usually squashes packages significantly

There’s Still the Human Male to Annoy

I’m trying to be philosophical about the human female retiring. Sure, I won’t have the University and vendors to plague her with anymore, but there are still the felines, housework, home improvement, travel (eventually), and so on.

Oh, and I think the folks at TRS—ostensibly Teachers’ Retirement System, but I’m pretty sure it stands for They’re Really Slow—may prove to be a formidable ally. The human female faxed in her application packet, then followed that with a phone call to see if it had arrived. After waiting thirty minutes for a call back, she learned it hadn’t. Then she tried sending it all as a registered letter via Usually Smashes Parcel Significantly. The tracking shows as “delivered.” She called to check on it, and when they called back, the connection didn’t go through. So she called them again, went through the phone tree again, selected “call back” again (the queue was twenty minutes this time)—-and then was away from her phone when they called back. She tried calling the next day and left her call-back number again. They never called. I think I’ve managed to get her number onto a blocked number list. We’ll see what happens when she tries to use the new voip phone, which has a different number than her cell…

But I digress. As I was saying, there are other avenues for my mischief. The human male, who is set to ALSO retire, but in October, is still eminently tormentable with University matters until then.

Take this, for instance. This is the elevator in his building:

There are live wire ends under the blue tape. It’s been “fixed” like this for over month.

And it’s not even electrician’s tape…

Zzzzt!!

>|: [

I Suppose It’s the Thought That Counts

Look, Sigyn! It’s a parcel, and it’s addressed to the human female!

Let’s open it.

Oh, don’t play innocent with me. I know you want to! No, it’s not addressed to you or to me, but the human female has so many people who truly do not like her that we OWE it to her to, um…pre-inspect it and make sure that it contains nothing harmful. Yes, that’s it.

Does it say who it’s from?

Ah. Flourish–that’s the University’s touchy-feely outfit, the one that encourages people to breathe, exercise, get in touch with their inner moppet, and not be mad at the school for making them teach live during a pandemic. (Did I say that out loud?)

Well, let’s have at it. Good thing I always have a dagger handy.

Well, look at that.

It’s a slogan. Graphically designed, multicolored, and kind of cryptic. Who is supposed to be kind, the sender or the recipient? And who’s meant to be great, President Young (that’s his little message in there) or the human female?

I’m so confused. Is there anything else in the box? Surely there must be, or why send a package via Usually Smashes Parcels Significantly when an email would suffice?

Shreddies!

Sigyn would be thrilled if this were all the box contained. (My girl has a definite “thing” for confetti and crinkles.) I’m not as big a fan. Paper tends to catch annoyingly on the helmet.

Moving on.

Hand-sanitizer?

Oh–I see what this is now! This is a care package, a little “Something-something” to say, “Stay safe in this time of difficulty and pestilence!” All the staff were mailed one. It’s a nice gesture.

Can we pause for a moment and appreciate how the little bottle of sanitizer is of a size compliant with TSA rules for air travel?

Not that anyone can GO anywhere at the moment, but hey, it’s the thought that counts!

Sigyn, we’re standing on something flattish… Get off and let’s see what it is.

Antibacterial wet wipes. Very useful! The Covid may get her, but the human is all set to ward off bubonic plague.

One last thing…

A mask. Very thoughtful. Very soft. Very on-brand.

Very much too big.

You wouldn’t know, because–thank the Norns!–the human female’s likeness never sullies this blog, but she really has a tiny little pinhead. There’s no way this one-size-fits-all mask is going to work.

I can hear you now–“Just tie a knot in the elastic earloops and it will fit better!” That might work, if her ears didn’t stick out like taxicab doors, but they do. Any loop small enough to hold a mask securely to her face is going to be strong enough to fold her ear right over and slip off. Trust me, I watched her try. It wasn’t pretty.

So looks like the human male gets another mask, to go with the one he received in his little care package last week.

And that’s it. That’s all there is. I was hoping for cookies or candy, and Sigyn was stumping for stickers, but sadly, it’s just plague supplies.

Bored now. Come on, Sigyn, let’s just leave all the contents for the human female.

And all the packing for the felines.

>|: [

Mischief Update: Here We Go Again

It’s been quite some time, I believe, since I have enlightened my readers as to my progress in making the human female’s life a nightmare.  Let me rectify that!

I was not idle over the Yule holiday.  I managed to manipulate both space and time. Something the human female ordered on December 12 was tracked to Hutchins, Texas on December 13.  On the 14th, she was told it was in Ocala, Florida on the 13th and was in Hutchins, Texas at 1:00 p.m., even though it was then only 9:00 a.m.  I like to watch that vein in her forehead bulge.

Two Yule gifts that people said they were sending to the human female have yet to arrive.  She does not know whether the gifts were, in fact, sent; whether Unrepentant Package Squashers or Usually Smashes Packages Significantly has made some grievous error; or whether I have been holed up somewhere, secretly eating chocolate, reading botany books, and drawing mustaches on photos of the grand-nieces and -nephews.

My gift to the male was a nasty cold.  Generous soul that he is, he shared with the human female, so that they both hacked and snorted their way through the holiday.  The female is still coughing, so I’m getting some good mileage out of a few microbes!  It’s called Thrift.

Of course, the fact that record cold has been followed by record heat, then rain, then fog, then wind, then cold again so that no one knows what to wear hasn’t helped.  Thor’s not the only one who can fiddle with the weather!

Following my recommendation, the local utility company has instituted a monthy “road improvement” fee to be assessed on all households.  Ostensibly, this is for Road Improvement, but it is actually the “Loki Roadtrip Improvement” fee.  By spring break, Sigyn and I will be able to go someplace really nice.

On the work front, I continue to be quite busy.  The new semester has started, which means the usual chaos of out-of-department teaching assistants, computer users who manage to delete their entire mailboxes, multiple conflicting versions of each syllabus, malfunctioning thermostats, and no-shows at critical meetings.

BAMN, my beloved purchasing software system, that which has caused the human female so much grief, is being phased out.  That is all right.  I have wrung about as much mayhem out of it as I can.  I will be able to confound her with just vendors and shippers and bookkeeping!  Why, already this semester, the Purveyor of Squiggly Things has shipped termites on the wrong day, increased all their prices, and lost the human-female-approves-all-shipping-charges-so-please-do-not-call-on-every-order note that was hanging in their shipping office.  There’s no fear anyone will forget BAMN, though, because there will long remain that open commitment with the Purveyor of Dead Things for that last order of stiff kitties.  It will remain on the books for-ev-er.

She is also haunted by the Ghosts of Piglets Past.  The Landfill Guardians have decreed that the preserved porcine cadavers are too much all at once.  The female must PAY the University’s Vet School to pick them up and incinerate them.  The good news is that she finally made contact with the people who can make this happen.  The bad news is that all the little piggies have to be unbagged before they will take them. File under “eew.”

The human female produced a small spate of actual useful activity in re-organizing the Biology Image Library, a vasty collection of images and review questions which the students may use (but mostly don’t) for study. Responding to numerous student requests, she sorted the images in each review set by lab.  Wanting to keep her occupied and out of my hair for as long as possible, I tinkered with the underlying code so that the images in each set display in alphabetical order by file name–no exceptions.  The only way to accomplish the sorting was to save each image, rename it with a name beginning with the name of the lab, and re-upload it.  Repeat for each review set.  Lest she become too complacent and file the sorted gallery as “completed business,” I deleted the script that alerted her to new faculty users requesting faculty access to the library, so now each new user will have to email her so that she can log in and enable them.  And then mail the new user back to let them know they can access the library.

I have engendered a war betwixt the human female and the main office copier-printer.  She was unable to print to it, getting only the message that the printer was offline due to a document “stuck” in the print queue.  When she tried to delete the document, she discovered that it was not one of hers.  It belonged to the IT tech who last set up user access to the printer–so she couldn’t delete it!  The IT tech was able to remotely log-in and delete it, but I guess his finger slipped (innocent whistling), because then the human female’s computer couldn’t see the printer at all.

I have also had my wicked way with the Department’s back-up server, with its array of hard drives.  I have had the drives fail one after the other, usually during a major backup session or an array rebuild, and at the most inconvenient times!  Such as last thing on the last day before the Yule holiday.  And on weekends.  And when the humans were out of town.  The human male does not often indulge in profanity, but he has learned some new words!

Astute readers will recall that the human female had a teensy little tiff with one of my hymenopterous associates back in October.  Since then, her swollen knuckle and advancing avoirdupois have kept her from wearing her engagement-wedding ring combination.  After determining that the swollen joint was not going to return to its accustomed size any time in the near future, she took the ring to a local jeweler for re-sizing.  They kept the ring for a few weeks, then reported that they could not do the job without separating the rings from one another, nor would they do the work unless she agreed to re-tipping all the prongs and having some additional work done, to the merry tune of $400.00+.   She asked them to return the ring to her, saying she will seek aid elsewhere.  So now she has it back and has added “find a different jeweler” to her ever-increasing to-do list.  The longer it sits about, off her hand, the more time I have to shove it down the sofa or feed it to the cat, so by all means, mortal, procrastinate away!

The humans and the feline continue to rely on various prescriptions for their continued miserable existence.  I have had had some fun with the mail-order pharmacy, Pills-R-Us, before.  They  used to think 11 pills was an 11-day supply and so not count it as eligible for autoship. Well, now they think that 9 pills is an 11-day supply.  I’m going for seven next month.  Meanwhile, the pharmacy that compounds the feline’s nostrums continues to invisibly under-fill every syringe of transdermally-applied medicine  (they look full), with the result that estimating what is left in any given syringe is indeed a crapshoot.

Let me think….  What else?

I made a funny smell in Room 313, prompting a round of everyone’s favorite game, “Hunt the Stench.”  The consensus was “mouse,” and I scattered a few dry droppings about, so the past week has involved traps, peanut butter, and a sort of rodentiferous paranoia. Except no one has caught anything.  Except perhaps hantavirus, but eh, Frost Giants are immune, so who really cares?

I made a steam leak in the autoclave, such that the resulting cloud set off the fire alarms and the whole building had to be evacuated.  On the first day of the semester.  In the rain.

The fridge made a puddle.

The feline made a puddle.  I have also taught her to lick the leather sofa, so now there’s a light, very smooth patch in her favorite spot.  Well, actually the middle of the dining room table is her favorite spot, because that’s where all the good sun is, of course.

My favorite spot is anywhere Sigyn is, about four inches to the left.

>|: [