I’ve missed my home office…

It’s a cold and snowy morning here in our northern paradise… one that makes me dream of running away to Key West

But, unlike my pal Andy, I can work from home this morning…  and I’ve re-discovered the joy of my home office.

My home office and I have a tangled history.

I got bad news in my home office — more than a few e-mails telling me my Ph.D. qualifying papers weren’t up to snuff (until they were…),  a couple of summers ago I answered the phone here and had my doctor tell me “there’s cancer”…

I did the last, most frustrating, writing of my dissertation in my home office.

After my dissertation, the bag I carried to my dissertation defense sat on the floor next to my desk for a month before I could open it.  Over the summer, I rarely sat in my office chair.  I just couldn’t do it… it was the place of dissertation work and other trauma.  My desk became a messy junk heap — I just couldn’t face it.

Instead, I started working on a laptop in the living room.  I worked on the deck in the summer and spent more than a few late evenings out there listening to music and e-chatting with Andy.  I took a laptop to bed and worked nuggled up under the feather bed.  I’ve done countless hours of computer time at the ‘boo.. in short, I worked just about anyplace BUT my office…

But — it turns out my home office is lovely… the snow is blowing outside, but it’s warm and cozy in my office… I have music, a nice window to watch the snow blow by and a cup of coffee handy.

My desk calendar has three important dates on it — Andy’s birthday, my birthday (we’ll both be 42)  and “Freedom” day… the first day of winter break.. and –oh, yea — Christmas and New Year’s… but…. our birthdays and Freedom Day are much, much more fun!

I also have a cozy cat sleeping under my desk… she loves it under there… although, as a colleague, Tera doesn’t do her share of the grading, paper editing or course development — heck, she doesn’t even do service work like keeping Spock under control, but I appreciate her company anyway.

So — welcome to my home office — what do you like or miss about your own office?


We’re in the wrong business…

This minimalist Christmas tree is $275.00.  It would take about $10.00 worth of lumber, a drill and a healthy dose of marketing to put these together.  Seriously, Andy and I could make those.  I’d sell them for $200 and have enough cash for Christmas presents… hmmm.

We found out today that getting a dog groomed is $75 — and you don’t have to be liscensed ( I think..) — As Andy said “I’d shave a dog’s butt for that kind of money”..I don’t pay that much to get my own hair washed and cut… then again, I don’t get to go in the drying cage, and maybe I would pay $75 for a haircut if I could…

I also suppose we could breed and train guard llamas… probably more fun and less lucrative, but putting “guard llama trainer” on your resume just sounds cool.

Then again, it’s about 4:00 here, dreary and dark outside, maybe I should just get a job at Squid Lips

Vicodin Dream #363

In case anyone is concerned about my recreational use of prescription medication, I do have a legitimate reason for pain killers as well as antibiotics. At work Friday I was attacked by a Great White.              Great White Spaniel that is. Due to the holiday weekend, we were at near capacity at the kennel and my co-worker forgot to mention this particular mutt has some serious anti social behavior. So as I was trying to make friends and apply his collar I got bit. Not just bit, bit hard complete with violent head shaking for about two seconds.

Not being on to go crying to the emergency room I just poured on some hydrogen peroxide and went about my business. Later that night I noticed some itching and some increasing pain.    However I went to work the next morning and it seemed to loosen up. Later while relaxing at the coffee shop I noticed the swelling had increased and the red itchy part was now creeping up my hand. We called Patty’s mom who is a retied RN and asked advice……………..the advice was go to the urgent care, not later now!!!!!!

Doctor Scott agreed with Patty’s mom and I had quite the infection going on. So along with the antibiotic I was prescribed Vicodin and followed the instructions to the letter……..take 4-8 per hour with rum and coke.

My dream started at an ex girlfriends apartment. I remember feeling quite curious and jealous about who she was seeing now which is odd because I’m neither curious or jealous. She was definitely hiding something. Turns out, what she was hiding was the fact that she and her girlfriend had had defrauded her credit card company furnishing her entire apartment and wardrobe lavishly. Whew……….only a felony. I was so glad she wasn’t seeing anyone else I offered to do the snow removal for her driveway and this is where my invention idea came from.

Think of a cross between a snow plow and a high powered Segway.  My machine however only has only one heavy duty wheel and the part you stand on is a cross between a snowboard and a ski. The gyroscopic program controls offsetting the hydraulics that lift and turn the snow blade. It has one stationary handle bar and the second is like the handle of a shovel which controls the movement of the blade and direction of the drive wheel.

The point of my new invention is not only to remove the snow but have fun doing so. The machine in my dreams was very quick and nimble almost giving you the feeling of water skiing or slow speed snow boarding with tricks.

So if anyone has a relative that works for John Deere or Western Plow and wants to get in on my new invention contact me here!!!!!!

A working philosopher…

Today (yea, Sunday) I spent a day that encompasses three main aspects of being a “working” philosopher.

I began my day early by grading on-line student work.  I finished a set of on-line discussion posts about prostitution and read about 120 posts about cyber-attacks.  Yea, I have about 120 ethics students at the moment.  I also answered e-mails, fixed mistakes in the on-line portion of my class and generally counted the days until the final paper is due… to celebrate, I posted all the due dates between now and winter break.  That was, as they say, teh awesome!

Then I proofread a powerpoint I’m using on Tuesday as part of a presentation on campus about my dissertation area — the ethics of warfare.  The presentation is a pecha kucha — 20 powerpoint slides, 20 seconds each.  I’m making an argument in favor of selective conscientious objection.  It’s gonna kick butt — and the slides are really powerful.  As with many things, I have no idea how it’s going to turn out on Tuesday, but the good news is that it’s a good powerpoint and it will be all over in 6F:40…  If it’s really bad, I have a leftover bottle of wine at home.

Finally, I started to edit a conference paper I’m supposed to submit by Wednesday.  It’s on the ethics of cyber-attacks and tries to establish that there can be impacts of war on non-combatants that are not immediate physical harm AND are violations of non-combatant immunity.  I wrote the draft in late July, and I think it’s pretty smart.  My primary goal is to not mess it up too much with the editing while trying to make it more clear.  Philosophers have a tendency to muck stuff up when we’re trying to be clear.

Along the way, I spent time chatting with Max and Andy, staring off into space, posting on facebook and drinking coffee — all of which are necessary parts of the working life of a philosopher.

The Rules…

Mom and Hubby accuse me of making rules all the time… they say it’s the older sister in me… whatever, the world works on rules — and they need to get over it and follow my rules…

On occasion, Andy’s Max and I go on an adventure — and to make sure we get to keep having adventures, we have some rules:

  1. Don’t get kidnapped.
  2. Don’t get hit by a car.
  3. Don’t get poison ivy.
  4. Don’t fall in the creek.
  5. Don’t eat anything strange.

Generally, good rules for life and adventures with a 9 year old boy…

OMG Patty Cooks… T day chaos

7:41 AM the crock pot lid tried to kill me…  maybe I need to live blog this Turkey day.

7:57 AM: While grinding pepper into the appetizer, the pepper grinder exploded…..   I wonder if it would be tacky of me to make my guests cook (or send out the bat signal to Andy) and retreat to the bedroom with a sippy cup full of wine.

8:35  After a stop at Dunn Brother’s, Hubby and I are at the Corner Store (you know — that sketchy little place down on the corner… ), looking for more eggs, more pepper and back-up appetizers.

9:00 I’m glad Andy’s pies are safely in the fridge… I’m going to see if I can salvage the appetizer…

Stay tuned for the turkey update — right now it’s brineing in the fridge.

I wonder if Andy’s family would notice five extra guests?? hmmmm….

10:30, I take the turkey out of the brine — didn’t drop it or anything.

10:35:  I turn on the oven

10:37:  I smell apple pie scented smoke.

10:37.5 I put out a fire… yes, actual flames…. with baking soda.

I’m amazed that I thought to use baking soda.

Where’s that wine?

Hubby had to vaccume and chisel out the oven.  This may be our first vegetarian Thanksgiving.

11:09:  Hubby, “the oven isn’t precisely clean, but it will not catch fire.”

this is progress… pass the wine.

12:00 —- I’d planned to have everything done, be in the shower and have all of Grandma’s dishes on the counter by now… As it is, I’m happy we haven’t had another fire, flood, earthquake  or some other kind of Biblical emergency.

12:10 — After a reassuring call from Andy, telling me I have a Ph.D., I’m not an idiot — I managed to pick up the living room and hit the shower… strange how a shower and a reassurance from my pal turns all of this kind of funny.

1:30 — a phone call from a reader / guest asking if everything is ok –i.e. is it safe to enter casa-de-chaos?  Yep… all is tranquil, and smelling good….

What passes as a table is set with my great grandmother’s dishes… (yea, that’s the kitchen island of pie fame…. after today I’m sure it will go home with Andy later..).

The turkey’s in the oven (notice, no smoke, no flames, no fire department, just good smells), that’s stuffing, sweet potatoes, pies (jars of gravy… I need it) and — if you look really closely, you’ll see my finger puppet of Kant all wrapped up in thread — courtesy of the cats.

And… the first foot post on our new blog… I take lots of photos of my feet — but, this shows I’m relaxing in my clean, tranquil, apartment — waiting for guests.

Update — the food, once it was finished, was a success… the turkey as yummy, the stuffing delish and the pies were simply amazing —

Max and Andy came for pie — and the end of the trivial pursuit game.. although, having 4 men against 3 women didn’t help in the end — as the women won… quite an accomplishment, considering the broad range of experience on the other side…

Oh well boys, there’s always next Turkey day… better luck next time.

I’m thankful for

My kind and supportive family.

A husband who works hard for our future.

The cats — we adopted Spock two years ago at Thanksgiving.

My finished dissertation.

Having a warm and comfortable place to host friends for Thanksgiving.

Pie (which deserves its own line)

Two years without chemo.

Two years of clean cancer tests.

My new/old friend Andy, his son Max and his amazing family.

My job, that actually pays me to be a philosopher…