Death Metal Pool

The pool seemed like a good idea, but in reality it was just a death trap. I mean, c’mon….pool in the middle of a Death Metal show?! It was inevitable that Scooby and our brother Forrest were going to be drawn into the riptide of mayhem headed by the man with no name…Kyle Thomas himself! As is tradition at such events, every fan wants to get in the photo pit and I guess Kyle was one of those people who wanted to get in there and flex his muscles a little bit, but that’s only because he knew it would be okay since he is friends with the band. Well, Forrest got up on stage and started dancing like his usual self, so boom…he gets a bit of a beating…thought if it was from Kyle or one of the other dudes on stage with him….well, who knows? There was a lot going on!

So, now we’ve got a few hundred people in this makeshift pool in the middle of a death metal show, trash cans are being thrown everywhere and everyone’s drenched and crazy. The crowd was so hyped up that they kept bringing Forrest back onstage and he was loving every minute of it!

So, Scooby’s up there going crazy with the crowd, just dancing and having fun like you would at a show. Out of nowhere, I felt someone slam me in the back and take me down. Scooby was no longer up there! The only thing I remember is waking up on the floor with a couple guys trying to get me back in the crowd. At this point, Forrest comes back onstage and everyone is going crazy again for him to jump in the pool.

It was at this moment I woke up and realized that I fell asleep in the bathtub with my headphones on.

Let’s Make A Haunted House – Chapter 2

Chapter 2

Daniella had been an account executive and marketing manager for years in Los Angeles before moving back to her hometown. She knew how to create excitement for her clients, and now she was going to put that experience into something for herself.

She looked around the room as she started feeling the place out and decided to start from the beginning.

“This place is kind of creepy,” said Mildred, watching Daniella move into the next room where an old grand piano sat gathering dust and cobwebs.

“Yeah, but I’m not sure if it’s a good creepy or a bad creepy.” She laughed. “I think it has potential though, don’t you think?”

Mildred shrugged her shoulders and looked at the piano sitting in front of them that must have been left behind by one of the owners. It was covered with dust and spiders webs but none of that stopped Daniella from running her finger along the dusty key, and then playing a few notes.

“See anything you like?” Mildred asked noticing her friend was entranced with something on the wall taking up space next to the piano. Daniella looked at it closely trying to make out what it was. She couldn’t tell for sure but she thought maybe a picture of a family was hung there.

“There’s something on this wall.” She said moving closer, trying to make out the figures in what she thought might have been a picture of three people standing together.

“What is it?” Mildred asked impatiently as she moved over and stood next to her friend. “I don’t see anything.”

Daniella yelled “BOO!”, and Mildred shrieked.

“OK, this will do just fine.” She smiled, looking back at her friend and laughing.

“I told you this place was haunted!” Mildred said in a harsh whisper as if trying to keep the ghosts entertained. “You’re the one who doesn’t believe me.” She laughed.

She would purchase the home through an LLC and keep it as anonymous as possible, furthering the mystery. She didn’t want the locals to know who had purchased the property. She knew that there would be a lot of curiosity about her, but she kept to herself, and that was all it took for people to move on and stop asking questions. Daniella did not anticipate having any problems with the locals.

After Mildred left, she began to really strategize how she would make this work. She began to explore the house, looking for things she could use. The more she explored, the better she felt about buying this place. It was going to be a great project for her.

She had always wanted to be in real estate and not just because of some childhood dream, but because she saw that there was a lot of appeal in the real estate business. There was always a way to make something work, and she wanted to be a part of that.

Daniella decided her first project would involve what she did best, getting her clients noticed. Now it was her turn to reap the rewards.

Let’s Make A Haunted House – Chapter 1

She was going to buy this house, unless of course, she could find a way to make it pay for itself, and that’s what had her sitting on the porch this morning as she waited patiently for Mildred Collins’ Buick to turn into the driveway.

“Doesn’t look like much,” said Mildred, glancing at Daniella from over her sunglasses. “Are you going in?”

“Yes, I am.”

Mildred shook her head. “Then you are more brave than I.”

Daniella chuckled at Mildred’s comment as she and her friend got out of the car. She picked up the first thing that came to mind when Mildred asked about the house, a pamphlet on how to create a haunted house. It was the first thing she had seen and it was about all that had anyone in her family believed to be real when she called to tell them of her purchase. When she mentioned ghosts, they shrugged. “The house is haunted? Oh yeah, I believe that.”

Daniella closed the car door with a soft thump, and marched toward the front porch. The house was a two-story but rather narrow, almost like a teenager’s hastily drawn stick figure. There were several windows on either side of the door that had been left open in spite of the chill in the air. She was thinking they could maybe be barred later for now she only wanted to prove to her friends she could be brave.

Mildred offered her arm for support, but it was just a formality. Daniella would never admit it, but Mildred had actually done some research on the history of the house and if there were any solid facts to back up stories of hauntings, she wouldn’t have been standing in front of the place wondering just what she had gotten herself into.

“It was supposed to be a safe house during the war, you know.” Said Mildred as they approached the door. It didn’t look much like a safe house to her but Daniella nodded anyway. “Supposedly it’s haunted by people who never made it out alive.”

“Why was this place left to rot?” Daniella asked as her hand reached out toward the door. “It’s such a waste.”

Mildred shrugged. “Who knows? Maybe no one wanted it, or maybe they didn’t want anyone else having it.” She looked up at the house and took a deep breath, then let it out slowly. “Gives me the creeps. I could live in a place like this.” She said with a shiver.

“You don’t have to stay here,” Daniella said, turning toward her friend.

“I can handle it if you can.” Mildred shot back confidently as she shoved her sunglasses up on her forehead.

Daniella pushed the door open and stepped inside followed by Mildred who let out a soft gasping sound when they stepped in. “I knew it!” she said in almost a whisper.

“What?” asked Daniella, her eyes darting around looking for something to be wrong but all that she saw was the dim light of the front windows. The house was a lot darker than she had expected it to be, but most of that was due to the overgrown foliage on the trees outside blocking out most of what little sunlight there was.

“This place is haunted.” said Mildred with certainty. Her friend rolled her eyes at her comment and looked around the living room.

Don’t Get In The Car

It was a cold and rainy day, which is odd because it was the middle of summer in Southern California. Jim walked to his car from his office. He had been working late again. The traffic was light, so he would be home in no time he thought to himself. Jim got into his car and started to turn the key. No sooner than the began to hear the engine turn over, it let out a loud whaling sound. “What’s going on?” Jim thought to himself. There should’ve only been the radio playing because he hadn’t started the car yet! Immediately there was a flash of bright orange light and then everything went black.

Jim woke up being shaken from side to side with severe force by someone who seemed incredibly strong and forceful. It was dark outside but there was moonlight that dimly lit the road he was laying on. At either side of him were tall trees with thick green bushes underneath them which seemed to go on for miles. He didn’t live anywhere near a forest, he had no idea where he was. He could only see the silhouette of his assailant, who seemed to be dressed in some sort of dark-colored cloak with large protrusions on their back. Their bright red eyes blazed at him. Jim started shouting.

“What do you want?! What’s going on? Where am I?!” The person then abruptly stopped shaking him, their eyes turned a subtle hazel, and turned away from him. Then Jim heard a familiar voice say “It’s me Mom. We are in Oregon. You weren’t safe.” It was then that Jim realized how much pain he was in as well as that his shirt had been torn open; revealing what appeared to be eight large crescent shaped scars on his chest which were surrounded by even more scar tissue which made it look like… wings!

His Mother had died in a car accident only two years before. Not only was he in the middle of a forest, but he was seeing his Mother alive again. Could it be?

With a sudden rush of emotions, Jim grabbed his mother’s hand and immediately felt relief from the sharp pain in his chest. Jim opened his eyes to see who he thought was his mother standing next to him but instead saw only an outline of her body. He knew that this couldn’t be his Mother, but she was still there. Jim reached out and touched the outline and instantly felt a surge of energy course through him. Again he saw the wings, but this time on the silhouette of his mother’s back.

As he began to become fully aware of the cold damp ground, the light breeze against his face, and the sound of his mother’s voice fading away, he realized something very important, he had died. He was now going to be reunited with his mother and other loved ones who have passed on.

The moments turned to minutes, and then a realization came to him. He still felt alive. He felt the crisp evening air, he could smell the musty ground, and he knew that he was still on Earth. He couldn’t be dead.

Jim was not sure what had happened to him, but he knew that he wasn’t going to be able to explain this to anyone. Not only did he have no memory of how this happened, but it was impossible for anyone else to believe him!

Jim steadied himself on the side of the road, looking around to get a better understanding of where he was. He felt for his phone and wallet, and found that they were still in his pockets. He knew he couldn’t go to the hospital or any professional because they would lock him up for this! He just wanted answers and there was one place that has all of them: The Internet!

It turns out Jim was what they call a “Cambion” – the offspring of a human and a supernatural creature, in Jim’s case an incubus. Although cambions have no memory of their own supernatural heritage, they often possess some instinctual magical ability. However, as he now found himself hundreds of miles away, he was finally starting to believe all this supernatural stuff was for real!

His first instinct now that he had some sort of idea what this meant was to find anyone else who also shared his lineage. There were certain websites dedicated to the subject which could tell him about any local groups or gatherings of other cambions in the area. Some of them even had forums in which members discussed encounters they had with other supernatural beings, and that’s exactly what he was looking for!

It turns out there were quite a few Cambions in Portland Oregon who hosted get togethers every month. The answer to his problems seemed simple enough: Go to these gatherings and find someone else!

The House That Lived Part 1

He walked up to the house, and hesitated. It was the same one he saw every day, on his way to and from work. The house with its white paint peeling off in flakes that made him feel a shiver of disgust, and its windows dark and empty. There were three other houses just like it in this street – all of them unoccupied. He could see lights flickering behind the curtains of two of them.

His knees shook as he started up the steps past dead weeds that had once been a lawn. The leaves crunched under his feet, but it didn’t bother him; neither did the stench coming from somewhere close by, or the sounds…the squeaking urging growing louder as he neared the front door. Above him, silhouetted against the moon, he could see the house’s eaves moving slightly…almost as if they were breathing, or sighing…or whispering to him.

He reached out and grabbed the doorknob without knocking, turned it and pushed open the door. Inside, was a large room that had once been a dining room. It had been decked out with mirrors and shiny black counters back when someone lived here – but now there was just dust gathering on the old furniture in one corner of the room…and an empty case with no contents standing opposite him. There was also a wooden box placed right next to his feet; it seemed almost inviting despite its appearance – like some kind of toy dollhouse full of little toys for children to play with…or enemies to break.

He took a deep breath and followed the sound of silence going up the stairs and into the living room…and then through another doorway, at last falling upon the source of his misery – the very seam that held reality together, begging him to come closer so it could be destroyed.

He stepped forward, but paused when a voice came from behind him. “So you’ve decided to be brave? That’s good.” The tone had an artificial quality to it, as if someone were acting. He turned around slowly and saw nothing but an empty room….but then his eyes locked onto something impossible in the far corner:

We don’t drink coffee at the LA office anymore

We don’t drink coffee at the LA office anymore, the coffee beans were over a year old and the coffee was undrinkable. The situation was so bad, we brought an espresso machine back from our last trip to Italy and it’s been working over time ever since.

We’ve also staged a number of anti-coffee campaigns throughout the office, whereby all mugs are hidden for one day only before being placed back on desks with such abandon that the smell of Columbian Dark roast brews fills the office between 10am and 4pm.

While everyone denies they’re secretly a Hollywood hipster, all will admit to drinking this brew; some because it’s the latest trend, others due to social pressure and peer-group influence.

This confession becomes particularly more telling when you realize that hipsters have always been a subculture focused on their object of choice; be it records, bikes or even ironic beards. They are also notorious for taking ordinary products and making them something stylish and cool; turning said products into something more sought after than they were before. It’s this obsession with the object of their affection that in turn fuels their passion, a motivation which eventually leads to achievement.

The hipster community is now obsessed with coffee – usually as a statement against big corporations such as Starbucks — but have they sacrificed quality for the sake of their obsession? We believe so.

2019 SEO Predictions

My SEO Prediction for 2019:

Google will have less control over their algorithm leading to a decrease in volatility in rankings. We won’t see the single day fluctuations as we have in the past.

Backlinks will be less important and the content they are linked to will take higher priority as backlinks are easier to fake than truly well written content.

Schema and citations will rule local. Expect sites without schema that provide local services to be lost beyond visibility.
Google My Business will add more social functionality. Google+ may be dead, but long live GMB+

My takeaway:
You need to create compelling unique content in text, graphic, and video formats. Markup and code is extremely important leading to easier and faster to digest content, which will ultimately lead to higher ranking. The longer Google has to spend on your site the more it will “cost” of your budget. Since AI will be owning so much of the processing of data, you will need to make it consistent across all platforms (NAP) and also dead simple to pull the content out of your website. This means having closed captions on your video, clean fonts on your graphics (OCR), and content that is easy to pull from the source code.

What do you think?