welcome to roadwork hell

Mischief Update

What with distractions in the form of cat toys, UV reflecting plants, baffling seasonal decor, and whatnot, it appears I have failed to update my minions and admirers on my mischief-related activities.  I shall now rectify this lapse.

I saw to it that the ready-made salad the human female had for lunch the other day came loaded with plenty of hot Thai pepper flakes.  It was fun watching her blush and inhale and wipe her runny nose.

Since the human female took a year off of participating in the annual Nerds in the Woods science festival last year, I suggested to the people in charge this year that not only should they not ask her to head the Plant Team, they should not even welcome her help at all when she called to volunteer.

She finally has the license plates to her new car, though it took three trips back to the dealer to get those, all the keys, and the touch-up paint.  It also took several tries to replace the parking hang-tag.

There have been some nasty thunderstorms lately, and the weather prognosticators prognosticated some Frost-Giant worthy hail.  Which is why the human female was out in the driveway at 3:00 a.m., throwing blankets over the car.  Of course, I then saw to it that it did NOT hail  (too noisy for me to sleep through), so it was a giant, unbalancing laundry load of wet blankets the next day for nothing.

The irrigation system at the house has been needing some work.  The human female keeps running over the sprinkler head nearest the driveway, and the whole thing was dribbling in an under-powered fashion that boded ill for the center of the lawn and half the flower beds.  So the human female called the contractor.  And called again.  And called again. And then sent an email asking if they did in fact want customers.  They responded with a terse email saying that she had been BLACKLISTED because of a disagreement from two years ago that she doesn’t really even remember.  She had to outright grovel to get the to come out. I bet when the bill comes it has an extra “Crappy Customer” charge included.

The Powers That Be in the human female’s work group have decreed that the honors sections of the courses are going to get All New Lab Exercises, but they haven’t provided details.  This has made the human female twitchy, because even though the instructors say they will take care of prep, she knows that she and her staff will be called upon to supply equipment, supplies, and expertise.  Also, they want to teach these labs in the former Room of Doom, which has been made over for another course at great cost in dollars and labor.  Which would not in itself be awful, except that the course already in the room meets on a schedule that would allow only 20 minutes to take down one exercise, clean the room, and prep the other.  The human female put her head together with her staff, and they proposed putting the honors labs on the main floor so they’d have newer rooms, better equipment, better access to safety and support, etc., but the instructors would have none of that.  So now the course currently in the room has to move to the basement of yet another building, one out of the range of the walkie-talkies and NOTORIOUS for its frequency of flooding.  They will have to buy equipment that would be readily to hand if they stayed on the main floor.  Proof again that logic has no place in education.

The students have been quite busy.  The human female has been quite busy, filing lab safety incident reports.  Who knew that clams were so hard to open and pig hearts so tough?

She did get to go to one of the fancy Science Product Faires on campus the other day. They had catered box lunches and everything.  She was delighted to receive a smoked turkey and cheddar sandwich on foccacia.  Mmmm.   But is foccacia supposed to be gray on some of the corners?  Eat it!  Mold is good for you.  Builds character.  Why didn’t *I* eat it?  I already have enough character.

The human female called to get one of her prescriptions refilled.  She reached a phone tree, one which put her on hold and asked her to stay on the line after the call to take a Very Important Survey.  She waited on hold.  And waited.  And waited.  And then was rolled right into the survey.  No drugs for you.  She had to call them back at a different number, and when she finally DID reach someone, it was only to be told that she couldn’t order the medicine without scheduling a doctor’s appointment  to get a new prescription.  You know how farmers in some parts of Midgard lead bulls and oxen around by a ring through the nose?  Yeah, it’s like that.

She gets a lot of surveys.  One last week came via email.  TAKE THIS IMPORTANT SURVEY!!! it demanded.  So she accessed the survey.  “You already did this, dum-dum” was the resulting message.

Speaking of the Medical-Industrial Complex, you’ll recall that the human female had foot surgery last year, for which she received several Very Large Bills.  And then more bills followed.  The other day, an ominous Official-Looking Envelope arrived.  I know what you are thinking, but it was not another bill!  I persuaded the BC-BS-BC  (bean counters at an insurance corporation that shall remain nameless) that they’d erred.  It was a giant, whopping refund check!  Of course, it was instantaneously cancelled out by the nasty trick I perpetrated upon the human male’s smart phone such that he had to replace it.    The God of Mischief taketh away, then giveth, then verily taketh away a second time.

The superannuated feline has stepped up her campaign, pushing the limits of what the humans are willing to put up with.  Now it’s near-daily barfs (usually right into the food dish) and puddles.  I’ve convinced her that if even one paw is in the litter box, she’s good to go.  And she does.  Also, wheezy, warm, persistent lap-limpet is her new default setting.  It’s sweet–if a little sweaty, right until the humans realize that it’s very difficult to exit a recliner with a cat wedged between your knees.

And O BAMN, how I love thee!  Though thou art long dead and gone, you continue to delight and amaze.  I had it sing a swan song composed of a massive dump of PO acknowledgements going back to last September. POs for items long since ordered, received, and paid for.

Then the Bean-Counters emailed, asking how to pay for the last order that went through BAMN.  The PO was closed when BAMN was discontinued.  There was no BAMN account to pay it with.  There was a long series of emails back and forth, during which the human female received her original query directed back at her.  They eventually worked out a payment option, but it was fun anyway.

Also fun was the departmental bean-counter refusing to pay an invoice just because it did not have the word “invoice” on it.  I offered to whip out my green crayon and help, but the human female turned me down.  Something about mischief and money not mixing.

A sign saying, “PLEASE SEND HELP!” mysteriously showed up in one of teaching lab windows.  There was no end of panic until it was determined to be just one of my better little hoaxes.

My partnership with the humans that plan roadwork around this city continues to prosper.  One of the main east-west thoroughfares is being reduced each evening to one lane in either direction, just in time for baseball games and the upcoming graduations.  The major north-south route of the humans’ neighborhood is in its second year of construction and becomes worse daily.  I can teleport, so I don’t really care how long it takes the humans to get where they’re going.

The lab prep room ceiling still has a big discolored spot.  Materials have been ordered for its repair, but no repairmen have appeared.

That’s all I can think of at the moment.  If I come up with anything else, I’ll be sure to let you know!

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