slow silent and costly

Mischief Update: Off To A Great Start

This time, I think I’ll lead off with the fun I’ve been having with the human male.  The electricals in the building he works in are the original ones–the main system hasn’t been changed since it was put in during the 1960s.  Well, Slow, Silent, and Costly have been fixing this, swapping out something they call the “Switch Gear.” This has involved a series of planned power outages.  The first was scheduled for a Sunday last December, and the human male had to go all over both halves of the building (which is sort of like a giant “U”) and make sure all computers were powered off, since when the power started up again, it could surge and fry things (I think that is funny; the human male does not.)  Everyone else in the department just had to be logged off the server.  Many of the faculty squawked, saying their work was Too Important to be interrupted and demanding backup generators.

Well, it started off all right—but about forty-five minutes into the outage, the backup generator–which SSC had supposedly checked and declared fit for duty–failed.  Then, at the end of the outage, when all the servers were re-started, the department’s Web server failed to restart.  Dead.  Stone dead.  He put a new drive into the array, but it wouldn’t format.  He got home very late and very cranky and he and the human female missed their favorite annual Yule concert.  He has been working since then on rebuilding and all of its files, but it is largely Error 404 Territory.  Why not restore it from backups, you ask?  Why indeed!  That would certainly work—if I hadn’t corrupted the backups.  The departmental Webmaster has had to recreate about a million files.  The best part of this may turn out to be that the human female’s Lower Division Biology Image Library was a total loss as well.  She’s got the spreadsheet that has all the data for the images.  She has the images she has herself added.  Buuuut all the other multiple thousand images are electronic toast.  She can’t even recover things from internet archive sites, because they were all behind log-in passwords.  I believe this is where mortals traditionally insert what they call “sad trombone noises.”

The human female has other woes,  mostly as a result of a splendid new construct I have invented that is a cross between a shell game, a domino setup, a nuclear chain reaction, and trying to keep an unhappy octopus confined in a loose mesh sack.  It all starts with the land-grab that Biology has wanted to make for years–the goal being the full or partial annexation of the second floor of the human female’s building.  (Currently, only the third floor is their domain, plus one Anatomy and Physiology lab on the second.  Remember that lab; it will figure into my tale shortly…)  Well, at long last, this bids fair to happen.  The Texas Transportation Institute will move to their new building on a satellite campus, then Kinesiology will move from the second floor of the human female’s building into the old, vacated TTI building, then the second floor will be remodeled, and Bio will get half of it.  Hooray!  Or, to be more precise, not hooray, because I suggested to TTI that their new building is insufficiently grand, so they have not moved.  Because they have not budged, Kinesiology has not vacated, so the remodel has not commenced.  Which would put everyone at least no worse off, BUT the Registrar was planning on the second floor being under construction this semester, so all the small lecture rooms on the first floor are vacant and unscheduled for the semester, since it was assumed that construction noise would be too much.  Also, the Anatomy and Physiology labs from the second floor have been shoe-horned up onto the third floor, so the human female and her Prep Staff are short one room for the foreseeable future.  A&P was given a room smack  in the middle of the hallway, and only with great difficulty did the human female and her cohort get them swapped further down so they will not be in the middle of the Bio 111 rooms.  It took even more finagling to get them changed in the online course listing–and it’s still not completely correct up there!

But that is only one loose thread in the Sweater of Horror I’ve been knitting.  Usually in the spring, there are no Intro Bio labs on Mondays.  It means Prep Staff has two days to set up all the labs (Friday and Monday) and that labs are not affected by the Monday holiday which honors one of Midgard’s triple-named heroes.  Not this year!  Because Intro Bio is short a classroom, there will be Monday labs, beginning at 8:00 a.m.  As well, there will be three days of  night labs and not just two, which plays merry Hel with staff scheduling.

To make matters worse, the triple-named-hero holiday is late this year.  When it falls in the first week of the semester, no one minds, as there are no Monday labs and no labs in the first week anyway.  This year, however, it falls in the second week of the semester, when there are labs, including on Monday.  So the students in the Monday labs will have lab the first day of the semester, some of them before they have even been to lecture yet.  The other days will not have labs.   The second week, the Monday labs will be off, but all the other labs will meet.  The human female had to order one measly jar of microbes for that first Monday and three more jars for a different delivery date for the other days the following week.  Double the air freight, double the fun!

Because A&P is moving up, the human female and her staff have to get almost everything out of the room they are losing, and it all has to go somewhere.  Thirty microscopes, six spectrophotometers, a skeleton, all the contents of the drawers, a computer, a waterbath, an incubator, an enormous terrarium, and a refrigerator!  Some things can stay in the lab, if the human female can get locks installed on some of the cabinets in a hurry. Where the rest will end up is anyone’s guess.  Actually, there is a good chance that some of it will be stored down in the A&P room on the second floor, because it is looking more and more like the remodeling is not going to happen any time soon!  It’s entirely possible that I could string things out long enough that everything could have stayed right where it was for another whole semester.

This would all be merriment enough, but all the Intro Bio I labs are completely different now.  Prep Staff hasn’t done them; the TAs haven’t done them.  There’s no hard copy lab manual and the TAs won’t be giving an introduction– the students will be watching videos before coming to lab and jump right into the protocol, after they take a quiz over what they are about to do.  Prep Staff is having to do new things–like growing and maintaining stock cultures of bacteria and breeding and growing hundreds of Arabadopsis plants.  Everyone is nervous, and I’ve arranged it so that the professors whose brainchild the new labs are won’t actually be teaching the course.

This week, Prep Staff has to start the bacterial cultures, and they have to thrive–otherwise, several of the labs later on are ruined.  They also have to make about thirty liters of something called “Bradford reagent” (don’t know; don’t care), and it has to be vacuum filtered.  They’ve begged to be allowed to purchase a vacuum pump, but I think it will be more fun to watch them waste a pond’s worth of water using running water to create the vacuum.  The medium for the bacterial cultures needs to be made with distilled water, except–remember:  there is no distilled water in their labs.  Ehehehehe–It will also need to be autoclaved.

And that’s another thing I’ve been having fun with.  The autoclave for Intro Bio is twenty-plus years old.  It is always needing fixing.  Recently, I had the door stick shut.  The repairman came and fixed it, but he found that one of the three computer boards in it was dead.  He borrowed boards from someone else’s unit to swap around and figure which one it is.  He is letting the human female keep the borrowed board, and he’ll come in to rebuild the steam manifold (again), but it’s very likely that a new one will need to be acquired sooner rather than later.

Thus, the bacterial medium is going to involve toting distilled water from another building and very possibly toting it back to said other building to autoclave.  Oh, well, it will have to go on the incubating shaker table in another building anyway…

So you might say it was a stressful first week back from Yule for the humans. The female, having turned in just before Yule a large list of equipment needed to teach the new labs, had to, in three short days, deliver the bad and expensive news about the RO system, the small RO/still unit, the image library, and the autoclave.  No one wants to open an email from her anymore!

There is more, much more, but my hands are cramping from typing so much.  I’ll have to fill you in at a future date…

To Be Continued…

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There’s Water And Then There’s *Water*

Remember the chunky goop in the reverse osmosis water system that has been plaguing the human female and her Prep Staff?  Well, the nice fellow from Slow, Silent, and Costly was back again today to take another look at things.  Apparently there is a plan to treat the whole building’s RO system with some chemical that will kill all the little microbes.   What they need now is an accurate count of how many RO taps there are and where they all are.

Well, there’s this one here in one of the prep rooms.

303-di-RO water

And the one in the plant and animal room that now has all the filters.  That’s this floor.  I’ve seen to it that the fellow from SSC has been unable to catch up with the building proctor to find out about the other floors.  So we’re still not sure how many there are.

While he’s here, he’s looking at the distilled water taps too.  There’s one in every teaching lab and one in each prep room.  He’s got a little gizmo that measures the ions and whatnot dissolved in the water.  He says distilled water should read 0 to 5; RO water comes in around 20 to 25.  Twenty-five what, I don’t know.  It’s all gibberish as far as I’m concerned.

Uh, oh!  The distilled water is reading 24 in this tap.

313-supposed-di-water2

All the faucets that look like this are supposed to be distilled, but this one sure isn’t.

313-supposed-di-water

Ehehehehe!  He has now checked several “Distilled” taps and they’re all reading at RO levels.

The fellow says that now he remembers:  there used to be a still in the basement.  It died years ago and all the distilled water lines were all just tied into the RO system.  There is  no distilled water in the building.  The human female’s life has been a lie!  And the poor folks at SSC have waaaaay more taps to test, lock people out of, treat, flush, and re-test.  Scheduling all of this will be a feat in itself.  I doubt it can be done before the semester starts.

Well, that is a fine bit of mischief.  Wish I’d thought of it!

Might as well check the stand-alone RO unit in the prep room.  Maybe that’s functional?

303-still-filter

It’s a behemoth.

303-still

Great Frigga’s Hairpins!  Look at the maintenance log!

303-303-still-maintenance

No one has done any maintenance for eight and a half years?!  Yikes.  That explains why this one is putting out inferior water as well.  And now the fellow has started the tap and the pump is making noises like its motor is going out.

This whole endeavor has been like pulling on a loose thread—and things are unraveling magnificently!   I should be able to string this out until May, at least.

Good times!

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Mischief Update: I Had Help

Lest my loyal readers think I’ve been doing nothing but swanning about gaming conventions and rescuing Sigyn from the odd bit of macabre glassware, I present for your delight a compendium of my latest exploits.

While the human male and I were up at the gaming con, the human female was on her own.  I made sure that every morning she was driving in to campus, there was a wreck on the way, slowing her down and making her late.  One day I actually blocked the entrance to campus!  I do some of my best work with traffic cones and vehicles with blinky lights.  A couple of days, I parked a big pickup in the lane she needed to be in to reach her parking spot.  Love pickups.

To make the human female’s work life a little more surreal and the job of her Prep Staff more difficult, suborned one of the undergraduates.  Together, he and I dismantled the human torso model in one of the lab rooms and hid the various body parts all around the lab room.  It made for a very visceral treasure hunt!

Then there was the week the students were playing with working with DNA.  Prep staff always has the very expensive reagents measured down to the microliter.  Someone spilled a whole tube of DNA ladder (a mix of DNA bits of known sizes), and two groups added ladder to every single sample, instead of just loading one lane of it in the electrophoresis gel they were running.   Cue the human female doing a mad scramble to order more over the phone with a credit card.

It’s not just the undergrads I’ve warped to my service.  I nudged one of the Lab Instructors, and she accidentally sent a copy of the lab final to every student in one of her sections.  Since what she sent was the base exam for a whole group of TAs, all those TAs had to write completely different exams.  This same LI also (thanks to my meddling) left her thumb drive in the computing lab.

Another TA decided to change the due date on a homework assignment.  This is strictly forbidden, as there’s a master calendar.

Another decided to ignore the rules about food in the lab and  bring cookies for his class.  Admonished, he removed them.  And put them back later.  Honestly!  Grad students are so suggestible!

And yet another decided to let the students into the lab final one at a time.  It took him about forty minutes to get them all started on the twenty-five station exam.

And yet another TA lost a whole set of ungraded homework papers and a set of ungraded quizzes.  Cue a big tizzy over what to do.  The human female thought someone on Prep Staff found them, and told everyone the good news. Unfortunately, what was found was four *other* sets of papers this TA had left in the Prep Staff office, so she had to untell everyone the good news.  The human female got chewed out for speaking too soon and muddying the situation.  Isn’t it funny how I can always work it round to her disadvantage, even when it’s not her fault?

Honestly, I’m finding TAs to be some of my best minions!

The human female ordered some pond weed that was urgently needed for a lab.  The Purveyor of Squiggly Things obligingly sent it on a Monday for arrival on Tuesday.  Then Fed-up and Exhausted, for reasons that were never explained, held onto the package in Memphis, Tennessee for twenty-four hours, so that it arrived on Wednesday, cold-damaged and kind of sad looking.  Salvageable, but too late to be useful for the lab.

Of course, I can’t leave the other vendors out of the mix.  I don’t always have time to think up new tricks, but the old ones are still good.  I sent the invoice for the human female’s latest order from the Vendor Who’s Responsible to Qatar in the Persian Gulf again, and then I  made sure an invoice from another vendor, one that wasn’t hers and didn’t have her name on it showed up in her mailbox with “Please pay this PAST DUE BILL NOW” all over it.  She spends half her time trying to tell vendors where invoices really ought to go.

One of the lab rooms has been too cold–about ten degrees colder than the other labs and the hallway.  *I* think it feels good in there, but humans are wimps, so the human female filed a work order.  Come to find out, some worker from Slow Silent and Costly, on some prior visit, had removed the valve that lets hot water for the climate control system into the room.  Not closed it.  Removed it. Possibly because it was leaking.  No one’s sure.  Now someone else has to come out and put it back.

I took the Biology Image Library down one day, so all of the students trying to study were met with a giant Error 404.  It’s an old program, and the underlying software, I think, is scratched onto rough stones in primitive runes.  The human male will be lucky if he can keep it running.

In the meantime, the University has decreed that all users have to have dual-factor authentication if they are logging in from off-campus.  They keep changing the adoption date, too, moving it up and up.  People are scrambling to get the software on their phones and such.  The human female’s phone wouldn’t take the software (thanks to a little jiggery pokery from Yours Truly), so she had to go over to a hidden room in an unmarked building and purchase a little doodad that generates a  log-in code at the push of a button.  So far, she hasn’t lost it, but it’s only a matter of time…

Computers are such fun to mess with.  I arranged a campus-wide cascade of computing, web, and email outages one day, starting with an equipment failure in the main computing center.  The systems were supposed to be multiply redundant so that if some bit failed, things would still keep going.  If you have all the systems in the same building, though…  Hey–they should thank me!  It was a good exercise in disaster recovery.

That caused such merry chaos that I’ve had random email outages and slow downs once a week or so since then, just to keep things interesting.

I’ve kept it rainy.  4.75″ just the other day.  The human female has given up trying to mow.

The human female had to get new glasses, just for a slight prescription change in one eye.  Would they let her get just one new lens?  They would not!  Because of her frames, it was all or nothing.  She wanted to get frames just like the ones she had.  Ehehehe!  Of course they don’t make them anymore!  She had to settle, which is always demoralizing for her and fun for me.

She bought a box of her favorite orange cookies, Mexican polvorones.  When she opened them, she found them smashed to crumbs.  I think she needs to look up the definition of “polvo” and not whine so much.  And that old quip about broken cookies having no calories?  Yeah, not true.  You should see the size of her!

Then there’s all the stress of Yule preparations, but that’s a tale for another time…

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So What Was the Verdict?

The fellow from Slow, Silent, and Costly (who, oddly enough, turns out to be the spouse of the lady who runs the greenhouse) has come and gone, and come and gone again.

Now we know what the mysterious white stuff in the R/O water line is.

It’s chunks of biofilm!  A biofilm being a layered carpet of bacteria.  Yummy!  Biofilms are really interesting!  They’re usually composed of several different species, intermixed and in layers.  When the bottom layer gets smothered by newer layers, it can detach and break away, taking top layers with it.  That’s what’s going on here.

That’s right, folks!  The building’s reverse osmosis water system is basically a giant bacterial culture!  Harmless–they think.  But who knows?  Apparently R/O systems are quite prone to them.  Set up a membrane and pipes and whatnot, and here come the microscopic goobers to glunk it all up.  It’s enough to make a body believe in Spontaneous Generation.

They’re really, really hard to get rid of.  Steam cleaning the line is out, because the PVC pipe can’t take temperatures that high.  Annihilating them entirely would involve running bleach or some other disinfectant through the ENTIRE BUILDING’S system, making sure the disinfectant runs out of every tap on every floor. Then the system has to be flushed out of every tap so that no trace of the cleaning agent remains.

As you can imagine, this is not cheap, so negotiations will have to be begun with Chemistry, who’s in charge of the building.

When I do mischief, I do it right.

The temporary solution is to install a filter to trap all the crud before it comes out the faucet.  The fellow from SSC ordered one, but the company sent the wrong size.  (I may have helped.)  He had them overnight the proper size, and then he came and installed it.

And here it is:

RO-filter

The hoop-y things are wrenches for removing the blue filter cartridges so that the filters can be changed.  The human female was told that they’ll unscrew backwards, because one has to pretend one is looking at them from underneath.  I bet she forgets.

Now, the whole R/O water question is made more complex by the fact that the Aquatics people also use the water for making the salt water for the aquaria.  Prep Staff accuses them of leaving the sprayer nozzle in their big drums of “instant ocean,” which corrodes the spray-y bits, so that over time, the nozzle doesn’t shut off very well, eventually becoming totally useless.  Prep Staff has tried to get them to quit, but hasn’t had much luck, so Prep Staff bought a splitter, along with a hose and a nozzle for the aquatic techs’ particular use, in the hopes they’d leave Prep Staff’s alone (so far, it hasn’t worked.)

So now that particular corner of the Plants and Animals room is a plumber’s nightmare.  Pipes galore, the water line for the ice machine, the splitter, the filter system, two hoses, two nozzles…

…and the new valve setup for the now-filtered R/O system.

The human female, needing to fill some jugs with R/O water for the plants, was the first person to try it out.  She had good water pressure at first, but it soon slowed to a trickle.  She tried opening the red R/O master valve.  Same result.  She fiddled with the splitter.  She tried the master valve again, in both the parallel and perpendicular positions.  Same result–lots of water, then nothing at all.

Now, humans are nothing if not predictable.  There are standards.  Usually, when the valve handle is inline, the valve is open, and perpendicular usually means “off.”  Neither position worked here.

With a little trial and error, the human female and one of her techs determined that “open”, in this case, is about 23 degrees off of inline.  (Why?  Because I like the number twenty-three…)

The human female, ever helpful, decided to mark the valve and the pipe so that other users wouldn’t have to thrash about, trying to get more than a trickle.  Unfortunately for her, she sometimes suffers from sleep-deprivation aphasia.  It can cause trouble with her vocabulary—she’ll say or write a random word that sounds a bit like the one she wants, sometimes with hilariously nonsensical results.

RO-valve

And sometimes it’s just laughably accurate.

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What’s That Stuff? I’m Not Telling!

It has been too quiet here in the human female’s workspace, ever since Slow, Silent, and Costly showed up to fix the drooling cold room.  Time for me to cause a bit more mischief.

Hmmm.  What could I do that would be annoying every single day?  Something she and her staff use all the time?  Something basic like…

Water.

That’s it!  I’ll muck up one of the specialty water lines!  There’s regular tap water, distilled water, and reverse osmosis water (R/O).  They’re all important, but the R/O water has to be specially good, since it’s what is used to water the plants, make the salt water for the aquaria, and all sorts of other sciencey goodness.

A wave of my hand, a few choice utterings, and behold!

RO water chunks
Odin’s eyepatch, that looks awful!  It won’t take them long to see the problem.   I wonder how long it’ll take them to figure out what it is…

(later)

I’m having such fun with this!  I let it clear up for a few days and everyone was happy, but now the whatever-it-is is back with a vengeance!

And what IS it???

They still don’t know!  They thought  perhaps the faucet gasket was decomposing, or maybe the lining of the hose.  Nope. Being scientists, they experimented a bit and discovered that the water looks like this straight from the tap.  Chunks abound!

Ehehehehe. *I* know what it is, but I’m not telling!  They’ve taken a sample to show Slow, Silent, and Costly:

RO-chunks

Mmm.  Looks delicious!  But seriously—Isn’t that pretty?  It’s just like a snow globe!

A weird, contaminated snow globe.

Stay tuned, kiddies.

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There Is Nothing Like Fine Workmanship

A room in the basement of an adjacent building which, coincidentally, used to be the human female’s office before she moved into her current workgroup, has recently been renovated into a student study hall.  They’ve redone the floors, applied some paint, and added additional lighting.  I coached Slow, Silent, and Costly myself, since everything had to be done just so.

lights1

Note, if you will, that the light panel hangs from four chains (two of which are visible above).  Note also that, with incredible attention to detail, no two of the chains are the same length.

Well done, SSC, well done.

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Mischief Update–It’s Not All Pens Around Here

It’s not all pens around here, though you’d never know it by the ink samples on the dining room table.

No, there is a lot of messing with the human female so that she gets her exercise running around.  Take, for instance, the time the stockroom folks delivered a package that patently was not anything she had ordered.  It contained petri plates full of nutrient goo, meant for doing environmental sampling.  She called the Vendor Who’s Responsible and asked whose name was on the original PO.  They told her it was for someone named Craig Bell.  Armed with that info, she searched the A&M directory for anyone named Craig Bell.  She found a Greg Bell, so she called him and said she might have his package.  Then, since the VWR had just sent the good that were manufactured by another company, Hardly Diagnostics, she called them and was told the package was something ordered by one B.E., who actually is in the Biology Department.  So the human female called B.E., who met her in the hallway for a handoff.  B.E. got her plates, the human female had thirty minutes of her day wasted, and I had a good laugh.  Win-win, I’d say!

The human female and her prep staff were in charge of the snacks for the big, ten-day Teaching Assistant workshop that took place right before the start of the semester.  They received a schedule of all the break times and the human female carefully calculated how many snacks and drinks they’d need–six snack breaks times sixty participants, etc..  She went on a huge shopping run.  Then she found out they were responsible for two other breaks, so she had to go again.  I made sure that, on the second run, the Big Box Store was out of the cookie assortments everyone likes so much.  Or rather, they had them, it was just that each one had been opened. No idea what happened there (munch, munch…)

I also saw to it that on one of those runs, the human female’s university ID fell out of her pocket.  She didn’t know about it until she got an email from someone who works on campus saying that someone had found it and put it on the windshield of her doesn’t-work-on-campus boyfriend’s truck in the Big Box Store’s parking lot.  Rather than turning it in to the store, the boyfriend had taken it home.  The human female had to call him up and arrange to get it.  He wanted to take it to some coffee shop he was going to and leave it there.   The human female actually had to explain to him why leaving a card that identifies the worker’s department and which functions as, you know, a KEY in a public place was not a good idea.  She and the human female ended up driving all over the southern part of the city, out in the country, to catch up with him and get the card back.  That was a good one!

The first week of the semester was an absolute joy–for me.  One lane of the humans’ route to work was closed on the first day, and I arranged a fender-bender-tieup on the second.

The Thursday Night Home Football Opener caused as much trouble as predicted.  Traffic was a zoo.  Some employees were told they could leave at 1:00 and others were not.  Students were told to attend their afternoon classes, but some buildings were locked up early so they couldn’t do that.  I worked with the Memorial Student Center to be sure lockers in the MSC were available for the students to stash their stuff so they could go right to the game from class.  And then the next day, I saw to it that offer was rescinded.  Confusion is so exhilarating.

I’m still having fun with Workdon’t.  I had it mess up September’s insurance deduction for a lot of people.  And since the human female was finally able to hire a fourth Tech, I’ve had opportunities for mischief there, too.  He was hired three weeks ago, and he’s not in the system yet as far as anyone being able to code his ID card for the door locks.  Ah, door locks.  Love’em.  I’ve favored some of the Teaching Assistants and Lab Instructors in the same way.  There are all sorts of people wandering around who can’t get where they need to go.

The Purveyor of Squiggly Things continues to be a willing and able partner in the human female’s mental demise.  They are located in one of the states that bore the brunt of Hurricane Florence, so they shut down for a few days.  The human female had to put in her weekly order with them early, and then hope it came in time.  Then there was the time they canceled one item without notice (no Nostoc for you!).  The female didn’t notice it until the shipment arrived without it–no backorder notice had been sent.  Quickly, she scrambled to put in a phone/credit card order with the Alternate Purveyor of Squiggly Things–who also cancelled without any notice, on the exact same item.  The human female and her staff had to make do with prepared slides.  Then on the same lab, it wasn’t until Tuesday that the human female discovered that in one room, the jar of Nitella (a lovely freshwater alga) from the APOST contained no actual Nitella, just a lot of Bazania, a weedy aquatic liverwort that I’ve had fun spreading through all the freshwater tanks on the floor.  The human female called up the APOST to chew them out for sending bad merchandise, but they couldn’t find the PO in their system.  Why?  Because the human female had canceled the order when they couldn’t ship the Nostoc, so the Nitella in the lab was from a previous semester.  Didn’t she look like an idiot for not remembering?  Yes, she did!  And even moreso when she discovered that the Oedogonium in one of the lab rooms was also mostly Bazania.  Have I mentioned how much I like Bazania?

Then, on another order, the Purveyor of Squiggly Things just randomly changed the shipping date from one in September to one in October.  The human female caught it in time.  I still don’t think she’s realized that half of the employees at POST actually work for me.

I’m still playing my favorite game, Vendor Roulette.  The human female ordered a bunch of prepare microscope slides from several different vendors.  She received most of them.  That was too boring, so I had the Vendor Who Was Recently Swallowed by the Vendor Who’s Responsible (VWRSbVWR) send the invoice to the university’s satellite campus–in Qatar.  Never mind that POs are distributed with the email to which invoices should be sent.  Nope!  The invoice went all the way to some foreign fellow in the Middle East.  Someone there sent it to the human female, who let the VWRSbVWR know what to do with the invoice.  That was such fun that I started a whole ‘nother round–VWRSbVWR to Qatar to the human female to VWRSbVWR. That time she talked to an actual person, and it seems to have been resolved for now.

I’m still having another vendor, Lonza, send the human female Angry Past Due Notices for any university invoice, regardless of whether it is hers or not.  It’s such fun that now I’m doing it with a second vendor as well.  She’s everybody’s scapegoat, and I love it!

The last time the human female’s set of teaching labs and prep rooms was inspected, the inspector seemed preternaturally fascinated with the breaker boxes.  In one prep room, he found several slots without circuit switches, and he wrote them up, promising to send a tech to fix this Very Dangerous Problem No One Else Had Ever Found.  Nothing happened.  Then more nothing.  The human female called the department’s safety officer, who promised to put in a work order.  Not too long after, someone from Slow, Silent, and Costly came out and did the job.  A week later, someone else from Slow, Silent, and Costly came out to do the same job.  Also, the one worker at SSC who came when he was needed, actually called with updates, and did a good job the first time has retired.  I love it when smoke curls out of the human female’s ears.

The human female lost her yoga t-shirt, and I hid it so well that no one ever turned it in to lost and found.  She couldn’t ask the custodian if she’d found it, because said custodian quit on no notice.  The new custodian can’t figure out how to lock the human female’s office door, or that of her nearest office neighbor, since their locks lock and unlock “backwards.”

Construction continues to make driving anywhere in town a misery.  Lanes disappear for no reason at all, with no warning.  Getting to work is more and more like a video game every day.   And the TexDOT  (i.e., the Texas Department of Ongoing Torture) has just announced that in the next few years, they are going to widen the east bypass around the city.  Yes, the one they just spent five years redoing all the on-ramps on!

And one day, anyone trying to approach the Blocker Building suddenly found there was no actual way to do it.

construction on campus

The human female occasionally likes to listen to books on tape or books on YouTube while she works.  She was really enjoying a good murder mystery.  Too bad I saw to it that the last two hours were missing.  Never fret.  Waiting a few weeks for the book to arrive on interlibrary loan was a good exercise in patience for her.

On the homefront, the felines continue to offer me amusement and the humans bemusement.  The swirly one, at my prompting, has begun a new routine of rubbing up on the human female if she sits on the floor, with each arching rub going a little higher up her back, until she can nibble on her shoulder or her hair.  When she’s not tearing around the house or rubbing, she’s Sitting Funny.

goobercat

I taught her that too.  The humans have since had to barricade that lower shelf of that bookcase you see there, because she likes to NEST.

Aaaaand the human female  is still waiting for the needlework kit she ordered in January.  Some jokes never get old.

So you can see that I have been very busy.  And a busy Loki is a happy Loki.

Sometimes I smirk so hard my face hurts.

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