And a spot of news from back east. My parents finally got their house in shape and repaired enough and presentable enough and orderly enough to put on the market. Last week it got put up, and my mother promised to mail us kids the URL for the web site listing it. She didn't get around to it, and barely had the chance to because this week it turns out they got an offer. They've sent a counter-offer and as far as I know it hasn't been accepted yet. But apparently the buyer is looking to close come in December, which means that ... yeah, come 2013, my immediate family will have completely cleared out of our ancestral homeland.
I'm shocked, as you might imagine; I had expected the house to list for a normal length of time, like, six to twelve months before getting an offer worth not sniffing dismissively at. (That's about how long I remember it taking last time they moved, in 2000, and that in a much better economy.) I had to admit the online listing made the house look really good, but, still.
Also this is two instant sales in my family in three months: when my brother took up his Maryland job he and my sister-in-law placed their house on the market, found almost instantly a buyer who'd been pre-approved for basically the same house in a different neighborhood and was able to buy it and close within three weeks. So I don't know what's going on, but the obvious assumption is that someone wants us out of the state.
I'm a bit curious whether my boss will want me back in the state before the projected closing date. On the other hand I'm not sure I'd want to have a farewell tour of my parents' neighborhood (and the place that was my mailing address all the while I was in Singapore) when I knew it was the farewell tour. (Also, this may mess up our tradition of spending New Year's in New Jersey; we're going to have to work out contingency and alternate plans.)
Trivia: New York Mayor William Gaynor (inaugurated 1910) responded to a letter-writer from Arkansas City asking for a wife, ``How could I recommend any good girl here to you? You may not be so attractive as you think you are.'' Source: Satan's Circus: Murder, Vice, Police Corruption, and New York's Trial of the Century, Mike Dash.
Currently Reading: Enterprise, Jerry Grey. A few short pages after Grey ridicules the liberal Senators led by William Proxmire for seeing plans to sneak in manned Mars landings in every NASA program of the 70s, Grey points out how any serious space enthusiast knows that after the space shuttle finishes 1980s at sixty launches a year they'll be able to get a real major space launcher ready and get hard at work on space colonies and Mars programs and landing men on Titan and all that. Also, solar energy is a ridiculous waste of time and effort except if it's going to be on solar power satellites. (There are some good predictions, such as of the cell phone as pretty near the way we actually use it, as personal communications and general information tool, although there too it's supposed that satellites are essential to the workings of the network.) Oh, also fusion. And they've even got women working on building space stuff too and they're pretty!
I have got to start printing up Space Enthusiast Bingo cards.