Monthly Archives: January 2012

What’s Your Name?

One day we discovered we were having a baby.
A sweet little girl or a little boy maybe.
We knew that we shouldn’t wait ’til we met.
To choose you a name that we wouldn’t regret.

We wanted a name that would sound pretty cool.
When the teachers were taking attendance at school.
We wanted a name that would make you unique.
When people would hear it, their interest would pique.

We wanted a name that would fit you just right.
A name that would shine in the day and the night.
We wanted a name that you’d always be proud.
To stand in a group and shout it out loud!

So with nine months to spare we took a long look.
At all of the names in the Baby Names book.
There were so many choices, places to start.
Gertrude or Mabel, Sylvester or Bart?

Some were too simple, some were too weird.
Some were offensive, some were revered.
Some names we read and could barely pronounce.
We knew those were names we shouldn’t announce.

We read through the book from cover to cover.
Wond’ring which wonderful name we’d discover.
Or which of the names we couldn’t resist.
We took out some paper and started a list.

First we selected some names for a boy.
Langston or Humphrey or Tobias-Roy?
Then we selected some names for a girl.
Esperanza or Guinevere or Millicent-Pearl?

But these names just weren’t right, we couldn’t commit.
We knew that these names just didn’t quite fit.
We decided that when you were born we would choose.
Which name you would get, there’d be nothing to lose.

It seemed like the time, it stood still, so to speak.
As your mother got bigger and bigger each week.
Then finally one day she was ready to blow!
She said to me “honey I think we should go!”

We rushed to the hospital faster than fast.
The day that we’d name you, it was here at last.
On the way out the door I snatched up the Book.
In case that we needed to take one last look.

Several hours later you entered our lives.
The birthing room filled up with cheers and high fives.
I looked at your Mom and said as I smiled.
“You get to choose the name for this child.”

On that wonderful day when we finally met.
We chose Madeline as the name you would get.
‘Cause Madeline is the name that was best!
The name with which you will always be blessed!

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A Primer on the Rampant Stereotyping of Hillbilly Goats

I am writing today to make you aware of a very serious issue that needs to be addressed in a most prudent fashion. At my own personal and financial risk I have decided to take the lead on this issue because I think, ultimately the world will be a better place if we can eliminate the rampant discrimination, elitism and stereotyping that currently exists in our society.

Let me begin by introducing you to my World-Famous Goats.  This is Naughty and Heath.

The World Famous Goats, Naughty (L) and Heath (R). Naughty does actually have legs, he is just lying down next to a tree.

Now, most of you who are reading, being educated and worldly types, are probably aware that goats have historically held an extremely distinguished and respected stature, beginning with the ancient Greeks and the half goat/half man Greek God Pan.

The Greek God Pan. Not sure who the guy is next to him, but clearly they have hit it off as they both have their pants off.

As you can see in this statue Pan was a beautiful, mythological creature with stunning goat features such as a bearded face and horns, furry goats legs and a great penis, which is important when it comes to earning respect and reverence throughout the ages.  For thousands of years since, goats and their ilk, such as the storied Greek Satyrs have lived and been represented with the esteem and honor deserved of such mythic and fabled creatures.

Totally Ripped Satyr Goat/Man with hairy chest and dual horns.

Totally HOT Satyr Goat/Woman. If my goats looked like this I might never leave the barn.

Now because my goats were adopted they didn’t come with any paperwork but I am entirely confident in the assumption that somewhere down the line they have some royal and mythological lineage. I’m here to make sure that they live in a world that respects that lineage.

My issue is this:

It has come to my attention that in the last forty to fifty years there has been a disturbing and sickening movement, whereas goats are being unfairly portrayed as some kind of banjo playing, ass-backwards, hayseed, hillbilly creatures. This is a travesty that needs to be brought to light before any more damage is done.  After thoroughly studying this subject, I have discovered that this trend apparently was started by an iconic American cereal company, the Kellogg’s Corporation, with the release of a brand of cereal in the 1960s.

Would you feed this disgusting, atrocious, banjo-spewing filth to your kids?

This cereal, called Kellogg’s Stars, was represented by a mascot that was a hillbilly goat, wearing suspenders and some kind of vile, hobo style hat on his head.  Yes, you are reading that correctly! Apparently, the marketing department at Kellogg’s believed it a good idea to utterly disrespect the Greek God Pan, with his great penis, by putting a hillbilly goat on a cereal box!  Disgusting!  Now I’m a big fan of Kellogg’s and I’d eat Frosted Flakes or Froot Loops all day long if I could, but I find this elitism and stereotypical portrayal reprehensible.

Since the release of this cereal, this tendency to stereotype goats as hillbillies has reached crisis levels.  Please review the following examples:

Harmless Goat in Flannel Wife-Beater with Billy-Bob Teeth

1. This is an image of an innocent, harmless goat, wearing not only a flannel, wife-beater shirt, but a pair of Chinese-import, imitation Billy-Bob teeth in his mouth. Seriously… someone thought this was funny? I find it repugnant!  Now this is surely a staged photograph but it is still horribly distressing to me that anyone would portray such a mythical creature in such an obscene way.

Hillbilly Goat Costume

2. This is a disgusting, reprehensible Halloween costume that you can buy if you want to continue to violate and disrespect honorable goats around the world and dress as a hillbilly goat for trick-or-treating. Seriously… someone thought this was a good idea? Well I find it offensive and shameful and I would suggest that a trick-or-treater would receive significantly more candy on Halloween dressed as the Greek God Pan with his great penis.

3. All of this was recently culminated in the film Hoodwinked, which has a singing, banjo-playing goat character named Japeth in it that sings “The Goat Song”. You can view snippets of this video on the internet, but there are all kinds of copyright violations involved and because this is a serious issue where my reputation is involved, I don’t want to risk damaging the progress and successes we have begun to reap.

Okay… so admittedly its pretty funny, but I still don’t think it’s right.

Japeth, the goat from Hoodwinked.

There are, of course, thousands of other examples, but as you can see, this unrestrained, wretched stereotyping of goats has become widespread and problematic.  As a conscious citizen and goat-owner, I feel it my civic duty to take on this challenge and to attempt to correct the wrongs that have been cast on good, wholesome, mythological goats during this last half century.

As a start I have enlisted the assistance of a highly reputable organization that has experience in these issues.

This is the contact information if you’d like to make a donation to the cause.  As payment they will accept cash, credit cards, moonshine and roadkill.

C.L.E.T.U.S.
Consortium for Legitamacy and Equity Towards Ungulate Species.
http://www.cletus.org

Thanks for your support. I hope you’ll join me in this fight!

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How to dispose of an unflushable poo

We all have funny search terms that show up on our stats pages. We all have search terms that make us wonder how those particular terms actually got someone to click and read our blog.  We all have search terms that show up consistently, over and over again, that drive readers to certain posts that we have written that most likely don’t contain the relevant information that the reader was searching for.  I’ve read many hilarious posts that some of my subscriptions have written based on their search terms and I’ve written one or two myself during the life of this blog.

On one hand, I try not to write posts that are based on my search terms.  Somehow I feel like it’s cheating, like it’s too easy. I feel like I’m not generating my own idea for a post and I’m not forcing myself to use my own creativity to drive the writing. On the other hand, sometimes they just have to be addressed.

Yesterday someone arrived to my blog by typing the following search term:

how to dispose of an unflushable poo

Now, as you surely know, an unflushable poo is a very complex and serious situation.  If we step back a moment and analyze the terms, we can infer the following:

1. The searcher has just taken a “poo”. We are not able to determine the size of the poo, but clearly the distinct terminology, specifically the use of the word “unflushable” leads us to believe that the searcher has taken not just a regular sized poo, but a very large, possibly enormously sized poo.

2. The searcher has already determined that the poo is unflushable meaning he has already tried flushing it. Of course there is the slim possibility that the searcher took the poo, turned around and saw that is was such a mammoth poo and made the immediate, rash judgment that is was unflushable, but experience tells us that most people would make the attempt to flush the poo.

3. As it seems clear that the searcher was able to make the attempt to flush the poo, we can conclude that the searcher is not involved in a situation where there is a power outage or plumbing issue.

4. The searcher is trying to figure out how to remove the poo from the toilet and “dispose” of it via some other method, perhaps by washing it down the sink, putting it into a trash container, or throwing the poo out of a window. It is unclear whether the searcher is still standing in the bathroom whilst in a deep panic, and using his smart phone to search while the water rapidly fills up the toilet, or if the searcher has had the opportunity to leave the bathroom and search on an actual computer. Regardless, it is likely the searcher has not yet washed his hands.

5. We cannot determine this with 100% certainty, but it is likely the searcher is not in his home. Instead, it seems reasonable to assume that the searcher is in the home of someone else and is concerned about the possible embarrassment involved in having to admit to having taken an “unflushable poo”.  We can be quite certain the searcher is not in a public bathroom, where unflushable poos are frequently left with total disregard to the people who must use the bathroom at a later time.

With these facts at hand we come to the following conclusion:

The searcher has recently arrived at the apartment of the woman that he met on Match.com. The couple has just completed a successful night out, that included fine dining on steaks and seafood, several bottles of expensive wine, two fabulous desserts, a couple of shots of Grand Marnier, a little footsie under the table, and some romantic hand holding on the walk back to her home through the city park.  Upon arriving at the woman’s apartment, she has asked the searcher to come inside for a nightcap.  While sitting on the couch, the searcher begins having massive stomach cramps and realizes that he has to use the bathroom.  The searcher excuses himself, walks to the bathroom, sits down on the toilet and takes the unflushable poo. When finished, the searcher flushes the toilet, begins walking towards the sink, only to briefly look back and see the unflushable poo still in the bowl. The searcher panics as all chances of getting laid are quickly flying out the window.  With the door to the bathroom locked, the searcher pulls out his phone, types in “how to dispose of an unflushable poo” and ends up at The Brown Road Chronicles and my post titled “Top 10 things I learned during Ice Storm 2011.”

That’s all we can decipher from the available data.  I don’t know what happened next… but I hope he comes back and subscribes to my blog some day.

You are welcome to speculate in your comments!

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Mr. Mom

I have not worked since November 3rd, 2011. To give any new readers a little background, the family business where I had worked the past eighteen years was sold and I chose to move on to a new opportunity that starts… well… now. But I have been off for about two months, and during those two months I have acted as a “Mr. Mom”, or a “stay-at-home Dad”, or whatever other term people choose to call it. I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not sure I would have survived being home with the kids when they were toddlers.  I read stories about stay-at-home parents on a daily basis via several of my blog subscriptions and it is a much different situation than being home with a pre-teen and a teenager who are in school part of the day. But I have enjoyed every last-minute of these two months.

I have been happier than I have been in a long time. My stress levels have returned back to what I would consider normal. I sleep better and I have had a brief opportunity to pursue some creative outlets.  I have had time to breathe and think and philosophize and reflect. More importantly, I have connected with my kids in ways that I had not had the opportunity to at any other time in their lives. My wife has been working full-time while she has a staff member on leave and I have temporarily become the primary care-giver in many ways, cooking them meals, driving them to and from school and their myriad activities, being home with them during the holiday breaks and basically seeing a part of their lives that occurs during “normal working hours” that I, for the most part, had never really seen.  We have sat together in coffee shops and Subway restaurants and other places and had conversations about school and life and family and friends.  I have experienced what it is like to be a family that is more than just four people indiscriminately passing each other on the way to wherever we all need to be next.  Unfortunately, while I have reconnected, my wife has admitted to feeling somewhat disconnected from them. I guess that is the ebb and flow of life in a two parent household.

If I could do this forever, I would, but financially, although we could continue to survive for a while longer, it is not realistic to do so.  So, I move onto the next chapter. I will be self-employed and will keep a home office but will also be on the road for a portion of time.  I mourn the loss of this freedom but understand that the challenge is to find a balance between a rewarding home-life and a consistent work schedule. I don’t know if I have that capability and I worry about which direction the scales will tip.

On the other hand, I will always remember these days, so relaxed and peaceful and contemplative… an opportunity I may not have again for a long time.

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