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TABLE OF CONTENTS

CONTRIBUTORS
WRITERS

FEATURE OF THE MONTH
page 4

TECH
page 7

ART
page 9

MUSIC
page 11

Ryan McKinley Beth Stephenson Amelia Eden Six Ryan Johnson Lynn Pilj Rob Brian
Beth Stephenson
EDITOR

FLASH FICTION
page 12

POETRY
Page 15 Page 16

Matthew Sutter
SALES MANAGER/STRATEGIC PLANNING

HEALTH
PAGE 2

Joseph Rodano
MAGAZINE DESIGN/STRATEGIC PLANNING

TABLE OF CONTENTS

LOCAL EVENTS—This month
Kids All American Fishing Derby—

ON THE RADAR—Next month
The 4th of July! Liberty Fest and UCO fireworks

Lake Arcadia June 4

DIVE in Movie NightsPelican Bay June 16 & 30

Independence Day Celebration Pelican Bay July 4

2011 South Central Section Bill Nicklas Junior Golf Tournament - Kickingbird Golf Course

Summer Tennis Camp

June 8

Kickingbird Golf Course July 11-15

Wednesday Market/Junior Market

Graphic Design Workshop UCO July 11th-19th

June 3-August 17

PAGE 3

LOCAL EVENTS

FEATURE
of the

MONTH
ReMerkable is Something Remarkable
By: Ryan McKinley
Inspiration comes from odd sources sometimes and Father/Son team of Scott and Ryan Merkley never expected that the overheating speakers at a church dance would inspire the beginning of a thriving D.J. business. It started with the purchase of superior equipment. At their first D.J. experience, the church equipment needed a fan blowing on it constantly to keep it from burning out. With new equipment, a good knowledge of popular music and a gift for helping people relax and enjoy themselves, they were quickly popular. The hobby began to pay for itself when Mrs. Merkley became the head of the Sequoyah Cotillion. Scott provided the music and was such a hit that he was asked back the next year. It wasn‟t like they had nothing to do in the first place. Ryan is a busy Edmond North student and Scott Merkley runs Merkley Driving school. They knew they made a good team, but one night, Ryan arranged to D.J. a friend‟s dance party on the same night that his Dad had booked a dance. Scott had an extra set of equipment and sent Ryan to D.J. solo. Re-Merk-Able DJ Production was born and since then, Ryan and his dad have been hosting dances all over the area. Ryan limits himself to working two nights a week, but earns

PAGE 4

FEATURE OF THE MONTH

more than he could in most after-school jobs working more than double the hours. He gets to play music, dance, and mingle with
other teens. “This is probably the best job you can have in high school,” Ryan quickly admits, but it is still work. Ryan usually must call clients several days before to confirm start times, music choices, and song selection. If a glitch comes up, he handles it like any professional D.J. “We usually buy a ton of new songs on iTunes… Even at the dance if someone requests a song that we don‟t have, we buy it on our iPhone.” A few hours before the event‟s start time, they load the giant speakers, a receiver, laptop, chords and multiple laser and light rigs into a truck. It takes quite a while to set upon location. That‟s all part of the D.J. business, but Re-Merk-Able DJ Productions is remarkable in other ways. Usually, a client must hire a dance coach and a deejay but with Re-Merk-Able DJ the dance instructors come in the package. “We like to get out and get in touch with the people we‟re playing the music for.” Ryan describes. There are many popular line dances that can uproot even the most stubborn wall-flower, like “The Cha-Cha Slide” and “The Electric Slide”. The Merkley men enjoy teaching the dances and have even created some of their own dance moves. So dance instruction and lively D.J. services are sort of a buy one, get one free package from ReMerk-Able. “The nice thing about Ryan is that he‟ll find someone that isn‟t dancing and he‟ll go out and hook them up with someone else and get those guys going,” his father tells. Ryan feels personally responsible that all guests enjoy themselves. He‟s a kid himself and his dad points out that “He takes an interest in kids and they feel that. So the person that isn‟t that involved is now part of the activity and dancing, and it isn‟t a parent that‟s doing it, it is Ryan going, „Come on!‟”

PAGE 5

FEATURE OF THE MONTH

“Last year we did the 7th grade dances for all the schools, so now in the 8th grade, they are more comfortable dancing. They know our dance routines and are more open to dancing.” “I love working with my dad,” Ryan says. “He‟s really easy to work with and he buys all the right equipment. It is a lot of fun.” Scott adds, “You get to go out with your son, listen to music, play music, you know, it‟s fun. The biggest thing is just spending time together, doing something we both enjoy doing.” Ryan has big plans for his future. “After I finish high school, I plan to serve a two-year mission for my church. When I get back, I am planning on going to UCO so that I can work for my dad, not only for the deejay service, but for Merkley Driving School. I want to get my business degree, my MIS (Master of Information Systems).” Currently, his father‟s driving school has two locations, but Ryan sees potential for something much bigger. “I want to branch out and make Merkley‟s country wide.” Ryan McKinley is an Edmond writer and author. His current book “The Pirate Bride” is co-author with his daughter, Anna, and can be found at bookstores nationally, or at www.ThePirateBride.com

PAGE 6

FEATURE OF THE MONTH

AT&T has been taking its growth hormone again. We can only hope that this hungry, hungry hippo stops The Law of the Jungle at the short of the incredible hulk. Buffet of Opportunity Deutsche Telekom has agreed to let AT&T swallow TBy: Ryan Johnson Mobile USA whole in a $39 billion deal. Digestion in the Justice Department can take as long as 18 months. AT&T assures all their Mobile customers that this is for their own good, and it could be true if remote and rural communities get better coverage as AT&T anticipates. But of course, all companies exist to make money and this growth spurt for AT&T will also require T-Mobile customers to purchase new equipment. Apparently the T-Mobile phones won‟t work in the bowels of the new Service Provider. T-Mobile USA has a statement on their website letting their customers know that their pricing and current devices will work while the acquisition is taking place. AT&T also promises fewer dropped calls, but doesn‟t specify fewer than what. They may mean “fewer people will drop their new phones on the sidewalk because everyone knows humans take better care of things they pay a lot of money for.” Sprint, who is the third largest cell phone service provider has leaped into the fray with a complaint that AT&T will be so large, it will have crushing strength against its competitors. Here in this Buffet of Opportunity, we have laws against overeating to the

TECH

PAGE 7

TECH ARTICLE

degree that there is nothing left for other diners. Sprint was rumored to be bellying up to deal for T-Mobile when AT&T put their elbow in Sprint‟s gut and grabbed all the goodies. But Sprints‟ official statements (complaints) are based more like the rules against steroid use in athletics. COUS‟s have an unfair advantage. (COUS‟s is “Companies of Unusual Size” for those of you too young to understand quotes from „The Princess Bride‟) Sprint cites their American duty to protect our American economy, their loyal customers and their own meal ticket at the Opportunity buffet. Sprint does have a point. When one company gets so large that it can reduce its rates below cost to provide service until every customer has switched to their service without going out of business, they can effectively put their competition out of business. Verizon is currently only slightly smaller than AT&T, and they would still compete. Anti-trust laws, (sometimes called „anti-squash the life out of your opponent rules‟) insure competition. Nobody gets a monopoly so that they can set rates anywhere they want and people have no choices. The Federal Communication Commission will have to decide whether Verizon offers enough competition to keep the industry healthy. AT&T is also sure to point out that there are still lots of localized companies that provide some level of competition. (Why does the image of little fish cleaning a hippo‟s open mouth suddenly come to mind?) Sprint is also wise to post a guard at night and watch its back. In the jungle economy of the Opportunity Buffet, the littler guys need to be quick. They can and might be swallowed themselves. Do you suppose that‟s where “Sprint” got its name?

Jan Green CPA
Tax Accountant
1120 S Air Depot Boulevard #5 Oklahoma City, OK 73110-4847 405-733-1970

PAGE 8

TECH ARTICLE

ART
JENNIFER ORTMAN

PAGE 9

ART OF THE MONTH

PAGE 10

ART OF THE MONTH

Most teenagers look forward to the weekend and if you ask Rebecca Black ITS FRIDAY how she feels about it, she might say "We so excited!" (Where did the “are” By: AMEILA EDEN SIX go?) Be grateful if this viral worm hasn‟t infested your rhythm box yet, but if you search it, you‟ll probably notice that there‟s heavy duty advertising on the U-tube video. . .which means ol‟ Becky needs a body guard with her when she takes the check to the bank. In this masterpiece, she sings about waking up in the morning and eating cereal, then she GOES TO THE BUSSTOP! Next the decision that plagues all teenagers, she must decide which seat to sit in, in her friends‟ car. She apparently hasn‟t noticed that there is only one seat available. But she DOES reason her way through this dilemma and SITS IN THE EMPTY SEAT! After that earth shattering decision, she caters to her toddler fans and teaches the days of the week. Teenagers hate the song but love to make fun of it, repeating it over, and over, AND OVER! Going down the hallway of any high school, on any weekday, you might hear some kid yell "Its Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday." then another person will say; "It‟s not Friday yet!!" It may have a good beat but the whole point of the song is that she‟s excited about the weekend. Is this the work of one of the most intelligent species on the planet? We all get excited for the weekend, but most people would think they needed an original idea before they made a music video about it.

MUSIC

www.edmondtoppicks.com PAGE 11 MUSIC ARTICLE

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FLASH

FICTION
“TO FIX A FENCE”
Rob Brian “The Logan County Traveler”

The heat doesn‟t penetrate the optimistic drone of the cicadas in the pecan trees. They are narcotic like a Buddhist chant, over and over, lending endurance to my will, just one more strand of barbed wire to go. But I have to stop and sit down on the smooth red rocks by the pond and relish the shade for a little while. Nothing moves, except for a turtle that surfaces to gaze at me with yellow eyes. The cows are hiding in the deepest coolest shadows along the creek. They won‟t emerge until late evening. The gardens have burned up, the hay crops are fading, and rain has fallen, but not enough. The quail and roadrunners don‟t mind. The sunflowers

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PAGE 12 FLASH FICTION

don‟t mind. They are emerging now, along the roadsides, just another weed for the last few months, now escaping ambiguity; flowering in the heat, reaching proudly across the red roads and fencerows. I like fixing fence. It is therapy to a conflicted mind. Unlike the rest of my burdens in life, there is a beginning and end, a start and a finish. The new wire stretches across the old fence posts and I pound in the “steeples.” Sweat drips down and my T-shirt is wet and dirty, and my arms have small puncture wounds from the barbed wire. I think over my life in a heat induced haze; what I should have done, and what I should do next. The meadowlarks whistle in agreement, and a dove down at the pond soothes my doubts. I stand back and admire my work. I wonder how old this fence is. I wonder how many fence repairers like me have patched it. Some of the wire looks like it is as old as me, rusted and

PAGE 13

FLASH FICTION

on its last stretch. I wonder if I will survive to hand this fence off to my son, or daughter and some hot August day they will be here fixing fence and wondering if it will rain. I think about the land and how it looked before there were fences. I would like to see it open and unblemished for miles and miles. Tall grass prairie as tall as the back of your horse, they say. The fences came across the prairie with the homesteaders, and brought the eastern birds, which brought the cedar trees, which brought in other birds and animals. Then came the ponds and more trees, and pretty soon it all looked different. The buffalo were gone. The Indians were gone. I would trade all the air conditioning in the world for a chance to go back and see it like that. I wonder what changes will come in the next hundred years. I do a lot of wondering, fixing fence. The best part is finishing of course. I throw my tools in the old truck and walk back to the pond. I take off my shoes and straw hat and wade into the pond. Ahhhhhh….. The sky is blue and no longer unfriendly. I feel rich. The water tastes good. I am forgiven for all my sins. I am purged of all the heat and sweat and curses, and left renewed like a baby. I stand for a long time with cool red mud between my toes and listen to the blessed quiet. As long as I stay here I am protected from global economies, terrorists, and Wal-Mart. We are free for a while; the turtle and I. I emerge from the pond re-armed for all my coming battles. I am a new man. The fence is fixed for a while. I have worked through all my dilemmas. I have planned a strategy for the next, oh……. thirty minutes. It is the secret of my success. Somehow the long history of the fence, the mechanics of repair, and the reaffirPAGE 14 FLASH FICTION

POETRY
Lynn Pilj

Sorrow

Joy

A loud hall Full of people An empty heart Full of sorrow One in a million Scared and alone Very alone Hiding in shadows Where no one can see Invisible as sunshine And cold as rain A heart is breaking From lonely pain The morning breaks With joyous light Cease oh sorrow To fill my soul The Savior lives And gives his light So grasp oh heart That happy song Of sunny days And moonlit nights

PAGE 15

POETRY

HEALTH
ZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzz
By Beth Stephenson

I wasn‟t sure if I should keep my Archaeology class. I decided that if it was taught by an old dinosaur, I‟d drop it. Indiana Jones and I‟d stay. I knew I needed heavy-duty incentive to stay awake for any two o‟clock class. I was like Cinderella. When the clock struck 2:00 p.m., my head would drop onto my desk like a smashed pumpkin. Friends got suspicious about the purple bruise in the middle of my forehead. I half hoped for a tyrannosaurus that would justify my taking an afternoon nap instead of the class. The teacher came in and sure enough: think Barney in shades of grey. No Indiana Jones here. . .until the T.A. came in. Tall, scholarly, good teeth, square jaw with a milkchocolate voice that nuzzled my ears. The road to hell is truly paved with good intentions and the path to archaeology was VERY well paved. That T.A. was literally the man of my dreams. His silken voice wove my dreams around his handsome head like the coronet of a Greek god. Scientists have now allied themselves with teens and young adults de-

PAGE 16

HEALTH

fending their rights to stay up late and sleep late on a physiological basis. I‟d long listed “sleep” and “nap” as hobbies on my interest survey, but had no sense that my zombie state each afternoon had anything to do with the fact that my “ brain's circadian timing system--controlled mainly by melatonin--switches on later at night as pubertal development progresses.” (According to Mary A. Carskadon, PhD, of Brown University Medical School,.) In fact every time I think about looking up what a „circadian system” is,..ZZZZZzzzzzz. But I believe it! Where was I? Yes, teens and young adults need more sleep than toddlers, older adults and three-toed sloths. The Three-Toes sleep only an average of 18 hours a day. Their toenails grow long and curvy and algae grows in their fur until they are tinged green. However, sleep studies prove that only green-tinged teeth are likely the result of an over-active snooze button. Other green tinges should receive medical attention. There are other key indicators of too little sleep . If the resident witch gets up at 6:30 and you come to life around 9:00, and everyone says you look EXACTLY like the witch, you might not be getting enough sleep. If you believe that alarm clocks need no electricity but work by howling evil spirits, that also could be sleep deprivation. Happily, there are a few solutions. Going to bed an hour earlier really works. (Who knew?) If you have trouble going to sleep on command, get an archeology text book or an Old Testament and start reading until you can‟t keep your eyes open. . .works every time. Stop drinking caffeinated stuff after dinner or cut it out altogether. Substitute some vigorous exercise when you start to sag. Who cares if the sloths around the library think you‟re loopy when you leap up for a hundred jumping jacks or a fast jog around the room. It will perk you up body and soul, and make your night dreams as good as your day dreams. People used to weave rope over pegs in a bed frame to support a mattress. When someone said, “Sleep tight”, they didn‟t mean “up tight” they meant “sleep well by tightening the ropes so the mattress doesn‟t sag.” So, my fellow former sloths, may we banish all things saggy, body and soul, and sleep tight.

Read more from Beth M. Stephenson at her popular blog, http://chocolatecreamcenters.blogspot.com

PAGE 17

HEALTH

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