Saturday, September 28, 2013

Colum Cille & the Picts notes

Another Facebook comment  from my Celtic Surnames and Place-names - History and Origins group. We were discussing the roots of placenames with aver, inver. I created a long list. I will post it here later—when I find it! I am conversing with someone whose handle is Celtic England (in italics.) The rest is mine

St. Adamnán, 9th abbot of Iona (627– 704 AD), in a centennial celebration of his distant cousin, St. Columba, scribed Vita Columbae. St. Adamnán wrote that Colum Cille (521-597 AD) was able to converse with King of the Picts, Bridei ca. 565 AD in Inverness.

Of course, Inverness—Inbhir Nis—is a Gaelic word—dating from at least 679 AD—according to Adamnán.

Bridei is mentioned in 558–560 AD in the Irish annals. The Annals of Ulster report "the migration before Máelchú's son, i.e., king Bruide"—which makes him a pagan Irish king in Pictland? Or Bruide— son of Máelchú, or Maelcom/n, an Irish name, or Melcho; or possibly even Maelgwn-Welsh. It would certainly explain why Columba, who spoke Irish, could converse with him. An overlooked detail.

Adomnán of Iona, Life of St Columba, tr. & ed. Richard Sharpe. Penguin, London, 1995.

(Celtic England wrote that Maelchu and Malcolm are different names. He also notes that he used a translator.)

I'm merely gathering from many sources. But we're not so much debating the spelling of King Brude's father's name—the thread is more watery in nature as in river, mouth. Pictish vs Gaelic place names, no?

One source noted Maelwyn. It was also distinguished as Maelchon vs com. I wondered over the spelling. Máel (disciple/follower of) + Con (Máelchon), or Máel Com. Máel + Coluim = Malcolm. I found this too: Mael means 'prince' in Breton and Welsh.

Celtic England: given that he subdues a monster in the river ness we might not want to take what Adamnan says too literally, especially as the Vita Columbae was finished in about 703 and that Columba's visit to Bridei's court was supposed to be in 566 or so. 

Nonetheless, Inverness was an Irish place-name in Adamnán's time. That, we can take literally. Forms: inber; Inber; indbir. VC, Book 1: chs, 26, 29, etc.

Abhainn is Irish for river. Don't let the spelling throw you off*, it sounds like Aven, or Awen.

(*IE in which the consonants count for very little and the vowels for nothing at all.)

You disparage the text because of the Loch Ness monster? Note that Adamnán refers to the monster as an account told to Columba by the Pictish inhabitants of Loch Ness: "according to the account of those who were burying him…"
"ON another occasion also, when the blessed man was living for some days in the province of the Picts, he was obliged to cross the river Nesa (the Ness); and when he reached the bank of the river, he saw some of the inhabitants burying an unfortunate man, who, according to the account of those who were burying him, was a short time before seized, as he was swimming, and bitten most severely by a monster that lived in the water;"
ALIO quoque in tempore, cum vir beatus in Pictorum provincia per aliquot moraretur dies, necesse habuit fluvium transire Nesam: ad cujus cum accessisset ripam, alios ex accolis aspicit misellum humantes homunculum; quem, ut ipsi sepultores ferebant, quaedam paulo ante nantem aquatilis praeripiens bestia morsu momordit saevissimo: —Book II, ch 28.
Vita Columbae was written in Latin–so I doubt that the translator's veracity is in question. Vita Columbae was written 100 years after the death of St Columba aka Colum Cille (521-597 AD) —to commemorate the centennial of his death. It would've been completed loser to 697AD  than 700 AD. So 703 AD is a bit late. Besides, Adamnán was doing some serious traveling in 703 AD, the year before he died. No time to work on a treatise that was due in 697 AD. 
"Adomnan had almost certainly finished the Life of Columba before traveling to Northumbria for his last visit. Bede tells us that Adomnan had an extended visit in Northumbria and then traveled to Ireland where he discussed eucmentical relations between the Irish and Rome and then he returned home where he died before the next Easter"

Merovingians notes

A Facebook group I belong to, Celtic Surnames and Place-names - History and Origins is:
A repository and discussion about the history behind placenames and the original Celtic names pre-anglicisation and before local corruption. Feel free to post in any Celtic language or English. 
For some peculiar reason, someone in the group keeps posting bits on Merovingians. What they have to do with Celtic Sur- and Place Names, is beyond me. Of course, he didn't see any problem with posting something on the Merogingians in a Celtic studies group. So I decided to tie in his post with a Celtic context.

Understand that the moderator is a bit harsh if you post anything without some sort of back-up analysis. I might also add, these guys are mostly GoBs—good old boys—clubbers who barely tolerate women posting in the group. As a result, few women post, after being ridiculed and bullied. I'm sure these GoBs are not aware of their generic or genetic arrogance, but sometimes they can be quite funny, if not bordering on the rabid. 

I love the subject mater, and so, call them on their general twattiness and happily arm-wrestle with them. Besides, I don't respond well to attempted silencing.

I posted:
Merovingians seem to be wholly Frankish at first glance, but at an anthropological dig I attended in Rogny, near Marle, we could see the Merovingian dressed with Celtic La Tene style artifacts—specifically Celtic style silver inlay belt buckles. Lots and lots of them. 
Of course, belt buckles don't point to identity, but it does suggest many of the Merovingians may have been Gallo-Frankish. All those Gauls of Gaul weren't killed off by the Franks. 
The Merovingians were also called the "long-haired kings" (Latin reges criniti) as their preference for long hair was considered an oddity among the short-haired Franks. And Irish monks held great influence in the Merovingian court—St. Columbanus, especially. And most of the Merovingian clergy were from the Gallo-Roman aristocracy. 
I got a lot of flack for this comment—bordering on the mysogenistic. Rip me a new asshole. So I deleted my comment. As if archaeology wasn't proof enough that there was indeed a Merovingian—Gaulish contingency.

So this then, sir, is my revenge.

Saturday, September 21, 2013


A cloudburst in September? Really? I didn't think it would reach the Bay Area. Now I'm drenched, covering up the outside summer beds.

Hmm, I knew I shouldn't have washed my hair yesterday. Just got an extra rinse. Rainwater conditioner. 

Malcolm posted that rain had hit Sonora about an hour ago. I just didn't think it would hit us. And on the equinox too. We usually don't get rain until November. There go the huckleberries. They weren't sweet at the beginning of September. Not enough heat. Not now either.

I paid for that drenching, my virus came back to visit.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Erm. One snappy mousetrap
just caught the other mousetrap
in its snappy jaw.

Junior mouse is still 
on the lam. Cute bugger but
clueless as they come.

Now I have 10 traps 
all set and at the ready. 
Springform death; heh heh.

It's a three-mouse-night. 
Make that 4. One at dawn. But
I was too tired to count.

Many false alarms, 
traps bit air, I tried a new

Bleary-eyed I lay
a row of traps in a row.
All snickety-snap.

Junior: an ex mouse. 
Maybe now I can get plan 
a decent night's sleep

added 9/17

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Fall fever

Ugh, day 3 of virus, no more sore throat or dull earache, but everything has that strange new penny feeling, an odd synaesthesia of light and sound, lets me know I ain't quite out of the woods yet.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Coming up Redhead

Blogspot has this nifty overview feature called Traffic Sources so I can see some of the Google search keyword parameters that lead people to my posts. (Other than my biggest pageview fan,—a spamspider, or a web crawler domain.)

Nearly all my traffic sources are redheaded questions. OK, I get that. THE VIKING IRISH REDHEAD GENE (at 27,127+ page views out of a total of 95,005 page views) is, by far, my most popular blog post. It accounts for 1/3 of all my blog traffic. (But, why this rabid fascination with redheads? Especially Vikings and redheads—she asks.)

By comparison, a spin-off redhead post, Red-headed step-children ranking number 5 on my top 5 blog posts, at 952 page views, doesn't even come close. Not even remotely. I even changed the filters on my Hot Blogs list. So THE VIKING IRISH REDHEAD GENE post is somehow Google-charmed.

So I created a spin-off post to see what would happen:
Would it too leap off the charts? At 86 page views, that would be nada. To level the playing field, I even used the exact same searchword list (like i did with this post): 
Celts, ginger, Irish redheads, red hair, red hair gene, redheaded stepchildren, redheads, Scottish redheads, Viking redheads
I used to think that traffic popularity had to do with total back-links within a blog post. So I began to add links right, left and center—to see if it made any difference. Nope. Let's just see of this post suddenly gets a lot of hits. I changed the title to Coming up Redhead.

However, in my all time Top Ten Pageviews by Countries list, I have 48,663 US readers ('splains that lack of historical acumen), my Number 9 ain't even close at 6023 UK readers, and in Ireland, the land of redheads, only 747 readers. No Scandinavian countries even made the Top Ten list. 

So, I guess that answers my question: who are my readers. So if I may extrapolate, Americans, in love with a skewed post-neoclassical notion of repatriation of Vikings as a romantic ideal, assume that raping Irish women lead to red hair? 

Not that any of this is even remotely blogworthy, but….

But when I saw this latest search question in my traffic sources, I nearly had butt-apoplexy:

are celts descended from vikings? 

(Warning: dangerous segues ahead.)

AGH! Talk about acute historical cluelessness. Really?

FWIW: List of outside traffic source search words (note: the largest entry is Vikings!):

red hair gene
redhead origin
"types of red hair"
redheads decent
are red haired people warriors
worrior model red hair
redhead origin red hair gene
where do red heads trace back to
what countries is it good to be a redhead
ancestory of natural strawberry blond fair skinned womanhighest redheads per country
why do some redheads have afros?
are redheads descended from africans
do the spanish like the irish red hair
red hair gene portuguese
german red head experiment
ancient history of redheads
origin of fair hair freckles blue eyes
what is the dominant eye color of red heads
algernon redhead wife willing
do men lime redheads

irish redheads
ireland women redheads
redhead irishman
redheaded celtic male
the irish vs the scots genes
why is it thought that red hair is irish?
are irish people known for red hair
where did the irish get their red hair
red heads in ireland when did they come about?
do all redheads have irish
does red hair mean your irish
are all gingers of irish descent
irish red hair gene discovered
irish genes
irish travellers genes
red hair regressive gene irish traveller
samhain redheads
ginger hairy scottsmen
vikings genes irish scotish
irish red hair vikings
irish genes red hair vikings ireland
redheaded irish people related to vicking chieftans
are blue eyed irish descended from vikings
when did blond hair ireland

are there redheads in russia
redheads in ukraine
are redheads nordic
red hair norse trait
redheads in norse mythology
does red hair come from scandinavia
are redheads from norwegian dicent
did the vikings bring red hair in ireland and scotland
are redheads from ireland really vikings
red heads in iceland
redhaired dane
redheads in sweden
pictures of swedish redheads
between skandinavia and eastern europe where are green eyes & red hair more prevelant
can scandinavians have redhair
vikings genes irish scotish
irish red hair vikings
viking redhead
vikings red hair
red hair green eyes vikings
are blue eyed irish descended from vikings is it true that red headed people desended from vickings
were there dark headed vikings
scandinavian genetic traits
viking bloodtype
norse blood type
is a+ blood from the vikings?
? how dna can tell you have viking blood
vikings steal irish women
scandinavian rape irish
redheads of viking rape
irish genes red hair vikings ireland
are celts descended from vikings

are celts descended from vikings? What?

And it's killing me to leave the spelling errors stet.

Are Celts descended from Vikings? Let's see. A timeline would help, dude.

The Late Neolithic Copper Age Bell Beaker culture (ca. 2800 – 1800 BC), is probably the ancestor of the Celts. They had distinctive pottery drinking vessels and made barley beer. The Bell Beaker culture was a linguistic ancestor of Proto-Celtic. Also linguistically associated was the Pre-Hallstatt  Urnfield Culture in central Europe, as an ancestral culture of Celtic culture.

Iberian Bell Beaker culture had strong ties with Ireland—which hosted an archaic form of  Bell Beaker culture. Irish copper from Kerry had a specific lead isotope—was found in N. & C. Europe from ca. 2300 to 1700 BC. Central European Únětice Culture which predated the Celtic Hallstatt culture, also had strong ties with Britain and Ireland during the formation of Bronze Age Europe. (Irish gold lunulae, and later La Tène gold torcs).

Celts date back to at least 1200 BC (if not earlier), during  the Late Bronze Age, (Hallstatt culture was in full swing by 800-450 BC), followed by the La Tène culture (450 BC) of antiquity— and the Vikings first landed in Great Britain ca. 789 AD, but didn't stick around.

When did the Celts arrive in Ireland? There were several migrations. The Late Bronze Age, or earlier—mid 2nd millennium BC.
The arrival in Britain of cultural traits identified as Celtic is usually taken to correspond to Hallstatt influence and the appearance of chariot burials in what is now England from about the 6th century BC. Genetic studies regarding Y-DNA Haplogroup I-M284 have concluded that there was Late Iron Age migration of Celtic La Tène people to Britain and then onto north-east Ireland. —Wiki
The first recorded Viking raid in Irish history occurred in 795 AD when Vikings from Norway looted the island. —Wiki
The Vikings (from Old Norse víkingr) were seafaring north Germanic people who raided, traded, explored, and settled in wide areas of Europe, Asia, and the North Atlantic islands from the late 8th to the mid-11th centuries AD. —Wiki
The Viking Age is the period from 793 AD to 1066 AD in European History, especially Northern European and Scandinavian history, following the Germanic Iron Age  In England, the Viking Age began officially on 8 June 793 when Vikings attacked the abbey on Lindisfarne. The Vikings who invaded western and eastern Europe were chiefly pagans from Denmark, Norway and Sweden. They also settled in the Faroe Islands, IrelandIceland, Scotland (Caithness, the Hebrides and the Northern Isles), Greenland, and Canada. It is unknown what triggered the Norse expansion and conquests. This era coincided with the Medieval Warm Period (800–1300) and stopped with the start of the Little Ice Age (about 1250–1850) —Wiki
Maybe the person who wrote that query was dyslexic or didn't know the difference between BC and AD.

The only way it could remotely work is if you switched the query around:
are Vikings descended from Celts? And even then it would be problematic, unless you were referring to the Dublin Norse who took Irish (and Scottish) wives. Their children and grandchildren (who settled Iceland and the Faroes) would be Viking Celts. Agh! So their descendants were Vikings descended from one branch of Celts.

But that wasn't the question, was it?

Can I fish-slap someone now? What about a fish dance? With a redheaded salmon? Huh? Huh? Can I? Can I? Please, pretty please with a redhead on top? (No, not that way! Ya scurvy-ridden....)

This moment was probably brought to you by Monthy Python. Or not.

It is, however, Friday the Thirteenth.


What's Algernon doing in this list anyway? FWIW, even a detailed Google search didn't shed light on that one. (Sigh.)

Heh. This list ought to keep them occupied.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Denial, a river of ice. (Knee chronicles)

Rather than fight it,
I should ice my torn knee.
Denial, a river of ice.

Someone tells me they had to ice their knee for two years.. Two years?  Same bag of frozen peas? Talk about mushy peas. I also use frozen peas. I like petit pois best. They mold to the anatomy. I need surgery but insurance is stalling. I got a cortisone shot on Friday and it made a huge difference—I was able to get around at the Highland Games, but it's only a stopgap. Paying for it now. I've kept off my knee the whole week. It really makes a difference. It still has phantom twinges of pain for no reason, but icing always helps. Trying not to take Advil. Reading a lot of ebooks these days to pass the time.

Facebook conversation added 9/19

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Mouse Wars, redux


9/3 It's officially Fall. Forget the equinox. The mice are back. A little early. I can't help but think they are foul weather predictors. Like little groundhogs. Apparently that lone August mouse was not an anomaly.

Over Labor Day weekend, the mice moved in and got cozy with the tea cozy and all my Rabbie Burns napkins. This won't do. Mice in the condiments/ tea drawer. I spend the morning pulling out kitchen drawers, and cleaning. TIme to dust off Victor-the-trap. If I can find it. Aha! Under the stove. Still set, patiently waiting all these years for a wayward mouse.

9/7 Gotcha! Good old Victor-the-trap, fit as a fiddle after years of benign neglect. Badda-boom! Can't say the same for my metal clippie mousetrap—a casualty of time. Rust is a great equalizer. I still have hope for my plastic clippie mousetrap—but my faith is eroding.

Uh-oh, the second one is a big mama mouse. Still nursing. There will be more. Mark my words.

91/2 All quiet on the mousy front. Victor-the-trap has been silent for days. Maybe I was lucky and got them all.

9/15 Oh no! Mouse poop on the cutting board. Fuck Rabbie Burns' To a Mouse. This is war. They've wiped out two old boxes of D-Con, but here's the dilemma: Dora the Cat is hanging out, so something's gotta go. Wow. I haven't checked out these cabinets in years. So that's where they went.

After a comical interlude where I asked the clerk for espejos (mirrors) instead of Miguel Ratóncito mouse traps in Spanish, I snagged two old-school mouse traps at the Dollar store. Do you know how hard it is to find old fashioned mousetraps? Now I get Build a better mousetrap. Otherwise, it's D-Con all the way, baby. Poison. Arsenic and old mice. But what about the environment? The outside cats? I'm uneasy about using all this poison.

My last major mouse invasion was Fall Equinox, 2009. See MOUSE WARS (warning: cute mouse pictures). Sure, we've had a few wayward mice since then. But nothing big. They never stuck around. Not like this.

9/17 Victor is victorious. But the knockoff mousetraps are worthless. I bumped Big Mama off, but Junior is still on the lam. Junior is the size of a quarter. Too small to trigger the traps, he snags the pecans and makes a run for it. What if he's carrying a disease?

How's that for a plague segue? I madly Google The Plague. No outbreaks reported—not even at Fallen Leaf Lake. I imagine I have symptoms like a pre-med student before exams. Swollen glands? That can't be good. No fleabites.

I have…a virus: oh, thankgawd. I also have acute hearing from my earache but not the cat reflexes to go with it. Probably a good thing or I'll be pouncing on the curtain and leaving little mouse prezzies on the doorstep for Neil.

I read up on house mice again. Definitely different than field mice. I learn that house mice (from Asia) are the same species as lab mice and pet store mice. And the chances of wild mice carrying disease are about the same as a pet hamster or rabbit. It's just that they poop all over the place. Now I'm afraid to use my cutting board. Three-seed baguette is out. Fennel seeds remind me of mouse turds.

Sorry, I'm not into those hav-a-heart traps. What's the point of live traps? All I'm doing by relocating the mice, is sicking vermin on unsuspecting neighbors. Too NIMBY. And all that goin' out to the country and feel-good wild release crap? Pl-ease! House mice are not native species. I repeat. Not native. Got it? They're from Asia, just like city rats. Introducing non-native species into a rural ecosystem is far worse than killing them in a humane manner. Besides, the mice won't even enter those live traps. 

Adding more poison into the ecosystem equally fills me with dread. Toss dead mouse in trash. Trashman cometh. Seagulls snacketh. Food chain reaction. Silent Spring. Of course, I know many people would love to knock off some of those feathered rats. Then there's the cats and other critters to consider. Mice staggering under the influence of D-Con are too exciting a treat for the cats, bluejays and hawks. Even the squirrels take notice and get a little Cujo-eyed.

9/18 Erm. One snappy mousetrap just caught the other mousetrap in its jaw. My arsenal contains the old-school wooden Victor trap with a dozen kills under its belt; two Chinese traps that are pretty, but useless; and a plastic clippie style trap that's also useless. Traps come in pairs. Its mate once caught a mouse, it fell apart and died of shock. They do, however, make good manuscript clips.

The paper clippie trap attacked Victor the Trapp, who, though, was first on the draw, apparently was not so victorious. Junior probably set the trap cascade in motion. Very castenetty. Ah one, an-a two. Snap-snap! Clippie von maustrap takes the score.

Speaking of Möbius tripping, one time I dropped my computer mouse on the floor only to have Clippie von Maustrap attack it, or, rather, my hand—as I bent to retrieve it. Not a good morning. Damned thing never works on mice.

Someone advises me: If you put a pan down full of Coke, in the morning you will find dead mice. This is from a ranch woman with lazy cats. She swears by it.

If only I had some Coke. Would diet Pepsi do? Perhaps Red Bull? Rum and coke? I can see it now: Cujo-eyed caffeind mice.

I also read that mice hate spearmint oil. Will minty-fresh toothpaste do? I sprinkle and smear various forms of minty oil, and fresh mint fronds about the house. It smells like a giant candy cane.

I bumped off another Big Mama Mouse, but Junior is still at large. Junior recklessly runs up the curtain and across the room in broad daylight. He's darling as he sits on his little haunches and sniffs around. I never see more than one at a time. But I know he's not a total orphan. He's too small to trigger the mousetraps, he snags the loot and makes a run for it. I'm out of peanut butter.

Junior has taken to eating all the Sweet&Low and Cremora packets from Mariott's, as well as the tinfoil-lined catsup packets from In-n-Out Burger in the condiments drawer. He must've thought he hit paydirt with the Round Table Parmesan cheese, but hot chili pepper flakes too? Really? Junior must have a cast-iron constitution. Why worry about the mousetraps? Clearly, I need to let nature take its course—he'll die a painful death by junk food. Flaming arseholes!

9/19 Bingo! Let's just say that Victor von Trapp won that round. By a mouse aria —which left me stuck with a coup de flipflop to attend to at 3 AM. Uh-oh, a midsized-mouse. A teenager. I sex all my mouse kills—mostly females. Not good. How soon can mice breed? How many babies? it seems Big Mama had a sister, or another litter. Next generation mice are still at large.

9/20  Junior is still on the lam. Cute little bugger. Clueless. I now have 7 traps set. Heh heh heh.

A Nevada friend sends me an Old Shaffer 4-H Song she used to sing taught to her by Rosemary Lane. My mouse dilemma sparked this little diddy and now she keeps on singing it. Glad to know my mouse posts are generating earwurms.

The Little Brown Mouse

Ohhh, the liquor was spilled on the bar room floor,
and the bar was closed for the night.
Whennn, out of his hole came a little brown mouse,
and sat in the pale moonlight.

Heee, lapped up the liquor on the bar room floor,
and then on his haunches he sat.
Aaaand all through the night you could hear him shout.....
(dramatic pause)

9/21 I now have 10 mouse traps set TEN! And Junior climbs right over them, he's so small, they don't snap. I am thinking of velcro, sticky fly paper, or hair wax removal gunk. I once accidentally caught a mouse with the hair gunk when it spilled over.

Someone says I should get the Raticator Plus Rodent Trap. Four double AA batteries and it's the electric glory hole for them. OMG. Who knew there are $100 rodent traps out there? Are they Gucci-woochie, or what? I find a zappy one on Amazon for only $33.26 & FREE Shipping. Details: Gift-wrap available. I love the idea of gift-wrapping a rat trap. It's the mouse/rat hole variety. But I doubt my mice will go into one so roomy. 

9/23 Tonight was a three-mouse-night. Zzzzzyx? Make that a 4-mouse night. One at dawn. But I was too tired to get up & check & dump. Teenage mice, not sure if I got Junior. Too bleary-eyed to care.

That last trap didn't do the coup de gras (stet), it only caught the mouse's butt. I set the trap down outside to finish off the mouse but he took off down the sidewalk dragging the mousetrap after him. Me running after the mouse. Whap! Whap! Whap. I caught up with him at my neighbor's back door. One shoe off, and one shoe on—I'm wildly waving a flip-flop in my hand, in my PJs, looking quite deranged at 4 AM. Not something I want to explain to the neighbor who is now awake. Not at 4 AM with 3 fresh mice kills under my belt. I feel like a zombie. I need a rum and coke.

Just so you know I don't take this lightly. I apologize personally to each mouse as I dispatch him off to Mousy Valhalla.

I now have a cavalcade of traps in a row. A flotilla, an armada in the harbor. When one goes off, they all go off like Mexican jumping beans. Snap snap snap snap snap.

9/24 AAAAAAAGH! Junior is still at large. We're waiting for him to get big enough to trigger the traps. All this midnight mousing is catching up with me. I never get to sleep through the night. If a trap goes off, I'm on it. Either it has a mouse, or it doesn't. Usually not. But I have to check: in case it didn't kill the mouse (often true) and I don't want it to suffer, or, it did kill the mouse—and if it has fleas—the fleas will jump ship. Fleas carry PLAGUE! Ahhhhh! Ring around the mousie.

9/26 Several false alarms last night, mousetraps biting empty air, so I tried a new configuration. When I checked the traps this AM, Lo! there was a Junior. Was it our Junior, or his older brother, Junior the First? Maybe mice grow fast. At any rate, he is an ex-mouse. Maybe now I can get some sleep at night. When I began this crazy mousehunt, he was the size of a quarter. Wonder if he has any siblings I don't know about? Traps are set. Uh-oh, the rustling of tiny mice feet...TBC… I'm afraid. At least they're now big enough to trip the traps.

Someone writes: No such thing as one mouse… Like potato chips, you can't have just one…

Yesh, one mouse in the house is something like tip of the iceberg. I redo  my kitchen drawers. Rewash all my napkins. Again. New mouse nest in the tea cozy. Tomorrow is "wear a tea cozy on your head" day.

9/27 OK, so that wasn't Junior yesterday—I thought he had grown up a bit too fast. Today, after rearranging my trap armada, I caught Junior. Tiny, tiny Junior. Then, all my mousetraps caught each other—they sounded like a string of firecrackers. I don't know if it's a false alarm, or if Junior has buddies. Lots of buddies. Sigh.

9/29 'Nother one down. Jr, III. Did you know that male mice sing songs to attract mates? We can't hear mice arias but dogs and cats can.

A friend writes from Montana: I think that I should send you my Teenage Ninja Rhode Island Red Roosters, they are good at catching mice but very clumsy in the house. How many do you want? Its either come catch mice at your house, or freezer camp at mine.

LOL! Teenage Ninja Rhode Island Red Roosters? Sounds awesome. Too bad they can't lay eggs. Send them by parcel post. Or I'll be over for din-din.

9/30 'Nother one. Jr, IV at 5 AM. Coup de flip-flop. Nauseated. Barf. Ugh. It never gets easier. And I heard Jr. V rustling in the wings. I think the end of mouse patrol is looming. I'm completely crazed from lack of sleep. I haven't slept through the night in a month.

10/1 Junior V is still on the lam, having found my secret chocolate stash. If it ain't Neil, it's the mice. Sheesh! Now I have to hide my chocolate from both of them. Clearly they're girl mice with chocolate cravings. Juniorettes. They pass up PB and nuts. Forget bread crumbs. They're not interested. Traps snapping at 2 AM—13 traps in evolving configurations. All empty. When the mice skitter right over the top—the traps don't snap.

I also have two new box traps replete with cute mouseholes, they've no need to go in a box. They've been working over my chocolate coins of the world. Eating the gold foil too. Cats like boxes. Maybe I need a cat, a large box, and some chocolate coins on the bottom. But the cat might think it's exotic litter. Now they're eating my silica gel packets in revenge because I took away their chocolate.

Did you know baby mice are called pups? These guys are wily lobo meeses. I no longer set food in the traps as they can snag the food and make a run for the border. Someone suggested sanding off the big red V on Victor von Trapp as mice can read—or at least, they can recognize symbols. Literate mice? I wonder how their Chinese is?

I hate traps, Victors are still the best. The Chinese knock-offs only succeed in snapping my fingers, or an eanie-meanie miney mouse by the toe. But mice can scream—bloodcurdlingly so. Nothing like screaming mice to curdle your heart. The traps are designed for big mice—catching them by the shoulder, or the butt, and I have to do a coup de shoe at 2 AM. Heartbreaking. Then I'm nauseous. It never gets any easier. I don't want to resort to poison. I'm not willing to live with mice. The little fockers.

I'm thinking fly paper might work.

Bring on the roosters.

Post scriptum: All quiet on the mausian front. It's a wonder what a full night's sleep will do for one's sanity. I think Junior V packed his carpetbag and left for seedier pastures. To be safe, I crumpled dried spearmint leaves in the corners, and under the bed. Ricky brings me gift-wrapped boxes of D-Con. Within a week they're empty. Clearly there were a lot more mice I never was personally introduced to.


A DEAD MOUSE REPOSES IN BEAUTY 8/17 I found this little guy outside. I should've known a mouse invasion was in progress.

No Mouser, Jack 8/12 At my cousin's in Nicasio. I guess I was in mouse training.

SUMMER MOUSE HAIPU 7/29 I should've guessed that the best was yet to come.

The first edition of MOUSE WARS Note the date was 9/20/2009. My last major mouse war and campaign.


Even though seeing these photos still makes me queasy, the tiny perfection of mice feet reminds me that they're mammals, so like us. I am torn between compassion, nausea, and rage. Then, I'm struck by the beauty of it all. How their toes are like the drawings of medieval Irish illuminated manuscripts. The monks observed them firsthand.

The exquisite perfection of Junior's foot
reminds me that mice are mammals too.