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Well, that was pretty cool. While I was out rabbiteering on Thursday, one of the security guys rolled up to the small field in question for a routine checkup. As he came back out, I asked if I might be able to slip in for a better view of the buns, also noting that I'll be renting a lens next week, which'll require using a tripod, so I won't really be able to just nudge it up against the metal gate and pivot myself around that axis, as I normally do. And he's cool with it. ^_^ (It's security on the honor system, as whilst the gate is quite sturdy, you can simply walk around it, on the left side) The guards have seen me there plenty of times, though, and know why I'm there. (The lens? The Sigmonster. Back in February, LensesForHire ran a 50% off sale. Even renting a supertelephoto can be expensive, so halving that made it much more tempting. It'll be my first time with anything that long or exotic, but I'm interested to find out how well something of that kind might fit in with my sort of usage. I'm not sure I'll enjoy having to use a tripod, though, as I'm very much a handheld sort - but, at 5kg, and fairly front-heavy, with a 6" front element, it's not really a lens you'll be wanting to keep held out - and steady - for very long =:)

I imagine tickets will go rapidly - fancy a steam journey.. on the Underground? =:D Got my ticket: 1425 on Aug 2, in the 1st class Carriage 353.

What's been your experience with job interviews? Any great tales or war stories? Overall, I'd have to say my experience has been oddly consistent: the more direct and up-front the interview process, the more likely they are to say yes. (The previous one was a pretty cool example, with the interview being about fifteen minutes long, and done. A fortnight later, I received the good word. And indeed, it turned out to be quite an excellent position - just, sadly, of a fixed duration) Still, my favorite probably has to remain Trilobyte, a casual chat with a few guys at the company, two of whom happened to be the founders. As they'd had to fly me in from Minneapolis, I was staying for a couple days, so the day after consisted of another to-be co-worker asking what I felt like doing for Saturday; I suggested skiing on the nearby mountain, and so it was. ^_^ The day was wrapped up with pizza and wine against ST:TMP at the to-be boss' house. The job lived up to the promise, needless to say - an amazing place to work, brimming with enthusiasm.
Heh, have fun with that lens! And that's some pretty sensible security they got there.
It'll be quite a novel experience. ^_^ I do wish it weren't quite so heavy, but, I suppose being on a tripod will mean not having to take breaks to stretch and recover - even a comparatively light lens like the Nikkor 300mm f/4D becomes noticeable after minutes of being held steady. (Maybe a monopod would help..)

I suppose the gate's really there just to keep vehicles out - the side entrance, as it were, is perfectly obvious, so it's not any secret.

I wonder how well that lens plays with teleconverters.. sort of tempting to see what it'd be like with a 1.4x or 2x. =:D Would be nice if Jessops offered lens (or other equipment) rental - with all those branches, it'd be very convenient.
I wonder how well that lens plays with teleconverters.. sort of tempting to see what it'd be like with a 1.4x or 2x. =:D

Only one way to find out. :) According to Sigma, it should work with both 1.4x and 2x teleconverters, so long as you don't mind focussing manually.
Oh, it's certainly compatible, but it's how well it'd work. I did have one of their 2x TCs for the 120-300mm f/2.8, intending to use it as a 240-600mm f/5.6 most of the time - but, it just wasn't really as sharp as it could be, so I felt I wasn't really getting better results than if I'd enlarged the result from just the lens alone. With the 300mm f/4D, which is an exceptionally sharp lens, it'll take the 1.4 well, and the 1.7 okay, so I doubt I'd bother with the 2, given the high resolution of the D7100's sensor, at 24MP on a crop. (Versus 12MP on the D90)

Maybe I'll check their prices on TC rental.. (can't easily use the Nikon ones I have, as they have a little tab to prevent proper attachment to lenses that aren't compatible - many have rear elements that'd get in the way, especially with zooms. It's possible to carefully remove that, though)
That's awesome advice re: interview success odds! Seems about right.... chances are they've decided you're the one if it's succinct, yep!

I've been to many that were very, er, circuitous .... and a few that were fast, and I'd agree that the quicker ones are more of a sure bet.

*fuzzles yer puff-tail*
Once upon a time, I used to frequent auctions of computer kits, and sell it in the local paper. Little things, like (good) hard drives, and the odd computer. Invariably, the ones who bought stuff were positive about it - the ones who spent a lot of time pondering, then went away to think about it, never returned.

And it's quite an egoboo to leave with an offer, too. ^_^ (That was the only hitch with Trilobyte - I interviewed in February, but couldn't coax an answer out of them until April. Oh, that was a long two months!)
I would absolutely fancy a steam journey on the Underground if I was still living in England :P
*grin* Well, drop by! There's much to be said for great cask ales in a Thameside pub, or indeed, buried away in the White Horse on Parson's Green. ^_^

It's always a bit problematic, moving around - there's so much I miss about where I'm not, yet also, of course, much to enjoy about where I am, wherever that is at the time. =:/

I'm amazed steam's even possible in the Tube! I'd've thought it'd be impossibly smoky. Not that I imagine people will be keeping the windows down. =:) Such an exceptional opportunity - I had to leap at a ticket as soon as I learned of it. I doubt there'll be similar photographic moments as with the Thames Tunnel walk the other week, but I hope they're as relaxed about photography as they were then - anything permitted as far as stills go, just no tripods, which is eminently reasonable.
My favorite interview went like this:

Get home from a terrible day at the office in Connecticut, log onto furrymuck and start chatting with a friend -

Wombat: Yeah, I just got fired for hacking when all I did was point out a security vulnerability and demonstrate it to the management.
Friend: That sucks:
SHOUT: Anyone know computers and wants to work in California?
p shouter=Hi! I know computers and am free to drive to CA.
shouter pages: What's your phone number? Can you email me a resume and my manager will call!
p shouter=My phone number is XXX and I already sent the resume. I need to drop offline to take calls since I'm dialed in.

I get a call and the lady interviewing asks, "Have you worked with Windows 95?"

I said, "Yes, I beta tested it back when it was known as Chicago!"

She says, "Can you start next week Monday?"

"Yeah, I'll start driving this afternoon!"

"Oh, where are you?"

"Connecticut, but I'll be there!"

Anyway, that's how I came to be in California, I got hired in like 5 minutes after responding to a shout on FurryMUCK.

The job was testing video card drivers for S3, back when that meant video and not Amazon.