Monthly Archives: September 2012

My Chinese Zodiac Sign is…

It’s all coming together now…

I discovered today that I was born in the Year of the Goat (or Sheep or Ram depending on where you look) in the Chinese Zodiac. Wow, I feel so enlightened! Clearly that is the reason that I get along so well with Naughty and Heath. Us Goats, you see, apparently are creative types, crafty and artistic. We’re dreamers and worriers, charming yet introverted, overly concerned with our appearances, romantic and sweet and caring. Okay, my wife would probably argue the “romantic” part, but damn, that’s pretty accurate.

Anyhow, I never really believed in zodiac and astrological mumbo- jumbo, but here’s a few excerpts about us goats.

From www.chinesezodiac.com

Occupying the 8th position in the Chinese Zodiac, the Goat (or Sheep) symbolizes such character traits as creativity, intelligence, dependability, and calmness. Comfortable being alone to ponder the workings of their inner minds, Goats enjoy being part of a group, but prefer the sidelines rather than the center. Their nurturing personality makes Goats excellent care-givers. They’re quiet and reserved because they spend much time absorbed in their thoughts.

Home and alone is where Goats feel most comfortable. There they can express themselves artistically, whether it’s by painting, cooking or participating in whatever artistic endeavors they enjoy. Goats prefer the couch because there they can relax and explore their minds. They don’t need elaborate furnishings; only items reflecting their desire for art.

When traveling or seeking entertainment, Goats prefer groups or venues that hold many people. Goats spend money on fashions that give them a first class appearance. Although Goats enjoy spending money on the finer things in life, they are not snobbish.

This site even classified me as a Fire Goat:

Not nearly as sensitive as other Goats, Fire Goats don’t need the approval of others. Fire Goats always put themselves ahead of others. They’re social creatures who typically will have a close-knit circle of family and friends.

From http://www.chinese-astrology.co.uk/goat.html

Goat people are elegant, charming, artistic, gifted and fond of nature. People born under this sign are also the most creative. They are also very delicate, their good manners and charms always bring many admirers and friends.

Goats are insecure. They need to feel loved and protected. They are easily drawn into complex predicaments. This being, so, they usually shy from confrontation, pull back when faced with heavy decision-making and blatantly refuse to take an unpopular stand in a conflict.

Goat people are dreamers, sometimes, they are pessimistic, hesitant and over-anxious worriers! They can be lazy sometimes. If Goats have any choices, they would definitely choose to marry a wealthy person and sit back for the rest of the lives. Also, they are obsessed with their appearance. This plays an enormous part in their sense of personal stability.

Disorganized as they are, business is definitely not the strength in a Goat. Instead, the Goat will make a good craftsman or artist or writer and can confidently take up any career demanding artistic talents and creativities.

Goat people are very romantic, sensitive, sweet and darling. In relationship, they could be sometimes a little bit bossy and lazy, but with their gentle and caring nature, it will be hard to resist Goat people.

Yeah baby, I’m romantic, sensitive, sweet and darling… and hard to resist. I’m starting to like this whole Astrology gig!

“Yeah… ummm… Steve, your uhhh ‘need to be loved and protected’ is showing.”

Admittedly though, it’s not perfect, I’m definitely not that great at the whole romance part of a relationship. I’m not really insecure, although I was as a much younger person. And I am able to be organized, if only because life requires me to be.

But overall it’s pretty accurate! Now granted, these descriptions are probably written in ways that the average person reading would say, “yeah, that sorta sounds like me.”

My wife on the other hand… she’s a Monkey. Don’t tell her I said that. While reading the descriptions of the Monkey, I thought, some of that sounds right but she’s really more of a Goat than a Monkey, which is probably why we get along so well. She’s sort of ½ goat, ½ monkey, whatever that looks like. One site said this: The monkey has a good chance of becoming famous or well-known. Perhaps I need to start being a little more Monkey and a little less Goat.

So I guess I still don’t really believe in any of this stuff. Anyhow, I’m glad to discover that I am a Goat. My wife texted me from the County Fair last night and told me that one of the families is looking for a good home for two dwarf doe pygmy goats. I don’t really know what those are or if it would be a good idea to add two more to the flock.

My response to her…

“Sure go for it… would give me another year of blog material!”

How about you… what’s your Chinese Zodiac sign? Is it accurate? Are you a believer?

 

 

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Campfire Cooking

Today was one of the first very cool Fall days.  It got down into the high 40′s, low 50′s.  I love days like this where you can wrap up in sweatshirts or flannel and a pair of soft, warm denim jeans. Where you can walk outside and take a deep breath of the crisp cool air, so deep that you feel the air touch the very bottom of your lungs… and feel like your body, your mind, your whole psyche is being cleansed. It awakens and enlivens my senses and my spirit like no other season ever will.

It rained hard this afternoon, heavy thunderstorms that cancelled my son’s football game. A good day to be inside, watching movies or college football games, wrapped in a blanket. Tonight though was drier as the cells of storms had moved on earlier in the day. My wife and daughter went off for the closing evening of the county fair where they are participating in the 4H equestrian program.

When the girls are away, the boys like to do stuff… like make fires and then cook our dinner on the fire. I know, I know… you’re saying… why cook on a fire when you have a perfectly good kitchen available? I don’t know, it’s that primal urge that guys have to be and act like cavemen.

So here was our dinner for the evening:

In a large sheet of aluminum foil: Instant white rice (cooked), cannned chicken, frozen broccoli, a couple tablespoons of olive oil and a big dash of garlic pepper.

Wrap it up tight!

Spread out your fire so you have a nice bed of hot coals to cook on. Set the foil packs directly on the hot coals.

Turn on some music, grab a seat and wait patiently! You don’t need to be concerned, that’s not his beer bottle on the chair next to him.

Cook for about 20 minutes!

It’s all about the presentation! See how frickin’ good this looks!!

Okay, so this isn’t really what it looked like.  In fact, it was dark out so I’m not sure what it really looked like. But it sure tasted as good as this looks!

Because you know what? If I’ve learned anything in my many years of parenting…

… it’s not always about the food… you know what I mean?

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Brown Road Chronicles T-Shirts

In my ongoing quest to become famous I have contracted with a very successful advertising and marketing agency to move that goal forward. They have been very busy…  first that fabulous radio commercial, now a series of t-shirts.  Sorry, these are not for sale at this time but if you want, you can vote on your favorite below! Have fun.

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My New Radio Advertisement

The State of Michigan tourism department, “Pure Michigan”, has for several years been running a highly successful and award-winning radio advertising campaign promoting all of the wonderful places that people can visit in the state. The voice-over artist is Tim Allen, of television and film fame, who was a long-time Michigan resident.

So after hearing these radio ads over and over again, I thought, what better way to get more readers than to produce a radio ad promoting my own blog, The Brown Road Chronicles.

I’ve been working very hard on this, please take a listen, it’s hosted on Sound Cloud, hope the link works. Maybe soon you’ll hear this on a radio station near you!

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A Girl and a Horse

Madeline and Jack

What is it about a girl and a horse?

What brings them together, what powerful force?

Not the beautiful tack,

Nor the ride on his back,

But the unconditional love, of course!

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Here’s my favorite song about horses. Written by the daughter of folk singer Peter Rowan and featured on a CD called “Daddy’s Sing Goodnight” which I’d encourage you to get a copy of if you have little ones!

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Don’t be that squirrel…

To my loyal long-term subscribers, don’t be concerned, you will not be subjected again, to the squirrel in this post.

In my last entry I discussed possibly closing down Brown Road Chronicles. I also mentioned that I’d decided to keep this blog going and I am here to send some appreciation out to all the people who offered comments and encouragement. Thanks… seriously!

“So… what’s your point?”

Today I was driving home down a major four lane road in a nearby town.  I was in the right lane, a small white car was in the left lane just ahead of me. On the other side, no cars were headed in our direction. About 100 yards ahead of me I saw a squirrel start running across the road.  Now, this clearly wasn’t just any squirrel… this was a squirrel of epic and noble stature, powerful and athletic. This squirrel was running…. FAST… like Usain Bolt breaking world records in the 100 meters at the recent summer Olympics. I could tell, even from a distance, that this squirrel possessed a nimbleness and agility not often seen in the small animal world. I could almost hear the synapses firing as his muscular rear legs propelled him, with hydraulic force, in leaps and bounds across the pavement.

Why was this squirrel crossing the road? Who knows! That’s one of those profound, life altering questions that will perhaps never be answered in our lifetimes.  We’ve pretty much figured out why Chickens cross the road, I mean that’s been hashed out over centuries in riddle after riddle.  But why do squirrels cross the road?  Yeah, I know… seriously… mind blowing….

Perhaps he saw a good-looking girl squirrel on the other side, or a large oak tree dripping with acorns. Maybe he was late for an important appointment. I don’t know… regardless, when you see a squirrel running across the road they are clearly on a mission, they have a goal in sight, they are focused… like a laser… no even more than that… they’re focused… like a pair of binoculars on a boat full of bikini-clad beauties… uhhh, not that I would do that.

Anyhow, so this mythological squirrel goes running across the road, across four lanes, and gets to literally about two feet from the edge of the opposite side.  He had made it across four lanes! He could taste it, two more leaps and he would have been safely in the grass and off to claim whatever dangling carrot had driven him across on this journey in the first place.

BUT…

With just two feet to spare, and still no cars within harm’s way, he slammed on his brakes.  I could hear the pads of his feet, squealing like an Indy Car, as he turned around, righted the ship… and just as powerfully and athletically ran back to his starting position and off into the woods. It was a dramatic change of events, an epic reversal of fortune.  Perhaps he was just attempting to play a little chicken (no pun intended) with any cars that might be in the road, but more likely, he had been plagued with that brief moment of doubt that we have all experienced in life. He had lost his confidence, panicked and had a sudden bout of uncertainty. He didn’t believe in himself and he gave up.

“So… what’s your point?”

Well, don’t be that squirrel.

I’ve decided not to be that squirrel either. I don’t really know why I write this blog, what my goals are, what the purpose is, what the end result will be. What I do know… if you’ve got some nuts you are chasing and you are so close that you can taste them… well, whether they hang from the tree that is your job, or your writing career, or your relationships or wherever… those are your goals and your dreams and they’re important.  They are oh, so important.  So dig down deep in your gut and find the will to go that extra couple of feet and cross your particular road.

Because when you get there… those will be some of the tastiest proverbial nuts you’ve ever eaten!

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