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      Posting these cat-cartoons-without-the-cartoon was a long journey that I don’t know if I’ll repeat soon again. A daily blog is tough … even when you have your material handed to you! But, I couldn’t have done it without the artwork … Continue reading →
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What’s in your piles?

Posted by joeabbott on October 31, 2015

My home office is a mess.

WP_20151031_07_45_54_Pro_LIYup, that’s it … just a mess. I’ve always been a “piler” … someone who makes piles of work in an effort to categorize or impose order on chaos that can’t be contained in any other way. Well, yes, there are other ways, but not ones I’m looking to employ just now. I believe I get this trait from my mother: few are the exchanges we share where one or the other of us isn’t commenting on spending a little time tidying up our offices.

One pile here came about because a hard drive went out on a small RAID array I have in my office. It’s a Drobo unit and has been working fine but the tricks I’d employed previously when one of the drives indicated a problem (the trick being removing it and forcing it back into the slot quickly), not only caused the original drive to disappear on the unit’s dashboard, but all other lights went out! Yikes … all four disks?!?

Given this unit contains a LOT of data I’d rather not lose, we bought two replacement drives (one as a spare for later), and I scrounged a couple others out of old machines I have under the house for any other spares. Additionally, I bought an iDsonix unit that allows me to dock individual hard disks to my computer for testing and other verification. So, from this project, I have a number of drives, a new device (the iDsonix), the boxes they came in, and my Drobo has moved onto my desk.

And that’s just one pile.

I have the usual paperwork from a number of bills that have come my way and I’ll be filing those for later. Yes, “for later” is the best I can do … not sure why or when I’ll need them, but I’m from a generation that doesn’t throw something like that away, we save it. “For later”. And, while I’m being a bit dark on my attitude, I have had to reference a few saved items, so I’ll keep filing.

Heck, just the other day I got a $300 bill from a blood draw that seemed excessive … walking through old bills helped me find an error and I was able to save that money from coming out of my pocket (it was an insurance mistake).

WP_20151031_07_46_06_Pro_LIAnother “pile” is my Xbox stuff. My relationship with gaming is a constant pulse but lately has taken an uptick … I get home, sort a few things, and then head to play a few games until dinner; after dinner it’s more games. Could be the cold weather setting in, could be that I’m approaching a milestone gamerscore, or perhaps I have a lot of games going right now and I’m being pulled into their stories. Whatever the case, half of a table is taken up by a monitor, controllers, and my gaming units. I just may have to do something about that … later.

I’ve got my work laptop setup, stacks of woodworking books, and the ever-present storage crate of maps from my climbing and hiking exploits … all of it demanding space. It’s a mess, really, but I’m happy with it. Why? Well, let’s see …

My take is that it shows a man in motion; a person invested in a lot of different aspects of life, where living is more important than categorizing. My life isn’t chaotic, but it does have that comfortable lived in aspect; not a showroom for display, or to be held up as a pillar of one aspect or another. No, it’s about curiosity and asking what-if, and being happy to be surrounded by little things that remind me of times or people or knowledge acquired.

The wind-up snowman who drifts across the cluttered tabletop, the picture of my cat, Trout, in a basket playing with a toy, or the plastic alien in a test tube vial of goo … all worth keeping around in the happy mess that’s my office.

But, I do plan on tidying it just a little; maybe just readying the horizontal surfaces for the next influx of stuff. When will I do that? Not sure, maybe January … I think I may have time then. You see, one of the small stacks of paper cluttering my work surface includes a referral for an MRI, the results of said MRI, and the listings of several sports medicine doctors in the Seattle area.

WP_20151031_07_46_33_Pro_LIThose who have followed this blog probably noticed a distinct lack of hiking news this year. You see, I took a little damage to my knee and it’s just been confirmed I have a horizontal tear in the medial meniscus of my right knee. I’ve had the problem since last December so there’s no big hurry in getting it addressed. I’ll likely make an appointment for a consultation in the next couple weeks, schedule the surgery, and then have a bit of time at home healing up … maybe a day or two. While I’ll have plenty of time on my back resting, I’ll also have some time to sort out my life just a bit … at least the stuff in it. Or, that’s the story I’m telling myself.

Apologies for the rather dry topic. I sat down to write a post about something completely different and, well, it was under a pile and I got sidetracked. Welcome to my life!


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