Naughty Loki

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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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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Whirlwind Getaway, Day 3, Part Three: The Hirsute Woman

The human female is having a hamburger craving.  (She also wants to lose weight; do you see the problem here?)  She is poking about online, in search of a well-recommended restaurant in some part of town we can actually find.  She has settled on a place named, improbably, The Bearded Lady.

This is going to be very good or very, very bad.

I’m intrigued, but I can’t let her have it all her own way, so I’ve thrown up some impromptu construction between here (our room at the inn) and there, so that her navigation by phone will be useless and she and the human male will argue and wander about until they figure out how to actually get there.

Here we are!  It is in an old white frame house in a rather down-market part of the city.  A waitress with purple hair has seated us at a table outside.  I am more than fine with that, since the inside of this establishment has decibel level that would rival a smithy working at full tilt.

beardedlady1

Sigyn is intrigued by the appetizers.  Please, my love, let us not order the cactus strips…

But, by all means, I shall order the L.U.S.T. burger—any dish named after a mortal sin is right up my alley.

lustburger

The humans are perusing the extensive list of wines and hard ciders.  Some of them have very… odd names.

mischiefbeer

Think I’ve found the one I want.

Sigyn is forgoing the more exotic beverages (the sweet little thing has no head for alcohol) in favor of examining the herbage.  What is it, my love?

lavender

She says it’s, “mmmmlavender.”

The purple-haired waitress has brought the human male’s cider.  The label says it’s supposed to be flavored with lumberjacks, but turns out it’s actually made with rhubarb.  He’s not overly impressed.

rhubarbcider

But Sigyn approves of the color.

All of the reviews for this place said, “OMG, you have to try the fried leeks!”

So we are.  (poke, poke, poke.)  They seem harmless enough.

friedleeks

(nibble nibble) Odin’s eyepatch!  These alliaceous tidbits are quite delectable.  I mean, nearly anything is good beer-battered and fried, but these are superlative.

Our burgers have arrived.  The human male has lost no time divesting his of any vestiges of pickle.  The human female will probably eat her pickles separately, which is a noted quirk of hers.  She’s ordered her cow-sandwich with caramelized onions, but I don’t see any.  Perhaps they are lurking beneath the beef…

burger

Sigyn has no opinion on the burgers, being entirely distracted by the cheese-sprinkled fries.

We will likely have to roll the human female out of here on a barrow, and no doubt tomorrow she will regret gorging so dreadfully, but for now, we are all replete.

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Whirlwind Getaway, Day 3, Part Two: All Shapes and Sizes

We are continuing our survey of the animal kingdom.  There are tall animals and short animals; bulky animals and slender animals;  hairy and scaly and warty animals. (And the human female, who is hairy and scaly and warty and bulky and short altogether.)

And then there is this magnificent bastard.

ibex

Oh, you beauty!   Look at those horns.  I think I have found a worthy animal for my iconography.  Wolves and snakes and eight-legged horses are old news.  This creature, this paragon, this ibex is truly a beast after my own heart.

Uh, oh.  It is clouding up and threatening to rain.  All of our party deems it prudent to seek shelter and sustenance and wait out the squall.  The humans have chosen salad.  You distract them Sigyn, and I will take the opportunity to appropriate some of this delicious lettuce.  I’m thinking maybe the ibex might like a change from alfalfa and hoofstock pellets.

chickensalad

(later)  The rain has passed over.  We are now studying a large reef tank which is home to a shark and many colorful fish.  Look at this one:

woebegong

I cannot decide whether it has some sort of terrible skin disease or if it came that way.  The label says it is a wobbegong or carpet shark. That is one patchy-looking carpet.  Time to call Stanley Steemer.

Ehehehehehe!  Sigyn look at this little fellow!  What a beaky little face!  He could nibble an apple through a picket fence.

wrasse

The tank sign says this is a “birdmouth wrasse.”  You’d think with that skinny little kisser he couldn’t eat much, but apparently they will happily eat their tankmates.  Way to go, little fishy!

Outside, the zoo has a large area of pavement set with fossils from various parts of the realm.  Sigyn has become enamored of this ammonite slice, which does indeed exhibit a pleasing fractally goodness.

ammonite

All day, we have been seeing signs directing visitors to the Mola.  “This way to the Mola!”  “Why not see the Mola!”  Now, I have to admit, the human female knows quite a lot about animals for a botanist.  She says the only “mola” she knows of is the ocean sunfish, which seems to have misplaced its tail at some point during its evolution. (Take a look at that link.  Those things are creepy.)  However, there is no indication on the zoo map of any large, tail-less, mostly-cartilaginous fish.

(somewhat later)  Ah.  Museum Of Living Art, or MOLA.  That is what this establishment calls its reptile house.  Out in front is another one of the ubiquitous statues.  This one depicts a komodo dragon, a fierce, fearsome, wickedly clawed reptile after my own heart.

komodo

Given that this statue is lifesize, however, I think I am quite content for it to reside behind glass inside this facility!

This building houses many dangerous reptiles.  Behold the deadly Gaboon Viper and its exceptional camouflage!

gaboon

Best to be careful, then, in the jungles of sub-Saharan Africa.  If disturbed, this serpent is likely to lash out and bite one right in the gaboon.

Augh!  Out of the MOLA and back out into the sun.  So BRIGHT!  Warn a fellow, why don’t you!  Still, it is reasonably cool, so there is that.

On our way out, we are stopping to look at one of several colonies of large, garishly pink wading birds.  By Hugnin and Muninn’s downly little pinfeathers!  Have you ever seen anything quite so silly, Sigyn?  (Besides the human female, of course.)  Their beaks are on upside down, those knees are ridiculous, and can we TALK about the flappy pink feet?

flamingo

And so noisy!   Standing next to the flock is like being at a crowded cocktail party full of garrulous, inebriated kindergarten teachers.  Several of the improbably-colored creatures have built tall mud nests, each crowned by a single large egg.   Just what we need!  More gabby, roseate, stilty-beasts!

We have been walking all day.  Sigyn is starting to look a little weary, though her brave smile never falters.  Come, my love.  Let us repair to the inn, have a bit of a wash-up, and venture out in search of a delectable supper…

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