[REPOST (July 2013)] The Beer Fueled Poker Game that Almost Got Me Fired (Part 2 of 3)

This post originally appeared on LandmanLife.com in July of 2013. It has been very slightly edited to correct some grammatical errors and add a few minor details that were left out of the original story. Obviously the names of those people involved have been changed for their own sake…but I’m pretty sure anyone that knows these guys won’t have a hard time figuring out who’s who.

If you have not read The Beer Fueled Poker Game that Almost Got Me Fired Part 1 yet, go ahead and get that out of the way before proceeding. Enjoy your weekend everybody, and remember…when you’re on a road trip to nowhere, there’s always time for one more beer…


As I got out of bed and tried to shake off the hungover/still drunk feeling from the night before I called a couple of my coworkers trying to figure out what had happened, but no one answered. Since I was already worried about [primary broker’s name] being in town and the disturbing call I had just received, I naturally assumed that the people I couldn’t get to answer their phones were already at the office, ready for the impending firing squad. Being the last person there when [primary broker] was in town just doesn’t sound like it would be good for my job security so I rushed through a quick shower, hoping it would clean off the smell of sweat. I hurriedly dried off, got dressed, and hauled ass to the office. Lucky for me the cops in town only cared about big rigs running the stoplight (yes, THE stoplight). As I blasted through that red light I waved at the police cruiser parked on the other side of the intersection.

via GIPHY

Passing the gas station we always stopped at for beer after work each afternoon meant I was almost there, told you the hotel was close, right? A left turn, two stopsigns (that I rolled through) and a right turn later, I was in front of the office. It wasn’t a good sign that none of my coworkers who had gone out the night before were at the office, maybe I didn’t need to rush so much to get there after all? Nobody wants to be last, but it is also not a good idea to be the first person through the door…that guy always gets shot. Two of the older guys were outside smoking cigarettes and I tried to chat them up about why [primary broker] was coming in, they both kept it short just saying “I don’t know what you kids did last night, but he’s pissed as hell.” Not something you want to hear in the morning on a Friday, especially if you blacked out the night before. That statement also made it pretty clear that whatever the problem was, my buddies and possibly myself had been involved. Fuck.

The Office

Heading inside to our tiny office I first turned left into the “old farts” room to see who else was there. Our crew chief and two other older landmen were at their desks, and they all gave me a weird look as I walked in. At the time I don’t think the term “throwing shade” was a thing, but that’s exactly what they were doing. Trying to act normal is so much harder when you don’t know WHY you should feel guilty, but I did my best to pull it off. Obviously I didn’t want to straight up ask our crew chief what was going on if I was somehow implicated in the situation so I just kept to the normal bullshit. He was the definition of excellence, at least if you asked him. To most people he was a weird old liberal hippy man that wore slippers with socks, had a remarkably persistent dip spit stain running down his chin and through his scraggly white beard, wore women’s glasses, and had a pierced ear. To us, he was just an annoyingly aloof crew chief. He actually told me once that his instructions were, “intentionally vague.” I guess that means he was covering his ass by not actually telling me to do anything? Still not sure.

After a few minutes of that I left their side of the office and went to the “young guns” side where my desk was, sat down in my piece of shit rolling chair, and wondered how I was going to make myself look busy. I tidied up my desk, organized some papers and folders, and put a couple of miscellaneous documents into my file folder. Between the two sides of our office was a small hallway that had most of our office supplies, a seldom used microwave, and a small fridge that (usually) had beer in it. As I glanced at the fridge I had the fleeting thought that it might be a good idea to make sure there weren’t any beers in there when the owner was coming in. Then I imagined him walking in while I was pulling a handful of beers out of the fridge…and I decided that it wasn’t my problem because it wasn’t my beer, as far as I could remember.

Since I was the most recent hire onto the crew I got shafted on my desk location and had my back facing the door at the very front of the room. Looking busy was a pretty important part of my every day routine. I pulled up our runsheet form and figured I’d go ahead and type up some of the labels I would need next week. Then, all together, my coworker buddies strolled into the office looking guilty, tired, and hungover, but trying their best (as I did) to appear normal on this far from normal Friday at the office. You could cut the awkward tension with a slow motion Austin Powers judo chop. As they all tried to do the really forced small talk dance with our crew chief I resisted the temptation to turn around and ask what the fuck had happened last night.

via Gfycat

I waited for them to finish saying that awkward charade with the guys on the other side of the office, but once they came into our side and sat down I started (quietly) asking what had gone on the night before. The look on their faces got me even more concerned than the fact that they wouldn’t say anything about it. “Nothing, shuts. Don’t talk about it,” was the only response I could get. That was pretty irritating, but I understood they didn’t want to be spreading the word about whatever they had done…all I really wanted to know was what I might have been involved with…or if I was involved at all, really. They made it clear that it was a united front to stay silent…so I waited. After a couple of minutes of silence while the tension seemed to slowly build, the owner walked in. Let me correct myself, the owner STORMED in.

The Hurricane Makes Landfall

Let me set the stage by sharing some information about the owner of our company; he was about 5’4, weighed probably 110lbs, had an absurdly large mustache, always wore a (usually cowboy) hat to cover his nearly bald head, wore glasses, and always had on a button down shirt tucked in with jeans and nice boots. Not generally an intimidating persona, but he had a Napoleonic complex to rival the best of the small men out there and loved nothing more than to rip someone’s head off just to prove he had some small amount of power over them and an equally small penis. This morning he was obviously not in the mood for any bullshit, he slammed the door and very loudly stated he wanted everyone to be in (our side) of the office in 2 minutes. Well, at least I was finally about to find out what happened last night. It took about 30 seconds for everyone to assemble in our side of the office…since it was all of 20 feet away. I think that was the only time I had ever seen everyone on our crew at the office at the same time.

We were all sitting there anxiously waiting to see what the owner had to say. He walked in, dramatically paced around for a minute, then pointed his finger and wagged it around at everyone in the room. “You people do realize that MY name is the FIRST name of this COMPANY name, right? I’M FIRST FUCKING NAME!” I figured that was a rhetorical question so the little smartass voice inside me decided to stay quiet for once. “I understand my partner started this project here, but hasn’t done shit since then. Well that’s over, because I’m now taking control since you dumbasses are fucking up and MY name is on it. When I fucking tell ya’ll to do something, you don’t question me, you fucking do it! Understand!?” Crystal fucking clear, Mr. First Name. Please proceed. He did…

“Now that we have that over with, we can address the incident that happened last night. Let me assure each and every one of you that this will NOT happen again! I hope you all understand what I mean. If you guys think you can go around doing whatever the fuck you want, drinking beer and screwing off, and it won’t cost you this job, think again. If this ever happens again I’m not going to bother asking any questions, I’ll just tell anyone involved to get their walking papers and get the fuck out. I hope you understand how serious I am right now, if you want to test me go ahead, you won’t like the outcome. Now, I need to speak privately with Motorboat, Chatterbox, Partyboy, and Racy, unless anyone else was involved??? Everyone else is free to go back to work.” He stood there glowering at everyone until people started awkwardly shuffling out of the office.

As I got up and started walking outside, I glanced over my shoulder at Motorboat, Chatterbox, Partyboy, and Racy. They looked grim faced as they stayed huddled in the corner of the room. Well, I guess I dodged that bullet, but my landman buddies obviously didn’t. I still had no idea what had gone down the night before, but was glad to be off the hook at least. [Primary broker] huffed as he paced around the room waiting for everyone else to go outside. It didn’t look like it was going to be pretty…

End of Part 2


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You Might be a Little Crazy if…

Crazy shit people file in the County Clerk’s office

We’ve all been there…sitting at the computer or standing at a desk looking through an old deed book in the County Clerk’s office, and you come across a probate (typically where you find the crazy shit) that has something…odd in it. Maybe it’s a little racist (or sometimes A LOT racist), perhaps it’s something amusing but not that offensive, or maybe it’s offensive in every sense of the word…regardless, crazy people have been filing shit like this in County Clerk’s offices all over the country for as long as we have had Deed Records. Most of us have seen some of the really old deeds that convey slaves with the property. It was a different time with a different culture back then, but the crazies are still out there today…filing whatever madness they can get away with.

In Gonzales, Texas I came across a Last Will & Testament from a young gentleman in the 20s that had been declared invalid, so his will actually had no legal standing on his estate, but he was insistent that he was NOT CRAZY. Then he tried to leave the entirety of his estate to some of his imaginary friends and his cat. Next time I pass through there I’ll need to look it up and get a copy to share with you. Over the better part of the past decade since I first started LandmanLife, community contributions have been encouraged. So far no one has given me any money, but I’ve gotten some funny stories (lost most of them), and a couple entertaining PDFs with some of the crazy shit people have found in Deed Records. Today I’d like to share a couple of those contributions with you…


First up is a page from Edward Daskam’s probate which looks like it was filed in Washington County, Michigan. I apologize for the low quality image, whoever sent this to me just took a photo of the computer screen…I did my best to make it easier to read.

Please take note of Articles Seven and Nine…

“Seventh: So there will be no misunderstanding among those concerned, although I have nothing. much to give, devise or bequeath, in the event I should be the owner of any property to me unknown or should any property accrue to me by virtue of any unforeseen event, litigation or otherwise, I wish the fact to go on record that my son Thomas E. Daskam has already received his full share of any property I might have had or now have and more, he got it while the getting was good. Under no circumstances shall he receive another cent. The same thing is true of my daughter Mary L. Hartung and other than the dollar above mentioned, she shall under no circumstances receive another cent.”

“Ninth: To my enemies I give the sum of one dollar to buy a rope to hang themselves. To my friends I give my best regards.”

The Last Will & Testament of Edward Daskam

Sounds like the kind of crusty old bastard you’d get to sign a lease by bringing a six pack of Schlitz malt liquor and a carton of Marlboro Reds, so long as the lease specifically stated that Thomas and Mary would never get another cent if old Edward were to perish from old age or general bitterness. Also, was the one dollar intended to be an undivided interest amongst all of his enemies, or would that be one dollar to each of them individually as their sole and separate property? Only wondering because it sounds like the guy might have had quite a few people that could claim under that Article…


Next up we have one of my all time favorites from the Last Will & Testament of Charles Butorajac (no fucking clue how to pronounce that) from the Township of…Ligonier? In Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. I’m not sure if 27 inches is regular size or what for an alligator skull but I find it to be oddly specific and it makes me wonder how many other alligator skulls this dude had, maybe I should track down the heirs of Robert Pitler to see if they still have the alligator skull so I can get a photo. I have to say, I appreciate the open endedness of this guys’ gifts in items A through E, and love the fact that he wants all of his items gathered and displayed in one room for each person to make a single selection, the only way he could have made it more fun is if they had to be blindfolded and drunk while making those selections…

You should look up Robert Shamey of 106 Timberline Drive, clearly he was a well known man around town..

“To Robert Shamey of 106 Timberline Drive…for being an arrogant, ignorant, lying, cheating, two faced hypocrite with a warped sense of values, for that you get 1 cent (one penny) to go hell, FUCK YOU Bob Shamey.”

The Last Will & Testament of Charles Butorajac

You have to commend the dedication to his grudge, even after his death he’s still flipping the bird to Bob Shamey. Kind of makes me wonder, did Marvin Heemeyer ever file anything before going all Killdozer on that town in Colorado? Also, do you think that these people are actually crazy, or just really know how to hold a grudge? Props to the attorneys and county clerk people involved with the drafting and recording of these crazy last wishes because I wouldn’t want to tell Charles Butorajac that he should be nice to Bob Shamey…plus I’m pretty sure everyone in town knew the guy was an asshole.


Next up we have quite a few documents filed by a legit crazy person named Frank V. Fisher out of Wetzel County, West Virginia. So I just have to say…anyone that’s not from West Virginia thinks that everyone from West Virginia is either a coal miner/hillbilly/redneck/or one of the crazy people from Deliverance (which was NOT in West Virginia, mind you)…sorry Metalhead, it’s just one of those facts of life. I have passed through West Virginia on a couple of occasions, and while it is beautiful landscape, the places that I happened to stop for gas or food left me with a distinct impression. Walking into a gas station and realizing that out of the 20 or so people inside, you are THE ONLY person not wearing a camo jumpsuit, and everyone is staring at you…that’s an experience not likely to be forgotten. I hope some crazy cult doesn’t come after me for posting this shit because it is next level crazy, and I’m not going to attempt to transcribe any of this because you just have to read it for yourselves. Also…if Orange Energy Consultants couldn’t find me to deliver that cease and desist letter (thanks TitleNazi, I always knew that fucker was a liability), I’m fairly confident that West Virginia cultists aren’t going to have any more luck…

Frank, meet Jack…

If you’re reading this and have some crazy shit that you’ve come across in a deed room somewhere, please share it with us for the next post. Send a message to me, or post something on the forums. I no longer have access to the LandmanLife page on Facebook (long story), so postings there will not actually get to me. A note to Metalhead, tell your buddy that I want to hear more about the dude who slaughtered the goat in his living room on the dirt floor…sounds like a good story. Have his people reach out to my people and we’ll make something happen. Thanks for reading, and remember…

When you’re on a road trip to nowhere, there’s always time for one more beer…

LandmanLife, est. 2010

Gear Guide – Landman EDC (every day carry)

We’ve all seen the landman that walks into the courthouse and starts unpacking a back page full of gear, taking up far more room than necessary to get all his gadgets set up. This is by no means a comprehensive guide of what to keep in your bag, just an overview of the essentials that I have found make my job easier. Over the years I have gone through a couple of different work bags, alternating between the “carry all the gear you could ever need” and “carry only what you need” mentality. Regardless of which mentality I walk out the door with, I always have a couple of standard items in my bag.

We have all been through the trip to Walmart/Target/Office Max where you have one specific item that you need, but end up finding tons of things that you MIGHT need at some point. Those things will probably end up in your gear bag, suitcase, on your desk, and eventually in a drawer or box somewhere waiting to be thrown out. Every once in awhile you come across something that works great for a specific task or purpose, and it becomes part of your regular gear bag. Everything I have listed below falls into that category for me. Some people can get their work done with just a legal pad and a pen, others carry a backpack full of everything you need to survive the Zombiepocalypse. Our workflows and the tools we use are all different even if we are doing the same job.

The links to any gear below are from the Amazon Affiliates program and LandmanLife will receive a small commission from any sales resulting from those links. We don’t collect any of your personal information, but those commissions will help offset the cost of operating the site. None of these items were given to me for promotional purposes, they were all purchased over the course of my career as a landman. If you are interested in any of these products, please use the links provided.

Bag & Laptop

  • Current bag: Hartmann soft briefcase that I got from a Hartmann store many years ago. I cannot locate this bag for sale anywhere online or I would provide a link, because it has held up remarkably well to every day use and travel around the world as well. Having a smaller sized bag helps me to keep my gear limited to the actual essentials, but there are enough pockets in this bag to stuff far more gear than I would need on a day to day basis.
  • Laptop: currently a 2016 13in MacBook Pro (16gb RAM and 500gb SSD), I have been a “Mac guy” since college and I absolutely prefer using MacOS over Windows. There are occasions that I have to use Windows however (NetDeedPlotter, ArcGIS, Microsoft Access, Forms-On-A-Disk) so I always have a Bootcamp partition installed on my Mac. That allows me to boot into Windows when necessary, although Windows always gets pissy when I do that (f’n updates, STOP THE MADNESS), and I also have Parallels Desktop for when it’s only a quick trip to Windows hell. Anything else that I need to use for work can be done just fine on a Mac. I recently had to get the keyboard replaced on this machine due to a broken spacebar, which is covered under the Apple Keyboard Replacement Program. If you are in the market for a new MacBook I would recommend waiting until they release a redesigned model that does not have a keyboard with the butterfly mechanisms. If you are needing to purchase a new computer now, I would recommend looking at Apple refurbished ones first, and if that does not meet your needs you should check out Amazon’s listings. Apple MacBook Pro (13″ Retina, Touch Bar, 2.4GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD) – Space Gray (Latest Model)

Tech


Power

  • Charging cables: (always have a backup too), any brand works and they will all wear out or break eventually, but Anker is my brand of choice for any cables I need. They have good product guarantees and are always among the cheapest brand you can find.
  • Battery packs: Most times I carry the Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD ($130) and know that no matter what I need to charge, it has me covered. The thing can give me a couple of extra hours on my MacBook Pro or can give me literally days of charges for my phone. This battery is also TSA compliant (yes that’s a thing now) and can fast charge most newer Apple or Android products when using the proper cables. We gave this battery to my father in law for Christmas last year because he also uses a 13in MacBook Pro for photo editing and frequently travels, he swears by this battery for being able to get photos touched up while he’s on airplanes or sitting in airports.
  • ****On occasion I will also have a smaller capacity battery pack if I might need to be more mobile, for that reason I love the Jackery Bolt 6000mAh battery ($30) because it has built in cables for both Apple and (older) Android devices. Anyone with an Android phone that uses USB C will need to look elsewhere, because the cable on this is Micro USB. It works great and is small enough that I can stick it in a jacket pocket (or the wife’s purse if she’s not paying attention).

Phones/Headphones

  • Phones: iPhone XS on Verizon and Pixel 3A on GoogleFi. The iPhone is my personal and main line, unlimited data (costs a f’n fortune) and the Pixel is my strictly business line. It’s common for me to be in areas where Verizon does not have service, and since GoogleFi automatically switches between Sprint/T-Mobile/US Cellular, I have a good chance of getting SOME service if there is any to be found at all. Add the cell phone booster in my truck and I can stay connected most of the time. I usually have my iPhone in an Apple Smart Battery Case when I am on the road, so that I know I won’t have to plug it in to charge no matter how many photos or phone calls I happen to take/make. (Some of the photos of my iPhone have an inadvertent shoutout to @dog_feelings which is absolutely worth a follow on Twitter)
  • Headphones: These days I’m rocking Apple Airpods ($145), because they are great and that’s what everyone else is using anyways…being able to use one AirPod while on the phone has become part of my regular workflow. The charging case keeps these charged for a couple of days with intermittent use, and since it uses the same lightning charging cable as my other iOS devices I always have a cable on hand to top off the battery.

Storage

  • USB flash drives: of various capacities and file formats, if your computer has USB C I would recommend this 128gb flash drive on Amazon that has USB C and USB A for $23, it will make things much easier when you have to move a file to someone else’s computer that does not have USB C.
  • Portable SSD(s): Currently I have two portable SSDs, and I try not to have both of them in my bag at the same time so that there is (some) redundancy in my backups. I attempt to be diligent with my backup procedure but it honestly is hit or miss. Copying all of my photo library, my downloads and documents folders, and backing up my work files takes about 30 minutes and I have a recurring alarm set on my calendar to do it once a week…but we all know how that goes, right? Both of the drives I carry are USB C (faster transfer speeds), the first is a 500gb Samsung T5 drive for $90 and also a 1tb G-Technology SSD drive for $195 which is large enough for me to keep multiple backups for additional redundancy. Data hoarding is something I will admit too…I hate deleting files unless I am certain that I have a backup somewhere, because a week after you delete it, for some reason you’re going to need it.

Hubs/Misc

  • Since my MacBook Pro only has USB C connections I have carried a lot of dongles, adapters, and other cables to ensure I can plug in whatever peripherals I need for work. Then I bought a USB C hub ($45) that has all the connections I need (3 usb a ports, ethernet, hdmi, sd card reader, and a usb c power delivery port) and cut down on all the small connectors/dongles/cables in my gear back.
  • Smart Tracker: Because, as you can see, I have a lot of tech in my bag, I like to make sure it doesn’t walk off without me when I happen to be off making copies or in the other room pulling a book. Since my phone stays with me most of the time, using a Tile smart tracker helps me to make sure my bag doesn’t disappear as I’m preoccupied.

Note Taking

  • Travel Journal: I always have one of these in my truck, in my gear bag, on my desk, and sometimes in my back pocket. Keeping one on hand makes sure that I don’t miss details when I get a call from a landowner or colleague and they need to keep things brief. My wife gets irritated that I have so many of these laying around, but keeping track of details is part of the job.
  • Notepad: Essential landman gear no matter how old school you are (yellow, legal is preferable but I have accumulated a large backlog of regular letter sized pads that I routinely try to go through). These can be recycled for new projects (rip out the pages that went to the old project, save them if you want…I usually don’t). Amazon has 12 packs of yellow legal pads for $10 if you need to restock.
  • Pens: You can’t write anything without a pen, and having a nice pen can make your days a hell of a lot easier to get through. The cheap erasable pens write like crap, so do yourself a favor and have at least one nice pen in your gear bag. Your writing hand will thank you. My personal favorite (which you can find at most grocery stores, dollar stores, etc is the Pilot Dr. Grip Gel pen. It holds well in my (big) hands and writes consistently, plus it has a solid click if you’re a habitual fidgeter.

Misc

  • Checkbook: because most County Clerks offices still don’t accept plastic and I don’t always have cash on hand.
  • Legal sized file carrier: This is absolutely essential gear for any landman. It keeps documents safe, organized, and can hold your notary book and stamp so you always have them handy. I cannot remember where I found this originally, it’s seen a lot of miles and is still somewhat functional. I think I found it in a Staples back in 2010. The chew marks give it character and remind me of when my dog was just a puppy, but the pull tight fasteners have lost all of their elasticity and barely function at this point. It still serves its purpose though.
  • Alcohol swabs: Great for keeping your keyboard, screens, and other gear clean, especially after eating some really greasy BBQ for lunch…

If you would like to see more Landman gear guides, let us know. Also we would love to hear what is in your gear bag, join the forums and tell us about it.

[REPOST (July 2013)] The Beer Fueled Poker Game that Almost Got Me Fired (Part 1 of 3)

This post originally appeared on LandmanLife.com in July of 2013. It has been very slightly edited to correct some grammatical errors and add a few minor details that were left out of the original story.


I had the pleasure of living in a Best Western in South Texas for the better part of a year. Our company paid for the rooms 7 days a week so that they saved some money on the hotel tax after 30 days when it becomes an extended stay residency. That made things easier on us since we didn’t have to move all of our stuff out every weekend. It was especially convenient for me since my home was only an hour and a half drive away. The hotel was about a mile from the courthouse and a few blocks further from our office so we could literally leave our hotel room and be at either location in 5 minutes. In my room I kept a long collapsible table that functioned as a backup desk and was usually covered with documents, pizza boxes, bills, etc. I also had an Xbox that I left in my room (Madden games were a common way to settle petty disputes amongst crewmembers) and usually left my shotgun and gun bag in the closet.

Throw in enough clean clothes to last me a week or two, a fridge full of beer, and all my shower stuff and I could travel pretty light whenever I was heading to or from home. At the crew’s peak I think there were about 7 of us staying at the hotel, the rest of it was booked up by Chesapeake rig hands, frackers, and a couple of other landmen. The hotel always reeked like a skunk had run through the hallways because people smoked so much weed in their rooms and there were always people drinking beers out by the pool. Not a bad place to stay during the week if you ask me.

…it would be pretty hard for somebody to move this collection of RC helicopters in and out every week, one of our coworkers was clearly into things that fly

Every Thursday night we had a poker game in the conference room at the hotel. Some weeks there would be five players and the next week we could have 20, it all depended on how many landmen headed home Thursday after work. Quite a few times I stayed in town for the night just to go to the poker game, if I didn’t have plans it was worth hanging around for. People would usually bring their own coolers full of beer or just ice for the liquor drinkers. Everyone would have quite a few drinks during the game and it could go pretty late at times. It was a $20 buy in with the second but final buy in at the halfway point (sometimes people would show up late from work, etc) and the pot could get up to a few hundred bucks with the winner taking 2/3 and the runner up getting 1/3. $300 is worth staying in town for, especially if you get to be wasted while earning it.

Traditionally the winner would buy everyone a round at the beer joint after the poker game if it wasn’t already too late, but that wasn’t written in stone. On occasion the winner would be too intoxicated to go to the beer joint, which was my case (not surprisingly) the only time I ever won. This particular night was not one of those occasions. We started the party around 2 that afternoon when everyone left the office and headed a half hour out of town to a skeet range on a landowner’s property. Since we had leased him and fast tracked the drilling of the first couple wells on his ranch (in order to get an agreement to build a massive frac pond there) he always invited us out to drink, shoot, and grill out. Sounds good to me!

Normally we went out to the skeet range on Wednesdays but it had been rained out the night before, so we wanted to get things started early out there and then get back for the poker game. Anyone that wasn’t a designated driver would throw back a good number of beers because it was always hot as fuck out there, and it was easier to find cold beer than a cold water. Since I had LASIK surgery I have not been able to shoot skeet (it’s a mental block more than physical I think) and usually didn’t waste any time trying, I would rather hang around and drink beers with all the crusty locals that showed up. So that’s exactly what I did. I don’t know why but everyone in this area drank Bud Light (I prefer Miller Lite personally) so when in Rome…I cranked a couple Bud Lights there while I ate some BBQ, and then cranked a couple more while we rode back to the hotel.

Since I had been sweating the whole time we were out at the skeet range, I went up to my room and took a quick shower (while I drank a shower beer of course). By the time I got downstairs to the conference room for the poker game my eyes were pretty glazed over. I know it was obvious because people kept saying “holy shit man are you still here? Your eyes are glazed over…maybe you should give me all of your chips.” If it’s possible to be too drunk to play cards, I was. So maybe their advice wasn’t totally unfounded, but regardless I did not take them up on that offer. Fast forward a few hours (I can’t be more specific because I kept drinking beers as I watched my stack of chips dwindle down to nothing) and I was shitfaced. I lost, and decided that sometimes poker is better as a spectator sport.

One of the girls on our crew emerged victorious and won $200 or so from the pot. Most of the people that had lost earlier in the game had already gone to the beer joint, so we decided to meet them there. I probably shouldn’t have been out in public but peer pressure is a bitch, and when I slurringly said I would go as long as I didn’t have to drive (like anyone would have let me…), I was dragged outside and shoved into the backseat of a car. At some point right before, or maybe on the way there, I blacked out. I have a faint memory of talking with some people from Alabama at the beer joint, and might have had “just one more beer” a few times, as a good landman always should. I think I was drinking Budweiser because I remember somebody talking about my “porkchop in a can.” The place closed down a little before 2 so we all headed back to the hotel. I have a fuzzy recollection of about 5 too many people being crammed into the backseat…someone may have been sitting on my lap.

My memory fails me by this point, so I’m going to have to relay the events as I heard them the next day. I woke up at 7:45am with my phone ringing. It was one of my coworkers (who had not been with us the night before), which was unusual for a Friday morning…or a Friday at all…or any morning, for that matter. When I answered he said “[primary broker’s name] is on his way to the office right now, he wants everyone there by the time he arrives. Get there ASAP!.” This naturally triggered a “holy shit what the fuck is he coming in for?” response. My coworker said he didn’t know the reason but our boss was pissed and he ended the call. As I sat up in bed I realized I was extremely hungover, my head was pounding and I felt like my vision was even somewhat blurred. Then I realized that my jeans were bunched up around my ankles (I still had on my boxers), and my boots were half off but still stuck in the legs of my jeans, hanging off the end of the bed. What a way to pass out, let me tell you. My swimsuit was laying next to me on the bed, dry. I thought that was strange, but my buddies filled me in later that afternoon. (End of Part 1)


Continue on to Part 2

[REPOST (December 2014)] The Future of Landmen With Lowering Oil Prices

This is a [REPOST] of a story that originally appeared on LandmanLife.com on December 30th, 2014. I have not done any editing to the original content…


This seems like a great time to review the landman business in 2014 since the year is coming to an end. People talk about the “ups and downs” of the oil business, but a lot of you are too young to really know what the bottom is like. If you still have a job right now, make sure to do everything in your power to keep it, because the bottom isn’t here yet. We started 2014 with oil prices hovering around $105 a barrel. As Brad Pitt’s character says in the movie Inglorious Bastards, “business is a booming.” I had spent the year working for a small company of about 9 people, 7 of them being landmen. The biggest benefit of working for such a small company was job security. Our broker had worked a deal with a small producer to have our company in essence function as their land department. We’ll call that small producer “Enerplay.” Anyways, Enerplay kept at least 5 of our landmen busy at all times, and we usually had 2 landmen working on small projects for other clients. I spent half of the year working on prospects for Enerplay and the other half working on a small project for another client, let’s call them O.N.E. which stands for Obviously Not Experienced.

Continue reading “[REPOST (December 2014)] The Future of Landmen With Lowering Oil Prices”

The Landman Life Community Forums

The last time I left the comments completely open here things escalated quickly. I’m trying to set things up right this time. If you want to be a productive member of the landman community there is a forum for that. If you’d like to share some crazy landman life stories keep it in the Parking Lot Party forums.

Plenty of sites cater to professional discourse already, but many are dominated by a few serial posters that shamelessly promote their own business. No one bothers to disagree with their nonsense because who cares anyways? Hopefully that won’t happen here.

I have the feeling that the target audience will be spending more time in the parking lot party forums. If you have a good story for Landman Life, that’s where it needs to be. Please be courteous, and also understand that sarcasm is a way of life for most of us.

Groups are enabled. Let me know if you’d like to create a new one for a specific topic. They are individual forums tailored to specific users (Texas landmen, right-of-way agents, etc) which might help keep discussions more focused.

If you have a request for a new forum/topic/group/etc (or just a suggestion for the site), let me know. The development plan is always changing like any good project.

Let’s see where the open road takes us…

…and we’re back

I’ve been busy. Hopefully we all have. Over the next couple of weeks there will be quite a lot of content added here, most of it will be new but I will try to dig up some of the old stories (might do some re-edits) for the Landman Life OGs. The old crew is still around, and I hope that we can look forward to some insights from MetalHead, the NutShale, and of course TitleNazi in the near future. I’m spending most of my time getting the parts of this site up and running, a lot has changed in the years since I last had a website here.

Should have a new post for you soon.

There’s always time for one more beer.

Landman Life