Mischief Update: Little Things Mean a Lot

The past week or so looks like the collision between a train carrying aluminum to the recycling plant and Billy Joe Bob’s Bait Barn–cans open, worms everywhere.

In the human female’s workplace, this is the first week of student labs.  The students, many of them first-semester freshmen, mill about like motherless lambs.  There is the one who confuses her Chemistry and Biology schedules and misses lab.  There are the ones who can’t read their schedule and show up in not just the wrong section but the wrong COURSE.  And there are the ones who come to the office to complain that their ID cards won’t let them swipe to enter the labs.  Look, children, just because you see the instructors swipe in doesn’t mean YOU get to.  But since I’ve seen to it that some of the electronic locks randomly refuse to recognize actual authorized card holders, I can see that someone might misunderstand how the system works.

The first week of labs means it’s TERMITE TIME!  The split delivery plan actually worked.  Or it would have, had the damned hexapods managed to stay alive.   The human female swears she spent all week on the phone, ordering replacements and tracking the incoming shipments on Fed-up and Exhausted.  It soon bored me, so I had the chat window for shipping from North Carolina to Texas show up in French.  Also, it was loads of oodles of manies of fun driving up on to campus which was in kicked-over-anthill mode in the celebration of the first home football game to deliver the termites shipped to her house. She wonders if they are doing something wrong in how they house the  delicate little creatures, since they die if you look at them funny.  Again, no.  Accommodations are satisfactory.  I merely tell the little white crawlers bedtime horror stories about the experiment they’re to be a part of, and 70% just up and die of fright on the spot.  (Ballpoint ink is surprisingly terrifying.)

In other Squiggly Things news, you will be relieved to hear that the local bovine genetics company (We-R-Cowspunk) is still selling gift certificates.  Says so right on their website.  Sleipnir’s fetlocks!  Is it time for yule shopping already?

BAMN continues to delight me and baffle the mortals.  Some high mucky-mucks met with the tribal chieftains of BAMN recently, and made it quite clear just how large of a rubbish heap it is.  One user brought in a Voluminous Binder documenting the 1,400 problems he had had with the 2,800 orders his group had placed.  The human female hasn’t ceased whining about BAMN, either.  She has discovered that when she receives the jolly little “This PO #xxxxx has been sent to the vendor!” email, she has to consult the spreadsheet she meticulously keeps, log into the website, pull up all of her requisitions that have been sent to PO, and try to match the e-mail with the requisition. When she has only one open requisition, it’s not that hard.  But on a busy day, when she’s made more than one order, she has to open all the just-gone-to-PO ones in BAMN, click on the requisition number, and find out what the new PO # is to make the match. Because they’re not the same.  (And then click on the PO number if she actually wants to look at it.) She’s asked that the emails tell WHICH requisition # has been turned into PO #xxxx, or at least mention  the vendor, but pfft! where’s the fun  in that?  Since BAMN generates one email when a requisition is submitted into routing, one when it converts to a PO and is sent, one when it is approved for payment, and one when it is paid, her mailbox is as full as Volstagg after a three-day food bender.

And the fun doesn’t stop there!  Sometimes the vendors bobble the ball.  Two so far this semester have either e-mailed or come by in person to inquire with varying degrees of civility why they have not been paid.  Usually it is because they failed to notice the giant “Bill To” address on the purchase order and have not submitted an invoice. It’s not the human female’s fault, but she gets to track down and clean up the messes.

Ah, September…  It’s that time again, the start of the Fiscal Year, when all the university employees’ insurance benefits can be updated.  Everyone was encouraged to log in and make sure their current coverage choices are accurate.  Of course, I arranged an outage on the website for that day–do you even have to ask?

I do hope the humans’ policies are up to date–they might need them.  Three sinks on campus have tested positive for huge amounts of lead, and there is small but growing epidemic of flu.

Engineering continues to try to take over the whole campus.  They now have designs on the second floor of the human female’s building, space her department sorely needs.    Also, Engineering wants all the service courses on campus (English, History, Biology, etc.) to move to issuing only grades of A, B, and C, so their students can have a higher GPA when they take these courses.  Now, I’m no mathematician, but someone has to be below average, right?  Still, their power-hungry bullying certainly has my attention. I am strongly considering jumping ship and joining them!

Parking and Transit, in a move certain to please Bean Counters and no one else, has decided to sub-let all of the 24-hour reserved parking spots in two campus lots, to make them available on home football game days.  This way, they can collect money on the spaces TWICE.  The human male is most definitely not amused, since no one ever asked him it this was all right, and since he has to come up on campus on weekends to do nerdly things with computers, and he would like to park in the space he pays $$$$ for, thankyouverymuch.  He says he can’t imagine who came up with this terrible idea. (Innocent whistling…)

The human male received a bill for the cop-pay for his eye exam–which he had already paid, since the battle maidens at the desk won’t let anyone pass without paying first.  It amuses me to see that payments post up to a week later than bills.  Everyone loves extra paperwork and the phone calls to straighten it out, right?

The humans’ shower is dripping, the front lawn looks positively leprous, the aged feline keeps missing the litterbox, the “check all the tires” light came on in the car yesterday, and the driveway needs weeding again.  All part of a special little thing I like to call Death By Little Things.  No one problem is large enough to do the humans in, but taken all together, they can some days erode the will to keep going.

It really is amazing how little things can really get to a person.  Take last week for instance.  It was nearing 6:00 p.m. and the human female was alone in her office, preparing to leave for the day, when suddenly, BOOM!  “Ah,” she thought.  “‘Tis the folks testing the cannon for this weekend’s football game.”  The boom was followed by a pop!, sirens, and then several long minutes of what was unmistakably automatic weapons fire.  The echoy-nature of a campus full of tall buildings meant she couldn’t tell where the shots were coming from. Alarmed, she called the campus police and asked whether there was some exercise being conducted by the Corps of Cadets or whether the campus was under attack from agent or agents unknown.  After being put on hold, she was informed that it was just a drill and that everyone should have received the advance email stating time and date.  Ehehehe!  With just one deleted Distribution-A email memo, I panicked everyone in earshot.

Supervillain tip #248:  Humans–the more tightly you wind them up, the more spectacular they are when they finally do snap.


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Mischief Update: The Top of the Roller Coaster

It’s that time of year again in the humans’ workplace.  Summer projects are winding down, and preparations for the fall semester are ramping up.  It’s like the top of the roller coaster:  Nowhere to go from here except down, with the concomitant screaming, unexpected turns, and occasional upchuck.

The students are back in town, which means driving, parking, and eating out have gone from pleasant pursuits to full-contact sports.

The City finally came and picked up the dead oak carcass that was decorating the front yard, so the human female is not confronted with her horticultural shortcomings each morning as she leaves the house.  No, the dead spots in the front lawn will just have to suffice for that.  The lawn is looking particularly patchy, as 8+” of rain in the last two weeks have precluded mowing.

I taught the front bathroom toilet how to make a startling high-pitched squeal.  Cue new float assembly.  Home repair is such fun.

You will recall that the human female has initiated a split-delivery order for termites.  She thought she had the situation well in hand, after having corrected the initial snafu.  Not so!  The Purveyor of Squiggly Things called to remind her that her requested second ship date was Labor Day, and thus no labor would occur.  Since the POST does not ship on Saturday or Sunday, the human female has had to stipulate that the insects be shipped to her home on the previous Friday for Saturday arrival.  She attempted a delivery like this once before, and a tag-team foul-up involving me, the Purveyor of Squiggly Things, and Fed-up and Exhausted resulted in the delicate little beasties being delivered to the loading dock on campus, where they languished and eventually perished in the early fall heat, while the human female sat awaiting them on the other side of town.  Will we have a repeat of this tangle this year?  Stay tuned to find out!

I am sure you are all eager to know:  Is there any progress on attempts to acquire the rest of the ingredients for Dead Thing PaellaWhy, yes indeed!  There has been a little flurry of back-and-forth e-mail between the human female and the Purveyor of Dead Things just this very morning.  The cephalopods are present and accounted for, with clams just now entering the processing stream.  Does the human female want squiddies now and bivalves now, or should the PODT wait and make a mega-shipment when the clams are done?  One shipment, please! That way the 24 dead cats on back order since last December (don’t you love a PO that stays open between one fiscal year an the next?  I know I do!) have a theoretical hope of hitching a ride.  “But what of the lampreys?” you plaintively ask?  (Or maybe you don’t ask, but I shall tell you anyway.)  The lampreys are supposedly inbound. As are the fourteen dead, naked felines ordered from the Purveyor of Squiggly Things (who also sells Dead Things), which the human female ordered from POST because the PODT had kitties on back-order since last December. In the meantime, the Anatomy and Physiology instructor has requested 25 more cats for next fall, which need to be ordered NOW if there’s a hope in Hel of obtaining them before 2018.

Fall 2018…That is when one noted Seller of Computers told the human male the urgently-needed laptops ordered for the Anatomy and Physiology labs would be available. They later amended that date to mid-September of this year, which is better, but not really satisfactory, as they are needed when the semester starts, and it is going to take some time to load up the software on them.  And that would be the virtual-cat-dissecting software that A&P is switching to because of the Dead Cat Conundrum! See how I have brought things full circle and tied them with a sparkly green bow?

Oh, and last week the human female received a call from the Purveyor of Squiggly Things asking about the simply enormous order for Mr. Unfamiliar Name in the Biology Department.  A little sleuthing turned up Mr. U. Name in the Biology Department of one of the university’s satellite campuses.  So close! She almost ended up with a ton of supplies she didn’t need and can’t pay for.

The humans have attempted to relieve some of the dead-animal-related stress by purchasing entertainment at a discount.  One of the local video and bookstores has been “circling the drain” for quite some time and has recently announced that it is going out of business. FORTY PERCENT OFF EVERYTHING! their advertisements screamed.  So down the humans hurried, only to find out that no, only the used books are 40% off.  The next week, they announced a massive SALE!  The human male (who should have known by now to call ahead) went over on his lunch hour only to find out that that sale did not apply to that particular store.  All hail Loki, god of misleading advertisements.

I have also taken over the position of god of unwanted Spam. (Wait, that’s redundant.  God of Spam.) The university’s mail program used to have a pretty good filter, catching most of the spam and unsolicited offers of riches, larger mammaries, and enhanced sexual prowess and just chucking it into oblivion.  I’ve been tinkering, and now the spam filter just flags all of these and then sends each user a huge daily (or twice or thrice daily) post stating, “We have quarantined all these and you may wish not to view them.”  Then it lists them.  Fifty or sixty or seventy at a time.  Sex dating online!  Make love use best men’s health medicine!  Perfect mood with strong health!  You are a winner! This would not be so bad in and of itself, but I have set it up so that each gargantuan serving of garbage goes back nearly three weeks, meaning users get notices of each message a dozen or more times before it ages off the bottom of the list.  As well, each BIG dump of verbal refuse is accompanied by a smaller dump of 7 to 9 messages, as if the system is gleefully interrupting with, “Oh, hey, look!  More crap here!” (This is the e-mail equivalent of  the Imodium not having taken effect yet.)  I’ve also arranged matters such that a good handful of messages in each user’s box appear to come from the user.  Congratulations, human female! You’ve just offered a lucrative job at K-Mart to yourself!  Pleas to the campus IT Help Desk result in 1) a copy of the plea being returned to the supplicant with no further verbiage, 2) a brief note which boils down to “Yeah, sucks, doesn’t it?” and 3) absolutely nothing.

And, of course, it wouldn’t be a Mischief Update if I didn’t have BAMN shenanigans to report.  One of the human female’s most reliable vendors, He of the Gloves, Bags, and Booties, dropped by to politely ask why he hadn’t been paid for the delivery he made back in June.  It turns out that with BAMN, which requires the human female to log in and do receiving for all received goods, she is no longer scanning packing slips and forwarding them to the Department’s accountant for payment.  The vendor was not presenting an invoice to BAMN or the Department as the human female was assuming he had.  It’s all cleared up now, but the human female looked petty and miserly for a bit there, which is not a good look on her.  I should do this more.

In other BAMN Receiving issues, the human female finally got in the very last of the huge fall order from Vendor Who’s Responsible.  In one of my finer touches, the program, when displaying a large PO for doing receiving, displays only 5 line items.  The user must manually expand it.  After the user  selects an item, receives it, and saves the receipt thereof, the view defaults back to just 5 items.  Every. Single. Time.  Also, saving the receipts as the items come in does not actually result in the receipts being submitted for payment.  No, the human female unknowingly ended up with a big pile of “open” receipts” that all had to be submitted in a two-screen process for each one.   My favorite part, though, is how if a user needs to view the PO to remind herself what has been received/submitted and what has not, the only way to do it is to hit the generate a receipt button, which makes a new receipt with its very own number, a receipt that may not actually have any received items on it.  It just sits there, open, until it is manually cancelled.

And the human female just sits there, open-mouthed, with a blank stare.  I think she might be broken…  Have I gone too far?  Should I relent in my campaign to reduce her to tears and bring the university to a screeching halt?  Should I be rethinking my life’s choices?   Hmmm.


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The Dead Cat Ballet, Act 2…

I am still messing with the human female’s tiny mind with regard to yesterday’s large shipment from the Purveyor of Dead Things.  It’s so easy, there’s scarcely any sport in doing so, but I do so enjoy the faces she makes!

You may recall that yesterday’s shipment was short a large quantity of inedibly-pickled seafood–namely clams and squid.  There were three mystery shipments inbound from Fed-up and Exhausted, which the human female was hoping contained the missing invertebrates.

What did today bring?  More confusion!

The three shipments did actually show up at the human female’s workplace.  I say “three shipments,” but what she received was five boxes. Someone can’t count!  The five boxes, visually, seemed too small to contain all the missing items. What would they hold?  Squid? Clams?  Something else entirely?  Yule all over again!

The boxes contained….bivalves, bivalves, and more bivalves!  Two hundred and two of them, to be precise.  Usually, they’re packaged in bags holding 5 or 10, but quite a few of these were packaged individually in lots of plastic each, making them bulkier and more annoyingly wasteful.

But where are the squid?  We demand squid!  And the 202 clams don’t tally with the 204 on the big packing list from yesterday.  More delightful conversations:

HF: Um.  We’re up to our knees in clams, but still short–we requested eyebrow-level amounts of clams.  And we are, alas, still squidless.  And the math’s still wonky.

(I may have neglected to mention that the original order was for 647 clams.  Some have been on back-order since the very first, which makes whipping up a big batch of Dead Thing Paella more than a little problematic…)

PODT:  You are right. That is a lot of clams and a lamentable insufficiency of cephalopods.  We have done some research.  Your clams and squid did in fact not make it into the big shipment.  But when the order paperwork was processed, we saw clams and that triggered an inventory.  Know what we found?  Clams!  So we sent you some,  via Fed-up and Exhausted.  Please check our math:  202 clams actually visibly present in your possession + 204 clams listed on yesterday’s big packing list but regretfully AWOL + 241 on back-order = 647.   Plus 688 squid.  And 10 back-ordered lampreys.  To say nothing of the cats we still can’t cough up. Do we get a gold star?

HF:  Sigh. For now, yes.  Pleeeeeease send me more of my dead things!

PODT:  Yup.

Hooray! Mystery solved!  But you know me, I can’t let the fun end there.  Surely I can wring some more out of this jest.  There’s still receiving to do!  Which means BAMN!  I’ve made myself some popcorn and settled in to watch the show.

All right, we have material from two POs in the big shipment, because the seven male sharks were supposed to come last year but the PODT only sent females then so it’s males today.  But wait!  There were supposed to be seven NEW sharks also, smaller ones for the freshman class.  Augh!  There are only seven sharks on the packing slip. Which seven sharks did the human female get, the LS03586 all males or the LS03575-any-gender-goes? HOW DID SHE MISS THIS?!  Quick! Panic! 

Ehehehee! Now she’s sending frantic emails.  One to her minions:  Run down to the Dead Things room and see which Chondrichthyes are currently residing there!  One to accounting:  Wait! Don’t pay the invoice on the order I just did receiving for!  And the eye-rolling e-mail is coming back. From accounting:  Take a breath, woman, the invoice hasn’t shown up yet.  From Minion #1:  Hold on, I’ll check!  From Minion #2:  What are you rambling on about?  Check the last page of yesterday’s big packing slip.

Great Frigga’s hairpins, what a moron the human female is!  She is the only person I know who can LOSE a page of a multipage packing slip when it is stapled to the other pages.  Granted, the printout of the three five mystery Fed-up and Exhausted boxes got shuffled in there, but still.  There it is, in black and white.  All cartilaginous fishes fully accounted for.

Heh.  Now she’s sending “nevermind” e-mails.

What an exhausting morning!  But I think we finally have all the questions answered?  Where are the rest of the squid and not-back-ordered clams?  Still with PODT.  Where are the lampreys?  On back-order.  Did we get all the sharks?  Indeed we did.  Is the human female losing all her marbles?  Yes, by the handful.

So we are left with just one mystery.  A box has been left for the human female, and no one has a clue what it is.  She’s opened it, and it still doesn’t make sense.

misdelivered order

RNA?  D1000 reagents?  None of this is familiar.  It’s either a misdelivery or the early stages of a nervous breakdown and dementia.

I know which my money’s on.

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Mischief Update: Yes, Again Already!

It seems as if I just wrote a Mischief Update, but I’ve been really busy. If I don’t jot it all down today, I might forget!  Let’s see…

You may recall that in seasons past, I have tinkered creatively with the electronic swipe-card door locks in the human female’s workplace. I purposefully haven’t done much with them recently, and everyone was nicely lulled into a false sense of security.  So this week I decided that two of the lab doors would start showing “Invalid Facility” whenever someone swipes. Not “Invalid Card” or “Bad Scan”–No, the whole building is not recognized at all.  Staff managed to get one of the doors open via a connecting door to another room.  So now that one won’t LOCK.  The lock shop on campus tried to re-boot the doors over the network, but no joy (naturally.) So now the human female and her staff are just waiting for an actual live person to show up…

The human female, rightly appalled at her advancing avoirdupois,  has taken to arising just shy of sparrowfart and walking a mile or two in the neighborhood.  I simply cannot allow her to develop feelings of superiority over this.  I’ve had a little midnight cobbling session with her shoes, so now every time she goes out, she comes back footsore and miserable.  Shoes aside, I suspect she consists of inferior construction and is possessed of substandard-cartilage.  She tried to make an appointment with the podiatrist but was informed that she’d have to secure a referral from her PCP, who can’t see her for about ten days.   By then, she’ll probably have given up all the walking in favor of sleeping in and eating donuts anyway.

She tried to balance the checkbook the other night.  She’s so hamfisted with the calculator that she mashed in $3,000 some-odd instead of $30, which put her waaay off balance. She accused the calculator of malfunction.  That’s right, monkey woman, blame the tools.  She found and fixed her error, but she works in ink, so the checkbook register for last month rather resembles a work by the Midgardian painter Pollock.  This annoys the human male to no end, so hey! Two-fer!

I got to laugh as she noticed she’d had a wrong answer in a character state matrix table for all the chordates, one she’d supplied to all the teaching assistants LAST SEMESTER.  Sometimes she doesn’t need my help to look stupid.

You may be wondering about the state of the ongoing Defunct Feline Conundrum.  Ten stiff, bald kitties arrived, courtesy of the Purveyor of No Longer Squiggly Things.  Fourteen more are promised from the same source.  The Purveyor of Dead Things has finally come up with FIFTY that they propose to send in the annual large, multi-pallet shipment of embalmed critters.  This large shipment launches what is colloquially known as the Dead Cat Ballet, a complex operation involving a semi, a smaller truck, two pallet jacks, three phonecalls, two emails, a work order, an elevator, multiple dragooned personnel, buckets of sweat, and the partial temporary demolition of a doorway. Fenrir’s fetlocks! The whole production puts the opening of the Midgardian Olympic games to shame.  So many ways I could muck this up–it’s hard to choose! This year’s ballet will be a bit smaller, owing to the presence of fewer Defunct Felines and an inexplicable shortage of both lampreys and clams.  You will be pleased to know that pig hearts, sheep eyeballs, and earthworms remain plentiful.

Meanwhile, the Purveyor of Squiggly things has managed to mangle the shipping for the first fall order of squigglies. This order includes live termites which, owing to their delicate nature, tend to shuffle off the mortal coil at the drop of a hat (or a frown from me.) The human female has learned the hard way to split the order so that a fresh supply arrives midweek.  I got my clever hands on her order and the Purveyor of Squiggly Things scheduled the two batches to ship via Fed-up and Exhausted on sequential days.  She thinks she has disabused them of this notion and corrected the dates, but there’s really no telling, IS there?

There are disturbing rumors that the University may abandon my glorious BAMN software and return the previous, much-loved ordering software.  As you can see from the above, I am QUITE capable of doling out heaping helpings of agita with just the vendors and shippers (Unrepentant Package Squashers, how I love you!), so while I am a bit disappointed, I am not altogether downcast.

The local constabulary are not the cretins I imagined them to be.  They have managed to track down two of the volunteers in my community service project involving auto glass.  The humans were requested to mail the police the receipt for their windshield replacement.  Too bad they couldn’t find it!  I have hidden it most carefully and secretly, along with their insurance card.  They have copies of both documents, but the mislaying of the originals is going to nag at the female for the foreseeable, so I am still in the plus column on the whole project.

The Blue-haired Goddaughter is lodging with the mortals for a fortnight or so.  I can use this!  She and the human female share a few interests, such as staying up far too late giggling, reading works of speculative fiction and discussing them in front of the human male, and geeking out over certain British actors  (to one of whom I bear no small resemblance.)  By the end of the visit, the human female will be a writhing mass of underslept bad habits with sore feet, and hence even more susceptible to mischief.

And finally, in the The-Norns-Must-Love-Me category, I found this most excellent item while out walking the other day.


Now, what to do, what to do…?

What do you think, 6.5?  Not my most productive week, but I do have prospects!

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Mischief Update: Is Mischief an Event at the Olympics? (part II)

Why, look!  There’s more wickedness over here!

Every now and then I act against my Frost Giant nature and fiddle with the cold rooms in the human female’s workplace.  Two weeks ago, both of them went out.  What, you don’t like 80 F for storing things?  They got fixed over the course of several days, during which time the repairman asked for the human female’s cooler key approximately ninety-five times.  That was such fun that I decided to do it again!  Only one’s out this time, though. I saved some mischief for the electrical outlet in one of the lab rooms so it could make pretty sparks.

(Augh!  The human female is listening to the same video again!)  I think she’s become quite obsessed.  She has tried to buy a DVD of one of the group’s concerts, stalking Amazon, Amazon UK, and ebay, but there appear to be no region 1 or region-free DVDs available.  I tantalized her with a a listing for one, but it turned out to be for Europe.  Then she saw another advertisement, but the seller wasn’t in the same place as the merchandise, so he couldn’t check. I can keep this up indefinitely. So if you notice that the view counts for this video just keep climbing, it’s because there is one person in Texas, watching it over and over.)

The human female has recently hired a new lab prep tech.  (She goes through them at an alarming rate.  They say they’re leaving for grad school or better jobs or to join the circus, but really, it’s to get away from her and the weird things she leaves in the break room fridge.)  There were two very strong candidates.  The top pick was most enthusiastic when offered the job, but as soon as a background check was mentioned, she quickly changed her tune and declined.  Whatever for?  Nothing could be as embarrassing as what’s in the human female’s file, surely?

Sweet Glittery Bifrost, but it is hot today!  Outdoors is no place for a Jotun like me.  I can use the heat, though, to distress the human female.  A twitch here and a nudge there and the sprinklers don’t quite work as advertised.  Remember all the lovely plants the she planted back in March?  Well, first they stopped blooming.  Then they pined for cooler weather.  Now they are almost entirely dry, brown, and crispy.  The nursery has a free-replacement-within-a-year policy, but she is too embarrassed to dig them up and take them back!  Eehehehe!  I can see her now, “Excuse me, but even with my two degrees in horticulture and botany, I was unable to keep these poor, unfortunate plants alive for longer than six months.”  I’m sure the nursery has her face on a poster in the back somewhere, right over “Do not sell plants to this woman” in 48 pt. type.

The aphids and spider mites, though, don’t mind the heat.  They’ve taken care of the milkweed, sage, and marigolds the drought hasn’t decimated. Hugs and kisses to my little arthropod friends.

The nutsedge, grass, and assorted weeds in the cracks in the sidewalk and driveway don’t mind the heat, either.  They’re the greenest part of the yard!  I just love bermudagrass.

All this heat means that one has to be very strongly motivated to want to do anything outdoors, and any outdoor tasks are performed as early in the day as is polite and accomplished as quickly as possible.  A dab of magic on the lawn mower’s throttle cable and another on the clamp that holds the cable’s little housing means that all attempts to start the mower result in the cable clamp coming off the handle so there’s not enough pull on the throttle.  I got her to waste a solid half hour the other morning, trying unsuccessfully to get the clamp to stay put.  Finally, she did an end run around the cable, wedging the throttle open with a piece of wood.  Very well, mortal, you have bested me in this one thing, but may I point out that by the time you began to mow, the heat index was already flirting with triple digits?  I still win.

Later that same day, the humans, showered and cool, ventured out to what was billed as a Food Truck Festival at the local Expo Center.  Twenty trucks, plus 120 merchants inside the pavilion, full of crafts and antiques.  Sigyn and I tagged along because it sounded like an adventure.  I will admit to being torn between having it all be wonderful so that the humans would wander from truck to truck in the heat and get all nasty sweaty again and having it be a total bust.  Sigyn was looking a bit on the warm side, so I decided on total bust.  Nine food trucks, three of them shave ice or ice cream, and the others serving nothing novel, exciting, or appropriately priced.  The most interesting one was the one that is parked on the campus almost every day of the week.  Indoors, things were no better.  Maybe fifty vendors, all selling complete crap (the human female has underwear older than your antique table, lady.)  The “entertainer” was singing a song about punching someone in the face. Classy!  We left in short order.  All in all, it was $5.00 admission the humans wish they had back!

As satisfying as listening to the humans grumble about the heat is, most of my mischief these days is channeled through–what else?–BAMN. It’s a good thing the human female doesn’t mind a little gambling, because she never really knows if it’s going to work.  Sometimes the contact person that the program sends orders to isn’t at the company anymore and the orders hang up in limbo.  Sometimes the vendor has two addresses in the database and only one works.  Do you feel lucky today?  Do you?

But mostly, summer is when the human female puts in the giant enormous COLOSSAL order with the Vendor Who’s Responsible, for all of the upcoming year’s chemicals, glassware, plasticware, and suchlike.  It was a big order this year, some forty-five or so line items.  I’ve mentioned before that the punch-out for this vendor was due a YEAR ago.  A punch-out is a good thing, because it lets a buyer use the vendor’s online catalog and just drop things in the cart, rather than typing out all the catalog numbers and product descriptions.

Well, good news!  The punchout is finally ready!  Armed with the painstakingly crafted and revised quote from the Vendor Who’s Responsible’s customer service rep,


the human female eagerly fired up BAMN and started shopping her little heart out.  She was so careful, making sure she wasn’t ordering cases when she needs single bottles or ordering blue pipette tips when she needs the yellow ones.  She got ALL DONE and then looked at her cart before entering order info.  That’s when she discovered my help.  The items at the top of the list had been added four times, so there was four times as much of everything as she needed.  The items in the middle of the list had been added twice, so she was signed up for double goodies.  The items on the bottom of the list….failed to appear at all.  Poof!  Vanished!  Ehehehe!  A teensy bit of effort from me with the code meant two lost hours of the poor mortal’s time.

She tried again the next day, carefully inputting the order in the old way, item by item, typed line by typed line, saving early and often.  Finally, finally, it was perfect.  Click. Submitted!  She then had a long, hard e-mail conversation with her customer service rep and one of the BAMN liaisons, outlining all of her multitudinous woes.  That’s when the customer service rep told her that if she’d go up to the “my account” button and pull down that menu, she’d see a “my quotes” option.  Poking that would bring up the appropriate quote, which she could dump into a shopping cart with just one click!  Too bad, so sad, must remember that trick for next year!

So the Very Large Order went in to the vendor, but I’ve seen to it that it continues to misbehave.  Since items on it ship from various warehouses at different times, the human female is getting daily deliveries from all over the country.  It’s like Yule, but with packing slips and no toys!  Highlights of the festivities include:

–Having to fill out the “I am not going to use this to make illicit drugs” paperwork.  Again.

–Discovering that the P.O. number for this giant order doesn’t show in BAMN in her list of P.Os.  To do any of the receiving, she has to go to the list of all her requisitions, look it up by the requisition number, click on that, then click to open the P.O.

–Coping with the fact that once she gets to the P.O., BAMN’s default is to display just five lines of any order, so she has to tell it to “display all.”  Then once she’s checked off and saved what has actually arrived, it refreshes to only showing five.  Every. Single. Time.

–Keeping track of what has arrived when.  For example–three one-liter bottles of diethyl ether?  One of them shipped on one day from one city.  The remaining two followed the next week, arriving from a different place.  I keep hearing her mumble something that sounds like “herding cats,” but that can’t be right.

–Enjoying the fact that anything that ships directly from the Vendor Who’s Responsible comes with a packing slip that lists every item on the P.O., even if only one item is included in that particular shipment.  One bottle of creatinine arrives?  Here, have eight pages of useless paper!

–Making note of what has come in without any paperwork at all.  Six bottles of something or other showed up one day with no packing slip.  Two days later, a packing slip showing the six bottles showed up in a box they weren’t in.

–Receiving a telephone call from the Chemistry stockroom (different department, other side of campus), letting her know that they had her Benedict’s solution.  She got them to agree to label it correctly and explicitly and give it back to the delivery courier.  I’ve had a word with the courier, and it’s anyone’s guess whether it’ll ever actually arrive over here.  I am guessing it’s in Cairo.  (The Egypt one, not the U.S. one.)

I am opening a betting pool on which item in the order is going to be the last to show up.  My money’s on microscope slide cover slips, because the Vendor Who’s Responsible never has enough on hand.  The human female wrote “may substitute cover slips of similar size and thickness from this or other manufacturer” on the order, but my money’s on an indefinite backorder of this one particular product.  I’ll keep you posted.

The final kicker?  BAMN has behaved so abominably (Thank you!  I do try.) that the University has told colleges and departments that they can switch back to the previous, beloved ordering software if they choose.

A$ long a$ they pay for the $witch.

Is this the point where I should talk about the 4% budget cuts that loom upon the horizon?

Good times.

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Mischief Update–Bits and Pieces

I haven’t had time to do much since we’ve been back, but some of the projects I set in motion before we left are paying off.  Remember kiddies:  villainy is as much about planning as it is about malice.

The human female is back at work and none too happy about it.  Yesterday it occurred to her to check on one of her orders that should have been here already.  This was one she had been concerned about because BAMN had given her two contradictory messages about it.  One said, “The BAMN gods have smiled and your order has been sent to the vendor.”  The other said, “Wail and gnash your teeth, for your PO has failed to convert and has not been sent.”  Back before our trip, she even called the vendor with the PO number, and they check and assured her that All Was Well.  Fast forward to now, when the goods have failed to arrive.  She called the vendor again, and they told her they had no record of the transaction.  This sparked a flurry of e-mails and phone calls to BAMN people and vendor people, and it turns out that yes indeedy, the vendor most certainly DID have a PO with that number.  From a different customer in California.  A few more e-mails served to have the BAMN people re-send the failed order.  If all goes well, the shipment should be here in the nick of time.  But we all know who the BAMN god really is, don’t we, so how likely would you say that is?

More BAMN fun: One of the humans’ biggest gripes has been that there has been no catalog punch-out for Vendor Who’s Responsible.  All orders must be typed in by hand.  No clicky-buy-ee for you!  Well, there now IS a punch-out catalog.  Hooray.  But I poked the system and, while it works, there is no way to attach a quote document, so no way to drop items in the cart at agreed-upon prices.  Not so hooray.  Ehehehehe.

Something else to wrestle through BAMN–the ongoing Defunct Feline Conundrum (hereafter referred to as DFC, for short)  Midgardians are going to have to rethink their colloquialism, “There isn’t room to swing a dead cat.”  Why?  THERE ARE NO DEAD CATS TO BE SWUNG!  The nationwide shortage of dead cats for dissection has worsened.  The cats the human female ordered last December from the Purveyor of Dead Things have not arrived and most likely will not.  Nor have the 325 she ordered in March.  Other Vendors Numbers 1-5 have no cats at all.  Other Vendor Number 6 can promise cats, but due to the Great and Pungent Moldy Cat Incident of ’09, Vendor Number 6 is, shall we say, not a preferred provider. Still, lab personnel have indicated a willingness to bathe any fungally-challenged cats lovingly in disinfectant weekly if only they appear.  The Purveyor of Squiggly Things (who also does Dead Things) this morning has promised that they can make stiff kitties happen. The human female awaits a firm quote and a promise signed in blood of first-born children if les minous morts do not materialize.

At the same time that the DFC is going on, there is a new batch of feral kittens under the adjacent building on campus. The human capacity for brain dichotomy is a wonder to behold.  Half of the human female’s brain is all “Awww!  SO cute!” and the other half is, “Dead cats! Dead cats! My kingdom for dead cats!”  I expect that a full cerebral melt-down is imminent.

The human female’s work group has been short-handed for a while now.  One of her senior Techs escaped left to go to graduate school.  (And he was the tall one, handy for Fetching Things from High Places, more’s the pity.)  The job posting for a new Tech has been out for some time now, but due to the ongoing budget woes and wars, the human female was not allowed to interview any of the seven applicants. Now she’s allowed, but one of the best applicants doesn’t actually live in Texas and two have fudged their years of experience, so interviews will be fun.

Still no hallway doors on the toilets on the third floor of the human female’s workplace.  There has been a declaration that such doors would not ADA compliant.  I fail to see how proposed third-floor doors are more obstructive to persons with limited mobility than the doors on fourth, second, and first, but my brain is larger than a pea, so perhaps I do not have the proper perspective.

As expected, the lawn really liked the two feet or so of rain that fell while we were gone.  I sat on the porch with a tall glass of iced tea and watched the female wrestle the mower around all one evening until dark, all slimy with sweat and sunscreen (non-greasy formula my eye!) and insect repellent.  At the end of the job, I nudged the mower and it wouldn’t turn off, so probably it’s broken and she has that to look forward to next time she gets off her bum and does yard work.

The superannuated feline, who is keeping the local vet and compounding pharmacy in business, has been put on a special new diet.  This diet includes gooshy food, a delicacy of which she was heretofore unaware.  It has to be the wet stuff because no agency in the Nine Realms will induce her to eat dry food with the prescription potassium powder sprinkled on it.  Nor will she accept the powder in proffered petroleum jelly, which the gormless creature will normally consume straight out of the jar as an alternative to expensive hair-ball medicine.  No, gooshy food it must be. Now, having tasted this ambrosia, she turns up her whiskers at the new expensive kibble.  She can sometimes be persuaded to nibble some kibble if it’s mixed with the gooshy food, but sometimes not.  I’ve had a little coaching session with her, and she has learned to fling the wet stuff around quite well when she eats, and she likes the stinkiest flavor best.  Face it, humans:  the days of having a low-maintenance pet are over.  My favorite part of all of this is how I’ve tweaked things so that none of the the feline’s three prescriptions are ever due for a refill at the same time.

Speaking of prescriptions, I’ve been poking about in the human female’s medicaments as well.  It takes a fair amount of drugs to keep her running, and the mail-order-pharmacy probably has her hideous face on a Frequent Customer poster someplace.  I like to tinker with their billing, so that one month they say she has a credit and issue her a refund and the next they send her a nasty-gram saying her account has an amount 21 days past due.  No one can figure it out, because the humans are pretty good about paying bills when they come in, and the overages and underages never correspond to any actual transaction.  I am a man of mystery and can keep this up forever, if need be.

Now that the days are flirting seriously with heat indices near 108°F,  I made the human female’s missing black glove magically reappear.  In the car.  Where she looked.  Multiple times.  I’ll bet anything you like she manages to lose it again before winter.  She has already managed to lose a water bottle and a pepper mill this week.  Who loses a pepper mill?!

Let me see… Forgotten lunch, leaking leftovers, failure to defrost dinner ingredients, in a timely manner, assorted computer woes, a brief but highly memorable stomach virus—yep, I think that’s the lot.  I miss England, but it’s good to be back doing what I do best!

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Mischief Update: Special Equinox Edition

Ah… Spring!  This planet’s celebration of a wonky axis.  Asgard sorted out the whole axial tilt problem millennia ago, so no need to change clocks or rearrange the wardrobe to put the woollies away and drag out the white shoes.  Jotunheim of course, is stuck in perpetual “winter” mode.  Muspelheim is always…toasty. Nope.  Midgardians are the only ones who bother with Spring.  Spring!  When it is hot one day and chilly the next.  Spring!  When the garden plants don’t know whether to bloom or bide. Spring!  When the humans in this realm lose an hour of sleep!  Spring! When the pollen is enough to make a blue auto green.  Spring! When a young Loki’s fancy turns to thoughts of…MISCHIEF!

I like to keep the humans on their toes, marketing-wise.  That soup they like?  First, I made sure only one grocery waaaay across town carried it.  Then I closed that grocery!  Lazy mortals, learn to cook.

I did the same thing with the human female’s shoes.  For years, she’s been wearing the same brand of comfortable-but-ugly footwear available only online or in a specialty store in the Big City to the South.  I have no quarrel with the store, so I’ve left it in place.  Instead, I convinced the manufacturer of the shoes to stop making shoes entirely.  They still make some very good trekking gear, though, and I would gladly use their tents and parkas and what not.  If, you know, I was interested in camping.  Which I’m not.  So now the human female is wearing some even-uglier and not-yet-truly-comfortable new shoes  of a different make.  I made sure the laces are a bright lime green.  Oh, and I made the new shoes squeak too, so color-blind people can find her repellent as well.

I haven’t limited my meddling to her personal life.  I have been busy at her place of employment.  The other day I saw to it that a bucket of Ascaris worms that was sitting on the lab floor with its lid not securely fastened down got kicked over.  Pig intestinal parasites everywhere!  And, naturally, it was the bucket of female worms, whose eggs have been known to survive the preservation process, so the whole area had to be Decontaminated with Various Chemicals.  The prank backfired a bit, though, since the human female was not an actual participant in the clean-up.  Must try harder next time.

I had better luck with the leftovers, though.  The humans are Very Busy People, so sometimes they have to bring dinner with them to work and eat it before evening activities.  Do you remember the nonsensical dinner?  The human female thought she packed the leftovers of said dinner, but as she was grabbing from the cooling unit at home, I nudged the cooked beef out of the way and her hand fell on the container of meat marinating for a future meal, and she packed that.  And then I made it leak all over the insulated carrier bag she put it in.  The humans didn’t discover the switch–or the bloody mess!– until dinnertime.

I continue my regime of hijinks (what an odd-looking word!) with the Purveyor of Squiggly Things.  The human female ordered another batch of tiny, carnivorous hydra for her classes, well in advance, to allow for the vagaries of BAMN.  (More on BAMN anon.)  They arrived on a Wednesday, looking hale and hearty. By the following Tuesday, they were, alas, all dead.  She was not informed of this until late enough in the day that the Purveyor of Squiggly Things could not ship replacements until Wednesday for arrival on Thursday morning. Thursday morning came and went. So did Thursday afternoon.  And Friday morning.  The carrier, Fed-up and Exhausted, blamed the weather.  The human female was not amused.  When the squigglies finally showed up Friday afternoon, it was too late to be of any use.  Being science nerds, the human female and her staff had fed them with the rotifers remaining from the week’s lessons and tucked them in to weather Spring Break as best they could.  As of today, some of them are still alive.  If they can make it another two days, the students who missed out will be able to study them.  But you know I can’t allow that…

And now, BAMN.  BAMN will go down in the annals as my second greatest achievement, second only to taking over Midgard. The University is on version 13 of BAMN, and it is living up to every mortal superstition regarding that number.  Recent fun:

The human female had to make the large annual order of defunct felines a sole-source item.  Once she attached the sole source form, the requisition turned feral and could not be coaxed into converting to a PO.  Probably because no one should be allowed to order that many dead cats.

The human female also ordered some dead sharks.  (I always feel sorry for the sharks.  Such perfect predators, cut down in the prime of their bitey little lives.)  Simple order, four line items.  Line item one arrived months ago.  Item two arrived recently.  When the human female did the receiving for that line, BAMN helpfully changed the receipt date for line item one to match, and then to be extra-thorough, it went ahead and received lines three and four as well!  Since those goods are not due to arrive until August, this creates a record of order fulfillment that is beyond stellar.  It also triggers prompt payment penalty issues, as now the Financial Innards of the University are going to wonder why lines three and four were not paid for when they were “received.”  Meanwhile, the whole PO is sitting in the waiting for approval queue.  Trust me, NO ONE approves!  The human female has tried to get the BAMN folks to correct the problem, but I’m sure there will be further repercussions.  How could there not?

Next, I afflicted BAMN with the dreaded disease known as Mail Constipation.  For two days, users were left uniformed as to approval status, payment status, etc.  Given that each order generated four or five emails during various larval stages, that is a lot of backlog. When I finally applied the electronic equivalent of castor oil, it all let loose at once, flooding user mailboxes with two days worth of pent-up…effluvium.  Go, me!

I also encouraged BAMN to make the human female’s Spring Break a little more memorable.  On the Wednesday before, she placed a routine order for some electro-thingumies from a very reliable, fast-shipping vendor. On Friday, when there had been no shipping notice, she made inquiries.  Come to find out, BAMN, despite promising that they had imported all active vendors from the old purchasing system, had no knowledge of Reliable Vendor at all.  Cue back and forth e-mails trying to get Reliable Vendor set up with BAMN.  When it became obvious that this could not be done in time to have the goods ship when needed, the human female called Reliable Vendor and a deal to order via credit card was brokered.  Of course, I delayed this until too close to the end of the work day, so the human female had to take care of it on Monday of her break.  Thus, on Monday, she called Reliable Vendor with the card information.  Card declined.  Please retry?  Card declined.  The human female (still in her jammies on the sofa) then called the Department’s Purchasing Officer and managed to get the order to go thr0ugh using a different card.  She then called Reliable Vendor and told them not to honor any order that came in through BAMN.  Fine and dandy, yes?  NO!  Today, back from break, the human female found herself unable to cancel the original faulty PO in the BAMN system.  She had to resort to siccing the BAMN help-desk folks on it.  So much mileage out of one piece of mischief!

Also today, the human female tried to do the receiving for the Squiggly Things that came in last week for use this week, but BAMN is telling all users that it can’t find the site.  No one can get in!  No orders for you, or you, or you!  Ehehehehehe!  Frustration abounds and I am loving every minute of it!  The human female would bang her head on the desk, except she still has a bit of a bruise from when she did it last week when the leftovers leaked.

But, hey, she has a buy-5-get-one-free coupon for dead, preserved mink from the Purveyor of Squiggly Things, so what has she to whine about?

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Mischief Update–Seven-ish.

I must make a confession:  I haven’t been very creative lately. Oh, I’m still plenty evil, but the humans, especially the female, are so boring that they don’t always give me scope to exercise my mischief.

However, I have not been altogether idle.  I arranged for one of the classroom aquaria to start  a   s  l  o  w, drippy leak.  Electricity plus water–one of my favorite combinations!


It’s hard to photograph water on glass. You’ll simply have to imagine the puddle. The unit was under warranty, so the human female called the vendor.  The vendor referred her to the Maker of Fish Prisons. The Maker of Fish Prisons wanted a copy of the packing slip.  There never WAS a packing slip, but they were eventually persuaded to accept a copy of the original order.  When the new unit arrived, it was minus the lid.  Several calls back and forth to and from the Maker of Fish Prisons revealed that the human’s staff was supposed to use the lid from the old one, since it was not the leaky bit.  Eventually there was a complete, leakless fish prison, so the human female is happy.  Oh, well.  At least I slowed her down…

I hid her ipad for two days.  On her desk.  In plain sight.  Well, under some Important Papers.  Yesterday, I distracted her when she should have been retrieving her USB drive from her work system preparatory to departing, so she went the evening with the tremble-wollies without it.  She’s OLD enough to remember the geologic ages before USBs and laptops but has adapted just well enough to rely on them much too much.

She swears I must butter her eyeglasses because she is always having to clean them.  As if I would do such a thing!  Don’t need to.  I butter her eyebrows while she sleeps and the rest is all her fault.

I have been helping the human female with her Giant Smashed Plant Database from the Infernal Regions.  When it was converted from one format to another, I saw to it that a large number of records had their collection dates corrupted, with the year failing to make the change properly.  While she hunts down records from the 1900’s that should be the 1800’s and ones that say 1800’s while they belong to the 200o’s, I am hard at work changing genus names to outdated synonyms, transcribing labels into incomprehensible cursive Cyrillic, and dreaming up new variant misspellings of collector names.  Neither one of us is gaining on the other, so we should be able to play this game indefinitely.

BAMN continues to pay dividends as well.  Last week I arranged an error code that said, “Subaccount 9999 is invalid.”  Ehehehe! There wasn’t anything IN the subaccount field!  This week I have hidden the widget that lets a user split a purchase order between two accounts.  Now that the human female has found it, I have gone back to writing funny product code search results.  Look–she’s trying to purchase dead, stiff kitties again!


Gifts.  Skinned, latex-injected cats are definitely gifts.

I hexed her desktop Adobe program so that it will not display the last six or so pages of a long pdf document.  She spent a good hour the other day re-scanning pages and trying to figure out where they’d gone.  Oh, they’re there, all right.  She just can’t have them.

The City’s Powers That Be are debating allowing a large apartment complex to be constructed precisely where the human female’s favorite pond is, the one Sigyn and I like to go look at.  She showed up full of righteous fire at the Council meeting only to find I’d pulled the hearing from the agenda. Now she’ll have to gird her loins a second time later this week.  Did you know she squeaks like a rat when you put her in front of a microphone and let her address elected officials?

The bathroom hallway doorways in the human female’s workplace continue to lead empty lives.

With the weather tripping across the line from winter to spring, interest in outdoor activities is on the rise.  The human female actually made shift to weed and turn the compost heap the other day.  I arranged some ophidian occupants for said heap.


Unfortunately, she is conversant with the reptile species of this region.  She correctly identified them as harmless little earth snakes and released them back into the compost when she was done.  Rats.  Next time, woman, Jörmungandr.

Enh.  I give it a 7.

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Order, Order!

I know that I updated you on my mischief just yesterday, but it wasn’t an exhaustive recounting of my exploits.  Far from it!   The human female has had so many Purchasing Woes that they deserve their very own post!

If her coworkers tell her what they need, the human female can usually obtain it.  Take the other day, for example.  Coworker #1 said that they urgently need TEN THOUSAND of the machine-graded exam forms the freshman biology students use.  Cue multiple phone calls and e-mails to determine if the vendor is in the new system.  Well, look at that! They are!  But with a different address! More email!  More phone calls! Where, oh where should this excruciatingly vital order go?!  I waited until the human female had worked herself into a flapping froth to let coworker #2 tell her that there’s no pressing need for the forms.

I mean it–the new purchasing program never stops being funny!  The human female accidentally categorized a requisition as open market rather than direct open market, and because there’s no way to change it, she had to have someone higher up the food chain CANCEL the first one and then she got to do it all over again.

It’s not just the human female who struggles beneath the heavy burden of the twisty workings of BAMN, either.  Not only does the Vendor Who’s Responsible not have a functional punch-out catalog system yet, the poor University account rep has to hand-enter every single item on every order sent by BAMN into its own order fulfillment system, because the two programs will not talk to one another. Ehehehehe! I am so evil.

Even when the orders go through, get approved, go back to her, get sent, are retrieved by the vendor, and are filled and mailed out, things can still go wrong.  Why, just the other day, a whole shipment of Equisetum plants from the Purveyor of Squiggly Things (they also sell plants) arrived right on time.  Super, right?  Wrong!  In unpacking the plants, it became evident that they were just pots of rootless cuttings, no doubt grabbed from the wrong end of a greenhouse bench.  Oh, and the vendor had been doing so well.

But do you know what my FAVORITE part of all this ordering business is?  It’s the bit where the human female has to supply a commodity code for each and every little thing she orders.  It’s become almost a game.   She plugs an item into the search box, and maybe it comes up.  Maybe it doesn’t.  Maybe what the program urps up as possible matches is nothing short of poetry.

Have a look.  Here’s a screen-cap of the human female looking for those scanner forms:


Oooookay.   Next, looking for some microbes turned up decorations, cards, and party supplies.  (What kind of parties do these programmers GO to?!)

Looking for live hydras. Not to be confused with Hydra, which no one wants. (I don’t want to know what she plans to do with these tiny Cnidarians.  Possibly they are snacks.)


Okay, the “hydraulic” items make sense, because they have “hydra-” in them, but cardiovascular drugs?  Cement?  Really, I just told the program to pull things at random and it does a beautiful job.

Searching for live hermit crabs?


I don’t know about you, but I always get confused between dry formulation herbicides and shell-swapping crustaceans.

Then there’s her search for a culture of the Chitrid fungus Allomyces:


I also have a growing collection of secret computer-cam photos of her face as she is greeted by each new twisted permutation of this program.  Sometimes, when I’m feeling low, I take them out and spread them out and look at them and do a little evil gloating.

B. A. M. N.  It never ceases to me amaze  me how my four little letters can cripple a whole University System.  If I can get the U.S.’s General Accounting Office and the various branches of the military to use this procurement software, it won’t matter who wins the elections in the fall, because the country will be paralyzed and looking to anyone to save it.  This whole country will fall into my outstretched hand like an overripe plum.  Today, crafter of inane search results.  Tomorrow, Ruler of Midgard!

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