My New (Old) Office

I move back to old quarters.

I spent much of today preparing to move my office back into my house. Late in the afternoon, Mike arrived from work and we loaded a bunch of stuff into the back of his pickup. I’m now typing this from my relocated office.

For the three and a half years, my office has been in a condo I own in downtown Wickenburg. I moved it there after the last tenant broke their 1-year lease and abandoned the place. When I discovered that nice white carpet (installed by the previous owner; I’m not a complete idiot, you know) completely trashed, I decided I was sick of tenants and sick of having a three bedroom house with only two occupants and no guest rooms.

We moved our offices to the condo in August 2003 (I think). It was nice to have a dedicate workspace, a place I had to go to to work. It got even nicer when DSL became available and I could get fast Internet.

But as time went by and I got more and more involved with my helicopter work, the downtown office became an inconvenience. If I had a call for a flight, I’d have to hurry home and get changed into normal clothes before driving to the airport. That was about 30 minutes shot to hell. And I started to get lazy, to not want to go to work in the morning. That’s not a good thing when I’m facing a deadline.

I wanted an office at Wickenburg Airport, but the powers that be in Wickenburg decided my small business wasn’t worthy. I guess I told too many truths on wickenburg-az.com. Made a few people feel uncomfortable. They decided to punish me by not letting me have an office at the airport. When I got the FAA involved — after all, the town’s agreement with the FAA has an “economic non-discrimination” clause — they started “cooperating” and finally got around to putting out an RFP for the 1000 square feet of land I had my eye on. But do I really want to be a tenant of the town? I thought so at first, but after dealing with the town’s crap for the past eight months, I’m pretty sick of it all and not very interested in giving the town any of my money. Frankly, most of my business comes from Scottsdale these days anyway. I’m still trying to decide whether to bid on the space after all.

So I decided to move my office back into the second bedroom at our house, the same room that was my office when we first moved here 10 years ago. It’s a 12 x 10 space with a nice, big closet. There’s no additional cost and a nice tax deduction for a home-based office. Best of all, I can go to work at any time of the day or night without commuting a single mile.

Mike’s office, which occupied the master bedroom of the condo, has been reduced to the size of a desk and set of shelves in the upstairs “den” where the television and stereo are. Not too shabby. He tunes into Sirius radio on Dish Network while he’s working and listens to it in surround sound. The window he faces has the best view in the house.

The view from my officeMy window also has a nice view. It looks out into the garden with the mountains in the distance. I just finished setting up the Webcam for wickenburg-az.com, which shows the view. Here’s the small view. (Well, if you’re looking at this during the week of January 22, you might actually be seeing the inside of KBSZ studios; there’s a tiny Webcam problem right now.) When spring comes, I’ll start working in the garden again. I’m looking forward to it. I miss gardening, but when my office was in town, I never seemed to have time for it.

Right now, 2/3 of my L-shaped desk has been moved into my office. My Dual G5 computer and the big 20-inch Sony monitor has been hooked up. I put the Dell speakers on the computer, but I think the old Altec Lansings sound better, so I’ll put them on tomorrow. I’ll get the last piece of my desk later in the week, after I clear space in this room for it. (Still got one of the old “library” shelves in here.) That’s also when I’ll bring in the printers and the Ethernet hub.

Other stuff that cluttered my office is gone. I sold the G4 that was my Web server — it sold for $335 on eBay yesterday and I shipped it out today — and I moved the G4 eMac to KBSZ studios for audio streaming. Today, I disassembled the Dell Dimension L933r computer that was my old PC test mule in preparation for donating it to the local library. My old Strawberry iMac (a G3) is in the garage, waiting for me to restore it to factory settings and dispose of it. I gave my old clamshell iBook SE to my next door neighbor, who is home-schooling her four young kids. She now has her own “computer lab.”

That leaves me with a very reasonable 3 computers for my work: my Dual Processor G5 (now about 3 years old), my relatively new Dell Latitude D820 laptop test mule, and my reasonably new 15″ Mac Book Pro test mule. Oh yeah, and my 12″ G4 PowerBook, which I really can’t part with. No need for all the desk space I had in my downtown office. I’m even cutting myself down to two printers (rather than the 3 I had accumulated). Look for some new items on eBay soon.

Getting rid of all this old equipment feels good. Although I actually threw away — in a Dumpster! — three external SCSI hard drives and a dual bay SCSI CD-ROM reader today, most of the other equipment is finding a good home. I hate throwing stuff away, but I really hate storing it. And let’s face it: old computer equipment has very little value these days.

So now I’m sitting at home in my office at 8:25 PM, listening to iTunes music on my G5 (right now: “Wish You Were Here” on Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd). It’s later than I’d usually be working. I think I’ll be working longer hours with my office in the house. Getting more work done. Blogging more.

And doing a lot of work in my pajamas once again.

What do you think?