I started this website with a very specific purpose; to write to people in southeast Montana about the issues the media wasn’t covering regarding the Tongue River...
It's official. The proposed Tongue River Railroad is done. Today the Surface Transportation Board issued a decision officially ending the Tongue River Railroad. On November 25, 2015,...
By now the demise of the Otter Creek mine is old news. I thought I should write something about it but I didn’t. Talking to a good...
There is a message that is being sent over and over again to the people that live there, both explicitly and implicitly: Your only value is the minerals underneath your feet.Read More
Each sunny day upon my way A goat I pass; He has a beard of silver grey, A bell of brass. And all the while I am in sight He seems to muse, And stares at me with all his might And chews and chews.
Upon the hill so thymy sweet With joy of Spring, He hails me with a tiny bleat Of welcoming. Though half the globe is drenched with blood And cities flare, Contentedly he chews the cud And does not care.
Oh gentle friend, I know not what Your age may be, But of my years I'd give the lot Yet left to me, To chew a thistle and not choke, But bright of eye Gaze at the old world-weary bloke Who hobbles by.
Alas! though bards make verse sublime, And lines to quote, It takes a fool like me to rhyme About a goat.
Once an applicant decides to use a third-party contractor to assist in the preparation of the environmental document, the next step in the process is to select a third-party contractor. SEA maintains a list of approved third-party contractors, comprised of individuals and firms with expertise and experience in environmental review of rail or transportation projects. (10) When an applicant expresses an interest in using a third-party contractor, SEA furnishes the applicant a copy of the third-party contractor list. The applicant indicates which contractor from the list it would prefer to use by formally requesting in writing SEA's approval of that contractor. (11) (SEA means Section of Environmental Analysis)So, in the first scenario, ICF writes something that Arch Coal and Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) don't like. Then, the next time Arch Coal and BNSF see ICF International on the list of potential contractors to pick for the development of the EIS for an energy project, they will probably pick a different one. End of story. ICF would lose large industry contracts. The second scenario is that ICF International will say exactly what they state in their white paper. They will say that the global and domestic market for coal is rebounding and will be strong in the future and so the building of the coal ports and the Tongue River Railroad makes sense from a market standpoint. At that point, our agency staff will have to decide if they agree with that analysis. But, as we all know, agencies are underfunded, understaffed and definitely are not experts on global coal markets. So, they will most likely accept the conclusions of ICF. My hope is that the really nice and thoughtful people that I have met from ICF International who are working on the EIS for the Tongue River Railroad take the time and do their research on coal and coal markets and not rely on this 7-page white paper completed by their colleagues. Because if this is the level of analysis that we can expect to get in our EIS, we're all screwed.
Our eyes met from across the pen.
It was on.
I was alone and had to treat an eye infection in a 45 lb goat kid before it spread to the rest of the herd. She was wild. I got within four feet of her, threw myself in her general direction and was able to grab a leg. Number one rule of catching a goat, do not hesitate. She dragged me at least four feet across the pen and we ended up with me flat on my back in mud and her on top of my chest, with my left arm wrapped around her neck and my right arm wrapped around her lower abdomen. The Teramycin (antibiotic) was in my front right pocket of my jeans. How was I going to get it out, open the tube and squeeze it in her eye?
Always remember, the number two rule of catching a goat is if you have it, you do not let go even if it’s kicking you in the face. Using strength found in the "I f****** hate goats" part of my brain, I rolled onto my side and then rolled again so I was laying on top of her. Using my body weight as leverage, I grabbed the medicine out of my pocket, untwisted the cap with the same hand I was holding it in, held her eye open and squirted it in.
Rule number three is to know what type of goat you are dealing with.
There are three types of goats. The first is the friendly goat. This type can be identified easily by the fact that they like to press their head against your leg and slowly lean into you. They also paw at you and sometimes try to lay on your lap even though, when full grown, they are 150 pounds. They think you are amazing and will do nothing to hurt them, ever. This is the stupidest type of goat but also, the most awesome.
The second type is the indifferent goat. This is your normal, average, run of the mill goat that generally goes where it should, when it should and is quite indifferent your existence. All you are is the bringer of food in the winter. This type can be identified by their air of indifference and lack of gratitude. They are of average intelligence.
The third type is the wild goat. This type is the kind that if one day you stopped feeding and watering them they would be fine. They’d go feral quicker than a dog rolls in fresh horse shit. You are not irrelevant to them. You are a threat. This type can be identified by the look in their eyes and their location on the outer edge of the herd. They are always watching you. They are smarter than you.
Rule number four is to wear sensible footwear. Cowboy boots? Really? That’s a recipe for slipping and falling on your ass. Oh, and rule number five is don’t have anything sharp in your pockets.
The goat walks up to you and asks you what it can do for you today. You scratch it on the head and say, "Thank you goat, please follow me."
The goat notices you walk into the pen but quickly loses interest. You use your zen-like, emotionless and calm demeanor you’ve cultivated over the years to lull it into a false sense of security. Rule number six is you never make eye contact with the target. NEVER. Do not look at it, do not think about it, do not acknowledge its existence. Your calm mind is their calm mind.
Rule number seven is YOU DO NOT GET ANGRY. You slowly walk through the herd scritching and petting other goats until you are near the indifferent goat and then in one motion, too quick to be registered by the goat, you grab it and hold on for dear life. They are stronger than they look and you just startled them. The qualifier rule here is that if it is a wild goat, rule number six and seven are null and void.
The goat knew you were going to come in to the pen to try to catch it before you even opened your eyes that morning.There is no way in hell they are letting you get near them.
So, what is a goat rancher to do? It usually involves at least two people unless you're an expert goat catcher like myself.You get as close as you can, have someone else block off their main exit and you throw yourself in their general direction, arms out in front of you, aiming to grab on to a back foot and if you are lucky enough to get that back foot, you hold on like you’ve never held on to anything before in your life.
Rule number eight is to watch out for their horns. There is no more zen, no more quiet movements through the herd. It is all out tackle football. You cannot have any regard for your body. You must act with decisiveness.Rule number nine, if you hesitate, you lose.
Now, there are many life lessons to be learned from this but I am too tired to care.