So, a month after they moved in, how are the new neighbors, in the house just north of ours? I finally met one, enough to say hi to him, and learned a tiny bit of information, such as that he's moving to town from the outer outskirts of Lansing, and his mother's moving up from Florida to be with him, which is why there was a long string of moving vans backed up to the house. They've been quiet, apart from one early morning when the DishTV installation woke bunny_hugger and of course not me.
They turn out to have two dogs, which seems to wreck the house's landlord's ``no pets'' policy. They've obviously been very quiet, since we haven't heard anything from them. But they also have plans to put up a fence so that the dogs will be able to run around the backyard. The good side of this: dogs having room to run. The bad side: also possibly to bark at the estimated 14 billion neighborhood squirrels, or to get out of the yard and into ours.
I suspect they might be the ones who plowed our sidewalk and even the driveway and walk up to our steps after the huge snowfall last week. There was a three-lot stretch of well-cleared sidewalk centered on their home, and they plowed to the end of their driveway. This is excellent behavior and repays us nicely for the maybe two-inch storm I cleaned off their sidewalk the week they were moving in. On the other hand, the snowplowing at the end of their driveway partly covered some of the young trees we have along the property line, and bunny_hugger fears the plants have been done serious injury.
So you can see where there's reasons to think we'll have a nice relationship with the new neighbors, and reasons to be worried, and I just kind of expect that somehow these folks are going to vanish just at the point we feel comfortable asking if we can take the rest of the lumber in their yard --- cut from a tree that had fallen down, and of no use to them as they haven't got a wood fireplace, while we have --- and we'll have a time of vacancy and then a fresh set of neighbors we don't really know anything about to consider.
Trivia: The Viking landers were designed to be sterilized in a cycle lasting forty hours, at temperatures reaching a maximum of 112 degrees Celsius. Source: On Mars: Exploration of the Red Planet 1958 - 1978, Edward Clinton Ezell, Linda Neuman Ezell. NASA SP-4212.
Currently Reading: Arming America: The Origins Of A National Gun Culture, Michael A Bellesiles.