PenPal Magazine.

To place an ad to the magazine you will have to email magazine@sandbook.netThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it       
and send:

1) your name/age/country and email address
2) your message (telling us a bit about yourself like hobbies, interests, etc
3) the duration that you like us to run your ad 1-2 or 3 months... (if you don't specify - we will run it for this issue and choose if we wi...ll rerun it at later times)
That's all! You will receive the magazine in your email box!

If you want to receive the magazine WITHOUT placing an ad in it, you will  only need to send us an email stating that you want to receive the magazine without putting an ad (we'd use the name/email that are on the email account that you use to get in touch with us).

Ways to get even more involved:
- send an ad to promote your blog/website/small business if it deals with penpalling (you can send us your logo as well).
- if you want you can also write an article - the best will be published!

The ad and the digital copy of the magazine is for FREE.We are very hopeful to have our first issue in mid to late November 2010. So come on and email us!

From the Team
PS. Snail mail addresses won't be published since we don't want you to end up with tons of junk mail in your mail box. You will get the friendship requests in your email box and then choose yourself to whom to send your address to. Also if you insist on having your snail mail address publish, you will be disregarding this warning and you will have to send us an email UNDERLINING that you want to have the address published despite our warning.
Join us in our Facebook Event Page to know all the latest news surrounding the production of the magazine!/event.php?eid=164868790191942

Best online videos |

Best online videos |

Battlestar Galactica Fan Fiction

I've enjoyed reading and writing of various fan fiction genres for several years. I have started a fan-fiction page on Facebook to share my fan-fiction writing for others to join and share their own fan fiction fun. Currently I have been working on a series of Battlestar Galactica inspired fan fictions, called Battlstar Orion: Fall of the Colonies

Fall of the Colonies follows the crew of the Orion, an advanced training detachment of the fleet. In the first two parts, titled Homecoming, the Orion has docked in orbit around Picon after a long 6 month training exercise, the crew eagerly awaits a long deserved leave. Unfortunately for them though, in keeping with the BSG line of events, their homecoming and desires for leave will be met with disaster, as the Cylons have begun their attack on the Colonies.

Unlike the Galactica storyline, the Orion will be staying about the Colonies to search for survivors and battle their Cylon enemies. My fan fiction works in this genre will explore "the end of the world" scenarios, and explore the devastations of Cylon occupied worlds of the is a "special edition" posting of the first two parts of Homecoming, with added pictures from the web, which are- of course copyrighted- only used to add some visual element to the tales...

Battlestar Orion: Fall of the Colonies
Homecoming Part 1
By G.J. Lentz

The Battlestar Orion is the flagship of an advanced training detachment of the Colonial Fleet. The Orion has been on a long and arduous training exercise in deep space, its crew is due for a long deserved and awaited leave. However, their homecoming will prove to be anything but joyous...

...Colonel  Horatio Quinn...

Horatio traced the curves of her body with a feather. He watched the very fine hairs rise as slight goosebumps were raised from her flesh.

She shifted on the bed beside him. Having held in the urge to squirm all she could, Elannara curled into a ball and giggled. "Alright! Alright, I'm up already!" She turned to face him with a mischevious grin.

Horatio met hers with a grin of his own as he flicked the feather playfully, teasing her nose and lips, taking joy at the site of her exquisite face squishing comically from the tickling of the feather. She was beautiful, he thought as he gazed into her dark, almond shaped eyes. His heart skipped a beat as she locked her gaze to his own hazel eyes.

"Why won't you come to Virgon with me? You've nothing to be ashamed of," he whispered to her as he lightly brushed his lips to hers. "You would be accepted, it's different with my family, they would love you."

He sat up and pulled her close to him, embracing her. She smiled at the prospect, but he could still sense the reservation she held within as he held her close, but not tightly.

"We've been through this before Horatio," she said with a sigh, and he could feel her tension.  "It's complicated and I don't want to be brought into that aspect of your life until I am ready. I know they would be accepting, I just feel..."

"You feel an outsider because you have no family and think you have nothing to offer in return," Horatio said, finishing her sentence as they had been over and over the topic a thousand times. "You've nothing to feel less of Elennara," he tried to reassure her again for the thousandth time. "I understand your feelings, being alone without family ties, orphaned at such an early age. You feel the Fleet is your only home and family, well I am part of the fleet, part of your family. I just want to offer you another part, give you something more than what you have."

uh-oh, Elennara is a Sharon!?
"I know, I know...I just," she replied as she searched for the words. "You already have three wives, and they bring so much to your family: Kayla runs the ranch and her family helped you to start the conservation fund, Olivia is a teacher and will home-school your kids, and Tonya is a financial whiz...what do I have to offer, that they would want to share me with you? I'm just an average grunt in the Colonial Marines who helps you pass the time..."

"Stop it right there," he said with more annoyance than he wished he'd allowed, but he was growing very frustrated with same tirade everytime he tried to change her mind. "You know you're more than just that to me. Why else would I continually try to offer for you to meet my wives and kids, to offer you a place in my family, to give you a family life outside of the fleet?

Yes they all have family backgrounds and skills and educations that bring many great things to the family, but so do you. You're a fighter, a share with me an aspect of my life, my professional life that they don't. That is your place in my life, you would be a connection between the personal and professional, a part of my life they don't always understand and that is hard for me to share.

You're not just a means to pass time until I can be home. You would have your place just as they have theirs. In fact, they would be more than pleased to have someone like you as part of the family, someone that is up here with me sharing in that part of my life. They would accept and see you for the wonderful and caring person you are, and they would respect and appreciate you, having my back up here."

"You really think so?" she said with less reservation and a dash of hopefulness. "I wouldn't be a wedge...or a..."

"You would just be you, bringing and offering all that you are. You are a compliment to what I have and love of the others, not a hinderance, not a passing of time. I'm just asking that you give it a chance, try it'd be surprised."

"I know, Gods I'm so damned stubborn, really I don't see how you have kept interest in me."

what Horatio's quarters would look like
"I like your stubborness," Horatio said as he massaged the final tension from her bare shoulders. "I love you Elannara, and so will they, and you will love them to. We'll take things as they come, I'm not trying to rush you into anything, but if this is going to work I need you to try and be a part of my family life, and then you will see..."

"You're right, and I love you too," she said. "Its just so different, than the mainstream. I didn't grow up with the traditional family, but it was what I have always wanted and dreamed of. Joining the Marines and finding that filled that void, but I was still missing something...and with you...I've never felt this. I guess in some ways too I am apprehensive of sharing you...I don't know how I am supposed to act..."

"You have to relearn how you think about the family dynamic. And just be yourself as I have told you a thousand times over. One of the things that drew me to you was the fact that you grew up without a traditional family life, but at your core you yearn for that belonging that only a family has to offer. Not very many people who are not from Virgo, who didn't grow up like I did with more than one mother or father can really know or appreciate what it has to offer. You grew up without any...but you don't have to be alone anymore."

He sat with her, embraced for a long quite moment. It was peaceful and he felt he had finally broken through her many walls. He really did love her, and if she found her place with his other wives he would ask her to marry him, to be his new wife.

what Virgon might be like?
His culture was very open minded, very different from the mainstream of the 12 Colonies. Virgon was set apart from the other Colonies in many ways; they were greatly involved with nature preservation and education amidst a worlds-wide culture that was ever increasingly dominated by increased over-development and reliance on technology- often at the cost of depleting natural resources and wildlife. Virgon was a beautiful world whose people wished to maintain and protect its natural resources and wonder. During the Cylon War over 40 years ago the planet had seen great devastation at the hands of the techno-terrors the Colonials had created. They had been a means to make life easier o the Colonials so that they could put forth their energies and labors to greater things, but instead they had only wrought greater destruction. It took many years but Virgon was a leader among the Colonies in righting much of the wrong that was perpetrated by the machines. His world, his people, were a leader in bringing life back from the ashes of war. Five of the most prominent and leading of eco-management and naturalist technologies corporations were founded and based on Virgon.

Virgon was also known for its polygamist family values, only one other Colony, Geminon, had such an open and untraditional set of core family values. Geminons polygamy was rooted deep in spiritual values though, which made it more accepted. The cultures of Geminon had long been known for their faith, and to Horatio it was a great quality though he held little in regard to faith. His people weren't so much followers of religion of spirit, rather over generations Virgon transformed the dogma of faith into a more naturalist sort of religion. Where most believers of the Gods valued a pantheon of deities, Virgon saw each of the different Gods as a different face of facet of a more singular or monotheistic spirit. And rather than placing their hopes and dreams in the personified hands of the Lords of Kobal, they saw the Gods in the wonder of all nature and life. They saw the dynamics of family too in nature, like the lion prides of the vast Virgon Wild Plains, where there were more than just the standard union of couples, like the old saying went, it took a village.

"I'll go with you Horatio," Elennara said, breaking his deep thought.

Virgon from space?
He was pleased. He wanted to make much more of their relationship. He never felt like he was cheating on his other wives, and though he was brought up with such open values, he wanted the relationship to have meaning, and not just a "fling or passing of time" as Elennara had often described it. His wives knew of her, that she often shared his bed while he was away on duty. They were accepting of his seeking companionship while away for long and trying times of duty. His wives had their boyfriends, Kayla had even recently married again, bringing a 2nd husband into the fold. It was their way.

They were both due a lengthy and well deserved leave after a grueling six month long exercise in deep space. As a colonel aboard the Orion, his duties were near never ending, helping to command a battlestar was no easy task, nor was managing a family of multiple wives, husbands, children...his family life was not too unlike that of his military career. He relished them both. He looked forward to bringing her home to Virgon. He knew it would be bring them closer and that...

An explosion rocked the ship.

Horatio and Elennara were thrown from the bed as subsequent explosions rocked and vibrated violently through the ships hull.

"What the frack!?" they cursed in unison as alarms blared throughout the ship...

a battle scene pic from the t.v. series...

Homecoming Part 2 (By G.J. Lentz)

The Battlestar Orion has recently returned from a 6 month training exercise in deep space. Docked in orbit over the Picon Colony, the Fleet Headquarters, the Orion has been on twelve of a twenty-four hour mandatory lock-down prior to its crew being able to make leave...

...Major Maya Nguyen...

"12 more hours and we're home free people," Major Nguyen announced, a she had every hour, on the hour, since the Orion had dry docked in orbit around Picon.

"The Admiral sure scuttled off though didn't he," one of the Major's subordinates commented, a systems tech by the name of Phoebe.

Maya Nguyen was in charge of the ship and the finalization of docking procedures after a mission. Colonel Quinn was actually in-charge, but he had shared the 24 hour watch with Nguyen as the Admiral, being more a bureaucrat than officer, was able to make leave at once, while the rest of the ship had a mandatory 24 hour lock-down procedure before the crew were able to make leave.

"Knock it off ensign, when you're Admiral you can pretty much do as you please," Maya replied back sharply. Moral was rather low, but not dangerously so.

the Orion (actually the Pegasus from the t.v. series)
They had all been on an extended and arduous 6 month advanced training exercise; being docked with the beautiful watery world of Picon below them, and stuck on lock-down for another 24 hours before a long and well deserved leave took its toll to even the most seasoned of the enlisted. She understood her crews sentiment though, but as an officer in the Fleet, regardless of personal feelings, it was her duty to maintain standards and procedure.

Admiral Ororod did not garner the complete respect of those under him; he had connections, came from a well-to-do family with important political ties, more a bureaucrat with aspirations for a political career than a military career, he ran his detachment more like a business than the military unit it was. He may have been far from the most inspirational of fleet officers, but his politically minded motivations also helped to ensure that the Orion was one of the top training vessels in all the fleet.

"Keep on kissing ass until one day you get your Ass badge," Maya continued with a smirk to lighten the mood within the C.I.C. Numerous chuckles eased the tension, and the crew continued with their preparations.

"What's your plans for leave Major?" asked Captain Maeric. "I've been dreaming of the Atlas Peaks for weeks now, going to do some serious hiking and camping, nothing but nature and quiet time for me after this tour!"

"I hear you there," Maya replied with a smile. She never tired of Maeric's stories, especially after being cooped up in deep space aboard a Battlestar for months on end. His descriptive tales of his adventures exploring the natural wonders of all twelve Colonies were sometimes a blessing. "My little brother just graduated from the Colonial University of Libran, Social Sciences major. He wants to change the worlds you know. Looking forward to some quality time with the family planet side, nothing as exciting as your natural escapades, just good 'ol fashioned R&R."

Cpt. Maeric smiled, a warm and inviting smile that softened his rough- but not unpleasant features. He was a big-boy, having grown up on rugged Ares, he had first served in the Colonial Marines, looked every bit a Marine too: close cropped hair, bulky build with squared shoulders and jaw...for as much as he loved the physical endures of being a Marine, he decided to join the Fleet after his stint with the Marines was up- and fell in love with the stars as much as his love for all things of nature. Now he was Viper pilot, a squadron leader, and a damn fine one at that.

The C.I.C. 
"I've finished the report compilations, hopefully all the bugs will get worked out by time we are due to ship out again, this last tour sure was fubar, eh?" he said as he slapped the report file down on the table. They had endured many technical glitches with some of the newer systems being tested aboard the Orion, the ship was to receive an entire over haul while docked, and while they all took a well deserved leave to be overhauled themselves.

At that exact moment, the C.I.C. was rocked as the ship endured a massive explosion. Sparks shot out from multiple terminals, glass shattered and the lights flickered. Many of those serving in the Command Information Center were thrown from their posts or from where they had been standing. Bodies flew with debris as a succession of explosions rocked the ship.

Alarm claxons whaled as emergency lighting flashed an eery amber illumination within the C.I.C.

"My Gods!" Maya gasped as she regained her footing and wiped the blood from her nose. She had taken a pretty good smacking to her face with the first explosion, but she wasn't about to let a little blood and pain keep her from her duty.

Captain Maeric looked at the strewn files for a moment, shocked at the sudden event as he had slapped the file down on th table, almost as if he had somehow caused the event. It only took him a split second to recover. "Frak'n-A we're under attack!"

a battle scene from the t.v. series
"SIT-REP!" Maya bellowed, commanding a situation report. She gazed up at the Draedis array but it was nothing but snow, it offered her no intelligence.

"I've got multiple hull impacts aft and starboard," came a reply. "Definitely not from within...we were hit, systems are all screwed, having a hell of time getting anything from outside!"

"Com! I need to know what the frak is going on! Issue condition one throughout the ship, all quarters battle-stations!" Maya commanded as she turned to Major Maeric. "Get me some eyes in the skies Captain, Draedis is frakked and outside communications seem to be jammed. I need to know what is going on!"

Maeric gave a curt salute and ran off from C.I.C. to get a squad launched as ordered.

Maya turned to one of the Marines stationed at the C.I.C. hatch, "Marine! get Colonel Quinn to C.I.C. now!"

The marine, a young woman with fear in her eyes, nodded and ran out to fulfill her orders, training taking over her fears.

"Somebody tell me something for fraksake!" Maya said out of frustration more than for the lack of her people not being able to do their duties. They had been hit and hard, they were nearly blind and obviously caught unawares.

Cylon Basestar firing on a Colonial Battlestar

Maeric raced down the passage from C.I.C. to the squadron ready rooms, which would lead him to the Viper and Raptor bays. The ship was bustling with personnel like a disturbed hive of bees. They all knew their duties, nobody needed told what to do. They had a lot of raw recruits aboard, but they had some of the most well trained officers in the Fleet to take charge of any situation.

A handful of his pilots were already making for the launch bays. The C.A.G., Major Neesa "Artemis" Joone joined him.

"I was in C.I.C., all systems are frakked, any idea what just happened?" Maeric asked his C.O.

"I've got Nike launching now with Hellcat Squadron," Artemis replied. "Chief's got fire squads aft and starboard, whatever the hells hit us got us with our pants down. You're my wing Ares," Neesa commanded, using his call sign, "I've got Hellcat squad checking aft, Nike's going vertical, you and I are going starboard."

A Viper Mark vii
Both had reached the bay and split apart to their respective Viper fighters.


Nike launched out from the Orion's bay, her instrument panels were fuzzy, something was screwing with her systems. The Raptor was a specially designed and outfitted craft for intelligence gathering, it's systems were some of the most advanced in military craft but seemed worthless at the moment. She pounded her fists on the panel, cursing the Gods.

"I really don't think that's gonna help L.T." her co-pilot chided to his Lieutenant from the systems command consol behind the cockpit.

"Shut it up Glimmer," she said irritably as they were about to clear the hangar for space. "When I want your opinion I will tell you what it is."

The blue and white marbled orb of the world of Picon filled her viewport. The Orion was docked on the outside rung of docking stations that orbited the world. A sharp turn right and vertical would clear them of the Orion and the docking station for a birds-eye view of their surroundings.

Her systems were still garbled, patchy communications came intermittently. "C.I.C. this is Nike, do you copy?" she tried her comm, hoping that direct communications line with Orion wouldn't be a screwed as the rest of the Fleet wide bans. She couldn't very well do her job if she couldn't communicate to the Orion or her squadrons.

nuclear attack on the Colonies
"Oh for fraksake!" Nike cursed with a startling and uncharacteristic fear behind her words.

His systems array as much a mess as hers, Glimmer unbuckled and took two steps forward to see out the ship, and for once in his in being paired with Nike, he was speechless.


Maeric and Joone, call signs Ares and Artemis, both launched from the bay. Their sleek Mark VII Vipers shooting out from the belly of the massive Orion. They curved starboard in unison, as Nike and her Raptor headed for a higher vantage from the opposite side of the ship.

"Ares, CAG, you copy?" Neesa asked over the channel that was broad-casted between the squads and to the C.I.C.

"Copy CAG, Ares loud and clear. Orion?" Maeric asked. "You copy C.I.C.?"

Major Nguyen's voice came through clearly, "Copy that, what the frak do you see?"

Nike's message came in clear, as did her exclamation; "Oh for fraksake!"

Before either C.I.C. or Artemis could reply, she and her wingman, Ares, were of position forward of the Orion.

another battle scene from the BSG t.v. series
It was carnage. The entire docking platform was spewing debris, air, smoke, bodies, and explosions erupted from all over the platform and from over a dozen ships docked. Above the horrific view were the trails of incoming missiles, and the looming star shaped forms of their aggressors.

"Cylons," Neesa stated calmly and coolly amidst the destruction. She was often referred to as the Ice Queen, for she was rather cold and methodical, she cared not for the pretentiousness of emotions.

A well trained and season Marine, let alone Viper jock, even Maeric felt a chill down his spine as Neesa said Cylons over the comm. No hint of emotion, not even surprise, not even the barest spit of fear colored her word.

Neesa just stared out into space, taking in the view. She was mesmerized by the form of the Basestars, like sleek and monstrous starfish, the streaking plumes of hundreds of missiles, the explosions all about her...a symphony of destruction. Something in her found the terrible site to be satisfying.

"Artemis?" Maeric called. "Major!" Again with no response. "Neesa, for fraksake!"

A Raptor vessel
Nike's frantic but well trained voice took over the channel, "Uh we have multiple incomings, I've only got a visual, all systems are frakked, something is jamming us pretty damn good. I'm seeing maybe five enemy craft, big frakkers too, never seen anything like them, but they kinda resemble the old Basestars, who the frak-else would be attacking us?!"

Glimmer continued the situation report, "Orion the whole frakkin platform is taking heavy hits, got multiple friendlies under fire, get out of docking now!"

Lieutenant Guy "Phoenix"  Darson came in on the channel, he was in command of the Hellcat squadron. "Phoenix here, we have incoming enemy fighters, moving in to engage. All Viper's follow my lead!"
Cylon Raider

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Ghost Meringue and, Gingerbread men skeletons....Oh yum!

When I first cam across this recipe I though that it was a really good idea and I hope that you will like them too.

Ghost Meringues


100g caster sugar
75g icing sugar 
3 large eggs whites
silver balls to decorate


Preheat the oven to 130C/110C Fan/ Gas 1. Mix the caster and icing sugar together. Put the 3 egg whites in a bowl and whisk until they form stiff glossy peaks. Add the sugar mix one spoonful at a time, whisking until stiff again between each addition. Spoon the mixture into a freezer bag and cut off one of the corners to make a hole. Line two baking trays with baking paper and pipe the meringue to make blobs with peaks at the top. Make eyes with silver balls and bake in the oven for 1 – 1 ½ hours.

Gingerbread men skeletons
350g plain flour
1 level tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 level tsp ground ginger
½ level tsp ground cinnamon   
½ level tsp mixed spice
125g butter, chilled
175g light soft brown sugar
4tbsp golden syrup
1 medium egg, lightly beaten
White Piping Icing, to decorate

  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/Gas 5. Line two baking trays with baking paper. Sift the first five ingredients |into a bowl. Cut the butter into small cubes and rub it into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the sugar, golden syrup and egg to make a stiff dough.
  2. Roll out on a floured surface to slightly thicker than a pound coin. Cut into gingerbread men and put on the trays.
    Bake for 12-15 minutes, allow to cool for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Pipe on the white icing to make faces and bones.

Employee & Employer: A Relationship

As a working stiff I am sometimes all too often discouraged by the relationship between the employee and the employer. After some time being a common Joe holding down an hourly paid job, and after my fair share of working in a number of fields, I began to see and believe that I wasn't just working a job, but that I was a part of the business as a whole. I liked that ideal, and it served to inspire me to do more than just the minimum required of me. I felt both empowered and obligated to try and do more in my work, to help in the success of those I worked for, and with the realization that I was helping myself to succeed further at the same time. It was a relationship of give and take, and it still is, but more and more it seems those on the lower rungs of this network are treated for less than they are, for less than what they are bringing to the business they are working for. I feel this often, and it is increasingly demeaning and unsatisfying. I know I am not alone.

A poll posting on shows just 45% of the American workforce are happy with their job, that's less than half! What a huge number. The polling covered many questions like commuting, health care coverage, opportunity for growth and advancement, and even whether or not they liked their boss/bosses. 51% say they are satisfied with their boss. That's down from 55 % in 2008 and around 60 % two decades ago.

The economy has a lot to do with these sentiments of course, but it has also been a long time coming. Right now business in America is having to rethink and reshape itself to push through these hard times, and for the most part it seems this reshaping and rethinking has most to do with how to market and maintain profit; after all, the reason so many are out of work is because companies need to cut costs to maintain profit, only adding more fuel to the fire of the recession.

I never really knew before, but by law a company is protected and enjoys the same rights as an individual. So when we think about the relationship between employees, and those who run a business, which is often more than a single person, it isn't just about a worker and business, again it is a relationship.

Like all relationships there has to be mutual respect and there has to be compromise, for that relationship to succeed and grow and be sustained. Unfortunately that's not always the case between the employee and employer, it seems to me to be quite one-sided too often. This is where unions came into being, to protect the workers, because business in general was acting like a lord of the land, and its employees the surfs. I am a proponent for unions, but like most other things in the world even it is susceptible to failings.

It seems to me that in rethinking business strategy for the times, more thought would be put into the relationship between employee and employer. Now, I am sure there are plenty of businesses and bosses out there who have, and are a model for my perspective, but again only 45% of America is saying that they like their job.

In my own experiences, from which I draw upon for these perspective pieces far more than polls or wikki-research, the employer to me is most often like that needy and selfish girlfriend or boyfriend we have probably all experienced in life. To them the relationship is all about what they are getting out of it, and I too realize that are more than the fair share of employees who are of the same mindset. Its always a two-way street.

I have worked under management and owners who seem to stylize themselves like a dictator, because they are in charge, calling the shots, having power over others. I've never understood the thought process of these individuals, why they think it's okay and productive to act as if they rule over others in the workplace? Of course they have a job themselves to do, and if the boss is the business owner, they have a lot riding on the success of the business, but that doesn't excuse them to treat those under them as less than who they are, Humans firstly, and a part of the success of the business.

I've often joked about organizing a walk out, so that for once and for all, those kinds of employers can stand there with their jaw to the floor, and I can ask, "What are you the manager of now? Go bark to the broom and see how well it listens. Shake your fist at the computer and see how well it works for you. Since we are not so important and valued, we are just going to go home and let things run themselves..." It would be a great sight. I envy those in unions, that can protest in such ways. The power of many over the one. As an individual I cannot just walk off and protest; I would just be fired and replaced, and the message would be moot. And I don't just make a complaint and point the finger away myself; I take responsibility for myself and my position.

To end that cycle, I believe that employers must rethink the way they manage those who work for the success of the business. Employers are not just managing people and a business for the making of profit, it is part of their duty to instill interest and value in the workplace, to promote positivity rather than the negativity of do this or I will replace you. They are supposed to foster their staff to encourage productivity rather than just expectation. In a lot of ways it is like parenting, where you are nurturing for the good, for the future. It is a relationship, both sides have to come to terms, not just one.

George R.R. Martin: A Song of Ice & Fire

A few years ago I picked up a series of fantasy books called A Song of Ice & Fire, by author George R. R. Martin. The first book is titled A Game of Thrones, and I absolutely fell in love with the series, which has four other titles in its series, and HBO is currently working on a full series of which the first season will be based on the first novel. I've not been this excited about a t.v. series since the Battlestar Galactica series came out on SyFy!

I first discovered the story while browsing a role playing guide for the game based on the books. I was researching various fantasy RPG manuals for some of my fantasy writing, and I really enjoyed the content of it, so I looked for the books, and I have been hooked since.

Other than this series, I have been following Gail Z. Martin's Necromancer series, which is very good, and I have been a fan of R.A. Salvatore's Drizzt, from the Forgotten Realms RPG world. Nothing against Salvatore, but the Drizzt books are very fantasy with much to do of magic, elves, dwaves, and is fantasy in every sense. Gails' books are very well written too, great characters, world building, a little more adult than Salvatore's, and with a bit of a vampire and werewolf twist. There great authors, and their stories are worth giving it a try, but I have to say that George's series takes the cakes.

The books are told from various character point of view, rather than the common chapter one, two....and sometimes it jumps a round a little bit, because by telling the story in chapters from the point of view of the characters the timeline overlaps, rewinds, fast forwards a bit. No problems keeping up though, it isn't at all as confusing as it sounds. It actually makes for a very interesting read. 

Another positive point of the series is that while it is a fantasy book, in a fantasy land, and there are some paranormal and magical elements of the story, it is largely based on the feudal European history and folklore, it isn't bogged down by a bunch of elvs, dwarves, and mighty sorcerors. What it does have is great court intrigue, characters who pop out at you, and a vast and rich world of many wonders, mysteries, and woes. 

The stories take place largely in a land called Westeros, which was once a land of Seven Kingdoms. It was a feudal land with various kings, lords, all sharing common cultural traits and unique aspects. The ruling class are the noble Houses. Far off to the east on an island kingdom there ruled the House Targaryen, and they unlike any others, bred and commanded mighty dragons. They conquered the Seven Kingdoms and ruled fr many generations.  The Targaryens grew decadent and corrupt, their dragons died out, and their power waned. A tragic series of events unfolded which led to a coalition of Houses to untie against them and retake their lands. The first book, A Game of Thrones, weaves many plots to that which the title sums the story- a great power struggle for the future of all the land as the kingdom is threatened to be fractured. There are numerous plots of betrayal, secrecy, court intrigue, and of the supernatural. I don't wish to divulge to much, in case one decides to give this book and the series a go, because in reading things unfold and plots thicken to a degree that it is such an  entertaining treat to have spoiled here. 

They are an amazing series with such great characters and intricate plots, that I would compare it to the works of Tolkien, to a degree. The way it has been written with such richness and mirroring of feudal European culture and folklore, but without the heavy fantasy elements and difficult to pronounce names and languages that even those who have never card for fantasy may well find a jewel here. It truly wouldn't surprise me if these books found themselves in literary studies in high school or college programs one day, as have been Tolkiens'. 

Here are a few links to the HBO teaser trailer for the upcoming series. I would highly recommend reading the first book before watching the first season when it comes out, you will appreciate the HBO series all the more: 

And this link offers a video on HBO with commentary on the series: HBO: WINTER IS COMING

The next book of the series: A Dance With Dragons is supposed to be out sometime this fall, and I eagerly await it! Here is an image of its cover:

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Its getting around to that time of year again.....Halloween. But don't worry as I have been out and about and have got you some tips on party things, pumpkin carving as well as some recipes for you all to enjoy, which will be my theme running through out October.

First thing is first pumpkin carving

  1. Using a black marker, draw the area you want to cut to create the pumpkin's face.

  2. Carefully cut a disc from the top of the pumpkin with a sharp knife to make a lid.   

  3. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and discard.

  4. Using a small carving knife, cut along the lines, holding the pumpkin steady with your other hand.

  5. Place a tea-light candle inside and light, then replace the lid.

Warning: NEVER leave a candle un-attended.

Here are a few for you to enjoy


Sr. vs. Jr. Part 2: Paulie's New Web Bike & the Geico Bike

The bikes look fantastic, as always! Though I have not watched the latest episode, I did a search online with Google to snag a few pictures of the web themed bikes for my next installment in following the new series. I was pleasantly surprised to see finished bikes! Here they are below, I did not get proper credit for the images, but of course they were found online, and the bikes are the creation of Paul Jr. Design and/or O.C.C.

Jr.'s Anti-Venom
Paul Jr. Design's Geico themed bike

Both designs are sick as all get-out, very impressive bikes to kick off Paulie's business and show to Senior that Paulie can too build bikes!

The Anti-Venom bike is just beautiful, a great compliment to the previous web-themed designs from O.C.C., bikes that Paulie is very proud of and have garnered quite a following of. His new shop started off pretty rocky: not having all his equipment, power issues, the unfortunate and tragic death of a non-shop worker, staffing issues, and having not been able to get a paying build...until Geico came along. So Paulie did the right thing, he started a bike build. Not a bike build for a client, but a personal build for himself and his crew to break in the new team and begin a new chapter in Junior's life. 

He had decided on another web themed bike, which both I and Vinnie seemed leery of at first. It's already been done at O.C.C. and by Paulie. I first thought, "Nooooooo..." It should have been a completely new concept to incarnate Paulie's separation from O.C.C. and being his own Man. Don't get me wrong, I loved the web bikes, especially the Spiderman bike, but I just shook my head at this idea of an Anti-Venom bike. However, as it started to unfold, I slowly changed my mind. It was starting to prove to be a design that could stand on it's own; while being reminiscent of the past, it was-and-is an embodiment of moving forward. 

Spiderman theme bike: O.C.C.
web themed bike: O.C.C.

I was very excited and enthusiastic for the team of Paul Jr. Designs to acquire the Geico build. It was what the business needed, both Paulie and his team. And the finished bike is just phenomenal, a testimony to Paulie's design skill and the passion of his friends who have joined him- as well as proof to Senior that Paulie has what it takes to build quality custom bikes in his own right. Not having sen the latest episode, nor reading anything of it, I still don't know if they were completed in time for the unveiling at Sturgis, but it wouldn't surprise me if they were, and I look forward to seeing what transpired and what else this saga unfolds in the future. 

As I follow this series, I have great hopes and respect for Paulie as he builds his own business, but too I hope he and his father may find solutions to their personal troubles, because business is business, but family is family. On a personal level, I haven't always had the best of relations with my parents, or my siblings for that matter, but I recently lost my father and it has been hard. I am happy for the time I had with him prior to his passing, but it still pains me to think of the time lost...because in life we can think we have all the time in world but then something like a loved one passing just proves that time is too short.


Related Posts with Thumbnails