What to Look for in a Desk

When buying a desk or workstation for your home office, there are several important things to consider:

How much space do you have available for your desk?

This will help you determine the maximum size desk that can physically be accommodated. If space is limited, then a large L-Shaped desk or U-Shaped desk will not be practical. A corner desk would be more suitable. If you have more space to work with, then a wider set desk like an executive desk would be better. If you don’t have much room to work with, then a narrower but taller desk, such as a desk with hutch or a wall desk might be right for you.

Where do you intend to put your desk?

How much space you have available for your desk is a huge factor in determining where you can put it. When considering where to put your desk, be sure to use common sense. If you are going to have your computer on your desk, then you will need to consider placing your desk where it can easily access electrical outlets as well as be connected to the internet. Placing your desk in front of a heating vent is not a good idea since you risk causing damage to yourself and to your furniture. Similarly, you don’t want any cords to be in the way especially in high-traffic areas where people may trip over them thus causing harm to them and to the equipment the cords are connected to.

What is your intended purpose for the desk?

Basically, how do you plan to use it? Knowing how you intend to use your desk will direct you to the type of desks that are best suited to meet your needs. For instance, if you plan to use your desk to house your computer so you can watch videos online or play video games, then a large desk with filing cabinets and other storage solutions for paper documents will not make sense. A simple computer desk with one drawer may be the best solution. If you simply need a desk to use for paying bills, doing homework, etc., then a writing desk may be the desk for you. If you don’t really need a desk but like having somewhere to use your laptop, then a lap desk is a great choice. Lap desks can be used anywhere (even in bed!), are portable, and small enough that they can be easily stored away under a bed or in a closet when not in use. Some desks are made for a specific purpose such as a reception desk, which is used in an office setting as a workstation for the receptionist.

What do you plan to keep on your desk?

If you plan to keep a monitor, keyboard, mouse, printer, and phone all on the desk’s top, you will need a larger desk to accommodate everything. Be sure to get a desk that is sturdy enough to support everything on it. A plastic desk may bow in the middle if you put too much weight on it whereas a wood or metal desk is strong enough to provide sufficient support. If you’re the type of person that not only likes to have all the computer essentials on your desk’s top but also likes to have some space to spread out when working on documents, then a L-Shaped desk or U-Shaped desk is a good fit since these type of desks provide tons of surface area on their extended arms. (Note: It is helpful to make a list.)

What are your storage and organization needs?

Related to what you plan to keep on your desk is how you plan to store and organize everything. If you keep a lot of paper documents, then a desk with file cabinet (either built-in or as a matching accessory) will keep your documents organized. If you’re a big gamer and like to keep your computer games within easy reach, then a computer desk with built in media storage is perfect for you. A desk with hutch has tons of built-in storage in the forms of shelves and drawers. Desks with pedestals have great drawer storage for documents and office supplies. Secretary desks provide ample storage with little work surface area since the main work surface typically pulls out or folds down.


If you tend to move frequently, then a desk or computer cart with casters makes moving easy. Computer carts are also great for people that like to work and watch tv at the same time. Wheel your computer cart to your bedroom or living room so you can work and entertain yourself simultaneously. Portable desks are typically made with plastic or particle board, which are lighter in weight compared to solid wood, metal, or glass, and are also more affordable. They are especially great for college students whose living arrangements can change every semester and whose budgets are more limited.

Material, Style, Finish, and Budget

Your desk is the main piece of furniture for your home office. If at all possible, it’s highly recommended to buy your desk first before choosing other office furniture since office chairs, office shelves & storage, and office accessories are selected to complement your desk. From the highly decorative to the simple and sleek, there is a desk to match your personal sense of style.

  • For a more modern and contemporary look, choose a desk made of glass, metal, or a combination of both.
  • For a more traditional look, an executive desk made with solid wood lends your office a timeless elegance.
  • Want a more beach-like feel to your office? Then a tropical style desk or desk made with bamboo will suit you.
  • Like classic American furniture? Then choose a Craftsman or Mission style desk.
  • Trying to capture the look and feel of the Old West or your favorite cabin getaway? A Rustic or Lodge style desk is what you need.
  • Don’t really know what your preferred style is or like elements from many styles? Then transitional is the way to go as this style blends elements from traditional, modern, and everything else in between.

Desks come in a range of finishes so select a finish that will blend in with or complement your current office’s color scheme. Desks in a black or white finish are very popular and are easy to coordinate with other furniture pieces.

The type of material your desk is constructed of will affect the price. Solid wood desks tend to be pricey but they last a lifetime. Plastic desks or desks made with laminates or particle boards are typically less expensive but they also do not last as long. You will need to decide if you will be investing in a desk that will last for many years or if you are buying a desk that will work for the short-term.

Now that you know how to go about buying a desk find the desk that’s perfect for you!…


Buying Guide For Drill Presses

Through drill pressesyou get high precision, which is useful for making perfect holes no matter what the material. There are different kinds of presses available. If you choose the right one, you have the essential tool to complete any DIY job no regardless of the angle you are working from. Versatility is a prominent feature of a best drill press because it has many attachments. These can help you turn the drill press into a mixer or even a sander if you so require.

Best drill press


First type is the bench top, which you can mount on top of a stand or workbench. Another type is the freestanding floor drill press, which comes with highly powerful motors. It does not only offer more power than the bench top drill press but also allows you to use various attachments according to your requirements. For better accessibility and mobility, some of the freestanding floor presses have wheels.

Considerations before buying

Some of the considerations that will help you to choose from types of drill presses include the usual types and sizes of materials you work with. The angles you usually drill at is another important factors that count into the drill you buy. The space available in your shop or home for placing the drill is another important point. In case you work often with heavy-duty metals, you should choose the freestanding floor drill, which comes with greater power and offers the better flexibility of using attachments and enhancing the power of the drill. Choose a drill with higher horsepower because it can easily bore into tough materials. Consider your needs before buying a drill. Match capacity the drill to your needs so that you get the ideal benefits and best value for your money.

Speed and power specifications

Power and speed are factors that count a lot in their operation and effectiveness. The floor-standing drill press has a better, more powerful motor and hence, greater capacity. These models mostly vary between ½ and ¾ hp. Contrary to this, the bench-top model comes with a capacity of 1/3 or ¼ hp. For those people who use the drill press for drilling metal as well as wood, it is best to get a drill press that has a range of speeds and offers versatility. This is important because you need low-speed to drill metal while you need a medium to high-speed for drilling wood. With variations of speeds, you are able to drill various material types with varying requirements of thickness and depth. In bench-top models, you have fewer options of setting the speed. Take into account the projects and requirements you usually need to fulfill and then choose from the drill presses available in the market.

If you are using the drill press for various materials and application, invest in drill bits accordingly. For every application, there is a different kind of drill bit, which comes in really handy and helps you complete your project perfectly.…


Emmylou’s Hootenanny

Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell hosted a memorable evening of music at the Troubadour in West Hollywood last night with a few of their friends. It was an astonishing set that lasted for two hours and fifteen minutes. The musicians seemed to be enjoying themselves as much as the audience. Emmylou, ever the gracious and generous hostess, invited to the stage a wide range of players, some up and coming, others who needed no introduction.

Emmylou, Rodney Crowell and Jedd Hughes formed the nucleus of a loose and constantly changing ensemble. It was a night that reminded this listener how powerful and glorious music can be, especially the night before the Grammys and their lame collection of what passes for music these days.  Hopefully these artists will get together again and tape this in the near future. Austin City Limits would be a great venue for this collection of performers.

It was a very special night: Emmylou’s hootenanny. She is, and has been for a very long time, the best. An angel sings among us.

Here’s the set list as best as I can make out from my scribbled notes along with YouTube links to previous performances of the songs if they’re available:

1. Hanging Up My Heart – feat. Emmylou, Rodney Crowell and Jedd Hughes

2. Invitation to the Blues – feat. Emmylou, Rodney Crowell and Jedd Hughes (“ about as close as country music will ever get to Howlin’ Wolf” said Crowell)

3. ”I didn’t know about silence/until you were gone” – a new untitled song – feat. John Fullbright 

4. Bohemian Wedding Prayer – feat. Shannon McNally

5. Dreaming my Dreams with You – feat. Emmylou, Rodney Crowell and Jedd Hughes

6. Chase the Feeling – feat. Emmylou, Rodney Crowell and Jedd Hughes

7. The Luckiest Man – feat. Zac Brown Band

8. One Day with You – feat. Zac Brown Band

9. When the Blue Hour Comes – feat. Joan Osborne and Keith Cotton

10. That is How You Work on Me  – feat. Joan Osborne, Emmylou, Rodney Crowell and Keith Cotton

11. The Blower’s Daughter– feat. Damien Rice & Emmylou

12. Bluebird Wine – feat. Emmylou, Rodney Crowell

13. Sis Draper  – feat. Shawn Camp

14. Spanish Dancer – feat. Emmylou, Rodney Crowell and Jedd Hughes
(This song is off their new album. The link is to Patti Scialfa’s original)

15. Closing Time – feat. J.D. Souther

16. The Sad Café – feat. J.D. Souther
(A song he wrote about the Troubadour)    

17. Dimming of the Day – feat. Bonnie Raitt & James Hutch Hutchinson

18. Angel from Montgomery – feat. Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou & James Hutch Hutchinson
(Bonnie Raitt recalled being on the “hallowed ground” of the club’s stage 40 years ago and after this John Prine classic she berated an audience member taking pictures with her cell phone, telling her and others to “put away your devices and just be in the moment”)    

19. God is God – feat. Joan Baez
(In her Artist’s Choice compilation Emmylou wrote “Joan Baez is the reason I picked up a guitar and learned my first three chords.” Joan dedicated this great Steve Earle song “to the broken heart of the world”)

20. Diamonds and Rust – feat. Joan Baez
(“There’s enough soul on this stage tonight to be an antidote to the entire Grammys,” Joan said. She also said she “would have had shut-in’s regret if I hadn’t” made this gig. “There’s nothing like company,” said Emmylou. “Except solitude,” responded Joan. At the end of the song Joan changed her lyrics to “and if you’re offering me diamonds and rust I’ll take a Grammy”)

21. Till I Gain Control Again – feat. Emmylou, Rodney Crowell

22. Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight – feat. Emmylou, Rodney Crowell, Jedd Hughes and others
 (In a touching ending, Emmylou was joined by a small child who I assume was her grandchild)

23. Old Yellow Moon – feat. Emmylou, Rodney Crowell, Jedd Hughes
(All of the Emmylou and Rodney songs are from their soon-to-be-released album. Emmylou introduced this song as about friendship. Here’s a recent BBC interview regarding this eagerly awaited work which will be out Feb. 26th and here they are discussing and playing snippets from it.

My heartfelt gratitude and thanks to Emmylou, Rodney and all the musicians involved last night in creating a very magical evening.

I’d also like to thank one of my oldest and dearest friends, Mark Heffington, and my newest and dearest friend, Maureen Pengilley for sharing the experience.

And Lynn, darlin’, so sorry you got snowed in and couldn’t make this one. Not sure how to make it up to you.…


We Don’t Need no Stinkin’ Elections

Election? What election? We don’t need no stinkin’ elections. It’s damn the torpedoes and the American people and full speed ahead for Republican politicians protecting their paymaster/pimps. As the chart below shows this entire debate over tax rates for the uber wealthy is over a tiny increase in the top rates for the greedy takers of wealth while the workers that actually make that wealth are sent to the poorhouse. Rather than nudge the rates up slightly from their historically low levels, the Greedy One Percenters would gleefully push granny over their contrived “fiscal cliff” in true Shock Doctrine fashion.



As Richard Eskow wrote yesterday for ourfuture.org: “The Republican Party has a message for the American people: Meet the new deal, same as the old deal. The GOP ‘counter-offer’ to the President’s fiscal-cliff proposal isn’t really an offer at all: It’s a rehash of the tired and extremist right-wing economic warfare which the American people soundly rejected last month….this rehash of their old, rejected budget ideas is a formula for reducing the United States of America to a crumbling and poverty-haunted land where the young have no opportunities, the middle class is struggling to survive, and the aged live in misery and fear..

The Republicans also propose to raise the Medicare eligibility age to 67, which would force 65 and 66 year olds to seek private, individual health care coverage on the open insurance market. And since they’d also repeal the new health care law, these older Americans would get no help in that process.  (Here are eight reasons raising the Medicare age is a terrible idea.)…

This change would also affect disabled Americans and children on Social Security.

The $800 billion they’re offering in “tax reform” is also likely to include cuts to tax deductions that are helping millions of middle-class Americans as they struggle to stay afloat. Likely targets include reducing or eliminating the home mortgage interest deduction, which could lead to millions of additional foreclosures, as well as an end to deductions for children.

The Republicans are also promising $300 billion in “other discretionary cuts.” They don’t say what they’d cut, but previous GOP Congressional budgets offer clues. Some of the cuts are absurd, like the massive reductions in funds for hurricane warnings. Are they serious?  Law enforcement programs that pay for themselves, like US Customs impoundment of drug vehicles? Honestly?

Home Businesses And What They’re All About

Like anything you do in life, starting your own home business is easier than you think if you have the right advice. This guide contains a lot of tips that you can use in starting your home based business.

You are going to need to have well-stocked office space before you begin your business. It may not seem important, but it can be hard for people to get to work without a comfortable space or with insufficient supplies.

One possible moneymaker is offering lessons for an area in something that you know how to do. A lot of people prefer to take lessons instead of going to a school that costs more and has strict schedules. You can teach hobby-related lessons, for instance, teach art or music from home.

Don’t let family distractions get you down when working from the house.Because interruptions disrupt your work day, tell folks when you plan to be working and when you will be free. Tell them that privacy so you can finish work and then be available that much sooner. Be sure to have supervision and you’re able to be reached in case something goes wrong.

You can even find business card offers online for free or very cheap. Be sure that your card includes vital contact info, phone number, your phone number and your email address or website. Include your business’s email address and the URL to your website on the card. This makes it easier for customers to contact you.

A variety of nearby companies would rather work with designers who are independent versus large companies.This is one area where you have an advantage.

As these tips demonstrated, lots of people dream of opening up a home business for themselves. Unfortunately, launching a new home business may be challenging if you are not educated in the field.


Class War Dispatches

As Senator Bernie Sanders said this week, “Think about the arrogance of these guys on Wall Street who were bailed out by the middle class of this country when their greed and recklessness nearly destroyed the financial system and now they come to Capitol Hill to lecture Congress and the American people about the need to cut programs for working families. This is what class warfare is all about.”

Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein was one of those repugnant vultures who swooped down on Capitol Hill in his private corporate jet this week to call for cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Blankfein harangued lawmakers about the need to “lower people’s expectations” about their retirement and health care.

Some facts about this grasping sociopath:

Lloyd Blankfein was paid $16.1 million in 2011, a 14 percent increase, while Goldman’s earnings fell 47 percent.

During the financial crisis, Goldman Sachs received a total of $814 billion in virtually zero interest loans from the Federal Reserve and a $10 billion bailout from the U.S. Treasury.

Goldman Sachs received a $278 million refund from the IRS in 2008, even though it earned a profit of $2.3 billion that year.

HuffPost reports: CEOs who have made a high-profile foray into deficit negotiations head companies that received trillions in subsidies, bailouts, special tax breaks and loopholes that virtually eliminate their tax bills.

What a pack of avaricious assholes. The Class War rages on fellow workers.

alternet.org released a list of the greediest CEOs last week. Here are the top three:

1. Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and CEO, Goldman, Sachs & Co. Blankfein…explained his keen desire to see Americans lowering their sights for the future. You really have to watch the interview to get the full flavor of Blankfein’s smug assurance that predation can be sold as concern for the nation’s well-being. In addition to trotting out several myths about Social Security’s design and functions, including the bogus notion that retirement age must be raised , he gives a pithy summary of what life is going to be like for the 99 percent: “You’re going to have to do something, undoubtedly, to lower people’s expectations of what they’re going to get, the entitlements, and what people think they’re going to get, because you’re not going to get it.”

2. Jeffrey Immelt, chairman and CEO, General Electric Company. In 2011, President Obama welcomed outsourcing pioneer Jeffrey Immelt to his White House inner circle as chair of a newly created jobs council – a move that was a sharp slap in the face to American workers. Immelt returned the favor by dumping Obama in favor of Mitt Romney in the recent election…He’d like to add insult to injury by making sure that people who have been screwed by the reckless activities of short-sighted corporate titans like himself are left to starve in their golden years and go without medical care…
And guess how much GE paid in taxes in 2010? Nothing. In fact, using what the New York Times describes as its “innovative accounting practices,” it claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion! 

3. Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO, JPMorgan Chase & Co. Dimon is deploying a familiar scare tactic on the topic of the so-called fiscal cliff. He’s claiming that his company will be forced to cut down on hiring and so on if a budget plan is not tailored to enrich the wealthy. During a recent visit to India , he issued warnings to CNBC-TV18: “I’ve spoken to CEOs who say, you know, absolutely, we are making decisions to protect ourselves from the ‘fiscal cliff’ and those are like investment decisions and hiring decisions.” Maybe Dimon’s company would be better served figuring out what happened to the $6 billion that recently went up in smoke in the “London Whale” derivatives fiasco.


Funniest Sunday

blinky boy bush slithered out from under his rock this week to dedicate the oxymoronically-named bush “library.” Is My Pet Goat available for check-out? Jon Stewart called it “the Hard Rock Cafe of catastrophic policy decisions.”

Stewart spoke with correspondent Al Madrigal, “on assignment” in Dallas, who took a look at some of the “library’s” weirder features, such as an interactive thing-a-ma-jig in which “library” patrons have to make the decisions that blinky boy blunder made in office – and are told they are, of course, wrong if they make a decision that blinky boy blunder didn’t make. Stewart dubbed that feature “disasterpiece theatre.”



“The Bush Presidential Library is beautiful, and they have a huge section devoted to weapons of mass destruction, but nobody can find it.” –David Letterman.

“I mean, at the end of this man’s presidency, even as my fellow conservatives were abandoning Bush like rats on a sinking ship on a crash course with Cat Island, I remained faithful, and I’m sure he knows that from the warrantless wiretaps he authorized.” –Stephen Colbert.

“Down in Texas Thursday is the opening of the George Bush Presidential Library and Think Tank. I think he’s in the shallow end.” –Jay Leno.

“In President Bush’s high school yearbook, he was voted least likely to have a library named after him.” –Jay Leno.

“New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was in Texas today for the dedication of George W. Bush’s presidential library. The library is already done, but they brought in Christie for a second ground breaking.” –Jimmy Fallon.

“Between these two assholes and the douchebag who sent Ricin to President Obama, it makes me very nostalgic for the carefree days of last week when we were just being threatened by North Korea with nuclear annihilation.” –Bill Maher.

“The guy who sent the Ricin to President Obama… believed he had uncovered a conspiracy to sell human body parts on the black market and the government was in on it. He’s been apprehended, he’s facing jail time, and he’s leading in the polls for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.” –Bill Maher.

“After a very difficult week, it’s good to know that bad guys don’t get away with it. We caught the Ricin guy. We caught the bombers. This is a powerful message from our government; we will not be intimidated by bombs, we will not be intimidated by poison. This is America. If you are a violent, paranoid lunatic, you must use a gun.” –Bill Maher.

“90 percent of people support background checks, which means even people who can’t pass a background check support background checks.” –Bill Maher.

“Because of the filibuster, the gun bill failed 54 to 46. Failed. I tell you, if the American people ever learn math, they’re going to be pissed.” –Bill Maher.

“A lot of the senators are saying off the record that the reason they couldn’t vote for any sort of gun bill is that they couldn’t go back to their district in this year after we’ve dealt with gay marriage and immigration and gun regulations. This is too much for the peckerwoods to process in any one moment. You might as well say Obama is coming for your deep fryer.” –Bill Maher.…


Shopping with the Devil

Just as there are blood diamonds there are blood garments. Tragically and eerily reminiscent of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire in New York that I wrote about last year on the 100th anniversary of that awful tragedy in a piece called Rise Like Lions After Slumber, last week 117 workers were killed in a devastating fire at a garment factory in Bangladesh. It was a sweatshop making clothes for Walmart and other retailers. If you shop at Walmart you are morally complicit in this horror.

Just like the workers in New York 100 years ago these workers were mainly young women who were trapped in the fire. There were no emergency exits and the only exit door was locked. According to a report, “fire extinguishers didn’t work and apparently were there just to impress inspectors and that when the fire alarm went off workers were told by their bosses to go back to their sewing machines.” Twelve of the workers died after jumping from the eight-story building.

Walmart tried to evade responsibility by claiming it was not aware of any connection to that factory. But the corporation was forced to admit the connection after photos were published that showed clothing with Walmart’s exclusive “Faded Glory” label at that factory after the fire.

Walmart is the largest buyer of garments from Bangladesh, which has a notorious record of ignoring the safety of workers and suppressing their attempts to improve their conditions. Yet Walmart appears not to have taken the necessary steps to enforce safe conditions for these workers, including making sure its contractors and subcontractors were complying with basic fire codes. They want what they want and they want it cheap. It’s been reported that Walmart did not end its relationship with the supplier even though “the safety risk posed…was understood well before Sunday’s blaze.”

The Nation’s Josh Eidelson writes: “Walmart has come under repeated scrutiny for the labor conditions at its suppliers. In June, guest workers at C.J.’s Seafood went on strike over alleged forced labor conditions; after initially saying it had investigated and couldn’t substantiate the accusations, Walmart eventually suspended the supplier. In September, Human Rights Watch released a report finding widespread debt bondage at the Phatthana shrimp company in Thailand, and accusing Walmart of offering shifting and contradictory explanations of its relationship to the company.”

If you shop at Walmart you’re shopping with the devil.

Crucial Advice You Should Know About Furniture

You can make much better choices and save money just by educating yourself. Research is important when shopping for furniture. This article is going to assist you in becoming a bit of advice so you’re better able to take on furniture shopping.

The end of summer is the best timeframe to buy patio furniture. Many stores want to sell summer items to make room for new incoming items. This is why they slash prices cheaper so they’re more affordable.

Test out all pieces you want to buy. It might be tempting to buy that new couch online, but until you are sure of what it looks like in person, you may be in for disappointment when it lands in your home. You may discover that the cushions’ firmness or the overall feel of the piece is not like it as much when you actually see it. It’s smart to buy after you know how you feel about it.

Make sure the reclining chair or couch you want works before purchasing it. It can be difficult to get a replacement from certain furniture stores.

Always measure the space you’re about to get furniture for. Whether buying a sofa, table or couch, you need to know that it will fit. Guessing can turn out badly.

Check out the legs of furniture along with other vital parts to ensure it is well made and will last. The chairs legs need to be heavy and joined to the frame. Wooden legs are the most durable, metal or plastic, which can easily scratch flooring.

Given that you have now digested this material, you ought to be prepared to put it to good use. Taking time to read this was important, but using what you’ve learned is key. You may also want to print this guide out to take with you when shopping.…