Welcome to The Man Cave
Clark Kent has the Fortress of Solitude. Larry Ellison has his own freaking Hawaiian island.
I have The Man Cave. That's Capital M, Capital C. The place where I can go and no children can enter without permission. Even Jackie comes here to escape the kids at times.
Since none of you, other than Skippy (aka Educated Ray) have bothered to come visit, I thought I'd give a quick tour since I cleaned up this past weekend.
The Man Cave started out as our "extra garage" when we bought our house. The couple who built the place had an RV and poured a concrete slab out to the garage from the alley. We stored our boxes in the back garage when we moved and left the building alone as we parked our cars in the garage attached to the house. For the first 4 years, I worked out of an office in our basement.
In 2005, I cleaned out the back garage and moved the boxes to a storage unit. Then I started ripping out the old shelves. I threw away a bunch of bottles of nasty chemicals like Chlordane, Malathion, and MSMA. I put in new electrical outlets and ran 220 volt A/C lines. We ran 200 amp service to the building, installed a heat pump, and put in a 30A plug for our RV. Then I insulated the walls and put up sheetrock. I textured and painted the walls. I painted the floor but I also have indoor/outdoor carpet around my desk.
As you can see, it's a pretty good work area. I still haven't put everything back on the shelves from the cleaning, but with the triple monitor setup and a KVM switch, I can run several PCs at the same time. I've got a good Internet connection into the building and I can have 4 phone lines if I need them. When I ran the new electrical service to this building, we took every precaution that we wouldn't have problems with brownouts and we've been fortunate there.
In the fall, I store my '73 MGB in here after I drain the gasoline out of it. I drive it a bit when it's not so hot.
We play cards in here a couple times a year, as you can see from the table on the wall. I have a set of IKEA legs that I just screw in that work great. There's a fridge for beer and my lunch meat. The beer sign was a gift from an appreciative Coors truck driver when I played Good Samaritan on a cold rainy night in 1990.
In the past, I've had a DirecTV dish out here and I've watched ball games. That's been less important the last couple years and I moved the receiver into the house and let the kids use it. I can use the DirecTV streaming app to watch some stuff, but it doesn't work very good. Between Hulu, Pandora, HBOGO, and half a dozen others, I can be entertained. The only thing that gets me is when I want to watch a specific sporting event at a specific time, I usually have to go in the house.
That table on the right hand side is my current project. It will eventually be my work desk. It was the glass-cutting table at my grandfather's place of business for 40 years. When he was done with it, my father used it for another 30. It was built in 1911 or in that time frame. I've been restoring it, but I've had a few setbacks. It's good enough to use for casual use, but I want it to be a showpiece, so I'm taking it slow.
Those brown rolls hanging from the ceilings are heavy tarps. They serve two purposes. When I do podcasts or webinars, they isolate sound and cut down on echoes. In the winter, they cut the size of the office in half, so I can keep my work area warmer. Even though Oklahoma is in the south, our winters are cold.
The one obvious thing that's missing is running water. I've talked to a plumber about putting in a toilet and sink. The sewer lines for our property run along the back of the building, but the water lines would have to run the length of our property. Perhaps in the future, but for now, I'll leave it as it is. Getting up to walk to the house a couple times a day is good exercise anyway. I just don't have anyone to stop and have watercooler chat with, other than the dog and the cats.
I've worked from home for 11 years and this is one of the reasons why. I have a nice setup that allows me to focus on my work. I'm not anti-social by any means, but we made a choice to educate our kids in a small-school setting and we have a few more years to wrap that up. I can satisfy my craving for sushi on occasion and the bi-monthly trips to the mother-ship fills the voids in human-interaction. Maybe I'll be at a regular desk job again in the future, but for now, I'll be alright.