Month: April 2019

みんなでランチをしましょう, Part I: Acquiring Comestibles

The humans have had to run to the Big City to the West for some churchy event or other.  Sigyn was excited, whatever it was.  I didn’t want to know–I’ve just tagged along to see that Sigyn comes to no harm.  At any rate, the humans dragged a few friends along, the churchy event is over, and one of the friends has produced yet another friend, and  now suddenly I find myself in a very odd restaurant, squeezed into a booth with three people I don’t know and two people I only tolerate, contemplating some very peculiar lunch options.

The whole place is very highly mechanized.  A conveyor belt of sorts snakes all around the establishment, laden with small plates of tidbits, mostly of the raw fish variety.

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A plate with a placard announces each new set of arrivals.  One simply reaches out and takes whatever plate one wishes as it trundles by.  The computer by each table registers what has been selected.  Very clever, these Midgardians!

No, Sigyn, you may not ride the belt just to see where it goes.

The human female has selected some round, seedy…things.

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There were three in the bowl, but the human female has already inhaled one of them.  That leaves two, Sigyn, one for each of us. (poke, poke, poke) Now I remember!  They’re filled with sweet and beany goo, and we like them!

It’s not the warmest day outside, so we have ordered some hot ramen soup from the table’s computer menu.  It arrived on a separate little swift conveyor and stopped neatly at the table.  No soup on the main conveyor, because someone else might take it.  Would people really do that?   Take someone else’s food?  Well, I would, but that’s how I work.

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Chicken, egg, onion, noodles, broth.  If it is true what they say, that fat= flavor, it is probably going to be delicious!

We still have room for….Dumplings!

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Dumplings are always a good idea.   This sushi “donut”, on the other hand…

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…can call itself dessert all it likes.  It’s still raw fish.  I think some of it is salmon, which means I should definitely see that the human female has some.  I want to see that funny, itchy rash it gives her that I’ve heard so much about.

Come on, just one little bite?

>|: [

 

All It Takes Is a Word in the Right Ear

Sometimes I can get someone else to do the bulk of my mischief for me.

This week, the students are studying something called Bioinformatics.  As far as I can tell, this is a weird hybrid of biology and computer nerdery.  Life-based number-crunching, if you like.

The students’ lab activities include querying a Large Government Database to look up information on “gene sequences” and “phylogenies” and something called “Nucleotide BLAST” which sounds very promising but which, disappointingly, has nothing at all to do with actual explosions.

I hate being cheated out of a good explosion.

Still, I’ve managed to find a way to have some mischiefy fun anyway.  All of the students have brought their own laptops and/or tablets to do the assignments, which results in a large number of nearly-simultaneous wireless log-ins. I suggested to the operators of the Large Government Database that all of the wireless log-ins to their site coming from the same domain must be a targeted Direct Denial of Service attack, or at least a malicious robot or hacking attempt.

Their response was to block ALL wireless access to their site from the university, resulting in this cheery little message for all attempted users:

NCBI--access denied

BLOCKED!  No Science for you!  Everyone is shut out–the students, the faculty, the multitudinous research personnel in every corner of the campus.  Ehehehehehe!  Campus IT is having to beg the Large Government Database to let them back in.

Of course, wired log-ins still work, and some clever students have figured out that if their phone has a wireless hot-spot, they can use that and get in, but even so, everyone has been massively inconvenienced, and all the panicky running around has been fun to watch.

Color me content.

>|: [

Not All Bunnies and Flowers, Part III: An Untimely and Gruesome Carnage

Do you recall the All Hallows pumpkin?  The one that overstayed its welcome?  Back in December, I predicted that the human female was going to put a Santa hat on it and make it suffice for yet another holiday.

Well, as of the Eater Bunny festival, the stupid thing was still sitting on the front stoop.

The human female brought it into the kitchen and gave it a good scrub.

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I was appalled!  Surely she wasn’t going to eat it?!  I mean, technically a pumpkin is a squash and is theoretically edible, but this superannuated pepo had essentially become a family member.

She whacked it open, revealing all its stringy innards.

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Sigyn was quite distressed at its demise.

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(poke poke poke)  It looked a little dry, and one of the seeds had sprouted.  I was very interested at this point, to see if anyone was actually going to eat this mess.

The poor thing was stripped of its skin and cut into chunks.

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A bit of steaming time in the microwave, a dab of butter, and a little maple sugar, and the All-Hallows-Yule-Eater Bunny Festival pumpkin was served forth.

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My sweetie couldn’t bear to have any.

Sigyn, I’m sorry to tell you that your cucurbitaceous friend was dee-licious.

Not All Bunnies and Flowers, Part II: A Stupid Word for a Delicious Cookie

Sigyn and the human female did finally get around to using the colored sugar on actual cookies.  

They chose to make the kind called “Spritz.”  “Spritz.”  What a silly word!  Sounds like “spits,” which did NOT make me want to sample them.

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The recipe called for a specific sort of shortening.  I had hopes of watching the human female struggle with measuring spoons and cups and getting all greasy, but she had a stash of the fancy-fancy kind that comes pre-measured.

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Cheating, that’s what it is!

They needed four eggs.  A co-worker had given the human female some from his chickens.

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They came in almost as many colors as the sugar they dyed!  I liked the pale green one.

Eggs, sugar, shortening.  A promising start.

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The recipe called for almond flavoring and lemon juice.  The human female asked if I’d get the lemon nice and juicy.

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Fact:  Kicking a lemon is the best way to do that.

Salt, baking powder, and multiple cups of flour.

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I tried to distract the human female so she’d miscount the cups of flour and make either puddles or bricks, but sadly, she counted accurately.

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I wondered how the cookies were going to be shaped.  The human female doesn’t have the patience required for cutout cookies.

I was intrigued by this gadget.

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The human female called it a cookie gun, which intrigued me even more!  The intersection of cookery and weapons could only be good.

The cookie gun came with a selection of disks, each of which produced a different shape cookie.  Squirt out cookies, then sprinkle with sugar–that seemed to be the method of production.

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I was glad to see that not a lot of sugar ended up on each cookie.  They weren’t as gaudy as I’d feared.  (Though I think blue is still a weird color for food.)

Sigyn and the human female made lavender-sprinkled ovals.

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And pink-sprinkled flowers.

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I used a little magic to make sure that all the parts of the flower ones didn’t exactly coalesce properly.

So there was more than a bit of cookie carnage. 

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Ehehehe!  No one was going to mind if I ate these up later.  And, I must admit, they tasted remarkably good.

I also saw to it that the food coloring made the sugar a little damp, so it didn’t sprinkle evenly and a lot was wasted.  Couldn’t have everything go smoothly, could I?

More cookies.

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And more cookies.  Eventually, Sigyn and the human female grew bored of making cookies in a single color and started getting fancy. 

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As predicted, the yellow sugar turned out not to show up on the cookies, and they ended up tinting it a pale orange instead.  They put it on the butterflies and said they were “monarchs.”

All told, they made about twenty-dozen, not counting the ones I ate.

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They took them to a party.  The human female ended up bringing home a dozen and a half or so.  I was tickled she ended up with so few after so much work and trust me, she does not need to be eating any cookies at all.

All that remains is for me to make sure the large amount of leftover colored sugar cakes up in the bottles so that it can’t readily be used again.

Oh, and eat the ones I stashed away.

>|: [

Not All Bunnies and Flowers, Part I: Taste the Rainbow

I hope you enjoyed my beloved’s tale of how she spent her Eater Bunny holiday.  I just want you to know, though, that it wasn’t all bunnies and flowers around here.  There was also a great deal of cookery.

The human female got it into her little pin-head that she was going to make cookies for the celebration.  She doesn’t make cookies very often, but when she does, she tends to go to extremes–very spiced, very abundant, or–as in this case–very colorful.  (I will never understand the Midgardian fascination with producing comestibles in colors not found in nature.)

She had to make the colored sugar herself.  Sigyn thought this part was great fun.  It involved a collection of old spice jars, some food coloring, a quantity of plain white sugar, and some VigOroUs sHakInG.

They made pink first.

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What a ghastly hue!

Yellow was next.

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Not likely to show up well on cookies, but whatever.

I was highly dubious about the wisdom of using this particular jar to make colored sugar in.

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Didn’t bode well for the eventual cookies…  Still, I was glad they made my favorite color.

It goes without saying that I made sure the human female ended up with colored fingers.

They made blue next.

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This was getting out of hand!  How many colors of sugar does one person need, anyway?

They even made purplish sugar!  At this point, I wasn’t sure how far they were going to take this nonsense.

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But that was apparently the stopping point.  A whole rainbow of multihued, sprinkly goodness.

A lot of colorful mucking about in the kitchen, to be sure.  We hadn’t, though, at this point made any actual cookies.  That came later.

To be continued…

>|: [

 

 

The Day After Easter–Shhhh! (Sigyn Speaks)

I’ve been walking for a long time.  Surely the Easter Bunny is around here somewhere.

Ohhhh!  I think…  I think that’s him there, asleep under the oxalis…

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He looks so tired.  I’ll let him sleep and leave a snack for when he wakes up.

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And I have an idea…

A cold front came in and it’s a little cool today.  I think I have just what we need back home.  Sleep tight, Easter Bunny.  I’ll be back quick as I can.

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Nighty night.

: )

The Day After Easter (Sigyn Speaks)

Happy Day-after-Easter!  Isn’t it a beautiful day?

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The primrose-y corner of the lawn is looking especially beautiful today.  I think I’ll go for a walk!

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What’s this?

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A left-behind Easter egg!

And look!  Here’s another one!

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I didn’t know this walk was going to be an egg hunt!   I wonder who left them?

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I don’t see anyone over this way?

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Nobody that way, either.  No one seems to want them.   Hmm.  But I like hard-boiled eggs.  I’ll go home and fetch a basket and come back to collect them.

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Hum te tum, humty tumty tum!

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I’ve got the white one, and here’s the bluey-gray one.  I do wonder who left them?

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Maybe it was the Easter Bunny!  Maybe he knew I’d be out for a walk today and left them just for me to find!

I wonder what the Easter Bunny does the day after Easter?  I mean, Santa Claus has Mrs. Claus to look after him and make sure he eats something healthy after all of the cookies, but who looks after the Easter Bunny?   Hey!  That gives me a great idea!  Be right back!

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I’m going to go see if I can find him, and bring him a snack ’cause he’s probably tired and hungry from all of the egg-decorating and hopping.

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There’s a bunny!  “Excuse me, are you the Easter Bunny?”

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“Well, hello there!  No, I’m not the Easter Bunny.”

“Oh.  Okay.  Here’s a carrot for you anyway.  Bye!”

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There’s another bunny!  “Pardon me, are you the Easter Bunny?”

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“No, my dear.  I’m not.”

“Oh.  That’s all right.  Do you know where I can find him?”

“I’m not sure.  Maybe along over thataway?”

“Thank you!  Here’s a carrot for you.  Have a nice day!”

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Maybe this is the Easter Bunny!  “Hello!  Are you the Easter Bunny?”

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“No, little one, I’m not.  But I think I saw him earlier.  If you keep going along the path, you may find him.”

“Oh, thank you!   Here–have a carrot!  Bye!”

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…to be continued.

: )

 

Found Them! The Perfect Posies

I think I have the right idea with a potted plant rather than cut flowers, something that Sigyn can enjoy for a long time.  The hibiscus I looked at was a step in the right direction, but lavender is not her favorite color.

Ah, orchids!  Lovely, and quite exotic!  The blooms last for months.  Sigyn would love an orchid plant!

This one is in a very pretty pot.

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The tag says “Dendrobium.”  It’s very nice, but I’m not sure orange is any better than lavender.

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Now this has promise!

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Yellow is Sigyn’s second-favorite color.  And this one also has the pretty china pot.

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It also has some buds, so it will stay in flower for a long time.

The label says Cattleya.

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Idunn’s apples!  It is very heavy!

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Okay, orchid, you are coming with me, but I am not carrying you all the way home.  I think magic is called for!  Luckily, levitation is child’s play for one of my skill.

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What can I say?  If you’re levitating one plant, you might as well magic them all…

Happy Eater Bunny Day, sweetie!

>|: [

In Search of the Perfect Posies

In the end, we left the international market yesterday with nothing more than the human male’s ginger bears.  Sigyn really is looking forward to the Eater Bunny festival, though, so I thought I would get her a little present.

Flowers seem to be associated with the Eater Bunny, and Sigyn likes flowers, so I’m off to the floral area of the local farmer’s market.  I just hope they have something worthy of her.

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Ah, I see Mistress Mus is here today.  She usually has a nice selection.

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Good morning, Mistress Mus.  I’m in search of something special for my Sigyn today.

“How about a dozen princess-pink roses?  You can never go wrong with roses.”

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No, thank you.  Roses are so prosaic .  Anyone can give roses.  I need something a bit more unusual.

“Well, have a look around, dear.  Just give a shout if you need help.”

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Hmm.  A dried arrangement is a little unusual–and definitely low-maintenance!  But do I really want to convey the message that DEAD STUFF would send?

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Not to mention that this arrangement seems a little top-heavy.

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Perhaps something in a potted plant?

This geranium isn’t bad…

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It has the bonus that the human female is allergic to the smell of geranium leaves.  But geraniums are still more than a little pedestrian.  I shall keep looking.

This hibiscus might do.  They make good container plants and will live for years if you’re willing to bring them in when it freezes.

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But pale purple is such a blah color.  And this is a very boring pot.  Surely there’s something here that will be perfect for my sweetie?

What are those over there?

(to be continued…)

>|: [

Shopping and Seasonal Silliness, Part II: The Seasonal Part

Well, they have not thrown us out of the establishment yet, Sigyn, so let us meander through the seasonal offerings.

It would appear that Midgardians are gearing up once again for the annual festival of the Eater Bunny.  Once more, children will seek to appease the ravenous lagomorph with gifts of colored eggs and other frivolities.

Ah.  Votary images of the foul beast.

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Those are properly terrifying.  Step back, Sigyn–the tall one looks poised to crush unwary supplicants!

Oh, but this one appears considerably more benign.

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Have a care, my love!  The creature may seem “wooby” and soft, but there are no doubt formidable incisors hidden behind that tiny smirk.

Usually at this time of year, one can find effigies constructed of inferior confectionery.

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And here they are!  Although these shiny bunnies may be less duplicitous than the larger statues, which always seem to offer days of solid, cocoa-induced euphoria, but which are usually waxy, hollow shams which taste of disappointment and false promises.

Moving on.  My beloved is enchanted with these miniature, egg-shaped snow globes.  

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In find them completely baffling and unscientific.  In what reality do they make sense?!  Not only would baby ducks, chickens, and rabbits both drown AND suffocate if sealed in containers of water, but the vigorous shaking one is expected to do would scramble their brains permanently!  Not to mention that if caught in sudden spring blizzard, such as is represented by these baubles, baby animals would likely freeze to death!  Hmmm.  Maybe that is the whole point.  Perhaps these are meant as symbolic offerings to the Eater Bunny—stand-ins for actual animals sacrificed to its capricious, insatiable hunger?

Sigyn has found something which reeks less of death.

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You are mighty cute up there, precious!

And very conspicuous.  Pray dismount, my love–the sales clerk is headed in our direction, and she seems less than pleased.

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Ah, very clever!  Blending in is always a good strategy.

With any luck, we shall remain undetected while the humans are ejected for loitering.

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