Archive for the ‘Language and animals’ Category

Black bread and pickled herring

September 26, 2017

Kim Darnell, on a grocery shopping run for me, came across a line of very thinly sliced, dark, dense, intensely-flavored rye breads from the German company Mestemacher — one variety marketed as “Natural Fitness Bread”:

(#1)

She was tickled by the name, and also remembered bread like this with pleasure. As did I: the black bread (Schwarzbrot, sometimes called Bauernbrot ‘peasant bread’) of my childhood. A platform for cheese, sliced smoked meat, and (especially) pickled herring (herring in sour cream was a great favorite of mine).

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A sapsucking planthopper

September 24, 2017

… and more; eventually there will be draft horses, covered bridges, and distelfinks. But first, a bulletin from my cousin Eleanor Severin Houck about the advance of the spotted lanternfly in southeastern Pennsylvania (Eleanor is in Berks County, county seat Reading, in the Pa. Dutch country, where we both grew up).

From the annals of noxious pests, double-team division, a pairing of the disgusting and destructive insect pest Lycorma deliculata with the rampant invasive plant pest Ailanthus altissima.

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A marmot sang in Graubünden meadows

September 15, 2017

That’s no beaver, that’s my marmot!

In a posting about, among other things, the advertising posters of Donald Brun, I appreciated this charming poster for the Alpine resort Davos, in the Swiss canton of Graubünden / Grisons:

(#1)

But in my naive North American way, I took the creature in the poster to be a beaver, while it turns out to be a cousin of the beavers (genus Castor), the Alpine marmot (Marmota marmota), which is something of an icon for the canton. Also much more closely related to the North America groundhog (Marmota monax) than to beavers.

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Runner ducks, runner beans, rubber ducks

September 9, 2017

Back on the 6th, in “Birthday notes”:

From Benita Bendon Campbell (and Ed Campbell) a Jacquie Lawson animated card of Indian runner ducks in the rain, ending with a duck and a rainbow. In medias res: [image #1]
To come, in a separate posting, on Indian runner ducks and Indian (or scarlet) runner beans, which are not at all the same thing.

And then to add to those, India(n) rubber ducks, which aren’t ducks, though they are duck-simulacra (runner ducks are ducks, and runner beans are beans — that is, bean plants).

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Birthday notes

September 6, 2017

As previously announced, today is my 77th birthday — my iridium, or rainbow, birthday (the element iridium, named after Iris, the goddess of the rainbow, has atomic number 77), better, as Ken Rudolph noted to me, than our 76th birthday, the trombone birthday (after the musical number “76 Trombones”, from the musical The Music Man). A hundred or so people from all parts of my life have wished me well in various ways — the electronic equivalent of companionable pats, and much appreciated. Also, some of them were funny.

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On the food watch: iguanas

September 1, 2017

It starts in Miami, with this photo that Kyle Wohlmut took there last weekend and posted on Facebook:

(#1) Floridian street iguana on the prowl

Green iguanas are an invasive pest in Puerto Rico and south Florida; the obvious solution is that they be cooked and eaten, the way they are in Mexico (and elsewhere in Central America). So it was natural for a Facebook reader to ask what sauce you use on an iguana.

Well, clearly, Lizard Lick barbecue sauce.

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Fungus gnats

August 13, 2017

Appearing around the drain of my bathroom sink on Friday, a small swarm of tiny black flies, which fled from my investigations by running, rather than flying, away. Ah, fungus gnats — usually found in soil, as around houseplants, rather than in household drains, but there probably was organic material in the trap for them to feed on.

A shot of bleach, followed by flushing with hot water, cleaned up the infestation.

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Hold me

August 13, 2017

Today’s Dilbert:

(#1) Wally gets Asok to wear a ThunderShirt® for anxiety

Wally achieves his end by trickery — by mendaciously telling Asok that he himself had used the device to achieve calm at work.

And it seems to have worked for Asok, quite possibly by the placebo effect.

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No moths, no squirrels, no rats

July 24, 2017

Also no blue jays, but the three-NP version has the best music.

This is mostly about pests and my life, but there’s language and music in there too. Also a pro wrestler performing angry rejection:

(#1) Daniel Bryan of WWE’s SmackDown show

I’ll start with my pests (in more or less chronological order) and go on to uses of negation.

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Codpieces on Cellblock 13

July 23, 2017

(Men flaunting their junk, codpieces, prehistoric creatures, superheroes, language play, and more. Use your judgment.)

On the 21st, a posting on Cellblock / CellBlock / Cell Block 13 garments, featuring a young man in a commando harness (plus a jockstrap). Then in yesterday’s mail, a Daily Jocks ad with another remarkable CellBlock 13 costume (plus my caption):

(#1) X-Wing Harness and X-treme Hybrid Short, in red

Vic the Prick, cynosurus,
Caught every eye at the
Reptile Ball.

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