Random Mischief

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?

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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One Mortal’s Trash is Another One’s Treasure

Sigyn enjoyed looking at the paperweights and cameo glass, but there is so much more to see here at the gallery.

Take this room, for example.  It’s entirely full of TRASH.  That’s right, all of the “art” in this display is made out of junk.

This colorful tropical reef is aaaall made out of would-be plastic junk and paper.

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See?  Up close, it is easy to see that all the fish are made from recycled bottles.

museum trashfish

Someone drank a LOT of water.

The other wall has a collage of little bits and pieces stuck on popsicle sticks and all painted white.  It’s a big thing—this is just a little part of it.

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Hmm.  I’m not sure I see the point of this one.  Unless they had the local Good Humor Man save all the discarded ice cream sticks from all his customers for a whole year, those sticks weren’t trash.  And someone probably bought all those little wooden shapes special for this project.  This isn’t recycling at all.  Fake!  Fake art!

I don’t even think it’s installed correctly.  Look at that upper-leftish panel, the one with all the hearts.  The upside down hearts.

Besides, what did they do with all the glue and paint containers after they made this art?  Were they properly recycled into more art?  On the one hand, for the good of this realm, I hope they were, but Great Frigga’s hairpins!  For the sake of my eyes, I hope that they weren’t!

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In Which I Admit That Maybe I Should Have Had A Snack Before Visiting The Museum

There’s more glass on display here at the Runyon Collection besides the paperweights.  The collection is heavy on cameo glass.  Let me explain that for your tiny mortal brains.  Imagine a glass sandwich.  Then imagine carving the top piece of bread in fancy patterns so that the tunafish shows through, or even digging down to expose the bottom piece of bread.

Drat.  Now I’m hungry.

The museum staff rotate the displays so there is always something new.  By Heimdal’s Golden Helmet, those Runyons have a lot of glass.  (Which makes me think that they really would not miss one or two pieces here and there.)

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Sigyn is thrilled because a lot of this display is a nice, strawberryish red.

Someone who was a Plant Nerd designed this one.  Sigyn likes it a lot.

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I prefer this next one.  It has bindweed, which is tenacious and pernicious and altogether a pain in the neck for farmers.  (The label says morning glories, but the human female says bindweed, and she knows about pernicious, being so herself.)

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Look, Sigyn! This one symbolizes our love.  It has passionflowers.

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And because flowers need something to pollinate them:

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If the first couple were strawberry, that one is lemonade.

Then there’s strawberry lemonade…

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Drat.  Now I’m hungry AND thirsty.

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Upstaged

The human female’s work group tends to make a medium-sized deal about birthdays.  I wouldn’t say big deal, because there are no parades, no fireworks, and no maidens throwing flowers, which is how I like my birthdays.   No, around here it’s more than just, “Hey, you look older.”  Somewhere in the neighborhood of, “We all signed a card and someone made cake.  We may or may not sing.”

Today is the human female’s boss’ birthday, and the human female made the cake.  Or rather, a dozen little cakes.  She put lemon in and on them, and I must admit they look pretty good.

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Everyone is busy munching and saying that they’re good.  Nothing fancy, but they’ll do.

Enter the surprise delivery of anonymous, richly chocolate cupcakes decorated with dipped strawberries and cleverly-constructed faux succulents.

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No one wants your raggedy old lemon things now, DO they?

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Again With The No Mint And No Spring

The human female is doing another drive-by, quick-in-and-out visit to Minter Springs—you recall, the typically-stupidly-Midgardian-named place with no mint and no spring.

Oh, wait… I may have spoken too soon.  Sigyn has found something that smells vaguely mintish.  Is it just me, or do the flowers look like hand-puppets?

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Oh, and evidently that is a small one, because she’s found a BIGGER one to climb on.

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How bizarre—it carries its flowers in pom-poms.  I shall call this… poodle mint.

I wonder what else is here?

Well, this looks familiar. Sigyn gets excited about this plant every time she sees it.  I can’t ever remember the name.  Scarlet pumperknuckle, or something like that.

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I think we’ve seen this one before, too.  One does not readily forget such an obnoxious shade of pink.  It’s not a tall plant, but it still towers over my sweetie.

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Even these tiny doll’s daisies tower over her (if she lies on her back.)

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Isn’t there anything new here?  I’m bored.

Oh.  Well, I suppose this is different.  Little pea flowers.  The human female says this is called “pencil flower” because the beans it makes are long and skinny.

I thought it was because the flowers are the color of number two pencils…

stylosanthes

I’m really not comfortable, sitting here with the sun in my eyes.  However, the human female is being bitten to pieces by mosquitoes every second we are here, so it’s all good.

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