For the Homeless Man, Matt Cooper, Under the Bridge on Interstate 70

Yesterday, I was driving in this little town near the Ohio borders and there’s this bridge at an exit of off I-70 to Lewisburg, Ohio. As I was passing under it, I saw this man, dressed in a red shirt, navy pants and a baseball hat. He was standing right at the ramp folding up a big plastic wrap and I immediately knew that he slept under that bridge and he used that plastic wrap as his blanket.

I didn’t really care too much as I was just thinking that may be he was just passing by, and that may be he was just hitchhiking and he couldn’t get a ride so he decided to sleep under there. However, later on in the afternoon on my way back, I saw him again but this time he was walking with a lot of stuff on his back towards the same spot under the bridge. Then I realized that he’s someone who might have been stranded. In America, if you don’t have a car or money for a Greyhound bus, it’s nearly impossible and dangerous to hitchhike. It’s even illegal to walk along side any highway trying to hitchhike.

I then turned around, it’s hard to make a u-turn there, but I did manage to turn around and came back to the bridge, put on my emergency lights and got out. It’s an awful place to stop since it’s right at an exit ramp. If a cop had seen me, I would have been cited for stopping there. I then walked behind the ramp looking for this man but I couldn’t find him, so I yelled out at him. And he yelled back from behind the concrete cave-look like. I politely yelled out asking him if he needed a ride anywhere, and came out towards me and said that he could may be go west. When he said that, I realized that he was homeless and he had no specific place to go.

He was smiling; very polite and friendly. He was referring to me as “sir”, which further made me realize that not only that he’s polite but also courteous, and kind, I’m thinking that he must be a veteran, as not too many civilians address normal strangers as “sir”.

I then told him that if I came by tomorrow and if he’s still there, that I’d give him a ride and take him anywhere he wanted to go. I reached in my pockets to see if I had any cash, but I only had $2 bills, so I gave them to him.

He was so happy, very thankful, he was speechless. I then said goodbye and I left. As I was leaving, I just couldn’t picture him sleeping under that bridge in a dusty and noisy Interstate highway, especially the noise from heavy vehicles, trucks. I just broke down crying, it’s very sad to imagine someone to live and sleep under that scary dark bridge perhaps with no food, while I was comfortably driving with a full stomach.

I turned around and started looking for a place to buy some food. I found KFC about five minutes away, and I went in and bought (I went and got more cash) a full box of chicken and then I went to Speedway, a gas station, nearby and bought a large Sprite lushed in ice-cold mug.

I then drove back to the bridge, it’s very dangerous to stop there, as there are intersections and exits right under the bridge. But I stopped on the side ramp as I did before, and I put on the emergency lights and I got out. I walked up, climbing up the concrete under the bridge. I could see his shirt, laying under his makeshift concrete cage.

I yelled out at him; telling him that it was me again, and that I brought him some food. I asked him if it’s okay for me to come near and he screamed out in excitement and said yes. I continued toward him while I was explaining to him that I got him some chicken and cold pop.

As I was coming near, I could see his whole makeshift cage and on the other side of his belongings, there were two large 2-litter Coca-Cola bottles, half empty. I could tell that he has lived under there for a very long time. When I looked at his stuff and bottles of pop, I told him that I was sorry, I said: Oh, you got something to drink already, but this one is colder. I then handed him the plastic bag with the box of chicken, and even before I handed him his drink, he already started digging in the box of chicken, feeling the chicken how nice and warm.

He was so happy. I reached out my hand to shake his hand while I introduced myself, and he politely reached out his hand to meet me halfway and introduced himself, telling me that his name is Matt Cooper.

I asked him if he wanted a ride tomorrow anywhere and he said he’s really tired; he’s 56 years old. I sadly said goodbye and left him there. When I drove by this morning, he was still under there and when I returned in the afternoon, it was raining, pouring down heavily and he was still under there, laying down. You have to actually know that he’s there, otherwise you’d pass him without ever noticing that there’s someone under there.

And if you are wondering what race he is, he’s African-American, good looking guy with some missing teeth.

In America, there are many shelters for homeless people, but most of them, although they provide adequate and generous warm meals, bedding wise are not designed to offer personal comfort of property ownership right. That feeling of having your own place and the bed to sleep on any time whenever you want, without anyone telling you to get up.

Most shelters have nice single beds, but they are all laid out in a large open, hall-style space and anyone, the first one to come in during the evening hours, may get to have the bed. Have you seen the movie “The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)” by Will Smith?

And even though having a bed in a nice and warm lighted place is better than sleeping under the cold, dusty and noisy bridge, one has to sleep with his belongings, all tied to your chest and you better not tell anyone what you actually got, because when you fall asleep, anyone could steal your stuff.

And to make it worst, in the morning when you wake up, you must take all your belongings with you. There is no bed ownership and there is no place to store your stuff. When you come back the next evening, you may get a different bed depending on how early you get there and only if there are any beds left.

If you are trying to find a job while staying in a homeless shelter, then you have to take your belongings with you to your job or job interview every morning because there’s no place to leave or store your stuff.

That’s why some homeless people prefer living the way such as how Matt is living, under the bridge. Under that makeshift concrete, cold, dusty and noisy bridge, he may feel at peace, no one is stealing his stuff and no one is waking him up early to leave and return at the certain time, as if he was staying in a homeless shelter. Under that bridge, he has no curfew, he has complete property ownership right.

I am sincerely feeling so much pain deep inside, just the thought that Matt is out there, sleeping under the bridge; he has no electricity, he has no running water, he has no toilet room, and no nothing. My heart just can’t rest not knowing whether he ate today or not.

In America, yes we are just now coming out of the Great Recession, but no one should be homeless, no one should go to bed hungry, and definitely, no one, not Matt Cooper or anyone else, especially a Vet, should sleep under the cold, noisy, dark, and dusty unsanitary bridge.

May be you can join me and help find an apartment and get it paid up for a year in advance and give it to him so he can rehabilitate having his own space with running water, bathroom, kitchen and most of all; it’s his own, by himself.

If you are interested in helping Matt find a home, please contact me now.

How Chemistry Compatible Are You With Your Lover?

Here is a simple formula and scientific method to help you determine whether your relationship is favorably destined to happily last forever or cursed to the dead pool.

Simply collect the data, all the likes and dislikes, endogenous and exogenous variables, general things  that are directly and indirectly related to your lover, personal habits, career, and just about everything that you like (savory) and dislike (unsavory) about your lover. Write them all down on a piece of paper.

Then regress them by adding them all up, and then average them to get their mean value, and then factor them by dividing them. To get the factor value of what you like about your lover, divide your savory by the unsavory factor, and to get your unsavory, simply do the opposite, and multiply each factor by 100 to get their percentage value.

Now, what is the percentage value do you like and or dislike about your lover? If 10% is what you like about your lover and 90% is what you dislike him or her, then divide them; 0.1/0.9, which gives you a factor of 0.11.

How about if your savory is 90% and 10% is your unsavory? That’s, 0.9/0.1 = 0.9. So, the higher the factor, the more likely your relationship will last, but if your factor is lower, you may want to think twice about your relationship, as it may be headed for a brick wall.

If your savory factor is 0.01 or less, then you may not even want to try to make it work. But if your savory factor is 0.5 or higher, then drop the bucket and run to the chapel and tie that knot, as yours is a match made in, hmm… some silly formula I just made up – I gotcha!

But seriously, it works.

* Patent Pending.

Welated, a Social App for Social Networks

Welated for iPhonesIn July, I launched Wrisen, a social app for social networks on Facebook, which has so far received great, rave review, and it’s growing faster than I’ve expected.

We’re currently working to launch a full version of the Welated site at the end of August, but the exciting news is about our new social app version of Welated for social networks and iPhone which we are also launching towards the end of August.

We will first launch the Welated app for social networks, specifically for Facebook, and then follow up with the iPhone version.

Welated is a service that alerts users instantly any time their mates cheat on them with anyone, anyplace, anywhere.

Check out Wrisen at http://www.wrisen.com and Welated at http://www.welated.com.

A Success Story: Guided by an Angel

I grew up on a farm with my mom. My dad always lived in a city where he worked and only came home rarely, on weekends, not every weekend, but may be twice a year. I was the oldest male-child in the house, after my older brother went in exile and joined SWAPO, a political organization that fought to liberate Namibia from the South African apartheid government.

Since I was the oldest son left at home, with two of my young brothers and youngest, baby sister, and my mom, I had to take on the tasks, which were generally handled by adult males, usually the fathers, the heads of household. Tasks such as plowing the field during the rainy season, looking after our farm animals, and simply maintaining the exterior and interior structure of the house and the sprawling, long and high, fence that covered our farm of more than 75,000 acres of land.

These kinds of tasks had to be dealt with constantly on a daily basis, every day of the week. And since I was just a little boy, in addition to helping my mom at home with all these tasks, I also had to go to school and keep up with my homework and study. Most parents then discouraged their children from going to school, so they could stay at home and work. However, I had and still have a wonderful, the best mom, not only that she never asked me to stay out of school, she actually helped me study. She actually taught me how to read, even before I started school. For all of us, her children, to get an education was her first priority.

In order to stay on top of all the household chores and school homework, I made a deal with my mom. That we’d go to school three days a week, and stay to work at home on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. On the days we had to go to school, we would get up at five in the morning, and work in the field before leaving for school. And then after school, we would go to work in the field some more and attend to our farm animals.

That was my daily life, everyday of each week, except on Sundays when we had to go to church and rest up. In my whole neighborhood, I was one of the very few kids who went and stayed in school. Most of them stayed at home, and probably never even passed standard 5, let alone finish school.

In primary (elementary) school, I was smart, but not the smartest kid. Luckily, there was this girl in my first grade class, standard one. Her name was Katalina Asino, and she was so beautiful. She was so beautiful that she took my breath away each time I looked at her. I have to say now that I had fallen in love with her the very first time I laid my eyes on her on the first day of class. However, Katalina didn’t come from my neighborhood but from the opposite side of our school. I was from the east side and she was from the west side of the school. So, the only time I could get to see her was if I had gone to school.

Not only that Katalina was the most beautiful girl in the whole school, she was also the smartest kid in class. I immediately befriended her, the very first day of school, the very same day I met her in class. However, if I had to be her friend, or maybe I could now say, her boyfriend then, then I’d have to be smart like her as well. So I had to push myself harder, study harder, just so I could keep up with her in class, and still be able to play together outside of the class, during the school recess.

At home, when I was not at school, I missed her a lot, and so I had to talk to my mom about me going to school every school day, instead of just a few days a week. Basically so I could see Katalina. Of course I didn’t tell my mom why I really wanted to go to school every day, but my mom perfectly understood the need to be at school every day regardless of the never ending house chores. So, she let me go to school five days a week, but so as long as we would work on our farm before and after class.

At school, I was able to see Katalina every school day, but I was also able to keep up with her academically. That was the whole thing about being her friend. It wouldn’t have looked good to be her friend and not be smart. Because in quizzes and tests, so as in the exams, Katalina was always the first student and I was second in class. There has been times that I was also either the first and she was second. It was beautiful. I was able to do my chores at home and be the second best student at school.

Times went on like that for years until we got in standard four (grade six). We had also gotten a bit older, and Katalina started looking and talking to other boys, other than just me. And when she did, her school work started to slack too, to the point that she barely passed standard four. In standard five, she was slacking far behind. We weren’t even talking as best friends by then, as she was seeing and dating another guy, Gottlieb, who was one of my best friends. I was devastated when Katalina and I were no longer friends. I couldn’t sleep at times at home, nor could I do anything else, because my mind and thoughts were about Katalina. I wrote her several love letters and most times, she would throw them away, letting the whole school read them. That had hurt me so much that I felt like quitting school. But I never did, because I am not and have never given up on anything that I’ve wanted in my life, and at that time school became my only priority.

Gottlieb knew that Katalina was my girl, and he would tell me about all the fun things they’d be doing, him and Katalina, just to shove it in my face and then laugh at me, which to him was just a big joke, but to me, even if I didn’t show it, deep down inside of me, I was horrified. However, instead of looking down on myself, I lifted my head up high and I studied hard, more than ever. Standard five (grade seven) was and may still be one of the hardest classes in Namibia and South Africa. Most students in Namibia back then never even passed it. Also, most of my classmates in standard five were repeaters, those who were taking it over. Some students were repeating it for their 3rd or 4th times.

While Katalina was struggling with the rest of the majority of the class, I was thriving. I made up my mind that I would not flunk the class and especially that Katalina was not talking to me, I had to show her that I was the best man for her, that I was smart, and not only that, I played soccer, was on school soccer team, and cross country. In my mind, that’s all I had gotten used to, getting A’s and B’s in any class at that time. Even though Katalina and I were no longer best friends, I couldn’t let myself get any grades less than A’s and B’s.

At the end of the year, after the final exams, I was only one of the 3 students who passed standard 5, out of more than 40 students in our class. Two of those students were repeaters. Katalina and Gottlieb both flunk the class, they stayed behind, and I moved on to a secondary (high) school at Iipumbu Secondary School, then to Jacob Marengo Tutorial College.

I believe that certain things happen for very good reasons, and that Katalina was my angel, purposely sent by God to help me with my early years of school, she was the main reason for me to go to school and study hard in order for me to pass all my primary classes. If it was not for her, I don’t think that I would have been able to pass my classes with A’s, let alone go to and stay in school. I’d have ended up just like some or maybe, most of the students in Namibia who never even finished standard five. So, if I could go back in time at my primary school days with Katalina, my true guided angel, then I would try to encourage and make her realize how silly it was to give up on something so important, education, instead of just focusing on some other things, especially boys, some who may not have had her best interest.

At home, there were never days that we went to bed hungry. My mom and I worked very hard to keep our house afloat, and it was one of the best fields produced in the area. We produced lots of food products, from corn, watermelons, black-eye peas, peanuts, rye and more. At the same time, my older sister Jenny, whom I’m forever indebted to, was working for the Retail Magnate, Mr. Aupa Indongo at Continental #1, so she was able to financially support the whole family and my school fees. Thus we were very well off compare to other families, and, in addition, we were never hungry and were never in need of anything. I was able to comfortably help my mom and work at home, in our farm, while maintaining good grades at school. This was and still is an achievement I will always alone cherish. And it didn’t go unnoticed, because when I left for the secondary school, I was told that most parents in the area were pushing their children to go to school so they could one day be like me.

Excelling in school, while at the same time helping my mom at home, just made me feel very proud of myself. Thanks to my mom who never stopped me from going to school, even when most other parents wouldn’t let their kids go to school every day or even some days in the week as I did.

A few years ago, I tried to find out what had happened with my God given angel, Katalina and to my great sadness; I was informed that she might have died of AIDS. And, that just sadness me more, because I never even kissed her, and mostly, I never had a chance to say thank you to her for helping me realize my academic potential early in primary school and for helping me go to school every day and passed all my classes with high grades.

Angels come in many different ways, shapes, and forms. She or he might be the guy next door, or perhaps someone who tried to talk to you in the hallway or street the other day, or may be the person who was standing on the corner begging for some change, but you’ve ignored him, or perhaps, your best friend who tried to warn you about a mistake that you were about to make.

Angels come in many different ways, forms, and shapes. Try to explore and discover yours, and try to listen to him or her. You may just make the right decision as I did, by going to school and finish my primary school education, and eventually college – which is the best thing that I’ve ever done in my life. Now, I’m going to pursue my MBA at INSEAD and PhD in Economics at Harvard University, with focus on Economic Development, Macro and Political Economics.

New Site, Welated, Due to Spill the Beans on Your Love Life

In May 2007, I launched a patent pending data tool, RentersQ (www.rentersq.com), the most loved to hate rental history reporting site, which Business First of Columbus calls “… a tool for landlords to help take guesswork out of tenant screening”.

This year, I am launching a new site, Welated (www.welated.com), which is poised to be the site that you and everyone else in the world will have to check before you go on a date with anyone, anywhere.

In 2000, I launched InterCOL (www.intercol.net), which I thought was the best business history reporting site project ever, back then, and then in 2005, I launched Tip-Mart (www.tipmart.com), a patent pending online reverse auction site, a new site is coming in early 2009, and then RentersQ.

Since last year, I have also been developing Gatepedia (www.gatepedia.com), another patent pending innovative marketing utility platform, but this one is a huge project and will take at least another 10 months before it’s launched to the public.

Each time I work on a project, I always think that this is my best, but when I start to develop a new one, then I realize that this one is my best yet.

So, Welated is the social venue you’d love to hate, and you’d wish you can stop me now, so I don’t have to launch it. Because, no matter who you are or wherever you are, Welated is going to spill the beans on all your personal relationships and love life. The good thing is, it’s going to be a lot of fun…!

I have to stop here, because I am starting to reveal too much about Welated.

It’s is on, just stay tuned…!

New Site, Welated, Due to Spill the Beans on Your Love Life

In May 2007, I launched a patent pending data tool, RentersQ (www.rentersq.com), the most loved to hate rental history reporting site, which Business First of Columbus calls “… a tool for landlords to help take guesswork out of tenant screening”.

This year, I am launching a new site, Welated (www.welated.com), which is poised to be the site that you and everyone else in the world will have to check before you go on a date with anyone, anywhere.

In 2000, I launched InterCOL (www.intercol.net), which I thought was the best business history reporting site project ever, back then, and then in 2005, I launched Tip-Mart (www.tipmart.com), a patent pending online reverse auction site, a new site is coming in early 2009, and then RentersQ.

Since last year, I have also been developing Gatepedia (www.gatepedia.com), another patent pending innovative marketing utility platform, but this one is a huge project and will take at least another 10 months before it’s launched to the public.

Each time I work on a project, I always think that this is my best, but when I start to develop a new one, then I realize that this one is my best yet.

So, Welated is the social venue you’d love to hate, and you’d wish you can stop me now, so I don’t have to launch it. Because, no matter who you are or wherever you are, Welated is going to spill the beans on all your personal relationships and love life. The good thing is, it’s going to be a lot of fun…!

I have to stop here, because I am starting to reveal too much about Welated.

It’s is on, just stay tuned…!