The Watering Hole, Monday, June 4th, 2012: Office Space

Today will be our first day in our new office facility. While the move may be a good thing for our company as a whole, I cannot help but feel saddened by all of things that I will miss about our old location.

Our old building was set by itself at the end of an apple orchard, surrounded by old apple trees, rhododendron bushes, plantings of irises, a (now overgrown) garden of coreopsis, marigolds, daylilies, a butterfly bush, bleeding hearts, and other flora. The rhododendrons and butterfly bush attracted bumblebees, honeybees, hummingbird bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies. The lawn outside of my window sloped down to the parking lot and driveway, on the other side of which were moonflowers and other vines lining the driveway, giving way in turn to a swampy area. From my window I could watch the local birds, adult and baby turtles, hawks and turkey vultures.
And I will especially miss watching for bunnies outside our ‘front door’, as this pastime was so reminiscent of some of the best times that I enjoyed with our nephew Adam. Any time that I spotted a bunny, I would quickly call Adam’s extension to say “Bunny alert”, to which he would respond “be right there”; then the two of us would just stand inside the doorway for several minutes, while Adam made up little stories about the bunny. But aside from our bunny watching, the old building is where I got to know Adam the adult; his heartaches, his hopes, his humor, and that is what I will miss the most. While the constant daily reminders of his loss were often painful, I feel as though our move to the new building, with the lack of those reminders is almost as much of a loss.

Adam with friend Amanda from office

This is our daily open thread — share your thoughts on any topic!


147 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Monday, June 4th, 2012: Office Space

  1. I will miss the old place, too, but I will miss Adam even more. It gets harder and harder for me to go back into the old building, and I’ll have to do it at least a couple of times today, as we have not completely finished moving all the computers and stuff out of there. Every time I go there today, I’ll be thinking of Adam.

    A temp-worker that we have working with us during the move mentioned something to me the other day. He asked if I had heard Joe Biden’s Memorial Day speech in which he talked about the loss of his wife and daughter shortly after first getting elected to the Senate. Biden said, “There will come a day when you will be able to think of your loved ones, and it will bring a smile to your face instead of a tear to your eye.” I sure do hope he’s right. And I sure hope it doesn’t take thirty years for that day to come.

    Great post, Honey. 🙂

    • Beautiful pictures Jane!
      Mr. Biden is correct Wayne. Grief and loss are much like physical injuries, they heal but they leave a scar. Some heal slower, some faster. Some leave a scar that is barely visible, some leave raggedy messy scars, but the wound does heal and the pain does lessen. I promise.

    • As I grow older, I’ve had to stop myself from using the phrase
      “See you later”
      Too many friends have not made it to the end of the day.
      I now say “Stay out of trouble or don’t get caught” or some other open ended phrase.
      This experience was driven home when I wished a group of friends a safe flight and I said “See you later”.
      They crashed into the mountains that evening.
      I don’t take many things for granted anymore.

    • This was a little hard to read for me because last Thursday a friend of mine from Seattle emailed to tell me of the passing of another mutual friend of ours. My friend’s email stated that she quote “had been killed,” but as I found out later, it was intentional on her part. She chose to intentionally drive off the end of a ferry dock.

      I have been thinking about this friend over the weekend. And the fact that I had had only sporadic contact with her since we moved from Seattle a decade ago. I wondered about the pain she must have been in for such a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Why she would choose such a desperate and lonely act in the middle of the night. Why she didn’t have any one to reach out to including my other friends that still live up there near her.

      I agree with vinylspear, that we never really know when the last time we will see someone, and I try to make sure that my encounters with people are kind, even people I just casually come in contact with, because you never know what pain someone else is going through.

      While memories of my friend linger on my mind, I am reminded also of the good times we shared, and the sadness that I feel now for her and her family, and hope that her family can find some peace and comfort.

  2. Envisioning the future:

    Robin Sloan contrasts the photo of Mark Zuckerberg’s wedding (1,556,546 likes) with a photo taken while Sebastian Thrun wore Google Glass goggles:

    “It’s a POV shot taken hands-free: Thrun’s son Jasper, just as Thrun saw him. Thrun also demonstrated Glass on Charlie Rose and it’s worth watching the first five minutes there just to see (a) exactly how weird the glasses look, and(b) exactly how wonderful the interaction seems. This isn’t about sharing pictures. This is about sharing your vision. …

    When you think about it, that POV shot is quite amazing.

  3. While on the subject of “Office Space”

    PC load letter?
    WTF is PC load letter?

    • Anyone surprised that most of the “article” consists of photos of those big boobs? I’m so happy that Fox Nation is defending Family Values.

    • I’m reminded of a T-shirt I spotted in a Phoenix super market a few years ago. It was a nice tight fit on a large-chested woman, and that part was ok. But it was the caption that really caught me. It read: “IF ONLY THESE HAD BRAINS.”

      If I had Celia Savage’s addy and one of those tees, I’d send it to her.

    • Well, she still has her teeth and she doesn’t own a liquor store or bar so she isn’t quite the perfect woman for the redneck crowd.

  4. Frugal, I’m imagining the delightful aroma emanating from that freshly baked bread in your gravatar.
    Beautiful scenery!

    • Yes, those are what we call ‘Mogollon Molasses Rim Rolls.’ That was the first batch we made of them, over an open fire in a Dutch oven in a campsite at the very edge of Arizona’s Mogollon Rim. Gorgeous place, figured the rolls needed to be named to honor the view. 🙂

      That batch isn’t so fresh anymore, though. Photo was made in July, 2003 — but we still make new ones, same recipe as the original.

    • Cautions? CAUTIONS??? WTF! How about removing their cash cow status? Enuff already!

      • RUC, it must be their “sternly worded letter” approach.
        We know how successful those are.///

        • It’s my understanding that such an approach is also utilized by the Vatican, with the seal of wink n’ nod clearly affixed.

          • Yeah, they never quite say a candidates name, just practically describe them to a tee and end with: “yada, yada, yada… family values.”

  5. Jane, what a serene place to have worked! Being able to just look out the window to see such beauty – especially on a particularly stress-filled day!

    Do the new grounds offer any nature to gaze upon?

    • Not much – there’s plenty of trees, and a bit of lawn, but the only open space is the parking lot. The trees across the street block what would be a view of the apple orchard that our old building was next to. 😦

        • Hadn’t heard that one. Sounds like he’s more of a fraud than he appears to be. I didn’t hardly think that was even possible.

    • Interesting how some ideas come about.
      Wonder what actually made him ‘think’ about “ways of using a dead cat”.

    • When I was taking care of my mom in Amarillo, I took her to a restaurant that had a cat curled up on the shelf behind the cash register. Upon closer inspection, it was a stuffed cat. It was kinda creepy after that. To each their own, I suppose, but can’t you keep your dead stuffed pet in your home?

  6. Full coverage of the Queen’s Jubilee flotilla yesterday with some cool photos. Money quote of the BBC’s coverage:

    “an onslaught of inanity, idiocy and full cream sycophancy uttered, muttered and buttered on thickly by a team of presenters who were encouraged to think that they were more important than the events unfolding around them.”

    See, it isn’t just an American thing.

  7. Whoopsie. Scott Walker may be in much deeper shit than the recall election.

    “Today’s revelation removes any doubt that Scott Walker is the target of a criminal prosecution.”

    • With a little luck, I will get to vote early and then head to Madison. Ed is broadcasting live from the Great Dane downtown and I would really like to be there.

    • I am reminded, yet again, of an interview I heard back in 2008 when Walker was implicated in a caging scheme. A Wisconsin political reporter summed it up by saying; “if there’s a scandal in Wisconsin GOP politics, Walker is in the middle of it”.

      • They should revoke his Eagle Scoutness…isn’t there something in there about being trustworthy?
        Seriously if a Scout’s Eagle standing can be revoked for being teh gay, then why not other things too?

    • T’would be the ultimate irony if Walker’s minions floated him with the sea of cash pouring in, he wins the election, then is imprisoned for the rest of his term…

      It’s a good damn thing my Lying-Bastard-o-meter has never been flipped on in Walker’s presence. Can’t afford another huge repair bill.

  8. Facepalm:

    “I’d like to have a provision in the Constitution that in addition to the age of the president and the citizenship of the president and the birth place of the president being set by the Constitution, I’d like it also to say that the president has to spend at least three years working in business before he could become president of the United States.” — Mitt Romney

    • I’d like it to say that every candidate’s sons of military age must have served in the U.S. Armed Forces for a candidate to be qualified to be President.


    • Maybe he should also own some land, maybe a slave or two? Oh, I mean an indentured worker. Errrr, I mean employees.

    • Look how well that worked out with baby-Bush. He was a totally failed “business man” before occupying the White House. Baby-Bush went on to drive the country to the brink.

  9. Romney vs Obama on job creation:

    “The similarities are actually more striking than the differences. Both men took office as the economy was plunging, but the hole (in percentage terms) turned out to be much deeper for Obama. The jobs picture started to turn around for both men at about the same time, but because Romney’s job deficit was comparatively smaller, he moved into positive territory sooner — though it still took him 36 months.

    As we have noted before, Romney’s record was weaker than other governors of similar states in the same time period. But that could be due to factors unique to Massachusetts.”

    And Steve Benen notes how the Romneyites are spinning away Romney’s first year, while counting Obama’s:

    “Eric Fehrnstrom told ABC, “Can I just say, on the jobs question, because this comes up repeatedly that Massachusetts was 47 out of 50 in terms of jobs growth. Actually, when Mitt Romney arrived, Massachusetts was an economic basket house.” Kevin Madden, naturally, took the same line on “Meet the Press.” On Fox News, Ed Gillespie went so far as to suggest the job losses in Romney’s first year shouldn’t be held against him.

    He wasn’t kidding.

    This comes on the heels of Fehrnstrom arguing 10 days ago that Romney inherited a “recession” and an economy that was “losing thousands of jobs every month” in 2002, and a Romney campaign press release last week that argued, in all seriousness, “Governor Romney inherited an economy that was losing jobs each month and left office with an economy that was adding jobs each month.”

    • The President’s job numbers aren’t as positive because the Republicans stripped the public jobs with their budget cuts.

      • S’true, Obama should ahve sold the ‘Stimulus’ as a ‘Tax Cut’ (especially sionce 40% of it was a tax cut) and then claimed that Republican polcies of rewarding the job creators doesn’t work?

    • Yeah? But the president is… y’know….. one of those blah people…

    • How many times did he vote? Did he vote in CA and in NH too?

      Next time the subject of voter fraud comes up and your teabagger friend struggles to come up with *one* example of voter fraud you can give him two: Ann Coulter *and* Mitt Rmoney

    • I think he avoids the librul media because he steps on his wanger every time he speaks.

    • I did not know that about Mittens. I do now. What do we have to go to demand that this be investigated? Just because he’s the GOP nominee does not give him a pass in the eyes of the law. Maybe in their eyes, but not the eyes that count.

      • I don’t know, Wayne. This is hardly a new story. Thom Hartmann has mentioned it most days for months.

        I really thought this story was common knowledge but now I have a cunning plan. I think we critters and zoosters should send off a note to our respective Representatives and Senators asking that they look into it. It certainly couldn’t hurt.

          • I think Thom might be the best in the business. He reminds me of a slightly more partisan and confrontational Bill Moyers. One can’t help but love, in this day and age, a “librul” who dares to calmly and quietly tell the Reichwhiners “that’s not true”.

            I don’t listen to him as much as I probably should during the summer but i try to catch him once n awhile and I have a couple friends who will send me links to his best stuff. They have office jobs where they can have the radio on low.

            Hmmm… Those of us who catch good stuff on his show should probably do the same for The Zoo.

  10. Scott Walker is ahead in the polls in Wisconsin and that’s where he’ll stay. Democratic strategy in Wisconsin has been one misfire after another. Special election after special election, defeat after defeat, it’s the Wisconsin way.

    In this race, no factor will have been more important than the decades of decline in U.S. union membership.

    But Wisconsin tells us nothing about what will happen in November. Debbie Wasserman Schultz who described Wisconsin as a “dry run” for November reduced Wisconsin voters to a “practice” while elevating this election waaaay too much.

  11. One thing Americans are reluctant to look at. Polls are bought and paid for. And the results are sold.

  12. Apologies for the long url.

    It’s a short video of three Red-tailed Hawks fledging! (at the Univ. of WI at Madison).

  13. OK. That’s twice now that a link to Margaret and Helen went into the spam bin. Somebody’s got to fix that.

  14. Trayvon Martin is dead. Forever dead. Aside from the paranoia, that many psychologists would attribute to a guilty conscience, Trayvon’s killer has only been inconvenienced to date. Lying to a court while under oath is a very serious offense in its own right and, if nothing else, Trayvon’s killer is guilty as sin on that count.

    • holy ghost — this blaming the victim/victim’s family has to stop. Zimmerman just keeps digging a deeper hole – with the assistance of his attorney.

      • I’m old enough to realize that history is cyclical. But it’s only been fairly recently, on my less good days, that I’ve started to lose my optimistic outlook that this cycle will end without blood running in American streets. The hates and fears are getting too severe to have much hope for them being resolved by the wishes of the American electorate.

  15. For those who read the threads from the bottom:

    I have a cunning plan. I would like it if the critters and Zoosters would Google “Romney voter fraud”. Check out the stories, pick a favorite, and send a note to your Representatives and Senators asking that they look into it. I think I’ll also start sending letters to Bernie Sander’s’ office. Despite the fact that I don’t live in Vermont, I have received several responses from his office that, at least, prove that a real human has read said letters.

    Maybe the Obama campaign is waiting for a crucial moment? It wouldn’t be the first time that I thought they had conceded a point only to see the hand played (sorry about the mixed metaphors) at the proper time.

      • Obama 2012
        We are the 99%
        Voodoo donuts
        Not all who wander are lost
        Other hippie type things. 🙂

        I’ve really fallen behind on my collection. 😉

          • Heh. Yeah, I’m going to have to beef up the arsenal. I think I need at least one more Obama sticker, and four or five social justice-type stickers. 😀

            • I’d avoid anything gun control related, though. Lots of militia types with concealed carry permits.

      • All it took for me, back in the 80’s, was having long hair. I took a couple months to explore the Great Plains and Eastern Rockies and the only time I felt uncomfortable, if not afraid, was in Idaho. South Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming weren’t an issue but I left Idaho after two days due to the bad vibes. Heck! Even Utah made me feel at home once the folks in dry counties realized I had a great big cooler full of beer and some herbal “medicine”.

  16. TPM Reader JM takes a look into a dark future …

    I feel compelled to write in part to put together many things that all of you already know and have been reporting on your website for the past couple years. But with the release of the May unemployment numbers—and the strangely widespread consensus that Romney is now the frontrunner (that was fast)—I’ve had some time to reflect on just how damaging the Great Recession has really been. Many have noted that long term unemployment and reduced GDP growth have effects on the economy far beyond the time during the recession itself. Sociological studies show that people who suffered during the Great Depression *never* got over it—higher lifelong incidence of child abuse, alcoholism, spousal abuse, in addition to permanently reduced income. The typical narrative that the Great Depression was something that made a generation hardier just isn’t true.
    This used to be what scared me about the Great Recession: that these circumstances would repeat again for my generation. That’d I would always be living with the economic aftermath of the Great Recession. But this isn’t what scares me anymore. What really scares me is political consequences of this recession. Republicans have perfected an electoral strategy in which they almost never seem to be blamed for obstructing the economy to achieve their party’s electoral goals. That is terrifying. With no discussion of their role (or lack of it) in returning the economy to normal employment, the American electorate seems to have conceded that they just don’t care if one party tries to damage the economy for their own electoral gain. Voters either find it too difficult to figure out or they are too exhausted to care. They just assume the Republican party is pursuing their own self-interests, and they seem to think that strategy is fine even if it diverges from the interests of the country as a whole. In other words, I’m afraid now that the 2010 midterm elections weren’t an anomaly but in fact is a new feature of American political life. Think of it as *What’s the Matter with Kansas?* going intensely national. In this, Obama is the outlier, not Romney.

    I’m a cynic, but even I am stunned by this possibility. But it probably says a lot about what national decline might look like. I’ve never subscribed to those notions of decline that have been tossed around since the beginning of the Great Recession, certainly not of economic decline. The United States is richer than ever, and has been growing fairly rapidly for an industrialized economy going through a fiscal crisis. What scares me, though, is the possibility that Republicans have figured out an electoral strategy in which they are never held accountable for the results of their economic policies. The American people just assume they are the craven dissolute son of the family and still rejoice when the prodigal returns (to power that is).

    I am hoping that the widespread demographic shifts over the next fifteen years will make this electoral strategy extinct. But that’s still the best case scenario. The worst case scenario is an America dominated by the Republican party *even when they’re in the minority,* even when voters have picked the other team, as it were. This seems wildly out of line with what’s happened in American politics over the past century. I’m worried this is the real change brought about by the Great Recession.

  17. How come everyone else can change their gravatar and I’m stuck with fornicating hogs for eternity?

  18. In 1963, hitchhiking outside West Yellowstone in Idaho, my ride’s co-pilot decided to pistol whip me. It hurt. Two weeks later I took it out on Michael Reagan and bitch slapped him behind the Old Faithful Lodge. I have bad feelings towards Idaho. 🙂

    • The actual Michael mealy-mouthed bitch-assed Reagan? Wish I could have gotten in a shot on that one.

      Damn, pistol-whipping. Ow.

      • I would imagine everyone bitch slapped Michael Reagan. I wish I had slapped Barbara Bush when she dissed my child.

        • I wish I had slapped Barbara Bush when she dissed my child.

          What idiocy did she spout?

          • She said nothing, his school was asked to sing during the opening of a home for abused children. She was late and walked out during the middle of the program so that she could sit in her car. This after I bought a white blazer for the stupid concert. A farm child does not need a white blazer and son, who was 9, noticed that they had been treated badly.

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