For the last few months, we’ve been working to get the house ready to sell it. We’ve been throwing stuff out, tidying stuff up, rearranging storage, and where necessary adding small decorative features. Because I’m a geek, I think of this as a process of compression and optimization: we’re refactoring our life.

When we put in our new kitchen a couple of years ago, we chose a very pale colour scheme for it. White cabinets and white splashback tiles, light painted walls, and light floor tiles. I often thought it looked a bit stark, but it was very practical, and because we were living in it all the time, we were used to it. I didn’t realize just how stark and uninviting until we came back from holiday last week. We had been away for two weeks, and so when we walked back into the house, it was almost like seeing with fresh eyes. My first impression of the living room was that it felt bare and un-lived in, but my reaction to the kitchen was: “Huargh!” The overall lightness made it feel unfinished–like the builders had just wandered off mid-way through the job.

So, our project this weekend has been to “finish” the kitchen. We’ve chosen blue as our highlight colour, and the addition of a new window blind, a new blue toaster, and various other blue highlights seems to make a big difference. Blue isn’t a very homely colour, but it gives a modern, practical feel to the kitchen instead.

We’re also redecorating the fridge. Over the years it has accumulated a variety of magnetic attachments, but it makes the rest of the kitchen look a bit messy. We have got attached to the fridge poetry over time, though, and we didn’t want to get rid of it without keeping a record for posterity. Hence:

Our fridge poetry

My favourites: “tiny bunny in ferocious wuv urge”, because it’s cute, and “son born & I smiled”, because it’s a reminder that we bought this house as a couple, and we’ll be leaving it as a family.


I knew I was out of the loop while we were away on holiday, but I didn’t realize I was so far out of the loop that I missed this:

“CUPERTINO, California–April 2, 2007–AppleĀ® today announced that EMI Music’s entire digital catalog of music will be available for purchase DRM-free (without digital rights management) from the iTunesĀ® Store ( worldwide in May. DRM-free tracks from EMI will be offered at higher quality 256 kbps AAC encoding, resulting in audio quality indistinguishable from the original recording, for just $1.29 per song. In addition, iTunes customers will be able to easily upgrade their entire library of all previously purchased EMI content to the higher quality DRM-free versions for just 30 cents a song.”

It’s the logical follow-up to Steve Jobs’ open letter to the music industry from back in February, but I hadn’t expected it to happen quite so soon.

Er, yay!

Now if only Apple would get some video content into the Store for us folks outside the USA, everything would be peachy. See, I’ve just got myself a new 80GB iPod, and I’m suddenly alive to the idea of small, portable video. Which leads to thoughts of converting our DVD collection to H.264 and using iTunes on our Mac Mini as a full-fledged media library, rather than using VLC and distantDVD to play ripped VIDEO_TS folders. And suddenly the whole Apple TV thing makes sense, too. (If only they’d make the video content available, yada yada.)

Man, I feel so behind the times. This is what I get for not keeping up with BoingBoing every day.

(One prediction, though: given that us poor Windows users need Photoshop Elements or Adobe album in order to show their photos via Apple TV, but that we can sync our photos to an iPod with iTunes alone, I don’t think it will be long before iTunes gains some form of photo album capability.)