House Viewing, Cabaret Music, Cool Software, Opposites...

Posted by Craig Sunday, 5 April 2009

Craig (not) the Estate Agent

So, 10 sets of people to view the house this weekend. Strangest mix of people (well it is Cambridge) - religion, academics, medics. Living near Addenbrookes Hospital (one of the largest in the UK) has its benefits in terms of pulling in a certain mix of people- namely young doctors (I got bored with discussions of oral medicine).

I have decided that an estate agent is not my future profession (for one thing I am too honest). However, it's interesting how as you show people around (and hear their comments) you develop an interesting spiel. I'm certainly better at describing one of the bathrooms now (from 'it has a WC and a bath' to 'potential for shower, knock-through to create another en-suite').

It's also interesting to see the different in priorities that people have. Broadly speaking, nobody cares about the garden (nor do I). Men love the conservatory at the back of the house and also concerned about the garage. Ladies seem more concerned with the loo and bedrooms.

Cabaret Music
There's always been a style of music I've loved ever since I was young. My mother used to take me to this restaurant in Glasgow when we'd go into the city (still remember the smell of Lewis' food hall). I remember they used to play cabaret style music (at a very ambient level). In Hamburg there used to be a bar on the Alster (knocked down) that was nicely lit and when I passed they used to have similar music; also in Boston.

I was on iTunes earlier and for some reason decided to listen to some soundtracks and found 'Hors De Prix'. So, I ended up finding a track 'Une Nouvelle Journee' - absolutely fantastic - it's been going round in my head all day.

Cool Software
I think everyone who knows me knows I'm a huge Mac addict (and have managed to convert a lot of people over). One of the things I love about the Mac is the software base that exists for it (some very talented people).

One of my favourites is 'Delicious Library' - a great program for cataloguing all your media. It has a nice twist where it uses the iSight camera as a barcode scanner and then looks up all the details of the item you scan on Amazon. You then get nice pictures of the items on a shelf.

I came across another app today called 'Evernote'. One thing that bugs me about the iPhone is the inability to synch notes that you take back onto your desktop. Well, Evernote just replaces the normal 'Notes' app, and has a desktop/iPhone/Web version. Sat and played with it for an hour or so. It's free - but I think the developers are missing a trick here in not charging for it.

Opposites
Everything in the world has an opposite they say and I've come to realise that includes supermarkets. In the US the other week I ended up in WalMart purchasing some items at the chemist - Melatonin for jetlag and stocking up on TheraFlu (the worlds best cold medicine aside from a bottle of Whisky/Honey).

Whilst walking around (Saturday afternoon), I realised how awful the place was (even worse than Carrefour in Shanghai). Noisy, too crowded, awful layout (think 70's cash and carry). I asked an assistant for help and she was rude to me.

Today I was in Waitrose and realised it is the complete opposite. The ability to scan goods yourself as you shop is efficient, as well as helpful staff, wide aisles. Generally a pleasant experience. Of course I bumped into people from work (as I usually do). Well, indeed everything has an opposite. I reckon Waitrose does social-class screening (like Marks and Spencers used to) - probably not formally though.

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