Google Translate is your friend

A Little P. S.

Several of you commented on how “hard” the human female must work at the herbarium.  Seriously, a trained monkey could do what she does.  Look, I’ll make an advertisement and put it up on campus.  We’ll have a replacement for her in no time.

Unpaid Volunteer Wanted:  Database checker. Must be able to use PLANTS, TROPICOS, IDigBio, HUH, Handbook of Texas Online, and IPNI database websites, along with Excel and GoogleEarth. Must be familiar with collecting activities and foibles of major Texas and U.S. collectors (familiarity with foreign collectors a plus). Must have knowledge of current and historical geography, taxonomy of vascular plants, period collecting and labeling practices, and herbarium filing systems. Ability to read French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Latin, and reeeeaaallly bad penmanship with spelling errors a plus.  Must not be allergic to pollen, dust, mold, ink, mounting glue, or hyenas, or be afraid of large metal buildings that make creepy noises at night.

That ought to do it.

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A Visit From the Eater Bunny, Part IV: Well, Hel, Let’s Just Get Everyone In On It

Guess the word got out that we’ve got candy, because the whole damn gang is here now.

“We do not have gummy rabbits in Wakanda.”

“There’s more sugar here than in my Sugar Dojo.”


“Friend Steve, what flavor do you think this large butterfly is?”

“Dunno.  Think I should lick it and find out?”


“Ja, Remus.  Die karotte ist much gummi.”


तिमी मेरो ललिपप स्वाद गर्न चाहनुहुन्छ


“I don’t have my blaster with me, but if any of you chumps even thinks about nibbling on my buddy Groot, keep in mind I don’t need no blaster to stomp ya into hasenpfeffer.”


“I admire a man who doesn’t feel threatened by a pink bunny.”

“And that blue one matches your lovely outfit.”


“You know, little dude, I could build you some armor so that no one would dare try to bite your ears off.  Interested?”


Lick it!  Lick it!  Lick it!  Lick it!”


Benno is scared of butterflies.

I could have predicted that, I think.

Fisi, NO!


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Ice is Nice, Part III: Well, I Suppose That Was Predictable

Sigyn has got the hang of skating forwards, in a circle.  That’s wonderful, my sweet!  We’ll have you skating backwards and doing triple putzes, twizzlers, and alpaca spins in no time at all!

Uh oh. Ever one to share her good fortune, Sigyn has telephoned a few friends.  We are probably now to be invaded by all sorts of people whose company I could cheerfully do without.  Sigh. All I wanted was an afternoon alone with my dearest.

Yes, here they come.  Yelp and Benno are first to arrive.  Yelp seems quite excited!


म यो असल बरफ को अनुमोदन! बस जस्तै हामी घर फिर्ता छ।


Benno is less enthused.

Oh, hooray.  This just keeps getting better.  Sigyn’s friend Muffy is all right, I suppose, but look who’s here now.

“Greetings, brother!  I am eager to join in this festival of winter sports!”

“You’re not my brother, Thor.  And does this look like a ski slope to you?”


What an idiot.   Honestly.  That man would bring a fluffy cat to a taffy pull.

And now that insane racoon is here!  At least Sigyn is kind enough to talk to him so I don’t have to.


“Rocket, where’s Groot?”


“Well, it’s like this, ya see?  Turns out Sapling Groot’s only hardy down to about 27 °F, USDA Climate zone 9B.  I’ve got him in the cold frame until things warm up.”


How is this my life?

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Music… and More Eating

The humans are fond of music.  Now, I’m not much for the rootley-tootley chamber music the human female likes so much, and she has been driving me up the proverbial wall with Yule tunes all this month, but she and Sigyn have their hearts set on going to the annual local Medieval and Renaissance Yule concert.  Gnaaaaagh… Crumhorns.  But it’s what my sweetie wants, so…

And here we are.  I had to talk my way past the doorkeeper to be let into the church.  For some reason they weren’t keen on allowing me over the threshold–maybe it’s the helmet and the horns?  I don’t know.

I rather expect to be bored.  Just look at the program!


Half of it’s not even in the local patios!  However, I understand that there will be refreshments afterwards, so I suppose I can sit still until then.


Well, that was…not awful.  The humans and Sigyn liked it, but I really don’t see the point.

Time for food!  Didn’t we feast just yesterday?  I’m not sure where Sigyn puts it all.  She never seems to gain an ounce.  (Can’t say the same for the human female.)  What’s on the refreshment table this year?


Orange-cranberry scone and a sort of weird fruitcake-cheesecake hybrid.  Must be an Episcopalian thing.  It certainly looks…gooey.

There is quite a bit of “colorful” on the other side of the room.  Oh, I see.  Various wares to be sold in support of charitable endeavors.  Sigyn is making friends with some visitors from South America.


Sigyn, don’t we know his cousin?

And I believe we have met this fellow’s kin before, too!


Sigyn is chattering away at these two, but they are from Guatemala and I don’t think they understand a word she’s saying.

While they explore the interspecies-international language barrier, I think I will slip back into the church.  There are some lovely, shiny, expensive, handle-with-white-gloves-only handbells that desperately need some cheesecakey fingerprints..


She’s standing right behind me, isn’t she?

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Why Is This So HARD?

Argh. Dammit all to Hel.  Everything is stinky beyond measure, and I am in SUCH a bad mood.

I hate fighting with Sigyn. Well, that’s not right.  We’re not exactly fighting.  You have to be talking to be fighting.  No, we’re doing some sort of relationship rondo:  She explains, I lose my temper, she goes teary and quiet, I say something I regret later.  D.C. al coda…

It’s all Steve’s fault.  Mister Perfect Baker Smiley Man.  Faugh!  Why did he have to show up around here? I thought Sigyn and I had something wonderful going, but what if he sweeps her off her feet?

I don’t know how to make apple cake.

Double arrgh!  I do not know whether to be worried or jealous or angry–or some of each.  I do not know whether to beg or apologize or go punch that All-American right in his star-spangled jerkface.

How do I make things right?  What should I do?  Perhaps it is time to do a little research.

. . . . .


Candy!  Apparently it is a  Midgardian custom to offer sweetmeats as a token of love and/or remorse.  I can do that!  The human female happens to have a very cute little box of candy on her desk.  Someone gave it to her, but she hasn’t eaten it, so her loss.  The tag says “wedding,” though.  I know!  I will tell her it is to remind her of our lovely wedding.  Now I must just go fetch her…

. . . .

Look, Sigyn.  Isn’t this lovely?


It’s…uh, because you’re such a blessing in my life.  Go on, open it!




It’s…um…full of all sorts of foreign sweets!  Do you like them?  Go on, try one!


नमस्कार! तपाईं वेनिला क्यान्डी प्रयास गरेका छन् गर्नुपर्छ। यो स्वादिष्ट थियो।

Triple arrrgh.

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A Very Fun Find, Part II: The Gang’s All Here

Sigyn thinks the dinosaurs are such fun that we shouldn’t keep them to ourselves.  She has invited some of our friends and acquaintances over to play.


Yelp is suitably entertained.


“अभिवादन, सानो रबर छेपारो.”

Benno!  It is a quarter your size, it is twice as slow as you, and Parasaurolophus is an herbivorewhat are you afraid of?




“These are great!  I could fit them with electronic controller collars and have my own army of tiny dino-bots…”


“Nein, Remus!  I do not sink ze kleine dinosaurier vill make ze Zoom! Zoom! noises iff you scootz it on ze floor.”


“We observe proper manners in my Sugar Dojo.  Now bow, to show honor to your worthy opponent.”


“Don’t even think about it, Sail Boy!  Back away from Groot or I will blast ya into next Thursday.”


This has been fun, Sigyn, but how do we make them all go home?  I want to sit and play with my dinos in peace.


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Hard at Work in the Herbarium, Part I: No Voucher, No Data

The local weather has gone from too-unthinkably-hot-to-want-to-botanize to very-much-too-wet-for-exploring-in-anything-but-hip-waders.  Thus, the human female has turned to playing with the dead plants rather than live ones.

Sigyn and I have joined the human female at the herbarium on previous occasions.  My beloved is always keen to go and have a good rootle around in what I like to call the mansionem mortuorum in regno vegetabili.  (Dead animals earlier this week; dead plants now.  I’m beginning to think the human female has morbid tendencies and should seek professional help.)

I think she mostly comes out here evenings and some weekends to make people feel sorry for poor, hard-working her.  But it appears that today she is actually going to Do Things.

She has a stack of specimens from a landowner in the northern part of this realm.  This landowner is conducting a most thorough study of the plants on her land and has collected voucher specimens to document the flora.  Most of them are identified (Good landowner!  Have a biscuit!) , so the human female just has to confirm the determinations.


Yep, looks like cinquefoil.  Very heraldic.  Sigyn likes the bright yellow flowers. There aren’t many species in Texas, so keying this one out is a doddle.

There are more options for this pink-flowered Palafoxia.


Looks like the first question to answer is whether or not it has “ray flowers,” whatever those are.


There! That wasn’t so bad.  What’s that, Sigyn?  You want to what?  It what?


You are right!  This desktop and illuminator do make a very nice stage and spotlight set-up.  I don’t have any music with me, but if you truly wish to sing a little karaoke, I will be happy to hum.

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