Month: November 2017

Seasonal Headgear

It’s that time of year.  Sigyn has been out in the hedgerows and byways, gathering nuts-and-crud.  

And wearing it.

acornhat1

That looks quite cute on you, dearest.  Very fetching indeed.

acornhat2

On me, not so much.

⊂|: [

Dead Cat Ballet–Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Open Your Email

This was in the human female’s email, courtesy of the Purveyor of Dead Things.

past due nasco

You are correct!   This is in reference to the bill for the large Dead Cat Ballet, the one the human female has been struggling with since AUGUST.   I’ll wait right here while you scroll through the archives and refresh your memory.

It’s invoices again!  Apparently, BOTH invoices (the one from the right vendor ID and the one from the wrong vendor ID) got cancelled!  The human female had to write MORE emails explaining what happened and telling the Bean Counters that yes, they could pay for the dead seafood paella and all the other goodies.

Friends, I’m not sure I’m ever going to be able to top this one.

>|: [

 

Flannel, I Think We Need to Talk (Wordless Wednesday)

naughtyflannelcatvsplant1catvsplant2

>|: [      +       =^. .^=     =    : (

Corncorncorncorncorncorn…corn

The humans, bereft of magic that can make anything be anything, spend an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out why things are the way they are and how they get that way.  Hence, next week’s biology lab will address the subjects of genetics and heredity.

I confess I do not know much about this subject, just that if you cross a mortal with another mortal, sadly, you will probably get another mortal.  There seems to be no way around it, which is why Midgard is so backward.

Since there are laws regarding the obtaining, studying, and disposing of humans, the students will be examining an even less intelligent organism — corn.   Apparently if you cross corn having some big letters with corn having some other, smaller letters, you get a crop of corn that has mixed big and little letters.   This excites the mortals for some reason, as does the fact that if you take those mixed-letter corn plants and let them make plant whoopie, you get some specific ratio of big to little letters.

I know. I don’t get it either.

Thus, the students are to be presented with several dry ears of corn that supposedly illustrate some of these phenomena.  The corn is useless for anything else, including eating.  Why?  Well, first, because it is not “eating” corn.  Also, it is very dry, and very old.

And also bug-ridden.  You see, there is a small, reddish-brown beetle that has made its life’s work, its noble contribution, the eradication of all this boring, alphabetic corn.   It is quite persistent and completely tireless.  It seeks out dry corn wherever it may be found and gobbles it right up like Volstagg at a feast.  It leaves behind quite a lot of powdered corn starch mixed with beetle poop.  This makes the ears unpleasant and messy to work with.

I may or may not have shown it where all the corn is stored…

At any rate, I have arranged that last week and this, the human female has had the task of cleaning all of the corn ears, brushing away all the fecal fallout, dusting out the display boxes, and re-shrink-wrapping all the ears.

Let’s drop on on her progress, shall we?

Here’s a really messy display box.

dirtycorn1

Those little beetles have been very thorough.    This one’s even worse!  Look at all that frass!

dirtycorn01

After some vigorous thumping and brushing, the box now looks like this:

dirtycorn02

I suppose it’s an improvement, but now the poor students will actually have to study.

The bagged and/or shrink-wrapped ears are just as infested.

dirtycorn2

Look at all those sad little corpses of beetles who gave their lives for the cause.   I bet the human female doesn’t even stop to mourn.

dirtycorn2b

She’s dusting off the ears, putting them in this plastic tubing,

dirtycorn4

and using this tool to shrink the tubing to fit the corn.

dirtycorn3

It is currently off, which is why I can bear to be near it.  Heat guns and Frost Giants are non-mixy things.

Here’s an ear all ready to have its diaphanous cocoon shrunk to fit.

dirtycorn5

The close-fitting plastic sleeves will keep the kernels from falling off the cob and keep the beetles from re-attacking the ears.

dirtycorn6

Right up until the point I poke holes in all the plastic…

>|:  [

 

A Long-Overdue Mischief Update, Part V: Aggie-Buy is My Favorite Thing Ever

You know, I have written a lot about how bad BAMN was, but Odin’s Eyepatch!  I’m having nearly as much fun with plain old Aggie-Buy!

Whenever she wants to order something, she first has to figure out what it is.  She has several old removable racks for the dishwasher that each hold approximately a squillion test tubes.  The racks are getting a little rusty, so she wants to replace them, but what should they be called?  Dishwasher racks?  Inserts?  Or are they regular test tube racks that can go in the dishwasher?   She knows they originally came from the Vendor Who’s Responsible, but the search feature on their website chokes and dies on multi-word searches.  I guess she’ll have rusty test tubes until she figures it out.

And what about the small, rimless, printing-less test tubes that Intro Bio uses as cuvettes in the spectrophotometerizers?  Is she looking for “cuvettes” or “test tubes”?  Or maybe “sample tubes”?  Flint glass or borosilicate?  Disposable or washable?   Case of 1,000–or maybe fewer?   She doesn’t know the product number because she doesn’t have the records of previous orders and because the ones she has, being printless, don’t have the product number on them, do they?

Aggie Buy also does delightful things like urp up “your PO has been approved for distribution,” two months after the goods have been received.

The human female needed catechol for just one lab during the entire semester.  Usually, she orders a bottle of dry powder.   The bottle looks empty—adding water to the minute amount of power inside and shaking yields about 20 ml of usable solution.  This year, when she ordered, the Purveyor of Squiggly Things (and Occasional Non-Squiggly Things) agreed to substitute two small bottles of pre-mixed catalase and charge her just the original item’s price for her inconvenience.  It came in good time and was used to good effect.  All was well until it was time to pay the invoice.  Then the snowstorm of comments started (and keep in mind that each comment generates an email telling the human female that she has a comment and she has to log in to Aggie Buy and open the program and click through to see the comment.  When she responds, she gets another email telling her her comment has posted) :

  • Bean Counter #1:  The department ordered 1 for PO Line Item 7 but the vendor is billing for 2. If the second item has been received and the department is going to keep the item, please create another receipt for the additional item so this invoice can finish routing for approval. If the vendor missed billed, has the vendor been contacted about a credit memo. Please provide an update.
  • Human female: We ordered 1 of a dry powder preparation of the chemical. The supplier could not ship in time for our needs, so they substituted 2 of a liquid preparation of the same chemical, which gave us about as much as the dry powder would have made. Okay to pay as invoiced.
  • Bean Counter #2: line item 7 needs a receiving of one done to match the vendor billing. thanks
  • Human female: Yesterday Bean Counter #1 said they were billing for two. Which is it? One or two? What actually happened is that the vendor shipped two but said they’d bill for one (or for the original price of the powder) to make up for the inconvenience of being out of what we ordered. (Original product was not available to ship on time, so they subbed.) If they billed for one, great, we got something free. If they billed for two, it’s all right to pay for what they shipped.
  • Human female: Okay, looking at the invoice, they billed for what was shipped, not what the Carolina account rep said they were going to bill. But we DID receive what was billed, it just doesn’t match the original PO because the vendor could not supply the original item. (Different form of the same chemical.)
  • Bean Counter #2:  so will you be correcting line item 7 to match the billing so we can move this invoice forward? thanks
  • Human female:  Do I need to go to the PO and change things? Where am I supposed to correct line 7?
  • Bean Counter #2:  You need to go to the PO and do a receiving of one for line item 7-thanks
  • Human female:  Okay, though I don’t see how that will fix the problem since they billed for two of a different item.
  • Bean Counter #2:  if you did not get two for line item seven do not do receiving, I thought you said you received everything they billed they just billed from a different quote, if you did not get 2 for line item 7 contact the vendor for a credit. thanks
  • Human female:  I did get two, but NOT two of what the PO shows. I keep trying to explain. They subbed two of a different product (liquid) that was roughly equal to the amount the powder I ordered would have made. On the packing slip sent to Anita Luna, I marked that I received the two they shipped and billed for. (And apparently I *can’t* do receiving in AggieBuy. I was never given that ability.) They are only asking payment for what they sent, which was a SUB for something they didn’t have. Anita has a digital copy of the packing slip.
  • Bean Counter #2:  Bean Counter #3, please look at this and see the human female’s response in comments
  • Bean Counter #1:  Human female, PO Line Item 7 was created for 1 @ 10.25. I do realize the vendor sent and is invoicing for a substituted item and is billing 2 @ 9.23 for a total of $18.46. Since 1 was ordered and the vendor is billing for 2 and if they department received all of the item on line 7 and agrees to pay the overage, then another receipt will need to be created and receive 1 more for line item 7 since the vendor invoice a quantity of 2. Please let me know if you have any questions or if this doesn’t make sense. Thank you.
  • Human female:  I don’t think I have the ability to do receiving. I scan the packing slips and Bean Counter #3, in our Bio Dept. does the receiving. I was never enabled to do it, I don’t think.
  • Bean Counter #2:  Bean Counter #3, since the human female cannot do receiving can you receive one on line item 7- you can see comments on this document. thanks
  • Bean Counter #3:  Done.

Ah, yes.  Done.  The human female is done.  So very, very done.

>|: [

 

 

A Long-Overdue Mischief Update, Part IV: Odds and Ends

Patient water is the sworn enemy of all hard rock.  It’s the steady, grinding stream of mischief that will do the human female in in the end.   So here, a compendium of some of the other little merry japes and pranks I’ve been playing.

–The local 24-hour Burritotorium put beans–beans, mind you!– on her otherwise perfect egg, potato, and cheese breakfast burrito.  No one was happy about the beans, then or… later.

–The human female’s Uniterruptible Power Supply apparently can be interrupted.  When anything ever comes near its plug, it commences a long litany of beepy complaints.  The first time this happened, it would not shut up.  No amount of plugging, unplugging, or resetting would suffice.  No, the computer techs had to buy a battery for what is essentially a battery.   Beeeeeeep!

–The felines continue to drive all and sundry to drink and/or tears.  Their latest rage is to chase one another over the leather sofa, claws out.  One drags shoes around by the laces.  The other chases anything that moves but will not fetch, which is why the end of the hallway is a minefield of soggy mice.  One of them, we surmise, ate most of a nitrile glove that came home with the human female and fell out of her pocket.  I say surmise, because while the cuff was found in the middle of the living room floor, along with a few other fragments, the remainder has yet to surface.  Both felines were dosed with petroleum jelly to help ease any foreign bodies… through.  Both, it transpires,  adore the taste of petroleum jelly and will lick it off a finger as many times as it is offered.  Strange beasts indeed.

–Beeeeeeep!

–The human female came home from work one night to discover that her car had a very, very flat tire.  The humans struggled into the twilight to get the car jacked up.  In so doing, they discovered two places on the car NOT to put the jack, lest one bend the bottom edge of the car.  Once they finally got the tire off and the spare on, they had to take it to the only place open at 8:00 p.m.  Bad news–they couldn’t fix the tire; it would have to be replaced.  Good news–they had a tire of just that kind in stock.  Bad news–it had already been promised as part of a set of four.  Good news–there was one of the next-highest quality available.  Bad news–now the tires don’t match.  Good news!–add another mark to the tally of nights the human females don’t get to arrive home at a reasonable hour, eat dinner, and get to bed at a decent time.

–Coleus plants showed up on one lab’s prep checklist.  No one knew what they were there for.  Well, I knew, but I wasn’t telling.

–Beeeeeeep!

–The mix of normal and albino tobacco seeds for the Zoology lab completely failed to germinate.  (Yes, they use plants for studying genetics in zoology.  No,  I don’t understand it, either.)   The mix of normal and albino corn seeds for studying genetics in Bio 111 did all germinate, but they all died by midweek of the week they were needed.  Sic transit gloria zea.

–The human female’s work group continues to be understaffed.  For most of the semester, there have been three where there should be four.  The human female advertised for another Tech I.  Someone did a little something, and the posting went up without the requirement for a cover letter, so critical information was lacking.  One applicant listed the same person three times for his three references, with no company affiliation.  His resume was in a foreign language.  One person’s application said “refer to resume” for all their work history, but it wasn’t on the resume.  Another applicant included a cover letter anyway, but it was full of misspellings and misformatting, and the first page and a half was blank.  The cover letter was full of typos, including one that made a racial slur.  One person who actually got an interview asked no questions,  showed no enthusiasm, and appeared to be half asleep.  Another person was interviewed via Skype.  The human female had all sorts of trouble launching Skype— (apparently resetting one’s Google password sixteen times is the right amount of times), and in the end, the interview got done with the human female’s laptop and one of the Prep Tech’s Skype profiles.  Skype, meanwhile, has taken up residence on the human female’s laptop and starts upon boot-up.  It won’t close, either, unless it is forcibly shut down from the task manager.   The human female eventually did succeeded in hiring someone.  We’ll see how it all works out.

–Beeeeeeep!

–The best part about the Prep Staff being understaffed has been watching the human female do Tech I scutwork.  Washing dishes, taking down labs, setting up labs, watering plants, making solutions, dealing with every gross and stainy thing.  She goes home tired, sweaty, and multicolored nearly every day.  It’s good for her.  Keeps her humble.  She’s learning all sorts of things, such as the 1-liter bottles used for solutions don’t actually hold a liter, and if you try to put a liter in…  She’s also had a instance or two of panic and momentarily forgot which way of a carboy spigot is OFF.  Curiously, she is now also good at  mopping.

–A month or so ago, the human female got a bill from the doctor for an amount marked “hospital services.”  Since she hasn’t been in the hospital, she called and asked what it was for.   Turns out that’s how her lace-up foot brace was coded.  (Made sense to me.)  She paid it.  A week or so later, she got a PAST DUE notice on that same amount.

overduebill

Knowing she’d paid it, she ignored it.  A few days after that, she received a robo-phone call from the hospital’s Billing Department, instructing her to call about her past-due balance.  She called.  And was put on hold.  She followed the instructions and pressed “1” to talk to someone—and was disconnected.  She called back and was put on hold for about twenty minutes–and was then dumped straight to the satisfaction survey.  (On which she selected “very dissatisfied.”  She called a third time and was put on hold for another twenty minutes.  When she finally reached a human and explained what was going on, she was told, “Oh, yeah.  I see where you paid that.  Now you only owe X large amount.”  That, apparently is for the air cast she’s currently wearing.  For which she had not yet been billed.  So now she gets to anticipate that giant whopper bill.

das boot

Good times, my friends, good times.

–Beeeeeeep!

>|: [

A Long-Overdue Mischief Update, Part III: How the Semester Started

It really has been forever and a half since I updated.  I have to report that I had a lot of fun with the beginning of the semester.   A few highlights (assume I had a hand in all of this):

–The carpet people showed up to replace the carpet in the lecturers’ office.  The week before the semester.  The human female and her staff were pressed into service to help move books and papers, while movers put all the furniture in the hallway.  Many interesting things were discovered,  including unidentified chemicals in an open flask on one instructor’s desk, many graded papers and grade records which had to be locked away to prevent FERPA violations, and piles and piles of unopened mail.

–One of the lecturers was more or less missing until the week before classes started.

–One of the TAs teaching Intro Bio was not notified of this fact.

–A couple of the TAs originally assigned to Intro Bio were assigned elsewhere.

–The Powers That Be decreed that Intro Bio was to calculate grades in a different manner, cutting down the total points for each course so that lecture exams would be worth 100 points (so students could more easily figure out their grades).  This leaves the labs with about half the usual number of points to allot, so that TAs are now grading in half-point increments on enormous assignments worth a whopping fifteen points.

–The University, two weeks before the semester, when it was time to update its Security Certificates, CHANGED the way it handles things, with the result that any computer that had a copy of the old wifi protocol would have to uninstall that, update the security notifications, install the new wifi protocol once for EACH USER PROFILE, then go back in and UNCHECK the “remember my login info” setting that was autochecked.  For the human female, this means updating two user profiles on six laptops in each of ten lab rooms, plus spares.  At the same time, there were updates to Adobe and Java to install as well.  And then a host of backlogged Windows updates to install, with each round of updates triggering a further round (sometimes as many as five rounds.)   All of this to be accomplished over the wireless system, which is so under-powered that many of the systems could not download even the first round of updates—if they could connect at all.  The human female and male got through three rooms of laptops with about a 50% success rate before the human male figured out how to fix one laptop of each model and then use it to image the others.  This process is only now nearing completion.  Oh, and the Anatomy and Physiology labs down the hall have a dozen laptops each, and they put such a load on the wifi that the laptops in human female’s labs at that end of the building often cannot log on at all.

–It took several weeks for the post-hurricane shipping woes to be resolved.   The Elodea (little pond plant) that was ordered was not available anywhere.   Nobody had any they could ship on time, not the Purveyor of Squiggly Things (POST), not the Alternate Purveyor of Squiggly Things (APOST), not the local aquarium stores.  Or if they did have it, they couldn’t ship it.  The human female worked out how to use onions in the experiment instead and everyone was poised to make the change and then —wham, here comes the Elodea.  It arrived looking plenty partied-out.

–You recall the Termites that Almost Weren’t?   The human female finally managed to obtain some from a lab on the University campus that studies them.  So there were termites after all.  Then the POST came through and shipped the second half of the split-timing delivery of termites, so there was a scarcity during the first half of the week and a superabundance the last half.  There were EXTRA termites at the end of the week.  Items that had been on the ticket with the first part of that split-delivery order didn’t get shipped and got uncoupled from things that shipped in the second part of the shipment.  The human female added some live mosses to one of the orders so that the total would qualify for a promo discount, and then the mosses didn’t ship so the discount didn’t apply.  You know, the POST sales rep now has a distinctive little pause-and-sigh before he starts speaking every time the human female calls…

–One of the Intro Bio labs, the one that got moved into the basement of the old building at first was supposed to have a microscope camera for showing tiny specimens.  Over the summer, it was decided that good photos on the computer would suffice.  Then, on the day of the lab, the demand went out for set of demonstration scopes, and the human female and her staff had to scramble scopes down the stairs across the alley and down to the other lab, and then set up the items under the scopes.  Miscommunication coupled with last-minute scrambling and exercise.  A trifecta of mischief and stress!

And it doesn’t end here!  There is much more to come.  I think this will have to run over into a separate post!  Suffice it to say, though, that we have identified the root of all the human female’s problems.

new calendar

>|: [