Monthly Archives: September 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

Don’t be alarmed… it’s okay… there’s no need to panic… everything is under control… you didn’t miss my birthday.

My birthday is tomorrow, Thursday, September 29th.  See, I wanted to tell you all today so that you had plenty of time to prepare your birthday wishes and comments and in case anyone wanted to UPS Next Day Air a gift or some money to me. Don’t feel obligated though to send me anything, just a nice comment will suffice. Or, if you have some spare time tomorrow and would be willing to click over and over on some of my posts so that I think I’m getting a lot of blog hits on my birthday that would be a good present too. Just don’t tell me what you’re doing… that can be your little secret.

I’ll be forty-four years old tomorrow.  Forty-four seems like a pretty good age. There are lots of fours in it. In fact there are more fours than I’ll ever have in my age unless I live to be four-hundred and forty-four which would be pretty cool. Think how much blogging I could do between now and then. So if you happen to have the Secret to Eternal Life and you want to UPS Next Day Air that to me that would be awesome. Otherwise, you have my permission to gorge yourself on some cake or sweets tomorrow to celebrate my birthday with me.

With that in mind, I did a Google search for forty-fourth birthday cakes in case anyone wanted to copy one of the designs and bake me a cake and UPS Next Day Air it to me for my birthday.

Here’s a nice one I found. It looked delicious until I saw that butterfly creature on the side with the big slug body and then it kind of grossed me out.  I bet momfog wouldn’t make a cake with a big slug-butterfly on it.  If you don’t know who momfog is, she’s a blogger that makes really cool cakes and sometimes writes about them.  Hopefully this isn’t her cake.

Then I found this one. This cake was President Obama’s forty-fourth birthday cake. It also looked delicious until I realized that it probably cost an exorbitant amount of my tax money to get it made and was likely filled with nothing but empty promises and hand-outs.  Then it kind of grossed me out.

This cake was apparently for a guy named Mike. It doesn’t actually say it was for a forty-fourth birthday but it came up in the search and I thought it was pretty neat. This one didn’t gross me out.  I just hope this fellow Mike, didn’t spend his actual birthday skiing off cliffs like this because he probably would no longer be with us… kind of like the other guy who lost his skis in the snow and is nowhere to be found.

Finally, this last one was the cake at Pamela Anderson’s 44th Birthday.  She seems to be enjoying herself.  So does the guy whose lap it is sitting on.  I hope he didn’t puncture a hole in the bottom of the cake.  That kind of grossed me out too.

So, maybe I won’t have any cake for my birthday, although my wife will probably get a cake or some cupcakes or something like that, and she always makes a good choice.  A nice evening spent with her and the kids is all I really need… unless you are a literary agent and you want to send me a contract for my birthday. That would be great too!



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Blogging Awards

Fuck, I can’t ignore this situation any longer…

So, apparently people are fond of showing love and respect for the Brown Road Chronicles because I keep getting nominated for these blogging awards that are continually forwarded around our little community here.  I’m starting to think there is only a tiny number of bloggers passing around these same awards, like some kind of sexual disease, because I keep catching them… I mean getting them…. uh, I mean receiving them… uhhh…

Anyhow, on previous nominations, I have passed these off as a silly gimmick and haven’t written the required reply posts accepting the awards and telling everybody how I like to wear purple knickers or whatever other secrets people want to know about me.  See, I have never been very good at receiving awards and praise. I’m kind of a humble guy and even though it’s true, I don’t like to walk around telling people how fucking handsome and awesome I am. Seriously, I just don’t think that’s right. But I have now been nominated for the following awards including four within the last several days:  The Stylish Blogger Award; The Meme-Tastic Blogger Award; The Versatile Blogger Award (five times in two different formats); and the Award with the little gold guy holding the trophy, which apparently doesn’t have a name.  So that’s like eight awards, which is a lot of fucking praise!

With that in mind, I thought I better start taking this shit seriously or risk becoming some kind of a blogging outcast, who no one likes and who has to go live on a deserted island somewhere, where there’s no internet connection… and although sometimes that kinda sounds pretty good… well… who really needs that? So, if I remember correctly, here are the bloggers that have reaped these praises on me. These are all great blogs that I like to read, so please take some time and check them out. Hopefully I haven’t missed anybody.

Edmonton Tourist
Clouded Marbles
Big Sheep Blog
Spectrum Woman
The Throw Down
Dribbling Pensioner

Now, those of you who have been blogging for a while know that it quickly becomes pretty difficult to find good bloggers who haven’t already received numerous nominations for these fine awards. So rather than just continually spreading these awards around to the same writers, I dug deep down and came up with five great, but little known, blogs that I spend a lot of time reading. All of these have managed to stay somewhat anonymous, but they are clearly deserving of some blogging praise, so I thought I should share them with you.  Don’t forget to click on the links and check these out! Here goes…

Daily Beauty Tips for Metrosexual Farmers:

This is a great read, written by farmers for farmers.  Now I’m not a farmer, but sometimes I play one on my own blog… and I can definitely be a little metrosexual, so I find a lot of great information on this site.  Stuff like where to find tight-fitting, low-rise skinny overalls and fitted John Deere tees, how much gel to put in your hair so that a straw hat won’t give you hat head and how to clean horse shit off your Sperry’s.

Goats on Meth:

This is a great blog written by two meth-addicted goats that live somewhere in Michigan and write about how they party on Twinkies and Meth and cans of Coke while their owners are off at work.  It’s a fucking awesome read, like reality TV for goats. Seriously funny shit! I read it mostly so I can be sure my own goats don’t go down that same path.  I’ve already noticed they’ve been eating a lot of Twinkies…

Big Beautiful Breasts and Bushhogs:

This is a porno site… uhhh… I mean a farm equipment site I read… you know… to keep up on… you know… farm equipment… you know… just in case… you know… I might ever need to buy something… you know… like farm equipment.

Wine Drinking for Hillbillies:

If you like to drink wine in obscene and excessive amounts, this is the site to read.  Whether it be wine from a jug, wine from a box, or wine you can make in ten gallon drums in your basement with some Welch’s Grape Juice and a package of bread yeast… well it’s all there. Plus, tips on how to survive tripping over a chair and falling into the fire pit, how to pretend you remember the conversation you had with your wife the night before, and what kinds of glassware you can use to trick your friends into thinking they’re drinking something other than wine you made in your basement.

Sports for Dorks:

This is an important blog that I like to read so that when I’m hanging out with my male friends and they’re talking sports, I can sound like I actually know what the fuck I am talking about, even though I really don’t.  It includes great advice, like how to pronounce names like Ndamukong Suh and Nnamdi Asomugha and T.J. Houshmandzadeh, how to draft a decent Fantasy Football team when you only know like six players, how to discretely empty bottles of Budweiser and refill them with Chardonnay so friends think you’re actually drinking Budweiser, and subtle ways to change the subject of the conversation from sports to the latest issue of GQ Magazine.

So, there you go, five great reads for you to click away on.  Now, I’m also supposed to tell y’all some stuff about myself… but screw that… that’s what my blog is all about anyhow.  Just keep reading and you’ll find out enough.  If you really want to know about me, read the interview.

And now, in all seriousness, if you want to read some great blogs, check out my blogroll. It should be just to the right on your screen about now. Those are all blogs that I follow and read and comment on regularly.  I’m not going to pass them any awards, because they already know how fucking awesome they are!



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O’ Beautiful Corn

O’ Beautiful Corn, you grow so high.
Up to our knees by Fourth of July.
Up to our chest in August late.
Just in time for harvest date.

O’ Beautiful Corn, grown from the lands.
We buy you from the local stands.
A dozen ears won’t cost a lot.
Shall be enough to fill our pot.

O’ Beautiful Corn, in husks of green.
We peel them to reveal your sheen.
A job, our children we employ.
One of the jobs they do enjoy.

O’ Beautiful Corn, you precious food.
You always put me in the mood.
For friends and fun and barbeques.
And summer meals we can’t refuse.

O’ Beautiful Corn of shining Maize.
Your fresh picked taste on summer days.
Soaked in butter, sprinkled with salt.
Your goodness we should all exalt.

O’ Beautiful Corn, your cobs we strip.
With our teeth we tear and rip.
Like a typewriter moving ‘cross the page
That’s how it’s done at any age.

But Beautiful Corn, we must confess.
There’s a question we can only guess,
has been asked by people o’er and again,
even the pilgrims way back when.

See, Beautiful Corn, we are distressed.
Why your kernels, we cannot digest.
Every other food we turn to poo.
Why can’t we do the same with you?

The End (pun intended)! 🙂


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The Monkey Money Collector

It’s county fair week around us.  Ah, yes, the county fair, where idyllic rural farm life meets the crazed mania of the Midway, where you can watch a tractor pull, dance to some bluegrass music and win your kid a giant stuffed animal, where you can dine on delicious but overpriced Italian sausage sandwiches, corn dogs, caramel apples and elephant ears, all delivered fresh from portable trailer restaurants, where you can walk through barns full of horses and cows and cattle and pigs and goats and sheep and rabbits all raised by proud 4-H kids, where you can see giant alligators and other reptiles and where you can “people watch” folks from all walks of life.  It’s the county fair and it’s an all-American tradition.

We have been attending the same county fair for the 16 years that we have lived in our house. We don’t make it every year, but we have most.  Sometimes, like this year we will go twice.  A friend of my daughters was showing her horse in the riding competitions and we spent Sunday afternoon watching her and walking through the barns and looking at the animals. We hope our daughter will be riding in these same competitions next year. Later this week we will go back for an evening and ride the rides and eat cotton candy and elephant ears.

At this particular fair, as people walk the main pathway from the barns over to the midway and back, somewhere in the middle, just past the grandstand, they have typically come upon a large congregation of people standing in a half circle and watching something. Often there are kids in the front row and adults squatting down.  From the back it’s tough to see what is going on, to see what all these spectators are riveted on.  Pushing through, however, one can finally witness the strange event that has drawn this crowd of onlookers.

There, facing the crowd is a tall, gangly and scraggly looking man, dressed in an old tattered suit that has seen better days. The man looks tired as if Fair life has worn him down. He doesn’t say a word. He doesn’t smile or perform any tricks. He doesn’t speak or show any emotion, he just stands there… for he is not the performer.  In front of this man, on a thin string-like leash is a monkey, dressed as well, in a charming little vest and shorts and a hat with a string around his chin, and he is working this crowd of kids and adults hard. But he is not juggling, he is not opening and eating a banana, he is not riding a unicycle… nothing like that. He is collecting coins from the spectators.  The people in the front row are reaching into their pockets and grabbing coins and holding them towards the monkey who walks up to them and takes the coins and returns them back to the man in the suit.  Parents are handing coins to their children so that they too can experience this monkey taking coins from their hands. One after another after another, coin after coin after coin.  It’s cute and adorable and weird and sick and twisted… and absolutely brilliant!

It’s the Monkey Money Collector…

One year while at the fair, after seeing this Monkey Money Collector do his thing, I succumbed to my urges to participate in this bizarre spectacle and I grabbed a quarter out of my pocket and squatted down with anticipation. There we were, that cute little monkey and me, facing each other amongst this crowd of people. I smiled and held my hand out and the monkey saw the bright, shiny quarter. With a gleam in his eye he came running over to me and with his tiny little monkey hand he grabbed the quarter from me. Then he ran back to his owner and gave him the quarter.  Just like that, with only seconds of time having ticked off the clock, I was 25 cents poorer and the man in the suit was 25 cents richer.  He quickly left me and moved onto the next participant. I don’t quite remember, but I’m pretty sure I then handed coins to my kids who in turn gave them to the monkey.

I have to admit, as amusing as the whole concept is to me of training a monkey to take money from people, I have always felt sorry for this little fellow, as I tend to with any animal that I see out of its normal habitat. In hindsight, I suppose he probably has a good life with the strange, un-emotional man who is his keeper.  I’d venture to guess, as well, that this man and his monkey are not living the high-life somewhere, off of the income earned at the county fairs they worked.  But capitalism works in strange ways and somewhere, deep down inside, I hope that they have a decent life.

As my family and I walked through the fair on Sunday, I didn’t see the Monkey Money Collector and I wondered why they weren’t there.  Maybe they just weren’t working this day, or maybe one of them has passed away… or maybe they have retired to a tropical island somewhere! If they are there when we attend later this week, perhaps I’ll search my pockets for a shiny new quarter.


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The Meaning of Life

Ring… ring…

RECORDING:  You have reached the offices of Meaning of Life Industries.  This phone call may be recorded for quality assurance.  Please listen carefully as our menu options have changed.  So that we may direct you to the proper department, please select from the following prompts.

Dial 1 if you have questions about religious conceptions of existence, social ties, consciousness and happiness.

Dial 2 if you have questions about the pursuit of well-being and the related conception of morality.

Dial 3 if you have questions pertaining to the purpose of life and how it may coincide with the achievement of ultimate reality, or a feeling of oneness, or a feeling of sacredness.

Dial 4 if you have questions arising out of the fundamental disharmony between the individual’s search for meaning and the apparent meaninglessness of the universe.

Dial 5 if you have questions about the premise that the happiness of the individual person is inextricably linked to the well-being of humanity, as a whole, in part, because humans are social animals, who find meaning in personal relations, and because cultural progress benefits everybody living in the culture and which largely translates as ceasing to endlessly reflect on the self, instead of engaging in life and which on the whole results in the therapeutic response that the question of the meaning of life evaporates if one is fully engaged in life.

ME:  Panic…

RECORDING: Or, you may dial zero at any time to speak to a customer service agent.

ME: Dials zero

Ring… ring…

AGENT: Hello, thank you for calling Meaning of Life Industries, this is Raju, can I get your name please.

ME: Steve

AGENT: Hi Steve, how can I help you today?  Do you have a philosophical question concerning the purpose and significance of life or existence in general?

ME: Ummmm…. no, I’d just like to talk to someone.

AGENT: Okay, I can help you with that.  Are you trying to understand how scientific contributions can focus on describing related empirical facts about the universe?

ME: No… umm… I don’t think so… I’m just feeling kind of lost some days lately.

AGENT: I understand… I’ll be more than happy to help you with that. Are you having questions about the symbolic meaning, ontology, value, purpose, ethics, good and evil, free will, conceptions of God, the existence of God, the soul, or the afterlife?

ME: No… ummm… uhhh… none of those things. I do have a job change coming up…

AGENT: Okay, it would be my sincerest pleasure to help you with that.  Do you find yourself focusing less on humankind’s relationship to God and more on the relationship between individuals and their society?

ME: Uhhh… no… uhh… I’m not sure about that… I write a blog called Brown Road Chronicles and I feel like somehow I should try to take it to the next level… whatever that is.

AGENT: Okay, I am driven with intense joy to help you with that.  We find that is common amongst bloggers, that a lot of them start writing because they are searching for something more meaningful. Let me ask… are you aware that happiness depends upon being self-sufficient and master of one’s mental attitude while suffering is a consequence of false judgments of value, which cause negative emotions and a concomitant vicious character?

ME: Ummm… uhhh… I’m not sure I understand what you mean by that… but my wife thinks maybe I’m just having a little bit of a midlife crisis.

AGENT: Yes, I understand… and I would be incredibly, fantasmically, delighted to help you with that.  Steve, I think maybe we should schedule an appointment for you to have a consultation with one of our Meaning of Life Associates.  Do you have a preference who you’d like to see?

ME: Ummm… no… I don’t know who the choices are.

AGENT: Well, our current staff includes Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Kierkegaard, Epicurus, Nietzsche, Camus and Confucius.

ME: Oh my… I didn’t think all those people were still alive… are those people still alive?

AGENT: No sir, they are not alive… our actual Meaning of Life Associates are… well… we call them “philosopher helpers”… kind of like the Santa Claus you’ve perhaps seen at your local mall.

ME: Oh… okay… well, I don’t know… I guess whoever is available.

AGENT: Okay, good… my whole human consciousness and purpose of life thrives on me helping you with that. We can see who has an open appointment available.  Do you have a preference of which facility you would like to visit… Mt. Everest, Kilimanjaro, Fuji or Kangchenjunga?

ME: Kangchen… what… I’m sorry, what was that last one?

AGENT: Kangchenjunga.

ME: Oh my… where is that?

AGENT: That would be on the border between India and Nepal.

ME: Oh my… ummm… isn’t there anything closer. Don’t you have any offices in Michigan?

AGENT: No, I’m sorry sir, all of our offices are at the tops of mountains. I’m pretty sure there are no mountains in Michigan.

ME: Oh… I see… well, I’m sorry, I don’t think I can get to any of those places… but thank you for your time anyway.

AGENT: Well, I’m sorry I couldn’t help you sir, if you’d like I can transfer you to our automated Meaning of Life, self-help line.

ME: Okay, I guess that would be alright…

AGENT: I’ll transfer you now, thank you for calling Meaning of Life Industries.

Ring… ring…

RECORDING: You have reached the Meaning of Life Industries automated self-help line.  Due to an overwhelming volume of bloggers calling our lines, we are experiencing excessive delays.  Approximate wait time is ten years.

Or, you may dial zero at any time to speak to a customer service agent….


*Thank you to Wikipedia for clarifying what the meaning of life… really means.



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As long as you’re with me.

To my wife

If I could live in any place, which place would it be?
Paris, France or Ireland or Southern Italy?
Those would be nice, once or twice, but…
I’d choose Michigan, right where we’ve been, as long as you’re with me.

If I could live in any house, which house would it be?
A mansion in the mountains or a lighthouse by the sea?
Those would be nice, once or twice, but…
Our old house, is where I’d espouse, as long as you’re with me.

If I could drive in any car, which car would it be?
A Beamer on the Autobahn or a car in the Grand Prix?
Those would be nice, once or twice, but…
I’d pick my old truck, with any luck, as long as you’re with me.

If I could float in any boat, which boat would it be?
A paddlewheel on a river or a schooner on the sea?
Those would be nice, once or twice, but…
An old canoe, would certainly do, as long as you’re with me.

If I could rest in any chair, which chair would it be?
A throne inside a castle or a seat at the symphony?
Those would be nice, once or twice, but…
Nothing compares, to rocking chairs, as long as you’re with me.

If I could eat any meal, which meal would it be?
Boiled lobster on the beach or hors-d’oeuvres with wine and brie?
Those would be nice, once or twice, but…
I’d eat a PB&J, on a rainy day, as long as you’re with me.

If I could choose any drink, which drink would it be?
A Margarita by a sunny pool or a fruity Daiquiri?
Those would be nice, once or twice, but…
I’d just fill up, my coffee cup, as long as you’re with me.

If I could live to any age, which age would it be?
All the way to Ninety or perhaps One Hundred and Three?
Those would be nice, once or twice, but…
Age can’t be guessed, though I’ll be blessed, as long as you’re with me.


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My 100th Post!

Today I am writing my One Hundredth post.
I’m not trying to brag and I’m not trying to boast.
I’d just like to share a short monologue.
To all of the readers that frequent my blog.

Thank you, my friends, for reading these posts.
I’ve written about goats, about BOOBS, about ghosts,
and my house and my truck and my kids and my wife,
and all the great things that happen in life.

I’ve written about topics that make people happy.
I’ve written about topics you likely found sappy.
Some posts have been funny, some posts have been sad.
Perhaps, once or twice, I have made someone mad.

I’ve made friends I suspect I will never be meeting,
in person, instead of while blogging and tweeting.
You’ve read and you’ve “liked” and you’ve commented nicely.
You’ve shared all your feelings and thoughts so precisely.

You’ve made me feel special and oh, so connected.
You’ve welcomed me more than I’d ever expected.
To a place where all of our creativity is nourished.
A place where all of our writing has flourished.

So, I thank you again for reading this blog.
I know that sometimes it can be a time hog.
Thank you for supporting this blog as it grows.
For following along wherever it goes.

I hope you will promise to keep on returning.
And continue to only be mildly discerning.
With that I will tell you that this post is done.
Now on to start writing post One Hundred and One.

Thank you my friends. Your support and friendship
is truly valued! Here’s to another 100 posts!


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