I said to Gene the other day that we should just buy some land and get a yurt and live the simple life. Yes, of course, we’d have to rent office space for our books, but it would still be cheaper than our current rent. There’s an appeal to this idea that goes back to Thoreau’s injunction, “Our life is frittered away by detail… Simplify, simplify, simplify!” Although it is good to remember that he had someone else do his laundry, which I suppose means even he took simplifying only so far. It’s an outgrowth of stress, surely, but the virtual tour at Pacific Yurts makes the yurt life look so warm and friendly.When I think of buying a house — which we hope to do in the spring — I always think of being in Albany, near campus and near all the city amenities. Perched on the border between two small towns right now, we have the closeness of other people without the convenience of city streets. We can at least walk to the corner store, but it’s a good number of corners away. The thought of quiet country acres and a peaceful oasis sounds great. Of course, I imagine a yurt like this golden one above and not the one to the right. There’s something to be said for bricks (as the little pigs knew).