The Night The Lights Went Out

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Just so happens that the night the lights went out was last night. Before I begin, I want you to notice the picture, it is the view from my bar, minutes after the power went out for good. The lights had been flickering all evening but never went completely off. After the power outage, the only lights on in the whole place were the glow in the dark stars on the ceiling and walls. Strange how, even in complete darkness, the foggy remains from the show that was happening still linger. About 20 minutes later I get the weather alert below, the fifth one for the night but not the last. Being stuck behind a bar in a very loud strip club with no windows almost made me oblivious to the weather conditions outside. I knew it was pretty rough at home since my wife had text me already to inform me of our power outage and the successful immediate transition of the generator coming online moments later. When I asked her if I needed to come home she told me no because she didn’t want me driving in Houston in the crazy rain. Which translates into, “no dear, we have power, we don’t need you”.

Throughout the night one really couldn’t tell there was severe weather going on outside because there was a very steady flow of people in and out of the club, it was just like any other night at the strip club. And, of course, when the lights flicker at the club it looks like it is just part of the show. Nobody cared until they all went out, I think when people enter our world they forget the real world outside the doors. Now, when the power goes out at the strip club a protocol goes into place. One may not see them but there are, on average, 50 private security inside the club at any given moment, they blend in like at large casinos for immediate response needs. Although the commodity is different here, the employee’s safety is top priority. Which makes sense, at any given time there are 100+ strippers visible in the club, 40+ waitresses visible in the club, and 50+ club staff you may or may not see, floating around the club, and then there is an assload of ” unsecured” cash moving around. All it takes is one brave soul to make the worst decision of his life for all hell to break loose.

Luckily there are generators at the club as well, they are older but do come on after about 10 minutes or so. However, these generators only provide minimal lighting since most of the power is directed towards refrigeration, security, and the air handlers. Needless to say, no neon, no spot lights, no strobe lights, no music, so nothing in regards to entertaining. Almost immediately the place is put on lock down, everyone stops exactly where they are while order is regained. One would be surprised how compliant close to 1000 people can be. I’m lucky to report that there were no incidents that occurred due to the temporary black out. I did, however, get to go home early because after 40 minutes with the power going out the club was shut down for the night. All employees were escorted out because it was jet black outside except for the flashes of lightning. It was creepy, to say the least, no lights anywhere for miles around. Good thing for me that there were almost no other cars on the road either.

So, it was a bizarre and very stormy night here in the Houston area, which anyone who lives here would tell you. It was definitely a wicked band of storms that moved through last night. When I get home power had been restored already and from my quick property survey this morning we didn’t take any physical damages. However, looks like pond is up about 8″, still about a foot below where it is normally. I’m sure the creek is swollen, I will have to check that out later, once I find my rubber boots. I hope that everyone who had storms last night is doing fine because they really did come out of nowhere. Btw, both pictures belong to me, I took the top one and the bottom is a screenshot from my phone, just in case anyone was wondering.

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Another Life, Another Time

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I generally get a handful of texts and e-mails every week from people I worked with at Club X. Usually just to let me known whats been happening and what will be happening. I suppose it is done to “keep me in the loop” even though I have been out of that loop for quite some time now. I generally do not reply to 99% because there usually isn’t anything for me to say. Now, I have two people, one stripper and one waitress, that I do keep up with and talk to regularly because we all became decent friends over the years I worked there. What makes them special you might ask? I will make a long story short, because it actually took me a few months to figure out what was going on. In the beginning I thought there was just the waitress who also was a stripper on her off nights. She would talk to me like normal regardless of what shoes she was wearing that night. Then, out of the blue, after a couple of months, she was on the dance floor stripping and at the same exact time she was waitressing. I thought I had lost my damn mind at first and then they both came over to the bar I was working and sat down, the both smiled while they just sat there looking at me. Yes, now I know, they are twin sisters. There had always been the two of them and few, if anybody, knew about it. Most people in the club thought the same thing I did. Anyway, a friendship grew and developed and now they keep in contact with me quite a bit.

This morning I get an e-mail from them asking me if I miss being a bartender there. They also known I was laid off and wanted to known why I just don’t come back. Do I miss being a bartender there? Not really. I do miss the money but I have said this all before now. I’m sure I could go back to bartending and it would be a decent paycheck, but I walked away when I did for some very specific reasons, first and foremost it was because I was done working nights and second is the hours I worked. It was a freaking part time job yet I worked 50-60 hours a week while having a day job doing 40 hours a week. You do the math, I was tired, more like exhausted, no walked around like a freaking zombie most days. So, I gave up bartending at the strip club, with that I have up about $100k a year, so yes, it has been missed. However, after doing that for 5 years, I socked away a nice start to a retirement, which, so far, we haven’t had to dip into, as of yet. I think it would take something very drastic to get me to go back permanently. Not that time is not now. I liked it after I quite, I see my family now and we have relationships now, something we could not have when I was working nights. I won’t bore y’all with the issues that job caused with my wife. I will say that it wasn’t for the reasons y’all might be thinking, it was simpler, it was because I was never home to spend time with her, ever, and it had a tremendous impact on our marriage. I will leave it there.

I do miss the people, I do miss bartending, and yes, I even miss being surrounded by hundreds of totally nude woman every day. The scenery was always nice. But, back in the real world is where I belong. Perhaps if I was single it would be different. One never knows. As always, the sisters like to include pictures of themselves at work, and to date the one shown here today has been the only one I have been able to share. I wonder, daily, where my life is going, and with often reminders of the past I see that wherever it is that I am supposed to be going is probably I’m the direction I am already headed. I am happier now that I have been in so many years. That’s what we should be, right, happy in our life? Personally, I think that is the answer.

Playing Hide And Seek In Plain Sight

21756761One late afternoon I was piddling around in my shop when I get a text message from my son. He wanted to try out the effectiveness of his newly finished ghillie suit. He sent me some real general directions to the back of the property where I was to look for him hiding in plain sight. Now, I haven’t seen his new suit so I have no idea what I’m looking for. As I set off on my trek I remembered my Air Force field training which was to look for a few things. First, look for that piece of nature which looks too perfect because nature is one imperfection after another. Second, look for un-natural shapes and oddities which don’t look out of place. Third, look for the straight lines and solid colors. Now, these are good skills to know what to look for when someone is hiding from you to either elude you or to kill you. There are also good to know because the reverse goes into play when making oneself invisible in the environment. When I get to the described location I see that I’m in the area we have roped off to play paint ball with friends and family. All I can think is this will be an ambush of some sorts.

I walked past the back side of the downed tree twice, once going out towards the ridge facing the river and the return trip. It was not until I came around to head back to the river when something caught my eyes, solid color gloves. Busted. Being color blind I have a true unfair advantage because I focus more on the shapes in the woods and not the colors. I would have walked right past him another time if it weren’t for the gloves. But, I wanted to screw with him a bit before I let him know he had been found. I pull out my cell phone and call his mother to tell her we will be a little late for dinner and why. I put my phone in my pocket, turned, and walked away, but not before snapping a picture. I headed to the house and texted him to tell him he did a great job and to head back in. I don’t know if he knew I knew he was mere feet from me so I sent him the picture.

His reaction was different than what I expected. He text me back and told me he will fix the glove visibility. That was it at that time. At dinner time he explained how he watched me walk by him both times and how easily it would have been to unleash a barrage of orange paint balls onto me. He said he considered it but I was wearing my good jacket and my good boots so he waived embarrassing me at that point in time in history. He bragged quite a bit, which is great, because he did an awesome job. We both know I would have been a kill. So, dinner was full of excitement and stories. It’s nice, for me at least, to be able to still go outside and not have to wonder if my kids are still on their phones for whatever reason. You know it’s not enough to be un-plugged any more, we have to have something that competes for their time. Just let it be known that when it is time out here, there isn’t too much competition.

I look forward to our next time out back in our  woods, I better bring my “A Game” because I know I will not be given a second chance twice. Perhaps the next time I bring re-enforcements because multiple sets of eyes are always better than one. My son is always amazing me with what he can come up with and I think that is one reason why he always keeps us guessing as he gets older. Until our next time in the woods ………………

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Beware Of Background Image Changes

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I have been scouring the internet looking for a background image for The Sting Of The Scorpion that is dark and gritty allowing the text in posts to remain white. This change actually started a few months ago when I changed the color theme here from blue to red. I would let it be for a while until I had enough random comments mentioning the dislike of the current background. I realize I can’t make everyone happy but in my attempt to do so I will open this all up for submissions. I ask that two guidelines are used in your own search, it must be able to be seamlessly tiled and I need it to be dark and red. The above picture is my latest attempt to get a good contrast between the background and the white text. It’s not the fault of the reader that I’m color blind but it is something y’all must suffer through with me. Thanks for the understanding and help in advance.

Please send any submission ideas (full size) to thestingofthescorpion@gmail.com

Just Put It Down And Drive

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Yes, you heard me, I’m sure I’m talking to you, just drive and watch the road around you. These are words I not only preach but I also practice them as well. Those who know me will tell you I will take a phone away from a person if they are behind the drivers wheel of a vehicle when I’m a passenger. Those people who know me would tell you that I say there is no need to be on your phone talking, texting, or surfing because whatever it is can wait. Let’s use these two pictures as an example of what happens when someone takes their eyes off the road to check a text. Unfortunately, now she will pay more to have it fixed than she paid for the car in the first place. Well, the insurance will be paying because she has a zero deductible. I actually need to back all of this up a bit and provide a little history so every bit of this makes sense. But, before we begin, a message to Allison, who I told I was going to write about her and her accident. I hope you understand, Allison, that I’m a bit pissed with you. You were lucky …………….. this time.

To begin with I met Allison some years ago. She was 24 when she decided to get out of the Navy since she said 5 1/2 years of the 6 years was to long. She began as a waitress at Club X and eventually decided she wanted more money and began stripping. She was also going to school full-time at the University of Houston getting her degree in radiology of some sorts. Makes me a bad friend I guess because I can’t recall the specifics, oh well. She knew I would go to state auctions that featured vehicles seized for one reason or another. One weekend she invited herself along with me, my son, and my dad. This older Mercedes caught her eye, she liked it allot because it was a convertible. She got it at a good price in my opinion, $5,700.00, since the original sticker on it was somewhere close to $80,000.00. Of course, at auction, you buy the vehicle “as is” with no warranty or guarantee, so the risk falls fully on the shoulders of the buyer. She obviously thought the risk was worth it at the price she paid. She was real lucky with her great buy, she needed to have the leather replaced on the driver’s seat, had to have the trunk liner replaced, and she had to replace all 4 tires. She put that additional $3,000.00 into the car and she was on her way.

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When she graduated form UH she actively pursued a job that would become her career and soon enough she walked out of the doors of Club X to strip no more for the very last time. Life was pretty good for Allison, her career was going great and she has recently gotten engaged, setting the date for the fall of 2014. She had everything going for her and she couldn’t ask for life to be any better. This past weekend she was on her way to pick up her fiancé to go to the Christmas party being hosted by the hospital she works for when she decided to text him to let him know she was running late. Before she hit “send” all hell broke loose as she came to a very abrupt stop in the middle of the road. She had struck a deer that was standing in the road while she was looking down to send her text. She watched the deer limp off the road and into the tree line then she lost sight of it since it was dark. She called me to ask me what she should do. I informed her that she needed to contact TPWD (Texas Parks & Wildlife Dept.) for the phone number of the game warden in the area because the game warden will come out to the scene to locate the animal. If he finds it he will dispatch it and remove it. Other than being very shook up she was un-injured. She told me that she needed to make some calls and make some arrangements, so thanks for my help.

The following day she sent the pictures to me asking me what I think. What do I think? She really didn’t want to hear what I had to say so I kept it to myself. I will say it here tho, I know she will read it here, and I hope it makes sense to her as I did tell her I was going to write about it and use her accident as an example. She neither agreed or disagreed so I’m just running with it. Here are my thoughts on her accident. One could make the argument that she would have hit the deer regardless of her phone activity. That is both true and false. Had she not taken her eyes off the road she might have had the time to react. So, in reality, that argument is invalid and therefore I deem the subject closed from this point forward. Luckily she was not traveling at a higher speed, she was going around 40mph she says. This could have been much worse than just a trashed Mercedes, a crimpled deer, and her getting her nerves shook up a little. She could have died. She could have killed someone else. For what? A text? In my opinion there is zero excuse for being on your phone while you are driving. If it is so damn important then pull over and handle it. I hope you understand, Allison, that I’m a bit pissed with you. You were lucky …………….. this time.

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The Blonde With The Hip Tattoo

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First of all I would like to take the opportunity to thank all the people who continuously support The Magic Weekend in my efforts to share the fantastic stories of your weekends. It has been fun to watch the evolution of this particular segment of The Sting Of The Scorpion. The unfortunate part of my role here is I have to weed through and moderate the flow of stories that hit my e-mail. I spend so much time reading that it cuts into my time I could be posting these stories and then throw in a little life, well you get where I’m going with this, it becomes a time issue for me. As well, many of the great stories come without picture proof and their candidacy automatically gets dropped out of the hat, which sucks, because some of them are really good. On the other extreme end of that is that I get e-mails with a butt-load of pictures, really good pictures, but have very little story if any. Now, I don’t know why people don’t reply back to me when I request more information but that is the way it happens, y’all send the first e-mail and forget all about it. Then we have the perfect combination of story and pictures which y’all will see today. Now, let it be known that there were more pictures and the use of those pictures were approved but due to the nature of the pictures they will not make it into this post. Y’all will understand why later I hope.

This weeks story comes from Jason, a University of Houston student with an undisclosed major, who has lived in the Houston area his whole life. For the most part he lived on the fringes of the city and when he got accepted to the University of Houston he moved into the city to cut down on his commute considerably. Where he lives puts him only 4 miles from school and also just a few miles from work. He states he works at a book re-sale shop in his off time to help offset the bills. On most days he makes his commute to UH on his bike but on days with really crappy weather he is forced to take the bus. As was the case a few Thursdays ago, typical Houston weather, the weather man said sunny and clear all day but rained most of the day. It’s like the weather has a mind of its own or the weatherman never looks out of his window, take your pick. So, let’s get started so everyone can see what his story has in store for us. Y’all can be the judge, does it have sex, jail, money, blood, or fame?

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I have read your blog for some time now, it used to be my dirty little secret that I would look at when I knew nobody was looking because I never knew what you might be showing, but I always knew I would be liking it. The Magic Weekend is one of my favorite sections because it’s true the real life just happens before our eyes without us having to do a thing in return. I realized that after what had happened to me over the last few weeks that I just might have something for your blog. A few Thursdays ago I was forced to ride the bus to class due to some really shitty weather. It wasn’t supposed to rain but of course being in Houston it did because the weather-men here suck ass. Nonetheless, I rode the bus to get to class instead of riding my bike. The bus was fairly packed, by packed I mean that the standing people had to hold on to other people standing in the aisle. I think the rain brought in the over-run of people because I have ridden the bus before and only a handful of people were riding. I’m lucky because my ride is really short. After a few stops the bus cleared out for the most part, the next stop being mine so I got my stuff together. As I was getting off the bus I looked down on one of the seats and noticed a nice cell phone. I looked around and didn’t see anybody around so I picked it up to give to the driver. The driver explained to me that he could not accept any lost items and if I wished to turn it in that I needed to do so at the campus police department. All I can think is this is great, now I get to babysit somebody’s phone until the afternoon because there is no time to go turn it in right away.

Almost immediately after getting into class the phone kept going off, call after call, text after text, and finally I just had to turn it off so there wasn’t any trouble with the instructor. I had a real heavy schedule that day so I was busy the entire day. My last class ran a little long and before I knew it I was in a rush to get to my part-time job. It was still raining so Instead of walking I went ahead and took the bus again. After getting lectured about timeliness and how there are thousands of kids who would like to have my job I was finally able to get to work. I have a simple job that takes hours every day. I sift through all the “bought” books to organize and place on the shelves. It’s time-consuming but it pays the bills for the most part. I worked a little overtime that day so I got out real late. The rain had stopped so I went ahead and walked home. After eating a late supper I decided to dig into my homework. As I emptied my bag the phone I found came tumbling out and I had my first “oh shit” moment of the night. When I went to turn it on I found that the battery was completed down so I plugged it in to my charger for a while so I could try to figure out who it belonged to. After a couple of hours of schoolwork, making it about 1am, I passed by the phone and noticed it was fully charged, so I unplugged it and decided to sit down and take a look. The damn phone had like 60 missed calls and just as many text messages. Whoever owns this phone is pretty busy with it. Once I went through the hundreds of contacts I found her contact information but the only thing it listed was her cell phone number. I looked through some of the texts to see who she texts the most because I was going to send that person a text letting them know to contact her with my information so I could get her phone back to her. I took a picture of the phone for “proof” and sent it to who was listed as “sister” in her contacts. I wrote “My name is Jason and I found this found which belongs to Ella on the bus this morning on the UH campus. Please contact her and forward her this number so I can get the phone back to her”. I sent the text from Ella’s phone with the above picture enclosed. I was expecting an immediate reply but it was just after 2am so I wasn’t holding my breath.

Out of both boredom and curiosity I started snooping in her phone a bit, just to be nosey while I waited. One of the first pictures I saw was of this blonde girl with a tattoo on her hip. I couldn’t tell if she was wearing a bikini or what it was. She seemed to be pointing at her hair, bed head would be my guess. There were hundreds of pictures of this particular tattooed girl on this phone. I began to wonder if this was Ella. Out of all of the pictures only a handful were of this girl with clothes on. Most of them were of her topless and many times bottomless. This was quite a bit to take in all at once. I hit the bed around 4am and went right to sleep, dreaming all night of the blonde girl with the hip tattoo. Who was she? That morning there was a text on Ella’s phone from contact “sister”. All it said was that she went to Ella’s apartment to tell her about her phone. She wasn’t home so she had to stick a note on her door. When Ella gets in contact with her then she will let me know. Okay, I will wait. A few days went by, 6 to be exact, and finally a text back from sister telling me that Ella will be calling me from this number when she gets over to her, please be looking out for it. For 2 more days there was nothing, I carried her phone everywhere I went, she got many texts and many calls, but not from the sister’s number. I was sitting out on my patio doing some homework when the phone rang, it was from the sister phone number. I answered it of course. An angel’s voice asked me if I was for real and I really had her phone. I told her obviously because I am talking on it. We arranged for me to return it to her at a little pizza pub not to far from my apartment. I asked how I would know who she was and how would I recognize her from everybody else. She replied by telling me to go to the photos in her phone and look for the blonde girl with the tattoo on her hip. I didn’t tell her that we had been fucking in my mind for more than a week now because I was already in lust with the blonde girl with the hip tattoo.

I got to the pizza pub right on time. I waited around a bit and finally I saw her walk through the door. She looked amazing in person. I walked up to Ella and introduced myself. Then, being sneaky, I said she looked allot like the girl I have seen on her phone but could she prove it by showing me the tattoo on her hip. She took my arm and led me to a booth, sat me down, and she remained standing in front of me. She looked around a bit, waited for two people to pass us by, then slowly unbuttoned her jeans, slid them down a bit, and exposed the tattoo. Then she asked if I was satisfied. I guess that will do. She sat down next to me, really close, and I handed her the phone. She asked me to hold on a minute and let her check texts and messages because she really wanted to talk to me. Which was fine with me because I was somewhat mesmerized with her every movement. She took all of 3 or 4 minutes and she was done, now it was my turn I guess. She took ahold of my hand with both of hers and asked what she could do to repay my patience and kindness. Tell the truth, a payment option never crossed my mind so I had to tell her to let me think on it for a bit, let’s eat something and that should give me time to think. Then, I hatched my plan, I told her that “if” she could cook that I would like a home cooked meal in my apartment. She told me that she thinks that can be arranged and we set the date for this past Saturday. I gave her my address and phone number and we parted ways right there. I watched her walk out the door, it was just like in the movies, hot girl walking out the door with the lights coming through the glass to illuminate her shape as she disappears into it. I needed to get home, I needed to clean up my pig pen because there was no way she was going to see it like it was, and I only had two days. I don’t think I have actually cleaned my apartment once in the 2 1/2 years I have lived there. Tells you allot about my lack of social life and entertaining.

Shortly after 8pm Saturday evening there is a light knock on my door. I tried to move slow to not give away my anticipation but I nearly tripped over the end table getting to it as fast as I did. I opened the door and Ella stood before me, as beautiful as I remember her to be. She asked if it would be okay if we had one more for dinner because her sister really wanted to meet me as well. Before I could nod, or comment, or move, her sister walked up to the door. Holy fuck! They are twins! I must have had a stupid shit eating grin on my face because the two of them just giggled as the walked by me. After I picked my jaw up off the floor I turned to close the door. They were both carrying grocery bags so I’m thinking this ought to be one hell of a dinner they were going to be preparing. I was instructed to remain in the living room and to never come into the kitchen unless I was called. All I can think now is that they are serial killers and they are making me a poisonous last meal. As much as my imagination was running away from me I was able to remain focused, for the most part. After about an hour I was instructed to have a seat at the kitchen table (sadly it is a folding card table, but I have 3 chairs) and remain with my eyes closed until told otherwise. I could hear them moving around me, I could smell their perfume beginning to mix in with the smells of something I was guessing to be Italian, and they both continuously brushed me or set a hand on my shoulder as they moved by. One of them placed a napkin very gently, but firmly on my lap for me. I heard them take their seats, one on either side of me, and I heard the magic words, “open your eyes now please”. Talk about an amazing first view after opening my eyes, both of them were sitting extremely close to me on both side and both of them were completely naked, oh, and , yea, I was right, they had prepared lasagna. Wow, I mean it is hard to put into words what I was feeling. And the kicker, they both have the identical tattoo but on opposite hips, how weird is that. No wonder I didn’t know there were pictures of both of them when I thought I was only looking at one of them. They served all three of us, we had wine as well, and we sat there and ate. They both were in charge of conversation and we talked about really nothing but I was enjoying the conversation 100%. When the meal was done, they cleared the table, told me to go have a seat, and they went to the kitchen where I could hear them doing dishes. I know, right, bonus!

They both came out and sat on both sides of me on the couch. I asked what was going on, not that I minded, but this all seems way to good to be true. Grace, the “sister” started by saying she knows I went through all the pictures on Ella’s phone so I have already seen both of them naked multiple times so they just wanted to skip all the formalities. They did say that there was nothing sexual going on here and there would not be anything sexual going to happen, not yet. So, we sat there into the wee hours of the morning talking, drinking wine, and getting to know each other, just the 3 of us. They volunteered to take as many pictures as I wanted just as long as I promised they would never make it onto the internet, ever. I agreed. Then, they got dressed and that was it, they were gone. I knew I had to send this story to you the next morning but I had one problem, no pictures. Problem solved, I called Ella and Grace and they sent me a number of pictures which I am forwarding to you, so I hope some of them at least will be used. And that’s it, hopefully the three of us will remain “friends” and keep in close contact.”

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Two of the pictures to be exact were usable here for this story. However, I didn’t mind Jason sharing all the rest as well. So, let’s review the criteria. Was there sex? No, but there was nudity. Was there jail? No. Was there blood? No. Was there fame? No. Was there money? Not exactly, but there was a reward and in my book that counts in this category. I look forward to any follow up there may be because if there is I’m sure it will be pretty interesting to say the very least. I hope y’all enjoyed Jason’s story and will return to see more. Which makes me want to ask all of y’all, what did y’all do this weekend? Sex? Jail? Blood? Money? or Fame? E-mail The Sting Of The Scorpion with your fantastic tale and be sure to include many pictures, because without pictures it’s probably bullshit anyway.

Should I Even Call This Mess A “Blog”?

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I suppose by “definition” what I have here could be considered to be a blog. Do you know the definition of blog? The simple version which concludes that a blog is a website where entries are written in chronological order and commonly displayed in reverse chronological order. Mine does that. I also do allot of Mobile blogging (moblogging), which is a method of publishing to a blog from a mobile phone. A moblog helps habitual bloggers (like myself) to post articles and pictures directly from their phones even when on the move. Mobile blogging has been made possible by technological convergence, as bloggers have been able to write, record and upload different media all from a single, mobile device. Mobile blogging is popular among people with camera phones which allow them to send photos and video that then appear as entries on their blog, or to use mobile browsers to publish content directly to any blogging platform with mobile posting compatibility. In the end, it is convenient because I can do when the moment arises or the thought crosses my mind. There are many advantages to being able to blog from anywhere and anytime. Mobile blogging is particularly helpful to travelers or people on the move when access to a computer with Internet connection may be difficult. The traveler can snap photos and with an enabled phone can easily upload such pictures with text descriptions directly to his or her blog. If the camera phone is equipped for Auto-geo-tagging, the blog may be able to show a map of the locations. With my new phone, (Motorola Droid Maxx),  which is less than a week old, has many new features which have been really exciting as far as being able to keep up with my blog and all the ones I try to visit regularly.

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A majority of the blogs are interactive, allowing visitors to leave comments and even message each other on the blogs, and it is this interactivity that distinguishes a blog from other static websites. In that sense, blogging can be seen as a form of social networking service. Indeed, bloggers do not only produce content to post on their blogs, but also build social relations with their readers and other bloggers throughout the world. Many blogs provide commentary on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries; others function more as online brand advertising of a particular individual or company. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic. I think I’m still qualifying as a blog. The ability of readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important contribution to the popularity of many blogs.

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People have different ideas when it comes to the length of post. Many people advocate keeping it short, however some of the best posts I’ve written or read have been long, some very very long. They were the best because they did not skim the subject so they gave real value and often told their story making it engaging by making a personal connection with me the reader. I believe that the posts that make that personal connection that resonates with the reader get more likes, more comments, and get shared more. Being I post allot of pictures here as well I often have very short posts because the “message” is self-contained in the picture.

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Anyone who surfs the “net” can find that the blogosphere counts several million active blogs offering a great variety of topics and content. The wonderful aspect of a blog creation is that anyone who has a particular hobby, knowledge, passion or a business to promote, can easily do it, and they generally do. I guess, looking back, the danger is starting a blog without a specific plan, target group, and more importantly knowledge of content for which the blog was created. Good content is the most important factor of your blog since not only it is the key to attract readers and turn them to loyal followers but also to increase your internet exposure via the search engines. I don’t look for search engine exposure, meaning I don’t do anything on purpose which gives me a ranking or page position. People just find me one way or another. I follow some basic rules of engagement in order to produce what I consider to be successful content and, at the end of the day, achieve my blog’s goal which is to get read and encourage readers to return back to my blog. Let’s explore my general rules of engagement and guidelines.

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The 10 Rules I blog by.

01. Define your blog and who you wish to target to read your blog. The 1st thing to do is to organize your ideas and define the main topic which will define your blog’s identity.

  • What do I want to write about today? The next day? 6 months from now?
  • What is my target group of readers, follower, and visitors?
  • What type of language should I use to communicate with my readers?

02. Make time to make posts.

  • A blog needs time and efforts to stay permanently active and help you interact on a regular basis with your readers.
  • Don’t risk losing your audience because of a lack of communication.

03. Take time to talk to your audience. Make them feel as though they can interact with you and make sure they get the interaction they are looking for.

  • Having defined your target group of readers, you will need to write in the appropriate tone and style to attract their interest and understanding; imagine having a conversation with your audience and write clearly and simply as if you were talking to them.
  • When I write, I write as if I am talking, whether just out-loud or physically to others.

04. Give your blog and posts a friendly and inviting format.

  • Even if you believe your post is original and really interesting, if it comes in a big block of text, no one will take the time to read it; you need to provide the reader with a friendly post format by separating it into distinct and concise paragraphs, preceded by sub-headings when needed, use bullet points lists where needed (like here with what I’m doing), illustrate it with images, use bold or italics to point out your key elements and you’ll get your reader’s attention.

05. When starting a new post use eye catching and attractive titles.

  • Once your post is written, take your time to come up with a fantastically eye catching title. Your title is how you’ll attract the readers repeatedly. It should directly inform the reader regarding what your post is about, a sort of “summary” of what he/she will read.

06. Be sure to use “tags” which will be effective in relation to your post.

  • Ask yourself which terms are more likely to be used by users when they search for the particular topic.
  • Then make sure you use the main keywords and come up with different variations that are likely to be searched when formulating your tags.
  • Finally try to incorporate the “tag” words in the keywords of your post in order to increase the possibility to be found in the search engines.

07. Update your blog frequently to keep the content fresh and inviting.

  • As mentioned earlier, you need to determine a time plan in order to frequently update your blog, ideally on a daily-basis.
  • This will not only keep the attention of your readers but also it will help you attract more readers and loyal followers to your blog.
  • The more content you produce the more traffic you are likely to get from your readers.

08. Use “social media” buttons to encourage your readers to share.

  • There are many out there, I personally use Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and Twitter.
  • By setting up an RSS Feed and by encouraging your users to subscribe, you will increase your readers and you are more likely to get more returning visitors.
  • Note that most Blogging engines automatically support RSS feeds, so all you need to do is to place their button in a strategic position in order to help readers subscribe.
  • It doesn’t hurt to belong to a great blogging community either. My personal favorite is Blogcatalog!
  • Additionally social media can drive you lots of traffic and they can help you build steady communication with your readers.
  • Make sure you add sharing buttons in your blog and try to place them too in strategic positions to increase the number of shares.

09. Try to incorporate “how-to” and “top-10” posts on occasion to mix things up and keep the reader wondering what’s next.

  • The how-to guides and the top-10 articles usually become very popular on social media networks.
  • People love these articles and they are more likely to read them, like them, comment on them, and share them.
  • Additionally by creating such content you are more likely to increase your search engine traffic since many surfers search for such content regularly.

10. I have found that proof reading and spell checking are valuable tools.

  • This might be common sense but sometimes we can be so enthusiastic about a new post that we forget to take the time to proof read it.
  • Remember that you may be listed and archived in the Internet along with your grammar, syntax or even informative mistakes.
  • Don’t forget to be honest about what you share.
  • If you have the patience to keep being an active blogger and creating good content, you will be surprised to see your audience growing and your blog getting the success it deserves.

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I have learned over the years that my blog(s) tend to develop multiple personalities and sometimes I need to reel them back in. When I started here at WordPress I wanted to have one blog that expressed ALL of my ideas. I wanted one stop shopping. I combined 6 blogs to create The Sting Of The Scorpion which I feel know encompasses the message(s) I’m trying to express. My blog is very much a reflection of what mood I am in at any particular moment. In the end, it works for me and that results in more mileage for my blog. I am very dedicated to the upkeep and appearance of my blog. This keeps me active here which results in more posts for others to read.

All the pictures and some of this information was borrowed from the World Wide Web to be placed on The Sting Of The Scorpion, because everything else just bites. Remember boys and girls, eat it everyday, and twice if you are up to it.