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A Crafty Grandmother, Part 2

, , , , | Right | April 13, 2022

I work in a library. We set up an arts and crafts table during school breaks, and people have been inconsiderate.

Wise of past mistakes, we have a sign up asking that people who use the arts and crafts table clean up after themselves when they leave. People do not know how to read signs, so at closing time, we go around to remind them

A small child and their grandmother are sitting at the arts and crafts table at closing time, so I go up to them to warn them that the library will be closing soon.

Me: “Hello, we close in five minutes, so it’s time to start to clean up the table so it’ll be nice and tidy for the children who come by tomorrow. You can put the supplies back in the marked boxes over there.”

Child: “Noooo! I’m not finished yet. Can we stay a little longer?”

Me: “I’m sorry, but we who work here want to go home to our families, too. You can come back and finish tomorrow.”

Grandmother: “No, we won’t have time to come back tomorrow. We have other activities planned for the rest of the holidays and then he has to go back home.”

Me: “Okay, why don’t you grab the things you need to finish your project and take them home with you? You can grab a few stickers and some glitter and coloured paper if you want. Just clean up after yourselves after you leave, please.”

They agreed to do so, and I left to get the rest of the place in order for closing. When I got back to the information desk, I asked my coworker if everyone had left and she confirmed that they had. I did another round just to make sure and arrived at the arts and crafts table.

It had been picked completely clean. All the coloured pencils, the glitter glue, the crepe paper, the scissors, the sticker sheets, and the pipe cleaners meant for our visitors to use were gone.

Congratulations, Granny, for your creative interpretation of “grab the things you need to finish your project”. Thanks to you, the next day, the kids had to make do with mostly just plain copy paper and pencils until we could get more supplies in.

A Crafty Grandmother

This Kid Is Going Places. Maybe Jail. But Places.

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: Calthropstu | April 13, 2022

In 2007, I was working for myself as a PC technician. I put up some fliers, and a couple saw them and called me.

Couple: “Our daughter is eleven. She keeps bypassing our parental software and going online. Would you take a look and see what you can do?

I went in and looked at their XP setup, and of course, the software was garbage. I tested it out and was able to kill it via the device manager. I went online, looked for a better one, and installed it.

I saw the kid peeking from around a corner just… smirking. I knew she’d done something. I opened the new software and everything seemed fine. Basically, it blocked any attempt to open non-whitelisted websites.

Still, that smug look made me more curious. I looked around the programs folder, but nothing stood out. Checked running processes and everything was okay. Looked in the service list, fine. Okay, time for a reboot.

As the computer rebooted, I noticed something. For a brief second, it said that the first boot device was disabled and loaded the secondary. Since I had been hired to investigate, I did so. I rebooted again and loaded the BIOS menu. There was a second hard drive listed in the BIOS as primary. I booted it up and it brought me to a very familiar Linux screen I had been using at home.

The kid had somehow managed to install a second hard drive, hide it in Windows, load it with Linux, and hide all of this from her parents. I was incredibly impressed. I wrote a short note to her because I knew she would figure out a way past what I was about to do eventually. I then went into the BIOS and locked it with the Linux boot device disabled. I thought about giving her up and handing her parents the hard drive, but I just couldn’t.

I wrote down the password to the BIOS, handed it to the couple, and told them I had locked the BIOS so it couldn’t be changed without the password. I still wonder how long it took her to find that slip of paper and get back online.

We Hope This Is A Long Ride

, , , , , , , | Related | April 12, 2022

I drive a taxi. In the mid- to late 2000s, I picked up a man and his five- or six-year-old son late one Saturday evening. Back then, we had small screens mounted behind the front seats. They showed news and commercials to those sitting in the back seat.

The boy asked:

Boy: “Dad, what is on those screens?”

Dad: “News.”

Boy: “That’s boring. What is it about?”

Dad: “About some people in jail.”

Boy: “Who are they?”

Dad: “Some people in Iraq.”

I then recognised the story, which was about some 24,000 Iraqis who, at that point in time, were imprisoned by the Americans. This made the last comment rather funny.

Boy: “What are their names?”

With Great Power Comes Great Literacy

, , , , , , | Related | April 11, 2022

This story was told to me by my mother. I’m an itty-bitty first-grader at the local public library with her. Even though I’ve only recently started reading with any kind of ease and my library card is brand new, I LOVE books. My only previous library experience is with my school library, which has a checkout limit of two books per child.

Me: “How many can I check out?”

Mom: “Why don’t you ask the librarian over there?”

Satisfied with being given a route to an answer, I go chase after the librarian, who has just decided to move to a nearby section. My mom stays put, wanting to give me a little independence and knowing I won’t go far.

When I return, the librarian trails behind me to make sure I get back to my mother. She, however, is focused on me — more specifically, my vaguely diabolical ear-to-ear grin.

Mom: “What did the librarian say?”

Me: *Still beaming* “She said I could check out AS MANY AS I COULD HANDLE.”

Thus began many years of checking out twenty books at a time — enough that carrying them was a test of my strength and my book bag wept for mercy — and finishing them all in a week. My mom still laughs at the thought of that giant grin on my face as I realized the power of a library card.

They Grow Up So Fast

, , , , , | Related | April 9, 2022

My husband recently decided to try his hand at making a sourdough starter — which he affectionately named Levi — and it turned out quite well. Knowing my sister likes to bake from scratch, he asked me if he should share some with her and I said it was a good idea.

My sister was very happy with the starter. She recently made a few loaves with it and sent one home with me after I came over to pet-sit. When I got home:

Me: “Hey, remember the sourdough starter from Levi you gave [Sister]?”

Husband: “Yeah.”

I hold up the sourdough loaf proudly.

Me: “Meet our grand-bread!”

[Husband] blinks at me and then bursts out laughing.

Husband: “‘Grand-bread.’ You are such a dork. I love you.”