Month: June 2017

What the Mortals Would Call “An Oldie But a Goodie”

I like to think of myself as a pioneer, blazing new trails across the Nine Worlds.  I’ll be the first Jotun ruler of Midgard, for example.  I like to innovate, try new ideas.  New plots, new trickery, new jests of every kind.

However…

suds1

Sometimes…

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The old mischief is the best kind.

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I Love a Good Mystery

I love a good mystery.  Even more, I love it when the human female is mystified.  I try to make her life a little more surreal each and every day.

Take yesterday, for example.  One of her Tech II’s brought her a note hand-written on notebook paper, saying that a box of duct tape from Smiling River in South America arrive with no packing slip, so here was a receipt.  The human female was quite puzzled, because she hadn’t ordered any tape.  She asked the Tech if she had ordered it.  No, Other Tech wrote the note.  Well, did Other Tech order it?  First Tech wasn’t sure, as Other Tech was out sick.

The human female then asked Office Workers 1 and 2 if they had ordered it, since they are generally in charge of office supplies, and duct tape is sort of an office supply item, if you kind of squint.

Blank stares.

So today, the human female has asked Other Tech the following questions:

  1.  Did you order duct tape?
  2.  If you did, did you use the credit card or a purchase order or what?
  3.  Why not just buy the stuff at the store, like a normal person?

Other Tech has responded  “No”, “see above”, and “well, duh, that’s what I do”, respectively.   So the mystery remains!

Well, let’s just see if we can get to the bottom of this.

Here is the box in question.  I’ve decided it’s not so much a smile in the logo as a snarky little smirk.

I approve.

ducttape1

Let’s just have a little look, here.

ducttape2

Sure enough, four rolls of duct tape, no packing, no packing slip.  Just Tape in a Box.

ducttape3

No clues here.

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Let’s examine the label for hints.

Well, here’s our first problem.  This isn’t even a correctly-formatted  university address.  The university doesn’t use street addresses, and there’s no internal mail stop number.

ductttape5

The human female is now running the tracking number on Unrepentant Package Squashers’ website.  Ha!  She has learned that it was signed for in the departmental stockroom.  How it made it there with that garbled address is anyone’s guess.

Now she is emailing Detroit Tool and Supply to see if they can cough up a PO number or a name on a credit card or something, because seriously—someone ordered this stuff and is probably wondering where it is.

Oh, look.  There is another shipping label underneath the first one.  How very odd…

ducttape6

On this label, there is the name of a professor in the Chemistry Department, along with another improperly formatted, incomplete university address.  Note that the Chemistry Department is on the other side of this very large campus from where the human female resides.  The two departments do not share finances, personnel,  stockrooms, or other facilities.

Armed with this name, the human female has looked up this professor and emailed her to see if, by some chance, she has ordered some smirky duct tape.

Return email:  No, I have not ordered any duct tape, smirky or otherwise.  Let me ask around, because duct tape sounds like a Thing One Of Us Might Do.

Copied on email:  Hey, Chemistry Staff, did any of you order any duct tape?

Copied on email:  (chorus of “not I!”)

Copied on email from Chemistry Purchasing Agent:  Yes, YOU, “J”!   You asked me to order some duct tape for you and I did.  So there.

Email to Chemistry Professor:  Come and get your stoopid tape.

Okay, okay.  The human female, who was a bloodhound in a former life (and who still looks like one, especially first thing in the morning), has solved my little mystery.  She figured it out.  Am I disappointed?  By no means!  Because, all told, this has WASTED a good forty minutes or more of productive time, and she has NOTHING to show for it!

My job here is done.

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A Blast From the Past

You have read my tales of the Dead Cat Conundrum, which in years past has caused the human female no end of grief.  How to source, buy, arrange shipping for, take delivery of, inventory, and put away hundreds of dead cats at a time.  You have heard me relate that, in this realm of Midgard, dead cats for dissection are scarcer than synapses in Thor’s skull.  There are no cats to be had.  Nary a whisker.  Not a whiff of a defunct feline.  Not a breath of a mention of passed-on pussies.  The scarcity is such that the Anatomy and Physiology classes have adopted a virtual cat dissection software program instead.  The human female has not been able to reliably secure even the few cats needed for the upper-level Chordate Anatomy course.

Which is why she was so comprehensively gobsmacked to have received this shipment today.  Look, Sigyn!  Some dead cats came!

deadcats1

To say that the human female never in a million years expected this would be a big, hairy understatement with training wheels and a blue felt fedora.

I mean, look at when this order was originally made!

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Eighteen months!  That just might be a record!

If I didn’t think her dorky visage would traumatize everyone, I’d attach a photo of her with her mouth hanging open in slack-jawed befuddlement.

The best part of this bit of mischief is that this order was made with BAMN, which is long since defunct.  The human female and the departmental bean counters are going to have to find some way to PAY for these tabby cadavers with some without a functional open PO.   Ehehehehe!

I’m betting I can stretch this out a little longer, so stay tuned…

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That Doesn’t Look Good

As I mentioned yesterday, the annual whoop-te-do known known to the humans as Gaming Weekend is nearly upon us.  The human female has been baking up a storm, actual housecleaning has occurred, and all manner of scurrying about is going on.  What the humans need least is for their planning to get derailed by something unexpected hap—

Uh oh.

fallenceiling

Now what would you say are the odds of a chunk of garage ceiling somehow coming loose and dropping into the path of the garage door at just this point in time?

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating—with mischief, timing is everything.

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Serves You Right

So you humans are gearing up for the annual July Gaming Weekend.  That means that you, human female, are doing some baking, so that there will be goodies for guests.  Over the weekend it was a double batch of oatmeal-raisin cookies and a batch-and-a-half of gingerbread.  You wondered whose rotten idea it was that a bottle of molasses is just shy of what’s needed to make a batch-and-a-half.

I think we all know the answer to that one.

Today it is BACON ROLLS, those delectable spirals of bacon, cheddar, and thymey goodness.  They look scrumptious and smell divine.

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BUT!  if you are just going to shove them in the freezer and not let ME have any while they are warm and fragrant, you can bet your miserable life that that super-hot bacon pan is going to find your stingy little hand.

baconrollburn

Poke, poke, poke.  Does that hurt?   Yes?  GOOD!

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Hymenopterans Like Breakfast Too, You Know

The human female is weird about fruit in her breakfast cereal.  Blueberries are acceptable, because they are small, but banana slices and strawberries and peaches are not–she says the pieces are “too big” and “too squishy.”  Chopped dates are all right, and raisins are good.  In fact, she usually keeps a box of raisins on the dining room table for quick additions to the shredded wheat or fake Cheerios.   They go in the bowl, then the cereal, then the milk.  Yes, indeed, it’s good to have the raisins where you can find them.

Ehehehehe.  It’s an added bonus (for me) that that is also where the ants can find them.

ants in the raisins

They’re harmless, tiny, persistent, a good source of protein, and the exact same color as the raisins.  So I really don’t see the problem.

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The Human Male is Not Immune

I know that my main goal in life is to make the human female’s life as miserable as possible, but rest assured, the human male can be just as deserving of my mischief.  He often goes out of his way to suggest mean pranks for her to pull on me, so lately, he’s been the recipient of a good chunk of my attention.

He is what is known as an IT Nerd.  That is, he spends and inordinate amount of time mucking about with computers.  Time that would be better spent cleaning the gutters or, better yet, catering to my every whim.

So I had a little tinker with the various file servers and backup servers in his care.  Since the New Year, one or another of them has been failing on a more or less weekly basis.  Hard drives have been dying at an alarming rate.  This means that just as he sits down to eat, or play a game, or spend time with friends, he’ll get a failure message (plus a whole raft of whiny “I can’t get to my stuuuuufff!” calls from faculty) and have to stop what he’s doing and reboot something remotely or else get in the car and go up to campus and push that button that only he can push.

Plus I’ve made it leak in the server room or his office every time it rains.  That has put a damper on some weekends, I can tell you!  (pun very much intended!)

Lately I’ve devoted most of my efforts to the file server.  It kept throwing errors and failing backups.  Finally, he determined that the motherboard was essentially defunct.  There was *just* enough money in the budget to order a new server, but he did want to fix the old one as a backup.  He started scouring the interwebs, looking for a replacement motherboard.

And he found one, for a very good price.  $77.00 was very appealing.  The vendor said they’d call him back to arrange some speedy shipping.  When they called, they said they had one and would gladly send it to him, but that the actual price was $499.00.  Outraged, he told them where they could forcibly locate said motherboard and commenced searching for a different vendor.

And he found one, for a pretty good price.  He ordered it and patted himself on the back.  But the next day the vendor called to tell him that they didn’t actually have the item listed on their website.   So sorry!  He began looking for another.

And he found one, for a very good price.

motherboard

Note that this is SAME physical motherboard offered by Vendor #1 again.  Apparently, if no one wants it, it’s $77.22, but the minute someone orders it, the price goes up.

Well, as you can imagine, he was having none of that, so he set about trying to find a different source.

And he found one, for a pretty good price.  They shipped it promptly, it arrived in good shape, and he installed it with high hopes and a song in his heart.

It didn’t work.  Ehehehehe!

Muttering profanities and reconsidering all of his life choices to date, he decided to examine the original faulty motherboard to see if it could be fixed.

The bad news:  the capacitors are all bulgy, which I’m told is a Bad Thing.

resistors

But, but!  They’re green and gold!  How awful can they be?  So he has gone looking online for replacements.

And he found some, at a very good price.

They didn’t work.

I don’t know how many iterations he’s going crank this server problem through, but whatever n turns out to be, I’m pretty sure I’m up for n +1

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Don’t Blame Me

I will admit, most of the human female’s woes can be laid at my doorstep (let’s be honest  she deserves whatever she gets.)  However, there is something enormously, mind-bogglingly heinous going on in the neighborhood, and I want it on record that I had/ have/ will have nothing to do with it.

Can you tell what the backdrop in this photo is?

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That, dear people, is part of a construction fence.  There’s nothing unusual about that.  This town is growing at an alarming rate, and everywhere one looks, something is being built.  (We have yet to get a decent Greek restaurant, a Midgardian cuisine which I find quite acceptable, but that is beside the point.)

This is going to be a 300+ unit apartment complex.

Unfortunately, this particular construction site used to be the gorgeous pond in the neighborhood where Sigyn and I have had so many wonderful, flower-filled walks over the years.  Remember just last year? 

So, no more pond.  No more turtles, no more herons, no more little fish.  No more flowers.  Some developer from Houston swears that the community desperately needs this housing for Young Urban Professionals.  He maintains that no pesky college students will live in these units since a) they will not have all of the absolute necessities of college life (tanning salon, big pool, party room, volleyball court, etc.; b) they will not rent by the bedroom; and c) the rent will be something called market rate.  I’ve done a little reading, and “market rate” includes a lot of zeros.  Which means that they will be out of the price range of most young urban professionals.  The only people who will be able to afford them will be college students, who will pack in 6 to 8 per unit and split the rent.

The developer also maintains that this development will add only about 180 car trips per day to the local traffic load.  If there are 360 or so units, that’s a half a trip per unit per day, so apparently these will only be rented to  young urban professionals who don’t actually have jobs and go to work.

The humans and the rest of the local populace protested loudly and at length about all of this, but the City Council gave it their official thumbs up.  Thumbs they should be strung up by.

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Sigyn is brokenhearted.  The humans are quite upset.  I’m not very happy either.

My only consolation is that the contractors on this project have completely disregarded the massive shrink-swell properties of the local soils and have failed to do any soil preparation whatsoever.  Not a speck of gypsum or calcium anywhere in sight. No consideration of the fact that they just bulldozed the pond in and half the complex will be situated on top of that area of very unstable hydric soil.  I figure that a couple years of alternating drought and tropical storms that dump 18+ inches of rain in a weekend, and the whole foul mess will slump and fall in on itself and nature can reclaim its own.

Looking forward to it.

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In Which We Meet Some Truly Odd… Creatures

The humans are in the Big City to the South, visiting the Knittery Friend and her family.  This usually means good food and good company.  Good food eventually means a trip to the Necessary Room.  Sigyn and I have gone exploring to try to find it.

I think we found it.

And by Fandral’s Mustache Wax, it is guarded by the weirdest beast I have ever beheld—and keep in mind that as a lad I once sneezed mid-spell in the royal menagerie in Asgard and had to deal with the after-effects!

bathroom1

No doubt the Knittery Friend has stationed it here and trained it to mercilessly savage any who would dare leave toothpaste globs in the sink.  Don’t get too close, Sigyn!  A normal duck hasn’t any teeth, but this is most decidedly not a normal duck…

Ah, this beastie here is no doubt more gentle and amenable to scritches.  Unless I miss my guess, this is the rare striped pygmy soapwhale.  They breed in southern latitudes and migrate northwards in the summer.  The fact that this fellow is here now is a sure sign of the impending solstice.

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Sigyn says she would like to be able to cruise the seven seas, living a life of High Adventure.

And I think she’s figured out a way to make that dream come true.

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