You Can’t Fix Stupid…Unless There’s Free Margs?


There are so many mineral and royalty scams out there I cannot even begin to count them. A lot of legitimate mineral and royalty buying companies deliberately target seniors, people with disabilities, or people that have fallen on hard times. They try to use the “we are trying to help people” angle, but they always fail the smell test. That shit pisses me off. I understand the business, downplay the asset as much as possible to get a lower price. That works unless you have someone respectable on the other side. Unfortunately most of the sellers in that market do not have proper representation. Attorneys are great when you want to file a lawsuit, but they are not your best avenue to sell something. Unless they really understand the industry and market they are trying to participate in, attorneys are going to drive away potential offers with additional stipulations, restrictions, or excessive delays. The majority of the “shady” groups in the mineral/royalty market will avoid attorneys at all cost.

I will admit, I have sold mineral assets for clients that I strongly disagreed with (due to their immediacy for selling), but have proceeded with the sale due to their insistence, despite my objections. That admission is not intended to absolve me of all guilt that I have with the mineral/royalty purchasing industry, I am simply letting you know that I have been a part of it. Setting aside your personal convictions about something is hard to do…but getting a check for it makes things easier. That’s a slippery slope. Regardless of my involvement, there are more sophisticated predators out there. A few years ago I went to an “information session” with an old friend of mine that is an oil and gas attorney. He told me that he had signed up for the deal with a +1 and it was free margaritas and fajitas for anyone that attended. The event was at some Mexican food restaurant in the middle of fucking nowhere (seriously, I work in the middle of nowhere so for me to say that, this place was out in the boonies), but hell it’s free margaritas right?!? The second we walked into the “private” room, we knew it was not going to be the type of informational session we had imagined…

Segway Tour…wow, really pulling out all the stops on that one

There were tables pushed together to create one long table on one side of the room, with a projector screen set up on a stand at the other side of the room, the projector set up in front of it along with a microphone and some speakers. Professional AV setup, instant street cred…except that my brother in law has that same equipment in his garage, so whatever. Every. Single. “Speaker” Was from Morgan Stanley. Speaker is in air quotes because they were selling their product(s). They either actively worked for Morgan Stanley, or had previously (recently) worked there. This organization has the worst website I have ever fucking seen. They call themselves “North American Royalty Owners” and would love to send LandmanLife a C&D letter for publishing the ongoings of their “private event.” Well, fuck them. Google the acronym if you want to see a website that anyone could have designed by literally writing the HTML code in their middle school computer class. Worst website I have ever seen for an “organization.” LandmanLife is more official than those jakelegs. We at least have koozies and stickers. All they have is a bullshit “certification” that is only acknowledged by (guess what) THEIR OWN ORGANIZATION.

Back in the day there was a guy that wrote here under the pseudonym TitleNazi and he was extremely critical of OEC (Orange Energy Consultants) who sent me a C&D email (LandmanLife has about 6 attorneys on retainer, they all laughed at the request to take that story down), and the AAPL (nobody cares, because…yeah). While I hope he will join us again, I have to take up that same stance against NARO. That information session would have led me into all kinds of worthless investments with extremely low (or negative) returns, but their keynote speaker was a MINERAL MANAGER. She “worked as a landman” and “knew how to speak their language to maximize your returns.” All she asked for in return was 8-10% of all revenue generated from your bonuses, royalties, or potential sales of mineral assets. In return for that she was going to need to be your financial advisor, in addition to managing your mineral assets. Your checks would all go to her, and she would then take care of investing/divesting your money. Don’t worry, her daddy has his financial planning license and sponsors her, so she’s not violating any SEC laws. Seems like a conflict of interest to me, but the morons at that information session thought I was the asshole for poking holes in her resume. Figures. I had a hard time not laughing, but in the end…Who’s the guy that says “you can’t fix stupid?”

Who the fuck would sign up for that? People. 

Unfortunately.

You can’t fix stupid.

Also, the Mexican food was shit.

The margs at least had booze in them.

Want a LandmanLife Koozie?

The first production run of LandmanLife Koozies has been dubbed “Founders Edition Blue” and turned out pretty badass. For the past couple of weeks I have been debating what the price point should be for these bad boys, and came to the only logical conclusion…they are fucking priceless. If you see someone with one of these Koozies it will tell you a couple of things about them…obviously they are a badass, a good friend of LandmanLife, OR the winner of one of the giveaways we will be rolling out over the next couple of weeks.

Upcoming giveaway opportunities will be set up on Twitter and Facebook as well. We are working with the print shop to get orders placed for more colors (to actually sell on the site), in addition to some hats and shirts. Stay tuned for more details on those, or contact us if you’d like to help out with the design process.

If you REALLY want to score some of these Koozies before we run out, send us a story!

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

You should start with Part 1 and Part 2 if you are new to this story, which originally appeared on LandmanLife in July of 2013. The names of those people involved have been changed for their own privacy, but anyone that knows these characters can easily figure out who’s who.

After the original publishing of this story, I was forwarded an email thread between about 7 of my former crew members. They were trying to figure out who had written this story…and at the end of the thread, they accurately identified me. I thought it was pretty hilarious, because the only person that was actually “offended” was the woman involved in this story (there are plenty more stories about her for another time). Her response was, “It had to be him, he’s the only one that could actually write something like that.” I’ll take it as a compliment I guess…anyways, here’s the story.


So I was still in the dark about what had gone on the night before, but knew that it was something pretty fucking serious. The owner of our company drove over 5 hours to come chew us out, and my buddies were still inside talking with him. Everyone else didn’t want to be sitting around while some of our coworkers were probably about to get fired, so we all shuffled outside. After a few cigarettes our crew chief suggested we all go have an early lunch (it was still early enough for breakfast in my book) which seemed like a better idea than hanging around the office with an angry owner on a rampage. About 7 or so of us walked the block and a half up the street to the only good Mexican food place in town and sat down at a table. Things were a little awkward for me since I was the only young guy not involved with whatever the “incident” was and I could sense that the older guys at the table with me were still wondering how I had stayed out of trouble. Usually I would have been right there in the middle of it.

Our crew chief started talking about what had gone on but as usual kept his attitude “intentionally vague.” Then he looked right at me and said, “so, were you there at the pool last night when the incident occurred?” I replied honestly that I had gotten too drunk to make it to the pool and had passed out in my room. His response did not bode well for my buddies still at the office, “well, passing out at that moment may have been one of the best things you could do for your job on this crew. Be glad that you didn’t make it to the pool.” At this point I really started wondering what the fuck could have gone down at the pool and why my buddies were in such deep shit about it, but didn’t want to press for more details. We all ordered our food from the fat Mexican waitress. Some of my coworkers seemed to really enjoy hitting on her despite (or maybe because of) her lack of understanding of the English language, she had an amazing capacity to fuck up even the simplest orders. I drank my iced tea, ate my tacos, and tried to ignore the hangover and stress that were making me sweat more than usual this Friday morning.

Back at the Office….

Things didn’t look good when we came around the corner of the block headed towards the office and I could see that my buddies trucks were all gone. The owners truck was still there, of course. Time to get back to pretending to work, so I headed back inside to my desk and tried to keep my head down. After a few minutes of tinkering with label templates I texted two of my friends to ask what the fuck had gone down. They both replied “head back to the hotel and we’ll tell you.” I couldn’t exactly ditch out right in front of the owner so I made a point of printing some labels on the printer in the other side of the office to scope things out. Our crew chief and owner were wrapping up their conversation and shortly after I got back to my desk they both left. As you can imagine, five minutes after that every person in the office was packing their bag to head home for the weekend. I was the second to last person to leave and hauled ass over to the hotel hoping to catch my buddies before they left. Seeing Motorboat and Chatterbox’s trucks in the parking lot with the doors open it was obvious that they were loading up everything from their hotel rooms. At the time I remember thinking that blows, everyone left on the crew will be either old, lame, and/or creepy. I parked, ran up the stairs, and walked into Motorboat’s room while he was packing up a suitcase. He looked at me and said, “sit down, let’s talk about last night,” as he stuck his head into the hall to yell at Chatterbox to come over from his room next door.

Here’s What Happened…Allegedly

So as you know, we all got pretty fucked up playing poker before heading to the beer joint. At 2am when they closed we headed back to the hotel with the intention of partying at the pool for a while. I went to my room to put on my swimsuit and passed out, despite my buddies coming upstairs to bang on my door. Motorboat, Chatterbox, Partyboy, and Racy packed a cooler with some beers and went down to the pool. Since it was the middle of summertime it was more like a hot tub than a pool and due to the ever-present wind, the bottom of the pool was usually covered with sand. Turn on some tunes, crack open some beers, and who gives a fuck it’s going to be a good time. Two other guys from another crew joined my friends and apparently the drinking stepped up to another level. Since the cooler was right next to the pool there was no reason to get out, everyone was just tossing their empties towards one end of the pool to float around. One can only imagine that after drinking that much, no one would want to put their head under the water as nobody was getting out to take a piss. All kinds of trouble could come from trying to haul their drunk asses out of the pool, walk across the wet cement, and into the bathroom with the slipperiest tile you can imagine, just to take a piss. We’ll just say it was a kiddy pool, naturally warmed.

After about an hour and a half of drinking mixed with a little bullshitting, some kids came outside the hotel and sat at one of the picnic tables on the patio by the pool. According to my buddies, these two teenagers started very loudly talking shit about how drunk everyone in the pool was. One can only imagine my buddies response, “fuck off you little shits!” Or something like that. Things started escalating from there as the teens tried to put on a tough guy act and pull the “why don’t you get out and make me!” routine. This is the point I think I would have gotten pretty pissed, so I’m glad that I hadn’t been there. Motorboat and Chatterbox got out of the pool and started walking towards the punks on the picnic table, who promptly ran off around the corner into the parking lot, talking shit the whole time. My buddies all got a good laugh and got back in the pool for one more beer. The kids apparently hadn’t gotten enough so they came back a few minutes later. That’s when shit got real. This time it was Racy that got out of the pool to scare the kids off, and those teens made it abundantly clear that they weren’t scared of a woman. In fact they were so fearless that they got up in her face and told her “fuck off, you skank whore!” Yeah. Racy almost slapped one of them, but decided it would be better to tell them it was past their bedtime and they should get the fuck back inside before they got their asses kicked. To everyone’s surprise, they actually did go inside flipping the bird as they went.

Two or three minutes later, as Racy was pulling beer cans out of the pool to throw in the trash (everyone had decided the party was about over at this point), a rather large and pissed off Mexican woman came barging out of the hotel. She marched right up to Racy, got in her face, poked her in the chest and demanded to know “WHO THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU ARE TELLING MY KIDS WHAT TO DO?!” I love parents that always stand up for their kids, especially when you think that at 3:30am your kids could somehow be innocently minding their own business outside the hotel. Racy tried to keep her cool for the first minute or two according to everyone that was watching from the pool, too dumbfounded to say anything. Then she lost it. “Your kids called me a skank whore, and what kind of parent are you letting them run around this late at night? They’re some disrespectful punks!” Momma Bear did not like her cubs being spoken about in that manner, so she retaliated with an ever classy line, “well by the looks of you being out here in that skimpy bathing suit with all these men, you ARE a skank whore!” For the second time in a half hour, Racy wanted to slap someone. She didn’t, likely stemming from the fact that this woman outweighed her by a good 100lbs. More screaming back and forth about who was the bitch whore ensued before the woman headed back inside the hotel. Everyone thought the altercation was over. It wasn’t.

Here Comes Papa Bear

As the last of the beer cans surfaced from the pool, Papa Bear mozied on out the door of the hotel towards the pool. He was still wearing his coveralls and boots, caked with mud as he obviously worked for one of the frack companies in the area. This guy was easily 6’4 and over 300lbs, so we’re talking about a big papa GRIZZLY bear. Chatterbox interjected into Motorboat’s telling of the story to add “seriously this guy could’ve ripped my arms off with his bare hands, I couldn’t even see his neck.” Everyone still in the pool stood still, blankly staring at him for a minute until he spoke, probably hoping he was like a T-Rex and couldn’t see them if they didn’t move. “Why the hell did my wife just wake me up and tell me that you people were talking shit to her out here?” Chatterbox tried to take the lead explaining the situation, but after about two minutes of the back and forth that started the whole situation, Papa Bear had heard enough. “Ya’ll just mind your own business and don’t let this happen again, because I won’t be nice if I have to come talk to you again, alright?” Sounded like a good deal, everyone thought they had gotten off the hook. Papa Bear went back inside. Everyone else finished fishing the beers from the pool and headed to their rooms to pass out, once the rush of adrenaline had worn off. None of them knew what had happened after they went to bed (they assumed something bad had gone down since we all had been called into work that morning) until they got called out by the owner and ordered to stay at the office while the rest of us left. Our company owner filled them in on how he became aware of the situation.

Apparently after her husband (Papa Bear) had come back to the room, Momma Bear decided that he hadn’t been tough enough on my buddies in the pool so she decided to handle it herself. She marched her fat ass down to the lobby of the hotel and woke up the manager who always slept on a cot in the back room of the front office. After she raised hell for a few minutes, the manager (who barely spoke English, I think he was from Pakistan and I couldn’t ever figure out how to pronounce his name) concluded that the only way to get this Mother Fracker out of his face was to say he would tell the owner of our company what had gone on at the pool. He intended to deal with this at a normal hour, not 4am, if he intended to do anything about it at all. That still wasn’t good enough, Momma Bear demanded that he call the owner of our company right then while she stood there watching. This Pakistani man gave in to her, looked up the phone number, and reluctantly dialed. He woke the owner of our company up, apologized profusely in his broken English, and tried to explain what the angry woman was yelling at him about. Needless to say, he was pissed. Whether he heard and relayed any of the truth about the situation, none of us can be sure, but I’m guessing Momma Bear wasn’t too worried about facts while she let her blood boil over. After he got off the phone with the hotel manager, the owner called our crew chief and told him to get everyone to the office in the morning. He got in his truck and started driving South to give us a piece of his mind.

In the “meeting” that my buddies had after we had all gotten dismissed from the office, two of them were notified that they would be relocated to another crew in a different town, starting Monday. That’s why they were packing everything from their hotel rooms when I got back from the office. The other two crew members got sternly reprimanded and told that their one strike was gone, but they weren’t getting fired. Attendance at the office was extraordinarily high the next few weeks because everyone was still on edge. The owner of our company made a random appearance once a week, and would sometimes show up to the office for an hour or so before leaving before most of our crew had even gotten out of bed. I was always glad to be present when he showed up and spent a lot more time looking busy at my desk. So once I heard everything that had gone down, I can’t help but agree with my crew chief that it was damn lucky I passed out that night. Not that it helped when the project closed down two months later, because all of us were out of work anyways.