Sigyn is very tenderhearted

Musings, Part I: I’m Getting Some GREAT Ideas

There is a particular exhibit at a museum in the Big City to the South that the humans are interested in seeing. Ancient people, artifacts, historical blah blah blah. Sigyn seems enthusiastic as well, so it looks like I will also be along on this jaunt, since I don’t trust the humans to make sure she arrives back home in one piece.

We are here now, having found a very good parking spot, thanks to my godly powers of fending off school buses full of very noisy small people. What is this exhibit even about, anyway?

Hmm. Apparently this is all about some ancient ruler, someone so powerful that they added “the Great” to the end of his name. He’s no longer around, so I won’t have to fight him for control of this rock, and perhaps I can pick up some good tips for my own conquest. Because “Loki the Great” sounds pretty good to me.

Many of the visitors are just looking at the DLAs (Dramatically Lit Artifacts) and sparing the accompanying text the merest glance. Ha! All the better for me, since I know that it’s the details I can really learn from.

(Taking notes furiously) That is a very sound strategy! I should try that. “The Loki Building.” “The Loki High Dam.” “The Temple of Loki at Lokiopolis.” “The Great Wall of Loki.” It’s not only good PR, it will save a ton of money on actual construction costs!

Oooh! Crushing my enemies underfoot. I like the sound of that, too! I can think of some people who desperately need crushing!

Perhaps I should be paying more attention to the DLAs. Instructions are ever better with illustrations, after all.

This sketch-on-limestone of this fellow riding in a chariot and holding the heads of his enemies by their hair is quite nice. Pity the lower half is missing.

The fellow on the left is a captive with a rope around his neck. I could do that! Rope is easy to come by, and I’m sure that technology has come up with some better rope options in the last few thousand years.

Tribute!

That’s what I want–an endless procession of conquered peoples bringing me presents and fancy edibles. Of course, they will have to bring the cute baby animals when Sigyn isn’t around, because that would result in less of a feast and more of a petting zoo.

And I suppose I will need someone to tidy up after all the headless enemies, the captives crushed underfoot, the feasts of tribute, and the petting zoo. Because I’m not cleaning all that up. How did this ancient fellow deal with it all?

An army of groveling servants, eh? I could go for that! “On your knees, peasants! Clean my palace! Bring me my feast! Fetch more presents for my Sigyn! Poop-scoop that petting zoo!”

Oh, yes, that sounds very good. I’m so glad I came today—I’m going to be the greatest all-powerful ruler yet!

>|: [

Anything For My New Friend (Sigyn Speaks)

I was so happy to make some new friends last week! My green friend, Spike, is helping out my human friend by keeping the cord on her laptop from kinking.

It’s a pretty boring job. He’s around the computer all day but doesn’t get to watch videos or look at pictures or do email while he’s working, and it makes me sad.

I know! I have an idea, Spike. I’ll be right back!

“Each Peach Pear Plum”

: )

A Blursday Walk in the Woods

A cold front blew through between Tuesday night and Wednesday, bringing bright, breezy fall weather. Today it is eleven kinds of windy. The human female, undeterred by the sheer tonnage of ragweed and sumpweed pollen in the air, has dragged us all out to Lick Creek Park to take advantage of the non-sweltering weather.

With all of this wind, the likelihood of good plant photographs in focus is small, but the humans both have their cameras with them anyhow. Let the blurry photos commence!

The pink muhly grass by the nature center is whipping about in a very graceful manner.

The one the human female has planted in front of the house isn’t as big or as pink, but it is trying.

We are seeing quite a bit of the formerly-a-mystery white bidens in the Great Desolation. We managed to catch some of it in focus.

The asters not so much.

While the human female is bigger than she should be, she is still not large enough to make an effective windbreak to keep the plants still so that the male can photograph them. Hence, images like this weirdly-out-of-season black-eyed susan:

Real prize-winner, that one.

The human female says she hasn’t been down Raccoon Run trail in a few years, so that’s where we’re going. It appears to have been widened, but it’s still rather pretty. There are a fair number of large hickories and a lot of frostweed in flower.

The sun is shining though the sumac leaves.

There are some unusual plants along this trail. I didn’t recognize this one at first,

and I didn’t believe her when the human female said it was a palm tree. Palms? In the forest? But yes, this is the native sabal palmetto, and this is about as big as they get.

The stem or trunk is underground. Up close, I can see that the leaves really are pleated like a paper fan.

Some of the trees down here in the bottomland are just festooned with this gray stuff.

The human female says it is an epiphytic bromeliad that likes to live on trees so it can be up in the sun and humid air, which sounds plausible. She also says it is a relative of pineapple and has little green flowers, which sounds entirely bogus. (I never believe more than half of what she says, anyway.)

Shhh! Sigyn, did you hear that? It sounded like a tiny little shriek. There it is again! It’s coming from that thick vegetation right over there. The human female says it’s a small frog in distress. Given that the human male just saw the back half of a snake disappear into the same clump of foliage, I suspect what we’re hearing is the batrachian version of, “Oh, no! Don’t eat me! Help!”, but I’m just going to tell Sigyn that it’s two local creatures meeting for lunch, which is perfectly true.

Another wind-blurred photo:

They look like little yellow tomatoes and are the fruit of one of the native nightshades. Hmm. Salad for dinner some time this week, I think. The human female had better not lose another of my helmets out here in the woods or she will find some in her serving.

Unfortunately, there is an awful lot of non-native vegetation in this part of the park as well. Chinaberry, ligustrum, Japanese honeysuckle, and Chinese tallow tree are the main ne’er-do-wells. The human female is snapping saplings and hauling down vines and resolving to come out again with a) help, b) a saw, c) clippers, d) some brush killer for painting stumps, and e) some napalm. Okay, that last was my addition to the game plan, but you must admit, it sounds like fun!

What have you discovered over there, my love?

It’s like she has a little baldacchino! (You can look that up later.)

Looks like we are headed back to the vehicle now, having made the complete loop–without, I point out, seeing a single raccoon. I feel cheated and shall be complaining to the management at the first opportunity.

Odin’s Eyepatch! The human female just fell down! One minute she was walking and the next, BOOM! I don’t know if she rolled an ankle or if a rock moved under her foot, but here she is, splat on the trail with her limbs waving like a cockroach in its death throes. The male is helping her up, and I don’t see blood (though I bet that knee is skinned under those jeans), so presumably she is mostly all right. Who knows? It might just be a pitiful bid for attention. Let us continue!

Hold! There is something odd in the path up ahead (and I am not talking about the toddler making a puddle, though that is outside the normal realm of goings-on). Sigyn, do you see?

I do hope he’s not on his way to have lunch with his cousin down on the loop trail. If he is, I fear he shall find his kinsman…unavailable.

>|: [

“Helping” Around the House

These quiet, still-sheltering-in-place days offer a chance to catch up with some household chores that have been long neglected.  Or, rather, I’ve not been neglecting them so much as flat-out refusing to do them.  I have learned that if I drag my heels for long enough, someone else will usually come along and do it.  The human male folded the laundry I was supposed to do.  The human female eventually got sick of asking me to do it and swept the garage herself.  Sigyn pulled the weeds in the driveway. (She apologized to each one as it came up, but she did it.)

Near the top of my “Loki-doesn’t” list is fixing the towel rack in the bathroom.  It’s been down for ages.  Someone–I won’t say who (cough: human male)–used it to catch his balance and pulled it right out of the wall, and the holes in the drywall left by the expanding bolts as they ripped free have been uglifying the room ever since.

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Poke, poke, poke…

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Norns’ nighties! That really is huge.

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Hello-lo-lo-lo-lo…

See!  I knew it.  The humans got off their prodigious posteriors and sourced the necessary supplies (new expanding bolts).  The female actually had the job finished all on her own in a very few minutes.

Let us examine her efforts:

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Not bad.  But what’s with the silver screw where there ought to be a bronze one?  That looks terrible.  Did you not keep the bronze one, human?

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Or did someone—-ehehehehehe—bend it just a teensy, unusable smidge?

>|: [

¿Quienes son todas esas personas? (Sigyn habla, practicando su español)

Loki y yo todavía estamos confundidos porque comimos todos los dulces.  ¡Creo que él se comió su peso en Skittles, y sabes que nunca puedo decir “no” al chocolate!

Hoy estamos en el mercado, buscando alimentos saludables para comer.  Vamos, Loki, compremos algunas verduras y frutas.  Y no, las manzanas confitadas no cuentan.

¡Escucha! ¡Oigo musica! ¡Vamos a ver de dónde viene!

Aquí hay un grupo de hombres con grandes sombreros y instrumentos musicales.

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Siempre he querido aprender a tocar el acordeón. ¡Quizás este caballero me enseñe!  Loki no confía en ellos…

No sé cuál es la ocasión. Oh! ¡Quizás sea una boda!  Aquí están las damas de honor, y esa debe ser la novia y el novio.  ¿No es bonito su vestido?

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Sí, me gustaría estar en la foto.  ¡Gracias!

Oh Loki! Mira los perritos huesudos.  ¿Podemos llevarlos a casa y alimentarlos?

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Supongo que los invitados a la boda han devorado toda la comida, porque el gatito pobre también parece hambriento.

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¡En lugar de frutas y verduras, creo que hoy compraremos comida para mascotas!

: )

Science is Wiggly, But Fragile

There’s something new in the Critter Room!

For the 112 labs, this summer is the first time the new activities are being tried. Some have worked well and are relatively Loki-proof. Others have enough moving parts that I can get a little traction. For the Osmoregulation lab, the precious little kiddos are no longer going to dissect a kidney and learn how to do a urinalysis. They will be experimenting with real, live clam worms, members of the Annelida. This is a clam worm:

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Sigyn thinks their myriad paddle-like parapodia are “cute.” I’m reserving judgment until I see one in real life.

We’ve heard that a small batch of test subjects has arrived and has settled into their new aquarium home.   Let’s go look!

Supposedly they’re in the thank with the sand.  Do you see anything?

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I don’t either.  I understand they’re good at burrowing, so maybe they’re down in the sand?

(later)  Ah ha!  The human female and her minions are about to test the experiment. Now we can get a good look!

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They don’t have any legs, but those little swimmy-things undulate, so they’re able to move pretty well.

(later)  The human female is shocked and grumbling.  The worms are supposed to be able to change the salt concentration inside their bodies to match that of the water outside their bodies.  The experiment called for the worms to be moved from their average-sea water tank into beakers with water that is more or less salty and then weighed at short intervals to see whether they are gaining weight by taking up water to become less salty or losing weight through losing water and becoming more salty.  And when that was done, they were put back into standard sea water and weighed some more to see if the adjustment can be reversed.

Um, the experimenters ran into a little snag or three.  Why?  Hello?  God of Mischief standing right here!

First, one of the treatments called for the worms to be put in plain water.  Note for future reference:  Clam worms do NOT like that.  Much wriggling and stress ensued.  They won’t be trying that again.

For the most part, the worms behaved as expected.  However, to make sure that it is only “worm” being weighed and not clinging water, each time a worm moves from a treatment beaker to the scale, it must be patted dry.  The humans went through a LOT of paper towels, and the worms were looking quite a bit the worse for wear by the end of it.  One of them didn’t survive.  (Sigyn was very sad.)

Afterwards, when the worms were returned to their big tank, I meddled some more.  I took some of the fine sand that the Prep Staff minions had stirred up while getting the worms out of the sand in the first place and worked it into the filter pump.  I was only trying to make the pump make funny noises, I swear!  I didn’t mean for the pump to fail entirely and make most of the worms die.  Don’t tell Sigyn.  She’s very soft-hearted and would be mad at me for days

(Much later)  Well, the humans went ahead with the experiment on a large scale with all the classes, as planned.  They ordered one hundred clam worms and were all set to house that many.  They even found some super-absorbent paper to dry the worms with, so they wouldn’t get handled so much.

That’s when I thought it would be funny to have things to even wronger.  Clam worms are voracious carnivores but will eat fish flakes in a pinch.  Apparently they themselves taste pretty good.  Two days before the lab, the Vendor (whom we shall call the Purveyor of Things That Can Breathe In Seawater) called and admitted sheepishly that somehow a fish had been introduced into the holding tank that was housing her worms prior to shipment–and it had EATEN two thirds of them or more. Eheheheheh! Oopsie!

Only about thirty worms arrived, so the experiment was set up to use far fewer worms.  By the day of the experiment there were even fewer left.  Who knew that traveling makes them hangry and liable to indulge their little penchant for eating one another?

And then there were eighteen.  Six each for three rooms.  The worms got put through their paces morning and afternoon, and I have to say, the results were not pretty.  The worms refused to do their osmoconforming magic in the morning sections, and by the afternoon sections they were quite battered. There is no way they’d last a whole week in a fall semester.  The filter pump quit again and, all in all, it the whole caboodle was judged a failure.

I haven’t told Sigyn. As far as she knows, the worms have just gone to the great big fish tank rest home, or whatever serves as the out-to-pasture equivalent for weary Annelids.  I’m sorry that worms suffered—but more than a little gleeful that the humans feel guilty about it.  They’re going to work with the POTTCBIS to see if a sturdier—and presumably less-appetizing!—creature that doesn’t have to be fished out of the sand with a litterbox scoop is available for next time.  They’re thinking snails.

In which case, I’m thinking garlic butter…

>|: [

The Day After Easter–Shhhh! (Sigyn Speaks)

I’ve been walking for a long time.  Surely the Easter Bunny is around here somewhere.

Ohhhh!  I think…  I think that’s him there, asleep under the oxalis…

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He looks so tired.  I’ll let him sleep and leave a snack for when he wakes up.

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And I have an idea…

A cold front came in and it’s a little cool today.  I think I have just what we need back home.  Sleep tight, Easter Bunny.  I’ll be back quick as I can.

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Nighty night.

: )

The Day After Easter (Sigyn Speaks)

Happy Day-after-Easter!  Isn’t it a beautiful day?

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The primrose-y corner of the lawn is looking especially beautiful today.  I think I’ll go for a walk!

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What’s this?

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A left-behind Easter egg!

And look!  Here’s another one!

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I didn’t know this walk was going to be an egg hunt!   I wonder who left them?

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I don’t see anyone over this way?

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Nobody that way, either.  No one seems to want them.   Hmm.  But I like hard-boiled eggs.  I’ll go home and fetch a basket and come back to collect them.

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Hum te tum, humty tumty tum!

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I’ve got the white one, and here’s the bluey-gray one.  I do wonder who left them?

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Maybe it was the Easter Bunny!  Maybe he knew I’d be out for a walk today and left them just for me to find!

I wonder what the Easter Bunny does the day after Easter?  I mean, Santa Claus has Mrs. Claus to look after him and make sure he eats something healthy after all of the cookies, but who looks after the Easter Bunny?   Hey!  That gives me a great idea!  Be right back!

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I’m going to go see if I can find him, and bring him a snack ’cause he’s probably tired and hungry from all of the egg-decorating and hopping.

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There’s a bunny!  “Excuse me, are you the Easter Bunny?”

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“Well, hello there!  No, I’m not the Easter Bunny.”

“Oh.  Okay.  Here’s a carrot for you anyway.  Bye!”

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There’s another bunny!  “Pardon me, are you the Easter Bunny?”

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“No, my dear.  I’m not.”

“Oh.  That’s all right.  Do you know where I can find him?”

“I’m not sure.  Maybe along over thataway?”

“Thank you!  Here’s a carrot for you.  Have a nice day!”

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Maybe this is the Easter Bunny!  “Hello!  Are you the Easter Bunny?”

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“No, little one, I’m not.  But I think I saw him earlier.  If you keep going along the path, you may find him.”

“Oh, thank you!   Here–have a carrot!  Bye!”

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…to be continued.

: )

 

Zooward, Ho!, Part I: Getting There and Petting There

It doesn’t look as if it is going to rain too much today, so Sigyn and I are finally celebrating my birthday by going to the zoo.

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Sigyn likes to watch animals and I like to watch Sigyn watch animals, so everyone has fun.

Except maybe the animals, if they don’t like to be watched.

Since there is a sliver of a modicum of a smidgen of sun, Sigyn is hoping for some good photos.  She has brought along her little camera, just in case.

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Where do you want to start, dearest?

Silly me!  Was there really any question? Sigyn wants to begin with the petting zoo.  That is bound to be dull.

Though I will admit that this pint-sized bovine does have a rather winsome expression.

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And this porker seems very friendly.  He probably thinks you have food.

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Certainly I will take your photo with the piggy!  Smile and say, “Oink!”

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Sigyn thinks the little pony looks sad.

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Augh!  Sigyn, no!  Don’t hug it!  You don’t know where it’s been!

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Sigh.  If you’re done petting, let’s go get you disinfected and check out some of the other exhibits.

>|: [

Spoiled Kitties, Part II: Some New Friends

Since the Terror Twins have misplaced  (or flat-out annihilated) so many of their toys, the humans have actually gone and bought them more, in the (vain) hope that they will play with the toys and stop knocking over trash cans and jumping on the tables.

I suspect that some of them may make a detour on the way to the felines…

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Yes, Sigyn, this is a very exceptional and obliging lobster.  Certainly, if it is willing, you may go for a ride.  Just mind the claws.

I haven’t got the heart to tell her that this cute and friendly crustacean will probably be blind and antenna-less inside a week.

The human female’s mother went to a lot of trouble to pick out and mail some colorful rodents she thought Taffy and Flannel might like.   Can’t speak for the cats, but my sweetie is certainly excited!

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They are firmly attached to the card, but one simple spell and all the vermin are freed!

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Blue-ears (who has a rather alarming tendency to list to port)  has already been dragged under the table by Flannel Cat.

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So long, Blue-ears.  It was nice knowing you.

If Flannel has Blue-ears and Taffy is chasing Pink-ears up and down the hallway, what will become of Orange–?

Oh.

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Sigh.  I think I have acquired a new pet.

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