Wednesday, February 27, 2013


The Benefits and Drawbacks of Working at Home

Carolyn J. Rose

 A good friend is in line for a job with a company she worked for previously. Then, she had to commute across the Columbia River to Portland, Oregon. Now, she’ll be able to work from home in Vancouver, WA.

If you live near a MAJOR metropolitan area, I can almost hear you saying, “What’s the big deal? Commuting is far worse here in New York/Los Angeles/Chicago/etc.” But if you live in the Portland area, I can almost hear your empathetic sigh of relief. Commuting in and out of Portland sucks. Trying to time your trip to hit a window of opportunity that isn’t between the hours of 11 PM and 4 AM is like playing Russian roulette with five bullets instead of one.

Did I mention that it sucks?

 Oh, right, I did. Let’s get to the topic of this blog.

Working at home means no one in the next cubicle snapping gum, clipping toenails, tapping a pencil, squeaking a chair, or talking in an outdoor voice about in-laws, in-grown toenails, or insanity issues. It means you can play music, make mouth sounds, and swear all you want. On the downside, working without eavesdropping and/or annoying your co-workers can be soooo boring.

Working at home means no dress code. It means you can work in your pajamas, wear T-shirts with offensive slogans, and even skip the deodorant and put off showering until a time to be named later. Get too far into these habits though, and you run the risk of forgetting what you’re wearing, going out to run errands, and finding yourself accused of being racist or sexist, an exhibitionist or totally insensitive. Plus, personal hygiene can slip to the point where friends wear hazmat suits when they visit—if they visit.

Working at home means no one from the cleaning staff moves things around or vacuums up that loose change you’ve been meaning to crawl under the desk and retrieve. On the negative side, the cleaning staff is you. That means there’s no one to blame for the dust bunnies in the corners, the spider webs festooning the ceiling, and those pungent odors emanating from the kitchen and bathroom.

Working at home means less supervision and micro-managing; it means no one looking over your shoulder. Unfortunately, there’s also no one right there to offer advice. On the other hand, there’s no one to see you playing Farmville or Angry Birds.

Working from home, unless you have an extended family, means no on-site pool of people to go to lunch with. It means calling around and finding a lunch buddy, or snacking from breakfast until dinner instead of taking a genuine lunch break. But that’s not really a downside until you’re working in your pajamas not because you want to but because nothing else fits.

Working at home means no fire drills in the dead of winter. Unless you forget about that bacon frying on the stove and the curtains catch fire. But, then that wouldn’t be a drill, would it?

Got some thoughts about the joys of working from home? Leave a comment. Just don’t let the boss catch you doing it.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Roll over Beethoven

You didn't tell us there would be a quiz !!!

Mike Nettleton    

If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music. 
      Albert Einstein

My first musical memories are of singing in a trio with my older sister Lana and one of her friends. They were both in high school and I was, maybe eight years old, short, round, precocious and already an incurable smart-ass.  

We mostly sang folk songs. A favorite was Tennessee Ernie Ford’s Sixteen Tons.  I sang the bass part, which was amusing as I was a soprano, bordering on castrato.  “One fist of iron, the other of steel, if the left one don’t get you, then the right one . . . “ Chirrup!
 My lifelong love of music extended into my career choice, disc jockey morphing into annoying talk-show host and the tendency to play my basement stereo so loud it sets the dogs howling and my wife searching the rolodex for the number of her divorce lawyer. My  I-pod is stuffed with 1500 plus songs, ranging from show tunes to pop and rock and gut bucket country to delta blues. I even have Run DMC’s version of Aerosmith’s Walk This Way so I can’t be accused of not including rap in my selections.
 Most of us have been influenced by music from our formative years, so I thought I’d make use of this space to offer a five question pop music-pop quiz. Include your answers in the comments section of the blog and we’ll see how many you get right.

  1. Which of the following is not an actual lyric line from a pop song?
      A. Rah-rah-ah-ah-ah-ah! Roma-roma-mamaa!
      B. Yip yip yip yip yip yip yip yip! Mum mum  
          mum mum mum mum !!!!
      C.  Elementary penguin singing Hari Krishna.
      D.  Buhrapppadappadappadappadap !!!!
      E.   Boom shaka-laka-laka, Boom shaka-
            laka-laka Boom !!!

  1.  Which of the following is not the name of a rock and roll guitarist? There may be more than one right answer.
            A. Slash
            B.  Yngwie Malmsteen
            C.  The Edge
            D.   Over the Edge
            E.   Skunk Baxter
            F.   Catfish Jimmy Fryboy

  1. Who said the following?  “The great thing about rock-and-roll is that someone like me can be a star.”
       A.   Elton John
       B.  Jimi Hendrix
       C.   Pat Boone
       D.   Bono
       E.   Freddy Mercury

  1.  Many pop songwriters have been credited with inventing an ingenious lyric line or musical riff. Who is most famous for having invented a totally unique musical beat or rhythm?

  1. Match the following nicknames with the appropriate musical artist.

A. God                                          1.  Neil Young
B. The Godfather of Grunge         2.  Prince
C. The Prince of Wails                  3.  Ozzie Osbourne
D.  The Prince of Darkness           4.  Eric Clapton
E.   His Royal Badness                 5.   Johnny Ray

And your 11 point bonus question, If we didn’t send Lawyers, Guns and Money to Warren Zevon in his song of the same name, what would hit the fan?

Look for the answers in this space up the road. Until then, stretch your brain, annoy your friends with long distance calls and consult your Ouija board. But Googling is contrary to the spirit of the contest, not to mention the spirit of Rock and Roll.