yardwork offers many opportunities for mischief

Mischief Update–Naughtiness Old and New

(Checks notes) Apparently I’ve been so busy doing photographable mischief that I haven’t had the time to write about all the other mischief I’ve been doing.

Firstly, the roof. You will recall the Hellishly Horrible Hailstorm that Happened Here. Suspecting that the roof had been damaged, the humans had three different roofing companies out to give their opinion. The consensus opinion was that the human female looks awful in shorts. And that the roof is, indeed damaged. Not only that, the gutters and leaf guards on the gutters have taken a big hit, and my army of trained squirrels have eaten all the vent caps. True!

All it takes is a little bit of this.

The humans contacted their insurance agency, who sent someone out to have a look. Days passed, and the insurance company sent a very detailed run-down on what they were willing to pay for all the various steps of roof replacement, gutter replacement, vent caps, etc. So then the humans had to decide which roofing company to go with, and they had to get the gutter company out to offer an opinion as to whether they really need replacing. I had a chat with the roofing company they selected, and made sure that the estimate, when the humans received it, exceeded what the insurance is willing to pay. I had a second chat with the gutter company, which is of the opinion that the gutters don’t need replacing, exactly, but that maybe they need to come off before the new roof goes on. And then go back up or get replaced. Ping-ping back to the roofing company, which says they don’t need to take the gutters off to replace the roof. Return serve to the insurance company, with the humans providing the roofer’s bit and asking what happens if they spend more on the roof and less on the gutters. And that is where the ball lies, with everything on hold as the humans wait to see if the insurance company will increase what they’ll pay for the roof. The first check from them has arrived, and I made sure the bank’s lobby was closed due to lack of staff when he went to deposit it. However this all turns out, you can be sure I will hide some important piece of paperwork that the humans need to submit to prove that they actually did the repairs, so that they can get the remaining settlement money. Assuming we can ever get the repairs to take place. There’s a two-week waiting period for repairs once you even get on the schedule—and who knows how long the repairs will take, or what the roofer will find when the old shingles come off? (He’ll find that plywood has tripled in price in the last few months, that’s what he’ll find…)

I continue to train the felines to add “spice” to the humans’ life. I’ll have to work with Flannel Cat some more, though, and teach her how to harf up her supper more quietly. Unfortunately, last time she did it, she telegraphed her intent with a prodigious gagging noise and some extreme facial contortions, such that the human male was able to leap up from his seat on the sofa so that he was unscathed when the rain of soggy kibble fell from the topmost perch of the cat tree, which stands directly behind the sofa. Flannel spectacularly decorated that perch, the next two levels down, the sofa, and the floor, but she missed the human male. Pity. Both felines routinely hurl upon the bed quilt, though, which necessitates a lot of laundry. Good kitties!

The gold “balloons” on the fence around the Large Ugly Apartments (LUAs) continue to irk me. They put them up, I deflate them,

they put them back up. I deflate the whole row.

So far, I am winning.

As you can see, NO option is Loki-proof, and at at least $7.00 a pop, it all adds up.

Breakfast continues to be fruitful ground for mischief-making. The human female and I had a long conversation the other morning about whether it was useful and saves time if the eggs come pre-cracked.

I say it is. She says it isn’t. Agree to disagree.

The gravity in the bathroom is still functioning.

If I grease the towel rod, I think I can get this to happen on a daily basis…

The lone surviving hollyhock has bloomed. It has frilly, pale pink petals.

Don’t get too attached to it, human female. I’ve inoculated it with some sort of orange rust and invited some spider mites over as well. They’ll go nicely with the runaway mint and the dollarweed I’ve let loose in the lawn.

The humans continue to try new recipes. I like to suggest ingredients to them.

Somehow they did not go for that one.

I meddled with the human female’s iPad tablet so that it would not charge. At all. It was actually losing power while plugged in and eventually shut itself completely off. The human male took it to see if it could be repaired. The repairman plugged it in and it worked perfectly, making everyone look like an idiot. I love it when that happens. Meanwhile, I’ve arranged that the human female’s laptop will, once or twice a day, just decide to stop charging unless she wiggles and waggles the cord around just so to find the sweet spot.

Hmm. What else is new? The next door neighbor mowed down the elm seedling between the houses that the human female had put a big, red, DON’T MOW flag on. So much for a free, conveniently-situated shade tree.

Oh, and my new hobby is putting little pinhead sized holes in all the human female’s favorite shirts. Right in front where they can’t be invisibly mended. And I made sure the only jeans that fit her have been discontinued.

All in all, I’m keeping busy. It’s true that I don’t get to wreak sweet havoc with vendors and office coworkers these days, but it’s still a good life. I mean, I can still arrange for cryptic and confusing email offers like this one.

And it’s time to feed the cats again.

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There’s Mow Time Like the Present

The lawn really is getting awfully long.  Yesterday, I showed the human female how her little-pot-o’-mint has taken over the side yard.  Well, the actual grass is long, too.

Sigyn is hoping that the human female won’t mow this bit, which is right out in front of the house:


I toyed with the idea of trying to get those pink things to be TALLER, because then they’d be over the city’s 12-inch height limit and the human female would receive a nasty-gram and be forced to cut them down, but that would make Sigyn sad, so I’ve left them as they are.  I suppose it is rather festive.

The human female is thinking of buying a new lawn mower.  The old one has given more or less faithful service for about ten years and is now quite rusty and more than a bit temperamental.  The throttle cable has broken unfixably, so to start the engine, she has to wedge the throttle open with a piece of wood—and knock it out whenever she wants to cut the engine.  And then re-wedge it to resume, which usually results in her burning her hand on the exhaust.  I think it’s funny.  Her, not so much so.

She doesn’t want to put the remains of last year’s gas in a new mower, and the old gas container doesn’t seal or dispense so well anymore, so a new gas can is in order.  Luckily, there is a spare in the garage.

She has just discovered that I have hidden a crucial part of the cap.


As in, the actual cap.

Off to the store we go!


Behold the Three Gas Cans of Mischief.


This new one has an awkward kick-stand sort of thing one rests on the mower, and a clicky bit that looks as if it will break in no time.   I approve.

(later)  The human female has returned with a shiny new mower.  Ta Da!  Sigyn will love it.  It’s red.


It was a Floor Model, on Extra-Special Super Closeout, As-is.  It didn’t come with an owner’s manual, so the human female spent a lot of hours online last night, trying to find one.  She’s printed out something that appears to be close.  We’ll see if it’s helpful in telling her how to switch from bagging to mulching.

Hmm.  The foldable handle unfolds, all right, but it appears to need two bolts to stay put together, and they were not included, either.  She has now spent thirty or so minutes rustling up something to finish assembling the handle.

Ehehehehehe!  She just found where I hid the manual AND the bolts inside the catcher bag!!

Time to mow!  Vrooom!  It seems to work well enough.  But, human, shouldn’t there be a mulching guard under the mulching door?  Consult the manual.  Yes, that bit right there.  The one your mower hasn’t got.

Better call the dealer’s hotline and ask about a replacement part.  What?   They’re not open today?  Pity.  You can try again tomorrow.

(tomorrow comes)

Human female (after navigating Byzantine phone tree):  So… This mower.  Missing a part.

Manufacturer/Dealer:  Sorry!  That is so not our problem.  Call the store where you bought it.  Here’s their number. Call them right now.

Human female:   It is 8:30 a.m. where I am.  They are not open yet.

Manufacturer/Dealer:  Sorry!  Well, thanks for calling.

(a bit later)

Human female:  Hello, store?  This mower.  Missing a part.

Department Manager:   Hahahahahaha!   Clearance?  You bought it, and I can’t even be arsed to go look to see if the missing bit is here.  “Floor-model Clearance” means AS IS.

Human female:  No, “Floor Model Clearance” means “scratch-and-dent,” not “missing functional features.”

Department Manager:  Says you.   Well, I suppose I can ask the Store Manager and call you back.

Human female:  Sigh.  Very well.

(a bit later)

Department Manager:   Hi!  Sorry-not-sorry.  No can do.  You could, of course, wrestle it back over here and ask for a refund.

Human female:  Grr.  No wonder you appear to be going out of business.  You have not formally announced it yet, but when it happens I will come out to point and laugh.

So now she has a mower that may or may not actually need that extra bit to do its job.  And the kicker?   My favorite part of the whole ordeal is—-remember the bolts she finally found and put in?  I loosened one of them and it fell out while mowing!  That’s right!  The handle’s all collapsey on one side.  She’ll have to rummage around again for her little make-do and finagle it all together again!  And if she’s very unlucky, she’ll run over the missing bolt next time she mows and muck up  three or four of those 5.5 horsepower…

I love yardwork.

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