Today's word count: 11,229 (which means I wrote 3,000 words today, but am still behind)
In the Newsweek that arrived today, there was an entire article devoted to people who are buying investment property in my hometown of Pocatello, Idaho. The article said that prices are going up there, and that the University provides a steady pool of renters. Most of the investors had not even visited Pocatello, but had bought their properties through local agents. A few of the real estate agents cautioned that people should actually visit the town before buying there. Granted, housing prices there have languished until recently. When I was in high school, my mom bought a house for $60,000. I think she made a small profit when she sold it, but I drove by it last year and it looked like crap. Whoever bought it had painted the trim green. Anyway, I'm sure it would still sell for much more that $60,000. Pocatello might have below average housing costs, but it lacks one thing that makes sure that houses increase in value: jobs. Since I lived there, it seems like jobs have been leaving the area in a steady stream. Another thing: there are maybe two decent restaurants in the whole town. Sometimes good restaurants open, but just as quickly they close.
On the bright side, Poky does have a good, independent bookstore: The Walrus and Carpenter, downtown. But the downtown is so pitiful and has been for so long, that I'm not sure it can be saved. My best friend's mom once owned a funky toy shop downtown, but it closed. She also owned one of those good restaurants, with amazing soup, but it also closed. The one consistent good source of food: Buddy's. Salad and pizza. I am also pleased to note that on our last pass through Pocatello, I stopped (for nostalgic reasons) for a Space Burger at the Tastee Freeze. It wasn't as good as I remembered, but it was about the same, so maybe I've changed. (At least I hope so. The 80's hair is gone, at least).