Jehovah and Hades Chapters

Jehovah and Hades Chapters | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | The Journals of Jacob and Hyde (Free E-Book) |Amazon Download |

Saturday, October 25, 2014

New Book Cover for Minor Demons

Just wanted to start this off by saying that I really liked the cover Doug Beckstead made for Minor Demons. Other projects have taken his time lately so I'm going with another graphics artist to redo the cover for Minor Demons and for a new Middle Demons cover (which I have now but I won't be revealing until I have the book written... and that's about another 30,000 words. I would love to finish it but law school + work is sucking my soul.) As a final sendoff, here's the old Minor Demons cover:


Still awesome. Ok. Moving on. I hired Elizabeth Mackey (who redid the fonts and text on my non-fiction books) to do the new covers for Minor Demons, Middle Demons, and eventually Major Demons. The new cover is live on Amazon (both for the e-book and the paperback). Here it is:


The new cover features Leech instead of Shadow. Lilith will be on the cover for Middle Demons and Shadow will be on the cover for Major Demons. The font and type for the Middle Demons cover is the same as it is on this cover so that the series will continue to feel like a uniformed set.

Just to give everyone a heads up, Minor Demons will be free on Halloween (10/31/2014). This is the last time I'll offer it for free for a while. Make sure you grab a copy and then leave me tons of good reviews. (If you're back on my blog on Halloween, here's the link to grab it for free.) I hope everyone has a great Halloween. Oh and one final picture for you:


Happy Halloween from the league of assassins! :-P

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Dollar Shave Club Executive Blades vs. Gillette Mach 3 Blades

I generally have used Mach 3 blades to shave my head. I also like to shave my beard around my goatee every couple of weeks or so. I've been completely shaving my head since I was about 22, if I remember right, so I'm closing in on 7 years. I think the prices they charge for razor blades are ridiculous.

I've seen ads for the Dollar Shave Club (which I will now refer to as DSC) on Facebook and recently stumbled upon this New York Times article that prominently features the DSC. It's worth a read. Companies like Gillette and Schick have grown slothful with their massive product margins and overwhelming market share. Gillette has around 60% of the razor blade market and reported a 60% gross margin in 2004 (the year before they were purchased by Procter and Gamble). I want to pay for razor blades, not Gillette's TV commercials and advertising.

I decided to give the DSC a try. I generally get the Gillette Mach 3 Turbo 10 pack at Wal-Mart. It's around $30 or about $3 per razor. The DSC's high-end package is the executive blade and a 4 pack is $9 or $2.25 per razor (that's with shipping included). I made the purchase Sunday night and had my first DSC kit by Wednesday. Here's what it looked like:


The package came with 4 of their executive blades (6 blades per razor), a razor handle, a membership card (which I found amusing), and a sample of their shave butter. I just tried out the executive blade and I'll compare it to the Mach 3 that I've used for years:

Razor Handle
The razor handle for the DSC is better. Occasionally I've needed to hit my razor against the sink to clear it out and that has resulted in a Mach 3 blade popping off the handle several times before. I don't see that happening with the DSC razor handle. I didn't try to break it or anything, but the razor handle the DSC sent me seems stronger.

Razor Blades
The executive blades from DSC have 6 blades per razor while the Mach 3 blades have 3. I've seen people argue about which razor is better based on the number of blades (some argue for more and others for less). Here's what the blades look like side by side:




DSC razors are on the left and Mach 3 razors are on the right. I decided to give the DSC executive blades (and the shave butter sample) the best test I can: I shaved my entire head and my beard around my goatee (which I've let grow for a few weeks now). I'm used to a little razor burn and occasionally nicking myself (especially around my ear) with the Mach 3 blades. It didn't happen with the executive blades. No cuts. No irritation. The DSC razor made it around my ear with no problem. The shave was much smoother, closer, and cleaner. I just wanted the DSC razors to be COMPARABLE to the Mach 3 razors so I could save a little money. It turns out that they're better (at least for my shaving needs).

Now to be completely honest, the DSC blades do clog a little easier with short hair than the Mach 3 blades do but the DSC blades did a better job on my beard (which was slightly longer than the hair on my head). It took me the same amount of time to shave and I didn't really find this to be an inconvenience.

DSC Shave Butter vs. Gillette Shaving Cream
I use the Gillette Fusion Hydra Gel for shaving my head. With my first use of the DSC razor, I tried their shave butter sample. I like the shave butter, but I'm not sure yet if I'll order any next month. The Gillette Fusion Hydra Gel is generally around $4-$5 and the shave butter is $8 for a 6 oz tube. I'd say they're comparable and maybe give an edge to the shave butter since it did lead to a smoother shave.

Ultimate Conclusion
I originally wanted to try DSC's $9 a month package with the executive blades and then go down to the $6 a month 4x blades if I thought the executive blades were alright. I'm going to consider this over a few more shaves, but I think I want to stick with the executive blades. I'll save money either way and I really like the executive blades so far. DSC has a $1 per month option (2x blades per razor and that doesn't include shipping, 5 cartridges per month), a $6 per month option (4x blades per razor and that includes shipping, 4 cartridges per month), and a $9 per month option (6x blades per razor and that includes shipping, 4 cartridges per month). You can also have them ship every other month if that's all you need.

So the DSC executive blades definitely have my recommendation. If you think you'd like to try them out (or any of their other packages), please use this link to join because I get a small credit towards my plan when I refer people. Hopefully this helps a few of you save some money. If you have any thoughts or comments on the Dollar Shave Club, feel free to comment.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Hobbit Swords

Welcome to Episode One of stuff I can hang on the walls of my home theater room because I'm a single guy (so no one can tell me not to). It's a working title. Actually my entire house has a mixture of stuff I've purchased in my world travels and stuff I just thought was badass. The elvish blades from The Hobbit fall into the latter category, as I've never been to the Shire or on the journey of Bilbo or Frodo.

I like collecting random knives and swords. There's not really any rhyme or reason to my collection, I just like having them around. Last Christmas, I received a replica of the Sting sword (letter opener?) from my parents. Here's a picture of the sword on my wall:


I've linked the photo to Amazon in case you want to check it out there. There are two versions of Sting on Amazon, the Bilbo version and the Frodo version. They are similar in price and I've linked to the Frodo version (which is the version I have). The Frodo version of Sting includes the Elvish markings on the blade that Bilbo added at the end of his journey. "Maegnas (Sting) is my name, I am the Spider's Bane." The Bilbo version of the sword is exactly the same minus the Elvish markings.

I plan on adding an additional two swords on the wall next to Sting (on either side). The first is Thorin Oakenshield's sword, Orcrist. The company finds this blade at the same time that Bilbo finds Sting. Thorin uses it for a large part of the first and second movies until the elves capture the company. Legolas takes it from Thorin at that point. Here's a picture of Orcrist, the goblin cleaver, on Amazon:


I think this is the coolest looking of the three blades. It sucks that the elves took it back. It's been a long time since I've read The Hobbit and I don't remember what happens to it. I just looked it up and I won't include what I found out here because that would be a spoiler for the third movie. I'll simply say that the blade does end up back with Thorin.

The final of the three swords that I want on my home theater wall is Gandalf's sword, Glamdring. Gandalf finds this sword in the same troll horde where the company acquires Sting and Orcrist. It's Gandalf's sword throughout the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings movies. Here's a picture of Glamdring, the foe hammer, on Amazon:


Orcrist and Glamdring are still just on my wish list for now, but Sting looks really cool as a display piece on a wall. Thanks for checking out Episode One of stuff I can hang on the walls of my home theater room because I'm a single guy (so no one can tell me not to). Tune in next time when I talk about other stuff in my home theater room.