Author: lokispeaks

Ridiculously smart and incredibly good-looking

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?

construction1

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.

construction2

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.

bathroom2

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.

bathroom3

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The Sages Say It Raineth On…

The sages say it raineth on

Both the Just and Unjust fella.

But mostly on the Just, because

brokenumbrella

Unjust just broke Just’s umbrella.

brokenumbrella2

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Whirlwind Getaway, Day 4: All Good Things Must Come to an End

All good things must come to an end.  But if I’m around, the good things may not get started at all.

The humans woke up this morning, the last day of their mini-vacation, with Big Plans.  More Art!  More Sightseeing!  More Adventures!

More breakfast!  The human female wants to skip down to the breakfast room and make herself a waffle.  (Well, not actually skip, because she overdid it yesterday and her feet feel as if they are broken, but you know what I mean.  Skipping on the inside.)

nowafflesforyou

Oh, dear.  No waffles for you. 

Very well, then.  Toast and yogurt it is!  Yum, yum.  Yogurt.  Got to keep that tummy microflora happy.  And toast is always good.  Maybe adjust the dial just a tad so it’s properly brown?

simplebreakfast-monday

Bleargh.  The yogurt looks all right (it’s some she bought at the Large Market the other night), but that is one sorry-looking piece of burny toast.

On the other hand, carbon is supposed to be good for the digestion.

Where to go, what to do?  There is another art museum they’re interested in seeing.  It’s supposed to have some very famous pieces.  Plus this one.  The humans have checked out of the inn, they’re loaded in the car, and we are on our way!

The human female is checking the museum’s web page to see what time they open.  Well, hurry up!  Are they open yet?

Surprise!  They are CLOSED today.  It’s almost as if  they knew you guys were coming…

Surely there is something else to see or do in a city this large.  Ah! Since we are nearing the downtown area, why not stop in and see the famous Water Gardens?  What do you think, Sigyn?  Fancy a bit of splashing about?

Great Frigga’s Corset!  The human male has circled the park completely and many of the surrounding blocks.  What the guidebooks fail to tell one, being so taken up with describing how this place is an oasis in the heart of the city, is that there is no bloody place to park.  Not even early on a weekday morning.  That shoots that idea.  Sigyn is disappointed too, which I am sorry for, but now I won’t have to worry about her drowning.  I’m not sure my sweetie knows how to swim.

Ehehehehe.  The humans have pulled into a vacant lot to discuss their options.  And they are SO BORING that they can’t think of anything else to do, so they are going to just drive all the long way home.  Hmm.  A long car ride, trapped in a car with them and their music versus teleporting home.

No contest.  Come, Sigyn, we’re off.  See you laggardy mortals in about three hours.

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