...if you remember the Grapes of Wrath you know what my office looks like. It looks like the Joads’ vintage auto the day they set forth for California. Sort of Beverly Hillbillyish... stuffed to the brim...too much garbage...cup runningeth over. I wonder if this phenomenon is unusual amongst telecommuters, I wouldn't know because, as a telecommuter, I don't get to see a heck of a lot of other telecommuters of my isolated genre. Heck, I don't get to see too much of anything or anyone any how no way. I do know I have a lot of stuff on my desk...floor...in the file cabinet...on the file cabinet...and a modicum of overflow that happens just outside the door and flows for awhile along the wall.

...at random, I pick something up off the floor...ah, a book on knot tying. People give knot-tying books to me because they know I like to tie knots. I received an "Old Farmer's Almanac" (the original...not some copycat edition that I am warned right on the cover of this much coveted original not to accept any substitutes for) as a gift in late 1997. In the back was a half page section that taught how to tie a few simple basic handy everyday knots. I mastered them over the winter. Great Cub Scout stuff. Late spring of the following year my wife brings home a monster book containing about 4000 knots. Three years into this massive volume...I begin to realize that all one really needs anyway is the few basic knots in the Old Farmer's Almanac. Knots are like life. A few will do you fine if you know when and how to use them...but it is most assuring to know that if and when you come across one you can't tie, that there is a source somewhere to help get you by. My neighbors here also give me old trees because they know I like to split wood. I'm confused...I like money, too...but no one gives me that.

...Also on the floor is an extra keyboard for this computer and we all know how this one plays out. I will never need it! Since acquisition of said keyboard, I have gone through a computer... a color monitor... a mouse... mousepad and my printer and fax are both waning, but this keyboard that I am typing on now will never fail... that is, until I get rid of the spare. The most likely scenario is that on the off chance that this keyboard does indeed fail, then it will turn out the spare was never any good anyway. Hahahahahahaha. There! I just put it up the attic. Off of floor, out of mind.

...Software? There is software in this pile that came from who-knows-where and probably serves some purpose...but the specific usefulness is long forgotten. The allowance for software packages should be limited to maybe, three different programs for each computer a person has. Upgrades by the companies that make the stuff would only be allowed every five years... no more of this ad infinitibular version

...I don't have a disposable razor on the floor, but I do have an almost unbelievable telecommuter's story about them, and Gillette and Schick are going to hate me for this true tale. I generally use an inexpensive Gillette Good News Microtrac. It used to be that I thought such a razor was only usable for a week or so, my beard being considered probably average in abrasivness and stature with some gray now starting to evolve as age works its magic and tries to overtake me. With practice combined with some tolerance and understanding I started "pushing" the razors farther and farther out into nether reaches of the "use" zone until I got one to last 90 days....the next one I pushed to six months... The one I am using now I started with on Labor Day weekend, 1999 and the Ides of March approaches. I am going on vacation later in the month and I intend on taking this same razor with me. One caveat, in all fairness to science of shaving... I do shave my mustache and chin first with an electric razor...but I do follow up in these same areas with my disposable. I also use a little dab of Suave Hair Conditioner instead of shaving cream. I've been using the same 15oz. bottle since October, 1998. When I finally do dispose of the plastic razor, I use pliers to break it up into tiny pieces, which I mix in with my compost. (The philosophy behind the concepts in this paragraph is courtesy of Amy Dacyczn (A.K.A. The Frugal Zealot) of Leeds, Maine.)

...and dust. There is lots of dust. Speaking of which...my son, almost six now, comes to me the other day and asks, "When I die, will it be forever?" Now that I think of it, he has been sleeping somewhat erratically for the past night or two. I can remember having the same thought as a child. It was a problem that got stuck in my head for a bit, but must have gotten resolved in the fullness of time. I never did find out the answer, though. If you know it, email me a midnight@ime.net. I do know it‘s ashes to ashes and dust to dust…but he is allergic to dust and has to have it filtered out of his room which may alleviate these fears eventually.