2. Applied for an Information Analyst position at the Tees Valley Joint Strategy unit on Thursday. MSO friend Martin Burroughs, who has a similar position in Manchester, looked over the application form, gave me tips and pointed out where my application will always look weak. I'm not hopeful, especially as Martin Burroughs' similar vacancy there attracted 137 applications, but any application is better than none. I also rang up Spotlight Guides Ltd. who gave me an interview but turned me down back in April - no joy there, the guy who interviewed me then wouldn't speak to me and they have since taken on other folk. Not looking good, but I'll try again there in a month or two and keep looking in the meantime.
3. As some of you kindly noted, I got lucky in the news postcard lottery. I have some poor-quality pics if you want to see the card I sent, the abysmal hand-drawn map of Great Britain and the very obvious, cheesy lj-cut gag I made.
Whee, metallic inks!
I note that I penciled "Worst. Map. Ever." next to the map; Middlesbrough is more than a few miles north of Wales, after all.
4. However, this represents the third straight free pair-of-months on LJ I have scored. The first was due to a very kind anonymous donation where the donor remains as charmingly mysterious as ever; the second was due to redeeming 50 ipoints, when a freebie points scheme offered something desirable for the first time in history. Getting up to 50 points for your free two paid months is pretty easy, albeit slow, but will somehow generate very much spam indeed. (LoopyLotto are particularly bad in this regard.) Still, it does offer slightly better odds than the LiveJournal postcard lottery.
5. brigbother points to MAME Jump!, a couple of months old but the most charming Flash movie I've seen for a while. Fans of 1980s music (Van Halen's "Jump" from their 1984 album, er, 1984) and/or 1980s video games will particularly enjoy it. The long instrumental break is especially classily done. (If you like that, more by the same guy is available.)
6. Puzzle fans, nehpers, the holidaying malachan and anyone else in the vicinity of (978)-land are all alerted to the annual Charbanova treasure hunt in Gloucester, MA on Saturday, Sept. 13. Hunt starts at 1pm at YMCA Camp Spindrift. Teams of up to 6 "spend an afternoon solving puzzles, running around in the woods and bonding with your team". $30 per person, original artwork prizes for the top 8 teams, proceeds benefit Cape Ann Animal Aid. Cookout to follow when hunt ends (by 5pm) for an extra $15 per person. Not cheap, but the guy who does it is one of the very best in the business, amazingly smart and creative, and he'll keep the level of difficulty accessible. Strongly recommended - more info within the invitation PDF.
7. Lastly, opinions heavily vary on the inclusion of terribly trivial incidents from mundane life within LiveJournals; some find them twee and dull, others care about the little things as well as the big ones. Only people in the latter category would therefore be at all interested to know that my favourite thermometer has broken.
My favourite thermometer is probably a couple of years old and came from a store called "The Natural World" in Oxford. There is no indication of brand, model or type, but it is digital, has separate "indoors" and "outdoors" displays, displays temperatures dramatically (possibly purely dramatically) to the nearest 0.1°C and has big chunky LCD seven-segment-display digits. On top of that, it has store-minimum-and-maximum modes, funky automatic alarms and the like. Fairly shortly after getting it, I tried dangling the outdoor temperature sensor out of the window for a true outdoor reading, but unfortunately the exterior thermistor snapped off straight away, resulting in an outdoor temperature of LL.L°C and later in an outdoor temperature of --.-°C.
When I looked at it this morning, the LCD was displaying nothing at all, which I (mis)diagnosed as symptomatic of dud batteries. Accordingly, I removed the batteries from the unit with a sharp tap (not a good idea...) and replaced them in. Ever since, the indoor temperature started at 0.0°C and has erratically wandered up and down in multiples of ten degrees from about -180.0°C to about (+)80.0°C. (Certainly the minimum and maximum recorders show minimum of 80 and maximum of -180. Yes, that way round.) The exterior temperature started off at flashing zero, but has now stabilised at 1.2°C, but with the 1 displayed using the left-hand two segments, not the right-hand two. Funky.
At some point, I'll try replacing the batteries with fresh ones, but I fear it may never work properly again. Still, I had a couple of years of fun, charm, science and unwarranted precision from it; prices are coming down and capability of such home weather systems is going up. A toy to ask for in the New Year sales!