I haven’t had time to do much since we’ve been back, but some of the projects I set in motion before we left are paying off. Remember kiddies: villainy is as much about planning as it is about malice.
The human female is back at work and none too happy about it. Yesterday it occurred to her to check on one of her orders that should have been here already. This was one she had been concerned about because BAMN had given her two contradictory messages about it. One said, “The BAMN gods have smiled and your order has been sent to the vendor.” The other said, “Wail and gnash your teeth, for your PO has failed to convert and has not been sent.” Back before our trip, she even called the vendor with the PO number, and they check and assured her that All Was Well. Fast forward to now, when the goods have failed to arrive. She called the vendor again, and they told her they had no record of the transaction. This sparked a flurry of e-mails and phone calls to BAMN people and vendor people, and it turns out that yes indeedy, the vendor most certainly DID have a PO with that number. From a different customer in California. A few more e-mails served to have the BAMN people re-send the failed order. If all goes well, the shipment should be here in the nick of time. But we all know who the BAMN god really is, don’t we, so how likely would you say that is?
More BAMN fun: One of the humans’ biggest gripes has been that there has been no catalog punch-out for Vendor Who’s Responsible. All orders must be typed in by hand. No clicky-buy-ee for you! Well, there now IS a punch-out catalog. Hooray. But I poked the system and, while it works, there is no way to attach a quote document, so no way to drop items in the cart at agreed-upon prices. Not so hooray. Ehehehehe.
Something else to wrestle through BAMN–the ongoing Defunct Feline Conundrum (hereafter referred to as DFC, for short) Midgardians are going to have to rethink their colloquialism, “There isn’t room to swing a dead cat.” Why? THERE ARE NO DEAD CATS TO BE SWUNG! The nationwide shortage of dead cats for dissection has worsened. The cats the human female ordered last December from the Purveyor of Dead Things have not arrived and most likely will not. Nor have the 325 she ordered in March. Other Vendors Numbers 1-5 have no cats at all. Other Vendor Number 6 can promise cats, but due to the Great and Pungent Moldy Cat Incident of ’09, Vendor Number 6 is, shall we say, not a preferred provider. Still, lab personnel have indicated a willingness to bathe any fungally-challenged cats lovingly in disinfectant weekly if only they appear. The Purveyor of Squiggly Things (who also does Dead Things) this morning has promised that they can make stiff kitties happen. The human female awaits a firm quote and a promise signed in blood of first-born children if les minous morts do not materialize.
At the same time that the DFC is going on, there is a new batch of feral kittens under the adjacent building on campus. The human capacity for brain dichotomy is a wonder to behold. Half of the human female’s brain is all “Awww! SO cute!” and the other half is, “Dead cats! Dead cats! My kingdom for dead cats!” I expect that a full cerebral melt-down is imminent.
The human female’s work group has been short-handed for a while now. One of her senior Techs
escaped left to go to graduate school. (And he was the tall one, handy for Fetching Things from High Places, more’s the pity.) The job posting for a new Tech has been out for some time now, but due to the ongoing budget woes and wars, the human female was not allowed to interview any of the seven applicants. Now she’s allowed, but one of the best applicants doesn’t actually live in Texas and two have fudged their years of experience, so interviews will be fun.
Still no hallway doors on the toilets on the third floor of the human female’s workplace. There has been a declaration that such doors would not ADA compliant. I fail to see how proposed third-floor doors are more obstructive to persons with limited mobility than the doors on fourth, second, and first, but my brain is larger than a pea, so perhaps I do not have the proper perspective.
As expected, the lawn really liked the two feet or so of rain that fell while we were gone. I sat on the porch with a tall glass of iced tea and watched the female wrestle the mower around all one evening until dark, all slimy with sweat and sunscreen (non-greasy formula my eye!) and insect repellent. At the end of the job, I nudged the mower and it wouldn’t turn off, so probably it’s broken and she has that to look forward to next time she gets off her bum and does yard work.
The superannuated feline, who is keeping the local vet and compounding pharmacy in business, has been put on a special new diet. This diet includes gooshy food, a delicacy of which she was heretofore unaware. It has to be the wet stuff because no agency in the Nine Realms will induce her to eat dry food with the prescription potassium powder sprinkled on it. Nor will she accept the powder in proffered petroleum jelly, which the gormless creature will normally consume straight out of the jar as an alternative to expensive hair-ball medicine. No, gooshy food it must be. Now, having tasted this ambrosia, she turns up her whiskers at the new expensive kibble. She can sometimes be persuaded to nibble some kibble if it’s mixed with the gooshy food, but sometimes not. I’ve had a little coaching session with her, and she has learned to fling the wet stuff around quite well when she eats, and she likes the stinkiest flavor best. Face it, humans: the days of having a low-maintenance pet are over. My favorite part of all of this is how I’ve tweaked things so that none of the the feline’s three prescriptions are ever due for a refill at the same time.
Speaking of prescriptions, I’ve been poking about in the human female’s medicaments as well. It takes a fair amount of drugs to keep her running, and the mail-order-pharmacy probably has her hideous face on a Frequent Customer poster someplace. I like to tinker with their billing, so that one month they say she has a credit and issue her a refund and the next they send her a nasty-gram saying her account has an amount 21 days past due. No one can figure it out, because the humans are pretty good about paying bills when they come in, and the overages and underages never correspond to any actual transaction. I am a man of mystery and can keep this up forever, if need be.
Now that the days are flirting seriously with heat indices near 108°F, I made the human female’s missing black glove magically reappear. In the car. Where she looked. Multiple times. I’ll bet anything you like she manages to lose it again before winter. She has already managed to lose a water bottle and a pepper mill this week. Who loses a pepper mill?!
Let me see… Forgotten lunch, leaking leftovers, failure to defrost dinner ingredients, in a timely manner, assorted computer woes, a brief but highly memorable stomach virus—yep, I think that’s the lot. I miss England, but it’s good to be back doing what I do best!