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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Kumulus Ventures

This summer I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to help start a company with my boss, Mike Berta. The company is called Kumulus Ventures and we sale a revolutionary new type of cloud-based imaging infrastructure that, for now, we have focused at selling to hospitals and medical imaging facilities. I wanted to share this informational video about what the technology is capable of because I am hoping a doctor will see this at some point and be interested in it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g23pJLxuhIM&list=UUWxIR0WNlBk4oKb5GhMU1ng


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

To the Son

I wrote this as a tribute to my cousin A.J. Blain who tragically passed away last summer. A.J. loved bonfires so to commemorate his life, his family built a fifty foot log tower, put an old car at the top because why not, soaked it in gasoline and A.J.'s younger brother lit it on fire by shooting a flaming arrow into it. The flames went almost 150 feet into the air. This poem was inspired by that insanely badass and heart-wrenching event. A.J., this is for you.

He left our Earth 
Way too young
God called him up to heaven said,
"Come home son.
Come home son."

We don't know
What to do
All that we know my friend is
We miss you.
We miss you

So we built up a fire
Up to the sky
Where did you go man?
Why did you die?
Why do the best
Always seem to die young?
We watch em' flyin' west
Into the sun

We stand here
Down on the ground
Oh, Lord can't you hear 
Our sad sound?
Our sad sound?

It’s hard to breath
Holding on to a thread
We try to believe
What the good Lord said,
What He said is,

"Those that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength
Rise upon the wings of eagles like the saints
Run and not grow weary, walk and not faint"
Jesus Christ is waiting for us at heavens gates

So we built up a fire 
Up to the sky
Look on down man
This is our goodbye
We don't know why the best
Seem to die young
We just watch em' flyin' west
Into the sun
Into the sun
To the Son.
 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Perception VS. Reality

"It's not the reality that counts. It is the perception of reality."
- Robert Stephens II (my grandpa)

Monday, June 16, 2014

My Prayer

Lord,

Give me strength to endure, the will to succeed, discipline to improve, and wisdom to do what is right. Prepare me for the worst, give me hope for the best, and help me work with what I get. Give me empathy to forgive, but never let me forget. Help me love passionately, live honorably, and learn quickly. I trust you.

Amen.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Long Division

Two minus one
You must've lost interest
Subtracted yourself
I am the difference

Two add on one
Together makes three
I'll walk away
That shit's not for me

We fell in love
It was so potent
You chose to divide it
Now we're just a quotient 

Division is hard
In life and fifth grade 
I know it has uses
But they're unclear today

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Steele Stephens Writing Services

I am starting a writing tutoring service. If you are looking for help writing a paper, story, article, or essay give me a call. Whether it's for work, school, or fun I will help you write a strong, effective, and well written piece of work that you will be proud of. My services include editing, proofreading, tutoring, brainstorming, and writing instruction. Interested? Oh, you are? Great! Shoot a text on over to (713) 264-1635 or email me at steelestephenswritingservices@gmail.com to begin writing the best paper you have ever created. Anyone can write well. I'll show you how.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Having trouble with your math homework? Click on the link below!

http://www.wolframalpha.com/

Not only will it solve any equation of problem you enter in, it will also provide step by step instructions to show you how to find the answer for future problems like it!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Check out my old friend Simi Evans' new rap song.

He Is Risen Indeed

"He is risen!"
"He is risen indeed!"
That's great that you're saying that
But do you know what it means?

Death on a cross
An excruciating experience
On this Easter Sunday
Let's not forget that its serious

Two nails through his hands
One through both feet
He had to support all his weight
On those stakes just to breathe

Back torn to shreds
Scalp full of thorns
A spear through his ribs
Living water outpoured

Separated from the creator
This living God Man
Perfection took on
The Sin of all Man

Three days he lay silent
Body rotting away
But his tomb was found empty
On the third day

The sin of those present
The sin of those past
The sin of the future
Perfect mercy that lasts

So on this Sunday
Don't take things lightly
The man Jesus Christ 
Is The Lord God Almighty

Monday, April 14, 2014

Communication Breakdown

I want to tell a story, I think, wait okay
Let me restart, I can't quite remember what I was going to say
I know it was important, I think
Okay gimme a second, I know I sound like a freak
Okay, okay, okay, okay
What was I going to say?
Something about someone doing something some kind of way
Maybe, I can't quite remember I'm afraid
I know it happened sometime yesterday, or the day before yesterday, or the day before that
I'm just not able to recall what day, who it was, or where it was at
You know what, it may have been last week
Or at least that's what I think
But I could be wrong, it is probable, but probably not
The possibility of the probability that I am probably right is profoundly a lot
Oh well, where was I, that's right, I wanted to tell a story
But for the life of me I still can't remember what it was, oh well, it was probably boring

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Steele Body Workout the Day

Today's workout is focuses on strength and muscle building. It is geared almost exclusively towards guys but, girls, if you want to try it out then you go girl! Anyways, you will definitely need access to a gym for this workout. DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS WORKOUT IF YOU ARE A BEGINNER OR ARE UNSURE OF HOW TO USE PROPER FORM. You WILL hurt yourself.

Muscles worked: Pectorals and Biceps 
Difficulty: Advanced
Time: 45-60 minutes

WARM UP

- 50 Jumping Jacks
- 10 push ups

STRETCH

Pectoral Stretch
- 15 seconds
Shoulder Stretch
- 15 seconds
Tricep Stretch
- 15 seconds
Bicep Stretch
- 15 seconds

PECTORALS

Dumbbell/Barbell Bench Press
- 4 sets 
     - 8-10 reps
          - Rest 1 minute in between sets
Dumbbell/Barbell Incline Bench Press
- 4 sets 
     - 8-10 reps
          - Rest 1 minute in between sets
Dumbbell/Barbell Decline Bench Press
- 4 sets 
     - 8-10 reps
          - Rest 1 minute in between sets

BICEPS

Dumbbell Curls
- 4 sets 
     - 8-10 reps
          - Rest 1 minute in between sets
Hammer Curls
- 4 sets 
     - 8-10 reps
          - Rest 1 minute in between sets
Preacher Curls
- 4 sets 
     - 8-10 reps
          - Rest 1 minute in between sets

If you have any questions about the workout feel free to send me an email at steelestephens@hotmail.com. Also, if you are interested in purchasing a customized Steel Body Workout plan specifically designed to get you the body you desire, contact me at the same email address. Steel Body Workout plans begin at $30.00 a piece. Like us on Steel Body Workouts on Facebook! Thank you.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Love is a Gamble

"To experience true, passionate love you have to be willing to risk experiencing true, devastating pain." -Owen Fassett

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Final Exam Limerick

I overheard this conversation at my apartment complex's pool and decided to turn it into a limerick.

The last month of college is here
It's time to kick into gear
But we are burned out
"What's our final about?"
"I don't know. Hey, pass me a beer."

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Steele Body Work Out of the Day

Todays workout has a focus on upper body muscle toning and strengthening. You will most likely need access to a gym for this particular workout.

Time: 45 minutes
Difficulty: Intermediate
Type: Muscle toning, building, and strengthening

WARM UP

Jumping Jacks
- 50 reps 

STRETCH

Shoulder Stretch
-15 seconds each arm
Tricep Stretch
-15 seconds each arm
Pectoral Stretch
-15 seconds

UPPER BODY

Dumbbell Benchpress
-10 reps
Shoulder Press
-10 reps
Lat Pulldown/Pull-ups 
-10 reps or to failure
Bent-over Dumbbell Rows/Row Machine
-10 reps
Bicep Curls
-10 reps
Behind-the-head Tricep Extensions/Dips
-10 reps or to failure

REPEAT 3X

If you have any questions about the workout feel free to send me an email at steelestephens@hotmail.com. Also, if you are interested in purchasing a customized Steel Body Workout plan specifically designed to get you the body you desire, contact me at the same email address. Steel Body Workout plans begin at $30.00 a piece. Like Steel Body Workout on Facebook!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Steel Body Workout of the Day

Todays workout focuses on fast pace, body weight exercises. It is a full body workout that should last around 45-50 minutes. This workout is great for losing weight and timing your muscles. If you have any questions about the workout feel free to send me an email at steelestephens@hotmail.com. Also, if you are interested in purchasing a customized Steel Body Workout plan specifically designed to get you the body you desire, contact me at the same email address. Steel Body Workout plans begin at $30.00 a piece. Now, without further ado, let's begin!

STRETCH

Toe touches
- 15 seconds
Groin stretch
- 15 seconds
Quadricep stretch
- 15 seconds
Calve stretch
- 15 seconds
Tricep stretch
- 15 seconds
Shoulder stretch
- 15 seconds
Pectoral stretch
- 15 seconds

ABDOMINAL EXERCISES

Plank
- 45-60 seconds
Crunches
- 50 reps
Flutter kicks
- 50 reps
Side plank
- 30-45 seconds
Side crunches 
- 25-45 reps

UPPER BODY

Normal stance push-ups
- 10-15 reps
Close stance push-ups
- 10-15 reps
Wide stance push-ups
- 10-15 reps
Repeat 3X

LOWER BODY

Squats
- 20-25 reps
Lunges
-20-30 reps
Wall sits
30-45 seconds
Calve raises
30-40 reps
Repeat 3X

Friday, April 4, 2014

Upgrade Directly to Texas A&M

If you don't go to Texas A&M University, then you won't go to as good a college as possible.

If you don't go to as good a college as possible, you won't get as good a job as possible.

If you don't get as good a job as possible, you won't make as much money.

If you don't have enough money, you go broke.

When you go broke you have to find creative ways to make money.

When you have to find creative ways to make money you end up selling your blood plasma in the shady part of town on the wrong side of the train tracks.

When you sell your blood plasma in the shady part of town on the wrong side of the train tracks, you contract blood transmitted diseases from unsanitary needles.

Don't contract blood transmitted diseases from unsanitary needles.

Go to Texas A&M University.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

male vs. Man

I recently had the opportunity to deliver a non-denominational sermon to about 300 boys at a boy scout camp out retreat. I decided to speak about the differences between being a male and a Man. Unfortunately, I had to leave early so I had my friend George Holder read what I had prepared instead. After he had delivered the sermon, he sent me this message.

"Hey man just thought I'd let you know that after I read out your speech today, I had like 4 leaders come up to me whilst tidying camp to say how inspiring it was and how it was the perfect message for their scouts. One even said did I mind if he used it as a model for a speech he could use for something. Either way really good job mate and thought I'd pass back the feedback"

This meant a lot to me as I was worried about how the sermon would be received. Because it seemed to be received so well I would like to share it with all of you. So, here it is!

Good [time of day] everyone. I would like to begin this day with a poem by Rudyard Kipling about manhood.



If you can keep your head when all about you  
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,  
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;  
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;  
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;  
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;  
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,  
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,  
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,  
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,  
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Being a male and being a man are not mutually inclusive. As you go through life it is important to realize that you are born male, but you must earn the title of Man. This is done through your actions. A Man keeps his cool in the face of adversary. A male allows his anger to dictate. When a Man falls down, he faces his failure head on. Eyes bright with determination, he stands up in spite of the odds and tries again. A male sits in the dirt and says, “it wasn’t worth the effort anyway”. A Man risks his heart, his life, and wealth on opportunities that come his way. A male flees from risk and grips his wealth in a white-knuckled grip. A Man is kind to everyone, yet commands respect from even the most powerful of people. A male looks down on those beneath him, and will do anything for those above him. A Man remains strong and healthy physically and mentally. He keeps his body and mind prepared for anything that may come his way. A male allows himself to become sedentary and complacent; he becomes lazy in both body and mind. A male is unprepared when life comes his way and knocks him to the ground. A Man walks to his side, looks down at him, and extends a helping hand his way. There is a story that exemplifies what a Man is perfectly. Thousands of years ago, a man was walking down the road away from his village. Suddenly, he was ambushed by a group of thieves who robbed him and beat him within an inch of his life before leaving him for dead. As the man lay on the side of the road, desperately hoping for help, a rabbi came walking by. Upon seeing the beaten man, the rabbi turned his head the other way and continued on, too busy to stop and help. Next, another man came walking down the road. He too turned his head away from the hurt man and continued on his way. Finally, a Samaritan came walking down the road. Now, at this time, Samaritans were hated. They were seen as immoral, dirty people and the Samaritans new good and well that this was their reputation. As he moved closer, the Samaritan man saw the beaten man. He knew that if their positions had been reversed, he would have received no help. In spite of this, the Samaritan man stopped, helped the beaten man up, took him back into the village, and purchased a room in an inn for the man to stay until he recovered. Please join me in prayer.

Dear God, thank you for this beautiful day for us to enjoy. As we walk through life, please guide us in our words and our actions. Help us remember to live like the Samaritan man did. Help us to control our emotions, take advantage of the opportunities you provide, strengthen our bodies and minds, help people in need no matter what, and never, ever give up. Amen.

Now, go out and earn the title of a Man, men!
Thank you.



Wednesday, March 26, 2014

the Puppeteers

Politicians are all liars
They control like puppeteers
The lighters of all fires
None escape their selfish seer

We the People of this country
Are not a second thought
Power, strength and money
Are all that these men want

Why don’t we speak?
Why don’t we shout?
Because we’re weak
With few ways out

Whats happening
Is Our fault too
So cut Your strings
Let’s fight
Let’s fight
It is our Rights

We stand to Lose

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Bitch of a Glitch

There's an ache in my heart
Something's missing
A glitch
All I know is one thing;
That heartbreak's
A bitch.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Virus X

     I was thirteen when the first Bio-Bombs were dropped on the United States. In what was reported to be the largest, most organized acts of terrorism ever orchestrated, chemical bombs containing an engineered super virus were detonated over twenty five isolated rural towns across the Midwest, ranging from Montana to Oklahoma. It was given the name biogenetic terrorism. The bombs unleashed what is now known as Virus X. This virus was unlike anything the world had ever seen. Once a person was infected, the virus was designed to seek out specific cells in the human body such as blood cells, skin cells, neurons, and so on. When the target cell was found, Virus X attached itself and injected the cell with an engineered genetic material. This “genetic payload”, if you will, wasn’t like other, normal viral infections. It did not use the cell to create more virus nor did it destroy the cell. What it did is much, much more incredible. The genetic payload targeted the DNA itself. It targeted specific DNA sequences and added on, deleted, or rearranged the coding as it was programmed to do. The overall consequence was purposeful DNA mutation.
The human genome had been completely mapped for about thirty years at this point, and scientists knew what every single sequence of DNA was responsible for in the human body. Not only this, but a computer program was created that could perform DNA genome mapping thousands of times faster than anything scientists had used before. Consequently genome of every single known species of life on Earth was mapped out as well. As scientists began to use this knowledge to experiment DNA alterations on voluntary human test subjects the government quickly became weary of these experiments. They deemed them too dangerous to the citizens of U.S. and outlawed any and all research that had anything to do with the altering of DNA, human or animal.
Angry, outraged, and with their lives work down the drain a small fraction of genetic scientists came together and formed Catalyst, a bio-terrorist organization. We were told their goal was to, as the name implies, be the catalyst for the next step in human evolution. They believed that by creating as many genetic mutations as possible, they could create a better human that would take the first step into the great unknown of our specie’s evolution. Catalyst was responsible for the bio-bombs. Reports from the bomb sites portrayed a brutal and disturbing picture of what happened to the people who were contaminated with the Virus X. Reports of people’s skin hardening into bone, their mucus membranes being overproduced so much that they drowned in their own snot, and extreme, rapid aging were just a few of the horrors that the victims apparently suffered. With the fear that the virus would become contagious the government quarantined every infected person in every town. No one was allowed in and no one was allowed out. As a result, all information about these attacks came from press conferences with the government officials that were involved in dealing with the after math.
About eight months after the attacks the news was broadcast out to the population; the terrorist organization Catalyst had been completely destroyed by the military’s efforts. The threat of biogenetic terrorism was gone and the American people could once again live in peace. They were wrong. This is my story.

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http://www.easybib.com

Friday, March 21, 2014

957 Words That Changed My Life

When I applied for Texas A&M University last fall, I fell just short of every acceptance requirement they have. My GPA was a few hundredths of a point too low, my high school grades were mediocre at best, and my academic resume was all together unimpressive. The single factor that gained me my acceptance into A&M, I believe, was my admissions essay. I can't state that as fact unless I were to personally ask the head of admissions himself (and even then I doubt he would have any inkling of a memory of reading my paper), but I truly believe that my "Topic A Essay" saved my ass from another semester living at home. I present to you, my admissions essay to Texas A&M University.


            My name is Steele Stephens and, on paper, I don’t have what I need to get into your university. I know this might not be the best way to start my transfer application essay but it is the honest to God truth. Why don’t I have the proper requirements to get into your school? It is mainly because I have tried to find the easiest ways to get things done for most of my life. Also, I didn’t take high school very seriously. I see now, being a few years older and wiser, that this was a mistake on my part. But, you live and you learn. My problem was that I found it very difficult to stay motivated to learn about subjects that, frankly, I didn’t care about. On the other side of the coin I excelled in the subjects that captured my interests. Now, as a college sophomore wanting to major in Telecommunication Media Studies at Texas A&M’s College of Liberal Arts, I am experiencing the consequences of the actions I made as a younger man. My college GPA is too low and my true accomplishments are not effectively displayed when looking at my “stats” primarily through an academic lens. 
If you look at my cumulative college GPA, you will see it is too low for the acceptance standards for the College of Liberal Arts at Texas A&M, but hear me out. In high school I took dual credit courses, which I’m sure you are familiar with. As I said before, I didn’t take my high school courses very seriously and the dual credit courses were no exception. You see, I was under the impression that all I had to do was pass each dual credit course to get the dual credit. I also believed that both my high school and college GPA would be unaffected as long as I passed.  So, naturally, I made C’s in every dual credit course I took. What I didn’t realize, however, is that if I went to the community college that the dual credit courses were associated with then the letter grades from those courses would transfer over and be calculated into my cumulative college GPA. This, coincidentally, is exactly what ended up happening. In short, if I hadn’t taken dual credit courses in high school my current GPA would be a 3.231. However, as it is, all those C’s I acquired in my dual credit courses have dragged that number down to a 2.737.
            The second point I would like to address is this; my true accomplishments have occurred outside of the academic arena. The most notable of these include completing a solo flight in a Cessna 172 at the age of 16, obtaining my private pilot’s license at the age of 19, as well as the creation and ongoing success of four entrepreneurial ventures. While I may not have thrived in a classroom environment, my intelligence and discipline can be seen in the activities that actually captured my interests. It was hard for me to sit down and attempt to learn about the symbolism seen in Charles Dickens’ description of Miss Havisham’s wedding dress. But, when I sat down to learn how to fly a cross country flight using only VOR navigation techniques I soaked in the information like a sponge. It was difficult for me to comprehend and apply the seemingly random formulas I was presented with in my math classes without any instruction as to their application in the real world. However, when I needed to figure out where to set the prices of my vinyl record resale business in order to make a profit I was able to calculate it up without a hitch. Practical knowledge is my forte. If I can use it in real life, I take it and run with it. It is for this reason that I believe a degree in Telecommunication Media Studies would be ideal for me. Through studying the practical aspects of human communication I would gain a skill set that would help me in a multitude of careers. I believe that effective communication is one of the most valuable skills a person can have. Everyone communicates. If you can learn to do it well, not only will people be more inclined to like you, but they will want to listen to what you have to say as well. This is something that is essential for success in sales, management, journalism, education, politics, television; you name it. I believe my intelligence is not displayed in my ability to memorize and regurgitate massive amounts of information, but in my ability to retain practical knowledge and to problem solve using it creatively. The learning atmosphere in college has shown itself to present massive amounts of practical knowledge and to truly encourage creativity. Because of this my academic success has improved exponentially. I believe it will continue to do so.

            In conclusion, a degree in Telecommunication Media Studies, I believe, would be the ideal degree for me. But, my intelligence and potential are not portrayed accurately when observing my accomplishments through a purely academic standpoint. My cumulative college GPA is too low.  There is no doubt about that. However, I respectfully ask that you take a step back. You will see the grades I have made while actually attending a college do indeed meet the acceptance standards for the College of Liberal Arts. On paper, I may not appear to be an academically intelligent individual or to have much potential in such a prestigious university as Texas A&M. If I may, I humbly request that you look up from that paper and fix your focus on my life. I believe you will see a very different kind of man.

Around Around Around the Sun

Sunlight crowns
This planet's ground
With ups and downs
Happy sounds
Angry frowns
And coming 'rounds
Love is drowned
But then rebounds
True life is found
As the sun goes down

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Treasure Ranch

    My childhood summers were unique. Instead of staying home, bored and restless, only to have that boredom interrupted by a week of vacation to some stereotypical, over-crowded, tourist trap vacation destination before heading back to bored restlessness like all my friends had to endure, my family stayed on our family ranch in Montana for up to two months at a time. Now, I’m not talking some “ranch” with a cow and a few four wheelers where we could go play Little House on the Prairie. Oh no, this is a real, working ranch. Yes we do have four wheelers and a cow. But not just one cow. Our family ranch is home to eight hundred head of cattle situated on eight thousand acres of land smack dab on the banks of the Yellowstone River. I don’t mean to brag, because that would be abrasive. Plus, it’s no bragging matter. My father inherited the land from his mother, who inherited it from her father, my great grandfather. That guy has the bragging rights, but he’s dead, so is my grandma, so now we have a ranch. One lazy summer day, my dad, my brother and I are sitting around the old TV watching John Wayne movies (my dad loves John Wayne) when we hear a knock at the front door; which is weird because we live fifteen miles from town and almost never have any unsolicited visitors.
            “Steele, can you get the door please?” My dad says.
            I say yes, get up, and open the old creaky door. The man that stands before me looks like something out of a bad movie set in the 60’s. He stands about six foot even with greasy hair falling limply down to his shoulders. The man wears khaki cargo pants and an old button down plaid t-shirt that barely covers his beer belly. He is holding an odd devise made of copper. The copper device is shaped into a 90 degree angle and is connected by wires to a battery pack in his pocket. In the man’s other arm is an old beat up metal detector.
            “Uh, hi sir, how can I help you?” I ask hesitantly.
            “Hi buddy, is your dad hear? I have reason to believe that there is a significant sum of buried gold treasure on your property and I mean to find it.” He replies in a thick mid-western accent (think Fargo).
            I say ya and go get my dad. My dad invites him in and we all sit at the kitchen table to talk. The man says he is a treasure hunter and has invented a new type of technology that can triangulate the approximate location of large sums of gold using their natural molecular frequencies. He explains that his device has pointed him to our property, which makes sense to him because, after he had done some research, he had found out that our property was home to a Crowe Indian Agency back in the 1800s (that part is actually true). He tells us how he hypothesizes that some thieving Indians had once stolen a large amount of gold from the agency and had possibly buried it in the hills of our property to hide it but had never come back to get it.
            “So . . . how much gold are we talking about here?” My dad asks skeptically.
            “Well sir . . . based upon the amount of material that is needed to allow my device to work, as well as todays gold prices per ounce, I would estimate about . . . $130 million worth.” He replies.
            Our jaws drop. My dad tells the man that he needs a minute to discuss this information with his sons and beckons my brother and I into the next room.
            “What do you boys think?” My dad asks.
            “I don’t know dad,” I say, “he seems a little weird. I’m pretty skeptical.”
            “Ya I don’t know Dad, I don’t think that he’s for real,” my brother agrees.
            “I don’t know, men, that’s a shit ton of gold! And even if he’s weird there’s a chance he could be right. Stranger things have happened. And if not, we’ll have a great story to tell! I say we give him a chance.” My dad suggests.
            It is decided. We walk back into the room and tell the odd man (named Bob it turns out) that we will give him permission to search our land for the buried gold and that we will even help him try to find it. My dad and Bob write up a make-shift contract (with my attorney grandpa on the phone to make it “official”) that says “should any gold be found, the profit will be split 50/50 between Rob (my dad) and Bob.”
            We all pile into the old ranch SUV and drive Bob to the location on our property where he thinks the buried treasure may be. We stop the vehicle in a gully in the hilly part of the ranch. Bob hops out with his weird device and starts slowly walking back and forth around the hills, holding his copper instrument directly out in front of him. Occasionally his copper piece curiously turns in towards his left hand. He stops and sticks a small red marking flag in the ground, walks a few hundred more feet, sticks another marking flag in the ground, and so on. We watch from inside of the SUV wondering what he could possibly be figuring out.  At one point, a golden eagle circles over head in the hot summer sun. Bob sees this and completely loses his shit. He runs back to the car and exclaims,
            “That is a good sign you guys, that is a really good sign!”
            “What is?” my little brother asks.
            “The Golden Eagle of course!” Bob shouts.
            My dad, brother and I exchange looks as Bob begins walking around with his weird instrument again. We sit in the hot car for another hour, bored out of our minds. Then, Bob lets out a whoop. He marks a place in the hill with a big green marking flag and runs back to the car.
            “I need a backhoe,” he informs my dad excitedly.
            “Okay I’ll go get it and drive it on over!” My dad says, “you think you found the spot?!” He adds, excitement growing in his voice despite his best attempts to keep it down.
            “Oooh yes sir!” Bob replies with a grin.
            That’s all my dad needs to hear. He starts the car, slams it into drive and floors it back to the barn to get the backhoe. Now, despite our initial skepticism, we are all getting really excited. My dad pulls into the barn, sprints to the backhoe, turns it on and speeds back to the hills, my brother and I following behind in the SUV. Now, our backhoe is only a few years younger than my dad so it takes an hour to navigate the 2 miles back to the dig sight. Finally after a couple of near tips, the backhoe makes it to the spot where Bob is waiting, more excited than a schoolboy on the first day of summer. My dad starts digging. He gets five feet down; nothing. Ten feet down; nothing. Five more feet down; nothing. Then . . .
            “STOP!” Bob screams.
            My dad stops the backhoe and hops out excitedly. Bob is already down in the hole with his beat up old metal detector. He scans the hole, mumbling to himself. The detector remains silent. He scans it again; still no sound comes forth from the detector. He scans the hole three more times; each time not a sound is heard. He climbs out of it with a defeated look in his eyes and says,
            “I think I may need to reconfigure my technology.”
            “I’m guessing there’s nothing there?” My dad asks.
            “Oh no, there could still be some gold on your property, just not right here. I’ll reconfigure my device and call you back in a week or two,” Bob assures us.
            We drive Bob back to the house. He packs his equipment up in an old Subaru Outback and drives away.
            We never did hear back from Bob The Treasure Hunter. I think it’s because he realized his “technology” was nothing more than a useless piece of copper connected to a battery pack. But my dad has a different theory. To this day he thinks that Bob actually did find something that hot summer day in July and lied to us so that he could come back later and get all the gold for himself. Seeing as he no longer lives where he said he did and we haven’t heard from him since, that theory isn’t totally out of the realm of possibility (even if  it is highly unlikely). But, who knows, maybe ole’ Bob is sitting on a beach somewhere in Mexico right now, sipping a piña colada, living the good life with  $130 million worth of buried treasure he stole from some suckers up north. I guess we’ll never know.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Unsolicited Wisdom from a Twenty Year Old

I'm twenty years old and what that means is I have lived long enough to have gained some worldly wisdom but I haven't lived long enough for anyone to take it seriously. But, fortunately, I don't really care if anyone takes it seriously so I'm going to share some of my wisdom with you right now. Life is a bitch. If you think you are living your life, you're delusional. The fact of the matter is life lives through you. And sometimes life is going to put you through hell, just for the hell of it. When that happens do not feel sorry for yourself. Stand up straight, look straight ahead, and keep living. Pray for the best, prepare for the worst, and work with what you get. Simple as that.

Lost in the Red Sand: Part 4

Adrenaline flooded the man’s body. He was now in complete battle mode. The next hunter’s pale blonde Mohawk peaked over the top of the edge of the cave. The man was ready. He crouched down in the darkest part of the cave and watched as it scrambled up over the ledge. Upon seeing its fallen companion, the Hunter began yelling down to the others in its gravelly strange language. The sound of hastened climbing reached the man’s ears. The next hunter heaved itself up over the edge of the cave. The man knew he had to react quickly before the other two hunters made it up as well. Gripping the first hunter’s mace-axe, the man burst out of hiding with a roar. The two hunters saw the man and scrambled to adopt fighting stances. This time the man charged. Sprinting towards them, he hurled the mace-axe directly in between the two with all his strength. The hunter on the left was quick and managed to duck out of the way of the projectile. The hunter on the right was not. The braided chord holding the axe and the metal ball together wrapped itself around the creature’s neck. The momentum of the steel ball carried it on further passed the hunter’s neck. When the chord it was attached to came to its full length, the sphere was forced into a u-turn and buried itself in the creature’s face with a sickening crunch. It collapsed and fell over the edge of the cave’s entrance. 
The man slowed his run and faced the other hunter. Their eyes met and it snarled at the man, baring its teeth. The man quickly stooped down grabbing a handful of red sand. Before the hunter could react he flung the dirt into its angry eyes, blinding it. The hunter grunted and began back pedaling deeper into the cave. He rushed the disoriented creature and tackled it to the ground. Unable to get to his knife, the man unwound some of the utility chord he had wrapped around his hand earlier that day and began strangling the hunter. It kicked and grabbed at the man’s face as he pulled the chord as tight as he could around the hunter’s neck. It slowly grew still as its attempts to breath became more infrequent. At last, the creature died. The man crawled out from under the hunter’s body and immediately looked towards the entrance of the cave. The head of the fourth hunter had just appeared over the edge. The man, scrambling to his feet, took off in a sprint towards it. The hunter, seeing him coming, hastened his attempt to pull himself up. The man was there before it could. He kicked the hunter in the head with all his might hoping to knock it off the edge. As the full force of his kick buried itself into the hunter’s eye socket, a snapping sound, followed by excruciating pain emanated up from the man’s foot. There was no question, his foot was broken. The hunter went lip and dropped pathetically to the ground below. The pain in the man’s foot bit at his mind like a white hot knife, his vision going blurry and his head spinning. Hopping on one foot to maintain balance, the man landed on a small rock, causing his ankle to twist. There was nothing the man could do other than scream as he fell the edge of the cliff. 
The ground rushed up towards him, then, about half way down, he hit a ledge on the cliff face causing the world to tumble around him. The man landed with a thud, flat on his back, the wind rushing from his lungs, directly next to the two hunters he had just killed. He lay there for a moment attempting to regain his ability to breath. As he gasped like a fish out of water, the man desperately scanned the area around him for the fifth hunter. It was nowhere to be seen. The man gradually managed to take in a little bit more air with each successive breath and finally he sat up. He could see the hunter’s steeds off to the right. The odd reflective orb lay shining in the sand to his left. All five animals were still tied to their stakes which meant the fifth hunter was still there, waiting for its chance to attack. The man stood up, trudging away from the side of the cliff with a heavy limp as his head whipped back and forth, searching for danger. The seconds ticked by as he grew more and more anxious. Finally, he lost it.
“Where are you?! Come on out you little shit! I’ll kill you just like I killed all your little friends!” He hollered furiously.
Silence answered him; the kind of silence that can only be experienced in the middle of a hot, dry desert landscape. Then; the shuffling sound of something running in the sand. The man spun around and came face to face with fifth hunter. Before he could even raise his hands to defend himself, the metal ball from the hunter’s mace-axe smashed into the side of the his head. Every color the man could see burst into a molten shower of pure white light which was instantaneously replaced by deep, dark, blackness. He was unconscious before he even hit the ground.


Monday, March 3, 2014

Why?

INT. LIVING ROOM

Owen and Steele sit on either end of the couch slouched back into the cushions with their feet propped up on the coffee table in front of them. They are watching TV. A Calvin Klein commercial comes onto the TV screen. Owen and Steele watch the commercial in silence. As the ad ends, Steele’s eyebrow raises skeptically.

STEELE
Dude, why is fashion even important?

OWEN
Because we all want to look good.

STEELE
          Why?

OWEN
          Because we want to attract the ladies.

STEELE
          Why?

OWEN
          Because we want to get laid!

STEELE
          Why?

OWEN
         
Because it feels good!

STEELE
          Why?

OWEN
Because the signals our nerve endings in our junk send to our brains while we’re doing it say so.

STEELE
          Why?

OWEN
Because that’s how our brains are wired to respond to that kind of physical stimulation.

 STEELE
          Why?

OWEN
          Because we want to bust a nut!

 STEELE
          Why?

OWEN
Well, if you follow it out to its logical conclusion it’s so that we can reproduce.

STEELE
          Why?

OWEN
          So that more people will be on Earth.

STEELE
          Why?

OWEN
Because we want the human species to remain strong.

STEELE
          Why?

OWEN
Because it’s biologically engrained into our DNA.

STEELE
          Why?

OWEN
Because if it wasn’t you and I probably wouldn’t be having this conversation right now.

STEELE
          Why?

OWEN
Because there would have been no drive for our ancestors to procreate, thus, without the biological incentive of pleasure associated with the reproductive process, every single one of our ancestors, all the way to our parents, would have been significantly less likely to procreate and, consequently, the statistical likelihood of either one of us existing under this hypothetical circumstance is phenomenally low.

STEELE
          Why?

OWEN
Because if you negate the inherent biological drive to reproduce for the sake of reproducing, the factors that would play into two people deciding to engage in procreation would be far less circumstantially common and would most likely vary between each and every individual. Our family trees consist of hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of individuals before us who all decided to, or accidently, procreate due to the afore mentioned inherent biological drive to reproduce that is sequenced within the DNA of every single cell of every single one of our ancestors. Without this, the millions of people that came before us would have all had to decide to reproduce based upon other, less common, factors. Not only this, but every single one of our millions of ancestors would have had to choose to engage in sexual reproduction with the exact same partners, at nearly the exact same times, and in nearly the exact same ways to pass along the exact same sperms to the exact same eggs all the way until they created the exact same people who we are today. Those same factors, and more, would all have to occur in nearly the  exact same ways for every single one our millions of ancestors and for our ancestors’ ancestors and for our ancestors’ ancestors’ ancestors and so one and so forth until we get all the back to the two original people.

STEELE
          Oh, that makes sense.

OWEN
          Why do you ask?

 STEELE
          I don’t know why I asked. Why do you ask?

OWEN
I don’t know why I asked. Why do you ask why I asked?

STEELE
I don’t know why I asked. Why did you ask “why do you ask why I asked”.

OWEN
I don’t know why I asked you “why do you ask why I asked”.

STEELE
          Why?

OWEN

          F—[bleep] you.
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