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Life nuggets

Plus and minus
I have just received the mouse-mats I ordered at work. However, they smell disturbingly plasticky.
+: Mouse traction.
-: Smelly mouse-hand. Possible wrist cancer.

Go Fish
John, one of my mates at work, confided in me yesterday. He has been playing EverQuest, the online interactive fantasy game, and had spent over an hour the previous night improving his fishing skill. He stood around a lake with a number of other players from all around the world, pressing the 'Fish' button, waiting, then being told he'd caught nothing. Next he intends to go to a virtual pub, and raise his alcohol tolerance drinking virtual drinks with other people doing likewise. The worst part is that there but for the grace of Eris go I...

Budget Red Bull
A good, free work pick-me-up is a cup of black tea from the vending machine super-saturated with sugar stolen from the canteen.

Phantom Ice-Cream Van
In the summer, an ice-cream van with traditional grating chimes visits our company car-park from time to time. For a while recently, I had been vaguely surprised to hear it now, in the bleak midwinter. Yesterday, I actually devoted some thought to the subject, and realised that in fact what I had been hearing was a grating chime from someone's computer. In my defence, no genuine human would choose to hear such a sound.

Bog Standard
I have now fixed our toilet. Again. The connection between handle and flushy thing broke some time last year. It rapidly became clear that if we were ever going to be able to flush it again without plunging our hand up to the wrist in cold cistern water:
a) I would have to be the one to do it.
b) I would have to fix it with things already in the house, as I was never going to remember to buy stuff to fix it whilst out, nor make a special trip to do so.

My first attempt was by deconstructing spare key-rings and linking the ring parts together into a chain between handle and flushy thing. This worked for a while, but periodically one of the rings would rust through, and the problem would return. Eventually I ran out of key-rings (though I had a surprising number knocking around in my room.)

My second was to use lengths of wire from a broken pair of head-phones I has lying around. Again, this worked as a short term solution, but the wire would stretch (necessitating tightening of the knots) and eventually snap. Last month, I ran out of spare wire.

My most recent solution was to hack up an old wire coat-hanger with wire-cutters and twist that into a link. This should be stronger than the previous two options, but I have no idea how corrosion resistant. Fortunately, Lyndsey who lives down the road had a big bag of surplus coat-hangers in a cupboard when she moved in which I have now acquired (on the grounds that I have more clothes than hangers. All I need now is somewhere to hang the damn things) so our household should be free of cold-handed misery for some time now.

Current site: The Infinite Aliveness Company. Let them 'radically increase your aliveness.' Or some shit.

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oxfordhacker
Drifting in and out of consciousness

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