Author: lokispeaks

Ridiculously smart and incredibly good-looking

Hun bruger en eftermiddag på at bygge et lille japansk træ af bittesmå stykker dansk plastik

We all know the human female is bor-ing, but today she is also bor-ed. She has decided to catch up on some of her recorded television shows while exploring her Yule gift from the blue-haired goddaughter.

Sweet Sif on a Cracker. It would appear that she’s playing with her little bits of colored plastic again. (I still fail to see the appeal.) She has hidden the box from us, so I’ve no idea what she’s making. The kit includes a tool for prying the pieces apart. It’s like they know she’s going to mess it up!

I can’t tell from the instructions what this is going to be, Sigyn. Can you?

There are six bags of bits, so it could be almost anything. I guess she is starting with a base of some sort.

Grey bits go under beige bits. Got it.

Ehehehehe! She got to step four and discovered she’d gone wrong at step two!

Those beige bits need to go long sides together, not short sides together. What an idiot!

Sigyn has located the funny white corner pieces the human female needs next.

All right. We’ve reached this point, and I still don’t know what we are making.

Some sort of decorative firepit???

Do you think I should start a fire? Because I think I should start a fire. . .

The human female has started on another portion of the model.

It is even less informative than the previous part! What is that one small part blue? And what is the black rod poking out for?

Now it looks like it might be the stern portion of a ship…

But then what is the firepit for??

Hmm. I’m starting to get a notion…

Sigyn, I think this looks like a tree trunk. With vines What do you think?

Ha! I was right!

The blue-haired goddaughter, knowing well how black the human female’s thumb is, has supplied the wherewithal to build an ersatz bonsai tree.

Under whose shade I will now rest.

Do you wish to know the best part of this afternoon’s project? It’s a little bonus. The human female has discovered that trying to watch TV (far–requires spectacles) and build a model at the same time (near–does not require spectacles) is a sure-fire way to achieve an excruciating migraine.

Serves you right for multi-tasking.

>|: [

The Last Victory She Will Ever Have

Colder weather and an ugly, snotty cold are keeping the human female indoors today. She has plenty of productive things she could be doing–working on then next manuscript for the BBBB (Big Book of Boring Botany), emptying the dishwasher, attacking the dust rhinos under the sofa, catching up on correspondence, doing some stitching, or even working with her silly stamp collection. But is she doing any of these things? No. No, she is not.

What she is doing is playing games on her tablet. The game of choice today seems to be Qwirkle. It’s a tile-matching game and, ordinarily, she’s actually pretty good at it. She has been known to trounce even the Hard Robot:

Ehehehee! She just put down her tablet to go blow her nose again and brew herself another cup of hot tea. I have taken the liberty of improving the AI that runs her game. The next time she plays, she will find that the robot opponent always gets exactly the tile it needs to score big on its next turn if she leaves even the smallest opening. I have also fixed it so that she will have multiple, mathematically extremely improbable, instances of having two of the same tile in her hand in any game she plays. Sometimes she’ll even have two pairs at the same time, meaning she’ll effectively be playing with four tiles instead of six.

(later)

Ehehehehe! She hasn’t won a game since! Her self esteem is as much in tatters as her phlegm-riddled upper respiratory system. Idunn’s Little Apples! She’s switching to word games! And she has started with the sort of crossword puzzle with no clues, only a few letters revealed, leaving the solver to figure out what all the blank spaces are.

Oh! She has solved it! Without too much trouble, actually:

That should be a nice pick-me-up, don’t you think?

Or it would be, if I hadn’t tinkered with the site so that, no matter how quick she is, she always gets the same score.

There, there, dull mortal. Finish your tea and watch some stupid Tik-toks. I think that’s more your speed.

>|: [

A Battle She Cannot Win

The weather is mild today, in between cold fronts, so the human female is going to do a little yard work. She lives in a state of perpetual delusion, thinking that her puny efforts are going to keep the place looking less derelict. Pfft! Pulling a weed or three is not going to make anyone think that tidy people live here.

The concrete driveway had some cracks when the humans moved in, and since my coming, I’ve made sure to deepen and widen the cracks, fill them with soil and humus, and introduce a charming variety of weed seeds. It is the results of my efforts that the human female intends to deal with today.

A recent cold snap took out a number of sunflower seedlings which had come up in the lawn, but I sowed some hardier sorts in the driveway.

I’ve heard that sunflower shoots are edible, human, so feel free to munch away if you don’t feel like pulling. Mind the spurge plants that are growing beneath them, though, because their sap is caustic.

I planted henbit in this crack.

The human female likes the purple flowers very much and leaves the plant on other parts of the property, but she is going to pull this poor, helpless plant out by its tender roots. Hypocrite.

Yank, yank, yank! The weeds are coming up in handfuls I don’t really mind. I’ll just plant more and she’ll have to do this again in a few weeks. Plants without seeds are going in the bucket, destined for the compost heap.

Beloved, take care not to fall in! I do not want you to end up in the compost heap with the fruit peels, wilted lettuce ends, old eggshells, and the occasional knife that gets swept up in the kitchen carnage.

The bits that might have seeds or which would take root and grow in the heap are going into a trash bag for pickup by the city.

Farewell, my little weedies! You have served your purpose admirably and deserve a rest.

Ehehehehe! The human female has discovered my other little bit of mischief! I invited some fire ants to nest in the cracks in the concrete! For those unfamiliar with this busy little Hymenopteran, they are small, active creatures, capable of delivering a very painful sting. The human female is quite sensitive to their venom, breaking out in angry pustules that itch for weeks. What?! Great Frigga’s Hairpins! The human female has found an old can of fire ant poison bait and is applying it liberally. Curses!

Never fear, my little myrmidons! I think the bait is old enough not to work, but if some of your number do succumb, I’ll be sure to rescue a few of you so that you can start another colony elsewhere.

(later)

The driveway being finished (for now), the human female has moved on to the front walkway. I’ve done some good work here. I planted Bermudagrass in all the spaces between paving blocks. I love this plant! Nothing can kill it; it thrives on neglect; it spreads by runners, rhizomes, and seed; and will take root again if you pull it up and simply cast it aside. Look at this!

Eighty percent of this population has been killed off by the cold (it’s originally from tropical Africa), but the remaining twenty percent is going to take her all afternoon to dig out with a screwdriver! She’ll probably even have to come back out tomorrow to finish the job!

At which time, she’ll discover I’ve planed some nut sedge in there too.

Why go to the trouble of working mischief with lowly weeds? I’ll tell you why: A busy human is one who’s not bugging me. Every hour she spends hunched over, grubbing herbage out of cracks, is an hour I can spend peacefully attending to other matters.

Like hiding socks or tipping over poorly-closed bottles and jars of sticky substances in the cold box…

>|: [

Mischief Update: I’ve Been Here HOW Long?

In all of the holiday hustle and blather, the trip out west, and whatnot, I lost track of the calendar. I have now been chronicling my mischief for eight years. Eight miserable, stuck-with-the-human-female years.

I’m shocked. And prodigiously discouraged. Where is my throne? Where is my castle? Where is my complete and utter world domination? What do I have to show for my time on this rock? Nothing.

I really thought I had something last week when I found that Infinity Gauntlet at Stark’s. I figured I was one finger-snap away from having everything I ever wanted. Midgard. Sigyn. Thor in pigtails and a tutu. But no. The blasted thing turned out to be a clever fake. Nothing more than a gauntlet-shaped cigarette lighter. Useful if I want to set something on fire (and believe me, I usually DO!), but totally worthless for purposes of conquest.

I’ve been so depressed thinking about all of this that I haven’t even managed much mischief. I mean, I have some ongoing projects—the gutters and skylight are still not fixed, and the insurance adjuster hasn’t been out to take a look a the falling-in ceiling in the garage—but the humans’ December paychecks did eventually show up in their bank account. The female is still missing some stamp orders from September, but the others have slowly been trickling in.

I do enjoy messing with stamps. (Such a silly hobby! Little bits of paper!) In one of her recent batches of approvals, the seller somehow didn’t have the one she wanted, so I told him to just include some random used U.S. postage. Plus some weird South American banana stamp. Oh, and I distracted the human female when she was specifying another pair she wanted–one had a really cute frog that she didn’t need for her collection but which would make a good bookmark. This is what she actually asked for and received:

She was so frustrated with the previous wrong, soccer-themed stamps she got that I wanted to do it again. They were out of soccer players, but I figured rugby was close enough.

She has also been spending some of her Yule money on decorative stickers for her journal. A few of them are quite nice. Sigyn especially likes the forest animals and plants:

and the flower fairies:

These almost didn’t happen. The human female had an e-gift certificate from her sister. When she tried to redeem it on the sticker purchase, the website (which she has ordered from on previous occasions–all stuff she didn’t need) processed it on her credit card rather than the gift code. After talking to the website’s help team, she learned she had to contact the vendor to cancel the transaction and refund the money so she could order it again. She tried this, but the gift card wouldn’t “take”. She contacted the website’s help team again and was told how to use the gift card code. Finally, she was able to make the purchase. I wasn’t done making mischief, though, because when the website sent her two of those “please rate your experience with our help team” surveys—one for each query— she accidentally gave one of the helpful employees a “really bad” rating when she meant to hit the other end of the scale and rate her “very good”. She felt compelled to contact the help team a THIRD time and ask them to amend the previous feedback so some poor employee didn’t get penalized. Then the website sent her another survey, to ask her how the third help session went… I can keep this up forever.

I couldn’t let her have everything she wanted for her journal, though. What she wanted was some washi tape with pretty Oriental watercolor flowers. This is what she got:

Can anyone tell me what that says? Allspeak isn’t that good with handwriting. Whatever. I told her it’s a categorical listing of all her faults —and that is a ten-meter roll with no repeats.

And that’s about it. I got nothin’ else. Tell me, minions–do you think I’m losing my touch?

>|: [

A Visit to the Not-so-wild West, Part III: All Things Weird and Wonderful

The whole house party has wedged itself into one car for a short trip to the local Asian Market. We were here back in September, but there is always something good to be found in a shop such as this. The human female is in search of the black sesame cookie-crackers she hasn’t been able to find anywhere else. I’m just here to poke the rice cakes…

Sigyn has immediately zeroed in on a stack of bright red bowls,

though this mug with owls has caught her eye as well.

Whoooo’s checking whom out?

Norns’ nighties! Cutlassfish? I’m almost afraid to ask…

Sigyn has spotted some rambutans that look infinitely more delicious.

Do we want them plain or stuffed with pineapple?

The human male has found a replacement for the alone drinking grill pan stovetop grill he and the female had years ago, and which just flat wore out.

To no one’s surprise, Sigyn has made friends with this bear…

…and this macrocephalic, mostly-translucent bovine.

“Loki, come meet Meushi!”

Bodiless ursids and see-through cows are all well and good, I suppose, but I am more interested in this box of hand-sickles.

I’m assuming they were made for cutting plants in the garden, but they look like they’d go through an enemy just as neatly. I’ll take two.

>|: [

A Visit to the Not-so-wild West, Part II–Do You See a Pattern Here?

The human female is quite the stick-in-the-mud when it comes to boardgames. There are a few she’ll play willingly, notably ones that rely on trivia or drawing or verbal skills, or ones that are humorous or require the participants to do silly things.

Today we are learning a new game which involves none of these things. Strategy is required, which means the human female will almost definitely lose. Especially since she is distracted by the pretty game pieces. They are supposed to be Portuguese azulejo tiles, but she thinks half of them look like fabric and the other half like Starburst candies.

Sigyn, have you figured out how the scoring works yet?

The object seems to be to fill the rows on the card with tiles from the round disks or from the discard pile. At the end of a round, one tile from each filled row is moved across to the corresponding space on the “wall” and scores one point for itself and any other tile it touches vertically or horizontally. There are bonuses and penalties for various patterns and occurrences.

I predict (and I am never wrong about these things) that the human male will win, the mother will get up to tend to a meal and not come back, the sister will catch on quickly, and the human female and my beloved will spend most of the game wondering what a Lemoyne Star quilt block is doing in a game about wall tiles.

>|: [

A Visit to the Not-so-wild West, Part I–A Belated Yule

The humans were supposed to travel west to visit the female’s mother for Thank-a-Turkey Day. What with one thing and another, that trip was cancelled at the last minute, so the human female and her family decided to try to meet up after Yule instead.

Sigyn and I have tagged along and here we all are now, in El Paso, where temperatures, while a little warmer than average, at least feel a bit more like winter than our part of Texas has been lately. (We left with Queen Anne’s Lace blooming on the roadsides. Which is crazy!)

We got in last night and the human female’s sister (whom I am predisposed to dislike, since she finds me “mean” and “snarky“) and her husband arrived early this morning. We have observed the ritual exchange of gifts. The human female made necklaces for her female relatives. The sister’s daughter (the human female’s niece) sent along a box of toys for the Terror Twins, as well as a present for the human female. Let’s unwrap it and see what it is.

Great Frigga’s Hairpins! What IS this thing?!

Once again the human race astounds me with the depths to which it will sink. The above is a rubbery cat which will forcefully “barf” a felt hairball when squeezed. The human female is now shooting felt balls all over the parlor and cackling like a lunatic. “Dignity” is just a word to you, isn’t it?

(later)

Someone was finally able to wrest the hairball-shooter away from the human female long enough for more prosaic gifts– such as a sweater and a set of apple-shaped ceramic canisters–to be opened and admired. Thank-yous have been said, naps have been taken, and it is now time for a belated Yule feast.

As soon as we can get Sigyn out of the candle holder we can begin.

Hang on, sweetie. Loki’s coming. (How does she even get into these situations?)

The human female’s mother has outdone herself. We are starting with these snailish-looking appetizers.

(poke, poke, poke) I think the resemblance is only coincidental. As near as I can figure, these contain spinach and red pepper and no actual mollusks. Sigyn just likes them because they are red and green.

Mmmm. Roast pork, mashed potatoes, spiced carrots and parsnips, asparagus, applesauce, and rolls.

And, as usual, there is enough for a gathering twice this size. Sigyn, if the human female doesn’t gluttonize too much, we might get to enjoy mashed potato pancakes for breakfast and delicious roast-pork sandwiches!

This is almost worth being trapped in a car with the humans for thirteen hours…

>|: [

Into the New Year, Part IV: Gifts

Odin’s Eyepatch! Just my luck. I escaped from the tour and ran right into Thor.

“Ah, brother! There you are! Come! I have a belated Yule gift for you!”

“I didn’t get you anything. And what’s with the stoopid scarf?”

“Is it not magnificent? My beloved, Jane Foster, made it for me.”

“Well, you look ridiculous.”

“I am sorry to hear you say that, because…”

“…I had her make you one too! Now we are more than brothers! We are TWINS!”

Someone please kill me now…

Norns’ Nighties! Am I glad that’s over! Sigyn, I love you with all of my black little heart, but do not ever drag me to another one of Stark’s parties again, do you hear?

“Oh, Loki. It wasn’t that bad! It was fun to catch up with everyone, and Pepper insisted I take this lovely wreath home. And your red scarf looks so cute on you! Wasn’t it sweet of Thor to have Jane knit it for you?”

….

Perhaps Sigyn is right. Perhaps it was not such a bad party, dumb scarf not withstanding. After all, when no one was looking, I helped myself to a really good present that I will wear and use often.

2022 is mine!

>|: ]

Into the New Year, Part III: *Yawn* The Tour

Sweet Sif on a Cracker. I thought that the worst thing at this event would be if someone wanted to play party games. It’s so much worse than that.

Stark is giving those of us who haven’t been here before a tour of his workrooms. I know most of the world would give anything to get a glimpse of where the “Great Man” “makes the future happen,” but I would pay good money not to have to listen to him. However, Sigyn has made the “Behave, Loki Eyebrows” at me, so I will bite my tongue and trail along to view this Monument to Me exhibit.

Stark has all of his previous suits of armor on display. Some of them are in pretty rough shape, but these two are mostly in one piece.

He’s so proud of them that he even make a miniature Hall of Armor so that he could have a display of the display.

Recursive and narcissistic.

That’s not the only model here. There’s a mock-up of the Helicarrier.

And a scale model of a Quin Jet.

I have un-fond memories of one of those…

He even has a replica of the whole tower!

I have some bad recollections of that as well.

Ehehehehe! Hope Stark has vermin-proofed those suits…

Oh, marvelous. We have moved on from models and are now “meeting” some of the bots.

I am not sure, but I think they’re an Iron Legion Snowman and a windup Hulkbuster. A few minutes with Rocket, though, and they’ll be just a pile of loose bolts.

What is this thing? Some sort of fancy snow globe?

“No, it’s my first—well, my second—chest arc reactor. Pepper had it mounted for me.”

(Pepper:) “Proof that Tony Stark has a heart.”

Great Frigga’s Corset! The man is still talking!

No, Stark. I do not wish to “stay and meet Jarvis.” Enough. I am done with this tour (and your ego.) I feel a most urgent need to go back to the main room and fortify myself with refreshments. Turkey leg. Lobster. Margarita. Mead. I don’t care–anything that is not here…

>|: [

Into the New Year, Part II: All the Usual Suspects

Arrgh. This party looks to be just as pretentious and loud and obnoxious as I feared it would be. Stark has chosen to have it, not in the spacious lounge (whose window I once yeeted him out of), but in one of his cavernous workrooms. I suppose he was trying for “industrial chic”, but the result is not overly festive.

And here comes the man himself!

“Hello, hello! Welcome to me! And my tower! Glad you could make it. Sigyn, you’re looking as beautiful as ever. Dum-E, get these two a drink.”

“Hello, Stark. I see the Ugly Sweater Fairy paid you a Yule visit.”

“Pepper picked it out. I think it’s…quirky. Besides, Reindeer games, it’s about a thousand times better than that ratty green cape of yours. But come on in. Mi casa, and all that.”

Sigyn is a first-class mingler. She has made a beeline for the grill, where the female guests have got lobster and turkey legs going and are each possessed of a colorful cocktail.

(Captain Marvel:) “Hi, Sigyn! Glad you could make it!”

“Hi, Carol, Hi, Pepper! Nat, Darcy, good to see you. Is Jane here too?”

(Darcy:) “No, she’s off doing some science-y stuff at the South Pole. You know. Can we get you a drink? I’ve got a Purple People Eater, Pep’s a margarita girl, Widow’s got some mead or something, and Captain’s sticking with white wine.”

“Thanks. Maybe later.”

….

I see all sorts of people here I’d pay good money not to have to talk to. That corner over there looks particularly awful.

(Spidey:) “So this old lady bought me a churro. Turns out they’re great and now I can’t stop eating ’em.”

(Thor:) “Truly. I feel the same about these turkey legs.”

(Both:) “And that burger looks really, really good…”

….

I see the “No lie, there I was”-ing has started up over there.

Confession time. I can never tell Peter Quill and Hawkeye apart when they’re unarmed. Bow and arrow, it’s Birdbrain. Dorky goggles and a blaster, it’s Quill. No weapons? Toss up. Doesn’t matter, though. My tolerance for braggadocio is quite limited–my own glorious exploits are the only ones worth paying attention to–so there’s no way in Hel I’m going to break in on that little gathering.

Ehehehe! Nick Fury trying to make small talk with T’Challa and Muffy.

Now that’s an awkward situation almost worth coming to this party to see.

Well, well, well. What’s going on over there? Looks like the Arboreal Crowd are having a little confab.

Uh, oh. Someone had better keep an eye on Rocket…

or that little wreath-bot is going to finish the evening minus a couple of components…

Hmm. Mischief. Maybe this party isn’t a total waste of time after all…

>|: [