The second of October 2019

goats

There is a saying that “Rome was not built in a day” which is absolutely true! It took over a millennia from Rome to expand from a city on the Tiber to an empire reaching from the farthest corners of Europe across the Fertile Crescent and Northern Africa. Most likely, your goal is probably not inter-continental domination, so luckily whatever it is you are trying to accomplish won’t take that long, so keep at it. If it is important to you, then it is absolutely worth the wait.

In addition, today’s goat is a friend of a friend of mine. Her name is Cindy and judging from her easy grin, she quite likes October so far.

The tools to success aren’t always military might and a big budget, but rather patience and perseverance.

The twenty first of June 2019

goats

Today is the longest day of the entire year, if you live in the northern hemisphere. Because the planet Earth (the one we live on) rotates around the sun on a tilted axis, certain parts of the planet get more or less sun depending on the time of year. Basically, billions of years ago, when our solar system was being formed, tons of bits of mass collided together to form mini planets, which then collided together to form proto-planets, which eventually became most of what our planet is now. Then, another pro-planet collided with the prelude to Earth and put us on our lovely little tilt which is reasonable for the seasons. Amazing! And the seasons are a big part of why life was able to flourish on our planet. Incredible how things tend to all fall into place like that!

Completely fantastic how millions of collisions resulted in a planet with goats. Amazing.

The twenty ninth of May 2019

goats

Reflect on how far you’ve come. It may not seem like it everyday, but you have actually accomplished quite a bit and your existence makes someone else’s life a bit brighter and happier. Don’t look back in regret, look back with admiration for all you have survived. Look back to build strength to push forward – if you have made it this far the possibilities about how far you will go are endless!

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The past is all part of your epic saga, without it you wouldn’t be who you are or where you are.

The first of May 2019

goats

Today is May Day, or International Workers’ Day. Interestingly, May Day originated in Chicago, Illinois, where demonstrators organised in May of 1886 after a two year effort to rally support for enforcement of eight hour work days. The Haymarket Meeting was put to an end by over zealous police officers who stormed the otherwise peaceful meeting demanding more equitable and safer working conditions. Eight men were arrested for involvement with the riot, although some of them were not even at the event, four were executed, three eventually pardoned, and one died mysteriously in a jail cell from the impact of a dynamite explosion. Needless to say, in 1889, at an international meeting for labor in Paris, May Day was designated as International Workers Day in honor of those who were lost in the fight for an eight hour working day. Although, not really celebrated in the United States anymore, May Day maintains international significance, and is widely a day of celebration and/or protest to continue the fight for better working conditions across the globe.

So, thank you to the brave men and women who stood up for the eight hour working day a century ago.

Happy International Workers Day everyone, may you be fairly compensated for your labor!

The twenty ninth of April 2019

goats

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt

Wise words, I guess. The above quote is often attributed to Mark Twain or Abraham Lincoln, but the truth is that no one really knows. Such “wise” statements are often attributed to a many different people including they are just cliches that get constantly repeated Perhaps instead of invoking the words of people long gone (not discounting their achievements and importance in history of course) we should make our own quotes and define our own wisdom!

No need to quote past historic figures, don’t be afraid to share your own truth!

The nineteenth of April 2019

goats

Make sure you get a chance to look outside this evening because there is a fantastic full moon known as the Pink Moon. The Pink Moon will not actually appear pink, but was rather named for wild ground phlox which typically sprouts during this time of year. Often, you might hear different full moons called different things, such as a Wolf Moon or a Harvest Moon, and many of these names can be attributed to Algonquin people who inhabited eastern North America before the European invasion. Pink or not, it is a beautiful sight to see!

The pink moon is said to be a sign of spring.

The eleventh of April 2019

goats

I have always been a fan of Thursdays. It is the day day before Friday, and the work week is officially almost done. Thursday was named for the Norse god Thor, and at some point in the distant past it was known as Thor’s Day. Thor was known for wielding a giant hammer and riding a chariot that was drawn by two goats, Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr. These goats were pretty badass, and pulled Thor’s thunder chariot on his many adventures and epics. You may not have met many goats that you would associate with heroic behavior, but I think inside even the most adorable caprine lies the spirit of a badass goat pulling a thunder chariot triumphantly towards the weekend!

Never underestimate a goat – or yourself!

The second of April 2019

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Many goats are so beloved by the communities they live in. For example, recently in the United States, the town of Fair Haven, Vermont, elected a goat named Lincoln to preside as mayor. The village of Cushendun in Northern Ireland had a similar beloved town goat; however, Johann, to my knowledge, never held elected office. He served the village of Cushendun as a volunteer greeter to visitors hoping to enjoy the Victorian architecture settled along the sea. Sadly, Johann served Cushendun until 2001, when he was the last animal to put to rest during the great Foot and Mouth Outbreak that brought the agriculture to a halt in the United Kingdom. Many people now visit Cushendun because it was the setting of an infamous scene from the popular television show Game of Thrones when sorceress Melisandre birthed a shadow. If you find yourself looking for the cave of the shadow baby, you can’t miss the statue built to celebrate the life of Johann the goat, welcoming you to the village.

The statue commemorating Johann the Goat was sculpted in 2002 by artist Deborah Brooks.

The twenty third of March 2019

goats

Say hello to Vlad, the goat of the day. Vlad has the largest horns of all of the goats at The Haven Zoo. He was named by some of the Haven’s most dedicated supporters Eric & Lori Dessecker. The name Vlad was inspired from the fifteenth century prince of Wallachia (now part of modern Romania), Vlad the III, or sometimes known as Vlad the Impaler. Vlad’s dad was part of the “order of the dragon” which gave them the surname of Dracul.  Vlad III was not a very nice guy, and earned the nickname “Impaler” because he actually impaled his enemies and criminals in public. Centuries later, reading up on some history caught the attention of Bram Stoker who based the title character of his classic Draculawhich has arguably been the inspiration for countless other literary and cinematic adventures featuring spooky bloodthirsty vampires. Fortunately for his friends at the Haven, Vlad the goat is most certainly not a vampire, evidenced by his presence in broad daylight in the photo below.

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Vlad the goat enjoys the sunshine!

The twenty eighth of February 2019

goats

By the time February rolls around, the sparkle of the festive season is long gone, and the hopes of the new year start to feel a bit stale. Also, in many places, February has the worst weather out of the year (climate change related spring fake-outs notwithstanding). So, maybe whoever set up the way we keep track of time way back when felt the same way? Perhaps!

Throughout human history, people in different cultures and places had different conceptions of how to track the passage of time. The calendar most of us are familiar with is the Gregorian calendar, created in 1582 under the direction of Pope Gregory XIII, who was trying to solve the problem that seasons do not always change in formulaic ways and that it takes Earth 365.24219 days to revolve around the sun – making the possibility for calendrical wonkiness quite high.

So then, why is February so short? Actually, this time you can’t really blame a pope.  The origins of the calendar take us to the eighth century BC, when the smaller Roman world was organized on the calendar of Romulus – ten months of the year beginning with March on the vernal equinox. Winter was mostly unaccounted for, so you had about two months of calendrical void. To solve the issue, King Numa Pompilius added two months – January and February, and roughly organized the calendar to lunar cycles. This made more sense and you could finally schedule winter time appointments! Pompilius and other people at the time apparently thought that even numbers were unlucky and when they hashed everything out decided that if there had to be an unlucky month in order to have 355 days in  a year, it should be the shortest. By the time Julius Caesar reorganized the calendar to come to 365 days on a solar-based model, the twenty-eight day short month of February was here to stay. I suppose that over a millennia everyone from the pre-Roman Republic kings to Renaissance Popes basically agreed that this time of year is a bit of a bummer, keeping the month to 28 (sometimes 29) days a year.

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Perhaps take solace in the fact that historically, February has always kind of sucked?