Since we’re near San Francisco now, I figured it would be appropriate to include a picture of Chinatown. Of course, this is Philadelphia’s Chinatown, but I don’t have a picture of the one here. Besides, it’s the thought that counts, no?

This will have to be short tonight. It’s already getting late, and I frittered some time away this evening trying to solve ciphers on the NSA Kids website. The ciphers were pretty simple, but I’m not very good at solving them, so it was something of a challenge. It’s a pretty cool website – check it out.

How things can change over a weekend! Loyal Reader Number Four had me look at in the area where our Dream Home is located. I did, and there’s a vacant one exactly like the one we want, but four years old and $45K cheaper. Yikes. We went into the office on Saturday and discussed the situation with the sales people. They didn’t have much to say. We thought about it some more and decided we would be just as happy with the house that’s basically complete already (just missing the appliances and a few knick-knacks) and much less expensive. We offered to buy it if they gave us a free refrigerator and paid for half of our swimming pool. Otherwise, we were going to go have a careful look at the four-year-old house.

Well, they bit, for the most part. They offered us much more than I expected them to offer (although they hit LRNF’s expectations nearly exactly), and we accepted their offer. The contract is signed, we close on 21 July, and we move in as soon as we get back from our August vacation. Hooray! Now somebody has to tell our realtor we won’t be using his services after all. I’ve been unable to get out of that task so far.

While we were in Lardville on Saturday, we found a good pool/spa supplier and decided on a pool and spa that we would like and could afford. It wasn’t an easy thing meeting both requirements, believe me. With the extra money the builder is throwing in, we might now go back and add in a few luxuries we had redlined out the first time. Of course, we believed at the time we visited them on Saturday that we were moving into a different lot, so we have to go back and get them to lay it out again, but I’m sure they won’t mind at all.

Speaking of pools and spas, we decided to jacuzzify for Home Evening activity tonight. The water in the spa here at the Fortress of Solitude was murky and smelled funny, but Loyal Reader Number One and I, inexplicably, got in it anyway. Succumbing to peer pressure, Loyal Reader Number Four did too. We stayed in for a few minutes, got thoroughly grossed out, and went back into the FOS and took showers. How smart of us. We’ll probably all die of e. coli or something. Yuck.

On the positive side, I found a great reading list on the internet today. New Morrowlife book club fodder! I’m planning to get a library card soon and start looking for some of them. Stay tuned. By the way, Tales of St. Austin’s is going well but very slowly – less time than usual for reading. I’ll get through it, though. It appears to be a series of related short stories, rather than a completely coherent whole. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though – it’s easy to break it up over time. I’m still enjoying it and still recommend it and all of Wodehouse’s other work, although I’m still pushing the Jeeves books for first-timers.

I had an idea this evening that would really stir up this blog. I thought of letting Loyal Readers improve their LR number by posting more often. Less-frequent posters would be gradually demoted, although they would of course never be dropped from the list. Then I decided it would cause mass confusion and too much work on my part, so I dropped it. Still, it was an intriguing thought for a few moments though. Loyal Reader Number One suggested awarding my more frequent posters with additional titles (Extra-Loyal Reader, Super-Loyal Reader, Hyper-Loyal Reader, etc.) and maybe saddling less frequent posters with shameful titles (Disloyal Reader, Barely-Tolerable Reader, etc.), but I probably won’t do that either. Too much trouble. Just keep posting, Loyal Readers!

That’s it for today. Got to get to bed. See you tomorrow.

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