It’s a monday night, still cold outside, so let us gather round the dim light of the computer screen and just get a little bit random. When I say random, I mean kind of all over the place. Like a drunk monkey wearing a chaffeur outfit driving a yellow taxi cab down a paved county road. Bar ditch to bar ditch and occasionally take out a fence post or two. Not that I’ve ever been in such a deal, but it could happen.
Cold weather–I am absolutely a believer that cold weather screws up more goats than any other single thing. How to prevent this? Blankets, blankets and more blankets. Goats are not cold weather animals. Their hair has no insulating value. I don’t care if they are in a barn or not. When it is cold out, they need layers. Heated barn? Turn the temp down and put layers on them. If you keep it too warm in a barn, then they will crater when they have to go into adverse conditions. I believe that you have to toughen them up a bit in October and November. After that, 2 or 3 layers are required. If they go to shivering, their hide changes, they lose muscle shape and their appettiites go in the crapper. It also changes them mentally. And we all love dealing with a stupid goat. Keep them warm. And if it is going to be 20 degrees at night but then 68 in the afternoon, take a layer or two off. And if it is nice out for just a couple of hours, strip ’em and let them run naked. They will feel better, eat better, work better and well dang it, they will just be better. Blanket management is a chore but a must. Oh, don’t rely on heat lamps. In the long run, it can cause problems. If you do use heat lamps, make sure they are well protected.
And on the note of better. I watched the tv program “The Voice” last night with the family. I don’t care what Blake, Usher or Adam can do for me as a musician, if Shakira hits the button to pick me, I’m all in. There are some female singers that take me to a happy place when I hear their songs–Shania, Adele, Mariah, Whitney and Shakira. Daddy likey! Not only is Shakira talented, but she kind of looks the part. But in today’s society, if you can find a way to tie to the spanish speaking market, then you have a huge marketing opportunity. I can’t speak spanish/mexican/costa rican or any other dialect. I only know enough mexican to get myself stabbed. However, I have successfully been known to order 2 beers with lime, hurry up and thanks. (Dos cerveza con limon. Andele. Por favor.) I doubt that I use proper grammar, but it works. Although I can’t speak any spanish dialects, I can talk several different dialects of direlect English.
I like the comedian John Caparulo. He has some side splitting funny material. One of his shticks refers to “Why people consider somebody super intelligent if they can speak 7 different languages?” His theory is that if you are an idiot and speak seven different languages then a lot more people can understand that you are an idiot.
Now, back to the show “The Voice”. Did I mention that I like Shakira?
Showmanship. It is important in every species, but it seems to get amplified at a goat show. Showmanship. There are those that can and those that can’t. Premium sales are mainly inhabited by those that can. Banners are generally won by those that dang sure can show. There are very few that can actually take a goat and make them better. Most good showman show good enough to not get beat. The truly great ones take a goat and go win. There is a difference. I’m fortunate to find myself associated with a lot of really good showmen, a couple of great ones and a couple more that are trying to take the step to being a great showmen. It takes work, practice, time, patience, study and sometimes just some good old GOD given ability. If you are standing ringside at a goat show and you hear somebody say “The reason that they win is because of…….politics, money spent, facilities, buddies with so and so, etc, etc, etc. Well, there may be some truth to it, but I will GUARANTEE you that most of the time (91.2% according to some horsey gallup poll ) there is a heckuva an anchor that is sticking that goat or sheep or pig or calf.
There are two (2) main ingredients to winning a goat show. Showmanship and Genetics. And those two go hand in hand like a couple of monkeys skipping down the streat wearing Beats headphones listening to Sinatra. (Yeah, just stop and think about that visual.) There are only a handful of stellar showmen and there is a limited genetic pool that consistently wins bigger shows. It might be a small breeder that raises a grand goat, but it will be a short line to a major genetic pool. But there will almost always be a solid showman.
I don’t care what you do in life, you need to have fun. I sometimes have too much fun. (Nah, that’s like having too much money.) But most can’t tell if I’m in a good mood or not. Winning goat shows is not fun. The winning part is nothing more than proof that goals were obtained. The journey to get there is way more special and makes the winning WAY MORE fun.
You know what else I like? A random Satruday evening with good friends and good times. My favorite question of the weekend– Ring, “You sure my 15 year old son can go in there and eat with us?” Me– “The drummer of the band is 10 years old. I think that they will let him in.”
Hey Ring, tell Big I that he missed out. Great steak, good friends, an OSU win and someTHING called “Guatemala”. A knuckle bump? RUSM! As always, there are stories to be told.
And to end this Monday evening little jaunt down the not-so-literal path to knowledge, I have bragged about my help before, but I will do it again. I have a WAY GOOD set of showmen, but I have an even better set of parents. Some don’t know what the heck that they are doing, but they will do anything to help anybody. Some are just trying to get better and others are trying to help everyone else get better. As always, my friend Tyke is there to help and he doesn’t get in the way. Brooke takes care of the photos, snacks and never makes anybody mad. And that husband of hers is kind of a big help. Not just to me, but to the other kids. The Dragon Lady was helping kids and staying away from me.
And did I mention my buddy Travis. Schoovy and Braden crawled their rears out of bed on a Beautiful Oklahoma Sunday morning and drove through sleet, snow and ice just to come help other kids. Neither of those two are what you would call “early risers”. But here they were. Braden coached and Schoovy clipped, coached, drenched and worked like a sled dog to help kids. Why? Because they can and want to. It’s families like that which raise the bar for everybody. They will work to beat your ass, but will also take time to teach you how to do it. Too many people want to complalin about consistent winners. In fact, one should simply watch them, take notes, ask questions and then pile in and help each other work to get better. It really is that simple. I know that these people aren’t the only ones that do this, but this is MY blog and these are MY friends and the people that I like. And there is a butt-load of people that benefited from them at this show. And what did it cost? NOTHING! The only thing that I don’t know is how to spell his name. Is it Travis or TravASS? I don’t know. We’ll just stick with Schoovy. Tip of the cap to ya.
Basically, If you read these blogs on a regular basis, you might form the opinion that between a bunch of kids working to get better, Bill & Brooke, the Schoovy’s, Tammy and several others that work at this game, that I really don’t do a dang thing. You might be right. And we are rapidly nearing the day that I am done. Then I’m going to start doing like a couple of WISER people than I. Show up and watch the show, then go get in a picture with a banner, a good goat and an even better kid. I’ve seen several recent photos of my buddy Bob Seelke wearing a nice cowboy hat behind a goat and a banner. I think that’s what I will do. I’ll get me a smiling Bob caboy hat, a Kenneth Helms vest, a Texas entourage in the background and tie it all together with my kilt. I can tell you for sure that if I get in a pic, I will NOT be wearing a stocking cap–no matter how cold it is.
Did I mention that I like Shakira?