Month: November 2016

Lest You Think I’ve Been Idle…

Baldur’s biscuits!  Looking back at this blog, I realize that it has been an age since I posted a Mischief Update.  I’ve been busy with other…things, and the human female has been monopolizing the computer.  But she’s doing some actual work at the moment, so I will try to summarize.

The human female returned to work after her recuperation to find that some misguided individual had plugged/unplugged/switched/turned off/relocated or otherwise tampered with all of the cords for the two fish tanks, leaving them with no running filter.  Now, the lungfish was unperturbed because lungs, but the reef tank suffered a catastrophic drop in water quality.  I kept Sigyn away so she wouldn’t see the human female wobbling atop a stool with her foot in a boot, trying to scoop the poor dead fish from the top of the tall tank.  Then she had to remove two moribund brittle stars, one of which fell apart as she tried to do so and one of which was still writhing in the discard bucket.  Now, this piscicide was not my doing, but I did enjoy watching the human female hobble up and down the hall fetching nets and buckets and trying frantically to reach the aquatics tech on the phone. She walks so funny, especially since her not-chopped foot is bad too.

On her second day back to work (the very day she was cleared to drive), one of her colleagues threw his back out and had to be taken to the healer.  I finagled things so that it was the human female who had to take him, and I had a good giggle watching her struggle to push him (at nearly twice her weight) in a wheelchair, get him down the elevator, put him in her tiny car, stow the wheelchair, and then reverse the process to get him into the clinic.  Well, the doctor *did* say he wanted her to put some weight on that foot.

She’s still paying for the whole foot thing, too. I had a chat with the hospital and the insurance company, because it’s more fun if the bills trickle in a little at a time instead of all at once.  It’s also fun if the folks at the check-in desk for all of her pre- and post-op appointments tell her there is no charge but then she gets billed anyway.  I coached the service representative on what to say.  “It’s a courtesy not to charge you but to just roll it all into the inexplicably large tab for the surgery, the anesthesiologist, and all the supplies.  So you owe it, but we think it’s kinder and less confusing to tell you that you don’t.”

To round out my selection of medical and medical-adjacent mischief, I tinkered with her prescriptions.  The Tiny Blue Pills had been on automatic refill with the mail-order pharmacy, but when the human female’s doctor gave up and quit, the prescription lapsed from auto–but no one notified her of that fact.  She was mere days away from running out (and trust me–no one wants to see that!) by the time it occurred to her to inquire and put the order in herself.  She was told that no,  you cannot re-activate auto-refill without a new prescription from the new doctor.  Well and good, but how about an interim prescription until the now-ordered medicine arrives?  She got one, but the local pharmacy wouldn’t fill it, because the mail-order pharmacy had just filled it.  So she asked for just a few days’ worth, which usually isn’t a problem, but I had the local pill-pushers suddenly say they couldn’t do it and  refer her back to mail-order for authorization.  They in turn sent her back to the locals, saying all they needed was an override code. Still with me?  Another trip back to the local pharmacy, and she finally had a few of the precious rounds to swallow.  Another, unrelated call to the mail-order pharmacy to check on her headache medicine reveals that this one cannot be put on auto-refill at all because some cretin coded wrong.  It thinks 11 pills (all they’ll let her have in a month) is coded in as an 11-day prescription, which is not eligible for auto-ship (only 30- or 90-day ones are.)  Funny, she needed one of those as soon as she hung up the phone.  It was all good fun, but I think I prefer her better when she’s medicated, so I may not do this again.

Until the next time…

I saw to it that there was some first-class BAMN goodness waiting for her upon her return.  The invoice for all of the dead cats she was finally able to purchase from the Purveyor of Squiggly Things (And Sometimes Dead Things) was returned UNPAID!  A few phone calls and emails revealed that those defunct kitties were ordered so long ago that the departmental account number had changed in the interim.  The human female suggested that the transaction be transferred to the NEW account.  Because that would make sense. No can do!  The bean-counters had to re-open the old account, put money in it,  pay the invoice, and then close it down again.  It was fixed. No, it wasn’t–there was another, newer invoice that bounced in the same way.   It positively tickles me to think that the human female’s name is probably on the industry equivalent of the “Do Not Accept Checks From This Person” list.

The Affair of the Unpurchased Cats was such a lark that I had to try it again.  Not long thereafter, the human female received a cranky email from the Purveyor of Dead Things asking WHY the large shipment of Dead Thing Paella and other assorted specimens (the one that arrived in August and involved the Dead Cat Ballet) had still not been paid for.  That resulted in another flurry of emails and calls between the vendor, the bean counters, and the human female.  Apparently the invoice (upwards of $14k) had been electronically mislaid.  So that’s two Hot Checks lists she’s on…  If I can keep this up, there won’t be a purveyor out there who will take an order from her.

Then there were the Special Small Opaque Black Microcentrifuge Tubes she had to order via the Vendor Who’s Responsible’s very, very broken BAMN punch-out.  She keyed the order in, put the goodies in the cart.  And it was empty.  She restarted it.  The price was wrong, because it added the Special Extra Teeny Opaque Black Microcentrifuge Tubes instead.  She got that straightened out eventually, but what should have been a five-minute purchase ate up considerably more fun than that. I had time to make popcorn and settle in to watch.

While she was still getting places on her little knee scooter, I tweaked the elevator one morning, so she had to carry the thing up two flights of stairs.

The ice machine went on strike the week all the labs needed ice.

The door on oom 324 spent one day refusing to open with anything other than the master key.  The next day, I had it refuse to lock. With an exam set up inside.

I pointed out to the copier that the elevator, the ice machine, and the automatic door locks were having all the fun, so it took itself offline. When it was coaxed back online, it decided it didn’t need codes and let everyone have unlimited copies for free.  Then it decided its energy-saver shut down period should be about one minute.  I don’t know–what do you think should malfunction next?  Is it time for microwave sparks?

When one is stressed at work and recovering from an injury, good nutrition is important.  The human female purchased a packet of dried apricots to keep in her desk for “healthy” snacking.  Imagine her surprise when she opened them to find I had doctored them with some sort of vile chemical (don’t ask  me –I don’t know what it was.  I just went in the prep room and grabbed something) and they were inedible.  That occasioned an indignant return to the market, so now the folks there think she is a trouble maker too.

The Feline, already on prescription food and several daily meds, came down with a bug that required the humans to administer an oral liquid medicine every day for ten days.  Would the cat eat it on her food?  She would not! (I taught her well.)  Catching her, holding her down, and squirting it into the flailing beast provided a healthy dose of drama to each day, especially since said medication makes her FOAM at the mouth like a rabid weasel.

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And as a final unfortunate event, the humans’ credit card was hacked.  What? No!  I know nothing about that.  And no, I don’t choose to explain my recent acquisition of three pounds of gummy septopuses and six shiny new knives.  I’m hurt you would even think to ask…

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It’s A Yucky Job…

…but somebody has to do it.  Just not me.  Nope, nope, nope.  I am not lifting a finger. I am just going to narrate.

Now that the superannuated feline has to have twice daily insulin-stabbing sessions with the human female, it is critical that the useless beast eats on a regular schedule. Gone are the days when the humans could just sling some kibble into a bowl and call it good.

No, the feeding ritual now rivals a NASA pre-launch checklist for length and complexity.  There is still kibble, but now it is the fancy, expensive kind that the feline only sort of likes.  Now, since the feline’s kidneys are every bit as old as the rest of her, she has to have supplemental potassium sprinkled on her food.  The potassium has to special-ordered from a pharmacy in another state and shipped in at great expense.

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Note, if you will, the expiry date–October 19 of this year, by the Midgardian calendar.  It goes without saying that the jar is still half full.

The humans tried putting this powder on the kibble.  The feline, stubborn as Odin on a bad day, refused to eat it.  Waiting it out happened.  Pleading happened.  Cursing happened.  Then the humans caved and tried gooshy food.  Success!  The beast will deign to eat the expensive, prescription food.

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Bleargh.

I offered the animal a few pointers, and now she refuses the larger, slightly-less- expensive cans and will eat only this goop.  Look at it.  No, look at it!  I am no connoisseur of cat food, and I refuse to touch the loathsome stuff on principle, but even I can tell that there is rice in there, and carrots and something green.  You can’t tell me this sloppy chicken pilaf is anything like a normal carnivore diet.  But the feline likes it just fine.

Most days.  I didn’t have to teach her how to snub a meal.  That feature appears to have been original equipment.

So one-half of one-quarter teaspoon of potassium powder in the gooshy food and stir well.

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Yes, that is a petri dish.  Yes, the human female is a science nerd.  Oh, and since the feline is prone to acne, of all things, she needs a clean dish for every meal, especially since any uneaten gooshy food turns into something resembling smelly concrete.

Next, kitty gets some clean water.

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This bounteous repast goes down on a placemat because, let me tell you!–this beast makes Volstagg look like a prissy eater.

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When the offering is to her liking, she just hoovers it up.  (It probably isn’t really safe for me to be this close!) Today the human female didn’t even get the dish onto the mat before Little Miss McGreedy started wolfing.  Gobble, gobble, gobble, fling! By the end of this meal, there will be bits of  gooshy food everywhere and kibble scattered to the four corners of the realm.  And the noise! Smacking and nomming and gulping, and I think there is even some sneezing going on.  Cat, that would not happen if you did not inhale.

Of course, I have trained the animal very carefully, and her single-mindedness has been further refined.  Food is the target, and she has eyes only for the bull’s-eye.  If she comes back for seconds after the initial feeding frenzy is over and all the remaining food is around the edges of the dish, why then, the dish is EMPTY and there must be howling.

Lots and lots of howling.

So that’s how it goes, morning and evening, like furry clockwork.  It’s routine now, and no doubt my delight in the humans’ annoyance will pale with time, so I shall have to think about how to shake it up…  I know!  It is almost time to order another case of gooshy food.  Once the humans have it in hand, I think I will convince the feline to snub that flavor too..

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Thinking Inside the … Bag

The human female is back at work.  About which, more later…  In the meantime, I will content myself with a bit of mischief around the house.

It is a sad, sad fact of Midgardian physiology that some females, once they achieve a certain age, tend to have much in common with billy goats.  Their skin dries out and their feet look more like hooves.  Their querulous voices take on a bleating quality.  And, most of all, they are very prone to chin whiskers.

The human female whose abode I share excels in this production of excess facial hair.  Between the bushy eyebrows and the hair on her chinny-chin-chin, she is vigilant in including plucking in her slap-dash “beauty” regimen.

Which is why I expect she will panic for the better part of a week when I hide the tweezers in this bag of cotton balls and then turn the bag over…

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How many times will she paw through her cosmetics drawer?  Will she find them before she caves in and buys a replacement pair?  Will the human male have to purchase a livestock license?  Oh, the suspense!

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This Is More Like It

The human female has ceased eating dubious green things and has arrived at the portion of the Eating Festivities nearest and dearest to my heart–and Sigyn’s.

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It’s pie o’clock!

Midgardians may have come up with some truly BAD  ideas over the course of their very short and brutish history, but pie is not one of them.  Pie?  Pie is good.

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And whichever inventive and not-quite-so-brutish mortal discovered that pie is even better upon the application of aerated bovine nutrient fluid?  Truly, that fellow needs a statue in his honor.

But before we start giving the mortals too much credit for being sufficiently evolved from their primitive primate ancestors, let us pause amidst the feasting to contemplate that the most popular dessert here today is something called…

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Monkey Bread.

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Eating Practice

The annual Eating Holiday is upon us once more. Didn’t we just do this?  Where has a year gone?  Ah, well.  Far be it from me to repine when there is a deadly sin to celebrate!  All hail, gluttony! 

As usual, the human female is partaking of the pre-holiday meal of thanks at her workplace, a sort of warm-up to the main event.  Wouldn’t you know that’s how she would ease herself back into work after all the pathetic sore-foot lounging?

Guests are encouraged to trace a “hand turkey” on the lab whiteboard while they wait in line for the repast.

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I fail to see the appeal.

At last!  Come, Sigyn, let’s see what’s on offer this year.

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Hmm.  Turkey, gravy, something yellow, and a few greenish things.  Oh, and some of the many pounds of smashed tubers the human female prepared.  At least, I think she brought them.  I saw the large bag of brown vegetables, the peeler, and the knife last night, and it looked so suspiciously like work and reminded me so much of last year’s Solanaceous carnage that I made myself scarce.

Idunn’s little apples!  She has gone back through the food line for something else, and it is green too. Let us examine the “green things” more closely.

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What do you think it is, Sigyn?  I…I think I can detect some sort of vegetable under a sauce made of…fungi?  That can’t be right.  I don’t trust it…

And what about this?

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More vegetables… Bits of –is that apple?  Some type of creamy sauce…  But what are those little black specks?  Now, I’m no entomologist, but I do know what caterpillar frass looks like, so yeah, I’m going to give this stuff a wiiiiiide berth, Sigyn, and I suggest you do the same.

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She Must Be Truly Desperate

The human female is in her last few days of enforced inactivity.  She has read all the books, watched all the Marvel movies, surfed the entirety of the internet, and logged an impressive number of hours of “fuzz time” with the feline.

What is there left to DO?  What can possibly be done to stave off the mind-numbing boredom of her own company?

Time for the puzzle book!  It’s a nice, big, fat one, with all sorts of word games, math games, and assorted noggin-ticklers.  Pfft!  These look easy.  Here, let me show you how it’s done.

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What are you shrieking about, you foolish mortal?  Oh, you mean letters are supposed to go in the little boxes?  Why didn’t you SAY so?  Hmmph.  Very well.  I will put letters in all the little boxes.

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Happy now?

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The Big Game, Part III: I See Such Potential

The game has at last begun!  The noise here is deafening!  In a feat of coordination that rather boggles my mind, the crowd seems to be able to all yell the same thing at the same exact time.  The effect is quite unnerving.  I must find a way to harness this mass-hysteria for my own ends…  If I can get them all chanting my name…

The beige-clad bald fellows are quiet at this particular moment (no doubt to allow the players of the team they favor to actually converse), but believe me, they are extraordinarily exuberant.

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(a bit later)

The contest appears to be half-over.  The home crowd is quite pleased because “our” team has manhandled the ball and opposing players more successfully than the other.

Now the two teams are taking a break to tend to their wounds and receive stirring exhortations from their leaders.  They’ll reappear anon, hale, mostly whole, and ready to do battle again.  Thor would just love this whole thing. It requires very little brain, glorifies brute force, and smacks more than a little of Valhalla…  If we could stock the concession stands with Pop Tarts, he would be the happiest soul in all Nine Realms.

It appears that we are to be treated to some martial music while we wait.  Sigyn–look over there.  Some of the beige baldies, now with instruments, are assembling at one end of the playing field.

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Such neat and orderly rows!  Such a proud and noble mien!   I may be the God of Chaos and Mischief, but such a display appeals to the conqueror in me.

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Observe the precision of their marching!  How nimbly they create their formations upon the grass!  Would that it was my name  that they were spelling with their very bodies. The snappiness of their turns is perfection! Truly, this is an elite corps which is used to practicing ceaselessly and obeying orders without thought. Here! Here is the army for which I have longed!

Whatever the cost, they must be mine…

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