Summer Fun(?)

It’s a holiday today, that loud, BOOMY one that I don’t enjoy much.   When I come to rule Midgard, convicted prisoners and/or my enemies are going to be tasked with setting off the fireworks because, while I like fireworks (ooo!  explosions!), I have no desire to touch any ever again.

Other people will cook outdoors, and not a few will set their house on fire because they are too lazy to roll the grill out from under the eaves.

Still others will sit out in the sun all day, swilling beer and watching sporting events.  Sunburn and hangover?  No, thank you.

No, today I will stick to safer recreation.  Maybe walk down the street to the swimming pool–Sigyn is always wanting to go.  I won’t go in (I don’t “do” swim trunks), but I could sit in the shade by the side of the pool with a book.  What could go wrong?

Uh oh.  According to this post card from a local doc-in-the-box, plenty.

water-illnesses

Recreational water illnesses?  I guess you can’t be too careful.

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Can’t Have Nice Things At Work, Either

The human female, her staff, and all the students go through a staggering amount of nitrile gloves every day, every month, every year.  I’ve never figured out if they’re trying to keep lab chemicals and Dead Things Juice off their hands or making sure that their own personal cooties don’t get on lab things.  Either way, it looks like this in every room at the end of every day.

glove can

By my cold, blue Jotun heart, that is a lot of glove waste!

Some time back, the human female learned of a company that is making biodegradable nitrile gloves, and the Departmental Bean-counters have decreed that they are willing to pay extra for eco-friendly gloves that will break down in a landfill in a decade instead of a century.  have decreed that the human female has had a string of boringly smooth product deliveries lately and that her day needs livening up.

The first shipment of the new gloves has just arrived!  It is all very exciting.

Dear me.  Some of the cartons look as if they’ve had a less than comfy trip.

gloves1

Since the human female didn’t see them arrive, she is wondering which freight company she has to thank for this piece of work.  (I’m not telling!)

gloves2

Great Frigga’s Corset!  it looks even worse on the other side!

gloves3

I do believe some of the individual boxes have been breached.

Yes, look!  Ehehehehe.  Nope, there’s no way those can go out in a lab.

gloves4

You know, I do not have any actual proof that these things will break down any more quickly in a landfill than the regular ones.  But one thing is indisputable…

gloves5

…they are, in fact, green.

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This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things, Part III: Oh, Flannel…

Midgardians have a lot of holidays and special days.  Every time I turn around, some politico or commission is designating this or that day National Navel Lint Day or International Gorgonzola Week or some such nonsense.  Just plain silliness, if you ask me.

Perhaps the oddest one of all is Red Nose Day.  Ostensibly, it’s a fundraiser benefiting small, sticky humans.  A few years ago, the mortals in this house purchased a nose, intending to take it with them on their trip to London, since Red Nose Day fell during their time away.  Once there, however, I distracted them until the perfect moment, at which point I reminded them that, in the U.K., Red Nose Day comes only every other year and they were the only ones feeding everyone else’s coulrophobia.

It’s become something of a tradition—the humans find the nose and swear that this is the year, the day approaches, I distract them until Red Nose Day has come and gone once again, and the Nose remains unworn.   Since the human female’s housekeeping “routine” doesn’t specify where the Nose is supposed to reside between failed attempts to actually participate, the Nose moves about from spot to spot.  For the past year, it has been sitting on top of the tall case that holds the humans’ collection of music CDs.

Scrabblecrashthud!

Fandral’s mustache!  What was that?  It sounded like it came from the living room.  Stick close behind me, Sigyn, and let’s go and investigate.

There’s something red on the floor.

clown-nose1

Oh.  It’s just one of the kitties’ foam balls.  Whew!  For a minute there, I thought we were being burgled or something.

But hey–what’s with all the holes?  And what’s all the fuzz from?

clown-nose2

And why does Flannel Cat look so guilty?

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This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things, Part II: The Problem Is More Widespread Than We First Believed

All of the soft rubber balls have been humanely disposed of, and the humans have made a mental note not to bring any more into the house.

I’ve got news for you, mortals:  It’s not just the stress-foam balls that are falling prey to the ravages of the Terror Twins.

No, indeed!  Inspired by my own savagery, the felines have perpetrated horrors upon the toy population that make the ancient Midgardian practice of decimatio look like a pillow fight.

Blue Mousie is sans most of his tail,

poorcattoy3

while Green Mousie is hemorrhaging stuffing from his ventral suture.  It’s barbaric.

And it’s not just the neon mousie population that has suffered.  These are just the victims Sigyn and I could find.  Many of them just Disappear.

For behold!  Here are the three sparkle pom-poms and the fifteen crinkle balls given to Taffy and Flannel.  Here are the three grey fabric mice with the colored ears, the grey fur mouse, the white fur mouse, and old black Turdmouse himself.

poorcattoy4

The package-to-oblivion record for a crinkle ball is under ten seconds.

I am so proud.

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This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things, Part I: The Slaughter of the Innocents

Sometimes the humans come home to find something small and helpless has been…tortured by the felines.  It’s always distressing, and no one wants to be the one who has to clean up the carnage.

I have taught them well.  Both of them are avid hunters, chasing down their prey with unflagging energy, relentless in their pursuit, swift to catch and claw and rend.  Swirly-striped Taffy is deadly, no question, but it’s wide-eyed little Flannel Cat, the sweet-faced grey one, who leaves the most corpses in her wake.

Just look at this poor victim, cut down in its prime just yesterday.  It didn’t stand a chance against her vicious fangs.

poorcattoy1

It… it was still soggy when the humans found its lifeless remains.  And they keep finding bits of it about.

And it wasn’t an isolated incident, either.  There’s a pattern of wanton destruction here that is frankly disturbing.

poorcattoy2

Sigyn says (and I agree) that she hopes all the missing bits are accounted for.

Otherwise, the litterbox is going to be very colorful this week.

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Mischief Update

I’m trying to make good on my resolution to keep my populace up to date on my doings.  Since I last reported, I had all that good fun in New York, but not all of my mischief has been travel-related.

Vendors continue to be the bane of the human female’s existence.  Well, one of them, anyway.  I saw to it that the outfit that sold her the brobdingnagian paper shredder for the office ignored the billing instructions.  She received a “Past Due” notice on the not inconsequential purchase price , even though a) she hadn’t received the first notice and b) the invoice shouldn’t have been presented to her anyway.

The last batch of mosses and liverworts (ugh!–liverworts!  Sounds like something you’d need to take strong antibiotics for!) from the Purveyor of Squiggly Things is doing pretty well, survival wise, but some of the little sealed trays have been sprouting Arabidopsis seedlings right, left, and center.  I gather that the plant is the botanical equivalent of glitter.

The two new hires on the human female’s team are working our surprisingly well.  They and the two old tech are forming a really stable, cohesive unit.  I shall have to see if I can drop a few accusations in a few ears and turn them all against one another—or against the human female— before the cheerfulness level reaches annoying proportions.

Both new techs were hired at the same time, but I am having extra fun with one of the new employees and Workdon’t.  I made it so that he wasn’t showing up in the system and couldn’t log in.  Workdon’t didn’t recognize him.  It took about a week to get him to show up, and even then, he was only in there as his ID number.  “Good morning, ID number!”  It took another week to get the system to call him by his actual name.  Everyone was happy, until he realized that somehow, Workdon’t has latched onto his Social Security number and is using that for everything.  All attempts to code his ID card for building access and room access have failed, because Workdon’t’s number for him is his SSN, not his ID.  Meanwhile, he is also unable to select insurance options, so he’s completely uninsured.  No one seems to know the magic words to make him a Real Boy as far as Workdon’t is concerned.  He exists in Administrative Limbo. vENN

Everything works perfectly for the other new tech, of course.

I’ve arranged more fun surprises for the female’s work group.  There are some Mysterious Damp Patches in the hallway ceiling and in one of the rooms just adjacent.  Slow, Silent, and Costly came out to look, replaced the wet tiles, banged around, and said it was fixed.  (This was before the female went to New York).  The spots reappeared.  SSC decided it was the fire sprinkler system and sent three more techs, who said, “Nope, not our problem.”  Supposedly there is another work order in, but no one’s holding their breath.

I invited some little beetle-y friends to overrun the break room and the offices.  For days, no one could figure out what they were or where they were coming from.  Slow, Silent, and Costly sent out someone to set traps.  The human female returned from New York, took one look, and said, “Pantry pests.  Find the infested cereal and get rid of it.”  All sorts of nooks and crannies and drawers were investigated, to no avail.  Finally, after much consternation, the custodian found an old, abandoned carton of oatmeal behind some dishes in the back of a high cabinet.  Well, to be more precise, it was a carton of 75% insects and 15% insect frass, and 10% actual oatmeal.  I was peeved they found it so quickly!  Next time, it will be rotten shrimp heads behind the refrigerator.  Let’s see them suss THAT one out.

It wasn’t my only arthropod amusement.  The lawn, upon our return from New York, was courting-city-citation long, so the human female mowed.  I was trying to nap, and the mower annoyed me, so I tucked a green lynx spider inside her sleeve when she wasn’t looking, and it BIT her.  How was I to know she’d spring up in a big red welt and itch for a week?

Coming home from a trip is always a let-down.  There is always a huge pile of bills and junk mail to sort through  (I arranged a “buy a commemorative brick in the sidewalk” appeal from a church the humans don’t belong to, along with several “renew your membership” pleas from organizations they don’t belong to), the houseplants look floppy, there is weird stuff in the cooling unit, and no magic hotel staff to do the cleaning.  I’d left the felines instructions to shed copiously, which they did enthusiastically.  The human female has been sweeping regularly, and there are still cat-fur tumbleweeds drifting lazily from room to room.

The house clamored for some attention too.  The sprinkler system is old and crotchety, so it wasn’t much of a chore to get it to run in the middle of the night when the dial was actually set to “off.”

Then the human male decided to shave one day and pulled up the stopper thingy in the sink.  Imagine his surprise when the stopper-pull plunger bit came off in his hand!  (Yes, of course this was one of the faucets installed just before we left!)  He decided to investigate one of the two other identical faucets, to see if he could figure out how to fix it.  In so doing, he pulled the knob out of that one as well!  Ehehehehehe!  The human female was not happy.  She managed to get the stoppers out so the sinks could be used, and she made the male stay home from work so the plumber could make a return visit and do the work properly.

She was also not amused when the male, still suffering from a bum knee, used a towel rack to help lever himself up off the necessary.  Have you ever calculated the force necessary to pull one end of a towel bar out of sheet rock?  Hint:  it isn’t much.

I’ve had some fun with the weather as well.  Last week, it was supposed to pour buckets of rain for five days.  The Big City to the South had flooding, the humans had about two or three inches after getting nothing for three days of near 100% chance, and the local airport recorded half an inch total.  It often happens this way.  The human male’s hypothesis is that there is a thirsty bird at the airport, one who drinks out of the rain gauge.  That’s ridiculous!  Everyone knows it’s an opossum.

While the weather was gloomy, the human female got the notion to make a chicken pie, despite the fact that it was WARM and cloudy and not cool and cloudy.  She tried a new crust recipe.  It tasted all right, but she’s lost the knack of getting the top crust on straight and had to patch it up.

pie

The joins leaked in the oven, and the crust stuck to the shielding foil and ripped off.  it was tasty, but Volstagg’s beard crumbs!, that was definitely the “don’t do this” illustration for a pie-making article.

It’s good to be home…

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Sigyn the Fierce

Sigyn doesn’t usually like scary movies.  For some reason, though, she has just loved all the Jurassic Whosits films.  I’ve no idea why.

What’s that, my love?  It’s because the dinosaurs are cute and you’ve always wanted a pet stegosaurus and velociraptors probably just need hugs?

Oooookay.

Anyway, I mention this because we are out and about and Sigyn has just found something that she really,  wants.

It’s a dinosaur mask, and if the label’s to be believed, the jaws open and shut and it makes a realistic screeching noise while they do.

Yes, my dear, I can absolutely see that that is something everyone needs.  (?)

dinomask

But maybe you need a smaller size?

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