Month: February 2017

Evil Machinations

Although my mischief is mostly magical, I’d have you know that I am also quite mechanically inclined.  I’m a very tactile person.

Truly!  There’s nothing like tinkering with intricate bits of metal.

lock1

Sometimes I like to take things apart just to see how they work.

lock2

Tsk, tsk!  Look at that!  Plastic parts!  They don’t make things to last anymore.  The modern generation has no idea of craftsmanship.

lock3

Ah. I see now how this works and what mischief I can achieve.  Loosen this.  Tighten that.  Over-stress this other bit.   That, right there.  And with a little sorcery-aided metal fatigue…

lock4

This doorknob will come right off in the human female’s hand next time she goes for the mail.

lock5

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In Not-So-Good Hands

Ehehehe.  Thanks to my machinations, the human female’s little car continues to be a giant blue doorstop in the driveway.  It’s been over a week now, and she’s still trying to get it fixed.  The angst–and the paperwork!–are piling up.  I’ve munched through three batches of popcorn, just sitting here and enjoying the show.

insurancepaperwork

She’s started numbering her notes just so she can keep them straight.  So far, the claims process looks like this:

  1.  Call for a preliminary estimate from Totalprovince  (her carrier.)   This involves
  2.  Downloading an app which requires (all sorts of phone acrobatics) and then
  3.  Taking and uploading photos.

When the estimate comes back the next day, it absolutely is just a preliminary estimate.  There could well be supplemental expenses, since probably not all the damage is visible.  Of course, the humans have questions, so the human female needs to:

4. Call Totalprovince again.  This is when she learns that putting the claim through Allstate will affect the deductible, which at this point, is essentially zero. Even though it wasn’t her fault!  The helpful person on the phone directs her to call the Express Team and something something something about the “Claim Owner.”

5.  Calling the Express Team nets the human female the recommendation that the she take the process through the other party’s insurance carrier, which should be listed on the accident report.  Very well.  The human female instructs her insurance agency to put her claim with them on hold.  The helpful young man on the other end of the phone tells her that it could get marked “closed,” but it wouldn’t really be…

6.  Logging in to the city’s accident report hub gets her a surprise!  She will have to pay for a copy of the accident report.  Insult to injury!

7.  Since she’s too cheap to do that, she looks back at the text she got from the man who rear-ended her and finds his insurance carrier, Ho-hum,  and policy number.  She looks them up online and finds the local phone number.

8. The helpful person at Ho-hum’s local office instructs her to call the main number for the carrier, which is in a different state.

9.  That number rings disconnected. So she calls the local office again, talks to a different person, and gets a different number.

10.  This number works, but the policy number provided by the other party doesn’t match anything.  It’s missing a digit, maybe?  Okay, they’ve managed to find him by his name–he was just  missing a “2.”  Progress!

Well, not so much.  This office can’t do anything, since they outsource all their claims to a third party company, Claims-R-Us.  She needs to call them!

11.  So she does!  She even gets a name for the adjustor handling this case.   Let us call him… Percy.  Of course, Percy is not available, but she does at least have a name now!  She leaves a message.  Wow.  She’s starting to sound a little frayed around the edges.

At this point, she has wasted the better part of the afternoon.  But is she done?  Certainly not!  She still needs to:

12.  Call Totalprovince again and ask them if they can please do what she pays them to do and cut through all red tape.   They promise to try.

13.  Text the guy who hit her and ask him to double check his policy number, just in case she ever gets through to someone who can actually help.

Totalprovince calls back and tells her that she needs to speak to Percy at Claims-R-Us.  If you ever meet the human female, you will recognize her by the flat spot on her forehead from where she bangs it on the desk on days like this.

Huzzah!  The Percy the Adjustor called back!  Of course, he called while she had a student in her office, so she had to ask him to call back.

14.  At last!  Percy calls back, takes her information–which he didn’t have because Mister Guilty Party somehow failed to relay any of it to Claims-R-Us, and promises to have someone drive out to look at her car and draw up an estimate.

She waits.  And waits.

On Thursday, an email from someone who is Not Percy shows up in her inbox.  Attached is an estimate.

estimate

Great Frigga’s hairpins!  That estimate is about $900 more than the estimate from Totalprovince.  Why so much?!

Ah.  Percy has written up the estimate to include replacing the rear hatch, the rear hatch glass, and the little Honda badge.  He also figures in repainting the rear body panel, and a lot of other things.  After puzzling over this, the human female comes up with the idea that perhaps he was including re-affixing some of the wiring on the rear heads-up brake light that is still dangly after the rear windshield was shot out last July.

15. The human female is too honest to let Percy or Claims-R-Us or Ho-hum pay for anything not related to the recent accident, so she writes them a polite email spelling out all the parts of the estimate that really don’t apply.  She ask them to give her an updated estimate.

You’d think the parties involved would jump at the chance to shell out less on this claim, wouldn’t you?  But that was last Thursday.  It’s MONDAY now and no word from Claims-R-Us.

Guess she’s gonna have to make another phone call.

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Buy Me These

The humans are flakey grocery shoppers. They make a menu and a shopping list and try to be organized, but they usually deviate wildly from plan and come home with random items.  One week it might be a new apple variety or some strange new vegetable.  The next it might be an intriguing cheese or a soup they haven’t tried.  When Sigyn and I tag along, I don’t usually make too many demands because, all things considered, there is usually something in the haul I will eat.

But today, I am putting my foot down.

lokitos

Purchase these, mortal, or suffer the consequences.

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Right on Schedule

We found the bluets yesterday, right when and where the human female and Sigyn expected they’d be, but the human female says the spring flora is “all out of whack.” There are primroses and thistles false dandelion up on the bypass, and they’re not due till mid-March, while the big piles of purple vetch that usually make an appearance in late January are just now coming out.  It is most perplexing!

Sigyn is happy, though, because, around the house, the planted flora is following the program to the letter.

We have snowdrops.

snowdrop

Very fetching!

And the quince is in bloom.

quince

Can yarrow and iris be far behind?

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What We Found In the Park, Part I: More Posies and… Whatever These Are

Having cooed over all the bluets, Sigyn is now looking for spring beauties.  There’s quite a lot of real estate in this park to cover and not a lot of them are blooming, so I’ll use my magic to nudge her in the right direction.

Ping!

springbeauty

Sigyn is happy to enjoy this one in peace.  Last year, that mangy hyena Fisi tried to eat them, which is why we left the beast at home this time.

While Sigyn hunts for more of them, I think I’ll follow the human female around and see what else I can find.  The human female says there should be henbit and herb sherard and bur clover and…   I absolutely do not care if we find those plants, but if she puts her hand in a patch of nettles while fossicking about, I want to be there so I can laugh.

Ooookay.  This is…   bizarre.  Not nettles.  Not bluets or spring beauties or henbit or herb sherard or bur clover, either.

Nope.  It’s–

Uh.

It’s…

You know, I got nothin.’

rooster-feet

???

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What We Found In the Park, Part I: Posies

It’s that time of year again.  Time to go out and hunt for the human female’s favorite spring flower.  They should be up by now.

And here it is!  The second bluet of the season!

bluets1

Oh, Sigyn and the human female found the first one, all right–and then a dog ran up from nowhere, flung itself down on the flower and rolled it into oblivion, knocking Sigyn over and startling the human female into some totally useless flailing and yelling.

Thankfully, everyone is fine and there are more bluets over here.

bluets2

Sigyn, are you going to hug each one individually?

bluets3

Perhaps not, but I think she is going to greet them one by one, including the tiny, tiny white ones.

bluets6

Even two at a time, this could take a while…

bluets4

to be continued…

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Sonata For Horns and Percussion

I would not say that the human female is a bad driver, but she can be a slightly timid driver, and sometimes I can use that to my advantage to make her life little more miserable.

Take this morning, for instance.  She is out and about, running errands in her little blue car. We have been to the bank already. (Yes, I made note of her account number for future reference.  Just need to perfect her signature a smidge more…)  Now we are on our way to get the car an oil change and its annual safety inspection.  (Too bad it’s not a cleanliness inspection–there is a shaming amount of leaf litter and granola bar crumbs in there and she’d flunk for sure!)

Odin’s eyepatch!  Traffic is heavy today!  There is a veritable dearth of major north-south thoroughfares in this town, and all the cars seem to be on this one.  (Not to mention all the visitors in town for the big Quidditch festival. I am not joking. You can’t make this stuff up.)

Uh, oh… We are coming up on a traffic light and the light’s good and green–but traffic isn’t moving and there’s nowhere to go!  If the human female continues onward, she’s going to have to stop in the middle of the intersection, and that’s illegal.  While she’s dithering and braking, I will just suggest to the car behind her that of course she’s going to keep driving.

Let us make a tiny digression into physics:

F=ma.   Three blithe little letters, arranged by one of Midgard’s foremost mathematicians.  In this case, I think we can say a is equal to about 40 kph and m=1, 500 kg.

That is a lot of F.

Back to the action.  The car behind the human female is labeled “Sonata,” and we have just experienced an exciting composition comprising BANG!, crunch, tinkle, screech, honk-honk-honk, and an assortment of sirens.

The human female has pulled over  and is getting out, shakily, to inspect the damage.  I must admit, it’s not as bad as I feared, though I think we will not be getting anything inspected today.  That bumper will have to go, and I wonder how long it’s going to take her to notice that it’s mashed right against the end of the tailpipe.  That can’t be good.

crash1

Oh, dear.  I swear by Sleipnir’s eight lucky horseshoes that my intention was solely to complicate the human female’s day, throw off her schedule, and maybe make her stand in full view of passing motorists in the hot sun, wearing a sweatshirt that is much too warm and which was a poor fashion choice to boot.  However, I think I might have made a slight mistake in my choice of vehicles with which to inconvenience her.

Apparently the external-and-extremely-sturdy spare tire mount on the back of the human female’s car is positioned at precisely the right height to make crunchy mincemeat out of any other vehicle.

crash2

Dangly bits are never a good thing, and a number of them have already fallen off.  A tow-truck has been summoned, the driver (who is also uninjured) has been given a ticket, and a flurry of claims and reports (which will no doubt result in a satisfying amount of paperwork) have been initiated.  Who would have thought that the human female’s seventeen-year-old car could inflict such damage?  And the human female is telling the officers that this is the third time this vehicle has come out the victor in similar mishaps.

That is probably enough mischief for one day. The human female is not going to have to pay anything for the needed repairs, but she will have a police report, frustrating on-line claims apps, the auto dealership, and probably a body shop to deal with, as well as the logistics of getting her and the human male everywhere they need to be with only one vehicle.  Not to mention a rather painful neck.

Oh, and when it’s all sorted out and repaired?

She still has to go and get the car inspected.

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