The BrandFiller blog started off as something focused on media and marketing, what we thought of the industry and the fun and interesting things that happen around brands and campaigns. But, it has morphed into something a little more recreational and less formal, with some bloggers focusing on sports, others on technology and a couple on pop culture. And, I guess we’ve all started sharing a little bit more of our lives than just our opinions on brands.
So, with that in mind, I wanted to share a little bit about what my younger brother, Michael, is up to. Some of you may know him from his blogs on this site and you may have seen his “View from my Office” picture posted last week. Mike has made a slight career change – for the first decade of his professional life he focused on science, and became one of the most brilliant research scientists (I can say that – I’m his older brother) at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
He’s recently made a change and he’s moved back out West to be part of his in-laws’ ranching operation. I am envious – he spends his days up in the mountains or out in the desert working with animals and making sure that things are taken care of at the different herding camps throughout Northern California, Oregon and Nevada. The family ranches sheep, and they graze at different places across the Northwest throughout the year. The operation is entirely sustainable – but not on purpose, that’s just the way the family has always run things for several generations. Mike has sent back a number of really cool pictures and he often calls (when he reaches an area with reception) and shares some pretty interesting and sometimes funny stories.
A week or two ago he called and he was obviously stressed. He was trying to sound lighthearted, but I know my brother and I knew something was wrong. What I eventually got out of him was that they had lost about 90 sheep and their lambs. He was anxious about this, even though he wouldn’t really admit it. Ninety sheep can make a big difference to the bottom line of a ranching operation, but I knew my brother was probably imagining the worst of the things that can happen to 90 sheep up in the mountains with no dogs and no people to protect them. The coyotes are bad and I’m imagining that the mountain lions are worse.
We talked for several days in a row after that, and each day things were pretty much the same – they had done fly overs looking for the sheep out of a small plane, they had gone miles out of their way to locate them, and nothing. Finally, around Wednesday of that week, Mike stopped calling. Now some of you might think this was a sign to worry more about him, but I knew that wasn’t the case. When Mike stops calling that means things are OK. So I just let the week run out and texted him on Friday or Saturday.
“Did u find those 90 sheep?” I wrote.
“Yeah last night” was the response.
“OK good! Where were they?”
“Mixed in with the drys”
“What is the drys?” I asked – not sure if that was a location or something.
“The sheep that didn’t have lambs this year” he responded.
“Oh… so u never really lost them, just…misfiled them?”
So, yes – my brother has made the jump into a job that he’s always wanted to do and one that is something outdoors and in touch with nature… but the lesson here is that you can still misfile things and that’s never a good thing. #bo-peepwins