Month: April 2017

Mischief Update

What with distractions in the form of cat toys, UV reflecting plants, baffling seasonal decor, and whatnot, it appears I have failed to update my minions and admirers on my mischief-related activities.  I shall now rectify this lapse.

I saw to it that the ready-made salad the human female had for lunch the other day came loaded with plenty of hot Thai pepper flakes.  It was fun watching her blush and inhale and wipe her runny nose.

Since the human female took a year off of participating in the annual Nerds in the Woods science festival last year, I suggested to the people in charge this year that not only should they not ask her to head the Plant Team, they should not even welcome her help at all when she called to volunteer.

She finally has the license plates to her new car, though it took three trips back to the dealer to get those, all the keys, and the touch-up paint.  It also took several tries to replace the parking hang-tag.

There have been some nasty thunderstorms lately, and the weather prognosticators prognosticated some Frost-Giant worthy hail.  Which is why the human female was out in the driveway at 3:00 a.m., throwing blankets over the car.  Of course, I then saw to it that it did NOT hail  (too noisy for me to sleep through), so it was a giant, unbalancing laundry load of wet blankets the next day for nothing.

The irrigation system at the house has been needing some work.  The human female keeps running over the sprinkler head nearest the driveway, and the whole thing was dribbling in an under-powered fashion that boded ill for the center of the lawn and half the flower beds.  So the human female called the contractor.  And called again.  And called again. And then sent an email asking if they did in fact want customers.  They responded with a terse email saying that she had been BLACKLISTED because of a disagreement from two years ago that she doesn’t really even remember.  She had to outright grovel to get the to come out. I bet when the bill comes it has an extra “Crappy Customer” charge included.

The Powers That Be in the human female’s work group have decreed that the honors sections of the courses are going to get All New Lab Exercises, but they haven’t provided details.  This has made the human female twitchy, because even though the instructors say they will take care of prep, she knows that she and her staff will be called upon to supply equipment, supplies, and expertise.  Also, they want to teach these labs in the former Room of Doom, which has been made over for another course at great cost in dollars and labor.  Which would not in itself be awful, except that the course already in the room meets on a schedule that would allow only 20 minutes to take down one exercise, clean the room, and prep the other.  The human female put her head together with her staff, and they proposed putting the honors labs on the main floor so they’d have newer rooms, better equipment, better access to safety and support, etc., but the instructors would have none of that.  So now the course currently in the room has to move to the basement of yet another building, one out of the range of the walkie-talkies and NOTORIOUS for its frequency of flooding.  They will have to buy equipment that would be readily to hand if they stayed on the main floor.  Proof again that logic has no place in education.

The students have been quite busy.  The human female has been quite busy, filing lab safety incident reports.  Who knew that clams were so hard to open and pig hearts so tough?

She did get to go to one of the fancy Science Product Faires on campus the other day. They had catered box lunches and everything.  She was delighted to receive a smoked turkey and cheddar sandwich on foccacia.  Mmmm.   But is foccacia supposed to be gray on some of the corners?  Eat it!  Mold is good for you.  Builds character.  Why didn’t *I* eat it?  I already have enough character.

The human female called to get one of her prescriptions refilled.  She reached a phone tree, one which put her on hold and asked her to stay on the line after the call to take a Very Important Survey.  She waited on hold.  And waited.  And waited.  And then was rolled right into the survey.  No drugs for you.  She had to call them back at a different number, and when she finally DID reach someone, it was only to be told that she couldn’t order the medicine without scheduling a doctor’s appointment  to get a new prescription.  You know how farmers in some parts of Midgard lead bulls and oxen around by a ring through the nose?  Yeah, it’s like that.

She gets a lot of surveys.  One last week came via email.  TAKE THIS IMPORTANT SURVEY!!! it demanded.  So she accessed the survey.  “You already did this, dum-dum” was the resulting message.

Speaking of the Medical-Industrial Complex, you’ll recall that the human female had foot surgery last year, for which she received several Very Large Bills.  And then more bills followed.  The other day, an ominous Official-Looking Envelope arrived.  I know what you are thinking, but it was not another bill!  I persuaded the BC-BS-BC  (bean counters at an insurance corporation that shall remain nameless) that they’d erred.  It was a giant, whopping refund check!  Of course, it was instantaneously cancelled out by the nasty trick I perpetrated upon the human male’s smart phone such that he had to replace it.    The God of Mischief taketh away, then giveth, then verily taketh away a second time.

The superannuated feline has stepped up her campaign, pushing the limits of what the humans are willing to put up with.  Now it’s near-daily barfs (usually right into the food dish) and puddles.  I’ve convinced her that if even one paw is in the litter box, she’s good to go.  And she does.  Also, wheezy, warm, persistent lap-limpet is her new default setting.  It’s sweet–if a little sweaty, right until the humans realize that it’s very difficult to exit a recliner with a cat wedged between your knees.

And O BAMN, how I love thee!  Though thou art long dead and gone, you continue to delight and amaze.  I had it sing a swan song composed of a massive dump of PO acknowledgements going back to last September. POs for items long since ordered, received, and paid for.

Then the Bean-Counters emailed, asking how to pay for the last order that went through BAMN.  The PO was closed when BAMN was discontinued.  There was no BAMN account to pay it with.  There was a long series of emails back and forth, during which the human female received her original query directed back at her.  They eventually worked out a payment option, but it was fun anyway.

Also fun was the departmental bean-counter refusing to pay an invoice just because it did not have the word “invoice” on it.  I offered to whip out my green crayon and help, but the human female turned me down.  Something about mischief and money not mixing.

A sign saying, “PLEASE SEND HELP!” mysteriously showed up in one of teaching lab windows.  There was no end of panic until it was determined to be just one of my better little hoaxes.

My partnership with the humans that plan roadwork around this city continues to prosper.  One of the main east-west thoroughfares is being reduced each evening to one lane in either direction, just in time for baseball games and the upcoming graduations.  The major north-south route of the humans’ neighborhood is in its second year of construction and becomes worse daily.  I can teleport, so I don’t really care how long it takes the humans to get where they’re going.

The lab prep room ceiling still has a big discolored spot.  Materials have been ordered for its repair, but no repairmen have appeared.

That’s all I can think of at the moment.  If I come up with anything else, I’ll be sure to let you know!

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My Life Is So Surreal

I have seen plenty of odd things in my life—Thor’s hair first thing in the morning, what’s under Odin’s eyepatch, the Jotunheim version of the Eurovision Song Contest, the contents of the human female’s backpack, and whatever it was the cat horked up last.  But every now and then, the absurdities of the human female’s workplace just sort of leave me speechless.

Take this for example.  I…. I have no explanation.  I was under the impression that she and her cohorts knew how to use a bookshelf, but clearly, I was misinformed.


But hold!  There’s a note on the stack of books.

By Jormungandr’s pointy fangs!  Just what is going on here?


Sigyn is more than a little apprehensive.  She was once nearly devoured by a reptilian behemoth, so her skittishness is understandable. (She is fine with small ones, but something big is happening here.)  I myself have reason to be wary of serpents.

Oh! Oh!  The human female is removing the books!  Sigyn, be ready to run if the snake is in a bad mood.  (And honestly, wouldn’t you be a little tetchy, if someone had piled a couple of hundred pounds of out-of-date-textbooks upon you?

Ah.  The sign, it transpires, was accurate.  It is only the skin of the snake which was under the books.   Look at that!   It is approximately one human female in length and a very, very perfect shed!


You can see every scale and all its markings.  Look, Sigyn!   You can even see the little bubbles that were over its eyes!


The assembled humans, who are (what is the term?) geeking out over this keratinous curiosity, say that this is a rat snake, to wit Elaphe obsoleta.

The skin is lighter than paper, and very fragile.  However will they preserve it as a teaching specimen?



You know, the human female gets spam email and unwanted catalogs from the Vendor of Laminating supplies all the blasted time.  I wonder if they know what she is doing with their products?

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She Can Blame It On Her Star Sign

Humans are shirksome creatures who are rarely willing to take the blame for their foul-ups.  When they can’t find another mortal on which to pin the blame, they will blame their luck, the “fates,” or even the universe itself.  Often, they blame the stars in the heavens.  According to the most superstitious of them, one’s life is controlled by the configuration of celestial bodies upon one’s natal day.  I know, I know. It’s completely absurd.

However, it does occasionally give me mischiefy ideas.  Since the human female was born under a “water sign,” I like to arrange moisture-related annoyances for her.   Malfunctioning irrigation systems are always fun, as are dripping faucets, gushing lab fixtures, leaky leftover containers, umbrella-less rainy days, fridge puddles, cat puddles, and broken water-glasses.  A lack of moisture can be employed as well, as witness by drooping houseplants,  failing shrubbery, and the ever-present moderate-to-severe dry eyes that plague her so.

I flipped a coin, so today is a too-much-moisture day.  This is the ceiling in one of the lab prep rooms.


We can’t have this!  Not only is it ugly, but wet ceiling tiles are not terribly fire-retardant.  Actually, I find that baffling.  You’d think that something WET would be better at NOT catching fire, but apparently not.  In any case, the human female has put in a work order for the tile to be replaced.


It hasn’t been replaced yet, because tile-replacer fellow determined that the leak is due to a faulty drain on the fourth floor (drat those Chemistry folks!)  And no, he will not fix it because that is not his job.  Physical Plant Services likes to keep things tidy with a Work Order  — and a bill— for each different phase of a project.  He will not look at the eerily similar problem next door, either, because that is a different work-order too.

And now we are next door, looking at another water-damaged ceiling tile.  Actually, it looks pretty GOOD right now.  Yesterday, the tile here was soggy, brown, and rotted and and, in fact, entirely different.  It was replaced yesterday afternoon.  Today the new tile is wet, spongy, and threatening to fall upon the cases of goods on the shelving unit.  (Hence the plastic sheeting.)



The tile-replacer folks (two of them this time), have determined that the cause of the leak is a leaking ice maker on fourth floor.  (Drat those Chemistry folks!)  And because the fates, the stars, the universe, and one particular Jotun have it in for the human female, they have FIXED the wayward ice maker but will not fix the ceiling tile!  It’s too wet up in that ceiling.  They’d just have to do it again, so they’re letting things dry out for few days.

No worries, though, because they’ve created a work order for someone to come and replace the tile…

And in other maintenance news, there’s a weeeeeeird noise coming from the ceiling outside 304…


The ceiling is VIBRATING rapidly and noisily, and it’s enough to shake the door of 303.

I think I know what the problem is.  Chemistry needs an exorcism because the fourth floor is obviously possessed.

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Too Much of a Good Thing?

I have been up to some marketing/pantry mischief.  It’s something I like to revisit from time to time, not only to annoy the humans, but to keep my hand in.

Our mischief for today involves those little nuggets of delight known as dried cranberries.


Sigyn loves them.  And she is quite excited to learn that this package had 20% more!  Evidently the humans have already opened it and begun to enjoy them.

But the humans have the memories and attention spans of gnats, so when I put cranberries on the shopping list, they thought they needed them.  And when they looked in the pantry, I made sure they didn’t see the already open package.  So they bought another one!

And opened it.


By my estimation, they now have about 60% more, since neither package is full.  But not for free.

And because when you look up “gullible” in the dictionary there is a picture of the human female, I was able to pull this entire stunt again.



Next week, I try for four.

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The Trouble With Tech

Ooof.  After all that candy, I was in very real danger of becoming too sweet, so I had to make sure to do some serious mischief.  Usually the human female is the target of my ire, but the human male is pretty annoying, too, so it was his turn.  I waggled my fingers and said a little spell.  Observe a moment of silence, please, for the very dead battery in his phone.


Oh, that was fun!  There is no authorized repair shop for his brand of phone in this town, so he had to forgo his precious Sunday afternoon nap and drive all the way to the outskirts of the Big City to the South to get it dealt with.  When the geeky people opened it up, they found the battery swollen magnificently, such that they feared the phone itself was a loss.  They offered him their sole refurbished phone, but the remnants of my spell were still clinging to him and Behold!  Every key he touched did something marvelous and unexpected.  Typing text yielded a screen full of emojis.  Trying to stop it launched a host of programs he had no desire to invoke.  It was most gloriously possessed!  The geeks told him he was welcome to traipse about Houston in an attempt to find another.  In the end, they offered him a very good deal on a new phone (which I suspect was their aim all along), and here it is:


Sleek.  Slim.  Shiny.  A marvel of modern communications technology.  Except for one little thing.  Look right here:


Do you see it?  Do you see it?  OF COURSE YOU DON’T!  BECAUSE IT ISN’T THERE! 


What sort of idiot builds a phone with no outlet for an earphone jack?!


What if the human male wants to use this tangled mess to listen to some of his boring music, or one of his tedious podcasts?!


There just isn’t a place to shove this bit.


The Maker of Misfit Phones’ solution to this problem  feature is to supply this little bit of tech:


Now I ask you, doesn’t this have the look of something that could end up down the sofa, fall out of a backpack, or otherwise meet with mischievous mishaps?


It even has a stupid name.  Who came up with “dongle“?  Admittedly, it’s fun to say.  Dongle, dongle, dongle, dongle, dongledongledongle.  DONgle.  DonGLE.  The word has lost all meaning!

Anyhow, employing it means a cumbersome arrangement.  This is one to file under “S” for “stoopid.”


It looks broken from the get-go, does it not?  But the human male says this is what one has to do to utilize the midget “lightning cable.”


Lightning cable?  Hey, Hammer-happy!  Are you sure you didn’t have something to do with this wretched design?


By Mjolnir, Brother, I did not!  Verily, I think it as stoopid as you do!”


When WE agree on something, you know it stinks.

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A Visit From the Eater Bunny, Part V: She Was Holding Out On Us

I thank whatever deities there may be (besides me, of course!) that all of the local weirdos have gone home.  Today is bound to be better, no matter what happens, just because of their absence.

Hold!  What is this?!  The human female has been holding out on us!  I am peeking at what she packed for “lunch” today and look what I find!


It’s the Eater Bunny’s secret motherlode!  I don’t know about you, but I think she’s terribly selfish not to share!

Look, Sigyn–fancy bird eggs!  What do you suppose would hatch from them?


Almonds.  Almonds would hatch from them?  Now, I’m no ornithologist, but I’m pretty sure that’s not natural.  @#$%! genetic engineering, mumble, mumble…


What  have you got, Sigyn?  Sour gummy bears?  How are those even remotely related to the Eater Bunny?


NO, Fisi!  BAD HYENA!  Drop it!


Oh, well, at least it’s the lime one.  They’re always the worst.

Sigyn is quite excited about these large gummy flowers.  Where were these when we were being flapped at by gigantonormous butterflies?  These would have drawn them off us entirely.


What the?  More livestock!  Who knew they even MADE jelly lambs?  I tell you, the minute Sigyn’s back is turned, it’s barbacoa time!  Lamb is just cabrito with a curly wig.


Bad Fisi!   Stop the drooling and growling right now!  You know better than to chase hoofstock!  No mutton stew for you!


Norns’ nighties!  There is more!   A fancy egg, some improbably-hued rabbits, and some basket-bound bantams.


And a simply huge puddle of sunny-side-upness left by a supposedly-housebroken bird of some sort.


Herald, is there something you’d like to share with the rest of the class?

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A Visit From the Eater Bunny, Part IV: Well, Hel, Let’s Just Get Everyone In On It

Guess the word got out that we’ve got candy, because the whole damn gang is here now.

“We do not have gummy rabbits in Wakanda.”

“There’s more sugar here than in my Sugar Dojo.”


“Friend Steve, what flavor do you think this large butterfly is?”

“Dunno.  Think I should lick it and find out?”


“Ja, Remus.  Die karotte ist much gummi.”


तिमी मेरो ललिपप स्वाद गर्न चाहनुहुन्छ


“I don’t have my blaster with me, but if any of you chumps even thinks about nibbling on my buddy Groot, keep in mind I don’t need no blaster to stomp ya into hasenpfeffer.”


“I admire a man who doesn’t feel threatened by a pink bunny.”

“And that blue one matches your lovely outfit.”


“You know, little dude, I could build you some armor so that no one would dare try to bite your ears off.  Interested?”


Lick it!  Lick it!  Lick it!  Lick it!”


Benno is scared of butterflies.

I could have predicted that, I think.

Fisi, NO!


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A Visit From the Eater Bunny, Part III: A Rescue No One Needed

It appears that Sigyn’s shrieks of delight have been mistaken for cries of alarm, because there is suddenly six-foot-six and multiple hundred pounds of too much brainless ersatz brother leaping to her “rescue.”

“Fear not, gentle Sigyn!  Mjolnir and I shall smite these flapping fiends and crush them into a colorful paste!”


” ‘Sup, peeps?  Got a little trouble with some insects, I hear?  One good repulsor blast and they won’t bug you any more.  Bug you, get it?”


Now Sigyn is distressed and I’ve got TWO overzealous superheroes to contend with.  Go away, gentlemen.  Everything is fine here.

Seriously, go.  Go, and take a piglet or two with you.


“Grr.  I heard there was trouble!  How can I help?”


“Hey, Thor, how far d’you think one of these goobers would stretch?”

“I do not know, Man of Iron.  But I think the maiden, Sigyn, would be much distressed if we tried to find out.”

“Look at those porkers!  They sure do love those carrots!”


Do you see what I have to put up with?


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A Visit From the Eater Bunny, Part II: This Is More Like It, Yet Somehow It’s Too Much.

Sigyn and I are examining the contents of some of the other candy packets.  These are much more like what I expected treats left by the Eater Bunny to be.

Sparkly, sour bunnies.  It was kind of the Eater Bunny to leave them in our favorite colors (more proof the human female shouldn’t have these!)


I understand that the accepted custom is to commence noshing with the ears.   But doing so now would distress my beloved, so I will defer the carnage until later.  In the meantime, Sigyn has befriended the bunnies and insists we see to their needs.  It’s a good thing we have some candy carrots with which to do so!


Idunn’s Little Apples!  This is one limp, wobbly carrot!  I am no botanist, but I believe the taproots of Daucus carota should not bend in such a fashion.


Augh!  More bunnies!  A whole rainbow of rubbery, gummy lagomorphs!  They’re breeding like, well, rabbitsI am surrounded by twitchy noses.


I think perhaps I have been spending too much time with the human female, because I see this array and start thinking of genetics– the orange one appears to be a hybrid of the red and the yellow, while the greenish one presumably has yellow and blue heritage.  The purple one, presumably, has some form of melanism…

I have GOT to get out more…

Thor’s bitty ball-peen!  The carrots have attracted a humongous, floppy swine!


Sigh.  Which, of course, Sigyn is now feeding with another of the rubber carrots.


And apparently it’s a female, because NOW THERE ARE PIGLETS!


This is getting entirely out of hand.

And now we are being visited by two gargantuan, gummy lepidopterans!  The flappy things are big enough to carry off my beloved, should they choose to do so.  Avaunt, foul flutterbyes!


I will admit, I am more than a little creeped out by these oversized flappers, but Sigyn is just squealing with delight.

Oh, well.  At least she’s having fun.

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A Visit From the Eater Bunny, Part I: Quite The Stash

The humans spent an exhausting several days in the celebration of their annual pursuit of the Eater Bunny.  They came home from one of their long, churchy observances and fell straight into bed in an attempt to rectify the sleep deficit.  In their shambling grogginess, they overlooked the fact that they left a basket of goodies unattended.


I think the human male left this for the human female.  It’s bound to be just loaded  with goodies.  She’s always whining about her weight, though, so it would be a kindness to lessen the temptation of having all of it around.

Sigyn is definitely intrigued.  She and the human share similar taste in confectionery, the only difference being that Sigyn can actually eat chocolate.


Ooo!   Cookies!  These will be good with the strawberries and ice cream that I’ve seen stashed in the fridge.  The number of cookies is not stated on the package, nor the number of berries on the carton, so no one will notice if there are a few of both missing.


No, Sigyn, sorry.  I don’t think they come with the marshmallow and melted chocolate already installed.  See that tiny writing?  “Serving suggestion”?  That is legalese for “don’t be stupid enough to think what’s in the package is going to look like the photo.”

Hmm.  This bag of candy doesn’t look very holiday-ish.  But I appreciate the tiny despot on the label!


These are supposed to be REALLY sour inside.   Sort of like the human female.

Let’s tip the basket over and see what else there is…

Odin’s eyepatch!  This is too much sugar for anyone.


Let’s eat it all.

Now wait just a calorie-infested minute!  This is another one of those sour gummy octopi heptopi!  It’s a stretchy, limb-deficient, multi-flavored, multi-hued cephalopod.


Really, humans?  No bunnies?  No ducklings?  Nary a peep of a Peep?


Sigyn’s enthusiastic, but I’m not at all impressed.  I went to a lot of trouble to knock over that basket, and I want something festiveThere’d better be something good in some of those other packages, or I’m going to be very cranky.

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