Loki helps around the house

Never Fear

My readers have been quite vocal about their concern. “Loki,” they say, “With the human female retired from the University, how will you keep up with your mischief? Whatever shall you do?”

It is very kind of all of you to be worried for me. Rest assured, I am not idle.

First off, I have left quite a lot of residual mischief floating around Intro Bio. Two of the vendors that the human female used to deal with now have “punchouts” in the Aggie Buy purchasing interface, which allows for faster, easier chaos. Apparently, trying to order cuvettes for the spectrophotometers from Fisher now prompts a message in their new punchout that they can’t sell them to A&M anymore because of a deal A&M has with Another Vendor. I suspect that the “other vendor” is the Vendor Who’s Responsible.

The construction in Heldenfels is NOT finished. The teaching labs which were to move to the second floor are still waiting to have a usable space to move into. Workmen did, however, finally put the missing ethernet connections in the area of the third floor where one had been removed when the utility conduit was put in. In fact, they put four ethernet connections in. The fact that they put them all in room 319 (tiny, tiny prof office) rather than 318 (Techs’ office) is causing some consternation. The missing outlet in 318 was replaced, but it is on the wrong wall. But, hey! A completed work order is a completed work order!

And there is plenty to do here at the house, messing with the human female’s expectations about how retired life should go. She catches up on laundry; I wad the sheets up in the dryer so the middle of the mass doesn’t dry. She cooks up a new recipe; I make sure a perishable ingredient doesn’t get back into the fridge and is discovered too late to salvage. She tackles a “quick” organizing job; I make sure it takes half a day. She finds a serial drama she wants to watch on YouTube; I make sure it isn’t available in the U.S.

She resolves to get in some walking as many days of the week as she can; I make sure that the housekey that should be in her pocket…


Now she gets to sit on the front porch like a big, dorky milk bottle until the male gets home from the store.

The days are just packed.

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‘Tis a Puzzlement

The human female likes puzzles.  She’s pretty good at word puzzles and actually amazingly good at jigsaw puzzles, but not so good at math puzzles and pretty hopeless at those wood-rope-bent metal tavern puzzles.

Let’s see how well she does with the one I left for her in the kitchen.


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Home Disimprovement

The humans’ home is comfortable enough, but it isn’t new, and bits of it are in need of repair. Case in point: the ceiling fan in the parlor is possessed of a four-lamp light fixture that has begun to “eat” light bulbs at an alarming rate. With a little coaching from me, it has developed a taste for the really expensive 100-wattcompact fluorescent ones that, even sucked dry of all life, present a toxic waste hazard that gives everyone the twitches for fear they may break.

Therefore, the humans have enlisted the help of a friend in an attempt to detach the light-kit and fix or replace it. I am lending my aid as well, because that’s just the sort of helpful fellow I am.

The tubular brass arms are reminiscent of a wind instrument. How baroque. Hmm. I do not think the switch is at fault.


And I am reasonably certain they will find no fault in the bird’s nest of wiring. Yet.


Remind me… Is the black wire the ground?


Or is it the white one? And did I mention that I learned a few tricks from Thor and can short out puny Midgardian wires like this with a mere thought? Zap! There goes another one! Aw. That is most regrettable–the humans will have to go and buy a whole new light kit.

These are the fancy, scallopy light shades from the old fixture.


Fancy, but boring. Everyone has these. Dare I hope the humans will choose something sleek and a little more modern?

Ah. They have returned from the hardware store. Now this is more like it! Smooth and alabasterine and not at all scallopy. I approve, but I will not tell them that.


Here is the new lighting fixture. Not as curly and hunting-hornish as the other.


It also appears to have simpler wiring. Should I summon another zap? No, wait! I have a better idea. (And by “better” I mean, “More likely to cause tooth-gnashing and the exchange of blame-filled rants among the humans.”)

Oh, look, the new light kit actually comes *with* bulbs. Convenient, that.


Let me see if I can read the wattage on one of them. Ehehehehehehehe! I think I can do better!


There now! Forty watts maximum! All four together will scarcely be equal to one of the old lights! Ha! Let darkness and chaos reign!

Back up the old fixture goes, for now. Other than making the mortals go up and down the ladder and to and from the hardware store, the best part of this, the final indignity, is that they’ll need the receipt to return that new business, and I have already put it away someplace very, very safe. Safe safe safe. Soooo safe. I mean, what could possibly be safer than the pile of already-entered-into-the-checkbook receipts that are headed for the shredder?

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Lest Anyone Think…

…that all my time and all my mental processes have been directed toward seizing the governorship of Texas, let me assure them that I have not slackened my efforts to make the human female’s life as miserable as possible. In the last two or three weeks, I have arranged it so that:

–One of the automobiles (the old one) needed new spark plugs, struts, rear wiper, oil pan gasket, motor mounts, and an assortment of other very pricey bits and pieces.

–This same vehicle left a large and rainbowy oil slick in the driveway, necessitating a tow back to the dealership to tighten some widgets and review all the work.

–The other vehicle (the nearly brand-new one) required its first oil change and tire rotation.

–The washing machine (which I have become skilled at unbalancing) piddled on the garage floor and refused to cease filling or to drain. The humans had to bail out the machine, wring out all the sopping laundry, and beg the use of a friend’s machine. I saw to it that the washer needed not one but two expensive and lengthy repairman visits and the installation of several fiddly little parts. The human female missed an entire day of work, a day which saw several crises in the office that she was not there to handle, much to the annoyance of her boss and consternation of her coworkers.

–Just when the human female has time for some stitchery, she developed what the physician has diagnosed as “tennis elbow,” which is patently absurd, since she is nowise coordinated enough to play tennis. (Or any other sport requiring interaction with moving objects.) No needlework for her for quite awhile.

–On a recent trip to visit friends, the human female forgot to pack any socks at all, and somehow arrived without just part of one shoe.

–The automobile, washer repairman, automobile registration, and physician bills have all arrived at about the same time that the property taxes are due. (The timing of mischief is everything.)

–The shower has begun to drip, and I can guarantee that getting those old knobs off is going to involve swearing and at least two trips to the hardware store.

–Several light bulbs in the house have blown, and another one of them–and this is a piece of work of which I am justly proud!–is going on and off randomly. Thrice I’ve had it go out just as the human female is two paragraphs from finishing a chapter of the book she is reading.

–On the first day of the spring semester (was it only yesterday?), a partial power outage produced locked doors, darkened stairwells, and non-existent internet just as the instructors and students were attempting to meet the 8:00 a.m. classes.

Et cetera. Clearly I have not lost my touch.

Other misfortunes have occurred at work, such as one instructor’s hiring paperwork not clearing approval, so that substitutes have had to be found. The lost and found is already filling up. Other instructors have fallen sick just before or even during class. But I cannot take credit for these events. Do not attribute to my mischief what is easily explained by bureaucracy, absentmindedness, or the inevitable tendency for staff and students to go home over the yule holidays and return to campus harboring microbes of every description.

Am I having fun? Most assuredly! Am I out of ideas? Eheheheheheheh. Oh, no. Not even remotely. No photos–simply imagine the human female pulling her (rapidly graying) hair out.

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Company’s coming!

The humans are expecting the female’s mother for a visit. They are engaged in a massive house-cleaning so that she won’t know what slovens they are.

Time for a big washload. I have helpfully filled the drum with sheets, towels, and an assortment of whites, jeans, sweaters, and some delicate lingerie.

Uh, oh! The machine is flashing an error message!


Consulting the manual reveals that “UE” stands for UnEven and indicates a load that is too lopsided to spin. It will sit like this for hours until someone notices. Yes! I have managed to throw off the whole housecleaning schedule!

(If anyone dares to put the words “Loki” and “unbalanced” in the same sentence, I will smite them into next week.)

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It’s not true I never help, Part 1–Paperwork

It is simply not true that I never help around the house! Since the human female has been under the weather (in more ways than one!) I have made it a point of honor to help her keep things clean and tidy. I am no freeloader!

Here I am neatly filing away the tax statement for the house…


…in the dental insurance folder…


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