Month: August 2018

It Wasn’t Me. No, Really, It Wasn’t

Yes, Sigyn finds them “adorable.”

Yes, I’ve been known to contemplate “borrowing” animals from the zoo.

Yes, it’s exactly the sort of thing I would do.

But I didn’t.  I swear.

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Something for Everyone

The other way I know that summer is drawing to a close is that, at the human female’s workplace, it is Teaching Assistant Workshop time.  All of the new graduate students who will be entrusted with broadening the minds of undergraduates are shaped, formed, taught, armed with tools and resources, and herded from one discussion or mock-teaching event to another.

And fed.  The graduate students must be fed. 

This year, the human female was tasked with purchasing the comestibles and drinkables for the ten-day event.  Sixty participants, six snack breaks. Three hundred sixty snack servings, three hundred and sixty drinks.  Rev up the SUV, drop the seats, grab the departmental charge card and off we go!

I love helping spend other people’s money.  And if Sigyn and I help choose, it  means we will like whatever we can snitch  whatever’s left over.

The human female was asked to provide healthier snacks than last year’s offerings, which leaned quite a bit toward the candy and cookie side of things.  So half the drinks are water.  I guess I can live with that.

By Idunn’s Golden Orchard, though!  Does she really think these young people are going to eat fruit?!


Sorry, old woman.  No one wants your raisins.


This!  This is better!  More of this!


Now we’re talking.  Two thumbs waaaay up from Sigyn!


Ah!  Chips!  There must be chips!


Sigyn says it doesn’t matter about anything else as long as she can have orange fingers.


We’re back and have unloaded.  The snacks are all being stored in one room.  The human female conceived the notion that this sign will stop pilferage.


That’s cute.

(munch, munch, munch)

Just for fun, I haven’t told her about the two snack sessions that don’t show on the schedule and which she didn’t plan for.  Either she’s got to make things stretch, or she’ll have to make another run.  Oh, and I made sure to tump the apples over on the ride back to campus.  Those bruised beauties are going to be even less a-peel-ing than the raisins.

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Time For Dead Things Again Already?

I hadn’t realized the summer was nearly over, but Odin’s eyepatch!  It’s time for the Dead Cat Ballet again already!  The human female put in her usual multi-page, multi-ton, multi-thousand dollar order with the Purveyor of Dead Things back in May, and today’s the day they’re set to arrive!

She put in a work order with Slow, Silent, and Costly to have the post taken out of the double doors downstairs, so there will be room to get a pallet jack through.  It was supposed to have been done by 8:00 a.m., since the dead things are coming at 9:00.

Could I let things proceed as scripted?  No, I could not!

It’s 8:40. The human female is just coming onto campus and her techs have just this moment sent a text.  Great Frigga’s Corset!  The post is not out of the door, and is that…?  Yes it is!  The delivery truck is here!

Now she’s human female is on the phone to SSC, asking them not so nicely why the post is still in the doorway.  Ehehehee!   They DID take the post out of the doorway at 7:00, but I brought this gross breach of security to the remodeling crew on the first floor, who very helpfully put it back in.  SSC is on their way to remove it again.

Very well.  It’s out again.  But the techs are saying the borrowed pallet jack, which has to be in the basement to receive the goods from the elevator (because, you will recall, a loaded pallet jack will not fit the elevator, so the goods have to go down by themselves) will not fit in the elevator.  The human female has told them that, yes, it will fit, but they will have to be… creative.

At last!  The post is out, the spare pallet jack is in the basement, and help has arrived for the unloading.  The first pallet is on its way into the elevator and…

…it’s too wide!  It won’t go through the elevator doors!  This is priceless!  The delivery men have lowered the pallet and are picking it up again from the narrower side.  Oooh–the suspense is killing me!  Ah!   Now it just fits in the elevator.  Good show!

Snort! The human female has just realized that once the loaded pallet is in the elevator, there isn’t room to lean in and push the button for the basement.  She should have thought of that before.  She’s texting the basement crew to call the elevator.


I must admit, that was impressive.  The human female and her crew moved 4,240 pounds (or about 31 human-female-units) from tailgate to store room in 30 minutes.  It would be more impressive if they’d managed to get all the boxes on the shelves.  However, the Purveyor of Dead Things sent twenty or thirty unlabeled boxes, and no one knows if they’re hearts or frogs or kidneys or fish or eyeballs or what.  They’ve all got to be opened.

Some of them are suspiciously light.  The suspense is killing us all!

Ehehehehee!  This is beautiful!  I told the packing crew at PODT to let their imagination run wild with the packing, and they’ve outdone themselves this year.  Each of the mystery boxes is stuffed with yards and yards and yards of crumpled paper.  It’s like Yule! Anything could be in here! One box is less than half full of earthworms.  Another is less than half full of sheep eyes.  This one has–count them!—four measly clams.  This one has three little gray fish.  This one has just one pig heart.



Another has only the packing slip and several copies of the “our preserving fluid is so safe you could almost drink it” card.

My favorite, though, is the long, skinny box that looks as if it might contain a poster.  The human female does not remember ordering a poster, but there it is.  The contents?  Three small jars of PTC test paper strips.  This is brilliant.


Well, all the boxes have been sorted and put on the shelves.  Now the techs have to count it all.  Given how the PODT has shorted us on at least one line item every year, it’s a safe bet that something will be off.

There’s a multi-page packing slip to corroborate, along with a copy of the original purchase order, because sometimes the PODT doesn’t send what was ordered, and sometimes what’s on the packing slip doesn’t agree with what was received.

Each box needs to be opened–because who knows what’s in them.

Crayfish?  Check.

Grasshoppers?  Check.

Fetal piggies?  Check.

Tiny, bony fishies?


Dead cats?

Dead cats?

Stiff kitties?

(crickets chirping.)

We do not have dead cats today.  It would not be the Dead Cat Ballet unless there were a problem with the defunct felines.  The dire national Dead Cat Conundrum is still very much a “thing.”  The stiff kitties are, alas, on indefinite back order.  Also missing from the order are the sheep plucks.  A pluck is a nasty thing–trachea and lungs–and the human female is just as glad they didn’t show up.


Thor’s bitty ballpeen! That is a lot of kidneys.  And a even lotter of hearts, because they sent us one extra.

And it had its own box.


Uh oh.  Looks like there’s a discrepancy with the J2 (double injected) sharks.  We could almost call this yearly onslaught of formalinic fun the Dead Shark Tango, because it seems there is always a problem with the sharks as well.  And since the fancy, double-injected sharks are for the upper-level Chordate Anatomy classes taught by the Big Boss, a discrepancy is a Big Deal.  The human female ordered 14 males and 5 females.  What was in the boxes?  15 females and 5 males.  The PODT didn’t have what she wanted, so they sent what they had.

Thanks to my meddling, she’ll now have to spend a lot of time on the phone with the PODT.  She’ll probably find it easier (if more expensive) to just order 9 male sharks on a separate PO, one marked “NO SUBSTITUTIONS!!!” IN ABOUT SIX PLACES.

Now do something about that mess!


It looks like Hurricane Mittens came through.

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Interesting Trivia

Did you know?

Over 260,000,000 tons of plastic are produced every year.


Including this bit.

Did you know?

Outdoor public telephone booths made their first appearance in the early 1900s.


This one seems like a very tight fit.  (And the phone is missing.)

Did you know?

Most people will miss-draw a night sky with a crescent moon.  There shouldn’t be any stars inside the arc of the moon.


Though I’m a star, and I am sitting in this one.

Did you know?

A simple machine is a device which exchanges the magnitude of a Force with how far it must be applied to do Work.  Wheel, pulley, level, inclined plane–those are the big four.


Springs?  Don’t fit the definition and are not included in the list.

Did you know?

If you distract the human female when she mows around a sprinkler head, you get a sudden, loud, very expensive noise.


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The humans are taking advantage of the jaunt to the Biggish City to the West to visit a Purveyor of Foreign Goods. 

It seems a friendly place.  This feline has lost no time in greeting Sigyn cheerfully.


I think it is teaching her a little dance.

There is also a display of colorful ceramics.  What knobby little teapots!


Ooh!  Foreign foodstuffs.  Those are always fun to poke about in.   Sigyn is excited about these beans, probably because they’re red.


Oh!  Sigyn, we’ve had this stuff before–these are dessert-y beans, not vegetable beans.  Their usual habitat is buns and dumplings, and they’d make a very odd chili.

See?  The human female says that “daifuku” are little sticky rice cakes, usually full of red bean paste.


This package has red ones and green ones.   I think we need to buy them!

But I’m not sure about those middle buns…


Unidentified Filled Objects?  いいえ、どうもありがとうございます

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Predictable, But Nonetheless Fun

The humans have made a last-minute, mad dash to the Biggish City to the West.  As is usual, we have made time to visit the large market they’re so fond of.  (They’re so predictable!)

Sigyn loves nothing more than exploring the produce department.  At the moment, she is communing with these tiny, solanaceous beauties.


The human male likes the market’s home-squeezed lemon-apple-ginger juice, but I don’t like the stuff.  Can’t stand to be around it.  So I’ve arranged not to have to share the car with any today.


That squealing noise you hear is Sigyn finding that the pasta aisle has jungle noodles.


I’d bet money, though, that she would probably hug them and not cook them.

Last stop is always the floral department.  The humans never buy anything, of course.  A) It’s too long of a ride back for flowers to be happy, and B) They’re cheap.

The posies sure look good on my sweetie, though, don’t they?


She’s my sunshine, all right.

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This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

In the humans’ world, everything connects with everything else.  Cables for this, cables for that.  Camera to computer.  Phone to laptop.  Charger to, well, everything.

This is the human female’s favorite:


It’s something called “USB” on the hearty end and “micro USB” on the diamond one.  I’m not sure, but I think USB stands for “upside-down, skewed, or backwards,” which are the three ways of inserting one.

This cable is exceptionally fine.  When plugged in, it lights up, glowing an eerie blue all along its length, like it was made of the tesseract itself.  She uses it all the time, hooking up between the charging block and her phone or tablet.

It’s a pity, then, that the charging block sits on the floor so close to the sofa.  Even more of a pity that the sofa’s a recliner, and that it’s old enough to need a hefty shove to get it to un-recline.  And a pity most of all that yesterday I nudged the charging block so that this lovely cord was in the sofa’s maw.  That heart-bedecked end took the full force of the slam-shut.  It still lights up just fine, but it’s never going to help anything talk to anything else, ever again.

USB=Unfortunately, Sadly, Bent.

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