Month: January 2017

Things That Go Drip, Piddle, Ooze

There are a lot of aquaria in the human female’s workplace.  Many of the laboratory classrooms have them so that the students can observe squiggly things up close, and learn about pH and algal bloom, and happy predator species that treat the soft-bodied invertebrates like their own personal smorgasbord (chocolate chip starfish, we’re looking at you.)  The smaller tanks house a thoughtful fish or two; the larger ones are miniature reef ecosystems.  Sigyn could watch things swimming for hours–the real-life nature action never stops.

Not much is happening in this one today, though.


By Jörmungandr‘s pointy fangs!  No wonder!  There are but a scant four inches of water left in it!

Hmmm.  I wonder if this has anything at all to do with the little holes I poked in its filter/circulation pump/gasketing?


Naaah.  Probably not…

Pro Tip:  Students of villainy should remember–always wait for the first lab day of the semester for mischief like this, so that the Prep Staff and Lab Coordinator are scurrying around with mops and fishnets, trying to get up all the water and rescue all the uncooperative critters.  Adds a dash of drama to the mundane reading of the syllabus.

>|: [



Tsk, tsk, tsk.   I simply can’t believe it.  The human female has yet another pair of ruined forceps on her desk.


Those the special-order featherweight kind, too, the ones meant for handling delicate items, such as live termites.   Wow–can you see that one side is actually now shorter than the other?

How did such a senseless destruction of state property come to be?  How, oh how can the human female prevent this in the future?

I’ll be honest with you…

Until they breed an undergraduate that is less susceptible to my whispered suggestions, I don’t think she has a prayer.


>|: [

Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.

I think I mentioned that BAMN, my beloved purchasing software program, the crown jewel in my kingdom of mischief against the human female, is going to be retired.   Oh, the countless hours of fun I have had with that, making her look up the product code for things like bull semen, Penicillium mold, and dead cats.  Losing requisitions.  Mangling receipts.  Making sixteen-digit PO numbers.

The University is supposed to be putting Aggie Buy back, the system that preceded BAMN.  It’s already showing up in the list of available options from the Single Sign-in system.  Not that they’re letting the human female get anywhere near it.

Guess she’s not select enough.

I am sad, of course, to see BAMN go.  However, I have something new up my fashionable, armored sleeve.  It’s a new Human Resources software package called “Workday,” something that will handle all of the personnel, timekeeping, benefits, performance, and hiring information for the whole University.  The roll-out campaign is called HELIOS.


Don’t let the fact that the logo includes an incoming Fireball of Doom worry you at allThings are going to be juuuuust fine.


>|: [

Did You Know…

…that if you sneak up behind a cat while it’s eating that it’s apt to get a little startled?



>|: [

A Curious Comestible, Part II: In Which I Bite a Steeple and Sigyn Prepares To Eat Windows

I am still pondering this strange and wonderful world-conquest cookie.  It seems made just for me but still–a church?!  Not what a pagan god wants on his treats!


There is writing on the base of the cookie:


( A bit later: ) I spent a fair amount of time looking for a translation of “Vesele lainoce,” to no avail.  But then I thought that if the decorator squeezed up the initial “V,” they might have squished the second as well.  And it turns out that the “i” is actually an accent mark and part of the “n.”  “Vesele Vánoce” just means, “Happy Yule.”  Makes sense.

But–this is a Yule cookie?  The human female is getting to it awfully late.  I know it arrived after Yule, but even so, it has taken her a few days to bring it out of hiding.  Too busy stuffing herself with butter cookies and sesame ggae gwa ja, no doubt.

Enough gawking and analyzing.  Come, Sigyn, we have some tasting to do!  Good thing I have a dagger handy, because I think whoever wrapped this thing moonlights packaging CD’s.


Damned stupid clingy $#@%^* plastic wrap…

At last!  We have reached actual cookie!  Sigyn can’t wait to taste it.  I can’t wait to see if the bauble in the steeple is really solid silver.


Mmm.  Light: cushiony but a bit stiff.   Not nearly as much spice as the human female’s gingerbread, but clearly in the same family.  Mild and tasty.  Not bad.   Not bad at all!


Great Frigga’s corset strings!   The human female has barged in and taken half the cookie!   Just for that, I’m not telling the greedy wench that the pernik recipe calls for COFFEE, which the human female absolutely is not supposed to have.  Enjoy the sick-making caffeine, you gluttonous blivet.

While Sigyn contemplates eating a whole a row of windows, I shall retrieve the little silver ball.

Alas!  I fear that it is only silvered sugar-paste.  I feel distinctly robbed!


Oh, well. No doubt I’ll feel better after biting off the top of the steeple.

>|: [

A Curious Comestible, Part I: What the Heck?

Misguided persons, somehow not cognizant that the human female is definitely not in need of anything more to eat, especially not sweets, keep bringing her edible presents.  First it was a ton tin ton of Danish butter cookies. Then it was a whole burperware container of Korean sesame cookies (which are disappearing at an alarming rate.)  Today it is an oddly-shaped brown lump, straight from some place called Prague.

Come look at this, Sigyn!  Do you have any idea what it is?


Can you read this?  My Allspeak must not be working today.  I can’t make out anything on this label.


Except that it is about 295 calories more than the human female should be contemplating.

Help me turn it over so we can see the front.


Oh.  A conveniently descriptive note.  Pernik, eh?


Let me look that up.    Volstagg’s straining waistband!  I must take possession of this cookie!  My sources say it would be useful in my campaign of world conquest!

Uh, oh.  There’s a… a church on it.   That can’t be good.


>|: [

To be continued…

Mischief Update: Here We Go Again

It’s been quite some time, I believe, since I have enlightened my readers as to my progress in making the human female’s life a nightmare.  Let me rectify that!

I was not idle over the Yule holiday.  I managed to manipulate both space and time. Something the human female ordered on December 12 was tracked to Hutchins, Texas on December 13.  On the 14th, she was told it was in Ocala, Florida on the 13th and was in Hutchins, Texas at 1:00 p.m., even though it was then only 9:00 a.m.  I like to watch that vein in her forehead bulge.

Two Yule gifts that people said they were sending to the human female have yet to arrive.  She does not know whether the gifts were, in fact, sent; whether Unrepentant Package Squashers or Usually Smashes Packages Significantly has made some grievous error; or whether I have been holed up somewhere, secretly eating chocolate, reading botany books, and drawing mustaches on photos of the grand-nieces and -nephews.

My gift to the male was a nasty cold.  Generous soul that he is, he shared with the human female, so that they both hacked and snorted their way through the holiday.  The female is still coughing, so I’m getting some good mileage out of a few microbes!  It’s called Thrift.

Of course, the fact that record cold has been followed by record heat, then rain, then fog, then wind, then cold again so that no one knows what to wear hasn’t helped.  Thor’s not the only one who can fiddle with the weather!

Following my recommendation, the local utility company has instituted a monthy “road improvement” fee to be assessed on all households.  Ostensibly, this is for Road Improvement, but it is actually the “Loki Roadtrip Improvement” fee.  By spring break, Sigyn and I will be able to go someplace really nice.

On the work front, I continue to be quite busy.  The new semester has started, which means the usual chaos of out-of-department teaching assistants, computer users who manage to delete their entire mailboxes, multiple conflicting versions of each syllabus, malfunctioning thermostats, and no-shows at critical meetings.

BAMN, my beloved purchasing software system, that which has caused the human female so much grief, is being phased out.  That is all right.  I have wrung about as much mayhem out of it as I can.  I will be able to confound her with just vendors and shippers and bookkeeping!  Why, already this semester, the Purveyor of Squiggly Things has shipped termites on the wrong day, increased all their prices, and lost the human-female-approves-all-shipping-charges-so-please-do-not-call-on-every-order note that was hanging in their shipping office.  There’s no fear anyone will forget BAMN, though, because there will long remain that open commitment with the Purveyor of Dead Things for that last order of stiff kitties.  It will remain on the books for-ev-er.

She is also haunted by the Ghosts of Piglets Past.  The Landfill Guardians have decreed that the preserved porcine cadavers are too much all at once.  The female must PAY the University’s Vet School to pick them up and incinerate them.  The good news is that she finally made contact with the people who can make this happen.  The bad news is that all the little piggies have to be unbagged before they will take them. File under “eew.”

The human female produced a small spate of actual useful activity in re-organizing the Biology Image Library, a vasty collection of images and review questions which the students may use (but mostly don’t) for study. Responding to numerous student requests, she sorted the images in each review set by lab.  Wanting to keep her occupied and out of my hair for as long as possible, I tinkered with the underlying code so that the images in each set display in alphabetical order by file name–no exceptions.  The only way to accomplish the sorting was to save each image, rename it with a name beginning with the name of the lab, and re-upload it.  Repeat for each review set.  Lest she become too complacent and file the sorted gallery as “completed business,” I deleted the script that alerted her to new faculty users requesting faculty access to the library, so now each new user will have to email her so that she can log in and enable them.  And then mail the new user back to let them know they can access the library.

I have engendered a war betwixt the human female and the main office copier-printer.  She was unable to print to it, getting only the message that the printer was offline due to a document “stuck” in the print queue.  When she tried to delete the document, she discovered that it was not one of hers.  It belonged to the IT tech who last set up user access to the printer–so she couldn’t delete it!  The IT tech was able to remotely log-in and delete it, but I guess his finger slipped (innocent whistling), because then the human female’s computer couldn’t see the printer at all.

I have also had my wicked way with the Department’s back-up server, with its array of hard drives.  I have had the drives fail one after the other, usually during a major backup session or an array rebuild, and at the most inconvenient times!  Such as last thing on the last day before the Yule holiday.  And on weekends.  And when the humans were out of town.  The human male does not often indulge in profanity, but he has learned some new words!

Astute readers will recall that the human female had a teensy little tiff with one of my hymenopterous associates back in October.  Since then, her swollen knuckle and advancing avoirdupois have kept her from wearing her engagement-wedding ring combination.  After determining that the swollen joint was not going to return to its accustomed size any time in the near future, she took the ring to a local jeweler for re-sizing.  They kept the ring for a few weeks, then reported that they could not do the job without separating the rings from one another, nor would they do the work unless she agreed to re-tipping all the prongs and having some additional work done, to the merry tune of $400.00+.   She asked them to return the ring to her, saying she will seek aid elsewhere.  So now she has it back and has added “find a different jeweler” to her ever-increasing to-do list.  The longer it sits about, off her hand, the more time I have to shove it down the sofa or feed it to the cat, so by all means, mortal, procrastinate away!

The humans and the feline continue to rely on various prescriptions for their continued miserable existence.  I have had had some fun with the mail-order pharmacy, Pills-R-Us, before.  They  used to think 11 pills was an 11-day supply and so not count it as eligible for autoship. Well, now they think that 9 pills is an 11-day supply.  I’m going for seven next month.  Meanwhile, the pharmacy that compounds the feline’s nostrums continues to invisibly under-fill every syringe of transdermally-applied medicine  (they look full), with the result that estimating what is left in any given syringe is indeed a crapshoot.

Let me think….  What else?

I made a funny smell in Room 313, prompting a round of everyone’s favorite game, “Hunt the Stench.”  The consensus was “mouse,” and I scattered a few dry droppings about, so the past week has involved traps, peanut butter, and a sort of rodentiferous paranoia. Except no one has caught anything.  Except perhaps hantavirus, but eh, Frost Giants are immune, so who really cares?

I made a steam leak in the autoclave, such that the resulting cloud set off the fire alarms and the whole building had to be evacuated.  On the first day of the semester.  In the rain.

The fridge made a puddle.

The feline made a puddle.  I have also taught her to lick the leather sofa, so now there’s a light, very smooth patch in her favorite spot.  Well, actually the middle of the dining room table is her favorite spot, because that’s where all the good sun is, of course.

My favorite spot is anywhere Sigyn is, about four inches to the left.

>|: [


Angry Food

Aside from the orange-cranberry braggy bafflement, the humans frequently tire of their own cooking (not a surprise–I recently saw in the freezer a package labeled “turkey meatloaf–needs help“) and therefore usually take advantage of the fact that this university town, between semesters, empties like a room in which someone has just asked for a volunteer to clean the privy.  It is then actually possible to drive, park, and dine out.

So we recently visited an establishment with the somewhat inauspicious name of “Mad Taco.”  The artwork on their menu is an…interesting blend of the flowery and the macabre.


Sigyn contemplated ordering something fungus-based.


My thought was that “jerk” chicken would be perfect for the human female.


It’s like they knew she was coming.

Great Frigga’s hairpins!  It was noisy in there!  I think there is a mortal law that decrees all taco restaurants must adhere to minimum decibel requirements or lose their license.

The humans elected to start with a creamy poblano pepper soup.


I urged caution upon my dearest.  It smelled tasty, but it had the look of something that would not come out in the wash.

The human male settled for an ahi tuna dish, and the female chose some beef.  Wimp that she is, she asked them to leave off the chili oil.


There was also a mahi taco in play.


I do not know what a “mahi” is–and who could tell, under all that greenery?

Judging from the little moany noises she made, though, I’d say she liked it.

We then were caught by a divine aroma.  The waitress brought something else!


Fries with garlic, parsley, and cotija cheese!  I was glad I had my dagger, so I could defend to the death my rightful share of these.  I let Sigyn have some, but the humans went home with bloody fingers.

Om nom nom nom.  Sleipnir’s fetlocks!  The waitress says that a second location is going to be constructed very near the humans’ house.  How convenient that will be for the humans!  How convenient for me that I can magically extend the waistband of my clothes at will…

>|: 9



Recipe Time: Orange-Cranberry Braggy Bafflement

The human female likes to bake. She also likes to show off.  When she can do both at once, she is really happy–and gives new meaning to the word “insufferable.”  She and the human male are at a gaming weekend in the Big City to the North, at the home of the parents of the Blue-haired Goddaughter.  The female has brought the makings of a dessert and plans now to do the baking of it in situ, in hopes that all the gamers will oooh and ahhh over her contribution.

What’s she whipping up today, Sigyn?  Ah, that old favorite–the ever-versatile buttermilk quick bread.  She found the recipe online, so though she likes to brag about her “special touches” and “original ideas,” it isn’t strictly true that this is her creation.

Pfft.  And people say that *I* lie…


She has all of the dry ingredients in the bowl already, including a weird substance she says is buttermilk powder but which looks to me more like dried library paste.  Or maybe that weird crumbly stuff you get when foam rubber dries out.

Now she has grated in the “zest of three oranges.” Except she doesn’t have three, so she’s used two, because “three is sort of like two.”


Confused?  Yeah, it doesn’t make sense to me, either.

What’s in the little bag, Sigyn?


Ooh! Candied ginger.  Now this I actually like.  I hope she’s going to cut it up, though, since biting into a large piece can be at least surprising and sometimes unpleasant.

Oh, good.  It’s minced.  How much do we need?


Ah.  I see we are using the TLAR* method today.  I assume the same applies to the dried cranberries?


Uh, oh.  Now the human female has left the realm of recorded recipeage and advanced with all the fearlessness of the truly ignorant into the realm of gastronomic uncertainty.  She’s doubling the recipe (which is fine in itself), and for one of the cups of buttermilk, she is using that weird powder plus a cup of orange juice. I guess that could make sense.


Great Frigga’s hairpins!  Those are are some thoroughly squozen oranges.

But now she’s completely lost the plot.  For the second cup of buttermilk, she is using a carton of yogurt…


…plus some more orange juice.  Except she doesn’t HAVE any more orange juice, because only two oranges, remember?  So she has decided to make up the liquid volume with a third egg, because “three is kind of like two.”

We are ready to pour the frankenbatter into two greased and floured 9″ x 5″ loaf pans.

Except we don’t have them.  One’s a little bigger and one’s a smidge smaller.  One is nonstick.  The other is… not.


I don’t know how she expects this to work.


It took baking the two loaves for different times and adjusting the baking temperature near the last, but we did eventually get two passable-looking loaves.


Sigyn says the “crumb” is “moist and sweet, a little tangy.”  I think it runs more toward “a bit ‘eggy’ and not quite orangey enough, and we could have used more ginger and cranberries.”

But people are eating it and even asking for the recipe.  And she’s preening. Humans are a strange, strange species.

>|: [

*That Looks About Right

A Fine New Playground

We are visiting the home of some of the humans’ friends.   (I know–it always surprises me too that they have any!)  It is quite a nice house–plenty of light, big rooms, many mirrors in which to admire myself.

Sigyn!  Look at this!  The owners have installed a frankly fantastic indoor jungle gym.  Let us try it out!  I want to check out the view from the top.

The ladder’s a little steep.  I don’t blame you for taking a little rest halfway.  Do you need a hand up?


Fandral’s mustache!  The view really is great from up here!  I can see all the way into the two-story foyer, and Sigyn is checking out the spacious kitchen from afar.


How do you want to get down?  We can go back down the ladder, or try this nifty escape rope.


The humans are quite excited about the house’s large chamber upstairs with plenty of room for playing games with lots of people.  That’s all well and good, but I think this secret tunnel with cozy room for just two is a much better feature.


And look at this!  When one tires of all the ladder-climbing and balcony-peering and rope- swinging and tunnel-hiding, there is an extremely comfortable circular hammock in which to recline.


Perfect place to relax!


Yes, all in all, I can unreservedly approve of this fine construct.  I shall have to convince the humans to install something similar in their house.


It might take up the entirety of the female’s “craft room,” but obviously, this takes precedence.  How can she deny Sigyn and me all the healthful climbing and swinging and resting we could do?  It’s not as if the human female is going to finish any of those craft projects anyway…

And how could she deprive Sigyn of the wonderful friends that naturally flock to such a superior edifice!


>|: [