Surprisingly, Groundhog Day has been around since 1887! It started from the Pennsylvania Dutch superstition that if a groundhog emerges from its burrow and sees its shadow that it will go back in its burrow and we will have six more weeks of winter, but if there is no shadow then there will be an early spring! It is celebrated on Feb. 2 each year in North America.

The biggest ceremony for Groundhog Day is held in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, but there are many other events across North America. The popularity of these events skyrocketed after the 1993 Bill Murray movie, Groundhog Day.

Well, at the Velsoft Palatial Head Office, we have a Groundhog celebration every year too. In fact, today is our 10th anniversary.  Our groundhog stand-in (we’re not allowed groundhogs in the building) for the ceremony is our very own weather predictor — Dave.

Each year on Feb. 2, he becomes ‘Velsoft Dave the Groundhog’.  He doesn’t have an actual burrow (although his desk can sometimes look like one — or at least a Hobbit hole). The way we predict the upcoming weather involves the window shades —up and it’s six more weeks of winter; down and it’s an early spring.

So, this year I can tell you his shades are down! Winter is going to be history very soon. Thank you, Dave the Groundhog!

Meanwhile, the closest furry weather prognosticator to the Velsoft office — Shubenacadie Sam — didn’t see his shadow this morning. In Punxsutawney, Phil the Groundhog saw his shadow and Wiarton Willie in Ontario predicted six more weeks of winter.

Groundhog Day celebration organizers claim that the predictions are accurate 75 to 90 per cent of the time.

What’s in the Pipeline:

  • Carol is still learning all about marketing and editing March releases.
  • Jan is creating components for our March releases.
  • Kevin and Sydney are working on custom projects.

 Tech topics:

  • Fixed an issue causing connector packages to not complete in AbsorbLMS.
  • Work is in progress on badging.
  • Work is in progress on a career path feature.

Course Count:

Courses released this month:

Here is the official count of courses for both courseware and eLearning, broken down by Computer and SoftSkills.

Computer SoftSkills Total Courses
Courseware 286 166 452
eLearning 879 164 1043


Groundhog facts:


  • are also known as woodchucks, with the word coming from a native American word, wuchak that roughly translates as ‘digger’.
  • are the largest members of the squirrel family.
  • can climb trees and swim.
  • are herbivores.
  • can whistle when alarmed or when courting.
  • have lifespans of about six years.
  • have babies that are called kits or cubs.
  • dig and live in burrows that provide protection from coyotes, hawks and black bears.
  • scientific name is marmot monax (which means solitary).
  • are native to the eastern parts of the United States and Canada.
  • when hibernating, their heartbeats slow from 80 beats per minute to five beats per minute, their respiration reduces from 16 to two breaths per minute, and their body temperature decreases from about 99 degrees Fahrenheit to 37 degrees.