I'm having an agreeable yuppie fantasy today.
That probably sounds contradictory. What it involves is a little window in the corner of my second monitor that shows me the exchange rate between the UK pound and the NZ dollar, and -- and this is the nifty bit -- updates itself once per minute. This window is provided courtesy xe.com, a lovely little site that epitomises the service industry ideal of doing one thing and doing it well. And, most importantly, for free.
This rate is of interest to me because I still have a noticeable amount of money in the UK, and I've been meaning to bring it over, for house-buying purposes, when the rate looks good. As I type this, 1GBP would buy me NZ$2.68159, up from $2.67496 when I first checked this morning.
Over the day, the pound has been trending slightly upwards. But every time I watch it actually make its update, the pound weakens (which is bad). It's almost touched 2.686, before dropping back again when I got too excited and began watching too closely.
This is, of course, entirely in keeping with the known laws of economics, and will come as no surprise to anyone.
When the rate hits 2.71 -- which, for the record, I don't think is going to happen this week -- I'll call my trader and finally switch over my millions from sterling. That's the agreeable fantasy part, anyway. In the meantime, however, it really is pretty exciting to watch it out of the corner of my eye.
(D'oh! Just lost another $200.)
So here's this information that, when I was entering the job market, would have been available only to braying young wine-bar-haunting gits with bicycle clips on their sleeves, whose employers paid more for the service than for the people to watch it... and today, it's freely available to anyone with a broadband connection. Today, a mere twenty years too late to make my fortune, I get to play at being a yuppie for free, without even having to take time out from my real job.
That's so cool.
Addendum (added Thursday lunchtime): So much for my powers of prediction. Today the pound is over $2.72. I'm not pushing my luck any further.