Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Foxtons are evil, and I don't mean because of what they do to Minis. They sent me another letter asking if I'd like to sell the house. Yep, sure, only it's not mine to sell, but nevermind that. Having seen a rash of Foxtons signs popping up round here, I decided to go and be nosy and see what I could find. So a later, and I discover that the house up the road has a "coservatory", which appears to be tacked on the end of the garage. I also find out that said house is decked out in assorted Victorian styles and is full of period features. It was built in the late 1960s.

Though they can't be doing all that well, as the recent letter repeated their introductory offer, which they made a couple of months ago, and which was strictly limited.

Hmm, I think I might have just given up all hope of suggesting I live in some unspecified space in Hampshire (seeing as they don't do Hants yet). Oh well.

But they are still evil, as not only does poking round the website bring up houses that look suspiciously like X's parent's house, but then I notice they also have a US website. For US read New York and suburbs. So which came first London or New York? From the feel of it, I'd say London, as the New York one doesn't feel like they've got the hang of this selling houses lark yet.

For a start they aren't as organised as the UK version, as they don't have half the useful features, and everything seems to be "coming soon". They have an eerie attraction to exclamation marks.

And they sure know how to present and market properties. Such as this example from Staten Island. Bedrooms: 3, Bathrooms: 3...Each apartment has three bedrooms and one full bath. Am I being dim, or does that contradict what they just said? (Nice to know it's an optimistic bath, even if the water will be a little cold by the time the buyer gets in). But at £76,000 what does one expect?

And my god, when the dollar get down to nearly 50p? Looking on Yahoo, it hasn't been like that since the early 1990s. which given what was going on with the economy back then, isn't good.

Which reminds me, how come when the news here discusses the markets, the US one it uses is the Dow Jones, but that never gets mentioned on any US news service? It's all Nasdaq[1] and S&P.

[1] Any relation of Nascar?

Hmm, and what's wrong with Turkey, as it's the only European market to have fallen today? But Japan and Thailand seem to be make the worse progress...what on earth am I talking about? It's only because it's laid out in pretty colours in front of me that I even knew there was a Turkish stock exchange index. did the pound end up being the currency that heads the everyone else? As one Euro or Dollar (US, Canadian, Australian, or East Caribbean, take your pick) is worth zero point something pounds.

So why do the FTSE 100 components, as listed by Yahoo, say "1-50 of 103". That inflation or something?

How did I miss this before? Maroon 5's This Love - hadn't heard it before going to Antigua, and every single time I turned on MTV there [2], it was on, to be closely followed by the same succession of songs. Never had proper MTV before (only the German version), and it's not quite what one expects. It's the same 5 videos, assorted reality shows, and dim presenters going "woo!" because that's what it says on the autocue. Endlessly. Spring Break Woo! Competition Woo! Guest Woo! So like Woo! I can see why they consider shotguns a necessity in America.

[2] I know, but I was trying to avoid getting too sunburnt.

And Beyonce, she who is so talented (according to the Woo!ing presenters), does a cover sorry, tribute and/or homage. Ain'tchu go' no son' yer'on girl? Well at least it's better than that G Unit tripe (warning, that name in capitals, printed on loose t-shirts that form vertical folds, can be comically misread).

Though apparently the US is only up to "Now...that's what I call music" some piddling little number. Think of all those squandered years. But they have only recently discovered dance music, cue compilation adverts whose main star ex-Spice Girl.

Only in America (well on American TV channels), would they show the title sequence of the Simpsons, and then cut straight to adverts.

And my god BBC America is crap. I go several megametres from home (according to our plane 6.7Mm, according to Virgin Atlantic, about 5 thousand kilometres), and still get greeted by Anna Ryder Richardson. One complete scroll through the channels later, and it's switched to Cash in the Attic. It seems bizarre that the Americans have to import cheap daytime television (surely that's what Saved by the Bell is for [and yes that was on one of the channels]).

And has anyone any idea how infuriating it is to only have CNN providing news (it made the photocopied versions of The Times and The Telegraph (what no Guardian, no Indy?), available in the shop, look knowledgeable, comprehensive and unbiased, which considering one is Murdoch, is no mean feat). Ok, so there was erratic NBC and Fox News, but both of them seem to think that wherever they are based is the centre of the know universe, and that Florida hangs over the edge of the world. When they want to do a quirky story about quaint simple folk in the third world, they go to Colorado or Wisconsin. The only foreigner afforded airtime was Jack Straw (and even then they cut him mid-sentence). The only other places out there are Europe [Boo-hiss] and Israel [Woo!]. Both of those only got mentioned because of Israel's stunning lack of foresight (and morals, justice, lawfulness etc.).

I am not impressed by American news, I found it gung-ho, patronising and narrow-minded (and possibly ill informed, though that might just be idle or biased editors). No wonder most of the American's I've known react in bewilderment to the UK (and other's) media.

It seems really odd to say this, but we just have better television, we have better news, heck, we even have a better class of advert.

And then of course there is West Indian television, and the joys of the Antigua Labour Party's pirating of CNN.

Anyhoo, that can wait.

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