I didn't expect guests over the week, since I believe my brother and his wife warned everyone who'd be likely to come over that they'd be out of town, and most of the people who might want to actually see me in person live in other states and in some cases continents. So I was flustered when the doorbell rang. I initially guessed it might be the phone, which was someplace I couldn't identify. When I realized it was the ``door'' I realized I didn't know which door to answer. Their house has several doors in a row. There's the main door, a sliding glass door for the kitchen, several sliding glass doors as the living room windows. Only the front and the kitchen door are ever opened, but when you're not sure which to use or what to do with them ... look, it's just really hard, all right? Stop asking questions.
I guessed the sensible thing was to just go out the kitchen door, which is the easier to work. (Tom Servo: These people have been spoiled by doors you just walk at.) Outside were a trio of slightly elder people, who began by shaking my hand and saying, ``Hello, neighbor.'' That's when I swung into action, explaining that I wasn't actually their neighbor. I started explaining that I was just house-sitting for my brother and -- that's where they lost interest, actually. I can't blame them, although I felt like I should give some explanation for why I was lounging around in a house I was quick to admit I didn't own.
The group was from a gang that's put together a recall election for this September, ahead of the regularly scheduled November election. They are, if I understand it right, upset about plans to put one of those super-sized box stores in the neighborhood. While I did not say so, it did cross my mind that the first 840 box stores within ten miles of here seem to have worked out pretty much all right and I'm not sure what harm the 841st will do, apart from architecturally. But I promised to pass along their flyer to the homeowners when they get back.
Trivia: By cancelling Apollo 19 and the original Apollo 15 (the designation was reused) NASA saved $42.1 million in the Fiscal Year 1971 budget. Source: The Apollo Spacecraft - A Chronology, Volume IV Part 3, Ivan D Ertel, Roland W Newkirk, with Courtney G Brooks. NASA SP-4009.
Currently Reading: When Next I Wake, Frank Dorn. Will our meager bunch of protagonists single-handedly overthrow the oppressive dystopia of a millennium hence? Includes a weird bit where the characters suggest the individuality-free future is somehow paralleled by the contemporary-to-the-time-of-writing fad of using words like ``chairperson'' instead of ``chairman''. The book also has many weird typesetting glitches, with quite a few lines not starting or ending in line with the rest of the margins, and this cute one on page 234: John was routing our some tea. He handed me a cup. ``Lee, you must have done this quite a job ... you and Ralph, and that's why we are both so stunned! I gather you didn't think we'd make it.'' ...DON strike this para... John then resumes routing out some tea, and goes into detail of how remarkable how Lee and Ralph are at getting there, since John calculated they were probably dead.