A Long-Overdue Mischief Update, Part III: How the Semester Started

It really has been forever and a half since I updated.  I have to report that I had a lot of fun with the beginning of the semester.   A few highlights (assume I had a hand in all of this):

–The carpet people showed up to replace the carpet in the lecturers’ office.  The week before the semester.  The human female and her staff were pressed into service to help move books and papers, while movers put all the furniture in the hallway.  Many interesting things were discovered,  including unidentified chemicals in an open flask on one instructor’s desk, many graded papers and grade records which had to be locked away to prevent FERPA violations, and piles and piles of unopened mail.

–One of the lecturers was more or less missing until the week before classes started.

–One of the TAs teaching Intro Bio was not notified of this fact.

–A couple of the TAs originally assigned to Intro Bio were assigned elsewhere.

–The Powers That Be decreed that Intro Bio was to calculate grades in a different manner, cutting down the total points for each course so that lecture exams would be worth 100 points (so students could more easily figure out their grades).  This leaves the labs with about half the usual number of points to allot, so that TAs are now grading in half-point increments on enormous assignments worth a whopping fifteen points.

–The University, two weeks before the semester, when it was time to update its Security Certificates, CHANGED the way it handles things, with the result that any computer that had a copy of the old wifi protocol would have to uninstall that, update the security notifications, install the new wifi protocol once for EACH USER PROFILE, then go back in and UNCHECK the “remember my login info” setting that was autochecked.  For the human female, this means updating two user profiles on six laptops in each of ten lab rooms, plus spares.  At the same time, there were updates to Adobe and Java to install as well.  And then a host of backlogged Windows updates to install, with each round of updates triggering a further round (sometimes as many as five rounds.)   All of this to be accomplished over the wireless system, which is so under-powered that many of the systems could not download even the first round of updates—if they could connect at all.  The human female and male got through three rooms of laptops with about a 50% success rate before the human male figured out how to fix one laptop of each model and then use it to image the others.  This process is only now nearing completion.  Oh, and the Anatomy and Physiology labs down the hall have a dozen laptops each, and they put such a load on the wifi that the laptops in human female’s labs at that end of the building often cannot log on at all.

–It took several weeks for the post-hurricane shipping woes to be resolved.   The Elodea (little pond plant) that was ordered was not available anywhere.   Nobody had any they could ship on time, not the Purveyor of Squiggly Things (POST), not the Alternate Purveyor of Squiggly Things (APOST), not the local aquarium stores.  Or if they did have it, they couldn’t ship it.  The human female worked out how to use onions in the experiment instead and everyone was poised to make the change and then —wham, here comes the Elodea.  It arrived looking plenty partied-out.

–You recall the Termites that Almost Weren’t?   The human female finally managed to obtain some from a lab on the University campus that studies them.  So there were termites after all.  Then the POST came through and shipped the second half of the split-timing delivery of termites, so there was a scarcity during the first half of the week and a superabundance the last half.  There were EXTRA termites at the end of the week.  Items that had been on the ticket with the first part of that split-delivery order didn’t get shipped and got uncoupled from things that shipped in the second part of the shipment.  The human female added some live mosses to one of the orders so that the total would qualify for a promo discount, and then the mosses didn’t ship so the discount didn’t apply.  You know, the POST sales rep now has a distinctive little pause-and-sigh before he starts speaking every time the human female calls…

–One of the Intro Bio labs, the one that got moved into the basement of the old building at first was supposed to have a microscope camera for showing tiny specimens.  Over the summer, it was decided that good photos on the computer would suffice.  Then, on the day of the lab, the demand went out for set of demonstration scopes, and the human female and her staff had to scramble scopes down the stairs across the alley and down to the other lab, and then set up the items under the scopes.  Miscommunication coupled with last-minute scrambling and exercise.  A trifecta of mischief and stress!

And it doesn’t end here!  There is much more to come.  I think this will have to run over into a separate post!  Suffice it to say, though, that we have identified the root of all the human female’s problems.

new calendar

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Well, Hello There! (Sigyn Speaks)

The storm has brought any number of small creatures out of their hidey holes.  The toads have been singing at night!

And who is this little visitor?


Well, hi there!


Hee hee hee! That tickles!

You can stay, little bug.  You’re among friends here.

: )

What If You Gave a Wood-Destroying Insect Party And Nobody Came?

Ehehehehe!  I know I said I’d be moving on to other projects, but I haven’t wrung all the mischief out of Harvey yet.   (I know it’s a disaster of Ragnarokian proportions, but that doesn’t mean I can’t amuse myself at the human female’s expense.)

Monday was supposed to be the first day of the semester, but the University closed for two days–days on which it did not actually rain.  So now, it is midweek of the first week and everyone is behind and things are confused and everyone wants things done YESTERDAY.

Even though the U. was closed on Monday, the human female came up and put in several hours of work because her sole Tech II is out this week.  They met and mapped out work for the week.  The human female made all sorts of hurried notes.  Here are some she made on the very elegant notes the Tech II made — on whatever was handy.


That silver Sharpie marker is so classy.

Most of the human female’s morning has been taken up by logistics.  You see, Usually Squashes Parcels Significantly suddenly terminated mail delivery to the local area on Monday.  No warning, no delivering mail that was already out on route. Nope, back to the barn, no mail for you, no projected date of return to service.   Never mind that when they closed the local sorting center a few years ago, it was with the idea that it could be resurrected if need be.  Well, needs be now, people!

On top of Usually Squashes Parcels Significantly, Fed-up and Exhausted, which has a major hub in the Big Inundated City to the South, suspended all deliveries there and in the surrounding area, which includes here.  Unrepentant Package Squashers followed suit.

So here is the human female, trying to prep lab for next week, the lab that includes our old friends the fragile, ship-overnight-and-hope-for-the-best termites, with no way to get said Blattodeans here to play with!


(Sad, over-exposed photo of the container the termites will inhabit, if they come.  The green pan of water is a moat to keep out the ants, which like to dine on tasty Isopterans.)

Over the last few days, she has sent and received numerous calls, texts, and emails, trying to get the termites here.  It goes like this:   If  Fed-Up and Exhausted won’t do it, can Unrepentant Package Squashers do it routing through Big City to the North?   The Purveyor of Squiggly Things, who prefers to ship only FU&E, says they’ll look into it. She calls Unrepentant, who says they can.  The human female also contacted the Vendor Who’s Responsible, since she has glassware to order, and they say Unrepentant can’t.  She calls Unrepentant again and they say they can, and she lets Vendor of Squiggly Things and Vendor Who’s Responsible know.  Vendor Who’s Responsible  responds with a screen capture of the Unrepentant website, listing the local zip code as one they will not ship to. Human female responds with a screen capture that says the local area is unaffected.  Vendor Who’s Responsible emails back that both FU&E and Unrepentant have changed their tune and are now accepting *ground* shipments for delivery here, but not live or refrigerated materials.  The human female still insists they ought to be able to do air shipments through Big City to the North, and if not, she will drive to Random Small City to the North and pick them up there.   They’ve been going around and around all morning, with no clear path to Termiteville yet in sight.

If we could somehow rope in the Purveyor of Dead Things, we’d have some sort of twisted Vendor/Shipper Bingo going on.

So here I sit, with all the party props needed to entertain the termites properly, and no one to play with.


Guess we could always test whether Sigyn has trailing pheromones that are mimicked by Bic ink…

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Look At All the Pretty Colors

My thanks to those who have expressed concern for my safety.  I am happy to report that the rain has greatly diminished, at least in this exact part of Midgard.  Harvey has been banished offshore, and though he has expressed the intent to return, I have dis-invited him from this part of Midgard.  So far, the rain total at the humans’ house is 19.25 inches, which did indeed do the trick of keeping the human female from being able to do yardwork.  That’s all I wanted in the first place.

Actually, I am not certain that that is the correct rainfall total.  Look at the following images, if you please, keeping in mind that it began to rain on Friday the 25th and the human female only figured out how to get her phone to capture images on the 27th.  (She’s a little a lot technologically impaired.)  Green is a little bit of rain, orange is the heavy stuff.


We are under the little circle cross-hairs.


The humans checked the rain gauge about 10:00 p.m.  After that, it looked like this all night:


The human female was up, goofing off as usual, and listened to the rain beat against the house for hours.


It finally slowed about 4:00 a.m.  When the humans checked the gauge again in the morning, it said a whole 1.75″.  Six hours of steady rain, and that’s it??  I knew that the humans really, really wanted to know the total.  Since I couldn’t control the rain, I tinkered with the rain gauge.  Now it has the funny little habit of not being accurate when it’s raining sideways.  So they’ll never really know.  I have also trained thirsty birds to drink out of the rain gauge at the airport, so that’s no help.

The rain yesterday was lighter, so we didn’t have much fun to look at on the radar:


Just to keep them occupied, I arranged that the human male’s building would have wall leaks on all four floors, and that both humans would need to go into work, even though the University was closed.

It is closed again today. The human female plans to be “productive” around the house.  The male has to drive to Rival Orange City to the West because I dropped his phone (again!) and now the display looks like a copier with dirty rollers that’s running out of toner.  (I may have helped with the dropping.  I’m not saying…)

I… will be thinking and planning and plotting.  I grow bored of this rainy mischief, and it’s time for a new project.

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In Which It Drizzles Just a Smidge…

Next time I start wishing for something interesting to happen, will someone please smack me?

I didn’t mean for so much water to happen.  I invited this moist fellow, Harvey, to come and spoil the human female’s prospects of gardening, but I want it on record that his wanton destruction and disregard for conventional limits on precipitation were none of my plan.   Many things in this universe may be laid at my doorstep, but I refuse to be responsible for anything other than the human female’s soggy socks.

The humans and their felines are weathering the storm as best they can.  They attempted to do some last-minute securing of provisions on Friday, but the market was picked clean.  The human female, however, usually has enough comestibles on hand to feed at least a small army, so her response to the unrelenting downpour, out of some atavistic impulse to provide for the household, was to make bread.

Here it is in its pupal, resting stage.


The storm has spawned a number of tornadoes.  The human female was awakened rudely on Saturday by both the storm alarm on the radio and the human male.  There followed a very cramped and interesting half hour when we all huddled in the closet with the felines.  (Fickle beasts–every other day of the year they prowl about trying to get into the closet, but on this day, they resisted with all their furry might.)

It didn’t take too long before I was bored, so I saw to it that they first entertained Sigyn and me with a wrestling match and then used the human male as a jungle gym.


“Let me oooooooooowwwwwwwt!”

The humans have had to venture out to do some churchly things and have come back with photographs.

This town is not as badly off as many to the south  (the Large City to the South, in particular, is very floody.)

Still, driving has been tricky.

driving to mass

The retention area by the horrible apartments going up on the former site of Sigyn’s beloved pond is now a small inland sea.


The apartments, alas, are still standing.

It has been raining pretty steadily since Friday night, but there have been a few tiny breaks in the downpour.  Sigyn and I took advantage of one such to go for a little float.


Forward, cygnet!

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