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