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  • What is on your Desk?

    Posted by Zenpundit on December 26th, 2011 (All posts by )

    Cross-posted from zenpundit.com

    Time for a bit of lighthearted, blogging fun.

    I spend a lot of time reading and writing and I do so primarily within a specific environment – my home office. The space reflects the man, to some degree.

    Surveying my office space here at home, I noticed that my desk has begun, like a coral reef, to accrete various objects, oddments and curious like a layer of bric-a-brac sediment.  Some objects change, others stay forever.  Exclusive of papers, books, printers and a computer, here’s what my desk holds:

    • 1 lamp
    • 6 photographs of family and friends
    • Stapler
    • Cup of pencils and ball points
    • Two modestly priced non-disposable writing pens
    • One expensive, handmade, writing pen in case
    • A handmade, blue ceramic, pinchpot made by my Eldest in kindergarten (it holds some krazyglue and a metal skull keychain fob)
    • Two Challenge Coins from the US Army War College and Small Wars Journal
    • A Doctor Octopus figurine my son is now too old to play with (I like the mechanical arms)
    • A ceramic coaster made by aforementioned Boy in pre-school with his handprint
    • A brass dagger letter opener (Shiny!)
    • A case of CD-ROMs of a very large comic book collection (graciously sent to me by Eddie Beaver for the Boy)
    • A battered WWI French Army helmet
    • A candle holder with a picture of my Eldest when she was approximately three or four
    • A nondescript, lidless box holding post-it notes, business cards collected from various people, phone numbers on paper scraps, paper clips, spare ear buds and headsets for iPods/iPads
    • One small ceramic seal figurine (origin unknown, think it was left here years ago by my Eldest)

    I am officially “tagging” the following bloggers to describe what is on their desks in the same fashion – they may, if they wish, inflict this post on a new group of victims:

    Lexington Green
    J. Scott Shipman
    Charles Cameron
    Dave Dilegge
    Joseph Fouche
    Adam Elkus
    Shane Deichman
    Lewis Shepherd
    Carl Prine
    Crispin Burke
    TDAXP
    Dave Schuler
    Cheryl Rofer
    Shlok Vaidya
    Steven Pressfield
    Pundita
    Seydlitz89
    Doctrine Man
    Sean Meade
    The Meatballs

    Readers are invited to list their strangest or most beloved desk object in the comment section. Have at it!

     

    18 Responses to “What is on your Desk?”

    1. Lexington Green Says:

      I am at my desk at work. I do almost all work here, and sometimes blog from here. My desk is pretty bare.
      All my cool stuff is in a box from when I left a prior law firm, and I have never settled back in enough to get all that stuff out — a piece of the Berlin Wall, a piece of the Atlantic Wall, rust chips from the “guns that faced the wrong way” on Singapore, etc.

      An Apple computer, cordless mouse and keyboard.
      A phone — landline.
      An iPhone, charging.
      An electric tea pot.
      An extra large cup for tea.
      A pile of recently acquired business cards.
      Written discovery responses and discovery propounded on us in one of my cases. A disk with client docs on it.
      A printed screen show showing a list of files in another attorney’s office which is likely to be pertinent to the previous item.
      Two note pads.
      An executed Settlement and Mutual Release which is on my desk to remind me to prepare a simple motion to dismiss the case now that it is settled.
      A large plastic cup, supposed disposable, from La Bamba, so I can chug tap water all day.
      A bottle of Dayquil.
      A box of Kleenex.
      Two thumb drives.
      A to do list with my annotations all over it.
      A highligher
      A pile of napkins from Chipotle.
      A pair of scissors.
      A stapler.
      On the shelf over the desk are 33 books related to the part of America 3.0 I am currently struggling to write, as well as a picture of my family from last Summer, a small American flag, some pictures drawn by my youngest daughter and one by my younger son, an American flag, a picture of St. Thomas More, and a small metal elephant I got in Chinatown to celebrate the GOP victory in 2010. I have a companion elephant I bought in 1994 buried in the boxes mentioned above.

      The floors, shelves, filing cabinets an credenza are covered in files and boxes of documents. As one bemused client said on seeing the place, “so, this is where the magic happens.”

      Yes, it is.

    2. Tatyana Says:

      I am not on a list, but I’ll participate as one from the second-best category (“reader who is encouraged to share a strangest or most beloved desk object”)

      I dislike dysfunctional clatter in general and on my desk in particular. Still, I do permit myself a bit of whimsy in selection of my pens’ container. It is a cylindrical porcelain cup (or it could be, I guess, called a small vase) with abstract cubist hand-painted pattern in olive, yellow and red. It is a souvenir purchased at now defunct physical flagship store of J. Peterman Co, at Grand Central in NYC. Not only I adored the selling concept, especially descriptions of the merchandise and the 1940′s and 1950′s models, but it is probably the only Co in the world that was portrayed in the TV series (Seinfeld) AND the actor who played the CEO became an investor after the original Co was re-purchased by heirs of the founder after bankruptcy.

    3. Sgt. Mom Says:

      My desk, where the computer and accessories are … is tucked into the corner of my home office; it’s small, but with a two-shelf unit above it, filled with books about Texas and the American frontier. On the top shelf, in front of the books is a teddy bear dressed in USAF green BDUs, a pink beenie baby monkey, a tiny metal scupture of a pig, another of a roadrunner, two pieces of glazed pottery animals which were from Christmas crackers (a sea turtle and a spaniel dog) and a miniature teapot shaped like a red bakelite radio, and a small white porcelain end-table lamp from Japan. Second shelf down, a Dymo label printer, a flat basket filled with printed copies of stuff, the modem, and more books – some of which are copies of my own books. On the desktop itself, an Ikea cardboard standing file full of printed copies of stuff that I need to refer to often, like the list of Bowker numbners already used, a small plastic file of business cards, stapler, a tall souvineer pottery cup from the King’s Feast (from the Texas Ren-fair) filled with pens and pencils, a plastic ruler, a metal ruler, a small stack of books, an envelope from the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts which is there to remind me about the sales taxes for the last quarter of 2011, a notepad with notes about an internet radio program interview tomorrow morning, and a CD to be mailed to the current client when I get to the post office.
      The King’s Feast cup came from a previous employer and good friend, who passed on about six months after he went to the Ren-Fair and had a blast. The desk itself was made originally for my daughter by my father, but there is no room in this house for it anywhere here … and Dad himself died exactly a year ago today.

    4. Joseph Fouche Says:

      I sit in a 25-year old lazy boy inherited from my late grandfather. On my lap, braced by a pillow, is a 15-inch unibody MacBook Pro. Attached by a cord is a classic Logitech trackball. To my left there’s a small stand with water, some fingernail clippers, a light, and some lip balm. Just beyond is a wall of books stacked floor to ceiling. On War is within easy reach if something (or someone) large needs a beat down.

    5. Lexington Green Says:

      Here’s how it looks.

    6. Bill Brandt Says:

      Lex your desk looks absolutely immaculate compared to mine. I have a bunch of old papers – 2-3 year old – that probably should either be filed or thrown out.

      The one at work is considerately neater ;-)

    7. Kirk Parker Says:

      My desk? If I could actually see it under the mounds of stuff, I might tell you what’s on it, but I can’t, so I won’t.

      I will share the most whimsical item from the general vicinity: a gag-gift can of genuine “Pacific Northwest Whole Bodies Slugs — Packed in Water — For Low-Sodium Diets”.

    8. Bill Brandt Says:

      OK, the most whimsical thing I have on my home disk – a slightly chipped cup bought in Berlin in 1992 with the details of the “Jungfrau” – Virgo – btw we Virgos are supposed to be neat and fastidious – some moon must have been messed up ;-)

    9. zenpundit Says:

      Lex, your desk is neat and spartan but the child drawings and LaBamba cup humanizes it (I recall eating the “Burrito as big as your head” in Champaign, usually after a night of drinking)

      JF is the laptop on lap or on a laptop stand?

      Tatyana lured me into perusing J. Peterman :)

    10. Joseph Fouche Says:

      On heat diffuser. On fluffy pillow. On lap. With trackball.

    11. Dan from Madison Says:

      (I recall eating the “Burrito as big as your head” in Champaign, usually after a night of drinking)- +1 on that, I used to live right across the street and up a block from them when I went to school in Champaign.

      My desk besides the usual computer/phone stuff:
      five family photos
      rolodex with computer and other passwords
      3.3 oz tube of J. R. Watkins shea butter lemon hand creme (it is winter and dry as a bone here in the Great Midwest)
      two mini flashlights
      one spoon (used to eat my yogurt daily)
      plastic bin with paper clips, post its, visene
      one box kleenex
      fly swatter
      tons of papers referenced daily
      one hockey puck used as a coaster
      scotch tape dispenser
      toothbrush and toothpaste
      one container (100 count) ibuprofen
      Plantronics phone headset
      security monitor so I can see what is going on out front if I am working early/late
      two and a half foot Galileo thermometer – definitely the highlight of my desk

    12. Tatyana Says:

      Zen, did you find Anglophile Sweater Jacket?

    13. Dan from Madison Says:

      Here is where my magic happens.

    14. Jeff the Bobcat Says:

      I guess I am unusual in that I utilize 3 different desks, my office desk, my Father’s old desk (he passed away in June), and my home office desk each day. Aside from the usual papers the most unusual items are as follows: on my office desk I have a clock that was an award from the Rotary group I belong to and an over-sized Ohio University mug (for hot tea or iced tea[just put it in the freezer]); at home I have a street sign that says “Battleship Blvd” from where we visited the USS New Jersey in Philly this summer, an ivory paperweight with an etching done by Leslie Cope, and several old cameras on the book shelf(like Brownies); on my Dad’s desk I have a decorative wooden duck decoy and an autographed framed print of a self portrait done by Alan Bean from his lunar landing.

    15. Dan from Madison Says:

      @Jeff – you have much cooler stuff on your desk than I do.

    16. Bob Says:

      Most interesting that you consider your son too old to play with Doctor Octopus but you’re not. Hence the coveted place on your desk, articulated arms and all.

      I would list the things on my desk if I could get that close to it.

    17. zenpundit Says:

      The Boy has moved on from playing with superhero figures to Bayblades and assembling an arsenal of nerf gun weaponry:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Clwhm1dRu6c

      Doc Ock is however safely stored if he is ever needed again :)

    18. Mike Doughty Says:

      The most interesting thing on my desk is a copper “plating ball” that I use as a paperweight. It’s a solid ball of pure copper (about the size of a lacrosse ball) that was used as the source of copper in a copper-plating operation at an auto parts plant where I was the Labor Relations Supervisor in the late 1970′s. We apprehended an employee attempting to steal a large number of these. He was fired and the UAW pushed his case to arbitration. The plating ball I still have was an exhibit in the arbitration case (which we won). Invariably, it seems, people that have come into my office over the years will pick it up and be surprised at its weight; then ask “what is this thing?”.