Month: December 2016

What I Did On My Yule Vacation, by Loki, God of…FIRE!

It is finally happening! The stars have aligned!  Calendars have been beaten into submission, the weather has cooperated, and snotty colds have been banished–or at least ignored.  And we are GOING TO GET TO PLAY WITH FIRE!!!! 

I am the god of fire! What are we waiting for?!  Come on, mortal!  Get up off your meaty haunches and get your gear in the car.  We have an outcrop to burn!

The human female and her plant-nerd compatriots have been talking about burning the outcrop for several years now. They haven’t done it because conditions and timing have to be just right–or so they say.  Personally, I think they are just lazy.  But today they are actually going to DO it.  It is a cool day, not too windy, and it has been a bit damp over the last week or so.  It should be fairly simple to keep the flames confined to the bit of rocky prairie they want to clear.

The human female is lecturing me.  Don’t back the wind around.  Don’t let the threatening rain fall until AFTER the burn.  Don’t chase the humans with flaming branches.  Don’t blow sparks onto adjoining property. Don’t encourage a canopy fire.  Do keep an eye on Sigyn.  Do remember that the house at the top of the outcrop, as well as all associated structures, is off limits.  Nag, nag, nag.  Shut UP, woman.  I get it.  Look–Sigyn is here.  Do you really think I am going to take any chances?

The first thing to do is to establish the firebreak boundaries.  The road at the bottom of the outcrop will serve well as one edge.  We are now lighting a string of little fires along the top edge of the outcrop, between it and the house’s lawn.

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Oh ho!  Last season’s dry grasses burn quite nicely, and past-prime yucca leaves go up in moments.

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The two experienced fire-setters are handling things on the face of the outcrop.  The human female, Sigyn, and I are to remain up top, to make sure the fire does not advance across the lawn or stray to far to the side.

Cough, cough!  It is very smoky up here now!

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Rather like the time Thor and I accidentally set the stables on fire when we were lads, only with more juniper and less horse manure.  The black thing in the image above is a heavy, rubbery, flappy thing on a pole that can be used to swat and smother any little tongues that try to stray.

Ehehehehe!  Here comes the fire department.  Someone was supposed to tell them we were doing this today.  Wouldn’t it be funny if the human female got arrested for ARSON?    Aw, shucks.  They’re leaving, because the mortals apparently DO have it under control.

fire

To be honest, they’re having to work to keep it all alight, dragging flames to individual bunches of grass.  Still, the popping, snapping, roaring noise is tremendous, and it smells like all the campfires of my life, rolled into one.

I had some notion of breaking out the marshmallows and making s’mores, but Sigyn thinks we are far too close already and is beating a strategic retreat.

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(A bit later.) The flames are gone now, more’s the pity.  The fun part is over.  Now the grunt-work begins, as the mortals plan to spend several hours cutting, clearing, and stacking weedy woody brush and small saplings.  There certainly is a lot of yaupon holly on this rock!  It’s quite a job, to weasel one’s way into the juniper thickets, find and cut the little trunks, and then haul all the waste over tricky terrain to the top of the outcrop where it will sit until it’s hauled away.

By my little horny helmet, what a lot of work!  I’m exhausted just sitting here on top of the pile and watching.

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I could, of course, snap my talented fingers and have it done in a trice, but physical labor is so improving to the human character.  Tomorrow, the female will be stiff and sore, with a smoke-stuffed head and a load of laundry that reeks of ash.

Tonight she will lie in bed and wonder if they really did find and extinguish all the slow-smoldering embers…

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Our Annual Christmas Treat, Part II: Weighty Matters

Sigyn adores glass paperweights. It’s one of the first things I learned about her.

It always makes me happy to see her so happy to look at a bunch of them.

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She has a special fondness for the floral ones.

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That blue one seems to have really caught her eye.

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The one with the tiny orchid is also pretty.

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Someone should take her sweet face and immortalize it.

Happy Yule, dearest!

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Our Annual Christmas Treat, Part I: Fancy Do-dads

You may have been wondering what my gift to Sigyn was.  As has become our custom, we plan to gift one another with an experience rather than a physical token.  We are once again taking in the glass exhibits at one of the galleries on campus.

It’s nearly 80F today, and the winter plantings around the Memorial Student Center building are at their finest.

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Ah, here we are.  What’s on exhibit today?

The first room has a great number of these pink…things.  I think they might be lamp parts, but I’m not sure.

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This is more recognizable. A cameo glass lamp.

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But brown isn’t really my color.

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Green.  Green is always better.

What have you got over there, Sigyn?

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Here an urn, there an urn.  Everywhere an urn, urn!  These generally tend to run toward half-naked ladies, flying people (mostly babies), and flowing drapery.

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Take, for example this brown one.  Half-naked people?  Check.  Flowing draperies?  Check.

This one has the flowing draperies, but not so much nudity.

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The dog’s a nice touch, though.

Ah! THIS ONE, now.  This one ticks all the boxes.

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Let’s examine it a bit more closely.  VERY naked people, lots of flowing drapery, and the gal’s got wings, so I guess flying is going to happen soon.

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Sigyn?  What?  What’s so funny–why are you laughing?  Laughing and pointing?

What?

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Some days I just don’t understand her…

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More Stocking “Fun”

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Munch, munch, munch.  There’s nothing like a good doughnut for breakfast.  And certainly, since I saw to it that the dough never did rise properly, this doughnut is a better bet than the human female’s most recent batch of bacon rolls bricks.  So I ruined Christmas morning breakfast, so what?  She had it coming.

What’s this?

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It’s another stocking.  The human female says this is for me. Apparently all the cute animals–and the trucks!–that Sigyn and I played with yesterday were just for Sigyn.

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O000kay.  Let’s see what’s in here…

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By Vostagg’s sixth and seventh sweet teeth!  What is this rubbish?

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This is my Yule “gift”?   Low, blow, mortal, even for you.

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I did have plans to let up a little in the New Year, but that flappy sound you hear now is pigeons coming home to roost.

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That Stocking Post With A Ton of Pictures

What an orgy of unwrapping yesterday morning was!  Ribbons and paper and tags everywhereThe human male received some shirts, a book, some games, a bottle of fountain pen ink (green–must remember to appropriate that), and some ginger candy.  The human female received a necklace, some of the pens she likes, some books, a box of chocolate candy (which she can’t eat–oh, darn, more for me), and the human male’s nasty cold.  The rest of the day was spent puttering, reading, and sleeping.  Between the greedy frenzy and the laziness, the humans forgot to mention that Sigyn and I had a stocking of our own.

Today, they FINALLY remembered to tell us!  And now that it is quiet (more sleeping), Sign and I are going to open it.  I hope it is not socks.  I have enough socks.

Here we go, Sigyn!  Are you ready?

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Fisi, NO!  Get out of there!

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Bad hyena!  Drop it!  Wait–I see numbers in the corner.   Maybe it’s cash!

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Oh. It’s just an envelope.  Here, Sigyn.  I shall open it with my dagger.

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Well, look at that!  I was not expecting a small, rubbery human-relative.

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There’s another envelope–are we getting a barrel of monkeys one by one?

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Ponies!  Oh, Sigyn is going to love those.  She’s more than a bit horse-crazy.

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I opened a third envelope, only to discover two tiny gray creatures.

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We are now surrounded by odd-toed ungulates.

Sigyn–do you see something else in there?

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A rubbery neon dinosaur!  We can add it to our growing herd.

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Odin’s eyepatch–there’s another one!

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And two more, as well as some trucks for me!

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Vroom, vroom!  Beep, beep!  Crash!  Augh!

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Fisi! What has that fleabitten menace got now?  Drop it!  Drop the bunny, Fisi!

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Bad hyena!  Got get in your crate!  Crate, Fisi!  Don’t worry, Sigyn, the bunny is unharmed.

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Though you may want to keep an eye on that fox…  I can practically see the thought-bubble that says, “Yule dinner” hovering over its head as it gazes at that rabbit…

Sigyn is quite happy, playing with all the new members of her menagerie.

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Me, I’m off to see if a) the humans have gobbled up all the cookies already,

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b)  the human female’s mother sent cash again this year…

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Last Minute Insanity

Because the human female has a brain like a leaky flea-size sieve, she is always forgetting things.  Sometimes I bring something up and say, “But you must remember! I told you that yesterday,” when I actually never did, just to make her think the problem’s worse than it really is.

But because she forgot to put certain things on her shopping list, and because the human male is under the weather and it would be good to have soup on hand, she is venturing out to the market, mere minutes before Yule, in what has to be the most ill-advised undertaking since Thor, copying his girlfriend Jane,  tried the Midgardian trick of “conditioning” his hair with mayonnaise, forgetting that Volstagg is quite fond of the glop.  Sif, Fandral, and I had bets going as to whether Thor could outrun Volstagg, whether Volstagg would actually lick Thor’s head if he caught him, and whether Thor would remember that you’re meant to wash the goop out…  But I digress.

Here we go. Sigyn, are you buckled up securely?  Aieeee!  The parking lot is a lot like the Midgardian fun-park amusement called “bumper cars.”  We were lucky to make into the market with our hides intact!

Folks are shoving their carts madly about, eyes glazed, muttering under their breath.  The shelves have been picked clean of the staples, and increasingly desperate shoppers are now snatching at whatever is left.

Because this is Texas, this is actually a holiday item.

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Ehehehe!  No white Christmas for the humans!  Nope, cloudy, warm, and humid,  with a chance of mosquitoes.

But it’s good to know that three-legged salsa bowls are obtainable in the appropriate, festive colors.

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What do you have there, my sweet?

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Hmmm.  It is displayed with holiday baking supplies and candy, but there are no ingredients listed.  Is it even edible?  Is it toxic?  Is it gluten free?  No one knows!  Looks to me like colored pencil shavings.  Or perhaps someone has simply vacuumed up the crumbs from under the human female’s sofa.  I bet that’s it.

Well, we now have our purchases and can go home to wrap, bake, decorate, and listen to the human male cough. Yippee.

In closing, I’d like to point out that the mortals are all wrong about those flying reindeer.  The truth is closer to this.

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Deck The Fa-la-Jingle Holly

Mortals, the sillies, believe that there are only seven deadly sins.  Oh, I can think of waaaay more than that.  Still, if I had to limit myself when outlining the human female’s pecadillos, I would have to go with sloth, every time.

She is very late in decorating for Yule this year, but today she’s actually going to do it.  She has dragged the monstrous tubs o’cheer down from the attic.

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This is just one of them. That woman can cram more tat on a defunct evergreen than anyone I know.

First, the lights.

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Tsk, tsk!  Tangles!  I don’t know, Sigyn, this looks pretty hopeless–and I haven’t even started to “help” yet.

Well, rats.  Those are the old lights.  Apparently, there are new lights. Brighter, energy-efficient, and considerably less Gordian.  Sigyn likes the red ones, of course.

redlight

But I think the green ones cast more dramatic shadows.

greenlight

DUN dun dunnn!

So, the colored ones are up all right.  Let me see what I can do with the white ones, though.  Hmm.  If I smash just one… a whole bunch of them won’t light.  Eh he he he!  Rather than one of the paired strands not lighting, how about just the first three feet going dark?  let’s see how long it takes her to figure it out.

Still waiting.

Waaiting.  She’s found the defective bulb but can’t seem to get it out of the socket.

Waaaiting.  She’s pried the bulb out of the socket and is struggling to get a replacement in.

Waaaaiting.   Having finally consulted the directions about “What to do if you can’t get a replacement bulb in,” she is struggling to do as they say and dismantle the dead bulb and the good bulb and thread the little metal wires from the top of the good bulb into the old base and try THAT in the socket.  That might just work!

Or it would have, if I hadn’t smashed the old one so completely that there’s nothing to grab onto to commence the dismantling.

And there we are!  The light (so to speak) has dawned at last, and she has at last figured out that it’s a twinkle bulb that’s out and not a steady one, and that even though the twinkle bulbs are bigger, their bases are just a bit smaller.  Problem solved!  Time saved over untangling and trouble-shooting the OLD lights?  None!  Ehehehehehe!

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Sleipnir’s fetlocks!  Those purple ones are really bright.  And I’ve tweaked a few things so that the new white ones, rather than fading slowly in and out like serene fireflies in a dusky forest, are flashing off and on like spastic pixies.

All this mischief has made me thirsty.  Sigyn, bring your new friends,

nutcracker

and let’s go get some eggnog.  We can come back later to see how the actual decorating goes…

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finished

 

 

 

Music… and More Eating

The humans are fond of music.  Now, I’m not much for the rootley-tootley chamber music the human female likes so much, and she has been driving me up the proverbial wall with Yule tunes all this month, but she and Sigyn have their hearts set on going to the annual local Medieval and Renaissance Yule concert.  Gnaaaaagh… Crumhorns.  But it’s what my sweetie wants, so…

And here we are.  I had to talk my way past the doorkeeper to be let into the church.  For some reason they weren’t keen on allowing me over the threshold–maybe it’s the helmet and the horns?  I don’t know.

I rather expect to be bored.  Just look at the program!

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Half of it’s not even in the local patios!  However, I understand that there will be refreshments afterwards, so I suppose I can sit still until then.

(later)

Well, that was…not awful.  The humans and Sigyn liked it, but I really don’t see the point.

Time for food!  Didn’t we feast just yesterday?  I’m not sure where Sigyn puts it all.  She never seems to gain an ounce.  (Can’t say the same for the human female.)  What’s on the refreshment table this year?

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Orange-cranberry scone and a sort of weird fruitcake-cheesecake hybrid.  Must be an Episcopalian thing.  It certainly looks…gooey.

There is quite a bit of “colorful” on the other side of the room.  Oh, I see.  Various wares to be sold in support of charitable endeavors.  Sigyn is making friends with some visitors from South America.

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Sigyn, don’t we know his cousin?

And I believe we have met this fellow’s kin before, too!

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Sigyn is chattering away at these two, but they are from Guatemala and I don’t think they understand a word she’s saying.

While they explore the interspecies-international language barrier, I think I will slip back into the church.  There are some lovely, shiny, expensive, handle-with-white-gloves-only handbells that desperately need some cheesecakey fingerprints..

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She’s standing right behind me, isn’t she?

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A Most Perilous Feast

It is truly the Eating Season, with an endless round of parties, breakfasts, luncheons, and assorted snacktaculars.  The human female always looks forward to the Departmental Luncheon at work.  It is a time to socialize with coworkers and people who work in other buildings.  A time of hail-fellow-well-met.  But mostly a time of unrestrained gluttony.  Sigyn and I have attended before.  There is usually a good variety of comestibles to choose from, and I am by no means averse to trying a little of everything.

Dammit all to Hel and back!  Just as I was assessing her laden plate, the human female nudged me accidentally-on-purpose, and the unthinkable happened.

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Laugh it up, you hag.  I must and shall be avenged.  By Thor’s bitty pall-peen, I hope turkey gravy is not permanently damaging to helmets!

That’s better.  Now, what have we here?

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Turkey, dressing, potatoes, gravy, green things, yellow fruity things, the human female’s usual offering of pilaf, some shreddy vegetables, a little ball of something that smells vaguely sausagesque, some red goo, and something wrapped in something leafy.  You distract the human female, Sigyn, and I’ll taste-test to see what’s good.

Sigyn is engaging the human female in a discussion of Yule trees.  Sigyn thinks this one is pretty, and a good size.

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I don’t know.  I’m not usually much for flocked trees, but if Sigyn likes it…  Sweetie, you do know that I can frost any tree you pick, right?

Oh, no!  Sigyn’s interaction with the table decor has reached unacceptable levels.

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Sigh.  Attracted, no doubt, by the sparkly red balls and the crinkly red paper.  Hold tight, my love.  Loki’s coming.

I think we both deserve a big plate of dessert to allay the horrors of our accidents, don’t you?  Let’s see what’s on the goodie table.

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Sigyn is delighted to see that there are cut-out cookies.  Please tell me this isn’t the same bear as last year?  He looks less worried but seems to have acquired some brown…something… on his right ear.  Do I even want to know what it is?

Let’s see what else we have.

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Volstagg’s embonpont!  I don’t recognize half of this!  But it looks as if it includes an impressive quantity of nuts, fruits, sugar, and fat, so we’re good.  But look at the lower part of that bear!  The human female has eaten his left foot, but there is a second one underneath!  Mutant bear?  Two bears stuck together?  Bear with a spare?  Perhaps that’s why he looks less anxious this year–he knows he can afford to lose a leg and keep on going.

But has he got a second head?  Let’s see you recover from this, you ursine confection!  Munch, munch, munch…

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Yule is A-coming, Part III: Great Fenrir’s Fleacollar, MAKE IT STOP!

So the Yule shopping is going on…and on… and on.  The human female is looking for brocade ribbon.   And books for small people.   And a certain “yummy bergamot and cedar” hand soap recommended by a friend of her mother’s.  But can she look at just ribbon and books and hand soap?  NO, SHE CANNOT.

She is looking at everything, and by Odin’s monocular vision there is so. much. CRAP to look at that we will probably still be wandering aimlessly come the spring equinox.

And the crap is starting to take on a very disturbing slant.  Look at these!

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As much as I adore the thought of blowing my nose on my brother’s oafish face, and as much as Steve’s goody-goody-ness still gives me a rash and kidney failure so I don’t mind if he is snotted on as well, I fail to see the pressing need to make a product like this at all.  What’s that?  The actual tissues aren’t printed with their stupid faces?  That takes away all the fun and makes them an even more ridiculous idea.

Sweet glittering Bifrost! There is more:

thorbook

NO!  The godson does not not need any stickers this year!  Keep moving!

Augh!  There is my stupid brother not brother again!

thor-book

The shelf may say “Charlie Brown,” but the hammer and the dorky helmet are a dead giveaway.

The thorribleness is everywhere.

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There are thornaments…

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Vintage thor…  (Yep, 12 cents is about what he’s worth)

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Grumpy thor…

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Ugly 3-D thor…

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Constipated thor…

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This thor has bits you can swap out with Frost Giant parts.  That…  That is a good idea, actually.  Let’s see how he likes being ostracized and ridiculed for a little chilly DNA.

All in all, far too much blonde Asgardian beef on sale today.  I think the needle on my thor-o-meter is ticking into the red zone.

Please, can we go HOME now?

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